Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Radfem as a religion: more thoughts

I've touched on some of the following points in various posts, let's wrap them up neatly and list in one place all the reasons why radical feminism is a cult:

  • It believes dogmatically in all-powerful but invisible and unverifiable entities like "patriarchy", "male privilege", "rape culture" etc. etc.
  • It has its own version of the Courtier's Reply: "Fuck off, this is not a 101 space". If you disagree with or even question radfem theology, the radfems will very magnanimously grant you the benefit of the doubt the first time, and assume that your disagreement is due to ignorance and your deplorable lack of a degree in Womyn's Studies - it couldn't possibly be that you have legitimate points to make. If you persist in your disagreement or questioning, then you're an MRA - i.e. an evil rapist scum.
  • It arbitrarily redefines commonly understood words like "rape" or "privilege" so that the radfems are always right and men are always rapists. It's just like Christian theologians constantly redefining "god" so that a god can be argued to exist, albeit as an increasingly abstract and vacuous concept.
  • It has an all-purpose answer to every question: "male privilege". A man gets custody of the children in a divorce - male privilege. The woman gets custody - male privilege, because now she is responsible for raising them (with the unacknowledged help of the man, who is now nothing more than an ATM for the next 18 years). It's exactly analogous to the Christian's all-purpose answer - "goddidit". I shouldn't have to point out that some pat answer that explains everything actually explains nothing.
  • Like religion, radfem (and especially A+theism) claims to have a monopoly on morality and caring (we care about X, Y, and Z, and those asshole MRA atheists don't) but in reality it is all about tribalism. It's become a high-school clique based on a cult of personality around Myers, Twatson, McCreight etc.
  • It demands groupthink and lockstep adherence to the group ideology above all. Independent thought of any kind is taboo.
  • I've always noticed that Christian blogs, forums and YouTube channels were the most tightly controlled, and either prohibited comments altogether or were constantly on hair-trigger alert to ban any comment (and any commenter) who departed a hair's breadth from the reigning orthodoxy. But the A+theism forums put them all to shame. I've never seen a banhammer go berserk to such an extent.
  • Continuing on from the previous point, remember when Justin Vacula tried to come up with the most inoffensive possible atheist billboard, to see if it would still be banned (it was)? Now there is a contest on to see who can get banned from most quickly and for the most innocuous and harmless comment. There are some real doozies, but the bottom line is that r/atheismplus is a joke.

Do you have anything to add to this list?

The Naked Empress

Whenever someone posts a comment on any radfem-dominated forum on the internet that is critical or even merely questioning of radical feminism and gets the inevitable response, "Fuck off, this is not a 101 space, don't come back here until you have cured yourself of your ignorance of feminism", I think of PZ Myer's famous "Courtier's reply". Perhaps it's time for an update:
I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the horrific tortures of the Empress in the elevator, nor does he give a moment’s consideration to Weepy Amy’s masterwork, On the Dehumanization and Traumatization of Seeing a T-shirt I Don't Agree With. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the oppression of the Empress, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to the evil rapist nature of all men; Dawkins cavalierly dismisses them all. He even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who famously pointed out that for the Empress, a privileged western white woman, to be on the receiving end of a clumsy pass is an infinitely worse atrocity than for a Muslim woman to be a victim of female genital mutilation.
What do you think, will it catch on?

Monday, September 17, 2012

A charter for the rest of us

Great idea over at Coffee Loving Skeptic:
Since Atheism+ has sought to unite the worst elements of FTB, Skepchick, and elsewhere under a common banner of emotional outrage, I have wondered what it would look like where those who opposed these people were to have a common set of principles.
The author goes on to list ten principles for having a worthwhile debate with people you don't agree with while acting in good faith - all principles that the A+theism crowd make a point of violating. Take a look.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Feminism: religion for atheists

[Edit: I've decided I'm not happy with the above title. I don't want to smear all atheists with the Atheism-crucifix lunacy. Also, not all feminists are mouth-foaming radfems. More thoughts on A+ as a religion in an upcoming post. Meta-edit: here it is.
Meta-meta-edit: Thunderf00t used this meme in his famous video! I thought it was really cool until I noticed a typo. Argh! Fixed.]

We atheists are supposed to be rational thinkers. We reject claims that are made without evidence. We don't believe in mystical, immaterial, ineffable entities that control our lives and makes us nothing but helpless victims. Right?

"I can see misogyny from my house!"

Who is Rebecca Watson anyway? I had never heard of her before Elevatorgate. I gather she is involved in the skeptical community and is considered quite a leader in some quarters. However, looking at pre-Elevatorgate videos of her adressing various skeptical groups, her contribution seems quite minimal. The only subject she seems interested in is douche - according to her, using douche is like setting off a nuclear bomb in your vagina. She's quite obsessed on that score, and doesn't see the irony of a "skeptical leader" making such a wildly hyperbolic assertion.

But there is a much darker side to her. Do a little googling and you will find out about her campaign to smear the highly respected scientist Laurence Krauss as a child sex trafficker, and destroy his career. You'll also find out about how see abused the JREF online forums, abusing moderator privileges (which she was accidentally given) to create sock puppets, write obscene comments using other people's identities, even delete other accounts because the owner had committed the unforgivable sin of saying something she disagreed with. (So when Watson's fanboys such as Greg bin Laden call for DJ Groethe to be sacked and replaced by Watson, I have to wonder if this isn't Watson's attempt at payback for JREF holding her accountable for her abuses.)

All of this, let me remind you, was even before Elevatorgate. Obviously she is a very vindictive woman and an extremely nasty piece of work.

When you look at Watson's Wikipedia page, it's obviously a vanity page created either by her or a fan. However, there's no indication that she has any scientific credentials what so ever - and she has few educational attainments of any kind that I could discover despite diligent searching. Apparently she started her career as a street juggler, and now, if you don't mind, she has an asteroid named after her, and thousands of people hang on to her every word. Talk about privilege!

In short, Watson came out of nowhere, rose without a trace, and has made a living the last few years being flown first-class around the world from conference to conference, wined and dined in top hotels, and in return she harangues the audience on what an oppressed victim she is. It's always me me me - "thousands of atheists are sending me bajillions of rape threats."

Watson is ignorant, ill-educated, narcissistic, self-obsessed, and her only talent is shameless self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. She is the Sarah Palin of the freethought movement.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The great schism begins!

I took a break from blogging the last couple of weeks - not because (unlike the Blag Hag and some other feminist bloggers) I am such a delicate wilting wallflower that I can't handle disagreement, I was just on vacation. Anyway, on coming back to civilization I see that the radfems now have their very own Church of The One True Atheism with PZ Myers as its pope.

In a way, I'm happy for them. Let them have their own little Kool Kidz Klub. Let them sit in their own echo chamber, blocking comments and banning everyone else who isn't 100% on board with their radfem ideology. Meanwhile, the people who want to make an actual difference in society will continue fighting the good fight, hopefully without constantly being screamed at that they are rapists and misogynists.

The sad part is that I actually agree with a lot of what the plussers are saying about social and political issues. However, my beliefs in those areas are independent of my atheism. Atheism is simply a recognition of the true state of affairs in the universe, that there is no old man with a beard in the sky pulling all the strings and preparing to reward us with Heaven or Hell. Saying "I'm a liberal because I'm an atheist" makes as much sense as saying "I'm a liberal because I realize that the world is round, not flat."

I value my right and ability to make up my own mind on any given issue, and I will never surrender that right to some 57-year-old untenured professor at some cow college in East Jesus, Minnesota. And it's really disappointing to see Myers, the oldest of the plussers, behaving so immaturely. A big part of growing up is realizing that people have their own ideas and you will never meet someone who is 100% in agreement with you, but you have to work with other people never the less - you can't just dismiss them as poopieheads.

Myers is making the same mistake that religious leaders have made throughout history. They try to cut themselves off from the rest of the world and create a utopian society which will somehow transform the outside world despite having zero contact with it. Then reality catches up with them and they either fade into oblivion (like the Shakers) or melt down spectacularly (like Jim Jones and similar cults).

If I were a gambler, my money would be one the second outcome. There are so many narcissistic, self-obsessed personalities within the "plus" movement, they will inevitably come into conflict. A few months from now, Myers will be calling McCreight a cunt, Watson will be accusing Richard Carrier of trying to rape her because he said something on the internet that she disagreed with, and everyone will be at everyone else's throat. Eventually any pretense of a coherent movement will be lost and there will be nothing left but a bunch of butt-hurt individuals screaming at each other and everyone else over their hurt feelings and first world problems.

The simple fact is that atheism is not a movement, any more than refraining from collecting stamps is a movement. We do need a movement to separate church from state, but religious people have as much to gain as atheists from defending the constitution in this area. We need a movement to improve science education and defend it from religious dogma and fairy tales, but again this is not specifically an atheist issue. Countries like Sweden and Norway don't have atheist movements because over there atheism is the default, as it logically should be.

In other words, atheists need to build coalitions with other atheists who don't necessarily agree with them on every particular, as well as with agnostics and theists. The plussers' insistence on lock-step conformity, and the eagerness with which they antagonize and alienate everyone who isn't ideologically pure enough for their liking, is stupid and immature.