Men’s Rights Activist Wants to Talk to You About His Turn-Ons

"Tell me about the lambs, Clarice..."
“Tell me about the lambs, Clarice…”

Sage Gerard, the head of KSU Men and contributor to the men’s rights website A Voice for Men, has been accused of being a sexist creeper on more than one occasion. He recorded himself sneaking into campus restrooms at night — including the women’s restroom — in order to put up stickers advertising AVFM. And then there was the bizarre rape comments and non-consensual touching at last year’s First International Conference on Men’s Issues. Again, weird. But then there’s this piece for AVFM where he asks his readers if they’re “okay” with his sexuality, and claims that his “urges are taboo”:

I’m a sucker for gothic brunette locks of hair that look sapphire blue under a bright light. Mascara is nice, but only just enough to create contrast for a pair of veinless, white eyeballs peaked with irises colored a spine-freezing azure. I’m not crazy about lipstick, but a natural pink, supple cover for a glacier-melting smile is enough to make me evaporate into a cloud.

I could go on to describe my preferred proportions of jiggly torso protrusions, but I figure the standards of a twenty-something young man are understood. But considering what you can find on the Internet, my tastes are tame, if not predictably dull.

. . .

For some reason, my urges are taboo. I can’t even so much as glance at a pin-up of Denise Milani without hearing the tired wails of the Objectification Brigade femsplaining why my feelings of attraction reduce women’s humanity to that of a lubricated Shop Vac.

Look, it’s obviously inappropriate to describe scat porn at a Starkist corporate luncheon, but when did it become uncouth for men to express their sexuality at all?

To call courtship a “minefield” is optimistic because no one gives men a minesweeper. It’s more like making a colorblind Parkinson’s victim try to defuse a bomb with a vibrator. The only reason the poor sap even tries is because part of him wants to believe the bomb might like him enough to explode into a heap of pussy. Or something like that. I’m bad at analogies.

When I was younger I had to learn to overcome the hurdle of expressing my interests to women I liked. Naturally, I had insecurities about rejection to outgrow. But today, it is not rejection I fear, it’s the social consequences that could follow a rejection:

  • I risk a false allegation of sexual assault that could put me in prison.
  • I risk others initiating toxic rumors that can end friendships.
  • I risk suffering vigilante action brought on by a woman’s friends and family, if not the greater public.

I risk all of these things, even if I do nothing wrong and it is only the feelings of others that dictate I should be punished. Don’t tell me I’m being paranoid, because a university professor told cops that I am a potential serial killer because I put up stickers saying men were human.

. . .

[A] pervasive difference between men and women is that men risk far more even before they know what boundaries to respect! Men risk retaliation for approaching a boundary as if they crossed it, and the attitude indicating that risk is no better articulated by Phaedra Starling in Schrödinger’s Rapist. You, a man, are a potential rapist, therefore you will be treated as such until you prove that you are not a threat. Never mind the sexism in that, just man up, right?

There is nothing wrong with me offering or requesting sex with any woman, and it is not embarrassing for me to express my desires since I respect boundaries anyway. It’s not like I can’t walk ten feet to talk to a second woman if the first shows no interest. The problem is that men can’t make a move without risking way more than they should. A woman saying “no” before parting ways is not an excuse to report sexual assault and try to ruin a man’s life.

. . .

If you are a woman, then I may want to have sex with you. Depending on your level of attractiveness, my fantasies about you may range from getting a work visa just to move a continent away, to exploding into the kind of rabid rated-X deep-dish fucking that causes respiratory failure and makes the fire department bring Jaws of Life and a crucifix.

Can you, as a woman, live with me having sexual urges about you at first sight? My urges are natural, and it is perfectly okay for me to want to get in your pants. If you do not reciprocate that interest, that’s understandable and worthy of respect.

However, my urges are not my actions. I don’t move to have sex on sight, because I only sleep with mature, stable, intelligent women whom I know and trust, and who feel the same in return. I prefer women who don’t have chips on their shoulders, and who won’t shame me or other men for feeling attracted to them. These women understand that pointing a finger and using their feelings to harm men who have done nothing wrong is both bigoted and unfair. No amount of police intervention and male shaming makes any man responsible for the bigotry of an insecure woman, no matter how attractive or popular she happens to be.

I am a white able-bodied male cis-gender shitlord from Hell that will totally take a bundle of curves and smiles to bed for a night of sex and pizza.

And no one is going to stop me.

Why I’m Shutting Down the Comments


This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. For every decent comment I receive, I end up with twice the number of abusive/spam comments which I have to end up deleting. It gets to be a hassle, and subjectively determining what I should consider a violation of the rules on any given occasion grows tiresome. Plus, I was struck by what Popular Science had to say about comment sections of articles and their effect on readers’ perceptions of the articles themselves:

In one study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dominique Brossard, 1,183 Americans read a fake blog post on nanotechnology and revealed in survey questions how they felt about the subject (are they wary of the benefits or supportive?). Then, through a randomly assigned condition, they read either epithet- and insult-laden comments (“If you don’t see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these kinds of products, you’re an idiot” ) or civil comments. The results, as Brossard and coauthor Dietram A. Scheufele wrote in a New York Times op-ed:

Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant’s interpretation of the news story itself.

In the civil group, those who initially did or did not support the technology — whom we identified with preliminary survey questions — continued to feel the same way after reading the comments. Those exposed to rude comments, however, ended up with a much more polarized understanding of the risks connected with the technology.

Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than they’d previously thought.

Another, similarly designed study found that just firmly worded (but not uncivil) disagreements between commenters impacted readers’ perception of science.

If you carry out those results to their logical end–commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded–you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the “off” switch.

This might be a good idea for me. So, starting tomorrow I’m going to try shutting down the comment capability on this blog. You can still feel free to like the posts if you’re so inclined, but no one will be able to comment on any of my posts.

Vox Day Blames Germanwings Flight 9525 Crash on ‘Sluts’

Andreas Lubitz
Germanwings Flight 9525 Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

On Tuesday, March 24th, the world was horrified to learn that Germanwings Flight 9525, an international passenger flight traveling from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, had crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 passengers on board. In the days since the tragedy information about the flight and the crew has slowly trickled forth. According to the audio recording from the black box — which was found damaged and twisted from the impact — the pilot had been locked out of the cockpit while the flight’s co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately steered the plane into oblivion.

Questions have arisen as to what would have motivated Lubitz to kill himself and over one hundred innocent passengers. Was it terrorism? French officials seem to have ruled that out in short order. Depression, perhaps?

Misogynist author Theodore Beale, a.k.a. Vox Day, had a very different take on this disaster, and blamed women of course. If “sluts” had just slept with Lubitz — or, indeed, any number of male mass murderers or serial killers — perhaps thousands of lives could be saved each year:

Why he did it, no one knows yet, but it won’t surprise me to learn that Lubritch was a deeply angry and embittered Omega male. There is a reason Omegas frighten women merely by existing; they are capable of terrible and merciless acts of self-destruction. You can see Lubritch is a small and prematurely balding young man, possibly somewhat overweight, his occupation indicates that he was more intelligent than the norm, and the uncertain smile he has on his face tends to indicate low socio-sexual rank.

Now, obviously no one else was responsible for Lubritch’s actions if it indeed was Omega rage at work. He alone bears the blame. But it is somewhat haunting to think about how many lives might be saved each year if the sluts of the world were just a little less picky and a little more equitable in their distribution of blowjobs.

As a 28 year-old airline pilot, Lubritch would likely have been married in a more traditionally structured society. It’s not impossible that the Germanwings deaths represent more of the indirect costs of feminism.

We can add this “Omega male” nonsense to the long list of pseudoscientific beliefs Vox Day adheres to, including Creationism, autism-causing vaccines, gay conversion therapy, and the intellectual inferiority of women.

The Ghost of Henry Hyde: The Republicans’ War on Abortion Funding

Henry Hyde

It has been eight years since Henry Hyde’s heart finally gave out at the age of 83. Eight years since mourners gathered on a frosty December day to pay their respects to the late Illinois congressman. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago eulogized him as a man who had “good instincts” about “particular children who have not been born but are alive in their mother’s wombs.” John Boehner, our current soporific Speaker of the House, proclaimed him to be a “devoted husband” who “led by treating all men and women with dignity and respect, regardless of who they were or what they believed.”

“Henry Hyde was not just a congressional hero. He was an American hero. And on a personal note, he was my hero.”

Hagiographies of this nature were so commonplace in newspapers and online articles that one could almost be forgiven for forgetting the various stains on Rep. Hyde’s record. He was, after all, the same Henry Hyde who carried on a five year extramarital affair with an attractive young hairdresser named Cherie Snodgrass; one which only ended after Cherie’s husband Fred confronted Jeannie Hyde about her husband’s philandering. Years later, while this “devoted husband” was hypocritically working to impeach President Clinton, Fred Snodgrass still blamed Hyde for having “broke up” his family. Yet far worse was the havoc his policies wreaked upon millions of women and their families.

Rep. Hyde, a devout Roman Catholic, was a vociferous foe of abortion who publicly lionized Pro-Life Action League founder Joseph Scheidler — the so-called “Godfather” of the pro-life movement whose 1985 handbook, Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, became a go-to guide for abortion opponents who wished to forcibly shut down clinics. Referring to Scheidler as a “hero,” Hyde remarked, “There are some people with more courage than others. If people had obstructed entrances to Dachau or Auschwitz, there might have been fewer people incinerated there.”

In 1976, Hyde proposed a rider to the fiscal 1977 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services which would eliminate a key source of funding for abortion procedures. Known as the “Hyde Amendment,” this provision barred the use of Medicaid funds to reimburse low-income women for the cost of an abortion, with only a limited exception for cases in which the physical health of the mother was endangered. Later incarnations of the Hyde Amendment, namely from the fiscal 1978 version onward, at least added exceptions for rape and incest, in addition to physical health. Those exceptions were still limited. The fiscal 1980 Hyde Amendment, for example, provided that an exception would be granted for rape or incest so long as the victim promptly reported the crime to “a law enforcement agency or public health service.”

The purpose of such a provision was to undercut the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, decided three years prior, and Rep. Hyde appeared comfortable with using poor women as pawns in order to do so. When it came time to tack the Hyde Amendment to the next year’s appropriations bill, Hyde brushed aside charges of classism by telling colleagues that he “certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion: a rich woman, a middle-class woman or a poor woman.” “Unfortunately,” he said, “the only vehicle available is the… Medicaid bill.”

There is no doubt that Rep. Hyde was motivated by his devout Catholicism while drafting the amendment, and members of the Catholic Church supported his endeavors to stop the “moral evil” of abortion. This may explain why, in 2006,  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI named Hyde, a known adulterer, a Knight of St. Gregory. This fact did not go unnoticed by the amendment’s opponents, either. When the Hyde Amendment was officially challenged in court by Cora McRae, a resident of New York and Medicaid recipient who wished to undergo an abortion during her pregnancy’s first trimester, among her claims was that the Hyde Amendment violated our Constitution’s separation of church and state.

In Harris v. McRae (1980) the Supreme Court rejected this and several other arguments against the constitutionality of the Hyde Amendment. Justice Stewart authored the majority opinion, declaring that while a woman does have a constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy “it simply does not follow that a woman’s freedom of choice carries with it a constitutional entitlement to the financial resources to avail herself of the full range of protected choices.” Specifically addressing the religious element of the Hyde Amendment he wrote: “In sum, we are convinced that the fact that the funding restrictions in the Hyde Amendment may coincide with the religious tenets of the Roman Catholic Church does not, without more, contravene the Establishment Clause.”

The impact on low-income women was disastrous, and remains so to this day. An estimated 42% of women who have abortions live under the federal poverty line, and the rate of unintended pregnancies among poor women is five times higher than that of higher income women. Since the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion are greater for black and Hispanic women, the Hyde Amendment has a disproportionate impact on women of color as well. Only seventeen states have policies which allow for their own funds to cover the cost of most or all medically necessary abortions. Women who are not fortunate enough to live in one of those states often have difficulty coming up with the money to afford an abortion while still having enough left over to cover food, rent, and other expenses.

That the cost of an abortion increases with gestational age only compounds the problem, and often forces women who cannot come up with the money to simply carry the unwanted pregnancy to term. In fact, one in four women who would otherwise qualify for a Medicaid-funded abortion give birth when funding is unavailable. Since the enactment of the original Hyde Amendment, at least one million women have been denied their right to this basic,  life-saving medical procedure.

The Hyde Amendment continues to be renewed every year, even after its namesake’s demise eight years prior. And while Hyde’s carcass lays decomposing in Assumption Cemetery, his phantom presence can still be felt. Similar funding restrictions have been placed on women whose medical insurance is provided by the federal government (e.g., federal employees, military personnel, etc.), women in federal correctional facilities, and, until President Obama lifted the restriction in 2009, women who reside in the District of Columbia.

And he continues to haunt us as Republicans successfully derailed a vital anti-sex trafficking bill. The Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015 would force pimps and johns involved in human trafficking to pay for a restitution fund for their victims. Republicans, unsurprisingly, slipped in Hyde Amendment language which would bar those same funds from being used on abortions except in the notable cases of rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother. This would make life much harder for women and girls who have been physically and sexually exploited by making them prove they were raped (or that their life is in danger) in order to have an abortion. Democrats are now refusing to vote on the bill so long as it contains an anti-abortion provision, and far right media outlets have deliriously seized upon this in order to paint them as the real villains.

To be sure, that the Democrats skimmed this anti-abortion provision without really reading it was unimaginably stupid. But the GOP’s desire to crush reproductive rights for the most marginalized women in society is far more repugnant.

One thing remains certain, though: So long as the right robs poor women of their right to choose, and continues their “death by a thousand cuts” strategy for eliminating Roe once and for all, Henry Hyde’s abominable legacy will live on.

A Voice for Men Forum on “What Women Want”

"Shut the fuck up! You should just fucking smile, and blow me! ‘Cause I deserve it!" -Mel Gibson
“Shut the fuck up! You should just fucking smile, and blow me! ‘Cause I deserve it!” -Mel Gibson

From what I can gather, Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), and pickup artists (PUAs) often have nothing but contempt for one another, though the groups occasionally intersect. There are, however, two commonalities that they all share: their unrelenting misogyny (and occasionally racism and homophobia) and their unfounded assumption that they have any understanding of either sex. Oftentimes they come off as exceedingly creepy when they try to analyze what men and women should desire — especially women.

It actually kind of reminds me of Mel Gibson in his faux-romcom What Women Want (2000), wherein the Mad Max star plays a chauvinistic blowhard who, through an unfortunate accident with a hairdryer, comes to read women’s minds. This newfound power allows him to discover, as the title implies, what women actually want, and he uses it, at first, to boost his seduction techniques — before he predictably learns his lesson in the third act, that is. Gibson’s character throughout most of the film doesn’t “get” women. The film itself struggles to “get” women. And the ultimate irony is that this character was portrayed by a despicable domestic abuser and anti-Semite who, in real life, has absolutely no clue “what women want.”

Which brings me to A Voice for Men Forum, where MRA and MGTOW members congregate to discuss their hatred of feminism, women, and any men who don’t indulge in their rank misogyny. In a topic thread which posits the question “Is there a silver lining to women choosing assholes?”, AVFM denizens discuss what women really want, with very little success. “Godzeta,” the thread creator, began by asking, “[C]ould being an MRA actually make a man more attractive to women?” (Implicit in that question is the belief that being an “MRA” is the same as being an “asshole.”) Following the first post was a litany of responses by guys who clearly have their fedoras on too tightly.

Someone who calls himself “salesguy” wrote, “Guys can be nice and still maintain boundaries. Women need boundaries…Women want a man that will bang them hard, be strong, and take control. They are wired that way. I know my comments may create a shit storm, but I really believe it is programmed into our DNA.” He then links to a thread on Reddit: Red Pill about how American culture encourages “bad girl behavior,” which makes them prime targets for extramarital affairs. “This is reality if you don’t pick the right kind of woman,” he said.

Commenter “Bortasz” disagreed with this assessment, stating that, “This translate to: NAWALT. Not all women are like that. With is fallacy. Every women should be treated that he is like that, and when she prove otherwise you should treat her as she is that kind of women in disguise.” Coming to the subject of marriage, “Bortasz” compared it to “putting [a] gun in [your] mouth and giving [your wife] the trigger.”

In response, “fschmidt” assailed Western culture in general, and claimed that “[m]odern, Western culture is sick and evil.” “To maintain a decent marriage,” he wrote, “one needs to join an anti-Western religion with one’s wife. Orthodox Judaism and Islam are the obvious choices with Eastern Orthodox Christianity a distant third.” He also believes that American men should forgo dating American women and, instead, marry foreign girls because “foreign women do make better wives regardless.” Of course, “fschmidt” is active on a multitude of other forums, chief among them his own CoAlpha Reactionary Forum, where he authors pro-rape screeds such as this one entitled “Rape and Adultery”:

Why is rape a crime beyond just being assault?  The answer is that it is an evolutionary crime against a woman to force her to have children with a man not of her choice.  In evolutionary terms, our main purpose is to reproduce.  The success of our genes is determined by how well we reproduce.  For a woman, one of the most important things that she can control for reproduction is the choice of the man to have children with.  To force her to have children with a man not of her choice causes extreme emotional pain precisely because it is so important in evolutionary terms.

Compare this to the rape of a man.  If one thinks of a woman raping a man, it is almost comical because it is so meaningless.  It is meaningless because it has no evolutionary impact, or may even have a slight positive impact for the man.  Women can only have a limited number of children, so they must be selective in sex.  Men can have an unlimited number of children, so men have no need to be selective in sex.  A feminist may raise the issue of a man raping a man.  But this is simply assault and nothing more.  So the point is that rape is a crime against women, not men[…]

So now we can consider if rape is every justified.  Imagine a society where prostitution is illegal and women constantly provoke men.  Of course, there is no need to imagine this society, because it exists in the USA.  A single man in this society is in a similar situation to the woman described above for whom adultery is justified.  Single men in this society have no outlet for their evolutionary need for sex, so just as the married woman above was justified in adultery, men here are justified in rape.  Banning prostitution harms men the way banning divorce harms women.  If women don’t want to be raped, they should push for legal prostitution and they should dress more modestly.

“fschmidt” is also of the opinion that while “Nazi Germany serves as the benchmark of evil,” American women are probably “worse.”

Another user, a “nice guy” whose handle is “bigboy83,” lamented that, “In their younger years [women] go for the ass holes (prime years). Then wants they hit 30 there asking around about those nice guys. Problem is they lost their looks, gain weight and all used up. Nobody wants them anyone, they go on the Internet begging a guy to date them.”

“Milford Cubicle” attempted to justify women dating “assholes,” and did so by bringing out the old “men were hunters and protectors” trope:

IN defense of women choosing bad asses.

Men predominately made the better hunters, the best survival skills, the best inventors, and the best defendors against invaders. These were essential responsibilities for men to have to step up to. So women are in that much more need of a protector. A bad ass appears to be a better protector. For instance who’s going to make a better navy seal? A deeply compassionate person or a person who can kill someone without their conscience being troubled?

The compassionate guy would make a better medic I guess, but not the better warrior. I can’t fault women for being attracted more to the tough guy. Evolution may have given them that ability because for so many thousands of years, the tough guy is the better defender and protector and probably hunter as well. A lot of sensitive guys wouldn’t be good at shooting an innocent animal with a bunch of arrows or spears and then slitting it’s throat and skinning it and decapitating it. That was one silver lining.

If only he mentioned mammoth-hunting.

It’s clear, however, that much like Mel Gibson’s sexist character “Nick Marshall,” these folks haven’t the slightest clue what women want. They should probably spend more time around women, if only there were more women who wished to spend time with them.

Random Headlines — 12/28/14

RH Reality Check – Bob Jones University’s attitude toward assault victims reflects fundamentalist theology.

Buzzfeed – At least 594 LGBT people were murdered in the Americas in a 15-month period.

Think Progress – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says repealing the carbon tax was the best thing he’s done for women this year.

Feministing – A new study shows that sharing abortion stories changes peoples’ minds.

Joe. My. God. – New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace introduces legislation to ban the “gay panic defense.”

Media Matters – Bill O’Reilly says African-Americans should wear the slogan “Don’t Get Pregnant at 14” on their shirts.

The Raw Story – Arizona police officer killed during domestic violence investigation.

Alternet – On the misogynist movement that’s making conservatives even more sexist.

LGBTQ Nation – A Florida newspaper calls Pam Bondi a “modern-day Anita Bryant” and the “loser of the year.”

Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and the New Atheism’s Gender Problem

New Atheists
Worst game of “Spot the Difference” ever.

I’d like to start this piece by disclosing something: I’m an atheist. Ever since I was a child, I knew I never believed in God, though not for lack of trying. I did try, and I did pray, but at the same time I felt nothing. I grew up with that feeling, not knowing what it was. It was only when I was in my late teens that I began identifying as an atheist, and, at about the same time, a book called The God Delusion hit the shelves.

Written by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, it was popular among atheists and was vilified by the Christian Right — spawning knock-off apologetics books like Alister McGrath’s The Dawkins Delusion? and David Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion. The book, though overly confrontational in places, was, in my opinion, necessary for me to come to terms with my own atheism. And the same could be said of books like Sam Harris’ The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, and the late Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

Of course, while I found myself nodding in agreement with their theological perspectives, I would often hang my head in shame when these “New Atheists” tried to tackle other subjects, such as international politics, feminism, or bioethics. Sam Harris is an unapologetic supporter of torture and racial profiling. Christopher Hitchens, once an unabashed Trotskyite, turned coat following the grisly 9/11 attacks and promptly surrounded himself with neoconservatives and chicken hawks such as Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle.

He championed imperialist aggression in Iraq under the guise of liberation, veering dangerously close to “White Man’s Burden” territory.* He also authored a rather disgraceful and sexist article entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” This is, quite simply, a load of horse manure for many comedy lovers, myself included.

Richard Dawkins, for his part, opened the floodgates of controversy in 2011. That year, Rebecca Watson — the founder of the Skepchick website — mentioned in a video blog that she had been approached by a man in an elevator during a recent conference who invited her to his hotel room for coffee. Watson had declined his invitation and stated in the video that this interaction had made her uncomfortable. In a sane world, this would have been the end of the discussion and everyone would have gone their separate ways. Instead, Watson found the following comment by Dawkins on her website:

Dear Muslima,
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and…yawn…don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with. Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so…And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

If Professor Dawkins prides himself in being rational, then I certainly would have expected better of him than this. This is a very privileged response coming from a stodgy, white male. In addition, he commits an age-old fallacy of relative privation. In other words, Dawkins appealed to worse problems to distract from the point at hand.

Anyone can do this for any type of problem, of course, even concerning topics more near and dear to Dawkins’ heart. For example, I could just as easily tell Richard Dawkins to calm down over the treatment of atheists in America and Great Britain — which he equates to the treatment of homosexuals in the 1950s and 1960s, in that it was a form of deep cultural stigma. After all, in Pakistan you can be executed for apostasy for being an atheist. The same is true for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mauritania, and the Maldives. So it therefore doesn’t matter that Britain has a state church, or the United States makes students pledge allegiance to “One nation, under God,” or that most voters would never stomach an atheist candidate. Better that outcome than a noose around your neck, no?

If that weren’t enough — well, that or his petulant response to hearing that Rebecca Watson would be attending another conference alongside him — he took to Twitter this year and mouthed off about rape. As Dawkins so eloquently phrased it, “Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.” Richard Dawkins, who has never been the victim of rape, either by knifepoint or date rape drug, believes he is in a position to tell rape victims which method of rape is more detrimental. Unfortunately for him, this is not the case. He does not know what that trauma is like, and is in no position to judge. He has no business telling a date rape victim, “Yes, that was bad, but really it could’ve been worse, right?”

Neuroscientist Sam Harris, who recently authored the book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, was asked in an interview why there was such a visible absence of women in the atheist/skeptic community. He first responded jokingly by saying it was due to his “overwhelming lack of sex appeal.” However, he then followed suit by stating that there is “something about that critical posture that is to some degree intrinsically male and more attractive to guys than to women” and that the “atheist variable just has this – it doesn’t obviously have this nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe that you would want by default if you wanted to attract as many women as men.” Yikes. This should attract about as many women as a tacky, sexist t-shirt.

Yet the most egregious example of New Atheist misogyny does not lie with Hitchens, Dawkins, or even Harris. Rather, it seems to be a professional YouTube star named T. J. Kincaid or, to his fans, “The Amazing Atheist.” Kincaid is blunt about his opposition to “Feminazis,” and describes the history of the feminist movement in a style reminiscent of sitcom character Archie Bunker:

A lot of women got together and they decided they didn’t want to make sandwiches for their men anymore, and they said, “We’re fed up and we’re not gonna take it.” And they took to the streets with their little signs, and the men said, “Alright, you don’t have to make our sandwiches anymore. We’ll just open up a bunch of fast food restaurants all across the country, and get other minorities to make our sandwiches for us.” And the women said, “Alright, that’s fine.” And that’s what we did. And everyone was happy with that solution except for the feminists. Most women don’t call themselves feminists but a lot still do, even though the goals of feminism have already been accomplished.

He also made his views of women — especially victims of sexual assault — abundantly clear during an online meltdown during a discussion on Reddit about a so-called “feminist morality brigade.” The discussion became increasingly volatile, spiraling out of control as Kincaid replied to one commenter by saying “I’m going to rape you with my fist” and “I will make you a rape victim if you don’t fuck off.” He then began berating another commenter who identified herself as both a feminist and rape survivor, and unleashed this repugnant tirade:

I’m tired of being treated like shit by you mean little cunts and then you using your rape as an excuse. Fuck you. I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow. Actually, I don’t believe you were ever raped! What man would be tasteless enough to stick his dick into a human cesspool like you? Nice gif of a turd going into my mouth. Is that kind of like the way that rapists dick went in your pussy? Or did he use your asshole? Or was it both? Maybe you should think about it really hard for the next few hours. Relive it as much as possible. You know? Try to recall: was it my pussy or my ass?

He capped this off by telling her to admit she “got a little wet” when he told her to “drown in rape semen.” No matter how antagonized Kincaid may have been, these types of responses are callous and inexcusable at best. For someone who claims he is “neither a feminist nor a sexist,” he seems oddly comfortable in hurling gendered slurs and reveling in the details of sexualized violence against a female detractor.

There are many lessons to be learned from outbursts like these — for example, that we in the atheist community are not, by virtue of our atheism, the most rational and logical beings, or that one can reject religion and nonetheless regurgitate bigoted dogma — but here I’m focusing on the fact that misogyny, male privilege, and rape culture permeate society at all levels.

Certainly the Abrahamic religions have plenty to answer for in their treatment of women over the centuries, and there is no denying this. However, even those who eschew religion are not impervious to our culture’s constant degradation of women, and the words of these New Atheists are a small reflection of this. So before you laugh at the backwardness and crude sexism of Pat Robertson or Mark Driscoll, try to reflect on your own privilege and how you treat women.

And, if there is anything else my lifetime of atheism and skepticism has taught me, it is this: We should not simply be content to question the existence of God or the authority of religious figureheads; we should question anyone who speaks their opinions authoritatively. That includes secular windbags, too.

*For the record, I do not actually believe Hitch was a racist. He is also, in spite of his clear flaws, one of my longtime favorite authors.

#GamerGaters Invent New “Scandal”: #PunkGate

No bigot can kill punk rock.
No bigot can kill punk rock.

It’s very rare that I’m rendered speechless by something, but props to the #GamerGate crowd for making that happen. Apparently not satisfied with tilting at windmills in the gaming community, some members of the flailing #GamerGate movement constructed a new nontroversy called #MetalGate. Essentially a handful of #GamerGate-supporting metalheads got all bent out of shape because of a single sentence in Spin Magazine and a Washington Post article published nearly a decade ago, blah blah blah “Social Justice Warriors” something or other. (Go to We Hunted the Mammoth for the full run down.)

Anyhoo, after that SJW witch hunt fizzled, I decided to see if these trolls were trying to infect any other musical genre. And, lo and behold, we now have #PunkGate. Or at least some desperate individual(s) trying to create #PunkGate. Namely someone with the Twitter handle “The 7th Gamer” who loves #GamerGate so much that his current Twitter background is a hilariously awful cartoon consisting of #GamerGaters (represented by Vivian James and some fat, bald dude) dressed as knights and doing battle with what appears to be a multi-headed dragon or something. And in an attempt to stir up another faux-scandal, The 7th Gamer decided to reach out to punk rock legend Jello Biafra. Yes, Jello Biafra. As in former lead singer of the Dead Kennedys Jello Biafra. That guy.

This is the part where you should all laugh yourselves to death.
This is the part where you should all laugh yourselves to death.

Good luck with that, 7th Gamer. First of all, Jello doesn’t have a Twitter account, so he isn’t going to read your ill-informed plea to join your self-righteous crusade. Second, Jello is a staunch left-winger who supports all sorts of social justice-y causes (racial and gender equality, the peace movement, environmentalism, etc.), so even if he did read it, I doubt he’d give a rat’s ass. You know, like how Joss Whedon, Seth Rogen, Wil Wheaton, and others all gave #GamerGate the finger.

So, in response to this feeble attempt to co-opt another decent musical genre, and speaking as a longtime punk rock fan myself, I’ve decided to create a little punk playlist for #GamerGaters to listen to. It’s a baker’s dozen of feminist and LGBTQ anthems guaranteed to make their blood (or whatever runs through their veins) boil. Cheers!

1) Feminism is for Everybody (With a Beating Heart and a Functioning Brain)” – Anti-Flag (2004)

2) Gay Rude Boys Unite” – Leftöver Crack (2001)

3) Rebel Girl” – Bikini Kill (1993)

4) “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” – Against Me! (2014)

5)Fight Like a Girl” – Emilie Autumn (2012)

6)Homophobia” – Chumbawamba (1994)

7)Dead Cops/America’s So Straight” – MDC (1987)

8)Sexist Appeal” – Aus-Rotten (1998)

9)That’s So Gay” – Pansy Division (2009)

10)No Means Nothing” – Feral Future (2013)

11)Operation Rescue” – Bad Religion (1990)

12)Seneca Falls” – The Distillers (2002)

Bonus) “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” – Dead Kennedys (1981)

And this doesn’t even include punk rock songs taking a stand against organized religion, institutional racism, capital punishment, militarism, and animal cruelty. Oh no, the SJWs have infiltrated the punk rock scene, it’s only a matter of time before they take everything else!