Today’s AI is the result of me telling my husband to STFU. He has a lot to say about how the skeptic community communicates. Mostly, he sits on the side of the skeptic community pool while I’m hanging out at the high dive. He finds the skeptic on skeptic nitpickiness and the pedantry off-putting and unwelcoming. But I’m tired of hearing about it. He rants and rants about it… so finally, I told him that if he has something to say to the community, he can write a rant and I’ll post it.
And I think it’s important to see why people aren’t here, getting involved, even when they are interested in what we’re doing.
Please note: Opinions stated in this post are those of Brian Anders. I totally let him have his own thoughts and sometimes have his own feelings.
Why I wasn’t a Skeptic
On a recent car trip to see my in-laws, I was throwing out ideas to Elyse for the Saturday A.I.Â After a brief exchange, she said, â€œYou should write a reader rant.â€Â I started saying more, and she followed with, â€œwrite about it!â€
So, here it is!
Within the last year, I have become involved in Skepticism.Â On March 6, 2010, at the end of Skepchicamp in Chicago, I declared to DataJack, â€œToday, I consider myself a skeptic.â€Â In true DataJack fashion, he bought me a Jameson.
Although I now consider myself a skeptic, it took me a long time to actually declare myself one.
Why did it take a long time to declare myself a skeptic?Â Mostly because of a small group of the Skeptical Community who really make it difficult to want to be a part of it.
First, there are the Atheists who proclaim no one with a religious belief should have anything to with Skepticism, because a believer is not a â€œTrue Skepticâ€.Â This was a running theme in the comments for Masala Skepticâ€™s post Faith and Fury.Â I thought it then, and I will say it now, what a crock of horse shit!
The Atheists who are anti-believer are the other extreme in the spectrum.Â They are no different than Christians who call Atheists evil.Â How can you be a â€œTrue Skepticâ€ if you believe there is or could be a deity?
OMG! Â I’m agnostic! I need to get out of this line to get vaccinated, clear out my medicine cabinet and go as fast as I can to Whole Foods!Â I need herbal teas, ginseng and something with wort!Â Oh good, I feel better now.Â TYG!
Second, there are the Skeptics who seem to be afraid of a womanâ€™s sexuality.Â Blag Hag Jennifer McCreight attained more notoriety over Boobquake than anything in Skepticism.Â People I work with who are not far removed from believing the Sun revolves around the Earth were aware of what she was doing.Â And amidst this small burst of fame, I saw some nit-picking the premise and the validity of the â€œexperimentâ€.Â For fuck sake, she leaned over with a low cut shirt on; she didnâ€™t produce fucking porn.
And then there is a notion that Skepchick is not doing anything positive for Skepticism.Â Are you fucking kidding me?Â Do people really think the Skepchicks just get together for martinis and pillow fights?Â If so, it would not have taken me as long to get involved. Â (I would have no problem with my wife getting into drunken pillow fights with other women.Â In fact, I encourage it!)
Third, there is air of sexual harassment towards the female skeptics; the notion of only supporting and being actively involved in an event if there is the exchange of a sexual favor.Â Really?Â Sure, I will show up and speak for your cause if polish my knob.Â Do we really need a Senator Bob Packwood fighting the cause?
So there are skeptics who are afraid of a womanâ€™s sexuality?Â And there are skeptics who try to take advantage of the sexuality for personal gain?
There is a lot of work to be done out there.Â It is more important to make sure people are taking the correct medicine, seeing their doctor, teaching children evolution and getting vaccinated, than where someone spends their Saturday or Sunday afternoon or who is showing off some cleavage.Â We need to stop nit-picking everything someone is doing and figure out a way to support it, help it, nourish it.
I believe we all are striving for similar results.Â Letâ€™s band together, work together and spread the word together.
In the end, I would like to finish with my rendition of Dr. Dennis Leary (from the comedy special No Cure for Cancer).
That person is a Christian, he canâ€™t think critically.Â SHUT THE FUCK UP! NEXT!
She is showing her cleavage and the boys are looking at her.Â SHUT THE FUCK UP! NEXT!
Oh no, they are drinking and wearing short skirts.Â SHUT THE FUCK UP! NEXT!
Iâ€™m not helping her; she wonâ€™t have sex with me.Â SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Now, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
Brian Anders is a Skepchick widower and (therefore single) dad to Moose and Delaney. Â Once he joined the “skeptical movement”, he immediately got to work joining the Women Thinking Free Foundation‘s board of directors. To learn what life is like being married to a Skepchick and nonprofit slavedriver, follow him on Twitter: @spiral_archtct.
The Skepchick Reader Rants, posted every Wednesday at 3PM Eastern, is a feature where you, the Skepchick readers, get to tell the Skepchick community what you think about whatever you want! To be considered, please submit an original rant, preferably unpublished anywhere else, to skepchick(at)skepchick(dot)org with the subject: My Rant.