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Obligatory post on Christopher Hitchens

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, December 16, 2011 22:02 EDT
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You know what they say: If you don't have anything nice to say, post it on Overrated White Dudes. Which is naturally how I responded, at request, to Christopher Hitchens' passing. Just doing my duty in proving his theories about humor and the ladies right. There was a certain inevitability to the amount of attention Hitchens' death has attracted. Writers find other writers fascinating, and writers by virtue of our profession dominate the discourse online. I'm not immune to the "the man was an asshole and that ugly hard right turn he took in the early 21st century was probably unforgiveable, but he sure did know how to cough up sparkling sentences while having consumed so much alcohol that lesser men wouldn't be able to work the keyboard properly" narrative. it's been said, and it won't do anyone any good to have me repeat it.

Hitchens made me uncomfortable, because he was the epitome of a certain breed of atheist that was able to walk away from religion because, in his arrogance, he thinks he doesn't need religion to justify his prejudices. These are the guys that eat up wacky evo psych theories that are so poorly reasoned that if they were being used for any other purpose than attacking women's equality, they would reject them out of hand. These men are, unfortunately, the face of atheism to much of both the U.S. and Britain. That's changing, with the influx of female faces and male atheists who are open allies to feminism, but as the fallout from Elevatorgate shows, there's a long way to go before irrational attitudes towards women are considered as unacceptable as faith healing. 

I appreciated that he exposed Mother Teresa and demonstrated what should have been obvious, that waterboarding is torture. I wish that he and the men who are like him that are still around could apply the same rigorous thinking to their own prejudices. Ours would be a better world for it. That is all. 

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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