«

»

Feb 02 2013

What Is More Important Than Peace? (NSFW)

Photo of a tightly furled peace lily.

“PEACE” by algo. Some rights reserved.

I have been informed by Lee Moore that I won’t be participating in any of his peace talks. My terms, which consisted of “renounce the slime pit“, were deemed to be unacceptable by “Every single person [he] spoke with on that side that has enough influence to qualify for such a talk.” Justin Vacula and Reap Paden were offered as examples.

Someone with that kind of influence is someone who has outlets for their viewpoints. Vacula and Paden each have a blog where they can interact with their community, a YouTube channel, and at least one podcast with which to disseminate their views. That’s more than I have, actually, as Atheists Talk is aimed at a broad enough audience that getting into disagreements strictly within the secular and skeptical communities is almost never in our scope. It’s a straight interview show, not a platform for me to air my views. I need to use YouTube more, but it’s mostly terrible for anything with this much history. At its best, it can capture a discussion for posterity.

So they have blogs and YouTube and podcasts, but they still feel that leaving the slime pit is an unacceptably large price to pay for the time and attention they keep demanding from me. So what is it they’re unwilling to give up? What don’t they get at the rest of those places? Don’t keep reading unless you really want to know.

The appeal of the pit, I’m told repeatedly is that it isn’t moderated in any way. It’s a bastion of the most free of free speech. In practical terms, that means that people there get to add value to the great debates of our times by calling me:

Someone named “cunt” asked for a reference picture to “shop” a Zvanatee. The response was to post a picture of me moderating a session on promoting critical thinking at ScienceOnline 2011(?):

Stephanie Zvan, Desiree Schell, and Maria Walters at ScienceOnline. Text included in the post.

bhoytony: It’s OK somebody already made the picture. Here it is, you can hardly tell it’s a shoop.

Struth: Who’s holding the mic, is that Stefunny? Shes a fatty, lol! She ate all the pies. I take it that’s “masala skeptic”

cunt: That is professional quality work.

Dick Strawkins: Here’s the original.

Photo of the Hindenburg disaster, with me replacing the Hindenburg.

Sulaco: Oh the Huge Svanity!

Lsuoma: Oh the Huge Svanity!

Lsuoma: Unexpected LULZdupe…

Because, you see, I’m fat, so…yeah, I don’t know what the point is either. But it’s an integral part of the slime pit.

Picture of an obese woman being moved by several emergency personnel.

papillon: Maybe you’re thinking of Stephunny Svan being moved from her house?

Integral, as you can tell from the “nicknames”. So is claiming that Greg Laden and I must be having an affair. There’s the “sex tape” of course.

Animated gif of a small dog humping a cow.And open discussion about how it’s supposed to be some power play to post it:

Zvan isn’t even a challenge to Mykeru. It’s such an easy win. She has to be offended and outraged, let everyone know she is being victimised so they can run to defend her honour. After all, sex was mentioned and her pussy is sacred. “What if people believe him and think I would have sex in front of a camera!” Her posting of so many of his “sex tape with Laden” tweets on a blog post about Mykeru’s sex tape with laden “harassment” almost makes one wonder if he was spot on.

She is harassing herself.

Zvan, grow a fucking thicker skin, and stop caring about what others might think of you. Your “honor” is no more worthy of respect than anyone else’s. You are not a special snowflake, princess.
When a stranger having a go, by tweeting about a sex tape you never made, gets under your skin that easily, where you are emotional and reactive and hand over your power publicly, including fucking re-posting the tweets so that tonnes more people can see them and have a laugh, it’s not Mykeru who has the problem.

and can she be any more of the derrogatory stereotypical chick? emotional, defensive, angry, puritan, and claiming to be a victim in order to get sympathy. truly pathetic.

That’s hardly the only time, of course, because…originality, I guess. And do try not to forget that I’m fat.

Mykeru: You want sad? Give it a few years and pay a visit to a 40-something Rebecca Watson holding court in some hotel bar.

Tony Parsehole:

Image of an obese woman making out with a guy while his friends laugh in the foreground.Tigzy: That one reminds me more of Steffy Zvan. “Greg, what the fuck did you two just do together…?”

Concentrate H2O, OM: “Calm down love, it was just a piece of sweetcorn.”

Tony Parsehole: Steffy Zvan says : “That’s the first and last time I’m licking your bald pate”

Picture of two very obese people having sex.

Darren: Is that from the real Svan/Laden sex tape?

It isn’t all about trying to insult us with photos, of course (and those are just some from the main thread, rather than the thread devoted to Photoshop). There are also the stories they make up, believe, and pass around. There was the one about Greg after he was removed from FtB:

So they will clean him up and bring him back into cabinet after a token time away. Just the thing they do with MPs who embarrass their government here in Canuckland. Though he did claim he needed time off anyway.

There’s the bit about defrauding Thunderf00t of his take from the last month his content was available (in case he wanted to move it):

Well that’s mighty curious. Course, if FTB retain intellectual property rights to anything posted by their bloggers, then they can whatever they like with the revenue from Tf00t’s blog. If not, and the rights remain with him, then there should be no debate as whether he gets his share or not (or, as Tf00t suggests, donate it to the cause he outlined in his non-FTB blog).

Still, sheds more light on why FTB retained the blog – follow the money, and all that. Must be pretty galling to find that Tf00t’s blog, though inert, was still raking in more than many of those still active on the site  Wonder which comes first to Ed and PZ – social justice or the loot?

Curiously, a Google for Greg Laden’s X Blog on FTB still shows it being hosted by FTB – but it redirects to his non-FTB X-blog. Guess Laden’s stuff was just not raking in enough to remain viable, I guess.

There’s the the idea anyone was trying to destroy and replace TAM:

Stephanie is such a trip – apparently, since Rebecca didn’t tell ftb that she was out to destroy TAM, she wasn’t…

Wait a sec, I thought intent didn’t matter? When I had posted Amy’s address here and had said that my intentions were not malicious, I was utterly dismissed by ftb bloggers. Apparently now, because Rebecca had no intent — as Stephanie says — she’s clear of any charges regardless of what happened as a result of what she wrote. Also, Rebecca didn’t intend to boycott Dawkins as she said (regardless of what was written) so she’s clear there.More double standards/different standards for different people. That’s skepticism there……and lol at Rebecca not complaining much. Never mind the speeches she hijacks to talk about her alleged ‘rape threats’ and whatever else which has nothing to do with the title of the speech. Why in the world are people still inviting her to speak?”They told you not to yield to temptation, but offered you only hypocrisy and ruin.”

There’s the bit about us cornering the market on speaking about atheism:

It was a terrible idea to take them on directly by running a petition. To do that you are validating their stance, yet their official stance is a facade behind which they hide their real agenda – maintaining their monopoly of highly paid speaker positions in the US conference circuit.

A monopoly, because no speakers disagree on these matters. Not at all.

Then there are their other attempts to rewrite history. Did you know that the push for anti-harassment policies was completely redundant?

The sad thing is, they have already gotten what they claimed was all they wanted – almost all conventions already had adequate harassment policies in place, and some orgs even modified their existing policies to better placate the hysterical shriekers. But they carry on like nothing has changed, still malign the community as a bunch of rapey harassers, and they’re now demanding more and more.

It wasn’t, by the way.

Or that I taunted Dawkins over “pushback”:

I remember Stefunny suggesting “the pushback was getting him down”, gleefully referring to the Baboon’s constant badgering of Dawkins, but I reckon Dawkins could not care less, and judging by the amount of whaling and gnashing of teeth over at FfTB and Skepchick, it is they who are “getting down from the pushback”.

The difference is, pushback towards the Baboons is considered “misogyny”, “hatred of women”, “cyberstalking”, etc. Pushback towards Dawkins is considered fair game.

Actually, it was the opposite.

Or that this is all for attention?

isn’t the Streisand effect exactly what they want? They crave the attention they get whenever they play the victim card, and so what if someone bothers checking up their name or address? They know perfectly fine that they are in no real danger from anyone, so playing the victim card to get “community cred” and to sell their “art” is completely risk free. Hell, if they become really good at it, they might even be able to become a “personality” and get flown around to speaking gigs where they can talk about themselves, just as a certain blue-haired blob managed to do.

Because none of us could be sincere about trying to make the movement more welcoming to women.

Finally, of course, the slime pit is used to present ideas on what to do about us all.

I don’t think you should have offered any sort of “cease-fire”. I cringed when I first read about it.

Why should we let up? In any way? These fuckers needs to be utterly annhiliated from the atheist community. Fuck ‘em the ground.

- No goddamn harassment policies (except those cons are obliged to have due to insurance issues).
- No goddamn anti- free speech rules where you’re not allowed to “offend” anyone at cons/seminars.
- I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.
- No goddamn free childcare at cons. If people want to have kids, fine. If they’re stupid and got a kid without the means to support that kid, not my goddamn problem. If I attend a conference, I want my money to go to that conference’s motherfucking content (i.e. speakers, dinner, location, etc.); not Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person.
- Everyone is free to make as much “fake” jewellery as they want.
- No fucking “affirmative action” in regards to the gender/sexuality/race of the speakers at conferences. If there are qualified female speakers, they will be invited. This isn’t kindergarten where we need the teacher to make everyone play with the unpopular kid.

FTB and A+theism are ruining the good name of atheism. And we should do everything in our power to stop them.

Sometimes they’re more subtle:

sacha: poor Justin indeed. He needs to be wired with a spy camera and have a chaperone. I don’t think it is a good idea for him to attend alone.

DownThunder: I had the same thought about a camera, in case (likely) that someone accuses him of something just out of spite. BUT then you know if Justin uses or shows any footage, he’ll be flamed for spying and being all creepy.

However, I still think having solid evidence like video is immensely helpful and outweighs the inevitable and predictable accusations that will be levelled against him.

d4m10n: Meh. Audio recording should do the trick most of the time, for was less in terms of MB.

Sometimes they’re not:

Jerry Conlon this is how you mock Ophie without giving her victim points

Picture of a prune. Text in the post.

["I'm a bit of a cunt when I'm on acid!!!"]

All that? That’s what you’ll see at the slime pit that you won’t see at their blogs. And apparently, it’s more important than any opportunity to discuss the issues they say we should be listening to them on.

129 comments

13 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Stephanie, you are demonstrating why many of us just want to stay on the sidelines and try not to have too much about ourselves out there. This is distasteful to read. It must be much more so to be the target.

  2. 2
    LeftSidePositive

    And really, is “renounce the slymepit” enough? Isn’t that a bit too vague? Shouldn’t it be more along the lines of: “renounce the slymepit and all actions characteristic of its vitriolic and misogynistic outlook, including, but not limited too: hateful photoshops, use of gendered slurs, eliding the truth of actual events (I’m lookin’ at you, “polite invitation to coffee…”!), posting home addresses, focus on the appearance or sexuality of an individual rather than zir ideas, lying about the terms of harassment policies, making rape and death threats, and targeting an individual over multiple social platforms.” Because this shit needs to be renounced over all possible real and virtual locations, and I don’t want to fucking deal with “But we didn’t call you a cunt on the slymepit! We called you a cunt on reddit! We were never supposed to renounce that!!”

  3. 3
    Pteryxx

    It’s more than enough to demonstrate the point about what they value.

  4. 4
    crowepps

    These posts and pictures are disgusting. You have my admiration for being tough enough to wade through it and still attempt to treat some of them as rational human beings. The accumulation here does serve the useful purpose of making it clear why harassment policies are necessary at conventions; with luck, such policies will discourage the attendance of the type of person who could be so smug in their bigotry as to make the foul reference to “Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person”.

  5. 5
    Stacy

    The pit’s a place to indulge the obsessive hate but it’s also a vanity forum for skepticism’s dimmer lights. Where else are wits this dull gonna find an audience?

    These are envious people who think they deserve an audience like yours. They think they’re relevant. They think they’re clever.

    Keep your day jobs, boys and girls. Assuming you have them.

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    LSP: Keep in mind that renouncing the slimepit is the criterion for even initiating conversation. It won’t bring about a cease-fire, even if we do civilly discuss the relative merits of hounding feminists out of the “community” (and what compromises would any of us reach on THAT point?). And it certainly won’t stop the worst offenders, the ones we keep pointing out are actually demonstrably harming our so-called communities to begin with.

  7. 7
    LeftSidePositive

    Jason, I mean that I think the bar should be set even higher to initiate a conversation. Frankly, because I’m not a particularly indulgent person, I wouldn’t accept just a verbal renunciation–anyone can renounce something, get their precious interview & coveted legitimacy even while they talk out of both sides of their mouth, and then go back to the ‘pit and its equivalents saying “I just made a show of renouncing this to trick those feminazis!!” So, I’d recommend: minimum criteria for initiating a conversation is: 1) renounce the slymepit and any and all similar behavior, and 2) go one solid month without engaging in, defending, promoting, retweeting, or “Like”-ing any such behavior, and THEN, and ONLY then, would we talk.

    But I guess that’s a moot point, because those who fancy themselves the reasonable people from their “side” won’t even renounce the slymepit, never mind my additional tying-up of possible loopholes…

  8. 8
    Argle Bargle

    There are some nasty people in the slymepit who’ve devoted considerable time and effort into showing just how nasty they are.

  9. 9
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I do not mean to be off topic. Crowepps, what does Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person refer to.

    Though I am afraid I will rue any answer I get.

  10. 10
    Loqi

    Silly Stephanie. Don’t you realize it’s not harassment to constantly post crudely photoshopped pictures or following them around the internet calling them a bitch or a cunt? It’s only bullying once you quote what they actually said and say “look at this.” Now THAT’S bullying.

  11. 11
    Jodi Thibeault

    All of this makes me really want to punch something. These people are disgusting.
    Steph, I wish you didn’t have to deal with this. You have my admiration though, for making it through each day without killing anyone.

  12. 12
    Hank_Says

    So, Reap and Vacula purport to want a civil discussion about grievances – but they won’t say a bad word about very place that would be the primary source of many of the grievances listed by fem-positive skeptics (decidedly uncivil discussions and flat-out verbal and graphic insults).

    That really tells me all I need to know – in actual fact, it merely confirms what I was already pretty sure about. They (and their enablers and apologists like Lee) are nothing more than members of a community comprised of dishonest, abusive, precious, histrionic, petulant children – many of whom don’t even bother to disguise their obsessive loathing and hatred with a veneer of civility.

    BTW it’s no surprise to see the oh-so-civil D4m10N involved. Before seeing him turn up in FtB comment threads, I had brief but civil twitter exchange with him about harrassment policies; now I feel justified in dismissing him as part of this pit of contempt.

    Fuck them all and anyone associated with them. Any “movement” or “community” built around skepticism or atheism is better off without these toxic, shitful little clowns.

  13. 13
    oolon

    @mandrellian, yeah D4M1ONs recent thing on twitter is to opine about the horror of having your name associated with the epithet “MISOGYNIST!!11!” in the FtBs comment threads…. So when HR look people up for a job they’ll find a thread somewhere in FtBs or a post describing Vacula or D4M1ON using the m-word and not hire them.

    Frankly I would think Justin, D4M1ON etc are just as likely to come up in a Slymepit thread after a quick google… Which is worse? As a hiring manager and with a wife in HR I’d say in general I’d ignore unsubstantiated internet allegations. But to see someone enthusiastically involving themselves in a forum like the Slymepit or the one that attacked Mary Beard recently I’d probably think twice about hiring them. Seeing someone else make allegations about them is totally different to seeing them involving themselves in this slime of their own free will…

  14. 14
    Hank_Says

    oolon, in Vacula’s case an HR dept wouldn’t even need to know about the Pit to know he’s scum – if they saw him being featured at AVfM they’d likely bin his application right there.

    And, yeah, poor Damion (fuck writing all those goddamn digits, seriously – it’s not 1999 anymore).
    If you don’t want to be associated with the description “misogynist” you might want to avoid associating with misogynists.

    Additionally, you might also wish to avoid agreeing with misogynists, defending misogynists, deflecting accusations of misogyny against members of an openly and unapologetically misogynist online community who proudly and publicly say misogynist things, retaining membership of that community yourself, generally siding with those misogynists in almost every issue that concerns them and frequently showing up on fem-positive blogs to defend them or castigate (however gently) said fem-positive bloggers.

    I’m well aware that guilt by association can suck and it’s often unfair to tar people with the crimes of their associates. People call Pope Ratzinger a Nazi because of his history in the Hitler Youth, but I think that’s inappropriate. The whole German nation was under the Nazi spell and children, especially, had little to no idea what was actually going on under that regime (besides, Ratzinger’s actions as an adult member of the New Roman Empire have been far more damaging than anything he could’ve done as an easily-led child). Being called a misogynist because you’re a Slymer and a known apologist for misogynists and sexist reactionaries is not the same thing by any measure. People freely associate with the Pit and often proudly participate in its toxic abuse of others; if you’re a frequent contributor on that forum and aren’t a misogynist and don’t like being called one, you have the freedom of choice to leave or to at least be unequivocal in your opposition to misogyny and in your support of equality.

  15. 15
    PZ Myers

    maintaining their monopoly of highly paid speaker positions in the US conference circuit

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha! Ha! Hahahahahahahahaahahahahahaaaaa!! Heee!

    Don’t do that again. My lungs hurt now.

    Hot top for people who think this is a way to make living: NONE of the major organizations pay me a penny to come speak. They cover my travel costs, and that’s it. Reason Rally? $0. TAM? $0. NECSS? $0. American Atheists, American Humanists, IEHU? $0. Skepticon? $0. And that’s OK with me.

    Smaller meetings will sometimes give me an honorarium, typically $50-$100. Academic conferences where I’ve been a keynote speaker pay more, perhaps $1000. I did close to 30 talks last year, and I probably cleared $4000-$5000 total, none of it from the “atheist/skeptic conference circuit.” Those conferences can get us for dirt cheap, because we’re there to promote the cause, not make a profit.

  16. 16
    Forbidden Snowflake

    I do not mean to be off topic. Crowepps, what does Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person refer to.

    It appears to present a hypothetical case, in which Greta Christina (who is known to be flighty and irresponsible with money because she bought a pair of shoes that one time) has hypothetically adopted a hypothetical child (who is an “African trans-little person” and thus worthless and contemptible) and expects a conference to offer childcare arrangements (and thus to spend money on her and her [worthless and contemptible] hypothetical child rather than pizza and strippers for whoever the fuck it was who wrote that comment). Because needing a childcare arrangement while not being in the physical vicinity of one’s child makes one a bad parent, and because an emerging movement has nothing to gain from attracting people who have children, anyway.

    That is my reading of it, since GC does not, to my knowledge, have any children, adopted, African, trans, or otherwise. Would you like your brain-bleach now?

  17. 17
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Thank you, Forbidden Snowflake, for the explanation. That is brain bleach worthy.

    Also, it appears that they are not paying attention to their hero, ERV.

    I remember that shortly after the shitstorm started, ERV claimed that Richard Dawkins won the argument when RDF announced free child care. That this was the trump card against Rebecca Watson.

    Not that they care about these things.

  18. 18
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Fucking assholes. Yeah, these are the hallmarks of people who want a more diverse and welcoming atheist community. What a joke.

    Really, it’s not that these assholes exist that bother me – there are always assholes – it’s that, out of spiteful bitterness or desperation to convince themselves they have an audience, those who are otherwise (mostly) reasonable are siding with the assholes and lending them legitimacy.

    People like Russell Blackford, Jeremy Stangroom, Miranda Celeste Hale, Paula Kirby – are they speaking out against this? If so, where?

  19. 19
    Lou Doench

    I clicked on one of those linky thingys to the “slime pit”.

    I’d like that part of my soul back now thank you very much. I followed it for 10 pages to see if anyone would gain say the horrid person who said this

    - I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.
    - No goddamn free childcare at cons. If people want to have kids, fine. If they’re stupid and got a kid without the means to support that kid, not my goddamn problem. If I attend a conference, I want my money to go to that conference’s motherfucking content (i.e. speakers, dinner, location, etc.); not Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person.

    I mean, it’s a supposed bastion of free speech right? So one of them certainly had the freedom to call out the blatant racism and general dickbaggery of that statement… right?

    Crickets…

  20. 20
    carlie

    Wow.

    How can there be anyone who thinks it’s a rational idea to have a “conversation” with any of these people? Based on those examples, I have very little faith in their ability to speak cogently on, well, anything.

  21. 21
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    So, Lee Moore doesn’t see the obvious inherent problem with this, then. Fuck him too. Fuck them all.

    You can’t have a conversation with people who refuse to have a conversation. But maybe that’s the plan. Someone say that they tried to have a conversation with feminist/anti-harassment atheists, but they all decline or made ridiculous demands. Then they can congratulate themselves for being the good ones who tried again. Liars.

  22. 22
    ajb47

    I don’t think you should have offered any sort of “cease-fire”. I cringed when I first read about it.

    Why should we let up? In any way? These fuckers needs to be utterly annhiliated from the atheist community. Fuck ‘em the ground.

    – No goddamn harassment policies (except those cons are obliged to have due to insurance issues).
    – No goddamn anti- free speech rules where you’re not allowed to “offend” anyone at cons/seminars.
    – I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.
    – No goddamn free childcare at cons. If people want to have kids, fine. If they’re stupid and got a kid without the means to support that kid, not my goddamn problem. If I attend a conference, I want my money to go to that conference’s motherfucking content (i.e. speakers, dinner, location, etc.); not Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person.
    – Everyone is free to make as much “fake” jewellery as they want.
    – No fucking “affirmative action” in regards to the gender/sexuality/race of the speakers at conferences. If there are qualified female speakers, they will be invited. This isn’t kindergarten where we need the teacher to make everyone play with the unpopular kid.

    FTB and A+theism are ruining the good name of atheism. And we should do everything in our power to stop them.

    Is this person seriously giving a list of things that are representative of the way they want things to be within atheism, and then saying that those things represent atheism having a *good* name?

  23. 23
    Ophelia Benson

    Prune cunt and acid – that’s me. (Also cobweb cunt, and there’s someone whose tagline or motto or whatever you call that thing is the deathless witticism of “Mrs Vicky Caramel” which goes something like, “how could acid be a problem when it runs in her veins?”) Ophie McPrune, Ophi, Opi, Opie.

    And what PZ said – highly paid?! We get some of our travel costs covered, but not all. We get paid zip. These groups aren’t the Gates Foundation.

  24. 24
    PZ Myers

    Especially not if it’s a student group…and I talk to a lot of student groups. Most of the money I do get from speaking gigs comes from speaking for wealthier institutions that have a solid budget for that sort of thing, and I only do a couple of those a year, at best. Those are also not the movement organizations we are urging to do better, nor are we ever going to have a monopoly on speaking at universities (or at skeptic/atheist meetings, for that matter).

  25. 25
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    But Ophelia, you must be lying. You are a Professional Victim! I see it written over and over again. It is said so often, it must be true.

  26. 26
    Hank_Says

    maintaining their monopoly of highly paid speaker positions in the US conference circuit

    Wow. That’s fucking hilarious :D

    I’ve seen some egregious and laughable nonsense from the Pit before but this not only takes the cake, it replaces it with a massive, feculent, steaming turd and hopes noone will notice.

    I knew these clowns had only a passing relationship with reality, but this makes it appear like Reality is a distant acquaintance on Facebook who they’ve not seen for years and have excluded from their news feed.

    I’ve seen some tall stories before, but this one’s in danger of being grazed by a CIA satellite.

    etc.

  27. 27
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Well that was just nasty (and disgusting, stupid, infantile, and ultimately useless). I wouldn’t talk to those little creeps, either.

  28. 28
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    When I say useless, I mean for any sort of productive conversation to occur.

  29. 29
    arbor

    Never, ever try to “reconcile” with these people.

    The pitters and their enablers are not worth knowing. Leave them in their cesspool and concentrate on trying to help some others avoid turning out as sleazy and slimy.

    New people are being born all of the time. They deserve our interest and attention.

    I’d rather not be on the same planet as Lee and his kind. I have no control over that. So it goes.

    I can, however, condemn these lousy excuses for human beings, shun them, and keep them out of my head.

    Regardless of who decided that one of them was rehabiilitated, I’d never accept their judgement – once they drop in that bowl, flush ‘em.

    Go ahead and munch a bunch – we’ll make more.

    Oh, yeah – fuck off, Lee.

  30. 30
    One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login

    What’s ironic is that they actually lend support to the canard that atheists have no morals. There are no doubt legions of ultra-orthodox rabbis, modernity-hating imams, and spittle-spraying evangelists who would love to be able to slander you for your opinions in these ways — and are kept from doing so by the constraints of their religions. It’s the atheists who are free to plumb the depths of argument ad hominem with this freedom and lack of decorum.

  31. 31
    Hank_Says

    TriffidPruner@30

    What’s ironic is that they actually lend support to the canard that atheists have no morals. There are no doubt legions of ultra-orthodox rabbis, modernity-hating imams, and spittle-spraying evangelists who would love to be able to slander you for your opinions in these ways — and are kept from doing so by the constraints of their religions. It’s the atheists who are free to plumb the depths of argument ad hominem with this freedom and lack of decorum.

    It would appear so – as we all know (or have no doubt learned by now), the fact that you don’t believe in God (or, for that matter, Bigfoot, dowsing or whatever unicorn piss Dr Oz is selling this week) doesn’t automatically imply your views on anything else are rational, or that you can disagree with someone without behaving like a blustering, quote-mining, point-missing, privileged fundamentalist stooge.

    In fact, Shermer’s disproportionate and pathetic bleating about being victimised and “Nazi witch-purged” (or whatever the exact combo was; I’m pretty sure he invoked all three) by a short raised-eyebrow paragraph in an Ophelia Benson article sounds exactly like a fundie Christian who equates a God-less science class or a President who doesn’t mention God in every single fucking speech he gives with flat-out religious persecution. It has to be cause for concern when highly visible members of your movement/community start behaving like the worst of your opponents.

  32. 32
    loofasword

    Besides each other, who exactly are the pitters trying to convince? Who makes up their hypothetical audience, these mysterious people who will look at the conduct of both “sides” of this conflict and agree that theirs is the reasonable position?

    Whatever else they’re doing besides hate, they’re doing it wrong.

  33. 33
    Bjarte Foshaug

    “Disagreement” my ass.

  34. 34
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    It’s really depressing, honestly. If they want to be juvenile fuckheads, 4Chan already exists. At least it has legitimate dissent involved.

  35. 35
    sheila

    As Frank Schaeffer said, “a village can’t re-organize village life around the village idiot.” He makes the point that we have to move beyond them.

    He was talking about the religious right, but I still think it fits. These people have had about two years to present a case, and their case amounts to a tantrum.

    I really sympathise with all the targets of the tantrum.

  36. 36
    Bjarte Foshaug

    Zvan isn’t even a challenge to Mykeru. It’s such an easy win.*

    “Mykeru”… Where have I heard that name before…? Oh, yes! He was one of the slimepitters who recently dropped by on twitter to JAQ off and call me a “pseudo-skeptic” for not providing (what he would accept as) “evidence” that people like Ophelia and Rebecca had been harassed in any way. (He also informed me that “…all the threats and harassment *gregladen* has come from FTB” and that “people like Benson and Watson construct a “threat narrative” as a cover for their own behaviour” – sounds suspiciously like factual claims to me…).

    @PZ Myers #15

    maintaining their monopoly of highly paid speaker positions in the US conference circuit

    [...]NONE of the major organizations pay me a penny to come speak. [...] Those conferences can get us for dirt cheap, because we’re there to promote the cause, not make a profit.

    But that can’t be true. The Real Skeptics™ who hang out at the Pit obviously wouldn’t be making a factual claim like that unless they had solid evidence to back it up? Only pseudo-skeptics do things like that.
    ___________________________________________________
    * Re. “easy win” and “not even a challenge”, allow me to suggest that somebody brings a matchbox to collect whatever’s left of Mykeru after Stephanie is finished picking him apart (It should not be necessary to take out the matches first).

  37. 37
    athyco

    F [nucular nyandrothol] @21:

    So, Lee Moore doesn’t see the obvious inherent problem with this, then. Fuck him too. Fuck them all.

    Lee Moore is either one of the most oblivious beings on the planet or the most bumbling mole. Within a day of making the cease fire hangout offer, he accepted a Facebook friend request from “Felch Grogan.”

  38. 38
    Ophelia Benson

    Well of course he did. How could he discuss the “grievances” of “felch grogan” otherwise?

    Meanwhile his asshole friend Anton Hill is still talking smack about me because I had the audacity to be annoyed by his trolling me on Twitter. Yeah Lee Moore is going to make everything work out. You bet.

  39. 39
    Donnie Don't

    What the actual fuck?

    This will probably not be worth responding to, and I’m not sure why I’m bothering to post it, but I guess I just have to record how bewildering I find this. I don’t really read a lot of FTB, other than a little bit of Pharyngula very recently. I’m not familiar with Stephanie, and I’m not completely sure what “The Slimepit” is. I do remember when Watson and Dawkins blew up the internet, but I haven’t been able to attend cons (I have kids and responsibilities here.)

    So I clicked a link from Patheos, from the Peace, Love, Feminism blog, and found this . . . . stuff. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that atheists act like everyone else on the internet, but . . . no, seriously, what is wrong with people? I used to think I’d really like to make it to a couple of the big cons in the next few years. Now I wonder if I’d spend the money and time and then wonder why I bothered to walk into such a mess.

  40. 40
    Stephanie Zvan

    Donnie, the conferences have mostly adopted policies that would make this sort of thing happening in person grounds to kick out the person who did it. In fact, that’s one of the things that have these people steaming. Don’t worry. You’re not going to find this at a conference.

  41. 41
    Sassafras

    Besides each other, who exactly are the pitters trying to convince?

    Well, I know I personally haven’t seen any article on the internet about Atheism+, anyone from Skepchick, or anyone from FtB, without seeing at least one familiar name in the comments attempting to poison the well.

  42. 42
    Martha

    Anyone who cannot renounce this sort of vile behavior isn’t worth talking to on any subject at all. Here’s hoping that some of them grow up and have the good grace to be embarrassed by their behavior.

    In the meantime, can we please have deeper rifts, deep enough that the pit turns into some sort of virtual secretive survivalist camp from which no communication ever emerges?

  43. 43
    DearAnia

    This is why I get so upset when people say that they have a problem with “both sides”. This is not one of the situations where the middle way is the right one. one side is clearly worse than the other. Asking for people involved in a peaceful resolution discussion to renounce a site that exists only to insult one of the members of the discussion is not just reasonable, it should have been the automatic expectation of any mediator!

    Bah, I am so sorry you have to deal with this kind of garbage Stephanie. There are a lot of us out here in the blogosphere who support you and think what you say is awesome, inspiring, and all around wonderful.

    In typical Canuckistani fashion let me wish you: Bon Courage!

  44. 44
    DLC

    These crumbs aren’t interested in actual discourse, they call for “Free Speech” and really mean “I want to be free to yell insults at anyone who disagrees with me”. To hell with them.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    SlimePitDoods. yer in the minority, not because you’re cool and edgy, but because you are wrong

  45. 45
    PatrickG

    I can’t click away without commenting just to show support for you and their other targets. Seeing it all in one place like this… there isn’t enough brain bleach in the world.

    I really hope this post serves as a one-stop destination for debunking “confusion” about the Slymepit.

  46. 46
    MC

    You’re a fucking hero for continuing to have anything to do with the skeptical and atheist movements. Seriously.

  47. 47
    Tom Foss

    She has to be offended and outraged, let everyone know she is being victimised so they can run to defend her honour. After all, sex was mentioned and her pussy is sacred. “What if people believe him and think I would have sex in front of a camera!” Her posting of so many of his “sex tape with Laden” tweets on a blog post about Mykeru’s sex tape with laden “harassment” almost makes one wonder if he was spot on.

    She is harassing herself.

    I hate to even sully my clipboard with that nonsense, but I find it profound. It’s like they did an fMRI of a bully’s mind and it came out with this fractal. I scarcely even know where to begin, except to say how many personal chords it strikes within me.

    “She is harassing herself,” you see, because she wouldn’t be harassed if she didn’t feel “offended and outraged.” Let’s set aside the point that the only reason people like this shitstain are saying/photoshopping/posting these things is because they are offensive and outrageous. It’s her fault.

    She wouldn’t feel offended and outraged if she didn’t care what people thought about her, if she didn’t actually think that people would think she made a sex tape with Greg Laden. She should just grow a thicker skin, since it’s obviously untrue. (Why are they saying it if it’s obviously untrue? Can only true things be hurtful?) I can’t help but remember my childhood, coming home from school after one round of bullying or another. My mother’s logic was consistent in that it consistently failed. “Just ignore them and they’ll go away/stop.” They didn’t. “Well, you’re not stupid/a girl/a faggot, so why are you upset?” Because that was the point. The point wasn’t that the bullies would pick out true things about you and tell you about them (they did that too, of course, as though it was news). They would say things that they knew would be hurtful and offensive, regardless of the truth value.

    In sixth grade, some asshat(s) made a flyer/newsletter/something or other with a picture (drawing? who even knows? I never saw it, only heard about it after it had been dealt with by teachers–and after it had been passed around and snickered over) of me hugging (or something) one of my few (but more than I’d had in fifth grade, thank goodness) friends, with some kind of caption about our obvious faggotry. But since it wasn’t true, I shouldn’t have been upset, right? I shouldn’t have clenched my fists with impotent rage and frustration, right? I shouldn’t have been hurt by the looks and giggles and soft snickers. I shouldn’t have been suspicious about who saw it and what they secretly thought, right? I shouldn’t have distanced myself from that friend lest someone get the wrong idea, right? I shouldn’t have spent the next five or so years as a virulent, hateful homophobe because gay was clearly the worst thing you could be, right?

    I’m sure I was just bullying myself. If only I’d had a thicker skin, I could have laughed at the jeers and taunts and pantsings and slurs and days where my gym towel was tossed into the pool, leading to that ringworm infection. It was all in good fun. I just couldn’t see it at the time.

    She is harassing herself. I was bullying myself. We brought it on ourselves. It’s our fault. I guess when you’re a professional victim, the blame stops there.

  48. 48
    SallyStrange

    The whole vein of insulting via fat/ugly/unfuckable is itself a manifestation of misogyny. If women’s most important markers of worthiness weren’t appearance and fuckability, these insults would be nonsense. You have to believe that in order to see these insults as worth using against people you don’t like.

  49. 49
    loofasword

    - I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.

    What’s left to discuss?

  50. 50
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    What SallyStrange said: how could they not realize they’re being unreconstructed misogynists? Ophelia, these people aren’t worth talking to. Block, report, and whatever you need to do to protect yourself.

    You are awesome and human decency will prevail.

  51. 51
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Can they please just pull that one post, put it up as a petition, sign it all and send it to every major and minor organisation and conference?

  52. 52
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Why should we let up? In any way? These fuckers needs to be utterly annhiliated from the atheist community. Fuck ‘em the ground.

    – No goddamn harassment policies (except those cons are obliged to have due to insurance issues).
    – No goddamn anti- free speech rules where you’re not allowed to “offend” anyone at cons/seminars.
    – I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.
    – No goddamn free childcare at cons. If people want to have kids, fine. If they’re stupid and got a kid without the means to support that kid, not my goddamn problem. If I attend a conference, I want my money to go to that conference’s motherfucking content (i.e. speakers, dinner, location, etc.); not Greta Christina’s adopted African trans-little person.
    – Everyone is free to make as much “fake” jewellery as they want.
    – No fucking “affirmative action” in regards to the gender/sexuality/race of the speakers at conferences. If there are qualified female speakers, they will be invited. This isn’t kindergarten where we need the teacher to make everyone play with the unpopular kid.

    Don’t they get how horrid this stuff is? How angry and hateful and mean of spirit? Even if they claim that they don’t hate women, talk like this plainly says the very opposite. This is not the kind of rhetoric you can quote out of context.

  53. 53
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    Just to clarify my previous post:

    4Chan is also a “bastion of the most free of free speech”, but it has the added benefit of not having been founded as a shitty echo chamber for imbeciles to complain about a specific blog network. Super Free Speech Zones are only really valuable if the people there have legitimately different ideas about things that would likely not really be able to interact under other circumstances. One can go on 4Chan and have debates about all kinds of things with people who believe all kinds of things, from almost any area of the political spectrum, in a way that is simply unlikely to exist anywhere else. One can go on the Slymepit to be a whiny fuck because some atheists are also feminists. There’s no real discussion to be had, nothing of real value to do. So if they want a Super Free Speech Zone that’s actually worth two shits, they can go to 4Chan, where people who share our views are just as capable of expressing what they have to say as people who share theirs. If they just want to call Stephanie fat, well, yeah, Slymepit’s probably better for that, but why would we ever want to talk to them about their “grievances”? If they want legitimately take-no-prisoners absolute free speech discussion, as a lot of these people claim, they should go somewhere that actually has a chance of calling them out on their bullshit, instead of just babbling on GiantAssholeEchoChamber.com.

  54. 54
    NoxiousNana

    Gee, they make cons sound so fun. Sign me up for none.

  55. 55
    Ben Zvan

    NoxiousNana: See Stephanie’s comment number 40 regarding conventions. As long as the convention you’re planning to attend has an even halfway reasonable harassment policy, you’re fine.

  56. 56
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Someone should send this to Steven Novella and ask if he would really mind a “purge” (as he put it) of these elements from the skeptical community.

    Because, obviously, the only reason we want them out is that they have different political views. It has nothing to do with them treating these views as sacred gospel and committing to the equivalent of a holy war when the gospel is questioned. Not at fucking all. =/

  57. 57
    Lee Moore

    Well aren’t you a friendly bunch. (this is more directed at some of the comments and less the op)

    Many of you are correct in one assumption, when I started out in this attempt to bring about a bit of a ceasefire and civil discussion I was very ignorant on the details of this on going conflict. I have of course been attempting to remedy that by meeting as many as I could on both sides and gain support for this project.

    One thing I do not understand is the hostility I have received at the attempt to do something about this. I am not asking anyone to give up their ideals, I just wanted to make an attempt to encourage all of us to act like the rational adults we all claim to be. Some consider that even the attempt at such a thing to be naive, I consider doing nothing to turn this situation back towards civil discussion to be just as bad as some of the personal attacks I have seen from both sides of whatever this is.

    Despite the lack of interest in being a part of this from some of you I am still going through with this attempt. I think we all agree the attacks need to stop, why wouldnt you want to do whatever you could to bring a postive outcome to this embarrassment on our community?

    If you really do wish to try and talk me out of this you are welcome to contact me at [email protected]
    You can also contact me there if you wish to support this effort

  58. 58
    Bjarte Foshaug

    @Setár #55

    Because, obviously, the only reason we want them out is that they have different political views.

    No, no, no! “Political views” is only something those darn feminists have. Theirs is the apolitical, non-ideological view. That’s why it never conflicts with Real Skepticism™. Advocating for basic human decency is sacrificing the integrity of skepticism on the altar of ideology, while pulling as hard as you can in the opposite direction is just the “neutral”, “non-sectarian”, default position, that must be adopted unless you are one of those crazy ideologues.

  59. 59
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I am not asking anyone to give up their ideals, I just wanted to make an attempt to encourage all of us to act like the rational adults we all claim to be.

    Wait, do you honestly think that the behaviour shown in the OP is that of rational adults? And that asking somebody to distance themselves from that before there is even any common ground to be had is asking too much?

  60. 60
    sawells

    Lee Moore writes “One thing I do not understand is the hostility I have received at the attempt to do something about this”. Lee Moore also writes “Many of you are correct in one assumption, when I started out in this attempt to bring about a bit of a ceasefire and civil discussion I was very ignorant on the details of this on going conflict.”

    Would anyone like to connect the dots here?

    It’s _incredibly insulting_ to plough into a controversy without educating yourself as to _what it’s about_, and then start with the assumption that both sides are equally at fault! You’d spot the false equivalence if somebody said “Atheism is just another religion” or “Evolution and creationism are equally valid explanations of the evidence”, but somehow “Feminists are just as bad as the SlymePit” doesn’t trip any alarms? Wow.

  61. 61
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Lee, why the ever loving fuck would we need to be “friendly” about this crap? Friendly? Really? Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, what an incredibly stupid and insensitive snark to make.

    Let’s get to making these rifts deeper and wider. Lee, stay on your side with your slimy friends. No one needs the kind of help you’re offering, you disingenuous jerk.

  62. 62
    A Hermit

    One thing I do not understand is the hostility I have received at the attempt to do something about this. I am not asking anyone to give up their ideals, I just wanted to make an attempt to encourage all of us to act like the rational adults we all claim to be.

    Well Lee, Here’s a little advice from an old scrapper…don’t get into the middle of someone else’s fight if you don’t know what it’s about.

    And please, do tell; what are you doing to “encourage” the people producing the crap Stephanie just showed you? Do they look like “rational adults” to you? Do you understand why rational adults might not be very interested in sitting down with these people?

    Why, for example. should Ms Zvan want to sit down with Reap Paden? So she can actually feel the spittle flying as he screams “fucking bitch” at her for twenty minutes??

  63. 63
    sueinnm

    I have been a lurker forever, and it seems as if I have been in a constant ferment of despair since I’ve seen how misogynistic so much of the atheist community can be. When I first discovered these blogs, I was so thrilled. I was quickly disabused of that atheists were uniformly more rational than believers.

    But the utter blindness of self-important “peacemakers” like Lee Moore, who can read this post and still not see that “both sides are not the same,” is profoundly depressing. It’s stinks of WMP, and the hypocrisy is staggering. Moore can make himself feel “above the fray” without even bothering to research the subject, and then when he implies he has, he STILL doubles down. He thinks he’s going to get any kind of “talk” going between someone like Paden and any woman who hasn’t bought into his worldview?

    I think I must have more contempt for people who think they’re doing good by giving a platform to raging, hateful misogynists than I do for the latter themselves.

    I would have broken the first time I received one of those horrendous e-mails or tweets or photos. I am astonished by your courage, Stephanie.

    But this is all so damned depressing …

  64. 64
    jenniferphillips

    Lee said:

    I consider doing nothing to turn this situation back towards civil discussion to be just as bad as some of the personal attacks I have seen from both sides of whatever this is.

    Yeah, this is why your proposal isn’t getting a very positive reception, Lee. It’s an outrageous false equivalence to declare that a refusal to “dialogue” with vicious, relentless bullies is JUST AS BAD as the bullying itself.

    No movement that I want to be a part of will suffer from attempts to marginalize the kind of behavior displayed in the OP. It’s really that simple.

  65. 65
    A Hermit

    SallyStrange @48

    The whole vein of insulting via fat/ugly/unfuckable is itself a manifestation of misogyny. If women’s most important markers of worthiness weren’t appearance and fuckability, these insults would be nonsense. You have to believe that in order to see these insults as worth using against people you don’t like.

    This^

    Anyone who can look at that crap and not see misogyny in it is trying very hard to not see misogyny…

  66. 66
    doubtthat

    @56 Lee Moore

    This project is doomed because you have decided to indulge in a malicious false equivalency. There is nothing like the Slymepit here, and if there were, I promise you that every member of FtB and 99% of the commenters would condemn and dismiss it.

    That was Stephanie’s condition: she will only engage with people who condemn the sort of shit she documented above. Since you’ve decided, like some ‘pox on both their houses’, mealy-mouthed Washington journalist (are you making a play to be the skeptic’s version of David Brooks?), that “civility” is your game, how are you so incapable of noticing that this is a completely one-directional issue? If they stop doing that horrifying, misogynist shit, your goal of civility is met and there really isn’t much of a disagreement anymore.

    The only way forward is to uncompromisingly call for an end to Slymepit behavior: harassment, misogynist insults…etc. Once that has stopped, then maybe a sit down could be productive.

    It’s _incredibly insulting_ to plough into a controversy without educating yourself as to _what it’s about_, and then start with the assumption that both sides are equally at fault!

    That was well said, sawells.

    I would add that it’s also insulting to think that the differences we’re dealing with are just misunderstandings that can be solved by sitting down and talking. That’s incredibly dismissive of the issues being raised largely by women in the skeptic community. It implies that they’re upset because they don’t understand what’s really going on, and if you just give Paden or THunderf00t or Vacula the chance to use their charm in person, all these little lady problems will just go away.

  67. 67
    Trophy

    I’ll offer a little perspective from someone who once in awhile visits and posts on the pit.

    First off, I agree that the extreme examples that SZ shows in this post are stupid, juvenile, and bigoted, e.g., those making fun of her physical appearance. I don’t see what’s the big deal about “Stefunny” though specially since creationists or republicans get called worse names here in FTBs. Anyways, personally, I don’t use names such as “Stefunny” even though I don’t see them really objectionable.

    Now, let’s go back to the main point of renouncing pit. The thing is, pit offers something that’s not offered in most places and that is the possibility of complete dissent. I’m not saying there is no dissent on FTB. I know not everyone gets banned if they express disagreement but you cannot also deny that there are people who get banned for expressing unpopular opinions, which in general is not a bad thing. You have the freedom to control your domain and your blog and make your commenting policy to achieve a certain kind of readership and commenting culture. You have decided that you will enforce some kind of moderation. That is fine. You will fill a niche in the world of internet and you will serve your goal: by putting some effort into moderation, you will get a set of comments will be of higher quality, at least with respect to your measures. Again, that is fine.

    Now, pit fills a different niche. Pit very rarely censors or bans and that offers a different trade-off. Over here, an ‘asshole’ who makes some stupid and inflammatory posts, gets banned and can never express his/her opinions, even though he/she might have a point, or relevant information on a different topic, or on a different day. This is your best case. In your worst-case, you can misunderstand someone and ban him/her for no good reason, and seeing that you are a human, I doubt you can actually deny that possibility. On the other hand, pit wont’ have this problem. The drawback is that for me, someone who does not enjoy looking at pictures that make fun of fat people, from time to time I have to wade through some crap, but I get to hear the opinions of the said ‘asshole’ from time to time and sometimes they do make sense and sometimes even if they do not make sense, they make me think. This is a different trade-off.

    Pit will never be a place without misogyny or bigotry because any asshole has the ability to post there. On the other hand, here will never be a place where all opinions have the possibility to be expressed. Each place has a different function and offers a different trade-off.

    So, at the end, “renouncing the pit” is not really a meaningful request because contrary to what most of your readers think, there are also a lot of debates that happen in the pit and some of them are even reasonable, and probably even with FTB measures! So, if you ask me to ‘renounce the pit’ my reply would be ‘renounce what part of the pit?’ Renouncing concrete actions, such as posting those stupid pictures make sense and I would do that.

  68. 68
    doubtthat

    Yeah, that’s nonsense. What is an example of a cultivated, interesting argument that can only happen in the Slymepit?

    There are endless venues to have those same arguments, the Pit just allows 1) people to say cunt over and over and 2) use harassment to chase out actual disagreement. Actual thinkers want nothing to do with that cesspool of self-righteous airheads. Thus, you just get simpletons arguing with simpletons and then a lot of collective cheer at the beating down of strawfeminism.

    You know as well as I do what would happen to a woman who went over there and started making the strong case on these issues. The Slymepit just empowers dumb people to be so disgusting that those sorts of conversations never happen.

  69. 69
    Raging Bee

    What’s ironic is that they actually lend support to the canard that atheists have no morals.

    Ironic? How do you know it’s not intentional?

  70. 70
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    First off, I agree that the extreme examples that SZ shows in this post are stupid, juvenile, and bigoted, e.g., those making fun of her physical appearance. I don’t see what’s the big deal about “Stefunny” though specially since creationists or republicans get called worse names here in FTBs. Anyways, personally, I don’t use names such as “Stefunny” even though I don’t see them really objectionable.

    Extreme? Laughable. That is the regulars on a normal day. Nothing extreme about it.

  71. 71
    Raging Bee

    I know not everyone gets banned if they express disagreement but you cannot also deny that there are people who get banned for expressing unpopular opinions…

    If you can’t offer any examples — as in, someone who was banned for his opinions, not for egregiously assholish conduct — than yes, we CAN deny it.

    I’ve been a FTB regular — and a SciBlogs regular before that — since 2005, and I can assure you, with absolute certainty, that: a) unpopular opinions are expressed on both platforms every day; and b) the overwhelming majority of people who are banned, are banned for bad conduct (or at least for incessant repetition of arguments that have already been dealth with), not for “unpopular opinions.”

    So once again, another lame attempt to excuse the Pit with a phony “equivalency” argument bites the dust. Take that “Trophy” and shove it back where it came from.

  72. 72
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Been hanging out at Pharyngula for about six years. People do get banned. But not because they are sexist, racist, creationist or any other violation of “hivemind” thought. It is because misbehave. For example, one sexist and racist commentator with a very garbled use of sciency talking points was banned for harassment.

    But for the pit, harassment is a feature, not a bug.

  73. 73
    Raging Bee

    One thing I do not understand is the hostility I have received at the attempt to do something about this.

    Out here in the real world, where words and actions have consequences, hostility is considered an appropriate response — if not the ONLY appropriate response — to blatant dishonesty. You got a problem with that? Then stop being dishonest.

    If you really do wish to try and talk me out of this you are welcome to contact me at [email protected] You can also contact me there if you wish to support this effort.

    You claim you want some sort of grand public dialogue to resolve issues that are important to all of us — but then you demand we talk to you through private channels, and then vanish from a place where you’re able to speak your piece with impunity. And you wonder why we don’t take your “offer” seriously?

    Tell you what, Lee…if you really want us to have a big productive talk with you and your chums, why don’t you start by telling us what we might expect to gain from such a dialogue? What benefits might come to our side? And what might you consider reasonable concessions from our side in return? Go ahead, boy, you know you have an audience here, let’s hear what you have to offer.

  74. 74
    Raging Bee

    I don’t see what’s the big deal about “Stefunny” though specially since creationists or republicans get called worse names here in FTBs. Anyways, personally, I don’t use names such as “Stefunny” even though I don’t see them really objectionable.

    I know for a fact that there are PLENTY pf people who are happy to explain what the “big deal” is. Have you tried listening to any of those people? You’re a smart guy, I’m sure you’d only need to listen to one before you’d get it.

  75. 75
    A Hermit

    Trophy @ 66

    So, at the end, “renouncing the pit” is not really a meaningful request because contrary to what most of your readers think, there are also a lot of debates that happen in the pit and some of them are even reasonable,

    I’ve actually spent some time wading through the slime and this is another thing I doubt you can offer too many example of. I haven’t any examples of reasonable debates over there; in fact it looks like the vast majority of topics have to do with slamming FtB or Skepchicks or individuals who blog at those places. The pit’s only purpose seems to be to facilitate the kind of crap highlighted in this post.

    This idea that having no moderation will somehow lead to a more open debate is the same kind of faulty reasoning that says the answer to gun violence is to give everybody a gun…all that happens in an environment where there are no standards is that the lowest common denominator wins out. Reasonable people aren’t going to bother trying to have a conversation over there because they know the second they step away from the Slymepit party line they will subjected to the same vile abuse seen above. There may not be a formal ban on dissent over there but the community of assholes will enforce conformity by making the experience so unpleasant for any dissenter that they just won’t bother coming back and trying to have a reasonable conversation. It’s not worth the effort especially when it’s clear the people you are talking to aren’t interested in really listening to anything that contradicts their preconceptions.

    If the pit’s purpose was anything other than providing an outlet for misogynist abuse then the people running it wouldn’t tolerate that crap.

    And it’s not “censorship”; you pitters are free to do whatever you like on your own forum. But what you permit and encourage in your forum tells others a lot about you. If misogynist abuse is permitted (and let’s be honest, it’s not just permitted it’s encouraged and celebrated over there) you shouldn’t be shocked if your association and defense of that place gets you a reputation as a misogynist, or at least an apologist for misogyny, yourself.

  76. 76
    Trophy

    What is an example of a cultivated, interesting argument that can only happen in the Slymepit?

    That is not what I claimed. I claimed in pit there is potential for cultivated and interesting arguments to come from someone who from time times makes enough shitty and stupid arguments to get him/her banned from most places in FTB. I did not say the same argument cannot come from someone else in FTB.

    An example of that off top of my head: Rysefn (or something) sometimes makes shitty and stupid posts. I’m sure he would be banned most places here. In the discussions of a gender neutral third person pronouns in English, he pointed out the existence of singular they. Again, I am not claiming that everyone in FTB is incapable of making the same argument. I’m saying he made an interesting point that he could not make in FTB. Case closed. So, let’s move on.

    You know as well as I do what would happen to a woman who went over there and started making the strong case on these issues.

    There would be a lot of cursing. And strawmaning. And moving goalposts. Typical of most internet discussions.

    @Raging Bee:
    This:

    If you can’t offer any examples — as in, someone who was banned for his opinions, not for egregiously assholish conduct — than yes, we CAN deny it.

    Contradicts this:

    the overwhelming majority of people who are banned, are banned for bad conduct (or at least for incessant repetition of arguments that have already been dealth with),

    Getting banned for insisting on an opinion is getting banned for expressing an opinion.

    I know for a fact that there are PLENTY pf people who are happy to explain what the “big deal” is. Have you tried listening to any of those people? You’re a smart guy, I’m sure you’d only need to listen to one before you’d get it.

    Well I am listening. And while we are at it, would you mind explaining why the word “libertard”, with a pun on people with mental retardation, is okay to use? As in:

    I remember arguing with one libertard who was going on about how…[Posted by "Raging Bee" on the discussion of "Macro economics for dummies "]

    Thanks.

  77. 77
    Raging Bee

    So, at the end, “renouncing the pit” is not really a meaningful request…

    So the ONE AND FUCKING ONLY REQUEST YOU HEAR FROM OUR SIDE gets rejected as “unreasonable,” with no counteroffer made in return? Thanks, Trophy, you’ve just proven this whole “peace offer” schtick is nothing but an insulting farce. You Pitties aren’t even mature enough to understand the basics of negotiation, are you?

    If giving up vile, insulting, infantile behavior and trying to act like grownups is “unreasonable” to you, then you have nothing to offer, and you’re not worth our time. Grow the fuck up already!

  78. 78
    Raging Bee

    Getting banned for insisting on an opinion is getting banned for expressing an opinion.

    No, it’s not, you stupid prick. I am referring to people who expressed a certain opinion, with impunity, then saw their opinions refuted, then incessantly repeated the same rubbish over and over,ignoring all of the points made in response to it, even to the extent of hijacking other threads to rehash the same losing argument. They got banned for trolling obnoxious repetition, not for the original opinion. If you can’t see the difference, then you’re not smart enough to judge us.

    And while we are at it, would you mind explaining why the word “libertard”, with a pun on people with mental retardation, is okay to use?

    The word “retarded” is derived from a Latin word meaning “slow” or “late.” Which is perfectly appropriate to describe the intellectual and moral development of most libertarians.

  79. 79
    doubtthat

    @75 Trophy

    I’m saying he made an interesting point that he could not make in FTB. Case closed. So, let’s move on.

    Uh, no, you don’t get to decide when the discussion has ended.

    And you have not proved your point. He easily could make that point on FTB, he would just have to drop the other horrible stuff. The only value-added component of the Pit is the bullshit.

    Recall the context: Stephanie said that she won’t engage with anyone unless they separate themselves from the Pit first. She’s essentially saying, “Let’s have a discussion without people calling me a whore and a slut and a cunt and bombarding my e-mail with threats and harassment.” You have offered nothing to suggest that this an unreasonable position.

    There would be a lot of cursing. And strawmaning. And moving goalposts. Typical of most internet discussions.

    Two points:
    1) If it’s just a “typical” place, why is it necessary or useful or important to the point that the idea of someone “renouncing” it is unacceptable? Either it provides something unique or who gives a shit?

    2) Have you ever received the sort of treatment Stephanie has? I’ve been on message boards and internet forums right from the fucking beginning. I’ve argued with 9-11 freaks, Holocaust deniers, anti-choices, Tea Partiers, White Supremacists, religious fundamentalists…and on and on. Never at any point in my internet life has anyone remotely gone after me like your buddies go after her. You are trying to minimize the sick obsession of that place. The reaction to a woman voicing a certain set of opinions amongst that crowd will receive a disgusting, a-typical response. That’s sort of the point.

  80. 80
    Stephanie Zvan

    The word “retarded” is derived from a Latin word meaning “slow” or “late.” Which is perfectly appropriate to describe the intellectual and moral development of most libertarians.

    No. Trophy’s original argument was a classic tu quoque. We’re not having this derailing argument here. The next person to try goes into moderation and doesn’t get to comment any more on this thread.

    Trophy, I have “banned” two people, both of whom insisted I had to listen to their abuse, even if I never posted their comments. Their comments go straight to spam now. Anyone else is in moderation, subject to my whim and what I feel like dealing with that day. They generally got there because they refused to deal with the arguments presented to them.

  81. 81
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Getting banned for insisting on an opinion is getting banned for expressing an opinion.

    Repeat those magic words often enough and perhaps it might become the truth.

  82. 82
    Ben Zvan

    Getting banned for insisting on an opinion is getting banned for expressing an opinion.

    Repeatedly insisting on an opinion is different from repeating the same argument after it has been debunked. If someone told said the Earth was flat and their only argument against proof by space travel, geometry, sunrise and set, etc. was “the Earth is flat” then I would consider their debate irrational and dismissible.

    In the discussions of a gender neutral third person pronouns in English…

    And I’m sure everyone is proud to have settled on s/h/it.

  83. 83
    Raging Bee

    Well I am listening.

    No, you’re not; otherwise you would have at least acknowledged comment #48 above. Not to mention the OP.

  84. 84
    Trophy

    There are too many replies. In general, if I don’t reply to something it’s because
    either I don’t want to derail something (As Stefanie insisted) or because I have already
    made a point and I can live with disagreeing.

    @A Hermit:

    Reasonable discussions happen, depending on who is around. But this is of course internet where the bar for reasonable discussions is pretty damn low. I personally do not mind to have my discussions there because I personally do not like to have a blogoverlord and on some issues there is actually less cursing there than on FTB during disagreements.

    There may not be a formal ban on dissent over there but the community of assholes will enforce conformity by making the experience so unpleasant for any dissenter that they just won’t bother coming back and trying to have a reasonable conversation.

    In general, that is a valid objection, i.e., that the type of people who frequent a place influence the decision of other people to join. However, I disagree with “making the experience so unpleasant part” and also the “community of assholes” but of course we have different standards. The thing about the pit is that the discussions move fast, so people give up after going back and forth a few times.

    If the pit’s purpose was anything other than providing an outlet for misogynist abuse then the people running it wouldn’t tolerate that crap.

    As I said, think of pit as a bar, or a park. As long as you are not breaking the law, you won’t get kicked out. That’s it. As I said, there are pros and cons to the way pit is set up. Calling to “renounce the pit” to me sounds like renouncing a park. It is a sentence that does not carry a fixed specific meaning and could be understood differently depending on the mental state of the one who receives it.

    And no, it’s purpose is not to provide an outlet for misogynist abuse. It’s purpose is to provide a place where no censorship/moderation occurs.

    Censorship and moderations are good tools and it would be stupid to request all moderations be lifted from everywhere. But it would also be unreasonable to ask people to renounce every place where due to lack of moderation would contain bigotted material, specially, since if you ban a certain type of posts from your blogs, they would naturally congragate in a place where censorship does not exist. As I said, I renounce material that I thinks are objectionable but I do not renounce the idea of having a moderationfree zone.

    Trophy, you’ve just proven this whole “peace offer” schtick is …

    Personally, I’m indifferent about peace talks. I personally do not like JV and I don’t really care about him.

    And you have not proved your point. He easily could make that point on FTB, he would just have to drop the other horrible stuff. The only value-added component of the Pit is the bullshit.

    Perhaps. But it is not the same thing. The value-added component of Pit is lack of editing of posts, no deletion of posts, no censorship, and no moderation. It’s the difference between being a freelancer and working for someone. Maybe you can do the exact same job in both cases but it’s not the same experience.

    She’s essentially saying, “Let’s have a discussion without people calling me a whore and a slut and a cunt and bombarding my e-mail with threats and harassment.” You have offered nothing to suggest that this an unreasonable position.

    I would agree that to have a reasonable discussion, she should not be called those names. I get that is what “renouncing pit” means to her. The point is that, “renouncing pit” does not mean that to me. It means something else. That’s how online communication works. Internet comments and posts are imperfect ways to tranfer thoughts and meanings.

    Have you ever received the sort of treatment Stephanie has?

    Nope. And I think it’s stupid and immature.

    Trophy, I have “banned” two people, both of whom insisted I had to listen to their abuse, even if I never posted their comments. Their comments go straight to spam now. Anyone else is in moderation, subject to my whim and what I feel like dealing with that day. They generally got there because they refused to deal with the arguments presented to them.

    Okay, I stand corrected on the number of “banned” people.

  85. 85
    Raging Bee

    There are too many replies…

    Yeah, too much information for your delicate little head to handle. Sucks to be you, doesn’t it?

    … I disagree with “making the experience so unpleasant part” and also the “community of assholes” but of course we have different standards.

    Yeah, yours are so much lower as to be of no use to us. Are we supposed to be impressed by that?

    Why the fuck should we care what a person of such low standards thinks of anything? You’re certainly not bringing anything new or intelligent to this discussion.

    I would agree that to have a reasonable discussion, she should not be called those names. I get that is what “renouncing pit” means to her. The point is that, “renouncing pit” does not mean that to me. It means something else.

    If you don’t care what it means to her (and us), why should we care what it means to you? Go back to your private little bubble-verse where you’re the specialest little snowflake in the world, and stop pretending you have anything to contribute here. You’re obviously not grown-up enough to participate in this conversation.

  86. 86
    Stephanie Zvan

    Raging Bee, that’s not a call you get to make here.

  87. 87
    doubtthat

    Perhaps. But it is not the same thing. The value-added component of Pit is lack of editing of posts, no deletion of posts, no censorship, and no moderation. It’s the difference between being a freelancer and working for someone. Maybe you can do the exact same job in both cases but it’s not the same experience.

    You’re failing to distinguish between process and outcome. I realize the Pit does things differently, and I understand what those differences are. What I’m trying to asses is what is gained from having that different process. So far I have yet to see an example of something good that has come from indulging in so much bad.

    If it were the case that this “freedom” generated something worthwhile, then maybe Paden or Vacula or whoever would have some justification for maintaining their relationship with the cesspool (and recall, Vacula, at least, isn’t a passive member. He recorded a video mocking a commentor on FtB, which in addition to being petty, means that he is an active member).

    You guys can’t have it both ways. Either you behave as adults with thoughtful views and positions, or you act like a bunch of children and scream and pout and throw temper tantrums and harass the shit out of everyone you disagree with. Now, if you just want to do the latter on the slymepit, then no one is going to engage with you and the community, which you may notice is largely moving away from that side, will continue to ostracize you. If, however, you want to be treated seriously, then you might have to distance yourself from the freedom to treat women poorly.

    As a beginning point, you should have some notion of the value of the slymepit. If the “freedom to call someone a slut over and over” leads to an important outcome, I’d love to hear it. In reality, that freedom is an end in its own right, so we can just evaluate its worth, and there really isn’t any.

  88. 88
    manuel moegarcia

    A perpetual supply of people offering to “moderate” between Atheists for Social Justice and Misogynistic Atheists, with a suspicious complete ignorance of what has proceeded so they can plead a false equivalence.

    An obvious ploy for notoriety. A prerequisite should be examining the wreckage of the last attempt, as a show of sincerity.

  89. 89
    Raging Bee

    An example of that off top of my head: Rysefn (or something) sometimes makes shitty and stupid posts. I’m sure he would be banned most places here. In the discussions of a gender neutral third person pronouns in English, he pointed out the existence of singular they.

    Jesus Fracking Christ — that’s the one unique insight that you get by allowing all the relentless babyish screaming hatred and rape jokes? Guess what, boy — we all managed to learn about that from grownups, without having to wade into a sewer main. That’s all you got? Seriously?!

    I don’t even have the words to describe how small-minded and pathetic you Pitties sound. You guys are downright “Pittiful.” (That’s the plural you, not the singular they, just so you know.)

  90. 90
    Ben Zvan

    66: I don’t use names such as “Stefunny” even though I don’t see them really objectionable.

    83: (As Stefanie insisted)

    Huh…

  91. 91
    A Hermit

    no, it’s purpose is not to provide an outlet for misogynist abuse. It’s purpose is to provide a place where no censorship/moderation occurs.

    And the only reason for the lack of censorship is to give the blowhards a place to slap each other on the back for their latest offensive “bon mot” or photoshop effort. If reasoned debate is your goal there are plenty of places to find that where you won’t have to put up with a pack of drooling adolescents posting abusive sexist crap.

    There’s nothing daring or bold or revolutionary or freedom loving about the lack of moderation in places like the Slymepit. The people who run such places like to wrap themselves in some kind of libertarian free speech flag but they aren’t crusaders for liberty and justice; they are small minded, self centered little people with nothing of value to contribute to the conversation the rest of us are having and they are just jumping up and down howling “look at us” like a bunch of spoiled toddlers.

    Can you give us an example of an actual substantive discussion of some skeptical/atheist topic not involving complaints about feminism which has taken place at the Slymepit which could not have been held somewhere where such behaviour was not accepted?

  92. 92
    jenniferphillips

    The value-added component of Pit is lack of editing of posts, no deletion of posts, no censorship, and no moderation.

    and this is bullshit, as evidenced by this weekend event. A pit commenter crossed a line. There are lines at the pit after all, it seems. A comment was repudiated, the offending comment was edited after the fact, and lots of subsequent discussion ensued about what sort of moderation needed to be in place.

    So, the commentariat there no longer have a collective leg to stand on regarding censorship & free speech accusations. It’s a no-brainer that not every blog or internet destination will mod in the same way. The various blogs right here at FTB have different standards for what they will and won’t let through depending on what kind of climate the individual blog authors are after, but everyone–EVERYONE–has a line.

  93. 93
    Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner

    This has made me sadder than anything else I’ve seen on the internet today, and that’s saying something.

    To those who claim that the pit is valuable because you get to have “dissent” there and not elsewhere: Fine. Create a new forum or implement new moderation strategies in which angry diatribes against FtB are allowed but the sort of crap in this post is not. Or explain why, exactly, your forum needs to have more “free speech” than would be allowed in any public space or media outlet in the United States, which, after all, was founded on (among other things) the idea of free speech. What are you hoping to gain by calling people cunts and photoshopping images of them? Please explain.

  94. 94
    Ben Zvan

    @jenniferphillips: Oh nice. One of the reactions to this post in the pit was something like “look! No rape threats!” and then some dumb guy drops that one right in the middle of the pile.

  95. 95
    Jason Thibeault

    How many bloggers actually edit comments around here? I know some do, but it’s not exactly a universal (or even majority) thing. Most just mod and leave the posts standing as-is to shame the shameless.

  96. 96
    Jason Thibeault

    (And that’s another thing that the ‘Pit is guilty of, that they can’t even provide evidence that WE do.)

  97. 97
    jenniferphillips

    @ Ben, I know, right? But it’s still being downplayed by some over there as hyperbolic drunken utterances, rather than a true ‘threat’. It was, I guess, encouraging that the small number of commenters (and one mod) who were active at the time seemed pretty unified in their distaste, but the aftermath has been all ‘thanks, [asshole commenter], for making us look bad’ and completely avoids examination of why that is.

    I’ve checked back there a couple of times because my name is now associated with that post at Jason’s. Pit people are accusing me of lying about the mixed reaction to the ‘acid attack’ comment, saying that they were ALL against it from the start. Pit people, if you’re reading this– I got there in the first place from the Stephanie’s link that went to the ‘prune cunt’ image, because Jason challenged his readers to find dissent. I did, and I reported it, so…you’re welcome. However, if you’re continuing to joke about it (as evidenced by the very image that took me there), I don’t consider that 100% repudiation. If you’re saying ‘well, I didn’t think it was cool, but this was just what Ophelia wanted to happen’, I don’t consider that 100% repudiation. If you’re more concerned–as ALSO seems to be the case with SDG’s transgression–about how these things make YOU look, versus how they might be damaging the actual targets, I’m not inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt, and I’m sure as shit not going to do your statistics for you.

  98. 98
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I followed the link that jenniferphillips provided. What followed was the relatively new slymie, Edward Gemmer, yammering about FtB being like right wingers. Carlie provided Gemmer with a link to Rebecca Watson’s Objectified post and asked his opinion.

    His response.

    So Edward, here’s today’s example. What are your thoughts?

    I don’t get the joke. There are better dirty Ms Paint drawings around. If you like college football, try Prevail and Ride, though warning NSFW.

    You see, that picture was a joke that Gemmer does not understand.

    How comfortable life must be when one can claim not to understand what is being argued about and yet demand that everyone understands you.

    *spits*

  99. 99
    Ben Zvan

    That was in the slymepit? I can’t find it there.

  100. 100
    A Hermit

    But it’s still being downplayed by some over there as hyperbolic drunken utterances, rather than a true ‘threat’.

    Yeah, there’s a lot of that over there. It’s like they know they’re going ot get criticized for that stuff so they all jump in to make some statement about how “of course I don’t support that kind of thing….BUT…” followed with a long exercise in pretzel logic explaining why it wasn’t THAT bad, it was “just a joke” etc etc.

    Nice catch, by the way…

  101. 101
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Not the pit. From jenniferphillips’ link.

    Here is the comment. It is on Jason Thibeault’s blog.

  102. 102
    Ben Zvan

    Ahh…thanks for the clarification. I followed the link in the link instead.

    All these fake sextapes and whatnot have me wondering if anyone in the pit has figured out they’re basically condoning the posting of depictions of rape. I’ve met most of these people and I’m pretty sure none of them would consent to having sex with each other.

  103. 103
    SallyStrange

    Pit will never be a place without misogyny or bigotry because any asshole has the ability to post there. On the other hand, here will never be a place where all opinions have the possibility to be expressed.

    Both these statements are correct.

    No place can give a fair hearing to ALL opinions.

    The slimepit has, by your own admission, chosen to make a space on the net for bigotry. As if there weren’t already enough spaces for that.

    Yes, people should renounce that.

  104. 104
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Trophy, #76:

    An example of that off top of my head: Rysefn (or something) sometimes makes shitty and stupid posts. I’m sure he would be banned most places here. In the discussions of a gender neutral third person pronouns in English, he pointed out the existence of singular they.

    Ryfsteyn was no doubt following on from the comment of mine that had been partially quoted from another forum, introduced over there at the SPit solely to make mockery of it, and where I had been discussing the variety of solutions to gender neutral pronouns: I covered modern invented pronouns, I mentioned the singular they, and I also described gender neutral pronouns that are offensive to transgender and intersex people. I’m well aware that authors who are seen as exemplars of English prose style, like Shakespeare and Austen, employed the singular they. This is not really that remarkable an observation to make as to elevate the SPit to being a domain of cultivated and interesting arguments.

    Would you now like to explain why the SPit deliberately fixed (unofficially, but more honoured in the observance than the breach) upon a gender neutral pronoun designed to give maximum offense and reinforce bigoted attitudes of transphobia towards transgender people?

  105. 105
    Anthony K

    I’m sure he would be banned most places here.

    I’m saying he made an interesting point that he could not make in FTB. Case closed.

    That’s just awesome, how you did that. Used a conclusion you assumed to make your point.

    Thank god for the slymepit, as there aren’t enough places on the net for total fucking made up bullshit.

  106. 106
    Stephanie Zvan

    Yep. No one at FtB would ever suggest the singular “they”.

  107. 107
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    But that was from before Greta was merged into the collective, so it does not count.

  108. 108
    Jason Thibeault

    Janine: okay. How about this conversation from after I joined the hivemind?

  109. 109
    Jason Thibeault

    Oh, and I remember Rystefn. He was put into moderation after never getting to speak his dissent, much less for 70-ish comments. Over multiple threads.

  110. 110
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Jason, I was kidding.

  111. 111
    Jason Thibeault

    I’m not going to say “my sarcasm detector was broken” because honestly, I’m not sure if I was irritated or amused into responding. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember.

    ;)

  112. 112
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I was hoping that you have seen me around FtB to realize that.

    But I will stop now. Do not want to derail.

  113. 113
    Jason Thibeault

    Heh. I have. I’m in a goofy mood, is all.

  114. 114
    xenologer

    I’m still a little tired of what I see as the implication from Lee Moore and other fence-sitters that the “truth” of the situation, the “most reasonable” position is somewhere precisely in the middle of the alleged-extremes, one of which is that women should be believed when they say they’re being sexually harassed and that sexual harassment is bad, and one of which is that women deserve to receive explicit rape threats, death threats, and stalking because they talked back at men.

    I mean, the Golden Mean Fallacy is obnoxious no matter what, but I’m particularly tired of seeing neutrality in the face of unambiguously shitty behavior treated like it’s morally laudable simply because it is pretending to be in the middle.

  115. 115
    Shari

    Trophy is going on about the pit serving a purpose.

    What good is a society that doesn’t protect itself from self-destruction?

    Atheism (presumably? i am not at all sure anymore) should benefit from hearing varied opinions and voices.

    But any group/society/association that won’t protect it’s members from intended harm – and if those images (where Did that brain bleach go?) are not intended to be hurtful, why are they so graphic and personal? – is going to crumble.

    I have only had one cup of coffee, and I have been following this for as long as I could stomach it (over a year at least) and I cannot understand why people in the pit tell the targets ‘get over it’, but they won’t tell the harassers ‘get over being an immature vicious jerk – you are hurting people.’ i don’t understand this at all.

  116. 116
    A Hermit

    Atheism (presumably? i am not at all sure anymore) should benefit from hearing varied opinions and voices.

    But any group/society/association that won’t protect it’s members from intended harm – and if those images (where Did that brain bleach go?) are not intended to be hurtful, why are they so graphic and personal? – is going to crumble.

    Well said.

    And contrary to the argument made by Torch and other ‘pit supporters the “no rules” nature of the pit actually makes it a place where fewer voices are heard. The idea that this kind of abusive behaviour is not only acceptable but actually necessary in some way sends a message to women and minorities that they are not welcome, that if they choose to participate in this community they should expect to be subjected to all kinds of vicious personal attacks and that they should just take it and not complain.

    This is not the way to build a movement…

  117. 117
    smhll

    In sixth grade, some asshat(s) made a flyer/newsletter/something or other with a picture (drawing? who even knows? I never saw it, only heard about it after it had been dealt with by teachers–and after it had been passed around and snickered over) of me hugging (or something) one of my few (but more than I’d had in fifth grade, thank goodness) friends, with some kind of caption about our obvious faggotry. But since it wasn’t true, I shouldn’t have been upset, right?

    I want to respond to this heartfelt comment from far upthread. I strongly agree with the point you are making. (Even though the framing is inverted. Yes, you were entitled to be upset.)

    I wanted to point out that it actually isn’t so much the content of the taunt or the cartoon or the dig or slur that matters, it’s the fact that they hate you enough that they want to hurt you that is devastating.

  118. 118
    Klang

    Stephanie is such a trip – apparently, since Rebecca didn’t tell ftb that she was out to destroy TAM, she wasn’t…
    Wait a sec, I thought intent didn’t matter? When I had posted Amy’s address here and had said that my intentions were not malicious, I was utterly dismissed by ftb bloggers. Apparently now, because Rebecca had no intent — as Stephanie says — she’s clear of any charges regardless of what happened as a result of what she wrote.

    So Rebecca said she wasn’t out to destroy TAM.
    TAM in fact wasn’t destroyed.
    Therefore Rebecca wanted to destroy TAM.

    These people are as ridiculous as they are obnoxious. Just what is this obsession? I’m not a particularly busy person compared to many others, but I don’t have time to do photoshops and post endlessly to threads dedicated to hating a blog network for the crime of being feminist.

    I’d feel sorry for the pitters for not having anything more productive to do with their lives if they weren’t so disgusting.

  119. 119
    Forbidden Snowflake

    The idea that this kind of abusive behaviour is not only acceptable but actually necessary in some way sends a message to women and minorities that they are not welcome, that if they choose to participate in this community they should expect to be subjected to all kinds of vicious personal attacks and that they should just take it and not complain.
    Bullying selects for thick skin, not for sharp brain.

  120. 120
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    A Hermit, thanks for your post, I’m sort of replying to where your comment about the SPit ended and then going off on my own tangent. (I imagine you were referring to ‘Trophy’, when you mentioned Torch.)

    A lot of Internet spaces are like that – not only do they become ‘marked’ as male dominated, but the participants (even while claiming to revere Freeze Peach) enforce a culture where difference and diversity that individuals bring to that space won’t be encouraged; people who are othered by the toxic culture that is in place will not be made to feel welcome and their expression repressed unless they fall into line with the bullies’ paradigm of how they want their space to run. (To a degree this process also happens at other places where diversity is supposed to be encouraged, and this is a failing; but it is definitively not an easy problem to solve. Good, welcoming spaces tend to be run by people who are aware of this and try to balance out and mitigate the conflicting elements at work.)

    Moreover, as the example of the bullying of Anita Sarkeesian shows, the people (mostly men) who engage in these behaviours that we see amongst the SPitters, want the entire Internet to run the way they like it, and their enablers will throw up no end of excuses like, “this is just how the internet works, get real, get used to it”, “stop whining and grow a thicker skin” – all the usual things we’ve heard for the last couple of years to justify the unjustifiable.

    So a place like FTB with a variety of blogs each running in different ways but frequently going against that model of sexist domination, becomes a collection of enemy battlegrounds to be colonised and subdued. That it’s a game to these people and the blogs are target-rich places for raids, attacks, and incursions, is largely the point of Sarkeesian’s TED video — if you haven’t watched it or prefer not to, the transcript alone is enlightening.

    Why isn’t a multi-blog website like Skeptic Ink also a compelling target for colossal amounts of trolling (which might be called battleground tactics)? There’s an obvious reason, which is that the false equivalence of “both sides” in this conflict is indeed, false; the blogs over there are not seen as threats, by anyone. A call for a cease-fire is fatuous when there is only one side actually doing the fighting, while the other side is mainly absorbing and occasionally resisting the blows.

    And I’m now getting really tired of fighting metaphors.

  121. 121
    scoopdotorg

    New video out by Mykeru. Quite a few Free Thought Bloggers and Skepchicks mentioned.
    Stephanie Zvan, Rebecca Watson, Greg Laden, Melody Hensley, Ophelia Benson.
    It goes for 48 minutes.

  122. 122
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    New video out by Mykeru…it goes for 48 minutes.

    Which is about 47 minutes, 58 seconds more than I’m prepared to spend listening to that vile character hoggle while spouting his ill-considered hate.

  123. 123
    scoopdotorg

    It’s not that Hoggle guy. Hoggle is Australian i am guessing and myker is from the states.

    He talks a lot about his love of animals and his pet hate of clowns.

  124. 124
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Not ‘Hoggle’ the person,’hoggle’ the verb.

  125. 125
    Raging Bee

    … I cannot understand why people in the pit tell the targets ‘get over it’, but they won’t tell the harassers ‘get over being an immature vicious jerk – you are hurting people.’ i don’t understand this at all.

    That’s easy — they’re immature vicious jerks who enjoy hurting people. What’s not to understand?

    And here’s something else that’s easy to understand: there’s no point whatsoever in having any kind of “dialogue” with people like that. Every society, every generation, has its share of immature vicious jerks who enjoy hurting people and have nothing better to do, and who, for whatever reason, have simply been unable to participate in civilized interaction. And all any society can do with them is isolate, marginalize, and ignore them, and keep them from having any power to do harm, by whatever means prove appropriate.

  126. 126
    Alan Towers

    I support what you do Stephanie Zvan, I cannot nor, will not reply to your negative commenters. Your voice is appreciated.

  127. 127
    bradleybetts

    Christ, should have listened to the NSFW tag :-/ Stephanie, you have my utmost admiration for putting up with all that shit. I’ve only recently become aware of the Slymepit and I’ve never been on there, and on the strength of all the quotes I’ve seen on FtB, I never will. It seems to be the worst kind of 4Chan-like internet pit, full of gutless keyboard warriors with no fucking concept of boundaries abusing their anonymity in order to be disgusting; all with a foul aftertaste of misogyny. Ugh.

  128. 128
    slowdjinn

    I would say I read the op with mounting disbelief, but I’ve encountered far too many of such ‘people’ for that to be true. And to think I thought I was done with all that when I left high school…
    Thanks, Stephanie, for the public service – I am in *awe* of all of you who are on the receiving end of this shit and refuse to let it silence you (and completely respect those who have had to cycle back from the front lines to preserve their sanity).

  129. 129
    Raging Bee

    …all with a foul aftertaste of misogyny.

    What, the beforetaste and duringtaste of misogyny were better?

    And to think I thought I was done with all that when I left high school…

    Am I hearing an echo here? This is the most obvious and relevant thing to remember about the MRAs: the behavior we’re seeing from them is infantile, in every literal sense of the word — beneath all the bluster and unhinhged ideological hate, these are people who either cannot or will not grow up and move past the thought patterns of teenage boys. This “movement” isn’t ideological, it’s pathological.

  1. 130
    Stupid is as stupid does » Pharyngula

    [...] Free speech is not an automatic good. Stephanie Zvan has done a fabulous job of documenting the tactical mode of some of our opponents, the ones who claim to dwell in “a bastion of the most free of free speech”, where they are totally free to say whatever they like, and where the shoddy operations of their lazy, slimy brains are openly exposed for all to see. These are the people who think the argument “YOUR FAT AND UGLY” is cogent, and who think spicing it up…. [...]

  2. 131
    What they don’t get » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] below. But also, it should help make it clearer what women like me, like the other Skepchicks, like Stephanie Zvan, like Greta Christina, like Ophelia Benson, deal with on a daily [...]

  3. 132
    Of Book Burnings and Fundamentalism » Almost Diamonds

    [...] he has as a “reasonable” party in these matters. When his comments appear next to the ugliness, he legitimizes that ugliness, particularly when he turns a blind eye to the behavior. He is also [...]

  4. 133
    Definitely Not Equal » En Tequila Es Verdad

    [...] Gosh. That’s certainly some cogent criticism right there. Very reasoned. Oh, and here we have a whole sparkling collection of wit and erudition, crowned with some intellectual’s amazing trifecta of sexism, ageism, and violence (see here [...]

  5. 134
    Repairs under way » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] Stephanie recorded a lot of examples the other day, ending with one for me. [...]

  6. 135
    Not About the Words » Almost Diamonds

    [...] about that: That thing that the slime pit does where they work hard at messing with my name (NSFW)? You know why they do it? Back in the day when the sexists were less organized, there was a great [...]

  7. 136
    A Platform for Reasonable Dialog » Almost Diamonds

    [...] Engage in fat and age shaming. [...]

  8. 137
    What Happens at the Slime Pit… » Almost Diamonds

    [...] am ever so helpfully informed sometimes that I shouldn’t complain about the kind of crap that gets posted about me at the slime pit. After all, these self-described rational people say, I don’t have to go [...]

  9. 138
    PitchGuest Gives the Game Away … The #Slymepit is Full of Trolls » Oolon's Blog

    [...] like “Skepsheik” want to establish a false equivalence between their own terrible behaviour and some bad jokey “threats” from years ago on Pharyngula. To achieve this [...]

  10. 139
    How Many Fires Should the Arsonists be Allowed to Set? » En Tequila Es Verdad

    [...] Engage in fat and age shaming. [...]

  11. 140
    Splitting the difference between reality and mythology » Lousy Canuck

    [...] Do that. That’s what this community is supposed to be about, hearing all ideas. Pro tip: disagreement doesn’t look like this. Nor this. Nor anything remotely close to this. Try argumentation, evidence and reason instead, sans [...]

  12. 141
    Unskeptical Complaints | Dubito Ergo Sum

    […] need to do so. There are plenty of people on the Block Bot’s lists, and on the various pages documenting this harassment who are perfectly willing to say abusive, offensive, and antagonistic things right […]

  13. 142
    Lessons from #AtheismPlus | Reality Enthusiast

    […] We are not alone. Other communities are taking a stand against sexism and related problems. Forging solidarity is mutually encouraging, and it helps add to the knowledge base. When we compare notes, we often find commonalities we might never have guessed existed. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14] […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>