The Other McCain

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God and Man at #Skepticon: Atheist @RichardCCarrier Gets Banned

Posted on | June 21, 2016 | 60 Comments

Richard Carrier mocks Christianity at Skepticon 2011.

“I am a feminist because feminism is simply the belief that women should be treated as fairly as men, and there is no factual or rational reason to want the world to work any other way.”
Richard Carrier, 2012

“The accusations specifically against Richard Carrier are, sadly, not so surprising to the Skepticon organizers. . . . What has been made clear by the recent discussions is that our attendees’ well being and comfort is put at an unacceptable risk by Carrier’s presence, and so we are officially prohibiting Richard Carrier from attending any future Skepticons.”
Lauren Lane, “Keeping Skepticon Safe Richard Carrier to Be Banned,” June 20, 2016

Women who hate God also usually hate men and sex, and the influence of feminism has proved the undoing of the “New Atheist” movement, as Ph.D. scientist Phil “Thunderfoot” Mason said in a December 2015 video: “Make no mistake, it wasn’t the religious who effectively destroyed the atheist movement, it was feminists, who infiltrated, derailed and effectively destroyed what, until then, had been an exciting and vibrant new atheist movement.” This was a subject I wrote about a few years ago after Rebecca Watson denounced atheist men who “sexualize” her.

Atheist women are soulless monsters incapable of normal affection. Hate is the only emotion atheist women ever feel, and they especially hate atheist men who are “creepy” — a feminist synonym for heterosexual.

 

Richard Carrier has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is the author of several anti-Christian books. He spoke at the very first “Skepticon” event in 2008 at Missouri State University, and returned to speak at the conference every year thereafter through 2013. Carrier was also a frequent speaker on college campuses, where his appearances were sponsored by the Secular Student Alliance. Even as he rose to prominence in the pantheon of New Atheist celebrities, however, Carrier’s fame as an anti-Christian was becoming problematic. In 2012, Carrier declared himself a feminist. Around the same time, when he was in his mid-40s, he began having extramarital affairs. In 2015, Carrier announced he was divorcing his wife of 20 years, explaining he “had a few brief affairs, because I found myself unequipped to handle certain unusual circumstances in our marriage.” At the same time he announced:

I am polyamorous.
I have, and will continue to have, multiple girlfriends who are likewise poly or aware of my being so, and that will be the way of my life from now on.

Being “polyamorous” is what used to be called “swinging,” which has always been a notoriously creepy scene full of dangerous perverts — voyeurs, exhibitionists, bondage/sadomasochism freaks, etc. Carrier’s divorce and “coming out” as polyamorous came a few years after the Rebecca Watson incident, which caused Vox Day to mock atheist men:

No wonder they’re so furious at God. He created all those lovely women with those beautiful breasts and they aren’t even allowed to even talk to them.

Whatever else feminism may include, it always includes implacable hostility toward male heterosexual behavior, which feminists condemn as “sexism,” “harassment,” etc. Not all feminists are lesbians, but all feminists condemn men’s sexual attraction to women. Any male who expresses admiration of female beauty is engaged in “objectification,” and any man who flirts with a woman is guilty of “harassment” if she decides his interest is “unwanted” or “unwelcome.” (See “The Queering of Feminism and the Silencing of Heterosexual Masculinity.”)

Men cannot even be allowed to talk to women, according to the ideology Professor Daphne Patai exposed in her 1998 book, Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism. This radical anti-male/anti-heterosexual ideology has become increasingly evident in feminist rhetoric. “Feminism is about redefining our social value system,” Anita Sarkeesian explained in May 2015, and elsewhere proclaimed: “Feminism is about the collective liberation of women as a social class. Feminism is not about personal choice.” The feminist agenda of “the collective liberation of women” requires that male/female differences be eradicated. “The gender binary is an entirely artificial and socially constructed division of male and female,” Sarkeesian declared in a 2013 video, denouncing the “false dichotomy” of viewing men and women as “two distinctly separate” kinds of human beings. This attack on the “gender binary” and the agenda of “redefining our social value system” are aimed toward a goal Richard Carrier probably did not understand when he called himself a “feminist.”

“Women under patriarchy are raped or romanticized — often both simultaneously. Partly for this reason, radical feminists argue that, under patriarchy, heterosexuality itself is oppressive to women. . . .
“Apart from the pressure it puts on women to suppress the lesbian side of their sexuality, patriarchal norms of heterosexuality define masculine and feminine sexuality in such a way that the woman is an object for the man.”

Alison Jaggar, Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1988)

“It is women’s subordination within institutional heterosexuality which is the starting point for feminist analysis. It is resistance to this subordination which is the foundation of feminist politics.”
Stevi Jackson, Heterosexuality in Question (1999)

“Heterosexism is maintained by the illusion that heterosexuality is the norm.”
Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee, Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions (fifth edition, 2012)

“Gender is a hierarchical system which maintains the subordination of females as a class to males through force. Gender is a material system of power which uses violence and psychological coercion to exploit female labor, sex, reproduction, emotional support, etc., for the benefit of males.”
Rachel Ivey, 2013

“All women are prisoners and hostages to men’s world. . . . Each man is a threat. We can’t escape men. . . .
“Being around any man constitutes a threat to us, because they are our oppressors. Being wanted by a man and him treating you as if you were his is inherently violent.”

Radical Wind, 2013

“Heterosexuality and masculinity . . . are made manifest through patriarchy, which normalizes men as dominant over women. . . .
“This tenet of patriarchy is thus deeply connected to acts of sexual violence, which have been theorized as a physical reaffirmation of patriarchal power by men over women.”

Sara Carrigan Wooten, The Crisis of Campus Sexual Violence: Critical Perspectives on Prevention and Response (2015)

Once you understand feminist gender theory, you see that feminism is simply incompatible with heterosexuality. Feminists condemn men as “oppressors” who impose heterosexuality as an “institution” that enforces “women’s subordination” through “patriarchal power.”

Richard Carrier evidently never bothered to study feminism before swearing his allegiance to the movement. In August 2013, when one atheist blogger complained that feminists were “attempting to redefine flirting as sexual harassment and sexual intercourse as rape,” Richard Carrier responded by asserting how pro-sex the atheist movement is:

Indeed, many of my friends in the atheist community are polyamorous, or actively participate in the BDSM or swinging communities, some even have orgies and sex parties . . . at atheist conferences! . . .
Polyamory and swinging and even the attending of orgies requires more ethical behavior and more careful attention to boundaries and consent than traditional sexual relationships do.

That paean to the “ethical behavior” of orgy-goers was about two years before Carrier’s divorce and “coming out” as a polyamorist. (A memorable reaction to that disclosure: “Dr. Richard Carrier, PhD — A creepy, dishonest hypocrite.”) Carrier’s behavior at atheist conferences, however, had caused others to label him “creepy,” as he admitted in a June 2015 blog post where he confessed to what he called “failures” involving “bad flirtation” and situations where he “behaved awfully.”

Now, if you were in benefit-of-the-doubt mode, favorably disposed toward Richard Carrier, you might read his mea culpa as motivated by sincere remorse over a few incidents of behavior that was mildly offensive or inappropriate — “relatively small and correctable,” as he said. However, despite his claims about the wild swinging “pro-sex” attitudes of the atheist movement, Richard Carrier had become a target of feminists who were not favorably disposed toward him and who did not consider his misbehavior “correctable.” Carrier allegedly crossed the line after a speaking appearance at Arizona State University on April 3, 2015, when a student named Amy Frank said Carrier “sexually harassed me and touched me.” This was reported to the Secular Student Alliance, and Carter responded to the SSA by email:

“I did express interest in a student at an after event. And I recognized she did not appreciate that, and I apologized to her at the time. If she does want any further apology, I will definitely provide her one, so do relay that if that’s the case. But I don’t want to bother her by contacting her any further without her consent. I definitely felt bad about it. I thought the interest was mutual and I was very wrong. I won’t be doing that in future.”

SSA has a “zero-tolerance” policy, and responded by removing Carrier from their Speakers Bureau, although he continued to appear at SSA-affiliated events at Ohio State University (Nov. 16, 2015), University of California-Riverside (April 23, 2016) and Florida Tech (May 13, 2016).

Let us be clear that there is a difference between “expressing interest” in someone and “sexual harassment,” however, when a 45-year-old man is invited to speak on a university campus, for him to “express interest” in a student is inherently inappropriate. Here’s how Carrier describes it:

I did not touch her. Nor did the SSA tell me she had claimed so. And indeed, our interaction was more ambiguous than she makes out. Apart from publicly flattering her abilities as I would anyone as competent, we had one private conversation in which she expressed interest in opening her relationship with her then-boyfriend (or husband?), but noted he wasn’t sure about it yet. In response to that I mentioned that if she ever does, I’d be interested in dating her, and she should feel free to contact me if that happens. She smiled and said she would. That was the extent of our interaction that could be described as sexual harassment, and that only at quite a stretch. Amy also mentioned in that conversation that her then-boyfriend reads her private emails and messages. Implying I shouldn’t attempt to contact her. Even though I hadn’t said I would.

Question: Why would a college girl tell a 45-year-old man she was considering “opening her relationship” (i.e., polyamory)? Was this because Richard Carrier had a well-established habit of bringing up the topic of polyamory in cocktail-party conversation, as a sort of prompt to see if any women he’s talking to might be up for some action?

What does a middle-aged divorced atheist polyamorist consider “appropriate” behavior toward girls half his age? A commenter at Carrier’s blog, “Jimmy From Chicago,” raised this issue:

“Even if we’re to believe you and not believe her, you’re still the creepy middle-aged man who goes to the off-campus bar, hits on the students, and makes everyone uncomfortable. To do this at an event where you’re the invited speaker is unprofessional.”

To this, Carrier responded:

If you think ageism and infantilizing adult college students is better, I think we just have different values.
Meanwhile, I have many successful relationships with college students.

And furthermore Carrier added:

Except for some rare mistakes I have already publicly discussed, I only express interest in women when they have, or when they’ve made an indication it’s safe to. . . .
Their age and your age is completely irrelevant. That you think it is relevant is ageist; that you think young woman can’t make decisions for themselves and don’t want to be given the chance to, is infantilizing them.

So, girls half his age are fair game to the middle-aged atheist who has had “many successful relationships with college students.” It is “agesist” and “infantilizing” these girls to suggest that the age difference matters.

Far be it from me to play the judgmental pharisee here, and we know there are college girls who have no problem with a “sugar daddy” arrangement, but do we respect people who engage in such behavior? If slutty college girls actually are chasing middle-aged men, do we respect the girls? And if middle-aged men are chasing slutty college girls, do we respect the men? Even if such behavior is mutually consensual, it’s still not praiseworthy. The problem in the 21st century is that feminism has created a New Double Standard, where women’s can never be criticized for their sexual misbehavior (because that would be “slut-shaming”), yet men’s sexual misbehavior can destroy their careers.

So, Amy Frank made her complaint to the Secular Student Alliance, and this damaged Richard Carrier’s reputation, but her accusation was not made public until this month, when Amy Frank discovered that Richard Carrier was involved in Camp Quest, a summer event for atheist kids. This prompted Amy Frank to go public — big time:

Richard Carrier, the man who sexually harassed me and touched me a year ago after speaking at ASU is now an official employee of this organization. Camp Quest and the Secular Student Alliance are partners, and fully aware of what transpired last year. I’m not even close to being his only victim, and there are even more victims of other speakers of the SSA.
Want to know why he continues to be involved after being banned from being an SSA speaker? He is dating the wife of the Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance. This woman is the head of Camp Quest.
Corrupt people continue to destroy what could be wonderful organizations. I am officially BOYCOTTING the national Secular Student Alliance until their leadership is completely dismantled. Students deserve to have an organization capable of handling sexual harassment and assault, with no conflicts of interest. Not only is abuse fairly common at SSA events, but the organization itself goes out of their way to undermine the reports of its very own members’ trauma.
I’ve held my tongue far too long. No more sweeping this shit under the rug. Time to own the fuck up and face the music. The victims have had enough.

Some would find the words “victim” and “trauma” here a bit much. However creepy and inappropriate Richard Carrier’s behavior may have been, what “trauma” is involved in brushing off a guy’s pickup line?

Ah, but remember feminist theory? All women are victims of “a hierarchical system which maintains the subordination of females as a class” through “violence and psychological coercion.” Feminism is about “resistance” to “women’s subordination within institutional heterosexuality.” Therefore, if a middle-age atheist guy tries to pick up a college atheist girl, she is a “victim” who suffers “trauma.”

THE PATRIARCHY IS OPPRESSING HER!

The many traumatized victims of Richard Carrier’s oppression have united, and he has now been banned from attending any future Skepticon, and his posting privleges at Free Thought Blogs have been suspended. He is now persona non grata in the atheist movement. This renders highly ironic the subject of a campus speech Richard Carrier gave in April:

Is Feminism Evil? What Feminism Really Is
& Why Movement Atheism Needs More of It

The internet has spread a mythology of sexism and misogyny that is now predominantly embraced by atheists, impeding understanding, and progress towards women’s equality. Like racism in the South, anti-feminism is now spread not always explicitly, but often through code words, fake concerns, and subtle bigotry. And its effects are being felt within movement atheism.
Feminism is about understanding and fighting this, and finishing what the Enlightenment started. Resistance to this is not rational, as we can see by the illogical and ill informed ways atheists attempt to claim they do not harbor outmoded sexist ideas, and thus end up perpetuating the very sexism they claim doesn’t exist. Personal stories, documented facts, and published science verify all of the ways women are still being treated unequally, and what to do about it.

Yes, feminism is evil, Dr. Carrier. You learned this too late.




 

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