Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We Should Be Better Than This

I don't get involved in Atheist politics.
I also don't get involved in the meta-concerns involved in the online Atheist community.

For the most of my life I was the only atheist I knew. When I got to college I met more, but I never was socially involved with them because of their atheism, I was socially involved with them for other reasons.

This blog was created as a means to collect my own thoughts and to connect with others.

Well that all being said that doesn't mean I am not aware of what is going on in the Online Secular/Atheist community.

For example the latest issue is about how there are some famous (but maybe not famous to me) speakers out there that regularly sexually harass the young female contingent of these talks/conferences.  I have seen this before of course.

Here are the discussions if you wish to follow it.

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/02/what-can-the-atheist-movement-learn-from-the-gay-movement.html
http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/05/20/zero-intolerance/
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/05/21/women-in-secularism-conference-a-summary-part-1/
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/22/beating-the-dead-horse-of-sexism-in-secularism/
http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/05/22/men-behaving-badly-at-atheist-conferences/
http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/05/dealing-with-badly-behaving-speakers/
and finally,
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/23/its-almost-time-to-start-naming-names/

Here is the question asked.  First, who are these people and how bad are they?  I guess pretty bad if there is all this text spilled on it.  The next question though addresses the first.  Should we name names?

I see this behavior all the time in gaming. I hate to say it, but gamers as a whole are thoroughly slovenly sub-species of human kind.  While the big name cons like Gen Con are trying for more Family-Friendly fare, and thus more female friendly, they are by and large still occupied by men and many that have no idea how to act around a member of the opposite sex.

That is an uphill battle, and one that we might never win.

Atheists and Secularist SHOULD be better than this.

The entire basis of what we do is one of unfettered intellectual discovery.   As a group we can claim high ACT/SAT/MAT/GRE test scores,  or even care what those letters mean.  We are, supposedly, better educated.  We have looked at the tyranny of Religion and have said, no, that is not right.

Yet. We have this too.

I guess in a way (bare with me now) it is great we can talk about these things.  It means were are mature enough as a movement to be able to have dirty laundry to air or even worry about trying to fix.

It is too bad though at the same time.

We lambast the Tea Party and the Republicans because of how they treat women. We deride and detest religions for doing the same.  Should we not hold ourselves to higher standards?  Yes we are all "just human", but we can be better than that.

We should be better than that.

I am never a fan of a public witch hunt.  Despite what my own morbid curiosity demands.
But I am wondering if we do need to call out our own, knowing full well how it will be seen from the outside.

We would expect the groups we criticize to do this and we would lambast them when they don't.