A little perspective on the troll cry of “witch-hunts”

Jacqueline S. Homan, who blogs at godlessfeminist.wordpress.com, posted a comment on my post about why I’m not being nice to DJ Grothe, that really deserves to be its own top-level post. That’s just exactly how violently I agree with every word.

It never ceases to amaze me how all the MRA’s/PUA’s whose voices seem to dominate and drive the agendas and discussions in the atheist movement are screeching hysterically about “feminazis”, “false accusations”, blaming women for being the problem because of our “special interest” issues and instigating a “witch hunt”, when they’ve been the ones that relentlessly threatened and harassed Rebecca Watson for nearly a year for the “crime” of saying “guys, please don’t do that” (i.e. speaking up for her rights when Living While Female) and leveled some pretty ugly threats and insults at Greta Christina as well. Jason’s edit: and Ophelia Benson, and now to a staggering degree Stephanie Zvan.

And they claim that THEY are the targets of a “witch hunt?” Perspective, please.

This is against a nationwide backdrop of cruel and punitive laws that have stripped women and girls of our rights to access reliable birth control and abortion even in the event of rape, and which have criminalized women for having miscarriages and stillbirths and which have literally slapped women with cruel deaths from pregnancy complications in emergency rooms nationwide under the “Let Women Die” laws which absolve doctors, ER staff, et al, from criminal patient abandonment for letting pregnant women die from treatable fatal pregnancy complications rather than perform life-saving abortions — all in the name of “religious liberty.”

In nearly every state over the past decade, various “fetal homicide” laws were passed that have criminalized pregnant women for refusing unnecessary C-sections, and for having stillbirths and miscarriages without definitive proof whether their “lifestyles” during their pregnancies caused these negative pregnancy outcomes.

To date, over 300 women across the nation are either in prison or are sitting in jails pending adjudication for miscarriages and stillbirths — some like Rennie Gibbs of Mississippi who was sentenced to life imprisonment last July for a stillbirth she had at age 15. Over 60 women are in jail pending adjudication for stillbirths and miscarriages in Alabama alone.

These laws, which have elevated the “rights” of a fetus and subordinated those of its mother, are also costing pregnant women their lives in hospitals across the US.

The good ol’ boys complaining about “witch hunts” over being told that there should be anti-sexual harassment policies for their conferences and events wouldn’t know what a real witch hunt was if it hit them upside their collective snot-locker.

And if they think that all these laws specifically targeting women for invasive body policing and stripping us of our most basic of human rights, namely the right to life, bodily autonomy and bodily integrity, in a society saturated with rapists’ rights in a culture of impunity for men is merely “special interest issue” that the good ol’ boys — who will NEVER have to suffer an unwanted and/or medically dangerous pregnancy against their will and possibly die from it or end up incarcerated for any result that does not culminate in a healthy, bouncing baby — is all so unimportant, I wonder if their girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, and future potential sexual conquests and bed victims know just how irrelevant their lives are in the eyes of the movement’s privileged white maledom that somehow gets to decide for the rest of us what is a “witch hunt” and a “special interest issue” and what is not.

When 51% of the population who happens to be the most oppressed group here and across the world is told that the injustices and human rights violations committed against us don’t matter, that men have a right to an orgasm at our expense no matter the harm to us as a result, that is not a special interest issue. It is socially approved oppression, torture, cruelty, abuse, and a crime against humanity. The secular architects of the UN Convention on Torture and Article 7(g) of the Rome Statute in the ICC would agree.

Allow me to add the following:

A little perspective on the troll cry of “witch-hunts”

80 thoughts on “A little perspective on the troll cry of “witch-hunts”

  1. 51

    “when you’re in a hole, rent an industrial excavator.”

    Well, heavy machinery is kind of awesome. Also, I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been said, but morphing-fail at #46 was awe.some. Possibly the most hilarious part for me was that I knew it was a morph of Support Vector before I read the “content”. Obvious troll-morph is obvious. Not to mention unoriginal.

  2. 52

    Yeah, little perspective.

    In the western democracies women are not an oppressed group let alone the most oppressed group. The reason why these “cruel and punitive laws“ exist is not because of any male privilege. It is because around 70 % of the women don’t vote against these laws. It would only take a small fraction of more women to vote against these laws and the so-called “war on women” would be over in an instant.

    Your problem is not the tiny minority of men in the atheist/skeptic movement that do not buy into the feminist propaganda. 2010 was only the second time in 30 years that the Republicans carried the women’s vote. This is your problem.

  3. 53

    Yeah thanks, male voice. Your perspective is super useful. We don’t have any other male voices telling us how it’s all our fault so it’s a good thing you’re here.

    So, it seems that doing all nine of the current Horsewomen in one poster is going to be really difficult to compose, so I’m doing them separately instead. Here is the first one (hoping this works):


    Pic is hand drawn and coloured on computer paper, so is a little sloppy!

  4. 54

    embertine: Excellent. Stephanie should probably have a ball peen hammer, a la Harley Quinn (pre reboot). I suspect she’d grin at that. Also, I should put up a new post for the Horsewomen of the Feminist Secular Apocalypse. Soon as I can. I’m more than willing to host your pics for all eternity, as well. 😀

  5. 55

    No pressure then! I will trace and paint them properly when I have time – maybe someone with Photoshop wizardry can put them together. I will try to pose them in such a way that they can be combined. Ophelia’s should be done tomorrow.

  6. 56

    I tend to thinking the weapons could be a bullhorn, and a pen, and maybe a laptop, and a webcam? All the ways to get those scaaaary feminist ideas out there to people. 🙂

  7. 58

    @Improbable Joe

    Ayup. We are real and lurk about and roll our eyes when MRAs and other assweasels whinge about “radical feminist” concepts like “Women are not universally here for your amusement”. Shit, those douchecanoes wouldn’t know radical feminism if it bit them on the ass.

  8. 59


    Yeah. It doesn’t help much that from the outside “radical feminism” seems to mean something else besides what it means from inside. So if feminist to an MRA means “chick won’t make me a sammich” then radical feminist means “ball-busting chick won’t make me a sammich, won’t shut up, and keeps waving a knife near my crotch” …which would be an interesting sort of feminist, but I’ve never met one personally. 🙂

    Vishnu help a MRA/PUA if they ever bothered to do a quick Google or Wikipedia browse.

  9. 61

    You’re an actual honest to Thor radical feminist?!?!

    Yep, Joe. I am. And for the record, we don’t “wave knives” at guys. But the reason MRA’s say we do is because they think they’re entitled to do whatever they want to women and treat us any way they please, and we rad fems say, “Up your ass!” We’re “castrating” because we won’t coddle their feefees and submit to their self-entitled “divine right” to dominate, control, abuse, oppress, exploit and generally fuck over women.

  10. 63

    Jacqueline, don’t forget the bit where they have to imagine that you are the worst thing ever, in order to justify the level of hate that they feel for you. Sometimes we leave off the projection aspect of bigotry when it is one of the most important tells.

  11. 69

    Oh hells yes. embertine, these are great.

    The Horsewomen might be a filler post tonight in the SSA blogathon if I get hurting for materials, otherwise sometime this weekend.

  12. 70

    The only reason this one was the best was because Greta and Rainbow Dash are obviously spiritual twins. Plus, harlequin tights make EVERYTHING better.

  13. 71

    BFF and I chatted about the Four Horsewomen meme and its ancestry late last night, possibly while half asleep. <_< Thus we present the mythology of the Four Horsemen meme:

    While I knew about the Four Horsemen of New Atheism in a vague sort of way, my friend showed me the famous cartoon of the Four Horsemen of the Atheist Apocalypse:


    (It's a HUGE image. Srsly, go read it.)

    Then we realized the cartoon might refer to the real Horsemen, whose names I had to look up – Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel C. Dennet.

    Long ugly link to small neat image

    As near as we could tell, the Four Horsemen in the cartoon each represent one of these four prominent men of atheism (You did read the cartoon, right?)

    Science: Richard Dawkins, Progress: Daniel Dennet, Reason: Sam Harris, and Equality: Christopher Hitchens.

    “I am EQUALITY and this day, this DOOMSDAY, brings an END to the witless subjugation of women and minorities! Regressive social norms shall wither and die! Paradigms shall heave and shift until racist and sexist thinking are NO MORE!…”


    Then I mentioned that Christopher Hitchens died last fall.

    My friend: “The Horseman of Equality is dead? That means there’s an imbalance in the humors of the universe… and a new force of Equality must arise to take his place.”

    …And that’s why the Horsewomen, the new champions of Equality, are rising like a mighty tide and pouring into the spiritual void that rends the New Atheist community. *nodnod*

    Just to make this all utterly surreal:


  14. 74

    I just stumbled across this. In #16 Jacqueline S. Homan said:

    It has also not escaped women’s notice how conspicuously absent our secular “brethren” from the atheist community were at the April 28th rallies protesting nationwide against the War on Women. Women notice. And we have long memories. 🙂

    I work at the Center for Inquiry, which did endorse the April 28th Unite Women campaign and sent out an alert urging support. Michael De Dora, director of CFI’s Office of Public Policy (OPP), connected some secular speakers with rallies in different areas, including suggesting atheist comedian Leighann Lord for one rally (but I don’t remember where—DC or NC). He might have spoken at one too. And I know that Jessica Ahlquist spoke at the event in RI.

    But you’re right—not too many secular orgs got involved in that, and I can imagine that some would consider it “mission drift.” But since the Religious Right is fighting so hard to restrict the rights of women, I (and Michael) think that secular organizations should indeed be involved in the fight.

  15. 77

    I love the horsewomen idea but I think you’re forgetting one very courageous woman in secularism: Teresa MacBain! I saw her at the AAcon and Wow, that took a lot of courage! Since that time, she hasn’t been silent. She has been on the road boldly sharing in areas where men once ruled. Even Dawkins has taken note and run every interview and story about Teresa on his site.
    She spoke in Indianapolis recently and shared this:
    “I’m not Dawkins or Dennett. I’m not Harris or Hitchens, but I have a voice. You have a voice. It’s time we used our voice to: Stand Up, Stand Out and Speak Out!” I love that!

  16. 78

    ProudAtheist, I appreciate your comments. I’m honored that you consider me worthy of the likes of the other “Horsewomen’. I’m equally honored that you’ve selected a photo of Richard Dawkins and I as your avatar. Thank you.

    ~Teresa MacBain

  17. 79

    Teresa, you are indeed worthy of much praise. I don’t know how likely it is that people would directly credit you for work in this specific fight to get atheists and skeptics on board with social justice causes like feminism though — perhaps because, while you’re presently a big name, they haven’t seen you in relation to that fight explicitly.

    That’s not at all to say that embertine might not want you to be a Horsewoman though. It’s her project, after all. 🙂

    You both should drop in on this thread where the horsewomen are mostly all drawn: https://the-orbit.net/lousycanuck/2012/06/17/the-horsewomen-of-the-feminist-apocalypse/

  18. 80

    I totally agree with the sentiment of the letter, but

    that men have a right to an orgasm at our expense no matter the harm to us as a result

    Is a completely over-the-top strawman that no one who isn’t already on your side will take seriously.

    Also, to anybody who isn’t completely on your side, the letter probably sounds a bit like this:

    Dear Muslima,

    every single thing that was said by a feminist on the atheist blogosphere in the past month or so was zero bad; all the people who raised objections to particular points are to women as nazis are to the jews. Also, all the disagreements were hysterical cries of “witch hunt”, “bitchez be lyin” and “she was asking for it”.

    Please re-watch Phil Plait’s Don’t Be A Dick.

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