Comments

  1. Fin says

    I have to wonder what they hope to achieve. Surely, by now they realise that they are unlikely to convince anyone that their position is valid, right? Especially since the language they employ is a large part of the problem. Maybe they’ll start to examine their position for flaws?

    /endless optimism.

  2. Neilp says

    I’m confused. I know the story behind all the drama, but where does ERV fit into everything?

  3. Matt Penfold says

    And – heh – I was more right than I thought. Yes, ERV/Abbie blew a new whistle.

    I should go and see what she had done, but some things are above and beyond the call of duty, and visiting ERV is one such thing.

  4. says

    Neilp – Abbie joined the torrent of abuse being thrown at Rebecca and hosted some 7 thousand+ (that’s a real figure, not hyperbole) comments at her place calling Rebecca “Twatson” a cunt a bitch ugly fat a criminal etc etc etc. Abbie herself called her a fucking bitch and made a reference to “sniffing after smelly skepchick snatch.” She called all this a “Monument” to everything she loves. She also called me quite a few choice names, and hosted worse ones.

  5. Stacy Kennedy says

    Meh, who cares.

    Haven’t encountered one yet that isn’t a dimwit. They’re not worth engaging.

  6. Neilp says

    Well that’s unfortunate. I rather enjoyed the few posts of hers that I’ve read and I hadn’t seen her comment on the issue at all. Maybe I just haven’t been paying enough attention, but this entire thing just seems rather silly to me.

    Is this really all stemming from the elevator incident, or have a bunch of other issues developed from it? Let me guess; everyone forgot the original issue and are now fighting amongst themselves just because?

  7. says

    Oh sure, there are other issues all right. The elevator thing was like a little pinpoint and then WHOOOSH there was a tornado/volcano/avalanche of shit. It peeled a lid off something I (and probably most of us) would have been happy never to have known about.

    The only common element is frothing hatred of women. All the “issues” are variations on that theme.

  8. Neilp says

    Figured as much. It saddens me that not only can we not agree on something as simple as “don’t come up to me alone in an elevator and proposition me for sex, please”, but something that simple then exploded. I’d think the skeptic community would be able to civilly talk something like this out. Isn’t that kinda what we do?

    Science and religion easy, wimmenz hard?

  9. Stacy Kennedy says

    (Clarification, probably unnecessary: My “who cares” was directed at the news about new verbiage coming from teh Menz, not at the fact that abuse has been and continues to be directed at Rebecca and Ophelia. I wasn’t responding to Ophelia’s comment, which wasn’t up when I began mine.)

  10. says

    neil – well we are famously mysterious you know.

    Hmmm… A quality bestowed as well upon gods by the patriarchy. And they, the howlers, had the nerve to label us “dogmatic”?

  11. Neilp says

    I think that last one went over my head :(. It is Friday though, maybe my brain is just rebelling.

  12. says

    Neilp, if you are referring to my comment, I was just connecting how the patriarchy prefers to keep both women and gods seen as mysterious.

    Feminism and atheism, in a way, aim to break through the fog that the patriarchy has erected around women and gods, but we had multiple atheists (including, sadly, some who should have really known better, such as the Jesus and Mo comic author) carry on about how feminism was dogmatic despite it being one of the very things tearing down that myth of how you can’t have insight into a woman’s point of view, which does so by ensuring that women’s voices, women’s feelings, and women’s thoughts matter and are heard and included. The snarky definitions of feminism and atheism are parallel in that way, feminism being the wild idea that women are people, too, and atheism being the crazy notion that gods are imaginary, not real.

    I mean, it’s absurd to call feminists “dogmatic” if you think about it that way. It’s something we’d expect an accommodationist atheist to say to a Gnu Atheist trying to get past all the twaddle thrown around about gods. But then again, “equity feminists” could very well be the accommodationists of feminism.

  13. says

    Neilp says: I’m confused. I know the story behind all the drama, but where does ERV fit into everything?

    Because Abbie Smith is a *gender traitor* dummy. She is a convenient dog Ophelia can kick with impunity while safely barricaded here – without providing any kind of substance other than cherry picked quote mining.

    There is nothing Ophelia hates more than a woman that succeeds on her own and is immune to professional victim snake-oil. It hurts Ophelia – so she spits venom at Abbie because she, rightly and without lifting a finger, highlights what a defective unit Ophelia is. (Ophelia also claims she’s not a misogynist. LOL!)

  14. Neilp says

    Actually, it was the comment above yours. I have no idea what that meant XD. I should use the magic Google.

  15. munkhaus says

    Ophelia, I worry for your sanity.
    It was I that saw your old post and, struck by it`s absurdity, commented. I then posted on ERV (the amount of times I have done so is in single figures, not that it should matter) because of the ridiculous calls to “stamp out” the free exchange that was taking place there.
    Now this post not only implying that Abbie had anything to do with it, but CONFIRMING it! This is utterly dishonest of you, and really shows your odd obsession/hatred of Abbie is crossing over into psychotic behaviour.
    Weirdo.

  16. says

    This is utterly dishonest of you, and really shows your odd obsession/hatred of Abbie is crossing over into psychotic behaviour.

    Wahahaha! AS IF! It’s so fun to watch trolls crash into a wall, burst into flames, and then run headlong back into the wall screaming as this Munkhaus character is doing.

  17. John Morales says

    [meta]

    munkhaus:

    Ophelia, I worry for your sanity.

    Really.

    I don’t believe you.

    Let me quote you the very phrase a certain person maliciously employed: “This is utterly dishonest of you”.

  18. says

    I’ll put myself in the firing line. I don’t see this simply as “men versus women”, which can be implied by the term “Teh Menz”.

    I see this as “enlightened versus unenlightened”. Perhaps there is a tendency for men to be less enlightened than women, but I think it is that as both sexes become less enlightened, there is tendency to move towards patriarchy and misogyny.

    I explained this on my blog: “A message of support for Rebecca Watson”.

  19. says

    Wow, the troll-shit in this thread is ugly. It really boggles the mind how they can expect anyone to be persuaded by such invective. The dehumanising touch of calling Ophelia not a person but a “defective unit” is especially neat.

  20. Chayanov says

    Abbie’s allied herself to the wrong side of history, but she’s dug herself in pretty deep. Losers indeed.

  21. julian says

    Hey there, munkhaus! How’s it going?

    Oh, still being an annoying gnat? Jeez, figured you would’ve grown out of that. To each his own, I guess.

  22. says

    Barry – what Alethea said. “Teh Menz” are not “men” – men are here all the time, so I would never wonder why they had turned up. I entirely agree with you that it’s not men v women.

  23. munkhaus says

    Oh Julian, is that you? So it really is just the same few people posting on these blogs, looking for their confirmation bias fix. Still a big pranny I see.
    Benson; you and your cohorts have shown yourselves to be both beneath contempt and beyond reach.
    I’ll see you all in hell.
    xx

  24. says

    I’ll see you all in hell.

    Such a childish fantasy. It’s what we have come to expect from you, Munkhaus.

    Still a big pranny I see.

    When you have to explain what your insult means to people, you have chosen the wrong insult.

    Benson; you and your cohorts have shown yourselves to be both beneath contempt and beyond reach.

    Coming from a troll like you, that’s a good thing! Seriously, look back and tell us what your point was in coming here. It plain to see that you were here to do nothing but throw insults around–that’s it.

  25. Aquaria says

    Ophelia, I worry for your sanity.

    Says a fucking moron.

    It was I that saw your old post and, struck by it`s absurdity,

    Just because you’re too much of a fucking moron to get the point of the post doesn’t make it absurd, only you, dumbass.

    commented.

    Too stupid to keep your trap shut.

    I then posted on ERV

    So you want cryin’ to Mama, huh? deyr bein meeeeen mommy! Poor diddums!

    (the amount of times I have done so is in single figures, not that it should matter)

    It tells us that you’re proud of being a woman-hating scumbag, but that’s not really a surprise anymore, dumbass diddums.

    So because of the ridiculous calls to “stamp out” the free exchange that was taking place there.

    No such thing. Abbie can be a self-loathing moron all she wants. Doesn’t mean we can’t call her that, dumbass diddums.

    Now this post not only implying that Abbie had anything to do with it, but CONFIRMING it!

    Well, you did try to stir up shit via her, dumbass diddums. Face fucking reality.

    This is utterly dishonest of you

    You’re the one who right here admitted that you went running to mama looking for a teat to suck on. Don’t be surprised when it’s noticed, dumbass diddums.

    and really shows your odd obsession/hatred of Abbie is crossing over into psychotic behaviour.
    Weirdo.

    Pot meet the fucking kettle. YOU are the one who was lurking over here and then went crying to Abbie about something. That means YOU are the one who seems to have the weird psychotic obsession, dumbass diddums.

  26. An Ardent Skeptic says

    I’m glad to know that vaccines really do cause autism because Jenny McCarthy says her son got it after being vaccinated.

    I’m glad to know that power balance bracelets really do work because lots of people that have bought them say so.

    I’m glad to know that John Edward really does talk to the dead because lots of people who’s dead relatives he has contacted say so.

    I’m glad to know that dowsing really does work because lots of people say they have seen dowsers locate water.

    I’m glad to know Bigfoot exists because lots of people have seen him.

    I’m glad to know that people really have been abducted by aliens because lots of people say they have been.

    I’m glad to know that as a skeptic I must accept anecdotal evidence without question, after all, Rebecca Watson hands us anecdotal evidence and we must accept it without question.

    No, that can’t be the issue for any of us. We’re just “Teh Menz”.

  27. julian says

    Eh? Shared personal experiences should be dismissed because… they don’t meet the burden of proof for the efficacy of a new drug or treatment? What?

  28. julian says

    I’ll see you all in hell.

    See you at THE THUNDERDOME!!!!

    btw, that actually reminded me of Les Mis for some reason. Think it was the last line in one of the songs.

  29. idahogie says

    No, that can’t be the issue for any of us. We’re just “Teh Menz”.

    No, Ardent. We’re not “teh Menz.” You are.

    If you can look at Rebecca Watson’s very reasonable and sincere comment about being propositioned at 4am and think “it’s only anecdotal — comparable to John Edwards and Jenny McCarthy,” well … there are only two options.

    1. You’re just a very ignorant, thoughtless person
    2. You’re reacting to this issue based on personal experience and bad history with women

    It could be both, I suppose.

  30. Stuartvo says

    I really need to stop reading these threads. I already have hypertension.

    Did I really just read yet another variation of “Rebecca lied about the whole incident, and therefore none of the misogyny we’ve seen since matters?”

    Tell me, “Ardent Sceptic” , are you “sceptical” about global warming, too? Because that’s the flavour of “scepticism” I see you using, i.e “i am sceptical of anything I feel uncomfortable about believing”

  31. julian says

    Pretty sure, Ardent Skeptic is a woman. I think I remember seeing her post at Jean Kazez’s and identify as such.

  32. says

    The issue isn’t agreeing with Rebecca Watson or not. The issue is going from disagreeing with Rebecca Watson to a sustained misogynist epithet-laden threat-filled campaign to destroy Rebecca Watson.

    Try to understand. Rebecca Watson didn’t do anything bad enough to justify a misogynist epithet-laden threat-filled campaign to destroy her.

  33. JennieL says

    Yeah,
    Accepting the veracity of testimony really isn’t the issue here.

    It would be the issue if the reaction had been:
    “Goodness gracious – propositioning a stranger in an elevator at 4am? I do not believe you. Such a thing could not possibly have happened.”

    Instead we got:
    “If men cannot make unwelcome advances to random women in elevators at 4am, then noone will ever have heterosexual sex again and the human race will die out OMG b*tch c*nt tw*t.”

    At this point, the question of whether the incident actually occurred is rather irrelevant, no? Suppose it really didn’t happen. Do we suddenly not have a massive attitude problem amongst a certain subset of the skeptic/atheist community?

  34. A. Noyd says

    An Ardent Skeptic (#32)

    I’m glad to know that as a skeptic I must accept anecdotal evidence without question…

    Right, because “sexism happens” and “men hit on women in ways that make them uncomfortable” are just as outlandish as tales of talking to dead people and alien abductions. Are you equally skeptical of your mother when she claims she ran into a friend while grocery shopping? Do you demand rigorous evidence for your sister’s complaints that aggressive dogs freak her out? Your “analogies” fail in structure as badly as they fail in content, too, since all are examples of appeals to the masses (except the vaccination one which is an appeal to authority but often shows up as the former). “Lots of people claim X, therefore it’s true” is in no way the same as saying “I had X experience, and it made me uncomfortable.”

    You might be skeptical about things, but you’re fucking terrible at reasoning and therefore a fucking terrible skeptic.

  35. penn says

    There is nothing Ophelia hates more than a woman that succeeds on her own and is immune to professional victim snake-oil.

    The anti-feminism is strong in this one. Keep telling yourself that you’re not a misogynist, while you spout old tired misogynist talking points that win you wide praise from mysogynists. You’re “post-feminist” and a “real skeptic” and the MRA’s who cheer you on get that. It’s just the stupid bitches who hate you for your success.

  36. munkhaus says

    Ophelia: “… torrent of abuse…”

    meet Aquaria. Btw, the sucking on teat reference is misogynist.
    Oh, and Jesus hates you. Especially you Julian, and fucknutina Cage.
    Charming level of conversation you have here!
    Tinkerty tonk!

  37. John Morales says

    [meta]

    munkhaus, your trolling is less than subtle, your misunderstanding of Aquaria’s reference amusing, your misapprehension of what constitutes misogynism silly*, your confusion of a comic with a faith stupid, your reference to the tone ironic, and your parting shot inane.

  38. says

    I don’t particularly want to dis Abbie as a woman in science, and I hope she does succeed in her career. But by what metric is a grad student supposed to be oh so superior to an author with at least 3 books under her belt that I know of?

    As to the veracity of Rebecca’s story: it matters not the slightest. I don’t care if she made it up entirely, just for purposes of illustration. It’s the response to her that matters.

  39. An Ardent Skeptic says

    Let’s be clear on the course of events, shall we?

    Rebecca may have received some hateful comments from YouTubers (who may or may not have been atheists or skeptics) after posting her initial video, but this didn’t really explode in the skeptical/atheist community until the Stef McGraw incident — when Stef questioned Rebecca about sexualization vs. sexuality, in a blog post, and Rebecca called her out for it during the CFI student conference (during which she also claimed that the elevator encounter was “objectification”).

    Rebecca can tell any anecdote she wants and I don’t care.

    But, when she, along with others, start making assertions that we must all interpret her anecdote the way she has, and accept it as evidence for a broader claim about sexism being the cause for fewer women than men participating in the atheist and skeptic communities, then as a skeptic I have a responsibility to demand better quality evidence than the anecdotal kind. That was the point of the analogies I was making. Should we accept that there is a god because people say “they have felt his power working within them”, “he has answered their prayers”, and “they have seen miracles”?

    Accepting anecdotal evidence as proof of broader claims is not being skeptical. Avoiding answering valid questions, by simply branding those who ask them as being part of some vast misogynistic conspiracy to destroy Rebecca Watson, is also not being skeptical.

    There has been an overabundance of certainty and self-righteousness from a small, but vocal, number of people on *both* sides of this issue. It’s an embarrassment. Can we please stop all the BSing and look at some substantive evidence that shows there is, in fact, a serious problem that is keeping women away from the community? Personal anecdotes from women who don’t stay away, and don’t stop participating, just isn’t cutting it.

  40. says

    (@ 45) – Oh I don’t mind a bit deferring to a scientist. I have all the respect in the world for Abbie’s work. I totally agree that what she does is a lot more important (and demanding) than what I do.

    But that makes no difference to the issue at hand. Even if she cures AIDS single-handed, that doesn’t make it ok to persecute someone.

  41. says

    Ardent – blah blah blah. I don’t care. None of that justifies the campaign against Watson. None of it. You’re interested in what you’re interested in, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

  42. Chayanov says

    “Given that ERV is basically Carl Sagan’s brain in Bar Refaeli’s body (plus a potty mouth); she is going to be the gender femmies public enemy number one.”

    Says it all, really.

  43. John Morales says

    Ardent Skeptic:

    Can we please stop all the BSing and look at some substantive evidence that shows there is, in fact, a serious problem that is keeping women away from the community?

    The actual proportion of women participants is not substantive evidence?

    Chayanov, no, it says nothing, really.

    First, you have produced an unsourced quotation; second, any claim can be “proven” with an appropriate premise.

    (The premise in that quotation is particularly silly)

  44. says

    Ophelia, I was responding to that horrible troll shit in which Abbie’s achievements are supposed to make you look like a defective unit in their glowing radiance or whatever. I don’t think we need to play “who’s better?” games – but even if we were, it’s far from obvious. She’s not the messiah, she’s a very naughty grad student.

    I do wonder, though, if Abbie is as prone to entrenching herself in a position in her scientific work as she has been in this sorry debacle. And also in the Pespigate case. If so, that could get in her way rather badly in the long run.

  45. A. Noyd says

    An Ardent Skeptic (#46)

    But, when [Rebecca], along with others, start making assertions that we must all interpret her anecdote the way she has…

    Here’s the problem. She didn’t do that. If I’m wrong, you can show me Rebecca’s own words where she does make that assertion and I’ll change my mind. If you can’t, you should accept you’re wrong.

    and accept it as evidence for a broader claim about sexism being the cause for fewer women than men participating in the atheist and skeptic communities

    She didn’t do this, either. The evidence for sexism driving women away from skeptical conferences is the significant number of women, speaking for themselves, who say so. Rebecca listens to those women and passes on what they’re saying as part of her activism.

    then as a skeptic I have a responsibility to demand better quality evidence than the anecdotal kind.

    As a good skeptic, you should be self-critical above all. Which you aren’t. You’re clinging to a belief that events went down in a way they did not and that things were said that were not said. And then, rather than doubting yourself and finding solid evidence for your beliefs, you want your opponents to supply you with evidence for the things we say never happened. That’s the opposite of skepticism.

    That was the point of the analogies I was making.

    Should we accept that Christians believe that Jesus transformed his cock into a pogo stick and hopped up to heaven while yodeling his impression of cats in heat? Should we then ask Chrisitans for evidence of this penis-pogo transformation in the face of their protestations that they don’t actually believe that? Because that is what you’re doing and that’s why your analogies fail. Only, what you’re doing is worse, because while the actual Jesus story is ridiculous, sexism is real and women’s claims about their feelings a is perfectly reasonable level of evidence for how women feel.

    [blah blah] *both* sides [blah blah] Can we please stop all the BSing and look at some substantive evidence [blah blah]

    Disagreeing with someone in a public forum is nothing at all like stalking, harassing and threatening someone you disagree with. That you equate them shows you’re a sick-minded, dishonest, delusional fuck. If you want to be taken seriously, then start acknowledging the difference and speak out against what’s being done to Rebecca. You can both disagree with her and be outraged at what she’s dealing with.

  46. Philip Legge says

    An Ardent Skeptic, to paraphrase your contentious list:

    1) vaccines cause autism
    2) power bracelets work
    3) John Edward talks with the dead
    4) water dowsing works
    5) Bigfoot exists
    6) alien abductions are real
    7) guy inappropriately propositions Rebecca Watson

    The issue is, your first six items are rather extraordinary claims that happen to be very poorly evidenced, or in some cases actually contradicted by supported evidence. The seventh claim, although in the form of an anecdote, is not a remarkable claim at all: men make inappropriate propositions to women all the time. Why the hyper-scepticism and goal-post shifting?

  47. A. Noyd says

    Philip Legge (#54)

    The seventh claim, although in the form of an anecdote, is not a remarkable claim at all: men make inappropriate propositions to women all the time. Why the hyper-scepticism and goal-post shifting?

    No, no, no, you’re making the same mistake I did by trying to apply AAS’s analogy to the way things really happened. You’re supposed to apply it to the fantasy version where Rebecca jumped out of nowhere to force everyone to accept sexism is a problem in the skeptic community armed only with the flimsy non-evidence of an anecdote about (maybe) being made uncomfortable once by a dude in an elevator (if that even happened).

  48. ckitching says

    The incident with Rebecca talking about the ElevatorGuy encounter was trivial and should’ve been completely non-controversial. The public shaming of Stef McGraw bothered me a little bit, but no where near as the supposed White Knighting the MRAers and their allies have used to spew an endless stream of misogynistic nonsense. The attempts to intimidate Rebecca with threats of violence, rape and death, harassment, and attempts to get her removed from the SGU podcast illustrate this nicely.

    “Teh Menz” is the same people who showed up on every female genital mutilation thread PZ ever posted complaining “What About Teh Menz?” and trying to shift the topic over to circumcision. No amount of “Yes, circumcision is bad, but this is about FGM” would ever sate these idiots. It’s clear these days that Teh Menz and MRAers don’t actually care about the problems they point to, but rather just want to hurt feminists. I learned this long ago when I naively attempted to point out that some of the problems they identified were hurting women, as well, and that feminists should be natural allies for these things. I was brusquely informed that feminists would never do something that increases equality for men, which runs quite counter to my understanding of history and how feminism has allowed men to enter job roles typically dominated by women, as well as the reverse.

  49. An Ardent Skeptic says

    Thanks, everyone, for the responses to my comments. You’ve been a big help to my research.

  50. munkhaus says

    John Morales:
    “munkhaus, your trolling is less than subtle”
    Says a fucking moron.

    “your misunderstanding of Aquaria’s reference amusing”
    Just because you’re too much of a fucking moron to get the point of the post doesn’t make it absurd, only you, dumbass.

    “your misapprehension of what constitutes misogynism silly*”
    Too stupid to keep your trap shut.
    (Ed: that asterisk had no correspondent)

    “your confusion of a comic with a faith stupid”
    deyr bein meeeeen mommy! Poor diddums!

    “your reference to the tone ironic”
    Says a fucking moron.

    “and your parting shot inane.”
    tells us that you’re proud of being a woman-hating scumbag, but that’s not really a surprise anymore, dumbass diddums.
    Face fucking reality.

    Anyone see what I did there? That`s right! Well done! I put Aquaria`s torrent of abuse directly under that Morales character`s attempted rationalisation of it. Do any of you feel the slightest bit ridiculous?
    It`s ok, I didn`t expect you to.

  51. A. Noyd says

    An Ardent Skeptic (#57)

    Thanks, everyone, for the responses to my comments. You’ve been a big help to my research.

    I really hope someday you’ll stop and ask yourself why it is you can’t simply show us how clearly the course of events happened the way you claim.

  52. julian says

    I see wit is not something you’re good at, Munkhaus. May I suggest sticking to your basic trolling? That actually does seem to be your element.

  53. A. Noyd says

    munkhaus’s attempt at showing us up brings to mind the time I watched an orangutan try to put on pantyhose.

  54. munkhaus says

    Julian, you may of course dear friend, how kind your suggestion!

    Yet with the lack of any other content whatsoever in your post I regret that I must direct you to your friend and associate Aquaria`s earlier torrent of abuse. Feel free to apply it, liberally, to yourself.

    Kisses.

  55. munkhaus says

    A.Noyd helpfully says:
    “munkhaus’s attempt at showing us up brings to mind the time I watched an orangutan try to put on pantyhose.”

    “Says a fucking moron.”

    Oh, hang on: it`s not ok when I do it?
    “Poor diddums!”

  56. says

    Oh, and Jesus hates you. Especially you Julian, and fucknutina Cage.

    You really suck at insulting atheists, Munkhaus. You do realize I am an atheist, don’t you?

    Try to understand. Rebecca Watson didn’t do anything bad enough to justify a misogynist epithet-laden threat-filled campaign to destroy her.

    The bilges of the online atheist community were stirred up by this for some odd reason. I just stumbled on what appears to be an MRA White Supremacist atheist web forum with a thread dedicated to Elevatorgate (a very creepy place called My Posting Career under a thread titled “To men who are posting here”). I wouldn’t doubt if a few of the more repugnant Watson-haters we’ve already heard from have a connection to it, their hatred runs so deep.

  57. munkhaus says

    “You really suck at insulting atheists, Munkhaus. You do realize I am an atheist, don’t you?”

    Oh, you`re an atheist? Why not accept the living Christ into your life? You seem to have unquestionally accepted all kinds of other bullshit.
    Jesus would hate you even if he did exist. Pranny.

  58. John Morales says

    munkhaus:

    Anyone see what I did there?

    :)

    Yah — feeble, fatuous troll-squirming.

    (Predictable acerebral reflexive stimulus-response; basically, the entirety of your repertoire)

    PS

    (Ed: that asterisk had no correspondent)

    The intended footnote would’ve been wasted on you anyway.

    (No biggie)

  59. A. Noyd says

    munkhaus (#63)

    Oh, hang on: it`s not ok when I do it?

    Do what? Cuss? Call someone a moron? No one here cares.

  60. says

    For the record, Aquaria’s #31 is not ok. I didn’t see it at the time, and by the time I did it was too late to do much of anything about it. Stupid sweary vituperation is not what I’m looking for, thanks.

    A Noyd, the cock–>pogostick is hilarious.

  61. Marta says

    Would the people who’ve escaped from ERV’s pit o’slime kindly crawl back under the rock from which they came? Thanks.

  62. says

    For the record, Aquaria’s #31 is not ok.

    It’s your blog of course, but Aquaria is a very well known and respected commenter, and I would ask everyone to look at the content and not the tone, or the amount of f-words. Besides, one does get a bit exasperated with these morons after a while, I feel the same.

  63. Philip Legge says

    Rorschach, I blame it on the décor: this salon for fighting fashionable nonsense does look ever so like the Pharyngula fight cages if you only concentrate on the colour scheme, and munkhaus’ post was trollish and entirely deserving of Pharyngula-like demolition. I totally appreciate where Aquaria is coming from and what she has fought against in the past.

    On the other hand it’s worth noting that the various blog-owners have set different areas of demarcation as to what level of language involves shitting on the carpet and chewing the furniture, and I value Ophelia’s blog for being a safer space for discourse than the no holds barred emphasis elsewhere. (It’s interesting that Greta has a much tighter specified and enforced editorial policy, but no one is calling for the waaaaaambulance to the same extent as the complaints over Ophelia’s supposed curtailing of “free speech” here. It’s a blog on the Internet: if you don’t like the editorial policy here, find another blog elsewhere FFS.)

  64. julian says

    If I remember right, Aquaria is a former service member, isn’t she?

    Several of the male posters at ERV made a great show of praising aggressive women (partiularly those in the armed service) their unwillingness to take bullshit and them suceeding without ‘what about teh wominz.’ One shared a story about his crew chief who chewed out one of his officers without remorse.

    Don’t see why they’d mind when the aggressiveness and no nonsense attitude is directed at them.

  65. says

    rorschach, I know, and I like Aquaria, but 31 is definitely not the kind of comment I want here. That’s not because I don’t find the ERV pack reprehensible enough! On the contrary, it’s because the comment is too ERV-pack-like.

  66. says

    Shouldn’t Dawkins have come out with another “Dear Muslima” letter telling all his followers to stop attacking Watson because nothing she did will ever compare to what happens to women in the Muslim world?

    I find it truly amazing that Dawkins would be so quick to swat down Watson’s complaints in the name of keeping injustices in perspective; but then say absolutely nothing in response to Watson’s deranged haters. Is Dawkins TRYING to make atheists look like a bunch of unhinged infantile sociopaths? Whose fucking side is he really on? Pope Palpadict’s? Karl Rove’s?

  67. Munkhaus says

    Aratina Cage: “Seriously, look back and tell us what your point was in coming here.”

    It was to point out a fact: that this from Ophelia
    “heh – I was more right than I thought. Yes, ERV/Abbie blew a new whistle.”
    is not just untrue, it is wilfully dishonest, and to note that her obsession with Abbie Smith is bordering on the mental. Of course you all swarm over that with shrill cries of “troll! Kill the troll!”. Ophelia called me an “ambassador” from ERV. Any introspection here? You know, about why you do this… categorise immediately as “enemy”? Is there a shred of “skeptical” self-questioning? It`s interesting.

    Teh Menz (or whatever handy label you use to compartmentalise the other) popping up on an old thread were 2 comments at the time of this post; the “old thread” was less than two weeks old. Truly ancient.

    That antiquated thread, ostensibly about the twitter troll, lasted 7 comments until Ophelia couldn`t hold back a rant against Abbie with the familiar slavering “fucking cunt bitch” that Ophelia just can`t contain whenever the young scientist pops into her mind.(which seems to be unsettlingly often).
    Then it descends into how to shut this woman Smith up – creationist tactics… complain to a higher power of the offence! The offence!

    I noted on that thread from a bygone era that Ophelia want`s Abbie to be responsable for the comments over at ERV, then she wishes to dodge responsability for the comments here calling for an absurd campaign to censor Abbies blog for her. I think I called it hypocrisy or something.

    Pause: Doesn`t all this strike you as incredibly childish? (I half expect a reply quoting that back at me “yeah YOU are Munkhaus!ahhah!)

    Morales “The intended footnote would’ve been wasted on you anyway.” – yeah!haha, you`re an idiot Munkhaus! Isn`t he everyone!

    Don`t you read these threads at a quiet reflective moment and think… christ, I hoped for better from us.?

  68. says

    So, Munkhaus, it’s perfectly okay for a bunck of overgrown prepubes to spend MONTHS heaping abuse and even threats on a woman who has done nothing harmful to anyone; but when we talk about such disgraceful behavior, that’s an “obsession” “bordering on the mental?” Grow up two decades and come back next week.

  69. says

    Raging Bee – I don’t suppose Dawkins knows about the deranged haters. Maybe he does, but I doubt it. My guess is that after the last comment he made at Pharyngula on the subject – the one soliciting explanations of what he didn’t get, if I remember correctly – he put the whole thing behind him. That’s just a guess though.

  70. Philip Legge says

    That’s some industrial strength projection you have going there, munkhaus.

    You were the one who resurrected a thread which had lain fallow for eleven days in order to start your inane and mendacious trolling. You then went crawling back to the ERV thread to complain about comments by two participants in the thread (not by Ophelia herself), which is presumably what alerted TylerD to drop in with his helpful contribution to that thread.

    Now the gap between the time stamps on your posts at B&W and ERV appears to be about three hours, but I’m guessing that’s partly owing to the difference between the respective bloggers’ time zones, and that the actual gap was perhaps one hour, ± several minutes. Thus by the time that Ophelia posted comment #2 in this thread, Abbie’s new comment in response to your post at ERV was appearing as the most recent comment over there. And that new comment lumped Watson, Benson, and Myers together with a parting shot of: “Losers are losers, *shrug* Thats what they do.

    So, I really have to hand it to you: nice job of howling there, wolf. Thanks for provoking a new whistle with your trolling. The real question is, what set you off?

    Did your repeated inability to engage with the elevatorgate challenges over at Stephanie Zvan’s blog upset your applecart? Did you find with your complete failure over there that you needed to search out new pastures to go hunting trolling?

    Regards, etc.

  71. says

    Raging Bee, it would be great if Dawkins were to do such a thing. I really doubt he would at this point, though. He seems to recoil at the idea of feminism on his own website in an old February post about a million dollar challenge if you care to look it up.

    Munkhaus,

    Any introspection here? You know, about why you do this… categorise immediately as “enemy”? Is there a shred of “skeptical” self-questioning? It`s interesting.

    That was comment #30 you are just now responding to. Anyway, I’ve laid out why I feel justified in thinking of you the way I do at Stephanie Zvan’s blog. The more interesting question is why you don’t apply those same questions to yourself given the evidence I have cited about your own behavior.

  72. munkhaus says

    Legge;
    Yes, actually, I was looking for a quote by Watson, to contradict Zvan’s charge of me “baldfaced lying” when I found the post by Ophelia.(the quote never made it to Zvans page, curiously). Did you not want anyone to find out about the complaints campaign? Was it imprudent of me to mention it? They had mentioned free speech over there and I thought it relevant.

    I’m sure I’m not above criticism, and indeed merit some, but don’t believe I’ve received any above the level of playground jibe.

    Have any of you seen the German film Die Welle? Any insights on how irrational behaviour can creep up on us? (by us, I mean me and everyone else, not you guys, obviously)

  73. says

    The only way Dawkins could be ignorant of what his own followers started, is by conscious choice. Either way, his failure to say ANYTHING about the hate campaign his own actions played such a huge role in launching, proves him a pathetic coward, eager to smack down a woman who’s never been a real threat, but totally averse to facing the consequences of his actions, or saying anything that might alienate his cult-like fan base. At this point it should be clear to anyone willing to use his/her eyes that Dawkins cares more about protecting, and profiting from, his own rock-star status than he does about using that status to do something good.

    Dawkins didn’t just bad-mouth someone unnecessarily; he helped instigate a wave of bigotry, hatred, cyber-bullying and threats; and then did nothing to correct his mistake. His recent creation of a fund for child-care at atheist events does not compensate for that, and cannot be used to pretend he’s not all bad. He’s flushed the last of his integrity down the toilet, and can’t buy it back.

  74. julian says

    then she wishes to dodge responsability for the comments here calling for an absurd campaign to censor Abbies blog for her.

    Ok first of all, if Ms Benson isn’t calling for such and such and has stated she doesn’t care for such and such she can’t be accused of supporting such and such, can she? Now you can argue that she’s giving some ideas free fields to dine in, and that’s a perfectly fine criticism to make of a lot of people, but she isn’t arguing for those ideas. Where Ms. Smith has not only voice approval for the harassment aimed at Watson, she’s also encouraged, engaged in and commended others for it. Really not two comparable situations.

    And would you stop using censoring. No one is stopping you from voicing displeasure at Ms. Watson’s conduct or advocating your ‘right’ to harass any women for sex. You are free to and can even do so on many of the blogs that consider you to be little more than a buzzing gnat irritating people committed to ending sexism in our society.

    Censoring someone for using nigger in a discussion of civil rights is not abridging his free speech. He can still present whatever ideas he pleases. He just may not engage in clearly inflammatory, racist and demeaning language. This should not be so hard to comprehend.

    Censoring a group that’s participated in a campaign to harass and malign someone is also not taking away their free speech. It’s ensuring that the individual being harassed can enjoy their life free of harassment. That does not mean free of criticism or being shown unfair favor.

  75. says

    Raging Bee – really? Dawkins couldn’t just be unaware of most or all of the verbal acid being thrown at Rebecca? It seems to me he could, pretty easily. I don’t say that because I want him to be guiltless, it’s just that I think it’s very unlikely that he’s been paying close attention – he has other things to do.

    julian – if you mean the suggestions about writing to NatGeo to report violations of the Code of Conduct, I haven’t actually said I don’t care for that, I’ve said only that I haven’t written to them myself. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, in fact. Given the existence of the Code of Conduct, and what it says…the violations are pretty glaring, and abundant.

    What I wonder about munkhaus is why munkhaus objects to my pointing out the undeniable fact that Abbie’s Watson-threads are all full of cunting and bitching and that Abbie has herself called Watson a fucking bitch. The idea is supposed to be that there’s nothing at all wrong with that, isn’t it? If there’s nothing wrong with it, what’s so terrible about my pointing it out? If it’s admirable and brave for “the young scientist” (as munkhaus calls her) to call women fucking bitches, then why fret that I say she does that?

  76. munkhaus says

    You do seem to revel in it.
    And, well, this is perhaps the crux Ophelia, that’s twice in this thread alone you’ve said:”Abbie herself called her a fucking bitch”
    Does this not strike you as a little teenage? In the school canteen:
    “She called her a fucking bitch!” “What?!”
    “Yeah! What a fucking b.. Er, what a dumb fuck!”

    I would say it’s all a bit Mary Whitehouse, except the abuse is flying from both sides. So the only difference is that you exclude certain words as verboten, sexist epithets, yet fail to apply the rule consistently: male parts are fair game because… men aren’t oppressed or something. It’s all a smokescreen and comes down to this:
    Abbie called your mate a fucking bitch.
    So now everyone goes all Sharks n Jets; I’m just trying to be Maria.

  77. says

    munkhaus – no. No it doesn’t strike me as a little teenage. Male parts are not fair game. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Yes, I forbid sexist epithets, just as I forbid racist epithets. The difference is nobody tries to use racist epithets here, but sexist epithets? Oh that’s a whole different story. Racism is serious business but sexism? That’s just a big fucking joke. Why’s that? Well duh – because women don’t matter; because women are just a big fucking joke.

    I’ll tell you something else. I don’t call people ugly. Or fat. Or old. Or smelly. Or losers. I don’t name-call. I don’t encourage name-calling. I left Aquaria’s name-calling (not to mention yours) but I don’t want her to do it again.

    So don’t give me any of this bullshit. No, I’m not the teenage brat around here.

  78. says

    And no, it’s not a “smokescreen.” Don’t you call me a liar, you anonymous piece of shit. (Oh looky there, sometimes I do namecall. When nameless people call me a liar for instance.) It’s not a smokescreen and it’s not because Abbie called “my mate” a fucking bitch. I didn’t know Rebecca at all before all this happened; the only reason I know her a little now is because I’ve been resisting it. The resistance came first. If it had been Abbie that a bunch of thugs were calling a cunt and a fucking bitch I would have resisted that. It’s not because X is or is not my mate, it’s because I’m a woman myself and I don’t want to be called a cunt every time some jerk disagrees with me.

    And as for you, your comments are going to be held in moderation from now on. If you want them to be posted, you have to write something worth posting.

  79. says

    …except the abuse is flying from both sides.

    EQUAL AMOUNTS of abuse (and threats, remember) from both sides? I don’t think so. This halfhearted false equivalency argument pretty much proves munkhaus has nothing to say. He’s just upset and embarrassed because we’re pointing out the immaturity of him and his chums. There’s no use trying to reason with him.

    And no, I don’t think it’s possible for Dawkins to be completely unaware of what his most vocal fans are doing. For starters, he was confronted by PZ (and possibly others) when the whole shitstorm started, he’s responded to criticism, and he’s explicitly refused to admit he did anything wrong. He knows damn well something is up; so if he hasn’t kept up on details, it’s only because he chose to turn his back on it and pretend he doesn’t hear anything.

    Do you think Dawkins is unaware of the praise he’s got from his fans for that child-care fund he started? ERV’s hate-fest began with such praise. If Dawkins is really that unaware of what his own fanboys are doing, then he’s too fucking clueless to be called a “leader” of anything. What good is he if he’s that disengaged? Can anyone trust him to know what he’s talking about?

  80. says

    Mmmm – yes, but that’s what I’m saying: that he turned his back on it. That’s actually one reason he shouldn’t have started it in the first place, which I don’t think I’d noticed before – he was unlikely to be willing or able to follow the ensuing ruckus so he shouldn’t have started it.

    I really don’t think he has time or inclination to follow blog controversies at this level of detail. I don’t think that’s reprehensible in itself (to say the least)…but you’re right that having started it he shouldn’t just drop it.

  81. Munkhaus says

    Well, I wasn´t expecting such an outburst. Perhaps I should have.

    I wanted to add that I was encouraged by your resistance to Raging Bee`s call for another 5 minute Dawkins hate because he, literally, hasn`t done anything. But I suspect I shan`t be allowed any more comments. Especially when I ask you, in all sincerity, whether:

    “the cock–>pogostick is hilarious.”

    would have been quite so hilarious if it had been a “twat based” joke. Would you have even allowed it here? It think we both know the answer.

    “Male parts are not fair game. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    Well… also Laden is fond of calling people tool, and dick is common usage amoung the sceptic crowd, the kicking in the nuts and balls and threats of sexual violence on pharyngula.
    But, this is why I imagine people go to ERV etc. Here and at Laden`s and Zvans… if you say something people don`t agree with, or point out hypocrisy you are abused and dismissed, and that frustration leads to escalation.

    I`ve been trying a different tack my last couple of posts, trying to have a calm chat but it hasn`t worked. Even my “Maria” line fell flat.
    But even so, well done for trying to reason with Bee`s ” Let`s go for Dawkins again! It`s his fault!”

    Back to the pointing and laughing I spose.

  82. says

    You didn’t expect me to rebuke you for calling me a liar? You’re right: you should have.

    I notice you neither withdraw the accusation nor apologize for making it – you don’t even notice my rebuttal.

    Come on. Do you seriously find “Should we accept that Christians believe that Jesus transformed his cock into a pogo stick and hopped up to heaven while yodeling his impression of cats in heat?” insulting and sexist? I find it very hard to believe that you do. A cock is a good thing. A twat is a bad thing. The joke is funny because Jesus isn’t supposed to have a cock, not because it’s a sexist insult.

    “Common usage in the sceptic crowd” and what’s said at Pharyngula have nothing to do with what I say and what I allow here. It’s ludicrous to pretend I don’t get to object to “cunt” and “fucking bitch” because some skeptics call people dicks.

    As for why you imagine people go to ERV – bullshit. They go there because they love love love all the cunting and bitching combined with a prestigious blog on a prestigious site. They go there because they love it that their nonstop misogynist ranting keeps that thread among the Most Active threads at SB.

  83. says

    I looked at the SB front page this morning, out of curiosity. The ERV thread is #2 in Most Active. What can that be like for the other SB bloggers? It must be a bit creepy, that thread hanging around for 3 months – a vicious defamation campaign against one not-very-powerful woman, a campaign with no connection to science at all.

  84. says

    …he was unlikely to be willing or able to follow the ensuing ruckus so he shouldn’t have started it.

    I agree. And on top of all that, he didn’t have to start anything, because the incident didn’t involve him and there was no indication that his expertise was required (or even relevant) to solve anything.

  85. julian says

    I can think of two comments you might interpreting as sexual violence.

    The first is ‘go fuck yourself with a decaying porcupine.’ That (from my reading) is just a play on ‘up yours’ and ‘go fuck yourself.’ Neither ‘up yours’ nor ‘go fuck yourself’ is encouraging sexual violence against anyone. They’re statments of extreme distate and displeasure (and of course, vulgarity) with nothing to suggest the speaker wants to sodomize you or that you should be sodomized.

    Now if it were ‘I wish I were there so I could fuck you with a broken broom handle’ then you’d be (in my opinion) right. The sexual violence is explicit and its very core is someone being violated by another. It’s threatening rape.

    The other comment I can think of is ‘go fuck yourself with a rusty knife’ which I agree (because of who it was said to and how it was received, although I still don’t know enough backstory behind it) was over the line. But it also wasn’t advocating sexual violence.

  86. says

    They go there because they love it that their nonstop misogynist ranting keeps that thread among the Most Active threads at SB.

    They also love it because it’s probably the only place on Earth where they can dominate a conversation and feel powerful without having to act like grownups. Seriously, these MRAs are clearly people who are completely unable to handle real adult relationships in the real world; and have no desire to do anything other than throw tantrums and scream babyish insults at whoever they can get to listen; because nobody in the real world will tolerate such nonsense anywhere near them, their work, their favorite hangouts, or their families.

    These are the lowest of the low, the most immature of the immature, and the most unsocialized of the unsocialized.

  87. says

    Bee @ 93 – oh, sure. I was taking that for granted. I was just saying the not being willing or able to follow up was an additional reason. (Mind you, he couldn’t have known how much fallout there would be.)

  88. says

    Bee @ 95 – well they could all gather at Hoggle’s place instead. But that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun because Hoggle’s place isn’t on SB.

    It’s pretty selfish of them in terms of Abbie’s long-term interests, but one can’t expect them to figure that out if she can’t.

  89. says

    It’s pretty selfish of them in terms of Abbie’s long-term interests, but one can’t expect them to figure that out if she can’t.

    I don’t know what the fuck Abbie is thinking. I never heard of any such controversy revolving around Abbie on SB before, and she seems a decent SciBlogger otherwise; so I see absolutely no reason for her to destroy her image and credibility by allowing even one hateful troll to keep on posting such disgraceful nonsense, let alone so many for so long. Ed and PZ have banned better trolls than those, with the full support of their regular audiences. What does Abbie gain from hosting, let alone encouraging, such hateful horseshit for so long? Is there some kind of petty rivalry with PZ that’s getting out of hand? Desperation for the ego-boost of staying on the “Most Active” list for as long as possible? Is something happening in her personal life that’s making her unhinged? Or is she just so sycophantically devoted to Dawkins, and so pathologically hateful of his critics, that she’s willing to give up her dignity just to lash out at them, and keep on lashing out until she either dies or gets banned herself?

    If I were Dawkins, I’d be horribly embarrassed to have supporters or fans like her.

  90. Luna_the_cat says

    @Philip Legge #79:

    This is completely off-topic, but please tell me what you do to embed comments like that.

  91. says

    Yes I’ve been wanting to ask that too! Mind you I suppose I could just hit Edit on a comment and figure it out…

    Bee I don’t know, except that I think the main motive is just loathing. It sort of has to be, because without that all the free-floating rage and disgust would be intolerable (to her, I mean).

  92. julian says

    Ms. Smith does not agree that the language and behavior on her blog is ‘wrong’ or misogynistic. Nor would she care if it were as she has made it clear she’d refuse to ban or censor someone for basically any reason. Her ‘commitment’ to free speech is something she and all her commentors are proud off.

    This is not a group (and I’ll throw Dr.’s Coyne and Dawkins in there) that feels they should be compelled to answer for the behavior of others ever regardless of their participation or encouragement. Going off my armchair analysis, it seems like an extension of their hatred for concepts like privilege. ‘I am not my gender. I am not my color. I am not responsible for what other whites/men/Christians have done.’

    So they refuse to do anything about their fellows. Afterall, why should they? They aren’t responsible for the racist/sexist/classist things others have done or said. They don’t have to answer for the ‘crimes’ of these others and you’re wrong for trying to say otherwise. In fact, that makes you intolerant. Can’t you tell they’re different people?

    It’s ironic and depressing to know the same people who demand believers be held accountable for their failure to recognize the privilege they enjoy or their part in encouraging extremists are entirely unwilling to apply the same standards to themselves. But hey, no gods, no heroes right?

    Anyway those are my not entirely fleshed out thoughts. Would appreciate feedback as I don’t like characterizing others unfairly.

  93. says

    This is not a group (and I’ll throw Dr.’s Coyne and Dawkins in there) that feels they should be compelled to answer for the behavior of others ever regardless of their participation or encouragement.

    Dawkins has done anything about his followers in the past. As I’ve mentioned several times (apologies to anyone who’s sick of it) he once told off a bunch of them at RDF for talking shit to me after I protested their calling a woman who wrote a very stupid bad article a stupid bitch. He also emailed me to apologize. So he’s not completely oblivious or indifferent.

    If Dr Coyne doesn’t feel he should answer for the behavior of others regardless of their participation or encouragement (as I agree he apparently doesn’t), there’s an enormous irony there. The irony is in the fact that he sent me a very heated, angry email back at the beginning of all this, because Salty Current had said Miranda was a moron and a gender traitor, and in response I had said only “Nah” along with an explanation of where Miranda was coming from. Dr Coyne wanted to know why I hadn’t done more than that; I was expected to do a better job of defending his friends from insult. Yet Dr Coyne has never whispered so much as a “Nah” in response to any of the spittle-flecked garbage on Abbie’s thread, and neither has Abbie. (And Justicar and Michael Kingsford Gray comment on his blog. It’s interesting that they are careful not to talk there the way they talk at Abbie’s though. They both wear a mask at Dr Coyne’s blog.)

  94. says

    Here and at Laden`s and Zvans… if you say something people don`t agree with, or point out hypocrisy you are abused and dismissed, and that frustration leads to escalation.

    I really can’t stand that you won’t own up to that being your very own behavior despite the evidence. It strikes me as you being insincere.

  95. says

    @julian

    The other comment I can think of is ‘go fuck yourself with a rusty knife’ which I agree (because of who it was said to and how it was received, although I still don’t know enough backstory behind it) was over the line. But it also wasn’t advocating sexual violence.

    That was a con move by Wally Smith (as a sock) that was not investigated by M&K but instead promoted as truth. The original comment was not directed at M&K at all, and it was made by one of the regular Pharyngulites not at anyone we were engaged in a conversation with. Don’t believe anything Wally Smith wrote.

  96. A. Noyd says

    Munkhaus (#90)

    would [it] have been quite so hilarious if it had been a “twat based” joke. Would you have even allowed it here? It think we both know the answer.

    Good grief. It’s possible to use humor involving genitals without doing so in a sexist way. Why are you even in this discussion if you don’t understand the objections being made to the use of words like “twat”?

  97. Philip Legge says

    First, a quick HTML primer for Luna and Ophelia. If you check out the list of Allowed Tags above where you submit your replies, you should see the following two tags: <acronym> and <abbr>, both of which have an attribute that you can insert along with the tag, i.e. <acronym title="">. Obviously, what you put into the title tag is what appears as the floating text. So to generate the fourth word of this post with hidden text to be displayed when you move the cursor over it, I typed:

    <acronym title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</acronym>

    Second, you’ll notice if you embed hyperlinks using the markup: <a href="http://…"></a> — this tag also allows you to use the title="" attribute, meaning that you can format the floating text for the hyperlink as well (check out the links below). If your web browser allows, also feel free to check the source code for this post (you should be able to search for “comment-author-phi1ip” to find my comments) if you want to see how it’s all done.

    As always, you should remember to close HTML tags as well: </acronym>, </abbr> or else they will run unstopped to the end of the current paragraph. I also highly recommend use of the Preview feature!

    Some back-story about “fuck you” comments on Pharyngula. The original “rusty knife” comment on Pharyngula was a metaphorical threat made in response to a well-known apologist and defender of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse. The fact that it was explicitly stated as being metaphorical didn’t prevent:
    1) PZ Myers explicitly asking commenters to refrain from uttering threats.
    2) Wally Smith quote-mining the comment but conveniently subtracting the “only metaphorically” part.
    3) people lying that the uttering of threats was allowed speech on Pharyngula.

  98. says

    I knew that, because I edited one of your comments so the html was revealed. I look forward to playing with it. Funny that people don’t use it more; it’s very cool.

  99. Philip Legge says

    If readers checked out the Wally Smith quote-mine which I linked to in my previous comment, you’ll notice he listed over two dozen “fuck you” quotations which he’d lifted from Pharyngula — but without linking to the original sources, and quoting them completely devoid of all other context, which would have been helpful to see why they had been uttered and by whom (the fact that there is swearing on the Internet is totally unremarkable). Context is important, you know?

    Now I sort of think there is a point about violent imprecations, which is why I find I really have to go out of my way to be motivated to use them. One of the trolls pointed out Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s argument in Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors that verbal abuse of the direct form “Fuck you” has an implicit “I” at the beginning of the construction, since “[t]he speaker is vividly asserting his claim to higher status, and his contempt for those he considers subordinate.” This slightly weakens the claim that such comments are metaphorical, but only a little: establishing dominance hierarchies by verbal abuse doesn’t mean that everything uttered signals intent. Usually wanting to fuck with the target of a “fuck you” is the last thing that the speaker actually wants.

    So it’s not surprising that the “fuck you” meme was viewed as problematic even in the rowdy bar-room environment of Pharyngula: you have to employ the “this is metaphorical” tag to avoid being “gotcha’d” by trolls like Wally Smith (who might decide to quote-mine you, removing that part in any case); the dominance hierarchy is problematic if it is generally supposed to be a non-consensual one; and the use of an implement like a rusty knife (even metaphorically) is getting into the area of violent, possibly triggering imagery.

    Consequently, rapid memetic evolution occurred: the construction is usually now seen in the form of “go fuck yourself…”, which subverts Sagan and Druyan’s implicit “I”: if there is a kind of “I” implicit there, the dominance hierachy is altered to be rather more like this: (implicit:) “You disgust me, so I think you should…” followed by the (explicit:) “go fuck yourself” and the implication is that “I” wants no part in what that might involve.

    The choice of a decaying rodent with sharp quills as the object to “go fuck yourself with” may be perverse, but its very impracticality also makes it hard to take it as a literal insult: if it’s supposed to be a threat, then it’s a patently ridiculous one. (I shouldn’t have to point out that the direction to stick it up your arse is non-gendered, which again is a good thing, memetically.)

  100. says

    If readers checked out the Wally Smith quote-mine which I linked to in my previous comment, you’ll notice he listed over two dozen “fuck you” quotations which he’d lifted from Pharyngula — but without linking to the original sources, and quoting them completely devoid of all other context, which would have been helpful to see why they had been uttered and by whom (the fact that there is swearing on the Internet is totally unremarkable). Context is important, you know?

    I did compile a list of them, here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/episode_xxxiv_you_can_say_that.php#comment-2320421

    (Please forgive the jumbled mess they are in. At the time, PZ allowed HTML lists and they used to form a nice list, I swear!)

  101. says

    And I feel so satisfied after reading some of those quotes in context, such as the one to “Karol” who stomped into Pharyngula and began comparing gays to Jeffrey Dahlmer and saying other really sick, wretched, disgusting, slanderous things. And that’s how Wally Smith rolled. But we’re seen as the ones who are mean and bad and nasty because we dare to tell trolls like that where to shove it (yet, that is exactly what shaped Pharyngula into what it is today, with a little help from PZ in the form of a walk to the dungeon for the trolls that pose a health hazard to themselves).

  102. Munkhaus says

    “You didn’t expect me to rebuke you for calling me a liar?”

    I didn`t, you merely imagined it. Perhaps I misused smokescreen… is it never passive? Sorry for misunderstanding. Fog, or red herring better? Anyway:

    “A cock is a good thing. A twat is a bad thing.”

    Erm. Is that serious, or supposed to be good enough? What is this, Zardos?

    ” It’s ludicrous to pretend I don’t get to object to “cunt” and “fucking bitch” because some skeptics call people dicks.”

    I`m certainly pretending nothing of the sort; you can and do object to whatever takes your fancy. But you can`t claim consistency about gendered epithets when you only object to those of one sex.

    @A.Noyd “Good grief. It’s possible to use humor involving genitals without doing so in a sexist way. Why are you even in this discussion if you don’t understand the objections being made to the use of words like “twat”?”

    I`m relieved to hear that. As to the second sentence, the objection seems to be “A cock is a good thing. A twat is a bad thing.” That is a little mental.

    @Julian,
    Yes all those about effing with rusty whatnots. It`s good to see context being taken into account, but I can`t see it helps too much.

    Also, there are several instances of kicking in the balls/nuts.
    I think this is another instance of penis good, vagina bad. Who the hell taught you that?

  103. Philip Legge says

    True. That is indeed a limitation. (I tend to use them as the equivalent of footnotes or [meta] text rather than expecting people to want to quote and respond to them.)

  104. John Morales says

    [OT]

    The choice of a decaying rodent with sharp quills as the object to “go fuck yourself with” may be perverse, but its very impracticality also makes it hard to take it as a literal insult

    I remember that; it was partly chosen because Pharyngula frowns on animal cruelty.

  105. John Morales says

    [OT] Pteryxx,

    re floating text: Well, it’s cute but very difficult to quote or paste, IMHO.

    It need not be; you can copy the markup rather than the result, tags and all.

    (FireFox makes it easy; select what you’re quoting, right-click for “view selection source”, copy the source, paste the source)

  106. Dunc says

    What does Abbie gain from hosting, let alone encouraging, such hateful horseshit for so long? … Or is she just so sycophantically devoted to Dawkins, and so pathologically hateful of his critics, that she’s willing to give up her dignity just to lash out at them, and keep on lashing out until she either dies or gets banned herself?

    That has certainly been my impression. I remember she once jumped to the conclusion that Twisty Faster, of all people, must believe that “religion is gender-normative for women”, simply because Twisty had a go at Dawkins for linking approvingly to a particularly lousy piece by Camille Paglia – despite admitting at the time that she had absolutely no idea who either Twisty or Camille are or what their views might be, and not bothering to do any work to find out. That was the point at which I stopped talking anything she had to say on gender (or Dawkins) seriously.

    (For those who don’t know, Twisty is so anti-religious she makes Dawkins look like the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is vehemently opposed to the very concept of gender in all forms. Camille Paglia is probably the internet’s favourite anti-feminist, although she would argue that she is, in fact, a feminist, and that every other feminist in the entire world is doing it wrong.)

  107. Luna_the_cat says

    @Philip Legge, Ophelia:

    Thank you. I found both the HTML discussion and the discussion of the trolls enlightening.

  108. says

    I must say I find the discussion of the particular mechanics involving porcupines (don’t forget that they have to be dead and decaying) highly amusing.
    I cringe much more when people say “go die in a fire”, because the sceario is real.
    In German you have the wish that somebody should go out and play on the Autobahn with something poisonous.
    Again, it’s so ridiculous it can’t be taken literally.

  109. says

    “In German you have the wish that somebody should go out and play on the Autobahn with something poisonous.”

    That’s funny – it reminds me that my brother and I used to do that – tell each other to go play in traffic and then elaborate on the theme for amusement value.

  110. A. Noyd says

    munkhaus (#113)
    me:

    Why are you even in this discussion if you don’t understand the objections being made to the use of words like “twat”?

    you:

    As to the second sentence, the objection seems to be “A cock is a good thing. A twat is a bad thing.” That is a little mental.

    Nope, that’s not the objection. Are you trolling or do truly you not realize that “cock = good, twat = bad” is not a statement of the values people hold here, but a summary of the predominant cultural attitudes towards those things? It’s an explanation of why there’s a discrepancy between epithets involving male and female genitalia and why, to be non-sexist, jokes have to take that discrepancy into account. If you think “cock = good, twat = bad” is mental, then you should be taking issue with the sexism in society that perpetuates such attitudes. There are threads and threads and threads devoted to explaining this issue and you’ve either missed them or haven’t really listened to what people are saying.

    Anyway, I’m done with you since you clearly have no interest in engaging with people’s actual arguments and correcting you is tiresome.

  111. says

    (…Camille Paglia is probably the internet’s favourite anti-feminist, although she would argue that she is, in fact, a feminist, and that every other feminist in the entire world is doing it wrong.)

    Paglia is such a complete fucking airhead that I sometimes suspect her articles are actually written by a random word generator. Molly Ivins (PBUH) wrote an absolutely merciless and spot-on dissection of Paglia, of which the phrase “plaster-of-Paris Mount Olympus” was only the most memorable bit.

    Oh, and is munkhaus still whinging about gendered insults, when the original topic was a months-long campaign of cyberbullying, shrill shrieking deranged hatred, and attempted marginalization of one person who hasn’t committed any crimes? That alone shows what a worthless, small-minded twit he is. Petty troll is petty. The weak mind is like a microscope: it magnifies small things and can’t handle big ones.

  112. says

    Anyway, I’m done with you since you clearly have no interest in engaging with people’s actual arguments and correcting you is tiresome.

    Which is why his comments now get held in moderation. :- )

    So far I’ve approved them, but because of the tiresomeness factor, I may stop. Then again munkhaus will probably stop first.

  113. Munkhaus says

    “do truly you not realize that “cock = good, twat = bad” is not a statement of the values people hold here, but a summary of the predominant cultural attitudes towards those things?”

    This doesn`t explain anything. So because society is sexist you have to go along with it? Ah but:

    “is not a statement of the values people hold here” you say, yet you a conforming to those values and perpetuating a discrepency as you say, by treating those words diffently. The vagina is bad says sexist society so we must treat it as bad. This doesn`t make any sense. If you`re after equality that is.

    ” If you think “cock = good, twat = bad” is mental, then you should be taking issue with the sexism in society that perpetuates such attitudes. ”

    I`m taking issue with you. You`re perpetuating it. Again, jokes about cocks are good but jokes about twats are bad. It`s you!

    Twat isn`t bad in my society, and where I live right now the slang words for vagina are used for incredibly good things rather than insults.

    Ophelia: “Which is why his comments now get held in moderation. :- )”

    Oh yes, funny isn`t it.

    “So far I’ve approved them, but because of the tiresomeness factor, I may stop. Then again munkhaus will probably stop first.”

    This is nice; so you can end it at will and people will assume I just wandered off. Very nice of you. Same thing happened at Zvan`s: present an unwelcome opinion or in my case, unwelcome facts, and… that`s it. Cut off. An entirely honest way to conduct yourselves, but I`m used to it. Don`t know why I thought engaging in a conversation might work.

  114. says

    Oh stop that, Munkhaus. Have I been unfair to you? You’re the one who popped in here to make a stink and then went to ERV to make a stink. If you want me to tell people I cut you off if I do cut you off, then I will. Since I haven’t done that yet, why don’t you hold the tantrum until I do.

    Fascinating about how cunt and twat are used where you live, but not relevant, because the issue is how they are used at ERV, which is not “for incredibly good things rather than insults.” They are used for insults at ERV – to put it mildly.

  115. says

    present an unwelcome opinion or in my case, unwelcome facts, and… that`s it. Cut off. An entirely honest way to conduct yourselves, but I`m used to it. Don`t know why I thought engaging in a conversation might work.

    Which you yourself did to me on Twitter. Stop acting like you are above all of that. You do it, too.

  116. A. Noyd says

    I’m reminded of this one time I was arguing with a creationist and we were having serious communication issues because his understanding of evolution was the usual parody presented on creationist sites. I said he could still disbelieve, but couldn’t he at the very least acknowledge that scientists use a very specific definition of evolution. And he couldn’t do that much. He couldn’t do something so simple as say “I think X=Y, but others say X=Z.”

  117. Philip Legge says

    A. Noyd,

    here’s another example of this same practice, exhibited right here on FTB today:

    1) Stephanie Zvan posts at length on radical feminism, supplying a non-controversial definition of the term.

    2) Tristan enters the comments at #3, supplying his own definition, which is naturally completely different from Stephanie’s.

    3) Jason Thibeault immediately replies at comment #4, “By whose definition, Tristan? Because that’s not the definition the rest of us are using.”

    You can’t have a reasoned argument with someone who’s going to arbitrarily shift the goal posts. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  118. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee.

    Do you want PZ do apologise for every bad thing “his followers” say on his forums?

    Dawkins can’t be held responsible for all the gutter comments thrown at Rebecca Watson, just as PZ can’t be held responsible for all the gutter comments thrown at others. Dawkins hasn’t even allowed personal insults to stay on his site, unlike some others I could name.

    You can’t pretend that a number of prominent atheist/skeptic blogs didn’t go into all-out-war mode after Dawkins’ trivial comments. One of the biggest culprits is new Bill O’Reilly fan Greg Laden, who yet again recently stuck it in despite stating that he wanted to “move on”.

    I wish some of you folks really would do that.

  119. says

    Tim Groc, I, for one, will gladly “move on” when the defamation campaign targetting Rebecca Watson ends. Until then, I don’t feel the least bit inclined to do so.

  120. A. Noyd says

    Philip Legge (#129)

    here’s another example of this same practice, exhibited right here on FTB today:

    I’ll have to take your word for it. It would be too tempting to join in and I really can’t afford to get distracted again today since I have to read over 30 pages of my biochem text and summarize a Japanese news article with sentences like “歴史的に同国を影響下に置いてきた南のインドに対し、北の大国・中国が経済援助をテコに存在感を強め、それぞれ関係が深い政治勢力を推す「代理戦争」の構図が混乱に拍車をかける” before noon tomorrow. But then, I’d struggle more to imagine an internet discussion about feminism that didn’t have unteachable dumbasses waving their uninformed opinions around.

  121. says

    Do you want PZ do apologise for every bad thing “his followers” say on his forums?

    When a large chunk of his regulars do something reprehensible in direct and traceable response to incitement from PZ, then yes, I’d expect PZ to own up to his role in the affair — especially after others had informed him of what his peeps were doing.

    Dawkins can’t be held responsible for all the gutter comments thrown at Rebecca Watson…

    He can if the comments were in direct response to statements from Dawkins. That’s the issue here: it’s not guilt by association, it’s guilt by direct and traceable incitement — incitement of people who would not have heard of the incident AT ALL if not for the inciting statements.

    One of the biggest culprits is new Bill O’Reilly fan Greg Laden…

    “New Bill O’Reilly fan?” Are you fucking kidding me? You just blew your credibility straight to Hell with that bogus (and totally gratuitous) charge.

    You want to move on? Stop lying and shut the fuck up.

  122. says

    Oh, munkhaus, you thought the lie was that Rebecca had said anything about Scientology? Silly incoherent train wreck. I read what Rebecca wrote when she wrote it. I do read Skepchick, you know. No, the bald-faced lie was that what was done to Rebecca was in any way the same thing that Aratina did to you in clicking on the Twitter profile of someone who Tweeted at him.

  123. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee

    You are simply picking and choosing what type of comments you want people to be responsible for. This is hypocritical.

    You say that Dawkins would be guilty “by direct and traceable incitement — incitement of people who would not have heard of the incident AT ALL if not for the inciting statements.” But that last statement is simply a qualifier to make things suit you. I could cite far worse comments from both sides of the divide that have influenced and incited further comments. Do you hold those “directly” responsible, too. In effect, you can charge PZ guilty of the same as you charge Dawkins with regard to the slanders of “rapist” and “gender traitor”.

    You also make a historical mistake in implying people would not have heard of this AT ALL if it were not for Dawkins’ comments. But we both know the abuse started after the Stef McGraw incident. You can’t rewrite history just to suit your own ends.

    As for Greg Laden (whose credibility has gone down the drain), he posted a comment saying promoting Dawkins’ new book left a bad taste in his mouth, but that he wanted to “move on”. A couple of days later he mentioned Dawkins again. He also headlined one of his posts “Bill O’Reilly powns Dawkins”. Have you actually watched that horrible interview? Laden is an O’Reilly fanboy.

    Finally, I would point out that, unlike, ERV, B&W and Pharyngula, etc. Dawkins has not allowed his site to become a centre for slanging matches, thus not “inciting” further insults to be traced back for responsibility. Keep that in your thoughts.

  124. says

    But that last statement is simply a qualifier to make things suit you.

    Can you prove that, by reference to specific comments of mine? No, you can’t, because you’re deliberately ignoring the reasoning I have offered to back up my accusations.

    But we both know the abuse started after the Stef McGraw incident.

    That incident was nowhere near as widely publicised as Dawkins’ comments.

    I could cite far worse comments from both sides of the divide that have influenced and incited further comments.

    All of which happened AFTER Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” letter.

    You also make a historical mistake in implying people would not have heard of this AT ALL if it were not for Dawkins’ comments.

    That’s not a “historical mistake,” it’s a FACT that is easily demonstrated by reference to comments posted on the Internet for all to see. A fact that many others have mentioned independent of me.

    Laden is an O’Reilly fanboy.

    Prove that using specific quotes from Laden, or admit you’re full of shit. So far, all you seem to have is the fact that Laden said O’Reilly managed to make Dawkins look foolish once — which isn’t hard because a) O’Reilly has made a career of trying to catch his “enemies” in their own words, and he’s not bad at it; and b) Dawkins has said a lot of stupid things over time that leave him open to such entrapment. Admitting this widely documented fact does not make anyone an O’Reilly fanboy.

    Finally, I would point out that, unlike, ERV, B&W and Pharyngula, etc. Dawkins has not allowed his site to become a centre for slanging matches…

    That does not mean Dawkins’ words have no effect elsewhere. Oh, and comparing this site to ERV’s, despite the obvious differences in the tone and content of the comments, only further proves how unable you are to face the reality of what’s happening here. Face the facts, boy: your idol made a really stupid mistake, and neither he nor his fans have the guts to acknowledge it. That’s why you’re telling US to “move on,” while not moving on yourself.

  125. Tim Groc says

    No, you can’t, because you’re deliberately ignoring the reasoning I have offered to back up my accusations.

    Your reasoning is very weak and does not justify your conclusions. Your explanation of your claimed right to demand who apologies to whom fails when it is compared to other instances, as I pointed out. It would be fine if you accepted that others suchs PZ owed apologies, but you made it clear you only want Dawkins to apologise with the lame excuse that “some” of the insults began after his comments – which I have shown was not the basis of this divide.

    All of which happened AFTER Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” letter.

    And after the Stef McGraw incident. And after the “rapist” slurs.

    All of which happened AFTER Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” letter.

    And after the Stef McGraw incident. Even if you are right, it does not mitigate the comments from blogs such as Pharyngula and ERV.

    That’s not a “historical mistake,” it’s a FACT that is easily demonstrated by reference to comments posted on the Internet for all to see. A fact that many others have mentioned independent of me.

    Yes it is a fact, actually. The row began with the Stef McGraw incident. Stop pretending that it doesn’t. You can’t rewrite history! This is also a fact many others have mentioned independent of me.

    Prove that using specific quotes from Laden, or admit you’re full of shit.

    I already did prove it. Greg posted a link to the interview with the heading “O’Reilly powns Dawkins”.

    Admitting this widely documented fact does not make anyone an O’Reilly fanboy.

    He did not state these widely documented “facts” that you speak of. Sources, please.

    That does not mean Dawkins’ words have no effect elsewhere.

    You are attempting to mitigate the role blogs such as this one have played in the aftermath.

    Oh, and comparing this site to ERV’s, despite the obvious differences in the tone and content of the comments, only further proves how unable you are to face the reality of what’s happening here.

    And what is the reality? That numerous people have overreacted to Dawkins trivial comments, while ignoring the Stef McGraw incident? That is the reality.

    Face the facts, boy: your idol made a really stupid mistake, and neither he nor his fans have the guts to acknowledge it.

    Then he is simply in the same company as PZ and Rebecca Watson. That’s even if you can prove Dawkins’ comments were as “bad” as you seem to be claiming. He certainly did not attempt to smear someone as a rapist, or a “gender-traitor”. What do you have you say about that, or do we get the silent treatment again.

    That’s why you’re telling US to “move on,” while not moving on yourself.

    No, it is people like Greg Laden who wants US to “move on”, just before he hypocritically kicks the bee’s nest again.

  126. says

    Your reasoning is very weak and does not justify your conclusions.

    You did not point out where my reasoning was weak. Out here in the grownup world, the same reasoning is applied to the public statements of all manner of public figures, not just Dawkins.

    Your explanation of your claimed right to demand who apologies to whom fails when it is compared to other instances, as I pointed out.

    WHICH “other instances” exactly? You do not specify other similar instances in which I apply different standards, therefore you are lying when you claim to have pointed them out. And since you’re so dishonest about what’s been said here, there’s no reason to continue arguing with you.

    That numerous people have overreacted to Dawkins trivial comments, while ignoring the Stef McGraw incident?

    Are you saying “the Stef McGraw incident” justifies, or caused, any of the merciless mindless hatred directed at Watson? Most of the people shrieking such hatred at Watson hadn’t even HEARD of the incident before Dawkins drew so much attention to Watson through his own comments.

    Oh, and you’re lying again when you accuse us of “ignoring” that incident. I know for a fact that the incident was argued over at some length. Once again, you’ve proven youself a babyish liar, so I won’t be wasting much more time trying to reason with you.

    The fact is, Dawkins has a much larger following and fan base than any of the other actors in this sordid affair. Recent events have proven that his words have more consequences than others'; therefore he has significantly more obligation to be aware of the consequences of his words (if only for his own reputation), and to take reasonable action to mitigate said consequences when necessary. That’s part of what being a leading figure in the skeptic/atheist community is about. Why the hell are you so unwilling to acknowledge such an obvious fact of life? If you’re not grownup enough to face this, just shut up and let the grownups do the talking.

  127. says

    No, it is people like Greg Laden who wants US to “move on”, just before he hypocritically kicks the bee’s nest again.

    Quote Greg himself saying something so hypocritical, or admit you’re full of shit. I’ve been following Greg’s coverage of this affair, and I’ve NEVER heard him tell anyone to move on. In fact, he’s one of the people admitting we can’t move on because injustices are still being done. So once again, you’re lying about what Greg is saying, and trying to argue your bogus points with people who know Greg better than you seem to think we do.

  128. says

    Tim Groc

    In effect, you can charge PZ guilty of the same as you charge Dawkins with regard to the slanders of “rapist” and “gender traitor”.

    I challenge you to produce the actual quotes where people were being accused of being a rapist (and yes, actually in the legal sense of should go to prison, not a rape apoligist, not potential rapist, not of having the mindset of a rapist, not of if they did that they’d be a rapist) and where this went unchallenged, was quietly accepted or supported.

    I further challenge you to provide evidence that regulars of Pharyngula have engaged in a months-long hate campaign against Dawkins or Abbie Smith, slandering everything about them and trying to get them out of their profession.

    So, put up or shut up.
    If things really are as you say, this should be easy for you.

  129. A. Noyd says

    Tim Groc (#135)

    In effect, you can charge PZ guilty of the same as you charge Dawkins with regard to the slanders of “rapist”…. But we both know the abuse started after the Stef McGraw incident. … Laden is an O’Reilly fanboy.

    Liar, liar, pants on fire.

    No one was called a rapist. A certain set of morons can’t tell the difference between calling someone an actual rapist and the talk of “Schrodinger’s rapist” or calling people rape culture enablers or the analysis of “rape-y” behaviors. There are threads and threads where people tried to explain the fucking difference.

    The Stef McGraw incident happened because the abuse started when Rebecca posted her “guys, don’t do this” video. This is a fact.

    Laden is not an O’Reilly fanboy, and the blog post headline could be ironic or a bit of schadenfreude or even a lamentation that someone he despises got one over on Dawkins. Your inability to interpret it any other way does not mean that there are no other explanations.

  130. says

    we both know the abuse started after the Stef McGraw incident. –Tim Groc

    A falsehood that is documented by Rebecca Watson herself in the talk she gave in which she responded directly to Stef McGraw’s criticism. The misogynistic verbal abuse started right away on YouTube.

  131. says

    Funny thing about “people” calling people “gender traitors.” Best I can find, one person did that, in a blog post that has comments from her saying, “Yes, this isn’t a great term to describe what I mean. I’ll try to do better.” I can’t find any reason to think that PZ has anything to do with the post. Am I missing something?

  132. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee:

    Quote Greg himself saying something so hypocritical,

    “I did need to watch the video twice to get the bad taste out of my mouth, but we must move forward”. Interestingly, Greg has now “lined-out” the last bit. Previously it wasn’t. This is another admition that he does not want to “move on”.

    A week later of course, he brings up Dawkins again, saying “Bill O’Reilly Pawns Dawkins”. He denied that this was an attempt to generate traffic for his site, but he couldn’t clarify why he needed to raise the subject again, when, in his words, he had a “bad taste” in his mouth. He is a hypocrite over this matter.

    In fact, he’s one of the people admitting we can’t move on because injustices are still being done.

    I now realise that, and Greg is doing his best to troll the argument with comments on Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Dawkins. As for injustices, I agree, there are injustices. Not of all them are emanating from ERV. As I previously suggested, apologies are due from many other blog owners for comments made on their sites. You, Greg, Ophelia, Abbie, PZ, etc. DO NOT dictate who needs to make apologies so that certain individuals can “move on”.

    So once again, you’re lying about what Greg is saying

    Since I’ve now provided the quotes, we can see that you are wrong. Just like you were wrong were regard to the historicity of the Elevatorgate event and its aftermath.

  133. Tim Groc says

    Giliell

    I challenge you to produce the actual quotes where people were being accused of being a rapist (and yes, actually in the legal sense of should go to prison, not a rape apoligist, not potential rapist, not of having the mindset of a rapist, not of if they did that they’d be a rapist) and where this went unchallenged, was quietly accepted or supported.

    There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist. Do you deny this? Again, this is where certain blog owners are partly responsible for content on their sites. Just as you can blame Abbie (with justification) you can blame others (with justification).

    I further challenge you to provide evidence that regulars of Pharyngula have engaged in a months-long hate campaign against Dawkins or Abbie Smith, slandering everything about them and trying to get them out of their profession.

    I don’t condone ERV or its commentators. But accusations of “gender traitor” (slander) did not originate from there. I’ve spotted plenty of abuse directed towards Dawkins on various blogs and I condemn that. I also condemn abuse thrown at Miss Watson, and I concede that some of it (of what I have seen) has been vile.

    PS – Apologies for the previous double post.

  134. says

    There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist.

    No. There were lots of people pointing out that from the POV of a woman in an elevator with an unknown man who invites her to his room at 4 a.m., EG might be a rapist. That’s not a factual claim that maybe EG was a rapist, it’s a claim about what it’s reasonable and/or safe for a woman to assume. It’s a claim about what Watson could know, not about what EG really was or is.

  135. says

    And as for the condemn this and also condemn that – take it somewhere else, ok? I haven’t said anything within shouting distance of what’s been piling up at ERV, so don’t pretend it’s all much of a muchness.

    I did say “aw fuck you” to Miranda once, in response to an offensive thing she said. That doesn’t measure up to months of cunt this and bitch that. Don’t pretend it does.

  136. Tim Groc says

    Hello Stephanie,

    I remember, you refused to answer my questions with regard to cognitive dissonance reduction.

    As for “joining” the cesspit – I didn’t. I merely posted the comment I typed as a response to some of Mr. Laden’s errors and hypocrises. After Laden attempted to unjustly censor me, I posted the comment there. It contained no abuse and no insults.

  137. Tim Groc says

    Ophelia,

    And as for the condemn this and also condemn that – take it somewhere else, ok?

    Why? This thread is full of condemning. For me, this is the nub of the matter. You say take the condeming elsewhere, but you establish a thread to do exactly that.

    I haven’t said anything within shouting distance of what’s been piling up at ERV, so don’t pretend it’s all much of a muchness.

    I am not pretending anything, and I am not measuring anything. I said I condemn the abusive comments on ERV. But you can’t just pick and choose which comments you want to find abusive. This is why I asked Stephanie about her cognitive dissonance reduction. It is hypocritical, and she could not answer the question and instead changed the subject.

    I’m arguing that it is not all much of a muchness, and ALL abusive comments should be taken in hand. It is certain bloggers and certain commentators who have chosen to ignore some abusive comments while ignoring others.

  138. says

    Tim Groc, no idea who that is. But per Stephanie Zvan’s link, I don’t think I want to know:

    And I’m still very very pissed at Watson for her treatment of Stef McGraw. There is NO forgiving here (although it may happen, depending on whether Watson finally plucks up the courage and admit she made a mistake and apologises). But, I won’t forget this.

    He won’t forgive her? For what? What in Duck’s name did she do that is so unforgiveable? And he won’t forget it? Does that mean he’ll continue to obsess about it for the rest of his life? Why is it so damn important to him?

  139. Tim Groc says

    Aratina Cage,

    That was a response to Greg Laden’s statement that he “won’t forgive” Richard Dawkins until he plucks up the courage and admit he made a mistake.

    So it was a rhetorical copycat response aimed at exposing Mr. Laden’s double standard. It worked.

    In reality, I don’t ask forgiveness from Rebecca or Richard or anyone else. But I will ask a very important question here – what in Duck’s name does Richard Dawkins have to apologise for?

  140. says

    Oh, right. Tim. The guy who manages to write grammatical sentences with no logical connection to anything at all because he doesn’t have anything to say except that everything should be treated exactly equally even though he can’t say why they’re equivalent.

  141. says

    Tim Groc, very well. I see Greg Laden said nearly the exact same thing about Dawkins at #14 there, so, not having known that, I apologize and take back #152 seeing as how your technique is valid.

    Now, that is Greg Laden’s position, not mine. I know from experience that you aren’t going to like everything about a person and that sometimes even the best do disagreeable things or make mistakes. I have also found that sometimes the only way is forward; if not, a truce might be the best option in at least some situations.

    However, I do think Richard Dawkins ought to apologize to Rebecca Watson for mocking her in the “Dear Muslima” letter and for the “zero bad” comment which was not zero-bad (I hope that answers your question); he has apologized before when he went too far or was ignorant of the facts on the ground and I see no reason he can’t do it again.

  142. Philip Legge says

    Tim,

    Richard Dawkins has been observed to be somewhat tone deaf on issues of feminism for some time, and his blundering into the comments at Pharyngula on the Rebecca Watson is merely the most recent example. The last thing he is on the record as having written on this particular issue (unless someone is willing to correct me) included the following:

    We should fight all bad things, the slightly bad as well as the very bad. Fair enough. But my point is that the ‘slightly bad thing’ suffered by Rebecca was not even slightly bad, it was zero bad.

    There has been substantial argument contra RD that the situation represented by Rebecca Watson’s anecdote was not “zero bad”, while on the other hand a number of commenters have willingly entrenched themselves to the “zero bad” view. These people can only rationalise that view by minimising or denying various points of Watson’s narrative and generally ignoring multiple related aspects like human behaviour and psychology, linguistics, criminology, etc. etc. etc.

    Before signing off Richard also finished the statement quoted in part above with:

    No, I obviously don’t get it. I will gladly apologise if somebody will calmly and politely, without using the word fuck in every sentence, explain to me what it is that I am not getting.

    And to their credit, many, many people have done exactly that and answered his challenge of attempting to elucidate the point of his perplexity “without using the word fuck”, which is why his complete subsequent silence is concerning, for a man as widely respected for his atheist credentials as he is: what could his silence mean? Possibilities:

    * That he regards the arguments as unconvincing, and therefore Rebecca Watson’s encounter with Elevator Guy is still “zero bad”? (If so, his gross insensitivity is noted: women should toughen up, rather than men clean up their act.)
    * That the larger point, that feminism is a fundamental part of the humanistic ethos of organised atheism, is only important on his terms? (Such as, the RDF providing financial support for childcare at TAM = important; harrassment of women by anti-social men at atheist conferences = unimportant)
    * That his silence is indicative of his consent to the view that Rebecca Watson’s various slanderers are in the right? (I don’t believe this one at all, but it would be so easy for Dawkins to take the moral stand on this: why hasn’t he?)

    A lot of people who highly respect Richard Dawkins would respect him the more for breaking his silence and admitting “ok, now I get it”.

  143. says

    Tim Groc –

    But you can’t just pick and choose which comments you want to find abusive.

    Of course I can! Some comments are not abusive at all; some are mildly rude (or “abusive”); some are very rude; some are viciously sexist or racist or homophobic. I’m responding to the last type.

    If you posted a copied comment at ERV that amounts to joining the cesspit. You must know that from having read the comments there. This is all very disingenuous.

  144. Tim Groc says

    Aratina Cage:

    I’m still not convinced Dawkins’ comments warrant an apology, and I still think the reaction was OTT.

    I accept Dawkins’ comments were silly and he didn’t need to wade in and make them, however his criticism of Rebecca was not particulary harsh or brutal. Yes, they were sarcastic. Yes, they were something of a straw man. But were the comments actually offensive in the context of what people say on blog threads such as Pharyngula. Nope. Not in the least. You can find examples of much worse.

    It was simply that groups of people were “taking sides” at that moment, and so any criticism of Rebecca was blasphemy. Since then, positions and opinions have simply been set in stone because of that initial overreaction.

    Philip Legge,

    So what if Dawkins is “tone deaf” on feminism. Does that make him a sexist? No. I actually don’t agree that he is “tone deaf” on these issues, as he puts in work supporting and promoting women. Sure, his holistic response (comparing Rebecca’s plight to Muslim women) to Rebecca raises questions about his overall ability to judge the more intricate areas of feminist issues, compared to the more obvious threats women face, but does that really make him a “tone deaf” person? Can anybody honestly say 100% that they are not “tone deaf” in some respect?

    It might be the case that he didn’t take Rebecca seriously enough, but his comments were simply criticism. Yes, they were somewhat clusmy and satirical, but it was simply criticism – the kind of goes up on threads day in, day out.

    That he regards the arguments as unconvincing, and therefore Rebecca Watson’s encounter with Elevator Guy is still “zero bad”? (If so, his gross insensitivity is noted: women should toughen up, rather than men clean up their act.)

    Even if Dawkins realises that the situation was not “zero bad”, I still don’t see the case for an apology. It was criticism, fair and simple. BTW, it is simply a non-sequiter to infer general rules for men and women from this single instance.

    That the larger point, that feminism is a fundamental part of the humanistic ethos of organised atheism, is only important on his terms? (Such as, the RDF providing financial support for childcare at TAM = important; harrassment of women by anti-social men at atheist conferences = unimportant)

    The humanistic ethos consists of promoting equality, not particulary in promoting feminism, which is a complex philosophy exploring other areas and avenues. I’d like to know what part of feminism clashes with Dawkins’ view of organised atheism? I also have to say that you present a false and rather unfair false dichotomy. I don’t think Dawkins has ever justified or even mitigated the harrassment of women, either at conferences of elsewhere.

    That his silence is indicative of his consent to the view that Rebecca Watson’s various slanderers are in the right?

    This is the viewpoint that find rather disgraceful, and it is the one promoted by the likes of Greg Laden. Does anybody here actually believe Dawkins is responsible for the awful abuse aimed at Rebecca? Someone (might have been Raging Bee) stated that the abuse aimed at Rebecca started BEFORE Dawkins’ comments. Does anyone here actually believe Dawkins condones those who abuse and bully people?

    Why should Dawkins’ silence (perhaps he has nothing further to say on the matter) be held responsible for what others do. Like I said before, this is where you get into the territory of holding PZ, Ophelia, Greg, Abbie and everyone else accountable for what people post on their sites.

  145. says

    “I did need to watch the video twice to get the bad taste out of my mouth, but we must move forward”. Interestingly, Greg has now “lined-out” the last bit. Previously it wasn’t. This is another admition that he does not want to “move on”.

    Your quote does not support your allegations. Greg never actually promised to move on, and in fact gave good reasons for not moving on (as did Ophelia). There’s no hypocricy here.

    Also, you responded to Giliell’s demands for specific quotes, but did not provide any actual quotes. This proves once again that you’re a lying shit making wild accusations that aren’t supported by any evidence. And someone like you, who insists on repeating lies that were refuted long ago, is in no position to lecture anyone else about “moving on.”

  146. says

    Does anyone here actually believe Dawkins condones those who abuse and bully people?

    Has Dawkins ever stepped up to say he doesn’t condone such abuse?

  147. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee:

    Has Dawkins ever stepped up to say he doesn’t condone such abuse?

    Another logical fallacy. Just because he hasn’t said anything doesn’t mean he condones it.

    You know that, I know that, everybody knows that.

    BTW, please quote my “lies”. I’ll let the bad language slip…

  148. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee:

    Your quote does not support your allegations.

    Justification, please. I have already stated the facts. You back up your argument.

    Greg never actually promised to move on, and in fact gave good reasons for not moving on (as did Ophelia). There’s no hypocricy here.

    The hypocrisy is not just about his attempts to “move on”, or not “move on”, as I explained. There are others who will not “move on” until their demands are met. Are you saying they are correct, too? This is where the double standard comes in, and Greg fell foul of it.

    Also, you responded to Giliell’s demands for specific quotes, but did not provide any actual quotes. This proves once again that you’re a lying shit making wild accusations that aren’t supported by any evidence.

    Comment 146. Please read again.

    And someone like you, who insists on repeating lies that were refuted long ago, is in no position to lecture anyone else about “moving on.”

    I’m not lecturing people to “move on”. I am querying the hypocrisy and double standards of people who claim they will only “move on” when their dictats are met. Oh, and what lies? Did posters on this blog and Pharyngula, etc. suggest Elevatorguy could have been a rapist? Yes or No? You concede that I am right about “gender traitor” because you didn’t bring it up.

  149. Philip Legge says

    Tim,

    since you chose to make the majority of your response to the speculative part of my post, relating to Richard Dawkins’ silence since July, let me begin by saying that my speculations are just that: I do not pretend they should not be viewed as the definitive word on this issue!

    Even if Dawkins realises that the situation was not “zero bad”, I still don’t see the case for an apology.

    However, Dawkins did say he would offer an apology if it was merited. His silence seems to indicate it was not. It’s for him to honour his statements, not you; those of us who think his remarks were ill-judged would indeed like him to do just that.

    BTW, it is simply a non-sequiter to infer general rules for men and women from this single instance.

    And part of the objection to the “zero bad”-ness is predicated on the single instance is not being an isolated example, but part of a society-wide pattern of ubiquitous, sexist behaviours that many men and more than a few women are unwilling to see. Furthermore, there was no attempt to by Watson to insist on a general rule for behaviour, merely “a word to the wise, don’t do that” if your goal is encouraging female attendance at conferences: others have expounded on moral principles without prescribing rules to be followed. To that end, your supposed non sequitur is actually a strawperson.

    The humanistic ethos consists of promoting equality, not particulary in promoting feminism, which is a complex philosophy exploring other areas and avenues.

    Yes, and I do not deny there is considerable debate about what parts of the philosophy of feminism overlap with humanism. You should note though, that the fundamental claim that women should be treated as human beings rather than objects is central to the elevator anecdote.

    I don’t think Dawkins has ever justified or even mitigated the harrassment of women, either at conferences of elsewhere.

    His “Dear Muslima” comment on Pharyngula was a sarcastic dismissal of one woman’s experience: he mocked her choice of what battles she should be fighting by the use of a classic derailing technique. His view subsequently expressed of the issue being “zero bad” seems to indicate his acquiescence to another person’s harrassment.

    That his silence is indicative of his consent to the view that Rebecca Watson’s various slanderers are in the right?

    This is the viewpoint that find rather disgraceful, and it is the one promoted by the likes of Greg Laden. Does anybody here actually believe Dawkins is responsible for the awful abuse aimed at Rebecca?

    You would note then, that I qualified that particular speculation with “I don’t believe this one at all” before going on to say that it would be relatively easy for him to firmly quash this presumption. I don’t believe Dawkins is responsible in any way for the awful abuse that has gone on: but it is evident that his presence in the debate did contribute to polarising it, and for better or worse he should at least acknowledge the results of that happening, by clarifying his stance along the means I suggested.

    In case you haven’t read The God Delusion (I can’t imagine you haven’t, but better to err on the side of caution), one of the main messages of the book is “consciousness-raising” that “to be an atheist is a realistic aspiration, and a brave and splendid one”. It is not brave and it is not splendid to give support a sustained campaign of character assassination (which his silence is unfortunately capable of being interpreted as), and seeing as his remarks were an important part of the general milieu of conversations that gave rise to the campaign, it is at least to my view highly remiss of him not to condemn it. In my opinion, he really is in some need of further “consciousness-raising” when it comes to feminism.

  150. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie,

    The people who believe Rebecca should apologise.

    This is the elephant in the room – “you” and “them” are demanding the same outcome. In effect, you are all dragging yourselves down. It is cognitive dissonance reduction that you can’t see this.

    At least Professor Dawkins is above all of this ransoming.

  151. says

    Tim, I’ve told you several times that an “elephant in the room” is something obvious that people won’t talk about. Please stop misusing the term. I like the English language.

    Who are the people who demand that Rebecca apologizes to them and for what?

  152. Philip Legge says

    Please excuse a few mis-edits above: “… predicated on the single instance is not being an isolated example…”; and “It is not brave and it is not splendid to give support to a…”

    One last thing to pick out, Tim, from the start of your reply to me:

    So what if Dawkins is “tone deaf” on feminism. Does that make him a sexist? No.

    And if you be good enough to point out where I accused Dawkins of being a sexist, then I will admit to it (but I don’t believe I did): but otherwise your question is empty rhetoric. (I am desirous of Dawkins keeping to a high standard, that I also set for myself.)

  153. Tim Groc says

    Philip Legge,

    However, Dawkins did say he would offer an apology if it was merited. His silence seems to indicate it was not. It’s for him to honour his statements, not you; those of us who think his remarks were ill-judged would indeed like him to do just that.

    Again, I have to say that the case has not been made that an apology is merited. I myself said in my previous post to you that his comments were ill-judged, but that is not the basis of meriting an apology. Like I have said, a lot of posts on blogs fall foul of ill-judgment, and it goes down as mere criticism.

    And part of the objection to the “zero bad”-ness is predicated on the single instance is not being an isolated example, but part of a society-wide pattern of ubiquitous, sexist behaviours that many men and more than a few women are unwilling to see.

    I don’t think you have justified your assertion by basing this incident on general culture. Certainly, because we don’t have the full details on elevatorguy, it is unwise to use this as a basis. But, my contention is that not having a strict adherence to your view on this matter, does not equate to condoning sexism in general.

    Furthermore, there was no attempt to by Watson to insist on a general rule for behaviour, merely “a word to the wise, don’t do that” if your goal is encouraging female attendance at conferences:

    Well, that sounds like an insistence on a general rule to me. I agree that it is best for men not to proposition women in elevators, but that does not mean it was sexist, creepy or wrong in that instance. Again, because the full details are not available, it would be unwise to use this example as a basis for a “general rule”. You also have to note that some women disagreed with Watson’s take on this issue, so again, we can’t use this example as a “general rule”, or a guide to what women or feminists feel.

    Yes, and I do not deny there is considerable debate about what parts of the philosophy of feminism overlap with humanism. You should note though, that the fundamental claim that women should be treated as human beings rather than objects is central to the elevator anecdote.

    Agreed. But we don’t know whether “elevatorguy” saw Rebecca as an object.

    You would note then, that I qualified that particular speculation with “I don’t believe this one at all” before going on to say that it would be relatively easy for him to firmly quash this presumption. I don’t believe Dawkins is responsible in any way for the awful abuse that has gone on: but it is evident that his presence in the debate did contribute to polarising it, and for better or worse he should at least acknowledge the results of that happening, by clarifying his stance along the means I suggested.

    Fair enough, but what if Dawkins sticks by his word? What is he admits his comments were sarcastic but offers no apology? Are you still going to rush in and blame him for comments made by others. Are you going to blame PZ and Ophelia for comments others have made?

    It is not brave and it is not splendid to give support a sustained campaign of character assassination (which his silence is unfortunately capable of being interpreted as)

    Sorry, but how has he supported it? What evidence is there that if Dawkins apologies, flays himself on the fire, etc. that those hurling abuse would stop? It is a really unfair charge to blame abuse from various posters on Dawkins’ “silence”. Is it right that various folk won’t impede their abuse until Rebecca apologies?

    and seeing as his remarks were an important part of the general milieu of conversations that gave rise to the campaign,

    The abuse began BEFORE Dawkins’ comments, as another poster pointed out.

  154. Tim Groc says

    Philip Legge,

    You’re right, you didn’t call or imply Dawkins was sexist. But I was simply putting up a measure against your accusation of “tone-deaf”.

  155. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie:

    Tim, I’ve told you several times that an “elephant in the room” is something obvious that people won’t talk about. Please stop misusing the term. I like the English language.

    I’m not misusing the term. There is a cognitive dissonance reduction at play in this paradigm. It means various people can’t see that others are demanding the same outcome as they are. It is this that is the “elephant in the room”.

    Who are the people who demand that Rebecca apologizes to them and for what?

    No, they (too many bloggers and posters to single any one out) demand Rebecca apologise to Stef, not to “them” as such. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  156. says

    Again, I have to say that the case has not been made that an apology is merited.

    You can say that as many times as you want, but each time you say it only proves you’ve been ignoring the substance of the entire discussion from day one. It’s been explained in laborious detail why Dawkins needs to apologize, and you really make yourself sound stupid when you droningly insist that you don’t understand what we’re saying.

    I myself said in my previous post to you that his comments were ill-judged, but that is not the basis of meriting an apology.

    Really? In every group of people I’ve ever hung with — friends, family, coworkers — ill-judged words have ALWAYS been considered “the basis of meriting an apology.” Do you not have a social life? Have you not graduated from junior-high school yet? Or do you just consider yourself free to ignore widely-understood rules of conduct whenever it suits either you or your idol?

  157. A. Noyd says

    If I were Dawkins, I’d get a restraining order taken out on Tim Groc for fear of ending up with bone-deep ass-hickeys should we ever meet.

  158. julian says

    I myself said in my previous post to you that his comments were ill-judged, but that is not the basis of meriting an apology.

    They weren’t just ill-judged. They were condescending, rude and dismissive. And incredibly ironic coming from an ‘atheist advocate.’

    Also since when isn’t making a poorly thought out comment, a rude comment or an ‘ill-judged’ one not reason to apologize. I was under the impression that’s what people did when they said something stupid or insensitive. But that may just be me.

    You also have to note that some women disagreed with Watson’s take on this issue, so again, we can’t use this example as a “general rule”, or a guide to what women or feminists feel.

    A general rule is advice that is prudent to obey in the majority of situations even if there exists certain scenarios where it may be appropriate to ignore said rule. I don’t mind friends eating off my plate. As a general rule, don’t eat off people’s plates. See how that works?

    But we don’t know whether “elevatorguy” saw Rebecca as an object.

    He saw her as beneath him enough to discount her expressed wishes at the bar and her publicly articulated dislike about similar propositions during her talk and elsewhere.

    It is a really unfair charge to blame abuse from various posters on Dawkins’ “silence”.

    Much of the abuse is coming from people who applauded Richard Dawkins’ initial remarks. These same people do not acknowledge these remarks of ‘ill-judged’ or inappropriate for the discussion and feel rightfully calling on Richard Dawkins to at least take them back is part of some massive feminist conspiracy to silence The Truth. If an honest apology were given along with an admission to having been out of line it would deflate many of these peoples arguments. And it would likely get many who’ve argued what you have here, to stop playing the ‘both sides’ game. (A game, I had once believed Richard Dawkins hated.)

  159. Philip Legge says

    Fortunately for the poor beleaguered reader, I don’t have any more time this afternoon to spend on this thread, but suffice it to say Tim that we will have to agree to disagree on this topic.

    To answer your objections would not only involve retracing steps over extremely well-trodden ground (as in, posts numbering probably in the tens of thousands over on Pharyngula, a few of which are mine and which you could search out to divine the nature of my disagreement), but would also get us further away from your supposed actual grievance, which seems to be anger that people have asserted their rights to pick and choose their battles, not being able to fix every possible infraction that they view as wrong.

    Executive summary: I simply don’t agree with your position. (I also note two of your quotations divided something I had said into separate sub-phrases, which had the effect of changing their character minus the remaining part of the sentence – I think you would do better to respond to sentences as a whole, than to misrepresent my position by what amounts to a rephrasing.)

  160. says

    What evidence is there that if Dawkins apologies, flays himself on the fire, etc. that those hurling abuse would stop?

    First, we’re not asking him to “flay himself on the fire.” Your delusions of persecution are just plain ridiculous.

    And second, since many of Watson’s haters have also expressed smug, sycophantic adoration of Dawkins (especially ERV), it’s a pretty safe bet that they started abusing Watson because Dawkins ridiculed her, and will stop, or at least pipe it down, if Dawkins advises them to do so.

  161. julian says

    No, they (too many bloggers and posters to single any one out) demand Rebecca apologise to Stef, not to “them” as such.

    You’ll find several here. (Though not me.)

  162. says

    I’m not misusing the term. There is a cognitive dissonance reduction at play in this paradigm. It means various people can’t see that others are demanding the same outcome as they are. It is this that is the “elephant in the room”.

    Again, you’re misusing the term. We’re discussing the situation. I simply don’t agree that these are equivalent situations for reasons I’ve explained and you haven’t bothered to respond to. Now you’ve just added abuse of “paradigm.” Hint: Stick to simple English if you can’t manage the fancy stuff.

    No, they (too many bloggers and posters to single any one out) demand Rebecca apologise to Stef, not to “them” as such. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    This would be one of those reasons the two situations are not equivalent. I have asked Dawkins to apologize to me. Almost 100 other people have done the same. Comparing this to the theater of demanding that Rebecca apologize to a third-party is absurd.

    Well, that sounds like an insistence on a general rule to me. I agree that it is best for men not to proposition women in elevators, but that does not mean it was sexist, creepy or wrong in that instance. Again, because the full details are not available, it would be unwise to use this example as a basis for a “general rule”.

    You’re wanted at challenge #1.

  163. A. Noyd says

    Philip Legge (#174)

    Fortunately for the poor beleaguered reader, I don’t have any more time this afternoon to spend on this thread…

    Don’t be modest. You have a knack for argument that stands out even in a crowd of people who are very good at arguing.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Raging Bee (#175)

    …it’s a pretty safe bet that they started abusing Watson because Dawkins ridiculed her, and will stop, or at least pipe it down, if Dawkins advises them to do so.

    I don’t think it’s at all a safe bet to suppose Dawkins could shut them up. My bet is that they’re inclined to put more weight on Abbie’s endorsement because she’s a woman.

  164. says

    @Tim Groc

    I’m still not convinced Dawkins’ comments warrant an apology, and I still think the reaction was OTT.

    His reaction was OTT, yes. People couldn’t believe it was him and not a troll donning his name. I guess we expect more of him than your average troll, you know? He is in many ways the public face of atheism.

    I accept Dawkins’ comments were silly

    No, not silly–not to people with empathy for the predicament Watson found herself in, at least. His comments were disrespectful, dismissive, and rude and completely out of proportion to what was going on the way they played what happened to Watson against what happens to many women in some Muslim-dominant cultures. If he was annoyed, why couldn’t he just have said he was annoyed. Why did he have to try his darndest to make a mockery of the situation?

    and he didn’t need to wade in and make them,

    I’ll second that.

    however his criticism of Rebecca was not particulary harsh or brutal. Yes, they were sarcastic. Yes, they were something of a straw man.

    I don’t know why it matters if his comment was not harsh or not brutal. It was still mean and not something he should have done.

    But were the comments actually offensive in the context of what people say on blog threads such as Pharyngula. Nope. Not in the least. You can find examples of much worse.

    Sure. But it’s too bad, really. Cringe inducing, even. He could have done better. He could have shown more empathy (and still could).

  165. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee:

    And second, since many of Watson’s haters have also expressed smug, sycophantic adoration of Dawkins (especially ERV), it’s a pretty safe bet that they started abusing Watson because Dawkins ridiculed her, and will stop, or at least pipe it down, if Dawkins advises them to do so.

    Firstly, it is a logical fallacy to make that assumption. Yet again, you shift responsibility for unfounded reasons. Do you think PZ, Ophelia, Abbie, Greg Laden should all offer apologies so that “other” individuals shut up? Thought not? That is the “elephant in the room” again – and so many people just can’t see it.

    Secondly, was it you who stated the abuse of Rebecca started BEFORE (I repeat – BEFORE) Dawkins made any comments?

  166. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee:

    Really? In every group of people I’ve ever hung with — friends, family, coworkers — ill-judged words have ALWAYS been considered “the basis of meriting an apology.” Do you not have a social life? Have you not graduated from junior-high school yet? Or do you just consider yourself free to ignore widely-understood rules of conduct whenever it suits either you or your idol?

    If that is your view, why are you not asking PZ, Abbie, Ophelia, Greg Laden and others for apologies? You want to instigate a witch hunt while completely ignoring other issues.

  167. Tim Groc says

    They weren’t just ill-judged. They were condescending, rude and dismissive. And incredibly ironic coming from an ‘atheist advocate.’

    You must really get upset with PZ, then? Or are you really that selective? You shouldn’t “always name names”, then? I think you exaggerate Dawkins’ remarks, anyhow. They are tame with some of the stuff I’ve seen on Pharyngula, ERV, B&W, etc. Do you contest this charge?

    Also since when isn’t making a poorly thought out comment, a rude comment or an ‘ill-judged’ one not reason to apologize. I was under the impression that’s what people did when they said something stupid or insensitive. But that may just be me.

    I don’t see too many apologies coming from the posters at Pharyngula, B&W, ERV, etc. but then again, a witch hunt has to settle on one victim (or in the case of elevatorgate, two victims).

    A general rule is advice that is prudent to obey in the majority of situations even if there exists certain scenarios where it may be appropriate to ignore said rule.

    That is fine when we are equipped with knowledge of the situation. But it is wrong to justify your argument using unproven assumptions.

    I don’t mind friends eating off my plate. As a general rule, don’t eat off people’s plates. See how that works?

    But there was no evidence that anybody ate off anyone’s plate, to use an analogy.

    He saw her as beneath him enough to discount her expressed wishes at the bar and her publicly articulated dislike about similar propositions during her talk and elsewhere.

    How do you know this? Do you know this particular man or spoken to this man. I don’t even know who he he is. Do you?

    Much of the abuse is coming from people who applauded Richard Dawkins’ initial remarks.

    They may also applaud the remarks of many others, for that is irrelevant. There is no logical connection between Dawkins’ comments and the abuse sprouted by others. Further, Rebecca is not beyond criticism, even when other may use that criticism as their own green light to say nasty things. You really do have to be careful with your logic here, because you will find it difficult to distinguish the likes of PZ, Abbie, Ophelia, Greg and others from remarks made in response to comments they have made, or have allowed to adorn their blogs.

    These same people do not acknowledge these remarks of ‘ill-judged’ or inappropriate for the discussion and feel rightfully calling on Richard Dawkins to at least take them back is part of some massive feminist conspiracy to silence The Truth.

    Another fallacy. Whatever “they” think has no bearing on how rude or dismissive Dawkins’ comments were. Again, this argument can be turned on its head and used in the other direction. it is this pivot that I want people to see.

    If an honest apology were given along with an admission to having been out of line it would deflate many of these peoples arguments.

    That’s just an assumption. It also doesn’t deal with their gripes about Rebecca not offering an apology to Stef. I repeat, there are people demanding apologies, and will not “move on” until they get them. This is part of the pivot that many fail to see.

    And it would likely get many who’ve argued what you have here, to stop playing the ‘both sides’ game. (A game, I had once believed Richard Dawkins hated.)

    There is no evidence to believe that. This also makes a logical fallacy in assuming the both-sides paradigm is not relevant. It is my contention that it is exactly this that is the driving force behind events.

  168. John Morales says

    [Fisker likes fisking?

    (I can too)]

    They weren’t just ill-judged. They were condescending, rude and dismissive. And incredibly ironic coming from an ‘atheist advocate.’

    You must really get upset with PZ, then? Or are you really that selective? You shouldn’t “always name names”, then? I think you exaggerate Dawkins’ remarks, anyhow. They are tame with some of the stuff I’ve seen on Pharyngula, ERV, B&W, etc. Do you contest this charge?

    A tu quoque to start?

    (And a worthless challenge indeed)

    Also since when isn’t making a poorly thought out comment, a rude comment or an ‘ill-judged’ one not reason to apologize. I was under the impression that’s what people did when they said something stupid or insensitive. But that may just be me.

    I don’t see too many apologies coming from the posters at Pharyngula, B&W, ERV, etc. but then again, a witch hunt has to settle on one victim (or in the case of elevatorgate, two victims).

    A tu quoque to continue with; and a pungent red herring to boot!

    A general rule is advice that is prudent to obey in the majority of situations even if there exists certain scenarios where it may be appropriate to ignore said rule.

    That is fine when we are equipped with knowledge of the situation. But it is wrong to justify your argument using unproven assumptions.

    That it’s a general rule is hardly an unproven assumption! ;)

    I don’t mind friends eating off my plate. As a general rule, don’t eat off people’s plates. See how that works?

    But there was no evidence that anybody ate off anyone’s plate, to use an analogy.

    But it’s a metaphor.

    He saw her as beneath him enough to discount her expressed wishes at the bar and her publicly articulated dislike about similar propositions during her talk and elsewhere.

    How do you know this? Do you know this particular man or spoken to this man. I don’t even know who he he is. Do you?

    You’re mistaking obvious opinion for putative fact; there was no pretense at knowledge.

    Much of the abuse is coming from people who applauded Richard Dawkins’ initial remarks.

    [1] They may also applaud the remarks of many others, for that is irrelevant. [2] There is no logical connection between Dawkins’ comments and the abuse sprouted by others. [3] Further, Rebecca is not beyond criticism, even when other may use that criticism as their own green light to say nasty things. [4] You really do have to be careful with your logic here, [5] because you will find it difficult to distinguish the likes of PZ, Abbie, Ophelia, Greg and others from remarks made in response to comments they have made, or have allowed to adorn their blogs.

    1. Indeed it is.

    2. Pure correlation? (heh)

    3. You really love that one (the tu quoque).

    4. You wouldn’t know logic if you tripped over it.

    (which you have)

    5. Psychological projection.

    These same people do not acknowledge these remarks of ‘ill-judged’ or inappropriate for the discussion and feel rightfully calling on Richard Dawkins to at least take them back is part of some massive feminist conspiracy to silence The Truth.

    [1] Another fallacy. [2] Whatever “they” think has no bearing on how rude or dismissive Dawkins’ comments were. [3] Again, this argument can be turned on its head and used in the other direction. it is this pivot that I want people to see.

    1. Nope. Proposition, again, in two clauses.

    2. Other than being part of the premise, no. :)

    3. Like Janus. Right.

    If an honest apology were given along with an admission to having been out of line it would deflate many of these peoples arguments.

    [1] That’s just an assumption. [2] It also doesn’t deal with their gripes about Rebecca not offering an apology to Stef. I repeat, there are people demanding apologies, and will not “move on” until they get them. [3] This is part of the pivot that many fail to see.

    1. No, it’s a proposition followed by its purported entailment.

    2. And again, the irrelevance you ironically decry on others.

    3. It’s not a pivot, it’s an additional criterion you use for (your own, implicit) proposition.

    (You were supposed to be disputing your interlocutors, not forwarding your own version)

    And it would likely get many who’ve argued what you have here, to stop playing the ‘both sides’ game. (A game, I had once believed Richard Dawkins hated.)

    There is no evidence to believe that. This also makes a logical fallacy in assuming the both-sides paradigm is not relevant. It is my contention that it is exactly this that is the driving force behind events.

    (sigh)

    No, no evidence at all; imaginary deity forbid one should have an opinion based on non-existent reportage or a cultural knowledge-base from which to draw.

    Your whole schpiel was how both sides are supposedly equally at fault.

    I don’t buy that for a second.

  169. says

    Tim Groc

    There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist. Do you deny this?

    I see you failed my challenge.
    I challenged you to quote a single instance of what you say happened “lots of times”. And you didn’t, repeating the same old falsehood.
    If lots of people all over the internet, especially at Pharyngula were doing it, it would be easy for you to meet my challenge.
    Burden of prove, remember?
    You are making a positive claim, you have to bring the evidence.
    Since you’re not doing it, I’ll simply chalk you down as dishonest.

  170. Tim Groc says

    Giliell,

    I ask again: There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist. Do you deny this?

    Now stop evading the question.

    As for positive claims, I’m very much looking forward to some justification for the positive claims I’ve seen here.

    I also notice you have ducked the issue of the epithet of “gender traitor”.

    So, address the issues, please.

  171. says

    Tim Groc
    So, I’ll play by your rules, just for the fun of it*:
    I deny that EG has been called an actual rapist (in the criminal sense) and that this has gone unchallenged at either Pharyngula or Skepchic or the old Butterflies and Wheels.
    The same goes for “gender traitor”.
    If you can dig up the actual quotes, source them properly so everybody can see that this went unchallenged, I will formally retract my position, apologize and change my nym into “Giliell, who is sad and ashamed because people called EG a rapist and feminists did nothing about it”** for 4 weeks

    *This doesn’t mean I agree with you. You made the statement that EG was called a rapist, not I or anybody else, and you have not given any source for that, so your claim stands unsupported.
    You know, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, also known as the Hitch-Hammer
    **this might be too long.
    If it can’t be shortened I will sign every post I make on FtB with it.

  172. says

    Actually, Tim, the “gender traitor” thing was covered at #143. Did you have a response to that?

    Also, the “potential rapist” thing has been covered, ad nauseum. You just haven’t responded to that either. People have talked about a judgment that Rebecca had to make without full information in that elevator at 4 a.m. There is nothing objectionable about that, unless you’re going to try to tell me there’s no way this stranger could have turned out to be a rapist. Are you?

  173. Tim Groc says

    John Morales:

    A tu quoque to start?

    Stop evading the questions.

    And a worthless challenge indeed

    What is your justification for that? That is simply a ploy not to answer the question because of the cognitive dissonance reduction at play.

    A tu quoque to continue with; and a pungent red herring to boot!

    If you fail to justify this statement then you will have to concede you condone abusive comments. Either that, or you are again attempting to dodge the question.

    That it’s a general rule is hardly an unproven assumption!

    Not when you base a general rule on false assumptions. It is disingenuous to do that, and since you have not in any way elaborated on why those assumptions are true, nobody has to take your word on it. You are essentially guilty of a compositional error. You can’t claim a general rule when you have failed to make the case.

    But it’s a metaphor.

    Stop evading the questions.

    You’re mistaking obvious opinion for putative fact; there was no pretense at knowledge.

    Am I? I’m not the one driving opinion on this, and you have not demonstrated any knowledge of putative facts. Again, you fail to back up your argument. The fact that you admit there is no ‘pretense at knowledge’ backs up my assertion that you have no foundation to correlate this incident to a general rule.

    Indeed it is.

    Indeed what is? That it is irrelevant they may also applaud the remarks of many others? Yes, I’m glad you agree.

    Pure correlation?

    Yep. Since you are making the positive claim, back it up with evidence. You are contradicted by Raging Bee’s claim that the abuse began BEFORE Dawkins’ comments. It is an elephant in the room that everyone keeps ignoring this reveal. It can’t be explained away.

    You really love that one (the tu quoque).

    Stop evading the questions. If I am guilty of this, then so are you and everybody else on this thread. You keep referring to ONE issue, when you are equally guilty of the tu quoque on the other issue. That is hypocritical, unless you want to admit you use the tu quoque argument. Fact is, I don’t, because I am not on the pivot.

    You wouldn’t know logic if you tripped over it.

    Ad hominem.

    Psychological projection.

    Another ad hominem, and a red herring.

    Nope. Proposition, again, in two clauses

    Nope. It IS another fallacy, actually. You did not back up your assumptions on the responsibility of random posters in regard to Dawkins. You also err again by sidelining various others involved who can also be held responsible (by your terms and logic) for what random people have posted. You can’t have your cake and eat it, I’m afraid.

    Other than being part of the premise, no.

    Nope. Again, if you want to make a positive claim, back it up. It is either this, or (like my last point) include the others who are responsible for provoking random posters into making comments.

    Like Janus. Right.

    Another metaphor, eh? Why can’t you stop evading the questions.

    No, it’s a proposition followed by its purported entailment.

    A proposistion that is not supported by any evidence. It is simply an assertion that can be dismissed, just like those stating that an apology to Stef from Rebecca would deflate posters. Yet again, don’t be greedy with that cake.

    And again, the irrelevance you ironically decry on others.

    Since this thread and others deals with the “others” all the time, ad infinitum, I don’t think you are in a position to to say what is relevant and what is not. To any sensible observer, this is not irrelevant. This is cognitive dissnonance reduction coming to the fore, again.

    It’s not a pivot, it’s an additional criterion you use for (your own, implicit) proposition.

    Erm, wrong again. It is not an additional criterion. It is a metaphor. The pivot is there, and the fact that you and others keep responding proves this to be the case.

    Your whole schpiel was how both sides are supposedly equally at fault.

    That is a rather simplistic redrawing of the paradigm to suit your own blinded viewpoint. I am not “measuring” blame here – you are.

  174. John Morales says

    The pivot is there, and the fact that you and others keep responding proves this to be the case.

    <shakes head slowly and walks away>

  175. says

    Oh, goody. Now Tim doesn’t know what “tu quoque” means, either.

    On Dawkins, yes, there were abusive YouTube comments and emails before he made his remarks. However, the ongoing harassment campaign didn’t start until afterward. No one thinks a statement or apology from Dawkins would stop all the hate in the world (which would be required for your “gotcha” to have actually gotten anyone). Those who are obsessing over Rebecca can see (and document) the way in which Dawkins is used as a touchstone within the hate campaign.

    By the way, as long as you’re going about playing false equivalence, are you going to dig up the hate campaign against Stef McGraw for us?

  176. Tim Groc says

    Giliell, that is not what I asked. I repeat: There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist. Do you deny this?

    Greg Laden covers all bases with: Why it is not unreasonable to think of men as potential rapists July 7, 2011 11:12 AM

    halfdeaddavid said: Elevators are prime hunting grounds for rapists July 3, 2011 10:46 PM

    ‘Tis Himself, Quel Dommage said: Elevator Guy was playing rapist wannabee so strongly that even normally clueless me recognized it. July 2, 2011 12:16 PM

    and again: I’m sorry that you’re unable to recognize your apologetics for a would-be rapist for what they are.

    Crowepps said: Whether or not he is a potential rapist depends entirely on his internal character and propensity for criminality July 11, 2011 12:30 AM

    StevoR said: Was the Elevator Guy (EG) : a) clueless?, b) perhaps just too drunk?, c) displaying poor social skills?, d) just a harmless putz who said the wrong thing at the wrong time perhaps out of good feelings and false impressions?, e) a potential rapist or slimeball from her Point Of View?, f) ALL of the above, I’d say (f) all the above are true! Possibly. Probably even. July 5, 2011 12:50 PM

    Of course, these comments also refocus the pivot and cognitive dissonance reduction that forces some into stating only certain bloggers need to apologise for comments on their sites that have generated other comments elsewhere.

  177. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie:

    However, the ongoing harassment campaign didn’t start until afterward.

    I’m sorry. Can you just clarify when the hate campaign started? Raging Bee said it was BEFORE Dawkins’ comments. Now you suggest otherwise.

    Just which version of history is it?

    By the way, as long as you’re going about playing false equivalence, are you going to dig up the hate campaign against Stef McGraw for us?

    Another fallacious argument. I am not eqivocating the two. I merely point out (correctly and it is a fact) that there are two sides on the pivot.

    Those who are obsessing over Rebecca can see (and document) the way in which Dawkins is used as a touchstone within the hate campaign.

    Another tu quoque. Same argument can be made for “potential rapist” statements.

  178. says

    Arrrrgh, I’m so stupid
    I didn’t see you move the goalpost
    Your quote to which I put up my challenge was

    In effect, you can charge PZ guilty of the same as you charge Dawkins with regard to the slanders of “rapist” and “gender traitor”.

    Which indicates that people had called him a rapist.
    Or that people had called other people a gender traitor.
    So, to your specific question:
    No, I don’t deny that, and I stand by that statement.
    For all RW knew when a stranger cornered her in an elevator at 4am in a hotel, he could have been a rapist.
    Everybody is happy he wasn’t. What people said, those very people you quoted above (btw, there’s a handy blockquote tag) was that he behaved like one.
    Nobody said he was a rapist. Nobody called him a rapist.
    The closest you can offer is the quote from ‘Tis Himself. And not even that really says what you claim it says. The terms “wanna-be” and “would-be” are generally indicators that the person who’se being talked about is most certainly not what is following behind.
    You know, if I say you’re behaving like my 4 year old*, I’m not actually saying you’re my 4 year old
    Do you understand the difference?

    So, since now I have answered your question, will you answer mine?

    *which you don’t, I don’t want to insult her

  179. says

    I’m sorry. Can you just clarify when the hate campaign started? Raging Bee said it was BEFORE Dawkins’ comments. Now you suggest otherwise.

    Just which version of history is it?

    No, Raging Bee didn’t say anything like that. He said, as I said, that the harassment campaign started after Dawkins’ involvement. Someone else noted, as I noted but you failed to quote while accusing me of revising history, that there were abusive comments on YouTube and nasty emails before that. Random nasty emails =/= months-long hate campaign that uses Dawkins for moral legitimacy.

    I am not eqivocating the two. I merely point out (correctly and it is a fact) that there are two sides on the pivot.

    Tim, do you know what the side of a teeter-totter that isn’t being dragged way down looks like? High ground.

  180. julian says

    Tim Groc, your post at 192 only contains 2 examples of someone saying EG may have been a rapist and those two came from the same person and didn’t even go so far as to call EG a rapist. Just to say he came across as a ‘wanna-be rapist.’ (A phrase that makes no sense to me. Really don’t get what he was trying to say.)

    Two of your listed examples of EG supposedly being called a rapist aren’t even about EG but the risk assessment of any stranger you come across being a potential rapist. (Like with potential killer, stalker, identity thief ect this does not amount to calling anyone anything.) One pretty much states outright the speaker has no idea if he is a rapist and admits only knowledge of his character could gleam such information. And your last example the potential rapist bit relates to Ms. Watson’s POV and not the speaker’s.

    So, much like with Gender Traitor, you have not provided any kind of evidence to support your claim that such accusations were common among those sites, like Pharyngula, defending Rebecca Watson. (If this is not a point you have tried to make, I apologize.)

  181. Tim Groc says

    Giliell:

    Everybody is happy he wasn’t. What people said, those very people you quoted above (btw, there’s a handy blockquote tag) was that he behaved like one.

    I rest my case. Unfounded assumptions and accusations.

    Shame on you.

  182. says

    Actually, Tim, your case was that people called Elevator Guy a rapist. Also, you’re not remotely in a position to rest your case. There’s nothing unfounded about saying a guy who ignores multiple “I don’t want people to treat me this way” statements is acting like a rapist.

  183. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie Zvan,

    Assumptions again.

    Giliell has just compared the guy to a rapist when there is no foundation.

    Shame on him/her.

    I’ve no problem that you want to disagree with me, but I find it rather distasteful you would justify that comment.

  184. says

    Tim, you can argue with the foundation, but saying I didn’t just provide it to you wont make it go away. Reasserting your position is a very different thing from demonstrating it’s based in reality. Believe it or not, no one here is going to be fooled by you just repeating yourself, even if you do turn blue.

  185. julian says

    I rest my case. Unfounded assumptions and accusations.

    Eh?

    He followed a somewhat intoxicated (bit of an assumption on my part) woman he hadn’t spoken to all night, but had hung around, out of the bar into an area where she was alone, secluded and much more vulnerable.

    That’s creepy behavior. That’s something many date rapers and other assailants do. It is entirely fair to point that out.

  186. Tim Groc says

    Someone else noted, as I noted but you failed to quote while accusing me of revising history, that there were abusive comments on YouTube and nasty emails before that.

    Which is what I said. So the hate campaign started BEFORE Dawkins’ comments. I also recall that Dawkins’ comments were not the FIRST comments on that Pharyngula thread. So what was going on BEFORE that.

    Some people are trying to revise history, and it isn’t me.

  187. Tim Groc says

    julian,

    Of course you can say his behaviour was creepy and out of place, but to compare him to a rapist? Nope. I don’t think so.

    When PZ disses some one on Twitter of his site, should we compare him to Mabus? Of course not, just because Mabus fired off insulting twitters like PZ, it doesn’t not make them the same.

  188. says

    @Tim Groc

    I ask again: There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist. Do you deny this?

    The point is that, whoever it was, he went out of his way to create an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation for another person and himself. His intentions do not appear wholesome on reflection given his apparent ignorance of all that had been said earlier that day and night, given the time and place he chose to act and the planning that had to go into it (following someone to a secluded area), and given the abruptness of the proposition (for coffee, of course!) and what the proposition entailed (going back to his room).

    And it was I who pointed out earlier that the misogynistic abuse toward Watson started on YouTube before Stef McGraw wrote her initial criticism (or at least simultaneously with that) of Watson’s video report of the conference in Dublin. Watson gave one example of it in her presentation at CFI: “You are an annoying cunt. It has nothing to do with you being a woman. It has everything to do with you being a self absorbed and pretentious human being.” Gee, that sounds familiar!

    Dawkins’ comments may not have kicked off the hate campaign, but they did invigorate it and drew people to it who would never have known about it otherwise because the media only reported on Elevatorgate after his grossly inappropriate comments.

  189. says

    If that is your view, why are you not asking PZ, Abbie, Ophelia, Greg Laden and others for apologies?

    Because, with the exception of Abbie, none of them said anything remotely as damaging as Dawkins said, nor are they acting under teh same circumstances as Dawkins. (And yes, I did call Abbie out on her idiotic actions, as did others.) God you’re a stupid twit.

  190. says

    Which is what I said. So the hate campaign started BEFORE Dawkins’ comments. I also recall that Dawkins’ comments were not the FIRST comments on that Pharyngula thread. So what was going on BEFORE that.

    Some people are trying to revise history, and it isn’t me.

    Tim, this would be so much easier if you could hold multiple sentences in your head at once. But for your benefit, I’ll repeat myself: Random nasty emails =/= months-long hate campaign that uses Dawkins for moral legitimacy.

  191. says

    I ask again: There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist. Do you deny this?

    You ask again, and again and again and again and again, and you’ll keep on asking no matter how many times you get corrected on your ignorant opinions. Seriously, little boy, we’ve been addressing that ridiculous misrepresentation for MONTHS, and you’re still oblivious. There’s no point in arguing with a whiny little brat who clearly isn’t listening and never was. Go back to your sandbox (or ERV) and let the grownups talk.

  192. julian says

    Of course you can say his behaviour was creepy and out of place, but to compare him to a rapist?

    Time out.

    What do you mean by compare? In what you’re quoting, I (at least I think I did) compared him and his behavior to that of rapists. It’s essentially the same thing that was done in most of the examples you quoted.

  193. A. Noyd says

    @Tim Groc
    I have no intention of becoming a mother. I have so little desire to become one that if I got pregnant and couldn’t get an abortion in the US, I would fly to another country to have one. Yet because I am physically capable of adopting a child, and because my body is, so far as I know, physically capable of producing a baby, it’s not incorrect to call me “a potential mother.” It would be wrong to call me “a mother,” however, because I have not realized that potential: I have no kids.

    The same difference exists between “a potential rapist” and “a rapist.” All reasonably able-bodied men are physically capable of becoming a rapist. Any individual man might have as strong an aversion to carrying out rape as I have to going through with a pregnancy or adopting, but that potential is still there. It would be wrong to call any man “a rapist” who has not realized that potential, which is why no one has done so of any of the men involved in EG-related arguments.

    Talking about men as potential rapists is no more wrong than talking about women as potential mothers. But, as your claim is that men have been called actual rapists, examples of men being called potential rapists does not satisfy your claim.

  194. A. Noyd says

    Oh, additionally, if I started putting on weight and went shopping for onesies and bassinets, most people would assume I was going to have a baby even if I was merely getting fat and was finding supplies for someone else’s kid. Suspicion that I was about to become a mother would be wrong but not unwarranted.

  195. says

    Oh, nothing, I just think he sounds sockish. There’s something about all those orders he gives – “Stop evading the question” and the like – that sounds familiar.

  196. Tim Groc says

    Aratina Cage:

    Dawkins’ comments may not have kicked off the hate campaign

    Thank you. Rested is my case.

  197. Tim Groc says

    Raging Bee:

    Because, with the exception of Abbie, none of them said anything remotely as damaging as Dawkins said, nor are they acting under teh same circumstances as Dawkins. (And yes, I did call Abbie out on her idiotic actions, as did others.) God you’re a stupid twit.

    That’s hypocritical and you know it. Dawkins’ comments were nowhere near as inflammatory as some of the comments I’ve seen posted elsewhere. If your (and others) contention is that these comments inspired others, then you must accept responsibility also. This is the cognitive dissonance reduction at play.

    Comparing someone to a rapist is far more provocative than Dawkins’ sarcastic comments. Not one of you has provided any justification for your assertion that Dawkins’ comments were anything other than mere criticism, very tame by Pharyngula standards. It is a lie to state otherwise.

  198. Tim Groc says

    A. Noyd

    Talking about men as potential rapists is no more wrong than talking about women as potential mothers.

    Of course! Your credibility has now gone down the drain. That’s two of you. You think it is okay to depict certain sexes as potential rapists. I presume you think it is okay to depict certain races as potential racists? Yes/No?

    Some pretty strong justification will be needed if you say no.

  199. Tim Groc says

    Ophelia:

    Oh, nothing, I just think he sounds sockish.

    Nope, nothing sockish, either here or at the JREF.

    I have only offered contrary views. I haven’t insulted anyone, thrown abuse, or compared anyone to a rapist.

    However, as this is your blog Ophelia, if you’d rather I didn’t post here anymore then simply ask me to not to post here. I will happily comply.

  200. says

    Tim, are you saying that certain races are equivalent to people who refuse to listen to “I don’t want people to do that to me”?

    Also, you do understand that everyone can see your quote-mining, right? Aratina’s full remark is still right there. When you only deal with part of it, he isn’t the person who looks bad.

  201. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie,

    My main point was to establish whem the hate campaign started. Aratina confirmed I was right all along.

    I didn’t ignore his/her other points, it is just that I have responded to those points in previous posts…and, well, you all pretty much flat out disagree with anything I say. So, I have nothing more to add in that respect.

    Tim, are you saying that certain races are equivalent to people who refuse to listen to “I don’t want people to do that to me”?

    Erm, no. That is not the question I asked. It is a fairly straightforward question to A. Noyd’s remark that Talking about men as potential rapists is no more wrong than talking about women as potential mothers. If it is fine to posit that a certain sex can be viewed of as “potential rapists”, then can it be applied to certain races? What are the logical perimeters of this kind of thinking.

  202. says

    No, Tim. In case you need a reminder, your theses were that Dawkins had nothing to apologize for and that Elevator Guy was horribly mistreated by being compared to a rapist. The points you don’t want to deal with are highly relevant.

    Really, seriously, try to keep track of what’s going on here, Tim.

  203. Tim Groc says

    No, Stephanie.

    The points that you posit are relevant are points that I have answered and discussed earlier in the thread. I am not going to keep repeating myself while I have yet to receive any kind of argument that Dawkins’ needs to apologise, or that elevatorguy was/is/”could have been”/possibly/maybe/”well, he was a bit creepy, wasn’t he, so he probably was”/ a “potential rapist”.

  204. says

    Nope. You haven’t dealt with any of the points in Aratina’s comments or most of mine. You’ve just ignored the arguments you don’t like–as you always do.

  205. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie, you have simply ignored my points which have dealt with what you say I haven’t.

    Just like you ALWAYS do.

    Now don’t bother me again with any more lies.

  206. Tim Groc says

    Oh, and Stephanie, perhaps you might want to tackle the question I posed to A. Noyd.

    Or are you simply going to ignore that as well?

    Like I said – cognitive dissonance redction.

  207. says

    Which point deals with the fact that Dawkins’ actions have been used as a moral touchstone for the stepped-up harassment campaign? Which point deals with the fact that it is perfectly valid to compare a guy who ignores “I don’t want people to do this to me” to a rapist? Where are these comments, Tim?

  208. says

    Okay, Tim. I’ll rephrase comment #219, which addressed your question, so you can perhaps understand it.

    I presume you think it is okay to depict certain races as potential rapists? Yes/No?

    No, because no “certain race” actually ignores “I don’t want people to do this to me.”

  209. Tim Groc says

    You are simply ignoring my questions – you have been dodging them all day.

    I have given the reasons why Dawkins’ comments do not warrant an apology. I gave the argument that if you contend Dawkins is reponsible for inspiring other commentators, then you are just as responsible as he is. You DID NOT ANSWER that question because you know fair and sqaure that people like you, Ophelia, PZ and Greg Laden would fall into the same category. Until you answer this, you are in no position to talk about comments as touchstones. I pointed out that far worse comments than Dawkins’ were on display at Pharyngula and elsewhere – again, you ignored this.

    As for your second point, I answered in comment 168 that the basis for this assertion that elevatorguy is a “potential rapist” is unfounded. So that is another fib you have told tonight. I also followed this up by asking a question that will highlight your hypocrisy and sexism by posing the question about viewing certain races as potential rapists.

    I’m still waiting…and I’ll want justification if you say no.

  210. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie

    No, because no “certain race” actually ignores “I don’t want people to do this to me.”

    Nope. That qualifier (would you mind quoting where you picked it up from) was not involved in A. Noyd’s statement at 9:08 am.

    So, which is it? Sexist or racist? Or can you provide justification for his statement as to why the logic of it is limited to the sexes, and not races?

  211. says

    Tim, is this one of those things where you don’t understand a word again? “Arguing against” and “ignoring” are mutually exclusive.

    And there’s nothing of the sort in comment #168. Did you mean a different comment?

  212. A. Noyd says

    Tim Groc (#216)

    You think it is okay to depict certain sexes as potential rapists.

    I neither said nor implied anything of the sort. We are focusing on men as rapists because that’s what you brought up. (Your attempt to shift the goal-posts is noted, however.) One might think you were doing everything possible to avoid conceding the point, which is that there is a difference between calling a man “a rapist” and calling a man “a potential rapist.”

    It’s a trivial point to concede, in my opinion. But if you think they are the same thing, perhaps you might explain yourself using my analogy, as that will surely be less emotionally confusing for you. Simply offer a justification of how it’s in any way rational to refer to someone like me, who has no children, as both “a mother” and “a potential mother.”

    Or, if you wish to concede the point and change your claim to say that no man should ever be referred to as “a potential rapist” despite the physical capability of nearly every man on earth to become a rapist, you can first demonstrate how it’s equally wrong to refer to someone like me as a potential mother despite my physical capability of becoming one.

  213. says

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, Tim. You’re useless. Holler when you can manage to remember the situation we’re actually talking about and keep two sentences in your head at the same time.

  214. Tim Groc says

    Now now.

    I realise I have posed a difficult question.

    One that suggests someone made a comment that is either sexist, or allows racist statements to be made form its logical construction.

    That is, of course, unless you want to explain why there is a boundary between slurring a sex as a “potential rapist” and a race as a “potential rapist”.

    Your fidgeting around points I have already gone over (my comment at 168 does deal with your contention, actually) suggests you realise the trap you have set yourself.

    Feel free to leave it A. Noyd. He/she was, after all, the person who made the statement.

  215. julian says

    I am not going to keep repeating myself

    So why do you?

    while I have yet to receive any kind of argument that Dawkins’ needs to apologise,

    You have, You’ve received multiple arguments. You may not have found them convincing but they are there.

    or that elevatorguy was/is/”could have been”/possibly/maybe/”well, he was a bit creepy, wasn’t he, so he probably was”/ a “potential rapist”

    Potential means could be, could have been, might have been, you do not know he is and the possibility cannot be excluded. I’m a potential rapist. You’re a potential rapist. President Barack Obama is a potential rapist. Justice Scalia is a potential rapist. Are we? I hope not.

    And generally that isn’t something anyone is going to dwell on but in a secluded place, where you’re isolated and away from other people you, sometimes (and are just as right as if you’d been thinking about potential muggers) you think about it. Especially when that individual does other things that give you pause. Like him following you into said secluded space away from other prying eyes and ears.

    Stop pretending no one is answering your questions. We have been. You have been ignoring every response made to you.

  216. Philip Legge says

    Today is busy and I won’t have time to post at length like yesterday, but I am interested to follow along. I think the mask has slipped somewhat: I do not believe Tim is here to participate in a reasoned discussion, but is only motivated to prove a couple of points, regardless of what arguments are levelled against them.

    First point: that various people claimed Elevator Guy was a rapist.

    Rightly, Tim started by pointing out that Elevator Guy’s intentions are unknown – and I would go further to say they are irrelevant. For the purposes of most sexual harrassment guidelines in workplaces, the intent of the harrasser is irrelevant – if a person feels harrassed by their actions, then it is harrassment.

    Additionally, Elevator Guy has not been identified. The number of rapists or stalkers is non-zero; without knowing any other details, the possibility that Elevator Guy is a rapist or a stalker is likewise non-zero. The risk assessment that an unknown person might be a rapist or a stalker tends to rise when that person demonstrates by their behaviour or mode of action that is adopted by rapists or stalkers. Again, this does not rise to complete certainty, and no one referring to an argument such as “Schrödinger’s Rapist” is claiming that: if you are going to twist this argument to allege that the weighing of possibilities is the same as to level an accusation of rape, then you are obviously a member of the David Byron school of misrepresentation, which believes that “potential” has the same meaning as “actual”.

    Second point: that Dawkins should not apologise, or has no need to since the abuse began before he made his comments.

    My reply to this is shorter: he unintentionally fanned the flames, which leapt far higher after his intervention; he therefore bears his part of responsibility in putting out the blaze.

  217. Tim Groc says

    A. Noyd

    We are focusing on men as rapists because that’s what you brought up.

    Wrong. People on this blog and others brought up the idea of men as rapists several months ago. Ages before I had heard of elevatorgate, in fact. So that is mistake number one.

    One might think you were doing everything possible to avoid conceding the point, which is that there is a difference between calling a man “a rapist” and calling a man “a potential rapist.”

    There is a very important point here, because we all know certain individuals have used the “men are potential rapists” not as a simple logical construct like “all men have testicles”, but to infer something far more serious. I think this is a rather careless and worrying misuse of words and ideas.

    It’s a trivial point to concede, in my opinion. But if you think they are the same thing,

    I never said they were the same. You are accuding me of saying things I never said, while Stephanie completely ignores the things I actually have said.

    perhaps you might explain yourself using my analogy, as that will surely be less emotionally confusing for you. Simply offer a justification of how it’s in any way rational to refer to someone like me, who has no children, as both “a mother” and “a potential mother.”

    I never rejected this logical construct. It is you who is missing the point here, and it is a very important one, because allegations of sexism could be at play. If we take your logical contruct and apply it to races, then difficult questions need to be asked. I have asked you and Stephanie to explain why and how there is a boundary between “a sex” and “a race”.

    Or, if you wish to concede the point and change your claim to say that no man should ever be referred to as “a potential rapist” despite the physical capability of nearly every man on earth to become a rapist, you can first demonstrate how it’s equally wrong to refer to someone like me as a potential mother despite my physical capability of becoming one.

    The question here is why you or anyone else would ask such a thing? Do you also say all women are potential “breast cancer sufferers”? Well, you might, and people would look at you rather strangely, but that is logically true as your question. So why do you ask it, and on what basis do you ask that and not the thousands of other possible logical constructs available to you. According to you, you can easily state “X race are potential rapists” using your logic, and nothing would be wrong with it.

    I think you are trying to mitigate a serious and reckless admition.

    PS – Do you pose this “all men are potential rapists” to strangers on the street, or is just in certain circumstances to suit yourself. Very strange.

  218. Tim Groc says

    Philip Legge:

    For the purposes of most sexual harrassment guidelines in workplaces

    I can spot the ambiguity straight away.

    My reply to this is shorter: he unintentionally fanned the flames, which leapt far higher after his intervention; he therefore bears his part of responsibility in putting out the blaze.

    Hello, hello. Here we go again – the elephant in the room is apparent. If we are talking of people who fanned the flames, I expect dozens of apologies.

    Take it away…

  219. Tim Groc says

    Julian,

    Could be something to do with getting the same tired non-questions and non-arguments.

  220. says

    I have asked you and Stephanie to explain why and how there is a boundary between “a sex” and “a race”.

    Well, no, actually you haven’t. You’ve just insinuated that they’re comparable. The answer, however, is simple: Men commit the vast majority of rapes and virtually all stranger rapes. The same cannot be said for any “race.”

  221. Tim Groc says

    Nice try, Stephanie, but your qualifiers do not get you out of this.

    I am talking of the original statement by A. Noyd:

    Talking about men as potential rapists is no more wrong than talking about women as potential mothers.

    No qualifiers, no mitigating, no wriggling please.

    It is perfectly logical that if a sex can be “potential rapists”, so can a race. This is the your logic.

    The answer, however, is simple: Men commit the vast majority of rapes and virtually all stranger rapes.

    That is a shocking logical blunder. Even if a small number of women commit rape, then women are “potential rapists”. By your own logic, or at least the logic you are defending?

    Am I right, or am I right?

    I’ve just thought of another expansion of the logical default position ascribed to elevatorguy. He was a “potential murderer”. I’m sure you would agree because there are instances where men have killed others in elevators.

    Is your big mistake dawning, yet?

  222. julian says

    Do you also say all women are potential “breast cancer sufferers”?

    Haven’t even read the rest of your post but felt the need to reply to this bit.

    Yes. I think of all women as potential breast cancer sufferers and I think of all men as potential prostate cancer sufferers even though I know each can affect the other sex. I’m almost positive most doctors do as well.

    So why do you ask it, and on what basis do you ask that and not the thousands of other possible logical constructs available to you.

    Because of circumstances, as has been explained to you. This is part of any individual’s risk assessment when they see or notice suspicious behavior in another person.

    Try this scenario, you are at a party. Someone becomes incredibly drunk and starts stumbling towards the bathroom and shuts the door behind them. Someone you noticed eyeing that individual earlier starts to walk towards that same bathroom checking every so often to make sure they aren’t being watched. You suspect they saw the other individual walk into that bathroom. (I am not saying this scenario is what happened to Rebecca Watson.)

  223. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie:

    Tim, if your arguments don’t stand up to real-world details, they’re not going to do you a whole lot of good.

    I sense a retreat in action.

    This is not my argument. This is yours, A. Noyd’s, plus everybody elses who joined the “all men are potential rapists” bandwagon.

    Stephanie, when you say this doesn;t stand up to “real world details”, is that the first glint of an admission that your contention on elevatorguy is flawed? Sounds like it from here.

  224. Tim Groc says

    Julian:

    Try this scenario, you are at a party. Someone becomes incredibly drunk and starts stumbling towards the bathroom and shuts the door behind them. Someone you noticed eyeing that individual earlier starts to walk towards that same bathroom checking every so often to make sure they aren’t being watched. You suspect they saw the other individual walk into that bathroom. (I am not saying this scenario is what happened to Rebecca Watson.)

    Exactly.

    I have said before that using hypothetical examples to draw conclusions on elevatorgate was unwise and unpredictable. All the facts are not known so you are guessing based on certain “circumstances”.

  225. says

    That’s only because “here” is Dunning-Krueger City, Tim.

    You want to know why it’s okay to differentiate between sexes when talking about the possibility of rape. It’s because there is a difference between the sexes when it comes to rape. You want to know why that’s not equivalent to differentiating between races when it comes to rape. It’s because there is no difference between races when it comes to rape.

    It’s that simple, and all the goalpost-moving hand-waving about things not being impossible (even though they’re vanishingly unlikely) just reminds us all that you’re trying to build equivalencies where they don’t exist. Your teeter is tottering again.

  226. julian says

    Could be something to do with getting the same tired non-questions and non-arguments.

    You mean the ones whose goal post you keep shifting. You began this by arguing that on pharyngula and b&w it was common to see EG referred to as a rapist. You couldn’t substantiate that so you pretended to have said something else. And now you’ve gone from EG was unfairly called a potential rapist to men are being unfairly called potential rapist.

    At least admit to trying to make a different point. This is incredibly frustrating to follow when I have to go back and try and divine what iteration of you’re argument we are on.

  227. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie and Julian:

    Your non-posts only serve to illuminate in glorious technicolour the fact that you do not want to answer the question.

    I’ve already told you, the statement in question did not come with any qualifiers, so I’m not sure where you are dragging these qualifiers up from.

    Dare I say it – but you are moving the goal posts.

  228. julian says

    Stephanie, when you say this doesn;t stand up to “real world details”, is that the first glint of an admission that your contention on elevatorguy is flawed?

    What contention? What the hell are you arguing against?

    I have said before that using hypothetical examples to draw conclusions on elevatorgate was unwise and unpredictable

    And now you’re trying to narrow the scope back to the incident on the elevator when we were discussing men as potential rapists in general.

    Just answer me this, please.

    Would it be wrong to consider the individual in my scenario a potential rapist and why don’t the circumstances and high prevalence of date rape justify being suspicious in that scenario?

  229. says

    Tim, the fact that you can’t keep more information in your head at one time than “yes” or “no” does not actually make a full answer invalid. Nice try, though. No, you’re going to have to do some more quote-mining if you want to claim victory.

  230. Tim Groc says

    Julian:

    Would it be wrong to consider the individual in my scenario a potential rapist

    What about a “potential murderer”, or any other “potential” you would like to introduce to muddy the waters.

    and why don’t the circumstances and high prevalence of date rape justify being suspicious in that scenario?

    You tell me. You are are the one making the claim. Obviously you feel that instances of date rape are as such that you should label men in elevators as “potential rapists” under circumstances that you simply decide on unknown variables.

    Do you have any facts about the prevalance, BTW. I want to know what is the threshold for being suspicious.

  231. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie,

    Why don’t you just admit you don’t want to answer the question because it opens up accusations of sexism and racism?

  232. says

    Well, two reasons, really. The first is that it wouldn’t. The second is that I know that because I already answered the question, and you’re not using the answer to accuse me of racism or sexism.

  233. julian says

    Ok, then! I sorta have my answer.

    You don’t feel the situation warrants any suspicion and would, therefore, leave it alone without a second thought. There is nothing suspicious about watching or walking in the same direction as someone else, so their behavior is entirely justifiable. And because you don’t view date rape as a likely outcome, you don’t feel calling the individual following the drunken one into the bathroom warrants being thought of or considered a ‘potential rapist.’

    Is that close to how you feel, Tim Groc?

  234. Tim Groc says

    No, you didn’t answer the question because you added qualifiers to the original statement that I want an answer to.

    I thought this question would pose big problems – that is what happens when you take up baseless tag lines as a meme.

  235. Tim Groc says

    Julian:

    Ok, then! I sorta have my answer.

    No you don’t

    You don’t feel the situation warrants any suspicion and would, therefore, leave it alone without a second thought.

    Suspicion of what. “Potential murder”?

    There is nothing suspicious about watching or walking in the same direction as someone else, so their behavior is entirely justifiable.

    You are allowed to walk in the same direction as someone. You do it every day.

    And because you don’t view date rape as a likely outcome

    I don’t know how likely it is. I have asked for statistics.

    you don’t feel calling the individual following the drunken one into the bathroom warrants being thought of or considered a ‘potential rapist.’

    A bathroom? You mean a bathroom for a particular sex. Yes, I would find it odd if a man went into a ladies toilet. But on the basis of scant information, I couldn’t possible speculate anymore than that. I am a skeptic, after all.

  236. Tim Groc says

    Stephanie, you are on a serious numbner of strike outs here.

    I have asked you why there is a boundary between slurring a sex as a “potential rapist” and a race as a “potential rapist”.

    Both are correct under the logic used by A. Noyd, and supported by various others.

    No qualifiers allowed, here. I am after the reasoning why such baselines can be applied to a situation where the full facts are unknown. You have not given me a reason why the second assumption of the question is wrong.

    Therefore, my position still stands upright – the contention that all men are potential rapists can be logically furthered to support all kinds of sexist and racist contentions.

  237. says

    That wasn’t the question you asked, but I can answer it again in this form: Because talking about one sex versus another gives us very good information about the relative likelihood of the person being a rapist. It is based in reality. Talking about one “race” versus another is not based in reality. It can’t give us any information.

  238. julian says

    Tim Groc @256

    So, the answer to my question would have been yes, then.

    (1)No qualifiers allowed, here. (2)I am after the reasoning why such baselines can be applied to a situation where the full facts are unknown. (3)You have not given me a reason why the second assumption of the question is wrong.

    Ms. Zvan already answered this.

    1)She did not use qualifiers (as she explained to you).

    2)She alluded to and gave some reasons. Many of us have given you detailed responses and been dismissed because (as I think my example demonstrates) you have a higher threshold than we do for what is suspicious behavior and don’t view rape as that likely for it to weigh into decision making.

    3)Yes she did. She tried to explain to you the reality of rape, how it disproportionately affects women and how it is overwhelmingly done by men targeting women. She went on to add this could not be said of race and that “It’s because there is no difference between races when it comes to rape.” So women of said race still face the same dangers from men regardless of the man’s race.

  239. A. Noyd says

    Tim Groc
    Note: Read all the way to the end before trying to reply, please.

    (#233)

    I realise I have posed a difficult question.

    It’s not difficult, it’s just irrelevant because it’s premised on an incorrect assumption you’ve made. You’re very easy to distract, so let’s stick to one of your misconceptions at a time, shall we. I realize you would like to think it is I who is avoiding some question, but really, if you trace things back, you will find what came first was your contention that there were slanders of “rapist” at Pharyngula, which several people demanded you support with evidence. Rather than providing that evidence, you began to conflate (or appear to conflate) rapists and potential rapists, as will be demonstrated below. Thus, we should settle those matters first.

    (#236)

    Wrong. People on this blog and others brought up the idea of men as rapists several months ago.

    But I’m not talking with other people, I’m talking with you, about claims you have made. And as you have only brought up male rapists in the context of your complaint, you cannot reasonably expect me to be the one to introduce other types of rapists first.

    There is a very important point here, because we all know certain individuals have used the “men are potential rapists” not as a simple logical construct like “all men have testicles”, but to infer something far more serious.

    Whether they have inferred anything or not is irrelevant just at the moment. Your original contention was about rapists, not potential rapists, so we need to settle whether those are the same thing or different things.

    I never said they were the same. You are accuding me of saying things I never said….

    I’m afraid you implied it rather strongly in #146. In response to Giliell saying, “I challenge you to produce the actual quotes where people were being accused of being a rapist (and yes, actually in the legal sense of should go to prison, not…[a] potential rapist…) …” your reply was, “There were lots of people suggesting the eleveatorguy could have been a rapist.” (Emphasis mine.) Now, “could have been a rapist” is the same thing as saying “potential rapist” given definition two in the top entry of “potential” here: “capable of being or becoming.” So technically you failed Giliell’s challenge, but you can take that up with her.

    What’s relevant to my argument is you did shift to talking about “potential rapists” while giving the impression you were still talking about “rapists” (first mentioned in #135). Why else quote Giliell, after all. You even made a point of repeating yourself in #162! So I’m sure you can understand my confusion about what it is you’re actually claiming to be the content of these supposed slanders.

    Simply offer a justification of how it’s in any way rational to refer to someone like me, who has no children, as both “a mother” and “a potential mother.”

    I never rejected this logical construct.

    So do you or do you not agree there is a difference between calling a man “a rapist” and calling a man “a potential rapist”? The answer to this question should be either “I agree” or “I disagree,” and nothing else. It’s a simple question asking for a statement of your belief. Whether I address the rest of this reply (#236) depends on your answer. In fact, try to keep your entire reply to those two words. Save anything else you wish to say for later.

  240. Philip Legge says

    For the purposes of most sexual harrassment guidelines in workplaces

    I can spot the ambiguity straight away.

    If you think you’ve made a point: you haven’t. This exemplar was merely a support to my assertion that your line of argument is fundamentally irrelevant.

    My reply to this is shorter: he unintentionally fanned the flames, which leapt far higher after his intervention; he therefore bears his part of responsibility in putting out the blaze.

    Hello, hello. Here we go again – the elephant in the room is apparent. If we are talking of people who fanned the flames, I expect dozens of apologies.

    Who made you the apology police? Who the hell are you, Tim Groc?

    Dawkins – for better or worse – is in a position of leadership in the atheist community. He should lead by example.

    Do you propose PZ should apologise to Rebecca? I think PZ’s tone throughout has been surprisingly moderate (except when dealing with morons of the likes of greylining and integralmath) and I don’t see how his apology for the situation being exacerbated would help matters now.

    Do you propose Abbie should apologise to Rebecca? I can’t see it happening, though it would presumably have something of an effect if she did. It’s arguable the hate campaign might have died away if she hadn’t given it a focus.

  241. A. Noyd says

    @Tim Groc
    One other thing. Stop saying things like this: “Both are correct under the logic used by A. Noyd…” in your conversations with other people. First, my arguments are my arguments. Even if someone endorses a particular thing I’ve said, you cannot assume they will endorse anything else I’ve said. Second, I’ve only shown you a subset of my arguments as of yet, and you can only safely apply those to the limited set of scenarios I’ve agreed to discuss so far.

  242. julian says

    Gonna exit stage left (not saying anything the other commentors aren’t saying better and reading over my posts I’m confusing stuff) just wanted to make this quick point.

    It seems like the word you’re thinking of when you hear potential, Tim Groc, is likely. No one has or is (to my knowledge) saying EG was likely a rapist. No one has or is (to my knowledge) saying all men are likely rapists. To argue as if this had been said or is being said is to argue against a strawman.

  243. Luna_the_cat says

    My own personal conclusion is that Tim Groc isn’t actually this stupid, he’s just trolling in order to annoy people. Potentially it is just to provoke reactions that he could then share as being “proof” of how unreasonable people here are.

    @Tim: I realise the potential is there that you actually believe your own statements. However, nobody else here does; they represent very poor reasoning and a deliberate effort to ignore the pertinent responses made to you, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of fundamental arguments (such as assessing risk). In other words: trolling.

  244. says

    @Tim Groc

    My main point was to establish whem the hate campaign started. Aratina confirmed I was right all along.

    And my main point is that McGraw did not write her critique of Watson in a vacuum, and neither did Dawkins snap out his “Dear Muslima” and his “zero bad” comments in a vacuum. The people lambasting Watson with misogynistic slurs for having the audacity to say no and to tell other men not to follow in EG’s footsteps were already out there doing their dirty work before either McGraw or Dawkins piped up.

    I don’t know if McGraw willingly or not threw herself at the lionesses as a martyr for the MRA cause, but the MRA contingent was already out there waiting for one to justify their harassment of Watson. I don’t know if McGraw knew that Watson was going to be the keynote speaker at a local conference in a few days (that McGraw herself would be attending) after publicly criticizing Watson in a ham-handed way, but it seems very likely McGraw as a spokesperson for UNI F&I would have known. McGraw’s shock and the ensuing outrage at her being confronted played right into the MRA hands. The MRA martyr act was complete. She had poo-pooed Watson’s quite reasonable, “Guys, don’t do that,” and could now play the victim to the Watson “bully”.

    I hardly think I need to go over how Dawkins played MRA martyr #2. His act was much more significant, though, and more damaging, and more intentional. One can understand if McGraw’s entire act was just her blundering unawares into the MRA’s cause, but not so for Dawkins. In three comments, he had dismissed Watson’s experience completely, ignored all of the abuse aimed at her, dismissed feminist complaints about sexism at atheist conferences completely, and had become the sad victim of a fury of “fucks” written defensively on Pharyngula. If something was left unsaid that would change the picture, Dawkins needs to say it. He needs to clarify his words and rebuke the MRAs or apologize. Otherwise, we are left with no alternative except that he meant every word, which would be disheartening to say the least.

  245. julian says

    @Aratina Cage

    From what I remember of Ms McGraw’s follow up, she claimed to have been excited about an opportunity to discuss her disagreement with Rebecca Watson so she likely knew about the keynote speaker position. She also felt this was something they could argue about over crumpets and tea or something.

    Which suddenly just strikes me as so dismissive and insulting. You’ve just declared this woman to be anti-sex and demonizing men because she didn’t appreciate us approaching her out of the blue to request sex. And now you expect her to be friendly, amiable and entirely willing to overlook the obvious insult?

    Many of Ms. McGraw’s friends (from what I remember) complained that after several hours arguing with Ms. Watson in an entirely amiable manner on twitter, she became annoyed and abruptly ended the conversation. This was supposedly evidence that she was hysterical or something as opposed to evidence she’d been doing this for ages now and was sick of it and honestly didn’t need a group of people telling her she had no right to mind being propositioned for sex the way EG did.

    I started off feeling very sympathetic towards Ms. McGraw (this post was supposed to be defensive of her) but the more I think about it the less compassion I can muster.

  246. says

    You’ve just declared this woman to be anti-sex and demonizing men because she didn’t appreciate us approaching her out of the blue to request sex. And now you expect her to be friendly, amiable and entirely willing to overlook the obvious insult?

    Yes. I’ve thought all along that the “Watson wronged McGraw!!1″ faction understated the insultingness of McGraw’s vid. That doesn’t mean Watson was blameless in her choice of venue to reply, but it does mean McGraw’s not a purely benevolent martyr.

  247. says

    McGraw’s vid

    I didn’t think McGraw made a video, only a blog post. There was a YouTuber named stclairose who created a video (after being told about Watson’s video by Trevor Boeckmann, who himself eventually went on to begin an official UNI Freethinkers & Inquiry blog post to Watson with “Dear Rebecca, Fuck you.“). Stclairose’s video is tagged unironically “reverse sexism”, and it says a similar thing as McGraw’s blog post though it is much more explicitly sympathetic to the MRA position.

  248. Philip Legge says

    Ophelia, I think you might be confusing Stef McGraw’s blog post on the UNI freethought website with the vlog by Rose St Clair, which if anything is even worse in terms of strawmanning Rebecca’s experience by ignoring and dismissing salient context before leaping to ill-justified conclusions.

  249. Philip Legge says

    I blame caching — I swear the comments were only up to 267 when I started typing, and it didn’t take me that long. Sigh…

  250. julian says

    after being told about Watson’s video by Trevor Boeckmann, who himself eventually went on to begin an official UNI Freethinkers & Inquiry blog post to Watson with “Dear Rebecca, Fuck you.”

    The important thing to take away is that Rebecca Watson is a horrible person and she provoked every single one of these responses by being so evil and stuff.

    Gah!

    At least it’s nice to know what ‘freethinking’ and ‘inquiry’ is all about.

  251. says

    Tim Groc

    Giliell has just compared the guy to a rapist when there is no foundation.

    Shame on him/her.

    No, Tim.
    I compared his behaviour to that of a rapist.
    And over the past 4 months people have explained again and again and again why that is justified.
    From him ignoring that Rebecca Watson said “no” time after time after time, meaning that he was likely to ignore any further “no” as well, to the fact that he cornered her alone in a closed space just after she’d left the open bar where she was with her friends.
    Which are the exact things women get warned of for all of their adult life.
    Which are the bad experiences a considerable number of women have made in their lives.
    Oh, I very well believe that he might have acted like this being totally innocent and ignorant of he was doing, ignorant of the fact that he was acting like a real rapist would do, like the bad men you get described in those handy leaflets women get given by the local police-department.

    But it makes no sense discussing this any further with you unless you learn that there’s a difference between potential and actual rapist.
    Oh, and I want my goalpost back, my challenge is still up.

  252. says

    Groc is simply insisting on conflating two things: “all men are potential rapists” meaning all men just are potential rapists, and: “in an encounter with a stranger there is always a potential risk because you don’t have knowledge otherwise [that’s what ‘stranger’ means – you don’t know]; for a woman, such an encounter with a man in an enclosed space at 4 a.m. has more risk-cues.” Groc is pretending everyone is making the simple, sweeping, ridiculous claim, when in fact everyone is making the complicated, not sweeping, not ridiculous claim.

  253. Philip Legge says

    Ophelia, as I pointed out earlier: this is the David Byron school of misinterpreting the English language. “Possible” = “actual” = “potential”. No room for difference.

  254. says

    I am not going to keep repeating myself while I have yet to receive any kind of argument that Dawkins’ needs to apologise…

    That’s TWO LIES in the first half of a sentence. You ARE repeating yourself, Tim, and you HAVE heard arguments explaining why Dawkins needs to apologize.

    “Tim Groc” may not be a DavidByron sockpuppet (he’s not quite as verbose as DB, so I’m a bit doubtful there), but the two are clearly trolling from exactly the same Rovian playbook — which includes “challenging” people to respond to statements that are based on false premises, and ever more hyperactively repeating allegations that have already been disproven or refuted. And he/they are clearly lying about what others have said.

  255. illuminata says

    At least it’s nice to know what ‘freethinking’ and ‘inquiry’ is all about.

    THIS! This is the most confusing part of all this for me. These people claim to be skeptics. I assume Abbie, when not frantically tap dancing for male approval, considers herself a skeptic.

    Yet, they make every leap of faith that a creationist does to avoid any semblance of skepticism.

    They are skeptics in the way Sarah Palin is a feminist. That is, not at all.

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