When women deny them [men] what they believe women owe them, instead of asking if in fact they were owed these things, they instead lash out at women. They sexually harass them, which is a way of saying that you have no right to give them no attention, so if you don’t give them the positive attention they desire, they will extract some attention from you, even if it’s just annoyance or fear. Anti-choice men come from the same mentality, I’ve learned from dealing with them. Their anger at rejection from women gets projected onto the fetus, or even to sperm. They convince themselves that there was some sort of patriarchal paradise in the past when women didn’t get to say no to men, and believe that if they could at least revoke women’s legal right to say no to a man impregnating her, they could have those days back.
I know all the games entitled young men, in particular, play. If you are deploying wingmen, if you are approaching this as you would a gazelle hunt, where the goal is to isolate a target from the herd and make them vulnerable so they will succumb to you, where getting the target stupefyingly drunk is a desirable means to an end, then you might get laid — I don’t deny that those tactics works for unscrupulous people — but you will have forfeited the title of Decent Human Being, and we’d rather you didn’t come to our meetings. Also, atheist women tend to be assertive and not at all bashful about telling everyone else about your behavior, and you’ll find yourself discussed on youtube and on blogs and perhaps even from the podium at the meeting. Then you’ll feel compelled to comment anonymously on those blogs, complaining about ball-busting man-haters, and you’ll be forever receding from that desirable status as Decent Human Being.
You don’t get to whine about being called out. It’s what we do. Join a cult if you’d rather have rules of silence and obedience.
If there were any sense and justice in the world, the next atheist meeting I attend would be populated entirely with angry women looking to overthrow the temples of the patriarchy.
One thing that was alarmingly obvious when watching it is that almost all the gurus and authorities and religious figures that he interviewed were male. There were exceptions—the 12 year old daughter of his neighbor (who was an unrepentant atheist, and I thought the most sensible voice in the whole movie), a lesbian priest, the wife of a pastor—but otherwise, this show is one long sausage-fest. When I pointed this out, Nygard was apologetic and recognized that this is a significant omission, but explained that he simply hadn’t noticed when he was filming the material. Isn’t that the whole problem, that we’re oblivious to these omissions of half the population of the planet?
PZ Myers, The Nature of Existence
I love PZ. I’m not sure the Gnu Atheism Horsepersons would have even noticed this discrepancy. Maybe Sam. As much as I love Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennett, I think even Hitchens would have missed this. Atheist activists need to be aware of misogyny, sexuality, gender, and class issues. We can’t leave anyone behind in our fight against the evils of religion.
Speaking of which, it’s pretty obnoxious that all the Horsepersons are cisgender straight males. I nominate my favorite atheism writer, Greta Christina.
Feminist PZ makes me happy. He rocks :-)
When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’ It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?
(Sandi Toksvig is the one who pointed out to me that the Bayeaux Tapestry was made by women. She is incredibly awesome.)
Sandi Toksvig is one of my favourite guest panelists on Q.I. She absolutely is awesome. (I just watched the ‘History’ episode she was on and loved it.)