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Dec 27 2010

Presenting the most offensive email we’ve ever gotten

And it’s not even Christian hate mail. Hell, that stuff’s almost always penny ante.

No, this is someone who claims to be a fan, but who has his head…well, let’s just say that the attitudes expressed here reflect a level of clueless douchebaggery and stupidity that I’ve rarely seen. I suppose this way of thinking might fly in the Christian Quiverfull community, or among 13-year-old boys who’ve learned everything they think they know about females from torrenting Girls Gone Wild videos. But to hear it coming from an (choke) admirer of ours is creepy to say the very least. One gets the impression he’s the sort of fellow who wonders why women only want to go out with “jerks” and not “nice guys” like him.

Why post it here? Simply because I think this is the sort of thing that deserves public shaming. Rock-stupid condescension and male-entitlement attitudes like this continue to thrive when those who express them are brushed off with a “boys will be boys” dismissal, rather than being subjected to the castigation they deserve. So, castigate away.

Subject: message for jen peeps

hi,

I think you’re great, and your current look is excellent suits you very well.

I am only saying the following advice because you’re good and thus deserving of my advise

You look hot here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7w7hOv47Y4
this seems to be your current look

Long hair is very important.

It’s a minority that look reasonably good with short hair, and even those that do, would almost always look better with long hair.

You look bad with short hair.. As in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsaOL85jx9Q
It might be better if I don’t elaborate on that or get too blunt, because women can burst into tears over that kind of thing.. and you’re nice I don’t want you to burst into tears or even to get upset. And there’s no reason to, this is a very positive message that you look hot -now-. and that it’s so easy for you just don’t cut your hair short. And since you’re so logical, I know you will take this message as a positive thing since it should be, and it’s not spun either.

A secondary issue, is your clothing in that older video is frumpy rather than modern-sexy.. women usually look sexier in a t-shirt than in frumpy clothing, and you are no exception. I know you’re not trying to look sexy even when you do.. but no point dressing in a frumpy way. Really since i’m a guy I don’t care about type of clothes.. but as a woman you’re familiar with clothes and you’d understand if I said your clothing there was frumpy.. and it was. The recent video where you wore the t-shirt is better than the frumpy clothes.. though you’d look hot either way.. since as I said clothing was secondary. From a guy’s perspective, something less frumpy might not hide you as much. I hope you get a nice partner, like Russel , a particular hero of mine, and have lots of intelligent logical discussion and kids like you two! or like almost any on AE, at least 5 or 6 of you are incredible and really leading atheist thinkers.

In 15 years you’ll look quite bad.. and after that you’ll look as disgusting to a man(A man with standards) as any other very middle aged woman is just expired and at different stages part their expiration date. So look good and sexy and enjoy the experience while you can. And be glad that you can..

I am very happy that you are hot, because you deserve to be!

190 comments

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  1. 1
    Dustin_Calgary

    I am amazed and ashamed at this.Thanks for posting this, it deserves to be torn apart!

  2. 2
    rrlane

    That is so over-the-top absurd that I almost have to wonder if it isn't some sort of joke that falls flat. It it isn't, this mouth breather needs to come out of the basement and start interacting with the real world.

  3. 3
    Eph Zero

    What a complete ass. Did he include pictures of himself so you could critique his look?

  4. 4
    Cafeeine Addicted

    If this guy is a fan of the show supposedly he should know several facts about Jen and Russell that he seems oblivious too. Of course this could just be my sanity is demanding that this be a Poe.

  5. 5
    Warren Grubb

    That's just creepy. Can't tell if it is someone trying to be a jerk or someone honestly messed up in the head. I wouldn't discount the possibility it is someone who actually hates the show and is taking this weird tact to try to get into the head of one of the hosts.

  6. 6
    Kazim

    I considered posting this myself, but didn't. However, since Martin's already aired it out, I present the response I sent him.Hi,I don't want to do this, but given that you described me as a personal hero, I feel like it's my responsibility. So here goes:Your letter is absolutely dripping with a casual sexism that disgusts me. First: Jen hasn't asked you to offer fashion tips. Second: your suggestions about how she can attract men are comically out of line, for reasons you probably don't even understand. Third: Jen is happy with her own partner, and I with mine; and you are not invited to make fantasy pairing speculations about me or my friends. Fourth: You give men everywhere a bad name by your implication that women are only worthwhile as long as they are young and attractive. Fifth: You may find this hard to believe, but many women find it creepy when strangers email them to make unwanted comments about their appearance.I'm hoping that your problem is mainly due to being young and ignorant, so that you still have a chance to recognize what's wrong with your behavior and stop being such a shallow asshat. If this behavior is already ingrained in your personality, then I just wish I could forward this email to every woman who ever considers dating you.Fan mail is fine; and if I've just ruined your opinion of me, that's fine too; but please don't air out your opinions about women in public again.Russell

  7. 7
    Martin

    Preemptive strike: I will plonk the living FUCK out of anyone who tries to brush this off as a Poe. Though it may be an attempt to get a rise out of Jen, I see no reason to think this letter isn't the real deal. First off, the Poe letters we get — and we get very, very few — always are dead obvious about it. Why? Because the joke is blatant in paragraph one, and by paragraph two, the writer always says "Haha, just kidding! I love your show!…" An exercise in douchery that sustains itself for the length of an entire email, with links, and with not even a twinkle-in-the-eye hint that the writer is pulling our legs, can be pretty much taken as the genuine article.If all the guy has seen of the show are YouTube clips, then he's got no reason to know details of Jen's and Russell's lives known to regular viewers. And Christians who hate us don't go to such great lengths to conceal the fact in their emails.POES ARE RARE! REAL ASSHOLES ARE PAINFULLY COMMON! It's just a fact.

  8. 8
    six45ive

    Sounds like somebody's trying to wind you guys up. Personally I wouldn't give it the time of day.Sticks and stones and all that.

  9. 9
    Martin

    You could say that any Christian who calls the show attacking gays or evolution or what have you is trying to "wind us up." But that doesn't mean we don't treat stupidity with the abuse it deserves.

  10. 10
    Dorkman

    I just watched a movie called "Mary and Max" about two penpals, a young girl and an older man with Aspergers. This letter reminds me of some of the letters Max would write, which were filled with wholly inappropriate non-sequiturs such as "P.S. I have never used a condom." This letter reminds me of Max's letters. Our correspondent might very well have a genuine disorder that prevents him from realizing that such statements are unwelcome and socially inept. Which is not to say that there aren't plenty of non-disordered (physiologically, anyway) people who think in terms of male privilege and believe that they could offer a woman no greater favor than to tell her how to be more appealing to a man. Nor that we shouldn't tear this kind of thinking apart. I think Russell's reply is great. Even if he does have a disorder that prevents him from realizing he shouldn't be saying these things out loud, the fact that he at some point learned to THINK them is alarming.

  11. 11
    chrisp

    Man, he's really bugged out about short hair on women. Someone loves him some gender roles in society.

  12. 12
    six45ive

    Martin…..I'm not sure what being gay or supporting evolution has got to do with being an atheist.If you wish to waste your time on somebody who's probably getting off on your responses to their email then that's your perogative but I wouldn't waste my time.

  13. 13
    keithrlau

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=PoeMartin, you stumped me with the term Poe.

  14. 14
    Martin

    Someone else has suggested he may be Aspie, but without knowing anything about him personally, that can only be conjecture. Even an Aspie ought to be given the tools to become better socialized. And the general attitudes he's expressing about women — always look "hot" and not "frumpy," older women cannot be attractive, that physical attraction is the only level at which men value women — are an endemic form of sexism that's been with us for ages and that are championed by any number of non-Aspies (just check out the average MRA site). He had to have gotten that shit from somewhere, and there's no time like the present to make it clear to him they're the wrong attitudes to have embraced.

  15. 15
    Uncle Bob

    I loved Mary and Max, was a great film. It was supposed to be somewhat offensive, if you didn't figure that out by 30 seconds into the film, where the 8 y/o girl was wishing she had someone to play "piggy back" with, like the two dogs in front of her house that were trying to have sex.I personally found it refreshing, because it was attacking taboo subjects, partially to be titillating, partially to be provocative. Max was an atheist, which fit well into the taboo poking.As for this letter, it is mind blowing how over the top it is. I apologize if I also voice some doubt. There are some truly socially inept people out there, no doubt. If this letter is real, it borders on demonstrating a mentally damaged/unstable person that probably needs help.

  16. 16
    ChaosSong

    I think that "EWWWWW" about covers it. Kinda makes "punch you in the face for Jesus" guy seem like a true friend of the show.

  17. 17
    Martin

    six45ive: Martin…..I'm not sure what being gay or supporting evolution has got to do with being an atheist.(Facepalm) Dude, I was making a point about people who contact us simply to "wind us up." There are many ways that someone might do that. Some viewers call us and email us with serious questions, some are simply clueless, and some are being intentional dicks. So why brush this one example off with a dismissal, while treating any of the others as worthy of response? If you wish to waste your time on somebody who's probably getting off on your responses to their email then that's your perogative but I wouldn't waste my time.We are equal-opportunity attackers of stupidity, whether it's about religion, science, politics, or sex. I stand by my comment in the OP: "Rock-stupid condescension and male-entitlement attitudes like this continue to thrive when those who express them are brushed off with a 'boys will be boys' dismissal…." If you're okay with those attitudes thriving, that's no reason to treat those of us who aren't like we're the ones with the problem.

  18. 18
    BeadKnitter

    The stupid, it burns. I would be glad to slap him silly.

  19. 19
    JT

    There's little point to worrying about whether a person is a troll. I'd rather feed a few trolls if it means getting to the serious posts.

  20. 20
    Martin

    First plonk. That didn't take long.JT: Yeah, mostly, I think the appropriate response here is ridicule, not anger. Anyway, I just read Jen's response, and it was to the point, funny, and classy.

  21. 21
    John Horn

    This doughebaggery deserves to be aired out. His name publicized. In the medieval period, there was a punishment called "stockade" – where the criminal would be locked into a wooden frame with hands and head protruding, for society to throw tomatoes on. In this day and age, why not have a "digital stockade" for such assclowns as this? Air him out, his entire writing and identity known to all – especially to his own "friends" (if he has any friends).

  22. 22
    The Nerd

    Dude… the writer of that letter got you to say "over 9000 penises" on Oprah! http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukadium/oprah-gets-trolled-by-anonymous-oprah-vs-over-9000-penises-r5

  23. 23
    Martin

    Wrong show, dude!Anyway, what's the point? That if he's trolling we can't make fun of him anymore?

  24. 24
    rrlane

    If you want to ban those who disbelieve that this is sincere, that is, of course, your prerogative on your own blog. That seems a bit extreme when you allow those who disagree on things like, I don't know, the existence of supreme beings with no evidence whatsoever to support their existence.Measured responses are a good thing.

  25. 25
    Martin

    Actually, I've only plonked one guy, and that was for a response nearly as inappropriate as the original letter. As there has been ongoing discussion on this thread regarding whether or not the writer is a genuine clueless sexist idiot or a troll pranking us (a point I consider hardly relevant, since either way the result is mock-worthy assholism), it should be apparent I'm not doing rampant knee-jerk banning here. But I feel the need for any advice from you on "measured responses," I'll be sure to ask.

  26. 26
    rrlane

    D'oh!I meant "insincere."My apologies.

  27. 27
    rrlane

    Nah. You don't need any advice from me, and I never said you did. Your blog, your rules. You want to boot me because I say "infer" instead of "imply" sometime, them's the breaks. You don't even owe an explanation as to why when you're the host.And I completely understand your anger and frustration about something you feel strongly about. I know I've been there myself.

  28. 28
    optifaster

    Creepy loser is creepy. And loses.

  29. 29
    Sparrowhawk

    I knew a 15 year old kid who used to come into the library I worked at all the time. I'm 99.9999% sure he had Aspergers or some kind of high-functioning autism-spectrum problem or something. This letter made me think of him…I genuinely believe that this person doesn't think they said anything wrong. It's like an alien trying to say something positive about someone after studying humans for a year.

  30. 30
    Transplanted Lawyer

    Dear author: no one will ever love you.

  31. 31
    Martin

    Sparrowhawk: I think you have the right of it.We just got a reply from the guy to the letter Russell sent him, which Russell presented in the comment above. I'd say it proves rather conclusively that the category we're dealing with here is "totally clueless moron," and not "troll who's pranking us and laughing at our gullibility". For instance, in response to Russell's point that "Jen hasn't asked you to offer fashion tips," he answers: "it can sometimes be nice to give advice whether people make a special request or not. the advice was with good intention and I believed had a good chance of being useful to her. and if not useful I don't see why it should do harm, she can take a compliment to her appearance."I mean, durp! If that isn't a sub-Forrest Gump level of not-getting-it idiocy, what is?When I was in college, and moving into the comics industry, I dealt with a guy quite like this. He was 1) desperately unsocialized, 2) suffused with a sense of entitlement, 3) unable to understand why his interactions with others were viewed as offensive and inappropriate, and 4) unwilling to listen to even the most reasonable and considerate criticism, insisting his actions were right even when they were painfully and egregiously wrong to everyone else. I was at a book signing once when the guy launched into an unsolicited, extensive (and clueless) criticism of a drawing that one of the artists present had done, right to the guy's face. When I pointed out later that what he had done was really rude and inappropriate in the context of that sort of social event, instead of responding the way a normally socialized person would ("Oh, geez, I hope I didn't hurt the guy's feelings or anything"), he instead mounted a vigorous defense of himself.The long and short of it is that some people have simply failed to launch in key areas of common socialization that most of us take for granted. This is one of those guys. While it's the right thing, up to a point, to treat this kind of arrested development with gentleness, past that point a firmer, corrective hand is called for. As an adult, he has passed that point, and if a bit of shaming is what it takes, then so be it (thought that may be too little too late, I admit).

  32. 32
    Sparrowhawk

    Martin:Wow…his response really does sound like something an alien might say after studying humans for a few months or a year."I have noticed that you hu-mans have a custom of at times criticizing each other. Observe…"Part of me wants to laugh…part is face-palming…and I actually feel some pity. This is a 15 year old kid! Ah…thank you Internets…thank you.

  33. 33
    Ricky

    Holy sh*t; I cannot imagine what must go through a person's head to make them think about these things in the first place, much less type them out and hit the send button. I know that you guys put yourself in the public eye and that creepers are to be expected on occasion, but this one takes the cake. Good for Jen for being witty and classy in her response. If someone starts talking about the expiration date of my looks, they're getting a foot strategically placed in a very delicate part of their anatomy.

  34. 34
    optifaster

    Sparrow: I think you've combined Martin's comment about 13-year olds boys who watch Girls Gone Wild and the writers comment about how shocking Jen will look in 15 years to come to your conclusion that it's a 15-year old kid. Or are you talking about the kid in your library?The writer's age is unknown. I think.

  35. 35
    rrlane

    The response that was sent was probably the best thing that could be done for this guy. It sounds like he likely doesn't have much social interaction in reality, so the closest thing this guy gets to a cuff up the side of the head from a parental figure is from his "heroes" like Russell schooling him in social norms.

  36. 36
    Kazim

    Wow. That letter he sent back to me is a long, point-by-point rebuttal, as if I am getting into an argument with a theist. A wholly inappropriate reply which I won't post in full here. But I will highlight this part at the end, where I said "…many women find it creepy when strangers email them to make unwanted comments about their appearance."He replied:"You haven't really stated any reason you had in mind why many women would find it creepy."It's garden variety sociopathy: A complete lack of ability to understand or relate to what others are thinking or why.

  37. 37
    MAtheist

    Subject: message for original message writerhi,I think you're a fool, and your current tone is an excellent indicator of someone with no social skills.I am only saying the following advice because you're showing signs of social illness and thus deserving of my advise (sic)You sound ignorant and sexist here"I am very happy that you are hot, because you deserve to be!"this seems to be your current manner of thinkingSocial skills are very important.It's a minority that sound reasonably good with no social skills, and even those that do, would almost always sound better with social skills.You sound bad with insulting comments.. As in"In 15 years you'll look quite bad"It might be better if I don't elaborate on that or get too blunt, because sexist pigs can burst into tears over that kind of thing.. (do I really need to go on here? the more I use his own words, the worse I think his letter was)

  38. 38
    Sean (quantheory)

    Note: I know several people with Asperger's who are not anything like this awful. I do not believe that an ASD excuses such a person, or really that this letter can be justified by any psychological problem short of being raised in a fundamentalist's basement, while chained to a television that only displays trashy reality shows."I am only saying the following advice because you're good and thus deserving of my advise"Note: It's not a compliment if a stranger tells you "I think you're good enough to deserve for me to tell you what to do." Trust me: lots of strangers would like to tell me what I should do, for a variety of reasons. Most of them are not worth listening to."You look hot here"As above, the opinion of a stranger is not that much of a compliment. Furthermore, the creepiness of being fetishized, when you're not in any way attempting to be a sex symbol, is non-trivial. Having someone go out of their way to email you solely about being hot, tips the balance definitively into the red. Maybe you haven't experienced this, but when someone you don't really know, or have any interest in pleasing, implies that they wish they could have sex with you, that's not a rewarding exchange, even to some of the most sex-positive people out there. It sends the message "I expect you to live up to my fantasies", which is completely illegitimate."It might be better if I don't elaborate on that or get too blunt, because women can burst into tears over that kind of thing"Pro tip: People don't like being stereotyped based on certain attributes, such as being a woman. If you're really that familiar with Jen's presence on the show, maybe you've noticed that she's not likely to burst into tears just because some jackass insulted her."And since you're so logical, I know you will take this message as a positive thing since it should be, and it's not spun either."Note: when people criticize you, it might be because you're clueless and insulting, and not because they aren't "logical"."From a guy's perspective, something less frumpy might not hide you as much."And the misplaced heterosexism in the email becomes obvious, on top of the explicit sexism. They are linked, really. This guy sounds like he would never consider that a man could have his appearance critiqued for hotness. A man who is ugly hasn't lost much, but a woman who isn't at peak hotness at all times isn't living up to her potential, and that hotness is for the benefit of men. Maybe he'd understand the double standard here if I started sending pointers to straight men on TV about how to look hotter. Then again, he probably doesn't have enough self-awareness to get the message from that. It's an unfair burden that women automatically have their appearance dragged into everything, while most men in similar circumstances would be judged on other bases.(cont'd)

  39. 39
    Sean (quantheory)

    "I hope you get a nice partner, like Russel , a particular hero of mine" Striking cluelessness and presumption about the personal life of his "hero". Even in some Bizarro world where Jen and Russell might actually consider getting together, this would still probably be an intrusive and awkward statement. It almost has a eugenics-esque creepiness about it. Is this guy trying to mentally breed a mutant race of atheists or what?"In 15 years you'll look quite bad.. and after that you'll look as disgusting to a man(A man with standards) as any other very middle aged woman is just expired and at different stages part their expiration date."So many bad messages here:A) For a woman, not looking hot to men = looking bad.B) The author is shallow.C) The author thinks that being shallow is a good thing and equivalent to having "standards".D) Once you don't look good, as a woman you're "expired", which implies you have no further use. Older single women should presumably just give up."I am very happy that you are hot, because you deserve to be!"Amazingly clueless. Jen's appearances on the show clearly invite people to judge her arguments, her persuasiveness, her communication style… but not her hotness. It doesn't matter whether it's complimentary, it's still being judgmental about some contingent feature that Jen has no interest in random internet strangers' opinions of.

  40. 40
    Sean (quantheory)

    "It's garden variety sociopathy: A complete lack of ability to understand or relate to what others are thinking or why."Maybe, but most sociopaths actually learn cultural conventions and the emotions they are "expected" to show quite well. They just don't care about other people's emotions much. This guy sounds much closer to an ASD than a sociopath."When I pointed out later that what he had done was really rude and inappropriate in the context of that sort of social event, instead of responding the way a normally socialized person would ("Oh, geez, I hope I didn't hurt the guy's feelings or anything"), he instead mounted a vigorous defense of himself."Yeah, I think that there are some people who think that if they can justify their words in the most straightforward sense, whatever they said is therefore OK. People who have enough social competency to see the problem are attacked for being irrational. It's a clear case of the Dunning-Kruger effect. People who are so incompetent that they don't even recognize the difficulties inherent in social situations, are also incapable of realizing that they are not handling those situations well.What these people fail to understand is that social skills are a biologically and environmentally dictated set of rules that include not only irrational impulses, but also a good deal of intuitive understanding which is based on extensive inference of motivations and understanding of the consequences of one's words and actions, intuition which can often be analyzed and soundly justified with game theory, and which humans have been primed to efficiently develop by years of evolution (some better than others).For example, there was a guy on RichardDawkins.net the other day defending applying the word "deviant" to gay people because it was appropriate in statistics jargon, not realizing that gay people have some extremely good reasons to be mistrustful of people who describe them with a word that is usually used to describe career criminals and the dangerously insane. It doesn't matter what the intent was, the effect is to sound like a bigot, and to reinforce memes that support bigotry. The same message could have been sent using more neutral words like "minority", "unusual", or "atypical" and not have been so directly offensive.And of course the guy in this case doesn't realize that being excessively focused on "hotness" is a good signal that someone is too shallow to treat people well when they don't meet an arbitrary standard of hotness. And his implication that being sexy (to men like him) is central to women's value is closely intertwined with entitled attitudes which are used by stalkers and rapists to justify their actions. There are less offensive ways he could have said what he said, but at the heart of it all the email basically sends the message to Jen: "You should be more concerned about how random people think you look." Which is itself an imposition and a ridiculous assumption of authority over her (especially ridiculous because she would never recognize such an authority).

  41. 41
    Rational Jen

    @Sean – good deconstruction of his email. Regarding this guy's particular social handicap, my initial thought was that he's a pizza-faced kid with no social skills. After reading his subsequent replies, I've decided he writes too well to be a kid – although the sexist stereotypes do have an almost child-like quality. Okay, a poorly raised child.Also, some of you may find this amusing. In my reply to him earlier tonight I told him "my wife is laughing her ass off at your wish that I find a nice man and have kids." His response to me was "if you find me funny,…then i'm happy to respond if it makes -you- laugh."I had to clarify for him that I don't find him funny; my wife is amused at his cluelessness. I'm starting to think I should wear a T-shirt that says "Lesbian" on it next time I'm on the show.

  42. 42
    MAtheist

    Jen, I think if you put wife in 72 point bold he still would have missed it.

  43. 43
    George From NY

    I'm starting to think I should wear a T-shirt that says "Lesbian" on it next time I'm on the show.You can borrow mine. YES! That old joke! No charge, folks.

  44. 44
    D. Ebdrup

    This makes me sad to be part of the human race.

  45. 45
    JD

    With all due respect Martin I have to disagree with your original reason for posting this up.The dude obviously did not respond to public shaming and is clearly not in any way contrite over his email. If anything he is probably getting off over the attention he's gotten from you, Russ, Jen and the readership here. I think in general simply ignoring this drivel is the best way to handle it, though I can understand if you did not want to appear to condone it by not objecting in some way. In this case a terse email response could have sufficed. Everyone here pretty much totally recognizes why his statements where inappropriate, including the cretin in question, he just went ahead with them anyway.

  46. 46
    Martin

    JD: Even if the only effect of the post was to remind everyone that such people and attitudes exist, and that women like Jen have to deal with such crap (a circumstance men almost never find themselves in, a side effect of the male privilege we don't even realize we have), then it was worth doing. And no, I don't allow, on general principles, offensive remarks addressed to friends of mine, male or female, to slide.There's no need to speculate on how the original writer may be feeling right now, because we have several follow-up emails from him demonstrating where his head is. Far from getting off on the attention, he's very clearly put out at what he sees as our complete, unfair misunderstanding of his innocent intent to be "helpful". He doesn't get it, trust me. You're right that he's probably too clueless and socially maladjusted to learn any lessons here. But I still take the view that douchebaggery is like melanoma. You can't just ignore it and hope it goes away.

  47. 47
    six45ive

    "Dude, I was making a point about people who contact us simply to "wind us up." There are many ways that someone might do that. Some viewers call us and email us with serious questions, some are simply clueless, and some are being intentional dicks. So why brush this one example off with a dismissal, while treating any of the others as worthy of response?" Martin…..because generally in life if people can see you're easily wound up they're likely to do it even more just to get a rise out of you. It's a way of controlling and feeling superior to the person of whom you're 'button pushing'. "We are equal-opportunity attackers of stupidity, whether it's about religion, science, politics, or sex. I stand by my comment in the OP: "Rock-stupid condescension and male-entitlement attitudes like this continue to thrive when those who express them are brushed off with a 'boys will be boys' dismissal…." If you're okay with those attitudes thriving, that's no reason to treat those of us who aren't like we're the ones with the problem."Your comment in the OP is spot on. It still doesn't change the fact that if somebody recognises they can push your buttons very easily then they're likely to do so in which case you spend the vast majority of your life 'pissing against the wind' of people who get a great deal of fun using you as their own little personal wind up toy…..just wind it up and watch it go!

  48. 48
    Mark B

    @six45ive:This guy isn't trying to wind anyone up, he's cluelessly trying to involve himself in other peoples' personal choices. When this happens it's appropriate to rebuke them.I think Martin has proven he's able to avoid being baited in a previous post about being wished "Merry Christmas" in overtly religious overtones by an acquaintance who knows that he's an atheist.

  49. 49
    six45ive

    I'd also like to see Jen's response to this email, for if you feel you can't ignore it then the best way to deal with it is to respond with condescending humour.I would probably respond something like this;"Dear sir/madam, Thank you for your kind, caring and considerate email. You make some very interesting and fairly unique points which I don't have much time to address at the moment for I'm about to go shopping in the sales for some frumpy clothes.I'd just like to say that we guys on the Atheist Experience suffer from a condition called 'FUCKing forty and fifty year Old Frumpy Faggots' or FUCKOFF for short. This is a condition where we get more sexually turned on the older and frumpier we are so I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it is for us to be a part of 'normal' society. I'm sure there's a strong affinity there that you can share with us……you know, not being a part of 'normal' society.As for my long hair…..well it's actually a wig as I suffer from alopecia which isn't a problem as when I take it off when my AE colleagues are around I look even frumpier and always end up having wild sex resulting in fantastic orgasms.I do hope that's not too blunt for you and hasn't upset you in any way for I know how kind, caring and considerate people like you can be easily shocked by the real world.Take care now and when you become a frumpy forty or fifty year old feel free to come and join us and we'll have great pleasure in giving you a good shafting.Take care now.Jen."

  50. 50
    Lurker

    This is what I just read, in my mind's eye:"jen peeps, ur hawt lol! but i don't like short hair, u need long hair so i can fap to teh athiest experience lol! ur clothes are to casual, to! maor cleavages, pleaz!"Does that sound about right?

  51. 51
    tigrrr

    Wow. I'm not sure whether this guy is plain rapist-creepy, or full-blown "I'm keeping a woman in my basement for 10 years"-creepy.

  52. 52
    Mark B

    tigrrr said…Wow. I'm not sure whether this guy is plain rapist-creepy, or full-blown "I'm keeping a woman in my basement for 10 years"-creepy.Yes, but not 15 because, y'know, her looks will go by then…kidding!

  53. 53
    PMS Rhino

    Always think it's funny when people go on about how important hair is for women. Of course I don't keep the same hair style/color for longer than a month, so I may be a bit weird on that front. :P Thankfully I have a boyfriend who doesn't care how I look as long as I'm happy with it. Part of me now wonders what he thinks about different hair colors? Is blond the best for a woman? Or brunette? What are his feelings on blue hair with green tips? :PAlmost like finding a strange creature in the wild. I wanna poke its stupid with a stick.

  54. 54
    Ibis

    I haven't had a chance to read through all the comments, but I have to say that this letter surprises me not one whit. Nor do I have reason to believe the writer is suffering from a mental illness. In fact, this is just a more substantial exemplar of the general attitude I find in the chat room before and during the show. The guys in there are constantly talking about the female hosts and their appearance or about sex in an adolescent, jerky manner. I always* feel like I'm walking into a room with a bunch of fourteen year old boys full of testosterone & entitlement and sans respect & class whenever I log in.*okay, not always, but most of the time

  55. 55
    Rational Jen

    @six45ive wrote:"I'd also like to see Jen's response to this email … I would probably respond something like this"Your fantasy of my response looks like you're now competing with the email author for biggest douchebag. Tell you what – if I ever need your advice on anything, I'll ask. Until then, you can fuck right on off. M'kay?"in which case you spend the vast majority of your life 'pissing against the wind' of people who get a great deal of fun using you as their own little personal wind up toy"I know what you mean. That's why there's this clueless git named Andrew who got de-friended by some of us on FB and whose repeated, plaintive attempts to get our attention are ignored. He shares a lot of characteristics with the guy who sent this email. For example, when people demonstrate that he's wrong about something, he pretends they've misunderstood his point. He then reasserts his original point as if it had not just been refuted.Know anybody like that?

  56. 56
    Rational Jen

    Incidentally, I've sent the emailer a link to this blog post. He's already demonstrated his lack of brains. Let's see if he has any balls.

  57. 57
    tigrrr

    @Mark B: Dude, mad props!

  58. 58
    revmatty

    I do not for a moment doubt that this is was a legitimate communique. I've known enough guys that do think like this and are perfectly happy to go on at length to women they barely know about what they should change or keep doing. I am astounded by it, but not surprised.

  59. 59
    Ignacio

    That email is possibly the creepiest letter I have seen outside a psychiatric profile… and the sad thing is that it does not surprise me at all. I must apologize for my lack of proper (or improper) vocabulary in English to express my opinion in the terms that guy deserves.That e-mail even makes a potential counter-apologetic argument. Anyone arguing that humans are somehow special and elevated above other animals should have a hard time explaining something like this. Most chimpanzees show more empathy and better social skills than this… person, for lack of a better name.I sure hope that shameful pretense of a human being shows up here. It is not really public shame if the shamed individual does not know, is it?Besides, he probably has a perfectly valid reason for his email and will surely surprise us all when he explains it and shows himself to be a mature individual who was just… er… hang on… why is the "Sarcasm" indicator lit, on my keyboard? *turns sarcasm off*If he shows up, I believe he will still be just as clueless at the end of whatever exchange of ideas happens here. However, if reason does not reach him, the pain of public embarrassment still might stop him from opening his mouth again. He does not need to understand much to be slapped into silence.Pain is a basic learning mechanism that even the less evolved lifeforms can understand. Since this guy could type an email I am assuming he has a nervous system capable of feeling pain, if obviously not capable of much more. Calling it a brain would be a huge overstatement.The question of whether he also has balls, as Jen said, is open to debate. I will stay tuned.

  60. 60
    Peter Thomas Coll

    My take on this individual is that he is young, immature, and has something against Gays and Lesbians, and was merely trying to push Jen's buttons. Where he is clueless is that Jen is morally, and intellectually superior to him and can see right through his transparent hatred and small mindedness. He wasted his time, and in reading all of the responces which he thought he would get a kick out of, he is learning some things about himself that he would not rather know. Jen, long hair, short hair, hot, or not, thanks for all you do for the secular humanist movement!

  61. 61
    Robert

    I am interested in reasoned discussion on this issue, but it seems that at least some of you at the atheist experience team are not.What was the purpose of posting it here? According to what Martin wrote, "Anyway, what's the point? That if he's trolling we can't make fun of him anymore?"So if you have decided just to make fun of me and not engage in discussion, and this is after you (Martin) no doubt with Jen's blessing(post facto or not), stooped to posting an email (which was not intended public)Nevertheless, had you asked my permission, i'd have said yes.. I don't mind. But for the purposes of discussion, not so you can make fun of me, that really isn't very nice.Now, I don't have to explain to you with reasons, why it isn't nice to make fun of somebody. Because you know. But judging by Martin's post, you seem uninterested in continuing to engage me in such a discussion.Looking at a recent comment about causing me pain to change my opinion, which goes unchallenged, and no doubt others support it, you are doing things you accuse theists of. What I see here, is "appeal to emotion". You want to cause me pain thereby causing me to abandon my opinions/beliefs.emotion is not a good reason to do so.In fact it's pathetic that you who encourage logic, use methods on me that you criticise so much when done on you. You complain of my rudeness.. my tone basically.. i'm arrogant you say. Yet you would no doubt bemoan the fact that theists are so lacking in arguments that all they can do is call atheists "arrogant". Yet this is your criticism of me. Theists often complain about offence. And when discussing with theists, your concern is first and foremost what is true, you don't even take into account offence.I would like to know, first and foremost, whether you think my opinions are true or not, whether they make sense or not.. if not why not.if they cause offence that's another matter, it's not irrelevant, but let's not begin there.And I don't think it's very nice Martin to have posted this to make fun of me. I don't mind being made fun of that much if the benefits of the logical discourse isn't diverted by jokes at my expense, and I doubt this is going to work out for me, other than obviously it doing something for you at my expense.The question then would be besides how you justify your behavior thus far, what approach do you want to follow. Russell unsurprisingly made the most intelligent response and with no mean spirit, I suppose I could post it and discuss from there? But I also sent a response to Martin or Jen which some might find more amusing.I really don't mind mean spirited responses as long as the mean spirit is secondary to the discussion and there is reasoned discussion that gets somewhere. Unfortunately the evidence is that the prime motivation of this being posted here was not constructive in a way that is based on the foundational principles of reason and logic that makes the atheist experience program great. I wish you -all- just applied those same principles of rational discourse to other areas than religion. No doubt some of you do sometimes, but all of you should all the time. And you certainly shouldn't stray so far from it that even a "moron" like me can see it.

  62. 62
    Robert

    I am interested in reasoned discussion on this issue, but it seems that at least some of you at the atheist experience team are not.What was the purpose of posting it here? According to what Martin wrote, "Anyway, what's the point? That if he's trolling we can't make fun of him anymore?"So if you have decided just to make fun of me and not engage in discussion, and this is after you (Martin) no doubt with Jen's blessing(post facto or not), stooped to posting an email (which was not intended public)Nevertheless, had you asked my permission, i'd have said yes.. I don't mind. But for the purposes of discussion, not so you can make fun of me, that really isn't very nice.Now, I don't have to explain to you with reasons, why it isn't nice to make fun of somebody. Because you know. But judging by Martin's post, you seem uninterested in continuing to engage me in such a discussion.Looking at a recent comment about causing me pain to change my opinion, which goes unchallenged, and no doubt others support it, you are doing things you accuse theists of. What I see here, is "appeal to emotion". You want to cause me pain thereby causing me to abandon my opinions/beliefs.emotion is not a good reason to do so.In fact it's pathetic that you supposed masters of logic, use methods that you criticise so much.You complain of my rudeness.. my tone basically.. i'm arrogant you say. Yet you would no doubt bemoan the fact that theists are so lacking in arguments that all they can do is call atheists "arrogant". Yet this is your criticism of me. Theists often complain about offence. And when discussing with theists, your concern is first and foremost what is true, you don't even take into account offence.I would like to know, first and foremost, whether you think my opinions are true or not, whether they make sense or not.. if not why not.if they cause offence that's another matter, it's not irrelevant, but let's not begin there.And I don't think it's very nice Martin to have posted this to make fun of me. I don't mind being made fun of that much if the benefits of the logical discourse isn't diverted by jokes at my expense, and I doubt this is going to work out for me, other than obviously it doing something for you at my expense.The question then would be besides how you justify your behavior thus far, what approach do you want to follow. Russell unsurprisingly made the most intelligent response and with no mean spirit, I suppose I could post it and discuss from there? But I also sent a response to Martin or Jen which some might find more amusing.I really don't mind mean spirited responses as long as the mean spirit is secondary to the discussion and there is reasoned discussion that gets somewhere. Unfortunately the evidence is that the prime motivation of this being posted here was not constructive in a way that is based on the foundational principles of reason and logic that makes the atheist experience program great. I wish you -all- just applied those same principles of rational discourse to other areas than religion. No doubt some of you do sometimes, but you should all the time.

  63. 63
    Kazim

    Tip: For some reason we can't figure out how to resolve, very long comments section. They go to the moderator email, but we can't do anything with them.If you think your long post didn't show up, try breaking it up into multiple smaller posts and putting them up individually.

  64. 64
    Martin

    Note to commenters: If you get the screen that says "Your comment URL is too long, etc etc…", ignore it. In all likelihood, it posted anyway and you've run into the infamous Blogger Glitch. Do not backpage, simply reload the blog from where you are. Odds are you will see your comment in the thread. But go ahead and use the copy command on what you've written before you reload, so you can repost in smaller parts if necessary.

  65. 65
    Robert

    I am the person that sent the message to lady jen that she liked so much. Besides the technical error Russel mentioned, I can read the blogspot. But for a number of reasons, I have issues posting here even without the error. Other than the technical error, it's not because of anything at your/AE/blogspot end. I have no problem of any kind (technical or otherwise) posting to this notepub page though.I have posted my response. and will post further ones.http://notepub.com/?note=101960

  66. 66
    Ignacio

    @RobertThe only problem with your post, from what I see at the URL you gave us, seems to be its length. Try breaking it down in two or more smaller parts and it will probably work.If everything fails, someone else can copy and paste it here, for other people to respond to it easily.

  67. 67
    six45ive

    "Your fantasy of my response looks like you're now competing with the email author for biggest douchebag. Tell you what – if I ever need your advice on anything, I'll ask. Until then, you can fuck right on off. M'kay?"I'm sorry if you took offence to how I would respond if I were you. It was posted with the best of intentions and I can assure you I don't look at you in any other way than as a very good host on the AE. The way you look or your sexuality is definitely a non issue for me but I understand you may be feeling a little sensitive after reading such a dickish email so I'll respond to your comment below and not post on this thread again. "I know what you mean. That's why there's this clueless git named Andrew who got de-friended by some of us on FB and whose repeated, plaintive attempts to get our attention are ignored. He shares a lot of characteristics with the guy who sent this email. For example, when people demonstrate that he's wrong about something, he pretends they've misunderstood his point. He then reasserts his original point as if it had not just been refuted.Know anybody like that?"Hi…..clueless git named Andrew here so one out of 4 or 5 assertions is not bad I suppose. I didn't think you held grudges Jen. I certainly didn't realise I was on some unofficial AE blacklist……wowee……I do feel honoured. If that's the case I'm not quite sure what you guys are scared of?Could it possibly be the truth? Maybe you haven't got rid of some latent religiosity that keeps you in a state of delusion and unfounded assertion making?I don't know…..just a thought. I seem to remember that what actually happened is I called Matt out on his major faux pas with Denise and he spat the dummy out by defriending me because he wasn't man enough to put his hand up and admit he got it wrong big time with one of the decreasing number of theists you get on the show.So yes…..it's Andrew here, no secret there as I've sent you and your AE colleagues links via Facebook to my username on my local forum, which is also six45ive so not much detective work needed there;http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=695115As for other links I've sent to you and your colleagues I can assure you it's always been done with the best of intentions and as a 'heads up' but if you decide to ignore them because of some personal problem you seem to have with me then maybe you're not as dedicated to your cause as you make out. Just another thought and I think I'll leave it at that.

  68. 68
    Pombolo

    Even if the OP (Robert, apparently) does have a psychological problem relating to people in a sociable way, I still think Kazim's response is the best for him – since he clearly needs some sharp social feedback immediately.The softly-softly approach to this kind of thing can actually be more damaging, since the lack of strident feedback can be interpreted as a normal response, leading the OP to think that there isn't much wrong with their views and how they express them.

  69. 69
    Los

    "Robert" wrote:"I hope you get a nice partner, like Russel , a particular hero of mine, and have lots of intelligent logical discussion and kids like you two! [...] I am the person that sent the message to lady jen that she liked so much."It is almost surely a joke. The above sentences strongly point to someone deliberately mocking you. This "Robert" guy is a teenager who is having a laugh at all the attention he's getting.

  70. 70
    Robert

    MarkB wrote "This guy isn't trying to wind anyone up, he's cluelessly trying to involve himself in other peoples' personal choices. When this happens it's appropriate to rebuke them."If you are onto something, then you're not there yet, it is still too general a statement. For example, there are cases where "involvement" could just be giving a person some information related to what they're interested in or might be interested in, and it can be helpful. If Jen were single and straight, and interested in men, and I didn't want to make assumptions about her, so I considered it a reasonable possibility, then she may want to know what looks better or worse. I don't see anything wrong with that.If somebody might be looking at universities, and I knew something about some of them, and I told them , that might be helpful to them, even though it fits in your general statement of involving myself in their personal decisions.I'm not telling her what to do.

  71. 71
    Robert

    It is an assumption at some level to assume or to write as if she is single and straight and would want to know what looks nice to men. But it's not an offensive assumption. Had I assumed she was a lesbian, she might've taken more offence to that.

  72. 72
    SecularDad

    There is some small degree of irony in Robert complaining about meanness out of one corner of his mouth while talking about appeals to emotion out of the other.That's all I really have to say here. Nothing anyone here has said about Robert seems to be particularly unsupported. It is self-evident to anyone with even a basic level of social skills that he has acted far outside of any reasonable societal norm that finds equality of the sexes even a semi-useful value.To everyone else, he's obviously an ignorant sexist douchebag, whether he is a self-aware enough to realize this or not. Getting into an argument with him about it would be pointless.

  73. 73
    JT

    @robertI still can't grasp why it would even dawn on you to spontaneously provide unsolicited feedback to a person who, within this culture, is probably reminded that people care about her appearance on a daily basis, simply for being female.

  74. 74
    Mark B

    Robert.I'm surprised that of all of the comments posted here you've chosen to address mine. Perhaps you were attracted to the amusing cartoon rat that I use as an avatar.The point is not that you might be telling someone what to do, it's about the personal and social bounderies that you crossed when you did it. I'm guessing that you have never met Ms. Peeples before, or even corresponded with her by email. When someone offers unsolicited advice of a personal nature to a complete stranger the person might become concerned as to the mental stability of this person. They might think that this person has developed an unhealthy infatuation and become a nuisance.Also, Ms. Peeples appears on the Atheist Experience to discuss complex social and philosophical questions, not to titillate the sexual appetites of clueless fanboys. By focusing your concerns on frivolous issues of fashion you not only appear to miss the point of this site and the show, but give the appearance of valuing her looks over her contributions to the discussion. This would be insulting to anyone, and not just Ms. Peeples. The sexual orientation issue can probably be explained by your lack of familiarity with the show, but that doesn't let you off the hook because, again, you shouldn't go around making assumptions about people you don't know.My apologies to Jen if I put any words in her mouth.

  75. 75
    Harvey Requiem

    Thank you, Jen and Martin and all, for calling out this douchebaggery for what it is. Too often, this kind of male-entitlement gets a pass as "boys will be boys" or "someone's just trying to wind you up". Seriously? Why is it when it's some other issue no one accuses you of sending a message that you're "easily wound up"? For some reason, outright damaging ignorance against women gets a free pass, and anyone who gets upset (especially men with a conscience) are "getting too worked up over nothing." Because, as everyone knows, women are nothing.Anyway, I am thirty, female, and perpetually single through my own design, and one of the reasons that is so (the single part, anyway) is because so much of our culture is soaked in this kind of male-entitlement "middle-aged/not optimally "hot" women are expired/have no value" attitude and at some point I internalized it. At this point, I don't know if I can ever get with anyone because I do not trust any man who shows interest in me. I always think he's making fun of me or has some other scam in mind, because how could any man have interest in a non-optimally-hot girl like me? Even if he is genuinely a pig by all accounts (think "Carl" from Aqua Teens), there is still that internalized social value that he is the one "settling"–because his looks and habits don't matter, but he has a right to expect an optimally hot girl–and that I have no right to expect anything better than Carl from the Aqua Teens. I have just enough self-respect in that area to decline the entire relationship mess, if Carl is the best I can ever hope for. And intellectually I know there are guys out there who don't value women by the Playboy standard, but it's hard to fight an internalized self-loathing like that.Even TV shows that emphasis that one should not judge people by their attractiveness is geared in favor of male entitlement, as the man is always the ugly one and the woman is always optimally hot. Which is why I love Shrek and Shallow Hal, both unusually sympathetic to women, and why I love Kevin Smith, for acknowledging that as much difficulty as he has as a fat man that fat women have it exponentially harder just because they are female and it counts against them as human beings in a way it does not count against him.And why I love you folks and all people who do take the time and effort to fight this attitude and refuse to be silenced by the accusation of being "too easily wound" over "nothing". If more people, both male and female, brought this kind of ugly behavior out on the open to show for what it is, maybe there will be other little girls who will not grow up with the same internalized de-valuation that I have to contend with today.

  76. 76
    Rational Jen

    @Mark B – no apology necessary. Your guess that Robert had never corresponded with us before is correct. This was his inaugural exchange with us.@Robert – if you had bothered to learn a little more about the show, you'd have had no need to assume anything. I'm an out lesbian. Lesbian is not a pejorative term, and I don't take offense when someone applies it to me.

  77. 77
    Rational Jen

    @SecularDad – here's another helping of irony. In one of his emails to me, Robert accused me of being "over-sensitive" and "emotional," so you can imagine my reaction to his whining about how awful we've been to him by publishing his letter and making fun of him. Apparently, he can dish it out, but he can't take it.

  78. 78
    Jeremiah

    This lack of self-awareness seems common in sexists, racists, and many other types of *-ists. I have some relatives that quite obviously betray themselves to be racists in their comments but would swear on their dying breath that they are not. Some people just don't 'get it' how their remarks could be insulting to a group of people. Perhaps a lack of ability to put themselves in others shoes? *shrug*@RobertThe issue of Jen being a lesbian is rather beside the point. The point is that telling ANY women (unsolicited anyways) how to increase their sex appeal carries an implicit connotation that they are 1) doing it wrong, 2) unaware how to do it right, 3) worried about it to begin with, and 4) reliant upon sex appeal for their self worth. That is why the original letter came across as offensive. Even if your intentions were good natured you go about complementing a woman on who she currently is, not how you think she should be.

  79. 79
    Martin

    harvey_requiem: Sorry to hear about your life situation, but it is true, we're not all douchebags. Still, it can be hard to know what you're getting in a person.I too was annoyed by the vigor with which some people have been insisting that this had to be a Poe, a troll, a big joke, someone who was just jerking our chain and having a laugh at how easily we rose to the bait. Setting aside the question of where they got their massive Jedi mind-reading powers to know this, it did reflect a very uncool trivializing of the circumstances and even a double standard in who we choose to attack here and why.If a creationist shows up and makes asinine attacks on evolution, or if some clueless apologist wants to argue some brilliant "logical proof" or hit us with Pascal's Wager, and we take him down, everybody's like, "Go team! AETV fucking rocks! Kick their asses! That's what we wanna see!" For some reason, those people are never dismissed as trolls or someone playing an elaborate prank at our expense, whom we should not waste our time with and just ignore.But suddenly, some dude shows up making sexist comments to Jen, and it's somehow obvious that that's all he is. Beating down Christians for saying stupid Christian stuff is totally awesome. Beating down a hapless misogynist douche for saying stupid douche stuff is us wasting our time, being thin-skinned, not knowing an obvious troll when we see one.The day some people recognize there's a double standard there — and one that's pretty fucking douchey itself — will be a day of personal growth and epiphany, I hope.

  80. 80
    Eph Zero

    Well, Robert, aside from arguments about sexism and rudeness, here's an important fact: not everyone likes the same thing. You're not telling her what men find attractive, but rather what you find attractive. So this "service" you've tried to offer is utterly useless, even if it had been requested.

  81. 81
    Mathew H

    Reminds me of the guy you don't like who can't take a hint and fuck off. The guy who thinks everyone likes them but actually most don't with good reason.This guy usually ends up raping someone at a party or getting charged with sexual harassment and or molesting children…..

  82. 82
    Martin

    Ooh, let's not go there yet. I'm willing to accuse Robert of first-degree cluelessness, for sure. But I hope that, if he continues interacting with folks here on the blog, he'll try to listen and understand what people are telling him. I think it will be harder for him than most, but I'd like to encourage him to try.

  83. 83
    Robert

    Jeremiah wrote "The issue of Jen being a lesbian is rather beside the point. The point is that telling ANY women (unsolicited anyways) how to increase their sex appeal carries an implicit connotation that they are 1) doing it wrong, 2) unaware how to do it right, 3) worried about it to begin with, and 4) reliant upon sex appeal for their self worth. That is why the original letter came across as offensive. Even if your intentions were good natured you go about complementing a woman on who she currently is, not how you think she should be."1. I said she looks hot currently. So far from suggesting she is "doing it wrong"2. I even wrote in my email that she looks hot while not trying. So that suggests she is not trying to do it at all. I said "this is a very positive message that you look hot -now-. and that it's so easy for you just don't cut your hair short"3. No suggestion that she's "worried" about it. Since ditto (about not trying).4. No suggestion that she's reliant on her sex appeal for her self worth. Ditto(about not trying).And no, a straight single girl might want to look nice, not for their own self worth, but to attract men more because they want to.Would you have a fit if I said you might attract more girls if you wear the jumper you wore today, rather than the one last week, then would you say I am saying you are doing things wrong. I am telling you you are unaware how to do it right(to a very small extent!). You are worried about it (not necessarily worried but it may be in your interest). You are reliant for your self worth(rubbish). I was complimenting her on who she is. And I was complimenting her on how she looks currently. She however did not want to be complimented on who she is. She hit the roof when I said she is decent(giving her benefit of the doubt).. and thus deserving of my advice.And to criticisms some have stated about the lesbian issue. Would you hit the roof if I horror of horrors, I didn't assume you were a homosexual? Or didn't take into account the possibility of you being a homosexual when I gave my advice re jumper and attracting girls. Of course not. Most guys wouldn't want somebody to say "if you're a homosexual, do this/this would work". And I think most lesbians would be offended to to be told they look like a lesbian 'cos it could mean they look butch.. which most wouldn't take as a compliment not from a straight guy anyway.

  84. 84
    Ignacio

    @ RobertSince you still don't seem to understand what we find wrong in what you said, let me try to make it as clear and concise as possible.You were telling a total stranger how she should meet YOUR standards of attractiveness.By doing that you were reducing someone we respect to a mere object for YOUR self satisfaction.It does not make any difference whether such behavior and statements are directed to a man or a woman. It is irrelevant, as it is basic human social respect.When you try to impose your standards on other people who have not asked for your advice you are crossing many boundaries of what constitutes acceptable behavior in our society.Regarding my previous post, in which I mentioned the need of pain to modify what we consider a socially unacceptable behavior, I was obviously referring to the emotional pain that comes from shame and social rejection, which is the essential nature of the response your email triggered.It is by this mechanism that apes and other social mammals learn proper social behavior. It certainly is how most people learn what is proper and what is not, and I consider it is not beyond you to understand the mechanism.Is this imposing a behavior, as you point out in your post at the Notepub URL you pasted here? Indeed it is. That is what societies do with their social rules, to preserve the social order. Societies impose rules on those who belong to them.You are free not to follow those rules, and in that case you will be rejected by whichever part of the society expects them to be followed, as is the case now.This is no more than the consequence of your freely made choice not to follow a certain set of rules. A choice of which you are responsible as a free individual.

  85. 85
    Ignacio

    @ RobertSince you still don't seem to understand what we find wrong in what you said, let me try to make it as clear and concise as possible.You were telling a total stranger how she should meet YOUR standards of attractiveness.By doing that you were reducing someone we respect to a mere object for YOUR self satisfaction.It does not make any difference whether such behavior and statements are directed to a man or a woman. It is irrelevant, as it is basic human social respect.When you try to impose your standards on other people who have not asked for your advice you are crossing many boundaries of what constitutes acceptable behavior in our society.Regarding my previous post, in which I mentioned the need of pain to modify what we consider a socially unacceptable behavior, I was obviously referring to the emotional pain that comes from shame and social rejection, which is the essential nature of the response your email triggered.It is by this mechanism that apes and other social mammals learn proper social behavior. It certainly is how most people learn what is proper and what is not, and I consider it is not beyond you to understand the mechanism.Is this imposing a behavior, as you point out in your post at the Notepub URL you pasted here? Indeed it is. That is what societies do with their social rules, to preserve the social order. Societies impose rules on those who belong to them.You are free not to follow those rules, and in that case you will be rejected by whichever part of the society expects them to be followed, as is the case now.This is no more than the consequence of your freely made choice not to follow a certain set of rules. A choice of which you are responsible as a free individual.

  86. 86
    Ignacio

    @ RobertSince you still don't seem to understand what we find wrong in what you said, let me try to make it as clear and concise as possible.You were telling a total stranger how she should meet YOUR standards of attractiveness.By doing that you were reducing someone we respect to a mere object for YOUR self satisfaction.It does not make any difference whether such behavior and statements are directed to a man or a woman. It is irrelevant, as it is basic human social respect.When you try to impose your standards on other people you have never even talked to, people who have never expressed or implied any intention of meeting such standards, you are crossing many boundaries of what constitutes acceptable behavior in our society.Regarding my previous post, in which I mentioned the need of pain to modify what we consider a socially unacceptable behavior, I was obviously referring to the emotional pain that comes from shame and social rejection, which is the essential nature of the response your email triggered.It is by this mechanism that apes and other social mammals learn proper social behavior. It certainly is how most people learn what is proper and what is not, and I consider it is not beyond you to understand the mechanism.Is this imposing a behavior, as you point out in your post at the Notepub URL you pasted here? Indeed it is. That is what societies do with their social rules, to preserve the social order. Societies impose rules on those who belong to them.You are free not to follow those rules, and in that case you will be rejected by whichever part of the society expects them to be followed, as is the case now.This is no more than the consequence of your freely made choice not to follow a certain set of rules. A choice of which you are responsible as a free individual.

  87. 87
    Ignacio

    After a few failed attempts at posting, I guess I have to split my post again in two parts. Here goes…@ RobertSince you still don't seem to understand what we find wrong in what you said, let me try to make it as clear and concise as possible.You were telling a total stranger how she should meet YOUR standards of attractiveness.By doing that you were reducing someone we respect to a mere object for YOUR self satisfaction.It does not make any difference whether such behavior and statements are directed to a man or a woman. It is irrelevant, as it is basic human social respect.When you try to impose your standards on other people you have never even talked to, people who have never expressed or implied any intention of meeting such standards, you are crossing many boundaries of what constitutes acceptable behavior in our society.(continues in next post)

  88. 88
    Ignacio

    (continuing from previous post)Regarding a previous post, in which I mentioned the need of pain to modify what we consider a socially unacceptable behavior, I was obviously referring to the emotional pain that comes from shame and social rejection, which is the essential nature of the response your email triggered.It is by this mechanism that apes and other social mammals learn proper social behavior. It certainly is how most people learn what is proper and what is not, and I consider it is not beyond you to understand the mechanism.Is this imposing a behavior, as you point out in your post at the Notepub URL you pasted here? Indeed it is. That is what societies do with their social rules, to preserve the social order. Societies impose rules on those who belong to them.You are free not to follow those rules, and in that case you will be rejected by whichever part of the society expects them to be followed, as is the case now.This is no more than the consequence of your freely made choice not to follow a certain set of rules. A choice of which you are responsible as a free individual.

  89. 89
    Ignacio

    (continuing from previous post)Regarding a previous post, in which I mentioned the need of pain to modify what we consider a socially unacceptable behavior, I was obviously referring to the emotional pain that comes from shame and social rejection, which is the essential nature of the response your email triggered.It is by this mechanism that apes and other social animals learn proper social behavior. It certainly is how most people learn what is proper and what is not, and I consider it is not beyond you to understand the mechanism.Is this imposing a behavior, as you point out in your post at Notepub? Indeed it is. That is what societies do with their social rules, to preserve the social order. Societies impose rules on those who belong to them.You are free not to follow those rules, and in that case you will be rejected by whichever part of the society expects them to be followed, as is the case now.This is just the consequence of your free choice not to follow a certain set of rules. A choice of which you are responsible as a free individual.

  90. 90
    Robert

    Ignacio – reason should be the basis of that, and one shouldn't just use social rejection. I am glad that you seem to agree with that, judging by your post.also the info I gave her which you could look at as how she could conform to a certain form or standard, was not just my standard. From the guys I have spoken to, I think they'd agree. Suppose there was a national survey that found that men for the most part, generally found women with long hair more attractive than when they had short hair. Or suppose most men if they were asked, would agree about the latter video over the former, and I think that is the case. Knowing what I know about the tastes of guys.. from my conversations. But suppose that is correct.. That isn't just my standard.Also, i'm not saying she should conform to a certain look. Just info about what guys like. In case she would like to know. As many women would. It's not for my benefit. If lady jen looked bad to me then it doesn't matter. There is no shortage of attractive women in the media that anybody has to be reliant on one. The info turned out to not be useful to her, fine.

  91. 91
    Mark B

    Robert, have you ever talked with a woman and not at her? Have you ever tried to get to know her? What she values and what she doesn't? Do you have a lot of success with your approach? Do a lot of women like you and appreciate what you have to say?Right now you are operating from a hypothesis; that you can make highly personal remarks about a woman's looks and she should be grateful. As an experiment you did this, and received universal condemnation from this forum and more importantly the person you were addressing.Is your hypothesis correct? I'm curious about your answer because right now you seem to be moving from mere cluelessness to total solipsism.

  92. 92
    Rojaila N.

    Delurking, because reading Robert's continued attempts to justify a bad move makes me feels stabby.Robert, sweetie, you're in a hole. You gave an opinion that wasn't asked for to a complete stranger. That has the risk of a verbal smackdown. You've failed the risk lottery and are just making it worse by trying to justify it. If you have to keep responding as to how you're actually in the right in the face of so many people telling you that you're wrong, you're probably actually in the wrong. Stop digging. If you can't find the stones to just admit that your "advice" was ill-placed and apologize for a poor move, then drop the subject.As to your subject, your standard, or the standards of most men, ought not to mean a hill of beans to any woman, certainly not one that isn't attracted to men. Now you know this. Acknowledge that you made a goof, actually listen to the criticisms, learn and grow a little.Lastly, cut out the "lady" already. It smacks of faux-politeness. Unless I've missed something in the episodes I've seen, I don't believe Jen holds a royal title. If I'm wrong, I beg correctness. Also, "jen" is a proper name, if you're gonna capitalize the names of the folk who are responding, do so for hers. It's the least you could do for someone you supposedly respect so much that you deemed her worthy of your unasked for opinion of female beauty.Your sexism is still showing. Niki M.

  93. 93
    Robert

    To summarise the nature of the discussion so far.The claim which people here support, is that I was in the wrong , rude, offensive, shouldn't have said it. A rational thing to do would be to give reasons, and some have and I have responded, and discussion is possible there.Are you not open to the possibility that you could give a bad or reason. I can refute such a reason, in fact you also should be able to refute a bad or irrelevant reason that somebody on your side gives. It doesn't mean that the refutation of it is anything other than the refutation of it.So if somebody says that i'm implying that she gets or should get all her self worth from her appearance, then I can object to that.. it's simply not the case. And my own words contradict that bad reason.What you(not all of you) but what you are doing if doing that.. those that are, is not honest rational discourse. If you give me good reasons bad reasons and irrelevant reasons, and you are honest, then you can't expect me to just accept any reason you give even when bad.If you think it is socially unacceptable for me to disagree with any of your reasons *and* that any response is irrelevant, then you are simply not engaging in honest dialog with me.Ignacio has given reasons and I have responded.Jen would understand how she was somewhat offensive in asking if I had the balls to come here.. I don't mind her being offensive. I can reciprocate.. in humor, and write "lady jen" when she's not acting like much of a lady. Seriously, asking me if I have the balls… look who's talking. I am not moaning about myself being offended by the way.. before she accuses me of whining or any such nonsense.

  94. 94
    Ignacio

    @Robert"reason should be the basis of that, and one shouldn't just use social rejection"Social conventions are not always based on reason, but they are still valid within the scope of society as long as they are generally accepted, by their very nature.That is why they are only binding for individuals who want to interact properly with or within that society. In this particular case I see two possibilities:1- You don't want to be bound by this particular rule. Thus, you refuse to interact with the group that considers it binding, at least not without being offensive.2- You were unaware of this rule, and still want to interact with the group that considers it binding without being offensive.If case 1 is true, you can just state you don't care about being offensive to others, and accept the rejection as a consequence of it. It is an acceptable choice, if not a socially advantageous one.If case 2 is true, you could acknowledge the rule and try to follow it, even if it does not make sense to you. This is also an acceptable choice, although precedent would suggest the convenience of following an additional social convention known as "apologizing". The need for this, of course, is up to Jen.(continues…)

  95. 95
    Ignacio

    (… continued)"the info I gave her which you could look at as how she could conform to a certain form or standard, was not just my standard"Whether the opinion you stated is only yours or shared by others is irrelevant. It is not the veracity or the popularity of your opinion we are discussing, but the convenience of sharing it.The opinion was unsolicited, unwanted, and denotes an attitude towards women that many find unacceptable. That is, certainly, my opinion. Borrowing your own words, from the guys I have spoken to, I think they'd agree.Also, by making that statement you imply that your standard or "most guys'" standard of attractiveness is superior to Jen's own criteria. That in itself is insulting, in my opinion.I know I am only addressing part of the content of your email, but I hope this will be enough to state my point about the nature of your choice regarding social rules.

  96. 96
    Robert

    After I was kindly invited (come here if you have the balls) by Jen, you Ignatio now interrupt our dialog to say or suggest that I should leave or apologize. And I think you're suggesting that if I don't apologize and I want to stay, I should prepare to be banned but the decision is at Jen's discretion.(and no, that is not "whining", that is describing the situation given your recent reply ignatio).I think you are suggesting that what i've said so far merits you to give me these options. So I can't see how discussion can take place even within a thread whose purpose besides making fun of me, was to have a dialog. With this totalitarian attitude, where my responses thus far are unacceptable to you, then I think you are calling for an end to the discussion.I just came here to discuss this. Not to deliberately provoke people but clearly honest discussion of an issue that offends, can offend. If this is unacceptable to you then I don't think there is a solution by which we can have a dialogue where you give me convincing reasons to justify my wrongness, that meet my objections.I am not saying screw the rule or your social conventions. Even if I think you fail to give reasons to justify it that stand up to my replies. I am questioning the reasoning behind the rule. I became aware early on that you have social conventions against such an email, but the discussion is about why i'm wrong or not, other than just "you just are, 'cos majority says". If that is all you have, then your reasons are a smokescreen, and don't pretend to have a logical discussion with reasons, when you're not, and your beliefs are not based on reasons other than majority social convention. That is fine but not a basis for the dialog I came for or was kindly invited for, on this blog post.

  97. 97
    Robert

    After I was kindly invited (come here if you have the balls) by Jen, you Ignatio now interrupt our dialog to say or suggest that I should leave or apologize. And I think you're suggesting that if I don't apologize and I want to stay, I should prepare to be banned but the decision is at Jen's discretion.(and no, that is not "whining", that is describing the situation given your recent reply ignatio).I think you are suggesting that what i've said so far merits you to give me these options. So I can't see how discussion can take place even within a thread whose purpose besides making fun of me, was to have a dialog. With this totalitarian attitude, where my responses thus far are unacceptable to you, then I think you are calling for an end to the discussion.

  98. 98
    Robert

    contI just came here to discuss this. Not to deliberately provoke people but clearly honest discussion of an issue that offends, can offend. If this is unacceptable to you then I don't think there is a solution by which we can have a dialogue where you give me convincing reasons to justify my wrongness, that meet my objections.I am not saying screw the rule or your social conventions. Even if I think you fail to give reasons to justify it that stand up to my replies. I am questioning the reasoning behind the rule. I became aware early on that you have social conventions against such an email, but the discussion is about why i'm wrong or not, other than just "you just are, 'cos majority says". If that is all you have, then your reasons are a smokescreen, and don't pretend to have a logical discussion with reasons, when you're not, and your beliefs are not based on reasons other than majority social convention. That is fine but not a basis for the dialog I came for or was kindly invited for, on this blog post.

  99. 99
    Robert

    (The following should have appeared before the previous post)After I was kindly invited (come here if you have the balls) by Jen, you Ignatio now interrupt our dialog to say or suggest that I should leave or apologize. And I think you're suggesting that if I don't apologize and I want to stay, I should prepare to be banned but the decision is at Jen's discretion.(and no, that is not "whining", that is describing the situation given your recent reply ignatio).I think you are suggesting that what i've said so far merits you to give me these options. So I can't see how discussion can take place even within a thread whose purpose besides making fun of me, was to have a dialog. With this totalitarian attitude, where my responses thus far are unacceptable to you, then I think you are calling for an end to the discussion.

  100. 100
    Ignacio

    @RobertIf what you want is the reason for the rules, I think I already explained that, but it was mixed with other elements of my posts. So let me try to state the reasons behind the rules:1- Passing jugdement on someone else's looks and dressing choices, when such jugdement is unwanted and uninvited: Making unwanted and uninvited comments on a matter of personal choice is intruding in a person's freedom, and thus is must be reasonably considered socially inadequate.2- Stating or implying your criteria as superior to someone else's on a matter of personal choice: This is a declaration of the incompetence of that person to make his or her own choices. Clearly a demeaning behavior, which is considered socially reprehensible.(continued…)

  101. 101
    Ignacio

    (… continued)3- Commenting exclusively about someone's looks on your first communication with them: This conveys the message that looks are the only worthy trait of the person you are addressing. Since Jen is not, to the best of my knowledge, a professional model, her thoughts are of much higher relevance than her looks in her daily life. By not addressing any of her opinions, while addressing her looks, you underrate the value of her intelligence to a mere secondary trait that is not worth even mentioning. That is not only demeaning but extremely unfair. Making demeaning and unfair judgments on others is considered socially improper behavior.4- By stating your appearance-centered advice about women in your email, you convey the message that appearance is the only worthy trait about a woman. This is, as said in point 3, extremely demeaning to any human being. Reducing the entire value of a person to just one single trait, and ignoring at the same time all the other traits, is purposefully humiliating. Intentionally or accidentally humiliating another person is considered antisocial behavior.(continued…)

  102. 102
    Ignacio

    (… continued)I could address other points, but I think these should provide you with enough rational arguments about the inadequacy of the statements of your email. If you choose not to acknowledge the rationality of these points, I will have no choice but to consider we don't share enough of a logical common ground to continue discussing the matter.Please note that all these points are independent of your intentions when conveying the message, as they fully depend on the perception of such message by the receiver. Thus, what you meant is irrelevant to the point of whether what you said was offensive.

  103. 103
    Rational Jen

    @Robert wrote:"And I think most lesbians would be offended to to be told they look like a lesbian 'cos it could mean they look butch.. which most wouldn't take as a compliment not from a straight guy anyway."You know even less about lesbians than you do about straight women, so you should probably shut up about us. Butch is not a pejorative term any more than lesbian is. Calling me butch would have been far more of a compliment than what you actually wrote. You see, something counts as a compliment only if the recipient thinks it is. Your motives are irrelevant.Your claim that I "hit the roof" in response to your email is quite an exaggeration. I simply pointed out that you had absolutely no basis for drawing the conclusion that you did. Stop whining about a "totalitarian attitude" and your imagined threat of an imminent ban. No one is threatening to ban you, and it isn't totalitarian when a whole group of people point out in great detail that you're a self-absorbed ass who has thus far failed miserably to justify his behavior.

  104. 104
    Mark B

    LOL, I'm loading songs onto my work Mac from home and was just listening to April March's Chick Habit. Robert, you should listen to it.And Ignacio, Bravo.

  105. 105
    BeamStalk

    Robert, here is my advise to you, shut up and listen (read whatever). Don't skim, don't think you know what everyone here is saying, figure it out. Understand, learn, grow, but mainly shut up for a second and see from a perspective of someone else.

  106. 106
    Robert

    ignacio has written something thoughtful the first clearly thoughtful thing written here- a big problem that stands out no matter how many times I look at it, is there seems to be this idea that motive/intention is irrelevant, (motive/intention as well as consequences, are relevant to questions of morality, you can't just say one or the other doesn't matter if you're judging something morally). If talking about an imperfect rule of thumb where motives are unknown, though that shouldn't mean assume the worst, or claim there are suggestions or that a message is being conveyed that isn't e.g. that her intelligence is worthless or that she's just a pretty face with long hair. Also, the idea that somebody should be responsible for what people read in.. even if they read things in wrongly and judge the person writing based on that. And all that matters is how the receiver takes it not what the sender meant. And if my motive is fine or not being judged.. then what precisely are the consequences to jen which are being judged? I suppose there aren't any. If it's just how the receiver interprets it, even if wrongly, and they have the right to throw the intent out the window and judge based on whatever they read in, then well, do you really believe in that?

  107. 107
    JT

    ignacio has written something thoughtful the first clearly thoughtful thing written hereBecause, clearly, if the person disagrees with you, then he/she didn't really think about it.

  108. 108
    Robert

    "Butch is not a pejorative term any more than lesbian is" if somebody said you look hot that's an insult.. if they said you look butch like Richie Cunningham, is that an enormous compliment, since that'd be really butch for a woman.

  109. 109
    Mark B

    Robert,If you do something to a person that they don't want done to them, it doesn't matter what your intentions are; the action is unwanted. I don't know how much simpler it can be.

  110. 110
    Rational Jen

    @Robert – like I said, you really should stop talking. You know nothing about lesbian esthetics.And Richie Cunningham? How old are you Robert?

  111. 111
    articulett

    Robert's post is just creepy. I can't imagine anyone "wanting" to be attractive to Robert. It seems like Robert thinks it's great to dish out unsolicited advice, but he isn't so keen on receiving unsolicited advice on his unsolicited advice. Why doesn't Robert show us how he thinks Jen should have reacted to unsolicited advice by reacting in that way to the unsolicited advice proffered by others?I have strong feeling Robert isn't attractive to anyone right now, and he will be even less attractive to others in 15 years unless he acquires social skills. Who's attracted to "creepy"? Is creepy curable? (Do creepy people ever realize they are the creepy people?)

  112. 112
    MAtheist

    Robert,Even in your attempt to justify your actions, you are still showing a lack of understanding. For example in your reply to Jeremiah I even wrote in my email that she looks hot while not trying. So that suggests she is not trying to do it at all. I said "this is a very positive message that you look hot -now-. and that it's so easy for you just don't cut your hair short"besides being demeaning again, you still try to enforce your own personal preferences of hair length.Then there is this quote of yoursIt's not for my benefit. If lady jen looked bad to me then it doesn't matter. There is no shortage of attractive women in the media that anybody has to be reliant on one. The info turned out to not be useful to her, fine.that sure smacks of objectification.One of the main points is that when someone has been told they did something offensive, the acceptable/polite/proper thing to do is apologize. They can explain that they didn't realize they were being offensive or insulting, and try to learn from the experience.This is the accepted response in civilized society, not just on this blog.

  113. 113
    Philosopher's Mess

    Was reading Foucault "History of Sexuality" and thought of this post. He writes:People often say that modern society has attempted to reduce sexuality to the couple–the heterosexual and, in sofar as posssible, legitimate couple. There are equal grouns for saying that it has, if not created, at least outfitted and made to proliferate, groups with multiple elements and a circulating sexuality: a distribution of points of power, hierarchized and placed opposite to one another; "pursued" pleasures, that is both sought after and searched out;compartmental sexualities that are tolerated or encouraged; proximities that serve as surveillance procedures, and function as mechanisms of intensification; contact that operate as inductors. This is what I see taking place here, beautifully.

  114. 114
    Eph Zero

    Hey, Robert, post your picture so that we can all give you helpful pointers on how to improve your appearance.

  115. 115
    Philosopher's Mess

    More Foucault:It is as if a fundamental resistance blocked the development of a rationally formed discourse concerning human sex, its correlations, and its effects. A disparity of this sort would indicate that the aim of such a discourse was not to state the truth but to prevent its very emergence. I would say this conclusion applies, to the dialogue about many different subjects and instances.

  116. 116
    Robert

    i'm still struggling to understand this idea ignacio mentioned, that with motives/consequences, the former doesn't matter and the latter does, even when there are none.. I think he meant motives/perception. And the former doesn't matter, the latter does. But that is still bizarrely unfair since it means the latter can always claim offence and have a point.. and also the latter can read anything in.. that doesn't mean i'm defending what I did by saying the above, it means i'm questioning or even challenging this argument of his.I suppose jen might have lessened the problem of ignacio's line of thought, by suggesting it applies to compliments, that at least narrows it down.so when you humiliate or offend theists and you even do it knowingly, that is ok. I know you have boundaries on how far you'd go e.g. not knocking on doors, but it's not so clear cut as to say offending somebody unknowingly is socially unacceptable.but I wonder if , even when limited to compliments, others still agree with ignacio that " Intentionally or accidentally humiliating another person is considered antisocial behavior."suppose it's a visibly strong man doing a call in show about politics or some intellectual topic, and a woman calls in and says she loves strong men like him.. The man wouldn't be offended that she is just judging him by his strength and suggesting that he has nothing in his head. And he wouldn't be scared/find it creepy. It gets rather complex when a well-intentioned compliment is socially unacceptable. Perhaps many women have an inferiority complex of some sort, that I should be sensitive to.

  117. 117
    Martin

    It gets rather complex when a well-intentioned compliment is socially unacceptable. Perhaps many women have an inferiority complex of some sort, that I should be sensitive to.Being offended and creeped out by a total stranger who offers unsolicited (and frankly adolescent) advice on how to improve your sex appeal, with warnings that "in 15 years you'll look bad," does not indicate an inferiority complex on the part of women. It indicates a lack of socialization and ignorance of acceptable conduct, as well as an immature fixation on physical attractiveness as the measure of women's worth, on the part of the man making the remarks.The fact that you remain persistently clueless about why your original email was the worst sort of faux pas, and insist upon defending yourself in the face of all of the advice and feedback you've gotten so far, leads me to wonder if you might have some sort of high-functioning autism, or other neurodivergent condition that makes it difficult for you to grasp acceptable norms of social behavior the rest of us take for granted. What is obvious to us may not be to you. But that does not mean you should do as you're doing now, which is resisting all opportunities to learn and improve.That your comments were "well-intentioned" is irrelevant. If they were improper and offensive, as you have now been told not only by the target of your comments but everyone else as well, the correct thing to do — whether you yet understand why they are telling you this — is apologize and make an effort to at least listen to what you're being told. Despite what may be going on with you — it may be the case that you're clinging so hard to defending yourself because you have some idea that an apology would constitute a wavering of principle that would lose you respect — you should realize that you would actually gain considerable respect by apologizing in a situation like this. Or in any situation where you may offend someone, even unintentionally. From that point on, you can begin to try understanding why you offended, and this is done by listening and learning from a position of humility. (If you apologize as a matter of from, then continue to defend yourself as you are doing, the opposite will happen. You'll lose respect as your apology will be seen as dishonest.)It's evident that some basic social and behavioral modules most people acquire in their development, usually from adolescence to adulthood, are absent in you. Maybe you can still develop them, but frankly you're making it very hard for yourself.

  118. 118
    Martin

    Final remark in second to last paragraph above should begin: "If you apologize as a matter of form…"

  119. 119
    Robert

    if I apologize and don't understand then I think it's misleading.. it signals that i'm content and have learnt, and won't do it again..and that this dialog has been successful already.I can say that I won't call her hot again, or make any other compliment about her appearance. And I regret any offence caused. I hope that is sufficient for the apology?It is not a result of rational dialog about reasons for.Do you think you Martin should apologize for making an email public without permission?Or Jen for your very unladylike like invitation "do you have the balls".You two that understand social conventions better than me, knowingly and unnecessarily and without any obvious good intention, betrayed social conventions.At least in my case I even declared my positive intention in the email.And i'm not asking you two to apologise, i'm just asking you two if you think you should, given that you think I should. And you can take that as a rherotical question if you wishNevertheless, I think in the dialog, we were actually getting somewhere, Ignacio made some thoughtful comments. I have responded to what I think is a serious flaw within them. It is unfortunate, that even in replying to arguments, whatever I say, the mere fact that I am replying, is seen as a bad thing that I shouldn't do. I think it's pretty obvious to any rational person, that my dialog with ignacio is a rational one. I am not ignoring the arguments presented and you shouldn't make out that i'm being dogmatic and immune to logical discourse.How can I try to understand why I offended, without questioning the arguments presented to me? And how can I question the arguments presented to me, without you then saying that i'm not listening and that i'm trying to defend myself and should stop. Does "listen" to you mean I should accept arguments that I think are flawed, and keep silent about them?Also, in my discussion with ignacio, a distinction was made between your social conventions which don't even need any reasons. And reasons behind them. I can respect your social conventions and try to abide by them even when I don't understand them and even when I don't fully understand what they are. But what I do understand, is that Jen or other women in your social group, don't want to be complimented on their appearance. I can understand what that means and I won't do it.I can accept that.But I would still like to respond to the arguments presented to me in an honest manner. And not silently accept any flawed argument. Otherwise this isn't a rational dialog.

  120. 120
    Robert

    if I apologize and don't understand then I think it's misleading.. it signals that i'm content and have learnt, and won't do it again..and that this dialog has been successful.I can say that I won't call her hot again, or make any other compliment about her appearance. And I regret any offence caused. I hope that is sufficient for the apology?It is not a result of rational dialog about reasons for.Do you think you Martin should apologize for making an email public without permission?Or Jen for your very unladylike like invitation "do you have the balls".You two that understand social conventions better than me, knowingly and unnecessarily and without any obvious good intention, betrayed social conventions.At least in my case I even declared my positive intention in the email.And i'm not asking you two to apologise, i'm just asking you two if you think you should, given that you think I should. And you can take that as a rherotical question if you wishNevertheless, I think in the dialog, we were actually getting somewhere, Ignacio made some thoughtful comments. I have responded to what I think is a serious flaw within them. It is unfortunate, that even in replying to arguments, whatever I say, the mere fact that I am replying, is seen as a bad thing that I shouldn't do.

  121. 121
    Robert

    contI think it's pretty obvious to any rational person, that my dialog with ignacio is a rational one. I am not ignoring the arguments presented and you shouldn't make out that i'm being dogmatic and immune to logical discourse.How can I try to understand why I offended, without questioning the arguments presented to me? And how can I question the arguments presented to me, without you then saying that i'm not listening and that i'm trying to defend myself and should stop. Does "listen" to you mean I should accept arguments that I think are flawed, and keep silent about them?Also, in my discussion with ignacio, a distinction was made between your social conventions which don't even need any reasons. And reasons behind them. I can respect your social conventions and try to abide by them even when I don't understand them and even when I don't fully understand what they are. But what I do understand, is that Jen or other women in your social group, don't want to be complimented on their appearance. I can understand what that means and I won't do it.I can accept that.But I would still like to respond to the arguments presented to me in an honest manner. And not silently accept any flawed argument. Otherwise this isn't a rational dialog.

  122. 122
    Robert

    (this one should appear first)if I apologize and don't understand then I think it's misleading.. it signals that i'm content and have learnt, and won't do it again..and that this dialog has been successful.I can say that I won't call her hot again, or make any other compliment about her appearance. And I regret any offence caused. I hope that is sufficient for the apology?It is not a result of rational dialog about reasons for.Do you think you Martin should apologize for making an email public without permission?Or Jen for your very unladylike like invitation "do you have the balls".You two that understand social conventions better than me, knowingly and unnecessarily and without any obvious good intention, betrayed social conventions.At least in my case I even declared my positive intention in the email.And i'm not asking you two to apologise, i'm just asking you two if you think you should, given that you think I should. And you can take that as a rherotical question if you wishNevertheless, I think in the dialog, we were actually getting somewhere, Ignacio made some thoughtful comments. I have responded to what I think is a serious flaw within them. It is unfortunate, that even in replying to arguments, whatever I say, the mere fact that I am replying, is seen as a bad thing that I shouldn't do.

  123. 123
    Robert

    part 1if I apologize and don't understand then I think it's misleading.. it signals that i'm content and have learnt, and won't do it again..and that this dialog has been successful.I can say that I won't call her hot again, or make any other compliment about her appearance. And I regret any offence caused. I hope that is sufficient for the apology?It is not a result of rational dialog about reasons for.Do you think you Martin should apologize for making an email public without permission?Or Jen for your very unladylike like invitation "do you have the balls".You two that understand social conventions better than me, knowingly and unnecessarily and without any obvious good intention, betrayed social conventions.At least in my case I even declared my positive intention in the email.

  124. 124
    Robert

    part 2And i'm not asking you two to apologise, i'm just asking you two if you think you should, given that you think I should. And you can take that as a rherotical question if you wishNevertheless, I think in the dialog, we were actually getting somewhere, Ignacio made some thoughtful comments. I have responded to what I think is a serious flaw within them. It is unfortunate, that even in replying to arguments, whatever I say, the mere fact that I am replying, is seen as a bad thing that I shouldn't do. part 3 is the post already posted labelled "cont"

  125. 125
    six45ive

    "Your fantasy of my response looks like you're now competing with the email author for biggest douchebag. Tell you what – if I ever need your advice on anything, I'll ask. Until then, you can fuck right on off. M'kay?" I'm sorry if you took offence to how I would respond if I were you. It was posted with the best of intentions to simply make the point that self deprecating humour is often the best way to deal with issues like this although I can see you've not managed to develop that as a part of your 'social armoury' yet. I can assure you I don't look at you in any other way than as a very good host on the AE. The way you look or your sexuality is definitely a non issue for me but I understand you may be feeling a little sensitive after reading such a dickish email so I'll respond to your comment below and not post on this thread again. "I know what you mean. That's why there's this clueless git named Andrew who got de-friended by some of us on FB and whose repeated, plaintive attempts to get our attention are ignored. He shares a lot of characteristics with the guy who sent this email. For example, when people demonstrate that he's wrong about something, he pretends they've misunderstood his point. He then reasserts his original point as if it had not just been refuted.Know anybody like that?" Hi…..clueless git named Andrew here so one out of 4 or 5 assertions is not bad I suppose. I didn't think you held grudges Jen. I certainly didn't realise I was on some unofficial AE blacklist……wowee……I do feel honoured. If that's the case I'm not quite sure what you guys are scared of?Could it possibly be the truth? Maybe you haven't got rid of some latent religiosity that keeps you in a state of delusion and unfounded assertion making?I don't know…..just a thought. I seem to remember that what actually happened is I called Matt out on his major faux pas with Denise and he spat the dummy out by defriending me because he wasn't man enough to put his hand up and admit he got it wrong big time with one of the decreasing number of theists you get on the show.So yes…..it's Andrew here, no secret there as I've sent you and your AE colleagues links via Facebook to my username on my local forum, which is also six45ive so not much detective work needed there;http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=695115As for other links I've sent to you and your colleagues I can assure you it's always been done with the best of intentions and as a 'heads up' but if you decide to ignore them because of some personal problem you seem to have with me then maybe you're not as dedicated to your cause as you make out. Just another thought and I think I'll leave it at that.

  126. 126
    Robert

    ok lots of problems posting. part1 appeared, cont appeared(cont is part 3). Here is part 2. I thought the parts are not that big didn't think they'd need 3 parts but anyway. Part 2And i'm not asking you two to apologise, i'm just asking you two if you think you should, given that you think I should. And you can take that as a rherotical question if you wishNevertheless, I think in the dialog, we were actually getting somewhere, Ignacio made some thoughtful comments. I have responded to what I think is a serious flaw within them. It is unfortunate, that even in replying to arguments, whatever I say, the mere fact that I am replying, is seen as a bad thing that I shouldn't do.

  127. 127
    Robert

    since my point ended up split into 3 posts that didn't appear in order, i will summarise asI can say that I won't call her hot again, or make any other compliment about her appearance. And I regret any offence caused. I hope that is sufficient for the apology?It is not a result of rational dialog about reasons for.How can I try to understand why I offended, without questioning the arguments presented to me? And how can I question the arguments presented to me, without you then saying that i'm not listening and that i'm trying to defend myself and should stop. Does "listen" to you mean I should accept arguments that I think are flawed, and keep silent about them?

  128. 128
    Robert

    one significant point which I responded to early on but people keep repeating, so perhaps I should repeat my response..When people say something of me like that "[you] try to enforce your own personal preferences of hair length." Firstly this isn't really the case and I doubt this is even your objection… I was referring to myself and many guys..and I think most would find her more attractive in the latter video, where she has long hair, than in the former video.And I wasn't trying to enforce..As I said. I provided her with info. If she doesn't want to act on it, then fine.Since she isn't single and looking for men, and since she is a lesbian with a partner.. then she has no logical reason that I can see to follow the advice. And of course it's her decision.Perhaps it is because I have clarified this, that people are now saying that my intention is irrelevant! Because if my intention had been that she change for my tastes, then I think people would all of a sudden say my intention was relevant! (because intention is not irrelevant!). Intention is not all that is relevant, but it is not irrelevant.

  129. 129
    Robert

    one significant point which I responded to early on but people keep repeating, so perhaps I should repeat my response..When people say something of me like that "[you] try to enforce your own personal preferences of hair length." Firstly this isn't really the case and I doubt this is even your objection… I was referring to myself and many guys..and I think most would find her more attractive in the latter video, where she has long hair, than in the former video.And I wasn't trying to enforce..As I said. I provided her with info. If she doesn't want to act on it, then fine.Since she isn't single and looking for men, and since she is a lesbian with a partner.. then she has no logical reason that I can see to follow the advice. And of course it's her decision.Perhaps it is because I have clarified this, that people are now saying that my intention is irrelevant! Because if my intention had been that she change for my tastes, then I think people would all of a sudden say my intention was relevant! (because intention is not irrelevant!). Intention is not all that is relevant, but it is not irrelevant.

  130. 130
    Robert

    one significant point which I responded to early on but people keep repeating, so perhaps I should repeat my response..When people say something of me like that "[you] try to enforce your own personal preferences of hair length." Firstly this isn't really the case and I doubt this is even your objection… I was referring to myself and many guys..and I think most would find her more attractive in the latter video, where she has long hair, than in the former video.And I wasn't trying to enforce..As I said. I provided her with info. If she doesn't want to act on it, then fine.Since she isn't single and looking for men, and since she is a lesbian with a partner.. then she has no logical reason that I can see to follow the advice. And of course it's her decision.Perhaps it is because I have clarified this, that people are now saying that my intention is irrelevant! Because if my intention had been that she change for my tastes, then I think people would all of a sudden say my intention was relevant! (because intention is not irrelevant!). Intention is not all that is relevant, but it is not irrelevant.

  131. 131
    ydgmdlu

    Robert: Why do you think that a host's appearance is important to The Atheist Experience show? Until your e-mail and your comments, I wasn't aware that anyone was watching the show for any reason other than the discussions that the hosts have with callers and with each other, as well as the entertainment value inherent in clashing personalities. Why do you think that improving a host's appearance would improve the show's substance, which is the real reason why people watch it?Why do you assume that any woman would appreciate a compliment on her appearance from a total stranger? There are no doubt plenty of attention- and beauty-obsessed women who love such compliments from anyone, but that doesn't mean that all women are the same way. In many societies today, female beauty is overemphasized, and "beauty" is treated primarily as a female concern. Cosmetic products and fashion are almost exclusively marketed to women. The term "metrosexual" had to be invented in recent years to describe straight men who spent as much time and money on their looks as is stereotyped of women. As a man, you have hardly any idea of what the female experience is like. On what basis do you claim to know how women would think and react to your words?If you were just trying to be helpful, then why did you mention your fantasizing about her personal life? I don't see how it's even relevant to the rest of what you were saying.If you're really a fan, then why do you use such harshly negative words as, "look quite bad," "disgusting," and "expired" in your warning to Jen? True fans of media personalities are virtually incapable of thinking that way. They may admit that their idols are not quite as glamorous as they used to be, but they would never trash their appearance. It sounds like you're more interested in Jen's looks than anything else about her.On what basis do you claim to be an authority on what men may or may not find attractive about older women? Plenty of men find certain older women, those in their 60s and 70s, to be highly attractive, and not because they lack "standards." You seem to be talking more about yourself than about other men.

  132. 132
    ydgmdlu

    Continued: Why does anyone "deserve" to be "hot"? It's an incoherent idea to me. Good looks are a combination of genes, make-up, and fashion sense. It's entirely incidental to any other qualities that the person has; no matter how wonderful a person is on the inside, that doesn't create any merit for good looks. The two aren't connected. Either you were born beautiful, or you weren't. Either you know how to present yourself well, appearance-wise, or you don't. What does being a good person have to do with any of that? But perhaps you're actually a theist who believes that God awards good looks to beautiful souls who "deserve" them.Why does anyone need to know that you're "very happy" about someone's appearance? Do you presume that person desires your approval?Why did you use words like "sexy" and "hot" when you were trying to give a "mere" compliment? By definition, these words refer directly to sex appeal, which means that sex is on your mind, not a general appreciation of beauty. How do you think that a woman whom you've never met, and who has never tried project sex appeal, feels knowing that you think about her sexually? Do you just assume that it brings her pleasure and satisfaction, and if so, then why?Why do you assume that all women are "familiar with clothes," and more so then men are? Why are you OK with being a guy who doesn't care about clothes, but you think that women should care? Why are you trying to read Jen's mind regarding her choice of clothing?Why do you think that anyone other you finds Jen, as she presents herself on the show, to be "sexy"? You state this opinion as if it were fact.Why do you assume that all women enjoy being physically attractive?Why do you think that "women can burst into tears" in response to criticisms about their appearance? Do you suspect that maybe your comments about women's appearance may be contributing to the problem?Do you not see the condescension inherent in claiming that someone is "deserving of [your] advice"?Finally, why did you presume that Jen would be looking to attract anyone? You try to make a big deal out of the whole sexual orientation thing, but that's entirely irrelevant. That you didn't know that Jen was in a committed relationship with another woman is certainly excusable, but it doesn't mean that you should've assumed anything about her personal life.

  133. 133
    Robert

    A general point that people bring up is the objectification.. but as I said, consider thissuppose it's a visibly strong man doing a call in show about politics or some intellectual topic, and a woman calls in and says she loves strong men like him.. The man wouldn't be offended that she is just judging him by his strength and suggesting that he has nothing in his head and he wouldn't be scared/find it creepy either. Perhaps many women have an inferiority complex of some sort, that I should be sensitive to?

  134. 134
    Rojaila N.

    "suppose it's a visibly strong man doing a call in show about politics or some intellectual topic, and a woman calls in and says she loves strong men like him.. The man wouldn't be offended that she is just judging him by his strength and suggesting that he has nothing in his head and he wouldn't be scared/find it creepy either."For starters, your comparison is very flawed. If this hypothetical woman were to have called up, said she likes strong men, and then started giving him tips on how to look even stronger, then she would be in your shoes, giving unasked for advice to a complete stranger concerning their appearance and how to improve it to her standards. And what makes you think any male, no matter their looks, wouldn't find such attentions creepy? Your thoughts != the thoughts of all men."Perhaps many women have an inferiority complex of some sort, that I should be sensitive to?"…or you could presume that complete strangers, even us supposedly sensitive womenfolk, could do without your advice as to how to conform to your standards of beauty, maybe?I'm going to presume that you honestly have no idea how wrong, sexist and just plain stupid this sounds. A person not appreciating your advice, no matter the gender, is not a sign of an inferiority complex, and it's true douche to even assume such. Your opinion was not appreciated.You are not the arbitrator of any man's tastes by your own (if you haven't noticed, most of the people arguing with you on this blog are male. Take a hint).Again, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. If you refuse to even acknowledge that you stepped over the line here, at least quit trying to justify it by using stupid archaic stereotypes of both men and women that most of us reject.

  135. 135
    JT

    That your comments were "well-intentioned" is irrelevant.Case in point, if a bunch of priests decided to forcibly do an exorcism on me, whether they were "well-intentioned" or not, I'd probably be calling the police.What justifies an action is whether the assertion is actually true, not what one's intentions are.Intention can't be used to excuse any action one wishes to take.

  136. 136
    soul_biscuit

    "Suppose it's a visibly strong man doing a call in show about politics or some intellectual topic, and a woman calls in and says she loves strong men like him.. The man wouldn't be offended that she is just judging him by his strength and suggesting that he has nothing in his head and he wouldn't be scared/find it creepy either."How do you know the man wouldn't be offended?Imagine that you are this "visibly strong man." You have a superlative physique, and are frequently complimented for it. You have also spent the last five years becoming an expert in some esoteric field, say physics. However, despite all your efforts, all your collleagues and superiors emphasize your physical appearance rather than your contributions to the field.Imagine further that not only you but all men are subject to this treatment. Despite their qualifications, the size of their pectorals or the girth of their biceps is likely to be a factor in judgments of their worth, while women can be confident that such irrelevancies won't arise.After you've imagined that, take a look at your "advice." All your remarks to Jen, a woman, center on her appearance, a pretty clear statement of what you think of her contribution to the show. For Russell, a man, you have no aesthetic remarks to make.If none of this helps clue you in, Google "privilege-denying dude" and know that it is you.

  137. 137
    Ignacio

    I have followed this thread since the beginning, and I have come to a conclusion.Robert's posts and responses, including his original email, are not aimed at reaching any kind of final resolve to this matter. Not a single one of the points he makes is driven towards an ending of the discussion, be it positive or negative.What Robert's posts seem to aim for is maintaining the discussion at its current level of intensity without ever reaching a resolve.My conclusion is Robert is simply fishing for attention. From his original post we may surmise his social skills and level of social interaction must be indeed very low. By talking to him we are giving him the only social interaction he has access to or enjoys. This, rather than punishment, is a reward for a socially starved brain.Thus, what follows is that the best applicable negative reinforcement to his behavior is dismissal, and deprive him of the interaction he craves. The way to do this is stopping replying to him in any manner. It is what I am going to do.Robert, this conversation is over. If you ever want to have a lively discussion with people, you will have to learn to do it in a positive way.Misbehaving to get a response is a behavior associated to socially undeveloped children. Like them, you will have to learn if you want to get any attention.

  138. 138
    Robert

    Ignacio, your assumptions about me are wrong. But my conversation with you is indeed over. That is your right. If you like to engage in such silly theories, I could try a psychological analysis of you, and that you only talked for attention in the first place and then got bored when discussion got more focussed, but I won't, I don't believe that and anyhow, even if I did, I have no interest, in provoking you by making up theories that you are a troll and expecting you to prove otherwise.

  139. 139
    Pombolo

    "But what I do understand, is that Jen or other women in your social group, don't want to be complimented on their appearance."But that wasn't all you were doing was it? You gave a compliment… and then a lot more. When people complain about the "a lot more" you then selectively shield your ego by insisting they have a problem with you being complimentary. You don't realise that you give away more than you realise about yourself and your views of women."Perhaps many women have an inferiority complex of some sort, that I should be sensitive to?"This is a classic symptom of what I'd call 'double-feeding', and it's the underlying point here. In your head you are being helpful to Jen. What you don't realise is that the things you say reveal more about your motivations and views – so what we all here is a lot more than what you think you are saying. You are presenting a statement and a judgement ('double-feeding' us with at least two pieces of information) and then reacting with bewilderment at the reaction from this blog becase you think you have only said one thing (the compliment). Every single time you respond to your critics you demonstrate that you have failed to grasp what they are complaining about – which is why I think it is unlikely you will heed to repeated calls for you to learn from your mistakes here. You won't, because you don't realise that your critics are taling about the 'double-fed' point behind what you are saying.So no, you don't need to be sensitive to an inferiority complex that women have (nice use of sweeping generalisation there, by the way) because they don't have one – you STILL can't see that it is not the compliment that create animosity, but the way in which you conducted yourself.

  140. 140
    Pombolo

    here -> hearheed to -> heed thecreate -> createsDammit.

  141. 141
    Robert

    Rojaila N critiqued my strong man analogy, " then started giving him tips on how to look even stronger, then she would be in your shoes, giving unasked for advice to a complete stranger concerning their appearance and how to improve it to her standards. "Looking strong is something that many men would want if it was an easy choice. It wouldn't just be her standard. I wouldn't take offence to her thinking I might want that. Not necessarily to please her, but because maybe I want to for my own benefit.Rojaila N continued "And what makes you think any male, no matter their looks, wouldn't find such attentions creepy? Your thoughts != the thoughts of all men."oh no women are calling up and saying I look strong.. i'm so scared. i'm being judged as looking strong.. oh this is a disaster..can you explain to me what mechanism in a man's mind would make a man think it is "creepy"?

  142. 142
    Robert

    @Rojaila N (cont)You continued "Your opinion was not appreciated."People have kept saying this.. that my opinion is not appreciated. as if I have to know the advice has to be useful.Let's go to my analogy.Would I appreciate it if the woman listener of the show emails me to tell me I look stronger..perhaps I should but I wouldn't and according to you I shouldn't..indeed, why should I be appreciative.. she is not doing me a favor.. I might just say "yeah, so i'm told". And if she gives me advice on how I can look stronger, I might say that's not bad advice, but I am not willing to make the effort to look stronger, or I have no will to look stronger. Just because I don't have appreciation for the advice doesn't mean it does or should bother me.somebody went to the trouble of giving me advice that they thought would be useful to me, it wasn't, fine.

  143. 143
    Kazim

    I am in complete agreement with Ignacio.Here is how a socially normal person would handle a situation like this, assuming he was dumb enough to get into this mess in the first place.Normal person: (Makes highly personal comments about another person's appearance and her value as a person.)Recipient: "I don't like you saying that stuff about me. It is inappropriate and unwanted, and I do not appreciate being spoken to this way."Normal person: "Oh, darn. In that case, I will stop talking about you that way. Please understand that the offense was not intentional."Robert's take on the situation is: "Hypersensitive! My comments to you were completely inappropriate, and now I demand that you intellectually justify your discomfort."Dude. FUCK YOU. This is not an area where we are trying to satisfy your intellectual curiosity. This is a basic issue of respect for fellow human beings and not crossing their boundaries. Just the way that you are trying to bait people into an argument is a symptom of your lack of basic empathy and manners.And speaking as the moderator, I am counting down exactly three posts from you before one of two things happens. Either you apologize to the lady in a socially appropriate way, or I fucking ban your ass from this blog.And since you have shown that you don't understand what "socially appropriate" means, let me clarify.1. If you write a smarmy apology full of weasel words like "I apologize if I offended you," you get banned.2. If you make a snarky comment at this point about how you're disappointed in this reply and the lack of integrity being displayed by every other person on this thread, you get banned.3. If you waste three more posts attempting to say that it was okay to speak to Jen the way you did, you get banned.I don't even care if you mean it. Fake it if you have to. Just write an apology that a normal person could be fooled into believing is sincere.Let me make this clear: I am not flattered to be your hero. Since first contact you've been digging yourself into a very, very deep hole and I like you less with everything you have posted so far. You're either going to reverse that trend starting right now, or you're crossing the point of no return.

  144. 144
    BeamStalk

    Russell, why does your post remind me of the scene in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, with Nick the Greek and Rory Breaker:Rory Breaker: If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think you're bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything, I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now, do you understand everything I've just said? 'Cause if you don't, I'll kill ya! Now, Mr Bubble and Squeak, you may enlighten me.

  145. 145
    ydgmdlu

    Robert, why don't you try to answer any of my questions? They were not just rhetorical. I asked them in order to get some clarifications on your thinking.Your "strong man" analogy is a failure on multiple levels. First of all, you're not clear about whether you mean "strong" as an aspect of physical appearance, or physical strength without a visibly obvious aspect, or as an aspect of one's character. Second of all, strength does not have a strong sexual connotation, as beauty does. Strength as a quality is also less demeaning because its usefulness is not tied to other people's aesthetic or sexual pleasure. Third, why did you choose "strong" in your hypothetical example, instead of "hot," "sexy," "good-looking," or "handsome"? Do those words apply to women only? Fourth, the argument is self-defeating because a male host on the show would certainly be offended if a caller wasted everyone's time by interrupting a serious, intellectual discussion with irrelevant comments about his physical or personality traits. Furthermore, they could be considered not just annoying but also insulting, because such comments particularly devalue the intellectual contributions by the host. Fifth, you seem to be under the impression that women think and react in the same ways as men. This is unfounded because women in general face different issues and thus have a different range of experiences compared to men. Finally, compliments from a stranger about one's appearance, especially if they are enthusiastic compliments, would easily be considered "creepy" since they could indicate that the person is a possible stalker or otherwise has an unhealthy obsession.

  146. 146
    MineralFellow

    @RobertI don't think you are intending to be harmful. I think your perspective is something like this: "I tried to do something nice, and now I am in trouble for it." What everyone else is trying to point out to you is that the "nice" thing you did was actually not something socially acceptable. Giving advice is really only acceptable in certain contexts. For friends, you can mostly say whatever advice you like, understanding the nuances of those individuals. For strangers, you can give advice if it is clear that they are trying to accomplish something (ie, "The machine works like this."). I'm sure the show is frequently sent advice along the lines of "The show would be better if……." It might even be ok to say something like "I find [Host X] attractive! If you want specifics, I can let you know!" But, to address a stranger that you have been watching for a long time and tell them your preferences about what you like and what you don't gives the impression that you are a stalker. I don't think you intended anything bad, but you come across sounding horrible. It may be too much to ask that you try to think about what others are thinking before you talk to them, but you should take this experience as an example that you did something wrong, and then don't do that again, even if you don't understand the reasons. Perhaps it will make sense if I put it this way: Women don't like it when you tell them how they should look. Women like it when you treat them like you want to be treated.

  147. 147
    Robert

    I'll tell you what Russell, you're not a hero of mine anymore, (and yes I mean it) does that improve things?1. I did apologize earlier, and do apologize. (I said If x then I apologize, and x was true). You know "if statements" I suppose. But i'll be clearer. I apologize for offending her. No ifs there.2. No, i'm not disappointed with your reply. 3. I don't recall the really early posts(though I could check them if you want), but certainly even since early yesterday morning, over 24 hours ago, I had already made an apology and been as clear as I could that my questioning of why is not a defense of myself.And on point 2, I detected confirmation bias in constantly being accused of defending offending her when I wasn't. I'm not sure what you do when faced with a theist and confirmation bias. I could take back saying that it was not honest logical discourse. A better expression would be good.

  148. 148
    Robert

    @ydgmdluthank you for your response, I will give it a good examination and respond. The reason I didn't respond earlier was because while I can generally engage in 2 at a time, in this case, given the one dimensional structure of blogspot, and the fact that the discussion I was in had(after much strife) born some fruit and had further potential, I didn't want to distract the person I was speaking to by answering somebody else. And answering your (earlier)lots of questions style post would've especially with the split posts issue. Nevertheless, my conversation with that person is over and that's good. I look forward to responding to your post now that I can. And it looks better structured than the previous one too.

  149. 149
    Robert

    hmm,my post in response to russell didn't appear, here it isI'll tell you what Russell, you're not a hero of mine anymore, (and yes I mean it) does that improve things?1. I did apologize earlier, and do apologize. (I said If x then I apologize, and x was true). You know "if statements" I suppose. But i'll be clearer. I apologize for offending her. No ifs there.2. No, i'm not disappointed with your reply. 3. I don't recall the really early posts(though I could check them if you want), but certainly even since early yesterday morning, over 24 hours ago, I had already made an apology and been as clear as I could that my questioning of why is not a defense of myself.And on point 2, I detected confirmation bias in constantly being accused of defending offending her when I wasn't. I'm not sure what you do when faced with a theist and confirmation bias. I could take back saying that it was not honest logical discourse. A better expression would be good.

  150. 150
    articulett

    I wonder if Robert would defend the writer if his mother received a creepy letter like that?Is there anyone other than Robert who thinks that any person would take kindly to a letter like that? I'm with the poster who suggested that Robert post his picture for us to assess for attractiveness, and then he can show us how he imagined Jen should have reacted. I have a feeling that he could use our advice far more than Jen could use his.I also agree that we shouldn't talk to him– but we can still talk about him right?

  151. 151
    BeamStalk

    1 post down.

  152. 152
    Robert

    @Beamstalk, this will look like the second post down. Except my first post since Russel's post, was my response, where I did reply to Russel with an apology included as part of my response to his 3 requirements. That post replying to Russel appeared when I posted it, then some time later, hitting refresh it went. This happened a second time too when I reposted it. Maybe it is being deleted. When I posted the reply to ydgmdlu that stayed, I assumed the apology in the reply to russell a post earlier was there, only to scroll up and see it had gone. Maybe it is being deleted. I don't know?

  153. 153
    Kazim

    Reposting Robert's apology, since comments are apparently broken for some reason.I'll tell you what Russell, you're not a hero of mine anymore, (and yes I mean it) does that improve things?1. I did apologize earlier, and do apologize. (I said If x then I apologize, and x was true). You know "if statements" I suppose. But i'll be clearer. I apologize for offending her. No ifs there.2. No, i'm not disappointed with your reply. 3. I don't recall the really early posts(though I could check them if you want), but certainly even since early yesterday morning, over 24 hours ago, I had already made an apology and been as clear as I could that my questioning of why is not a defense of myself.And on point 2, I detected confirmation bias in constantly being accused of defending offending her when I wasn't. I'm not sure what you do when faced with a theist and confirmation bias. I could take back saying that it was not honest logical discourse. A better expression would be good. I'm seeing this as borderline. Commenters, cast your votes. Does the apology address the issue or doesn't it?

  154. 154
    JT

    Meh. He's still focused on the arguing than the point.

  155. 155
    articulett

    If a creepy guy wrote a creepy letter to Robert on par with the creepy letter he wrote to Jen, would Robert consider that apology sufficient? (Would it matter if the creepy guy thought Robert was "hot" but would look like hell in 15 years and argued over and over that it should be fine to say so?) Somehow, I don't think Robert would find the apology sufficient. –But then Jen IS a much bigger person than Robert it seems. This may be the best we can expect from a creepy guy.

  156. 156
    articulett

    And why does he keep mentioning theists? Does anyone here send unsolicited advice to theists? As far as I can tell, they all come to us and only receive our opinion after they've inflicted theirs upon us. I don't send notes to theists I see in video clips that's for sure. Does anyone here go around telling theists what they could do to be more sexually attractive to others? Would anyone here (except Robert)send a creepy letter like that to anyone– theist or not??He's trying to make some kind of equivalency argument so he doesn't look like such a creepy stalker, but his "tu quoque" fails on so many levels.

  157. 157
    Martin

    Russell, I'm thinking that will be the best we get from Robert. I still think he isn't getting why his original email caused such a chorus of disapproval. And his apology smacks of doing it to get everyone to stop telling him to apologize. That he goes on to write something like "I detected confirmation bias in constantly being accused of defending offending her when I wasn't" seems to confirm that he still thinks of himself as the wronged party. Perhaps the full force of the Loving Mallet of Correction may not be needed, if Robert will consider stepping quietly offstage and calling this one a draw.

  158. 158
    ydgmdlu

    No, Robert's apology isn't convincing and doesn't address the issue, which he still doesn't seem to understand. He clearly has some sort of psychological problem (speaking from experience, I struggle with similar problems) in which he simply doesn't comprehend certain facets of respecting others. It's not a matter of what's socially acceptable or a matter of rules. It's about really considering the effect of one's words and behavior on another person, and he unfortunately has a deficiency in this regard. I feel sorry for him, because (in my opinion) he's trying really hard to understand his faux pas. Whatever happened in his life to develop his current mental state is also driving him to be defensive and handle criticism in ineffective ways. Out of compassion, I hope that he can recognize his problem and work to overcome it so that he can have healthier, more fruitful social interactions in the future.One of the most fundamental problems with his original e-mail was that he gave advice to someone who wasn't asking for it. This is rarely ever appropriate. It tends to convey that the person giving the advice is presumptuous, nosy, intrusive, smug, arrogant, controlling, condescending, has a superiority complex, etc. The only time when unsolicited advice might be appropriate is when a person is really struggling with something and doesn't understand why or how to overcome it. But even then, it could be debatable. Robert sees no problem; seemingly for him, giving advice can't possibly be offensive.One of the central, running gags of Everybody Loves Raymond was the family matriarch Marie's constant dispensing of homemaking advice to her daughter-in-law, Debra, which Debra always found to be aggravating to no end. The advice was always given cheerfully, lovingly, and with the best of intentions, and usually it was pretty good advice (objectively speaking). But it was nonetheless inappropriate because it devalued and undermined Debra's right to make her home in her own way. Here, Robert is like Marie. He can't see the forest for the trees. He perceives a problem that either doesn't exist, isn't relevant, or isn't any of his business, and he feels like he needs to take upon himself the task of fixing it. In that respect, he is exactly like a theist who believes that proselytizing is a duty. This is ironic, given that Robert is apparently a self-described rational atheist.I haven't even gotten to the misogyny part yet….

  159. 159
    Ignacio

    @KazimCommenters, cast your votes.I will just make three points:1 – It does not feel like an honest apology.2 – It still appears to fish for attention. He makes an argumentative enough post for it to lead to a new discussion. It just makes his apology the new topic to debate about.3 – By accusing everyone of unfairness, he refuses to take responsibility for what he did wrong.Conclusion: It is not an apology I would accept. It is up to Jen to accept it or not.Just my humble opinion.

  160. 160
    Rojaila N.

    It's a poor attempt at an apology, especially since it's due to a banning threat, but it's probably best that he just stop posting, ban or no ban. This is really getting nowhere and he seems thick as milkshake from Micky D's.So, before I take my own advice, there is one point I did want to address in his response to my point:oh no women are calling up and saying I look strong.. i'm so scared. i'm being judged as looking strong.. oh this is a disaster..can you explain to me what mechanism in a man's mind would make a man think it is "creepy"?Maybe he's gay, and therefore would find it odd to have his looks critiqued by a woman? Maybe he's happily partnered to someone who likes the way he look as is? Maybe he's asexual? Ya know, I wish I could explain it to you, but I honestly don't know how the minds of most men in the universe. And neither do you, so quit assuming your responses are the standard.

  161. 161
    Martin

    Rojaila: That quote of Robert's cuts to the core of his cluelessness about this whole situation. Let's examine it again.oh no women are calling up and saying I look strong.. i'm so scared. i'm being judged as looking strong.. oh this is a disaster..can you explain to me what mechanism in a man's mind would make a man think it is "creepy"?Robert, perhaps you have heard some people refer to the phenomenon of "male privilege." This refers to the fact that we live in a male-dominated culture, and thus men enjoy certain privileges that we take for granted, many times without being aware we have them and women don't. These are not physical privileges, like more money or bigger houses or limousines. These are privileges in the way we are treated and interact with others. A real biggie in this category: men have the privilege, in social interactions, of not being sexually objectified all the fucking time.Conversely, men objectify women as a matter of course, often without doing it deliberately or maliciously. When we talk to another guy, we look him in the eye. When we talk to a woman, 9 times out of 10 our eyes will give her boobs a quick scan at minimum. Because we look at women as sexual beings first and foremost, and are not used to being looked at that way by women, and because "getting laid" is the Male Agenda, naturally it does not seem "creepy" for a woman to openly express sexual attraction to us. Unless your name is George Clooney or Brad Pitt, most of us aren't used to scores of women evaluating our hotness in approving tones. So when it happens, we think it's awesome (unless of course, the chick complimenting us is not hot by our own standards).So the reason you wouldn't be creeped out by a woman complimenting you on your appearance is that it rarely happens, and — pay close attention to this one — female sexual interest in men is rarely if ever threatening to a man. Here's a blog post that caused something of a stir a year or so ago: Schrodinger's Rapist. It essentially spells out, in careful and painstaking detail, the world women live in that men don't experience. What may seem an innocuous comment to a man — "Wow, that dress makes you look hawt!" — in a woman's brain may trigger "yellow alert, battle stations!" Again, your intentions are beside the point. And if you are sincere about the innocence of your intentions — if you only mean compliments as compliments and nothing more — then believe me, you owe it to yourself to read this piece and understand what it is trying to tell you.Not only will it help you avoid another shitstorm like the one your email to Jen has immersed you in, but it could help you with that empathy deficit you've been displaying.

  162. 162
    six45ive

    I know I said I wasn't going to post again on this thread regarding the email to Jen and I'll stick to that promise but I just thought I'd add a link on the male vs female privilege controversy.http://sweatingthroughfog.blogspot.com/2007/10/mens-privilages-vs-womans-privilage.htmlI'll not add any comment other than to say that, as I work in education, I can relate to points 23 and 24 in the female privilege list.

  163. 163
    Martin

    Thanks for reminding us that there are butthurt misogynists out there in the world who like to invent controversies, just as butthurt creationists like to invent controversies between creationism and evolution where none actually exist in the science. Whether or not women enjoy their own degree of privilege in life (and the one that really counts is the privilege to choose who gets to play with their bodies), that is irrelevant to the realities expressed in the Schrodinger's Rapist post, as well as to Robert's inappropriate behavior and inability to recognize it. We're trying to give helpful advice to a guy who screwed up here. Reinforcing "teh menz have it ruff, too!" isn't particularly helpful or even pertinent.

  164. 164
    Mark B

    Pat Robertson makes better apologies.

  165. 165
    Robert

    I did apologize, I never defended my behavior as right, yet I am still being told that I am unable to recognize inappropriate behavior. But I do recognize that my behavior was inappropriate, what do you think I meant when I said I offended her, I apologize for offending her. I did conform to Russell's 3 requirements. Be fair. Martin, the argument you make about male privilege is an interesting one, and I think an answer along those lines might be correct, but that doesn't mean your particular answer is right in its entirety. But you don't want it challenged, so we'll never know if it's right in its entirety. Or if it's just along the right lines. I imagine the situation is similar with ydgmdlu where unlike many, he might not mind if his argument is challenged, but he takes it the wrong way too. I am familiar with the scenes he speaks of in ..Raymond. About the woman annoying that other woman with the cooking.Even you Martin would disagree with Rojaila's point, that men would find it creepy to have women tell them they look strong. But saying so wouldn't mean you find my behaviour appropriate(I don't). If I disagree with her point it doesn't mean that I find my behaviour appropriate.

  166. 166
    Robert

    I am glad Russell that you have finally been so frank about the nature of this dialog. That you don't have to justify your discomfortI could agree, that you don't. though it seems inconsistent since you tend not to give theists that honor when they are offended by atheists. But I accepted that you don't have to justify your discomfort. I said that earlier.Yet you and other regular AE blog posters give arguments purporting to give reasons for their discomfort. No reason can be wrong, it seems. I could even accept that. And i'm not allowed to disagree with even a reason that others don't agree with. I could even accept that these are the rules. Though I didn't fully realise they were until now.Intellectually justifying your arguments is what you do on the program, I thought you would apply this to everything in life. Apparently not. On the show you are quite disdainful of people that come up with arguments and don't expect anybody else to argue with them. They shouldn't even bother. But you do this now. And wonder at my frustration. I learnt it from you guys, the supposed masters of this approach that do this non stop for 10 years and promote this approach very repetitively on your shows. I thought you lived by it and believed in it and consistently of course. I guess perhaps you do but it's hard for me to see how. Since you really drill the intellectually justify your arguments approach, when arguments are given. And consistent reasoning and an open mind and these things you preach, I thought they were the huge virtues that you wouldn't compromise.

  167. 167
    Kazim

    Yep, that last post clinched it, Robert. Thanks for making the decision so easy.BAN HAMMER.

  168. 168
    six45ive

    Martin……I'm not trying to be helpful or pertinent I'm simply making the point that the issue of male privilege is not as clear cut as you make out and therefore I'm offering alternative sources so people on this blog can make their own decisions on a subject that you think is very clear cut when that's not the case.Here's what one of my favourite feminists has to say on the issue of rape (note that I'm not offering any opinion on her views);http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/germaine-greer-rape-472379.htmlhttp://www.nigelberman.co.uk/feature1_27.htmI'll highlight the controversial bit; "The first of these stories surfaced in 1995, when Greer stated that she herself had been raped at the age of nineteen. In a move that provoked anger from anti-rape protesters she commented that she "was more afraid of the rapist's fists and his vicious mind" than his penis. "In a sense the penis came to my rescue. Does a man begging for mercy as he is being kicked, feel any less terror and humiliation than I did ? To insist that outrage by penis is worse than outrage by any other means is to glorify and magnify the tag of flesh beyond reason."Reading these lines out of context as they were quoted in many news articles it's easy to see why anti-rape protesters were so furious. Having fought to establish the significance and emotional brutality of rape for decades, as well as the need to punish the crime (Greer's rape went unreported) they saw their work being hammered down. However, reading Greer's full article on rape, the key point emerges as relevant and prescient. Explaining it later she commented that, "A man cannot destroy a woman with his penis. He cannot do it, I think that is an important feminist point and it is one I will continue to make." Greer wasn't trying to re-define rape as trivial, but to break down the myth of the all-powerful phallic universe. After all, whilst women were in thrall to the mighty penis, they were unlikely to feel powerful enough to break free. Greer was making a legitimate point about female survival."

  169. 169
    JT

    Robert is breaking through teh banz

  170. 170
    JT

    Ah, I get it, it's some kind of blogspot option.

  171. 171
    Kazim

    No it's not, I just wrote the code myself. Ph33r my leet Javascripting skillz!

  172. 172
    Mark B

    Yes but it's no defense against raspberries.

  173. 173
    Rojaila N.

    Oh darn, why did I got to bed and miss the final salvo of stupid before it was run over by Russell's leet skillz? *snaps fingers*So weird to see my own name disemvoweled, though.

  174. 174
    JT

    You could disable javascript to read it, if, for some reason, you wanted to.

  175. 175
    Kazim

    If you want to see the original posts you have two choices:1. Decipher the message by filling in the vowels yourself. It's not really very hard, it's just inconvenient.2. Right click the page and "view source." The messages are all still there, but the display is altered through coding magic.

  176. 176
    Martin

    Uh, Russell, you were aware there's already a ban script here, right? What did you think I've been using to plonk Mabus all this time? Guess it's nice to have a second one for disemvoweling now, as the other one just disappears you. Welcome to AE, where redundancy is never enough!

  177. 177
    Kazim

    Yeah, Martin. I updated the ban script to allow a choice of banning and disemvoweling. The way I see it, I want to discourage Robert from posting, but I want people who read the thread in the future to be able, with effort, to read his posts and understand what the trigger was.If you want to exercise the option, there are now two lists in the Javascript. One is for removing posts completely, and the other is for disemvoweling. It's quite neat, if I say so myself.

  178. 178
    Rojaila N.

    *checks source*…wow. I feel like I've wasted so many words when just "You're a creepy douche-hat" would have sufficed, with the same outcome.

  179. 179
    MAtheist

    Looks like Robert voted himself off, too bad. I was hoping he would begin to understand the difference between offering a compliment and unsolicited backhanded advice.Nice filter Kazim, the // Robert (misogynist asshat) note gave me a chuckle, he should feel lucky that he wasn't unconsonanted.

  180. 180
    Martin

    Russell,Cool, thanks for that! There were a couple of guys under the total-ban script I shifted to disemvoweling, for more or less the same reasons. They had outstayed their welcome by becoming irritants, but making it possible for other readers to understand just how dickish they were is instructive, and feels less like simply censorship (which I'm not comfortable with, when boneheaded idiocy is the only crime).

  181. 181
    rrpostal

    I really hope nobody ever gets disemvoweled again. Because I think that wound up punishing me trying to read it far more than the actual disemvowelee writing it. Brutal.

  182. 182
    Mark B

    It reads like someone trying to talk through a gag.

  183. 183
    Ithonicfury

    He really comes off like someone from NAMBLA, creepy as all get out and sees nothing wrong with it."You cant even give me a REASON why its wrong for a 35 year old man to have sex with a 10 year old, just keep saying its socially unacceptable and wrong. All Im doing is asking for a reason, and saying that I disagree with the arbitrary rules you people blah blah blah"Still, at least he demonstrated that hes probably a good person to go to for advice, at least if you need to know about telescopes, binoculars, performance and reliability of white panel vans, window tinting, tree climbing techniques, etc.

  184. 184
    Kate

    The best thing about emails like this are the fact that it gives Martin a chance to air his rapier wit on them. I get such a kick out of his responses…keep it coming Martin!

  185. 185
    Petr Kudláček

    Am I the only person who can barely understand 5% of the disemvoweled text?

  186. 186
    Anonymous

    Am I the only person who can barely understand 5% of the disemvoweled text?

  187. 187
    TrevorML

    That has to be a joke, it's just too absurd. When he switches from advice to telling her she'll be ugly in 15 years like all middle aged women, I couldn't help but laugh. There's no way any sane person could write that, and I don't think an insane person could compose such a detailed and grammatically message.

  188. 188
    TrevorML

    I guess I should add, to avoid Martin's wrath, I don't mean to say that makes it ok (even though I didn't call it a Poe, which isn't exactly the same thing as a joke). Even if a joke, it's still offensive.

  189. 189
    Christopher Lowe

    Was that from Butthead? Or Bevis?

  190. 190
    Christopher Lowe

    I’m a born and raised atheist from Canada who had gone through life relatively unchallenged and untouched by the great debate raging between religiosity v atheism. These days I’ve become a “born again” atheist after reading Christopher Hitchens’ god is not Great. I found that we vibrate to the same music. Further readings of the surviving members of the “Four Horseman”, as well as Ayaan Hirsi Ali , Rushdie, Hume, Chapman Cohen, Franklin, Twain, Krauss, Suzuki, Cox, Michael Nugent, and many more as well as viewing many debates via You Tube has educated me enough to throw my own comments into the ante. It is in this endeavour that I stumbled upon The Atheist Experience shows on You Tube. I enjoy this very much as you seem to bring these arguments down to earth, rather than into the milieu of lofty formal debate.My point is I’m shocked (should I be?) at the vitriol hurled in your (plural) directions and how personal they are taken against you.

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