I’ve been accused of being an accommodationalist, and I accept the label, even though I often have problems spelling it. See, I believe when you’re dealing with people one on one, you should try and be civil. I’m often sarcastic, and I make jokes, but I try and avoid insulting people directly, because once you go there, the rational discourse is over, you’re just a monkey flinging poo.
I also think that as a society, we should make ‘reasonable’ exceptions to societal norms for minorities, including based on religion(atheists too), because freedom of choice is something I value, and the societal norms that exist where I live are based on all sorts of arbitrary ideas, some of them christian, some of them generally superstitious and some of them ideological(rather than rational).
We do have to maintain some societal standards, but this is always a negotiation, based on the values and interests of, often, very different people. Even atheists disagree on all kinds of things.
Recently, a male friend of mine shared this ‘rant on religion’, by a comedian call Jim Jefferies. Now, it is not civil. It’s vulgar, insulting and not really safe for work, unless you have headphones.
Jefferies is over the top, and I laughed. Would I be surprised if religious people were offended? Not at all. Can what he does be described as poo flinging? Sure, some of it. But we all get frustrated with other people, with the things they value, with the unwanted influence they have on us. And venting about it, can be healthy.
Now, if you are an atheist, you probably enjoyed that. But some atheists are getting offended by Jefferies when he talks on other subjects. In the following case, sexual foreplay.
Is it sexist? Sure. I’m not sure how you could make fun of sex differences and not be at least somewhat sexist. Does it describe a common frustration men have with women with regards to sex? Sure. Did I laugh? Yes. Would I expect feminists to be offended? Uh, yeah.
Does that mean I hate women? No, I don’t think so. Would I make these sorts of jokes on a first date? No. Do I think male and female arousal differs? Generally speaking, and in many ways, yes. Do I think Jefferies presents a fair and balanced perspective? Of course not.
And I do often find women frustrating, strange, irrational and confusing. I’ve been called ‘infuriating’ on more than one occasion, myself. I am also quite fond of many of them, because they can be sexy, smart, and witty. And I especially like it when women are honest about the way they feel, even if its not entirely flattering. So, if you are offended, that’s ok. But making fun of religion doesn’t mean you hate religious people, and making fun of the opposite sex, doesn’t mean you hate the opposite sex.
But is it funny? Your mileage may vary.