Jen McCreight has started another small revolution that may not stay small.
Back in 2010 McCreight got annoyed at the Iranian asshat who claimed that earthquakes were caused women who “dress immmodestly“. To illustrate how appallingly ignorant that statement was, McCreight formed the Boobquake movement to demonstrate
- how ridiculous the original claim was
- to poke fun at religionists who look for god in everything that happens
- to have a bit of sexy fun
Or, in her words, “a humorous exercise in scientific and skeptical thinking“.
Boobquake also started a firestorm.
McCreight and others discovered (or rediscovered) that there appears to be little room within the atheist community for feminism. Or social justice. Or diversity.
I don’t feel safe as a woman in this community – and I feel less safe than I do as a woman in science, or a woman in gaming, or hell, as a woman walking down the fucking sidewalk. People shat themselves with rage at the suggestion that cons should have anti-sexual harassment policies. DJ Grothe, president of JREF, blamed those evil feminist bloggers for TAM’s female attendance problem instead of trying to fix what’s scaring women away (and then blocked me on Twitter and unfriended me on Facebook for good measure). A 15 year old girl posted a photo of herself holding a Carl Sagan book to r/atheism and got a flood of rape jokes in return. The Amazing Atheist purposefully tried to trigger a rape survivor. Paula Kirby decided we’re all feminazis and femistasis. I’ve become used to being called a cunt or having people threaten to contact my employers because a feminist can’t be a good scientist. Rebecca Watson is still receiving constant rape and death threats a year after she said “Guys, don’t do that.” And mentioning her name is a Beetlejuice-like trigger for a new torrent of hate mail.
Groups of people are obsessively devoted to slandering Freethought Blogs as a whole because many of us have feminist leanings. They photoshop things to try to humiliate us, they gain unauthorized access to our private email listserv. And anyone associated with us feminists are fair game. People have tried to destroy Surly Amy’s business, and Justin Vacula has publicly posted her home address with a photo. One blogger who describes their blog as “rejecting the watson/myers doctrine” ridiculed skeptical teen activist (and feminist ally) Rhys Morgan for flunking his exams because he had severe physical and mental illnesses.
As a result of this backlash, McCreight has formed the group Atheist+.
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.
It speaks to those of us who see atheism as more than just a lack of belief in god. danielmchugh summarized how I feel perfectly:
Religion is responsible for generating and sustaining most of the racism, sexism, anti-(insert minority human subgroup here)-isms… it gave a voice to the bigotry, established the privilege, and fed these things from the pulpit for thousands upon thousands of years. What sense does it make to throw out the garbage bag of religion yet keep all the garbage that it contained?
I can’t help but see social justice as a logical consequence of atheism. I’m for getting rid of all the garbage.
I would put forward that those who hold with atheism and skepticism are led inevitably to social equality if they remain true to the use of logic and truth. Those who claim to hold with atheism and skepticism on the one hand, and with misogyny or other intolerance with the other, are deluding themselves.
And those people are perfect examples of my Great Internet Truth #15.