Feminism

Atheism, Motorcycles, and Masturbation, Together At Last

A quick post to illustrate my ongoing point that there are too many atheists (/skeptics/humanists/freethinkers/etc) who value their ignorant, messed up idea of what “free speech” is way, way more than respecting women as more than objects:

Screenshot of the link in case you can’t see it.

Paul Andor Nagy:

Whomever it was that reported the picture of the naked ladies on the Honda, please take yourself out of this group.

This group is for Freethinkers, Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, Scientists, Skeptics, Nontheists, Naturalists, Rationalists, Secularists and supporters of sound science and critical thinking who support Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Art, Freedom of Religion, Freedom From Religion, Separation of Church and State, Separation of Church and Business, Separation of Church and Education.

There is nothing wrong with nudity. There is nothing wrong with sex. If someone feels offense from seeing pictures of nudity, that person is not ready to sit at the adult-table.

You know he means business because of All The Capital Letters. Nagy eventually links to the photo (NSFW obviously), which he posted on another motorcycle group, this one called “Chicks on Bikes” and which also has women politely saying “what the fuck dude.” For those who don’t want to click through or can’t see it, it’s a black and white photo of two completely naked women (not even wearing shoes!) talking with a fully clothed man on a sunny day. One of the women is sitting on the back of a motorcycle. I don’t know about you ladies, but one of my favorite things to do is sit my naked vulva down on some sizzling black leather while engaging in small talk. Finally this common female experience has been documented.

Paul Andor Nagy:

The only thing in this group that is inappropriate is “the restriction of” speech or expression. If someone writes or says something you don’t like, argue against it. If someone posts a photo you don’t like, don’t look at it. Before our nation’s founding fathers laid out the constitution, this poor land was settled by puritans who were so freaky conservative that they were chased out of Europe. The US has never been able to shake that off. This group is for the discussion of free thought. That includes sex. If a woman (or a man) chooses to pose nude for photos, why should any of us try to tell her what she can or can not do with her body? Why hide your eyes from it?

It’s hardly surprising that there’s yet another group for freethinkers run by someone stupid enough to whine about his free speech rights being trampled because someone “tattled” (a word Nagy actually uses in one comment without apparent irony), i.e., rightfully pointed out that this was probably a violation of Facebook’s community standards. This is probably the tenth example I’ve seen this week of atheist men being overly sensitive and crying every time someone points out that it would be cool if they treated women like people. What truly elevates this scenario to the point that I felt it necessary to spend 10 minutes composing this post is the simple fact that this particular genius felt it necessary to support his brave anti-censorship, pro-titties argument by approvingly citing the leader of a religious cult:

Paul Andor Nagy:

“As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests” Rael, founder of Gotopless.org and spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement (rael.org) https://www.facebook.com/gotopless/info

Not only is he now comparing a request to stop objectifying women on a freethinker’s motorcycle club to denying women their constitutional right to show their breasts, but he’s also quoting and linking to an actual cult to do it. Don’t get me wrong, of all the completely bonkers, irrational cults to pick, Raelians are maybe the most lovable, though they still might be bilking trusting people out of millions of dollars. But, yeah, still a religious cult. Good freethinking, there, guy.

Rebecca Watson

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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37 Comments

  1. June 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm —

    I dunno what’s up with these guys’ minds. Hey! Our ancestors fought a huge liberating war to give non-royalty the right to free speech! And I whilst I could be using this free speech to make the world a bit better, I plan to use that free speech to post pictures of naked woman on motorcycles, because apparently the world hasn’t had enough pictures of naked women on motorcycles yet. IT IS WHAT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED.

  2. June 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm —

    Hmm. Which page? I am sure I can find, without a lot of trouble, a naturist photo of a guy on a similar motorcycle, probably in color, with/without clothed women. lol Seriously though, if they guy had stopped at, “They chose to be naked, and be photographed, and I just like the picture.”, he would probably have been fine, at least until someone pointed out that the TOS was probably violated.

    Heck, I, frankly, consider it too tame to even qualify as porn myself. There are, again, naturist/nudist photos around that show more, and some of them include bicycles, motorcycles, etc. Though, just as many of them are “advertisements” of one sort of other, for adult magazines. I always find it amazingly stupid that what may be a case of, “I just decided to go riding, and stopped to talk to someone.”, for one part of civilization turns into, “Wow! I need that on my wall, not for some positive reason, but because I can blow it up bigger, while Kinkos wouldn’t let me do that with the centerfold I brought in!”, to another, purely do to the later being, literally, incapable of telling the difference between casual nudity, and, “I am intentionally showing off for your benefit.”

    And, yeah, while this moron shouldn’t be making it, there *is* a valid argument against the idea that somehow, people shouldn’t have the right to be in, see, or own, such pictures. His problem is, in a nut shell, not understanding that “context matters”, so such a picture in an art exhibit.. probably wouldn’t cause any more problems than just nudity in general, for the clueless, but.. posting it, in the equivalent of the town billboard… well, you better have a much better explanation than, “How dare you question why I posted it! I have these rights, and things!” Hint: What ever your “intended message” may have been dude, it was delivered in the worst way, in exactly the wrong context, and with a level of clueless that rivals only the prudes you *think* you where defending the choice against. Go open a tumblr account, or something instead, just.. make sure the people you link there actually share your interest first.

  3. June 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm —

    Hi, Paul. Nice to meet you. You like naked motorcycle pictures? Okay. Great. Maybe we could have an argument about sexism, free speech, and other cultural issues surrounding that topic. Since you sound kind of ignorant, we’d probably strongly disagree on a lot of subjects, so I’d imagine those conversations would get pretty heated.

    But you know what we shouldn’t have an argument about? The fact that there’s a time and place for everything. And people’s Facebook feed probably isn’t the place for your naked motorcycle pictures. Potentially getting them in trouble at work over your need to share a fetish? Well, only a jerk would do that. Going on an internet crusade to defend it? We’re moving into the realm of unmitigated assholery. The next time you feel the urge to be a brave keyboard revolutionary, have the courage to take your own risks.

    • June 30, 2013 at 10:40 pm —

      I don’t have any problem with sexy, naked pictures of men or women nor do I know why I should. “Objectification”, to me, means turning a person into an object, only an object, with no other value than their aesthetic appeal. I don’t see sexy pictures as doing that. I listen to music without imagining the musicians only value is musical, so why can’t I view porn without imagining that the people in porn have no other value than their sexiness?

      So, have at me. Destroy me with your sarcasm, scorn, and straw men. I’m braced.

      • June 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm —

        “Objectification”, to me, means turning a person into an object, only an object, with no other value than their aesthetic appeal.

        Objectification does not necessarily have to have anything to do with aesthetic appeal. It could be just treating a person as an object more generally, regardless of whether it’s for oggling at or ewwwing at.

        I don’t see sexy pictures as doing that.

        You’ve got to admit, that’s kind of an overly generalized statement, no? You don’t think any “sexy” pictures objectify the people in them? Or you don’t think certain specific ones do?

        I listen to music without imagining the musicians only value is musical, so why can’t I view porn without imagining that the people in porn have no other value than their sexiness?

        Again, depends on type of porn, does it not? If you view porn and see the participants as sex objects instead of as acting out their sexual subjectivity, then yes you are objectifying them. And seriously, do you sit there watching porn thinking about all the wonderful value in those people’s lives, or do you watch it because you find it visually stimulating?? This seems like kind of a messy argument because it’s predicated upon your myopic definition of objectification.

      • July 1, 2013 at 3:33 am —

        I don’t have a problem talking about sex. But I sure as hell am not going to talk about my sex life with my mother.

        As delphi_ote rightly pointed out, context is the most important thing here (and, indeed, pretty much everywhere). There is a time and a place for everything.

        • July 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm —

          I agree that there’s a time and place. My only point is that viewing media sexually isn’t objectification. A person sitting naked on a bike isn’t trying to portray someone actually doing something in real life. It’s fantasy, like when Keanu Reeves ducks bullets. I’m not thinking, wow, Keanu must have a really interesting personality. Or: no one can really duck bullets! I’m thinking, wow, look at that dude ducking bullets!

      • July 1, 2013 at 4:10 am —

        Maybe you should do some research and find out what objectification means and what it looks like. You seem to think it has something to do with sexiness and that all sexy pictures are either objectifying or they aren’t. Not all of them are objectifying at all. I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of female exhibitionists that have had non-objectifying sexy pictures taken on their motorcycles. I do not believe this is one of them.

        Sexual objectification is quite legitimately a difficult concept to grasp. I had trouble with it, too. Look for an explanation of it that includes examples.

        • July 1, 2013 at 8:06 am —

          Victoriadashtweny, Rebecca’s post is about sexual objectification. I disagree that sexy images like she describes objectify, for the reason I gave.

      • July 1, 2013 at 9:12 am —

        Look at you! You want attention, don’t you? Aren’t you just special. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to want to talk to you about whatever topic you choose. You’re competing with the entire Internet for my attention, and I’m just not really that interested in discussing your masturbation habits.

        • July 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm —

          Doesn’t everyone want attention when they voice their opinion? Being ignored is not fun. If you’ve got better things to do, go do them. Why be so hostile?

          • July 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

            “Destroy me with your sarcasm, scorn, and straw men. I’m braced.”
            “Why be so hostile?”

            When danger reared it’s ugly head,
            He bravely turned his tail and fled.
            Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
            And gallantly he chickened out.
            He beat a very brave retreat.
            Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin.

          • July 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm

            Hilarious. I was right, though. How did I chicken out?

  4. June 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm —

    As the owner of a motorcycle, no. Just no. Two words: protective gear.

    But at least the Raelians mean the guy isn’t wrong in a *completely* boring way.

    • July 1, 2013 at 12:33 am —

      “do you sit there watching porn thinking about all the wonderful value in those people’s lives, or do you watch it because you find it visually stimulating?”

      I watch it because I find it visually stimulating. So sue me.

      • July 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm —

        I’m assuming this was meant to be a response to my comment up above.

        And this makes your statements contradictory. Compare:

        “Objectification”, to me, means turning a person into an object, only an object, with no other value than their aesthetic appeal…so why can’t I view porn without imagining that the people in porn have no other value than their sexiness?

        and

        I watch it because I find it visually stimulating. So sue me.

        You watch porn because it allows you to look at people without considering their value other than aesthetic appeal, which by your own definition is objectification.

        Me thinks you’re reacting to your own straw definition of objectification rather than thinking this all through in any clear, rational manner.

        • July 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm —

          “You watch porn because it allows you to look at people without considering their value other than aesthetic appeal, which by your own definition is objectification.”

          That wasn’t my definition. My definition was “turning a person into an object, *only an object*, with no other value than their aesthetic appeal”. I never said “I watch porn because it allows me to look at people without considering their value other than aesthetic appeal.” You’re putting words in my mouth.

          Someone in porn is offering me an erotic image and I’m consuming the image as intended. I’m not insisting that’s the person’s only value to the world. I’m not “turning them into an object, only an object”. I’m accepting their erotic display as intended.

    • July 1, 2013 at 12:35 am —

      That’s what really gets me about this picture. It seems to me that for other motorcycle owners it would be nails on chalkboard annoying.

      I’m all for porn, but there’s something just so off putting to me and I think it’s the fact that it really only makes sense if you don’t consider the woman’s story.

      • July 1, 2013 at 8:12 am —

        I don’t know why. I work with computers. If I see a picture of a naked woman at a computer, it would not be like fingernails on a blackboard.

        I have no problem with your reaction. What I have a problem with is the idea that anyone who enjoys such images is a chauvinist.

        Sorry, I should specify male chauvinist, lest you think I don’t know what the word means.

        • July 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm —

          The only person who has called anyone a chauvinist here is you.

          What is being pointed out (and what you’re clearly not getting) is that the person on Facebook has no fucking idea what freedom of speech means. They violated FB’s terms of service and it was reported. That’s not a violation of their freedom of speech.

          • July 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm

            “Male chauvinist” was the tell. That you responded at all is far more than than his petulance warrants.

          • July 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

            I didn’t call anyone a chauvinist, Will. I never said anything about freedom of speech. I’m not arguing that issue. Stop being so knee-jerk hostile, please.

          • July 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

            You know it’s interesting how I’m being treated as some sort of closed misogynist right out of the gate. I’m not sure you all know who you’re talking to. In fact, I know you don’t.

          • July 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

            closet*

        • July 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm —

          BTW, I said “male chauvinist” so I could make the joke I did. I don’t use that term normally.

  5. June 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm —

    Like going into a workshop without safety glasses, there is just something grating about being round a piece of machinery without proper protective gear – helmet and shoes at least.

    As for the facebook: “A collection of photos & films of women on motorbikes. No stupid bikini shots though. A bit more real. Or artistic. Homage perhaps. Subjects not objects. Check out the photos and the funny trash film clips below.”

    Technically, he is correct that the women were not wearing bikinis. But it is hardly in the spirit. There is a place on the Internet for that sort of thing. If people want a version of Facebook that is dedicated to hard core porn then they go to Lushstories.com.

    • July 1, 2013 at 11:14 am —

      If people want a version of Facebook that is dedicated to hard core porn then they go to Lushstories.com.

      Ur… You must have been looking at a different picture, because.. soft-core, at best, and.. only that due to the context in which the dimwit tried to defend it.

      I mean, seriously, I really have seen way more.. lascivious photos on sites talking about the latest nude bike ride. And, as someone else said, what are “their” story (given there are two women in it, both on bikes). That might have been an interesting bit to have, when, where, why, etc. But.. hardcore? If that is hardcore then there are scenes on some modern movies that should net them XX for the same. Mind.. a) I don’t personally think so, since they tend to actually have plots, where.. porn is like “See Spot Run”, level script writing, and doesn’t get a lot better when they try to make spoofs, like Pirates, and b) this leads me to laugh my ass off for about 2 minutes, then go find something more interesting to do, every time I come across the “soft” version. But then, I also hate “money shot” type stuff, where they figure, “Oh, well, why even bother taking a picture of their face, or even body, or anything else. This is the bit that matters, right?” Ugh…!

      • July 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm —

        Since Lush is a story site you get plots rather than money shots so you might be in luck.

        But seriously, if putting a hardcore porn pic would be out of place, what makes people think that softcore is any more acceptable? At least hardcore is honest about what it is. If there was a picture of a man and a woman having sex then it would be obviously a picture about sex, not the bike. Posting a picture with two naked women and a fully clothed man and suggesting that it is about the bike seems disingenuous to say the least.

  6. July 1, 2013 at 12:38 am —

    A bit of inconsistency, or double standards, here:

    “If someone writes or says something you don’t like, argue against it. If someone posts a photo you don’t like, don’t look at it.”

    Surely the proper response to ANY kind of speech you don’t like, whether spoken, written, or visual, is to argue against it.

  7. July 1, 2013 at 3:06 am —

    How does one take one’s self “out of the group” anyway? Haven’t seen many sites that allow that. Meanwhile I cannot understand the level of opprobrium this person is getting for having a particular view on a soft-porn pic. I don’t have a problem with the pic myself, but I *cannot* pretend for one second to be shocked that someone else does. I’m only shocked that /she can’t just be ignored.

    Asking the person to just leave? That’s cruel! It’s being highly exclusive. It’s ***intolerance***, dammit. It’s a bit disturbing.

    • July 1, 2013 at 8:56 am —

      The issue seems to be that on FaceBook you can complain about anything you don’t like to the management. FaceBook does not have customer service for users (they are the product, the customers are the companies that buy ads.) but it does have a thought police that users can denounce people to. So it appears that rather than complain about the photograph in the group, someone complained to FaceBook.

      • July 1, 2013 at 9:17 am —

        Or someone complained about the photo elsewhere, and Facebook stores hashes of troublesome photos and proactively removes them. Assuming someone reported the photo might not be accurate.

        Based on the reaction of the group, though, I can’t imagine complaining to them would’ve been very productive.

        • July 1, 2013 at 11:22 am —

          Sometimes, the worse thing you can do is get the company involved, unfortunately. They, by default, react first, then think later, if at all. You can see it with Youtube, and many other sites. And, if anything, it can actually be worse when its something like the DMCA. I RP in a series of sims on Second Life, which are run under a script system for combat. Someone lied there way into the development team, stole the code, then started selling their own version, something like 6-7 years later, the thieves are still running their stolen version, pending the completion of a trial that has been burning money for the developer, like mad. But.., at the same time, post a texture that looks vaguely like something owned by some corpserat (corporation) some place, and you will be lucky if you even have an account left with them, in the worst cases.

          Enforcement of these things is just.. nutso, hit and miss, and, too often, ends up shooting the wrong person (if not, in some other cases, even the messenger, depending on how they discovered the problem, and how paranoid the IT staff may be).

  8. July 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm —

    i think he should at least strike “Humanist” from that list. Because he isn’t one. Criticism of his critical thinking skills notwithstanding.

    he also seems to be a member of the CFI and looks suspiciously like thunderf00t. O.o

  9. July 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm —

    The idiocy here is that it is somehow a point of “free speech” to depict a person of either sex naked on a motorcycle. That’s just unsafe. NO one rides motorcycles naked and people should also be wearing knee pads, helmets, and other protection.
    Freedom of speech was supposed to be about the right to publicly criticize both individuals and governments for their actions and words. That is not the issue here.

  10. July 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm —

    Just want to be clear – I did NOT report the photo to Facebook. It actually never would have dawned on me to do that. But if you don’t understand why the photo and all of the many, many others like it, plus the stripper poles and bikini bike washes and all the other crap at so many motorcycle rallies and posted to so many motorcycle communities, make many female motorcycle riders such as myself feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed (or tooooo welcomed) in groups where we want to talk about, well, *motorcycles* (or humanism, for that matter), then I have no idea how to explain it and I’m not going to try because it’s just not worth it. But a big thanks for all of you that do understand and have weighed in, and a huge thanks to SkepChick for putting this situation out there.

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