On Sunday Surly Amy answered a question from a reader about how to deal with all the vile hate being directed at outspoken women. She provided some examples of the stuff out there being directed at feminist women, and it’s pretty despicable. I’m sure most of you reading this have seen it’s like before and have asked yourself  “What can I do?” The answer is alarmingly simple. You can speak out.

On TuesdayWednesday, and Thursday Amy posted statements from leaders in the secular and skeptic communities speaking out against the disgusting minority that is trying to silence women. She’s asking male leaders in our movements to raise their voices against the horrible people who are trying to steal something important from us and make sure it is a place where their hate and bigotry is welcome.

I have good news for you. You don’t have to be famous or be a “leader” to tell these people that you don’t agree with them. You can raise your voice here or anywhere else online and say that you a man in the secular and/or skeptic community who disavows this hateful minority. You don’t need to be eloquent, just be direct. Tell these jerks you won’t put up with them and tell women that you want their contributions.

Comment here and I will highlight your voice. Email me and I will post it for you. Comment elsewhere and let me know where you spoke out and I will link to it. Share this post far and wide and let men know that their voice matters.

This is not men against women, this is positive people against hate. Join us.

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dasregalJuly 27, 2012 9:47 am

Threats and intimidation are never acceptable. You have a right to disagree. You do not have a right to attempt to scare or bully others into silence.

We don’t need or want people like that as part of our community. Nobody does.

wbrinkmanJuly 28, 2012 8:19 am

There will be disagreements in any community. Sometimes they will be heated.

When those disagreements turn into threats of violence and intimidation, a line is crossed.

Most people in the skeptical and secular communities are decent people, but there are vocal few who are not. When these people call for women to be raped or beaten, they hurt all of us. They silence valuable voices within secularism. They discourage others, men and women, from joining secular groups. They provide powerful statements that enemies of secularism will use against us.

They have a right to speak, but we also have a right to speak out. We have a right to say that if you want to kick someone, we don’t want you around. If you have to ask if raping someone is moral, then do society a favor and lock yourself away.

There is no perfect code of conduct, and we are not perfect individuals, but we can and should try to do better. There may be a fuzzy line, but we should stand up to people who are way past that line.

squirrelywrath2July 30, 2012 11:33 am

One of my pet peeves is the use of the term “feminazi”. This seems to happen a great deal in youtube comments sections. I have actively engaged users who employ this term on a few occasions.

Since I am less likely to change their mind in a broader way, I usually make an effort to just get them to admit what their actual criticism is, and then demonstrate that “feminazi” is a stupid way to make that point. Everyone knows that as soon as you start comparing a group to the Nazis, that all brains have left the room. I find that with skeptics, that if nothing else, they can sometimes clue in to the fact that they are making the same kinds of arguments that they claim theists make. I know of one user that I confronted who I still see pop up in the comments saying “feminists who act in an overly authoritarian way” rather then feminazi. Not life altering, but some progress none the less.

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