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Hot Gossip: We’re All Burqa-wearing Nazis

The jig is up, you guys! Skepchick has been exposed for what it is: a totalitarian Nazi clique who created an anti-harassment policy specifically so that men could harass women in bars and Muslim men could force us to wear burqas. I know it’s true because noted atheist intellectuals Paula Kirby and Thunderf00t said so!

I debated whether or not to write about this because the recent insults about Skepchick have been so self-evidently ignorant and wrong that I felt it would look like we were picking on tiny, angry babies. And no one likes to see that. I’m relenting only because the sheer amount and absurdity of the insults have reached a level that cannot be ignored, like a large mob of angry babies brandishing pacifiers and blankies as weapons.

First up, did anyone happen to find Paula Kirby’s shit anywhere? Because she appears to have completely lost it on Twitter, writing that Skepchick adheres to – I kid you not – “Feminazi doctrine”:

But of course. Those who disagree are by definition strawmanning. That’s part of the Feminazi doctrine, isn’t it?

It’s still part of Feminazi doctrine! Pharyngula, Skepchick and B&W, by contrast, have of course been bastions of calm reason!

On a side note, this comes mere days after a guy threatened to sue me because I told PZ Myers that he called me a “cunt,” when in fact the guy actually called me a “feminazi:”

This guy: “Your honor, I assert that that I never once called that fucking feminazi a “cunt” and to maintain that I did seriously harms my reputation!”

Hon. Judge Blimpishire: “I hereby rule in favor of the shitlord! Ms. Watson, I order you to pay him all the internet points. You also are ordered to keep a diary listing what each shitlord calls you so that you never again make such a grave mistake.”

Me: “Tell my cats I love them!”

Amanda Marcotte has written about the problems that come from pointing out the sexism or racism behind particular words, and I agree with her. But it just continues to amaze me that these clueless misogynists haven’t even figured out how to camouflage their hatred. Like, you assholes do know that Rush Limbaugh came up with the clever epithet “feminazi,” right? Rush Limbaugh, the guy who hates women so much that he spent hours yelling about how Sandra Fluke is literally a filthy whore because she thinks that birth control is medicine that should be covered by health insurance.

And lest you think she just used the term “feminazi” out of pure ignorance about what feminism is or what a Nazi is or what a Rush Limbaugh is, she actually doubled down with even more hilarious slurs, specifically created to express her individuality from Limbaugh:

No, just like me, thanks. I quite like Femistasi too. One form of totalitarian thought is, after all, much like another.

And then she went on to write that Freethought Blogs is le-hitler-ly equivalent to totalitarian East Germany:

I disagree. I see real strains of totalitarian thought over there. And I lived in a totalitarian state for 2 years.

See more over at Butterflies & Wheels.

Speaking of the totalitarian state of Freethought Blogs, did you know that they brought on Thunderf00t, famed host of ABC’s long-running hit America’s Atheist Home Videos? They did! What’s really exciting is how instead of just writing blog posts about things he knows about using sentences that are understandable, Thunderf00t immediately went to work creating a bold mix of visual and performance art. The visual art involves the use of seemingly random punctuation, bolding, italics, capital letters, and double spacing. The performance art involves writing from the perspective and education level of an angry 12-year old.

Thunderf00t’s entire blog is about sexual harassment, and about how people spend too much time talking about it. See? Performance art. It’s like an SUV rally to save the environment.

Today’s post is specifically directed at Skepchick – in particular, the anti-harassment policy we laid out for SkepchickCon, coming up in just a few days. In this bit of performance art, Thunderf00t points out that we ask people to refrain from harassing people, including for their religion. He fantasizes about what would happen if something that would never happen happened:

I would laugh so hard if a series of religious people turn up and every time religion is mentioned they raise their hand and claim this is harassing behavior, and demand that that person be thrown out the conference (ironically this policy doesn’t specify any actionable items, see later), only to have the red faces of the incompetents who wrote this policy.

So at the”requests by other participants” activities they might religiously offensive, such as drinking, dancing (+ maybe women appearing in public without a face covering), this policy requires that people ‘should be respectful of requests by other participants to stop what they’re doing or saying if asked’.

Ha ha ha, that would be so funny you guys! Wouldn’t it? Boy would our faces be red. What a hilarious fantasy that was! I can’t wait to read Thunderf00t’s Skepchick fan fiction, which I’m assuming is going to be his next venture now that Freethought Blogs is going to fire him out of embarrassment:

Rebecca stared as a magic sky fairy believer raised his hand and said “WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT MY RELIGION WAS OFFENSIVE MA’AM I AM MAKING A COMPLIANT”.  Before she could respond, some delusional MUSLIM TERRORIST raised HIS hand and said he WAS OFFENDED TOO and that all the women should wear burqas!  One by one a thousand more ***religo-tards*** raised thier hands and then someone handed her the Skepchicks’ anti-harassment POLICY and as a tear rolled down her cheek she tore it into tiny tiny bits and then ate them and she felt SO STUPID!!!!!!

I would subscribe to that blog and I would love it.

Anyway the rest of Thunderf00t’s performance art is exactly as intellectually rigorous as the above quote – for instance, he is confused that we posted our policy several weeks before he started blogging and yet he is sure that his post from the other day influenced our policy somehow. Which he hates. Anyway, if FtB removes the post before you get a chance to read it, just read the above quote over and over again and then smack your forehead on the table as hard as you can and you’ll get the same basic experience.

Feel free to hop on the bandwagon here and write your own Thunderf00t-SkepchickCon fan fiction. Remember, HTML tags like <em>italics</em> and <strong>bold<strong> will work!

Rebecca Watson: Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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  • One quick fact correction:

    Tony Ryan never threatened to sue Rebecca. What actually happened was that other folks suggested that he should, and he noted that he might have a case, but he didn't actually threaten it.

    He clarifies his statement here:
    http://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,42324.msg9244651.html#msg9244651
    "Basically, no I did not raise the issue of libel. Lots (LOTS!) of others pointed it out that it was (under UK law) but I am not, and would not, ever use that law. I do not agree with UK libel law, have campaigned against it, and as a result would never use it for my own advantage because of that."

  • It seems to me that if you're using the rhetoric of Limbaugh, you've not only lost the debate, you've failed as a human being. How can Paula not understand that?

  • Also everyone knows that all of the Skepchicks bowled 300 the first time they bowled, hit 5 hole-in-ones for a 38-under-par the first time they golfed, and a double-rainbow and a new star accompanied the birth of this website.

  • I thought Paula Kirby's point was quite clear and that the letter contained more than a little truth. Skepchick doesn't allow much dissent (the ban hammer looms for anyone who disagrees here), there's a general and popular antipathy towards people questioning claims about feminism (despite skepticism supposedly featuring here), and there's a widespread use of terms like "privilege" to poison the well.

    It's not something I enjoy saying about a blog I read quite alot, but her claims are borne out by what I read here. It's been enough of a wake-up for me to actually comment on it.

    • Considering how many people comment here, there are very few bans, but you know, nice try.

      Also, "and there’s a widespread use of terms like “privilege” to poison the well."

      You're joking, right? This is bullshit.

    • I think Jon Stewart had the proper response to this variation of Godwin's Law.

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-27-2011/bill-o-reilly-defends-his-nazi-analogies

      "The Fox commentators DO use Nazi analogies, and your point seems to be 'yeah, but I had a good reason'."

      Even IF the charges of banning dissenting opinions, etc. were true, comparisons to the perpetrators of some of the worst acts of violence and abuse against human beings is off base. And that goes for the Stasi too. Comparing an organization to fascist murderers because you disagree with their standards for blog comment administration is ACTUALLY poisoning the well. It's ridiculous AND it insultingly diminishes the impact of the real horrors inflicted by the Nazis and the East German secret police.

      Paula Kirby's clarity in the matter is as unimportant to me as Bill O'Reilly's or Rush Limbaugh's.

      • I understand the refusal to engage with Kirby directly due to this sort of comment, but it doesn't excuse a refusal to engage with yourself and others here and in the movement. We're adults here and we've all experienced, I wager, our fair share of internet rudeness, so the outrage about the comparison needs to be kept in proportion.

        Kirby specified in what ways the comparison was meant to work. If you ignore or refuse to acknowledge any nuance underlying it because of the overwhelming disgust at the choice of comparison, you miss putting your own methods and behaviour under examination. Kirby's choice of comparison could be completely unfair, but that doesn't mean she hasn't hit on something worth examining.

        I've been the victim of such comparisons before and had a similar reaction, but there are ways to use this sort of criticism. Sure, you can say she's poisoned the well and she probably has, but you can also examine whether she has a point that we're guilty of doing the same thing.

        • "Kirby specified in what ways the comparison was meant to work. If you ignore or refuse to acknowledge any nuance underlying it because of the overwhelming disgust at the choice of comparison, you miss putting your own methods and behaviour under examination."

          Look, people can explain all the nuance in the world about their choice of words, but the fact is Kirby decided arbitrarily to set her own definitions around a word that actually has a documented origin (Rush Limbaugh) and harsh connotations that do not fall into her made up box. The way she hand-waves away that existing content in order to make the words say what she wants them to say now is, frankly, unrealistic.

          "Kirby’s choice of comparison could be completely unfair, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t hit on something worth examining."

          Now your arguing a separate point. Your initial post stated:

          "I thought Paula Kirby’s point was quite clear and that the letter contained more than a little truth."

          I disagreed as explained above. Her "clarification" still does not equal a justification. It also comes as less impressive since it is an ex post facto rationalization.

          From her letter:
          "But sometimes an apparently rude term is doing more than being rude: it is conveying a meaningful point in shorthand form."

          That's a pretty broad assertion without anything specific to justify such a charge. Furthermore, the attempts at re-defining the "nazi" and "stasi" (which wasn't even a THING before) suffixes are ridiculous on their face. Grammar-Nazi is a term i personally dislike, but unlike "FEMINAZI", it doesn't have actual provenance...being coined by an individual who pretty much derides ALL progressive women's politics in its use.

          "We’re adults here and we’ve all experienced, I wager, our fair share of internet rudeness, so the outrage about the comparison needs to be kept in proportion."

          I find it ironic that you are telling people to keep the 'outrage' in 'proportion' after Kirby decided to go "Godwin" at the drop of the hat. Funny how she "seethed" and considered such a term "grotesquely obscene" when the Pope blamed the rise of the Nazis on secularism. And yes, she asked people to side-step the "slur" to take on the original point of him covering up child rape...but it didn't change the fact that it was a slur. It's wrong to call your opponents misogynists for disagreeing! Sure, it's also wrong to call them, snarkily, Oppressed Sisters and their Approved Male Chorus. How about "hysterical", "self-pitying", "whinging"? Y'know, that's a LOT of name-calling I'll have to wade through to get to her "nuance" truth to tell.

          Regardless, I read the letter, I really did. And mostly, I found strawmen (characterizations of "prudishness" at conferences), no true scotsman ("real feminists"), arguments from personal experience (her time in business and all those women she talked to to become speakers!) and an ironic moment of a church-like call for ideological purity:

          "To tear a movement apart, to provoke massive divisions within it, to malign the people in it, to distract it from the very purposes that brought the movement together in the first place, over something that is just a feature of life in general and not specific to the movement itself, is a tragic waste."

          Hey, I know some Catholics who really, really hate what the Church does about all sorts of things...but it's more important to keep the mission of Catholicism going than to debate what one deems to be important issues, I guess?

          And just to point out something, even if we have heated discussions over this, or any disagreement (and I've had a few with other people here myself), it doesn't mean we're bullying each other or whatnot. I don't think you'll get banned just for talking about this, so if that's the case, that kinda denies your point right there, because, while this may be anecdotal, the people I've actually noticed get banned were abusive in terms of language and the number of posts and the types of responses. Your an adult...don't spam the threads, and I think you'll be ok.

          • "Look, people can explain all the nuance in the world about their choice of words, but the fact is Kirby decided arbitrarily to set her own definitions around a word that actually has a documented origin (Rush Limbaugh) and harsh connotations that do not fall into her made up box. The way she hand-waves away that existing content in order to make the words say what she wants them to say now is, frankly, unrealistic."

            Bingo.

          • Most of your post seems to be railing against Kirby, so I'll cut most of it short and just say I have no special love for her or her general views. I was interested in a point (or a series of points) she made and that's the extent to which I'm willing to discuss her.

            Her use of that term communicated to me what she was getting at and quite clearly. My opening post collected a few examples of what her point could be taken to apply to and those are some of my concerns.

            Now let's finally regard: "I find it ironic that you are telling people to keep the ‘outrage’ in ‘proportion’ after Kirby decided to go “Godwin” at the drop of the hat. Funny how she “seethed” and considered such a term “grotesquely obscene” when the Pope blamed the rise of the Nazis on secularism. And yes, she asked people to side-step the “slur” to take on the original point of him covering up child rape…but it didn’t change the fact that it was a slur. It’s wrong to call your opponents misogynists for disagreeing! Sure, it’s also wrong to call them, snarkily, Oppressed Sisters and their Approved Male Chorus. How about “hysterical”, “self-pitying”, “whinging”? Y’know, that’s a LOT of name-calling I’ll have to wade through to get to her “nuance” truth to tell."

            If I were more intimately connected with Paula Kirby, I would spend time criticising her where I think criticism is due. As it is, I read skepchick; I do not read Paula Kirby's comments on Twitter or elsewhere.

            A small point to object to: there is a difference between saying secularism is responsible for the rise of mass-murderers and comparing a blogger's views on disagreement or criticism to those of totalitarian regimes. The second is something like hyperbole, whereas the second is something else. I'm not familiar with Kirby's views, but there doesn't seem to be an underlying contradiction if I grant that how you phrase things is how they are.

            I'd also be careful dismissing Kirby on the basis that some of her evidence is "personal experience". I very much doubt that people here would appreciate being dismissed on those same grounds.

        • I’ve been the victim of such comparisons before and had a similar reaction, but there are ways to use this sort of criticism. Sure, you can say she’s poisoned the well and she probably has, but you can also examine whether she has a point that we’re guilty of doing the same thing.

          mmm-kay. If your argument is that we poison the well when we tell someone to examine their privilege, can't they examine whether or not we have a point?

          Also, it's really disturbing how you're basically telling us to suck it up when we're compared to mass murderers.

          • Let's be straight here, I never told anyone here to "suck it up". My point is instead that taking offense at a tactic used against you should not stop you from examining your own tactics critically in light of any substantive points available from their criticism.

            Of course someone can examine whether or not you have a point about their privilege. But if someone is offended by the "privilege" claim being lobbed their way, should they "suck it up" and just examine their own tactics? You seem to think so in that case, but it's not clear that you think so in this case with Kirby. Do you?

    • and there’s a widespread use of terms like “privilege” to poison the well.

      Just because you don't understand or don't like or disagree with the concept of privilege doesn't mean it doesn't exist or is poisoning the well.

      I have yet to see an instance of someone here pointing out someone else's privilege when it that person wasn't displaying their ignorance of it. It doesn't silence someone or poison the well to point it out. It should be a wake up call to the person to examine their thought process more carefully. It's a courtesy really, like pointing out your zipper is down. XYZ everyone!!

      • I never said that I don't think privilege exists. It clearly does. But what I object to is how it's used as a way of poisoning the well. Consider a case where someone is accused of speaking from a position of privilege, despite not really doing so: how do they refute it? how do they answer the charge?

        Is there a way to answer such a charge?

        • Citation needed. Show me a case of this happening here on Skepchick. Every time I've seen someone have privilege called on them, they were displaying it. Some of them stepped back and examined their thought process and came to understand a little more about their privilege. And some of them got mad and stomped around because how dare we ask them to get up to speed to participate in this conversation. You think it is used as a tactic to poison the well (and your concern about poisoned wells cracks me up, what did Paula Kirby say when you told her she was poisoning the well by calling us feminazi, btw?) and I'm saying I haven't seen it used that way. I'd love to see your examples.

          • To Titania, cite or it never happened.

            You say you don't want to get into specific cases, but to stick to the general case. However, if there are no specific cases, there is no general case, and this is pure derailing. If you want to claim it is a general issue, then you need to provide at least one uncontestable instance of it actually happening.

          • I would love to give you a citation, but doing so and having a conversation about a particular case wouldn't remedy the problem I have with it as a tactic. As I reflected on in the comment you replied to, the worry is not over individual cases but the trouble that accusations of privilege have in being answered. If you have the accusation leveled at you unjustly, how do you deflect or refute it?

    • People are banned here for being ignorant and refusing to acknowledge points or being unduly rude. People disagree here every day without being banned but maybe they just disagree in the wrong way for you.

      If Kirby is right why has she not been disappeared yet?

      Rebecca, you run a really sloppy evil organization I must say.

      • But look at what you're saying here. People are banned for "being ignorant and refusing to acknowledge points". If they refuse to acknowledge your points, then it's possible they simply disagree with your points. The same goes for charges of ignorance. Are people banned because they might be wrong?

        • No, if someone says I disagree with what you are saying they acknowledge what was said, if however they keep repeating the same things over and over without even disagreeing they are indeed being ignorant.

          We do not have an issue with people who argue with us in good faith, stating something as fact a refusing to refute anyone who debates them is not arguing in good faith.

          As for the with us or against us attitude, it comes from people who have, for the last year and a half, had it out for Rebecca because she said "guys don't do that". People like Ms. Kirby who for whatever reason have decided that demanding a place where you can expect to be unmolested is above the pale and decide to do more than simply disagree but to throw around insults, treats, and libelous statements about anyone who would dare defend any Skepchick.

          With us or against us is a false dichotomy set up by those who have attacked first, not those who are defending.

          • And what's in an acknowledgment? Does it mean conceding the point? Or does it mean continuing to reply that you disagree, but not repeating your claims? Or something else? If the same courtesy is not extended to the opponent, then there's still an issue here. Are people who mostly agree with the bloggers here allowed to repeat their points in such a way? If so, then a person who goes looking for examples of this can expect that members committing these infractions will be treated in just this same way, correct?

            What am I to make of the "with us or against us" comment? It seems that Rebecca has used this to imply that I think she's a nazi, when I do not.

            Now you attempt to answer my worry about this divisiveness by pointing out that it was them who started it (people who criticise skepchicks) and it is us who are defending against it (skepchick defenders). Can you see how that fails to answer my concern about the divisiveness I'm seeing?

    • I was wondering if anyone would side with Kirby despite the fact that she literally compared us to Nazis, and now I wonder no more!

      • "Side" in what sense? I said that I agreed with her on some points and then stated what I think the relevant ones are. That doesn't mean I'm on her side from here on out. It's precisely this "siding with" feature of these sorts of discussions that I find disturbing. It's not a case of being either with you or against you.

        I'm trying to be frank here with people I've respected for quite some time, so I may not always get my point across in the tone I intend. That doesn't mean I'm siding with others against people here.

  • I don't even know how exactly to respond to this, because it's just so mind-boggling. Seriously, what the hell are these folks smoking? And where can I get some, because clearly it's some pretty potent stuff...

    • This is a good example of what I have in mind. You've dismissed me and charged me with being on drugs, which I admit is a pretty common type of reply to find on the internet so let me be clear that I don't find your reply offensive. But how would you treat someone who was prone to disagreeing with the movement were they to come here and comment in this way? If someone who disagreed with feminism came here and dismissed the regulars with charges of smoking weed, would they be allowed to remain here?

      The charge for banning such a person could be something like rudeness, but it's a charge that can be leveled against many here to a greater or lesser degree.

      Hopefully this isn't considered off topic here, as I am trying to relate it to Kirby's claims.

      • Actually, this is an example of how someone who feels attacked can see attacks from everywhere.

        @oniongirl was responding to the OP not to you. The threading system can be confusing here so I'll give you the benifit of the doubt that you didn't understand, but the tone-trolling is not helpful. Really not.

        You must not dismiss people, you must not use sarcasm, you must not respond with anger when being compared to fascists. Actually, it's Rebecca's blog she can do all those things if she wishs, but your discomfort with that is duly noted.

        • I don't feel attacked, but this could be a good example of how someone who dismisses people as those who "see attacks everywhere" and therefore sees such people everywhere. Does this strike you as a fair criticism of your remarks or does it read as condescension? Because this is how you're responding to me.

          If oniongirl was genuinely responding to the OP and not to my comment, then I apologise for the mistake: however, you have subsequently provided me with a further example anyway.

          I am trying to raise a concern here and it's one I genuinely care about. But how am I to do this if the tone or concern trolling charge gets laid out on me for doing so and then colours your view, and the general one, of what I say? It's not much different to my worry over the "privilege" tactic. If I cannot refute it, then it apparently sticks. Tell me how I'm supposed to refute a charge of "tone-trolling".

          Let me state this clearly, so that people know precisely what my concern is. If they disagree, fine, but at least they'll have it in mind:

          The culture growing on this blog and elsewhere of dismissing criticism through offense, and of planting your feet more deeply in the soil with every instance of it encountered, is giving me reason to think that an uncritical culture of deflective strategies is supplanting skepticism in the skeptical-feminist movement.

          Now that's wordy, but it's my main fear laid out.

          • I take your points as given and thank you for pointing out how we are doing skepticism wrong. That may come across as condecending and dismissive because it is; I'm not in the mood to be told how to feel and what is good for the movement.

            Kirby and the ERVites and such have decided, for mostly petty reasons, to dismiss and condecend to us so I have every right to do so back.

            I really do understand your points but I have heard them, repeatedly and I'm am full up. So what do we do? Do we try to listen to Kirby's arguments by wading through the ridiculous amounts of fallicious arguments to get to some kind of point she might have? Do you do that, because I don't have time for that. If she wants to make a point she should make it, an editor could have cut the 11 pages of her diatribe down to a half a page and it would have been summed up with; "I don't see a problem therefor there isn't one and anyone saying there is one is just whining."

            Consice and to the point, and completely wrong, but at least not swimming in slime. Maybe I would listen to that. But you know what, I wouldn't have to, just because.

  • Over at the Intelligent Design website Uncommon Descent, they are "reporting" on the SkepChick's nude [?] calendar and the Elevator Incident.

    As they tell the story, hundreds of atheists threatened to rape Rebecca, which, for creationists, of course proves that atheists are more sexually predatory than, say, priests, imams, etc.

    I am hoping that Rebecca will read the Uncommon Descent post and report if it is inaccurate. As that is a creationist website, it likely is.

  • Paula Kirby seems to be just a troll. Is she really so hard to ignore? It's when they are ignored that they are defeated, not when they are refuted. Trolls cannot be refuted if they choose not to acknowledge having been refuted. Which is what they always choose. Which is why they're "trolls".

    Maybe I'm missing something, but Paula Kirby seems to be a VERY successful troll!

  • I am very late to this party. I have sort of followed Thunderf00t-in-mouth and the controversy he generated in his brief stint at FtB, and the whole flame war over sexual harassment policies. Today was the first time I had a chance to look at the actual policy statement to which he applied his rapier wit.

    FWIW I have worked as a manager for over 10 years in a workplace with a sexual harassment policy which requires me to complete a tutorial followed by re-freshers every two years and pass a test every two years. The implementation and application of of a sexual harassment policy is a subject in which I have bona fide expertise and (sadly) some experience.

    Having read the policy in question my first reaction to TF is

    What the #$#@! are you talking about?

    The policy looks much like model policies I have studied. The best guess I can make is the phrase "We do not tolerate harassment of anyone, in any form, by anyone," may prove a bit confusing if you do not understand that the definition of harassment that follows clarifies the fact that the policy does not prevent criticism of religion. His performance art clearly shows he does not understand how policies work.

  • Thank you RW for such a good hearty laugh. I just heard about the latest TF00t drama a day ago and catching up to speed. I'm glad I put down my glass of milk or it would have come out my nose reading the fan fiction. Had tears streaming down my face.

  • I read Kirby's essay: The Sisterhood Of The Oppressed.

    It is demonstrably false in it's "facts" and in it's interpretations of said "facts". How a person who claims to be rational can believe these things makes me wonder by what measure she gauges rationality.

    In relation to her comments on the atheist movement and sexism however, I am most saddened. When she says that sexism is not a central issue to the atheism movement, she is saying in no uncertain terms that women and all that it is to be a woman does not matter. If it were racist or homophobic behaviour, would that not matter?

    I am an atheist and have always been wary of atheist organisations, due to their similarities to religious ones. That wariness was waning, that was until I realised that the similarities run deeper than I thought. If Kirby's, and her ilk's idea of an atheist movement or organisation is one that cares only about the core idea of atheism and disregards all else, then that is a movement I am not interested in. Is there no room for all the ideas of rationalism and equality? Surely these ideas are inextricably linked with the idea of atheism?

    I would also say that her comments smack of politicism. She says she is dismayed at these issues "tearing the movement apart". It is plain to see that she is both seeing headlines showing the atheist movement to be a fracturous one, and ceding fuel to anti-atheist fires.

    I cannot believe she compares feminism to a totalitarian ideology. What is more totalitarian than her own ideology. She says that there should be no dissent in her organisation and that it should not appear to be seen as weak and fractured. She says that women should not seek to change a system and ideology of oppression and bias. She says that if a woman fails it is her own fault for not trying hard enough, as if all it takes is willpower in order to succeed. Ultimately she puts forward the idea that we should not seek change in our society, community or our organisations, and that if we all stay silent, work hard for a corrupt system, and smile, smile, smile through our disaffectation and dissatisfaction then it'll all be fine, fine, fine.

    To quote Ms. Kirby:
    "They(successful women) certainly haven't diverted their focus from their goals to worrying about how men are treatin them..."

    Yes, Paula, because as we all know it is work that will set you free.