Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
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27-11-2015, 11:27 AM
Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
One of my still favorite things to do is watch debates on youtube. One of the major influences leading me down the path to atheism was watching these debates. I love watching Aron Ra and Matt Dillahunty kill it against creationists.

The interesting thing was that I was talking to an atheist friend of mine at work. And he agreed with me that they have pretty good things to say about religion, and science, and morality; but when it comes to feminism, they're feminists to the point where that is now their religion.

I'm not sure if I totally agree with that, but of course when that happens I try to research it for myself. And I find a lot of videos and articles from these internet atheists talking about why they are feminists, and the importance of feminism for atheism (I think Steve Shives is campaigning this right now). And of course, I see that they make some good points and some that I disagree with. I see a lot of response videos from atheists who see problems with modern feminism, like Amazing Atheist and Thunderf00t, again some things I agree with, some that I don't.

But what's missing is the conversations. Get TJ in a debate hall with Rebecca Watson and talk about feminism. Why is this a topic to avoid? If they feel strongly about feminism the way they do with religion, why is feminism not a debate topic?

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27-11-2015, 12:32 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 11:27 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  The interesting thing was that I was talking to an atheist friend of mine at work. And he agreed with me that they have pretty good things to say about religion, and science, and morality; but when it comes to feminism, they're feminists to the point where that is now their religion.

If you really want debates over this issue, might I suggest that you don't begin by attempting to disparage one of the two sides?

I don't feel like feminism is a topic that need be avoided, but one thing that needs to happen is that both sides need to come into the discussion with a firm idea of the subject matter and an agreement not to talk past one another. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is shit like this, where people try and spin one side or the other out into something it isn't, in the end refusing to enter into the conversation on good faith, instead attempting to make the fringe elements of either side into the entirety of the group.

When it comes to middle ground feminism and its opposite, I really don't think there's much difference at all, in that both sides probably support the same causes... I just don't think that the anti-feminist movement really has much of a grasp on feminism outside of its extremes, nor a particularly good idea of the logical consequences of a mainstream feminist position. I'm not going to say that if they had that understanding they'd be feminists, but I will say that many of the anti-feminist talking points I hear tend to be problems that feminism itself would resolve, just approaching the problem from the opposite side.
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27-11-2015, 12:51 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2015 01:01 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 11:27 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  But what's missing is the conversations. Get TJ in a debate hall with Rebecca Watson and talk about feminism. Why is this a topic to avoid? If they feel strongly about feminism the way they do with religion, why is feminism not a debate topic?
Dunno know who TJ is or Rebecca Watson, do remember some stinkup between some famous atheist PJ something vs. some physicist (I think) known as thunderf00t about some complaints over elevator ass grabbing at conferences. Made me proud to be an atheist. Brought a tear to my eye.

This topic is not taboo here. There are a few threads here already discussing it.

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27-11-2015, 02:00 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 12:32 PM)Esquilax Wrote:  If you really want debates over this issue, might I suggest that you don't begin by attempting to disparage one of the two sides?

I tried hard not to do that. Honestly I don't know where I stand completely on the issue. I do feel that there should be nothing wrong with using the term "gender equality", despite some feminists saying that the term is dishonest. I also feel that misogyny is still very influential in our society. And yes, men's rights campaigns are complete bullshit.

Honestly, I'm not trying to make one side better than the other. May I ask, what exactly is "anti-feminism"?

Are people going to "try and spin one side or the other out into something it isn't, in the end refusing to enter into the conversation on good faith, instead attempting to make the fringe elements of either side into the entirety of the group"? Yes. Unfortunately that's already happening. And because people refuse to get into debates with it, it's only going to get worse. Why bother listening to what the other person has to say live, when you can just write a blog or post a video saying that you read what that person said and then just respond to them without any obligation to actually represent what your opponent really said. Of course in a live setting, it's more likely people can get called out on bullshit. Fallacies will be noted and embarrassments can be had. This might happen in non-live settings as well, but much less people tend to care about it. Things written in the comment section of someone's blog, that actually make sense, but who cares, it's in the comment section. Or maybe someone else decides to write a follow up to your blog or video, but again, not a whole lot of people care about the "whiners whining about the whiners".

Quote:one thing that needs to happen is that both sides need to come into the discussion with a firm idea of the subject matter and an agreement not to talk past one another.

That doesn't stop creationism vs. evolution debates. I've never seen a creationist have a full understanding of what evolution actually is.

Many Christians are evolutionists now (either still holding on to their religion and calling themselves "theistic evolutionists" or abandoning religion altogether) because creationists agree to step into the ring and debate. And evolutionists and creationists feel free to tell each other what's right and what's wrong.

Again I don't know where I fully stand on feminism. But I do think it needs to be more freely discussed.

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27-11-2015, 02:06 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2015 02:12 PM by GenesisNemesis.)
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 11:27 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  But what's missing is the conversations. Get TJ in a debate hall with Rebecca Watson and talk about feminism. Why is this a topic to avoid? If they feel strongly about feminism the way they do with religion, why is feminism not a debate topic?

People view whatever their brand of feminism is as essential to protecting the rights of women. To have a debate about it would, to them, give the impression that there is something about feminism in itself to disagree with, rather than a specific aspect of a specific brand of feminism, and they would not want to give a platform to someone who is "against the rights of women" according to their view. For the record I do consider myself a feminist and I have no issue with the term, in case anyone was wondering.

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27-11-2015, 02:07 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
I have two observations to make.

First, atheism and feminism are independent criteria. It is wholly possible to have any combination of pro, con, or neutral positions from their power set. There's something to be said for not demanding, for example, that atheists also embrace feminism.

Second, the two have considerable mutual interest, even if parts of each movement would be loathe to recognize it. We're both engaged in fights against establishment powers, entrenched attitudes and assumptions, prejudice, and conservative traditions. There's a natural alliance to be had there.

(27-11-2015 11:27 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  but when it comes to feminism, they're feminists to the point where that is now their religion.

Trying to clear up potential confusion here. Was this YOU saying this, or your friend saying it?
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27-11-2015, 02:14 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
The newest wave of feminism is essentially a cult.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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27-11-2015, 02:32 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 02:00 PM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  I tried hard not to do that. Honestly I don't know where I stand completely on the issue. I do feel that there should be nothing wrong with using the term "gender equality", despite some feminists saying that the term is dishonest. I also feel that misogyny is still very influential in our society. And yes, men's rights campaigns are complete bullshit.

To be honest, I don't think the name really matters in the face of what you- generalized you, not you in particular Tongue - stand for. "Feminist," as a label merely came about because at the time the movement started there were more clear cut disadvantages for women that needed to be addressed and so, by and large, it was a gender equality group that had to focus on women's issues by necessity, because that was the only way to progress.

I tend to stick with it now just because it better encapsulates my actual position, which is that better gender parity for women will result in parity in those areas that men are disadvantaged too, but I'd also hope that people would ask me followup questions upon hearing that label, rather than just making assumptions based on it. I want it to be the beginning of the discussion, not a complete statement of my positions.

Quote:Honestly, I'm not trying to make one side better than the other. May I ask, what exactly is "anti-feminism"?

I was just struggling to find a word for the opposing side; "men's rights activist," just sounded insulting to me and I couldn't produce another name off the top of my head. Tongue

Quote:Are people going to "try and spin one side or the other out into something it isn't, in the end refusing to enter into the conversation on good faith, instead attempting to make the fringe elements of either side into the entirety of the group"? Yes. Unfortunately that's already happening. And because people refuse to get into debates with it, it's only going to get worse. Why bother listening to what the other person has to say live, when you can just write a blog or post a video saying that you read what that person said and then just respond to them without any obligation to actually represent what your opponent really said. Of course in a live setting, it's more likely people can get called out on bullshit. Fallacies will be noted and embarrassments can be had. This might happen in non-live settings as well, but much less people tend to care about it. Things written in the comment section of someone's blog, that actually make sense, but who cares, it's in the comment section. Or maybe someone else decides to write a follow up to your blog or video, but again, not a whole lot of people care about the "whiners whining about the whiners".

Agreed. I guess my thought there was "pick your debaters carefully," else you're very likely to end up with a major shitshow. Emotions run high around gender issues, for whatever reason.

Quote:That doesn't stop creationism vs. evolution debates. I've never seen a creationist have a full understanding of what evolution actually is.

Sure, but I thought you wanted productive debates. Tongue
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27-11-2015, 02:39 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 02:07 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(27-11-2015 11:27 AM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  but when it comes to feminism, they're feminists to the point where that is now their religion.

Trying to clear up potential confusion here. Was this YOU saying this, or your friend saying it?

My friend. And just to point out. The sentence directly after that was "I'm not sure I totally agree with that". (present tense)

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27-11-2015, 02:47 PM
RE: Atheism and Feminism (debates)?
(27-11-2015 02:14 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  The newest wave of feminism is essentially a cult.

Now that is provocative and warrants further dialog. Thumbsup

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