Quite a while ago, I was having a conversation on someone’s Facebook something on Facebook. Who knows what it was. Basically it was me, the atheist, talking to some other people who were probably Christians about something religion-related. (Lol I’m bad at this. This idea is from months ago and I’m just now sitting down to write it Thanksgiving night. XD)
During the course of this conversation, one of the (I think) Christians said something to me along the lines of “Go back to Reddit.” I didn’t think it was a very nice thing to say. Partly because I’m almost certain they meant it as an insult, but also because Reddit atheists have a reputation for being sort of jerkfaceish.
Obviously there’s nothing inherently wrong with Reddit or r/atheism or the fact that Reddit is commonly associated with atheists. To the contrary, I think it’s great that a fairly well-known website has a reputation for atheist association–it increases the visibility of atheists in wider culture.
However, Reddit atheism (not talking about the specific board r/atheism just atheists on Reddit in general) is thought of as overly simplistic, overly aggressive, and somewhat thoughtless. It seems like an echo chamber for some of the fresher atheists who are still very bitter toward religion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m bitter about religion, but the stereotypical traits of Reddit atheism don’t really apply to me in a broader sense. And I don’t even use Reddit. I’ve been there maybe a grand total of four times, when I’ve been linked there from other places. It’s just not my type of site.
It should go without saying that I realize not every atheist who uses Reddit or posts in their atheism-specific boards is an asshole. That’s just a stereotype I see in a lot of places on the internet that I don’t want to be affiliated with.
I’ve had a really similar thing happen with Tumblr, too. This time, it was a conversation about feminism or something like that and of course I’m on the side of intersectional feminism. This time someone said essentially to go back to Tumblr with all the other wannabe victims.
This I have a problem with because a) I don’t use Tumblr, b) Tumblr also has a set of stereotypes that I fit moreso than the Reddit ones, but still not really and c) I don’t think the social-justice-conscious Tumblr should be associated with intentional victimhood.
I guess my desire to not be associated with Tumblr isn’t as strong as it was when I originally had this idea, because I can’t think of any “stereotypically Tumblr” things that I’d be unhappy to be described as. Except for the crying-wolf victim thing, which is bullshit anyway:
Tumblr is a notoriously feminist space which often has a lot of Loki-ogling, comic-critiquing, and “safe spaces” for various issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and abuse-survival. Obviously there’s more to it than that, but that’s the perception of the site from a non-user point of view. Seeing any of that as a bad thing–especially the part where Tumblr is often used to call attention to slut-shaming, victim-blaming and other very important feminist issues–is downright confusing. Unless you’re against feminism and the equal treatment of women/females. (I’ve also heard a lot about the negative environment of “thinspo” that can be found on Tumblr and I’m really sad that that’s even a thing.)
Anyway, it’s interesting how some websites become associated with certain characteristics in our collective Internet psyche. I’m a militant atheist and social justice warrior (terms used intentionally) who frequents neither Reddit nor Tumblr. I have, however, been a blogger for two different Skepchick sites and I’m not a feminazi. But none of them are, so it’s kind of an amusing, moot point. =]
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