I have always howled at the ”Free Thought” movement’s aggrandizing self-desecription.
I mean really: If so-called free thinkers really think so freely, how come I can predict almost their every opinion?
Atheism? Increasingly, yes!
Evolution as the explainer of everything? Yes!
Assisted Suicide? It is the “ultimate civil right!”
Transhumanism? Bring it on!
Eugenic manipulation of embryos: Go for it!
Human Exceptionalism? No! We are just animals.
In short, free thinkers are as predictable in their beliefs as any other orthodoxy you could name. Perhaps, more so. For example, orthodox Catholics disagree about some major issues, such as the proper role of government in pursuing social justice.
But are “free thinkers” sexist? Apparently, some are viciously so. From the Buzz Feed News story (warning, crude language and vivid descriptions of sexual harrassment):
The reality of sexism in freethought is not limited to a few famous leaders; it has implications throughout the small but quickly growing movement. Thanks to the internet, and to popular authors like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Sam Harris, atheism has greater visibility than at any time since the 18th-century Enlightenment.
Yet it is now cannibalizing itself. For the past several years, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and online forums have become hostile places for women who identify as feminists or express concern about widely circulated tales of sexism in the movement. Some women say they are now harassed or mocked at conventions…[in ways that] are so vicious that two activists I spoke with have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. One of these women has been bedridden for two years.
Hmmm. Maybe evolution made the Alpha Males bully females as a throwback to the days when men did whatever it took to ensure their genes advanced to the next generation, or some other such cockeyed explanation for human behavior we often hear from behavioral Darwinists.
In any event, if half of the story is true, free thinkers had better get their own house in order before casting aspersions at the supposed knuckle-draggers of a more socially conservative bent.