I found this bingo card by Jen McCreight amusing because it’s more or less the same sort of argument I heard when I brought up the issue of sexist behaviour and sexism amongst acquaintances and on the Internet in general.
Nevertheless, it is still worth posting just to understand how asinine you are being if you use gender-based insults. And to the women who say they are okay with its use, sorry, you are not helping your gender overcome discrimination.
It is mind-numbingly obvious that sexist behaviour should not be tolerated. It is not being welcoming to opposing views and freedom of speech when a community gives tacit approval to its use, but being anti-social, and anti-women. Failure to stop such behaviour results in people leaving the community out of disgust because this is not the sort of behaviour that is inclusive — but damaging.
I haven’t written much publicly about my departure from the Malaysian Atheists, Freethinkers, Agnostics and friends (MAFA) Facebook group until today, but this is as good a time to do so.
MAFA is undoubtedly a valuable place for finding like-minded atheists. The Malaysian Atheists organization itself procured much of its member through that body. It is however telling that throughout my two years in the group, I could count the number of actively participating women with one hand.
It couldn’t be because there were not many women atheists in Malaysia. A look through the membership list would show that there were indeed more than five women in the group of over a thousand members, yet the lack of participation is astounding by its absence.
And if you so much as give me the “women are usually timid argument”, so help me Madoka I will cut you.
The reason as I far as I am aware from reading the atheismplus forums, many reasons for non-participation by women is due to sexist language, and when that behaviour is called out, many in the community would rise to defend the sexist language in the name of free speech. Blissfully unaware that such behaviour stops many people from engaging with the community ever again.
Are you being inclusive when you decide to use a gender-based insult? Or are you perpetuating the use of a word with the historical baggage that a woman is nothing more than an object to insert your penis into? You may be using is because it is the strongest insult to date in the English language, but you shall now use it after reading this article knowing you perpetuate a narrative that undermines women with its every use.
Also, the equivalent of cunt isn’t dick. The equivalent of dick, is pussy. But that is a whole other issue altogether which you can read up on by the insightful Jason Thibeault.
Ultimately, I do not see splits over such issues as weakening the atheist community. We gather like-minded people together, and if they are disagreeable, we leave to create something better. Much like the F/OSS community I participate in that created LibreOffice from the dissatisfaction over policies by Oracle over OpenOffice, I would quote: “If you don’t like it, fork it.”