December 9, 2022

Battle Journal: The Great Shushing of Atheist Feminists on Youtube Continues

One of the few atheist feminists on youtube Steve Shives posted a joke about that today:

The name “Steve” comes from the Greek word meaning “5th or 6th most popular non-misogynist YouTube atheist.” ‪#‎LittleKnownFact

 Aron is gratified that Steve considers him an exception to the rule.  

I responded:(few edits for clarity)

The weird thing is how popular anti-feminism is with a lot of  youtube atheists. I’ve watched this pattern even with people I respect on other matters. It seemed to originate at Elevatorgate with avid discussions of basically “Rebecca Watson is a cunt” or some variant thereof.  Now a few years later even “Anita Sarkeesian is a fraud” is starting to become dull. As if, even if those statements were true and also throw in as many individual feminists, whose style people don’t like, and together that would not invalidate the axiom that -feminism means equal rights for women.

There were also a few popular arguments that circulated like “online harassment of women is trolling or grow a thicker skin”, and who could forget the piss poor arguments about rape? And remember folks patriarchy doesn’t exist! Only said seriously and defended with shifting goalposts that could bend space time.

Now the argument seems to be defending the goalposts that Islamic women have it worse, so Western Feminism is trivial. I’ll remember that the next time I go to a rally in Texas for the millions of women that are now unable to obtain a safe, legal abortion because the Religious Right shut down all but 8 of the 40 abortion clinics.

Someone invited me to a discussion of basically Sarkeesian makes bad arguments and is hurting the cause on youtube. As if I would throw her under the bus (not that I think she argues perfectly) and play good feminist/bad feminist to get a pat on the head from anti-feminists. Anti-feminists, who trolled the science education videos Aron Ra and I make together that aren’t even about feminism. It’s like they see the videos as less important than their petty ax to grind. An opportunity to talk about their favorite obsession instead. The truth doesn’t matter.

And look at what a great pay out it has been for anti-feminists -clicks, sympathy, attention, subs, patreons, crowd funded poorly executed takedowns of the “bad” feminist of the week.

No feminists allowed
No feminists allowed

It’s like some kind of Great Shushing of feminist atheists for the past few years.

It is stunning how a people, who pride themselves on rationality, can argue for the male dominated status quo. A status quo that hurts men too.

 

Here are some more goalposts from posters to Steve’s thread that atheist youtube anti-feminists have defended:

  • Steve Shives Personally, I see the tantrums of anti-feminists like that (who do the same sort of things on my videos, posting irrelevant and off-topic comments on videos that have nothing to do with gender equality, and endlessly try to bait me to respond, like children desperate for attention) as encouragement. The worse they behave, the more selfish and petulant and utterly without shame they show themselves to be, the more determined I am to seem them pushed off to the fringes where they belong, so that the online atheist community can be defined by truly humane humanists, not people who try to twist that term into a euphemism for anti-feminism.
  • Nate Franklin theres like a checklist for these folks:
    -call people manginas
    -claim that women in the west have it good and should focus on third world countries

    -hate anita sarkeesian
    -say “its a joke” whenever they say something remotely offensive
    -viciously defend the MRM but claim not to be an MRA
  • Michea Bonilla -Say women fake rape reports
    -Mention male rape or male victims of domestic violence to devalue rape and domestic violence conversations. Make sure to ignore any feminists who try to say that they are working towards helping male victims. Call them l
    iars.
    -Make sure to call women whores, bitches, cunts, liars, and sluts whenever mentioning feminism.
    -Use the term “feminazi” whenever possible.
    -Talk about male genital mutilation (circumcision) and how women are pushing for it.
    -Talk about how feminists are making men pussies.
    -MASCULINITY!!!!! RAWRRRRR!!!!!
  • Steve Shives The male rape charity, SurvivorsUK, that had its funding cut to the total indifference of the MRAs, followed me on Twitter the other day and thanked me for the support. It was one of the proudest moments of my online life.
  • Michea Bonilla Oh! Don’t forget to take credit for things that feminists have done that help men. Remember, they weren’t real feminists since they were helping men, so it’s ok to take credit for their work.
  • Nate Franklin make fun of people going through hard times, but get upset when others do the same thing!
  • Michea Bonilla Unless it’s women going through hard times, then it’s ok to shit on them no matter what, because they’re learning their place.

35 thoughts on “Battle Journal: The Great Shushing of Atheist Feminists on Youtube Continues

  1. Steve is a jewel for a lot of reasons. His cold contempt toward anti-feminists is one of them.

  2. Just my 2 cents for what that is worth these days… please let me say up front that I’m not interested in taking ‘sides’ on anything here. However, I have to respectfully reject your labeling of people as ‘anti-feminist’ as an ‘out-of-hand’ blanket accusation. I have often observed Internet personalities get labeled as ‘anti-feminist’ but actually fit the dictionary definition of feminist. Typically they are themselves liberals, but reject the tactics of progressives and social justice warriors. Debating or refuting the validity of statistics of any kind (sexual assault, wage gap, … alien abductions, etc) is NOT an ‘anti-feminist’ thing to do, it is the empirical, skeptical, and rational thing to do. What you see as anti-feminism (and yes, I would agree much of it often is) others see it in general as a rejection of the post-modernist anti-intellectualism that has infected the humanities and the Progressive Left in the West (at least from the view of the common standard US-type Liberal).

    Finally, my apologies, but I could not help but laugh at the irony of the video of Steve Shives where he condemns reactionary and angry anti-feminists while himself looking like he was alternating between head-exploding rage and panic attacks…

    1. You confuse denialism with skepticism. The favourite tactic I see from anti-feminist atheists who claim to be “feminist” in the way you describe is stunning stupidity over the wage gap. They claim feminists “lie” about it, when I link them to a multitude of studies, none of which lie about it, the goal posts start moving. What they actually mean is they have no problem with the gap, because women “choose” lower paid jobs. Point out that white/asian women are nearing equality and most of the gap is from discrimination of other WoC and they hand wave.

      Almost to a man, and it is usually men, they’ll cite that great “feminist” Christina Hoff Sommers to back up their claim the wage gap is a “myth” and there is none. That is usually my favourite part of the debate as she bends stats, physics, anything to make her case, and still is left with a 6c gap. Which they just claimed is a total myth …. At this point they rage quit or continue just asserting, moving the goalposts etc, etc …

      In any other area scientifically minded atheists will accept the consensus on a subject. Not feminism, any tiny discrepancy in the data, something that can be twisted is seized upon and amplified. This is denialism, driven by … Hm, well, I can’t imagine. Although System Justification Theory probably goes a long way in explaining the phenomenon. But that’s silly “SJW” “science”, so we can safely ignore that!

      1. Sorry oolon, but I do not confuse skepticism with denialism (a better word is cynicism). I am an empiricist… the atheism is irrelevant as it is just a result of being an empiricist (I am an atheist because I’m an empiricist, not the other way around). It can be argued that feminists create the bad reaction to the wage gab by oversimplifying things with statements like ‘women make 77 cents to the dollar’. A simple average tells you nothing. In my industry (computer technical support) women and men are dang near exactly on par with each other. Hollywood, that’s a different story there for sure. Add to that statements by feminists that the scientific method itself is sexist and male centered (as a way of thinking) and if that’s feminism, you’ve lost, well, anyone who actually holds to empiricism. You also can’t say that women don’t choose certain fields, you can only argue about why and what should/could be different about that.

        I find it funny you focus on the attacks on Hoff-Sommers. From a political view, every condemnation of her I see is with her libertarianism, not her feminism. A bunch of liberal-progressive feminists attacking the political views of a libertarian feminist is hardly an empirical analysis, is it? Have you yourself actually listened to Hoff-Sommers? I have. I can disagree with her political views, but I see nothing to indicate that she herself isn’t after what every feminist is after… equality for women. But not everyone believes it is a real thing beyond equality under the law. ‘Social justice’ itself is hardly a universally accepted concept… some say there is only justice and that is the purview of the law.

        I have never seen an atheist reject System Justification Theory on the basis of atheism, only on the basis of empiricism. Can you reference any? From an empirical standpoint that theory is extremely soft science.

        1. not every feminist wants the same thing. You’re confusing goals and analysis. Feminism is a framework which sommers doesn’t use or accept. She has no interest in understanding social hierarchy and patriarchy theory. She lies about other feminists and statistics to push a narrative. Anyhow, no. Not all feminists want the same thing. Some want full equal upbringin. For our children, some want to restructure our current traditionalist society, some have no interest in attempting equality. And simply want liberation from gendered socialization. What makes sommers anti-feminist is that she lies about the very framework and theories that Feminism is built on for personal gain. She does so deliberately too. There is no excuse for her specifically not knowing.

        2. Robert Charles :

          Have you yourself actually listened to Hoff-Sommers?

          I cannot speak for oolon, but personally, I did not develop my negative opinion of Sommers from reading Marcotte or any of Sommers’ current critics.

          I developed it during the late 1990s and early 2000s, before I heard about those people.

          I developed it by reading the books Sommers published during those years.

          I find it funny that people who object to my criticism of Sommers often assume I have not read her works.

          Just like Christians often assume I have not read the bible.

          No, my opinion of Sommers developed in much the same as my opinion of the bible – in both cases, I approached the text from a standpoint of expecting to believe it, and take it seriously. In both cases, I came to view it as garbage, primarily because of the context of the text. I did not encounter the critics until later.

          Please be aware Sommers is a fellow of AEI . A think tank specializing in using statistics to obfuscate and confuse. That wouldn’t matter if her use of stats was not misleading, but since her use of stats is misleading, it’s part of a pattern. This, too, is a thing I did not know about Sommers until I after I developed my negative opinion of her books.

          From an empirical standpoint that theory is extremely soft science.

          “soft” is a purely subjective judgement. It is not empirical at all.

        3. Sorry, I know this is a late reply, but someone is absurd on the internet…

          @Robert Charles

          Add to that statements by feminists that the scientific method itself is sexist and male centered (as a way of thinking) and if that’s feminism, you’ve lost, well, anyone who actually holds to empiricism.

          You’re aware that this is a ridiculous reaction, right? I’ve heard atheists rail against the scientific method, because it stands in the way of their assertions that God definitely, absolutely, certainly Does Not Exist. Should I therefore abandon atheism because a ridiculous person is an atheist? No. Obviously not. That would be nonsensical.

          Sure, some feminists assert that the scientific method is sexist. Significantly more will point to the history of scientific endeavours and have us note the occasions on which scientific methodologies were abused and misapplied in order to support claims of the inferiority of women (among other previously popular pseudo-scientific attitudes) or when women who had been involved with scientific discoveries were simply shoved to the side and ignored. Maybe that first group are making a stronger case than they have cause or backing for, but they’re essentially saying the same thing as the second group – they’re just doing it badly. To abandon the second group because of the behaviour of the first is ridiculous, because that first group do not represent the second in any meaningful way. To abandon the second because of their claims of historical sexism within the sciences is utterly anti-empirical, because they are true.

          So if those statements would result in losing the support of anyone who actually holds to empiricism… well, those people obviously don’t actually hold to empiricism, only to the pretence and prestige of it, so who cares?

    2. Typically they are themselves liberals, but reject the tactics of progressives and social justice warriors.

      anyone who uses the term “social justice warrior” in anything but a purely sarcastic fashion, has no idea what they are talking about and can be safely and completely ignored on issues of equality.

      seriously.

      whoever invented the term was a complete moron, and anyone who uses it seriously follows suit.

  3. I don’t think that anti-feminism is especially prolific within the atheist culture, but that its presence is symptomatic of its prevalence in society at large. If anything I think that the frequency of the secular humanist viewpoint among atheists as well as the overall skeptical inclination among many atheists makes non-theistic men and women, particularly aware of social inequalities and prone to opposing those inequalities. The atheist feminist men cited above are exemplary of the high quality of many men of the atheist persuasion, and are hardly rare exceptions.

    It would seem like people (men and women alike) who call themselves “skeptics” and “rationalists” would automatically be inclined toward feminism and skeptical of anti-feminist propaganda–yet sadly that’s not the case. Clearly the patriarchal tendency within the sciences and in U.S. society at large has infected the atheist culture and movement. But still, I suspect that the anti-feminists are a relatively small group of online trolls and terrorists with way too much time on their hands. Furthermore, I think that atheistic women are strong, and are supported by a good number of high-quality atheist men.

    But it may take the continued increase of atheism in society before laws can be changed so that harassment of women will be taken more seriously by law enforcement, because U.S. society is strongly dominated by the Christian right, which of course does not support equality for women.

    And there will always be assholes, at least as long as there’s any free speech at all; that’s part of the cost of free speech.

    (Twitter, Google, and Facebook login are all disabled and this page is marking me as a “possible imposter” of myself, so if you’re not getting a lot of comments on your posts that might be the reason.)

    1. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your statement that skeptics and rationalists would lean towards feminism. Why would they exactly?

      1. “It is stunning how a people, who pride themselves on rationality, can argue for the male dominated status quo. A status quo that hurts men too.”

        Is this what you mean that you don’t understand, because it is is not the same statement as this:

        “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your statement that skeptics and rationalists would lean towards feminism.”

        1. <>

          I apologize lilandra, that comment was meant for Jeanette Norman in post #3. Have not figured out the posting here yet.

  4. I think the reason you see so much anti-feminism within the Atheist and Skeptical communities is because people are willing to fight against sexism as long as they can define sexism as “people more sexist than me”. When confronted with their own sexism, or when they see culture they like being criticized as being sexist, they react badly. If the feminists within atheism would just restrict their criticism to religious people and understand that Sam Harris is a perfect being without bias, there would be no problems. But alas, they ask pesky questions like “why are all the leaders white men?” and don’t accept answers like “leadership is a guy thing”. So rather than have to do some self-examination and try to understand that institutions founded and run exclusively by white men might behave in a manner that perpetuates this lack of diversity, they lash out.

    tl/dr: The atheist community is willing to fight sexism, just so long as they don’t have to change any of their own behavior or examine any of their own biases. Feminists won’t let them, so they must be punished.

  5. Typically they are themselves liberals, but reject the tactics of progressives and social justice warriors.

    Liberals and progressives are the same thing, and “social justice warrior” is just an derogatory way of referring to liberals.

    The people you’re thinking of probably describe themselves as “classical liberals”. Basically a classical liberal is someone who supports taking power away from the aristocracy and the priesthood and giving that power to the merchant class. This was a radical idea back in the 18th Century, but things have moved on since then, and they’re considered reactionary by modern standards.

    The quickest way to spot a classical liberal is to ask them about the Civil Rights Act of 1965. They’ll say something like, “Racial discrimination is wrong, but if merchants want to engage in racial discrimination, then they should be allowed to do that. Laws that prevent merchants from discriminating are a violation of Basic Human Rights.” (A genuine modern liberal will say something like, “Anti-discrimination laws are needed as a counterweight to the ongoing persecution of marginalized groups. These laws help establish minorities’ Basic Human Right to function as full members of society.)

    1. Chaos-Engineer @ 5 –

      I would certainly take issue with your claim that there’s no difference between liberals vs progressives or “social justice warriors”. You overly simplify the matter by claiming that this is simply a rhetorical device used by classical liberals who are in fact conservative by contemporary standards.

      I’d argue, on the contrary, that liberalism is in fact a thing, and that it’s distinct from both conservatism and the radical left, and that there are several strains withing liberalism. I would count myself as in many ways a “social liberal” in the Millian sense (though “left libertarian” would also be a label I would embrace), meaning that I do see acknowledge the need for social institutions to foster “positive liberties”, as well as the need for “negative liberties” to be protected against erosion by the state and other powerful social institutions.

      How does that differ from other strains of the left? Historically, the radical left (and too often, even left-leaning progressives) haven’t always cared so much about negative liberties and individual rights in the pursuit of their goals. This can range from the paternalism of Scandinavian-style socialism to the outright brutal authoritarianism of Communism. And while I wouldn’t say current “progressivism” goes quite as far as Communism, it does show some disturbingly illiberal tendencies, such as an increasing hostility to free speech (and a tendency to define free speech so narrowly that practically no sanction against expression can be seen as censorship) and demands to “no platform” certain views, demands that large areas of public life be treated as “safe spaces” that demand a kind of political orthodoxy around issues of identity politics (including demands for firing of people with “unsafe” political views, even when those views have no connection to the job or position in question), and a politics focused narrowly on differences in interpersonal privilege rather than on advancement of rights for all against powerful social institutions. In other words, a politics that pushes the principal of equality to the detriment of rights and freedoms rather than trying to maximize both, or at least balancing tradeoffs between the two where they conflict.

      This is most explicit at the “social justice warrior” end of progressivism. And, yes, I think that is a real thing. I don’t think all or even most progressives or leftists fall into that category, but I do think that there is a subset of extremists who do, and, hence, I have no qualms about using an admittedly-derogatory term to name and shame this group. And note what the disparaging part is – not “social justice”, but “warrior”. Basically, it describes those who are so fanatical about achieving the ends of social justice that they totally lose sight of the ethics and morality of their means.

      Now as to Chaos-Engineer’s charge that this is “reactionary” liberalism, that’s only the case if you embrace the logical fallacy that the more novel an idea, the more right it must be. In fact, not all novel “progressive” ideas are sound, nor necessarily maximize human liberty and equality. Where they are unsound, the principled thing to do is to modify or reject them – nothing “reactionary” in that.

  6. I picked this name for a reason, to communicate my position, although I fear that it does more for miscommunication than communication.

    What you wrote regarding many of my heroes of the European Enlightenment period is wrong. I think that many people who hold to this position have not done the proper reading, or they’re reading things other than what I’m reading.

    For example, John Stuart Mill. I never before considered what he would say to the Civil Rights Act, but I strongly suspect he would be in support of it when presented with the facts of the present day.

  7. And this was supposed to be a reply to Chaos-Engineer. Odd, I thought I knew how to post here. I am wrong.

  8. @EnlightenmentLiberal, Chaos-Engineer is not wrong. When they refer to “classical liberal,” they’re referring to contemporary people who call themselves by that term– not Enlightenment figures.

    “Classical liberal” is indeed a term libertarians use to describe themselves. I agree that it’s a misnomer.

  9. Recently feminist youtuber JJ talkz has revealed that she has been subject to what sounds like some pretty creepy sexual harassment from people she identifies as male you tube feminists. Apparently there are 4 or so fairly well known men that are saying one thing on their videos, but behaving rather badly toward this 19 year old woman.

    How many men that are claiming to be 3rd wave feminist allies and saying all the right things are just playing along to get laid?

    Not a pleasant truth for sure, but something I think people should be aware of.

          1. I did have a question mark after that part indicating that part is speculation, however it’s not too much a stretch that the men JJ describes, if she is being accurate, seem motivated by sex and are apparently acting at odds with their stated beliefs.

            Again, I didn’t say many, but asked how many.

            I have seen dudes pretend to be uber feminist good guys to try and get women. Usually women are canny enough to pick up on it, at least it doesn’t seem to be a particularly successful tactic. It does happen though and given recent events, I think a fair question.

  10. Sorry folks, but there is a clear delineation between a classical Liberal like Bill Maher who recognizes the primacy of the First Amendment (i.e. freedom of expression) over all other rights and Progressive Liberals who play each right off each other as purely equal in nature. They are not. Here is AC Grayling talking about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6aWcPm4w_4

  11. Just to define some terms: I use “conservative” to describe someone who wants to maintain existing power structures and social hierarchies, and “liberal” to describe someone who wants to flatten hierarchies and distribute power more evenly. A “reactionary” is someone who wants to return to old hierarchies that have already been flattened.

    Going back to the thread topic – the Youtube atheists being described are “liberal” in the sense that they want to reduce the power of mainstream religion over everyone else, but they’re “reactionary” in that sense that they seem to want to force people to return to some idealized 1950’s-era conception of gender roles. Overall, in the US, they come across as basically those mainstream Republicans who aren’t Christian Fundamentalists and who support an isolationist foreign policy. It’s hard to describe them as “liberal” overall, even if they take a liberal stance on a handful of issues.

    1. Jumping in a bit late to say I appreciate Chaos-Engineer’s analysis and definitions.

      While I’m not familiar with YouTube specifically, elsewhere like Twitter and FaceBook and even offline I’ve seen plenty of cases of the self-described liberals with some…very 1950s-era (or earlier) ideas on gender roles and various other issues.

      I certainly agree that ‘Social Justice Warriors’ is basically just a pejorative aimed at liberals, similar to ‘feminazi’ and ‘libturd’. I see it thrown at basically anyone who thinks sexism and racism survived the 1960s. Sociology denialism is…very popular, not just among self-described conservative atheists but quite a lot of self-described liberal/egalitarian/humanist atheists.

  12. I am generally confused by all the descriptions for types. I generally consider myself a feminist in that there should be equality in pay and benefits and rewards for equal types of work. But after that things get fuzzy. I raised my daughter (and this is the important part how you raise the girl/boy) to be herself and do as she wishes. Because of the women-haters I made sure she had what she needed because you CANNOT depend on cops or other men. So she is skilled in judo, karate, bow, gun, sword,and basic cast-iron-skillet to insure defeat of most males and at the same time she was taught all the other household skills and so was my son. I have seen through these postings that almost all stories about women that are victims have been raised to be victims by victims raised to be victims raised by ……

    Calling anyone a cunt on line is nothing short of ignorant and cowardly.

    Say such to my daughter’s face is just plain stupid!

  13. L. Long: There is a segment of feminism that would say that sexual assault of any kind is always wrong and your daughter should never have to defend herself because it is always wrong so your daughter should never have to…. etc.

    Not my favorite feminist theory, obviously. Of course they are morally right, but there is no moral panacea. Kudos to you for teaching your child that the first person responsible for their safety is they themselves. I must be getting old but that used to be commonly understood.

    1. This isn’t a feminist theory, it’s a moral and legal precept found in most of Western culture, and applies to both sexes, whether aggressor or victim.

  14. Thank you SO much for this post. It’s baffling to me that people who reject all the other authoritative BS of religion still cling to the notion that women are inferior in any sense. I know that eggs came before chickens, but I honestly don’t know which came first, patriarchy or religion. The two concepts have been joined at the hip for millennia. It’s equally baffling to me when young women tell me they aren’t feminists, while taking full advantage of opportunities and legal rights I didn’t have at their age, that other women endured real suffering to win for them. I’m 63, and getting tired of telling people to open a dictionary to read the definition of feminism. People have allowed right-wing radio to distort the meaning of the word.

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