Guy 1: So, what was your talk in Minnesota about?Apparently, Guy 4's statement is sexist or something. So, Jen posted the conversation [EDIT: Jen has moved her blog, and the old site no longer has the comments. New link here.] and said,
Me: The intersection of atheism and feminism, what we can do to get more women to leave religion, and how to make the atheist movement more welcoming to women.
Guy 2: Cool! Is the lack of women really that big of an issue? I'm just new to everything.
Me: For a lot of groups, yeah. I mean, just look at ours. There are only three women.
Everyone: Yeah... *shame*
Guy 3: Heh, I'm dating a third of the SSU's women.
Me: So yeah, I talked about how to make groups more welcoming so more women join.
Guy 4: I guess that's a good thing.Means there would be more girls to date.
Me: Um, that's precisely what you shouldn't say.
It's fine to be attracted to someone and date within a group, but don't only see a woman as Person Who I Want to Sleep With.Her little post sparked a wee bit of controversy, gaining 112 reader comments at this writing. Some comments were guys defending Guy 4, and some were from the hordes of Jennyites complaining bitterly about the "dudez" who are "mansplaining" Guy 4's rather (IMHO) innocuous statement. One comment was from a lady who mentioned that she would like to meet guys at atheist meetings. No one responded to her.
Matt Dillahunty (full disclosure: he is one of my heroes) left the most thoughtful comment in response to some foolisheness from Julie Lada. She said,
What was said was that he "guessed" that more women in atheist organizations was a good thing because it "meant more girls to date." So this guy can't see a reason outside of how it could benefit his dick to have more women in the group. Not that they'd add a unique perspective or contribute interesting ideas. Nope, boobies and blowjobs, amirite?Matt responded in part with,
This frequent representation of heterosexual men as slobbering sex maniacs who objectify women such that "date" really equates to "boobies and blowjobs" is pathetic. It's narrow-minded and sexist - and shameful ... and it may hurt the cause even more than what "Guy4" said.Jen didn't respond to Matt. Some people did, but not Jen. You see, Jen does not engage in debate or conversation when it comes to her feminism posts. She puts up the post and expects everyone to agree with her. She gets upset and frustrated when people disagree. Instead of engaging Matt in thoughtful discussion, she made a new post where she posted a comic.
Are there guys like that? Sure...and there are women like that - and that goes for every sexual identity I've encountered.
Jen is completely correct that this response from him is part of the problem, but it's part of the problem because it tends to give the wrong impression - not because his intent is somehow base and repugnant. Your response is also part of the problem - because you're alienating men by misrepresenting them as inconsiderate, sex-crazed pigs.
Um, ok, kinda simplistic. Not really funny, but the point is made, I guess.
This post also got a bunch of comments. One person said, "I'd say you just won. ;)" I guess she liked the comic. One guy (or "d00d") by the name of Joe T simply said, "Sigh, whatever" and posted a link to this cartoon.
Again, rather simplistic, but at least funny.
So, if the discussion of feminism in the atheist community is to be boiled down to the most simplistic terms, allow me to point out the obvious in the most simplistic way I can manage.
- Men like to fuck.
- Women like to fuck.
- Straight/bi men and women like to fuck each other.
- Where ever straight/bi men and women gather, someone is gonna try to fuck someone.
- Don't sweat the fucking.
- Men, don't be pigs about wanting to fuck.
- Women, don't whine about men wanting to fuck.