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Boy and girls and dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

I really, really didn’t want to throw down on the latest eruption going on around some FTB blogs regarding the matter of sex, harassment, and how not to be a creeper at conferences, but I really have to pronounce myself agog at how quickly a self-styled group of rationalists can allow a topic that any adult ought to be able to discuss like — oh — adults descend into a flamewar the likes of which would awe your stereotypical teenage LiveJournal junkie. It’s really something.

Allow me to make a general statement that I consider to be true.

Women should be able to go about their daily lives, particularly in situations where sexuality ought to be irrelevant such as careers and conferences, without having to put up with unwanted sexual advances multiple times a day.

[…]

Now, on the Controversy Scale — where a 5 would be “not only is that controversial, the person uttering it ought to be shot from a cannon for his stupidity” (Example: “Justin Bieber is a more important figure in the history of modern music than John Lennon.”) and a 1 would be “not even the least bit controversial, assuming you are a sentient vertebrate presently engaged in the act of breathing” (Example: “Justin Bieber is unlikely to be a more important figure in the history of modern music than John Lennon.”) — how controversial would you consider that statement?

I’m thinking it’s a 1, and anyone who would suggest otherwise needs to do some serious gazing into a mirror to see if the abyss gazes back.

This isn’t even about Rebecca and Elevatorgate anymore. Apparently the latest flareup has happened in the wake of the recent Women in Secularism conference, where Jen McCreight made the off-handed remark that she’d heard through the double-X-chromosomal grapevine that some A-list names among speakers at atheist and skeptical conferences have a habit of turning into Charlie Sheen around the ladies, and that perhaps these are men to avoid. Jen’s unwillingness to name names is, on its face, understandable. Do so without strong evidence, and you can find yourself legally liable for defamation or worse, and the woman doing the naming is going to be shouted down and vilified for trying to bring down a famous man out of spite or something. (Hell, Elevator Guy isn’t famous, Rebecca didn’t even name him, said nothing about him other than that he made an inappropriate offer at an inappropriate time and that she’d rather guys didn’t do that kind of thing, and the degree of abuse she’s endured in the wake of that is something Lindsay Lohan only wishes she had to put up with.)

Oddly, a lot of the vilification now is coming from some women in atheism, such as the increasingly S.E. Cupp-like Abbie Smith, who’s taken to openly encouraging some especially misogynist trolls to take up residency in her own blog’s commentariat. That’s a little weird, you know, kind of like a black guy trying to make friends at Stormfront, but hey, whatever floats her boat. It goes without saying that the usual gang of woman-resenting malcontents has also popped up once again, spewing bile-ridden comments around and about until the banhammer comes down.

What I don’t get is why this all has to unfold like this.

Oh, I don’t mean the problems with sexual desire and interaction, and their appropriate place in whatever venue or circumstance you find yourself in. I mean the inability too many people seem to have to discuss it without going into rage mode. And I don’t mean the people who have cause to be angry, like the ones getting the harassment. I mean the ones who ought to be taking to heart advice on how not to engage in behaviors that might be considered harassment, which would presumably help them avoid trouble later on down the road. Seriously, WTF?

At the core of any discussion of sexuality first needs to rest the matter of personal boundaries, and if your reaction to being told that boundaries are things you ought to respect is to fly into a rage, you probably have more bad wiring in your head than you realize. If you wouldn’t just randomly reach out and stick your finger up someone else’s nose for the lulz, then it ought to follow, as a rational thought, that reaching out to honk a woman’s boob or pinch her ass or tug on a guy’s junk is probably going to be just as — hell, twice as — unwelcome.

It comes as no surprise to me that a man in a position of power would test the waters in exploring how to use that to make time with the ladies. Men are programmed with the idea that women find status and power teh sexay, so dudes, for whom getting laid is usually an agenda item, will pretty predictably channel status when they have some towards those ends. Needless to say, in my own line of work (film), it’s pretty freaking rampant, often to the point of eye-rolling brazenness. When The Alamo shot here in 2003, one of its stars (who shall remain nameless other than to say he played Davy Crockett, has three names, the second of which is “Bob”) thoroughly lived up to his dual reputation of being 1) a really approachable and friendly man, far more than you’d expect from Hollywood superstars, and 2) an unabashed horndog who thinks nothing of asking any woman he knows more than casually to expose her breasts, usually as a prelude to fucking. As a movie star, it usually works for him, which is the hell of it. The rich, someone once said, are very different from you and me. What happens is, average dudes see that kind of privilege paying off, and want to make it work for them too.

So when you have a semi-celebrity in a niche community, be aware that yes, attempts to exploit that privilege are very likely to occur. But they will not always occur. (Most movie stars I’ve either worked with or know of do not behave in the least like the fellow above.) And so when the suggestion is made that communities and conferences ought to draw up sensible guidelines for what is and is not appropriate interpersonal contact, the idea ought to be welcomed and discussed rationally, and not with anger, personal invective, and all-around butthurt stupidity. (As in Abbie’s first response to Jen, which was to characterize her mentioning of some figures known for sexual harassment as an attempt to “attack every single male” in atheism.)

Not long ago I made some fun of a Christian conference that posted signs around the hotel stating that guys were forbidden to ride the elevators with women. That seemed like a little excessive chaperoning to me — but now I wonder, was it? They anticipated a problem, and so implemented a heavy, but probably undeniably effective, solution to forestall it, so that they could get on with running their conference.

Yet somehow, we rationalists don’t seem able to come to a meeting of the minds on this very subject in a rational way. And we ought to fix that. We need to live up to the high standards we set ourselves. Some have been doing their best, but they’re butting heads with the people who either can’t or won’t.

Comments

  1. petria says

    I really appreciate your take on the situation. I am really tired of people who don’t want to acknowledge the problem as it makes it harder to get on and solve it.
    I have stopped attending my local Atheist Meetup as one of the ERV supporters is a regular there and I just don’t want to be around them. It’s a shame as I quite enjoyed chatting with them previously. Having endured gender discrimination in the workplace, repeatedly, I no longer have a thick skin about feminist issues, it’s become too emotional. I have fought for my rights repeatedly and usually lost.
    I was in a silly situation at a meetup with one guy who was making intimidating jokes about me. I asked him to shut up and he spent the rest of the evening telling everyone what I had done to him! No one told him to shut up, no one asked if I was OK. It happened just as Elevatorgate started and it was enough to scare me away. Without the support of good people in the movement who are willing to step in on a situation and call out bad behaviour then I am one of the women who has opted out.
    I think that segregating elevator use is ridiculous, however things do need to change.

  2. ImaginesABeach says

    I’m not sure, but it seems to me your post is the equivalent of “guys, don’t do that.” Let’s hope the reaction isn’t the same.

  3. julian says

    They anticipated a problem, and so implemented a heavy, but probably undeniably effective, solution to forestall it, so that they could get on with running their conference.

    Not to detract from your piece but this sounds like the puritanical wing of Christianity? Was this a gathering of moderates or just Christians in general?

    Either way it doesn’t seem like a fix that would work with us. For the most part our conventions are much less formal and there’s always a strong undertone of forming connections and meeting new people.

    That said, you’re entirely right. It should be a point of shame we can’t come together to decide on a fix. I realize some of the big names like to stress atheist independence but there’s a difference between being independent and being needlessly argumentative. Being argumentative is only ever a virtue when the arguments carry water and they’re directed at specific issues. And even then it should be done in an effort to reach the best possible solution.

    The goal here is to create a meeting place that maximizes personal safety while allowing for the socializing most attendee’s want. It’s a clear, unambiguously good goal. Why take away from that by alleging a conspiracy to slander atheist men? Seems counter productive at best.

  4. Mattir says

    This is a remarkably sane statement. Obviously you will be trolled mercilessly for beating up on Teh Menz in favor of the Federation of Ferocious Feminazis.

    And as someone who, in my much younger days, had a fondness for horndogs, I would say it’s not so much the “I’m an A-list horndog and wish to get laid as much as possible” that’s a problem so much as it’s the “I’m an A-list horndog and thus can bother any woman I wish without regard for whether she wishes for me to bother her.” The latter types are the annoying problems among us.

  5. Daniel Schealler says

    What I don’t get is why this all has to unfold like this… I mean the ones who ought to be taking to heart advice on how not to engage in behaviors that might be considered harassment, which would presumably help them avoid trouble later on down the road. Seriously, WTF?

    Drawing from my own experience (because that’s all I’ve got) I’d guess that what’s going on might go something like this:

    Lets suppose I currently think that it is totally okay to impose my sexuality on the women around me without concern for them or their signals.

    And lets also suppose I’ve been actually doing this for a long time.

    Now you’re saying that this sort of behavior and position is sexist.

    Which kind of made me ‘a sexist’.

    Sexists are bad.

    Me being a sexist would make me bad.

    But I’m good.

    So I can’t be bad.

    So I can’t be a sexist.

    So my position and behavior cannot be sexist.

    So you are wrong…

    But you are also bad for suggesting I am bad when I am really good.

    GRAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

    It’s fucked up. But I suspect defensive cognitive dissonance of this sort has quite a lot to do with it.

  6. Dan says

    A little disappointed at the sexual shaming and stigma towards sex that goes along with these kinds of stories. I am really glad Jen qualified that flirtation and the desire to hook up is understandable, because obviously it is and for some reason this needs to be stated. There is really nothing wrong with propositioning others. In fact, I think the best way of finding this out is to ask. The problem arises in the approach and setting with which the question is asked. I just wish more people would qualify this like jen as I think it defuses a lot of the criticism.

  7. says

    It is my understanding that the level of abuse Rebecca Watson unfairly receives has always been an issue, the responses to the elevator incident only representing a recent spike in douchebag behavior.

    But well said otherwise good sir. Well said.

  8. says

    Yep, well, that’s basically that privilege thing going on. People who operate from a position of privilege get highly defensive when it’s brought to their attention, either thinking it means you’re calling them a bad person (when it only means you aren’t aware of things you do, because you’re lucky enough not to have to be aware of them), or that the word’s simply referring to something it isn’t (I hear a lot of guys dismiss the idea of being “privileged” by pointing out they aren’t millionaires, willfully ignoring the fact that isn’t what is meant at all).

  9. says

    Not to detract from your piece but this sounds like the puritanical wing of Christianity? Was this a gathering of moderates or just Christians in general?

    It was just a conference of Christian college students.

  10. Ata says

    I want to thank you for a nice piece of work here. Very few male atheist speakers have made bold steps out in support of women on this issue. Most are silent, but too many commenters and bloggers alike take the very typical approach of assuming they are obviously weak and hysterical.

    Allow me to share my experience as an atheist. I am not really “out there” as an atheist, but neither do I hide it. I read a lot and intelectually came to the conclusion of atheism. But it was a prety rough time psychologically after years of Christian life! So I started seeking community online as I worked through huge and sudden changes in my basic worldview. I was thrilled to finally feel at peace. (I had always had much cognitive dissonance over the raging misogyny, homophobia, and violence of the Bible.)

    Imagine my surprise to find at least as much misogyny from atheist men online: “Biology/science proves men are superior.” “Women are illogical.” “Men naturally should have many partners, women naturally need just one.” Same crap under a new name.
    I made the mistake of very gently trying to disagree with these people a few times. I found out that, even though I am married with four kids and love my husband, I hate men, am a “dyke” and a “cunt,” and “a dipshit,” “probably fat and ugly” (therefore worthless as a female, I guess) and a bitch! I’m talking one gentle disagreement followed by 10 masty and or dismissive, condescending comments.

    While these mostly college-age jerks certainly do not represent the majority of atheist men, I have nonetheless gotten the feeling that The New Atheist movement is really more of a lad’s club. I never got any comments from men supporting anything I said, no mater how basic or sensible; or those disagreeing with the nasty, bitter and inaccurate comments leveled at me.

    I am still very much an atheist, but because I don’t like the constant tension of heated, bitter argument, or quietly accepting being literarily assaulted, I pretty much avoid the whole movement. Unfortunately, I expect sexism out of it.

    Anytime anyone on a FB atheist-related page posts anything even remotely pro-woman (eg.: Clothes don’t cause rape, rapists cause rape) get rady for 40 guys to attack bitterly, blame women, suggest there are no rapes or that the person who posted it thinks all sex is rape and all men are rapists.

    It’s all just extremely disheartening.

    I was all on fire with freedom and joy (and perhaps naivetee) when I came to atheism, but my “atheist experience” left me feeling pretty bad about humanity in general.

    I hang out with the Scientific Pantheists now, and it’s healing my disquiet.

  11. LeftSidePositive says

    We can still make fun of the Christian elevator signs–they were afraid of MUTUALLY CONSENTING people getting turned on in an elevator*, and their concern was to protect the purity of the female attendees, not the bodily autonomy of their female attendees.

    *And, while I respect the right of mutually consenting people to nip off to an elevator if that’s their thing, I’d like to take this moment to remind the public that these newfangled contraptions generally have security cameras, and the security staff didn’t necessarily consent to see whatever you’re doing.

  12. says

    We need more of you around, Ata. We’ll never eradicate these problems if those best in a position to point out they’re happening leave (however understandable your desire to do so).

  13. LeftSidePositive says

    But then there comes that nebulous point when one is so willful in ignoring one’s privilege, or putting down others who don’t have that privilege, and/or trying to perpetuate that privilege that one *becomes* a bad person. I think most of the ERV crowd has gotten there.

  14. LeftSidePositive says

    Actually it occurred to me I’ve just encountered a perfect example of this: over on Hemant’s blog, one of his guest posters wrote about the Hustler-S.E. Cupp kerfuffle, and there were tons of mostly male posters *insisting* that all this feminism stuff wasn’t relevant to an atheist blog. Now, this may just be a case of privilege-blindness, and people being acculturated to women’s issues being sidelined. HOWEVER, when when (mostly) women spoke up about why they did think it was relevant, these privileged guys insisted on using any means necessary to shut the women down. I personally was called “fish-pants,” accused of being PMSing, accused of being mentally ill, told to pose nude, told my defense of women’s concerns was just me trying to be “the World’s Hottest Feminist,” accused of being a misandrist, and quite a bit more… all from people who INSISTED they totally supported feminism, were totally progressive, and absolutely didn’t have a problem with women!

    So, yeah, you’re not a bad person for *being* privileged, but you sure as hell are for trying to *stay* privileged.

  15. Rilian says

    If your “sexuality” is disregarding of other people, treating them as objects, then it is shameful.

  16. Rilian says

    I’ve heard that pantheists don’t really believe in a god anyway. Is that true?

  17. Daniel Schealler says

    She named her blog to stand for Endogenous RetroVirus… Which are actually pretty damn interesting.

  18. F says

    That privilege extending to telling someone what is or is not relevant to their blog.

    Which is hardly as hurtful, but equally ridiculous.

  19. Duke says

    Wait a minute. You’re saying that Justin Bieber is NOT more important to the history of modern music?

  20. Warp says

    Making objections inducing bias and contempt works both ways. It’s not only that when someone who has too… “liberal” views on how to approach random women in inappropriate situations are scolded get upset and react aggressively, over-reaction to the other direction is also very common. For example, if someone presents the opinion (in a completely civil and calm manner) that he doesn’t agree with all the tenets of feminism, often he’s immediately assumed to be a sexist chauvinist woman-hating redneck bigot, and responded to accordingly.

  21. Rilian says

    But there’s only one tenet of feminism: That people should be treated with equal respect and given the same opportunities regardless of their sex.
    If you disagree with that, then you ARE sexist.

  22. says

    There’s nothing clearer to me, when feminism comes up, that the people who are protesting don’t want to understand. Threads will become hundreds of comments long, same shit repeated over and over to the same shallow objections, distortions, lies and misclassifications.

    It should be a 1 in terms of scandal. It should be the equivalent to saying ‘water is wet and the sky is blue during the day when it’s sunny.’ But damned if those same assholes deny that water is wet during these discussions, just in case it might be important to your point.

    And it’s not an overreaction, Warp, to get angry in that situation. Conversation is a two way street, and people objecting to feminism tend to be incredibly insincere.

  23. Anagramanachronist says

    Yes, that is as it should be, however not all share your opinion. The writer makes a valid point, and no matter how apt your generalization, it does nothing to betray that point.

    To wit:

    “Men are distinguished from women by their commitment to do violence rather than to be victimized by it.”

    “Men know everything – all of them – all the time – no matter how stupid or inexperienced or arrogant or ignorant they are.”

    “No woman needs intercourse; few women escape it.”

    “Only when manhood is dead – and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it – only then will we know what it is to be free.”

    All the above quotes are from Andrea Dworkin. Certainly her past, from molestation at age nine to abusive marriages and prostitution in The Netherlands tempered her views, but where exactly does her opinion of men and feminism fit into your general definition?

  24. msfire says

    Yes, that! I’ve been a “semi-celebrity in a niche community” and enjoyed a lot of amorous benefits from it. It seems crazy to me that you’d actually bother people who want to be left alone. Surely the whole point of this “privelege” is that others are attracted to your charisma/wit/beauty/celebrity and make themselves known to you for intellectual or lustful exchange (perhaps some people have a problem spotting the difference), not that you somehow have the power and the right to make any random chosen stranger bend to your will. There’s nothing wrong with consensual flirting/fucking and i have a problem with grown adults having to legislate for what should be an obvious code of behaviour. I can only hope that if we keep speaking out for long enough that it will become generally accepted that being a dick is not acceptable.

  25. Rilian says

    What of what I said do you disagree with? The first part, or the second? Do you not agree that that’s the definition of feminism? Or do you not agree that not believing that makes one sexist?

  26. Cassie says

    Abortion rights, divorce rights, voting rights, rights to serve in the army, rights to serve in previously male oriented workplaces…should I go on?

    Yes, if you disagree with any of those I will call you a sexist jerk. I don’t care if your present it calmly or angrily. Still a sexist ass.

    Way to make a thread about how women should be treated better to the point where they can actually participate fully in their own communities, about the poor men btw.

    You are a good example about boys clubs resisting change!

  27. Rilian says

    If you don’t believe that men and women should be treated as equals… then you are sexist. That’s, like, the definition of sexism. How can this possibly be disputed?

  28. Warp says

    I find it puzzling and sad that the original message in the blog post seems to be “it should be possible to discuss these things in a rational and calm manner, and not with anger, personal invective, and all-around butthurt stupidity”, yet in practice this seems to apply only in one direction.

    Notice how in my post the only thing I said was that prejudice and aggressive responses work both ways. In other words, in the same way as anti-feminists tend to respond aggressively to objections to their behavior or views, the same is true in the opposite direction: Feminists tend to respond aggressively to any objection.

    That’s all I said. Nothing more. What do I get in response? The exact proof that what I said is completely correct.

    Notice that I did not say a single word about what I feel about feminism, or what I think feminism is about, or what those tenets being objected to might be. Most importantly, nowhere did I mention in any way, shape or form, that I disagree with feminism. Likewise I did not say or imply in any way that I disagree with the original blog post. Yet what do I get in response? Insults, strong words, “you are a good example about boys clubs resisting change!”

    See what you did there? You are proving exactly my point.

  29. Rilian says

    Dude, I am trying to discuss this with you.
    I make the claim that if one does not believe that men and women should be treated equally (as the default, of course you treat individuals differently after you get more information about them), then one is sexist.
    Do you agree or disagree with that?
    I also make the claim that the only tenet of feminism is that men and women should be treated equally.
    Do you agree or disagree with that?
    After you say whether you agree or disagree, we can go from there, try to understand each other’s views, and maybe possibly come to a consensus on some things.

  30. Warp says

    Of course it’s sexist to think that men and women should not be treated equally. The attitude that some men show towards women, such as making suggestive remarks or advances in inappropriate situations (such as a conference, an elevator, or whatever) is a kind of sexist mentality that men should get rid of. The fact that there are many places where a woman cannot walk through without getting verbally harassed with such remarks (and sometimes even more than that) is a travesty. The fact that there are still men in the modern civilized world who think that it’s normal to harass a woman like this is a travesty.

    However, that’s not my point.

    My point was about one of the things talked about in the original blog post: That of the attitudes of people engaging in a discussion on this subject.

    My point is that it’s hypocritical to accuse the opposition of over-reacting to even the mildest of comments about their behavior, when the feminists themselves engage in this exact same type of over-reaction, having all kinds of prejudices and making all kinds of assumptions and responding in a very aggressive and insulting manner.

    If you want a civil and calm discussion, then you should have a calm and civil discussion. Prejudices and assumptions, and immediately jumping to conclusion and starting name-calling is not the way to do that.

  31. burpy says

    Well I googled “tenets of feminism” I think I can safely say that there is more than one. For example, one of the tenets of “Radical Feminism” holds that “The struggle against patriarchy is more important than the struggle against capitalism.” Yet “Socialist Feminist” theory tells us that “The struggle against capitalism and patriarchy are equally important.”

    Am I allowed to reject one of those world views? What if I don´t have a problem with capitalism?

  32. Rilian says

    OK. But all I said was that if a person doesn’t agree with the one tenet of feminism, then they are sexist. That’s not an unwarranted assumption — it’s definitionally true; and you even agreed with me on that. So what I’m wondering now is why you said I was being an example of over-reacting.

  33. Warp says

    And if I were to disagree that there’s only one single tenet of feminism, I would once again be a sexist chauvinist woman-hating bigot, right?

    This is not nitpicking or trolling. This is one of the problems when discussing about these things. Do you notice how I said in my original comment “doesn’t agree with all the tenets of feminism”, and then instead of trying to understand what the person might be talking about, this was immediately twisted and abused: “But there’s only one tenet, and if you don’t agree with that one tenet, you are a sexist”, not just by one person, but two. Not only did this counter-attack completely miss the point, but it demonstrated it quite perfectly.

    As long as someone isn’t allowed to say “I agree with most of feminism, but there are some points I don’t agree with” without being immediately furiously attacked with assumptions, prejudice and name-calling, without even hearing what this person has to say, which could proceed to a rational discussion on what does and doesn’t constitute feminism and the feminist ideology, it’s hypocritical to complain that it’s the opposition that furiously and aggressively reacts to even the mildest of criticism.

  34. Rilian says

    I wasn’t twisting your words. I was disagreeing with you. I believe there is only one tenet of feminism. There are many consequences of it. Kind of like a theorem having corollaries.

    If a person claims to believe a theorem, but then they don’t believe all of its corollaries, that means they don’t truly believe the theorem. Or they’ve misunderstood something. Or the alleged corollary isn’t truly a corollary.

  35. says

    @Warp
    There a disagreement here about what feminism actually entails, but if we for a moment agree that at least a central idea of feminism is that women are and should be treated as equal with men, then you simply cannot disagree with that without being a sexist. That’s what being a sexist means.

    Calling a person who disagrees with this idea a sexist is not prejudiced or name calling. It is a factual statement about the opinion they have expressed. There’s no need to listen to what they have to say, because they’ve already said it. Case closed.

    It may still be possible to have a reasonable discussion with such a person on other points, but whether or not they are sexist will not be part of it. That has already been established by the mere fact of disagreement with this point.

    As for your contention that disagreeing with any part of feminism will get you vilified, let’s look a little closer at what was actually said. E.g.

    Abortion rights, divorce rights, voting rights, rights to serve in the army, rights to serve in previously male oriented workplaces…should I go on?
    Yes, if you disagree with any of those I will call you a sexist jerk

    I have a hard time finding anything controversial in that statement. It seems pretty straightforward. If you disagree on any of those points, then yes, you’re a sexist. Again, it’s simply a matter of definition.

    What part of it do you disagree with? Do you think it’s possible to be against these basic women’s rights issues and not be a sexist? I don’t see how.
    I’m not sure what it is you object to. People have responded to you fairly. They have done so with passion, perhaps even aggression, but not with lack of reason.

    I think part of the problem here is that your statements are so annoyingly vague. Try to be more specific. Not just “disagreeing with some of the tenets of feminism”. Rather, which exact tenets? What precise arguments?

    Personally, I think a lot of problems occur when people are too vague. I’m reminded of a recent discussion I overheard concerning liberal vs. conservative politics. I noted that neither side took the time to clearly define what they meant by the terms.
    I was left with the clear impression that if either side had defined what they meant, the other would have vigorously disagreed. In effect, they weren’t having the same discussion and, as a result, they didn’t get far.

    So, let’s try to avoid that. Can you give an example of a tenet of feminism that it’s possible to disagree with without being a sexist?

  36. julian says

    You were and seem to be when you disagree with ‘certain tenets of feminism.’

    Please try to remember feminism is not one monolithic philosophy. There are many different ‘factions,’ waves and theories floating around. Even who qualifies as a woman isn’t always agreed upon.

    The only real universal tenant seems to be “women are people.”

    And please don’t try to pin your own inability to communicate on others.

  37. subzerobob says

    talk about psychopaths in the atheist community… how ironic that mr “question everything” wrote this about two weeks ago:

    Question Everything says:
    May 15, 2012 at 7:37 am
    Subzerobob-

    I find your casual accusations of mass psychopathy of the atheist community to be much more vulgar than any swears

    My opinion is that this sort of behavior [sexual harassment; to start with] is to be predicted, and should be expected in the world of atheism. i mean – what is to stop the atheist gang, if there is no such place for them to draw morals from?

    For the past two weeks, I’ve silently watched your show overwhelmed by atheist callers, and I find it very unheartedly of your ‘community’ of how your treat your fellow atheist. if someone wants to come out, and has trouble lets say, or if he thinks that the atheist movement can be dangerous if taken too extreme, these people are offered no support what so ever, but left out like homeless dogs on the street. I thought the purpose of doing this is to prevent any kind of resemblance to “religious community” or “church” in a way, by means of gathering and setting up shelters for helping people like that. but then i realized that it is much worse than that, and i realized it by reading martin’s post, which validates my claims that “godless bitches” are a type of dangerous sociopaths especially when the host Matt says that he wants to eliminate all religions!!! Add that to the context of this post and I couldn’t stop thinking – well I really hope that he commits murder, so maybe then this project will hit the wall and slow it down quite a bit. But then I realized that I don’t have to wish him such thing, because sooner or later either a rape or something is bound to happen that will swirl and spin this thing back into abyss of non-existence. A funny thing is non-existence; if there are no religions and no mentioning of god, then atheism would cease to exist as well; as its existence depends on people who claim that there is a god. but i just don’t want to wait that long, and frankly I don’t think that there will be anybody left alive after such war has concluded and brought everything back to 0 with noone left to observe that 0. But even if there was someone left and starting with absolute 0, i predict that he or she would still come up with the concept of god. either as an observation, or as a feeling by means of fighting the anxiety that everything he or she is, will be lost one day and gone, without a trace and without any meaning to whatever it is that we do when we are alive, which is the point of view derived from “the god helmet” experiment – http://youtu.be/y02UlkYjSi0

  38. julian says

    Don’t apologize. Warp is playing the false equivalence game right now. Notice how when LykeX said

    Abortion rights, divorce rights, voting rights, rights to serve in the army, rights to serve in previously male oriented workplaces…
    Yes, if you disagree with any of those I will call you a sexist jerk

    Warp objected to that as being inflammatory and and aggressive and prejudiced response (the type of responses Warp objects to in these conversations)? And that’s as mild a feminist comment as you can make yet to Warp it’s the type that’s destroying these conversations.

  39. heisenbug says

    Ok, I guess I am in for some bashing but here goes nothing…

    I think that women and men shoud be treated equally only if they want it themselves. However, not everyone desires such an outcome. Most girls would not want to listen to some crude male humor and most men would rather not discuss fashion. Face it, genders are different and usually have different interests (though, that is part of what attracts us to each other). We have different patterns of behavior depending on the age, gender and social status. That is a fact and that is not so bad.

    Feminism, on the other hand, is going too far in my opinion. Some innocent flirting or just holding the door for a lady could be interpreted as sexual harassement today. Isn it ridiculous? If the person is not interested in the other one, would it be possiible to just turn them down in a civil and polite fashion without resulting to shouting and taking the matter to court? Feminism is breaking traditions. Some of them should be broken, but not every tradition deserves such a fate. For example, recently France has banned the usage of mademoiselle (Miss) because it was deemed sexist (it was a reference to the girl being single). Do you raelly care that much if the girl is single or not? Personnaly I did like the word mademoiselle since it does have a nice ring to it and I am used to it.

  40. says

    I think that women and men shoud be treated equally only if they want it themselves. However, not everyone desires such an outcome. Most girls would not want to listen to some crude male humor and most men would rather not discuss fashion.

    That isn’t what feminism is about. It’s no wonder why you have issues with it – you’re charging at windmills.

    Some innocent flirting or just holding the door for a lady could be interpreted as sexual harassement today. Isn it ridiculous?

    Citation needed.

    Feminism is breaking traditions. Some of them should be broken, but not every tradition deserves such a fate. For example, recently France has banned the usage of mademoiselle (Miss) because it was deemed sexist (it was a reference to the girl being single). Do you raelly care that much if the girl is single or not? Personnaly I did like the word mademoiselle since it does have a nice ring to it and I am used to it.

    I’m going to go ahead and assume that your example here is true. Can you demonstrate this is not an outlier?

    It seems like you’re cherry picking extreme examples and asserting that feminism overall must be the same.

    Outside of the obvious issues of fair pay, women receive a lot of objectification and real harassment – they’re trying to correct that. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    I agree with you that we should listen to how people say they want to be treated.

    That’s the point – they are. But when they are, all of a sudden they’re disregarded for being extreme, and that whole “listen to them and treat them the way they want to be treated” bit goes out the window.

    I think that women and men shoud be treated equally only if they want it themselves.

    They are telling us right now how they want to be treated, particularly within this movement.

    We aren’t talking about those few people who take feminism too far in the other direction in other places. That’s not even remotely a problem within the context of the atheist movement at the moment.

  41. says

    Do you have any examples of people within the atheist community pushing to make opening a door for a women sexual harassment? You keep bringing up examples of problems that aren’t within the context of what we’re talking about.

    There are extremes of any position, but the extremes aren’t equal to the average.

    What, exactly, within the atheist community, do you think is feminism gone too far?

    I don’t know why this is controversial. The women of the group are saying they don’t want to be treated as sexual objects, and have to endure sexual predators – and they get it a lot.

    What’s the problem?

  42. Zengaze says

    I think a lot of ths has its cause in the fact that the “atheist movement” is so disparate, and people need more at conferences than 3 days of cheering woot god doesn’t exist.

    So we’re mimicking the church template of cheering woot god exists, interspersed with what we should believe about life, sex, and financial responsibilities.

    We’re just still working out what our book of beliefs, that we read from the pulpit should contain, maybe we will follow the same route as churches with fracture after fracture over doctrine, as when it boils down to it the one and only tenet of being atheist is the rejection of god claims.

    And as I commented in another thread, the shitstorm that would take place if the bdsm community came under the skeptic/atheist banner would be popcorn material.
    Atheism as a movement, has pretty much declared itself to value equality between gender and race to be its second tenet, with a huge feminist leaning.

  43. says

    Atheism as a movement, has pretty much declared itself to value equality between gender and race to be its second tenet, with a huge feminist leaning

    And thank no-god for it. If it didn’t I’m not sure there’d be much point in having one.

  44. Zengaze says

    Without any other tenets I guess the movement would be strictly limited to campaigning for a secular world. That in itself would be a worthwhile goal. But really limited in terms of a movement.

  45. Sheesh says

    just holding the door for a lady could be interpreted as sexual harassement today. Isn it ridiculous?

    This has never, ever happened and is a remarkably stupid utterance. See, I just remarked upon its stupidity? This is in part why these conversations are always so vapid and barely get anywhere: the parties are not all operating in good faith.

  46. Rilian says

    I once asked a guy why he held doors for women but not for other men. He said it’s because he hopes to have sex with the women, but not with the men.
    It’s more than a little disturbing to have it shoved in your face twelve thousand times a day that a guy wants to “fuck” you; that that’s all you are to him.
    The fact that one guy told me that doesn’t prove that all men are thinking that when they hold a door for a woman. But it puts the thought in your mind, which totally ruins your day when it happens over and over.

  47. LeftSidePositive says

    Seriously? Men and women are just naturally different? That’s a claim you know. Care to provide any, y’know, EVIDENCE for it??

    (By the way, anything that makes an assertion and fails to count for the role of socialization in our culture utterly fails as evidence.)

    By the way, not all men like crass humor, and not all women like fashion. In fact, there are many who like just the opposite of their proscribed gender roles. Pro tip: when you say things like this based on tired old gender stereotypes and just call it “a fact,” you sound embarrassingly ignorant.

    And, I’m really sorry that you miss “mademoiselle”–but let’s face it, you are not a woman living in France so your opinion on it is completely irrelevant. Moreover, it wasn’t “banned,” but just removed from all official forms, per NYT. And yeah, that’s appropriate. If I want to be cute and charming and consider myself “mademoiselle” that’s my business, but the government has no need to obsess over my marital status simply on the basis of my gender. Moreover, for all your faux-concern about “how they want to be treated,” did you not notice that French feminist groups objected to the usage and DID NOT WANT to be treated that way? Do you care? No matter how small the minority, the government should not alienate that minority in its official business when it has no good reason to.

    Finally, about your “innocent flirting”: Seriously, dude, when women throughout the atheist community are saying “I don’t find this behavior innocent, I feel marginalized and sometimes threatened, and I want it to stop…” then WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU to say it’s “innocent flirting”?! By what right or reason do you make that assessment?

    Frankly, you sound like someone who doesn’t give a damn about how people (PEOPLE, not the stereotypes in your head!) want to be treated, you just want to maintain your privilege and not be asked to think about it.

  48. says

    That’s the goal of the movement, mostly. We want to create a world where we can peacefully live.

    Once that’s done, the movement is no more.

    Right now, we have to make our own pocket of sanity so we CAN have a community. So many of us are marooned in the vast oceans of religiosity. The atheist community is a temporary breath of fresh air.

  49. LeftSidePositive says

    Oh, yay, taking Dworkin quotes out of context…a favorite pastime of strawmanning anti-feminists!

    And another thing, someone talking about the problems in a particular culture at a particular time is not necessarily making universal statements about the natural order of things.

    Commenting on the way men are socialized to be is not an indictment of how men inherently are.

  50. Rilian says

    “Commenting on the way men are socialized to be is not an indictment of how men inherently are.”

    Yeah! So many guys don’t seem to get this.

  51. LeftSidePositive says

    burpy, find me somebody who says they object to feminism, not otherwise specified, who is actually making a cogent point about differences in philosophy between different sub-disciplines… go ahead, I’ll wait.

    **crickets**

    Well, then, moving on: if you’re objecting to the tenets of a sub-movement, you are in no way objecting to the whole movement. Case in point: if you object to “socialist feminism” because you like capitalism, it’s pretty clear to anyone with an even semi-functioning brain that the objection is to the socialism, not the feminism. Just like I can object to evolutionary psychology without being anti-evolutionist, but I wouldn’t go around trotting out pedantry about the problems with evo-psycho to try to say that someone objecting to “evolution,” in toto, might have a valid point.

  52. heisenbug says

    Jasper:That isn’t what feminism is about. It’s no wonder why you have issues with it – you’re charging at windmills.

    Me:That the same problem as with atheism and the recent bashing of Niel DeGrass Tyson. There are different definitions and different interpretentions of feminism and atheism. And that includes your definition of feminism.

    Jasper:Citation needed.

    Me:Here you go, Rilian has just provided an example how some consider that as sexual harassement. Most people do it because it is considerate polite and it is a nice tradition.

    Jasper:Outside of the obvious issues of fair pay, women receive a lot of objectification and real harassment – they’re trying to correct that. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Me:I completely agree with you. Real harassement should be dealt with. However, how do you define “real harassment”? And where does the limit between your rights and the rights of others lie? In my opinion most men and women already have mostly equal rights.

    And here is the link to the mademoiselle issue
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9097054/Mademoiselle-banned-on-official-French-forms.html

    Jasper:They are telling us right now how they want to be treated, particularly within this movement.

    Me: Correction… SOME women are telling us how they want to be treated and how they waht OTHER women to be treated. And it is not really a problem for the atheist community, because feminism is not really a religious issue.

    Jasper:Do you have any examples of people within the atheist community pushing to make opening a door for a women sexual harassment?

    Me:I still think that atheism and feminism have little to do with each other. But I do seem some problems with feminism and I did decide to outline it.

    Jasper:I don’t know why this is controversial. The women of the group are saying they don’t want to be treated as sexual objects, and have to endure sexual predators – and they get it a lot.

    Me:The problem is that some just exaggerate the matter like with mademoiselle.

    Leftside:Seriously? Men and women are just naturally different? That’s a claim you know. Care to provide any, y’know, EVIDENCE for it??

    Me:I might recommend to you an anatomy textbook. It would be a good start, I think.

    Leftside:By the way, not all men like crass humor, and not all women like fashion. In fact, there are many who like just the opposite of their proscribed gender roles.

    Me:That is true, but the stereotypes are not always wrong. The example with fashion and crass humour is generally correct.

    Leftside:No matter how small the minority, the government should not alienate that minority in its official business when it has no good reason to.

    Me:I like the French language and I do feel upset when someone decides to violate it to make some group with too many hang-ups feel better. I do value traditions and I see nothing wrong with using “mademoiselle” in official forums. And I also feel alieneted when someone imposes some ridiculuos restrictions on me.

    Leftside:Seriously, dude, when women throughout the atheist community are saying “I don’t find this behavior innocent, I feel marginalized and sometimes threatened, and I want it to stop…” then WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU to say it’s “innocent flirting”?!

    Me:If the person does not like it, then that activity should be obviously stopped towards them. However, that does not mean that others who like being talked to that way should suffer because of that.

  53. Kevin in MO says

    Yeah, that is a little creepy that he responded that way to you. I personally hold doors open because I was taught that men should hold doors open for women. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do. You should hold the door open for all women, from the young to the elderly.

    Now I do have to put one caveat out there, I am a gay man. But, even when I hold a door open for a man – even though I might check one out as they walk away – I’m not thinking, “Awesome, we’re going to have sex now.” That’s just stupid!

  54. Kevin in MO says

    What I kind of been hearing in a lot of these discussions is that this is just the way men are. We can’t help it and we can’t control ourselves. Reminds me of Muslims when they say, women have to were the burqa cause us men are such perverts that we would rape them if they don’t completely cover up. Which makes the sign at the Christian conference understandable, men can’t control themselves, and therefore they can’t be alone with a woman. Prove them wrong!

  55. LeftSidePositive says

    FFS, you really are disingenuous, aren’t you?! At first you were almost-convincing at playing dumb, but now it’s pretty damn clear you are just a privilege-drenched asshole with some serious empathy deficits.

    Rilian gave a VERY GOOD REASON why *some* people holding doors made her uncomfortable, and why it’s not as benign as you seem to insist it is, and yet you insist on ridiculing people who have VERY GOOD REASONS to feel uncomfortable instead of actually respecting their experiences and listening to them.

    WHAT exactly is the relevance of the NdGT thing? Seriously, that just makes no fucking sense.

    You define real harassment (and don’t put real harassment in scare quotes if you don’t want to seem like a total fucking douchebag!) when ACTUAL PEOPLE FEEL HARASSED. If you had a shred of empathy you’d understand that. Moreover, no one has the “right” to access another person’s body, or to impinge on another person’s time or feeling of personal safety. Furthermore, just being criticized for your behavior is not actually infringing on your rights.

    You know what? When senators openly propose legislation that says doctors can let me die rather than treat me, I think it’s pretty fucking callous of you to proclaim we have equal rights. I also think it’s just boneheadedly stupid of you to act like equal rights on paper actually means anything if it’s not enforced fairly. It’s also mind-numbingly simplistic of you to act like legal rights are the only issue, and that political and social equality aren’t extremely important concerns in actually living a real, equal, fulfilled life. Also, what qualifications do you have to assert that women have already achieved equality? Did it ever occur to you to, I dunno, LISTEN to the women who say they are not being treated fairly?

    Sexism in the atheist community isn’t a problem? It’s not a problem for the atheist community when women in the atheist community receive rape and death threats from atheists for speaking their minds? Go fuck yourself, you insufferable callous asshole.

    And seriously, we’re talking about establishing social norms for how it’s appropriate to treat people you don’t know. Hint: don’t harass us or assume we’re sex objects. Treating someone like a sex object is NOTHING like actually sincerely flirting with someone who wants to be flirted with. Make ONE example of how we are speaking for “other” women in saying we should treat women with basic human decency. If a particular woman is indicating she wants to be flirted with, then flirting with her IS ENCOMPASSED in the idea of basic human decency. HOWEVER, acting like you have carte blanche to ignore what women are saying is systemic harassment because you imagine some women could potentially want to be treated that way is dismissive and self-serving.

    FUCK YOU for acting like an anatomy textbook has ANY relevance to how men and women should be treated. Seriously: GO FUCK YOURSELF. This is the most blatant, dismissive, gender-essentialist bullshit. What, just because we have different genitals means our minds are different, and it’s okay to treat us differently? FUCK YOU.

    And you saying a stereotype is “generally correct” 1) utterly fails to consider the role of socialization on that stereotype, 2) has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not its acceptable to establish different social norms for treating people based on gender, and 3) is just all-around pathetically intellectually lazy.

    Furthermore, what the fuck is wrong with you that you care more about a language than the treatment of real people? Seriously, what the FUCK?? And who the hell are you to say, well, YOU’RE not bothered by something?! What, just because you’re not bothered no one else can be? Did I miss the part where you get to be arbiter of the validity of experiences that are not your own? Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if something doesn’t bother you, or indeed the majority. If it’s problematic for ANYONE, and there’s no need to do it, it shouldn’t be upheld in an official capacity. This is not difficult to understand.

    Your callous and insincere reassurance that “that activity should be stopped towards them” fails to recognize the fact that for the activity to stop, it HAS TO HAVE ALREADY STARTED, and that is fucking unacceptable. Seriously–I do not fucking owe you the chance to harass me until I can make myself clear on my wishes. USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND EMPATHY, for fuck’s sake! Do you have ANY fucking idea how unpleasant it is to have to brush off repeated bouts of unwanted attention? Even if each particular person stops after they cross the line once, they have shown that I am “other,” that I am mainly identified by my gender, that I am only interesting insofar as I may be interested in fucking them, and that an amazing proportion of my resources and my attention and my time has to be spent on guarding myself and setting boundaries instead of just BEING MYSELF AND ENJOYING A DAMN CONFERENCE.

    And I think you’ll find vanishingly few women actually WANT to be harassed. If you do, I don’t think you understand what harassment actually means. If there are women who want to be treated in a sexually explicit manner, or want to flirt, THEY CAN ACTUALLY COMMUNICATE THAT themselves. They don’t need you to assume women exist in a default state of consent for the “opportunity” of having someone talk dirty to them. If they want a conversation to go that way, they can direct it that way. They can use social cues and communicate to find like-minded people and actually care about what other people are expressing, just like any other sane person. I also think it’s really fucking disingenuous to act like not having enough people flatter you or grope you is “suffering,” especially when you can easily put a post on Craigslist and get what you want! However, being subjected to unwanted sexual attention actually IS suffering, and fuck you for trivializing that.

  56. Kevin in MO says

    Here’s one for you guys to consider next time you think you should have the privilege of soliciting sex from any woman, anytime, anywhere.

    I’m a gay man, and if you would be offended if I were to solicit an evening of passion with you, such as grabbing your junk while you are trapped in an elevator with me and suggesting we go back to my room for some fun. Then maybe, just maybe you should not be making unwanted advances towards a woman who has not given any indication that she is interested in you. It might offend her, and you shouldn’t be surprised. Just think about it for a bit.

    (and no, I have no clue what transpired in the elevatorgate incident, was just using an elevator as a situation where one can’t easily get away.) On that note, never make advances towards someone in an elevator where they feel trapped and can’t just walk away. This isn’t rocket science people.

  57. says

    …feminism is not really a religious issue

    Correct. It’s not a religious issue, it’s a community issue. So, while it’s not particularly relevant for atheism as an idea, it’s very much relevant for the atheist community.

    The problem is that some just exaggerate the matter like with mademoiselle.

    In other words, yes, but…

    I might recommend to you an anatomy textbook. It would be a good start, I think.

    I might recommend to you a ladder. It would prevent the point from going so far over your head in the future.

    That is, of course, assuming that you really are this stupid. Another possibility is that you’re deliberately and dishonestly ignoring the point.

    And I also feel alieneted when someone imposes some ridiculuos restrictions on me.

    Who’s imposing restrictions on you? The french government isn’t. You’ve already used the word several times in this thread. If you stop for a moment, you might realize that this decision has absolutely no fucking effect on your life!

    If your biggest problem is that a certain government will no longer use a word that you like, you really have no business opening your mouth here.

    However, that does not mean that others who like being talked to that way should suffer because of that.

    Can you give an example of this horrible injustice? What terrible miseries have you endured due to the evil feminists trying to outlaw flirting?

  58. says

    My opinion is that this sort of behavior [sexual harassment; to start with] is to be predicted, and should be expected in the world of atheism. i mean – what is to stop the atheist gang, if there is no such place for them to draw morals from?

    This is why you’re still an utter fucking idiot, Bob. When the religious world stops trying to pass laws that remove a woman’s rights to bodily autonomy, stops dressing them in burkas, and stops murdering them because they are supposedly responsible for their own rapes, then come talk to us about our lack of a moral source for dealing with sexual harassment. (And — oh yes — let’s not forget the Roman Catholic Church and its thousands upon thousands of worldwide child-rape-by-priests cases. And yet, don’t they have that “moral source” in the sky to draw from?) It’s people who believe most passionately in gods who have a far more impressive history of enslaving women and treating them as nothing but the sexual property of men. That’s what we in the atheist community need to cure ourselves of: the infection of bad ideas passed down by religious culture.

  59. LeftSidePositive says

    But WHY were you taught that men should always open doors for women? Benign sexism is still sexism. It still makes us feel like we’re “other.” It reinforces attitudes and gender stereotypes that harm women in other ways and at other times.

    How about–open doors for EVERYONE, just because it’s courteous? Is that really so hard?

    And it’s also annoying and condescending when a man just plain REFUSES to walk through a door that I’ve held open for him. I’ve had that happen multiple times (and invariably he tries to make a big show about holding the door open for me).

    And the skeeved-out feeling about being checked out when you walk through the door is probably one of the reasons some women *may* feel uncomfortable when certain men hold the door for them.

    So, the point is that it’s not about the simple act of holding the door–it’s about what ELSE may be going on and what OTHER vibes that person may be projecting. No one is suggesting there’s anything wrong with courteous, gender-neutral door-holding.

  60. LeftSidePositive says

    And I don’t think the guy Rilian was quoting literally meant that he expected a reasonable shot at having sex with women for whom he opens doors, it’s more of a reflection on how he perceives women to be “the sex class.”

  61. says

    Actually, I’m kinky. Quite a few of the people I talk to are kinky (and atheists). And, assuming you’re not a giant ass, kink requires explicit consent, and there are codes of conduct in the kinky community. Ask first, ask often, do not transgress stated boundaries.

    We’d fit in just fine, thank you.

  62. Twist says

    And where does the limit between your rights and the rights of others lie?

    Quite simply, poeple should have the right to go about their day and to work without having to waste time and energy fending off unwanted advances. That right should outweigh anybody else’s desire to flirt with them.

    My right to walk down the street without facing harrassment is more important than the right of the person who wishes to drive past me whilst shouting something offensive out of the window

    My right to be respected as a professional outweighs the right of the person who likes to call all the women in the workplace ‘girls’ because they think it’s cute and charming.

    As for the door opening thing, if someone is behind me, regardless of gender, I will hold the door for them. If someone has got their hands full or for some other reason can’t open the door for themselves, I will hold it for them. What part of being female makes it difficult to open a door, exactly? I’ve always taken men holding doors/chairs for me because I am a woman as an implication that they think women are either too weak or too stupid to open doors for themselves. That probably wasn’t the intention, but it’s how it feels.

    SOME women are telling us how they want to be treated and how they waht OTHER women to be treated. And it is not really a problem for the atheist community, because feminism is not really a religious issue.

    Lets say that I’m a woman who is completely ok with my boss and colleagues squeezing my backside at work. Should we not say that, in general, it isn’t ok to squeeze the backsides of employees/coworkers just because I happen to like it? That’s an extreme example, but the same can go for hitting on somebody. Maybe try seeing women as equals and individuals instead of potential conquests. Try not hitting on someone the first time you meet them, but just talking to them. Learn the signs that the person you’re talking to would really rather be somewhere else and don’t push past that point. If you ask someone to go for a drink and they decline, accept it. Don’t ask them in situations where they may feel pressured to say yes. That way the people who want to be left alone get left alone, and the people who want to take things further can do so, on equal footing. That should solve your “but some women LIKE IT!” problem, as the only thing you are being asked not to do is disrespect people’s boundaries.

    As for the “feminism is not really a religious issue” bit, can you point to a mainstream religion that isn’t deeply misogynistic at its core?

  63. Zengaze says

    Yep though I do make an extra effort for people pushing prams, or in wheelchairs, and if somebody wants to tell me that’s white knight I don’t give a fuck lol

  64. Zengaze says

    Apologies if what I wrote insinuated you wouldn’t, I know a lot of people who are bdsm too, what I am saying is that there is the potential for conflicting beliefs. A coupe of guys I know who are submissive have told me when I’ve questioned them about it, that it’s as much a part of their sexual identity, as me being straight, they can’t choose not to be submissive.

    That’s hugely challenging for me in relation to my beliefs in equality, yeah i know its consentual, but dealing with one person dominating another i find difficult, and i know there are a lot of people in the atheist community who would really really struggle with it, if they could accept it all.

  65. says

    I find the “myth of male weakness” especially insulting, to the point of being misandrist. Which is why it really pisses me off when men try to play that card to excuse their own stupid behavior.

  66. says

    Me:That the same problem as with atheism and the recent bashing of Niel DeGrass Tyson. There are different definitions and different interpretentions of feminism and atheism. And that includes your definition of feminism.

    And yours, with this characterization that men and women don’t like to talk about the same topics or deal with burping or whatever, I’ve never heard before in my entire life. I’m talking about the average concept of what they’re trying to do.

    Me:Here you go, Rilian has just provided an example how some consider that as sexual harassement. Most people do it because it is considerate polite and it is a nice tradition.

    Do you know what the difference is between sexual harassment and sexism?

    However, how do you define “real harassment”? And where does the limit between your rights and the rights of others lie? In my opinion most men and women already have mostly equal rights.

    Being repeatedly bothered. Women have to deal with that frequently, being repreatedly propositioned. That is alienating them.

    The topic of feminism in the atheist movement isn’t about rights. It’s about women not wanting to hang around us because we’re jerks to them. There should be zero controversey with that realization.

    Me: Correction… SOME women are telling us how they want to be treated and how they waht OTHER women to be treated. And it is not really a problem for the atheist community, because feminism is not really a religious issue.

    It’s not a religious issue, but the atheist movement has a sexism problem. No one’s suggesting that atheism itself is sexist.

    Me:I still think that atheism and feminism have little to do with each other. But I do seem some problems with feminism and I did decide to outline it.

    Atheism and plumbing have little to do with each other, but that doesn’t mean that an atheist community doesn’t need to call a plumber on occasion.

    So basically your point here wasn’t to actually address the blog post, but rather to complain in general about feminism. I see. This isn’t really the venue for that.

    Me:The problem is that some just exaggerate the matter like with mademoiselle.

    No. The problem is that many females within the atheist movement are alienated by sexism within the movement, even if some of them may exaggerate some. Your priorities have to be completely and utterly fucked if you think that some exaggeration is a worse problem than the sexism itself.

    Do you honestly think that the women are lying? Just to be “attention whores”, I suppose?

  67. says

    Ah, let me pull up my soapbox for a minute.

    So here’s something the larger society and mainstream porn get very, VERY wrong. While there are some people who need and feel comfortable with a 24/7 relationship, for the most part, people negotiate specific behaviors for the bedroom. They may wear jewelry or small signs of their predilections (or they may announce them), as a way of telling others about their predilections. Kinky communities, until really recently, were sort of like invitation-only clubs. Because of the stigma involved, they were pretty secretive. The jewelry and other little signs were for people in the know.

    This does not mean that they are not fundamentally equal, no matter what is involved in the scene. In a healthy BDSM relationship, the bottom/submissive gets to state limits and preferences, as does the dominant, who enacts what is agreed on.

    The larger society is fascinated with the scene itself because it appears to reflect traditional gender relationships (this also, unfortunately, brings a lot of assholes to public meetings). Certainly, you can play out traditional roles, or really anything you can think of. But boundaries are always involved, and it’s considered incredibly crass (and will cause people to avoid you) to disrupt the life of someone outside the bedroom/limits.

    Outing someone at work, for instance (something which happened to me at my last job, by an unethical professor), is considered incredibly bad behavior. People who belong to established communities will shun you for that shit.

    And being a submissive in a relationship does not mean being without rights. Even 24/7 people negotiate a contract before they embark, though sometimes people use coercion to try to get submissives to sign.

    Obviously, there will be assholes. There is some attempt to try to deal with that in the social communities which go along with kink. It is obviously not always successful because all mainstream porn and the larger society seems to want to focus on is the scene, not the dynamics. And it is a sexual orientation. I am attracted to most of the gender spectrum, kinky and poly. These are all things I cannot change about myself. I’ve spent years trying to be monogamous, heterosexual and vanilla (as many of us do), and it ain’t happening.

  68. heisenbug says

    Leftside:ridiculing people who have VERY GOOD REASONS to feel uncomfortable instead of actually respecting their experiences and listening to them.

    Me:Is it really a good reason to feal uncomfortable that someone holding the door for you MIGHT want to get in your pants? I do not find this as a valid reason. Yes, Rilian did give a good reason why some people holding doors for her make her uncomfortable. But some feminists go as far as asking to ban the practice completely. And that is going overboard in my opinion.

    Leftside:WHAT exactly is the relevance of the NdGT thing?

    Me: The relevance would be that both atheism and feminism do not have a clear definition.

    Leftside:You define real harassment (and don’t put real harassment in scare quotes if you don’t want to seem like a total fucking douchebag!) when ACTUAL PEOPLE FEEL HARASSED.

    Me:That is where we disagree. Some women would feel harassed if a man were to enter an elevator with them. But would it be harassement? In Japan they have women-only carriages in the underground to prevent “harassement”. Is it really reasonable?

    Leftside:Also, what qualifications do you have to assert that women have already achieved equality?

    Me: Speaking from my own observations. My female friends are perfectly fine with the majority of their rights.

    Leftside:And seriously, we’re talking about establishing social norms for how it’s appropriate to treat people you don’t know. Hint: don’t harass us or assume we’re sex objects

    Me:Sigh… I am not talking about treating a person as some sexual object. I am talking about people often overthinking minor issues. If I hold a door for a lady or offer to carry her heavy luggage that does not mean I want to have sex with her. Helping another human being (be it because of tradition or just on a personal whim) does not always mean that there is some ulterior motive.

    Leftside:Make ONE example of how we are speaking for “other” women in saying we should treat women with basic human decency.

    Me:I have already given examples. Some feminists are against men holding the door for a lady or calling another women “mademoiselle”.

    Leftside:FUCK YOU for acting like an anatomy textbook has ANY relevance to how men and women should be treated. What, just because we have different genitals means our minds are different, and it’s okay to treat us differently?

    Me:You asked for the difference between men and women. I offered you some helpfull advice. The way we treat people is based on our culture and reason. Some things should be changed, but not everything should thrown away. I am for equal rights for both genders. However, I also value traditions. If some people do not want to follow them, it is perfectly ok. But they should not impose their views on others.

    And yes, just because we have different genitals means our minds are different. Men and women have a different hormonal balance which has a direct impact on their mind. That does not mean that one is superior to the other, it just means we are different.

    Leftside:And you saying a stereotype is “generally correct”

    Me:Correction, I said the above mentioned stereotypes are generally correct. Each stereotype should be carefully examined before making a conclusion. Are you going to deny that the majority of men like crude jokes and the majority of women are interested in fashion?

    Leftside:Furthermore, what the fuck is wrong with you that you care more about a language than the treatment of real people?

    Me:Deal with it. If you are going to have some firm worldview it will inevitably upset some people. Language is part of our personality. It is extremely important for a nation. The feminists, who are against the word mademoiselle never provided a valid reason to trully ban the word. Are you really that uncomfortable with someone knowing your marital status? Why do you care so much about to change the tradition?

    Leftsiude:Your callous and insincere reassurance that “that activity should be stopped towards them” fails to recognize the fact that for the activity to stop, it HAS TO HAVE ALREADY STARTED, and that is fucking unacceptable.

    Me:What is fucking unacceptable is a minority pushing their preferences on the majority. Holding the door for a woman is a tradition. Most girls like it, you do not. Too bad for you.

    Leftside:Even if each particular person stops after they cross the line once, they have shown that I am “other,” that I am mainly identified by my gender. And I think you’ll find vanishingly few women actually WANT to be harassed.

    Me: Gender is part of our personality, you cannot escape from that. It is the job of the person themselve to show there is more to them. And no, no one wants to be harassed. My problem is that some people interpret some innocent jestures or words as harassement.

    Lyke:In other words, yes, but…

    Me:Just because ther are some issues with women rights, that does not mean that we should close our eyes for the negative effect of feminism.

    Lyke:That is, of course, assuming that you really are this stupid. Another possibility is that you’re deliberately and dishonestly ignoring the point.

    Me: I am not ignoring the point. But the fact is that women and men are different from each other. It is obvious and denying it is useless. Society and nature did historically assign specific roles to both genders. However, societie did change and the role of genders changed with it. It is still changing sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst (even if generally for the better).

    Lyke:If your biggest problem is that a certain government will no longer use a word that you like, you really have no business opening your mouth here.

    Me:I have explained before why it is my business. I value traditions and traditions should not change without some valid reason. I see no valid reason to ban the word mademoiselle on official forums.

    Lyke:Can you give an example of this horrible injustice? What terrible miseries have you endured due to the evil feminists trying to outlaw flirting?

    Me:I live in a pretty much conservative country. Not burca conservative, but nontheless. It did not really affect me any way yet. However, I do not like the way feminism is going.

  69. Onamission5 says

    I find that the older I get, the less this happens, but I have not only had men refuse to walk through doors I held open for them, I’ve also had the charming experience of being literally *pushed out of the way* by men who wanted to get to the door first, in order to hold it open for me. Like, I’m reaching for the door, and get shoved aside by someone who then grabs the door from me and motions me through, and looks at me like I am supposed to be charmed by that somehow.

  70. heisenbug says

    Twist:My right to be respected as a professional outweighs the right of the person who likes to call all the women in the workplace ‘girls’ because they think it’s cute and charming.

    Me: What does calling a group of women “girls” at their workplace have to do with their profecency level? I repeat myself but still. Harassement is wrong and should be dealt with. The issue is that some people consider minor issues as harassement. That I am against.

    Twist:I’ve always taken men holding doors/chairs for me because I am a woman as an implication that they think women are either too weak or too stupid to open doors for themselves.

    Me: Well, you are wrong. Most people consider such activity as being polite. You do not get offended if someone says thank you, do youy? It is the same thing with holding the door for a woman.

    Twist:Lets say that I’m a woman who is completely ok with my boss and colleagues squeezing my backside at work.

    Me:If the majority were ok with such behavior then it would completely fine. It would just be something like a handshake. Some tribe has a tradition to shake the penis of their friend when they meet each other and no one finds it weird.On the contrary, it would have been weird not to do somethging like that. It all boils down to vculture and traditions ion the end.

    Jasper:I’m talking about the average concept of what they’re trying to do.

    Me:From my perspective most of the goals of feminism have been achieved already. I do not really understand what more would we need for gender equality (besides fair pay).

    Jasper:Do you know what the difference is between sexual harassment and sexism?

    Me:Yes I know. It is just that some stupid people claim that would be a form of sexual harassement. And I do not consider holding the door for a woman as a form of sexism. It is just a tradition no worse than a handshake.

    Jasper:The topic of feminism in the atheist movement isn’t about rights. It’s about women not wanting to hang around us because we’re jerks to them.

    Me:No one would wants to hang out with jerks. But am I a jerk for holding the door for a woman?

    Jasper:Do you honestly think that the women are lying? Just to be “attention whores”, I suppose?

    Me: I am not very familiar with the atheism movement, I am not from the US. However, I do know that sex and gender issues are ridiculously sensitive topics in the USA. I do not think that the girls are lying. But I do suspect that they have some personal psychological issues with the opposite sex.

  71. says

    The relevance would be that both atheism and feminism do not have a clear definition.

    In the case of atheism, that is patently untrue. Atheism is the disbelief in gods.

    In Japan they have women-only carriages in the underground to prevent “harassement”. Is it really reasonable?

    Yes it is, because harassment over there is a very real problem, and not something to put scare quotes around if you’re actually informed and intelligent. Here’s some informing.

    I do not like the way feminism is going.

    Not surprising, at it’s attempting to address problems you either think don’t exist or aren’t “reasonable.”

  72. amiinde says

    This seems to be where communication breaks down. I understand that this can become an emotional issue and perhaps I will get attacked even just for saying this…

    I have been following the dialogue on (I believe all) the Freethought blogs which have commented on this particular issue and it often just seems not worthwhile to participate. Often when someone calmly disagrees with another’s stance they are severly attacked and directly insulted no matter what side they are on. I fail to see how this brings progress and ultimately shuts down an effective dialogue. It feels like there is only a “with us or against us” mentality and any deviation from %100 agreement will not only not be heard but will be met with lots of creative name-calling.

  73. says

    Me:From my perspective most of the goals of feminism have been achieved already. I do not really understand what more would we need for gender equality (besides fair pay).

    That’s fair enough, if you just aren’t aware.

    Me:Yes I know. It is just that some stupid people claim that would be a form of sexual harassement. And I do not consider holding the door for a woman as a form of sexism. It is just a tradition no worse than a handshake.

    It is sexism if you do it for women and not men. But I agree, that would be stupid to call it sexual harassment.

    You keep doing this thing where you take some stupid example, which may or may not be true, and then applying it to the whole. Some feminist went to far, therefore all of feminism has this problem. It’s a mighty broad brush you have.

    Me:No one would wants to hang out with jerks. But am I a jerk for holding the door for a woman?

    No – but if the males in the community keep propositoining them and treating them as sexual objects, and denigrading their opinions because they’re women, then yes, we’re being jerks. That’s the topic.

    I do not think that the girls are lying. But I do suspect that they have some personal psychological issues with the opposite sex.

    I’m not sure I even need to comment on this. Women are complaining that they’re being treated badly, therefore they must have some psychological issues?

    Part of the feminist movement is to raise awareness of how objectivied they are, and how their opinions are minimized, just like you just did here.

    It seems they still have quite some work to do.

  74. says

    However, I do not like the way feminism is going.

    There were lots of people who didn’t like where the civil rights movement was going.

    Cry me a river.

  75. Christopher Petroni says

    @ amiinde

    I’m not certain you read LeftSide’s post correctly. She wasn’t saying, “how dare you fail to toe the party line, you shit!” She was saying, “how dare you disregard the actual, negative experiences that are keeping women out of the atheist movement, you shit!” (I think.)

    I don’t often directly experience things that make me particularly angry. Oppressed people do. I’m not bothered when those people speak angrily about that oppression, particularly to people who trivialize it or the efforts to correct it.

    I also find that I’ve learned the most from these discussions when commenters have been rude. I end up standing in the position of the person whose wrong-headedness is under attack, and I feel the slap as well. It wakes me up to a misconception I’ve overlooked.

  76. LeftSidePositive says

    But some feminists go as far as asking to ban the practice [holding doors] completely.

    FIND ME SOME FUCKING EVIDENCE OR SHUT THE FUCK UP, ASSHOLE! Seriously. What the FUCK is wrong with you? The prevailing opinion is that very, VERY few people are annoyed by the holding-doors thing, and that’s only in particular circumstances, and the solution proffered is to be courteous to everyone and to open doors regardless of gender. NO ONE is talking about “banning” opening doors for people, so you can take that persecution complex and shove it up your lying filthy ass.

    And that is going overboard in my opinion.

    Because it exists only in your fevered, strawmanning, anti-feminist head!

    Me: The relevance would be that both atheism and feminism do not have a clear definition.

    No, if anything, NdGT was wrong about the definition of atheism, and you are wrong about the definition of feminism.

    Some women would feel harassed if a man were to enter an elevator with them. But would it be harassement?

    FUCK YOU, YOU LYING ASSHOLE. Some women–with very good reason!–have said they feel “uncomfortable” in and elevator with a man. This is not the same thing as feeling “harassed” unless you’re a lying sack of shit (which you apparently are). Women are saying they feel harassed when men approach them in elevators and make inappropriate advances, and that IS harassment.

    In Japan they have women-only carriages in the underground to prevent “harassement”. Is it really reasonable?

    Do you understand how huge the problem with groping IS on the Japanese subway? Do you care? This was a desperate attempt to put a patch on the problem, and I have heard many feminists state it was a sub-optimum solution and didn’t even remotely address women’s freedom to travel without being groped.

    Speaking from my own observations. My female friends are perfectly fine with the majority of their rights.

    Oh, argument from ignorance, eh? Don’t be such a fucking idiot. Did it EVER FUCKING OCCUR to you that they might not be representative of all female experience?! Also: selection bias! Judging by what an anti-feminist asshole you seem to be, only very soft-spoken women or women with massive amounts of internalized sexism could possibly be friends with you!

    Sigh… I am not talking about treating a person as some sexual object.

    YES YOU ARE. You are saying that you get to treat her how you please and her feelings aren’t relevant until she’s had to go to the trouble to make them VERY clear to you, and then you’re going to hate on her for “overthinking minor issues.”

    If I hold a door for a lady or offer to carry her heavy luggage that does not mean I want to have sex with her.

    SHUT THE FUCK UP with this fucking strawman already. YOU’RE NOT FUCKING FOOLING ANYONE. Virtually NO ONE objects to this behavior, and when they do, it’s usually because you’re being a condescending ass, not necessarily trying to have sex. This whole thing is about women being taunted, catcalled, demeaned, silenced, ignored, groped, etc., etc. You are being a dishonest shitstain trying to pretend this is just people who don’t like having doors held for them. And, moreover, if an INDIVIDUAL does not want a door held for her, YOU SHOULD RESPECT THAT, because being a decent human being means caring about what other people want.

    Helping another human being (be it because of tradition or just on a personal whim) does not always mean that there is some ulterior motive.

    But it also doesn’t mean you don’t have deeply ingrained sexism, whether or not you consciously intend to act on it.

    I have already given examples. Some feminists are against men holding the door for a lady or calling another women “mademoiselle”.

    YOU ARE A FUCKING LIAR. No one is against the simple act of door-holding. We’ve made that clear. (Although your insistence on saying “lady” does have an air of self-entitled douchebag to it, I must say!).

    Furthermore, NO ONE IS FUCKING SAYING YOU CAN’T CALL SOMEONE MADEMOISELLE. So your fucking lies can go die in a fire, you filthy shithead. These women were saying they shouldn’t HAVE THE GOVERNMENT refer to them as “mademoiselle.” You are not the government. How the government may or may not treat its citizens IS NOT THE SAME THING as how consenting individuals may want to be treated by EACH OTHER, and if you weren’t such a lying dipshit trying to score strawman points, you’d see that.

    You asked for the difference between men and women. I offered you some helpfull advice.

    FUCK YOU, that was not helpful advice. Trying to claim that because someone’s BODY is different, that their MIND must be different is blatant discrimination and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    The way we treat people is based on our culture and reason.

    “It’s our culture” is not an excuse for stoning adulteresses, and it’s not an excuse for treating women like sex objects. And your idea of “reason” is laughable.

    I am for equal rights for both genders.

    Empty fucking words, asshole. You’re not even for my right to be free of harassment in public.

    However, I also value traditions.

    Yeah, you don’t get to force them down others’ throats, and it still makes you a fucking ass when you value traditions more than real people (which includes women!).

    But they should not impose their views on others.

    They’re not “imposing.” They’re talking about social appropriateness and communicating how they’d like to be treated.

    And yes, just because we have different genitals means our minds are different.

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU FILTHY SEXIST MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE!!!

    Men and women have a different hormonal balance which has a direct impact on their mind.

    PROVE IT OR SHUT THE FUCK UP. You know what? Every generation has had some type of pseudoscience they’ve tried to use to “prove” that women are “just naturally” different. Every single one of those “scientific” explanations has turned out to be complete and utter bullshit. Which particular brand of bullshit are you using?

    Also, you have completely failed to address that your observations are confounded by socialization, so if that’s the best your “reasoning” can do, I’d say that you are a thoughtless, privilege-entrenching asshole clutching at straws.

    That does not mean that one is superior to the other, it just means we are different.

    And how fucking convenient for you that women’s “difference” means that you just have to treat them like “others” and prioritize your opinions on “tradition” over their actually-stated preferences, and that their “difference” means that sexual harassment is perfectly understandable and totally what they’d really want if they’d just submit to their actually-different natures that we menz know they all have!!! What complete and utter fucking bullshit.

    Are you going to deny that the majority of men like crude jokes and the majority of women are interested in fashion?

    FUCKING IRRELEVANT. Why the FUCK should that matter as to whether or not you feel entitled to *assume* women should be treated a priori in a gendered and/or sexualized way? Also, SOCIALIZATION. SOCIALIZATION. Do you not fucking understand this concept?!

    Deal with it.

    Oh, so people feel they’re being discriminated against and your brilliant answer is “deal with it”? Fuck you, you callous assole.

    If you are going to have some firm worldview it will inevitably upset some people.

    You know, having a firm worldview isn’t an accomplishment if it’s firmly based on bullshit.

    And it isn’t “bold” or whatthefuckever to just not care whom you’re upsetting or why. It’s just being an asshole.

    Language is part of our personality. It is extremely important for a nation.

    You’re still failing to address why it’s MORE important than the preferences of actual human beings.

    The feminists, who are against the word mademoiselle never provided a valid reason to trully ban the word.

    NOT BANNING, YOU FUCKING MISERABLE LIAR!!! The word is not fucking “banned.” No one will go to jail for saying it, nor will it be prohibited from appearing in print or on the airwaves. It just won’t be used as an official classification by the government. Why is this so hard for you to understand? Are you stupid, dishonest, or both?

    And, if you were actually LISTENING to women, you smug self-entitled asshat, you would know that they DID provide a valid reason to retire the word on government forms: it classifies women by marital status, but not men, which is discriminatory and emphasizes that society is focusing on women’s role in terms of her relationships, while NOT focusing on men that way.

    Are you really that uncomfortable with someone knowing your marital status?

    That’s not the point, you ignorant fucking shithead. The point is that women are being DEFINED by our marital status, and this reinforces harmful patriarchal attitudes and diminishes the cultural appreciation of our autonomy and agency.

    Why do you care so much about to change the tradition?

    BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I MATTER MORE THAN A TRADITION! Also, it’s none of your fucking business what I should or shouldn’t have to put up with in the name of “tradition.” I deserve equality, and I deserve to stand up for myself when that is not being respected, in ANY venue I find significant to my needs or interests.

    What is fucking unacceptable is a minority pushing their preferences on the majority.

    Show me this majority of people who actually loves to get harassed?! Why the fuck are you soooo sure that sexualized behavior is what the “majority” of women want, and even if that were true, when that means that their “preference” affects HOW I AM TREATED, it affects me. You know what? Most people like to receive help when they’re choking…HOWEVER bodily autonomy still trumps majority preference, so trained rescuers still have to explain themselves and ASK PERMISSION from conscious choking victims.

    Holding the door for a woman is a tradition. Most girls like it, you do not. Too bad for you.

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT HOLDING DOORS, YOU LYING FUCKING WANKER!!! This is about harassing, groping, intimidating, intruding, leering, and other grossly inappropriate behavior. The fact that you want to put the ACTUAL TOPIC OF THIS POST, which is rampant systemic harassment, on the same level as “holding doors for ‘a lady,’ [gag] or ‘girls’ [eyeroll]” shows that you are trying to minimize the harassment that women are encountering with a cheap fucking strawman, and you’re not fooling anyone.

    Gender is part of our personality, you cannot escape from that.

    I have no desire to “escape” from being female. I am not imprisoned by being female, because it actually has no other bearing on my personality or what I want to do, because I am an autonomous being. I DO, however, wish to escape from assholes like you who think they get to dump a metric fuckton of baggage and assumptions onto my gender.

    It is the job of the person themselve to show there is more to them.

    FUCK YOU YOU MISOGYNISTIC FUCKING PRIVILEGED FUCKING SHITSTAIN!! Holy fuck! Isn’t your default assumption on meeting ANY human being that there is more to them than what’s between their legs? Isn’t your default assumption that human beings have basic personal dignity and get to decide personal matters for themselves?!

    My problem is that some people interpret some innocent jestures or words as harassement.

    My problem is that some people INSIST on pretending that harassment is just “innocent” and then lie through their fucking teeth when called on it.

    Just because ther are some issues with women rights,

    You dismissive, callous, trivializing fucking asshole.

    that does not mean that we should close our eyes for the negative effect of feminism.

    WHAT NEGATIVE EFFECT OF FEMINISM? Everything you’ve posted has either been a blatant lie, or just pathetic whining for your privilege ebbing away. You have utterly failed to show ANYTHING that is an actual negative effect of feminism.

    But the fact is that women and men are different from each other.It is obvious and denying it is useless.

    Argument from assertion. Classic logical fallacy. Is this the best you can fucking do?

    I have explained before why it is my business.

    No you haven’t. You’ve just whined.

    I value traditions and traditions should not change without some valid reason.

    Traditions don’t belong to you. Also, you are perfectly free to keep living according to your preferred traditions, but that doesn’t mean you get to feel personally maligned when the rest of the world wants to move on.

    And, in an official capacity, something shouldn’t be enforced as a tradition “just because.” INDIVIDUALS and communities may CHOOSE to hold on to their traditions ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY LIKE THEM, but it is a great deal more problematic for the government to be the entity espousing a particular tradition.

    I see no valid reason to ban the word mademoiselle on official forums.

    So, you didn’t listen to the ACTUAL WOMEN who had a problem with it? Minorities feeling singled out isn’t a “valid reason” to you? The preferences of the ACTUAL PEOPLE who were actually described by this term doesn’t matter?

    You know what, sane people don’t go around saying “government should have the power to do anything that I personally don’t have a problem with.” This is not enlightened thinking, to put it mildly.

  77. LeftSidePositive says

    Argh, that was supposed to be a reply, and I fucked up the blockquoting. Fuck. One damn little “/”

    *headdesk*

  78. Christopher Petroni says

    Oh, and that “calm disagreement” is often “persistent, stubborn refusal to understand points patiently and repeatedly made, along with repeated demands for answers to questions already addressed, to the point that disingenuousness is a reasonable inference.” Face a few of these in a conversation and I’m sure “creative name-calling” is difficult to resist.

  79. says

    The problem here is that you seem much more interested in discussing insignificant problems (yes, your personal language preferences are fucking insignificant in this context), rather than the very real issue of women being treated like shit.

    What you’re doing right here is problematic. You’re belittling the real problems of real people by constantly trying to change the subject to your own fetish for “tradition”. You’re part of the problem. What you’re doing right now is part of the problem.

    Sure, you keep saying that you agree that harassment is a bad thing and should be stopped. However, notice that every single time you’ve also immediately changed the subject away from the harassment that women face and unto the subject of the mean, irrational feminists with psychological issues.

    When we’re having a discussion about the problems women face in the current social environment and you keep changing the subject, what you’re communicating is that you think that the french government’s choice of words is more important than women being harassed, belittled, ignored and alienated. You might not even be aware that you’re doing it, but you’re doing it nonetheless.

    Go back and read the article I linked to. Here, I’ll make it easy.
    Read that, think about it, then talk.

  80. LeftSidePositive says

    First off, your tone trolling can go fuck itself.

    Secondly, this vague “but why are you insisting I agree with you 100%” is not actually helpful, and is a blatant attempt to weasel out of real issues. Say what, EXACTLY, you think there is room for disagreement about. Because, if one of the things you think it’s okay to disagree about is “women deserve to go about their lives without being treated like sex objects by total strangers,” then you deserve every bit of profanity I can fling at you.

  81. says

    My female friends are perfectly fine with the majority of their rights.

    Are they? Or have they just stopped trying to explain their problems to you because every time they tried, you changed the subject, making it quite clear that you didn’t want to hear about the issue they face?

    I suspect that if you really knew what they were dealing with, you’d get quite a shock.

  82. Twist says

    What does calling a group of women “girls” at their workplace have to do with their profecency level?

    How often do you hear an adult man being referred to as a boy, compared to how often adult females are referred to as girls? A girl is a female child, and calling an adult woman a girl implies dependence, weakness and inexperience. It’s pretty common to hear a 30 year old woman described as ‘the girl who works in the bank’, but how frequently would the 30 year old man who is her colleague be described as ‘the boy who works in the bank’?

    Well, you are wrong. Most people consider such activity as being polite. You do not get offended if someone says thank you, do youy? It is the same thing with holding the door for a woman.

    Polite is if you do it for everybody. Sexist is if you only do it for women, because they are women. Do you only say ‘thank you’ to women as well? I would be offended if somebody thanked me for something that they wouldn’t thank a man for, and they only thanked me becuase I am female.

    Twist:Lets say that I’m a woman who is completely ok with my boss and colleagues squeezing my backside at work.

    Me:If the majority were ok with such behavior then it would completely fine.

    The point is, if the majority of women were fine with being harrassed and treated as sex objects, none of this would be an issue. What about if it were only a minority who didn’t enjoy being groped. Would their concerns not matter? Would their right to bodily autonomy be overidden by everyone else backside-squeezing fun, just because they are a minority?

  83. says

    BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I MATTER MORE THAN A TRADITION

    I just thought that might bear a repetition.

  84. Twist says

    The point is, if the majority of women were fine with being harrassed and treated as sex objects, none of this would be an issue.

    I worded that badly – of course it would still be an issue for the minority who didn’t enjoy being treated as sex objects, but the movement against harrassment would be less vocal. If women on the whole were fine with how they are being treated, there wouldn’t be anywhere near as much protest against it. A lot fewer of these particular discussions would be happening. Same as if women in general hadn’t really been bothered about the vote the suffragist movement would have been a hell of a lot smaller.

  85. LeftSidePositive says

    What does calling a group of women “girls” at their workplace have to do with their profecency level?

    Quite a lot, actually. It’s infantilizing, and it perpetuates biases that make people predisposed to perceive competent women as being less competent at their jobs. Also, lots of women don’t like it, and it will make working with you very unpleasant for them.

    Most people consider such activity as being polite.

    That tradition of “politeness” came from a specific cultural attitude that women were weak and needed to be protected. That is THE ENTIRE REASON it was considered “polite.” You can’t just claim you’re keeping the idea because it’s “polite” and expect people to just magically ignore the history.

    You do not get offended if someone says thank you, do youy? It is the same thing with holding the door for a woman.

    No it isn’t the same thing at all. There is no DIFFERENT way to say thank you to someone solely on the basis of gender.

    If the majority were ok with such behavior then it would completely fine.

    NO, actually it wouldn’t be. INDIVIDUALS need to consent to individual behavior. Just because something is common doesn’t mean you get to touch another person’s body without their approval. Again: EMTs and choking victims.

    It would just be something like a handshake.

    Let me explain to you how handshakes work, idiot. Person A offers zir hand. Person B notices the hand and responds by shaking it. Notice: offer, followed by acceptance. Both parties have signaled their interest in shaking hands and have done so knowing the other person wants to AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME. Because handshakes are common DOES NOT mean that you get to grab anyone’s hand in any circumstance or ignore the fact that this INDIVIDUAL feels uncomfortable with a handshake.

    From my perspective most of the goals of feminism have been achieved already.

    Then your perspective is ignorant and pathetic.

    I do not really understand what more would we need for gender equality

    Then why don’t you LISTEN TO WOMEN who are bringing up issues with which they have problems.

    (besides fair pay).

    You know what? Fair pay is a very complicated issue and a lot of the sexist attitudes you’re perfectly okay with are actually integral to perpetuating the cognitive biases that prevent women’s accomplishments from being fairly recognized.

    And I do not consider holding the door for a woman as a form of sexism. It is just a tradition no worse than a handshake.

    You are aware that “tradition” and “sexism” are not mutually exclusive, right? In fact, the two things go together rather a lot.

    But am I a jerk for holding the door for a woman?

    No, you’re a jerk for saying that men and women are naturally different because of penises and hormones. You’re a jerk for lying and misrepresenting feminist arguments and issues. You’re a jerk for caring more about tradition than real people. You’re a jerk for constantly redirecting a serious conversation about harassment into one about holding doors. You’re also a jerk for apparently not caring whether or not a PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL wants a door opened, and you’re a jerk for seeing holding doors as something you do only for women, not just to be nice to your fellow human beings in general.

    I do not think that the girls are lying.

    We’re WOMEN, you insufferable condescending douchebag!

    But I do suspect that they have some personal psychological issues with the opposite sex.

    Fuck you, you pompous, self-entitled shithead. Feminists have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER with sex and sexuality, which should be a CONSENSUAL and MUTUALLY ENJOYABLE expression. Saying that women who object to being treated badly means they must have “psychological issues” is a great way to blame the victim, silence women for fear of being labeled “abnormal,” minimize the TOTALLY RATIONAL and well-adjusted response of standing up for yourself and demanding equal treatment, and ignores the severity of the problem we’re dealing with.

  86. says

    A helpful word of advice to folks like heisenbug, and others who don’t get why they’re meeting such hostility here.

    When a woman is sharing with you her negative experiences of sexual harassment, that’s when you listen and not lecture.

    If she’s screaming f-bombs at you, it’s because you’re doing too much of the latter and not enough of the former.

    That is where the whole “let’s discuss these issues rationally” thing has to start.

  87. LeftSidePositive says

    You’re oppressing me with your tyrannical monopoly on access to the edit function!!

    COME SEE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!! HELP, HELP, I’M BEING REPRESSED!!

    (actually, a few weeks ago I was arguing with someone one Hemant’s blog, which uses Disqus, and he made a blatantly unsupported argument from assertion, and when I called him on it, he went back and edited his own post to add reasons (which were all shit, of course), and then accused me of failing to address them in my reply. Fortunately other people read it pre and post edit and knew just what he was up to. So, yeah, I’m actually generally in favor of a lack of edit function…)

  88. says

    Well, you would never catch me using it in a dishoneasfhb;ojhsdcikh 9ysdaohjjjjjjjj ARISE MEHNZ AND FREE YOURSELVES FROM SHACKLES OF WOMYNIST TYRANNY! PLUS WE HAVE CHEAP BEER AND BACON!

  89. Mary P says

    I agree there is nothing wrong with propositioning people – especially as I have done it. But when they say no back off and leave them alone. I am currently not speaking to a friend because after he propositioned me and I said no he did it again the next time I saw him. We have been friends for years and I thought I was very clear the first time I said no. I am now uncomfortable being around him so I am currently avoiding him.

  90. LeftSidePositive says

    Well, I for one am not going to *necessarily* do a full Fuckskreig just for lecturing (apart from the occasional offhand “oh, fuck off…”), but when someone combines lecturing with blatant lying, strawmanning, blatant overt sexism, and argumentation that’s so inept it’s exasperating no matter *what* position it might be in support of, that’s when the Anglo-Saxon monosyllables start to fly!

  91. says

    Didn’t you hear? Feminists want to ban holding doors for women (or I guess, anybody). heisenbug apparently has the 411 on that. So if you want any chivalry in that department, better act fast!

  92. says

    Annnd subzerobob has finally earned his place on the ban list. His barely coherent ramblings have gotten far more play here than they’ve deserved.

  93. sw says

    Here’s one for you guys to consider next time you think you should have the privilege of soliciting sex from any woman, anytime, anywhere.

    I’m a gay man, and if you would be offended if I were to solicit an evening of passion with you,

    No, I would not. I’m a straight guy, and I have some gay friends so I occasionally find myself in a gay bar. When this happens, I sometimes have guys come up to me and hit on me. Do you know how this makes me feel? Fucking awesome. Despite being in bars with a heterosexual majority most of my life, this has never happened to me with a woman. And it doesn’t make me feel disgusted or insulted, it makes me feel attractive and wanted (yes, I know, I’m desperate and pathetic, lolz).

    I’m not saying I would want it happening 24/7, I can see how “hey, can I buy you a drink” and “do you want to come back to my place” could get annoying after a while. But it doesn’t exactly seem like a nightmare scenario to most guys I know (although it may to some homophobes, but that’s a different issue I think).

    such as grabbing your junk while you are trapped in an elevator with me

    Woah woah woah woah. If you find anyone trying to suggest guys have the right to grab girls junk without consent, I will be surprised and appalled.

    It might offend her, and you shouldn’t be surprised. Just think about it for a bit.

    Almost no one hits on women with the intention to offend them. But not doing something because it *might* offend someone is very restrictive.

    I’m not arguing that people shouldn’t have equal right, or that people should be allowed to grope people in elevators, or anything like that. Just putting in my two cents.

  94. says

    Well, I have been on the receiving end of sexual advances from women that I was not attracted to, and no, it didn’t make me feel sexy and desirable, but distinctly uncomfortable. So the bottom line is that you really can’t use what would or wouldn’t be an acceptable come-on to you as the guideline for whether you should or shouldn’t take seriously what other people say bothers and offends them. (Though I must admit I’m not exactly sure that’s what you’re getting at here, but I figured the point was worth making on GP.) It how a certain kind of contact makes the other person feel, not how it might make you feel if the shoe was on the other foot, that you should use as your gauge in interacting with them.

    The best thing is simply to learn how to recognize the social cues people give as to how approachable they’re willing to let you be with them.

  95. David Booker says

    In the Eighties my mum had lots of meetings with feminists so I got to meet all kinds of feminists. And yes, I was told that it was sexist to open a door for a woman, or to ask to carry something for a woman. Why? Because I was implying that a woman was either to stupid to figure out how to open a door, or to weak to be able to open a door.

    But some of these feminists also told my mum that she could not possibly be a feminist. Why? Because a real feminist hates all men, and a real feminist will only have sex with other women.

    There are always extremists in any movement.

  96. koliedrus says

    I’m an Atheist.

    I promise to keep my reproductive organs out of the debate about gods.

    Where do I sign?

  97. says

    FYI, I’m not bashing on you, specifically. This simply set off some ideas in my head.

    Almost no one hits on women with the intention to offend them. But not doing something because it *might* offend someone is very restrictive.

    I guess you’ll have to ask yourself what’s the higher priority: getting laid or avoiding offense?

    This is an angle that’s been floating around in my head for a few days. This is, to my mind, the central question. If you think you getting laid is more important than respecting the boundaries of other people, then you’re going to act like a dick.
    If you think respecting other people’s boundaries is more important than getting laid, then you’ll probably be ok.

    I think the problem is not that guys hit on women with the intent of offending (I agree that’s probably extremely rare), but rather that a significant number of guys just don’t care whether they offend the target of their affections. They don’t stop to think about it because it’s just not their priority. Their priority is getting laid.

    The very common objection of “well, if I never hit on women in elevators (or lonely streets/parking lots/whatever), I might miss out on some great sex” testifies to the screwed up priorities of the speaker. In the mental contest between empathy and desire, desire strikes a KO in round one.

    Obviously, there’s no way that you can ensure that you’ll never make anyone uncomfortable. It’s always a risk, unless you go to live in a cave or something. However, if you put a premium on making other people feel safe and respected, you will drastically limit the number of cases where you make someone else feel unsafe.

    Sure, your chances of getting laid will drop if you never hit on women in circumstances where they’re alone and confined. But really, why does that matter?
    Considering that loads of women have made it quite clear that this is problematic behavior, that it makes them feel uncomfortable and unsafe, why would you think that your sex life trumps that?

    Ensuring a safe social environment is less about strict rules and more about basic empathy. It’s about listening when people tell you that your actions are problematic, not changing the subject, telling them they’re being over-sensitive or crying about how you’re not gonna get laid often enough.

    It’s about caring about other people enough that you’re willing to admit that the world doesn’t revolve around your sex life. And, quite frankly, it’s about the fact that we guys have to grow the fuck up and stop acting like the spoiled little brats we have been so far.

    We’ve all fucked up in the past and we can all do better in the future, but that’s not going to happen unless we care enough to try.

  98. says

    That’s why I wish we could actually discuss the issues, instead of this almost ad hominem-esque dismissal of anything any feminist has to say because of some extreme cherry picked examples.

    Heisenbug can’t even address specific real problems because of some other unrelated events that have to do with feminism.

  99. says

    I mean, feminism shouldn’t even have to be brought up. It should be common sense.

    Treat a group of people poorly, and expect they won’t want to hang around you.

  100. says

    A historical definition for feminism: http://drbeardmoose.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/whatisfeminism.pdf

    This definition belongs to second wave feminism (like all philosophies and/or bodies of theory, there have been multiple movements as weaknesses in the original were pointed out.) It suffers from some rather serious white woman centric thought, so I’ll include more recent feminist theory, which deals with racism as well as sexism.

    http://www.soc.duke.edu/courses/soc197/articles/mohanty.pdf

    Feminism is really not that hard to define in broad terms, but because it’s a resistance movement, it is not always convincing to persons who are not positioned to experience the bullshit society offers women and PoC. Feminism points out, rather clearly, that the myth of the self-made person and rugged idealism are a steaming load of shit, which makes it hard for people who believe in the American Dream to swallow.

  101. lorn says

    Seems to me all sides are denying reality.

    Feminists point out that women have to keep the threat of rape and violence in their minds. Men deny this simple fact and get insulted that, given that they don’t think of themselves as rapist, the could be view with such suspicion. Simple fact is that women are always forced to be aware of their vulnerability and this takes a toll.

    Some feminists claim that they should be interacted with in a non-sexual manner. Humans are primates and all primates are intensely sexual. It is both right and good that we should take the rough edges off sexual language and behavior when they are not agreed upon beforehand but humans don’t actually seem to have any real ability to operate non-sexually as adults. We can disguise our thoughts and desires but it always comes out.

    Both sexes seem to enjoy the idea that physical appearance doesn’t matter. It does. Always. The human mind is wired to assume attractive people are more competent, talented, and honest. We are wired to want to be around attractive people and primates will pay a considerable cost in time, effort and treasure to hang around with attractive people.

    I am not saying that women need to get used to being harassed or rude advances but no situation dealing with humans will ever be entirely free of subtexts of desire and sexuality. Likewise all men have to realize that no relationship will ever be entire free of fear on her part. That this is entirely justified and, as painful as it may be, you will be seen as a potential harasser and rapist. And everyone, tall/short, attractive or not so attractive, will be irrationally judged and handled based upon factors you have no control over.

    These factors, and many more, are essentially the ground you play on. No, it is not fair. It sucks and hurts. Often the best you can do is expect these artifacts of our primate heritage, plan ahead, and steer into the crosswind. Ignoring these tendencies and failing to take them into account is self-defeating.

    I’m also not advocating simple acceptance or numb tolerance of cruelty and boorishness. You are free to try to change this landscape, grand when it happens, but we are talking about simple primates here so you are fighting hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. As much as we would like to think we are above our animal selves, we are not. Maybe in a few thousand years… Until then we have to work with what we are.

  102. Warp says

    I did not object to that. My response was to “You are a good example about boys clubs resisting change!” which clearly demonstrates an assumption and a jump to conclusions which aren’t actually true.

    You are distorting what I said, and you are missing my point and, ironically, demonstrating it perfectly.

  103. sw says

    Well, I have been on the receiving end of sexual advances from women that I was not attracted to, and no, it didn’t make me feel sexy and desirable, but distinctly uncomfortable.

    >> Do you think they should not have been allowed to do that? That they should feel bad for doing that? Do you think other guys may have appreciated their actions? Do you think the girls that were doing this incorrectly gauged your interest?
    I promise I am not asking these questions to be facetious. And I do find myself coming more and more over to what could be perceived as “your side” the more of these discussions I get in, so don’t think I am wasting your time. I am genuinely interested in your answers.

    The best thing is simply to learn how to recognize the social cues people give as to how approachable they’re willing to let you be with them.

    >> Obviously, that’s the ideal. It’s mostly guys that are pretty clueless about women that are the problem. So the more they learn, the faster, the better. I like to think I’m not too bad.

  104. says

    Do you think they should not have been allowed to do that? That they should feel bad for doing that? Do you think other guys may have appreciated their actions? Do you think the girls that were doing this incorrectly gauged your interest?

    It’s not so much a matter of not being “allowed” so much as knowing better than to impose yourself on someone so forcefully. I didn’t respond to the situation as well as I should have, probably because of general inexperience at the time; guys tend to be less often on the receiving end of this sort of behavior and aren’t as skilled at raising shields the way women are. What made me so uncomfortable was my lack of preparation and knowledge (not to mention confidence) of how to deal with what was happening to me.

    Might some other guys have responded favorably? Yeah, sure, but that’s nothing at all to do with how I felt about it. The kind of women who act this way are comparatively rare (and usually have more alcohol in their bloodstream than actual blood), and they’re probably behaving on an assumption that guys are all horndogs anyway, and so an uninhibited girl (our favorite kind, I guess) really can’t go wrong throwing herself at one.

    Basically what I learned from the situation was that you should never assume anything in sexual interactions with others. Go ahead and flirt, but if someone is crossing your line, let them know firmly and unambiguously. By the same token, if someone lets you know you’ve crossed their line, stop at once. Communication is key.

  105. vethtiche says

    MARTIN:
    [When a woman is sharing with you her negative experiences of sexual harassment, that’s when you listen and not lecture.

    If she’s screaming f-bombs at you, it’s because you’re doing too much of the latter and not enough of the former.

    That is where the whole “let’s discuss these issues rationally” thing has to start.]

    Oh dear Martin, sexism at its finest? Or is that a subtlety Feminism chooses to ignore?

    But seriously, I cannot get why you condone a poster who has flamed a fellow poster with so many F-words. Are you really saying this is acceptable behaviour?

    Both posters are entitled to their points of view.

    Furthermore, although I did not see the full exchange, what little I did see showed one poster trying to make a reasoned argument (whether he/she is right or wrong is irrelevant), and the other making an incredible ‘shut up & F-off’ attack on the former.

    I am all for gender equality, but people have to understand there are inherent, undeniable sociological, psychological & biological differences between men and women.

    Some of those differences can change and be reconciled over time. Others will not. Insisting on equality on all counts while ignoring these differences is blatantly dishonest.

  106. Christopher Petroni says

    I’m not sure I get any of this, lorn. Is it supposed to rebut the OP? It sounds more like a cogent argument for the need for anti-harassment policies, which is what the OP advocates.

    There’s also a difference between innate sexuality (and not all humans are “intensely sexual,” so watch that) and treating women (and others) as objects. No, we’ll never suppress the sexual drive (and why on Earth would we want to?) but we can damn well educate people to treat other people as people. And we can put systems in place to protect people who are objectified and attacked. Again, that’s all the OP called for.

    So exactly how are both sides wrong again?

  107. gothicemperor says

    Discrimination against women was actually historically (and I mean that in the sense of 2000-1000 years ago) more socially than anything else. Women weren’t considered dumb (upper class women were given almost the same ‘education’ as upper class men, sometimes even better), naive and influenceable at worst; the real discrimination came from the idea that women had their place in their homes, and men could do whatever they want. It was a lot more about social roles than individual characteristics, as par the course in those more community-based societies.

    Of course, it’s still bullshit. However, all that chivalry-stuff about open doors is, at it’s core, part of said ancient attitude towards women. As I said, I find said attitude about social roles quite idiotic, so I prefer to just hold open doors for everyone. Call it common courtesy.

    Now, to get a bit back on topic; I don’t see why all guys can’t agree on not trying to be a creep. It’s not just about women’s rights, it’s also (a bit) about men not respecting themselves enough.

  108. Cassie says

    Actually you made this claim as well

    “that he doesn’t agree with all the tenets of feminism, often he’s immediately assumed to be a sexist chauvinist woman-hating redneck bigot, and responded to accordingly.”

    This is what I responded to, instead of replying rationally you whinged I wasn’t respectful enough or calm enough. Guess what I am angry with people who would seek to deny my rights. Deal with it.

    Also if you could respond to what I said rather than just the tone of what I said that would be useful…

    Feel free to use whatever tone you want…

  109. Cassie says

    “Do you raelly care that much if the girl is single or not? Personnaly I did like the word mademoiselle since it does have a nice ring to it and I am used to it.”

    In the western world we have miss, mrs and now ms. I prefer ms as it does not denote my marital status as I don’t think it is relevant. If we got rid of mrs and miss I would be happy. Or if we introduced a term for an unmarried man I would be happy. It is called equality, it may not be important to you, but it is to me.

    “I think that women and men shoud be treated equally only if they want it themselves. However, not everyone desires such an outcome. Most girls would not want to listen to some crude male humor”

    If male humour is offensive to women, it may just be sexist,and why not stop it?

    If you don’t want to talk about fashion cool, either do I! What sexist stereotypes you put further for an alleged egalitarian.

    Feminism, on the other hand, is going too far in my opinion. Some innocent flirting or just holding the door for a lady could be interpreted as sexual harassement today. Isn it ridiculous? If the person is not interested in the other one, would it be possiible to just turn them down in a civil and polite fashion without resulting to shouting and taking the matter to court?

    Often men don’t take a polite no for an answer, they will interpret this as playing “hard to get”. If a woman is upfront and honest about what she wants or doesn’t want she is considered a bitch. Women can’t respond to men in a manner that results in an outcome they desire in this situation.

  110. gothicemperor says

    Wait, I meant ‘I don’t see why all guys can’t angry on trying not be be creeps’. I think. I’m not a native speaker.

  111. says

    I am all for gender equality, but…

    Why is that statement always followed by a “but”?
    Why, after declaring your support for gender equality, do you proceed to immediately change the subject to the differences between men and women and how those differences are irreconcilable.

    It almost makes it sound like the gender equality bit is not really that important to you.

    Of course there are differences between men and women. Nobody is crazy enough to deny that. The question is whether there are any relevant differences.

    Loads of women are collectively trying to point out that we have significant problems in our social environment; problems that threaten to alienate women from the movement. However, you think it’s much more important to discuss the differences between men and women. Why?

    What, specifically, are these differences that make it necessary to change the subject away from the actual problems that women face?

  112. Zengaze says

    I see you do not understand the purpose of commenting on free thought blogs.

    I’m of the opinion that whenever socio political topics are the theme of a blog, unless you walk lockstep with certain hypothesis you are persona non grata. There is an expectation that you will comment for the purpose of finding out what the group think is, with a sub expectation that you will agree with it, rather than comment to disagree or raise objection. I come from a very different school, where the purpose of commenting is to state your position on the topic, and then debate it out utilising logic and reason. If your reasoning is wonky then you change your position.

    Too often I’ve found lack of argument, and a reliance on appeals to emotion combined with ad Homs, which are excused as the venting of the oppressed at their privileged oppressors, and Derails which amount to “you hurt my feelings”.

    Frankly I don’t buy the hurt feeling nonsense as having any place in the exchange of ideas. Try it in a courtroom and see how much traction it gains.

  113. Cassie says

    “I am all for gender equality, but people have to understand there are inherent, undeniable sociological, psychological & biological differences between men and women.”

    Prove it.

    People have asserted the same about black people and white people.

    As to you “schooling” women on how they may object to their oppression. Thank you! How else may we please you today oh great and penised one?

  114. Cassie says

    “Some feminists claim that they should be interacted with in a non-sexual manner.”

    No feminists (and other anti-sexist types) assert that there shouldn’t be a presumption of sex when interacting with women. I have propositioned women before, but in a way that ensures that they can say no (it’s called meaningful consent) and if and when they have turned me down I have backed off immediately. As a result women have been flattered rather than upset and I have kept several friendships I may have lost if I was an ass.

    Situations like in an elevator, when the woman is intoxicated or influenced by drugs, etc. Factors that may cause a woman to feel less able to say no then usual are to be avoided when propositioning. Consent is just a buzzword, but meaningful consent is what should be sought after.

    Both sexes seem to enjoy the idea that physical appearance doesn’t matter. It does. Always. The human mind is wired to assume attractive people are more competent, talented, and honest. We are wired to want to be around attractive people and primates will pay a considerable cost in time, effort and treasure to hang around with attractive people.

    Prove it.

    I am not saying that women need to get used to being harassed or rude advances.

    Yes, you actually are.

    Nice strawman arguments though. Very compelling

  115. Cassie says

    People have made several different type of comparisons.

    1) possibility of causing offense vs desire

    2) possibility of realising desire vs causing offense.

    3) some others I can’t be bothered listing

    I think a more accurate comparison would be a person’s desire not to have sex vs another person’s desire to have sex.

    Personally when it comes to my sexual partners or my potential sexual partners I value their desire not to have sex over my desire to have sex. That is why I am not a rapist.

    This can be extended to forms of harassment. Does a person’s desire to have sex trump another person’s desire not to?

    This was demonstrated well in elevatorgate. (sorry for stirring up this bees nest again). The woman’s request not to be propositioned aside there are many things the man in question (and men in general) can do to both promote women’s safety and their liklihood of getting a date.

    1) When propositioning a woman you don’t know do so in a public place.

    2) Proposition in a future tense kind of way, instead of “want to go to my room now” maybe ask “do you want to hang out next week/month?”

    3) Do not try to put yourself in a woman’s shoes. Men aren’t accustomed to being propositioned for sex at work, in the street, at conferences, etc. So when a man states “I wouldn’t mind” or “I would love it if women cracked onto me, what are you whinging about?” be aware it is not the same context.

    4) Gear sexual propositions towards rejection rather than agreement. By that I mean make sure the conditions are suitable for the woman to say no.

    5) Realise women are socially conditioned to think that asserting themselves and their wants are not as valuable as men’s and as a consequence are less likely to say no to you even if they wish to

    6) In summary grow up, and learn how to relate to your fellow human! It isn’t that hard!

  116. says

    It sure does seem like this discussion is full of red herrings.

    A) Women in the movement aren’t liking being objectified and sexually harassed, so they’re opting out of the movement.
    B) Yes, but they passed a law in France that removed the “Madamoiselle” from government forms

    A) Women in the movement aren’t liking being objectified and sexually harassed, so they’re opting out of the movement.
    B) Yes, but men have penises and women have vaginas.

    A) Women in the movement aren’t liking being objectified and sexually harassed, so they’re opting out of the movement.
    B) Yes, but tradition!

  117. says

    If you’re done whining, maybe you’d like to say something relevant?
    I might suggest that you point out one of the good arguments, which you think haven’t been addressed.
    Or maybe you could quote one of these ad hominems you refer to? We are, of course, clear on the fact that an insult and an ad hominem are not the same thing, right?

  118. Zengaze says

    “if you’re done whining”
    Seriously you open with that? You categorise my argument as whining as an opening gambit to dismiss?

    I was of course referring to the general nature of discourse I have observed on ftb, whilst trying to discuss socio political topics. Was that not clear?

    Why I made that comment in response to vethtiche’s comment was to expand upon this;

    “Furthermore, although I did not see the full exchange, what little I did see showed one poster trying to make a reasoned argument (whether he/she is right or wrong is irrelevant), and the other making an incredible ‘shut up & F-off’ attack on the former.”

    Perhaps I should have included that excerpt in my reply.

  119. mikespeir says

    “What I don’t get is why this all has to unfold like this.”

    There’s no mystery here. People who do bad things nevertheless don’t want to be thought of as bad people.

  120. says

    What’s wrong with it? Are you offended? The point I was making was that I consider your post completely vacuous. You weren’t really saying much, just making some very vague complaints.

    But you’re right, I shouldn’t have opened with that. It clearly just allowed you to side-step the actual point I was making and completely ignore the very relevant and reasonable questions I asked.

    Wanna try again? Or are you just not referring to this thread at all? If you think your critique is valid for this thread, then back it up.

    It’s a depressingly common thing for people to prefer an offensive point made in reasonable language over a reasonable point made in offensive language.
    Personally, I’ll take the latter any day.

    E.g. heisenbug was using inoffensive language, but the underlying attitude was more offensive that anything else I’ve read in this entire thread. His point seemed to be “my language preferences are more important than your bodily autonomy.”
    That’s offensive. It’s infinitely more offensive than a few instances of “fuck”.

  121. Fabricio says

    Again with this crap?

    Wake me up when September ends, and Mitt Romney is the new president of the United Stupids of America. Then, maybe, people will have something to complain about that is not utterly uninspired.

  122. Zengaze says

    Thanks for the candid answer, I know that bdsm is so heavily stigmatised in society that people who are, just don’t talk about it, or do so guardedly to “outsiders”.

    I do know there is a difference between “scene” and “lifestyle”, lifestyle to my understanding being a Dom/domme sub relationship that persists in all environments. By definition an atheist movement shouldn’t have a position on this relationship. But atheism + may well have.

    since adult consent is paramount, I nor anyone else should have an objection to the physical display of the Dom/Domme sub relationship, even if that display is the collar and chain, in the same way people shouldn’t be aghast at the hetro or queer display of relationship (holding hands). But I’m fairly sure that that wouldn’t be accepted at conference, and that is a bigotry that we/I should address.

  123. says

    I think you mean November.

    Are you saying that all the complains from participating (and not) women are made up?

    If not, it’s not uninspired. It’s a real problem.

    We will continue to address it until it’s solved.

  124. Zengaze says

    I agree with you to a large extent with regards to tone, I have very little problem with “fuck 1+1= 2 fuck”, and It’s a hell of a lot better than “the proposition I suggest is 1+1= 3″ lol.

    You are correct that I’m referring to a more general discourse problem on ftb, than specifically this thread. The argument between Heisen and left side is pretty well fleshed out.

    Thankfully left side has actually argued their point rather than “fuck off and die you privileged piece of shit” start and end of argument, that is becoming pervasive.

    So again my argument isn’t specific to this thread, it’s a general depressing observation about the standard of debate lol.

  125. LeftSidePositive says

    But seriously, I cannot get why you condone a poster who has flamed a fellow poster with so many F-words. Are you really saying this is acceptable behaviour?

    Because some of us are not five years old. And, when someone is lying repeatedly and being generally disingenuous and hostile to my practical needs for equality, then I will absolutely demonstrate the contempt their viewpoint deserves.

    Both posters are entitled to their points of view.

    Ooooh–a platitude!! I just LOOOOOOVE platitudes!! You know what, being “entitled” to a point of view is a constitutional right, not a get-out-of-criticism-free card. Ideas that are perfectly legal to express can still be bigoted, discriminatory, and just plain wrong, and it is vital for the strength of the marketplace of ideas to expose this hogwash for exactly what it is.

    Furthermore, although I did not see the full exchange

    It’s a comment section. You can read it before you go spouting your uninformed mouth off.

    what little I did see showed one poster trying to make a reasoned argument

    SERIOUSLY? It was a revolting mass of strawmen, boldface lies, arguments from assertion, deeply bigoted premises, a whopping naturalistic fallacy, deflection of serious issues, completely unexamined privilege and a callous disregard for people who were actually affected by the “traditions” he championed.

    (whether he/she is right or wrong is irrelevant),

    As a side note, this is privilege. The idea that you should be treated with deference in a debate regardless of how odious or badly-argued your position may be is a result of being accustomed to social status wherein your views aren’t as rigorously questioned as others are.

    and the other making an incredible ‘shut up & F-off’ attack on the former.

    I’m sorry, did you miss the part where I clearly and precisely said WHY each of his points were odious, misinformed, and fallacious? Are you too distracted by the word “Fuck” (Oh, excuse me, “F-“) that you can’t see the content of an argument?

    I am all for gender equality, but

    Yeah, my skepticism is pretty piqued right now.

    people have to understand there are inherent, undeniable sociological, psychological & biological differences between men and women.

    Prove it. And, even to the extent that there may be minor biological differences, HOW THE HELL is that a *counterpoint* for gender equality?

    Look, we’re familiar with this line. People have tried it for about a century now. “Men and women are equal, just different…” and invariably the person pushing this line thinks men have the kind of equality that leads to social, economic, and political empowerment, whereas women are equal in a way that somehow doesn’t lead to that. And these people are generally men. Funny, that.

    Insisting on equality on all counts while ignoring these differences is blatantly dishonest.

    1) What differences?

    2) Prove your purported differences are biological rather than socialized.

    3) What do you say to people who aren’t “different” in the way you think their gender should be different? Are they wrong about themselves?

    4) Where, EXACTLY, do women not deserve equality? Provide examples.

  126. LeftSidePositive says

    Then why don’t you find a thread where it is applicable and complain about it there?

  127. says

    But seriously, I cannot get why you condone a poster who has flamed a fellow poster with so many F-words. Are you really saying this is acceptable behaviour?

    I was clapping in approval. Sometimes the anger is deserved.

    Do you think that being angry at someone being blatantly sexist is worse than the person being blatantly sexist?

    Don’t you go tone trolling. All his points were addressed clearly, even if it was passionately.

    Both posters are entitled to their points of view.

    Of course they are. That doesn’t mean that both points of view are equally valid and free from criticism. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and expect to be called out on it.

    and the other making an incredible ‘shut up & F-off’ attack on the former.

    Try not to skip over the actual content of the retorts.

    I am all for gender equality, but people have to understand there are inherent, undeniable sociological, psychological & biological differences between men and women.

    So therefore sexism is okay? So therefore it’s okay to make women feel uncomfortable? So therefore it’s okay to treat them badly?

    “Men have penis therefore it okay hit on women constantly”

    These points about being different are irrelevant to whether or not we could treating them better.

    Once again, no one is claiming that men and women are identical. However, we should be doing our best efforts to overcome those differences as much as we can.

    Some of those differences can change and be reconciled over time. Others will not. Insisting on equality on all counts while ignoring these differences is blatantly dishonest.

    You’ve set up this tired strawman between what you think they’re asking for, and what they’re actually asking for.

    Try listening some more, and you will come across as an utter ass less frequently.

  128. says

    When the women say “We don’t want to be sexually objectified and want to go through the day without being repeatedly propositioned by men“, a relevant response is notBut there are psychological differences between men and women“. It’s what we call a red herring.

    It just shows you’re not listening.

  129. Captain Mike says

    Agreed. Speaking as non-A list horndog, I’ve got no idea why someone would continue bothering someone who doesn’t want to be bothered. It’s functionally stupid. Go find someone else.

  130. says

    Oh dear Martin, sexism at its finest? Or is that a subtlety Feminism chooses to ignore?

    Ah, I love tone trolling! What a handy and convenient way for someone to turn the tables, claim that the oppressed are actually the oppressors, all while projecting upon them an inability to recognize “subtlety.”

    But seriously, I cannot get why you condone a poster who has flamed a fellow poster with so many F-words. Are you really saying this is acceptable behaviour?

    What do you want me to do, give her a detention and call her parents? I don’t run a junior high school here. Allow me to give you a much-needed swipe with the clue-bat: The poster in question was losing her temper because the idiot she was addressing was consistently refusing to listen to her, in his desire to bring up utterly irrelevant issues, which is a thing idiot privileged males do when they want to devalue women’s opinions and minimize the severity of issues like sexual harassment. Oh, look, you’re about to do it too.

    I am all for gender equality, but

    See, this is the standard rhetorical tactic of the privileged male. You should have stopped that sentence before you got to the comma.

    people have to understand there are inherent, undeniable sociological, psychological & biological differences between men and women.

    Yeah yeah, “boys will be boys” and all that. And this has dick-all to do with what, exactly? We’re talking about adults treating other adults with a modicum of respect, and making atheist conferences feel like safe spaces in which women are welcome without worrying about sexual harassment. Which is not a thing that can possibly be justified by any of the “differences” you cite.

    So let’s review the substance of your comment:
    Broad swipe at feminism consisting of tiresome reverse-sexism charge — check.
    Tone-trolling about profanity, deliberately ignoring content of argument — check.
    Dismissal of women’s point of view with use of the word “but” — check.
    Dismissal of severity of the problem of sexual harassment via appeal to male/female “differences” — check.

    I’d say that in terms of bringing anything of substance to the game, you’re zero for four. As a reaffirmation of clueless male privilege, though, you’ve batted a thousand.

  131. says

    The discussion of sexism in our community is uninspired, is it? FUCK THE FUCK OFF. These issues are important. They impact about half the population and should be a major concern to our community. But apparantly the idea that women are people too and therefore should be treated as equal is ‘uninspired’ and unworthy of your attention. Pfff, ‘Uninspired’… Fuck off, you miserable little shit.

  132. Emptyell says

    Come on! Don’t you girls get it?!?!

    Doors. Holding them. Being polite. This shit’s important!

    Yeah I get all that stuff about not wanting, you know, icky stuff and all.

    BUT WHY CAN’T I JUST BE ALLOWED TO HOLD THE DOOR FOR YOU without being called a sexist pig?

    So please just get off your high horse and step through. Nice ass by the way.

  133. says

    Ever notice how only the issue of sexism is ever called ‘uninspired’, ‘repetitive’, ‘boring’ or ‘irrelevant’. I bet Fabricio wouldn’t be complaining like this when the topic was Ken Ham or Fox news stupidity.

  134. Emptyell says

    I just submitted a comment was deleted in moderation.

    I didn’t think it was that offensive. I’m not trying to argue the issue. The post was just an attempt at humor that I hoped would make a point. I’d like to know why it was deemed inappropriate so I can adjust accordingly in the future.

    Sorry to annoy everyone else but I don’t know any other way to contact the moderator.

  135. Stevarious says

    Water is sometimes frozen and therefore not wet!

    Therefore feminism is wrong.

    Victory for the MENZ!! *high fives all around, but really high up so the stubby women and unmanly short men can’t reach – because really, that would be more of a low five and screw that shit, it’s not manly enough.

    (Poe is poking me on my shoulder and telling me that I should be sure to mention this is a parody.)

  136. Emptyell says

    Oops! Now they’re both up. I feel a bit foolish but I’m not entirely sure why.

    Moderator, please feel free to delete these last two posts. Or, whatever…

  137. Kazim says

    This is apparently the first time you’ve ever posted on this blog. All comments from new posters get automatically held in moderation until at least one message has been approved, and after that only posts that embed links require approval. Next time, don’t jump to conclusions so fast. ;)

  138. Emptyell says

    Sorry. It was displaying for a while as being in moderation. When it disappeared altogether I falsely assumed it was deleted.

  139. vethtiche says

    7 responses to my previous post (and counting I suppose). Rather than to address each one by one, I will just reply to myself, addressing what I feel are the key points made in the responses (of the others of course).

    I apologise first because I’m not familiar with the block quoting mechanisms used here.

    My previous post had 2 key points:
    1) To call out rude and unacceptable behaviour (flaming) made by a fellow poster against another.
    2) To provide a very general opinion on the feminist issue debate.

    Now my responses to the responses:
    1) Incredibly, many of you seem to accept, even applaud the very rude behaviour on the simple basis that ‘points’ were addressed. So we have a guy who’s a little misinformed, misinterpreted certain things and got a little too focused on opening doors and ‘madammoiselles’. Does that justify the unwarranted attack that he got, the kind of flaming behaviour that would have been banned on many other forums? NOT ONE BIT.

    Indeed, one could even argue in certain contexts, such behaviour would amount to intimidation and bullying.

    2) LykeX:
    “E.g. heisenbug was using inoffensive language, but the underlying attitude was more offensive that anything else I’ve read in this entire thread. His point seemed to be “my language preferences are more important than your bodily autonomy.”
    That’s offensive. It’s infinitely more offensive than a few instances of “fuck”.”

    I took your comment seriously enough to scour through heisenbug’s posts. His comments may have been a little (maybe a lot) ignorant, but I really found only a single instance that might be deemed particularly offensive. Perhaps you can point out the parts where you took offence, and for which you actually agree that a series of fucks would be a good response?

    The reason I ask is simple – I don’t agree at all that rudeness beats courtesy just because that courtesy is offensive. In the first place, rudeness IS offensive. It is a conversation shutter. And the correct way to respond to this offensive courtesy is through reasoned argument. Rudeness has no place in this process.

    I also wondered if heisenberg was being deliberately hypocritical or dishonest, but again I found no evidence for this – so again, I cannot fathom why you would accept flaming over reasoned debate.

    Heisenberg also admitted that he came from a different country and a more ‘traditional’ culture. While that may not be an excuse, people should nonetheless give a little more leeway to understand his point of view and more importantly, find better ways to bring their points across to him (as opposed to verbal assault).

    3) I also find it incredible that in just stating a general opinion, people can allocate connotations and subtext to it.

    I am asked on the one hand to explain my motive for bringing up the ‘differences between men & women’ argument, then asked to prove those differences by at least two others, in the meantime being labeled ‘oh great and penised one’ in the process.

    All on the basis of a single general statement!

    There is no motive, and just simply the fact that I am asked to prove the differences show I don’t need one (SMH!).

    It just seems pretty clear that when a lot of people debate feminism and gender equality, they don’t seem to really grasp that there ARE differences, or they conveniently forget. That is why many people (admittedly majority men) keep trying to point out the obvious.

    Gender equality is not a cut and dry issue. It is complex. That’s the point. The whole point.

    One example is maternity leave. Should men demand the same level and privileges in PATERNITY leave as rightfully given to women?

    4) Now before I recommend someone who can recommend a good anatomy textbook….

    I will give one overriding difference. Through no fault of our own women are evolved to be child bearers. Men are not. For this reason women are primed not only to bear children, but also to nurture, to care. Men on the contrary evolve and are primed to be hunters, even warriors.

    Put simply, through a single biological difference (significant not minor! smh again), men and women have evolved to take up differing roles in society. Through time, this has easily resulted in the pronounced physical differences between men and women, and indirectly, led to a sexist culture whereby men are deemed better than women.

    However, society is changing, as are the roles. Society now favours intellectual prowess over brute muscle, at last providing a more level playing field for both genders to compete.

    But physical differences remain, and sociological remnants and offshoots from these physical differences also remain. These can change over time, but the inescapable fact of child bearing will still be a huge factor in the gender debate.

    I could go on and on and on, but I don’t for a moment believe that most of you don’t already know all this.

    In fact, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to prove or if I’m being wummed at all.

    I just wish if there was a specific point that you just state it rather than to insinuate that something so obvious (which someone else already accepted) isn’t true.

    5) I would agree that at one time, many men considered themselves superior and therefore more privileged to women. But such a view is declining rapidly.

    I hardly think that a modern man would think he should deserve more and better than any woman, unless it is on merit.

    Sexism may still be prevalent in certain areas, but it is dishonest to imagine men really think they are entitled to “social, economic, and political empowerment” over women. This simply isn’t true on a professional level (again there will be exceptions but certainly not as widespread as some people make it out to be).

    There are simply many other factors that influence how far a woman can rise professionally.

    6) Jasper:
    ““Men have penis therefore it okay hit on women constantly””

    You put this in quote. Was this what Heisen said? I might have missed it. Can you show me which post? Or maybe the before & after paragraphs of that line? I would like to see the context in which it was written.

    7) To LeftSide:

    I have read your responses in general to Heisen and don’t find them particularly impressive enough to warrant the kind of attack you made on him. I am not interested in debating someone else’s comments. If you would like to start a new one against me (which you clearly can from my current post), go ahead, but again I’m not interested in reviewing in detail someone else’s comments.

    8) My main beef is that flaming has been allowed to go unpunished (even celebrated) on this forum. Where are the moderators when you need them? It is simply not acceptable, and I have seen nothing to suggest it is even remotely acceptable. Period.

    9) To give context to the exchange between LeftSide & Heisen, it seems quite clear to me that they are arguing the topic from different angles. Heisen seemed focus on little things while LeftSide seemed intent on the bigger issues of sexism. Unfortunately, it was the little things like opening doors for women that seemed to take centrestage while little of the big issues seemed to have been really fleshed out. Little wonder the confusion. This is just my take on it though.

    Nonetheless, verbal assaults are still not acceptable, regardless of whether LeftSide addressed Heisen’s points.

    10) As an Asian, I find that I empathise with Heisen’s viewpoints, even if he did seem to make some mistakes and misunderstandings.

    However, the issues raised are far, far too complex to just be flippant about so you can call other people names.

    That has been my overriding point – Stop the Flaming – then maybe we can move on to proper discussion.

  140. says

    *Looks up from sharpening her castratin’ scissors* Izzat you, Mister Poe? We meet again. *narrows her eyes*

    *tumbleweed crosses from stage left, audience hears ooo-eee-ooo-eee-ooo baw-baw-baw*

    Thank you for signalling it. The troll signal has been on around here the last few days, and sometimes it’s hard to know what’s a Poe and what’s some jackass demanding that reality be altered to make him/her innocent of any bad behavior.

  141. Emptyell says

    I’ve been to a few and they haven’t been bad as far as I can tell. But I can’t speak for the women.

    I wonder if a any difference between them and other conferences is in the reporting and not the incidence. I have seen plenty of both flirtatious and offensive behavior at serious professional conferences as well. There’s something about being away from home that often causes them to behave more like they do on the internet.

  142. Zengaze says

    Can I give a piece of friendly advice.

    Sure hold doors open, and even smile! Smiling is good anytime anywhere, say Hi! While you smile.

    Don’t think about horses, don’t check out asses, and for sure don’t fucking say it as the person walks through.

  143. says

    vethtiche, if there were an Academy Award for Not Getting It, you’d be Tom Hanks.

    I’m going to say this as clearly as possible. I’ll even put it in bold so you can’t say you missed it.

    Whatever “differences” between men and women you want to introduce into the conversation are irrelevant to the central issue, which is that women should not be subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, and that men should respect women’s personal boundaries as regards such advances. Public venues such as conferences should be safe spaces in which men and women respect each other as peers, and no harassment occurs.

    Do you get that?

    I don’t want to hear anything else from you — not any hand-waving about “societal roles” or “biological differences” or any more whiny tone-trolling about mean people who use naughty words — until you acknowledge that you have understood the above point, that you have understood that the above point is the matter under discussion, and that you can state clearly whether you agree or disagree with it on principle.

  144. Metaphysical Ham Sandwich says

    Regarding Feminism and doors, I did attend a feminism class at UNC Chapel Hill where the professor did refer to men holding doors open for women as ‘oppression.’

    I mean, this was like 10 years ago, and probably not representative of the movement even then, but the conception that feminists may think like this isn’t completely fabricated from nothing.

  145. says

    1) Incredibly, many of you seem to accept, even applaud the very rude behaviour on the simple basis that ‘points’ were addressed.

    There are scenarios where, if you aren’t angry, there’s something wrong with you.

    So we have a guy who’s a little misinformed,

    A little? He’s teetering on fractal wrongness.

    Does that justify the unwarranted attack that he got, the kind of flaming behaviour that would have been banned on many other forums? NOT ONE BIT.

    It wasn’t unwarranted. I’m not surprised that you didn’t pick up on his deeply rooted sexism. When one is in a position of priviledge, one is often blinded to these things. Try living in the shoes of a woman for awhile and deal with the constant demeaning and belitting and condescending attitudes for awhile.

    His attitude and argument deserved nothing less than what it got. He’s a part of the problem.

    Indeed, one could even argue in certain contexts, such behaviour would amount to intimidation and bullying.

    Indeed, one could argue that in certain contexts, such as adding shooting one another, such behavior would amount to murder. You know, as long as we’re arbitrarily modifying the context into something it isn’t and then equating it to other things.

    I took your comment seriously enough to scour through heisenbug’s posts. His comments may have been a little (maybe a lot) ignorant, but I really found only a single instance that might be deemed particularly offensive. Perhaps you can point out the parts where you took offence, and for which you actually agree that a series of fucks would be a good response?

    Read the damn posts. Those offensive points are lit up like a Christmas tree.

    The reason I ask is simple – I don’t agree at all that rudeness beats courtesy just because that courtesy is offensive. In the first place, rudeness IS offensive. It is a conversation shutter. And the correct way to respond to this offensive courtesy is through reasoned argument. Rudeness has no place in this process.

    If you think rudeness is worse than sexism, you are part of the problem. It’s like complaining that people are rude whlie yelling at slave drivers. So what if they’re rude?

    I also wondered if heisenberg was being deliberately hypocritical or dishonest, but again I found no evidence for this – so again, I cannot fathom why you would accept flaming over reasoned debate.

    What makes you think it was lacking reason? Because it was empassioned? Don’t be going down the road of ad hominems.

    Heisenberg also admitted that he came from a different country and a more ‘traditional’ culture. While that may not be an excuse

    You’re right it’s not.

    , people should nonetheless give a little more leeway to understand his point of view

    … but apparently you’re going to go ahead and excuse it anyway. His “point of view” is 100% irrelevant to whether it’s okay to be sexist, or to treat women poorly. If his culture is okay with such activity, then it is regressive and needs to be dragged into the 21st century, into a more civilized level.

    I am asked on the one hand to explain my motive for bringing up the ‘differences between men & women’ argument, then asked to prove those differences by at least two others, in the meantime being labeled ‘oh great and penised one’ in the process.

    Do you understand you’re talking to multiple people?

    There is no motive, and just simply the fact that I am asked to prove the differences show I don’t need one (SMH!).

    So you decided to come on here and just blurt out random factoids?

    It just seems pretty clear that when a lot of people debate feminism and gender equality, they don’t seem to really grasp that there ARE differences, or they conveniently forget. That is why many people (admittedly majority men) keep trying to point out the obvious.

    It’s because, for people like you, your understanding of what’s being discussed is about as nuanced as a sledge hammer. How many times does it need to be pointed out that minor biological differences between the sexes are not the issue. It’s about how women are treated poorly. I don’t know why this is difficult to understand.

    People like you keep on with pointing out the “obvious”, a blatant mischaracterization about what feminism is about – making everything exactly the same between the two sexes.

    Gender equality is not a cut and dry issue. It is complex. That’s the point. The whole point.

    It’s no wonder why your understanding of the topic is so obtuse. The whole point is that women are being excessively sexually objectified and treated poorly. This is not complicated. Anything beyond simply acknowledging that and striving to do better is making excuses.

    One example is maternity leave. Should men demand the same level and privileges in PATERNITY leave as rightfully given to women?

    Yes, they should. Many do.

    I will give one overriding … blah blah blah … time, but the inescapable fact of child bearing will still be a huge factor in the gender debate.

    This is an example of what’s not relevant to the topic. There are some things we must concede, such as child bearing, since the males cannot do it. The goal should be to minimize sexism.

    I’ll skip ahead a moment to where you address me:

    ““Men have penis therefore it okay hit on women constantly””

    That was paraphrasing pretty much exactly what you are doing here right now. Whether men or women bear the children is utterly irrelevant to whether we should be treating women better or not. It’s an example of a red herring.

    Like heisenburg, you have eggregious misconceptions about what feminism is about.

    5) I would agree that at one time, many men considered themselves superior and therefore more privileged to women. But such a view is declining rapidly.

    That’s the point. It’s not. But it’s difficult to see that from high up on your priviledged tower.

    I hardly think that a modern man would think he should deserve more and better than any woman, unless it is on merit.

    And yet, that’s still happening left and right. That’s the whole point

    .

    Sexism may still be prevalent in certain areas, but it is dishonest to imagine men really think they are entitled to “social, economic, and political empowerment” over women. This simply isn’t true on a professional level (again there will be exceptions but certainly not as widespread as some people make it out to be).

    That’s not even what they’re saying. The problem is that they aren’t even aware that’s what they’re doing. Heisenburg, for example, habitually refers to adult women as girls – which devalues their roles. It’s like not realizing that one’s a pompus asshole.

    There are simply many other factors that influence how far a woman can rise professionally.

    Yes, and the fact they’re women shouldn’t be one of them.

    I have read your responses in general to Heisen and don’t find them particularly impressive enough to warrant the kind of attack you made on him.

    Of course not. You don’t have to deal with the shit day in and day out. You have no idea what they go through. So of course they seem unwarranted to you. That’s why you’re part of the problem.

    If you would like to start a new one against me (which you clearly can from my current post), go ahead, but again I’m not interested in reviewing in detail someone else’s comments.

    So much for listening. You ask for specific points that Heisenburg made that were offensive, and when pointed out – “oh I don’t feel like reading them”.

    My main beef is that flaming has been allowed to go unpunished (even celebrated) on this forum. Where are the moderators when you need them? It is simply not acceptable, and I have seen nothing to suggest it is even remotely acceptable. Period.

    Your priorities are completely and utterly FUCKED.

    Nonetheless, verbal assaults are still not acceptable, regardless of whether LeftSide addressed Heisen’s points.

    That has been my overriding point – Stop the Flaming – then maybe we can move on to proper discussion.

    How about no? You can continue on the path your own and be constantly railed on. Your choice. Expect swears.

  146. says

    Rudeness isn’t even on the same order of magnitude of being a problem as sexism. But as a privileged male, sexism just doesn’t concern you. It’s not like you have to deal with it or anything, or even give it passing awareness in your day to day life.

  147. says

    Let me start by saying that I’m really trying to be polite in this reply. It’s difficult, but I’m trying. Your response will show whether that strategy has any merit.

    Apparently, you don’t understand what was so offensive by heisen’s posts. In order to explain, let me first ask you to read this blog post. I’ve linked to it before, but not in a response to you. Please take the time to read it and think about it.

    Is it more clear now? When someone brings up a problem and your response is to immediately change the subject, you (whether you realize it or not) are communicating the fact that you don’t care.
    That’s what heisen was doing and that’s what you’re doing in this very post.

    When you focus on style over substance, what you’re communicating is that you don’t care about the substance. When you, in a thread devoted to discussing the problems of misogyny in the atheist movement, decide to launch a mini-lecture on the subjects of maternity law and evolutionary psychology, the impression I’m left with is that you don’t actually care about the problems women face.

    I don’t care how many times you say that you care about women’s rights. If your actions tell me that you don’t, I’ll conclude that you don’t. If you don’t like that conclusion, stop acting that way.

    The world doesn’t revolve around your opinions, especially when we’re talking about problems that other people face and you never have to. In such cases, the sensible, rational thing is to listen, not talk.

    When, on top of that, you say things like

    I hardly think that a modern man would think he should deserve more and better than any woman, unless it is on merit.

    It just shows your complete disconnect from the discussion and the reality it’s about. You are yourself displaying this exact attitude. You apparently think that your opinion counts for more than that of women.
    Why do I say that? Because there are women, right here, in this very thread, telling you about problems they face from men behaving without consideration. And yet, here you are saying that it doesn’t happen (or only happens rarely).

    The reason that heisen’s comment were offensive; the reason that this comment of yours is offensive, is that you’re doing the exact thing that you say that “modern men” aren’t doing.

    This very comment is an example of the kind of disregard for their opinions and experiences that women face every day.
    The kind of thing you say isn’t happening.

    How about that.

  148. says

    In addition to vethtiche here, we’ve been engaged in a lengthy exchange regarding this post, via the TV show email address, from some dink who wrote in doing the same kind of tone-trolling. Like so many of his type, he writes a letter designed to get a negative reaction, then wails and gnashes his teeth when it gets a negative reaction. I guess some people value drama queendom over issues.

    Anyway, Lynnea Glasser brought up an excellent point in regards to guys like this. This kind of tone-trolling essentially amounts to a demand…

    …that the oppressed population (or those who support the oppressed population) should format their grievances in a way so as to placate and appease the empowered population. That the empowered population should be able to set standards on the tone and channels for airing those grievances. That indeed, they know BEST how to talk about those grievances.

    This is all, of course, not done necessarily consciously. It’s just how the privileged roll. But the intent is for them to be able to avoid really facing up to faults in their thinking or their behaviors.

  149. says

    It’s like we have a bunch of people coming on here and complaining that there’s too much of an abolitionist slant on this site.

    —-

    We need to consider the slave owning culture of those people who say that Africans and Caucasians are biologically different.

    We need to keep pointing out to the abolitionists the obvious fact that black and whites aren’t identical. Those silly abolitionists! This whole idea that we should be fighting for equality between the races can never be done, since they aren’t identical.

    I don’t see a problem with calling Africans “those little criminals”. It’s tradition! I think this whole discussion about blacks being treated as criminals and discriminated against is just uninspired. I think those black people who are complaining about it really juts have some kind of psychological problems.

    What?!? How rude! I’m just stunned! I can’t believe that you would be rude when we’re trying to have a polite discussion as to why we don’t think slavery is that big of a deal. You rude people are so immoral!

  150. vethtiche says

    Martin:
    “Ah, I love tone trolling!”

    I’m sorry, i’m not familiar with the term ‘tone trolling’. I do now, but in the context of what you quoted off me I think you you misread me. However, I admit I was a little too broad in quoting you, probably because I had other points to make.

    Martin:
    “When a woman is sharing with you her negative experiences of sexual harassment, that’s when you listen and not lecture.”

    This is the quote you made that I was referring to when I said:
    “Oh dear Martin, sexism at its finest? Or is that a subtlety Feminism chooses to ignore?”

    It was just a joke. I don’t see you any differently whether you made that comment or not.

    Martin:
    “claim that the oppressed are actually the oppressors”

    I never said this, this even now that I understand what tone trolling means.

    Martin:
    “What do you want me to do, give her a detention and call her parents?”

    Discouragement would be a start. Since when has flaming and profanity been a conducive platform for reasoned debate?

    Martin:
    “See, this is the standard rhetorical tactic of the privileged male. You should have stopped that sentence before you got to the comma.”

    And so it may be, but why should I stop if the next part is invariably true?

    Martin:
    “Yeah yeah, “boys will be boys” and all that.”

    And to quote you further, “this has dick-all to do with what, exactly?”

    I was making a general statement, a disclaimer if you like. Roll your eyes all you want, but unless you’re saying the statement is not true, why in the world would you want to make a stupid comment on that?

    Martin:
    “which is a thing idiot privileged males do when they want to devalue women’s opinions and minimize the severity of issues like sexual harassment. Oh, look, you’re about to do it too.”

    Martin:
    “We’re talking about adults treating other adults with a modicum of respect, and making atheist conferences feel like safe spaces in which women are welcome without worrying about sexual harassment. Which is not a thing that can possibly be justified by any of the “differences” you cite.”

    Since when did I say anything about sexual harassment or try to minimize the severity of the issue? I am as much against sexual harassment as the next person. I do understand there may be issues pertaining to where the line is drawn, but where in the world did I mention sexual harassment in my previous post? That was not on my agenda at all.

    If you are referring to the exchange between LeftSide & Heisen, it was my suspicion they were practically arguing on different pages. But just because I was calling someone out for profanity does not mean I have an agenda on sexual harassment. You better get that straight. REAL STRAIGHT.

    Martin:
    “So let’s review the substance of your comment: ”

    Ok so let’s review your review.

    Martin:
    “Broad swipe at feminism consisting of tiresome reverse-sexism charge — check.”

    I’m not sure what you mean here, but I assume you did understand my opening statement after all. It’s a loaded statement however, and complex (also made half jokingly). I won’t debate that yet, at least not until you bring up specific objections to its content.

    Martin:
    “Tone-trolling about profanity, deliberately ignoring content of argument — check.”

    On tone-trolling – guilty as charged. BUT, I did not ignore the content of the argument. I took the gist of it, and found no justification for the EXCESSIVE & SUSTAINED profanity it inspired.

    Giving something a name does not make you smarter. Before you say tone trolling is wrong, why don’t you clarify your position on the statement I made earlier?

    Me:
    “Since when has flaming and profanity been a conducive platform for reasoned debate?”

    But moving on….

    “Dismissal of women’s point of view with use of the word “but” — check.”

    Exactly which point of view did I dismiss? You really do love to put words in my mouth don’t you?

    Disclaimers are a part of life. Tedious, but not critical. If they are false fine, but if you want to harp on those, and they are true, then you have just shown yourself to be pretty much an idiot.

    Martin:
    “Dismissal of severity of the problem of sexual harassment via appeal to male/female “differences” — check.”

    Again, where did I mention sexual harassment?

    Martin:
    “I’d say that in terms of bringing anything of substance to the game, you’re zero for four. As a reaffirmation of clueless male privilege, though, you’ve batted a thousand.”

    You like to use the phrase “privileged male” so why don’t you tell me exactly how I fit the profile of a privileged male?

    And how are you not privileged?

    I had only 1 major point in my previous post (plus a general statement), yet you somehow contrived to bring up 4 from possibly your own fantasy.

    That you set out to deliberately offend is exceedingly clear. And I’m afraid I have replied in kind.

    All I wanted was to bring your attention to unacceptable excess profanity. So that’s called tone-trolling – I didn’t know that, but so what – a spade is still a spade. Profanity is still profanity.

    As a host of axp, I kind of expect you to play a moderating tone (not necessarily fully, but at least try) on here, to help encourage the civility of “adults treating other adults with a modicum of respect” on this blog.

    Too bad you shirk it.

  151. Emptyell says

    Holding doors can be part of an oppressive environment depending on how, why, who, etc. It can suggest herding property or reinforce the idea that poor little girls are too week to look after themselves and need big manly men to take care of them.

    Ideally it should just be a civil courtesy with no sexual overtones. (Of course if you want to be flirty about it with someone in particular you can always do it with a little extra flourish.)

    My father always held the door for everyone regardless of gender but would not let someone else hold it for him (I figured it was male posturing like fights over who picks up the check).

    As a rule I hold the door when I am the first to reach it for everyone in my group and often strangers as well (at a certain point I’ll hand it off if there are a lot of people in order not to be separated from my friends). When someone else holds it I walk through with a nod, a smile and/or a thank you as seems appropriate. (I like to make small efforts where I can to increase the overall level of civility in the world.)

  152. vethtiche says

    Too bad you’re going to. As you’re crafting your response, i was crafting mine.

  153. Emptyell says

    I really didn’t think anyone could take that one seriously. I guess Poe’s law is much truer than I imagined.

    Just to be absolutely clear, I was expressing the opposite of my opinion.

  154. says

    Since when did I say anything about sexual harassment or try to minimize the severity of the issue?

    The moment you changed the subject away from it.

    I am as much against sexual harassment as the next person…but where in the world did I mention sexual harassment in my previous post? That was not on my agenda at all.

    EXACTLY!
    Sexual harassment is the subject of this thread, yet apparently you think there are other, more pressing matters to discuss. Like the level of moderation on this blog.
    Yes, I see. That’s much more important than the fact that women are being harassed.

    Are you starting to get it now?

  155. says

    All right, I’ll stop shirking right away by putting your self-righteous gluteus maximus into the moderation queue. That’ll solve that problem.

    I do understand there may be issues pertaining to where the line is drawn, but where in the world did I mention sexual harassment in my previous post? That was not on my agenda at all.

    Well, there’s your problem. Since you admit none of your comments were even intended to address, even on a peripheral level, the relevant issue at hand, which is sexual harassment, and that the only thing going on in your head was this goofy idea that it was somehow your duty to play this blog’s four-letter-word cop, then there’s really nothing else for you to contribute.

    A few more replies to some of your willful ignorance.

    Exactly which point of view did I dismiss? You really do love to put words in my mouth don’t you?

    Protip: When a man responds to women’s complaints about sexual harassment with a statement that says “Yes, but…” he’s dismissing her complaints. Period. He’s saying, in effect, “I understand you have a grievance, but I will now bring up something I consider more important, to show how trivial your grievance is comparatively.” He’s showing her concerns aren’t as important to him as whatever brilliant observation he feels he can bring into the discussion. So he’ll bloviate about stuff like biological differences and gender roles in society, and so on and so forth, and people will tell him that those things have nothing to do with the subject at hand (which is that grabbing women’s asses at conferences is really uncool), and he’ll say, “Well, they’re still facts!”

    You like to use the phrase “privileged male” so why don’t you tell me exactly how I fit the profile of a privileged male?

    Your admitted refusal to address the issue that concerns women, as well as your refusal to understand the source of their anger surrounding that issue, in favor of irrelevant and banal issues you think should be brought up instead, like people swearing on blogs. In other words, whatever anyone else’s concerns may be, yours come first, especially if they help you to not have to hear about the problems you don’t want to hear about.

    All I wanted was to bring your attention to unacceptable excess profanity.

    This isn’t a day-care center. And you don’t decide what’s acceptable and unacceptable here. Battle stations, everyone, I am about to say a dirty word. “Fuckwaffles!”

    Hmm. The empire yet stands, as far as I can see.

    Now, if you’re willing to discuss the actual topic, I’ll read your comments and decide whether or not they deserve to be cleared from moderation. I get that you don’t like bad words. Fine. Now that fact is noted, it’s time to move on, with no more derailing of this sort.

  156. Emptyell says

    “I am not saying that women need to get used to being harassed or rude advances.”

    Well, actually they do and this is part of the problem. Men need to be aware of this and do what they can do to diminish it. What else can we do to help increase awareness of the problem? How about an anti-harrassment policy?

    Is anyone actually arguing against this aside from opening doors and other distractions?

  157. Zengaze says

    Hey I just bought two a time share beside the sea of serenity, anyone know where it is, I’m waiting for the brochure to arrive, I bought apartment Apollo number 15

  158. LeftSidePositive says

    I’m going to hold off on the full Fuckskreig for the moment…but DAMN this intellectual laziness and pomposity makes it tempting!!

    & I’m going to have to break this up for length…sorry, everyone!

    Part 1:

    Incredibly, many of you seem to accept, even applaud the very rude behaviour on the simple basis that ‘points’ were addressed.

    Yes, we do. We believe that actual intellectual content is more important than tone. We respect the fact that people deserve the opportunity to express themselves openly and honestly. We understand that there are real problems in the world, and if you think people getting angry at these problems is a bigger issue than the actual problems, you are a callous, self-entitled privileged fool.

    And, by the way, fuck you for putting “points” in scare quotes. These are not just “points” for us–these are things that have actual, material effects on our lives. These are attitudes that have caused material harm to our lives.

    So we have a guy who’s a little misinformed, misinterpreted certain things and got a little too focused on opening doors and ‘madammoiselles’.

    No, he’s not just misinformed. He’s willfully lying even AFTER his errors have been pointed out to him. He’s not just “a little too focused”–he’s deliberately and repeatedly trying to change the subject with these redirects, and he’s trying to use his gross, dishonest mischaracterizations to try to discredit feminism and indeed the very foundational idea of gender equality.

    Does that justify the unwarranted attack that he got, the kind of flaming behaviour that would have been banned on many other forums?

    Other forums are not relevant. I do not swear on forms where swearing is not allowed. Not all forums have the same rules, and if you don’t like the rules here, you are free to leave.

    NOT ONE BIT.

    Capitalizing is not an argument. Nor does it give you proprietorship of this blog nor its comment policy.

    Indeed, one could even argue in certain contexts, such behaviour would amount to intimidation and bullying.

    And in THIS context it amounts to a less-privileged person standing up for herself in the face of a direct assault on her equality. When you act like this, you are basically using your position of privilege to tell the victim of systemic oppression how they are allowed to address their oppression, and that is FUCKED UP.

    Perhaps you can point out the parts where you took offence, and for which you actually agree that a series of fucks would be a good response?

    Here’s a clue: everything that got a series of fucks was something offensive enough to get a series of fucks. If you are unclear on why, you may ask a direct question about a particular issue.

    I will further point out that, judging by the content of your post here, the reason you don’t see his points as offensive is because you are just as much of a fucking pompous sexist douchebag yourself.

    I don’t agree at all that rudeness beats courtesy just because that courtesy is offensive. In the first place, rudeness IS offensive.

    I think you need to learn the difference between “offensive”=superficially makes people upset, versus “offensive”=indicative of gross bigotry that has historically and still continues to silence marginalized people and deny them their rights.

    It is a conversation shutter.

    It only stops conversation if someone is too lazy and disingenuous to seriously consider the import of what they’re saying and to use faux outrage to weasel out of actually addressing the wrongs they perpetuated and the arguments others made.

    And the correct way to respond to this offensive courtesy is through reasoned argument. Rudeness has no place in this process.

    And you are authorized to say this WHY???

    Again, you are trying to reinforce your privilege by setting the terms of the debate, when YOU are the wrongdoer here and YOU are the one who has privilege to maintain. Isn’t it convenient that you think marginalized people should be as unobtrusive as possible in standing up for themselves?

    There are times when some viewpoints are simply so odious and/or stupid that calling them out on it in no uncertain terms is necessary. If you try to set a standard where we have to treat any blather, no matter how inane or how bigoted, as worthy of courtesy and consideration, you are basically rigging the game so that the privileged person gets to poison the debate with a bunch of full-on bullshit and expect that he be treated like a his viewpoint has merit, which is totally unearned.

    Furthermore, reason and profanity are completely orthogonal vectors. That is to say, NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

    While that may not be an excuse, people should nonetheless give a little more leeway to understand his point of view and more importantly, find better ways to bring their points across to him

    This is privilege talking. This asshole is trying to deny my equality, trying to ignore the fact that women are facing systemic harassment (by insinuating that some of them must like it!), is blatantly strawmanning to the point doesn’t seem interested in arguing honestly, and you have the fucking gall to tell me how I “should” respond? Seriously? Why the fuck does he deserve “leeway”? Why the fuck am I obligated to “understand” (by which you mean sympathize with) the view that I’m not really equal? Why the fuck am I supposed to ignore all available evidence that he’s blatantly dishonest and is deeply invested in NOT getting the point, instead of kicking his bullshit the fuck out of the sphere of legitimate debate?

    (as opposed to verbal assault).

    When he says I am not equal, THAT is a verbal assault. When he says tradition is more important than the rights and needs of marginalized people, THAT is a verbal assault. When he says that the fact that I have different anatomy is evidence for why my mind is fundamentally different, THAT is a verbal assault. I am merely standing up for myself in the midst of a pretty astounding verbal (and social and political) assault.

  159. LeftSidePositive says

    Part 2:

    I am asked on the one hand to explain my motive for bringing up the ‘differences between men & women’ argument, then asked to prove those differences by at least two others, in the meantime being labeled ‘oh great and penised one’ in the process.

    Why are those mutually exclusive? When women say they’re being treated badly and want equality, and you harp on how we’re biologically different from men, YOU ARE SAYING that you don’t think we should be treated equally. There is literally NO OTHER REASON for asserting that men and women are different as a rebuttal to women’s equality, ESPECIALLY when you follow it up with “equality is complicated.”

    All on the basis of a single general statement!

    You know, some general statements are pretty damn indicative of someone’s character. For instance “I just think that in general Negroes are lazy” is pretty damn indicative of someone’s character.

    There is no motive, and just simply the fact that I am asked to prove the differences show I don’t need one (SMH!).

    Huh? If you make an assertion you may be questioned on your motives and your facts. No one’s asking for your motivation in answering the follow-up, they’re asking your motivations for making such a bone-headed statement in the first place! And after all your sexist bullshit we’re supposed to take you at your word that you have no motive for saying things that just happen to be incredibly sexist?

    That is why many people (admittedly majority men) keep trying to point out the obvious.

    Did it ever occur to you that the reason it’s mostly men “pointing out the obvious” is because this is only “obvious” TO MEN, and it’s their privilege blinding them to a lot of other factors and experiences that actually change this from “obvious” to “embarrassingly fucking wrong”?

    Should men demand the same level and privileges in PATERNITY leave as rightfully given to women?

    Yes. Parenting should be a dual responsibility, and men deserve the right to spend time with their young children. See, that wasn’t hard.

    For this reason women are primed not only to bear children, but also to nurture, to care. Men on the contrary evolve and are primed to be hunters, even warriors.

    This is FUCKING ASININE STEAMING BULLSHIT. Seriously, this is not just “scientifically unsupported” or “a non-sequitur,” this is OH MY FUCKING GOD IT’S A GOOD THING YOU HAVE SUCH SHIT FOR BRAINS BECAUSE IT MUST MAKE YOUR HEAD FEEL RIGHT AT HOME STUCK SO FAR UP YOUR ASS!!!

    Fucking seriously? SERIOUSLY? See, I’ll bet this is why you are so keen to police the tone of this debate–so you can say shit like this and have us be bereft of words to properly call it out for the steaming fucking bullshit it is.

    You have provided NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that the biological reality of childrearing must essentially translate into socio-psychological differences. Here, I can play this game too: cows have four stomachs so they must naturally have a deeper emotional attachment to food than we do!

    You just SAY it’s “evolved.” Care to provide any data? Care to address the role of socialization? Care to address the extraordinary range of gendered behavior across cultures? Care to provide any evidence that only men hunted in the ancestral environment? Care to provide a plausible biological mechanism by which these complex psychological phenomena would evolve uniquely in each gender? Care to address the fact that generally-beneficial traits have no selective pressure to appear only in one gender? (This is not a peacock’s tail, that is hugely metabolically expensive and physically hindering so its fitness cost is only outweighed in one gender: instead, males who are capable of caring for infants would confer a survival advantage onto any infant without its mother (temporarily or permanently), and females having the ability to fight and find food would be hugely advantageous to them if there weren’t any males around). Care to address the role of higher cognitive functions on hardwired patterns? Care to address the role of emergent psychological phenomena versus hardwired ones? Care to address the numerous men who are strongly compelled to be caregivers and the numerous women who are strongly drawn to fighting and hunting? Care to provide ANY justification for why nurturing and aggressive behavior are mutually exclusive?

    And just quoting some evo-psych mental-masturbatory Just-So Story is not going to cut it.

  160. LeftSidePositive says

    Part 3:

    I have read your responses in general to Heisen and don’t find them particularly impressive

    This couldn’t possibly have anything to do with women’s competence being persistently underestimated, could it? This couldn’t possibly be representative of a pervasive cultural attitude that women’s opinions are easily dismissed?

    I am not interested in debating someone else’s comments.

    This is your privilege talking again. Why should I rehash my entire argument when I’ve already done it? Why do you feel so fucking entitled to tell me I have to start fresh? Why does what you’re interested in and what you feel is acceptable automatically become the priority?

    You know, if you went through the posts in detail you might learn something. If you disagreed or had questions, you could ask.

    Otherwise, you’re just saying: “I don’t value your opinions, unless you structure them and focus them completely on my terms, exactly how I want.” To which I say, fuck you, you pompous, privileged shithead!

    It is simply not acceptable, and I have seen nothing to suggest it is even remotely acceptable. Period.

    This is not your proprietary forum. Fuck off.

    Heisen seemed focus on little things while LeftSide seemed intent on the bigger issues of sexism.

    No, this is untrue. Heisen was REPEATEDLY strawmanning on the little issues to try to deflect attention from the larger issues of sexism. It didn’t “just happen” that the big issues didn’t get fleshed out–Heisen SPECIFICALLY made sure that they didn’t.

    That has been my overriding point – Stop the Flaming – then maybe we can move on to proper discussion.

    Who the fuck are you to decide what a “proper” discussion is? Who the fuck are you to feel like you’re entitled to demand that everyone else meets your standards of propriety? Who the fuck are you to decide that being “proper” is more important than actual marginalization?

    FIN

  161. LeftSidePositive says

    An observation: those most determined to say men are just biologically different and that men “naturally” like crass jokes and are “naturally” warriors are the loudest to whine when they or their intellectual compatriots are Fuckskreig’ed by a woman…

  162. Emptyell says

    :-) Cheers mate.

    Good for a chuckle.

    I just found a great deal on a bridge. Maybe we can go in on it together.

  163. LeftSidePositive says

    I think there’s a great deal of strawmanning going on in terms of willfully refusing to understand the difference between: “indicative of pervasive problematic attitudes which results in the oppression of women” versus “unbearably oppressive in itself.”

  164. LeftSidePositive says

    Yeah, I have to say my assessment of your comment was: “There is a 49% probability that this is mind-bogglingly offensive and a 51% probability that it’s totally hilarious. Await further data.”

  165. Emptyell says

    But, but, you’re dainty flowers that need protection, and doors opened and stuff. Cussing and shouting is men’s work. It’s just one of those differences. It’s why we have such big mouths.

    . . .

    For the horn dogs out there: When a woman feels free to say “fuck off” it makes it so much better when she chooses not to. But I guess that’s the problem. It’s the choice part you object to.

  166. Emptyell says

    It’s getting late in the day. I can usually parse intricate interrelationships of complex linguistic arrangements but you just tied my brain in a knot.

    Is this a critique of what I said? I see that it’s a reply but I don’t get the connection. It could be my WSM blinders.

    In case it’s not clear I do see the whole door business as a ridiculous distraction from the main topic. My intent was to put it to rest. Perhaps I have gone overboard.

  167. LeftSidePositive says

    It was a reply to Metaphysical Ham Sandwich, and I agree with your assessment of zir comment, too.

    I meant that lots of people are using the cultural commentary (especially in an academic setting!) on WHY men hold doors specifically for women (especially in an era when it *would* be done in a gendered way) as a way to insinuate that feminists are THE MOST UNREASONABLE BITCHES EVAAAAR!!! (i.e. pretending that feminists are objecting to just the door-holding instead of the attitudes that lead to the door-holding and the other harms those attitudes do.)

    I agree that the door-holding thing is a distraction, but there’s also something to be said for addressing the misconceptions behind it, either so those people can’t use it as a distraction anymore or so people have multiple avenues to deal with this distraction when it inevitably comes up again. There are two valid points that need to be made: 1) it’s wrong to pretend our objections about harassment are only about door-holding, and 2) it’s also wrong to pretend feminists are totally unreasonable and militant to object to the social attitudes reflected in “chivalrous” or gendered door-holding.

    As an analogy think about it in terms of atheists objecting to “In God We Trust” on money–there are good reasons to do so in that it’s indicative of really insidious religious privilege, but it doesn’t actually ruin anyone’s life, and it’s by no means the only objection atheists have to religion in government, and there’s a huge spectrum among atheists of how important they think it is and how much attention they devote to it.

  168. says

    In reading this bit again:

    Should men demand the same level and privileges in PATERNITY leave as rightfully given to women?

    I’m wondering if it was supposed to be some kind of gotcha question. Did you think that people would object to this?
    Did you think that the evil feminazis would be enraged by the suggestion that men should also get rights in regards to their children?

    If so, I’m not at all sorry to disappoint. In Denmark, we already have laws ensuring paternity leave, at least to some degree (not being a parent, I’m not really up to speed on the details of the laws).
    It’s working out great. Polls indicate that men and women both are happy with this. The men get to connect with their children more and the women get back on the job market sooner. It’s win-win.

    I’m not sure what your point with this was. You didn’t really think that feminists would reflexively object to any initiative that gave rights to men, did you?
    Did you?

  169. Emptyell says

    Thanks for the 2% margin. Elections turn on far less.

    I’m glad the favored option was hilarious.

  170. Emptyell says

    Oh, and Zengaze,

    Thanks for being the straight man, and being such a good sport on top of it.

    Saves me from having folks wonder just how much of an ass I could possibly be.

  171. LeftSidePositive says

    I never said this [calling victims oppressors –LSP], this even now that I understand what tone trolling means.

    Yes you did. You said:

    Indeed, one could even argue in certain contexts, such behaviour would amount to intimidation and bullying.

    Since when has flaming and profanity been a conducive platform for reasoned debate?

    Since George Carlin. Since Lenny Bruce. Since Jon Stewart. Since Alice Walker. Since JD Salinger. Since Mark Twain. Since Jonathan Swift. Since William Shakespeare.

    And so it may be, but why should I stop if the next part is invariably true?

    Because it’s actually bullshit–see part 2 of my rebuttal to you.

    On tone-trolling – guilty as charged. BUT, I did not ignore the content of the argument. I took the gist of it, and found no justification for the EXCESSIVE & SUSTAINED profanity it inspired.

    Translation: I know I’m tone trolling…but WHAT ABOUT THE TONE?!?!?!?!

    Exactly which point of view did I dismiss?

    You dismissed the very idea of gender equality with (completely fallacious!) claims of differences between men and women. The very fact that you say “but” after something so fundamental to basic ethics as equality, shows you’re dismissing it.

    if you want to harp on those, and they are true, then you have just shown yourself to be pretty much an idiot.

    I’d say rather YOU have shown yourself to be an idiot with a naturalistic fallacy writ large and leaping over about eighteen different unstated premises in your causal chain!

    You like to use the phrase “privileged male” so why don’t you tell me exactly how I fit the profile of a privileged male?

    Firstly, you are male and therefore you have male privilege. That is how privilege works. You are being reminded of your privilege because you are acting like you’re entitled to dominate the discussion and ignore women’s concerns and belittle their self-expression.

    And how are you not privileged?

    Martin is privileged. I don’t think he ever said he wasn’t. The difference is he seems aware of his privilege and he is not trying to perpetuate it–rather, he is advocating the cause of those less privileged.

    So that’s called tone-trolling – I didn’t know that, but so what – a spade is still a spade. Profanity is still profanity.

    Did it ever occur to you that “tone trolling” has a name BECAUSE WE THINK IT’S INTELLECTUALLY AND ETHICALLY WRONG? Continuing to tone-troll is not going to be an effective response to being called out on tone trolling–objecting to content instead of argument, and acting like you have the prerogative to have the tone suit your tastes on a blog not your own is pompous and intellectually barren.

    I kind of expect you to play a moderating tone

    
Where exactly do you get off “expecting” people to do certain things for YOUR benefit on THEIR blog? This is yet another indicator of your unexamined privilege.

    “adults treating other adults with a modicum of respect” on this blog.

    When you deny my equality and try to assert my natural psychological state for me with some evo-psych bullshit, you are not treating me with anything even approaching a nanomodicum of respect. When you think gender equality is a concept that needs to be qualified and disclaimed, you are not treating anyone with respect.

    There are two different levels of respect:

    1) the most fundamental–acknowledging people’s basic humanity, autonomy and equality;

    and

    2) treating people with admiration and deference.

    #1 is required and inalienable; #2 has to be earned.

    You are violating #1, so you have specifically disqualified yourself from #2. Therefore, fuck off.

  172. mosley says

    wow, if these thow hundred something posts about opening doors didnt prove martins point, i dont know what would.

    (statement made full well knowing that the actual issue is not opening doors but bringing up irrelevant banalities like that to weaken the other party’s position in the first place)

    (but still!)

  173. terrycollins says

    The most controversial debates on this blog have nothing to do with atheism. I love hearing statements like “the atheist movement” and being lectured on what the atheist community should be concerned with. When did we consolidate? What other communities have we formed alliances with? I actually came for the discussion thread on the last show, which like my belief in god, is lacking.

    Sexists are evil. Gotcha. Thing is, the religious nuts already have the market cornered on calling us atheists evil, sexist or not.

  174. Stevarious says

    Thank you for signalling it. The troll signal has been on around here the last few days, and sometimes it’s hard to know what’s a Poe and what’s some jackass demanding that reality be altered to make him/her innocent of any bad behavior.

    Hey, no problem. Who knew this bridge would turn out to be so long, and the under-denizens so numerous and so rancid?

  175. Stevarious says

    Sexists are evil. Gotcha. Thing is, the religious nuts already have the market cornered on calling us atheists evil, sexist or not.

    No, no, no no no. That’s not it at all.

    Sexists are wrong.

    No person is the sum of their worst feature, their worst deed. When you say ‘sexists are evil’, you are ‘othering’ them, you are mentally kicking them out of the ‘club’ before you even start talking. And that’s not what this is.

    Sexism is evil. Sexist acts are evil. Sexists are wrong, and it can be demonstrated that they are wrong, and they can be convinced to not be sexists anymore. (Walking talking proof right here.)
    We can convince the people who care more about being part of the community than they care about being sexists to stop being sexists and join the community. And we can convince the people who care more about being sexists than they care about being part of the community to leave their anti-social behavior at home when they participate – or leave, if all else fails (but that’s not the primary goal; at least, not for me. This isn’t a hive mind and YMMV.)
    We want as many members of the community as we can get, because every individual lends their unique strengths. But we do not want members of the community that make the community a worse place, a less friendly or welcoming or pleasant place to be.

    Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Clean up your own backyard’? That’s what this dialogue is about. It’s about convincing members of the community that it’s a better community if everyone can treat each other like decent humans and make it so. It’s ALSO about having a more solid standing to criticize those pesky religious nuts about their misogynistic behavior. It’s a very similar process to what the woman’s suffrage community went through and the civil rights movement and the feminists and the gays and probably a dozen other smaller movements that it’s not occurring to me to mention – identifying patterns of behavior that can damage the community and working to correct or diminish the effects of that behavior. If this whole business was just about identifying and expelling the ‘evil sexists’ than there wouldn’t BE a dialogue. Just a witch-hunt, a purge, a banhammer for every person who disagrees.

    But instead we talk, we argue, we discuss, sometimes we swear – because the goal is not to ‘get rid of the evil sexists’, the goal (at least from where I’m standing) is to ‘get rid of the evil sexism, all of the people are more than welcome to stay’.

  176. Emptyell says

    “The most controversial debates on this blog have nothing to do with atheism.”

    Could that be because atheism is what atheists mostly agree on?

  177. anon123 says

    Martin, I think the reason why there is no rational discussion is on the one hand as you say there are some things that are not worth being discussed rationally and on the other hand a rational discussion is simply not wanted because it would mean relativisation.

    Segregation would be the most obvious answer but that does not seem to be wanted: http://skepchick.org/2012/05/ai-girls-still-have-cooties/

  178. says

    Aw, come on. Unless I’m missing some brilliant sarcasm here, of course treating women respectfully is worth being discussed rationally. The ones who don’t want a rational discussion are the ones who just don’t wish to acknowledge a problem to solve, either from arrogant privilege or willful cluelessness.

  179. vethtiche says

    I needed sleep.

    To your points in bold – yeah I agree with them in full. I NEVER disagreed with them. And I resent being accused of having made any such disagreement.

    Martin:
    “Protip: When a man responds to women’s complaints about sexual harassment with a statement that says “Yes, but…” he’s dismissing her complaints. Period.”

    I was NEVER addressing her complaints of sexual harassment. I was simply making the observation that one should not be using such excessive & sustained profanity to anyone.

    You already pointed out that in tone trolling (something I did not deny), I was adding nothing to the topic. Fair enough, I accept that.

    You made a lot of comments about my various points, but interestingly chose to ignore the one point I asked you to state your position on. I even repeated it for your benefit.

    Here it is again:
    “Since when has flaming and profanity been a conducive platform for reasoned debate?”

    To be honest, I did not want to bring up this point because I want to close this particular matter, but your silence was deafening.

  180. vethtiche says

    Sorry I will just 1 or 2 main points.

    Jasper:
    “I’ll skip ahead a moment to where you address me:

    ““Men have penis therefore it okay hit on women constantly””

    That was paraphrasing pretty much exactly what you are doing here right now.”

    Why paraphrase me and add meanings to my thoughts that aren’t there? Why not quote me directly? Do you know WHY I asked you that question?

    Had you successfully attributed that quote directly to Heisen it would have forced me to reevaluate his posts and character. Too bad you did nothing of the sort.

    Also, you think my priorities are fucked. No I don’t. It’s just that I didn’t know YOUR priorities, so how do I know to agree with them?

    In any case, the idea that I consider my view of courtesy to be more important than a woman’s safety from anything at all, is a blatant myth.

  181. vethtiche says

    Hi LykeX,

    I read your article. I do understand the points in general.

    But first I want to thank you for making the effort of adopting a civil approach. You sure did a tremendous job (I’m sure you must have wanted to throttle me several already).

    Now on the Yes, But article.

    The point I think you’re trying to make, I think, is that no matter how I as a man think women suffer or experience sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or rape on a regular basis from men who don’t seem to give two hoots, no matter how I think or imagine that – it would be worse, much much worse.

    I have no idea how to prove to you that I believe in gender equality and that I understand women’s needs for personal space.

    To be honest, I would be guilty of chauvinism from time to time.

    In fact, I did have an elevatorgate moment. I offered a couple of colleagues a ride home one night, and they rejected. Now of course I insisted, since it was on the way. It dawned on me soon what their real concern was, so I relented.

    I can tell you, when they left on a cab I was pretty crushed because two people I worked with did not trust me. I was hurt.

    But even then, I recognised they had the right to say no, and to be wary of me or my intentions, even though I had none.

    The question I want to ask is this: Is it possible to feel hurt for being distrusted, and yet be understanding for their need for safety from someone they don’t trust? Because that was exactly how I felt.

    So I saw the article. Well all the Yes Buts are pretty silly so it is easy to understand why people would take issue. To clarify, the Buts would all be invalid arguments.

    BUT, I see a huge land mine before me and I don’t know if I’ll step on it (you’ll think I probably already did).

    The article itself acknowledges there can be valid buts, so when is it time to raise a timid hand to say it?

    I can understand why women, on hearing Yes But all the time, think that men are trivialising the issue (and mostly they are). And because of that you want men to stop it altogether. For the greater good of moving the fight against harassment etc forward. Period.

    Now I have a problem.

    I made a Yes But statement, not in direct response (not intended anyway) to the sexual harassment debate but to the gender equality issue as a whole. I believe the But is true, but LeftSide is attacking it as bullshit.

    Do I withdraw that “But”, effectively saying that it is not true when I believe it clearly is?

    Why throw me a curveball? If you want, just ask me directly, do I consider truth to be more important than a woman’s safety? Why accuse me of dismissing women’s safety when that was never on my mind?

    I agreed to debate LeftSide, so I will do that – later. I’m bushed.

  182. says

    Keep in mind that the Atheist Experience is sponsored by the Atheist Community of Austin. That’s part of the goal of the organization/show – to foster a community.

    It’s never been purely about showing that God claims are bunk.

    They’ve since integrated into a broader community, and when something is wrong with that community, it’ll be addressed.

    By visiting and participating in this blog, you are voluntarily participating in that community.

  183. says

    Sorry I will just 1 or 2 main points.

    Yes, let’s ignore the actual important points because they’re too inconvenient.

    Why paraphrase me and add meanings to my thoughts that aren’t there? Why not quote me directly? Do you know WHY I asked you that question?

    It’s a meta analysis, which isn’t invalid. The point is to inform you about how you’re being perceived. I have quoted you directly, and heisenburg. I’ve painstakingly addressed virtually every point, but just like you just did above you just skip over it and start addressing a minor adjacent point.

    It’s essentially an ad hominem to do that.

    Had you successfully attributed that quote directly to Heisen it would have forced me to reevaluate his posts and character. Too bad you did nothing of the sort.

    We have, you lying sack of shit. Oh wait, you’ve already declared that you don’t feel like going to the points in detail. It’s no wonder you have no clue.

    Also, you think my priorities are fucked. No I don’t. It’s just that I didn’t know YOUR priorities, so how do I know to agree with them?

    Why would my priorities have anything to do with your behavior?

    In any case, the idea that I consider my view of courtesy to be more important than a woman’s safety from anything at all, is a blatant myth.

    It’s not myth. It’s 100% DIRECT OBSERVATION. The VERY FIRST THING you did when you chimed in was tone trolling. You’ve since spent a majority of your time continuing to tone troll.

    So, instead of addressing the sexism, sexual harrassment and poor treatment of women, you instead decided to whine about tone. This is a direct demonstration that your priorities about tone are more important than the problems women face.

    Your actions speak for themselves.

  184. says

    But first I want to thank you for making the effort of adopting a civil approach. You sure did a tremendous job (I’m sure you must have wanted to throttle me several already).

    You should have seen the draft I didn’t post.
    However, if I had included a liberal sprinkling of fuck, that would not have altered the point I was making, nor the validity of it. I tried to be polite anyway, in the hopes that we could get past this thing you have with tone. As it is, I’m not too impressed. Here’s why:

    The point I think you’re trying to make, I think, is that no matter how I as a man think women suffer or experience sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or rape on a regular basis from men who don’t seem to give two hoots, no matter how I think or imagine that – it would be worse, much much worse.

    No. The point I was making was that when an unprivileged group raises concerns about the way they’re treated and your first response is to change the subject to something else, you’re communicating your lack of concern with their problems.

    I have no idea how to prove to you that I believe in gender equality and that I understand women’s needs for personal space.

    Stop changing the subject. When women bring up the issue of how they’re treated and the lack of respect they face, don’t change the subject. You can talk about it, ask questions, make clarifications or additional points, but stay on the subject.

    When you change the subject from point A to point B, you’re implicitly saying that you think point B is more important than point A. And when point A is the sexual harassment that women face in real life and that causes real problems in the community, in the work place and in private, and point B is whether we should use the word “fuck” in an internet discussion, we’ve got a serious problem.

    Really, it comes down to this: which point do you think is more important? If you genuinely think that sexual harassment is more important, then start acting like it. Stop changing the subject away from it.

    Is it possible to feel hurt for being distrusted, and yet be understanding for their need for safety from someone they don’t trust?

    Of course it is. The more pressing question is which of those two concerns take priority? Your desire to be trusted or their concerns about their safety? Your desire to be trusted or their desire to keep safe from a person they don’t trust?

    More to the point, why are we suddenly discussing your feelings?

    Well all the Yes Buts are pretty silly so it is easy to understand why people would take issue. To clarify, the Buts would all be invalid arguments

    They’re not. It’s true that not all men are like that. It’s true that men are also hurt by gender stereotypes. It’s true that circumcision is highly problematic.
    The point is not whether the statement that comes after the “but” is valid or not. The point is that it’s on a different subject and as such it shows a lack of interest in the original subject.

    The article itself acknowledges there can be valid buts, so when is it time to raise a timid hand to say it?

    Any time you like. As long as it remains on point and doesn’t… change the subject.

    I made a Yes But statement, not in direct response (not intended anyway) to the sexual harassment debate but to the gender equality issue as a whole

    Exactly. That’s the problem. We’re not talking about the language policies of the French government or the rights of fathers to take leave to care for their kids. If you want to discuss the intricacies of paternal rights, feel free to join a discussion about that subject. However, this isn’t that discussion.

    One of the reasons that I keep beating this drum is that it always happens. It is literally impossible to have a discussion about the rights of women without some dude coming along, wanting to talk about something else. Usually about how it affects men.

    Once, PZ even tried the experiment of making a thread specifically dedicated to the concerns of men, where people could go to discuss that. Guys still came to the threads on women’s rights to talk about the poor menz.

    I’m not exaggerating here. It ALWAYS HAPPENS. EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME. I can’t think of a single example of a discussion about women’s rights that wasn’t invaded by guys wanting to discuss something else. Anything else.
    After a while it gets tedious.

    I really don’t think we’re asking for a lot here. It’s quite simple, really. Just two rules:
    1) When women tell you about the problems they face, listen to what they have to say. Don’t ignore it, deny it or claim that your experience trumps theirs.
    2) If you want to join in on the discussion, make sure that what you say is on the subject. Don’t start talking about something else, no matter how correct you think your opinion on that subject is.

  185. terrycollins says

    “Sexists are wrong.” Or so I’m asked to believe. Sorry if I don’t find this mess of rants terribly convincing. Not that I think sexists are right either. Though I did read through all the comments, I just didn’t come here to consider sexism.

    “Could that be because atheism is what atheists mostly agree on?”

    There is always the hope that some theist caller will come here after their appearance on the show.

    “By visiting and participating in this blog, you are voluntarily participating in that community”

    Fair enough. I keep forgetting you guys are not ‘Atheists Central’.

  186. LeftSidePositive says

    The point I think you’re trying to make, I think, is that no matter how I as a man think women suffer or experience sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or rape on a regular basis from men who don’t seem to give two hoots, no matter how I think or imagine that – it would be worse, much much worse.

    No, the point is that you are being a fucking douchebag for not listening. The point is that when you say that “modern men” have basically gotten over most of sexism, you are directly and deliberately minimizing sexism, sexual harassment, discrimination, assault, AND rape, because you are saying that your privileged say-so and willful ignorance is more an arbiter of reality than women’s lived experience.

    I have no idea how to prove to you that I believe in gender equality

    At this point, you basically can’t. You have proven you DO NOT believe in gender equality, what with flippantly dismissing it with “but,” and providing completely bullshit self-serving rationalizations for your assumptions of “evolved” differences, and failing to have the basic critical thinking skills to examine your prejudices. Actions speak louder than words, motherfucker! And you can slap an empty label like “gender equality” on your privileged, pompous, ignorant blatherings and think it insulates you from criticism, but we can see right through that bullshit.

    and that I understand women’s needs for personal space.

    No, you fucking don’t, asshole. We are talking about our needs for personal space and you think we should drop whatever the fuck we’re doing and continue our discussion how YOU want. Well, fuck that! You DO NOT understand women’s needs when you think you get to tell us how we’re allowed to express ourselves, and when you think your language preferences trump people standing up for themselves about real problems in their lives.

    Is it possible to feel hurt for being distrusted, and yet be understanding for their need for safety from someone they don’t trust?

    So you’re saying you apparently did the right thing once. Well woop-de-fucking-doo. Let me get you a cookie. It doesn’t excuse your blatant sexism all throughout this thread. (And, frankly, given the attitudes about women you’ve shown here, it isn’t at all mysterious to me why you’d be distrusted!)

    not in direct response (not intended anyway) to the sexual harassment debate but to the gender equality issue as a whole.

    You’re replying to a sexual harassment thread. That means you ARE making your absurd claims in direct response to sexual harassment, whether you want to weasel out of that post facto or not. And, the fact remains that your fucked-up evo-psych bullshit and this utterly fallacious (and completely scientifically unsupported) attitude about inherent differences between the genders is a HUGE driver in maintaining an atmosphere where sexual harassment is tolerated. The REASON women get sexually harassed is because our culture views us as less than equal, so when you say that you have a problem with gender equality, you are directly arguing in favor of the attitudes and privileges that perpetuate sexual harassment.

    I believe the But is true, but LeftSide is attacking it as bullshit.

    The fact that you believe there can be a “but” to gender equality, and the fact that you think some VERY badly-sourced intellectually lazy evo-psych assertion makes it true, pretty much establishes beyond all possible doubt that you’re a HORRIBLE PERSON.

    Do I withdraw that “But”, effectively saying that it is not true when I believe it clearly is?

    The fact that you “believe” something is true is no indication that it actually is. Especially when your reasoning is just as shitty as every theist that has ever called in to AXP.

    If you want, just ask me directly, do I consider truth to be more important than a woman’s safety?

    Because you’ve already shown that your delusions of gender (h/t Cordelia Fine) are more important to you than woman’s safety. When we talk about our equality in deserving equal rights to be safe an respected, and you attack the very premise of our equality IN THE CONTEXT OF OUR RIGHTS TO SAFETY, which is what this whole thread is about, you are in fact saying you consider your pet theories about “evolved” gender differences more important than women’s safety.

    Why accuse me of dismissing women’s safety when that was never on my mind?

    When women’s safety is never on your mind ON A THREAD THAT IS ENTIRELY ABOUT WOMEN’S SAFETY, that shows you are totally immune to basic empathy on the matter, and that your priorities are completely fucked up and that, by definition, you dismissed it when you apparently an entire thread on it is not enough to bring it to the forefront of your mind. How much more clearly could you show that you perceive women’s concerns as insignificant.

  187. vethtiche says

    Sorry forgot to respond to this.

    Martin is probably right there, but my concern mainly was with the economic viability of it.

    I remember about Paternity Leave now, good to know it’s taking off – but I guess Europe and the States would be the easy part. It’s in say Asia and Africa where there may be real challenges in implementing, especially for lower and immigrant labour.

    Like you say, Denmark hasn’t reached full parity yet (last you checked).

    I personally couldn’t see it happening (full parity), but we’ll see how it goes I guess.

    But I have to admit it’s a mouthwatering prospect for gender equality.

  188. says

    Why accuse me of dismissing women’s safety when that was never on my mind?

    I’d also point out that the biggest problem for this topic is that it’s not on peoples’ minds. They’re unaware. They don’t care. They don’t know. They don’t realize.

    The sexism and sexual harassment is ingrained in “tradition” and habit.

    That’s the point of consciousness awareness, such as what this entire thread is about.

    So when you say “It’s not on my mind”, we all say in unison, “No shit Sherlock!”

  189. LeftSidePositive says

    vethtiche:

    ““Men have penis therefore it okay hit on women constantly””

    Oh, so you’re going to insist that we not make perfectly reasonable inferences based on people’s expression and rhetorical strategies? You think that you and people like you should just get to be taken at their word, no matter WHAT unstated fucked-up premises are making the foundation for their arguments? Well, sorry, it doesn’t work like that. Human beings communicate on multiple levels, and we have motives and values behind what we say–ALL THE TIME. For you to pretend you can just willfully ignore it and say “well, if he didn’t say it, he couldn’t mean it” is complete and utter bullshit, and it’s also privilege in that you don’t think the holders of such odious views should be held accountable.

    Here’s how it works, and why the blockquote is, frankly, the only reasonable conclusion to draw from heisen’s attitudes:

    1) He starts by saying because men and women are different they must want to be treated differently, directly implying that the behavior women are objecting to is what most of them really want.

    2) This is a post about sexual harassment, and he insists feminism is going too far, thereby trying to discredit it and its requests that men stop hitting on women.

    3) He specifically states that he does not feel the genders are equal.

    4) He states that when we say we don’t want to be harassed, we “the minority” are “imposing our views on the majority,” clearly implying that most women want to be harassed and that men want to harass.

    5) When asked for evidence of why men and women are different, he suggests an anatomy textbook. Is there ANY question about what anatomy he’s referring to? Is it not fairly obvious that someone who is obsessing over men and women being different going to be rather preoccupied with penises?

    6) He argues AGAINST a harassment policy by brining up a strawmademoiselle who apparently can’t get the dirty talk she needs unless men are given carte blanche to treat all women like that, and says she’d be “suffering” if she weren’t treated in that manner.

    So, yeah, a humorous reduction of his argument but ENTIRELY supported by textual evidence.

  190. says

    No. The point I was making was that when an unprivileged group raises concerns about the way they’re treated and your first response is to change the subject to something else, you’re communicating your lack of concern with their problems.

    Thank you. I should have just plagiarized you elsewhere, as that’s exactly the point I was trying to make.

  191. LeftSidePositive says

    So, vethtiche, we’re seriously supposed to believe you are coming to a post about sexual harassment policy, the necessity of which is being denied by those claiming the genders are different, and you spontaneously became concerned with the economic viability of international standards of paternity leave? WHAT THE FUCK?

    This is complete and utter steaming bullshit and you know it.

    Let’s review the evidence, shall we?

    Gender equality is not a cut and dry issue. It is complex. That’s the point. The whole point.

    One example is maternity leave. Should men demand the same level and privileges in PATERNITY leave as rightfully given to women?

    Seriously, HOW FUCKING STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?!

    Is there any justification for this sentence except that you are trying to bait people into being against gender equality because you erroneously believe that we will be reflexively resistant to men’s interests?

    Why else would you bring it up? Why else would it possibly be relevant on to the topic of women’s social freedoms? Why would you capitalize “PATERNITY” as though you were directly challenging the feminists by saying something you thought would be inflammatory?

    (And another thing: “it would be expensive” is not an ethically valid argument in the face of people’s human rights to address the needs of their families, and it certainly isn’t an argument in the face of the vast economic disadvantages women have due to their childcare responsibilities. If your economic success is dependent on injustice, the success is merely illusory and the injustice WILL come back to bite you in the ass.)

  192. vethtiche says

    Jasper
    “Yes, let’s ignore the actual important points because they’re too inconvenient.”

    That’s not how I meant it, I was just preparing to post a response to LeftSide. I really am very tight for time and tired. But alright, I’ll address you first.

    Jasper:
    “The point is to inform you about how you’re being perceived.”

    And if that perception is blatantly wrong, i’ll just tell you so. There’s very little I can do if you continue to hold that perception.

    Jasper:
    “I have quoted you directly, and heisenburg. I’ve painstakingly addressed virtually every point, but just like you just did above you just skip over it and start addressing a minor adjacent point.”

    You have quoted heisenburg? OK I’ll take a look when I can.

    Jasper:
    “We have, you lying sack of shit.”

    So what is it now? Did that quote come from heisen or not? Now I don’t understand what you meant by paraphrase.

    Jasper:
    “Oh wait, you’ve already declared that you don’t feel like going to the points in detail. It’s no wonder you have no clue.”

    And I still don’t want to go into detail. As far as I’m concerned heisen is the equivalent of a christian who will NOT stop telling you to look at the beautiful world around you, no matter how much you argue with him. You can say he is intellectually dishonest, and I would agree. The difference is that I can still see his point of view without castigating him, while you will.

    Jasper:
    “Why would my priorities have anything to do with your behavior?”

    Because you took the liberty of prioritising mine and telling me what my priorities are.

    Jasper:
    “It’s not myth. It’s 100% DIRECT OBSERVATION. The VERY FIRST THING you did when you chimed in was tone trolling. You’ve since spent a majority of your time continuing to tone troll.”

    Yes I was tone trolling when I first came in. And there are specific reasons why I continue to stick to it – because I believe that excessive & sustained profanity would not be conducive to reasoned debate.

    And true it was a priority at first, but that has changed since then.

    Jasper:
    “So, instead of addressing the sexism, sexual harrassment and poor treatment of women, you instead decided to whine about tone. This is a direct demonstration that your priorities about tone are more important than the problems women face.”

    No it isn’t, because I never compared sexism and tone together. Never.

    To clarify again, I fully accept that sexism, sexual harassment and poor treatment of women is wrong.

  193. says

    In other words, feminism as a whole only has one tenet. Subgroups within feminism differ from each other by their different tenets, but are united by this single tenet, which reads as ‘women are human beings, FFS, treat them accordingly’ or something like that anyway.
    The fact that feminism has different subgroups is not the same as having multiple tenets. Far from it.

  194. LeftSidePositive says

    And if that perception is blatantly wrong, i’ll just tell you so.

    Oh, and we should just take your word for it, then? Seriously?! How stupid do you think we are? You know what, people put up empty words to shore up their self-image ALL THE TIME. Even the most hardened confederate-flag-waving-welfare-queen-obsessed-birther will simply *insist* he’s not racist…do you really think we’ll take him at his word, and ignore the abundant evidence in how he’s behaving and what he believes? Have you ever fucking heard of a dogwhistle?!

    So what is it now? Did that quote come from heisen or not? Now I don’t understand what you meant by paraphrase.

    Fucking idiot. That particular line was a humorous paraphrase. EVERYONE understands that except you. You’re conflating Jasper objecting to all the other direct quotes you’ve ignored with Jasper objecting to you being willfully obtuse as to the obvious implications of heisen’s attitudes.

    But I guess if your standard for logic is “I say I care about sexual harassment therefore you have to believe me…” I guess you wouldn’t understand that someone doesn’t have to say something in so many words to communicate it.

    As far as I’m concerned heisen is the equivalent of a christian who will NOT stop telling you to look at the beautiful world around you, no matter how much you argue with him.

    So why do you agree with him on basic odious ideological foundations like evo-psych being used to justify gender inequality?

    And you’re doing the EXACT same thing as the “look around you” gambit when you obsess over swearing, try to drag in poorly-sourced evo-psych bullshit, and obsess over nuances of paternity leave policy when we’re tying to tell you YOUR ATTITUDES ARE SEXIST FUCKING BULL.

    The difference is that I can still see his point of view without castigating him, while you will.

    I don’t think you quite understand–we *can* avoid castigating him, BUT WE CHOOSE NOT TO, because castigating such odious opinions and blatant dishonesty is necessary to make it socially unacceptable and to make people who feel marginalized by those horrible opinions feel empowered to speak up for themselves.

    Also, there’s no honor in “seeing his point of view.” We all see his point of view. We see it for the filthy prejudiced privileged shit that it is. Sympathizing with horrible attitudes doesn’t make you “deep”–it just allies you with assholes.

    Because you took the liberty of prioritising mine and telling me what my priorities are.

    So, in other words you’re playing a Tu Quoque fallacy. Nice work. Your behavior is odious, and that SHOWS your priorities are odious. For the umpteenth time, actions speak louder than words. And why do you think that you should get to turn the tables on Jasper’s priorities, which have not been remotely problematic, as a way to deflect criticism from your priorities and your behavior?

    Yes I was tone trolling when I first came in. And there are specific reasons why I continue to stick to it

    The reasons are BECAUSE YOU’RE A WORTHLESS FUCKING TONE TROLL.

    because I believe that excessive & sustained profanity would not be conducive to reasoned debate.

    We’ve already told you that you don’t get to set the standard for what you think is “reasonable.” You also have no basis or authority to tell us what profanity is “excessive” given our life experiences. Also, the only reason you can’t reconcile profanity and reason is because of your intellectual inadequacy, so shut the fuck up and stop bothering those of us who can actually reason.

    And true it was a priority at first, but that has changed since then.

    No it hasn’t. You’re still tone-trolling. And, the fact that we had to dump a metric fuckton of social condemnation on you to even CLUE THE FUCK IN that sexual harassment is a problem and say a few empty words does NOT mean your priorities have changed–it just means you’re weaseling to try to get approval.

    <blockquoteNo it isn’t, because I never compared sexism and tone together. Never.

    Oh, so we’re playing the “you have to take me at my word” game again! Bullshit. If you respond to A and insist on talking about B, you ARE comparing A and B. You are showing that you think B is more important than A.

    Also, you DID compare sexism and tone. You were trying to defend heisen by saying he was “entitled to his point of view” and claiming that he was making a reasoned discussion, when everything he was saying was blatantly sexist and dishonest, you are trying to secure him a place in the sphere of legitimate debate, while simultaneously maintaining that tone is MORE important to legitimacy (by saying I and others should be discouraged and/or muzzled).

    You also endorsed explicitly sexist attitudes in your whining about tone–you said “I’m all for gender equality, but…” you made a shockingly uninformed, bigoted statement about men and women just being inherently different IN THE SAME POST as obsessing over tone. You used your atrocious sexist bullshit to try to claim heisen’s and your delusions of gender were valid and deserved to be treated in a deferential tone.

    To clarify again, I fully accept that sexism, sexual harassment and poor treatment of women is wrong.

    THEN WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IT?!

    When you say men and women evolved to be psychologically different, that is sexism. When you say women are nurturing and men are warriors, that is sexism. When you say that gender equality is complicated, that is sexism. When you swan in here and act like you have the right to shut women up who aren’t communicating “your” way, that is poor treatment of women. When you dismiss women’s concerns and say “it’s not that bad,” that is poor treatment of women. When you assume that a woman isn’t engaging in “reasoned” debate, that is sexism and it is poor treatment of women.

  195. anon123 says

    Well, I interpreted you in this way since you said that treating women with respect was so far on the uncontroversial side of your Controversy Scale which I would agree with that fact that women should be treated with respect does not merit a discussion. What might merit a discussion is what that actually means. But that and this is my impression is actually not wanted to be discussed.

    I’m actually curious what goes through men’s mind that comment on these posts. But that’s just me.

  196. says

    And if that perception is blatantly wrong, i’ll just tell you so. There’s very little I can do if you continue to hold that perception.

    Except maybe asking yourself why people are getting this wrong impression of you and if your own actions might possibly have something to do with it.

    Moreover, when people are outright telling you why they have this perception and you continually ignore them, what impression do you think this leaves?

    You say that you’re opposed to sexism, all the while acting like a sexist.
    The reason people think you’re full of it is that you’re acting that way. You’re acting exactly like the inconsiderate assholes that cause these very problems.

    Every single post you’ve made so far have demonstrated that, when push comes to shove, you think that your pet peeves are more important than the actual real-life problems faced by actual people, many of them present in this very thread.
    Your behavior, right here, is part of the very problem that this thread is about.

    If you don’t want people to think you’re a sexist, it helps if you don’t act like one.

  197. says

    “The point is to inform you about how you’re being perceived.”

    And if that perception is blatantly wrong, i’ll just tell you so. There’s very little I can do if you continue to hold that perception.

    I don’t expect you to get it. But that’s not particularly important, as you’re being a great case study in that regard.

    So what is it now? Did that quote come from heisen or not? Now I don’t understand what you meant by paraphrase.

    Do you comprehend the possibility that I paraprhased what he said AND addressed his points individually?

    And I still don’t want to go into detail. As far as I’m concerned heisen is the equivalent of a christian who will NOT stop telling you to look at the beautiful world around you, no matter how much you argue with him. You can say he is intellectually dishonest, and I would agree. The difference is that I can still see his point of view without castigating him, while you will.

    If change that from talking about how beautiful the world is to defending culturally, scientifically and traditionally established sexism, that would be more accurate. It’s not a question of being merely annoying. It’s a question of having deep rooted sexism.

    Once again you’re defending sexism.

    because I believe that excessive & sustained profanity would not be conducive to reasoned debate.

    No, it isn’t, nor does it detract from the points being made. You are dismissing what people are saying because they include the word “fuck”. Those are ad hominems.

    Yes I was tone trolling when I first came in. And there are specific reasons why I continue to stick to it – because I believe that excessive & sustained profanity would not be conducive to reasoned debate.

    And true it was a priority at first, but that has changed since then.

    What? You had a complete change of personality in the last day? But actually, you’re continuing to maintain changing the subject, defending sexism, and tone trolling without even approaching the same galaxy as the problem of priviledge, sexism, sexual harrasment and generally treating women poorly.

    YOU ARE STILL DOING IT RIGHT NOW! Deflect. Change subject. Deflect. Bring up irrevant point. Appeal to tradition.

    No it isn’t, because I never compared sexism and tone together. Never.

    To clarify again, I fully accept that sexism, sexual harassment and poor treatment of women is wrong.

    No, you didn’t compare them. That’s not even what we’re saying. Open your fucking ears for a change.

    If I were outside of a burning building, and someone was trapped inside, yelling for help, and I decide that first, I’m going to complain about the poor parallel parking of the cars outside, instead of, without hesitation, trying to rescue the person…. everyone around me would be correct in concluding that I am COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY FUCKED IN THE HEAD – that it would even FOR ONE SECOND complain about the parallel parking, in that context.

    The tone is IRRELEVANT to the points.

    Each and every single word you mutter that ISN’T addressing the sexism, sexual harassment and poor treatment of women is only 100% ABSOLUTELY REINFORCING THAT TONE IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU THAN THE PROBLEMS WOMEN FACE.

    EVERY

    SINGLE

    WORD

    It doesn’t matter how much backpedaling you want to do. YOUR ACTIONS 100% PROVE THIS.

  198. says

    Maybe we’re just not putting it simply enough for him.

    Here we go *Clears throat*…

    Shut up about tone, and start addressing the actual problem!

  199. vethtiche says

    You asked me to respond to this. Please bear in mind I have already accepted sexual harassment is wrong. Also, you said you had quotes regarding heisenburg (that would ideally prove he is bent on hitting on every other woman he can lay hands on).

    Here we go.

    Jasper:
    “There are scenarios where, if you aren’t angry, there’s something wrong with you.”

    Maybe, or I could have understood something better than you did.

    Jasper:
    “A little? He’s teetering on fractal wrongness.”

    He doesn’t know it. That’s why I don’t blame him fully.

    Jasper:
    “It wasn’t unwarranted. I’m not surprised that you didn’t pick up on his deeply rooted sexism. When one is in a position of priviledge, one is often blinded to these things. Try living in the shoes of a woman for awhile and deal with the constant demeaning and belitting and condescending attitudes for awhile.”

    If a woman was indeed as badly marginalised as you say, then yes possibly she would lash out at him.

    Jasper:
    “His attitude and argument deserved nothing less than what it got. He’s a part of the problem.”

    Maybe so, but it is not going to help him overcome his attitudes.

    Me (have to quote myself):
    Indeed, one could even argue in certain contexts, such behaviour would amount to intimidation and bullying.

    Jasper:
    “Indeed, one could argue that in certain contexts, such as adding shooting one another, such behavior would amount to murder. You know, as long as we’re arbitrarily modifying the context into something it isn’t and then equating it to other things.”

    I happen to be extremely passionate against bullying as well, maybe as much as LeftSide is about sexual harassment. I may even suspect I understand bullying better than you do.

    Jasper:
    “Read the damn posts. Those offensive points are lit up like a Christmas tree.”

    Not much of a quote, or even a point. I already stated my opinion on his posts in general. Obviously I did not share your opinion, so you should have raised some examples to enlighten me.

    Jasper:
    “If you think rudeness is worse than sexism, you are part of the problem. It’s like complaining that people are rude whlie yelling at slave drivers. So what if they’re rude?”

    I NEVER said rudeness is worse than sexism. But I already clarified this. You seem to be insinuating that heisen was sexually harassing LeftSide. If she felt that way then I can understand why she let fly.

    Jasper:
    “What makes you think it was lacking reason? Because it was empassioned? Don’t be going down the road of ad hominems.”

    I NEVER said it was lacking reason, in fact I specifically accepted her points might have valid. I was arguing that verbal abuse would not win… oh never mind.

    Jasper:
    “… but apparently you’re going to go ahead and excuse it anyway.”

    No. He has no excuse for himself, but we can and should afford him something. We want to win him over, not isolate him.

    Jasper:
    “His “point of view” is 100% irrelevant to whether it’s okay to be sexist, or to treat women poorly.”

    Of course it’s irrelevant! But where does actually say something along the lines of, “Yeah women should be sex objects and I can treat them however I want….”?

    I’m still waiting for a quote or point that heisen made btw.

    Jasper:
    “If his culture is okay with such activity, then it is regressive and needs to be dragged into the 21st century, into a more civilized level.”

    Now that’s a problem. You are bordering on advancing cultural hegemony (is that the right word?). You do not dictate other cultures, especially when NO ONE asked you. It’s another issue if women start running from his country asking for help. The best you can do is to assist the feminists in his country to change things.

    Jasper:
    “It’s because, for people like you, your understanding of what’s being discussed is about as nuanced as a sledge hammer. How many times does it need to be pointed out that minor biological differences between the sexes are not the issue. It’s about how women are treated poorly. I don’t know why this is difficult to understand.”

    Yeah I understand the topic of the thread now. i didn’t before.

    Jasper:
    “People like you keep on with pointing out the “obvious”, a blatant mischaracterization about what feminism is about – making everything exactly the same between the two sexes.”

    So quick one then, what is feminism about?

    Jasper:
    “The whole point is that women are being excessively sexually objectified and treated poorly. This is not complicated. Anything beyond simply acknowledging that and striving to do better is making excuses.”

    Acknowledged.

    Jasper:
    “This is an example of what’s not relevant to the topic. There are some things we must concede, such as child bearing, since the males cannot do it. The goal should be to minimize sexism.”

    Ok.

    Jasper:
    “That was paraphrasing pretty much exactly what you are doing here right now.”

    But how is that a quote that heisen actually said? Or I for that matter? I’ve said it before – it’s not what I said or think AT ALL.

    Jasper:
    “Whether men or women bear the children is utterly irrelevant to whether we should be treating women better or not. It’s an example of a red herring.”

    I’ve said it before.

    Jasper:
    “That’s the point. It’s not. But it’s difficult to see that from high up on your priviledged tower.”

    Jasper:
    “The problem is that they aren’t even aware that’s what they’re doing. Heisenburg, for example, habitually refers to adult women as girls – which devalues their roles. It’s like not realizing that one’s a pompus asshole.”

    Finally one point. But even on face value, it is at worst sexist. Hardly the ‘hit on anyone you can’ that you make heisen out to be.

    And furthermore sorry to disappoint you, it is a social norm in my culture. Let me put it in plain words for you. In many work environments (especially informal ones), women up to the age of maybe 30, would quite naturally refer to themselves as girls. Their male colleagues would of course call them girls as well. Women refer to the men as the guys. Nothing to it at all.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the devaluing of roles that you speak of AT ALL. REALLY. ZILCH. NADA.

    The reason we call the women girls is not to devalue them in any way, but to help them feel young (in the sense of not old).

    Of course, in certain professional situations like during client meetings, they may be referred to as ladies or women, but it is perfectly common after that when colleagues are out for lunch for example, to revert to guys and girls.

    And of course also, as we grow older we tend to graduate from guys & girls to men & women. It is perfectly normal.

    I said before, you DO NOT dictate what other cultures do. Something that you view as a problem in your culture is not necessarily a problem in other cultures. And this is clearly the case here. It’s not hard to understand. It’s called cultural differences.

    And you know something? As I am typing this I actually wonder if any of you on here would actually understand what I am saying, that other people actually DO live a different perspective from yours, and it may not be worse.

    I actually feared the thought of LeftSide shouting, “They’re women! You fuck!”

    Did heisen actually try to explain this situation? I already said I won’t check detail and I won’t. But you know best. Did you try to understand his point of view, I wonder?

    I am not for any moment saying sexism and harassment does not exist. In my culture there would certainly be other gender and harassment issues.

    But on this one issue? Case closed.

    Jasper:
    “Of course not. You don’t have to deal with the shit day in and day out. You have no idea what they go through. So of course they seem unwarranted to you. That’s why you’re part of the problem.”

    I understand that. And since I would admit I can be chauvinistic from time to time, I agree I am part of the problem. However, you are basically saying that LeftSide really does experience this on a regular basis and quite badly as well.

    So far as I know, groping is not a major problem in my culture. In fact, it’s the Westerners who are usually the more ‘active’ ones.

    Jasper:
    “So much for listening. You ask for specific points that Heisenburg made that were offensive, and when pointed out – “oh I don’t feel like reading them”.”

    You only pointed out one in this post. And even given heisen was living in the same culture as LeftSide (and he clearly wasn’t), his comment still would not be explosive enough to make me think he is a sex pervert or something.

    Jasper:
    “Your priorities are completely and utterly FUCKED.”

    No they never were.

    Jasper:
    “How about no? You can continue on the path your own and be constantly railed on. Your choice. Expect swears.”

    I expect swears. I just feel sorry for the others who will walk away from you and your cause because you swear a lot.

  200. says

    *coughs and raises hand*

    I assume any internet discussion of feminism will cause significant sections of the audience to shit their pants trying to come up with reasons why nothing of the sort is a problem because they say so.

    So far, I have not been wrong.

    Wheeeee.

  201. terrycollins says

    One of many things that the AE show promotes is the idea that there is no absolute morality. Whether something is right or wrong, is a matter of perspective. Yet the blog and the supporters go on to tell us the “right” morality to have with issues like sexism. I would agree that sexism (the kind being lobbied against) is undesirable and even detrimental to our current society, but it probably had it’s place with our early ancestors. Men were strong so they were chosen to hunt and defend, while the females took over the roles that remained (Just positing here.) I would not take the position that sexism was wrong at that time if it gave the family unit a better chance at surviving.

    That brings me to my next reason for not wanting to take a stiff position on the issue. Sexism may be a byproduct of our evolution. Are you sure you want to say it is absolutely wrong if there’s a possibility that it’s part of our nature?

    I also perform sexist acts. I discriminate based on sex when looking for a partner. I don’t think this form or sexism is wrong.

    just my 2 cents as an observer. I wish you luck in whatever cause you wish to support.

  202. John Horstman says

    “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

    That’s still my favorite definition of “feminism” in the general sense.

    You only disagree with “feminism” in the broad sense if you believe that women, as a class, are somehow lesser/less-fully-human than men. Since sexism is the categorical marginalization of a group on the basis of sex (or gender, but we’ll leave the sex/gender divide for another time), and since rejecting (unqualified) feminism rejects the notion that women are equally human as men (or others), rejecting feminism is inherently sexist.

  203. John Horstman says

    Also so many women who engage in knee-jerk dismissal of feminism if it says something about “women” as a class or a normative socialized gender role/performativity with which they disagree (“Well, that’s not true of ME.”). I think people generally have difficulty distinguishing between a role or identity and the various individuals who nominally adopt said role or identity (very rarely do they adopt ALL of the normative behaviors or views associated with the role/identity). For example, “Women are socialized to be passive,” doesn’t say that all women are passive or that all women are more passive than all men, it says that passivity is a gender norm for women, and there are therefore coercive social forces that encourage women, as a group, to be more passive than men.

  204. LeftSidePositive says

    One of many things that the AE show promotes is the idea that there is no absolute morality.

    I think you’re misunderstanding that very, very badly. The idea that our cultural understanding of morality could change over time DOES NOT mean that some things could be okay (or that they didn’t actually cause a lot of harm when they WERE thought to be okay).

    Furthermore, the fact that there’s no absolute arbiter or absolute knowledge of all the possible subtleties of right and wrong DOES NOT mean that some pretty basic things are wrong.

    “morality can be complicated” is not the same thing as “morality is fundamentally unknowable.”

    Whether something is right or wrong, is a matter of perspective.

    Well, what if my “perspective” is that it’s right to shoot you in the face? You know, slavery was once perceived to be right–that didn’t change the fact that millions of people suffered and died, making it, y’know, WRONG.

    Yet the blog and the supporters go on to tell us the “right” morality to have with issues like sexism.

    Yeah–treating half the population like PEOPLE. I understand why that needs some fucking scare quotes.

    Men were strong so they were chosen to hunt and defend,

    What evidence do you have that a woman living at that time wouldn’t *also* have to be strong? What evidence do you have that they didn’t hunt? What evidence do you have that some primitive-appearing tribes today are representative of all possible ancestral social situations? You do know that female primates–both bonobos and chimpanzees–hunt, don’t you?

    while the females took over the roles that remained

    Well, that’s not fucking dismissive at all.

    I would not take the position that sexism was wrong at that time

    I’m sure all the women who were raped and stoned to death for adultery and all the virgins who were burned alive as sacrifices would appreciate your attitude.

    if it gave the family unit a better chance at surviving.

    You have no evidence for this. You also have no evidence that just because people thought this was the right thing to do, that it was necessarily BETTER for survival than a more egalitarian arrangement. Societies survived for centuries burning people at the stake, but it seems they were much less flourishing than other societies that didn’t, unless there were technological confounders. Something can be a parasite on other survival strategies, you know. You have no evidence for survival being BECAUSE of this rather than IN SPITE OF this.

    Sexism may be a byproduct of our evolution.

    Why are evo-psych devotees such douchebags?! Why are you sooo eager to excuse sexism? Why are you so eager to accept half-baked just-so stories that ignore TONS of cultural influences and cultural variability to try to claim “oh well it just evolved that way!”

    Are you sure you want to say it is absolutely wrong if there’s a possibility that it’s part of our nature?

    NATURALISTIC FALLACY FTW!!!

    Seriously? Murder is part of our nature too! So is theft, arson, and genocide. Doesn’t exactly make it right.

    What the fuck were you smoking when you thought this would be a good argument?

    I also perform sexist acts. I discriminate based on sex when looking for a partner. I don’t think this form or sexism is wrong.

    What a fucking miserable strawman argument. SERIOUSLY?! Sexual orientation is not “sexism.” Sexism is the pervasive cultural attitude that women are inferior and deserve less political, social, and economic opportunity and status than men. Sexism is when acts of life that have NOTHING TO DO with someone’s sexuality are coded as for one gender rather than another. When someone just trying to get a job is treated as though they were supposed to be pleasing a sexual partner, THAT is sexism. When you look at any person of the opposite sex as a potential sexual partner, regardless of zir interests and wishes, THAT is sexism.

    But, you clearly don’t care about equality (or legitimate scientific inquiry!) and you actually just want to spout bullshit to make yourself feel better about your sexist attitudes, so go fuck yourself.

  205. says

    Saying there is no absolute morality is not the same as saying it’s all just a matter of opinion.

    Also, you’re engaging in the naturalistic fallacy. You might wanna look into that.

  206. John Horstman says

    A couple things:

    First, you’re conflating “sexism” and “sex-based discrimination”. “Sexism” is a concept that only applies to relatively recent cultural contexts; it’s a systemic and categorical discrimination that disadvantages women/females on the basis of sex/gender. Since sex/gender is not a relevant criterion for discrimination in most cases, sexism (where this discrimination is broadly applied to many aspects of life) is bad, even when sex-based discrimination is sometimes reasonable (in cases where sex is actually directly relevant to the task or position in question – for example, when looking for a sex partner with whom to conceive offspring).

    Men were strong so they were chosen to hunt and defend, while the females took over the roles that remained (Just positing here.) I would not take the position that sexism was wrong at that time if it gave the family unit a better chance at surviving.

    This isn’t actually true. Men were typically more-responsible (though not exclusively) for tasks that involved leaving a settlement for days at a time because they don’t become pregnant (the latter stages of pregnancy can restrict physical activity) nor (generally) lactate as necessary to feed newborns. It actually has little to do with physical strength (muscle-mass differences between men and women who engage in the same amount of exercise are pretty minor), as women tended to engage in demanding physical labor as well, such as farming and constructing and maintaining/repairing dwellings.

    That brings me to my next reason for not wanting to take a stiff position on the issue. Sexism may be a byproduct of our evolution. Are you sure you want to say it is absolutely wrong if there’s a possibility that it’s part of our nature?

    Two problems with this. Again, “sexism” is a social construct – it’s a pervasive systemic bias. It has nothing to do with “natural” or physical differences. Even if, for argument’s sake, we say that men are twice as strong as women, disallowing the very strongest women from engaging in strength-intensive tasks is not reasonable, as they will be more able to do so than the weakest men. Sex itself is almost NEVER a relevant criterion for judging suitability for a given task or role.

    Second, the fact that a behavior “evolved” or is “natural” doesn’t make it a good idea. This is the appeal to nature fallacy. Evolution is a powerful process, but it’s really only good at adapting species to present environments. We now have the ability to construct abstracted models of our environments and predict change and outcomes with decent accuracy. Human beings are (well, can be) better decision-makers than natural selection. Sexism isn’t essential to humans (look at all of the humans who aren’t sexist), and even if it were evolved, that alone isn’t any reason to argue for it. The only reason is if it’s a good idea on its own merits; it’s not.

    I also perform sexist acts. I discriminate based on sex when looking for a partner. I don’t think this form or sexism is wrong.

    Again, this is sex-based discrimination in a case where sex is an immediately-relevant factor. This kind of discrimination isn’t sexism.

  207. says

    I would agree that sexism is undesirable and even detrimental to our current society, but…

    Here we go again.

    Men were strong so they were chosen to hunt and defend, while the females took over the roles that remained

    I’ve been wondering: what’s the actual evidence for this? It’s such a common idea, but now that I think about it, I haven’t actually ever heard the tiniest little bit of evidence for his notion. When exactly was this? How did it originate? Was it universal or not?
    Sure, it’s a common enough thing in so-called ancient cultures, but that’s fairly recent and so not evolutionarily relevant. Did the cave people actually live like this?

    That brings me to my next reason for not wanting to take a stiff position on the issue

    You mean that you actually think that the evolutionary history of our species is a valid reason to not work against discriminatory practices today? Are you on any kind of medication?

    Sexism may be a byproduct of our evolution. Are you sure you want to say it is absolutely wrong if there’s a possibility that it’s part of our nature?

    Beating people over the head with rocks is a byproduct of our evolution. Should we endorse that too? Can I have your address? I just found this really nice rock and I’ve been dying to try it out.

    It’s easy to say that it’s just part of our nature and we should learn to live with it when you’re not the one suffering from it.

    I discriminate based on sex when looking for a partner. I don’t think this form or sexism is wrong.

    Despite your obvious charm, intelligence and caring nature, I don’t think your lack of romantic interest in a person quite counts as discrimination.

  208. John Horstman says

    These days I interpret it as a homophobic slur more than a sexist one, though it still shouldn’t be used; “drama” works just as well, after all.

  209. LeftSidePositive says

    Please bear in mind I have already accepted sexual harassment is wrong.

    In the words of Will Turner, THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzVmPsqHDDQ

    Also, you said you had quotes regarding heisenburg (that would ideally prove he is bent on hitting on every other woman he can lay hands on).

    I’ve already addressed this here

    Maybe, or I could have understood something better than you did.

    Do you have ANY idea how fucking patronizing this is, asshole?! So we are talking about things that MATERIALLY AFFECT OUR LIVES, and you have the motherfucking gall to tell us you’re so calm because you understand it better than we understand OUR OWN LIVED EXPERIENCE? Fuck you.

    Furthermore, DEFEND your claim to understand this better. Make a cogent argument. Right now you’re failing MISERABLY.

    He doesn’t know it. That’s why I don’t blame him fully.

    This is privilege talking. It’s not a question of “blame”–it’s a question of his attitudes being FUCKING UNACCEPTABLE, whether he knows it or not. And, frankly, he’s TRYING not to know it.

    If a woman was indeed as badly marginalised as you say, then yes possibly she would lash out at him.

    If?! IF?! IF?!?!?!?! FUCK YOU, YOU INCONSIDERATE FUCKING DOUCHEBAG!! Have you not been fucking listening for THIS ENTIRE FUCKING THREAD to the fact that WOMEN are indeed marginalized as badly as we say?! Not “a woman.” This is not a fucking isolated event, you willfully idiotic motherfucking douchebag. This is how our society SYSTEMATICALLY treats women! What the FUCK is wrong with you for minimizing that?!

    Maybe so, but it is not going to help him overcome his attitudes.

    TONE TROLLING!!! And derailing for dummies!! And, guess what, some of us have DECADES of experience that these people DO NOT WANT to change their attitudes. We’re standing up for ourselves, and setting boundaries about what is and is not acceptable behavior toward us, and people who WILLFULLY REFUSE to take that seriously are NOT going to overcome those attitudes, because they don’t WANT to–they get status from those attitudes, they get to bolster their self-image. HOWEVER, it is necessary to show EVERYONE ELSE that this kind of shit WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, and you either need to shape up or ship out.

    Me (have to quote myself):
    Indeed, one could even argue in certain contexts, such behaviour would amount to intimidation and bullying.

    GO FUCK YOURSELF. We’ve already told you that this statement of yours is FUCKING UNACCEPTABLE. For you to repeat it is complete and utter disrespect for our rights to defend ourselves and for the rights of the unprivileged person to stand up to those trying to silence them. When we are told that we should just “like” getting sexually harassed, and that language is more important than PEOPLE, standing up for our dignity is NOT FUCKING BULLYING. It is calling out bullshit, and you are an insufferable callous asshole for even SUGGESTING that we should tone down our reactions for the poor delicate fee-fees of those who are ACTIVELY trying to diminish our ability to move safely and un-harassed and ACTIVELY arguing against equality.

    I happen to be extremely passionate against bullying as well,

    Really? Because you don’t seem to even understand what the fucking word means!

    I may even suspect I understand bullying better than you do.

    You’re actually going to have to make an argument there, not just assume we’ll take you at your word. Insinuating yourself as the victim when people are dealing with ACTUAL INSTANCES OF VICTIMIZATION is a totally shit thing to do, so fuck off.

    I already stated my opinion on his posts in general. Obviously I did not share your opinion, so you should have raised some examples to enlighten me.

    Ooooh, we’re playing derailing for dummies again!! Are you really such a fucking pompous asshat that you tell us we “should” “enlighten you“?! Fuck that, motherfucker. It’s YOUR JOB to try to learn, and we don’t owe you the service of anticipating the points of your confusion. If you are confused, try to form a question about a particular example and ASK!!

    I NEVER said rudeness is worse than sexism.

    And we’ve told you over and over again that you’ve SHOWN that you think rudeness is worse than sexism, and you are responsible for your actions, not just your self-serving words.

    You seem to be insinuating that heisen was sexually harassing LeftSide.

    This is fucking bullshit, and a great example of how you Just. Don’t. Fucking. Get. It. NO ONE claimed anything to the effect that heisen was harassing me. There is no textual evidence WHATSOEVER to support that! Heisen was supporting THE IDEA of sexual harassment, and defending it as a social norm and as a tradition, all the while strawmanning about little things that we supposedly care too much about, but his bigger message of “some women like to be treated that way!” came through loud and clear.

    He has no excuse for himself, but we can and should afford him something.

    WHY? Who are you to decide this? Why does he get the privilege of us trying to accommodate him when he is trying to protect his pet traditions over our rights and equality? Why are we obligated to treat the oppressors the way they want to be treated?

    We want to win him over, not isolate him.

    Says who? How do you know it’s even POSSIBLE to win him over? Isn’t it abundantly clear he’s a lying asshole? I would much RATHER people like that got isolated and not ruin my time at conferences, and if they use their time in isolation to figure out the error in their ways, that’s fine, but I’m not obligated to tolerate their bullshit that’s treating me as a second-fiddle to tradition and just waiting and hoping that they’ll see the light.

    But where does actually say something along the lines of, “Yeah women should be sex objects and I can treat them however I want….”?

    You’re still playing this la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you game of refusing to consider anything but the most boldfaced mustache-twirling naked bigotry.

    See above for the link to my explanation.

    He actually DID say “what about the women who want to be treated like that?” and he puts “real harassment” in scare quotes. He thinks the rights of women not to be harassed need to be “balanced” with men’s rights. He thinks his opinions on tradition on how he wants to treat women are paramount, and he chastises women for “overthinking minor issues” when they disagree with him and tell him how they want to be treated. He responded to women objecting to being treated like sex objects by saying women were exaggerating.

    You do not dictate other cultures, especially when NO ONE asked you.

    Fuck that, idiot! You know what, protecting someone’s right to vote and stoning them to death are not equally valid cultural practices. Calling something “culture” does not eliminate how wrong and hurtful it is. Furthermore, he is trying to bring his perspective into OUR space and tell us what WE should tolerate.

    Furthermore, why aren’t you mad at him for trying to dictate to the French culture with his “mademoiselle” rant? Why is it that it’s only when people start to stand up for the oppressed that “noooo–that’s their culture!!” becomes so fucking salient?!

    So quick one then, what is feminism about?

    Feminism is the belief that women are people and deserve full legal, social, economic, and political equality to men.

    But how is that a quote that heisen actually said?

    No one is saying it is. You are just using that as a strawman, you filthy fucking liar.

    Jasper:
    “Whether men or women bear the children is utterly irrelevant to whether we should be treating women better or not. It’s an example of a red herring.”

    I’ve said it before.

    No. You said the exact OPPOSITE. You used childbearing as a COUNTERPOINT to gender equality.

    Finally one point. But even on face value, it is at worst sexist.

    Look at how you’re diminishing and trivializing examples of sexism.

    Hardly the ‘hit on anyone you can’ that you make heisen out to be.

    Did it ever occur to you that we could be complaining about multiple different things that heisen is doing?

    And furthermore sorry to disappoint you, it is a social norm in my culture.

    Just because something is culture doesn’t make it right.

    In many work environments (especially informal ones), women up to the age of maybe 30, would quite naturally refer to themselves as girls.

    This is called internalized sexism. Women are conditioned to see themselves as less-than, and to be demure about their accomplishments. They are also shamed as being not-fun or unfeminine if they don’t participate in this gender performance.

    Nothing to it at all.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the devaluing of roles that you speak of AT ALL. REALLY. ZILCH. NADA.

    I hate to break it to you, but just because you think there’s nothing to it DOESN’T ACTUALLY MEAN there’s nothing to it. This is an attitude that’s become normalized to you, and you are strongly resistant to considering its implications.

    Also, you are STRONGLY showing this devaluing behavior, even as you don’t realize it. When you say my arguments aren’t that impressive, when you habitually ignore what women are telling you about harassment, when you tell us to do your research for you, when you think you can swan in and tell us how to behave and how to speak, you ARE SHOWING the same devaluing attitudes conveyed by calling grown women “girls.”

    The reason we call the women girls is not to devalue them in any way, but to help them feel young (in the sense of not old).

    Why do you think you need to “help” women feel a certain way? Why is it considered worse for a woman to be/feel old than a man?

    And “guy” is casual, but NOT infantilizing. “Guy” refers to someone past the age of majority. “Girl” specifically means “not an adult.”

    I said before, you DO NOT dictate what other cultures do.

    We don’t have any power to dictate, but we sure as fuck have the right to criticize.

    Something that you view as a problem in your culture is not necessarily a problem in other cultures.

    Or maybe you’re just not listening to those who DO find it a problem. Maybe those who have internalized those devaluing attitudes don’t yet realize they’re being taken for a ride. Maybe the diminutive attitudes toward women are pervasive–and maybe all your rationalizations don’t make you “special.”

    It’s called cultural differences.

    No, actually this is a cultural similarity. We have just as many people in this country who INSIST that there’s TOTALLY absolutely no problem with sexism here at all! Just like you do. It’s bullshit from them, and it’s bullshit from you. This is a convenient dodge for you to ignore the implications of what you do and how you treat people.

    As I am typing this I actually wonder if any of you on here would actually understand what I am saying,

    We do understand. We vehemently disagree. You can tell from all the rebuttals.

    that other people actually DO live a different perspective from yours, and it may not be worse.

    A different perspective *may* not be worse, but when it shows itself to be utterly dismissive to women, when it manifests itself in smug evo-psych drenched entitlement, when it perpetuates attitudes that outright STATE women are not equal, then we can pretty well conclude from all available evidence that such a perspective is, in fact, worse.

    I actually feared the thought of LeftSide shouting, “They’re women! You fuck!”

    Oh, women as castrating bitches. Got it. Well, gee, I’ve never heard THAT before!

    I already said I won’t check detail and I won’t.

    You know, why exactly do you think you’re entitled to waste our time with tons and tons of strawmen when you won’t even show us the common courtesy to read and understand what we’ve already said? This is just intellectually lazy of you, and shows your privilege that you expect us to hand everything to you on a silver platter.

    Did you try to understand his point of view, I wonder?

    Yes, we fucking did, asshole. We responded to every one of his points in detail. We looked up the cases he was referring to. We explained them to him. We considered carefully what he had to say. And you know what? We found it completely odious!

    I think what you’re saying with “understand” is “sympathize with and excuse,” which we are under no obligation to do.

    Furthermore, why don’t you READ FOR YOURSELF to see if we understand his point of view. If you think we got something wrong, make a case for why we should reconsider.

    However, you are basically saying that LeftSide really does experience this on a regular basis and quite badly as well.

    And you feel entitled to say what I do and don’t experience? FUCK YOU. And why the fuck do you think I apparently have to be personally treated “quite badly” in order to be passionate about it? Do you think you get to give permission on what is justified? Do you think I have to DESERVE my outrage when you have straight-up told me you think my equality is “complex”?

    So far as I know, groping is not a major problem in my culture.

    I think you need to listen to women more. Groping is a HUGE problem especially on public transportation and many Asian countries have had to institute single-gender cars because of how rampant groping is.

    his comment still would not be explosive enough to make me think he is a sex pervert or something.

    THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is he’s defending institutional, systemic sexism. The point is that he sees his own privilege as more important than my autonomy. The problem is not that he’s completely out-there in his behavior, but representative of a major common problem. The problem is not that he’s a rampant sex-maniac, the problem is that he is trying to silence women who are talking about mistreatment. The problem is that he’s trying to defend harassing behavior by willfully trying to pretend it’s “innocent flirting.” The problem is that he feels his preferences trump others’.

    I expect swears. I just feel sorry for the others who will walk away from you and your cause because you swear a lot.

    One–those aren’t people whom I’d want to deal with. Secondly, I suspect they’re actually people like you who would never be interested in our cause in a million years and they use swearing as a pitiful red herring for trying to blame us instead of actually looking at their own prejudices.

  210. John Horstman says

    Google “birdcage analogy” for an explanation; I can only do so much detailed explanation of Feminism 101 concepts in a day (way less than some of the commenters; I’m blown away!). Emptyell has a pretty good short summary.

  211. John Horstman says

    Some of you have astounding stamina with respect to combating rampant misogynist trolls! I’m so thoroughly impressed; I get burned out after, like, a-couple-typed-pages-worth of commenting. Good show!

  212. Emptyell says

    Yeah, LeftSide is my hero. Super smart, way tough, and generous to a fault (it has to take some serious time). Whack-a-Mole was always my favorite carnival game but there are limits to my endurance.

  213. LeftSidePositive says

    Might it be that I actually have some writer’s block regarding the writing I’m ACTUALLY supposed to be doing right now?? ;)

    (and the rebuttals always seem like they’ll be shorter in my head. Oh well!)

  214. Emptyell says

    LeftSidePositive:

    You have no evidence for survival being BECAUSE of this rather than IN SPITE OF this.

    This is the mistake I see natural falacists make all the time. Traits can persist just because they don’t fail too badly.

    This is also the basis of a lot of superstitious, offensive and even abusive behavior. “She hasn’t left me so it must be OK that I smack her once in a while.”

  215. terrycollins says

    @ John Horstman: Thanks for your clarifications.

    LykeX says: “You mean that you actually think that the evolutionary history of our species is a valid reason to not work against discriminatory practices today?”

    How can you quote me saying “I would agree that sexism is undesirable and even detrimental to our current society” and ask that? Thought I was clear. I just had objections to absolute statements like “Sexists are wrong.” It would seem however I don’t hold a proper definition of sexists and sexism.

    And I’m not saying evolution would be an excuse for sexism, but if it is a evolutionary trait (hypothetically), then I cannot consider my nature to be “wrong”, just inappropriate for the times. The objections to this idea are reasonable.

  216. says

    You mean that you actually think that the evolutionary history of our species is a valid reason to not work against discriminatory practices today?

    How can you quote me saying “I would agree that sexism is undesirable and even detrimental to our current society” and ask that?

    I already quoted those parts of your post that lead me to that conclusion. I guess I’ll have to do it again.
    First, you didn’t say

    I would agree that sexism is undesirable and even detrimental to our current society

    You said

    I would agree that sexism is undesirable and even detrimental to our current society, but

    With that “but” you’re implying that the previous statement was really just lip-service and now comes your real opinion. You’re saying that the previous statement is somehow countered or opposed by the following.
    Whether or not sexism is evolutionarily ingrained in us is not in even the tiniest was related to the question of whether it’s undesireable or unethical. They’re simply two different questions.
    You linked them together as if the evolutionary history of our species somehow mitigated the injustice caused by gender discrimination.
    If that’s not what you meant, fine, but don’t blame me for taking you at your word.

    Second:

    That brings me to my next reason…

    “Next reason” implies a previous reason. Since the previous statement was about our evolutionary history, I figured that was what you meant.
    If that’s not the case, then what did you mean? What was the previous reason?

    And I’m not saying evolution would be an excuse for sexism…

    You might want to phrase yourself more carefully in the future, then. You sounded like that was exactly what you were saying. Clearly I’m not the only one who took it that way.

    but if it is a evolutionary trait (hypothetically), then I cannot consider my nature to be “wrong”

    Oh, for crying out loud. We’re not talking higher metaphysics here, just simple ethics and in the ethical sense then, yes, this aspect of our nature is wrong and we, if we’re to consider ourselves civilized, cannot allow it to go unchecked.

    If you’re going to play the definitions game, then don’t bother. I’m really running short on patience right now.

  217. Stan Brooks says

    Thanks Ata for your comments. I’ve for the most part given up reading the comment sections, especially around issues like this, as the responders are often so depressing.

    Let me also in this post respond to Martin original question about the level of controversy in this statement:

    “Women should be able to go about their daily lives, particularly in situations where sexuality ought to be irrelevant such as careers and conferences, without having to put up with unwanted sexual advances multiple times a day.”

    Martin, you only gave us a 1-5 scale, so I can only say 1, except that even a 1 implies some degree of controversy. In thinking of Ata’s post, it depresses me, as a man, to think there is any controversy involved in this at all.

  218. vethtiche says

    Ok. This has gone on long enough. It is time to address you LeftSide.

    When I first made this quote:

    “I am all for gender equality, but people have to understand there are inherent, undeniable sociological, psychological & biological differences between men and women.”

    I was referring to gender equality as a larger issue and not sexual harassment. If I was specifically referring to sexual harassment, the statement would not have made sense. If I said, “I believe sexual harassment is wrong, but people should understand there are gender differences….”

    Such a statement would have been ludicrous. It would have been wrong, and I would have deserved everything I got.

    But I was talking about gender equality. You could have called me out and said the topic was sexual harassment. But instead you attacked what was actually a very benign statement.

    You ask me first to prove the differences, then when I do so, shift the post to insist it must be relevant to something. Ok, if you want to continue being dense, here goes:

    Biological – reproductive organs (ok not particularly relevant here), muscular mass, child bearing. These immediately complicate the issues pertaining equality, and indirectly or otherwise, lead to different roles played in society.

    Sociological – Like it not, the differences are there, the husband & wife roles in the traditional sense. These roles can change and I know you want them to change. But we are in the here and now.

    Psychological – How can you go through life complaining of sexism and being hit upon and not recognise the psychological differences? Men think with their dicks, and women with their I don’t know what. But you also want to change these don’t you? That’s why it’s relevant.

    I get that you want to achieve equality regardless of differences, but you seem to have the HUGE misimpression with your ingrained and preconceived notions on people, that recognising Gender Differences has to be a counterpoint, a NEGATIVE, don’t you?

    My point was that if we are to strive towards Gender Equality, recognising the differences can help us find the best possible fit to achieve an equality that is satisfactory to all, including yourself. As Jasper put it – minimize sexism. It’s just a different point of view. Deal with it.

    Can there be an equality whereby gender differences are completely nullified? Who knows?

    That’s why I was intrigued by the possibility of paternity leave reaching full parity. I wasn’t familiar with the idea before but now I could see its potential to really make a difference. But I also saw the socio-economic obstacles that could make it difficult to implement and enforce.

    But no…. You just had to butt in here as well, don’t you?

    You just don’t get it. You just immediately leap to your own conclusions to impose your own biases against me.

    I mean seriously? Prove gender differences? Really?

    And yeah, you want me to take back the evo thing? Sure, since it’s not supported. It’s just one of the many theories floating out there. I take it back, but it doesn’t make an iota difference that gender differences are a fact.

    You have taken a militant your way or the highway approach to this matter, but you’re only ending up to look like a fool here.

    I wondered if you would take up on my piece about calling women girls in my culture. Why even wonder? Even on a closed subject like this you will bark up a storm.

    Internalised??? Who do you think you are? Applying this label? What the hell do you even know of the meaning of words in other countries and cultures?

    All I know is that when I call a colleague ‘girl’, I DO NOT think ‘foolish immature one’, and I have never in all my experience felt or heard ANY resentment towards that term. I have heard of gropings, rudeness, chauvinism etc. but never this – until now, coming from YOUR SEXIST CULTURE. And fyi, the women DO call us ‘boys’ as well.

    I get that you live in a culture so sexually oppressive that you shudder at the sound of the word ‘girl’. That’s NOT my culture. I repeat, DO NOT impose your culture on others.

    And btw, I’m not the only one who says this. This has already been brought up by someone else in the latest blog.

    And of all things, you actually became blatantly dishonest when bringing up about oppressive Islamic regimes, knowing fully well that I accepted that action should be taken if women started coming to you for help.

    I repeat again. DO NOT impose your culture on other cultures.

    And now a quick aside. To LykeX:

    Thank you for your link and for being civil. I understand now that you just want me to listen and not change the subject. I don’t know if you’ve started cussing me yet, but I’m afraid you very soon will, if you don’t try to understand what I’m trying to say. I suspect no one will.

    Now back to business (please forgive this train of thought)

    When I first came on here, I was like anyone else , coming for a read. I saw Martin’s statement on sexual harassment, and thought, yeah pretty much seconded. Then I put it at the back of my head, and went through the comments. I got side tracked by the door-opening thing, then a little later – bam! A whole series of fucks.

    I now realise I was too soft before, and because of that I had allowed the real message to get away, and got drawn into all this mess myself. Not anymore.

    What I saw were a few posters rounding on a fellow poster – bullying him. I checked the comments, saw that heisenburg might have been innately sexist, but in no way rude.

    Then I saw Martin post this:

    “A helpful word of advice to folks like heisenbug, and others who don’t get why they’re meeting such hostility here.
    When a woman is sharing with you her negative experiences of sexual harassment, that’s when you listen and not lecture.”

    I couldn’t believe he was supporting this, and doing nothing!

    So I posted him. He shrugs and says he’s not running a junior high school.

    (Ooh Martin! Do you see that? You KNEW, you implicitly knew it all along didn’t you? And did nothing?)

    And this is where I made my mistake, I brought up the issue of bullying, but left it more as a footnote. No impact.

    Yes. You LeftSidePositive, for the tremendous verbal assault you unleashed on Heisenburg, are a BULLY. And the others, some of you who stood by and applauded, though less culpable, are bullies too.

    Don’t know what a BULLY is? Try Wikipedia (sorry, not sure how to post links yet).

    Want to try saying you’re not a bully? Want to feign ignorance? TRY me.

    But of course! Bullying can’t be more important an issue than sexual harassment right?

    Well let’s look at both of them.

    When we look at harassment or bullying, we can look at them from 3 levels.

    Sexual Harassment
    1. Discussion of Sexual Harassment
    2. Doing something about Sexual Harassment
    3. The ACT itself of someone being sexually harassed

    And guess what folks? All through the Comment Section, it’s all just a Discussion – Level 1!

    When people say they are against sexual harassment. Most of them, heisen & I included, are referring to the act of sexual harassment (& assault) – there is no compromise on that. Don’t blame us. Not all of us are feminists, sexual harassment is not our fight. We are privileged.

    To put simply LeftSide, if I ever came across you and you were being sexually assaulted by someone. And you, on seeing me, gave me a customary “fuck you!”, do you REALLY think I would just stand by and tell you to shut your mouth? I mean SERIOUSLY? What kind of a BASTARD do you think I, and so many other men, are?

    Of course I would try to help you!

    And if I saw a foul mouthed old man being mugged, of course I would try to help!

    And you, Jasper. I can’t believe, I can’t believe you came up with a similar analogy – you were so close to the truth – and you freaking SCREW it up!

    Look at your analogy again Jasper. SERIOUSLY, what kind of an IDIOT do you take me, and how many countless others for?

    But let’s now look at bullying.

    Bullying
    1. Discussion of Bullying
    2. Doing something about Bullying
    3. The ACT itself of someone being bullied

    So what do you think? Back to you LeftSide, what category do you think all your verbal assaults fall into?

    LEVEL NUMBER 3. ACT.

    Now try telling me that a discussion on sexual harassment is MORE urgent, or important than the act of someone being bullied?

    It is the equivalent of you looking out your window, seeing someone being beaten up, then call a friend and say, “You know what? That Tom flashed me again the pervert. I’m going to call the police tomorrow.”

    Case closed.

    This is the PROBLEM.

    Many of you come here parroting almost identical ideological short cuts, like tone trolling strawman blah blah, and think there are no flaws in the things you say. You refuse to consider things from perpectives of other cultures, refuse to respect others, and put words into other people’s mouths – again and again and again.

    As much as I may be the problem in sexism, and I did admit I might be. But you LeftSide, are the problem in Bullying.

    Even up till now you will not STOP your verbal assault and bullying. You know how I know? Because I recognise all the symptoms that point to bullying, the fear of speaking up – the stress. And mind you, I was stoically taking it as best I could.

    Last few days I had been experiencing a crisis in confidence. I kept wondering, was I wrong? Was it really just my ego? Why did I keep feeling it was wrong to let go? Then Jasper reminded me. I am as passionate about bullying as LeftSide is about sexual harassment.

    I had forgotten that because it was as much a part of my subconscious as my attitude towards sexual harassment was. All I wanted was to stand up for a victim of verbal abuse and bullying, and I got flamed in the process.

    I am really tired. Besides the next blog has started and well underway. Over to you LeftSide. Flame me all you want.

  219. Emptyell says

    @vethtiche

    “Ok. This has gone on long enough.”

    Obviously not or you would not continue digging.

    As you may recall the original topic is sexual harassment at conferences and what should be done about it. When you respond with long, tangential diversions from the topic others are here to discuss, it tends to annoy them. When it follows a “yes, but” statement this is a trigger for anyone who has been dealing with issues of sexism and women’s rights so it should be no surprise when the reaction is vehement.

    Having triggered a vehement reaction with an inappropriate comment the correct response is not to criticize the vehemence. It is, “Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to derail the conversation.” Or words to that effect. And this would not include “I’m sorry, but…”

    The reason for the extent of the vehemence is that this sort of derailing is exactly how people constantly attack discussions of women’s rights. This may not have been your intent but when your behavior is indistinguishable from many actual trolls you will be assumed to be one.

    Two things about the bullying:

    First, LeftSide’s response is not bullying. It is a vehement response to a perceived provocation. The proper school yard analogy here is not to bullying but to the annoying brats that would tease and provoke the other kids until they explode with anger. The angry ones are then admonished for their outburst while the brat says, “What did I do?” Again, I have no way of knowing whether this was your intent but it clearly was the appearance and inevitable effect.

    Secondly, no matter how passionate you are about a topic it does not excuse derailing other people’s discussion of a different topic. I am very passionate about the importance of art in a civilized society, but I do not interrupt other people’s conversations to talk about it. If you want to discuss bullying there are lots of ways and means to go about that without derailing what other people are trying to do. BTW, interrupting and diverting a topic to something clearly awful that one is “passionate” about is another common trolling technique. And yet again, I have no way of knowing whether you are well intentioned or just another troll, but since this cover of plausible deniability is also part of the troll’s arsenal, I have to assume barring some clear evidence to the contrary that you are. Sorry about that. I prefer to think well of fellow humans but ultimately have to judge based on the evidence before me.

    So finally, here’s the deal. If you actually care about what any of us think you can simply say “Sorry I didn’t mean to derail things here.”, “I do care about sexual harassment issues and here’s my take on the subject.”, “OK I get it, I really am not a troll.”, or words to that effect. If you fire back about why you’re right and LeftSide really was a bully and, and, and yes but… Then I for one will be convinced that you are in fact a troll even though that may not be what you see when you look in the mirror.

  220. Emptyell says

    Back to the topic at hand (if anyone still has the energy for it).

    My comment to vethtiche about what one sees in the mirror differing from how one is perceived got me thinking of some creepy harassers I’ve known. It occurred to me that they don’t think of themselves that way. There is a curious mix of privilege blinders (often due to positions of authority), cognitive dissonance and actual social awkwardness (as opposed to feigned for cover).

    Perhaps this is blindingly obvious to anyone who has had more direct (and unpleasant) experience with this, but the behavior seems to be a spectrum from the pathological predator just out to score to the genuinely clueless just trying to cope. Does this seem right to you? What if anything does it do to inform the issue of anti-harassment policies and strategies?

  221. LeftSidePositive says

    Martin, you only gave us a 1-5 scale, so I can only say 1, except that even a 1 implies some degree of controversy.

    I think you’re confusing interval variables with ratio variables.

    /nerdiness

  222. LeftSidePositive says

    The thing with deeply ingrained privilege is that the trolling mechanisms are so normalized and the sense of entitlement to engage in trolling behaviors are so pervasive, that I don’t think there’s a clear demarcation between “person who just happens to be derailing” and “hardcore troll.”

    I don’t care whether or not he feels like a troll in his heart, I care that his behavior is more than sufficient evidence to describe what he’s doing as trolling, and his insistence on continuing it and defending it crosses WELL into the territory where it reflects on him as a person.

  223. says

    I understand now that you just want me to listen and not change the subject

    And yet, you’re still doing it. You’ve been doing it since your first post. You’ve been doing it in every post following that. You’re doing it even now.
    You just invalidated your entire idea of politeness somehow advancing discussion. I’ve been polite. I’ve deliberately refrained from insults and yet, you’re still not listening. You’re still changing the subject.

    I don’t know if you’ve started cussing me yet, but I’m afraid you very soon will, if you don’t try to understand what I’m trying to say

    Oh, I get what you’re trying to say. You care about sexism. You think it’s wrong. Yet, you’re not interested in discussing it, you’re not going to change your own behavior to avoid it and you’d much rather talk about the horrors of saying fuck on the internet, because that’s way more important.

    It’s not that I don’t get what you’re saying. The problem here is that you’re a sexist, coming to a thread on sexism and trying to divert the discussion unto any subject other than sexism and what can be done about it.

    You’re the problem. Your behavior right here is the very thing we’re fighting. You can either change or you can get yelled at, your choice. Polite conversation is no longer an option.

    Don’t blame us. Not all of us are feminists, sexual harassment is not our fight. We are privileged.

    Sexual harassment is the fight of every decent human being. If it’s not your fight, what does that say about you?

    What kind of a BASTARD do you think I, and so many other men, are?

    The kind you’re acting like.

  224. LeftSidePositive says

    Frankly, I think most of the “socially awkward” excuse is really just cover for people who do not want to be held accountable. There’s also a hell of a lot of privilege in terms of thinking that “socially awkward” should be able to excuse harassment, and our society actively tells men that they don’t have to care about how women feel getting hit on.

    Basic ethics: one can do whatever one wants as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. If one’s social awkwardness is hurting someone else, it ceases being “just how I am” and becomes something for which one is responsible. If a person can’t figure out how to get laid without threatening or insulting people, it is ON THAT INDIVIDUAL to address that deficit and not just assume that others will make excuses for them.

    Ultimately, it’s reminiscent of this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

    I don’t care what you *are* in your heart, I care what you’re doing.

  225. says

    And keep in mind, it’s actually not Person A beating Person B.

    It’s Person 15343, in a long line of thugs, beating on Person B.

    Person 15344 comes along and starts wailing away, and gets an emotional outburst from Person B, and then says “How rude! We should be able to calmly discuss my beating the shit out of you without constant insults. You haven’t considered the culture I am from where beating people isn’t considered a bad thing. I just don’t think you are listening or understand where I’m coming from.”

  226. LeftSidePositive says

    I’ve been polite. I’ve deliberately refrained from insults and yet, you’re still not listening.

    Yeah, there’s a reason I never fall for that “If only you’d be more polite, I’d listen to you!” trope anymore…

    Actually, funny story on that–Hemant had a thread discussing abortion and someone asked a question about humanist ethics and the “rights” of the fetus, hitting a full row on the misogynist concern-trolling forced-pregnancy bingo card. I and quite a few other posters told him he was wrong in no uncertain terms–he didn’t need a Fuckskreig *yet* because he hadn’t started strawmanning or being willfully obtuse, but I quite frankly told him that he had no business calling himself a humanist if he didn’t respect bodily autonomy and some other pointed assessments.

    You know what he did next? He thanked each and every person for their reply, said he’d learned a lot he wasn’t aware of before, and retracted his statement. Seriously.

    So I have to conclude that really all that cover about politeness is just a doge for people who don’t give a damn and will NEVER give a damn!

  227. says

    Speaking as a socially awkward person, I know that I’ve screwed up several times in the past. That’s practically unavoidable. The important part is, once you screw up, what do you do next?

    Do you try to excuse the screw up by appealing to your lack of social grace or do you try to improve? When it becomes clear that your behavior is inappropriate, do you tell yourself “well, I’m socially awkward, I can’t help it” or do you say “man, that was stupid of me, let me try not do do that again”?

    In other words, this:

    If one’s social awkwardness is hurting someone else, it ceases being “just how I am” and becomes something for which one is responsible.

    Nobody chooses to be socially awkward and it’s not your fault if you are. However, it doesn’t relieve you of responsibility either.
    I find it personally offensive when people hide behind this excuse, because I know from personal experience that it’s bullshit.
    Lack of social awareness can make it much more difficult to find the right way to act, but it sure as hell doesn’t make it impossible and it in no way excuses not even trying.

    Finally, actual sexual predators are highly skilled at using such social grey areas to gain cover. They hide behind such ideas, gaining plausible deniability, so they can continue their abusive behavior without repercussions.

    If you see a guy acting poorly, don’t excuse it by thinking he’s socially awkward. If he really is, he needs to be told, so he can change. And if he’s just a predator, he needs to be outed.
    If you see me acting poorly, tell me. I’d much rather have the temporary discomfort of being told off than go through life as an oblivious asshole, making life miserable for other people.

  228. says

    I know. I didn’t really have all that much hope that it would make a difference. I guess I got caught in a wave of optimism and thought that maybe this time it would work.

  229. Emptyell says

    Thanks guys. Great points.

    It occurs to me that we all start out socially awkward. Sociability comes naturally to our species but the behaviors still have to be learned. That this is more difficult for some than others is no excuse to stop trying. Many people have great difficulty learning to read and write. It still benefits them to stick to it and overcome their difficulties.

    In my youth I was more awkward (or perhaps oblivious is the better term) than most. I also (thankfully) was able to notice this (or have it pointed out to me) and made efforts to change. Had I just stuck with “this is just how I am” my life would much smaller and meaner than it is now.

    Anyway, it’s starting to feel like there are some simple rules that we can winnow out of this and that trolling behavior and harassing behavior seem to have a lot in common. (I’m sure this is blindingly obvious to some here but I’m kind of new at this.) I’m wondering if we can come up with something that can be clearly and succinctly expressed as basic ground rules that can serve as both guidelines for civil discourse and decent social behavior.

    Some possibilities off the top of my head:

    – If you don’t have a pertinent comment or question just keep listening.

    – If you get a negative reaction ask why, sincerely, or just apologize if it’s obvious.

    – If you’re not interested enough to do the above then move on to somewhere else more to your liking.

    Of course these don’t address the added complexity of flirting which many are bringing up as an issue. This seems like a bit of a red herring to me, at least as an objection to harassment standards on the whole. While it is important to consider and address the complications in the details of the policy, it is ludicrous to say that harassment has to be tolerated because, well FLIRTING IS GOOD!

  230. Emptyell says

    Another thing…

    It seems that not dealing with one’s own social awkwardness and expecting to be accepted socially is a bit like refusing to overcome difficulty reading and expecting to be accepted to university.

    The funny thing is I’ve noticed that the greater the difficulty in overcoming the more appreciation there is and often greater success. From what I’ve seen overcoming dyslexia is a better indicator of success than having reading and writing come easily.

  231. Emptyell says

    Yes. In an online discussion troll-like behavior is trolling. It doesn’t matter what the claimed intent was. As you pointed out above, if the person really has no intent to derail all it takes is a quick “Oops, excuse me.” or such.

    The question is how to respond. How much reasoned discussion, ferocious fuckskrieg, and so on does it take before we say enough is enough? After that I guess it becomes a question for the moderator to decide. It does make me wonder if it’s worth all the time and effort when a massively derailed thread is going nowhere.

  232. Stevarious says

    I’ve been mostly lurking this conversation, but there’s a point here that seems to poke right at the heart of the matter that I think bears bringing up.

    vethtiche @52

    I wondered if you would take up on my piece about calling women girls in my culture. Why even wonder? Even on a closed subject like this you will bark up a storm.

    Internalised??? Who do you think you are? Applying this label? What the hell do you even know of the meaning of words in other countries and cultures?

    All I know is that when I call a colleague ‘girl’, I DO NOT think ‘foolish immature one’, and I have never in all my experience felt or heard ANY resentment towards that term. I have heard of gropings, rudeness, chauvinism etc. but never this – until now, coming from YOUR SEXIST CULTURE. And fyi, the women DO call us ‘boys’ as well.

    This is a point worth responding to, because it shows just how internalized your sexism is. Let’s look at what you actually said, shall we?

    vechtiche @ nested response to 25

    The reason we call the women girls is not to devalue them in any way, but to help them feel young (in the sense of not old).

    Oh so much in one sentence. It will do us well to unpack them. Here are the assumptions that underlie your statement:

    1) Women’s self worth is based on other people’s judgement about their appearance. (Devaluing their self worth – how they view themselves is not as important as how others view them.)

    2) Women’s self worth is dependent on them appearing or pretending to be younger than they actually are. (Infantilizing women – they must be young and inexperienced to be attractive.)

    3) They are rendered completely passive in their efforts to have value as a person, since they must rely on others to give them value.

    4) This bestowal of value must come from a man, based on his approval of her efforts to look pretty and young for him.

    Your ‘culture’ has internalized misogyny and sexism. Deny it all you like, but if you think it’s somehow immune from criticism because it’s YOUR PRECIOUS CULTURE!! then you aren’t just a sexist, you’re a delusional one.
    Can it be that you don’t understand how harmful it is to teach women that they cannot gain self worth except by receiving it from others? Can it be that you can’t understand how much MORE harmful it is to teach them that it must come from a man, and that their appearance is so primary to their value as a person that they must pretend that they are years younger than they actually are in order to receive it?
    If so, it’s your failure to understand that is causing all these people to say all these horrible things about you. But like it or not, your statement up there is almost textbook internalized misogyny.

    You will probably respond that I’m ‘reading into it’ far too much, but are you actually going to claim that, in your culture, women are not expected to draw at least some of their self-worth through male approval of their physical appearance, and that your statement does not directly reflect that?

  233. vethtiche says

    @Emptyell

    “Having triggered a vehement reaction with an inappropriate comment the correct response is not to criticize the vehemence. It is, “Oops, sorry, I didn’t mean to derail the conversation.” Or words to that effect. And this would not include “I’m sorry, but…””

    I am aware I derailed the topic, and I really wish I had CLEARLY called LeftSide out for being a bully in my very first post, instead of going through in such a roundabout way.

    “First, LeftSide’s response is not bullying.”

    Then you don’t understand what bullying is. Please try to read up on it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying

    There is a reason why the scope of Bullying is so broad, I think partly because you often never know until too late how bullying can affect different individuals. I have zero tolerance towards bullying behaviour.

    “The proper school yard analogy here is not to bullying but to the annoying brats that would tease and provoke the other kids until they explode with anger. The angry ones are then admonished for their outburst while the brat says, “What did I do?” ”

    How in the world do justify that as not bullying?

    But that’s the problem, you think he’s an annoying brat teasing and provoking, but actually it’s just the pompous and clueless rich kid bragging about his toys. Then the other kids gang up on him. There’s a good reason why the angry ones are admonished.

    Also, it’s not simply a single instance of an explosion, but sustained and excess reaction, equivalent to the bullies screaming for 5 minutes while the rich kid timidly raised his hand to say but.. but..

    “Again, I have no way of knowing whether this was your intent but it clearly was the appearance and inevitable effect.”

    I’m not sure if you’re now saying that I intended to goad her into verbal abuse, but if so, then all the more you don’t understand bullying. I don’t really want to say I was being bullied because I thought I could handle it. But there was no question that I felt the effects. They were very clear and real to me.

    “Secondly, no matter how passionate you are about a topic it does not excuse derailing other people’s discussion of a different topic.”

    I didn’t like to derail it either, but there was a more important action I felt I had to take. I ask you: Is a discussion of anything, even sexual harassment, more important than actually preventing an act of bullying?

    “If you want to discuss bullying there are lots of ways and means to go about that without derailing what other people are trying to do. ”

    You’re mistaken, it’s not so much I want to discuss bullying as I wanted to call out an act of bullying.

    “BTW, interrupting and diverting a topic to something clearly awful that one is “passionate” about is another common trolling technique. ”

    Don’t look at the troll, look at the facts. Even if I were really a troll, it doesn’t detract one bit from the fact that bullying behaviour took place.

    “I have to assume barring some clear evidence to the contrary that you are. Sorry about that. I prefer to think well of fellow humans but ultimately have to judge based on the evidence before me.”

    I can fully understand that and I cannot ask for more. I appreciate and thank you for your civility.

    “So finally, here’s the deal. If you actually care about what any of us think you can simply say “Sorry I didn’t mean to derail things here.”, “I do care about sexual harassment issues and here’s my take on the subject.”, “OK I get it, I really am not a troll.”, or words to that effect. ”

    I really am sorry for derailing the topic. I didn’t mean to hash things up to the way they turned out at all. I handled things badly.

    Let me be clear once and for all. I have zero tolerance towards sexual harassment. In fact, I consider sexual harassment to be akin to bullying.

    “If you fire back about why you’re right and LeftSide really was a bully and, and, and yes but… Then I for one will be convinced that you are in fact a troll even though that may not be what you see when you look in the mirror.”

    Then I’m sorry I will have to disappoint you. In fact, I’m disappointed with you as well. You took a clear shot at saying why it’s not bullying then tell me I cannot respond?

  234. Emptyell says

    There is another counter point to this. There are times when we use the terms boys and girls, men and women, guys and gals (and yes I’m aware that the conventional order is significant of a sexist bias) and these usages are not inherently or at least necessarily sexist in certain contexts.

    So what? What does this have to do with whether sexual harassment is OK?

    I understand that these details might be pertinent to discussions of just what is and isn’t appropriate language for anti-harassment policies, but we haven’t got anywhere near a rational discussion of such details for all the diversion and derailments.

  235. vethtiche says

    Oh so you get to set the parameters now?

    Why isn’t it Person 15343 yelling at Person B, then Person B beating Person 15343 with a stick?

    And in any case, the correct response would be for other parties present to pull those two apart.

    You have already shown quite conclusively with your previous analogy that your line of thinking is fucked. And still you carry on.

  236. LeftSidePositive says

    It is time to address you LeftSide.

    Oh, how magnanimous of you!

    I was referring to gender equality as a larger issue and not sexual harassment.

    You know what? That still makes you A FUCKING ASSHOLE. Gender equality is a value. It is not up for debate by any reasonable or ethical people.

    Furthermore, when you swan in to a post ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT and downplay gender equality, you are directly responding to and trivializing sexual harassment. Because that’s what the discussion is ABOUT.

    Moreover, the REASON sexual harassment persists is because people do not respect gender equality. When you object to gender equality you are supporting the intellectual underpinnings of sexual harassers. Fuck, heisen even explicitly used those “differences” AS A REASON why feminists were wrong to object to harassment, or as he pretends to call it, “innocent flirting.”

    But instead you attacked what was actually a very benign statement.

    No, saying gender equality is “complex” is not a benign statement. It is apologism designed to perpetuate gender inequality and that is reprehensible.

    You ask me first to prove the differences, then when I do so

    No you didn’t. You made a steaming pile of unsubstantiated claims and threw out some completely scientifically-unsupported claptrap.

    shift the post to insist it must be relevant to something.

    No, this is actually a pretty basic standard for human communication and forum etiquette. Sentient human beings don’t generally say something unless they think it has relevant implications for the matter at hand. You’re just trying to distance yourself from your ugly implications.

    Ok, if you want to continue being dense

    You know, since you have willfully ignored repeated points on this thread, WHERE THE FUCK do you get off telling me I’m dense?!

    Biological – reproductive organs (ok not particularly relevant here), muscular mass, child bearing.

    No one has argued this, and in fact we have SPECIFICALLY TOLD YOU that it is erroneous to conclude that because of physical differences there must be social and psychological differences. Heisen was specifically called out for making this same fallacy, and here you do it again and have the gall to call ME dense?! You have made completely unsupported leaps going from the physical to the psychological, and I have already explained this to you.

    These immediately complicate the issues pertaining equality,

    WHY? You have provided NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER as to why this should be the case.

    Furthermore, you don’t seem to understand that EQUALITY is not the same thing as EQUIVALENCE. Equality is a philosophical and ethical assessment of VALUE. Saying there are minor physical differences that make us not exactly the same has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on the moral, intellectual, interpersonal value of people and their rights to have equal opportunity and equal respect.

    When you say you are opposed to gender equality (which is what the word “but” means, as does your insistence that it’s complex), you are saying you are opposed to the political, social, philosophical, and legal status of women being equal to that of men, and it is DISGUSTING.

    and indirectly or otherwise, lead to different roles played in society.

    That IS SEXISM. The fact that people are categorized by gender and their roles are assessed not on their individual merits but by the perception of their gender as a whole IS SEXISM. This is a social construct of how we put people into social roles, NOT an inherent difference between men and women.

    Sociological – Like it not, the differences are there,

    This is argument from assertion so cut it the fuck out.

    These roles can change and I know you want them to change. But we are in the here and now.

    This seems like a great deal of “well this is how it is so you should have to deal with it.” Otherwise WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR POINT?

    When we’re telling you our social roles are unacceptable and harmful to us, WHAT THE FUCK is your motivation for saying “but we are in the here and now”?

    Also, you’re conflating the difference between what things are with how they ought to be. YOU MADE THE CLAIM that there were “inherent” differences between men and women. When asked to defend this, you are saying “well this is how things are now and maybe they could change…” That is weaseling behavior. Your defense is FUNDAMENTALLY INCOMPATIBLE with what you claimed.

    Also, it just doesn’t make any fucking sense: if we are to take you at your word, all you were trying to argue “I’m all for gender equality, but men and women are not equal now and that could change…” That is grammatically incoherent. Why does the first clause get separated from the second with a “but”?! Why would current inequality be an argument against the VALUE of equality? Why would you fucking feel the need to say this when WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SAYING that we are not treated equally now and we’re trying to change that.

    Psychological – How can you go through life complaining of sexism and being hit upon and not recognise the psychological differences?

    Again, you’re totally failing to understand the difference between SOCIALIZED behavior and inherent psychological differences. Saying that people react differently when given different cultural norms does not IN ANY WAY mean that there are psychological differences between them. It means they’re in different environments.

    Also, the fact that I am the victim of sexism and I object to getting hit on says NOTHING about how men would feel if they were constantly told that they were inferior because of their gender and were constantly hit on and regularly had their personal space invaded and their wishes devalued. How do you know that there are inherent (your claim!) psychological differences when it isn’t possible to control for culture and to subject men to the same lifelong, culturally pervasive attitudes and find out if they react in the same way?

    Men think with their dicks, and women with their I don’t know what.

    This is a shockingly sexist statement, and a blatant excuse for poor behavior on the part of men. We are all human beings and we think with OUR MINDS, now fuck off.

    Also, you have provided NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that this is an inherent difference between men and women. I, on the other hand, have already brought up the aspect of socialization multiple times and you have failed to grasp it. Men are SOCIALIZED to be sexually aggressive: they are shown tons of sexualized, objectified women daily in advertising and other media, they are presented with narratives wherein male stories are central and women’s concerns are “other” so by far the vast majority of role models for being complex people they see are male, they are shamed by their peers if they are too sensitive to the concerns of women, they are taught that the ideal woman looks a certain way and pleases men in a certain way, they see abundant examples of men denigrating women–publicly and privately–who do not fulfill this role, and they are shown that their status is reflected on how much the “get” sexually from women. Women, in contrast, are shamed for their sexuality and strongly discouraged from expressing it, or that if they do express it they are not allowed to be taken seriously socially or politically. So, against this backdrop of social factors, how can you POSSIBLY think you can make assertions about how men and women INHERENTLY are? You have like a million factors for which you’ve failed to control.

    you seem to have the HUGE misimpression with your ingrained and preconceived notions on people,

    I have provided abundant sociological analysis as to the influences on people and their cultures, whereas YOU have just repeated tired stereotypes and made arguments from assertion, and now you have the fucking gall to tell me I’M the one with “ingrained and preconceived notions”? Projection, much?!

    that recognising Gender Differences has to be a counterpoint, a NEGATIVE, don’t you?

    1) You have failed to prove that things you claim are gender differences (in any sense that would be relevant to the ethical value of equality) are actually differences.

    2) Just because something is different, non-equivalent, does not have any bearing on its EQUALITY, and you are the one making the claim that these differences (most of which you haven’t actually proved are true!) make equality “complex.” Moreover, you provided a counterpoint NOT about equivalence, but rather as to why you should be “for” equality–that is, you are objecting to its role as a value, and that shows that you are a fucking douchebag.

    As Jasper put it – minimize sexism.

    So your plan to minimize sexism is to object to gender equality (and the only alternative to gender equality is some form of sexism) and to perpetuate a whole bunch of irrational, ignorant, unscientific sexist attitudes? Yeah, amazingly enough we’re not buying this bullshit.

    It’s just a different point of view. Deal with it.

    It’s not just a different point of view. It is a point of view that is completely unsubstantiated by evidence, so fuck off.

    That’s why I was intrigued by the possibility of paternity leave reaching full parity. I wasn’t familiar with the idea before but now I could see its potential to really make a difference.

    So you’re an ignorant buffoon who can’t even comprehend the concept of gender equality (you pretended it was some controversial or “complex” thing), and you pathetically assumed we’d be opposed to men’s interests (when, actually, we say, no it’s damn simple!), and now that you’ve gotten schooled in the values of, oh, I dunno, ACTUAL GENDER EQUALITY you just look silly.

    But I also saw the socio-economic obstacles that could make it difficult to implement and enforce.

    NO. You tried to act like we would be against it. You tried to bait us. You don’t get to weasel out of the obvious implications–literally THE ONLY POSSIBLE REASON for bringing it up.

    As I’ve already said, this has no bearing on whether or not it is an ETHICAL IMPERATIVE. Eradicating measles is an ethical imperative, and no one tries to claim they’re not *for* eradicating measles just because there are logistical issues. No one swans in to a discussion of people who know a lot more about infectious disease than the interloper and then screams “but it’s complicated!”

    You just immediately leap to your own conclusions to impose your own biases against me.

    No, idiot. I can read, and I have a basic grasp of rhetorical strategies. I am making conclusions based on the ABUNDANT evidence you have provided, and self-serving disclaimers do not invalidate that evidence. Actions speak louder than words.

    I mean seriously? Prove gender differences? Really?

    Yes. You made a claim, you have to prove it. That’s how it works.

    Try this on for size:

    “I mean seriously? Prove God? Really?”

    Do you see what a buffoon you look like?

    And yeah, you want me to take back the evo thing? Sure, since it’s not supported. It’s just one of the many theories floating out there. I take it back, but it doesn’t make an iota difference that gender differences are a fact.

    So, what your saying is, “yeah, actually my main argument that I presented as obvious definitive proof had no merit but the fact that all my proffered evidence is invalid doesn’t make a difference that what I asserted as fact is fact.”

    This is special fucking pleading. You have made a claim, all your “evidence” was mere conjecture, and now you want to just go ahead still asserting your “facts”? I don’t think you’ve fully grasped what a “fact” means.

    You have taken a militant your way or the highway approach to this matter, but you’re only ending up to look like a fool here.

    You have shown no reason why my way is wrong. You have shown no valid reason why I shouldn’t take the highway, because you have provided no evidence whatsoever to support your views. It is not “militant” to insist on basic standards of logic and valid evidence in a debate. That’s actually pretty basic.

    So, you provide an argument for which you have no evidence, I show your “evidence” is completely invalid, and yet you say I look like a fool? I think you need a mirror, dude.

    I wondered if you would take up on my piece about calling women girls in my culture. Why even wonder? Even on a closed subject like this you will bark up a storm.

    Who the fuck are you to say it’s a closed subject? This is the result of your privilege and your total lack of introspection.

    Internalised??? Who do you think you are? Applying this label?

    I’m someone who has a fairly basic understanding of thepsychology of internalization and internalized sexism in particular.

    So, do you actually want to make an argument about these concepts, or just adopt a position of offense and assume this will successfully shut down discussion? (because it won’t)

    What the hell do you even know of the meaning of words in other countries and cultures?

    The fact that you have provided absolutely no alternative meaning that doesn’t reinforce the same sexism you claim doesn’t exist. Look, willful denialism is a thing–the Dutch will simply INSIST that Black Pete is not racist in their culture, even as there are HUGE racial disparities in their culture, and even as it is a throwback to their slaveholding in Surinam, and they will beat and arrest people of color who protest this as racism, all the while insisting it’s not racist in their culture.

    So, for you to just claim, “But not my culture!” is special pleading.

    All I know is that when I call a colleague ‘girl’, I DO NOT think ‘foolish immature one’,

    You know, unconscious cognitive biases are a well-established fact in EVERY aspect of human psychology. For you to say “I know I don’t think this and therefore I can’t possibly be!” is shockingly ignorant.

    That’s NOT my culture.

    How do you know? I can observe from your behavior that you’re engaging in numerous sexist behaviors and attitudes that is ENTIRELY consistent with the assessment of “girls” being a sexist construction. You are so deep into your ingrained sexism that you just can’t see it, but we can and we will point it out.

    I repeat, DO NOT impose your culture on others.

    When your culture is doing something harmful, expect it to be criticized. If you had a valid argument, you could show why your culture is right, instead of just whining.

    And of all things, you actually became blatantly dishonest when bringing up about oppressive Islamic regimes, knowing fully well that I accepted that action should be taken if women started coming to you for help.

    You made a totally unsupported claim that culture made something okay. I made an analogy to show that claim is fundamentally flawed.

    Moreover, we’re not talking about intervening–we’re talking about criticism and awareness-raising. Furthermore, YOU presumed to speak for others saying they don’t have a problem with it. They are not here speaking for themselves.

  237. LeftSidePositive says

    then a little later – bam! A whole series of fucks.

    Mature people do not get the vapors over this.

    AGAIN, if you think this is more important than harassment, you are seriously a horrible human being.

    What I saw were a few posters rounding on a fellow poster – bullying him.

    Again, your arguments have no merit because you simply do not understand what bullying means. When someone is denying my rights, it’s not “bullying” to stand up for myself and make their harmful, vile assertions unacceptable.

    I couldn’t believe he was supporting this, and doing nothing!

    You know, you could have read what he was saying about the role of self-expression and trying to silence marginalized people, and how the lecturers were being grossly inappropriate (in an ETHICAL sense, not a linguistic one!), and, y’know, learned from it!

    (Ooh Martin! Do you see that? You KNEW, you implicitly knew it all along didn’t you? And did nothing?)

    Yes, because Martin is an ethical person and does not defend the oppressors at the expense of the oppressed. You should learn from this.

    Yes. You LeftSidePositive, for the tremendous verbal assault you unleashed on Heisenburg, are a BULLY.

    No, I am a member of a marginalized group standing up for myself against a direct assault on my equality. I don’t owe you, a member of the oppressing group who is EXPLICITLY supporting oppressive ideologies, the convenience of standing up for myself only to the extent that you approve. You are victim-blaming, and you are trying to reinforce heisen’s privilege to keep me unequal.

    Don’t know what a BULLY is? Try Wikipedia

    Did you miss the part on Wikipedia where it says, “particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power”?

    I am the member of a marginalized group. I am a victim of the imbalance of power. I was having my marginalization repeatedly reinforced through lies, strawmen, and derailing. I am standing up for myself against someone who is trying to inflict and perpetuate an imbalance of power ON ME.

    Bullying can’t be more important an issue than sexual harassment right?

    Oh, so you’re trying to pull a “how can you talk about blowjobs when people are dying in Darfur?” argument. Well, sorry, dumbshit, but that’s not going to work.

    And guess what folks? All through the Comment Section, it’s all just a Discussion – Level 1!

    So you’re saying that defending sexual harassment apparently has no bearing on whether or not it is socially acceptable and thus more likely to happen? You’re telling me precisely how serious YOU THINK pervasive attitudes about my worth relative to words and traditions are, and YOU THINK you have the authority to tell a marginalized group how something affects them. What total bollocks!

    Not all of us are feminists, sexual harassment is not our fight. We are privileged.

    This shows you are an absolutely horrible person and a callous asshole to boot.

    To put simply LeftSide, if I ever came across you and you were being sexually assaulted by someone. And you, on seeing me, gave me a customary “fuck you!”, do you REALLY think I would just stand by and tell you to shut your mouth?

    So you’re trying to claim I am only allowed to be angry at something during the exact moment it is happening?

    Furthermore, where exactly do you get off deciding when I have “permission” to be angry?

    That is your privilege again, and it needs to stop.

    What kind of a BASTARD do you think I, and so many other men, are?

    Exactly the bastard you are being.

    Of course I would try to help you!

    So you only try to help in one-time overt manifestations of a phenomenon, but try to shut down discussion on the pervasive social attitudes that lead to that phenomenon? This is, to put it mildly, misguided, both ethically and strategically.

    And if I saw a foul mouthed old man being mugged, of course I would try to help!

    But if after the fact the man was complaining about the incompetence of the police department and/or other social factors that led to his being repeatedly victimized, you’d feel entitled to tell him how he was allowed to talk about it?

    SERIOUSLY, what kind of an IDIOT do you take me, and how many countless others for?

    Exactly the idiot you’re being, and we’ve shown and described to you in detail the error in your thought processes.

    Back to you LeftSide, what category do you think all your verbal assaults fall into?

    If you fail to understand the difference between instigating aggression and self-defense, you are a fucking moron.

    Now try telling me that a discussion on sexual harassment is MORE urgent, or important than the act of someone being bullied?

    That person was not being bullied. He was being held accountable for his own shocking, bigoted, lying, hostile behavior.

    Saying the word “fuck,” no matter how many times, is NOWHERE NEAR the level of offensiveness as repeatedly lying and saying that my value of a person is less than the value of a tradition.

    You refuse to consider things from perpectives of other cultures,

    “My culture values words over your humanity–you have to respect that!” fuck no, I don’t.

    refuse to respect others

    
You have failed to address the difference between “respect”–acknowledge people’s human rights, versus “respect”–treat people with admiration and deference. This has already been explained to you and you are just repeating your tired assertion and failing to address what we said.

    Because I recognise all the symptoms that point to bullying, the fear of speaking up – the stress.

    “Oooh–now I feel stressed about bringing up the idea that you have inherent differences that make your equality ‘complex’! I am feeling very stressed about perpetually caring about my own needs in a space for others to talk about their needs!”

    Yes–what you are doing is socially unacceptable. Now you are playing the victim when people tell you what you are doing is socially unacceptable. Fuck off.

    I kept wondering, was I wrong? Was it really just my ego?

    Yes, you were. Yes, it was.

    Why did I keep feeling it was wrong to let go?

    Because you’re stubbornly holding on to your privilege.

    All I wanted was to stand up for a victim of verbal abuse and bullying, and I got flamed in the process.

    You can’t even fucking IDENTIFY a victim of verbal abuse and bullying. You are telling a marginalized population that they have to be nicer to people who are mistreating them–making MATERIAL CLAIMS about our inferiority and justifying attitudes that have MATERIAL AFFECTS on our lives–and pretending our reaction is the problem. Fuck that.

  238. LeftSidePositive says

    No, idiot. Persons 15344 and 15343 are doing real material harm to Person B. Person B is just vehemently objecting to it.

    You seem incapable of understanding who is doing material harm and who is speaking up against material harm.

    Furthermore, if your solution is to just “separate” the two parties and not address the fact that Person B is STILL RECEIVING thousands of instances of material harm, you are punishing Person B for speaking up for zirself and maintaining Person B’s oppression.

  239. Emptyell says

    I acknowledge that bullying is a complex topic that we may disagree about and that I may be mistaken in my understanding of it in some ways. Under other circumstances I would be open to discussing this but bullying is not the topic here.

    Your insistence on going on and on and on about what you think about what you want to discuss while completely disregarding what everyone else is saying confirms you as an unrepentant troll. Your refusal to acknowledge this suggests that you are also an unwitting troll. To us that makes no difference. The effect is the same.

    I am not disappointed by your response since I wasn’t really expecting any better. More relieved that I can now stop wasting my time with you.

  240. LeftSidePositive says

    I really wish I had CLEARLY called LeftSide out for being a bully in my very first post

    And we would have told you how full of shit you were even then. Oh, wait…we did, and repeatedly.

    There is a reason why the scope of Bullying is so broad,

    Yeah, it’s so broad it encompasses marginalized people standing up for themselves!

    How in the world do justify that as not bullying?

    Because the person making the outburst is responding to direct, repeated, aggressive behavior.

    but actually it’s just the pompous and clueless rich kid bragging about his toys.

    And when he is asked to stop REPEATEDLY and when he says he is ENTITLED to do this after MANY people have told him how they feel, and mocks anyone who has EVER told him that this is harmful is “making a big deal out of nothing” and “going too far,” he pretty much loses my sympathy. At this point he has become willfully aggressive.

    There’s a good reason why the angry ones are admonished.

    So you punish the victims of unfair treatment for being angry, while defending the privilege of the one who is taking initiative to be hostile.

    while the rich kid timidly raised his hand to say but.. but..

    But the “rich kid” WASN’T being timid (neither heisen NOR you!). He was continuing to lie and continuing the same behavior that he was told was wrong. The rich kid is REPEATEDLY asserting that he has the privilege to engage in this harmful behavior, even when the other kids have told him over and over again to stop. If he is STILL DOING the harmful behavior as the other kids are yelling that he stop, he doesn’t get to claim the outburst is “sustained and excessive” when he is sustaining his own harmful behavior.

    But there was no question that I felt the effects. They were very clear and real to me.

    So, you are engaging in pompous, misleading, insensitive, sexist harmful behavior, and you have the FUCKING GALL to tell us you feel bad when we say we will not tolerate being treated like this?

    You’re mistaken, it’s not so much I want to discuss bullying as I wanted to call out an act of bullying.

    And it is your sexism and your privilege that makes you see the wronged party as responsible, and it is your COMPLETELY FUCKED priorities that make you think swearing is worse than lying, dismissing, strawmanning, derailing, and distracting.

  241. Emptyell says

    I just thought of another simple rule:

    Sociability isn’t about you. It’s about other people and how well you relate to them.

    And corrolaries:

    If you don’t want to be sociable don’t engage.
    If you don’t know how ask for help.
    When you try and fail, apologize.

    Any suggestions, corrections, additions?

    Can this help with development of effective anti-harassment policies?

  242. Emptyell says

    So I guess this has gone on too long for any substantive conversation.

    Oh well. It ‘s been fun (sort of) doing troll patrol with you all. It’s certainly been an education.

    If I ever do start my own blog (part of why I’m here is to help decide) I suspect my moderation style will be on the strict side.

  243. LeftSidePositive says

    ZOMG, I totally just had an epiphany: vethtiche’s insistence that I am the bully is eerily similar to all those Christian high school groups and their parental/political enablers who *insist* that we’re bullying THEM by telling them they can’t tell all the gay kids they’re going to hell!

  244. Emptyell says

    Now that you mention it… Yup. Same pattern.

    I don’t begrudge people their privilege (it would be rather hypocritical for one), but it’s a bunch of crap when they act as though it’s their right to be privileged and get all hurt and play the victim when anyone so much as questions it. Except of course that it’s effective crap. If they just throw enough of it around eventually everyone usually just gives up. You’ll notice how much substantive discussion got accomplished here, or maybe you can’t buried under all the fucktons.

    Do you think anything of value came out of this?

  245. LeftSidePositive says

    Do you think anything of value came out of this?

    Actually, yeah.

    & from my comments on Hemant’s blog, I’ll be arguing with some troll, and then like hours later someone I’ve never heard of who hasn’t said a word through the entire thing will reply to me and say they really appreciated all the stuff I said (& a few people have even asked permission to repost my comments–that’s my favorite!). So, people do listen to this stuff, and it actually does have an effect on hearts and minds.

    I’ve also noticed quite a few people–mostly on skepchick and Greta Christina’s blog say that it was Elevatorgate and seeing women communicate outspokenly about the problems of sexism and seeing them so overtly manifested, that really came to understand what feminists were talking about & it made them more vocal supporters of women’s rights.

    So, yeah, arguing passionately about feminism, and smacking down trolls actually does have a positive effect.

  246. Emptyell says

    That’s good to hear. Especially from a skilled veteran.

    I certainly appreciated your vehement thoughtfulness, intense perspicacity, and of course your trademark Fuckskrieg. I’ve been a mostly passive supporter of feminism all my life. It felt good to get a few licks in. I don’t know how much I have the stomach for but this makes me feel I should see what I can do to up the activism in my life. Anyway, thanks for being, and good luck.

  247. Rilian says

    That’s what I was thinking.
    But I didn’t know how to say it without yelling.

  248. says

    You’ve defending sexism. You’ve defended sexists. You’ve distracted from the problem, repeatedly changed the topic away from actually helping them.

    You ARE Person 15344.

    Do you think you’re the first person to come along and tone troll and defend sexism? And no, just because you state that you’re opposed to it doesn’t mean you are. Your actions 100% prove this.

  249. vethtiche says

    @LeftSide

    I already stated my piece in post 52.

    What your post is doing now is to respond to the discussion of gender equality, which is however off topic, albeit slightly.

    While I will always support your right to respond, the moment you do however, it guarantees my right to respond.

    However, had you tried to be more civil in even just your post I’m currently responding to, I would have been happy to agree to disagree and move on. Unfortunately, your continual insistence to heap verbal abuse makes it necessary to exercise my right to respond.

    I have zero tolerance for bullying. No discussion is ever more important than the act itself, and bullying is always worse than trolling. You better get that in your head (I will deal with your fantasy of being bullied in the next post).

    “You know what? That still makes you A FUCKING ASSHOLE. Gender equality is a value. It is not up for debate by any reasonable or ethical people.”

    You JUST don’t get it. Gender Equality is the ideal. The debate is on whether it is achievable and more importantly, how to achieve it. No one ethical is objecting to the ideal itself.

    “Furthermore, when you swan in to a post ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT and downplay gender equality, you are directly responding to and trivializing sexual harassment. Because that’s what the discussion is ABOUT.”

    You keep saying that I downplayed gender equality. I did not. From start to finish, you have been making baseless assertions of what you THINK (actually fantasise more like) people are saying, as opposed to what they actually are saying. I think it’s time to start applying the standard of evidence to yourself.

    And considering you were so eager to address all my posts, how in the world did you come to miss my acknowledgement that in writing that statement I had not been thinking about sexual harassment specifically, and that I was sorry for that? And before you bring in topic and trivialise, I ALREADY had pretty strong attitudes AGAINST sexual harasssment the ACT. Had someone actually been sexually harassed on here, I would also stand up for her. But you already admitted you were not sexually harassed.

    Let me hammer a little further into your numbskull: ACT TRUMPS DISCUSSION EVERY TIME.

    “Moreover, the REASON sexual harassment persists is because people do not respect gender equality.”

    And those who don’t should be castigated. But I already said I supported it. You’re the one twisting my words to suit your fantasy.

    “Fuck, heisen even explicitly used those “differences” AS A REASON why feminists were wrong to object to harassment, or as he pretends to call it, “innocent flirting.””

    I was never defending his ideas. I could see where he was coming from, but I always admitted he was probably wrong.

    And again (without looking at the full context of his statement since you’re not quoting it), you’re twisting his words to suit your agenda.

    Define ‘innocent flirting’. To me it’s like man meets woman at bar. “Hi you’re pretty, can I buy you a drink?” “Sure..” Chat chat (a few mutually consenting touches) “It was nice talking to you, want to come back to my place?” “Hm.. you seem nice.. ok”

    How the hell does harassment come into such a scenario?

    I mean when he calls a spade, he means a spade. Even if you mean a tractor, it doesn’t mean his spade automatically becomes a tractor. It is still a spade!

    “No, saying gender equality is “complex” is not a benign statement. It is apologism designed to perpetuate gender inequality and that is reprehensible.”

    Ok I give you this. Some people will use it as an excuse, but it is not so in my case (see my comments above). And unfortunately, excuse or not, it is complex, otherwise most of the world would have been in agreement on it.

    “No you didn’t. You made a steaming pile of unsubstantiated claims and threw out some completely scientifically-unsupported claptrap.”

    In the first place there is no scientific consensus on the subject, so any one theory is no more convincing than the other. Social Science was still considered to be pretty limited 10 years ago, and I don’t think it has come that much further since then.

    “No one has argued this, and in fact we have SPECIFICALLY TOLD YOU that it is erroneous to conclude that because of physical differences there must be social and psychological differences. ”

    That’s because you’re looking for hard evidence. What are the alternative theories? What are their evidence?

    The reality is that we don’t necessarily need the hard evidence. This is not a god claim, you don’t need extraordinary evidence. There are numerous indications & observations of gender differences. Many of them, maybe even all of them are to you the problem. But we still have to look at them to see how we can reconcile the differences or circumvent them if necessary.

    Your sledgehammer approach of screw the differences and create a new world order where there WILL be none is simply too unrealistic.

    “When you say you are opposed to gender equality (which is what the word “but” means, as does your insistence that it’s complex), you are saying you are opposed to the political, social, philosophical, and legal status of women being equal to that of men, and it is DISGUSTING.”

    Again you misconstrue to fit your agenda. I might have understood except that I thought I had already clarified the point. The point is you just do not get that when I say Gender Differences I mean it in an academic sense, as opposed to just limitations, or even a ridiculous Man better than Woman difference, when there are also Woman better than Man differences as well.

    “That IS SEXISM. The fact that people are categorized by gender and their roles are assessed not on their individual merits but by the perception of their gender as a whole IS SEXISM. ”

    So you agree it is a fact. So what if you call it sexism? The point is to see if & how these roles can be changed to achieve the equality desired. You just KEEP zooming into key words and your own perception of the key words while ignoring real world issues that can affect the movement towards gender equality.

    “This is a social construct of how we put people into social roles, NOT an inherent difference between men and women.”

    When I say inherent, I mean as a whole not necessarily specific to any one field. Actually, now I look at it, it is more applicable to biological than the others.

    In any case, take out the ‘inherent’ since it’s confusing. In fact take out everything else if you want and just leave “There are Gender Differences”. I’m not a word god.

    “This is argument from assertion so cut it the fuck out.”

    No, it is an argument from observation.

    ” Otherwise WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR POINT?”

    The point is that we have to look at things OBJECTIVELY, and not let EMOTIONS rule our heads, which unfortunately for you, is the case.

    ““I’m all for gender equality, but men and women are not equal now and that could change…” That is grammatically incoherent. ”

    Fine, how about:
    I’m all for gender equality, but we cannot ignore real world gender differences (and I would add economies) in our quest to achieve it.

    I don’t mind you nitpicking, but you have already shown incredible flippance yourself in assigning meanings that aren’t necessarily there to fit your agenda.

    And you could at anytime have clarified things instead of throwing the kitchen sink.

    “Again, you’re totally failing to understand the difference between SOCIALIZED behavior and inherent psychological differences. ”

    Ok I understand socialised behaviour, but a person’s psychology is a product of it. I see the problem with ‘inherent’ so discard it. It doesn’t matter to me if the difference is inherent or socialised.

    “I have provided abundant sociological analysis as to the influences on people and their cultures, whereas YOU have just repeated tired stereotypes and made arguments from assertion, and now you have the fucking gall to tell me I’M the one with “ingrained and preconceived notions”? Projection, much?!”

    Fair enough, and I don’t have an issue with your sociological analyses.

    But I have already said you have a tendency to put words into people’s mouths, and this is not an observation from any one instance alone.

    “that is, you are objecting to its role as a value, and that shows that you are a fucking douchebag”

    AGAIN. I am not objecting to equality at all.

    “NO. You tried to act like we would be against it. You tried to bait us. You don’t get to weasel out of the obvious implications–literally THE ONLY POSSIBLE REASON for bringing it up.”

    Why in the world do you have to treat everything like a poisoned chalice?

    I asked a questioned. It got answered. I said great news. Why do you think I have to have some devious motive behind my optimism?

    “As I’ve already said, this has no bearing on whether or not it is an ETHICAL IMPERATIVE. Eradicating measles is an ethical imperative, and no one tries to claim they’re not *for* eradicating measles just because there are logistical issues. ”

    That’s the problem. What about ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE? That’s what I’m concerned about. I have no idea if or when full parity in parental leave can be fully implemented around the world. And yet, if it can be achieved, it could be one big step towards achieving equality.

    “Yes. You made a claim, you have to prove it. That’s how it works.

    Try this on for size:

    “I mean seriously? Prove God? Really?””

    It’s not a god claim where you need extraordinary evidence. There are numerous observations of differences, just because there aren’t any consensual theories to explain them does not mean the observations will just disappear. Besides, the sociological analyses you provided are in themselves indicative of these observations.

    “So, do you actually want to make an argument about these concepts, or just adopt a position of offense and assume this will successfully shut down discussion? (because it won’t)”

    And just exactly what evidence do you have to show that this internalized sexism in women calling themselves girls, is actually harmful to them?

    “You know, unconscious cognitive biases are a well-established fact in EVERY aspect of human psychology. For you to say “I know I don’t think this and therefore I can’t possibly be!” is shockingly ignorant.”

    Of course there are. But what’s your evidence of this bias you claim in this instance? You do not get to decide what people think!

    “How do you know? I can observe from your behavior that you’re engaging in numerous sexist behaviors and attitudes that is ENTIRELY consistent with the assessment of “girls” being a sexist construction. You are so deep into your ingrained sexism that you just can’t see it, but we can and we will point it out.”

    Ok fine, point them out. And mind you, I have already admitted I can be sexist, or chauvinist as I prefer to call it.

    “When your culture is doing something harmful, expect it to be criticized. If you had a valid argument, you could show why your culture is right, instead of just whining.”

    No one said it can’t be criticised. My country and culture has been criticised for a lot of things. But just don’t expect anyone to take your criticism on this seriously, and don’t come whining when no one does anything about it.

    That’s the problem with your sledgehammer equality stance. If you don’t consider the big picture and just think your stance has to take priority over everything else, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.

    Pick and choose your battles. You are stupid to barge into this issue. Call it deep seated internalised sexism if you want, but if you can’t prove it is actually harmful, you’ve lost.

  250. tracieh says

    >ZOMG, I totally just had an epiphany: vethtiche’s insistence that I am the bully is eerily similar to all those Christian high school groups and their parental/political enablers who *insist* that we’re bullying THEM by telling them they can’t tell all the gay kids they’re going to hell!

    Well, yes. This to me has been an obvious trend. I avoid the conferences in order to avoid the people who think treating others with polite regard is too much of an imposition. I read the comments from the people *themselves*, publicly and online–I’m not just relying on hearsay in some blogs. I read what they have to say about their own views on how they wish to be allowed to behave at these events, and I make an informed choice to avoid them by avoiding these conventions.

    And even that will draw criticism. Why? Am I not allowed to choose my associates based on my own personal values? Must I endure someone’s company? Is not doing so *also* some sort of imposition on that person? Rhetorical questions, all. It’s as if they’re not satisfied with being rude, they want the right to be rude, and their target does not have (in their minds) the right to avoid it.

    They behave and talk as though they have a right to interact with others–whether others consent to that interaction or not. After all, who am I to tell them what they can say or do…with/to *me*? It’s clearly all about them. Note the latest thing about the TAM attendance. Damn women NOT coming to the TAM conference, WTF is wrong with them? Nothing is wrong with me. I’ve seen the assholes who post to defend their right to be assholes at skeptic conventions, and that’s not the type of person I enjoy spending time with, so I won’t be paying to attend with a crowd that includes people I’m unlikely to want to be around, being told they can act as they wish toward me. It’s that simple. I’m not having a shit fit. I’m not imposing on others. I’m just avoiding being treated poorly by people who think being polite to others is a painful, unendurable imposition on their freedoms. Sue me. Oh, that’s right–they can’t, because it *is* my right to NOT attend an event and to choose my associates.

    But, that’s also what bouncers and security people are for. If I don’t wish to interact with you in a public setting, I absolutely do not have to there, either. You don’t have a “right” to speak to me, shake my hand, tell me what you think about me, to me, in person. I can stop you in mid sentence and say “I’m not listening to this anymore. Leave me alone.” And if you don’t, I can actually have you ejected from a place like a hotel lounge at a conference.

    I recall one mega asshole coming up to Jen Peeples at a social event to shake her hand. She was quite polite, and the person then got in his secret dig that she’d called him a misogynist in an e-mail exchange. He was clearly using his advantage that she would not recognize a person from an e-mail exchange as the asshole she’d interacted with, but he could know her, as she’s recognizable to him from the show. Rather than announce who he was up front–to level the field for fair advantage, he snuck in under the radar like vermin. Very slimy. But well, that’s how these people roll. He smugly (and promptly) walked away like the passive-aggressive coward he surely is (it’s his right to have his final dig, but be sure to take off right afterward to avoid getting as good as he just gave, right?); but as he left she just laughed and said to me, “And I’m sure I had good reason to label him that way, and I get the impression he hasn’t changed–whoever he is.” (paraphrasing, but not too far off the mark.)

    I think if a person expressed their distaste for me in an online exchange, I should realize they likely don’t want to socialize with me in person at a large social event where I can easily avoid them. And if that exchange has ended, I should not rehash it at someone’s wedding with another guest. To use the fact they can’t recognize me, and use the fact I can recognize them to an advantage in being an asshole to another person by issuing some post-exchange last dig–and then run away–is hostile and aggressive and boorish.

    And in my view, that’s exactly what these people are like and what they wish to accomplish. They don’t want to interact and be friendly–they want to be assholes, and that’s only satisfying if you can make others put up with it. If the women don’t show up to be targets–then all the fun of treating them like crap is totally spoiled. Spoil-sport women, ruining all the fun. It upsets them when someone notes that “I’m not *required* to endure your hostile aggression.” Oh, yes (they believe) you most certainly are. To not allow it is an imposition on *them* somehow. It’s not sufficient to say “You don’t like people like me. You don’t wish to hang with people like me. OK.” The women must also be vilified for making that decision.

    Seriously–what *else* did this guy, who spoke to Jen, hope to accomplish but to seem petty? Did he think he was really showing *her*? Making a bold statement? I’m sure he felt some satisfaction in what he did–but to everyone in observation distance, he was simply pathetic. As are they all.

  251. Emptyell says

    He’s still at it.

    What do you think it is? An endless appetite for negative attention, a compulsive need to prove he’s “right”, or what? Do you think somewhere under all that is a real desire to engage and connect with other people?

    I don’t know about you but I don’t see any possibility of change at this point.

  252. Kazim says

    Tracie, that ought to be its own blog post so people don’t miss it. Martin and I are only too happy to speak up for these issues, but we can’t be more than proxies. Really your own personal experience in this area is all the more powerful because so many people here respect you.

  253. Emptyell says

    I agree completely that people (and not just women) can, should and will vote with their feet (wallets, what have you). I’ve never been to TAM and was thinking of checking it out this year but this is enough to knock it off my list (being in Vegas it was teetering on the edge anyway).

    I don’t quite understand what you mean about being “required” to go. I gather you mean in the fevered imaginations of guys who want to hit on you. Have you seen that stated or are you extrapolating?

    I think I do get your point, sort of. I’m sure there are lots of guys who fantasize about meeting a hot chick at a conference in Vegas and the drop in attendance will lessen their imaginary chances, but then, they think, so would enforcement of an anti-harassment policy. What to do?

    There’s kind of an inevitable strawman quality to this since I doubt many guys would express this overtly but my experience with creeps suggests it to be somewhat accurate.

    On the other hand since skeptic/secular/atheist get togethers are completely optional for me, after all this I will not be attending any that lack a clear and well publicized anti-harassment policy. Of course this isn’t me just being all good and right and proper in deference to women’s legitimate rights and concerns (though it is that too). I just happen to enjoy the company of intelligent, strong willed, creative women who won’t hesitate to tell a guy to fuck off when necessary. So I guess I’m not so different from the other guys really.

  254. vethtiche says

    @LeftSide

    Again I exercise my right to respond.

    “Mature people do not get the vapors over this.”

    But you did, for less.

    “AGAIN, if you think this is more important than harassment, you are seriously a horrible human being.”

    Harassment as in what? Repeating some stupid sexist statement is not harassment. You just don’t get it, like the poor kids bullying the rich kid. The poor kids think they’re standing up for themselves. Yes they are, but they are also engaging in bullying behaviour. it’s a pretty classic case

    “Again, your arguments have no merit because you simply do not understand what bullying means. When someone is denying my rights, it’s not “bullying” to stand up for myself and make their harmful, vile assertions unacceptable.”

    No you do not understand what bullying is. Bullying can indeed also be a response to bullying. The problem is that heisen never showed ANY aggression towards you. He never bullied you. The moment you inflicted sustained verbal abuse towards him, you became a bully. AGGRESSION is the key.

    And not only that, you are again applying meaning that isn’t there. He never denied you your rights, he was accepting it, but on the condition it didn’t apply to his culture. That’s completely different.

    “No, I am a member of a marginalized group standing up for myself against a direct assault on my equality. I don’t owe you, a member of the oppressing group who is EXPLICITLY supporting oppressive ideologies, the convenience of standing up for myself only to the extent that you approve.”

    It’s not what I approve. But by DEFINITION your action was bullying. Rich kid poor kid again. No matter how many times he throws up new toys when you tell him not to, it is still bullying once your aggression manifests.

    “You are victim-blaming, and you are trying to reinforce heisen’s privilege to keep me unequal.”

    No I am trying to persuade you that bullying behaviour is WRONG. You are at worst a victim of sexism that was not even specifically directed at you. If it was sexual harassment then it would be different.

    “Did you miss the part on Wikipedia where it says, “particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power”?

    I am the member of a marginalized group. I am a victim of the imbalance of power. I was having my marginalization repeatedly reinforced through lies, strawmen, and derailing. I am standing up for myself against someone who is trying to inflict and perpetuate an imbalance of power ON ME.”

    Not towards you, his sexism wasn’t specifically directed towards you. And it was precisely cos of this imbalance that made you engage in an act of bullying. It is a symptom, not an excuse.

    No one said you cannot stand up for something, the problem is you crossed the line.

    “Oh, so you’re trying to pull a “how can you talk about blowjobs when people are dying in Darfur?” argument. Well, sorry, dumbshit, but that’s not going to work.”

    And why in the world are you talking about Darfur? It’s all happening at the same place. I would tend to the dying first.

    “So you’re saying that defending sexual harassment apparently has no bearing on whether or not it is socially acceptable and thus more likely to happen? You’re telling me precisely how serious YOU THINK pervasive attitudes about my worth relative to words and traditions are, and YOU THINK you have the authority to tell a marginalized group how something affects them. What total bollocks!”

    No I was saying that bullying is a greater evil than trolling.

    “This shows you are an absolutely horrible person and a callous asshole to boot.”

    What i meant was, while I would support any movement against sexual harassment, I wouldn’t be directly involved in it. However, if I see a clear act of sexual harassment, I would act against it. Same as I would for bullying.

    “So you’re trying to claim I am only allowed to be angry at something during the exact moment it is happening?

    Furthermore, where exactly do you get off deciding when I have “permission” to be angry?”

    No. If your anger causes you to bully someone, it becomes bullying. If it causes you to hit someone, it becomes assault. That’s why there are anger management classes.

    And it is irrational for you to continually abuse someone who’s been civil to you, even if he made stupid comments repeatedly.

    “So you only try to help in one-time overt manifestations of a phenomenon, but try to shut down discussion on the pervasive social attitudes that lead to that phenomenon? ”

    It’s not a one-time manifestation, you were continuing it on me.

    “But if after the fact the man was complaining about the incompetence of the police department and/or other social factors that led to his being repeatedly victimized, you’d feel entitled to tell him how he was allowed to talk about it?”

    I’m not sure what you mean here.

    “If you fail to understand the difference between instigating aggression and self-defense, you are a fucking moron.”

    Self-defense against what? Actual sexual harassment or just sexist stupidity? Don’t you get it? He was never attacking you! You just thought he was!

    “That person was not being bullied. He was being held accountable for his own shocking, bigoted, lying, hostile behavior.”

    What hostility? He was at the WORST just firm about his views. And the moment you abused, you became engaged in bullying.

    “Saying the word “fuck,” no matter how many times, is NOWHERE NEAR the level of offensiveness as repeatedly lying and saying that my value of a person is less than the value of a tradition.”

    Asians respect their traditions a lot. It’s a question of perspective. Your value as a person is important to you. His value in his tradition is important to him, maybe more than himself (assuming he’s Asian as I suspect).

    “You have failed to address the difference between “respect”–acknowledge people’s human rights, versus “respect”–treat people with admiration and deference.”

    I may not have seen the comment, and I’m not sure what the question is here.

    “Yes–what you are doing is socially unacceptable. Now you are playing the victim when people tell you what you are doing is socially unacceptable. Fuck off.”

    Nope, I have tried to avoid playing the victim card unless necessary. You have been playing the victim card from start to finish.

    “You can’t even fucking IDENTIFY a victim of verbal abuse and bullying. ”

    You REALLY do not understand what bullying is. That’s the thing. You are a victim of sexism and sexual harassment. I know that. In fact, I feel sorry I even had to write yet another long post.

    I cannot imagine what you had gone through previously to become what you are now, and I would rather you had discussed your actual experiences so I can try to understand.

    I just feel sad, that because of our differences we cannot reach a meeting of minds.

    You are passionately against sexual harassment. I am passionately against bullying.

    I just want this to end.

  255. says

    I just want this to end.

    The reason it isn’t is that you can’t seem to stop insisting that swearing at somebody in blog comments is just as mean and awful as sexual harassment.

  256. Emptyell says

    I think he just likes getting so much attention from an extraordinary woman and will keep it going as long as he can.

  257. Zengaze says

    Damn good question I’m going to have to rethink what I was trying to say. As for the shouting bit, shout all you want, forums are like space in that regard.

  258. tracieh says

    Thank you. I do see you understand my meaning now. But in case anyone else reads it and requires clarification, I’m happy to offer that:

    What I meant by “required” to go was the attitude put forward by people like Goethe in the later post at this blog—that if a woman opts out, somehow she’s causing problems. I can’t even “not go” without being chastised for having done something wrong. In other words, if I decide not to show up to avoid being disrespected—by people who post publicly at the blog comment sections on these issues, that they think they have every right to treat anyone else there as poorly as they wish at these conferences—then somehow I’m a bad person. It’s as though they believe it’s my duty to show up there, and I’ve done something wrong in not doing so. However, I see it as my right to choose the people I prefer to hang with and not hang with those I don’t particularly care for. And I don’t feel I’m harming someone by saying “I’d rather not hang out with your group.”

    Thanks, again, for the opportunity to clarify.

  259. Emptyell says

    Glad my momentary clueless ness was of service. Great exposition of yet another damned if you do damned if you don’t deal.

  260. says

    Asians respect their traditions a lot … Your value as a person is important to you. His value in his tradition is important to him

    You’ve officially moved into the category of “revolting sack of shit.”

    Shut up, fuck off and don’t come back.

  261. LeftSidePositive says

    What your post is doing now is to respond to the discussion of gender equality, which is however off topic, albeit slightly.

    And after your behavior on this thread you have the FUCKING GALL to tell me that I’m being off-topic?!

    While I will always support your right to respond, the moment you do however, it guarantees my right to respond.

    No one has said you don’t have the “right” so drop that fucking persecution complex right now. HOWEVER, when you’re being an asshole, expect that we’ll call you out for being an asshole.

    However, had you tried to be more civil in even just your post I’m currently responding to, I would have been happy to agree to disagree and move on.

    You do understand, don’t you, that tone trolling is MORALLY WRONG? It is insensitive and insulting to tell marginalized people that you appoint yourself the arbiter of how they’re supposed to be. And, you’re derailing!

    I have zero tolerance for bullying.

    No, you have zero tolerance for marginalized people expressing themselves according to THEIR needs.

    (I will deal with your fantasy of being bullied in the next post).

    You are the privileged person. It is unethical of you to tell a marginalized person what their experiences are or are not, ESPECIALLY when you are denying the treatment they are receiving from YOUR privileged group.

    No one ethical is objecting to the ideal itself.

    YOU ARE, you lying fucking weasel! YOU SAID “I’m all for gender equality, BUT…” and then you proceeded to offer some utter bullshit about “inherent” differences between men and women.

    You’ve also gone on long, convoluted evo-psych justifications to claim men and women are inherently different, which downplays gender equality.

    how in the world did you come to miss my acknowledgement that in writing that statement I had not been thinking about sexual harassment specifically, and that I was sorry for that?

    I have already told you that actions speak louder than words. I have also already told you that your self-serving empty words are not convincing.

    Had someone actually been sexually harassed on here, I would also stand up for her. But you already admitted you were not sexually harassed.

    Holy fucking shit, you don’t get it. You don’t get to decide when I’m allowed to upset about systemic issues that affect my life. You are also mind-numbingly stupid if you think the values expressed in support of sexual harassment, and the casual dismissal of women’s equality, is not a major concern in itself. Sexual harassment is not this sporadic on-or-off thing–it is the reflection of CULTURAL MISOGYNY, and I am under no obligation to be polite to cultural misogyny.

    And those who don’t should be castigated. But I already said I supported it.

    That’s WHY you’re being castigated. Actions speak louder than words. When you defend the attitudes supporting sexual harassment, when you downplay people’s experience of sexual harassment, when you insist on derailing the conversation, when you habitually diminish the competence of women on this thread, when you ignore over and over again what are the values of this space and being a human being in general, when you think you have the prerogative to tell us how we can communicate, when you insist that biological differences “complicate” equality, you are being a sexist ass who doesn’t support gender equality.

    I was never defending his ideas.

    Yes, you have–you acted like they had a legitimate place in the debate. Weaselly support, but still support. You want his odious views to be taken seriously. AND, you explicitly supported his completely revolting, discriminatory, bigoted evolutionary-psychology-based “anatomy=psychology” bullshit. And, look, you’re going to support his ideas again!

    Define ‘innocent flirting’. To me it’s like man meets woman at bar. “Hi you’re pretty, can I buy you a drink?”

    This is a classic misogynistic trolling tactic. WE are talking about harassment. This conversation is ABOUT harassment. HE then comes in and tries to insist that behaviors we are objecting to are “innocent flirting.” He willfully and repeatedly tries to change the subject away from groping, cornering, leering, etc., and tries to pretend that being asked not to stalk, bother, or assault women, is being asked not to flirt innocently.

    He is strawmanning and deflecting, and now YOU are, too!

    How the hell does harassment come into such a scenario?

    This is a circular argument. You made that scenario up. “He said innocent flirting –> this is how I describe innocent flirting (regardless of the context in which he ACTUALLY brought up innocent flirting) –> therefore he must be talking about totally innocent flirting with no further agenda.”

    BULLSHIT.

    I mean when he calls a spade, he means a spade. Even if you mean a tractor, it doesn’t mean his spade automatically becomes a tractor. It is still a spade!

    No, you fucking idiot. When we’re talking about tractors and he interrupts the discussion and TRIES TO PRETEND we’re talking about spades, HE is the liar.

    Ok I give you this. Some people will use it as an excuse, but it is not so in my case (see my comments above).

    YOU HAVE been using it as an excuse for this entire thread! You’ve been called on it, so you’re trying to change your tune, but the fact remains that you were trying to downplay the need for gender equality. You tried to bring up scenarios where you imagined we would oppose gender equality (and failed, poor little troll!)

    And unfortunately, excuse or not, it is complex, otherwise most of the world would have been in agreement on it.

    So you’re saying we should just be happy with the status quo? Why the fuck do you need to tell us, in the trenches, that gender equality is “complicated” if that’s all you mean? That is NOT what you meant. You said there were INHERENT differences between men and women, and tried to insinuate that meant gender equality was unreasonable. You have been trying to use your evo-psych bullshit to justify the status quo.

    Really, “don’t enslave people” is not even a remotely complex idea, and yet slavery persisted for THOUSANDS of years. It would be valid to argue that BIGOTRY is complex. PRIVILEGE is complex. That doesn’t mean that our commitment to values and ideals should be watered down. Otherwise you’re just implying that we’re naive for expecting better, and this is a classic privilege-bolstering technique.

    In the first place there is no scientific consensus on the subject, so any one theory is no more convincing than the other.

    
SPECIAL FUCKING PLEADING, asshole!! You made a claim. You need to back it up or fuck off.

    Furthermore, cultural influences ARE OBSERVABLE. They are known to exist. I have provided abundant evidence of ACTUALLY OBSERVED PHENOMENA that would more than adequately explain the differences you cite. When cultural influences change, human behavior changes dramatically. To say that complex cultural attitudes like sexism are “inherent” and that men and women must be so different as to make equality “complicated,” in the face of the remarkable changes in human behavior seen in different social structures is ABSURD. Cultural changes and the variability of human responses to it is strong evidence against your claims of “inherence.” Also, putting people in similar situations engenders similar responses–you can get white people and men to exhibit the exact same stereotype threat if you question their group’s competence, even though women and minorities are generally subject to these cultural influences in our society.

    And, what’s my prior probability on “well, men and women are just naturally different”? Every scientific theory that has tried to claim this for the last several centuries has been shown embarrassingly wrong–what is the likelihood that you’re right, versus clutching at the same straws to justify your biases that they were?

    This is not a god claim, you don’t need extraordinary evidence. There are numerous indications & observations of gender differences.

    NO, you fucking idiot. YOU CLAIMED THESE DIFFERENCES ARE INHERENT!!! THAT is the extraordinary claim. No one is suggesting men and women don’t have different roles in our current society, but you made claims of INHERENCE. YOU are insinuating that the way men and women are conditioned to behave in our extraordinarily unequal culture somehow reflects on how attainable the value of equality actually is.

    But we still have to look at them to see how we can reconcile the differences or circumvent them if necessary.

    But you’re not actually looking at them. You’re making excuses for them. AND YOU HAVEN’T PROVED INHERENCE. You don’t need to “reconcile” or “circumvent” differences that are the result of inequality–you address the inequality and those differences go away. You have made NO CREDIBLE ARGUMENT as to these differences being anything other than the result of cultural discrimination.

    The biological differences you cite are so incredibly minor from an equality perspective as to be irrelevant, but you keep trying to conflate them into social and psychological differences.

    Your sledgehammer approach of screw the differences

    No, I’m saying PROVE THE DIFFERENCES. You made the claim. You need to back it up.

    and create a new world order

    When you use overly-dramatic, fascism-implying terms like this, you are directly trying to scare people away from the ideal of gender equality. Words like this show that you are opposed to gender equality, and you find it threatening.

    where there WILL be none is simply too unrealistic.

    I don’t think I ever claimed men will cease to have penises (don’t worry!). I don’t think I ever claimed women (and phenotypically female non-gender-conforming persons) will cease to be the group that gives birth. These are the only credible claims of difference you have made thus far.

    So you agree it is a fact. So what if you call it sexism?

    No one here has EVER claimed that sexism doesn’t exist. That’s the problem we have been consciously discussing this whole thread before you showed up with your derailing. Saying that discrimination exists is in no way means that men and women are INHERENTLY different, which was your claim. Saying “discrimination exists and fixing it is complicated” is not something anyone over the age of 12 needs to be told. YOU SAID that ”EQUALITY” was complicated, and tried to imply it was an unreasonable goal. Now we’ve called you out on this bullshit, you are weaseling.

    The point is to see if & how these roles can be changed to achieve the equality desired.

    Who the fuck are you to say “if these roles can be changed” when many women have stated quite clearly that they want to change them?! That they feel confined and pressured into these roles that DO NOT fit who they are?! Furthermore, who the fuck are you to announce that these things are complicated? It sounds like you’re trying to discourage us from seeking equality (and when you say things like “new world order” it CERTAINLY shows you’re opposed to equality!) by implying it’s past our skill or comprehension. You know what, fuckwit? We have a LOT more experience with these issues than you do. We are ALREADY taking steps (like a comprehensive sexual harassment policy!) to tackle logistical issues, we don’t need you and your evo-psych bullshit to tell us about problems in the world we already know a lot more about than you!

    while ignoring real world issues that can affect the movement towards gender equality.

    WHAT real world issues? All you’ve provided is evo-psych bullshit about why you think men and women should be different.

    In any case, take out the ‘inherent’ since it’s confusing.

    This was YOUR ENTIRE POINT. You don’t get to just make it go away. You tried to tell us our differences were INHERENT and that this went beyond simple anatomy. YOU used this as an excuse for why our equality is “complex.” Equality is not a complex concept if the “differences” you’re touting go away with equal opportunity and equal social treatment.

    In fact take out everything else if you want and just leave “There are Gender Differences”.

    And if you fail to address whether these are socialized or inherent you have made NO ARGUMENT WHATSOEVER, and if you’re not distinguishing between how people are socialized to behave versus how they naturally behave you have UTTERLY FAILED to make any type of cultural critique or diagnose any problems with inequality.

    You have lost this argument. And now you’re weaseling about what you meant because NOTHING you have claimed stands up to scrutiny.

    The point is that we have to look at things OBJECTIVELY, and not let EMOTIONS rule our heads, which unfortunately for you, is the case.

    Oh, my god, you MOTHERFUCKING SEXIST BASTARD!!!! What the FUCK is wrong with you?!

    Classic derailing attempt, btw. Not going to fall for it, and you should be fucking ashamed of yourself for trying it.

    WHERE THE FUCK do you get off telling me to look at things “objectively” when you have provided NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER to back up your claims?!

    Furthermore, we have ALREADY told you that your assumption that people being passionate implies a lack of rationality is sexist, privileged codswallop.

    It doesn’t matter to me if the difference is inherent or socialised.

    It matters immensely, idiot. If children were treated in an equal manner and people grew up in a world that valued equality, then you’re only looking at a couple of generations before these harmful biases and attitudes would die out.

    And it doesn’t matter TO YOU because you like these differences and they give you privilege. Because of your privilege you see no need to take these problems seriously. If you’re trying to insinuate that such differences are inherent, it disincentivizes people from trying to change social attitudes.

    Why in the world do you have to treat everything like a poisoned chalice?

    Because you are trying to poison the well. You can try to claim innocence on what you meant, and then act like you suddenly got really really concerned about parental leave in Africa on a thread about sexual harassment, but understand that we’re not going to believe this bullshit and it makes a LOT more sense that you would bring it up to try to undermine gender equality–you even admitted you didn’t even understand that parental leave was a feminist value when you brought it up! Besides, you didn’t even bring up the pathetic economic distraction until AFTER your attempt at baiting failed.

    And yet, if it can be achieved, it could be one big step towards achieving equality.

    WE TOLD YOU THIS. You didn’t know fucking shit about this issue until WE educated you about it. Don’t throw it back in our faces like you are schooling us! This is your privilege talking–you just assume you must be the expert and clearly have something to show these simple wimminz!

    And just exactly what evidence do you have to show that this internalized sexism in women calling themselves girls, is actually harmful to them?

    Did you actually read any of my links on internalized sexism? Also, women may feel less likely to speak up in meetings, or to correct a coworker. Coworkers may be less likely to come to them with serious problems and prefer to approach “one of the guys.” They will be more likely to be asked/pressured to do menial tasks or be expected to volunteer for things around the office. There are REAMS of literature on equally-competent businesswomen being dismissed as less competent. YOU are assuming the women you are arguing with are lacking in “reason.” YOU think that women need men’s “help” to feel valuable. YOU showed that you value youth disproportionately in women than men.

    Moreover, we have shown the common effects of calling grown women “girls”–what is YOUR evidence that your culture is different from the default, evidence-based assessment?

    That’s the problem with your sledgehammer equality stance.

    Again, you’re downplaying equality!

    If you don’t consider the big picture and just think your stance has to take priority over everything else, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.
    Pick and choose your battles.

    Well, it seems to me that someone in the privileged group has just told the underprivileged group how they’re supposed to act, and what will work (we get this a lot, idiot!)….and, surprise!! It’s to tell us to ignore any issues that would make him uncomfortable!

    You are stupid to barge into this issue.

    AGAIN, devaluing women’s intelligence! How many sexist dogwhistles can you blow?! Look how you are ACTIVELY DISCOURAGING a woman from addressing one of the socializing issues that makes men & women appear “different.”

    Call it deep seated internalised sexism if you want, but if you can’t prove it is actually harmful, you’ve lost.

    This culture of yours has produced you. That is more than sufficient evidence that it is harmful.

  262. LeftSidePositive says

    Again I exercise my right to respond.

    We never said you lacked the right. We are saying you lack the intellectual capacity.

    “Mature people do not get the vapors over this.”
    But you did, for less.

    “This” in my quote referred to swearing. People with decent values do not think that having my value AS A PERSON diminished, and being repeatedly lied to/about is “less” than swearing. Telling the marginalized person that their concerns are “less-than” is a classic privilege-bolstering technique.

    Repeating some stupid sexist statement is not harassment.

    We never said it WAS, dumbshit. You’re willfully obfuscating. We were skewering him for saying the stupid sexist statements–for which we have a right (nay, moral obligation!) to skewer him–and these sexist statements were IN SUPPORT OF HARASSMENT. No one is claiming sexual harassment was going on in real time–this is a strawman argument you made up. You also have no business to declare that harassment only deserves vocal condemnation when it happens in real time.

    The poor kids think they’re standing up for themselves. Yes they are, but they are also engaging in bullying behaviour.

    So how exactly do you suggest they stand up for themselves? When their freedom and their property and their worth are being threatened, do they need your permission to speak? Is telling someone in no uncertain terms STOP HURTING ME bullying behavior? They wouldn’t be telling the person to stop hurting them if that person were not actively engaged in hurting them.

    I’m also amused by how you reflexively defend the privileged, and want to make it as easy as possible for them to keep harming the marginalized.

    AGGRESSION is the key.

    And you got to decide this why?

    Why is overt aggression worse than dishonesty? Worse than telling someone they have less value as a person? Worse than telling people they have to put up with how they are mistreated?

    You are a worthless idiot who cares more about style over substance, so fuck off because the rest of us have real work to do.

    He never denied you your rights,

    This is untrue. First off, he is actively trying to undermine my efforts not to be harassed. He said my rights to be free of harassment had to be balanced against “the rights of others” as though they had a legitimate claim to my time, my body, and my attention. He puts a higher value on a tradition than the rights of individuals not to be discriminated against by their government.

    but on the condition it didn’t apply to his culture. That’s completely different.

    No, it’s just denialism, and his insistence on his privilege to put his desires ahead of my rights and equality. (For the record, he also apparently thought his opinions deserved to apply to French culture, too…)

    No matter how many times he throws up new toys when you tell him not to, it is still bullying once your aggression manifests.

    No–the rich kid is teasing and bullying the poor kid. Saying you can’t tell someone off for hurting you is a way to make it okay for the rich kid to keep bullying and teasing. Being calm, persistent, and malicious in insulting and lying is VERY bullying behavior.

    And your analogy is flawed. Heisen–the rich kid–wasn’t just showing his own toys, he was asserting his prerogative to intrude on the poor kids and disregard their wishes and play with THEIR toys in the way he wanted to, because it was tradition. He was saying he should get preferential treatment on the playground.

    Not towards you, his sexism wasn’t specifically directed towards you.

    Since when does sexism have to be “specifically” directed towards me for me to be harmed by it? Isn’t the fact that it hurts EVERY WOMAN ON THE PLANET–which includes me!–reason enough?

    the problem is you crossed the line.

    No, the proprietor of this blog has explicitly stated that my behavior is justified. YOU have been told that your tone-trolling is unwelcome in this space.

    And why in the world are you talking about Darfur?

    It’s a humorous description of the derailing tactic you’re using.

    No. If your anger causes you to bully someone, it becomes bullying.

    You are begging the question. You have failed to establish that speaking up for yourself in the midst of dishonesty, derailing, and demeaning attitudes is “bullying.” You have failed to establish that profanity is ZOMG the worstest thingy evar!!

    And it is irrational for you to continually abuse someone who’s been civil to you, even if he made stupid comments repeatedly.

    One: don’t call women irrational. It is a loaded term with a sexist history. Two: lying repeatedly, derailing, misrepresenting my position and those of others, and saying I am worth less than a tradition is not, by any possible definition “civil.” I have seen discussions on Pharyngula with more profanity than G-rated words that are more “civil.”

    It’s not a one-time manifestation, you were continuing it on me.

    I meant a one-time manifestation of sexual harassment, you idiot. And I call you out on your dishonest, sexist, derailing, badly reasoned bullshit only when you actually spew dishonest, sexist, derailing, badly-reasoned bullshit. This is called accountability, but due to your privilege you may not be used to it.

    … you’d feel entitled to tell him how he was allowed to talk about it?”
    I’m not sure what you mean here.

    You tried to act magnanimous about claiming you’d help someone in acute distress even if he was swearing. You don’t seem to be as helpful for people speaking up about systemic problems.

    Actual sexual harassment or just sexist stupidity?

    Sexist stupidity and willful dishonesty. Stop trying to make the pathetic and unfounded argument that only active sexual harassment can be objected to vociferously. You made up that rule, and it’s bullshit.

    He was never attacking you!

    Yes he was. He said my right to equality mattered less than tradition. He was also attacking basic truth and rationality and the intellectual honesty required for discussion.

    You just thought he was!

    And you are qualified to know this HOW?

    What hostility?

    He was hostile to my equality. He was hostile to my right to describe situations and attitudes that made me feel uncomfortable or less-than and to have my concerns taken seriously. He was hostile to my right to go about my life without the default presumption of consent to sexualize me.

    Your value as a person is important to you. His value in his tradition is important to him, maybe more than himself

    You are excrement. You are heartless. You have no ethics, no compassion, and no fucking human decency if you cannot see that PEOPLE matter more than tradition.

    Traditions don’t have consciousness. Traditions cannot feel pain, joy, or love. Traditions do not suffer from restricted opportunity or social disapproval. Traditions cannot experience the frustration of earning less money than a similarly-established tradition. PEOPLE do.

    Also, he can value tradition more than HIMSELF, because he can decide on his own personal values and self-image. He cannot, however, decide tradition is more important than ME OR ANYONE ELSE, because they did not consent to be devalued in this manner.

    I may not have seen the comment, and I’m not sure what the question is here.

    It’s here.

    You have been playing the victim card from start to finish.

    YOU ARE A VILE FUCKING TROLL. You do not get to tell people from marginalized groups that their harms from the privileged are inadequate or insincere.

    I cannot imagine what you had gone through previously to become what you are now,

    I am a successful academic, and in my spare time I’m an artist. I love debating and critical thinking, and I love comedians like George Carlin, Eddie Izzard, and Tim Minchin, who have greatly informed my style and my enjoyment of tearing down bullshit. I love showing the world what is wrong with your sexist bullshit, and I enjoy the opinions of other commenters here about your bullshit. I enjoy dismantling your privilege and intentionally swearing to jolt you out of your smug self-satisfaction and self-righteousness. Why the FUCK do you assume that I am somehow broken for being outspoken? Why the FUCK do you assume I must be in deep psychic torment when I’m playing Whack-A-Troll?

    I would rather you had discussed your actual experiences so I can try to understand.

    I don’t owe you a damn fucking thing. Don’t fucking concern troll me! Also, my experiences are irrelevant. Common experiences of systemic marginalization are a concern to women AS A CLASS and whatever I have to deal with is not the issue. It’s what our SOCIETY does to people, and what our society tolerates.

    You are passionately against sexual harassment.

    No, I am passionate against sexism in all forms, intellectual laziness, and dishonesty, all three of which mean I am passionately against you.

    I am passionately against bullying.

    No, you are passionately in favor of maintaining your privilege.

  263. says

    Kudos to you for still bothering to respond to individual items. Personally, I’m worn out. When he starts saying that the position of valuing traditions more than actual human beings is an example of civil discourse, I don’t think he deserves a response, not even an angry, insulting one.

    I guess you’re doing it for the benefit of the lurkers and that’s a valid and productive thing, so good on you for having the stamina.
    Take care of yourself, LeftSide. I imagine we’ll be needing your passion again in the future, so don’t let yourself get worn down.

  264. LeftSidePositive says

    LykeX–I actually found this one one of the more rewarding (although I’m not sure how many are still reading…but dammit! It was just too good to pass up!): the fact that he’s weaving and has had to acknowledge he has no evidence for his claims, that apparently he’s actually so threatened by gender equality he thinks it’s a “new world order” (pure misogynistic GOLD!!), and his blatant claim that it’s apparently valid to care more about people than traditions.

    He’s shown his true colors just beautifully in this last exchange…and I’m full of sooo much schadenfreude for being more right about him than I was even hoping he’d show. ;)

    It’s kinda funny that he started concern-trolling about how sad and abused I must be, and here I am just grinning ear to ear that this guy’s quaking in his boots about this “new world order” of actually having to treat women like equals!! :D :D :D

  265. Emptyell says

    I guess I don’t qualify as a lurker but I’m still following the show.

    I’m kind of stunned by vethtiche’s doggedness but appreciate how he makes quite the practice dummy. Of course your fencing style with all the quick, sharp thrust and parry is probably perfect for keeping him engaged (I was going to say on the hook but just can’t stand mixed metaphors – except for comic effect).

  266. vethtiche says

    @LeftSide

    It is the first time in a long while that I can look at your response and actually laugh.

    “YOU ARE, you lying fucking weasel! YOU SAID “I’m all for gender equality, BUT…” and then you proceeded to offer some utter bullshit about “inherent” differences between men and women.”

    Did you even read through my entire post before you come up with this statement? Or do you adopt a shoot first talk later policy?

    In any case, I’m done talking to you. It is exceedingly clear that I am not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mine.

    Just in your this round of responses alone (including your response to the bullying topic), you have exhibited your penchant for continued verbal abuse; your incredible (probably deep-seated) prejudices; your insistence on seeing only the things you want to see, applying meanings to words when they aren’t there & putting words into people’s mouths; and your refusal to try to see & understand things from other people’s points of view.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that you’re a very knowledgeable person, but all the flaws that you exhibit above have clouded your judgment and attitudes, especially towards men.

    I am now ONLY going to respond to your part on the woman-girl issue, since I had asked you a question on that.

    “Did you actually read any of my links on internalized sexism? Also, women may feel less likely to speak up in meetings, or to correct a coworker. Coworkers may be less likely to come to them with serious problems and prefer to approach “one of the guys.” They will be more likely to be asked/pressured to do menial tasks or be expected to volunteer for things around the office. There are REAMS of literature on equally-competent businesswomen being dismissed as less competent. YOU are assuming the women you are arguing with are lacking in “reason.” YOU think that women need men’s “help” to feel valuable. YOU showed that you value youth disproportionately in women than men.

    Moreover, we have shown the common effects of calling grown women “girls”–”

    And how do they apply to the society & culture I come from? How do you know those attitudes you describe are caused by the act of women being referred to as girls, even by themselves? You did not even think to ask where I come from did you? Too late. And why give me a google search link? Are you trying to present evidence or what? You didn’t even try to present an article relating to this phenomena in an Asian culture (and I’m sure it should be possible to find one, though unlikely to specifically refer to MY country).

    And most importantly, you ignored my previous clarification that even though men & women where I come from sometimes refer to one another & themselves as guys & girls, in more formal situations like in dealings with clients, conferences, meeting with new contacts etc. the standard protocol is still to use only men & women or ladies & gentlemen. It is only mainly among friends, and when say out for lunch or during office banter or holiday trips, that guys & girls are used. If anything, this is evidence that men in my society are consciously aware of their female colleagues’ needs not to feel marginalised.

    “what is YOUR evidence that your culture is different from the default, evidence-based assessment?”

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS. This coming from one who asked me to prove gender differences.

    YOU MADE THE CLAIM that the use of ‘girls’ in MY society is harmful. YOU PROVE IT.

    See what I mean when I say you refuse to see things from other people’s POV?

    “AGAIN, devaluing women’s intelligence! ”

    And thereby proving once and for all that you’re the sexist, not I.

    When I say you’re stupid to harp about this woman-girl issue in my culture, you’re making a mountain out of a molehill while ignoring real world sexism issues, even here in Asia. You want to talk about internalised sexism? This is what you should be talking, and be concerned about:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obedient_Wives_Club
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/obedient-wives-club-publishes-explicit-sex-book/

    And this is just one example.

    In any case, I’m done talking to you. You don’t have to reply or even dredge up the evidence I asked for. I may not look at them, and I certainly will not reply.

    I could have gone on to your other points, but from here on I will respectfully agree to disagree; you will disrespectfully agree (or otherwise) to disagree.

    I will respond to the bully segment and call it a night.

  267. LeftSidePositive says

    your incredible (probably deep-seated) prejudices;

    I said men & women are equal until proven otherwise. How is that prejudiced? You failed to meet any burden of proof. I’m not “prejudiced” for not believing your unsourced claims.

    your insistence on seeing only the things you want to see,

    And we have explained to you in HOW many different ways that your privileged assumptions are wrong or grossly superficial?

    applying meanings to words when they aren’t there

    Your denialism shtick is pathetic.

    putting words into people’s mouths;

    It’s called a reasonable assessment of rhetorical intent.

    and your refusal to try to see & understand things from other people’s points of view.

    I have carefully considered your point of view. I have carefully shown where it’s wrong. You are trying to conflate “understand” with “sympathize with.”

    clouded your judgment and attitudes, especially towards men.

    So you’re gaslighting me on my competence? Great. And in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve gotten along great with men on this thread, except you and heisen. Because you’re assholes. But I appreciate your originality in offering a “you just hate men” argument. Vintage 1971! Way to go…

    And how do they apply to the society & culture I come from?

    You’re engaging in special pleading. You have provided no evidence to suggest those common phenomena DON’T apply.

    You did not even think to ask where I come from did you? Too late.

    If you had an argument you could say where you come from and provide the details that apparently make this okay in your culture. Saying we have to view your culture like it’s its own little special snowflake unencumbered by common human psychological biases is absurd.

    even though men & women where I come from sometimes refer to one another & themselves as guys & girls, in more formal situations like in dealings with clients, conferences, meeting with new contacts etc. the standard protocol is still to use only men & women or ladies & gentlemen.

    You are aware, aren’t you, that this is EXACTLY the same way that this sexist custom operates in my culture, too?

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS. This coming from one who asked me to prove gender differences.

    Idiot. Do you not understand how null hypotheses work? The standard null hypothesis is that two groups are the same until proven otherwise. The most boring, default assumption wins until the novel one has evidence. This is not difficult. SO–you claim there are non-anatomical gender differences between men and women: the default assumption is to believe they are the same until proven otherwise. Next, you claim a meaning of a custom in your culture is different from that of other cultures: the default assumption is to believe they are the same until proven otherwise. So I’m being entirely consistent to expect evidence in both cases.

    YOU MADE THE CLAIM that the use of ‘girls’ in MY society is harmful. YOU PROVE IT.

    Shifting the burden of proof! I made the claim that the use of ‘girls’ IN GENERAL was harmful. You claimed in your culture it was DIFFERENT from the implications elsewhere–you made the claim that the evidence presented didn’t apply to you. YOU claimed you’re different, so YOU prove that you’re different. Otherwise, it’s just special pleading.

    Also, I DID provide additional evidence that the use of ‘girls’ in your society in particular is harmful–you are displaying EXACTLY the same sexist attitudes that we object to in our culture, that are implied by calling women ‘girls.’ You further exacerbated this by showing us that in your culture apparently women need “help” to feel valued by considering themselves “young” and YOU PROVIDED a sexist justification for the practice.

    See what I mean when I say you refuse to see things from other people’s POV?

    When that POV has provided nothing more than special pleading and willful ignorance, then I don’t waste my time.

    And thereby proving once and for all that you’re the sexist, not I.

    You do realize you’re becoming a caricature of spouting off defensive, trolling, sexist-enabling claptrap, don’t you?!

    you’re making a mountain out of a molehill while ignoring real world sexism issues,

    We’ve already told you we’re not going to fall for the “How can you talk about blowjobs when people are dying in Darfur?!” argument.

    This is what you should be talking, and be concerned about:

    Does it strike you as maybe a bit problematic that you, a member of a privileged group, feel entitled to tell me, a member of a marginalized group with firsthand experience in these matters, what I should be concerned about?

    Did it also not occur to you that I am perfectly capable of criticizing multiple levels of things, and paying attention to multiple different issues?

    Are you further unfamiliar with the concept that smaller, habitual sexism (and racism, and classism, and homophobia) provides the social support for more overt forms? This is pretty basic sociology, you know.

  268. vethtiche says

    @LeftSide

    “We were skewering him for saying the stupid sexist statements–”

    So basically you’re admitting that he wasn’t actually harassing you after all. And he certainly wasn’t bullying you.

    And yeah, I could refute the rest of the sentence as one big PUTTING WORDS INTO PEOPLE’S MOUTHS, but….

    Enough.

    I have said my MAIN piece once. I have said it twice.

    That you engaged in an act of bullying is beyond question. It is definition. If you don’t acknowledge that then you just don’t understand what bullying means.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying
    “Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person”

    All the other points I needed to make have been made.

    I have read & reread his supposed (ultra)offensive statements and even asked for quotes if possible. There is nothing to suggest it is anything but one HUGE misinterpretation. There is nothing to show any malicious intent on heisenburg’s part that could reasonably justify the attack that followed.

    I also demonstrated the difference between an ACT of wrongdoing as opposed to a DISCUSSION of wrongdoing, and why the ACT is always more important and urgent than a DISCUSSION.

    I have no more to add to the matter. If you don’t understand the issues, I can understand. We can agree to disagree, verbal abuse included.

    On a final note, to address LykeX, because I think this may well be the crux of all the misunderstanding:

    “When he starts saying that the position of valuing traditions more than actual human beings is an example of civil discourse, I don’t think he deserves a response, not even an angry, insulting one.”

    When people talk about traditions, by default these would include values to human life, personal well-being, personal rights etc. I know of very few traditions that would callously disregard those values.

    Even the worst, like Islamic tradition (strongly doubt heisen is muslim), sexist as it is, would guarantee women’s rights to welfare & life. The fact that they aren’t enforced or practised is another issue altogether, and deserves addressing.

    So LykeX, for calling me a “revolting sack of shit”, thank you. You’ve shown yourself to be as prejudiced as the rest of them.

    There, I’m done. I apologise for trolling. I will definitely make an effort not to in the future.

    Will hang around for future blogs. I don’t expect a warm welcome.

  269. says

    When people talk about traditions, by default these would include values to human life, personal well-being, personal rights etc

    Bullshit.
    Personal rights can be, and often needs to be, secured without, and in absence of, traditions. Most traditions are more focused on keeping a certain group of people from getting their due rights.
    A tradition must be evaluated according to its effects. When the effect is that group A is belittled and ignored, while group B gets to feel comfortably superior, then it’s a bad tradition and it needs to go.

    Even the worst, like Islamic tradition (strongly doubt heisen is muslim), sexist as it is, would guarantee women’s rights to welfare & life

    No, they don’t. They protect the property rights of men and even then, only as long as the women shut up and do as they’re told.

    So LykeX, for calling me a “revolting sack of shit”, thank you. You’ve shown yourself to be as prejudiced as the rest of them.

    Judging a person by what they say and do is not prejucide.
    You’ve shown that being polite doesn’t accomplish anything. I tried it and you didn’t listen. You said that you heard me, but your behavior didn’t change. Actions speak louder than words.

  270. LeftSidePositive says

    So basically you’re admitting that he wasn’t actually harassing you after all.

    We never said he did!! How can we be “admitting” that he wasn’t doing something that we never claimed he did, and that you made up as an arbitrary criterion that we think is myopic and disingenuous? We have already told you you’re an idiot for thinking this was ever the primary issue in the first place.

    PUTTING WORDS INTO PEOPLE’S MOUTHS, but….

    This from the person who twists “it is unacceptable that this asshole is defending sexual harassment” into “this asshole is actively committing sexually harassment” and then acts like we’re “admitting” something when we correct his obvious error?

    That you engaged in an act of bullying is beyond question.

    By which you mean begging the question!! BOOYAH!!!

    “Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally.

    Notice how it doesn’t say, “repeated aggressive behavior in order to stop another person from repeatedly hurting oneself or others.” It’s almost as if the operative word in that definition is “intentionally hurt” and not “aggression.”

    Reading skills. Try some, they’re useful.

    Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person”

    Notice how it doesn’t say “bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain equality.”

    All the other points I needed to make have been made.

    And very easily refuted.

    There is nothing to show any malicious intent on heisenburg’s part

    Dude–INTENT IS NOT MAGIC. You should know this already. It’s really basic.

    I also demonstrated the difference between an ACT of wrongdoing

    But you never established any actual wrongdoing.

    We can agree to disagree

    I have a special reserve of contempt and loathing for idiots who have all their points deftly refuted and then declare they’ll “agree to disagree.”

    When people talk about traditions, by default these would include values to human life, personal well-being, personal rights etc.

    No, when people talk about traditions, they mean tradition: “a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from generation to generation.” Notice it NOWHERE says “only the nice ones.”

    When I say that something is harmful to my well-being and that of others, and he says “but you shouldn’t change a tradition!” He is defending tradition AT THE EXPENSE OF my well-being. I say this is harmful to me, and he says it’s not harmful ENOUGH in *his* view to change a tradition. Therefore, he views “tradition > personal rights.” This is not difficult.

    Furthermore, you SPECIFICALLY DEFENDED him placing more value in his tradition than in my value as a person. There is no need to put “more value” in a tradition that supposedly upheld all of these things, because that would be entirely consistent with valuing me as a person. The only time you have to care about MORE value is when these entities are in conflict, and he chooses tradition over my value as a person, and that is disgusting.

    I know of very few traditions that would callously disregard those values.

    Slavery? Apartheid? Stoning rape victims? Droit de seigneur? Female Genital Mutilation? Burning witches? Murdering gay people? Sacrificing virgins to the fire gods? Sati? “Colored” drinking fountains? Hazing?

    Look, arguing from ignorance doesn’t get stronger with more ignorance!

    Even the worst, like Islamic tradition (strongly doubt heisen is muslim), sexist as it is, would guarantee women’s rights to welfare & life.

    They have HONOR KILLINGS. They STONE RAPE VICTIMS (which is in the holy texts!). The Koran (and Bible, for that matter!) SPECIFICALLY ADVOCATES KILLING PEOPLE.

    The Koran specifically gives instructions as to how you may beat your wife.

    A sexist tradition, by definition, cannot guarantee women’s welfare, because sex-based discrimination is harmful to their welfare.

    So LykeX, for calling me a “revolting sack of shit”, thank you. You’ve shown yourself to be as prejudiced as the rest of them.

    Prejudice literally means “to judge before.” LykeX called you a revolting sack of shit AFTER YOU BEHAVED LIKE A REVOLTING SACK OF SHIT. This is not “judging before.” This is accurately assessing evidence.

  271. Brandi says

    I can’t imagine women, ones who aren’t fighting for change, would be upset that they were being treated better by men? Where are all these women (or any for that matter) to back up your opinion that they like sexual harassment just fine and why can’t we just think of them?!

  272. Emptyell says

    @vethtiche

    “I have said my MAIN piece once. I have said it twice.”

    Actually you’ve said it over and over and over with slight variations in theme. The funny thing is that you seem to be the only one who doesn’t understand what you are saying. You seem to think you are offering cogent arguments about important topics, but regardless of their cogency and importance (FWIW I am quite unimpressed) they are tangential and insignificant to the original topic and are typical of the tactics used to derail discussions of women’s rights.

    So no matter what you think you are doing here or what you imagine your intent to be, what you are communicating is that you are a just another sexist asshole saying that your privilege is more important than other peoples rights. So much so that you want to deny them the opportunity to even discuss the matter.

    I am still a bit curious what keeps you going though. Are you in this for some kind “win”? If so I can’t imagine what that would be unless you just enjoy the negative attention. LeftSide* does seem to be enjoying the target practice so I have to give you some credit for that, however unintentional.

    *I hope I’m not being too familiar. You can call me Empty if you want ;-)

  273. SkepticJackal says

    Cassie:
    In the western English-speaking world we have miss, mrs and now ms. I prefer ms as it does not denote my marital status as I don’t think it is relevant.

    FTFY. As you seem to have forgotten, there are other countries in the West that do not speak English as first language. I even think they may be more than the ones that do. Spanish-speaking countries, for example, as you may know, don’t have a gender-neutral word to design women. And yes, I see that as a problem.

    There are many kinds of privilege, obviously. I won’t derail the thread talking about privilege derived of being an English speaker, even a US-ian. But be so kind to think about it once in a while, if you can. Impoverished (mostly due to US-backed policies) South-American countries will thank you very much about it.

  274. athyco says

    I’ll be arguing with some troll, and then like hours later someone I’ve never heard of who hasn’t said a word through the entire thing will reply to me and say they really appreciated all the stuff I said (& a few people have even asked permission to repost my comments–that’s my favorite!). So, people do listen to this stuff, and it actually does have an effect on hearts and minds.

    And sometimes someone will come along days later and read with absolute glee and astonished admiration at your stamina, LeftSidePositive.

    If you ever feel torn between the tasks of mowing your lawn or writing such posts, I’d be happy to take care of your lawn.

  275. says

    You actually allow it to be look so easy along with your business presentation on the other hand discover this particular matter to be truly something I do think I’d personally by no means recognize. It seems way too complex and extremely broad for me personally. I’m anticipating for your next post, I’ll attempt to get used to the idea!

  276. chloe7 says

    Couldn’t cat calling be added to this as well? I mean I don’t know how often guys cat call women at atheist conferences. I do know a lot of women don’t like that in the work area. People think the men who do that are just complimenting women, but to the women it’s really insulting.

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