All things considered, an apology is the cheapest of the demands Skepchicks have of CFI. Watson is still waiting for her conference tickets.
In any case, what stood out from this particular post is what appears in the comments.
Greg Laden writes:
I think we are seeing the last, dying, struggles of the old guard that was hoping feminism and certain other progressive movements would not notice them. The CFI (the national, US based version of it) was using a lot of talent to develop programs that served to raise funds from their long-time supporters. The problem is, I think, that the values and views of those long-time supporters (not all, but a good number) are actually in conflict with the talent they were using, and with some of the people they were attracting to at least some of their events as paying participants. This conflict has been showing through for some time now.
I have to assume Ron Lindsay’s talk was something of a gauntlet being thrown down, very unwisely. And that is the kindest interpretation I can think of for that. A less kind interpretation is that Lindsay’s intent was to excise certain categories of people from the organization, in service to these long time supporters. An even less kind interpretation is that he’s a cranky old man that could not control himself, but really, I very much doubt that.
The old guard, the anti-feminists and others, is not all generationally in one boat. There are plenty of younger folk in that camp as well, ranging from the outrageous sliymepitters who are easily identified, at least, as date-rape apologists, and a few others. I just read, and it was very very hard to read, JT’s post on his blog i which he tries to let everyone know that he really is a feminist, yet he also really agrees with Ron that feminists are doing it wrong. A word of advice for JT: You know that thing that people say, that if you act like a feminist the feminists will sleep with you? Its a joke. It does not really happen. You can stop now, JT. Anyway, he is evidence that while there may be a generational effect, we can’t just wait for the bad old days to go away by themselves. Rather, we have to keep on it. The price of feminism is eternal vigilance.
The CFI board’s statement about all this makes it all very clear. I assume the board sat down, thought about this all, and made a decision. The decision they made was to throw the activist feminists who are part of the secular, skeptical, atheist, and humanist movements under the bus.
I think the best thing to do now is to just not care about the CFI any more and move on. There are a lot of things to do. A period of vigorous commentary and critique is appropriate and that is happening now, but I hope that every time someone writes a blog post or commentary somewhere about how clueless CFI/Lindsay are, they are thinking in the back of their minds of what their next move is going to be, and that the next move is forward.
Enraged by Greg's comments, KellyM responds:
I read JT’s post via Greg’s link and I disagree with at least a couple of JT’s points. First his, “I also think that most of the people who inhabit the slymepit are, well, slime.” I would say that at least the overwhelming majority of ‘pitters are slime. I can’t for the life of me think of a single valid reason why someone who does not actively support misogyny and/or harassment would frequent the site. I also think that JT is way way too nice when discussing Justin Vacula.
That being said, I think Greg’s attack on JT is both pointlessly vicious and deeply stupid. Are you seriously suggesting that JT tried to fake his feminism to get laid? Or were you trying to be funny?
The day JT is drummed out of the feminist/skeptical/secular community because he doesn’t pass Greg Laden’s “purity” test is the day this middle-aged feminist leaves for good. (I’ve already stopped supporting the JREF and CFI,) Believe me I can find some other use for my resources.
The funniest bit about this farce - this is a supposedly a site for teenagers.
Apparently a site for teens is the best place to demand CFI change their leadership.
Further, it is the best place for 30- and 40-somethings to accuse each other of being into feminism for the sex.
Stay classy, Skepchick.