I'm posting this here because I'm confused and hurt, and because the fucking comment system won't post a reply.

I love Feministing.com. It's my favorite blog. But the recent post Can you love God and feminism? has a couple of truly fucked up comments on it right now.

I made a post (look for SaynaTheSpiffy's comment) saying that I found the two incompatible, and I said that religion has been basically the worst and most oppressive force against women in all of history. I said that many religous books are filled with inexcusable sexism and atrocities against women and cited examples from the Bible, Book of Mormon and Quran from the Skeptic's Annotated Bible site.

Here are some of the responses I got:

"Honestly evangelical atheism is the WHITEST bullshit around. Sure religion is evil. Tell that to any African American who lived through the civil rights movement."

"THANK YOU. Every time I see one of these swaggering Rudyard Kipling Throwback kids trying to save us all from the backward religions of the evil Middle Eastern brown mens (because really that's what it all comes down to - pick apart the argument of any evangelical atheist, and you'll see that they're some of THE the most prejudiced, colonialist, orientalist, uninformed little cretins...and totally blind to the hypocrisy of their attitudes too)."

Oh, how fucking dare I question your religion?! I guess I'm a racist and a colonialist now? What if some cultures think you're a racist and a colonialist because you don't tolerate how other cultures treat women?

Have I done or said anything wrong in my comments? Do any of you know why this person would make such accusations against me? Seriously, I'm absolutely insulted and hurt that fellow feminists could be so disrespectful and shitty towards me.

Views: 167

Replies to This Discussion

Blade of the The Bunny, I appreciate your response, too.

There's a lot that white atheists like me need to be doing to make our own spaces safer for and inclusive of people of color. Some of it is just basic courtesy and empathy. A lot of it is just basic listening.

One phrase that I really like is one I'm borrowing from the blog Vegans of Color: "because we don't have the luxury of being single-issue." I think the same goes for atheists of color and, heck, a lot of other atheists too.

Take care!
we need to check our privilege at the door

I've never understood how you do that. I happen to be white (nothing I can do about that) and educated (something I can't undo) with a certain set of values instilled in me by the wider culture I grew up in (while I can change some of that, most of it's too deeply rooted). So how do I leave all that 'at the door'?

I have a long history of activism on all kinds of social justice issues, but the ones I've found most difficult to contribute to are those related to race. I always seem to end up in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' position because of my race and class. If I try to express empathy and take on the point of view of anyone other than other whites, I'm condemned for being patronising or dismissed as not being qualified to comment because I've never experienced prejudice first hand. And when it comes to criticising - well, that's just a complete no-go area.
Yes, I agree with this. The privilege can't literally be checked at a door and picked up later. It's there full time. So bad analogy there by me.
I don't love to watch divide and destroy, and I am so sorry to see it here with women playing the game. I am an atheist, and I am a feminist and I have been one since before I went in the WAC in 1968 as a teenager. I think that religion is dangerous and Separation of Church and State is important world wide. I wouldn't answer anyone who throw the racist card in a feminist/atheist discussion. Keep sticking up for women and girls whenever you hear of a situation that needs support!

Sadly, most minorities have learned to depend on, but not trust whites. Consider colonialism, the slave trade, over 200 years of slavery, Jim Crow South, lynching, and all that it entails, etc. So, the religion and culture become sacred to these people when there is virtually nothing else.

Also, when feminism first surfaced it was about privileged American, mostly white, women saving the poor third world women from themselves. The intent was genuine, but the assumptions that everyone would comply was wrong. Even when black feminist, Alice Walker, condemned female circumcision in Africa, she did not take into consideration that all these people knew was their religion and culture.  the women victims of 3rd world countries believe they are supposed to be treated the way they are treated.  And outsiders are threats, especially outsiders who rule and subjugate their lands.  Would you trust a white person when everything you associate with them has to do with subjugation, theft, injustice, etc?  Every continent I can think about, including Europe, has been conquered by European imperialist ideology


For the record, I am for you, not against you, and I am black.  I wish people wouldn't be so quick to generalize either.  Assuming a white atheist is racist is no better than making assumptions about blacks. 

They have to know that atheism in itself isn't against brown or black people, but the immorality and dishonesty perpetuated in their religions. 

Don't take them personally.

Well there is something to it. I've learned more than once coming to this site that being an atheist does nothing to stop people from being a-holes (racists, sexists, colonialists, biased, dishonest). Frankly, when atheists claim godlessness then continue on with a majority of the stupidity that religion values, then I think something is seriously flawed in the movement.



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