Some are asking for links so I’ll link to Shermer’s cease and desist letter.
The in-groupers at FtB have been attempting to redefine flirting as sexual harassment and sexual intercourse as rape. The problem with this tactic is that it obfuscates actual acts of sexual predation while criminalizing very healthy sex-positive human interaction.
Adults choosing to be sexual with each other is beautiful. and we in the atheist/skeptic community are by and large, not weighed down by sexual hangups. We tend to be not only sex positive but also highly honest and moral people. This insidious attempt to malign the fine people who frequent skeptic/atheist conventions as white, male dominated communities who both prey on women and work tirelessly to protect this so-called culture of rape we’ve been accused of building, must stop!
I recognize this process very well. You see, my sister and I were both molested by the same uncle. I recognized relatively early that my uncle had done a very bad thing and that I had not and I vowed to never allow what happened to me to inform my sexual identity. My sister on the other hand, became a permanent, lifelong victim from that experience. This path has led her to become the kind of person who demonizes all men. One by one the men in her life, after falling away, were accused of all manner of crimes against women. She has used these claims to try to rend her children from the arms of their respective fathers. She accused her most recent husband of being a child molester and sent letters to his friends, family, and workplace with these claims in an attempt to destroy his life and worse, she took to labeling anyone who did not agree with her as victimizers. Eventually, I was caught in her crosshairs. These are the tactics of victims of sexual abuse who have not dealt with their trauma in healthy ways.
When I read the insidious blog post by PZ Myers charging Michael Shermer with rape and sexual predation I was sickened because I have seen this kind of behavior first-hand.
No one in the atheist/skeptic community should take seriously on any level, any claim made by someone who claims to be standing up for the rights of victims while creating victims through unsubstantiated claims leveled by anonymous people.
The A+ folks have demanded that convention organizers add to their harassment policies, that no speaker be allowed to engage in sexual contact with any convention attendees. The attempt to instate such an insidiously over reaching rule speaks volumes to the mind set of these people.
As this drama unfolded I found myself becoming more and more afraid to speak my mind and share my thoughts. And as I pondered whether or not I should say anything about this new development I realized something quite horrific. The only people who have frightened me into silence prior to this moment have been extremist Muslims. Think about that. The tactics of the FtB in-groupers have had on many in my community the exact same effect as the tactics of Muslim extremists. Ask yourself, “have I been frightened into silence?”. If the answer is yes please, speak up.
Every atheist/skeptic who has the opportunity to speak to PZ Myers personally has a duty to ask him, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
There is nothing wrong with sex.