I think we have a problem. Many people expect social issues to be black/white. Some skeptics are falling into this belief also. Skeptics are supposed to be skeptical and that means questioning claims. It also means when coming to a conclusion it should be as close to accurate as possible. When it comes to social issues there are some questions that have more than one right answer. Take feminism for example. Feminism is a necessary and worthwhile cause. There are many instances of women being treated unfairly by men simply because they are women. There are some forms of feminism that can be unproductive and do not result in positive progress, in fact they are, in my opinion, harmful to the feminist movement as a whole. Most often the people who are doing the most harm to feminism are men who call themselves feminists. Those men do not know what it is like to be a woman and really seem to have a problem understanding they simply will never be able to know exactly what it is like to be a woman. This is not to say men can't relate on any level or shouldn't speak out on behalf of women or women's issues but they should do it with the limitations of their understanding in mind. Many times you will see feminist men go to extremes and start seeing misogyny in every negative comment or action even slightly related to women. I've come to believe this behavior is somewhat like what we see in homophobic men and their dealings with homosexuals. They often will go to extremes to compensate for feelings they are uncomfortable with. These men have feelings about women they know are wrong and overcompensate by lashing out at other men for even the slightest behavior against any female.
As I written before, sometimes I am ashamed of the shallow, disrespectful behavior I've seen demonstrated by men towards women. I do not think all men are defined by that behavior,but I realize it needs o be addressed. The radical feminism that is being used in an attempt to further equal rights makes it difficult for people like me to continue to speak out against what we think are inappropriate actions by men. Are some guys dicks? Yes, but so are some women.
One example of men overcompensating for the feminist cause is my good friend and supporter, PZ Myers. PZ is clearly paranoid or possibly he is guilty of bias against women to the point where he feels some guilt about it, maybe a bit of both. PZ attacks any negative comment having to do with a female and calls it misogyny. He has created a bubble where a disagreement between a man and a woman can not occur. At the risk of being labeled a misogynist (again) by PZ I must point out that women do make mistakes and they do engage in behaviors that should be criticized by others. PZ has even gone so deep into the pool of misogynist paranoia that he has damned a forum of 500 members called the slymepit as sexist, racist, misogynist, and evil. If a known member of this forum posts in the comment section of PZ's blog they are instantly banned by his beloved 'banhammer' which he gleefully uses to quiet any dissent among commenters. The only people who are immune are his regulars who have earned their loyalty by nodding and smiling or making accusations that support PZ and his paranoid delusions about slymepitters.
Along with the condemnation of anyone from the slymepit, PZ has also proclaimed his distaste for the idea that men have rights too. The idea that a man can at anytime be a victim of bias is beyond the understanding of those who are so extreme in their idea of feminism as to have become blind to a certain spectrum of social injustice.
The ways the court system has dealt with child custody issues is one example most should be aware of. The unequal treatment displayed by the courts for years demonstrates just one way men have sometimes been treated as lessors when it comes to raising children. This has changed a lot in many places but still goes on today. The mother is favored by the court as the best caregiver simply because she is a woman. There are other examples but I am not going to go into those now. If you would like to read more then you can go here A Voice For Men. I have had Paul Elam on my radio show as a guest and he has proven to be a reasonable man with sound arguments. I wouldn't say I agree with every opinion on the site but I also can't name a place where I do agree with every opinion it expresses.
In the latest attempt to show that women are in danger at skeptical/atheist events, PZ Myers makes a claim that shows just how far he has slipped from reason. PZ takes data from a census being conducted by American Secular Census and attempts to show it proves secular women are being victimized at an alarmingly high rate. The problem is, the data isn't complete. It isn't even provided in the results PZ Myers is trying to claim is some kind of 'smoking gun'. Sure there are lots of pretty numbers but there are no important numbers, like overall numbers. Stats are given like this-
Regardless of gender, all uninvolved respondents are asked: What are your reasons for not being involved in the secular movement? Check as many as apply. Women outnumber men in these responses:
- 70%/30% - Bad experience with group, person, or event
- 100%/0% - Can't get over my conditioning that religion is good and secularism is bad
- 67%/33% - Health issues
- 65%/35% - Lack of childcare
And women are the only respondents to select these answers:
- 100%/0% - Unwanted advances by other participants
- 100%/0% - Not sure - I can't put my finger on it
This American Secular Census thing is actually asking some good questions — insightful, even. It’s trying to get a fine-grained perspective on various factors in our involvement and sometimes comes up with some revealing data.
This is what a lot of us have been saying for quite some time. You have a choice of a few responses to reality: one is to deny it, one is to implicitly approve it, and one is to try and change it. Put me in the last category. Also note that I am shocked at how many skeptics/atheists are in the first, and disappointed at all the ones in the second category.
Yes PZ is correct. Some people are in denial of reality. He is lord of their kingdom, Lord of the fly-brained.
Is there no end to his downward spiral? And why must he scream the entire way down?