Sisterhood of the Oppressed

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.

What the fuck? Continue reading “Sisterhood of the Oppressed”

Rhys Morgan, and an attack on free speech

Rhys Morgan hit the headlines a few weeks ago due to his work in publicising Stanislaw Burzynski‘s fradulent alternative medicine practices. I hold him in some high regard as, at his age, I wasn’t too heavily involved in skepticism (although a friend of mine was, and was partially the reason why I later became active in the atheist movement).

Also in the news was a dispute between University College London and their atheist society, after an image from the webcomic Jesus and Mo¬†was used to promote one of their facebook event. Obviously, this caused Muslims on campus to complain about the offensiveness of the image. It’s nothing new; Leeds Atheist Society was forced to cancel a showing and debate of the controversial film Fitna back in 2009 for the same reason. Continue reading “Rhys Morgan, and an attack on free speech”