Quantcast

«

»

Jul 14 2012

Better taste

I gather (via Twitter) that Pamela Gay gave a great, standing ovation talk at TAM just now.

Pamela Gay just gave a talk highlighting the sexual harrassment in the skeptic community and called out for change! #TAM2012

Thank you @starstryder for tackling the harassment issue head-on at the #tam2012 podium, elegantly, eloquently, & w/many other great ideas!

@starstryder Thank you x a million. I wondered if anyone would say it. You knocked it out of the park. #TAM2012

Thank you, @starstryder!! That was exactly what #tam2012 needed and you were exactly the woman to do it. Inspiring.

@starstryder knocked it out of the park. Smart, measured and impassioned decimation of the trolls

Over hearing women sharing TAM harassment stories in the restroom. I think @starstryder‘s courage is contagious #tam2012

My friend Mya says she clapped until her hands hurt.

Excellent!

38 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    oh, someone please have video! *cheers*

  2. 2
    Sili

    Bully!

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    I’m sure someone does, or will; I think they provide videos of everything. The one by Jamy Ian Swiss earlier also got raves. Two to watch for.

  4. 4
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Yes!

    I’m about to go for a walk, and will enjoy it all the more with this thought in mind.

  5. 5
    Hein

    Pamela Gay just gave a talk highlighting the sexual harrassment in the skeptic community and called out for change!

    *gasp* Irresponsible messaging! She’s reating a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — will end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe!

    Over hearing women sharing TAM harassment stories in the restroom.

    Nothing more than distasteful locker room stories!

  6. 6
    Stacy

    Good for her! Thank you, Dr. Gay.

  7. 7
    anthrosciguy

    Has DJ taken to the stage to denounce her for having done so yet?

  8. 8
    Beauzeaux

    Terrific. I hope it influences people.

  9. 9
    Stacy

    She’s creating a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — will end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe!

    And if she keeps that up, men will have to acquire forms signed in triplicate before they’re allowed to chew on women’s shins, and Lighthearted Highjinks and Sexytimez will be forever banished from Skepticland!

  10. 10
    tonyinbatavia

    @5, Hein, nicely said. Once Penn and DJ get wind of this heretical act of non-Libertarianism, they’re going to have to find a way to ostracize her from the Boys Club. Why couldn’t she just fall in line like Harriet Hall?

    I get the feeling this will be Pamela Gay’s last talk at TAM.

  11. 11
    Smhlle

    @9

    I must report, with a heavy heart, that my jinx have reached a new low.

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 10 – noooooooooo. That’s most unlikely. She’s a regular, and her talk was a huge hit.

    No, come on, let’s be optimistic here. This could well improve the situation! It sounds as if it already has.

  13. 13
    tonyinbatavia

    Alright, Ophelia, I’ll be optimistic. If anyone has reason to be a pessimist, it would be you … so, I’m taking your lead.

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    I was very pessimistic before, with all the reports of in person trolling and all the visible trolling on Twitter (and Harriet Hall’s fucking T shirt to start things off well). But this sounds like a much better turn of events.

    Mya thinks so. Mya knows what’s what. Mya was at WiS.

  15. 15
    davidmc

    Nice one, cant wait to see it.

  16. 16
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I raise my G&T to this. :)

  17. 17
    callistacat

    Thank you thank you Pamela Gay! Just awesome. :)

  18. 18
    Kels

    Has there been any word on WTF was up with Harriet Hall’s T-shirt? Like where it came from and such?

  19. 19
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Excellent. And good for Gay, giving a talk on one of two apparently proscribed topics for TAM (sexism and atheism).

  20. 20
    screechy monkey

    I share Ophelia’s optimism, for two reasons:

    1. Although it seems like everyone in the skeptic/atheism community has weighed in on this, it’s really just a vocal minority (on either side). There are plenty of people in the audience at TAM who either know very little about this debate and/or are still persuadable.

    2. Having someone lay out the case for harassment policies in that kind of format (extended presentation, not being interrupted by trolls) can only help. I believe in the strength of “our side’s” arguments, especially when they aren’t being distracted by sniping about FTBullies and other such nonsense. Most of the push-back from the “other side” seems to come from taking the occasional remark out of context, then blowing it up and misrepresenting it: e.g., a simple “guys, don’t do that” in the course of a long video turns into “Rebecca is ordering men to never talk to women again,” and a simple request for a policy that promotes the idea of consent turns into “forms signed in triplicate.” Having said that, I’m sure that in the next few days, people who weren’t there will seize upon one or two remarks in Gay’s speech and the hounds will be upon her, too, but at least there was a large audience who heard the whole thing.

  21. 21
    Ophelia Benson

    Am I just crazy to think Pamela Gay will be immune to that? She’s religious, for one thing. She’s not linked in any way with “FTB” or “the Oppressed Sisterhood” or any of the Marked Enemies. She’s an astronomer, not a mere scribbler like me. She’s just not good troll material, I would think – and her talk got a standing ovation.

    I think she could be a (pause for effect) bridge.

  22. 22
    Ophelia Benson

    Ah. Reading her twitter page is very interesting – you can see her working on the talk.

    https://twitter.com/starstryder

    I’ve tried, but was rebuffed. Told in bar didn’t cnt RT @bug_girl: i nrver reported what happened to me as a grad student. ‪#Cultureofsilence‬

    I’ve seen textbook sexual harassment at all male dominated confs I’ve been to. Mostly laugh off. Touching harder to LOL about.

    Etc.

  23. 23
    cethis

    I think some trolls will go after her, but I’m not sure about DJ aligned bloggers. I think their line of attack will be, “But Pamala, unlike the FTBBullies…”

  24. 24
    screechymonkey

    Something I’ve been thinking about lately, and since it’s sort of on-topic in this thread, I’m going to put it here:

    I’d be very curious to know what all of the folks who say “there is a harassment policy — it’s called ‘call the cops’” have to say about the Freeh Report. Joe Paterno and the Penn State brass basically relied on the fact that the police had been notified, but no charges laid, to ignore eyewitness reports and continue to look the other way while giving Sandusky access to their facilities and allowing him to lure young boys with his connections to the program. But hey, the cops were called, so that’s all Penn State was obligated to do, right? A decent person’s or organization’s obligations never extend beyond that, right? After all, if we don’t have sufficient evidence to put someone in prison (i.e. guilt beyond a reasonable doubt), then we just shouldn’t do anything. Only an FTBully could think otherwise!

  25. 25
    PC C

    After PZs treatment of Pamela Gay she’s not doing this out of atheist sympathy that’s for sure.

  26. 26
    Pteryxx

    But hey, the cops were called, so that’s all Penn State was obligated to do, right? A decent person’s or organization’s obligations never extend beyond that, right?

    Not to mention keeping silent “to avoid the consequences of bad publicity”. Where have we heard that one before…

  27. 27
    julian

    After PZs treatment of Pamela Gay she’s not doing this out of atheist sympathy that’s for sure.

    Ha!

  28. 28
    joel

    Wish I could have been there. This is indeed an amazing meeting

    Marginal audio is a big problem for old skeptical ears.

    I wish there was a way to have subtitles on Pamela’s video when it comes out.

  29. 29
    Tom Foss

    Cethis @23: It’s already happening. Barbara Drescher, on Twitter last night:

    @pzmyers Some differences between what @starstryder said and what happened at FtB: reasonableness, civility, personal responsibility. (link)

    See, because when FtB says the same thing as someone else, it automagically becomes unreasonable.

    And as I tweeted in response, apparently passive-aggressive sniping is compatible with “civility.”

  30. 30
    julian

    See, because when FtB says the same thing as someone else, it automagically becomes unreasonable.

    I’ve noticed.

    So much for all that dispassionate skepticism crap.

  31. 31
    Ophelia Benson

    Plus…really? Every single thing said by a Freethought blogger was devoid of reasonableness, civility, and personal responsibility? Is that really true? Does Drescher know it’s true? Does she think it’s reasonable, civil, and personally responsible to make a sweeping accusation like that?

  32. 32
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Cethis @23: It’s already happening. Barbara Drescher, on Twitter last night:

    Good call, cethis.

    Hm. On the one hand, that response so reveals the bankruptcy of that position that I’m pleased to see someone resort to it, even if it’s based on a moronic mischaracterization. More important, it implies an acknowledgement that what others have been talking about is a real problem; it’s basically admitting that their opposition has been to the people or the presentation and not the basic content of the arguments. This means that the intellectually honest will now have to treat harassment as a real problem, even if they wish to continue to insult and ignore specific individuals they don’t like (who will continue to speak up however we see fit).

    On the other hand, the level of intellectual honesty amongst them is low, and there are several who really do oppose the basic ideas of feminism however these are presented. So there will probably be an effort to keep the discussion at the level of alleged personalities and presentation, much the same as in the religious response to the works of Carl Sagan. Many love to point out how civil he was in order to compare him to others, but only some have been willing or able to recognize that he was politely making important arguments and to address those. The others have remained at the level of “Why can’t you gnus be more like him?” due to intellectual failures or a stubborn hostility to the ideas themselves.

    People trying that trick in this case should be challenged.

  33. 33
    Richard

    I don’t usually comment on this topic, but I was shocked to hear that DJ took such a no-compromise stance and didn’t have a policy at all, not even last year’s.

  34. 34
    Martha

    I think some trolls will go after her, but I’m not sure about DJ aligned bloggers. I think their line of attack will be, “But Pamala, unlike the FTBBullies…”

    I hope so. This dispute needs someone perceived as a good cop, and more power to Pamela Gay for stepping into that role when it wasn’t at all clear she’d be successful. Given that so many of the anti-feminist side have egos that are more strongly invested in this fight than are their brains, there’s a real need for them to save their pride as they acknowledge the reasonableness of, say, having harassment policies.

    I hope those of you who have met with such vitriol for playing the “bad cop” will realize that the rest of us can easily see that there’s no way the other side would see sense without your contributions. I just wish those contributions hadn’t come at such a high personal cost.

    Thanks, Ophelia, for not giving up.

  35. 35
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    @pzmyers Some differences between what @starstryder said and what happened at FtB: reasonableness, civility, personal responsibility.

    So, the good old sandbox-reasoning of “don’t matter if you’Re right, and I don’t care who is going to hurt because of this, you yelled and therefore you’re wrong”
    Yeah, that’s the hallmark of an intelligent adult…

  36. 36
    screechymonkey

    No video yet, but she’s posted the text:

    http://www.starstryder.com/2012/07/15/make-the-world-better/

  37. 37
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, man…

  38. 38
    Ophelia Benson

    Wow.

Leave a Reply

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

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