The Dangers of Creating an Atheist ‘Community’

Backstab_by_BabushkaYagaIt sounds like a good idea I’m sure. Forging the greater community of atheists into some sort of united ‘force for good’. It’s tempting to think that forming a lobby in a similar manner to the Jewish or Evangelical lobby could forward our agenda. What is our ‘agenda’ though? All atheism means is that we don’t believe in god and while other things are common amongst atheists (we tend to be on the left/liberal side of things, we tend to be pro science, pro choice, pro equality, pro secularism) this is by no means certain and there are plenty of things we don’t agree on.

We don’t have to agree on them either.

This week I’ve been watching the feminist groups on Twitter infighting amongst themselves. Despite the fact that they all agree on fighting for the equality of women (at a minimum) they divide themselves up and bitterly infight along fracture lines of age, ‘wave’, transsexualism, conservative/radical, equity/gender, left/right, sex/gender, LGBT issues, disability, anything you care to mention. Julie Burchill, despite being spectacularly un-self-aware of her own divisive nature pretty much nails it here.

What does this mean? Well, it means that they spend a lot more time fighting each other over who is the most progressive and inclusive and virtually no time at all fighting the ‘patriarchy’. It also costs them allies who agree with them in principle but see what’s going on and back away slowly crossing themselves.

We’ve seen this same problem in the atheist community already. Remember how ‘Brights’ went over? Remember the failure of Atheism+?

Why did these movements fail? Why aren’t more atheists members of secular humanist societies? Because the only thing that unites us is our atheism. You add to that, you cut people out who don’t feel they can go along with the rest. This results in weakness, division and irrelevance. I can’t go along with Atheism+ because I can’t go along with their censorious and radical feminist perspective. I don’t believe in all the same things they do or prioritise things the same way they do and so I am excluded from that group because of it.

If you want another example of where this all went wrong, you only need to look at the Occupy movement. When it started it was purely anti-corporate and – in the USA – against the ruling that corporations were considered ‘people’. You had left anarchists alongside right libertarians, you had black bloc alongside tea partiers, anyone who had beef was in. Then they started trying to be something more than a simple protest. They began putting out manifestos and trying to set rules and boundaries. The infighting began, accusations of impropriety, ‘mic checking’ to shout people down. Before long all that was left were stereotypical hippy drum circles and the novelty, the power of that singular statement was gone. Occupy faded into insignificance and achieved pretty much fuck all.

We don’t all need to agree. We’re stronger if we agree on one thing and let the rest slide. We can campaign on those other things in our own time. New Atheism worked (works) because it’s simple. It’s just about not ceding the public square, about standing up and being counted, about saying your piece. Trying to forge anything more than that will only weaken us.

Being part of the atheist community means, and should only mean, we don’t believe in god. That’s all it should take. We can commiserate and support each other. We can share funny stories. We can be a community in the sense of shared experience and conceptual living space.

If you want to campaign for secularism, do so. I will.

If you want to engage in counter apologetics, do so. I will.

If you want to campaign for science and education funding, do so. I will.

If you want to debunk creationist claims, do so. I will.

But I don’t require you to do these things to be my brother or sister in unbelief. I don’t need you to agree with me on politics, gun control, drug legislation or anything else. We don’t even have to agree on tactics – different things all work. It’s not a competition to see who can be the most progressive. Our strength is in our diversity, that we’re a community like any other. Fractious, divided, but together in spite of that. Ordinary people.

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Mo Plus, Mo Problems

x0dvjr.jpgNot wanting to obsess, but not wanting to slacken off on the pushback that currently seems to be happening with reference to Atheismplus, here’s some more on the issues with it. Some of this is grounds I’ve covered before so I’m not going to be too wordy. I’m going to try and keep things relatively short and sweet.

There’s a couple of posts over on the Atheismplus forums that have been referenced to me and these posts constitute the establishment of a dogma.

This one contains canned responses to typical objections. Not responses that address the objections or concerns but rather, like linking to Derailing for Dummies or Feminism101 (or in the case of creationists endless Youtube videos) seems intended to keep you busy and dismiss you.

This one contains links to a glossary of terms used by Atheismplus, some of which are fine, some of which are deeply problematic. Communication is only possible where meaning is agreed upon and merely insisting that a term must carry a particular meaning in a debate isn’t especially helpful.

I’m referencing these as I talk

Naming Conventions

The problem with the name ‘atheismplus’ is that the kind of people who are part of atheismplus are exactly the kind of extremists that critics of atheism often claim we all are. They lend meat to the bones of the lie that we’re all whacked out hippies. It is vital to differentiate atheism and its causes and interests from other issues. This confuses, divides, reduces the number of people who feel able to participate etc. A+ gives atheism a bad name and provides aid to its enemies.

Privilege as Original Sin

The objection to this observation is hollow. The concept of privilege is akin to original sin, save perhaps worse, since it isn’t seemingly presumed to apply to everyone. ‘Heaven’ help you if you should be white, straight and/or male. You’re the ‘oppressor’ whether you do anything to oppress or not. ‘Check your privilege’ is a dismissal such as would not be tolerated in the other direction. It devalues a person, denies their empathy and ignores – without bothering to check – any instances of oppression they might have had in their life. It also dismisses the possibility that someone both HAS checked it and STILL disagrees with you. It doesn’t give you greater opportunity to help others, it puts you off even trying to help people who are judgemental arseholes.

Never Seen it, It Doesn’t Happen

It is not skeptical to believe a thing without evidence for a thing. If A+ people are going to claim a thing, they need evidence for that thing. Just as we would demand of theists. Insisting someone is blind if you present poor evidence that is rejected is, again, similar to theism. “The fool says in his heart there is no Patriarchy.”

I don’t think X is a Problem

X may or may not be a problem. That I don’t find it to be one doesn’t mean it isn’t, that you find it is a problem doesn’t mean it is. Again, we need evidence. If someone has a phobia of spiders and freaks out upon seeing a perfectly harmless house spider then there isn’t really a problem with spiders. Their reaction is irrational. Spiders don’t suddenly become a major issue for everyone because you’re phobic of them.

Discrimination is Illegal, so there’s no discrimination

Legally there isn’t. There may be on a personal level but that generally takes at least a generation to change. It can’t hurt you anywhere the law can protect you and it doesn’t really help to be impatient about it. The fight is won, the peace is being negotiated.

Everyone is Oppressed in their own way

Yes, they are. To different extents in different situations in different ways. The death-camp for gay people thing is more than a bit disingenuous but to take a different example gender and race do get oppressed by others in different contexts and situations. That some outlier advocates something loopy doesn’t make that go away. That X is worse than Y doesn’t make Y OK. (Dear Muslima…)

What About teh Menz?

If feminism were about equality it might be called egalitarianism. It’s not. It’s concerned with areas in which women are behind men. It is not concerned with areas in which women are ahead of men or in which men are behind women. There are no feminist campaigns about unequal sentencing in courts, for example. There are no feminist campaigns trying to push for higher male custody in divorce proceedings. Men and women have different problems, yes, absolutely, but that’s why feminism is unsuited to tackle them and is disinterested in them.

‘Patriarchy hurts men too’ is not only paradoxical (if it hurts men, how can it be patriarchy?) but insulting and demeaning. Implying that men deliberately set up a society to hurt themselves while simultaneously oppressing women. That would be a frighteningly incompetent state of affairs.

This is further compounded by the vicious and virulent hatred shown towards men’s groups that do try to address mens issues. Feminists don’t seem to want to even allow men’s issues to be addressed.

Schroedinger’s Rapist

Why the problem with this cannot be seen I don’t know. This concept is prejudice pure and simple. It is akin to expecting any black man you meet on the street to be a potential mugger. Framed that way hopefully nobody would see such prejudice as acceptable, even though a vague attempt at a rational argument for it could be made based on statistics (though that would ignore court/police prejudice and socioeconomic data). Further, this seems to be expecting to force a change in behaviour on men, men who are the victims of this prejudice. This is victim blaming. For groups that fight so hard for women not to be judged and to allow them the freedom to exist without modifying their behaviour (slutwalk, Don’t Be That Guy etc) this is base hypocrisy.

Meaning of ‘Man’

Given the misunderstanding of this as a gender pronoun I don’t think more’s needed here.

Mean Jokes

Humour often relies on a ‘shock’ payload. If you think it is always genuinely reflective of a person’s real views and is intended to be (or is) hateful or hurtful then you’re likely experiencing a sense of humour failure. For everyone of hypersensitivity there is someone else who can take a joke or engages in self-deprecating humour of this type. Humour is too valuable to discard.

A+ is Divisive

It is. At least we were all unified in our atheism before, the thing that mattered universally to all of us. A+ splits that unity. It also discards skepticism. It seems to me that A+ puts the cart before the horse. Its members seem to have been atheist not because of logic, reason, evidence and skepticism but rather because atheism aligned with their pre-existing other values such as opposing restrictions on abortions (religious basis), secularism, resisting religious oppression of LGBT people etc.

Us Vs Them

The problem in this section is the presumption that the only people who could possibly disagree are a) theists or b) bigots. It is possible to disagree with Atheismplus without being a bigot, just as it is possible to disagree with Josef Stalin while still being a Communist. or President Obama while still being a democrat. This illustrates very much the Us Vs Them that so concerns a lot of people. Many atheists are broadly on board with what are CLAIMED to be the A+ goals, just not with A+ itself due to its dogma, lack of skepticism etc.

Free Speech

A+ advocates, and other SJ extremists, narrowly define censorship as government censorship. Not everyone agrees with so narrow a definition and as such A+ in many of its actions and policies trips that ‘trigger’ for a lot of people.

First World Problems

Dear Muslima was both right and wrong. There are other priorities but that doesn’t mean other things aren’t also bad. Of course, we’re talking about Elevatorgate which was NOTHING AT ALL so anything whatsoever is a bigger problem than no problem. Still, given the dismissal of mens issues, prejudice towards supposed privileged groups etc this – again – smacks of hypocrisy.

The Dictionary

I’ll get to that in a moment. As mentioned before though, clear communication is important. A+ engages in many redefinition fallacies in order to try and avoid criticism. Redefining Free Speech (see above) is only one example.

Educate Me

Two problems with this. 1) Presuming people need educating. We may well be aware of your claimed issues etc and reject them. 2) Not doing so when asked.

When confronted with a creationist spouting BS about evolution we will, generally, make the effort to show them what is wrong with what they’re saying. Point out the misrepresentations etc. We do this because we want to change their mind and give them accurate information. We want to actually affect some sort of change in their behaviour.

Not wanting to inform people or change their behaviour suggests an addiction to the power and privilege of victim status, rather than actually wanting to fix the problem.

Glossary Issues

*ism – A+ and SJW types narrowly define *ism in the context of institutional oppression. Most people do not. The plus-power designation excuses SJW bigotry against ‘oppressor’ groups while ignoring equally outrageous prejudice on the part of the putative ‘oppressed’. We don’t reject your version without reason.

Benevolent *ism – This is ironic given that special treatment is often what is called for by SJ types. Equality is being treated as badly as everyone else.

Colourblind Racism – This makes no sense. The end goal, is it not, is to treat people as people isn’t it? For the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin? Colourblindness in the context of race, then, would seem to be the goal. Not perpetuating stereotypes, even if they’re different stereotypes to the usual.

Condesplaining – Use that instead of the *ist terms like ‘mansplaining’ etc which only make you seem like hypocrites.

Confirmation Bias – Glass houses and stones spring to mind for some reason.

Feminism – If you think modern feminism is about equality, you’re not paying attention. Be egalitarian.

Gender Essentialism – It seems rather foolish to presume that there aren’t differences. There are. Equal treatment and opportunity is not the same thing as homogeneity. You need to do more than just dismiss science just because you don’t like the implications. This is also true with ev psych. See confirmation bias above.

Kyriarchy – It was my understanding that this was a better term than patriarchy since it acknowledged that everyone was pressured in different ways by society and thus it made more sense. Calling it an extension of patriarchy undermines that progress.

Misandry – Well done for acknowledging its existence. Poorly done for thinking its not institutional.

Misogyny – This means hatred of women. Hatred of women is, at least not in the west, institutionally enforced. The term seems overused and to be used in instances where women are actually being placed on pedestals, given special privilege or treated with benevolent sexism. These may be patronising, but they’re not hate.

Prejudice – This definition again confuses the *ism point. *ism IS prejudice.

Reverse Racism – Of course reverse racism doesn’t exist. It’s just racism and it can be inflicted on whites as much as anyone else.

Safe Space – Translation: Echo chamber. Doubtless there is a need for safe spaces but these should probably be within a movement, rather than the movement itself. Ideas NEED questioning and examination.

Tone Argument – Another hypocrisy since it is used to excuse slurs, aggression and lack of backing on the part of SJ types: “Shut the fuck up dudebro!” while also being used to shut down, ignore or block people on the other side of the argument who should equally have the right to lose their temper.

Trigger Warnings – Pointless, useless ‘headers’ to posts that do nothing to protect anyone but show off how ‘right on’ and concerned you are. If people were that sensitive, the warning would trigger them.

Woo – …like patriarchy.

Fucking Misogynistic Cunts

download (1)This nexus of gender politics and… well, anything, is like a year-round Santa providing a never-ending supply of deep-fried comedy gold. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I seem to exist at the perfect nexus of topics to always have something to roll my eyes about when it comes to this. I’m a skeptic, a nerd, a gamer and a writer which means practically every day there’s some kind of internet kerfuffle relating to one of these as the strident ‘social justice’ warriors try to flex their moral-majority muscles to force people to conform in exactly the same way they’d decry the Christian right doing. (They get confused with Islam because they’re a minority experiencing prejudice but also have horrible beliefs).

If you were following the recent moral panic about trolling that hit the television you may have seen the Atheism+ cardinal ‘Oolon’ (double heresy, he’s a dickhead who uses Bod as a Twitter avatar and a Douglas Adams reference as his nickname) promoting his ‘Block Bot’. In principle the idea of a ‘block bot’ is a good one, a shared list of trolls and ne’er-do-wells in much the same way that programs like Adblock share lists of advertising sources to block them or that spam filters share keywords and sources to stop you getting all the spam you otherwise might. The trouble is that while an advertisement or spam mail is fairly cut and dried, what constitutes trolling is much more delicate and down to interpretation. It’s a much more nuanced and human problem, requiring discernment, which means it’s – at least for now – not something you can automate.

The practical upshot of this is that any block-bot list is, necessarily, going to have to be compiled by human beings. Vindictive, nasty, dishonest, cunty human beings. Cunts – literal and metaphorical – being the one thing Atheism+ is by no means short of. Predictably what this has meant is that mere disagreement with Atheism+, radfem dogma or not being the ‘right’ kind of feminist has lead to people being blocked as trolls. Pre-emptively blocked even, by those stupid enough to accept the block-bot at its word and automatically block whatever is on its list. This has lead to at least two ‘old school’, egalitarian feminists (what Christina Hoff Sommers calls equity feminism) being blocked by the block-bot at the A+ ideologues and probably a great many more. It has also meant a lot of people who simply question and demand evidence – such as myself – have been blocked. If I now swear and treat A+ and its ilk dismissively it’s because of bitter experience, not prejudice (judice, if you will).

One of the most ridiculous reasons given for some of these blocks is use of the word ‘cunt’.

For some reason ‘cunt’ has been elevated to the level of unholiest of unholies, the unutterable Word of Curse, the unspeakable oath, Americans, in particular, seem to take great exception to the word. Culturally there’s less of a taboo elsewhere. Here in Britain for example it’s used with relative ease and has nowhere near as much impact as it does to Americans. My wife, originally a yank, takes great pleasure in shouting the word, especially when there are other Americans around to be shocked. The SJ/A+ goonsquad has taken this to the level of saying that anyone that so much as uses the term is a misogynist.

I’ve never understood the taboo around swearing anyway. Why is ‘fucking cunt’ more insulting than ‘fornicating vagina’? Why would the first elicit fisticuffs and the second laughter? They mean the same fucking thing after all. Still, the point of most swear words is that they touch upon taboo. ‘Shit’ – excretion, ‘Piss’ – urination, ‘Cock’ – gender organ, ‘Cunt’ – gender organ. If ‘cunt’ is misogynistic then surely ‘cock’ is misandrist isn’t it? Man hating just as ‘cunt’ is woman hating?

I have an alternate hypothesis. Swear words just use taboos as a release of tension, an adding of emotional emphasis. While they talk about our ‘bits’ and our taboo activities (sex, death, pinching a loaf, draining the lizard) they do so through code words and euphemism because these things make us uncomfortable. Some of us. It doesn’t make them inherently misogynistic, misandrist or, indeed, anything else.

To paraphrase Jeremy Webb:

“Swearing is wonderful, and if you don’t like it, you can fuck off.”

Meanwhile, in Bizarro World…

I don’t mean for this blog to turn into an MRA blog or anything, a lot of those guys are just as bad as the far-out feminists they battle against. My main focus is still atheism but I did say I’d broaden to politics and social issues and man… the stupid just keeps flowing out of this whole A+ debacle.

This time it’s this bizarre and partisan Raw Story article.

I mean, really, what the fuck?

Of course, the reason it feels intolerable is that, from the cradle, men are told they are better than women and that women exist to serve them.

Where are you writing from? The 19th Century? Quite the opposite at least in my upbringing and hey, my anecdotal evidence is as good as yours. What about men’s role as provider and protector mandated down history. Can that not also be seen as servile?

The invention of the nonsense word “misandry” goes back to this.

If ‘misandry’ is a nonsense word then so is ‘misogyny’, certainly the way it gets used in these discussions. The opening paragraphs spew all this stereotypical nonsense and broadbrushing of hateful characteristics that are supposedly ‘male’ and then in the next breath you want to tell me misandry is nonsense?

Check your fucking privilege indeed.

Jen McCreight has hung up her marvelous blog Blag Hag, even though she loves writing, because of all the abuse she’s been getting due to the rest storm in the atheist blogosphere over whether or not women are required to give any man attention because he wants it. The feminists say no, and support policies at conventions that state clearly to men that women’s consent matters. If a woman declines to give you anything—sex, flirting, any kind of attention—that is her right, and exacting your revenge by harassing her is unacceptable. A loud minority of atheist dudes find this unacceptable, and refuse to budge from their belief that they are owed women’s attention.

Absolute, unadulterated bullshit from beginning to end.

Everyone gets harassment on the internet. The more contentious you are or the more obvious a target for trolling you make yourself, the more you get. Let’s STOP spinning out trolls into some assumption about the whole community shall we? Given that’s what got you into this mess in the first place.

The storm in the atheist blogosphere is over the pointlessness, divisiveness and insulting nature of the A+ movement. Some of this has manifested in the form of angry debate over harassment policies. Not seeing the need for harassment policies and seeing their negative effect does not mean you want free rein to harass women. It just means you see no point especially in a con culture where this is LESS of an issue than others and where creating the impression that these meetings are rape-a-palooza is counterproductive.

Men don’t think they’re owed anything from women, other than a fair shake and – given the nature of the movement – a rational argument.

Fat chance.

They grind their teeth over and over at the nerve of Rebecca Watson saying that it’s not cool to corner an unwilling woman in an elevator; their “right” to have a woman’s attention if they want it means that they are allowed any tactic, no matter how scary, to extract that attention, even if it means approaching a woman when she literally has no immediate means of escape.

Guy asked her up for coffee, she said no, end of. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS? It was nothing, literally nothing. Why should we be expected to tolerate being treated as potential rapists all the time? Isn’t that sexist of you?

One of the most common microaggressions women complain about is walking down the street and being told by strange men to “smile”.

Really? I get that all the fucking time, from men and women and what’s more I suffer from depression. So it stings more than a little. Last time I checked, I had a penis.

I made a joke on Twitter about how my fate in life seems to be getting yelled at by men who still aren’t over the fact that they didn’t get laid in high school. I can draw a diagram for you showing why this statement in no way says that all men who didn’t get laid in high school resort to yelling at women, but this post is long enough. But of course, some dude started yelling at me about “generalizing”.

Would your joke be acceptable to you the other way around? No it fucking wouldn’t and that’s the kind of hypocrisy that makes people angry. The hypocrisy, the presumption, the misandrist sexism. Not the fact you have a vagina.

I just don’t see why so many men can’t open their eyes and see what five minutes of rational analysis can teach you: That women are discrete individuals, not support staff for men. And that means that you are not entitled to their affection, smiles, flirting, sexual favors, uteruses, or their submission. You aren’t even entitled to their attention.

And you are not entitled to immunity from criticism or scepticism and you don’t get to characterise anyone who doesn’t agree with you as a hater. You don’t get to lie with impunity either.

Update: Got into a Twitter spat with the author of this travesty, which I shall preserve here lest I get quotemined. I also suggest you go look at the comment thread and notice her steadfast refusal to actually engage with any criticism of the original article. She’s a great case in point of using ‘derailing’ and ‘privilege’ – and doubtless other buzzwords, to avoid having to actually explain, answer or excuse.

@humanadverb @AmandaMarcotte Angry reply to that on my blog. Again, the hypocrisy is fucking staggering. I think that’s what p’s me off most
@GRIMACHU “Hypocrisy”: I address the claim that engaging in consensual sexual activities makes you a hypocrite for denouncing non-consent.
@AmandaMarcotte The ruling other spaces. I just looked though your thread and you’re shutting people down rather than addressing them.
@AmandaMarcotte Behaviour you absolutely would not tolerate the other way around. If you want to be better, be better.
@GRIMACHU So in order to prove that I support healthy dissent, I should refrain from dissenting from people saying stupid shit? Got it.
@AmandaMarcotte No, you should engage rather than linking to that excreble ‘derailing for dummies’ site. It’s dismissal, usually baseless.
@GRIMACHU The contortions you dudes come up with to express your dislike of women talking back is pretty staggering.
@AmandaMarcotte Presumptive, again, and hateful. The very things you’re complaining about.
@GRIMACHU But you can’t engage with derailing. The point of derailing is to end engagement. Man, you iz dumb.
@AmandaMarcotte Except it’s not derailing. Like ‘privilege’ it’s a magic word used to shut down dissent. Why not just shout ‘Witch!’?
@GRIMACHU “Engage” with derailment! Ride the unicorn! Pick up your wings and fly! It’s all doable, if you just believe!
@AmandaMarcotte Not agreeing with you is not misogyny. Questioning your conclusions is not misogyny. Asking for backing is not derailing.
@GRIMACHU I’m allowed to grasp that you’re hateful. I am allowed my own observations and not required to take your word for it. Sorry.
@AmandaMarcotte And that is equally true for me. I perceive you as a hateful manipulator lying about events and I call you out on it.
@GRIMACHU Asserting isn’t proving. Sorry. You can assert until you’re blue in the face, but alas, it’s just persuasive.
@AmandaMarcotte You are what you claim to hate, an abusive troll. So welcome to block – which is what’s the sensible thing to do with trolls
@humanadverb Heh, he just blocked me from a feed you couldn’t actually pay me to read.

No dear, I blocked you so I don’t have to read your hateful, irrational bullshit on Twitter. Not to deny you my awesomeness.

This explains a lot too. This woman apparently doesn’t understand burden of proof or the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

So, Atheism+ eh?

I somehow missed all this getting started but I’ve spent today trying to catch up between bouts of work, driving lessons and other interruptions. I think I’m up to speed but there was a lot to catch up on and if I have the wrong end of the stick do be sure and correct me.

What it seems to be is people doubling down on what I already made a post about a little while back. (Short version is that I asserted that it was bloody stupid to assume that just because we’re both atheist that we agree on everything else). This A+ idea seems to be an actual bold and ‘out’ attempt to conflate a whole bunch of stuff with atheism.

On the face of it, there’s nothing you could or should object to. This is how it’s put in one place:

We are…
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.

Great! I care about social justice. I support women’s rights (and mens). I protest racism. I fight homophobia and don’t have anything against trans people. I use critical thinking and scepticism! I should fit right in then eh?

Well maybe, but I’m a bit suspicious. For one thing I don’t want atheism getting tangled up in a bunch of other political and ideological strings because I’ve spent a great deal of time getting it through people’s skulls that all it means is ‘I don’t believe in god/s’ and that’s it. After all, they already conflate atheism with Communism and think one’s t’other and vice versa and that’s a whole lot of stupid one has to correct. Now I’m going to be confronted by people, fearful of some ‘liberal conspiracy’ pointing at A+ and gibbering in abject terror and that’s going to be much harder to refute.

If you’re putting ideology over truth, ideals over scepticism, ought over is, then you’re heading for trouble and the evidence I’ve seen up to this point rather suggests that’s what’s going to happen here.

You’ve got the rootless accusations of misogyny, the poor treatment of thunderf00t at the hands of the ideologues, the stupidity surrounding Elevatorgate, the scaremongeringly unhelpful harassment policy push, the number of times we see The Claim and Cause Entwined going on. There’s a near total lack of willingness to apply the supposedly lauded trait of scepticism to claims around these progressive elements and if you do dare to question it’s presumed that you’re against whatever it is that’s being promoted.

“You know… I’m not sure these rape statistics are entirely kosher.”

MISOGYNIST!

“I think you’ll find it is true that there are racial differences in rates of criminality but I suspect the cause to be economic…”

RACIST!

“Chromosomaly you’re still male of course.”

TRANSPHOBE!

Question the data, even if you don’t question the cause, and well… people might as well just point at you and shriek ‘WITCH!’ Once the accusation is made, you’re fucked, no matter what the truth is.

This seems like a supremely bad, elitist (oh the irony) dick move but is probably doomed to be another failure.

Remember ‘Brights’?