The YouTube version of this blog can be found here.
Quick thanks to my latest Flattr’er :)
Since dogmatic feminism made its way into atheist circles, most notably in the ignominious social justice group Atheism+ born and raised on FreeThoughtBlogs, I’ve kept a skeptical eye on it. This was my first full-blown exposure to feminism, in its pseudo-third-wave form. Before I dismantle feminist “theory”, I want to talk about dogma and why the way we think is more important than what we think.
A few years ago, I had my eyes and mind opened when I discovered Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Randi, among others. Although I was never deeply religious, the world of the rational, reasonable and skeptical fed my curiosity and made so much more sense to me than the mess of religious beliefs that floated around in my immediate family. (My father is a devout Christian and my mother believes in God but isn’t conservative.) I clearly remember the night I didn’t sleep, watching talk after talk (YouTube) and just soaking it all in.
It was reassuring to know that others felt the same way about supernatural/magical claims as I did. Moreover, it opened my mind to look at things from more than one angle. Let’s not forget: atheism is redundant without theism—and a lot of what I was interested in afterwards was people’s religious beliefs, what they believed, why they believed that, and what they did because of those beliefs. I took a good hard look at the facts, in search of truth, and started to re-examine what I knew and how I knew it. In the process, I learnt a lot about myself and the world. I sharpened my critical thinking skills.
That is what I think the skeptic community rests on: reason, evidence and critical thinking. And it is what the atheist community largely rested on too, because once you apply that to specious God claims you are left with no choice than to be an atheist (to those claims.) Those of us who fight for reason and critical thinking do so for one simple reason: it works. Science demonstrates that.
Dogma is a barrier to rational thinking. In my own words, dogma is belief/s that cannot be changed by new information. It is something you know to be true because “it just is.” It should be obvious why such “protected” beliefs are against the principles of rational thinking but I’ll quickly explain: we are exposed to a necessarily incomplete view of the world. We will invariably be exposed to ideas that are not correct. To form a more accurate view of the world, we must be able to purge ideas or beliefs that are incorrect—which is not possible if we cling onto them and defend them against facts.
A lot of atheists have become more involved with anti-religious and anti-theistic activism because religious dogma is arguably the biggest and most accepted form of dogma that pervades our society today. It has been allowed to continue to the point of terrorism. Dogmatic religious beliefs hold back medical advances (research that could cure cancer), human rights (such as gay marriage, reproductive rights, women’s liberation in other parts of the world) and education while at the same time manufacturing hatred on a large scale (towards blacks, women, gays, atheists/infidels, you name it), creating artificial divisions on ideological boundaries and generally making it harder for us all to get along as a global community. (Why can’t we just live and let live? Therein lies part of the problem.)
The problem isn’t just religion though. Pretend sky fairies and zombie Jesus never hurt anyone. The problem is dogma—bad thinking—which has gone unchecked for too long. This is how we naturally are. We are animals, and we are wired for survival and to seek out patterns (discriminate and apply prejudice.) The human brain is not innately rational. But we can do a bit better than survival, if we use our brains properly.
This is why critical thinking is so important. If religion and religion alone were to cease tomorrow, new dogmatic ideologies would spring up in no time. In a parallel universe where the Bible was never discovered, a different, equally rough-around-the-edges story would have surfaced, with much the same purpose.
There are those who, in semi-serious jest, call Atheism+ “the first atheist cult.” There is a good reason why this is both apt and important: the same dogmatic thinking that the atheist movement has been trying to dissolve is, ironically, manifesting itself within the atheist movement. This has caused a large operation-halting (or at least in many online communities) schism in the atheism movement between those who are atheists as a conclusion of rational thinking and those who are atheists for other reasons. This only goes to prove what we knew all along. Being an atheist doesn’t automatically make you smart, or rational, or reasonable.
The dogmatic feminism responsible for Atheism+ has caused an impasse in the atheist community by shifting the spotlight from skepticism to “social justice”. With injustices to women (naturally—it’s feminism) near the top of the list. (I won’t speak about the delusions of “social justice” in this piece.)
Feminists who work under the presumption of Patriarchy theory cannot work for true equality. Whenever you hear “Feminism is for equality,” you should also hear “and Islam is a religion of peace.” Really think about that one. There is no deception going on, just an ideologically deluded worldview that distorts definitions. As for “the radical notion that women are people”? Is that really necessary in first-world countries?
I object to feminism because it is a dogmatic and harmful ideology that is in conflict with science and reason and has demonstrated this in, among other things, its anti-free-speech fiascos both online and in real life. Free speech is non-negotiable. If you don’t believe in freedom of speech for those whose ideas you detest most or object to the most, you don’t believe in freedom of speech at all. Remember that when you see “hate speech isn’t free speech.” The answer to ‘hate speech’ is not silence, but more speech.
The whole idea of feminism puts women in a “you are a victim of the system” mentality. This is why so many of them are professional victims while claiming to be self-actualised and independent (fighting the Patriarchy, I’m sure.) It causes a lot of troubles and inner conflicts. I want to see women succeed, through legitimate achievements, alongside men, not curl up, blame men for everything and get special treatment. And I want to see boys and men, who are sons, brothers, fathers, husbands and friends, getting fair treatment, too.
The fact that in these circles “what about teh menz!?!1!” (typically written like that) is used to chide anyone who’s concerned about men gives us an indication on how their working definition of “equality” differs from most.
It’s not just women who are feminists. But it’s not actually that anomalous that there are male feminists. If I can draw an analogy to Christian theology, whose dogma is relatively well known: The original sin? Being born male. You are responsible for what your forefathers created (The Patriarchy.) But you can absolve yourself of that guilt by being a feminist advocate. The similarities don’t end there, but they’re not much more than exposed bits of dogma to giggle at.
Much of what goes by the name of feminism is nothing more than a gender ideology. It’s about time people realised that.
I’ll sign off with a quote from a friend:
2013, time to turn it around. No more submission to fear. Demand evidence at every instance. I think this is the theme that now needs to be driven by all who give a fuck.