The picture was not that great, Greta.
Old bags don’t do it for us.
A few notes:
1: For people who aren’t familiar with it: The nude photo in question was done for the Nude Photo Revolutionary calendar, created in homage and solidarity with Egyptian atheist, student and blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy who posted a nude photo of herself, announcing the post on Twitter under the hashtag, #NudePhotoRevolutionary, as an act of defiance against Islamist theocracy. It was not intended to be erotic. If someone’s sole response to any picture whatsoever of a naked woman, in any context, is to evaluate that woman on the basis of whether or not they would like to fuck her… that’s pretty pathetic. And even if the photo had been intended to be erotic… the question of whether hateful, venomous, woman-hating trolls find me attractive is of exactly zero concern to me. As British Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith wrote in her excellent, must-read piece, Thanks (but no thanks…):
What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.
Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?!
Which leads me to:
2: I’m going to issue the standard request that I always issue when the #thing that #menhavecalled me is some version of “ugly”: Please, unless you’re a personal friend or someone I’m having sex with, don’t try to make me feel better by saying that I’m not ugly. If I write about fashion or post the hot pic of myself in the Skepticon calendar, you can say nice things about how I look… but please don’t do it here. I’m not calling this out to garner reassurance about my appearance. I’m calling this out to show people the kind of shit women routinely deal with. I have a thick skin, and I don’t get my feelings hurt by sexist jackasses calling me names. That isn’t the point.
The point isn’t that I’m not ugly. The point is that it shouldn’t matter.
3: I’ve noticed that my Nude Photo Revolutionary calendar picture has been coming up a lot in discussions of me among misogynist haters. Some of the comments are along the lines of, “Greta posed nude, and it’s hot and I jacked off to it, but I hold her in contempt because of it.” Others have been more like this one, along the lines of, “That’s disgusting, who would ever find naked pictures of her attractive?” (Both ignoring the issues addressed in #2 above, of course…) So I’m starting to wonder: Is there going to be a schism in the misogynist hater community over whether my #NudePhotoRevolutionary photo was hot or not?
4: The #mencallmethings hashtag does not say #allmencallmethings, or #mostmencallmethings. If you want to learn more about the history of this hashtag and why people started using it, please read But How Do You Know It’s Sexist? The #MenCallMeThings Round-Up and Why Are You In Such A Bad Mood? #MenCallMeThings Responds! on Tiger Beatdown, where the hashtag originated. And please do not start a “but not all men are like that, so the #mencallmethings hashtag is reverse sexism!” argument. That has been addressed, at length, in the comments in the #mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT” post, as well as elsewhere. Please read Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny if you’re wondering why I will not take kindly that that particular line of conversation.
5: I am getting very tired of people responding to these posts by saying things like, “Don’t give them attention. Don’t feed the trolls.” This has been addressed at length, in the #mencallmethings: “whore” comment thread, and elsewhere. (Here is a very good short video on that subject, summing up why “don’t feed the trolls” is a terrible response to sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or other group-based hate.) The tl;dr: This is not a few trolls trying to get attention and stir up any kind of response. This is a sustained campaign of misogyny, aimed at driving feminist women out of a community. And ignoring it does not make it go away. Ignoring it gives it tacit consent. The only way to deal with it is to point it out, and shame it, and make it clear that our community does not tolerate it. When you respond to a woman speaking out about misogyny by saying, “Don’t feed the trolls,” you are essentially telling us, “Stay silent about the misogynist shit you have to deal with on a daily basis.”
And in particular, in the context of the discussions about Atheism Plus — the proposed new wave of atheism that focuses on atheism plus social justice — it’s important to make it clear exactly why Atheism Plus is happening. There are far too many people who want to ignore the reality of sexism and misogyny in the atheist community: who want to pretend that it doesn’t exist, or that it’s not really that bad, or that it doesn’t really happen that often. I think it’s important to show people why, exactly, many of us are finding the idea of Atheism Plus so appealing. In fact, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m starting to get more of these kinds of comments in response to my posts about Atheism Plus, and about how atheists who care about social justice are forming a subset of the community in which this sort of hate will not be tolerated.
Which leads me to my final point on this (for now):
6: As I said in the #mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT” post, and again in the #mencallmethings: “whore” post: If anyone is still wondering why some atheists might want to carve out a subset of atheism that’s specifically focused on social justice issues — such as misogyny, rape culture, and the reality of what life is like for women on the Internet — and that’s specifically focused on making atheism more welcoming to women, people of color, and other marginalized groups — I hope this puts your questions to rest. This is Exhibit A.
Except it’s not Exhibit A. It’s more like Exhibit W. It’s more like Exhibit W (2) f (viii). I get this all the time. I get this so often, I’ve lost track. As has every other woman I know who speaks publicly about feminism.
I think that’s all from me on this for now. Thoughts?