Atheism Plus, Radical Feminism and The ‘New McCarthyism’
November 19, 2012 64 Comments
“Joe McCarthy and his Senate hearings were like witch hunts.” – Desi Arnaz
Back in the 1950′s, Senator Joe McCarthy made a rather infamous name for himself by making accusations of treason, disloyalty and subversion without the benefit of evidence. It was ‘guilt by association,’ of the worst kind. Many people lost jobs and had their reputations decimated. While originally meant to rout out Communists, it wasn’t long before “McCarthyism” bled out into other areas of society. Because of this, “McCarthyism” now means any unsubstantiated accusations on character based solely on a perception of guilt without reason or evidence. This brings me to the issue of,
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the utter immorality of charging someone with allegations of any sort based solely on association. Have we not learned from our own history what happens when this occurs? McCarthyism is only one example, and if your first reaction to this is ‘citation needed,’ they you are even more of an idiot that I thought. Dare I delve into Godwin’s law, here?
This is the main problem I have with the Atheism Plus forum, which I separate from the principles of Atheism Plus. The A+ forum venue has degenerated into a cacophonic caricature of Orwellian proportions. It’s too bad, because social justice issues are of paramount importance to humanity, and the very people who should be at the forefront of addressing the five issues that were outlined as being the staples of the Atheism Plus philosophy are behaving more like the bigots that they portend to be fighting against.
Instead of addressing real issues that effect real human beings in the real world, various entities within the confines of the forum have chosen to spend their time inventing new pronouns, accusing people who ask legitimate questions of being anti-whatever and have instituted banning and vetting procedures that remind me of the Spanish Inquisition. Do these people have any clue, whatsoever, the damage they are doing to the various movements that comprise the non-sectarian activism movement? I think not, and because of this, they are (thankfully) rapidly descending in to the realm of irrelevance. It couldn’t happen fast enough.
I don’t like ‘radical‘ anything. I’ve made no secret of this, and this includes every demographic you can think of. Why? Because extremism of any type is antithetical to the positive, forward movement of society. This includes radical atheists, as well. When one group seeks to usurp the rights of another, for any reason, they become a black mark on humanity. The quest for equality among society should be inclusive of all groups, regardless.
The purpose of equality should be focused on bringing any demographic that is marginalized to a place where they are no longer discriminated against. This goal is best accomplished by ascertaining which group has the least amount of marginalization, and making that group sort of a primmer. This goal is least accomplished when any given group seeks to reduce the rights of the least marginalized group.
When my children were adolescents, one would attempt to win my favor by bringing up something negative that the other had done. This is typical of childish behavior, because it takes some time for a child to grasp the concept of favor by accomplishment. Instead of a child telling a parent they should be favored because of something they had done to garner praise, they will generally tattle on another child to make the other child appear less praiseworthy. This is like the rapist stating, ‘Well, at least I didn’t kill her,’ instead of admitting what they did is a heinous crime in of itself.
Women, as a whole, should have the same rights as men. Period. End of story. Men, however, should not have rights that women do not have taken away from them. Can you imagine if the answer to slavery was not the emancipation of the practice, but to enslave those who were not subject to slavery? It would have been an atrocity of gargantuan proportions if this had been the means and method of dealing with the problem. The message should be,
‘You have no right to discriminate against me because I am a human being, and I have the same rights as you do.’
Does this mean that the problems of discrimination and bigotry against marginalized groups should not be specifically addressed? No, not by a long shot. The organizations that advocate for the LGBT community, who have been the target of truly hateful acts, and groups that target the efforts for women to have complete control over their bodies are doing some remarkable work in the realm of civil rights. As are those who represent the interests of black people, Latinos, Asians, and every other group that seeks equality with the status quo. Equality should not be viewed as cutting the patriarchy any slack, but as an effort to bring to those groups who have been historically marginalized up to speed, so to speak.
Some radical feminists are like adolescents that spend their time bitching and whining about how all men are pigs, and that it is time to rise up and take control over a male-dominated world. Some of their tactics are truly abhorrent. They do not seek equality, but seek to replace men as the ruling authority. Replacing one discriminatory group with another one is not a victory, but a loss to all humanity.
Guilt By Association…
It’s funny (not ha-ha funny, either) how someone can so quickly be demonized, isn’t it? There are a group of people with whom I have enjoyed pleasant association with over the past couple of years who have now decided I am Hitler, reincarnated. I am not going to mention them by name, because if you have no idea what I am talking about, then consider yourself lucky not to have had your existence infected with this particular brand of McCarthyism.
Suffice to say, without any provocation, without any instances of personal insults on my part toward them, without any evidence of wrong-doing and without any reasonable consideration as to the point and meaning of skepticism, these individuals have exhibited a penchant desire to blacklist and paint me as a misogynist, a racist, a homophobe and a few other utterly ridiculous accusations.
This is, for lack of a desire to use other phrasing, fucking stupid. Equally idiotic is the presumption that the people which are being targeted as examples of ‘proof’ that I am all of these things have themselves been labeled as such for equally ridiculous reasons. I can give you a list of these people who have been targeted as ‘pure evil‘ by almost everyone at the Atheism Plus forum, several writers on Freethought Blogs and a few sympathizers, but if you have been keeping track, you already know who they are. Oh, and these allegedly evil people that have been targeted by these few include Richard Dawkins, and I would hazard a guess that Sam Harris is about to be included.
These individuals insist on continuing with their witch hunts, though. They are delving deep into the doctrines of Joe McCarthy and others in a concerted effort to demonize, blacklist or cause undue and undeserved harassment against others who are actually trying to do something. They continue to vilify those who are making a real difference by virtue of true activism in their quest for equal rights, who are merely asking questions.
A Skeptic should be able to ask questions and put forth arguments without fear of molestation by those who are allegedly on their side. What’s even more alarming is the expediency at which any one given individual are added to the blacklist, of which I am now solidly placed. I am reminded of a song by Pink Floyd,
Those who insist on continuing their anti-social behavior should understand that they are fast becoming the laughing stock of the collection of movements that comprise the non-sectarian activist community.