Women Leaving Atheism

In an attempt to turn this blog into something more than a diary where I complain about how awful everything is, here’s a post that matters.

Going through my updated RSS feed, I stumbled on this Pharyngula post about Natalie Reed leaving FTB. This is the second person I’ve ‘known’ who left Freethought Blogs. The other is Jen McCreight on Blag Hag. My dad stopped keeping up with atheism news because of the negativity and ended up shutting his Atheist Neighbor blog and network down for various reasons.

The negativity is really awful for some people. I don’t really notice a big difference in my own moods based on whether or not I’m exposed to whatever crap is happening in the world. I’m definitely fortunate in that I haven’t achieved much notoriety and thus don’t get harassed regularly like some of my fellows. It’s easier for me to be emotionally detached since I’m viewing as a third-party.

If I could test this theory, I’d love to see if I can remain emotionally detached when someone is insulting me. I’d love to be noticed by someone on Freethought Blogs and get recruited. Not just because it would be AWESOME, but also because anyone who takes a moment to comment on one of my posts to abuse or troll me is not using that time to abuse someone else.

Seriously though, this is ridiculous. These assholes who persistently harass others–especially women–on the internet are wasting everyone’s time and they are causing rifts in the atheist community. They’re the ones who need to stop and think about what they’re doing, and whether it’s helping or hurting the community for them to shout and defame.

It’s pretty easy to fix the rifts in atheism.

Stop harassing people. Just stop it. We can intelligently criticize each other’s methods and ideologies, but it’s in no way necessary to bully and harass anyone. You’re failing at being reasonable if you resort to ad hominem attacks.

It’s really not that hard to stop saying hateful things. It is entirely possible and within everybody’s grasp to speak calmly, as equals, about our differing opinions and viewpoints. We don’t have to feel smug or view every ideological discussion as a win/lose situation and we don’t have to have a superiority complex over anyone who disagrees–including the fucking theists. (Begrudging in secret, I treat them all with respect.)

Not that hard. Just stop and consider whether hurling hateful remarks is in any way productive or helpful. The answer is probably ‘no’ and ‘stop it now’.

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3 thoughts on “Women Leaving Atheism

  1. Darrell Ray talks about how religious culture influences the sexuality of secularists simply because so many religious messages are present around us. We internalize guilt, jealousy, and possession to the detriment of ourselves and lovers. I see the chauvinism and bitterness that is expressed in the atheist community and wonder if it from the same cause. We need to continue building the community and make safe spaces so that one day, hopefully, this kind of hate and division is a memory.

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  2. I'm not sure that religion (or lack thereof) is the biggest culprit in the problem. I read this comment thread on Fark and was simply disgusted by the behavior of my fellow humans. They treat women like pieces of meat, and feel that they should treat them that way. It's deplorable and inexcusable.

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