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Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in Atheism, Feminism | 48 comments

Gender Traitor Solidarity

I am a gender traitor, and I stand in solidarity with other gender traitors like me. We have a rich history, you see. During the holocaust, gay men were labeled gender traitors by the Nazis and then cruelly exterminated, and today I stand in solidarity with gay men (and with people of all sexual orientations and genders). In the 50s in the US, white supremacists called white liberals who believed in racial equality “race traitors,” a term analogous to gender traitors, and I stand in solidarity with people of all races. This very day, a subset of vocal and powerful feminists, many of them men,  is labeling all other women — including liberal, libertarian, and equity feminists — as gender traitors, and I stand in solidarity with all women labeled as such. Further, I stand in solidarity with every man who has been unfairly accused of misogyny for simply being born male and daring to question feminist ideology or the wrong woman’s ideas.

Although I support remedial legal action until true equality of opportunity is achieved and believe that diversity of representation is an important societal goal, I think the expectation of equality of results is unrealistic, since all individuals have different weaknesses and strengths, and in the end, each person must be judged on those qualities and not group membership. For a better understanding of how I feel about these issues, please read this amazing blog post*. Many of my thoughts could not have been better expressed.

*I do think the writer underestimates the toxicity of the republican/libertarian stance on birth control. Birth control is crucial to women’s equality, and of course women should have access to it if needed. At public expense.

  • mordacious1

    Very positive post, Maria. When people work together they build communities, but when they become antagonistic, like what’s been happening among some non-believers, they can pull a community apart. This mess has been going on for over a year and it’s left nothing but hurt feelings and anger among online posters. We’ve had our internal squabbles before, but nothing like this and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. Too many people are getting personal gain from causing confrontation.

    I hope you are doing well, take care.

    • I am starting to think that your point about personal gain may be the key to all of this.

      • zenspace

        I’ve only been following the matter for a few months now – although that was plenty of time to get treated to the scorched earth tactics by those who will go unnamed – but that aspect was immediately clear to me. The old addage ‘follow the money’ applies.

        As a curious aside – I posted this point as a comment in the recent Salon propoganda article on A+ (along with comments noting several erroneous and misleading statements in the article) and after a few days, my comment was deleted. I lost quite a bit of respect for Salon and that author in the process.

        • bluharmony

          Sadly that applies to far too many things; following the money will give you the answer, except in rare cases, which this does not appear to be.

          • zenspace

            Maria, I just finished reading the amazing blog entry you linked to. Quite impressive. Coincidentally, this video (which showed up in my recommended viewing list!) runs a related and somewhat parallel commentary which you might find interesting. I am no social psychologist, but I find the ideas presented intriguing and quite plausible. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.


  • ThePrussian

    Yes, the use of this term made me want to throw up things I have forgotten eating. The Watsonista brigate explicitly canalized the most evil political traditions for their thoughtless ends

    • bluharmony

      The fact that they’re apparently completely uneducated and unaware of history (or biology) never ceases to amaze…

      • Dave

        What i find so galling is the idea presented int he article that somehow a woman who doesn’t like ‘girly’ things is a gender traitor. Because if there’s one thing feminism is all about, it is enforced stereotypical gender roles.

        Am I a gender traitor because I’m a male who loves baking? Because I love low fat yogurt? Because I understand why women are attracted to Nathan Fillion to the point where I might as well be attracted to him myself? Because I DON’T care about cars and sports?

        Such a large contingent of the feminist blogosphere has taken on the appearance of PETA…where their goal isn’t any kind of redress of grievances or elimination of equality so much as bludgeoning people into a specific set of behaviours.

  • TheDevilsTowelboy

    “Equality” has become a toxic word. And an impossible ideal. I don’t want “equality” – I look at the mountains of gibberish that accuse people like me of crimes I have not committed and deafen me with the demands that I need to atone and pay reparation. No.

    I don’t want “equality” – I want “fairness”. This is a critical subtlety missed by most. “Equality”, as it is howled about, is to be blunt, little more than empowering the stupid and the mediocre. No. “Turn around, you are going the wrong way”. Lets have some “fairness” – where being the whiniest and most unprivilieged is no longer a replacement for intellect, talent and actual contribution. I’m looking at you Watson.

    • AstroKidNJ

      Dont worry my friend.. Our friends who brought you “the radical notion that women are human beings” also claim that it is “fairness”. After all, they have managed to call whatever they do “Equal Opportunities” and “Human Rights”.

  • The mere concept of a “gender traitor” is exactly the opposite of what feminism is supposed to be. It implies–no, scratch that, it DEMANDS–that you hold a certain position or plank of opinions solely because of your gender. Disagreement and criticism are not tolerated, and are met not with counterarguments but with ostracism. If there’s a better example of groupthink, I’m not aware of it.

  • Equality of opportunity is a laudable goal; equality of results is misguided and results in the opposite of their stated goals. I’m posting a link to my podcast from a few months ago where I went after Rachel Maddow for wanting to force men and women to have equal pay. I pointed out that men and women DO have equal pay once you account for things such as education, work history, and other factors. The inequalities occur and have their effects long before the job application is filled out. Striving for equality of results is like putting electrical tape over the Check Engine light; it won’t solve the genuine inequalities in our society, but it WILL cover up an important indicator of how well we’re doing addressing them.

  • CommanderTuvok

    Another superb piece, Blu. This will surely get Ophelia Benson and her clownish commentators in another rage.

    • bluharmony

      But they’re so cute when they act like that. Nothing exposes the intellectual paucity and maliciousness of the atheist-feminist brigade’s position quite like the comment sections in related threads on Skepchick/FTB.

      • Well I see it a little differently, Ophelia can be a little snippy sometimes… The last post linking to Maria was a parody FFS! No ‘rage’ there mainly people laughing along for a few comments before some more serious discussion. The ‘perceived dishonesty’ thing was pretty funny..

        Although Tuvok sees himself as a leader in some glorious resistance movement so it fits his role-playing I don’t think either side should mis-characterise the emotional response. Seeing your ‘enemy’ as a rabid hateful caricature will only increase the hate. “No Hate”, eh Maria?

        • bluharmony

          Yes, I don’t hate anyone. But I do hate dogmatic ideology and think it’s extremely harmful. “Perceived dishonesty” was a term I used for legal reasons, because calling someone a liar when no lie has been is told can be defamation under certain circumstances (although this is probably not applicable to public figures like Watson, and I do have strong personal opinions on whether lies have been told). Making a statement of absolute fact about someone’s honesty — especially an unimportant, irrelevant, insignificant, non-public figure — is absurdly stupid, if you don’t know.

        • Pitchguest

          The slimy turd revisited. Ophelia’s latest stir in regards to blu is completely misrepresenting her points to defuse, rather than justify, sexist comments against Rebecca Watson. So while the post in itself is positive and isn’t attempting to instigate in any way, the parody blog post over at B&W is unnecessary. It’s needlessly inflammatory and instead paint blu’s blog post in a bad light. Why would she do that if not to continue stirring the pot? Why even stir the pot at all?

          Face it, oolon. Ophelia Benson is not the person you think she is, and your slimy attempts to get back in her good graces are nothing but transparent. Why else would you recount what happens over at the Pit, but do it in such a way to imply deviousness? Reading the Pit you know full well what goes on, and you know full well that Benson’s tiresome accusations are false. Misogyny? Nope. Sexism? Nope. Racism? Nope. Homophobia? Nope. Transphobia? Nope. None of this transpires, so why would you even imply this to Benson, to Zvan, or anyone for whom you wish to return in seemingly good standing?

          And for the record, none of the underhanded tactics apply to the Pit either. Nobody on there have threatened anyone, stalked anyone, led harassment campaigns against anyone, dropped anyone’s docs, or tracked anyone down to attempt to get them fired from their jobs, or forcibly removed from their positions. So why not go back to Ophelia and be truthful, for once? There is no evidence of any of this happening on the Pit, and there is no evidence of any misogyny, sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, or similar anywhere on the Pit. The worst, as you well know, are the words “cunt” and “bitch” being used at irregular intervals. Maybe when you can do that, we won’t have such low opinion of you.

          • Haha, what do I think of Ophelia? She is not ‘the person I think she is’… WTF do you think is my opinion of her? Actually I just like *some* of the things she writes, she has a style I find readable and a way of cutting through the bullshit.

            How am I to ‘get back into her good graces’? I don’t think she has much of a clue who or what I am other than a nym that sometimes comments on her blog. I pissed Stephanie off in one thread but that is it… So where is this fantasy that I want to ‘get back’ into their ‘good books’ coming from?

            “none of the underhanded tactics apply to the Pit either”… Bullshit…
            –> I had my ‘docs dropped’ on the pit by a helpful pitter, so not true.
            –> A goon on there has said he will hunt me down and ice pick me. Admittedly me taking that joker seriously is not likely to happen any time soon… But still 🙂
            –> Calling your female hate figures ‘cunt’, ‘Rebeccunt Twatson’ etc etc IS MISOGYNY! Have a look at the Skepchick series on Hate Directed at Women and see how many atheist leaders, real ones, agree with you that it isn’t.
            –> If you disagree or dissent on the pit you will get the same treatment, the difference is that there is very little disagreement or dissent on the pit compared to FtBs. Very few arguments on there about the primary mission, all agree that the FtB’ers are the most horrible lot and everything is permitted in ridiculing and gossiping about them.

            ‘Hive-mind’ is the ultimate irony when coming from a pitter. I really don’t mind if you have a low opinion of me 🙂

  • David Campbell

    Having children is a choice and women should make the choice because it is their body and life that is most affected. I’m sure you know the concept of the Social Contract that implies that we give up some individual freedoms for the security and benefits the society offers. We are not really able to survive very well on our own. The welfare of all is the basis for all societies even though many don’t realize that.

  • Copyleft

    I don’t know if the use of the term ‘gender traitor’ automatically invalidates the user as a feminist, but it certainly disqualifies them from being considered rational or skeptical.

  • Clare45

    I am really confused as to what a gender traitor is, so I looked it up. Quote from Skeptifem :”She “doesn’t get along with women”. She watches porn. She calls men
    pussies as an insult. She gets to be the cool chick. Guys will say she
    isn’t like other chicks, who act so fucking stupid and girly all the
    time. Nope, she is different.
    She isn’t always whining or talking about boring girly crap like
    jewelery or babies.” Does that describe anyone we know?

    • bluharmony

      I think that sounds familiar. There might be a photo of someone who acts like that on Sneer Review, if you look up “gender traitor.”

      • Pitchguest

        Oh my… oh my word. That is… and only a month after Elevatorgate. Holy shit.

        • bluharmony

          Considering that Skeptifem was interviewed on Teen Skepchick, it’s all very ironic. I think that photo predates E-gate, though, and was taken before Ms. Watson became the mature and responsible individual that she is today. It’s also ironic that I, myself, don’t use words like that & love (many) girly things. But I like some boy things, too. We’re all different. No individual is a stereotype.

          • Pitchguest

            They did *what*?

            Teen Skepchick interviewed someone who links to “I Blame The Patriarchy” (look it up at your discretion) and who made a post justifying the use of “gender traitor”? They actually think this person is someone who should be adulated and respected? What?!


          • bluharmony

            Yes. This is the person that young, impressionable girls should look up to, apparently:

          • Vic

            And people wonder why I expect Cathy Brennan to appear as a guest poster on skepchick every day.

          • bluharmony

            Ever wonder where the “mean are damaged women” meme perpetuated by some of our prominent bloggers comes from? Take a look:

            Liberals and progressives will never move forward with this kind of thinking in our midst. This is not a healthy way to approach life.

          • Vic

            Ugh, I know that and more. I have waded through the swampiest bogs of radical feminism in my time, and emerged barefooted, yet sane.

            But no. No guilt by association. Neither RW nor FTB have, to my knowledge, officially embraced these most radical forms of feminism.

            But it’s good you posted that link, so others might get a glimpse what lurks in the darkness of irrationality.

          • bluharmony

            I agree, although Teen Skepchick did interview someone who would refer teenage girls to that site. And really, the only way to completely eliminate sexism is by eliminating one of the sexes. The male one. Since women can’t be sexist toward men (according to Feminism 101 Blog, which embodies Ms. Watson’s feminism).

      • Pitchguest

        Oh, and PZ’s blog post and the response to one of the dissenters. So do PZ keep on with “bitch” being accepted nomenclature or has he turned PC? (See what I did there?) ;P

        • bluharmony

          I think “bitch” is now unacceptable, but past transgressions by certain individuals have been wiped from memory. Though not from the internet. Other individuals, on the other hand, will never be forgiven for similarly minor errors, no matter how much good work they’ve done for the community and for society in general.

    • Vic

      This is too good. Still can’t breathe properly.

  • Clare45

    I have just changed my avatar just in case you think I am a gender traitor 🙂

  • ZedZero

    So I read this blog post and found hints that this has something to do with Ophelia Benson. I swore of that trivial morass months ago but, because I wanted to be a cool kid too, I went look through her blog and found the offending dribble. Someone forgot to be funny.

    However this is the part that hurt, what bothers me about OB and Co. is the triviality of their complaints. So what do I find there in the process, this quote “There are first world problems and there are third world problems. Yes. I’ll tell you something though – they’re not discontinuous. There’s not a clean radical break between them. They’re rooted in the same human flaws.”

    The third world problem was the gang rape of a girl in India. Then I come across the first world problem de jour found on B&W “Japanese automaker Honda has released a new car model designed especially for women.”

    There you have it ladies, the slippery slope to your oppression is a pink car made just for you. It is pointless and painful like an ice cream headache without the ice cream.

    • bluharmony

      I was actually quite grateful for all the referral hits. I even left her a thank-you note. I wonder if she deleted it? As for trying to make fun of me, I can do a better job of that myself. I’m no special snowflake, that’s for sure.

  • Karmakin

    The problem is that there’s a race to more and more embrace a certain view of gender (and other similar issues) through the lens of group conflict. That is, that one group is trying to actively maintain (and build) upon existing privilege by acting in ways that keep other groups down. The concepts of restrictive gender roles being the main problem are almost entirely tossed aside, as they don’t fit the group conflict narrative.

    When people say you need to understand “101”, that’s what they mean. They’re looking for you to accept the group conflict narrative. And nope. I will not do that.

    The reality is that the group conflict narrative rarely works. Rarely. Not never. For example I do think that the group conflict narrative actually does describe religious privilege fairly well. But in terms of Gender/Race/Sexuality? Eh. Not really, outside of before mentioned religious privilege.

    I’m not saying that there’s no such thing as sexism or racism…there is..and they’re big problems in my mind. But, the solution to a group conflict narrative is entirely different to the solution to a cultural trope meme and pattern narrative. So I simply can’t abide by those leaping over themselves to put everything in group conflict terms. Or to be more fair, using the language of group conflict and making group conflict the default assumption.

    The saddest thing about the whole thing is 6 months ago a lot of the same people would have called group conflict theory a strawman, and would have been at least somewhat correct.

  • Sergio Paulo Sider

    Triple Like!!!

  • pboyfloyd

    If I buy this little pink car made for a woman, do I get a discount since I’m a guy??

  • Chill Chick

    One thing puzzles me… if gender is nothing but an arbitrary social construct (per feminist dogma) then how can you be a traitor to it?

    • bluharmony

      Never mind how you reconcile that with the existence of trans-people; that’s why true rad fems hate them. I’m just so sick of all the stupid hate. We need the gender binary and everyone in between. People should be free to be who and what they want to be.

  • Astrokid NJ

    Although I support remedial legal action until true equality of opportunity is achieved and believe that diversity of representation is an important societal goal

    Remedial legal action like this Maria? Good stuff.. keep calling yourself a gender traitor and skeptic while turning a blind eye to the injustices against men. After all, “true equality of opportunity” is to be achieved.

    • bluharmony

      I don’t see that I am turning a blind I toward discrimination and unfairness toward males. I know there are problems. There are wrongs on both sides. But I got in this to defend men’s rights to express themselves since they were being silenced (as were women who wanted to speak on their behalf and on our own). But yes, discrimination against women still exists too, as well as the perception that they’re lazy and incompetent. Take orchestra auditions, for an easy example. Women didn’t start receiving spots until blind auditions were implemented, and so, I think blind auditions are fair.

      • Lorenzo Benito

        Blind auditions: now that’s Skepticism!
        Really, it’s incredible how many things you can apply blind testing to, and it just keeps working.

  • tkmlac

    Excellent post! I, too, am a proud traitor.

  • “Further, I stand in solidarity with every man who has been unfairly accused of misogyny for simply being born male and daring to question feminist ideology or the wrong woman’s ideas.”

    Very seriously, I want to thank you for writing this. So thank you.

    • bluharmony

      You’re most welcome.

  • Let me think through this, abortion should equal non-toxic equality. But in China, that means girls are aborted and boys are not. So, is the shortage of women in China equality, or toxic equality?