Over at Dubito Ergo Sum, Tom Foss has a lovely post about a bizarre notion:
This would make for a great game of spot the fallacy, wouldn’t it? Farley lists all these qualifications, but none of them are “noted anti-spam crusader” or “longtime anti-bigotry activist,” not that those would be excuses either. See, none of these qualifications are inconsistent with “abusive [...] anti-feminists, MRAs, or all-round assholes” or “annoying and irritating”3. It’s possible to be an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning comedian and also be an annoying asshole who delights in baiting feminists with disingenuous arguments, just as it’s possible to be a Ph.D. biochemist who believes in intelligent design. This is a pro hominem argument, an argument from false authority, that these people’s lofty credentials make them somehow incapable of being bigots, jerks, trolls, abusers, or just antagonistic assholes to specific groups of people.
- A Research Fellow for a U.S. think-tank who is also deputy editor of a national magazine, and author of numerous books
- A Consultant for Educational Programs for a U.S. national non-profit
- A long-time volunteer for the same national non-profit
- An organizer for a state-level skeptic group in the US
- A past president of a state-level humanist group in the US
- A former director of a state-level atheist group in the US
- An Emmy and Golden Globe award winning comedian
- A TED Fellow
- Co-founder of a well known magazine of philosophy and author of several books
- A philosopher, writer and critic who has authored several books
Now, as someone who has some of those people blocked myself, and who was already shaking my head at a few people who claimed to want to sue the BBC over the NewsNight segment on The Block Bot, some of those jumped out at me. And while Tom’s post does a very good job of talking about why Farley’s reasoning on this list is fallacious (seriously, go read it), I’m firmly in the camp of providing positive evidence as well. I tend to agree with Amanda Marcotte that making people look at this stuff is one of the more important things we can do. So, without further ado, let’s tackle one of these.
@Whoozley A group of alleged “freethinkers” offering new members a method of preemptively blocking dissenting opinion deserves ridicule and contempt.
@reedes I’m appalled to see friends like @badrescher placed in same category as threat-sending trolls. Shame on @bbcnewsnight http://bit.ly/15doWJ2 [She isn't. Drescher is also listed as "annoying".]
@ool0n changed BlockBot’s list. When @bbcnewsnight aired, it had me 8th in top ten “abusers”. pic.twitter.com/qGZH31PB9m [Note that this is a list that ranks people by number of people following them, not by abusive behavior. That makes her 10th most popular with the blocked.]
The bio for
@The_Block_Bot calls itself a list of “anti-feminist bigots and fools”, @paulmasonnews. I’m on it. Girl-power comic creator! [Actual quote: "Helping you to ignore the anti-feminists, bigots and fools on Twitter"]
Your mileage may vary on whether you find that string of tweets annoying, but what else was Sara doing while she was complaining?
CFI DC director
@MelodyHensley continues to make accusations. Never apologized for her sexist remarks about me. http://twitter.com/MelodyHensley/status/363107999830646784
DON’T FEED THE TROLLS is a thing for a reason. Feed ALWAYS makes them stronger!
Twitter has a way to deal with trolls; a block button.
@pzmyers don’t want you to ignore trolls because that’s what drives his content.
Just posted a photo http://instagram.com/p/ccxxAns1cG/
I can’t imagine why anyone would want to block her, the way she tweets directly at the people she’s insulting. But, you know, that was what she did after she decided she’d been labeled an “abuser”. What did she do before that?
More examples of Freethought Blogs and
@skepchicks being unskeptical http://uberfeminist.blogspot.com/2013/07/waving-dildo-for-social-justice.html #ftbullies #feminism #skepchickcon
So over the FTB/Skepchick drama mongering. It’s so over. New dawn for skepticism since they’ve boycotted themselves into the ground.
Skepchicks prolly don’t hear of the women who come up to speakers like me and say they’re too scared to voice disagreement w/ their views.
Agree with me or not, you don’t have to be “scared” of saying so. This isn’t true with FTB/Skepchicks drama bloggers.
@laurenarankin Amanda Marcotte dismisses intersectionality, and her brand of feminism will not only fail, but will likely cause harm. [This isn't Mayhew's normal style of retweeting, and I can't find the original tweet. I don't know what's supposed to have happened here.]
@emeryemeryii I’ve said it before but it’s certainly worth repeating! Atheist+ leads to Atheism÷, and you can quote me on that.
Amazing how unscientific
@pzmyers is. @sapinker (via @Evolutionistrue) on how wrong #Skepchickcon EvoPsych was: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/a-defense-of-evolutionary-psychology-mostly-by-steve-pinker/
Paper dolls, test tube shots, homemade necklaces with sparkles—Conference or sleepover for adult children? [This is a reference to activities at SkepchickCon, a science and skepticism track at CONvergence. The paper dolls were a children's activity. The "homemade necklaces with sparkles" are a reference to Surly-Ramics.]
@telomericfusion I can’t wait for this pile of shit to go on youtube http://psych0drama.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/convergence-panel-on-ep-part-one.html
#skepchickcon wouldn’t have an evolutionary psychologist on their Evo Psych panel. That might cause real discourse to happen… [The Block Bot is designed, in part, to remove static from people who use conference hashtags as a means of harassing attendees they don't like.]
The self-serving damage
@rebeccawatson inflicts on skepticism is truly worth a boycott, if only she created/did real things to boycott.
@RichSandersen I Almost care about Stephanie Zirconia… [That would be me, or whatever version of me Sara keeps in her head.]
You get hate mail b/c you act like an asshole. MT
@rebeccawatson: thinking about difference between adequate apologies & awesome apologies.
Dawkins demonstrates nice example of not feeding trolls by not answering question about Rebecca Watson http://dlvr.it/3Z7jMj [Wired reporters are now, apparently, trolls.]
Rebecca Watson has proven she’ll use any media opportunity to bash skepticism, so the less people like Dawkins say about her, the better.
@IDoubtIt Pick your friends and associates carefully. They may be delusional.
Skepticon decision based on politics, not skeptic common ground; 1 more reason why it shouldn’t be called “skepti” http://j.mp/17nc7xq
@SatansParakeet Skepticon doesn’t get A list speakers like Tyson, Nye, Krauss, Dawkins, Tavris. And gives platform for crays like Marcotte.
@SatansParakeet Skepticon isn’t the same quality as TAM CSICon NECSS Skeptical. It doesn’t have big names, podcasts.
@SatansParakeet Skepticon has Amanda Marcotte speaking, which is typical of the kind of d-list bloggers they put on their lineup. @SatansParakeet TAM gets quality programming: from qualified and high profile speakers, to evening entertainment.
150 women strong. Please sign if you consider yourself a woman in secularism, and/or skeptic, atheist. http://skepticwomen.com [The petition created by the women of the slime pit. It's now 174 women strong, or 173 female skeptics and "Michelle Malkin".]
Encouraging women in skepticism to sign. Add your voice to those against divisive tactics http://skepticwomen.com
She tweets like a 12yr old->
@rebeccawatson: I’d be all “HEY GURL YOU WANNA SUCK IT HA HA” and then I’d orgasm while high-fiving my bros [Here are Rebecca's original tweets on the matter.]
If I woke up tomorrow & I was magically a dude, 1st thing I’d do is go out & shout at women on the street cuz you guys make that look SO fun
I’d be all “HEY GURL YOU WANNA SUCK IT HA HA” as she looked angry and sad and then I’d orgasm while high-fiving my bros. Great times.
Also on another topic entirely I just won a Nobel Peace Prize for not bashing a $7 bottle of wine over some bro’s head today.
Back to Sara.
If you consider yourself a woman in skepticism, please consider signing and sharing http://www.skepticwomen.com/welcome-statement
@MistressOfFrog @OpheliaBenson @micknugent @pzmyers next time, bow out of pseudoscience panel w/ zero scientists/doctors. [Like James Randi, Ben Radford, Joe Nickell, Jon Ronson...should I go on?]
#wiscfi Ophelia Benson constantly makes false accusations of stalking/harassment; doesn’t understand negative impact on other women. [Oh, look, another conference hashtag.]
SUAL? Instead of taking responsibility for her fails,
@MelodyHensley wants Hofstader to update “inaccuracies” http://www.hofstader.com/invisible_blind_man #wiscfi [No, the response was hardly "instead of", and even that was before the first tweet in this set.]
@justinvacula no offence, dude, but I don’t *know* you. So why do ppl keep associating us?
#wiscfi was a discussion of how women in secularism are bullied by OTHER women. Sexist terms like “chill girl”.
@rjblaskiewicz Calling for someone’s job because you disagree with them is something that wackos do. This disgraces feminism and CFI needs to stand up.
Uses term “other side”. Her “side” calls ppl chill girls ->
@Mowgli3: Not wanting to engage petty fights isn’t “shunning” or “tribalism.”
Why apologize to the queen of intemperate language,
@rebeccawatson? #wiscfi . http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/statement_re_my_may_18_blog_post/ Stop feeding the Oprah of Skepticism.
@emilyhasbooks Shutup & Listen? No thanks. You can’t build bridges on such shaky ground. I prefer effective communication. “Be kind & talk” is my motto.
#vaculamustdenounce Star Trek Into Darkness spoilers. [This hashtag isn't for a conference but is a reaction to Dave Silverman telling Justin Vacula very publicly that he needs to denounce people who use inappropriate tactics against hi opponents if he wants any credibility. But why do people associate her with Vacula?]
@mavaddat Fair? So she can be a jerk to anyone she wants because some people send her hate mail?
Atheism ≠ Science. Raëlians are atheists and naturalists.
@pzmyers claims atheism is driven by naturalism.
@hashspamkiller @jennifurret @dELYSEious How. The. Fuck. Do you NOT see your logical fallacy? #guiltbyassociation #poisonwell #skepticfail [That site would be A Voice for Men, which exists to argue against feminism, so any interview published there serves that purpose, or it would not be published. Don't get me wrong, the people there are icky too, as are the other articles. However, the objection here is sound, even if it takes a little thinking to figure that out. See the fallacy fallacy.]
@SecularlyYours @RALindsay Also, it IS true that ANYONE who disagrees with @rebeccawatson & co. WILL get shunned by them. So much for inclusive “feminism.” [Or it might have something to do with you calling people "Watsonistas". Just a thought.]
The Oprah Winfrey of Skepticism™ http://j.mp/14lr9Pu
Plenty of women in secularism agree with
@RAlindsay but are too intimidated by the Oprah Winfrey of Skepticism™
??? ｢(ﾟﾍﾟ) RT
@AmandaMarcotte: It’s not actually a human right to bother and harass people because they’re less awful than you.
#wiscfi panel on Pseudoscience had 0 scientists. 1/23 speakers are scientists. 0 medical professionals. 0 gender studies academics.
#wiscfi was going to conflate secularism and skepticism they could’ve found at least 1 woman working in science, 1 woman physician. No? #wiscfi embarrasses women in secularism by not showcasing ANY women in STEM, or distinguished gender studies/social justice academics.
I should start a conference with my friends as speakers, now that I know none of the panels needs experts/qualified speakers!
My doctor said I was hysterical, therefore, I’m qualified to say women are frequently ignored by doctors in general. Anecdote Academia! [Would you care to let us know why you're qualified to argue that women aren't underdiagnosed for things like gastrointestinal bleeds?]
@Luarien let me know when you figure out that Roth, Hensley, Watson, bully women and use gendered insults. They’re Mean Girls.
RT @IDoubtIt The comments on
#wiscfi piece goes to show this is currently not a topic conducive to cooperation of any sort. http://blog.chron.com/sacredduty/2013/05/female-atheists-fight-for-equality-in-freethought-movement/
Trigger warnings are so patronizing.
A fetish for drama: constant claims of “obsession” “harassment”.
@rebeccawatson No, you get hate mail because you’re a mean asshole.
@skepchicks brand created mess: http://youtu.be/gmLdaBTFtoA Is it harassment to criticize an oil company for how they clean their own spill? [I worry about anyone who conflates sexual activity in which all the participants are smiling with sexual harassment and assault.]
When you say that ___ needs to be applied to skepticism, what you really want is that ideology protected FROM skepticism. [Or you understand that skepticism is always going to be incomplete as practiced like anything else and needs to be informed by other disciplines because those disciplines also provide data.]
That’s exactly what creeping is. RT
@OpheliaBenson: @saramayhew It’s not “creeping” to check on what you’re saying about me. [As opposed to what you do to Rebecca Watson says, even when she isn't talking about you?]
Benson should stop creeping me if she doesn’t like my tweets.
Old dramallamas pzmyers opheliabenson. Replace them w/ bright future skeptic leaders. Btw, I’m sending 6 to TAM2013 http://risingstar.saramayhew.com
‘Drescher, Shermer, Grothe, Novella. They’ve all kicked the * out of PZ’s flawed logic. Jamy too.’ RT
Wut? Leaving a group you weren’t contributing to anyway? That’s like boycotting a conference you weren’t invited to speak at—oh…
“A Motionless Movement” says Ophelia Benson. From someone who does zero writing, research, outreach, or popularising of skepticism.
After long trial separation, PZ Myers divorces skepticism http://tinyurl.com/bo5zgrq
Not understanding why one would be bothered by storify. Unless you’re bothered by reading your own tweets. [Refers to @ElevatorGATE, Level 1 on The Block Bot, "Super Slimy". Calling himself an "investigative journalist, he has amassed thousands of conversations between and individual tweets from and about feminists on Storify along with everything else he's done under various handles. There were 69 in the last hour as write this. The average, even with periods of inactivity is around 100 a day. But why should that bother anyone? It isn't like it's creeping or anything.]
Okay. That last tweet takes me to the beginning of May. So that’s three months, two conferences she didn’t attend with hashtags she still used, and 140 or so tweets and retweets captured here. There are actually more, but a lot of the nastiness is in conversations that would only make sense if I captured both sides. And I’m yawning. So from here, you start getting highlights.
#wiscfi is already an unwelcoming atmosphere thanks to @pzmyers @opheliabenson‘s decrees of who may approach them. Immature unprofessional. [They, and I, told Justin Vacula to leave us alone at the conference at which he had told other people we should have to answer his questions.]
Pros tryin to report on death of officer–make jokes! ->
@SurlyAmy an iPhone and occasional snacks…more affordable than “news” network
Benson posts tweets I don’t tag her in, calls it monitoring and harassment. Who’s monitoring, vanity search queen? http://pulse.me/s/jHabj [The person who read the post about her and tweeted it?]
Rebecca Watson and Ophelia Benson should know better than to misuse claims of libel; intimidation tactic skeptics have fought against.
Shameful defending of sexist term:
@SpokesGay: When I use the term “chill girl”, I’m not going to apologize for it. Nor will I condemn it.
Use of sexist labels “chill girl” “sister punisher” by a CFI leader contributes to unwelcoming atmosphere for women in skepticism.
Ophelia Benson attempts link whoring of her site 4 times on RDF thread, fails, cries “war on information”. http://j.mp/Z6f1Mn
Ophelia Benson uses vanity search to find “drama” so she can ignore it and rise above. Aka, create drama to drive traffic to vapid blog.
I’m being twitter harassed! I can tell from my vanity search I constantly track! ヽ( ≧Д≦) ﾉﾟ｡゜waaah!
Really, I’m skipping stuff here, but that….
@IDoubtIt I think it’s juvenile to have a “conduct policy” for meetings and conferences.
@IDoubtIt Good news. Kylie leaves FTB. http://freethoughtblogs.com/tokenskeptic/2013/03/15/and-then-the-end/
Are you kidding? RT
@SUICIDEBOMBS: “Pfft, she IS a Jew though.” – Rebecca Watson overheard at Pineapple Bar, Austin, TX. Talking about you?
@SUICIDEBOMBS srsly, this is a joke and not something actually overheard, right?
…meanwhile, at SXSW, Watson complains about teh internets…again. And makes stuff up…again.
With assholes on your site, your twitter, on reddit, in forums, and your email, at what point do you stop and wonder if you’re an asshole?
Why is Rebecca Watson claiming her wiki was vandalised? http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rebecca_Watson&action=history … no vandalism found… [Actually, try that link to her post a few tweets up. She links to the proof.]
Rebecca Watson should’ve had all credibility in skepticism taken away back when she was banned for sock-puppetting on JREF.
Why Rebecca Watson Shouldn’t Be on a SXSW Panel About Reddit. http://j.mp/ZyvV8I
The problems with terms like woman scientist/skeptic,
#skepchick, in The Finkbeiner Test: http://www.doublexscience.org/the-finkbeiner-test/
“emphasize a woman’s sex, you inevitably end up dismissing her science” http://www.doublexscience.org/the-finkbeiner-test/ – why I’m not a “woman skeptic”.
Saying someone smells and is “gross”: juvenile bullying, demonstrated by
Haha! Passive aggression or selective memory? Skeptical storytelling through art: what an ORIGINAL idea! http://yfrog.com/kfedjyvj
@pzmyers @OpheliaBenson @rebeccawatson aren’t “over it” b/c they aren’t done w/ slacktivist blogging about rape and social justice. [For anyone who doesn't immediately recognize the reference.]
I’m going to fight fire w/ fire and Gangnam Style against slacktivism!
Skeptics have misogyny problem! But
@skepchicks can look at my bf and say “I gotta get me one of those.” It’s ok b/c sexism is man->woman!
@jennifurret He’s repeating what Eve Ensler said. CORRECT YOURSELF. Say sorry.
Rape apologist patriarchy creates MRA misogyny rape culture of online hate – p.s, disagree? You are a dumb slutty chill girl fuckface.
I’d have an easier time believing in straw-feminists, but it too often turns out they can talk and are made of meat.
@ologies false flags, DCMA takedowns and DDoS attacks are silencing attempts that u could compare to IRL silencing. Emails don’t silence @ologies yes. No wonder. Because there’s a constant fear of being branded ‘the enemy’. Or guilt by association. [Like association with people on The Block Bot, which is so good for finding people to associate with.]
@EllenBethWachs I don’t run an org focused on feminism, then do nothing to improve the real world.
Oh, and I’m banned on their site and blocked by
@skepchicks for no reason—no abuse, no hate, no spam. Just making tactful critique.
@sjzara . @Eshto @saramayhew @skepchicks That I now know vaguely of skepchicks because of their behaviour than any work they do says a lot about them [Or about the people you listen to who talk about them.]
“If I learned that Kramer owned 30% of Apple’s stock I would stop buying their products” –
@rebeccawatson But could Apple do anything?
@pzmyers, you are drunk. 〜(￣△￣〜) [Out of the blue, as far as I can tell.]
“If you run into assholes all the time, *you* might be the asshole.”
Do people have a problem with specific claims of Evo-psych or with the entire concept that our psychology has evolved?
@JlnFrancisco No, I don’t bully others. I don’t name-call. I don’t block anyone but spambots.
“Ragging” relates to being angry because you’re “on the rag”. RT
@rebeccawatson Holy shit you are dumb. YOU said it meant menstruation. [In regards to Mayhew's claim that "ragging on" was a sexist term.]
And you’re immature and ignorant to call me dumb. RT
@rebeccawatson Holy shit you are dumb. YOU said it meant menstruation.
@rebeccawatson To scold 1739. Tampon 1930s. You’re the dumbest person on Twitter. [Also, "ragging" = verb; "scold" = verb; "tampon" = noun.]
How it must feel to realise there’s no magic wand for forcing anyone to not talk about you.
@EllenBethWachs Irony: those claiming they want to make welcome spaces for women have done so in a way that makes women feel unwelcome.
@Rocko2466 @saramayhew @EllenBethWachs Is the irony that the people who are bemoaning the scaring away of women from conferences are the ones doing it? [Rocko is at Level 2 on The Block Bot as a pitizen.] @EllenBethWachs The issue are women bullies who call other women chill girls, sister punishers, rape apologists, and Stepford wives.
More and more women are avoiding conferences because of female bullies and sister-punisher witch hunts that result in highschool shunning.
@desertyard Sorry, I’m forgetting how big of a glass ceiling there is in the ceramics industry.
Oh wow, you’re raising money but pocketing half of it.
#slowclap [A reference to Surly Amy's custom ceramic necklaces that raise money to send people who can't afford it to various conferences.]
Feeding trolls and blogging about them is literally the *least* you could do for skepticism.
@mirandachale Internet trolls are like stray animals: if you feed them, you can’t pretend to be shocked or offended when they come back for more.
What about the part of the skeptic fairy tale when there were nude calendars, sexy themed parties, and taking shots off of guy’s crotches?
Only one org in skepticism ever focused on presenting women skeptics as sexual objects, promoting that sexiness makes it more appealing. [As far as I know, no skeptical organization "ever focused on" that.]
And that is as far back as Twitter will load. Without coming close to picking up everything she aimed at Rebecca and a handful of Rebecca’s friends, can anyone tell me why, despite being “a TED fellow”, that repetitive, name-calling, vitriolic mess shouldn’t be designated “annoying”? Can anyone even tell me, honestly, that nothing I’ve collected here counts as abusive?