Ron Lindsay has a post up on CFI today about the shunning of certain atheists/skeptics at conferences. It’s appalling that this topic has to be discussed at all in a group of so called critical thinkers who value ideas and discussion. Or do they?
I was very surprised when I read my name on this list:
In any event, the list of individuals that CFI has been advised not to have any dealings with is long. In no particular order it includes: Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Ophelia Benson, Harriet Hall, Russell Blackford, Edwina Rogers, Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, and Sharon Hill. I am sure I am forgetting several more.
REALLY? I would like to know why my name is on this list.
I do research and skeptical outreach. I am NOT controversial.
A scant few have notified me saying they think I’m incompetent or annoying or mean but I don’t get hate mail. So, what could be the issue that would put me in this category? I’m left to guess…
I have had a few incidents with people who did not like who I was friends with, who assumed I tacitly supported nastiness against fellow skeptics (incorrect assumption, I might add) and who did not appreciate that I can overlook flaws of certain people in order to admire their overall body of work. I’m not at all interested in the cliques, the parties, or the celebrity pandering. I’m not going to blog about people I don’t like or try to garner sympathy as a victim. That’s not how I feel respect is earned. I judge people on merit and I expect they would do the same and treat others as human beings, not as adversaries.
I avoid the petty shit slinging that has occurred PARTICULARLY among the women in skepticism. It has been sickening to watch and has resulted in many good people throwing up their hands and saying this is worse than high school, then they left. I have had disagreements with some female skeptics yet we remain friends because I respect their work and their opinion. I don’t throw a fit when they disagree with me. I promote feminism by doing whatever I want and expecting to be treated fairly. For the most part, I have. The most trouble I have had is from other women. Is this it? Is this the source of the opinion that I should not be invited to speak at conferences? I don’t know. Speak up.
It is noticeable that there are circles of people who support each other and other outlets who will ignore that you exist. I am unclear why that is. It has always been my philosophy that we have a common goal to promote critical thinking. So, I’m at a loss if you are sincere about the goal, why you would not support others with that goal. We aren’t competing against each other. Someday I hope that this cliqueyness goes away. I’m open to taking steps to get rid of that.
I’m here to do what I think is right. If you can’t appreciate hard work and the fairness that I have always tried to adhere to, so be it. I don’t pander, grandstand or suck up. You would be HARD PRESSED to find me losing my temper (now being any exception) and saying something bad about someone in public. So, I would appreciate if I can see a calm, reasonable explanation to explain what the issue is here. Because it must be going on behind the scenes. Since I’m not into following the latest gossip, someone tell me what IS the problem? I will honestly try to fix it.
To respond privately, email paskeptic at gmail.com