Radical rejections of established ideologies are always misunderstood and misinterpreted to some extent. Atheism, as a radical rejection of religion, is still a misunderstood idea, although its status is being somewhat mitigated by a rather strongly held party line and increasingly visible popularization.
Anarchism, on the other hand, has been going in the reverse direction. From its heyday in the 1890s, its defeat in the Russian Revolution, and its concrete if brief expressions during the 20th century, it has been vilified at an ever-increasing pace until present time. Nowadays the public understanding of anarchism is pretty much worse than non-existent.
With the Internet resurgence of radical feminism and anti-genderism arises the reframing of “gender atheism.” As I’ve argued before, it is one that I support as well. It may not be elegant, but it drags down genderism from its untouchable status to the status of being as irrational as religion, and points out that gender atheism is as reasonable and rational as, well, atheism.
Unfortunately, gender atheism piggybacks on atheism but inherits the misunderstandings of atheism as well. I believe that as gender atheism becomes more well known, it will go through the same phase of misunderstanding, with little relief in sight. Already the genderists are declaring agender and gender atheism as kinds of gender, in the same way that atheism has been declared a competing (and therefore inadequate) religion to Christianity.
The other misrepresentations of atheism are also more and more frequently popping up in discussions about gender. We’re seeing arguments about how the individual’s feelings (e.g. “gender identity”) are more important than facts. We’re seeing arguments that anti-genderists are depraved (e.g. anti-Christian) or bigots (e.g. “transphobic”) who don’t respect other people’s beliefs. We’re seeing the pseudo-scientific arguments (evolutionary psychology, innate gender) and the attempts to legislate their beliefs.
God is bullshit, and so is gender. But genderism and religion are both totalizing belief systems: they are supposed to encompass all possibilities and human thought is supposed to exist entirely within their framework. These belief systems are especially dangerous because they are harder to escape; their totalizing nature reduces doubt to some aspect of themselves. Traditionally, to reject one’s gender roles has meant to reject God’s laws, so both have been intricately connected.
All religions have liberal and fundamentalist branches. Genderism has its fundamentalist branch (traditional genderism) which exploits people’s sense of duty and tradition, and its liberal branch (trans genderism) which exploits people’s desire to tolerate and be compassionate. In that particular way, it works like any other religion.
Atheism is a lack of belief in God. Gender atheism is similarly a lack of belief in gender. Atheists see God as a social construct used to manipulate and exploit people; gender atheists likewise see gender as a social construct used to manipulate and exploit people. Gender atheists are angry at the damage that genderism inflicts on human societies and are interested in freeing children from the indoctrination of gender, which is based on fantasy instead of reality.
There is no gender atheist organization (to my knowledge) and such an organization is unlikely to arise in the near future. So there are obvious limits to the comparison. But the basic principle is that both are a form of liberation- liberation from indoctrinated dogma, liberation from pointless obligations, and ultimately freedom to think beyond what’s proscribed.
Unfortunately I don’t think there is much of a future in gender atheism. In the area of gender, we are more or less living in the equivalent of the Reformation, and, if the historical analogy holds true, we’ve got a long ways to go before gender atheism is even on the radar. But insofar as there is some developing consciousness about it, I think it will go through the same misrepresentations than atheism has gone through. So that’s something to look forward to.