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Dec 20 2012

It’s Just Disagreement

You see, it’s not trolling. It’s not hatred. It’s not abuse. It’s just criticism. It’s just disagreement. How can you not see the diff–

Wait. What is this masterpiece of dissension that is totally not hate?

Look, I get it. Y’all are skeptics, whatever the fuck that means. You think that when someone like rebecca watson starts talking stupid on the internet, there’s some logical, respectful way to rebut them. The problem is, you’re playing the wrong game. You’re playing by rules they don’t give a fuck about, and you’re going to lose over and over.

That would be John Welch, slimepitter, explaining the appropriate strategy for dealing with “new media douchebags”. Like Rebecca. Like me.

If you’re going to take them down, and I think you should, don’t get sucked into endless gish gallops that you are going to lose. You’re going to lose because you think the horse will eventually stop, except it’s a goat, you’re on mars, and martian goats can run for years.

MOCK THEM

Don’t get sucked into what you think their point is. Assume they’re always trolling you, and go from there. Hold them up for ridicule by ridiculing them. Don’t yell at them on their twitter accounts, that just gives them OMG BULLIES ammo. Don’t even @-message them. Trust me, all them fuckers have a wide array of Google ego searches running. ANY mention of them by name will get their attention. Just mock the fuck out of what they say.

But…but…criticism of positions?

I just blocked most, if not all, of these people because as one follower noted, if you have to debate this fact with your followers, it’s time to get better followers.

“But if I actually had better followers, I’d have no followers. Luckily, the really stupid ones are my fans…but perhaps I’ve said too much.”

Principled disagreement?

And I’m also guessing that like me, if you meet a sexy stranger who is drunk (and I’m going by thecommon definition here, of someone whose faculties are impaired, e.g., slurred speech, stumbling, etc.), you will not have sex with them, even if they say they’d like to. This isn’t because it’s the law (even though it is, as @simonknowz aptly points out: “Whoever . . . knowingly . . . engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is . . . (A) incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct . . .”), but because it is the right thing to do. Because you are not so hard up for sex that you need to have sex with someone who may feel regret or revulsion or worse in the morning. Because you don’t assume your partner (yes, even one you’re married to) is in a constant state of consent. Because you don’t get off on the power you can have over someone who doesn’t have full control of their own faculties (or if you do get off on that, you have long, sober conversations with your partner before exploring that as a fantasy).

“See how I redefined a term that covers everything from a single drink (legally drunk in many states) to comatose to mean only what I want it to? I bet all you fuckers who yelled at me before I did this are feeling pretty fucking assraped right now. But when I do it, it’s called “fighting for social justice”. Ohhhhh, i’m the biggest serpent in the sea, sea, sea…”

Can we even try for following the plot?

And still elsewhere, people are slamming Franchesca Ramsey for being brave enough to speak out about the rape of drunk people and others who are blamed for their rape. In particular, she discusses how she was shamed when she was raped:

“EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT AGREE WITH ME IS A RAPIST! See how easy you make it for me? I don’t even have to try anymore. Now where’s that fucking sterno? Goddamned Sunday liquor store closings…”

I guess not. Well, what does that leave us?

That is how you respond to manipulative fucksticks like Watson. You don’t take them seriously, you don’t try to debate them in a serious manner, because they are never, ever, going to even try to not demonize and manipulate their opponents into giving them quote fodder. Just show, with as much sarcasm as you can muster, how astoundingly cynical, manipulative, and well, stupid, the shit she and the FTBwats says is. Trust me, a continued response of mockery is the only response non-serious nincompoops like this understand. Don’t hassle them directly, again, that plays into their hands. Just mock the fuck out of them on your own sites, and make sure you let folks know when you do. Over time, it works, and well.

Yeah, because that’s what that rational disagreement is all about. Semi-private wankery among friends, or people with common targets, or whatever this group is.

The fun part about all of this? All the slimepitters who showed up in the comments to say, “Yeah, this is how we do it!” All the #atheismplus campers who endorsed both the original and the helpful linky post.

Because, you see, it’s really just reasoned dissent that we think we should be exempt from. That’s totally what it is. Yeah.

35 comments

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  1. 1
    michaeld

    Well again its nice to have such nice reasonable opposition who are willing to engage in a rational skeptical debate about the ideas.

  2. 2
    oolon

    Will have to disagree with michaeld, they are not an opposition so why bother about rational debate? It has been consistently proven that rational sceptical debate is an impossibility. The attempts over at SkepticInk show that, even when there is an avenue for attack they overcook it like Ed Clint’s EP post. Rebecca made mistakes but he has to ratchet it up a notch to please the audience, she cannot be just wrong about something she has to be totally awful as well.

    I’ve always thought the pit made more sense as just a big piss-take… And to be honest whenever they try and make a reasoned argument it rather falls flat. So I say good for Welchy, stick with what you are good at! Don’t try and make an argument just fling poo!

  3. 3
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Don’t you never-ever talk about rape. Never. Under no circumstances. Especially not victims.
    There’s a narrow group of finely approved rape-victims who are allowed to be counted. And their rapists are totally not like anybody they know.
    Because it can’t be what mustn’t be and that’s a bit of introspection and change of system.

  4. 4
    michaeld

    They are clearly opposed to some of our ideas and some of the people presenting them so in that sense they are an opposition. I’m becoming more and more fed up with the kind of stupidity the linked post is advocating. At the very least I’d at least prefer an attempt at debate then some of the sneering crap I’ve been seeing. Of course I`d also settle for them just fucking off but I try to set have attainable hopes.

  5. 5
    Riptide

    Did this guy just say that Rebecca’s just trolling for quote fodder, after quotemining the fuck out of Rebecca?

    The nerve of these people. It’d be hilarious if they weren’t so dedicating to hurting people I respect.

  6. 6
    ibbica

    Well that sort of tactic is… um, interesting, to say the least. Cognitive dissonance really is an amazing thing to behold.

    Hold on, does this mean that we won’t actually have to hear from these people any more? That folks would have to actively go and hunt out their (intentionally!) nonsensical rantings, instead of (especially their targets) being exposed to the garbage they’re currently spewing all over the place? Are they trying to have their ridiculousness featured exclusively on manboobz? ‘Cause that would be… well, maybe not ‘great’, since the toxicity would still exist, but it’s an improvement, no?

  7. 7
    Anthony K

    Trust me, all them fuckers have a wide array of Google ego searches running. ANY mention of them by name will get their attention.

    What was the original purpose of the Slymepit again?

    Anyway, sounds good, welch.

    I’m totes fine with you useless fuckers censoring yourselves and never mentioning any of us again.

  8. 8
    apfergus

    My general reaction has consistently remained: Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

    Aren’t these the same people who constantly opine how one should never feed the trolls and the problem will fix itself now essentially admitting that they will dedicate some of their time and effort to endlessly discussing their supposed “trolls”. But I guess they aren’t feeding the “trolls” by not directly sending them messages–but it’s okay, they’ll see them anyway…

  9. 9
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Did this guy just say that Rebecca’s just trolling for quote fodder, after quotemining the fuck out of Rebecca??

    Well, yeah, but it’s okay when he does it because reasons and penis. But directly quoting, say, Shermer, is a “witch-hunt!” because reasons and no penis.

    See? totally rational, logical and – above all else – skeptical.

  10. 10
    EllenBeth Wachs

    Yeah, Welch doesn’t hate anyone on this side of the issue. In fact, he cares so little, he responded within a nanosecond to this post to point out in venomous terms that he really doesn’t hate.

  11. 11
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    But, it’s only hate when a women quotes a dude’s exact words. That’s dishonest and witch-hunty.

    But blatantly lying about what the woman said is totally okay because she should have known she shouldn’t have been speaking in public!

  12. 12
    oolon

    John Welch seems to be getting a bit more deranged than Id expect… I mostly thought his post was funny since he and the pitters had been dismissing me as ‘just a troll’ and there he is writing his troll manifesto for the Slymepit! So I commented on it…

    Boy did that make him paranoid! I apparently have an army of Google bots scouring the net for references to FtBs so I can jump in and defend them! Unfortunately my comment was just laughing at him outing himself as a troll not standing up for anyone :-)

    Maybe not being anonymous is getting to him, they generally have this narrative that if you are not protected by anonymity your life will be destroyed by the FC5/6 and their rabid commenters.

  13. 13
    Anthony K

    Maybe not being anonymous is getting to him, they generally have this narrative that if you are not protected by anonymity your life will be destroyed by the FC5/6 and their rabid commenters

    The commenter formerly known as Brownian notes that thinking is hard for them.

  14. 14
    Greta Christina

    I’m particularly entertained by “manipulate their opponents into giving them quote fodder.”

    “Really, I didn’t want to call people cunts and bitches! I didn’t want to say that they were sluts whose ideas we could ignore because of their sluttiness! I didn’t want to say they deserved to be raped to death! They manipulated me into doing it!” m-/

  15. 15
    oolon

    Not looked on d’pit but I’m guessing some of the rage of Welch about “quote fodder” will be from Rebeccas post about clueless rape apologists, one of whom was Ed Clint. He was obviously horribly quote mined by having his whole thread of what he said linked to in pursuit of her insane feminist agenda to suggest ppl don’t rape ppl who are drunk. Again don’t need to look to know it will be all her revenge for being pwn’d by Eds EP expose of her “science denialism”.

  16. 16
    julian

    I’m particularly entertained by “manipulate their opponents into giving them quote fodder.”

    Obviously sexist, homophobic, racist and transphobic speech can only come about because of mean women. It’s entirely wrong to hold people accountable for the things they say however horrible they might be.

  17. 17
    nonviolentrage

    Looks like a last gasp to me. If they’re saying “don’t harass her directly” now, yeah, that would be a huge improvement, and it shows that Rebecca’s responses are effective. I worry that a lot of feminist and other social justice oriented bloggers will weary of attacks and leave. Recently one of my favorite blogs, Black Girl Dangerous, has had to do a couple moves to make it easier on their writers/moderators, so I hope those moves work out for them. But here we see other people tired of having the foolishness in such attacks held up against them. Fantastic.

  18. 18
    Rob

    Yeah, Welch doesn’t hate anyone on this side of the issue. In fact, he cares so little, he responded within a nanosecond to this post to point out in venomous terms that he really doesn’t hate.

    Right, so he doesn’t have one of those Google ego searches running though, because then he wouldn’t be following his own advice. That must mean he had the browser window open and was madly hitting refresh just in case Stephanie said something about him. Man, even sadder.

  19. 19
    KellyM

    But Ed Clint couldn’t possibly be motivated by an intense dislike of Rebecca, because he posted a picture that included him and Rebecca in his hit piece on her Evo Psych talk! What more evidence could you evil feminists possibly want!

    It’s not like the guy would rather brag about the many times he had sex with a woman who was too drunk to give consent, than to admit that Rebecca was right about something. ‘Cause that would require a disturbing amount of loathing.

  20. 20
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    As if they could stop bleating about teh evil bitches. What else do they have? They’re bitter ’cause they’ve got nowhere else to go to get their egos stroked; their rage has always been about bloggers they formerly adored (for providing them with stories to make them feel better about themselves for being smarter than those dumb ol’ religionists) choosing instead to shed a light on the bad behaviour of atheists.

    None of them possesses the capacity to provide the kind of material they want to hear, so whining and frothing is all they have. And that’s not going to stop, because they’ve become convinced that their opinion on things is somehow valid.

    Sadly, we have to take some blame for that; after all, we got into the habit of telling atheists, no matter how assholish they might otherwise be, that we wanted to hear them – because we needed the numbers.

  21. 21
    Arakiba

    The crazy, it is strong with them…

  22. 22
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh no, they’re not saying “don’t harass her directly” now. That would never do. They’ve just been harassing me directly. No no no no no, they wouldn’t dream of stopping. Their hobby is all they have.

  23. 23
    Jay

    You may dislike what welch does, but his attack is logical: it’s called, disagreeing with your assumptions and refusing to play your game.

    Whether it’s dems/repubs, evolution/creationist, atheist/religious, or now Atheism+/Atheists, it’s been shown over and over the two sides cannot have fair intellectual arguments on the net.

    The instant one of you disemvowel, moderate, delete, alter, ban what others have to say, well, you deserve all the heap of shit people can heap on you.

    And you make it worse, with the encouragement of your commenters to pile on.

    And that’s long after you folks couldn’t even argue with intellectual honesty or acknowledge truthfully what others have to say or what their positions are.

    So, your cries of victimhood are like what? What’s the metaphor Stephanie? Oh something like tears I drink from.

  24. 24
    Anthony K

    I’m so glad to read that Jay, because I feel the same way. Slymepit fuckers have lied about and doxxed me.

    As far as I’m concerned, you ass-sucking fuckers get everything coming your way.

  25. 25
    oolon

    The recent pit ad posted on one of Ophelias posts, I think, urged people to join the pit to “..be on the right side of History!”… So how can you be on the right side of history? Of course you go down in history as a brave pitty resistance fighter if you manage to win the great battle of the Urban Dictionary A+ vote +1 point! I must admit it is very funny seeing Franc Hoggling over that vote being won… If you manage to drive one of your opponents off the internet you win a little battle +10 points… If you get a blog post out of one of the ‘FfTB’ers’ saying how horrible you are +1 point! Etc. Etc.

    But what is the aim of the war other than point scoring? To the victor go the spoils… But then the pits programming is -

    10 Look at what that ‘FfTB’er’, Skepchick, commenter said, derp, ain’t they stoopid, aint we clever!
    20 Discuss in detail about how clever we all are on the pit, maybe illustrated by Photoshop.
    30 Crow over our soon to be had glorious victory and the end of FtBs
    40 GOTO 10

    When they win? Well there will be nothing to do… No aim exists apart from to tear down what the ‘other side’ want to create. Being a pointless vandal can be fun, but you never “win” as once you have finished destroying all that is left is to find something else to destroy. They’d probably say they want to focus the movement on its core principles and not have any of this feminism stuff involved in the pure sceptic-atheist movement. This is purely taking away, not adding so just more destruction and tearing down. Good luck with that Jay.

  26. 26
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    The instant one of you disemvowel, moderate, delete, alter, ban what others have to say, well, you deserve all the heap of shit people can heap on you.

    So, the moment any of us moderates their own space everybody else deserves to get rape-threats by guilt of association.
    Yes, that makes sense.

  27. 27
    chrisdevries

    When you start to look at the characteristics of the truly noxious atheist denizens of blog comment threads, web forums, the twitterverse and all social media sites, it becomes crystal clear that atheism doesn’t necessarily make people behave better. Yes, religion is, overall, mostly a bad thing for modern societies, but in the absence of organized religion, hateful people are still hateful – they just find other rationalizations for being that way.

    I honestly don’t get why it is still necessary to keep hammering away at the same bullshit ideas that have been thoroughly crushed, multiple times in the past. Take the “too drunk to give consent to sex” issue that the non-feminists are always up in arms about. How hard it it to understand that women should have complete sexual autonomy, just like men. If you respect that autonomy, then why can’t you understand that all we’re saying is “don’t trample all over it in your attempts to get laid.” And if you don’t respect that autonomy, you have no business calling yourself a skeptic because skepticism of patriarchy and traditional gender roles led directly to the societal concept of gender equality. If you need a strategy brainstorming session to figure out how you’re going to manipulate someone into having sex with you, not only are you doing sex wrong, you’re behavior strongly resembles that of individuals in patriarchal, religious communities.

    I cannot imagine choosing to have sex with anyone in the absence of clear, positive consent from someone able to give that consent. Yes, there is a difference between this kind of sex and sex where your sexual partner has clearly articulated their opposition to intercourse. But if you aren’t sure that you have consent, or if the consenting partner is sober enough to consent, why take the risk? Your sexual gratification is not more important than the bodily autonomy of a prospective sexual partner. If you wake up in the morning with a sober partner who wishes you had gone through with the deed, the next time, before any alcohol is imbibed, you can decide, together, what type of sexual activity you wish to engage in that evening, if any. The men who have a problem with this approach, who can envision themselves in such an ambiguous situation and who see nothing wrong with engaging in drunken intercourse (or who have been in this situation in the past and have found nothing wrong with their behavior) are announcing to the world that they are selfish egotists who don’t respect women. They may not consciously “hate” women (although some surely do), but it is clear that they see their prospective sexual partner as a sex object, a passive participant, no more than a living, breathing blow-up doll.

    This is why Atheism “Plus” and Humanism resonate with me so well; not believing in a god is the conclusion to a single, moderately important skeptical process, but it shouldn’t be the endgame, the thing communities should strive for without changing anything else. There is all sorts of baggage that religion has brought into modernity from the Iron Age, baggage that continues to define how most people interact with each other (believers and unbelievers alike). These norms are deeply engrained in our culture, so much so that it is difficult to consciously acknowledge and analyze them in an unbiased way for many people. “This is how we evolved, how successful humanoid societies are meant to function” they say, invoking the naturalistic fallacy. There are countless other rationalizations for why women are not (and should not be) treated as equals in most professional and many personal situations, but in the end, I think men resist change because they are loathe to give up the power they have in society. And men value that power, the ability to impose their will on others because those others are literally “the other”, for whom there is little-to-no empathy forthcoming from more privileged members of society.

    It is probable that human society started out in small tribes where outsiders were mainly seen as either a threat or an opportunity, but as populations grew and tribes were forced to live in close proximity to other tribes, some managed to overcome the trust barrier and started to co-operate. But we still live in a world where there are significant and often violent confrontations between groups of people who view anyone who they deem “not like us” as sub-human, worthy of conquering and exploiting (and sometimes slaughtering). We may have evolved to behave this way but the world we currently live in is very different from the African savannah circa 200,000 years ago. If the most privileged atheists don’t start finding common ground with “the other”, if we don’t stop valuing our own life and basic rights more than the lives and rights of those less privileged than us, we are actually incorporating the worst aspects of organized religion into our worldview. Needless to say, this is not only hypocritical; it causes real harm to real people, and may prove an impediment to the creation of a truly global society. And I suspect such a societal structure is the only societal state that may eventually solve the meta-ethical problem of how to design a social contract with the principal aim of changing the way we interact, such that all conflicts are resolved peacefully and to the benefit of all parties.

    Such mutually beneficial collaboration can only take place if there is mutual respect. It can only take place if all individuals and groups involved in such a collaboration actually value others’ lives and rights, and are willing to treat everyone fairly and equally, minimizing harm and maximizing well-being. There are so many examples of conflicts around the world that were started because of xenophobia, selfishness, and an us-vs.-them mindset. Some adversarial philosophies are easier to displace than others, and some people cling to their identity, never to let it be modified; nonetheless, life needn’t be viewed as a zero-sum phenomena whereby in order to live a happy, prosperous life, others must live in misery and despair. By valuing diversity itself, not only does the privilege gap(s) get smaller, communities are strengthened because the less privileged may improve their communities merely by having a unique perspective that can benefit everyone. This is a fight that won’t be won in the foreseeable future, but there can certainly be change for the better. And as children today, living with far more societal diversity than their parents, grow up and have children of their own, their more tolerant, live-and-let-live attitude will be further perpetuated. Just because the reason for these “disagreements” has deep cultural roots doesn’t mean we cannot eventually eliminate sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.

  28. 28
    Bjarte Foshaug

    That’s right. The people who have been flooding every website, youtube channel, forum, and blog with with toxic waste for more than 1 1/2 years are not “bullies”, they only disagree with basic human decency. They are not “misogynists” they only have a different opinion than those who think women should not be treated like shit. They are not “bigots”, they just don’t share your view that other people deserve any respect at all. They are not “assholes”, they are only dissenting to the view that consideration for their fellow human beings is more important than their own desire to enjoy themselves on other people’s expense. That’s a major difference right there, at least in the wording.

  29. 29
    sheila

    I liked the bit where he admitted that there was no way to logically rebut Rebecca.

  30. 30
    jose

    Whoa, people can get touchy when told they should find out if the other person actually wants to fuck with them. How inconvenient!

  31. 31
    jose

    Also, I love all the “engaging in constructive dialogue” and “discuss ideas rationally” coming from the “Twatson” people; now that’s constructive. People who collect pictures of Watson and put them together in image galleries to mock her, or people who register “atheismplus” on twitter to mock the initiative, or people whose motto is “Not hating you – just laughing at you”. Super constructive!

    They remind me of this Cartman clip every time.

  32. 32
    oolon

    WTF, totally discombobulated by a fuckwitted pitter, I assume, tackling me for a bit of a comment I made in this post… Is “Molly” blocked from commenting here? http://www.oolon.co.uk/?p=115#comment-111

    Gotta be a first, so desperate to set me right they start commenting on unrelated blog posts of mine! Shame the comment was so dumb. The TL;DR gist is that Rebecca apparently said “Drunken sex IS RAPE!” …. I’d feel sorry for them if it was not clear from Welchy’s post that it is all just trolling, so they are not really this dim, its all an act to “mock” us into silence! I must admit I was left a little speechless, but not really from the mocking angle I’m afraid to report. Maybe John can give “Molly” a few tips on how to mock for fun and profit…

  33. 33
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ok, remind me again…
    A+ is divisive.
    FtB is divisive.
    Both are driving people away in droves.
    People like…John Welch.

    That’s a *bad* thing????

  34. 34
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Jay:

    You may dislike what welch does, but his attack is logical: it’s called, disagreeing with your assumptions and refusing to play your game.

    Logic.
    You and John Welch are doing it wrong.

  35. 35
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ummm, where’s the *like* button?
    I need it for comments 27 and 28.

  1. 36
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  2. 37
    When You Can’t Walk Away » Almost Diamonds

    [...] all the various sorts of interactions we have with those who disagree with us or dislike us. It is frequently not about debate. Nor does that make it [...]

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