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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jen McCreight has not rage quit

...though she has been tempted. It's easy to see why:
Becoming a board member of a secular non-profit and being invited as a speaker to events has really opened my eyes. You start interacting with a diverse group of people who have been in the movement a long time, and you get a behind-the-scenes glimpse. Some organizations (like the SSA) are truly awesome and run by lovely human beings. Some… boy, if you guys only knew. 
The people are the same. Some are the most genuinely lovely individuals I have ever met. But some are manipulative, petty, passive aggressive, selfish, sexist, racist, homophobic, ablist, or just downright mean. Yes, I came to the shocking realization that atheists and skeptics are also human. The problem is that without this insider knowledge, it’s incredibly difficult to distinguish the lovely from the loathsome. 
The bigger problem is that I see no real solution, and am stuck cringing silently when someone is unwittingly praising a person who’s really a Giant Fucking Asshole. Because the politics involved between people or between organizations is enormous. 
I feel gross staying silent and playing the game, but I often have no choice. This isn’t because I’m afraid of losing readers – contrary to popular belief, I don’t just blog For Teh Hitz, and the money I make off blogging is not enough to float in swimming pools full of hundred dollar bills. This isn’t because I’m afraid of losing a potential writing career – my actual job is as a scientist, remember? It’s because there are people and organizations in the movement I genuinely care about, and stirring certain pots would cause them harm. 
I’m not sure why I’m even writing this post other than to get it off my chest. It probably comes off as totally vague and pointless to those of you who aren’t privy to the back stories and insider knowledge. But maybe that’s the message. That when some of us insiders rant and rave, and it comes off as vague and pointless…it’s probably because you’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg, and we forget your view. You can’t see under the water to glimpse the private emails, the angry phone calls, and the years of history. So many people think other bloggers and I do anything for controversy because we’ll occasionally speak up against big names.
 What should concern you are the things we can’t talk about.
They do concern me, but not that much. There are ways that significant figures in a movement can be Giant Fucking Assholes that matter in terms of the movement, and ways that don't really. And when they don't really, or when they do and you know but feel like you can't talk about it, it's an unpleasant thing to deal with. But deal with it we must. 

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