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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Misogynsts Silence Science Blogger

Relentless torrent of misogynist hate silences a feminist atheist liberal science blogger. What a shame, best of luck to a great writer.


just some bloke said...

Care to elaborate on your stance regarding this whole FTB/atheism+/radfem drama going on for the last few months? I've been following the whole 'new atheism' of american brand rather thoroughly and I must say I am quite surprised by your statement. I would love to hear your opinion about the FTB part of the movement and especially about the criticism leveled against them. Cheers.

Dale Carrico said...

I'm an atheist but not a New Atheist. I tend to distinguish, on the one hand, what is authoritarian and moralizing about the politicization of organized religiosity as well as various faithly denigrations and competitivenesses with consensus science, including the essential religiosity of some pseudo-science pretending to science like the futurology that is much of my focus (all which I loudly abhor), from what, on the other hand, is aesthetic and cultural about religiosity (much of which I don't to care for personally but most of which I am well pleased to tolerate and collaborate with in matters of shared concern). A very long sentence, I know. I have to go teach so I don't have time to clean it up. My stance seems to make me too critical in my atheism for many religionists but insufficiently critical for many New Atheists, which is fine. I'm also a queer feminist male and I kinda sorta have zero tolerance for sexism as a temperamental matter as well as for the expected political ones, I suppose. I'm not a regular reader of FTB, it doesn't feel quite homelike, somehow, its stridencies don't quite match up to my own, and maybe the closeness despite the dispatch accounts for the discomfort -- but anyway my concerns overlap enough with theirs that I find myself there by circuitous routes occasionally. I don't know what statement I issued that would be surprising actually, but I could comment on that and on the criticism you mention if you would specify it more for me.

just some bloke said...

A little background:

much of the recent drama revolves around the shifts and splits within the community represented mainly by the creation of a splinter movement branded Atheism+ (supposedly plagiarism in itself), proposed by no one else than Jen McCreight. To make long story short, critics cry foul at the attempt to tain the purity and straightforwardness of what atheism constitutes and hijacking its (hard-earned in US) contemporary public image for (1)political, (2)ideological and (3)financial gains represented respectively by (1)self-promotion of movement's self-appointed leaders and celebrities (enforced by exclusivity of membership admission), (2)association of atheism with (inter alia) radfeminism, FTBs' specialty, and henceforth its promotion, and (3)stream of ad-revenue generated by neverending drama (supposedly conciously incited and sustained by beneficients). The prevailing theme in criticism is also accusation of cultish behaviour withing FTB and its Skepchick/radfem affiliates, manifesting in (supposed) groupthink, censorship, character assassination and guru-like conduct of celebrities.

The title of the blogpost struck me as a firm declaration of allegiance in the recent drama as one of the points of contention is (according to critics) very liberal use of ad-hom labelling of opponents as (choose-your-own-adventure) misogynists/racists/trolls/haters/privileged, namely (supposedly cynical or fallacious) dismissal of criticism right off the bat as nothing else than expression of hatred. I realise now however, after your clarification, that the title's connotations were probably unintented as you declare not to follow those communities that closely.

Personally I sit on the fence with a bucket of popcorn and merely monitor the developments as I am both an outsider to the US scene and a cynical bastard incapable of fully empathizing with either side of the conflict.

I must say I find the whole situation rather interesting and stimulating. It is food for thought and a good case study of what future american progressive politics (one can dream) might look like. And another reminder that we are human, all too human and, similarly to everyone's favourite Robot Cultists, that even educated, rational, progressive, well-intentioned people are prone to species' chief weaknesses.

Athena Andreadis said...

"Radfem" drama? We're talking of rape threats and trying to get women's careers and businesses destroyed. This is called being unclear on the concept.

Dale Carrico said...

The title of the blogpost struck me as a firm declaration of allegiance

Oh, well, yeah that, obviously. Although I am both an atheist and a feminist, my feminist allegiances seem to me incomparably more obvious and urgent than my atheist ones. I guess this is one of the reasons I don't wade into New Atheism much, even though I am pretty assertive, if cheerfully so, about my atheism -- politically I think my atheism best served through the advocacy of a secularism that benefits most people of faith quite as much as it benefits atheists like me. But I have zero patience for expressions of sexism or heterosexism or policy that contributes to sexist/heterosexist outcomes whatever the avowed attitudes in play.