Yes, I know I’m writing this… four? weeks late. Deal with it. Truth be told, I’ve had a problem putting the words together.
Something that has really come to a head in the skeptic community recently is its intersection with other social justice causes. Especially feminism, but also, to an extent, anti-racism, LGBT activism, and other related activism. And how we, as skeptics, treat those other activists. As an LGBT activist and feminist as well as a skeptic, along with quite a lot of other people, this causes tension.
For an example, at the beginning of last month, Paula Kirby released an open letter “The Sisterhood of the Oppressed“, which was… wow. Basically tearing into feminist skeptics and female skeptics for acting like “feminazis” – a term borrowed from Rush Limbaugh – and claiming that they had a victimization complex the size of Soviet Russia. And what really started this? Well, DJ Grothe, the president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, had a public falling out over several bloggers including half of the FreeThoughtBlogs and Skepchick networks, over harassment policies at The Amaz!ng Meeting. Grothe had stated there was really no reason for a harassment policy because he’s never received a report of harassment happening at TAM. Despite at least one prolific female blogger saying, yes, actually, she was harassed.
“Homophobia”, cried Conservative Future on Friday, the day after the Lib Dems won the Grove Ward by-election in Kingston. “A return to 1983!”, cried the Lib Dem bashers around the internet (including famous opponent of equal marriage Ben Summerskill, but that’s for the next post). Why? Because the election was described as a “straight fight”, when the Tory opponent just so happened to be gay.