Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle
That reminds me of my favourite subtle joke from Hot Fuzz.
I assume you all know which one I'm talking about?
More on topic, I feel I should really say I'm disgusted with the A+ forum. I don't express my true feelings on here about it but really I am.
I'm one of "those" guys who agrees with the messages they (originally) had. I don't mind working with conservatives, but I do think that rape culture has to be changed. I think taking sensible precautions going into dangerous places is valid, but that the onus shouldn't be on the woman to protect herself.
I understand the concept behind "Schroedinger's rapist" and all it entails. It really just boils down to "a lone woman who has no idea who you are has every right to not trust you just in case.
" which is perfectly reasonable. As a lone man walking through a high crime area that I'm passing through and not familiar with, coming across anyone else I don't know I have the right to feel threatened and not to trust them just in case
even if they are Barry, the world's friendliest man who gives everyone he sees £100.
I think that the patriarchy is a real concept, and that the dominant views on gender are often skewed. Men face problems that need to be addressed and soon, but the overwhelming
majority of gender imbalance is in our favour not against us.
I think that transphobia should be fought, homophobia relegated to the dustbin of history, that just because problems in the Middle East are orders of magnitude worse than the problems in the US or UK does not mean that we should stop fighting at home until the worse places have caught up.
I agree with the concept that people who aren't women, or gay, or black, or trans might not fully grasp the issues that those groups face every day, and that their opinions should be weighted more heavily with regards to the issue that affect them compared to someone like myself, who is straight white male and "cis".
I think that religious persecution from and towards all religious groups or the non religious should be stamped out. I think that science and scepticism should shine on every social problem and that hey, the people who claim that there is a problem with the system are actually right.
I think that a safe space is a GREAT idea for the mentally unstable, the victims of abuse or rape or neglect, and those who are shunned by society for the colour of their skin or their gender confusion. I think that a safe space, a truly safe space, would be a wonderful thing.
I think that we here are not blameless either. There is a real problem with sexism in society, and because that problem exists in the main set, it also exists in all the subsets, including ours. We really do need to turn the beam on ourselves and investigate our own. Is every single thing that's ever been brought up as evidence of sexism in the atheist community accurate? Probably not. As slimy and reprehensible as he apparently is, the DrBuzz0 story of the upskirt camera, bandied about as sexual harassment at TAM turned out to be a wild accusation based on the fact he had a camera on a stick to take pictures of himself with celebrities. Point being, from what I have seen, all of it second or third hand I must admit, has made me think Buzz0 is a creepy enough sexist without having to make up juicy stories about upskirt cam. Of course, that some issues are distortions doesn't mean all, most or even many are. There ARE problems in our own camp. We MUST sort them out.
However. HOWEVER. That is not what the A+ forum is. The forum isn't a safe space. It can't be, the popular crowd are too rowdy and abusive. Hell, one time they even told a rape victim that she couldn't possibly be a rape victim because she didn't have the same attitude towards it that they wanted her to have.
It doesn't do anything to alter the tone of conversation or to change rape culture, nor does it help those with trans issues, gay issues or racial issues. In fact they do nothing. They had a brilliant (and I mean brilliant) idea of transcribing people's work for the deaf and hard of hearing. That went pear shaped very quickly when they outright stated that they would ignore copyright and that anyone who didn't want them making their work free for the public in this manner was an ableist who hated the deaf and didn't want them to learn. This originally noble experiment in actually making a difference hasn't done anything for a long time.
They aren't there as a discussion forum because anyone who disagrees with them, troll or no, civil or uncivil is treated the same way. Linkspam, ignoring arguments, banhammer, righteous mocking. It's a disgrace to sc(k)epticism and a disgrace for an organisation who claims to want to help people and teach others about the problems in various world cultures.
Nor are they there to fight against the current sexual climate and the prevailing negative attitudes with regards to sex and gender, given that they are more than happy to make fellatio jokes about Michelle Bachmann, but get the vapours if anyone tells any limerick of any sort.
They aren't there to fight against racism or racial discrimination. They mangle the word racism until it's almost bereft of meaning, widely apply the term to anyone they feel they can get away with applying it to, and yet freely call Islam "the religion of brown people" and use the pre-civil rights era term "people of colo(u)r" which is about as racially charged as you can get without using an actual racial slur and act like it's egalitarian and totally innocent. Then complain about people saying black.
They don't help fight ageism because they claim that the worst ageism is against the young because young people aren't taken as seriously as older people in making decisions. What the hell? So the regular abuse of the elderly, the popular idea that old people are useless, that they smell, that they are a drain, that they have nothing to teach us and that they are ultimately worthless human beings isn't the issue then? The beatings and abuse of elderly people in care homes? The forcing out of elderly couples from their own homes because they can't afford to keep them once one of them develops dementia or alzheimers? The poor standard of treatment of the elderly and the woeful economic care taken of them that leads to many not being able to afford to heat their homes leaving hundreds to freeze to death? The sheer lack of interaction they get from an uncaring younger generation? The idea that they are all racist or otherwise bigoted? The fact that they are forced out of work because they are considered to be less capable? All of this pales in comparison to the fact that 17 year olds are sometimes not trusted to fully understand the consequences of their actions? It's despicable. It's reprehensible. It's common, on A+.
They aren't there to promote atheism. One of their main moderators
isn't even an atheist, and atheism is a tiny part of their ridiculous word cloud. The Ceepolk thing is what really rankles with me though. It's like the Catholic Church having a bishop who is Islamic, or an atheist. She isn't an atheist, so why is she in a position of immense power at a supposedly atheistic "action" group?
They aren't there to fight for the rights of the disabled or the mentally ill. Oh, they support them alright, 100%. The sheer level of assburgers
on those forums is sky high. They don't really support them though. Instead they glorify and beatify those with mental problems in particular. They claim that getting your autistic child therapy to cope with the world is abuse. NO. No it damn well is not abuse you absolute psychotic douchebags. It is the very OPPOSITE of abuse. It's love. It's caring. It's wanting to give your child the best chance in life despite their autism
These people don't see these problems as what they are, problems, because they want to feel like special little snowflakes. They want to soak up the victimisation they get from having these issues and instead of helping themselves up and making people see that the autistic, depressed, schizophrenic or bipolar people can be just as successful as everyone else they want to drag everyone else down to their level.
Mental illness, social problems and physical disabilities are not something to be feared. The autistic, the blind, the wheelchair bound and the depressed are all real people. They deserve the same rights and the same opportunities as everyone else gets and they will shine just like the "normal" people do. But this does not mean glorifying their handicaps.
A wheelchair bound person needs a ramp to get into work and maybe a special chair to help them sit a they do. They do not need for stairs to be banned
. People with Autism need people to stop seeing them as animals. They need people to not be afraid, to be understanding, tolerant and patient. They may also need therapy to help them meet society in the middle. The mentally ill likewise need compassion, understanding and care. I have a father who, for all his good qualities absolutely does not grasp what depression is like and can't seem to understand why his own son (me) and his own mother have deep bouts of worthlessness when nothing externally is wrong. Hell, he's even assumed that one instance of me bursting into tears over applying for a job I was convinced I wouldn't get because I felt less than worthless at the time was due to me finally understanding that he was right and my life was in need of fixing. When he stormed in and said something along the lines of "Ah so you're finally understanding that you need to do something!" at me, he couldn't understand why all I could do was sob my eyes out.
He needed, and still needs education on what mental illness is. How to talk to the mentally ill. What being depressed (or schizophrenic, or bipolar, or whatever else) actually means for the person it affects. He, and many many others like him need to be taught these things so that they can be more aware of what people like myself go through and need. That doesn't mean there isn't anything wrong with me.
Of course there is! I've attempted suicide! I once felt worthless because I didn't get ONE job I applied for. Hell, I once sank to the floor in the kitchen of my mates' house at uni in the middle of a small party that we were all having fun at for no reason at all
and that is saying nothing of my paranoia issues that I have thankfully overcome.
The A+ forums are a travesty. Not only because they are run by manipulative, pity partying liars who want to do nothing but sit in a circle jerk and talk about how special they are. Not only because they whine about their own problems, sometimes outright ignoring the problems of groups they don't like. No, it's because they could have been a genuine force for good. A real force for actual social justice, the kind of things that need to be pushed through and yet aren't.
They could have been a voice for sorely needed change in the world. Instead they are a bitter, vile little echo chamber, forcing everyone not like them out, hypocritically labelling people with offensive slurs regardless of their actual attitudes and slowly and surely drifting away, long since having gone off the deep end. With the latest fighting caused by comments from their saint and obvious leader (in a leaderless organisation naturally) PZ it looks like they might finally turn in on themselves and burn themselves alive, figuratively speaking. Good riddance. Maybe when this pack of wolves and jackals are gone we can have a group who will do something. A group who really will get rid of the racists and sexists in the sceptical and atheist movements, who will work on marginalised groups getting equal rights and better chances in life and who will actually, really make a damn difference in the world. That's what we need, not this poisonous little clique.