Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm pretty sure it's just the internet

While extremely disappointing to see, the latest example of sexism in the online atheist community has nothing to do with atheism. Or our community. Whatever personality defect that causes people to behave in this manner online (we all know full well that internet assholes don't have the balls to say things like this in real life) is not at all related to their intellect or belief-system. They don't represent us, and I kind of wish the major bloggers (Greta, Jen, Hemant, etc.*) would leave it alone. Every online community has this problem. It's not going to go away. All we're doing now is feeding the trolls, and they're reveling in it.

I speak from experience, having formerly been a member of an online community dedicated to the following of a particular jam band where everyone was faaaaamily and good vibes were spread and a bunch of other hippie horseshit. The comments in that Reddit thread are similar to some of the stuff I used to read on those music boards.

If we, as a community, want to give this any kind of attention, I'd recommend really going after these guys. Writing about the need to rid our community of this kind of activity isn't going to work. Finding an atheist over at 4chan and asking them to do what they do best might. ;-)

*No disrespect intended towards these guys at all, and it's possible I'm just jaded given my previous experience with this sort of behavior. Bleh.


  1. Well, I kind of think maybe you are a bit jaded (although I don't think that is quite the right word) based on your previous experience.

    I think the point that Greta, Jen, Hemant, etc are trying to make is that ignoring it doesn't work. It is pretty much the same way that women's rights, civil rights, and gay rights issues didn't get addressed (I avoid the term "fixed") until enough people made enough noise. If we want this situation to change, the only method that has proven effective is to speak up about it and force it into the public dialogue. We can't ignore it in the hopes that they will just go away (because I'll promise you, if you ignore them, they'll take it as approval, not rejection).

    (And while the chans may be able to do something about it, that seems rather like hiring Jeffery Dahmer to help resolve the over-population and food shortage problems. His methods might be effective, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be "good" solutions.)

  2. The difference between this kind of vitriol and the civil rights movements is that it's a lot easier to confront something tangible. You can't really fight with a series of tubes. There's no real accountability here, so there's no incentive for internet trolls to stop.

    I'm also ok with hiring Dahmer to help out with this.

  3. Errr, I was very shocked to read the article you linked to earlier. It just proves that religion is not the problem, but the way people think. We're yet to fix that.

  4. That's a good point. Where I attempted to assert that this kind of behavior has nothing to do with the atheist movement, I inadvertently cleared religion of any responsibility as well. Humans are flawed, no doubt.