Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The haters must be so proud of their latest victory

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Scarlet ‘A+’ of Atheism+

Congratulations, all you sexist assholes and misogynistic slimeballs in the atheist/skeptic community. Your years-long (albeit recently intensified) campaign of vicious hatred towards all those uppity women who have the nerve to speak up about sexist attitudes and gender inequality has successfully chased away one of the movement’s best and brightest: Jen McCreight is out.

I’m done with blogging for an indefinite period of time.

I hate to do this. After my brief vacation from blogging this summer, I felt recharged and ready to write again. But that happiness ended almost instantaneously.

I love writing, I love sharing my ideas, and I love listening to the ideas of my readers. But I simply no longer love blogging. Instead of feeling gleeful anticipation when writing up a post, I feel nothing but dread. There a group of people out there (google the ironic term FtBullies to find them) devoted to hating me, my friends, and even people I’m just vaguely associated with. I can no longer write anything without my words getting twisted, misrepresented, and quotemined. I wake up every morning to abusive comments, tweets, and emails about how I’m a slut, prude, ugly, fat, feminazi, retard, bitch, and cunt (just to name a few). If I block people who are twisting my words or sending verbal abuse, I receive an even larger wave of nonsensical hate about how I’m a slut, prude, feminazi, retard, bitch, cunt who hates freedom of speech (because the Constitution forces me to listen to people on Twitter). This morning I had to delete dozens of comments of people imitating my identity making graphic, lewd, degrading sexual comments about my personal life. In the past, multiple people have threatened to contact my employer with “evidence” that I’m a bad scientist (because I’m a feminist) to try to destroy my job. I’m constantly worried that the abuse will soon spread to my loved ones.

I just can’t take it anymore.

And the saddest part of all – moreso than Jen’s leave, and even moreso than the inevitable gleeful crowing of MRAs and assorted douchebags – is that she says she feels like she’s let her supporters down. I can safely say that she has never done any such thing. Even with the few niggling disagreements I’ve had with her now and again, she’s never been anything less than an inspiration, if not a role model in dealing with the pressures incurred by her position. She is an admirable activist, and it’s heartbreaking to see her feel like a disappointment when she is absolutely anything but. It’s the movement as a whole that has failed her, and not the other way around.

Why does the atheist movement need feminism? Because as long as shit like this continues to take place and remain condoned, explicitly or implicitly through inaction, by vast swaths of its supposed intellectuals and icons, it will never be a movement that can rightfully claim to be the home of enlightenment and openness. We need to support social justice causes. We need Atheism+. And above all, we need brave people of all kinds and colors willing to speak out and take action when certain elements get a little too comfortable with how wide their let their privilege swing.

Edit (09/05/12 1:09 AM ET) – Edited for cohesion.