I agree with this sentiment


Oh hai, I found that photoshop of me – the one that Michael Nugent reported on last week in his post Slymepit members struggle with the ethics of removing photoshopped naked image. I wasn’t looking for it, I was looking for something else, but the location of the something else was the location of the photoshop. I had vaguely thought it was gone, but no, it’s just that it’s not embedded there any more. That was clear from Michael’s post, but I had read it somewhat hastily.

Members of the Slymepit website have spent the last few hours struggling with the ethics of whether to remove a photograph, newly posted, of an identifiable person’s face photoshopped onto the body of a naked woman.

The Site Administrator’s decision: “I have deleted the tags which embed the image, but left the link. Note: this is a picture of a naked old lady’s body onto which the head of [named person] was photoshopped. Feel free to visit the link and see for yourself, but there is nothing useful to be gained by doing so.”

Oh, sure there is. There’s the pleasure of feeling contempt and loathing for a woman you hate. Totally useful!

What I was looking for was the origin of a cryptically quoted phrase in a tweet.

blackford2Now that’s what I call feminism. Also guts. Find somebody calling me despicable, then quote it without attribution on Twitter. Free speech at its finest. Philosophy on the front lines.

So I was curious, so I googled the phrase, and it went to a page at the slime pit where they were discussing the photoshop, so I found the photoshop.

Trigger warning, if the body of an old women is the most disgusting thing you can think of. The photoshop.

I apologize to whoever the woman is in that picture. I don’t actually find her body disgusting, believe it or not. What I find disgusting is this kind of shaming.

[Note: don’t run to the tip jar. You’ve been doing that lately as it is, so treat this one as off the record, or something.]

 

Comments

  1. Sastra says

    Good grief.

    Sorry — I only saw this when coming back from the tip jar.

    And no — it’s not disgusting. I used to go to a nudist camp when I was a kid: people naked are just that. But the intention behind it is … despicable.

  2. Lofty says

    That the slymies think that picture is disgusting only shows how immature they are. Pathetic little creeps. A hint you lot: maturity is not disgusting. It is worn with pride.

  3. Eu says

    First: Women aren’t the only victims as we all know… I’ve seen photoshops of FtB men there, and then another pretty bad photoshop on Nugent’s blog, not done by anyone at the slymepit I don’t think.

    Why is it so bad? The only reason I could think of someone saying it’s so bad is if they think the body looks really terrible like the people behind me, but I don’t, sooo….

    And naked bodies, also no big deal. It’s 2013, let’s un-taboo-ize the human body. I’ve said myself, if I were photoshopped onto some naked body, no matter what it looked like, I wouldn’t care that much.

    I’m a bit annoyed at the man who commented, not only because I think he’s being really dramatic, but why he’s being really dramatic: “She does not deserve this”? No matter how despicable she is? God, is the woman whose body Ophelia is pasted on really that hideous?

    That brings me to another point… on the other hand, if someone used my naked body in a photoshop and people responded like THIS, my self esteem would be destroyed. If anyone thinks I’m making the point that the woman’s self esteem is being destroyed, I’m not, I’m aware that she probably won’t ever see this exchange anyway.

  4. says

    Yes, that’s right, Eu, that’s what this photoshop was about: let’s un-taboo-ize the human body. Obviously the way to do that is to stick a photo of my face on someone else’s naked body. Poof! the taboo about the naked body disappears.

  5. Margaret says

    Ophelia, I would love to make you some earrings (if you like earrings) instead of going to the tip jar because I am tickled by the idea of you thanking the pitters for my earrings rather than for some cookies/cake/whatever. (Making earrings is my hobby.) I’m not sure I can make earrings as fast as they can issue insults since I (unlike them) have a life, but it would be fun to try. If you like earrings, let me know either here or in my email (which I assume you can see). Also give me hints about colors and styles you like.

  6. says

    Oh, thanks, Margaret, what a nice idea – but I’m afraid earrings would be thrown away on me. I don’t wear’em. [cue new butch jokes from slimers]

  7. Eu says

    I never said that was the point of the picture, but the picture can only really bother immature people who go “OMG A NAKED BODY! SOMEONE ON A NAKED BODY!” or “me on a naked body! The horror!” although you don’t seem to be doing this, thankfully.

    To me it’s no different from pasting my head on a basket of clothes, or a pole, or a mailbox, I dunno.

  8. Margaret says

    Oh, too bad. I do love earrings (both making and wearing). And as far as the butch jokes go, earrings are the only “feminine” thing this tall, fat, old, never-wear-a-dress, computer programmer does, so the jokes would be more likely to be aimed at me (if they ever become aware of me).

  9. Hamilton Jacobi says

    It is rather telling that Blackford chose to quote that statement, rather than write something of his own along the lines that criticizing people’s ideas is okay, but attempting to shame them with demeaning images is always wrong.

  10. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Blackford’s got to be cautious; he’s gotten himself a gig at TAM by pandering to the assholes so he can’t be seen to be too critical of their harassment of Ophelia or he’ll go back to being ‘that guy in Australia who writes about philosophy’.

  11. says

    Hamilton, it is, isn’t it. Having it all ways at once, really – calling me despicable but quoting someone else to do it but not admitting that the someone else is at the slime pit. Covering all the bases.

  12. says

    Wowbagger, no, I don’t think that’s it. He could perfectly well criticize the slime pit while still sucking up to the TAM contingent. The latter wouldn’t exile him to Australia for that. No I think he just wanted to call me despicable but wanted to try to shift some of the blame to someone else.

  13. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Ophelia wrote:

    He could perfectly well criticize the slime pit while still sucking up to the TAM contingent.

    You don’t think there’s a significant overlap?

  14. says

    No, not really. Well unless you’re including people who attend TAM in the TAM contingent – then I do, yes, but I thought you meant organizers and speakers. Mind you there may be some covert overlap, like Russell covertly reading it and then absent-mindedly quoting it (but carefully not citing it as he quotes it, so not all that absent-mindedly). In fact I’d be very surprised if there weren’t. A lot of the TAM contingent really really hates us, so I’m sure there’s plenty of sneaky hidden giggling and hand-rubbing over the pit. But not actual participation…I think.

  15. penn says

    Eu, when someone photoshops your head on a naked body to shame and insult you, you are more than welcome to feel however you like. That doesn’t make it ok, and it doesn’t allow you to dictate how others should feel.

  16. leni says

    I never said that was the point of the picture, but the picture can only really bother immature people who go “OMG A NAKED BODY! SOMEONE ON A NAKED BODY!” or “me on a naked body! The horror!” although you don’t seem to be doing this, thankfully.

    Send me a photo of your face and your real name and we’ll see how much “like a mailbox” it is after I do it enough that it comes up near the top of searches of your real name.

    We should try this experiment. For science! I bet it would be just like a mailbox, and not at all like lame but still totally creepy harassment.

  17. emily isalwaysright says

    To the slyme pit mentality, a woman who is not considered fuck-worthy is obviously completely worthless. That’s why to them, presenting you in this way is so serious. Babies.

  18. says

    Thank you, leni. Exactly. Easy for “Eu” to say, isn’t it.

    Yes, emily, I get that the point is to say how sexually repellent I am. That’s always been perfectly clear.

  19. says

    I said it before over at Stephanie’s, and I’ll say it again: the entire theme of attacking a women by portraying her as sexually undesirable is inherently misogynist. I find it hilarious that they continue to generate and pass around these images while claiming that they totes support women’s rights.

  20. says

    Is your woman getting too uppity? Do you need to put her in her place? Take her clothes off to remind the world that she is just a woman and, therefore, inferior! Because You are a man, and nothing asserts your authority over an uppity woman better than reminding her (and the world) of her gender! Classic.

    This is how you can tell how much more informed and thoughtful you are than they are, Ophelia. They have to resort to “but but, you’re a WOMAN!!! Look! Boobies! No penis!!” to make themselves feel like they can even hope to match you.

  21. ajb47 says

    emily @22 and Sally @24:

    That is just what I was thinking. They claim not to be sexist/misogynist, but then make this kind of photoshop to make the argument that if you aren’t attractive to them, then you aren’t worth their time.

  22. Alverant says

    I’m sorry this happened to you. You’re a lot stronger than I would be in this situation. I am too afraid of retaliation to even consider doing half of the things you’ve done. Thank you for having the courage to do so.

    OT, can we at least think that photoshopping the head of your pet onto models or pictures of humans is creepy? It was a big thing on Catster to do for a while but I think the craze has ended.

  23. great1american1satan says

    Leni@21 –

    THIS

    I suggested making a tumblr of photoshops of Rape Paddy and all the usual shitheels photoshopped onto some otherwise lovely gay erotica, preferably involving fellows outside of the culturally accepted norms for beauty, Tagged on the picture all the appropriate names, repeat until google upranks the fuck out of it.

    Beneath each picture include a note that says “Bodies are beautiful but shitty brains are not. This image exists only to help the understanding of people who do not know the meaning of harassment.”

    Anyhow, my partner talked me out of it, but it’s a beautiful dream.

  24. hjhornbeck says

    DONA- awww, jeez…

    [light bulb!]

    Hey Margaret, why don’t you make those earrings anyway, then auction them off? All proceeds go to Benson or the charity of her choice. That way, you’ll get to make your gift, raise more funds than if you’d just done it alone, and further piss off the haters!

  25. says

    It’s misogynistic on several levels
    First, of course, the idea that a woman is only worth as much as she is fuckable. If she isn’t she should be damn well ashamed of it and STFU. Especially if it’s such a horrible moral failure of getting 1 year older every 365 says. Don’t you have any discipline?
    Interestingly, that fuckability is also determined by whether you’re an outspoken feminist or not, but still meassured in your appearance. That’s why Rebecca and Jen suddenly became ugly.

    The second one is consent. It’s not about eeh, nekkid bodies, gross! It’s about deciding that a woman’s consent over what happens to her body or pictures of it is fundamentally irrelevant. It’s the misogynist rape culture that goes hunting for Kate Middleton’s boobs, it’s the same culture that does revenge porn, it’s the same culture that makes such fotoshops. Yes, I said it. Rape culture. Deal with it

    On a sidenote, I don’t like earrings either. I do rings, bracelets, necklaces and lately fascinators, but no earrings. I think my piercings have grown shut in the meantime…

  26. says

    I agree with Stacy and Joe, very passive-aggressive. He obviously hangs out at the pit pining over a need to attack and denigrate the people he clearly dislikes strongly (understatement?) but cannot bring himself to join in and post. Live tweeting the goings on there rather gives it away though…

  27. says

    No, not really. Well unless you’re including people who attend TAM in the TAM contingent – then I do, yes, but I thought you meant organizers and speakers. Mind you there may be some covert overlap, like Russell covertly reading it and then absent-mindedly quoting it (but carefully not citing it as he quotes it, so not all that absent-mindedly). In fact I’d be very surprised if there weren’t. A lot of the TAM contingent really really hates us, so I’m sure there’s plenty of sneaky hidden giggling and hand-rubbing over the pit. But not actual participation…I think.

    I’d say there’s at least a lot of ideological overlap, given the ‘pitters libertarian approaches to many problems (absolute free speech vis-a-vis absolute free markets for one, as well as their debate-club style of discussion), the libertarians that highlight TAM, and the ongoing dust-up involving Shermer not liking people who criticise him or evo-psych. I’d also say that if TAM is going to put up with such shitty behaviour and shitty worldviews without backing, we should draw a line and stop associating it with skepticism. Seems to me like TAM has become the poster child for this pseudo-skepticism where the only skepticism allowed is that which doesn’t make white straight able well-off cis men comfortable, and that’s not skepticism at all =/

    And, isn’t Sara Mayhew also speaking at TAM this year? That’s gotta count for something. ‘Course, it’s getting hard to keep track of who is in the ‘pit and who merely thinks the pitizens are somehow doing the right thing…

  28. Axxyaan says

    I may have misunderstood but I didn’t think Eu was trying to minimise things. What I think she was trying to point out was how fuck-up our society views nudity especially of older people, which enables the use of such a picture to dehumanize someone.

  29. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    They claim not to be sexist/misogynist, but then make this kind of photoshop to make the argument that if you aren’t attractive to them, then you aren’t worth their time.

    it’s the old misogynistic Catch-22. Either you’re unfuckable and therefore not worth respect, and not worth listening to, or you’re fuckable and not worth respect, and not worth listening to.

  30. hjhornbeck says

    More serious post:

    I find the hypocrisy astonishing. The Slyme Pit thought that picture was deeply offensive, bad enough to remove. All the images of the “Laden-Zvan sex tape,” however, are still posted without censorship. I just checked.

    Their guiding principle doesn’t seem to be “will this advance the discourse” or “is this derogatory,” but “can we get away with it?” That’s not a terribly good moral code, though it reveals they know what they’re doing isn’t right, to some degree. If we keep up the pressure on them, they might moderate their behavior.

  31. says

    @hjhornbeck, they felt that while Michael Nugent was watching they needed to pretend to be against “immoral pushback” so they put on a show of removing the image. This is only because they care what he thinks as he is not a “Baboon” or “FfTB’er” … All the while he was conducting his discourse and it came clearer and clearer that they were looking bad Michael became more and more “unfair” or not arguing “in good faith”. Eventually he would be denounced as an out and out “Baboon” and therefore free to ignore and not care about. Given long enough anyone that disagrees with them will be demoted to inhuman animal so anything they say can be dismissed. So I wouldn’t hope for moderation – but it should show up what many on the pit are like and keep more from falling for their bull.

  32. Anthony K says

    Eventually he would be denounced as an out and out “Baboon” and therefore free to ignore and not care about

    As Pitchguest is fond of braying, “Doesn’t guilt by association get old?”

  33. Anthony K says

    Their guiding principle doesn’t seem to be “will this advance the discourse” or “is this derogatory,” but “can we get away with it?”

    Was that ever in question?

  34. says

    Axxyaan @ 37 – the thing is I had already seen some comments by “Eu” on Michael Nugent’s posts, so I had context for the comments here. The comments here are carefully deceptive. “Eu” is not a serious or reliable interlocutor.

  35. deepak shetty says

    @Hamilton , Ophelia
    I think you are being uncharitable to Russell here – twitter is twitter ,people don’t necessarily cite or link to the quotes. And the response is along the lines of “she started it” – “I don’t care if she started it…” rather than a telling statement that he agrees with the sentiment that Ophelia is despicable.

  36. says

    Ophelia # 16, 18, etc

    I’ve noted some time ago that The Aussie Phylosophical Bully Patrol have been, since the begining (the elevatorgate shitstorm), very carefully avoiding to engage directly on this dispute over feminism, harassment policies, diversity, etc.
    By ‘engage directly’ I mean through any of his 2 blogs. Instead all we hear from him on these matters are through Facebook comments (often in other peoples posts), or this passive-agressive twits. This is even more curious when we know that he seems (or claims) to believe that “what happens in Twitter/Facebook stays in Twitter/Facebook”. What is preposterous, of course, but it means that he doesn’t want to be accountable for whatever he says in those places. Or “elsewhere”. Besides, when anybody calls him out for thinks said “elsewhere”, he claims persecution. That people are following him, chasing him.
    Tell me about ‘victimization”, and passive-aggressiveness.

  37. says

    #44

    Maybe if taken in isolation, out of context and history. Not when we remember that this gentleman actually started (as far as I remember) the #FTBullies thing. And when we know that his “grievancies” came from pure vanity, for been called wrong when he was wrong. Factualy wrong.

  38. deepak shetty says

    @Ophelia
    Yes for Russells tweet I think you are.

    Its not “named person is despicable” – Its I dont care if named person is despicable.
    Take Michael’s post – suppose a slime pitter had responded saying Ophelia is despicable so everything is justified – Is it so out of the ordinary to say I dont care how despicable Ophelia is , your actions aren’t justified?
    I don’t think its a secret that Russell doesn’t like you/FTB – there is no reason for him to hide that fact by quoting someone else.

    As far as not linking to the original quote – Twitter is not the same as a blog post is not the same as facebook. People use these very differently and it is normal to not have citations in a tweet.

  39. deepak shetty says

    @eneraldocarneiro
    Maybe if taken in isolation, out of context and history.
    Oh I agree there is a context – I dropped Russell’s blog from my read list after some of the things he has said/done but I think in this case the bias against him is making us read every single utterance as negative.

  40. says

    Deepak. Come on. It’s a passive aggressive way of saying I’m despicable. It’s saying I’m despicable while hanging on to a gossamer-thin veil of deniability. It’s trying to have it both ways – in the hopes that everyone will be as credulous and “charitable” as you’re being.

    No of course it’s not a secret that Russell loathes me. That’s not the issue. The issue is 1) broadcasting the loathing and 2) pathetically trying to veil the broadcasting of the loathing by using a totally random quote without saying what it is.

    And of course Twitter is not the same as a blog post. You can tell I know this by the fact that I don’t limit my blog posts to 140 characters. But no it’s not “normal” even on Twitter to put something in quotation marks without saying what the hell you’re quoting. It’s weird. It’s dopy. It’s clueless. It’s random.

  41. says

    There are better ways of making the point, Deepak. Such as –

    I don’t care how much you disagree with someone, degrading photoshops are not acceptable!

    51 characters remaining. Simple.

  42. opposablethumbs says

    I got nothing – nothing, that is, but my admiration for Ophelia for standing up to this barrage of idiocy and vitriol. And for maintaining one of the most interesting and informative blogs out there, despite having to deal with the ultrabollocks constantly being upchucked by the pitters and their ilk.

  43. deepak shetty says

    @Ophelia
    But no it’s not “normal” even on Twitter
    I guess we read different tweets then. I

    to put something in quotation marks without saying what the hell you’re quoting. It’s weird. It’s dopy. It’s clueless. It’s random.
    This I can agree with. I don’t like twitter anyway.

    I don’t care how much you disagree with someone, degrading photoshops are not acceptable!
    Thats how I interpret the meaning of that tweet – Perhaps its because in many arguments that i have had some one says “I did something because of X reason” and I have indeed responded as I dont give a f*** about X , what you did is wrong. That does not indicate anything about my position with regards to X other than I dont want to argue about X right now.

    It’s a passive aggressive way of saying I’m despicable.
    Sure it is – IF he hadn’t already made it known that, as you put it , he loathes you and has already broadcasted it. Nothing to be gained now.
    Anyway Im repeating what I already said so Ill stop now.

  44. says

    But Deepak – by interpreting the tweet that way, you’re accepting the transparent (cowardly) attempt at disguise. I don’t see any reason to do that. If he’d wanted to say “I don’t care how much you disagree with someone, degrading photoshops are not acceptable” then he could and would have said that. He wouldn’t have bothered to include the “I don’t give a fuck how despicable Ophelia Benson is” because it’s not necessary to make the point and is obviously another insult. He did bother to include it. Well why would he do that? Because he wanted to say it!

    It’s ridiculous to pretend otherwise. It’s not “charitable” to let people get away with repeating calumnies while pretending to condemn a particular calumny.

    And yes of course there is something to be gained now, by saying I’m despicable even though he has already broadcast his loathing. There is the pleasure of broadcasting it again. I mean come on – the “nothing to be gained now” argument makes no sense in light of the fact that so many people spend hours every day broadcasting their loathing of me. The fact that they already have broadcast that makes no difference whatsoever. They do it because they like doing it. That’s the something there is to be gained.

  45. octopod says

    Sheesh, what assholes. :-/

    Nothing to add here, except — damn, that’s an execrably bad shoop. They didn’t even bother removing the clipping halo, let alone regularizing the resolution. Whoever made this isn’t just intellectually lazy, they’re lazy in general.

  46. says

    no, Russell didn’t start #FTBullies. That was someone else entirely.

    Good to know that he didn’t started it, he’ve just embraced it entusiasticaly then. I thought he did it because was in his Twitter that I saw this shit for the first, 2nd, 3rd,..time. Just before I stop to follow him.

  47. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    There are better ways of making the point, Deepak. Such as –

    I don’t care how much you disagree with someone, degrading photoshops are not acceptable!

    51 characters remaining. Simple.

    Yep.
    Or, he could have been more specific:
    “I don’t care how much you disagree with Ophelia, photoshopping her naked is not acceptable”

    Or as in deepak’s example of how deepak would do it themselves:
    “I don’t give a fuck about Ophelia, what you did is wrong”

    Or … Or …

    But Russell Blackford didn’t choose an alternative.

    He crafted the one phrasing which carefully expressed his agreement with the slime while maintaining that deniability which sucked in and fooled at least one reader, deepak.

    Congratulations, Blackford – you’re a real winning specimen!

  48. Margaret says

    Ophelia, I will make a few pairs of earrings and give them to some local thrift shop that supports a good cause (thanks to hjhornbeck for inspiring that thought). If you have a choice (in Albuquerque, NM) I’ll use that, otherwise the best-looking possibility I’ve found so far is S.A.F.E House New Mexico (safehousenm.org) which helps victims of domestic abuse. I don’t see any mention of a religious connection, but I’ll google a bit more.

    Slymers hate, abused women benefit!

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