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Jim Jefferies

A month ago Rorschach posted a Jim Jefferies video in anticipation (not eager anticipation, but rather the opposite) of his appearance at the Global Atheist Convention.

So far I’ve managed to watch only three minutes, because it’s a very unpleasant experience. Apparently what makes him so supremely funny is his loathing of women.

Nice work, GAC.

Comments

  1. NateHevens says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter @ post #395

    Nate: Bill Hicks had some brilliant routines, but his misogyny was absolutely foul. Even worse than “Chicks Dig Jerks” was a spittle-flecked rant about the existence of the pop star Debbie Gibson, who obviously couldn’t compare to Jimi Hendrix because she didn’t have a dick. Complete with the line, “When did we start listening to teenage girls?” As if we’ve ever stopped listening to teenage boys… at least the white middle-class ones, anyway. Then you pair that routine with “Goat Boy,” in which he fantasizes about fucking 16-year-old girls… grr.

    I remember how Goat Boy used to be defended (how I used to defend it):
    “Bill liked to push boundaries; challenge his audience. It was relatively easy to do that in the socially conservative US; just diss Young-Earth Creationists, Christians in general, Republicans (especially poster-boy Republicans like Ronald Reagan), and so on. But it was harder in the UK, because a lot of that stuff was NOT off limits. So he invented Goat Boy in order to do that. Besides… 16 is the federal age of consent in the US, and it’s not like he was actually dating 16-year-olds… his girlfriends were usually not more than a year younger than him. And let’s not forget how big a porn fan he was. He even performed at the Adult Video awards in 1990! Porn’s cool, man!”

    And the whole Debbie Gibson thing:
    “Bill is just using extreme exaggeration to point out that modern (of his time) music sucked big time. ‘If money had a dick, George Michael would be a flaming faggot.’ It’s true that music has become so commercial it’s written specifically to hawk commercial products. Bill isn’t *actually* saying that Jimi Hendrix should (or would) rape Debbie Gibson. He’s just saying that Hendrix knew how to do music, and Debbie didn’t.”

    And I have to tell you, Daisy… writing those two paragraphs was hard as fucking hell. Even harder considering there was a time I did write shit like that quite easily. That is literally how I defended that misogynistic shit from Bill. And what’s worse, there’s a twisted sort of logic to it, in a similar way to mansplaining. It’s seductive for what looks like perfectly sound logic while being obviously wrong in every way.

    I loved Bill, and in some ways still do (whether or not it’s a good thing, he is the one who introduced me to critical thinking and skepticism… to deny that would be lying), but you are right… his misogynistic rants were bad… and even worse were the attempts to explain them away.

    It’s almost exactly like people trying to defend Jim Jefferies, actually…

  2. says

    I remember how Goat Boy used to be defended (how I used to defend it): “Bill liked to push boundaries; challenge his audience…”

    The thing about humor that’s based on boundary-pushing is, once you’ve pushed them to a certain point, that round of jokes gets old, so you have to push the boundaries further (i.e., be MORE outrageous); then that round of jokes will inevitably get old, so in order to keep yourself in good supply of fresh material, you have to keep pushing those boundaries, until all the really silly rules are knocked down, and at some point you find people are saying, “Wait a minute, that’s a GOOD boundary,” and you go from being “boundary-pushing-edgy-funny” to being “an asshole.” (And you get marginalized and kicked to the curb while the pendulum swings the other way and all those silly old boundaries get reinforced all over again.) It’s a risk of the job with that kind of comedy, so if that’s your schtick, you have to have a pretty good idea when to stop and find another job.

  3. NateHevens says

    Raging Bee at #405

    The thing about humor that’s based on boundary-pushing is, once you’ve pushed them to a certain point, that round of jokes gets old, so you have to push the boundaries further (i.e., be MORE outrageous); then that round of jokes will inevitably get old, so in order to keep yourself in good supply of fresh material, you have to keep pushing those boundaries, until all the really silly rules are knocked down, and at some point you find people are saying, “Wait a minute, that’s a GOOD boundary,” and you go from being “boundary-pushing-edgy-funny” to being “an asshole.” (And you get marginalized and kicked to the curb while the pendulum swings the other way and all those silly old boundaries get reinforced all over again.) It’s a risk of the job with that kind of comedy, so if that’s your schtick, you have to have a pretty good idea when to stop and find another job.

    I know it’s generally frowned upon to post just to say “exactly”, but that’s about all I can muster for this post. I agree with every single thing written in the quoted post, so…

    Actually, I can add some meat to this post…

    It sucks, because in some ways he was actually quite prescient. Part of me still wishes he had never died, because I would give *anything* to hear his commentary on Bush, Jr and Barack Obama and the Middle East and Pat Robertson coming out in favor of marijuana decriminalization and the return of Soundgarden and the 2007 Led Zeppelin reunion and Occupy Wall Street and so on.

    Of course, he’d probably feature heavily on Jim Jones’s bullshit radio program and have more to say about the “New World Order” than anything else, he’d most likely be a 9/11 Truther (I wonder how it is that he could be such an obvious conspiracy theorist and yet have no problem at all with the idea that we landed on the moon… not that I don’t believe it [we most certainly landed on the moon and those who say we didn't are morons], but, usually, people who believe in the “New World Order” also think NASA is a Masonic conspiracy and we’ve never left the earth’s atmosphere), his blatant misogyny would probably just be even worse, and he’d probably be praising “comedians” (and I use the term loosely) like Jim Jefferies.

    That’s what gets me even angrier about comedians like Hicks and Jefferies, because they can be very prescient and make some damn good points, but all the good, prescient, thinking stuff gets overshadowed by the misogyny, conspiracy theories, and other blatant bullshit. It’s like they’re trying to be George Carlin without actually getting George Carlin.

    If their goal ever was to do what George Carlin did, then they are failing spectacularly. I’d say someone like Tim Minchin, or Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert is a hell of a lot closer to what Carlin did than Hicks ever was or what Jefferies could ever do.

  4. says

    Briefly – Sorry for sounding like I want to dictate the subject matter of the post. I was just trying to show that I was just responding to the various accusations hurled in my direction, against my wishes. If I hadn’t, someone would have stated the obvious “this isn’t about you”. My original intent was to talk about Jim Jeffries and comedy (the OP) and that’s the only reason why I posted anything at all. Of course Ophelia is in charge – obviously.

    That said, my very presence seems to have a derailing effect and I’m sorry for that. I’ll take my leave for the benefit of the discussion, and carry on reading it.

  5. says

    Nate, I once had someone defend those Hicks monologues to me by explaining that he had a fiancée whom he loved very much.

    Uh-huh.

    Also, yeah, the age-of-consent thing. Don’t get me started on thirty-, forty-, or older-something men who don’t want to understand the difference between physical maturity and emotional maturity. I’m all for not wrapping kids and teens in cotton batting so that they can adapt to the world as it is, but that doesn’t include letting creepy assholes fuck them.

    I wish Hicks were still alive today. Both because, yes, a lot of his comedy was highly prescient, even if he probably would have soured into a tinfoil hatter (I think you mean Alex Jones…. Jim Jones was the cult leader with the off-brand Kool-Aid). But also because I’d love to see the internet’s feminists descend upon him in a Twitter storm for some of his crap.

    BTW, props for walking back the first comment you made on this thread.

  6. says

    Yeah, I’m kinda iffy about Carlin. I loved him when I first heard him, in the early ’70s when I was in junior-high-school. But sometime after that (not sure when), he took on the persona of the grumpy old fart grousing about the young people today and how we should stop making so much effort to raise kids, and yelling “Get off my lawn!” between tokes. He wasn’t horribly offensive, but he didn’t strike me as all that funny or insightful either. Then again, I’m kind of into Ricky Jervais and Eddie Izzard (before he went into acting), so take that FWIW.

  7. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’ve seen the excuse “he’s just pushing boundaries!” as a defense for bigotry disguised as “comedy” before and it begs the question – how is it “pushing boundaries” to say the same things about women (Or whatever minority group) that have been said for millennia? How is it “pushing boundaries” to do exactly as has always been done ?

    Deliberately offensive pseudo-comedy isn’t pushing any boundaries when its attacking already and traditionally disadvantaged groups – that’s just kicking people when they’re already down. If you want to “push boundaries” you have to stop humping them first.

  8. NateHevens says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter at #408:

    Nate, I once had someone defend those Hicks monologues to me by explaining that he had a fiancée whom he loved very much.

    Uh-huh.

    Oof. I’ve used that one, too. Wonder if it was me… *winces*

    Makes it worse that, if I recall correctly, she actually wasn’t his fiancée. She broke up with her fiancé for him, and he did in fact plan to ask her to marry him, having bought a ring and everything, but died before he could.

    It’s weird, because despite the blatant misogyny of some of his material, every woman who dated him said that he treated them like goddesses, basically catering to their every wish and always making sure they were happy, sometimes to the detriment of his own happiness, and never got angry or resentful at them for it. He never got jealous or envious, and he never got controlling. He just asked for them to love him in return, and they did. He was protective of them, too, and he’d never ever hit them, but God forbid any guy insulted them or hurt them in some way… tiny Bill would turn into the Hulk to defend his girlfriends and their honor. I believe the woman who he had wanted to marry actually said he was a feminist off stage.

    Which makes me wonder if his material was not so much a reflection of who he was but a reflection of his inability to know when he’d gone too far.

    Also, yeah, the age-of-consent thing. Don’t get me started on thirty-, forty-, or older-something men who don’t want to understand the difference between physical maturity and emotional maturity. I’m all for not wrapping kids and teens in cotton batting so that they can adapt to the world as it is, but that doesn’t include letting creepy assholes fuck them.

    Oh no kidding. Even the owner of Playboy marrying that Playboy centerfold made me sick. I wish like hell the idea of there being only a small age-difference between two people was more popular culturally. I don’t want it to be a law because that wouldn’t stop it (I hate legal prohibition of anything because it never works… culturally learned prohibition is what works)… only education can stop it. It’s just so… off… to me. I’ll be 25 next month. 4 years younger, 5 years older… those are my limits, full stop, and won’t ever change.

    I wish Hicks were still alive today. Both because, yes, a lot of his comedy was highly prescient, even if he probably would have soured into a tinfoil hatter (I think you mean Alex Jones…. Jim Jones was the cult leader with the off-brand Kool-Aid). But also because I’d love to see the internet’s feminists descend upon him in a Twitter storm for some of his crap.

    Oh yeah. It would be amazing. I’d actually like to read a piece by Ophelia or Rebecca or any feminist on Bill Hicks, to be honest. It would a fascinating and fun read.

    And yeah, I did mean Alex Jones. Thanks for the correction… :D

    (Did you know that some Hicks fans imagine a conspiracy that Bill faked his death and changed his name to Alex Jones?… I actually liked that one better than “the government gave him cancer”… the latter is [or at least was, back when I frequented it] a bit popular over at the Bill Hicks forums… at least the former one meant that he was still alive, which was nice to me at the time…)

    BTW, props for walking back the first comment you made on this thread.

    Hehe. Thanks.

    Actually, it’s not so good, because I’m finding I have to walk backwards a *lot*, which means I really need to start taking more time on my comments and thinking them all the way through before (inevitably) looking like an idiot and having to do damage control after the fact. It’s getting embarrassing, to be honest… :(

    I’ve been convinced that I’m ADD for a while now, but I can’t afford a good psychiatrist… not that this is any excuse, of course…

    Raging Bee @ #409

    Yeah, I’m kinda iffy about Carlin. I loved him when I first heard him, in the early ’70s when I was in junior-high-school. But sometime after that (not sure when), he took on the persona of the grumpy old fart grousing about the young people today and how we should stop making so much effort to raise kids, and yelling “Get off my lawn!” between tokes. He wasn’t horribly offensive, but he didn’t strike me as all that funny or insightful either. Then again, I’m kind of into Ricky Jervais and Eddie Izzard (before he went into acting), so take that FWIW.

    Carlin got rather bitter at the end, sure, but I think it can be reasonably said that Carlin was purposefully becoming a parody, unlike Jefferies who actually seems to take it seriously.

    I love Eddie Izard’s stand-up. He’s hilarious and actually knows when a line that exists is there for a good reason.

    I’m iffy with Gervais. There’s no doubt that he is really funny, but he tends to be a bit… erm… liberal… with the rape jokes, and he has a penchant for putting his foot in his mouth.

    Plus, I seriously, dearly hope that Karl Pilkington is a character and not a real person, because if Karl is a real, actual person, then Ricky is being a blatant, public bully. I watched their show about how Karl travels the world and… um… wow. I am seriously waiting for the day when Ricky, Steve, and Karl come out and say “it was just a joke, y’all. We invented Karl for shits n’ giggles. Don’t worry. No real person was actually bullied in such a pathetic manner for all the world to see.”

    Maybe I’m being overly-sensitive, having been the kid that even the school outcasts bullied, and bad enough that I became terrified of school from 5th grade to 9th grade, but as much as I want to like Gervais, he just reminds me too much of all the people who bullied me.

  9. NateHevens says

    Oh fuck… I might have to do some explaining for the who age part of that post… I really hope people get my meaning…

    *sigh*

  10. Woo_Monster says

    If you want to “push boundaries” you have to stop humping them first.

    Exactly. Hating on a minority group? Wow, you are so fucking edgy and hilarious.

    Pushing boundaries would be to treat everyone as equals and not contributing to pervasive bigoted tropes.

  11. NateHevens says

    Woo_Monster @ #413:

    Exactly. Hating on a minority group? Wow, you are so fucking edgy and hilarious.

    Pushing boundaries would be to treat everyone as equals and not contributing to pervasive bigoted tropes.

    Yup.

    Am I the only one who finds this fact to be rather depressing?

    Also, this whole discussion has made me wonder… are there any comedians who’s comedy routines include well-delivered pro-feminist rants and/or anti-misogyny rants? Tim Minchin’s “Confessions” might qualify, except that the gag has nothing whatsoever to do with feminism or anti-misogyny…

  12. Woo_Monster says

    I wish like hell the idea of there being only a small age-difference between two people was more popular culturally. I don’t want it to be a law because that wouldn’t stop it (I hate legal prohibition of anything because it never works… culturally learned prohibition is what works)… only education can stop it. It’s just so… off… to me. I’ll be 25 next month. 4 years younger, 5 years older… those are my limits, full stop, and won’t ever change.

    What is so important about there being a small age difference between two consenting adults? Some people like younger partners. Some people like older partners. Some people without any specific preference for age end up in loving relationships where there is a large age discrepancy. So long as there is not one mature partner taking advantage of a younger, not yet mature/autonomous individual, what is the problem?

    30yr old wants to have a 55yr old companion. What is wrong with that decision?

  13. NateHevens says

    Hey FTB… can we please get an edit button for our posts? Stupid people like me, apparently, are in desperate need of them.

    Woo_Monster… sorry. I meant that in context of, like, 50-year-old guys looking to marry 16-year-old girls. Your example is fine… although I cannot deny that, at least for me, there is a creepiness to someone who’s, like, 95 years old looking marry someone who’s around 25. I’m not one for judging personal choices usually, but that really does make my skin crawl. May be a personal failing, and to each their own, but…

    *shivers*

  14. Josh Slocum says

    Nate, don’t worry. You’re coming across as a good person who owns up to his mistakes and works to expand his views. That’s all any of us can ask of each other.

  15. mikee says

    Nate, I agree with Josh. I’ve found your comments thought provoking and considered. Every makes a mistake once in a while, and you seem to be one of the few who can admit them.

  16. LeftSidePositive says

    Tim Minchin’s “Confessions” might qualify, except that the gag has nothing whatsoever to do with feminism or anti-misogyny…

    I dunno, the first movement is entitled “feminism,” after all. I actually just love “Confessions”–I can see how someone who thinks it’s okay to objectify would take it as license, so I can respect that it’s problematic in that regard, but for me it really does a good job of showing a healthy and irreverent view of mindless lust without treating PEOPLE as deserving of being lusted after or treated as less-than. Moreover, I think it does a really great job of skewering obsession with body parts as a baser instincts and contrasts that masterfully with attitudes we really need to elevate in our thinking and our discourse. Also, I appreciate the message that it’s okay to have a “deep side” and a “shallow side” and I think the vast majority of us do (although, as a woman, I don’t have men’s secondary sex characteristics fetishized so facilely, but I still do have a shallow side), and I think he also does a good job of emphasizing enjoying sexuality without denigrating or hurting others (with the exception of the line “to the grope of the nurse in the old people’s hostel,” just to be picky).

    Also, Nate said above that “If I Didn’t Have You” is “hugely misogynistic” and I just have to say–HOW?! It’s a mockery of the fate/destiny/The One bullshit that gets heaped on our cultural narratives of romance, and instead has a really mature and important message about love growing with shared experience. Yeah, he’s saying his wife is not the Uber Special Snowflake Absolutely Perfect McWonderfulness that gets thrown around in love songs–but how is that “misogynistic”? It just emphasizes the truth of how random our lives are, how we’re all human, and how we invest ourselves in making our relationships special. We’re not delicate flowers and we don’t need to be told we’re perfect or have someone construct a fantasy world for us. If anything all that “my love is just perfect” stuff is really a form of subtle sexism, and also creates a situation where real women can’t possibly measure up (it also creates a situation where real men can’t possibly measure up to women’s expectations, too, but when one group has more access to social and political power it can do more damage).

  17. LeftSidePositive says

    Oh, and another thing Nate (and I really appreciate how thoughtful and open you’re being, btw), I just wanted to add one little tidbit to the Bill Hicks and women stuff–the whole idolizing your own women (problematic language intentional) while denigrating others are actually two sides of the same coin. I and many women of my acquaintance have had no shortage of experience with the fact that statements like “I treat a woman like a queen” is a HUGE red flag for “sexist condescending egotistical ass” and I’ve had those types turn abusive (fortunately for me, only verbally) when I wasn’t suitably grateful for the treatment they decided I should have, regardless of whether I wanted it. A lot of that showing how “good” you are to women in that “grand gesture” kind of way, is really more about feeding the person’s own ego. That whole thing about Bill Hicks “protecting” his romantic partner is also a very, very strong indication that there is a lot of narcissism in how he engaged in relationships (just btw, a person who makes a big violent show of defending partners in public is often an indication of abusive behavior in private, but I am just saying this as a general-education thing, not any reflection on Bill Hicks himself). This is not to say that he was a bad guy, and was probably sincerely doing his best in relationships, but cultural sexism is a deep-seated thing, and this White Knight mentality that you seem to be describing is still sexism.

  18. NateHevens says

    Hey! This one’s only partially my fault! :D

    (Sorry… that was out of line… *sheepish grin*)

    LeftSidePositive at #419:

    Also, Nate said above that “If I Didn’t Have You” is “hugely misogynistic”

    Not exactly. What I specifically said was this:

    Some people might say that Tim Minchin’s “If I Didn’t Have You”, along with how he speaks about his wife in general, is *hugely* misogynistic

    To be fair, I should have noted that I don’t actually think so, but Tim does comment on this himself (after the song), and although it’s for comedic effect, I rather love his answer “she made me this way”.

    Besides… I already admitted that it was a piss-poor analogy to make in the first place… :(

    To your post at #420…

    I had never actually thought about it like that, but reading it now, you make a damn good point.

    I tend to be protective, too, but only after an… erm… (is there a word for for an absolutely horrific… something? “Incident” and “event” just seem way too be severe understatements)… involving my best friend’s girlfriend, a gang of inhuman monsters, and a few baseball bats (wielded by her boyfriend, her brother, a couple other friends, and myself… and they were for the gang, not her [in case that needed to be clarified]).

  19. Pteryxx says

    Also, this whole discussion has made me wonder… are there any comedians who’s comedy routines include well-delivered pro-feminist rants and/or anti-misogyny rants?

    Of course there are, they’re just harder to find. I’m no expert on stand-up, but once I got invited to go see lesbian comic Suzanne Westenhoefer, and IIRC she was awesome. She’s an outspoken LGBT and feminist advocate and this informs her shows.

    A quick search netted me these articles as well, which list feminist comedians:

    http://www.afterellen.com/people/2007/9/lesbiancomics

    and

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2008/nov/19/comedy-women-feminism-us-election

    In her 2006 HBO comedy special Sick & Tired, Sykes joked with the women in the audience, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our pussies were detachable? Just think about it. You get home from work, it’s getting a little dark outside, and you’re like, ‘I’d like to go for a jog … but it’s getting too dark, oh! I’ll just leave it at home!’ … [There's] just so much freedom – you could do anything. You could go visit a professional ball player’s hotel room at two in the morning. Sex? My pussy’s not even in the building!”

    Whatever the stereotype says, most feminists develop a strong sense of humour – they have to. How else would we survive the daily sexism, a political climate that’s hostile to our rights, and the general discrimination that comes with being a woman? If we couldn’t laugh until we cried, we would probably spend all of our time sobbing.

  20. Mriana says

    @ #411 NateHevens, my first husband was 10 years older than I am and my second husband was 5 years younger than I am. Either way, it didn’t change the level of maturity. They both needed to grow up in different ways. I really don’t think age makes much difference, but maturity does. However, I refuse to date anyone who is young enough to be my son or old enough to be my daddy. The guys who try to ask me out and admit to being 23, I just say, “I have a son who’s your age.” That’s no lie either. There is this one man, who lives nearby my home who keeps trying to get me to go out to dinner with him, despite me saying, “You’re old enough to be my daddy” saying no. I have my limits too, but just because they are 5 years younger or older, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are mentally the same age.

  21. Mriana says

    @ 416 Natehavens although I cannot deny that, at least for me, there is a creepiness to someone who’s, like, 95 years old looking marry someone who’s around 25.

    Yeah, I often wonder about the 25 y.o. in those cases. If they want a parent figure or if they want money or what it is about a 25 y.o. who is looking at being a widow possibly before she’s 30, maybe with or without a child, if the person is a woman that is. Such May/Dec relationships really makes me wonder, but then again, if the 95 y.o. has all his/her mental faculties, then s/he is well aware of the possibilities and went into the relationship with his/her eyes wide open and knows if they are being taken advantage of or not. Maybe they had their reasons for being involved with such a young person. I can think of some possible reasons, that could be admirable and nothing to do with sex, but also potentially going back to the parental position though. So it’s really hard to say.

  22. sansha says

    I think the problem with large age differences is a matter of idealogy versus reality. Idealogically, I have absolutely no issue with fully consenting adults who chose polygamy but in practice and in reality, it almost always falls foul of problems with consent within a cultural context and history. I think the same is true of the age gap issue. In a culture and time where there is perfect equality? Not a problem. In the society in which we live however, I can see why it can be a cause for concern.

  23. NateHevens says

    Pteryxx at #422…

    Thank you! I… um… find Target Women to be absolutely hilarious…

    Doofy Husbands is my favorite one, though… I always kind of loathed the doofy husband meme…

    Mriana at #423 & #424…

    Yeah. I should have clarified myself initially. I kinda sorta saw that coming, but I saw it coming way too late to fix it in time… :(

    As for the 95/25 thing… I’d love to inquire into what those reasons could be… I mean, if you’re 95 and looking for an… heir?… is marriage really a suitable substitute for… I don’t know… adoption? It seems to me to be really strange. But I admit I’m probably not looking at it correctly, and point-of-view is crucial… but still…

  24. Mriana says

    Well… Natehavens, I was thinking about an heir, but you can’t actually adopt a child in old age, but you can marry a younger person that you care about deeply. Now, an older person could adopt a grandchild or a godchild and put them in their will as heir, but then it would need to be a trust fund to protect it from others until they reach an age in which they could handle the inheritance. Now, if a friend of yours died, leaving behind a 23 y.o. and that 23 y.o. was struggling for two years and at 25 you married them, that would be easier to make them your heir. The spouse generally gets what the late spouse leaves behind. In this way, you could be assured the person is able to care for themselves, esp if you have no heirs of your own for whatever reason. On one hand that seems admirable, but on the other hand it seems a little demeaning too- but that is from my POV. However, people who have no heirs, but a beloved pet have willed their money to that beloved pet. With humans though, if you really care about a young person and want the best for them, esp if you have no heirs of your own, marriage makes willing your estate a lot easier. However, that is almost like taking a parental position.

    This is also one of the issues, from what I understand, with gay marriage and marriage equality. With most heterosexual marriages, when the spouse dies, the living spouse generally gets almost everything if not everything- like Social Security. My grandmother automatically got my grandfather’s social security and his retirement, at a reduced rate, as well as her own social security. Thus, why I say, in the case of a May/Dec relationship, if the 95 y.o., with their faculties intact, going into it with eyes wide open, married a 25 y.o. they truly cared about, and had no other heirs, not even a beloved pet, that would make things easier. Things would [almost] be automatic. It would involve a lot of trust though between the moment of marriage and death.

  25. A. Noyd says

    @lee (#428)
    From the link: “Are all student societies expected to provide a safe space for their own opposites to interact? Wouldn’t such an expectation render all student societies utterly meaningless and void?”

    Maybe you should “just leave here” an explanation of how women are the opposite of atheists.

  26. says

    I’m not sure what to make of Ricky Gervais sometimes. He can be funny, but he can also be just inexplicable. Sometimes I hear him saying “Look, I’m not ‘aving a go at…” fat people or some other group, which kinda implies he’s realized some of his jokes didn’t work as planned. Oh well, at least he’s smart enough to realize that, even if explaining your jokes is an admission of lameness.

    And what’s the deal with “The Ricky Gervais Show?” An animated version of himself, a perpetually-smiling friend, and some sad-looking bloke going on about some past fiasco or present problem while toon-Ricky and friend laugh their toon asses off? Wassup widdat?

  27. julian says

    @A. Noyd

    That would be assuming good faith on lee’s part. Or that lee read past the title.

  28. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Lol of course he didn’t read passed the title. Lee just wanted to remind us that bitchez ain’t shit, and that bigotry ain’t no big thing (as long as its not about him).

  29. says

    The title was an apt description of the content of the article, but here are moar werdz:

    “So there we have the fundamental confusion: the confusion of being open with having no “barriers” when barriers are understood as “anything some students might dislike.” The activity is open to all members, but that doesn’t require it to be attractive to all members.”

    “Maybe you should “just leave here” an explanation of how women are the opposite of atheists.”

    Maybe you should consider that seeing no problem with offending muslims is inconsistent with waxing indignant when another group is offended. No one has the right NOT to be offended.

    “That would be assuming good faith on lee’s part. Or that lee read past the title.”

    B&W behaving like an echo-chamber, as usual. The comment equivalent of a high-five. Did you read past the title? Did you consider how the argument in that article might impact the position of this one? Maybe it’s just my blinding bigotry that compels me to consider treating all groups as equally worthy of being shielded from offense(i.e. not), rather than just one I happen to align myself with.

    How did ya’ll phrase it?

    “bigotry ain’t no big thing (as long as its not about [women])” (creatively edited)

    Lee.

  30. says

    Nate:

    Oof. I’ve used that one, too. Wonder if it was me… *winces*

    No, it was a woman.

    Also, the personal history there is really, really sad. It’s good to know, I guess, that he was good to the women he dated, but I don’t think it made up for his reinforcement of cultural misogyny. As LeftSidePositive is saying, these are two sides of the same coin.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to feel furious and vengeful after someone you care for very much has been seriously and intentionally hurt. Might not be right to act on it, at least in all cases, but unlike some on FTB, I’m not a pacifist, and I don’t apologize for having a violent imagination.

    I don’t mean to pile on when you state that you weren’t clear enough :), but I myself don’t think age differences in general are that big of a problem between consenting adults. Except that we too often see older men with very young women but not vice versa. (To clarify: I don’t approve of women fucking teenage boys, either.)

    Actually, it’s not so good, because I’m finding I have to walk backwards a *lot*, which means I really need to start taking more time on my comments and thinking them all the way through before (inevitably) looking like an idiot and having to do damage control after the fact. It’s getting embarrassing, to be honest…

    Yes, but you’re actually willing to do so, which gives you an edge over dudes like Notung. It’s admirable, as Josh and Mikee have said.

    Re George Carlin: I really like his earliest stuff the best, especially how uncannily he imitated everyday voices and comments. I realize his later stuff was much more politically challenging. Some of his bitterness would have been mitigated, I suspect, if he’d continued to smoke pot, but after a few heart attacks that probably wouldn’t have been all that smart.

    Louis CK is pretty pro-feminist IMO. Also Wanda Sykes, as Pteryxx has noted, and the lesbian comedian Kate Clinton.

    Lee: Religion is privileged in society. Women, not so much. Again, punching up vs. punching down. But your concern is noted.

  31. Judy L. says

    “You’re just the container I shoot it into.” That about sums it up, really. Doesn’t surprise me at all that women don’t get wet at the thought of him using them as a masturbation sleeve.

  32. StevoR says

    @Ophelia Benson – April 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm :

    I’ve also heard from Australians who thought Jeffries was revoltingly misogynist – what are they, UnAustralian?

    FWIW, I’m Aussie. Couldn’t stand the guy or his crap.

  33. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Julian called it. “lee” is just another whiny ass troll.

    Maybe you should consider that seeing no problem with offending muslims is inconsistent with waxing indignant when another group is offended. No one has the right NOT to be offended.

    So, in other words, bitchez ain’t shit AND bigotry is totally cool as long as it’s not about lee.

    because while its totally wrong for an atheist group to simply not involve muslims, it’s totally cool to “joke” about violence against a large portion of atheistsat an atheist gathering because . . . . male privilege…. or something.

    It’s hard to parse the point when the point is so incredibly stupid.

  34. says

    The issue was not “offending muslims”; the issue was atheism/secularism/humanism and its relationship to religious beliefs. Being a woman isn’t a belief. That post didn’t argue that it’s perfectly fine for atheists and secularists and humanists to call Muslims by malicious epithets or to talk about shooting into them. I’ve never argued that; I don’t argue that; it’s not what I think.

  35. says

    “Lee: Religion is privileged in society. Women, not so much. Again, punching up vs. punching down. But your concern is noted.”

    Not particularly relevant to my underlying point. No one has the right not to be offended, regardless of their status in society. Can you or I express a preference against Jefferies comedy? Sure, I might even agree with you on that (though I don’t). Can this be levied as justification for exclusion? Sorry, but no; if you value your right to hold and express your views, you must, in the interest of consistency, value everyone else’s rights to do the same. Your aim should be to convince them of the superiority of your position, not exclude them because they don’t agree with you.

    I don’t think he holds misogynistic views, frankly, but it’s irrelevant whether he does or does not.

    “It’s hard to parse the point when the point is so incredibly stupid.”

    The difficulty you are encountering is in trying to make my point out to be something to do with violence against women being acceptable. What part of his comedy routine is to be construed as an endorsement of violence against women?

    “So, in other words, bitchez ain’t shit AND bigotry is totally cool as long as it’s not about lee.”

    No one has the right not to be offended. Including me. You have offended me, by calling me a “whiny ass troll”. Notice I’m not calling for your comment to be delete, or insulting you in return. I’m simply picking out the substantive points (or would, were there any), and/or redirecting you to my actual point so that you can have another go.

    Lee.

  36. madbull says

    I guess I really took offense when he said he likes women looking uncomfortable while giving oral sex. That really hurt my inner monkey.
    He has a point about men having to feel bad about not getting an erection, not a point he put across well, but its there.

  37. says

    This isn’t about being “offended.” That’s the wrong word to use.

    Being “offended” is one thing, and being the object of racist or homophobic or xenophobic or classist or sexist taunting is another. It’s a subtle point, but it’s a real one.

  38. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    What part of his comedy routine is to be construed as an endorsement of violence against women?

    LOLwhut? You didn’t watch the vid, apparently, but you’re so totally sure that bigotry is totally cool , that you just assume there’s nothing in there blatantly mocking violence against women? So, just more bitcthez ain’t shit, couched in “no one has the right not to be offended” .

    You’re not just a whiny ass troll, you’re really bad at it too.

    And you compare me calling you a whiny ass troll with bigotry aginst entire groups of people.

    Are you, by any chance, very new to this whole logic thing?

  39. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Eh, Lee either knows the egregious problem with his crap argument and is just trolling, or he actually can’t tell the difference between “being offended” and “being the target for bigotry”.

    Chances of him being a straight white dudebro without the slightest clue are rapidly approaching 100%.

  40. Spartan says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter @408

    I once had someone defend those Hicks monologues to me by explaining that he had a fiancée whom he loved very much.

    I have to question whether there’s anything that needs defending. Do you have any evidence of Hicks being what you find to be misogynistic when he wasn’t obviously in comedian mode? I’m not aware of him making statements to that effect when he was being serious. Do you believe that most comedians are really stating what they personally believe when they are on-stage? Goatboy is really Bill? As mentioned above, aren’t they somewhat playing a character? Jack Nicholson refers to Nurse Ratched as a ‘cunt’ I believe in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest'; does that reflect negatively on Nicholson? If so, why aren’t the racists depicted in ‘Roots’ and ‘American History X’ also problematic?

    But also because I’d love to see the internet’s feminists descend upon him in a Twitter storm for some of his crap.

    That would be great, he definitely died before his time. Although I think on this specific topic the ‘internet’s feminists’ would get their hats handed to them.

  41. A. Noyd says

    The thing Lee isn’t getting is that the offended people in the linked post were not members of the group offending them. They were religious Muslims getting upset at having their beliefs mocked and their special religious rules ignored by a group of atheists. It’s absurd to expect a group to be attractive to people whose philosophy is in opposition to that of the group.

    To pretend that the situation in the linked post is in any way analogous to what’s happening here, one has to assume that women are inherently outsiders to atheism–that something about being a woman is in opposition to being an atheist. One also has to assume that offending someone on the basis of their beliefs is equivalent to offending someone on the basis of a characteristic they have no control over (gender, race, sexual orientation, age, etc.).

    It’s not about whether or not someone has the right not to be offended but whether or not it’s a smart move to alienate people who are part of a group on the basis of something that should be irrelevant to their participation within that group.

  42. says

    Spartan

    . Do you believe that most comedians are really stating what they personally believe when they are on-stage? Goatboy is really Bill? As mentioned above, aren’t they somewhat playing a character? Jack Nicholson refers to Nurse Ratched as a ‘cunt’ I believe in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’; does that reflect negatively on Nicholson?

    OK, two things, explained once again (because we’ve been through this before):
    1) Playing a character is one thing. People who play a character are usually making clear that this is a made-up persona. It’s pretty clear in film and theatre. On stage you usually use props, names, voice etc to distance yourself from the character. And this only works when it’s clear that the laughter is intended to be about the jerk portrayed, nou about the people he hates.

    2) If not playing the character, whether the person actually holds those views or not personally is absolutely irrelevant. They’re perpetrating them, reinforcing them, making them acceptable.

    ++++
    Well, looks like lee is doing the “my freedom of speech but not your freedom to talk back” routine.
    Here’s it in short, lee: Although all views are equally legal, it doesn’t mean they’re equally worthy, humanist, enlightened etc.
    Jeffrey’s views are toxic, they hurt women in real life, I’m actually wondering if they’re bothering to put up a trigger warning: Portrays violence against women as funny, displays great pleasure at the thought of women being in pain during sex.

  43. says

    Spartan:

    Do you have any evidence of Hicks being what you find to be misogynistic when he wasn’t obviously in comedian mode?

    What fucking difference does it make? He still propagated misogynist concepts like “chicks dig jerks,” regardless of what his intent was. Which, as we should all fucking know by know, isn’t magic.

    As mentioned above, aren’t they somewhat playing a character?

    Fuck’s sake, did you read the thread? Because this nuance has been discussed.

    Although I think on this specific topic the ‘internet’s feminists’ would get their hats handed to them.

    Let me guess, you’re the sort of dudebro who also thought that Joe Rogan “pwned” Lydia Lunch, whose shit he’s not fit to eat the corn out of.

  44. Jordon says

    PZ… I’m disappointed. I watched this video, and I thought parts were funny (the beginning where he points out that it is percieved as men’s fault when we can’t get and erection AND when we can’t get a woman wet is pretty funny), and other parts were just yelling and swearing. At no point did I find it in bad taste. Mediocre comedy, but not bad taste.

    But, I figured, I’m a man, maybe I just don’t get what is insuling. Maybe I’m just conditioned by the patriarchy to find this funny. So I showed this to several of my female friends (all of whom identify as feminists, and pretty hardcore ones at that), and asked them if this was insulting. All of them said “yes… if that’s how he truly felt, but since it’s stand up comedy, and comedy involves making fun of others, and not being serious, and since we are grown women who don’t need PZ Myers to be the feminist police for us, no, we are not offended”.

    See, the thing is PZ, you need to stop treating women like delicate flowers who might break down and cry everytime somebody says the C word. Or points out some of the funny and interesting differences between our two genders.

    I don’t see you posting videos of female comediennes who make fun of men for farting/being lazy/being shitty at getting groceries/being insensitive and selfish in bed/etc. Why? Because you’re sexist. You don’t think men need protection, because you rightly assume that we are adults that can handle jokes at our expense made by stand up comedians.

    Thing is, you don’t make that assumption about women. You assume they are weak and need big strong PZ to come to their defence on the internet.

    You think this guy hates women? I doubt it. He is generating laughs by being over the top in his objectification of women, and pointing out a genuine hypocrisy concerning sex. He is also failing to generate laughs because some of his jokes just aren’t funny.

    We certainly don’t live in a fully equal world yet, but when we do, WE’LL STILL BE MAKING FUN OF EACHOTHER. Stop with this horrible one-sided political correctness. I expected better from you PZ.

  45. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    omG! jordon knows some chicks! Some FEMINIST chicks even! And he’s really really mad at PZ – who didn’t write the piece and doesn’t own this blog – for not agreeing that it’s totally funny!

    Argument over, silly broads. Dude has spoken….. to the wrong person on the wrong blog . . ..

  46. Jordon says

    I just posted, but I’d like to add one thing. The part of “men like it when women look like they’re in a bit of pain” could be construed as sexist. If there’s any part that made me uncomfortable, it’s that.

    That having been said, many people (men and women), enjoy the rape fantasy. It can be an incredibly dangerous fantasy, but for most, it’s delt with through roleplay, and is therefore totally fine. Yes it does stem from one partner wanting to dominate the other, and in most cases it is the male doing the dominating. But that is not inherently wrong so long as it’s mutual.

    You all know how evolution works. Unfortunately it has programmed into men an excessive amount of aggression, some of it sexual, and programmed into women a certain amount of desire for dominant men (to the point that some have rape fantasies). This results in sexual desires that can be construed as sexist, but as long as they are delt with safely and consentually, there is no problem.

    Still, it’s such a touchy subject that it probably shouldn’t have been joked about.

  47. kerfluffle says

    Hi, I’m a 46 year-old woman who is probably of average intelligence.

    After watching the clip and reading all the comments, I get the message. i.e. that I can fuck right off if I’m going to get between the secular crowd and their fun of telling me, a woman, to fuck right off. Not exactly a win/win.

    To all of you who are fighting this message, thanks. It’s filthy exhausting work and it never fucking ends. While I deeply appreciate the bloggers who are pushing back, it’s the commenters who keep me involved. Sometimes, you just need a little proof that humanism is alive and well.

  48. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Not only does jordon know some chicks, he also loves him some evo psych. And talks down to women as if he’s saying something they’ve never never heard before. Twice the pointlessness, half the logic!

  49. Jordon says

    Oops!

    I saw this through a link on PZ’s blog. And the layout is the same. So I thought it was his. I owe PZ an apology.

    My criticisms still apply, however. Just not to PZ.

  50. Jordon says

    Also, @Illuminata, how was I talking down to women? I wasn’t addressing women, I was addressing everyone with that evo psych related post. If you felt like I was talking down to you, perhaps I was, but I assure you, I’m talking down to everyone who disagrees with me, regardless of gender.

  51. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Which you should really not do when you’re suffering from a terminal case of Dunning-Kruger, diddums. Run along now.

  52. Pteryxx says

    Seriously, dude, more than “several” women *in these comments* have spoken up and said they don’t accept this crap. Your personal sample size doesn’t justify assuming there’s no problem here.

    Rape fantasies: until the problem of, y’know, around 25% of women ACTUALLY BEING RAPED gets dealt with, along with the victim-blaming-and-shaming, then rape jokes don’t get the luxury of being presumed to refer to consensual fantasy. There’s too many folks in the audience for whom it wasn’t any frickin’ fantasy.

  53. Jordon says

    Good idea. Ignore my arguments, and instead just dismiss me as stupid and unaware of it.

    That was sarcasm.

    I’m telling you because you didn’t recognize it last time.

  54. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Good idea, get more condescending and whiny. That will totally make people respect your ignorant argument, useless posturing and content-free gibberish.

    You criticism isn’t good enough to wipe one’s ass with. Learn about a topic before you talk about it. Until then, run along. the kiddie pool in on the right.

  55. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Pteryxx – don’t be silly. Women that Jordon doesn’t know and who clearly don’t agree with his ignorant gibberish, don’t exist. C’mon now! ;)

  56. you_monster says

    Rape fantasies: until the problem of, y’know, around 25% of women ACTUALLY BEING RAPED gets dealt with, along with the victim-blaming-and-shaming, then rape jokes don’t get the luxury of being presumed to refer to consensual fantasy. There’s too many folks in the audience for whom it wasn’t any frickin’ fantasy.

    This. Plus, Jeffries gave no hints that he was talking about someone who enjoys being sexually dominated or who enjoys pain/gagging… ect. No, Jeffries was not talking about enjoying BDSM and powerplay. He just likes to joke about hurting women without any reference to their desires.

    Just like with all the other misogynistic messages in his schtick, if he actually is mocking the views he is espousing* he is failing spectacularly at it.

    Also, intent isn’t magic (I think I’ll just append this to every post, because no matter how many times it is said, ignorant fuckwits still miss the point)

    *and no one but the slimy trolls are arguing that he is lampooning sexism, as opposed to contributing to it.

  57. you_monster says

    But, I figured, I’m a man, maybe I just don’t get what is insuling. Maybe I’m just conditioned by the patriarchy to find this funny. So I showed this to several of my female friends (all of whom identify as feminists, and pretty hardcore ones at that), and asked them if this was insulting. All of them said “yes… if that’s how he truly felt, but since it’s stand up comedy, and comedy involves making fun of others, and not being serious, and since we are grown women who don’t need PZ Myers to be the feminist police for us, no, we are not offended”.

    Also, I call bullshit on this exchange that Jordon claims he had. I could be wrong, but this sounds so fucking fake. If those feminist friends of yours actually exist, and actually do think “all comedy is fake so it doesn’t matter how misogynistic the message, because it is all fake” then they, like you, do not understand that intent isn’t magic. If many people take your message to be bigoted, then you have a responsibility in making you message more clear.

    Even if I don’t mean to make a prejudiced statement, some joke that I take to be benign could be contributing in substantial ways to the oppression of one group or another. People who are not complete pieces of shit take criticism on board, and make it clear that that wasn’t the intent, AND (this is the important part) change their behavior so as to not continue contributing to bigotry.

  58. says

    I know, Ophelia, your post talked about how no one has the right to not be offended (people who don’t like music, for example). I agree with that position. Name-calling, suggestive language, etc., all of these are “offensive” things to say. I can even grant that Jefferies act was probably “offensive” to you.

    SO WHAT?

    “Being “offended” is one thing, and being the object of racist or homophobic or xenophobic or classist or sexist taunting is another. It’s a subtle point, but it’s a real one.”

    Those are just substitute words for “offensive”, categories within the rubric.

    I don’t appreciate when someone talks about white guys as weak, cowardly, nerdy, gangly, mostly dickish, clueless about women, oversexed, lazy, ugly, rude, impotent past 40, racist, etc.. It’s all offensive. Much of it is sexist, racist, and/or xenophobic. Having served in the Marines and traveled the world, I got the anti-American sentiment in more languages than I can recall, most of it stereotypical nonsense only embodied by the worst of the bunch. I don’t appreciate it, and I will strive to convince them that such judgements are unfair, but I will(and have) defend their right to offend me. This is not a subtle point, but a clear distinction. This is why the Westboro Baptist Church is still allowed to operate as it is.

    The whole idea behind skepticism, free-thought, secularism, is to break free of dogmatic authoritarianism of speech, NOT to enact or enforce our own private prejudices. This is why we can denigrate religion, question authority, criticize politicians and social norms, etc., free from the constraints of any one authority. The limitations extend only to incitement to violence and slander of character; mere offense is insufficient grounds for action.

    It is very important that we not demand privileges for ourselves that we do not grant to others. If your only point was that you are offended, then I have wasted my time and I apologize to all of you good people. If, however, you are making the further point that speech that offends you should somehow be excluded, I must sincerely disagree and point to your reaction to the Muslim cartoon non-troversy.

    I’ve expressed my point, whether it is made is up to ya’ll to decide. Thank you for the opportunity to disagree, Ophelia.

    Lee.

  59. Chiroptera says

    Jordan #450: You assume they are weak and need big strong PZ to come to their defence on the internet.

    Do you think that no one at all should ever express solidarity with anyone at all because it makes the victim appear weak and delicate? Or is it just when people express solidarity on issues you disagree with?

    I don’t see you posting videos of female comediennes who make fun of men for farting/being lazy/being shitty at getting groceries/being insensitive and selfish in bed/etc. Why? Because you’re sexist. You don’t think men need protection, because you rightly assume that we are adults that can handle jokes at our expense made by stand up comedians.

    Actually, it’s because those things are not the same at all. If you really can’t see that then I think I see a big source of your problem here.

  60. Jordon says

    “Rape fantasies: until the problem of, y’know, around 25% of women ACTUALLY BEING RAPED gets dealt with, along with the victim-blaming-and-shaming, then rape jokes don’t get the luxury of being presumed to refer to consensual fantasy. There’s too many folks in the audience for whom it wasn’t any frickin’ fantasy.”

    I know, that’s why I said that that was the one part of the comedic routine that I was uncomfortable with. Hence why I ended my comment with “shouldn’t be joked about”.

    And @Illuminata, I’m reasonably sure that telling me to “run along”, and “the kiddie pool is on the left” beats me in the condescending department.

    Another poster commented that my sample size (asking three of my feminist friends) was not sufficient to make any presumptions about women’s opinions on this particular video. That is true. I certainly don’t claim to know how all women will feel. However, commenters on this particular blog will also fall into a particular subset, making this an inaccurate sample population too. So, let us then leave the popular sentiments of women aside, as nobody can know unless a proper study is done.

    What I can say, is that, despite this comedians mediocre humour, and over the top crassness (and the “make it look like youre in pain” bit, which I do think is offensive), I can’t find anything to complain about.

    It’s stand up comedy. People objectify and insult others, both as individuals, and as groups. Partly this is done to lampoon racism and sexism itself, and partly it’s not. I am aware that most here believe that intent is irrelevant. Saying that doesn’t make it so.

    I think intent must be taken into account. I think that as long as we are condemning a person for being crass, or jokingly objectifying a group, we are failing to truly get past the underlying issues.

    Getting angry at a stand up comedy routine, and trying to shove political correctness (particularly PC with a double standard) down everyones throats is not helpful.

    As I said before, in a truly post-gender society (not that I’m saying we are one), there will still be jokes at other individuals’, and other groups’, expense.

  61. julian says

    Maybe you should consider that seeing no problem with offending muslims is inconsistent with waxing indignant when another group is offended. -lee

    Maybe you should consider the difference between competing views on the existence of gods and the differences between genders.

    Atheists believe the very foundation of Islam is wrong. Islam believes all who deny God are an affront to Him. It is impossible for a Muslim to walk into an atheist discussion on religion and not be offended. After all, the Muslim’s religion demands they be offended. And the atheist cannot honestly represent their views without denying the validity of the Koran (and thus offending the Muslim.)

    In other words, when your beliefs are in opposition to another’s, there will be hostility even if the hostility is limited only to less than reverent words about the opposing view point. It is expected and impossible to avoid. Do you expect a liberal group to be welcoming towards conservatives the way the Muslim students demanded the secularist group be of them?

    I would hope not as then it would no longer be a secularist group. They would have turned away from their dedication to secularism and embraced religious rule and authority in government.

    So now, please, answer the question already asked of you. How would being less hostile towards women result in a lessening of atheism?

  62. says

    Jordon:

    Ignore my arguments, and instead just dismiss me as stupid and unaware of it.

    Works for me.

    you_monster: I call bullshit as well. And note it’s always “my feminist friends.” No self-respecting actual feminist (versus, you know, someone who claims to be a feminist but spouts a lot of internalized misogyny) would hang out with a clueless d00d like Jordon.

    Lee:

    Those are just substitute words for “offensive”, categories within the rubric.

    No, actually, Lee, there’s more than “offense” at stake. But since it doesn’t affect you, I don’t expect you to bother to learn about it, let alone give a shit about it.

    It is very important that we not demand privileges for ourselves that we do not grant to others.

    Oh, the irony.

  63. sw says

    The video was far easier to watch then a lot of these comments are to read. If Jefferies was actually being serious, then yes, it would have been incredibly misogynistic. I don’t see how anyone could think this was the case.

  64. julian says

    I don’t appreciate it, and I will strive to convince them that such judgements are unfair, but I will(and have) defend their right to offend me. -Lee

    This would be valid if we were discussing some form of government censorship but we’re talking about voicing disdain for certain actions and views. That’s our right and our moral obligation when we find something repugnant or see it as encouraging some form of harm to others. How else would you suggest we behave? By remaining silent? Even when we’re being insulted or demeaned?

    That seems to be what you’re arguing as you go on to say “you are making the further point that speech that offends you should somehow be excluded, I must sincerely disagree”. Of course she’s trying to exclude speech that she finds demeaning or hostile towards her. All members of a group will because we wish the group to be welcoming towards us.

    If a future employer of mine begins everyday by insisting that Hispanics should all be shipped back to Mexico I will complain and I will insist that speech be removed from the workplace. Do you recognize that as my right and imperative? Why deny the same right to Ophelia Benson?

  65. Chiroptera says

    Jordan, #467: It’s stand up comedy.

    Actually, it’s the organizers of an event making a gaffe that made a significant number of the participants of the event, men as well as women, uncomfortable, offended, and wondering whether their opinions and contributions are truly valued.

    Even setting aside the question of whether misogynistic jokes are even appropriate to begin with, you’d think that the organizers of an event whose intention is to promote the solidarity of the group would be more careful to not to provoke this kind of disunity — especially since the issue of women feeling welcome in the atheist/skeptic movement has been extensively discussed for a while now.

  66. Chiroptera says

    sw, #471: The video was far easier to watch then a lot of these comments are to read.

    Actually, I’m finding the comments a lot of fun. Especially the ones from those defending Jefferies; I’m almost always amused to see people flaunt their lack of reasoning ability.

  67. sw says

    There is a lack of reasoning on both sides. But to say things like “Jefferies hates women” is silly. Everyone I know who finds Jefferies funny does so because they think he is being ironic when he does bits like this.
    Whether or not he’s funny is, of course, entirely subjective. But to think that he’s putting forward these ideas earnestly is a ludicrous as watching Hannibal and thinking that Anthony Hopkins actually eats people.

  68. Chiroptera says

    sw, #475:

    But to think that he’s putting forward these ideas earnestly is a ludicrous as watching Hannibal and thinking that Anthony Hopkins actually eats people.

    How do you know that Anthony Hopkins doesn’t eat people?

    I ask this question because people have already discussed this point, and it’s possible that your answer to the Hopkins question may not actually apply to the Jefferies question.

  69. sw says

    I cannot know for sure that Jefferies does not actually believe what he is saying (and I also can’t be certain Anthony Hopkins isn’t a cannibal). I suspect he doesn’t actually mean what he is saying based on the fact that he is a stand up comedian. If I overheard someone saying these things to his friend at the pub, and no one was laughing, I might assume that he was being serious. But given that he is on stage with people laughing at him, I take it with a grain of salt. And since everyone who finds him funny seems to not think he is being serious, I would say either he knows his target audience well. The alternative is that he has built an entire career in comedy out of being lucky enough to be a bigot that everyone laughing at mistakenly thinks is being ironic. And lucky enough to pause in the right places for everyone to laugh without wondering “why is everyone laughing?”. When he says
    “A dry hole is an impotent hole and you’re not a complete woman and you should be ashamed of yourself”
    do you actually think he means that?

  70. says

    “If a future employer of mine begins everyday by insisting that Hispanics should all be shipped back to Mexico I will complain and I will insist that speech be removed from the workplace. Do you recognize that as my right and imperative? Why deny the same right to Ophelia Benson?”

    But you aren’t allowed to bad-mouth religion in the workplace either, are you? This analogy, though clever (it made me think!), doesn’t seem to be parallel.

    It just seems to me that if we are going to assert our right to offend muslims and christians, we can’t in good conscience then say that this other group is somehow off-limits. If you have some reasonable argument for why one is acceptable and the other is not, I’m all ears! I’d love to eradicate racism, sexism, bigotry, but I can’t justifiably do so without giving up what I consider to be essential freedoms. We can’t have our cake and eat it too.

    “an event whose intention is to promote the solidarity of the group”

    Yeah…I don’t think that should be the intention of a Global Atheist Convention, so perhaps that is where our disagreement lies.

    Lee.

  71. says

    “No, actually, Lee, there’s more than “offense” at stake. But since it doesn’t affect you, I don’t expect you to bother to learn about it, let alone give a shit about it.”

    Very noble of you to assume that I won’t care about something like this. Also, false.

    The actual article is behind a paywall, but if that is true the game is changed. Do they measure the effects of humor on future action? or do they, as the abstract appeared to indicate, simply measure self-reported “rape proclivity” against reactions to sexist humor? That is to say, are they confirming an affect, or a correlation?

    I’ll read the article if you can obtain a copy. Please don’t mistake my position for one advocating actual violence against other individuals. I’m simply referring to offensive speech itself, so if it verifiably results in an uptick of violence, I think it should qualify as incitement under the law.

    Thanks,

    Lee.

  72. wesa says

    Another poster commented that my sample size (asking three of my feminist friends) was not sufficient to make any presumptions about women’s opinions on this particular video. That is true. I certainly don’t claim to know how all women will feel. However, commenters on this particular blog will also fall into a particular subset, making this an inaccurate sample population too. So, let us then leave the popular sentiments of women aside, as nobody can know unless a proper study is done.

    Nice. In a discussion about whether something is offensive to women we should just disregard what the women think about it.

    Unless the manly men decide to do a proper study (the wimminz can’t do it, with all their emotions and biases and shit), then maybe we can accept a select few female opinions. But they will have to be the proper ones.

  73. you_monster says

    I cannot know for sure that Jefferies does not actually believe what he is saying (and I also can’t be certain Anthony Hopkins isn’t a cannibal). I suspect he doesn’t actually mean what he is saying based on the fact that he is a stand up comedian.

    Jim is a comedian, therefore his act cannot be based on anything he actually believes? Sorry, that doesn’t follow. There are plenty of sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic… comedians out there.

    If I overheard someone saying these things to his friend at the pub, and no one was laughing, I might assume that he was being serious.

    You might assume xe is serious? Are you fucking kidding me? How hard is it to assume that in a sexist culture, when someone makes a sexist comment, they are being serious? Your privilege is coloring your perspective quite a bit. Since sexism is so ubiquitous, it is quite unskeptical to doubt that a random sexist comment is not fitting with the sexist norm.

    But given that he is on stage with people laughing at him, I take it with a grain of salt.

    Is everyone laughing at him? Or are they laughing along with him? Seriously, think about that question. Are you so sure that every prima facia racist comedy act is actually satirizing racists? What reason do you have to think that all these comedians using racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic … slurs are actually being pro-equality activists? When comedians are lampooning bigotry it is usually obvious. What tells are you picking up on that makes you think Jim is pro-feminist?

    And since everyone who finds him funny seems to not think he is being serious, I would say either he knows his target audience well. The alternative is that he has built an entire career in comedy out of being lucky enough to be a bigot that everyone laughing at mistakenly thinks is being ironic. And lucky enough to pause in the right places for everyone to laugh without wondering “why is everyone laughing?”.

    There is another option, your premise is false. It is not the case that everyone who enjoys his misogynistic humor finds it funny because they see it as a lampooning of the toxic views “his character” is presenting. Some sexists think over-the-top extreme women hating, like for instance Jim saying that women are just a “container for my cum”, is quite intertwining. You do get that right? Racists find humor that puts down minorities funny. Sexists find “get back in the kitchen and make e a sammich” jokes funny. Also, privileged idiots who don’t understand that intent isn’t magic find bigotry-based humor funny.

    Culture is sexist, and you are surprised that a comedian can be popular saying sexist shit? Huh?

    When he says
    “A dry hole is an impotent hole and you’re not a complete woman and you should be ashamed of yourself”
    do you actually think he means that?

    Sorry, but the fact that someone says something extremely misogynistic is not evidence that they are not doing/saying something misogynistic.

    Once sexism is not the norm, then I may interpret some instances of over-the-top sexism as obviously a joke. Until then, sexism will be assumed to be sexism, since that is the norm.

    And, again, INTENT IS NOT MAGIC, you privileged ignoramuses. Regardless of if this comedian’s act reflected his personal sexist views, the fact that many women find his schtick offensive and demeaning shows that he was not clear enough that he was mocking bigotry.

  74. you_monster says

    me,

    Some sexists think over-the-top extreme women hating, like for instance Jim saying that women are just a “container for my cum”, is quite intertwining entertaining.

    not sure how I typed “intertwining”.

    But, those who make over-the-top misogynistic jokes, whether they are coming from a sincere belief, or just because you think bigotry is funny, feel free to intertwine a dead porcupine with your large intestine.

    I shouldn’t have to say this, but there is a difference in using slurs to do actual satire. I have no problem with Colbert’s women-hating character. He makes it absolutely clear that he is doing satire. Satire = good. Bigoted jokes where it is unclear whether you are supporting bigotry or mocking it = bad.

    Jim Jeffries act = very unclear that it is mocking bigotry = bad.

  75. echidna says

    <But given that he is on stage with people laughing at him, I take it with a grain of salt.

    At workplaces I know well: the blokes laughed too when the foreman gave the 16-year old female apprentice stuff that was too heavy to carry. They laughed when they locked apprentices (male) in boilers. People laugh at gratuitous displays of power, taking advantage of vulnerable people.

    People laughing does not make it ok. There were plenty of people in the audience who were horrified. I don’t care how many people thought it was funny – this was meant to be the evening to welcome people to the GAC. A lot of effort had gone into the gender balance of the speakers to show that women are welcome in the atheist movement.

    Jefferies undid a lot of that effort.

  76. says

    It just seems to me that if we are going to assert our right to offend muslims and christians, we can’t in good conscience then say that this other group is somehow off-limits. If you have some reasonable argument for why one is acceptable and the other is not, I’m all ears!

    I’m not asserting that. I don’t (for instance) assert my right to call Muslims nasty epithets. I don’t assert any blanket right to offend people; I say that sometimes people claim to be “offended” for bad reasons, and we shouldn’t obey their demands to shut up.

    The UCL and LSE ASH groups weren’t using their Facebook pages to call Muslims and Christians nasty names; that wasn’t the issue. The issue, according to the student union, was that a Jesus and Mo panel was a bar to entry for Muslims. That’s a completely different kind of thing. It would be just as stupid (and wrong) for an atheist group to claim that a picture of Jesus on a Christian Facebook page was a bar to entry for them.

  77. says

    Backing up a little (I’ve been offline most of the day). Lee @ 465 –

    I know, Ophelia, your post talked about how no one has the right to not be offended (people who don’t like music, for example). I agree with that position. Name-calling, suggestive language, etc., all of these are “offensive” things to say. I can even grant that Jefferies act was probably “offensive” to you.

    No, that’s not my view. I don’t think it’s true that no one has the right to not be offended; it’s not as simple as that. I do think no one has the right to not be offended by ideas; epithets are a different category.

    Having served in the Marines and traveled the world, I got the anti-American sentiment in more languages than I can recall, most of it stereotypical nonsense only embodied by the worst of the bunch. I don’t appreciate it, and I will strive to convince them that such judgements are unfair, but I will(and have) defend their right to offend me. This is not a subtle point, but a clear distinction. This is why the Westboro Baptist Church is still allowed to operate as it is.

    Yes but that’s not the issue. The issue is having Jim Jefferies perform at the Global Atheist Convention. Should the GAC have had Westboro Baptist Church perform?

    I’m not calling for Jim Jefferies to be prevented. I’m saying the GAC shouldn’t have had him perform. There’s a big difference.

  78. says

    To repeat my previous, parody that is indistinguishable from reality is FAILED parody.

    There’s nothing in what he said that couldn’t be said right now in all seriousness by an unfortunately large number of men and some women. “A dry hole is an impotent hole and you’re not a complete woman and you should be ashamed of yourself” – no, sorry, labelling and shaming a woman as frigid is quite normal. It’s happened to many of us. There’s nothing unusual about that, that would be a tip that it’s not meant. (Sadly.)

  79. NateHevens says

    Oh my. There’s a lot I want to comment on… *whistles*

    WARNING: This is going to be a long post. Possibly TL;DR. I apologize in advance, but this thread can move very quickly… too quickly, sometimes… :D

    So let’s start…

    lee @ #428

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/02/open-to-all-does-not-mean-pleasing-to-all/

    I’ll just leave this here.

    Thanks.

    I don’t get it. What’s the connection?

    Ms. Daisy Cutter @ #436

    No, it was a woman.

    *audible sigh of relief*

    Fwhew… I was worried for a second… :D

    Also, the personal history there is really, really sad. It’s good to know, I guess, that he was good to the women he dated, but I don’t think it made up for his reinforcement of cultural misogyny. As LeftSidePositive is saying, these are two sides of the same coin.

    Seeing it in this way, you’re right, it is kind of sad.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to feel furious and vengeful after someone you care for very much has been seriously and intentionally hurt. Might not be right to act on it, at least in all cases, but unlike some on FTB, I’m not a pacifist, and I don’t apologize for having a violent imagination.

    I can’t say why Bill would get like that.

    For me, in the tragedy with my best friend’s girlfriend, those bats were how we managed to stop it and save her… and the gang had guns, so we had to move relatively fast to make sure they had no chance of shooting us. I’m really not a violent person. I’m against the death penalty, and all of that. Plus, I hate war, in general. But on that night… none of that mattered.

    Re George Carlin: I really like his earliest stuff the best, especially how uncannily he imitated everyday voices and comments. I realize his later stuff was much more politically challenging. Some of his bitterness would have been mitigated, I suspect, if he’d continued to smoke pot, but after a few heart attacks that probably wouldn’t have been all that smart.

    Perhaps. But I do wonder if some of that bitterness was intentional. He did give the occasional indication that it was his character as opposed to himself, but I also couldn’t say for sure. I love George’s later stuff. His monologues Bullshit and There is No God are absolutely brilliant.

    Louis CK is pretty pro-feminist IMO. Also Wanda Sykes, as Pteryxx has noted, and the lesbian comedian Kate Clinton.

    I actually saw Wanda Sykes’ “Sick and Tired” last night. It was incredible.

    I always try to watch Louis CK’s stand up, but I get bored. Perhaps its because every time I turn him on, he’s talking about dicks or how he’s going bald or how he’s fat. It’s like… “yeah… I’ve heard all that before”. People always tell me about his social commentary, political commentary, and religious commentary, but I always somehow seem to miss it…

    Spartan @ #446

    I have to question whether there’s anything that needs defending. Do you have any evidence of Hicks being what you find to be misogynistic when he wasn’t obviously in comedian mode? I’m not aware of him making statements to that effect when he was being serious. Do you believe that most comedians are really stating what they personally believe when they are on-stage? Goatboy is really Bill? As mentioned above, aren’t they somewhat playing a character?

    Hm… let me see… so we aren’t supposed to take comedians seriously? So then Jon Stewart isn’t being serious on the Daily Show? The rage Jon is expressing through his comedy is meant to be fake, and he’s actually okay with all the shit he rails against?

    When Bill Hicks talks about his good times on drugs, his opinions on the War on Drugs, on George Bush, on the Middle East, and smoking, and so on, that’s just a character and Bill doesn’t actually think any of that? He’s really a Young-Earth Creationist Conservative Christian who was making fun of people who think like that?

    Because if that’s the way you think, then you obviously don’t understand the purpose of the court jester. It was a well-known fact that, during the days of supreme Monarchy, the court jester was the only person who could tell the truth and even make fun of the king… because it was “just comedy”.

    Comedy is perhaps the purest form of truth you could ever hear. Comedians may be inventing characters, but the vast majority are not inventing characters… they’re using real life examples and expressing their opinions in such a way as to make people laugh.

    Bill himself said he used his comedy to make people think, that this was his whole point. So when he expressed views like “Chicks Digs Jerks” and how Debbie Gibson was a worse artist than Jimi Hendrix because she didn’t have a dick, and then his ensuing fantasy where Jimi basically rapes Debbie, and Goat Boy, they were taken by just about everyone who heard him at face value, because he even said that’s how his stuff was supposed to be taken. That’s what makes those parts of his comedy so bad. It seems obvious (even if it wasn’t his intention) that he did not have a very high opinion of women.

    That would be great, he definitely died before his time. Although I think on this specific topic the ‘internet’s feminists’ would get their hats handed to them.

    I disagree. I think the “internet’s feminists” would, in fact, win the debate. And I would hope that Bill would be clear-headed enough to hear the criticisms and take then to heart and even change his comedy in order to address the criticisms. I can’t say he would, but the fan of his still in me would like to think so.

    Jordon @ #450
    Since you have acknowledged that you made a mistake and addressed the wrong blog-owner, I will ignore that.

    But, I figured, I’m a man, maybe I just don’t get what is insuling. Maybe I’m just conditioned by the patriarchy to find this funny.

    Funny. I’m a white, straight man, and I saw what the problem was…

    So I showed this to several of my female friends (all of whom identify as feminists, and pretty hardcore ones at that), and asked them if this was insulting. All of them said “yes… if that’s how he truly felt, but since it’s stand up comedy, and comedy involves making fun of others, and not being serious, and since we are grown women who don’t need PZ Myers to be the feminist police for us, no, we are not offended”.

    Than your friends have a very poor understanding of the concept of the court jester.

    I don’t see you posting videos of female comediennes who make fun of men for farting/being lazy/being shitty at getting groceries/being insensitive and selfish in bed/etc. Why? Because you’re sexist. You don’t think men need protection, because you rightly assume that we are adults that can handle jokes at our expense made by stand up comedians.

    No.

    There is a crucial difference. Men are privileged. Women are decidedly not so.

    Jordon @ #453

    The part of “men like it when women look like they’re in a bit of pain” could be construed as sexist. If there’s any part that made me uncomfortable, it’s that.

    That having been said, many people (men and women), enjoy the rape fantasy. It can be an incredibly dangerous fantasy, but for most, it’s delt with through roleplay, and is therefore totally fine. Yes it does stem from one partner wanting to dominate the other, and in most cases it is the male doing the dominating. But that is not inherently wrong so long as it’s mutual.

    Except that there are a hell of a lot of women for whom it’s not a fantasy and, by definition, NOT MUTUAL!

    Still, it’s such a touchy subject that it probably shouldn’t have been joked about.

    Yup. Even I, somehow who generally eschews “lines” and has a general distaste for the whole idea of Political Correctness and people who preach tolerance (because tolerance is not real; there is only intolerance and acceptance), feel that rape should only be used if the commentary on it blasts the rapists and treats it as a very bad thing, which it is. If you’re going to display it as “fun” or “nonexistent” or even titillating, then you have no right to talk about it.

    Pteryxx @ #459

    Seriously, dude, more than “several” women *in these comments* have spoken up and said they don’t accept this crap. Your personal sample size doesn’t justify assuming there’s no problem here.

    Rape fantasies: until the problem of, y’know, around 25% of women ACTUALLY BEING RAPED gets dealt with, along with the victim-blaming-and-shaming, then rape jokes don’t get the luxury of being presumed to refer to consensual fantasy. There’s too many folks in the audience for whom it wasn’t any frickin’ fantasy.

    Exactly. The problem of very real rape needs to be dealt with. Joking about it being some kind of fantasy doesn’t do that.

    you_monster @ #463

    Also, intent isn’t magic

    I think it would be better to say that we aren’t mind readers. We can’t read a comedian’s mind to guess at their intent. They need to be clear and obvious on their intent. Once one understands the concept of the “court jester”, it becomes clear that comedy itself does not have an inherent intent.

    Lee @ #465

    Those are just substitute words for “offensive”, categories within the rubric.

    Actually, you’re right. But the idea that “no one has the right to not be offended” – one I actually agree with, by the way – does not make being a bigot okay.

    I don’t appreciate when someone talks about white guys as weak, cowardly, nerdy, gangly, mostly dickish, clueless about women, oversexed, lazy, ugly, rude, impotent past 40, racist, etc…

    Neither do I. Honestly. I’ve gotten so sick of commercials. It’s not just the misogynistic ones (beer commercials in general, Burger King’s old “I Am Man” commercial, the latest Dr. Pepper ads, etc)… some commercials replace it with a form of misandry. The “men are stupid, clumsy, worthless couch potatoes who do nothing but drink beer, watch football, and oggle other women even when their girlfriend is sitting right there” meme is tiring and pathetic.

    But there is a big difference. I’ve said it above, but I’ll say it again:

    Men are privileged. Women aren’t.

    The whole idea behind skepticism, free-thought, secularism, is to break free of dogmatic authoritarianism of speech, NOT to enact or enforce our own private prejudices. This is why we can denigrate religion, question authority, criticize politicians and social norms, etc., free from the constraints of any one authority. The limitations extend only to incitement to violence and slander of character; mere offense is insufficient grounds for action.

    You forgot a limitation: when it leads to the exclusion of a group; in this case, that group is women and their voices.

    It is very important that we not demand privileges for ourselves that we do not grant to others.

    But no one is. They’re simply asking to be given the same privileges everyone else has.

    Jordon @ #467

    I am aware that most here believe that intent is irrelevant. Saying that doesn’t make it so.

    Please point to where in this thread anyone has said that intent is irrelevant.

    No one did.

    The point that everyone’s trying to make is that intent is not obvious. Or, as you_monster put it, not magic. If intent is not clearly communicated (and it wasn’t in the video Ophelia posted), then it will most likely be taken at face value.

  80. you_monster says

    Re intent is not magic:

    Even if I knew his intent was noble, the fact that his message was so terrible at communicating this hypothetical noble intention is good reason to condemn it.

    Communication can fail. Like I said earlier, an attempt to lampoon bigotry could fail because the satire wasn’t clear. Even if you know the person making the joke is on the right side of the issue, you should still call that person out on making a joke that contributes to bigotry by nature of its satirical nature being unclear. Like NateHevens was saying, people cannot read minds. Real people will be harmed by attempts at satire that are unclear and that consequently reinforce cultural prejudice.

  81. sw says

    Jim is a comedian, therefore his act cannot be based on anything he actually believes? Sorry, that doesn’t follow. There are plenty of sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic… comedians out there.

    There are. I didn’t say his act *cannot* be based on anything he believes, just that “maybe he isn’t being serious” is a possibility for a stand up comedian.

    You might assume xe is serious? Are you fucking kidding me? How hard is it to assume that in a sexist culture, when someone makes a sexist comment, they are being serious? Your privilege is coloring your perspective quite a bit. Since sexism is so ubiquitous, it is quite unskeptical to doubt that a random sexist comment is not fitting with the sexist norm.

    OK, substitute “might” for “probably would”.

    Are you so sure that every prima facia racist comedy act is actually satirizing racists?

    Every one? No. Some of them? Definitely. Usually the way I tell the difference is thinking about why what he said should be funny.

    What reason do you have to think that all these comedians using racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic … slurs are actually being pro-equality activists? When comedians are lampooning bigotry it is usually obvious. What tells are you picking up on that makes you think Jim is pro-feminist?

    Because what I find funny about his act is the lampooning. If I thought he actually believed that shit I would be appalled. But the laughs he is getting, in my opinion, are because of the irony and satire, not because everyone is saying “hur hur hur, he said ‘cunt'”. If it were that easy to get laughs then anyone could do stand up comedy.

    Some sexists think over-the-top extreme women hating, like for instance Jim saying that women are just a “container for my cum”, is quite intertwining.

    So the irony goes over the heads of a few bigots, and they don’t get that he is making fun of them. Not ideal, but hardly the end of the world.

    Also, privileged idiots who don’t understand that intent isn’t magic find bigotry-based humor funny.

    Subtle. But yes, intent does matter.

    the fact that someone says something extremely misogynistic is not evidence that they are not doing/saying something misogynistic.

    So you think he is being serious when he says that? You don’t think that, just maybe, he could be being a little ironic?

  82. says

    “I’m not asserting that. I don’t (for instance) assert my right to call Muslims nasty epithets. I don’t assert any blanket right to offend people”

    As a point of fact, you do indeed assert that right. We all do. It’s not polite, or tactful, nor is it a “smart move” for fostering friendship or mutual understanding. Obviously I don’t recommend it, nor do I make it a habit. It’s downright rude and offensive, but it’s not illegal, for good reason.

    “I say that sometimes people claim to be “offended” for bad reasons, and we shouldn’t obey their demands to shut up.”

    I agree, of course, but our opinion doesn’t matter. We are not the judge and jury of what constitutes proper “offense” and what does not. ‘Reasons’ don’t really play a role, here, so far as I can tell. “Offensive” is rather an emotional or aesthetic judgement, subjective by nature, and therefore not amenable to simply saying “I reject your reasons for being offended”. The way I understood the ‘liberal society’ reaction to the Muslim outcry for retribution and censorship was that no one has the right to not be offended. Their misogyny and bigotry is permitted in a free and open society just as our criticism of it is permitted.

    We may just be talking past one another in regards the context of this discussion. I understand the GAC and events like it to be fostering this atmosphere, one of a free exchange of ideas and an exemplification of what the denial of theistic authority entails. I did not understand them to be a place where we institute our own groupthink, deeming some views and ideas acceptable and welcome while others are denied.

    This goes, I think, to a larger question of what these sorts of events should be “like” for attendees. Why don’t we have people like Dr. Thomas Szasz, who argues that mental illness is a myth? Why don’t we have Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Pastafarians, and the like, presenting the ideas that have come out of their traditions for which they can present arguments for? Why on earth should we close the door, metaphorically or actually, on any person? Every speaker, instead of reinforcing our preconceived notions, should challenge them.

    Jefferies comedy routine, though clearly offensive to quite a number of you, has spawned a vigorous debate. For my part, I’m glad he was there (though not, of course, if that research cited above indicates that the men listening will now do more raping). I did not attend, nor have I paid much attention, but it seems silly that the only speaker I have heard of who made a contribution, is the one person who you feel should not be invited back.

    He didn’t just blast epithets like a 2nd grader, he had a point. Was it a good one? No one is even discussing it. That, to me, is representative of a failure of a movement claiming to be “reasonable” and “rational”.

    Lee.

  83. says

    No I do not assert that right.

    I think you’re confusing legal right with moral right. I realize that it’s legal to call people by epithets, of course, but that’s not the issue here, so it’s beside the point.

    I disagree about judging reasons for being “offended,” too; I think we have to do exactly that. “So what?” is the right question to ask about some claims of being “offended,” but not all of them.

    You didn’t answer my question: do you think the GAC should have had Westboro Baptist speak? As for why we should close the door on any person, i.e. why the GAC should not just have everyone speak – surely the reasons are obvious: time is short, and they want to attract people as opposed to repelling them.

  84. julian says

    But you aren’t allowed to bad-mouth religion in the workplace either, are you? -Lee

    Because the workplace is meant to be open and welcoming to all employees. Similarly GAC (I assume) is meant to be welcoming to all atheists.

    It just seems to me that if we are going to assert our right to offend muslims and christians -Lee

    First of all, that’s a battle of ideas. We view Christianity with contempt and treat it accordingly. Christians interpret this contempt as an attack on themselves and take offense. We can’t help that. Like I said before it’s a natural part of exchanging ideas and view points. Some views are hostile to others by virtue of existing.

    And secondly, there’s an objective in mind when offending Muslims or Christians that can be said to serve the greater good; the secularization of society and the erosion of religious influence in the public sphere. Offense, mockery and ridicule are a tool used to accomplish those goals.

    The same cannot be said of racism, sexism, homophobic or transphobic speech. Unless that goal is to erode the influence those groups, I can’t see why you’d want to do that.

  85. Philip Legge says

    Hmm. Thinking about Ophelia’s question… if there’s not a good reason for denying the Westboro Baptists a voice at such a conference, then there should also be no reason to prevent the Islamic protestors, one of whom was carrying a sign saying “Message to INFIDEL Ayaan Ali Hirsi BURN IN HELL FOREVER”, from having a voice also. I mean, it’s not as if that’s a threat, or intimidation, or making Ms Ali feel unwelcome, now is it? Oh wait a minute.

  86. says

    “I think you’re confusing legal right with moral right. I realize that it’s legal to call people by epithets, of course, but that’s not the issue here, so it’s beside the point.”

    What’s morally right about offending Muslims in a way that is meaningful to Muslims? It harms them, clearly. Should they be grateful that you are deigning to point out the error of their ways? No. It’s morally wrong in either case, and this is why a deeper, fair principle must be appealed to. One that applies across all categories, and treats every person or group the same: No one has the right not to be offended. We aren’t right simply because the Muslims are wrong about Allah.

    “I think we have to do exactly that. “So what?” is the right question to ask about some claims of being “offended,” but not all of them.”

    I still don’t see a reasoned principle that can be applied fairly to one instance of offense rather than another. You were offended by Jefferies. Well, so what? You don’t have a right to not be offended.

    “You didn’t answer my question: do you think the GAC should have had Westboro Baptist speak?”

    I missed your question, my apologies.

    Short answer: yes. But this presupposes that my view of what the GAC should entail is the correct view. Given your reaction to Jefferies, I’m inclined to think that the organizers are closer to my view on this than yours.

    Long answer: Yes on principle, no on function; it’s unlikely to accomplish anything meaningful. I looked into the WBC, heard their fallacious arguments from their own mouths, and they have nothing reasonable to contribute. They just appeal to authority. Jefferies doesn’t do that, he actually has a message, a method of delivery that appeals to a broad audience, and a reasoned argument lurking in the post-3-minute-mark.

    “As for why we should close the door on any person, i.e. why the GAC should not just have everyone speak – surely the reasons are obvious: time is short, and they want to attract people as opposed to repelling them.”

    Yes. This part of your position is undeniably correct. As another commenter pointed out above, WBC and, perhaps, Jefferies do not make good speakers if the purpose is inclusion. Moreover, there is a straightforward question of “attraction” for the organizers. Perhaps if we went my route, no one would want to go because every speaker would make us uncomfortable. I don’t know, though I don’t attend because I prefer to hear views I disagree with, or which *gasp* hit me right in my sensibilities. But again, “an event whose intention is to promote the solidarity of the group” sounds like a reinforcement of in-group/out-group thinking, which was what I thought we, as humanists at the bare minimum, were attempting to strive against.

    If the primary goal of the GAC is to make atheists feel comfortable and desirous to go, it should get it’s tips from Disney. I hope that is not the primary goal.

  87. says

    “Offense, mockery and ridicule are a tool used to accomplish those goals.”

    Just as those same tools are used by Jefferies to both elicit laughter and make an unpopular point. A point that still has not even been mentioned.

  88. says

    You don’t think that, just maybe, he could be being a little ironic?

    Where is the evidence to suggest that?

    Seriously, if you think that the kind of shit that Jefferies says is in any way distinguishable from everyday reality, then you are in dire need of a wake-up call. I got my first “cobwebs in the dry hole” prude-shaming when I was 12 years old.

  89. Chris says

    Lee,

    The free exchange of ideas is not a panacea. You can’t ignore social power structures and pretend there is no discrimination in the world. If we were talking about banning comedians like Jim Jefferies you might have a point, but we’re not. There is nothing wrong with women wanting to go along to an atheist convention to discuss atheism, humanism, scepticism etc without being insulted as a gender. This sort of atmosphere actually inhibits the free exchange of ideas. (And while we’re at it, if a female comedian had done a routine even remotely equivalent we’d never hear the end of it.)

    As for your repeated attempts to bring this all back to offence, ‘no, it is, really’ is not an argument. This is simply a variation on the ‘just hurt feelings’ line so often used to justify dismissing complaints about misogyny. (And, ironically, highly reminiscent of the arguments used by the Cranston West prayer banner supporters – ignore the legitimate complaints and pretend it’s just about someone being offended.)

    Finally, the comparison with offending Muslims misses the point completely. Apart from the (fairly major) difference between disagreeing with a belief system and attacking a group of people, the Islamic groups which complained about the Jesus and Mo cartoons were wanting to say what other people could say and do within their own space – this is a debate among atheists about what is appropriate at an atheist convention.

  90. A. Noyd says

    Lee needs to quit pretending that “women are cum receptacles, har har har” is some kind of rare argument that will enrich our understanding of the world and make us more thoughtful people.

  91. says

    I still don’t see a reasoned principle that can be applied fairly to one instance of offense rather than another. You were offended by Jefferies. Well, so what? You don’t have a right to not be offended.

    I’ve already told you – I think twice now – that I’m not talking about being “offended” by Jefferies. I dislike that word and I try to avoid it.

  92. downtime says

    Those who thought Jefferies’s biggest crime at GAC was that he was unfunny should reserve some vitriol for Mikey Robins, who was execrable the first time he came on and drunk and boring the second time.

    And those who said the laughter for Jefferies was strained and embarrassed – from where I was sitting, the laughter got louder and longer as the night progressed through the four performers. Personally (and incidentally as a woman), I found Jefferies funny for the most part and his timing was better than Elton’s. (“I’m so glad to have Jesus in my life” – perfect delivery.)

    I did find two jokes unfunny: “I don’t fuck anything I respect” was a dumb, sexist throwaway line, which he followed up with “That’s a joke”, and cutting off his mother’s tit was just stupid. The dead baby schtick was horrible but funny in a religious context, which of course was his point. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to see that some of us found his routine, on the whole, funny because it was offensive. Stella Young’s long build-up to the “Fuck off” punchline was unfunny. She was otherwise hilarious and at times offensive in terms of the attitudes she (or her persona?) apparently perceives the rest of us have towards “cripples”.

    How someone couldn’t find the black humour in the gunned-down Iraqi story is beyond me. I see people looking deep to find a dyed-in-the-wool misogynist behind the on-stage performer, but for this particular punchline they stop at the surface?

  93. says

    “What do you see as the ‘unpopular point’ Jefferies is making?”

    The idea that men are to be responsible for their ability to perform (and held fully responsible for inability), while also being held responsible for motivating a female response (and held fully responsible for inability to do so). I think it is an interesting question, one we don’t often consider, but the truth of which we generally take for granted.

    Should men retain this responsibility? What burden, if any, should be held by women? Is it simply a function of biology, rather than culture, that gives rise and will sustain this view of the matter? Does anyone here disagree that this is the dominant view? Do any of the women here feel responsible for not responding in the way men feel such responsibility for their not responding?

    For myself, I view this as an opportunity to rise to the challenge, so to speak, but am I merely acting out the role of “real man” that society has assigned me?

    I think it’s an interesting question. Thoughts?

    Lee.

  94. sw says

    Where is the evidence to suggest that he is being ironic? Well, he is a stand-up comic, so clearly it’s at least possible. The joke is (in my opinion) mostly funny because it’s ironic. I guess it’s possible that he’s not being intentionally ironic, but if that’s the case he’s pretty lucky that it came across in a way that a large number of people seem to think it is irony. Everyone on here who likes the jokes seems to think he’s being ironic.

  95. Stacy says

    For fuck’s sake, Lee, that is not the point that anyone is taking issue with.

    But thanks for letting us know what you find important in all this.

    I think it’s an interesting question. Thoughts?

    I think it’s a boring one and seriously off-topic.

  96. says

    “I’ve already told you – I think twice now – that I’m not talking about being “offended” by Jefferies. I dislike that word and I try to avoid it.”

    You avoid it by using words like sexism, bigotry, misogyny, and other substitute words. That’s fine, it’s more precise, but it doesn’t sidestep the point I was making.

  97. says

    “I think it’s a boring one and seriously off-topic.”

    Easy, I was asked. Twice. I quoted the question. I know what the topic is, see the bottom of post 491 for context.

  98. A. Noyd says

    Chris (#499)

    There is nothing wrong with women wanting to go along to an atheist convention to discuss atheism, humanism, scepticism etc without being insulted as a gender. This sort of atmosphere actually inhibits the free exchange of ideas.

    Indeed. The way folks like Lee talk about free exchange of ideas sounds rather like religious people’s take on free will. What sounds good as an untested ideal can’t survive reality. You find that when Jane exercises her free will to keep her son Bob locked in a shed without food, Bob necessarily loses the freedom to choose to eat and go outside. Free will or free exchange of ideas, it’s the people on top who get the most freedom–everyone else gets screwed unless measures are taken to counteract it.

  99. Chris says

    Lee,

    “Does anyone here disagree that this is the dominant view?”

    Yes. What makes you think it is?

  100. julian says

    What’s morally right about offending Muslims in a way that is meaningful to Muslims? It harms them, clearly.

    No it does not. Especially in the post that you linked to earlier.

    Should they be grateful that you are deigning to point out the error of their ways? No.

    Yes they should. The ‘error of their ways’ negatively impact everyone, especially in the case of Sharia and Catholic beliefs surrounding contraception. It is imperative we counter those ideas and point out how they are wrong.

    One that applies across all categories, and treats every person or group the same

    A standard that ignores all circumstances and circumstance, applying a generic rule across people who have next to nothing in common is not a just standard. It’s a stupid one.

    You don’t have a right to not be offended.

    Does a lgbt teen have a right not be offended by way of bigoted jeers?

    Perhaps if we went my route, no one would want to go because every speaker would make us uncomfortable.

    No doubt as there’d be no end to the bigoted remarks we’d have to endure. Who wants to be called a spic for over an hour? Especially from the people who’re supposedly opposed to such mindless bigotry.

    Just as those same tools are used by Jefferies to both elicit laughter and make an unpopular point.

    False equivalence. There’s nothing to be gained from laughing at someone being kicked on the ground however much you might enjoy laughing at them. Eroding the influence of religion on governments and society has a number of benifits. (Easier access to contraceptives, fewer homophobia inspired attacks, marriage equality…)

  101. Stacy says

    Oh, Chris, please don’t encourage him. He’s incoherent. And I’m sure he’d love to hijack the thread.

  102. says

    “Yes. What makes you think it is?”

    Having never studied the matter, I surveyed my intuitions and found that it largely cohered with past experience. Most men bemoan both their inability to achieve erection, and their inability to stimulate their partner. For myself, I view both tasks as my responsibility. What am I to conclude from that? I do try to be true to the evidence I have available.

    What makes you think that is is not the dominant view? What part do you disagree with?

    Lee.

  103. Spartan says

    Nate,

    When Bill Hicks talks about his good times on drugs, his opinions on the War on Drugs, on George Bush, on the Middle East, and smoking, and so on, that’s just a character and Bill doesn’t actually think any of that?

    When Bill Hicks makes goat noises into his microphone, that really makes no suggestion at all that he might not be putting on somewhat of an act? How certain are you that Bill literally wanted people in advertising to kill themselves? (although I grant you that if there was a comedian who may actually wish that, it would likely be him)

    So when he expressed views like “Chicks Digs Jerks” and how Debbie Gibson was a worse artist than Jimi Hendrix because she didn’t have a dick,

    To my knowledge he never expressed the view that ‘Debbie Gibson was a worse artist than Jimi Hendrix because she didn’t have a dick'; in the routine I’m aware of this is a really inaccurate paraphrase. He states the familiar refrain that today’s music sucks, states his affinity for Hendrix’s music accompanied with the statement, ‘now there’s a guy who had a dick’ (it is somewhat well known that Jimi was one of the more well-endowed pop stars, just ask the Plaster Casters), and then uses Debbie Gibson as the exemplar of shitty pop music, which is pretty appropriate. It comes across pretty clearly to me he’s saying that Gibson sucks because she’s a singer who does ‘concerts’ in malls and because, well, it’s empty banal pop music. He made similar jokes at the expense of Billy Ray Cyrus and Michael Bolton who presumably do have dicks, so I don’t see where you’re coming from.

    …and then his ensuing fantasy where Jimi basically rapes Debbie

    I agree there are squirmworthy parts of that. But it’s also followed by, “I’m also available for children’s parties”, which relies on something shocking like that preceding it to work.

    That’s what makes those parts of his comedy so bad. It seems obvious (even if it wasn’t his intention) that he did not have a very high opinion of women.

    That certainly doesn’t seem obvious to me. He wasn’t kind to pro-lifers for instance, should that be ignored? I definitely need more evidence than the things he said in an effort to make people laugh as well as think.

  104. Chris says

    Lee,

    You seriously think sexism, bigotry and misogyny are just substitute words for offence? I can only repeat what I said before – this is simply a variation on the ‘just hurt feelings’ line so often used to justify dismissing complaints about misogyny.

    Here’s a mental exercise for you: can you think of any difference in the practical outcomes between simple offence and misogyny ?

  105. NateHevens says

    Lee @ #596

    The idea that men are to be responsible for their ability to perform (and held fully responsible for inability), while also being held responsible for motivating a female response (and held fully responsible for inability to do so). I think it is an interesting question, one we don’t often consider, but the truth of which we generally take for granted.

    Should men retain this responsibility? What burden, if any, should be held by women? Is it simply a function of biology, rather than culture, that gives rise and will sustain this view of the matter? Does anyone here disagree that this is the dominant view? Do any of the women here feel responsible for not responding in the way men feel such responsibility for their not responding?

    The problem with this view is that men are not the only ones expected to perform. I’m a virgin (unfortunately), and even I know that. Men expect women to perform just as much as women expect men to perform. So both sides have a burden of performance.

    And if you really don’t think that’s the case, you’ve obviously never seen a porno or a beer commercial; women are the ones with expectations to perform in both cases (not just sex, but as in the beer commercials, in general). So Jefferies isn’t highlighting any problem. Both sides expect the other side to perform. Sex ain’t a one-way street. It goes both ways.

    It also should be expected that if one partner does not want to have sex, the one who does should respect that and find a way to cool down separately.

    So I don’t agree that it’s the dominant view. I honestly think that both burdens are portrayed depending on where you look.

    sw @ #507

    Where is the evidence to suggest that he is being ironic? Well, he is a stand-up comic, so clearly it’s at least possible. The joke is (in my opinion) mostly funny because it’s ironic. I guess it’s possible that he’s not being intentionally ironic, but if that’s the case he’s pretty lucky that it came across in a way that a large number of people seem to think it is irony. Everyone on here who likes the jokes seems to think he’s being ironic.

    Yet everyone who doesn’t like the joke doesn’t think he’s being ironic.

    Neither argument is proof of anything. The fact is, Jefferies bit was very misogynistic, and whether it was intentional or ironic doesn’t matter. If Jefferies’s intent was to lampoon misogynists, he did a piss-poor job of communicating that intent. And that’s the point…

  106. Pteryxx says

    …Lee seriously wants to discuss insults to men’s erections?

    *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

  107. julian says

    I think it’s an interesting question. Thoughts?

    Yes. Things like Jefferies should be removed from the gene pool. He can’t perform, wants to rape women, finds sexual violence funny and discusses all of this on stage to make his audience uncomfortable so that they become easier to shock into laughs. He’s like a zit. Needs to be popped.

    Do any of the women here feel responsible for not responding in the way men feel such responsibility for their not responding?

    Wouldn’t a better question be how many women here are bothered when their partners can’t maintain an erection (for the women interested in that kind of sex)?

  108. A. Noyd says

    Sexism, bigotry, and misogyny are in no way substitute words for “offense.” If I talk about being offended, it’s a reference to how I feel. When I talk about sexism, bigotry and misogyny, I’m referring to how people other than me feel about women and how their feelings affect their behavior towards women (and men). Or it’s about how systems of power are set up to favor men over women without personal feelings coming into it at all.

  109. Chris says

    Lee @ 515,

    OK. I see where you’re coming from. However…

    I would say this is more about macho stereotypes. The solution is not to buy into them. The solution is certainly not to dehumanise women and treat them as receptacles. This is not about women’s behaviour, it is about men’s beliefs.

    Go to a relationships advice site for help with this, not here. Debates about sexism are not about your sex life.

  110. sw says

    Yet everyone who doesn’t like the joke doesn’t think he’s being ironic.

    Yeah, it’s almost as though you need to know he’s being ironic to appreciate the joke or something.

    If Jefferies’s intent was to lampoon misogynists, he did a piss-poor job of communicating that intent. And that’s the point…

    All the people laughing at the joke seem to suggest that he didn’t do *that* bad a job. Maybe his target audience are people who aren’t going to take a stand-up comic too seriously.

  111. says

    “Yes they should. The ‘error of their ways’ negatively impact everyone, especially in the case of Sharia and Catholic beliefs surrounding contraception. It is imperative we counter those ideas and point out how they are wrong.”

    Assuming Allah does not exist, and will not punish everyone, netting a gross negative impact. You’re wrong, I’m right; it ain’t much of an argument. They don’t share your moral priorities, so appealing to them will accomplish nothing. They do, however, share your sense of fairness.

    “Does a lgbt teen have a right not be offended by way of bigoted jeers?”

    No. I don’t have to like it, I can shame and pummel the bigots out of righteous anger, but I will be the one going to jail, not them. That is the society I want to live in, because the alternative is far less desirable. You teach your children not to behave like that to others, you don’t remedy the behavior mid-stride by legislation and force. This is the purpose of moral education.

    “False equivalence. There’s nothing to be gained from laughing at someone being kicked on the ground however much you might enjoy laughing at them.”

    Interesting. You don’t think, perhaps, that accusing me of a false equivalence shouldn’t be followed by a false equivalence of your own?

    “Eroding the influence of religion on governments and society has a number of benifits.”

    Such an erosion is not possible without offense and ridicule, I take it? Fact is, the tools are in place, at least in America’s founding documents, to forestall and roll back these influences. We need not deconvert or shame a single religious person to accomplish it. We are and should remain free to, but it is not necessary to achieve that goal, and thus does not justify such behavior. You’ll need a deeper principle :)

    Lee.

  112. Stacy says

    Maybe his target audience are people who aren’t going to take a stand-up comic too seriously

    Maybe. Or maybe his target audience think misogyny is hilarious.

    No way to tell really, is there?

    And anyhoo, in this case, his “target audience” was people attending the GAC.

  113. julian says

    Assuming Allah does not exist

    There’s no reason to believe that iteration of G-d is true and several reasons to believe ‘His Law’ was constructed by humans. It is not, ‘you’re wrong, I’m right.’ It’s ‘There are multiple reasons to believe you are wrong. In fact, it is almost certain. Therefore I have no reason to consider your propositions.’

    I don’t have to like it, I can shame and pummel the bigots out of righteous anger,

    Then why can’t Ophelia verbally rebuke those who use sexist language?

    You don’t think, perhaps, that accusing me of a false equivalence shouldn’t be followed by a false equivalence of your own?

    It was a colorful way of describing his brand of standup. I think I heard Lewis Black use it on that history channel special he did on comedy a few years back. Anyway the point stands.

    Fact is, the tools are in place, at least in America’s founding documents, to forestall and roll back these influences.

    That is laughably naive. Doubly so considering many of these issues span the globe so it does very few people good to point to a US document.

    And, as has been mentioned, the denial of God is itself seen as offensive to a good portion of believers. We can’t express ourselves without offended someone.

  114. DanDare says

    I watched the first 30 seconds and had to stop. I don’t like that form of humour. On the other hand I believe that he is a good comedian and I would have to know more about him offstage to see if he was actually a sexist pig.

    Portraying an extreme character is a form of humour that is often effective but not funny. The segment at the beginning embarrassed me. It wasn’t funny. It was scathingly accurate. Not about women, but about men. I am very ashamed to say that in my teenage years I had moments, internal moments, when I was that guy. Seeing it performed openly in such a way was a smack in the face, even though I left that guy behind decades ago.

    That is the value of such comedy. Its not sexist humour aimed at women It does not appear to be attempting to objectify women. It is designed to make men who recognise the character in themselves feel shame and some self awareness. My opinion, obviously, I have no evidence that that is what he intends.

    From that thought I would suggest that the court jester comparison is correct. The humour is aimed squarely at the misogynist, not the misogynist’s victims. Perhaps the reason so many men laugh at this is that some don’t realise its about them and are displaying their own ugliness, and many are laughing out of shocked guilt.

  115. says

    “It’s ‘There are multiple reasons to believe you are wrong. In fact, it is almost certain. Therefore I have no reason to consider your propositions.’”

    Kind of missing the point, here. They are offended; given what they believe, they have every reason to be offended. Whether you think they should be offended is utterly irrelevant.

    “Then why can’t Ophelia verbally rebuke those who use sexist language?”

    Where did I say she can’t?

    “Anyway the point stands.”

    What point? The analogy was spurious, nothing of substance remains.

    “That is laughably naive. Doubly so considering many of these issues span the globe so it does very few people good to point to a US document.”

    Perhaps so, but other avenues remain that undermine the justification you desire.

    “We can’t express ourselves without offended someone.”

    Couldn’t agree more. With that, it’s time for me to retire. I can’t keep up with the comments anyways, there’s five for every one I write.

    Thanks.

    Lee.

  116. Pteryxx says

    Its not sexist humour aimed at women It does not appear to be attempting to objectify women. It is designed to make men who recognise the character in themselves feel shame and some self awareness.

    Even if this guess is accurate (and I’m not convinced that it is) what were the women in the audience expected to get from it? Or was this message aimed solely at men and the women in the audience were just collateral damage?

  117. Pteryxx says

    519 was hilarious, despite it being a distortion of what I wrote.

    *rolleyes* You’re welcome. If you want an analysis of my intended message with that comment, feel free to ask.

  118. crocswsocks says

    You people have got it wrong. Jim Jeffries is funny because he’s fucking insane.

  119. DanDare says

    what were the women in the audience expected to get from it? Or was this message aimed solely at men and the women in the audience were just collateral damage?

    Excellent question. Some women may have been on the receiving end of such vileness in the past. They would recognise it but I doubt they would enjoy the recognition. That’s why I don’t like this form of humour, even though I think it can be effective in bringing about change.

    Some women may have recognised the character portrayal as just that and liked the mysogonist guys getting exposed and slapped by it, but I doubt many of them would have and those that did would still dislike the experience (again I’m a guy so I can only work on empathy and life experience in claiming this, I can’t know for certain).

    Some folks who try this humour style will overtly exagerate the character to say “see, character, not me”. QF Barry Humphries as Sir Les Patterson. It takes the edge off but diminishes the strength as well.

    I am sure that there is a wide margin for me to be wrong in this case, but I imagine that thinking along these lines may be behind including the act at the GAC.

  120. Pteryxx says

    I am sure that there is a wide margin for me to be wrong in this case, but I imagine that thinking along these lines may be behind including the act at the GAC.

    Well, we’re not going to know that unless someone from there actually makes a statement; but given that atheism has a notable sexism problem, shown by (for example) the level of sexual harassment and misogyny shown by attendees at atheism conferences, I’m not inclined to give either the management or the audience the benefit of the doubt here.

    If a misogynist character were being played for the benefit of women who’ve suffered misogyny, harassment or rape (which will be a very large proportion, likely a majority, of *any* population of women) then I’d expect them to be booing and yelling at the character, not laughing at ‘em. Look at pro wrestling for how an audience reacts to a character they’re supposed to hate or mock. I’d also expect it to be *extremely* over the top, an obvious parody, because extreme violent misogyny is so common that it’s reasonable to take it seriously. In the case of rape jokes, that’s even been proven.

    For the same reason, I expect that while some men in the audience, maybe most, have enough self-awareness to feel stung by such a portrayal, a significant number really do believe a misogynist worldview and will happily cheer a demonstration of it. There’s scores of examples in the news every week. It’s disingenuous to assume they’re *all* faking it, or that the male segment of atheism is somehow comprised solely of feminist men with very generous senses of humor.

  121. sw says

    If a misogynist character were being played for the benefit of women who’ve suffered misogyny, harassment or rape (which will be a very large proportion, likely a majority, of *any* population of women) then I’d expect them to be booing and yelling at the character, not laughing at ‘em. Look at pro wrestling for how an audience reacts to a character they’re supposed to hate or mock.

    When, if ever, have you seen a crowd respond to a stand-up comedian like that? If you’re booing it seems like you’re taking it seriously, which is the opposite of what the comedian is going for.

    I’d also expect it to be *extremely* over the top, an obvious parody

    You still wouldn’t have found it funny though, the only difference is that then neither would anyone else.

  122. says

    How someone couldn’t find the black humour in the gunned-down Iraqi story is beyond me.

    OK then, enlighten me. What was the actual joke in there?

    Guy in armoured helicopter shoots poorly-armed guy on the ground who was no threat to him, after explicitly stating that poorly-armed guy on the ground was no threat to him.

    Umm, that’s funny because?

    Hey, you know what else was funny? That picture of the guy on the box in Abu Ghraib!

  123. says

    lee
    If the erection/stimulation thingy is your main problem, I have two words for you:
    A) lube
    Seriously good stuff
    B) anatomy.
    Here’s an exercise: take a sheet of paper and draw the female genitalia from memory.
    Funny how all the “sex tips” I read in magazines usually tell me what I have to do to turn him really on and what I can do to get myself happy along the way…
    It is an “unpopular point”?
    It is really a serious issue in the world?
    It is something that is a true burden on poor men?
    Really, where’s that planet, I want to live there where the most important and most unpopular point you can make about the whole of heterosexual sex is that there’s an unfair double standard against men who have to keep an erection (because we’ll divorce you instantly if you can’t keep it up for 45 min) and get her dripping wet (because no, lube has not been invented yet).
    And it’s worth making fun at women feeling pain and discomfort in sex to get that point across, yeah…

    Also, it’s not about not having controversial ideas. But there are power dynamics. And there are special power dynamics in a conference. Whoever is on the stage has more power than those who are in the audience. If you want to discuss (and I’m talking here about speeches and talks, not a comedy performance) controversial ideas you invite two speaker to do so, so you maintain the power-balance. You don’t let one person with a controversial idea that targets a large group of the audience in a negative way speak for an hour, especially not if that also reflects the power-differences that are already there in society.

    +++++

    You still wouldn’t have found it funny though, the only difference is that then neither would anyone else.

    Wrong.
    Thre’s plenty of comedians who do that, who make sure that the audience laughs at the bigoted character.
    How could you do that with a misogynistic asshole?
    Well, make him use all those “wonderful” MRA contradictions.
    Let him be the “nice guy” who’ll tell you sure how good he is to women, and respects them as people and their needs and totally not holes to ejaculate into and shit why do they still not want to fuck him?
    Or the one who complains that women never ever work and just live off men’s money and who only abuse them as sperm donors and emotional tampons and shit this flat is a mess since his girlfriend left and and he can’t pay the rent anyway and damn he feels loooooonely.
    See, could be totally done.
    It would be clear that he’s the bad guy, the loser, that the problem is him and not women.
    With Jeffries, not.

  124. sw says

    Your idea could work as a stand up comedy bit. But it wouldn’t go with Jefferies’s stage persona at all. And even then, I think it would be very hard to do that bit as actual satire.

    And go easy on the “nice guys”, they’re victims of the culture too.

  125. says

    And go easy on the “nice guys”, they’re victims of the culture too.

    Oh stuff it, I’m sick and tired of that bullshit.
    The Nice Guys™ are not. They’re guys who think that because they’re a bit better than the fully blown misogynist they deserve some pussy.
    And because they’re Nice Guys™ they are, of course, absolutely right and love their mother.
    But they still think that bitches ain’t shit because they still don’t see them as real people with identities but as pets that need to be treated nicely.

    And even then, I think it would be very hard to do that bit as actual satire.

    Ahhh, you’re getting closer to the problem: that if Jeffries is doing satire, it’s not possible to tell it from the real stuff

  126. says

    I watched the first 30 seconds and had to stop…On the other hand I believe that he is a good comedian…

    Really? You actually say that with a straight face? A comedian whose routine is so painful to watch that a significant number of people just plain HAVE TO STOP is, pretty much by definition, not a “good comedian.” Duh. Seriously, the Monty Python guys weren’t always knee-slappingly hilarious, but I’ve never “had to stop” watching them. Same goes for Chris Rock, George Lopez, Carlos Mencia, and other people who can riff on ethnic and sexual stereotypes and still be actually funny.

    The humour is aimed squarely at the misogynist, not the misogynist’s victims.

    If the misogynists’ victims were in earshot, then yes, for all practical purposes, it was aimed at them.

    Perhaps the reason so many men laugh at this is that some don’t realise its about them and are displaying their own ugliness…

    That’s kind of our point: they’re laughing because they SERUIOUSLY AGREE with the ugly sentiments expressed, and if the guy was aiming at satire, well, he missed like a North Korean rocket.

    …and many are laughing out of shocked guilt.

    Really? You actually think laughter is a standard response to shocked guilt? YOUR shocked guilt led you to stop watching, which leads me to conclude you’re now just making transparently lame excuses for a lame excuse for a “comedian.” Go the fuck to bed.

  127. says

    “*rolleyes* You’re welcome. If you want an analysis of my intended message with that comment, feel free to ask.”

    You’re welcome, and no, I caught the by-lines. You missed the point.

    “It is really a serious issue in the world?”

    It’s at least as serious as whether a comedian was offensive during his comedy routine. Serious issues flock together.

    “You don’t let one person with a controversial idea that targets a large group of the audience in a negative way speak for an hour, especially not if that also reflects the power-differences that are already there in society.”

    This doesn’t seem right at all. Can’t you just follow that with a discussion period? Perhaps another speaker from a different viewpoint? What’s the magical “hour” supposed to represent? Would it be OK if he spoke for 59 minutes? 35? How long can a controversial idea be aired before it must be chaperoned?

  128. downtime says

    >OK then, enlighten me. What was the actual joke in there?

    >Guy in armoured helicopter shoots poorly-armed guy on the ground who was no threat to him, after explicitly stating that poorly-armed guy on the ground was no threat to him.

    >Umm, that’s funny because?

    [Sorry, don't know how to quote]

    Obviously the incident itself was not funny, if in fact it’s even true. But just about anything in life can be the subject of a hilarious retelling, with a bit of timing. Ever heard of stand-up comedy?

    As part of a routine, it’s funny because of what it says about the attitude of the Iraqi and his earnest but useless tactics, and of the soldier with his honking big gun towards a poorly armed opponent who is no threat to him. It’s funny because of Jefferies’ unwitting role in inciting the (alleged) unfortunate incident.

    War and death and unfortunate incidents in general have always been fodder for comedy.

  129. sw says

    I agree about all that stuff you said about “nice guys”. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been fucked over by the culture they were raised in too. Where else do you think they got their stupid attitudes and ideas?

    You say that that if Jeffries is doing satire, it’s not possible to tell it from the real stuff. The same could be said for *any* satire. Would you feel better about this set if at the end the said “oh, by the way, obviously I was kidding about that shit I said”? It seems as though almost everyone who thinks it was funny also thinks it was satire. Chances are, if you don’t think it’s satire, you just don’t get the joke.

  130. says

    This isn’t FTB, it’s B&W. There’s no such thing as FTB in the sense of “a single unit it makes sense to lecture on how to preface claims.” It’s a collection of bloggers. It’s not like a magazine, which has an editor in chief; it’s more like a publisher. It’s just meaningless to blather about FTB as if it were a unit. I know it’s a popular hobby, but it’s stupid. This isn’t FTB, it’s B&W.

  131. says

    Ophelia: ok, point taken. I don’t want, however, to pinpoint your blog as a target. Many blogs and their owners are prone to such absolutisms. I just now feel that using “I think” or other starters like “I feel” would probably cut the onion, as in pointing out it’s your very own opinion and it can be discussed.

    Exemple in your artcile is:

    “Apparently what makes him so supremely funny is his loathing of women”

    Could be re-stated as: ” Apparently what makes him so supremely funny is what I think is his loathing of women”

    I think you may have a hard time seeing how such statements are perceived by non-english-speaking onlookers.

    And to restate my initial position, I think he’s not funny. I find him over-vulgar and prone to poor delivery. I also think he wasn’t a very clever addition to the GAC. Give his spot to a smart/funny speaker instead.

  132. says

    Well, one, I often do use qualifying phrases of that kind. Two, doing it too much just clutters the writing. Three, obviously it’s what I think; what else would it be? Four, are you kidding? That sentence is an abomination. Five, sometimes one does want to assert things, even when one doesn’t actually know them for certain. Six, I don’t really think of you as an ideal source of advice on this kind of thing.

    Other than that, very useful.

  133. says

    Point 1: yes you do, I won’t deny that.

    Point 2: Agreed, I was scratching my head on how to put these in my response.

    Point 3: ok

    Point 4: tee hee! Yes, I know, I’m not a native engilsh speaker.

    Point 5: Well, err, that might probably be a problem for a skeptic blog (I think).

    Point 6: and you are right to not do so. I am a musician, not a professional speaker, or scientist, or blogger, or other related things. I’m just sharing my POV.

  134. says

    Point 5 – no it isn’t. You can’t have qualifications in every sentence; that’s unreadable. And often assertions are moral or political rather than factual. And sometimes, though rarely, they’re not up for debate.

    Here, it’s not up for debate that certain kinds of epithets are not ok (used as epithets). That’s moral and political. I’m just not having people come here to call anyone a cunt or a fucking bitch, and I’m also not* having anyone here who calls people (women) cunts or fucking bitches on other blogs. I’m also mostly not having anyone here who hangs out on blogs where people are freely called cunts and fucking bitches.

    I don’t think that fact does any significant damage to skepticism. I don’t think it’s a problem on a skeptic blog.

    *knowingly

  135. says

    Well, I would argue that everything is up for debate. But if it’s not to be here, fair enough, and I won’t trespass.

    If your rule about other blogs applies, you should kick Stacy out right away:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/04/12/cis-is-not-slur-grues/#comment-22942

    I am not actually asking for Stacy to be kicked out, but what she said there was ugly. YHet she strives here.

    And before you start, I am not accusing you of anything. But standards should be equal, regardless of sex, gender indentity, blog contributions….

  136. says

    Ok; accepted.

    But even if it had been Stacy – note the *knowingly at the bottom of my previous comment. I put it there for a reason. I don’t see everything! Obviously. I haven’t read the post you linked to, or any of the comments. The ERV gang used to (and probably still do, but I don’t go there so I don’t know) do a lot of bizarre “gotcha!”ing of that kind. “Looky looky, somebody or other said something or other here on this one post – WHAT ABOUT THAT HUH??!11! Double standards!11″

    And that question of yours would have been one of those even if it had been Stacy and not Tracy. It’s just silly, and prosecutorial, and vengeful (yet I don’t know what you have to be vengeful about).

    The thing about epithets perhaps could be up for debate in carefully detached circumstances, like the reasoned discussion last summer. On the blog itself – no. It just turns everything into a sewer, and I’m not having it. It’s like having people over for dinner. It’s not up for debate that people can’t spit out their food onto the table after chewing it.

  137. says

    Seriously, I would like to give my sincerest appologies to both Ophelia and Stacy. I will now leave the discussion if I’m not wanted. I fucked up big time, and have no excuse for it.

    Good evening to all.

  138. says

    Ophelia: yes, I realise that my Stacy/Tracy question was a gotcha setup. And it was stupid. Again, my appologies to both of you.

    Maybe a private discussion about epithets would help me, because the ongoing public one sure didn’t help. Quite the opposite. I won’t ask you to take away time from your work, but anyone willing to contact me and discuss this can mail me at [email protected]

  139. says

    I guess I’m just too Australian to understand Jefferies’ supposed “humour”. Over here we usually prefer to mock the rich and powerful and self-important, not the victims. Yeah, there are exceptions like the Sandilands fans. But not enough of them – that’s why he’s gone to America to make his career. I’ll stick with our local comedians, thanks.

  140. says

    Yes, Lee, I am totally going to pony up for a journal article behind a paywall just to prove a point to some troll on the internet. Go fuck yourself, you disingenuous, verbose shitmonger.

    And don’t presume to call yourself a “humanist” when you disdain feminism. Feminism is humanism. Humanism based on the assumption that women actually count, and that sexist assholes don’t get to dictate how we count.

    As for the questions you’re asking about heterosexual activity? Gosh, I dunno, but maybe if we didn’t live in a patriarchy that shamed women for liking sex AND for not meeting men’s sexual needs, for not perfectly walking the fine and ever-shifting line between “sexy enough” and “too slutty” (which requires a huge investment of time and money in grooming; and, no, shaving daily doesn’t even come close), a patriarchy that is ready to bring up every sexual anecdote from the past of a rape victim, that still regards housework and childcare as “women’s work” even if both halves of a het couple work, leading to fatigue and resentment on her part… maybe, then, you could whine about women who don’t “do enough” in bed or whatever.

    Though, actually, I suspect that men who complain about women who don’t like sex/just lie there are, for the most part, lousy in bed. The straight guys I’ve known (either “biblically” or platonically) who treated women like fellow humans have not only had no problem getting laid, but they’ve had no trouble finding women who enjoy sex immensely.

    Pteryxx: It’s just another iteration of, “Why are we talking about these stupid girly things?! Let’s talk about my penis!”

    Nate, re your best friend’s girlfriend… I’m glad you and your friends could rescue her. Also, real-life situations aren’t the same thing as hypotheticals. Just as there are keyboard commandos who’d shit their pants in such a situation, there are normally non-violent people who, when the adrenaline gets going (and especially if it’s personal), turn into Big Damn Heroes.

    Comedy is perhaps the purest form of truth you could ever hear.

    “My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.” — G.B. Shaw.

    But, of course, that presumes comedy worthy of being called such.

    (because tolerance is not real; there is only intolerance and acceptance)

    Josh Slocum has said, and I agree, that the concept of “tolerance” was a massive framing mistake, in that it sets up the majority as entitled to decide whether it will “put up with” or reject a disliked minority.

    The “men are stupid, clumsy, worthless couch potatoes who do nothing but drink beer, watch football, and oggle other women even when their girlfriend is sitting right there” meme is tiring and pathetic.

    And it’s promoted by overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly straight television and ad execs. Why? Because it gives useless men an excuse for their behavior. “I can’t help it! I’m a guy!”

    sw, fuck you and fuck Nice Guys™. They’re misogynist shitbags, as this horrendous cartoon (major trigger warning) illustrates. Boo hoo hoo, “they got their ideas from the culture.” So do religiots.

  141. sw says

    sw, fuck you

    Wow, that seemed completely called for.

    fuck Nice Guys™. They’re misogynist shitbags, as this horrendous cartoon (major trigger warning) illustrates

    You’re right. That single cartoon undeniably proves that every guy who has ever called himself a “nice guy” is pure evil and simply wants to rape every woman he knows. Well done.
    (That, just so we’re clear, was satire. I know, it wasn’t very good, I’m no professional stand-up comedian.)

  142. NateHevens says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter @ #560

    Nate, re your best friend’s girlfriend… I’m glad you and your friends could rescue her. Also, real-life situations aren’t the same thing as hypotheticals. Just as there are keyboard commandos who’d shit their pants in such a situation, there are normally non-violent people who, when the adrenaline gets going (and especially if it’s personal), turn into Big Damn Heroes.

    Oh of course. There’s no way a person can know what they’d do in any situation unless they’d been in a situation. I absolutely hate it when people who’ve never faced a situation try to explain how they’d handle it.

    “My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.” — G.B. Shaw.

    But, of course, that presumes comedy worthy of being called such.

    Exactly. I never understood people who don’t get it, to be honest. Although I think it’s more likely that people just apply double standards to comedians. When the comedian says something they agree with, they cheer him on. And when the comedian says something they recognize could be… erm… troublesome… suddenly they’re all “oh, it’s just satire! Don’t take him seriously!”

    But you just took him seriously five seconds ago!

    Josh Slocum has said, and I agree, that the concept of “tolerance” was a massive framing mistake, in that it sets up the majority as entitled to decide whether it will “put up with” or reject a disliked minority.

    Again, agreed. I hate people who preach “tolerance” for that very reason.

    Not all of them. When you point out that what they should be preaching is acceptance, some will admit their error and realize they’ve been confusing tolerance with acceptance. I’ve seen some double-down on tolerance, however, trying to redefine it to mean “acceptance”. They aren’t even close to being synonyms, let alone the same thing.

    And it’s promoted by overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly straight television and ad execs. Why? Because it gives useless men an excuse for their behavior. “I can’t help it! I’m a guy!”

    Which is a large part of what pisses me off about it. Why are white men promoting it? Why do they want to have such a pathetic stereotype of us all over the place? It’s frickin’ annoying…

    sw, fuck you and fuck Nice Guys™. They’re misogynist shitbags, as this horrendous cartoon (major trigger warning) illustrates. Boo hoo hoo, “they got their ideas from the culture.” So do religiots.

    Please tell me that cartoon was created by someone lampooning Nice Guys™ and not someone who actually thought it was true/funny.

    Please.

    Because if the latter’s the case, then I have absolutely no more faith in the male half of our species. That isn’t just disgusting… I actually can’t use a word for it…

    sw @ #561

    You’re right. That single cartoon undeniably proves that every guy who has ever called himself a “nice guy” is pure evil and simply wants to rape every woman he knows. Well done.

    I think you’re confusing the average nice guy with Nice Guys™. The latter are very much misogynistic assholes who do not view women as anything more than their personal cum depository and, when it comes to guys who are dating women, Nice Guys™ can’t tell the difference between guys with confidence and jerks. Your average nice guy is just a guy who happens to be nice (and, to Nice Guys™, is one of those “jerks”). There’s a huge difference.

  143. sw says

    I think you’re confusing the average nice guy with Nice Guys™.

    That’s what I don’t like about it. I’ve heard this attitude used to pretty much shut down guys who aren’t “very much misogynistic assholes who do not view women as anything more than their personal cum depository”, but are just friendly guys who struggle to find women interested in any kind of romantic relationship with them. They say something like
    “I have plenty of platonic female friends, I get along well with them, I just wish I could meet someone I got along with well that I could have a relationship with, but no one seems to be interested. And then I see all these women go for complete jerks and I get frustrated, because I’m a nice guy”
    and the reply is
    “YOU’RE NOT A NICE GUY, WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU A RELATIONSHIP, YOU JUST WANT SOMEONE TO GET YOUR DICK WET IN AND THAT’S DISGUSTING!!”.
    Yes, some guys who call themselves “nice guys” are creepy psychopaths, but it seems to me the majority are actually nice guys (and no, I can’t back that up with numbers).

  144. says

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a real Nice Guy™ here

    “I have plenty of platonic female friends, I get along well with them, I just wish I could meet someone I got along with well that I could have a relationship with, but no one seems to be interested. And then I see all these women go for complete jerks and I get frustrated, because I’m a nice guy”

    Tellme, how exactly are those guys vicitimized? Because they can’t get laid? Yes, that’s fucking overentitlement.
    I’ll she 0.75 of a tear for them.
    You’re not a victim just because you don’t get a relationship. Yes, I know, it’s lonely, it’s frustrating, it’s not sexy.
    But thinking taht because you’re a NIce Guy™ by your own judgement it doesn’t mean that you should get a ladyfriend and not those jerks (I often suspect that jerk means “anybody who has a girlfriend while I’m solo”).
    So, there are the women who fall for the jerk. He treats her badly. Still doesn’t fucking mean that that’s the way to get pussy or that you should get some because you’re not that jerk.
    Treating a woman (or anybody else for that matter) is not a means. It’s about basic human decency.
    And if you can’t understand that because you don’t get the desired results, yeah you are a Nice Guy™
    There’s plenty of lonely, unfucked women out there, too. I don’t hear them complaining that since they shaved their legs and painted their nails they should get dick and not that overweight bitch without make-up.

    ++++++
    re: Doofus husband
    Another point about those tropes is that they are directed at women. Especially in comercials. They are about how easily she can clean up the mess now that he made.
    So, yeah, the man might be portrayed as the dumb one and the woman as the smart one, but as a result she still has to clean up.

  145. echidna says

    DanDare@529

    I watched the first 30 seconds and had to stop. I don’t like that form of humour. On the other hand I believe that he is a good comedian and I would have to know more about him offstage to see if he was actually a sexist pig.

    We don’t get to see the man backstage to evaluate his intent. All we have is the persona on stage, at an evening to welcome people to the GAC.

    I’ll agree, his comic timing was good. His god-at-the-party sketch was funny. His misogynist material was off.

  146. Lyanna says

    But thinking taht because you’re a NIce Guy™ by your own judgement it doesn’t mean that you should get a ladyfriend and not those jerks (I often suspect that jerk means “anybody who has a girlfriend while I’m solo”).

    Absolutely correct, Giliell.

    Nice Guys ™ are the absolute worst. Self-entitled spoiled brats who see women as dogs that ought to be slavishly grateful for any scrap of niceness (and reward said niceness with pussy), rather than as people who have actual desires and interests and the right to pursue them.

    I once argued with a Nice Guy who finally conceded that women had no “obligation” to go out with him, but he maintained that they “should”–he was too dumb to realize that the definition of an obligation is something you “should” do even when you don’t want to. He got very whiny and worked up about it, and compared women who don’t put out in exchange for “niceness” to libertarians who don’t want to pay taxes for social services. A woman’s body is just a resource to support Nice Guys, you see.

  147. says

    Yes, Lee, I am totally going to pony up for a journal article behind a paywall just to prove a point to some troll on the internet. Go fuck yourself, you disingenuous, verbose shitmonger.

    Well, I’m not going to “pony up” for an article that looks like bullshit, in support of a point that sounds like bullshit. To say sexist humor causes men to rape more is such a childish, simplistic view of human behavior that it’s hard to take seriously even on such a serious issue as this. Do rapists and/or misogynists like sexist humor? Sure. Does sexist humor cause this behavior in the rest of us? I find it extraordinarily unlikely that men are like vending machines: insert sexist humor, retrieve rape at the bottom. We cannot control what tickles our funny bone, but we can control our behavior.

    Just because UMAD doesn’t mean I’m a troll.

    Humanism based on the assumption that women actually count, and that sexist assholes don’t get to dictate how we count.

    Point out where I said women don’t count. Point out where I “disdain” feminism. If you were half as reasonable as you are bitter, we might actually be able to discuss something like adults. Read what I wrote, I’m talking about the larger issue of speech and offense as it pertains to conferences like the GAC; both considering what it is now, and what I think it’s goals should be. You know, the topic of this blog post?

    As to your rant about my perceived sexual prowess, women’s attire, patriarchy, and whatever else you packed into that paragraph, all I can say is, “helluva job on that asshole you’re tearing apart, but what’s that got to do with me?”

    You have completely ignored my underlying position, preferring instead to paint me as the typical misogynistic asshole merely on the basis of not toeing the line. Maybe my argument is crap, maybe not, but nothing you wrote came anywhere close to addressing either my actual disposition towards women or the argument I came here to make.

    As for the questions you’re asking about heterosexual activity?

    The comedian made a point about sexism. I thought it was strange that no one had even brought it up. I never said it was a good point, or even particularly important; I don’t know, that’s why we discuss things. The content was ignored and only the delivery was discussed. Don’t blame me, the messenger, for simply spelling out what you could all hear for yourselves in the video at the top. Frankly, I think the question becomes more interesting when you remove men, or women, from the equation altogether, as in the case of same-sex couples. Whatever conclusions you draw from them should tell us something about the illusion of roles for hetero couples.

    Lee.

  148. NateHevens says

    sw @ #563

    That’s what I don’t like about it. I’ve heard this attitude used to pretty much shut down guys who aren’t “very much misogynistic assholes who do not view women as anything more than their personal cum depository”, but are just friendly guys who struggle to find women interested in any kind of romantic relationship with them.

    I’m not denying that it’s been done. I’ve seen it happen. But I would contend that it’s not the majority as I think that women are, for the most part, quite good at telling the difference between your average nice guy and Nice Guys (TM).

    (side note: can someone tell me what the superscript code is for this site? I got it before by copying and pasting, but I’d like to be able to do it myself. Help?)

    They say something like
    “I have plenty of platonic female friends, I get along well with them, I just wish I could meet someone I got along with well that I could have a relationship with, but no one seems to be interested. And then I see all these women go for complete jerks and I get frustrated, because I’m a nice guy”
    and the reply is
    “YOU’RE NOT A NICE GUY, WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU A RELATIONSHIP, YOU JUST WANT SOMEONE TO GET YOUR DICK WET IN AND THAT’S DISGUSTING!!”.

    And you don’t see exactly what prompted that response? I’ll show you:

    “And then I see all these women go for complete jerks and I get frustrated, because I’m a nice guy.”

    Again… do you know the difference between confident men and complete jerks? When I was a Nice Guy (TM), I couldn’t tell the difference. Every guy who had a girlfriend was a jerk to me, no exceptions. I was envious of them. I was single and they weren’t. I was (and still am, incidentally) a virgin and they were getting pussy (though I found out later that this was not always the case… I was quite surprised to find out how many of the boastful guys in high school were actually virgins after all [some of them betrayed by women who they claimed to have slept with]… part of what forced me to rethink my view of women, men, and relationships, in fact). I was, quite simply, envious of the situation. And, thus, I was a Nice Guy (TM), and everyone who had girlfriends were jerks, simply because of “what about me?“.

    Now I can see a huge difference between confidence and jerks. Chicks do not, as a rule, dig jerks. This is a stereotype that simply isn’t true.

    Yes, some guys who call themselves “nice guys” are creepy psychopaths, but it seems to me the majority are actually nice guys (and no, I can’t back that up with numbers).

    Are they, though? It really depends on how they view guys and girls and relationships in private that determine if they’re nice guys or Nice Guys (TM).

    What your average nice guy gets that the Nice Guy (TM) does not is very simple: when you “fail” with multiple women (end up in the “friend zone”) multiple times, you need to start looking at the common denominator in all of those attempts. That common denominator is not the women… it’s you. This means that the problem is you. You are the one doing something (or maybe even a lot of things) wrong, and you are the one who needs to change.

    Giliell @ #564

    re: Doofus husband
    Another point about those tropes is that they are directed at women. Especially in comercials. They are about how easily she can clean up the mess now that he made.
    So, yeah, the man might be portrayed as the dumb one and the woman as the smart one, but as a result she still has to clean up.

    That is a damn good point. Thanks for expanding my view on this meme.

    It does get me in beer commercials, too, because as much of a doofus as the husband is, I can’t stand the “I care more about my beer than my girl” trope as well. These guys, in my view, are as much doofuses as those husbands are.

    Side note:
    Has anyone seen this latest beer commercial for Newcastle Brown Ale?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-9KWK8MCek

    Thoughts? Opinions?

    It just added yet another beer company to my list of beers I will never, ever drink… but I’m curious what others think.

  149. says

    Lee –

    Read what I wrote, I’m talking about the larger issue of speech and offense as it pertains to conferences like the GAC; both considering what it is now, and what I think it’s goals should be. You know, the topic of this blog post?

    No that’s not the topic of this post. As I’ve told you at least four times now, and as you can see by reading the post, I didn’t say ‘offense’ – that’s not what I’m talking about. And no, you don’t get to insist that I am by saying that what I am talking about just is ‘offense’ by another name.

  150. Spartan says

    Ophelia,

    Here, it’s not up for debate that certain kinds of epithets are not ok (used as epithets).

    That actually is about the only topic I think I disagree with you about to some extent (and only ‘bitch’). But I can understand not wanting the topic to soil your blog.

    Giliell,

    There’s plenty of lonely, unfucked women out there, too. I don’t hear them complaining that since they shaved their legs and painted their nails they should get dick and not that overweight bitch without make-up.

    Hmmm, you sure you’re not relying on a little magic in intent after all with your use of ‘bitch’ here?

  151. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Hmmm, you sure you’re not relying on a little magic in intent after all with your use of ‘bitch’ here?

    *facepalm* All that effort to get through to him and what did it get you? Absolutely nothing.

  152. Pteryxx says

    I find it extraordinarily unlikely that men are like vending machines: insert sexist humor, retrieve rape at the bottom.

    But it’s okay to assume that women are vending machines: insert polite behavior, retrieve sex and/or relationship. Or, say, insert erection, retrieve sexual validation.

    You don’t get to be snippy about men’s (perceived) lack of agency wrt sex while presuming women’s lack of agency. That’s 101-level sexism, as well as remedial sex education.

  153. Spartan says

    Illuminata, I think you’re confusing me with another commenter. All what effort to get through to me; I think that’s my third comment here. Seriously, if you have a rebuttal please provide it, or tell me it’s above somewhere and I’ll try rereading these 500+ comments again.

    I know perfectly well what Giliell means in her statement, and I have zero problem with it. But I don’t throw around ‘intent’s not magic’ either, so I’m wondering why it doesn’t apply here. I think it doesn’t apply here because she’s using it hyperbolically, or is assuming the role somewhat of what these unfucked women might say, or putting it in the phrasing that she thinks Lee might use. Nice logical, reasonable nuance that justifies her use, but who cares? Intent’s not magic, are you expecting people who may not pick up her nuance and reasoning to not potentially be harmed or infer that these words are acceptable as references to women to read her mind? Actually I don’t think nuance or reading her mind is even relevant; the word harms, period. Isn’t that the crux of the ‘intent’s not magic’ argument?

    And Ophelia please let me know if I’m straying too close to a debate that you don’t want here, I totally respect that and will cease immediately if so.

  154. says

    I didn’t say ‘offense’ – that’s not what I’m talking about.

    OK, what “is” what you are talking about? Frankly, I don’t think I’m the only one to have missed the proverbial point, whatever that may be.

    Lee.

  155. says

    “But it’s okay to assume that women are vending machines: insert polite behavior, retrieve sex and/or relationship. Or, say, insert erection, retrieve sexual validation.”

    I agree with that, ffs.

  156. says

    @ 575

    *disagree. I feel the same about that statement as I feel about the idea that men are behavioral vending machines. It’s dead wrong.

  157. says

    Well, Lee, “frankly” you could try reading what I’ve written. I’ve said what I’m talking about. It’s hardly my fault that you haven’t been paying attention. (I think you’ve been too busy going on at great length about what you’re talking about to pay attention to what I’m talking about. That’s not a crime but it’s a bit much to then claim I’m being unclear.)

  158. Pteryxx says

    Lee: but nobody said men are behavioral vending machines, except you. You also initiated the complaint about men’s sexuality being reduced to erections + provoking the proper response from women. You need to get a clue about toxic masculinity and figure out that these are the same problem as assuming women are passive point-scoring fodder who really want to be raped, instead of getting your outrage fluffed about MEN problems only.

  159. Woo_Monster says

    Spartan,

    the word harms, period. Isn’t that the crux of the ‘intent’s not magic’ argument?

    No. Clear, well done satire and mockery can use slurs and such. In these cases, it is clear that the message is one of mocking people who would actually use those slurs. The phrase/ concept “intent is not magic” comes into play when you are talking about a message that is not clear. If you are a shitty comedian, like Jim Jefferies, and your schtick is indiscernible from the rantings of raving misogynists, then your message is harmful (no matter what the intent). “intent is not magic” addresses communication where the speakers’ possibly benign intent isn’t obvious.

    If something is clearly satire, and people see it as an obvious example of fighting the prejudices the speaker is pretending to indorse, I don’t think you will see anyone bring up the fact that “intent isn’t magic”

    You know what is “magic” (“magic” in that phrase means something like, what really matters/ is actually important)? The actual effect of the communication. If satire is clear, the effect will be to push back against toxic bigotry. If the satire is unclear (i.e. Jim Jefferies), then the effect is that shitty bigotry is reinforced.

    Is that cleared up?

  160. says

    sw:

    Wow, that seemed completely called for.

    Fuck you again, tone troll.

    You’re right. That single cartoon undeniably proves that every guy who has ever called himself a “nice guy” is pure evil and simply wants to rape every woman he knows. Well done.

    Nice Guys™ consider women to be not actual people but pussy dispensers who will dispense pussy if the Nice Guy™ executes the correct script. It’s an attitude borne of, and reinforcing of, rape culture, the bottom line of which is that women exist for men’s entertainment and convenience and that our desires and preferences are to be dismissed.

    Nate:

    Please tell me that cartoon was created by someone lampooning Nice Guys™ and not someone who actually thought it was true/funny.

    I consider it a “lampoon” the way I consider Jim Jefferies’ act a “lampoon.”

    Thanks for trying to educate sw, btw.

    Lee:

    If you were half as reasonable as you are bitter…

    Anyone else got bingo yet?

    The rest of your comment is just your usual “You’ve misunderstood what I was saying” dance and attempt to redirect the conversation to what you want to talk about. I think every feminist and feminist ally here understands pretty well what you’re saying, which is why you’ve received such a hostile response.

  161. says

    I’m going to be a pain in the ass and say no direct “fuck you”s. I know how tempting it is, but even I have been known to regret yielding to the temptation. Let us Elevate the Tone.

  162. Woo_Monster says

    Lee,

    If you were half as reasonable as you are bitter…

    Ms. Daisy Cutter,

    Anyone else got bingo yet?

    You beat me to it. I got my bingo two paragraphs down with,

    You have completely ignored my underlying position, preferring instead to paint me as the typical misogynistic asshole merely on the basis of not toeing the line.

    Go for blackout? Lee, anyone strike you as hysterical in this conversation?

  163. A. Noyd says

    Spartan (#573)

    But I don’t throw around ‘intent’s not magic’ either, so I’m wondering why it doesn’t apply here. I think it doesn’t apply here because she’s using it hyperbolically, or is assuming the role somewhat of what these unfucked women might say, or putting it in the phrasing that she thinks Lee might use.

    It’s obvious it’s that Giliell is paraphrasing the words and attitude of the women she’s describing. Using epithets that way is not the same as putting (or seeming to put) one’s own thoughts behind those epithets. Now, maybe Jefferies is using a character to paraphrase misogynists in order to mock them, but if that’s the case, he’s doing a bad job of making that clear, which is problematic.

    Actually I don’t think nuance or reading her mind is even relevant; the word harms, period. Isn’t that the crux of the ‘intent’s not magic’ argument?

    No. The crux of the argument is that saying something in ignorance–be it ignorance of the meaning or ignorance of how one’s audience will take it–does not magically render that thing innocuous. While, in cases of mistaken intention, you can say “what I meant was ______,” you do not get to follow it with “therefore you’re wrong to be upset.”

  164. says

    Lee: but nobody said men are behavioral vending machines, except you.

    Right, no one else used my analogy. Brilliant observation, completely relevant; +1. I was referring to the article, which you were touting as elevating “what’s at stake” in the issue of an offensive comedian’s supposed hatred of women. The only charitable interpretation of that citation(that is, the only way it could be construed as supporting the “raising the stakes” claim) was that men hearing, and finding funny, sexist humor somehow leads to more rape; i.e. behavioral vending machine. That would, if true, constitute a valid threat, and I pointed out that if the article bears out that conclusion, I would have to view such humor as incitement to violence. No one is saying that violence against women isn’t a serious issue, only that your argument and the article you cited to support said argument is bullshit.

    Go for blackout? Lee, anyone strike you as hysterical in this conversation?

    No. Bitter? Apparently, given that Daisy or whoever ranted for two paragraphs about absolutely nothing that had to do with my comments, against positions I had explicitly disowned in previous comments. I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t do it, I’m not defending it, and I don’t like inequality any more than you do. I’m not even defending Jefferies; my only point is that you can’t deny Muslims or Christians the right to be offended whilst subsequently affirming your own right to not be offended. Well, not and be rationally consistent.

    He offends a lot of people in his comedy, and I find myself skeptical of the claim that somehow offending women is a hot-button issue that has nothing to do with the fact that you are women, and that offending Muslims not being an issue has nothing to do with you not being Muslims. I don’t condone offending people, least of all women, but that’s not the point.

    If you disagree with the claim that no one has a right not to be offended, such that women are exempt while Muslims aren’t, again, I’m all ears. If your only response is to box me into some cookie-cutter dissident to be taunted, insulted, and ignored, stop pretending to be ‘free thinkers’. Some of us would prefer that phrase retains some meaning.

    Please, don’t pull your punches, Ophelia, no one else is. You started out so well, but at this point it sounds like “your comment is just [...] “You’ve misunderstood what I was saying” dance and attempt to redirect the conversation to what you want to talk about.” But you aren’t redirecting or clarifying, and all of the comments from you to me were precisely about denying my claim, that no one has the right not to be offended(at least until you started on the semantics). If I misunderstood your position, fine, where did I go wrong? Don’t just do the dance, show me the steps.

    I think every feminist and feminist ally here understands pretty well what you’re saying, which is why you’ve received such a hostile response.

    I would like nothing more than to believe that is true, but I cannot make myself agree with you. I’m not trolling, I’m just sticking to my guns until someone points out why I’m wrong rather than just attempting to stuff me into the “bad guy” mold. If you don’t want me here, just say so, but don’t pretend I’m something that I’m not in a pathetic attempt to invalidate my position.

    Thanks,

    Lee.

  165. says

    Lee, if you don’t stop making this about “a right not to be offended” when I’ve told you repeatedly that it isn’t, I’m going to block your comments. You don’t get to say the issue is what I’ve explicitly denied it is (and never said it is to begin with) just so that you can argue with what you want to argue with instead of what I do. My blog, my issue; your blog, your issue. That’s fair.

    And don’t patronize me, either.

  166. A. Noyd says

    Hahaha, Lee isn’t the bad guy, y’all. No, he’s just waiting to be convinced he’s wrong to disagree with an argument no one’s making. And it’s not at all trolling to demand Ophelia personally walk him through the actual argument while still failing to own up to his strawmanning. Cuz, ya know, scrolling up is soooo haaaard.

  167. says

    No, he’s just waiting to be convinced he’s wrong to disagree with an argument no one’s making.

    Says the guy who made the argument I’m disagreeing with (447)

    One also has to assume that offending someone on the basis of their beliefs is equivalent to offending someone on the basis of a characteristic they have no control over

    Whoops, I scrolled…

  168. says

    I’ll make one last attempt. (God, I hope it’s the last.)

    I find myself skeptical of the claim that somehow offending women is a hot-button issue that has nothing to do with the fact that you are women, and that offending Muslims not being an issue has nothing to do with you not being Muslims.

    Good for you, but I’m not claiming that.

    I didn’t say anything about offending women. That’s the wrong word. That’s why I didn’t use it – because it’s the wrong word. The problem with misogynist ranting presented as comedy is not just that it “offends” women; it has much broader effects than that. It spreads and validates and models hatred of women. It excludes women. This is why misogynist rants are not considered desirable in the workplace, for instance – they creat what’s known as a hostile working environment.

    Jim Jefferies caused the GAC to feel like a hostile environment for some of the women in the audience (and for some of the men, too).

    That would apply just as much to Muslims (or Sikhs or Jews or Hindus or whatever you like). A hate-filled rant about Muslims would create a hostile environment for Muslims, and would be a bad thing. Disputing or mocking the claims or rules of Islam (or any other religion), on the other hand, is a different category.

  169. Spartan says

    Woo_monster & A.Noyd, thanks for your explanations. I’ve certainly seen ‘intent is not magic’ used in a far looser way that to me doesn’t look valid, but I’m glad to see recognition that nuance does exist. The only criticism I’d have of your responses is that ‘clear’, ‘well done’, and ‘obviously’ are pretty subjective, especially in comedy. There was a reference above to Carlin’s bit where he refers to Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy as niggers. In context, it is clear, brilliant satire and well done by someone who is widely regarded as one of the greatest comedians of all time… to me. If a black person is harmed by the bit though, I’d have trouble not seeing ‘intent’s not magic’ as a response that is at least as valid as I think the situations where you think it is a valid response. To put it another way, to quote A.Noyd:

    “While, in cases of mistaken intention, you can say “what I meant was ______,” you do not get to follow it with “therefore you’re wrong to be upset.””

    Agreed, but you’re also not required to follow it with, “I apologize for doing something I shouldn’t have”, and I don’t think Carlin did anything wrong by using the word even if it did harm some people. Apologizing because you harmed someone, which people should pretty much always do regardless of intent, doesn’t necessarily equate to the harmer having actually done something they shouldn’t have. I’ll have to pay closer attention to when it’s used in the various language wars on blogs, because unlike the Carlin scenario I usually see it accompanied by the message ‘you’ve done something you shouldn’t have’, to put it very lightly.

    Which is in no way a defense of Jeffries, who sounds stupid and I have no interest in watching; there are limits. I think very edgy comedians like Carlin, Hicks, and Stanhope are all excellent comics though, partly because each of them has made me squirm in addition to being funny. But not all of their bits are going to be funny and work, it really takes a lot of talent to come up with routines like that so I’m willing to give most comedians a pretty wide berth. I want them to take chances.

  170. says

    Thank you Ophelia, but I already responded to that previously (478, 491, 495, arguments made and largely ignored), so anything further from me would just be repetitive.

    Lee.

  171. says

    No you didn’t “respond to that”; you just repeated the same mistakes I had already pointed out. I didn’t ignore 478, 491, and 495, I disagreed with them. And that’s a fucking rude response to my taking the time to try to explain it to you yet again. Go away.

  172. A. Noyd says

    Lee (#587)

    Whoops, I scrolled…

    Yeah, and you clearly didn’t read what I wrote. I was was accusing you of making that assumption so that you could pretend the post about the situation with student group is analogous to the topic of this post. Getting a little into the fractality of your wrongness, as it were.

    Now, see the sentence right after that? Where I say “it’s NOT about whether or not someone has the right not to be offended but…”? Oh, damn, how the fuck’d that line get in there?! It’s almost like I’m denying that offense is the issue way up in #447. No, wait… I am denying offense is the issue! Well, fuckin’ fancy that!

    Maybe you could take advantage of your ban to go read what came after that “but” a few dozen times.

  173. A. Noyd says

    Spartan (#589)

    I’ll have to pay closer attention to when it’s used in the various language wars on blogs, because unlike the Carlin scenario I usually see it accompanied by the message ‘you’ve done something you shouldn’t have’, to put it very lightly.

    Well, that’s because there are plenty of blogs where people like to think it should go without saying that, whatever one’s intentions, being insensitive to the reality other people have to deal with is the default wrong. It’s part of the attempt to redress systemic inequity to insist that the current norms–those allowing one to excuse oneself by falling back on one’s ignorance–are backwards and harmful.

    As a white person, it may be understandable if I don’t spend time learning about the particulars of racism in the year 2012, or what I get to take for granted due to my race, or what less-than-obvious things people of color would rather I do or not do. After all, the dominant social norms don’t demand that of me. But if I fail to do that, then I am doing something wrong. If I unwittingly contribute to racism then I should apologize because it’s on me to have known better.

    Similarly, a comedian is doing something wrong if he doesn’t pay attention to the ways in which his act might enable bigots and bigotry, perpetuate harmful social norms, or contribute to a chilly climate for a subsection of his audience. A comedian should already have a really good idea of how what he intends to convey will play out in reality. Not that everyone will get things right all the time, of course, but dealing with comedic misfires should look more like this (cartoon in question is here).

    At any rate, I’m not expecting you to agree with this point of view. It’s just that I don’t see “intent isn’t magic” used differently than the way I explained, but I can see how it might appear that way to you if you’re unaware of the… well… intent behind it.

  174. Woo_Monster says

    Woo_monster & A.Noyd, thanks for your explanations. I’ve certainly seen ‘intent is not magic’ used in a far looser way that to me doesn’t look valid, but I’m glad to see recognition that nuance does exist. The only criticism I’d have of your responses is that ‘clear’, ‘well done’, and ‘obviously’ are pretty subjective, especially in comedy.

    The fact that it is especially difficult to deliver a clear message while doing comedy is the reason that comedians have to be more cautious than most. One must be careful with satire, done ineptly, it sends the wrong message to malicious people.

    Satire is a composition of salt and mercury; and it depends upon the different mixture and preparation of these ingredients, that it comes out a noble medicine or a rank poison. – Lord Francis Jeffrey

    Comedy has to be done en clair. You can’t blunt the edge of wit or the point of satire with obscurity. Try to imagine a famous witty saying that is not immediately clear. – James Thurber

  175. sw says

    Again… do you know the difference between confident men and complete jerks?

    Yes, in my experience the complaint isn’t “girls *only* go for jerks”, simply “girls often go for jerks, and seldom go for me”.

    That common denominator is not the women… it’s you. This means that the problem is you. You are the one doing something (or maybe even a lot of things) wrong, and you are the one who needs to change.

    True, but sometimes the thing that is wrong is along the lines of “most women don’t seem to find 5ft tall redheaded dudes attractive”. Some perfectly nice, friendly guy were just shortchanged in the looks department, or other things they simply can’t do much about. And then the see the ease with which some *actual* jerks get the kind of attention they want from women simply by winning the genetic lottery. I’m not saying this is a strictly male problem by any means either, but Nice Girls(TM) are seldom complained about.

  176. says

    True, but sometimes the thing that is wrong is along the lines of “most women don’t seem to find 5ft tall redheaded dudes attractive”.

    Oh yeah, because us women are all looking like Angelina Jolie or Katy Perrey or whoever is currently considered to be the gold standard of womanhood.
    Seriously, knock it off. Life is hard and then we die.
    I could complain for hours along the same line of that.
    And having been on both sides of “conventionally attractive”, I know that “fuckable” and “unfuckable” bith come with a pretty big load of shit.

  177. sw says

    Oh yeah, because us women are all looking like Angelina Jolie or Katy Perrey or whoever is currently considered to be the gold standard of womanhood.

    I’m not saying this is a strictly male problem by any means

  178. julian says

    True, but sometimes the thing that is wrong is along the lines of “most women don’t seem to find 5ft tall redheaded dudes attractive”.

    ((This is gonna seem disjointed. Pretty hungover right now))

    How big a problem is that?

    I don’t know many men who are 5ft tall but know several within the 5’4-5’5 range. All in happy relationships with women their height or shorter. Possibly relevant, all of them share a disdain for tall women calling them ‘mannish’ and ‘too tall to date.’

    With how varied the heights are between different places and people, it isn’t difficult to find someone in your ballpark and often times (from my own biased experience) it comes down to personal nitpickiness. (“I’m not dating an asian chick!”)

    It isn’t as if just by virtue of being small and red headed (or tall, gangly and creepy looking in mine) we’re free from society’s views on what constitutes an attractive partner.

  179. EddieiffthasAIDS says

    You know, I think the problem with most of you commentors is that you can’t get your hole wet.

  180. Morgan Donovan says

    If things are so bad, why can’t you stop complaining and do the world a favor by killing yourself? No one who produces anything of value has any time for this worthless complaining.

  181. John from Oz says

    lol! All the precious ninnies on this thread are examples of why we NEED comedians who tell offensive jokes – the perpetually offended types just suck all the fun out of life, they need a good (metaphorical) kicking. Jim has some great material on the holocaust also if you’re interested.

  182. John from Oz says

    I think it’s actually illuminating for once to look at in Freudian terms – the comedian (especially JJ) is unrestricted id, whereas people who are card carrying “ism-ists” (especially of the feminist variety) are alll superego. Part of the fun is knowing that such people go purple listening to such things!

    There is, of course, an old joke that applies in this case….. Q. How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb? A. (yelled) THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ;)

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