Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Lunam Atheist Reddit Incident

Here is a post I feel obliged to post. Some people may be aware of the over-sexualized reddit incident with user Lunam, a 15 year old girl who posted a pic of herself with a book her mom gave her. From reading a couple blog posts, such as THIS one, and going through her threads on reddit I feel I have a decent view on what happened. Now, though this may not seem like it sometimes, this is a PR post and a rebuke to anyone who acted this way or contributes in any way in the future to being beyond offensive online and harassing, in this case, an underage atheist girl, who some thought was older at least at first.

First, the blog I posted in the link. I did do some research, and I commented on this blog, 4th I believe, so you can see my opinion on the 'post' but it was also this post that moved me to feel obligated to also condemn the actions of those involved with the Lunam incident. So credit was due.

I did think that the other blog post brought up some issues I see. Recently I posted a video on the Mormon Expression FB group. The video was this (and is vulgar):

(usually i have to fix something i did wrong to post the vid so bear with me if it doesn't work)
So, the guy has some jokes, he makes some funny ironic points, like the Iran comment, and his argument is true, and he uses one of the girls on The Talk to say it's true, but the way he does is, with his use of words for example, is not really conducive to having people listen. As to some of my concerns with the blog post, but I commented on that already. Also, as a side note, when I post things on FB that obviously are going to start a discussion full of controversy and I say nothing in the title of the post and wait half a day to comment, then, yes, I am trolling, and I want to see what happens.

Btw, her's a girl saying basically the same thing, Brittany. So for any girls who don't like hearing this from guys, and you know who you are cause you feel a little riled up with me or the vid and are ignoring what is an obvious issue, then here's Brittany's vid:

But all of that can wait till later ... like another day ... maybe, if I care.

Lunam's overview is at this link if you wish to run around a bit. Oh and that is a picture of her, btw. So her very religious mother bought her this Carl Sagan book, which i own but have not yet read (1 chapter in the middle a year ago when i got it) and she was very excited and wanted to post the pic. The following shit-storm that ensued is a little worse than what you may be guessing with comments (taken from the blog i linked!!!) like the ones below:

Bracin’ mah anus
She is fifteen years old. ABORT THE MISSION. ABORT THE MISSION.
You call it kidnapping. I call it surprise adoption.

Okay, so that last one is kinda funny, like how rape is actually Surprise Sex! But the issue here is you can make the joke, but you don't usually say it to a person in particular, especially when it is a 15 year old girl. No one sees an issue with this? Here's some more that the blog I linked posted from reddit, I don't wish to change the list in any way:

“Relax your anus, it hurts less that way.”
“Blood is mother nature’s lubricant.”
I’d put billions and billions in your pale blue dot.
I’d occupy her habitable zone
I’d go at that so hard, my entire body would appear blue on approach
Upvote for creative use of Doppler effect in sexual allegory
I’d read that book so f***ing hard to you.

It's pretty bad. And you'd think the girl would be traumatized. Luckily she isn't, but unluckily ... she is partly to blame, at least from the perspective of how this blog posted about the Lunam Incident. Don't worry though, I will be returning to the posters, most of which, I think we can all guess, were male.

So Lunam posted this, her REGARDING THE SHITSTORM post that sheds light on some things. #1 - Due to this post it seems she probably has had some time to discuss everything with some friends and this is an excellent reply to the whole incident. This is a very intelligent reply, and I say that cause it sounds like how I would have replied. And it's not me being to self-congratulatory, but that's the type of replies or comments I write, trying to take in all POV and possible scenarios.

Main issue is #2 where 'we' learn that it was HER who said 'bracin ma anus' and probably didn't really think about what it would mean to everyone, and to which comments followed. She gave the BF trump card which online does not work well but then followed it all with the comment about being naked in her penthouse. Sarcastic yes, but sarcasm doesn't carry well in written form and for most people that was the final 'open door' chime to go forward with more sexual comments. She seems to have learned from her mistake and realizes how she could have been seen as presenting herself.

Now let's set that glass of milk down and start on the meat. First, this is reddit, lots of high school college age people. Lot's of guys. This is an anonymous board. Should we expect all the posts to be from actual atheists? Or that a lot of the comments could be from horny teenage boys her age? Also, that the posters represent a very small fraction of the reddit atheist community at large and that it would be ridiculous to apply what happened here to the larger atheist ''community'' of the world? I hate calling all atheists 'one' community, that's silly, but people will, and that's why I feel a need to get on here and openly discuss what happened and give proper condemnation to the guilty.

So the final moment. Regardless if she played everyone up a little and started the sexual comments in the first place, why did it progress, or digress, to the point it did? Didn't someone get on there read some comments and think "hey, this isn't quite right?" I'm sure some did, and like I would have, promptly left. I'm sure some did better than I would have and commented, maybe saying something like ''hey, guys, you need to calm down and be more respectful, this is getting really bad." One issue is that I bet most don't even know how it started, they got on saw the comments, laughed, and joined in. Where, if in real life or if they had a moment to think, they would have been abhorred by the whole "discussion" and would have condemned their own actions.

This whole thing is ridiculous. And her comment, "A major topic of controversy was the fact I posted my face. I'm sorry I didn't realize I should have to wear a burka on r/atheism," ... seriously? I mean, unfortunately girls do run the risk of posting pics online, but is reddit so bad that girls can't do it there? What have we come to in the online community if girls can't post pics without being sexualized instantly? Did someone seriously lay out an argument for her to not post pics and it was her fault? I shake my head in a stupefied stupor.

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