I Resign My Membership from Secular Woman


Ellen Beth Wach experiences largely mirror my own.

The ‘behind the scenes FTB/ skepchick atheist’ community mired in personality politics of narcissists.

The strange thing, going back a year or two, they thought they were going to be hurting me and socially punishing me by ‘driving me from the community and having me forever be a pariah’.- Ed Brayton, owner freethoughtblogs.

Within the little microcosm of FTB this was a devastating punishment, however in reality it was more like being thrown out of WBC because you told Fred Phelp he was full of it!

I was, and still am, just so glad that I am not longer mired in their little cult.

EllenBeth Wachs


My time in Secular Woman has been rather rocky.  I haven’t been a member long. I believe I joined shortly before I commented on the post PZ Myers did about Adria Richards. If you aren’t familiar with what happened in that thread, see my post about it,

What people aren’t aware of is what was happening behind the scenes as the Pharyngula bloodbath played out. I was in a secret group with a dozen or so women and a few men that was supposed to be a “support” group dedicated to helping each other deal with the so-called harassment the “raging misogynists” of the community were throwing at us constantly. It seemed to start out with good intentions. People would post things that seemed to be harmful to their mental state and others would give supporting comments. What it really turned out to be was more of a catty…

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2 Responses to “I Resign My Membership from Secular Woman”

  1. tomokun Says:

    Yup, went through something similar in FTB myself. I had the temerity to suggest that we didn’t need “new rules”; to prevent sexual harassment. Instead what we needed were things like conflict resolution areas where people could get support in educating unthinking harassers, improved ability to ENFORCE the rules already in place, and maybe even entertaining educational speaks on what harassment is.

    For that, I got labeled a misogynist and a rape apologist. I and my family were threatened with “public shaming”… so I left never to return.

    The vitriol that comes out of that community is appalling.

    A culture that chooses to ATTACK rather than EDUCATE; a culture that spits venom rather than practices patience… they cannot lead anyone anywhere closer to a world where people are more understanding of each other. They preach divisiveness instead of unity under the guise that other groups “started it”, so why can’t they continue that same bad behavior.

    I find it ironic that a community that acknowledges that words can hurt would celebrate stooping to pejoratives as somehow a reasonable and productive response to any sort of disagreement. Their stance is merely a shell-game, one designed to obfuscate the fact that they are simply mean, arrogant people who not only find it impossible to admit they could be wrong on a topic; they also find it impossible to kick the habit of acting horribly towards their fellow man.

    They enjoy being mean to people.

    This is worse than the unthinking behavior of conference goers making a joke, because intent is EVERYTHING. Ignorance can be forgiven because the cure is education.

    But inflicting intentional harm with PRIDE? This is disgusting behavior that has no place in a civilized society.

    These are not friends to any cause. They are an infection on any community they belong to, because they attack the very bonds a community should have in order to thrive. Animosity is the salt they spread on the very field we hope to grow equality and community in, and they are the salt miners.

    Kudos to you Ellen Beth. I can tell I may not agree with every point you make, but I certainly agree with your response to this tripe.

  2. svenoostenbrink Says:

    Maybe it would help if they would rename the entire blog to “freecirclejerkblog.com”. This way there would be less confusion about its real purpose, and nobody would have to make a big deal about it anymore. People with actual opinions and arguments would know right away to steer clear of that place, and the site would only receive more people who are willing to jerk in the same direction as the rest of the circle… Seriously, if they would do this, everybody would be happy!

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