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Sep 04 2012

Goodbye for now

I’m done with blogging for an indefinite period of time.

I hate to do this. After my brief vacation from blogging this summer, I felt recharged and ready to write again. But that happiness ended almost instantaneously.

I love writing, I love sharing my ideas, and I love listening to the ideas of my readers. But I simply no longer love blogging. Instead of feeling gleeful anticipation when writing up a post, I feel nothing but dread. There’s a group of people out there (google the ironic term FtBullies to find them) devoted to hating me, my friends, and even people I’m just vaguely associated with. I can no longer write anything without my words getting twisted, misrepresented, and quotemined. I wake up every morning to abusive comments, tweets, and emails about how I’m a slut, prude, ugly, fat, feminazi, retard, bitch, and cunt (just to name a few). If I block people who are twisting my words or sending verbal abuse, I receive an even larger wave of nonsensical hate about how I’m a slut, prude, feminazi, retard, bitch, cunt who hates freedom of speech (because the Constitution forces me to listen to people on Twitter). This morning I had to delete dozens of comments of people imitating my identity making graphic, lewd, degrading sexual comments about my personal life. In the past, multiple people have threatened to contact my employer with “evidence” that I’m a bad scientist (because I’m a feminist) to try to destroy my job. I’m constantly worried that the abuse will soon spread to my loved ones.

I just can’t take it anymore.

I don’t want to let them win, but I’m human. The stress is getting to me. I’ve dealt with chronic depression since elementary school, and receiving a daily flood of hatred triggers it. I’ve been miserable. And this toxic behavior is affecting all parts of my life. With this cloud of hate hanging over my head, I can’t focus or enjoy my hobbies or work. It has me constantly on edge with frayed nerves, which causes me to take it out on the ones I love. I spend most of my precious free time angry, on the verge of tears, or sobbing as I have to moderate comments or read what new terrible things people have said about me. And the only solution I see is to unplug.

To those of you who have provided endless support: Thank you, and I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve failed you for not being able to deal with all of this despite the support you’ve given me. I may still occasionally write about science or topics that don’t attract abuse (aka, don’t expect atheism or feminism articles from me for a while). I’ll also still work to get the Atheism+ website and forums (1000+ people already!) running and self-sufficient, since I know a lot of people are really appreciating that community. And I’ll do the speaking gigs that I’ve already committed to (Kansas City 9/9, Lexington 10/6). But I simply can no longer deal with an obsessive horde of haters who are trying to make my life miserable, because they’ve succeeded.

So, goodbye for now. Maybe I’ll be back eventually, if the hatred subsides. Who knows. Maybe the horde of haters will take up knitting as their new hobby, or a time machine will be invented and I can go back to when we were all happy giggling at creationists together without hurling slurs at any woman who dared to be too uppity. But until then, I need to focus on keeping myself sane and happy – and that’s just not going to happen within the toxic atheist community.

430 comments

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  1. 1
    Kaessa

    I am so sad, Jen. But your life and your mental health are more important than blogging. I’ll miss your posts, and I do hope that you can blog again.

    Take care of yourself.

  2. 2
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    I wish I could somehow take on the crap you’re receiving to allow you to continue blogging. It’s sad that it’s come to this. You do what you need to do, obviously, and we’ll support you no matter what you decide in the end. I know I will.

  3. 3
    Stephanie Zvan

    You haven’t failed any of us. Quite the contrary.

  4. 4
    kyoungers

    I am sorry. About everything – that I won’t get to read your posts, and certainly that you’re having a bad time. Best, and thank you.

  5. 5
    augustpamplona

    :-(

  6. 6
    Jadehawk

    take care of yourself.

    also: fuck. I’ll miss your writing.
    also also: lest this be seen as a win for the haters, I think I’m going to redouble my own personal efforts in promoting atheism, feminism, etc. on the net. you know, hydra, heads, all that.

  7. 7
    Brian Murtagh

    Assholes… Sorry you were put through such a wringer, Jen. You deserved none of the crap you were given. Be well, recover your happy place. My heart goes out to you.

  8. 8
    gene

    Wow. I’m so sorry to hear this. As one who often doesn’t agree with you, I have always found your thoughts and writings really helpful to my own thoughts and journey. I hope you will come back at some point. In the meantime, let me say thank you for the work you’ve done. You’ve contributed much to the cause of thinking. There are too few thinking people out there these days. I’ll mess your posts. But you are absolutely right to put your own health and happiness first. Thank you for everything you’ve done. Be well!

  9. 9
    jenniferphillips

    Jen you have SO not failed anyone. You will continue to set a great example in science, skepticism and feminism even minus the blogging. I have only seen a tiny fraction of the vitriol you’ve been subjected to, and it is vile beyond description. No one should have to endure such abuse for any length of time. Take care of yourself and know that my support will not waver, and that I am grateful to you for all you have done for all these causes.

    Be well!

    jbp

  10. 10
    capt_carl

    :(

    Hope everything turns out okay. I’d Tweet at you more, but I’m protected now, and I don’t think you can see any @’s I make at you.

  11. 11
    Flewellyn

    I’m really sorry that they’ve gotten so bad that you feel the need to do this. But as Rebecca Watson said in that hangout, you have to be selfish sometimes.

    I do hope you don’t leave us for too long. But that’s ME being selfish. Please, go and take care of yourself.

  12. 12
    Pteryxx

    When the assholes don’t even have the decency to let you disengage, sometimes y’ just have to TAKE your right to disengage. Good on you, Jen, you have nothing to apologize for. We’ll keep on.

  13. 13
    Brian

    You’ve created something that will outlast your absence, and it’ll be here to receive you when you decide to return.

  14. 14
    tonyinbatavia

    Jen, I’m so sorry to hear this. As you step away, though, feel proud for your enormous contributions. Remind yourself, whenever you need it, that there’s a bastion of folks out here who are grateful to you for all you accomplished and all that you have shared. And even as you move on, pat yourself on the back for creating what looks to be a long-lasting legacy with Atheism+, which has inspired many to jump on the next wave of atheism. In just a relatively short amount of time, you have made a big difference. Congrats to you and good luck in your future endeavors.

  15. 15
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    You haven’t failed anyone. The atheist community has failed you, has failed to protect you and failed to keep you safe. We’ve failed you, not the other way around.

    I’d like to keep seeing you and your viewpoint, and I know it is selfish of me to ask… but I hope you keep an open line to the people who have followed you for so long. You can turn off comments entirely, or even just pass it on through other sources through gust blogging, but maybe still post updates so we know you’re doing well and making progress towards your personal goals and individual happiness?

  16. 16
    tigtog

    Take care of yourself, Jen. We’ll miss you, but we’ll be fine.

    Thank you so much for getting the atheism+ forums up and running. I haven’t joined yet, but I probably will at some point, and how strongly many lurkers have welcomed it means that you have facilitated a very important initiative.

  17. 17
    Sarah Maddox

    Like Stephanie said, you haven’t failed anyone. You’ve brought life to the movement and pushed it places that it needed to go. If you never wrote another post, gave another speech, or volunteered another hour, you’d still have left mountains of progress and contribution behind that we can all be grateful for. I hope we both live to see the day when the old boys club is part of history and the haters seem laughable. But for now, just know that we care about you and loved reading your thoughts. We want you to be safe and happy and fulfilled, and if blogging doesn’t bring that to you anymore, then we support you in doing whatever does. Please take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for company or advice or help. We all love you.

    And most importantly, I want to thank you specifically for the talks you gave over the years in Minnesota. We absolutely loved having you here, and your talks were the springboard for so many extremely important discussions we had. You really helped our group grow. Please know that you made a difference in St. Cloud and Minnesota as a whole.

    Much Love,

    Sarah

  18. 18
    tort

    I just want to say thankyou for what you’ve done and wish you good luck.

  19. 19
    SallyStrange

    You haven’t failed me. You’ve inspired me.

    Best of luck.

  20. 20
    austinmount

    Jen, would using janitors and moderators work to help with your stress level? Someone to scan public email and comments and remove the offensive non-sense. I’m sure there are a few people out there who would take up the challenge.

    I’m sorry to see you leave(even just for a while), we will all miss you.

  21. 21
    Thomas Lawson

    So long, Jen, but of course we will await your return…indefinitely.

  22. 22
    redremi

    I’m so sorry that you’ve been forced to come to this conclusion. You were a huge inspiration to me and you are the sole reason that I call myself a feminist today, because you introduced me to what it really meant to be a feminist. Before I started reading your blog, I believed what I heard on tv and from people around me that feminism was over, and modern feminists were just man-hating feminazis who wanted to put women on top of men on the social laddar. Thank you so, so much for teaching me what it really means to be an atheist and a feminist, and for helping me become the person that I am today. You don’t have to apologize to us or feel that you’ve failed us, because oh my goodness that is not even possible. You’ve given us so much over the last few years that everyone is deeply in debt to you, and nothing you do to escape the hate that you are unfairly receiving will be failure to us, not in my eyes or I am sure in anyone else’s. I have loved reading your blog, and while of course I regret that you can’t continue it or find enjoyment in it any longer I don’t want you to continue it just for our sakes if it is hurting you this deeply. Just remember that for every person who hates you and harasses you, there are more people like me who love you and love what you have done for us, and only want you to be happy. I’m sorry if this is long and gushy and cheesy, but for all the years of lurking I just wanted to come out before you left and tell you how much you mean to me, and to your other readers. We’ll miss you, Jen, and we hope that you find happiness when you get away from this toxic environment. If anyone has earned unplugged joy, it’s you <3

  23. 23
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    God fucking dammit.
    Jen:
    I’m so sorry you’ve been put through all this fucking bullshit. I completely understand your need to take a break. I hope to see you blogging again, but if you don’t, I hope that you’ll take care of yourself. You do NOT deserve the bile and hatred directed your way.

  24. 24
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Don’t only congratulate Jen on taking care of herself (though she needs to, of course). Commit to fighting these fucking bastards that drove her to this.

  25. 25
    sc_44c329b929020a09d988599d06e1ff88

    You haven’t failed anyone. You’ve done a tremendous job for the free-thought community. I’m so sorry to see you go and I really hope that you won’t be gone forever.

  26. 26
    Erp

    Jen,

    Take care of yourself. The rest of us can continue the work.

  27. 27
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    I’m so sorry. I hope you feel better. We’ll be here if/when you decide to come back.

  28. 28
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I wish you weren’t pulling back, but I can’t say I blame you under the circumstances. Thanks for everything you’ve done, and I hope you’ll come back before too long.

  29. 29
    Nentuaby

    :( I hate to see the shitstains win… But self-care first. All the best, Ms. McCreight.

  30. 30
    stephenwhitworth

    Full support for a tough decision, with a caveat: You’re a great goddamn writer. You should be able to find paid freelance work in venues where editors and other writers will get your back.(Maybe there’s a potential perfect match in a certain kooky but world-class Seattle newspaper?) No matter what, don’t stop writing! Absolute best wishes and the best of luck. You are fucking awesome.

  31. 31
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    “… or a time machine will be invented and I can go back to when we were all happy giggling at creationists together without hurling slurs at any woman who dared to be too uppity.”
    It’s not creationists, but if you’re ever in Vancouver on a Friday or Saturday around noon, stop by Commercial and Broadway and hang out with the pro-choice demonstrators! You can have fun making fun of pro-lifers and Christofascists and right-wingers in general, and I’ll (hopefully) be able to cross you off my Beer List*.

    Do what’s best for you, though. And whatever it is, have fun.

    * – I don’t buy the beer, I give you the cash with which to buy beer of your choice. Or something else if you prefer.

  32. 32
    denisecraig

    Thank you for all your blogposts. Fail should not be in your vocabulary! You made me think, you made me question, you made me laugh. And I am sure many others can say the same thing. Take care and find your joy.

  33. 33
    butterflyfish

    Aw, Jen. I hate this, and I am so, so sorry it’s come to this for you. I don’t think I have the proper words for how I feel about the misogynist assholes who think this kind of behavior is OK. Fuck the whole fucking bunch of them. With a fucking tree.

    I hope we will hear from you again someday, and that the environment will be safe for you then.

  34. 34
    chigau (違う)

    Thank you.
    Take care of yourself.

  35. 35
    Jadehawk

    :( I hate to see the shitstains win… But self-care first. All the best, Ms. McCreight.

    then be part of Teh Ebil Feminist-Atheist Hydra: contribute to the work Jen did, whatever way you think you can.

    That way, the haters don’t win, no matter how many individuals decide to take a break

  36. 36
    phil zombi

    Well, shit. Take care of yourself. You’re a BAMF and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  37. 37
    TooManyJens

    I feel like there ought to be some way that we can step up and take some fire for people like our hostess when things get to be too much. That, and show the haters that if they drive one person away, three more will take her place. Maybe another feminist group blog like Skepchick, so people can rotate in and out as needed? Or a podcast that lets skeptical women record and send in their own news, commentary, short stories, etc. each week.

    Feminists aren’t going away, assholes. Get used to it.

  38. 38
    Brad

    I’m sorry jerkasses ruined blogging for you. Will you still do the intermittent g+ hangouts?

  39. 39
    latsot

    As others have said, you haven’t failed anyone. Very much the reverse. And we have no right to expect anything from you anyway.

    You’re an inspiration and it disgusts me that people would want to contribute to making your (or anyone’s) life hell.

    I hope you know that lots of us totally understand, don’t think that you’ve failed at anything and are horrified that people treat you that way.

    It’s a brave decision to walk away when people are saying horrible things about you and I have no doubt that lots and lots of people respect you for it.

  40. 40
    beardofpants

    :( I wish you all the best, and hope that you can get yourself back into a better headspace. You haven’t failed anyone. If anything, we’ve failed you. I hope that the indefinite leave doesn’t last too long. I’ll miss your blogging. :(

  41. 41
    Bjarte Foshaug

    For what it’s worth, I consider myself a feminist (and an atheistplusser!) thanks to people like Rebecca, Amy, Ophelia and your good self. I am relatively new to your blog, but over the last few months I have gotten to know you as exactly the kind of person that any atheist/skeptical community worth supporting should be competing to attract. I will read up on the things you have written in the past, and look forward to hearing more from you if/when you feel ready.

    Until then, don’t feel bad for us. No one in his/her right mind would blame you for not putting up with the tsunami of hate that’s been coming your way lately. You have taken more crap in the last few months than any person should have to endure in a lifetime (I sure as hell wouldn’t last a day in your shoes) and don’t owe anything to anyone. The only people who deserve to be blamed for this are the misogynist [EXPLETIVE DELETED] who have turned the atheist/skeptical movements into such a loathsome, stinking sewage since someone dared to propose “the radical idea that women are people” and should be treated as such.

  42. 42
    BrianX

    Well fuck. Hope we have you back sooner than later.

  43. 43
    laconicsax

    I’m so sorry to read this, Jen. Please take care of yourself and I hope you’ll be able to come back soon, but I understand why that may not happen.

  44. 44
    Anthony K

    Jen,

    I’ve read your writing for some time, and a week or so ago I had the good fortune to speak with you in person, albeit via video. I felt both honored and humbled. I appreciated the opportunity more than I had the chance to say.

    No matter what the fuckers say, you’re a fantastic, wonderful, beautiful person.

    Even if you never blog again, you’ll have done more than enough for this community.

    You take care of yourself.

    In admiration and respect,

    Brownian

  45. 45
    Pteryxx

    I feel like there ought to be some way that we can step up and take some fire for people like our hostess when things get to be too much. That, and show the haters that if they drive one person away, three more will take her place.

    The admins on atheismplus.com just put out a call for articles to go on the main site. That should be a place for protected discussion. Something else we rank-and-file might be able to do for the future, and for the next potential targets, is to volunteer to our most trusted voices as screeners for emails and other accounts, to manually delete the hatred before it reaches its main target. That would require a loss of privacy, but for some it might be worth it to filter out the hate.

  46. 46
    Badland

    Jen, I’m so sorry you’ve been bought to this, but you haven’t failed anyone. You’ve given us the germ of A+, you’ve written intelligently and insightfully on many topics, you’ve challenged people (me!) and made us think. You can and should be proud of yourself.

    There are bigmobs of us who will be delighted if you start blogging again but your own health and happiness must always come first. Take care of yourself and many many thanks for everything you’ve done

  47. 47
    latsot

    Improbable Joe is completely right:

    You haven’t failed anyone. The atheist community has failed you, has failed to protect you and failed to keep you safe. We’ve failed you, not the other way around.

    What is *wrong* with us?

  48. 48
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    latsot:
    There’s *nothing* wrong with us.
    Those of us who supported Jen did *nothing* wrong.

    The people who did wrong…
    The people who fucked up…
    Are the scumbags who pushed her to this point.
    *They* are at fault.
    *They* are responsible.

  49. 49
    ibyea

    Jen, go and rest. The rest of us will stand up to those despicable morons.

  50. 50
    ulfakesson

    As a mere observer of this tasteless phenomenon…

    Well, you know what they say: “If you can’t stand the heat…”

    You’ll be back.

  51. 51
    colinmorris

    Well pants :(

    You have to do what you have to do, Jen. I appreciated you sharing what you shared for as long as you did. Hope to see you again in the future; but it’s all good – you need to look after yourself first.

  52. 52
    latsot

    Tony,

    I disagree. We should do more. This kind of abuse should not happen and if we’re not doing something to try and end it, we’re probably doing something wrong. The blame and responsibility doesn’t lie entirely with the scumbags, it also lies with us as a community and as individuals. Let’s face it, we knew Jen and others were receiving such abuse. What did we do about it? Clearly not enough.

    But perhaps this isn’t the place to argue about it. It’s probably more appropriate to take it to the atheism+ forum.

  53. 53
    Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals

    Oh Jen.

    In my eyes, you’ve done the exact opposite of failing. You’ve inspired and educated us all (and especially this old lady) enormously.

    Have a good rest as long as you want and need, while others try to hold the fort. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the Plus forums whenever you feel you want to come back. Until then, take good care of yourself; you of all people deserve to be happy+!

  54. 54
    Tethys

    Thank you Jen for all your hard work, and leading at great personal cost. Your well being is far more important than any perceived win on the part of the bullies.

    Do not feel you have failed. You are simply choosing to disengage from what has become a daily onslaught of violent and disturbing behavior.

    Take care and know that you have done good work for social justice in the movement.

  55. 55
    coltrosensweig

    I lurk … I will miss your posts so much. You are an excellent writer, clear and funny and just awesome. I love the A+ idea and it bugs me a ton that so many people are being so stupid about it. I am so sorry that people have been making you so sad and being such assholes. You deserve way better. You have to be your first priority. Take good care of yourself and be gentle with yourself. You are a GREAT SUCCESS and the bullies are the massive failures-at-life.

  56. 56
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    @50:
    Your insensitivity is noted.

  57. 57
    Charly

    I will miss your blogging. Over the last two or so years I learned a lot from you for which I am gratefull.

    The problem is not that you cannot stand the abuse. The problem is, you should never have had to stand it in a community of supposedly rational and skeptical people. And I completely understand you need a break.

    I would like to think, that they are immature, uninformed adolescents. Alas my experience tells me otherwise.

    Take care and have fun.

  58. 58
    Suido

    I first heard of you via Boobquake making the Australian news. You’re amazing and I wish you well.

  59. 59
    Reality Enthusiast

    So sorry to hear this, Jen. Seeing the hate on Twitter since A+ started made me worry about what you were going through. You’ve done a good thing, and you don’t deserve the negative reactions you’ve gotten. I hope you can take comfort in the fact that the movement has coalesced successfully and is moving forward. Please take care of yourself, and don’t forget to reach out to your friends and loved ones for support. Have some fun away from the internet for a while! If/when you come back you’ll be welcomed with open arms by the people who actually have hearts. Best wishes.

  60. 60
    thomashaynes

    No longer shall profound thoughts be inserted here… :(

  61. 61
    John Phillips, FCD

    and they wonder why A+ is needed. Be well Jen.

  62. 62
    bastionofsass

    So sad to read that you won’t be blogging for a while, and perhaps forever. I hate the ugly behavior that prompted your decision to stop.

    You haven’t failed in any respect. You’ve accomplished more with your blogging than most of us will ever do with any endeavor. And I strongly suspect that even without blogging, you will make great contributions to reason and feminism.

    Take care of yourself.

    I’ll miss reading Blag Hag.

  63. 63
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Damnit. And you are one of the reasons I started reading FtB… :(

    I like the idea of setting up barriers to stop the hate.

    Recognizing that it’ll probably mean a loss of privacy, how can I help?

  64. 64
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    That’s heartbreaking to hear, Jen. Look after yourself and take care.

  65. 65
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Take care of yourself, Jen. You’ve inspired something big. Go finish that PhD, maybe chat a bit over at the A+ forums, no pressure.

    I like the idea of volunteer mail screeners for the A+ public figures. I’ve been largely couch-bound recently due to long term illness, but that’s one task I could volunteer to help with.

  66. 66
    ednaz

    Jen, You are awesome. You have done so much for us. Remember that and know that you’re loved. Take care.

  67. 67
    Pteryxx

    I like the idea of setting up barriers to stop the hate.

    Recognizing that it’ll probably mean a loss of privacy, how can I help?

    It’d have to be someone the person trusts with their personal communications. I don’t know that any of us are that close to Jen, but in general, if you know someone in your circle of friends who might start a blog or make a public statement or do an interview or write an article for atheismplus.com, I suggest offering to set up screening with them as an option beforehand. If anything’s become clear in this mess it’s that women INEVITABLY get backlash for speaking out. Maybe we can take that lesson and pull the haters’ fangs.

  68. 68
    neilcn

    Hi – I am de-lurking for this. I just want to say thanks. Yours is one of a few blogs that has helped me think, reflect and change. I am a better person for reading and reflecting on the things you have written.

    Neil

  69. 69
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    This is why I have no desire of being a known face, I do not think I could deal well with the shit that you, Rebecca Watson an others have taken. I am saddened to see you leave. But you have to o what is best for you. And you have shown more strength than what I think I possess.

    Great job. And I hope you recover. I hope you can fin that joy again.

  70. 70
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    “find”

  71. 71
    John Morales

    Au revoir — but not farewell

    (Best wishes)

  72. 72
    j.p.hollembaek

    Hey, I just wanted to let you know you are one of my favorite posters on FTB, and your a+ posts got me excited to get involved in the atheist community. Please know that I think what you are doing is great, and I fully intend to bash in heads and minds while you are away.

  73. 73
    paulabryder

    Bye for now, with love & all best wishes. I also want to thank you for all of your hard work & for just being your funny self. See you on the a+ boards, I hope. (Virtual) Smooches!

  74. 74
    Natasha

    Jen, you haven’t failed anybody. The haters who have hounded you to this are the failures, failures at being decent human beings. Unfortunately the haters never go away ever. There are strains of hate that go back mellinia and are till going strong alas. In my darker moments I think that hate is what we as a species are best at.

  75. 75
    maddog1129

    Not goodbye, perhaps, but ” au revoir,” until we meet again. There is only this one life, and you must live your own for yourself. Very much appreciate what you have shared with us. The word “hero” is thrown about, these days, as if only those who wear military uniforms are worthy of the title. I note, however, that states with many differing ideologies all have armies, whereas the actual defense of liberty is often undertaken by heroes of an entirely different kind. You are definitely a hero in my book.

  76. 76
    Shaun

    :(

    So long, and thanks for all the fish. And the awesome blogging. I want to say keep writing because I’ve loved your blog for so long, you’re one of my atheist/feminist heroines! But if you’re not happy and are miserable because of all the negativity, I can’t very well ask that. You’ve gotten a lot of hate, but you’ve also touched a lot of lives for the better. When I realized I no longer believed in god, I found your blog and realized I wasn’t alone. You really helped me as I was “coming out”.

    Your writing on feminism also helped shaped my view on the subject. Before I was a luke-warm feminist, but after reading about your experiences and those of women you knew, I came to realize that feminism was something I really needed to be serious about and embrace completely, that it really was still a serious issue.

    I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with so many small-minded people being shitty to you. I hope you can come back to blogging one day, but please, in the mean time give us updates every now and again on what you’re up to!

  77. 77
    Ace of Sevens

    I loved your writing and hope to sufficiently tamp the jerks down so you feel comfortable returning. I’m sorry for falling for the impostor last night.

  78. 78
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    Lots of people have already said it, in much better ways than I could, but you haven’t failed by any stretch of the imagination. You have succeeded in raising the consciousness of enormous numbers of people! I’m just sorry that all that tacit support wasn’t enough to stop the nastiness getting through.

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Dundee

    Take care of yourself, Jen. You’ve inspired something big. Go finish that PhD, maybe chat a bit over at the A+ forums, no pressure.

    I like the idea of volunteer mail screeners for the A+ public figures. I’ve been largely couch-bound recently due to long term illness, but that’s one task I could volunteer to help with.

    As a fellow Canberran in a similar situation, may I volunteer too? I expect that people in all time zones will be needed.

  79. 79
    emburii

    This is not your failure. It is the failure of your tormentors to be basic, decent, human beings and it is not in any way something you should blame yourself for. I wish you luck and joy with your future endeavors.

  80. 80
    Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل)

    take care, jen, we’ll miss you.

  81. 81
    Justin Griffith

    Jen, you’re one of my heroes. Thank you so much for being a pioneer.

    Your speeches directly impacted my life, forcing me to ‘grow up’ as an atheist. I know I’ve told you this many many times, but your ‘edgy but friendly’ speech in particular influenced me greatly. If it wasn’t for you, I’d still think being an atheist means: “get drunk and pledge millions of dollars to TBN prayer lines while speaking in tongues.” And similar shock-approaches.

    Honestly, I’m right there with you. Though I have different set of bullies and stalkers (most of them evangelicals, often in the military in much higher ranks), I can totally relate. The worst of the worst sting is actually from fellow atheists. Be it at the local level, national level, or on the internet, the snake in the grass bites hardest. It’s like an added feeling of betrayal, and in our medium, it spreads regardless of facts, logic, ethics, etc…

    You fucking rock. You did great. Hold your head high. I’m glad that I got to meet you in person, albeit briefly.

  82. 82
    Hank_Says

    Jen, you’ve not failed us and I wish you the best on this break. I hope you get the peace you need and deserve! You’re an asset to those of us in atheo-land who give a shit about other people.

    But look: they haven’t won. They’ve justified the existence of and need for A+!

    I mean, is there any greater illustration of the need for a safe space for atheists than a champion of A+ going on blog-hiatus due to a constant and daily barrage of insults and hatred from a clamoring tribe of sexist garbage?

    Well done, A+ haters. You’ve made our argument for us, you irredeemable sacks of shit.

  83. 83
    Amarantha

    Look after yourself, Jen, and thanks for everything.

    Don’t feel bad about chucking it in; you’ve done (and continue to do) far more than most of us. Your health and wellbeing are more important.

    See you at the A+ forums,

    K

  84. 84
    Louis

    Hi Jen,

    Frequent reader, very rare commenter, I had the honour of being on PZ’s recent podcast thingy with you and making horrendously inappropriate nervous jokes.

    I am sad it has reached this point for you, and certainly don’t feel that yo are letting anyone down. I think I speak for many people when I say that there are lots of us who are very grateful for what you have done and written. You need to take care of yourself, especially in the case of any mental health issues, and recharge your batteries. When and if you return to blogging and the public eye, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Until then, my best wishes go with you, and I hope all goes well.

    Louis

  85. 85
    thomascaldwell

    I just started reading your blogs and will probably read some of what you’ve written in the past. – Sort of like finding out about Firefly on Netflix. It’s still good, even though they don’t make the show anymore.

    Anonymous terrorists can be brutal. I’m not that active but got a tiny taste of the intense hate on twitter because I said something like – “as a male, feminism and A+ doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all”, that was it.

  86. 86
    didgen

    Even though you say you feel like you have failed, the power of your speaking out can be measured by the amount of negativity that has been unleashed on you. If you had no true message, there would have been no response of this type. I am glad to have had the privilege of seeing the birth of a movement that is attempting to give a voice to people that are generally forgotten, unnoticed or marginalized. I hope you come back soon.

  87. 87
    Louis

    Oh and P.S. There is NO sense of the word in which you have failed any one or any thing by withdrawing from blogging a bit. None.

    You have been targeted by a cowardly campaign of harassment. Your feelings regarding this are not only natural but entirely appropriate. It’s up to every individual to decide what level of abuse they are willing to put up with for what price, you’ve decided this isn’t (currently/any longer) for you. That doesn’t somehow erase your positive contributions! It’s not a negative thing, it’s good sense. No one would expect you to keep running a marathon on a leg with a compound fracture, there’s no difference when the triggering of mental illness brings about (IMO far worse) pain. Take your time, heal, recuperate, reassess. You owe no one a single second of your time or drip of your sweat more than you have put in already.

    Louis

  88. 88
    kagekiri

    Man, not even being the target of the hate, it STILL bums me out and makes me want to take a break from reading about atheist arguments; I can only imagine how crappy it can be with all the vitriol, threats, and horrible misrepresentations thrown about.

    Take care of yourself, Jen! I’ll miss your feminist/atheist writing but your well-being and happiness are not fair game for anyone to demand at all.

  89. 89
    kassad

    Thanks for all your posts. Along with some other bloggers like Greta, Ophelia and Stephanie, you made me change from a borderline MRA asshole (not a pleasant memory) to a better person, aware of social oppression and my privilege(s). And I can’t thank you enough for that.

    You haven’t failed us, and you are directly responsible for changing at least one person for the better. If I can be selfish, come back quick so I can continue to learn.

    I feel horrible it has come to this for you. Take care of yourself.

  90. 90
    helenkrummenacker

    Lowering your stress level so you can have energy for the communities that give you more positive feedback, and where things are being accomplished, seems to me to be a wise choice. We’ve all got limited time and energy, and your health has to come ahead of not letting the bastards chalk up a win. They lose, anyhow, because A+ looks to be the beginning of something big, and it happened in part because of how many people were *appalled* by the misogyny aimed at you, Rebecca, Amy, and others.

  91. 91
    oolon

    I suspect the idiot on the Guardian article repeating the bollocks spread by the haters probably had an effect. When you see journalists fall for a small minorities campaign of hate to even a small degree then that must be very annoying. Given they bang on about free speech it is interesting that they are so interested in suppressing a much larger group through the force of their obsessive shrieks.

    And then I understand them to a degree, the lulz can be fun. I thought it was hilarious when someone called Greta a c*nt using my nym – not the calling but the fact they tried to attack me that way. Only a tiny example but I’m pretty much immune to attack due to the fact that I’m anonymous and a piss-taker who is mostly better at insulting myself than they are.

    But I am cognisant that I am privileged in this immunity and I would really not like an internet where anyone who blogs about serious issues as themselves gets bullied off the internet. There will be slimepitters/etc who say it is just the internet she needs a thicker skin – victim feminism! Someone on TFs blog suggested anyone who cannot handle the trolls needs to have their internet removed! Well yeah an internet full of thick skinned trolls – great!

    So here is hoping you can recharge and take no notice of them as the conclusion of their campaign would be an internet without a large section of society taking part. It has got to be a goal of atheism+ to support people in this situation?

  92. 92
    Nick Gotts

    That’s a real shame, Jen, but your health and happiness must come first. Even if there were nothing else, launching Atheism+ is a great achievement; hope to see plenty of you on those forums.

  93. 93
    sawells

    Take care of yourself, Jen, and best wishes.

  94. 94
    Grimalkin

    Well, I just posted on the A+ forums about how voicing support is important (as it is so often silent while hatred never is), so I might as well act on that.

    You have in no way failed anyone. The fact that you have put up with this shit period, even for a small amount of time, is an amazing testament to your.. hell, to a lot of things. To your tenacity in continuing to deal with this no matter how bleak it looks, to your selflessness in continuing to make waves in the Atheist movement no matter what it brings you, and to your amazing value and importance to the Atheist movement and Feminism in general.

    I couldn’t take half of the vitriol that you face. Hell, I couldn’t take a quarter, or an eighth, or a fucking homeopathic dilution of it. And I like to fancy myself as a pretty strong, thick-skinned person.

    That you are able to do that makes you amazing. The fact that you lasted until this break is amazing. You are very much owed this break. Don’t worry about selfishness, or failing people, or anything else.

    Your blogging has turned people who didn’t care about, didn’t know about, or even hatred feminism into out and proud feminists. Me included. You’ve created A+, and it’s already, even when it’s still settling into its place, a fantastic and much needed thing that is making some people, me included, finally feel welcome and active and excited.

    Those things you’ve done will continue on your good work while you take your break. You’ve set positive change into motion, and because of that I believe that when (and even if!) you return back to blogging it will be a better atmosphere than it was before. Because of you.

    Also, a note to anyone who, like me, tends to lurk on blogs, never comments, and only if they have something they feel is important to add;
    Support is an important thing to add to a conversation. I personally have never liked just joining into a chorus of “yeah, me too!” and “well said”, but it’s important to do so. Hateful people never hold themselves back from expressing their hatred just because someone else has already said the same thing. Much the opposite. We need to do the same. Even if positive support doesn’t add anything, it does drown out the voices of the hateful and show the true proportions of what people think.

  95. 95
    fullyladenswallow

    Will miss you greatly. Thanks for your thoughts and contributions.

  96. 96
    Maureen Brian

    Jen, I only really know you from here and even in this one dimension you have done wonders. You have certainly not failed – you have not failed yourself and you have not failed any of us.

    Please, if you can, relax and have fun. Above all take care of yourself and your own health. Then if you feel like coming back some day we’ll have an all-timezones mega party – wild enough to be visible from space.

    But the decision is yours and I will respect it, whatever it is.

  97. 97
    fronkey

    I support your decision, but I’m really sad that it has come to this. I want you to know that you, more than any of the other bloggers I follow, inspired me to start blogging a few months ago, after lacking the courage for a couple of years. You inspired me because I saw you, a woman of the same age as me achieving so much, and it made me realise that if you could do it, then I had no excuses for not giving it a go.

    Thank-you for all that you have written, and if you still have the energy to write about “safe” topics occasionally, I’ll still be interested to see what you have to say.

  98. 98
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    I think Jen has put in the hours (and overtime) and deserves whatever kind of break she requires. Cowards hiding behind internet anonymity posing as Jen and pressing endless personal attacks don’t deserve any respect. Her civility and reasoned explanations make the microcosm of jerks seem all the more unctuous, coarse and ignoble. It appalls me that the Twit-verse messages have them thinking that some sort of victory was scored. Victory for what? Pretense at reason?

    I would like to ask Jen if she would be offended if FtB brought in another blogger right away, not as a replacement, since this blog is hers for as long as servers host it, but as a sort of middle finger to misogyny. While Jen de-stresses, it would be good to store in the mental account tally that no actual activist blogging volume was affected by the actions of puerile idiots. The FtB writers must have noticed a defiantly feminist and activist blogger, or perhaps someone commenting regularly on FtB threads who fits that description that wants to step up for Jen and worthy purpose. The best scenario I can see here is that Jen gets her well-deserved break, but not a single merlon in this castle’s crenelations is weakened, no firepower is lost from the ranks of FtB’s firing line.

    I hope that this doesn’t seem disrespectful. I have found Jen to be admirable, inspiring and honorable through the storm of ridiculous behaviors. I have a habit of counter-strategizing when things seem unfair or bleak.

  99. 99
    lochaber

    Do what you need to do, you are the most important person in your end of the world. And you’ve already done a great amount for the cause, if you weren’t effective, you wouldn’t be such a target for the douchebags. So, if nothing else, try to take some solace in that you wouldn’t be receiving so much fuckwit vitriol if you weren’t making some damned good points and such.

    -not that that is any excuse to put upwith it or anything.

    I don’t think I’ve commented on your blog before, but I’ve read a lot of your posts, and enjoyed reading them, and felt you were making some well-overdue points.

    While I’ll miss your presence in arguing those points and angles, I won’t begrudge you the time off to see to yourself (old adages about fleeing and fighting another day, etc), and damn anyone who does.

  100. 100
    rorschach

    We’ll keep things going in the meantime, Jen. You just come back when you’re ready. I’d like to think that our movement will not be overtaken by fuckwits the likes of which have sadly succeeded to silence you for now. I’m sure Dawkins will post a tweet supporting you and denouncing online harassment any minute now.

  101. 101
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Je, you haven’t failed us.
    As Joe said, people failed you.
    Take care of yourself, we’re still here. We won’t stop, we’ll keep up the fight.
    The world doesn’t become a better place if good people break.

  102. 102
    Haran Yakir

    Just wanted to thank you for standing up to those assholes for the time until now. I support you!

    Damn, there should be some group on the internet devoted to getting such bullies off the net. Not by return-bullying, but by, I don’t know, making some perma-bans to their IPs for the whole net, or reporting them to their local law enforcements.

  103. 103
    Joey Maloney

    Cripes, I go on vacation for a week, and this?

    Take care of yourself, Jen. You’ll be missed.

  104. 104
    cowcakes

    Very sad you have been pushed into this action Jen, however as a fellow sufferer of depression I can understand why. Take care of yourself as the world is a far better place with you and your contributions. The world has many arsehole in it but remember that your friends and supporters are Legion.

  105. 105
    SubMor

    You’ve done some truly meaningful things, and we all appreciate you for it. Even in taking time off, you’re an inspiration to push back against the irrational hostility that would seek to overthrow civility. Thank you being a positive influence.

  106. 106
    Jadzia626

    Fuck you haters …

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure all this Jen. You take your break, you’ve deserved it. There are others who can hold the fort in the meantime :)

    If there was ever any doubt a reboot of the movement is needed, this is your evidence. Stick it on the ever growing list of reasons.

  107. 107
    vaiyt

    Remind me, who’s driving people out of the movement again?

    I find it deeply ironic (and not in a good way) that the haters who complain endlessly about being bullied and shunned never go away.

    Success, Jen. Enjoy your life.

  108. 108
    Socio-gen, something something...

    I am so sorry. I am sorry that you have gone through such abuse and that it has become so toxic to your own mental and physical well-being.

    You will be greatly missed, and you will be warmly welcomed back when/if you feel like doing the blogging thing again. But, even if you choose to move permanently in another direction, you have made a huge and positive impact. Seeing A+ “born” was…there isn’t a word for joy-awe-excitement wrapped in a lot of “Squee!” and “My people!” I no longer felt alone, discouraged, and just sick of feeling that the majority of atheists seemed to (more or less) hate me and people like me.

    No matter what, they can never take away all that you have accomplished or all the lives you have changed through your blog. Including mine.

  109. 109
    Jasper of Maine

    It is kind of a failure. Now you’ve taught the hordes that all they have to do is be persistent enough and they can silence anyone they want. Now your colleagues are going to take more heat, both from that, and from the fact they have fewer targets.

    You gotta to what you gotta do, but it’s going to hurt those around you.

  110. 110
    carlie

    Oh, Jen. please take care of yourself, and if and when you come back or however you decide to be involved, there will be open arms waiting. And virtual fresh-baked cookies.

  111. 111
    Bernard Bumner

    To Jen I say, thanks very much for all of your (ongoing) efforts.

    @109:

    You gotta to what you gotta do, but it’s going to hurt those around you.

    Shame on you!

    Jen owes nothing, having done more than most and taken more flak for it than most. You should be embarrassed that your reaction is to ask for and expect any more.

    It is kind of a failure.

    No. Jen has no duty to carry on blogging (lest you forget, this is a sideline, rather than a vocation), it is just a shame that she was coerced into making this decision. The only people to blame are the weird, obsessive arseholes who have pushed Jen to this point.

    Now you’ve taught the hordes that all they have to do is be persistent enough and they can silence anyone they want.

    Are you suggesting that they were close to abandoning their grudge and finding something healthier to turn their energies to?

    Nobody is obliged to fight-the-good-fight. Anyway, Jen is continuing other work on A+, so that is hardly being forced into silence. She is merely taking a break from this aspect of her outreach work that brings her into contact with the worst of the trolls/naysayers/arseholes.

    Now your colleagues are going to take more heat, both from that, and from the fact they have fewer targets.

    And they are free to give as much or as little of themselves as they wish, as they are comfortable with, and as they need to for the sake of their own well-being.

  112. 112
    Timothy Brannan

    That really sucks.

    I started my own Atheism blog because I was impressed with what you do/did here.

    But I can’t deny that you have some serious assholes here.

    Be well. Take care and come back if you like. But do not think you failed anyone.

    Tim

  113. 113
    doublenerds

    Thank you for taking a stand for the things you believe in. I believe in them, too. Please take care of yourself, and when you have a little safe distance, I hope you enjoy the knowledge that throughout history, the backlash is always the strongest against the real agents of change. That makes you a Big Damn Hero!

  114. 114
    pedrotimoteo

    Jen,

    as others said, this is sad, but I totally understand. You are stronger than most people would have been in your place.

    Thanks for everything.

  115. 115
    mildlymagnificent

    Jasper, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    What this tells me, and a couple of other people have already alluded to, is that the rest of us have to step up. We may not have Jen’s writing skills, but there are literally dozens of us who have general administrative and specific moderation skills.

    I’d like to give Jen all the time she needs to feel human again. And then she should ensure that her blogging should consist of writing and very little more. I, and many others in the various time regions around the world, would be perfectly happy to be part of a filtering, moderating, shielding structure. And it should _be_ a structure, because this isn’t just Jen’s personal problem, it’s a general problem that clearly is not just going to vanish overnight.

    Jen, do what you and those close to you want to do to make your life the best it can be. And do it _knowing_ that you will be free to take up these activities one day if you want to when things have been reorganised with protections and supports for you and everyone else who might need them.

    Love and best wishes. Take care.

  116. 116
    Hank Fox

    Well, hell. We’ll miss you. But also, I am so, so sorry you’ve had to put up with this.

    Take care of you.

  117. 117
    lokicleo

    As a feminist atheist and skeptic, I want to thank you for doing so much. Best Wishes!

  118. 118
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Take care, Jen.

    A consideration: in a couple days, after this thread slows down, it may be a good idea to turn off commenting on all threads until you return. Otherwise there will be a bunch of trolls which you’ll have to see when you get back, and which others will feel they have to patrol this blog to spar with in your absence.

  119. 119
    AylaSophia

    I’m so, so sorry that the blagosphere has become such a toxic environment, and I will never understand what motivates a person to such personally-directed hatred and vitriol. I absolutely understand your decision, though, and no one with a shred of human compassion could it decision against you. Take care of yourself, and if or when you decide to saunter back into blogging, you can count me among your readers.

  120. 120
    Radi

    Jen, I’m really sad to hear this. Having had the privilege of meeting you a few times, I am aware that apart from being a kick-ass writer and engaging public speaker, you are kind, generous with your time and attention, in person, and all-round good people. I am proud to call you my friend, even if you only have the vaguest idea of who I am. And rarely have I been as enthusiastic about an idea as I was (and continue to be) about Atheism+. Thank you for all you have done to set up that backbone web site and structure for us.

    Take the time off, work on the items that you need to prioritize – your health above all. We will keep the lights on, and perhaps even entice you back in time, by helping clean up the movement, and making a perceptible dent in the torrent of misogyny and abuse that you, Amy, Rebecca, Greta, Ophelia, Stephanie and and the hundreds of other women online, have endured and continue to do so, most shamefully from other atheists and self-styled skeptics.

    I was the audience member who brought up the idea of a trusted network of people to provide in-person support for women under attack from misogynists online and IRL, at the Skepchicks’ panel on online misogyny at GeekGirlCon last month (especially relevant within the atheist movement). I notice that quite a few commenters here have proposed something similar, but more online-focused. Whatever we end up setting up, your decision to step back from blogging has galvanized my intention to bloody well DO something useful.

    I’d promised Rebecca at the time that I would email her about this – and to my utter shame, I have so far failed to do so (and my habit of procrastination has never seemed so bad to me as it does right now). This will be a priority item for me tomorrow. For all the good it does you.

  121. 121
    elftao

    Hugs! I think you’ll be happier with this decision. It reminds me of a job i had once that I should have completely loved – it was absolutely perfect for my interests and skills – but my boss was so bad that I was constantly miserable, and leaving that job (though in itself a stressful process) was so liberating that almost everyone I knew observed differences in my behavior. I hope you find this similarly positive. And if you need anything, there’s a whole office full of your biggest fans out in Ohio – just let us know!

  122. 122
    billhaines

    Rest, recharge, realize you’ve made positive impact on many people, and return to us when you can.

  123. 123
    lancefinney

    :(

  124. 124
    Gregory Greenwood

    I am sorry to hear that things have gotten this bad. For whatever it is worth, I want you to know that you have helped to inspire me, and many others like me, to redouble our efforts to oppose the toxic attitudes within the atheist community that result in people thinking that it is OK to use the type of silencing tactics that have been employed against you.

    You have created an enduring legacy for the betterment of atheism. You should be proud of that.

  125. 125
    MG Myers

    Jen – Thanks a lot for your contributions, and best wishes in your future endeavors! We’ll keep working on improving the climate when you’re away, and hopefully see you back in the future! Take care.

  126. 126
    jhendrix

    It’s upsetting to see you go. I came to the party here pretty late, but I was drawn to your writing because it was good and because aside from gender, I have mostly the same interests that you do. This made relating to what you wrote about easy. Quite frankly, the gaming/geek community needs more people like you, let alone the atheist movement.

    Of course, there is no “failing” on your part. I don’t know how anyone of us who consumes your writing could ask that you endure the kind of abuse you have been getting. Unfortunately I know of only two solutions to bulling/abuse (what trolling really boils down to):

    Either you remove yourself from situations having to deal with the bullies (zero contact protocol), or you physically beat the shit out of them. Since the latter isn’t available to you online, you’re stuck with what you’re doing now.

    This makes me mad, because it reinforces the idea that women will have a hard time being visible leaders in the atheist (let alone the geek/gaming) community. I can understand a desire to stand up just because such a conclusion is untenable (the notion where “failing” is coming from), but you have to realize that if the abuse is going to affect your quality of life – you should not engage in this.

    I just hope eventually that we can make the community a place where you feel comfortable being a visible individual in again.

  127. 127
    Radi

    And Jasper of Maine @ 109:
    YOU may feel safe at FTB (to go by your user name), but your entire comment is just a fuck-you to Jen and everyone in the FTB community who may have felt safe here, and now probably feel less so, no thanks to you, you self-righteous smug sanctimonious asshole.

    Bernard Bumner @ 111 has done a thoough takedown of just why practically every word in your comment, and certainly ever sentiment you expressed, is so full of wrong.

  128. 128
    kamsly...

    I’m so sorry, Jen. You’ve been an inspiration. You still are. I understand your decision. Wishing you peace and comfort.

  129. 129
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    Jen,

    You’ve done more for this movement than any one person should have to, and under conditions that nobody deserves. Here’s to your happiness and health!

    I hope you’ll drop by the A+ forums from time to time, just to see what your brainchild has become.

  130. 130
    twist

    Very sorry to see you go Jen.

    I very rarely comment, but I’ve read your blog consistently and you’ve taught me a great deal. You and others like you have helped me develop into the person that I am and for that I am grateful.I’m in awe of those of you who have had the courage to face this shitstorm so openly and so publicly for so long.

    Take care of yourself, and please don’t feel that you have failed, you’ve pushed this movement a huge step in the right direction and we will win.

  131. 131
    Peter the Mediocre

    Jen,
    Your decision makes perfect sense for self-preservation–constant abuse wears anybody down. The fact is, the assholes sometimes win, because they have more energy to devote to assholeism than rational people do to fighting it.
    FWIW, I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment and food for thought from your writing. You will be missed by many. I hope things go well for you, and if you should start blogging again I’ll be a faithful reader again.

    Best,
    Peter

  132. 132
    Gregory in Seattle

    I cannot express my anger that atheists were able to silent the voice that the mullahs could not. You are not failing us: we have failed you.

    Take care, and come back when you can.

  133. 133
    dicerosbicornis

    Jen, your blog has become one of my favorites here on FTB. I find you entertaining, clear, insightful and energizing – a fresh, powerful voice. It’s so WRONG that you’ve become a target for the vile hate (and bullying) that just. won’t. stop. I fully understand why you need to step back, AND I’ll miss you. Take care, enjoy your work, your hobbies, your friends and all the people in your life who know and love you. Thank you for all the heavy lifting you’ve done. (And for the big impetus you gave to A+. Thanks to you I’m no longer lurking!)

  134. 134
    Beyond Dimensions

    I credit you with initially providing me the language and information to be able to talk about atheism and feminism. Before coming across your blog I never really identified myself as either, both words were tainted in my mind.

    They aren’t anymore. For that I thank you. Take care of yourself because even if you aren’t blogging anymore, I think we all know that you’re still doing something great in life and no matter what nasty words or actions others may take you really can’t stop greatness.

  135. 135
    Jackie

    (((Jen))), thanks for everything, including taking care of yourself. I could not do what you have done.

  136. 136
    Lou Doench

    Fuck… sorry it had to come to this Jen. You do whatcha gotta do!

  137. 137
    ianmiller

    I appreciate everything that you have done for the online community, Jen. No, you have not failed us. Please do whatever reasonable thing it takes to keep yourself sane. Take a break and get on with your academic life! Noli sinere te malos insolentesque vexare, as the saying goes.

    - Ioannes Andreas Miller (vulgo Ian Andreas Miller)

  138. 138
    Jasper of Maine

    111. Bernard Bumner says:

    Shame on you!

    Jen owes nothing, having done more than most and taken more flak for it than most. You should be embarrassed that your reaction is to ask for and expect any more.

    I’m not asking her to do anything. I’m pointing out the simple fact that this is going to add more fuel to the flames for those who are actively trying to shut them down. The tactic has worked, and therefore, they’ll push even harder.

    No. Jen has no duty to carry on blogging (lest you forget, this is a sideline, rather than a vocation), it is just a shame that she was coerced into making this decision. The only people to blame are the weird, obsessive arseholes who have pushed Jen to this point.

    If the goal was overcome those hordes of idiots, this action falls short of that goal – hence, failure.

    Are you suggesting that they were close to abandoning their grudge and finding something healthier to turn their energies to?

    Others have – “extinction scream”, or however they put it. We may never totally win them over, but things can get worse. This is a step in that direction.

    Nobody is obliged to fight-the-good-fight. Anyway, Jen is continuing other work on A+, so that is hardly being forced into silence. She is merely taking a break from this aspect of her outreach work that brings her into contact with the worst of the trolls/naysayers/arseholes.

    She said in the OP “I’ll also still work to get the Atheism+ website and forums (1000+ people already!) running and self-sufficient” – meaning, she’ll stop after that. She is going silent – that, they admits bluntly, is due to the misogyny/harassment.

    Even if she only takes a month off, they’ll see that as a success, and will only come at her with more intensity when she returns.

    I don’t know why this is complicated. It’s like a mooching dog – they’ll keep at it until you give in, and when you finally do, that’ll reinforce the behavior for a long time.

    And they are free to give as much or as little of themselves as they wish, as they are comfortable with, and as they need to for the sake of their own well-being.

    Of course – but the colleagues are going to feel more of that heat. This isn’t a game. It has real consequences. If too many people stop holding the line, the enemy can break through.

    114. mildlymagnificent says:

    What this tells me, and a couple of other people have already alluded to, is that the rest of us have to step up. We may not have Jen’s writing skills, but there are literally dozens of us who have general administrative and specific moderation skills.

    We’ll see if that happens. Most people are followers. What we know now is that a vocal protagonist has gone silent, which is a success for those harassing anyone who disagrees with them.

    Perhaps others will be able to pick up the baton, but I’m not optimistic about that.

    127. Radi says:

    YOU may feel safe at FTB (to go by your user name), but your entire comment is just a fuck-you to Jen and everyone in the FTB community who may have felt safe here, and now probably feel less so, no thanks to you, you self-righteous smug sanctimonious asshole.

    FYI, the “(I feel safe and welcome at FTB)” bit on my username is mockery of that woman with the shirt.

    Bernard Bumner @ 111 has done a thoough takedown of just why practically every word in your comment, and certainly ever sentiment you expressed, is so full of wrong.

    And very little of it was relevant to my point. The closest he got was pointing out that others have to pick up where she left off – which is problematic, at best, in terms of actually happening.

  139. 139
    Pteryxx

    Of course – but the colleagues are going to feel more of that heat. This isn’t a game. It has real consequences. If too many people stop holding the line, the enemy can break through.

    We KNOW that. Duh. Jen knows that. Rebecca knows that. Every woman who has to decide whether to report or not knows that. However, by telling any specific victim that they ought to be doing more than they are, you’re being cavalier with their personal wellbeing and appropriating it for the Greater Good. That’s a form of victim-blaming, telling a victim what they should or should not personally endure for a cause.

    It’s *constructive* to contribute to holding the line by deciding FOR YOURSELF, and no one else, to come forward and take the heat. Deciding for other people really is no different from those haters saying ‘suck it up’ and ‘other people have it worse’ – it’s barely a matter of degree.

  140. 140
    Yog Sothoth

    Goodbye Jen. I’m so sorry to hear about all the abuse, it sounds shocking! I understand your need to take care of yourself. I have enjoyed your writings, your blog was very distinctive. Farewell and take care!

  141. 141
    Inaji

    I am so sorry to hear this, Jen. Your blogging presence will be sorely missed. Take good care of yourself and thank you, so very much, for all the blogging and work you have done. It’s important and it has been appreciated.

  142. 142
    Jasper of Maine

    139. Pteryxx

    We KNOW that. Duh. Jen knows that. Rebecca knows that. Every woman who has to decide whether to report or not knows that.

    Good – then I’m guilty of stating the obvious.

    However, by telling any specific victim that they ought to be doing more than they are, you’re being cavalier with their personal wellbeing and appropriating it for the Greater Good. That’s a form of victim-blaming, telling a victim what they should or should not personally endure for a cause.

    I agree. Good thing I wasn’t saying anything like that.

  143. 143
    michaeld

    I’m really sorry it came down to this but you have to take care of yourself first. Take care and best wishes in all your endeavors. You’ll be missed.

  144. 144
    Inaji

    Jasper:

    I don’t know why this is complicated. It’s like a mooching dog – they’ll keep at it until you give in, and when you finally do, that’ll reinforce the behavior for a long time.

    I’ll have a guess – you don’t grok the complexity (or the simplicity) of trying to deal with a massive campaign of threats and slurs every day for over a year because you’re happily privileged and have never had to cope with something like that.

    A lot of people on the net have had meatspace stalkers. A lot of people on the net have had net stalkers. I’ve had both in my life and it’s tremendously stressful. You literally have *no* idea of just how stressful it is and Jen is not dealing with a single nasty asshole of a stalker.

    The fact that you resent Jen taking care of herself is a good indicator that now is a prime time to shut up. If you don’t get it, fine. Just shut up, because you are not helping.

  145. 145
    Stray Cat

    What you’re doing is perfectly understandable. You’ve failed nobody Jen. You’ve gotta look out for yourself first and foremost. That’s more important than some vague sense of “winning” or “losing.” And just by inspiring A+, you’ve won a big battle already. THAT’s why the cretinous misogynists are going for the neck right now.

    Good health to you.

  146. 146
    Pteryxx

    Good – then I’m guilty of stating the obvious.

    And do you understand why it’s dismissive to ‘state the obvious’ at a group of people with extensive personal experience?

    You’re also tailoring it to Jen’s case:

    Even if she only takes a month off, they’ll see that as a success, and will only come at her with more intensity when she returns.

    I don’t know why this is complicated. It’s like a mooching dog – they’ll keep at it until you give in, and when you finally do, that’ll reinforce the behavior for a long time.

    You’re not only being dismissive, you’re wrong. They haven’t stopped harassing Rebecca, for instance, after a year and some months. This isn’t just about silencing, it’s about punishment – making EVERY woman and ally on the internet wary of speaking out. They’re not spoiled dogs with no responsibility for their own behavior.

    Why you’re wrong has been addressed:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/02/28/dont-feed-the-trolls-is-bad-science/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/07/12/why-we-have-to-talk-about-this/

  147. 147
    Monsanto

    I don’t remember ever having commented on your blog before, although I have on several others. I hate your having to leave because of the abuse, and I hope that you make it back eventually. Happy interim.

  148. 148
    The Nerd

    You are an amazing and inspirational person. Take care of yourself, because you’re worth it.

  149. 149
    sunnybook3

    I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said already, but I wanted to add another voice of support in the hopes that it helps in some small way. Add me to the list of people who will miss your blogging and who hope that you will be happier by taking a break–no matter how long or how short it is. Be well.

  150. 150
    gedwarren

    Jen – these haters wouldn’t keep coming at you if you were’nt challenging their cherished beliefs. You’re one of the few really making a difference on the web. I’m sorry to see the price you’ve been paying is so high. Best of luck and hope to read you again before too long!

  151. 151
    Julien Rousseau

    You did not fail us, you did not (and do not) owe us anything yet you gave us a lot.

    My reaction to you and all those saying that they prefer not to be part of the atheist community (or just of the atheist blogosphere) because of the vileness of parts of it is to say that it is our job as a community to make it a welcoming community and we can’t expect people to want in until we do so.

    You helped a lot toward that goal and for that I am grateful.

    As a more general comment I think a lot of it is due to the constant nature of it, where we have a few very visible persons taking a lot of the hate all year long where the haters can concentrate on those relatively few and tag team to keep the pressure up.

    In return, tag teaming to allow people to get some well deserved rest might be necessary, and hopefully it will organically happen with the atheism+ 101 forum.

  152. 152
    carpenterman

    You haven’t failed, Miss McCreight. Not us, not anyone. This is a war of ideas, and the haters are dug in deep. A stratigic withdrawal does not mean you’ve lost the fight, not by a long shot.
    I was very late to the party as far as the internet goes, and this is something about it I really hate; the complete cover of anonymity it gives mean-spirited bullies who would never dare spew their venom if they actually had to do it face-to-face. Cowards, every one of them.
    But I’m no coward. So I thank you. I, Lewis Decker of Millington N.J., say thank you. Keep on working, keep on playing, keep on loving. You’re going to do great things. Indeed, you already have.

  153. 153
    vikingrunner

    I personally have never liked just joining into a chorus of “yeah, me too!” and “well said”, but it’s important to do so. Hateful people never hold themselves back from expressing their hatred just because someone else has already said the same thing. Much the opposite.

    I never thought of it that way before. I don’t think that more positive comments would really have cancelled out the wave of hatred; it would help certainly but depression doesn’t really work that way that it can be warded off by positive thinking if there’s something there to trigger it. But it would have helped, at least. You’ve really given me something to think about here.

    Jen, take care of yourself. You’ve given a lot, and you have inspired a lot of people. I can’t think of anything else specific to say right now, except that people care about you and what happens to you and we want you to recover from this. As somebody said above, you planted a seed for a community that will be ready and waiting to receive you if/when you are ready to return.

  154. 154
    Pierce R. Butler

    Those bastards – they’ve gagged* Jenny!

    (Sorry – I don’t even watch South Park…)

    Take care of yourself, and do what feels good so that you feel good.

    *In both senses of the word

  155. 155
    nikoelstevens

    Wow, all of these comments are making me tear up.

    We’re going to miss you so much Jen and I for one have been amazed at the strength it took to get this far. I don’t know that I could do it and I’m in awe of all you’ve accomplished and grateful A+ came out of all this. You’ve been a huge inspiration and we’ve all been the better for getting to experience your brain and heart.

    Take care of yourself and we’ll see you soon.

  156. 156
    carlie

    I don’t know why this is complicated. It’s like a mooching dog – they’ll keep at it until you give in, and when you finally do, that’ll reinforce the behavior for a long time.

    There are plenty of other people around who will keep bashing the dog on the head with a rolled-up newspaper. And it’s not a mooching dog, it’s a frothy-mouthed rabid one who keeps taking huge chunks out of her leg every time she leaves the house, if you want to keep on with that analogy.

  157. 157
    David Marjanović

    What everyone has been saying.

    *theatrically lifting rock hammer*

    Écrasons l’infâme !

    A consideration: in a couple days, after this thread slows down, it may be a good idea to turn off commenting on all threads until you return. Otherwise there will be a bunch of trolls which you’ll have to see when you get back, and which others will feel they have to patrol this blog to spar with in your absence.

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

  158. 158
    joshuabennett

    You are entertaining, well spoken and courageous. Your blog is one that I check on a daily basis for updates and I’ll miss it immensely. I support your decision though; and hope the haters take up knitting too.

  159. 159
    kaboobie

    As a fellow sufferer of depression, I understand completely. You have already put up with infinitely more than I could ever have dealt with. Take care of yourself, and I will do what I can to keep pushing back at the misogynists who are ruining the atheist community for so many. And I will join the atheism+ forums and do what I can there to help educate people. You have inspired me in so many ways, and I thank you for that.

  160. 160
    Danial

    We’ll miss you, take care of yourself. Thanks for fighting the good fights for so long.

  161. 161
    fmcp

    Jen, I’m delurking because I want to send a little love your way, not as a feminist (although I am), an atheist (that too) or a skeptic (of course). I want to thank you as a person who has also fought depression since childhood. It is so incredibly hard to find the courage to put yourself first when depression rears its ugly head, and those of us who deal with it need out role models who know how important that is.

    And Jasper, on behalf of anyone with a mood disorder who cried on reading your comment, go and shite.

  162. 162
    opposablethumbs

    I’m another mostly-lurker-only-occasional-commenter. Just wanted to add my thanks to you, Jen, and to say I’m sorry. I wish you well and hope to read you again, whenever and wherever you see fit.

    The shits harassing JM are so far gone in hate that they would rather try to silence an atheist activist – undermining the very movement they claim to care about – than hear a woman speak. They are despicable.

  163. 163
    MadScutter

    Take care Jen. Sorry that you’ve had to deal with all of this crap.

    I’ll certainly keep your site bookmarked and hope to see more from you when the dust settles. But if you never get back to it, that’s fine too. You’ve gotta do what makes sense for you. :-)

    Best of luck in whatever you do!

  164. 164
    CT Chimako.27

    Well, fuck. I’ll miss your posts.

  165. 165
    mattee

    I’m really sorry to see you go, Jen. You have been funny and interesting and brave and inspiring. Take care. I hope you’ll be back eventually, but whatever happens, you should be really proud of the difference you’ve made.

  166. 166
    lucifermourning

    as a regular reader (who rarely comments), i just wanted to say how sorry i am to hear you are going. yours has always been the blog on FTB that i made a point of catching up on whenever i was away for awhile and fell behind. your posts have been consistently interesting and thought-provoking, and i love you work.

    i wish you all the best in your future activities, and that stopping blogging gives you what you need to recover and move forward with everything else you do.

    thank you again for all your amazing work.

  167. 167
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    You rock, Jen. I bet you rock even when you aren’t blogging. It’s OK to fall back on this front. We’ve got it.
     
    And good luck with that PhD.

  168. 168
    Bernard Bumner

    And very little of it was relevant to my point. The closest he got was pointing out that others have to pick up where she left off – which is problematic, at best, in terms of actually happening.

    No. It isn’t. Your post was chiding and unhelpful. Whatever you meant it to be, it came across as that.

    Had you simply asked whether we or others need to do something in response to Jen taking a(n indefinite) break from blogging, then that would be a different matter. You didn’t. You very much appeared to characterise this as some sort of personal failure, and that is not only wrong, but also potentially harmful.

    I’ll address your earlier response, because I still feel as though you’re being unhelpful:

    …I’m pointing out the simple fact that this is going to add more fuel to the flames for those who are actively trying to shut them down. The tactic has worked, and therefore, they’ll push even harder.

    In doing so, you’re placing an untenable burden upon the victim of this situation. The haters haven’t won in any objective sense; what they consider to be a victory is very obviously bullying and harassment to those of us in our right minds. Their victory is simply to further demonstrate just how reprehensible their behaviour has been.

    If the goal was overcome those hordes of idiots, this action falls short of that goal – hence, failure.

    The goal is to oppose them and to make a positive difference to the atheist community. Jen has done that more than most, and is continuing to do that. Of course, her own well-being must come before any of that.

    This action falls short of nothing. No one has a duty to place their own health and safety on the line for this cause. Jen is simply retiring from blogging for her own sake, and good luck to her, I say.

    She has another life away from this to be getting on with.

    …meaning, she’ll stop after that. She is going silent – that, they admits bluntly, is due to the misogyny/harassment.

    She will do whatever she wants.

    If her name is synonymous with the ideals that unify a movement she helped to form, then I don’t think they have succeeded in really silencing her.

    She is giving up blogging (for now, forever?), and we have no right to criticise her for doing so, for any reason.

    Even if she only takes a month off, they’ll see that as a success, and will only come at her with more intensity when she returns.

    So what? Who cares what they think? Their behaviour is pathologically unreasonable.

    Jen gets to decide what is right for Jen, given the circumstances. Has she been coerced? Yes. But you cannot simply pretend that there is some right or wrong way to deal with this situation. This is no failure, and your insistence that she is doing the wrong thing is simply smugly insensitive crowing.

    She has decided that enough is enough. That is beyond criticism.

    …but the colleagues are going to feel more of that heat.

    And it is up to them to decide what their limits of endurance are.

    Actually, I’m not sure that there is any validity to the idea that the haters have some finite amount of vitriol to distribute equally to each of their targets. I don’t think anyone else is going to receive the Jen’s-share of abuse in response to this.

    Jen (amongst others) is the subject of an unusually intense campaign of hatred (even if the tactics are all too familiar).

    This isn’t a game. It has real consequences.

    Too fucking right! And it is repugnant to ask anyone to jeopardise their future for the sake of this movement.

    If too many people stop holding the line, the enemy can break through.

    War Games are for children. In the real world, people have limits and they have other concerns and responsibilities beyond blogs like this.

    If you want to do something, then go out and try to make the world a better place. Follow Jen’s example, or do what you think is right for yourself.

    What are you actually doing to fight those battles that you think others are in danger of losing?

  169. 169
  170. 170
    gussnarp

    No matter what, you rock, Jen. Take care of yourself and your needs, you owe us nothing, you haven’t failed us, it is asshole men who want to own the banner of atheism who have failed atheism and society at large. I hope I get to read more of your writing, but you shouldn’t let this online insanity infect your real life. You have an education, a career, and relationships that are more important.

  171. 171
    Ulgaa

    Sorry to see you go, I will miss your posts. Take care of yourself. Just going to leave THIS here. Guaranteed to cause a smile or two.

  172. 172
    matthewsmith

    Jen, thank you for all your hard work. I’m sorry that things have turned out this way–the world needs more people with your skills and ideals. I hope the day will come when you feel comfortable writing about all your topics of interest in public. Until then, let me know if there’s anything that can be done to help.

  173. 173
    Pteryxx

    See also:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/09/05/must-be-this-tough-to-ride/

    It’s meant to drive us out of the conversation. It’s meant to shut down people without the time and energy, people without enough social support, people without the most resilient mental health and exclude them from the discussions of what sort of political space(s) atheism can occupy or how the movement will conduct itself. It’s meant to keep us from experiencing any peace until we pack up and leave.

  174. 174
    Pteryxx

    Ulgaa’s link in #171 is a Funniest of Spaceballs compilation. Checked briefly and okayed. ;>

  175. 175
    MSex

    Hi, Jen. I’m a long time lurker from Brazil. I just want to asure you that you failed no one. On the contrary, for some time now you have educated and inspired me. I realy understand the need you to step back from all the hatred. Take care of yourself and good luck. o/

  176. 176
    Parse

    Jen,
    You’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty, and taken far more abuse than you deserve (which, for the record, is none). This is not a failure on your part; it’s a failure of the humanity and empathy of the bullies who pushed you to this.
    Though I will miss your contributions, I’d much rather you have your mental health instead.
    Thank you.

  177. 177
    otrame

    Jen

    You haven’t failed. What you have done is cause hundreds of people to delurk to say, Jen you are right, Jen this is a good idea, Jen thank you for the quality of your ideas and the quality of your writing. I could tell watching the video last week that you were concentrating on the haters instead of the voices of support and it upset me to see that. We could all say “ignore them” but that is so easy to say and damned hard to do.

    I guess I just want to remind you that you have accomplished much, but you don’t owe us a damned thing. We owe you. You stood up in the firestorm as long as you could. I’m proud of you, young woman. Now go do some real life work for a while and forget about all this shit. I assure you the fight is not over. Those pathetiic, weak-minded fools who think splattering their vile abuse around is going to stop us from calling them on their hatred are going to find out that they are wrong. Again. They are always wrong.

  178. 178
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Fuck you, jarjar.

  179. 179
    leftwingfox

    I’m so sorry this has reached this point. You’ve done great and important work for the community. Just know that for all the hate, harassment and bullshit, there’s a lot of people who respect and appreciate you.

    Take care of yourself; all of us who appreciate your work will keep pushing forward.

  180. 180
    darwinharmless

    I am also a reformed former somewhat male chauvinist pig who has come to understand something of the situation faced by women, and I look back at some of my past thinking and behavior with pain and embarrassment. That is not so much thanks to you but also thanks to you, and women like you.

    Jen, I now count myself as a supporter of A+ and that’s thanks to you. Such a long way from anything resembling failure. You have accomplished more than you know, and already have a legacy that will live on even if you never think another thought or write another word. Thank you. Thank you for helping to make me a better person.

    As others have suggested, we should be able to do something about this situation. An organization of actual human beings acting as gate keepers would be so much better than algorithms or filters for specific words. If anybody puts this together, please contact me. I’d be happy to volunteer some of my time. We need to protect our people, and make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else.

    But Jen, take a break. Rest. Heal. Come back stronger. We love you.

  181. 181
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    And Jen, just in case you need some actually supportive Freddie Mercury, this is for you.

    You are a champion

  182. 182
    ilariagiovacchini

    de-lurking just to send you (((hugs))).
    And my thanks for the enormous job you’ve done. You’re not the one who failed.

  183. 183
    allisondellion

    This really sucks. Jen, you are by far the closest thing I have to feeling represented in the atheist community. We are the same age bracket, we’re both from Indiana, and we’re both females. In your voice, I heard my opinions echoed and it felt good to finally find someone else who not only could I relate to, but we felt the same way. I loved when you brought up crazy news from Indiana while only being a smidge jealous that you ‘escaped’ for Seattle. I only know a small fraction of what it’s like to be harassed online everyday (my ex-roommates created an “Allison is a cunt” group online), so I know what an absolute detrimental toll this must have taken on your life and your relationships. You’ll always be a part of us.

  184. 184
    piratefish

    I’ll try to say this without hurting your feelings+: Jen, I completely support you in this move, and I for one joyfully welcome your decision. This is wonderful news. Best of luck to you in whatever endeavors+ you pursue in the future. Oh, and as you’re going is there any chance you can talk any of those other apostles you hang with to join you? You go, girl. Really… just go.

  185. 185
    Yukimi

    Thansk for everything you’ve done and will continue to do. You haven’t failed us, you’ve created something very good with your words that will continue to grow.

  186. 186
    Arkady

    I’m sorry you won’t be blogging any more, and I hope you can take as much time as you need (can I selfishly hope for a few guest-posts on other blogs if the urge takes you?).

    Personally, I was amazed you managed to maintain a blog while being a grad student! I’m in the final stages of my (UK, 4 year) PhD and barely even get time to comment, let alone maintain anything like this. Much respect, and I hope you come back to it someday.

    This, and other feminist etc. blogs showed me that the bastards aren’t in charge, and we can fight back. I’ve had to deal with some pretty unpleasant meatspace crap and the fights online over the last year gave me a lot more confidence on dealing with the arseholes in my life (sexual harrassment from a fellow student in the form of prude-shaming, another student who gets gropey on nights out and gets all upset if you don’t want him to drape his arm around you, with the arm creeping ever lower…)

  187. 187
    Bernard Bumner

    Goodbye… [burble, burble, ha-ha!].

    jarjar, no one needs to see you smearing your own shit around as though it was chocolate sauce, you callous wanker.

    This is just more evidence that you lack the ability to participate in grown-up activities.

    You go, girl. Really… just go.

    piratefish, you seem to have a little chocolate sauce on your… Oh, never mind.

  188. 188
    Scr... Archivist

    Jen, thank you for everything you’ve done so far, for atheism and for social justice and for science. Do what you need to do to stay healthy. I can’t find the post, but I think it was Greta who recently wrote that we in the audience are not owed the work that you do. Your time and effort is your own, so the call is yours and always will be.

    I believe that you have done a lot of good work to create an _inviting_ atheism, from Boobquake to Atheism+. I also believe that even your indirect actions to come will also help expand the reach of reason, even if they don’t include such visible efforts. The alienating atheists may be loud, but do not forget that your work so far has certainly opened doors for others who were put off by their noise. As these formerly-alienated people have participated more, it isn’t something that is easily noticed. But I firmly believe that you will hear from more and more of them over the years.

    During the years I’ve been reading you, you have done a lot to take care of the atheist movement. You have done much good, and always will have. But now, you’re a human being, too. I want you to be somewhere safe, to have a room of your own. With Pixel and the people in your immediate life, you will be able to secure that space and live normally like any person should do. Believe me, Jen, your future lies with them as much, and probably more, than it does with us out here.

    One day, perhaps, you will come back. Yes, maybe you’ll be back, although that will always remain your choice. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

  189. 189
    rickwayne

    Posted to Facebook:

    ———
    The Blag Hag is quitting.

    Yes, Jen McCreight, originator of BoobQuake and Atheism+, is terminating her blog because she says she no longer can take the hate that gushes every time she writes something. We are much the poorer for the loss of her voice.

    No one who reads this is to blame. I vowed that my Facebook friends would be real friends, and I don’t and won’t have any haters among them. But perhaps you know someone who’s a little less temperate online than they should be. I appeal to you to have a chat with them about the line between advocacy and animus, between sarcasm and sadism, between free speech and hate speech.
    ——–

    Thanks, Jen. And don’t beat yourself up about this. You have made a one-in-a-million difference already, which is to say if you totally walked away today you’d still have done more for us than the vast supermajority of us ever will. And you still practically a kid!

    I’ll miss you, but I won’t forget what I owe to you.

  190. 190
    greggbender

    I’m very sorry to hear it, but I completely understand, Jen. I can’t add anything to all the support above. It’s all been said.

  191. 191
    roxanemurray

    Take care of yourself, and stay strong. The world needs you.

  192. 192
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Jen:

    Thanks for all you’ve done so far. I hope you resume blogging again, but only if you find it joyful. We’ll try to clean up the place while you’re away. Maybe it won’t smell like jarjar when you get back.

    The best of everything for you.

  193. 193
    Fireholder

    I saw a post from someone on Facebook. I’ve never heard of you, BoobQuake, or Atheism+. Skimming through the hordes of comments on this post has served to show me just what I’ve been missing.
    So, I created an account just to tell you that you’re free to do as you please, and to NEVER feel sorry for doing what you feel you must do.

    Always remember these three rules:

    1. Do as you will, so long as your intent is not to harm.
    2. Never cut yourself down. (even jokingly)
    3. Apologize ONLY for what is within your control.

    Just reading your post here, and the comments after it, has urged me to join this movement. I have been quite active on Facebook in the atheist/anti-religion community. I now have a non-Facebook venue to help support. While I currently may not have much time to dedicate to this cause, as I’m about to start my fifth semester in college, I will do all within my capabilities to assist the cause.

    I have a unique and intelligent mind that operates chiefly on logic, guided by an ever-evolving moral compass. My professional and academic expertise is in IT/Networking, and I hope to utilize those skills to further this movement.

    Good luck to you, and may we see the light of your presence some time in the future. Stay healthy, try to be happy, you have THOUSANDS of people beside you for support. You’ve only to ask. :-)

  194. 194
    stealthbadger

    *HUGS*

    ._.

  195. 195
    gjgbur

    I’m sorry to see you step away from blogging, but it is perfectly understandable considering the unjust attacks you’ve been forced to put up with. I hope you keep in mind that there are plenty of us out here that support you in your decisions and endeavors, whatever they may be.

    I hope you feel better soon, and best wishes to you.

  196. 196
    Tabby Lavalamp

    All the best in whatever the future brings you. Thank you for one of my favourite blogs, and thank you for putting up with misogynist scum for as long as you have.

  197. 197
    Mocha

    First, you have not failed anyone. You deserve a break from all this vitrol and to take care of yourself.

    Second, you will be missed. I have enjoyed reading what you have to say, and I hope that you will eventually be able to blog about all the things with out having to worry about people being so hateful.

  198. 198
    ulrikahedman

    Dear Jen,
    I’m one of your anonymous readers. Though I can’t remember if I have ever left a positive comment on one of your posts (probobly not), I wan’t you to know I’ve really appreciated your blog. For the insights in your PhD career, for taking a sceptical stand, for arguing for atheism, for exposing sexism. Giving up blogging is not a failure. You’ve taken more crap than anybody should have to take, and lasted longer than most. Thank you.

  199. 199
    Jasper of Maine

    144. Caine, Fleur du mal says:

    I’ll have a guess – you don’t grok the complexity (or the simplicity) of trying to deal with a massive campaign of threats and slurs every day for over a year because you’re happily privileged and have never had to cope with something like that.

    You’re mistaken about which side I’m talking about. I agree – what Jen has to deal with is compliated. The antagonist side, however, is fairly straight forward in terms of how they’ll react, which is what I’ve been talking about.

    A lot of people on the net have had meatspace stalkers. A lot of people on the net have had net stalkers. I’ve had both in my life and it’s tremendously stressful. You literally have *no* idea of just how stressful it is and Jen is not dealing with a single nasty asshole of a stalker.

    You’re right, although this has no relevance to my point.

    The fact that you resent Jen taking care of herself is a good indicator that now is a prime time to shut up. If you don’t get it, fine. Just shut up, because you are not helping.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. I pointed out a very real and straight forward consequence to her decision, regardless of how I might feel about it – which is, by the way, that I support her looking after herself.

    146. Pteryxx says:

    And do you understand why it’s dismissive to ‘state the obvious’ at a group of people with extensive personal experience?

    How is it dismissive when you were the one to made that statement? “We KNOW that. Duh. Jen knows that. Rebecca knows that. Every woman who has to decide whether to report or not knows that. “. I was agreeing with you. What prompted my original statement was that it seemed to me as though people weren’t considering it.

    You’re not only being dismissive, you’re wrong. They haven’t stopped harassing Rebecca, for instance, after a year and some months. This isn’t just about silencing, it’s about punishment – making EVERY woman and ally on the internet wary of speaking out.

    Rebecca hasn’t gone silent, has she? I watched a Google hangout with her just last week. That’s kind of the point. Do you honestly think that if a tactic they’re trying succeeds that won’t influence them to do it more? Are you that naive?

    They’re not spoiled dogs with no responsibility for their own behavior.

    Now you’re just taking the analogy too far. “He’s fast like a cheetah!” – “He doesn’t have a tail and have spots on his fur, you idiot!”

    Why you’re wrong has been addressed:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/02/28/dont-feed-the-trolls-is-bad-science/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/07/12/why-we-have-to-talk-about-this/

    This is curious, because this is in 100% agreement with what I’ve been saying.

    Yes, silence is a reaction, which is the third problem with the feeding metaphor. Not only is it behavior, but it is highly rewarding behavior to trolls. The important thing to remember about trolls is their purpose. It isn’t to get attention for themselves per se. It is to control the conversation.

    And in the second post:

    In fact, when I’m in a cynical, pessimistic mood, I often think that this exhaustion is part of the point. The really grossly sexist men — not the genuinely well-meaning men who don’t yet get this stuff and are struggling with it, but the seriously hostile, hateful, deeply entrenched in their misogyny men — are trying to get us so sick of the backlash, and so daunted by the prospect of having to deal with it one more freaking time, that we don’t ever want to bring it up again. They are trying to wear us down.

    But to the people who are getting discouraged by this fight — and this may be the most important point I have to make about all this — there is one more reason we have to keep talking about this:

    Talking about it works.

    These posts don’t contradict what I’ve been saying. They agree with me.

    168 .Bernard Bumner says:

    And very little of it was relevant to my point. The closest he got was pointing out that others have to pick up where she left off – which is problematic, at best, in terms of actually happening.

    No. It isn’t. Your post was chiding and unhelpful. Whatever you meant it to be, it came across as that.

    It’s your prerogative to think that.

    Had you simply asked whether we or others need to do something in response to Jen taking a(n indefinite) break from blogging, then that would be a different matter. You didn’t. You very much appeared to characterise this as some sort of personal failure, and that is not only wrong, but also potentially harmful.

    Perhaps, but I’m not going to shy away from critisism because it may hurt someone’s feelings. You seem to want to have a different discussion with me than what I’m having.

    I’ll address your earlier response, because I still feel as though you’re being unhelpful:

    Pointing out a bad consequence to an otherwise needed decision may have limited helpfullness, but it’s better than ignoring that fact.

    In doing so, you’re placing an untenable burden upon the victim of this situation. The haters haven’t won in any objective sense; what they consider to be a victory is very obviously bullying and harassment to those of us in our right minds. Their victory is simply to further demonstrate just how reprehensible their behaviour has been.

    I am placing no burden. I recognized that she needs to take care of herself first here (“you gotta do what you gotta do” – remember?). If someone on the front lines is shot and injured, the medics come carry that person away to recuperate. Whether we think that solider deserved to be aided or not has zero relevancy on whether or not the line is weakened because of it.

    If the goal was to shut people up and shut them down – then yes, they were successful. They won. But I suppose we can redefine the failure away, if you like.

    The goal is to oppose them and to make a positive difference to the atheist community. Jen has done that more than most, and is continuing to do that. Of course, her own well-being must come before any of that.

    This action falls short of nothing. No one has a duty to place their own health and safety on the line for this cause. Jen is simply retiring from blogging for her own sake, and good luck to her, I say.

    She has another life away from this to be getting on with.

    I agree. Irrelevant to my point, though. One can have multiple goals and fail/succeed on different ones.

    She will do whatever she wants.

    If her name is synonymous with the ideals that unify a movement she helped to form, then I don’t think they have succeeded in really silencing her.

    She is giving up blogging (for now, forever?), and we have no right to criticise her for doing so, for any reason.

    I agree. Irrelevant to my point, though.

    Well, I disagree that we don’t have a right to critisize her. Of course I do. I can point out that the decision will add fuel to the flame and negatively affect her colleagues – even if on a personal level, she sorely needs the recuparation.

    So what? Who cares what they think? Their behaviour is pathologically unreasonable.

    Apparently the protagonists do. I reference the original post, and Jen’s taking a break.

    Jen gets to decide what is right for Jen, given the circumstances. Has she been coerced? Yes. But you cannot simply pretend that there is some right or wrong way to deal with this situation. This is no failure, and your insistence that she is doing the wrong thing is simply smugly insensitive crowing.

    She has decided that enough is enough. That is beyond criticism.

    As I explained above, it’s not beyond critisism. Even the best projects can be critiqued. Otherwise, I agree.

    And it is up to them to decide what their limits of endurance are.

    That’s true. And due to Jen’s decision, they’ll now have a greater burden.

    Actually, I’m not sure that there is any validity to the idea that the haters have some finite amount of vitriol to distribute equally to each of their targets. I don’t think anyone else is going to receive the Jen’s-share of abuse in response to this.

    They have infinite time during a day, and internet bandwidth? Wow. They’re magical.

    Jen (amongst others) is the subject of an unusually intense campaign of hatred (even if the tactics are all too familiar).

    That’s true.

    Too fucking right! And it is repugnant to ask anyone to jeopardise their future for the sake of this movement.

    That’s true. Good thing I haven’t done that – that I’ve clarified for the third time now.

    War Games are for children. In the real world, people have limits and they have other concerns and responsibilities beyond blogs like this.

    I agree. My analogy above covers that.

    If you want to do something, then go out and try to make the world a better place. Follow Jen’s example, or do what you think is right for yourself.

    What are you actually doing to fight those battles that you think others are in danger of losing?

    Not a whole lot. I’m practically omnipriviledged, so I don’t have a whole lot of content yet. I need people like Jen on the “front lines” to set direction. That doesn’t mean I can’t make observations/critiques, though. She’s wounded and that’s being addressed, and rightly so.

    I’m seeing this curious trend where people are inventing things to be angry at with my posts, like they’re arguing with an empty char version of me.

  200. 200
    smhll

    I hope you can find real and virtual places to dwell where it “rains happiness” (as a delightful alternative to places where it rains shit). I want your life to be full of joy and of delightful people. And kittens or squid or whatever you prefer.

  201. 201
    see_the_galaxy

    Take care of yourself. I hope you choose to come back one day, because you’re 100 percent
    in the right, and doing good work. In my view, these haters (the actual atheists among them,
    and the secret Christian trolls) are much more interested in promoting their conservatism
    than anything else. This is all fallout from thunderf00t’s disastrous tenure here. I think
    he and his ilk have a lot to answer for.

  202. 202
    Ophelia Benson

    Well shit. Take care of yourself, Jen.

  203. 203
    amandamilstein

    Hang in there. I don’t blame you one bit. You need to take care of yourself first. We love you, be healthy!

    In the meantime, we’ve got big shoes to fill. It’s gonna take a lot of us… *rolls up sleeves*

  204. 204
    Bernard Bumner

    I’m seeing this curious trend where people are inventing things to be angry at with my posts, like they’re arguing with an empty char version of me.

    Probably, like me, they’re trying to work out what your point is.

    You claim to be offering a critique whilst also claiming that you’re not trying to tell anyone how it should be done.

    What is your point?

  205. 205
    ibbica

    All those people who keep mentioning ‘extinction bursts’ and the like are absolutely incorrect. Such over-simplifications provide woefully insufficient explanations for the near-unbelievable vitriol and hatred flowing from some people. We are not talking about a misbehaving puppy, nor about a child’s tantrum after being told they can’t have a sweet; this is not an isolated individual we’re talking about. This is quite demonstrably not a case of ‘keep ignoring it and it’ll stop’, ‘keep punishing it and it’ll stop’, or even ‘keep explaining to this person that they’re wrong and they’ll stop doing it’. If it were one individual there might be something to these sorts of ideas, but group behaviour simply does not work like that. I for one would appreciate a little additional thought on the part of people who keep insisting that there’s a simple fix and that we would all get along so well if you’d just shut up and ignore it or yell louder and punish it or explain patiently and compromise!

    Jen, I for one am sorry to see you go. I’ll add my voice to those insisting that this is not a failing on your part. It is certainly not your fault that such hateful behaviour is being displayed and even encouraged, that such vitriol could be produced by inviting people to recognize others’ basic humanity. No-one deserves to be the target of this sort of bullshit, and no-one should be forced to deal with it.

    You certainly haven’t “let” anyone “win”. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy fighting against a concerted effort to lie and cheat and abuse the rules of a ‘game’ played by a group of individuals perpetuating toxic ideas and displaying vile behaviours. All while some of those looked upon as “referees” of sorts (to strain a metaphor) have been allowing the cheating to persist, encouraging it with a wink and a smile.

    There is no shame to be had in refusing to play an injust, biased game overrun by swindlers; there is no shame in refusing to act as the equivalent of a punching bag for those who refuse to acknowledge that punching hurts.

    I hope your break is restful, wish you all the best, and hope you’ll continue to help make the world a better place, even if you choose to avoid the spotlights.

  206. 206
    jose

    This is unfortunate.

  207. 207
    timothywilliamson

    Don’t let the terrorists win, Jennifer! Take some time off, but come back and write with renewed passion.

  208. 208
    Onamission5

    Take care of yourself, Jen.

  209. 209
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I’m so sorry, Jen. I’ve loved your work for a long time now, and I’ll miss reading your posts, but you have to do what’s healthiest and safest for you. You haven’t let anyone win, you’re just not playing their rigged game. Be safe, take care, and know that there’s a whole lot of people who do think you’re amazing, and wish you well. If you do come back, your supporters will be here for you.

  210. 210
    graaahh

    Jen,

    I made an account just to say I’m sorry for all the crap you’ve taken. It’s obviously not deserved. I’m glad you’re taking whatever steps are necessary to get your life under control and avoid the jackasses who are threatening you or your loved ones, even if that does mean I’ll miss reading your blog posts.

    I think I can speak for the whole A+ community in saying that we’ll be here for you, and if you want to continue to blog or write on the A+ forum, your writings would be well received (though obviously, do what makes you happy :) )

    Hope everything turns out well for you.

  211. 211
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jasper, go fuck yourself. When your first impulse is to pile on somebody who’s gasping for breath that says something ugly, selfish, and dark about you.

  212. 212
    Pteryxx

    Jasper of Maine, if you MUST keep going on and on for pages about how misunderstood you are, take it to the Thunderdome on Pharyngula. If you actually want to know in good faith the difference between simply recognizing social justice fatigue as a factor versus impugning the targets for letting down The Movement, go to the 101 section of A+, or to Stephanie’s post on the subject:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/09/05/must-be-this-tough-to-ride/

    This has derailed Jen’s thread long enough.

  213. 213
    Leo Buzalsky

    Jen, I can completely understand not wanting to blog anymore. On the positive side, perhaps you will have more time to focus on atheism+, and that may be more valuable to the atheist community at this point in time.

  214. 214
    eduardode oliveira padoan

    I rarely comment, but I wanted to say that your blog is one of best reads on my feed reader. I’ll miss it. Thanks for everything and take care.

  215. 215
    Morgan

    Jen, I’m really sorry to see this, I hope things get better for you soon, and I hope it’ll be possible for you to return to blogging before too long. At first I wasn’t sure there was any point in saying anything – if I didn’t speak up before, etc. etc. – but to hell with that; you’re an important voice and I’ll miss hearing from you.

  216. 216
    jackjesberger

    It is empirically false that Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

    I begin to wonder if there’s something more like PTSD and battle fatigue rather than simple burnout that happens in this arena.
    R&R is one thing, and its an important thing, but there’s a difference between tired and wounded, between exhausted and a casualty.

    I’m not even saying you are one or the other Jen, but watching all this is making me increasingly certain that there ARE casualties in all this. If so, then we should give some thought to how we deal with that.

    I mean, It’s one thing to walk up to somebody who’s running on fumes and say, You need a rest, feel free to take a break.
    It’s another thing to say that to someone that just got a broken arm. (I need a REST??!! Gee, ya THINK! Hey genius, somewhere in that amazing brain is the knowledge of how to make splint or dial 911?

    I know that I’m flirting with hyperbole here, or at least of being accused of it, but there aren’t many good metaphors for what I’m talking about. This might not be Omaha Beach, but it turns out not to have been mumbletypeg either. People actually get injured, not just hurt; even then eventually just being hurt and in pain results in a kind of injury if it’s intense enough and goes on long enough. There comes a point where even if your not prone to depression or the like, it is still too much.

    I can’t say I know exactly what to do about this. (Knowing my car is broken isn’t the same as knowing how to fix it.) Being supportive is great and absolutely necessary. Giving permission to take breaks is important too, but so is actual first aid, and I think maybe we need to think about what that means, especially to victims of the kind of emotional artillery barrages we’re talking about here.

    My first thought: maybe we have some more clinically inclined psychologists from the atheist/skeptic community that could weigh in with their expertise.

    I mean, if this is going to be a fight whether we like it or not, we are going to have to address this.

  217. 217
    Stray Cat

    Hey Japser of Maine. You’re really being horribly self-involved. This isn’t about you and your little beefs. Let it the fuck go.

  218. 218
    goadl

    I will miss your writing and will look forward to your return.

    Best wishes,
    Lloyd

  219. 219
    uncannyvalet

    Jen, please, you have not failed. Count me as someone who has been inspired by you and what you’ve helped accomplish, and I hope to help keep the movement alive and strong!

  220. 220
    christiansteenhorst-baker

    You don’t owe anyone an apology, Jen. You do what you need to do for your health. I’m so sad that you’ve been driven to this by ignorant, immature assholes. Assholes who we all thought we were on the same side with.

    Good luck and good health to you.

  221. 221
    Blueaussi

    I’m so sorry you’re being put through this, you have been an inspiration to so many of us! You are more important than any blog you could ever write, though, so do what is right for you.

    Go get some kitty purrs, relax, and be well.

  222. 222
    Susannah

    I am so sorry they’ve done this to you. But they haven’t won. You have inspired so many of us to join the battle. Thank you.

    Quitting isn’t failure; it’s part of the battle strategy. Rest, recuperate, breathe, restore your energies. You need that. You can’t run forever on empty.

    And when it’s time, you’ll come roaring back, I know. Maybe not to the blogs, which will be our loss, but wherever your passion takes you, we’ll follow.

    Thank you, again, Jen!

  223. 223
    ischemgeek

    Thanks for all you’ve done and will continue to do on the activism front. Please don’t feel bad or like you’ve failed us: You haven’t. You’ve done great good through the blog, and I’m sure will continue to do great good through the forum and speaking.

    Take care of yourself, and never feel bad about it. In first aid courses, the first thing they teach you is to make sure rescuing the casualty won’t result in you becoming a casualty, too, because you can’t help anyone if you get yourself badly hurt in the process. Likewise, here, the first think you should do is take care of your mental and physical well-being. You can’t help any cause if you’re incapacitated with burnout.

  224. 224
    skeptifem

    I bet I’ll be seeing you later jen. The break will be good for you.

    Blogging While Female is hazardous to mental health…

  225. 225
    jubalmolina

    I’m sorry to see you stop blogging. It pains me that you had to deal with all those comments.
    I used to think that the skeptic community was above this. It makes me sad, angry and embarrassed to be associated with those people.
    You didn’t failed us, you showed us the ugliness within us and a way to try to be better.
    I like the Atheist+ title. I don’t think it’s a division of the movement but an evolution of it. There are no supernatural creatures watching over us. We need to do it ourselves.

  226. 226
    highdudgeonaz

    I’m another long-time lurker coming out of the woodwork to express my gratitude for the contributions you’ve made to the online atheist community and support for the A+ project. I’m sad that you’re suspending your blogging activity and very angry about the abuse inflicted on you from the gibbering crowd of angry manchildren.

    As others have already said, best wishes, good luck, and good health.

  227. 227
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Jasper:
    At best, at the most charitable possible reading of what you’ve said, my response is: yes. The haters are emboldened by this. But, there is a time and a place for such sentiments, and here is not it. So quiet that noise.

    However.

    No movement, large or small, of any type, has the right to demand more of its participants than they can give. Any person, for any reason, can back off or stop their involvement at any time. Jen has not earned a scolding from you, or from anyone else who is ostensibly on her side. After all – women’s continued involvement in the atheist movement, despite continued vicious harassment, is the very impetus for the A+ movement. So criticizing a woman for deciding that she can’t handle being harassed for trying to rein in the sexism and harassment within the larger atheist movement? Extra problematic.

  228. 228
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Damn. This sucks.

    Jen McCreight – you have my support and my respect and admiration and thanks.

    And as many internet hugs as you want.

    Best wishes and please come back soon reinvigorated and happy and well.

    Oh & *no* you haven’t let anyone down, you’re a (To quote SF series Firefly) big goddamn hero in my eyes.

    Thanks again and respect. (Raised beer salute.)

  229. 229
    Ubi Dubium

    You’ve inspired a lot of us, me included. (I finally started a blog of my own!) It’s time the rest of take up the torch and attack the hate for ourselves, instead of expecting a few brave writers to shoulder the brunt of the attacks.

    Jen, Take whatever break you need, and when you are ready, take on whatever seems most important in whatever way you see fit. I’ve loved your blog, but blogging isn’t the only game in town. You’ve launched a movement that may be opening huge new possibilities for us, and I for one thank you.

  230. 230
    frankboyd

    You know, at the start of this circus some of us warned that those reduced to tears and self-pity by these non-issues would not be worth diddly squat in a real fight.

    Thank you for proving us right.

  231. 231
    Timid Atheist

    Thank you for all that you do and have done, Jen. I know that even if you aren’t blogging, you are making this world a better place because you are doing what you love.

    I came to atheism and feminism because of you. I realized there was more to this world than what is right in front of me, so thank you for starting me on this path.

    Take care of yourself and much love.

  232. 232
    aiabx

    You haven’t failed anything. You rock for pushing awareness this far.

  233. 233
    Pteryxx

    frankboyd: as opposed to those reduced to paroxysms of Manly Rage by a mere ‘no’.

  234. 234
    Sean

    I speak for nobody else here but I fear I’ve been a Good German. I watched the recent conversation PZ uploaded, noted you were clearly under duress, mused on whether it would be an intrusion to send a you an email and then… and then fuck all. Silence. Pathetic silence.

    At the weekend I signed up at A+. Elsewhere I have a modest, unvisited little blog to document my experience of heading back to university. I will speak up. I will write a post in support of an inclusive, positive atheism. I will write it even if nobody ever reads it. I will not be a Good German. I am sorry.

  235. 235
    elvenpiratefish

    You haven’t failed anyone Jen. The only people who’ve failed are the monsters that have been attacking you. They’ve failed at being human beings, and they’ve failed at silencing the push for a more socially conscious Atheism. They may have gotten you to stop blogging, but they aren’t going to silence all of us. We win if for every one of us that they smack down two, three, ten more take their place. It is up to us now to keep up the fight against these troglodytes.

  236. 236
    Rumtopf

    Aw shit, Jen, add this lurker to the list of people who are sad to see you go, I hope you feel better soon.

    Frankboyd, you’re an awful person.

  237. 237
    Christopher Stephens

    Jen, you, along with Greta, were the first atheist bloggers that I ever read, and still my favorites. Your accomplishments in the atheist community have made it an immeasurably better place, and will continue to do so long into the future.

    I admit, my first selfish thought is that the world is worse off without your writing and speaking, but there are two problems with that flawed thinking. First, that the blame for this is entirely on the ranting idiots whose great ambition in life is to terrorize women who “don’t know their place.”

    Second, that the world is emphatically NOT a better place with any woman suffering even the tiniest fraction of the abuse that you continue to suffer. If unplugging from the community that you’ve already given so much to reduces any pain or suffering or even just frustration on your part, then I applaud your decision as the correct one.

    For my part, this decision has itself redoubled my determination to fight these assholes wherever they rear their heads.

  238. 238
    scenario

    Sorry to see you go. Sometimes I agreed with you and sometimes I didn’t but you always made me think. I like having to defend my assumptions to myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot of people in the world who hate to think and hate to have to defend their beliefs and will strike back at anyone who threatens their bubble.

    This is the reason that a lot of people blog anonymously. It’s easier for me to deal with someone attacking scenario than someone attacking the real me.

  239. 239
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    frankboyd:

    You know, at the start of this circus some of us warned that those reduced to tears and self-pity by these non-issues would not be worth diddly squat in a real fight.

    Thank you for proving us right.

    Damn you, you insensitive fuckwitted pissant. Fuck off.
    Why do you take such glee from someone in pain?
    Why do you dismiss the very real venom and vitriol directed to Jen?
    What the fuck is wrong with you to take delight in this?
    Non-issues? Oh, let me guess. This doesn’t affect YOU, so it’s not important. Once again, FUCK. OFF.

  240. 240
    patwilliam

    I’ll be super sad to see you go, but I understand. :(

    I want to personally thank you, because it was through your blog that I discovered skepticism, and brought so much more awesome to my life. If you start blogging again you can bet I’ll be reading. :)

  241. 241
    stevenbey

    frankboyd: you’re scum!!

  242. 242
    Walton

    I sympathize, Jen, as a sufferer from a depressive disorder myself. I, too, find that conflict (online or otherwise) tends to make my depression and anxiety much worse. I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be blogging any more, as I’ve enjoyed your blog in the past, but I also understand the reasons for your decision.

    (Sorry this isn’t a very substantive comment from me… I just wanted to convey my sympathies, really.)

  243. 243
    Sophie

    I’m so sorry to see this happen, Jen, and so angry at the assholes out there who create this miserable situation. I joined the A+ forums a few days ago because I thought it was a fantastic initiative, and I hope I will read your thoughts there from time to time. More than anything, I hope when some time has passed you can scrape this ugliness off your life and feel better and stronger than ever.

  244. 244
    amandajustice

    You’ve made me think, Jen. You’ll be missed. I’m so sorry this happened.

  245. 245
    Susannah

    frankboyd:

    You wouldn’t know a real fight if it knocked at your door and introduced itself.

    You and your ilk always strike me as whiners, crybabies, wimps, who throw a tantrum if anyone so much as implies that they might have to share a sidewalk.

  246. 246
    D-Dave

    De-lurking (and *minorgrumble* getting a password reset on this account) even though this message will probably be lost in the massive outpouring of support above. Somehow, I don’t think that’s a bad thing :)

    Just want to say: All power to you, whatever you choose to do with your spare time. Your writing is awesome, and I’d like to add my name to the list of people who have become better persons in part because of your efforts. Thank-you for everything you’ve done.

    If you’re leaving, even if it’s only temporary, you’re leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. From the outpouring of support, though, I can see that even if no single reader can fill them properly there are a lot of new shoes hitting the pavement thanks in whole or in part to you.

    Whatever you do, wherever you go, I hope you can relax, be happy and be proud of what you’ve accomplished and help to build. You deserve a mantle that’s sagging under the weight of all the achievement awards we could possibly recognize you with, not a shit-dump of, well, all that garbage you’ve been getting slapped with.

    -The Other David B.

  247. 247
    noelhx

    Jen,
    I created an account just to tell you that I will miss you. I started following your blog about a year and a half ago, and it is one of the very few that I keep up with. I can only imagine what you have to go through being out like this. Your ideas have really made me grow as a person, and as a 46 y/o man. I am fully on board with the Atheism+ movement because of you. Never forget that you have had a huge impact, much more than I or most people have, and you are almost half my age. I hope you get the relief and security you need to focus on yourself. Good luck, and thanks for everything!
    Noel

  248. 248
    lesofa

    This is one of the very few blogs that managed to keep me hooked for several years and I’m really thankful for all the time you dedicated to share your thoughts.
    Please don’t feel like this was a waste or a failure, this blog is outstanding and I’m sure our world is a bit better because of it.

    Wish only the best for you! Good luck!

  249. 249
    crowepps

    I find the fact that the misogynist haters have succeeded in driving another woman out of the public forum very depressing.

    I find the fact that there are comments to this post by people who claim to admire Jen blaming and shaming her even more depressing.

    I need people like Jen on the “front lines” to set direction. That doesn’t mean I can’t make observations/critiques, though.”

    REMF’s safe back at base have always specialized in observations/ critiques of those on the front lines. It’s super depressing that Jasper seems to think Jen is obligated to meet his needs, and that he would be so clueless as to respond to this particular post by whining that her being wounded hurts ‘the cause’.

  250. 250
    heicart

    >people have threatened to contact my employer

    I’ve been seeing a flood of this lately–people threatening to violate personal boundaries around these issues. I cannot condemn this type of response enough. If someone writes something you dislike, you WRITE a response. You keep the dialog in the venue where it belongs. Letters to the Editor often include contact data of some sort–such as e-mail addresses or city locations. I’ve heard of cases where people wrote to their local paper only to begin receiving e-mails or calls to their home phone full of hate and anger. It reminds me a bit of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, who ended up in violent confrontations triggered by his capacity to outwit opponents in battles of words. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. If you don’t like what someone writes–you WRITE back. And defend your position intelligently. And if you can’t–a motivation to resort to threats and violating boundaries to try and bully someone because you’re too much of an idiot to make your case intelligently as a response is your own problem that nobody else should EVER have to deal with.

    When a atheist puts themselves out there on a front line–they are already risking something and foregoing some level of privacy that so many other atheists enjoy. To take advantage of that, by using their identity to cause them personal trouble or threaten them is beyond the pale and unforgivably out of line. I use my real name as a public atheist figure, and the thought of someone pursing me into my personal life is sufficient to make me want to shut down my own efforts as well. I’m not willing to risk my job or my family for this cause. i don’t feel that is required of me. And I certainly don’t expect any sane person to use the fact that I’m “out” as an atheist to persecute me in personal arenas of my life. Is this what we’ve come to? We encourage atheists to be out–because it’s useful? Or so we can screw them over as hard as possible for using their real identities, bravely, publicly?

    The people who try to make this personal are sick people adding damage to the community on top of the damage we already cope with from theism. They are the lowest form of life as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have an ounce of respect or regard for them. Even when I was slandered on Youtube, accused of making hateful, bigoted anti-gay remarks (the channel host later admitted it was lies and apologized publicly), I never gave out the identity of the person who did that to me, and I even asked people publicly on the TAE blog, to not pursue abuse of the person if they found them online. I guess I don’t have much more to say. I could go on eternally expressing my disgust with these types. There are no end of ways to describe how reprehensible and how wrong they are. They are lower than dirt.

  251. 251
    maidao-horton

    Jen, you haven’t let me down. You’ve lifted me up.

    Kudos to you, brave lady!

  252. 252
    piratefish

    Walton says:
    September 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM
    I sympathize, Jen, as a sufferer from a depressive disorder myself. I, too, find that conflict (online or otherwise) tends to make my depression and anxiety much worse.

    It’s one thing to shy away from conflict (online or otherwise) for whatever reason, but when you create the conflict and then run away because you don’t like the reaction, even though the negative, maybe even abusive reaction should have been expected by any intelligent person – never mind that other people pointed out at the onset that conflict would arise – that makes you an instigating wuss.

    Jen chose to present herself as some Emperor to some perceived weak and directionless mass, but when it’s now exposed that her new clothes are rather transparent she runs to the dressing room to cry it out. So don’t expect everyone to be nice and feel sorry for her just because she’s fragile.

  253. 253
    w1znerd

    I’m de-lurking to join the chorus. Jen, I’m sorry you have had to deal with so much poison. Have some hugs – take all the time you need for yourself. Thanks for all your work and activism over the years.

    Illegitimi non carborundum

  254. 254
    jesspopplewell

    Jen, you’re a star.

    Don’t ever forget it. You, and people like you, have inspired me to be a better person, so even if you don’t blog again, you’ve still achieved a massive amount, in a sideline, in something you do alongside your real job.

    Thank you.

  255. 255
    Walton

    piratefish: Bullshit. Jen spoke out for what she believes in, and I fully support her.

    And even if I didn’t, no one, whatever their views, should ever be subjected to the torrent of abuse that Jen (and some of her colleagues) have been experiencing in recent months. It is never morally acceptable to threaten someone with violence, to use sexist and degrading epithets, or to make nasty comments about someone’s appearance or personal life as a way of hurting and silencing them. No one should have to endure that kind of attack.

  256. 256
    mijobagi

    I enter “the comment section of the internet” about once per year. My one entry this year will be this…

    This post makes me sad.

  257. 257
    Stray Cat

    Piratefish,

    Jen spoke up on behalf of issues she believes in. She did not create the torrent of abuse being thrusted at her your ilk, and nobody is responsible for that abuse except for the people writing it.

    Jesus, victim-blaming is disgusting.

  258. 258
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Another lurker de-lurking in support and solidarity.

    Jen, I’m delurking because I want to send a little love your way, not as a feminist (although I am), an atheist (that too) or a skeptic (of course). I want to thank you as a person who has also fought depression since childhood. It is so incredibly hard to find the courage to put yourself first when depression rears its ugly head, and those of us who deal with it need out role models who know how important that is.

    Exactly right. I logged in earlier to say exactly this but fmcp @161 already said it.

    We are taught from so young to keep on keeping on or “they” will win, regardless of the personal cost (because we don’t really matter, not the way other people do…)

    It’s straight up bullshit.

    Those of us who find it hard to say “no, I can’t do this right now/anymore/at all” need a role model too, and you’re doing us another huge service by being that role model for us.

    Jen, not only are you an incredible woman who has accomplished more up til now than many people can even dream of, you have literally changed the world a for the better in a tangible way. That is the very OPPOSITE of failing!

    Be well. Take care of yourself. The world is a much better place (objectively proveable, even!) with you in it.

  259. 259
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    If nothing else, this comment thread – Minus the frankyboyd style Whiny Ass Bigot Cowards and Liars – is proof that you have succeeded. And brillantly.

    Comment after comment from lurkers or rare commenters thanking you for what you do. Hundreds of comments in support.

    I’m adding mine to that pile as well. Thank you, Jen. I hope this break does you a world of good.

    It will be wonderful rediscovering the world away from Whiny Ass Bigot Cowards and Liars.

  260. 260
    heicart

    >the negative, maybe even abusive reaction should have been expected by any intelligent person…

    Did someone actually just say this? The more intelligent and sane you are, the less likely you are to expect others to act like lunatics. In the same way someone who steals keeps a very close watch on his/her belongings–suspecting everyone else to be as dishonorable, so an honorable person is not as likely to suspect others to behave with dishonor. When you write a post expressing a view, you expect responses on a similar level–not crazy escalations. Who the hell goes berserk over mere fucking words? It’s like saying that Danish cartoonist should have expected to be killed in the street for representing Mohammed in a cartoon. Are you kidding me?

  261. 261
    peicurmudgeon

    We all have limits, and you have reached yours. You put up with more than I ever could have. Good luck in whatever you do in the future.

  262. 262
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Did someone actually just say this?

    All the time, in different ways.

    “It’s the internet, what do you expect?”
    “Of course that subject brings out the trolls”
    “just ignore the trolls”
    etc etc etc

  263. 263
    piratefish

    Walton, bullshit?
    What is it I said that was bullshit? Did she not create this situation for herself? Did she not willfully choose to engage in an effort to divide a group and place herself above others? Was she not warned that this might happen? What, what was bullsiht? As for the rest of your reply that’s just an ad hominem. I never did, nor would I condone the actions you mention. My simple point is that Jen made her bed, but now she has chosen to sleep on the couch instead. For those reasons, and others, I can no longer respect Jen, nor can I feel sorry for her.

  264. 264
    slac44

    Thank you for your work. Fuck the misogynist assholes. (And Jasper is a callous fool with more words than sense. Fuck the people like him, too.)

  265. 265
    johnradke

    Jen, just remember: you don’t owe anybody anything. Thanks for what you’ve done so far, it was more than most people ever do. Enjoy your life! Come back to this if you want, don’t if you don’t.

  266. 266
    Radi

    piratefish @252: Fuck off, asshole!

  267. 267
    Kaoru Negisa

    “…but when you create the conflict and then run away because you don’t like the reaction…”

    It took me a moment to figure out who you sound like, Piratefish. Then I remembered. You sound a lot like the Catholic friar who bemoaned the poor priests who were seduced by fatherless children. You know, because they created sexual situations and shouldn’t have been surprised when those priests took advantage of the opportunity.

    Tell me, do you also think suicide bombing victims are at fault for having the audacity to go out in public? I mean, in some places there’s a pretty good chance that if you’re in a crowd something like that will happen, so really any intelligent person should expect to be killed if they go into a crowd, right? Is that the argument you’re making?

  268. 268
    heicart

    >Jen made her bed, but now she has chosen to sleep on the couch instead.

    Yeah, that Danish cartoonist knew they were a violent sort. I can’t feel sorry for him having been killed for that cartoon. He invited his death. I’m not saying they were right to kill him–just that if you mock the prophet, you need to stand up and take your martyrdom like a man. Otherwise, if you want to live–show some fucking respect toward Islam from now on.

  269. 269
    nathanmarcy

    Just remember that the people hating on your are by far the minority. The large majority of us support you in everything you do, including you decision to take an indefinite break from blogging.

  270. 270
    piratefish

    Kaoru Negisa says:
    September 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Tell me, do you also think suicide bombing victims are at fault for having the audacity to go out in public? I mean, in some places there’s a pretty good chance that if you’re in a crowd something like that will happen, so really any intelligent person should expect to be killed if they go into a crowd, right? Is that the argument you’re making?

    You’ve never lived in Israel have you?

  271. 271
    Kaoru Negisa

    You’ve never lived in Israel have you?

    If I had would that make suicide bombing ok?

    Just answer the questions, please, don’t pretend you’re clever.

  272. 272
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Jasper… dude, ever heard of the phrase “right time and place”?

    Yeah… this is NOT it. You may even have a point as far as the asshats winning (although putting the blame on Jen even a little bit is low), but this is neither the time nor the place.

    ——————————

    jackjesberger…

    I begin to wonder if there’s something more like PTSD and battle fatigue rather than simple burnout that happens in this arena.

    You may have something, there. I finally went to my first session with a psychiatrist a couple days ago (I’m planning on finally getting tasted mainly for ADD, but also for other things), and I told him about what I went through in school. And we both touched on PTSD.

    I think bullying absolutely can lead to PTSD, and that is definitely something to look into. It may very well be worse than simple burnout.

    ——————————

    Jen… if you ever do decide to come back to blogging (and I sincerely hope you do… I know I’m being selfish, but you’re one of my all-time favorite bloggers; I looked forward to your blog, and my inbox is going to feel empty without it… though please understand I’m not blaming you at all for it… I blame the assholes who drove you to this, and them alone), if there is any way I can help to buffer that shit from you, I’ll do it. In fact, I’m sure we all would be willing to help.

    ——————————

    Pteryxx…

    It’d have to be someone the person trusts with their personal communications. I don’t know that any of us are that close to Jen, but in general, if you know someone in your circle of friends who might start a blog or make a public statement or do an interview or write an article for atheismplus.com, I suggest offering to set up screening with them as an option beforehand. If anything’s become clear in this mess it’s that women INEVITABLY get backlash for speaking out. Maybe we can take that lesson and pull the haters’ fangs.

    Maybe the A+ forums should have a place to sign up offering volunteer services for this kind of thing?

    “Are you blogging, but getting worried about hate being thrown your way? This directory is a list of people willing to help screen comments so you can avoid the worst.”

    I’d sign up in a heartbeat. I’d be more than happy to help field that shit and keep it far away from bloggers.

    ————————–

    piratefish

    It’s one thing to shy away from conflict (online or otherwise) for whatever reason, but when you create the conflict and then run away because you don’t like the reaction, even though the negative, maybe even abusive reaction should have been expected by any intelligent person – never mind that other people pointed out at the onset that conflict would arise – that makes you an instigating wuss.

    Where the fuck did Jen EVER create conflict? At what point did she ever directly and explicitly cause conflict?

    All Jen did was blog… WHILE BEING A WOMAN. If you think the conflict that started A+ was Jen’s fault, then you are either ignorant or an asshole… or both.

    A+ came about because of the shit Jen and other female bloggers were being subject to on a DAILY FUCKING BASIS, for no other reason than they DARED to blog while female.

    Jen chose to present herself as some Emperor to some perceived weak and directionless mass, but when it’s now exposed that her new clothes are rather transparent she runs to the dressing room to cry it out. So don’t expect everyone to be nice and feel sorry for her just because she’s fragile.

    Can you do us a favor and fuck off, please? You have this so wrong it’s disgusting.

    So seriously… fuck off. Leave us the fuck alone and go the fuck away. Maybe they’ll embrace you over at the Slymepit.

  273. 273
    stephenkrune

    lol women

  274. 274
    w00dview

    That is a real shame, Jen. Your blog was one I read regularly on the FTB network. Come back whenever you feel ready to. These misogynist wankers seem to be completely unaware that they look exactly like the religious bigots that they no doubt sneer at and (mistakenly) view themselves as superior to. I’m all for Atheism+ if it means that these toxic shit spewers will become so irrelevant in the future as to be viewed in the same way people view white supremacists..

  275. 275
    Sethra

    Jen: thank you for everything you’ve done, and thank you more for creating the Atheism+ forum. I’m sorry those assholes are targeting you.

    Thanks to your example and that of other women blogging on atheism and skepticism, I am speaking up more often and I will continue helping to carry the load. I will continue to speak out against misogyny and harassment and it looks like many, many other people will do the same.

  276. 276
    Squiddhartha

    I’ve been working on my own blog for a bit, deciding when would be the right time to launch it. This post made that decision easy — now.

    Read At Your Own Risk.

    Thanks for all you’ve done, Jen, and best wishes with your studies. If you’re able to return, I’ll be reading.

  277. 277
    frankboyd

    @the poor little fools,

    I might have had the slightest molecule of sympathy if I did not know about you lot doing things like, oh I don’t know, inciting people to show up at others places of work to cause them trouble? No, skip it. You lot whipped up Greg Laden to pull that stunt with Abbie Smith, you’ve been smearing and pouring out bile against anyone and everyone who crosses your eye, and now you expect sympathy?

    Get real. There’s a real fight out there, against real forces of theocracy and barbarism. Leave that to the grown ups.

  278. 278
    lefty891

    I can’t say as I blame you. While I enjoy your humor and wide range of topics, dealing with the kind of hate that has flowed your way would be enough to have me hiding under the blankets.
    Take care, and I hope to see you return, some day.

  279. 279
    A Hermit

    Take good care of yourself Jen; we’ll all miss reading your thoughts, but the ideas and principles you’ve promoted here will go on, carried by those you’ve inspired.

    Remember, for every nasty troll out there are ten of us who respect and admire you and all you do.

  280. 280
    Don Quijote

    piratefish, frankboyd, stephenkrune et al.

    One thing is sure, Jen McCreight is above you, from the soles of her feet up.

  281. 281
    piratefish

    Yeah, that Danish cartoonist knew they were a violent sort. I can’t feel sorry for him having been killed for that cartoon. He invited his death. I’m not saying they were right to kill him–just that if you mock the prophet, you need to stand up and take your martyrdom like a man. Otherwise, if you want to live–show some fucking respect toward Islam from now on.

    Wait, do you mean the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who is still alive, but in seclusion? Or are you mixing him up with Theo van Gogh, the Danish film director who was murdered?
    Either way it doesn’t matter, both of those men were aware of the risks that they were/are taking. The reason for those risks are not the issue, the fact that when the risk is real and knowable then the ones who engages in those risks must be willing to accept the fate of the possible results.

    When sky divers jump out of a plain they know there is a possibility, a risk will you, that their chute may not open and as a result they may die. If that in fact happens the resulting outcome, while it may be tragic, it can not be said that it was unexpected. In this case you could say ‘if you want to live then respect gravity’ from now on.

  282. 282
    katansi

    I’m a lurker and I hope you come back. I hope the time away is what you need but if it’s not I hope you find what is. You are wonderful.

  283. 283
    guychapman

    Anybody – and I do mean anybody – who escalates an online argument into offline activity, is taking it way too seriously. I say that as a victim of a sustained and vicious campaign of harassment over some years based on one idiot’s strawman version of a view he decided I represented. When it escalated to phone calls, visits to my house and so on, then I called the cops.

    The entire argument is a festival of Stupid. Clueless and gauche actions on the one hand, overblown posturing on the other, and all from people whose judgment up to then I had more or less trusted. Jen, you are not really one of the problem ones here, your input has mainly been calming and sane. Some people, though, seem utterly determined not to let calm or sanity intrude.

    The result is a massive own goal for the reality-based community as articulate and intelligent people pack up their bats and leave the field of play.

    Have you all not even once considered burying the hatchet? Preferably in the head of the nearest whacknut pseudoscientist?

  284. 284
    Stray Cat

    now you expect sympathy?

    Dude, nobody wants your worthless sympathy. We’d like it if you smartened up and acted like a decent human being, though. But then, I don’t think anybody really expects that of you either, at this point.

  285. 285
    Kaoru Negisa

    @frankboyd

    How do you guys have so much time to fight theocracy when you spend all this effort on threatening to rape women? Was always curious, since you guys talk so much about the bigger fight but only ever seem to be engaged in shouting at women who have the audacity of speaking up in public.

  286. 286
    Stray Cat

    @piratefish

    When sky divers jump out of a plain [sic] they know there is a possibility, a risk will you, that their chute may not open and as a result they may die.

    I hate to break this to you, but… you are not gravity, you are a human being with agency and you and every other misogynist mouthbreather in question here are responsible for your own actions.

  287. 287
    Hatchetfish

    frankboyd: You know what the best part of this is?

    It’s you despicable shitweasels gloating about your bullying even as it proves our point. May you choke on a sideways pufferfish, you worthless asshole.

  288. 288
    celticwulf

    One more mostly lurker chiming in to say you’ll be missed, and I’m sorry to see you go…but thanks so much for what you’ve done to open my eyes to the stupidity that is around us all and half of us (men like me) don’t see it right away. Thanks!

  289. 289
    piratefish

    Stray Cat says:
    September 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM
    @piratefish

    you and every other misogynist mouthbreather in question here are responsible for your own actions.

    Whatever gave you the impression that I’m a misogynist? I didn’t realize that the simple act of disagreeing with a female, or a refusal to feel sorry for a female makes someone a misogynist. Is this true?

    And yes I am responsible for my own actions and the known consequences. People, including you, are welcome to disagree with me. You can even tell me here that you want to punch me in the head if you want to. I will accept that some other mouth breathers, like you, will express those types of feelings. I won’t be hurt by it, I won’t cry about it and I won’t try to make anyone to feel sorry for me because of it.

  290. 290
    chrisj

    Just wanting to stop in and add my voice to those wishing you the best. Thanks for everything you’ve written and done, and so sorry that you have to take this appalling shit. Take care of yourself (and remember that snuggling cats is theraputic)

  291. 291
    nohellbelowus

    Boobquake was great. A young, confident, atheist feminist at the height of her powers, not to mention extremely well-equipped for the job.

    Yes, Jen employed her considerable twin frontal lobes to great effect, and mesmerized all of us.

    Here’s to her good health and a swift return to form, as one of religion’s worst nightmares.

  292. 292
    PatrickG

    Sad to read this post, but count me as another person with a depressive disorder who salutes you for recognizing that your personal well-being is the most important thing. I wish you only the best and hope you thrive.

    If you’re not blogging, I know you’ll be doing something else fantastic, something that really makes a difference, something that improves the world. I may not get to read about it here, but that’s really unimportant.

    Also, selfishly, I’m really really glad you’re still coming to Lexington! I think you’ll find a positive environment, the UK SSA FB page has already had a few discussions on Atheism+, your attendance specifically, and how much of a clusterfuck the unwarranted abuse you get is.

  293. 293
    Musca Domestica

    You have NOT failed anyone, Jen! You don’t owe the world anything else than being a decent person, and without this shit it won’t be hard for you to be, because you are a good person. I haven’t read much from you, but you have given me so much anyway. Writing about feminism, and giving the push to A+ are helping to make life better for so many of us. Take all the time you need, and keep putting your thoughts down, if you feel like writing – you don’t need a blog or an instant audience for that.

  294. 294
    ontariotransplant

    Jen, you haven’t let anyone down, you have given so much of yourself. I want to thank you for helping me be a better person. You have helped me understand my own biases and my own privilege. As a father of a son and two daughter, I hope they are better for it too. I was woefully uninformed, now I am a little less so. If you decide to come back, we will be here to read, learn and support you. I am sorry I was not a vocal supporter before now, I feel like I have let you down. I wish the best for you going forward.

  295. 295
    Myoo

    I just heard about this, I can only say that you have to do what’s best for you. You haven’t failed anyone and you shouldn’t let people convince you otherwise.

  296. 296
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Wow, the trolls are out in force. It is almost like they’re trying to prove Jen’s point or something…

  297. 297
    john ingerast

    What goes around comes around.

    I’m sure the haters will get what they deserve.

  298. 298
    jencon

    Ugh. I’m so sorry, Jen. You were instrumental in my embracing both my non-belief and my feminism ever since BoobQuake. Your blog has been a source of information on all the talks and meetings I could never afford to attend, including the gaming and cosplay ones. I love your sense of humor!

    I totally understand your frustration and depression as I suffer them as well, for similar but different reasons. Your mental health and well being are far more important than any blog. Know that you are admired and respected by very many of us, and I wish you the best with your continuing education and your life in general, and hope to see you back here one day.

  299. 299
    fritztoch

    This is awful. Just awful. I will miss your voice. Farewell.

  300. 300
    Jasper of Maine

    204. Bernard Bumner says:

    Probably, like me, they’re trying to work out what your point is.

    You claim to be offering a critique whilst also claiming that you’re not trying to tell anyone how it should be done.

    What is your point?

    There’s a difference between asking her to keep going versus pointing out the consequences of those actions.

    My point was expclicitly stated in my original comment. The rest of the time, I’ve been addressing straw man arguments.

    My point wasn’t really any more deep than that.

    211. Josh, Official SpokesGay says:

    Jasper, go fuck yourself. When your first impulse is to pile on somebody who’s gasping for breath that says something ugly, selfish, and dark about you.

    At what point did pointing out a consequence constitute “piling on”? Yes, it does say something about me – I’m disappointed – that was my initial reaction. Outside of that, I generally support the A+ movement, but clearly that’s the act of a dark, selfish and ugly person.

    But you’re free to think that.

    214. Pteryxx says:

    Jasper of Maine, if you MUST keep going on and on for pages about how misunderstood you are, take it to the Thunderdome on Pharyngula.

    I’m responding to people here who are talking to me about topics that are revelant to this post.

    If you actually want to know in good faith the difference between simply recognizing social justice fatigue as a factor versus impugning the targets for letting down The Movement, go to the 101 section of A+, or to Stephanie’s post on the subject:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/09/05/must-be-this-tough-to-ride/

    Not relevant to my point, though I agree with all the points there.

    217. Stray Cat says:

    Hey Japser of Maine. You’re really being horribly self-involved. This isn’t about you and your little beefs. Let it the fuck go.

    I agree. However, if people would stop putting words in my mouth, like you, the conversation would be much shorter.

    … like this person:

    227. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says:

    At best, at the most charitable possible reading of what you’ve said, my response is: yes. The haters are emboldened by this.

    Finally. Someone gets it.

    But, there is a time and a place for such sentiments, and here is not it. So quiet that noise.

    It seemed to be relevant to this post.

    It’s it ironic that on a post about someone who’s been silenced, and that’s bad, that out come a horde of people demanding that someone else be silenced.

    It’s been interesting reading the reactoins of the people here. I’m on your side, however, if anyone dares say anything not 100% in line, the Instantaneous Lynch Mob of Doom comes out of the woodwork, even if it’s something that they actually agree with me on. But since they’re angry that I was rude, start inventing things to be upset about.

    No movement, large or small, of any type, has the right to demand more of its participants than they can give.

    This is the fourth time I’ve clarified that I’m not doing this.

    … and more straw man arguments.

    264. slac44

    Thank you for your work. Fuck the misogynist assholes. (And Jasper is a callous fool with more words than sense. Fuck the people like him, too.)

    Thanks, contentless person.

    So far, the only person who actually addressed my point, and who disagreed, apparently things that misogenists have developed some kind of infinite-time device, or something.

    I’m a callous fool who supports A+, Jen, the movement, etc, have agreed with all supporting points from other blogs because I made a point that most people agree with. But my timing sucks. I was supposed to wait 17.5 hours.

  301. 301
    PatrickG

    Jasper, can you please move the conversation elsewhere? This really isn’t the appropriate forum, as many people have pointed out above. If Jen were engaging you, then sure, but … she’s not.

    Take it to the Thunderdome!

  302. 302
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    piratefish
    It’s telling that you’re comparing parachuting to just being a woman on the internet.
    I mean gosh, she could just have gone on showing her boobs and smiling nicely. Those uppity women, expect to be treated like humans!
    Guess you also show up at the funerals of firefighters and shout “what’s the fuss, they had it coming!”

  303. 303
    ChasCPeterson

    inciting people to show up at others places of work to cause them trouble?…You lot whipped up Greg Laden to pull that stunt with Abbie Smith

    a) nobody ‘showed up’ at Abbie Smith’s place of work education. Laden putatively sent an e-mail to the chair of her department.
    b) Nobody here has ever incited or whipped up Laden to do anything. Laden is a loose cannon and it’s fucking ridiculous to blame anybody else for his actions.
    c) Who the fuck are you talking to? “You lot”? You don’t even know, or care, do you?

    you’ve been smearing and pouring out bile against anyone and everyone who crosses your eye, and now you expect sympathy?

    Again, who the fuck is “you”? Smearing? Bile? You’re either lying, projecting or very stupid.

  304. 304
    nohellbelowus

    It’s it ironic that on a post about someone who’s been silenced, and that’s bad, that out come a horde of people demanding that someone else be silenced.

    Ironic and hilarious. Python-esque, in fact.

  305. 305
    samll

    It’s a tough blow to see this post. I hope to be able to read your insightful writing again some day. Thank you for all you’ve shared with us.

  306. 306
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Jasper, if you thought that was relevant and apropos for this post, you thought wrong.

    Scolding Jen for leaving (and yes, that is what you were doing) was not appropriate on this post. It really wasn’t.

  307. 307
    johnjohnston

    /delurking

    Your blog has been one of my favorites, and I wish you a speedy return.

  308. 308
    Pteryxx

    It’s it ironic that on a post about someone who’s been silenced, and that’s bad, that out come a horde of people demanding that someone else be silenced.

    Except that’s not accurate. It’s about decrying hurtful, dismissive, entitled behavior in a thread about someone being silenced by hurtful, dismissive, entitled behavior.

    When you’re saying hurtful things, damn right it’s appropriate to tell you to shut up. IF you have any actual points you can make them in the receptacles designated for such material.

  309. 309
    PatrickG
    It’s it ironic that on a post about someone who’s been silenced, and that’s bad, that out come a horde of people demanding that someone else be silenced.

    Ironic and hilarious. Python-esque, in fact.

    I might have missed some “silencing” in the walls of text, but, really, this is starting to get ridiculous. Since when are you entitled to this space? Starting to look very ‘BUT MAH FREE SPEECHEZ’ to me.

    There are other forums where you can engage in speech. A number of people have politely suggested you use them.

    Since I’m now engaged in the very derailing I am decrying, I won’t post any more on this, and just go back to:

    Take care of yourself, Jen! You’ve inspired a lot of people, and I can’t wait to see you speak at UK. :)

  310. 310
    robertpryor

    One more lurker here…I will miss your writing but totally understand your reasons. No need to apologize. Thank you for lending your voice to this apparent and baffling issue. I think the mere fact that these cretins must stoop as low as they have shows that they are scared. They are scared of losing their undue privilege that they feel entitled to. They are scared of losing their “right” to belittle and treat others as they see fit. Thank you for making a stand and forcing them to show their true colors. I am truly sorry, however, that it has come at an enormous personal cost to you. Please stay well and keep yourself healthy :)

  311. 311
    grumpyoldfart

    Atheists
    Brights
    Weak Atheists
    Strong Atheists
    New Atheists
    Gnu Atheists
    Atheism+
    `

    When a movement becomes factionalised, the various groups resort to shit-slinging as a matter of course. Things won’t get better, only worse. In ten years from now the movement will be nothing more than a joke.
    `

    Atheism became popular in the late 19th Century and died away. It rose again in the 1920′s and people were forecasting the disappearance of religion altogether, but it was atheism that died. There was another revival in the 1960s when we declared that “God is dead”, until the Fundamentalists campaigned against us and regained control.
    `

    Now, in the early 21st century atheism has popped its head back up again, but in ten years from now it will once again be regarded as a joke. A hodge-podge of ineffectual splinter groups taking themselves seriously and laughed at by everyone else.
    `

    I have been an atheist since 1949. I will be an atheist when I die, but the religionists are almost certain to win. Oh sure the the theists fight each other, and they fight each other hard, but whenever it really matters they will close ranks and put up a united front against the atheistic splinter groups. They will be campaigning for family values, baseball, mom, and apple pie – and the loudest voices against them will be ratbag atheists yelling, “Show us your tits”.
    `

    I’m sorry it has ended like this for you Jen. Unfortunately it’s going to end like that for all of us.

  312. 312
    piratefish

    Giliell, not to be confused with The Borg says:
    September 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM
    piratefish
    It’s telling that you’re comparing parachuting to just being a woman on the internet.
    I mean gosh, she could just have gone on showing her boobs and smiling nicely. Those uppity women, expect to be treated like humans!
    Guess you also show up at the funerals of firefighters and shout “what’s the fuss, they had it coming!”

    I made no such comparison. I used sky diving as a metaphoric example for risk. And I certainly have no problems with women wanting to be treated like equal humans. In fact I have marched along side of women in equal rights protests. If anything my sentiments here are based on equality of the sexes. I’m not holding back on my opinions of Jen and her self-perceived plight simply because she’s a female. I would express the exact same opinions that I’ve provided here if it were PZ Myers making this announcement. No gender bias about it.

    That’s also a wild accusation you make about me there. I would never belittle any person who parishes while committing an act of heroism, but that’s just not the case here. Are you somehow though trying to imply that a person who runs into a burning building is unaware of the real and possible dire consequence associated with such actions?

  313. 313
    Kaoru Negisa

    That’s also a wild accusation you make about me there. I would never belittle any person who parishes while committing an act of heroism, but that’s just not the case here. Are you somehow though trying to imply that a person who runs into a burning building is unaware of the real and possible dire consequence associated with such actions?

    Are you trying to imply that a woman demanding that she be treated equally despite near constant abuse is not heroic?

    You’re engaging in victim blaming. Your metaphor was incredibly flawed because gravity can never act other than by the very strict laws which describe its behavior. It is an impersonal force and the risk is constant and stable. There aren’t times when gravity is stronger or weaker depending on who it’s acting on or what opinions they’re expressing at the moment.

    Human beings, on the other hand, are capable of not threatening to kill and rape people. I suspect everyone on this thread has avoided making death/rape threats several times today. For example, this morning I said good morning to my co-worker and didn’t threaten to kick her in the cunt. If people cannot avoid this sort of behavior, it is in no way the fault of their target. It is entirely their fault and Jen should not be held liable for their bad behavior just because she knew people behave badly.

  314. 314
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    piratefish
    Dear Lord, I though you would have figured out how to use the blockquote and the preview by now.
    Look how it works

    And I certainly have no problems with women wanting to be treated like equal humans.

    Only that when they’re not you’re telling them they had it coming.

    In fact I have marched along side of women in equal rights protests.

    So, want a cookie?

    If anything my sentiments here are based on equality of the sexes.

    Fucking bullshit. Fact is that we’re actually not equal. We’re not treated as equals. Guess you’re “colourblind”, too.

    I’m not holding back on my opinions of Jen and her self-perceived plight simply because she’s a female.

    No, it’s only that you belittle her and minimize her actual and real suffering. It’s not like women don’t have a history where we were told to stop being silly and over-emotional.

    That’s also a wild accusation you make about me there. I would never belittle any person who parishes while committing an act of heroism, but that’s just not the case here.

    So, what is it then?
    According to you, and I actually agree with you, engaging herself in this discussion, daring to be not only an pretty young woman but also outspoken feminist on the internet is a fool-proof way to get abuse and hate and threats.
    So, she stood up bravely for the things she considers right until she needed a break.
    So, you either dismiss her suffering or you say that to stand up for women was silly.

    Are you somehow though trying to imply that a person who runs into a burning building is unaware of the real and possible dire consequence associated with such actions?

    Nope, but we’d still mourn their loss and still prosecute the arsonist and not say “well, you knew the risk, silly”

  315. 315
    Kaoru Negisa

    First paragraph at 313 is a Piratefish quote. Sorry, must have mistyped something.

  316. 316
    Jasper of Maine

    306. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google

    Jasper, if you thought that was relevant and apropos for this post, you thought wrong.

    Yes, I can see that. I can see how talking about the consequences of giving up would have no relevancy about a post detailing the instance of giving up. No relevancy at all.

    Scolding Jen for leaving (and yes, that is what you were doing) was not appropriate on this post. It really wasn’t.

    Is this what the conversation is reduced to? I thought we were too busy making up things that I supposedly said, instead of what my original point was.

    308. Pteryxx

    Except that’s not accurate.

    Would you like me to point out where people have told me to shut up?

    It’s about decrying hurtful, dismissive, entitled behavior in a thread about someone being silenced by hurtful, dismissive, entitled behavior.

    Given that you’ve been one of the ones putting words in my mouth, I’d expect you to think that. Of course I’ve been dismissive of people’s assertions that I’m saying things that I’m not.

    For instnace, this “entitled” thing is straight out of the depths of your imagination.

    When you’re saying hurtful things, damn right it’s appropriate to tell you to shut up. IF you have any actual points you can make them in the receptacles designated for such material.

    And I have been, but when someone accuses me of doing something I’m not, I’ll tell them so.

    309. PatrickG

    I might have missed some “silencing” in the walls of text, but, really, this is starting to get ridiculous. Since when are you entitled to this space? Starting to look very ‘BUT MAH FREE SPEECHEZ’ to me.

    I’m not sure if you’re responding to me, or that other guy, but that thought never entered my mind. Here is another example of fabcricating upsetting points. I pointed out the irony of people telling me to shut up on a comments thread on a post about someone who was successfully silenced. After that, it’s all you making stuff up.

    There are other forums where you can engage in speech. A number of people have politely suggested you use them.

    I have rejected their offers as nonsensical, since my point was quite relevant.

    It doesn’t seem like anyone actually disagrees with what I’m actually saying. They’re just upset that I’m responding to them when they talk to me, correcting their delusions about my stance.

  317. 317
    Jasper of Maine

    I’ll agree to stop responding to people who are talking to me, since the conversation is going in circles.

    After all, you guys agree with me, and I agree with you, though you can continue to debate with empty-chair me, if you like.

  318. 318
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    *watches the point continue to sail riiiiiiiiight over Jasper’s head*

    Ugh.

    Here is what you are doing, Jasper:

    Woman: *is sexually harassed by a band of louts*
    Woman: “WTF. I can’t handle this. I’m leaving!”
    You: “How dare you leave?! You’re letting them win and think that sexual harassment is okay! I mean, it totally sucks that they were harassing you, and of course you have to take care of yourself, but the important thing is that these assholes are being allowed to win.”

    And here’s the thing: this, and slight variations on it, have been said essentially forever. And for all that the statement is objectively true (letting the assholes have victories is bad), it is still a bad thing to say. Because it puts the blame on the victim.

  319. 319
    'Tis Himself

    Jasper, do everyone a big favor and SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  320. 320
    Stray Cat

    PatrickG nailed it.

    Jasper, if you really care about the fight Jen’s been fighting, stop blowing defensive hot gas over her needing a break because she took one for the team and invest that energy in the actual fight.

  321. 321
    karlotterson

    Love to read your blog. I rarely comment on any blog, but wanted to be counted among those who will miss it while you are away. Take care. Hope you feel better soon.

    KJO

  322. 322
    PatrickG

    @ Jasper:

    Yes, that was addressed at you as well. Here’s why:

    1) Jen says in her original post that she suffers from depression.
    2) She says her motivation to protect her mental integrity and well-being contributed to this decision.
    3) She says she feels like she’s failed us because of this.
    4) You come along and say, yep, it is a failure, because it emboldens the enemies.
    5) A lot of people come by and say ‘uh no, you’re victim blaming’
    6) We then get MANY multiparagraph posts about how you’re just MISUNDERSTOOD and people should LISTEN TO YOU.

    Your point that Jen going on hiatus would embolden the “other side” was accurate. Your blaming her for it was reprehensible. She very clearly said that one major factor in her decision was dealing with the impacts of blogging on her mental health.

    So you know what? Your “sorry Jen, but this is a failure” line is just downright offensive. It’s hurtful. It’s demeaning. It’s dismissive of the very real effects of depression and other mental disorders. And a lot of people in this thread have offered support to Jen based on their own experiences with depression.

    Do you see the problem here?

    You may not think this is what you’re doing. You may not realize you’re doing it. But, and this can’t be said enough:

    You are doing splash damage. Stop. Take it somewhere else. Just stop.

  323. 323
    Stray Cat

    I was pretty impressed you were so open about it. But I can understand your reservations. :-/

  324. 324
    PatrickG

    @ Stray Cat:

    I’ve reconsidered my request to Jen, and now am asking for deletion of the following comments, so I don’t look like so much of an incompetent fool when it comes to online commenting.

    After all, I already mentioned my health issues in this thread above, and I’ve done it in the Lounge, and probably in other forums as well. Cats, bags, cows, barns, and all that.

    Plus, I kind of like my comment above. /patsback

  325. 325
    Jen

    Hi everyone:

    I just want to say thank you for the massive outpouring of support I’ve received here and on twitter, as well as the dozens and dozens of emails. I started crying the good kind of tears reading what you wrote. It really means a lot to me. I feel like I’m reading eulogies after I died, haha.

    But I do want to clarify…I’m not totally throwing in the towel. I’ll be back. I’m not sure when – maybe a month, maybe a couple, who knows. I don’t know how long it’ll take for me to get in a healthy place again where I can deal with this abuse, because I know it’ll never go away. But I’ll still be working behind the scenes.

    And since it’s impossible for me to not be writing, I think I’m going to take this time to write that book I’ve been talking about forever. So hopefully when I return, you’ll have something to make up for my absence :)

    And as Obi-Wan said in his final words… “You cannot win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

    :)

  326. 326
    PatrickG

    Thanks for the comment deletion-fu, Jen! And glad to hear you’re getting so much support. :D

  327. 327
    PatrickG

    Er, wait, jumped the gun there. Quick, delete my comments after #320! I’m ENTITLED to it, or something!

  328. 328
    chris

    Sanity breaks are good. Plus it gives you more time to work on your research and getting that PhD!

    Enjoy the sneaky Seattle September sunshine.

  329. 329
    joshuakundert

    Take Care of yourself!

    I’ve enjoyed your writing a lot–but I 100% understand the need to get the fuck away if some people are going to be such douchebags.

    The fact that you’ve put up with as much bullshit as you have is a testament to your fortitude.

    Do what you need to do and come back when you feel like it.

    Good luck and Live Long and Prosper! :)

  330. 330
    Forelle

    Please be well. I’ve just scanned the thread, but of course many people have expressed their thankfulness, and so do I — your writings are likely to make us feel grateful. Many of the reactions (worry, rage against the idiots, well-wishing for you) stem from that, I suppose, so since others have expressed them much better, I’ll stay basic and say thanks again — and take care.

  331. 331
    Givesgoodemail

    Au revoir, mon ami. Être bien, faire de bonnes œuvres, restez en contact.

  332. 332
    perishedcore

    I’m long gone from blogging for essentially the same reasons. Add PTSD triggers and triggers for ostracism after whistleblowing, and there’s the seeping sordid package.

    I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I feel so powerless over it, and the only idea I have is to establish a private group blog – by screened invitation only.

    Even if you simply keep blogs as a private/personal journaling tool, I hope you’ll find a way to keep writing – for you, if for no one else.

    Ironically, for all of the hype about free speech, this squelches it and the wonderful, important and critical thought that should be supported and promoted and nourished. That our stinking oppressive society condones this is a heavy stone to bear.

    Should you desire to blog underground as it were, please know that many people would be very appreciative. Hint.

    Best to you whatever you decide and however you decide to do it!

    ~aek

  333. 333
    Stephen T

    Jen 327. We’re not done with the support messages yet ;)

    I don’t know how long it’ll take for me to get in a healthy place again where I can deal with this abuse…

    We’ll wait. As long as it takes. You are a huge inspiration to us – there’s nearly 1200 people signed up to A+ who are a testament to how much it’s needed. More internet hugs if you want them. Stay safe.

  334. 334
    IslandBrewer

    Jen, as I said on JT’s site (so the poor man can get paid), you are, and will continue to be, very very extremely awesome. I think you have an incredible future in the skeptical movement. I can’t wait until you start writing again.

  335. 335
    badweasel

    I’ve not been a too frequent visitor of late so was pretty stunned by this post. I thought the troglodytes had bludgeoned another victory to the more progressive atheists’ detriment

    I am glad you’re not going away for ever, though. I feel a little better on reading that.

  336. 336
    Avery Thompson

    Thank you Jen, for everything you’ve done for this movement, and for all of us. Know that most of us will greatly miss you, and those that don’t are jerks anyway.
    Like others said, your contributions to this movement are enormous, and you’ve inspired countless people to do great things of their own. You are, in a large part, responsible for my own decision to take up blogging. You’re a hero of mine.
    Don’t worry, we’ll take it from here. You go enjoy your life. You’ve certainly earned it.

  337. 337
    michaelmortensen

    Delurking, It’s sad to see this happen. I have been shocked to see behaviour that’s best described as thuggish silence someone. Trend i have been seeing involving this is one side throwing mud and then the self-proclaimed guardians of neutrality complaining about how both sides are dirty, (the fox news tactic to derail a debate). I hope that history leaves these people behind.

  338. 338
    echidna

    Jen,
    Another message of support. You have encouraged voices to speak that would not have spoken before.

  339. 339
    Bjarni

    I don’t often comment, which I suppose doesn’t help counter the $#@%holes, but thank-you for all the effort you’ve given us so far, and I’m sorry I haven’t supported you more.

    Best wishes for whatever comes next.

  340. 340
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Best wishes Jen for your time away from the toxic environment that seems to be the daily grind around here thanks to the constant misogynistic trolling. Give Sean and Pixel massive hugs, nail down that PhD, and do whatever you need to do to recuperate and recharge your energies. You’re worth a hundred of these whiny-assed victim-blaming trolls.

  341. 341
    leni

    Hi Jen,

    I am a frequent reader but fairly rare commenter here, but also wanted to express my best wishes for your health and sanity. It is hard to ask for help, but please don’t be afraid to. We will! :)

    I am so, so angry at those rabid hordes of MRA sociopaths right now. Angry word warning. Also cussing. There will be much cussing.

    All I can think is that they make me ashamed to admit I’m atheist. So now I have to explain that “No, I’m not one of those atheist assholes that thinks rape threats are valid criticisms. I’m just a regular, non-sociopathic atheist. Really, I will not stalk you or rape you!” That’s just awesome. So thank you haters, really fucking helpful. Nice work, you stupid fucking fucks.

    You know what? Fuck that. Let them be known by what people like that have always been known as: Stupid Fucking Assholes. They’re so fucking concerned with accurate fucking labels then they can all fucking have one.

    And just to spite them I’m keeping my regular atheist tag and acting like a do-gooder fucking feminazi just to fucking ruin it for them.

    Ok I’m done ranting for the moment. That was cathartic :)

  342. 342
    leni

    PS- On a more positive note, I thought the mail readers were a great idea. I would definitely volunteer for that- at least for as long as I could stand it. There’s no reason you should feel obligated to subject yourself to that level of abuse and it certainly doesn’t have to be just for MRA type hate mail.

    Anyone who wanted to for whatever reason could, even if they just needed a breather for a bit. We should seriously consider this.

  343. 343
    Anri

    What is it I said that was bullshit? Did she not create this situation for herself? Did she not willfully choose to engage in an effort to divide a group and place herself above others? Was she not warned that this might happen? What, what was bullsiht? As for the rest of your reply that’s just an ad hominem. I never did, nor would I condone the actions you mention. My simple point is that Jen made her bed, but now she has chosen to sleep on the couch instead. For those reasons, and others, I can no longer respect Jen, nor can I feel sorry for her.

    “I might feel sorry for her if her skirt had been just a little bit longer, but as it is, really, she got what was coming.”

    That’s pretty much the way this reads to me.

  344. 344
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    “I might feel sorry for her if her skirt had been just a little bit longer, but as it is, really, she got what was coming.”

    That’s pretty much the way this reads to me.

    Yep. Whiny Ass Bigot Trolls always find a weak-ass justification for being Whiny Ass Bigot Trolls.

  345. 345
    Julien Rousseau

    But I do want to clarify…I’m not totally throwing in the towel. I’ll be back. I’m not sure when – maybe a month, maybe a couple

    Excellent. I think all of the high profile targets of hate like you, Rebecca, Greta, stephanie, Ophelia… should take a fortnight/month off the internet drama once a year and avoid the toxic garbage flung towards you.

    Everybody needs a holiday as a chronic level of high stress brought by unrelenting adversity is not healthy and I hope you enjoy yours.

  346. 346
    echidna

    What is it I said that was bullshit? Did she not create this situation for herself?

    There is too much historical precedent of punishing women to dare to have a voice, to go out in public without a male escort, to do mathematics, to take leadership roles to claim that Jen created the situation. The situation existed long before Jen was born. What makes what you say bullshit is that you are perpetuating an intolerable situation.

    In much of the world, but not everywhere, we don’t burn widows as witches anymore. Admitting atheism doesn’t ask for a death sentence any more. We don’t bury children under building foundations any more.

    Society is slowly improving, but you, Piratefish, are not helping.

  347. 347
    potterchik

    I am saddened to hear this, Jen. Be well and continue to do good work, even if you can’t keep in touch.

  348. 348
    piscador

    Jen, reading your post left me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Nobody should have to put up with the abuse that you have suffered from. You tolerated for far longer than I could have and I can’t blame you for feeling that you’ve had enough.

    I’m truly sorry to see you go. You have been one of my five favourite FTB bloggers since I discovered your blog. You (and Rebecca and Greta) have expanded the horizons of this privileged white middle-aged male at least.

    You *have* made a difference. Good luck and I hope that one day you can rejoin the FTB ranks.

  349. 349
    leni

    What is it I said that was bullshit? Did she not create this situation for herself? Did she not willfully choose to engage in an effort to divide a group and place herself above others? Was she not warned that this might happen? What, what was bullsiht? As for the rest of your reply that’s just an ad hominem. I never did, nor would I condone the actions you mention. My simple point is that Jen made her bed, but now she has chosen to sleep on the couch instead. For those reasons, and others, I can no longer respect Jen, nor can I feel sorry for her.

    See, how nice that the abusive assholes out there have you to excuse and legitimize their bad behavior.

    That isn’t your simple point, you asshole. your point in that the person who bears responsibility is Jen, not the people who heaped abuse one her.

    You know what? Fuck you, go read a fucking men’s “rights” blog. Go fucking pat yourself on the fucking back while you’re looking in the mirror, I don’t fucking care. But stop excusing the vile pieces of shit of who do this kind of thing for fun.

    Harassing people into silence is not fucking excusable so just fucking shut the fuck up and stop trying to sound like you aren’t just a little bit pleased about it, you passive aggressive little asshole. You don’t condone it, except when you do by blaming the recipients of it.

    Ok. I’m going to step away because I can’t even feign politeness right now. If we were in person though, I would absolutely throw my coffee in your face. But don’t worry, it won’t burn, it’s iced.

  350. 350
    leni

    OK One more thing before I back off, *deep breath*, piratefish. I had an email exchange with a female rightwing blogger, a particularly rude and stupid one named Dana Loesch, who told me about the rape and death threats she was getting from atheists and other various lefties.

    Guess what? I believed her and sympathized with her because it didn’t cost me anything ideologically to express my sincere regret for that, even though I had nothing to do with it. And I also told her that I was disturbed and genuinely sorry and that I hoped she was safe and that if I ever heard of people doing something like that, that I would explicitly speak out against it. I didn’t fucking minimize it and tell her it was her fault for having opinions and daring voice them, even though I kind of hate her.

    And then I went on to criticize her for legitimate things like her position on abortion rights, because extending simple humanity costs you fucking nothing and withholding it seems to cost us everything. Or a lot whatever not trying to be dramatic.

  351. 351
    roses are red

    Jen, I don’t comment a lot, but I enjoy your blog and I’m sorry to see you go, especially under these circumstances. But I do understand. I hope that your time away brings you peace of mind.

  352. 352
    ravenred

    Jen, don’t know if you will get down this far, but your decision (entirely rational as it is) fills me with sadness. The misogynist asshats that have gained voice since Elevatorgate are really doing their damndest to marginalise the voices of feminist atheists (particularly female ones) using the lowest gutter tactics outside the Discovery Institute. You need to look after yourself, absolutely, and I hope after some time you’ll be in a better place where you can resume touching the third rail issues in the Atheist movement.

    Until then, keep yourself safe and happy.

    RR

  353. 353
    Stray Cat

    I’m looking forward to your return Jen. :)

  354. 354
    suzywinter

    I’ve been lurking here for several months, enjoying your writing and, sadly, watching you take the abuse of misogynists within the atheist community. I’m so sorry I didn’t stand up for you. I’m glad you’re taking time to care for yourself. Best wishes to you!

    I’ll be first in line to buy your book.

  355. 355
    piratefish

    leni,
    Please don’t stop on my account. You can be as mad at me as you want for not sympathizing. That doesn’t bother me, and it certainly won’t change the way I feel about this particular issue. In fact the more responses I see like yours the more justified I feel about my position.
    I simply started off by posting a FreeThought about my opinion and just look at the abuse that’s been spewed at me for it, all by people who themselves profess some condemnation of abusive behavior. I invite you to find and cite one abusive comment I’ve made here so far.

    You really should calm down a bit though. I think there may be a little too much feminazi estrogen in your coffee.

    And lets get something straight; I don’t dislike Jen McCreight because she’s a female, or a feminist, or for her views on social justice. I dislike Jen McCreight because of her attitude, her smugness, her derisiveness, her manipulativeness and her self-perceived superiority over others. Furthermore; I have as much respect for feminazis as I do for MRA blowhards and atheists+, and it’s not much.

  356. 356
    ambulocetacean

    I’m sad that this has happened to you. Take care and do what’s best for yourself.

  357. 357
    ambulocetacean

    Ugh… I jumped straight to the end without noticing that Piratefish was being a victim-blaming creep. Pathetic.

  358. 358
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    *reads piratefish’s latest*

    *carefully checks boxes on misogynist bingo card*

    BINGO!

    “FeminazI”? Really?

  359. 359
    tigtog

    piratefish: I simply started off by posting a FreeThought about my opinion

    How cute! A rare speciment of trollus ignoramus makemyowndefinitionsupoutosmyarseus has decided to share his misrepresentation of FreeThought with us!

    Hint: there is an actual definition dearie, and it’s utterly inconsistent with what you just wrote.

  360. 360
    Ray, rude-ass yankee (Whimsy, I has it)

    Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration and working to advance good causes with the A+ movement. I admire your drive, commitment and passion and wish you continued success in grad school and your future science career. I am sure you will do great things.
    Rest, recuperate and come back stronger whether you resume blogging or not. I am glad you will still be involved behind the scenes, you kick ass! Also, a book?, that would be awesome!
    Thanks again!

  361. 361
    innocentinfidell

    Taking on big jobs when one is mentally and socially fragile has generally proven to be dangerous. Real world activist are prepared to go the hard yards for their cause, even give their lives if necessary. Steeling ones convictions is paramount to a successful campaign, in life and any other endevour we might attempt.

    It strikes me that this woman is very young, has been brought up in a privaledged environment, first world country with every opportunity at her fingertips. She has made observations about the world around her that were very incorrect and based on a victim mentality. She will always be a victim unless she gets therapy.Having people around you holding your hand and agreeing with you endlessly even when your views are patently wrong is not healthy.

    This is a perfect case in point, its not the so called haters that have caused this,(she made a YT vid a year ago laughing off these very things) it all of you ‘fans’ for cajouling her unstable emotions and pandering to her ‘victim’ needs. This is someone who recently said they felt unsafe walking down the street of one of America safest cities?..and not ONE you lot challenged that expression of fear and solitude. In fact you all stood up and clapped and effectively said, “yes it’s horrible out there, Jen, we agree, be afraid, be very afraid.”

    As one of you stated above, “its our fault Jen for not protecting you” and it IS your fault by simply not challenging the erroneous things she has said and thought in the past and allowed her to continue on thinking she was always right. Knowing full well she has had mental issues (chronic depression )in the past. Shame on the lot of you.

  362. 362
    tigtog

    innocentinfidell plays internet psychiatrist complete with a double backflip projection with pike. Yawn.

    You don’t even know how much real world activism Jen has done, which shows that you’re just another rubbernecker come to gloat and add to the pile of misrepresentations.

    Go gloat elsewhere, you ghoul.

  363. 363
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I simply started off by posting a FreeThought about my opinion and just look at the abuse that’s been spewed at me for it, all by people who themselves profess some condemnation of abusive behavior.

    Free Thought does not mean that you get to spew out any old crap and not get called on it. Free Thought simply means that one is unencumbered of religious belief.

    You do not get to hide behind a bullshit definition in order to claim that most of the other people here are engaging in the same abusive game as you are.

    Run off, troll, and tell all of your friends how you were brave enough to mock a woman who recieved more then her share of verbal abuse.

    I hope that someday, you are capable of being embarrassed by what you are now doing.

  364. 364
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Taking on big jobs when one is mentally and socially fragile going to face the wraith of hateful idiots has generally proven to be dangerous.

    Fix it for you.

    And for the record, Jen has done more to fight for atheist and social causes then you will ever do. If she never comes back and you have an extra fifty years of life, you could never hope to get close to what she has already done.

  365. 365
    amulliganstew

    Thanks for all you’ve done. You’ve made a difference. Sorry your works have been so poorly received in some circles. Have a happy life.

  366. 366
    PatrickG

    Taking on big jobs when one is mentally and socially fragile has generally proven to be dangerous.

    Why yes, yes it has. Perhaps you should be asking why it is dangerous, instead of spiraling down into your “victim mentality” theories. It might even illuminate why we’re offering messages of support.

    Real world activist are prepared to go the hard yards for their cause, even give their lives if necessary.

    Arguing that she should continue her fight until death is not really helping your position here.

  367. 367
    Nimravid

    Innocentinfidell, you’re not correct, but I don’t agree with you that it’s my fault if I let you go on thinking that way. It’s just you to blame and it’s something you’re responsible for fixing on your own, same as for anyone. Letting you know is a kindness to you; it’s not my responsibility to fix any of the stupidity you own. It looks like a lifetime of work anyway, so I think it should rightfully be your lifetime.

    Delurking to say bye for now. And to follow up on the reply-to-troll, it’s not your responsibility to fix every wrong asshole, it’s theirs. You were just doing them a kindness, which you aren’t obliged to continue.

  368. 368
    Ray, rude-ass yankee (Whimsy, I has it)

    Esteleth@358,
    piratefish, along with jarjar, frankboyd, stephenkrune: did they say something?
    Killfile is a wonderful thing! It allows me to ferociously ignore asshats with a single click. If y’all want to engage them, great! But for me to do so is not good for my blood pressure which, at my age, is not a minor concern.

    Also: Jasper of Maine, dude, first rule of holes.

  369. 369
    see_the_galaxy

    who told me about the rape and death threats she was getting from atheists and other various lefties.
    Guess what? I believed her and sympathized with her

    Good for you. Nobody worth respecting sends rape or death threats, ever. And I say this as someone who hates conservatism about as bad as it’s possible to hate anything.

    As one of you stated above, “its our fault Jen for not protecting you” and it IS your fault by simply not challenging the erroneous things she has said and thought in the past and allowed her to continue on thinking she was always right. Knowing full well she has had mental issues (chronic depression )in the past. Shame on the lot of you.

    Stupidest thing yet said. Not bad; that’s quite a hard record to break. Care to give examples, or is data just a bit too much to ask for? Also, Jen M. does not have to be held to a standard higher than for example Dawkins is, just for the record–she can make mistakes and correct them same as anybody else.

    Your ilk has made this movement poorer, for the time being. You should be embarassed to show up here. What an absolute disgusting disgrace this has been to the atheist movement, such as it is.

  370. 370
    see_the_galaxy

    Meanwhile, this. If you’re an atheist and you’re more worried about Jen McCreight than you are about the religious right, you’re just a stump-dumb fool.

  371. 371
    tigtog

    see_the_galaxy, you do know that people can be concerned about a range of matters asimultaneously, right?

  372. 372
    cartboy

    For the short time I have been here THANK YOU so much for your incites. You will be missed. Those people may win some battles but they will not win the war. Peace!

  373. 373
    pierat

    Yet another lurker de-lurking to tell you that I’m sorry to see you go, Jen, but I’m more sorry to see what some small-minded people have to say about the role of women in atheism and in science. Jen, you are an inspiration and I hope you know how much I and many others have enjoyed your blog. Please take good care of yourself!

  374. 374
    snackcake

    Jen, kick ass in the real world for a while. You’ve earned it. Fuck every single one of the shitheads who made this happen.

  375. 375
    uncannyvalet

    innocentinfidell, I hope one day we are all as brave and smart as you. Please continue defending your right to be a dick on the internet. TO THE DEATH!!11

  376. 376
    marcusmorgan

    I think you have made a good point in your Blog, and a good point in this Post. So they remain as a good record for others to remember and access if they stay available as a record. I dips me lid to ya as a beacon illuminating the grime in both ways, which is a task I shall continue as I have a huge appetite for it.

  377. 377
    see_the_galaxy

    @Tigtog: I should have been clearer and said this: “If you’re an atheist and you’re more worried about criticizing Jen McCreight (or giving cover to the rest of the hater-crowd) than you are about the religious right, you’re just a stump-dumb fool.” I don’t mean to be misconstrued as belittling concern for her well being, not at all. I hope she returns to the movement tougher than ever; I got into movement atheism thanks in part to a wise-beyond-her-years speech I heard JM give not that long ago.

  378. 378
    buduzoras

    All the best to you, Jen. Do what you need to do to take care of you, and stay strong. Haters will always hate. You are better than they are.

  379. 379
    maxdwolf

    I say good for you Jen. No, I’m not one of those troll haters. I’m saying that you’re too important to keep at this when you’re hurting. It’s not worth it. Real life needs you more. Don’t feel any guilt. I will feel better you are out there in the real world enjoying life.

    p.s. Somewhat off topic, but you might wish to discuss with your health professional the possibility that your chronic depression might be misdiagnosed atypical depression. I understand the medicines prescribed are rather different. Anyway, your business, I will write no more about it.

  380. 380
    piratefish

    LOL, don’t worry people. I hear that PZ and all the other skeptchicks are almost finished building the alter. Once complete you’ll all have that place you need where you can continue to kneel down and worship your Goddess Jen. And fear not, because along side that alter remains the rest of the conclave who will tell you what it means to be an atheist and a skeptic, until Jen is able to resurrect herself and ascend back to her rightful throne.

  381. 381
    marcusmorgan

    piratefish has been playing with a Ouija Board, not a reliable indicator of past, present, or future.

  382. 382
    Prof. Bleen

    Terribly sorry to hear it. I’ve really enjoyed reading your ‘blag, and I look forward to your return.

  383. 383
    wytchy

    I’m sorry that people can be so terrible. No one deserves that kind of abuse, and no one worth anything will blame you for taking a break from blogging. I hope things improve for you and that, in the long run, these sorry little people will be less than a blip on the radar of what was otherwise your fun and productive involvement in the community. :)

  384. 384
    sparks

    Jen:
    Sorry as hell that it’s come to this. You will be missed, and I’m sure most everyone commenting hopes your absence is only temporary. Everyone, at some point, needs to pass the baton. We’ll keep it moving for you and it will be ready should you decide to take it up again.

    Warmest regards,
    sparks

  385. 385
    herbiethebeagle

    Delurking to thank you for all your hard work and blogging Jen. The threats and abuse that have worn you down are disgusting and shameful. I hope you’ll be back – atheism is poorer without you.

  386. 386
    tigtog

    @see_the_galaxy, thanks for clarifying. Oddly glad that I misjudged you.

  387. 387
    neilerickson

    I don’t want to let them win

    Don’t think that’s possible. They still have to live with themselves and their constant hate, anger and fear, whereas you can hopefully get on with and enjoy your life without having to deal with their crap.

    You’ve certainly done enough to ‘retire’ – and nothing anyone says (hurtful and obnoxious as it is) can reduce that in the eyes of the people who actually matter.

    Least that’s my impression, and I appreciate the blogging you’ve done to date and likely any you may feel like doing in future.

  388. 388
    Enkidum

    Jen – let me add another voice of support, I hope your time off gives you the strength to come back swinging. But either way, do what you need, and best of luck in your academic life as well.

    To piratewhoever and all the other loathsome fuckwits who showed up, just fuck off.

  389. 389
    Julie

    Heartbreaking news. You will be missed. Take care Jen.

  390. 390
    leni

    see_the_galaxy says:

    Meanwhile, this. If you’re an atheist and you’re more worried about Jen McCreight than you are about the religious right, you’re just a stump-dumb fool.Please don’t stop on my account. You can be as mad at me as you want for not sympathizing. That doesn’t bother me, and it certainly won’t change the way I feel about this particular issue. In fact the more responses I see like yours the more justified I feel about my position.

    Nothing stops me from disliking Muslim theocrats while I’m disliking Christian ones.

    Don’t see any reason I can’t add the garden variety (probably) American asshole to the list.

    See, I like to accomodate. It’s all about diversity.

    piratefish:

    I simply started off by posting a FreeThought about my opinion and just look at the abuse that’s been spewed at me for it, all by people who themselves profess some condemnation of abusive behavior. I invite you to find and cite one abusive comment I’ve made here so far.

    You poor fucking thing. You get a death or a rape threat and I’ll be the first to empathize with you.

    Yeah I don’t really see that happening. But if it does, I’d happily volunteer to not make you have to read it because no one deserves that bullshit, not even a total fuck stick like you.

    You really should calm down a bit though. I think there may be a little too much feminazi estrogen in your coffee.

    You should fuck off a bit though. I think there may be a little too much nazi in your everything.

    Aside from that, using the word “feminazi” while pretending to call me out for being overemotional is straight out of the PUA handbook. Go fuck yourself :)

    Oh look. I totally insulted you without pretending that rape and death threats are ok. I am a fucking wizard!

    And lets get something straight; I don’t dislike Jen McCreight because she’s a female, or a feminist…

    Lol. Uh huh. And you’re just here to express your legitmate concerns.

    Tell ya what, I’ll believe bullshit that when you stop excusing the rape/death threats.

  391. 391
    Outrage Zombie

    Do what you gotta do to take back your life. I enjoyed your blog, and will miss your updates — I hope things normalize for you soon. Depression is never fun.

    And fuck those slimy shits.
    I really don’t know what else to say, this whole situation is just unacceptable. What kind of dysfunction leads to a person thinking that if they disagree strongly with someone, they have to harass them out of existence?

  392. 392
    briankeener

    I’m sorry that happened i’m not really with the feminism movement, has anytime i talk to feminist well to be more accurate “Radical Feminist” they do the same shit to me and many others.I dared to tell the truth and show the real statistics and facts for most things that’re issues that must be addressed and no longer ignored.I’m sorry again you went through this but to be honest you shouldn’t give a flying fuck what they say, i don’t.

    I’m not a Men Rights Activists but after all the immature feminist that have insults & belittled me just for knowing “MRAS or MRMS” i’m considering doing that and if i do then all the liars and bullshitters need to fear me, i never give up and words and insults bounce off of me.I only care what family and true friends opinions are.One i’m tired of about feminism is labeling all men no willing to bend over and be beta’s as molesters, rapists, abusers and list is long and untruthful, yet the feminists which i’m referencing expect me to believe you outright lies.I check Statistics, Facts with non biased federal, government and private sector law enforcement agencies.

    What i have found proves most views of most men are outright bullshit and untruthful and only serve the purpose of evil animals as they’re no where near being a woman as that’s a titled earned and not by getting older but rather intelligence, maturity, intellect, logic.Which for the record most feminist that is modern feminist lack big time.Whenever i present simple facts and statistics, their response, small dick, asshole, fuck you, go to hell , rapist, child molester, much more insults they use with the intention of chasing away a man or woman that dares speak the truth.

    I’m convinced that true feminism is dead and has been corrupted with this new age feminism which is nothing more then the hatred of men and the pursuit of superior women rights and privilege.Look around Ladies and gentlemen there is no male patriarchy, what male would intentionally set himself up to be abused legally, discriminated against, verbally abused, legally fucked as damn everything benefits women or more accurately the animals pretending they’re women and the pathetic male animals defending theirs hatred and making them victims even when they murder their own child.

    That’s all i’m going to say, figured i’d vent as well as i dare not do it where no non asshole modern feminist lay in wait to spam me with constantly insults, false accusations and death threats.

  393. 393
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    LOL, don’t worry people. I hear that PZ and all the other skeptchicks are almost finished building the alter. Once complete you’ll all have that place you need where you can continue to kneel down and worship your Goddess Jen. And fear not, because along side that alter remains the rest of the conclave who will tell you what it means to be an atheist and a skeptic, until Jen is able to resurrect herself and ascend back to her rightful throne.

    I would guess that you are being sarcastic but there is nothing funny here. All I can say is that there is a huge disconnection from reality. But I will be kind and give you a way to deal with your affliction.

    Get a bucket. Fill it with your bile. (Do not worry, you are filled with bile, you will have enough.) Stick your head in the bucket.

  394. 394
    Steve Caldwell

    Jen … I’m sorry for the verbal attacks you’ve had to endure from the cowards.

    You do deserve a break so you can recharge your batteries.

    However, your words and your work have done great good for atheism online and off-line.

    You’ve pushed us to have conversations about what atheism should be and that led to the creation of atheism plus.

    You’ve pushed us to ask if atheist conferences were actually welcoming environments for women and others … and these questions led to nearly every atheist and freethought conference to implement codes of conduct for conference attendees.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done for us and please take this well-deserved rest.

  395. 395
    Utakata

    Frankboyd, you make some amusing claims:

    “You know, at the start of this circus some of us warned that those reduced to tears and self-pity by these non-issues would not be worth diddly squat in a real fight.”

    A circus which you and many the like minded seem to perputate, as evidence is suggesting from your post. I am pretty sure Jen and company would like it to stop as well. But when you are there selling the tickets and trumpting it’s acts…it will continue until you guys decide to make it stop.

    Speaking of which…

    “Thank you for proving us right.”

    And right about what? I would be more concerned that Jen is taking a break from blogging and re-focusing her efforts more on Athiest + and her work. Blogging had beccome a troublesome unproductive distraction for her. Thus your opponent will become more effective and deadlier now when she gains extra focus.

    “@the poor little fools,”

    Sucn a bold address from someone who proving to us to be such a simpleton. That is, I know Jen, but who are you again?

    “I might have had the slightest molecule of sympathy if I did not know about you lot doing things like, oh I don’t know, inciting people to show up at others places of work to cause them trouble? No, skip it. You lot whipped up Greg Laden to pull that stunt with Abbie Smith, you’ve been smearing and pouring out bile against anyone and everyone who crosses your eye, and now you expect sympathy?”

    …and apparently false equivalence is false equivalence. And seems the only defence you can muster. So I am not sure what Greg Laden has to do with some clown impersonating the blogger here, spewing off sexual epithets. Or is this some sort of poor attmept at a derail?

    “Get real. There’s a real fight out there, against real forces of theocracy and barbarism. Leave that to the grown ups.”

    …well that’s funny, because if we leave the fight against theocracy and barbarism to people who go around impersonating athiest bloggers spewing off sexual epithets (such acts of maturity and rationalism /sarcasm off), I think those theocratic barbarians would likely have a good laugh. Since the adults here are proving they’re not up to that job, I think it’s time to give to the children who are least trying to behave. Non?

    However and thankfully, you seem to be in the minority with your unenlightened views here. /shrug
    —–

    Hang in there, Jen!

  396. 396
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I’m sorry that happened i’m not really with the feminism movement, has anytime i talk to feminist well to be more accurate “Radical Feminist” they do the same shit to me and many others.I dared to tell the truth and show the real statistics and facts for most things that’re issues that must be addressed and no longer ignored.I’m sorry again you went through this but to be honest you shouldn’t give a flying fuck what they say, i don’t.

    Bored now.

    Also, while you may not call yourself a MRA, you definitely give aid to them.

    I will end with this, I wish you could get the same treatment that Jen, Rebecca, Ophelia and others have received. Maybe you could taught to give a flying fuck.

  397. 397
    PatrickG

    @briankeener:

    I don’t know you. I don’t know what you’ve been through, or what your experiences are. However…

    I’m not a Men Rights Activists but after all the immature feminist that have insults & belittled me just for knowing “MRAS or MRMS” i’m considering doing that and if i do then all the liars and bullshitters need to fear me, i never give up and words and insults bounce off of me.I only care what family and true friends opinions are.[emphasis mine]

    Please really think about that. It sounds like some stuff in your life has gone really badly, and you’re finding some support/comfort in the MRA movement. Also, I’m reading this as that some of your friends haven’t been as supportive as you would have liked.

    But I really want to emphasize one part of that:

    need to fear me

    From the bottom of my heart, don’t let anger turn into a raging need to hurt people and make them lesser. There are other ways to go.

  398. 398
    Utakata

    Well…the proof of your bigotry seems to be in pudding you just served to us, briankeener. And what does this have to with the subject at hand?

  399. 399
    Eric O

    I’m angry about this. Not at you, Jen, but at the nasty people who are making this so unbearable for you. I’m hoping that the culture of the atheist movement will change in a few years (I’m an optimist) and that you’ll be able to find joy in blogging once again.

    But for now, take care of yourself.

  400. 400
    leni

    @ see the galaxy:

    @Tigtog: I should have been clearer and said this: “If you’re an atheist and you’re more worried about criticizing Jen McCreight (or giving cover to the rest of the hater-crowd) than you are about the religious right, you’re just a stump-dumb fool.” I don’t mean to be misconstrued as belittling concern for her well being…

    Misread you too, apologies.

    Sorry for the rape threats. I take them back ;D

  401. 401
    Intersex Trollassassin

    The Guild of Intersex Trollassassins does not embrace the ideology of atheist progressivism. But we do appreciate the opportunity for bloodsport which the present occasion has produced. In the coming days, we will be examining the historical record, in order to determine who are the earnest critics and who are the depraved trolls. And we intend to strike hard against the worst of the worst, because there’s nothing more fun than being judge, jury, and executioner. Join us – or join them.

  402. 402
    alyss

    I don’t really know what to say but that the response Jen has received has proven her point regarding everything she has said in respect how mysogonistic new atheism is.

    Why would anyone feel so threatened by any request for basic dignity for the marginalized simply belies their true nature, and it is no surprise then that Jen had her dignity ruthlessly tarnished by the very MRA’s and their supporters who claim to not really be engaging in those activities. I don’t understand how something can simultaneously, allegedly, not be a hate movement, and simultaneously engage in death and rape threats and highly sophisticated attacks, and claim innocence? How is this possible?

    Ms. McCreight, you have done an amazing job, you are an amazing woman, you write amazing things, these people are absolutely assholes, and they should all totally be serving jail time even for attacking you. There should be a law to prevent all these poor, oppressed, assholes from taking out their benevolent patriarchial concern for zygotes and women’s bodies out on us as women in the form of death and rape threats.

    Seriously, this is ridiculous.

    *hugs to you Jen, you are loved and appreciated, take care.

  403. 403
    alyss

    I also want to say thank you to you Ms. McCreight, for the safe space you have created for all of us, you are a very good, beautiful, and loving woman. Thank you so much for speaking out against the oppression, thank you for doing good :+)

  404. 404
    butterflyfish

    You know what? I’m totally buying your book, Jen, even if you write a textbook.

    And all the sad, angry little men (a subset of all the men) who are posting on here make me realize I should probably join A+, where they will get tossed the fuck out.

  405. 405
    Richard Wade

    Jen, I came here tonight to join you, to support you, and to show my support for Atheism+. But to my shock and disappointment, I find that you’re leaving. I’m very sad and sorry.

    I have hesitated up to now because of the very same vicious and hateful lunacy surrounding Atheism+ that you have described. I just didn’t want to walk into a bar room brawl. But I realized that that should not deter me. I should at least try to appeal to the better nature of the angry, hurting, and fearful people who spew their vitriol, and hopefully help in a small way if I can to bring the melee down to something resembling a rational, reasonable discussion, as would be fitting atheists who characterize themselves as rational, reasonable people.

    I also just discovered that there’s another person by the name Richard Wade who publishes his atheist views on the internet. He has a small blog that apparently receives no comments, but he expressed his dislike of Atheism+ in vague terms. (Vague seems to be his general style of expressing all of his opinions.) I simply wanted to go on record somewhere to say that the opinions of that Richard Wade are not necessarily the opinions of me, the Richard Wade who publishes on Friendly Atheist, and because of his opinions on Atheism+, I wanted to make sure that you specifically do not mistake him for me.

    I have been remiss and have not visited your site often enough, and for that I apologize. You and I have briefly met twice, once in 2011 at the SSA leadership conference in southern California, and once at the Reason Rally. On both occasions I tried to express my admiration for you, but because I’m kind of shy I don’t think I succeeded in adequately getting it across. I hope we meet again some day, and I have another chance.

    Take good care of yourself, and don’t feel any guilt or sense of failure. That would be completely unfair to you. You have done remarkable work for the cause of atheism, and you have enriched and broadened its scope, benefiting us all. When and if it’s right for you to return, please know that I am somewhere in the crowd of many, many admirers, supporters, and comrades.

    Your negligent friend,
    Richard Wade

  406. 406
    Bjarte Foshaug

    Jen, if you read this, I have earmarked $ 150 for a feminist organization or cause of your choosing. I tweeted you the same message yesterday, but it’s hardly surprising if it got lost in the flood of (hopefully mostly supportive) messages you must have received in the last 24h. If I don’t hear from you within a few days, I will donate the money to Equality Now as I did for Surly Amy. (Hope that’s ok with you.)

    I would also encourage everyone else it to make any donation can afford, both because supporting women’s rights is a worthy goal in itself, and to let all the misogynist wastes of space out there know that their bullying will ultimately backfire and strengthen the fight against patriarchy and misogyny everywhere.

  407. 407
    Pteryxx

    briankeener:

    I’m not a Men Rights Activists but

    Radical feminist
    labeling all men
    beta
    feminist lies
    hatred of men
    pursuit of women superiority
    everything benefits women
    men abused legally and discriminated against
    women as animals
    feminists laying in wait
    false accusations

    Could’ve fooled me. *checks off full MRA bingo card*

  408. 408
    watry

    I hope that the driving off of someone we respect leads more of us to take stands. In fact, after reading this post I’m a little ashamed of myself for rarely taking one.

  409. 409
    Ichthyic

    Look around Ladies and gentlemen there is no male patriarchy

    In their day, Uncle Toms tried to convince their fellows there was no racism.

    privilege is a remarkable thing. Have you examined yours?

    I’m guessing not.

  410. 410
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    briankeener:

    Whenever i present simple facts and statistics, their response, small dick, asshole, fuck you, go to hell , rapist, child molester, much more insults they use with the intention of chasing away a man or woman that dares speak the truth.

    I’m convinced that true feminism is dead and has been corrupted with this new age feminism which is nothing more then the hatred of men and the pursuit of superior women rights and privilege.Look around Ladies and gentlemen there is no male patriarchy, what male would intentionally set himself up to be abused legally, discriminated against, verbally abused, legally fucked as damn everything benefits women or more accurately the animals pretending they’re women and the pathetic male animals defending theirs hatred and making them victims even when they murder their own child.

    Emphasis Mine.

    Given that you know how to present facts and statistics to support your arguments, please produce some for your ridiculous assertion that there’s no male patriarchy.
    What, because you don’t think it exists, that means it magically doesn’t?
    Somehow just because you don’t see it it’s not there?
    You don’t even understand the concept, so before you dismiss it, go educate yourself. Male patriarchy is a deeply embedded concept that is quite a bit more complicated than your simplistic and *inaccurate* representation. If you’re interested in coming to a better understanding of the concept, you can start here:

    Patriarchy: one of the most misunderstood critical-theory concepts ever, often wilfully misunderstood. Patriarchy is one form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism (a ranking of inferiorities) and its privileges.
    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/21/faq-isnt-the-patriarchy-just-some-conspiracy-theory-that-blames-all-men-even-decent-men-for-womens-woes/

    Who are the feminists that led you to the conclusion that true feminism (whatever the heck that means) is dead? Please note, I’m not dismissing your experiences. There may very well be feminists that swing to extremes and hate men. But where is the evidence that shows feminism has been replaced by this new age feminism?

    Oh, and the crap you spew about men being victims is classic MRA speak. So if you’re *not* an MRA, it must be a coincidence that some of your views are shared by them.

  411. 411
    KDoug

    Sorry to hear that, Jen, but do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You already know it, of course, but I just want to add my voice and say that there are many, many of us who support you and the goals you expressed as Atheism+. Take the time you need. You’ve already done a lot for the movement and you deserve a break from the trolls.

  412. 412
    Anders

    Go rest. You have earned a rest from this, idiots or not idiots. Recharge the batteries and if you decide you can’t come back… then that’s the way it is. No blogging is worth your health, and no reader has a claim on your life.

    *hug*

  413. 413
    owenmarshall

    I’m sorry to read that things have been so hard for you. I wish that people had been more reasonable. I shall miss reading your blog. I find it witty and informative.

    I understand though.

    I hope that your life will be filled with success. I hope that you will meet your struggles in academia, in research, and in the rest of your life head on and that even if you do not always win, you will always know that you did your best.

    Take care.

  414. 414
    waltyarbrough

    So sorry to hear, Jen – you inspired me in many ways – not the least of which led to me joining with and helping out Jessica Ahlquist.

    Huge Hugs – sorry the haters got to you – you will be missed.

  415. 415
    scicurious

    Hi Jen,

    Afraid I only just saw this. Been a long time lurker on your blog, and always loved your stuff. I’m so sorry to hear about this, and I hope that you feel better soon. People should be ashamed of their behavior, and I will be calling it out whenever I see it.

    Blogging solidarity, I’ll miss you.
    Scicurious

  416. 416
    rpendlebury

    Very sad to hear. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you and thank you very much for the years of enjoyable and thought provoking blogging. I tried to write something about how much you’ve helped inspire me, but it all sounded too mushy, so I’m going with this, what I just typed, the earlier part of this run-on sentence, the bit where I say you’ve helped inspire me.

  417. 417
    stevenbey

    frankboyd:

    There’s a real fight out there, against real forces of theocracy and barbarism. Leave that to the grown ups.

    And what, exactly has been your contribution to the fight? Hint: commenting on other people’s blog posts doesn’t count!

  418. 418
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    Also de-lurking to say thanks. I hope you recharge soon, and that the flood of hate starts to dry up.

  419. 419
    davidmc

    Thanks for everything , Jen, you are awesome.

  420. 420
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    Oh, and innocentinfidell @361

    I just can’t sit by and simply not challenge the erroneous things you’ve said, nor allow you to continue on thinking you are always right, knowing full well you’re talking out of your arse.

    It strikes me that you are very young, have been brought up in a privileged environment, first world country, with every opportunity at your fingertips. You have made observations about the world around you that are very incorrect and clearly pulled out of your arse.

  421. 421
    innocentinfidell

    You tube is having a field day with you right now.

  422. 422
    No One

    And this to her “critics”:

    This woman took on the Iranian theocracy with her boobs. What exactly are you doing with your balls?

    Wish you well Jenny.

  423. 423
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Jen,

    I’m sorry about the way you were treated. I hope the support you are getting can bring you at least a small amount of comfort.

    I wish you the best. I hope the rest from blogging does you good and that you will decide to return when you are ready.
    Until then, I hope we’ll see you in the comments of other blogs occasionally.

    Take care.

  424. 424
    bradfeaker

    Jen – I wish you the best. Take the time you need and come back, if and when you are ready. Don’t let the haters win – take care of yourself first and foremost. I will miss your voice.

    Regards,

    Brad

  425. 425
    Blondin

    Jen,

    I just wanted to add my voice to those who say you haven’t failed anybody (including yourself). For every one those assholes spewing their vile, brainless nonsense there must be at least a dozen others who admire and respect the Jen we’ve come to know through your writing and actions.

    Look after yourself, Jen. See ya later.

  426. 426
    carovee

    I listened to one of PZ Myers google hangouts and you seemed incredibly frustrated. I’m not surprised you are ready for a break. Good by for now and good luck, Jen. I love your writing and I hope to read an occasional guest blog at some other site.

  427. 427
    piratefish

    stevenbey says:
    September 6, 2012 at 6:07 AM
    frankboyd:

    And what, exactly has been your contribution to the fight? Hint: commenting on other people’s blog posts doesn’t count!

    Allow me to respond to that: This is just to outline how an atheist can have social concerns well beyond these self-absorbed, “victim”, atheist+ feminazi concerns, and not to invite a competition. In the past 24mos I have actively participate in three raid protests on $cientology, I’ve sat with the OWS protests in my city, I’ve marched with students in protests over fee hikes. I stood with others at the British Consulate for Julian Assange, I’ve circulated and/or actively solicited signatures for several human rights petitions. I’ve added in on letter writing and e-mail campaigns, I have volunteered and solicited material donations for charity events, and twice a week I volunteer at my local community center, working with special needs children. And lastly I also have a religious and political activist web page.

    Now you tell me; with the exception of the religious activism part (and my tag name) what do any of those activities that I mentioned have to do with position on the existence of a God(s)? And bear in mind that some of those activities do come with some personal risk of negative back lash and/or harm. Is this fight against misogyny, against bad men and the advancement of the feminazi, atheism+ stupidity any more important than any of those things? If so, why?

    I’ll let you – and anyone who reads this – in on something I’ve learned over the past fifty years: males and females are and act different, in every species, always have, always will, that’s just simple biology. The feminist movement is much, much older than the skepchicks, and most all of the extremists of the feminazi types have come and gone with little fanfare, notoriety or accomplishment. I’m not saying that the feminist movement has had no impact or is unneeded, what I’m saying is the the extremists of that movement have never accomplished anything in regards to their utmost priority, namely making all humans realize how bad men are and to rid them from the planet. Trust me, when you look at men and women as a whole there are a lot of assholes of varying degrees on both sides. I don’t say any of that to minimize the *feminists* fight for social equality, I say it to emphasize that everyone has social justice concerns that deserve activism, and almost all of them have absolutely nothing to do with whether someone believes in a God or not.
    If the skeptchick feminazis want to fight for some perceived need for social justice in the name of women, fine, have at it. And if they want to recruit people from a particular segment of society, well that’s fine too. But when you want to jump on my identity, put me down and insult my personal integrity only in order to elevate yourself for your own concerns, simply because I don’t share the gravity of your concerns, even though you are no more or less atheist than I am, then I say “fuck you and don’t let the door hit you in ass as you go.” If you, anyone, wants to place themselves above me and tell me what is and isn’t socially important for the good of all humanity, then I repeat: “fuck you and don’t let the door hit you in ass as you go.”

  428. 428
    AJ Milne

    This woman took on the Iranian theocracy with her boobs. What exactly are you doing with your balls?

    Yeah. That.

    And y’know, speaking of, what I think is the other really sad thing about this?

    I was just looking back a bit at that boobquake coverage. That was good stuff, by and large. Nice moment of media prominence for an atheist blogger, nice demonstration of a sense of humour, and, in fact, actually a pretty coherent demonstration in its own attention-grabbing little way of just how silly is one specific religious claim, at least…

    … and on top of that, so far as I ever saw, the reaction of those being so (justly) ridiculed was, as I recall, pretty paltry. Oh, there was a bit of standard theological excuse making, how, see, actually, the deity in question might pass on the earthquakes for now so that sinners might work their way deeper into hell (yay, loving god). But I went looking ’round, trying to find some nice death threats or rape threats or vilification campaigns or so on over this, and came up quite short. And, I note, critically, here: whatever those mullahs and their followers did or said in response, Jen McCreight was still blogging in the aftermath to that particular event.

    Now, granted, the Iranian mullahs and Islamic states in general are pretty fucking nasty to women they actually have judicial control over, so don’t let anyone be imagining I’m letting them off the hook or nothin’.

    But then, the reality is, methinks, women-hating assholes will work within the means they have, and the drooling fucknuggets of the web have at their disposal primarily the opportunity to post endless anonymous hate and threats and puerile bullshit about blow jobs in an effort to hound a vocal woman off of the net, so that’s what they do. Lucky for us, I guess, they don’t have actual village mobs at their disposal to stone women who might have unapproved sex to death in broad daylight; mostly, they have to stick to darker corners and psychological warfare via TCP/IP.

    Anyway, still, it’s an observation and comparison I now feel compelled to make: Jen McCreight pointed out the stupidity of an Islamic mullah, and not a whole hell of a lot happened. Point out that the Islamists got some pretty shitty attitudes toward women, and hey, it’s a bit of press, some muttered excuses from those mullahs, and we go on our way.

    And then Jen McCreight tries to point out some of the atheists and skeptics of the web got some pretty iffy attitudes toward women and equality, tries, hey, to ask that equality of the sexes in the west and in the movement and at the conferences in particular be made something more of a priority…

    .. and the abusive, nasty shit goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until she has to take her leave.

    So thank you, you clueless fucking losers, for making even the mullahs look relatively good, at least in this one little way. I can’t tell you how impressed I am by this dazzlingly edifying display. And I am hereby doing a nice slow clap for all y’all, right now. Well done, people. Well done.

  429. 429
    aynsleysinclair

    I hope you will continue to be involved at A+ and continue speaking. Skip the blog! I actually feel most blogs don’t do much more than stir up anger and stupid replies. It’s like a table tennis match with the ball of hate going back and forth and back and forth. Unless you are a professional skeptic like Rebecca Watson, you have to be careful with your response, usually to some person with a fake name, because he/she can indeed intrude into your real professional life. We have lives outside of blogging and the internet. When they overlap too much, unless you are getting your pay check from the internet…it can be detrimental. Even PZ in real life is always described as a “nice soft spoken person”. His online life is very different than his real life life. The ability to swing that, or the ability to really have an on life persona totally different than your real life persona, is almost impossible. Someone once commented how could PZ online be so different than PZ in real life, and I said “If he was the way he was online all the time he’d go nuts and probably be fired from his real job” (could you see it, “Hello freshmen, you that aren’t atheists are simply stupid scum, please leave, as I can’t even deal with my anger with you…”). Keep writing, keep talking, we need your voice!! But blogging, it’s such a small part of the greater thing we call life. Enjoy life, we only get one and it’s not worth sacrificing for a few lines of text.

  430. 430
    Jen

    This thread is starting to get kind of nasty, and it’s only going to get worse…so I’m closing comments. If you still want to contact me, my email is in my bio. Unless you want to say something shitty to me, in which case just assume I’ve already made up some insult in my head, and you can move on and do something else.

    Thanks again for all of the support. I’ll be back.

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