To take up arms against a sea of sexists

To take up arms against a sea of sexists October 15, 2012

“Take all that away, and what’s left?” “Me.”

In July of 2011, an unpleasant incident at an atheism conference prompted a much needed discussion about sexism (including careless or negligent acts of sexism). Over a year later, Jen McCreight, who did some kickass blogging in the wake of the elevator incident and is a fierce fighter for women (and men who want to treat people decently) got driven offline by a brutal campaign of harassment and threats. I’ve included a few posts related to her fight in this sexism sequence.

  1. Sexism Among Skeptics – A female atheist blogger was propositioned in an elevator late at night after given an entire talk on the way too aggressive come-ons make women feel unwelcome in the atheist movement. Here’s why she definitely wasn’t making a mountain out of a molehill. (Plus an unpleasant personal anecdote).
  2. Handling Sexism Among Skeptics – But is it really necessary to air all this dirty laundry in public? Is this really a good use of the movement’s time and energy? YES.
  3. Let’s Talk About Privilege – Living in a sexist culture doesn’t make every guy a sexist, but it means even good guys can perpetuate the sucky way our society works through ignorance. So here are some ways to wise up.
  4. In the Company of Men – In which the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I’ve got a dispiriting one handy about how hard it is to call out sexism when you’re the only woman in the room and you’re trying not to call attention to your gender

And then, a little less than a year later…

  1. Ave atque vale, Jen McCreight – Jen McCreight is fierce, funny, and whip-smart, but she embodies all those adjectives offline after anonymous internet users who hated the way she called out sexism harassed and threatened Jen, her family, and her boss.
  2. If you can’t take the heat, turn into a tardigrade! – Why “just man up and ignore them” is terrible advice for the targets of harassment
  3. If you can’t take the heat… once more with feeling – Care to have the argument from the post above illustrated with examples from musical theatre? You’re in luck.
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