Kim Rippere

Always Evolving

Misogyny and the SCA?

Earlier this year Women in Secularism brought us together as a community, showed us where we might make some improvements, and gave us a path for growing.

Since then those conversations have turned bitter and ugly. They have exposed the foul truth about some in our community and the beauty of others. We have seen harassment, bullying, and a lack of inclusion on the part of some. Is this truly what we want? I hope not.

It should not be that standing up for tolerance and inclusion are the problem. Those that stand for exclusion and intolerance are the problem and should not be tolerated.

Do men saying they are for inclusion and women’s rights always reflect that in their behavior? Absolutely not. Minorities in the community need more than lip service. We need leaders that care about inclusion, that care about privilege, that care about allowing all voices to be heard, that help to stamp out harassment, that look with their keen eye and help us move toward being the inclusive community we are striving for. We need you to be vocal; loudly and now.

This is the mission (in part) of Voice for Men: The dissemination of information that will expose misandry on all levels in our culture. The mission statement is imbued with misogyny.

And yet the Secular Coalition for America announced a state leader that is, by all accounts, an MRA (men’s rights activist).  Justin Vacula has chosen to post on a Voice for Men.  A website that is about hating women. Unimaginable. When you make choices this divisive your organization becomes divisive. At the very least you have been clear your intentions regarding inclusion; for that I thank you.

Secularism and our broader culture is quickly coming to a point where hating women will not be tolerated anymore than the KKK is tolerated. I implore our secular leaders to be on the right of this issue. To vet leaders and ensure that they are actually representing your values. Because, guess what? Women and those striving for equality for all are watching your choices. You show us your values by the choices you make.

Earlier this year Greta Christina removed for support from SCA due to their hiring of Edwina Rogers. I withheld judgment. But with this latest placement, I think she may have been right about SCA.  That perhaps they are not entirely in line with the secular community.  That perhaps they are not entirely in line with my values.  But, then what organization is?  You have to choose organizations that, generally, represent those things you value and your priorities.  I value secularism and equality.  Does SCA?  That isn’t so clear.

Another aspect of this situation is that because of his prior behavior people are afraid to speak out. They are afraid to say that they will not stand for this in their community. This means that prior bullying is now showing itself to be effective. Some are being quiet because they fear the repercussions of speaking their mind.

I ask our community leaders and community organizations to stand with and for inclusion, tolerance, and equality.




22 thoughts on “Misogyny and the SCA?

  • Brad Emery says:


  • You know, I thought we’d already gotten to the point where hatred of women was no more tolerable than the KKK. Silly me.

  • KHR says:

    Well, when something like this happens it makes you think.

  • gregladen says:

    I was unhappy with the appointment of Rogers, but I decided to wait and see. I’m not sure if there is anything to see yet, but I’ll say this: I already knew that the Republican War on Women was as bad as it is, but the symbolic scaling up of that war we see with the current election cycles would have made me oppose Rogers on that ground under all circumstances. So, at the moment, I think I am retroactively prepared to undo all support for that appointment, given the current situation which seems very bad .

    Why was Rogers appointed and who was responsible? That question was never really answered. Now, why was Vacula appointed and who is responsible? Until those questions are very clearly and openly answered, the SCA will not have my support.

    So, what’s the answer?

  • Ed Brayton says:

    This may actually be worse than the hiring of Edwina Rogers. She does at least possess good contacts in Congress and significant skill as a lobbyist, which is an important part of her job. Vacula has no noticeable skills to bring to this position at all, as far as I can tell. Sadly, both the SCA and American Atheists now have very troublesome people in charge of their Pennsylvania chapters.

  • Paul Elam says:

    One of the things I like most about the secular community is the reliance on accuracy and intellectual honesty.

    I am sorry to find those qualities lacking in this article.

    The AVfM mission statement you linked to has no reference to or expression of misogyny. AVfM is comprised of over 130 contributors from all walks of life. Male and female, Black, White, Hispanic and other ethnic groups, as well as gay, straight and bisexual. We seek even more diversity with every effort.

    Your characterization of AVfM is unfair and misleading. We welcome you, though, to investigate what we do more thoroughly and to speak with any of our many representatives about the work we further.

  • […] Voice « Misogyny and the SCA? Pleasing Everyone?Published September 29, 2012 | By […]

  • KHR says:

    Here is the sad part . . . I do think that men need a voice. There are issues that need addressing. But, your website is not the way. If you do not like how I characterize your site; change its character.

  • Simon says:

    Paul Elam: I understand you are the owner of and also an atheist correct?

    Please conduct a very simple comparison. There is a thread about Rebecca Watson on the website Stormfront (yes, that Stormfront). It’s pretty easy to find.

    Now do a search for Rebecca Watson on your site. There are many of these, I know.

    The haters on Stormfront are arguably lessmisogynistic and nowhere near as vile as the horrible articles on your site about Rebecca. I will concede that Stormfront people do seem a bit more homophobic. I guess that’s an area where they have you beat.

  • CommanderTuvok says:

    It is amazing to see the usual bullies from FreeThoughtBlogs sticking their oars in simply because they have not being able to intimidate the Secular Coalition of America into appointing someone they approve of.

    Some of the bloggers (and their commentators) at FTB have a history of attacking and bullying women. They also defend and support a man who sent threats of violence to a fellow blogger, and attempted to invade someone’s (a woman, BTW) private life by contacting their employer. Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, and others at FTB thought this bully was the perfect candidate to draft an anti-harrassment policy for one of their conventions. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Oh, and the person in question can be quoted as saying “the SCA will not have [my] support”. I imagine they (the SCA) are probably relieved. Why would they want the support of such a person.

    Oh, and Ed, I don’t think it is appropriate that you comment on people’s skills given some of the contributors at your site.

    Second Oh, and Ophelia, please back up your assertion that giving Justin Vacula this position is connected to “hating women”. If I recall, your site is the originator of the term “gender traitor” and “sister punisher”. Terms you are comfortable with because they attack the women you don’t agree with.

  • Astrokid.NJ says:

    KHR says: “There are issues that need addressing. But your website is not the way”

    There are plenty of Mens Rights websites, and AvFM is the one of the milder ones.. and I would guess that none of them would be “your way”. If you know whats the right way, then why dont you go ahead and do it, and show them the way?

    There is one way called the Parasite Way that is exemplified by the FfTB folks. They wait for Richard Dawkins and other leaders to blaze the trail and do all the hard yards. Then they come by and do some parroting, and UP the game by using moral outrage and invective. They try to hijack the momentum by redirecting it towards their own values.. triggering backlash from the skeptic community a few years ago, and now from the atheist community. The Parasite Way. None of the mens rights websites are like that.. we have you beat on dignity and self-respect at least.

  • Jay says:

    There is nothing inherently misogynistic about opposing aspects of feminism.

    Every day, on world wide blogs, we can find one feminist disagreeing with another, or one feminist movement vehemently disagreeing with another movement.

    Disagreeing with feminism cannot be the mark of misogyny any more than disagreeing with conservatives marks a traitor to the United States, or disagreeing about marijuana legalization marks one a traitor to progressivism.

    Disagreement with feminist policies is not enough to mark a voice for men as misogynistic.

    Please point out those aspects of the mission statement there that are misogynistic.

  • skeptifem says:

    way to go mr elam. You managed to address a woman without referring to her as a “whore” repeatedly.

    Now how is AVFM not a hate site?

  • skeptifem says:

    commander tuvok- MY blog originated “gender traitor”, and it never caught on outside of my blog. No one has used the term “sister punisher” in FTB or other atheist/feminist spaces; its a meme MRAs and other assorted losers recycle every time they want to present a false equivalence. Even if what you said what true about ophelia and her website it wouldn’t really be a compelling comparison to a website that uses gendered slurs constantly and excuses rape and violence perpetrated against women.

    There is a reason the southern poverty law center mentioned AVFM by name in their posts about MRAs and organized hatred of women on the web. Only a small number of people find labeling AVFM a hate group or a misogynist group to be a controversial concept.

  • KHR says:

    Thank you for pointing out they are on the SPLC list, I was unaware. For anyone wondering, here is the link to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of misongynistic websites:

  • Astrokid.NJ says:

    Yep.. The great SPLC.. the wellspring of manufactured hate..
    Go ahead and consume its reports.. monkey see monkey do.

  • Simon says:

    That is a very interesting post you are linking to Astrokid. And there seems to be a large amount of “overlap” (some might call it plagiarism) with the Pamela Geller post that went up yesterday on AVFM.

    If AVFM doesn’t want to be labelled a hate site, why are they re-posting articles published by haters like Pamela Geller? And how credible are either Geller or AVFM when all they do is copy/paste other people’s content?

  • KHR says:

    Capital Research . . . a bunch of right-wing zealots. Bucking the majority doesn’t equate with being right; sometimes means you are *wrong* – as in this case. Southern Poverty Law Center is the standard.

  • Astrokid.NJ says:

    @Simon: “And how credible are either Geller and AVFM when all they do is copy/paste other people’s content”.. You mean like how PZ “copy/paste’s” other people’s “Why I am an atheist?” OR even better.. how Benson pretty much does ONLY that..hardly ever generating any content of her own even in her regular posts? Just cut+paste’s a huge block from somewhere, and express contempt or approval depending on her political stance? Lots of bullshit passes for “freethought” these days.. LOL

    Dude.. as long as you convey that you are just mirroring someone’s else post, for dissemination to your audience also (i.e proper attribution), its fine. In this case, AVfM should have attributed it to the original author (James Simpson instead of Pamela Geller), and I left a comment for them yesterday itself.

    @KHR: Like I said.. monkey see monkey do. You people think that opinions/research are wrong simply because of where they originate. And thats what makes you self-righteous and dangerous.. no different from religious zealots or communists. You saw how self-righteous Mona E broke the law the other day, and she thinks she’s right? vandalism is “freedom of expression”. This is how self-righteousness blinds you.
    Controversy heats up over Pro-Israeli ad in Times Square – New York Post
    I dont side with Geller either, but I am happy to listen and evaluate what she says. Even a broken clock is right twice a day etc etc.

    Its not only Religion that poisons everything.. secularism can too. Hitch concedes exactly that .. and specifically feminists and communists. And everything over the last 2 years has proved the same to our circles.
    Dennis Prager & Christopher Hitchens debate Religion (1 of 4)

  • Copyleft says:

    Apparently, “misogyny” is now redefined to mean ‘anyone who disagrees with a feminist on anything, in any way.” Very lazy thinking, and it’s disappointing to find such blindness among self-professed skeptics.

  • KHR says:

    hmmm . . . not exactly. Oh, next time . . . consider not using your work email. ;) Self-professed skeptic? Where?

  • Opus says:

    I always thought that atheism was a lack of belief in any god or gods, and there an end to the matter, but lo and behold it is evolving into a system indistinguishable from religion. Praise the Lord! Atheists seem to be the only true believers these days – as above.

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