Feminist Atheists

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  • Joseph P

    I didn't mean Oryx was in the newest thread, just the debate in general, which has the activity here higher than it has been for months.


    I don't really see Bruce as being patriarchal.  What's he's pushing is termed 4th wave Feminism, by some.  I don't particularly buy that, but it introduces a level of confusion when you're trying to define what a group is about.  If you don't specify to the point of being ridiculous, it allows for his worldview as well.  We're running into big-tent issues there, again.

  • SecretWombat

    It's not up to men to define what is or isn't patriarchal. Just like it's not up to white people to define what is or isn't racist. As women the topics discussed here aren't some abstract concept. We live through feminist issues each day, with these issues impacting us directly, and so we're capable of recognising patriarchy when we see it.


    I honestly cannot think of any bizarro-land definition of feminism that would define Bruce's opinions as feminist.

  • Joseph P

    I'm not defining anything, just offering an opinion on that and the general source of confusion.


    And I've heard a lot of twisted definitions of things that you would think are far simpler than feminism.  Without a working definition set within a group, you're subject to a great deal of interpretation, not the least of which is whether this is a group for just feminists or a group to talk about feminism.  So many hairs to split; so little time.


    That aside, I don't agree with a lot of Bruce's views, but when he's got a point, he's got a point.  The whole thing started because Asharu's argument in the one thread is ... flawed.  When I think Bruce has a valid point, I support him in that.  When I think he's full of it or is taking something too far ... I don't.


    Just like when theists talk about Isaac Newton, trying to lay claim to science and mathematics, because he happened to be religious.  Yes, Newton believed in a lot of silly shit, in addition to his brilliant contributions to science and reason.  You have to differentiate between the message and the messenger.

  • SecretWombat

    The confusion comes from the fact that people like Bruce think they can come to a feminist group and engage in an anti-feminist manner. That's called trolling.


    Atheist Nexus doesn't allow god-botherers to join for the good reason that it's a place for atheists to discuss atheist issues without having to constantly justify themselves to outsiders. Similarly a feminist group within Atheist Nexus should be for feminists to discuss feminist issues without outsiders constantly attacking them and the very concept of feminism.


    Bruce has identified himself as an equalist rather than a feminist. Maybe the equalists should form an equalist group where they can get together and discuss the post-patriarchal, post-race world they all believe we are living in. Bruce is simply not on the same page as any feminist here so unless he is here purely for trolling there is little point to his continuing to post here.

  • Joseph P

    • The confusion comes from the fact that people like Bruce think they can come to a feminist group and engage in an anti-feminist manner. That's called trolling.

    Not necessarily.  He's making rational arguments.  I haven't seen him engage in personal attacks.  He's been far more civil than many feminist members of the group.


    • Atheist Nexus doesn't allow god-botherers ...

    Is that from Pratchett?


    • ... to join for the good reason that it's a place for atheists to discuss atheist issues without having to constantly justify themselves to outsiders.

    Well, show me the ToS of the Feminist Atheists group.  Until we have that, it's open to interpretation.  *shrug*


    • Bruce is simply not on the same page as any feminist here so unless he is here purely for trolling there is little point to his continuing to post here.

    I view it through another lens.  The group was nearly dead, before he showed up.  Tell me you haven't done more thinking about feminist issues, in the past week, than you have for the previous couple of weeks.

  • SecretWombat

    He's a fucking troll. I don't care how 'rational' you think his arguments are. His comments skew data and ignore years of feminist theory, hence they are inappropriate in a feminist group. He is not a feminist and his only purpose here is to try to 'disprove' feminism. He is a troll and quite frankly I'm starting to think you are too. Both of you are more interested in pissing off feminists rather than listening to them or supporting them.

    The fact that AN doesn't allow god-botherers is in its sign up details. Look 'em up. Theists are not welcome. Similarly non-feminists are not welcome in a feminist group. Whoever created the group may not have created a ToS but the feminists in recent comments and threads have been pretty fucking clear about this. The fact that you obviously don't care what women think shoots down any 'feminist' cred you may think you have.

    I'll be utterly frank here because you're pissing me off as much as Bruce now. I don't care what you think. You are not a woman hence feminism is simply an abstract concept for you to wank off over. You are not a primary stakeholder in feminism. Your opinion means pretty much nothing. Right now you're contributing NOTHING to the feminist group, just whining to try to prove you're right.

    I haven't done more thinking about feminist issues because of Bruce OR you. I already think about feminism every day because it's part of my fucking life. That is what you just don't get in your little male-privileged world. All that's happened over the last few days is that I've worn a nice little patch on my desk from hitting my head against it, staggered at some people's utter bloody cluelessness.
  • Sandy

    We’ve got two guys posting stuff that some people don’t want to hear and they feel that their space is being violated. I feel torn two ways about this. 

    On the one hand, I hold freedom of speech as a primary value and I get very uncomfortable when I see people trying to silence others just because they disagree with them. 

    On the other hand, I totally understand the need to create safe spaces where you can express yourself without being constantly bombarded by challenges from people who don’t have any intention of listening to you and only want to attack.

    I think we have to decide what kind of forum this is. Is it a space for feminists to talk about atheism (ie. feminists only)? Or is it a space for atheists to talk about feminism (i.e. any atheist can join)?

  • sehkmet

    Sandy, the title is Feminist Atheists.  Feminist first.
  • Pamela

    That is what you just don't get in your little male-privileged world.

    ROFL  Ouch....my sides hurt.  Did you REALLY just say that??  

    Let's not forget that MEN CAN BE FEMINISTS.  And we shouldn't trash someone simply because he had the "misfortune" *grin* to be born with a penis. 

    At this rate you ladies should probably start a new group for yourselves called "Man-hatin' Atheists".

  • Rob van Senten



    Oh yes, she did. Isn't it wonderful how people with the same goals but a different perspective can come together like this? 

  • TNT666

    A feminist with no feminist ideals is like an atheist with no atheist ideals, moot.
  • Pamela

    Since when is a lack of belief in the supernatural an "ideal"????

    And who gets to decide who the "real" feminists are??  You TNT666??  Is there an application process?  A test?  Is it multiple choice?  Or can we skip that and just make a video of each of us kicking some random guy in the nads.

  • Joseph P

    Ooh, I wanna watch!
  • TNT666

    sure, ok, everyone's a feminist :)
  • Oryx

    Yikes, I see the fun conversation has gone to the comment wall! I find it cute how Joseph holds some kind of fun grudge, he keeps brining me up in comments. If I suck at arguing, I sure made an impression! Maybe add me to your anti-feminist stand up comedy routine! I'd be honored.

    And Hi Pamela, I love how you can take an individual, making a comment about another single individual as a giant all inclusive statement that men can't be feminists or that anyone here "hates men". Also, I think it doesn't take much "deciding" to proclaim a person a "real" feminist when they specifically proclaim they are not, or state things that are anti-feminist. Believe it or not there are things that are stated that are feminist or anti-feminist, they are not open to interpretation. In the same way something can be said to be racist... just because you believe or didn't intend for it to be not racist doesn't make it not the case. Sigh... you'd think you'd get a better lot of thinkers on an atheist site. Oh well.
  • Oryx

    And to Sandy. I think it's clear. If someone created a group devoted to Racism and Atheism you certainly wouldn't expect or want bigots to come try to debunk Racism would you? And while you might spend a bit of effort trying to help them or enlighten them, after months of racist comments, trying to pretend that Blacks liked slavery because they enjoyed the S&M, etc you might get fed up and disgusted and I bet wouldn't be tolerated very long by the admins of this site would it?
  • Rob van Senten

    Why is that people that are critical of certain aspects or facts in relation to feminism are somehow thought of to be critical (or even opposed) to feminism itself


    Is it really that common that anti-feminist trolls are ruining the discussions or could it be that people are too easily classified as trolls?

  • TNT666

    These people have specifically said they aren't feminists but equalists. That is not the same thing. Maybe men and women who are equalists should start a group called equalist atheists?
  • Pamela

    These people have specifically said they aren't feminists but equalists. That is not the same thing.

    Sounds like the same thing to me.  The point of feminism IS equality.  If someone calls themselves an "equalist" is is probably because the smear campaign against the term "feminist" has worked well.  People agree that the sexes are equal...but don't want to be associated with the word "feminist" because they have been told (by the anti-feminists) that it means "man hater".  I refuse to give up a term just because the "other side" tries to make it a bad word.  Kind of like no one wants to be called a "liberal" anymore..."progressive" is the unsmeared term (for now anyway).  

    It is all semantics.





  • Sushi Q

    It is not the same thing.  Semantics IS important, and therefore, so-called "Equalists" use that term to deflect attention from the very real and ongoing inequality that misogyny fosters in men's and women's minds and language. 

    The term "feminism" calls attention to the problem and won't let it weasel away.  If you don't like the fact that we don't take kindly to being erased, too bad.

    One thing we are right sick of is the continued interest of nonfeminists to take the heat off misogyny, which is how it grows.  If we can accomplish a drastic decrease in misogynist attitudes, THEN we can all start working from a more level playing field.  We are not there yet.

    Anyway, I am not interested in wasting my time justifying feminism.  I know what it is and why it's still necessary (see the fact that so many are still trying to get us to justify it).  I'm not going to feed this dirty sandbox.

  • Sushi Q

    Actually I will say one more thing.  Instead of you and other so-called "Equalists" bickering with women - fellow ATHEISTS at that -who just want the fair shot we still don't have, why don't you spend some time fighting our clearly anti-feminist current congresscritters if you're in the US?

    If you're so "feminist," you're really barking up the wrong tree.  Go do something to promote women's equality already.

    *end transmission*

  • Joseph P

    Maybe add me to your anti-feminist stand up comedy routine! I'd be honored.


    Sorry man, you're not that entertaining.  I don't do anti-feminist comedy, either.  Aside from those points, great idea.

  • Prog Rock Girl

    How do you know she's not promoting women's equality and fighting those antifeminist congresspeople? Saying that a person wants equality (as opposed to female supremacy) is NOT the same as saying that men and women are already equal. Gender roles and gender stereotyping have a more negative affect on women, but they also have a negative affect on men and I don't think it is anti-feminist to recognize that. A matriarchy would also rely on gender roles/stereotypes.


    It is unfair to single Pamela out as "bickering", as the bickering has gone on for several pages. There is talk of the people who have left the group due to misogyny, but it's just as likely that people have left the group, or didn't feel welcome here, because of the hostility directed at people with different views of feminism. Maybe the problem is that feminism is not clearly defined in the group's intro? If you want to say "people who believe in female/male equality not welcome" then state it. All it says currently is "Do you have a photo or some news headline of someone standing up for equal rights?"

  • Sandy

    Thanks PRG. As usual, you've got to the heart of an issue and brought some much-needed commonsense to a debate. I totally agree with you, and from my point of view, I'm one of the women who's feeling inclined to leave the group because I don't want to feel constrained by some narrow definition of feminism. I've always had a problem with dogma in any form - be it religious or political - and I don't like being told how I must think.

  • Sushi Q

    The core of feminism *isn't* about female supremacy.  Go educate yourself on that first. I'm not either, so again...wrong tree.

    Here, I'll be "fair" and let ol' Pam stand in for all the other bickerers that didn't sign her post that I "singled out" merely responded to.  She is one, so she can take the label.  And now so are you.


  • Joseph P

    Err, which label do you mean?  Your post wasn't entirely clear.
  • Sandy

    And who are you addressing? If it's me, I don't give a shit what label you give me. I don't think I'm bickering - I'm just expressing my view - but if that's how you want to interpret it, so be it ...

    And if you're thinking PRG needs "educating" about feminism, you really do not know what you're talking about.

  • Sushi Q

    Sandy, you posted in between.  I was labeling Pam and PRG as bickerers, because they're doing that on this wall.  It wasn't directed at you.

    PRG's post here sure looks like she thinks feminism is about female supremacy and that some "you" (me?) feels that people who want men and women to be equal are unwelcome here.  Does that make sense to you?  Not to me.

  • Sandy

    That's not how I read PRG's post, Sushi Q. The way I see it, she's attacking that brand of feminism. There's always been a female-supremacist faction in feminism, and I think that's what she was referring to. I'd find it hard to believe otherwise, being familiar with her posts here and in other groups.
  • Sushi Q

    Know what - a wall is a terrible place to have a convo. :)  In any case - I will just say that feminist boards and blogs get a lot of the "what about the menz" over and over.  You know that.  And it's Really tiresome.

    I absolutely recognize that sexism is bad for men too.  But right now, women are not just "more" negatively affected but HUGELY, insanely disproportionately negatively affected by it.  And sadly, as Sandy brought up recently, women's position is being *regressed* in many horrifying ways. 

    Isn't that something we're all fighting?  Men will benefit from changes in women's lives too, as much as many of THEM don't realize that. 

    Anyway, that's all I have to say here.

  • Sushi Q

    Sandy - ok.  I am aware that there have always been those factions.  The way her comment was worded looks very much like she thought that someone really intended this group to be about female supremacy.  Which hasn't anything to do with what I was pointing out about so-called "equalism."  Just because many don't think the term is useful yet doesn't mean they are female supremacists, which I guess some don't realize?  Thanks for your clarification.
  • Sandy

    yeah - it's hard to have a conversation in this medium. So easy to misinterpret and miss the subtle nuances of what someone's saying.
  • Pamela

    LOL.  "Bickerer"???  I was under the impression that this was a discussion forum.  But if anyone disagrees with anyone we are labelled "trolls", "anti-feminists" and "bickerers".  Somehow I think "female oppression" isn't the only "issue" some of you are dealing with.....
  • Joseph P

    I have OCD, if that helps.
  • sehkmet

    I've not commented here in quite some time because of trolls and women with the Stockholm Syndrome.  I look in every now and then to see if things have improved, but they haven't.  I doubt I will comment  after this, but I had to point out that it is true that people leave because of the misogyny.
  • TNT666

    Dear me, talk about patriarchal infantilisation of women at it's best, little pink candy????? are you serious????????? This type of junk is part of the very essence of patriarchy.
  • dr kellie

    Now see, this is the reason I was hesitant to join a feminist group.  Isn't it ok to like what you like and let others like what they like?  I'm a dyke and two of my favorite hygiene rituals are shaving my legs and giving myself a pearl pink pedicure.  You are a brilliant woman, TNT, and I'm sure you have your reasons and I always like to hear them because you have a knack for making me think about things from your perspective as I peel back the layers of a religious childhood.  Is little pink candy really that bad?:)

  • Pamela


    Don't leave angry....just leave!




    Really???  You even find pink candy threatening??  And they call ME militant!

  • TNT666

    pink sigh.............

    My sexy spaghetti strap pink top I used to wear at atheist meetings states: Even atheists scream your name during sex! It's my only pink garment.

    Pink is not a colour preference, pink is a patriarchal commercial statement about femininity. But in this case it was used to goad the previous poster. The patriarchal imposition of pink could be the root cause of FtM trans! Pink is such a socio-politically laden word that it's one of the 200 filters I apply to my email, in a subject line is an auto-spam reject.

    To me, since nothing is religious or has ever been, EVERYTHING is political, every word, every action, every purchase. Often times even my friendships are political, only a real good dose of humour and/or inebriation can momentarily turn off my patriarchal-religious radar.

    As for pedis, I usually opt for French. Political decision again. The history of the "French" manicure is to cover up dirt under finger nails. The French have historically been very adept at camouflaging human imperfections: perfumes, toupets, etc. :)

  • TNT666

    Pam... Nothing is threatening, only annoying and insulting
  • dr kellie

    How dare you post a picture of a house made out of dead gingers! 

    TNT, you may be correct about the FtM thing.  We could all use less gender bullshit. 

  • TNT666

    Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

    Justice Dewar removed from cases of 'sexual nature'

    Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar gave a convicted rapist a two-year conditional sentence. [...] will stop handling criminal cases "of a sexual nature" pending an ongoing federal review.

    Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal issued a written statement Tuesday afternoon saying Justice Robert Dewar will continue sitting on the bench but with a limited caseload.[...]

    Last week, the province announced they were filing a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council over remarks made by Dewar at a sexual assault sentencing in Thompson.

    Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the status of women, said she is concerned the judge's comments will cause future victims to fear they will be blamed for attacks against them.

    At a sentencing hearing Feb. 18, Dewar suggested a victim's attire and flirtatious behaviour were partly to blame for the attack, which involved forced intercourse. The judge called the attacker, Kenneth Rhodes, a "clumsy Don Juan" and noted the victim wore a tube top, high heels and plenty of makeup. He gave Rhodes a conditional sentence - no jail time - of two years, rejecting a Crown suggestion of at least three years behind bars.

    [...] Dewar’s remarks - included "sex was in the air" the night the woman was raped - would deter other victims from coming forward in the future.[...]

    A spokeswoman for the Manitoba Justice Department said Friday the Crown has ordered a transcript of the Rhodes sentencing and will review whether there are grounds for appeal. It has 30 days to do that.

    Anyone can file a complaint against a judge with the Canadian Judicial Council. After investigating a complaint, the council can make recommendations that include removing a judge from office. The council says on its website it handles most complaints within three months.

  • TNT666

    Same judge did same thing last year...

    Last summer, Dewar acquitted a man charged with several counts of sexually assaulting a young girl. The Crown appealed the ruling, arguing Dewar erred in his assessment of the accused man’s evidence and the evidence of the alleged victim, and that Dewar engaged in “inappropriate speculation.”

    The appeal was heard earlier this month. The high court has reserved its decision.

  • Rob van Senten

    'Pink is not a colour preference, pink is a patriarchal commercial statement about femininity."


    If I were to be asked to give an example of why feminism has such a bad name to so many people in Western Europe, I can now point to another "beautiful" example. 


    "only a real good dose of humour and/or inebriation can momentarily turn off my patriarchal-religious radar."

    I thought about replying to you with humor so your radar wouldn't activate, but I couldn't find the option to make my text pink.

  • TNT666

    Instead of the "Red White and Blue", we have the pink and blue impositions of patriarchy. I've refused to wear either colour since I was a child, they both stink!
  • Sandy

    Something I've often found interesting is the way so many little girls seem to love pink. I've noticed this even among the daughters of feminist friends and girls growing up in off-grid locations without the influence of television and shopping malls. Can't say I've noticed the same thing with boys preferring blue - if anything, they seem to be pretty much uninterested in the whole concept of "favourite" colours.

  • TNT666

    So where were they seeing this colour pink, while shopping? with attractive female marketing, in books? with attractive female images? As a kid, the only pink in my life was those 2 pencils in my76- Prismacolour set...
  • Sandy

    How about flowers? Rose petals, carnations, the blush on a daisy, etc. And didn't you ever see a sunset as a child? Pink is just a naturally occurring colour like orange or violet or sky blue. There's nothing sinister about it, but I maintain that girls, on the whole, seem to find it attractive. And why not? It's nicer to look at than diarrhoea yellow or snot green - especially if you're not looking at it through any culturally created filters.
  • TNT666

    That would be an interesting study. Take a group of 2-3 y/o boys and girls who have not been swathed in appropriately pink or blue blankies or PJs, place them in a field of natural wild flowers and see if pink out-attracts other colours in either sex. I'm guessing not. I'm guessing yellows and reds and purples and purples and whites and pintos will be equally popular.
  • SecretWombat

    Pink as a girl's colour is a fairly recent cultural invention. Prior to the 20th century girls in Europe were largely dressed in light blue because it was the colour of the Virgin Mary. Pink, on the other hand, was a subdued form of red - a colour perceived as masculine and active and hence considered appropriate for boys. It's worth noting that traditional Disney heroines wore blue.

    There are many cultural connotations associated with different colours. There's nothing wrong with the colours themselves, it's the assumptions that a society constructs around them that can be detrimental.

    For those who think that pink is fine because they don't see through these cultural filters, that's great. Remember your position next time you buy an item for a boy or man and choose pink to demonstrate how culturally neutral you really are!