I was wrong, for a very long time

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana.

Before the rant gets going, I want to let you know the punchline – I am not a Feminist, nor was I ever. It never occurred to me to think about the term itself, I was convinced that it was a label given to the group of people fighting to make sure that women are given equal treatment in the world that men have been so good about conquering. I am now certain that feminism is a bad idea and that Humanism should take over as the dominant role that we should all hold.

Feminism is a divisive term that has caught flight with more popular figures using it as their pennant. It originally was used by groups that were fighting for equality for women, but has become something more insidious and imposing in recent years. With the prominence of Humanism, it is clear to me that Feminism now carries with it more burden than benefit. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself though, lets go back a decade and look at Atheism for some insight.

From the onset, Atheism has been a force to be reckoned with and YouTube has been able to provide the stage for the light of reason to be shone on the fragile ideas of religious peoples. Sure, for every popular atheist on the web there are three die hard theists willing to engage them, but that is the beauty of the internet. This underdog status was granted to Atheists by virtue of standing up and being counted, because so many have accepted theist views without even thinking about their origins or qualifications. This stage was the route that all of us were able to build out a set of rules that helped many to come to the conclusion that not only do theists not want to have their ideals questioned, but that they will go to great lengths to ignore contrary evidence. {1 2 3 4}

We saw all of this going on in the form of blocked comments, ignoring or blocking video responses, heavily moderating comments to the extent of not allowing anyone who was not already agreeing with their points of view to respond, and in a few situations when people would respond anyways, they would even go to the extent of filing false DMCA claims on contrary videos in order to get the opposing views censored or removed.

As things stand now, the battles are all pretty much over. Sure stupid people still exist on the internet, but their views are refuted easier, not with a diatribe but with a link to a diatribe – because no matter how you frame your argument it still comes out being a rehashing of the same tired views posited by your ilk hundreds of years ago, and typically will be either an argument about morality leading to god, see the Euthyphro Dilemma, or some appeal to consequences, in which case see Pascal’s Wager.

I digress.

Looking back at all of the blood, sweat and tears flying around the internet as popular religions  found themselves being opposed in such an aggressive and public arena allowed them to be vetted for the first time and when they failed to be able to provide answers to even the most obvious of questions they fell to the way side. They may be believed, but not because they are so amazing or insightful – they are accepted because of history and tradition.

Into the rabbit hole

Feminism set up camp, building off of the triumphs of early YouTube atheist sensationalism, trying to address the tragic shortages of women in science, skepticism, political and or religious discussions. Minorities, read non-white males, are all under represented in most every poll or survey collected in any of the topics above. Whatever the reasons there are for this to be so, currently feminism is arguing that there is a problem with women feeling welcome in these communities.

Absolutely there is a problem to be addressed, and rightly so! Women’s involvement in the above, video games, popular media and anything else you can test appears to be far too low to be justified. It is as if media and science has been made up of ~ 56% of the population of the world. Looking around, you will see that every one of the above have been shifting their focus and trying many different things to identify the issue and try to get women to become involved in these things. Popular figures are using their positions to try to highlight women’s contributions to science, minority skeptical thinkers are being stuck into the lime light to try to emphasize the fact that they exist, and even the video games industry has been studying how to build games that appeal to women over the age of 40, which is an amazingly complicated market to find any purchase into.

Feminism has shifted in recent years, not to try to get equal representation for women in these arenas, but to try to correct the problem by forcing men to become subservient in many ways, often at the cost of important qualities that we all hold dear, and in spite of the need for all of humanity to be brought to the same playing field. Wait, what did i just say? Subservient?? Certainly!

All of this aside, the feminist movement did not take very good notes during the atheist uprising i mentioned above. Comments are blocked, responses are blocked or heavily moderated, and discussion of opposing views is quickly burned down, in a way that only straw, overalls and a long sleeved plaid shirt can do.

The rabbit hole analogy holds in a way that makes me very uneasy. Alice in wonderland paints a picture of a world where madness has taken to reason, where the dominant figure is a woman who cares little for offending and more for getting her way, even in contradiction of her own wishes, and where cleaving off heads is her own form of settling an argument. in the above you will see some parallels, often to the detriment of popular opinion about a subject.

I think that this is one of the more explosive topics on the internet right now, and I find it very difficult to understand why the equality of women is of higher importance to equality of all peoples. I am now a humanist and plan to keep it that way until I am given enough information to deviate from this position.

Hopefully you have that information, otherwise I expect you to join me in the Atheist Humanist camp.