The sacred right of creepy dudes


David Futrelle is on the Vacula story, in a post titled Why is the Secular Coalition for America giving Justin Vacula — online bully, A Voice for Men contributor — a leadership position? Why indeed.

The assholes of the internet still haven’tforgivenWatsonfor her assault on the sacred right of creepy dudes to creep women out 24 hours a day, every day.

Watson is hardly the only skeptic to face vicious misogynist harassment for the crime of blogging while feminist. Last month, Jen McCreight of Blag Hag announced that near constant harassment from online bullies was wearing her down to such a degree that she felt it necessary to shut down her blog – hopefully only temporarily.

McCreight’s harassers and their enablers were delighted in this “victory,” taking to Twitter to give McCreight some final kicks on the way out the door. “Good riddance, #jennifurret , you simple minded dolt,” wrote @skepticaljoe. “I couldn’t be happier,” added @SUICIDEBOMBS. “Eat shit you rape-faking scum.”

One of the celebrators that day was an atheist activist named Justin Vacula, who joked that “Jen’s allegedly finished blogging…and this time it’s not her boyfriend who kicked her off the internet.”

Not a friendly joke, not a hahaha we’re all in this together joke, not a between-colleagues joke. Not really a joke at all; more of a jeer. A bullying taunting giggling jeer. (I hear a voice from the audience crying out that Jen has a “big platform” while Justin has a “small platform” and therefore Justin can’t be the bully. Oh really; is that a fact. Well in that case why wasn’t “Dear Muslima” a case of bullying, given the relative platforms? Why wasn’t “irresponsible messaging coming from a small number of prominent and well-meaning women skeptics” a case of bullying, given the relative platforms? I would love to know.)

So here’s the latest twist:

Justin Vacula has just been given a leadership position in the Pennsylvania chapter of the Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying group for secular Americans whose advisory board includes such big names as Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Susan Jacoby, Wendy Kaminer, Steven Pinker, Salman Rushdie and Julia Sweeney.

It’s an astonishing choice. In addition to gloating that bullies had led McCreight to shut down her blog, Vacula has harassed atheist blogger and activist Surly Amy, including writing a post on A Voice for Men (yes, that A Voice for Men) cataloging all the sordid details of his supposed case against her. At one point he even posted her address, and a photo of her apartment building, on a site devoted to hating on feminist atheist bloggers.

Yes but. They’re in a hurry. They want to have lots of state chapters. What kind of chapters doesn’t seem to be part of the equation.

Comments

  1. xmaseveeve says

    I’m confused. (I know – what else is new?) Could someone please tell me what possible motive there could be behind posting someone’s home address, and a photo of her house, if it is not to say, ‘Okay, creepy nutters – she’s all yours – go get her!’ Am I being dense?

  2. says

    I’m confused. (I know – what else is new?) Could someone please tell me what possible motive there could be behind posting someone’s home address, and a photo of her house, if it is not to say, ‘Okay, creepy nutters – she’s all yours – go get her!’ Am I being dense?

    “Will someone rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

    No, you’re not being dense. Vacula’s own explanation doesn’t make a whit if sense. If it was just about DCMA and stuff, then why not just post it on his own website? Posting it at the Slimepit is an obvious invitation to haters to harass her. But, you know. Plausible deniability. Vacula has no control over what other people do with that publicly available information.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … whose advisory board includes such big names as Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Susan Jacoby, Wendy Kaminer, Steven Pinker, Salman Rushdie and Julia Sweeney.

    All of whom (along with unreported smaller names, if any) should be asked publicly to look into this and make a decision as to their continuation on said board.

  4. hjhornbeck says

    xmaseveeve @1

    Could someone please tell me what possible motive there could be behind posting someone’s home address, and a photo of her house, if it is not to say, ‘Okay, creepy nutters – she’s all yours – go get her!’

    Well, according to Vacula himself:

    Again, the address wasn’t posted with malicious intent. It’s public information and was posted because people were alleging that I has malicious intent in filing the counter-DMCA request. Although I strongly disagree with ‘Surly Amy,’ I mean no ill-will on her personal life or the personal life of whomever she may live with. It would have been nice for people to ask questions surrounding the posting of the address rather than jumping to conclusions of malicious intent.

    So Vacula was forced to post the address to a website devoted to hating on SkepChick and FtB because… it proves he didn’t have malicious intent in a counter-DMCA request. Somehow.

    And this person represents Pennsylvania for the SCA. I can’t wait to hear how well that goes…

  5. hjhornbeck says

    Whoop, he goes into greater detail earlier:

    It’s even more bizarre that people claimed that I filed a counter DMCA in order to get the personal details of ‘Surly Amy.’ To dispel this myth amongst a forum community I chat with, I explained that her personal details are already public and can be easily found via her trademarks (one can look at a trademark registry and find the info). I posted those details rather than — as I would now — simply noting that the information was public (even though people can, as I said, easily find the info).

    Aaaahh, that makes more sense. The Slyme Pit was distressed that Vacula might have filed to suit to tar the name of Surly Amy, didn’t believe his claims that the information was public, and had no way to verify this for themselves.

    Except, of course, that isn’t what happened. I read back a few hours from that post, and not one person on the Slyme Pit brought up that claim, let alone leveled it at Vacula. The entire context of that comment is captured by a screenshot; “scrutationaryarchivist” on FtB claimed Vacula was filing the DMCA request to figure out Amy’s address, and Vacula responded to hir on a different forum, with more information than was needed to deny the claim. The edited version is telling:

    EDITING TO FIX UNWISE POSTING

    I think it’s more likely Vacula didn’t put much thought into what he was doing. When a hue and cry was raised, he had the post edited and denied what he did was a big deal.

    Posting someone’s private info without a thought doesn’t speak well for his leadership qualities, though.

  6. Gordon Willis says

    Watson is hardly the only skeptic to face vicious misogynist harassment for the crime of blogging while feminist.

    Nope, it’s the crime of blogging while female, being intelligent while female, looking like a young helpless virginal inexperienced tender dependent desirable female while being independent, critical, intelligent. Or looking like an old woman and still having a critical mind, so threatening, so not not not what we can deal with. No, women just can’t be self-determining persons, we can’t deal with it, it’s not allowed, it’s wrong, it’s not what I want, because I have to be in charge, and no one can threaten that, do you see? Because it’s so threatening, and I’m inadequate to cope with it, and I just have to make sure that I never ever have to cope with it, because the shame is too too great, and I just have to be adequate, and someone who looks small and delicate and dependent and desirable just can’t be allowed to upstage me. It’s NOT ALLOWED. Because that power they have, it’s just so so powerful, and I just have to control it, do you see? THEY CAN’T BE ALLOWED. I’M IN CHARGE, DO YOU HEAR?

  7. dirigible. says

    “Again, the address wasn’t posted with malicious intent.”

    Malice or incompetence. Tricky, tricky…

  8. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Could someone please tell me what possible motive there could be behind posting someone’s home address, and a photo of her house, if it is not to say, ‘Okay, creepy nutters – she’s all yours – go get her!’ Am I being dense?

    That’s exactly what he was hoping for, unless he’s a complete and utter dumbass. His explaination suggests that later, but I don’t think he’s that stupid. Either he wanted someone else to hurt her for him, or it never occurred to him that posting her personal address to the web could get her hurt.

    Either way, it proves him entirely unsuitable for a leadership postition anywhere doing anything thing.

  9. grumpy1942 says

    I’m sure getting sick and tired of being embarrassed about being a Cis-gendered White male.

    There’s nothing I can do about being White, but maybe I should consider getting a sex change and becoming a lesbian.

  10. Rowan says

    Clearly his intent was, this is her address so you can send her a lovely present, and heres a photo of her house so you can make sure whatever you get her doesnt clash with anything, and fits the general design, and can fit through the door…and you FTBullies just jumped to conclusions…clearly…

  11. Rodney Nelson says

    So Vacula is malicious or stupid or both. His selection as an SCA official does not speak well of the SCA.

  12. ewanmacdonald says

    Not sure why but I give Vacula the benefit of the doubt and interpret the address/photo thing as just stupidity – a moment of high spirits in which he wanted to share the fruits of his Google Fu. However, that he thought it for a moment appropriate, and dealt with the aftermath so badly, is yet another bullet point in the multi-volume shelf-groaner that is the list of reasons for his being completely unsuitable for a leadership role.

  13. ewanmacdonald says

    I’m sure getting sick and tired of being embarrassed about being a Cis-gendered White male.

    There’s nothing I can do about being White, but maybe I should consider getting a sex change and becoming a lesbian.

    I’d start with a personality adjustment before you get into surgery, champ.

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