Amanda Marcotte refuses to honor her own debate challenge

Amanda Marcotte — blogger at the ‘Pandagon’ column at The Raw Story — has issued a debate challenge via Twitter “for anti-feminist atheists to argue with actual feminist claims.” I responded to her debate request multiple times and have, for whatever reason, been ignored. Amanda Marcotte claims there have been “no takers” although many people have tweeted her in response to the debate challenge and she has refused or ignored, at least to my knowledge, each response.

I have — in recent months — noticed a pattern amongst feminist bloggers who, like Amanda Marcotte, engage in a great deal of vitriolic language (particularly toward men) and greatly misrepresent arguments against their “actual feminist claims.” They talk a ‘big game’ attempting to dehumanize their ideological opponents and, when people respond, no matter how mild, feminists conflate the response with “harassment” and accuse their ideological opponents of being “misogynists,” “stalkers,” “rape apologists,” “harassers,” and the like.

Rather than having a conversation and defending ideas, these feminist bloggers block, malign, smear, and debase. All critics are thrown into a convenient box in which all who dare to dissent, ask questions, or pose counter-examples are one in the same; no legitimate disagreement can be voiced because it is all simply a part of a misogynistic campaign of hatred fueled by the patriarchy in an attempt to subordinate women.

This before-mentioned ‘strategy’ is quite apparent whether the person utilizing it is Rebecca Watson, Anita Sarkessian, Ophelia Benson, Amanda Marcotte, Jamie Kilstein, or PZ Myers. They are more than happy to snipe from afar, but when it comes time to defend their ideas in a candid discussion — particularly a live recorded discussion — all bets are off; they go from ‘onward proud strong empowered feminist soldiers’ to running away like frightened dogs with tails between their legs. When hypocrisy is identified and when legitimate criticism appears, excuses are the order of the day; “you only have x amount of Twitter followers,” “no one care about you,” and “I am not going to waste my time” are cries of people who lost the debate before it even happened.

Amanda Marcotte’s debate challenge is a farce. She wants to attack and smear rather than having discussion and defending her ideas; she has no legitimate interest whatsoever in defending her ideas in debates with her opponents. Failure to engage with detractors (especially after posing a debate challenge) is an intellectual vice — and even betrays a “sign of insufficient concern for truth” — as Roberts and Wood explain in their book Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology:

One sign of insufficient concern for truth is that when such people are given an opportunity to test their more cherished beliefs, they decline it, or apply it too casually, or offer defenses of the beliefs that are weaker than any that these people would accept in other contexts.

I am happy to debate Marcotte concerning her “actual feminist claims” – especially in regards to the ‘gender wage gap’ in which I have written a research paper on. I am also more than willing to debate her on the following topics ‘rampant misogyny exists in the atheist community,’ ‘the atheist community is a hostile and unsafe place for women,’ and ‘women/feminists are hated on the internet because they are women/feminists.’ I will host the debate on Brave Hero Radio, appear on Marcotte’s “RH Reality Check” podcast, or appear in another venue.

…but I know she will continue to either ignore or malign me. Let it be known, though, that her challenge is a farce and that she uses dishonest tactics to debase her ideological opponents. Her refusal to debate is most telling. This piece will likely be more ‘evidence’ of “harassment,” “misogyny,” “stalking,” and “rape apologetics” which Marcotte will deliver to the unthinking mass of people who follow her on Twitter or read her blog.

As always, feel free to comment below.

Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia. He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events. Vacula received bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University's graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County's Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher's assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.