Let me know if he says anything that makes it worth eight minutes of my time and sitting through a podcaster who can’t be bothered to figure out how to pronounce the name of someone who says it half a dozen times every other weekend for her radio show. Right now, it’s past my bedtime.
Or feel free to transcribe your favorite bits in the comments. I assume there was a reason it wasn’t all written down in plain text for quoting.
Update: athyco has come through with a transcript! I’m (slowly) going through and making sure we agree on the wording, as well as adding some annotations for tone and images.
I’ll include them here when I’m done. These are now included.
Hi, Justin Vacula here, recording a YouTube video in response to [image of a comment by Melody Hensley on Center for Inquiry's blog] Stephanie Zvan’s blogpost February 26, 2013, titled “Think About the Consequences!”. Stephanie Zvan responds to some advice that I provided for people who face criticism and hate on the internet. I wrote:
Do not directly or indirectly engage with dissenters.
Avoid commenting on websites of your ideological opponents.
Refrain from attacking individuals; stick to criticism of ideas rather than persons.
Consider how people might respond to what you write. Can something be reframed so as to not lead to undesirable criticism?
Avoid sharing content when experiencing heightened emotions (great anger, disgust, stress, etc)
Consider sharing something with friends before it becomes public. A second (or third) set of eyes might suggest helpful edits which would avoid negative feedback.
[image of a different comment by Melody Hensley on Center for Inquiry's blog] Steven Novella agreed with this and said, “Your specific recommendations at the end of your last comment are all reasonable.”
Stephanie Zvan does not like what I had to say. She authored a blog post here, and she talks about [dismissive tone] harassment that some people face. She says she faces harassment on the internets [sic] and claims that Novella says I am minimizing and mischaracterizing the situation. The situation which is Stephanie Zvan and friends experiencing negative…negative pushback on the internet, [image of a different comment by Melody Hensley on Center for Inquiry's blog] which is people commenting on Twitter, blogs–some of them saying nasty things admittedly. She considers it cyberstalking and harassment.
Well, it’s really besides [sic] the point of this YouTube video, and I’ve addressed this before. And Stephanie Zvan writes:
I’m not sure what I would have done in his position. [sic]
…referring to Steve Novella. She continues:
It generally sounds reasonable until you realize that half of those amount to [Valley Girl accent] “Stop talking” and the rest–given as advice–assume facts not in evidence.
I’m not really sure what she means by that. [image of a comment by EllenBeth Wachs on Center for Inquiry's blog] My recommendations here, for people who face criticism and hate to reduce the criticism and hate, are very reasonable things people can do. It’s what Karla Porter refers to–and I’m sure many others–as reputation management. The way people present themselves [image of a tweet by Amanda Marcotte] has something to do with their perception, with the criticism they receive.
After all, as I’ve pointed out on many occasions, there are many women on the internet–there are many feminists on the internet, some of them including men, who write about feminism, who write about women’s issues, who write about anything given in the world, and they don’t receive the level of criticism, negative feedback, what Stephanie Zvan calls harassment and cyberstalking. [image of a Twitter exchange with EllenBeth Wachs] They don’t receive this.
So the situation is that some people negative criticism and pushback on the internet while other don’t. So there has to be some kind of reason why this is the case. Magical harassment fairies, magical cyberstalking fairies, magical negative dissenters–whatever you want to call them–don’t just appear out of thin air and criticize people on the internet. It doesn’t happen that way.
But there has to be some reason behind it, right? These people aren’t just going to randomly pop up. So I give some advice for people. [image of a tweet from EllenBeth Wachs] And I really think that if you’re going to be on the internet, you’re going to be talking a big game, you’re going to be saying really nasty things about people–calling people “sexist”, calling people “misogynsist”–instead of approaching the situation in a different manner and being charitable and saying, “Well, maybe what you have to say there could have been reframed differently.” Instead of engaging in a call-out culture in which you’re going to talk about how your ideological opponents or whomever said this nasty thing–this alleged nasty thing–you can use the moment as an instructional tool [image of Vacula's advice] and say something like, “Well, here’s how I would have said it. Here’s the message I think that’s being conveyed by this piece.” Not making it nasty; not saying nasty things about the people.
But Stephanie Zvan, Ophelia Benson, Greta Christina, PZ Myers—they don’t do that. They’re very often very uncharitable, and they reach the worst conclusions possible. And I believe (and this is just my hypothesis) that the reason they receive the negative pushback is because of the way they present themselves on the internet. Again, there are many people who would identify as feminists. There are many people who are women. There are many males who identify as feminist. There are so many people on the internet, right, who are similar ideologically to Stephanie Zvan, PZ Myers, etc. on gender issues–as some call gender ideologues…whatever you’d like to call them…feminists…whatever.
There are people writing about feminism who don’t get the pushback, so why is it that Stephanie Zvan gets the pushback, and other people writing about feminism don’t get the pushback?
It’s a good question, I’d like Stephanie Zvan to answer that question. I haven’t really seen an answer to this just yet. I’m all ears. I’m all ears.
When people like Stephanie Zvan complain about the treatment they receive and they engage in the same tactics of this call out-culture of imputing malice, thinking people have these horrible intentions behind the words they type, when that might not be the case. They look at the worst situation possible instead of being charitable, again.
Well, why is it that she receives the criticism? I pose some tips here to reduce the criticism, and I’m fully aware that some of Stephanie Zvan’s critics are not going to go away. There are just nasty people out there who are not voicing reasonable opinions and being charitable, and some of these people, I must say, have tried in the past, but the efforts at diplomacy have failed so they’ve just resorted to ridicule and satire. But either way, I think that if Stephanie Zvan and company want the alleged bullies to go away…if they presented themselves differently on the internet, that they would go away, that people would stop talking about it.
But week after there’s a new Witch of the Week, a new person who’s horrible sexist, misogynist, women hater! when it really isn’t the case. And instead of using instances as an educational opportunity and just talking about the issues (not being nasty, not accusing people), they participate in the call-out culture. And that’s I think why they get this criticism, because of the way they present themselves.
When you’re on the internet and you going to say nasty things about people, you’re going to get a nasty pushback. It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified, but it’s just a state of fact; it’s just to state how the internet “is.” It’s not to justify the behavior.
So the million dollar question once again is this: “Why is it that some feminists experience negative feedback on the internet while others do not?”
It’s a wonderful question to explore. And I can’t wait for the comments in the article and hopefully a response from Stephanie Zvan and Ophelia Benson who also commented on what Stephanie had to say.
So, we await the response.