Because this happened. This should not have happened. Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings toward Jen McCreight or her views, nobody deserves that kind of treatment. Nobody deserves to be continually harassed, insulted, and bullied to the point where they have to leave the fucking internet. Nobody deserves to be continually harassed, insulted, and bullied at all.
Ironically, this is exactly the thing that A+ is supposed to prevent. The focus of A+ is on social justice, and making our community more welcoming to everyone. This means creating a space where people can feel safe and respected, and where sexist insults and verbal abuse simply don’t happen. It means challenging dangerous assumptions and stereotypes, and calling out those who reinforce them. It means not compromising the rights of others to feel comfortable in this community, whether online or in real life. It means defending those rights when others try to take them away. It means standing up for each other when we feel threatened, hurt, or alone.
These are admirable goals. The amount of crap that Jen McCreight has had to go through just proves how much A+ is necessary. A+ as a movement has the ability to change the conversation and to discourage the kind of vitriol that forced Jen to leave. By raising awareness of these problems in a much more organized way, A+ will allow these ideas (that racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, etc. are bad) to be spread far more widely, and be accepted on a far greater level, than was possible before.
Atheism+ has the potential to greatly change the atheism movement. It has the potential to make it the open, welcoming place that many of us have talked about and wanted for a long time. It has the potential to make this movement the diverse, accepting place that many of us so desperately want it to be. But it can only do those things if everybody supports it. It can only do those things if everybody is on board. So I’m on board, because I don’t think that what happened to Jen should happen to anybody ever again.