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Sep 29 2011

“People are terrible.”

Rebecca Watson summarizes the daily harassment and stalking she’s been experiencing ever since the stupid “elevatorgate” kerfuffle broke. I don’t care how you feel about the original issue – this response is excessively vile and misogynist. And downright disappointing, since these are actual members of the atheist and skeptical community, not random trolls or bipolar substance abusing Montrealers or 12-year-olds with an internet connection. And this is the exactly the reason why we’re going to keep talking about stuff like this.

I sympathize. I’ve had my share of internet drama, though not to this extent. But even though I haven’t exploded the internet recently, I still get the occasional email about how I’m pathetic and stupid for supporting Rebecca, or how I need to get off my high horse because I haven’t been called a Nazi and that’s so much worse. Or how I’m “too ugly for sex.”

It’s easy to laugh them off when it’s a slow trickle of inane insults, but even the thickest skin takes a beating when they come in a flood – a flood that’s been constant for Rebecca for months. So like her, while I want to keep fighting the good fight, sometimes I need to take a break from the internet and play some video games, go to a bar with friends, or watch Game of Thrones while cuddling with a cute guy. My sanity can’t handle being a feminist warrior 24/7.

71 comments

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  1. 1
    Alteredstory

    I really hate that you guys have to put up with this crap. I REALLY hate it, and I can only imagine what it’s like for YOU (aside from your compelling descriptions).

    I’m grateful that you keep writing in spite of the abuse, and I greatly admire your ability to do so.

    You have my support as a semi-anonymous blog reader, and as always, I wish you all the best.

    Thank you for who you are and what you do.

  2. 2
    beardofpants

    I’m glad that there ARE ‘feminist warriors’ like you & Rebecca. The world needs more people out there combating the misogyny & righting the wrongs. Like a Captain Planet or something. A feminist captain planet. There could be rings!

  3. 3
    Jen

    As long as I don’t get stuck with Heart.

  4. 4
    Tim

    I’m still shocked by these vile, rage-filled misogynists. I don’t know if that’s decency or just plain innocence on my part, but it just chills my very bones. I wish I could believe that our baser natures were better than that, but to be perfectly honest this flood of ridiculous reactions has only jaded me and made me ever more cynical. It makes me wonder about the person sitting next to me in class, or the best friend I’ve known since childhood. If I probed deep enough, would these people reveal similar deep-seated prejudices? I don’t like to think about it.

    Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, and I’ll keep doing what I do–trying to make the people I meet a little more aware of this problem of perhaps-unconscious patriarchal thought, calling them out on their bullshit, and try and point them towards the writers and figures like you and Rebecca.

    SOLIDARITY FIST

  5. 5
    Tabby Lavalamp

    It’s bad enough when the misogyny and hatred comes from men, but it really saddens me when I see it coming from other women (I admit I only read ERV on occasion, but I was still greatly disappointed).

    As someone who has the advantage of hiding in anonymity – thank you for what you do.

  6. 6
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I’m more of a commenter than a blogger (I’ve written a few posts recently and plan to do more, maybe even manage to do it regularly), but I find it hard even dealing with the blow back from that sometimes. It gets tiresome, especially when one is a lone voice. The more we speak out, the more of us that speak out, the more things will change.

    So hey you! Yes, lurkers, I’m talking to you. When you see the misogynists and the homophobes ramp up the hate, say something. Be critical. Support the people who are speaking out for justice and for treating others as human beings. You know that haters just trying to silence us. It is they who ought to be shamed and silenced.

  7. 7
    Tabby Lavalamp

    And as someone who doesn’t pay close enough attention to where she posts – that thank you was to Jen, not to Tim. But thank you as well, Tim.

  8. 8
    Joshua

    Yes, what Alteredstory said is pretty much what I came here to write. Thanks for all the work you do to make this movement a better place for everyone.

    I was trying to come up with a way to compliment you as a partial offset to the “too ugly for sex” idiots, but I couldn’t find a way to do it without potentially seeming creepy. Oh, wait, maybe I just did!

  9. 9
    Jagannath

    The whole issue has spiraled out of control due people who clearly are lacking in some areas of their evolution (pun, sorry could not resist.)

    The moment you retort to insults is the moment when you have proven to all that what ever opinion you had of the issue, it is meaningless. You have also lost any reason to treat you with anything but bare minimum of civility. That bare minimum is what separates the rational from the irrational (favourite expletive and/or adjective) people. :)

    As simplistic as the phrase ‘if you have nothing good to say.. do not say anything.’ might seem, if people would follow it more things would be nicer to all.

    Personally, I am not surprised of the crassness of people. I am rather pessimistic when it comes to the people. What surprised me a little of the whole issue was the Dawkins idolatry that seemed to fuel some odd primitive rage towards those who do not worship their gods.

    But tldr; People are unsavory lot.

  10. 10
    Icky Harry

    Really? You felt the need to tie how violent, irrational, or threatening someone is with their mental health status?

    Way to contribute to ableism in feminist and atheist communities.

  11. 11
    Brice Gilbert

    Joke post right?

  12. 12
    Jen

    Manic episodes of bipolar, from Wikipedia:

    “They may indulge in substance abuse, particularly alcohol or other depressants, cocaine or other stimulants, or sleeping pills. Their behavior may become aggressive, intolerant, or intrusive.”

    Aka, there is a reasonable explanation for such behavior when someone is bipolar with substance abuse. No where did I say that all bipolar people act this way.

  13. 13
    Icky Harry

    And yet somehow the implication is that the problem lies with both with their bipolar disorder and substance abuse, rather than just the substance abuse.

  14. 14
    Jen

    Uh, because it does. Look, I’m a vocal advocate for destigmatizing mental illness. I’ve talked about my own here before. But that doesn’t mean we ignore the scientific facts about the behaviors associated with said illness. Ableism would be me saying ALL people with bipolar are automatically “crazy” and need to be banned from commenting from the internet or something.

  15. 15
    hiro

    I’m sorry there are so many ugly people out there. Anybody in the vanguard of change will have a huge target on their back. As corny as it sounds, we’ve got your back and support you.

    Vive la Freethought!

  16. 16
    nathanlee


    Holy crap.

    While I still disagree with the original opinion that the elevator situation was an example of misogyny, I do agree that this sort of crap actually is.

  17. 17
    Kaoru

    Wow, between this and the article I read earlier on a “Men’s Rights” group at ASU (who exhibited incredibly poor grammar on their official leaflets), I’m feeling a little dirty right now. I’ve just been realizing that there are people out there who really, honestly think that there are not issues that women and only women have to deal with, or any minority group for that matter, and feel oppressed by any steps toward greater equality. They think they’re standing up for *my* rights as a man. The very notion defies any sort of logic.

    It’s like they feed on resentment, taking no greater joy than in the feeling of being a valiant underdog rising up against the oppression of…somebody. Fred Clark at the Slacktavist blog talks about that idea a lot, usually in relation to the religious right, but I think it applies here as well.

    Thank you for what you do, Jen. I adore your blog, wish you had time to post more, and have to say that you’ve been a major influence in my moves toward non-belief. So has Rebecca Watson. While no one comment can make up for any hateful ones you get, please know that your clarity and insight are appreciated, even when I disagree with you.

    Now to go add a comment on Skepchick, on the off chance more support might make even a small difference.

  18. 18
    betasattva

    Wow, what vile hate speech. We’ve got to turn back the tide. Treating women like they’re the same as men has been a colossal failure. Only a few years ago, directing such vituperation at a woman would have been unthinkable, but today with this ridiculous “equality” people have lost all sense of propriety.

  19. 19
    Alteredstory

    It’s not a problem with treating women like men – the times when it was “unthinkable” to treat women like that, women were treated like that ALL THE TIME, and worse.

    Besides, this is not equal treatment. There simply aren’t male-specific insults with the same connotations and weight as there are for female-specific insults.

    The male equivalent of “slut” is “player”, or “ladies man”, and is often considered a badge of honor.

    “Bitch” and “bastard” are often paired, but while one refers to the woman in question as a female dog, the other (gasp) refers to the person as someone whose parents weren’t married.

    “Dick” is generally interchangeable with “jerk”, sometimes with an undertone of arrogance, but it’s pretty much always associated with behavior that is considered mean.

    “Cunt” is generally associated with being female, or maybe objecting to someone treating a woman badly.

    Then, of course, there are things like “hysteria” – male sex drive was never considered a disorder, but women wanting sex are STILL treated poorly in today’s society.

    The point is – shitty treatment of women has been around for millennia. I’d say this is just the internet manifestation of it. Anonymity plus women speaking their minds equals sexist ranting.

  20. 20
    Usually Anon

    Abbie (ERV) is not a misogynist. In that article Rebecca was careful not to directly accuse Abbie of misogyny, but instead left it as an implication the casual reader would draw. This method of character assassination (done to a student during a lecture at the student’s university) is the actual reason Abbie is mad at Rebecca; Abbie had a creationist pull the same tactic on her and is thus sensitive to how slimy it is.

    No one deserves the hate mail and creepy stalkers I’m sure Rebecca has been getting. However, fighting misogyny doesn’t have to involve slandering Abbie.

  21. 21
    Alteredstory

    I think it stems from the capitalist (in my view) notion that in order for someone to get something, someone else has to lose something.

    A kind of perversion of the second law of thermodynamics (the physics equivalent of social darwinism).

  22. 22
    joshbrookes

    I can’t believe this is still going on.

    I read the transcript of what was initially said and it seemed like a very reasonable “This is a bit creepy, don’t do it because it puts people off” sort of a statement.

    I wonder, sometimes, if those man who reacted so negatively to Watson’s comments would welcome that if it had happened to them. Some may say they would be fine with it but I am suspicious that they are imagining a scenario in which a woman invited them to her room in a pseudo-porn scenario. I guarantee most of the straight men angry at Watson’s comments would be equally uncomfortable if they were propositioned by a man in an elevator late at night.

  23. 23
    Aliasalpha

    There are times that I quite like living on earth but then incidents like this one keep tempting me to make a start on that domed martian city I’ve got plans for…

    Anyone up for a trip to the red planet?

  24. 24
    Alteredstory

  25. 25
    dasunt

    I see the sort of individual who thinks “cunt” is the way to rebut a viewpoint. And I see the sort of individuals like Jen and Skepchick who thinks that rational, logical thought is the way to consider a viewpoint. I know what people I’d rather surround myself with in this world. So keep up the good fight. I enjoy this blog, and want to continue reading new content.

  26. 26
    Andrew Hall

    Restraint and respect. How did those two traits become so rare?

  27. 27
    fencer_guy

    More than anything it really shows what sort of problems we have in the Skeptics movement. Though I wonder if they would be as brave and as a filthy if they had there ISP or real name posted as part of their comments.

    Sometimes it pays not to be guy. Makes me want to say I’m sorry to all the women I meet.

  28. 28
    Janine

    Abby’s monument is enough to tell the truth about her. Abby has not been slandered at all.

  29. 29
    EdW

    “too ugly for sex”??

    What? Not true, I’d… I’d totally…

    Wait…

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  30. 30
    Aliasalpha

    Maybe because we atheists have no source for our morality? The religious crazies are right about us after all!

    <calculon>NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!</calculon>

  31. 31
    Aliasalpha

    Pretty much exactly what I was thinking of, yeah.

  32. 32
    Alteredstory

    I think those traits were always lacking in certain people – it just seems more common because with 7 billion people, there are 7 million of the one-in-a-thousand assholes (240,000 in the US alone), and most of the ones in this country have internet access. Even if we only get 10 percent of them haranguing feminists, that allows 24,000 complete jerks to all concentrate their meanness on a handful of blogs.

  33. 33
    Michael D

    Dibs on mars! Its mine all mine!

  34. 34
    thomashaynes

    Game of thrones while cuddling?!

    SOMEONE rolled a 20!

  35. 35
    Jim

    I agree that Abbie probably isn’t personally a misogynist (I don’t actually know her). But, she is an ally and enabler of misogynists. I actually don’t understand how a reasonable person could take offense to Rebbecca’s original “Don’t proposition people alone in foreign countries at 3 AM when they’ve already clearly indicated they are uninterested.” video. I do understand how people could think she shouldn’t have called out Stef McGraw like she did. But Abbie passed reasonable criticism lightyears ago at this point, and her “monument” is all one needs to read to realize which side she is on and who is being slandered.

  36. 36
    johncraven

    Yeah, I don’t know if you read the SGU fora (actually, I am pretty sure you don’t) but the anti-Rebecca crap has even extended out there, onto her own damn podcast. What pisses me off the most with the backlash are the people who complain that she’s too in-your-face or that her sense of humor is grating or whatever. Okay, great. I get that not everyone has the same sense of humor. That being said, she says stuff from the same basic angle as a *lot* of lefty/atheist men and I just don’t see them getting the same level of crap for it. In fact, if there *is* a difference between Rebecca’s particular brand of sarcasm and that used by, I don’t know, PZ Myers or what the heck, Dawkins or Hitch, it’s that Rebecca is way more self-effacing (that vlog she did about her unibrow, forex; I just don’t see a guy like Christopher Hitchens ever doing something like that).

    Anyway, Rebecca is awesome and all and, yeah, I hate that this whole Elevatorgate crap turned into this gigantic issue of either being with the feminatheists or against them. Given the level of anti-Watsonosity out there (and I’m pretty sure I can cite worse stuff out there than even Rebecca posted) (two words: toilet slave), I don’t blame her, but what could have and should have been a quick little instructive moment has instead turned into The Grand War of the Sexes or something.

  37. 37
    Montrealer

    Please don’t paint our entire city by the actions of one bipolar substance abuser.

  38. 38
    tepafish

    Keep it up Jen. I know it’s hard.

    For years, I didn’t want to think so badly about people. I choose to see the better qualities in them, but now I’m re-thinking that.

    Two years ago I was in a abusive relationship with a fellow student and friend. It took me nearly 9 months to report him to our school and to our many shared friends. When I did so, nearly all of my friends abandoned me. Some of these people were women who were active in women’s groups. They should have read the signs a lot more clearly. They should have helped me.

    I don’t know why people do the things they do. All I can say is that being a hero is not like it is in the books. Heroes don’t always get the rewards they deserve. That doesn’t mean it isn’t right. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. Keep trying. Knowing you care makes me feel better about me doing my best to do the right thing too. That counts for a lot. At least in my book.

  39. 39
    BCskeptic

    It is an unfortunate attribute of our psychology, that a single hateful/negative comment sticks in our minds and far outweighs all the good comments and thoughts people make towards us.

    So, to counter balance this, how about, (“Jen, you’re awesome”) x 10^100, and same for Rebecca.

    I was very impressed with you when I saw you speak in Kamloops…and thought to myself that you would make a great role model for my daughters (if and when they break free from religion…maybe sooner). Thoughtful, balanced, kind, humanist, feminist, “treat us with dignity and respect”, talk.

    Why a certain percentage of men just can’t handle treating women with respect, dignity, and as equals, is beyond comprehension to me, except that I guess, well, there’s a bell-curve in everything. Fuck-em I say.

    Remember that you are doing what is right, what is just, and what is needed. Keep up the good work, and don’t put up with or listen to shit-talk.

    Non-creepy hugs!

  40. 40
    Reverse Polarity

    You have my greatest admiration.

    This is one of the reasons that I’m not more of an activist. In my case, for gay rights. I just don’t have a thick enough skin to take that kind of shit on a constant basis. I can handle the occasional ignorant or bigoted remark, and not let it get me down too much. But if faced with too great a load of homophobia in too short a time span, I collapse in a pile of incoherent goo. So I’m out, and I’m a little bit of an activist at times, and I try to do my part, but can’t handle being on the front line.

    You are made of better stuff than I.

  41. 41
    raymoscow

    I don’t care how you feel about the original issue – this response is excessively vile and misogynist.

    That’s it exactly.

    I’d tell these folks to grow up and move on, or at least display some decency, but they don’t seem capable of it.

  42. 42
    hoverfrog

    I’m afraid I simply don’t understand why this has been blown up out of all proportion. If someone disagrees with what you or Rebecca or anyone else says then they are free to say so. Making it isn’t some kind of obsession where any feminist comment is automatically “hate speech” is ..well it’s weird.

    Those who make these comments could benefit from stepping away from the Internet for a few days, breathing in the good, clean autumn air (or spring air if you’re on the southern hemisphere), getting some exercise and drinking plenty of water. Seriously, they need to get some perspective and stop being such asshats.

  43. 43
    awesome

    Sometimes, I feel like I’m not a part of my own culture. I never learned to value women in proportion to how firm they can make my boner and I’ve never had any respect for people who make insults on the basis of gender, race, appearance, or anything else that nobody has any control over.

    Unfortunately, this sort of thing is everywhere. It’s not just us, it’s the whole damn planet. Honestly, I was pleased when Rebecca brought up The Elevatorgates in her youtube video, and I was relieved when I saw PZ & Co. siding with her. For a moment there, I thought I’d found a relief from all the nonsense, a haven where people are treated like people.

    I seem to have been born with a rare mental disorder called “empathy”. I’ve known a few women in my time, and it pains me to know that they’re afraid to walk alone at night through the same parking lots that I walk through alone, to know that they are actually being discouraged from entering STEM fields, to hear feminists being described by my peers as man-hating she-witches, to hear about how frequently they’re abused and/or killed by their own friends and family members. Most of all, it kills me to know that this is considered normal, that nothing needs to be changed because the need for feminism is over.

    For a moment there, I was really happy. And then the other people started chiming in, and I realized the population of my perfect world was a bit smaller than I thought. Ignore the comments, did you look at the likes/dislikes on Rebecca’s videos? It’s not encouraging.

    As many others have said, this is a discussion that we need to have. For fucking out loud, I’ve gotten into arguments with people who couldn’t understand why rape is morally wrong. I had a 22-year-old college roommate who thought it should be okay for him to have sex with his 13-year-old girlfriend because “they (11-13-year-old girls) look hot”. I’ve seen girls driven away by endless barrages of harassment simply for being a girl in a male-dominated environment, and I’ve seen myself driven away simply for taking their side. This isn’t just a problem for atheists/skeptics, it’s a problem for the whole planet, and the sooner we get our act together, the better position we’ll be in to say that we can lead moral lives without religion.

  44. 44
    drdave

    How did they become so rare? Perhaps forty years of TV sitcoms where the laugh is procurred by embarrasing one of the characters. Or perhaps forty years of political character assassination. All this as dulled the senses. It all seems so “normal”.

    It takes effort to resist. Jen, resistance is not futile.

  45. 45
    bunderbunder

    “Even”? Sexism on the SGU forums, including swipes at Rebecca, isn’t exactly a news flash.

  46. 46
    Ganner

    When all this first came out, I was skeptical that there was a major sexism problem among atheists and skeptics. I never had a problem with Rebecca saying “don’t do this” about elevator guy because it definitely was creepy, but I just assumed we were a community of fairly enlightened people with few legitimately sexist people. The out of control spiral that followed, and the endless barrage of overtly sexist, disgusting comments, has convinced me otherwise. We have a lot of people who would have claimed to not be sexist, but will try to shut up the stupid whore who dares open her mouth to question the status quo. They’re exposing themselves and proving to everyone that this is a legitimate problem, and something that we need to be vigilant of and need to stamp out wherever we can/

  47. 47
    julian

    Ms Smith is not being slandered. The gross distortions of what Prof Myers has said about this issue and the accusations of Ms Watson fucking her way up the skeptic ladder? That stuff was slander. Pointing out the role Ms Smith played in Ms Watson’s harassment (and the role she continues to play) is not.

  48. 48
    jose

    You know how boobies (the birds) make a circle of guano as a nest, and they’re totally okay with people wandering about, but the moment anybody touches the circle, they will attack in the nastiest and angriest way possible? That’s what this issue reminds me of. People are sheltered in their little, comfortable psychological nests and won’t stop until the challengers and their touchy subjects are gone. But I don’t think Watson is planning to leave any time soon.

  49. 49
    Broggly

    All well and good, but what about the implications you made about Montreal? J’accuse!

  50. 50
    Bruce Wright

    This all reminds me why this site should have a like button for comments.

    Just reading this thread gives me hope. Keep fighting the good fight, Jen.

  51. 51
    johncraven

    The sexism isn’t (any time you get a group of guys who haven’t thought a lot about sexism together in the year 2011, eventually there’s going to be some sexism going on) but the swipes at Rebecca, I don’t know, always shock me a little. You don’t see the same swipes at Bob or Evan, for instance.

  52. 52
    Joseph Caine

    When PZ Meyers, JT Eberhard, or Richard Dawkins are snarky, it’s cool and edgy, and people applaud it.

    When Rebecca Watson, Amanda Marcotte, or Jen McCreight are snarky, it’s annoying and disrespectful, and people make blogs calling them ugly sluts.

    Show me one anti-Dawkins blog that makes a big deal about them being fat, ugly, or calls them homophobic slurs or something like that.

    Now show me one anti-Rebecca blog that doesn’t.

    Problem, misogyny apologists?

  53. 53
    bunderbunder

    I think it’s like for computers: Results may vary depending on hardware configuration.

  54. 54
    Amphigorey

    Sure, Abbie “Twatson” Smith is not a misogynist; she just says and promotes misogynist things.

  55. 55
    Anonymous Atheist

    … with 7 billion people, there are 7 million of the one-in-a-thousand assholes (240,000 in the US alone) …

    Minor correction: The US population is around 310 million now, so that 240,000 should be 310,000. It hit 240 million back in 1986.

  56. 56
    Lyra

    I’m going to admit something here. Before elevatorgate, I often found myself rolling my eyes at some of the things Jen said in her posts about feminism. I thought to myself, “She’s overcapacity/making a mountain out of a molehill/focusing on unimportant things.” I didn’t say any of this because I didn’t think it would be helpful, but I thought it.

    But after Elevatorgate, I have to admit that I was deeply and profoundly foolish with my eye rolling and thinking. I had no idea the context in which Jen was speaking. I had no idea that . . . this . . . was rolling just beneath the surface of what I thought was generally an enlightened community. But now I find such awful things being said to Ms. Watson over such a little thing, and I am shaken.

    Now I want to take it all back and apologize. I didn’t know. I didn’t understand. We clearly have a much bigger problem than I could have ever imagined.

  57. 57
    Laurence

    If a man (like perhaps Nathan Fillion) had same the exact same thing about a fan that Rebecca Watson said, I am pretty confident there wouldn’t have been any explosion of stupidity.

    I’ve appreciated your perspective on this whole incident Jen, and it was nice to talk to you about it a little bit at the SSA conference.

  58. 58
    WCLPeter

    “I think it stems from the capitalist (in my view) notion that in order for someone to get something, someone else has to lose something.”

    During this whole mess I kept seeing people referring to the story of the “Gecko and the Dog”. I’ve read it a number of times and while I understand what the story is trying to convey I can’t help but feel a little uneasy with it.

    The more I thought of it the more uneasier I got, eventually I realized I was uneasy because the story implies a certain level of cognitive dissonance:
    * I don’t want the Dog to suffer.
    * I don’t want the Gecko to suffer.
    * Compromise makes both animals suffer.
    * Ending the suffering of one brings suffering to the other.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what the solution is, how to make both animals in the story happy, but I can’t. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve had sleepless nights over this. People look to this story to explain the privilege one has over an other, but the story feels broken because there is no clear solution.

    The only resolution I can see is for the Dog to suffer but I don’t want the Dog to suffer, but then the Gecko suffers and I don’t want the Gecko to suffer either. But if they compromise on the temperature they both suffer and no one is happy and so we have to make the Dog suffer but I don’t want the Dog to suffer so the Gecko suffers but I don’t want the Gecko to suffer so we have to compromise but then they both suffer and I don’t want either to suffer… dammit!

    It like one of those Infinite Regression puzzles and I can’t figure out a resolution that leaves both animals suffer free and happy.

    I can’t solve it. Can you? Can anybody?

  59. 59
    Rinus

    When PZ Meyers, JT Eberhard, or Richard Dawkins are snarky, it’s cool and edgy, and people applaud it.

    When Rebecca Watson, Amanda Marcotte, or Jen McCreight are snarky, it’s annoying and disrespectful, and people make blogs calling them ugly sluts.

    Show me one anti-Dawkins blog that makes a big deal about them being fat, ugly, or calls them homophobic slurs or something like that.

    Seriously dude? Have you even followed Elevatorgate a little bit?

    One such snarky comment from Dawkins started a shitload of rage-filled blogposts, complete with references to his gender, age, wealth and sexual preference, and to top it off, a letter-writing campaign from rape victims. It was a better-organized and more publicized campaign than all the weird Watson-obsessed bloggers combined.

    So yeah, people really applauded him on that.

  60. 60
    Philip L

    Rage-filled? I am happy to admit, some regular Pharyngula posters have no love for Dawkins. But the reaction to Richard was in many places respectful, including many posters like myself who took up his request for an explanation that did not include the word “fuck”, for the simple reason that the way of reaching Richard is by reasoned argument, and a number of replies were characteristic in forgoing emotive language to appeal to reason. By attributing to anger the many different reactions that his insensitive remarks on Pharyngula provoked, you are as guilty as Dawkins’ numerous critics who describe him as shrill and angry: it’s a demonstrably false characterisation.

  61. 61
    Alteredstory

    Thanks! I guess the optimist in me went for the smaller number of complete assholes >.>

  62. 62
    Joseph Caine

    [Citation Needed]

  63. 63
    Krasnaya Koshka

    My sentiments exactly! “Goo” is so apt. Sometimes I get on a major roll with fighting misogyny or homophobia but then I’m spent for a week. I so admire Jen and Rebecca (and so many others I read regularly) for being so eloquent and having such heroic stamina.

    Moving to Russia has definitely thickened my skin, but I have a long way to go… thankfully, with great role models.

  64. 64
    Jurjen S.

    What they said. Lame, I know, but I have nothing to add.

  65. 65
    Jurjen S.

    Hey now, Heart’s a Seattle band.

  66. 66
    StJason

    We need a new superhero. One that just punches people through the internet whenever they become dickwads.

    …I have a hunch I’d have a permanent fist-shaped dent in my forehead when this superhero starts avenging…

  67. 67
    StJason

    I’d take it a step further. It’s not about Elevatorguy. He did something a bit dicky, got shot down, life went on.

    What it is about is the reaction. People pouring out reactions, most notably Dawkins, and all the followup replies. They show a pretty clear acceptance of bigotry. I have a hunch that a lot of this is due to communications technology improving far faster then our society does. Some of it is due to the Trolling Instinct (and insulting someone who appears as text, in a more or less anonymous situation…), and a lot has to deal with the ‘highest nail getting the hammer’ maxim. But it does show a situation where saying things like this is at all accepted. We already have a social stigma when said in person. We need the same online.

  68. 68
    Ing

    Technically Heart should be the most powerful power of the lot. If the writer’s weren’t too unimaginative to realize it.

    Imagine a super villain with that power? He’s be waltzing through the mall having store clerks choke each-other to death wile security is dispatched by an endless swarm of murderous pigeons just so he wouldn’t have to pay 3.95 for a pretzel.

  69. 69
    HS

    Dude, dog just needs a haircut. Then he’ll be comfortable at warmer temperatures. Easy, painless, potentially stylish. Now get some rest ;-)

  70. 70
    Alteredstory

    Sorry for gravedigging, but my solution is to have them each control the temperature of their own bedroom to what is best, and have shared space at a neutral temperature. Dogs can withstand heat better than geckos can withstand cold, and even with the shaggiest breeds, there’s overlap. So meet in a neutral space and allow both a safe place to return to if need be.

  71. 71
    Alteredstory

    with apologies for gravedigging:

    http://xkcd.com/322/

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