Another question I’m asked for being an Atheist is how do I know right from wrong. This question annoys me because it presumes that I am so stupid or personally deficient that I don’t know how to live my life unless some male religious authority tells me what I can or cannot do. It assumes that my natural capacity for empathy is not enough to guide me in the decisions I make, and that my behavior needs policing from some outside source (usually male).
I also find it ironic that people of faith would ask me this, since they are the ones who believe it’s acceptable to brutally oppress half the human planet. They lose no sleep over the fact that women are routinely raped, abused, killed, and deliberately excluded from fully participating in society. They don’t even care that their own female family members are discriminated against and treated like punching bags. They talk a lot about forgiveness and loving thy neighbor while treating women like our sole existence is to be fucked by men and make babies. Their own holy books insult women as inherently unclean and evil seductresses that cause men’s bad behavior. They preach that women have no redeeming qualities beyond serving others and submitting to men.
If anyone should be asked if they know right from wrong, it should be people of faith. We should also ask this of leftist activists who preach about equality and tolerance but consistently ignore the pervasiveness of misogyny and sexism in society and in their own movements. Neither the Left nor the Religious Right care what happens to women or allow women to take their own oppression seriously, and both actively work to silence women and exclude women from fully participating in society. Both preach endlessly about compassion and tolerance while withholding both from half the human planet. If people meant what they said and compassion and neighborly love were truly the rule of the day, then women’s rights would be seen as human rights.
I think it’s obvious by now that most people, whether they prescribe to a religion or not, are incapable of empathy towards women. When I say empathy, I don’t mean sympathy or liking women. Most people don’t even know the meaning of the word “empathy” let alone how it works. They do not understand women as humans with human needs, who share the same potential to do great things as well as limitations for flaws we all share in common. Most people just compartmentalize women into two groups – women who serve them and women who don’t. Women who behave the way other people think they should and women who don’t. Women who are willing to be deferential to men and women who don’t. People treat women like programmable robots who are expendable the moment they cease to be immediately useful to them. They view misogyny, discrimination, and sexist abuse as somehow necessary to “discipline” women, which (to put it mildly) is a disgustingly sadistic and paternalistic attitude to have.
If empathy is what is supposed to make people “human” and somehow different than the rest of the animal kingdom, then most people by definition are not human. They are psychopaths that vampirically feed off of women’s pain and suffering, and get off on “seeing the look on her face” when “she’s taken down a notch.” They are torturers who enjoy harming women and causing women pain. They get off on it. It gets them “high.” It’s like a drug to them, except this drug is free and men have made it legal for 22,000 years. Like drug addicts, misogynists do not care they are harming themselves, their family, their friends, or society by continuing to take it. You cannot hope to live in a healthy and well functioning society when women are systematically abused any more than you can hope to have a healthy family life when your father is allowed to abuse your mother.
Lack of empathy towards women is pervasive around the world, regardless of nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other characteristic. It is why domestic abuse, rape, serial killings, sex trafficking, rape, sexual harassment, street harassment, gender gaps, sex discrimination, and abortion access remain widespread problems even in first world countries today. By excluding women from political power, men have been able to create hierarchical political power structures based on their own pecking order which incidentally also causes classism and severe gaps between the rich and the poor. Most if not all of society’s problems can be traced back to sexism and misogyny.
One would think that if people truly wanted “change” and to live in a society that allows everyone to live up to their fullest potential, that the first thing they would do is reject misogyny and male supremacy. You would think if religion were a worldwide force for good that women would finally get some of this “brotherly love” everyone’s been talking about. The opposite is true, though, isn’t it? Women are blamed for what men do and men only “love their neighbor” when it’s other men. Women are expected to forgive men for heinous crimes while men freely dispense judgement against women for any petty reason they want (like what our bodies look like and what clothes we wear). Women are expected to accept men as they are while men are allowed to demand women change everything about themselves to please them. Women are expected to bend over backwards and prove our worth over and over and over again, as if men will magically see us as human if only we were to meet their impossible demands and expectations. While men condemn women for having even the tiniest of personal flaws, but will “forgive” and “see the humanity” in men who rape and murder.
But it’s not just men, is it? There are women who participate in misogyny too. Women who reward misogynist men by either supporting them or giving them their love and friendship. Women who throw other women under the bus to save themselves. Women who take out their rage on other women because they are not allowed to hold men accountable for their abuse. Women who oppose feminism while reaping the rewards of the hard work and sacrifices of feminists. While no woman asks for misogyny including internalized misogyny, these women are well aware that they are harming other women. Internalized misogyny is still misogyny, and it still hurts women.
To ask me to pretend I’m not surrounded by misogynist psychopaths would be gaslighting and cruel. But isn’t that what people usually want? They want women to question their own perception and delude themselves that their abusers are capable of ever seeing them as human, and struggle to gain acceptance where there’s none to be had. Misogynists treat feminists like hamsters, as if we have nothing better to do with our lives than to go around and around in the same arguments, or to navigate obstacles and mazes they placed in front of us to obstruct any progress we might make. They enjoy watching us struggle and suffer and they are watching our every move to take notes of our strengths and weaknesses to better undermine our efforts.
They hold blind allegiance to male power no matter how toxic it is then turn around and demand women “do something” about the sorry state of the world. They do this while preventing women from making the necessary progress to achieve the financial and political resources to make the world a better place. They have set women up to fail in impossible situations, all the while dangling that carrot of “equal rights” to keep us spinning the hamster wheel.
I dropped out of activism not only because it’s full of misogynists who think women exist to be their punching bags, meat shields, and coffee girls; but because it is sick to suggest that men are entitled to do whatever they want then have the privilege of snapping their fingers and demanding women make everything right again. Or that it’s women’s job to clean up after the messes of men.
There is no reasoning with these people, and there’s nothing you can do about their sadistic pathology. The only thing you can do is look out for yourself and try to protect yourself from them. Often this means minimizing contact with people as much as possible, including “social media” which isn’t actually social. Anything that allows other people to be abusers and violate boundaries is not pro-social and yes this includes regular blogs too. Be picky about who you talk to and make it as brief as possible. There are a lot of people who can’t imagine living their life like this, but then, I can’t imagine living my life with psychopaths who think my suffering is funny or awesome either. I reject the idea that I exist solely to be used, abused, or “perform a function” in someone else’s life. And so should you.