Let’s treat women badly, destroy resources to help them, and help the Republicans take over everything state by state

Sexism and Atheism: mutually exclusive, surely?

A single woman went to an atheist conference in a country she was not familiar with. While there, she spoke at this conference, about how she does not like to be sexualised out of context. Basically, her talk was about how to avoid making women feel uncomfortable, so as to create a more welcoming atmosphere and get more women to enter the atheist community…..

…and then…

Women’s Center In New Orleans Destroyed By Arson, Third Incident in the South

Thanks to the fast response of all of our supporters across the country, many of you have already heard that our office was broken into last night and set on fire. The worst damage was concentrated in our community organizing and outreach office where we store all of the resources we use to educate our community. We lost everything…

…and then...

Sex and the Keynote

Then, at the very end, when everyone was preparing to leave, and I was packing up the Hug Me table, answering questions, and generally socializing with other speakers and attendees, thinking about how fat my check is going to be from Big Pharma when one man and his wife, whom I’ve become vaguely acquainted with on Facebook in the last week, approached my table.

…and then…
Dirty Tricks In Wisconsin: Secret Group Shuts Down Phones Of Scott Walker’s Democratic Challenger With Spam Texts

One week before Wisconsinites vote on whether or not to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), a conservative group is engaged in dirty tricks that have shut down the Democratic challenger’s campaign phones.
According to multiple reports, independently verified by ThinkProgress, the following spam text message is being blasted out to many Wisconsin cell phones:

…and then…

Should we just stop using reddit?

I just learned, from here, that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Mens Rights Advocacy thread of Reddit as a “hate site.” This makes me wonder if reddit, as a thing, a company, social networking sphere, or whatever it is should be boycotted, or put another way if use of that place on the internet is unethical.

Reddit: Mens Rights
A “subreddit” of the user-generated news site Reddit, this forum describes itself as a “place for people who feel that men are currently being disadvantaged by society.” While it presents itself as a home for men seeking equality, it is notable for the anger it shows toward any program designed to help women. It also trafficks in various conspiracy theories. “Kloo2yoo,” identified as a site moderator, writes that there is “undeniable proof” of an international feminist conspiracy involving the United Nations, the Obama Administration and others, aimed at demonizing men.

I think, frankly, that if the SPLC looked at r/atheist on certain days, they would say the same thing about that subreddit.

Is it time to just put reddit aside and shun it, and those who use it, as a matter of social pressure to make this world a slightly better place rather than a slightly suckier place?

Don’t you dare post this post on reddit!

Women in Elevators and Black Guys Sneaking Up Behind You

As you may know, I wrote a post, Women in Elevators: A Man To Man Talk For The Menz, in which I wrote:

I am not afraid of dogs, and most women are probably not “afraid of men.”

Except I’m actually afraid of dogs and most women are justifiably afraid of men. If you get what I’m saying so far, go away and do something useful because this post is not written for you. If you are puzzled, especially about the idea of women being afraid of men at all, then sit down, shut up, and allow me to slap you across the chops a couple of times with a little reality because that is what you need. Assuming you are a sentient adult and still have no clue.

Several people got really really mad at me because of that post … I literally lost a few friends … and they got even madder when I pointed out that getting mad at me for that post increased in my mind the chance that you are likely to be abusive to women. Holy crap. Anyway, it all relates to the whole Schrödinger’s Rapist thing. (See this recent post at Camels with Hammers for more on that)

Anyway, one of the responses to that post (and other conversations going on at the time) was to point out that a man saying that he recognized that women could be justifiably nervous about running across an unknown male on a lonely street at night was equivalent to saying that all black people are criminals. Or something like that.

Well, my bloggy friend Ian Cromwell who it turns out is a big scary black guy has addressed that issue, skillfully and engagingly, in a post called “Shuffling feet: a black man’s view on Schroedinger’s Rapist.” Go have a look.

Females Are Not welcome in the Atheist Community

Females, especially younger women and girls, are not as welcome in the Atheist Community as are men. There are indeed many women who are atheists, and many of those are quite active. But to be a woman active in the atheist community, two things are almost always, I think, true: 1) You are not allowed to forget that you’re a woman before you’re an atheist, and not in a good way but in a stereotyped, sexualized, objectified and exploited way; and 2) one of your main jobs as an activist, blogger, writer, or speaker, may very well be dealing with sexism not only generally but in your particular field of interest as well.

——–
Clarification

I would not have thought this necessary but I was wrong. A “Community” is like a neighborhood. Pertinent to the present discussion, no matter how many female-welcoming (or even indifferent) people live there, and no how many non sexist, non misogynist, pro-feminist, female-friendly places, subgroups, places to go or places to be or things to do there may be in that neighborhood, if many of the street corners and parks and other public spaces are habitually occupied by groups of dick-headed immature women hating misogynists who harass and bother and abuse any women that show up in that neighborhood, then the neighborhood is not welcoming to women. A community is like a neighborhood, and our community (of atheists or skeptics) is a lot like that neighborhood I just described.
——–

And what I’m saying here applies as well to the Skeptical Community, quite possibly because the Atheist and Skeptics communities have quite a bit of overlap.

I have proof of that last point: That female atheists address issues related to sex and sexism more than men. I looked at the last three substantive (i.e., not a random YouTube clip) posts of all the male bloggers at FTB.com and the last six of all the female bloggers (there are so many more male bloggers that I was worried about sample size) and categorized them. Here’s the chart I came up with:

female bloggers blog more about sex, sexism, and glbta issues

Bloggers by type vs. topics blogged, FTB.com, recently


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Can a Panda be a Yoo-Man Girl?

Imma leave this one up to my readers: Why is this wrong? Or is it not wrong? Please enter your verdict and the reasoning behind it below:

Outrage as BBC chooses panda as 2011 female face

LONDON (Reuters) – The BBC has ignited its second sexism spat in the space of a month by choosing a panda as one of its 12 female faces of the year.

Last week, it was criticised for choosing its annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year from an entirely male shortlist.
The decision to include the face of Tian Tian (Sweetie), a female panda whose arrival at Edinburgh Zoo on loan from China generated huge publicity earlier this month, has provoked a storm of angry tweets, including one from former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

To me, this may depend on context and background to be found deeper in the article, so do have a look.

…a quarter of the female faces this year were chosen for their involvement in marriages.

They include Prince William’s new sister-in-law Pippa Middleton, South African Charlene Wittstock who married Prince Albert of Monaco and Spanish billionaire the Duchess of Alba, 85, who tied the knot with a civil servant 24 years her junior.

And the author of the piece noted: “I didn’t choose the BBC women faces of the year subjects — just wrote them. Two black eyes from wife though. Pandamonium!”

All I can say is that I hope Amanda does not catch me writing this blog post about Pandas!

And there’s more.

Dawkins’ Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing: Why Too Many Y’s?

A review, reposted.

As you probably know, Richard Dawkins was raked over blogospheric coals for having edited a volume of science writing that includes only about 3.6% of its works written by females. The observation was first made here at hgg, and has been discussed here at The Intersection, here at Aetiology, here at Questionable Authority, at Blue Lab Coats, here by Miranda (who has a dissenting view)
and here by Drug Monkey.

I have a few brief comments and then a suggestion. (more…)

The Damage Richard Dawkins Did

And now, the final installment in this series of posts (the previous installment is here).

Picture of Richard Dawkins Scowling

This is Richard Dawkins. There are about 27,000,000 atheists and other sorts of non-believes in the United States.

Richard Dawkins didn’t do any damage to himself. Most of the people who were going to buy his books will still buy his books, he’ll continue to pack lecture halls as he travels around giving talks, and he’ll continue to have the kind of influence that he has had for several years now, which is by and large a very positive one, on the way society approaches things like religion, atheism, and skepticism.

But he has probably lost some colleagues. His treatment of both the issues surrounding Elevator Gate and his treatment of his colleague Rebecca Watson was appalling. And yes, Rebecca and Richard were colleagues. The two of them have traveled similar circuits, sat on panels together, and so on. Despite what star struck fans may think, Richard Dawkins does not actually live in an utterly different world than the rest of us. He still puts his pants on one leg at a time, and he is still part of a community of people doing similar, and overlapping things. (more…)

Calibrating and Recalibrating Sex Positiveness

Continuing our discussion (see Making sense of our fights on the Internet, Power and Presence on the Internet and Elsewhere, and A Spectrum as a Slippery Slope and OMG Hitler is a Nazi!!!!) …

I was at a local event recently where a group of sex-positive third-wave feminist women had traditionally used a certain amount of overt sexuality to raise some money. They had been doing it for a few years and had gained a certain reputation and a certain following. A friend of mine who knew of their work but did not know them personally joined in during this most recent event and volunteered to work the door, as it were, to help to relieve some of the visitors and participants of a little cash (this was a fundraiser). I was not present for that part of the event but some of the people involved, who had been involved for several years, later said to me that they felt my friend had gone a bit over the top in her performance. I asked for a description of what concerned them, and when I heard it I had to laugh a little. You see, over the years, these women have changed their own act from a more to a less sexy parody version of themselves, toning it down and calibrating, for a number of different reasons. The young woman who joined them this year had calibrated her own approach to their reputation and not to their current approach. She was a blast, as it were, from the past, and that was a little shocking. (more…)

#ReasonstoBeatYourGirlfriend good, #GodIsNotGreat offensive UPDATED

According to Politics USA, Twitter has pulled #GodIsNotGreat but left, or reinstated, #ReasonstoBeatYourGirlfriend as trending topic hashtag thingies. I had no idea Twitter controlled which terms are used but I’m glad they can pull offensive ones. But obviously they screwed this one up.

Folks, “god is not great” is not offensive. “Reasons to beat your girlfriend” is. (more…)

A Spectrum as a Slippery Slope and OMG Hitler is a Nazi!!!!

… Continuing with our discussion …

When Rebecca discussed a range of topics from being bothered by clueless gents to sexual abuse to rape, some of her critics scolded her for linking these different things together, and insisted that when she mentioned something about a guy asking her over at 4 AM for coffee being clueless that she was accusing him of rape. Even Richard Dawkins got that wrong and he is known for being smart and stuff.

This is one of those things where WikiThinking can muddy the waters. There are two named fallacies of argument discussed in The Wikipedia that people will refer to when someone discusses a range, or spectrum, of behaviors. One is the Slippery Slope argument. The other is the Godwin Principle. The former is only sometimes a fallacy … there are slippery slopes and there are times when people worry about slippery slopes that are not real. Either way, it does not matter. The spectrum of behavior exists, and it is a matter of discussion as to whether being fast and lose at one end of the spectrum makes it harder for society or individuals or whomever to deal with the other end of the spectrum. It is worth discussing. Presuming that because one senses that there is a slope that therefore there must be a slippery slope fallacy is sloppy thinking.

And you know what sloppy thinking can lead to if you are not careful. It can lead to a very slippery slope indeed! Down which we will surely slip! (more…)

Power and Presence on the Internet and Elsewhere

… continuing ….

When Rebecca commented about Stef McGraw’s commentary in her talk at a the CFI Student Leadership Conference, at which Stef was in attendance as a student leader, there were those who complained that this was unfair; Rebecca has a big presence and a resounding voice on the Internet and in the Skeptics and Atheists communities, and for good reason. Therefore, when she speaks critically of a person or a person’s ideas, where that person has less of a voice, who is less well known or less well established, that could be seen as somehow unfair, or at least, uneven. (more…)

Making sense of our fights on the Internet

After the Big Bang, more or less evenly distributed stuff and energy somehow became slightly unevenly distributed, which caused a kind of Universal Angular Momentum to set in which gave early heterogeneity and structure to everything that existed. The lightest elements formed more or less spontaneously, but in order for heavier elements to form matter had to get sufficiently clumped in stars that massive gravitational forces changed light elements into heavy ones. Perhaps if the initial clumping and spinning of stuff in the very early universe was a little bit different, the whole universe would have come out differently, in detail if not in other more profound ways. Or at least, I’d be wearing a blue tee shirt instead of a black one right now and I’d be using vim instead of emacs to type this blog post.

When Elevatorgate happened, the ensuing Universe Known as Rebeccapocalypse was shaped and determined by a number of early events that have caused the final result … well, not the “final” result, but the result that we are stuck with as of this writing … but had those first few days of Internet activity been a little different things might have come out a different way.

Here I would like to do two things. (more…)

Sebelius: No morning after pill for girls under 17

The FDA will not remove restrictions on access for the Morning After Birth Control Pill.

In a statement today, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she was convinced that the product, called Plan B One Step, is safe and effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected intercourse for women of all ages. Currently the product is available without a prescription only to those age 17 and over. As long ago as 2003, two FDA advisory panels recommended the product be made available over the counter without age restrictions.

Hamburg, however, was overruled by her boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. As a result, the drug makers’ application to remove the age restriction has been denied, and girls under age 17 will still need a prescription.

source

I would like to take this opportunity to request Sebelius resignation.

Margaret Hamburg’s statement is here. The most important part is here:
(more…)

Question: When is Rebecca Watson going to learn to shut up?

This is what Kurt Metzger wants Rebecca Watson to look like. Misogyny? Fetish? Hard to say.

Answer: When her burka comes back from the dry cleaners!

De-dum dum…..

Now THAT was funny. Unlike Kurt Metzger. Kurt has suggested that women can avoid feeling sexualized by sticking to purdah. That’s when a woman covers herself from head to toe, inclusively, with cloth. It is a practice of patrarchical, misogynist societies in which women are totally controlled by men, often subject to brutal violence, and even killed for not knowing when to shut up or breaking barbaric and absurd rules. Kurt Metzger is a comedian, so what he said can be taken as a joke. Whether or not it can be taken as funny is an otter matter.

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