The hypocrisy and sexism of Jamie Kilstein
Jamie Kilstein is an American comedian who is active on #WIScfi – the Twitter hashtag corresponding to the recent Women in Secularism 2 conference in Washington D.C. According to Twitter user ‘Nicole Introvert,’ Kilstein is “one of the best secular feminists.” According to Kilstein, he gets “ruthless Twitter blowback” when he “defend[s] women.” He, like some feminists at the event, was upset with Ron Lindsay’s opening remarks.
Kilstein sarcastically told Lindsay that his contacts at the NAACP will invite him to speak about his “white struggle.” Kilstein mischaracterized Lindsay’s opening remarks as “complaining that men are silenced” and — following some responses — dismissed and mocked a Twitter user as an “old white dude” amongst other bizarre language.
He also tweeted Center for Inquiry saying, “when a MAN gets to OPEN the conference about WOMEN, you can rest easy that men are fine. Fucking idiot.” [nevermind — of course — high rates of male suicide, mental illness, homelessness, workplace injuries/death, and injustice in family courts because the CEO of an organization opens a conference – and this means men are “fine.”]
In addition to all of this dramatic and abusive language, Kilstein wrote, “I’m done with these fucking atheist groups. Jesus Christ. At least the church embraces their sexist bullshit” implying that “fucking atheist groups” — presumably including the Center For Inquiry are sexist. Kilstein then said that he will no longer fundraise for Center for Inquiry – calling Lindsay’s opening remarks an “abortion of a speech” and calling Lindsay “a joke.”
Following these hostile tweets, Kilstein took to his radio show (start around the 16-minute mark) to further hurl abuse at Lindsay and Center for Inquiry – claiming that Lindsay “doesn’t care about the needs of women” and that he has a “serious problem with feminists.” His co-host then characterized Lindsay as opening the conference on a “hostile note” and “yelling at” women who “shelled out” money.
Kilstein then compared Lindsay to a presenter at an NAACP conference who asks for White History Month and claimed that is “inexcusable” for anyone to donate to Center For Inquiry until Lindsay is “gone.”
There you have it. Kilstein and Killkenny made quite egregious claims including a tremendous amount of name-calling, smearing, misrepresentation, exaggeration, and dramatization. Killkenny and Kilstein inaccurately paint Lindsay as a sexist man who hates women simply because of remarks in an opening speech.
What else of Kilstein, a man described as “one of the best secular feminists” who self-describes as a defender of women? He certainly harbors negative attitudes toward men, but what about women? It did not take long to discover a YouTube video in which Kilstein berates a woman who was allegedly heckling him at a comedy gig.
Kilstein, talking about the woman, said,
“Here’s the thing. You clearly had everything handed to you and you know what tells me that? The amount of time you put into how you look because that’s all that matters to people like you. There’s no reason to cultivate a personality because you have everything handed to you because guys like that just want to put it into anything with a hole. And that’s the problem.”
Later in the video, Kilstein also said, to the same woman, “Nobody cares what you think. No one has ever cared what you think. That’s it. All of you, just stop. Just go. I literally see four exit signs from where I’m standing. It’s not hard to like figure out where to go. There’s the fifth one, it’s by the side.”
If a man in the secular community who did not identify as a feminist had used language like this, I would expect twenty blog posts decrying him a sexist, misogynist, dangerous woman hater who objectifies women, promotes rape culture, should be banned from secular events, disqualified from activism, and drummed out of the movement.
How, bloggers would say, can you judge a woman by her looks and arrive at such conclusions about her?
You do not know anything about her life and you should just stop ‘mansplaining!’
How could you possibly suggest that a woman’s apparent wealth is not of her own doing, but rather made possible by men who do not think highly of her and just want to have sex?
A “thing with a hole?” How could you call a woman that and reduce her to a sex object, something that is only designated to please men?
You’re silencing women! How dare you tell women no one cares what they think! How can you, as a man, tell women to shut up!
…but this man who is “one of the best secular feminists” apparently gets a free pass.
With all of this rhetoric about “rampant misogyny,” the secular community being “hostile to women,” and filled with “dangerous male speakers,” we have, right here, a very clear example of someone who has negative attitudes toward women. …and I suspect Kilstein is not the only self-professed “secular feminist” who fits the mold.
Hypocrisy and sexism are the order of the day for Jamie Kilstein – “one of the best secular feminists.” Will the same bloggers who were enraged at Ron Lindsay attack someone who actually deserves it for once? Will the “secular feminists” shun Kilstein and, for once, decry one of their own as a misogynist?
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