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Mermaid
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Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« on: 2016-02-13 02:04:23 »
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http://qz.com/613270/brazen-sexism-is-pushing-women-out-of-americas-atheism-movement/

While I had 'converted' to agnosticism a while ago, it was the name calling ...particularly being called a 'cunt' over and over again for no real good reason(is there ever a good reason for name calling)  that led me to distance myself from CoV. How many women remain in this community in the years after it was formed. it is a wound and betrayal that hasnt quite healed.

i guess religion or lack of religion has nothing to do with why men are sexist and jerks.

Thoughts?

eta: oh yes.. 'rape' too. i found it startling..but interesting nevertheless..that even the kind of male aggression and typical words were similar to my experience amongst the attacks I experienced here. Surely, this can't be a coincidence.

i was introduced to evolutionary psychology/social darwinism only in the atheists irc channels...not just here in cov. there does seem to be some affinity to it. a few members of atheism channel were dedicated sosuave community members and often traded tidbits. for some time, i masqueraded as a godless male just to figure out what the male atheists were all about..it was very enlightening.

i also think that for a lot of women, being godless is freedom from the shackles of religion and superstition. i cant speak for men. this is true for all the abrahamic religions and pagans and eastern faiths. i cannot think of one religion or cultural aspect of religion that doesnt try to destroy women.

without the aid of female circumcision, foot binding, widow burning, veils, witchhunts, segregation, repression, oppression and other fun things, atheists males still seem to be free to employ other forms of sexism. so clearly the evils of religion cannot be blamed for the maltreatment of women over centuries across the world. i know a handful of women who are atheists and are grounded. which means that they are not 'playing atheist' to actually be anti-xian and 'culturally' remain true to their faith...not being a petulant child-woman trying to get back at her parents...not angry at god and rejecting god because of life tragedies(which still implies faith..but try telling that)...there are all shades of female atheists.

perhaps its not just rationality that drives people to be faithless..maybe the reasons for adopting atheism is less about religion and more about the human self. which probably manifests more in those possessing the Y chromosome. data here would be interesting.

here is the article linked above..[...]
I was eight years old when I decided that I didn’t believe in God. The realization occurred to me after my Methodist pastor reduced my queries about God and the universe to the same kind of “just because” reasoning my mother used for questions like why I couldn’t run around outside without a shirt on.

Since then, I’ve been an atheist. I do not believe in a God, and I do not live by the dictates ascribed to any god figure. I do not need a paternal figure to tell me how to act like a moral human. Rather, I cultivate an ethics of interpersonal and community engagement with other people based on principles of civic-mindedness. In this way, my atheism directly informs my feminism. I reject society’s demand that I submit to men. I reject the objectification of women. The ethics of choice—a person’s right to decide what they believe in and what they do with their body—unites the two philosophies.

This correlation between atheism and feminism for me, and for many other women, is why we are so dismayed by the misogyny rampant in today’s atheist movement. Writing in Salon, Katie Engelhart ascribes the misogyny in New Atheism to the movement’s exclusively male leadership—who also happen to be men notorious for their sexism. “Despite their supposed love of science and rationality,” Amanda Marcotte agreed in a post for Alternet, “many of them are nearly as quick as their religious counterparts to abandon reason in order to justify regressive views about women.”

“Many of them are nearly as quick as their religious counterparts to abandon reason in order to justify regressive views about women.” The latest high-profile example of this hypocrisy is Richard Dawkins’s recent Twitter debacle, in which he tweeted a video mocking feminists and Muslims and then got called out by Lindy West. (Their beef goes back to 2012, when he referred to West as a “remarkably stupid cunt.”) Then there was neuroscientist and New Atheism leader Sam Harris’s declaration back in 2014 that the movement’s supposedly hard-hitting, critical approach is “to some degree intrinsically male,” as if to confirm that atheism has always been a “boys’ club.”

Yet while there has been a fair amount of online discussion about the fact of the movement’s misogyny, few have attempted to explain why it exists.

There are two predominant reasons that can explain why sexism exists in the atheism movement. The first reason is the influence of social Darwinism. Philip Kitcher, professor of philosophy at Columbia University, wrote in The New York Times in 2012 that the first tenet of social Darwinism is the belief that “people have intrinsic abilities and talents (and, correspondingly, intrinsic weaknesses), which will be expressed in their actions and achievements, independently of the social, economic and cultural environments in which they develop.” A concept such as “men are from mars, women are from Venus” is one version of such gender-essentialist, social Darwinist ideas.

In the atheism movement, social Darwinism has played out as the justifiable assault of women by (naturally) aggressive men. Buzzfeed’s Mark Oppenheimer detailed many accounts of alleged sexism, sexual assault and coercion in his excellent exposé on the atheism movement. “Some women say they are now harassed or mocked at conventions, and the online attacks—which include Jew-baiting, threats of anal rape, and other pleasantries—are so vicious that two activists I spoke with have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder,” he writes.

Oppenheimer also writes that James Randi, chair of annual atheist gathering The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM), used biological essentialism to rationalize alleged sex crimes and sexual harassment. Randi’s comments were in response to accusations made by multiple women against Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic magazine. “[Shermer] had a bit too much to drink and he doesn’t remember. I don’t know,” Randi muses. “I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.”

The idea that sexual harassment and violence is just “what men do” is the 21st-century atheist’s interpretation of the laddist maxim that “Boys will be boys.” The same logic is manifest in statements that justify sexual violence on a woman’s behavior or style of dress.

The second explanation for why the atheism movement foments sexism can be found in what Dawkins himself said during a 2002 TED Talk called “militant atheism.” Instead of practicing atheism as a kind of absenteeism from religion—which is how I approach it—Dawkins presents the case for an atheism that aggressively attacks other religions. Even more pernicious is the way he argues for a moral and organizational structure on par with orthodox religions. “We need a consciousness-raising, coming-out campaign for American atheists,” Dawkins said. “When a critical mass has been obtained, there’s an abrupt acceleration in recruitment. And again, it will need money.”

As a capitalist-fueled institution, New Atheism has established itself as a mirror image of religion, with Dawkins & Friends situating themselves at the pinnacle of the movement–in the role of God. Feminist philosopher Elizabeth Grosz put it this way: “God is dead; long live man! Nietzsche said it all, and Dawkins [and the male leaders of the movement] have resurrected man as god,” she told Quartz in an email.

The mirroring of religion is apparent in the movement’s structural hierarchy. White men are at the top, serving as featured speakers at events and figureheads of the movement. Everyone else remains in the pews and balconies. This social stratification is both sexist and racist. Take Dawkins’s contention that Islamophobia is a “non-word,” or his “Dear Muslima” letter, or the “Feminists Love Islamists” video he tweeted last week. Dawkins’s general argument is that his attacks are religiously—not racially—motivated. “If ‘race’ is real,” he tweeted in 2014, “it should never be a criterion to decide anything. If Islam is a ‘race’ it’s the only ‘race’ you can convert to or from.”

New Atheism’s element of sexism is both cause and consequence of the movement’s demographics. According to 2015 Pew research, atheists in America are mostly young white men. Harris suggests that atheism’s emphasis on criticism just isn’t attractive to women: “The atheist variable … doesn’t obviously have this nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe that you would want by default if you wanted to attract as many women as men.” Women are excluded from the atheist movement because its leaders seem to believe women are not “rational” creatures–in keeping with the demoralizing history of Western thought.

No wonder atheism is not attractive to women. As Katha Pollitt wrote for the Nation, “Why would women join a movement led by sexists and populated by trolls?” Like other forms of liberal misogyny (the Bernie Bros are a recent example), atheism engages in a type of social Darwinism that objectifies women just because they’re women. For these men, misogyny is not based in religion at all, but in biology. They claim to be about liberating people from the shackles of religion. But in importing sexism into the movement, they’ve brought religion’s biggest problem with them.

Follow Marcie on Twitter at @MarcieBianco. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.
[...]
« Last Edit: 2016-02-13 02:24:18 by Mermaid » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #1 on: 2016-02-14 13:02:49 »
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About http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/richard-dawkins-vdeo-twitter-necss-event-feminism-a6841161.html

Why can't a self-identified feminist like Dawkins criticize the radical part of feminism that aligns itself with radical Islamism? Are all variants of feminism so sacred that none can be mocked? Doesn't that sound a lot like Islamism? Doesn't all the abuse he received over it prove his point was justified?

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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #2 on: 2016-02-14 23:58:31 »
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first of all..what exactly is a 'self identified feminist'? secondly, what *is* feminism? (you mention 'variants of feminism' in the next sentence)

everything can be mocked. but what is it's purpose?

no. it does not sound like Islamism. there is something terribly wrong when the evaluation of something boils down to whether or not it can withstand being mocked.

i dont know.. jesus christ receives a lot of abuse from atheists. does it mean that atheists are indeed sinners for whom JC died on the cross? does it prove the point of xians? that duck isnt going fly.


Quote from: David Lucifer on 2016-02-14 13:02:49   

About http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/richard-dawkins-vdeo-twitter-necss-event-feminism-a6841161.html

Why can't a self-identified feminist like Dawkins criticize the radical part of feminism that aligns itself with radical Islamism? Are all variants of feminism so sacred that none can be mocked? Doesn't that sound a lot like Islamism? Doesn't all the abuse he received over it prove his point was justified?


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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #3 on: 2016-02-15 15:18:05 »
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Quote from: Mermaid on 2016-02-14 23:58:31   

first of all..what exactly is a 'self identified feminist'? secondly, what *is* feminism? (you mention 'variants of feminism' in the next sentence)

Since you asked, a "self-identified feminist" is someone who claims to be a feminist. Dawkins claims to be a feminist (as in women should have equal rights) and nothing he has written has contradicted that stance as far as I know. I'm sure I don't have to google feminism for you, check the wikipedia page for descriptions of several feminist movements and ideologies.


Quote:

everything can be mocked. but what is it's purpose?

no. it does not sound like Islamism. there is something terribly wrong when the evaluation of something boils down to whether or not it can withstand being mocked.

i dont know.. jesus christ receives a lot of abuse from atheists. does it mean that atheists are indeed sinners for whom JC died on the cross? does it prove the point of xians? that duck isnt going fly.

The purpose of mocking is to criticize. The video points out that feminists that align with radical Islam are undermining their own articulated values, hence hypocrisy (remember the Virian sin?). Feminists that wish to remain true to the values of feminism should distance themselves from feminists that support radical Islam (which, just to be absolutely clear here) embodies systemic misogyny.
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #4 on: 2016-02-15 15:21:18 »
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In related news, the NECSS has issued an apology to Dawkins and re-invited him to the conference >> http://necss.org/2016/02/14/statement-from-the-executive-committee/

Unsurprisingly the SJW feminists (the kind mocked by the video) are not pleased >> http://skepchick.org/2016/02/necss-thinks-richard-dawkins-is-alright-after-all/
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #5 on: 2016-02-26 22:27:37 »
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Quote from: David Lucifer on 2016-02-15 15:18:05   
Feminists that wish to remain true to the values of feminism should distance themselves from feminists that support radical Islam (which, just to be absolutely clear here) embodies systemic misogyny.

is radical islam = fundamentalist islam? because there seems to be a politically radical islam and a religiously fundamental islam.

religiously fundamentalist islam appears misogynistic to those outside of it. female radical islamists do not consider themselves misogynists.

all religions in it's purest form seems to be anti-women. does this mean that deist feminists don't exist?

lets pivot: vegans and animal lovers. are all animal lovers vegans? if they are not vegans, does it mean that they cant just be animal lovers ..but it means that they are actually animal abusers. how does this logic hold?
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #6 on: 2016-02-27 12:03:56 »
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Quote from: Mermaid on 2016-02-26 22:27:37   

is radical islam = fundamentalist islam? because there seems to be a politically radical islam and a religiously fundamental islam.

religiously fundamentalist islam appears misogynistic to those outside of it. female radical islamists do not consider themselves misogynists.

all religions in it's purest form seems to be anti-women. does this mean that deist feminists don't exist?

Agreed, "fundamentalist" is probably a better qualifier to use here.

Of course female Islamic fundamentalists don't consider themselves misogynists, I doubt any misogynists self-identify as such.

Agreed, almost all traditional religions are anti-women, so there are probably few religious fundamentalist feminists.
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #7 on: 2016-02-27 12:08:22 »
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Quote from: Mermaid on 2016-02-26 22:27:37   

lets pivot: vegans and animal lovers. are all animal lovers vegans? if they are not vegans, does it mean that they cant just be animal lovers ..but it means that they are actually animal abusers. how does this logic hold?


Let me ask a related question: How many of the approx. 8 million animal species to you have to love to be considered an animal lover?
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #8 on: 2016-03-13 18:22:17 »
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for me..an 'animal lover' is one who doesnt abuse animals that are most often abused by the majority of the population for food, fur..as beasts of burden etc.


Quote from: David Lucifer on 2016-02-27 12:08:22   


Quote from: Mermaid on 2016-02-26 22:27:37   

lets pivot: vegans and animal lovers. are all animal lovers vegans? if they are not vegans, does it mean that they cant just be animal lovers ..but it means that they are actually animal abusers. how does this logic hold?


Let me ask a related question: How many of the approx. 8 million animal species to you have to love to be considered an animal lover?
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #9 on: 2016-03-20 16:23:56 »
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Quote from: Mermaid on 2016-03-13 18:22:17   

for me..an 'animal lover' is one who doesnt abuse animals that are most often abused by the majority of the population for food, fur..as beasts of burden etc.

Then all animal lovers must be vegan by that definition, right?
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #10 on: 2017-08-22 22:02:34 »
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Belated reply. Over a year, I see.

Yes, that would make sense.

Dairy: does the cow give us permission to take her milk?

Do the chicken with their eggs?

Do you think veganism is the only ethical position? I want to say Yes.
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #11 on: 2017-08-26 10:13:45 »
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Mermaid, I am inclined to agree. I hope in the future they look back at the 21st century as barbaric in the treatment of animals, especially as a food source. I'm not a vegetarian, let alone a vegan, and I think this makes me a bad person from a higher ideal (one I aspire to, not one that I have yet obviously).
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #12 on: 2017-08-28 03:18:35 »
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This is a whole diff topic. I have a diff perspective. For most parts, I think it's not what you kill to eat but how you treat the animal while it's still alive. 1. Do animals have a right to the resources and if so, to what extent?
2. Meat is essentially what's dead. Why don't we eat just dead animals? Why did we figure a way to hunt? Why are we predators and not scavengers?
3. The other side: gatherers and farmers ..is that really a sustainable system?
(Virian book club recommendation: sapiens by yuval hariri)
4. Why don't we eat other humans? Why is cannibalism abhorrent?

Back to #1. Do animals and birds and other creatures in nature have a right or stake  in our planets resources? If robots can have rights and advocates(as they will in the future), why not animals?

Wouldn't it be a shame if robots had rights and not foie grass ducks and battery cage chickens etc all?

Don't know how we got here from original post but somehow..here we are..
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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #13 on: 2017-08-28 08:39:22 »
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I've been thinking a lot about the meaning of rights (in another context, an ongoing debate with colleagues at work between authoritarian and anarchist ideals). I've distilled the concept down to this: a right is a preference that is morally defensible to enforce. The key word here is enforce which is to gain compliance with a credible threat of significant harm. So in essence rights are all about the moral use of force to get your way, which I think makes sense when you see how the word is used typically.

In an abstract way animals do have rights whenever they are violent to protect their own interests. Some animals claim a right to defend their offspring, their mates, their territory. Some animals claim a right to kill and consume other animals. But I'm not sure any animal goes so far as to claim it is moral, I don't think they have that concept at all (though willing to be corrected on this account). But we humans observing animal behavior can project morality onto them, as long as we admit we are projecting.

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Re:Brazen sexism is pushing women out of America’s atheism movement
« Reply #14 on: 2017-08-28 20:27:43 »
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Define 'moral'.

To me, the starting point is: rights can't exist without responsibility. Can we claim rights without moral responsibilities?

On another note: Do we all have e the right to exist? Do we have the right to exist with..say..failing organs due to disease at a high cost/resource expenditure?
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