I don’t even know how to begin this post. There is no silly story or funny quip or interesting factoid I can tell you about this situation.
We can start with some facts about me (and my situation):
- I am of the female variety of person and while I don’t really care too much in any way (I just really don’t feel like gender has a terrible lot to do with who I am as a person; some people do feel particular. That is awesome and I appreciate their journey to figure out who they are), I am cisgendered.
- Not first or foremost, I am also an atheist.
I’m also a student and a liberal and a heap of other qualifiers people use to identify themselves. I am all for labels. If you like them, use them. That’s fantastic and I am genuinely happy for you.
However, none of these things have ever felt like they defined me (except maybe student; learning is the only thing I can actually imagine doing forever).
So I’m worried about what others are pointing out about “The Movement”. There are quite a lot of people who first and foremost identify as atheists. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with that, but it appears to allow some of them to ignore or diminish the privileges they hold.
I didn’t realize that a large portion of the atheist community just sort of brushes off many issues that are pretty important. Discrimination in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I don’t think they think it was never an issue, but they seem to be part of the camp that says, “Yeah, that sucks that some people did some stupid stuff that one time, but why are we still talking about it?”
That’s not cool.
That’s not the skepticism I walked into. That is not a group of people that would make me say, “Oh! I like them! Let’s all be friends and work toward common goals!”
I don’t know how I missed them. It sounds like they’re everywhere. So, the short question is: can I ignore them?
They haven’t spoiled atheism for me so far. For now, I won’t let the bad apples spoil the fact that I’ve made some pretty damn good friends here and I don’t think we’re making the world a worse place by being here. If/until that changes, I will still work with those I feel comfortable.
And here’s my Big Question: If I completely missed them in the last year or so, can they really be winning? Crommunist Manifesto doesn’t think so. We all keep talking about the hullabaloo that surrounded all the sexual assault policies a while back and, yes, people were pretty crappy about it, but those policies are in place. That feels like…not exactly as victorious as I would like, but definitely not a loss either. It’s a step. It may not be a result I love, but it’s a step I can work with.
So, while I am disappointed in many of the people in this community, I am invested in this and I am not opposed to outsmarting the crazies in order to get the job done.