Misandry and Misogyny

If I can find compassion for myself, I can find compassion for others and my negativity ebbs away.
There has been a lot of discussion within the organized atheist movement about the existence of misogyny and misandry within the movement. And while I totally agree that these approaches are negative and are not conducive to bringing people into the movement, I wanted to address here, the reality of these views and how we deal with them as Humans.

I am a Humanist which means, generally means that I like humans in the abstract. In real life they tend to annoy me. I do try my best to treat each human I meet as a unique individual. I try not to lump all men together when one does something stupid. I try not to lump all women together either when one of them does something stupid. I say try, because the reality is, I fail at this. A lot. And I think the reason I fail is because I am human and I get frustrated just like everyone else. Our human brains have a tendency to generalize patterns. It’s a good thing that it does this but it does have some unintended consequences

The fact that from time to time I harbor misandrist and misogynist thoughts doesn’t mean that I am a horrible person. It means that being perfectly wonderful to everyone you meet all the time is not a realistic goal to have. It’s something to strive for certainly, but not something you are necessarily going to achieve.

I say this so that you can have compassion with yourself whenever you find yourself thinking less than charitably towards a group of people.  Because for me, letting go of my misandrist feelings towards my husband whenever he puts a bottle cap into our silverware drawer requires me to first remind myself that I am not perfect either. Since I am not perfect there is no reason for me to get angry just because someone else does something stupid from time to time. If I can find compassion for myself, I can find compassion for others and the negativity ebbs away. 

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