Everyone needs to calm the fuck down part 2
I’ve been absent from the Internet for a few days, so it caught me a little by surprise to find out TGA has become a part of the huge conversation regarding atheism and sexism in general happening in our quaint little community. So rather than it be a reference to the swearing (which I can safely say is always abundant), the topic everyone is going ape-shit over is whether or not sexism is rampant in the atheist movement.
The story originated from a meeting that happened at the American Atheists’ Southeast Regional Atheist Meet (let’s work on figuring out some acronyms here, people). It seems a woman asked the all male panel if there was any sexism in the movement, and then some crazy shit happened. Basically the panel acted like dicks, and the woman – now feeling humiliated – went to cry for in the bathroom for 20 minutes.
PZ Myers wrote about this as well, and the title (Feminist hypersensitivity or masculine obtuseness) created its own tiny firestorm. So here I am like an idiot thinking everyone is over-reacting over the “vagina” language when the real conversation is about sexism in the background. And while my original post was addressing this, when I finally got around to reading what was happening, it dawned on me how it might be perceived. I’m happy to report, however, the title is still in line with what I think we all need to do, which is calm the fuck down”
Look, I think the question of “is there sexism in atheism” is a little unfair. The better question is simply: are men still sexist? And because the answer is both yes and no, depending more on the individual than the gender as a whole, you realize this entire conversation has avoided the issue that we, as humans, create in and out-groupness. Even in our more rational movement, the unfortunate composition of mostly men can sometimes fuel a bit too much testosterone and way too much out-groupness in regards to women.
However, and this is key here, I still feel as though there is a serious lack of humor if I find myself unable to use more colorful and imaginative language if I’m going to playfully insult people. This tells me we’ve stopped being reasonable and we’ve simply created more out-groupness by our over-reaction to it. The best way to deal with it is to recognize it happens, but also it is something we can discuss, and occasionally disagree on in the finer details. And that, my friends, is only possible once we calm the fuck down.
NOTE: If you feel the need to defend your arguments in terms of what qualifies as sexism, might I suggest you attempt to deal with some of the more unreasonable arguments floating around. I don’t care if people on the blogosphere think I’m sexist; I’m not trying to be anyone’s friend, and if they dislike my sense of humor then I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. However, the honor of some of you members might also be challenged!