People part of the wider atheist/skeptical ‘movement’, particularly conference goers will be aware of the misogyny inspired drama that’s been plaguing ‘the community’ for a while – maybe a year, I can’t remember and I can’t be bothered to check.
The incessant drama has finally worn me down.
I have several opinions, few facts, little physical interaction, possibly no clue. I have, however, had enough now.
Was (is, was, will be) Rebecca Watson harassed? Sure.
Were (will) other women be sexually harassed at conferences? Probably.
Did Rebecca Watson initially make a huge deal out of it? Perhaps not.
Was/is the harassment as bad as the brouhaha after some subsequent blog posts? Probably not.
Is sexual harassment as big an issue at skeptical/atheist conferences as some people have made it out to be? Probably not. I haven’t been to one so I can’t really say. I haven’t been to America – perhaps the country is packed to the brim with misogynistic assholes, I can’t say. Some people have certainly made it out to be like that.
Was (is) PZ Myers overly supportive of Rebecca Watson? Yes.
Was Richard Dawkins as wrong about the Rebecca Watson story as Rebecca Watson made out to be? No, I don’t think so any more.
Was Thunderf00t’s first take on the misogyny issue the way PZ Myers portrayed it? No.
Was Thunderfoot’s response to PZ’s posts ill-considered and sloppily done? For sure.
Was Thunderfoot’s response to the SkepchickCON harassment policy childish and silly? Yes.
Was Skepchick’s latest response childish and silly? Yes.
Are Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers and Thunderfoot and their legions of minions and supporters acting like a bunch of twats? Indeed.
I’ve never been to an atheist or skeptics conference. I used to want to go to them all pretty badly and came close to going to the one in Melbourne recently. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s clear that there is no ‘community’. It’s clear that there are a bunch of factions with different agendas and it is clear that ‘reason’ isn’t high up on any of those agendas.
Take this from here it comes: the huge freaking issue made about sexual harassment at conferences has put me off of going to them and I am a man. I used to want to go and now I do not. I am well aware that ‘the issue’ is probably not nearly as big as it’s been made out by some people to be but fuck it, I don’t need that shit in my life.
I’m over Freethought Blogs. I’m over the people commenting on Freethought Blogs. If that is what the atheist/skeptical ‘community’ is, I want no part of it.
Yes, I realise I have this very insignificant blog in an insignificant corner of the world and I might very well be alone in feeling that I want nothing to do with the massive amount of idiocy the ‘community’ is currently drowning in but that’s the way it is. It makes me sad to say – I too would like to feel like I belong to something bigger than myself – but I do not want anything to do with this shit.
The bottom line is that atheism and scepticism are not uniting forces and no amount of wishful thinking will change that. Atheism does not a ‘community’ or ‘movement’ make. PZ Myers posted some time ago that atheism is more than just the non-belief in god. I used to agree with him. The last 12 months worth of drama has done nothing other than show that a great many atheists are dicks and atheism does nothing to unite people and atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in a deity.
The realisation that is sadly dawning to my very un-skeptical mind is that just because somebody is an atheist does not make them a nice or good person. Or a person I would want to associate with. Somebody being an atheist does not in fact imply a damn thing about that person other than they do not believe in a God.
I like to think the best of people and these people that I used to look up to have made that impossible.