More The Men is not about me, it’s about all men speaking out in favor of diversity. Last week I asked people to comment here, email me, or link me to comments elsewhere where they, as ordinary guys, speak out against the recent campaign of misogynistic abuse directed at women in our communities. Many of you took a stand and told the haters that you are not on their side:
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.
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.
There has been an appalling amount of vitriol and hatred towards a number of women (and men) who have advanced the apparently shocking argument that women deserve to be treated as people. I want to speak specifically of my reaction to this, and how that comes across to me. Mind you, I’m a straight white male, aged 18-35, and the abuse I get from online commenters is peanuts compared to what women deal with, both online and in meatspace.
I cannot discuss issues or work with people who call me a “mangina” or a “feminist-licker just hoping to get laid” simply because I think rape is a very real issue, and “jokes” about it contribute to real harm. I cannot engage with people who tolerate (even encourage!) this behavior in their communities. If you have no problem with the abuse directed at the SkepChicks and others, count me out as a potential ally, because I want nothing to do with you.
Your voice matters. Please add it to our chorus today.