How Christians Can Talk to Atheists

Laci offers advice to Christians who want to speak to atheists:

Wait a minute…

Oh, I see what you did there.

  • Andrew

    When I first clicked this, she moved her lips but no sound came out.

    Turns out my speakers were just off. I still think it’s the funnier video for “How Christians Can Talk to Atheists.”

  • Jason

    You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome!

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome!

    Yeah, because that’s how we like our women – silenced and reduced to body parts.

    While this video isn’t terribly serious in nature, it’s still worth listening to the words. She seems like a smart and funny girl. I’ll be sure to check out her other videos.

  • chuck

    shes super hot and hilarious. i think im in love

  • Joe

    The voice is a bit squeaky for my tastes.

  • http://saganist.blogspot.com/ Saganist

    Laci rules. I just discovered her and have been watching all of her stuff in the past few days. I think it’s excellent to have a confident, young female atheist speaking out like she does. I hope she keeps it up.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    Well, she would certainly get the heterosexual male atheists to pay attention. :)

    Seriously, I know what she was trying to do.

    BTW, you might check out some of Edward Current’s stuff. He doesn’t, ahem, grab my attention in quite the same way, but his stuff has a similar flavor.

  • MH

    I stumbled across her video channel on You Tube about two months ago when I saw her “Why Atheists Care About YOUR Religion” video. Besides thinking what a great video, I wished I had half her poise and ability to articulate my point of view at her age!

    BTW her “Cleavage…*gasp!*” video is a total riot.

  • N

    She gets the bisexual and lesbian atheists’ attention, too.

    Just sayin’.

    She is very funny and well spoken. I think I, too, am in love.

  • Jeremy

    It’s amazing how when you get a good looking girl that shows some cleavage she suddenly starts appearing on all the blogs.

    She does have some good vids though.

  • Tony Boling

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS

    but seriously, boobs. She’s pretty.

    Do christians really believe that autistic kids choose it before being born? What is this crazy doctrine. Many Christians can’t hold to this.

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  • J. J. Ramsey

    Tony Boling: “Do christians really believe that autistic kids choose it before being born?”

    Not so as I’ve ever heard, and considering that I do have a low-functioning autistic younger brother, I’d think that I’d have heard it by now. (Ok, I’m relatively recently an ex-Christian, but still …)

    I can’t say that I’m all that impressed by this young lady. She’s cutesy and sarcastic, but as someone offering a video tract on how Christians shouldn’t talk to atheists, she comes off as Captain Obvious’ plucky sidekick.

  • Jen

    I really think comments like these are why atheist events tend to be male-oriented. This is a really disgusting way to view women, and it isn’t going to make female commenters on this blog feel comfortable knowing that that is the first thing men think about when women discuss atheism. I expect better of the atheists on this site. I know atheism doesn’t necessarily exclude sexism, but come on, be better than this.

    Or, ooh, look at this.

  • Jason

    Yeah, because that’s how we like our women – silenced and reduced to body parts.

    While this video isn’t terribly serious in nature, it’s still worth listening to the words. She seems like a smart and funny girl. I’ll be sure to check out her other videos.

    Let’s not get sensitive.

    I said you could do that and it would STILL be awesome. It’s a good video, but she’s damn good looking.

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  • J. J. Ramsey

    Jen: “Or, ooh, look at this.”

    And also this: Women and Their Sexy Hawt Bodies: Reprise

    (If you are wondering about the title of the link, yes, it is sarcastic. The blog post is about the ugly side of men ogling women.)

    Jason: “Let’s not get sensitive.”

    Easy for you to say. When you are insensitive, you’re not the one who gets to feel creeped out or leered at.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com/ hoverFrog

    Excellent, it had me laughing from the beginning. I think it was her sincerity that made it funny.

    As for her cleavage: lovely but have all the other commenters really never seen cleavage before? Cleavage is like the sun, lovely to look at but it’s dangerous to stare.

  • Jeremy

    I really think comments like these are why atheist events tend to be male-oriented. This is a really disgusting way to view women, and it isn’t going to make female commenters on this blog feel comfortable knowing that that is the first thing men think about when women discuss atheism. I expect better of the atheists on this site. I know atheism doesn’t necessarily exclude sexism, but come on, be better than this.

    This is referred to as males thinking out loud. This has nothing to do with atheist or religious, it has to do with having an X and a Y chromosome and it being the internet. On the internet people tend to speak their mind instead of keeping some things to themselves.

    So don’t ask that boobs not be the first thing we think about, because it is and always will be; instead, ask that we don’t parade that thought across the blogosphere.

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    This is referred to as males thinking out loud. This has nothing to do with atheist or religious, it has to do with having an X and a Y chromosome and it being the internet. On the internet people tend to speak their mind instead of keeping some things to themselves.

    So don’t ask that boobs not be the first thing we think about, because it is and always will be; instead, ask that we don’t parade that thought across the blogosphere.

    So, the objectification of women as sexual objects is programmed into your DNA? Good to know. I guess we should stop trying to publicly express opinions, because we now know that (heterosexual) men are all thinking the same thing: Boobs. And, of course, we should stop asking for male-dominated spheres, like the atheist community, to be more inclusive of women, because men just can’t help it!

    Seriously, this is as insulting to men as it is to women. Or at least it should be. You guys shouldn’t allow yourselves to believe that you can’t rise above the objectification of women.

    Actually, I think asking men to critically examine the reasons that they automatically tune into a woman’s body, rather than looking to her message, and assess the effects that has on women is much more important than giving men license to continue objectifying, but asking them to keep it to themselves.

    When women are objectifies, commodified, or reduced to their body parts on a regular basis within a given cultural setting, they are effectively cast as something less than human. This not only devalues their thoughts and actions, it serves as justification for treating women as less than human – through verbal, physical and psychological abuse, sexual violence, etc. So, yeah, forgive me if I get a little sensitive over this.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Jeremy: “This is referred to as males thinking out loud.”

    And when males think out loud about someone’s cleavage in real life, that can come off creepy as well. In real life, you (I hope!) know better than to stare or leer at women’s breasts. You may notice them briefly yet move on.

    Also, it is telling that boobs would be the first thing that you think about. If the genders were reversed, would you expect that a guy’s pecs or–depending on how the guy was sitting–his “package” would necessarily be the first thing the women notice? For an example of the difference in how men and women are judged on sexuality and appearance, I’m reminded of this quote on “Girls Read Comics”:

    So I thought I’d start to whip up a list of other criteria that would need to be met prior to my being able to accept that men are just as objectified, and that said objectification is just as bad as that of women …
    [snip list of IFs]
    … Even then, the objectification wouldn’t be as bad, unless we could say in real life that…
    When making a list of the accomplishments and non-physical qualities of a man, we are expected, by default, to add “and he’s hot/easy on the eyes/whatever too!” and if we don’t it is presumed that he is ugly and the previous list of traits is mere compensation for that fact (and it matters) …

    Yes, it’s about comics, but I think more general lessons can be gleaned.

  • Tao Jones

    A couple thoughts…

    1. I must admit to being a little surprised with all the “boobs” comments. FA comments usually tend to be more haughty rather than being about a hotty.

    2. I watched a few more of Laci’s videos and they are pretty good. She’s fairly well spoken and has a lot of poise. My only complaint is that she capitalizes the word atheist.

    3. While Laci is definitely attractive, she’s not the typical California beach babe. It’s her confidence and poise that is most attractive. This is a really good thing, IMO. Laci can bring down a lot of stereotypes.

    4. Lets not kid ourselves, Laci’s popularity on YouTube owes a lot to her looks. I remember browsing the Blasphemy Challenge videos by views.. all the ones at the top were by young and attractive women. That’s just the nature of YouTube. Good on Laci for cashing in on it.

  • http://onechrist.wordpress.com Jesus loves you

    Christ treasures you for who you are. It may sound sappy but it’s better than you being a piece of meat.

    (Hypocrytical Christian men might devalue you too, but it’s a good thing they don’t set the bar, Christ does)

  • Jen

    So don’t ask that boobs not be the first thing we think about, because it is and always will be; instead, ask that we don’t parade that thought across the blogosphere.

    Consider yourself asked. Women just want to be able to be talked to, and discussed as, human beings first, not a pair of breasts. I want to know that I could go to a FA meetup and wear a tank top and still have my opinions valued.

    That said, I don’t buy into your DNA bullshit, and if you looked at J.J.’s link, I think you would see your objections have already been covered. You can’t argue, here, that the responses aren’t creepy. They are. If Laci was Luke, we wouldn’t see this shit. Therefore, it is going to make women uncomfortable. If your natural reaction is to talk about a woman’s body first and her ideas second, please curb it on mixed-gender blogs. You have been asked.

  • Jeremy

    Okay, obviously I need to clarify my statement.

    So ladies, when a guy first walks into a room, what’s the first thing you look at? His face and probably his body. It’s called attraction which is a direct product of evolution.

    So guys do the same thing. The first time I watched one of Laci’s videos, I noticed she was cute and that she was showing some cleavage. AFTER that detour, which lasted a few seconds, I moved on and listened to her message(s).

    I was in no way condoning people’s comments that are creepy and inappropriate; my only point was that we (male and female) notice attraction first as an instinctual aspect of our chemistry. This is not objectifying women, it’s human nature. But I agree that the people making comments about her boobs and completely ignoring what she is saying is not conductive.

  • brightbluelizard

    @ Jeremy: BULLSHIT!

  • Oli

    I feel i’ve got to stick up a little for Jeremy.

    Guys ARE hardwired to notice attractice women. Why do you think the advertising industry always fronts their male aimed products with attractive women. This isn’t something the ad industry taught us, its something they cash in on.

    Now to believe that just because i find a woman attractive, i don’t do MORE than that, is denial. I can notice an attractive woman for her looks AND listen to her message. These aren’t mutually exclusive abilities.

    I can find a woman attractive and not immediately objectify her as an object, sexy meat, bimbo, social inferior. I can find a woman attractive and not mentally put myself above her. In fact, as an aside, i find intelligent, eloquent and witty women far more attractive and interesting than huge boobed beach barbies. I would guess that the majority of the guys on this blog are of similar mind. Just because we notice attractive women doesn’t make us all leering perverts.

    While i’m hardly going to post comments such as “BOOOOOOOOOBS” on blogs such as this, does not mean that i haven’t noticed the aforementioned boobs. I haven’t seen the video yet (this computer has restrictions) but when i do i am sure i will notice the boobs. I’m also sure i will be able to listen to and understand exactly what it is Laci saying without distraction by the boobs.

    I understand that women don’t want to be objectified. But i do want to make clear that just because i find someone attractive does not mean i objectify them.

    And Jen, by all means go to the meeting wearing a tanktop. But you must expect that some guys will notice you. This doesn’t mean they aren’t going to value your opinions. It doesn’t mean that they will devalue what you have to say. And it doesn’t mean they are going to start panting, howling and high fiving each other.

    I happen to have a bisexual girlfriend and so i know for a fact that this kind of behaviour isn’t some oddity confined to the male gender. I’ll often catch my girlfriend checking out the cute girls when we are out and about. This is no different to most guys.

    I hope i’ve been clear about what i mean, i certainly don’t mean to rub anyone up the wrong way.

  • Tony Boling

    To be brutally honest…the boobs weren’t the first thing I noticed, it was the third.

    First was her green eye shadow matching her backdrop.

    Second was realizing I couldn’t read her scroll because it was going too fast

    Then the boobs and wondering if I should mention cleavage or actual boobs….boobs is a funnier word so it won.

    Then I realized the sarcasm (I’ve never seen her before).

  • http://www.nautblog.blogspot.com Sean the Blogonaut

    That was a clever video.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    I can find a woman attractive and not immediately objectify her as an object, sexy meat, bimbo, social inferior. I can find a woman attractive and not mentally put myself above her. In fact, as an aside, i find intelligent, eloquent and witty women far more attractive and interesting than huge boobed beach barbies. I would guess that the majority of the guys on this blog are of similar mind. Just because we notice attractive women doesn’t make us all leering perverts.

    No one said that it did. No one is expecting you not to notice. What we are expecting is that you give women’s attractiveness its due weight, and in many contexts, that weight is pretty close to zero, that is, it’s unimportant and should be treated as irrelevant.

    Jen is right; if it were Luke instead of Laci, we would be talking about his message rather than his muscles. Laci’s looks are not the point of the YouTube video. At most, they merit a passing mention, and given that our culture already has enough problems with women’s sexuality being given focus way out of whack with its relevance, it’s probably better just to keep your thoughts on her “hotness” to yourself.

    If Laci were at some singles party where people were expected to flirt, appearance might be more of an issue. If she were an entertainer deliberately setting out to be sexy, appearance would be a fair thing to comment on. Here, though, what she’s doing isn’t much different from what Pat Condell or Al Sweigart is doing. Their appearances aren’t an issue, so hers shouldn’t be either.

  • N

    I don’t think that noticing an attractive feature is necessarily objectifying, whether one notices pretty eyes, pretty hair, or a nice rack.

    Yeah. I said rack. I have a pretty nice one myself; and it doesn’t bother me when people notice.

    I notice attractive features of both men and women all the time. Sometimes I even (gasp) dwell on them. I’m a sexual being, and it’s perfectly natural and normal for me to be attracted to physical features. I thought we all believed in evolution here; this is part of it.

    I felt enough guilt about my sexuality (and my bisexuality) when I was a christian. I don’t need a guilt trip from the atheist community too.

  • N

    If she were an entertainer deliberately setting out to be sexy, appearance would be a fair thing to comment on.

    If you don’t think she was deliberately setting out to be sexy, you are very, very deluded, my friend.

  • Siamang

    That’s not how she normally looks.

    She’s working REALLY HARD to look like that for her you-tube video.

    I think the fact that she parades and pushes up her boobs to produce more youtube hits, and dolls herself up like crazy, makes her seem like a …. well a lot of teen girls. She’s got a hook, she uses it. I’m unimpressed.

    If she made this video without the gaussian filters, without the heavy makeup, without the push-up bra and low cut stuff, and without the wide angle camera that emphasizes her eyes and breasts and makes her look more busty than she really is… then I might listen to her stuff.

    As it is, this is the youtube equivalent of those photo studios at the mall which doll you up to look like a tossel-haired fashion bimbo, shitty satin backdrop and all.

    Jen wrote:

    I really think comments like these are why atheist events tend to be male-oriented. This is a really disgusting way to view women, and it isn’t going to make female commenters on this blog feel comfortable knowing that that is the first thing men think about when women discuss atheism.

    … says the woman with an image of her cleavage as an avatar.

  • Jen

    Siamang, that is really unfair. I have a picture of my neck, it barely includes anything more than a shadow to indicate I have cleavage. Its a picture I took three years ago and put up on Gravitar and forgot about and it only recently popped up on FA. I picked the picture in the first place because I thought it gave a sense of what I look like without putting my face out there so that I might have problems at job interviews.

    Even so, you have entirely proved my point. Look at that, I ask that you consider my ideas- that women are uncomfortable when men comment first on their looks- and you dismiss them because of this picture. If my picture is me naked for the world to see, if does not give you the right to dismiss my ideas because of my looks. I suppose if I wear a short skirt I deserve to be raped, as I deserve to be ignored for not wearing a turtleneck?

    Aren’t you a father? If you daughter wants to doll herself up, are you going to ignore her and tell her her opinions don’t matter, and that she can be heard when she wipes off the eyeliner? Fantastic, because that is exactly how you are dismissing Laci.

    I am really angry about this, by the way. I have always liked your posts, Siamang, and over the years I have agreed with you on many topics, but this is very upsetting.

  • Ape Toast

    I think I’m in love!

  • Ape Toast

    . . . however, my daughter better never show up looking like that anywhere; particularly on video.

  • Jeremy

    Jen:

    I suppose if I wear a short skirt I deserve to be raped

    Okay, this is where this shit gets ridiculous. If you want to say stupid stuff like that then go to a Muslim blog where your comments may be somewhat accurate.

    Noticing attractive features is not objectifying, making comments about them are not objectifying (but can be highly inappropriate). Passing Lacy off as a bimbo with no message worth hearing IS objectifying.

    I’m starting to think that there is a sense of jealousy on your part because people are commenting on her attractiveness.

    And Saimang is absolutely right; she does put in effort to look like she does in her videos, so of course people are going to notice. I will reiterate, the real issue is whether people are mature enough to keep those thoughts to themselves.

  • Siamang

    Jen,

    I have a hard time understanding where you’re coming from on this. Are you angry at the letches posting here, while at the same time condemning me as a prude for not being impressed by her parading her breasts a yard in front of her arguments?

    I see this as a situation where my reaction is disrespected only because it comes from a male. In your mind there seems to be no possible way for a man to comment either positively or negatively on Laci’s decision to sexualize her Youtube videos. If you say yay, you’re a sexist pig. If you say boo, you’re a sexist prude who dismisses the content of her words because she parades her female anatomy.

    If I was a woman and posted “I think she’s a slut”, would you respect that opinion?

    I’m saying she’s using sex appeal to tart up her viewership numbers on youtube. I find it boring.

    You don’t seem to understand that when people use sex to tart up their youtube videos, people are naturally going to comment on the sex.

    If my picture is me naked for the world to see, it does not give you the right to dismiss my ideas because of my looks.

    Why not? I mean, seriously if you show up for a political debate dressed like Lady Godiva, Freddy Kruger or Bozo the clown, it absolutely WILL cause people to comment on your attire. And if you dressed like any of the above, you knew fat well that it WOULD provoke a reaction. Laci is banking on that reaction… that’s why she makes sure her rack is pushed up and visible at all times. Heck, she MAKES SURE that her subtitles don’t obscure her breasts. She knows what she’s doing.

    I suppose if I wear a short skirt I deserve to be raped,

    Where the hell did that comment come from? Listen, tamp down your outrage. That “deserve to be raped” crap is the sexist version of Godwin’s law.

    If you daughter wants to doll herself up, are you going to ignore her and tell her her opinions don’t matter, and that she can be heard when she wipes off the eyeliner?

    I expect that when she grows up and begins discovering that she can wrap little boys around her finger that she will learn that that is a double-edged sword. One can use one’s sexual powers to garner attention. But that often undercuts your ability to be taken seriously as anything other than a sex-kitten. And that goes for men as well as women. If it’s the boobs that actually got you the attention in the first place, you may find that you don’t have the skill to hold folks’ attention with your ideas.

    To the right people, smart is always sexy. And it’s also fine to be sexy. But let’s not pretend that Laci doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing with the cleavage-cam.

    RE: Jen’s avatar, Jen wrote:

    Siamang, that is really unfair.

    I don’t think it IS unfair. It’s just an observance of a fact.

    Sadly I think that to you, anyone is allowed to express whatever sexual ideas they have, just as long as they aren’t male.

    Laci here attempts to use her sexual power to garner more attention than her ideas deserve, IMO. And I’m not crossing any barrier of taste or decorum or sexual equality by saying so.

  • GullWatcher

    @Jeremy

    I’m starting to think that there is a sense of jealousy on your part because people are commenting on her attractiveness.

    Now there’s the kind of sexism you just can’t buy, it’s got to be homegrown. Yes, Jeremy, of course – no attractive woman ever gets criticized unless the criticizer is jealous of her appearance.

    It’s clear from the rest of your post that you are trying to pass yourself off as a modern sensitive male. Too bad that little comment blew it.

  • Allison

    Given that we’ve already derailed this thread, let me just say to several of the commenters, including Jen and J.J. – THANK YOU! Your comments will hopefully change some minds, but they’re also for lurkers like me, who feel like we might be the only ones who just felt gross reading “BOOBS” comments (and then comments about how “BOOBS” comments are just human nature, and aren’t you just being sensitive?)

    And to add my opinion, let me say that no one here is saying that people don’t notice when others are attractive. We are saying, explicitly, that your actions are making us feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, and we’re we’re saying it with the knowledge that we will get significant amounts of shit about it. We think it’s important, because comments like that drive women away. Respect us when we ask you to stop making gross comments (because, seriously, what are you gaining from saying them?) and start inviting half of the population of intelligent people into the conversation.

  • Jeremy

    okay, I give up. Boobs!!!! Look at those boobs! Christ those are some nice boobs!

  • Jeremy

    Gullwatcher said:

    Now there’s the kind of sexism you just can’t buy, it’s got to be homegrown. Yes, Jeremy, of course – no attractive woman ever gets criticized unless the criticizer is jealous of her appearance.

    Yeah, I’m sexist. Give me a freaking break; I was raised Fundie Christian where the man was head of the household, period; now I am an atheist who believe men and women are completely equal. Point being, I know what it is to be sexist because I was raised in a household like that. But yea, I’m sexist. I’ll have to go tell my wife, she’ll really get a kick out of that.

    And the only reason I made that comment that you quoted was because of her “wear a skirt means I should be raped” comment. Of course people voicing distaste for sexual comments doesn’t mean their jealous, it means they don’t like sexual comments.

  • tk

    Do men get to wear tank tops to work or anyplace meant for serious discussion? no. Do they get to wear tight shirts and pants that really show off their figure? Not if they want to be taken seriously, and you, Jen, think it should be any different for women?

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    We are saying, explicitly, that your actions are making us feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, and we’re we’re saying it with the knowledge that we will get significant amounts of shit about it.

    You will – here, I’ll start. You’re not entitled to having your “feelings” protected from hurt, here or anywhere else on the Internet.

    It’s absolutely impossible to discuss matters honestly without someone’s feelings getting hurt. Let’s not start policing opinions that hurt people’s feelings: that puts a damper on honest discussion.

  • Tao Jones

    Let’s not start policing opinions that hurt people’s feelings: that puts a damper on honest discussion.

    Ah, honest discussion. You mean like:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS

    Brilliant stuff. Well, at least you didn’t claim it was intelligent discussion. There is no reason at all for those kinds of comments, even if you did view more of her videos than you would have had they been made by a 350 lbs bald man.

    To summarize:

    Laci knows exactly what she’s doing and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. She lists her causes on her MySpace page as “sexual liberation” and “beauty standards.” If she wants to sexualize her videos, good on her. It’s not like her videos will be confused for The Naked News.

    I didn’t get the impression that Laci was pandering or just using her looks to get attention. Instead, I think that’s just who she is… a confident, sexual creature.

    Good for her.

  • tk

    so, I got so wrapped up in the argument over sexism that I forgot to mention…Talking about taking her seriously is a moot point on this video because she is obviously being sarcastic. And it is quite possible that the reason she wore something like that on purpose was also to represent the stereotyped air headed church girl who thinks no body will look at he cleavage if she wears an open shirt and angles the camera down a little…and makes sure the subtitles go above the cleavage…

  • Autumnal Harvest

    I will reiterate, the real issue is whether people are mature enough to keep those thoughts to themselves.

    Well, duh. Jeremy, who are you arguing against? No one’s saying “Hey, guys, you must never notice when a woman is attractive.” They’re just asking that guys not be gross about it, and focus on what the woman is saying. I don’t see why this is such a mystifying and unreasonable request, given that the first dozen posts included such gems as “You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome!” and “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS.”

    It’s no different than the standard expectation you would have if a man saw an attractive woman in real life. No one would be shocked if he noticed she was attractive, or took a discreet second look. But it’s considered gross in real life to leer and ogle her, and jackassery to say “Gosh, she’s wearing make-up, picked out some nice clothes, and has clearly taken an interest in looking attractive. That clearly means that it’s completely appropriate for me to ogle her and act gross.” The only request I’ve seen above is, “Hey guys, don’t be gross and objectifying.” The responses seems to be (1) We’re on the internet, you can’t expect people to be considerate of others in any way whatsoever on the internet, and (2) guys have a Y chromosome that requires them to be gross. These are not impressive responses.

  • AnotherGuy

    Christ Jesus, stop your bitching and get over it. “acting gross”? What are you guys, middle schoolers? Grow up. You don’t want to see comments about sex? Don’t be on the internet. Worse than baptists. . .

  • tk

    you skipped over my reason which is she is clearly doing this on purpose as her video is a satire anyway.

  • This Is A Name

    >That said, I don’t buy into your DNA bullshit

    An ignorant opinion from an ignorant person.

    >I really think comments like these are why atheist events tend to be male-oriented. This is a really disgusting way to view women, and it isn’t going to make female commenters on this blog feel comfortable knowing that that is the first thing men think about when women discuss atheism.

    How is it connected to atheism in any way, other than in your deluded fantasy world you would like it to be so? The actual message of the topic being discussed is irrelevant, as are the beliefs of the person holding it.

    At a basic level, we men are rather visual creatures, and due to the way our minds operate, normally one of the first things we notice about a woman when meeting her for the first time is what she looks like. Does that mean we are ruled by these impulses and completely ignore what people are saying (or pay full attention) based on what they wear or look like? Of course not, to claim so would be absurd.

    All it means it at least for a short period of time, most men will be paying attention to looks before our conscious mind kicks in.

    In the same way that a person might be seething with anger and want to hit someone, but they override these impulses and force themselves to politely respond in a calm voice.

    And if you claim that these instincts don’t exist (something I take great offense at, a woman telling me how my instincts work, incidentally), you are ignorant and foolish. We’ve already seen that these two labels can be safely applied here.

    >I suppose if I wear a short skirt I deserve to be raped, as I deserve to be ignored for not wearing a turtleneck?

    Wow. What a brilliantly reasoned point! Oh wait … there was absolutely no chain of logic there, just a fool jumping to the wrong conclusion.

    Quite how you got from “physical looks are one of the things men initially notices about a woman” to this bizarre and completely utterly wrong point, I have no idea. No doubt you’ll also be preaching about how atheism leads to such behavior next too.

    In your apparent eagerness to make sensationalist points, you appear to have missed the real point:

    Expecting males not to notice someone’s attractiveness is insane. Being offended by the fact that this basic reaction occurs in most male minds is insane. But if you had paid attention you would notice that the problem is not these thoughts occuring, but the fact that several users were not able to withold those thoughts. Jeremy is spot on here with his comments.

    ——————————

    Incidentally, I would agree that the comments that sparked this off were creepy and inappropriate, similarly to if it were done in the real world.

    But what does my opinion matter, I’m an evil male atheist who only cares about sinning and objectifying women! (Hint for the stupid: that last part is called sarcasm)

  • N

    Apparently, fundamentalist christians do not have a monopoly on sexual repression.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Funny, N, I was just thinking that apparently fundamentalist Christians do not have a monopoly on sexism and creepiness towards woman. I’m quite comfortable with sex, thank you very much. Try not to confuse sexual liberation with freedom to make inappropriate and objectifying comments towards woman. The first is historically not compatible with Christianity; the second has been associated with Judeo-Christian values for several millenia.

    Expecting males not to notice someone’s attractiveness is insane. Being offended by the fact that this basic reaction occurs in most male minds is insane. But if you had paid attention you would notice that the problem is not these thoughts occuring, but the fact that several users were not able to withold those thoughts. Jeremy is spot on here with his comments. . . Incidentally, I would agree that the comments that sparked this off were creepy and inappropriate, similarly to if it were done in the real world.

    “This is a Name,” if this how you feel, then I don’t understand who or what you’re arguing against. While I wouldn’t agree with exactly how Jen has phrased everything, and particularly, agree the rape comment was not helpful, clearly her complaint here is about the actual, observable comments, not the psychic readings she would have sensed if the comments had been about the message. I can’t speak for Jen, but I don’t expect people to not notice that Laci is a quite attractive young lady, or that she has cleavage (especially I certainly noticed these things when watching the video), and most other complaintants don’t seem to expect that either. In fact, and Jen might disagree here, I’m totally fine with comments like “She’s super hot and hilarious.” But I find it frankly baffling that intelligent people could argue that comments like “You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome!” are a reasonable sign of enlightened sexual non-repression.

  • Jeremy

    But I find it frankly baffling that intelligent people could argue that comments like “You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome!” are a reasonable sign of enlightened sexual non-repression.

    And I don’t think myself or phot. . err This is a Name are arguing that; it’s an immature comment and not conductive. But Jen acting as if it was totally disgusting and terrible and it’s a step away from rape. Take it for what it is, a guy leaving an immature comment, end of story.

  • This Is A Name

    “This is a Name,” if this how you feel, then I don’t understand who or what you’re arguing against. While I wouldn’t agree with exactly how Jen has phrased everything, and particularly, agree the rape comment was not helpful, clearly her complaint here is about the actual, observable comments, not the psychic readings she would have sensed if the comments had been about the message. I can’t speak for Jen, but I don’t expect people to not notice that Laci is a quite attractive young lady, or that she has cleavage (especially I certainly noticed these things when watching the video), and most other complaintants don’t seem to expect that either. In fact, and Jen might disagree here, I’m totally fine with comments like “She’s super hot and hilarious.” But I find it frankly baffling that intelligent people could argue that comments like “You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome!” are a reasonable sign of enlightened sexual non-repression.

    I am certainly not defending comments such as “You can mute it and black out the top 60% of the screen and this video is still awesome”, I explicitly stated these were immature and creepy. I haven’t seen anyone here defending such comments either (though I did read through the comments quickly so I may have missed something). You’re clearly missing the point here:

    I am arguing against the nonsense that Jen has decided to sprout. I don’t want to speak for anyone else here, but it would appear that Jeremy et al. are doing the same. Specifically I am rebutting:

    A) The claim that someone deserves to be raped/ignored based on their clothing
    B) The nonsense that this reaction is in any way to do with male atheists, and/or the subject of atheism itself.
    C) The claim that the reaction of males to physical beauty is not based on instinct (and that our DNA is responsible for these inbuilt instincts)

  • Anonnie Mouse

    It should be enough that women here are telling you guys that your comments made them feel uncomfortable. All things being equal (which they are not, I assure you) why is that not good enough?

    I am feeling a bit sick to my stomach reading the posts where guys are defending their own sexism, as if they are entitled to it regardless of how much discomfort and division it causes. I matter. My opinion matters. How I feel about sexist comments matters, precisely because I am a member of the objectified gender in question. Same goes for the other female commenters here. The way your comments come across to us matters, and there’s really no defending them, honestly.

    Why is it not enough to hear a woman say she feels upset, and to just apologize instead of rationalizing your behavior and telling her she has no right to feel that way? Shame, boys, shame.

  • Jeremy

    Why is it not enough to hear a woman say she feels upset, and to just apologize instead of rationalizing your behavior and telling her she has no right to feel that way? Shame, boys, shame.

    Just out of curiosity. . . Who the fuck are you talking to? The people who made the comments she was offended by haven’t said a damn thing since the original comment. And NOBODY on this thread has defended what they’ve said, quite the opposite. So tell me, what thread have you been reading?

  • Anonnie Mouse

    As a matter of fact, one of the people I am talking to is you.

  • tk

    lol, wow, really? They said quite clearly that the comments were not excusable, the only problem here is those women taking this above and beyond asking those guys not to say those comments. This is the root of the problem. Also, it is obvious that this chick is making a sarcastic video, if you dont think she is trying to draw that kind of attention, and if you really think that other woman’s ranting about listening to her ideas was solid, you might want to get your ears checked, Because that girl was not presenting any of her own ideas.

  • Eliza

    Female here. (Straight female.) I’m late to the discussion, but I agree with Siamang and Tao Jones above; Laci knows what she looks like and the effect it has.

    I too am visually oriented, & so while I don’t know how I would have reacted if I were male, I will freely admit that I noticed Laci’s breasts right away, and watched them throughout the video (as well as her face, which is mobile & expressive, and the subtitles when they were on screen – like I say, I’m visually oriented).

    As someone who examines breasts on a regular basis (as a physician in a Women’s Clinic), I estimated her as wearing at least 34DD bra, maybe larger like an F cup, just from what shows on the video. There’s more volume there than a push-up bra would achieve – her breasts would ride higher & not swing as freely if she had a push-up on.

    Here’s a video of Laci talking, seriously and even near tears at times, about the burden of a big chest. Everything she says there rings true, from what I have heard from my patients who have large breasts, including several who’ve pursued breast reduction surgery.

    You can find photos online of different breast sizes; see for example the bottom of this page: http://www.afraidtoask.com/breast/breastsize.html (WARNING: that page shows photos of real, non-stunning breasts, on real, imperfect women – don’t go there if you may find it offensive for any reason.)

  • This Is A Name

    I am feeling a bit sick to my stomach reading the posts where guys are defending their own sexism, as if they are entitled to it regardless of how much discomfort and division it causes.

    Er… what planet are you on? Are you incapable of basic reading comprehension? You’re either completely divorced from reality was we know it, or you are unbelievably stupid.

    Why is it not enough to hear a woman say she feels upset, and to just apologize instead of rationalizing your behavior and telling her she has no right to feel that way? Shame, boys, shame.

    Firstly, no one should have to apologise for comments they never even wrote. Seriously. Try reading the comments. You know, that part where certain immature people made comments like “BOOBS LOL!!!111″ and completely different people criticised these comments repeatedly but attacked the inane, bizarre, and delusional conclusions that others had drawn.

    In what way can me and Jeremy make it clearer that we think these comments are inappropriate? Short of making repeated comments … OH WAIT, WE ALREADY DID THAT!

    And guess what, if people act irrational, they get called out on it. No one said anything about rights (unless you’re one of these people who seem to think that your beliefs automatically have a right to respect from other people). Jen held an opinion that makes no sense, and several people who held low opinions of that opinion decided to give their verdict (and backed up those opinions with a little dose of reason and logic to boot).

    If Jen didn’t want feedback on her opinion, she shouldn’t have posted it. It’s nothing to do with her having no right to feel that way, and how dare you misrepresent it as such. As if attacking an opinion also means you are attacking the right to hold that opinion. How dare you.

    It’s ironic how such a religious mindset is making an appearance on a site called “friendly atheist”.

    And no, it’s not enough for someone to be upset. Appeal to emotion has no place in a debate of any kind. It simply proves you have no case to make.

    Drop the smug, patronising tone (you certainly are in no position to patronise given the idiocy of your comments), and try actually reading what was said. Because at the moment you come across as an irrational, emotional idiot who is completely divorced from reality.

  • This Is A Name

    Additionally I have to laugh at the double standards; you complain about people holding sexist views (supposedly), telling us we have no right to feel this way:

    …reading the posts where guys are defending their own sexism, as if they are entitled to it

    But then critise us men for (supposedly):

    …telling her she has no right to feel that way?

    I already mention that these are both completely wrong above, but how can you criticise someone supposedly attacking someone’s right to feel a certain way, whilst doing the exact same thing yourself, in the exact same post no less… the hypocrisy is staggering.

    Incidentally, people are entitled to be sexist if they choose to be so. You are aware that in the Western world people are allowed to hold whatever beliefs they want, right?

    And no, just because we are free to hold whatever beliefs we want, that does NOT give them permission to act on these beliefs, before you try and twist that around.

    By the way, are you one of these misandronistic feminists or something?

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    This Is A Name: “By the way, are you one of these misandronistic feminists or something?”

    Where’s an eyeroll emoticon when you need one?

    Look, shortly after Milena’s response to the “black out the top 60%” comment, we have Jason’s patronizing bit about “Let’s not get sensitive,” followed by several other commenters saying, “Hey, we guys are just wired that way,” which comes off as a lame attempt at self-justification. You don’t have to be misandrist to react badly to that.

  • Frank Allen

    Anonnie Mouse Says:
    December 10th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    It should be enough that women here are telling you guys that your comments made them feel uncomfortable. All things being equal (which they are not, I assure you) why is that not good enough?

    I am feeling a bit sick to my stomach reading the posts where guys are defending their own sexism, as if they are entitled to it regardless of how much discomfort and division it causes. I matter. My opinion matters. How I feel about sexist comments matters, precisely because I am a member of the objectified gender in question. Same goes for the other female commenters here. The way your comments come across to us matters, and there’s really no defending them, honestly.

    Why is it not enough to hear a woman say she feels upset, and to just apologize instead of rationalizing your behavior and telling her she has no right to feel that way? Shame, boys, shame.

    Sorry, we forgot women just like to be placated with an empty apology and a pat on the head.

    Of course if a woman is upset, a man should just apologize, no matter how he feels about the situation even if the woman is a complete stranger with an opposing viewpoint.

    Way to mark one up for gender equality.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Another thing. What is really telling is that it was only in the past few comments that Jeremy and This Is A Name conceded that the “BOOOOOOOBS!” comments were immature, whereas earlier on, Jeremy was defending such comments as thinking out loud, and This Is A Name appeared to be defending such comments as well on the grounds that men just natural notice women’s looks.

  • This Is A Name

    A comment I posted earlier appears to have tripped the anti-spam flag and is awaiting moderation (hopefully this one won’t as well), but I wanted to clear this up and didn’t want to wait for my other post to be approved:

    Another thing. What is really telling is that it was only in the past few comments that Jeremy and This Is A Name conceded that the “BOOOOOOOBS!” comments were immature, whereas earlier on, Jeremy was defending such comments as thinking out loud, and This Is A Name appeared to be defending such comments as well on the grounds that men just natural notice women’s looks.

    Uh … I readily stated my opinion on these comments in my very first post here. Take a look.

    Jeremy also clearly hinted that he didn’t approve in his “this males thinking out loud” comment, and next comment after that one immediately clarifies his position and spelt it out for those that didn’t seem to get his subtle comment. This was way before my first comment.

    So, to say it is only in the past few posts as if we’ve only just picked up on it is false. What’s really telling is that you failed to realise this, particularly with my comments where I mention this from the instant I started posting on this topic.

  • Jeremy

    Then you misread: I said: “So don’t ask that boobs not be the first thing we think about, because it is and always will be; instead, ask that we don’t parade that thought across the blogosphere.” in response to Jen saying “This is a really disgusting way to view women”.

    My initial point was that she jumped from the conclusion that if a guy notices a woman’s breasts (even if she does flaunt them), then that automatically meant he was a sexist pig who objectified women, which is nonsense. I didn’t feel like I had to defend myself until I had multiple people inferring that I was defending the previous comments; my only goal was show the absurdity of equating a guy noticing breasts to sexism.

  • http://n Rak

    I don’t really think there is much I can add that Jeremy and TIAN didn’t already cover. Sexual attraction has driven our species to be the most successful on this planet. It’s not an issue of guys not thinking it, it’s the issue of being mature enough not to act out on those initial impulses. AKA BOOOOOOOOOBS

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Jeremy & This Is A Name, point taken. You did address the immaturity of the “BOOOBS!” posts in your initial posts. To that extent, I apologize.

    That said, what you did was start with saying “This is just how guys are,” as if you were defending the boorish behavior, and then as if it were an afterthought, tacked on briefly a note about how immature some of the above comments were. That said a lot about your priorities.

    This would be a saner response to Jen saying, “it isn’t going to make female commenters on this blog feel comfortable knowing that that is the first thing men think about when women discuss atheism.”:

    Hey, the problem isn’t when it’s the first thing men think about, so much as when it’s the main thing.

    Notice that it isn’t defending anyone’s bad behavior, not even partially. Nothing that can easily be read as a dismissive “boys will be boys.”

    Jeremy: “I didn’t feel like I had to defend myself until I had multiple people inferring that I was defending the previous comments”

    Maybe now you know why you had multiple people inferring that you were defending the previous comments.

  • Jeremy

    Maybe now you know why you had multiple people inferring that you were defending the previous comments.

    I take the rebuke with humility. :)

    Do you happen to be the same J J Ramsey that posts on Rosenhouse’s blog?

  • This Is A Name

    Jeremy & This Is A Name, point taken. You did address the immaturity of the “BOOOBS!” posts in your initial posts. To that extent, I apologize.

    Thank you.

    That said, what you did was start with saying “This is just how guys are,” as if you were defending the boorish behavior, and then as if it were an afterthought, tacked on briefly a note about how immature some of the above comments were. That said a lot about your priorities.

    I can’t stop you interpreting it like this, but you shouldn’t infer that I consider the issue low on my priorities. It was posted as an aside at the end because I had little to say on the issue and had considered the matter dealt with; I was merely reiterating what had been stated earlier. If I had posted much earlier in the discussion it would have been one of my first – rather than last – points, as is perfectly reasonable. You should not leap to such a conclusion about my motives and priorities so quickly.

    As I had little new to add, I instead focused on attacking the irrationality displayed elsewhere.

    Notice that it isn’t defending anyone’s bad behavior, not even partially. Nothing that can easily be read as a dismissive “boys will be boys.”

    But I did not (and still do not) consider my comments in any way defending such behaviour. I am not going to limit myself to spelling things out blatantly because others are not able to grasp the subtleties of what I said; that’s their loss not mine. And even if I did, given the lack of reasoning displayed by certain posters elsewhere, I would expect even extremely obvious statements to be misconstrued and taken out of context; this has already been demonstrated.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Jeremy: “Do you happen to be the same JJ Ramsey that posts on Rosenhouse’s blog?”

    Yup.

  • Queen of your dream

    Reading all this makes me rather sad. I wonder if the second poster (Jason) got the bite he wanted out of his comment. The irony is that this nasty war between the genders has taken place in the humour section. I mean comments like “Sorry, we forgot women just like to be placated with an empty apology and a pat on the head” are patronising, sarcastic and unkind. I don’t mean to single anyone out since there plenty of other unbecoming displays of animosity here, it’s just there’s something particularly sad about that comment. Can I suggest you all move on from this? Can I also suggest that before you post in future you ask yourself whether what you type would be okay to say in a room full of people that includes your spouse and/or your mother? Take care and have a merry Xmas.

  • Polly

    Holy Cow! I finally was able to watch the vid.
    And?!?!?
    There’s seriously nothing sexy or even sexual about it. The first thing I noticed was her green eyeshadow and her exuberance. THIS is what all the fuss was about?!

    From the comments I expected some over the top display, but she wasn’t flaunting anything.

  • Gigi

    Omg she’s amazing. I’m christian and I needed that. Jesus loves you all.


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