And Then This Happened

[Content Note: Misogyny; disablism.]

In my ongoing (and never-ending) series about why this female atheist (*points thumbs at self*) has no interest in movement atheism, I present this exchange, in comments at Libby Anne's place, between Lunch Meat, a self-identified religious woman, and Jack Kolinski, an atheist man who "want[s] to cure religion and [has] written an easy-and-fun-to-read book explaining how everyone can cure themselves and others of this insidious, malevolent mind disease."

screen cap of two comments: Lunch Meat: It's so nice to come across a feminist man on the Internet. Why can't I find more men who believe I must not understand my beliefs if they think my beliefs are demeaning to me? There's just not enough people who tell me what to think. Jack Kolinski: You are so welcome! And you enjoy sarcasm as much as I do even though you're not nearly as good at it. So you think for yourself do you? And most of the women you know do as well? Well aren't you special. Many women (RC, Prot. Orthodox Jew, Mormon, Muslim, et cet. BUT NOT APPARENTLY ALL SEVEN WICCANS! LOL) aren't that fortunate and need someone to shake them out of their imaginary friend fairyland. We might hope to have women like you do that as well assuming they are willing to remove their heads from their asses.

Libby Anne has written extensively about that comment thread, and the dynamic of atheist men full of white knight sexism who want to save religious women from themselves, here. Go read it, because it's really great!

There are a lot (a "small but vocal minority," I'm sure) of atheist men who believe that they need to rescue religious women because they are too stupid or brainwashed or weak or some other charming underestimation to know what is best for themselves. (Protip: When your "feminist" argument is indistinguishable from anti-choice rhetoric, you have derailed from anything resembling feminism.) Obviously, this is objectionable to religious women.

But it is objectionable to me, too. Even though I am an atheist woman who has written about the specific harm I experienced being raised in a particular religious tradition. Because my experience is not universal. And because I am keenly aware of the colonialist and racist dynamics that underwrite much of this white male atheist savior bullshit. And because I am a feminist, and thus I want to give women choices, and trust them to make the best choices for themselves.

I don't have any interest in telling women what they should do, or what they should believe.

Because I don't own women. And neither does Jack Kolinski. Nor any of his oppressively chivalrous brothers.

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