Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Rebecca Watson and that stupid in-group/out-group dynamic.

I didn't write much of anything about the whole Elevatorgate affair, but I need to make my opinions clear.  So, in brief: Watson was wrong; Dawkins was right; McCreight should stop blogging while angry; Myers needs to get off his high horse; and, Benson should just shut the fuck up.

But my thoughts on Elevatorgate do not matter much. I give them solely for full disclosure. I care far more about the fall-out. Atheists have become divided with a huge amount of animosity on both sides. Freethought Blogs has become the home of the femtheists, while the so-called MRAs hang out at the Slime Pit. The Pharyngula Wiki has degenerated into a place for hate-filled rants against those who like coffee, while the coffee drinkers responded by creating the Phawrongula Wiki. While often entertaining, the in-group/out-group dynamic has gotten tedious.

While I am obviously on one side, I care more about the larger picture. I keep reading those whom I disagree with. Some of what Watson writes still has worth. The same is true for McCreight and Myers. I have never read anything by Benson that has worth, but her petulant whining is often amusing.

The other day, Watson tweeted a link to an excellent article about Chris Brown and the Grammys. John Hodgman retweeted her.
Valerie Keefe responded.
The article that Watson tweeted was a well written and thoroughly researched piece discussing Chris Brown's upcoming performance at the Grammys. It was worth a read, and I'm glad Watson mentioned it. Otherwise, I probably would not have seen it. Keefe though ignored the article and just started rehashing Elevatorgate. She was trolling, and not being helpful.
Watson was wrong here. Elevator Guy was thoroughly shamed by the atheist community.
Watson is not helping the situation with her dishonesty here. The explosion of anger about Elevatorgate did not come from her politely asking not to be propositioned. The anger came afterwards. She knows that.
And this is just whiny, victimization. I know that Keefe was trolling her, but her poor me reaction doesn't help anything. It is just a way to continue the bullshit.

JesusFetusFajitaFishsticks ranted about this problem while ranting about the Amazing Atheist in a post of rants the other day.
And let me just say I'm sick and fucking tired of this in-group/out-group shit. I disagree with PZ and Jen McReight on some things sure, but I will never let in-group/out-group mentality prevent me from seeing or commenting on the things that we do agree on. Jen and I have had it out and yeah I've been on the opposite sides of things from her and PZ in the past obviously. But some who comment on her blogs and other blogs like hers need to hear this... if you can't see how the comments made by the Amazing Atheist were completely fucked then you're missing something, maybe intentionally maybe not. This idea that "Oh Jen doesn't like something, we should go find ways to ignore the point and attack her anyways" is moronic to the core. Stop. Please? It doesn't help anyone's cause. I blog for two reasons: 1. to vent. 2. to call bullshit when I see bullshit that annoys me. I do not blog to troll. Do I troll? Yes, but not here. I troll when whoever I'm speaking with is no longer interested in productive discourse... or when my local news channel posts some ignorant shit that ignites a shitstorm of ignorant comments that really can't be fought at the speed they flood in and it only makes me feel better to at least make their heads explode in return. I do not use this blog to troll, nor do I go around on other people's blogs in order to troll. I'm not in this to play stupid games.
Bravo. It's simple, kids. Remember that we are allies, and we need to work together. Atheists pride themselves on the ability to use logic and engage in ration discourse. Keep things civil, and remember, Watson, McCreight, Myers will make other stupid feminism posts again. Wait until then to call them out for their foolish bullshit. Opportunities will be there. Meanwhile, keep things rational.

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