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Yes, we want to make Thunderf00t/Phil Mason a pariah in the atheist movement, and for good reason: he’s a dishonest scumbag. The nice thing for us is that he’s making it easy: Phil Mason is destroying his own reputation with his sleazy behavior. Who in their right mind would ever trust that guy with any confidence at all?

PZ Myers[1]

Thunderf00t, also known as Phil Mason.

Thunderf00t (real name is Phil Mason[2]) is a YouTube new atheist and anti-feminist. Thunderf00t has a Ph.D. in Chemistry[3] and is still publishing articles.[4]


Thunderf00t has a long running series called Why do people laugh at creationists? (which gained him most of his YouTube popularity) and has long-term YouTube beef with several creationists. VenomFangX attempted to file DMCA claims against Thunderf00t and get him banned from YouTube.[5]


Thunderf00t maintains a playlist called "Feminism versus FACTS"[6] where he posts his anti-feminist rants. Greatest hits include "How Feminism Poisons EVERYTHING" and a series of videos on Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes versus Women series. Thunderf00t has also made a video entitled "How Feminism is poisoning ATHEISM", attempting to keep the New Atheist boys' club the way it is.

In this series of videos, Thunderf00t argues that the reason women are disenfranchised in the workplace (women make up roughly 5% of Fortune 1000 CEOs[7][8][9]is caused by human sexual dimorphism. Not only is this gender essentialist, it supposes hormonal differences are the main factor in success of women in the workplace, not systemic prejudice. Thunderf00t is also using the appeal to nature fallacy as to why men ought to be more successful than women.

Anita Sarkeesian

Thunderf00t has taken a special interest in Anita Sarkeesian and her video series, however, almost all of Thunderf00t's criticisms are straw, arguing against something taken out of context, or what appear to be deliberate misunderstandings of the points raised.[10][11] Thunderf00t even took it upon himself to read Sarkeesian's masters thesis (a field in which Thunderf00t has no experience) and laugh at cherry picked quotes.[12]

Thunderf00t has made the allegation that the mass shooting threat against Anita Sarkeesian at Utah University was possibly faked[13] Thunderf00t also continually calls Sarkeesian a professional victim, asserting that Sarkeesian is simply talking about the threats against her to get donations to her charity. Unfortunately for Thunderf00t, Sarkeesian's charity is a 501 (C)(3) charity, which means it is tax exempt, but also must make public their financial records.[14] This is especially ironic coming from Thunderf00t who uses Patreon, which does not require disclosure of financial records.[15][16]

School shootings

In response to Anita Sarkeesian bringing up that toxic masculinity is a factor in school shootings, Thunderf00t made an argument very similar to that made by TERFs, arguing that testosterone is the main factor in school shootings.[17][9] In addition to this, testosterone is not the major deciding factor in violence and asserting that it is such is ignoring social sciences, cultural conditioning, socioeconomic and sociopolitical climates that lead to violent behavior. [18][19][20][21]

This is especially ironic coming from Thunderf00t, who made a video in is "why people laugh at Creationists" series about Kent Hovind blaming the Columbine Massacre on Evolution, in which he states "[talking about libertarianism] they will take any problem and cite government intervention as the ill of all problems. Sorry, boys, life isn't that simple... if all of your solutions to complex emergent behaviors to one simple cause, you are engaging in confirmation bias as opposed to actually understanding the issue." [22]

Twitter suspension

Thunderf00t was suspended from Twitter for making abusive tweets toward Anita Sarkeesian.[23] To fit his antifeminist narrative, Thunderf00t claims that his suspension was an coordinated attack from Sarkeesian and her supporters to get him kicked off of Twitter. He used the free speech argument to defend himself from criticism for his tweets.

Rape apologia

Thunderf00t is a misogynist and victim blamer.[24][25] Thunderf00t argues that even though in some places, society does teach people not to rape, rape still happens.[26] He also used the "but you lock your doors!" argument, thus implying bodily autonomy is akin to property. He also argues that rape is innate in some people, thus arguing for biological determinism and appeal to nature.

He even says that when someone is drunk, they may have completely consent to having sex at the time, but the day after they decided they wouldn't have consented and were raped. Thunderf00t seems to be missing the point that someone who is drunk cannot consent to sex.

Also somewhat ironically, Thunderf00t claims that you cannot program rapists outside of their sexuality, like homosexuals. This is an argument you'd expect a Christian fundamentalist to make, not someone who is supposedly in favor of gay rights. By doing this, Thunderf00t is also ignoring date rape, as he states in his own video that violent repeated sexual predators only make up a minority of rape, which indicates Thunderf00t is ignoring data to suit his ideological antifeminist position.

In addition to this, Thunderf00t included jokes mocking the concept of trigger warnings in his video about Anita Sarkeesian's masters' thesis. [27]


See the main article on this topic: Islamophobia

Thunderf00t made a video protesting the "Ground Zero Mosque" (which was not on Ground Zero[28]), which caused him to be labeled an Islamophobe.

Somewhat ironically, Thunderf00t suddenly becomes a defender of women's rights when it comes to Islam, in addition to racist and offensive descriptions of Islamic traditions.[29]


Thunderf00t included a video of a person of nonbinary gender presentation in which Thunderf00t mocks that person, implying that their is something wrong with someone who is gender non-conforming.[30][27]

Thunderf00t, when talking about the Kim Kardashian controversy and #shirtgate, referred to Ana Kasparian as "someone with a different chromosomal structure" [31] thus perpetuating gender essentialism, cissexism, and microaggressions against trans people.

More equating genitals with gender, chromosomes with gender from Thunderf00t. [32]

Holocaust apologia

In his debate with Ray Comfort, Thunderf00t takes a utilitarian position on the Holocaust. [33] Thunderf00t accepts that the Holocaust couldn't have occurred without science, but because science has done so many other great things, those deaths may have been necessary for society, because ditching science would kill more people. Thunderf00t is essentially using a very extreme version of the classic trolley problem. At one point in the video Thunderf00t even says that "having those 12 million dead was instrumental to our history. We could have set the groundwork for an even bigger genocide. It was the lesson that we learned." [34] However, in this instance Thunderf00t is demonstrably wrong that "society" has "learned a lesson" from the Holocaust, as there have been at least 7 genocides sense the Holocaust has happened [35]

See also

External links


  3. "Phil Mason"
  5. The DMCA claims by VFX against Thunderf00t
  6. Thunderf00t's feminism playlist
  8. NB: this is not an endorsement of the Fortune 1000 as the only measure by which success and equality should be measured for women. There are numerous problems, including buying into a capitalist paradigm of measuring success and equality
  9. 9.0 9.1 Debunking Dr. Philip Mason's Psuedoscience and Why we should criticize Atheists like Thunderf00t
  10. Thunderf00t - Busted
  11. How Thunderf00t Quote Mines and Distorts Evertying
  12. Thunderf00t's Video on Sarkeesian's masters' thesis
  13. Anita Sarkeesian's Massacre Threat: Real or Fake?
  15. "The Sarkeesian Conspiracy"
  16. Thunderf00t's Patreon
  17. "Feminist Blames School Shooting on What?
  18. "Violence is a Learned Behavior" Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
  19. "Theories of Violence"
  20. The Trouble With Testosterone Sapolsky, R
  21. Stanford Lecture 18. Agression II Sapolsky, R March 12 2010
  25. Thunderf00t vs Logic, why Thunderf00t is a misogynist
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Anita Sarkeesians Master's Thesis - PURE COMEDY GOLD"
  29. {{{1}}}[tw]
  30. "Thunderf00t versus Anita Sarkeesian, who is the better academic?"
  31. Kim Kardashian Ass versus Feminism
  33. Thunderf00t -- Ray Comfort Discussion Part 1 of 2
  35. Genocide sense 1945: Never Again?