Which Is More Rage-Inducing?

I just came upon this quote made by an atheist:

When I look at the relentlessly deteriorating family situation so obvious in the world around us today my conclusion regarding the source of this disaster is that American family life is being destroyed because of our willful disobedience against the natural order of relations between men and women. To put it simply; men are to provide for and protect women and women have obligations to obey men. Each individual man in turn has an obligation to obey the social rules that men as a collective decide upon for the community.

So here’s my question. Is it more rage-inducing when religious individuals endorse patriarchy or when secular individuals endorse patriarchy? Personally, I’m going to say the latter, though I’m not entirely sure why. What say you?

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Jasmyn

    I agree. At least when a religious person says it, they have divine inspiration and their religious handbook to back them up. I know the divine inspiration isn’t true, but they believe it’s true, so it only makes sense that some of them will listen. When secular people do it, it’s just disturbing.

  • Gordon

    I agree, the secular person adds a dash of disappointment to your disgust.

  • http://yamikuronue.wordpress.com Yamikuronue

    I think it’s merely that the religious person’s indoctrination is obvious: you have a clear chain of reasoning you can point to as the source of the toxic idea. With a secular person, it’s more nebulous; they got that idea from someplace, probably from patriarchal society or from religious persons, and have internalized it in the same way that the religious person has, but there’s nobody to point a finger at, no Vision Forum or Pope to blame.

  • SallyStrange

    I totally agree, and I’ll tell you why: Because they have no excuse. It’s blatantly irrational; it is clearly the vestiges of Abrahamic religious thinking, and since they rejected ONE irrational premise promoted by religious people, what the hell is stopping them from rejecting this OTHER irrational premise promoted by religious people? Oh, right, because it’s to their personal benefit.

    • BabyRaptor

      This says what i wanted to say in much better wordings.

  • “Rebecca”

    I somehow feel more responsible for the things fellow secularists say, so the latter.
    Once in awhile it’s good (I guess) to be reminded that bigots and shallow-minded people can come from any kind of worldview, either religious or non.

  • Mafrin

    I think the secular person is more rage inducing. Perhaps because I feel that they should know better.

    I think I feel this way because of how I became an atheist- through compassion and logic, I assume (rughtly or wrongly) that the majority of atheists share these qualities.

  • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

    Who the heck is Jesse Powell? And what is it with that site? It seems to be a disconnected series of pronouncements from…who are these people? “Thinking Housewife”? How about “Randomly Ranting Housewife” ?

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      Oh right, the original question: Yeah, the religious nuts you can see where they get it from, and figure there’s hope if they can get their heads free of the theological BS, but the atheist? The racism, homophobia and misogyny must be frickin’ built-in to that head, or something.

    • The_L

      I’m not sure that “Thinking Housewife” is actually a woman. Because no sensible woman would type half the garbage she spouts if she were actually thinking.

      Good thing he writes under a pseudonym. His wife must hate the guy.

      • Jason Dick

        Sadly, there are many women that believe this kind of thing. Self-harming beliefs are incredibly common. I’ve seen Muslim women stand up for the Islamic head coverings, Christian women scream loudly about how abortion is, “killing babies,” and how condoms promote promiscuity.

        The thing you have to realize is that people are generally not rational at all. I generally take people at their word about this sort of thing: consider, after all, that a serious misogynist thinks women are lesser and would be highly reluctant to impersonate one.

      • Emmers

        I mean, head coverings aren’t an example of self-harm. Now, if what you meant to say was “laws requiring head coverings,” then I think we’re on the same page.

  • http://writingawayfromgod.wordpress.com Writing

    Chiming in for another vote toward the secular person being rage inducing.
    1. It is irrational. They have no irrational holy teachings believed by many others to back it up, so it is even more obviously irrational than such a statement by a believer.
    2. It’s another notch on the “reasons to hate atheists” tally, of which we desperately need fewer.
    3. Atheists are usually touted as more well learned than your average patriarchal Christian (exceptions always apply), so statements like these not only sound ignorant, and can paint all atheists with that same ignorance (see #2), but also disregard many cultural norms outside of the Abrahamic world.

  • jose

    Woman hating transcends partisan politics.

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Rachel Marcy (Bix)

    Hmm, an atheist supporting Christian Patriarchy on The Thinking Housewife? I know some people suspect that site is a Poe, and I think some of their other articles make a strong case for that interpretation.

    Generally speaking, it’s definitely more disappointing to hear it from people who are supposed to be skeptical and rational, and who aren’t beholden to an extremely conservative religious ideology. People who grow up in a religion that supports inequality might be indoctrinated, but people who don’t and still support inequality are just bigoted.

  • H

    I think as atheists, we expect more out of people who we think are on our “team”. I’m sure if one is a Christian and knows two people who cheat on their spouses (one atheist, one member of their church), they are going to be more upset by the member of their church and more likely to dismiss the atheist as a product of their environment. Maybe a person who has stood on both sides of the fence can tell me if that rings true.

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      Then let’s stop thinking in terms of “teams”. I’ve been (in theory) on Team Fundy and Team Liberal Christian and Team Atheism, and I say the whole concept of “Team” is rubbish. You can find decent people and horrible people on all those teams (though fundamentalism tends to suppress decency in selective ways, and basically decent people tend to moderate such views over time). So I’m pissed at Mr. Powell, not because he’s one of “my crowd” (he isn’t — I don’t hang with jerks like that), or he’s “supposed” to know better (because “atheist–>rational” is a fallacy of reverse implication, and lots of people become atheists for non-rational reasons), but because he comes up with all that bigotry *with no outside help*.

      • ar

        Eamon Knight, if there were a like button I’d click it and wish I were allowed multiple clicks. The assumption here that all people who practice a faith are irrational and that all people who do not are rational is absurd and insulting.

  • Nox

    More rage inducing when self evidently bad ideas are espoused by people who have no commandment to espouse those bad ideas.

    Events in the last couple years have made it clear that not all atheists are above patriarchy. Still not clear that this actually was an atheist. This was posted on a christian website, and has four people talking without telling us where this conversation took place (it looks like they took fragments from a comment thread and turned it into a blog post). Since every other post on that site is dedicated to attacking secularism and liberalism or defending catholic priests, and christian websites have a long shameless history of putting words in other people’s mouths, I’m inclined to think it isn’t a reliable source for what any real atheists did or did not say.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    I think they are equally upsetting. If someone thinks men lead and women follow and this state of things is immutable, it doesn’t matter if society or God told them so. To them it just is and doesn’t change. You can just as easily sound silly blaming evolution or the natural order as you can blaming God.

    • Aaron

      Except that a full understanding of evolution increasingly does not support these conclusions, while a “full understanding” of God does. But the underlying point, that stupid people can exist of all levels of faith, is certainly true.

  • Monika

    I’m agreeing with every other comment that secular people are more rage inducing. We are meant to be the rational ones. And if we are talking about the leaders of the respective movements that is even more true. I’m so disappointed in you Richard Dawkins.

    A while back I quoted you “I would rather work with a christian feminist than a misogynistic atheist” to my husband because I agreed. My husband disagreed because he thought at least the atheist must be rational at their core and therefore, since misogyny is not rational, you can cure them more easily. Interesting but I still think I agree with you still.

    • LeftWingFox

      My husband disagreed because he thought at least the atheist must be rational at their core and therefore, since misogyny is not rational, you can cure them more easily.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the case. There are a lot of theists out there who believe they are reasonable, intelligent people who are simply convinced by the truth of reality. Like them, bigoted atheists have developed a wall of defences preventing reality from intruding on their convictions, be it paranoid conspiracy theories, selective reading, projection, cognitive dissonance or any of the standard human logical flaws we all fall prey to.

    • HelenaTheGrey

      Depends on what he means by rational to the core. If by rational, he means, that the Christian is an idiot for holding on to the belief of what (to him) is clearly an imaginary being, then I guess I can see his point. But for myself, I’d see the Christian feminist as being more rational. Most CFs I know believe in a God who’s love and grace is bigger than all the evil in this world. They believe in women’s right to bodily autonomy, including their right to abortions. They believe men and women should be treated equally, regardless of other factors like race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, etc. They are pretty much all desirous of getting to know others so they can better themselves. I won’t claim that all CFs in the world are this way or that the ones who are always get it right. Certainly people can be “cured” of misogyny, but I sincerely doubt it is as easy as your husband might believe. So it seems to me that it comes down to this…would you rather work with someone who pretty much believes the same things that you do and treats people fairly, regardless of their sex, but also believes in a fairy tale or someone who is a complete @ss to the women he works with (and knows), has a power complex, etc, but doesn’t believe in the fairy tale.

  • http://smashed-rat-on-press.com/ The Rodent

    Aaagh! My brain splits into two pieces which proceed to devour one another in rage…

  • Azura

    I’m a pagan, and I definitely agree that secular folks are a bit more upsetting. I hold people who claim to be “more rational than thou” to a higher standard. If a pagan were to say the same thing, that’d piss me off further still because our religion points to equality so you’d have to go against your own religion to believe it. I think it’s because misogyny angers equally no matter what, but then I get upset at my higher standard being let down plus a certain level of cognitive dissonance that has to be occurring.

  • saraquill

    They sound essentially the same to me, so they are equally infuriating.

  • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

    I find both about equally upsetting. The misogyny in religion and the misogyny in secular society are both reflections of sexist cultural forces that have been with us for countless ages. Sexism (and so many other prejudices, as well) finds its way into nearly every institution and relationship on the planet. Neither secular nor religious people are immune. If you could wave the proverbial magic wand and banish religion from the universe, sexism would continue, alive and well. Why? Any system of oppression that imbues greater power to a group of people will be defended by that group, tooth and nail, because power is desirable. Holders of power always arrogate unto themselves the resources and social influence necessary to popularize and rationalize oppression’s continued existence. If not by religious decree, other means will suffice.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      One more thought. I’m a trans woman. Upon transitioning, I noticed that many men (and some women) started to treat me like a child after my appearance shifted from male to female. People started treating me differently in literally countless ways. Sexism is real, and nearly everybody manifests its ill effects—some consciously and others with full awareness. With the patriarchally religious, sexism is a moral imperative. With other people, it is an ever present cultural distortion that they have little awareness of. Both are harmful and limiting in countless ways.

      The frightening thing is, as the years have passed, I am no longer able to easily recognize how people treat me differently. I have become inured to the ever-present cultural drone of sexism. Sexism is the everyday fabric of my life. I am a fish contemplating the meaning of water.

      • Hilary

        Thanks for your perspective – that was interesting.

      • HelenaTheGrey

        Thank you very much for sharing that. Having lived as both sexes, you have a very unique perspective on what life can be like for people on both sides. It feels nice to have someone who has lived as a man confirm what feminists have been asserting all along.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      Helena, just a clarification: I know what it’s like to live as an adult, male-bodied person, but I never made it to manhood. At 17, I stopped identifying as a guy and started to identify as a woman, regardless of the body I was wearing. I never made it to adulthood with a self-concept of male identity. That shift in self was crucial because it radically impacted how I saw myself and thus, how I interacted with others. Nevertheless, I do have the experience of the ways in which people treated me, regardless of the truer, inner sense of self that guided me through that part of my life. Experiencing a part of one’s life as a woman hiding within a male body becomes a tour of misogyny from a very different angle—one that confirms the reality of sexism’s horrors. It’s interesting, for instance, to hear what men will say about women when they think a woman is not in the same room with them.

  • luckyducky

    The exact SAME thing could have been written by a Catholic because so much of Catholic moral reasoning is supposedly based on the “natural law”.

    I don’t know that I find one more rage inducing that the other, probably because of the above. Yes, religious people use divine authority to make their point but often secular people use science in the same capacity (they’ve read 1 slightly-more-academic-than-pop-culture book, possibly evopsych and think they understand the entirety of gender and sex).

    I think our working theories of social structure are pretty infantile — even secular people build theories that have the same or only marginally more evidence than a religious ones. And many religious people have very egalitarian understandings (not that social structures are egalitarian) of social structure based on their theology. What is important is how well it corresponds to evidence we do actually have and how resistant one is to updating it in the face of new evidence. That, and how just it is.

    • luckyducky

      Actually, I’d like to amend my statement. I think it is more infuriating for a religious person to make such statements.

      They are making a claim for the divine and generally want/expect others to conform and use the threat of eternal punishment to motivate it. It is not falsifiable and generally anyone who challenges such a statement on theological grounds can be written off as a heretic (or something lesser but still wrong). Therefore they have a greater responsibility to be making *fair* and *just* claims than someone who is making a claim than someone making a claim in the name of science. Someone making a claim in the name of science is making a falsifiable statement and a statement that is subject to the review of other of equal or more expertise than the person making it. And while they may want people to conform, they are limited in their ability to compel people to do so.

      In addition, I think if you are Christian, particularly of the God is Love persuasion (rather than the fear God, fear meaning actual fright not awed respect — as long as you are up front about it), you have additional responsibility to make claims that reflect that sort of divinity. If you say God is Love, then damn it, his “natural order” better be loving.

  • http://concerningpurity.blogspot.com Lynn

    The atheist bothers me more, because at least when a Christian has a patriarchal view, I can dismiss it as bad theology and hope that if he changed his theology, his beliefs in patriarchy would change as well. But with an atheist, his belief is based on a misunderstanding of human nature, which is nearly impossible to change in someone.

  • RMM

    Definitely the latter. Secular individuals should know better. They should be better educated on the range of male/female rolls in different cultures in the world.

  • Makoto

    I think my rage hits the high point for the act/expression, well before I realize what religion or not the person follows.

    I expect religious folks to follow some pretty bizarre things, and hope non-religious to use critical thinking skills when it comes to just about anything, but I”ve been proven wrong in the past, and expect to be proven wrong again on both fronts.

  • Jason Dick

    Fortunately, on average, secular folks are more progressive and rational than their religious counterparts. But it is very saddening to see just how common misogyny remains among atheists.

    I would like to mention, though, that in my own transition out of Christianity, I became an atheist years before I stopped being anti-gay or somewhat misogynist (I was basically a mansplainer before I learned more about the subject). It took a number of conversations where I really hurt people before I started to come around.

  • http://www.fidesquaerens.org/ Marta L.

    I’m a religious person and I hope this isn’t my bias showing, but it really is more infuriating when I see the secular person.

    For me, it comes down to how I think of religion. Different people doubtlessly think of religion in two different ways. To some people religion is a positive thing, part of a strong community, that is worth making certain sacrifices for. This is separate from whether you think it’s true, btw. For instance, I know some atheist Jews who still had their son circumscribed because it seemed like a worthwhile price to pay for a Jewish identity that would ultimately benefit their son. Now, I don’t think even they would condone these misogynist attitudes, but they might say that at least the religious person who had that view still had the benefit of the religious identity.

    On the other hand, there are people who think of religion as a liability. For these people, being religious kind of gives you a predisposition toward bad traits like sexism and homophobia. Now, if someone is making that same bad action as a religious person would, but without being religious, that makes them seem almost more culpable. It’s the difference between a Klingon losing his temper and beating someone, and a Vulcan beating someone while being in full control of his temper. Both actions are unacceptable because we expect folks to control themselves, but the Klingon’s action is at least a little more understandable.

    All of this makes me think the secularist is a little more culpable and certainly more rage-inducing.

    • Sophie

      May I just say that I love that you are using Star Trek to illustrate your point!

  • http://lyricalpolyphony.blogspot.com Mary

    As a christian, I think that christian patriarchal folks are more rage-inducing than atheist ones. Why? Because being a christian is supposed to be all about following Christ, right? And Christ set the example of treating women as people and going against the patriarchal BS- as christians, we should have a heritage of egalitarian, mutual, unselfish love in all of our relationships. Oh, wait- that horrid, insidious patriarchy rears its ugly head in church too. It’s sad, really- I think christians, if we actually tried to follow the teachings of Christ, should be known for their humanitarianism, equality, justice, and contribution to a stable, peaceful society…..but we’re not, and it is very sad and embarrassing. And also rage inducing.

    • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

      ” And Christ set the example of treating women as people and going against the patriarchal BS”

      This is one thing that frequently frustrates me about conservative Christians. I’m a liberal and a feminist–neither are things I chose, just things I am, but both of them are rooted in my Christian upbringing. For me, being Christian is about treating others as equals and while I do understand where they’re getting these ideas from, it’s completely contrary to how I’ve always understood being a Christian to work.

      That being said, the secular people spouting this trash bugs me more, and I think it’s because I tend to associate secular and athiest with liberal, so basically the patriarchal atheist reads as both liberal and conservative to me, and my brain throws up its hands trying to tease out how that particular combination works.

  • Lurkpuppy

    Religious bigotry gives me more rage. Secular bigotry is awful as well, but if they refuse to debate and discuss evidence and apologies for being downright insulting (and some do, I’m well aware), they’re the ones who are, in general, going to look bad. Anyone who says “the natural order” should instantaneously be blockaded until such time as they can usefully define that term.

    When religious types refuse to debate or assess evidence, they are widely praised by their peers. They refuse to look beyond this smug, self-reinforcing system to see that not everyone thinks the way they do, and not everyone lives the way they do. Essentially I find it worse because, sure they have an excuse, but their excuse is bad and you can’t reason with it. The secularist might not have an excuse at all but at least it’s easy to make that clear.

    Mind you this may be the “argument from naive scientist.” Also, referring to religious bigots, not religious types in general.

  • Edward Gemmer

    I hate the patriarchy garbage from secularists. Nothing is worse than having a good argument and then someone getting mad because they want to protect the women as if they aren’t smart enough to come up and defend their own opinions.

  • jaimie

    Not rage inducing. Perplexing. Obviously this writer is lacking in basic historical knowledge and drawing erroneous conclusions from simple statistics. Like the conclusion that marriages were happier because the divorce rate was low. Wrongo. In fact, at this time things were really starting to heat up over the right for women to vote.

  • HelenaTheGrey

    Just adding to the general flow here, but definitely would have to be coming from a secular perspective for me. I get why Christians, etc believe that way, even if I don’t agree at all. But to just divine that the natural order of the universe is for women to obey men??? Would you care to back that statement up with some scientific evidence?

  • Kodie

    I have no idea what people are talking about. I grew up in a secular household with bigots (the old-fashioned because of the way things used to be kind). Patriarchy is all around, it’s everywhere. I don’t feel like this is something that is getting enlightened out of our culture. Almost everyone I know seems to fit into their stereotype and expect others to do the same – I don’t stop and ask them what religious background they have. I didn’t grow up with the idea that this comes from religion. Religions take it to the extremes but they get it from the culture. The culture made the religions. The religions codified things into supreme mandate that already existed. I don’t know why I should be more outraged as though atheists are reasonable about everything. Atheists are just people, they don’t necessarily think all things all the way through and re-educate themselves by reading all the same blogs other atheists do or go to speaking engagements or conferences or gatherings.

    Atheism does not necessitate getting rid of all irrational beliefs and arguments. It could be but people do not study sociology with the same enthusiasm. Our political views are different – how can that be? If one is rational, one political view would have to be the most rational, and the others less rational. One government would have to be the most rational, and yet we have states’ rights that vary, and atheists who live in every state.

    When I think about it right now writing here, I might even come up with the idea that patriarchy is correct but only because it does seem to make the most people the most attractive to the most other people for the purposes of pair-bonding and child-rearing, and the reasonable people have to sift through the rest to find anyone who understands anything else. I wholeheartedly dislike everything I know about patriarchy, but no matter what I can try to do, it’s too everywhere to be more outraged because it comes out of one kind of person or another kind of person. I can’t even think of an analogy. It would be like saying does it outrage you more when you hear a man say something racist or a woman say something racist. Does it make you sadder when you hear a 60-year-old homophobe who is set in their ways and can probably never be reasoned with or an 8-year-old homophobe who has been indoctrinated to hate and already resistant to reason. It’s all really bad.

  • http://talkbirth.me Molly

    Whoa. I need to go scrub my brain now. I got lost down the rabbit hole of reading other posts on the blog you linked to and I now despair at the future of humanity. Seriously awful things there. Scary and sad. I agree that the latter type of misogyny is more disturbing–because there is really no “excuse,” because there is nothing to blame specifically for nourishing and perpetuating the idea, because it really just *doesn’t make sense at all* when examined outside of the context of religious indoctrination (though, I guess political indoctrination of the, “feminism is evil,” variety is also a cause and that is what it seems like the website you reference is rooted in). Wow. I’m just super depressed after reading her stuff :(

  • Uly

    Secular all the way. I don’t like being let down and insulted by my own side.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m chiming in on the “Poe” side. I can stretch to believe that an atheist would use the phrase “disobedience to the order of nature”, but using the word “willful” as a modifier to “disobedience” is church talk. The phrase “willful disobedience” indicates that you are disobeying because you want to have a will of your own, and using the phrase as a negative indicates that the author believes submitting your will is the proper thing to do. That doesn’t sound like an atheist to me – it sounds like a person who is so steeped in church culture that he doesn’t stop to think about how people outside that culture actually think and therefore talk.

    As for your question, given two otherwise identical misogynists, I would be more infuriated by the atheist one, because “Stop making my team look bad!” – but in practice, the religious misogynist is more likely to attempt to curtail my behavior. An atheist misogynist believes women are inferior, but doesn’t have the power or popular support to do anything about it. Religious misogynists are organized, politically powerful, and able to persuade some otherwise decent people to go along with their agenda because God Says So.

  • Sophie

    I think it would be equally rage-inducing from either person if I’m honest. That level of misogyny is ugly coming from anyone’s mouth. I think this comes from another big cultural difference between the UK and the USA, we don’t have a Christian Right here. Our conservative Christians would most likely be considered moderate in the USA, as would our conservative politicians. It is the norm here for relationships to be fairly egligatarian, certainly in mine and my parent’s generation. It is more usual for both partners to work, do childcare and do household chores. I’m not saying it’s a 50-50 split, it is likely that the women will do more of the childcare and housework. But we are seeing more stay at home dads, and the majority of men will take care of their kids when they aren’t working. If you go back to my grandparents generation you might find that it was more common for women to do all of the childcare and all of the housework but often they would have careers before they had children, and a lot of women went back to work when their children went to school. Basically my point is that people with the attitude displayed by that blogger are a tiny minority here, and they would be thought to be old-fashioned and sexist and treated with contempt by the majority.

  • Besomyka

    Equally rage inducing, but considerably more baffling when it comes from a secular angle.

    My confusion come primarily from the claim that the family is deteriorating. With the religious, I understand that the faith teaches what a family unit is, and that deviations from that could be considered a ‘deterioration’ of the family for which something could be done to rectify. I disagree, but I can at least understand why they thing that there is a problem to be solved from a not overtly horribly personal space.

    With secular, however, I have no idea why that person would think that the family is deteriorating without assuming the conclusion. From a secular point of view (if we don’t assume the conclusion), then gay marriage is creating more stable families, which is improving the situation not deteriorating it. The only way to claim that it’s getting worse is to assume the conclusion that those are invalid families with no other reasoning.

    It’s a horrible argument, and the result of very poor reasoning. It’s just “I don’t like those families, so those families shouldn’t exist.” Well la di da.

  • Noelle

    I’m voting equal on this one.

  • Aaron

    Both are rage-inducing, but the former makes more more angry at an individual, so it feels like it produces more rage, since the theoretically more actionable rage to an individual has more emotive content. If I were the type of person who solves problems by punching them, I would have a lot easier time punching one atheist than an entire crowd of theists, so the tiny violent bits of my psyche speak up more loudly, before getting shouted down by the much larger majority of bits that enjoy living in a civilized society. At least, that’s what it seems like. I’m no neurologist.

  • Knayt

    I’d consider it more enraging from a secular person. In the case of a religious person, the religion theoretically is right, has divine guidance, and has a built in moral code. Following said moral code, including the patriarchal aspects is pretty much to be expected, though variable interpretations of what holy texts mean, what sources are divine, etc. make it more complicated. In the case of a secular person though, any moral code that already exists is merely what a person or group of people think, backed up by their reasons. It’s not divinely inspired, it needs to be questioned, and there is an ethical necessity to think seriously about morality, analyze what’s out there and figure things out. Thus, endorsing patriarchy is a personal failure to think critically enough, whether due to simply not thinking things through or motivated reasoning that actively defends it. There is a personal moral failure in the second case that simply isn’t there in the first, and that makes everything worse.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

    To me, the secular one is more rage-inducing because it is more unexpected. Religious sexists are, sadly, par for the course. They make me angry, but at some point the reflex is like “yeah, yeah, they’re just like that sometimes, it’s not worth getting all the adrenaline flowing again“. The secular patriarchist (is that even a word) is a new source of rage and thus more potent.

  • http://pslibrary.com/ MrPopularSentiment

    I posted that Fox article you wrote about recently on my Facebook wall and I got a close family member responding that “the facts in the article may be false, but the basic premise is true.” THAT is more rage inducing. This is someone I speak to often, someone my son looks up to, and he’s throwing out the same tired old crap.

    As for religious vs atheist, I find the atheist more rage inducing because that’s MY community. As with the family member, this is a person I’m stuck with, a person I have to work with or around but cannot do without.

  • Cara

    For me, it’s also the latter, for three reasons:

    1) I don’t interact with any religious patriarchists on a regular basis at the moment. There’s still the possibility of having to deal with them e.g. at work in the future, but I’m not putting up with them as friends or acquaintances in the future. Since I don’t have to deal with them except at a political distance, they’re less annoying.

    2) With religious people, you can at least hope if maybe they see the light on religious issues, on which the evidence is easier to explain and understand, they’ll see the light on patriarchy. With a secular person, the patriarchy is the axiom which makes it a lot more frustrating.

    3) I really hate the distortions of science, evidence, reason, and logic that secular patriarchists will use to defend their position.

  • http://autistscorner.blogspot.com Lindsay

    They are equally rage-inducing for me, because they’re advocating the same (bad) thing for different (bad) reasons. My rage-trigger is primarily triggered by the sentiment “patriarchy is good”, which is equally present in both arguments, whether “Patriarchy is good because my all-powerful imaginary friend says so” or “Patriarchy is good because that’s how men and women ARE.” The arguments are equally stupid, can be refuted with equal ease (“Your imaginary friend doesn’t exist!” or “Have you actually *met* any women? Or any men?”), but arguments are never the point. They’re just there to rationalize the person’s emotional attachment to patriarchy.

  • http://www.weareallatheists.com Michel

    We have a word for people like this. Whoever wrote this is trolling.

    According to Wikipedia : Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion

    Heck, perhaps this person is not even an actual atheist, perhaps he/she is just getting a kick out of it.

    Just a possibility, of course. But not such an unlikely one.

  • Olivier

    For me, people who express such opinions about gender roles and who back them up with religious arguments are far more upsetting. When someone say things must be this way because God wants it this way, there is no much room left for discussion.
    Maybe I think so because I live in a very secularized society, where faith is the exception rather than the rule. Religious fanatics appears so strange and their reasoning so alien!
    Most people I know are not religious , and are not more driven by Reason than any other people. But I don’t know any militant atheist.

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