Sunday, September 15, 2013

Everyone must have a penis

In a post titled "The future will not be the past", PZ writes:

The future? Right now. There are a lot of people within atheism staring at the new kids in puzzlement and horror. They don’t have penises, their skin isn’t pasty white, their hair isn’t graying — what weird aliens are these? What do you mean, they don’t consider the constitutional separation of church and state the only cause worth fighting for? How dare they threaten to change my movement, the movement I have contributed so much to, the movement that is supposed to cater to my needs?

It would seem in PZ Myers' history of atheism in the United States, Ayn Rand and Madalyn Murray O'Hair had penises.

Further, it would seem Annie Laurie Gaylor and Anne Nicol Gaylor also have/had penises.

Julia Sweeney. Eugenie Scott. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. More penises.

It's one big sausage fest.

Everyone must have penises because PZ's leading questions would not make sense otherwise!

Nothing brings in the women like denigrating the accomplishments and involvement of women already in the group.

It makes "sense" when one considers how PZ Myers views himself - PZ Myers views himself in an "old guard" of atheism (presumably PZ Myers invented the concept of atheism in college in Indiana in the late 70's, early 80's).

It's essentially an "old boy's club" that is the "Four Horsemen" of philosophers and bestselling writers (Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett) plus himself.

Similar to how a man lacking confidence may find solace in a big vehicle or bank account, PZ Myers finds himself an equalizer in being the only one of the "old boys" that is actually dynamic and "gets it" when it comes to the so-called changing face of the "movement".

Presumably PZ Myers needs to go to conferences with college-aged women to "introduce" them to skepticism and atheism because all the other old white guys are big Republican meanies.

The only thing PZ Myers is truly is a narcissist, hypocrite and a gigantic asshole.

Take a moment and read some Susan Jacoby.

Susan is about a decade older than PZ Myers - and perhaps more white. But she'll undoubtedly will shape secularism's future more than PZ Myers will.

Here is perhaps the best part of PZ's post:

I sympathize. Some of them don’t even idolize science, and they actually dare to criticize the actions taken in the name of science. Don’t they realize the movement must be entirely about science?
Oh, wait. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe there are other non-scientific goals that are also worth pursuing, and that doesn’t mean we have to abandon science — I can still be an advocate for it myself — but it does mean I don’t get to remake everyone into a clone of me.

On one hand, we could drive for fairness and equality through evidence based social policy.

On the other hand, fuck science! Politics is about feelings.


I will not sniff indignantly at that. If I want to promote my personal goals within atheism, that’s fine — but I will be most effective at that if I fit them within a complex and diverse framework, rather than trying to reshape every other individual within this movement into my likeness.

The great insanity here is:

  1. He's already entirely dismissive of the role of people not like him in the movement (remember, everyone has a penis!)
  2. It's an absolutely nonsensical and hypocritical political statement
PZ Myers' statements are more true to his opinions and make more sense if one appends "except for those fucking Libertarians" on the end of each sentence.

For example:
"I will be most effective at that if I fit them within a complex and diverse framework, rather than trying to reshape every other individual within this movement into my likeness. [Except for those fucking Libertarians, they can shut up and listen. They're fuckbrained assholes and CHUDs]"

Of course it doesn't necessarily begin and end with Libertarians. PZ Myers has a long list of "suppressive persons" that don't belong in his movement. 

It's the usual massive failure from social justice warriors.

It sounds "inclusive" to armies of naive people, but it's merely a demented fa├žade.

It fits a script.
  1. Create a problem that is difficult to refute or completely absurd
    • "There are no minorities! There is a demographic shift happening!"
    • "In the future, nobody will have a penis!"
  2. Fail to define the problem in concrete terms
    • How would we know if secular communities are leading or trailing these changes? It's important to never even try to collect information.
    • Even basic terms like defining what "in the movement" means is completely ignored. Presumably many of us are not "in the movement" because we don't attend conventions.
  3. Blame it all on someone else
    • Other old men in the "movement" are the reason "the community" is not tackling "the problem".
  4. Remind everyone of how you are better
    • Be clear that you have an action plan that is better and most importantly more kind than the other evil white dudebros

It might sound ridiculous to cast PZ Myers in this role if he didn't already outline his mentality in a speech.

Surely you've heard of the four horsemen. I'm not talking about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the book of Revelation; I'm talking about Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, popularized as the four horsemen of the New Atheism. They are all widely read authors of popular books who have been largely responsible, I think, for vaulting atheism into the public consciousness in the last few years. It's a slightly unfortunate analogy though, and I don't quite know why they're running with it. One problem, of course, lies in matching up identities. I can sort of see Hitchens as War but the other three are going to have to divvy up Pestilence, Famine, and Death. And this is probably not the best image we want to get across about humanism and atheism.
Another problem with the Four Horsemen analogy is the number. As we all know, there are quite a few more vocal people who have been active in atheism and humanism and secularism in general than just the four. What about Victor Stenger or Pascal Boyer? Richard Carrier, Julia Sweeney, Dan Barker? Don't they get horses? And what about me? You know, I'm as atheist as those others and I'm probably "atheier" than some of them. (Although I do have to admit I haven't written a book yet. I'm on sabbatical this year to finish my book, so maybe I'll get a horse after all.)
So I'm going to very prematurely declare myself a fifth horseman. I picture myself, though, as a little guy on a very small pony trotting after the other four. However, I'm waving a great big banner that has the words, "The Internet" on it. That's me.

Ah yes, The Internet.

Here Myers declares himself a part of "The Internet" which is presumed to be something new, youthful and dynamic while his peers can be assumed to be describing it as "a series of tubes".

The general story is that PZ Myers somehow commands a group of scrappy young go-getters connected by his electronic clarion call. Myers is ostensibly on an upward trajectory and his efforts will define the movement in the future.

The truth of the situation is that Pharyngula and "FreeThoughtBlogs" do not represent a generational shift in the secular and skeptic communities.

Atheism+, Pharyngula and "FreeThoughtBlogs" are merely the embodiment of a narcissistic, judgmental and self-important subculture that secularism has always had.

It's clear, especially to the believers, that secularism has several assholes.

What do the assholes spend their day doing?

Atheism+ is the internet hate machine.


  1. PZ Myers ... the dad at the disco who knows all the new bands! "Yeah, all the other dads at my age don't know anything about the XX or Animal Collective - but I do!" ... "How cool am I"

    90% of his blogposts are transparent fishing trips for compliments. Even his sycophantic followers will eventually notice this

  2. one blogpost of Myers which reeked of narcissism the first time I saw it was his "Never Forget" blogpost. In this post he used the anniversary of a massacre to smear anyone how disagreed with his narrow view of feminism while crying crocodile tears for the tragically killed. This was milking a tragedy to make oneself look better.
    Equating disagreements over feminism online to the real-life slaughter of women is pretty much exactly what the Pro-Life campaign does with its lurid signs and labeling of doctors as murderers. But is okay when PZ does it. Of course it is ... even though he is white and has a penis :)

  3. Hi Uberfeminist!
    Your posts are so thoroughly written that I can't think of anything to add. I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for taking the time to produce these well-research and sourced articles. I want you to know that although I don't have anything to add in the comments, I thoroughly enjoy your work. My comment is to express my appreciation and let you know that the low number of comments does not necessarily mean no one is reading all your hard work.
    Whenever a new post pops up in my feed reader, it makes my day :)
    I know nothing about you, though, not even your gender. I assumed you were female for a long time until someone referred to you as "he". So I don't know. Until I see some evidence you're male, I am going to keep imagining you're a talented woman who wisely guards her anonymity. But it doesn't matter who you are. I love reading your blog.
    Ok, I'll stop leaving sycophantic comments! LOL

    1. Your comments are awesome and will form the basis of one of my upcoming posts! So stay tuned for that! Thanks for the feedback!

      And yes, you bring up an interesting problem of sorts - my alias, writing style and topics lends itself to (sometimes intentional) gender ambiguity - there's a few reasons why I try to avoid making it obvious one way or another.

      Well, to be honest I suppose I didn't plan for this scenario but it just kind of worked out that way. Had some fun running the posts through apps that would make guesses as to gender and sexual orientation given a block of text. It was quite interesting.

  4. A lot of modern social justice activism reminds me of Byzantine Christianity. Debates among SJAs and Atheism+ers over the finer points of issues of allyship, appropriation, intersectionality, privilege, the kyriarchy, tone policing, derailing, safe spaces, etc, seem like debates out of the Council of Chalcedon or something -- with, of course, the similarity that someone who disagrees is not merely making a mistake on rather tricky and esoteric doctrinal matters, let alone coming at the issue from a different but valid perspective, but is a horrible person who must be banished. ("You think that Christ has a single nature that is a combination of human and divine, rather than having both a human nature and a divine nature/that you can buy quinoa from Bolivian farmers without being racist? Begone heretic/privileged oppressive douche!")

  5. Oh my god, well stated. Atheism+ IS an Internet Hate Machine. I will refer to THEM as the IHM rather than another certain group that somehow got the name..

    I like how PZ describes himself and then continues to broadcast his image on sites, etc... take them down if you get it, and don't put them back up :/

    Anyway, you guys aren't changing the atheist movement, are you on crack? Most in the movement probably haven't even heard of you! Yes, in your own world, where you notice all attention given to you, you may seem world famous, but it's not true at all. It's like wbc,... they think all Americans have heard their "messages" and thus are all doomed when some don't even know wtf they are.

    Anyway, yeah. Movement itself, still untouched. What you guys are running is some kind of lone freak show.

  6. Myersville - now you don't have to chose between boring and insulting anymore.

    Good grief this man knows nothing. I think it says everything about him that he reduces everything to physical differences.

  7. Myersville - now you don't have to chose between boring and insulting anymore.

    Good grief this man knows nothing. I think it says everything about him that he reduces everything to physical differences.