An Organizational Perspective »« “The Great Penis Debate” Transcript, Part III

Harming TAM

So, Emery Emery thinks D.J. should refuse to clarify that the TAM harassment policy will apply this year and be publicly posted. Why?

No, it’s not all they have to do! She is fighting them, Wendell! Do you not see that she’s trying to harm TAM!?

And just how did I try to harm TAM? What did I do? Well, here’s what I blogged before D.J. made his first public statement about harassment policies.

  • Zero Intolerance I filled in the details around the statement that set off a small explosion at Women in Secularism.
  • Making It Safer in the Meantime I suggested that organizations that wanted to address concerns around this should adopt an anti-harassment policy that covered race, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability status, etc.
  • Real Progress I talked about which conventions had let me know they would be adopting policies.
  • On Witches and the Hunting Thereof I explained that standardized policies protect the innocent much better than “naming names” does.

That’s it. You may notice that there’s no mention of TAM in any of those. There’s no mention of specific “prominent speakers” who could tarnish TAM’s reputation by being on the agenda there, because there is no mention of specific “prominent speakers”.

Now, what didn’t I do? [Trigger warning for denial of sexual harassment and assault.]

No, I didn’t do any of that. I didn’t force D.J. to sit down and do any of it. I didn’t force him to join the discussion, and I didn’t force him to say what he said. D.J. is a big boy with as much free will as anyone.

He is also not TAM. Me reacting to his behavior is not attacking TAM. It certainly isn’t trying to harm TAM. It is, if anything, bringing the problems with D.J.’s behavior into the light where he can see how potential TAM-goers (and current and past TAM-goers) react to them and change before TAM is hurt further.

Because when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t seem to be me who is trying to harm TAM.

Comments

  1. says

    Very well said Stephanie. Thanks for putting it all together in one place. Truly Emery’s comments that you (and others) were out to harm TAM intentionally were mind boggling to me. In both cases I recall demanding that he at least give me a reason why any of y’all would want to do such a thing and getting no reasonable response (well sigh I got a stupid one about Rebecca being famous now the second time…) .

    I continue to be amazed at the JREF’s incompetence concerning a harassment policy for TAM2012. An advanced organization would have invited some members of the community publicly to help them get this year’s policy finished. A marginally competent one would have rushed to get it out there as soon as the subject came up. A moderately stupid group would have at least announced that the policy was under construction. The most cynical and not well meaning group (note I am not accusing JREF of being this) would have at least replied to your tweet asking for clarification. I cannot for the life of me figure out what they think the silence is doing to help

  2. says

    Thanks, Wendell. One more correction, though. I wasn’t the one who tweeted JREF about the policy. That’s someone who is attending this year. She just copied me on the tweet, I assume because she included a link to my post about policies.

  3. says

    sexual assault or harassment cannot occur in a public event.

    *jaw hits floor*

    I go away for a week to bury myself in books to de-stress (apparently I’ve been experiencing anxiety attacks), and come back to this sort of shit.

    *whine*

    will the stupid ever stop…?

  4. says

    Well, since harassment and assault can’t happen in public, I guess last Tuesday in the bar didn’t happen.

    Awesome.

    Also, I need to kill things in video games now.

  5. Travis Roy says

    “Travis: We did. Richard posted it in the chat. [quotes] “So if someone is accosted or assaulted, to be legal about it, sexual assault or harassment cannot occur in a public event. Sexual harassment can only happen in a workplace, by definition.””

    That’s from the transcript.

    If you look at the video, that part is at about 1:00:03. That is NOT what was said at all. What was said that sexual harassment cannot occur in a public event. (That was me quoting DJ from his Ardent Atheist Podcast appearance).

    If the transcript and this post could be corrected, that would be nice.

  6. Travis Roy says

    Thank you Stephanie. I really appreciate it.

    There were a lot of minor errors as well that I found while searching for that quote in the video, because I knew it was wrong. I think somebody is going to have to give that transcript at least another once over.

  7. ischemgeek says

    Wedell #1

    I continue to be amazed at the JREF’s incompetence concerning a harassment policy for TAM2012. An advanced organization would have invited some members of the community publicly to help them get this year’s policy finished. A marginally competent one would have rushed to get it out there as soon as the subject came up. A moderately stupid group would have at least announced that the policy was under construction. The most cynical and not well meaning group (note I am not accusing JREF of being this) would have at least replied to your tweet asking for clarification. I cannot for the life of me figure out what they think the silence is doing to help.

    ^ This. I must be spoiled with my current workplace, where the harrassment policy is well-designed, well-publicized, and well-enforced. There are other issues with my workplace (no place is perfect), but they deal with harrassment issues very well.

  8. F says

    Stephanie Zvan has use of Predator drones now, or what? The only harm I see done to TAM is self-inflicted.

  9. psanity says

    TAM is so busy harming itself, nobody else can get a scratch in.

    I want to apologize for going off on what seems to be a tangent, but I think there are structural, foundational issues here that lie beneath all this other ugly stuff – things we need to be concerned about as a growing movement with organizations that are important to the movement’s health and welfare. There are more reasons than the ones obvious to the harassment/policy discussion to be very glad, relieved, that so many groups are addressing this particular issue relatively sensibly. I’m not much of a commenter on the blogs, but I am sorely tried.

    (Caution: jargon-riddled somewhat meta rant ahead)

    OK, so the kind of geek I am is a nonprofit governance geek, and my geek-o-meters have been redlining since DJ’s first statement on this. The thing that is driving me crazy is that DJ and his board are fucking incompetent at governance. First, from DJ’s statements, it’s patently obvious that they’re not logging their event, at least not usefully so. It’s essential to log events; some organizations even log their office hours. An organization that runs a big event and does not run a log is begging for trouble, because, 1) they’re not keeping an optimum record of the life and history of the organization; 2) a log is a means for all staff and volunteers to be aware of incidents, problems, odd things, venue issues, and cool stuff during the event; 3) a log is a basis for an effective post-mortem of each event (which is another thing it looks like they’re not doing); 4) a log is evidence of the organizations response to problems that arise.

    I’ll go into 3 and 4 in a little more detail. An organization that doesn’t PM an event is neglecting the single greatest tool for making their event better, safer, and smoother, while at the same time making it easier to run. Especially with one big event a year, you need to nail down where the glitches were and what can be done to solve them – and even three weeks later, you’ll need the log to help with that. Events make people high, and they forget things. One organization I’ve worked with runs an internal log and a public log for their big event: attendees can just walk up to the table and write down comments when things are fresh in their minds. That is so useful at the PMs.

    And evidence. Well, if something happens at your event that causes concern among attendees, you can refer to the log, get the straight scoop on what happened, and reassure folks by conveying that it was properly dealt with. If an incident results in intervention by venue security or police, you’ve got the basis of your police report. And if you get sued because of something that happened at your event, you have a record to hand your lawyer and your insurance company that shows your organization’s good faith and due diligence. Accidents happen, even to the best-run organizations and events and it’s wise to be prepared for them. Also, your insurance people like to know you’re not stupid.

    Speaking of insurance, there must be nonprofits all over the country who’d like to know who is carrying JREF and TAM, because they must be the most laid-back insurance company ever. I mean, I’ve seen a company threaten to pull insurance over the color of exit signs. And, oh, FSM, please please don’t tell me they haven’t got insurance. That’s just not possible. They need to have liability and D&O (Directors and Officers). I suppose it’s possible that the venue carries the liability (I sure wouldn’t!), but they’d better have D&O because they may need it.

    (Punchline coming up.) One of the main reasons for incorporating is to protect individuals, directors or trustees and officers, who are acting in good faith, from being sued as individuals for the actions or negligence of the corporation. The “acting in good faith” part is important, both in terms of duty of care to the organization and responsibility to the public. The other morning, JREF was blown out of the water on “good faith”. They were in trouble before, but now they are in the soup. The board better deal with this immediately, or they and the organization are at risk. Even if they do, they have demonstrated such a wilful lack of responsibility that they’ve lost their leadership position among skeptics, and they should – but they’ve also screwed themselves organizationally. I came to movement skepticism through JREF, so it pains me to say this, but I wouldn’t touch that outfit with a long, forked stick. JREF and TAM are not the flagship of skepticism; they can’t be. We can’t afford them. They’ve let the movement down; we can’t let them drag the movement down.

    Even if they suddenly get their act together, get some help (governance, NOT PR), and rise like a phoenix from the ashes, I’d be wary of donating or participating until they’ve re-established themselves as a responsible organization. They need to do a lot more work than merely* state a harassment policy.

    tl;dr: TAM is over, and not because of PR problems, or harassment, or politics, but due to abysmally poor governance.

    *word chosen carefully to point out context; sexual harassment and safety are not “mere”. This just happens to be the altar JREF is sacrificing itself upon.

  10. karmakin says

    Nonprofit governance geek? Wow. +1 cookie.

    The whole thing makes a lot of sense to me, although I do think there’s a significant amount of politics, not in terms of what caused the issue, but in terms of what makes the issue potentially impossible to fix.

  11. says

    When you’re stuck making wild, baseless, and totally illogical accusations, it’s a pretty good sign you’re on the losing side of the argument. I mean seriously, deliberately harming TAM? If anyone wanted to deliberately harm TAM, all they’d have to do is sit back and not say anything. Encouraging TAM and JREF to get an anti-harassment policy is HELPING. Not saying anything would be allowing the damage to continue to compound.

  12. Erista (aka Eris) says

    You know what’s harming my view of TAM? Interviews like the one that Emery participated in. Interviews like that make me say, “Holy fuck, I really don’t want to be treated like that or stand by while someone else is being treated like that,” and if people like are going to be the ones carrying the banner for TAM, I am not at all reassured that I or anyone else will be safe from that kind of behavior at TAM. Making jokes about how Rebecca isn’t too ugly to rape, frothing a year later that a woman dared to make a passing comment that hitting on women at 4am in an elevator is not a good thing to do, insisting that TAM shouldn’t do anything more than they are already doing to keep women safe, the insistence that women who are public figures should expect to be abused, that women don’t have the right to make general statements about how to treat women, the mocking of women who are afraid . . . to hell with that. I just don’t want to be involved in that.

    Now, I can practically taste the response that would come from the people who made the above statements, because I’ve been told it before: that I’m a feminazi bitch who should just stay away if I don’t like it. Well, fine. I will stay away. But when I stay away, don’t act like it’s some kind of shock that women aren’t going. I am a woman, and if I need to put with that kind of behavior to be welcome at TAM, I’m not going.

    I am incredibly disappointed with the skeptical community right now. I understand that not all skeptics are doing this kind of shit, but I truly thought that we, as a community, were better than this. Heaven knows we’ve been running around preaching that we are better than this whenever we want to whack on religion. But apparently we are not.

  13. psanity says

    Oh, ya. The politics of the issue make it more complicated, not least because it’s so emotionally loaded, which does tend to focus people on fixing the blame, rather than fixing the problem. That makes it particularly interesting that the folks who are raising these issues have been all about fixing the problem, while the organization (certainly as represented by DJ) has been all about fixing the blame. Tells you exactly whose emotions are running away with them.

    But this is just as crazy if you try to find analogies that are more mundane: what would people think of a cruise line that made it clear they had no policy regarding an outbreak of contagious illness? (That sort of happened, and it really hit the cruise companies hard.) How about a summer camp with no policy about life preservers while boating? A service organization with no policy about conduct (or treatment) of volunteers? These are all symptoms of deeply-rooted problems with governance and responsibility. TAM’s response to the harassment issue is really bad, but it’s a symptom. There’s probably a lot of boring things that are also wrong there.

  14. says

    psanity Thanks for your insights. Nice to hear from someone with expertise. I am curious. I also agree in general that JREF as represented by DJ is showing really bad management. I have opinions but I am interested. What to you see as the top three examples of the JREF’s terrible governance?

  15. says

    The “acting in good faith” part is important, both in terms of duty of care to the organization and responsibility to the public. The other morning, JREF was blown out of the water on “good faith”. They were in trouble before, but now they are in the soup.

    Yes, psanity, definitely. That is effectively exactly how much damage DJ has done with his footgun. He wasn’t aiming at his own foot.

    Let’s see what the board does. Surely they must know he’s directly impacting revenue with his irresponsible messaging.

  16. says

    The thing that is driving me crazy is that DJ and his board are fucking incompetent at governance.

    I am so happy that a nonprofit governance geek agrees with me on this! :-D

  17. says

    To follow up on that a bit, I had a similar reaction when Dawkins went all “Dear Muslima” on us. My thoughts at the time ran something like, “Hey, does this guy not have any experience running an organisation? What is he doing with the foundation that carries his name? Does he not get the importance of having one’s own affairs in order so that one has an effective organisation capable of tackling larger problems?”

  18. Mattir says

    psanity – thank you for that. I know a very small amount about nonprofit management and have been similarly horrified by JREF’s performance over the last several weeks.

    JREF, read psanity’s comment. It’s the truth. You are skating on very very thin ice.

  19. echidna says

    Thank-you, psanity. That was the comment that I was waiting to read (even if I didn’t know it). BTW, I’m a process geek, with a background in disaster planning (how to avoid, and how to deal with should they happen, physically not legally).

  20. says

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many prominent voices in the atheist/skeptic community are so quick to lay the blame for misogyny, sexism, and the ongoing oppression of women squarely on religion — the organized racket of Bronze Age superstitions — while failing to do any honest self-examination for the community’s own rampant misogyny issues that seem to result on one blow-up after another, with the oft repeated excuse of “atheists can be misogynists, too.”

    Either misogyny is religion’s fault or it’s not. If it’s religion’s fault, then why is there so much misogyny and sexism in the atheist community? Why use the oppression of women as a main poster child for denouncing religion and promoting free thought? And if atheism is not the cure for misogyny and the oppression of women, then why blame religion?

    I once hypothesized that it wasn’t religion that was to blame for misogyny and the oppression of women, that it was patriarchy. Patriarchy rests on a bedrock of male privilege. Religion is merely a vehicle, one of its tools. Patriarchy is upheld by misogyny, sexism, and oppression. These are the lifeblood of patriarchy, and they manifest across the entire social fabric. They are expressed through avenues of legitimacy including secular schools of thought, like evo psych.

    Denying that there is a problem with misogyny and sexism will not cure misogyny and sexism and thus make the atheist community look more respectable compared to religion any more than faith-healing will cure you of an ailment (as a Pentacostal minister that recently died from a poisonous snake bite found out the hard way).

  21. says

    What is rather funny is that many of these guys in the atheist/skeptic community hold that someone cannot be a feminist if they’re truly an atheist (a ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy, isn’t it?). Which I find rather amusing, given that I am a rad fem in the trenches doing battle against the Christian Right, the USCCB, and the Vatican in this War on Women, and many other rad fems whom I work with in the activist community are also atheists.

    Atheism is a lack of belief in god (or gods). Feminism is a movement for the empowerment and enfranchisement of women that brought forth feminist theory. It is not a religion or a belief in something without evidence. It is a collection of movements and a theory — just like gravity is a theory, germs are a theory, electromagnetism is a theory, calculus is a theory, and the continuity and differentiability of functions is a theory. Do the majority of the “smart guys” dominating the atheist scene eschew the theory of germs? Of electromagnetism? Of the First Fundamental Theorem of Calculus — all as a condition of atheism?

    So why then do such rational, reasonable men claim that one cannot be a feminist and an atheist at the same time? Sorry, I don’t mean to be a pain in the ass.

  22. cyranothe2nd says

    Psanity,

    Excellent post. To follow it up (and to answer the question, “WHAT DID YOU WANT DJ TO DO????”):

    1. Man comes up to DJ and says, “Hey, there’s this Drunk Guy bothering some people. Can you do something about that?”

    2. DJ gets hotel security and escorts the guy out. He asks hotel security to get Drunk Guy’s name and information (This is important, as he doesn’t know what’s happened yet, doesn’t know if he needs to report to police, etc.)

    3. DJ goes back to Informing Guy and says, “Hey, just want to let you know that we made Drunk Guy leave. You said that he was bothering some of the other guests. Can you point them out to me? I want to make sure they’re okay.”
    If IG demurs, DJ says, “Yeah, I realize that this might not be a big deal, but as an employee of JREF it’s my job to make sure that people feel comfortable and safe at the con, so I just want to touch base with the people that Drunk Guy was bothering and make sure they’re all right.”
    IG points out a few women to DJ.

    4. DJ goes up to Woman #1, introduces himself and says, “Hey, I heard that Drunk Guy was bothering you.”
    W #1: “Yeah.”
    DJ: “I want you to know that I had hotel security escort him out. I just wanted to ask, did he make any threats? Touch you? (Anything else that is possibly criminal and would need to be reported to police?)
    W #1: “No, he was just being obnoxious and a little scary.”
    DJ: “I’m really sorry to hear that. As you know, JREF really cares about the safety of con attendees. Towards that end, we instituted an anti-harassment policy. I’d like to you provide a statement about this incident. This isn’t to get anyone in trouble or to make a big deal out of anything. But your statement can help us to prevent incidents like this and to make people safer at TAM. Can you do that for me?”
    W #1: “Sure, I guess.”
    DJ: “Great. Can I get your name and email address? I’ll send you the form and you just send it back to me in the next few days, okay?”
    W #1: “Okay.” (gives info)
    DJ: “Great, thank you. I know that Drunk Guy was bothering several other people. Can you point out to me the people you know he was bothering?”

    (DJ then goes to Woman #2, etc)

    Notice that doing this gives DJ all the info he needs–names, email addresses, date of incident and severity, in a really low-key way. It also provides con attendees a private way to air their side of things. Most importantly, if gives them the information necessary to direct harassment incidents through official channels. THIS IS ALL STUFF DJ SHOULD HAVE DONE AS A MATTER OF COURSE. It is absolutely unconscionable that he could hear about an incident, participate in throwing a guy out, and then not follow up to find out what happened–at the very least to make sure he isn’t legally liable.

    This is, at the very least, a serious lapse in training and judgment on DJ’s part. I think it’s worse–I think he is more interested in minimizing and denying harassment than in actually doing anything about it.

  23. psanity says

    Wendell:

    Well, I can only comment on how things appear to me, based on what I’ve seen in the public discourse, so that necessarily makes me be cautious and a bit general, but, let’s see.

    One glaring thing, to me, is that 1) they seem to have no process for internal accountability that covers TAM. People in charge don’t seem to know what’s going on, what has gone on, or what actions they’ve taken. This interferes with their ability to solve problems, and to communicate well about a problem and how it is being solved.

    2) There seems to be confusion about constituency. (Interestingly, there’s a lot of chat in Nonprofit World these days about this; apparently, it’s a common problem.) Generally, an org’s constituency is not the board, or the donors, but those served by the organization. It’s important that an organization define its constituency, because the best long-term decisions are made with that in mind. TAM/JREF appear to want a constituency that is broadly inclusive of skeptics, but when they meet a challenge, it’s clear that they have not determined how to serve a large portion of that community. The terrible PR issues are a result of that. If what they want is to be exclusive, and serve a smaller or more discrete constituency, they should do that. In this particular case, I think that would be detrimental, but it isn’t always. The important thing is to be clear, and have that inform your policies and programs.

    3) I want to be very cautious about this, and not appear to be throwing around accusations. I see a big red flag waving about liability issues. With no other information than what I’ve gleaned from DJ’s statements and reactions, I’m very concerned about how JREF protects itself in terms of liability. I’d have to say this is based on instinct and experience, without having concrete information about internal policies, by-laws, etc. The symptoms are leading the diagnosis, if you will, with the lab results not in. But, these folks are running a big event with international attendance and a high profile, and it looks like they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. It’s bad even to allow that appearance.

    NPO’s are usually started by good people with good intentions. They have a purpose, they get incorporated, work up some passable by-laws, then get busy doing their thing. Years or decades go by, the world changes, the organization develops, and one morning the current board wakes up and realizes they should have defined HR policies a while back, or they should have had an outside auditor’s advice once in a while, and they have a Big Problem. It’s not unusual, but the future depends on how you deal with it.

    TAM is lucky, just lucky, that nothing worse has happened there (at least, to our knowledge). And here they’re surrounded by supportive people, people who raise money for them, people who promote them, people who are not only willing to point out problems, but also to offer a variety of useful and concrete solutions, and they act like they’re under siege. They obviously have no idea how lucky they are, and I doubt their luck will last.

  24. psanity says

    catching up:

    echidna,

    They may need your services, at the rate they’re going.

    Jacqueline S. Homan,

    True that. I’ve always thought that organized religion rests on patriarchy. Patriarchy runs deeper.

    cyranothe2nd,

    Yes, exactly, and excellent. Have you done event management or security, or are you just a reasonably intelligent human being? This stuff is not rocket surgery, and it’s astonishing that TAM is so inept.

    And thank you so much for beating me to a how-to security post. After festering for weeks, my SIWOTI exploded all over my keyboard today. Musstt… stoopp… thinkinnnggg…

  25. says

    Psanity, thanks for your contributions. I am enlightened by them. I feel as if they should be assembled together into a one-stop blog post that everyone involved in this issue can easily link to.

    Is there any chance that such a think could be done so that Stephanie could post this as a guest post here?

  26. psanity says

    leebrimmicombe-wood:

    Thank you for your kind words. That would be up to Stephanie, but if anything I’ve written is helpful to folks, I’m fine with it being reposted here or anywhere on FTB.

    Of course, as a nonprofit geek, I’m morbidly fascinated with analyzing this stuff into the ground, but dimly aware that not everyone is, for some reason …

  27. says

    To sum up DJ’s particular problem: If you shoot your mouth off while sticking your foot in there, you should expect to shoot yourself in the foot.

    I’m glad this conversation is continuing, and I’m glad to see the misogynists really laying their cards on the table and making it clear where they stand. If having and enforcing a clear harassment policy “harms TAM,” then clearly they think harassing behavior is key to the TAM experience.

    And I’m beginning to wonder if Greg Laden isn’t on to something with his hypothesis that the JREF backers are of the same opinion.

  28. says

    Tom: Yes! I totally said exactly that in the video — that harassment must be so key to TAM’s overarching mission that that’s why they’re pushing back so hard. Great minds!!

  29. says

    Wendell: if you’re still here, I get the sense you’re contrite in your desire to be an ally in this fight. I also get the sense that you feel bruised from all these people questioning you on a number of things. What Ms. Daisy Cutter points out, though, is pretty damned important. Those things that you said are rape apologetics. People are making rape threats to Rebecca Watson, and others think “too ugly to rape” is a better way to put it — and you reply with “I don’t know if she’s too ugly”? That sounds a lot like you’re leaving an implied “to rape!!” at the end of that reply. You should correct that.

  30. says

    Jason: I watched the video (well, listened mostly) yesterday, so I’m not sure it’s a matter of great minds so much as my head being an echo chamber :). But I definitely think you hit on a key point there, which has every troll in existence shooting themselves in the foot.

  31. Pierce R. Butler says

    What I wanna know is, how did Edwina Rogers and the Secular Coalition of America set up the JREF/TAM/DJG trainwreck so quickly and efficiently, perfectly timed to distract the atheosphere from their own masterpiece of movement sabotage?

  32. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter; As I see it there were four things referenced in your links which I said.

    1.- My reply that I did not think Rebecca was too Ugly
    2.- My Statement about an orgy
    3.- My agreeing with the statement that men are simple
    4.- My correction of Sara when when she was talking about being referenced as self hating and then the term changed to self loathing

    Firstly let me state that I was not aware of the inability of the parties in this debate to retain any sense of humor (and I really do mean all parties) in these matters and I was not clear on what a terrible comic I am. In truth I was also not aware of the depth of the experiences that many have had which makes any joking inappropriate. Furthermore I was not aware that this stupid simple video would be broadcast to the world.

    That said
    #1 Was a poor attempt to defend Rebecca from being called ugly since I do not think that is the case. With a tiny bit of humor by using the terminology in which the original was presented
    #2 Was intended as humor
    #4 Was a bit of my Asperger like insistence on literalness (the terms had changed and their meaning are not the same) and a tiny bit of humor
    #3 Of those points is the only one which is an actual statement of belief on my part. I do believe that in my experience of humans (admittedly the vast majority of which is biased towards myself) I have found men to be simpler in terms of their drives and expressions thereof. I do recall some research that led in that direction from years ago but I have not kept up and do not pretend to say my opinion is professional or expert. I must however ask , in what way is that opinion (be it wrong or right) hateful or disdainful to anyone? There is no value judgement in it. In some cases simple is better, in some it is worse. There is no distinction between my saying what I did and my stating that in general men are taller than women.

  33. says

    Jason et. al. re-readin my post above I think I understated my replay on ‘too ugly’. That was an attempt at humor but it was completely inappropriate on my part to phrase it in that manner. To make a joke about that matter was horribly wrong on my part.

    I apologize for that remark it was certainly stupid and insensitive.

  34. says

    Wendell, you can’t blame rape apologia and the objectification of women that you’re passing off as “humor” on your Aspergers, so don’t use that as a crutch. That dog don’t hunt. I am dyslexic and I know enough to not laugh at or make racial or homophobic jokes (especially ones centered on violence) rather than participate and then make excuses for doing it.

    You are doing a hell of a lot better socially and economically than the MAJORITY of this country whether they’re disabled or not. Think it’s funny that across this country women are fucking DYING because of being denied the ability to prevent or terminate unwanted pregnancies that ended up having fatal complications thanks to all the anti-woman laws that have been passed since 2010? Where some of those pregnancies might very well have been the result of rape? Making light of rape and violence against women and the objectification of women to convert them from living human beings with needs and feelings into commodities slated to become dead capital (for rich white male benefit and enrichment) is NOT funny.

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