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Jan 19 2013

That’s something to look forward to

Justin Vacula is raising money to attend Women in Secularism 2.

He posted about me on his Facebook page a few times yesterday. He incited quite a few enraged comments.

(Images of disfigured women are added to a recent blog post from Ophelia Benson who writes “Maybe I should start wearing protection,” seemingly opining on the criticism, ridicule, and disagreement she experiences because she operates a blog… and makes statements people disagree with).
Get a grip, Ophelia. Women who have acid thrown in their faces are in a much different situation than you are and face real quantifiable abuse – much unlike what you talk of as being abuse and the ‘threats’ you claimed to have received. Even if we grant that people ridicule you, say nasty things, and make fun of you on the internet this is — by no means — tantamount to acid splashing.
[Warning: horrible pictures of women with acid-melted faces below the fold]

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  • 3 people like this.
  • Gary Schmauss … I have no words for this…
  • Tami Carter This is a blogger being an attention whore, and doing it on the backs of victims of abuse, usually domestic violence.
  • Robert Pogo Suski Not to be an asshole, but seriously why is anyone giving her any attention, even criticizing?  It’s obvious she’s just doing it for attention, so the best thing would be to ignore her.
  • Justin Vacula Ignoring the nonsense doesn’t make it go away. Ophelia has a large platform, is respected by many, and shouldn’t get a free pass – especially when she continues to engage in character assassination campaigns against fellow secularists.
  • Robert Pogo Suski Fair enough on the character assassinations, but if an entitled moron is an entitled moron and nothing anyone says will convince them otherwise, hell to them any criticism is just an indignation they they’re right.  Plus anyone that wants to fill her hugbox is likey of either the same mindset or feeds off it in some way.
  • Katie Graham Wow. I’m absolutely disgusted.
  • Justin Vacula Let’s also not forget PZ Myers recent post comparing, as it seems from his post, people who critique femnism and feminists online to mass murderers:

    http://www.freezepage.com/1358546643PFGFKNQXAX

    “And these anonymous monsters on the internet who shriek affrontedly about women and feminists and moan that any feminist allies are ‘manginas’ — to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.”

    www.freezepage.com

    Free online service for freezing web pages. Save, share and prove what is on the web at a specific point of time.
  • Justin Vacula “To date, I have stayed out of this witch hunt against our most prominent leaders, thinking that “this too shall pass.” Perhaps I should have said something earlier. As Martin Niemöller famously warned about the inactivity of German intellectuals during the rise of the Nazi party, “first they came for …” but “I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a….””

    Michael Shermer

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=shermer_33_2

    www.secularhumanism.org

    When I got involved in the skeptical, atheist, and secular movements in the 1980…s, one looked out over the audience and saw mostly old white guys. Today it is a different picture entirely. At the last Skeptics Society lecture at Caltech on December 16, for example, an audience of three hundred was r…See More
  • Dominick White What’s wrong with this fucking woman
  • Max Driffill That PZ post was simply ridiculous. Criticism = murder. Keep it classy.
  • Ophelia Benson Why did you add those phtos and why did you include my photo? And for that matter why are you persistently harassing me?
  • Justin Vacula Persistently harassing you? What are you talking about? (Anyway, this image is from the Slymepit)
  • Ophelia Benson What am I talking about – this! And all the other shit you talk about me. You never stop.
  • Matthew Justin Yeah, really, Justin? Why did you use her face instead of the pineapple? lol
  • Richard Murray WHERE’S THE TRIGGER WARNING, OPHELIA?!
  • Max Driffill Ophelia,
    I think your face was used, to demonstrate the strangeness of your comparison.
  • Justin Vacula Opehlia – you’re the pot calling the kettle black.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels?s=justin+vacula

    freethoughtblogs.com

    Hahahahahaha Justin Vacula explains why what Michael Shermer said about atheism …as a guy thing was totally reasonable and ok and fine. He explains it in a comment on Jacques Rousseau’s post accusing me of misrepresenting Shermer, hyperbole, and failure to read charitably. Unfortunatly, the principle…See More
  • Justin Vacula I voice disagreement with you, you voice disagreement with me. How is this harassment?
  • Justin Vacula Ophelia – looking at search results of my name on your blog, I appear 17 times from August 19 of 2012 to the current date.
  • Ophelia Benson I wouldn’t voice a damn thing with you if you hadn’t lied about me on your podcast and then started cyberstalking me. You could always just leave me the fuck alone. But none of you shits will do that, then you dare to say we’re self-important if we object to it!
  • Daniel Waddell Come on now Ophie McPrune criticism is not harassment. If you stop saying stupid shit people will not criticize you any more therefore your so called “harassment” will end
  • Richard Murray Is cyberstalking what the cool kids are calling google now?

    Is anyone else amused by the “leave me alone” gambit played by someone who went out of their own way to BE not left alone?
  • Renee Hendricks Yeah. No pass on this one, Ophelia. You made this horrible incident about you. You’ve taken something that has fuck all to do with pissing matches within the online atheist community and twisted into something that garners you more pro-vic points. Disgusting.
  • Richard Murray I heard it expressed elsewhere today (NOT on the Slymepit, not by Myerku)…

    “The longer an Internet discussion goes on, the more likely that Ophelia Benson will appear and attempt to make it all about her”
  • Justin Vacula Ophelia, was discussed this podcast issue months ago. Your objection, as it seemed, is that I didn’t real the full content of the e-mails you received. Is that right? That’s not a lie. At the most, I would say, it wasn’t fully representing the issue, but the same conclusion is drawn nonetheless. People can find the e-mails, read the posts you had written, etc. I didn’t want to read all of the e-mails on the show because it would have taken way too long (and the show went over time, anyway).

    Either way, I felt you handled the issue poorly and that backing out of TAM was a poor idea. Obviously I am not you, as was stated many times, but from the information given I come to this conclusion as do many others who have listened to the podcast or not.



    What is this cyberstalking you speak of? What do you mean ‘leave you alone?’ I’m simply, as I usually do, responding to your writing online (public information). I’m not sending you threats, intimidating you, or engaging in any criminal activity. If my communication (and not even directly to you) upsets you so much and you want me to leave you alone, why are you engaging in direct communication with me on my Facebook profile?
  • Ophelia Benson Well someone posted it on my wall and I thought you’d tagged me. That part was just confusion.
  • Justin Vacula I’ll put the invitation out once again, Ophelia, and even extend it. I’m very open to having a recorded discussion with you about all of this stuff…and I’ll even go on someone else’s podcast to have it. Hell, we can even chat at Women in Secularism (which I am planning on attending – so I would be available in person). If you want to talk about these issues, I’m all ears. We obviously have grievances about the state of the atheist community and, while these grievances are different, I’m open for discussion.
  • Chuck Goecke Anyone who worries about getting acid in the face should carry a small squeeze bottle of sodium bicarbonate – Baking soda slurry.  That would minimized the damage if applied immediately.
  • Travis Roy you’re going to WiS? You are a brave man Justin
  • Katie Graham I couldn’t let this one go. Hopefully, it’s my last blog post about Benson. She just a bad person: http://athmorality.blogspot.com/2013/01/driven-well-past-last-exit-to-relevance.html

    athmorality.blogspot.com

    The question of morality does not have to be answered by religion, despite the c…ontentions by theists that every law must have a “law giver.” In this blog I will explain why this is not true, periodically post interesting moral questions and show ways in which morality can be taught without the pres…See More
  • Travis Roy Perhaps people would switch sides and back Ophelia up if she just released that email from the JREF that she claims was dismissive of her concerns of the threats.. Oh, that’s right, it probably doesn’t exist.
  • Justin Vacula Travis Roy – I have been called a brave hero, you know :p
  • Mark Neil So, Ophelia, who “moderates” people (so their posts never see the light of day) as a matter of routine when they post dissenting opinions, complains it’s harassment when those people respond in the medium they do have available. Ophelia, do you seriously believe you’re above reproach or criticism? That your opinions, which you post for all to see, are not to be challenged? It amazes me how such a pitiable, helpless, victim like you can be a feminist role model.
  • Robin Lionheart When hater Jerry Conlon creepily tweets “@OpheliaBenson Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good. You already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake.”, he probably intends that as dismissive mockery. But we don’t know that; he might actually mean it. And that sort of rhetoric validates Ophelia’s concerns.
  • Glenn Michael Scott I have a book on my shelf; it’s called “Why Truth Matters”. Maybe you should read it, Ophelia, and stop spreading lies, misinformation and … crazy.
  • Justin Vacula It’s unfair to, as Ophelia and her cadre often do, pick up random comments from people and cast this as representative of the people who offer civil disagreement. On any given issue you will find people who would post stuff like that online…
  • Robin Lionheart It’s also unfair to cast people who offer civil disagreement as the sort of people Ophelia seeks to protect herself from. She didn’t approach JREF with security concerns because of polite dissent.
  • Mark Neil Especially when those comments are a direct response to her own words, and not unprovoked. It’s not like that guy made that comment and then she wrote her article. She’s the one who raised the idea of acid attacks against her.
  • Mark Neil Robin. In this very thread, she accuses Justine of harassing her, and thereby being one of those people she needs protection from. Unless you’re suggesting he’s done more than attempt civil disagreement, I think you’r mistaken.
  • Victoria Carmel This is probably the most epic attention whoring I have ever seen.
  • Robin Lionheart I don’t think that image Justin composed up there constitutes “civil” disagreement, Mark.
  • Glenn Michael Scott I think it does, Robin. He’s saying that she’s engaged in RIDICULOUS hyperbole. She’s also minimising what happens to real acid attack victims. I can imagine her asking one of these women to console her because she got a critical tweet.
  • Liam Jones ” she didn’t approach the JREF with security concerns because of polite dissent”

    Too true, she approached them due to an email that wasn’t even approaching dissent.
  • Glenn Michael Scott Ophelia Benson is one of the most deplorable people I have ever heard of. She is conniving and dishonest. You disgust me, Ophie.
  • Robin Lionheart Justin’s image pairing those images of acid attack victims with one of Ophelia trivializes their suffering, Glenn. Nothing she wrote about Sergei Filin did.
  • Glenn Michael Scott The yellow part highlights writing, Robin.
  • Glenn Michael Scott Oh, so we add words to aid interpretation, do we? She said what she said, not what you wish she said. Also, what actual threats has she received?
  • Robin Lionheart Fine, I’ll take back the word “threats”: She compares harassment against Sergei (specifically Facebook hacking) to harassment against herself (albeit not in that criminal form). Sergei’s persecutors turned out to be violent; she suggests maybe she shou…See More
  • Glenn Michael Scott Words: “maybe I should start wearing protection” and “sounds like ‘the atheist community’”. Seriously, fuck her. She has no integrity.
  • EllenBeth Wachs Abbie Smith calling Ophelia “Nanny Benson”, Daniel Waddell referring to her as “Ophie McPrune” Matthew Justin asking why you didn’t use the picture of the pineapple instead.
    Is this the type of civil disagreement you talk about?  Stirring this shit up on your wall can be a type of intimidation tactic.

 

174 comments

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  1. 1
    Nepenthe

    Is it possible to donate negative dollars? I would definitely give -20 dollars to have Justin Vacula never ever mention me on Facebook.

  2. 2
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    WT ever loving F is wrong with these people? Why are they so obsessed with trying to find something to twist in everything you say and do? It’s pathological.

    Now this MRA ass plans to attend a conference for women in secularism? That’s just bizarre.

  3. 3
    rowanvt

    Well, now I’m actually *glad* I’m not attending that event. I would love to attend such a thing someday, but not if he’s going to be there.

  4. 4
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Make sure the organizers hear that sentiment, rowanvt.

  5. 5
    Ophelia Benson

    Josh sent me this link, which is very relevant. It’s what these people do – stochastic terrorism.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/01/10/934890/-Stochastic-Terrorism-160-Triggering-the-shooters

  6. 6
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I am so sorry that you have to deal with this harassment. I feel sick to my stomach just reading through those comments, I can’t imagine what it would be like for all of that hatred to be aimed at me, nor to have to endlessly navigate the lies and “jokes”.

  7. 7
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    lies and ‘jokes” threats.

  8. 8
    Anthony K

    There’s your fucking witchhunt, Shermer.

  9. 9
    PZ Myers

    Well, heck. Maybe if they get enough money, they can send JohnTheOther and Roosh and Paul Elam and a few other MRAs to the event, too.

    It’s kind of like having creationists show up at an evolution event. They’ll just be regarded with pitying contempt.

  10. 10
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    No, it’s worse PZ. A better analogy would be a conference on LGBT rights allowing the attendance of a homophobe who routinely calls conference speakers crazy faggots.

  11. 11
    Anthony K

    And the feigned outrage at the comparisons of disfigured children is fucking pathetic. Why didn’t they have the time to thrust pictures of actual women killed as witches in Kenya and photos from Auschwitz in Shermer’s face?

  12. 12
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Ophelia,

    Why did you add those phtos and why did you include my photo? And for that matter why are you persistently harassing me?

    Irredeemable asshole, Vacula,

    Persistently harassing you? What are you talking about? (Anyway, this image is from the Slymepit)

    What the fuck kind of answer is that? Telling us where you got the picture does not answer why you posted it, you fucking shitbag. I fucking hate these people.

  13. 13
    Inaji

    Jesus Christ. I feel sick to my stomach. I’m so sorry, Ophelia.

  14. 14
    PZ Myers

    Hey, just a thought: you know who these guys really ought to complain about? The people who actually do take gigantic precautions against personal threats?

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sam Harris. They have armed bodyguards (Harris brags about personally training with a handgun). They take anonymous threats far more seriously than does Ophelia.

    They must be “attention whores”. They just don’t understand “criticism”. They’re making terrorism “all about them.” Maybe Justin would like to call them up and tell them to “get a grip”.

  15. 15
    Inaji

    PZ:

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Sam Harris. They have armed bodyguards (Harris brags about personally training with a handgun). They take anonymous threats far more seriously than does Ophelia.

    Why do I get the feeling they’d be happy to pile on Ayaan Hirsi Ali while viciously defending Harris?

    Hmmm.

  16. 16
    John Morales

    Get a grip, Ophelia. Women who have acid thrown in their faces are in a much different situation than you are and face real quantifiable abuse – much unlike what you talk of as being abuse and the ‘threats’ you claimed to have received.

    This from someone who wrote: “Instead of mainly focusing on issues such as religious privileging, defending the separation of church and state, strengthening the secular community, engaging in ‘real-life activism,’ improving the perception of secular individuals, or even constructively discussing how to constructively guide others who may err – a ‘you are with us or against us’ attitude is coupled with personal vendettas and whispering campaigns taking the stage regardless of concerns about the cohesion of the secular movement.

    Organizations are attacked, leaders of major organizations are condemned, prominent authors are boycotted, and ‘real-life’ careers are targeted as a result of disagreements or misunderstandings which likely could have been resolved by a simple telephone call…or ignored. Many have left the secular community, similarly vacated leadership positions of national organizations, or have been discouraged from participating as a result. This is not a constructive and positive way to address conflict.

    []

    I have indeed made some mistakes and handled some situations poorly in past months. These mistakes were errors of judgment and were not, by any means, coupled with malicious intent. My detractors have blown these mistakes out of proportion almost never bothering to mention my concessions, never to personally contact me in a constructive manner to address grievances, or correct their own mistakes — and treated me unfairly.”

    Get a fucking grip, Justin!

    (PS You’re still making mistakes)

  17. 17
  18. 18
    James Kell

    Well, maybe Ophelia should just get an armed guard if she thinks she’s in a class with Ali and Harris. Vacula is a horrible human being, forcing Ophelia to do all the work in getting stalked. She has to go find where people are talking about her so that she can complain about being harassed… He should make it easier by tagging her in his posts. That would be the polite way to stalk someone.

  19. 19
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I’m with Josh on this one. These people should not be disregarded with pity. This is serious. I would not feel safe taking my friends or my family to an event where anyone of Vacula’s bend attends. My guess is that he knows this and that is exactly why he is saying that he might attend. He is an anti-feminist who makes a hobby of harassing and defaming prominent women in our community. FTBs is down two bloggers because of harassment like his. He wrote for AVfM. That is like attending a Black Skeptics event after being a writer for Stromfront. His supporters are rage filled MRAs, liars and all around douchenozzles. If a “Fuck off” get’s people like this “joking” about throwing acid in people’s faces, what will they do in person?

  20. 20
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Get back under your rock, Kell. Nobody here is dumb enough to believe your sad little lies.

  21. 21
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    @James Kell,
    Or, he could just stop harassing people altogether.

    Are you seriously defending these assholes?

  22. 22
    John Morales

    James Kell:

    She has to go find where people are talking about her so that she can complain about being harassed…

    Apparently not, because here you are.

  23. 23
    PZ Myers

    To turn it back on him: Vacula is the “attention whore” here. What he really wants to do is go to this conference and generate a scene, making him a hero to the vermin on AVfM. Look at how much mileage they got out of the recent protests in Toronto; that’s exactly what he wants, to goad a few people into a rage and then play the calm, innocent, rational martyr facing down the hysterical ladies.

    If he does end up going, I would recommend that there be a little organization to simply give him the cold shoulder and total neglect. Don’t let him have the attention he craves. Ignore him and exclude him completely.

  24. 24
    Ophelia Benson

    I never said I was in a class with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (And Harris is not in her class, either.) I wouldn’t dream of saying that.

    If only it were true that I wouldn’t get any harassers unless I went looking for them. If only. Oh no, they follow me, they steal my name and photo to make fake Twitter accounts that fool people into thinking I’ve tweeted them, they tweet at me, they post shit on my Facebook page, they comment here, they swamp posts on other people’s blogs with lies about me.

  25. 25
    melody

    Hi, this is Melody, the organizer of Women in Secularism. I can assure you that Women in Secularism is a safe place for everyone and I promise that every speaker and attendee will be taken care of. Comfort and safety is one of my biggest concerns.

    As some of you might know, I have been the victim of cyberstalking and online harassment and it has affected me greatly so I take this matter very seriously. However, I do not have the authority to decide who does or does not attend to the conference. I do have other ways of making sure that everyone enjoys the conference and feels safe.

    If you have concerns that are beyond my control, please contact my president and CEO, Ronald Lindsay at rlindsayATcenterforinquiry.net.

  26. 26
    Inaji

    She has to go find

    Looks like you just helped prove Ophelia’s case, Jim, because here you are – at Ophelia’s blog. Her space, just in case you don’t get it, old boy.

  27. 27
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I’m not sure, PZ. Ignore him and he’ll go away? That hasn’t had the best track record of working so far.

  28. 28
    michaeld

    I don’t understand the way the free speech advocates approach threats. Even if a threat wasn’t “serious” (as in something someone was planning to carry out how ever you can tell the difference between the two is beyond me) its a form of intimidation trying to silence someone. Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing they should be against?

  29. 29
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Thanks Melody, that is reassuring.

  30. 30
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Perhaps the conference should have a policy that troublemakers requests for admittance need not be accepted.

  31. 31
    melody

    Please take a look at our harassment policy. It does state:

    “CFI and its affiliates have a zero-tolerance policy for hostile and harassing conduct. If a person engages in hostile or harassing conduct, appropriate remedial action will be taken, which may include, but is not limited to, expulsion from the conference. Threats of hostile conduct that are made prior* to a conference may result in exclusion from the conference.”

    *emphasis mine

    and

    “Persons who are the targets of, or witnesses to, hostile or harassing conduct should contact conference staff.”

    http://womeninsecularism.org/policy.html

  32. 32
    Pteryxx

    I was just about to link to that. Thank you Melody!

  33. 33
    hjhornbeck

    Renee Hendricks Yeah. No pass on this one, Ophelia. You made this horrible incident about you.

    I find this sentiment fascinating. The topic was originally a tweet someone made to Benson, and yet here’s someone criticizing Benson for making it all about her.

    That broke my brain a little.

    But there’s a bigger point in play, however. The Slyme Pit and friends pounce on every little mis-step, even if it exists only in their minds, and obsessively bleat about it both on their pages and to others via Twitter/Facebook/etc. When Benson (or any other person they monitor) point out the excesses of this, they get accused of making it all about themselves.

    … so why not, like, chill out there, Slyme Pit? Quit pestering Benson/Zvan/etc., and they’ll quit making “it” about themselves. It’s simple, easy logic.

    Or are you more interested in playing the adult version of “stop hitting yourself!” ?

  34. 34
    Keith Harwood

    Is it the intent of the original posting that because he abuse isn’t as serious as acid in the face that Ophelia has nothing to complain about? If so, is there a level short of acid in the face at which complaint is justified? if so, would Joe be happy receiving that level of abuse?

  35. 35
    Keith Harwood

    Sorry, that should be Justin.

  36. 36
    hjhornbeck

    Justin Vacula It’s unfair to, as Ophelia and her cadre often do, pick up random comments from people and cast this as representative of the people who offer civil disagreement. On any given issue you will find people who would post stuff like that online…

    I’d like Vacula to track down someone threatening to toss acid on another person in a forum devoted to needlepoint. He did say this happens “on any given issue,” after all.

    While he’s at it, I’d like him to explain to us why something is considered acceptable if it’s a common event.

    I’d also like him to point out where, exactly, Benson said this acid comment was representative.

    [shakes head] I’d could understand this level of “missing the point” from a priest who’s spent their entire life in a church. But from an atheist? Who claims to value skeptical and rational thought?

    I guess this just reinforces the idea that atheism isn’t enough, you need to plus something to it to make it better than the typical religion.

  37. 37
    Pierce R. Butler

    melody @ # 25: I do have other ways of making sure that everyone enjoys the conference …

    May I suggest that you provide Justin V with the same type of personal security that T.A.M. gave Surly Amy?

  38. 38
    A. Noyd

    Right, so… According to them, it’s utterly attention-whorish and professional victim-y of you to make any sort of fuss about a threat to throw acid in your face because it’s not like anyone’s actually disfigured you and, gosh, can’t you take a joke? But for them to talk about criticism as witch hunts and Nazis disappearing people and irreparable harm to their livelihoods and all that, that’s perfectly reasonable and justified.

  39. 39
    julian

    I realize this is going to be unpopular but, why not approach this with a little optimism? As far as the SIN crowd goes Vacula is far from the worse and he doesn’t seem to get his kicks using deliberately hateful language. This could be an opportunity to talk,discuss and for everyone to air their complaints without the anonymity o the internet.

    I realize it may be a long shot but optimism might do more good than cynicism here

  40. 40
    julian

    May I suggest that you provide Justin V with the same type of personal security that T.A.M. gave Surly Amy?

    Really? You’re deliberately calling for Vacula to get accosted by half a doze strangers?

  41. 41
    Erin (formerly--formally?-- known as EEB)

    Oh my God.

    Between this and what’s happening to Stephanie, I am so close to giving up right now. I can’t understand this level of hatred. I can’t understand any human doing these things to another human, much less women treating other women like this, much less people who pride themselves on being rational, a community, acting like this. Can people with this level of irrationality ever be reasoned with, or can those who demonstrate such cruelty learn empathy or kindness? (Hell, I’d settle for them learning to shut the fuck up.)

    Because short of us suddenly getting the insitutional power to actually instigate inquisitions, witch hunts, and purges, I don’t really see a solution. (Uh. Not that those types of tactics are an acceptable solution, or something I’d support even if we could, which of course we couldn’t, so. Don’t take that out of context, please.)

    I refuse to give up, though. And you’re a huge part of that. I watch the shit you all go through day after day, the intensely personal nature of the harassment, how regardless of what you do, you know that it will be twisted and turned against you, that there is literally nothing you could do and no right thing to say that will stop the attacks. And you still keep going, with dignity and intelligence, responding to them so rationally that I hope the contrast between their childish, fallacy-filled rantings and your reasoned responses shames them (if they can even feel shame anymore, which I’m starting to doubt). If you can do all that, I have zero excuses.

    But, today, I feel very discouraged. Coming from Almost Diamonds to here is like a one-two punch in the gut. And, like I said, when faced with this level of…of evil, I gues…I don’t know what the solution is.

  42. 42
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    julian,

    Really? Are you going to spend another comment thread with your bullshit about terrible people being not quite as terrible as we think?

    This is a bigger thing than you are willing to wrap your brain around. This isn’t just isolated incidents, that can be dealt with individually and without taking the larger context into account. This is about what Ophelia linked to, and what I described earlier on a different post: stochastic terrorism. I wasn’t aware of the term until today, but I described the exact same fucking thing when Ophelia first started talking about this.

    The blasting of these negative messages creates an environment where this sort of hate is normal. The “jokes” about threats normalize the idea that considering hurting other people is acceptable. If the haters start attending real-life meetings where the targets of their hate are likely to be, that means that all of them can feel free to do it. All of those things come together to provide a space where an violently unhinged person has been given approval by leaders in their peer group to put all of these “isolated” inappropriate behaviors together in a violent outburst that leaves people injured or dead.

    The worst of it is? Assholes like Vacula can totally recognize the dangerous behaviors of fundamentalist Christians that lead to the murders of doctors who provide abortions. They just don’t seem to get that they are doing the exact same fucking thing as the fundamentalists when they target people like Ophelia.

    So why don’t you stop pretending that they are just misguided? They are fucking evil shits who will get people hurt. Vacula isn’t the worst… you’re the fucking worst, because when you excuse him, you excuse the people worse than him who are inspired by him. They don’t know any better… BUT YOU DO. SO STOP.

  43. 43
    Pteryxx

    As far as the SIN crowd goes Vacula is far from the worse and he doesn’t seem to get his kicks using deliberately hateful language.

    “But he seemed like such a nice/polite/reasonable person…”

    Why do you think whether someone uses bad words or not as part of their harassment has any correlation to how much of a threat they pose?

    (And seriously, ‘not the worst’ ? So only the top 10 harassers get to be taken seriously and all the others don’t count? Gah…)

  44. 44
    julian

    If you want to put words in my mouth go ahead. I’m done with this thread.

  45. 45
    Pteryxx

    Well heck, and I didn’t even use one cuss word…. oops.

  46. 46
    julian

    Well heck, and I didn’t even use one cuss word…. oops.

    -_-

    Yeah I’m not going to miss reading B&W.

  47. 47
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Jeez Pteryxx… I didn’t realize that “cuss words” were the beginning and end of the issue? :)

    Of course, using “cuss words” is a way for cowards to run away without addressing the legitimate criticism leveled against them. ANYTHING will serve as the same excuse though. Moral cowardice always finds a way to sustain itself, when it is all said and done.

  48. 48
    A. Noyd

    julian (#39)

    This could be an opportunity to talk,discuss and for everyone to air their complaints without the anonymity o the internet.

    You obviously know how well that worked out for Surly Amy if you can complain about Pierce’s sarcastic suggestion, so what the fuck are even you even doing saying this?! Go away. Like, not just from this thread, but from the internet. You’re worse than useless.

  49. 49
    Pteryxx

    Doesn’t show a lot of *cough* optimism *cough* on julian’s part to drop a suggestion and then bail on defending it, no. Joe, maybe you needed to cuss *more* to make me look not-as-bad-as by comparison…

  50. 50
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    julian

    If you’re a decent human being, it is OK if you leave here. It is OK if you’re angry at us. It is OK if you never want anything to do with anyone here ever again. I’m sure everyone here can respect that, and I know I can because I’ve disagreed with people and never been back to their blog again. At this point, we don’t really know each other and there’s a fair chance that you’re a good person, and I hope you can see that we’re probably good people even though we don’t agree with you. And maybe we all meet under other circumstances and can be friends.

    The problem comes if you are mad at us, and then join in harassing us. Then you’re not a decent person. Then you’re a shitty fucking person. Because you can count on none of us ever trying to find out who you are so we can follow you from site to site to shit on you. Ophelia doesn’t find the assholes by searching their names, she finds them because they can’t stop using HER NAME. If you never mention anyone here again, you’ll never hear from us again. If you become a slymepitter and start mentioning our names every hour on the hour, then you don’t get away because you didn’t want to.

    So go. Please. No one will think less of you. No one will harass you. You don’t have to win this fight, or any fight, to get respect. I would prefer you stay, and listen, and try not to win so much, and be willing to learn instead.

  51. 51
    kellym

    So, Professional Harasser Justin Vacula has decided to escalate his online harassment and abuse to in-person harassment? He is literally raising money to go “visit” a group of people he hates. Vacula’s not satisfied with helping to create an environment where one of his fellow anti-feminists thinks it’s awesome to threaten to throw acid on Ophelia, he wants to continue to escalate the hatred. Until what, exactly?

  52. 52
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    kellym:

    Until what, exactly?

    Until someone is hurt/raped/killed*. At which point they are going to adopt the script of the theists they claim to hate, and they are going to deflect blame like the Catholics after every rape/pedophilia scandal, and Muslims after every “honor” killing, and so on. They are going to invoke the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, or blame some other aspect of culture, or most likely blame the victims since that is what thay are best at.

    When one of their fellow travelers gets caught, they are going to most likely go into full victim-blaming mode, and say that if the feminists hadn’t been so vocal and provocative, nothing would have happened. Because they can recognize hate when it comes from theists, but they can’t recognize when they are using the exact same language… because they are atheists, and therefore “different.”

  53. 53
    Sassafras

    This part just fucking blew my mind:

    Even if we grant that people ridicule you, say nasty things, and make fun of you on the internet this is — by no means — tantamount to acid splashing.

    Gee, you worthless liar, maybe because the very thing she was talking about was a real life situation where people being nasty on the internet escalated into acid attacks? It just boils my blood that these stupid shitbags will be editing out that little detail every time they re-tell this story. It’s as repetitive as arguing with creationists; you could just make a list of all the stupid repeated claims that the slimewads make, with the relevant refutation links.

  54. 54
    hjhornbeck

    EEB @41

    But, today, I feel very discouraged. Coming from Almost Diamonds to here is like a one-two punch in the gut. And, like I said, when faced with this level of…of evil, I gues…I don’t know what the solution is.

    Keep discussing these issues. There really isn’t a choice; a culture that rewards extreme language and hatred will thrive if people ignore it or disengage, as they’ll view that as a victory. Simply stating why this isn’t acceptable is the best possible thing you could do, as it helps push back.

    Having said that, these people tend to focus far more on the big names than us small peons. If you’re feeling discouraged, and want a time out, go ahead and do it. There are more than enough of us left to keep the discussion going, and you’re free to rejoin when you feel stronger again.

  55. 55
    Pteryxx

    Until what, exactly?

    Well, informal reports say there have already been sexual assaults at conferences for years, just not formally confirmed or reported (nor names named) for all the usual reasons. That’s the status quo. Now that so many organizations have adopted anti-harassment policies, that should start to change. Which is why I’m considering that this might not just be about harassing Ophelia anymore; I think it’s a challenge to CFI’s harassment policy, with the battlefield being the conference that’s most focused on women’s participation. Vacula can play it up either way, whether or not he’s allowed to attend (because of the ‘prior conduct’ clause Melody pointed out above) – if not, it’ll be the shunning/witch hunt route; otherwise it’ll be the daring-badge-of-honor route. (I’m not holding out much hope for the reconciliation-in-person scenario.) Same applies to Ophelia, who’s a speaker at WiS 2 – no matter the threats she receives between now and May 17, if she attends the haters will say that proves bailing on TAM was unjustified, and if she doesn’t attend they’ll gloat and take it as a victory. But that all elides the major factor of having no confidence in TAM to have an appropriate response to harassment or threats. Now it’ll be up to CFI to demonstrate their commitment to their policy and their ability to mitigate exactly this sort of situation. (Which, again in my opinion only, doesn’t necessarily mean disallowing Vacula’s attendance. That’s just one possible response of many.)

  56. 56
    stewart

    I followed the Katie Graham link. She admits to never having heard of the Bolshoi Ballet before Ophelia mentioned it, which is at least honest, albeit a clue to a level of unculturedness I’d never previously considered. However, she cannot believe that Ophelia did not also have to look up the Bolshoi Ballet to find out what it was. If the level of disconnectedness from the real world is that profound, how can anything else surprise us?

  57. 57
    athyco

    stewart:

    If the level of disconnectedness from the real world is that profound, how can anything else surprise us?

    Well, how about a profound connection to every permutation of chain-yanking possible? Not only is Justin Vacula looking for funds from his buddies to go, sixteen days after he made a “Saint Surly Amy and double standards” video, he says that he’s applied for a Surly Grant to attend Wis2.

  58. 58
    Konradius

    Common, people, we have seen Vaculas behaviour before in another context.
    Remember christians? Remember how they complain when atheists criticize them about something? “Well, you wouldn’t dare to say that about muslims!”.
    This is fatwah envy, pure and simple.
    And it is not that he actually wants to throw acid in womens faces. Neither do christians actually want to behead unbelievers. But he sure thinks that any misbehaviour on his side should be excused because it is so much milder than terrorism. And it looks that he thinks the actions on our side warrant some misbehaviour as well.

    And I’ll bet he’ll be surprised when people (like me) think he should be pre-emptively barred to this conference because of a history of threatening behaviour.

  59. 59
    Bjarte Foshaug

    John Morales #16

    This from someone who wrote: “Instead of mainly focusing on issues such as [...] strengthening the secular community, [...] improving the perception of secular individuals, [...] a ‘you are with us or against us’ attitude is coupled with personal vendettas and whispering campaigns taking the stage regardless of concerns about the cohesion of the secular movement.

    So, basically Vacula’s idea of “strengthening the secular community” or preserving “the cohesion of the secular movement” is to go out of his way to make it a more toxic and unfriendly environment than the surface of Venus, and his idea of “improving the perception of secular individuals” is to confirm every negative stereotype about atheists as sociopathic, amoral social darwinists who think that only those who can be expected to positively thrive in said environment have any business existing at all (If you can’t stand the heat etc…).

    Many have left the secular community.

    Indeed. Here’s just a small sample from Stephanie’s petition against giving Vacula a leadership position in SCA:

    “As a secular woman in PA this has absolutely destroyed my trust in the SCA. I’m sorry to say I feel extremely uncomfortable and unwelcome at the PA chapter. I looked forward to participating but no longer.”

    “I live only about an hour from Justin Vacula’s home town, Scranton, and his participation and leadership in local atheist/skeptic activities is a major barrier to my participation. I simply don’t trust anyone who posts on “A Voice for Men,” which has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a site devoted to promoting misogyny on the web, to treat me with respect. I’ve seen how he has treated other women who are part of the A/S community, such as Amy Lee Roth, and frankly I don’t want to risk having to deal with such a character.”

    “Justin Vacula and others like him are the reason I am using a pseudonym to sign this. It is not safe for a woman to have an opinion about secularism unless it involves toadying up to the MRA contingent. I am no longer active at my local meet-up or drinks in the pub because I was tired of hearing about how pissed they were that a woman decided to set boundaries for herself. After a very negative event, no male in the group would support me, even the ones who agreed it was wrong. It seems as if PA is looking to give women the same experience. I can not understand that.”

    “As someone brand new, I would be very hesitant to go to any gatherings where Vacula might be, and very hesitant to join in any discussions. His presence and his actions have made me feel unwelcome and are certainly driving people away.”

    “As a woman, I do not feel I am welcome in the Atheist movement, and the appointment of Justin Vacula to an official position for Secular Coalition of America makes me feel even less welcome. I think that it sends a strong message that the Secular Coalition of America would prefer if women would not participate.”

    Apart from that, though, I’m sure he’s a very valuable ally with a lot to contribute to… Ok, perhaps not that, but… Oh well, nevermind :-/

  60. 60
    Bjarte Foshaug

    it is not that he actually wants to throw acid in womens faces. Neither do christians actually want to behead unbelievers. But he sure thinks that any misbehaviour on his side should be excused because it is so much milder than terrorism.

    *cough*dearmuslima*cough*

  61. 61
    Hank_Says

    These fucking people are beneath contempt – both the “leaders” of this doublespeak campaign of “improving the movement via endlessly and obsessively fucking with anyone who dares disagree with or challenge them” and the easily-led pre-adolescent ethical vacuums who follow them around, dead-eyed, swallowing their toxic bullshit and calling it fucking gelato.

    Vacula’s a shitful, dishonest, game-playing, button-pushing douchebag – and he knows it. He also knows his loyal pack of deadshits will see him as a hero and winner no matter how this plays out. He attends and nothing happens – he’s vindicated for labelling his enemies as gutless; he attends and anything – anything at all – happens, from the mildest raised eyebrow to a fully-fledged protest – and he gets to play every fucking card in the “witch hunt/pogrom/inquisition” deck. Ditto if he’s barred from attending.

    Ophelia, were I able to attend, I’d want to organise as many people as I could to wear t-shirts bearing nothing but a butterfly. No slogan, no confrontation, just a visual presence.

  62. 62
    Argle Bargle

    Vacula & Co. are some profoundly unpleasant people. I realize nobody is a villain in their own eyes but it amazes me they don’t recognize how hateful their remarks are.

  63. 63
    julian

    wow. So the commentors here are now the arbiters of what a good person is and how worthwhile someone is as a person?

    Check your paranoia and your hubris, please.

    Sorry I wasted so many hours on here. A big heartfelt fuck you to Joe, A Noyd and Ptyrexx. Hopefully we’ll never run across each other again.

  64. 64
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Wait… so Justin plans on going to WiS?

    Damnit! I’m really pissed now that I can’t afford airfare and hotel! Damnit damnit damnit!

    :(

  65. 65
    Argle Bargle

    Goodbye, julian. Have a nice rest of your life and don’t forget to forget to write.

  66. 66
    Bjarte Foshaug

    So, does anybody apart from Julian* still see the people on the other side of the “rift” as part of their “ingroup”, or can we finally start forgetting about “infighting” and let the likes of Vacula fade into the normal “background noise” along with the religious right, the antiwaxers and the 9-11 truth movement?
    _______________________________________________
    * Apparently it’s only other people who need to have unlimited patience and put up with whatever crap is hurled at them rather than shun scum like Russell Blackford.

  67. 67
    carlie

    Hopefully we’ll never run across each other again.

    I bet a lot of people going to WIS feel that way about Vacula, and yet he plans to go there just to rub it in their faces that he can.

  68. 68
    Stephanie Zvan

    Really? You’re deliberately calling for Vacula to get accosted by half a doze strangers?

    No, julian. That was not the security that was provided to Amy. What was provided was constant filming and security personnel ever hovering in the background. That was what was suggested for Vacula.

  69. 69
    Pierce R. Butler

    julian @ # 40: You’re deliberately calling for Vacula to get accosted by half a doze strangers?

    Just for the record – since of course julian will surely continue his flounce – the TAM managers did not arrange for Surly A’s accostment by a six-pack of strangers. They instead “protected” her with a couple of “security” people conspicuously following her around and dourly staring as she tended her ceramics table (all for her own good, of course).

    Certainly, should Vacula get through the door at WIS2, he will need at least that much safeguarding in the presence of so many feminazis, castrators, and general-purpose bitchcunts – no?

  70. 70
    Pierce R. Butler

    For the record – my # 69 was written without a refresh, and in blithe ignorance that Stephanie Z was writing the same thing, only more concisely and informatively, just ahead of me.

  71. 71
    Martha

    @EEB #41

    I can’t understand any human doing these things to another human, much less women treating other women like this, much less people who pride themselves on being rational, a community, acting like this.

    When I was a resident advisor in the dorms at my university back in the 80s, one of our training workshops was about rape awareness. The presenter said that prosecuting attorneys on rape cases prefer a jury of middle-aged men with young daughters, not women. I don’t know if it is still the case, but the view back then was that we women wanted desperately to believe it couldn’t happen to us, if only we played by the rules. So, by extension, a rape victim must have done something wrong. I remember this very clearly, as I was shocked to see that in myself. That recognition changed my thinking dramatically from that point forward.

    I think some of the women involved on the anti-feminist side of this debate are behaving similarly. They want to believe desperately that if they’re the “right” kind of woman, they will be treated fairly– and that any woman who is subject to this harassment must have done something to deserve it.

    I can’t help but notice that many of these so-called “chill girls” are young. Unless they choose very traditional female roles in life, I suspect that experience will eventually teach them that they are wrong. When that happens, I hope they’ll be ashamed of their behavior, and perhaps work to keep other women from following in their footsteps.

    Having said that, we can’t wait for that to happen. Like you, I’m outraged from reading Ophelia’s and Stephanie’s latest posts. It’s made up my mind that I will attend WiS. I’m prepared to tolerate Vacula with pitying contempt if he behaves. If not, I’ll be glad to join in the crowd of voices drowning out the misogynistic cruelty of the Pit he represents.

  72. 72
    sheila

    Constant filming might be a very good idea. I can see it might be very useful to have proof of what actually happened, rather than what Vacula said happened.

  73. 73
    Lyanna

    Martha–I’ve worked as a rape crisis counselor and know a few sex crimes prosecutors, and the part about the best jurors for the prosecution in a rape case being men with young daughters? That’s absolutely true. Young women can be terrible jurors for precisely the reason you said.

    Ophelia: I’m sorry about this and you have my support. If this is a rift, it’s worth having. I don’t want to be in a community with Vacula and his ilk. I have no use for the “atheist community” if it just further entrenches privilege. I’m a secular feminist who values equality. I have no interest in preening about how we’re smarter than believers, while committing the same errors the patriarchal religions do.

  74. 74
    Ophelia Benson

    Well hooray that Martha has decided to attend WiS! Thank you Mr Vacula.

  75. 75
    Ophelia Benson

    About the young women aspect – I’ve noticed that all along (as well as of course what Jeremy so benevolently pointed out, the fact that they’re pretty). That was a theme at Ms a few decades ago, I think – that young women are shielded from some of the worst aspects of sexism, so many don’t become feminists until they’re not so young and shielded any longer.

  76. 76
    Ophelia Benson

    Stewart @ 56 – I too was staggered at that never having heard of the Bolshoi bit – and then even more staggered that she – Katie Graham – confidently said she was sure I’d had to look it up too but simply hadn’t admitted it.

    But she’s the one who simply breezily said on Vacula’s post above that I’m a bad person. Just like that.

  77. 77
    hjhornbeck

    That was a theme at Ms a few decades ago, I think – that young women are shielded from some of the worst aspects of sexism, so many don’t become feminists until they’re not so young and shielded any longer.

    I think it’s more that sexism either benefits them when they are young and pretty, or they simply think that’s the way the game must be played, having known no alternatives.

    I am neither young, pretty, nor female, though, so I may be quite far off the mark.

    At any rate, to those who are freaking out over Vacula attending WiS2: I suspect that was his plan all along. It makes for excellent quotes on the Slyme Pit, supports the idea that he’s “dangerous” and/or “important,” and helps maintain those tribal walls between “us” and “them.”

    From what I’ve heard, members of the Slyme Pit tend to behave quite differently away from their “home.” They have to, really; few people could honestly look a rape victim in the face and say “it’s your fault.” That’s one reason why Harriet Hall gets so many high-fives, as she’s one of only a few who managed to say what they’ve been asserting on line in real life… albeit in a sneaky, open-to-interpretation way.

    I’m perfectly fine with Vacula attending. He’ll likely be on best behavior, and if he does start blindly asserting privilege there are more than enough attendees to argue back, likely causing him to tuck tail and run, proclaiming victory as he bravely flees. It’ll be like a creationist attending an atheist convention; annoying to some, sure, but a joy to those who love arguing against nonsense.

  78. 78
    rbier

    I’ve been a silent follower of yours for a while now, enjoying your posts and admiring your intellect and strength. Young women like myself need role models like you, thank you for not giving up! Reading the latest posts sickens me and makes me feel very sad. Well, I just wanted to let you know that there are many followers who support you and are grateful for your determination. Keep going, Ophelia!

  79. 79
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Hjhornbeck:

    We’re “freaking out” that an MRA serial harasser and anti-feminist is going to WiS by being concerned? We need to pipe down lest we feed the trolls?
    Gotcha. Thanks. That’s a big help. What an ally.

    Yes, you are off the mark about a few things.

  80. 80
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    hjhornbeck–you don’t get to be “perfectly fine” about Vacula attending. It’s just the same as how straight people don’t get to be “perfectly fine” about homophobic harrassers attending LGBT conferences. White people don’t get to be “perfectly fine” with racists attending civil rights events featuring speakers that the attendee harasses.

  81. 81
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    those who are freaking out

    Asshole move. Big, big asshole move.

  82. 82
    stewart

    It strikes me that if Ophelia were to react to the use of words like “feminazi” or the reference to “first they came for…” by posting a group of the most stomach-churning Holocaust photos – like the bodies being bulldozed – the denizens of the slimepit would consider it a lot less justified than they do Vacula’s posting of photos of acid attack victims. I could be wrong, of course, and these are waters I don’t expect or desire her to test. I suspect that part of the frenzy of hatred is an attempt to goad her into descending to their level – I don’t think she’d be capable of it even if she wanted to or were to try.

  83. 83
    A. Noyd

    julian (#63)

    So the commentors here are now the arbiters of what a good person is and how worthwhile someone is as a person?

    Check your paranoia and your hubris, please.

    Sorry I wasted so many hours on here. A big heartfelt fuck you to Joe, A Noyd and Ptyrexx.

    Gosh, julian, you sound so cynical. What’s the matter? Are only people targeted by years-long campaigns of woman-hating harassment supposed to be optimistic about making up with the misogynists that engage in hounding them and cheering on others to do the same?

    And I’m not going to say that maybe we should meet “without the anonymity of the internet” or something because there’s no way to work that in without it sounding like a threat. I don’t want to actually threaten you, but you should think about how that works. If I can’t propose we meet face to face without it being a threat when I haven’t been stalking and harassing you online, how much worse do you think it would it be if I had?

    Hopefully we’ll never run across each other again.

    Know how to improve the odds of that happening? Go the fuck away.

  84. 84
    Pteryxx

    hjhornbeck:

    I’m perfectly fine with Vacula attending. He’ll likely be on best behavior, and if he does start blindly asserting privilege there are more than enough attendees to argue back…

    I assure you, those of us who have concerns aren’t concerned that he might argue. As plainly seen online, he misrepresents, spreads rumors and personal information, disregards privacy and boundaries, and focuses almost entirely on making personal attacks on a few individuals, several of whom will be attending, including Ophelia. Do you really think he’d start arguing honestly, respectfully and in good faith at WiS?

    (And why should countering his BS fall on the attendees? They’re not signing up for Vaculacon.)

  85. 85
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Pteryxx
    I was thinking about how Vacula stacked that deck in his favour already, too.
    If CFI denies him attendance, proof that evil feminists fear open discussion. ->win
    If he can attend, he can make women uncomfortable. ->win
    If he tries to hog the mike, the conference gets disturbed ->win
    If he’s forbidden to hog the mike, feminist censorship ->

    +++
    Young women as rape apologists
    Well, remember all that rape prevention stuff we get taught? It’s a side effect of that.
    Do this, don’t do that and you’re safe.
    And you have to believe that it works.
    If she was raped then she must have broken the rules.
    Because the rules have to work.
    Because if they don’t work then you’re not safe, but you’ve got to be safe.
    Because realizing that the one thing standing between you and rape isn’t you cleverly following the sacred rules but pure and simple luck is a horrible thing.
    It can’t be, it mustn’t be.
    Because they have so much to lose.

    And for a lot of the sexism, it often only hits later in life. It hits you when you have to realize that you still have to make choices your male partner doesn’t have to make. It hits when you realize that your male college buddies get paid a decent amount more. It hits you when your husband shows up somewhere with grubby kids and gets asked why you didn’t wash them. But that happens well after you’re that happy college girl.

  86. 86
    Brad

    I’d like to think that he’d manage to learn something at the conference, but I’m not going to hold my breath…

  87. 87
    Rumtopf

    What a load of fucking hateful, ignorant bullies they are.

    I’m sorry you have to constantly deal with this shit, Ophelia.

  88. 88
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’d like to think that he’d manage to learn something at the conference, but I’m not going to hold my breath…

    I’d like to think that respect for the victims of his and his friends’ attacks—among whom are Ophelia and a number of speakers—would take higher priority for the organizers of this conference. I’d like to think they fucking matter. I’d like to think they wouldn’t be asked to forbear this vicious man in service of “taking the high road.”

    How ’bout that?

  89. 89
    oolon

    I saw Damion and Justin tweeting about him going, my first reaction was it must be some sort of joke… I had to read both their posts on it before I was convinced it was for real. Reaction went from WTF.. *facepalm*.. Then back to WTF again as he is going to put people off going and for what? Basically from where I’m sitting it is a big FU to FtBs and an obvious ploy to get kudos in the pit.

    Its a move that he cannot lose on, anyone tries to stop, threaten or insult him and #FTBullies strike again, he goes and he is sticking it to the ‘FftB’ers’…. Just everyone else loses through his shameless self promotion souring the conference. Not sure if WiS is going to be streamed but an impromptu panel on harassment online including Justin could be interesting, although the boy wonder will see it as more attention and validation of his position as a “leader” in the community.

  90. 90
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yes, he can “lose.” The good people can stop putting up with his fucking shit and say no more. Stop acting like his wounded preening about censorship has to mean anything or compel any reaction whatsoever on the part of people of good will.

    It’s wrong to say “ignore the trolls.” But that’s a whole different thing from this ridiculous hand-wringing about how “Oh, no! If we don’t let him go he’ll just have more ammo!” Stop acting as if it matters. Stop giving their harassment buying power beyond what it already has.

    Has everyone not a shithead in secularism been infected with Democratic Spinectomy Syndrome?

  91. 91
    Pteryxx

    I’d like to think that respect for the victims of his and his friends’ attacks—among whom are Ophelia and a number of speakers—would take higher priority for the organizers of this conference. I’d like to think they fucking matter. I’d like to think they wouldn’t be asked to forbear this vicious man in service of “taking the high road.”

    QFT, Josh.

    When someone’s been persistently and publicly harassed by a given individual who just can’t leave her alone, how safe and welcome is she going to feel when that person’s making a point of attending the same event, even if he’s behaving perfectly?

  92. 92
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I expect we’ll see the same thing we always see: the concerns of dozens or even hundreds of women will be brushed off in favor of preserving the privilege of a single overly entitled man.

  93. 93
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Worse, Joe. It’ll be done in service of some High Flown Principle. “Freedom of Expression,” or “freedom of inquiry,” which, after all, is what CFI is for. So not allowing a harasser to use their own living room to shit on speakers and then make hay with it later would be a betrayal of all they stand for.

    Kafka couldn’t make this shit up.

  94. 94
    Ophelia Benson

    Funny how Vacula and his friends have the gall to call me an attention whore when he can pull a stunt like this. Suddenly Women in Secularism 2 is all about him.

  95. 95
    Pteryxx

    *headdesk* Sure he can “lose”. WiS can act to mitigate his ability to harass their participants. How they go about that is up to them. The point isn’t to win some ego game with Vacula, or any other harassers. It’s to ensure women can freely participate in conferences.

  96. 96
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Email for you, O (as if my electronic posts are very much to be attended to right now this very minute).

  97. 97
    Ophelia Benson

    Attended to!

  98. 98
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Well, I’m not saying we can’t win in the real world.
    I’m saying that in Vaculaverse he can’t lose. You know that place where rape-threats are reasonable disagreement and critique is a witch hunt

  99. 99
    oolon

    Yeah I’m with Giliell, not too clear how I put it either… In Vacuous troll world he always wins… But then I suppose that is almost too obvious to even have to state.

    But I’d re-iterate I’d like to see him debate, he popped onto the A+ forum to challenge a “representative” of A+ to a debate… I said I’d love to see him take on Matt Dillahunty on the need for anti-harassment policies at conferences or how to attract women into the movement and *why* is it a “guy thing” currently. Hard for A+ to meet his challenge given there is no one who “represents” it… However if he is going out on a limb and representing the Slymepit and the “feminism poisons atheism/secularism” crowd then he can nicely show up how weak their arguments are in a debate.

  100. 100
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Debates are pointless. We already see there’s a hard core of people whose minds cannot be changed by evidence, or even moved by basic human empathy.

    Seriously, that’s nothing but rhetorical masturbation. Women aren’t, I imagine, that keen on continuing to watch debates about the validity of their experience any more than I want to encourage debates about my right to full enfranchisement as a queer.

    This is not parlor games, Oolon. Stop it.

  101. 101
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And I swear to god if you make one remark about “when I was over at the pit. . .”

  102. 102
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    This just reminded me of a legendary German football quote: “Wenn wir hier nicht gewinnen können, dann treten wir ihnen wenigstens den Rasen kaputt”
    If we can’t win here we’re at least going to ruin their lawn.
    That’s what they’re doing.
    They won’t win but they’re damn going to cause as much damage as possible.

  103. 103
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I agree with you that debates are pointless, Josh, but sometimes they can be a beauty to behold (consider IQ2′s “The Catholic Church is a Force for Good”… I really am not a fan of Hitchens, but I’ll be damned if he and Fry didn’t take the opposition and turn them into whimpering piles of mud… I cried at the end of that debate because of how beautiful it was). I love debates largely as a narcissist and glutton for argument. Also, if they’re formatted like Intelligence Squared, where the audience is the judge, they can be an okay unofficial indicator of public sentiment on an issue.

    That said, I’d be as willing to debate Vacula as Dawkins is willing to debate Kent Hovind. Despite my response above about being angry at not being able to afford airfare and a room (which is a legit stressor… I want to go, and can actually afford the student ticket + party/dinner ticket, but there’s no chance, money-wise, of me getting there and having a place to stay… it’s depressing :(), I’d much prefer if Vacula just didn’t go. WiS2 and FtB and the women he’s harassed really don’t need that shit.

  104. 104
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    And yeah… I think, with the right opponent, Vacula would inevitably be reduced to a puddle of whimpering mud, too.

  105. 105
    oolon

    I dunno I loved Stephen Frys debate on the worth of the Catholic Church, a lot of which turned into the worth of the gay community and how the church denies that. It was an obvious argument, but seeing it laid out eloquently had some merit.

    BTW I’ve moved on from the pit, but when I was on Reaps radio show…

  106. 106
    oolon

    Oops snap with Nate, I’m gonna look up the debate on youtube.. Very cheering to see our national treasure savage Anne Widdecombe and the nasties from the Catholic Church.

  107. 107
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    but seeing it laid out eloquently had some merit.

    For you. For your straight self. Do you understand that it’s not always all about those of you without a personal investment?

  108. 108
    oolon

    OK I’ll shut up as it seems no women want to see Justin reduced to a quivering wreck…

  109. 109
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Absolutely right, Josh. Absolutely right.

  110. 110
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Just stop it, Oolon. Please.

  111. 111
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Hey oolon… you know that favorite quip from Dawkins about debating Creationists? Something like “that’d look good on your C.V., but not so good on mine”?

    That very much applies here, as well. The IQ2 debate we’re referring to did NOT look good for the two in support of the motion because it was a legit topic for debate (the Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World… no, it’s not).

    In this case, no matter how badly Vacula does, it will only benefit him. I actually agree that subjects like this simply aren’t up for debate, despite my love of debates in general. Science, philosophy, politics, religion… debate those all you want. But when it comes to civil rights, holding a debate suggests that those against civil rights have a legitimate point, despite the fact that the only kind of people who could be against civil rights are bigots, plain and simple.

    Another thing not up for debate is whether or not Creationism/Intelligent Design is science. The evidence speaks for itself. Holding a debate on it suggests that Creationists might actually have a valid point to put across, which they don’t. CreIDiots can only look good in such debates, regardless of whether or not they win them (and they pretty much never do).

  112. 112
    Ophelia Benson

    Nate – you know there’s a hotel where you can have 5 in a room for I think $189, yes? Melody has info about it on the WiS FB page. That doesn’t help with transportation though. But do apply for a Surly Grant!

  113. 113
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I seriously want to come but the cost (sorry, the thought of sharing a room with even one person makes my blood run cold).. .

  114. 114
    Ophelia Benson

    I know, same here.

  115. 115
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    One’s room is a necessity, right? Anything else is a horror. Don’t even get me STARTED on sharing a bed. I didn’t even want to sleep in the same bed with men I loved.

  116. 116
    Martha

    @Lyanna #73

    If this is a rift, it’s worth having. I don’t want to be in a community with Vacula and his ilk. I have no use for the “atheist community” if it just further entrenches privilege. I’m a secular feminist who values equality. I have no interest in preening about how we’re smarter than believers, while committing the same errors the patriarchal religions do.

    QFT!

    I don’t think it’s okay that Vacula, or anyone else, plans to attend the WiS meeting with the aim of undermining it, either in person or using the web. The point of conferences is for those interested in the topic to, well, confer. An existential debate about the group meeting is rarely, if ever, on the agenda. So his choosing to attend is an offensive attempt to mute the voices of those attending.

    On the other hand, I’m not afraid of his being there: I just see it as a call to action. I’d rather go just to see the amazing lineup of speakers and meet other attendees without having to spend even a second thinking about Vacula and his ilk. But if his presence is intrusive, then those of us who are able to make the trip need to be ready to make it clear that his behavior is (once again) unacceptable.

    @Ophelia #74, aw, thanks, that’s very sweet! I’m looking forward to meeting you.

  117. 117
    Tim Harris

    What the devil is someone like Vacula – that post of his is sadistic and disgusting – doing anywhere near any position of authority. He is wholly contemptible.

  118. 118
    A Hermit

    I’m going to echo PZ on this one…Vacula is looking for attention and looking for a confrontation he can use to perpetuate his anti-feminist narrative and boos t his cred as a victim of the “radical feminists.” So if he does go I hope every effort will be made to avoid interacting with him, and, I would add, if anyone there does interact with him make sure someone is recording the event. Someone you trust, that is…

  119. 119
    Illusio

    “But when it comes to civil rights, holding a debate suggests that those against civil rights have a legitimate point, despite the fact that the only kind of people who could be against civil rights are bigots, plain and simple.”

    The thing is though, nobody are against civil rights, and the repeated insistence of clowns like you that you are the only one representing them is what causes people to be so violently opposed to you. What you are doing is something completely different. You guys are pushing conspiratorial ideas completely lacking in evidence, insulting half the human race by calling them rapists and going way beyond anything that could reasonably be called civil rights. You completely fail to hold a worldview that could ever be compatible with normal interaction patterns between males and females. Asking people out for coffee makes you fear rape is imminent? Really? How high strung and delusional does one have to be to have that kind of reaction? How deranged does one have to be to not appreciate that fact when it’s pointed out, and instead start stroking a persecution complex? That literally implies a worse connection to reality than assuming that every person walking behind you on the street is about to pull out a gun and shoot you.

    The fact here is that you are looking at a permanently split skeptic movement unless your side retracts your delusional bullshit from the public space associated with the skeptic movement. I refuse to associate with your unfalsifiable Patriarchies and Entitlements that stop any rational discussion in its tracks because you think you can immediately invalidate any contrary opinion, regardless of what it might be, by simply uttering magic chants.

    And I can assure you – you guys have zero reason to associate your detractors with creationists. Your side has been ridiculed and shamed on pretty much every point you have made since you pissed people off at elevatorgate. Every accusation, every whine, has been found to be bullshit made up by professional victims. As far as we can tell, you guys have no evidence and are arguing from dogma and emotion. That is the real reason why you guys refuse to debate – You have no case and are completely unused to having to defend any of your dogma. That’s fine though, you’re too far out on the fringe on this issue for me to care about dragging you by the hand towards reality, but I would like to see a debate at least about whether it makes sense to destroy the skeptic movement over said dogma. I can see no reason why that would be the case given that no sane individual should regard “feminism” as an objective science. Is there really any reason to care if we happen to have in the skeptic movement? Shouldn’t it be possible to agree to have common ground on the more objective issues and forget about our differences in other areas? ALL successful activist groups are forced to do this.

    There is one and only one possible compromise here and that is that your “feminism”(And that is in quotes, yes, you guys are a fringe oddity and don’t represent women in any sense. Neither a majority of females or the actual interests of females, nor does your position equate to “civil liberties”, “good” or whatever – it’s merely a viewpoint and you would do well to recognize this.) pisses off back to the gutter it came from, apologize for all your insults to men in general and let the skeptic movement keep on doing the stuff there’s actual agreement about. If that happened, people would probably be willing to forgive your disgraceful behavior and move on.

    I have no real hope of that ever happening though, which means that you guys will have succeeded in both drawing a movement that had some intellectual credibility into the mud as well as needlessly fracturing it.

    Good job.

    At least I can take some small comfort in the fact that your side is the one that will slowly fade into the background and die. How do I know this? Because your brand of “feminism” is almost as hated as atheism and as fringe as interest in skepticism in general, and by virtue of setting yourself up as the intersection of all those things and more, end up having an objectively far smaller base to recruit from. Have fun wasting away.

    -Illusio

  120. 120
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    The fact here is that you are looking at a permanently split skeptic movement unless your side retracts your delusional bullshit from the public space associated with the skeptic movement.

    Good. If the atheis movement isn’t ready to stop catering exclusively to the preferences of straight, white men and those who don’t fit that category but are happy to take scraps from their table thrown on the floor then it deserves a schism for as long as it takes for it to grow up and learn to share.

    I, for one, don’t blame anyone for not wanting to be around people who consider their opinions irrelevant and their value debatable. I wouldn’t force ethnic minorities to tolerate racism, or GLB people to tolerate homophobes, or Trans* people to tolerate transphobics – and to suggest that it’s better for them to do so is the height of ignorance and privilege.

  121. 121
    Ophelia Benson

    Cool story, bro. I don’t remember saying half the human race are rapists, but hey, if you say so. I don’t remember anyone saying that being asked out for coffee makes us fear rape is imminent, but hey, you probably know better than I do. I’m broken-hearted that you refuse to associate with whatever that was you said, but on the other hand I have no clue who you are, so on second thought maybe I’m not. (Fabulous email addy though – “antikultist” – brilliant.)

    Professional victims, is it? I wish. I don’t get a dime for it. No but really, thanks for the string of stale talking points all strung together like that. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

  122. 122
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Funny, I’d rather be part of a group of twenty people who gave a shit about social justice than compromise my values to be included amongst thousands who didn’t.

    That these people don’t get that demonstrates a lack of empathy and insight bordering on the frightening.

  123. 123
    Erin (formerly--formally?-- known as EEB)

    @ 119

    Uh-huh.

    So I read your entire rant, and I really only have one thing to say: citation fucking needed.

    Come on. If I’m reading you right, you think we’re the fake skeptics, irrational, unreasonable, paranoid, etc. So I’m sure that you, as the rational, reasonable, real skeptic, have evidence to back up all of your assertions. Let’s see ‘em. Please provide actual evidence, with links, not just unfounded complaints. I’m perfectly willing to change my mind. I’ve done so many times before. Hell, I went from being a very devoted Christian, attending school to become a professional minister, to being an open, outspoken atheist. On issues as diverse as alt-med to home birth to even freaking dog breeds (and many other things), I’ve gone from being a passionate supporter to considering new evidence and changed my mind. My track record is pretty good, there. So yes, I can say with complete assurance, if you provide evidence to back up your claims, and make a reasonable argument (note: your post, with its numerous fallacies, does not meet the definition of “reasonable”), I will admit that I was wrong.

    Because many of us could provide detailed evidence, complete with links and screengrabs, that back up our positions. In fact, several people already have provided such evidence, on multiple occassions. Beyond that, I know that both PZ and Stephanie (maybe others, as well) have created spaces specifically for people on the other side to provide evidence and explain their point of view. The fact that no one has been able to, yet, I think speaks loud and clear for the rational validity of your beliefs. However, maybe you are the one to prove us all wrong.

    So, go on. What are you waiting for?

  124. 124
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    EEB wrote:

    So, go on. What are you waiting for?

    Remember, EEB, these people don’t practice actual skepticism; it’s just a mask for blanket denialism of things they don’t want to consider – a stumbling block, a distraction. It’s no more skepticism than what a creationist practices is science.

  125. 125
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Wowblogger #122

    True. I’d rather stand alone if it came to that.

  126. 126
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    True. I’d rather stand alone if it came to that.

    The assholes seem to think “But don’t you want to be one of the cool kids?” is a good argument, without realising that it’s exactly what the religious they take so much pride in distancing themselves from have engaged in for centuries.

    And they can’t handle the fact that we’re saying, “Uh, if the ‘cool’ kids are people who don’t care about anything but the narrow interests of the majority then no, I don’t want to be one of them. Bye!”

    Which I’d actually have no problem with if it meant they left us alone to do what we wanted to do, but this unceasing harassment, bullying and intimidation in an attempt to shut us down indicates that that’s not enough for them. They want one atheism their way.

  127. 127
    jenniferphillips

    Which I’d actually have no problem with if it meant they left us alone to do what we wanted to do, but this unceasing harassment, bullying and intimidation in an attempt to shut us down indicates that that’s not enough for them. They want one atheism their way.

    ^^
    this, x 1000. And yet another way in which they are indistinguishable from creationists, IMO. Creationists/Fundy Christians who attend Atheist/Skeptic meetings often think it’s a big, in-your-face coup just getting in the door, but they’re mostly ignored and/or laughed at if they try to challenge the attendants on their world views. I’m hoping that Vacula-at-WiS will go very much the same way.

  128. 128
    theobromine

    There are some (myself included) who want to belong to and contribute to a caring community of atheists, skeptics and critical thinkers in which the members think it is important both to support one another, and to support and defend the rights of those who have been and are being badly treated by society. There are people who think that the idea of saying that anyone should have acid thrown at them is abhorrent. There are people who find the idea that the abhorrence is lessened (or turned into a joke) by putting the comment in the context of an insult about someone’s physical appearance is incomprehensible. I want to hang out with the people who realized this in high school (if not earlier), not with those who apparently never grew up.

  129. 129
    Erin (formerly--formally?-- known as EEB)

    Which I’d actually have no problem with if it meant they left us alone to do what we wanted to do, but this unceasing harassment, bullying and intimidation in an attempt to shut us down indicates that that’s not enough for them. They want one atheism their way.

    And that’s what I really don’t understand. It’s not enough to keep us out of “their” spaces (either with outright banning or by encouraging–or just permitting–so much harassment that people leave). It’s not enough to make a couple videos or blog posts detailing their problem with our positions. Jesus, it’s not even enough that people finally got so fed up with the constant harassment that they said, “Fine, you know what? You want atheism? You can have it. We’ll go start our own movement and call it “Atheism +.” You guys can hold your own conventions to talk about bigfoot and how stupid feminists are or whatever, and the grown-ups will talk about the important issues and work to make society better.” Really, the appropriate response, there, would have been to declare victory and then leave us the fuck alone. But they can’t stand that. They can’t leave us alone. For some reason, it is so infuriating to them that there are people on the internet who disagree with them that they have to organize a stream of constant, vicious, disgusting harassment. (But considering that they responded to “guys, don’t do that” with rape threats, harassment, smears, videos, blog posts, and a campaign of hate that has continued on for over a year with no sign of stopping…I think it’s fair to say that they don’t understand the concept of a reasonable, proportional response.)

    And now, they aren’t content with having driven many women (including popular speakers and sucessful organizers) away from a convention they’ve decided is theirs. Again, that’s not enough. I guess because we have the audacity to keep existing. They now want to invade what should be a safe place for us; they are proving that they don’t want women (except for the “chill girls”; I guess they’re okay) to feel welcome and safe anywhere.

    But they aren’t sexist, you guys! We’re just paranoid! It’s all in our heads!

  130. 130
    hjhornbeck

    jackiepaper @79:

    We need to pipe down lest we feed the trolls?

    Noooooooo, in fact no times infinity on this one. Vacula has said and done some nasty things, and there’s great value in speaking out over it. Letting people know he’s in attendance is a good thing, because it allows them to prep for the arguments he might likely make.

    Pteryxx @84:

    I assure you, those of us who have concerns aren’t concerned that he might argue. [...] Do you really think he’d start arguing honestly, respectfully and in good faith at WiS?

    Not in the slightest. Even though he will be surrounded by people who disagree with him, most of whom possess camera phones, I’m sure he’ll have his own spin on it, much in the same way JohnTheOther made a hullabaloo about a person or two who was cutting down his posters with a box cutter. Whatever actually happens at the conference, he’ll cry persecution and hive-minded-ness. That was half of my point, actually.

    And why should countering his BS fall on the attendees?

    It shouldn’t, any more than people attending atheist conferences should be forced to debate with Christians. Most of the attendees would hate the idea of any engagement, I’d wager. A few, however, love to get into debates, and would enjoy going toe-to-toe. While they’re rare overall, odds are that at a large conference they’d outnumber Vacula.

    Josh @80:

    hjhornbeck–you don’t get to be “perfectly fine” about Vacula attending.

    Actually I do, BUT I’m not anyone else in this thread. Other people can be far less than perfectly fine with it, and in fact there’s a half-decent case to be made there; between the escalating nature of the Slyme Pit, Vacula’s associations with AVfM, and the depths to which he’s drunk the artificial fruit drink. We’re interpreting human behavior here, and there’s a LOT of gray area, so I don’t think anyone less optimistic than I am is automatically being unreasonable, and quite frankly most of you are being reasonable.

    Josh @81:

    Asshole move. Big, big asshole move.

    Yeah, I’ll cop to that. Reading over what I wrote, it does have a dismissive tone to it. That wasn’t my intent, and I apologize for being blind to that. It was also easy for me treat the situation as an abstract intellectual exercise, as I won’t be attending WiS this year (next year, however…). Someone who will be attending has a far different point of view, and far more reason to be cautious.

    Next time, I’ll try to put more thought into what I say, and when I say it. Sorry again, everyone.

  131. 131
    Ophelia Benson

    Damn right, theobromine.

  132. 132
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Others have done a damn good job responding, but since Illusio decided to use me to springboard xir pathetic rant, I want to respond, as well…

    The thing is though, nobody are against civil rights,

    I mean, in general, outside of the specific atheist/skeptic “community”, you have Neo-Nazis and the KKK, homophobic Christians, and people like that. But I think you’re talking more specifically about us.

    Feminism is a civil rights fight (that’s been clear since they fought for the right to vote). The MRA is opposed to Feminism. So I say the MRA is against civil rights.

    and the repeated insistence of clowns like you that you are the only one representing them is what causes people to be so violently opposed to you. What you are doing is something completely different. You guys are pushing conspiratorial ideas completely lacking in evidence, insulting half the human race by calling them rapists

    Wait.

    What?

    By “half the human race” you mean “men”, right?

    I’m a man; a straight, white, able-bodied, cis-gendered man, to be exact.

    I don’t recall anyone calling me a rapist…

    Did I miss something?

    Hey Feminists here at FtB… did you call me a rapist at some point in the past? I can’t recall you doing so, nor can I find it. In fact, I can’t find anything anywhere where anyone ever called all men rapists. I remember things about what some women are forced to go through to protect themselves from potentialities, but I’m quite sure that’s a very different thing from calling all men “rapists”.

    Unless someone has a link of someone at FtB calling me a rapist. I’d like to read that if true…

    I don’t believe it, of course… but hey, if Illusio says that’s what happened…

    and going way beyond anything that could reasonably be called civil rights. You completely fail to hold a worldview that could ever be compatible with normal interaction patterns between males and females. Asking people out for coffee makes you fear rape is imminent? Really? How high strung and delusional does one have to be to have that kind of reaction?

    No… you’re right. Asking people to, as a general rule, not do that would be out of proportion, IF IT HADN’T HAPPENED IN A FUCKING HOTEL ELEVATOR AT 4 O’CLOCK IN THE FUCKING MORNING AFTER SHE HAD SAID THAT SHE WAS TIRED AND WANTED TO GO TO BED!! WHAT PART OF THAT FUCKING CONTEXT DO YOU MORONS NOT UNDERSTAND?!?

    Why did he have to wait until they were alone in the elevator? Why couldn’t he have approached her at the bar and said “hey, I was enjoying the discussion. Maybe we could meet down here tomorrow and continue the discussion”?

    I really don’t understand what is so fucking hard about this.

    Elevator.

    Hotel.

    4 O’clock in the morning.

    She had said she was tired and wanted to go to bed.

    He invited her back to his room right then and there.

    How could his intentions be made any more fucking obvious?

    Or are the men complaining about this so terrified of women that the only possible way they can talk to one is in a hotel elevator at 4 o’clock in the morning?

    I know you and yours get this. Your just being fucking assholes for the sake of being fucking assholes.

    How deranged does one have to be to not appreciate that fact when it’s pointed out, and instead start stroking a persecution complex? That literally implies a worse connection to reality than assuming that every person walking behind you on the street is about to pull out a gun and shoot you.

    Speaking of stroking a persecution complex:

    The fact here is that you are looking at a permanently split skeptic movement unless your side retracts your delusional bullshit from the public space associated with the skeptic movement. I refuse to associate with your unfalsifiable Patriarchies and Entitlements that stop any rational discussion in its tracks because you think you can immediately invalidate any contrary opinion, regardless of what it might be, by simply uttering magic chants.

    Pot. Meet kettle.

    And I can assure you – you guys have zero reason to associate your detractors with creationists. Your side has been ridiculed and shamed on pretty much every point you have made since you pissed people off at elevatorgate.

    Yes… by idiots who are either dense or dishonest… or both.

    So actually yes, we have every reason to associate you with creationists.

    Every accusation, every whine, has been found to be bullshit made up by professional victims. As far as we can tell, you guys have no evidence and are arguing from dogma and emotion.

    Aside from the links, the stories, the screenshots, the videos, the people who’ve admitted it…

    “As far as we can tell, evolutionists have no evidence and are arguing from dogma and emotion.”

    Yes. It’s the same.

    That is the real reason why you guys refuse to debate – You have no case and are completely unused to having to defend any of your dogma.

    Actually, it’s more analogous to refusing to debate the FACT that homosexual couples should be allowed access to all the same rights, privileges, tax breaks, and so on that heterosexual married couples currently enjoy.

    That’s fine though, you’re too far out on the fringe on this issue for me to care about dragging you by the hand towards reality, but I would like to see a debate at least about whether it makes sense to destroy the skeptic movement over said dogma. I can see no reason why that would be the case given that no sane individual should regard “feminism” as an objective science. Is there really any reason to care if we happen to have in the skeptic movement? Shouldn’t it be possible to agree to have common ground on the more objective issues and forget about our differences in other areas? ALL successful activist groups are forced to do this.

    I would argue that this depends on the differences. That women are people, too, who deserve to be seen as more than tits and vaginas is not a point that I, for one, am willing to debate.

    There is one and only one possible compromise here and that is that your “feminism”(And that is in quotes, yes, you guys are a fringe oddity and don’t represent women in any sense. Neither a majority of females or the actual interests of females, nor does your position equate to “civil liberties”, “good” or whatever – it’s merely a viewpoint and you would do well to recognize this.) pisses off back to the gutter it came from, apologize for all your insults to men in general and let the skeptic movement keep on doing the stuff there’s actual agreement about. If that happened, people would probably be willing to forgive your disgraceful behavior and move on.

    I have no real hope of that ever happening though, which means that you guys will have succeeded in both drawing a movement that had some intellectual credibility into the mud as well as needlessly fracturing it.

    Good job.

    Ceeeeeeeeeelebrate good times, come on!

    *dances badly*

    At least I can take some small comfort in the fact that your side is the one that will slowly fade into the background and die. How do I know this? Because your brand of “feminism” is almost as hated as atheism and as fringe as interest in skepticism in general, and by virtue of setting yourself up as the intersection of all those things and more, end up having an objectively far smaller base to recruit from. Have fun wasting away.

    -Illusio

    Citations needed.

  133. 133
    Inaji

    Nate:

    Hey Feminists here at FtB… did you call me a rapist at some point in the past? I can’t recall you doing so, nor can I find it. In fact, I can’t find anything anywhere where anyone ever called all men rapists. I remember things about what some women are forced to go through to protect themselves from potentialities, but I’m quite sure that’s a very different thing from calling all men “rapists”.

    This member of the feminazi scum hivemind didn’t, but of course, my mere existence means I must have. I’m calling you one right now! I think.

    Or something like that.

  134. 134
    Sassafras

    @119 –
    Please tell me your name is not a JJBA reference, because the thought that I share atheism AND a fandom with you makes me want to take twenty showers.

  135. 135
    Tim Harris

    And what kind of person cheerfully, for some small and unjustified political point , publicises pictures of women who have had acid thrown in their faces (or, pretends to do so, if the photos are of made-up models) without even feeling the need to ask if the owners of those faces want it – at least in this sort of context? Justin Vacula deserves to be thrown out of any position of responsibility he holds for this.

  136. 136
    kaboobie

    This thread got me to do two things:

    1) Unfriend someone on Facebook who participated in the thread Ophelia shared.
    2) Register for Women in Secularism. I had been planning to do so, but I finally made the commitment.

    FWIW, I already donated to both of Surly Amy’s fundraisers, to send women to the American Atheists event and men to Women in Secularism. I hope the other men who apply for the latter do so out of a desire to learn and not a desire to “gather ammunition”, which is the only motivation I can ascribe to Vacula.

  137. 137
    Jeremy Shaffer

    Illusio at 119-

    The thing is though, nobody are against civil rights…

    For the most part you’re correct; no one is against civil rights. It’s just that some people have a bad idea of what civil rights are and think that others making the reasonable request that their rights be recognized is asking for “special rights” or to diminish the rights of others. Given the rest of your post you seem to be one of those with a senseless notion of what civil rights are.

    and the repeated insistence of clowns like you that you are the only one representing them is what causes people to be so violently opposed to you.

    That or, more likely, that the facts are on our side and a violent reaction is all they have to support their position and they are well aware of this. Honestly, look at the course of human history and every instance where one group sought for their rights to be recongized by the majority. In every single said group would be met with violent reactions and, often, the more oppressed they were prior the more violent the reaction. For you to say something like that only shows you are speaking from a place of ignorance so profound that it should be painful.

    The truely sad thing about this situation is that some engaged in the violent reaction would easily comprehend this for what it is were it coming from a religious group against an atheist group. Some of them have probably experienced it first hand in that manner.

    What you are doing is something completely different. You guys are pushing conspiratorial ideas completely lacking in evidence, insulting half the human race by calling them rapists and going way beyond anything that could reasonably be called civil rights.

    Conspiratorial ideas such as; there are a select group of people who would rather continue pushing the baseless gender roles that are commonly held by the very religions said group not only rail against but hold themselves as being rationally superior to? You might have a point if there was an insistence that such a group consisted of a stealthy cabal of reptilian aliens that ruled all but since we can link to their websites where they are quite clear about their intentions (even if they do couch it in self- aggrandizing terms) calling it a “conspiratorial idea completely lacking in evidence” only shows that the ones suffering from delusions is you.

    As for “insulting half the human race by calling them rapists”, well, Schrodinger’s Rapist is a difficult concept to grasp if one is so inclined not to. It does not, as you claim, state that all men are rapists; instead it simply states that when a woman meets a man, not knowing his intentions yet being well aware of the prevailing cultural proclivity towards victim- blaming and rape- apologetics, she is safer to assume that he is a potential rapist and to take necessary precautions until evidence shows otherwise. It does not, as you suggest, mean that a woman wipes out the rape whistle should an unknown man asks her for the time or even to buy her a drink at a bar. It also suggests that men could, with very little difficulty, adjust their attitudes and the way they approach unknown women to help alleviate the problem.

    Now, when you contend that people are “going way beyond anything that could reasonably be called civil rights” what do you mean? You offer no examples but I strongly suspect that you would go the “special rights” route I mentioned earlier.

    You completely fail to hold a worldview that could ever be compatible with normal interaction patterns between males and females.

    Which are? Given that what the oppostion has unleash their bile about I would very much like to hear what that might be. Then again, when you say the following, it suggests that you are speaking from a location roughly three feet below your head:

    Asking people out for coffee makes you fear rape is imminent? Really? How high strung and delusional does one have to be to have that kind of reaction? How deranged does one have to be to not appreciate that fact when it’s pointed out, and instead start stroking a persecution complex? That literally implies a worse connection to reality than assuming that every person walking behind you on the street is about to pull out a gun and shoot you.

    The omissions in that statement would make Big Brother green envy. This is either the result of you getting your information solely from people that are so reliant on an exceptionally cherry- picked reality that it makes relativism look rational or your capacity for misrepresentation is at a level that Fox News might be hesitant to sink to.

    The fact here is that you are looking at a permanently split skeptic movement unless your side retracts your delusional bullshit from the public space associated with the skeptic movement.

    It’s like you think your the legal represenative of Skepticism sending out a cease and desist order. And call us delusional? You’re name isn’t Orly prechance?

    I refuse to associate with your unfalsifiable Patriarchies and Entitlements that stop any rational discussion in its tracks because you think you can immediately invalidate any contrary opinion, regardless of what it might be, by simply uttering magic chants.

    It is your right to associate with whoever you please. Don’t let us stop you. There has to be another Bigfoot sighting that needs to debunked somewhere. Get on it!

    Better yet, you could spend some time learning what words like “unfalsifiable” means, given that you seem to think you have accomplished just that throughout your post.

    And I can assure you – you guys have zero reason to associate your detractors with creationists.

    That’s true once you take away the misrepresentations, fabrications and general deception, the incoherent screeds, the total disregard for evidence, the consistent cries of non- existent persecution and infringments of their rights, “arguments” and “criticisms” that are little more than insults and threats and the complete waste of time it usually is to debate the topic since they have no interest in an honest evaluation of it. Take all that away and people like you look nothing like creationists.

    Your side has been ridiculed and shamed on pretty much every point you have made since you pissed people off at elevatorgate. Every accusation, every whine, has been found to be bullshit made up by professional victims. As far as we can tell, you guys have no evidence and are arguing from dogma and emotion.

    I’m sure evidence of all of this is on its way, right? I mean, since you seem to have taken on the mantle of representative for Skepticism in all things, you know that you can’t make a claim without evidential support without at least being called out on it, if not dismissed out of hand, right? You’re a rational person so surely you’re not going to comment on a blog in order to school us unruly ones on proper skepticism without exhibiting it yourself.

    That is the real reason why you guys refuse to debate – You have no case and are completely unused to having to defend any of your dogma.

    See above about that.

    I can see no reason why that would be the case given that no sane individual should regard “feminism” as an objective science.

    As noted representive of Skepticism surely you at least have heard of the Argument from Ignorance? It tends to be a favorite among creationists.

    Shouldn’t it be possible to agree to have common ground on the more objective issues and forget about our differences in other areas? ALL successful activist groups are forced to do this.

    I guess we could just agree to disagree here. It’s not like we’re talking about respecting people’s civil rights or certain groups of people being seen and treated as human beings or anything.

    There is one and only one possible compromise here and that is that your “feminism”… pisses off back to the gutter it came from, apologize for all your insults to men in general and let the skeptic movement keep on doing the stuff there’s actual agreement about. If that happened, people would probably be willing to forgive your disgraceful behavior and move on.

    While you’re looking up what “falsifiable” means, you might want to flip the pages over to “compromise” as well. I’m fairly certain it doesn’t mean “do as we say, shut the fuck up and you might get a cookie”. And again, it’s not like we’re talking about respecting people’s civil rights or certain groups of people being seen and treated as human beings or anything. Because stuff like that should always be subject to compromise.

    I have no real hope of that ever happening though,…

    I don’t see why not! Who could possibly see anything objectionable in those terms?

    …which means that you guys will have succeeded in both drawing a movement that had some intellectual credibility into the mud as well as needlessly fracturing it.

    We could have had another UFO debunking but oh no! Now we have to needlessly turn our skeptical eyes in on ourselves. Like that could ever be a fruitful exercise.

    At least I can take some small comfort in the fact that your side is the one that will slowly fade into the background and die. How do I know this? Because your brand of “feminism” is almost as hated as atheism and as fringe as interest in skepticism in general, and by virtue of setting yourself up as the intersection of all those things and more, end up having an objectively far smaller base to recruit from. Have fun wasting away.

    You know, I’ve seen this statement before, but where?

    Wait, I know! If you replace “feminism” with “evolution” you can find this exact claim on every creationist website and literature ever produced! Now why are we comparing Illusio and others like him to creationists again?

  138. 138
    Stacy

    Nice job, Jeremy.

    Bless Illusio’s little heart. Looks like he thinks a string of borrowed assertions make for a strong argument.

    The stupid is enervating. We really need a better intellectual class of enemy.

  139. 139
    Ophelia Benson

    Vacula did a “dramatic reading” (“as requested from the slymepit”) of EEB’s comment @ 41 as a video. I clicked it off after the first paragraph; that was enough sniggering contempt for now.

  140. 140
    stewart

    Since it was short, I went to the end. From the second half of the penultimate paragraph he starts literally and quite audibly sniggering and snorting. He doesn’t mean anything; he just wants to have fun.

  141. 141
    Pteryxx

    Leadership Material™.

  142. 142
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Another difference between them and us: we see reactions like sincerity and genuine emotion as good things; they see them as punch lines. They’re like high school kids watching a dramatic scene in a movie and yelling out ‘gay!’ and giggling amongst themselves.

  143. 143
    stewart

    They claim to be about issues, but they’re actually about nothing except cheering each other on every time they succeed in “getting to” one of their targets. The less satisfaction we give them, the better. In the meantime, they’re providing us with endless justifications to keep them out of the world we inhabit.

  144. 144
    stewart

    And, apropos Leadership Material, that video is all one needs to say Vacula isn’t it. And it isn’t a question of context, either. There is no context in which Leadership Material would do something like that. Hell-bent on self-disqualifying.

  145. 145
    Tim Harris

    I have listened to the whole thing. Stewart is absolutely right. And JV calls it a ‘dramatic reading’ – one of the first things one needs to learn as an actor is to seek to present what is there in the material, and not to present some shallow attitude to the material or use it for one’s own petty ends – those are the marks of the bad and insensitive acting amateur. I think a good verb for doing one or other, or both, of those two things would be ‘to vaculate’ – the noun being vaculation: rather like ‘masturbation’ but emptier. I reallly find the man beneath contempt, and wonder why he holds any position anywhere.

  146. 146
    theobromine

    I know this has been asked before, but I’m still utterly boggled about it: If he thinks there are better and more important things for people in the skeptic/atheist/rationalist community to spend time, effort, and money on, why doesn’t Vacula just go and do them? If he thinks that paying attention to feminism, LGBT issues and other questions of basic human rights is a waste of time, why is he expending so much time and effort to read and respond with gratuitous attacks on people who consider these things to be important? Wouldn’t his video making time, efforts, and “talents*” be better spent on whatever is the core purpose of the organization(s) to which he apparently is a key contributor?

    *as far as I’m concerned, performing a speech with a catch in the voice and rising emphasis every few words hardly counts as a “dramatic reading”

  147. 147
    Stacy

    @Tim Harris

    I think a good verb for doing one or other, or both, of those two things would be ‘to vaculate’ – the noun being vaculation: rather like ‘masturbation’ but emptier.

    I like it. “He hoggled furiously but in the end the poor fellow could only vaculate.”

  148. 148
    Ophelia Benson

    What theobromine said. It is very puzzling. We are terrible and contemptible yet we merit their undivided attention. Not the pope. Not David Barton. Not Michael Pearl. Not Fred Phelps. Not the Family Research Council. Not Boko Haram. Six or seven niche bloggers – they deserve undivided attention. Very puzzling indeed.

  149. 149
    Matt Penfold

    What theobromine said. It is very puzzling. We are terrible and contemptible yet we merit their undivided attention. Not the pope. Not David Barton. Not Michael Pearl. Not Fred Phelps. Not the Family Research Council. Not Boko Haram. Six or seven niche bloggers – they deserve undivided attention. Very puzzling indeed.

    I think it is because they see you as more of a threat. You threaten the feeling of superiority they get from from showing up the the Popes, and Bartons and Phelps of this world.

  150. 150
    Ophelia Benson

    I don’t see how! They could just get on with it and I/we would pay no attention to them. I don’t see how I/we threaten their sense of superiority more than anyone else in the world.

    They carry on as if they’re the French Resistance, or Trotsky in Mexico, or Che Guevara. You would think it would dawn on them after a few weeks (to be generous) that their enemy is just a little bit minor for that.

  151. 151
    Matt Penfold

    I don’t see how! They could just get on with it and I/we would pay no attention to them. I don’t see how I/we threaten their sense of superiority more than anyone else in the world.

    Because you show them up to be the scumbags they are, and undermine any moral or intellectual superiority they can claim to have. Nothing the Pope, or Barton, or Phelps say or do will undermine the position of the misogynists in the sceptic/atheist movement. What you, and Greta, and Stephanie and all the others too numerous to list say and do does threaten their position. Already we are seeing that.

    That is why they see you as such a threat, and their recognition of that fact is about the only thing they get right.

  152. 152
    Jeremy Shaffer

    What theobromine said. It is very puzzling. We are terrible and contemptible yet we merit their undivided attention. Not the pope. Not David Barton. Not Michael Pearl. Not Fred Phelps. Not the Family Research Council. Not Boko Haram. Six or seven niche bloggers – they deserve undivided attention. Very puzzling indeed.

    Probably for the same reason religious hierarchies tend to go after apostates and heretics with far greater zeal and punishments than they do non- believers: it represents a fracture that is far more damaging to their ideology than those from the outside could inflict. Deflecting criticism from out- groups is easy (if they knew what they were talking about, they’d be one of us, right?) but once someone from within starts casting doubt on the heretofore typical thought process that’s when real trouble happens.

  153. 153
    ildi

    I guess people are more willing to support Jason Thibeault attending than Justin Vacula; Jason got more than he requested in just a day, and Justin is still only at 63% of his request after three days.

  154. 154
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Interesting how the Facebook thread quoted in the OP contains this gem:

    Justin Vacula
    It’s unfair to, as Ophelia and her cadre often do, pick up random comments from people and cast this as representative of the people who offer civil disagreement. On any given issue you will find people who would post stuff like that online…

    Yet what is this ‘dramatic reading’ except an example of cherry-picking a comment completely divorced from its context and treating it unfairly? Especially compared to a comment (Conlon’s) which was not civil, and displayed a strong possibility of being a veiled threat. The hypocrisy in this tactic reeks like ethyl mercaptan.

  155. 155
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Ophelia wrote:

    What theobromine said. It is very puzzling. We are terrible and contemptible yet we merit their undivided attention. Not the pope. Not David Barton. Not Michael Pearl. Not Fred Phelps. Not the Family Research Council. Not Boko Haram. Six or seven niche bloggers – they deserve undivided attention. Very puzzling indeed.

    It’s only just occurred to me that it’s really not that puzzling when you remember that most religious figures are men who take the same position on female inferiority as the mildew mob do.

    Kind of indicates their priorities, doesn’t it?

  156. 156
    athyco

    mandrellian @61

    Ophelia, were I able to attend, I’d want to organise as many people as I could to wear t-shirts bearing nothing but a butterfly. No slogan, no confrontation, just a visual presence.

    Speaking of t-shirts, I’ve not seen this info anywhere else: On the page for Vacula’s fundraiser is a list of things in return for different levels of contribution. There are unlimited “air hugs” on Twitter for $5. Shoutouts on Facebook, signed swag from WiS2, handcrafted necklaces from Karla Porter, stuff like that. The last 3 categories is Wear Your T-Shirt. “I’ll be your billboard,” Vacula says. $150 for Friday, $200 for Sunday, $250 for Saturday. All three of them have been donated–the donors will send him the already printed shirt.

    No telling what will be on them. And he gets to distance himself from the message because, whatever it is, it’s from a donor.

  157. 157
    Pteryxx

    Bit late for that trick, he should’ve tried it at TAM.

  158. 158
    stewart

    What’s all this “civil” disagreement nonsense? There may indeed be some disagreement that’s civil, but it’s being drowned out by all the other stuff.

  159. 159
    Mike Smith

    Hi folks,
    I am a MRA, and just wanted to stop by to share my perspective with you. I realize that topics involving gender relations often get rather heated (especially on the internet) with words that can equally be considered misogynistic and misandrist coming from both sides. At the end of the day though, when all the emotion is stripped away the goal of MRAs is simple and can be summarized with a single word: equality. Equality for ourselves, our sons, our brothers, our fellow man. Equality for your loved ones that identify as males. We don’t seek any special consideration by society, only the same considerations that are afforded to the female gender. Equal protections from domestic violence, equal consequences for male and female offenders, equal protections from false allegations, equal treatment in divorce and child custody cases. We are human beings, and simply want to be treated in the same manner that you would like to be treated.

    With that in mind, I would submit to you that if everyone comes together with a spirit of mutual respect and is afforded the opportunity to participate in honest and non-hostile discussion much will be accomplished. You seem to be a group of intelligent and compassionate people, opening up to intelligent perspectives from others might prove to be suprisingly beneficial.

  160. 160
    Silentbob

    @ 159 Mike Smith

    … if everyone comes together with a spirit of mutual respect…

    You are being naive. Certain individuals have shown themselves both to be incapable of showing respect and prone to behaviours that make them impossible to respect.
    Also, you are jumping to conclusions by assuming this blog is currently closed to “intelligent perspectives from others”.

  161. 161
    Pteryxx

    Equal protections from domestic violence, equal consequences for male and female offenders, equal protections from false allegations, equal treatment in divorce and child custody cases.

    …Equal pay for the same job, equal protection from sexual harassment, equal consideration for hiring and promotions, equal access to effective contraception, equal representation in legislature and the judiciary. Don’t suppose those are anywhere on your list?

    (Not to mention ‘equal protection from accusations of making false allegations…)

  162. 162
    michaeld

    @mike smith

    Much like saying that a political party’s goals are the freedom, well being and success of the people, you are focusing on the point of agreement but you’re missing the points of contention. You’ll find that while we share the same goals there are nontrivial differences both in our assessment of the situation and in the approaches to achieving them that I don’t think can be easily reconciled.

  163. 163
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Hey Mike. How are you?

    I disagree with your contention that equality (as opposed to keeping patriarchy and gender roles firmly in place) is what the MRM wants, and if you want to know why, you can read my response to some questions asked to me by Joseph Zhang. I’m depressed to admit that he has yet to respond to me, but I’m still waiting. There’s an open thread where you are welcome to comment, but please don’t post on that one itself, as it’s meant for Joseph and me.

  164. 164
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Oh…

    With that in mind, I would submit to you that if everyone comes together with a spirit of mutual respect and is afforded the opportunity to participate in honest and non-hostile discussion much will be accomplished. You seem to be a group of intelligent and compassionate people, opening up to intelligent perspectives from others might prove to be suprisingly beneficial.

    Unless you’re a sock puppet, please don’t assume you’re the first MRA to ever grace FtB. We’ve a long and cultured history with the MRM here, so there’s a reason our discussions of the MRM are filled with rage and invective… both come from places of deep experience. We don’t hate the MRM because of mythical fantasies handed down by ancient feminists… we hate it because of personal experience.

    So please think on that before you post again.

  165. 165
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Off-Topic:

    Why is my time showing up as UTC -8? I’m in EST; it’s currently 12:21 AM on Thursday, the 24th of January here.

    How do I fix this?

  166. 166
    Pteryxx

    NateH, check a different blog? The blogs are set to their own times, more or less where the blogger is, I think.

  167. 167
    Silentbob

    165 @ NateHevens

    WordPress doesn’t know what time zone you’re in. It displays the time zone it’s been set to, as Pteryxx says, probably the local time of the host.
    At least here, unlike most blogs, it says what that time zone is! (So you can compare to your local time.)

  168. 168
    Mike Smith

    “…Equal pay for the same job, equal protection from sexual harassment, equal consideration for hiring and promotions, equal access to effective contraception, equal representation in legislature and the judiciary. Don’t suppose those are anywhere on your list?

    (Not to mention ‘equal protection from accusations of making false allegations…)”
    ———
    Absolutely.

    The reason why I am an MRA is pretty narrow. I am a single dad who suffered for years at the hands of an abusive woman. I made the grave mistake of fathering children with her, and over time she became physically and emotionally violent. I found myself with nowhere to turn to for help, with no access to a safe haven for myself and my children. She made it clear that “she owned me” (her words) and the if I ever tried to leave her she “would take my children, home, money, and entire future and make sure I died lonely and alone” (lightly paraphrasing). She had complete and total control over me, and made good on her threats. I did lose everything, and my children and I are now effectively property of my abuser. All she had to do was lie. Even though those lies were disproved, she never suffered any consequences for them. She kept it up until I went bankrupt and could no longer afford a lawyer to represent me. I rarely see my children now. Everything I worked my entire life for is gone. I have no hope for the future and no matter what I do I will remain enslaved. I find myself thinking about suicide every day.

  169. 169
    Jeremy Shaffer

    Mike at 168- If that’s true I hate that that has happened to you. There are shitty people in this world and gender is not a limiting factor to that. I hope in the end that your situation greatly improves.

    That being said, for the most part MRA/ MRM is not really interested in fixing the problems that you say you’ve experienced nor are they interested in helping them to never happen in the future. I say “for the most part” because while there are some MRAs that honestly do want to correct these problems, for both women and men, they are few and far between. Furthermore, whether they realize or acknowledge it, such goals fall well within those of feminism.

    I also say “for the most part” because the majority (are at least the vocal portions) would very much like to ensure that what you say has happened to you never happens to another man ever again, but they couldn’t care less that such situations and worse occur to women far more than to men nor do they care to fix that. Indeed, their goal is to bolster the cultural and societal norms that make the above an experience for women only as much as possible. All they care about is to reduce the small number of men that become collateral damage to their misogynistic views and, should a man become such, he may easily obtain reparations as much as possible.

    Ultimately, if your experience is true then the MRAs are not necessarily the people who will help you. Sure they may provide emotional support, maybe a little more, but all they want from you is to use you as a cautionary tale, a prop for their rhetoric as to why men are so put- upon and can’t get a fair shake in society. If you only care to ensure that no man goes through what you did while placing no importance on the fact that far more woman go through similar situations or worse and have no concern about correcting that as well, then MRA/ MRM is the place for you. On the other hand, if you want to work towards making it so that no one, male or female, has to go through it or can easily find recourse if they do, then it is feminism that you want.

  170. 170
    Stacy

    @Mike Smith #168

    Gawd, that’s horrible. I am so sorry.

    Please, please don’t give up. Don’t hesitate to ask for help dealing with the emotional trauma from your experiences.

    I hope you can find the support you need, both personal and legal.

    Hang in there. Best of luck to you.

  171. 171
    Mike Smith

    I wake up every morning wishing that story wasn’t true, that I would open my eyes only to find that it was all a horrible dream. Its actually much, much worse than what I wrote; it would take an entire book to explain. Having gone on for years, it is one of those wounds that will never heal.

    Thanks Stacy, for that. There are some really good people here.

  172. 172
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Mike @168

    Fucking hell.

    Dude.

    I am so, so sorry. There are evil people out there; their gender means fuck all. What you went through is horrendous and sick and I hope… sincerely hope… that you find solace and healing. That is disgusting and sick and the fact that she was never punished for lying is even worse. You deserve so much better and I’m so sorry for you.

  173. 173
    Mike Smith

    I just feel that if American society could ever reach a point of true equality, my life would be good again. I could go from being a broken human being back to being a productive member of society. Back to being the loving and involved father that I once was. Back to being the person I worked so hard to become.

    Equality is everything. To everyone.

    Believe it or not I was an ambitious young man who took some time to find myself after high school and then enrolled in night school at a prestigious university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I took every computer science class they had and used it to develop software for the medical and life sciences industries. It was fulfilling, lucrative, and my work made a difference that reached far beyond my own little sphere. I was able to help other people who I would never meet, help society as a whole. It was fulfilling at the time, but now that it is gone seems all the more valuable.

    I remember when I first became a dad one of the companies I worked for was very family oriented and had a 4 day work week. I used to work 5 days anyway, as did a lot of us. I had a playpen in my office and changed my daughter’s diapers on my desk. I would feed her a bottle while I wrote code. Looking back, I am surprised that she learned to walk as soon as she did, she spent so much time strapped to my chest in one of those baby carriers lol

    I miss her so much. She was my soul, destined to be everything that was ever good in me and exceeding it.

    This community you have built here is important. True and meaningful change is driven by people like you. I hope your conference goes well and would be honored to have you take me with you in thought.

  174. 174
    G1408

    I’m sad and disgusted you whore.

  1. 175
    Drama Is Not Disagreement » Almost Diamonds

    [...] it a “dramatic* reading” of a comment here at FreethoughtBlogs. Specifically, it is a comment posted at Butterflies and Wheels, on a post that mentions that Vacula is trying to raise enough money to [...]

  2. 176
    I Did What Now? The Lie Machine in Action » Almost Diamonds

    [...] Into that atmosphere came Melody Hensley with some reassurances: [...]

  3. 177
    In Dawkins’ Honour? | Rousing Departures

    [...] Watson, Amy Roth and others for what it is. Yet what he has managed to decry are concerns over a campaign to fund Justin Vacula’s presence at this month’s “Women in Secularism 2”, held by The Centre For Inquiry in Washington [...]

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