Atheists with vaginas.

I am so pissed off. I didnt get out of the lab until quarter till 6 tonight, so there was no friggen way I could get down to OU to see Barker (feed/potty Arnie, feed/potty me, 15 mph on I-35… I would have gotten there by the time his presentation was over. Why the hell is it that on Friday nights I have loose, whatever plans, I can sneak out early at 4, but the Friday I want to leave early, I end up being wrapped up in BL-3 till 5 fourty-fucking-five???? RAAAAAGE!!!)

So I was all hyped up for some quality atheist entertainment, and Im at home instead.

So Im going to bitch about w00mynz in atheism.

————

PZ is awesome.

He gave me (and other female atheists) plugs on Pharyngula, and irl/online interviews when we were nobodies (I HAS BLAG I R FAMOOSE NAU!!!), and he hasnt even been properly certified by SciBlogs REAL Feminists(TM)*!

My first link from PZ was on my debate with Lenny Horowitz.

Please note he made no mention of ‘Guys shes a girl we need to support her!!’

He didnt say anything about my gender.

Just my arguments and a general ‘Hurrah!’ for support.

*thumbs-up*

While later he and I a conversation on bloggingheads– We both threw back lots of ideas for things to talk about, and PZ was very adamant about giving me an opportunity to talk about being a woman in science.

Well, the thing is, I probably have a very different view of that than most people (not just women), so I didnt really want to, but PZ kicks ass and wanted to give me the opportunity.

*thumbs-up*

I would be crushed if I found out PZ didnt really like (or even listen to) my debate, but felt the need to link to more female bloggers, and I was good enough.

I would be crushed if I found out PZ didnt really want to talk to me on blogging heads cause we could clear the air on epigenetics, or he wanted to lol about our antics with Creationists, but just scanned his blog-roll for some female, cause he felt ‘man guilt’.

So when atheist/skeptical groups are looking for speakers, I want them to say ‘Oh Ive heard Abbie gives really good presentations on Creationism… maybe she will give a speech about being a scientist in a Red State!’ or ‘Weve never had anyone talk about HIV Denial, Abbie would be informative and funny!’

I would even be happy if they said ‘Abbie is hot! Lets get her to perform a Rock Band concert for scholarships to AAI!’

*wince* I would rather be run over by a bus than be picked randomly off a list of ‘FEMALE ATHEISTS’ to fill a guilty diversity quota. “Um… I guess Abbie can talk about Creationism… we have 900 other people talking on it… whove been doing it longer… and were at Dover… but… um… shes got a vagina… soooo….”

I dont think this is what PZ means in his post at all, but I think it could be an easy knee-jerk reaction for organizers of these events– “AAAH! We need more women!! Name more women!! Who? Ill Google her! Good enough– whats another one???”, so Im saying it straight up:

You want me for my expertise/perspective/body, fine.

Dont ask me just because Im female.

That would make me feel stupid, useless, and used.

Note– WOOMYNZ opinions offered on ERV might differ from your local WOOMYNZ, so please consult and react accordingly.

* WHITE D00D!!! WHIIIIITE D0000000DE!!! D0000000000000DE!! *collapses in a pile of shoes, puke, and delusions*

Comments

  1. #1 becca
    November 28, 2009

    Wes-
    “Provide me with an example of DJ being hateful. “

    All I can really attest to is that sitting there, reading Ed’s post the first time around, is that DingoJack’s comment:
    “her blog came across to me as:
    “I was washing [the shit off my baby's] beautiful little bottom and he got a little erection, then he did a wee all down my front, and I thought to myself ‘This is it, this is what life is all about’.”
    Some of us have other priorities. “

    cut to my heart.

    Not as close as the look of disappointment and dismay in my PhD advisor’s eyes. Not as much as the ridiculous internet posts from PhD students that do NOT want to become mothers about how any maternity leave is IMMORAL and UNFAIR since we all chose to be pregnant and have kids, and how they would NEVER hire anyone who has kids or might be pregnant. Not as much as my committee expecting me to write my thesis while on parental leave. Not as much as morning sickness/exhaustion/depression. Not as much as 9 hours of labor that was so OBVIOUSLY ‘easy’, or “left labia lacerations”, or fainting from blood loss. Not as much as wondering what the hell I was thinking at 3am, or being so frustrated and sleep deprived I didn’t know what I was about to do, I just knew it wasn’t a good idea.

    Look, I already realize that I’ve thrown away my chances at a Real Scientific Career, and doomed myself to be some kind of ‘vapid, aborted scientist’, and totally Ruined My Life. Comments like DingoJack didn’t cause that- they just remind me of it.

    And I realize that Advancing the Cause of Feminism obviously depends on making mothers feel like crap, since anything resembling defense of them that takes into account how societal attitudes about women and parents intersect is NOT ALLOWED to be called misogyny, because that would take away from striking down Real Misogyny, which you clearly are so invested in.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, my little horror is crying. Again.

    P.S. The next time you kevetch about how awful it is to argue with people on the internet you don’t know, let me know where your picture is in the dictionary. I’d look under “H”.

  2. #2 Wes
    November 28, 2009

    Wes-
    “Provide me with an example of DJ being hateful. ”

    All I can really attest to is that sitting there, reading Ed’s post the first time around, is that DingoJack’s comment:
    “her blog came across to me as:
    “I was washing [the shit off my baby's] beautiful little bottom and he got a little erection, then he did a wee all down my front, and I thought to myself ‘This is it, this is what life is all about’.”
    Some of us have other priorities. ”

    cut to my heart.

    Not as close as the look of disappointment and dismay in my PhD advisor’s eyes. Not as much as the ridiculous internet posts from PhD students that do NOT want to become mothers about how any maternity leave is IMMORAL and UNFAIR since we all chose to be pregnant and have kids, and how they would NEVER hire anyone who has kids or might be pregnant. Not as much as my committee expecting me to write my thesis while on parental leave. Not as much as morning sickness/exhaustion/depression. Not as much as 9 hours of labor that was so OBVIOUSLY ‘easy’, or “left labia lacerations”, or fainting from blood loss. Not as much as wondering what the hell I was thinking at 3am, or being so frustrated and sleep deprived I didn’t know what I was about to do, I just knew it wasn’t a good idea.

    Look, I already realize that I’ve thrown away my chances at a Real Scientific Career, and doomed myself to be some kind of ‘vapid, aborted scientist’, and totally Ruined My Life. Comments like DingoJack didn’t cause that- they just remind me of it.

    And I realize that Advancing the Cause of Feminism obviously depends on making mothers feel like crap, since anything resembling defense of them that takes into account how societal attitudes about women and parents intersect is NOT ALLOWED to be called misogyny, because that would take away from striking down Real Misogyny, which you clearly are so invested in.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, my little horror is crying. Again.

    P.S. The next time you kevetch about how awful it is to argue with people on the internet you don’t know, let me know where your picture is in the dictionary. I’d look under “H”.

    Posted by: becca | November 28, 2009 5:44 PM

    Sigh…

    You know what really frustrates me? Your combination of self-absorption with a lack of self-awareness. What could possibly make you think that this rant about your personal problems would convince me of the reasonableness of your position?

    Look, we’ve all got problems. I see two psychiatric counselors and have been on anti-depressants for a while now. I’ve struggled with substance abuse and suicide. I’ve had quite a hard time in life. But you know what? That is irrelevant when it comes to the question of whether or not an argument is correct.

    Your case that DJ is a “misogynist” and an “asshat” seems to boil down to “He said things which, taken completely out of context, I can find a way to interpret as hurtful to aspects of my own personal life which DJ is not aware of.”

    In other words, you’re doing exactly what I find so infuriating about people like Zuska and Isis. They charge in attacking someone they know nothing about, based solely on the fact that they have decided to turn something that person said into something hurtful.

    The world has no obligation to consider your feelings at every turn. The reason for this is simple: It is always possible to interpret anything as hurtful, and the rest of us cannot read your mind. The mere fact that you can take someone’s words out of context and twist them into a personal insult against yourself is not cause to label the author of those words a “misogynist” or an “asshat” or anything else.

    Any words can be construed as a personal insult if you want them to be. But the world doesn’t revolve around you. Your rant doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing anywhere in that thread to suggest that Leni or DJ are misogynists, and Zuska’s and her followers’ outbursts are completely unwarranted.

  3. #3 becca
    November 29, 2009

    Wes-what is unreasonable about your position is that you are unwilling to try to see what something is like from anyone else’s perspective.
    1) “asshattery” is a description of behavior, not an individual. I have no idea what kind of person DJ is, and made no claims that address that. All I can say is that DJ’s behavior offends people.
    We MUST have ways of calling out behavior that are not automatically seen as Grave Affronts. What are we? 19th century gentlemen making excuses to duel?

    2) No one is under any obligation to consider my feelings, ever. However, if someone, even inadvertently, says something which I read as offensive, I have a right to call it such. I’m not trying to convince you to be offended, I’m trying to show you why I was glad somebody said something to DJ.
    Even if you view it as entirely about explaining unjustified responses, the ’10,000 pinpricks’ model of sexism is really useful. Actually it’s really useful way beyond sexism if you want to, you know, actually *understand* people.

    3) It is always possible to say anything was not *intended* as hurtful. Google Tiger Woods “lynch him in a back alley”.

    Such statements can still be anywhere from moronic (if they were *sincerely* not intended as hurtful) to evil (if saying “it wasn’t meant to be hurtful! lighten up!” is disingenuous).

  4. #4 Rystefn
    November 29, 2009

    What are we? 19th century gentlemen making excuses to duel?
    No, you’re 21st century whiners looking for excuses to complain. The core is pretty close to the same, though: you’re actively seeking out reasons to take offense to the words of others.

    Look at what you did there – you described a person’s statement that some people have different priorities than you as something that “cut to my heart.” Your lengthy diatribe seems to imply that there’s a rather sizable part of your psyche that wishes you had prioritized differently yourself. The only thing cutting to your heart here is your own regrets, and that is no one else’s responsibility to tiptoe around.

    DJ didn’t do anything except highlight a part of your life you sometimes wish had been different. He didn’t hurt your feelings. You hurt your own feelings and want to take it out on him. That’s not cool, beca. Deal with your own issues, it’s not anyone else’s job to tiptoe around them for you.

  5. #5 Wes
    November 29, 2009

    Wes-what is unreasonable about your position is that you are unwilling to try to see what something is like from anyone else’s perspective.
    1) “asshattery” is a description of behavior, not an individual. I have no idea what kind of person DJ is, and made no claims that address that. All I can say is that DJ’s behavior offends people.
    We MUST have ways of calling out behavior that are not automatically seen as Grave Affronts. What are we? 19th century gentlemen making excuses to duel?

    Any behavior offends somebody. Fundamentalist Christians find homosexuality offensive. But you know what? Fuck them. The fact that it offends them doesn’t make it wrong.

    You are correct that “asshattery” describes behavior (so does “misogyny”), which is exactly why I object to your calling DJ an “asshat” and a misogynist. His behavior in no way warrants this. Zuska and drugmonkey on the other hand…

    2) No one is under any obligation to consider my feelings, ever. However, if someone, even inadvertently, says something which I read as offensive, I have a right to call it such. I’m not trying to convince you to be offended, I’m trying to show you why I was glad somebody said something to DJ.

    You have a right to say whatever you want. But if what you say is childish, unthinking, stupid, or grossly misguided, I have a right to point that out. The people attacking DJ and Leni in that thread were being childish, unthinking, stupid, and grossly misguided. Yes, they have a right to say it. But that doesn’t make it the right thing to say.

    Even if you view it as entirely about explaining unjustified responses, the ’10,000 pinpricks’ model of sexism is really useful. Actually it’s really useful way beyond sexism if you want to, you know, actually *understand* people.

    I do want to understand people, which is why I find the “It offends me personally in a way that the speaker couldn’t possibly predict, therefore the speaker is a bad person” model to be so abhorrent. Whether DJ or Leni are “asshats” has nothing to do with their own feelings and behaviors by your model–rather, if it offends you, that makes them asshats. This is the opposite of understanding people. It’s a refusal to understand people.

    3) It is always possible to say anything was not *intended* as hurtful. Google Tiger Woods “lynch him in a back alley”.

    Such statements can still be anywhere from moronic (if they were *sincerely* not intended as hurtful) to evil (if saying “it wasn’t meant to be hurtful! lighten up!” is disingenuous).

    Posted by: becca | November 29, 2009 12:26 PM

    I remember the Tiger Woods comment, and the person who said it was beyond stupid, if not blatantly racist. But this is not comparable. A better comparison might be the following:

    I don’t like golf at all, and could care less about Tiger Woods. Golf’s just a bunch of lazy rich bastards hitting a stupid little ball in order to win a jacket so ugly that no sane person would ever wear it in public. I never watch it on TV.
    –DingoJack

    Oh! I’m so sorry that TEH NIGGAZ won’t stay on the plantation!!!! Well, excuse me while I puke on your shoes due to your barely disguised racism!!!!
    –Zuska

  6. #6 PZ Myers
    November 30, 2009

    The problem isn’t that you would get picked for something because you’re XX; the problem is that you would be overlooked because you’re XX. That’s something the male eye needs to compensate for.

    But yeah, you ought to be invited to join more of these atheist conferences. I need more fellow science geeks standing up there with me.

  7. #7 Rystefn
    November 30, 2009

    PZ: the problem is that you would be overlooked because you’re XX.

    QFT.

    This is a problem, and we aren’t past it yet as a society (though many individuals are or think they are and don’t see the difference). We need to be careful of it, and we also need to be careful not to just slap on a couple of “tokens” either.

    …oh, and it’s not just the male eye that needs to keep careful watch. It’s a sad state of affairs, but our society has so much deeply entrenched and subtle sexism that much of it is perpetrated by women against women.

    A lot of progress has been made, but there’s a lot more left to do.

  8. #8 Paul
    December 1, 2009

    FWIW, pretty sure Salty Current is not Honduran, even though she blogs on Honduran issues. She is female, though.

    <3 erv

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