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Oct 18 2012

It’s all trolling, when you come right down to it

The pro-misogyny (yes, misogyny) crowd is passing around an article on “liberal bullying.” Of course they are. The people who stalk a few bloggers day in and day out for a year and a half are “brave heroes” and freedom fighters; the people they stalk relentlessly are liberal bullies.

Still, there’s something to it, at least if the descriptions are accurate.

Increasingly, I’ve started recognizing this kind of behavior for what it is: privilege-checking as a form of internet sport. It’s a kind of trolling, with all the politics I agree with, but motivations and execution that turns my stomach. It’s well-intended (SO well-intended), but when the motivations seem to be less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don’t agree with you… well, I’m not on-board.

You know what it reminds me of? The Slacktiverse. There are some liberal bullies there, I think – except that they’re not liberal in the sense I use it. Ariel Meadow Stallings uses it in a different sense, though, and the bullies at Slacktiverse fit that sense. And they ooze righteousness.

There’s such a thing as the Social Justice Troll; it’s a meme.

A commenter has some doubts though.

What it sounds like you’re saying with this post is “I am tired if having to think about this stuff, and dealing with it is annoying me.” Now, by labeling people who call someone out as a troll and a bully, we can dismiss those people, and silence their concerns. The problem is, it won’t be the balloon examples– and this is already happening– it will be the examples of calling out overt misogyny (as in the skeptic community) or racism that will see the brunt of this labeling.

And oh gee golly guess what that’s already happening, and has been happening for lo these many months.

166 comments

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  1. 1
    Stephanie Zvan

    Any argument or tactic can be misapplied. That’s not a reflection on the validity of the argument or the tactic. It doesn’t mean you can suddenly point to the people who are using it correctly and say, “Nah, wrong, bad.” You still have to note why it’s a misapplication in that particular circumstance.

    Fuck, but the pro-misogyny crowd are some of the laziest opponents I’ve ever had.

  2. 2
    Aratina Cage

    #FTBullies

    Kinda like that^^^, eh?

  3. 3
    Timon for Tea

    Is there really a ‘pro-misogyny’ crowd? I suppose all forms of life are supported on the internet, but the is this sort of article really interesting to people who actively promote hatred of women? I saw it when it was tweeted by the journalist and writer (‘How to be a Woman’)Caitlin Moran, who is not everybody’s cup of tea but could hardly be called a misogynist. In fact I think even her worst enemy would describe her as an ardent feminist, even if they disagree with her ideas on feminism. And the article is very even handed and reasonable.

  4. 4
    Stephanie Zvan

    Timon, saying that the pro-misogyny crowd is pushing an article is not even close to saying that anyone promoting the article is part of the pro-misogyny crowd.

  5. 5
    Timon for Tea

    It is a bit close Stephanie. The impression is that the people promoting the article tend to be ‘pro-misogyny’. Perhaps it would have been better to say: ‘An article is being passed around by a lot of feminists, liberals and other progressives and also by some people who are pro-misogyny’. Or something.

  6. 6
    Stephanie Zvan

    Timon, it’s only close in your head.

  7. 7
    Ophelia Benson

    Timon, I don’t know who else is passing it around. I saw it passed around by some of the pro-misogyny crowd. Yes, there really is a pro-misogyny crowd. Since you read this blog, it seems unlikely that you’re completely unaware of them.

  8. 8
    rpjohnston

    Failure to call out privilege publicly is how it thrives. Taking a public display of privilege to private conversation leaves the public ignorant that it even happened – and one can be dismissed much more easily in private, leaving none the wiser.

    There should be more, not less, public calling-outs.

    I won’t comment on how close to “attacks”, rather than “criticism”, comments typically are though since I don’t usually read all of the comments posted on articles.

  9. 9
    John Brown

    @Stephanie Zvan: Did you really just say that “the pro-misogyny crowd are some of the laziest opponents I’ve ever had?”

    The “pro-misogyny” crowd? Really? Are you being incredibly specific with your language or are you just being ironically lazy with it when you use that term?

    Do words mean absolutely nothing to you?

  10. 10
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yes, John. Stephanie is stupid and she does not understand how words work. What’s more she’s well-known for being lazy and apathetic, writing very little and what there is of it is never sourced nor coupled with rational argumentation. Everyone can see it’s outrageous on its face to even conceive of the idea of a pro-misogyny crowd. How can she be so crazy?

  11. 11
    Stephanie Zvan

    What’s the matter, John? Don’t like to be associated with the consequences of your behavior?

  12. 12
    thephilosophicalprimate

    John Brown: Did you just use a series of rhetorical questions to criticize someone? Do you think your perspective is so transparently and obviously correct that using rhetorical questions instead of arguments is persuasive? Does the requirement to offer explanations and arguments for one’s conclusions mean nothing to you?

    I don’t know anything about you but what is displayed in that comment, John Brown, so I can’t judge whether you are in any way a part of the pro-misogyny crowd — but the epithet “lazy” certainly applies.

    As OB said above, there clearly is a pro-misogyny crowd: The slymepitters, the defenders of violentacrez/Michael Brutsch, the people who cannot express disagreement with a woman without using crude sexist epithets and perpetually defend the right of themselves and their fellow travelers to do so as “FREE SPEECH!!!” even though censoring their opinion has never even remotely been suggested — they are all pro-misogyny. Use of the term “pro-misogyny” is clearly meaningful, and even though I never saw it before today, I immediately intuited who was meant by it: the people who are not just misogynistic themselves, but who vocally and constantly defend and advance the “right” of people everywhere to be misogynistic (as if anyone’s rights were actually threatened by criticism). They are not merely those who benefit from male privilege (including “chill girls”), but the ardent defenders of male privilege from any and all criticism.

  13. 13
    John Brown

    “What’s the matter, John? Don’t like to be associated with the consequences of your behavior?”

    Eyeroll. So, when asked a specific question, you resort to character assassination. How very skeptical of you, Stephanie.

    If the definition of the “consequences of my behavior” is to have Stephanie Zvan sort me into a group she labels dishonestly, then those are consequences I think I can live with. Just because you (and your sycophantic lap-puppy, Josh) say something is true…you know…doesn’t actually make it true.

    And, watch! Two can play at this hilarious game! What’s the matter, Stephanie? Don’t like to be associated with the consequences of your behavior? You know, like being called out being dishonest and lazy with language?

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    Well of course you can live with it, because you’re pseudonymous. That makes it very easy, doesn’t it.

  15. 15
    bcmystery

    Is it possible to commit character assassination against someone who has already committed character suicide?

  16. 16
    Stephanie Zvan

    Josh as sycophant?! Funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

    Sure, Mr. biggest critic of Atheism+ and Surly Amy is just complaining about how people treat her to make money but you’ll declare a “cease fire” for the moment on Greta, sure you’re engaged in no misogyny whatsoever. Sure you’re not enabling the Hoggles and WoolyBumblebees of the world. Sure I’m lazy with language.

  17. 17
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    [Looks up at Stephanie with WhimperEyes%trade]: Can haz skritches mistress thx?

  18. 18
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, is that who John Brown is? I wasn’t aware of him before.

  19. 19
    Ophelia Benson

    And now I am aware of him. Meh.

  20. 20
    Stephanie Zvan

    Okay, Josh, now that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. :D

  21. 21
    Banned Atheist

    MRAtheist 4chan/b/ dude-bros and Anons have — for all their faults, and they are legion (pun intended) — invented one patently awesome meme which, when applied consistently and judiciously, effectively curtails many of the worst abuses of trolls of any flavor.

    It’s Rule #14 of the Internet: “Don’t feed the trolls.” It’s not really that simple, of course. As Ariel points out in her piece, OffbeatEmpire’s troll problem is exasperated by a few self-righteous knowitalls vying for attention and validation. They troll for the tete a tete… deny it them.

    That’s the tricky part, because online forums can be hostile — more than the real world, I think, where the threat of confrontation is physical. And yet divisive debate can still lead somewhere. I think the trick is to have a more cohesive online community, where poster ‘know’ each other and can act spontaneously to deny trolls the sustenance they so cravenly, er, crave.

    Just my thoughts, speaking as a web developer and blogger as much as an occasional fly-by commenter.

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    Eyeroll. So, when asked a specific question, you resort to character assassination. How very skeptical of you, Stephanie.

    and in the next paragraph:

    (and your sycophantic lap-puppy, Josh)

    So John Brown’s doing a Mr. Bean-type character skit, is he?

  23. 23
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Eyeroll. So, when asked a specific question, you resort to character assassination. How very skeptical of you, Stephanie.

    Well, the question was crap. The series of questions were non sequitur. Words have meaning, and you can use them specifically. Yes, pro-misogyny is a thing, and we keep seeing it. Why don’t you spell out what you actual problem with what Stephanie Zvan said? (Oh – I didn’t mean to respond with another question, but c’est la vie.)

  24. 24
    Kes

    @Banned Atheist, no offense, but you aren’t… very old, are you? “Don’t feed the trolls” is not a 4chan invention; has been part of the internet’s ethos since the Usenet days. I remember my father explaining the concept of not feeding trolls to my tender 8-year-old mind as he cruised the SFF Usenet boards using his DOS IBM with a green-screen monitor.

    And I agree with a number of people who’ve previously said that this tactic only works if you have one or two trolls who aren’t seriously invested in their position and doing it, as 4channers so eloquently like to state, “for the lulz”. The kind of troll that is common around these parts, the “pro-misogyny” types for example, are deeply invested in their worldview, believe in it earnestly, and react emotionally when it is mocked or criticized. These people need to be engaged, because letting their assertions go unchallenged just affords them the illusion that their views are not only right, but widely accepted, when they are wrong on both counts.

  25. 25
    dirigible. Big thanks to FTBs' admins for letting someone steal my nym

    “less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don’t agree with you”

    But people who don’t agree are *bad*.

  26. 26
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Banned Atheist @21:
    I was under the impression that “Don’t feed the Trolls” wasn’t a very effective strategy for dealing with them as mentioned by Kes @24 and This post by Stephanie.

  27. 27
    Wooly_Bumblebee

    Ok, this shit has gone on long enough. Stephanie & Ophelia, you two need to back off and stop peddling your bullshit of labeling people you don’t like as horrible people. You both have engaged in horrible shit as well (may I remind you of the recent J. Vacula hate campaign) Guess what, people like John Brown and myself actually were supporting Greta and asking people to back off. I even donated to her and sent her a message of support. But fuck that right? We’re despicable assholes right? Well fine, then maybe we should live up to that and to hell with Greta. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you and Stephanie take care of Greta and we’ll just keep on pointing out what fucking assholes you people truly are. Bashing people that are trying to help? WOW! That is just going too far. I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her. Too bad she loses out because her ‘friends’ are such asshats. But fuck her… You guys really could care less when it comes right down to it. You are both so pathetic. Way to go… Way to fucking go…

  28. 28
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her. Too bad she loses out because her ‘friends’ are such asshats.

    You are morally repellant.

  29. 29
    Aratina Cage

    Booly, if you could only look at what you do from an outsider’s perspective, you would see that you are an incoherent, spit-feckled, babbling, manipulative, misogynistic, abusive mess of a person.

  30. 30
    Argle Bargle

    Wooly_Bumblebee #27

    Ok, this shit has gone on long enough. Stephanie & Ophelia, you two need to back off and stop peddling your bullshit of labeling people you don’t like as horrible people.

    But what if they are horrible people? You’re a horrible person, delighting in having chased Jen McCreight away from her blog. Many people don’t like you because you are a horrible person and you demonstrate pride in being horrible.

    Guess what, people like John Brown and myself actually were supporting Greta and asking people to back off. I even donated to her and sent her a message of support.

    Wow, you told people to back off of Greta? I’m impressed you’re smart enough to realize that kicking someone when they’re down is considered despicable even by other horrible people. Do you want a cookie for not being horrible in this one instance?

    I’ll tell you what, why don’t you and Stephanie take care of Greta and we’ll just keep on pointing out what fucking assholes you people truly are…I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her.

    Well, that lapse into niceness didn’t last long.

  31. 31
    malefue

    Wooly_Bumblebee, you must be a horrible person.
    The fact that people like you are running around out there frightens me.

  32. 32
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh.my.fucking.god.

  33. 33
    Stacy

    Kristina Hansen, you had to tell your friends not to attack Greta while she’s grieving?

    Jesus fuck.

    Why did you post a video asking people to donate to Greta, Kristina, really? PR? Image control? I can’t believe it was due to a principled desire to help someone in need regardless of personal differences. Had it been that, you wouldn’t withdraw it in a self-righteous snit just because you’re offended at something someone else has said.

    You don’t even know that, do you.

  34. 34
    jenniferphillips

    So, Wooly, you’ll yank support from under Greta just to stick it to Ophelia? That’ll show her…or something.

    I was just discussing how little respect I have for people who’ll abandon a worthy cause over a petty disagreement. Thanks for providing another data point.

  35. 35
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Damn. Here I was thinking the bar for vile scumbaggery couldn’t go any lower and then Booly_Wumblebee came along and proved me wrong.

  36. 36
    NathanDST

    I hope you’ve gone as low as you can go, Wooly, because you’re already demonstrating that you are horrible.

  37. 37
    Ophelia Benson

    Wow.

    I signed out of Twitter so that I could look at Wooly Bumblebee’s account to see if the above is a poe. It’s not. “John Brown” told her Stephanie called him a misogynist because he declared a “cease fire” on Greta Christina (which misrepresents what Stephanie said – of course), and she flew into a rage and left that pile of steaming ordure here.

    I didn’t “label” her or anyone; I didn’t bash her or anyone, or call her or anyone despicable assholes. I talked about a group of people. She could decide that she’s not one of that group.

    Of course, I do think she’s one of that group – the pro-misogyny crowd. I do think she’s a despicable asshole. But I didn’t say so here – yet she says I did. That’s typical Kristina Hansen.

    Anyway, why bother to say anything? She demonstrates it herself.

  38. 38
    JS

    The Bumblebee has more intelligence and more common sense than all of you combined. And today she demonstrated her humanity and compassion by rising above the bullshit to help another human being in need, and she even encouraged her followers to do the same.

    To be honest, I don’t like Greta Christina, but I was seriously thinking of following the Bumblebee’s lead and helping Greta Christina anyway due to the Bumblebee doing so, which set an example for me to be a better person as well. But now that you people are shitting on her, I am going to go with my original plan of simply not giving a fuck.

  39. 39
    Ophelia Benson

    Well, “JS”, that’s pretty easy for you, isn’t it, since no one will have a clue who you are.

    It’s not true about Kristina Hansen though. Her husband – Joel Mendez – posted two tweets on #atheismplus saying “is she dead yet?” Meaning Greta. No, those two are not good people.

  40. 40
    Ophelia Benson

    And another thing – this expecting credit for “calling a cease-fire” and the like is pathetic. You don’t get credit for stopping something you shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.

    If you’ve been punching me for a year and a half, and you stop, the fact that you stopped doesn’t make you a great humanitarian.

  41. 41
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    JS wrote:

    And today she demonstrated her humanity and compassion by rising above the bullshit to help another human being in need, and she even encouraged her followers to do the same.

    Which, by stamping her foot for not getting a cookie, she promptly revealed was nothing more than a shallow attempt to try and win points rather than act like a decent human being.

    That said, she’s still a better person than you, JS, because at least there was a moment where she was capable of doing something good; something that you’ve illustrated is completely beyond you – you worthless piece of shit.

  42. 42
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Wooly Bumblebee:

    I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her.

    What in the ever loving hell is wrong with you, you pus encrusted sac of shit?
    You don’t like Ophelia or Stephanie for whatever reason, fine.
    But you decided to help Greta out in a time of need, which is a laudable thing to do, but now you want to retract that help based on something that has fuck all to do with her?

    You are a despicable low life.

  43. 43
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    JS:
    You’re just as horrible as Kristina Hansen.
    What kind of supposed good natured human being agrees to help out someone in their time of need, but makes it conditional on other people saying nice things about you?

    Help Greta, don’t help her, but don’t make it dependent on whether or not people worship the ground you walk on.

    How the hell can horrible people like you live with yourself?

  44. 44
    Tom Foss

    Isn’t this the same crowd that, nary a few weeks ago, made a huge issue of “guilt by association”? That it was unfair to label a certain J. Vacula as a misogynist and MRA just because he wrote an article for a misogynist MRA hate site? That it would be an enormous breach of freedom and liberty and decorum to try to get him fired from his livelihood–er, from an unpaid volunteer position–just because he freely associated with some truly loathsome, repellent people (notwithstanding his own truly loathsome repellent acts)?

    But clearly it’s a principled stand to stop supporting a person with a life-threatening disease because you don’t like something that someone else vaguely associated with them said about a completely unrelated topic. That is truly the righteous path.

  45. 45
    h. hanson

    Wow, I have not seen such vile behaviour since I was a teenager. I’m too old for that shit. But the nasty girls I knew then grew into nasty women. I don’t hold much hope that some maturity will help this crowd either. Sorry you have to deal with crap all the time, Ophelia. It must be so disappointing.

  46. 46
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her.

    1) “One good deed is not enough to absolve a [person] of a lifetime of villainy.”

    2) Trying to hold a cancer victim hostage to appease a petty grudge is like an idea for something a cartoon villain might do that the show’s writing committee would nix as too over-the-top.

  47. 47
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ophelia:
    I apologize for violating any of your rules about personal attacks. I’m at one of those “so mad I’m crying” stages.
    I just find it inconceivable that anyone could he so heartless. It’s cruel beyond belief to offer to assist someone and then retract that because other people said mean things about you.
    Oh, and Kristina’s husband sounds like he’s even worse than she is.
    Someone find them, JS, and John Brown a nice desert island somewhere far away from the rest of humanity.

  48. 48
    ewanmacdonald

    I actually feel ‘woozy’ thinking about the mindset behind post 27. Woozy and sick.

  49. 49
    Ingdigo Jump

    Ok, this shit has gone on long enough. Stephanie & Ophelia, you two need to back off and stop peddling your bullshit of labeling people you don’t like as horrible people. You both have engaged in horrible shit as well (may I remind you of the recent J. Vacula hate campaign) Guess what, people like John Brown and myself actually were supporting Greta and asking people to back off. I even donated to her and sent her a message of support. But fuck that right? We’re despicable assholes right? Well fine, then maybe we should live up to that and to hell with Greta. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you and Stephanie take care of Greta and we’ll just keep on pointing out what fucking assholes you people truly are. Bashing people that are trying to help? WOW! That is just going too far. I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her. Too bad she loses out because her ‘friends’ are such asshats. But fuck her… You guys really could care less when it comes right down to it. You are both so pathetic. Way to go… Way to fucking go…

    Um…wow you sure showed them?

  50. 50
    Ingdigo Jump

    “One good deed is not enough to absolve a [person] of a lifetime of villainy.”

    Especially if your next act is to nullify that deed.

  51. 51
    picklefactory

    The Slacktiverse is dead, so no use in pointing people at it. The post you linked to killed it, it just took a little while to happen.

  52. 52
    Wooly_Bumblebee

    Did any of you lazy asses even bother to watch the video? I doubt it. BTW, it’s still there, and there is a new video explaining why. Yes, I admit I posted in anger. I am human and as such get emotional… You all know a lot about that emotional knee-jerking don’t you? But I agree that Greta should not have to pay for the actions of Ophelia, Stephanie, and all you ‘sheep’ here. The thing is, you might want to actually watch, read, or find out what is actually going on instead of just listening to Ophi and Stephy, and taking them at their word. That’s how you end up looking as ridiculous as they do. Cheers!

  53. 53
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Wooly,

    I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her. Too bad she loses out because her ‘friends’ are such asshats.

    Fuck off Wooly, you despicable shit-sack.

    Cheers!

  54. 54
    Aratina Cage

    Yes, I admit I posted in anger. I am human and as such get emotional…

    That is not an adequate excuse for your foul behavior here or there, Booly.

  55. 55
    Stephanie Zvan

    Yes, please don’t take my word for what kind of person Wooly Bumblebee is. Instead, watch the video she made after Jen announced that she needed to stop blogging after the harassment for starting Atheism+ triggered her depression.

  56. 56
    jenniferphillips

    Wooly Bumblebee, i visited your blog, once. I’ve read a few of your comments elsewhere, and here today. These exposures have left me with exactly zero desire to hear anything more from you, and nothing could compel me to watch your videos. If you have a point, you should be able to make it without requiring others in the conversation to familiarize themselves with your full body of work.

  57. 57
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    What a nice video, Stephanie. Look, Wooly, I am not a lazy ass! I clicked on a link and watched one of your videos. It, like all other things I’ve seen from you, was pretty shitty. In fact, it was very shitty, and mean.

    Fuck you.

    Cheers!

  58. 58
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Wooly:

    Did any of you lazy asses even bother to watch the video? I doubt it. BTW, it’s still there, and there is a new video explaining why.

    Given how you bully people and then climb up on your cross and pretend like the world is being mean to you for no reason, then display the depths of your inhumanity by punishing Greta because people were mean to you (for entirely justified reasons)–why on earth would anyone watch anything by you shit for brains?
    Go fuck yourself, take your husband with you and don’t ever come back. No one will miss you. And take your cross with you.

  59. 59
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Woo_Monster:
    I’d ask you to summarize the video, but I don’t want you to torture yourself one minute longer thinking about Kristina.

    I wonder if she has done the right thing and called her husband out for his comments about Greta…

  60. 60
    snakepliskinist

    I like how the writer believes that “it’s a meme” confers any legitimacy whatsoever. Anyway, bullying people is uncool. Ya know, like calling those with a different perspective the “pro-misogyny (yes, misogyny)crowd.” It’s almost like you’re just throwing out emotionally-charged buzzwords to silence dissent. Almost.

  61. 61
    Forbidden Snowflake

    snakepliskinist:

    Anyway, bullying people is uncool. Ya know, like calling those with a different perspective the “pro-misogyny (yes, misogyny)crowd.”

    I don’t think you know what the word “bullying” means. Or “like”, for that matter.
    Hint: not every instance of saying something someone doesn’t enjoy hearing fits the definition.

  62. 62
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ya know, like calling those with a different perspective the “pro-misogyny (yes, misogyny)crowd.

    A different perspective?
    Two people view Felix’s jump from 28,000 feet.
    One says “That’s awesome. Science has allowed a man to travel faster than the speed of sound.”
    The other says “It’s a marketing stunt by Red Bull. What’s the point?”
    *That’s* two different perspectives. Each view has legitimacy.
    People like Wooly don’t have “different perspectives”. There’s no legitimacy to their belief that Ophelia, Jen and Stephanie deserve to be bullied for… hell I don’t even know *why* they’re being harassed. I’ve asked before, but no one has explained what these women have done. Oh sure vague accusation like “they harass us” or “they say mean things” or “they tell lies”. Those don’t tell me anything. Give me some links with some context to see the so-called awful things they’ve done. The ever vapid Ms Hansen hasn’t pointed to anything. Nor has Vacula. Yet they run around crying about the mean things done or said to them. They continually post BS. They continually start fights. They continually act like scum of the earth who failed at Empathy 101.
    If people like Kristina Hansen and Justin Vacula want to stop being called misogynists, they should stop acting like misogynists. People that wallow in the misogyny (which is not *just* hatred of women) are going to be called out. They’re pro misogyny.

    It’s almost like you’re just throwing out emotionally-charged buzzwords to silence dissent.

    Calling them names (or “emotionally charged buzzwords” as you stupidly put it) doesn’t do much to silence these disgusting people, so what’s your point? Do you actually think using “emotionally charged buzzwords” can actually silence the misogynists?
    At this point though, given the sheer inhumanity that Wooly B has displayed in this thread, I’d be happy for her to close her blog and shut the fuck up for the rest of her life or at least until she realizes how much of an utter failure she is at being a decent human being and begins to take steps to mend her ways. A great start would be a sincere apology for every negative thing she’s said to the bloggers here.

  63. 63
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, at least JS, John Brown and Wooly Bumblebee demonstrate that there are some people for whom “without god everything is possible” is actually true.
    No, you’re not good and decent because that’s the right thing to do. You must be pleaded with, begged, bribed, mollycuddled.
    No wonder you go along claiming all the time how “FTBUllies” are punishing people. Because reward and punishment are actually the only things you understand.
    Being good for goodness’ sake? Humbug!
    Helping somebody, no matter who, because they’re suffering? Don’t give me that!
    No, people must be deserving people. And not only do they have to be perfect and deserving, all their friends have to be, too, because if anybody of them ever dares to say as much as something not 100% positive about you you stop helping and blame it on those people.
    You made me kick a puppy, I hope you’re proud of yourself!

  64. 64
    markneil

    Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources. I presume you’r willing to make up any potential loss this might cause Greta, given her upcoming medical bills. or do you believe your actions don’t have consequences? Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you if Greta has sufficient funds to pay her bills, so long as your beliefs go unchallenged? I’m curious, what have you all done for Greta so far? Cause Wooly, JTO and others have sent their best wish’s and encouraged financial support from their subscribers through their video’s. I see Ophelia has made a similar effort on her blog, but I see no such act on Zvan’s Blog. Awfully kind of Zvan to try and discourage support for Greta, while failing to promote it likewise among her own followers. Truly a caring, friendly community you have here.

  65. 65
    Stacy

    Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources…

    Awfully kind of Zvan to try and discourage support for Greta

    *blink*

    Who rejected aid offered to Greta? How could somebody who’s not Greta even do that?

    How does criticizing John Brown and Kristina Hansen discourage support for Greta?

    ~~~

    Is this how their lies get started? Framing a disagreement so as to make their opponents look as bad as possible, with no regard for logical coherence, let alone truth?

    Jesus, they’re like Fox News. Only stupider. The Fox crowd know they’re lying.

  66. 66
    ray cumfart

    how come you atheism+ females are so god damn unfuckeble ? you all look like fucking ogres

  67. 67
    hyperdeath

    Stacy says:

    Is this how their lies get started? Framing a disagreement so as to make their opponents look as bad as possible, with no regard for logical coherence, let alone truth?

    Pretty much. After a few repetitions “SteFunny and OpheLiar stole the money needed for Greta’s cancer treatment, out of sheer hatred for the donors” will be regarded as hard fact.

  68. 68
    hyperdeath

    ray cumfart says:

    how come you atheism+ females are so god damn unfuckeble ? you all look like fucking ogres

    Thank you for that damning refutation of the myth that atheism has a misogyny problem.

  69. 69
    dzd

    Speaking only for myself, as a former moderator of a forum with a large and vocal social justice contingent, I completely agree with the “privilege-checking as performance art” aspects of that article. I have never seen fallings-out and nastiness at a higher peak than I have among groups of people who were in broad agreement over social justice principles but whose lived experience gave them different viewpoints on an issue. The levels of vitriol that some of these posters turned on one another was far worse than anything they turned on actual misogynists.

    I suspect that the commenter who said ‘What it sounds like you’re saying with this post is “I am tired if having to think about this stuff, and dealing with it is annoying me.”’ has not had to deal with this sort of thing personally. It is *emotionally exhausting* to have to deal with battles between groups of people who should by all rights be aligned with one another. It causes people’s real lives and work and health to suffer. Dismissing this kind of exhaustion as “being annoyed” is reductive and insulting.

  70. 70
    oolon

    Yuk, is the response to reading Wooly’s comment. Anger aside, that is low, makes me wonder how much the original ‘put aside our hate’ post/video was pure posturing. Interesting that some on the other ‘side’ even feel it necessary even to ‘back off’… Surely there is no need to back off from reasoned debate on a subject?

    I suppose somewhere these people realise that what they are doing is not reasonable so when someone experiences actual tragedy in their life there is at least a little pang of guilt. Maybe the extreme response to ‘having it thrown back’ in their faces (As they see it) is more to do with the discomfort of being made to feel guilty as much as anything.

  71. 71
    h. hanson

    I think the worst thing that could happen to these nasties is to ignore them when they come over here. The old adage of “don’t wrestle with pigs. You’ll only get dirty and the pig likes it” comes to mind. I’m done reading their crap. Gonna go riding instead. Horses are more rational than people in so many ways and I enjoy their company so much more.
    Good luck!

  72. 72
    ewanmacdonald

    Wooly_Bumblebee: because I was bored I decided to try watching one of your videos. It was the Greta follow-up one. I lasted 50 seconds then turned it off. There were two reasons for this:

    1) Your microphone isn’t set up correctly, so your voice sounded distorted and unpleasant. (I’m sure your actual voice in normal circumstances sounds just fine, so don’t take this as a criticism – just reconfigure your microphone so it doesn’t distort.)

    2) In those 50 seconds you didn’t actually say anything, except that Stephanie had trashed you and others for “being decent.” This, from my perspective, was such a content-free distortion of known facts, punctuated with lots of pauses, ums, and ahs, that I didn’t want to watch further. This is a criticism. There are millions upon millions of videos available online, and nobody can watch them all. Nothing in those 50 seconds suggested to me that the next 9 minutes were going to be interesting, honest, or to-the-point, things I look for in any new video.

  73. 73
    Eric Saveau

    @markneil –

    Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources.

    Who did that? Links, please.

  74. 74
    ewanmacdonald

    Who did that? Links, please.

    This should be good. After all, we’re told that these people are the true guardians of skepticism, so I’m sure they have plenty of data to reference.

  75. 75
    Aratina Cage

    Just when you think they (one or two slimepit sockpuppets plus Booly) can’t go any lower, we get proof they can.

    I’m sorry you have to take the brunt of their misogyny, Ophelia. :(

  76. 76
    Eric Saveau

    This should be good. After all, we’re told that these people are the true guardians of skepticism, so I’m sure they have plenty of data to reference.

    Why, ewanmacdonald, you sound so…

    …skeptical.

    :-P

  77. 77
    Ophelia Benson

    Good morning, campers.

  78. 78
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Ophelia, those jerks aren’t worth listening to. Please try to put them out of your mind.

    Tom Foss @44: To be fair, I read that Justin Vacula’s article was just picked up by the misogynist site; I don’t think he sent it to them.

  79. 79
    dirigible.

    narkmeil “Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources.”

    Where in the OP did it say “please post ridiculously obvious lies in the comments”?

  80. 80
    dirigible.

    Morning, OB.

  81. 81
    ewanmacdonald

    Why, ewanmacdonald, you sound so…

    …skeptical.

    Yep, I’m afraid I have my hyper-skeptic’s beanie on right now, and I’m going to need to see at least two links before I take “Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources” as anything but a vicious lie.

    I find it possibly believable that one person said something that, when viewed in a certain light, could be viewed that way. This would be a long way off the above’s being true; and more importantly it would almost certainly not indicate “you all”.

    My suspicion is that it was yet another lie thrown out in a fit of pique, as seems to be happening all the time from the Vaculites and various other groupuscules disgracing the movement.

  82. 82
    Aratina Cage

    Tom Foss @44: To be fair, I read that Justin Vacula’s article was just picked up by the misogynist site; I don’t think he sent it to them. –Markita Lynda

    I believe there was evidence uncovered that he did in fact send it to them. It’s probably researchable at Stephanie Zvan’s blog Almost Diamonds.

  83. 83
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 83, yes, and not just that he sent it to them, but that he wrote or revised it for them. He posted a comment at the slyme pit saying he was working on an article for AVFM.

  84. 84
    ewanmacdonald

    Vacula specifically edited (and added to) his article for publication on A Voice for Men. This has been pointed out time and again. The claim that Justin’s work was lifted by AVfM without his knowledge is an outright lie. Vacula said on August 17:

    Sorry for the lack of activity. My laptop is broken and I have now ordered a new one. I am using a really, really, really shitty computer now. My mobile phone also limits me. I hope to catch up on things soon. I see Stephanie’s post and may respond. Now, though, I am working on a guest post for AVoiceForMen on this shit computer.

    Not posting a link as it was on the Slymepit and will be moderated, but if you put the last sentence in quotes in Google it will take you directly to it under the title ‘The Slyme Pit+ • View topic – Periodic Table of Swearing’.

  85. 85
    ewanmacdonald

    f;b

  86. 86
    jb

    wooly, you sound like a piece of crap

  87. 87
    Stephanie Zvan

    Not at my site. There’s a discussion of it and a copy of the slimepit comment here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/10/open-letter-to-justin-vacula/#comment-26589

  88. 88
    Stephanie Zvan

    Or I could have refreshed before posting. :)

  89. 89
    Aratina Cage

    @Ophelia, good morning! And to build on what you said in #84, Vacula posted that message to the slimepitters on the new & improved slimepit itself, which is in essence a monument to “free speech” misogyny. It would be better to be fair to the woman Vacula acted against intead of bending over backwards to give Vacula some kind of way out of the mess he got himself into.

  90. 90
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Good morning, campers.

    An opportunity to offer you the hilarity that is French as Catherine Zeta Douglas Spartacus Jones. You’ll know why when you play it.

  91. 91
    Anthony K

    Let’s not forget sarahjess’ comment on Greta’s post itself:

    You have got to be kidding.

    I am sorry, but Greta, this is so very out of line. With all the causes and organizations that could actually use this money for much better purposes, you should just be ashamed of yourself.

    Everyone is having hard times, but this is disgusting. You made a choice to forgo medical insurance and make your job speaking and promoting your agenda. Now, those choices are creating trouble for you and you have the stones to ask, nay beg, for our money.

    My money goes to those who need it, not who are just “in a bind”.

    You have actively promoted thought policing, misandry and ridiculous agenda and you now want money.

    Shame on you.

    Shame on you. For getting cancer and having an agenda. Or something.

    And you really must read Woolly Bumblebee in the original Klingon to appreciate it:

    Ok, this shit has gone on long enough. Stephanie & Ophelia, you two need to back off and stop peddling your bullshit of labeling people you don’t like as horrible people. You both have engaged in horrible shit as well (may I remind you of the recent J. Vacula hate campaign) Guess what, people like John Brown and myself actually were supporting Greta and asking people to back off. I even donated to her and sent her a message of support. But fuck that right? We’re despicable assholes right? Well fine, then maybe we should live up to that and to hell with Greta. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you and Stephanie take care of Greta and we’ll just keep on pointing out what fucking assholes you people truly are. Bashing people that are trying to help? WOW! That is just going too far. I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her. Too bad she loses out because her ‘friends’ are such asshats. But fuck her… You guys really could care less when it comes right down to it. You are both so pathetic. Way to go… Way to fucking go

    JS shows he can’t read:

    The Bumblebee has more intelligence and more common sense than all of you combined. And today she demonstrated her humanity and compassion by rising above the bullshit to help another human being in need, and she even encouraged her followers to do the same.

    To be honest, I don’t like Greta Christina, but I was seriously thinking of following the Bumblebee’s lead and helping Greta Christina anyway due to the Bumblebee doing so, which set an example for me to be a better person as well. But now that you people are shitting on her, I am going to go with my original plan of simply not giving a fuck.

    Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources. I presume you’r willing to make up any potential loss this might cause Greta, given her upcoming medical bills. or do you believe your actions don’t have consequences? Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you if Greta has sufficient funds to pay her bills, so long as your beliefs go unchallenged? I’m curious, what have you all done for Greta so far? Cause Wooly, JTO and others have sent their best wish’s and encouraged financial support from their subscribers through their video’s. I see Ophelia has made a similar effort on her blog, but I see no such act on Zvan’s Blog. Awfully kind of Zvan to try and discourage support for Greta, while failing to promote it likewise among her own followers. Truly a caring, friendly community you have here.

    markneil can’t read either:

    Awfully nice of you all to reject aid offered to Greta on her behalf simply because you don’t like the sources. I presume you’r willing to make up any potential loss this might cause Greta, given her upcoming medical bills. or do you believe your actions don’t have consequences? Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you if Greta has sufficient funds to pay her bills, so long as your beliefs go unchallenged? I’m curious, what have you all done for Greta so far? Cause Wooly, JTO and others have sent their best wish’s and encouraged financial support from their subscribers through their video’s. I see Ophelia has made a similar effort on her blog, but I see no such act on Zvan’s Blog. Awfully kind of Zvan to try and discourage support for Greta, while failing to promote it likewise among her own followers. Truly a caring, friendly community you have here.

    And later, just because misogyny’s HIGHlarious, raycumfart pops by to add:

    how come you atheism+ females are so god damn unfuckeble ? you all look like fucking ogres

    Remember all of this, when some piece of shit starts talking about the Slymepitters are really just as caring as everyone else, they just care to use terms like Cuntbecca Twatson while caring.

    But calling someone a misogynist is the real slur.

    Honestly, the atheoskeptical community is by and large the worst collection of people I’ve ever encountered. And I’ve been around a lot of people.

  92. 92
    Anthony K

    Damn, wrong comment thread.

    Please get rid of the above, Ophelia. Or don’t. It’s a good summary.

  93. 93
    Aratina Cage

    Whoops, sorry Stephanie and thanks ewanmacdonald. The only reason I thought it might have been on your site, Stephanie, is because you had written up a very comprehensive list about him.

  94. 94
    Argle Bargle

    Bully-Womblebee reminds me of the story about the guy convicted of murdering his parents who asked for mercy in sentencing because he was an orphan.

  95. 95
    Ophelia Benson

    Jeezis – I hadn’t seen that comment on Greta’s thread, addressed to Greta.

    Honestly. Greta’s request for financial assistance if you can afford it is exactly as “disgusting” as NPR and PBS asking listeners and viewers to subscribe. In other words, not at all.

  96. 96
    Ophelia Benson

    Perfect analogy, Rodney. (I also noticed just now that you objected to the whole “hey I’m a wonderful person because I called a halt to nasty activities I never should have been engaging in in the first place!!” claim, before I did.)

  97. 97
    ewanmacdonald

    No worries Aratina Cage. I wasn’t meaning to say that you were lying. Just that the various people who pop up to say “it wasn’t his fault!” are lying.

  98. 98
    Renee Hendricks

    I will go out of my way to not stress Greta. I know it’s difficult to deal with an illness of any kind when you’re getting stress from multiple sources.

    However, I will not donate money. There’s a point in one’s life when, if making the decision to strike it out on their own as an independent worker/freelance, one makes sure that life’s possible pitfalls are taken into consideration. As a self-employed person with three children to take care of *and* having no insurance coverage myself, I’ve done exactly this.

    Still, it just amazes me that so many here are more than happy to vilify those who do wish to dig into their pockets and line Greta’s bank account. It tells me more than I’ll ever need to know about certain people.

  99. 99
    Stephanie Zvan

    Renee, no one is “vilifying” anyone for donating to Greta. Several people have noted that donating to Greta or wishing her well or encouraging others to do so does not change anything else those people have done. Nor does it magically exempt them from criticism for those things.

    You being you, of course, I expect you to continue repeat your original idea ad nauseum everywhere, but at least it’s on the record here that you’ve had it explained to you.

  100. 100
    ismenia

    Back to the subject of liberal bullying. Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right BNP, has objected to the ruling against two Christian B&B owners who refused to allow a gay couple to share a room. He sees this as bullying and objects that people should focus on Muslims not “meek and mild” Christians.

    So concerned is he about this bullying that he has posted the addresses of the gay couple on Twitter followed by a message so menacing it is being considered for criminal prosecution.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/oct/18/bnp-nick-griffin-address-gay-couple

    It fascinates me that a fascist is so concerned about bullying. It’s pretty much what they stand for when you get down to it. They clearly think it doesn’t count if the victims are not white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

  101. 101
    Renee Hendricks

    Except, Steph, there’s a point where one puts aside disagreements/etal and does something human. I happen to do that quite often. There are a number of people within FTB/A+ I completely disagree with and don’t even like very much. However, as a human being, I recognize and embrace empathy where it’s needed and warranted. I put aside petty crap and do what I’m able to do *as a human*. Try it some time.

  102. 102
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *cookie*

    (for Renee Hendricks)

  103. 103
    Anthony K

    I put aside petty crap and do what I’m able to do *as a human*. Try it some time.

    This comes right on the heels of shaming Greta:

    However, I will not donate money. There’s a point in one’s life when, if making the decision to strike it out on their own as an independent worker/freelance, one makes sure that life’s possible pitfalls are taken into consideration. As a self-employed person with three children to take care of *and* having no insurance coverage myself, I’ve done exactly this.

    Just, shut up, Renee. For everybody’s sake, just shut up.

  104. 104
    doubtthat

    The fuck did I just read?

    Whining goofballs incapable of distinguishing necessary from sufficient; sickening emotional manipulation and blackmail; cartoonishly over-the-top melodrama…

    I read most of that, and I have no idea what these folks are angry about.

  105. 105
    Anthony K

    Just because it’s such an example of FAIL!, I’m reiterating:

    However, as a human being, I recognize and embrace empathy where it’s needed and warranted.

    For example, saying There’s a point in one’s life when, if making the decision to strike it out on their own as an independent worker/freelance, one makes sure that life’s possible pitfalls are taken into consideration. As a self-employed person with three children to take care of *and* having no insurance coverage myself, I’ve done exactly this.

    ‘Empathy’ apparently equals “you should have thought of this before you got cancer” to Renee.

  106. 106
    doubtthat

    “However, as a human being, I recognize and embrace empathy where it’s needed and warranted. I put aside petty crap and do what I’m able to do *as a human*. Try it some time.”

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but embracing empathy and behaving as a human in all circumstances seems to be one of the driving motivations of A+.

    I would question why you think what you’re doing is so important that it trumps your humanity in most situation. Your decency is just reserved for special occasions?

  107. 107
    Ophelia Benson

    No, Renee, that won’t fly. You talk lying shit about specific people day after day after day. We’re not talking about “disagreements” – that’s a bullshit dodge that the harassers keep using, claiming they simply “disagree” with us. Bullshit. Your friend Wooly did a nasty degrading photoshop of me. She reviled Jen McCreight’s father for writing a blog post to support her. You told your friend Wooly I had doxxed her, just a few hours ago, when in fact she named herself in an interview and has said her identity isn’t a secret.

    You don’t just “disagree” with us, you don’t just not like us very much; you monitor us, and talk shit about us, and tell lies about us.

  108. 108
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    That was a sarcastic cookie, just in case it wasn’t clear.

    Renee obviously wants an acknowledgment for something, but since she hasn’t exactly shown any compassion here, I’m not really sure what we’re supposed to thank her for.

  109. 109
    Ophelia Benson

    Ah well, others said it better while I was typing.

  110. 110
    Stephanie Zvan

    I put aside petty crap and do what I’m able to do *as a human*. Try it some time.

    Aside from the fact that the second sentence says right out loud that this isn’t what Renee is doing here at all, there’s also the fact that she then ran to Twitter:

    LOL I figured Stephie-poo would be the 1st to chime in after my comment and she didn’t disappoint”

    This is why your drama teacher would have told you to carry the act all the way offstage, Renee. Never assume the curtains will hide you.

  111. 111
    Anthony K

    Anyone else ever notice how the anti-FTB/atheist plusser seem to have long laundry lists of all the things they won’t do for their fellow humans, all the while touting how great they are as people?

    They won’t donate money to someone in need.
    They won’t encourage others to donate.
    They won’t stop using words like ‘cunt’ to denigrate those they don’t like.
    They won’t abide harassment policies.
    Hell, they won’t even abide people talking about harassment. I mean, Dear Muslima and all.

  112. 112
    Ophelia Benson

    What are we supposed to thank Hendricks for? It must be this generous concession -

    “I will go out of my way to not stress Greta.”

    We’re supposed to think that’s an example of “embracing empathy” and acting like a human.

    Really?

    Why on earth does she have to “go out of her way” to refrain from stressing Greta?

    She doesn’t. Of course she doesn’t. It’s the other way around. She goes out of her way to stress Greta (and others). Not doing that isn’t going out of her way. It doesn’t make her a nice or empathetic or generous person.

    I suppose she’s measuring in proportion. When she is stressing people, she puts in a lot of time and typing saying nasty things about them on Twitter. That makes a big number. Therefore, she thinks, if she stops, that too makes a big number, but in the opposite direction. If she scores 97 Nasty, then when she stops, she gets a 97 Nice.

    Nuh uh. It doesn’t work that way. Just not being a shit doesn’t get you points. None at all.

  113. 113
    hyperdeath

    Brownian says:

    …all the while touting how great they are as people?

    People who brag about possessing some virtue, usually embody its exact opposite. Genuinely kind people neither need nor want to advertise their kindness.

  114. 114
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    W T actual F?

    Who was vilified for not giving? Not making a donation =/= slamming a grieving woman with cancer while parading around as if you have taken some through-the-looking-glass sort of moral high ground. The behavior shown by this sad pack of hateful, raunchy, pro-misogyny /anti- social justice nitwits who bully relentlessly while whining that they are somehow the victims of those they berate is outrageous and pathetic. They lie, stalk, mock the chronically depressed and seriously ill and in general act in ways any 5 yr old knows better than to act. The fact that they find this to be the best use of their time is sickening. I mean… really, what sort of person behaves like that?

  115. 115
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    @ O.B.
    Exactly! “Hey everybody, look at me barely kicking someone while they’re down as much as I usually kick them! Aren’t I special? Aren’t I kind? Somebody pat my head and gimme a cookie for being such a wonderful person!” – what Booly and Renee seem to be saying.

  116. 116
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Renne,

    Here’s a hint. If you don’t want to stress Greta, maybe stop writing about her or participating in conversations about her. That really doesn’t take much effort, no need to go “out of your way” or anything.

  117. 117
    doubtthat

    And can I just point out, if you think someone is substantively wrong, their wrongness does not change when they are diagnosed with cancer. If you’re dealing with someone and have to radically change your approach when they become ill, chances are you’ve been doing something horrid the whole time.

    I didn’t expect theists to say, “Oh, let’s all pretend God doesn’t exist until Hitchens shuffles off,” and I’m certain Hitchens wouldn’t have accepted such a ridiculous act.

    It is still possible to disagree with Greta, and the fact that a “truce” has to be called leads me to believe there was no substantive complaint with her work to begin with.

  118. 118
    Ophelia Benson

    Ha! That Wooly is a caution. I knew she’d done a video addressed to me because someone told me so, but I didn’t bother looking at it. But her ardent display of humanitarian zeal and Nobel Prize-worthy empathy here finally made me break down and watch it. It’s addressed to me, and she says my name a lot (which gives me the creeps, to tell the truth) – and she explains why “bitch” isn’t “offensive” – when used about a woman, but it is hugely offensive to call a man a bitch. (Yes, I know.)

    Then she explains that she wouldn’t call me a bitch, because she doesn’t think of me as empowered, and “bitch” is an empowered word. No, she would call me a fucking cunt, instead. And does. Concluding with

    “So go fuck off. Have a good day! [pause] Cunt.”

  119. 119
    TheAnagramMan

    Lets take the tone down a level and see if we can at least try to understand where “the other side” is coming from, shall we?

    Comment 16: Svan said “but you’ll declare a “cease fire” for the moment on Greta, sure you’re engaged in no misogyny whatsoever. Sure you’re not enabling the Hoggles and WoolyBumblebees of the world”. This (as Ophelia already mentioned) is where it started. It shouldnt matter what side your on, there is no stretch of language required to see Svan is calling John a misogynist (or engaged in misogyny) in this post.

    I checked John’s tweet. It does say that john was called a misogynist BECAUSE he declared a cease-fire. I don’t think this is entirely accurate, however it’s still rather unfair that Svan would include that positive act in her argument/attack/rebuttle as supportive of how bad he is and how much a misogynist he is. Upon hearing this discription, Ophelia, you accepted and agreed on the negative position presented by Svan.

    Looking at it from john’s perspective: he fights for the reasons he believes to be right, like we all do. He defends Greta against some unsavory tweets from the “anti” camp. He calls on others to stop the negativity, and he still get *nongenderspecifically* slapped in the face for such a move. You might not like what he says, but shouldn’t be a huge stretch of empathy to see how he could be offended by this.

    Was a cease-fire a positive act? Yes, I think it was. “You don’t get credit for stopping something you shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.” Ok…to follow your “stomach punching” analogy through to a conclusion, what would you like to see happen, Ophelia? Do you not think it’s for the greater good, given the circumstances, that the punching stops!? Would it be better or worse that it continued or stopped!? I’d like to know what you actually think the right thing to do here is!? The Situation is as it is. Mud is flying from both sides. Don’t say it isn’t. Vicious comments are coming from both sides. Don’t say they aren’t. The fact that people have decided to back off IS a good thing. I think everyone needs to agree on that.

    From wooly’s perspective: She too was mentioned in Svan’s post. I’m sure Svan hadn’t seen
    Wooly’s video for Greta prior to mentioning her here. Anyways, Wooly video is sincere. I struggle to see how those of you that have actually seen it, can say it isn’t. It’s clearly had thought and effort put in with opening credits, closing credits and a personal message to Greta, it wasn’t some half-assed shout out. So, having done this, having put her differences aside, and having disagreed with the mud slinging on Greta, she’s alerted to post 16. She comes here. And she sees her name mentioned in a negative light. Her name, in a post from Svan. Her name is a post with that buzz word MISOGONY which is so often throw at “the other side”. And whats her reaction? A harsh reply full of anger! But why? Some of you above have speculated as to the reasons. To be honest, I find the responses to her comment ten times worse. She lashed out because she was called out even when doing the right thing. Alot of others on “her side” still aren’t siding with her on this issue in such a positive way. She wasnt spewing hate, or laughing at Greta. But Svan’s post clearly hurt her personally. Having a go at a time when she clearly felt it wasn’t the time to attack. Why does no one step back and stop demonising them?… and yes, I’ll say it, especially at a time like this.

    Charity is also a theme surrounding the mud slinging. People from both sides have put their hand in their pockets, Wooly included. Charity of words, context and empathy, however, is no where to be seen. No one on the FtB side seems to be doing anything more than doubling down and demonising those who honestly, from what I’ve read, don’t think this fight should even be taking place right now. You guys are Greta’s friends. It should be you calling for some respect at this time…or *heaven* forbid a “cease-fire”.

  120. 120
    Eric Saveau

    “So go fuck off. Have a good day! [pause] Cunt.”

    Gosh, I just can’t IMAGINE why some people might not view her in an overwhelmingly positive way.

  121. 121
    Eric Saveau

    Who is this “Svan” person? Is he or she perhaps related to PZ “Meyers”?

  122. 122
    Banned Atheist

    @Kes (#24) – No offense taken! When a person gets to my age, it feels good to be mistaken for a youngster. :) Usenet sure… I ran a BBS called “Digital Mind” off a CPM machine back when one plugged one’s phone into rubber cups on one’s 300bps modem. For the sake of historical accuracy, then — since I see this bunch can’t be BS’d — let’s correct the record and say 4chan/b/ co-opted and popularized the meme via the “Rules of the Internet”.

    @Tony (#26) I hadn’t read Stephanie’s bit on “Don’t feed the trolls”. Thanks for the link. (Read read read read … OK, I’m back.)

    You both have to admit that I did say it ain’t that simple. As an irregular commenter here, I don’t think I’m qualified to be the judge of when it ain’t, and will defer to the regulars of this relatively cohesive online community as to when that might be, here — you two included (but first and foremost Ophelia, since it is kinda her blog). I have my own blog for those times when I feel like squatting on the soap-box.

    That said (don’t ya hate that?) just as one wouldn’t expect an astrophysicist to debate a geocentrist, one isn’t obligated to challenge every absurd assertion that erupts from the faceholes of know-it-alls. Sometimes it’s more effective to offer nothing more than a whithering look of pity. Other times, I absolutely agree it’s better to confront the bully and stand them down. Yet other other times, it just derails a conversation to digress too far while confronting a “persistent online bigot”.

    Sometimes with enough people it’s more effective to offer a combo — the old Hammer and Anvil: I’m not about to jump in and tone-troll anyone for pushing back against trolls in this very thread. At the same time, because matters seem well in hand, I’m not going to dignify them with a response, either… Much better at this point for me to voice my support for the good guys. Go get ‘em! If you get tired, call up one of us swing-hitters.

  123. 123
    Banned Atheist

    Gah!!! I forgot the ending a tag (#124)! Sorrrry…

  124. 124
    Aratina Cage

    Lets [...] see if we can at least try to understand where “the other side” is coming from, shall we?

    Yeah, let’s not and say we did. They need to stop what they are doing–flat out stop. No “understanding” can be come to before then.

  125. 125
    Stephanie Zvan

    Comment 16: Svan said “but you’ll declare a “cease fire” for the moment on Greta, sure you’re engaged in no misogyny whatsoever. Sure you’re not enabling the Hoggles and WoolyBumblebees of the world”. This (as Ophelia already mentioned) is where it started. It shouldnt matter what side your on, there is no stretch of language required to see Svan is calling John a misogynist (or engaged in misogyny) in this post.

    Oh, no. This isn’t even close to where it started. Did someone try to tell you it was?

    Nice quotemine, by the way.

  126. 126
    Ophelia Benson

    Was a cease-fire a positive act? Yes, I think it was. “You don’t get credit for stopping something you shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.” Ok…to follow your “stomach punching” analogy through to a conclusion, what would you like to see happen, Ophelia? Do you not think it’s for the greater good, given the circumstances, that the punching stops!? Would it be better or worse that it continued or stopped!? I’d like to know what you actually think the right thing to do here is!? The Situation is as it is. Mud is flying from both sides. Don’t say it isn’t. Vicious comments are coming from both sides. Don’t say they aren’t.

    Yes of course I think the punching should stop. That doesn’t mean I think stopping the punching would make the punchers good people.

    No, mud is not “flying from both sides” in the sense that the mud is the same on both sides. No, vicious comments are not coming from both sides in the sense that comments on both sides are equally vicious. Don’t tell me what to say, especially when what you say is grotesquely wrong.

  127. 127
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Still, it just amazes me that so many here are more than happy to vilify those who do wish to dig into their pockets and line Greta’s bank account. It tells me more than I’ll ever need to know about certain people.

    I feel very sorry for you, Renee. How the fuck you could type something like this – lies and bullshit all of it – to someone who’s just lost of dearly loved family member and is now facing fucking cancer, tells us everything we need to know about you. Whatever the hell happened to you to make you such a callous, heartless, selfish and self-righteous asshole, I pity you. What a horrible way to go through life, without a shred of decency or humanity in you.

  128. 128
    Eric Saveau

    there is no stretch of language required to see Svan is calling John a misogynist (or engaged in misogyny) in this post.

    Well. That might have something to do with making this statement – “The “pro-misogyny” crowd? Really? Are you being incredibly specific with your language or are you just being ironically lazy with it when you use that term? Do words mean absolutely nothing to you?” – which is hardly the most offensive thing to ooze from his keyboard.

    Or, you could, you know, just pretend that all this occurs in a vacuum.

  129. 129
    PZ Myers

    Jebus. You made me suffer through that awful wooly bee person’s video. So “bitch” isn’t a mean sexist word, but when she refers to you as a bitch she doesn’t mean it in the endearing friendly empowering way? Isn’t that an admission right there that it’s intended as a negative reference to your sex?

    These people seem to be professional own-foot-shooters, and they have deadly accurate aim.

  130. 130
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Ugh, more bad news. Lest we think this kind of “How dare you ask for help when you need it!” outrage is only an atheist community phenomenon, it has been pointed out to me that the local “Thumbs up for Lane” campaign that asked for support for a (now dead) boy with cancer has also received the same treatment. His mourning family has been called out by a couple of douche nozzles for daring to ask for help paying their son’s medical and funeral bills. So, there’s that. So, if anybody on FB wants to send some love their way too, it would be nice.

  131. 131
    NoxiousNan

    @120 TheAnagramMan

    I haven’t seen Wooly’s Greta video to gauge its sincerity, true, but that’s because I took umbrage to her gentle invitation to do so: “Did any of you lazy asses even bother to watch the video?…The thing is, you might want to actually watch, read, or find out what is actually going on instead of just listening to Ophi and Stephy, and taking them at their word.” Look at it from MY perspective, Anagram. I didn’t even know about this video till Wooly mentioned it in her repugnant comment 27. I did however, read Ophelias post, the linked article and all of the comments up until then, none of which mentioned Wooly’s video or even Greta save Stephanie’s Cease Fire comment to John Brown. So what could Wooly possibly be talking about when she accuses me of blindly taking SZ & OB’s “word for it?” Most plugs aren’t so unhinged; I’ll say that. Also, most plugs don’t try to insult the people they want to watch their videos. I’m not a lazy commenter (Wooly is projecting maybe?) nor are the majority of commenters to B&W that I’ve noticed in the couple of months I’ve been reading it regularly.

    You find the responses to her comments ten times worse. That makes me question your ability to empathize rationally. I scrolled up for some of the harsher comments: “You are morally repellent” (28), “spit-feckled, babbling, manipulative, misogynistic, abusive mess” (29 – awesome) “you are a horrible person” (several) accusation of insincerity in Greta video (33). I would say that the lack of sincerity was the most damning comment, but they ALL came AFTER Woolys where she stated she would remove the Greta video. So, what gives? Why would you think any of those comments are ten times worse than an outright threat – nay promise – to remove support from an ill person that isn’t even involved in the thread?

    “She wasn’t spewing hate or laughing at Greta.”

    Bullshit: “Well fine, then maybe we should live up to that and to hell with Greta.” and “I hope Greta appreciates all you have done for her, because now I’ll be retracting my video asking for people to donate to her.” And “Too bad she loses out because her ‘friends’ are such asshats. But fuck her…” Yeah, there’s more than enough hate and derision for Greta there; not just SZ and OB.

    “Why does no one step back and stop demonising them?… and yes, I’ll say it, especially at a time like this.“

    This reminds me of the whole both sides argument in politics and it’s just as unbalanced. Personally, I think the both sides argument is a psychological mind trick that people play on themselves when they know that they are vastly more full of shit than the opposition.

  132. 132
    DrVanNostrand

    @119
    That was an incredibly excruciating video. I often find written blogging to be superior to video blogging because of the tendency of video blogs to be rambling and incoherent. Written blogs seem to edit and organize thoughts better. Although, the content of the video was so repulsive and the reasoning was so poor, it would hardly have been improved by better presentation.

  133. 133
    Ophelia Benson

    I know. Why do people like that do videos at all? I get why people like Rebecca do them – she’s funny, and she doesn’t waste your time while she tries to remember what she was planning to say. But why do people like Hansen do them? Why is anyone supposed to want to watch her floundering around?

  134. 134
    DLC

    Note for Wooly and other misogyny supporters:
    Just because the bully gets a moment of conscience and says “Okay I’ll stop pushing you down and stealing your lunch money *this week
    * ” does not make them a good person. It makes them a micron less than a total shithead.
    Oh, and Go jump down a hole.

  135. 135
    Feline

    When I heard about Greta I thought “I’ve been spending too much money on my hobby things this month, I’ll have to wait until my next salary payment to be able to donate”, with a possibility that it would slip my mind. Then I read Wooly Fake Bully Expert’s comment @27. That prompted two solemn promises on my part.
    One: I will remember that comment, and whenever someone tries to tell me that them might have a point I will point them there, for it is the worst case of moral bankruptcy I’ve seen to date.

    Two: This next thursday(or possibly friday) I will donate $100 of my last pay to Greta, if only because them assholes refuse to act human unless we praise them.

  136. 136
    Ophelia Benson

    Feline – don’t strain your budget. Greta has a new post up saying the response has been overwhelming. She was going to remove the donation links but people urged her not to and she took their point. But as things look now, she has more than she needs. She is at any rate massively relieved, and loves everyone. Which is good, and…you know…the opposite of all this spite and horribleness.

  137. 137
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    THEANAGRAMMAN:

    Lets take the tone down a level and see if we can at least try to understand where “the other side” is coming from, shall we?

    Or we could, y’know, NOT.

    If you came here to tone troll, this is exactly the WRONG place to do that.
    Every piece of invective thrown Kristina Hansen’s way in this thread came after her initial post. I have no interest in understanding where that type of individual is coming from. She deserved everything said about her (well except for those comments showing support for her vile personality–the people doing that are highly questionable as well).

  138. 138
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Banned Atheist:

    You both have to admit that I did say it ain’t that simple. As an irregular commenter here, I don’t think I’m qualified to be the judge of when it ain’t, and will defer to the regulars of this relatively cohesive online community as to when that might be, here — you two included (but first and foremost Ophelia, since it is kinda her blog).

    You’re right.
    You did say that it wasn’t that simple. My apologies.

  139. 139
    gworroll

    What the fuck is wrong with you people?

    If you have the resources to help Greta(who apparently doesn’t need any more, let’s hope that remains the case), and feel helping is a worthwhile use of those resources, then help.

    If either of those things aren’t true, then don’t help.

    It’s really that simple.

    Helping, or raising the signal for others to help.. then withdrawing over things Greta had nothing to do with? What? I could understand if Greta had called you all nasty names or whatnot, but when other people do, and are not doing so under Gretas direction or even influence? What the hell was your point in helping anyways then? What do other peoples actions have to do with the worthiness of Greta’s fundraising efforts?

  140. 140
    Rasmus

    Wooly: Oh, come on. You’re absolutely right that some women use words like bitch and ho in empowering ways. Oh, and some women sometimes give some men provisional permission to use strong female-gendered words in a positive way to refer to them. Provisional. And no, you don’t have to be a feminist. You just have to be a woman.

    Also, some black people use the n-word in empowering ways. (You must have heard it.) Some gay men use words like faggot and sissy in empowering ways. Some lesbian women use the word dyke in a positive way. Some Jews frequently make crude jokes about Nazism and the Holocaust… It’s almost as if there’s a (very sensible) pattern going on!

    Hey, I’m just saying that there’s a certain logic to it. By all means don’t let me distract you from your righteous anti-PC crusade if you really think that feminists and other progressives are a serious threat to your society.

  141. 141
    echidna

    What do other peoples actions have to do with the worthiness of Greta’s fundraising efforts?

    Wooly thinking.

  142. 142
    echidna

    You made a choice to forgo medical insurance and make your job speaking and promoting your agenda. Now, those choices are creating trouble for you and you have the stones to ask, nay beg, for our money.

    Except that Greta did not forgo medical insurance. It’s in the OP that she has very good health insurance. However, it is also been reported that most bankruptcies in the US are over medical bills, the majority these people having had health insurance.

  143. 143
    Ophelia Benson

    I belatedly followed Josh’s instruction and watched Dawn French do Catherine Zeta Jones Douglas Spartacus.

  144. 144
    Jimmy Boy

    Not a very regular poster…but think I should say that having followed some of the truly horrible shit that’s been flying over the past 12 months, having had really nothing to do with it – and therefore am hopefully commenting from a disinterested distance… this is not a debate with two equally worthy sides.

    I see one side taking a principled stand, providing evidence, consistency. I see another that resorts to some of the lowest tactics and levels of shittiness imaginable.

    So Greta, Ophelia, Jen, Jessica…I am so sorry for what has been thrown at you. I’m just a bloke living a long way from you all – but I think you’re doing a great job. I see no equivalence between the things your harrassers try to make equivalent.

    But I do see your blogging in the great tradition of liberally minded people standing up to bad and dangerous ideas. Very sorry Jen has been persecuted to stopping. But totally understand. And so sorry that you all have put up with such shit.

  145. 145
    Ophelia Benson

    Thank you, JB.

  146. 146
    LeftSidePositive

    Just to get back to the main point of the post for a moment (shocking, I know!), I do think there is a phenomenon where people get into the same self-justifying ruts to which all people are vulnerable, and since they’re used to using social justice rhetoric to win arguments or defend their or their friends’ interests, that’s what they use. It’s also the case that lots of people don’t understand concepts as well as they think they do…we’ve had a rather unpleasant lesson in all that recently where all those people I’d cheer on when they called creationists on their strawman tactics suddenly revealed they had a very flimsy grasp of what “strawman” actually means when things moved to a 201-level, and all of a sudden you realize that these people think an analysis of a view is strawmanning it! Social justice advocates, being human, are vulnerable to this too, so you do see some commenters (rarely, in my experience, top-level bloggers, at least not the ones I read) doing very much the same stuff.

    For instance, here’s a case where people were using social-justice lingo to shut down any criticism of the idea that women deserve shame for aborting a pregnancy with a known disease:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/02/19/rick-santorum-is-against-pre-natal-screening/

    Here’s a hyperfocus on Natalie’s general lack of privilege in our society to ignore the fact that she is (for that particular comment) making a very poor argument and treating some people badly when they’re down:

    http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2003

    And here is an example of using social justice rhetoric to make a far-fetched argument that’s just plain unhinged (read on for the remaining comments to get the full effect–it includes a “check your privilege” to shame people who showed these posters that they were clearly wrong on the facts):

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/08/29/legitimate-differences-of-opinion/#comment-115277

    Of course, just as social justice rhetoric can be misappropriated to bad ends, so can “You’re just using calling-out to silence people!” and I would suggest that if you think someone is calling you out disingenuously, think again, because I’d say there’s about a 99% chance you’re just being defensive of your privilege.

  147. 147
    Ophelia Benson

    Hm, I followed that link to the atheism+ forum. I hadn’t realized Rhys had become an Enemy. I think that’s unfortunate. That is, I think it’s unfortunate that atheism+ers are seeing him and treating him as an enemy. He isn’t one.

  148. 148
    LeftSidePositive

    Wait, we just see him as an enemy? How unreasonable of us for deciding that of someone who is on record saying he wants our movement to “fuck off and die” and calls us nothing but “a pity party” and implies we’re just the flipside of the Slymepit! I wonder how we could have possibly got that impression?! How dare we express frustration and hurt at being told we ought to “fuck off and die”!

  149. 149
    Ophelia Benson

    Slow down. I don’t know everything you know. I don’t know for instance that he implied anything about the slymepit, or that he called you a pity party.

    I did see the fuck off and die tweet – but that was (as I understand it) in response to a thread asking “would you agree to label yourself a potential rapist?” I don’t blame him for being annoyed by that suggestion. It’s stupid.

    Anyway I thought he was telling either the “movement” or the forum to fuck off and die, not people.

    But maybe I have it all wrong. I don’t read the ath+ forum. I’m not a fan of the forum as a medium.

  150. 150
    LeftSidePositive

    This should cover most of it:

    http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1845

    Moreover, the thread asking “would you agree to label yourself a potential rapist?” was started by someone who has a grand total of three posts to date and either doesn’t get the concept or was deliberately trolling (my money is on deliberately trolling, but anyway…). Funny thing about threads–they can be started by anyone and it doesn’t reflect an official position of the community! Anyway, the guy was corrected on his misapprehension on the VERY NEXT post, when Cipher said:

    A bit of nuance here: Generally, I’m not calling anyone in particular a potential rapist. (I mean, you know, except for the people who I think are potential rapists.) Generally, I am saying, “I possess no psychic powers. For all I know, you could be a rapist. All I have to go on is your behavior, and while that’s a good way of knowing some things about a person, it doesn’t provide perfect insight into your future actions either.” It’s sort of different from going “[Best friend], you are a potential rapist. You are the sort of person who might rape people.”

    and there were tons of other clarifications, including Subtract Hominem:

    My will has no bearing in whether anyone calls me a potential rapist, potential thief, potential jaywalker, potential poisoner, or anything else. Certain people in certain situations who don’t know any better will see me as being those things whether I bring all my will to bear on doing none of those things for the rest of my life, or do all of them several times a day.

    More to the point, I am able to recognize that since people in general don’t know that I am innocent of those things, and mean no harm towards them, they have no reason to let their guard down around me. With women who don’t know me, this often takes the form of recognizing that as far as they know, I could indeed be a rapist. I’m not, but they don’t know that, and they have to prioritize. If they choose not to find out, who am I to fault them for picking “not go near someone who might rape me, and thus save myself from a horrific ordeal” over “miss out on making a new friend”?

    and there were many more explanations, but I won’t paste them all here because it will crowd up your thread. The point is this misconception (or pot-stirring, depending on your perspective) was clearly and effectively dealt with on the thread, and no one reading the situation honestly could possibly consider that a position of Atheism+. Moreover, Rhys repeatedly refused to actually do any background reading (e.g. the original Schrodinger’s Rapist piece) when several of his Twitter followers tried to explain to him that he’d gotten “the wrong end of the stick,” as it were, and just doubled down on the hostility. He finally said he’d read the piece after enough people told him he wasn’t being particularly skeptical to hate on something he’d never read, but I don’t know if he ever actually did.

    And, yes, wanting the movement to fuck off and die pretty much means the person in question is an enemy of the movement. That’s basically tautological.

  151. 151
    Ophelia Benson

    Funny thing about threads–they can be started by anyone and it doesn’t reflect an official position of the community!

    Well quite – and this is one reason I’m not a fan of the forum as a medium. (I’m also not a big fan of self-styled “communities”.)

    And it’s still not clear to me that Rhys wasn’t just expressing hostility to the forum, as opposed to “the movement.”

    A forum isn’t a movement.

  152. 152
    LeftSidePositive

    Since the vast majority of Atheism+’s activity is on the forum and it’s from there that they organize their other initiatives, I think the forum is pretty representative of A+ as a movement, or at least is much more representative for A+ than for other movements. Anyway, it’s not like Rhys actually drew any distinction about only hating on the forum instead of the movement–he refers to the “Atheism+ people” not the “Atheism+ forum,” and agrees with Natalie that there’s just a difference in “superficial ideologies” between us and the Slymepit, and joins in on mocking how people came up with the name and logo (and apparently bashing the Surlies, which just seems pointless). Those are comments that apply to the whole A+ movement, and would make no sense only to hate on the forum for that, since it’s not just the forum that’s involved in those things.

  153. 153
    Ophelia Benson

    Well if the vast majority of its activity is on the forum then it’s not really a movement!

    There’s a lot of activity on some blogs, too, but I would never call a single blog a movement. Not even Pharyngula. Part of a movement, yes, but the movement itself? That just becomes absurd. Typing isn’t a movement. I’m not disparaging typing; typing is all I do; but then I don’t confuse myself with a movement.

    Anyway – Rhys is just the wrong guy to see as an enemy. He’s the one who made a stink when some creep reacted to a Facebook photo of Jessica Ahlquist by saying she should post it in some leery place. Rebecca and I seconded him but he got there first.

  154. 154
    LeftSidePositive

    Did you miss the part where I said, “and it’s from there that they organize their other initiatives”? This includes the transcription project, an Emergency Support Project (newly announced) that collects trustworthy information and resources for those in difficult situations, alerts about bills for people to contact their congresspeople about, recommendations of good charities, the petition on Vacula, getting the word out to help Greta Christina, and much more.

    No one is saying Rhys is categorically an enemy of good causes–we’re saying he has chosen to style himself an enemy of A+ specifically. Frankly, I don’t know why he did that. This is entirely his choice and his preference, and if he were to say he was wrong and he actually apologized for going off about subjects he hadn’t read, I’m sure the vast majority of people there would be happy to include him, but the fact is at the moment he doesn’t seem to want to.

    Oh, and another thing: as a general rule, when someone says “This guy is being shitty about X” and your go-to defense is “But he was great about Y!” this is a pretty good indication that he probably was, in fact, shitty about X, or you could have defended X on the merits.

    As I said on the above-linked thread when Rhys found it necessary to call The Amazing Atheist “a right cunt”:

    Somehow this is particularly instructive to me as to why Rhys seems to have what struck me as a rather irrational hostility to A+. Yes, he has very good instincts about what is right in most cases. Yes, he generally wants to be a good person with regard to sexism in the atheist movement and a lot of other battles. But when it comes right down to it, the standards advocated by A+ would necessitate his modifying at least some of his behavior, and apparently while his good instincts have gotten him very far in being a good person, there is a certain commitment to rigorous self-reflection that appears to be lacking, and good-old-fashioned defensiveness is rearing its head. It just kicked in a little later than it did for Dawkins.

  155. 155
    Ophelia Benson

    I’ve argued with Rhys about “cunt.” Twice.

    I think he’s chosen to style himself an enemy of A+ (as you put it) because he thinks the forum is mostly or largely or too much of the time a pain in the ass. I suspect he has a point. I shouldn’t go on and on about it because I haven’t been following it, so that would be unfair. But I’m not following it because I found it to be verging into painintheassitude quite early.

    I really think it’s a mistake to treat a particular forum as determinative of anything.

  156. 156
    LeftSidePositive

    Well, for one thing I don’t think his comments were directed only at the forum, but instead applied to the whole of A+, as I’ve shown.

    Secondly, I don’t think he’s actually complaining about the forum being a pain in the ass. How can an internet forum even BE a pain in his ass if he’s not involved with it? He is using a gross misrepresentation of an important social justice concept to tar a whole group–criticisms that he did NOT restrict to the forum. And he was very resistant to educating himself. If he just didn’t like the forum, he could just ignore the damn thing or make fun of which posts are popular, but that is most definitely not what he’s doing–he is actively wanting something to “fuck off and die” and seems to think his (pathetically misunderstood) interpretation of Schrodinger’s Rapist is threatening to him. This behavior is inconsistent with a general dislike of fora, but is consistent with a fundamental dislike of what he misunderstands the values behind A+ to be.

    As a counterpoint: Rebecca Watson made snide comments about the forum simply for the fact that it’s a forum. Notice how people aren’t actually upset with her? Notice how different her commentary is from Rhys’?

    I really think it’s a mistake to treat a particular forum as determinative of anything.

    Could you please actually address what I said about the forum being a launching pad for lots of other A+ activism?

  157. 157
    Ophelia Benson

    Well I can’t very well notice it when I haven’t seen it. I didn’t see it on the forum, either. Is there a Storify or anything? Rhys tweets about a million times a day, so it’s too much trouble to go back through his tweets. I saw a couple of tweets at the time. Has he done lots more?

    As for how an internet forum can be a pain in one’s ass even if one is not involved with it – oh that’s easy. It’s because there are people who lump all the things together, and treat all of us as if we are involved with it whether we are or not.

  158. 158
    LeftSidePositive

    I don’t know how many other tweets he’s done, since I refuse to join twitter. But, all relevant tweets are quoted and/or linked on the “Fuck Off and Die” thread.

    But if people who are lumping you together with other things are a pain in the ass, isn’t that the problem with the people doing the lumping and not the people on the forum? Also, this criticism isn’t in any way applicable only to fora–you could get lumped in with lots of other social justice orgs or atheist orgs in just the same way, and the format of the group is totally irrelevant to this, so why is this remotely applicable for why someone would dislike a forum simply for being a forum?!

  159. 159
    Ophelia Benson

    So…five tweets? All this is about five tweets? Three of which were about self-identifying as a potential rapist?

    That’s pathetically inadequate for

    he could just ignore the damn thing or make fun of which posts are popular, but that is most definitely not what he’s doing–he is actively wanting something to “fuck off and die” and seems to think his (pathetically misunderstood) interpretation of Schrodinger’s Rapist is threatening to him.

    Note the present tense! Those five tweets were more than a week ago.

    He was reacting to the “potential rapist” label, and others tried to tell him about Schroedinger’s, but that’s just silly – the label suggestion really is bad and stupid.

  160. 160
    LeftSidePositive

    I believe the total tweet count was quite a bit over that as the conversation continued a good deal longer. However, the number of tweets is totally irrelevant when those tweets say our group should “fuck off and die.” Oh, and he specifically said he wants “the idea of A+ to fuck off and die,” NOT just the forum. He later on in that conversation said he hates us and wants to see it burn, and that we’re “a pity party”. So, yeah, I think it’s fair to say he hates us–I certainly haven’t heard of a retraction, and that sort of thing stays on the record until one actually apologizes. Anyway, YOU brought it up here–I was just giving an example of misuse of social justice rhetoric on the relevant thread, and you wanted to refocus to airbrush Rhys. Well, he was wrong, and wrongness in motion tends to stay in motion until acted upon by a counteracting retraction or apology, so he’s still wrong.

    And OF COURSE the label suggestion is bad and silly–IT WAS FROM A TROLL, ferfuckssake! (Or just an idiot, if you’re feeling generous.) Every established A+ person in that thread corrected the idiot/troll at the very moment the suggestion was made, so what the fuck is the justification for Rhys’s little fit of pique?!

  161. 161
    Ophelia Benson

    Well where did he say that? I didn’t see it quoted. You said the tweets were posted. Where?

    And I didn’t want to “airbrush” Rhys. And as for refocusing – well it is my blog.

  162. 162
    LeftSidePositive

    I linked to the relevant tweet (which includes the others in the conversation) in my last post. I checked the link and it works.

    The main tweets were copied in the OP, and some other relevant ones were linked to later on in that thread and the Natalie Reed thread I linked to earlier.

    Yes, it is your blog–but why are you going the “it was over a week ago!” route when you’re the one who brought it up? I only linked to it because the Natalie issue was an example of bad reasoning that was relevant to the OP. It doesn’t make sense to complain that Rhys is being treated like an “Enemy” in a conversation that happened over a week ago, and then try to minimize his behavior with “it was over a week ago” which is when the criticism was taking place. Oh, and literary criticism/deconstruction of language is generally done in the present tense (and he hasn’t apologized or retracted anyway, so the default assumption is that his statements stand).

  163. 163
    julian

    You know, leftsidepositive, when you’re in someone else’s space, it’s probably best to dial back the demanding tone.

  164. 164
    LeftSidePositive

    Julian, are you pulling a fucking tone argument? And who the hell are you to decide what is “demanding”?! Ophelia and I are having a fairly substantive discussion, and you’re not helping. Worse than that, you’re not even being interesting.

  165. 165
    Anthony K

    And who the hell are you to decide what is “demanding”?!

    Not to speak for Julian or Ophelia, but he’s probably responding to the signals Ophelia seems to be giving that she’s not as interested in this discussion as you are. That’s the impression I’m getting from her last few comments.

  166. 166
    Amazing Girl

    number of obese in this generation…

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