Open Thread – AE 805 »« Open thread on episode #803

Open thread on episode #804: Russell and Tracie

Posted this preemptively before the show aired. I have added some notes since the show. Here are some things I mentioned in my intro:

The crew is aware that there were technical problems again with the live Ustream feed. They have ruled out problems with the laptop hardware. The current working theory is that the public access studio has limited internet bandwidth, and this is somehow interfering with streaming. It might be fixed in the future by switching to a lower quality stream.

Comments

  1. Colin says

    It’s not just you. It wasn’t working for me either. I’m not sure how the actual live stream went. Hopefully it’s the site and not the video itself.

  2. stubby says

    It’s the same for me. II’m sure they will have a clean copy up soon on their website or youtube.

  3. davecampbell says

    Yes. It’s a big mess. It cleans up somewhat about half way through, but it’s still annoying.

  4. jdoran says

    It was like that on ustream during the live show, too. The channel 16 site didn’t have that problem, so I’d guess that it was sound card issues on the streaming computer again.

  5. says

    The MP3 version is up on atheist-experience.org in the archive, which is fine.

    In regards to people all of a sudden going violent if they learn that there’s no god, I don’t buy it. It’s not like their empathy/sympathy/compassion is just going to suddenly vanish, unless the person is a psychopath.

  6. Lord Narf says

    Hell, it’s not like the psychopaths/sociopaths have any shortage of Biblical material to justify the worst things they would wish to do to others.

  7. Caut says

    Perhaps the easiest way to refute that is to ask proportionally how many theists vs atheists wind up in jail. The answer will not shock you.

  8. Lord Narf says

    The statistics I’ve seen aren’t very good, though. The only study like that which I’ve seen is many decades old. Do you know of a recent one that has a good methodology? I’d love to have something more solid to show, myself.

  9. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @54:55:

    Have you ever gone and had a really nice time – like gone to a concert or gone to a dinner or something where you were like “Wow that’s gonna be such a fun time?” And you go and you have a great time, right? And after it’s done, is it disappointing, or are you like “Wow that was a great time!”? [...] And the fact that it’s done doesn’t make it any less fantastic, does it?

    It can be disappointing if on reflection, you realize you just spent your day on something only momentarily entertaining and will have nothing tangible or even memorable to show for it the following week; when you could’ve done something else; one that either had a more lasting impact or that other experiences could build on.
     
    “Someone took me to a business dinner last night and paid for the meal. I had a fifty-dollar steak.”
    “But do you remember how it tasted?”
    “Er, no… but… I remember I had a fifty-dollar steak.”

  10. ET says

    I really liked Russell’s comment about god not being an effective author. I have thought about this for years. Back in college, in a technical writing class, it was made clear to us how important and difficult it was to clearly convey a message in writing. Technical writing is a specialized branch of engineering that requires a significant amount of practice and training to do well. In contrast the bible is filled with vague statements, metaphors, hyperbole etc. The bible is a perfect example of a document that is impossible to determine the actual intended message from.

  11. Tawn says

    Maybe I won’t remember the meal later, but what does that matter? In that moment as I was eating my expensive steak, I was enjoying myself.

    In some cases it may be better to do something with more lasting appeal, but that’s requires some judgement. Things with lasting appeal may not be quite as strongly positive – or require some effort or struggle beforehand. Even things with lasting appeal, rarely last forever and what you are left with is still disparate memories of pleasure.

    Enjoy things for the moment AND for the future. How you balance this is sometimes tricky.. but remember, you may spend a lot of time investing for a lasting benefit only for life to throw you a curveball. Don’t be too quick to dismiss short term pleasures.

  12. says

    What I’d love to do is assemble a committee of Catholics, Protestants, etc, and get them to come up with an interpretation of the Bible that actually says what it means.

  13. TroopDawg says

    I agree w/ Carol. To have the video next day is a fantastic convenience(even though I only listen to the show). Kinda boring with no trolls or theist callers but also encouraging because of the converts coming out.

    Keep up the show!!!!

  14. Warp says

    Regarding that “Speaking out Against Hate Directed at Women: Russell Glasser” article, I can’t help but notice a glaring bias towards a specific set of circumstances, which borders the hypocritical.

    You see, if someone argues that misbehavior and hate towards women in atheist communities is only a very small, perhaps even inexistent, problem (compared to much more major problems) suffered by at most a very small minority, people will immediately jump to the defense, arguing that it doesn’t matter how small the minority or the phenomenon, if women are being harassed, that’s a problem that must be addressed and fixed.

    However, if a man complains about being harassed and hated by feminists, the tone of voice immediately changes to the exact opposite. Suddenly this man is exaggerating, seeing problems that aren’t there, whining and whatnot, and should just shut up. Even if it were a real problem, it’s such a small and insignificant problem suffered by a very small minority, and there are much bigger problems that should be fixed first (such as the harassment experienced by women.)

    It seems to be that the list of actions could well be expanded a bit, eg. like this: “Listen to women’s experience of online abuse and threats by men. Do not listen to men’s experience of online abuse and threats by feminists; they are just whiners.” Or: “When men harass women online, speak up. When feminists harass men online, they should shut up; they deserve it.”

    Generally speaking feminists do not see how their actions towards people who disagree with them even on minor things can actually hurt those people. These feminists often seem to think that they are on a higher moral ground, and therefore have the right to look down on people who have different views, to call them names, to laugh at them, and to disregard what they are saying, with complete disregard about how those people may feel about this behavior, or how much it could hurt. If a woman gets her feelings hurt and a sense of being attacked, that’s something to be taken seriously; however, if a man has such feelings, he only deserves contempt and ridicule. He should man up and stop whining. And most probably he’s just inventing a problem that doesn’t really exist.

    Most feminists cannot even see this double standard in themselves. Not even if it’s explained to them. They will just shove it aside just like a creationist shoves aside any evidence of non-design that they don’t like. (This is, in fact, very similar.)

  15. ralph m says

    Warp, do you have any idea how shallow and vacant the constant reverse discrimination card looks every time it is pulled out to deflect blame? Doesn’t matter if the issue is race, gender, sexual orientation etc., there’s always some average white guy claiming that he is discriminated against too! I would think that anyone who has experienced being an unbeliever surrounded by believers would have better appreciation for how it might feel to be part of the oppressed minority….but, apparently not…at least not in this case.

    It should be obvious to you that women are at a huge disadvantage to men because of two things:
    1.being the object of sexual desire and attention of men….most men that is….I’m talking the average heterosexual male here.
    2.being much smaller on average than the average man.

    Those two things make the world a much more dangerous place for the average woman, than the average man. That should short circuit the reverse discrimination trope right from the start, but it doesn’t, and it the backlash against feminism and the so called men’s rights movement bullshit seems to be louder and more obnoxious now in the age of the internet, than it ever was before….even during the 70’s, when a lot of us were hearing about concerns that women had about discrimination and safety and abuse issues for the first time.

    Last I heard, there are still a lot of women boycotting TAM because of D.J. Groethe and his stupid comments about why TAM doesn’t need specials rules and policies regarding sexual harassment. I myself, am not actively involved in any atheist communities presently, but if I was, I would advise both the online and bricks and mortar communities to give the issues that concern women special attention, because if there are too many guys like you in positions of influence, the one thing you can guarantee is that no women will want to be members of the community!

  16. Warp says

    It didn’t take but 20 minutes for someone to demonstrate exactly what I said.

    If a man complains about being harassed, about his feelings being hurt, that’s just a “reverse discrimination card”. Of course men’s feelings do not have to be taken into account, their complaints don’t have to be listened to, and any such complaints can be discarded as simply him inventing non-existent problems and trying to appeal to a victim status.

    And you perfectly well demonstrate the hypocritical attitude that because such men are such a small minority, they can be disregarded; after all, we have this much larger problem of women being harassed. (With this I’m not saying that the problem of discrimination against women wouldn’t be bigger. I am saying that it’s quite hypocritical and biased to advocate listening only to women who claim being harassed, while dismissing any man who may be making such claims.)

    Do you understand that men, too, have feelings, and that, as incredible as it might sound, it is indeed possible to hurt a man’s feelings, it is indeed possible to bully them, to denigrate them, and to make them feel bad, for the simple reason that they do not fully agree with you? Do you understand that if a man is being honest, and not simply “pulling the reverse discrimination card”, accusing them of doing so can be hurtful and discriminatory?

  17. Carol Lynn says

    Warp –

    Yes, of course if women are harassing men on line and hurting their feelings, it should stop. Rude behavior is rude no matter who is doing it.

    Now could you please go talk to the men who are *constantly* harassing women and girls on line and tell them to stop, too? Or do you too believe that them feminist sluts deserve to be called cunts and it’s ruining your free speech rights if you can’t call them whatever you please?

    You see, if someone argues that misbehavior and hate towards women in atheist communities is only a very small, perhaps even inexistent, problem (compared to much more major problems) suffered by at most a very small minority, people will immediately jump to the defense, arguing that it doesn’t matter how small the minority or the phenomenon, if women are being harassed, that’s a problem that must be addressed and fixed.

    However, if a man complains about being harassed and hated by feminists, the tone of voice immediately changes to the exact opposite. Suddenly this man is exaggerating, seeing problems that aren’t there, whining and whatnot, and should just shut up. Even if it were a real problem, it’s such a small and insignificant problem suffered by a very small minority, and there are much bigger problems that should be fixed first (such as the harassment experienced by women.)

    Who argues that way besides MRAs who want the feminists to be silenced and go away? Care to cite any examples?

  18. says

    However, if a man complains about being harassed and hated by feminists, the tone of voice immediately changes to the exact opposite.

    I was wondering if you could please cite some examples.

    Also, a definition of harassment would be useful.

  19. says

    If a man complains about being harassed, about his feelings being hurt, that’s just a “reverse discrimination card”. Of course men’s feelings do not have to be taken into account, their complaints don’t have to be listened to, and any such complaints can be discarded as simply him inventing non-existent problems and trying to appeal to a victim status.

    We live in a practical reality.

    I’m sorry, but the equivocation of what the women go through, and what some men receive, is simply not comparable.

    It’d be like asking us to be upset that a couple non-white slave owners’ feelings were hurt by some slaves while millions of slaves are being worked to death.

    I’m sorry that some toes get stepped on in the process, but when addressing egregious imbalances, we’re not going to be perfect. I don’t buy for a second that the numbers of offenses (or the degree of offense) are anywhere near the same.

  20. says

    Tracie talked about the “fear of death” the same way I always have. Even as a little kid, I was never afraid of being dead. It seemed intuitive to me that non-existence wouldn’t bug me much. Maybe that’s why the eternal life ploy never worked on me. I’ve always said that I’m afraid of actually dying, the process itself, and how much it might suck or hurt, but not after the fact. But as plain as this seems to me, I very rarely have anyone agree with me. I am convinced many or most people are actually afraid of “being” dead.

  21. Warp says

    You talk as if hurting men’s feelings and offending them were somehow inevitable in this “battle against discrimination towards women”, a small price to pay for such a good cause.

    That’s not something inevitable. You can fight for the good cause *and* show some respect towards other people as well, at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive things. It’s not like you *must* hurt people’s feelings, call them names and belittle their feelings and complaints, in order to fight misogyny. You *can* listen to both sides, not just one, and you *can* also support men who are being harassed by feminists for the wrong reasons, in addition to supporting women who are being harassed. It’s not like supporting one you are undermining the other.

    Do you not see the double standard that most feminists have in this context? If a woman complains about being harassed and having hurt feelings, the default is to assume that she’s being honest. However, if a man does the same thing, the default is to assume that he’s being dishonest and only trying to get some kind of victim status and pulling a “reverse discrimination card.”

    Even if you don’t believe such men by default, what exactly is the justification to not only ignore them, but actually start calling them names and making all kinds of hurtful accusations? As said, this is not something that *must* be done in order to fight for the cause of injustice towards women. It is possible to respect everybody, not just women.

  22. Warp says

    “Or do you too believe that them feminist sluts deserve to be called cunts and it’s ruining your free speech rights if you can’t call them whatever you please?”

    This is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

    Don’t you see the thinly veiled accusations you are making towards me, for the simple reason that I have questioned some feminists attitudes toward men who disagree with them? Even if you technically speaking are not directly accusing me of holding those opinions you list, in practice you are suggesting it as a possibility, and you don’t even consider what those accusations might make me feel. You could hide behind the wording you are using, but you know perfectly well how your question above can and will be interpreted. It feels exactly as you having no qualms in making wild accusations and name-calling.

  23. changerofbits says

    I don’t see how this is relevant or even what you are talking about. If the issue being discussed is the harassment of women online/real life, why derail with false equivalency and straw man anecdotes? It comes off as crass and inconsiderate and you’re going to be derided for it. If the harassment of men by feminists is a big issue in your world, please simply choose the proper forum to vent. Nobody is telling you to shut up or taking away your rights or feelings, it is simply a different topic.

  24. Warp says

    The original blog post links to an article that paints a very unilateral picture and, frankly speaking, contains some rather strange content (such as “Write, “I think you’re right,” in Comments sections of articles, Facebook postings etc. of feminist women. Whether or not they’ve been harassed or attacked, agree with them and do so publicly.” This kind of strange suggestion feels almost like something you could find in a propaganda pamphlet of a religious cult. “You must always agree with, and pander to, any feminist you find on the net, regardless of what they say.” And these people call themselves freethinkers… I have seen less obnoxious text in utterly religious pamphlets.)

    I oppose this kind of unilateral, highly biased attitude that completely disregards any dissenting views, and one which seems extremely common here, and I was bringing that up. You don’t seem to value my opinion and would rather see me go somewhere else, rather than discussing about it here.

    If TAE crew feels themselves entitled to raise awareness of the (allegedly) rampant misogyny in atheist communities, and if they encourage discussion and differing opinions, am I not equally entitled to raise objections to the attitudes that many feminists show towards people who disagree with them on some things?

    If the blog post links to an article on this subject, how is my discussing the subject in any way off-topic?

  25. says

    Are you seriously equivocating anything in these comments section with the harassment many women endure?

    Seriously? You purposely come into a thread, saying things that you know will rub people the wrong way, and think that’s people harassing you?

    Having a frustrated argument with someone is not equivalent to sustained campaigns of harassment, or continual systemic harassment.

    This is where the requested definition could have helped, as the two aren’t even close. Might be time for someone to make a handy chart.

  26. changerofbits says

    Has anybody in this thread used a gendered term of derision?
    Has anybody dismissed what you’ve said due to your gender?
    Has anybody commented on your physical sexual attractiveness?
    Has anybody here photoshopped genitalia on your face with a less than flattering caption?
    Has anybody called jokingly for your rape?

  27. says

    Do you wake up each day with more comments on your blog/websites insulting you, or any conversation you’re in? Do you go to social gatherings or events, and continually get unwanted sexual attention? Are your opinions or concerns routinely dismissed because of your gender?

    On the last one, if you say yes, I’ll definitely need a reference.

  28. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Even things with lasting appeal, rarely last forever and what you are left with is still disparate memories of pleasure. [...] you may spend a lot of time investing for a lasting benefit only for life to throw you a curveball.

    That would be an excuse for nihilistic hedonism.
     
    The choice isn’t this second and indefinite posterity. Pick a window of time to care about that you can manage, and be conscious of the time/effort you sink into activities that make poor use of it.
     
    And I’m not talking strictly about investing to benefit someday eventually maybe. I mean favoring things that benefit both present you and near-future you.

  29. says

    You talk as if hurting men’s feelings and offending them were somehow inevitable in this “battle against discrimination towards women”, a small price to pay for such a good cause.

    Yes, actually, it is apparently inevitable, since many people willfully take offense. On an individual basis, it may not be, but it’s practically guaranteed that while fighting inequality and privilege, some of the accused will be offended.

    That’s not something inevitable. You can fight for the good cause *and* show some respect towards other people as well, at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive things. It’s not like you *must* hurt people’s feelings, call them names and belittle their feelings and complaints, in order to fight misogyny.

    Sure, but some things are deserved, and some tactics work – like shame. Given how emotional the topic is, it’s not likely we’ll be having that much success on a rational level with everyone.

    Like I said, it’s a question of practicality. It’s not a perfect world, and not everyone is going fight cleanly… but when you’re talking about a lopsided scenario that’s 95% against women, 5% against men, it’s a question of numbers.

    It’s not like we think we’re going to completely eliminate harassment against women, or eliminate hurting peoples’ feelings. It’s a question of addressing an imbalance that exists on a meta level, and it’s difficult to micromanage how every single person does it.

    You *can* listen to both sides, not just one, and you *can* also support men who are being harassed by feminists for the wrong reasons, in addition to supporting women who are being harassed. It’s not like supporting one you are undermining the other.

    I’m still waiting for a citation of feminists harassing men that isn’t a staggering example of false equivocation.

    Do you not see the double standard that most feminists have in this context? If a woman complains about being harassed and having hurt feelings, the default is to assume that she’s being honest. However, if a man does the same thing, the default is to assume that he’s being dishonest and only trying to get some kind of victim status and pulling a “reverse discrimination card.”

    No, I don’t, mostly because I’m not seeing it from a perspective of “he says/she says” I’m looking at it from a perspective of what demonstrably happens. Just like the Atheist Experience has to deal with ambiguously trollish people, so do the feminists. As I said, on an individual-by-individual basis, it’s not so clear.

    I do think Pharyngula’s comment section can be quite hostile, especially if particular tropes are triggered, but they don’t establish feminism any more than we establish atheism. It’s also not harassment for people to willingly go in and stir the pot, and get a negative reaction from them.

    Even if you don’t believe such men by default, what exactly is the justification to not only ignore them, but actually start calling them names and making all kinds of hurtful accusations?

    Maybe because what they’re saying is wrong, factually or morally? Are these men who come to confess their feelings saying “I’m sad because I had a hard day at work” or “I feel like women just need to sit down and shut up” and then is insulted when people point out how crappy the attitude is?

    As said, this is not something that *must* be done in order to fight for the cause of injustice towards women. It is possible to respect everybody, not just women.

    Outside of perhaps some who won’t be convinced through rational argumentation, I agree it’s not technically needed. I’m saying toes will be stepped on, and in the pursuit of evening a massive imbalance, it’s a small price to pay.

  30. changerofbits says

    I’m still not seeing the connection. Some feminists treat folks with differing opinions poorly, but I don’t see them using misandry (at least not at any level that can even be considered close to the misogyny prevalent online/in culture generally). I think the overall situation is getting better, but I’m a feminist because I think there’s a long way to (and why the TAE folks are compelled to speak out). Hell, it’s only since I’ve been studying feminism that I see misandry and its the feminists, not the MRA folks, that seem to be working toward ending both.

  31. Warp says

    What exactly is your point? You seem to be saying “since women are being harassed, insulted and bullied, it’s ok to harass, insult and bully men back.” In other words, you are excusing harassment towards people because some other people are victims of harassment.

    Notice how many responses to my posts have actually agreed that it’s not ok to belittle men and call them names if they raise their own concerns or tell about their own experiences of being insulted and their feelings having been hurt. All I can see is dismissal, and outright accusations of trying to play the victim. Not a single acknowledgment that harassment is never acceptable, regardless of who the victim of said harassment is.

    On the contrary, I get replies like “or do you too believe that them feminist sluts deserve to be called cunts and it’s ruining your free speech rights if you can’t call them whatever you please?”

    This is exactly why so many people detest this kind of feminism. And sadly it seems to be completely impossible to make you understand that, no matter how many times or how this is explained to you.

  32. Lord Narf says

    … to raise awareness of the (allegedly) rampant misogyny in atheist communities …

    The moment you say something like this, we know you’re full of shit.

  33. says

    What exactly is your point? You seem to be saying “since women are being harassed, insulted and bullied, it’s ok to harass, insult and bully men back.”

    No, what I’m saying is that the idea that feminists are harassing/bullying the men is a myth. You’ve grossly equivocated getting some negative feedback when you came in here stirring the pot, to harassment women get.

    I don’t think get get what it is many women, who have the audacity to open their mouths, go through.

    I’m saying that on a meta level, the crap women have to deal with for being women is significantly lopsided compared to the men, and in the process of making sure everyone’s harassed on an equal basis, in this imperfect world, some people will do things they shouldn’t.

    It’d be hypocritical to say that’s good. It’s not hypocritical to admit that it’ll probably happen even if we don’t like it – but in the long term, grand scheme of things, it’s probably worth it. It’s not hypocritical for the military to lose 10 soldiers in an attempt to save 10,000.

    In other words, you are excusing harassment towards people because some other people are victims of harassment.

    Not even remotely.

    Notice how many responses to my posts have actually agreed that it’s not ok to belittle men and call them names if they raise their own concerns or tell about their own experiences of being insulted and their feelings having been hurt.

    I did notice. They agree with me.

    I’d still like examples of that, as opposed to, say, someone coming in and claiming that “feminists are being hypocritical” and getting negative feedback.

    Without examples, I have no idea how to assess your claims. What in particular were the concerns? It’s possible that the concerns are dumb and insulting, in which case, I’d fully expect negative feedback.

    What I seem to be interpreting from you is this incredibly relativistic idea that everyone has an opinion, and all opinions are equally valid.

    That’s not what this is about.

    As secularly moral people, we, mostly have a society, recognize that it’s bad to discriminate or harass people, particularly when gender is concerned.

    That makes this a question of factually demonstrable reality.

    If a female complains that she’s being harassed for being female, that’s something that’s demonstrable, and if she’s correct, she’s affirmed. If she’s not, she’d dismissed.

    If a male complains that he’s being harassed for being male, that’s something that’s demonstrable, and if he’s correct, he’s affirmed. If he’s not, he’s dismissed.

    The community conflict in question has a factually true context where women actually are being mistreated, and with a fair number of males who are oblivious to what the women go through (due to their privilege), and sometimes throw tantrums when they’re asked to descend from the Ivory Tower.

    It’s not a question of opinions being dismissed. It’s a question of being right.

    All I can see is dismissal, and outright accusations of trying to play the victim. Not a single acknowledgment that harassment is never acceptable, regardless of who the victim of said harassment is.

    Here’s an example. You’re being dismissed because you’re factually wrong. You aren’t a victim because you came into a thread and stirred the pot. This is not equivalent to what the women are talking about.

    On the contrary, I get replies like “or do you too believe that them feminist sluts deserve to be called cunts and it’s ruining your free speech rights if you can’t call them whatever you please?”

    This is exactly why so many people detest this kind of feminism. And sadly it seems to be completely impossible to make you understand that, no matter how many times or how this is explained to you.

    I haven’t found your arguments to be intelligible, coherent or factually established.

  34. Curt Cameron says

    The study that I’ve seen showed a tiny percentage of inmates who were self-described atheists, which would tend to support the idea that fewer atheists are in prison proportionately.

    However, as I recall, this study had a large percentage of people who didn’t state their religion, like 20%. Someone could make the argument that any atheists would be more likely not to self-identify, so represent a disproportionately high number of inmates.

  35. Warp says

    My “what exactly is your point” post was in reply to changerofbits, not you. It’s just that I hit the reply limit in the blog, and bad timing which made it appear as if I was replying to you.

    Anyway, instead of prolonging this futile discussion any further, I’d like to respond to just this:

    I haven’t found your arguments to be intelligible, coherent or factually established.

    I don’t think that’s true. I think that you do understand what I’m saying, even if you don’t agree with it. But rather than acknowledging it, and responding with something along the lines of “I understand what you mean and where you are coming from, but I just have to disagree with you” you instead have to pretend that my writings are not “intelligible, coherent of factually established.”

    One of the major problems with the kind of feminism that eg. freethoughtblogs represents, is that they present a false dichotomy. Just like PZ Myers said in a conference, you want to give the impression that there are only two extreme sides to the discussion: Those who want to treat women as equals, and those who think that women are “sex toys for the privileged white man.” You refuse to recognize nor acknowledge anything in-between, and refuse to understand that this kind of straw-manning is only poisoning the atheist community, not helping it. (And by “you” I’m not talking in singular, ie. referring to you personally, but as “you, the kind of secular feminist that I and others detest.”)

    Do you really think that, for example Thunderf00t is a “men’s rights activist”, a misogynist, a “privileged white man who sees women only as sex toys”? Do you really think that he’s an “accommodationist”, a “tone troll”, or someone who’s just playing the “reverse discrimination card”? Because those are the exact accusations that this type of feminist I’m talking about throw around all the time. This is the exact kind of accusation I get whenever I bring up the discussion. And I’m certainly not the only one.

    And whenever someone like Thunderf00t makes a blog post or a video criticizing this kind of behavior, the feminists always try to read between the lines and distort what’s being said. And if there’s even one single detail that can be shown as being even partially wrong or exaggerated, the whole core point is dismissed without consideration or acknowledgment.

  36. Warp says

    Yes, search for that one single sentence that you can cling to in order to dismiss everything, and call it all “full of shit.” This way you don’t have to even consider anything of what I’m saying.

    Thanks for demonstrating my point.

  37. Warp says

    You seem to be completely missing my point.

    The fact is that there are lots of people who fully support women’s equal rights and strongly oppose their discrimination and harassment and sexism, yet still oppose and detest the kind of feminism that’s typical of certain sections of the secular community because of their attitudes and behavior. These people who oppose this kind of feminism are not sexists, do not endorse any kind of harassing behavior towards women, and oppose sexism and misogyny as much as you do, yet still hate the kind of feminism that people like PZ Myers and the Skepchick represent.

    The problem her is that there’s a gap between these two groups of people. Both endorse the same thing (ie. ending discrimination against women and sexism), yet these two groups of people detest each other. And, in my opinion, the majority of the blame is in the PZ Myers type of feminists. I happen to agree that the attitudes are worse on that side. Some of the major problems is immediate dismissal of any objection, reading between the lines, distorting what the others are saying, and namecalling. There’s an utter lack of respect. This is not helpful at all in closing that gap, and that’s what I’m trying to point out.

    I happen to agree with the notion that it’s the feminists who are poisoning the secular community with this kind of attitude.

  38. senor says

    I’m not really afraid of death, but instead not having lived enough, and not making enough of a difference.

  39. says

    Warp

    If you end being dismissed in this thread it might be partly because you were completely off-topic from the very start, derailing the thread immediately in response to a secondary topic, namely Russell’s Skepchick post.

    Clearly your concerns, valid or not, are deeply held – but why immediately derail this thread instead of taking them to the Skepchick post – or directly to Russell?

    The entire conversation about feminism and skepticism right now is rife with “but feminists are mean too”. Unfortunately, such concerns (again, valid or not) are all-too-often voiced by MRAs or apologists for the sexist status quo, usually in an effort to dilute discussions of the real and observable problem of the the harassment of women. This, while not automatically invalidating those concerns, at least devalues them because the motives for apologists and MRAs nearly always reveal themselves to be questionable (at best).

    While you may very well not be an MRA or a sexist apologist, the pattern of your posting mirrors that of those who frequently defend sexist behaviour or harrassment: the immediate derail, the (as of this comment, still very, very vague) accusations of feminist harassment of men and the implication that harassment of men as is pressing an issue as the harassment of women. That’s not to deny that men get harassed, but quite frankly it pales by comparison to what half a dozen women in this community (just off the top of my head) have to suffer through every single day, purely as a result of them publicly expressing their feminism.

  40. changerofbits says

    What exactly is your point?

    My point is to draw some distinction between some obvious examples of the hate directed at women and the treatment men are receiving from feminists. I just see the problem being much worse in direction of women than what’s directed at men. I’d like everyone to see things that way so we can honestly work on fixing the problem rather than just derailing threads with false equivalency claims that, to me at least, are unfounded.

    You seem to be saying “since women are being harassed, insulted and bullied, it’s ok to harass, insult and bully men back.” In other words, you are excusing harassment towards people because some other people are victims of harassment.

    No. I’m a man (one of those privileged caucasian, cis, hetero ones) and a proud feminist. I’d rather no one be bullied or harassed and I don’t feel bullied by any of the feminists I’ve interacted with just because I’m a man. There are a lot of facts about male behavior that I’d rather just not be true, sort of like how that science thingy gets in the way of religious woo, but I know that those facts aren’t directed at me personally and that we all have the power to change how we act and direct the culture so that benefits everyone. So, bottom line (and let me put some words into your mouth since you did the same to me): You don’t feel that misogyny is an issue worth raising (and you’re skeptical it even exists, it’s only allegations after all) and you think the problem is equal in both directions at any rate. I disagree and, in a thread about a show that is promoting some work toward fixing the problem, would rather talk about fixing the problem.

  41. changerofbits says

    Let me try a post that isn’t a response to the attempted derail:

    Good show, despite the lack of theist callers. Great to see that Amy is reviving the series with Russel, who managed to paint a picture of the problem from my software engineering/gaming/nerd angle in a most excellent fashion.

  42. Warp says

    You don’t feel that misogyny is an issue worth raising

    I have never said or even implied that in any manner anywhere. On the contrary, I have made several references to the people on “the other camp” (not the sexist camp; the one that opposes a specific kind of feminism movement) opposing misogyny as well. (Why would they oppose misogyny if it didn’t exist?)

    and you’re skeptical it even exists, it’s only allegations after all

    I never said that. I said “(allegedly) rampant misogyny”. The “allegedly” was referring to “rampant.” Misogyny exists, of course. It being so rampant is not something that I have personal experience of. There are allegations that it is rampant, and there are allegations that it’s not as common as claimed. They are not “only allegations.” They are allegations. And unlike many people here, I do not consider a claim somehow self-evident just because someone says so. Thus allegedly rampant.

    (This is yet another case of people reading more to something than what’s written. When I write “(allegedly) rampant misogyny”, people immediately read that as “there is no misogyny” and can then immediately and conveniently dismiss everything I have written as “full of shit.” That’s not what the expression is saying, nor what its intent is.)

  43. Lord Narf says

    Yup, that’s one problem with it. One of the studies I’ve seen people dragging around was from the 40’s or 50’s, too. I don’t think anything that old is of particular use in making a point.

  44. Rick Pikul says

    I’ve bumped into some active misandry, but it’s been rare enough that the only significant cluster of it stands out as being a notable set of events and actions.

    Even then, the worst of it was the two or three that liked to abuse how the university’s safety van was run to make men walk home in the rain. (Women had priority for seats and a woman could have every man kicked off if she felt uncomfortable riding with them.)

    So it does happen, but it is nowhere near as common as Warp seems to think, (given what he is counting).

  45. Lord Narf says

    It’s that sort of dismissive statement that is indicative of someone’s character, very often. I’d have addressed the rest of the comment if there was anything in there that I felt was worth addressing. In my experience, people like you won’t learn, so it’s not worth my time.

  46. Lord Narf says

    I wouldn’t say that it’s fear, for me, as much as an intense curiosity. I want to know everything that’s going to happen, and my death will prevent that.

  47. billhelm says

    for me, the fear of death is in a small way facing the process of dying if it’s not instantaneous; and the larger part the idea of not living. all we know and are conscious of is the life we have. living this life. death is losing everything we’ve ever known. it’s hard to think of being dead and losing everything we’ve ever known and losing ourselves. i know it won’t bother me at the time and for eons afterward. it bothers me until the time comes.
    there was some comfort in an afterlife when i was a christian. now, the thought of dying bothers me more, but i feel more free to live while living.

  48. Tawn says

    Thank you for reiterating what I wrote. My point was exactly that it was not a choice between this second and indefinite posterity.. That’s why I talked about judgement and balance!!!!! I find it very frustrating that you did not read my comment fully. I was very clear in my last paragraph.

    Your original comment seemed to be suggesting that ‘this second’ was valueless and that we should always be looking for long term benefits.

  49. Carol Lynn says

    Warp –

    I’d love to be able to say that things are now forward enough towards equality that we can be concerned about the outliers. Unfortunately, that’s not what is happening.

    misbehavior and hate towards women in atheist communities is only a very small, perhaps even inexistent, problem

    Seriously? Inexistent? Have you bothered to read any of the nasty comments that the female bloggers here get?

    The harassing WE are talking about IS men coming on forums and calling any female commenters cunts, bitches and sluts, disregarding their arguments only because they are female, discussing their appearance instead of their ideas, and describing in graphic detail the way they think the women need to be raped.

    Do you think that slut shaming, name calling, and rape comments are appropriate behavior or not?

    If not – hey! I agree with you! Why don’t you go over to the MRA forums and tell *them* that, as a thoughtful man who believes in equality, you think they are behaving badly and rudely, they are doing your cause of equal treatment for men and women no good at all, and make a call for every man there to be more civil all the time. Brace yourself for being called a “mangina” and dismissed as a traitor.

    Why should I care at all that you think your concerns about the way men’s issues are sometimes ignored should be of more concern than mine about the way that female bloggers are *usually* treated?

    And you still have not answered my question – If what you’re talking about is such an obvious problem to everyone but feminists, cite me some example of anyone who argues that “men’s concerns are usually dismissed as being in second place to women’s” who is NOT an MRA supporter?

  50. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    That’s why I talked about judgement and balance!!!!!

    You made a dichotomy and wrote of balancing the two. It need not be a choice of either-or, even on a case-by-case basis.

    I was talking about living in a long now.

    Your original comment seemed to be suggesting that ‘this second’ was valueless and that we should always be looking for long term benefits.

    Valueless, no. But depending on the perspective you use to assign value, some things can be more beneficial, and others less so.
     
     

    I find it very frustrating that you did not read my comment fully.

    You got a response that didn’t meet your immediate expectations, then I assumed I ignored you. You reacted to your assumption with frustration.

  51. changerofbits says

    (This is yet another case of people reading more to something than what’s written. When I write “(allegedly) rampant misogyny”, people immediately read that as “there is no misogyny” and can then immediately and conveniently dismiss everything I have written as “full of shit.” That’s not what the expression is saying, nor what its intent is.)

    Ugh, if it wasn’t clear from the direct “put words into your mouth” warning, I was putting words in your mouth…

    Thanks for espousing what seems like a rational position (being against misogyny/misandry, acknowledging that is does exist and is bad enough to speak out against, could be described as feminism). I think that we just have different perspectives, experiences and interests which lead us to different conclusions about what to do. I think women have way to little power in our society and I’ve directly seen far more destructive misogyny than misandry in my life (school, workplace, friends, family) that the reported cases in the atheist movement don’t surprise me one bit and don’t seem extraordinary at all. I’m not sure what else there is to say.

  52. mamba24 says

    “Write, “I think you’re right,” in Comments sections of articles, Facebook postings etc. of feminist women. Whether or not they’ve been harassed or attacked, agree with them and do so publicly.” -I found this part somewhat strange as well. Just agree no matter what, even if you have no idea what you’re agreeing to? Well I guess most married men would say that’s true….LOL

  53. jdoran says

    This is what Warp does. I have yet to see him demonstrate members of the atheist community harrassing someone or dismissing what they have to say (with the exception of cases where the person clearly lacks the experience to know what they are talking about*) because that someone is male, despite people repeatedly asking him to show where this is happening.

    * Example: a man making a statement about the human vagina should be taken seriously if he’s a gynocologist and not taken seriously if he’s a virgin just out of high school. The teenage virgin will say things analogous to what Warp does when people attempt to explain to him why they don’t take him seriously.

  54. Carol Lynn says

    To Warp again –

    Misogyny exists, of course. It being so rampant is not something that I have personal experience of.

    Where does one draw the line between plain old, everyday misogyny and rampant misogyny? Inquiring minds want to know.

    (The temptation to say something snarky about the privilege shown by the quoted statement is nearly overwhelming, but I don’t want to hurt Warp’s feelings.)

  55. says

    I’ve been listening to the Atheist Experience every week since 2006, but I finally created an account here just now so I could comment on your praise of “Anita Sarkeesian’s Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games.”
    .
    Sarkeesian’s video is wrought with lies and distortions from beginning to end. Personally, I am a longtime Star Fox fan—and a Krystal fan—so I found it especially frustrating when Sarkeesian began her video with a grossly inaccurate portrayal of Krystal’s character in the Star Fox franchise. Sarkeesian suggests that Krystal is relegated to mere “damsel in distress” status in Star Fox Adventures, but she completely omits the fact that Krystal is a playable character for the first portion of the game as a strong, independent woman—vixen, that is—who fights her way through enemy territory. Moreover, in all subsequent Star Fox games, Krystal joins the Star Fox team as a fighter pilot—a fact that Sarkeesian willfully ignores.
    .
    The video just goes downhill from there with ridiculously one-sided misrepresentations. Rather than acknowledging games like Super Princess Peach, in which it is Princess Peach’s mission to save Mario, she asserts that Peach (and characters like her, by extension) are consistently portrayed us utterly helpless. Games featuring strong, intelligent female leads like Resident Evil 1-6—which rank among the most popular games in the world—are totally ignored. Even my own favorite first-person shooter of all time is a game that features a strong, female lead—Perfect Dark for the N64—and it doesn’t contain a hint of the objectification that Sarkeesian insists is ubiquitous.
    .
    But worst of all is the fact that comments are ratings are disabled. There is a tremendous irony in the fact that a person who wants to be seen as strong and independent positions herself as too weak, too fragile, and too vulnerable to endure legitimate criticism. MrRepzion, a popular Youtuber and recent deconvert, rightly points this out. MrRepzion makes it publicly known that he was a victim of direct death threats to himself and his family as a result of his Youtube presence, but he keeps comments and ratings open because he knows the value of sorting through the crap to keep the discussion open.
    .
    If the goal is moving the debate forward, the gates to the debate ought to be open. By disabling comments, Anita Sarkeesian makes it clear that she has zero interest in real social progress—and she has nothing but her own self-interest in mind.

  56. mamba24 says

    Yo Warp,

    I get what you’re trying to say. And I pretty much agree with everything espoused here. There is a certain tone in some feminist movements that I don’t like. I also agree with the others on this blog that women receive a lot more of the harassment than men do, but that shouldn’t take anything away from what you’re trying to point out. Carol Lynn’s comment and gross assumption seemed to validate what you’re saying as well.

  57. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Hopefully the last bit self-evidently was tongue-in-cheek, not an attempt to mischaracterize you.

  58. changerofbits says

    So you agree on the core concept, but just don’t like the FTB/SkepChick approach, which seems to boil down to being a bit light on the skepticism (to the point of *gasp* reacting strongly to reports of misogyny, even if said misogyny hasn’t been thoroughly and skeptically vetted). Well welcome to the real world and the big tent of secularism. If anything is poisoning the secular movement, it perpetuating this meme of “deep rifts”.

  59. changerofbits says

    The original blog post links to an article that paints a very unilateral picture and, frankly speaking, contains some rather strange content (such as “Write, “I think you’re right,” in Comments sections of articles, Facebook postings etc. of feminist women. Whether or not they’ve been harassed or attacked, agree with them and do so publicly.” This kind of strange suggestion feels almost like something you could find in a propaganda pamphlet of a religious cult. “You must always agree with, and pander to, any feminist you find on the net, regardless of what they say.” And these people call themselves freethinkers… I have seen less obnoxious text in utterly religious pamphlets.)

    Ok, I think I might you might be missing an implied bit of meaning in that suggestion and in the intent of the article itself. When I read that, it comes with the obvious assumption that you do agree with what the feminist woman (or any woman or whomever) is saying/writing about. Like: “Hey guys, rather than sit idly by agreeing in silence, speak out and give us some public support.” I’m not a bullying expert, but I think this not only gives the writer some validation should some misogynistic harassment take place, but it also makes it more costly in a social sense for the bully. In any case, these aren’t marching orders from the feminist overlords who are bent on crushing every boy and man into oblivion or telling everyone that they have to agree or else. They’re just suggestions on how to make the online marketplace of ideas a bit less hostile to women writing about feminism. You accuse PZ of reading between the lines and distorting what others are saying and then do the same yourself.

  60. says

    I have noticed a particularly poisonous type of poster on PZ’s blog, such that I don’t tend to post there any more. I’ve been reading his blogs for years, but when I do occasionally post I’ll sometimes be told that as a ‘newbie’ my opinions aren’t valid, which makes me think there’s a bit of a clique – “we’re the full-time posters, and we don’t like other people on our territory”. There’s also an over eagerness to see sexism in my posts, and I saw it happening to other posters too.

    Once I argued with someone on one of PZ’s threads, and the other poster suddenly started saying words to the effect of “You’re saying women aren’t arguing this point properly”, when I honestly hadn’t up until that point even realised the other poster was a woman. Then the other posters piled on with pretty unpleasant language. As soon as I said that language was uncalled for, I was accused of ‘tone trolling’ and telling women how they could talk. They also insisted that PZ wanted them to swear like that, so they were just doing his wishes.

    However, I don’t categorise those posters as a ‘type of feminist’ or even a ‘type of woman’. They were just rude posters who I’ve resolved to avoid dealing with.

  61. says

    I agree with mamba24. I hate it when white people start talking about being discriminated against. And men talking how most people in prison are men, as if that’s evidence of women being given a free ride. But one should be able to talk about tone on a message board without being accused of ‘tone trolling’ or of prioritising tone over content.

  62. Tawn says

    “You made a dichotomy and wrote of balancing the two.”

    Wow. You can’t just say, sorry I misunderstood you and made assumptions about what you meant… no, instead you have to be specific to the point of triviality.

    Does it really help conversation if we have to be specific to such a ridiculous level?

    I had no intention of setting up a dichotomy.. and I think my comment was sufficiently loose enough that you should have given me the benefit of the doubt. Do I really have to spell out that I also think there are many degree’s between instant gratification and long term investment and that both can sometimes be achieved together? I mean, honestly think about it for a second… who doesn’t?

    But of course, you have to have the final say and ‘win’ the discussion.. so go ahead..

  63. Muz says

    Warp, I sort of agree with you in principle. It’d be good to know what examples you might have though.
    As mentioned feminists don’t harass people on the internet in the same way that they are usually harassed. You’re talking about, occasionally harsh, disagreement.
    Also angry exchanges often aren’t attributed to one or even a couple of people but to ‘feminists’, which is stupid.
    It’s also quite possible people genuinely believe someone’s feelings are unwarranted. That’s not against the rules either.
    You might want to be more specific.

  64. Muz says

    People have to stop talking like one in a series of like 8 or nine planned videos can be criticised for being incomplete (different interpretations of the games she actually talks about are fine).

    And the comments thing: Bloody hell get over it world. I know it’s hard to remember before 2004, but somehow we managed to have debates and free exchange of ideas before youtube comments. Before the internet even!
    Amazing I know. I read it in book hell bent on forcing their absolutist ideas down my throat. They didn’t even have a comments section! Or provide an easy mailing address for the authors so I could express disagreement!
    Publication itself is basically taking a shit on free expression. I recently found out they don’t print all the letters to the editor! Unconscionable.

  65. Wojo says

    Hellhound Apostate,

    Sarkeesian’s video made a point of referring to the main franchise regarding Super Mario, in this respect she is correct.

    The reason comments are disabled is due to the volumes of unconstructive vitriol that is spewed at her previous videos by people who don’t like being told there is sexism in a some video games.

    As to the star fox game, I can’t say. I’ve only ever played the first. What I can point out is that she tackled the trope of the active damsel in her analysis of Zelda. Even ifkrystal is playable for a portion and then gets captured she still fulfills the damsel role. It’s not to say she is anything less then a strong independent character, she still takes on the damsel role.

    Sarkeesian will also tackle many of the positive female character tropes in future videos. Likely pointing at games like perfect dark and resident evil.

  66. says

    That’s my view on death as well. Not a fear of “being dead” (being nonexistent? nonbeing?), but sadness at the thought of what I won’t be alive to experience. Every time I read Carl Sagan’s works or watch Cosmos, I’m amazed at the sadness I feel. There’s so much that he would have loved to experience, and by rights and actuarial tables should have been able to.

  67. says

    UStream was totally unusable, switched over to the Channel Austin stream and it was reloading every couple of seconds so I gave up. One of these days I’ll just listen to the audio of the show.

  68. Barefoot Bree says

    Either you didn’t think that through before you posted it, or your sarcasm just went whoosh right over my head. Quite probably the latter – I’m “special” that way. But I’ll reply, anyway.

    My first reaction is: that’s what every translator and publisher of every edition of the bible already did: they wrote what they thought it actually meant. One more isn’t going to make any difference.

    But more importantly: you will never get two or more people from even the same denomination to agree on what every passage “really” means, let alone different sects. Even if you DID believe those individuals were inspired by a living God.

  69. Warp says

    Wow, that’s one of the most blatant forms of taking something out of context that I have seen in a long time. Even most creationists don’t take partial sentences out of context in order to make it look like someone said something that they didn’t. At the very least they usually quote entire sentences, rather than taking just a small portion of it.

  70. ET says

    I think sarcasm or wishful thinking. My point was that no matter how you look at it, it is impossible to reach a consensus on the intended message(s) in the bible. The text is too vague and every “revelation” instructing how to interpret it is different. It probably goes without saying but the bible is most likely what it appears to be, a collection of writings from who knows who trying promote their religious and/or political beliefs.

  71. ralph m says

    I wouldn’t even entertain Warp’s complaint as valid considering the sheer volume of harassment that’s directed at women online or feminist causes…or even perceived feminist causes. I’ll give a quick example:
    before Google took over Youtube (and ruined it) I used to be fairly active. One day, in a discussion that had nothing directly to do with male/female relationships….we were debating the merits and harms of the modern advertising industry, I posted a link to a couple of short videos by a psychologist who believed there was a strong link between advertising and eating disorders and body issues among young women…even preteens.

    All of a sudden, I discover there’s something called the “Men’s Rights Activists” movement (at least in cyberspace), and before you know it, the discussion is sandbagged by a bunch of inbreds charging ‘reverse discrimination’ and men are harmed by advertising too! When I took a closer look at the page of the subscriber who made the video, I find the same thing there too an even worse degree. I click links to other videos on women’s issues….everything from rape to sexual harassment to pay equity, and it’s the same damn thing there also: MRA’s or Men’s Rights Assholes are on every comment page of every video posted by a feminist or even dealing with issues specifically concerning women…..so who are we kidding here?

    I’m man enough to recognize that many men try to bully women into shutting up or giving them what they want, and it’s up to all of us (men and women) to call them out on their bullshit and not let them get away with making false equivalencies to dilute and confuse serious issues.

  72. brianpansky says

    Hellbound Apostate has nothing new.

    I should be able to say 1)that video was about the trope ‘damsel in distress’. A trope can be as brief as a single scene, or an entire plot. Just because someone is not a damsel in distress for a long time doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be included in this video.

    about “one-sided misrepresentations” 2) you are ‘not even wrong’. this cannot be done. there simply are a lot of damsels in distress. Instances of positive characters DO NOT change that.

    done. complaints irrelevant. oh, but more:

    “Rather than acknowledging games like Super Princess Peach” she DOES briefly mentioned it, saying she would not explore it at the present time. guess why? Maybe because the video was about times where there *IS* a damsel in distress (and that it does happen a lot). shocker that the video stays on topic yet acknowledges that things *DO* need to be said about that game.

    “But worst of all is the fact that comments [and] ratings are disabled.” try harder.

  73. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    I wasn’t aware we were having an argument to win. I was trying to resolve miscommunication by becoming increasingly specific, because apparently my initial comment was too loose for you to give me the benefit of the doubt.

    Your original comment seemed to be suggesting that “‘this second’ was valueless and that we should always be looking for long term benefits.”

  74. greg1466 says

    Of course not. The caller makes the standard mistake that theists do. A theist won’t suddenly become immoral if they learn that god isn’t real simply because their morality didn’t come from god in the first place, in spite of their claims otherwise. In fact, I would argue that in many cases they will become more moral, since they now become free to make moral decisions on their own instead of following orders from on high.

  75. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    I misunderstood the message you intended, which you wrote because I failed to be clear enough in the first comment.

  76. Muz says

    On other things; I really liked that guy’s therapy story. People have been saying that’s how it works for a good while, but I’ve never heard it quite so specifically ‘tested’, is almost the word.
    What a fascinating capacity, if occasionally problematic. It’s not just an imaginary friend either, although that’s part of it. It’s more like an imaginary parent, really.

  77. Illusio says

    “I’m still not seeing the connection. Some feminists treat folks with differing opinions poorly, but I don’t see them using misandry (at least not at any level that can even be considered close to the misogyny prevalent online/in culture generally).”

    I’m sorry, but you clearly haven’t looked. Juts to take some of the hate being spewed by these crazies recently, check out TheAmazingAtheist’s latest video commenting on the gaming video discussed in this show. There we have rather common feminist claims, namely that men are females who are damaged in the womb, that men are incompetent at all decision making, that we need a matriarchy(Which is one reason why feminists have no credibility with regards to equality) and so on and so forth.

    As for this alleged online harassment you’re talking about, realize that this happens as a response to people peddling offensive opinions, and people send them insults that go straight to the core of their threat narratives, such as rape. I think this is entirely appropriate as such people don’t deserve to be engaged in a respectful manner.

    Frankly, I also think it’s disgusting that TAE promotes jokers like Skepchick. Those clowns have nothing to contribute beyond laughable conspiracy theories(The Patriarchy), imaginary threat narratives(Schrödinger’s Rapist) and disgusting displays of dishonesty and imaginary victimhood to promote their agenda(Elevatorgate etc). There people don’t deserve to set any kind of agenda for the atheist movement, and personally I refuse to help fund anything connected with that group. They are far beyond what can be tolerated or cooperated with.

    As for the idea that females get “unwanted sexual interest”, and that this qualifies as harassment I just have to laugh. Like in elevatorgate – if asking a girl out for coffee qualifies as harassment in the mind of some girl – that girl is flat out hysterical and needs to relax her high-strung ass. The dynamics between males and females include both extremely low-key signs of interest like that, and even overt questions of whether the girl wants to go shag. Neither should be viewed as harassment as long as the guy accepts a no, and in fact, it should be something they both should be able to laugh about. he unhealthy feminist approach that views such events in the light of rape requires a completely fucked up risk analysis and a delusional view of reality.

  78. mamba24 says

    I’d like to get a better idea of what people mean by “unwanted sexual interest”, because it’s quite vague as to what it means. If a guy is running up to some random girl, grabbing her ass, using blatant sexual language and just being a dick, I can definitely see that as harassment. But if a guy notices a girl(wherever, at a bar or something) and starts talking to her in small talk, maybe dropping subtle hints that he finds her attractive, but remaining polite and cool at the same time…..is that harassment?

  79. Houndentenor says

    First of all, there’s no way for everyone in the world to suddenly realize that the evidence for supernatural explanations for natural phenomena is insufficient. That’s just not going to happen. Second, I don’t believe that the only reason people don’t murder indiscriminantly is because they are afraid of a deity. Among many reasons that makes no sense are 1) believe in a god doesn’t seem to stop thousands of people per year from committing murder and 2) it seems rather obvious that most people are far more afraid of being caught and punished by other people than they are of some invisible deity and 3) there aren’t a lot of atheists in prison. Now I do think people might do a lot of things they don’t do now, like have the sex they enjoy that their religion says is wrong or drink alcohol if they suddenly realized that they didn’t believe, but there’s no real harm in other of those (with the obvious precautions of birth control and no driving after drinking). One thing that makes that clear for me is how many religious people are caught embezzling, having affairs, etc when obviously they believed their god knew about what they were doing even if they were going undetected by other people. If they really feared that eternal punishment, why were they more afraid of getting caught by people than in in going to hell?

  80. Houndentenor says

    To be fair, yes it is possible for a woman or women to sexually harass a man. I’m sure that it happens. It’s also possible to sexually harass someone of the same sex. I believe there is legal precedent for all of these. Just because men are far less likely to be sexually harassed by women, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

    Yet, I seem to have missed any real example of such a thing happening in the atheist community. I don’t doubt that it is possible, and if it is happening then you are correct that one is just as wrong as the other. But pointing out that there are women who have felt uncomfortably in situations (and in every case where someone has explained the situation it was WORSE than I had assumed from the previous vague descriptions) is not reverse discrimination. We are all adults. We ought to be able to discuss these things and reasonable people would want to adjust their behavior knowing it made someone uncomfortable.

  81. Warp says

    Are you man enough to recognize the fact that whenever someone presents any kind of criticism against feminists (not feminism in general as a movement, but a certain type of feminist), their objections are immediately dismissed, their text is distorted and wild accusations are thrown, and any such behavior is justified by there being “men’s rights activists” and other such douchebags?

    Do you understand why “I don’t have to listen to criticism about my behavior because there exists misogyny and MRAs” is wrong in so many levels?

  82. Tawn says

    I apologise for my frustration, you clearly are trying to be reasonable. I think we actually agree very much on this issue.

    My first comment was really trying to make the opposite case which your first comment lacked. Think of it more as an expansion of your comment than a criticism of it! :)

    As for nihilistic hedonism, well it would only be that if you disregarded longer term benefits and dismissed the benefit of helping others… (or would it still be nihilistic and hedonistic? not sure. If so, im not sure its such a bad thing)

  83. ralph m says

    I’ve listened to the Atheist Experience off and on for at least five years now. Last week’s show was the first one that I felt motivated to write a comment about because it gave me a chance to ask whether it’s even possible for an atheist community to act like a real community!

    The first thing a community needs is a set of shared values, and this problem of how an atheist community deals with feminism would be a good place to start. Should atheist communities take positions on social issues? Or any issues aside from whether or not God exists?

    I noticed from my experience with Atheist Nexus and Think Atheist, that the reverse discrimination canard didn’t pop up in discussions on race relations for some reason, yet when it came to women, all of a sudden there’s a bunch of ____________ talking about how feminism is infringing on their rights. Or that feminism is anti-humanist because it sets one group apart for special consideration.

    Pure bullshit from my perspective, but then again, I’m a communist; so the concept that there are groups and classes within a larger society that are favoured or discriminated against, is my default position.

    I get that an atheist community can’t get too specific on social or political issues, but are there any basic grounding principles that everyone should accept to be part of the same group? If not, then I don’t see how any atheist group goes beyond carping about religion!

  84. DW says

    Banning comments on a youtube video is not stifling discussion. In fact, there is TONS of discussion about this video on various place on the internet. You are complaining that Sarkeesian is not providing you a particular place for discussion, which is weird because Youtube comments are nowhere near the best place to have a in-depth discussion of the issues presented in the video. Youtube comments tend to be one-liners that boil down to “You’re awesome!” or “You suck!” and it’s hard to navigate through pages of comments like this to find any kind of legitimate criticism. Write a blog post, comment on reddit, create a video response instead–these are actually places on the internet that are designed for discussion!

  85. says

    I really liked the call about the therapist’s ‘resource’ excercise which induced feelings of the holy spirit, deconverting the man.
    In the 70’s when my father was young he was in a wizardry group, that practiced rituals and visualizations about a range of fictional gods and demons, until eventually they started to feel very real. My father is one of the most scientifcally minded, puzzle-solving intellectuals I’ve ever met, they didn’t really believe any of the very real experiences, it was an experiment in developing scepticism that demonstrated (subjectively, only to the participants) that faith thinking could generate convincing experiences interacting with the gods and feelings of realness, without the gods ever actually being real.
    I think of my experiences with LSD similarly, as first-hand experience that a malfunction in the brain can generate shockingly ‘real’ visions and mind-expanding, spiritual experiences and revelations. Such things are natural brain phenomena, and that violates my general principle for evidence; when theists ask me what I would consider evidence of God, I tend to say “It would have to be clear that it wouldn’t be the case if the god didn’t exist”.

  86. says

    There is a tremendous irony in the fact that a person who wants to be seen as strong and independent positions herself as too weak, too fragile, and too vulnerable to endure legitimate criticism.

    I suspect that what she wasn’t actually interested in enduring was thousands of misogynist mouth-breathers screaming at her that she’s a cunt who deserves to get raped to death. Talk about willfully ignoring facts.

    In any event, you’re doing more than a little lying and distorting of your own. The video clearly states it is part one of a series, and this particular episode dealt with the damsel in distress trope. Other tropes of women characters in other games, I suspect, are to follow. The fact that Princess Peach and similar characters have games where they are the playable hero does not change the fact that their role is that of damsel in distress in the games Anita discusses. You might as well argue that, because we now have a black president, anybody who wants to talk about racism without mentioning that is lying and distorting facts.

  87. says

    Responding with “Men get sexist treatment too!” to any discussion women ever try to have about sexist attitudes towards women is simply an exercise in trying to make the discussion all about men, and shutting up women who want to talk about women.

    No one denies that sexist attitudes towards men can exist. But you know what? When the discussion at hand is about sexist attitudes towards women, then that’s the discussion at hand. Talking about sexism towards men is another discussion, and one worth having. But shutting down every discussion about sexism towards women by demanding it turn into a discussion about sexism towards men isn’t the way to have it.

  88. Jack7 says

    What exactly is the complaint? That tropes exist? There are lots of discriminatory tropes. Guys with slicked back black hair are evil. Characters with angel wings are good, bat wings bad. The Damsel in Distress trope isn’t sexist, it – like all tropes – is both inspired by reality and is a way to tell an appealing story, not a way to oppress women. It’s inspired by reality in the sense that, there are men, and boys, who want to rescue the girl. Is every guy who wants to rescue a girl in danger a misogynist? Would you make the same discriminatory claims about any story that deals with rescuing allies from behind enemy lines? What could be said about the damsel that couldn’t be said about them as well?

  89. says

    You’re making an appeal to tradition fallacy here. The fact that there have always been stories about heroes saving the girl, and that they can be enjoyable (Anita basically says as much), doesn’t change the fact that the woman’s role in such stories is that of a passive object or prize to be awarded to the hero for his heroic deeds, and less that of an actual human being.

    Is every guy who wants to rescue a girl in danger a misogynist?

    No, and Anita’s video makes no such claim.

  90. Jack7 says

    There’s a difference in tradition and precedent. A damsel in distress is a macguffin that happens to be a person. The damsel version is typically female, but I don’t see how that makes the trope sexist. Dragonlance has a male character that the heroes are after. And there are a lot of stories (innumerable) about the hero needing to rescue their allies from the enemy. Plenty involve groups that are male and female. Is that a sexist trope? It seems that chivalry is what is being portrayed as sexist. To say that you don’t want men who think it’s cool and romantic to rescue women is asking too much for little to no gain. The trope exists for the same reason as laser guns in scifi The Rule of Cool.

    I think it would only be sexist if when done by a female protagonist it didn’t work, and that’s not the case. That’s because the trope is about being a hero. It doesn’t matter if you rescue a woman a man or men or whatever , the appeal is the rescuing. And that being the case! I don’t see evidence that damsel stories are any more prevalent than other rescue stories, especially in modern stories and games.

  91. says

    It doesn’t matter if you rescue a woman a man or men or whatever , the appeal is the rescuing.

    The trope, though, is called “damsel in distress” for a reason. The prize to be rescued is traditionally female, while the hero doing the rescuing has traditionally been male. So this has led to an acculturated sexism in which the hero role goes by default to men. (Note that sexism doesn’t necessarily imply misogyny, only that it dictates rigid gender roles.) It’s only been recently that you can find popular examples of sexual egalitarianism and role reversal where such tropes are concerned. Remember that the reason the character of Ellen Ripley became so iconic was because at the time, it was considered highly unusual for a woman to play a heroic protagonist in a genre story. And that was only 30-ish years ago.

  92. Lord Narf says

    I still want to know when we’re going to get a female protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series. Certainly there are a lot of story arcs that could be told from the female perspective. The dating element which has been in the series for the past couple games wouldn’t even be a problem. Just allow the player to go lesbian, and I don’t think most guys would have a problem.

  93. Lord Narf says

    Hell yeah. I can think of several good story/character concepts for a female, GTA protagonist, and I’m a complete hack as a writer. Certainly their writing staff could come up with even better.

  94. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    This drifts away from show-relevance the original comment had, but I like the positive rephrasing:
    When you get in the habit of projecting yourself outside your current circumstances and asking “Is this what I would will appreciate”, you’ll find there’s always someone doing you favors and living just a little longer in your memory of them. Pay it forward as it were.
     
    Set the window that you care about too long, and each you gets depressed about not having a meaningful life. Set the window too short, and each you inherits the legacy of short-lived jerks (from the perspective of the inheritor who’s occupying your body at that point).

  95. bluentx says

    Them: Adventures With Extremists by Jon Ronson. Heh! I wondered when watching the show if that was the book Russell meant. I read that about 2005 (?).It was my first introduction to Alex Jones. *eyeroll*
    A couple of years later I found out about Jones’ radio show…in Austin….on the air as far back as the early 90’s…
    Who knew? I lived in Austin in the 90’s…I lived in Austin for seventeen years and never heard of Alex Jones. To think -I could have been having such good laughs all those years….

  96. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Of course, playing with one’s life narrative like that offers loopholes to savor a moment, like “appreciating having done something” or general morale boosts that carry over. : P
     
    Thanks for rekindling my hope in strangers on the internet, btw. :)

  97. brianpansky says

    “A damsel in distress is a macguffin that happens to be a person. The damsel version is typically female”

    that’s about right.

    “but I don’t see how that makes the trope sexist”

    [please see the 11th letter of the alphabet]

  98. Lord Narf says

    Heh, yeah, because a thread that starts out with that sort of topic is certain to go in a positive direction and produce meaningful understanding.

  99. Houndentenor says

    It reminds me of the argument of “what would happen if everyone was gay”. That’s just not going to happen. I suppose there is some purpose of having these philosophical debates in which the extremes are discussed, but as a rather practical purpose I find such debate tactics pointless. The idea that the entire world would suddenly realize that the evidence for the supernatural is insufficient is next to impossible. In addition, I know of not one incidence in which someone who deconverted went on a spree of violent criminal activities. If such a thing has ever happened it is an outlier, not the typical response. Actually I think that the contrary is true. If there is no supernatural entity or force to come in a fix my screw-ups then that means I have to make responsible choices as I go. I therefore have MORE moral responsibility as a nonbeliever than I did as a believer, not less.

  100. Houndentenor says

    There is a sort of post-event depression. The bigger the event, the bigger the let-down. It’s probably akin to an adrenaline crash. So much excitement and anticipation can only lead to a deficit once the event is over. Those of us in the performing arts are familiar with this but I’ve also heard it in response to weddings or other big events. It’s a little sad when it’s over. But none of that has anything to do with Tracie’s point.

  101. says

    Finally I saw the show last night, for on Sundays I think we have to forgive that. people who works there don’t bother about people who watch it on streams if it works or not…

    first caller
    Tracie: do you believe in (a) god?
    Caller: I am not SURE!
    Tracie: then you don’t

    Tracie lead the caller
    The caller was submitted

    free thinking?

    btw, when you compared the question of there is a god or not to leprechon, big foot, thooth fairies, lizard men and so on for me it is a fallacy (red herring, kind). the question with “god” is a question about if people believe there is a an intelligence behind our lives, a greater purpose for it, not if they are anecdotal green giant cockroaches under the earth or veggie vampires!!!!

    all that important question is dihonestly hold by tracie and main stream american atheists.

  102. says

    I think atheists are as presomptious as christians.

    when we die, after what will happen?

    “main streams” christians: Paradise or Hell!!
    “main stream” atheists: Nothing!!! It will be like you before you were born!
    agnostics: we don’t KNOW, therefore we don’t BELIEVE!!!!

    maybe it is not the fault of main streams christians and main streams atheists who can only think binary…

  103. jacobfromlost says

    The question of god is not analogous to “if people believe there is an intelligence behind our lives, a greater purpose for it.”

    I’m an atheist, and I believe both of those things. The intelligence behind our lives is our own, individually and in concert. The greater purpose of our lives is to work together for the betterment of all, individually and in concert.

    I would also suggest you revise your posts before posting. Trying to divine your arguments through your writing errors is annoying, no pun intended.

  104. jacobfromlost says

    It’s not presumptuous to think nothing will happen after we die. Everything we are, feel, think, or do is rooted in a functioning brain. Everything about us can be affected by affecting the brain. If we were something other than a functioning brain, such as an incorporeal soul, then we wouldn’t expect physical things and processes like drugs, alcohol, fever, high blood sugar, low blood sugar, hypoxia, TBI, brain damage, organic brain disease, stroke, brain surgery, among dozens of other things, would all affect everything about who we are…

    …and yet when the entire brain dies and stops functioning, then suddenly all the functions wholly return (somehow) to some recognizable ideal state (somehow) and end up in heaven with all our personality traits, feelings, and thoughts in tact (somehow).

    I bet if your car rolled off a cliff and exploded, you would not accept the insurance company’s argument that your car is still perfectly fine because it is in heaven now, with perfect paint, renewed leather interior, a full tank of gas, and no longer has those squeaky breaks you always hated…thus they will not pay you to replace your destroyed car. (I’m sort of surprised no insurance company has refused a life insurance policy because your dead loved one has plenty of time to work in heaven and can send the money down to continue to support his/her family.)

  105. jacobfromlost says

    Good grief. We’re not making prophesies any more than saying if you step off a roof, you’ll fall. (If your brain stops working, you are dead–ie, not functioning anymore as “you”.)

  106. Lord Narf says

    Eric, we’ve been over this 20 or 30 freaking times. If you don’t actively hold the position that a god exists, then you’re an atheist.

    We’re dealing with two separate claims.
    1) At least one god exists.
    2) No gods exist.

    The atheist position is to reject the first claim. An atheist can also accept the second claim, but that isn’t a part of the default atheist position. You go a step beyond atheism, when you accept the second claim. Some atheists reject both the first and the second claim.

    When you say shit like what you just did, you come off as ignorant to most of the people on this site. That’s what I was talking about, in another of the blog posts on here, referring to the snotty, Huxlian agnostics. They’re dishonest and willfully ignorant of the atheist position. They’re almost as bad as idiots like Ray Comfort, when it comes to defining different positions.

    btw, when you compared the question of there is a god or not to leprechon, big foot, thooth fairies, lizard men and so on for me it is a fallacy (red herring, kind).

    Then you’re wrong. It’s a fair comparison.

    all that important question is dihonestly hold by tracie and main stream american atheists.

    She’s properly representing the atheist position. It’s not her fault that you don’t understand it.

  107. Lord Narf says

    Trying to divine your arguments through your writing errors is annoying, no pun intended.

    No pun used, either. :D
    There was a joke there, but it wasn’t a pun. I know. My girlfriend’s father and uncle are punsters. It’s freaking painful.

  108. Lord Narf says

    Eric, you’re straw-manning what atheists usually say, yet again.

    If someone asks me what I think happens after we die? Certainly, I think we pretty much just cease to exist, because there’s insufficient evidence for any kind of afterlife. What we don’t claim is absolute certainty, as you keep trying to stick on us, over and over.

    The argument that atheists generally make, in reference to gods, souls, afterlives, and all of the other mystical crap is not that they absolutely don’t exist. Instead, it’s that there’s insufficient evidence to believe in any of that stuff, and it’s stupid to believe in things that are completely unsupported by good evidence.

    You seem to be completely immune to nuance.

  109. Jack7 says

    I feel like calling it acculturated sexism is taking the effect and making it the cause. Traditionally the man was rescuer and the woman rescued, and that was what media portrayed. You said yourself that more recently this has been shifting, just as the perception of equality is shifting. That sounds to me like good news, and that the art continues to imitate life. Now, I’ve not watched this video, but is it a video of praise that the trope is becoming equal among the sexes? I was under the impression it was a criticism. If that’s the case, it is a criticism of what? That time is passing?

    Ripley became iconic at the time, because that was a deal at the time. She would likely not be as iconic were she to premiere now (Ultraviolet), which shows that we are indifferent to females in lead roles. There would be neither outrage or rallying behind such a character, because it is the norm. Also, the use of POWs, that is something not a woman, as a damsel type MacGuffin dates back to at least the 1945 film “Resuce from Shangri La.”

    As I said, the damsel in distress is merely a specific form of MacGuffin, so if we are to complain about the objectifying of women, we should be equally upset about the objectifying of POWs employed for the same reason, and the objections should be because they are humans not only women. But it is a story element that works. And, just as not every Xanatos Gambit is executed by Xanatos, neither is every damsel in distress a damsel, even if there is reason for the titles of the tropes.

  110. brianpansky says

    what happens to computers when they get smashed?

    all evidence points to the brain being a computer. we seem to BE such a computer. we simply use the word “death” when that computer stops functioning (and gets smashed broken).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>