Misogyny? What misogyny?


Reading Greta’s most recent post about…about friends and allies and misogyny and how to deal with it and talk about it. You know: what we’ve been talking about for months and months and months now. One thing that happened in the comments is that Justicar showed up to discuss the issues in a calm, reasoned, civil way…deceptively calm, reasoned, and civil. He’s not like that everywhere. He’s not like that at ERV and he’s not like it on his own blog.

Aerik pointed out one example that I don’t think I’d seen before (although who knows, maybe I did, I saw a lot last summer and no doubt I’ve forgotten most of it by now).

On top of attacking Watson in a most misogynist manner, he does it to ophelia benson, too!  Screams in his title “HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, ORWELLPHIA SUCKS COCKS! ”  Also calls her “wicked bitch of the west.”

Oh yes? So I looked it up, and found this.

That’s Justicar.

Comments

  1. Marta says

    When I see “Justicar” in comments at any other blog, I wince, and hit the back button to leave as quickly as possible. (I have the same experience if I see other names I recognize as frequent posters at the Slimepit.) This has had the unintended consequence of my forming negative conclusions about the blog’s host. . . does the blog host not know about these writers? Or does the blog host know, but not care, as long as they behave themselves at the host’s blog?

    I just don’t have it in me, to wall off what the writer is saying now, from what they’ve said somewhere else.

    Suggestions, anyone?

  2. says

    Marta, do you want to have it in you to do that? I certainly don’t. I don’t want to see Justicar as a decent human being in one place despite knowing that he’s not one via what he’s said in other places.

  3. Jurjen S. says

    Picking a handle like “Justicar” just tells me he’s been playing too much Vampire: the Masquerade, and very likely has an over-inflated opinion of his own judgement.

  4. Josh Slocum says

    Come on, Ophelia. You can’t expect Jerry to come down on Justicar for such a small thing. I mean, compared to your disagreements about Miranda Celeste Hale, your incredibly violent not-taking-to-task-enough commenters who criticized her was way worse that Justicar calling you a cunt with a cow. Anyone can see that!

    Jesus Christ, Jerry Coyne.

  5. Marta says

    I’m open to the argument that blog hosts can’t be expected to police the web for any and every moronic, misogynistic or generally craptastic thing their posters might have written somewhere else.

    But the posters at the Slimepit–John C. Welch, Justicar, Frank Hoggle, Phil Giordana, Michael Kingsford Gray and a small handful of others–can’t be unknowns to anyone who’s stuck stuck their toe out of their clam shell in the last 6 months.

    I can’t read what Justicar, et.al, write at the Slimepit, and not recoil when I see their names at other blogs–WEIT being an excellent example. Am I being unreasonable, though, if I think that (Jerry, for example) is condoning Justicar’s remarks elsewhere, if Jerry permits Justicar to post at WEIT?

  6. says

    It’s bizarre enough to see him commenting regularly at WEIT. It’s beyond bizarre to see him get a whole post to himself.

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/peregrinations-ctd/

    That’s, um…wow.

    My only remaining hope is that at some point in the future Jerry will look back on his behavior in this extended episode and recognize how shameful it was. Meanwhile, he’s thrown in with some nasty, monotonous bigots, so we can leave him to wallow in that boring ugliness.

  7. says

    Maybe because I’m not a team player… I just don’t understand the sort of “teams” that grew out of ElevatorGate, or how seemingly normal and decent people decided to ally themselves with some of the worst people imaginable, out of a shared negative view of Rebecca Watson. It is some sort of bizarre, irrational “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of thing? Or is this really the way people like Coyne feel and they’re happy to provide a platform for other people to say the horrible things while they pretend to be above them?

    I think of the saying “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy” and I feel like some people’s “that” is way further than mine. Not just because no one deserves certain things directed at them, but also because I don’t want to be the sort of person who wishes that level of harm against others. I don’t understand how a good and decent person can look at the behavior of someone like Justicar, decide that they don’t like his targets, and shrug their shoulders at it and say “serves them right.”

  8. says

    Neither do I – and I’ll just point out, for the record (I pointed it out at Greta’s earlier) that Stef McGraw didn’t do that. She did the opposite: she said nothing Rebecca did justifies sexist epithets. It would be nice if more of Stef’s fans could say the same. Stef is way better than they are.

  9. mirax says

    Too many prominent male atheists – Dawkins, DJ Grothe, Jerry Coyne- have slipped and revealed some ugly attitudes since the elevatorgate affair. No wonder Watson is so hated – she unwittingly revealed that many of the nerdboys’idols have feet of clay. Uncomfortable truths but they have to be dealt with and I thank all the FTB bloggers, especially the stalwarts – Ophelia, Greta, Stephanie and PZ – for focussing on this. The Horde has been magnificently ferocious too! I am so very glad that FTB has taken a principled and unified line on this.

  10. says

    It’s not Vampire, Jurjen@5. He rather pointedly and proudly explained to Greg Laden once that it was a title that’s difficult to earn (e.g. takes several hundred hours of playtime) in World of Warcraft.

  11. Happiestsadist says

    I always thought his nym was a V:tM reference too. Though he’s always struck me as more Sabbat.

  12. karmakin says

    You know, he deserves to be banned/ostracized for those web/MSPaint “skillz” alone.

    *sigh* I think my wife has corrupted me. If I showed her that picture she’d go through the roof, all content aside.

  13. Aerik says

    Yup. I was clicking “older posts” over and over on justicar’s blog as I made that comment. We’ve re-hashed “elevatorgate” so much that it’s actually hard to believe it was all the way back in July. Every discussion happens like it was just last week.

    If you go back to the third or fourth week of July, you’ll actually find a post about me! — I was troll of the day for laughing at him on youtube for getting his big mouth banned from scienceblogs.com. Who’s the troll now, Justicar?

    Which is relevant, because youtube serves as another examples of atheists/skeptics congregating, and outright ignoring the sexism of their fellow menz’ pasts and presents. Nobody in the atheist sphere on youtube will call him out. In fact, he’s recently been praised for being the ten millionth person to point out how inconsistent youtube is in enforcing their “community guidelines.”

    If you think Justicar’s behavior is disappointing, I don’t recommend checking out the youtube atheist community, either. All day long they’ll call their critics or targets of choice any and/or all of the following words: cunt, whore, slag, cocksucker, fag, bitch, retard, fucktard. Then turn around and attack a convenient target such as the church or religious republican politicians for wanting to take away condoms and abortion, then sit back and pat themselves on the back for being the most uber feminist dudes around.

    The youtube atheist community represnts the worst of what Justicar can turn into. These days, they don’t really get up and speak about anything in common unless at least 3 of them are doing to do it at once and “pwn” their target. A user named ‘diana boston’ correctly points out that they are like a middle school clique, that ‘spontaneously’ gangs up on a victim in the hallway and shouts the person into submission, then whines to the teachers that they’re victims of circumstance when they’re called out on it.

  14. says

    I’m trying to make some hilarious joke about how a cow without a cunt is not really a cow, but I can’t manage it without either seeming anti-trans or else just disgusted and sad about the whole thing.

  15. Aerik says

    Not to say there aren’t genuinely nice atheists/skeptics on youtube. For example, user “healthyaddict” quit her job at the airport last year to fullfill her ambition of aiding a string of budding student/campus freethought/atheist groups come into their own, and she’s really succeeded. She’s a very big player in that sphere of activism. She gets to most of the TAMs and the Skepticons and Dragoncons, so she knows who all the players and leaders are, and has met and talked to them, so she has real things to say about them. She is frequently getting together with users like Thunderf00t (creator of the once laudable ‘venomfangx’ series of creationist debunkings) (who has fallen from popularity due to a string of videos that are supposedly about Islam but really end up just badmouthing desert-centered ethnicities), and sharing videos of them hanging out at the events. But she has so very little to say about sexism in the communities, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    The relationship between youtube atheists/skeptics and feminism is toxic, to say the least. There are few actual feminists on youtube, which isn’t surprising considering how easily false flagging and false dmca reports can be used to eject universally hated targets such as feminists. What feminists are left on youtube are far from mainstream, and end up debating on youtube… well, like youtubers, which is a far cry from the standards we expect on places such as FTB. Diana Boston is one of them. In the last year she has converted to her own form of Judaism and has a very strong attachment to the state of Israel, which is often used against her but she has done a good job of separating it from issues of sex. She can be a competent feminist I’m gonna say 90% of the time.

    But who do the youtube atheists side with? A user named divinity33372 who has dedicated many videos to slandering Diana Boston and other youtube feminists. I’ve seen one particularly disgusting video in which Divinity holds up an empty plastic bottle to her web cam and says it represents Diana’s vagina, and goes on to hypothesize that Diana is a secret masochist who wants everybody to verbally abuse her on youtube. This is the person that gets the youtube atheist video of approval.

    These days what counts for feminist debate on youtube is a patently false dichotomy. “sex positive feminism” versus “anti pornography feminism.” Divinity would be one of the “sex pos” users. Know what I fucking hate about that label? It doesn’t actually stand for anything. All it does is accuse mainstream feminism of being “sex negative,” without any concrete, analytical criteria that would define such a position. It’s purpose is to create a boogeyman, and leaves the listeners to fill in the shadow with whatever straw-feminist they already believe in.

    The state of youtube’s sexism debate sphere is such that you can only pass as a good feminist if you think even the most violent of pornography is OK, that they’re just actors so it’s all good, to ignore the institutional abuse of the industry, and equate hating industrial pornography with hating sex itself. In other words, no actual feminists allowed.

    And they collaboratively act against feminists. Despite all the slurs that they themselves use, users like coughlan000/coughlan616, napalmupinsmoke, themeliandialogue, divinity33372, and others regularly gang up on feminists who do not tolerate the crap I’ve name din the last paragraph, even to the point of making shit up about them.

    Recently diana boston remarked on some other youtuber, in a paragraph full of obviously facetious leet speak, “gayboiz can be just as misogynist as straight men” — And despite how often they themselves call people ‘faggot’ or ‘cocksucker’ (napalm), they decided that suddenly diana boston is one of the most homophobic people they’ve ever met.

    Their hypocrisy is so large, and yet they can’t see it. As a group they got together and denounced a group of youtubers that called themselves “allianceofdemons,” with a collaborative eponymous channel. The youtube atheist pet peeve concerning AoD? That they get together as a group and always attack one person for weeks on end, harass them in comment threads (even unrelated comment threads), and make up false accusations of bigotry out of whole cloth or out of quotemines.

    Which was all true of AoD. But where did AoD learn it? From the likes of napalm, coughlan, meliandialogue aka rithrandil, thunderf00t, dprjones, theinnerbadger aka stealthbadger, theskepticalheretic (who falsely claimed that diana made 13 videos about him in 2 weeks, when she in fact only made 4), godlesshayes, lefayad1991, bobchaos23 (currently in an obviously transphobic campaign against zjemptv aka zinna jones), and many more. All the stuff they hated about AoD doing, they themselves do to people like dianaboston (girlonfilm1969 currently).

    It actually amazes me to this day how little they show up on reddit’s /r/atheism. So far only “the amazing atheist” gets a lot of credit there, and that says quite alot. TAA is often seen consorting with /r/mensrights, a group of some of the most whiny and neurotic MRAs on the internet. His anti-feminist strawman attacks are some of the most virulent. And as always, all those other youtube atheists’ mouths are zipped up tight.

    I’d say users like AronRa could be tolerable when it comes to sexism, but I’ve seen him and others show up on blogtv live webcam shows and totally ignore all the sexism in the chatroom, which is like justicar cubed. Misogyny just flows around them like a fart in the wind. They can’t be bothered to so much as take an extra sniff.

  16. AllStevie says

    Here’s a crazy idea: what if we took things people said on a case-by-case basis, weighing the merits of the comments themselves rather than judging the people who are making them, especially when you don’t even know them in real life? Nah, you’re right; just write off everyone who’s not in your clique, and when they keep their comments clean, assume it’s hypocrisy instead of the common courtesy of following your blog’s guidelines.

  17. says

    Or — and here’s another crazy idea for you, AllStevie — we could take each person’s actions in aggregate and employ the very pattern recognition millions of years of evolution has granted us to determine whether someone’s bad behaviour is isolated or an actual pattern worth curtailing. Otherwise we have to take every single instance of bad behaviour as an isolated incident, no matter how many times that same person has done something offensive to you.

  18. Josh Slocum says

    Here’s a crazy thought, Stevie. How about we take into account the demonstrated track record of misogynist fuckers and trolls who’ve proven themselves over the course of months to be deliberately obtuse, disingenuously naive about the effects of sexism, and in it merely to provoke and insult people who want to converse in good faith?

    Another crazy thought: How about you take your faux-wounded ass out of here and fuck right off?

  19. AllStevie says

    Who’s wounded, faux- or otherwise? You have no idea what you’re talking about. But you’ll keep talking anyway, won’t you? I’ve aligned myself with the wrong side in everyone’s eyes here, so I’m a “bad person” & nothing I say has merit. Congratulations, you’ve shut down a discussion. Again. Go celebrate with some brewskis!

  20. says

    Anyone else find it beyond being beyond bizarre that anyone would devote an entire post to me while claiming that it’s beyond bizarre that anyone would devote an entire post to me?

    I mean, wowsers. Writing a post about Justicar is beyond bizarre; please go read my post about Justicar.

    Keep it classy, Ophelia. =^_^=

  21. julian says

    Hey, AllStevie, no one called you a bad person. They pointed out how it’s absurd to demand we not take someone’s history regarding a particular subject into account in our dealings with them. It’s not only absurd, it’s naive and wholly uncritical to exclude it from consideration.

    But go right on letting the point sail past your head.

  22. julian says

    Justicar, you misogynistic ass, what brings you here? Was it an example of your misogyny directed against Ms. Benson being quoted? No it was probably you seeing an opportunity to mischaracterize someone. That seems to be your forte. Must be why you’re so believed by your totally not misogynistic compatriots.

  23. says

    Julian, I fail to see how I’ve mischaracterized her in the comment to which you respond. Did she not say that it’s beyond bizarre to see me having an entire post about me? Is that a rule that only counts if the blog isn’t hers? So, either she’s being beyond, beyond bizarre or she’s being a hypocrite: it’s totally crazy to make a blog article about Justicar. For more information, please read my blog article about Justicar.

    Misogyny – that word. It doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. But no, that’s not what brought me. Someone referred me to the post because it’s funny, stupid, but funny. So clicked the little hyperlink thingy and read it.

    What other people do or do not believe is their affair, not mine. If people believe me because it’s me saying something, then that’s on them. I provide citations and all that jazz so that people who read what I write or hear what I say may avail themselves of the original information and determine whether I’ev fairly or unfairly represented the issue I’ve addressed.

  24. julian says

    Justicar, you being…well, you, I get how sometimes people may not make complete sense to you. I will do my best to make sense of this situation for you.

    Ms. Benson was linked to one of the many times you’ve tried to denigrate her using slurs you know make her wince and she places in a category on par with nigger or kike. It was an example of the kind of rhetoric she describes as sexist and breeds contempt and hostility towards women.

    (It’s also very similar to what happened with Bryan Long who DJ Grothe promptly jumped up to defend.)

    So it’s bizarre for her to see you in places she likes to visit and read. It’s bizarre to see someone so needlessly cruel and misogynistic towards her elsewhere, laughing it up with a group she occasionally hangs out around. I imagine it’s unsettling. Especially when he becomes the topic of the day for the group. It’s one of those things that make some people uncomfortable.

    Hope that helps. And that Tyrannosaur appears just long enough to poop on your floor. But mostly the help.

  25. Amphigorey says

    Why yes, Justicar, it’s a post about you. Did you notice the quoted content? The content that you wrote? The content that illustrates perfectly what you consider reasonable treatment of another person?

    You say, “Misogyny – that word. It doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means.”

    Go on, then. Explain to us all how calling Ophelia a “cunt of a cow” isn’t misogynistic. We’re waiting.

  26. dirigible says

    “Who’s wounded, faux- or otherwise?”

    You are acting as such. In this comment. Again.

    “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    The topic of discussion is misogyny. You are here to defend it.

    “But you’ll keep talking anyway, won’t you? I’ve aligned myself with the wrong side in everyone’s eyes here, so I’m a “bad person” & nothing I say has merit.”

    Nothing you have said so far has had merit because it is a poorly argued attempt to derail the discussion. It is emotive rhetoric intended to replace discussion of behaviour and ideas with appeals to in and out groups. You are failing to engage with the topic at hand.

    “Congratulations, you’ve shut down a discussion. Again. Go celebrate with some brewskis!”

    You fail to shut down the discussion by asserting that it’s not about what it’s actually about and then complain about the discussion being shut down?

    Here’s a suggestion. Explain why you feel the evidence of misogyny supplied in the original post is insufficient or misrepresented. That would demonstrate that the criticism is invalid. Which would be much more affective than your current argument, which appears to be that misogyny is OK when it’s someone you’re “on the same side” as so shut up about it.

  27. says

    Assuming Ophelia hasn’t gotten around to making sure that I’m not able to write further comments in a post that is about me, I’ll see if I can’t address some feedback.

    Julian @ 38:

    Well, since you’ve brought up the issue of mischaracterization, I’ll continue in that vein. Ophelia has not properly characterized my interaction at Jerry Coyne’s place. I don’t regularly comment there or participate there. I have written something like 30-40 comments there in the past 8 or 9 months. I find many of Jerry’s posts interesting and well thought-out. I normally abstain from posting there for the express reason that I don’t want Jerry to be tarred and feathered for not being draconian and moderating the shit out of his comment section.

    And Ophelia’s post here confirms that she has some expectation he’s supposed to do something similar to that. When both she and I comment on the same piece, I do not interact with her. Jerry’s place generally has a civil tone and knowing that she is incapable of being civil if I’m involved, I see no need to provoke her there. I do this at other places as well. She calls this being deceptive, but it isn’t. I tend to adhere to the tone of a blog in general, and if there’s a written comment policy I either follow it or don’t post.

    She could do to learn the same skill set, but I’m not her mother or counselor. I expect that in the future she will likely discard the comment policies and tone at other people’s blogs when she determines that her right to ignore them are sufficiently weighty. Note in the Greta article to which she linked, she was called out by Greta for twice violating the comment policy (directly attacking people in contravention to the known-to-her comment policy). Also note that she was not responded to in kind, with Greta having to take the step of noting that neither I nor Munkhaus (IIRC) had violated any policies at her blog.

    So, naturally in keeping with Greta’s vehement assurances to D.J. that she bans people whether they agree or disagree with her based on her commenting policy, Ophelia has now been banned there for her inability to adhere to said policy. It’s also good to note that I’ve not been banned there for not violating her comment policy.

    Except that this is precisely reversed. I see and hear the claims made by those on your side, and then I see their actions. The actions undertaken do not seem to be fairly within the ambit traced out by the claims made. I’ll leave you to wonder why that is.

    Back to Jerry’s place. Okay, Ophelia finds it ‘unsettling’ (and I won’t be holding her to that description, hence the quotes) to know that she will have to find someway to exist in the world with people she doesn’t like, and even from time to time share the internet with them. It is of no moment or import whatever that a blogger who writes interesting, thought-provoking articles will attract people she despises equally as much it will attract her. To be certain, insisting that people she doesn’t like aren’t allowed to engage in civil, intellectual discourse is not a pathway to resolving the issues she identifies.

    I think Ophelia is dishonest on the primary issues here, and she’s even admitted she doesn’t care if her reaction is rational. More than that, she doesn’t want to care that she can’t be rational on this subject. That says a lot.

    Further on that mischaracterizing bit: I’m perfectly happy to sling mud with the best of them, or have the most detailed conversation on whatever range of issues that are relevant. I have been all along, and it’s how I started out. But that proved immediately and repeatedly useless; note Ophelia’s article – even if the conversation is well-reasoned, calm, polite, civil, whatever, she insists that it still requires exclusion. This has been an on-going theme among your side since the word go.

    In response, quite a lot of us did what people do on the internet: escalated it for the lulz; it was quite obvious reasonable discussion with an interest in effective communication was not on the menu.

    You say it’s needlessly cruel and misogynistic. This is at least partly false in my estimation. Had you not linked the claim in the logical nexus you just created, I would be able to accept one argument and be convinced on the other, but you didn’t. At any rate, my words have been rather mean – that’s what insults are designed to be. And I use them in that way. Ophelia has earned my contempt, and I do say mean things about her – and I know that language and insults which haven’t been effective on me since about age eight really dig into her. And it pisses her off that she has to live on the same planet with people she doesn’t like.

    Remember, Ophelia herself has a history of objecting to people who object to tone. That was, oddly enough, right up until the moment her pet issue arose. Then, well, tone became highly important. Again, claims and actions are not congruent here.

    The misogyny comment is on its face to me quite stupid. It doesn’t follow that because I object to and find contemptible a small handful of people who happen to be women that I hate women because they’re women. In fact, it would be a fool’s errand to demonstrate that I even putatively hate anyone, let alone a group of people which I routinely work to support in what ways I can. That said, being a member of that group doesn’t immunize anyone from the precise same derision I’d give to people not in that group for the same reasons. In other words, being the owner of a vagina means exactly nothing to me with respect to a pass for the conduct I take issue with. It carries precisely no weight.

    The post at Jerry’s was because I made a video talking about his unfortunately common experience of being felt up by strangers as a condition of flying. This is an important issue, and I thought I’d try to shed a little laughter on it while also discussing the societal issues it raises. And Ophelia’s response? Such commentary is to be prohibited because she dislikes the person saying it. For all I’ve said which your side finds contemptible, I’ve never sunk to the depths of saying that the proper recourse is to make sure that Benson, et al, are prohibited from having their opinions on any issue and being able to freely engaged in conversation on whatever those issues are.

    Your side cannot and will not respond in kind. The ready solution here is to go around trying to police who’s allowed to speak in what forum on what issues with which people, and in what tone. This is curious; history clearly offers no counsel here to anyone among you.

    To give you an idea of the silliness that abounds by all of this nonsense, I note that Jerry has a nasty habit of crediting articles to the person who brings the matter to his attention. Because of the climate started by your side, I don’t bring matters to his attention directly. I use a rather circuitous route so that when he cites his source it won’t be my name, and thus it won’t be grist for the mill of censorship you gals have running here. And Jerry isn’t the only known blogger (sorry, non-blogger!) to whom I send stuff circuitously. This is a direct consequence of this team’s actions: you stifle conversation. You insult rigorous, honest intellectual pursuits because of the witch hunting.

    Amphigorey @ 40: yes, I noticed it’s an article about me. You’ll know this because I wrote earlier indicating that I recognize it’s an article about me. See how that works? I was pointing out the problem with Ophelia’s statement. She says it’s beyond bizarre to see a post written entirely about me. She says this in a post she wrote entirely about me. See the irony there?

    You write

    Go on, then. Explain to us all how calling Ophelia a “cunt of a cow” isn’t misogynistic.

    Sorry, this indicates hatred of women for being women in precisely what way? Or in your universe does an insult of a member of a group indict the entire group?

    Explain it? You’re waiting to read it? That can’t be the case because you know as well I know that these comments will be deleted, even assuming this one gets through. Explain it? Yes, that’s not something allowed here very much – that’s the problem with censorship.

  28. Stacy says

    Nothing you have said so far has had merit because it is a poorly argued attempt to derail the discussion. It is emotive rhetoric intended to replace discussion of behaviour and ideas with appeals to in and out groups. You are failing to engage with the topic at hand

    Bingo. Aaaand he doubles down, at tedious length, in comment #43.

    I should’ve taken bets that he wouldn’t address your comment honestly, dirigible.

  29. mirax says

    this justicar character has been one of the most destructive and misogynistic player in the atheist blogsphere and it is obvious from his longwinded screeds that he craves attention and recognition. To hell with that. Ban him. Blast the asshole back to the slimepit where he is most at home flinging the shit around. If Jerry Coyne has low standards, it is his problem. I for one dont give a fuck for JC or his blog.

  30. Marta says

    Justicar@43:

    “Or in your universe does an insult of a member of a group indict the entire group?”

    Calling you a disingenuous, misogynistic cretin is an insult. It indicts you.

    Calling an African American a nigger is not an insult. It’s racist. It indicts an individual for their membership in a group.

    Calling a woman a cunt is not an insult. It’s misogyny. It indicts an individual for her membership in a group.

    What about this do you not understand?

  31. julian says

    @Justicar

    Cool story, bro. I’ll take that teal deer as a ‘You were right,
    julian. I didn’t understand what Ophelia meant by bizarre. Next time I won’t jump into a post without knowing what’s going on. mea culpa.’

    Also

    yeah the bullies I knew always used to be nice when others were around. They still haven’t figured out why some of the teachers treated them so coldly when they found out about their play ground habits.

    @mirax

    *fist bump* Hopefully all the requests for him to come to FtB will go unanswered.

  32. says

    Jerry Coyne is out of the country and delegated his blog to two pinch-hitters. One of them evidently either doesn’t know that Justicar is a cretin elsewhere on the internet, or doesn’t care. We shouldn’t use this to indict Coyne — wait until he’s back and see if he’s made aware of what happened and what he thinks. If he defends Justicar’s cameo in the face of all the evidence that Justicar cares more about gender wars than about atheism or skepticism, then we can use THAT to indict Coyne.

    Also, what Marta said at 46. I’m certain Justicar has been exposed to the concept of slurs being used to denigrate people for being a member of a certain outgroup, given how often he uses specific slurs to refer to bloggers and commenters here at FtB. I think at this point it’s that he doesn’t consider slurs against women to be equivalent to slurs against any other outgroup. I’m guessing it’s mostly because he considers slurs against women to be true. Being a raging misogynist and all, he’s not exactly turning a skeptical eye to his use of language.

  33. says

    How is it sexist or misogynist to express disagreement with or dislike of a woman by calling her a cunt? The same way it’s racist to express disagreement with or dislike of Obama by calling him a nigger; the same way it’s anti-semitic to express disagreement with or dislike of Woody Allen by calling him a kike; the same way it’s homophobic to express disagreement with or dislike of Dan Savage by calling him a faggot. And so on.

  34. says

    Jerry Coyne is out of the country and delegated his blog to two pinch-hitters. One of them evidently either doesn’t know that Justicar is a cretin elsewhere on the internet, or doesn’t care. We shouldn’t use this to indict Coyne — wait until he’s back and see if he’s made aware of what happened and what he thinks. If he defends Justicar’s cameo in the face of all the evidence that Justicar cares more about gender wars than about atheism or skepticism, then we can use THAT to indict Coyne.

    I was a bit confused because of the comment that looked like it was by Coyne, but it looks like that has Mayer’s initials as well.

    I would be pleasantly surprised if Jerry spoke out against or disowned a post on his site featuring this repulsive human being, but I won’t hold my breath. If he’s true to form, he’ll probably ignore it and so tacitly support it.

  35. Marta says

    Jason@48

    “If he defends Justicar’s cameo in the face of all the evidence that Justicar cares more about gender wars than about atheism or skepticism, then we can use THAT to indict Coyne.”

    Answered at Improbable Joe@12:

    “Or is this really the way people like Coyne feel and they’re happy to provide a platform for other people to say the horrible things while they pretend to be above them?”

  36. says

    We won’t know the answer to Improbable Joe’s hypothetical til Coyne returns, though.

    True, though we’ve long had more than enough to ‘indict’ him regardless. Denouncing this wouldn’t put him in the clear by any means.

  37. SKM says

    It never fails to amuse me when folks take up entire hectares of real estate in comments sections yarning on about draconian moderation, censorship, and how they would explain themselves, only their comments are certain not to appear. Because Censorship!

    Yet there they are, yarning on and on, all un-deleted and non-banned.

    Hee! Also: Whooooops!

  38. skmc says

    I apologize–the above comment (from “SKM”) is from me. I do in fact have a FTB login, but was not logged in, and my computer auto-filled with my initials and email address.

  39. Patrick says

    Someone can be guilty of a crime and yet successfully point out criminal behavior on the part of others. Justicar does indeed miss the point that using gendered insults is generally offensive. However, it is absurd to damn the character of Jerry Coyne by the fact that he (by a rather circuitous route) posts material completely unrelated to the debate simply being Justicar has generated it.

    Stalking Justicar across the skeptical space of the internet does little to advance the case that you hold the high ground over him considering that he has been criticized for doing the same to Rebecca Watson.

    I would be most displeased if a user who followed policy were banned or effectively banned from Why Evolution Is True because this little attempt at the self-policing of skeptical atheists managed to infect it. A “poor ally” is not one who failed to jump to every demand of their own allies; it is one who meddles and judges and stabs in the back.

  40. Marta says

    Patrick@59

    I like Jerry’s blog. And I’m quite fond of Jerry. Not trying to “infect” it in anyway. As virtually anyone knows who’s posted at WEIT, Jerry mods his blog aggressively. Don’t think anyone is claiming that Jerry doesn’t have the right to post whatever he wants, whenever he wants. His blog. His rules. No problem.

    I am saying, however, that when I see a name I identify with the Slimepit, like Justicar’s at WEIT (for instance), I have zero interest in reading anything they say. Justicar, in particular, has used the word “cunt” to identify women so often, I associate his name with the word, and I can’t get out of the place where he’s appearing fast enough.

    I’m pretty sure that Jerry and WEIT cares very little that (at least) one of the readers has an instant and visceral response to some of their posters. So?

    Jerry’s blog has spinach on its teeth. Friends point that out.

  41. julian says

    A “poor ally” is not one who failed to jump to every demand of their own allies

    There are different battles being fought across multiple fronts. Dr. Coyne may be an ‘ally’ as far the religion vs atheism thing goes but I doubt it goes beyond that. The man doesn’t seem interested if it can’t be used to rebuke religion.

    it is one who meddles and judges and stabs in the back.

    *snort*

  42. says

    Jason, I think you missed the point of my hypothetical choices, because I think Coyne is on the wrong side no matter what his motives are. I remember back in the summer, Coyne posted some rather troubling things, which seemed like pretty strong dismissing criticisms from women about sexism, but it was hard to tell in the instance I remember whether it was because it was female friends of his who dismissed sexism because they weren’t personally bothered by it and/or female friends who have an irrational hatred for Rebecca Watson, or because he personally dismisses sexism as a non-issue.

    Unless Coyne 1)makes a strong, unequivocal statement against sexism and misogyny and 2)actively stops coddling and even promoting people engaged in or apologizing for it, his goose is cooked.

  43. julian says

    Unless Coyne 1)makes a strong, unequivocal statement against sexism and misogyny and 2)actively stops coddling and even promoting people engaged in or apologizing for it, his goose is cooked.

    His goose is far from cooked. Dr. Coyne is a very popular atheist. That he’s taken a middle of the road position here won’t do him any harm. It’ll probably only elevate him as he’s a moderate voice (and one being castigated by the extremists!) in what a lot of the community considers a sea of ridiculousness.

  44. Marta says

    Joe,

    “Unless Coyne 1)makes a strong, unequivocal statement against sexism and misogyny and 2)actively stops coddling and even promoting people engaged in or apologizing for it, his goose is cooked.”

    Nope. He can do what he is already doing, which is what you said earlier: Pretend to be above it, and ignore it.

  45. says

    I just meant with me… I can’t control how other people react, you know? It seems some how worse to take a bogus fence-sitting position, especially since it tends to favor the worst sorts of people.

  46. Marta says

    I think “bogus fence-sitting position” is completely accurate. And apt. It’s a dicey strategy, but it’s working for him. So far.

  47. says

    Well it is a winning strategy if you consider the issue to be one of picking a team and defending it right or wrong, versus picking the correct side on a moral issue and standing up for it come hell or high water.

    I’ve not studied any feminism really, but I’m sure there’s a concept of active versus passive sexism/misogyny, where someone can not be explicitly engaged in it, but by inaction and implicit support help it thrive? At best that’s what Coyne is about, and that’s bad enough for me.

  48. says

    Julian @ 47: I understand what she means, which is why I wrote the bit about her issue with dealing with the fact she’ll just have to live with knowing she shares a planet with people she doesn’t like. And that from time to time she’ll be in the same place at the same time with them. There is nothing remotely bizarre about discovering that someone one doesn’t like is at the same place at the same time. In fact, it’s so not bizarre that it happens all of the time, and was specifically planned for in our Constitution. Public space being open to all people, and no one group being able to make another group they dislike not be there.

    Ophelia @ 49: that quite literally makes no sense to me. Or if it does, then does calling someone a dick make me a misandrist? I’m unaware of any conventional use of the word nigger to refer to anyone who isn’t black, or to degrade another by saying they belong to that group – a group that is undesirable to belong to. Same with kike. Faggot is culturally contingent as it doesn’t mean the same everywhere.

    Oh, and your Dan Savage example is off the mark. For about a decade he was addressed as ‘Dear Faggot’. While I don’t speak for any community of gay people, I am not bothered in the slightest being called a faggot. Nor am I bothered being called a dick (a word which I note you use – though you’ve averred you’ll stop using it in public for consistency). Let’s say that you knew nothing about me, but I used the word cunt like crazy mad privately, but not publicly. Would I then be a misogynist but you would just not know? Does this in turn make you a misandrist and we just won’t know (since you only call people dicks in private now)?

    It’s not a tu quoque; I really do not understand your point. I completely understand that cunt is an insult. It is one to the precise same extent that dick is an insult in my estimation. I note you do not seem to think that your use of dick over the years has made you a vile, disgusting, irredeemably sexist shit bag. What’s different about cunt then?

  49. Patrick says

    ^ You are drawing an overly simple analogy. Because two words represent counterpart genitalia, and because they also are used as insults, you claim that they are equivalent. However, in their cultural connotations, they are not equivalent and you cannot make them so.

    You won’t get far by using language calculated to shock and offend and then turn around and say “well I can’t be held responsible by the fact that you are shocked and offended by that language.” For a counter-example, compare the approach used in Penn and Teller’s “Bullshit!” They did an episode about how being offended by profanity is absurd. They met many people during this episode that they wished to direct insults to. However, for the duration of the episode–where their case is that profanity is meaningless and anti-profanity efforts frivolous and gratuitous censorship–they did not use profanity to describe these individuals, nor did they direct any to the audience.

    I do not think that you are a misogynist, Justicar. However, by your language and conduct, you have chosen to strip yourself of the ability to make any impact on those who disagree with you other than shocking and enraging them. And in the context of this ongoing debate about sexism and atheism/skepticism, it IS proper to judge you on your previous conduct that was meant to make an impression in the very same debate, just in a different time and place.

    If you want to do anything other than preach to the choir on this issue, ever again, you will have to make some apologies and set some new standards for yourself. If you are content to be a bomb-thrower, then disregard, but then that’s how you will be treated.

  50. janine says

    Oh, and your Dan Savage example is off the mark. For about a decade he was addressed as ‘Dear Faggot’. While I don’t speak for any community of gay people, I am not bothered in the slightest being called a faggot.

    And yet Dan Savage stopped doing that. Because people like you will use it as an excuse to use it as an insult.

  51. says

    Patrick, I don’t think my comment to which you reply is overly-simplistic, but it is concise. I’m damned by one group for writing too much and damned by another for writing too little. While I’m sure the two insults can be picked apart at a very fine level, in a coarse way they are roughly equivalent (hence why I chose the word estimation – it has a meaning). You may say that they are not equivalent, but that’s not a point I’ve made. I’m saying they are approximately the same, not perfectly the same. And yes, they can be made to be whatever people would like; it’s language; it changes as we see fit to change it.

    For the same reasons that I do not take dick to be an indictment of a person based on gender, or an indictment for that gender for being that gender, or take it to compare someone to being like a member of that gender, which is itself inherently undesirable, so too do I not take cunt to operate in that way. This is entirely possible to do without making the very strong statement you wrongly imply I’ve made.

    You won’t get far by using language calculated to shock and offend and then turn around and say “well I can’t be held responsible by the fact that you are shocked and offended by that language.”

    You won’t get far by offending the religious, so you should accommodate them. This is political advice. I’m not a politician, and the claim is demonstrably false anyway. Different levels of interaction work better on some people than others. In the same way that Ophelia doesn’t care how much she offends the religious, how much demeans their silly little non-skeptical belief systems I respond to all similarly situated claims. And I’m also in a position to revise my views entirely with a proffer of sufficient evidence, or even sufficient argument to warrant such a change. That is to say that my views scale in proportion for the reason to hold them.

    Ophelia has said at her previous blog that she is opposed to the possibility she could be wrong, and that she’s not rational about this issue. Indeed, as I wrote, she said that not only is she not rational but also that she doesn’t want to be rational about it.

    Think about that. She calls herself a skeptic and is right up until the point that her deeply held beliefs are in the crosshairs. Then, bam, skepticism stops entirely, and she won’t have it any other way. I consider that an intellectual failing, but, again, I’m not her boss or counselor. If she wants to claim the mantle of being not rational about a subject, then she’s welcome to it.

    I don’t watch ‘Bullshit’ so I can’t make that comparison; I have no information on the episode/segment you adduce. For those reading who might care, I don’t watch television very frequently. Any references to a tv show will likely miss their mark with me.

    I do not think that you are a misogynist, Justicar. However, by your language and conduct, you have chosen to strip yourself of the ability to make any impact on those who disagree with you other than shocking and enraging them.

    I don’t think I’m one either, particularly given my history of standing side by side with women as their equal, and my insistence that they be treated equally in all regards in all respects at all times. That includes being equally available to being insulted and having to deal with it the same as everyone else. Equality isn’t a piecemeal endeavor; it’s a binary situation – either completely equality, or inequality. I choose the former on the proviso that women are fully grown adults and autonomous creatures who can navigate in my society with equal station.

    I am aware that what I have said shocks and enrages many of the people on this side of the issue. One notes that was my explicit purpose. When reasonable discourse was demonstrated to be impossible (I just cannot be rational on this issue to put it in Ophelia’s words), I and many others did what we do on the internet: escalated it for the lolz.

    To watch people become apoplectic over the use of a single word is to me confusing but amusing.

    And in the context of this ongoing debate about sexism and atheism/skepticism, it IS proper to judge you on your previous conduct that was meant to make an impression in the very same debate, just in a different time and place.

    I have no objections to being judged for what I’ve said and done. I do object to being unfairly judged what I’ve said and done. For instance, I’ve said that I’m willing to be convinced I’m wrong – all that’s required is a tiny bit of evidence and a non-fallacious chain of reasoning about it. I’ve yet to see that even attempted.

    If you want to do anything other than preach to the choir on this issue, ever again, you will have to make some apologies and set some new standards for yourself.

    This doesn’t make sense to me. My thoughts on issue x are irrelevant because of my offense given to group y on topic ~x?
    How is this not explicitly a fallacy? My thoughts on any given subject should be evaluated on the merits of the thinking, not on the fact that I’m saying them.

    People are free to hate me all they want, but they can’t stop there. It has to go the extra step into: therefore I’m wrong.

    I am content, as I’ve said repeatedly, to respond to people in the same tone they address me. If they’re discourteous enough to start off a conversation with an entire litany of attempts to emotionally exploit me to agree with them, and then get pissed when they find I’m immune to it, then I’ll respond equally rudely.

    And if someone is going to come up to me tell me that there’s an entire list of words that prohibited lest I be punished, then I’ll take advice that I find useful (and so does PZ incidentally): if you’re told you’re not allowed to say x, or insult y on threat of punishment, the only response is to say x and insult y.

    I won’t be browbeaten into compliance with someone’s dogma, whether religious, political, cultural or societal. I don’t care what the price for thinking for myself is; I won’t be. If it’s not a dogma, then one is hard-pressed to see how the person wanting others to accept the view as valid would write that she simply cannot be rational on this subject.

    It doesn’t happen with mathematics. It doesn’t happen with chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, logic, and right on down the line. But this issue, for some reason, defeats Ophelia’s rational faculties – by her own concession (which I give credit to her for recognizing that she’s not being rational about it – that’s a degree intellectual honesty others are unwilling to engage in).

    Patrick, please note that I’m not asking anyone to be my friend. I’m not asking anyone to respect me. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me. I’m pointing out that the entire recourse taken by your side is that they must make sure everyone they dislike is banned everywhere they want to hang out. That they are so important, their rage so righteous, their religion so ecumenical that they are entitled to go anywhere they’d like and never have to look upon those whom they dislike.

    Do you see a difference between your post’s meaning and what my position actually is?

  52. janine says

    I don’t like you at all, Justicar. But it is very kind of you to very open about why I should avoid you.

  53. says

    I haven’t banned Justicar because that does seem unfair on a post about him. (Before that it hasn’t been an issue, because he hasn’t commented here.) This policy is only temporary.

    (And actually it doesn’t seem all that unfair. I didn’t say anything about him, after all – I simply showed his work.)

    Yes I did, a bit. A couple of sentences.

  54. Patrick says

    ^ Yeah, I do. Also, I must be doing something right because people keep saying I’m on the other side who are DEFINITELY not on the same side as each other…

    In fact I categorically, explicitly disagreed with the specific view that you have ascribed to me in this same thread right here. So there’s that.

    Human exchange is not an arena of perfectly rational actors, and I’m far from sure that it ought to be. I’m not trying to convince you that you ought to care what other people think of you. However, I thought there was at least a possibility that you didn’t understand how much of a fuck was not given about what you had to say in here as long as you were perceived as using the word “cunt” “for the lolz.” You could spend a lot less time and effort on your posts here than you are and achieve the same end result. It seemed on the surface to be an attempt at a little “over-the-fence” conversation.

    I may be guilty of the mistake of ascribing my own prejudice to others…I oppose anything that smacks of dividing online skeptical communities into two competing echo chambers. A plague on both your houses. :P

  55. says

    Janine writes

    And yet Dan Savage stopped doing that. Because people like you will use it as an excuse to use it as an insult.

    My understanding is that he stopped using it for other reasons. In particular, his reason for using it in the first place was to reclaim (a feature of 3rd wave feminism I note) the word; that implies he’s aware that it’s used as an insult. And that its use was specifically meant to take it off the table as an insult.

    People like me? You mean gay people like me who don’t get butthurt when someone calls me a name, thinking they’ve done great work at insulting me? I’m fairly confident that Dan Savage did not stop using it because people like me aren’t upset by childish insults.

    Oh, it’s also worth noting that it’s only an insult, like cunt, or dick, or whatever, to those who decide to be insulted.

    I decided at a very young age not to be insulted by insults. And here we are 3 decades on and I’ve managed somehow to remain immune to being insulted by being called names. Why other adults have difficulty with that simple concept is something I simply do not understand.

  56. Patrick says

    @76

    But not everyone is like that, and you know it. Being immune to insults is not a prerequisite of adulthood. It’s very nice that you’re self-consistent and confident, but as I said you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too on the “are insults insulting” business. As far as I can tell, anyone who is insulted by you deserves to be insulted by you because they are foolish to be insulted by your insults. That’s nice and convenient and round.

  57. says

    Patrick wrote

    Yeah, I do. Also, I must be doing something right because people keep saying I’m on the other side who are DEFINITELY not on the same side as each other…

    I accept the criticism.

    Human exchange is not an arena of perfectly rational actors, and I’m far from sure that it ought to be.

    Nor will it ever be. But there’s a difference between failing to be x, and refusing on principle to oppose it. I’m not always rational because I’m human. But I don’t oppose being rational on any given point because it might uncomfortable. I will probably never be wholly rational, but I do try to be as much as I can be. I would be ashamed of myself if one day an issue came up that I said: well, rationality be damned! I don’t care about what is true! I only care about what I want to believe, and nothing can convince me otherwise!

    I’d be more than ashamed.

    You could spend a lot less time and effort on your posts here than you are and achieve the same end result.

    I could spend a lot less time discussing the importance of mathematics and achieve the same result: a society that’s mathematically inept. But I don’t because I think that issue is important; this one is too.

    I could spend a lot less time opposing religious impositions on my civil liberties and achieve the same result. But I do not stop attempting to make progress simply because my previous attempts have failed. It’s called hard work, and I’m unafraid of the time and energy required to deal with big issue of true import.

    You’re free to quit whenever you’d like, as am I.

    That people are willing to dismiss an idea or a chain of thought because they dislike the words another has elsewhere and otherwise used is an indictment against those people, not the person whom they’re dismissing. In other words: I dislike x so very much that even if he says something I completely agree with, I must dismiss it.

    Or, for a shorter version: I operate by the dictates of the ad hominem fallacy because I think it’s a good way of thinking.

    Also, I’ve yet to hear how the use of cunt is distinguishable from the use of dick in the way that makes the use of one not by definition misandry and the other by definition (or by claimed definition rather) misogyny. I see no reason to credit one with more power than the other.

  58. says

    I would be ashamed of myself if one day an issue came up that I said: well, rationality be damned! I don’t care about what is true! I only care about what I want to believe, and nothing can convince me otherwise!

    That’s not what I’ve said. You’re caricaturing what I have said. You’re also using too much oxygen for someone who likes to call me a cunt for the lolz. You’re on your way out.

    I picture you in India, “Eve teasing” “for the lolz.” You’re a riot.

  59. says

    But not everyone is like that, and you know it. Being immune to insults is not a prerequisite of adulthood. It’s very nice that you’re self-consistent and confident, but as I said you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too on the “are insults insulting” business. As far as I can tell, anyone who is insulted by you deserves to be insulted by you because they are foolish to be insulted by your insults. That’s nice and convenient and round.

    Then you’ve not read what I wrote very carefully.

    I’ll break it down for you:

    1.) people who approach me in the tone of trying to emotionally exploit me have earned themselves an equally rude response

    2.) an insult is only effective when used on a person if they credit it as an insult

    3.) in order for 1.) to be effective, I must take stock of 2.) and then select what I know they’ll accept as an insult. In the instant issue, the use of one or two words alone is sufficient. Yes, it’s easy and requires little effort. That makes it all the more puzzling to me. I really do not understand how one word said in a vacuum just throws people off kilter for days.

    Nothing in there implies that everyone who’s offended by what I say deserves it; though it explicitly says that there exists a class of person who has earned such a response and deserves it.

    I’m aware that immunity to insults isn’t a requirement of adulthood. In fact, knowledge of this is what enables me to so effectively and easily insult those who’ve earned it. As I said, I do not understand why this is difficult for other adults, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand that it is difficult for other adults. The rage that is so easily wrought at the scantest provocation demonstrates that time and again.

  60. says

    Hmmmm… here’s the issue from a slightly different angle:

    Maybe it is more mature and/or intellectually superior to ignore insults and obviously sexist language. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t… I’m not all that interested in that discussion, and neither is anyone else.

    Here’s the thing: I can say for sure with no reservation that it is neither mature nor intellectually sound to intentionally cause hurt to other people, whether or not you agree with the reasoning behind that hurt. Nor is there anything particularly admirable about using gender-based slurs against people with the intent of stirring up trouble, or even(especially!) just to be contrary.

    No one needs to use the word “cunt” at all, ever. And if you travel in circles where a large number of people find it offensive, why not just not say it? You’re not standing up for freedom of speech by being intentionally impolite. You’re not showing your superiority over more “sensitive” people by being intentionally insensitive. You’re not being edgy, or a rebel, or producing anything of merit.

    You’re just calling names… how mature is that?

  61. says

    I would be most displeased if a user who followed policy were banned or effectively banned from Why Evolution Is True…

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. If you’re ignorant of the facts of the matter, you shouldn’t be trying to lecture people about them.

  62. says

    Maybe it is more mature and/or intellectually superior to ignore insults and obviously sexist language. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t… I’m not all that interested in that discussion, and neither is anyone else.

    I am, actually, if only because of all this dishonest blather about it.

    Suppose a Senator started calling all the Obamas “niggers” all the time. Is it more mature and/or intellectually superior to ignore that? Fuck no.

    Suppose a friend of yours suddenly starts doing that? Would you be able to ignore it? I doubt it.

    When I was a child I knew a couple of (highly respectable) adults who used racial epithets. I was never able to ignore that, and I don’t think it would have been more mature and/or intellectually superior to have done so; I think it would have been callous and oblivious and privileged and stupid.

  63. says

    Ophelia, I meant “I’m not all that interested in that discussion, and neither is anyone else” in the sense that we already have the correct answer, so why the hell should we have to rehash it for each and every troll?

  64. says

    Speaking of WEIT, though, I went back through a few days and saw that JC said he was off to the field for a few days, so actually he didn’t see the Justicar post. His backup crew wouldn’t know anything about Justicar, I think.

  65. Patrick says

    @78

    “Also, I’ve yet to hear how the use of cunt is distinguishable from the use of dick in the way that makes the use of one not by definition misandry and the other by definition (or by claimed definition rather) misogyny. I see no reason to credit one with more power than the other.”

    I see no reason to credit a thermonuclear bomb with more power than a nuclear bomb, and yet this is so. Apply the techniques of empirical observation to social interactions. I don’t think that use of the word to describe a woman is sufficient to indicate misogyny (this word is rapidly being robbed of all meaning by uncareful use), but it doesn’t do you any favors.

    Misogyny is a major force in current society, and misandry is not. Therefore, an insult that ascribes feminine traits is more potent and more socially irresponsible than an insult that ascribes masculine traits. It’s not the way it ought to be, but it’s the way that it is.

    @81

    What about @80 caused you to change the policy expressed in @74? His behavior has not worsened since then. Or did you just get bored? In @84 you say you are interested in the issue that he has brought to the fore. What does removing his voice from the discussion contribute, since he is not actually compounding his earlier insult?

    @83

    It’s clearly too much trouble to enlighten me, but not to type out mocking laughter. You are clearly discussing applying some sort of pressure or sanction on Coyne for failing to censor Justicar sufficiently to your liking (i.e. totally). Have I actually missed anything?

    Anyway, I guess I’m out. Echo chambers are not interesting to me. Have fun figuring out what box to put me in in my absence.

  66. Stacy says

    Dang. I have a terrible cold, and missed the Justi-fications. One point, though:

    The common slimepit cry against censorship was sounded and abandoned:

    I don’t want Jerry to be tarred and feathered for not being draconian and moderating the shit out of his comment section

    Yet in fact, as Marta notes, Coyne actually mods his blog aggressively. In fact, unlike with these draconian FtB bloggers, you can’t post a comment there without going through moderation.

    Perhaps that’s why Justy managed to dial his nonsense down to one embattled point: the often-argued one about insults.

    If Justy went around the blogosphere calling Coyne a prick and a kike, would Coyne let him post on his blog? Just wonderin’.

    This is not Justicar World

    :) When I checked that post on WEIT, there were 16 comments–and 7 of them were by himself.

  67. skmc says

    I really do not understand how one word said in a vacuum just throws people off kilter for days.

    But it’s not in a vacuum. It is in cultural context. Which Justicar well knows–that’s why he calls women “cunts” rather than “dicks”, and that is why it generates “lulz” for him.

    Also, I’ve yet to hear how the use of cunt is distinguishable from the use of dick

    See above.

    it’s only an insult, like cunt, or dick, or whatever, to those who decide to be insulted.

    This idea is malignantly stupid. I mean, it’s easy to see how wrong it is (see Ophelia’s example of racial epithets against the Obamas), but it is nonetheless a very commonplace idea, as well as one that does harm. Hence, malignantly stupid.

  68. says

    Stacy – exactly. I’ve wondered that here (in a comment, not a post) before at some point. Or “wondered” – because of course he wouldn’t, and neither would I. I wouldn’t let anyone post here who made a conspicuous insistent habit of calling people niggers or kikes or Pakis or spics or any other hostile nickname of that kind. That’s the “dogmatic” rule that Justicar kept mischaracterizing. It’s about as “dogmatic” as a rule against punching people in the face.

    I’ve just been browsing the Stop Helen Ukpabio page at Facebook, and there were three threats right at the top of the page – one about throwing acid in her face and two about killing her. Nonononono, people; no threats. Jeez.

  69. says

    Patrick – that’s annoying – you asked me questions, but then you say you’re leaving, so it’s pointless for me to answer. And the echo chamber and box comments are rude. There, I put you in the “rude” box. Bad me.

  70. says

    It’s clearly too much trouble to enlighten me, but not to type out mocking laughter.

    Well, typing out mocking laughter took a few seconds. Took a bit longer to locate old threads. Your whiny demand to be enlightened after you’ve attempted to lecture people who know significantly more than you about the facts is noted, though.

    You are clearly discussing applying some sort of pressure or sanction on Coyne for failing to censor Justicar sufficiently to your liking (i.e. totally). Have I actually missed anything?

    Yes – as I said, you’ve missed a lot. Here, for example, I quote a comment I submitted to WEIT. See #58 on that thread to learn the fate of that comment. Then talk to me about censorship and Coyne and his alleged principles. And that’s a small part of what you don’t know.

  71. says

    Oh well, I’ll answer the question anyway, for the edification of anyone who’s interested. I gave him a chance to reply; a series of chances in fact. That was enough. I don’t want him settling in and holding forth forever. He’s long-winded and self-important plus he calls me a cunt. I don’t want him here. Removing his voice from the discussion contributes removing a guy who calls me a cunt. I simply don’t chat with people who call me a cunt.

  72. says

    And on further consideration – really, what a goony, pompous question. “Why did you ban that guy who calls you a cunt? What does removing his voice from the discussion contribute, since he is not actually compounding his earlier insult?” It contributes me not having to chat with or read the comments of someone who calls me a cunt. What a fucking stupid question.

  73. Marta says

    Patrick@89

    “You are clearly discussing applying some sort of pressure or sanction on Coyne for failing to censor Justicar sufficiently to your liking (i.e. totally). Have I actually missed anything?

    Indeed, yes. You’ve missed quite a lot, and you have the backwards, but there is no reason to hold you responsible for not knowing that there’s deep back story.

    Salty@83:

    Eesh. Do entertain the idea that Patrick can only talk about what he knows; he may not be aware that you were summarily banned at WEIT because you criticized one of Jerry’s darlings here at B&W.

  74. says

    I guess some people think that they can shit-talk you all over the Internet EXCEPT on your own site, and somehow their less-egregious behavior in your place makes it unfair when they get banned. I mean, if someone calls me an asshole at work, at the bar, and at the homes of mutual acquaintances… why the hell would they think they would be welcome in my house with nothing more than the hint that they won’t call me names to my face?

  75. says

    but there is no reason to hold you responsible for not knowing that there’s deep back story.

    Well, more than one person on this thread had referred to behavior of Jerry’s that’s demonstrated that his voice-of-moderation-standing-aloof-from-the battles image is false, and that if he approves of that post it would not be the sole act for which anyone would criticize him. So Patrick at the very least should have suspected he didn’t have all of the facts and not proceeded to lecture people. Especially since his initial post included this gem: “A ‘poor ally’ is not one who failed to jump to every demand of their own allies; it is one who meddles and judges and stabs in the back.” *cough*

  76. Marta says

    Salty@100:

    “Especially since his initial post included this gem: “A ‘poor ally’ is not one who failed to jump to every demand of their own allies; it is one who meddles and judges and stabs in the back.” *cough*”

    Agreed. But that was the comment that convinced me that Patrick was flying blind. No informed person would have posted that.

  77. says

    He’s a bit mind-blind too though, I would say – asking me why I (non-summarily, with ample warning) banned this guy who calls me a cunt. Gee, I don’t know, why would anyone do that?

  78. says

    Agreed. But that was the comment that convinced me that Patrick was flying blind. No informed person would have posted that.

    Oh, I think that’s true. My criticism wasn’t of the blind part, but of the trying to fly in that condition.

  79. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    If justicar doesn’t care about insults and being insulted, if he’s so above it, then why does he feel the need to make post after pompous fucking tealdear post whenever he thinks he’s being insulted?

    Justicar can go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut as far as I’m concerned.

  80. Munkhaus says

    “I’ve just been browsing the Stop Helen Ukpabio page at Facebook, and there were three threats right at the top of the page – one about throwing acid in her face and two about killing her. ”

    You make a mockery of those threats Benson, by pretending that you’ve been threatened by a rude word.
    Btw I haven’t called you a cunt. Why have I been banned? Clue: same reason that alt med exponents might ban a questioner as a shill of Big Pharma.

  81. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    You were banned because you bring nothing but casual misogyny to any conversation, Munkhaus. That’s both boring and destructive. Why would anyone want to have you around?

    You’ve questioned no assumptions, challenged no preconceived notions. All you’ve done is spout the same tired sexist bullshit we’ve been hearing all our lives.

    It speaks ill of your level of intelligence that you liken your support of misogynists like Justicar to challenging alt-med proponents (exponents? what?).

    And now you’ve morphed, which is both disrespectful and pathetic.

    Good job.

  82. Munkhaus says

    Sallystrange

    “You’ve questioned no assumptions, challenged no preconceived notions. All you’ve done is spout the same tired sexist bullshit we’ve been hearing all our lives.”

    This is just plain untruth. I’m not sexist, nor misogynist, nor any other word that you throw at people to silence dissent exactly like “Big Pharma stoooge!!!”.

    I don’t know what morphed means.

  83. Stacy says

    Go peddle it at ERV, Munkhaus. Nobody here’s buying.

    There’s an easy way for any interested objective party (Patrick??) to judge whether or not various FtB bloggers’ comment moderation policies are depriving FtB of any meaningful content.

    Just dash on over to the slimepit and read what they have to say.

    If we’re missing anything, let us know.

    Won’t be holding my breath.

    If justicar doesn’t care about insults and being insulted, if he’s so above it, then why does he feel the need to make post after pompous fucking tealdear post whenever he thinks he’s being insulted?

    FTW

  84. Munkhaus says

    Stacy: “If we’re missing anything, let us know.”

    First line of wikipedia re skepticism:
    “generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,[1] or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.”

    That’s what you’re missing.

  85. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    by your definition, YEC is the same as skepticism.

    It’s been explained over and over, but as a guy who’s new to this whole feminism thing I’ll explain it again:

    The evidence is there. If you dismiss what women themfuckingselves say about what they experience as ‘anecdata’, there are still plenty of studies. They’ve been linked time and and time again.

    You and Justicar casually dismiss them, identical to the way creationists dismiss evidence for natural selection and speciation.

    But that’s because it’s not about evidence, is it? It’s about clinging to a preexisting worldview.

  86. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I should have said, YEC’s are the same as skeptics, what with the ‘challenging facts’. Brainfart.

  87. Munkhaus says

    @110 Laughing Coyote.

    Hmm.
    I think there is a certain amount of cross-pollination that goes on in these threads: some posters views can easily be attributed to others. So I’m not sure what you think my position is. I think it was Justicar that took issue with some linked data on abuse, if that’s what you’re referring to.
    I certainly am not arguing that sexism doesn’t exist!
    But that was a reasonably civil response LC, thanks for that. I don’t think the “instant abuse” MO does anyone any good in the end.
    Cheers

  88. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I try to be civil, because it wasn’t long ago I held some pretty ugly misogynistic views myself. I didn’t mean to, but I had to confront the evidence and be honest with myself once it was all explained. I didn’t WANT to be a misogynist, but I was too privileged to pay attention and actually give a shit. I held nasty assumptions and a tiny bit of a grudge. I have asperger’s syndrome, but I don’t believe in it as an excuse. Still, I never would have considered myself one of those nasty misogynists.

    I spent time lurking around pharyngula and some of the other sites on scienceblogs and watching the debate, and it all clicked for me, and when I jumped in, I was fairly warmly received. People were patient enough to explain it to me, and I followed their links and came to understand why every woman I ever dated had at least one bad story and usually more, as well as other things I observed.

    And so I try to be patient most of the time and explain things when I think it will help, in case there’s someone else like me out there who might ‘get it’ like I ‘got it’. Mostly. I don’t think I can say I totally ‘get it’ yet, what with being new to this kind of thing and all. I suppose BECAUSE I’m new, I haven’t got totally bone-sick and tired of explaining it all as I understand it just yet.

    And that’s my TealDear for the thread.

  89. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    “generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,[1] or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.”

    That’s what you’re missing.

    Yes, and if you were capable of bringing what we’re allegedly missing, perhaps you wouldn’t be banned in so many places.

    Yes, we should totally be skeptical of feminism. Because maybe women aren’t people after all. And we should totally be skeptical of women’s claims of experiencing sexism. Because women are just lying bitches.

    You have an alternate hypothesis of what we’re allegedly failing to bring a questioning attitude towards? Then bring it, or else face the fact that, as I said, you bring nothing but casual misogyny to the conversation.

  90. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I might also add, I can recall many instances when ignoring the tone of a person’s words and respecting their message has helped me.

    And in the case of a 300 lb, red-eye angry, coke addicted horse owner at the farm I used to work at under a foolish boss, it may have saved my life. Literally.

    That was fucking scary.

    The point is, though I may use a nice tone because it’s what most people are used to, complaining about tone is often used to ignore and shunt aside people who have legitimate grievances (as aforementioned angry giant did- his horse got hurt due to the boss’s stupidity). It’s a tactic that’s been used on me, and though I may use a polite tone in hopes that others who are merely ignorant as I was instead of actively malicious might be motivated to learn something.

    I still consider it extremely obnoxious to ignore people who have legitimate grievances because one doesn’t like their understandably angry tone. Why shouldn’t they be angry and confrontational, if they have a legitimate problem and are being ignored?

  91. Munkhaus says

    I agree with your point LC. What make things difficult though is the blanket “you idiot/troll” type comments, or as Sallystrange does just above, absurd straw manning. That sort of blind aggression, ascribing views to people that they do not hold, justmakes people react in kind, and that just leads to a slanging match.
    For example, I agreed with Watsons initial video, but it seems as if I have to agree with *everything* or it means I think sexism’s not real, or abuse doesn’t happen etc
    It’s that sort of absolutism that I object to.

  92. Stacy says

    First line of wikipedia re skepticism:
    “generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,[1] or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.”

    That’s what you’re missing.

    On the contrary; I’ve heard the argument being peddled at ERV and I reject it. It’s been argued against elsewhere; at this point, I think it can be fairly dismissed.

    Skepticism does not require that a skeptic give credence to every possible point of view. Only the most naive, casual definition of skepticism does that.

    The skepticism I value is philosophical skepticism, which requires claims to be well-supported by evidence.

    The slimepit’s claims, such as they are, are not well-supported by evidence. They’re supported by sophistry. They have a forum for that sophistry–a number of them actually. (For some reason that’s not enough for them–they really, really want to be taken seriously here on FtB.) Again, I invite anyone unfamiliar with the slimepit to read what they have to say and judge for themselves. Maybe they’ll come to a different conclusion than I have; maybe they’ll find some gem of wisdom I’ve overlooked. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

    Freedom of expression does not require that every blog’s comment section go unmoderated. And if Justy really thinks moderated blogs are somehow a threat to all that’s good and secular, he should be criticizing Coyne. He’s not, though. Coyne lets him post there; that’s all he cares about.

  93. says

    Did anybody else have the mental image of Justicar standing on some sort of hill, at sunrise, making his tremendous speech before an audience of slimepit-denizens and mirrors before he goes to battle those easily-insulted, dogmatic feminists?

    As for all those studies, we know from Justocar that they just don’t count. They’re all flawed. Their major flaw is that their results don’t agree with his premises, like the difference between cunt and dick, and the sad bit simple fact that domestic violence is a problem that affects women way more than men.

    Oh, and equal =/= same.
    First of all, there is no equal term applied to men as there is cunt, twat, etc for women (and men, if you want to be especially nasty), just like “cracker” doesn’t come anywhere near “nigger”.

    Secondly, the effect isn’t the same. Yes, cunt and twat carry a threat. Not in and all by themselves, but because they are used by a certain kind of people, and because those people are known for certain actions.
    As a mere commenter on the internet I feel safer, but if in meantspace a man starts using the German equivalents of those words, I make haste to bring some space between me and him. I don’t do that when they call me an asshole or idiot.
    And that’s certainly not the effect the word “dick” has on men (or would have on me), and it’s not because I’m a sensitive flower.

    “generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,[1] or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.”

    It’s not our fault that you missed out on education. You’ve been given the evidence, the studies before, if you don’t read them, and then go on claiming that we need to be skeptical about unsupported claims, you’re dishonest.
    And since you’re doing it in an area that has negative consequences towards a group of people, you’re hurting that group of people, which means it is fair to conclude you have negative attitudes towards that group of people.

  94. Stacy says

    For example, I agreed with Watsons initial video, but it seems as if I have to agree with *everything* or it means I think sexism’s not real, or abuse doesn’t happen etc
    It’s that sort of absolutism that I object to

    Sounds perfectly reasonable, except this

    That sort of blind aggression, ascribing views to people that they do not hold

    Seems disingenuous in someone who’s been spending time on a blog long devoted to hyperbolic hating on Watson (and others).

    Also, SallyStrange is right; you were caught morphing (sockpuppeting) your way onto Almost Diamonds, after you’d been disinvited there. That is going to make people question your good faith.

    If you’re being honest, then good for you, and I wish you the best. But people do see you as a troll, and you’ve got yourself to thank for that.

  95. Munkhaus says

    Stacey: About the sockpuppeting at Almost Diamonds. That was on a post that was a) threatening to “out” my RL identity b) accusing me of running a smear campaign and associating me with other peoples views.
    Zvan banned me from adressing those issues, misrepresented a comment and refused to post evidence that would have exonerated me. The sockpuppetry was done in a humerous way imo, and out of frustration at being unable to defend myself.
    She replied to my comments to others on several other blogs, all the while saying I was a creeper or some such. I shan’t have any dealings with her again.

  96. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I’ll admit I haven’t seen much of your prior behavior and you have basically asked me not to prejudge, so I’ll try not to, but it’s clear from other posters here you have a bit of a history.

    It’s hard, as a male, to be aware of my cultural biases. This is where privilege comes in, isn’t it? All I know is, it doesn’t pay to say you’re against sexism and the oppression of women, and then proceed to ignore and dismiss what actual women say they’ve dealt with.

    I have heard stories from women, lots of women, even before I educated myself about privilege and feminism. How can I ignore all that? Maybe some were making shit up, but all or even most of them?

    That’s not skepticism, that’s denialism on a global warming level, if you know what I mean. I try to be skeptical of everything, but it’s not like there isn’t a shitload of evidence.

    Here’s a bit of evidence you might be unaware of: You didn’t seem to listen to SallyStrange (A woman). But now that I myself, a self-admitted male, am talking to you, you’re suddenly willing to play civil. Do you think this may indicate just a bit of an unconscious dismissive attitude?

  97. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    You don’t like my anger? That’s your problem. Not mine. You want information? Here it is. But you don’t like the packaging. Very unskeptical.

  98. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I note that Munkhaus is still as yet unable to articulate exactly what failure of skepticism is going on here. Munkhaus, if you can’t handle being told that you come across as a sexist sometimes then maybe you should stop hanging out with feminists.

  99. Munkhaus says

    Stacy: as for spending time at ERV, I think I’ve posted more times on this blog! Does that mean I agree with everything written here?
    You say you reject “the argument” at erv… i dont know what that is. There are many, by different people with different view. There are flaming rows. I personally cant stand hypocrisy, disingenuousness and inconsistency. It’s nice to be able to point them out without being cast into the pit. This idea of “those people from the slimepit” is just a simple way to lump all dissent in together.

  100. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    This idea of “those people from the slimepit” is just a simple way to lump all dissent in together.

    “Dissent”? Psshh. You flatter them. It’s not dissent, it’s rank misogyny. What on earth are they “dissenting” about? The right to throw “cunt” and “whore” around with zero social consequences, is pretty much it. Is there anything else? No seriously, I’m asking. This goes back to your oft-repeated but never substantiated claim that there’s some failure of skepticism happening. What are they dissenting about, huh? What are we failing to skeptical about?

    Spit it out, Munkhaus. The reason I have no respect for you is that you always come around making this claim, that there’s something missing, something we’re not being skeptical about, something that the slimepit is dissenting about. So what the fuck is it?

  101. says

    This idea of “those people from the slimepit” is just a simple way to lump all dissent in together.

    Well, I also judge people by the fact that they’re hanging out with the local Neonazis in the local Neonazi bar. I don’t need to see them smearing xenophobix slurs onto walls.
    Mitgegangen mitgefangen mitgehangen (went together, caught together, hanged together, and before you accuse me of threatening violence, it’s a fixed expression that means you don’t get to weasel out by saying that “technically, you only sat in the escape vehicle when the bank robbery happened, so why should people hold you responsoble in any way?”)

  102. Munkhaus says

    LC
    I’m listening to you because you’re not going all pharyngula horde on me, nothing to do with your sex.
    And I’m in no way denying that women have to deal with horrible shit from men. I never have. I “called out” some nasty Texan pig today on his behaviour! Not trying to score points but (uh-oh, that but means I am right :) this shouldn’t mean I can’t also call out Watson or anyone when I disagree with her.

  103. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I’m listening to you because you’re not going all pharyngula horde on me, nothing to do with your sex.

    “Pharyngula horde”?

    You mean like when I tell you to cough up what the dissent is all about? Like when I tell you to support the claim you’ve made, over and over, without ever providing any evidence, while simultaneously dismissing the evidence that’s offered in response to your claims?

    Like when we observe your consistent pattern of being more respectful towards posters with male ‘nyms than female ones?

    Yes, you poor delicate flower, you. The horde is such a terrifying thing.

  104. Munkhaus says

    @SallyStrange
    “if you can’t handle being told that you come across as a sexist sometimes ”

    Only sometimes, that’s like a win. :)

    “So what the fuck is it?”
    Well, I fear that Ophelia will arrive and ban me soon (surprised to be able to post actually) but it would involve going over that tired, dusty EG road.
    As I said, I didn’t have problem with Watson’s video. But it was the Kirby, then McGraw thing I thought was out of order.
    Ok, not exactly “skepticism” yet, but it was stuff like people on Laden’s G+ calling her a rape-apologist that stuck in my craw, and Laden refused to comment on it. A lot of nasty stuff like that, aimed at women, mind.
    The politician style bullshitting, like pretending the Dawkins boycott wasn’t a boycott. The super-literalism and worrying that things will deliberately be taken the wrong way by another: case in point Giliel’s post above: “and before you accuse me of threatening violence”…
    of course I wouldn’t! Why on earth would I! It’s a good phrase.
    But people *have* been disingenuously accusing people of things like that, looking for any ammo to use to “win”. Now people are walking on eggshells wondering if an innocent phrase will be used against them.

    It’s that sort of thing really. There’s been loads of it.
    And as much as you say cunt is much more loaded than say, dick, there was still a huge amount of hypocrisy over their usage.

    And there are cultural considerations with language being an evolving tool: twat in the UK is entirely unassociated with vagina. The Prime Minister (appeal to authority) didn’t even know that it was a swear word when he said it on the Radio(in fact, it’s not prohibited by Radio guidelines in the UK). Words change their weight and meaning in different areas. To deny this is remarkably provincial.
    But one can’t talk about this… you get banned and branded. I think that is not really the skeptical bent.

  105. Munkhaus says

    Sally “while simultaneously dismissing the evidence that’s offered in response to your claims?

    See, you’re arguing against someone else there. I don’t know what evidence you’re talking about but I assume it has to do with sexism’s existence. I’m not disputing it. I’m disputing bad behaviour of people who purport to be against bad behaviour.

  106. Munkhaus says

    Sallystrange:

    “Like when we observe your consistent pattern of being more respectful towards posters with male ‘nyms than female ones?”

    Now hang on, that’s an accusation. Back it up please. I don’t even pay attention to people’s “nyms”, they’re mostly nonsensical or something to do with a computer game or vampire films. It’s whether they’re nasty or not that’s important. Tell Laden that I’m more respectful to him.

    @LC and everyone else. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about…

  107. Pteryxx says

    Munkhaus:

    And there are cultural considerations with language being an evolving tool: twat in the UK is entirely unassociated with vagina. The Prime Minister (appeal to authority) didn’t even know that it was a swear word when he said it on the Radio(in fact, it’s not prohibited by Radio guidelines in the UK). Words change their weight and meaning in different areas. To deny this is remarkably provincial.
    But one can’t talk about this… you get banned and branded. I think that is not really the skeptical bent.

    For a closer look at this particular claim:

    Initial mention on Telegraph.co.uk: “Twitter is for twats”

    Follow-up: “Not against rules, says Ofcom”

    In a podcast released shortly after the show, O’Connell said Mr Cameron’s press secretary Gabby Bertin had “leapt out of her skin” at his language.

    “He said (to her) ‘That seemed to go OK’. She said ‘Yeah, apart from the language’,” O’Connell said.

    “He said ‘Oh, yeah, pissed, sorry about that, I’m really sorry’… She said ‘No, it was the twat.’

    “He said ‘That’s not a swear word.’ I think he must be posh, where a lot of them don’t think twat is a swear word. His press secretary went ‘It is’.”

    While language meaning does change with cultural context, I’m not convinced that this incident means “twat” is NOT a feminine-associated swear word, particularly considering a man’s saying it isn’t while a woman’s saying it is. It might be more class-related, or it might not.

  108. says

    The super-literalism and worrying that things will deliberately be taken the wrong way by another: case in point Giliel’s post above: “and before you accuse me of threatening violence”…
    of course I wouldn’t! Why on earth would I! It’s a good phrase.

    Yes it is. And it didn’t imply that I would think lynching you would be anywhere on the table. It’s a phrase that makes clear that sometimes you’ll get judged by the people you associate with. Because in the modern day western world people don’t get hanged.
    Now, please tell me why “I would kick her in the cunt” is a good phrase that indicates a broader context like the saying I used?
    What other meaning than applying sexualized violence that women suffer every day against Ophelia would be a good thing does it have?

    Also the whole “twat” thing: First of all, not all Brits agree on it. Secondly, the rational response to somebody pointing it out that a large part of English native speakers and non-native speakers understand it as a gendered slur is to say: Sorry, I didn’t know, I’ll take care of it.
    And nobody would think any less of you.
    BUt people going all berserk because, since it might not mean A to them, they’re totally allowed to sling it at every American woman they come across are a problem.
    And, btw, Blu Harmony for example is American and she’s using it consciously and with the full intent of denigrating Rebecca Watson as much as possible.

  109. Aerik says

    @39 dlandoncole is alright, but he’s also the kind who’ll turn around and claim there’s no such thing as an atheist community, therefore we shouldn’t be obligated to fight sexism any more than we do when we’re not gathering together for our common defense. I’d put him on the same level as devchelle2 and gothatfunk, in that at least these people are calm 100% of the time, and don’t have to ‘pwn’ somebody if they’re going to contradict them. Above all the others I’ve named, but not exactly great.

    My problem is the neurotic double standard in which a person stands up to church/politician making sexist laws, claiming to be anti-sexist, only to turn around and act proud that another group they belong to is no more sexist than society at large. One would think that if you’re against sexism, you’re against it no matter who’s perpetrating it. But apparently for youtube atheists, it only matters if the religious are doing it, and only sometimes matters if another atheist is doing it disgustingly enough.

    Right now a popular youtube atheist getting attention for a sexism issue is c0nc0rdance and his circumcision videos. His latest has been mysteriously flagged as against community guidelines, and I haven’t seen it, but it’s my understanding that he defended circumcision as hygienically preferable, and I just think that’s B.S. At least he doesn’t equate it to female genital mutilation as much as others do. It really does matter that circumcision is done to infants so they don’t remember, and is purposely done to girls old enough to remember so that they do remember, and are emotionally scarred.

    One of youtube atheists/skeptics favorite sexist tactic is the “I’m an enlightened moderate” scheme. They’ll introduce a topic, and say “while there are sexists like religious fundamentalists who say X, but also crazy radical feminists who say basically the same thing, the truth is really this argument Y, in the middle.” — for example, ujames1978forever is a master at it. He begins most of his videos with it. There is always the spectre of radical feminists out to cut off yer schlong and feed it to the gators, to youtube atheists. They can name hardly any, and most of those they can name are either dead or recluse. Nobody follows them. “radical” feminists in which radical really means “militant” are so rare, they shouldn’t be worth mentioning. But you see that’s not how youtubers work. Rather than arguments about sexism standing on their own merits, they always have to trick you into believing they’re special by corralling you in their corner with their radfem boogeyman. (e.g., “sex positive feminism” — who’s sex negative?)

    The most common specific: anti-pornography statements. I’ve seen youtube atheists talk plenty about creationists stealing scientific jargon and ideas in order to falsely prop up biblical creationism. But the idea that the religious mostly just steal feminist soundbites concerning sexism in the media and pornography just goes right over youtube atheists’ heads. They think that just because religious bigots claim porn harms women, and many feminists say porn harms women, that feminists and religious bigots share a common pathology that links them as guilty by association. It’s a low and shameful tactic.

    / another rant about why youtube atheism is a cesspool.

    On a final note: @justicar

    The reason we think you’re a douchebag is because you’ve proven yourself to be the kind of person who denies there’s sexism, then acts sexist. You’re kind to people in person, then go and make wild bigoted rants to others about the person. You’re two-faced. This acting nice stuff? Its just your way of going undercover. This is you trying to catch somebody saying something you can spin somewhere else. It’s what you did at your integralmath.blogspot.com blog, it’s what you did to rebecca watson for months on youtube.com/integralmath , and because you seem to be proud of it, we see no reason to think you wouldn’t do so again in some other forum, whether it be your new site or an anti-feminist blog comment thread somewhere else. You think what comes out of your mouth in this thread is honey. But we know it’s acid.

  110. Munkhaus says

    Giliell:

    “Now, please tell me why “I would kick her in the cunt” is a good phrase that indicates a broader context like the saying I used?
    What other meaning than applying sexualized violence that women suffer every day against Ophelia would be a good thing does it have?”

    I’m not arguing that that phrase is a good phrase to use, nor equivalent to the hanging phrase. I was talking about deliberately taking literally phrases that aren’t meant literally to give oneself more currency: exaggerating ones position.
    As I understand it, the phrase was used not as a genuine threat (as Ophelia agrees) but as an insult. Whether it is acceptable to you or not is another matter, but I only referred to using it (for example, as you bring it up) as a genuine threat when in fact it was a trolling calculated to insult.

  111. Stacy says

    You say you reject “the argument” at erv… i dont know what that is. There are many, by different people with different view.

    The argument (really arguments, but I wanted to try and be brief) I was referring to are the ones I’ve heard on various FtB blogs from people like Justy and several others. Those guys seem to be singing the same tune, one that’s been addressed many times: they have a right to use demeaning terms for women, banning them is a terrible thing that equates to government censorship and tyrrany, Rebecca Watson etc. etc. (I don’t think the woman is beyond reproach, but why they think she merits such sustained hostility is beyond me.)

    So that’s the argument I meant. As I said above, I don’t buy it. If they want to believe it, fine, you know? Nobody’s stopping them. It’s not that criticism should be unwelcome; it’s just that the particular criticisms this gang levies are empty. They seem to make a BFD about being moderated or banned from certain blogs, as if they think they have an inalienable right to comment anywhere and anyway they like. They don’t. End of story. But they’ll whine about that over and over again, and make hyperbolic accusations about totalitarianism and–seriously, it’s bull.

    Maybe you got caught in the crossfire and unfairly pegged;* I don’t know.

    Anyway, good night, one and all. Gonna try and get some sleep now–battling a nasty head cold here.

    * Sorry for the mixed metaphor. I blame the cold. No, the patriarchy. No…the cold.

  112. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Only sometimes, that’s like a win.

    I hate your stupid smileyface. I was trying to be nice, and you take it as a cue to get all smug. Only sometimes? This is literally the very first instance I’ve seen you act like a decent human being. You show up in every thread related to sexism and try to minimize the seriousness of sexism. So yes, you come off as a sexist.

    Well, I fear that Ophelia will arrive and ban me soon (surprised to be able to post actually)

    Faux victimhood really doesn’t suit you. Say your piece and be done with it. Posturing about how you’re going to be banned just makes you look like an ass.

    but it would involve going over that tired, dusty EG road.

    Of course it does. Excuse me for a moment while I contain my rage (because, you know, it might frighten you, the poor delicate flower, away) that anyone thinks there’s anything to say about this except that the wave of sexist outrage launched against RW was shocking and unacceptable.

    As I said, I didn’t have problem with Watson’s video. But it was the Kirby, then McGraw thing I thought was out of order.

    Gah. Who cares. It’s minimizing the seriousness of what happened in the aftermath to continue focusing on this.

    Ok, not exactly “skepticism” yet,

    Thanks for confirming my oppression that you were just making shit up. You were not being truthful when you made those repeated claims about a failure to be skeptical, a failure to have a questioning attitude, a missing perspective.

    but it was stuff like people on Laden’s G+ calling her a rape-apologist that stuck in my craw, and Laden refused to comment on it. A lot of nasty stuff like that, aimed at women, mind.

    So take it up with Laden. This justifies your making shit up and accusing feminists of being poor skeptics how exactly? Oh right, it doesn’t. Because you were making shit up, as you just admitted.

    The politician style bullshitting, like pretending the Dawkins boycott wasn’t a boycott.

    That justifies what exactly? This has what to do with skepticism? This is the missing perspective? Gawd what a pretentious little shit you are.

    The super-literalism and worrying that things will deliberately be taken the wrong way by another: case in point Giliel’s post above: “and before you accuse me of threatening violence”…
    of course I wouldn’t! Why on earth would I! It’s a good phrase.
    But people *have* been disingenuously accusing people of things like that, looking for any ammo to use to “win”. Now people are walking on eggshells wondering if an innocent phrase will be used against them.

    Eh wot? Super-literalism? Only because, ever since we feminists have started pointing out that violent sexist threats are not okay, sexism-denying assholes have started seizing on every single metaphor that involves the slightest hint of violence to create a false equivalency argument. In other words, it’s not our fault that assholes are highly invested in sexism-denial. Take it up with them.

    It’s that sort of thing really. There’s been loads of it.
    And as much as you say cunt is much more loaded than say, dick, there was still a huge amount of hypocrisy over their usage.

    Oh really, hypocrisy? That’s a loaded accusation, care to level it at anyone in particular? Or are you going to continue being a vaguely condescending twit?

    And there are cultural considerations with language being an evolving tool: twat in the UK is entirely unassociated with vagina.

    Now you’re rehashing another argument that’s been done to death. You’re simply wrong. I’m sorry you haven’t availed yourself of the information available to you, but it’s not our fault if you continue to refuse to educate yourself when so many resources are literally being thrown in your face.

    The Prime Minister (appeal to authority) didn’t even know that it was a swear word when he said it on the Radio(in fact, it’s not prohibited by Radio guidelines in the UK). Words change their weight and meaning in different areas. To deny this is remarkably provincial.

    To use Britain’s provincial customs as an excuse for abusive behavior towards American women is just rude. Also sexist.

    But one can’t talk about this… you get banned and branded. I think that is not really the skeptical bent.

    Again with the idiotic faux victimhood. If you had the slightest confidence in your arguments and the evidence backing them up, you wouldn’t need to make comments like that, because you’d be able to make respectable arguments without fucking making shit up like you just admitted you’ve been doing this whole fucking time with your idiotic song and dance about a failure of skepticism.

    And you wonder why you’re not welcome in so many places.

  113. says

    I’m not arguing that that phrase is a good phrase to use, nor equivalent to the hanging phrase. I was talking about deliberately taking literally phrases that aren’t meant literally to give oneself more currency: exaggerating ones position.
    As I understand it, the phrase was used not as a genuine threat (as Ophelia agrees) but as an insult…

    You know what the problem is? That it goes further than saying “she’s an asshole”.
    Say it often enough, loud enough, enough people, and sooner or later somebody will do it. That’s how dehumanizing works. That’s why calling it out and taking a firm stand against it isn’t exaggerating
    It also has a chilling effect on other women.
    Maybe you missed it, so here’s what I said above:

    Secondly, the effect isn’t the same. Yes, cunt and twat carry a threat. Not in and all by themselves, but because they are used by a certain kind of people, and because those people are known for certain actions.
    As a mere commenter on the internet I feel safer, but if in meatspace a man starts using the German equivalents of those words, I make haste to bring some space between me and him. I don’t do that when they call me an asshole or idiot.

    So, other women are going to read that, read what Ryan said about Greta and her commenters, read on ERV that skeptifem “needs to be mounted” and make the very rational decision to hell stay away from those people.
    Result: More women silenced.
    I wouldn’t go to any event Justicar or Hoggle or Ryan are present. I know what men do who use such language against women. If they lose their shit so badly verbally, they’re not to be trusted in person. I’m not a coward, but heroines usually end up in the hospital.

  114. heddle says

    I don’t want Jerry to be tarred and feathered for not being draconian and moderating the shit out of his comment section.

    Too late for that, because he is/does. He silently banned me and others who were not trolling or making inappropriate comments. He even has the vile, ego-boostng practice of making a snarky reply in conjunction with silently banning the target, presumably hoping to give the impression that his repartee was so devastating that the hapless recipient slithered away with his tail between his legs. (He did this, for example, with the author of the Thinking Christian blog after displaying great, subtle, near Jonathan-Swiftian wit of calling the title oxy-moronic.)

    He’s a total jackass, and how he does or does not moderate his blog appears to be driven, primarily, by poor self-esteem.

    Of course, banning people without the common courtesy of warning them or at least telling them they are banned, so they don’t write several comments that never appear before they “get it”, is not the same offense as allowing someone to comment that you find despicable. The latter is not, in fact, an offense. It is what blog comments are supposed to be about, at least in part–an on-target but open forum not filtered by a blacklist of those who have committed the unpardonable sin du-jour elsewhere. Not surprising that this blog author missed the boat.

  115. walton says

    Also, I’ve yet to hear how the use of cunt is distinguishable from the use of dick in the way that makes the use of one not by definition misandry and the other by definition (or by claimed definition rather) misogyny. I see no reason to credit one with more power than the other.

    Power differentials. Women are an oppressed group in our society. Men are not. It’s the same reason why “honky” or “cracker” are not equivalent to “n****r”. This shouldn’t be difficult to grasp.

  116. Marta says

    “Power differentials. Women are an oppressed group in our society. Men are not. It’s the same reason why “honky” or “cracker” are not equivalent to “n****r”. This shouldn’t be difficult to grasp.”

    While you are completely correct in your statement above, Walton, one has to first accept your premise that women are an oppressed group.

    There is no data–empirical, anecdotal, or otherwise–that will convince them. They’re like creationists in that regard. Doesn’t matter what you bring by way of evidence. They’ll just move the goalposts.

    If they can’t be convinced that women are an oppressed group, concepts like “power differential” are useless.

  117. says

    Yeah, Justicar (or “The Justicar,” as he’s taken to calling himself sometimes) is still a pompous self-important attention-hogging jackass.

    1.) people who approach me in the tone of trying to emotionally exploit me have earned themselves an equally rude response

    “Emotionally exploit” you? That phrase is so bombastic and self-pitying it’s almost funny. What does he even mean by it? We’re making him lose his temper and then sucking the life-force out of him?

    2.) an insult is only effective when used on a person if they credit it as an insult

    That’s a typical bully’s excuse: “it’s not my fault for hurting you, it’s your fault for choosing to be hurt.” It’s how I tried to dodge responsibility for my own poorly-chosen words, back when I was a teenager; and fortunately the grownups in my life didn’t buy it.

    That other pompous-assed hater, John C. Welch, was a major proponent of this same form of immaturity (among others — have you seen that laughable copyright notice on his own blog?); and it’s easily refuted by noting that an insult is MEANT and UNDERSTOOD to be an insult, based on pre-existing universal understanding of the meanings of words; therefore if you hear an insult, it pretty much automatically follows that you will understand the intent behind the words, and that is an objective piece of information (FWIW), and there’s no “choice” involved in interpreting what it means. If I call Justicar an asshole, there’s no way anyone can interpret that as anything more than an insult. IF a word is so wide open to varying interpretations that people can’t even agree on what it means, then it’s a useless word.

  118. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I wouldn’t go to any event Justicar or Hoggle or Ryan are present. I know what men do who use such language against women.

    Before any of the boys start crying and whining, this is a scientifically accurate, verifiable statement.

  119. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I thought there was something weird there, when Munkhaus suddenly decided to play civil. I mean, I had just told a banned Justicar to ‘go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut’. Clever or not, I wasn’t exactly being ‘civil’.

    It took me a moment or two to figure it out. Interesting to see this kind of thing in action, and to be fair and charitable I think there’s a bit of a chance he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.

    Much as I enjoy ‘going all Pharyngula horde’ on people, there is always a part of me that hopes these guys will have their ‘a-HA!’ moment as I had mine, and start thinking about these things, maybe develop the good sense to start feeling bad for the shit they’ve said and done. It’s very unlikely, but I hope.

  120. Pteryxx says

    It took me a moment or two to figure it out. Interesting to see this kind of thing in action, and to be fair and charitable I think there’s a bit of a chance he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.

    *nod* To me, aspie and literal and trusting and all, it’s useful to examine how reasonable and civil-sounding these folks can be while still espousing biased or actively hateful viewpoints. I’m quite sure Justicar knows he’s being disingenuous and does it intentionally, but I agree with you about Munkhaus.

    So far, in my experience, the vast majority who sound reasonable hit their denial-walls after two to ten replies. On Pharyngula recently there were *two* who got a clue in the same thread. I’ve never seen that before, and it raises my total, since Egate, to four with one pending. But I’ve only been at this for half a year, and apparently it takes longer than that for the really entrenched ones who *do* come around, to do so.

    Ah… actually, TLC, you’re the trend-setter there. ~;>

  121. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I only referred to using it (for example, as you bring it up) as a genuine threat when in fact it was a trolling calculated to insult.

    Only a misogyny-enabling asshole like Munkhaus could possibly give a rat’s arse about that fine distinction. Using misogynist slurs because you hate women? Or using misogynist slurs because you care so very little about women that you’re willing to deploy degrading, dehumanizing language about them just to get a rise out of someone? We’re supposed to be, what, grateful for the lack of active hatred in the latter example? Bullshit.

  122. KG says

    I do not think that you are a misogynist, Justicar. – Patrick

    My hunch is that Patrick remains sceptical about claims that the Pope is a Catholic, and is far from convinced that bears defecate in forested areas.

    Rebecca Watson etc. etc. (I don’t think the woman is beyond reproach, but why they think she merits such sustained hostility is beyond me.) – Stacy

    I think it’s simply that she had the effrontery to say “Guys, don’t do that”. She told men how they should behave. How dare she?

  123. KG says

    twat in the UK is entirely unassociated with vagina. – Munkhaus

    Simply not true. I say this as someone who has lived there my entire life. It is true that it is not so universally associated with the female genitals as “cunt”, so some people may be genuinely unaware of the association – but that cannot be the case for anyone who has been following events in the atheist/sceptic blogosphere.

  124. says

    Yes, that remark of Patrick’s is quite funny. On the basis of what, exactly, does he not think that Justicar is a misogynist? A hunch? Instinct? Vibes? Tea leaves?

  125. SallyStrange (Bigger on the Inside), Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I was watching “Misfits”, a newish British TV series, the other day, and there’s a birth scene where one of the characters says something to the effect of, “You’ve got a baby coming out of your twat!”

    Must be a different Britain than the one Munkhaus lives in.

  126. David Booker says

    Regarding twat. I worked at a school in England where the children were shocked when a new female teacher from the south of England called a child a twat. In some parts of the UK it means “idiot” and the female teacher was totally unaware of any sexual meaning which is why she used it in the classroom.

  127. Godless Heathen says

    @David Booker

    Regarding twat. I worked at a school in England where the children were shocked when a new female teacher from the south of England called a child a twat. In some parts of the UK it means “idiot” and the female teacher was totally unaware of any sexual meaning which is why she used it in the classroom.

    Teachers shouldn’t be calling students “idiots” either.

  128. Luna_the_cat says

    twat in the UK is entirely unassociated with vagina. – Munkhaus

    As a resident of Scotland, I can also say that this is complete bullshit. “Twat” is a not-very-complimentary slang name for a vagina, and there is a very clear understanding in this country (which, last I checked, was still part of the UK) that this is the case.

  129. owlglass says

    Yeah, I’m late. The insult “kiss the cunt of a cow” is a type dysphemistic and abusive swearing, and was suggested jokingly by Steven Pinker, yes the one, in his lecture on swearing.

    Steven Pinker said: […] my favorite comes from bestiality. And this is a curse last used in 1585…

    See it hear: Steven Pinker: The Language of Swearing (NSFW) (35:10).

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

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

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