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Old 09-28-2011, 01:42 AM
 
Location: Western NC
651 posts, read 1,277,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Volunteer. If only that it might make me think. It was well pointed out that 'hard to get' is part of the game and 'playing with a straight bat you gels' takes all the fun out of it. But something has to be done or we are going to get this problem all the time.
Thank you! You've motivated me to get started this week. I'll PM you the results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA
It's the old problem of trying to rub along with a lot of instinctive behaviour mixed up with a ragbag of inherited customs and it leads to problem everywhere. Men are as much to blame or more since they tend to be the predators. Or Tom cats.
Well said. Instinct does play a large role when we talk about these issues. Fortunately, we don't have to be controlled by instinct; although, it can be difficult to overcome. Our customs regarding sexual relations, especially the control of female sexuality, primarily formed after the agricultural revolution. Property ownership became more common and with ownership came concerns about paternity for inheritance purposes. Also, women became assets that were 'given away' in marriage to strengthen ties with other members of society.

In this type of society, women become 'worthless' if they are sexually active with more than one man whether consensual or not. After all, a man would be unsure of paternity if she has sexual freedom and her worth as a chess piece for political purposes is devalued. To top it all off, along comes religion to put the fear of god into women so we will go along with this nonsense. And, here we are, thousands of years later with much of the world still clinging to these ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA
You, O admirable Maia, are a perfectly good feminist (as I try to be - don't tell me men can't join) and the only feminists that would find fault with trying to find solutions to this problem rather than just keep men totally confused are the man-bashers, frankly. While I utterly endorse feminism, I disapprove of man - bashing. It's irrational and it causes bruises.
I appreciate your kind words. I would never try to tell a man that he can't be a feminist. I absolutely think anybody can call themselves a feminist and that this cause will be better off if we embrace those that are willing to help.

To be perfectly blunt, I'm fed up with man bashing as well. We don't have to beat men down to resolve these issues. We are hurting our own cause as we are alienating those that might be willing to listen to rational arguments. This is part of the problem we are having with sex relations in the atheist movement. As mentioned earlier, education is key but the job of education becomes much more difficult if otherwise rational people are already defensive due to the behavior of many feminists.

I've noticed that there is a certain faction of feminists that will attack other female feminists as well as men if they do not toe the line they've drawn. That's why I expected somebody to come along and say that I'm not a true feminist. Recently, I've been trying to read more about the movement. I searched for the top rated books and I've thrown the first two down in disgust. These feminist books alienated me with sentences like this, and I'm paraphrasing, "If you are disgusted by the idea of tasting your menstrual blood, you are ashamed of being a woman." Really? Am I ashamed of being a human for also being disgusted by the idea of tasting any of my own blood? While these books have some good points, they are buried in this irrational rhetoric. This can't be the best we've got; I guess, I'll have to keep searching.

I was really glad to see the 'Godless *******' podcast come along; I'm hoping that atheist feminists can help inject some rationality into this important discussion. It's important, IMO, for atheists to talk about these subjects as we need to root out some sexism within atheism and, even more importantly, women's reproductive rights are under serious attack by the religious right. From abortion to birth control to HPV vaccinations, the religious right in the US is trying to control female sexuality. They are waging a propaganda campaign against both the pill and the vaccine and trying to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics, which provides numerous health services to women in addition to abortions, through legislation. They can't get abortion outlawed so they want to make it as difficult as possible for women to exercise this right. The more I read about this subject, the more angry I get. It's just another example of religion trying to force its' views on other people.

Okay, I need to stop before I pop a blood vessel. The topic of this war on women should probably be discussed in another thread anyway, if anyone is interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
Strictly trying to put myself in the elevator-guy's shoes, and trying to imagine what on earth he was thinking, I believe I can start to understand why he may have done what he did. Depending on where you live, being an atheist can mean being completely alone in your ideology. It's not terribly hard to hide it from friends and coworkers, or depending on how open-minded they are, to be upfront but polite about it. Only the most uptight theists will be unable to work with you after discovering your atheism, and many would probably still be friends with you (maybe). But a romantic relationship? That could be much more difficult. Sure, it's possible, but most people on either side are likely to avoid it. So it's not really surprising that this guy, alone in an elevator with an attractive woman who is an outspoken atheist, may decide he might as well give it a shot. Heck, she may be the first atheist woman he's ever met! Granted if it were me, I wouldn't have taken it in that direction because a) I'd probably assume she wouldn't be interested anyway, and b) The awkwardness after the rejection wouldn't be worth it. But hey, maybe this guy was simply a lot bolder and more confident than me, and figured he had no reason not to at least try, since he possibly rarely, if ever meets atheist women.

Of course, as Maia explained, it changes when you try to look at it from a woman's point of view (and I stress the word "try"). If I were alone with a woman in an elevator at 4am in another country, my only thought would probably be, "Should I say anything to break the awkward silence, or would that be even more awkward?" By the time I finished debating that in my head, one of us would likely have gotten off the elevator already. If I were the woman, especially if the man happened to be quite a bit larger than me, I think I'd be apprehensive as well. Maybe not actually frightened by default, but certainly not entirely at ease. If the guy started talking to me casually, that might actually help as long as he didn't give off a creepy vibe. But if he invited me back to his apartment (within the short span of an elevator ride, mind you) then, yes, I'd be a little freaked out. If I say "no" will he get angry? What if he stops the elevator? What if he has a gun? I can see how it would be a very bad situation for the lady. My first instinct is to think, "Yeah, but most men aren't going to rape a woman." But would most men proposition a woman in an elevator at 4am? I don't know, but if I were the woman, that alone would be odd enough to make me question if the guy was "normal".
Excellent points. I have to say, I'm really happy to see that the reaction from the male respondents has been so thoughtful. I feared that this would turn into the ugly shouting match that I've seen on other boards; but, you guys have showed me that we can talk about this issue and not talk past each other.

Last edited by Maia160; 09-28-2011 at 02:10 AM..
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:12 AM
 
39,207 posts, read 10,887,543 times
Reputation: 5096
Excellent. It might seem a bit silly to think that we are going to resolve all the problems on AA, but the ideas have to start somewhere and the basic of the problem seems to be lack of rationality.

The men can sicken me by their hypocrisy of drooling over wimmin and all their jiggly bits while at the same time regarding those who are a bit liberated about how they use them as objects of contempt.

On the other hand, I noted back in the early days of feminism the oddity of liberating women by issuing a long list of things they shouldn't be allowed to do and showing their equality by dressing up in tweed suits and pipes.

Later there was the Marriage is rape (so rape is marriage?) nonsense and just before retirement the contradictory message (on a coffee mug)

on a female toilet. - 'Women'

on the other - 'Gender that has trouble making a commitment'.

Isn't a commitment just making a woman a possession? Isn't it good that men don't want to drag a woman into a 'commitment'? Doesn't a woman need a man like a fish needs a bicycle? Just what do the ladies want?

I'm not woman - bashing. They are trying to work out a way of being freed from a lot of sexist traditions and attaining gender equality and it can be confusing. There needs to be some rational discussion and rationalism, starting without prejudices (even polyandry and harems should be considered on their merits) and using the Golden rule as a benchmark. (1)

Where better to start it than amongst atheists?

(1) I have to get it down here right away. Sex and porn. Golden rule. Not sin - based morals. Nobody should be pushed into sex or porn if they don't want to be. Nobody should be prevented from doing sex and porn if they want to do it. Sorted. That wasn't difficult was it?
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,946,949 times
Reputation: 3547
I don't think atheists "have a sexism problem" as though this was a club and the bouncers rarely let any women through the door. It does seem that atheism is less common in women, but I suspect it is only self-identifying as an atheist (a dirty word in many circles). I know quite a few women who are in fact atheists but self-identify as Christians (a synonym for good person in many circles) or "not religious but spiritual" (but if you talk to them they aren't really spiritual either). Women's social circles are really vicious with gossip and shunning and often this is extended to the children, too. So if you are a female atheist there is strong pressure to keep that a secret so that you won't lose the support of an extended network of friends, and your kids won't lose their playmates.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:09 AM
 
13,325 posts, read 25,590,184 times
Reputation: 20530
That's why I figured an atheist gathering/discussion group would be a good place for this atheist feminist to meet guys!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:18 AM
 
2,447 posts, read 2,681,857 times
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I think women have been oppressed for too long, but thanks to progress, women are making great strides.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,996,789 times
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brightdoglover: Absolutely. Nice to meet you. Let's try not to fight like cats and dogs.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:49 PM
 
9,412 posts, read 11,741,560 times
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I really don't know why anyone is surprised, sexism rears its ugly head whenever a bunch of guys get together

Even educated, rational atheists
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,953 posts, read 14,256,616 times
Reputation: 16133
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
I would suggest that there may be a bit of a racism problem as well as a sexism one. That's changing as well.
Do you have like qualitative evidence to support your unfounded beliefs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyageur View Post
You must be impressively confused as to the concept of 'sexism' if you think the fact that more men then women self-identify as atheists is sexist.

Or (and this undoubtedly went right over your head), by your logic, not being an atheist is sexist towards men (again, only by your highly illogical 'logic').

Next thing, you'll be telling us that speaking Icelandic is very racist (since virtually all speakers are white).

Again, it really helps to think through the implications of what you're trying to pass off as logic before hitting that SUBMIT button.
Yeah, she totally missed the mark on certain ethnic and cultural aspects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
No, the problem is NOT with women not self-identifying as atheist, but with attitudes towards women from male atheists who are just as sexist as other males.

I think that atheist men *could* easily be less sexist, but they often don't listen to what women are saying. Look at elevatorgate and Dawkins replies.
Well, again, to you have anything other than anecdotal evidence to support your beliefs?

Why would I want to listen to what women are saying? Or for that matter men?

I became an atheist because of logic, reason and facts, not because of emotion. I'm not really interested in what other people feel or believe, because those things are subjective, not objective.

I sought out an objective truth, not a subjective fantasy.

Perhaps you operate under the false assumption that atheists are liberals. I happen to be an ultra-conservative and there is no living person to the right of me (I'm not even sure there are any dead people to the right of me).

What I am smelling here is the putrid stench of attempts to politicize atheism.

The Sun rises in the East. That is an objective truth. There is no god. That is an objective truth, and that is atheism. Atheism is not a political party, or philosophy or a belief system or anything else, and there's certainly no such thing as politically correct atheism.

Your premise is really silly here. Women don't want to be atheists, because atheists are sexists, so, what, they should continue to subscribe to christianity, Islam and Judaism, because they aren't sexist. That doesn't make any sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
I guess my question is, do we want the atheist movement to be a welcoming place for women?
What movement?

Atheism is not a group activity. Okay, so you've politicized atheism and now you're upset because as is par for the course, opportunistic vultures have descended to take advantage, propel their own personal agenda or career, and possibly to corrupt atheism so that it can be co-opted and then divided into groups so that conflict ensues and the "movement" collapses.

Great.

So, what, it's like an atheist support group? If you need that kind of support then you're probably not ready to be an atheist (or anything else for that matter).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Only in the Gospel twist on on it.

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:12, see also Luke 6:31). The common English phrasing is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

This gives an opening of doing to others what you think should be done to them. Eg preaching. If you wouldn't want them preaching a different doctrine to you, don't preach one to them. Thus the Golden Rule applies as expressed in...
An example from (Late Period Egypt) (c. 664 BCE 323 BCE) papyrus: "That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another."
Greece "Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." Pittacus[12] (c. 640568 BCE) and China "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius 551 BC 479 BC) (wiki)
And avoids such imposition BETTER than the twisted version in the Gospels
Well, the things I did not know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronxguyanese View Post
As an athiest myself I find it hard for women to be attracted to me because of faith. Women tend to be more spirtual then men for some reason. This is the reason why there is a lack of female athiests.
Then both you and they have been duped into confusing spirituality with religion. They are not the same thing. Spirituality existed long before religion and will exist long after religion is finally swept away.

Of course christians co-opted spirituality as well as Eastern Philosophies like Taoism and Confucianism disingenuously misleading people to believe they are "religions" because that is the only way christians can debase and demean them.

I happen to be very spiritual, especially when I'm roaming through the Carpathian Mountains playing with the animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
It does seem that atheism is less common in women, but I suspect it is only self-identifying as an atheist (a dirty word in many circles). I know quite a few women who are in fact atheists but self-identify as Christians (a synonym for good person in many circles) or "not religious but spiritual" (but if you talk to them they aren't really spiritual either).
Women tend to be more open about their spirituality and men "aren't supposed to be spiritual" (I guess because it isn't macho) and then everyone has been brainwashed to believe that spirituality = religiosity or that you can't be an atheist and spiritual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
Women's social circles are really vicious with gossip and shunning and often this is extended to the children, too. So if you are a female atheist there is strong pressure to keep that a secret so that you won't lose the support of an extended network of friends, and your kids won't lose their playmates.
That's just good ol' fashioned Dark Ages fear and bigotry.

The Popes claim to be the Vicar of Christ on Earth, so burning, um, "witches" would be prima facie evidence of no god.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
For example, most probably do not want to be treated rudely but I guess exceptions could be found. In those instances, such as flirting and sexual advances, where certain behavior has been mentioned as a problem, we should strive to educate others so that we can avoid these types of conflicts and make others feel comfortable.
What you erroneously perceive to be "flirting and sexual advances" might be nothing more than nervous or friendly small-talk. So long as you are unable to understand that, no progress will ever be made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
As I see it, the problem appears to be due to women receiving boat loads of education on which situations are unsafe and men not receiving this same information.
It is a communication problem, not an education problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
I speak from experience as I've had an acquaintance drug my drink in an attempt to 'relax' me so that I would have sex with him; luckily I got out of there before anything happened.
That was a most unfortunate situation for you, but that is perfect example of communication versus education.

Both of you needed to be very clear and up front about what you were doing. You should have been up front and said that you no sexual or romantic interest, and he should have been open and honest about his reasons for inviting you out or to his home or where ever.

Having said that, I've actually offended a few women and bruised their fragile and delicate egos by telling them I had no interest in them. How sad is it when I like someone, who just happens to be a woman, because they are cool and really knowledge about interesting subject matters, and they are otherwise fun people to hang around and shoot the breeze, when their response is to be hot and horny looking to get it on, and their poor husbands probably can't figure out why the toilet seat is up all the time.

The wind blows in all directions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
My acquaintance didn't see anything wrong with his actions; after all, he only wanted to relax me.
You need a crash course in character judgment. Maybe a university psychology course in body language, non-verbal cues, language skills vis-a-vis word choices, listening skills etc.

I'm dead serious. I'm speaking as someone who has interrogated rapists and child molesters. That guy is differently twisted and he gave you 50 Million cues and you over-looked or ignored all of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
Even worse, my sister was drugged and date raped this summer. I realize that my experiences represent the extreme end of this problem but you guys need to realize that this extreme behavior is disturbingly common; and, most of the perpetrators are able to justify their behavior. They don't see themselves as rapists; they redefine the behavior as something more acceptable.
That is indicative of systemic problems in society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
I was guilty of thinking that most atheists men would apply the same rationality to the issue of feminism that they applied to religion.
Not rationality, rather logic, reason and objective truth.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Western NC
651 posts, read 1,277,421 times
Reputation: 498
Sigh. Here we go with over the top aggressiveness and ad hom attacks. I might take the time to respond in detail to your post later; but, at this point I'm not really sure if it's worth the effort. I honestly doubt that a conversation with you will progress very far given the level of hostility you have already displayed and given the lack of respect you are showing women. Unfortunately, you appear to be part of the problem and the tone of your post doesn't give me much hope that you can be reasoned with at this time. Sad, really.

ETA: One thing I do find highly disturbing is the victim blaming you are engaging in with regards to rape. You are making a lot of assumptions based on a few sentences describing a scenario. While I am not going to give you a blow by blow of what happened, I will say that your attempt to shift responsibility from the person attempting rape to the victim is very revealing. With that being said, I do advise vigilance to prevent this type of scenario but I in no way blame victims for the behavior of others.

Last edited by Maia160; 09-29-2011 at 09:59 PM..
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,946,949 times
Reputation: 3547
Quote:
That's just good ol' fashioned Dark Ages fear and bigotry.
Sadly such bigotry didn't die out in the Dark Ages and for many women it is a very real problem.
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