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I Get Mail – Apparently I am officially a FTBully

While waiting for my ride to my exam, I decided to check my mail and came across this little message that I felt needed a reply.

There are some disturbing tendencies among  skeptics/atheists I’d like to bring your attention to 

Disturbing? Tendencies? ATTENTION???

What could it be? Well….

  • Banning people for disagreeing. I’m not talking about people making stupid claims like the earth is actually a large piece of bubble-gum. I’m talking about people who think maybe everyone should be treated equally and anyone can be a victim of discrimination. It happens more to some groups than others, but that doesn’t mean anyone is immune. Blocking instead of answering valid questions/concerns or to avoid showing what you claim is accurate, or blocking people you are publicly criticizing  in order to keep them from answering to that criticism are also ‘in’ behaviors among many.  The point has been made that people are allowed to run their web pages as they see fit and I agree but just because they can and do doesn’t mean they aren’t being a little irresponsible and underhanded. remember when  a skeptic/atheist would trip over themselves to answer someone who questioned their claims or demanded proof? Those days are long gone in some places.

I haven’t blocked anyone (YET) from my blog so I assume this is aimed at other FTBloggers/ullies. And I will remind people this.

These are private blogs. Our personal agreement is as long as we don’t indulge in blatant faux pas we can blog here. Now I assume the censorship whinge is about various MRA and people from the organisation officially calling themselves the Slymepit. But these are blogs aimed at stuff we like.

We cannot keep answering questions. We often have comment policies which if triggered will cause bans and deletions. But we can be as draconian as we like. I can ban people for supporting the breaking of eggs on the pointed side if I so wish and there is pretty much nothing people can do about it except NOT READ. However I am trying my level best to put in a sensible system and indeed people like PZ Myers offer places which are off topic and off topic with no moderation to allow his readers to say what they feel like.

And we aren’t the only group of people who use bans like this (I shall cover it later. It’s actually rather interesting).

The current major argument is whether or not women have it bad in Atheism. And I have repeatedly said that while women in Skeptic/Atheist circles are not badly mistreated like say women in Geek or Videogame circles (or Securities and Hacking for that matter) they are not represented well. And are often subject to Atheism having been a boy’s club for a long long while.

We keep saying this and you keep ignoring all the people who complain about it. And yes I agree it’s a western thing and kind of “silly” if you aren’t from the same kind of society but I recognise people care about things closer to home. You will lose more sleep about graffiti bandits tagging your house than genocide in a far off country. That’s horrid but that’s how life is for most people. So more people are worked up about sexism in their back garden. In 2 years time if a horrific attack on a woman came to my attention in India, I would be less pro-active about it because I won’t be here.

With this in mind there is a distinct anti-feminist drive amongst atheists. There is a simple piece of terminology you must understand. A feminist is just someone who believes and campaigns for equal rights for women. They don’t want to steal your penis and turn you into a zombie. If you believe that women are and should be treated as equals to men bar the obvious (Maternity) then congratulations you are a feminist. If you are willing to obfuscate or deny real issues amongst women then you are not. There is a major anti-feminist campaign to simply turn every argument here into an argument about them. The amount of personal attacks is astonishing and often they cross various acceptable lines.

  • The redefining of words to fit a certain social movements agenda. A lot of people are abusing the  phrase “definitions change over time” Yes, they do change but if you are aware of that then you should be smart enough to know the old usage doesn’t just shrink into a little ball of light and blink out in front of everyone one day and no one sends out regular memos which are posted on front doors to announce any change. It takes time for the most familiar definition to fall out of use if it ever does at all. 

Okay. But the only one that I have really run across as “redefining” in our current society is the word “retard” and mainly because that word has always been part of the euphemism roulette (Stupid, Idiot and Moron were earlier uses of the word) where it suddenly becomes unacceptable to say the previous word and the word slowly becomes less and less insulting.

And words are redefined to fit social movement agendas all the time. Nigger and Fag (more recently) were both redefined by their usage in American society with both being part of reclamation movements. It isn’t universal (people in the UK for instance refer to cigarettes as fags). Neither is the way people speak in different parts of the world.

  • Paralinguistic cues. This is a widespread problem since we have become more exposed to ‘text only’ interactions. Language also isn’t always easy to understand especially when you are reading the written word. Text does not carry mannerisms or paralinguistic cues . This causes people like Adam Lee to make assumptions and come to incorrect conclusions about other people he has never met. Adam doesn’t understand there is always more to a person than what can be guessed by reading a twitter feed or a blog. 

Adam Lee doesn’t blog here…

I don’t even know who he is in all honesty. I should read up a bit more.

There is a lot more to a person than a twitter feed or a blog. BUT what we do on them explains a lot about the type of person we are, what our beliefs are and how we really treat people. If the only reason you aren’t calling everyone you meet a bag of cunts (and I am using the massively devastating american usage of the expression rather than the more jovial british attitude to the word.) is the social repercussion then you aren’t a nice person.

Your online persona is basically you without the limiter of social disapproval. You wouldn’t dream of showing up to a job interview dressed like Bruce Willis in Die Hard with A Vengeance because you know people would disapprove and think you are a racist. You may not be one but that’s the persona you are putting forth. We may be “judgemental” but it’s not up to us to look past your thick callous exterior to find the goodness inside you.

That’s the job of Disney Princesses. Do I look like fucking Belle to you? Do you see me triapse around in swishy dresses surrounded by anthropomorphic utensils? It’s not my job to tolerate you till I get Stockholm Syndrome/witness the hidden beauty that is you. It’s you job to put your best foot forward.

  •  Censorship. There have been an incredible amount of attempts to “quiet the opposition”  among some atheist/skeptics. Flagging videos, blocking people before you even have any exchange with them. Character assassinations, shunning, calling for people to pick one side of an issue and force anyone who isn’t on your side out of any discussion. Dismissing entire groups of people based on who they choose to interact with rather than considering them based on their actions and words. All these things are counterproductive. Behaving in this manner limits our ability to progress and interact. If you surround yourself with people who agree with you on all aspects of life you start to think your opinion is the most reasonable because everyone you know agrees. Social interaction is complicated and the more open you are to differing opinions the easier it will be to make sure everyone is treated equally.

There has also been harassment and threats and attempts to divert people from readings solely because of where they are hosted or who says them. Tribalism exists on both sides.

And some of the people you interact with are insanely dangerous. MRA’s from the Slymepit who were regulars at AVfM showed up. Many of our bloggers here have been harassed by people such as Wooly Bumblebee who are writers at AVfM. The same AVfM that supported the idea that the women in India who are raped have it easier than the men. And I noticed absolutely no backlash from the Slymepit.

What would you have me think? That you are all silently disapproving? Well they are vocal enough about shoes or whether or not I should have things they consider important yet they are actually silent about their own members supporting rape apologists in FREAKING INDIA. They defended a culture that was trying to blame women for a rape that left a young woman dead. The interaction you are having with these people is one of camaraderie, not distaste.

It’s not counter-productive. It’s recognition of who you are and what you are willing to fight for. In my experience the FTB naysayers were more interested in my quest to replace an old laptop (including one individual who suggested I should GET A JOB.) than the actual protests that I covered.

And the entire irony is that many people from the anti-FTB brigade are guilty of PRECISELY this.

  • The lack of inclination or need to explain your position/conclusions to others. Many skeptic/atheists do not feel it is important to explain why they feel the way they do about certain subjects. They expect others to just ‘get it’ because it seems so simple to them. Anyone who doesn’t fall in line is either the enemy, stupid, or just unworthy of being shown any respect. PZ Myers is a great example of this. Now I know PZ has been very supportive of me and I don’t mean to insult him but, to be honest, PZ is like a conceited,  bitter, vindictive, bully. He is far too busy to ever make sure his point is clear or to make a case for his side of an argument. He is to important to be bothered by silly details like being accurate and honest. It is much easier to shut down the critics by shutting off the comments and/or  banning them when (or sometimes before) they  post presenting a counter opinion. If we could harness the condescension  and  arrogance contained in PZ’s head it could power 3 states an still be enough to run the intense limelight he thinks constantly shines on him. 

Well he is a pretty well known atheist and a pretty known internet figure in addition to actually having a pretty well known job. I don’t have time either but the way I write is different (And I travel sufficiently to work on posts during transit). However he does explain. He has explained. Others have explained what he believes in too. Now I don’t know what your personal relationship with the man is but from what I read, his blog is pretty explicit on what he does and doesn’t support.

He has posts that regularly hit hundreds of comments. He doesn’t have time to respond to each of your comments.

And many “critics” cross various well established lines.

Put it this way, if I went on the Stormfront and defended interracial marriage and children I would get banned. That’s their idea of freedom and their idea of rules. I have to stick to those ideas. The same applies when you comment here. The individual bloggers comment policies control what you can and cannot say. It’s not universal.

Comments

  1. says

    I just checked, part of the email was recycled from the blog rant that Ophelia quoted here. Also, Adam Lee writes a blog called Daylight Atheism and recently started a petition supporting diversity in the atheist community, which the Slymepitters didn’t like very much.

    Best of luck with the ENT exam and the viva voces!

  2. says

    Oh, look: confirm – at Ophelia’s AND here.
    *imagine gumby mode*

    If we could harness the condescension and arrogance contained in PZ’s head it could power 3 states an still be enough to run the intense limelight he thinks constantly shines on him.

  3. Rodney Nelson says

    A slymepitter is complaining because the anti-slymepit forces, aka FTB, aren’t lying down and letting the MRAs win the battle between feminism and misogyny. What a shame.

  4. says

    Their MRAs from India portray a picture of India as if Indian women are free and repeated stuff that’s used to blame the victim. AVfM actively stood FOR these people and many of the people who found my work “distasteful” came from down their way.

    If you are blaming victims in a culture that blames victims and insist that Indian women have it easy despite nearly every story coming out of India being one of women NOT being treated equally then you are dangerous. You literally have no grasp of reality and cannot see the domination of others.

    It’s your own fault you got raped… that was what a lot of people said to Indian women. That’s why there were riots. Because people TRIED to blame the women. They TRIED to do what the MRAs from India were doing on AVfM but the riots were because people had enough.

    1. The Slymepit said fuck all to their members who were defending rapists and a culture of rape.
    2. The Slymepit’s MRA’s didn’t even make a stand vs. people they knew were unreasonable>
    3. The Slymepit is represented out there by Woolie Bumblebee who is apparently a fairly high up editor

    Question? IF you hang out with a open racist… Like KKK grade racist… And never condemn what they say nor condemn their viewpoint. Instead you sit in silence when they bash let’s say “Indian people”. And then you complain when people call you racist because “we don’t know you”.

    On the contrary. We do know you. You are friends with people who think one of the WORST countries on earth to be a woman has it worse for men. At best you are stupid, at worst you are no different from them. And these are your vocal fucking members. Not some minority. These are the people you look to when one of us needs “putting in our place”.

    At least one of your leaders and some members belong to a mindset that harms women where I work. Why the hell should I consider you lot as anything but a bunch of amoral fuckwits who are trying to cover up and protect rapists by shaming women into silence?

  5. says

    The weirdest thing with these guys and gals, to me at least, is that they assume a level of intimate familiarity with the ins and outs of this discourse; as if Reap’s feud with Adam Lee was front page news so of course you should be just as scandalized as he is with Adam’s outrageous persecution.

    BTW, I recommend Daylight Atheism. It was the first Atheist blog I read.

  6. hjhornbeck says

    The weirdest thing with these guys and gals, to me at least, is that they assume a level of intimate familiarity with the ins and outs of this discourse; as if Reap’s feud with Adam Lee was front page news so of course you should be just as scandalized as he is with Adam’s outrageous persecution.

    That sounds like a stalker’s mindset, where obsessing over someone’s every word and behavior leads to a distorted view of what’s important.

  7. glodson says

    How dare you have standards on your blog that you have yet to really enforce by banning anyone yet, sir!

  8. mdevile says

    “It’s not my job to tolerate you till I get Stockholm Syndrome/witness the hidden beauty that is you. ”

    I think I want this on a T-shirt.

  9. abear says

    Apparently those slymepitter types are using guilt by association and trying to blame you for the outrageous crap spouted by other ftb bloggers like Myers and Benson.
    Totally unfair!

  10. johngreg says

    Avicenna said:

    Now I assume the censorship whinge is about various MRA and people from the organisation officially calling themselves the Slymepit.

    It is not so much a “censorship whinge” as it is a highlighting of blatant hypocrisy and deceit. On the blogs in question (Almost Diamonds; Blag Hag; Butterflies and Wheels; Dispatches from the Culture Wars; Greta Christina’s Blog; Lousy Canuck; Pharyngula; Sincerely Natalie Reed), many people from the Slymepit (not an organization, by the way, just a loose aggregate of people from all around the world — not primarily US-centric, as is FfTB — with a very wide range of opinions, expertise, and so on) have been banned simply for having posted at the Pit, a censorship-free blog. Yes, some have been banned from various FfTB blogs for being hostile on the given blog, but many more have been edited, deleted, moderated, and banned for nothing more than expressing a point of view, or in some cases actual real-world first-hand experience, that does not adhere to, agree with, or follow the dominant theme and ideology of the FfTB blog host.

    We often have comment policies which if triggered will cause bans and deletions.

    Well, OK, except not really true in practice as it might be in theory. Only a few of the blogs have actual stated comment policies that are actually adhered to and followed by the blog host. In many instances the edits, deletions, moderating, and banning are simply arbitrary and in no way the result of actually breaking blog commenting rules. Now, yes, indeed, that is the right of the blog owner; most of the people at the Pit are not complaining about being banned so much as they are simply pointing out the inherent deceit and hypocrisy of the hosts of those blogs, and the common practice of the blog host to ban a Pit person, then throw a bunch of insults at them, and encourage the commentariat to insult them without having the benefit of being able to defend themself.

    PZ Myers offer places which are off topic and off topic with no moderation to allow his readers to say what they feel like.

    Not, if fact, true. PZ bans people even from his unmoderated threads. If he doesn’t like the person, or if he discovers that they post on the Pit, Bang, into the dungeon, or off with their heads.

    The current major argument is whether or not women have it bad in Atheism.

    OK, but the principle argument at the Pit is not that women do not have it bad in Atheism. There is not really any principle argument at the Pit because there is such a wide rage of opinions running from Yes, some women seem to have it bad in Atheism, to, No, women do not have it bad in Atheism, and whatever range of nuance can fit between the two. But probably the closest you would come to finding a principle argument at the Pit would be a fairly wide spread opinion that women such as , Jen McCreight, Greta Christina, and Natalie Reed, and in particular, Ophelia Benson, Rebecca Watson, and Stefunny Zvan, and men such as Richard Carrier, PZ Myers, and Jason Thibault greatly exaggerate, and sometimes outright lie about the degree to which those women “have it bad”, and what, specifically, having it bad actually entails. And those Pit people, for whatever opinion they hold, pro or con, or anywhere in between, are as a matter of form labeled misogynists, rape-enablers, sexists, MRA assholes, and a range of other insulting labels that are almost entirely not true.

    We keep saying this and you keep ignoring all the people who complain about it.

    In point of fact we do not ignore them. What we do is repeatedly request actual evidence, which is almost never forthcoming beyond the usual deceit of We’ve told you time and time again; do your own research, we just point out where and why we disagree with the claimed degree of so-called harassment, and having it bad and so on.

    A feminist is just someone who believes and campaigns for equal rights for women.

    If that were true, then you, and the rest of FfTB, Skepchick,org, A+, and others would not be so rigorous in calling all of the Pit misogynist sexist anti-feminists. While there is a very small handful of actual MRA people posting at the Pit — about 4 or 5, I think — the truth is that most of the Pit people are dedicated humanists (and an ever-increasing group of ex-FfTB commentors who became disapppointed with the hypocrisy and deceit so ever-present at FfTB) who actually feel that women, and men, suffer various and sometimes differing inequities in contemporary society (especially in the third-world, and probably least in most major western democracies), and that changes should be made to encourage and bring about an egalitarian society that aims for equality for people regardless of their gender. Just because we make fun of the more extreme points of view, or the more hysterical expressors of that view, does not make us anti-feminist; it makes us anti-dishonesty; anti-exaggeration; anti-hysteria; anti manufactroversy.

    If the only reason you aren’t calling everyone you meet a bag of cunts … is the social repercussion then you aren’t a nice person.

    Nonsense. That is basically the same thing as saying only people who read the bible and believe in god can be moral: Only people who do not call everyone they meet a bag of cunts can be good. Ridiculous.

    Your online persona is basically you without the limiter of social disapproval … it’s not up to us to look past your thick callous exterior to find the goodness inside you.

    Tell all that to PZ Myers. Did you know that among his other slanders and name calling PZ declared that everyone on the Pit is no different from mass murderer Marc Lepine, and the only reason we are not out murdering women by the dozens is because we’re ashamed and chickenshit?

    And these anonymous monsters on the internet who shriek affrontedly about women and feminists and moan that any feminist allies are ‘manginas’ — to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.

    (He says that in his “Never Forget” thread — which, by the way, forgetting that is, PZ has done consitently since the murders.)

    There has also been harassment and threats and attempts to divert people from readings solely because of where they are hosted or who says them.

    If you define harassment as reading someone’s blog and expressing disagreement, or expressing the desire to engage the individual in actual meaningful debate, face-to-face, then maybe so. Personally, I think Zvan and Laden, in particular, define harassment much more specifically with their self-admitted campaign to threaten the livelihood and reputation of such people as ERV and Justin Vacula.

    And I noticed absolutely no backlash [directed to AVfM] from the Slymepit.

    Because the people at the Pit do not read every blog in the universe, and because, as has been stated countless times, the primary reason for the Pit’s existence is not to be “Activist” regarding women’s or men’s issues, but to simply get together and point our sticky fingers at the frequently incoherent nonsense and deceit we see on FfTB, Skepchick.org, and now A+.

    … they are actually silent about their own members supporting rape apologists in FREAKING INDIA.

    Bullshit. Prove the Pit has members supporting rape apologists, anywhere.

    Put it this way, if I went on the Stormfront and defended interracial marriage and children I would get banned. That’s their idea of freedom and their idea of rules. I have to stick to those ideas.

    HAHAHAHA. So, you base your blog morality on Stormfront? Lovely.

  11. plutosdad says

    It’s not even about rules. It’s about people making the same comment over and over, ideas that were asked and answered long ago.

    People talk about problems affecting women, and have dealt with all these issues a long time. Some newbie male comes and says “hey, men are discriminated against too!” and bring up points that are decades old, who has the time to patiently explain how wrong they are, and how ignorant and insulting their comments are?

    I’ve never seen anyone banned for merely stating an opinion or argument. People are banned for being abusive, or for constantly asking the same “challenging” question over and over, even when it was answered on another blog post months (or years) ago and they refuse to read it.

    I don’t expect any blogger to have the time to spoon feed me a century of philosophy and ethics, that’s my job to educate myself.

    Johngreg above is a perfect example. He says “If you define harassment as reading someone’s blog and expressing disagreement, or expressing the desire to engage the individual in actual meaningful debate, face-to-face, then maybe so” but no one has ever said that is harassment. Saying things like “I hope your head is cut off and your neck raped” is the type of comments women are getting. He has not really read or paid attention to anything that has been said over the past 2 years. There is a good argument for not even engaging in someone like that, and another good argument to improve the S/N ratio by hiding/banning/killfilling all those types of commenters – people not interested in learning, debating, but just arguing the same old points without moving on or addressing the counter arguments.

  12. johngreg says

    plutosdad said:

    It’s about people making the same comment over and over, ideas that were asked and answered long ago.

    That is simply just not true. For example, when Rebecca Watson first made her claim about the death and rape threats coming from within the athiest community, a relatively recent claim, she was asked for evidence. The askers were then roundly and soundly vilified by Skepchick.org posters and commentors, and FfTB posters and commenors. And Watson never did provide any actual evidence of both death and direct rape threats that came from within the athiest community. Everyone just assumed it must be true because she claimed it was, and eventually showed a few horrible emails that could have come from anywhere. I am not talking about year’s old or decade’s old arguments; I am talking about the ongoing, refreshed almost weekly, claims being made by folks like Surly Amy, Watson, Zvan, Lord PeeZus et al, claims that are relativevly new, and which, so far as I can determine, remain evidence-free.

    no one has ever said that is harassment

    Actually, PZ, Zvan, Laden, Ophelia, and McCreight have all made statements in the past that the Slymepit is harrassing them. Zvan even wrote up a post or two about it, and all we do is what I have already outlined. In my opinion that is pretty screwy definition of harassment. If you want to see some actual evidence of such, including sceenshots, citatoins, and links, go visit the Phawrongula wiki: http://phawrongula.wikia.com/wiki/Phawrongula_Wiki

    I hope your head is cut off and your neck raped….

    No one on the Pit has ever, at any time condoned or defended that kind of shit talk. What we have stated, and what has never been disproved is that most Pitters do not believe that such hostilities come from within the atheist community (as claimed by Rebecca Watson, and some others), or that that hostility in fact comes from anyone other than the typical gang of Internet sociopaths that appear all over the Internet.

    And, for the record, while no one at the Pit has ever made any kind of harm-threat towards FfTBers, or others, the following are examples of FfTB sourced direct threats:

    I am going to break your neck — julian

    I hope you die painfully in a fire — WowBagger; julian

    I will sit acorss the street with a loaded rifle and show you what I think of you — paraphrase of a statement made by Aquaria.

    There are many more instances of these direct threats sourced from FfTB, but I think three is good start. Perhap you can, you know, do your own research. And I can guarantee you, you wil not find any of those kinds of threats, or the ones Watson talks about, on the Pit. But we are weekly reviled and vilified by the FC(n) as being misogynistic, sexist, rape-apologist supporters, rape enablers, ableists, and the entire rainbow of trademarked FfTB vilifications, with no evidence; no links; no citations to prove it true.

  13. PatrickG says

    *bemusement*

    Wow, you really have become an FTBully, Avicenna. Looks like you might get to refine your comment policy sooner than you expected!

  14. julian says

    btw, I’m going to break your neck wasn’t a threat. We were discussing racial slurs and what’s acceptable and I mentioned I have no qualms snapping the neck of someone who calls me a spic.

    As for the die in a fire I’ve admitted multiple times it was way out of line and tried to apologize for it. Good luck getting anyone from the pit to admit that.

  15. julian says

    I also find i funny for all the celebration the Pit has made of aggressive, self sufficient military women, they’re ever so appalled my Aquaria’s behavior. Gosh, I thought that’s how they wanted women to behave.

  16. says

    Everyone just assumed it must be true because she claimed it was, and eventually showed a few horrible emails that could have come from anywhere.

    Occam’s Razor. Outside of the atheist community, who would so obsessively follow relatively minor atheist figures? If you’re going to say creationists or other Christian imbeciles, they tend to stick to the well known, major figures (e.g. Dawkins, Myers, et al). Absolute proof is impossible to obtain, so the most likely result is that Watson is telling the truth. Not a guarantee, of course, but I see no reason to distrust her.

    in particular, Ophelia Benson, Rebecca Watson, and Stefunny Zvan, and men such as Richard Carrier, PZ Myers, and Jason Thibault greatly exaggerate, and sometimes outright lie about the degree to which those women “have it bad”, and what, specifically, having it bad actually entails.

    Just to use the example of Stephanie Zvan (U SO FUNNY LOLOLOLOLOLOL), ever check out her twitter feed, or any of the montages she’s posted? It’s pretty fucking pathetic.

    Bullshit. Prove the Pit has members supporting rape apologists, anywhere.

    Wooly Bumblebee. Done. A Voice for Men is a site that regularly hosts, and is run by, rape apologists. Since you claim there’s 4-5 actual MRAs there, that makes 4-5 actual rape apologists (My experience observing the MRM on its own turf since the SPLC first noticed it seems to indicate that MRA = Rape Apologist, with very few or no exceptions). If you’re going to claim guilt by association here, you’re right. For the same reason I regard regular contributors to Stormfront as racists, or regular posters to Free Republic to be ultranationalist conservatives.

  17. johngreg says

    julian said:

    As for the die in a fire I’ve admitted multiple times it was way out of line and tried to apologize for it. Good luck getting anyone from the pit to admit that.

    Well, julian, I will give you something that would never occur on FfTB, and admit the following:

    It was a low blow on my behalf to bring up your comment about the fire bit. I did promise, a long time ago, to not bring it up again, and at the time, I also did acknowledge your apology for it (at least, I think I did — could be flawed memory). So, mea culpa on the rehash. Nonetheless, julian, the real problem here is your ongoing problem with anger control and a more or less never-ending tossing out of various forms of threats of violence to people with whom you disagree. Hardly a week goes by without you, somewhere, telling someone, one of the many various ways you want to hurt them or deeply hope they get seriously hurt: neck breaking/cracking; skateboarding over their face; et al. And even when not a direct threat, it is still vile behaviour that is implicitly and tacitly condoned by FfTB in general, and is a type of behaviour that would absolutely not go uncriticised on the Pit. Like I say, it is not the behaviour/statements that I/the Pit criticise so much as the blatant hypocrisy.

    I also find i funny for all the celebration the Pit has made of aggressive, self sufficient military women, they’re ever so appalled my Aquaria’s behavior. Gosh, I thought that’s how they wanted women to behave.

    julian, that makes no sense at all. Aquaria, in effect, threatened an entire group of people with being shot simply because sh/i/t, whatever-the-fuck, did not agree with their opinions. What the fuck does that have to do with self-sufficient military women?

    shockna said:

    Outside of the atheist community, who would so obsessively follow relatively minor atheist figures?

    OK, it might be Occam’s razor, but if so, it works in the other direction too. However, the point I was trying to make is that without any show of evidence, Watson insisted that those dreadful threats came from within the atheist community, and she completely failed to provide evidence for the totality of her claim, at which point her supporters, from unknown commentariat, to the Lord PeeZus, insisted she was telling the truth simply because it was Teh Watson making the claim: no need for proof; no need for citations; no need for anything beyond the typical snark and anger that Watson is so well known for.

    I see no reason to distrust her.

    Then, clearly, you are no skeptic nor an indivdual who uses critical thinking: Sshe is Teh Wholly Holy Watson. No proof required; just the blue hair.

    A Voice for Men is a site that regularly hosts, and is run by, rape apologists.

    What a load of vacuous, vilifying horseshit. Prove it temple boy/girl; prove it.

  18. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    julian wrote:

    As for the die in a fire I’ve admitted multiple times it was way out of line and tried to apologize for it. Good luck getting anyone from the pit to admit that.

    As have I for the one occasion I’ve used the expression – I believe I referred to myself as an asshole for doing it – and all of those who have brought it up know full well that I have not used that expression or anything resembling it since.

    Not to mention that it was, of course, nothing like a threat – particularly given that the comment was directed toward a pseudonymous commenter as opposed to a well-known, actual-name-using person like Ophelia or Rebecca or Surly Amy or any of the many other women johngreg and his cronies have engaged in co-ordinated campaigns of intimidation against – and it is a lie to claim that it was anything of the sort.

    But what’s truth to a slymepitter?

  19. plutosdad says

    with no evidence; no links; no citations to prove it true.
    This is known as moving the goalposts. When a man says something happened, his word is usually enough. Not necessarily in court, but in the court of public opinion.
    When woman say something happened to them when no one else was around but one man, it’s the cries of “no evidence!”
    This also has been addressed over and over, and if you would bother to look back and read you would see your arguments have already been dealt with.
    Nothing new to see here.

  20. says

    What a load of vacuous, vilifying horseshit. Prove it temple boy/girl; prove it.

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/video/can-a-woman-beg-to-be-raped/

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/sexual-politics/evo-psych/manufacturing-female-victimhood-and-marginalizing-
    vulnerable-men/

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/you-werent-raped-join-the-club/

    Hell, just this entire tag alone will do it:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/tag/false-rape-culture/

    Just about everything they do contributes to an atmosphere in which women are -terrified- to report rape (which is an indirect form of rape apologism), and particularly where they indicate that getting someone too drunk to consent isn’t rape (blatant rape apologism, via an attempt to change the definition of rape).

    But of course, it’s clearly not enough evidence unless they outright say: “Rape isn’t always bad/Rapists aren’t all bad people”. Just like how you can’t prove evolution until you directly watch (not infer) change. Right?

    Watson insisted that those dreadful threats came from within the atheist community, and she completely failed to provide evidence for the totality of her claim

    How could she be expected to provide “total” evidence? Dredging up IP addresses? This type of demand is no different than Ken Ham’s “were you there?” nonsense. It seems it’s actually constructed so as to be impossible to “prove”.

    Then, clearly, you are no skeptic nor an indivdual who uses critical thinking: Sshe is Teh Wholly Holy Watson.

    Nonsense. When one makes a rather unremarkable claim (women being harassed for speaking up isn’t exactly news; that was par for the course for most of western history), the burden of proof is rather small. Just as extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, mundane claims require only mundane evidence.

    If you’d like more direct evidence, look at -any- of her youtube videos. It shouldn’t take more than five posts to find an idiot doing exactly the kind of thing she mentioned. Then check that persons comment history. Odds are they’ve commented on atheism related videos by other commentators, and were entirely approving. Now of course, this means that, obviously, they’re just random nobodies on the internet and not part of movement atheism (unless we’re talking about something other than harassment; in which case they’re clearly part of the community, right?).

    It’s rather like the abandoned philosophical tenet of logical positivism; you end up needing to prove so much that you never actually go anywhere (because every proof needs a proof, and so on into infinite regress).

  21. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    shockna wrote:

    It’s rather like the abandoned philosophical tenet of logical positivism; you end up needing to prove so much that you never actually go anywhere (because every proof needs a proof, and so on into infinite regress).

    As far as I’m concerned, if these ‘skeptics’ applied the same level of ‘skepticism’ in their lives that they demand we apply to the unextraordinary claims made by Rebecca Watson and other women, they’d never cross the street because they couldn’t know for sure that everyone on the road wasn’t a competent driver, unaffected by drugs/alcohol and operating a vehicle in perfect mechanical condition.

    It’s a dishonest misuse of the term to feign legitimacy, used the same way creationists do when referring to their assertions as ‘science’.

  22. johngreg says

    plutosdad said:

    This is known as moving the goalposts…. When woman say something happened to them when no one else was around but one man, it’s the cries of “no evidence!”

    No, it really is not what is “known as moving the goal posts”. It is known as practicing skepticism and critical thought. In my experience, the Pitters request evidence as much from men (especially such men as Myers, Laden, Thibault, and Crommunist), for their claims, as from women, for their claims.

    This also has been addressed over and over, and if you would bother to look back and read you would see your arguments have already been dealt with.

    Yes, having read FfTB blogs since their inception, and Pharyngula and Butterflies and Wheels before that, I have seen my arguments dealt with almost exclusively by using strawman arguments and endlessly repeating the mantra of Your arguments have been dealt with; if you disagree you’re a misogynistic sexist rape enabling woman hater. Or, of course, Thibault’s fave, “you disagree with me; you’re an anti-feminist”, and, finally, by not allowing for different interpretations of phenomena. Listen, I understand why this needs to be repeated endlessly, but I, and probably most of the Pitters, do not hold the view that women are not people, nor do I hold the view that sexism directed toward women does not exist, nor do I hold any views that would enable or support or excuse rape. The principle argument that I, and perhaps most of the Pitters, hold is that most, not all, but most of the FfTB blog hosts, and most, not all, but most of the FfTB commentariat exaggerate claims of such phenomena, often to an extreme extent, and anyone who disagrees, even to a small degree, with the general claims made by by FfTB people is automatically vilified as a sexist, rape enabling, misogynistic MRA bad, evil person. And that’s just fucking ludicrous.

    ….

    Ah, shockna, you’re only saying the same thing over and over again, which amounts to I believe Watson because I want to believe Watson, or, as Matt Dillahunty infamously claimed, facts don’t matter. What it amounts to, peripherally, is reinforcing the entire women as helpless victims / cross the street when you see one coming / take a different elevator sideshow of victimization that is so detrimental to actual progress. And, no, I do not think the articles you linked to prove your contention. What they show me is that there is a great deal of disagreement in the world, and in research, regarding the instance of rape experienced by men and women, and what is generally spoken of/claimed by gender feminist and radical feminist ideologues. Such disagreement is not supporting rape, or the supposed rape culture; it is disagreement with ideological claims that are often either unsupported with evidence, or supported using very dodgey and questionable and outdated evidence. Your inability to perceive the difference between support and disagreement shows that you are not capable of a rational debate on the issue, because your mind is firmly set.

    Wowbagger said:

    As far as I’m concerned, if these ‘skeptics’ applied the same level of ‘skepticism’ in their lives that they demand we apply to the unextraordinary claims made by Rebecca Watson and other women….

    The problem, in my view, is not that you do not apply the same amount of skepticism that you think I demand you must, the problem is that when it comes to someone like Rebecca Watson, and the FC(n), you appear, to me, to apply absolutely no skepticism at all.

    ___________
    By the by, I’d like to thank Avicenna for allowing me to actually reply to those folks who have replied to me. Normally I’d be moderated, disemvowelled, banned, and thoroughly vilified by this point just for replying and disagreeing.

  23. johngreg says

    I should also reply to this comment from Avicenna:

    The Slymepit is represented out there by Woolie Bumblebee who is apparently a fairly high up editor

    Absolutely wrong and false. No one represents the Slymepit, not even Abbie who more or less started it on NatGeo blogs. Additionally, there are no editors or moderators on the Pit. None whatsoever. The only individual who can do any sort of editing or moderation is the Pit’s owner/operator, Lsuoma. And he does not represent the Pit either, for that matter.

  24. captainahags says

    The principle argument that I, and perhaps most of the Pitters, hold is that most, not all, but most of the FfTB blog hosts, and most, not all, but most of the FfTB commentariat exaggerate claims of such phenomena, often to an extreme extent, and anyone who disagrees, even to a small degree, with the general claims made by by FfTB people is automatically vilified as a sexist, rape enabling, misogynistic MRA bad, evil person. And that’s just fucking ludicrous.

    Provide evidence or it’s bullshit. In fact, I’m not even going to believe that you are a real person and not a spambot computer imposter until you provide me with a certified copy of your birth certificate, state-issued identification, social security number, and passport if held. Just have to exercise proper skepticism, you know?

    Oh, you want me to take you at your word that you’re a human? Exactly what a computer WOULD say.

  25. says

    Ah, shockna, you’re only saying the same thing over and over again, which amounts to I believe Watson because I want to believe Watson, or, as Matt Dillahunty infamously claimed, facts don’t matter.

    If you weren’t being so willfully obtuse, I wouldn’t have to.

    You, along with every other human, must surely acknowledge differing levels of evidence required for particular claims to be accepted.

    For example:

    If I say, “last night I ate a ham sandwich”, you’re probably going to ask for a lot less evidence than if I’d said “last night I was visited by laser-wielding reptiles from the constellation Draco”. It seems you’d like to file Watson’s mundane claim of harassment into the “extraordinary” category, despite harassment of women for speaking up being a mundane thing (e.g. heavy historical precedent, significant evidence that this is still a very serious problem in society, even ignoring that Rebecca Watson exists).

    What it amounts to, peripherally, is reinforcing the entire women as helpless victims / cross the street when you see one coming / take a different elevator sideshow of victimization that is so detrimental to actual progress.

    “Cross the street when you see one coming” type actions have nothing to do with victimization; or at least, they’ve never been so for me. I’ve adopted those habits due to a lack of desire to make someone else feel needlessly uncomfortable.

    And, no, I do not think the articles you linked to prove your contention. What they show me is that there is a great deal of disagreement in the world, and in research, regarding the instance of rape experienced by men and women, and what is generally spoken of/claimed by gender feminist and radical feminist ideologues. Such disagreement is not supporting rape, or the supposed rape culture;

    When you claim things like “if you get too drunk to consent and some guy has sex with you, you weren’t raped”, that’s just blatant denialism. And by telling rape victims they weren’t raped, and defend the practice of taking advantage of inebriated people, that’s rape apologism.

    For further info, I’d look to the fact that AVfM isn’t just observed by feminist groups; I didn’t find them through FTBs, Skepchick, or any of the atheist community. I initially found out about the entire MRA sphere through the SPLC’s Spring 2012 intelligence report on hate groups (I didn’t consider myself a feminist until this past summer, when I first became interested in organized atheism, and found FTBs from half-remembering a reference to P.Z. Myers from a few years earlier).

    it is disagreement with ideological claims that are often either unsupported with evidence, or supported using very dodgey and questionable and outdated evidence. Your inability to perceive the difference between support and disagreement shows that you are not capable of a rational debate on the issue, because your mind is firmly set.

    AVfM goes far beyond mere disagreement; look at the entire existence of the “Register-Her.com” domain. They’ve run multiple harassment and intimidation campaigns against perceived foes. Just look, for one example, of their recent attempts to intimidate a Toronto student for the mortal sin of protesting the appearance of Warren Farrell.

    Or, my personal favorite, when they offered an $1000 bounty for personal information on a few Swedish feminists who appeared in a tasteless attempt at a viral video (I don’t speak Swedish, but the video apparently raised legitimate points, but through the worst means possible). That’s an extreme claim, and here’s what you’ll want; evidence.

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/activism/1000-bounty-to-identify-swedish-scum-members/

    Right from their own site, in their own goddamn words.

    Your inability to perceive the difference between support and disagreement shows that you are not capable of a rational debate on the issue, because your mind is firmly set.

    For the same reasons I’m not interested in having a debate with the people at Stormfront. If you consider blatant harassment campaigns and defense of abusers to be mere “disagreement”, then you’re either being willfully ignorant, or you’ve redefined “disagreement” to the point of it being a meaningless term.

    If you’d prefer a non-feminist source, look up the SPLC reports on the Men’s Rights Movement. They don’t paint a terribly pretty picture, particularly not one of “civil disagreement”.

  26. leni says

    And even when not a direct threat, it is still vile behaviour that is implicitly and tacitly condoned by FfTB in general, and is a type of behaviour that would absolutely not go uncriticised on the Pit. Like I say, it is not the behaviour/statements that I/the Pit criticise so much as the blatant hypocrisy.

    PROVE IT!!!11!!!!*

    Although when you respond could you be kind enough to provide me with a photo of yourself? I need to put you in some donkey porn with Reap Paden and the word “cunt” in the background in order for my follow-up to meet your no-hypocrisy standards.

    * Actually don’t bother. I don’t have a problem accepting that people are sometimes hypocrites and that you might disagree with them. Really what you should do is just leave. Don’t like it? Then fucking leave. Go back to your hypocrisy free zone of hilarious Gangnam Style gifs and bacony cunt jokes!

    Or not. Stay and annoy the fuck out of everyone with your bullshit pearl clutching until they ban you so you can pretend like you scored a point. Your choice.

  27. says

    Regardless of how much harassment of women actually happens*, can we agree that the ideal amount is none? And that it’s not anti-male to say that women shouldn’t be harassed**?

    *I have a feeling my estimate is higher than the average of Pitters’.
    **Provided this doesn’t preclude the idea that men shouldn’t be harassed either — again, regardless of how much that happens.

  28. says

    I think the problem the slymepit has is the definition of harassment. They don’t consider what they do as harassing, they consider it as a jaunty little joke.

  29. hotshoe says

    That’s one possible hypothesis as to what is the “problem the slymepit has: that it’s merely their different definition of jaunty-little-joke. A better hypothesis, supported by more-consistent observation of their typical behavior: most of them are thuggish scum who take pleasure by indulging in what they themselves know is vicious harassment, after which they wave away any negative consequences to their own reputations by lying that it was “only a joke”.

    It’s possible that a few of the slymepitters are so stupid that they genuinely confuse the definitions of “harassment” and “joke”. Reap Paden might be that stupid. But it’s not likely, statistically, that all of their ilk who can read and write legibly (as, say, JohnGreg) are that stupid. When one such as he participates in the slymepit campaign, then he knows what he’s doing is harassment and he does it anyway.

  30. johngreg says

    Avicenna said:

    I think the problem the slymepit has is the definition of harassment. They don’t consider what they do as harassing, they consider it as a jaunty little joke.

    While I run a slight risk of appearing to represent the Pit — and I do not represent the Pit; no one actually represents the Pit — I think your statement holds some truth, but it is more complex.
    _

    For example, at this moment there is discussion going on, in reaction to Zvan’s blog post about the nasty images of her, about all the nasty images at the Pit, and there is meaningful disagreement. Some folks do indeed feel that even the most hostile and ugly images are nothing more than lulz. At the other end of the scale are Pit posters who think the images are unnecessarily hateful to the targets, and are detrimental to the Pit as a place that would like to have more moderates from the so-called athiest / skeptical / feminist communities sign on. And there is the vast area of grey nuance between those two poles. I myself tend to be more or less in the middle. Some of the images that Zvan posted I do think are pretty terrible; others I think are, especially in context, pretty funny. Clearly, though, Zvan spent a lot of time, scouring through posts going back to almost the inception of the Pit, to find what she deemed to be the worst and most hateful imges to use to falsely describe a large and diverse community as all one mass of jelly-shaking hate.
    _

    However, to somewhat support your statement, I do not think very many Pit posters would agree that those images (or most of the anti-FfTB / Skepchick / A+ comments) are actual harassment. Hateful, yes, mean-spritied, yes, abusive, perhaps. And, no, hotshoe, I do not agree that it is harassment.
    _

    I am not honestly sure what I would define as harassment in this thing. I think to be actual harassment would, for one thing, have to involve actively posting the nasty images and angry words and name calling, and so on, actually on the FfTB blogs in question — which, as far as I am aware, no one does. To post this stuff on a blog that is not run or operated by anyone associated with FfTB, or Skechick.org, or A+, does not strike me as harassment. After all, no one is being forced to view it, or participate in it. Stefunny, Ophelia, et al could just ignore it, but it salves their egos far too much to, as I perceive it, preen their victimhood in front of their supporters to gain additional victimhood points, and “Oh poor, poor you, you brave feminist hero” comments in return.
    _

    TECHNICAL QUESTION: How do I place spaces between my pararaphs on this blog?

  31. johngreg says

    johngreg said:

    I think to be actual harassment would, for one thing, have to involve actively posting the nasty images and angry words and name calling, and so on, actually on the FfTB blogs in question — which, as far as I am aware, no one does.

    Whoops. I really need to clarify that before I get hung by mine own petard.
    -

    Yes indeed some of the Pit posters, the very small group of Pit posters who are not banned or moderated out of existence, do post name-calling and angry words on FfTB blogs, but so far as I am aware, they do not post the nasty images. And again, I think for the most part, they do not post anything that I think can realistically be called harassment, or, for that matter, actual misogyny, rape-enabling, sexist, evil stuff. Posting opinions and nasty nicknames simply is not harassment, in my opinion.

  32. hotshoe says

    Jphngreg, too bad your opinion is worthless, wrong both morally and legally. There is no limitation it qualifying as “harassment” only if the victim is forced to see it, ie by your slymer friends’s porny photoshops being posted directly onto Zvan’s blog.

    Of course, I don’t expect you to admit that you agree. i already said you aren’t one of the stupid ones. You don’t think you have anything to gain by admitting it’s not just privately-amusing nasty jokes, and much to lose. For you to agree that what your slymer compadres are doing qualifies as harassment would be uncomfortably close to home for you. They choose to continue harassing behaviors, that makes it reasonable to call them harassers, and then what does that make you? A fellow traveler with harassers, at best…

    Or you could, you know, admit it anyways, because you could want to prove you actually are a better person.

    I’d lay good odds that you’re old enough to remember this useful guideline:
    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  33. johngreg says

    hotshoe, I too am in my cups, as it appears you are. So, if my response doesn’t make complete sense, well, there is always tomorrow.
    -

    hotshoe said:

    Jphngreg, too bad your opinion is worthless, wrong both morally and legally. There is no limitation it qualifying as “harassment” only if the victim is forced to see it, ie by your slymer friends’s porny photoshops being posted directly onto Zvan’s blog.

    I am not sure what you are trying to say there, so we can either let it slide, or you could clarify … tomorrow … when you are sober, or, as perhaps may apply, simply less righteously angry.

    Of course, I don’t expect you to admit that you agree. i already said you aren’t one of the stupid ones. You don’t think you have anything to gain by admitting it’s not just privately-amusing nasty jokes, and much to lose. For you to agree that what your slymer compadres are doing qualifies as harassment would be uncomfortably close to home for you. They choose to continue harassing behaviors, that makes it reasonable to call them harassers, and then what does that make you? A fellow traveler with harassers, at best

    This paragraph too, does not actually make sense to me. I do not see what you are trying to say. So, as I say, perhaps tomorrow; less high; less anger. Hmm?

    I’d lay good odds that you’re old enough to remember this useful guideline:
    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    That’s a popular phrase. Yes. But it is bullshit. It ignores and denies any and all possible grey areas, nuance, and potential complexities. It is precisely and exactly the same as saying: Either you’re with us or you’re against us. And that is simply not realistic. We could discuss this if you like. For example, I might agree with one part of your (hypothetically) posited hypothesis, disagree wholly with another part, and be on the fence for a third, and so would not agree to your (hypothetically) posited solution. Therefore, I am not only not part of the problem, but I am also not part of the solution. Pretty basic logic, really. And there are myriad ways of rewriting that problem to prove the vacuity of the phrase.
    -

    Hey, I am not criticizing your anger, shit we all get angry with people with whom we disagree, I am just pointing out that I have failed to understand what it is you are trying to say. So: tomorrow; sober; less angry. Ya?

  34. A Hermit says

    John Greg; I see the same kind of “skepticism” about evidence from Holocaust deniers…no matter how much evidence is provided they always find a way to dismiss it or ignore or move the goalposts.

    And if you really want to bring “moderates’ to the Slymepit you’ll have to do something about the misogynists (and yes, they are misogynists; anyone who can look at the examples Zvan posted and not see misogyny is working really hard to not see the misogyny…)

    And lets remember; this stuff isnt just going up on the slymepit; people get this stuff in their e-mail, on their twitter feeds, on fake twitter accounts with their names on them.

    No one is going to take you seriously as some kind of “moderate” as long as you continue to make excuses for these assholes.

    I’M a moderate…

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