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Friday, November 05, 2010

"Love me, love me, say that you love me"

One of the things that I find consistently interesting about Conservapedia is trying to unravel their train of thought. What I mean by this is that much of what they write is nonsensical, illogical, or both, but by attending carefully to what, and how, they argue it's possible to plumb the depths of their madness. Or, at least, that's what I tell myself- in reality, since I have no way to confirm my suppositions, it all boils down to a sort of peculiarly elaborate alternate reality game,* but that doesn't mean it can't be entertaining.

Bearing this in mind, one area I find particularly interesting to dissect are their views on women, men, and sexuality. It goes without saying that these views are twisted and difficult to follow, not least because of their prurient fascination with homosexuality.** What I find especially intriguing is the sheer amount of page space devoted to issues of attractiveness between the sexes, usually ending with the assertion that conservatives are better. For example, there's the long-running "debate" over whether or not Richard Dawkins lacks machismo. Granted, that article is labeled "satire," though that stretches the meaning of the term to a painful degree, but it nevertheless represents a direction I would not think to go in. Insulting someone for not being sufficiently manly went out of style before I hit college, you know? Still, if you want something treated as fact you might check out their page on Atheism and Marriageability, which asserts that atheists are less likely to marry. This is, presumably, because atheists are socially challenged men who are unattractive to women,*** thus giving rise to both their page Atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women and their page 10 telltale signs you are on your way to becoming an atheist nerd. For those who are curious, the ten signs are as follows:



Or, in plain text:

1. When you are at your girlfriend's house, you cannot stop scowling at her mother's pictures of Jesus (Please see: The atheist and evolutionist helpline).

2. You own more pocket protectors than shirts.

3. You tell your girlfriend that she is merely a result of blind random natural forces and there is nothing particularly special about her. Of course, this lets her know that you are an insensitive liar and she starts crying (see: Atheism and deception).

4. You spend countless hours arguing with your girlfriend on the true definition of atheism and insist you are not diluting the definition of atheism given in most encyclopedias of philosophy.

5. You fly into an uncontrollable rage when your girlfriend brings up shockofgod's question.

6. After your last girlfriend dumped you, you reminded yourself that you still have a lot of atheist subscribers at your YouTube atheism channel and your Reddit atheist friend list is quite large. In addition, your mother no longer believes you are going to get married.

7. You try to convince every woman you meet to visit atheists' websites. You do this because you are mad at Conservapedia for pointing out that the web traffic tracking companies Alexa and Quantcast indicate that a majority of web visitors to prominent atheists' websites are males (Please see: Atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women).

8. You think Richard Dawkins has machismo or try to debate Conservapedians on the true definition of the word machismo despite the definitions the Merriam Webster dictionary offers.

9. American atheists are significantly less likely to get married than the general population.[1] When you had problems finding a wife, you refused to consider the possibility that you could be the problem and instead blamed it on womankind.

10. Your girlfriend tells you that there needs to be better communication between you two so you buy her a Star Trek USB Communicator that will allow you two to "Stay connected Starfleet style" via Skype and IM programs.


So, basically, the implication is that if you got a bunch of atheists together, you'd have the Lambda-Lambda-Lambda house, which is a tad funny since we all know how that one came out. And, for those who are curious, my score is as follows:

(1) I'm married and my wife doesn't keep any pictures of Jesus around, nor did she before we were married. Not all women love the J-man, you know.

(2) I don't own any pocket protectors. Didn't those pretty much disappear with the market failure of fountain pens?

(3) To the contrary, I often tell my wife that she's incredibly special. That's the thing about low-probability events, they're special even if they're due to chance. As a side note, however, if something is due to a natural force, it isn't really random.

(4) I think I've maybe spent an hour discussing this with my wife, and even then we were talking about whether weak atheism can be meaningfully distinguished from agnosticism.

(5) For those who don't know, shockofgod is a loser on youtube who likes to ask "What is the proof and evidence that proves that atheism is correct?" or some paraphrased variation thereof. Speaking specifically to the checklist, my wife has never asked me this. More generally, responding to such a question requires a discussion of things like "proving a negative" that is likely to be too complicated for the average conservapeon to follow. If pressed, however, I would likely respond, "Pretty much every speck of scientific evidence from the last 200 years, plus large swaths of philosophy".

(6) I don't have a YouTube channel, and it would be more accurate that my mother doesn't believe I will get married again.

(7) I've never really tried to convince anyone to visit an atheist website, except perhaps viewers of the blog.

(8) Never really thought about it. Dawkins could be a flaming queen for all I care.

(9) I've actually known for some time that my atheism might interfere with my dating life. Clearly, however, it didn't interfere that much.

(10) Just... no.

So, to recap, as a computer-loving, video game playing, atheism proclaiming dude I score exactly zero out of ten. Warning sign fail. I might suggest to the Conservapeons that they should revise their list, but I've done that sort of thing before and it just never works. Regardless, if all of this "Atheists are unattractive" drivel doesn't drive the point home enough, you might check out their page titled Marry a Conservative, which argues that you're better off marrying a conservative- and includes helpful examples! I particularly enjoy number two, which implies that if a woman is infertile it's because she secretly is a dirty slut, but number four is pretty good, too, for inadvertently suggesting that the protagonist married a woman of whose existence he remained ignorant. Very "Sixth Sense"-ish, that.

In any case, I have been wondering why it is that the conservapeons are so desperate to assert their own virility and desirability and denigrate that of their "rivals".**** Are they really so desperate to be loved? And then I finally figured it out.

You see, Andrew Schlafly has a brother, Roger, who occasionally edits on Conservapedia. More often than not, this is to tell Andy that he's a damned idiot- a passtime of which I approve- but on a recent occasion it was for another reason. You see, he was editing the article on marital rape. If you have a sudden sinking sensation then you know what's coming, because the article is an at best lukewarm description of the concept, that only sort of avoids transforming into a rape apologia. Or, in any case, it did before Roger's recent intervention to clarify the origins of marital rape, and in the process asserts something more than a little skeezy:



Or, to quote:

Where people believe that marital rape is a crime, but not as serious a crime as rape by a stranger, there is often a belief that because the spouses are well known to each other forced intimacy within a marriage is not as traumatic an event as other forms of rape. Marital rape is difficult to define. Many wives see it as just a communication problem. Rape by a stranger, a highly traumatizing event itself, is usually a one-time occurrence. Marital rape occurs between partners that could have known each other for years and could be repeated. The wife may feel a sense of betrayal, and see the relationship coming to an end. [emphasis added]


Now, in fairness, the article Roger cites does say that some women may wonder if the rape occurred due to a lapse in communications (i.e. "Did I not make it clear I did not want to have sex?"), but does not indicate, as Roger suggests, that rape within marriage is just chalked up to a simple misunderstanding. In fairness as well to Roger, his mother, Phyllis Schlafly, has previously asserted that a man cannot rape his wife, so Roger's apparent down-playing of marital rape is probably not accidental.

And how does this clarify everything else for me? Simple, really- it makes me understand that the conservapeons somehow think that love isn't earned, but rather can simply be demanded, and as it turns out, they think they have the right to demand it whenever they want.

So marry a conservative if you like, but if Roger's views are typical, I think you'd be happier not.


* I mean, hell, it isn't as though Conservapedia is dealing with reality as anyone else knows it anyway.

** Note that I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with homosexuality, but Conservapedia is and yet, simultaneously, seems to spend more time writing about it than damned near anything else. Whatever you might think of Queen Gertrude, perhaps the play really is the thing.

*** A claim I find amusing in light of the fact that my wife apparently likes me just fine, but I digress.

**** To be frank, the notion that the average conservapeon could rival me in most anything is a tad insulting, but whatever.

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2 Comments:

Blogger JLT said...

Funny thing, in 7 they claim:
"7. You try to convince every woman you meet to visit atheists' websites. You do this because you are mad at Conservapedia for pointing out that the web traffic tracking companies Alexa and Quantcast indicate that a majority of web visitors to prominent atheists' websites are males"
Yet, when you compare e.g. Sam Harris' male to female visitors ratio to conservapedia's, Sam Harris "wins".
Using coonservapedian logic(TM) this probably means that Conservapodi are white male idiots. Go figure.

Saturday, November 06, 2010 8:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservapedia updated the atheist nerd test and it appears that you are a nerd according to their test.

I quote:

Attention male atheists! Nerds obviously have a significantly less likelihood of marrying. Lo and behold, as noted earlier, American atheists are significantly less likely to get married than the general population.[3] Click HERE to read more about atheist male nerds. Also, please see Atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women and Atheism and marriageability

Important addendum! If you are an atheist male and you carefully examined the 10 telltale signs you are on your way to becoming a lonely atheist nerd and told yourself: "I didn't match any of them therefore I am not an atheist nerd and atheists are not more prone to being nerds", that is a clear and strong warning sign you are an atheist nerd! Only atheists who are nerds take atheist nerd tests! Real men don't take atheist nerd tests! They are too busy making a difference in the world. If you are an atheist and you took this test, please see: The atheist and evolutionist helpline

Friday, December 17, 2010 2:21:00 PM  

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