Shermer Speaks »« How Many Do We Lose?

How Funny Is That?

Wait. You mean he thinks Greta and Jen and Miri and I are all prudes? How funny is that?

Screen shot of D.J. Grothe comment from Facebook. Text provided in the post.

There is an impressive distemper these days on the internets.

Many smart, good people that I know personally seem to fear this “call-out culture” online that is going on right now in many communities online. Folks are immobilized by a moral scare or panic that they think they are watching unfold presently. As for me, I think it all seems increasingly like some surreal science fiction imagining of some bizarre future dystopia. And so, I say:
Consensual sex — between any mature adult male or female etc. — is a human good. It is something that should be prized and promoted (would there be world peace if people just had more and better sex, ha?).

But instead I think unduly-moralistic scolds end up actively diminishing human flourishing by their sex-negativity.

And I curse the unholy alliance of the quack far-left so-called feminists: a different kind of ardent feminist than I am — and the authoritarian anti-sex rightist religionists whom I used to run with decades ago. (How the heck is it that these two equal opposites agree on so very much these days, and the two last decades, too?).

I have a disturbing answer, but it doesn’t work for a social networking or FB comment..

Oh, no. He’s really just using “sex-positivity” as a deflection from accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, and institutional indifference to all of them. He can’t or won’t differentiate between sex and consent in what is being demanded.

Yeah, that’s not funny at all.

Comments

  1. says

    And wait — Greta and Miri and Jen and you are the non-prudes? You sexist. Couldn’t you have mentioned that the men here are also all sex-positive?

    FtBully.

  2. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Do these people actually read this stuff after they type it out and say, “Sounds reasonable to me?”

    /head explodes

  3. says

    …Citation ****ing required. Really. I want to see one example of the anti-sex rightist religionists allying with anything that could remotely be seen as feminist.

  4. says

    What’s actually really funny about this is that every time I’ve hooked up with someone in the movement over the past year (so…almost everyone I’ve hooked up with), we had a little chuckle about how everyone thinks we’re all prudish and boring and hate sex because we support harassment policies and stuff like that. In fact we’re probably having way more fun than all the losers who think that talking openly about sex and getting consent “kills the mood.” What a sad life that must be.

  5. Claudius says

    Sex-positive (according to D.J. Grothe): If a man is positive he wants/deserves sex, the woman’s desire and consent is entirely irrelevant.

  6. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Claudius,
    Absolutely right. The “kind of ardent feminist” DJ thinks he is, is the kind that think women are sex negative if they don’t think that being harassed, marginalized, threatened and raped is super-fun-sexy-times.

    In other words, he’s not feminist at all. He enjoys rape jokes at other people’s expense and enabling rapists and harassers. He’s happy, so there isn’t a problem. What a lying, egotistical ass.

  7. says

    If he wants to know what’s causing the distemper, he shouldn’t blame all the imaginary prudes on the internet. He should look in the mirror.

  8. says

    Creepy, ugly language he uses – right out of the box o’ tropes labeled “women we hate.”

    Like “unduly-moralistic scolds.” Scolds used to get ducked in the village pond.

    And then “the quack far-left so-called feminists” – whew – that piles a lot of dog whistles into one phrase.

  9. rudbeckia says

    Ah yes, people who think consent is required are shrill, frigid, close-minded puritans. How predictable.

  10. Pteryxx says

    Creepy, ugly language he uses – right out of the box o’ tropes labeled “women we hate.”

    Like “unduly-moralistic scolds.” Scolds used to get ducked in the village pond.

    …Yeah, that’s not all they used to do to scolds.

    —-(TW because this is a real object)—-

    BB – Scold’s bridle for sale on eBay

    Interesting choice of terms there DJ. Very interesting. *hurk*

  11. says

    Has he only now started speaking publicly in this kind of manner, given that he is now the subject of claims of poor behaviour, or did he always sound like this?

  12. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    You prudes are just being unduly-moralistic when you suggest that rape is not ok.
    /snark

    Hey, shithead DJ, anti-rape and anti-sexual harassment do not mean anti-sex.

  13. screechymonkey says

    I have a disturbing answer, but it doesn’t work for a social networking or FB comment.

    Translation: “I’d get in trouble if I revealed the full extent of my sexist attitudes where other people can see it. Come talk to me at TAM and I’ll tell you, then we’ll fist bump bro, and start making bets on which drunk chick Shermer’s gonna nail tonight!”

  14. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Has he only now started speaking publicly in this kind of manner, given that he is now the subject of claims of poor behaviour, or did he always sound like this?

    He has been diminishing claims of sexual harassment, and the need for policies to fight said harassment, for over a year now (if my memory serves me).

  15. says

    Matthew, once upon a time, I thought maybe D.J. didn’t know what he sounded like when he said things like this. That turned me into one of his targets. Then other people who have dealt with him longer filled me in. The single word they used most frequently was “psychopath”. This is nothing new.

  16. says

    A strong showing from DJ, but he’s going to have to try a lot harder if he wants to take the gold medal from Ron Lindsay in this year’s Douchebag Skeptic Leader Olympics. And who knows what surprises Michael Shermer has in store? It’s nice to see DJ returning to his roots of laying the blame anywhere but where it belongs (anyone remember the “controversialist blogs” and “irresponsible messaging” last year?), and mixing it up with a bit of more-politely-stated Thunderf00tian “you’re just prudes who hate fun.” It feels so familiar. But his “dystopian future” digression isn’t going to help him against the guy who said Rebecca Watson lives in an alternate universe.

    Bonus points for ancient sexist language like “scolds,” and for the subtle slur implied by the usual meaning of distemper.

    It’s interesting to note that DJ’s understanding of feminism appears to be the same one I had in college, knowing only the sorts of anti-porn ‘prudes’ who would get lampooned on Rush Limbaugh or certain episodes of Penn & Teller: Bullshit. That’s really the most prominent place where far-right fundies and certain groups of (mostly straw-)feminists overlap: anti-porn activism. There’s some anti-trans* overlap too, but I don’t know of much else, and it really isn’t surprising to see overlaps of concern by authoritarians of any stripe. Of course, pretending like that group represents a majority or even significant proportion of feminists is obviously counterfactual, and pretending that anyone involved in these anti-harassment campaigns is among them is…well, it’s high fantasy.

    In short: go fuck yourself, DJ Grothe.

  17. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    I have a disturbing answer, but it doesn’t work for a social networking or FB comment.

    This is clearly a not-so-subtle whine that he is afraid that the PC femmistazi are going to witch hunt/lynch/convict him without a trial/castrate him/ disagree and argue with him.

    ***

    In short: go fuck yourself, DJ Grothe.

    Seconded

  18. throwaway, gut-punched says

    Unholy non-sequitur! This is an ardent feminist’s response to allegations of rape? DJ is a fraud and has no respect for his audience – to belittle their intelligence in such a way! What a crank!

  19. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    DJ is a fraud and has no respect for his audience – to belittle their intelligence in such a way!

    I think it’s more that, these days, his audience is nothing more than a bunch of hateful, misogynistic trolls.

  20. Corvus Whiteneck says

    The conflation of sex-negativity with consent-emphasis amongst the dudebro True Skeptic leaders, DJ in particular, has reached the Comfort Limit as far as I’m concerned.

    What’s the Comfort Limit? Named after Ray Comfort and his epic lifelong battle with evolutionary theory and its supporting evidence, the Comfort Limit is my term for when an issue or topic has been explained over and over again to somebody so often and so clearly that their persistence in an erroneous line of argumentation can no longer be justified by mere ignorance or stupidity, and it is now more reasonable to act as if they are simply dishonest/mendacious.

  21. screechymonkey says

    Interesting how Grothe refers to “call-out culture” with the unsupported implication that it is a Very Bad Thing to point out when other people say things that are incorrect and harmful. That pretty much describes the skeptical movement’s whole raison d’etre

    “Person X claims he can talk to dead people. But that’s not true, because [reasons] and [evidence]. And spreading claims like that is problematic because it hurts people in the following ways:…”
    “Yay, Team Skeptic! Please come speak at my conference!”

    “Person Y claims that women frequently lie about rape. But that’s not true, because [reasons] and [evidence]. And spreading claims like that is problematic because it hurts people in the following ways: … ”
    “Bad Skeptic! Mission drift! Call-out culture! Not only are you not invited to my conference, but I’m telling my staff not to go to yours!”

  22. says

    What fraction of those who conflate consent and prudery have either committed rape, or would do so if they were sure of getting away with it? I’d say most of them.

  23. Louis says

    Wanting your sexual partners to actually want to have sex with you is sex negativity?

    Well fuck me…

    …Erm….I mean….oh bugger.

    Louis

  24. pneumo says

    But Hyperdeath, it’s not rape if the perpetrator doesn’t think of it as such, donchanow.

  25. says

    Left a comment:

    https://www.facebook.com/djgrothe/posts/10151846017360856?comment_id=29478574&offset=0&total_comments=20

    “I love consensual sex! It’s awesome. I couldn’t agree more. That’s why it’s super critical that consent exists, because when consent isn’t there, sex—and sexual behavior ranging from flirting to intercourse—stops being great and even really “sex” and starts being harassment, assault, and rape. So yea, feminists! By making consent a front and center issue, we can make sex better, more pleasurable, and more frequent—after all, nothing makes people less willing to have sex than being afraid that their right to say no won’t be respected. One question, though: Can you name some of these “feminists” that you’re talking about that oppose consensual sex? I’m pretty well-versed in feminism and don’t know any of the ones you’re talking about.”

  26. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    These people must have industrial scale replicators churning out nothing but straw 24/7. There’s no way you could grow that much naturally. Opposition to harassment/assault/rape is being “unduly moralistic?” Harassment/assault/rape = consensual sex? Holy shit but that’s ugly and evil. This Grothe guy really shouldn’t be in charge of ….anything. I find it arder and harder to understand the thinking of those on the other side. I’m less and less inclined to want to try to understand them by getting inside their heads and seeing things from their perspective. Not that I had much desire to do so in the first place. At least with their violation of the First Rule of Holes they’re helping to make the much needed rifts all the deeper and wider.

    On a not completely unrelated side note, maybe it’s time for “Elisions: the Sequel”. (More like Never-Fucking-Ending Story).

    We have all these alternative constructions/inversions of what has been presented:

    Anonymous story

    PZ’s just making it up

    Women’s testimony is not evidence

    Police or GTFO

    Sex with a drunk person is not rape

    It’s the drunk person’s fault anyway

    “Innocent until proven guilty”

    This is a prosecution/lynching

    Rape accusations destroy reputations/careers/lives

    Rape accusations demand extraordinary evidence

    Have I missed any? That’s well on its way to its own Bingo card. I know a lot of these have parallels in Elisions the First.

    I can’t help but think that the ensuing shitstorm would have been even worse in this case if it had been a female blogger tossing the “Grenade” post. Not that PZ doesn’t get a metric fuckton of abuse as it is, but I think that you and Greta and Ophelia and Rebecca get more just for being female bloggers writing about feminism. I’m guessing that some people will take this more seriously because it was a man who posted the grenade rather than a woman.

    My admiration for putting up with this shit for so long and responding to it with such precision and forcefulness. Keep fighting the good fight!

  27. says

    Central to this rant of his is the idea that the complained about incidents are not actually rape, assault, and harassment. This is not self evidently true or something that can be conclusively proven with five minutes on Google.

    When something is that central, and is not self evidently true, a decent communicator will attempt to establish the central premise or provide a reference to something that establishes said premise. DJ failed to do this. It wasn’t even clear that he realized this issue even existed, much less was one central to his argument- lazy/sloppy thinking there.

    Not that I expect him to have a good argument in favor of this premise, he’d almost certainly fail to establish it, I’m just looking at his competence as a communicator here. And it doesn’t look good for him.

    Sexist ass, sloppy thinker, shitty communicator? How exactly did he get his job?

  28. Thomas Lawson says

    You’ve got it all wrong. What Grothe is saying is that we just need more guns. More guns will make everyone safer.

  29. tonyinbatavia says

    Well said, Amanda. The countdown to removing your comment begins in 3, 2, 1 …

    Or, maybe it’s: The countdown to ignoring your comment and not directly answering your question began 20 minutes ago?

  30. R Johnston says

    @32:

    Sexist ass, sloppy thinker, shitty communicator? How exactly did he get his job?

    DJ got his job precisely by being a sexist ass, sloppy thinker, and a shitty communicator. Don’t let nostalgia for the James Randi of days gone by fool you into believing otherwise. Grothe is doing exactly the job he was hired to do as evidenced by his continuing to hold that job while maintaining a long and undisputed history of behaving exactly the same way.

    JREF is a completely lost cause, a sexist libertarian cancer to be excised from the skeptical movement if the movement is to survive and thrive.

  31. kaboobie says

    DJ revealed himself as a rape apologist with the following words prior to TAM 2012:

    So much of that feels to me more like rumor and distasteful locker room banter, often pretty mean-spirited, especially when it is from just one or a few women recounting sexual exploits they’ve had with speakers who are eventually deemed as “skeezy,” and whom they feel should be not allowed to speak at such conferences going forward.

    I cut all ties with DJ (who had been a friend) and the JREF after that. Thanks to Jason Thibeault, I always know where to find that quote when I need to refer back to it.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/01/the-dj-grothe-quote-that-sticks-in-my-craw/

  32. Physics or Stamp Collecting says

    I can only conclude that DJ Grothe has a very different definition of “consensual” than those he’s arguing against who are in fact fans of consensual sex.

    That alone makes me never want to meet him or his friends.

  33. Dana Hunter says

    I’m now at work where our benevolent overlords have blocked our access to Facebook, are going on three months behind on giving us wi-fi to use with our personal devices, and I have no smartphone… Long story short, would someone please be kind enough to inform me when/if anyone responds to Amanda’s query on DJ’s pathetic post? I’m busy polishing the Smack-o-Matic 9000 and could use some grit to make it sninier. Thank you!

  34. Sili says

    AHAHAHAHAHA. Oh lord. Some of them make nasty comments about my sex life; others think I’m a prude. Which one am I? Make up your minds already.

    It’s a Schrödinger-like whore-Madonna superposition.

    You’re observed to be whatever is convenient at the time.

  35. Pieter B, FCD says

    Oops, html fail

    Amanda’s comment now has more “likes” than the rest of the comments combined (34), plus [crickets]

    And I just noticed—40+ comments here and nobody’s mentioned DJ’s :cough: invitation to Sasha yet; is that what he means by “consensual”?

  36. freemage says

    Huh.

    This notion that “all my enemies are actually allied to one another on a secret level”… I know I’ve seen that before.

    Oh, yes, that Chick Tract that shows Atheism, Gay Rights Activism, Islam, New Age Religion and so forth as different heads of a hydra. Because it’s utterly unthinkable to DJ that two different groups of people would have utterly different reasons for thinking ill of him.

    (BTW, I tried to find the Chick Tract image. Googling “Chick Tract Hydra” on Image search gets you one of the more random collection of images I’ve ever encountered.)

  37. kagekiri says

    @46 kellym:

    Fuck, what a scumbag.

    And I curse the unholy alliance of the quack far-left so-called feminists: a different kind of ardent feminist than I am — and the authoritarian anti-sex rightist religionists whom I used to run with decades ago.

    Oh DJ, when you say “different kind”, you mean they’re actually feminists, right? Because if you consider yourself a feminist of any sort with this straw-bullshittery, you are fooling no one but yourself. “Quack” and “so-called”? Try naming some fucking names, shithead.

    And a big fucking objection to this ridiculous “you feminists just like the religionists” bullshit.

    Who blames the victims of rape and expects women to stop rapes from happening? Religious bigots, and scumbag “skeptics” that back Grothe up.

    Who pretends that sexual harassment and abuse isn’t actually a problem by blatantly, knowingly lying and deflecting any hint of blame like cowards? Catholic leadership, and so-called “skeptic” leadership like Grothe blaming blogs for TAM attendence.

    Who says one thing about sex, yet utterly fails to practice these principles in private? Priests, and “skeptic” leaders like Grothe defends.

    Damn fucking lying pieces of shit.

  38. kagekiri says

    @48: Crap, sorry kellym, the “scumbag” comment at the start there is commenting on your report about Grothe’s deletion, not you. Realized that might parse poorly…sorry.

  39. Dana Hunter says

    Just sent this through the JREF contact form:

    Hello, DJ.

    There are a few questions that were put to you earlier today that it would be good if you could give some clarification on. Unfortunately, it appears the Facebook comment has been disappeared. I’ll put them to you privately first, and give you a day or two to provide an answer.

    Amanda Marcotte left a very polite message asking, “Can you name some of these “feminists” that you’re talking about that oppose consensual sex?” I myself am curious about this – like Amanda, I have not encountered any such feminists. If they are out there, I would like to challenge their position.

    I also have a question of my own: can you explain your understanding of what “consentual sex” is? Does this include sex that happens when one partner is too intoxicated to realize what’s happening or give meaningful consent? Does this include consent given because the consenting partner is intimidated or afraid of the person requesting sex? I think it’s important to ensure we have the same understanding of what constitutes consent so that we don’t talk past each other.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Dana Hunter

  40. great1american1satan says

    Corvus- He reached his Comfort Limit Break, so now he can do the secret move ULTRADOUCHE! If he hits the buttons right, he can get a super combo.

  41. lancefinney says

    Amanda,

    Thank you for your comment. I thought it was really good. Unfortunately, as others have noted, it was deleted after receiving dozens of likes.

    I just left this comment:

    DJ,

    I’m curious what your commenting policy is on your wall. Earlier, I saw a comment from Amanda Marcotte that praised consent and asked you for examples of feminists that matched the description you gave in your first comment in this thread.

    Did you delete her comment?

    If so, why? As I recall it, there wasn’t anything abusive about her comment. If you have a policy of deleting contrary comments, what is the trigger?

    I expect my comment to be deleted without a response as well.

    I’ve been a JREF member for a few years, and I really debated whether to continue my membership last year. I decided to continue for two reasons:
    1. Early in 2012 (before much of the drama came out), Randi was a very gracious host to me and my family when I stopped by his house (with advance notice) while on a vacation to Florida. I thought it would be good to show gratitude.
    2. Surly Amy continued her partnership with the JREF, producing an ornament or something like it as a thank you gift for membership. I hoped that Amy knew something redeeming about the organization that I wasn’t sure of (though I acknowledge it might just have been a pre-arranged business deal).

    But now, after the recent revelations, I have had enough. Unless there is a major shake up and house cleaning, I won’t consider renewing my membership.

    I’m very disappointed.

  42. says

    For the record, I can’t now verify whether anyone’s comments get deleted. DJ has blocked me on Facebook. It’s kind of funny, actually, given that I don’t look at his page. Someone else sent me this screen shot.

  43. lancefinney says

    I can confirm that it was there before, and that it isn’t anymore. AFAIK, the only options are that DJ deleted it or Amanda deleted it. Were I a betting man, I would put money on the former, but I asked him since I don’t know.

  44. says

    That was weird – I was screencapping Lance’s comment at the same time that DJ was deleting it. When I let go of the snipping tool the comment stayed faded, and then a little “deleted” icon appeared.

    It was a miracle!

  45. lancefinney says

    And now DJ has blocked me. One polite question asking about his comment policy, and I’m gone.

    Maybe he saw my comments here, but either way, WTF?

  46. says

    But I’m sure the Freeze Peach warriors will soon be out in force, decrying DJ’s censorious tactics and quiet memory-holing of critical posts. I’m sure they’ll quickly be inundating him with insults and accusations of being a totalitarian fascist so-and-so, who just can’t take criticism or disagreement, and so has no business in the skeptical movement, because he’s clearly just a fundamentalist who doesn’t want to hear anything outside of his groupthink echo chamber.

    Any minute now.

    You know, I’ve got the strangest feeling of déjà vu.

  47. Physics or Stamp Collecting says

    Just curious, has DJ ever weighed in on the general Freeze Peach issue?

  48. Dana Hunter says

    Suppose I should start taking bets now on whether or not he answers my message. Any takers willing to bet cash money he’ll totes reply? Anybody? Hello????

  49. lancefinney says

    Dana, could you paste your comment here? Some of us no longer have the ability to see it.

  50. Corvus Whiteneck says

    Anyone want to start predicting which group label he’ll use publicly to scapegoat low TAM attendance next time?

    Feminists?
    Bloggers?
    Atheists?
    Activists?
    Females?
    Gossips?
    Rumor-mongers?
    The credulous?
    The delusional?

  51. Bozjemoj says

    It’s almost like one of those Big Bad season long serial killer arcs in Criminal Minds. “Please stop me before I rape-apologize again!”

    Or an art installation: “How creepy can a person with a modicum of power get and still stay in their position.”

  52. says

    @68: Given the alacrity at which he’s alienating people (or apparently the alienating people are alienating people), I assume at some point he’ll just have to go “human beings.”

  53. CerberusCheerleader says

    I think the parallel he is drawing between the “so called feminists” and the religious right is very telling. What is THE fundamental feature of how the religious right views sexuality? It is a FUNDAMENTAL problem not with sexuality per se but with FEMALE sexuality. By drawing the parallel he implies that feminism too has this fundamental problem with female sexuality.

    That explains why he calls feminists “so called feminists”. They are not really feminists, they don’t really care for the well being of woman. Rather, their agenda is to deprive woman of a healthy sex life, to control or suppress or reject their sexuality much like the religious right does.

    Now, if you take this as his view, than this recent “rape” campaign MUST seem like just another instance of persuing the overlaying goal of rejecting and oppressing healthy natural female sexuality. Moreover, the entire “so called left wing feminist” endeavor MUST seem like just an extension of the tradition of misogynist attitudes towards woman MUCH LIKE CONSERVATIVE RELIGION. In other words, YOU people here, the “so called feminists”, are the real misogynists, while he is the True Feminist.

    If you assume that that is how he sees things, than that also explains why he just deletes your facebook entries: to him a feminist declaring she is sex positive is just a liar, a troll.

    In other words, he is so detached from reality that communication becomes almost impossible. It’s like explaining the details of a particular aspect of evolution to a young earth creationist.

  54. CaitieCat says

    Perhaps what DJ means by ‘sex-positive’ is “I would feel more positive toward you if you let me do sex to you”?

  55. Scr... Archivist says

    Hey, I found one!

    There actually is one living person who describes herself as a sex-negative feminist. Her name is Jillian Horowitz, and she only recently started talking about this subject. (So I doubt DJ got his straw from her.) http://www.xojane.com/issues/im-a-sex-negative-feminist

    Skimming the piece, it seems she’s not so much sex-negative as sex-critical. But evaluate it for yourselves.

    There is also this rebuttal from one Natalia Antonova at Feministe. Even if you don’t read it, you really need to see the GIF at the end.
    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/07/24/as-a-rape-survivor-i-or-why-feelings-ought-to-matter-to-sex-negative-feminism/

    And neither of them seem to be arguing from Victorian notions of purity or from unbridled libertinism, as DJ might expect.

  56. says

    I don’t know where else to report this so I’m just going to put it here:
    Your web page has a bad case of the pop-ups. You might want to look into that.

  57. Pteryxx says

    Scr… Archivist, for that one find alone you deserve all the search-fu Internets forevar.

  58. says

    And when is anyone going to lay some blame at James Randi’s feet. The foundation’s fucking named after him. He sits on the board. He hired this guy and continues to seemingly not fire him. The one time I saw someone suggest this in a comment here, someone else used the excuse that he’s old.

    Maybe James Randi can’t run a marathon, but I’ve heard recent interviews and his fucking brain still works.

  59. says

    I do. Randi was my gateway to skepticism, so it’s painful to talk about it much and I don’t know that I could be particularly objective on the topic, but I do.

  60. says

    Fair enough Stephanie. I guess I just feel he should take some more fire, too. Seemingly there’s a lot of eggshell traversing on account of what I would assume are feelings similar to yours, but Randi’s clearly a problem in some way if he either doesn’t know about this problem running his organization or doesn’t seem to care about removing him.

  61. says

    re: actual “sex-negative” feminists

    A Radical TransFeminist wrote a very in-depth, nuanced, thought-provoking, complex, brilliant, touching, and at times hard-to-read series (so, um, probably not who D.J. was referring to) called: The Ethical Prude: Imagining An Authentic Sex-Negative Feminism. Note: This is most definitely not “Feminism 101″ type reading.

    Mostly, I just wanted an excuse to post the link, because I think the author (and the ideas she puts forward) deserve more attention and discussion. And, hey, in the interest of fairness…

    Oh, and IIRC, Twisty has referred to herself as “sex-negative” before. But I might be wrong. I can’t find a particular link. (But, hey, if you want to go through years of her backlog to look, I honestly don’t think time spent reading her archives could ever be considered wasted.)

  62. says

    …Citation ****ing required. Really. I want to see one example of the anti-sex rightist religionists allying with anything that could remotely be seen as feminist.

    that’s actually not very hard to find, since anti-sex-work agitation IS an alliance between certain feminist sections and the anti-sex rightwing.

    But the fact that you basically have to look into situations where people are agitating to get porn banned, or prostitution made illegal, or worse before you get to that alliance tells you a lot about how divorced from reality DJ is on this topic; because none of the people he’s attacking are engaged in this kind of work (there is at least one anti-sex-work writer on FTB, but she’s not actually involved with this particular crisis, and generally gets criticized very thoroughly when he writes something anti-sex-work-ish by the rest of FTB feminism)

  63. says

    The way they freak out over enthusiastic consent really makes one afraid of how these people are having sex.
    Holy fuck we did enthusiastic consent even before I knew the term. Hearing about it didn’t make me scream my head off about how this ruins everything, it gave me a name for something I practised.

  64. says

    By claiming we’re obsessed trolls, because no one else would pay any attention to what the president of an organization under scrutiny broadcasts to 5,000 friends and 1,000+ followers on Facebook. No, really.

  65. says

    Maybe James Randi can’t run a marathon, but I’ve heard recent interviews and his fucking brain still works.

    Indeed. I heard the recent interview on SGU and it didn’t sound like he was going dotty. He should be strong and clear-headed enough to fight back if he wanted to.

    Hell, even if there was some organizational reason why he couldn’t just fire DJ (weird by-laws, stacked board, obscure bureaucracy, whatever) or if he didn’t have the strength for a drawn-out political fight, all he would need to do was give an interview or talk and say “I think DJ should step down”. Such news would spread like wildfire and there’s no way that DJ could remain president if Randi publicly disavowed him; his credibility would be shot. It’s the JAMES RANDI Educational Foundation, dammit. DJ simply couldn’t stay on without Randi’s blessing; even the asshole brigade would boo him off stage.

    So, Randi would certainly be able to toss out DJ. No matter the specifics, he would have options. The fact that this hasn’t happened leaves me with the conclusion that Randi is supporting DJ. He could get rid of him, but he chooses not to. It’s a deliberate policy decision.

    James Randi used to be a name that filled me with respect and a giddy kind of joy: Good, old Randi, still going strong. Eighty-some years and he “overdoses” on homeopathic pills. Yay! Old boy’s still got it.

    Lately, though, these emotions have been mixed with a distinctly sour taste. A feeling of impending revelation; another giant with clay feet, about to fall. It just makes me sad.
    Seriously, I’m sitting here writing this and it just makes me fucking sad because I remember all the bad-assery that Randi has pulled off over the years and then this is how it ends? Not with a bang but with a whimper. A pathetic, little, misogynistic whimper.

    Fuck.

  66. says

    The in-groupers at FtB have been attempting to redefine flirting as sexual harassment and sexual intercourse as rape. The problem with this tactic is that it obfuscates actual acts of sexual predation while criminalizing very healthy sex-positive human interaction.

    from this I have to conclude that Ardent Atheist likes his sex/flirting consent-free, since what we’ve “redefined” as sexual harassment is sexual attention without consent; what we’ve “redefined” as rape is sexual intercourse without consent.

  67. pneumo says

    Here, I’ve close-captioned it for you:

    “Bad, Bad FtB:ers, you are causing a rift in the atheosphere by having me spout ridiculous shit that have no basis in fact which is making me look like a fucking tool.”

    Yes, I’m a bit grumpy today, why do you ask?

  68. says

    @ tadeina #82

    Except Intercourse is, as a whole, not a “sex-negative” book. It’s sex-critical, sure, and Dworkin’s writing is very easy for people to quote mine, but 30+ years on, people are still misrepresenting what the book says.

  69. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Strange followup answer from DJ on that page:

    … Trolls have been trolling my wall on these issues — people not actually connected to me on FB — and some folks seem obsessed with my Facebook page or Twitter (obsession for well over a year — unhinged outrage if I “like” the wrong thing or “follow” the wrong person etc., replete with impressive personal attacks and lies), constantly monitoring me comments and screen grabbing etc (not at unlike others do with Storify). In any event, hope that clarifies for you but I’ll not be debating these points further.

    Yeah, trolls, of course, like Amanda Marcotte and Dana Hunter. Sure, that’s your problem, DJ, an invasion of trolls, and you the completely innocent, stunned victim. Why you, poor boy, why you?

    But more interesting is the next reply to DJ (at least, it’s there while I’m typing now):

    Gives one a lot of sympathy for Rebecca Watson, and other women who gets it a lot worse, I should imagine.

    I wonder why that comment hasn’t been deleted and that person blocked from DJ’s page.

  70. lancefinney says

    The question I asked was literally the first time I’d talked to DJ about these issues, and were we Facebook friend, he follows and sometimes retweets me on Twitter, and we knew each other personally when he lived in St Louis.

    But apparently, I’m now a troll for asking one question.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he has had trolls, but not everyone who has a question is obsessed.

  71. HappyNat says

    So the Free Speech brigade has been all over DJ for deleting the messages from these “trolls”, right? Or does Free Speech only apply to rape threats and “humorous” photoshops and not well thought out questions?

    Then again maybe we should give DJ a break. Using his owns words, written under his own name, against him is clearly a witch hunt.

  72. says

    You could seriously give an entire lecture at TAM on cognitive disconnect using only quotes from DJ as examples.

    (Now that would be awesome to see.)

  73. says

    Trolls have been trolling my wall on these issues — people not actually connected to me on FB — and some folks seem obsessed with my Facebook page or Twitter (obsession for well over a year — unhinged outrage if I “like” the wrong thing or “follow” the wrong person etc., replete with impressive personal attacks and lies), constantly monitoring me comments and screen grabbing etc (not at unlike others do with Storify). In any event, hope that clarifies for you but I’ll not be debating these points further.

    Yes, noting what the leader of one of the three big skeptical organizations has to say about actual issues in the community, and asking polite questions about it, is totally the same as Elevatorgate making hundreds of Storifies a day, the ‘pitters obsessively monitoring people like Ophelia, and it’s totally on-par with the harassment you all get.

    Maybe someday DJ will make it back to this reality.

    Seriously, I did a quick search. You mentioned DJ once earlier this month, and before that, not since June. Seems totally obsessive, doesn’t it?

  74. kellym says

    I’m still struck by the way DJ Grothe has treated lancefinney. According to lancefinney @ 53, James Randi, the 80-something founder of the JREF, personally entertained him and his family at his home. From his account, Randi treated lancefinney as if he graciously appreciated his support and generosity. Whenever I’ve been in Randi’s presence, which has always been in public, I’ve also been impressed by his unfailing graciousness. Time after time after time, DJ Grothe has personally pissed away the goodwill of those who admired and supported Randi. Grothe’s treatment of Amy at TAM 2012 is that which, to this day, outrages me the most. Grothe’s incompetence, arrogance, and contempt/hatred for “far-left so-called feminists” has cost the JREF so much that Randi has seemed to work so hard for.

  75. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    Gilliel, @81

    The way they freak out over enthusiastic consent really makes one afraid of how these people are having sex.

    I came to the ideas of feminism and sex-positivity and enthusiastic consent at the age of 15, several years ago. Since then, I’ve spent my time steeping in these ideas. And now, I’m in my first ‘serious’ relationship, and we do enthusiastic consent, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I just… don’t get *why* anyone would want to do anything else. The idea actually sort of scares me.

  76. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    There’s now a new comment on that thread:

    You know, coming on strong and without preliminaries can be creepy when you can’t get away from the propositioner, you know, like on a boat. But by all means, let’s focus on the one incident that everyone agrees was not a crime instead of the well documented cases of harassment and sexual assault that are the meat of the subject.

    If women don’t feel that their refusal or safety will be taken seriously, they’ll be wearing their steel-toed boots and carrying Mace.

    Or they’ll simply take their money and energy elsewhere.

Trackbacks

  1. […] And anyone who’s paid any attention should be able to rattle off a dozen examples off the top of their head. Bill Maher is an atheist who’s an alt-med proponent and science denialist. Penn & Teller are skeptical atheists who used their show to promote global warming denialism. Linus Pauling was a two-time Nobel laureate who blundered his way into promoting vitamin megadosing pseudoscience. And in terms of assholery, you’ve got the racism and Islamophobia of guys like Dawkins and Harris and Pat Condell, the disgusting misogyny of guys like the Amazing Atheist and Thunderf00t, and plenty of patronizing, smarmy douchebags. […]

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