Posts Tagged ‘ Sexism ’

What Pamela Gay said

Jul 15th, 2012 12:54 pm | By

Pamela Gay has posted the text of her instantly-famous TAM talk – and oh man is it a stemwinder.

She starts with the bullied school bus monitor, and the people who changed her life in response. She moves on to the 5th grader forbidden to give his winning speech on same-sex marriage, and the internet outcry that made the principal feel compelled to let the student give his speech after all.

She moves on to people getting together to do good things, like “the Virtual Star Parties that my dear friend Fraser Cain hosts and that I and many others participate in.” She talks about hope and despair, dreamers and trolls.

Doing what he does isn’t easy. It’s a lot

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Unthinking capitulation to the hegemonic oppressive politics of PC-fascism

Jul 7th, 2012 10:13 am | By

Steve Moxon took part in a debate at the Cambridge Union in January. The motion is quite funny, because it would do nicely as a summary of The Paula Kirby Thesis:

This House Believes the Only Limit to Female Success is Female Ambition

So pull your socks up and get on with it! No whingeing, and by “wingeing” I mean “reporting on social factors that impede women.”

Moxon didn’t altogether wow the reviewer.

Steve Moxon, on the other hand gave an appalling performance, his odd choice of showing a powerpoint presentation giving him the air of an enthusiastic but often inaudible lecturer and his offensive thesis that women should aspire to the traditional female role of being young, beautiful

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

There are also global standards

Jul 1st, 2012 4:20 pm | By

At least someone gets it: why if person X – let’s call him Merelyatruck – is a sexist shit at blog Y – let’s call it ARF – a woman Z – let’s call her OB – wouldn’t want him commenting on her blog (let’s call it B&W) no matter how fake-civil he pretended to be while there.

Said eigenperson:

#87 Justicar:

I think it’s very clear what Ophelia is saying there. She’s saying that if you are good in Location 1 and bad in Location 2, then you may act well sometimes, but you are not a good person, because a good person tries not to act badly anywhere.

I would agree with that. While it is

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Marry the nice rapist, dear

Jun 28th, 2012 11:04 am | By

Oh, human beings, sometimes I despair of you. The arrangements you come up with! Do you just get shit-faced drunk one night and decide all the rules, or what?

There’s this idea that letting a rapist avoid jail by “marrying” the young girl he repeatedly raped, for instance – that’s a real dud. I’ll tell you why. You forgot the girl!! It’s about the man who did the raping, and the men who own the girl. This means a shit life for the girl! Did you just not notice that, or what? Pay attention, ffs.

In April, the unidentified girl was shopping in the northern city of Zarqa when a 19-year-old man kidnapped her, took her to the desert

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Why women can’t have nice things

Jun 27th, 2012 11:00 am | By

The gaming article linked to Helen Lewis in The New Statesman: Dear The Internet, This Is Why You Can’t Have Anything Nice.

A Californian blogger, Anita Sarkeesian, launched a Kickstarter project to make a web video series about “tropes vs women in videogames”. Following on from her similar series on films, it aimed to look at women as background decoration, Damsels in Distress, the Sexy Sidekick and so on.

What a good subject. Women in the media – it’s such a mess these days, there can’t be enough work done on this. Hooray for Anita Sarkeesian.

Except some kind of Bastard Klaxon went off somewhere in the dank, moist depths of the internet. An angry misogynist Bat Signal, if

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Enough to drive some of my friends from the game

Jun 27th, 2012 10:20 am | By

It’s not just the atheists and skeptics. It’s not just the US. It’s not just bloggers. It’s everywhere. It’s (notoriously) in gaming; it’s in Australia (gee, really?!).

I’d talk to fellow players who’d moved servers, convinced that Thaurissan (an Oceanic server, with a high volume of Australian players) was suffering from the same rot as Australian society in general. Alas, as it turned out, there was sexism in pretty much every server and realm, enough to drive some of my friends from the game.

Thus making it even more sexist, thus driving even more women from the game; repeat. Cf recent events. Women murmur about sexism; man rebukes women for murmuring about sexism; explosion of sexism takes place; women go … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Both sides

Jun 11th, 2012 11:42 am | By

A weekly podcast called Ask an Atheist devoted the episode recorded yesterday to what it calls “The Problem of Dogmatic Feminism”.

It got some things wrong.

At the beginning Becky and Sam (the hosts, along with Eileen who said only one thing) said that both sides in the dispute over feminism and atheism/skepticism were “doubling down”; it’s not as symmetrical as that. They said good men are getting shot down and men are being demonized; that’s way too sweeping.

After they said this in general terms for awhile Sam pressed Becky for specifics, so she named Rebecca, me, Stephanie, and Jen. She sort of kind of blamed the Women in Secularism conference. She talked about the more recent dispute … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Attention whores unite

Jun 5th, 2012 5:15 pm | By

Oh looky here – That Weird Atheist Girl on the concept of the “attention whore.” Back in November. Funny how it just never goes away, isn’t it.

As any women who’s online a lot (in certain places) or who games will tell you, the number one sin is admitting you’re female (in any way). You can never do this, even if it’s relevant to the current conversation. Everyone assumes you’re male unless you say that you’re female (ugh, it’s like they think they’re real people or something!). The second you let that bit of information slip, you’re told one (or more) of the following three things: (1) tits or GTFO, (2) get back to the kitchen, or (3)

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Report all the things

Jun 5th, 2012 4:36 pm | By

You’ve probably seen DJ’s comment at Skepchick, if you’ve been following this, and you’ve probably seen Stephanie’s excellent analysis of it today. I just want to say a couple of things – which probably duplicate things Stephanie and others have said, but never mind.


let me say how sincerely and deeply regretful I am that I blamed you as the messenger. No woman – no person – should ever be blamed for being a victim or for speaking out about sexism or any social problem. I was wrong to write anything that could even be construed that way, and it was never my intent. I am sorry.

How could it never have been his intent? What does he … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Reporting harassment and naming names

Jun 4th, 2012 11:14 am | By

Maybe we can make a little progress here.

DJ Grothe has a comment on his Facebook wall (I don’t know if it’s public or not), replying to this comment:

I wish you could see, DJ, how a different frame would improve your position. Don’t say that the talk is causing a problem, say that the talk has increased the JREF’s desire to continue making TAM a safe and fun place for women.

D.J. Grothe: I certainly agree, and don’t believe any conversation about sexism is the problem — sexism is the problem. But there may be disagreement about the best ways to combat that problem. I favor direct communication and reporting harassment and naming names (such helps organizers remove offenders

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Skepticism gone wild

Jun 2nd, 2012 11:04 am | By

There’s such a thing as hyper-skepticism (as Jason calls it) – as skepticism pushed past (or steered right around) reasonable skepticism into its own opposite, questioning items that there’s no real reason to question. Evolution by natural selection is one such item; Obama’s birth in Hawaii is another; the utility of vaccinations is another; the superiority of non-alternative medicine to alternative medicine is another.

The reality of casual contempt for women is another. The fact that that reality makes at least some women feel less than “safe” is another.

Salty Current elucidates in a comment at Jason’s.

It’s not a safe space when women publicly talking about the problems of harassment and misogyny are accused by prominent people

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Words, actions, or attitudes

Jun 1st, 2012 4:15 pm | By

They’re on the story in the UK, too.

The skeptical community is aflame once again over the issue of sexual harassment following the remarks of JREF president DJ Grothe in response to a 50% reduction in female attendance at TAM 2012.

Remarks remarking that the angry feminazis scared off the women who should be registering for TAM because TAM is totally entitled to those women and the angry feminazis have a hell of a nerve scaring them off.

There is not really room to pretend there is not a real problem with sexism and harassment in our community, as this data from the American Secular Census shows, women are 26% more likely to feel unwelcome, discriminated against, or harmed

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Wait – that was last year…

Jun 1st, 2012 11:22 am | By

Ok there’s another thing…

I was re-reading Chris Hallquist’s post, trying to figure out what there is about what DJ said that he finds worth agreeing with, and I noticed something I overlooked before. From the much-quoted bit of the comment that DJ posted on more than one blog (two? more than two? I forget) -

Last year we had 40% women attendees, something I’m really happy about. But this year only about 18% of TAM registrants so far are women, a significant and alarming decrease…

Last year was very soon after The Great Eruption (of misogynist bile in response to elevator item). This year is in the wake of The Great Eruption. That could be part of the … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Rebecca explains

Jun 1st, 2012 8:17 am | By

Rebecca Watson explains why she won’t be at TAM this year.

During my visit to Germany last week, I was asked by a conference attendee how I thought we could get more women to attend skeptic and atheist conferences. I gave the answer I nearly always give: when we increase the number of women on stage, we increase the number of women in the audience. As usual, I gave this example: The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) run by the James Randi Educational Foundation. I pointed out that when I first started attending (TAM 3), there were very few women on stage and the audience was only about 20% women. I explained that last year (TAM 9) an effort had been

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Not ready for the flood

May 29th, 2012 11:29 am | By

Paul Fidalgo did another good roundup of Stuff on Women in Secularism last week (“another” in addition to the one I linked to before that one).

He quoted Jen on the perils in talking about “commonly-showcased speakers who are also bad-actors toward women”:

Look at what happened to Rebecca Watson when she simply said “guys, don’t do that” about an anonymous conference attendee. Imagine the shitstorm if there were public accusations of sexual misconduct of some very famous speakers. I’m not ready for the flood of rape and death threats. I’m not ready to be blacklisted and have my atheist “career” ruined by people more powerful and influential than me. I’m not ready to be sued for libel or slander.

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Suck out that moisture

May 25th, 2012 9:11 am | By

How about the Zimbabwean senator from the Movement for Democratic Change who thinks the way to prevent AIDS is to vacuum all the disgusting goo out of women?

He also thinks they should stop taking showers so that they’ll be too smelly to fuck, and shave their heads so that they’ll be too bald ditto, but the disgusting goo idea is more sciency than that.

He also gave an interview in which he stated that “Women have got more moisture in their organs as compared to men so there is need to research on how to deal with that moisture because it is conducive for bacteria breeding. There should be a way to suck out that moisture.”

Yes indeedy.  … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

What then is to be done?

May 23rd, 2012 10:26 am | By

So, what to do about sexual harassment? Well for a start, as Jen says, it helps to be aware of it.

I didn’t realize so many people were oblivious to these problems. I thought because I was so quickly brought into The Know, this had to be something everyone in the movement was aware of. But it wasn’t. After I made my comment, dozens of people kept asking me for the names on The List (which I didn’t give – see my previous points). I was independently approached by multiple big names at the conference who wanted to help and learn what they could do to make their conferences safer.

Stephanie Zvan has given an excellent suggestion: Our

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

When the environment makes gender salient

May 5th, 2012 10:39 am | By

Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender, p xxvi:

When the environment makes gender salient, there is a ripple effect on the mind. We start to think of ourselves in terms of our gender, and stereotypes and social expectations become more prominent in the mind. This can change self-perception, alter interests, debilitate or enhance ability, and trigger unintentional discrimination.

There is a large body of research that demonstrates this. It’s not some fuzzy thing that we just guess at.

This is why it’s so maddening that sexist sneering and “joking” and one-upping and epitheting is still, after all this time, considered normal and ok in a way that the racist or ethnic equivalent just is not.

Want to test that? Just … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

On a billboard

Apr 20th, 2012 11:12 am | By

I saw this billboard while on a bus yesterday; it was urging adoption of pets from shelters, and it was a big banner portrait (not a photograph) of five Yellow Lab puppies. Four of the five are looking straight out, while just one of them is tilting the head…and has a pink bow behind the ear. Well gee, guess what we’re supposed to think – the one with the bow is A Girl.

So why is there only one girl then? Why four forthright direct Boy puppies and just one flirtatious coy bow-behind-the-ear Girl?

(And why single her out? Why signal her sex? Why put a bow behind her ear? When the fuck do puppies ever wear bows behind their … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

I get email

Mar 20th, 2012 1:36 pm | By

I got one today from someone who has commented here a few times as nmcc or NMcC, and who commented yesterday to tell me how wrong I am about the word “cunt” and to say “Sarah Palin is a cunt.” I deleted that comment and put him – his email address showed he’s a Nigel – in moderation. The message I got this morning expressed surprise at the deletion of the comment. (It started with “Hi” – this is more significant than you might think.) I replied, brusquely,

Really? You would have thought “Sarah Palin is a cunt” was well within my commenting policy? I’ve been very explicit about that. Other things not within my commenting policy: “Al Sharpton is

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)