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Posted on May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized | 21 comments

The hypocrisy and sexism of Jamie Kilstein

Jamie Kilstein is an American comedian who is active on #WIScfi – the Twitter hashtag corresponding to the recent Women in Secularism 2 conference in Washington D.C. According to Twitter user ‘Nicole Introvert,’ Kilstein is “one of the best secular feminists.” According to Kilstein, he gets “ruthless Twitter blowback” when he “defend[s] women.” He, like some feminists at the event, was upset with Lindsay’s opening remarks.

Kilstein — in response to Lindsay’s opening remarks — sarcastically told Lindsay that his contacts at the NAACP will invite him to speak about his “white struggle.” Kilstein mischaracterized Lindsay’s opening remarks as “complaining that men are silenced” and — following some responses — dismissed and mocked a Twitter user as an “old white dude” amongst other bizarre language.

He also tweeted Center for Inquiry saying, “when a MAN gets to OPEN the conference about WOMEN, you can rest easy that men are fine. Fucking idiot.” [nevermind — of course — high rates of male suicide, mental illness, homelessness, workplace injuries/death, and injustice in family courts because the CEO of an organization opens a conference – and this means men are “fine.”]

In addition to all of this dramatic and abusive language, Kilstein wrote, “I’m done with these fucking atheist groups. Jesus Christ. At least the church embraces their sexist bullshit” implying that “fucking atheist groups” — presumably including the Center For Inquiry are sexist. Kilstein then said that he will no longer fundraise for Center for Inquiry – calling Lindsay’s opening remarks an “abortion of a speech” and calling Lindsay “a joke.”

Following these hostile tweets, Kilstein took to his radio show to further hurl abuse at Lindsay and Center for Inquiry – claiming that Lindsay “doesn’t care about the needs of women” and that he has a “serious problem with feminists.” His co-host then characterized Lindsay as opening the conference on a “hostile note” and “yelling at” women who “shelled out” money.

Kilstein then compared Lindsay to a presenter at an NAACP conference who asks for White History Month and claimed that is “inexcusable” for anyone to donate to Center For Inquiry until Lindsay is “gone.”

There you have it. Kilstein and Killkenny made quite egregious claims including a tremendous amount of name-calling, smearing, misrepresentation, exaggeration, and dramatization. Killkenny and Kilstein inaccurately paint Lindsay as a sexist man who hates women simply because of remarks in an opening speech.

What else of Kilstein, a man described as “one of the best secular feminists” who self-describes as a defender of women? He certainly harbors negative attitudes toward men, but what about women? It did not take long to discover a YouTube video in which Kilstein berates a woman who was allegedly heckling him at a comedy gig.

Kilstein, talking about the woman, said,

“Here’s the thing. You clearly had everything handed to you and you know what tells me that? The amount of time you put into how you look because that’s all that matters to people like you. There’s no reason to cultivate a personality because you have everything handed to you because guys like that just want to put it into anything with a hole. And that’s the problem.”

Later in the video, Kilstein also said, to the same woman, “Nobody cares what you think. No one has ever cared what you think. That’s it. All of you, just stop. Just go. I literally see four exit signs from where I’m standing. It’s not hard to like figure out where to go. There’s the fifth one, it’s by the side.”

If a man in the secular community who did not identify as a feminist had used language like this, I would expect twenty blog posts decrying him a sexist, misogynist, dangerous woman hater who objectifies women, promotes rape culture, should be banned from secular events, disqualified from activism, and drummed out of the movement.

How, bloggers would say, can you judge a woman by her looks and arrive at such conclusions about her?

You do not know anything about her life and you should just stop ‘mansplaining!’

How could you possibly suggest that a woman’s apparent wealth is not of her own doing, but rather made possible by men who do not think highly of her and just want to have sex?

A “thing with a hole?” How could you call a woman that and reduce her to a sex object, something that is only designated to please men?

You’re silencing women! How dare you tell women no one cares what they think! How can you, as a man, tell women to shut up!

…but this man who is “one of the best secular feminists” apparently gets a free pass.

With all of this rhetoric about “rampant misogyny,” the secular community being “hostile to women,” and filled with “dangerous male speakers,” we have, right here, a very clear example of someone who has negative attitudes toward women. …and I suspect Kilstein is not the only self-professed “secular feminist” who fits the mold.

Hypocrisy and sexism are the order of the day for Jamie Kilstein – “one of the best secular feminists.” Will the same bloggers who were enraged at Ron Lindsay attack someone who actually deserves it for once? Will the “secular feminists” shun Kilstein and, for once, decry one of their own as a misogynist?

As always, feel free to leave your comments below.

Bonus tweets:


  • Misplaced trust if any woman is looking at him as a feminist.

  • Yet another confused white guy who thinks ranting about “privilege” and being awful to other people on twitter is the same thing as fighting for social justice.

    By the way, if the black civil rights movement were imploding because, instead of building bridges, supporters of it were screaming at each other on social media and airing personal grievances on petty drama blogs, well then I would expect someone to eventually get fed up and give a speech about how this behavior is counterproductive. And that would not be ANTHING close to asking for “white history month”. Nor were Lindsay’s words anti-feminist or anti-women.

    Some people just want an excuse to be unhinged and spiteful. Jamie is one of them.

    • sinmantyx

      “drama blogs”

      You mean like this one?

      • Caias Ward

        Perhaps for certain large, non-drama values of ‘drama’.

      • Eshto

        Nope, I mean the drama blogs that contain little original material or meaningful discussions of any issues, but instead are focused on airing personal grievances in public. Blogs that routinely accuse various people of being racists or misogynists, while readers are encouraged to personally attack those people with insults and other foul language, such as wishing they would be raped with sharp objects. Also, rather than commentary that allows debate, dissenting views are filtered out, leaving only an echo chamber cheering on the blog author and giving them emotional validation.

        • MosesZD

          Yeah, I’ve seen those blogs. They exist to create and sustain drama for page-views and rewards.
          Build a high-drama blog and get page-views. Translate page-views into advertising, speaking engagements (no matter how incompetent you are as a public speaker), merchandise and/or status.
          Meanwhile, tear down your competition and destroy their ability to do the same. Make a ZERO SUM game instead of a win-win game.
          When criticized for it, pretend you’re the victim.
          Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
          This doesn’t mean people should eschew self-promotion. You’ve got to self-promote to be successful as a blogger/speaker/etc. But there are POSITIVE ways to self-promote and negative drama-queen ways to self-promote.

        • sinmantyx

          Please point out one statement of substance within the OP that wasn’t directed at someone personally.

      • ool0n

        Yup, dredge up 3yr old video for some more manufactured outrage when you cannot address his slightly more recent points. Gotta be close to anyone’s definition of “drama blogging” …

        Personally I could barely hear a thing either side was saying in the video. But, err, nice “smack down” there Justin!

    • ool0n

      “Some people just want an excuse to be unhinged and spiteful” …. You mean like going off on a rant about how you want to “slap the bitch”, “take a mallet to the micropenis” of intersex people and never apologising because it was the bloggers “fault” for enraging you?

      Despite Ellen-Beth feeding me misinformation about your supposed apology I’m bringing this up based on the fact there is no such thing anywhere online –> Please set me straight and I’ll apologise for bringing up behaviour you’ve since renounced.

  • Currie Jean

    Thank you for this. I find Kilstein’s to be one of the most hateful, humorless, kneejerking voices in this entire women/skepticism discussion. When he’s not being just plain mean, he’s making fun of and bullying others from beneath a comedian’s mask. Where’s the introspection, Kilstein?

    • he doesnt need introspection because he’s right.

  • Karmakin

    I think the word you’re looking for is “projection”. It’s a hell of a thing, and it’s something that we’re all guilty of, from time to time.

    Here’s the way I look at it. As humans, one thing we do is find patterns. It’s a survival trait. It has its pros and its cons, like anything else. That’s basically where sexism, racism, etc. comes from. Now, for the most part in our society, we’ve accepted that those things are bad things (and rightfully so)….old patterns don’t need to exist any more (if they ever did or not is a different argument).

    However, some of us are “stronger” in this pattern recognition than others. I suspect that’s largely what is going on here. People who are stronger in terms of seeing things through the lens of gender/race/etc. and know that it’s wrong so they fight back against it. Nothing wrong with that. Where they go wrong, is that they assume that everybody else sees things in the same way that they see it.

    Which often isn’t the case.

    So we’re left with a situation where the sexists are lecturing the rest of us about gender bias. Really weird situation here. No wonder communication between the two sides is difficult.

  • my understanding is that this video is 3 years old and whole feminist slant is a pretty new thing that seemed to be more emphasized when they started endorsing a feminist radio show on their site. Having used to be a listener to his show and a liberal commie, I found some of their rhetoric a little extreme and self-righteous to continue listening without the reward of something genuinely funny or informative. I wasnt listening at that point and only saw a few facebook updates before i cut ties all together, and thankfully did some reading and changed my own ideology.

  • Jamie Kilstein is an arsehole. It’s fantastic to see him get smacked down here, particulary as he has spent the last weeks RAGING TEARS about issues he has not got a clue about – namely sexism and racism.

    It will be interesting to see how he and his clowns spin this.


  • Eshto had the best response to Jamie’s twitter flip-out about Dawkins:

    • MosesZD

      That was actually kind of funny.

  • bismarket 1

    Who’s Jamie Kilstein?

  • Stefano S.

    You’re male and disagree with me. Ergo, you’re a filthy, sexist pig.

  • G B

    Many feminists don’t like him either:

    I just sent these links to to politely but firmly demand that Upworthy stop promoting him. I encourage everyone to do the same.

  • This post feels freshly relevant, today.