By Connie Torrisi
Recently, I read Greta Christina’s book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? The book goes through a long list of things that make Christina angry toward religious believers. I must admit, that I also find many of the same things quite irritating. I become frustrated when people insist on believing in supernatural beings and a host of other superstitions that are totally lacking in evidential support.
But there is something else that makes me angry and irritates my feminist frame of mind: referring to god as a “pussy.”
To call someone a ‘pussy’ is to say that the person is soft, weak, ineffectual, and inadequate. In other words, a pussy is not manly.
Men have used the term to describe women for centuries. While a pussy cat can mean soft, warm, cuddly and cute when referring to domestic cats, it has never been a term of endearment when referring to women. It is meant to designate women as less than equal, and less than desirable human beings.
When an atheist refers to god as a pussy, he is trying to make a specific point. I get that. However, I find the term “pussy” so derogatory, that I am not only infuriated, I take it as a personal insult. In reality, it is an insult to all women.
Men are in the habit of spitting out the word “pussy” at other men in order to degrade them as much as possible. It is an insult of the highest degree. To be a pussy is to be like a woman, and there is nothing lower on this earth than to be a woman.
Within the general category of Freethought, women need to elevate men’s awareness of such crude terminology. Freethought has no room for chauvinistic attitudes.
I am no more comfortable with a Freethought male who regards women as subhuman than I am with a religious fundamentalist.
Freethought means to be open-minded, not locked into the assumption of gender superiority. For this reason alone, such an organization as Secular Woman serves to isolate us from the vulgarities of men who are not yet totally freethinking.