I heart Canada »« Don’t shut up

Yep, I have no life

It’s sad how predictable the reaction is when you dare say that women should speak out against sexism:

Thanks, ERV.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to writing my NSF application. You know, since I’m a PhD student doing genetics research. And after that, I might just snuggle with my kitten, or play some video games with my boyfriend, or get a drink with friends. Or maybe talk about the vacation to Canada I just took.

Man, being a loser-at-life is hard.

Pro-tip: If you’re one of the concern trolls who was making accusations of ad hominems, it’s best not to make publically viewable Facebook comments that actually are ad hominems. Like saying I’m not hard working, don’t have a “real” job, and using “second-wave” as a dirty word.

Not to mention demonstrating you obviously don’t know what second-wave is, since I’m a third waver true and true. Seriously, if you think I’m the radical…hahaha.

lol internet drama

Comments

  1. sdfgsdfgsdfg says

    Pointing out sexism = not being tactful. Yeah, let’s not hurt anyone’s feelings by telling them they are contributing to oppression.

  2. says

    How do they draw the connection between “hasn’t posted on her blog in a week” and “has nothing to do with her time other than bitch on the Internet?”

    I are not an understander.

  3. says

    Hey, it was only 5 days, not quite a week! Though I guess the fact that I felt guilty about it just shows how much of a loser I am. Hm.

  4. Mandrellian says

    ERV was a near-daily visit for me until Abbie revealed herself to be so filled with hate towards other women that she rivalled actual male misogynists in terms of rank contempt and pure bile.

    How about Abbie leaves other people the fuck alone to do with their time online whatever they want? If she doesn’t want to be included in a particular conversation she should exclude herself from it (she could start by not imposing herself on it). If she doesn’t want to hear whatever it is that clearly offends her so, she knows how to avoid it. And if she doesn’t want blowback, she might want to try a less public arena than crackbook.

    LOL @ internet drama indeed.

  5. says

    Oh Ed. “Hard-working people with real-life jobs.” Since when did you pick up the GOP vocabulary book? Are you going to start talking about a “vast feminist conspiracy” now?

    And Abbie’s second comment is the type of attitude that will keep the secular movement from ever becoming meaningful to a wide range of people. Yeah, dedication to activism is just so STUPID. Guess you should go and tell everyone who works for the SSA, FFRF, Americans United, et al to just quit and go find better jobs.

    When otherwise intelligent people say stupid things like this, I remember why I drink.

  6. Azkyroth says

    In my day, Chicken-Shilling-For-Colonel-Sanders types at least had the sense to try to get paid for it. Why is Abbie just giving that away?

  7. Nyssa says

    It’s this kind of catty bull shit that tears feminist movements apart. It is appalling to me to see this kind of internet trolling. I am a third-wave feminist and believe me when I say that this wave is all psychological. We have to change what people think about feminism and open their blinders about sexism, patriarchy and the misogyny in this country. I guess the saddest part about people who are against equal rights and feminism is that they too are equally oppressed by the same system that they cling to.

  8. benjaminsa says

    Lol, completely agree. When someone has no reasonable arguments they inevitably fall on childish ones. This is just petty name calling.

  9. Azkyroth says

    It’s this kind of catty bull shit that tears feminist movements apart.

    Which, of course, is the point.

  10. Aliasalpha says

    Damn, if Jen has no life, what the hell do I have? I fit the traditional lonely shut in loser trope to a frightening degree, are we even lower on the social scale now?

  11. Mark says

    Hi Jen,

    I don’t really have anything useful to add, other than I love your blog, and appreciate the unpaid time and hard work in producing it. I suspect one reason why Borders bookstore went bust in Australia is because we can find great writing like yours on the internet for free.

    Cheers Mark

  12. NewEnglandBob says

    Abbie Smith, apparently is a drama queen with little to do but snipe at others.

    How did I do at being like her?

    What got into her? I occasionally visit her blog but no longer will(I am subscribed here).

  13. LawnBoy says

    I saw Abbie’s talk at the Oklahoma Freethought Convention, and I was really impressed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afm3vjn0PuQ). She was very smart and engaging (and young and attractive, but of course that’s a double-edged sword), and I thought that I’d like to hear more from this person who had potential to be a real force in the science/skeptic/atheist community.

    I didn’t know who she was in the community until the very end when she promoted her blog. At that point, my smile disappeared. Why does someone with so much potential have to ruin it by being so negative and destructive within the community?

  14. penn says

    Abbie Smith (a graduate student with a blog) has so little self-awareness that she literally complained on facebook (still on the internet last I knew) about Jen (a graduate student with a blog) having no life because she has (a little) time to complain on the internet.

    This is the same Abbie Smith that has clearly made shitting on Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, and now Jen her life’s obsession, but she’s lecturing people on “picking their battles”!? She needs to grow up and and take a look in the mirror quick.

  15. penn says

    Wrong! Abbie Smith is a “normal person” with a “real” job who knows how to pick her battles. Complaining on the internet about the fact that Jen and Rebecca Watson have no lives because they find time to complain on the internet must be seriously important business. If it wasn’t, why would she waste her precious time?

  16. says

    Jen,

    With this past summer’s commentary on ERV’s blog, I responded with this meta-comment:

    http://philosophicalpenguins.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/for-the-atheistfreethinker-bloggers-and-commenters-who-are-throwing-around-sexist-epithets/

    The blog post mentions a NY Times article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/technology/social-media-history-becomes-a-new-job-hurdle.html?_r=1

    Apparently, there is a newly formed company that does social media background checks on prospective job applicants. For all of the atheist and freethinkers who think it’s perfectly OK to throw around sexist epithets, I hope they are trying to find a job anytime soon.

    Even if this sounds like a “concern troll” statement, it’s probably a valid observation as well. If you’re an academic institution or a corporation, would you want to hire someone who has anger management issues or impulse control issues?

  17. says

    My comment should have read:

    “For all of the atheist and freethinkers who think it’s perfectly OK to throw around sexist epithets, I hope they are not trying to find a job anytime soon.”

    Sorry …

  18. says

    I’ve never understood this “real job” concept.

    Is the thing you do adding value to the world in some way, large or small?

    Then it’s a real job.

    Some people teach you to swim. That’s a real job.

    Some people make beautiful artwork. That’s a real job.

    Some people pick up the trash. That’s a real job.

    Some people inspire you with words.

    They’re ALL real jobs.

  19. ShavenYak says

    Well, the winter solstice is coming soon. I say we all go in together and buy Abbie a mirror, so she can take a good look at herself. And a box of apostrophes, just because.

    I still like her blog, I learn cool stuff there. But I’ve lost a lot of respect for her over the past few months.

  20. Laurence says

    What I think is funny and maybe even ironic is that Ed was saying that people should pick their battles and not use insults and the like towards people, but he’s high-fiving with ERV, a person who created started calling Rebecca Watson Rebecca Twatson and basically created a monument to people calling her gender slurs. If it’s tone and insults you are worried about then ERV is the last person you should be championing as model blogger.

    Now, I think Jen could have worded her last post better and not come across as harsh, but I don’t really see people like Ed complaining when male bloggers act that way towards Christians. It’s an amazing double-standard.

  21. Alice says

    Sadface. I started reading her because of a link you put on this blog saying you were excited to meet her. It must hurt that someone you used to respect so much is now making a pointed effort to insult you. Fuck her, you didn’t know what an ugly person she was back then.

  22. Christopher Petroni says

    Yeah, to dismiss everything Abbie does because of her bitter misogyny would be a mistake, just as would be (in my view) writing off Richard Dawkins entirely for the ignorant things he said about Rebecca Watson.

    Of course, that takes nothing from the importance of calling them out on it. Stop it, Abbie. You should know better.

  23. tardis_blue says

    I’m still trying to figure out what was harsh in the last post. *shrug* If anyone thought it was harsh, they probably need to examine their own behavior, cause that smacks of defensiveness.

  24. says

    Let’s slow down a bit, and try to understand each other, can we?

    I put real in quotes for a reason- to indicate I wasn’t using it in the usual sense of “genuine” or “legitimate”, but instead in the sense of “something other than internet commentating”. This was also the context of the exchange I had been having. There is no need for “GOP” ad hominems. Feel free to disagree, but insults are totally unnecessary.

  25. penn says

    I disagree. There are a lot of atheist/scientific blogs out there. I can never read ERV again and there is still more sciency-goodness out in the blogosphere than I could read in a lifetime. Why should I sift through mountains of shit to find a diamond here or there when there are plenty of other good bloggers out there who don’t expect me to wade through piles of shit?

  26. penn says

    Please, let’s try to understand each other. You claimed Jen has “jumped the second wave shark”. What do you mean by that (also as Jen already pointed out she is clearly a third wave feminist)? What are the specific issues you have with the post on feminists issues that Jen has made? If you prefer, we can stick to the actual post Abbie was responding to to make things simpler. Do you think women should shut up when they are harassed, demeaned, or belittled online?

  27. says

    Jen,

    I did not say or imply you don’t have a real job. I also put “real” in quotes specifically to indicate I didn’t mean it’s usual sense of “legitimate”, which is one reason to put words in quotes. In this case, I was drawing a meatspace/hyperspace distinction.

    Last, I didn’t use “second-wave” as a dirty word. I’ve no general objection to any of the waves- I also have no objection to Happy Days, the sitcom that originated “jumping the shark”. That phrase is applied to indicate “going too far” in an instance. Which I do think you have.

    So now I’m grist for your blog mill, perhaps deservedly. We could have just talked it over. FB can be good for that, too. All this seems unnecessary.

  28. says

    Hey Laurence.. “well-poisoning fallacy”, look it up some time.

    And there is no “double standard”. I’ve criticized atheists such as PZ Myers and Dave Silverman- hell when I met Silverman at SSA last summer the first thing I did was criticize his ground zero protest. You keep repeating this in spite of contrary evidence and without ever producing any of your own.

  29. says

    Wait, which wave am I in?

    While we’re defending Jen, who is a full time graduate student like Abbie, let’s not forget that Rebecca Watson also got slammed. She is not a graduate student. She’s not doing science. But apparently, all those atheists and skeptics who aren’t doing exactly what Abbie Smith does are losers who are wasting their lives.

    So Dave Silverman, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasreen, Michael Nugent, James Randi, Sanal Edamaruku, Richard Carrier, Ellen Johnson, John Loftus, Edwin Kagin, Paula Kirby, Margaret Downey — all people who have been powerful atheist educators, activists, and organizers — are losers-at-life?

    We need people who are willing to work at promoting the ideas of skepticism and atheism.

  30. Christopher Petroni says

    Fair enough. I rarely read ERV even before the elevator thing because I find Abbie’s writing grating, and I’m far less likely to try to get into it now.

    That’s not really what I was going for, though. If someone enjoyed ERV before Abbie built her monument of shame, it’s perfectly OK for them to continue to get whatever they do out of it. That seems to me like it should be an uncontroversial point. Similarly, Richard Dawkins lost a lot of his shine for me when he dismissed Rebecca Watson in such a condescending manner, but I still enjoy his books on evolution. I just have to help keep the pressure on him to acknowledge his failure. The same should go for people who appreciate Abbie’s writing.

    Did that make any sense? I feel more confused now than before I started writing. I may be about to learn something.

  31. says

    re: second-wave shark. To say third wave instead might have been better. I certainly didn’t image Jen was a second-waver, which is more associated with baby-boom generation and sometimes said to have died out in the 90’s. I think she’s taken an feminist critique (a good one, I’d say) about women being consigned to roles unfairly/dealing with double standards, and going too far and perhaps in an unreasonable direction. Namely, by playing the sexism card too-readily against people (like Aaron Friel) who are sincere in their disagreement and efforts to try to improve the situation for women (and men).

    The attitude is the trouble, not the content. You disagree = you’re the enemy and I must attack your character rawr. This troubles me.

  32. says

    So far in the comments here I’ve seen “bitchy”, “bitch”, and “catty”. Abbie Smith has shown herself to be a repugnant human being, but we have to lay off the gendered insults ourselves.

    (I didn’t include “drama queen” above because I suspect that term comes from gay culture instead of originating as a gendered insult.)

  33. Tim Groc says

    Abbie Smith? Drama Queen? Sniping?

    Have you ever heard of Greg Laden? He really is the THE KING of the gutter snipe.

    I notice most of the replies in this thread consist of personal attacks on Abbie, and apparently her “bitter misogyny.”

    It is sad to see so many bullies attempting to claim the moral high ground. Hopefully, truth and reason will return to boot them away.

  34. you_monster says

    Looks like you completely failed to address Laurence’s point. Here, I’ll reiterate it for you,

    What I think is funny and maybe even ironic is that Ed was saying that people should pick their battles and not use insults and the like towards people, but he’s high-fiving with ERV, a person who created started calling Rebecca Watson Rebecca Twatson and basically created a monument to people calling her gender slurs. If it’s tone and insults you are worried about then ERV is the last person you should be championing as model blogger.

    Try again.

  35. Tim Groc says

    So far in the comments here I’ve seen “bitchy”, “bitch”, and “catty”. Abbie Smith has shown herself to be a repugnant human being, but we have to lay off the gendered insults ourselves.

    The cognitive dissonance reduction disappears for a brief moment. It seems some people are entitled to belittle, slur and insult others, but some have to “shut their mouths”.

    Hypocrisy is not very fun, is it.

  36. you_monster says

    So now I’m grist for your blog mill, perhaps deservedly. We could have just talked it over. FB can be good for that, too. All this seems unnecessary.

    Aww, poor wittle Ed feels no one is being polite enough to him. Have you been on ERV before? Did you partake in constructing the monument of shame?

    How about being more consistent, Ed. It looks pretty disingenuous to claim that Jen has “gone too far” while you are professing your love for the creator of the slimepit. Read through the fucking elevatorgate threads at ERV, then come back to tell us how Jen is going to far in pushing her views.

  37. daenyx says

    From another PhD student who spends her spare time gaming, writing (stories), and talking (rather than writing) about feminism and atheism, but apparently has “no life” – *HIGH FIVE*

  38. says

    No, I didn’t. To say that you like or appreciate someone is not to say that you approve of everything they’ve ever done. This is why I just referenced well-poisoning fallacy.

    And not to re-hash it, but Watson has had no problem with sexist epitaphs like “don’t be a dick” or “reddit neckbeards”. These are sexist slurs aimed at or implicating males/maleness in the same offensive way as “twat” so I rather like the point being made. There’s more than one kind of privilege.

  39. cbc says

    Well put, Tabby and Quiet. I was thinking the same. Tim, I don’t think it’s a matter of hypocrisy. Many people don’t realize they’re behaving inconsistently with their professed values. What matters is how they handle it once it’s been pointed out.

  40. says

    And your plan is to help, by being condescending and puerile toward me? It’s already a battle, so g’head and fire a few more shots? Sorry, I’m not interested.

  41. Nicholas says

    Yeah, uh, way to show your solidarity against misogynistic attacks with a misogynistic disparaging insult. You show ‘em, mate.

  42. Laurence says

    All I know is that you have made a much bigger deal at what Rebecca Watson has done and not a big deal about what PZ, Dave Silverman, and Abbie have done. Do you think that what Rebecca Watson has done is somewhere worse than the monument of hate towards Rebecca Watson that Abbie Smith created? I think it’s inconsistent to not appreciate what Jen and maybe even Rebecca Watson does but appreciate what Abbie Smith does.

    I’m really curious why you have been making a much bigger deal about Rebecca Watson than you have made about others. And you’ve done so in a pretty snarky way as well. However, I have only followed you since the summer, so I could be wrong about you not publicly calling out people other than Rebecca Watson for similar transgressions.

  43. you_monster says

    I plan on helping by dismantling any credibility that people perceive ERV to have. I try to do that by pointing out how repugnant Abby’s condoning and promoting of misogyny is. Also, when people are selectively complaining about “taking things too far”, like you are, I like to mock their hypocrisy.

  44. charles says

    Wow. I had only recently subscribed to the ERV blog. Now I’ve just unsubscribed.

    Fuck that bitch.

    The Pharyngula-grade hypocrisy demonstrated by the above statement is an example of why Abbie Smith, Franc Hoggle, etc. have earned so many admirers in recent months.

  45. says

    Now that I’ve woken up, I’ve moderated out the two “bitchy” comments. Come on guys, let’s not sink down to the other side and resort to gendered insults.

  46. says

    If that’s pharyngula-grade hypocrisy, to consistently rebuke individuals who use gendered insults, then I’ll take that as a compliment.

    I don’t think Abbie and Hoggle have gained admirers. They seem to be the same small circle of angry, isolated weirdos obsessing over the same stuff over and over again. Where is the evidence of this rising popularity?

  47. penn says

    How the hell is Greg Laden relevant to this conversation? You can’t defend someone’s actions by saying unrelated person X over there is even worse (without even offering evidence that they are worse).

  48. penn says

    I understand your broader point, and it’s relevant to a lot of different areas and people. Person X can be a shithead or ignoramus in one department, but that doesn’t mean they are an irredeemable human being who doesn’t have insights to offer in other areas.

  49. benjaminsa says

    Pleas read Abbies post, upon which you commented. It is one big ad hominum using petty hateful comments. For you then to say we should slow down, be reasonable, have a civil conversation is hilarious. Especially with conclusions like:

    “The attitude is the trouble, not the content. You disagree = you’re the enemy and I must attack your character rawr. This troubles me.”

    If you had stared out being reasonable, what was the word Abbie used hmmm oh yes pragmatic, and posted what you have just now, I think you wouldn’t be in this hole, and we wouldn’t be having this unproductive discussion. Can the ‘feminism card’ be misused, of course, but when some people are threatening to rape you and others are calling you a loser with no life it is a little hard to listen to the other possibly reasonable argument the make.

  50. says

    There is some hypocrisy, yes, but here’s the thing – we called them out on it. If we let comments like that stand quietly, then you’d have something to feel smugly superior about.

  51. benjaminsa says

    Jen could you delete, along with the gendered insult comments, the comments in reaction to them, that now make no sense. Now it just looks like I am hitting myself…

  52. Eric RoM says

    It’s “idiot-logic”. Not even limited to the reich-wing, it’s favored by any tool of any leaning.

  53. says

    I’d rather mine remain. It’s important to show that we don’t just brush such things under the rug but that we speak out even when those on our side are in the wrong.

  54. robertm says

    Normal sane humans with real lives, yes we should pick and choose our battles carefully. Obviously. But this isnt an issue of asking a normal person to be more tactful.

    Abbie clearly lacks self awareness, this is a massive case of projection.

  55. says

    I did not say or imply you don’t have a real job. I also put “real” in quotes specifically to indicate I didn’t mean it’s usual sense of “legitimate”, which is one reason to put words in quotes. In this case, I was drawing a meatspace/hyperspace distinction.

    Yes, you did. You set up a dichotomy between a group of people you think have “real” world jobs vs. those losers who have jumped the shark. That’s a shocking distinction that reveals a serious bias on your part, given that Abbie and Jen have exactly equivalent real world positions. The only difference being that Abbie is farther along in her graduate program.

    But you know, the UW genetics program is top-notch and highly respected, and Jen has a position in it. You don’t know or appreciate the work involved in being in a program like that, do you?

    You were pandering to Abbie by sneering at Jen. It was ugly to see.

  56. Nentuaby says

    If you’re active now, think it’s important to work against systemic biases as well as de jure discrimination, and think trans women deserve the same rights as cis ones, you’re looking at Third Wave.

  57. Amphigorey says

    “Jumping the shark” means “This thing used to be cool, but it did something stupid and now is not worth bothering with.” Saying that Jen has “jumped the shark” means that you think she’s no longer worth listening to, apparently because she has “gone too far.”

    How, exactly, has she gone too far? Be specific. Cite examples. Don’t vaguely say that you oh so civilly disagree with her; make an actual argument. Otherwise you’re just being a troll.

  58. says

    Greetings PZ,

    Good to see you.

    No, I didn’t. Words can have more than one meaning. You also conflate the “jumping the shark” criticism with choice-of-vocation criticism. They’re different. Anyone could “jump the shark” as it were, regardless of professional activity. Please do not strawman.

    Since you ask, I can totally appreciate Jen’s work. I actually never criticized her work(though ERV does, I am not ERV).

    “You were pandering to Abbie by sneering at Jen. It was ugly to see.”

    You can’t imagine how much I will treasure the irony of this, coming from you.

  59. says

    Ed, the vocabulary you’re using is still intensely problematic. Lots of people make livings on “internet commentating.” In fact, if you want to know what’s going on in the world, you pretty much have to go to the Internet because that’s where the independent, non-corporate media is. Why, especially when you are a leader in a movement that is so tied to the Internet, do you fall into the mainstream pitfall that the Internet is illegitimate? I’m really not understanding this.

  60. says

    Jen,
    I understand that you probably get a disproportionate amount of internet hate funneled towards you. But you’re really dishing it back out, particularly towards people that are obviously all on the same team, supporting feminists. Challenging a viewpoint does not a misogynist make. As feminists, should we not be happy that someone is judging an argument based on its content, rather than judging it based on the gender of the person making it? Criticizing people for challenging a viewpoint is the best way to cause everyone to STFU. Smearing people’s facebook walls all over your blog doesn’t encourage open dialogue. In fact, that kind of behavior discourages dissent, and I don’t see how that benefits anyone.

  61. Christopher Petroni says

    You said that all the women you lok up to in the movement have real world jobs. This was after you said that Jen’s blog sometimes dismays you. The context imlied strongly that Jen is not a woman in the movement that you respect, and that she does not have a real world job.

    You did not say either thing expressly, but the context implied strongly that you agree with Abbie’s assertion that Jen is a “loser-at-life” who is getting close to having nothing in her life outside of the Internet. Is this not what you meant?

    I’m also curious what you meant about your concluding remark about PZ. Were you asserting that PZ panders and sneers as he claims you did in your post?

  62. Christopher Petroni says

    Abbie’s post didn’t have an argument. All it had was a slam against Jen, calling her a “loser-at-life” because of the time she takes to write about feminism issues (“fuck around”) on the Internet. This is exactly the kind of bullying intended to silence people, and blazoning that bullying all over Jen’s blog is a good way to put it in the open and let others know that it is not acceptable.

  63. says

    Obviously, I don’t support bullying of anyone. But once again, “he started it” is a pathetic excuse when you’re trying to justify personal attacks on someone’s character over the internet. I don’t know you, I don’t know most of the people on here. Obviously, we disagree on some things, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to say you are a bigot or a sexist for disagreeing with me. People are free to disagree, and free to maturely discuss their reasons for disagreeing. Punishing someone for disagreeing by stringing them up on your blog is not encouraging mature discussion.

  64. says

    And furthermore, does anyone on here know the actual definition of misogynist? Because that word gets thrown around an awful lot, and I don’t think the people who are being called misogynists actually are.

  65. penn says

    Did you actually read Jen’s post and/or the comments she was responding to? I can’t believe that you did and still said “Punishing someone for disagreeing by stringing them up on your blog is not encouraging mature discussion.” Jen responded maturely to completely immature remarks. Jen didn’t insult anyone back and resort to a “they started it” argument. She posted Abbie and Ed’s insulting and demeaning bullshit and snarkily responded to it. You should probably trade in your sanctimony for some reading comprehension.

  66. Christopher Petroni says

    Did we read the same post? When did Jen say that Abbie was a bigot or sexist?

    I don’t know why Abbie slams people like Rebecca Watson and Jen who post about sexism and feminism on the Internet, but her post above came across as petty bullying. Jen was right to expose it for what it is. If doing so “silences” bullies, so much the better. It may even encourage them to make rasoned arguments instead.

  67. says

    Which words in your comment have two meanings, and how does it rescue your meaning?

    At this point, you might as well throw in the towel and admit that you were hopelessly muddled about what you were trying to say, you wrote with exceptional clumsiness, and that what you meant to say isn’t expressed anywhere in that string of words you sent to Abbie.

    That’s kinda what you seem to be doing here, but again, you’re doing it in such an unclear way that who knows what the heck you’re talking about.

  68. says

    I don’t believe that I said anywhere that Jen called anyone either of those things. I was simply making a point. I don’t see why you feel the need to argue with me. I read the post. I don’t even know who Abbie is, and I don’t necessarily agree with what she said. But how does it help feminists to point an individual out and say “Here they are!! Here’s the bad guy!! Have at ‘em!” We are obviously on two different wavelengths. I’m trying to make a point about appropriate conduct in mature discussion. You are obviously picking out details from Abbie’s post that I wasn’t even supporting. When did I say I supported what she said? See what I mean? Because I disagreed with you, it meant that I was “with the bad guys.” Ridiculous.

  69. says

    How is that a fair or appropriate remark to make? That I need to get some “reading comprehension”? Why do you feel the need to insult me? As a literate individual, I kind of take that personally. But I assume that I was supposed to, because apparently, personal attacks are the only way to get your point across. Yes, as a matter of fact, I read Jen’s post. I never mentioned anywhere that I supported anything that was said in the facebook feed. I simply support individual thought. I think personal attacks are wrong in this type of debate, no matter who they’re coming from or who they’re directed towards. I don’t understand why saying that people should act civilly and avoid name calling and labeling others makes me a bad guy. I don’t think this “us vs. them” mentality helps anyone. Why can’t we all just get along and act like adults?

  70. Tim Groc says

    Perhaps, but many horrible comments get posted here and there, and just because they are moderated in certain places, it does not hide the fact that many sites have attracted the bullies, haterz and misogynists.

    Moderating comments does not hide the bullies away from sight.

  71. robertm says

    so you admit you don’t know who abbie smith is or what this is about, but somehow jen is wrong, bullying, punishing, and ordering her minions to attack?

    since you are trying to foster a healthy, mature debate have you also tried expressing your points abbie, since you don’t agree with everything she said. It might help defuse the situation, lets see how erv takes your suggestion.

  72. says

    Hmm. Now Ed Clint has a new Facebook post saying how absurd it all is. But he did agree with that comment of Abbie’s, which in case you’ve forgotten goes

    *newsflash* Watsons LIFE is fucking around on the internet. Thats all she does. Jen is well on her way to being in the same position. It is pointless to ask them to ‘shut up’ because bitching on the internet is *literally* all they have in their lives. Normal, sane humans with real lives, yes, we should pick and choose our battles carefully. Obviously. But this isnt an issue of asking a normal person to be more tactful. Youre talking to a loser-at-life and expecting them to react like a normal person. Be pragmatic. And dont fucking grow up to be a loser.

    He agreed with that, but now he’s all reproachful about how political everyone else is. This is odd.

  73. says

    Um, sure, why not mention someone who’s utterly irrelevant to Abbie’s and Jen’s posts? Why not flame someone who isn’t even part of this conversation? Hey everyone, stop paying attention to the topic at hand – SQUIRREL!

    Red herring: you’re doing it perfectly.

  74. says

    I see on your facebook page that you are now claiming the mantle of victim. Ironic, isn’t it? Apparently, when Rebecca Watson points out the criticisms she receives, she’s crying for sympathy; when you do it…what?

    I’m still waiting for you to explain what you intended to mean with this comment:

    all of the women in our movement I look up to are hard-working folks with “real” world jobs- you and Miranda, Debgod, Lauren Becker, Dren.. etc..

    It sure sounds like you’re trying to say that there is one group that consists of “hard-working folks with “real” world jobs”, which does not include Jen or Rebecca, a comment which is so divorced from reality I find myself questioning your ability to be reasonable. Are you ever going to explain yourself, or should we all just resign ourselves to the fact that you’ve run away from your words?

  75. Christopher Petroni says

    Emma, I don’t remember saying you were “with the bad guys.” I do remember you trotting out the language about bigots and sexists. If you didn’t mean to call Jen or anyone else by those terms, why did you use them?

    I’m arguing with you mostly because I disagree with you about the utility of posting Abbie’s comments. When bullies are ignored, they’re free to keep bullying. When their conduct is brought into the light, people see them for what they are. That’s why Jen and everyone else should take the time now and then to expose their detractors’ hateful nonsense.

  76. says

    Aargh. And Abbie has added a mad rant to that facebook page.

    Jen–
    Rebecca Watson is a loser. She leeches off the skeptical movement to exist. Its disgusting.

    You have (had?) potential to be more. And you are flushing it down the toilet.

    You are in graduate school. That is your job. You spend way too much time going to these stupid conferences (hey, like Skepticon this weekend), that are not even tangentially related to your job (contrary to what you wrote in the small portion of your proposal I read). You are behaving in an utterly unprofessional manner, posting pics of seminars you attend making fun of them, accusing your professors and classmates of being anti-science. The portion of your proposal I read was horrible, to the point of being shockingly horrible for someone of your education and writing experience. It bears absolutely no resemblance to my NIH proposal (which was funded).

    Which brings me to the worst part of your behavior, and why I know you are well on your way to becoming a professional loser– your proposal sucked, and you blamed your critique on your colleagues supposed anti-science. Youve already said your proposal isnt going to get funded ‘because youre an atheist’ or something stupid like that. And do I remember right, you didnt get into Harvard ‘because youre an atheist’ too, right? When you were properly chastised for behaving inappropriately and unprofessionally, you declared that it was because they couldnt handle you speaking out. Poor you for fighting the system! Career suicide! Bitch, please. I killed a Godfather of Retrovirology, and Ive still got a career (technically, it opened up locked doors for me). Heaven forbid your brain entertain the thought, for a moment, that you just fucked up. You are too stuck up your own ass to take responsibility for your own actions. Youre too old for this kind of immaturity.

    If you went to my uni and you were in my department, you would be kicked out this coming Spring. And it would have had jack shit to do with your atheism.

    But I am not your mother and you are not my problem. If you want to bitch on the internet for a living, more power to you. But you need to deal with the fact that people are going to call you a loser if that is what you choose to do with your life. Because you will be.

    If you want to grow the fuck up and be a professional scientist, I would be happy to have you and happy for you.

    But I just dont think its going to happen.

    Good grief. The condescension. The appalling gall of one graduate student chewing out another graduate student for how she uses her time…when Abbie is 1500 miles away, knows nothing about Jen’s professional work, and has absolutely no standing to defame Jen. And the arrogance: Abbie is not the gatekeeper of science. She has no power to do anything to Jen’s career, not even if she were at the same university.

    That comment is disgraceful; I would consider it a serious obstacle to Abbie getting a professional position if it were widely known. If you’re going to pretend to be a person with some power over another’s career, to be so unilaterally and ignorantly destructive, to dismiss that students work while so thoroughly distant and uninformed about it, suggests that Abbie would not be a competent or reliable mentor. She seems to be on a power trip without any power.

    That’s just vindictive hatred.

    The bizarre non sequitur in the first paragraph is just odd. Abbie is obsessed with Rebecca Watson, and now also with Jen McCreight. I have no idea why. Neither of them conflict or compete with Abbie’s niche — especially now that Abbie’s particular claim to fame in the blogosphere is hosting a “monument” to deranged misogyny.

    It’s weird, too, because Jen and Abbie actually have a lot in common: biology grad students with a reputation for enthusiasm and liveliness, and a popular internet presence. The major difference seems to be that Jen is a better human being.

    I’d add that Abbie’s career isn’t in great danger — being an asshole is not a major obstacle to obtaining professional employment as a scientist. The smart ones, though, don’t usually unleash that raging inner asshole until after they secure a position…doing it as a grad student is an unwise move.

  77. says

    I saw that.

    I’ve read back through a few of Ed Clint’s FB updates – he’s been posting about this since the 11th. He tagged Abbie and Miranda right at the beginning, so that’s why they’re all over it. Endless bile and rage. Anyway Ed Clint is no impartial bystander; he clearly hates Rebecca and anyone who thinks she shouldn’t be called a cunt every 5 seconds.

  78. says

    Especially this juxtaposition, which is just classic –

    “You are too stuck up your own ass to take responsibility for your own actions. Youre too old for this kind of immaturity.”

    Spoken like a totes mature responsible normal sane non-loser.

  79. ben says

    I’m a grad student as well so PZ Myers et al., feel free to ignore my opinions.

    Points I agree with ERV on: dicking around at skeptical conferences is a poor way to do science. Publically ripping on speakers (no matter how objectively horrible) is unprofessional. Accusing colleagues of being anti science when they are honest about your terrible proposal is basically retarded.
    She’s kind of a dick about things but that doesn’t make her a liar. But you know what, fuck it, you’re one less person in biology likely to squeeze me out of a job or funding.

    Real friends will stab you in the front. Keep that in mind in science.

  80. Adam G says

    “dicking around at skeptical conferences is a poor way to do science.”

    You, sir, are a humongous moron. Is your suggestion that no graduate students should attend skeptical conferences? Not only that, how the hell do you have any idea what work Jen’s thesis entails, let alone what would constitute ‘poor science’ in her case or any other?

    I too am a grad student, not that it’ll matter to you. There are many of us graduate students who, in addition to our thesis work, donate our spare time to outreach and activism efforts. Do you think this is to be condemned? Is the time I donate to volunteering at local science museums or mentoring other students ‘a poor way to do science’ too?

    Maybe you should think twice before posting attacks on someone’s scientific career when you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  81. Laurence says

    I didn’t realize that you had to do science all the time as a grad student. I’m glad that I know that now.

  82. Elfreda says

    I used to occasionally glance at ERV when I was at science blogs and happened to see this post http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/03/the_brains_of_stupid_people_ar.php
    I read it and the offending post, http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2011/03/19/spinster-aunt-reads-comment-on-dawkins-website-wrinkles-lip/, and realized that ERV was not a blog I wanted to read again. When everything blew up this summer, Abbie’s actions didn’t surprise me. I do still read “I blame the patriarchy” though.

    Re-reading the post and her “defense” of Jen has broken my irony meter.

  83. says

    Sorry to say, but any academic department with students that are supervised by faculty would be well advised to avoid hiring someone with this sort of attitude. I had been thinking that Abbie Smith (ERV) had already torpedoed her own career by allowing the frightening (to an HR department) mass of drek build up on her blog, but I also thought that she might have a chance of pulling out of that by noting that she herself contributed very little directly to it. But this missive is potentially a career killer.

    That part of the job search in which you get an interview, so you visit to a school and meet the faculty, give a talk, meet people from other departments and so on where you then meet the undergrads and the graduate students and post docs will look rather interesting where one of the students (and they know how to google candidates) pulls this out and asks about how she would treat students with whom she disagrees…..

    …. well let’s just say that it won’t go very well.

    But of course, not all academic departments or research institutions or corporations hire people on the basis of whether or not they are good with students or whether or not they would be HR nightmares. But since most schools are concerned about mentoring and most private companies have HR issues. I’d be worried about her career if I was Abbie’s supervisor.

  84. says

    dicking around at skeptical conferences is a poor way to do science.

    It’s an excellent way to do outreach though. No one confuses giving a seminar or talking about science at a conference for doing science…but it’s certainly communicating science.

    Also, sometimes scientists do things that aren’t science. My grad advisor played clawhammer banjo at bluegrass concerts; would you like to go up to him and complain about his “dicking around”?

    Publically ripping on speakers (no matter how objectively horrible) is unprofessional.

    No, it’s not. We do it all the time. Ever read Medawar’s review of The Phenomenon of Man? The scathing critique is a venerable procedure. Have you even gone to any science meetings?

    Accusing colleagues of being anti science when they are honest about your terrible proposal is basically retarded.

    Did you bother to read the commentary? The reviewer tried to rationalize anti-evolutionary sentiment as not terrible, that she shouldn’t be shocked at creationist biology majors. Jen acknowledged valid criticisms, but the jaded and oblivious attitude in those reviews warranted rebuke.

    She’s kind of a dick about things but that doesn’t make her a liar.

    Oddly, you are the first and only person in this thread to say anything about lies or liars.

  85. says

    @PZ, Ophelia:
    We’re second wave. You and I are too old to be third wavers, but we can look up from our rockers and yell at them to get off our lawns and go protest something, and say daggy dated things that we think sound hip, like “you go, girl!”.

    @Jen:
    1. You go, girl!
    2. Do we have to have nested comments? It’s so hard to follow a thread when new stuff gets added in the middle all the time.

  86. says

    Franc Hoggle is a raving lunatic and Abbie has some serious anger management issues. I never minded it when she went after people who could be wishy-washy, humorless, or just plain wrong, but now she’s attacking people who have no particular reasons to be hated. I almost wish Amanda Marcotte would take a hack at her, but Amanda’s more on the political side of the skeptical movement and probably pays a lot more attention to Watson than Abbie to begin with.

    I’m not surprised Abbie’s behavior is being looked on as career-limiting. Being an open /b/tard is one thing, but hanging around with the kind of people who post rape jokes, racist jokes, and BNP logos is very bad.

  87. Zhuge says

    Hi!

    I just wanted to throw in my little bit of support too!

    Your blog is a great read, so thanks a lot for putting so much time and effort into it!

  88. heddle says

    I have been on at least ten faculty searches in the past three years. We never once looked at a candidate’s blog or facebook posts. And if someone on the committee did, or if someone on the committees I am currently on tries to, I would/will go ballistic on them.

    Now if during a presentation a candidate flipped out for any reason, that would be another matter. But their on-line behavior is their own business.

    I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

  89. Carlie says

    Oh, heddle. Can you ever be right? Yes, candidates get the full Google treatment. There have been too many near-misses and outright flubs for that not to happen any more. Facebook is a bit of a sore point, because some people have their profiles set to public when they don’t mean to, but no one’s talking just about “private” conversations. Abbie’s attitude is on full display in the blog she actively runs, which she gets paid for, and which I assume she has on her CV as one of her accomplishments. It is fully public, and any decent search committee ought to take a look at it.

  90. Svlad Cjelli says

    We could play good cop – bad cop with me suggesting she aggravates the situation and falls deeper into infamy and subsequently oblivion.

  91. Svlad Cjelli says

    I think nesting is easier to navigate. Maybe I have achieved Master rank in the Scrolling School of Magic.

    I stay out of waves. Fucking waves. Stole my sandal once. Fuck waves. Waves are dicks.

  92. says

    Sure, Svlad: You see, I’d rather have a few clueless atheists using the words “cunt” or “bitch” (like PZ did before) as friends than lunatics like Luskin, Cordova, Dembski or Behe. Now, if you don’t consider people like Abbie as friends, that’s your prerogative, but just be sure who you are giving the ammo to.

    And Abbie was, until this EG mess, a good friend of PZ et all. Use your brain, and see where the problem is…

  93. ChasCPeterson says

    Evidence or STFU!

    lol

    Phil.
    Everybody who’s paying attention has seen the evidence for these two assertions accumulating for months now.
    Loyal defense of your internet friends is fine, but do try to keep your eyes open while doing it.

  94. says

    While I’ve no problem with terminology like ‘bitchy’, which I apply to people of all genders when apropos, in these heated discussions revolving around misogyny and rampant claims of ad-hominem attacks using more specific language might be useful. I’m in favor of calling things what they are. ERV’s comments were hostile, dismissive, and misogynistic; bitchy is too generic a term.

  95. says

    And now I know what cis means. Cool. I suppose I’m a third wave sympathizer, I think everyone regardless of gender/orientation/identification/etc should be treated with a baseline of respect and consideration until their actions dictate otherwise.

  96. says

    Chas: with all due respect, “Everybody who’s paying attention has seen the evidence for these two assertions accumulating for months now.” is NOT evidence. Either compile those heinous quotes and comments, which are after all jusrt quotes and comments, or kindly STFU.

    You guys have been having a go at Franc Hoggle for the last few weeks without being able to provide any evidence of his “raving lunacy”, yet he has been able to correctly catalogue the madness and fascism going on on your side of the pond with links and screencaps without a quirck from the start. Is that what pisses you off? Whatever you think of him, Franc has done the work of a skeptic.

    You guys haven’t. Yet…

    Also, “If I was a girl I would kick her in the cunt. Cunt.” is not raving lunacy, it’s hyperbole, and internet hyperbole at that, which is even more laughable to see smart people like you clutch at.

  97. says

    Sorry, something is horribly wrong with FTB’s comment system, and my comments just appear randomly in the thread. So again:

    Chas: with all due respect, “Everybody who’s paying attention has seen the evidence for these two assertions accumulating for months now.” is NOT evidence. Either compile those heinous quotes and comments, which are after all jusrt quotes and comments, or kindly STFU.

    You guys have been having a go at Franc Hoggle for the last few weeks without being able to provide any evidence of his “raving lunacy”, yet he has been able to correctly catalogue the madness and fascism going on on your side of the pond with links and screencaps without a quirck from the start. Is that what pisses you off? Whatever you think of him, Franc has done the work of a skeptic.

    You guys haven’t. Yet…

    Also, “If I was a girl I would kick her in the cunt. Cunt.” is not raving lunacy, it’s hyperbole, and internet hyperbole at that, which is even more laughable to see smart people like you clutch at.

  98. says

    Hoggle is utterly obsessed with PZ Myers. Go look at his blog. PZ’s even said that Hoggle’s behaving much the same way Dennis Markuze did at the beginning of his run.

    As for Abbie… you can kind of see it in her initial reaction to the whole Pepsi mess on Sb, though it didn’t really come out till she started attacking Rebecca Watson for what appears to be a relatively minor sin. As far as I can tell, Abbie is an excellent scientist, but on an interpersonal level is incapable of admitting that she’s wrong about something.

  99. heddle says

    Carlie,

    Oh, heddle. Can you ever be right? Yes, candidates get the full Google treatment.

    Please clarify. Have you hired faculty recently? (I really don’t know if you are an academic or not–a sincere question.)

    I want to know if you have hired faculty and have given them the “full Google treatment” or you have not hired faculty and are making assumptions.

    Because the bottom line remains I have hired (well, been on the committees) and we have not looked at blogs or facebook.

    If PZ applied for a job and I was on the search committee and someone said: Look at his online antics, and he has written some terrible stuff about you! I would say: I don’t give a rat’s ass about that. Just tell me 1) can he teach? 2) does he have a research program? and 3) does he have good potential for obtaining external funding?

    The rest is irrelevant.

  100. says

    “Hoggle is utterly obsessed with PZ Myers. Go look at his blog. PZ’s even said that Hoggle’s behaving much the same way Dennis Markuze did at the beginning of his run. ”

    Are you shitting me? The Good Reverend PZ said Franc acts in such a way, so you have to burnhim at the stake (out him)???

    Way to go, skeptics, wa

  101. says

    “Hoggle is utterly obsessed with PZ Myers. Go look at his blog. PZ’s even said that Hoggle’s behaving much the same way Dennis Markuze did at the beginning of his run. ”

    Are you shitting me? The Good Reverend PZ said Franc acts in such a way, so you have to burn him at the stake???

    Way to go, skeptics, way to go!

  102. Svlad Cjelli says

    @Phil – Ah, you mean to say that Abbie Smith can still be useful against Luskin et al. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Sure, I think that’s valid.

  103. says

    So now the trolls are crying about the “hypocricy” of us complaining about the “gendered insults” on Abbie’s “monument” while using the occasional gendered insult ourselves? Sorry, that “hypocricy” complaint doesn’t work, for one simple and obvious reason: we’re not just complaining about gendered insults on Abbie’s blog, we’re pointing out that such insults are CENTRAL to all the comments, and that the haters are congratulating themselves on how clever and eloquent their junior-high insults are. The diference between them and us is one of degree, emphasis, and pretence. Yes, we do call people “bitch” or “dick” often, but AFAIK, no one here has tried to pretend such insults were the cleverest or most relevant things we ever said. So no, our complaints about the ERV crowd’s behavior are not at all hypocritical. Try another whining-point, haters.

  104. says

    Yes, he ran away from his words — first by throwing up that “more than one meaning” dodge, then by actually running away from each and every sub-thread he got refuted on. (That’s just one more reason I hate this branching-comments feature: sometimes it becomes a game of whack-a-troll.)

  105. says

    Obviously, I don’t support bullying of anyone.

    Obviously you do: you’re using the logic of the bully, as the next example shows…

    But once again, “he started it” is a pathetic excuse…

    It’s not an excuse, it’s a relevant fact; and only a bully who starts fights would have a problem with people who state such facts.

    So yes, emmamurdoch, you do support bullying, whenever you try to pretend that responding to bullying is no better than bullying, and whenever you use the bully’s logic to attack those who respond to bullying.

  106. says

    You guys have been having a go at Franc Hoggle for the last few weeks without being able to provide any evidence of his “raving lunacy”…

    Phil, you’re a damn liar: Hoggle’s insane tirades have been directly quoted numerous times, and his own blog has been cited. Either you’re too lazy to actually read what’s been said about Hoggle those past few weeks, or you’re knowingly lying. Either way, you have no credibility, and you probably know it, which could be why you’re suddenly complaining about technical issues — you need an excuse to run away.

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