Posted on | August 8, 2013 | 148 Comments
In the wake of the atheist sex scandal we reported Tuesday, someone in the “skeptic” community (as these soi-dissant rationalists refer to themselves) created a Tumblr blog called “More Will Be Named” that expanded the list of accused harassers beyond Skeptical Inquirer deputy editor Ben Radford. Before that Tumblr was deleted (for reasons unknown) former children’s TV host Bill Nye “The Science Guy” was among those named, as referenced in Tweets here, here and here.
Is there anything to such accusations? I have no idea, but if it seems wildly improbable that Nye could be suspected of such behavior, remember that no one outside the “skeptic” community (and relatively few insiders), had any reason to suspect Ben Radford before Karen Stoltznow went public with her account this week.
Now more women are coming forward to testify that the “hostile climate” for women in the atheist movement is not limited to the Radford situation. Atheist podcaster Stephanie Svan described a case involving Jim Frenkel, while Carrie Poppy describes her problems at the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), which hosted the conference where Stoltznow claims she was sexually assaulted by Radford.
The most interesting aspect of Carrie Poppy’s accusation is the finger she points at JREF President D.J. Grothe, whom she denounces for “constant duplicity, dishonesty, and manipulation.” See if you don’t notice something in this sentence:
I was assured on more than one occasion by James Randi that D.J. Grothe would be fired (I hear Randi denies this now, though he repeatedly promised it to another staff member as well, and that staff member and I represented the entirety of JREF full-time staff other than D.J. and his husband, Thomas), but after several months of waiting and being asked to wait, it became clear that D.J. was not going to be fired.
WHOA! D.J. Grothe is a gay man and an atheist and (according to Carrie Poppy) complicit in this kind of foul misogyny?
Damn, I’m gonna need more popcorn. Meanwhile, feminist maniac Amanda Marcotte has weighed in to say that the answer to this problem — you guessed, didn’t you? — is more feminism.
OK, forget the popcorn. One of you ladies fix me a sammich.