Steve Shives and Atheism+(Unrelated BS)

So . . . Steve Shives.

BOOOOOOO. Booo!!!!! Booooooo.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. The guy is a twat. I’m jumping on the bandwagon and responding to him anyway. For those of you who don’t know who Steve Shives is: He’s a Youtuber, former rational human being, and current feminist talking head. He’s at the front of the line of the Atheism+ movement that ran secular activism into the ground by making it totally inaccessible.

I liked Steve when he talked about secularism and atheism. He was a rational human at one point, which makes his utter demise at the hands of the feminist Borg even sadder. I was also involved in far more non-religious and secular activism back in the day–you know, back before atheist conferences turned into weird, social justice-fests that hardly even talked about atheism anymore, which is what I was personally there for. I know, how silly of me.

Atheism+ is essentially to atheism what Feminist Frequency is to gaming. It took a group that was about one thing, co-opted it entirely, said that it should have been about something else the entire time, then got mad whenever anyone pointed out that the two didn’t have to be fused together into a horrible Frankenstein of a monster. The atheism movement was originally about spreading skepticism of religion and promoting secular thought and debunking unfounded claims about atheism. Atheism+, on the other hand, insisted that atheism should entail being a social leftist who fights for all these other things that are totally unrelated. That’s why I said that it drove atheist movements into the ground–people who otherwise would have attended for the religious skepticism left after figuring out that they had to be anti-white supremacy, anti-patriarchy, anti-capitalism activists too. Because not believing in any gods totally means that you’re all this other shit! That’s not inaccurate at all.

So, what about Mr. Shives? Here’s a video entitled “Why Do They Call It Feminism?”. It’ll be great. Sigh.

___

“I had some thoughts about a picture that a friend of mine shared on Facebook. It’s a picture apparently taken from a sign on the LA Metro, and it reads ‘Respect our women passengers. Please refrain from the following: staring, masturbating, following, unwanted touching, unwanted conversation, asking women where they’re from. These actions create an unsafe space and contribute to violence against women. If you are unable to refrain from harassing other passengers, please change seats and notify the bus operator.'”

Why would the person doing the harassing be the one to notify the bus operator? That just doesn’t make sense. I have some issues with this sign. I don’t really understand how this is supposed to be helpful. Public masturbation and stalking are already illegal. I doubt that if someone was going to jerk off on the subway and stalk someone off of it, seeing a sign telling them not to wouldn’t really do anything. They’ve already made that life choice.

What is this sign supposed to do? Because the only people it’s having an effect on are men who already aren’t doing that and weren’t going to. So the idea that all men need to be given this reminder makes no sense and is actually very insulting. It would be like McDonald’s having a sign hung up in its kitchen saying, ‘Don’t spit in people’s drinks.’ It would be like a prison putting up signs saying, ‘Hey, don’t shank each other!” It’s not going to stop people from doing it if they want to do it, and it’s treating all the ones who weren’t going to do that like ingrates.

Also, why does it only say ‘Respect our women passengers.”? ‘Cause, you know, guys are totes okay with seeing some other dude jerk off in public. It doesn’t make them uncomfortable in the slightest, I’m sure. They give that guy a thumbs up.

These are just bad things to do (excluding, of course, the utterly ridiculous ones about daring to talk to someone when they don’t want to talk and asking them *gasp* questions). If you’re going to have a sign telling people not to do them, why is it only framed as being for the benefit of women? Why is it framed like no one else is made uncomfortable by these things and that women are apparently never the perpetrators of any of them? This sign just seems fucking pointless.

“The first comment under the picture when she shared it was some dude asking, ‘Why does is say respect women passengers? Why doesn’t it say to respect all passengers?'”

I had that question too. If you’re going to put that pointless, waste-of-space sign, you might as well encompass as many people as possible.

And that ties in with another commonly heard stupid question, which is, ‘Why do they call it feminism? If it’s for gender equality, why do they call it feminism? Why doesn’t it just refer to itself as humanism?’

I don’t care about this. It’s called feminism because, when it was started, it was very much about women’s rights. This whole, “We work for both genders!” idea is a relatively new one. I know why it’s called feminism. No, my question is why, if feminism is a movement for gender equality, does it not only dismiss men’s issues but actively fight against the Men’s Rights Movement, which doesn’t dismiss those issues? I’m not an MRA, but, from where I’m standing, it seems like both of you should be on the same team, and yet feminists are the first ones to use “MRA” as an insult that essentially equates to “misogynist,” just because MRAs dare to point out that men have problems (which inherently means they’re downplaying women’s issues, I guess). I’ll get back to this later on in Steve’s video where he goes on an utter rampage against MRAs for no real reason.

“And the reason I say that this is a stupid question is because it ignores the obviously apparent reality that you can see just by opening your eyes and observing the behavior and the traditions and the values and the customs of the culture that you are a fucking part of.”

Open your eyes! Look around! How could you go outside and see the world and still say that there isn’t a God?!

Steve, this is why people have stopped taking you seriously. You’re using the same rhetoric that you used to make fun of. This isn’t obvious and apparent to me, and I’m a woman. I guess I just must have internalized all that misogynist rhetoric. You can’t just say that it’s so obvious and act like that’s an argument.

The reason why it’s called feminism while advocating for gender equality is because females are the gender that are the underprivileged, underserved gender. You attain gender equality by advocating for the rights of the underprivileged gender. You see how this works?

This is where feminism fails. It asserts that women are the underprivileged, underserved gender as if that’s a universal, across-the-board statement that covers ever issue. It’s not. Women have it better than men in many situations, but if you follow feminist logic you’re not allowed to acknowledge that. And, no, that is not me saying that women don’t have the short end of the stick in many situations. They do. But so do men. And if you’re fighting for gender equality, it’d do you good to realize that making blanket statements like “females are the gender that are underprivileged and underserved” doesn’t help. It ignores that women have it better than men sometimes, on the basis of their gender.

They can be underprivileged and underserved in certain areas, of course, but that’s not the whole picture. And feminists tend to ignore that in very damaging ways. Men make up almost half of domestic violence victims. They have for a long time. But the man will still be the one who gets arrested if the cops are called. The man will be the one unable to find a shelter. The man will be the one who isn’t given any help. And yet feminists are the ones constantly painting domestic violence like it’s an exclusively male-on-female thing where only women are ever hurt and only men are ever the perpetrators. I have not once seen a feminist acknowledge that domestic violence is not a gendered issue.

This is a case where men got the short end of the stick because they are men, and you do not take it seriously at all because your ideology has told you that men can never be in that position, Steve. Your ideology has robbed you of your ability to see “the obvious, apparent” things that are wrong here.

It’s the same reason why we call it the gay rights movement. It’s not because we think gay people deserve to be better than straight people, it’s because gay people are in the inferior position and we want to raise them up to equality. That’s how you attain equality.”

Gay people actually did lack rights that straight people have. They also never claim to be a movement that helps people of all sexualities. No gay guy is getting up on stage talking about how he’s doing this to help out his asexual brothers. They lacked rights. What rights to men have that women do not have? This is a very simple question that no one can seem to answer. I just need one example of men in America having a right that women do not. But, guess what, I can think of at least two rights that women in America have that men don’t have (the ability to opt out of parenthood without legal repercussions and their exclusion from the draft). But I guess I’m just derailing women’s issues by bringing those things up, right?

The reason why the sign on the bus says ‘Don’t masturbate to female passengers is because female passengers are the ones who are made to feel unsafe by that behavior. Now, I’m not saying that a female passenger on the Metro has never just openly started masturbating to a man. I don’t want to say, for sure that that’s never happened. But I would guess that the ratio is pretty lopsided. It’s mostly men doing it to mostly women. That is the nature of the problem that the sign is meant to address. That’s why it fucking says that. Alright? Have you got it? It’s not an accusation that you personally are a rapist.

Once again, I feel like everyone would feel unsafe in this situation, not just women. What about a man masturbating to another guy? What if they’re not looking at anyone in particular? Does this still only make women feel unsafe? Also, are you just not going to address any of the other points? What about ‘unwanted conversation’ or ‘asking women where they’re from”? Are those also things that make women and women specifically feel unsafe? Or are those just not worth bringing up? I mean, they’re only most of this sign. But, hey, let’s just focus on the undeniably not-okay one, because if we talked about any of the other points, that could open up the floor for actual arguments about how they’re not that bad and how this sign is stupid.

I also looked up crime stats for this. Granted, I did it for America, not the UK, but in the USA at least, indecent exposure (which public masturbation counts as) has gone down and wasn’t a very prevalent crime to begin with. It was mainly situated on weekend nights where public drunkenness charges were filed jointly with indecent exposure charges, and the overwhelming majority of non-drunk encounters were centered around homeless men who were most likely mentally ill. It’s rarely people with serious sex offense charges who do this, and the ones with repeated sexual offense charges had charges of the same voyeuristic nature (where they were pervs but no one was harmed by their actions).

So you have mentally ill homeless men who aren’t going to be swayed by this sign and perverts who aren’t going to be swayed by it either but who nevertheless aren’t statistically likely to be violent against women, so that claim falls flat. Then you have drunk guys who might actually be prompted to change their behavior if they see this sign on account of drunk people being more susceptible to environmental cues. So, there you go: You got one for three when it comes to who this sign would actually leave an impact on, which is good. It is statistically significant. Drunk people do this a lot, so subconsciously manipulate them into behaving more cordially all you want. That being said, that still doesn’t excuse this sign’s implication that only women are negatively impacted by those actions. And, to be honest, saying “Respect all passengers” would probably be more effective at mitigating drunken idiocy because that environmental cue isn’t dependent upon the presence of women. So even allowing for the notion that this sign would solve a large percentage of this issue by affecting how drunk people behave, framing it solely as a women’s issue doesn’t make it more effective or more true.

It makes it less of both of those things, actually.

“So drop this hypersensitive defensiveness. . .

I’m sorry, I think I just burst a blood vessel in my brain. Really, Steve? Really? People who aren’t feminists are the hypersensitive and defensive ones? Really? Something tells me that if a similar sign were to be put up in supermarkets telling women not to spank their children in the food aisle because it makes other patrons uncomfortable, you and the rest of the feminist mob would throw a bitch fit about how it perpetuates harmful ideas and stereotypes about women. But somehow this sign doesn’t encourage and perpetuate harmful and stereotypical views of men and it’s something we actually need. This isn’t me being hypersensitive, Steve, the hypocrisy and double standard is, to use a word you love, obvious.

And either grow up and learn to accept the fact that we live in a society where there is gender inequality, and where it disadvantages women, and that that is a problem that needs to be addressed.

No one is saying that sexism and gender inequality don’t exist, Steve. No one is saying that. No one is saying that there are no problems. I’m pretty sure people are perfectly happy to address the problem of public masturbation on the Metro–they’re just against the way the “solution “was framed, which is fine, Steve. And here you go again acting like the only gender inequality that should be addressed is the gender inequality that women face and that men implicitly face none. That is just patently not true. You wonder why the MRM exists while simultaneously ignoring any and all evidence that men face gender-based inequality in certain areas as well. Once again, making blanket statements about what gender is advantaged and what gender is disadvantaged is far too black-and-white a viewpoint to encompass the reality of the situation.

Or toddle off to the Men’s Rights Movement sub-Reddits and bitch and moan with the other guys who are upset at the unfair divorce settlement or that they never get to see their kids or because the girl they like won’t go out with them.

What?! What the fuck, Steve? What the fuck. You  sit there and say something like that, and yet you’re still in the fucking dark about why people are getting fed up with you. You just mocked people who are victims of unfair legal practices that are unfair in large part due to their gender. If it were women with these issues you wouldn’t fucking dare laugh at them, to say, “Oh, boo fucking hoo, I don’t get to see my kids anymore, wahwah!” Oh, but it’s women who got the better deal here, so it’s not an issue! Women are the only ones with issues, don’t ya know? It’s something that can be mocked and made fun of!

And yeah sure, guys whining about being friendzoned is dumb, but so are the feminists on the feminism sub-Reddits complaining about air conditioning. And you lumped them in with men who have actual issues. You just equated complaining about a sub-par romantic life with being financially ruined by a divorce and not being able to see your own children because of a custody battle that tends to favor mothers. What the fuck is wrong with you, Steve? Has feminism killed your empathy for men so much?

There’s a place for you. It’s called the Men’s Rights Movement.

Yeah, apparently! It’s not like you’re going to care about their very real issues, based off of what you just said. You laughed at them. You minimized their problems. And you wonder why people are turning to the MRM, when that is how you regard the issues they talk about? Then you make fun of them even more for turning to a movement that actually gives a fuck about them because they’re fools for not joining up with the movement whose spokesperson actively ignored and mocked their problems. I thought you were supposed to be encouraging people to become feminists, Steve?

It’s a little bubble of misogyny on the internet that you can go and be with your own.

If you’re willing to cop to the point that lots of feminism hubs are bubbles of misandry, I’ll give you this point. But you probably won’t. The extremists in both of the movements are very similar, Steve. The only difference is that people don’t even take the MRAs who make legitimate points seriously, whereas con artists and clear misandrists can speak for feminism and be lauded as the voices of women and the voices of equality.

And when you ask them a question like, “Why does it say respect our women passengers instead of respect all passengers?” you will have such a warm, welcoming response. They will not mistreat you and abuse you verbally the way I have just done.

Maybe that’s why they’re not feminists. It’s a bit difficult to join a movement that says it cares about men’s issues too, only to have every men’s issue you bring up be dismissed or called selfish or laughed at or accused of derailing of the true issues that face women. The only thing I ever hear feminists talk about men’s-issue-wise is how men aren’t allowed to cry, and that’s of course only ever talked about in the context of how sexist towards women it is that men can’t be “girly.” So, I can understand why they would not be feminists, Steve. Feminism has proven time and time again that it gives no fucks about men’s issues and that it only acknowledges them when they dovetail with a women’s issue that is “more serious.” And yet you’re talking down at them like they’re just too stupid to know what’s good for them.

They will love you and support you for everything that you are: a deeply oppressed holder-of-a-penis whose life has been ruined by these mean, nasty women.

Way to strawman the entire Men’s Rights Movement. I’d also love to see you make the same commentary on feminist women who are, of course, just complaining about how mean, nasty men have ruined their lives. Oh, but wait, when a woman is hurt by a man her feelings are important and valid and an accurate reflection of the sexist culture we live in. Switch the genders around, though, and you’ve got a grade-A misogynist who is just complaining out of his ass and who doesn’t live in reality. I also love how you flat-out deny that someone can be oppressed if they’re a dreaded holder-of-a-penis. The empathy you have for people is fucking staggering.

So I would suggest that if you can’t hold up in the real world where these problems really exist and where people feel the need to try and address them in real ways . . .

I already talked about how saying “Respect all passengers” would probably work better at deterring crime, so feminists trying to address problems in real ways was really lacking. And didn’t you just go on a tirade about how the real issues men face are stupid? Who can’t hold up in the real world again, Steve? Because it seems like whenever someone brings up all those unfortunate facts proving feminist dogma wrong, you regress into calling people misogynists and actively tell them to just leave, even though you’d think that if feminism was sooo right, you wouldn’t be shooing detractors away from it. You do not speak like a man who is convinced that what he says is true, Steve. You speak like a man afraid to be confronted with anything that contradicts you because you wouldn’t know how to deal with it.

Put in your application for membership at the vaunted He-Man Woman Haters club. And just be happier over there. That’s my suggestion to you.

Seriously, Steve. You suck at feminism! You should be trying to convince people to agree with you, not sitting in a corner and pouting and saying, “Fine, go be a misogynist, I don’t care, whatever . . .” And, here we go, with the final nail in the Stereotypical Feminist coffin–accusing those who question you of being women-haters. Well, Steve, aren’t you in a conundrum with me, then? I’m a woman, which means I know more about it than you. How dare you presume to speak for me, and all that. But then, I’m a woman who disagrees with feminism. Can you call me a He-Man Woman Hater too? Isn’t that ascribing your white male opinion onto me, a black woman? That’s oppressive. What is we gon’ do now? WHAT IS WE GON’ DO!!!!????

If you look at a sign like that, or if you look at the term feminism and you just can’t understand why it refers specifically to women. Go there. Go there. They want you. They will accept you. Personally, I have no use for you.”

Well, I’m personally glad. You don’t come across as a man I want to be of use to.

___

I actually feel really bad for Steve, guys. There’s a video on his channel of him talking with his feminist wife, and it’s actually really hard to watch. She just brow beats the guy into submission over nothing. He likes Angel more than Buffy, which makes him sexist. Even though he clearly knows more about both of those shows than his wife does, she still feels inclined to tell him how sexist he’s being for liking the spin-off more (totally failing to explain how its many “strong female characters” are even sexist, to boot–just listen to her trail off when discussing the character Fred in order to steer the conversation back to how sexist TV is). He likes Angel more than Buffy, he reads the wrong books, and he listens to the wrong music (presumably made by men or made with male characters). And she guilt trips him over it for like ten minutes. And then when he nods his head and admits that everything he likes is wrong and problematic, she continues to brow-beat and guilt trip him because him acknowledging how sexist all the things he likes are is just another sign of male privilege and how it’s bad that he expects her to think he’s a better person for acknowledging those things.

I legitimately feel bad for this man. No wonder he has such an unreasonable hatred of all things anti-feminist. Not even anti-feminist, just things that don’t toe the line enough. No wonder he actively disengages from actually talking about his ideas on feminism and just spouts his regurgitated rhetoric into a void, blocking all who oppose and refusing to even explain why he’s right to those who argue. These are people who he thinks are wrong and harmful, and he won’t even attempt to change that. He’s just a guy so desperate to not be talked down to by his own wife that he freaks out. Because if he doesn’t toe the party line, his wife will bite his fucking head off.  And then probably blame the patriarchy for making her get blood all over her good hardwood floors.

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