Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Thought I Made a Stand; Only Made a Scene

Amy Alkon:

Of course I deplore mistreatment or harassment of anybody by the opposite sex, especially when that involves the coercion inherent in a power imbalance; but this isn't what happened with Wilcox and Switek. The episode appears to depict only two people attracted to each other, with one of them married. Svan mistakenly damaged three lives just to make her point that "women can harass, too." Lord knows what kind of shape Switek's marriage is in. Svan has apologized, but the damage was done. This is what happens in a rush to judgment--a frenzied "witch hunt" to root out all vestiges of perceived sexism. And it has gone too far.

...The piling-on of the atheist bloggers, particularly at Freethought Blogs, has been hurtful to these women, which is bad. But I hope it's also been hurtful to Freethought Blogs, which are increasingly turning into the Sex Police. The Freethought-Blog version of feminism seems to be mostly about slut-shaming and defaming anyone who doesn't do exactly what those self-proclaimed Arbiters of Purity deem acceptable behavior. That's hardly freethinking!

Sex police? Well, like their illustrious predecessors in moral-panic-mongering, the Victorians, they do seem to have some prurient fixations, but really, give them their due, their neurotic obsessions range much further than the merely carnal! I think Joe Rogan had it more generally correct when he recently, with a bracing disdain for euphemistic language, described Peezus and the gang as "social retards" (about an hour-eighteen in, for those who care to watch). Everyday interactions, to say nothing of sexual ones, are inherently full of ambiguities, non-vocal signals, and intuitive understanding. These awkward, hapless misfits, in keeping with their other tendencies toward black and white moralizing, would like to codify and legislate such uncertainties out of existence. The revenge of the Assburgers.

But anyway, yes, this particular episode was indeed rich in epicaricacy. It really whetted my appetite for when one of their call-out crusades finally blows up in their faces.