Paula Kirby and the Sisterhood

In Feminism and Women Atheist Activists, part I and II, I mentioned Paula Kirby‘s involvement in the Elevatorgate controversy. She has remained relatively silent on the issue with the exception of her substantial post on Why Evolution Is True a year ago. This week she produced a more robust commentary titled The Sisterhood of the Oppressed. It’s well worth reading if you have the time. Like many members of the community, she emphasizes the toxic discourse promoted by Freethought Blogs.

The dissenting response to Rebecca Watson et al. was initially reactionary and defensive, but as the controversy has developed, so has the “other side,” which seems to agree that a section of the skeptic and atheist communities are engaging in bullying behavior, hence the twitter hashtag #FTBullies. If you want more detailed coverage, I suggest looking at Gurdur’s post on what he refers to as the Hobbesian civil war among atheists.

Kirby is now asking for messages if you are sick of the bullying behaviour. Some of the messages point to distinctions between different types of feminism (Freethought Blogs is associated with radical feminism) and the need to focus on real issues. Ed Brayton, owner of Freethought Blogs, is calling for Kirby to be shunned:

I’d honestly never heard of Paula Kirby before this, someone had to tell me who she was. But anyone who uses ‘feminazi’ and ‘famistasi’ in this manner has lost all credibility with me forever. She should be shunned by the atheist community for it.

Shunned? Really? This follows on Greg Laden’s resignation and the ejection of Thunderf00t for “behavior towards other members of the community.”

Sigh.