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Oct 24 2012

Rebecca’s article at Slate

Rebecca has an article in Slate about misogyny among the skeptics. That should blow some windows out.

When I first got involved with the skeptics, I thought I had found my people—a community that enjoyed educating the public about science and critical thinking. The sense of belonging I felt was akin, I imagine, to what other people feel at church. (I wouldn’t exactly know—like most skeptics, I’m an atheist.) I felt we were doing important work: making a better, more rational world and protecting people from being taken advantage of. At conventions, skeptic speakers and the audience were mostly male, but I figured that was something we could balance out with a bit of hard work and good PR.

Then women started telling me stories about sexism at skeptic events, experiences that made them uncomfortable enough to never return. At first, I wasn’t able to fully understand their feelings as I had never had a problem existing in male-dominated spaces. But after a few years of blogging, podcasting, and speaking at skeptics’ conferences, I began to get emails from strangers who detailed their sexual fantasies about me. I was occasionally grabbed and groped without consent at events. And then I made the grave mistake of responding to a fellow skeptic’s YouTube video in which he stated that male circumcision was just as harmful as female genital mutilation (FGM). I replied to say that while I personally am opposed to any non-medical genital mutilation, FGM is often much, much more damaging than male circumcision.

The response from male atheists was overwhelming.

And not in a good way. That was June 2010.

Thinking the solution was to educate the community, I started giving talks about the areas where feminism and skepticism overlap. I encouraged audiences to get involved with issues like ending FGM, fighting the anti-woman pseudoscience of the religious right, and aiding those branded as “witches” in rural African villages.

Then it was June 2011. Dublin. Her talk; the hotel bar; that guy, that elevator, that invitation to his room for “coffee” at 4 a.m.

That video.

What I said in my video, exactly, was, “Guys, don’t do that,” with a bit of a laugh and a shrug. What legions of angry atheists apparently heard was, “Guys, I won’t stop hating men until I get 2 million YouTube comments calling me a ‘cunt.’ ” The skeptics boldly rose to the imagined challenge.

Even Dawkins weighed in. He hadn’t said anything while sitting next to me in Dublin as I described the treatment I got, but a month later he left this sarcastic comment on a friend’s blog

And by doing so, emboldened countless shits to come pouring out of the woodwork.

Dawkins’ seal of approval only encouraged the haters. My YouTube page and many of my videos were flooded with rape “jokes,” threats, objectifying insults, and slurs. A few individuals sent me hundreds of messages, promising to never leave me alone. My Wikipedia page was vandalized. Graphic photos of dead bodies were posted to my Facebook page.

Twitter accounts were made in my name and used to tweet horrible things to celebrities and my friends. (The worst accounts were deleted by Twitter, but some, such as this one, are allowed to remain so long as they remove my name.) Entire blogs were created about me, obsessively cataloging everything I’ve ever said and (quite pathetically) attempting to dig up dirt in my past.

And you know what? They’re still doing it! Notice the present tense – the Twitter accounts are allowed to remain, and to continue harassing Rebecca and others still today now, a year and a half after that world-shaking “guys, don’t do that.”

One creep tweeted that if he encountered Rebecca in an elevator at TAM he was “totally copping a feel” – which is a cute way of saying “sexually assaulting.” (That’s interesting, isn’t it. “Copping a feel” doesn’t sound like “sexually assaulting,” does it. Why is that? I suppose because it’s from the pov of the copper/assaulter. It’s just boys will be boys, hahaha.)

The organizers of the conference, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)—the organization started by the person who first introduced me to skepticism—allowed the man to attend the conference and did nothing to reassure me. I attended anyway and never went anywhere alone.

That’s bad. I don’t remember if I knew that or not. I think I must have, because I was certainly following the subject closely at the time, but I don’t remember knowing it.

Meanwhile, other skeptical women are being bullied out of the spotlight and even out of their homes. My fellow writer on Skepchick, Amy Davis Roth, moved after her home address was posted on a forum dedicated to hating feminist skeptics. In September, blogger Greta Christina wrote that “when I open my mouth to talk about anything more controversial than Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipes or Six More Atheists Who Are Totally Awesome, I can expect a barrage of hatred, abuse, humiliation, death threats, rape threats, and more.” And Jen McCreight stopped blogging and accepting speaking engagements altogether. “I wake up every morning to abusive comments, tweets, and emails about how I’m a slut, prude, ugly, fat, feminazi, retard, bitch, and cunt (just to name a few),” she wrote. “I just can’t take it anymore.”

This is how we live now.

Rebecca says she expects a new torrent in response to this article, but she wrote it anyway

because I strongly believe that the goals of skeptics are good ones, like strengthening science education, protecting consumers, and deepening our knowledge of human psychology. Those goals will never be met if we continue to fester as a middling subculture that not only ignores social issues but is actively antagonistic toward progressive thought.

I also believe that old line about sunlight being the best disinfectant. Ignoring bullies does not make them go away. For the most part, the people harassing us aren’t just fishing for a reaction—they want our silence. They’re angry that feminist thought has a platform in “their community.” What they don’t get is that it’s also my community.

And mine. And ours.

 

166 comments

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  1. 1
    johnthedrunkard

    Just like the Vatican, or Penn State, this movement fails to recognize the presence of warped evil motherfuckers in our midst.

    This is a reflexive defect that seems ingrained in human judgment. I don’t know if there is a named fallacy to cover it but I think it can be expressed like this:

    “When learning of an outrage, I compare the accused with myself. In process, I cringe away from the nature of their acts and assume that they are equivalent to mine. Thus I shift into defending my own behavior when I should be deploring theirs.”

    Yes, I am a ‘nice man,’ blah blah blah. This has nothing to do with the fact that THEY AREN’T.

    This instance is particular to men. In other examples co-religionists or political allies may do the same. For the skeptical and atheist movements the solution lies with men: stop ‘normalizing’ the behavior of evil bastards by identifying with them. They really are a different species and deserve no defense whatever.

  2. 2
    carovee

    I’m impressed by Watson’s willingness to open herself up to a new round of abuse. She is incredibly courageous and I appreciate her and others refusal to stop talking about these issues.

  3. 3
    noelplum99

    I am quite new to all of this, having not even heard of Rebecca, Skepchick or FtB until a few months ago.
    So I wonder: what did Rebecca used to talk about before she could tell the ‘Rebecca Watson Story’ ad infinitum? I seem to have read it and heard it so many times now, i reckon if there is ever a speech she cannot make, through sickness or otherwise, I could probably throw on a wig and deputise on her behalf :))

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    It’s not a joke, mr plum. You’re a shit.

  5. 5
    Aratina Cage

    So I wonder: what did Rebecca used to talk about before she could tell the ‘Rebecca Watson Story’ ad infinitum?

    The first time I clearly remember seeing a video of Watson’s was when she debunked talking sweet to apples to make them grow better. It was hilarious! See for yourself: The Great Apple Experiment

  6. 6
    carltracy

    Rebecca was here this weekend. We hosted the Paranormal Road Trip in Columbus. Not one word of was spoken about any of this. Not one. She’s in it for the Skepticism – that’s 100% of what she talked about. All she’s asking is to be treated like a human being. Just a reasonable amount of respect.

    Which apparently is lost on most people.

    Protip: If you think being threatened with rape/assault/death isn’t something to yell about then please just STFU. Seriously.

  7. 7
    sheila

    Yay for Rebecca!

    I liked her “How to ruin Christmas” video too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkXcbySuSvI

  8. 8
    michaeld

    Or here’s a 2007 article on colloidal silver turning people blue!

    http://skepchick.org/2007/12/okay-lets-talk-about-the-blue-guy/

    If you want more of Rebecca’s work prior to all this just type say 2007 into skepchick search feature and start going through them. Or go listen to some of the archieves of the skeptics guide to the universe. You have the power of google at your finger tips have at it explore! Learn! .

  9. 9
    oolon

    +1 for the SGU, that poll trying to get RW off it led me to a great resource for listening to interesting stuff while commuting. Although I learnt that listening to it while driving is probably not that safe from science or fiction recently.

    So I spose the ball is in Noels court to explain why he has only explored one small area of her work and thinks she is defined by it.

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    Wait…so Noel Plum shows up here to ask everyone to explain everything to him? There’s a name for that: JAQing off.

    Maybe if he’d actually bothered to look, he’d have have found SGU and Skepchick. Rebecca has a loooong history in the skeptical community.

    I haven’t actually bothered with any of his videos, although the haters keep sending me links to them and telling me that he really taught those feminists a lesson. Now I know exactly how informed he is, and am even less interested in seeing his work.

  11. 11
    Hank_Says

    noelplum99 @ #3, please don’t be an arse. That’s what youtube’s for.

    Look, I’m sure if you’d told one story, once, and everyone leapt on the bloody thing like it’s the only thing you’d ever said, took Great Offence and misrepresented it as the worst thing anyone had ever said, you might feel compelled, as Rebecca has, to tell (and re-tell) the actual version (her original video is still up, FYI).

    Now, I know “ad infinitum” is hyperbole on your part, but honestly, if certain vociferous dumbarse, privileged cro-magnons in this community hadn’t reacted like spoiled children to Rebecca’s original video, it’s very likely she’d never have mentioned the elevator a second time. She’s mentioning it in this article because other people won’t shut the fuck up about it and are still using it as a rod to beat her with, as if turning down some dude at 4am is akin to tasering puppies in a bathtub.

    Seeing as you’re quite new to all of this, maybe do a little reading (or just thinking) before being a smartarse.

  12. 12
    Kristjan Wager

    I haven’t actually bothered with any of his videos, although the haters keep sending me links to them and telling me that he really taught those feminists a lesson. Now I know exactly how informed he is, and am even less interested in seeing his work.

    I have watched some of his videos. He is, at best, a lesser YouTube talent, and that’s being generous. He is of course generally ignorant, possibly willfully so, and seems to make a point of demonstrating his ignorance at every chance he has (and as his comment here demonstrates, this trait is apparently not limited to YouTube videos).

    Also, the fact that any active skeptic or atheist was unaware of Rebecca Watson, one of the co-hosts of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, demonstrates once more that YouTube atheists are often living in some kind of feedback loop at YouTube, where they get the impression that their importance and impact is much greater than it is.

  13. 13
    Argle Bargle

    I’ve watched one of noelplum’s videos. I was whelmed. I did not subscribe nor have I watched another of his videos.

  14. 14
    Aratina Cage

    I have watched some of his videos. He is, at best, a lesser YouTube talent, and that’s being generous.

    I felt the same way. What really turned me away from him (besides what you see above in his comments) was his vocal/facial style of angrily yelling about every damn little thing.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    I’m beginning to think – I don’t want to be too hasty here – that that’s a thing. That rage style. Reap Paden does it, Al S does it at least when talking to Reap Paden, a new slymer nymmed “Mykeru” does it. They picked it up from Bill O’Reilly or Howard Stern or whatever.

    It’s not good.

  16. 16
    jenniferphillips

    One of the many things that I find inexplicable about the reaction to Rebecca’s article (and previous descriptions of the years of angry haters she’s endured) is the number of responses that go something like “Threats? All X said was “I really hope you get raped/killed/sodomized/whatever” That’s not a threat!” Ergo, Rebecca is lying when she says she’s received ‘threats’*. The same shit that many of these same people pulled on Ophelia’s ‘concerned friend’ letters re: TAM this year.

    I don’t get it. Even though the language is passive, it’s still threatening. This is basic suicide hotline stuff, right? “I wish I could just die today”, e.g. is an unambiguous, albeit passive, suicide threat.

    Moreover, it’s yet another of those infuriating semantic arguments. Even if it’s not an actual, bonafide FBI-hotline THREAT, it’s still undeniably nasty. Does the fact that such statements don’t fit into an extremely narrow definition of threat make them any more excusable or permissible?

    *the companion piece to this is the common response when she does post a more direct threat, e.g. “I am going to grope you/rape you/kill you/whatever”, where the responder generally states that, ok, that was sort of threat-like, but we have no proof it came from someone in the atheist/skeptic community. *headdeskinfinity*

  17. 17
    noelplum99

    Ophelia

    It’s not a joke, mr plum. You’re a shit.

    Well Ophelia, you are right on both counts, I will give you that much.

    The reaction to Rebecca Watson and her elevator interview WAS – not to mention still is – out of all proportion to her video (and yes, I have seen the original video). I also have made it quite clear – and added my voice to everyone else who has said – that threatening people is way out of line, quite understandably causes concern for the target and does no-one any credit.

    But this wasn’t really my point and hence why, whilst i admit to being a shit, I don’t think i am a shit for what I am aiming at here.
    I find it really rather narcissistic the degree to which Rebecca talks about herself. Okay, maybe it is that the only times I get linked to her (from you guys mainly and RW supporters over on YT) is when she is discussing Rebecca Watson, so maybe I get a false perspective on it. I can only go on what i have seen and on what i have seen it amazes me how clearly you detected the narcissism that is an intrinsic part of Thunderf00t but can’t see the same thing going on here.

    i mean for all the things i have not been on board with, one thing I am on board with wholesale is that a speaker ought to be a speaker ought to be a speaker. It is perhaps a sad truth when it is stated that being male in atheist/skeptics movements has become such the default minds DO need to be altered but I accept there probably is truth in that. However, I cannot help but see that normalising the position of women surely is best served by talking about ‘things’ as a person, not ‘as a woman’ or ‘as a feminist’ or anything else lest we forget that the person making the address is not the ‘default’.
    Yet what it seems is that no opportunity is wasted to stir the shit once more as is demonstrated here. What the hell is the point in your blog, PZ’s blog, Stephanie’s blog all announcing that RW is once again raking over the coals: do you really think there is ANY reader on FtB that isn’t aware of all of this already? You may as well stand up and say ‘Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, can we please have all the trolls back in the room again’ because that is all this comes across as – it is as good an exercise in shit stirring as I have ever managed!

    Jim (np99)

  18. 18
    Ophelia Benson

    What the hell is the point?

    Are you serious?

    Talk about narcissistic.

    Does it really not occur to you that we keep talking about this because it’s ongoing, and we think it shouldn’t be? We talk about a bad situation because it’s bad, and we think it should get better.

    No, we’re not shit-stirring. You are – because nothing bad is going to happen to you either way; you’re just making trouble for the fun of it – but we’re not.

    This isn’t a joke to us. It’s a joke to callous frivolous shits, who aren’t splashed by it. Well it would be, wouldn’t it.

  19. 19
    Kevin K

    Congratulations, Noel, on coming out of your year-long coma while in a space ship circling the Crab Nebula where no communication with Earth was possible.

    But in the skeptical community, ignorance is not normally seen as a positive trait.

    Please make a note of it.

  20. 20
    noelplum99

    @PZ Myers

    Wait…so Noel Plum shows up here to ask everyone to explain everything to him? There’s a name for that: JAQing off.

    Not everything PZ, you can start at the dinosaurs if you like and take it from there.

    I haven’t actually bothered with any of his videos, although the haters keep sending me links to them and telling me that he really taught those feminists a lesson.

    I shouldn’t bother with them, really. Stick to someone like Justicar who paints things much more black and white – far easier to go at in the confirmation bias stakes.
    What I DO want to say (assuming Ophelia lets my posts through moderation), and my purpose for addressing you in response, is that whatever these ‘haters’ have said about me ‘teaching feminists a lesson’, I find their tack objectionable (if that is how they sold it).
    Firstly, I am not anti-feminist, I have simply railed against the nonsense trotted out on the extremist Atheism+ forum, something a great swathe of self-declared feminists have agreed with me on.
    Secondly, it is great that you now at least have something concrete to dismiss my perspective on. By your own words, you hadn’t even dismissed my arguments with reference to me – ad hominem dismissal was clearly asking too much – no, you dismissed my arguments on the grounds of the perceived qualities of the persons bringing them to your attention!
    Awesome effort that. Incredible stuff.

    @Kristjan

    Also, the fact that any active skeptic or atheist was unaware of Rebecca Watson, one of the co-hosts of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe

    I am not a skeptic and I live in the UK, why the hell would I have heard of her?

    He is, at best, a lesser YouTube talent, and that’s being generous.

    Rodney Nelson

    I was whelmed.

    Aratina cage

    I felt the same way.

    To be honest, I am quite chuffed. If those who vehemently disagree with you, and even if you don’t (which you are hardly likely to know, by the sound of it) I am sure you think you do, these comments hardly amount to the kind of slamming criticism, scorn and pillory I would have expected :)

    Jim (np99)

  21. 21
    Aratina Cage

    ‘Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, can we please have all the trolls back in the room again’ because that is all this comes across as – it is as good an exercise in shit stirring as I have ever managed!

    Let’s see, you admit to being a shit and stirring shit and then try to frame it as if Ophelia, PZ, and others at FTB are doing what you admit to doing? How trollish of you.

  22. 22
    noelplum99

    Ophelia,
    When you say I am making ‘trouble’ I will point out that of the videos I have made on related subjects they have almost entirely (*almost* – I did call Jason Thibeault a ‘shit stirring bastard’ I suppose – but we are still on speaking terms!) been about issues and not about personalities.
    I have also had almost next to nothing to say about Rebecca Watson (other than condemning the rape threats and other threats she has received).
    I DO understand your point when you say you feel that this stuff is still happening so you need to keep bringing it up, but you must know as well as I do that whilst you keep bringing it up it will never go away (short of everyone keeling over through battle fatigue). I am not saying ‘let the bullies and trolls win’ but rather why not let things cool off a bit. the whole reason the harassment code was such an issue was because it was such an issue – if such things had gotten pushed through quietly i have no doubt most people wouldn’t have even noticed. As things stand all that you have is both sides doing what your atheism+ buddies like to call ‘doubling down’ and there is absolutely no end in sight.

    And yes, I can watch from the sidelines, an ocean away and with no need of a movement to represent my views. That is my luxury, you are right there.

    Jim (np99)

  23. 23
    Hank_Says

    Come on, noelplum, don’t be so sodding obtuse.

    Rebecca’s article in Slate is a response to the ongoing and unrelenting torrent of hate and abuse and threats she’s been receiving since posting that rather innocuous video two whole years ago. She’s not the one bringing it up yet again just to stir up the fuckwits and get herself some attention and sympathy. Rebecca’s saying, in part, “This ridiculous shit hasn’t stopped, here are some of the ridiculous shits responsible”.

    The point here is that the hatred against Rebecca has been constant. Weekly, daily, even to the point of entire websites being set up to present daily attacks on her (even visited the Elevatorgate site or the twitter feed of (at)elevatorgate? Some days it’s hourly). It’s spread out, too – it’s her co-bloggers that are copping it as well as everyone who’s ever said “Rebecca has a point – it’s probably not a good idea to hit on people at 4am in confined spaces” (many of whom are here at FtB, which itself has had a parody site dedicated to it, purely as a reaction to the feminism of some of its writers – one of whom quit blogging for the foreseeable future as she’s been copping disproportionate violent rhetoric as well).

    Honestly, if you think this is just shit-stirring you’ve not been paying attention. These are people who think a reasonable response to alleged feminist “bullying” is to issue rape threats, make rape jokes, threaten to kick them in the cunt, call them ugly (“too ugly to rape”) and bitches and cunts and what-have-you. These are people who, in reaction to a gross misperception that Rebecca was labelling all men as potential rapists, have graphically and repeatedly threatened to rape her. These bastards need to be named and called out on their reprehensible behaviour.

    Pull your bloody head in!

  24. 24
    noelplum99

    @Aratina Cage

    I admit I can be a shit at times and i admit i do sometimes stir the shit at times. I also said I didn’t think I was being a shit here – or did your selective blinkers kick in at that point?

    Listen, I will take a break from this thread. This is going down lines whereby I am ending up firing off so many replies it will look trollish, and that is not my intention.

    Jim (np99)

  25. 25
    Ophelia Benson

    It’s too late. You not only look trollish, you are trollish. It’s all a big joke to you, because, as I said, it doesn’t splash you. That’s incredibly unattractive, at best.

    Or to put it another way, fuck you. I want to be able to write and speak without being called a fucking cunt, without people monitoring my every word and move, without being photoshopped, without being giggled at by twerps like you. I want that right. No, I don’t appreciate bystanders dropping in to laugh and pretend to give advice. Fuck you.

  26. 26
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh, another thing, mr plum – do you ever drop in on the “trolls” as you call them to tell them to stop? Or do you just tell me? Go right ahead for them, don’t feed the trolls for me? Is that it?

  27. 27
    Aratina Cage

    To be honest, I am quite chuffed. If those who vehemently disagree with you, and even if you don’t (which you are hardly likely to know, by the sound of it) I am sure you think you do, these comments hardly amount to the kind of slamming criticism, scorn and pillory I would have expected

    Well, we’re not out-and-out shits like the people who are targetting RW. In fact, I don’t think we have a problem with negative feedback or harsh criticism. It’s the misogyny, the obsession, the threats, the stalking, the vile trolling that we forthrightly take a stand against.

  28. 28
    Aratina Cage

    I also said I didn’t think I was being a shit here – or did your selective blinkers kick in at that point?

    Uhm, what was I supposed to make of this, then:

    It’s not a joke, mr plum. You’re a shit.

    Well Ophelia, you are right on both counts, I will give you that much.

    ?

  29. 29
    screechymonkey

    jenniferphilips@16:

    Even if it’s not an actual, bonafide FBI-hotline THREAT, it’s still undeniably nasty. Does the fact that such statements don’t fit into an extremely narrow definition of threat make them any more excusable or permissible?

    Apparently it does. Didn’t you know? Apparently the only threats that count are the ones that result in criminal prosecution, which we are assured is a reliable remedy for them because the Canadian authorities finally sort-of did something that was temporarily effective against Dennis Markuze after the five quadrillionith complaint was lodged.

    We saw this in the Reddit/Violentacrez discussion, too, where despite Opehlia’s frequent reminders that she was talking about what was moral and right, the defenders of scumbaggery kept going on about what was “legal.”

    What I wonder is how much overlap there is between this crowd that believes that only the law matters, and the extreme libertarian element in this community that believes there should be very little legal restrictions on anything. That’s a frightening combination.

    But I forgot, there’s one key exception. Complaining about harassment, while it is legal, is #FTBullying and is wrong wrongity wrong wrong.

  30. 30
    Argle Bargle

    noelplum99

    I’m not as appreciative of your videos as you think I should be. I was not impressed (overwhelmed) nor irritated (underwhelmed) by the video I watched. I understood what you said but I didn’t think you were as good as you could have been. I was whelmed.

  31. 31
    Hank_Says

    You know what noelplum’s soft-trolling reminds me of? Someone who sits down on the couch during a viewing of Aliens, just as Ripley’s flamethrowering the nest, and asks “Hey, that’s a bit excessive. Such bullying! What’d the aliens ever do to her?”

    Except noelplum’s already seen the movie – he’s just trying to irritate the shit out of the other people on the couch.

  32. 32
    Nepenthe

    Noel, if you’re not a skeptic, what are you doing here? Did you get lost on your way to a homeopathy site or something?

  33. 33
    anathema

    @ Noelplum99:

    However, I cannot help but see that normalising the position of women surely is best served by talking about ‘things’ as a person, not ‘as a woman’ or ‘as a feminist’ or anything else lest we forget that the person making the address is not the ‘default’.

    I don’t think that we’re in any danger of women being seen as the default any time soon. And, while I’d like to live in a world where “feminist” was a default state, I don’t see that happening either.

    In any case, I’m not sure how women and feminists are supposed to speak out about the position of women without doing so as women or as feminists.

    What the hell is the point in your blog, PZ’s blog, Stephanie’s blog all announcing that RW is once again raking over the coals: do you really think there is ANY reader on FtB that isn’t aware of all of this already? You may as well stand up and say ‘Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, can we please have all the trolls back in the room again’ because that is all this comes across as – it is as good an exercise in shit stirring as I have ever managed!

    Not everyone who reads Ophelia’s blog reads PZ’s or Stephanie’s blogs.

    Also, I don’t think that saying that Rebecca Watson has a piece in Slate commenting on the problem with sexism in the skeptic community really qualifies as shit-stirring. If everytime we try to talk about the problem, trolls come out of the woodwork, does that means that we should just shut up? I would think that it was the trolls that were responsible for shit-stirring.

    I DO understand your point when you say you feel that this stuff is still happening so you need to keep bringing it up, but you must know as well as I do that whilst you keep bringing it up it will never go away (short of everyone keeling over through battle fatigue).

    But if we ignore the problem it’s even less likely to go away. The only way we can get rid of the problem is by dealing with it. And in order to deal with the problem we need to talk about it.

    Just shutting up and pretending that there isn’t a problem solves nothing.

    I am not saying ‘let the bullies and trolls win’ but rather why not let things cool off a bit. the whole reason the harassment code was such an issue was because it was such an issue – if such things had gotten pushed through quietly i have no doubt most people wouldn’t have even noticed.

    Most of is would have liked to see harassment policies implemented quietly and without a fuss. But the moment people started saying that harassment policies might be a good idea, there was a backlash. What should they have done to prevent that backlash? Just not say anything at all and hope that the people who run conferences can read their minds?

  34. 34
    Jafafa Hots

    With apologies to some youtubers who are the exceptions, these are the reasons that YouTube commentators are YouTube commentators.

    1. They love above all else the sound of their own voices.

    2. YouTube can be very appealing to the narcissist because it comes with an almost guaranteed audience for anything. When your audience needs a Schmidt-Cassegrain pointed up to spot the lowest common demonstrator, you’re pretty well guaranteed an approving audience.

    3. They Love the sound of their own voices.

    4. No need to provide links, no worries about text that can easily be searched on. Easier to hide your lies or lack of knowledge of expertise. Not to mention your audience doesn’t care about those things anyway.

    5. Capslock is just not enough for your important, important words. Your
    “commentary” needs VOLUME. It needs sneers and eye-rolls and most importantly it needs your FACE.

    6. They Love the sound of their own voices.

    7. Far less thought required. You know those times when you get frustrated and lose your shit and rant strange things and half-formed thoughts until you remember to do your deep breathing exercises? Those moments of coming unhinged can be harnessed into YouTube celebrity. Flick on the webcam, rant, and no need to write (or source, or cross-check, or research) anything.

    8. You’re you, and you’re the most important thing.

    9. They Love the sound of their own voices.

    NoelPlums’ opinions are of deep concern to NoelPlum.
    TAAs opinions are of deep concern to TAA.

    Everyone else needs to stop being so offensive as to disagree with them.

  35. 35
    John-Henry Beck

    I have a hard time buying that accusation that Rebecca is narcissistic. Perhaps having met and spoken with her a handful of times helps, but I don’t get it from seeing talks or watching videos or reading posts either.

    Plenty of people talk about cool things they’re doing, skeptical or otherwise. Sharing it with an audience and all. I don’t follow everything Rebecca does, but she doesn’t seem to do that above average.

    So mostly it just seems to come out when talking about the threats and such. And all I’ve gotten from that is that she’s discussing her personal experiences as an example of what others go through. Aren’t most of us most familiar with our own experiences compared to others’ experiences?

    Granted, I’m not following Thunderfoot enough to accuse him of that, nor otherwise going around labeling people as narcissists and nor do I think I’d be much good at spotting it.
    But, really, it seems to me noelplum99 is just finding what he’s looking for, or pulling a pattern out of a very shallow data set.

  36. 36
    pipenta

    I went over to Slate earlier today and saw that the influx of trolls had stunned the regular Slate commenters. It was like a sewer had overflowed on their stretch of beach and sure, they’d had a bit of rubbish in the wrack before, but NOTHING like that vile mess. It stank and they were rightly repelled by it.

  37. 37
    Argle Bargle

    There are some decent videos on YouTube. In the atheist category I watch Mr. Deity, Edward Current and NonStampCollector. I’ve enjoyed AronRa’s and Zinnia Jones’ videos. However most YT videos where someone talks at us (rather than talking to us) are pretty meh. Many of them are pretty horrible. I didn’t mind Pat Condell when he was talking about atheism but I stopped watching him when he became a right-wing Islamophobe. I’ve never made it through one of ThunderfOOt’s videos (even the ones about evolution) and I’ve watched about a minute of The Amazing Egotist Atheist.

    I do collect some YT videos which appeal to me. I’ve got 18 different covers of Ewan MacColl’s “Shoals of Herring”, a song I like because I worked as a commercial fisherman for several years. But I prefer the music videos to people talking.

  38. 38
    Jafafa Hots

    Some comments on Slate are sickening. CommanderTuvok and “SomeChick” in particular. Endless. They are on a mission.

    Somehow I don’t think they are helping their cause there, fortunately.

  39. 39
    Jafafa Hots

    I do collect some YT videos which appeal to me. I’ve got 18 different covers of Ewan MacColl’s “Shoals of Herring”, a song I like because I worked as a commercial fisherman for several years. But I prefer the music videos to people talking.

    Yeah, that’s one thing I love youtube for – people doing covers. Nice to seem some regular person doing their own take on something, their own piano rendition, etc. That’s the best thing about YouTube.

    I like some of the amateur covers better than the originals.

  40. 40
    Jafafa Hots

    One comment under moderation, others not. Odd filtering effect? :)
    No offense taken. ;)

  41. 41
    ewanmacdonald

    I went over to Slate earlier today and saw that the influx of trolls had stunned the regular Slate commenters. It was like a sewer had overflowed on their stretch of beach and sure, they’d had a bit of rubbish in the wrack before, but NOTHING like that vile mess. It stank and they were rightly repelled by it.

    Which is the exact reason why this article was necessary. Atheism and skepticism have a sexism problem. This problem is, I’m increasingly convinced, actually bigger than the sexism problem in many other areas of society. I include certain religious communities in that.

  42. 42
    birdterrifier

    Slate’s my favorite news source and Rebecca Watson is great so was excited to see this. I know that Amanda Marcotte is kind of our link to a mainstream spotlight but I don’t always appreciate how biased she represents the events happening in the skeptic/atheist world. I know that Watson has her biases but it’s easier to suss out the facts from her writing than Marcotte’s.

    I know that you subscribe to the view that sunlight is the best disinfectant along with Rebecca but in your efforts to shine a light on all the mean things that happen to you, has the atmosphere changed for better, worse or not at all? I would think that you would be able to judge this as well as anyone else.

    Also, you say that you have a right to not be photoshopped, laughed at, slurred against and to not have your every word monitored. Though I think that the world would be better if this ceased, I wonder how you can have this right defended?

  43. 43
    PZ Myers

    I quite like Ophelia’s point in #26. Noel Plum is trying so hard to appear fair-minded here — he see’s Rebecca’s point, he thinks the response to her video was over the top — so it’s peculiar that he’s trolling here and not, say, at the slymepit or that obsessive little elevatorgate blog.

    Maybe if he actually had put in some effort openly arguing against the sexist bullies, he’d be a little more credible.

  44. 44
    Kristjan Wager

    I am not a skeptic and I live in the UK, why the hell would I have heard of her?

    You mean aside from the fact that Watson lived in the UK for a while, and participated in major atheist events in Europe? None, if you are the sort of person who think the world starts and ends with YouTube.

  45. 45
    Cubist

    “Letting things cool off”.
    Hmm.
    Now, noelplum99, I naturally realize that your persuasive powers are so admirably great that the All-Singing, All-Dancing, All-Hating, We Hate Rebecca Watson 24/7/365 Club will of course stop their obsessive hate-spewing the instant you let the Club know that you’re agin’ that sort of behavior. But just in case the All-Singing, All-Dancing, All-Hating, We Hate Rebecca Watson 24/7/365 Club is, for some inexplicable reason, not inclined to turn off their spewage at your request… just as a hypothetical question, if you like… if the All-Singing, All-Dancing, All-Hating, We Hate Rebecca Watson 24/7/365 Club keeps on spewing the hate they’ve been spewing… in such a case, what, exactly, would “letting things cool off” look like? And how would an impartial observer be able to distinguish “letting things cool off” from, say, “the All-Singing, All-Dancing, All-Hating, We Hate Rebecca Watson 24/7/365 Club keeps rolling along exactly the way they’ve been rolling along for the past couple years now, and Rebecca Watson shuts the fuck up”?

  46. 46
    oolon

    Maybe if he actually had put in some effort openly arguing against the sexist bullies, he’d be a little more credible.

    PZ doesn’t like neutrality, we know this ;-) But to be fair minded Noel has criticised the sexist bullies. He has said threats and sexism (As he sees it) are unacceptable on his public YouTube channel. But he has also qualified that with descriptions of people not being thick skinned enough. A lot of his comments over here or those back at the ranch referring to here are peppered with references to the bloggers and commenters here being thin skinned. This is dangerously close to the slymepits, they are making themselves victims to get attention. As is this latest comment about the shit stirring. Personally I took PZ, Ophelia etcs posts to be a jocular clench of the metaphorical sphincter imagining the sexist horde approaching! Unfortunately they may well be right given a large amount of the Slate comments focussed on the ‘poor elevator guy’ or RWs appearance/voice/etc not the point which is the torrent of abuse. So same blind spot demonstrated yet again…

    So Noel, I’m thick skinned, you are thick skinned, but can you not tolerate people on the internet not being thick skinned? Can you accept their refusal to ignore the ‘trolls’ and misogynists is not some victim act or a fatal character flaw on their part? Personally I think we need a diversity of approach; piss-taking, ridicule, ignoring, confronting head on and more. They’ll never go away but is that really a reason to give up and shut up on subjects that annoy them?

  47. 47
    mildlymagnificent

    Speaking of ‘splash’, I just realised that that’s what happens to me when men talk about “copping a feel”.

    I’m now well and truly over 60, but I still remember the stunned, speechless feeling when I was not yet 20, jostling in the crowd waiting for the lights to change on a city corner, when a bloke who looked the same age as my father walked straight towards me. I thought he was getting through the crowd to cross the other way, so I was ready for the footpath dance routine to let him pass. But no, he sped up and grabbed my groin and kept right on walking.

    Then again! I’d developed what I thought was a pretty thick skin working throughout the 70s in a strongly male dominated field. The daily sex jokes, better known as rape jokes, and morning tea breaks defending my right against half a dozen ‘co’-workers to have a job at all let alone one with a professional salary attached. Again and again. I could still be offended or shocked but I ‘handled’ myself pretty well, I thought.

    I also thought that things were getting better. Late 80s, I’m now over 40, married with a couple of little kids, and a much younger bloke from the office I actually knew, and who strongly disliked me (I was a despised outspoken-feminist-pinko-commie union rep) did exactly the same thing when we passed each other in a hallway in a pub. I can still remember the shock. The same shock. Looking at it, I’m sure the intent was the stunned silence. He had no interest in me – at all.

    Reading this stuff now gives me a jolt of recognition. That it can happen anywhere, any time, with anyone.

  48. 48
    'dirigible

    I don’t envy Watson the ridiculously spiteful and ignorant abuse she suffers but I am very glad that she has kept raising the profile of this problem.

  49. 49
    noelplum99

    @Ophelia Benson

    Oh, another thing, mr plum – do you ever drop in on the “trolls” as you call them to tell them to stop? Or do you just tell me? Go right ahead for them, don’t feed the trolls for me? Is that it?

    Not sure really what you are suggesting here Ophelia. Personally, I get the impression that the trolls (and I want to differentiate between the trolls and those who just can’t stand FtB but who would never make threats or anything like that), given that they are trolls, probably don’t want the shit to end. I assumed you guys probably DID want it to end.

    My assumption would be that my asking a troll to stop trolling you guys would be about as effective is asking the trolls I have acquired on occasion to stop trolling me. Like you, they would probably just give me the ‘fuck you, fuck you’ response.
    In any case, I suspect the trolls largely DO know where I stand because, unlike FtBloggers, they don’t view YouTube with distain and abhorrence (and as I showed in a video a couple of weeks ago on why i thought Vacula was a bad choice of appointment, I was actually pm’ed by just such a troll, admitting his actions and explaining the remorse he felt for sinking to that level).

    I want to be able to write and speak without being called a fucking cunt, without people monitoring my every word and move, without being photoshopped, without being giggled at by twerps like you. I want that right.

    I appreciate that, but how do you propose to bring that about? At the moment you are simply prodding at the hornets nest and saying ‘they have no right to sting me, fuck them, I am going to keep prodding until they accept my rights to not be stung’.

    Jim (np99)

  50. 50
    noelplum99

    @PZ Myers

    Noel Plum is trying so hard to appear fair-minded here

    Or it could just be that down here in the real world it isn’t all just chisel-jawed heroes and comedy villains. Maybe you would prefer it if I rolled up as Dick Dastardly to your Peter Perfect but life is a bit more nuanced than that and I don’t think that personally you wash quite as white as you like to think.

    so it’s peculiar that he’s trolling here and not, say, at the slymepit or that obsessive little elevatorgate blog.

    Yes great, I will go and post at the slymepit, then you can all point at me and say ‘slymepitter, block him’.
    The elevatorgate guy seems to have gotten somewhat unhealthily obsessed with the whole business. But what do you suggest? What is the solution there? Maybe more prodding and goading? Maybe titling your blog introducing another RW retelling of the life and times of RW as “Wheeee! Here we go again!”?
    What a politician would do would be to move onto other matters for a year or so, wait until everything had calmed down, then set about doing what they had planned all along. Personally I think that is a better way than your gleeful and childish anticipation of another round of polarisation and ill feeling. Clearly, your mileage varies.

    Maybe if he actually had put in some effort openly arguing against the sexist bullies, he’d be a little more credible.

    I don’t openly argue against the bullies? And you would know this how? Is this a matter of faith for you that even without exploring my videos on the related issues you just ‘know’ that I won’t have condemned bullying?
    Maybe I should take your lead, stop reading your blog and thereby increase my knowledge of what you write there?

    @Oolon

    So Noel, I’m thick skinned, you are thick skinned, but can you not tolerate people on the internet not being thick skinned? Can you accept their refusal to ignore the ‘trolls’ and misogynists is not some victim act or a fatal character flaw on their part?

    I can not only tolerate people being thin-skinned but the evidence is there. On my first video on the A+ forum I pleaded with everyone watching to not troll or goad the forum members in their (self-proclaimed) safe-haven but to use the forum as ‘read-only’ and respect their rights to their environment.
    As to not ignoring the trolls, it is not so much a character flaw as simply a recipe for failure. Let me ask you: can you honestly see all this subsiding while the ‘Wheeee! Here we go again!’ mentality persists?
    Trolls will always be there ofc, but things seem to have reached a fever pitch atm and i really cannot see the point in antagonising the situation – that was why I claimed that vacula’s appointment was ill thought out and why I think RW’s constant raking over her recent history is ill thought out.

    That apparently makes me a troll, so groooarrr, or whatever noise trolls make.
    Whatever,

    Jim (np99)

  51. 51
    Eldin Alvere

    One of the reasons that skeptics react in the way that they do is because they reject many of the ideas of feminism. They are skeptics. Feminist theory is unsupported speculation and much of it is unfalsifiable. For instance, stating that the gap in wages is due to the patriarchy is an incredibly over simplified statement that is completely unsupported and can not actually be tested in any way.

    So the treatment of Rebecca Watson, while definitely inappropriate, is akin to the manner in which skeptics troll and insult theists. It is to be expected. Even a mildly public character will have trolls and harassment. It doesn’t imply that any particular view is being abnormally harassed. Feminists also troll the MRA forums, blogs, channels, etc. Theists also troll atheists and there are always groups of theists at atheist conventions.

    While I have some sympathy for Rebecca Watson, I don’t see what is happening as remotely surprising or indicative of an inherent problem with in the skeptic community.

  52. 52
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m skeptical of your skepticism about feminism.

  53. 53
    briane

    What’s the difference between those in Tahrir square who do sexually assault women to silence them, and those in other locales who threaten to sexually assault women to silence them?
    Not a lot. Only society constrains them somewhat….

  54. 54
    innocentinfidell

    I am interested to know how somone like Ms Wtason or indeed her supporters reconcile this. Do a search on yout tube for ‘Skepchickcon Video’, then watch the footage of the Mad Science Party. In it apparently Ms Watson films a mock blowjob being committed on a male person, there is also a link to picture posted of the ‘cocktail party’ showing herself and others allowing party guest to take test tube cocktails (Buzz Aldrins) from between her breast with their mouths? This apparently happened at a TAM in 2009…what I want to know is how can somone who complains about being ‘sexualised’ and ‘objectified’ reconciles this very outward sexualised behaviour?…especially the filming of the mock blowjob being comitted upon a male person at this party, I am not aware that either participant gave permission for the footage to be taken or posted online. It all seems hypocritical to me. If a man had done this in similar circumstances would it not draw viscous condemnation from women?

  55. 55
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Hey ladies, if you ever participated in anything of the sexual nature, that counts as consent to being sexualised forever and ever and ever. Anything you do, anything you say can be put aside as unimportant to the benefit of some schmuck’s right to discuss how hot you are or proposition you or threaten to “cop a feel”… and you can’t complain about it because you did something sexual that other time with that other person at that other place.

  56. 56
    Cathy Newman

    Fantastic article! I haven’t been keeping up with all this like I probably should, mainly because there’s just SO MUCH about it, and as a leisure browser of skeptic websites/blogs, it’s hard to keep it all straight. So I very much appreciate Rebecca’s concise summary, and I hope the community takes it to heart.

  57. 57
    ThoughtfulOne

    @47:

    One of the reasons that skeptics react in the way that they do is because they reject many of the ideas of feminism. They are skeptics. Feminist theory is unsupported speculation and much of it is unfalsifiable. For instance, stating that the gap in wages is due to the patriarchy is an incredibly over simplified statement that is completely unsupported and can not actually be tested in any way.

    Straw men are great, aren’t they? I’ll see your anti-feminist and raise you a creationist. Evilutionist theory is unsupported speculation and much of it is unfalsifiable. For instance, stating that men coming from apes is due to a change in allele frequencies over time is an incredibly oversimplified statement that is completely unsupported and cannot actually be tested in any way.

    When you’re actually ready to discuss the evidence, let me know. You know, stuff like how women get burdened much more with childcare and family responsibilities.

  58. 58
    brucecoppola

    @5 Aratina Cage: That’s my overall impression of Rebecca: she has a great sense of humor to go with her skepticism (ditto Cristina Rad). That spirit pretty much permeates Skepchick. While I’m only an occasional visitor, the site is, besides illuminating, plain FUN! For the life of me I cannot imagine how she has attracted so much hatred. The haters are just seriously fucked up people.

    Were I ever fortunate enough to have coffee with her (mutually agreed upon and at an appropriate hour) I’m afraid a lot of it would come back out through my nose if she was “on”.

  59. 59
    innocentinfidell

    Well I was interested to know how one does reconcile the behaviour especially as , as far as I can see, it was in a public place?/Bar? Telling someone to not objectify you after you have so obviously ‘objectified’ yourself does seem at cross purposes. Also, was there permission given by the parties to the mock sexual act? If not then why should somone not be angered at how the male was sexualised in that video for the amusement of those (females)present? Does the lady or gentleman concerned even know he/she has been uploaded to the web in such a fashion? Were indemnities obtained?

    If one openly displays themself in a certain light, then it could be argued that any other person might view that person in a certain light in the future. Especially if you post the behaviour on the web for the world to see and indeed gloat about it. It just looks tacky and hypocritical.

  60. 60
    Lyanna

    If one openly displays themself in a certain light, then it could be argued that any other person might view that person in a certain light in the future.

    No, it couldn’t, unless you’re a damn fool.

    Depending on the context and the people she’s with, a person may present herself or himself different lights: professional, sexy, tough, vulnerable, aloof, or friendly.

    None of these is a blanket surrender of her freedom to behave differently, and to be treated differently, in a different context. Nor is it a surrender of her right to be free of rape threats, for god’s sake.

    But you’ve openly displayed yourself as a jackass, so you know, I’m going to view you like that in the future.

  61. 61
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    A woman enjoying herself at a party and being open about her sexuality without worrying how that might brand her for life… Yes, I see how Rebecca was careless there. Oh no, wait, it’s not her fault that people are assholes.

    Am I allowed to kiss a man passionately in public, or does that make me objectifiable forever? I mean, if it’s a really really hot kiss, one of those good lasting ones… that’s pretty sexy. Do I objectify myself with that? Is every man from that moment on allowed to approach me without consideration for my interest because I’m obviously open to advances? Always, because I was sexy that one time.

  62. 62
    Aratina Cage

    @brucecoppola

    Were I ever fortunate enough to have coffee with her (mutually agreed upon and at an appropriate hour) I’m afraid a lot of it would come back out through my nose if she was “on”.

    I know she doesn’t like such elevator/coffee jokes because of all the abuse and objectification they entail, but I’m right with you on that point. She does some of the best goofy deadpan out there.

  63. 63
    Aratina Cage

    Do a search on yout tube for ‘Skepchickcon Video’, then watch the footage of the Mad Science Party. In it apparently Ms Watson films a mock blowjob being committed on a male person, there is also a link to picture posted of the ‘cocktail party’ showing herself and others allowing party guest to take test tube cocktails (Buzz Aldrins) from between her breast with their mouths? This apparently happened at a TAM in 2009 –innocentinfidell

    A woman was partying! Call teh cops!!!

    … Innocent my ass.

  64. 64
    Forbidden Snowflake

    You don’t understand, Beatrice. The way Watson is treated is dictated by her own behavior. Like, if she played some sexy games at a party once, that’s behavior which signals to every man who sees her two years later that she can be hit on anywhere and in any way. On the other hand, her saying five minutes ago that she doesn’t want to be hit on and that she is going to bed does not count as behavior that signals to people how she may be treated, because penis. Because a woman can either be a virgin or a whore, and once she’s had sexy time two years ago she has become a whore, and can’t suddenly not be a whore and be allowed to say how she wants to be treated.
    I hope you understand the Rules now that I have explained them to you.

  65. 65
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I hope you understand the Rules now that I have explained them to you.

    Lady brains engaging…

    processing


    processing

    uuuh, shiny!

    Er, what were you saying?

  66. 66
    Ophelia Benson

    Jafafa – your comment is out of the filter now. Yes, an odd filtering effect.

  67. 67
    Ophelia Benson

    “birdterrifier” @ 42

    Also, you say that you have a right to not be photoshopped, laughed at, slurred against and to not have your every word monitored. Though I think that the world would be better if this ceased, I wonder how you can have this right defended?

    No, I don’t. I’m not that stupid. This is what I said (@ 25):

    I want to be able to write and speak without being called a fucking cunt, without people monitoring my every word and move, without being photoshopped, without being giggled at by twerps like you. I want that right. No, I don’t appreciate bystanders dropping in to laugh and pretend to give advice.

    I say I want it, not that I have it. I want the moral right to write and speak without getting misogynist shit in response.

  68. 68
    Banned Atheist

    This thread is a pretty great troll smackdown. Nicely done! It can’t be repeated enough: throughout their ordeal I’ve been consistently impressed by the courage exhibited by Rebecca et ali, and stunned by the dudebro rage response. Hit a nerve, maybe?

    For what it’s worth, I think you have all made a difference here at FtB. Look at this thread — at the cohesiveness of your response to np99 — and compare it to YouTube. There’s a degree of spontaneous organization here, and it’s noticeable. Over time, that might make more of a difference than any other single factor.

    But the MRAtheist dudebros see the cohesiveness as a weakness (idiots), and tried to discredit it with the juvenile hashtag ‘FTBullies’. It backfired. The nastier they get today, the more irrelevant they make themselves tomorrow. When people of good conscience look into the story, and see the way individuals have been targeted, the choice is stark.

    In fact, it’s a no-brainer: obviously Rebecca and her supporters are in the right. I’m proud of her for taking this stand and not backing down one inch. Let’s lance this sexist boil before it pops on us.

  69. 69
    oolon

    …This apparently happened at a TAM in 2009…what I want to know is how can somone who complains about being ‘sexualised’ and ‘objectified’ reconciles this very outward sexualised behaviour? especially the filming of the mock blowjob being comitted upon a male person at this party…

    This is almost as daft as Dick Strawkins argument that because RW said “twat” on SGU once then it is fine for ‘him’ to use that word in any context. WTF are these people thinking, no wonder they post anonymously 99% of the time. Here’s hoping ‘innocentinfidel’ is Dick and this line of argument is not endemic.

  70. 70
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Oh oolon, it’s endemic whether that’s Dick or not. Plenty of people reached for the Skepchick-brand calendars and parties during Elevatorgate in misguided attempts to paint RW as a huge hypocrite. Even actual Richard Dawkins pulled some similar shit.

  71. 71
    A. Noyd

    oolon (#46)

    So Noel, I’m thick skinned, you are thick skinned, but can you not tolerate people on the internet not being thick skinned?

    Yeah, you’re so thick-skinned, you just couldn’t help rushing to your own defense in a thread PZ warned you to stay out of on penalty of getting banned from Pharyngula.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    innocentinfidel (#59)

    Telling someone to not objectify you after you have so obviously ‘objectified’ yourself does seem at cross purposes.

    So because I get to touch my own genitals, that means it’s at cross purposes to tell other people they can’t touch my genitals? It’s a bit of an extreme comparison, but the principle is the same. There is nothing that I can do to myself that makes it okay for others to do the same thing to me without my explicit consent.

  72. 72
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    what I want to know is how can somone who complains about being ‘sexualised’ and ‘objectified’ reconciles this very outward sexualised behaviour? especially the filming of the mock blowjob being comitted upon a male person at this party…

    it’s cute, isn’t it, how they pretend not to understand what agency is.

    She, herself, choses to engage in something mock sexual. As compared with other people telling her they’re going to assault her when they see her.

    One involves her acting on her own agency. The second involves a straight up threat – explicitly about her non-consent.

    Yeah, it’s just so confusing.

  73. 73
    No Light

    idiotinfidel-

    viscous condemnation

    Yeah, sticky disapproval is the worst kind.

    Listen, you’re dull, boring, and not saying anything that a million other MRAs haven’t already said.

    Your mother had sex with your father and presumably advertised that in public, showing off her disgusting evidence-of-sluttery swollen belly. Ergo, it is fine and dandy to grope her, proposition her, and threaten her with rape.

    noplums99 – go back to giving rimjobs to chunderf00t. You’ve been dripping your unctuous, self-righteous biffen-sweat here since the first comment you made, months ago.

    Stick to entertaining monosyllabic button-clickers over on YouTube. You’re more at home there with the mouth-breathing, self-righteous muppet brigade who fist-punch the air and screech “Yeah!” in response to your Jim Davidsonesque bollocks.

    Oh and dude, you don’t need to SIGN your comments. We can read, we can see your name before the results of your fingerspasms.

    Finally, for Mr “Look at me, I’m not an MRA either, I’m just ~sceptical~ of feminism”

    Feminism is nothing more or less than the belief that women and girls are fully human, and deserve to be treated as such.

    Now I realise that, as a concept, that is super hard to understand. Maybe there’s a YouTube video about it that you could watch? I think Sesame Street covered equality a few times back in the 80s.

  74. 74
    Ophelia Benson

    Groan. @ 68 – if only. Russell Blackford pretty much called Rebecca a liar on Twitter.

    @Colvinius You do know, don’t you, that Watson is a very sketchy individual and the story she tells is largely untrue? #factchecking

    That’s all the more disgusting because Colvinius is a presenter at ABC radio (the Australian one). RB also tweeted to ABC Radio directly.

    And there’s this:

    I am sick of all the unjustified, ill-informed vilification of @RichardDawkins that I see from all sorts of directions. #tallpoppies

    Tall poppies is it. But then how does that work when one of his most-repeated shouts is that popular bloggers are bullying if they criticise less popular bloggers?

    Dawkins is vastly more influential in the atheist / skeptic / secularist “community” than Rebecca is. Obviously. It’s so obvious it’s laughable to bother to say it…but people seem to forget it when convenient.

    That fact was always why Dear Muslima was such a shitty move. If it had been just one commenter out of many, it would have been forgotten within hours. But it wasn’t just one commenter out of many. It was a “tall poppy” bending down to give a damn good wallop to a blade of grass.

    Blackford also told Jacques Rousseau that Rebecca lied. I’m hoping JR is rational enough not to believe him.

    It’s a filthy, filthy business.

  75. 75
    dshetty

    @noelplum99
    lets leave Rebecca aside for a second. Ophelia/Stephanie/Jen and others also have gotten abuse whenever they say anything related to the topic – whether they use personal anecdotes or not and whether they repeat the same incident or not.
    So why waste your time complaining about Rebecca ‘s supposed narcissism when it is clear that this is an ongoing problem and that yes for Rebecca stuff changed drastically with elevator gate(especially when her article summary is a mostly accurate summary)?
    And what next , you will criticize PZ every time he brings up CrackerGate?

  76. 76
    Aratina Cage

    Blackford really shouldn’t be talking about other people lying. He fell hook, line, and sinker for the BS being promulgated by pre-slimepitters about RW’s speech without having even seen it and then acted like that hearsay was factual when it wasn’t as the video of her speech proved. Back off, Blackford!

  77. 77
    Eldin Alvere

    @73: I can be skeptical of feminist theory with out being skeptical of feminism. Feminism, by its definition, is inherently good. That is pretty much inarguable. Its the baggage that goes along with it that is not inarguable.

  78. 78
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I have asked in numerous posts on half a dozen forums for evidence supporting feminist theory and never received any acknowledged any.

    Just because you decided to ignore things staring you in the face doesn’t mean people haven’t provided any evidence.

  79. 79
    Eldin Alvere

    @71:
    She didn’t do it to herself, she did it to some one else and then condemns others for doing something far less severe than she did. Watch the video and tell me that was not blatant and undeniable objectification of men.

    Your analogy fails because you can not compare what you do to yourself to what you do to others.

  80. 80
    Ophelia Benson

    Blackford will never back off. He hates Rebecca almost as obsessively as any slimepitter.

  81. 81
    Eldin Alvere

    @78:
    Stating something is evidence of something doesn’t make it evidence of something. Yes, women tend to do more child rearing. This is true of the vast majority of species. Are you saying female cats rearing their young do so because of the patriarchy?

    If you have evidence that indicates that the patriarchy, as it is used in feminist theory, is the cause of the issues that many feminists proclaim, let me know what that evidence is. If you have a good suggestion of an academic reference (books are good), let me know.

    Yes, pretty much all societies are primarily male dominated. I do not in any way debate this. So now what?

  82. 82
    Aratina Cage

    Really? But why does he hate her? What in the world is going on there? I’m really just lost as to where this hatred they have comes from and why they think it is in any way OK to cling to the grudge they have formed.

  83. 83
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Eldin Alvere,

    Of course there is some baggage. Every movement that long lasting and expansive gets some baggage along the way. What you are doing are dismissing the whole damn thing. I mean, you declare the whole “feminist theory” bunk. Whatever that is. I’m not even sure what you mean by feminist theory, considering that you accept feminism but not feminist theory. That’s strange and pretty contradictory, to say the least.

  84. 84
    Eldin Alvere

    @82:
    I don’t think they hate her. From my perspective, the whole “elevator gate” and anti-feminism blow back is to be expected from a skeptic community. Unless they have good reason to accept what is said, especially if what is said goes against their own impressions, they will rebel against it.

    I know some also hate her trying to tell men how to behave. They reject the notion that elevatorguy did anything wrong by asking for a hook up. Personally, I agree with both of these sentiments.

  85. 85
    Ophelia Benson

    Aratina – I don’t know. I’ve never known. I keep asking, and I don’t know.

  86. 86
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You just said that you have asked the same question in multiple places and dismissed all the answer. You dismiss the whole “feminist theory” out of hand.

    Google is your friend. If you are interested, you can go and do a bit of research. I would offer a helping hand if I believed that there is any chance you are asking this question in good faith.

  87. 87
    Aratina Cage

    @82:
    I don’t think they hate her. –Eldin Alvere

    Very funny.

    From my perspective, the whole “elevator gate” and anti-feminism blow back is to be expected from a skeptic community. –Eldin Alvere

    No, it isn’t. This is unlike anything I would have expected. It’s a flooding of misogyny that should not have happened and should not have been encouraged by some of the most prominent male atheists in the community.

  88. 88
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You know, there are feminists who are part of the skeptic community. Rebecca Watson herself, for one. It’s not very nice that you exclude anyone but the assholes out of it. Maybe skeptical assholes could exclude themselves and go talk about how chupacabra doesn’t exist and women are bitches somewhere where we won’t have to tolerate them.

    I know some also hate her trying to tell men how to behave. They reject the notion that elevatorguy did anything wrong by asking for a hook up. Personally, I agree with both of these sentiments.

    Present skeptical assholes included.

    Oh sorry, that was “telling a man how to behave” and you don’t agree with women doing that. Well, I’m not sure what we’re going to do about that now. Can I bring you a beer or something? Sandwich?

  89. 89
    Eldin Alvere

    @87

    Please explain to me how rejecting and then trolling Rebecca Watson is misogyny? I have not seen a single act of misogyny. Mocking a woman is not misogyny. Disagreeing with feminists is not misogyny.

  90. 90
    Aratina Cage

    Anyone wondering what Eldin is going on about need only click on his nym and follow it to his blog to read the top post there.

  91. 91
    Ophelia Benson

    Trolling a woman is not misogyny, eh? Interesting.

    Yes it is. So is mocking a woman if it’s “special” mocking – which the incessant sustained perpetual mocking of Rebecca is. So is “disagreeing” with feminists when it’s obsessive and disproportionate.

    In other words don’t play silly buggers. Normal interaction isn’t misogyny, no, quite right. When it becomes abnormal, and it’s directed at a woman – that is misogyny. Ordinary quarrels and disagreements of course are not misogyny. Relentless harassment is.

  92. 92
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Aratina Cage,

    Thanks. Pretty much confirmed my impression of him and then knocked it a couple of notches down (it wasn’t a very long way to go).

  93. 93
    Eldin Alvere

    Misogyny means the hatred of women. Hating a particular woman or a particular group of women is not the same as hating women.

    This is one of the “issues” I have with many feminists. Words of meanings.

    BTW, any particular reason you have blocked some of my posts?

  94. 94
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Lyanna says:
    October 25, 2012 at 8:00 am
    If one openly displays themself in a certain light, then it could be argued that any other person might view that person in a certain light in the future.

    So by your logic, a man who rapes a prostitute should only be charged with ‘making off without paying’?

  95. 95
    Laurence

    There’s pretty clear reason why she is talking about all this again. Slate has a very large audience, and she wants to make sure that other people know about how toxic some members of the community can be. And there’s absolutely no problem with that. We should be the first one’s to air out our dirty laundry and make no excuses.

  96. 96
    No Light

    Aratina – you owe. me a new phone. After visiting his. bleurgh I was overcome with the compulsion to boil my phone in bleach.

    To spare anyone else the pain, it’s the usual fascinating musings that spurt from the ballbags of so many overprivileged cisstraight, white, able-bodied, financially comfortable men who believe they’re uniquely qualified to pontificate on what real discrimination is.

    You see, he just understands sexism, racism and homophobia better than all those biased people with skin in the game. I mean, he’s been a gaijin in Japan, black Americans can’t tell him what racism is.

    Oh, and MRAs are purely the male flipside to feminists, fighting for male equality. Don’t you know women batter men too? [cites beloved-of-MRAs paper that focussed on one tiny subset of troubled youths in dysfunctional relationships].

    HEAR HIM ROAR!

  97. 97
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 93 – no, you’re wrong. Disproportionate obsessive hatred of a woman can be misogyny, or be a marker of misogyny.

    I’ve put you in moderation; your comments don’t appear unless I approve them. Yes there’s a particular reason.

  98. 98
    No Light

    Apologies for the extraneous ‘.’s in my comment. I blame the bleach.

    Ophelia – there you go again, oppressing people!

    He’s just blah blah blah free speech blah blah FTBullies mumble mumble manhaters waffle waffle spoogedrip his opinion…

  99. 99
    Aratina Cage

    Aratina – you owe. me a new phone.

    *evil grin* I know. I should have given some kind of warning with that comment.

  100. 100
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh dear. This guy’s blog reminds me of that time someone linked to the blog of a Canadian woman who hates everyone of Asian descent (and immigrants in general). Failure all the way down and I couldn’t stop reading it. Eyes leaking out. Mess on the keyboard. But I.can’t.stop.reading.

  101. 101
    screechymonkey

    I know some also hate her trying to tell men how to behave

    This is a silly objection, and an obvious pretext.

    Advocacy, skeptical or otherwise, is “telling people how to behave,” almost by definition.

    These same skeptics have no problem with, for example, telling people:
    – to rely on evidence rather than belief, think critically, etc.
    – not to give money to psychics
    – not to spread lies about vaccination

    Many of them will also happily tell you who you should vote for.

    And the misogynist faction in particular has been quite insistent about lecturing other people on:
    – how they should run their blog network (“Asking Thunderf00t to take his rants elsewhere is censorship!!!!111″)
    – how they should post on YouTube (“you MUST allow comments on your videos!”)
    – what forms of advocacy are ok (petitioning SGU to remove Rebecca Watson) and which are not (petitioning SCA to remove Justin Vacula)

    All of us engage in telling other people how to behave. The vociferous objection to “guys, don’t do that” had nothing to do with some principled objection to the “don’t do” part, and EVERYTHING to do with the “that.”

  102. 102
    Eldin Alvere

    @103:
    Well, it’s my only problem with what she said and I know of a number of other people who voiced the same opinion.

    However, you are correct. I had not previously noticed the inconsistency in my judgement. Thank you for the correction. I will have to think on it and see how/if it changes my views/opinions on this (and other) issues. So again, thank you for the new perspective.

  103. 103
    Eldin Alvere

    @100:
    My discussing racism makes me a racist?

  104. 104
    No Light

    Argh Beatrice, I’d wiped that woman from my mind! Now she’s back inside there. Was she the one bizarrely focussing on a nanny who lived on the same street?

    Aratina – I really need to get myself some sort of “Lighty done RAGESMASH” insurance. Fortunately I’m sufficiently crippled that I. can only do limited damage to my beloved shinies.

  105. 105
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    No Light, possibly. I vaguely remember something about a family with a little girl, that lived on the same street.

  106. 106
    eric

    5000+ responses in about 30 hours, and noelplumm opines that it’s all so boooring and narcissistic and the mature thing to do is to move on to other matters. When RW tells the story and the response is ~50 instead of ~5,000, that will be a sign that people have moved on and find the problem she’s highlighting not worth talking about any more.

    And about that narcissism claim. Maybe I’m wrong, but Slate is not owned by RW, is it? She dosen’t decide what they publish, does she? It was Slate, not RW, that decided what submissions were most relevant and newsworthy. One can maybe accuse them of posting something they know would bring in a lot of support and ire, just for the hits. But its just crazy to think this got published out of narcissism. It can’t have been – the accused narcissist isn’t the one who published it!

    Agh, maybe I’m reading too much into this. RW got her piece published by Slate and then got 5000 comments in a day. Some bloggers will resent the mere success of it.

  107. 107
    Bjarte Foshaug

    If your reasons for hating “a particular woman or a particular group of women” have anything to do with them exercising their right to set boundaries for themselves, those are the kinds of reasons that can only be held by a misogynist. If you found anything objectionable at all about Rebecca’s video (the one that sparked the whole hideous elevator-gate saga), we can pretty much rule out any other reasons.

  108. 108
    callistacat

    “I am sick of all the unjustified, ill-informed vilification of @RichardDawkins that I see from all sorts of directions.”

    So Rebecca quoting Richard Dawkins verbatim in her Slate article (the “dear muslima” comment) is unjustified, ill-informed vilification?

    And I really can’t believe I’m seeing the “she did something sexual in the past therefore she’s fair game to be objectified and sexualized without her consent forevermore” from an atheist. That’s something only Islamic and Christian fundamentalist do, right? I thought I left the ridiculous Madonna/whore Complex behind when I left the church. Nice to see there’s a secular version.

    “I don’t hate women as long as they know their place and shut up” is misogyny.

    Praising women who are silent & obedient and punishing & vilifying women who outspokenly campaign for women’s rights and freedom is definitely misogyny. That’s just another version of the good girl/bad, madonna/whore complex that’s been used to keep women in line for centuries.

  109. 109
    Jafafa Hots

    From my perspective, the whole “elevator gate” and anti-feminism blow back is to be expected from a skeptic community. Unless they have good reason to accept what is said, especially if what is said goes against their own impressions, they will rebel against it.

    Exactly!

    For example, I remember the time that Dawkins debated that Cardinal or Bishop or whatever, he used the same methods. Threatened to kick the Cardinal in the cunt and told him he was too ugly to rape. Stuff like that.

    Valid criticisms.

  110. 110
    callistacat

    And when people disagreed with Sam Harris’ views on whether torture is effective under certain circumstances, he was told by fellow atheists that he should be kicked in his privates and that he was a son of a cunt and that he’s just a whiney bitch and someone should rape him except he was too ugly to be raped. And that he’s a twat.

    Oh wait, no they didn’t. They just gave their reasons why they disagreed with his view that torture can be effective under certain circumstances.

  111. 111
    Acolyte of Sagan

    I’ve been trying to figure out where I’ve seen this type of behaviour before, the sudden transformation from seemingly perfectly pleasant to a raging monster without any real provocation. Then it hit me…

  112. 112
    A. Noyd

    And before anyone attempts to brush off Jafafa Hots’ and callistacat’s point by saying that Dawkins and Harris get lots of hate mail and get called all sorts of other nasty names, let’s not forget that prominent skeptic/atheist women like Rebecca Watson get all that as well. The special brand of hate that’s focused on their gender comes in addition to the standard abuse. And it comes primarily from their fellow skeptics/atheists.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Eldin Alvere (#92)

    Misogyny means the hatred of women.

    Not exactly.

  113. 113
    innocentinfidell

    @ callisticat at#108 “And I really can’t believe I’m seeing the “she did something sexual in the past therefore she’s fair game to be objectified and sexualized without her consent forevermore”.

    THAT is exactly NOT what I posted, that is what one of her supporters supposed it meant in their head. I simply asked how she and the community reconcile what I view as hypocrisy.

    For example, recently Watson posted/texted about how she was sitting in first class, drinking wine froma bottle someone mistakenly left behind (which is tantamount to theft by finding) and enjoying the first class airflight sipping the ill gotten gains. Then that same person tells other people to ‘check their privilege’ as an attack on them in forums and speeches.

    Its hypocritical and nothing more, no one has yet poffered an answer to me as to how her supporters and the woman concerned reconciles the two seemingly opposing behaviours displayed. It is a ‘do as I say not do as I do’ mentality and many of her supporters shut it from their alledgedly questioning minds.

  114. 114
    doubtthat

    I find the “confusion” concerning how to deal with sexist assholes in the atheist/skeptical community amusing. This goofball upthread (didn’t make it through all the comments) offers a sanctimonious, hollow agreement: sure, you’re right about those bullies, but what can be done about it? ie–just grow a thick skin.

    It’s not that goddamn complicated. How did we get to the point where fat white sheriffs from the South can’t just say N***** on news reports all the time? It just magically stopped one day? Certainly that view of history plays to the right wing (American) understanding of the world where, sure, racism was a real problem during slavery, and then during Jim Crow, and then during the Civil Rights Era, but sometime in the late sixties, after civil rights legislation was passed, but before it was, you know, actual used, racism ceased to exist.

    How do you stop the asshole sexists? The same way. Call them out, mock them, make it clear that their behavior is unacceptable–in other words, just what Rebecca and FtB are doing.

    The limp, concern-troll pushback is almost more insulting than the outright assholes–at least they aren’t pretending to sympathize with anyone just to slip a dagger between their shoulderblades.

  115. 115
    A. Noyd

    innocentinfidel (#113)

    Then that same person tells other people to ‘check their privilege’ as an attack on them in forums and speeches.

    You don’t know what privilege is. What a shock.

    Its hypocritical and nothing more, no one has yet poffered an answer to me as to how her supporters and the woman concerned reconciles the two seemingly opposing behaviours displayed.

    I guess you didn’t read my reply to you at #71 or Illuminata’s reply at #72, to name just two. Or perhaps you didn’t understand them. Whichever the case, you can’t say you weren’t offered explanations.

  116. 116
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh for jesus h christ’s fucking sake, you are not seriously coming here with that ridiculous “Rebecca tweeted that she got upgraded to first class this one time so she is privileged hahahaha” shit are you? You pathetic ridiculous piece of crap? You’re one of those lunatics who monitor everything she says in public so that you can trot out ridiculous bullshit like this, and you’re so lost in the fog that you think it will convince reasonable people?

  117. 117
    Ike

    HI,

    some people may remember as ryankwilkinson, others may not.

    the point is I was seen as a bit of a ‘troll’, and banned from pharyngula.

    I just want to say now (and I want everyone at pharyngula especially to know)

    I am sorry. I was wrong. You are right about practically everything. I can do nothing but apologise and attempt to help fight your fight with equal vigour and tenacity and heaps of swear words at the useless shits that do not understand anything.

    Primarily: I am sorry, and I would like to thank FTB for helping me realise my wrongs.

  118. 118
    callistacat

    “THAT is exactly NOT what I posted, that is what one of her supporters supposed it meant in their head. I simply asked how she and the community reconcile what I view as hypocrisy.”

    So what did you mean when you brought up things Rebecca did consensually in the past that were sexual in nature? Why do you view it as “hypocrisy”? The only thing that would make it hypocritical is if you believe that women must be asexual virgins in order to have any credibility when they complain about people not respecting their boundaries and treating them like the only exist for sex.

  119. 119
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    innocentinfidell @54

    what I want to know is how can somone who complains about being ‘sexualised’ and ‘objectified’ reconciles this very outward sexualised behaviour?

    I agree with your other critics that this is a screwed-up question you are asking, ripe with all sorts of unpleasant baggage.

    Do you not understand the concepts of consent and context? In a safe environment amongst consenting adults Rebecca is free to have whatever sexy fun she wants. She is also free, along with the other participants, to put whatever boundaries on that play that she wants. She can modify boundaries, can withdraw or say ‘no’ at any moment and for any reason. She is, after all, human and not a fembot.

    Reading back over all that Rebecca has written, she is incredibly sex-positive. She’s all for flirting sexytimes, provided the participants consent, that they are willing partners.

    Hold that word ‘consent’ in your head for a moment.

    The problem of sexualisation and objectification is where it happens in non-consensual contexts. How it manifests itself in unwanted behaviours in Dublin elevators or elsewhere.

    Look at the whole argument within the community from Elvatorgate to the anti-harassment debate. Rebecca, the Skepchicks and FTBers have been consistent in the message that they have no problem with flirting or other consensual sexual activity. If Thunderf00t wants to gnaw a woman’s leg in a bar and she’s okay with that, let him have at it. The feminists’ focus has been on unwanted attention, on the lack of respect for boundaries when they have been set or when they change with context.

    Here’s the thing: boundaries are flexible. In the right place with the right people, a woman’s boundaries permit sexyplay. In all other situations they don’t.

    This should seem obvious, but you and others seem to have trouble with this. You’ve been accused of Madonna/Whoring Rebecca, without recognising that sexual fun at a party amongst friends, regardless of whether that was in a public space like a bar, is a very different thing to tolerating sexual advances in any other context.

    You don’t get to call her a hypocrite on this. You don’t get to play Pecksniff and tell her that her desire not to be objectified prevents her from having any sexyfun in bars. You are trying to box her behaviour and she refuses to succumb to that.

    Once you understand the notion of consent being allowable in certain contexts it is not hard at all to reconcile the desire to not be stalked/harrassed/sexualised on the one hand with the occasional party behaviour.

    If you don’t get that then you really are a problem person and maybe someone that women might do best to avoid.

  120. 120
    innocentinfidell

    ‘partying’ and sexualising another person for amusement are two different things. Not one person has expressed discontent at her part in the public act perpetrated on the maleperson at the party, objectifying applies to everyone. I would have thought it prudent under the cirsumstances for Watson to tell the lady in question, “Don’t do that, it objectifies/sexualises us”. Reconcile her behaviour with the attacks that Thunderfoot got over his biting the girls foot picture.

    I guess an analogy would be followers of a cult leader or religious identity expousing a certain acceptable level of behaviour and then for the followers to find footage and photos of said icon raging with the boys in the choir. Double standards,that’s all. As I asked, what would have been the reaction had this been footage taken by a man and a woman was being objectified?

  121. 121
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    innocentinfidell,

    I just read what you wrote. You said that it’s hypocritical that she does something sexual in public and then expects people not to sexualize her all the time because of that.

  122. 122
    innocentinfidell

    If a person behaves a certain way in a public place and allows one and all to view this behaviour then its reasonable to assume that another spectator will believe this to be a character trait of that person.

    So yes, in a way, if you behave outwardly to people in a certain way then its fairly reasonable of people to assume that is what YOU are like. Now if you scream about being compartmentalised by the viewer as a type ‘A’ character later on, then that is your lookout…not theirs. You can’t say someone is allowed to behave and carry on in any way they want and then not expect people to draw conclusions from that behaviour. Its not rational. If you saw a person display violent behaviours openly in a public gathering you might assume that trait is a part of their personality, if later on you heard they had been in a fight or some such, then you might immediately remember their public displays and say to another party, ‘oh yeh him, I saw him go off a while ago, he has a violent side.’ Some might even target you for confrontation because they assume you are a fighter and want to try you on.

    Who knows, elevator guy might have had the images from this 2009 event in his head and after spending 4 hrs in a bar with her in Dublin, thought she might be up for some fun as in the behaviour she displayed and posted on the web. He simply might have tried his luck based on his assumption she was an openly sexual person in bar/party environments.

  123. 123
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I simply asked how she and the community reconcile what I view as hypocrisy

    how is it hypocrisy, unless you believe that women – once they are sexual once – lose all credibility and lose the right to be treated like anything but a walking sex toy?

    how is it hypocrisy to excerise one’s right to decide where, when, how and with whom they engage in sexual activities?

    Please clarify, or stop pretending to have been misunderstood.

  124. 124
    Raging Bee

    I find it really rather narcissistic the degree to which Rebecca talks about herself.

    Well, yeah, a lot of things have happened to her, and she wants to talk about it. Are you saying she’s wrong to talk about things that have happened to her?

    Seriously, you little shit, you could make the same complaint about anyone who wants to talk about something bad that’s happened to him/her (and, in RW’s case, STILL IS happening). Callng someone “narcissistic” for talking about her experiences really shows what an uncaring, self-centered piece of work you are.

    PS: I noticed in the article quoted that RW was also talking about other skeptics, not just herself. Did you notice that? Or were you too self-absorbed to notice?

  125. 125
    Raging Bee

    …drinking wine froma bottle someone mistakenly left behind (which is tantamount to theft by finding)…

    “Theft by finding?” Really? You’re so desperate to trash a decent person — someone who has done no serious harm to anyone — that you’d equate finding something with intentional theft? What a pathetic obsessed asshole. How far out of your way did you go to come here with such a petty complaint?

    I simply asked how she and the community reconcile what I view as hypocrisy.

    Here’s the answer you pretend to crave: what you view as hypocricy, isn’t. The privilege of flying first-class (how many times? Once?) is not the same as the privilege of men bashing women over issues they don’t have to deal with themselves. Your complaint of “hypocricy” is bogus and made-up. Now that we’ve answered the question you insist you were asking, will you shut up and go away? Probably not.

    Its hypocritical and nothing more, no one has yet poffered an answer to me…

    We’ve been answering you here, and you’re lying when you claim no one is offering an answer. (Oh, and if you’re going to get pompous with your fancy word choices, at least try not to misspell the fancy words. It’s “proffered,” not “poffered.”)

  126. 126
    Raging Bee

    Hating a particular woman or a particular group of women is not the same as hating women.

    That depends entirely on WHY you hate that particular group. It IS the same if the group you hate are the ones who stand up for their own interests. Pretending otehrwise is sort of like saying you can’t be called a racist if you only hate black people who stand up for equal rights.

  127. 127
    oolon

    @A.Noyd, Thick or thin skinned. A person should be ‘thin skinned’ when presented with a serious charge from a credible source. We are not talking about thin or thick skin if there are reasonable charges or arguments that Rebecca is misbehaving or just plain ‘wrong’ about something. She would be bone-headed to ignore reasoned argument and very lucky if she can be thick skinned about the insults. But that is not what we are talking about, innocentinfidel is a perfect example of what we are talking about –> obsession over every little detail of what RW has ever said or done allied with misogynistic slurs (although no slurs from infidel yet!).

    So @innocentinfidel, Eldin, on the theme of the litany of things RW did wrong once – an example – Hoggle on the pit got quite worked up because RW said Galileo was killed by the Church in a video – then she issued a retraction/corrected because she was wrong. Apparently this was not done quickly enough! So was proof of her evident unsuitability to be considered a sceptic!! I suppose to determine if Hoggle is misogynistic in his hyper-attention to perceived wrongs you’d need to perform some sort of statistical analysis of the frequency of his attacks on men and women and rank them by their level of nit-picking. Does he attack RW/women significantly more than male sceptics? Or… You could just read his seminal post “The morphology of that comment” where he discusses his rapier wit encapsulated in a now famous-ish (here at least) comment criticising Ophelia and arguing on her value as a feminist in the community…

    If I was a girl, I’d kick her in the cunt. Cunt.

    Or… You could pretty much just take any comment or post of his on this subject. Personally I think I’ll forgive anyone jumping to a conclusion of misogyny there without a fully double-blinded study on it. I’m obviously a poor sceptic.

  128. 128
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Reconcile her behaviour with the attacks that Thunderfoot got over his biting the girls foot picture.

    Nobody attacked him for fooling around with that woman. People attacked him for thinking that picture constitutes some kind of argument against having sexual harassment policies, and then, as his behavior got increasingly stupid, it became somewhat of a meme. I don’t recall anybody claiming that he actually did something wrong by playfully and consensually pretend-biting her leg.
    So don’t lie, please.

  129. 129
    jojo

    Delurking to wish Audley and the Darkhearts well. Welcome to the world Dark Infant!

  130. 130
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Who knows, elevator guy might have had the images from this 2009 event in his head and after spending 4 hrs in a bar with her in Dublin, thought she might be up for some fun as in the behaviour she displayed and posted on the web. He simply might have tried his luck based on his assumption she was an openly sexual person in bar/party environments.

    So, according to your version, he saw a video of her playing a sexy game once two years ago and decided she must be constantly available for sex. And, apparently, chose to ignore everything she said that night about not wanting to be hit on, and about being tired and going to sleep.
    If that’s true, then he was being a sexist ass, with the same weird virgin/whore hang-up you have, and she was still right (and very restrained) to say “don’t do that”, and the people who had a shitfit over her video are still misogynistic nutcases. All good?

  131. 131
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    jojo,

    You may wish to post your good wishes here. And stay delurked! ;)

    We have a bit of an invasion right now, but don’t mind the godbots.

  132. 132
    Jacques Rousseau

    Ophelia @74 – Just to state, in a public sort of way, that I see no reason to think Rebecca tells any lies in the column under discussion. It would, in fact, be downright impudent and assumptive for anyone who isn’t her to make that sort of claim.

  133. 133
    A. Noyd

    oolon (#127)

    Thick or thin skinned. A person should be ‘thin skinned’ when presented with a serious charge from a credible source. We are not talking about thin or thick skin if there are reasonable charges or arguments that Rebecca is misbehaving or just plain ‘wrong’ about something.

    What are you even talking about? Do you not get the point of my jab or are you trying to deflect it by comparing PZ telling you to keep your inane fence-straddling schtick out of a thread to what RW has been put through?

    But that is not what we are talking about…

    You have no fucking clue what “we” are talking about. I just find it laughable that you imagine yourself to be thick-skinned. If you’re trying to find a commonality to bond over with noelplum99, I would suggest your obtuseness.

  134. 134
    Ophelia Benson

    Thanks for that, Jacques. I should probably apologize for dragging your name into it…but because Russell has a (well-earned) reputation for being a reasonable and philosophically trained guy, it worries me when he publicly tells other reasonable people that Rebecca is lying. I think he’s using his reputation to smear her, on the basis of nothing but (unreasonable, heightened) dislike. I feel an obligation to try to undo the damage he’s doing.

  135. 135
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Not one person has expressed discontent at her part in the public act perpetrated on the maleperson at the party, objectifying applies to everyone.

    Perpetrated on? That implies the guy was unconsenting. Is there anything to suggest the guy was not consenting? That this was unwanted?

    I repeat my earlier post. This is about unwanted attention. Not mutually consenting horseplay.

    Reconcile her behaviour with the attacks that Thunderfoot got over his biting the girls foot picture.

    Thunderfoot wasn’t attacked for biting the girls’ foot. He was attacked for constructing a strawfeminist argument that such horseplay would require forms in triplicate. Rebecca and her allies are all for sexyplay provided it is consensual. And no written approval is required.

    Double standards,that’s all.

    There is no double standard here, innocentinfidell. There really isn’t. There is a consistent thread here:

    (a) What mutually consenting adults get up to with regards to flirting and sexyplay is their business.

    (b) Everyone should feel safe from unwanted attention, sexualisation and harassment.

    You see how these marry together? One is about consent and the other about where consent is not given. There’s no double-standard here.

  136. 136
    doubtthat

    @innocentinfidell

    “If a person behaves a certain way in a public place and allows one and all to view this behaviour then its reasonable to assume that another spectator will believe this to be a character trait of that person.”

    Nope, wrong. Everything following this idiotic premise is also wrong.

  137. 137
    Raging Bee

    If a person behaves a certain way in a public place and allows one and all to view this behaviour then its reasonable to assume that another spectator will believe this to be a character trait of that person.

    If all you know of that person is one incident, then you don’t know that person well enough to judge her in any way. And since you’re a stranger to her, neither she nor anyone else has any reason to care about your opinion of her.

  138. 138
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    If a person behaves a certain way in a public place and allows one and all to view this behaviour then its reasonable to assume that another spectator will believe this to be a character trait of that person.

    So yes, in a way, if you behave outwardly to people in a certain way then its fairly reasonable of people to assume that is what YOU are like. Now if you scream about being compartmentalised by the viewer as a type ‘A’ character later on, then that is your lookout…not theirs. You can’t say someone is allowed to behave and carry on in any way they want and then not expect people to draw conclusions from that behaviour. Its not rational. If you saw a person display violent behaviours openly in a public gathering you might assume that trait is a part of their personality, if later on you heard they had been in a fight or some such, then you might immediately remember their public displays and say to another party, ‘oh yeh him, I saw him go off a while ago, he has a violent side.’ Some might even target you for confrontation because they assume you are a fighter and want to try you on.

    Who knows, elevator guy might have had the images from this 2009 event in his head and after spending 4 hrs in a bar with her in Dublin, thought she might be up for some fun as in the behaviour she displayed and posted on the web. He simply might have tried his luck based on his assumption she was an openly sexual person in bar/party environments.

    I’m trying to understand where you are going with this tortured and rather scary train of thought. It seems to be that once someone has made some overtly sexual display in public they are fair game for? . . . well, I hesitate to think what. Propositioning? Stalking? Sexual assault? I’m really not sure.

    Of course we form views of people from their behaviour. Just from your handful of posts here I have formed a view of you that you are a Pecksniff. But the fact that I regard you as a loathesome toad does not privilege me to stalk you, or come round to your house and physically intimidate you, no matter how much I feel provoked or irritated by your obtuseness.

    In much the same way, what a woman wears or does or says in public does not license anyone to proposition her. Particularly if she’s just given a public lecture on men creeping her our by sexualising her. And especially not in Dublin hotel elevators at 4 am.

    I don’t understand what you find so baffling about this.

  139. 139
    Lyanna

    If a person behaves a certain way in a public place and allows one and all to view this behaviour then its reasonable to assume that another spectator will believe this to be a character trait of that person.

    Wow, you’re a jackass. If you publicly give someone 5 bucks, I guess that means it’s a character trait of yours to give people money. So I can raid your wallet whenever the fuck I feel like it, hmm?

    None of what you said is reasonable. None of it bears even the remotest kinship to reason.

  140. 140
    Dan L.

    @innocentinfidell:

    What part of “consent” are you having trouble understanding?

  141. 141
    oolon

    @A.Noyd, no just trying to ignore your bizarre derailing onto an argument on Pharyngula. Are you so desperate to score a few points on me that you have to drag up that from such a tenuous link? Bit weird especially as I’d think you’d agree I should be thin skinned about someone intimating I’m a misogynist? Anyway I got over it and figured PZ did no actual research just reacted as he is wont to do at times. To be honest I was reading over this half of FtBs more anyway :-) How about trying not to live up to your nym for once?

  142. 142
    gworroll

    If a person behaves a certain way in a public place and allows one and all to view this behaviour then its reasonable to assume that another spectator will believe this to be a character trait of that person.

    I really hope you just failed to be clear about your point here.

    On some level, this is correct. A woman acts sexual in anything resembling a public context, even a breached private context seems to count, and she can expect people to expect her to be ok with being sexual in any other context, and to call her a hypocrite when that does not happen.

    But that IS NOT HOW THINGS SHOULD BE. Being sexual in one context does not mean the person is or wishes to be sexual in all contexts. Any expectations to the contrary, the defect is on the people expecting the woman to be sexual in any context, not on the woman herself for having been sexual, or not being sexual. So yes, a woman can expect that, but she should not have to. Certainly not in a community that is supposed to be about rational evaluation of the facts surrounding things.

    If you saw someone playing Magic: The Gathering at a con, is it ok to pester them every time you see them about playing Magic: The Gathering? Is it ok to threaten them with being chained to a chair to play against you whenever you want? Should their public play define who they are all the time? Are they a hypocrite when they want to do something else and get pissed at people who are offended? Does this paragraph sound utterly ridiculous to you? If so, why doesn’t the same argument applied to sex not sound ridiculous?

  143. 143
    callistacat

    “Reconcile her behaviour with the attacks that Thunderfoot got over his biting the girls foot picture.”

    Nobody attacked Thunderfoot for playfully biting a friend’s foot in the picture with her permission. It’s when he said he *didn’t need to get consent* from a woman if he wanted to bite her that people had a problem with.

    CONSENT. Look it up. That’s the key issue you keep avoiding. Also look up objectification, it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  144. 144
    Luna_Fortuna

    I discussed how women go unheard in another male-dominated group, the Marine Corps, on my blog: http://unicorninuniform.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/rebecca-watson-rebecca-solnit-and-the-american-dream/

  145. 145
    A. Noyd

    [Durh, wasn't paying attention to what tab I had open. This goes here.]

    oolon (#141)

    no just trying to ignore your bizarre derailing onto an argument on Pharyngula.

    Pretending I was talking about something other than what I meant is not ignoring what I said. Ignoring means not engaging—something you’re apparently incapable of doing. As for a derail, you went there first with your comment about PZ not liking neutrality and then talking ridiculous shit about you being thick-skinned. If you don’t want to get called on your shit, try being less full of it.

    Bit weird especially as I’d think you’d agree I should be thin skinned about someone intimating I’m a misogynist?

    Which PZ didn’t do. Your primary sin, apart from being an egotistical liar, is failing to understand that neutrality is only valuable as a starting place. Once facts enter the picture, you shouldn’t be trying to keep two opposing sides balanced or you end up sticking your thumb on the scale. False balance isn’t actual neutrality.

  146. 146
    oolon

    A.Noyd,

    Which PZ didn’t do. Your primary sin, apart from being an egotistical liar, is failing to understand that neutrality is only valuable as a starting place.

    Totally wrong – read the entry it is a ‘pose’ of neutrality so you might find it better to attack me on what I am supposed to be, neutral ain’t it. False balance? I don’t fit on the fence about much, certainly nothing that is that contentious! I would ask what I egotistically lied about but I’m assuming that is just a general insult.

  147. 147
    A. Noyd

    oolon (#146)

    I would ask what I egotistically lied about but I’m assuming that is just a general insult.

    Your lies? To start with, you’re here smugly pretending you were banned because PZ “doesn’t like neutrality.” And in the Pharyngula thread you claimed Pharyngula commenters told you that you “had no right to express concerns about labelling the *whole* slimepit as full of inveterate or irredeemable sexist/misogynists without engaging or debating with them.” This is several lies in one. 1) You were never told that. 2) No one at Pharyngula labels everyone at the slimepit as “inveterate or irredeemable sexist/misogynists.” You are the one refusing to see the nuance in people’s arguments regarding enabling misogyny versus espousing it. 3) You imply Pharyngula regulars haven’t had sufficient interaction with the pitizens to pass judgment on them.

    And perhaps your biggest lie of all is saying the slimepit is “a group of people loosely bound with the primary mission of defending others free speech to say whatever they like without being banned.” (If you search my nym in that link, you can see even more lies I called you out on.) Your inability to accept the well-established seed at the slimy little heart of the pit and your attempts to paint FTB commenters as black and white thinkers are symptoms of your obsession with false balance. You can’t face evidence to the contrary because it would tip the scale too much.

    As for egotism? Dude, you keep your arm, like, wrapped around yourself in permanent back-pat mode. And you got yourself banned because you couldn’t stay off a single thread. You could have taken it to Thunderdome, but instead you had to do it right where you were told not to.

    Totally wrong – read the entry it is a ‘pose’ of neutrality so you might find it better to attack me on what I am supposed to be, neutral ain’t it.

    You are claiming to be neutral, but you’re not actually neutral. I have explained this. PZ’s comment to you on the thread where you were banned does not, in any way, call you a misogynist. (The only person referring to your attitude towards women is SallyStrange, who said, “I can see that you are sympathetic to feminism and its supporters…”) You can say you disapprove of misogyny all you like, but denial and revisionism like yours helps it flourish all the same. That doesn’t make you a misogynist, it just makes you unwelcome in discussions of misogyny.

  148. 148
    Stacy

    I wish PZ hadn’t banned oolon. I think he and the Horde were mistaken there.

    But oh well. PZ’s blog, he can do as he likes. The subject is off topic here. I’m sure oolon realizes that people are impatient and sometimes hypervigilant because of all the assholes arguing in bad faith that have come out of the Pit.

  149. 149
    Stacy

    “When learning of an outrage, I compare the accused with myself. In process, I cringe away from the nature of their acts and assume that they are equivalent to mine. Thus I shift into defending my own behavior when I should be deploring theirs.”

    Who said that?

  150. 150
    oolon

    A.Noyd,

    No one at Pharyngula labels everyone at the slimepit as “inveterate or irredeemable sexist/misogynists.”

    I remember where we spoke before, the repudiation thread, thanks for the link. I was confused as you stated that there and I thought you agree with me while disagreeing with me. PZ clearly says often enough that they are *all* misogynistic scum and evil slymepit dennizens. So just a matter of you and I interpreting those statements differently. As Crommunist puts it in a another post I read recently to an opponent of FtBs

    … you will continue to run into problems when you treat FTB as a collective when you are criticizing the behaviour of a small group of them (us). Just as you decry the gross generalization of all Slime Pit denizens by the behaviours of an egregious few, you open yourself to charges of hypocrisy.

    That’s pretty much what I think, I spent a while arguing FtBs is not full of ‘rad-fems’ that want to geld all men so I feel hypocritical agreeing that the slimepit is *all* misogynist (Its my only fence). Unfortunately Sally Strange was right when she said going on about it implies that the bit of collateral damage seems more important to me than the misogyny. She has a point especially as I like to go on about it!

    That doesn’t make you a misogynist, it just makes you unwelcome in discussions of misogyny.

    Fortunately you are not the arbiter of who gets to be involved in any discussions. I primarily join in to learn about it, lots of things pointed out on this blog and others on FtBs have never occurred to me. Many arguments I’ve had have helped crystallise just how oblivious I am about bigotry in general at times. I’d hope no one on FtBs feels they cannot join in if they are not on message as its a great way to learn about it if they join in with an open mind. They’ll need a thick skin on Pharyngula however :-)

    @Stacy, Cheers! No sweat tho as its another thing I don’t get about the pitters. Why so bothered by being banned? Its not like its ever shut any of them up… Or me for that matter!

  151. 151
    A. Noyd

    oolon (#150)

    PZ clearly says often enough that they are *all* misogynistic scum and evil slymepit dennizens. So just a matter of you and I interpreting those statements differently.

    Oh, it’s clear enough, you say, but I, and everyone else who tells you that you’re a liar, is somehow interpreting it wrong. And by “it,” I mean whatever the fuck you’re thinking of that you conveniently failed to quote. Oh, and nice attempt at dodging all the rest of the evidence of your dishonesty!

    Fortunately you are not the arbiter of who gets to be involved in any discussions.

    *facepalm* That, o perpetually clueless one, was an explanation of the real reason you were told to stay out of that thread on Pharyngula.

    I’d hope no one on FtBs feels they cannot join in if they are not on message as its a great way to learn about it if they join in with an open mind.

    Would you like some freshly-ground pepper on that word salad?

  152. 152
    oolon

    @A.Noyd, I don’t see those things as ‘dishonesty’ as you put it… But I’m aware I’m turning this thread into a mini-thunderdome and it is unlikely we’d reach any consensus without too much to and fro. So thanks for trying to explain your problems with my attitude – I originally thought you were just attacking for the sake of it but since there is no one here I was clearly wrong. If you want to explain the real reason I was told to stay off the thread then you can on my blog.

  153. 153
    The Man of Mode

    Here’s my two pence, for what it’s worth.

    PZ: It’s always funny to read your comments, but never for the right reasons. You start by telling noel (Jim) that he doesn’t spend enough time calling out the haters, and then in the paragraph directly below (in the same comment) admit to having never watched one of his videos. That’s not shooting yourself in the foot, that’s pointing a 50cal rifle at your knee cap and pulling the trigger. You then go on to reaffirm your position that he hasn’t called out the sexist trolls enough in your opinion, well I’ve got to ask how would you know? PZ shut your arse and give your mouth a chance.

    Ophelia: I’m going to offer you some advice, I doubt very much if you will like it though. Today (well I suppose yesterday really as it’s now twenty five minutes to two in the morning over here) I took my seven year old god son up to the science museum in London, I tell you this because it will illustrate my point. Now before I go on I’ll need to explain something about my god son Justin; the muscles in his feet are too short, for this reason he has a great deal of trouble walking. This isn’t a fact that would be easily missed by any observer as it causes his to walk on tip toes all the time even while wearing his splints. Entering Charing Cross station Justin tripped up the stairs which lead up to the entrance and a woman began laughing at him, this set off her husband who evidently also found this hilarious. I won’t tell you what happened next, that’s between me and the two “humanitarians”. My point is simply this: there exist people in the world who laugh at a disabled seven year old when he trips up a set of stairs and hurts himself, you think these sorts of people are ever going to miss an opportunity to take the rise out of you? Grow the fuck up. So someone photoshopped your face, well that just makes you and every other prominent, semi-prominent and just barely prominent person on the face of the planet. So people send you shitty e-mails threatening you with this and calling you that, I have three questions: yeah? And? So what? So some little twerps sends you an empty threat via e-mail, why would that even phase you? I’m not sure I know anyone who, at one time or another, hasn’t been told by some faceless internet hard nut that said internet hard nut was going to kill or rape them, I’ve lost count of the amount of trolls have threatened to kill me(and for that matter rape me) yet here I am leaving this comment. All this stuff that you say and Rebecca say is such a problem is fairly standard behaviour on the internet, I suggest you take some time to consider what the tale of King Cnut can teach you about your own situation.

  154. 154
    O'Queefe

    So noel plumb makes a jokey comment and you all jump down his throat just as many offended men were at Rebecca, aren’t you being rather hypocritical? If anyone is being silenced, is a mass of people you refer to as shits, who’s opinion is worthless to you and clearly not of value as fellow human beings. We too shall not be silenced, because your word is not superior to ours, although you like to think so by claiming that we are the bullies. What a fucking haphazard way to try to encourage both more men and women to the skeptic movement. You’re all making a complete fuckup and mockery of it. Not that you actually value your current male members. It’s incredible how unprofessional your leftist feminists are.

  155. 155
    O'Queefe

    @ gworrol

    The awesome thing is, yes, I would ask to play magic: the gathering with a friend who I knew played it every time I saw them. You idiot. I would ask them every time I wanted to play it. Until such times as I didn’t want to play it. They only have to fucking say “NO” if they dont want to play it. Then I will perhaps ask the question after a period of time has elapsed and they may then want to play it. Christ, you apologists are thick. Thanks for the simple fucking analogy that finds fault with this what this whole stupid issue is based on.

  156. 156
    Stacy

    @The Man of Mode:

    You start by telling noel (Jim) that he doesn’t spend enough time calling out the haters,

    He does? Where?

    PZ’s entire comment:

    Wait…so Noel Plum shows up here to ask everyone to explain everything to him? There’s a name for that: JAQing off.

    Maybe if he’d actually bothered to look, he’d have have found SGU and Skepchick. Rebecca has a loooong history in the skeptical community.

    I haven’t actually bothered with any of his videos, although the haters keep sending me links to them and telling me that he really taught those feminists a lesson. Now I know exactly how informed he is, and am even less interested in seeing his work

    TMoM again:

    You then go on to reaffirm your position that he hasn’t called out the sexist trolls enough in your opinion,

    That’s odd. I’ve read PZ’s comment three times now and I don’t see where he says noel doesn’t spend enough time calling out the haters/trolls once, let alone twice.

    As to your advice to Ophelia: Look, TMoM, you admit yourself you called out the asshats in Charing Cross station. Why do you think Ophelia shouldn’t call out the ones mocking her?

    Sexism, like racism, needs to be called out. If everybody said, “Oh, that’s just the way the world is,” the status quo would never change.

    @O’Queefe

    who’s opinion is worthless to you and clearly not of value as fellow human beings.

    The value of your opinion and the value of you as a human being are two separate things.

    And your ‘nym goes a long way toward convincing me of your good faith and the value you place on your fellow (female) human beings. Not.

  157. 157
    No Light

    Quoth o’Queefe:

    Christ, you apologists are thick.

    Oh, how hurtful. It isn’t fair to hold us up against the sparkling light of your erudite profundity.

    Man of Mode:

    You start by telling noel (Jim) that he doesn’t spend enough time calling out the haters [...snip...] You then go on to reaffirm your position that he hasn’t called out the sexist trolls enough in your opinion

    Where? Text doesn’t appear to be a suitable medium for you. You might want to stick with shouty men on YouTube.

    there exist people in the world who laugh at a disabled seven year old when he trips up a set of stairs and hurts himself,

    Dear muslima…

    ’I’m not sure I know anyone who, at one time or another, hasn’t been told by some faceless internet hard nut that said internet hard nut was going to kill or rape them,

    Even if that was the truth it doesn’t make it OK.

    All this stuff that you say and Rebecca say is such a problem is fairly standard behaviour on the internet

    1) Mostly aimed at women.

    2) Still doesn’t make it ok.

    Also, the fact that you think this is limited to a handful of comments, and decided to lecture women about your perceived “reality” of online discourse on that basis? It makes you look very stupid indeed.

    As for your godson, well, it’s a good job nobody here is disabled, isn’t it? Because then we’d really know what pain is, eh?

    Oh, wait… hang on…

    Grow the fuck up.

    So someone photoshopped your face, tipped you out of your chair, or mocked your disabilities.? well that just makes you and every other prominent, semi-prominent and just barely prominent disabled person on the face of the planet.

    So people send you shitty e-mails are threatening you with this the loss of your support and dignity, and calling you “that worthless, scrounging cripple”. I have three questions: yeah? And? So what?

    So some little twerps sends you an empty threat to report you to the DWP, via e-mail. Why would that even faze you? I’m not sure I know anyone with a disability, who, at one time or another, hasn’t been told by some faceless internet hard nut bigoted able-bodied person, that said internet hard nut able-bodied person was going to kill or rape, or shop them.

    [... 'splaining snipped...]

    All this stuff that you say and Rebecca, as a PWD say is such a problem, is fairly standard behaviour on the internet wherever you go.

    There you go. I rewrote your little screed, so that you can give it to your godson when he is upset at receiving ableist abuse.

    I mean, there’s no point complaining about it, right? That’s just how people are, and if he can’t deal with that then he should stay at home, in his room.

    Hopefully he won’t grow up to be one of the 85% of PWD who are sexually or physically abused. But, again, if he goes around being all disabled in public, then he’ll just have to take what’s coming, won’t he? No excuses or special treatment, he’ll just have to accept that ableism exists.

    I’ve heard all of that, pretty much word for word, from the government, the media, and members of the public. Trust me, when it’s mixed with misogyny, it makes you want to fucking die.

    Just hope your godson sticks with his assigned birth sex. It’s slightly easier on disabled men and boys.

    Now gb2yt.

  158. 158
    The Man of Mode

    No light I like the editing of my comment, I’m not sure how photoshopping someone’s face is anywhere close to equivalent to pushing someone out their wheel chair though. Isn’t it funny how you try to make getting empty threats over the internet equivalent to a disabled person getting physically assaulted in real life. I find your re-witting pretty pathetic, on one hand you have a group of people with mental and physical problems that impair their real lives, and on the other you have a group of cry babies whining about being called nasty names online. We actually have a duty to see that the disabled aren’t physically abused, we don’t have a duty to prevent you from getting your feelings hurt on the internet you pathetic little invertebrate. Also I bought the whole incident up because it was illustrative of the fact that there are real arseholes in the world who derive humor from the morbid(like say sending someone a rape threat they have no intention of ever actually carrying out and then watching as they shit their pants in fear, or making fun of the disabled) As for the PZ myer bit, I guess you missed “Maybe if he actually had put in some effort openly arguing against the sexist bullies, he’d be a little more credible.”`I admit I made a mistake regarding the first comment since in it PZ actually accuses Jim of feminist bashing without any evidence, but i was spot on with his second comment.

  159. 159
    No Light

    Listen Man of Moans, I know your little mate NoPlums only tells the bits his clapping sealions will respond to, but can’t you even read the fucking article?

    People are being assaulted in real life, having to move house.

    Bullying and harassment is bullying and harassment, whether it’s someone calling a woman a cunt every time she speaks, and threatening to kill her for 18 months for saying four words, or it’s someone shouting “SPASTIC!” at a PWD.

    Tell me, if your godson made a YT vlog about ableist bullying, and asked people “Please, don’t do that”, and people dropped dox on him, contacted his school/employer, set up websites to mock him, rallied people to flood his Twitter and Facebook accounts, threatened him with rape and death for 18 months, saying “We know you’ll be at [location] on Friday. Say goodbye to your loved ones, because this is it you fucking cripple”.

    Would you expect him to be upset? Would you tell him “Get over it you soft little arsehole, there are kids being raped every minute in Darfur. Fucking toughen up, it’s only the internet”?

    I mean, you’d have no choice but to do that.

    Now to this. That lack of reading comprehension I mentioned made you miss a few huge hints, so I found this hilarious=

    pathetic little invertebra

    Now, I’m not really little, but given that the only part of me that currently works without too much pain, and muscle spasms that render it useless, is one hand, then I’ll freely admit to being “pathetic”. I do, literally, inspire pathos in my loved ones. But hey, technology is great. I can access the entire world through my smartphone and android pad! Just like anyone else can, it makes. me feel normal . Technology has kept me sane.

    Invertebrate? Well I do technically have a spine, but it’s damaged, the nerves are demyelinated and destroyed, and as a result I get a constant feedback loop of excruciating neuropathic pain.

    So to all intents and purposes, as I can only be moved with the aid of my ceiling hoist, I’m a pseudo-invertebrate,

    But hey, two out of three isn’t bad. Well done! Your special brown rosette will be sent by second class post tomorrow.

    BTW – Not sure why you keep complaining about me reacting to threats and harassment I’ve apparently received online. I’m not Rebecca, Ophelia, Stephanie, Jen, Greta, or any other blogger.

    The only misogynist abuse. violence, ableism, homophobia and sexual assault I’ve dealt with has been in meatspace. Apart from a brief incident when I had my own blog.

    Doesn’t mean that I think they’re suffering any less. In fact, theirs is worse, because it’s personalised, organised, and unrelenting.

  160. 160
    No Light

    Oh and MoM, just a tip – loud public confrontation of ableists may feel cathartic for you, but your nephew’s getting to the age when drawing attention to him is only going to make him feel much worse,

    Ableist abuse is being actively encouraged ATM, by the govt. and the media, and harassment and hate crimes are rising. It’s not going anywhere fast I’m afraid.

    Luckily, there are many supportive people who know that ableist abuse is wrong, but they often seen thin on the ground when you need them.

    So, teach him to be confident, tell him that bullies want a reaction, and it’s often safer, in the outside world, to avoid confrontation, Build up his. esteem around anything he’s really good at. Don’t focus on his disabilities, try to empathise without sympathising, and treat them as a fact of life.

    When he gets to the age when he needs to vent, tell him that a private forum for PWD is the best place, where all posts are locked, and. viewable only by members. Using public fora, public blogs, facebook etc. is a bad idea, especially if he relies on any financial support from the DWP or local council.

    Abuse is going to be a fact of life for him, as long as he has visible disabilities. Teaching him the best, safest coping mechanisms will help him more than public confrontation will.

    That couple today? From experience, I guarantee that what they took away was not “mocking disabled kids is bad”, but “Some oversensitive nutter screamed at us just because we dared to laugh at his stupid, clumsy kid. If he insists on taking him out in public…” It’s probably up on facebook or mumsnet as I type this. Bullies always cast themselves as the victims.

    It will get on top of him at times, overwhelm him, make him feel suicidal, so don’t judge him for any of that. Even if it is “only on the internet”. Don’t let him become a statistic, and always be glad that’s he’s a boy/man with disabilities, because the abuse women get is on another level entirely. If he doesn’t grow up to be cisstraight, then send him back here for advice, He (or she) will need it.

  161. 161
    the_wildlifer

    Laurence (95)

    “Slate has a very large audience, and she wants to make sure that other people know about how toxic some members of the community can be. And there’s absolutely no problem with that. We should be the first one’s to air out our dirty laundry and make no excuses.”

    What community? You guys keep talking like all atheists go to the same church. There are Libertarian atheists, Anarchist atheists, Progressive atheists, Conservative atheists. There are even atheists who still accept a lot of woo, they just don’t believe in gods. Only one group, in my mind, would belong (if they so chose) to a skeptic community – the progressives.

    Personally, I’m an atheist and skeptic, but don’t consider myself to be part of any “community”.

    If organizations are inviting sexist speakers as Jen has stated, name names. If individuals are acting in sexist manners at meetings, name names. I hate to say it’s anecdotal, but it is. Start a database, make a list of women who have been on the end of sexual harassment at these meeting and list the offender(s) by name and type of harrassment.

    Get someone who can track down these anonymous trolls making threats and out them.

  162. 162
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh gee, thanks, why didn’t we think of that!

    Oh I remember – it’s because people have named names and gotten a whole new bunch of shit for doing it. It’s because we get shit if we do name names and we get shit if we don’t name names. It’s because we get shit no matter fucking what.

    But thanks hugely for the enormously helpful advice that we couldn’t possibly have thought of ourselves, being so stupid and all.

  163. 163
    Nathaniel Frein

    @161

    You do realize that all the fallout over TAM/DJ Grothe is over women “naming names”, right?

  164. 164
    the_wildlifer

    My apologies. I thought the issue around DJ Grothe was about not taking harassment issues seriously enough to initiate proper “rules” at the meetings and his concerns the message being delivered was running off potential women attendees. I didn’t know he was one of the speakers guilty of sexual harassment.

    Sorry Ophelia, I in no way meant to imply you were stupid.

  165. 165
    Ophelia Benson

    Sorry, wildlifer, I probably misunderstood what you said.

    DJ isn’t one of the speakers guilty of sexual harassment. It was his blaming women who were talking about sexual harassment that was (and is) the issue with him, as you thought.

  166. 166
    Greg David

    Do Rebecca Watson and other labeled feminists believe that the threats of rape and assault are coming from people in the atheist community as that’s the impression I’m getting from watching videos and blog arguments about this. 



    “Just like the Vatican, or Penn State, this movement fails to recognize the presence of warped evil motherfuckers in our midst.”
A quote from Rebecca’s blog post that was linked in the description by johnthedrunkard

    Is it not possible that these faceless individuals are just the type of person who enjoys being cruel and have chosen out spoken feminists as a target. We saw in England what happened to the women who campaigned to have Jane Austin on the £10 note. It seems that feminism is just a target for rather pathetic individuals who maybe completely unconnected in any way to active atheism. 




  1. 167
    We have always been at war with the insect peoples | Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] it continues. Remember the crazed reactions to Rebecca’s article in Slate? In particular the one where Russell Blackford took the trouble to tweet a reporter for the [...]

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