@Ursa ... wow, that was completely unexpected. And super awesome. Thank you. Not gonna lie, the "You're being oversensitive just shut up" reaction I perceived from the blog in general at the time made me stop my regular lurking on UF for a while, and then when this stuff happened with Rebecca I stopped reading the athiesphere in general, cuz I figured I have enough bull to deal with from my family and school and seeing all that sexist crap which almost inevitably comes up (from admittedly few camps, but it does, as you saw with Rebecca, even by the sheer indirect allusion to the Great Gender Wars of the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries) just gets depressing and tiring...running in a hamster wheel, not going anywhere. It becomes harder and harder not to listen to the truly radical feminists who say men can never be trusted because they will never understand and they don't want to understand. I do think men and women can connect and understand each other's experiences, and I want to be a part of that, but when clusterfarts like the Great WHO(AR)E Debate of 2011 happen...it's hard not to let that extremist doubt creep in.
But I've been drifting back slowly (only so much godtalk you can take before you want, no, NEED a dose of the atheist community humor, preferably in the form of a George Carlin meme), enjoying the news updates, and I had another sexism explosion on Facebook* so I went to Google my name on UF to find the original thread for reference, and what do I find here but a very lovely response from you. (You weren't even really much of a source of problematic statements in the first place -- by and large disagreement without disrespect, which is what it's all about...actually, on re-reading the whole thread, the discussion was quite good, ignoring a few exceptions.)
Thanks not only for changing your mind, but for sharing it publicly. That says a lot about your character. It really means a lot, because it helps me restore my faith in the whole point of having an argument in the first place. It restores my conviction in everything UF is about -- convincing the other side.
So often on the Internet we feel like we're screaming past each other and nothing changes, nothing gets fixed, nothing gets done and you are just wasting time and effort and emotional energy. But when you post things like this, it indicates that we're NOT. We forget that in this virtual reality, we are actually interacting with people, really touching and affecting each other's minds and hearts. It doesn't seem that way when it's just pixels on a screen, thousands of characters of this (frankly appalling) Courier New (fixed width, blech) font and you're 200+ posts deep in snark and derail. But people who are intellectually honest remember their opponents arguments and try to understand them, and they keep thinking about them, and sometimes that long-gone debate, the one you thought irritatingly unresolved and hopelessly lost to time, actually DOES mean something long after. This whole thread, in fact, is actually super awesome and one I hadn't hoped or expected to see if I did return.
...which means I need to saddle up for a theological debate with my parents and significant other again, lol. But with more hope this time.
Thanks again! I'll try to lurk less in the future so I won't be such a stranger here.
* Debate on Facebook involved a friend saying she hated how she was in 4+ layers of clothing, huge overcoat and no makeup and still got catcalls and it annoyed her. Of course there was a guy who said she was being dramatic and there were REAL problems ("Child brides! Cleft pallets!"), etc...55 comments later and the debate ended with Classy Dude (no detectable irony, from what I could tell) saying, "Rape isn't that bad. Stop being so whiny." Literally. This is the kind of crap that boggles the mind of anyone with anything resembling morals, and yet, it is alive. On the Internet.