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May 30 2013

Meet skeptixx

Ah. I did a little more exploring in the comments to see where we’ve heard from “Skep tickle/skeptixx” before. It’s interesting.

The first (that I’ve found) was one last October, in the post I did on the pathetic “parody” of Jesus and Mo that is “Peezus and O.” “skeptixx” popped in to say

Funny!  Thanks the for the link to their source; I’m enjoying looking through them all.

Don’t lose hope, Ophelia – maybe you’ll “get” to say something in the next one…

Yup that’s our “Skep tickle” – that’s her sneering contempt in a nutshell.

She was much more prolific on a post I did about the horrific Delhi rape and the broader subject of hatred of women. The two are, in fact, connected, and hatred of women is, in fact, an important subject. Pitchguest and other pit creeps showed up to scream that I was making it all about me, again, and “skeptixx” joined in with energy.

20:

Are you seriously trying to draw a comparison between a brutal, fatal, physical attack and criticisms of your [fill in the blank, including skepticism] as a blogger???

Get a grip.  It really isn’t about you and your self-absorbed concerns.

Not to mention that you seem to be revising history as you go:

In spite of all the stupid lies the hate-campaigners keep recycling about me that I’m so stupid and scaredy and radfem that I see innocent emails from supporters as threats for no earthly reason (the prediction that I might be shot is never mentioned), I actually don’t spook easily.

You don’t, hunh.  “Certain people should be ‘shot’” ring a bell? http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/11/certain-people-eh/

Alice did the reality check:

Hey Ophelia – I looked at this, and it actually *is* a reference to vaccinations. She and other pro-vaxxers at TAM were signing a Jenny McCarthy poster. Check out the other pics in that album.

And you replied:

Vaccination. That didn’t even occur to me. Are these people making me a little paranoid? Looks that way.

How about actually discussing what approaches might actually help achieve a goal of actually preventing rapes?  And, pro tip, coddling your precious ego isn’t one of those approaches.

26:

Your rapier intellect has skewered my arguments, Sally Strange!  How could I ever have thought:

1)  That Ophelia’s post, purportedly about “An iron rod in the woman’s body”, being >50% about herself…would suggest self-absorption on her part?

2)  That quoting the portion of Ophelia’s post about the “prediction that [she] might be shot” then linking back to her prior post in which she expressed concern about what she saw as a threat that she (?) might be shot, and quoting the portion in which it was revealed that it was just a play on words in Harriet Hall’s signature on an anti-vaxx poster, which others also signed, after which Ophelia admitted that maybe she was a little paranoid….would be help show that, at least in that example, Ophelia did react in a “scaredy” fashion, directly contradicting her claim that it’s a “stupid lie” to use “scaredy” to describe her?

3)  That skeptics acting like skeptics – you know, actually investigating people’s claims, comparing statements from now with those from the recent past, calling out things like false equivalence…would be welcomed at a “freethought” site?

4)  That a regular poster at FtB such as yourself, presumably one who considers himself or herself to be a feminist (though in fact I do not know your history or self-description)…would, apparently simply because I’m critiquing Ophelia’s statements, assume I’m male?

5)  That working for the past 20 years in women’s health, as I have, which has in fact meant not only using the bathrooms there and not only reading the pamphlets but in fact choosing which ones we’ll post, oh and also screening women for risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) and treating women who have been victims of IPV…would teach me a darned thing about IPV?  (Which the attack in India was not; that was stranger violence.)

Silly me.  I stand corrected (not).

Oh look – she “doxxed” herself in that last item.

29:

Mmm, I think I’ve seen this pattern before: form a circle, ignore the substance of the comments you don’t like, and start flinging ad hominems.  Tribalism for the win!  :)

Tribalism is it. What does she call the pit, then? Generous liberal internationalist universalism?

32:

Tell you what.  Anyone who is seriously interested in trying to prevent rape, how ’bout taking a look at this 2011 summary from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (US):  Rape Prevention and Risk Reduction: Review of the Research Literature for Practitioners (or another similar resource if you know of one), then go ahead and propose some practical approaches.  You can use the writing skills you learned in 4th grade if that’s where you learned them, or you can bring subsequent education to bear if applicable.

The studies mentioned in it are probably from the US & other western countries; if you can find any literature that might be more pertinent to India, please do present it.

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence may not know what they’re talking about, though; I don’t see that they list,  among the measures shown to reduce the risk of rape, any of the following: avoidance of signing anti-vax posters with puns involving the word “shoot” in case someone might misinterpret it, or photoshopping people’s heads onto posters (which I’ve never done, but I understand some people have done, and I admit to occasionally having laughed at), or creating parody twitter accounts, or even skeptically questioning people’s claims.

35:

@Stacy #30   Hahaha.  In a half-assed effort not to actually have to try to address the real-life problem, Stacy insults someone on-line.

@Sassafras #29:  That’s helpful.  I had heard about that one but hadn’t previously seen that post.  But seriously??  That’s a “prediction that [she] might get shot”?

Did you see the line that actually referred to some risk of her being “shot” in these communications which purportedly were warning her to stay safe?

I’m happy that PZ was not shot (gun or uppants camera) at GAC, but that gives me scant reassurance that you will *not* be shot either way in Las Vegas.

“Prediction” is “a statement of what will happen in the future.”  This is not a prediction.  This seems like someone trying to get Ophelia freaked out with what frankly looks like either tongue-in-cheek warnings, or paranoid warnings from someone who overheard a few words and made assumptions about what it meant.  And it worked; it freaked her out.  She believed enough not to go to TAM, yet she elected not to tell the police?

Yeah, I can see how that is analogous to a woman (and to a lesser degree her male friend) being savagely assaulted by strangers on a bus in India, and how it helps prevent situations like that from occurring in the future.

39:

Mmm.  Insults supplanting evidence-based arguments, or at least that’s what it looks like.

I don’t usually frequent FtB, in part because it’s so painful to see supposed skeptics acting like this.

But anyway, since we’re here, let’s recap a bit, shall we?

Bad Jim #33:  “No iron rod perforating a woman’s intestines could ever be as important as their most precious treasured grievances.”

- I hope that makes you feel better to say & think, m’dear.  If you’ve done some important work in women’s rights, women’s health, etc, I’d love to hear about it.

Ophelia in opening post: “It creeps me the fuck out that open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately. I think it’s strange that the vocal boastful misogynists don’t worry about this.  … I think it’s strange that so many people think it’s good to foster a climate of ragey hatred.”

- Oh, she’s not talking about her own experiences?  My bad.  It sure sounded like it.  Whose experiences is she talking about, then?  And her claim that “open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately” – does she mean universally, or does she mean directed at herwomen she knows?  Does she mean since Elevatorgate, or is she talking about a different time frame?

Let’s move on.  So, what do you all propose to reduce rape?

Ophelia #2: “Rapists need to stop attacking women.”

- Great idea.  How do you propose taking steps to achieve that?  Like, exactly what steps would you propose?  What has been tried so far, and what evidence is there that it works?

Rodney Nelson #11 “We need to change the rape culture found throughout the world. We need to make rape as socially, as politically and as morally unacceptable as murder is.”

- Just an aside, the woman in India was raped and murdered (though the murder occurred as part of the rape; hard to know how she & her friend would have fared if rape were considered unacceptable by her attackers but other crimes were still on the table).

- “Change the rape culture found throughout the world.”  Presumably, one might go to the countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape to learn what the secrets to their success are, right?  (Understanding that under-reporting seriously impacts the official rates of this crime.)  So, you could try a site like this (hey, look!  I can use Google!): Rapes (per capita) by country to find Egypt, Armenia, and Azerbaijan as the 3 with the lowest (reported) rates.  Canada and Japan also have low rates.

- Of course, to find out where your efforts could best be used, you’d want to look at the top of the list.  Congo isn’t on this list but in 2012 was said to have the highest rate in the world.  Lesotho is at the top here, followed distantly by New Zealand, Belgium, and Iceland.  So you’ll want to pack your back & off you go to the Congo, Lesotho, New Zealand, Belgium, and Iceland, to start implementing the changes you think will work!  (Whether or not you stop by Egypt, Armenia, and Azerbaijan on the way to take notes.)

SallyStrange #19 As for what will actually help bring down rape rates?   Well, according to research, the most successful rapists are repeat rapists who use drugs, alcohol, and threats of violence (rather than actual violence) to rape. They usually rape acquaintances too. Why? Because … everyone … thinks that date rape isn’t really rape because the woman must have secretly been “asking for it.” That means no more victim blaming, like Abdul was doing here. You can help out by criticizing Abdul*, who is actively working AGAINST decreasing rape rates, rather than attacking Ophelia, who is working FOR decreasing rape rates.

*Abdul Alhazred  #1 proposes arming women & repeats this in #6.  (His prison rape bit was weird.)

- All right, so we can help out by criticizing someone who is proposing deterrence by arming women.  That’s the first practical step mentioned so far.  Even if we extend it to criticizing everyone who proposes this step – presumably a relatively small number of people – how has that actually helped?

- Oh, and we can stop making any critical comments about Ophelia’s posts, because that is counterproductive (and might end up raising rape rates?  Hmm)

What did that awful slimy troll skeptixx suggest in this thread, related to rape rates? #16  “How about actually discussing what approaches might actually help achieve a goal of actually preventing rapes?”

-  Well, we have an answer as above: attack Abdul!  That’ll apparently feel useful, even if it does fuck-all to actually reduce anyone’s risk of rape.

#28 “Anyone who is seriously interested in trying to prevent rape, how ’bout taking a look at this 2011 summary from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (US): Rape Prevention and Risk Reduction: Review of the Research Literature for Practitioners (or another similar resource if you know of one), then go ahead and propose some practical approaches. …if you can find any literature that might be more pertinent to India, please do present it.”

*crickets*

I don’t suppose anyone is interested in listing the 3 general approaches to rape prevention, and for extra credit describing the potential upsides and downsides of each, and what evidence there is to support the efficacy of each general approach?

41:

How would that make you self-righteous?  Wouldn’t it be something to celebrate?  I mean, isn’t the goal to actually help bring about changes in the world (understanding that most change occurs gradually, over years, through the efforts of many people)?

Don’t worry, there’s probably still time.  Perhaps there’s some volunteer work you could do that would help move society in this direction.  If you’re male (as your ‘nym suggests), how about joining forces with a group like this one: http://www.mencanstoprape.org/ ?  Maybe going into high schools to talk to adolescent males, help instill an understanding of rape culture and practical tips to combat the messages they get from society.

Or, no less involved but on a more individual level, maybe being a Big Brother to a boy who might benefit from your positive influence.

It’s cool that she lectures us on how to do good things while she does good things by whipping up frothing rage at me at the slime pit. She’s an example to us all.

 

 

 

150 comments

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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    Get a grip. It really isn’t about you and your self-absorbed concerns.

    If she weren’t a cowardly, lying hypocrite, she’d be really pissed at her besties Vacula and Paden for their “I &heart; Vacula” photoshop.

    But she isn’t, and the pit isn’t, because tribalism over the use of ‘cunt’ is all they got.

  2. 2
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I’m beginning to think that the pit’s ethos can be summed up as “I believe I’m smarter than everybody else, and I demand to be able to express that in any terms I want to wherever and whenever I want to.” They’re like a bunch of stunted adolescents, only less accidentally amusing.

  3. 3
    Aratina Cage

    So many sockpuppets, so little time.

  4. 4
    LeftSidePositive

    It’s always interesting to me how these types indulge in a culture of harassment and denigration of women–and go to EXTRAORDINARY walls of text to defend their ability to do so through whatever misrepresentation and false equivalence necessary…and then have some magic line beyond which everyone is supposed to know in no way reflects their denigration of women, and that of course people are going to stop short of certain acts of violence but everything I do to make women seem contemptible and untrustworthy is totally okay. Does she even understand the idea that tolerance for minor boundary violations and othering and degrading people is a time-honored technique to justify further violence against them? I’m not even asking if she *agrees* with the theory or supports the sociology behind it–I’m just asking does she UNDERSTAND that this is what people mean when they talk about changing cultures and speaking out against microaggressions? She’s arguing like she thinks her opponents think harassment and murder are literally *the same*–is she intentionally strawmanning or does she just not fucking get this basic concept?! The mind boggles.

    And, seriously, if Skep Tickle/skeptixx does indeed work with victims of domestic violence, doesn’t she know that abuse happens on a continuum?! Doesn’t she know that the attitudes and tolerance for demeaning behavior in the woman’s peer group have a huge impact on whether she’s able to get help and get out? Doesn’t she know that harassing actions are designed to wear a victim down? If she does, why does she act so willfully in denial as soon as someone she doesn’t like is getting harassed?!

    And good fucking heavens–she’ll totally agree that actual murders are horrible, but anyone talking about the death threats they receive is just a whiny crybaby. Anyone acknowledging they have the ENTIRELY EXPECTED REACTION to a bunch of death threats is apparently too weak and therefore deserving of all the contempt and gaslighting she could fling at them!

    Holy fuck, what a godawful human being.

  5. 5
    karmacat

    Sigh. She is the kind of person who has to put down other people and their ideas to feel better about herself. And her comments are basically saying “look at me.” So ironies of all ironies she has made it all about her. It is unfortunate because it sounds like she could have added to the discussion instead of putting everyone else down

  6. 6
    SallyStrange

    People who put “skeptic” or some version thereof in their pseudonyms do tend to skew male, in my observation. Sorry Skeptixx for misgendering you!

  7. 7
    Pteryxx

    And, seriously, if Skep Tickle/skeptixx does indeed work with victims of domestic violence,

    …okay, that’s a horrifying thought.

    for what it’s worth, there’s precedent for various kinds of abusers working with victims, or children, or other vulnerable populations while convincing themselves that abuse they themselves commit doesn’t really count. They may not even be the predators seeking easy access to potential victims, either; some folks can defend their own clients and peers wholeheartedly against other abusers and go home with a clear conscience to their own personal victims.

    from Blain Nelson’s pages on abuse:

    “Man, he really treats his wife like crap. I never call my wife a slut like he does. I never call her anything worse than a bitch. And I never swear when I’m yelling. Boy, he’s really out of control. I’m glad I’m not like him. I wonder why she puts up with him.”

    See also Ted Bundy’s service as a suicide hotline volunteer, for a famous example.

  8. 8
    daniellavine

    Dude, that thread was hilarious. Eight people including “skeptixx” jumping in to say “Way to make it all about yourself!” and then “skeptixx” accuses the posters here of “tribalism.”

    Right, so spamming the comments while working from the same script isn’t “tribalism”. And skeptixx gets super self-righteous about working with victims of abuse.

    Skeptixx, I know a few victims of abuse and I would not want you anywhere near them. You constantly participate in and encourage victim blaming. You constantly participate in and encourage internet stalking and harassment campaigns. You are in no position to lecture anyone else on women’s issues or on general human decency.

  9. 9
    MrFancyPants

    I find it hard to believe that this person is actually an adult. My 15-year-old nephew is more mature.

  10. 10
    Eneraldo Carneiro

    Ophelia

    What I don’t understand is why so much of the contempt she (and others) seems to have about you (and not only you) apears to be so personal? Tell me: did you steal her candy when you’re in elementary school, steal her boyfriends in high school, or something?
    Really, I can understand political disagreement. I can understand contempt for a particular political ideology. I can’t understand this level of personal contempt. It baffles me.

  11. 11
    Ophelia Benson

    Victims of abuse? I didn’t see that. She said she works “in women’s health.”

  12. 12
    karmacat

    Eneraldocarneiro @ 10

    I think envy may be the motivation to put down other people

  13. 13
    Kevin

    I’m not much of a betting person, but I’d bet a veggie burrito that this person was abused as a child, or is currently being abused.

    Abused become abusers.

    Not that it excuses her behavior in any way.

  14. 14
    daniellavine

    OB@11:

    oh and also screening women for risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) and treating women who have been victims of IPV…would teach me a darned thing about IPV?

    I was referring to that.

  15. 15
    Eneraldo Carneiro

    karmacat @ 12

    Vanity maybe. That’s seems the case with Shermer and Blackford: how-dare-they-criticize-ME. But in those cases I can understand where the vanity come from.

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    Daniel @ 14 – Oh, der. I geddit now.

  17. 17
    Gretchen Robinson

    Kevin

    Sorry but most who were abused do not re-abuse. That’s rare. The big story is that people who were abused do everything they can to protect their children or prevent others from being abused. Abuse sensitized many of us to pain and suffering others endure.

    That’s why so many of us can relate and have compassion for a girl who has FGM or is gang raped at age 13. We believe that every person, child, woman, or man deserves to flourish.

  18. 18
    screechymonkey

    Kevin, let’s maybe ease off the internet diagnosis and speculation about people’s private lives?

  19. 19
    Jackie the wacky

    Kevin,

    Abused become abusers.

    That’s not true. You are perpetrating an idea that demonizes abuse survivors and makes them more afraid to come forward about abuse or seek help. Even if it were true that she’s survived abuse, it would be a shitty thing for you to wield at her like a weapon. I work with and happen to love some kids who have endured abuse. Many of the commenters here have endured abuse. That does not make any of those people morally ruined, violent or untrustworthy.

  20. 20
    Jackie the wacky

    I work with kids who have been abused. Some do have alot of rage that can get taken out on others and some do not. Some of the kids and teens I know are perfectly lovely. Kevin, some of those kids are in foster care and we don’t have enough foster homes or adoptive families. We need more. Do I need to explain to you why spreading the message that those kids are going to automatically become abusive makes people very leery of opening their homes to children in need?

    One of my kids saw a robbery on TV today and asked me if people really ever did that in real life because he couldn’t believe that anyone would really behave that way. Another sat and rubbed his dad’s feet last night just to do something nice. His little sister sat and cuddled me. They’ve been helping me hand raise kittens. Their adoption from foster care will be final next week. Please think about what you just wrote about them.

  21. 21
    Ophelia Benson

    About diagnosis etc…Also, I think it could be pretty much what you see on the surface. Just a lot of exceptionally callous people who think it’s fun and funny to harass people.

    Then again it keeps mystifying me – why they don’t get disgusted with themselves, why they don’t start to feel shame, why they don’t even direct their callous sense of fun onto more comprehensible targets.

    But at the same time I think there’s nothing much there. No depth to explore. Just shitty people being shits.

  22. 22
    Mark Thomas

    Why do I feel like I’m back in high school listening to a group of girls giggle and snark about another group of girls on the other side of the cafeteria?

    This is a political discussion, and frankly it’s grown very, very tiring. You’re not going to give up, and Skep Tickle isn’t going to give up either. There is no definitive ‘study’ either of you can point to which will change the other’s mind. Someone is going to have to meet the other in the middle of this cafeteria and talk through your issues, and either find common ground or agree to disagree and move forward along separate paths.

    Or is moving forward not the point? And if it’s not the point, then what is?

  23. 23
    Ophelia Benson

    Excuse me? Why are you asking me that? I want to move forward along separate paths. I want those people to take a separate fucking path. I’ve been very clear about that. For two years, I’ve been clear about it. They won’t do it. They won’t agree to hate me and then move on. No, they have to hate me out loud every hour of every day.

    So what in hell is the point of asking me what the point is? I did not ask for this!

  24. 24
    Ophelia Benson

    And by the way most of the people doing the giggling and snarking in this are not “girls.” They’re adult men. There are a good few women too, but the majority are men. Funny how even men remind you of “girls.”

  25. 25
    LeftSidePositive

    Why do I feel like I’m back in high school listening to a group of girls giggle and snark about another group of girls on the other side of the cafeteria?

    Wow, no sexism here!!! o.O

    Or is moving forward not the point? And if it’s not the point, then what is?

    Define “forward.” Forward implies improvement, and that would mean cessation of harassment and a recognition of the values of diversity in the atheist movement. “Moving forward” does not mean “moving forward in a symbiotic relationship with skep tickle and the rest of the slymepit.” We’re TRYING to “move forward along separate paths” and get this movement past this idiotic, immature phase…but, in case you haven’t noticed, they keep harassing us whenever we try to separate from them.

    If you’re *really* so tired of this discussion, and not just being a pathetic, transparent, willfully ignorant tone troll, why don’t you go on over to the slymepit and tell them in no uncertain terms to stop harassing feminists in the movement?!

  26. 26
    LeftSidePositive

    Wow, reading how similar what Ophelia wrote while I was typing has me kinda freaked out!

  27. 27
    Anthony K

    Why do I feel like I’m back in high school listening to a group of girls giggle and snark about another group of girls on the other side of the cafeteria?

    Uh, only you can answer that stupid question, Tiger. Who else knows what the fuck is in your head.

    This is a political discussion, and frankly it’s grown very, very tiring. You’re not going to give up, and Skep Tickle isn’t going to give up either. There is no definitive ‘study’ either of you can point to which will change the other’s mind. Someone is going to have to meet the other in the middle of this cafeteria and talk through your issues, and either find common ground or agree to disagree and move forward along separate paths.

    Remember Atheism+? That was a divorce. That was some of us attempting to move forward along separate paths. And what was the response? “No, fuck you, you can’t leave, and if you do you can’t take the word “Atheism” with you. You’re being divisive. And we’re all in this together, because theists/anti-vaxxers, you cunt.”

    Or is moving forward not the point? And if it’s not the point, then what is?

    At this point, ending the constant harassment is the point. There’s no moving forward with these people.

    Now, why don’t you go tell those boys on the other side of the cafeteria (because, for the most part, it’s the boys) to shut the fuck up and leave Ophelia and Stephanie and Jen and Rebecca the fuck alone.

    Or just beat them up. Whatever keeps you from getting ‘bored’.

  28. 28
    Anthony K

    Mark, didn’t you already drop a useless turd like this on another thread?

    Are you that pissed off that nobody gave you a blowjob for being so reasonable?

    Well, I’ll answer you.

    Is this what the atheist movement has come to?

    You fucking bet it has.

    Reminds me of that old Bill Cosby bit where his kids are yelling at each “You stop touching me!” “No you stop touching me!!”

    Is that the only line of argumentation you have?

    Doesn’t matter who started it or who is/was the worst, perpetuating it doesn’t help resolve anything.

    Assertion without evidence. Aren’t you supposed to be interested in skepticism?

    Seriously – can we get back to, like, skepticism and atheism?

    Who the fuck is stopping you, Chuckles?

  29. 29
    MrFancyPants

    Mark Thomas @22:
    What exactly is it that Ophelia et al. aren’t going to “give up”? Documenting the harassment? I should hope not.

  30. 30
    Mark Thomas

    Two points –

    First, you’re written multiple comments and this blog post about her (and comparatively less about her arguments) in the past two days, that’s kind of the definition of not moving on. Of the million things you could have chosen to write about, you chose to research this piece about another female atheist skeptic.

    You apparently haven’t crossed to the middle of the cafeteria to meet with her and find common ground. If I’m wrong, and you have attempted to put this behind you and move on, then (a) I’m sorry for assuming you hadn’t and (b) I’m surprised you’re still writing about her instead of ignoring her.

    Second – both you and she are women, hence my ‘two groups of girls in the cafeteria’ attempt at humor. You’re right there are a mix of men and women both here and at the slime pit, but you’ve chosen to specifically call out another woman. So my analogy is off but not by much.

    Finally, you chose not to answer my question – what’s the point? This post is an obvious attempt to cut down another female atheist skeptic. Why?

    If I take your word that you desperately want to move on, then this blog post is a bit confusing.

  31. 31
    MrFancyPants

    The cognitive dissonance in #30 boggles the mind.

  32. 32
    Mark Thomas

    MrFancyPants – so you are asserting that Skep Tickle is harassing Ophelia, correct? Not disagreeing with her, not arguing with her – what Skep Tickle is doing is harassment? Just want to make sure we have our terms straight.

    Anthony K – I did make a similar comment on another thread. And if I understand your argument correctly, you’d rather be dragged down into a useless, never ending political debate than trying to find common ground, elevating the debate and attempting to move forward? If that us your choice then by all means take it, while I try to find some higher ground.

    Final note to Anthony – I chose not to respond in kind to your tasteless insults and profanity.

  33. 33
    Jackie the wacky

    Mark, I’ve noticed alot of things confuse you.

  34. 34
    Anthony K

    First, you’re written multiple comments and this blog post about her (and comparatively less about her arguments) in the past two days, that’s kind of the definition of not moving on. Of the million things you could have chosen to write about, you chose to research this piece about another female atheist skeptic.

    Would you caution the atheist community to not note instances of discrimination against atheists?

    Would that be your understanding of ‘moving on’?

    And if I understand your argument correctly, you’d rather be dragged down into a useless, never ending political debate than trying to find common ground, elevating the debate and attempting to move forward?

    This has been explained to you in multiple comments. Is not reading them your idea of ‘moving on’? How are you typing with your head so firmly planted in the sand?

    If that us your choice then by all means take it, while I try to find some higher ground.

    Lecturing the victims of harassment and abuse that they should just shut up and take it is not taking the higher ground.

    Final note to Anthony – I chose not to respond in kind to your tasteless insults and profanity.

    I can read. Can you?

  35. 35
    screechymonkey

    If “Try to find some higher ground” = “lecture someone else on what topics they should be writing about on their blog”,

    then I’d say the higher ground is highly overrated.

  36. 36
    tonyinbatavia

    Mark, please tell us where there can possibly be common ground between those that don’t want to be harassed and those that either want to harass or who endorse the harassment. What fucking common ground can there be? “I’ll be okay with you harassing me a little bit if you promise not to harass me too much”? Is that what you’re looking for? Be specific. I’m honestly curious.

  37. 37
    MrFancyPants

    I’m noticing a pattern of people arriving on these comment threads and lecturing the bloggers about what they should be writing about, lately, and in particular making the assertion that there is some way to “resolve” the conflict and get past divisiveness by seeking some sort of mysterious “common ground”.

    I, for one, am not interested in finding common ground with people who set up hate websites or who associate and applaud those who do.

  38. 38
    Jackie the wacky

    Common good!?
    Common fucking good?
    Go away you clueless, sexist ass.

    You know what is profane? Calling this a ” a useless, never ending political debate” and claiming that acceptance of a dishonest smear campaign and sexist harassment is a common good. Don’t compare a woman documenting the harassment against her to antisocial little girls, tell a woman to shut up and take it and then pretend to give any fucks whatsoever about what’s good for anyone but you, you status quo upholding, false equivalence pushing slime.

    Fuck right off.

  39. 39
    Jackie the wacky

    Misread Common ground. Just remove my post please. I’m so fed up. I fucking hate this.

  40. 40
    Parse

    Ah, common ground. Because everybody knows that, when one person says “Kick ALL the puppies!” and another says “Don’t kick ANY puppies, you monster!”, the correct answer is “Kick SOME of the puppies!” (And then get upset at the second person for calling the first a mean name).

  41. 41
    oolon

    @jackie, don’t think the misread puts your post that far off target… The “higher ground” Mark wants is for all the annoying talking about being harassed to stop as it “bores” him. I bet Ophelia would love to be able to find it such a bore, strangely she ain’t Mark. For some reason that is only known to Mark, he cannot comprehend that.

  42. 42
    Anthony K

    Well, not kicking any puppies is certainly not moving on. Look at the puppies, just standing there, waiting to be kicked into the glorious future.

    (Or is it the past? Because Mark Thomas wants to get ‘back’ to skepticism and atheism. Back is not forward.)

    Anyway, Mark Thomas, you haven’t answered my question (I’m sorry if my use of the word ‘fuck ’caused you to shit out your spine in shock and dismay), so I’ll rephrase it in highergroundspeak:

    Who is stopping you from getting back to, like, skepticism and atheism?

  43. 43
    Aratina Cage

    Hey everyone, SHYADDUP! Mark has something to tell us: We’re all a bunch of girls. And girls when they giggle, well, they suck. (That is clearly not sexist or anything.)

  44. 44
    tigtog

    I see that Team Fence-sitter is continuing the fine form of tssking people who object to being harassed having the frightfully poor taste to clearly demonstrate evidence of exactly how long Team Harassment has been flinging shit at them.

  45. 45
    Vall

    @ Mark

    After all this time, do you think ” Someone is going to have to meet the other in the middle of this cafeteria and talk through your issues, and either find common ground or agree to disagree and move forward along separate paths.” has never been brought up?

    If your spidey senses are telling you that the responses here are harsh, it’s because people are sick of the middle-ground comments almost as much as the harassment. There are NOT two sides of equal merit here, as pointed out above. Because this has been going on for so long now, the regulars get tired of explaining this over and over to new arrivals. If you really want to know why they haven’t met in the middle, there are plenty of posts on this topic, so a little homework might be in order. If you really don’t care you are JAQoffing. The regulars around here have pretty good bullshit detectors, hence the hostility.

  46. 46
    Mark Thomas

    MrFancyPants – I will read your response as affirming the fact that Skep Tickle is not harassing Ophelia. (I’m curious as to how many people, including Ophelia, think that Skep Tickle is a harasser.)

    Instead you choose to conflate her posts at the slime pit with harassment – she posts at a place where other people at times have posted things you construe as “hate.” As a result, her arguments are, ex ante, invalid.

    I’m a skeptic and want to make sure I’m following your chain of logic.

    In my opinion, you are not making a skeptical argument, you’re making a political one. Politicians attempt to tar-and-feather their opponents by any means possible, and that’s what you’re doing here. If you’re fine with that, then we don’t have a problem, but understand you’re arguing from a political/emotional position and not a skeptical one.

    And this, by the way, answers your question Anthony. I’m arguing from evidence, using logic, and refraining from unnecessarily insulting and hurling profanity at the people with whom I am arguing.

    For all the commenters who make some variation of the ‘you can’t argue with those people’ argument:

    First, this started as a post about a specific skeptical atheist woman – Skep Tickle. As noted above, you all appear to conflate her with other “harassers” who post on a specific Internet forum, even though she is not a harasser. Second, this isn’t a scientific debate. Neither they, nor you, are “right.” They make different value judgments than you, specifically regarding the nature of free and open debate about feminism in the skeptical/atheist community. There is room for each side to “agree to disagree” but personal attacks – such as this post – poison that well.

    Yes, they attack Ophelia in off-color ways, but the endless back and forth of ‘she said this’, ‘no, but she said this FIRST’ is exhausting. (And Anthony, I appreciate the humor in your off color remarks, by not responding in kind I was attempting to make this point) It is exactly like high school, and I don’t know about you but there is a lot of water underneath my bridge since high school. Skep Tickle, as Ophelia knows, is a prominent, active atheist skeptic. Ophelia is a relatively more prominent, active atheist skeptic.

    Is it too far fetched to think that these two could have a discussion/debate without all this pointless, counterproductive sniping?

  47. 47
    Sili

    for what it’s worth, there’s precedent for various kinds of abusers working with victims, or children, or other vulnerable populations while convincing themselves that abuse they themselves commit doesn’t really count.

    There’s a Danish novel – The Exception – that I still haven’t read, but it’s set in the offices of a humanitarian NGO, where the workers begin harassing one of their coworkers.

  48. 48
    Ophelia Benson

    I have read that novel. They don’t harass her (if I remember correctly) so much as ostracize her. It’s quite a painful read.

  49. 49
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh good god.

    Funny how Mark Thomas has never commented here before yesterday. Funny how pompous he sounds. Funny how concerned he is about “Skep tickle”. Funny how he talks about taking the higher ground.

    Now what does that remind me of…

    Oh yes. “Skep tickle.”

    Good bye “Mark Thomas”.

  50. 50
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh and give my love to “Joanne York” when you see her.

  51. 51
    Anthony K

    Now what does that remind me of…

    Oh yes. “Skep tickle.”

    Good bye “Mark Thomas”.

    Are you serious? Is this fuck a sockpuppet of Eliza whoeverthefuckgivesashit?

  52. 52
    MrFancyPants

    Mark Thomas @46: I don’t know how you came to that conclusion. I most certainly do consider Skep Tickle’s comments to be active harassment. Look at the very first comment of hers that Ophelia referenced, the one in which she approvingly references the hate-website/comic. What “skeptical argument” was she advancing with that comment, or the others that follow that are little more than attacks on Ophelia?

    This could all stop right now, Mark. Skep Tickle could post somewhere — perhaps even in this comment thread — that she apologizes for the past attacks and won’t engage in them anymore. Heck, she doesn’t even have to go that far — all she need say is that she respects Ophelia’s request to leave her alone and will no longer intrude on the comment threads at all. If that happened, there would be nothing more to document.

    For that is what this is, Mark. Documentation. You may sigh and bemoan how “exhausting” the “endless back and forth is”, but this is necessary documentation of real harassment. We’ve learned in the past that unless you put these things up for all to see, the harassers all too easily make the argument that “I never said that” or “I’ve never done X”.

    Since Skep Tickle is, as you say, a “prominent, active, atheist skeptic” and presumably an adult, it should be easy for her to recognize that her comments constitute harassment, since Ophelia has said in no uncertain terms that she wants them to leave her alone. That means no abusive comments, no stalking at conferences, no contact. And with that understanding, Skep Tickle could presumably take one of those two options I mentioned.

    As for your weariness with the topic, you know that you don’t have to read the posts. You can go on your way and focus just on the things that don’t weary you. There’s no need to assume the mantle of Father Figure and lecture to the parties involved.

  53. 53
    MrFancyPants

    Ophelia @49:
    Well that would certainly explain a lot.

  54. 54
    Ophelia Benson

    I know, wouldn’t it?

    Who else gives that many fucks about “Skep tickle”? No one.

    Who else takes such a lofty tone? Lately, that’s been “Skep tickle”.

    Who else talks about taking the high road? “Skep tickle” every time.

    Who else pops up out of nowhere but knows a mysteriously huge amount about this particular quarrel? “Joanne York” and “Skep tickle”.

    Hmmmmmmmmm

  55. 55
    Ophelia Benson

    Anthony, I don’t know for sure – the IP address is a new one here. But my god it smells fake.

  56. 56
    Anthony K

    Anthony, I don’t know for sure – the IP address is a new one here. But my god it smells fake.

    Oh. I dunno. I’m not particularly persuaded by the apparent coincidence in time. The high roaders are pretty common (and cookie-cutter), even outside the pit.

  57. 57
    Metalogic42

    Afraid of the truth, Ophie?

  58. 58
    Ophelia Benson

    Coincidence in time? I didn’t say that. But these are his very first comments, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of “Skep tickle.” Believe me, that is not normal.

    I read the comments more slowly and thoroughly and they just reek of fake. I’ve had some experience with fakes. I don’t buy this guy.

  59. 59
    notsont

    You know I don’t usually weigh in on these threads, mostly because people say things far more eloquently than I can and usually do it faster. But this is irritating, Skeptickle, Tixx, whoever, actions if taken in a vacuum with no context probably do not by themselves rise to harassment. Just like one snide comment from one member of a football team would not be harassment, but one comment from each person on that team per day over a period of months if not years.. yeah that’s fucking harassment.

    If you haven’t seen this type of harassment before well then count your blessings, what’s worse is when you try to point out the “single thing” that they did that’s harassment you can’t because without context its just one “minor” incident after another.

  60. 60
    Ophelia Benson

    If I’m wrong about “Mark Thomas” he can always tell me so, just as “Joanne York” can. It’s funny how involved she was though and then she just disappeared, don’t you think?

    But “Mark Thomas” cares way too much about painting “Skep tickle” as the victim of my cruelty for someone who isn’t on Team Harassment, or at the very least an enthusiastic audience for it. Some random outsider would never care that much or know that much. It doesn’t happen.

  61. 61
    Ophelia Benson

    Metalogic @ 57 – fuck off. Fuck off back to your friends with their diminutives and their photoshops and their fantasies about violence against me.

  62. 62
    Anthony K

    I read the comments more slowly and thoroughly and they just reek of fake. I’ve had some experience with fakes. I don’t buy this guy.

    That may be the case, I just don’t have the information to say either way.

    But that’s beside the point. If you don’t want him around, you can ban him. This is your conversation space. It’s your right to determine who does or does not get to speak with you here.

    You don’t owe it to anybody to inject their ponderous repetitions and non sequiturs (the answer to “Who is stopping you?” is not “You’re not being skeptical, whereas I am”) into your conversation space.

  63. 63
    Ophelia Benson

    True. But I’m also accusing “Skep tickle” of more sock-puppet work. But then since we already know she’s sock puppeted here, just accusing her of more of it isn’t much of a leap. She plays tricks, she pretends to be someone she’s not, she does that here to further her program of getting people like me pushed out of atheism – so saying I think “Mark Thomas” is another of her socks isn’t much of an accusation.

  64. 64
    MrFancyPants

    notsont @ 59:
    Yep, exactly, that’s the MO of the bully. One single event is just a rude person, but when every single event is rude, and they happen repeatedly, that’s focused harassment. But ask them about any single one and almost without fail you’ll get a response like “oh, I was just joking!”

    What annoys me with arguments like the ones “Mark Thomas” was putting forward is the false equivalency. He (?) complained about the “back and forth” sniping, as if it’s two individuals exchanging insults–whereas the reality is that it’s multiple sock puppets hammering on one person repeatedly, and the victim responding with “leave me the fuck alone!”

  65. 65
    Joanne York

    Dear Ophelia,

    I am not Skep Tickle. I already stated this in my last comment on your blog but that was removed because you felt I wasn’t answering all your questions, and I was also rounded on because I dared leave my computer for half an hour instead of sitting there taking abuse from the regular commentators of this blog.

    If you have access to my IP address you will see I’m posting from the UK. Skep Tickle will have a US IP address. You do not have permission to publicly reveal my IP or email address to anyone but you may check them both yourself to confirm that my IP is UK-based and my email address has been in use since 2005.

  66. 66
    theetar

    Ophelia, what threats of violence?

  67. 67
    Ophelia Benson

    Ok. I missed it when you said that. There was a lot going on yesterday.

    Then please explain how on earth you knew what email address “Skep tick” used to post her comment here.

  68. 68
    theetar

    Seriously Ophelia, do you think a respected doctor like Skeptickle would be playing these games you are accusing her of, with no evidence. I think you need to take a few deep breaths.

  69. 69
    Ophelia Benson

    Also please explain how you knew what address I used to email her, and how you knew the two were different. That’s not something you would know just by reading the blog, obviously. So how did you know those things?

    After you explain that you could also explain why you made it your business. It’s very odd to have a total stranger demanding to know why I used one address rather than another to email a commenter on my blog, when that is information that’s available to me as the blog owner and the person who emailed “Skep tickle” but not to anyone else (except “Skep tickle”).

  70. 70
    Metalogic42

    @Ophelia Benson #67:

    *Everyone* knows that you sent Skep Tickle an email using an address other than the one she used to post here. Everyone has known since it happened, because she told everyone. Don’t you ever do *any* research before making wild accusations of sockpuppetry?

  71. 71
    Anthony K

    It’s obvious skeptickle told more than a few someones in order to stir up drama.

    What a professional victim. “You emailed me with a different email than I expected!” The fucking horror.

    That’s the script, isn’t it Metalogic42? theetar?

    C’mon, don’t be bashful.

  72. 72
    Ophelia Benson

    Seriously “theetar” (who are you?) what makes you think I know “Skep tickle” is a respected doctor?

    Did you just “dox” her?

    As for your main question – I find it amazing that adults play any of these games. Truly amazing. Photoshopping my head onto a goat? That cartoon of Rebecca as a rape victim? Obsessing over the same 5 or 6 people – bloggers, not arms merchants or drug dealers or people who dump oil into oceans – for two years? All of that amazes me. “Skep tickle” is someone who hangs out with and laughs with people who do shit like that, so do I think she would balk at sock puppeting? No, I don’t. I think that’s pathetic and embarrassing of her, but I don’t think that stops her doing it.

    And excuse me I do have evidence: she has a pattern of sock puppeting and I have the evidence for that.

  73. 73
    Ophelia Benson

    Anthony – well that would be one explanation, but I really want Joanne York to explain it herself. She’s the one who mentioned it, so she can explain it.

  74. 74
    Anthony K

    I also didn’t know skep tickle was a doctor, theetar.

  75. 75
    Ophelia Benson

    Dear god. Metalogic (@ 70) thinks Team Harassment=”everyone”.

    Really? Really? You people are that delusional?

    Meta also seems to think that “research”=looking at the slime pit. If that’s what you mean, Meta, no I fucking don’t do “research” by looking at that pile of shit where you lunatics lie about me & slander me every hour of every day.

  76. 76
    Ophelia Benson

    See? I didn’t say “Skep tickle” is a doctor. That was “theetar” who said that.

  77. 77
    Anthony K

    *Everyone* knows that you sent Skep Tickle an email using an address other than the one she used to post here. Everyone has known since it happened, because she told everyone. Don’t you ever do *any* research before making wild accusations of sockpuppetry?

    Again, so skepticle told everybody that Ophelia committed the horrific crime of emailing Skep Tickle with a an address she’d used previously but not recently?

    And Ophelia’s the one who’s paranoid?

    Did every fucking one of you stupid fucking losers have the exact same accident with a roofing gun?

    Fuck off, you fucking Glenn Beck clones.

  78. 78
    Anthony K

    That roofing gun comment was ableist. I retract that and apologise.

  79. 79
    Ophelia Benson

    I wish you wouldn’t. I think it was both apt and funny.

  80. 80
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Good lord, these people have an endless supply of nasty, petty viciousness to vomit forth.

    *

    There’s a Danish novel – The Exception – that I still haven’t read, but it’s set in the offices of a humanitarian NGO, where the workers begin harassing one of their coworkers.

    I’ve read it. The premise is clever, but it’s at times quite implausible. I did find it strangely suspenseful.

  81. 81
    Mark Thomas

    Ophelia – I’m a long time skeptic but relatively new to this “schism” (and sick of it already). I’ve commented here, on Skepchick, and on the slime pit in recent weeks using this same name, you’re free to look at all of them, including the ones critical of people on the slime pit (and you might also note that I wasn’t told to fuck off over there after doing that). As for my supposed encyclopedic knowledge of Skep Tickle, the only information I have comes from reading your comments as well as one of hers.

    I also find it interesting that you’ve chosen to impugne my motives/character whilst sidestepping my arguments- nicely illustrating my original point. Aren’t we all too old for this? Rise above the snark, it doesnt become a serious skeptic or atheist. Invite Skep Tickle to debate (if her arguments are that bad it should be easy) or simply ignore her. But I don’t understand what is to be accomplished by subjecting a fellow female atheist skeptic to public ridicule from your (almost exclusively) friendly, uncritical fan base.

  82. 82
    Joanne York

    I only know as much as Skep Tickle herself said. If she was lying about that then so be it, but I tend to take someone’s word unless they give me reason to doubt them.

    I see there was much speculation about who I am and my reasons for jumping in when I did. I’ve been a reader of your blog for quite some time but have never commented until yesterday. My primary reason for commenting when I did was to step in when it seemed she was being slowly doxxed. Sure, you didn’t say “Skep Tickle’s full name is Jane Doe and she lives at xxxxx” but you were dripfeeding information which I didn’t think you and the people commenting had a right to gather together and reveal. If someone wants to try to find out information in order to stalk her, why make their job easier? I later learned (in between some pretty hurtful insults flung at me) that she had posted on FTB last year a few times using her first name, but my point remains… if a person chooses to post under a nym then they obviously have their reasons and we should respect that. Many on here post under nyms too, and for what it’s worth (probably not a lot) I support them fully.

    One more quick thing before I head to bed: I’m happy for any errors I’ve made to be pointed out, but a little tact and decency go a long way. Instead of screaming “liar”, “asshole” or “numbskull”, why not say “You’re mistaken” or “you’re wrong and here’s why”? I thought the aim was to encourage more women into the movement, not scare us away just because we have an opposing view to the consensus. I’m not sure you realise how unpleasant it can be for an outsider to post here, particularly when they disagree with something the blog owner says.

    It’s 2.40 in the morning, I must get some sleep.

  83. 83
    Ophelia Benson

    Salty – yes exactly. Borderline irritating in its implausibility – but I read the whole thing, which I don’t do when too irritated.

    Mark Thomas: your claim is noted. Of course I’m free to look at them, but I dislike looking at the slime pit and almost never do.

    I didn’t sidestep your arguments, I ignored them – because you say things like that. You’re bored; fine, read something else then. But I don’t need your lectures, or your condescension, or your uninformed intervention.

  84. 84
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Ophelia – I’m a long time skeptic but relatively new to this “schism”

    Well, the people you’re talking at aren’t. If you acknowledge that you’re relatively new to these events, then you’re admitting you have a fraction of the knowledge of the people you’ve shown up here to lecture. That’s extremely arrogant, and not at all the behavior of a skeptic, who makes a serious attempt to ascertain the facts before pronouncing on a subject. Run along now and do your research.

    (and sick of it already)

    .

    If you were sick of it, you wouldn’t be going out of your way to involve yourself.

  85. 85
    Parse

    Another thing that doesn’t quite add up about ‘Joanne York’ is her history. Or, more precisely, her lack thereof.
    Doing google searches for her name, alongside a couple of atheist-related terms, gives only the posts here that she’s commented on.
    If she’s openly using her real name (or at least a consistent pseudonym) here, would it make sense that she has used it somewhere, anywhere else?
    As far as having a UK IP address, well, it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in the UK.
    Also, her latest comment, if I’m doing my math right, was posted at 2:00AM in the UK.
    At the very least, Joanne, you can see why there’s some doubt about your authenticity.
    The easiest way to show that you aren’t a sockpuppet is to answer Ophelia’s questions. Inquiring minds want to know.

  86. 86
    Anne C. Hanna

    Mark, if you’re relatively new to the “schism”, maybe you ought to go do your homework before butting your nose in? Ophelia and others have been experiencing two goddamn years of non-stop and often exceptionally vile harassment from people who claim to be members of our community, not to mention an equally long interval of useless “I just walked in two seconds ago and I have no idea what’s going on but both sides are equally wrong” gaslighting by people like yourself. So there’s a reason she and her “uncritical fan base” have an exceptionally low tolerance for this kind of bullshit at this point.

    If you genuinely care about making things better, then why don’t you try actually spending some time reading the backstory so you can understand the problem you’re trying to solve, rather than self-centeredly insisting that a bunch of battle-weary people waste their time all over again explaining to one more willfully ignorant person why their ignorance-based opinions aren’t being very well received?

  87. 87
    Ophelia Benson

    Joanne York, what do you mean what “Skep tickle” said? Said where, to whom, when, why? She didn’t say it to me. I don’t see everything she says. It’s very odd to assume that I would know what she told you.

    You’re very worried about “Skep tickle” being “doxxed.” You’re not worried about me – already “doxxed” in the sense that my identity is known. Why? My identity being public has become a massive liability, for reasons that were in no way my choice. Why doesn’t that worry you at least as much as “Skep tickle”‘s anxiety about her identity?

  88. 88
    Ophelia Benson

    What Parse and Anne said. Helpful!

  89. 89
    MrFancyPants

    My primary reason for commenting when I did was to step in when it seemed she was being slowly doxxed.

    The keyword here is “seemed”. Nothing about Skep Tickle was revealed that she, herself, didn’t previously make public. This is why lurking for a long time is a good thing: you can read and absorb the context, rather than stumbling into the middle of the movie and loudly asking “WHO’S THAT GUY IN THE RED HAT?!”

  90. 90
    Sorbus

    @89

    The red hat?..

  91. 91
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    We’re so lucky we’ve got people here like Mark Thomas to make helpful suggestions about reconciliation we couldn’t possibly have though of ourselves.

    I mean, all the other problems in the world have been solved by just sitting down and discussing it. The Westboro Baptist Church was convinced to end their hate campaign against gays; everyone in the KKK quit right after that one time the NAACP sent someone down to have coffee with them; AVFM shut down the very same day someone pointed out to them the reality of the situation.

    Oh, wait…

  92. 92
    ajb47

    It’s a good thing internet protocol addresses aren’t spoofable, otherwise we’d have to immediately suspect when two new commenters appear spouting slimey talking points and sounding a lot like at least one other commenter. It’s also a good thing that everyone who follows and/or eggs on the harassers is from the same country, otherwise we would have to suspect when someone with an internet protocol address from a non USAn country comments using slimey talking points and sounding a lot like another commenter.

    I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about someone who is already sockpuppeting, right? Someone who is part of a group that does whatever it can to get around moderations and blocks and bans?

    I’m not accusing — I’m just putting the possibility out there.

    (Did I put enough cynicism in there? Or is it paranoia? I’ve had a Grand Marnier and can’t always tell.)

  93. 93
    Sorbus

    Isn’t it coincidental that ‘Joanne York’ and ‘Mark Thomas’ are both new faces, similarly verbose and don’t use ‘nyms’ at all. In light of the current situation they decide to comment on ‘hot potato’ posts using their complete names – isn’t that principled and so not sock-puppety?!

    PS Didn’t realise that youtube links show up that prominently! oops.

  94. 94
    Tom Foss

    Joanna York:

    You do not have permission to publicly reveal my IP or email address to anyone

    Oh, that is just precious. As if someone would need permission to do such a thing. As if, when commenting on a blog, you had some reasonable expectation that the information you were using to post to a public forum wouldn’t also become public. Is this your first week on the Internet? Watch out for Nigerian princes!

    Mark Thomas:

    I’m a long time skeptic but relatively new to this “schism” (and sick of it already)

    You’re sick of it? Gosh, try living in the thick of it for years like Ophelia and Rebecca. Check out the Page o’ Hate for a bit. You’re “new” to the schism, which is made obvious by your ignorant “both sides” garbage, and asking the same questions that have been asked and fucking answered a thousand goddamn times since Rebecca Watson had the gall to tell some guys that some kinds of behavior toward women were not cool.

    We’re all sick of it. Ophelia has more reason to be sick of it than most. But you know what’s perpetuating the problem? Not writing blog posts exposing problem comments and problem people–we have ample evidence to show that being silent about the issue (as Amy Roth and Jen McCreight have tried) does nothing to stem the tide of abuse and harassment–but the dedicated cabal of assholes who have spent the last two years throwing the most obnoxious tantrum over their perceived right to do shitty things and face no consequences.

    And you, with your smug condescension and your arrogant presumption that you can wander in, new to the schism (and ignorant of 99% of the details), and solve all the problems, perhaps with a little dismissive sexism? After all, these are just unreasonable, silly teenage girl problems, and all they need is a level-headed adult male to step in and tell them how unreasonable they’re being, and if they’d just realize that we all don’t believe in god, we could hold hands and sing fucking kumbaya.

    It’s easy to say “rise above” when you’re in the bleachers. It’s harder down on the field. If you think that there hasn’t been attempt after goddamn attempt to stop this, to rise above, to bow out, to call it off, then you’re completely delusional. The reason that people are being terse with you, Mark, is because you’re just the newest iteration in a neverending line of jackasses who think they can wander into the discussion with no information, tut-tut both sides, send them to their rooms, and make everything better. You can’t. Better jackasses than you have tried and failed, because the effort you’re making is wrongheaded on every count. You’re walking into the Gaza Strip and saying “Jews! Muslims! You’re behaving like children! Can’t you just come together over your shared love of ham?”

    You know what skeptics damn well ought to be above? Thinking they can singlehandedly solve a long-term complex problem without doing any fucking research. Rise above your ignorance, Mark.

  95. 95
    Tom Foss

    I misspelled “Joanne.” My bad.

  96. 96
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    You know what skeptics damn well ought to be above? Thinking they can singlehandedly solve a long-term complex problem without doing any fucking research. Rise above your ignorance, Mark.

    QFMFT with emphasis

  97. 97
    Anne C. Hanna

    I just don’t get this shit. I used to TA introductory physics classes at the college level. After the first couple times through any particular class, I got pretty bored of explaining the same goddamn things over and over and over, but at least the students had the decency to acknowledge that I knew a lot more about the subject than they did (on accounta Experience), and so they were not only willing, but actually eager to take advantage of my expertise.

    So why on earth do people think complicated social problems are so much easier than physics that they can bumble right in and, based on a whole fifteen seconds of superficial skimming of a tiny fragment of the discussion, solve shit that other people have been struggling over for years? It reminds me of the crackpots who think they’ve overturned general relativity or come up with a new grand unified theorem based on their D-student misunderstanding of high school physics. Very Dunning-Krugerish.

  98. 98
    MrFancyPants

    You know, for reference, I’ve been watching this whole schism since the beginning, for years now, and trying to follow along pretty closely, and even I have forgotten the early parts. I had to be reminded today of Abbie Smith and ERV and the origins of the SlymePit because, frankly, I had blocked that out of my memory. So for someone to arrive recently, and read a few blog posts and comments over, say, the last couple of months, and to think they’re up to speed is to just be stunningly wrong.

    There’s a reason why people like Tom Foss @94 react with righteous fury to you, Mark. In a very real way, your comments are analogous to Ron Lindsey’s mansplaining to a roomful of women how they’re Doing It All Wrong in his opening conference address just a few weeks ago; if you want a taste of the reaction to that, go read
    this
    and
    this.

    And always keep the First Rule of Holes in the forefront of your mind.

  99. 99
    athyco

    But I don’t understand what is to be accomplished by subjecting a fellow female atheist skeptic to public ridicule from your (almost exclusively) friendly, uncritical fan base.

    You’ve been commenting at the ‘pit since May 15, and before 6:09 p.m. today, you’ve never said anything like this to them. Given the measurable amount of “public ridicule from [their] (almost exclusively) friendly, uncritical fan base,” aren’t you the least bit abashed? For example, it has been photoshop heaven over there for days. Have you understood what is to be accomplished with it? Give some of your comment numbers, besides for the one below, posted four hours after your 1:56 p.m. entry here at #22.

    For the record – some of my comments on Ophelia’s blog could just as easily apply to a couple commenters here. I appreciate satire and have laughed at a some of the photoshops posted here but those won’t go a long way toward finding common ground either – especially when their enraged, emotional response is entirely predictable. The line between funny and hurtful is blurry, and is (obviously) perceived differently depending on which side is the target.

    Note that I’m not saying ‘don’t do it’, I’m saying that in my opinion it doesn’t help move the debate forward. I will always err on the side of no censorship/stifling of debate, and will always (hopefully) meet irrational arguments with rational, reasoned responses – the relative absence of which is the biggest flaw in the FtB universe.

    Don’t forget the comment numbers for the ones wherein you equate what you’re reading to a minimalizing sexist trope as you did in #22:

    Why do I feel like I’m back in high school listening to a group of girls giggle and snark about another group of girls on the other side of the cafeteria?

    Let’s see the ones wherein you throw in your fatigue since your first comment on this material on May 13. Yes, that’s this past May 13. No, it’s not your fault that you’ve been out of the country and out of the loop, but I would say that if you’d been in a turmoil for ~2 years, you’d not be found amiss snarking a contemptuous remark or two or three for someone who’s been around for 18 days venting exasperation whilst explaining the “reality” to you.

    This is a political discussion, and frankly it’s grown very, very tiring. You’re not going to give up, and Skep Tickle isn’t going to give up either.

    You show poorly after a short stint, Mark Thomas. Can you improve?

  100. 100
    MrFancyPants

    athyco @99:
    Ah. So he’s “laughed at some of the photoshops posted” at the SlymePit. And he comments there. I think we know where Mark’s preferences lie.

    For the record, I consider the SlymePit to be a hate forum in the same way that I consider AVfM to be one. The photoshops there aren’t amusing satire, they are mean-spirited hate produced by mean-spirited people. I’m extremely suspicious of the motives of someone who demands calm & polite interaction with hateful people like that while simultaneously enjoying their hate speech.

  101. 101
    MrFancyPants

    Oh, I meant to say before: ajb47@92:
    Since HTTP uses TCP transport, it would be pretty difficult for any of the commenters to spoof their IP addresses, just FYI. But as has been pointed out, that means nothing. I can post my next ten comments from an IP address in Romania, if I want to, completely legitimately. Or England. Or wherever the next TOR exit node I grab comes from.

  102. 102
    ajb47

    Hello MrFancyPants @101 (Yes, an Army of Darkness nod)-

    Yeah, I had a Data Networking course when I was in college. I know it *can* be done. If I were going to harass someone anonymously, well, I’d at least look into it, especially once I knew their blog tracked, and banned by, IP addresses.

    But my point was — not completely unspoofable to a determined harasser commenter.

  103. 103
    MrFancyPants

    They are nothing if not determined!

  104. 104
    Anne C. Hanna

    Y’know, I can almost sort of understand the people who stumble into the middle of the Deep Rifts and just find the whole thing horrifying and start wittering on about “both sides”. It’s an ignorant, poorly-thought-out response to the situation, to be sure, but at least it seems to arise from a desire for the community to be a kind, thoughtful, happy, welcoming place rather than a cruel and hostile one.

    The people I *really* don’t get are the ones who, upon learning of the “schism”, seem to almost immediately snuggle themselves happily into the squelching, fetid muck of the Slymepit as if it’s a nice warm, soft featherbed.

    After reading Athyco’s comment @99 mentioning “Mark Thomas”‘s activities over there, I wandered over to have a look and, sure enough, there he was, sitting around commiserating happily with the pitters about how exhausting it must be for them to “deal with all this”, while proudly repasting his latest snotty, holier-than-thou comment that’s supposedly caught in moderation here.(*) So unless he’s been commenting on this somewhere else that hasn’t been mentioned yet, he’s apparently spent two weeks buddying up with everyone in the Slymepit before bothering to engage with the other side of the story. How the hell does a place like that become someone’s first stop in examining an issue like this, and how is it that having started there, anyone would decide to take on the Slymepit’s grievances as hir own, as opposed to maybe being just the tiniest bit skeptical of their take on the issue?

    (I can sorta guess part of the answer in Mark’s case based on the quality of his replies so far — he doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as skilled at skepticism, analysis of social situations, and critical thinking as he appears to believe he is, and his capacity for empathy seems to be underdeveloped in regard to the issues in play here. But I am curious about the specific contingencies that lead people like him to frequent the pit in the first place. So how about it, Mark? Tell us about the skeptical odyssey that led you to choose to buddy up with the Slymepitters *first* and leave FTB as an afterthought?)


    (*) Apparently he thinks he’s giving sage advice in suggesting that people here should be “orders of magnitude more tired of this than [he is]“. It’s almost as if he completely didn’t read the comment Tom Foss addressed directly to him @94, in which Tom not only made that exact point, but also explained exactly what Mark could do to avoid contributing to the problem. My comments about the Dunning-Kruger effect also appear, appropriately enough, to have gone right over Mark’s head. :D

  105. 105
    'dirigible

    “But I don’t understand what is to be accomplished by subjecting a fellow female atheist skeptic to public ridicule from your (almost exclusively) friendly, uncritical fan base.”

    If you think that the regulars here are uncritical then you haven’t read even the comment threads that you are complaining about.

    Your objection to “subjecting a fellow female atheist skeptic to public ridicule from your (almost exclusively) friendly, uncritical fan base” is curiously misplaced. You are defending skep tickle for doing what the original post demonstrates to be precisely that.

    To quote James Randi, “that’s very interesting”.

  106. 106
    kellym

    Anne C. Hanna @104: This is why it’s so vitally crucial that the leaders in the skeptical/secular movements unambiguously denounce the misogyny and harassment of the pit. DJ Grothe and Ron Lindsay have indicated their support for certain slymepitters, thus signaling that misogynist behavior is acceptable, which had the effect of increasing the harassment of ‘pit targets. David Silverman has at least begun to denounce the misogyny. If he continues, I’ll join American Atheists. If he loses his courage, then that’s just another organization that I’ll never join. (I’ve left the JREF and will probably be forced to leave CFI over this issue.) The secular leaders’ slymepit support makes it more likely that people with low empathy, like “Mark Thomas,” will see this as a “both sides” issue, instead of a “right and wrong” issue.

    And if Eliza’s atheist board didn’t force her to resign over her harassment of her enemies, I would resign from that organization as well. Some leader she is.

  107. 107
    oolon

    You can see Marks pretty poor effort at trying to get everyone to focus on science and just get along here ->
    http://skepchick.org/2013/05/the-silencing-of-men/

    He’s been experimenting on the Slymepit all skeptical and stuff. Tip for you Mark, as long as the Slymers think you may be on their “side” they’ll be all sweet and nice to you. Even in the case of some people who’ve switched “side” they’ve gone from viciously defamatory to fawning and asslicking. So basically if the reception you get is how you determine the validity of that groups truth claims you’ll fit in well over there. If a few rude words when you talk shit prick that ego then there are less places for you on FtBs, especially Pharyngula, and to an extent here.

  108. 108
    Ophelia Benson

    You’re walking into the Gaza Strip and saying “Jews! Muslims! You’re behaving like children! Can’t you just come together over your shared love of ham?”

    And the internet for today goes to Tom Foss!

  109. 109
    Ophelia Benson

    So let me get this straight – Mark Thomas has been hanging out at the slime pit and laughing at all the new photoshops (all of me, I assume?), with a mild tactical “maybe some of those are just a little excessive, although, don’t get me wrong, I think they’re funny,” and then he comes over here to tell me not to expose a woman atheist to ridicule?

    Really? Really? Really?

  110. 110
    RobinGoodfellow

    “So let me get this straight – Mark Thomas has been hanging out at the slime pit and laughing at all the new photoshops (all of me, I assume?)”

    Let’s get something else straight.

    When you dox someone, it makes the Pit stronger. It’s called PUSHBACK. You continue to treat people like scum, and allow your followers to bully people. In fact, you allow one of your followers (Oolon) to assist you in doxxing.

    We will continue to expose you for the nasty, little spiteful bully that you are.

  111. 111
    Anthony K

    When you dox someone, it makes the Pit stronger. It’s called PUSHBACK. You continue to treat people like scum, and allow your followers to bully people. In fact, you allow one of your followers (Oolon) to assist you in doxxing.

    And when the Pit doxxes people, what is that, Brave Sir Robin? What about Reap and his call to make people accountable by using their real names?

    You people really are a bunch of chickenshits. Go get icepicked by ‘Mykeru’, you ass-stain.

  112. 112
    Ophelia Benson

    I didn’t “dox” anyone. Your friend “Skep tickle,” on the other hand, has used a sock puppet here on my blog.

    I don’t treat people like scum. The slime pit, on the other hand, does.

    Oolon hasn’t assisted me in “doxxing.” One of your friends, on the other hand, “theetar,” yesterday blurted out that “Skep tickle” is a doctor. “Theetar” did that, not I.

    You’re not “exposing” me, you’re lying about me, photoshopping me, making assertions about how crazy I am.

  113. 113
    Anthony K

    Let’s get something else straight, Robin:

    Your photoshopping buddy, Reap Paden, calls doxxing people ‘levelling the playing field”.

    Do you agree with him?

  114. 114
    Anthony K

    nasty, little spiteful bully that you are

    How many photoshops have been made of you, Robin Runaway?

  115. 115
    Ophelia Benson

    Funny the way the pit goes apeshit about putative “doxxing” (even “doxxing” that isn’t “doxxing”) but warmly approves the kind of activity that is the reason people use nyms. What’s the problem with outing people’s identities? Well, that it might put them at risk of harassment, bullying, slander, libel, stalking, threats, violence…all that.

    But thanks to the pit’s activities in “exposing” me (by endlessly lying about me), I get constant harassment, bullying, slander, libel, stalking, and threats. No violence yet, but with all the harassment, bullying, slander, libel, stalking, and threats, it’s not as if I can be totally confident there will never be any.

  116. 116
    Anthony K

    Funny the way the pit goes apeshit about putative “doxxing” (even “doxxing” that isn’t “doxxing”) but warmly approves the kind of activity that is the reason people use nyms. What’s the problem with outing people’s identities? Well, that it might put them at risk of harassment, bullying, slander, libel, stalking, threats, violence…all that.

    Exactly.

  117. 117
    screechymonkey

    Anne@104:

    The people I *really* don’t get are the ones who, upon learning of the “schism”, seem to almost immediately snuggle themselves happily into the squelching, fetid muck of the Slymepit as if it’s a nice warm, soft featherbed.

    Oh, I can understand it well enough.

    First of all, I think most of the “unbiased newcomers” aren’t really that at all, as Mark Thomas demonstrates. They’ve been lurking for a while and picked a side long before they started commenting here to proclaim their newcomerness.

    But as to why people would jump in on that side — the Slymepit’s pretty easy, though. After all, if you’re new to the discussion, then they aren’t talking shit about you, and probably not about anyone you know personally. Even if you’re a woman, hey, some of their best friends are women! They don’t call every woman a [slur], just “the ones who are [slur]s” (translation: anyone who pisses them off).

    You get to laugh at all the things you find amusing or titillating, and if you think something goes too far, well, no need to say anything about it because that’s not what they’re about here, dontchaknow. That would be guilt by association and violation of freeze peach and #Vaculamustdenounce! Those occasional things that go “too far” are just part of the price one pays for free speech and unrestrained debate (where “one” = the actual targets of the harassment, not you, of course!). Even the few “rules” they pretend to have (“don’t doxx!!!! That’s evil!”) are quite flexible (“unless it’s Anthony K”).

    Simply put, the pit makes no demands of a newcomer, other than checking your empathy at the door, which is all-too-trivial for many people.

    Whereas here, well, we’re not as “fun” and “free-wheeling.” We’re the ones saying that you probably shouldn’t use that word, and that just because you found something funny doesn’t mean it’s appropriate, and maybe you should care about shitty behavior even when it’s not directed at you personally.

    I think it’s the same uphill battle that skepticism faces. In theory, practically everyone claims to be in favor of basing their views on evidence. But in practice, skeptics are the “party poopers” saying that no, that cool Bigfoot video you’re excited about is a fake, there’s no reason to believe that your house is actually haunted, not all points of view are equally valid, there isn’t a legitimate debate between creationism and evolution, or “alternate” and “Western” medicine, and maybe you should think twice before unquestioningly forwarding to everyone you know that email that your crazy uncle sent you.

  118. 118
    Anthony K

    (“unless it’s Anthony K”).

    That was because I called Reap Paden ‘dumb’. “Watch who you say that shit to”, he threatened.

    Nasty, spiteful little bully.

  119. 119
    Sili

    I have read that novel. They don’t harass her (if I remember correctly) so much as ostracize her. It’s quite a painful read.

    That’s what I get for not doing my research.

    I’m surprised it’s that wellknown.

  120. 120
    Anne C. Hanna

    I’ll grant Mark one thing: his commenting history at Skepchick does seem to extend back further than his history at the Slymepit. So he did at least give them a trial before he found his natural home. Unfortunately, his comments at Skepchick definitely do explain why he gravitated toward the Slymepit, e.g. dismissing the SPLC as a “left-wing advocacy group” because they take anti-Muslim bigotry seriously, minimizing the abuse of “comfort women” by the Japanese Army during WWII because it wasn’t as bad as other things the Japanese Army did, and, of course, completely failing to grasp that a mountain of microaggressions actually does indeed add up to macroaggression (rather like a creationist accepting “microevolution” but rejecting speciation). (Apparently that last post was the one that finally caused him to take refuge in the ‘pit (comment 21382 on “Jim the Pleb Made Me Do It”).)

    Reading his history it really seems like he just does not want to get it. From his perspective, each individual part of the harassment campaign that he runs across is apparently either obviously bad and therefore not worth attending to or obviously “just criticism” and therefore not part of the harassment campaign. But he doesn’t seem to be able to (or even to attempt to) imagine what it would be like if *he* was on the receiving end of it, and what it would be like to add all those little pieces together to make one big thing. It’s as if someone showed him a mosaic depicting a kitten, and he looked at each of the individual tiles and said, “Okay, this tile isn’t a kitten, and neither is this one, and this one over here is the same color as a kitten but it’s not a kitten all by itself so it’s not worth paying attention to… how on earth can you say this is a picture of a kitten?”

    It feels like there’s a specific cognitive error in play, but I don’t know if there’s a name for it or not, something like an inability or unwillingness to engage in synthesis, which makes it easier to rationalize away each of the constituents of the pattern.

    So, here, Mark, try this on for size and see if it helps you understand what you’re missing here…

    Let’s say that I comment here pointing out one of your typos, or maybe critiquing some small incorrect point you made that’s not central to your argument. Maybe this would be slightly annoying, especially if it’s unsolicited, but it’s not a big deal all by itself, right? And it’s just criticism. It’s not calling you names or threatening you, it’s not really harassment.

    But now let’s say I, and maybe a few of my friends, start making it a habit to do this with every comment you make on this site, and maybe start following you to other sites and doing it there too, maybe even following you on to your own blog.

    And so you say, “Hey, guys, this is getting kind of annoying, can you cut it out?” and we say, “We’ve got a right to say whatever we want!” and a bunch of other people who haven’t been paying attention jump in and say, “Chill out, Mark, it’s just criticism. If you can’t handle criticism, stay off the internet,” and then you ban us from your blog and even more people who weren’t involved start to jump in and say, “Hey, wait a minute, what about their free speech? Why can’t you handle dissent, Mark? Stop being so dogmatic!”

    And then maybe some anonymous person starts up a little blog called MarkThomasGate that’s all about following you around and documenting all your typos and minor logical infelicities and making vulgar photoshops of you. And I say, “Oh, well, that’s not me doing that, I’m just criticizing you, I don’t make photoshops, although I have to admit, some of them are kind of funny.”

    And so maybe you start to make the occasional post on your blog about how you really wish people like me would stop harassing you, and explaining exactly why that harassment is bad. And then some dude named, oh, iunno, say, Tom Marcus, shows up in the comments of that post and says:

    Why do I feel like I’m back in high school listening to a group of girls giggle and snark about another group of girls on the other side of the cafeteria?

    This is a political discussion, and frankly it’s grown very, very tiring. You’re not going to give up, and [your opponent] isn’t going to give up either. There is no definitive ‘study’ either of you can point to which will change the other’s mind. Someone is going to have to meet the other in the middle of this cafeteria and talk through your issues, and either find common ground or agree to disagree and move forward along separate paths.

    Or is moving forward not the point? And if it’s not the point, then what is?

    How would you feel about Tom Marcus at that point?

  121. 121
    Ophelia Benson

    Ima have to award two internets today.

  122. 122
    screechymonkey

    It feels like there’s a specific cognitive error in play, but I don’t know if there’s a name for it or not, something like an inability or unwillingness to engage in synthesis, which makes it easier to rationalize away each of the constituents of the pattern.

    It sounds to me like an instance of the fallacy of composition, with the (fallacious) reasoning being:

    The alleged campaign of harassment consists of actions A1, A2, A3, …. A623.
    A1 is not harassment, it’s just criticism.
    A2 is not harassment, it’s just criticism.

    A623 is not harassment, it’s just criticism.
    Therefore, there is no harassment.

  123. 123
    Anthony K

    Screechy monkey, I think the sorites paradox is the issue here.

    It’s denialism all the way down. It’s like saying that no single PPM of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is insufficient to cause deleterious warming.

  124. 124
    screechymonkey

    “sorites paradox”

    Well, who says you can’t learn anything here? (I’d heard of the issue before, but not the name.)

  125. 125
    Anthony K

    I know, right?

    I just learned that I meant to write ‘sufficient’ and yet wrote ‘insufficient’.

  126. 126
    MrFancyPants

    “The SPLC is a left-wing advocacy group” (said Mark Thomas at Skepchick)

    Comments like that are always a red flag. Ever since the SPLC listed AVfM as a misogny site, the crazies have been saying things like this. Whenever I see an anti-SPLC comment crop up I brace myself for the rest of the standard MRA recipe of argle-bargle to come forth.

  127. 127
    Jackie the wacky

    MrFancyPants,
    Kinda like how fundies say the ACLU is antiChristian.

  128. 128
    daniellavine

    I’ve learned more about skeptixx’s identity from ‘pitters and “concerned individuals” than I have from Ophelia so far. Why the double standard, ‘pitters? You’re allowed to dox skeptixx b/c you’re best buds but it’s a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad thing when Ophelia does it? How about a little consistency? That would make it a little less obvious that you’re a bunch of vindictive little pissants.

  129. 129
    Anne C. Hanna

    Haha, yes, I think the sorites paradox is it, Anthony! One incident of obnoxious behavior does not make a pattern of harassment. If one incident is not a pattern, then neither is two. If two is not a pattern, then neither is three, … therefore, a squillion incidents of obnoxiousness do not make a pattern of harassment.

    But I think there is one more step to the dance after this: a kind of inverse composition fallacy (thank you screechymonkey!). They do their little sorites maneuver and say, “Therefore the comments identified as objectionable do not constitute a pattern of harassment”, and then they work backwards from that to say, “Because this collection of comments does not constitute a pattern of harassment, the collection of comments is not objectionable, and therefore [inverse composition fallacy!] no individual comment from the collection is objectionable. Thus, there is nothing wrong with this specific comment you singled out to object to.” And the circle of life is complete.

  130. 130
    Anne C. Hanna

    Oh, haha, the “inverse composition fallacy” has a proper name too: the fallacy of division.

  131. 131
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    My non-existent god, I think the past 10 or so posts have completely nailed it. Well done!

  132. 132
    Ophelia Benson

    I now understand all the things.

  133. 133
    Anne C. Hanna

    “The thing’s hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God — it’s full of fallacies!”

  134. 134
    Funny Diva

    Un. Believable.

    Theetar @68

    Seriously Ophelia, do you think a respected doctor like Skeptickle would be playing these games you are accusing her of, with no evidence. I think you need to take a few deep breaths.

    Nice job, MORON. So caught up in scoring points off of Ophelia that
    YOU JUST OUTED YOUR IDOL BY NAMING HER PROFESSION.
    With friends like you, she no longer has to worry about being “doxxed” by the FTBullies.
    Oh, Bra-VO, Brave Hero!

    Between that and the comments at the “Lies” post, anyone with half a brain should be able to connect the dots now. (You’ve certainly confirmed my suspicions!)
    And I was worried that a slymie would “out” her _intentionally_.

    But I guess since it happened at Butterflies & Wheels, it’s really all Ophelia’s fault. I mean, a random commenter is EXACTLY the same as the blog owner connecting the dots in a post, right? [/snark. bitter, bitter snark].

    PS: her disgusting comment to Ophelia suggesting she get professional help for her paranoia ALONE is completely inappropriate for a “respected doctor” to make. I would not go ANYWHERE near a doctor who thought that sort of shaming, that insinuating a mental health issue AND using it as a rhetorical club, was in any way appropriate. Who thought that hiding behind an internet pseudonym would make it acceptable to express that sort of idea in public.

  135. 135
    Funny Diva

    Ophelia,
    If I’m still being too oblique, feel free to email me.
    If you feel that it would be better if my comment about “connect[ing] the dots” disappear into the ether, I would understand completely.

    I’m so, so sorry you’re still having to put up with this.
    Thank you for continuing to write great posts about other important issues in spite of it. The world needs _more_ voices like yours (and Stephanie’s and Rebecca’s), not fewer!

  136. 136
    Funny Diva

    The disgusting comment I allude to is here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/05/stalking/#comment-554193

    Again, wouldn’t go _anywhere near_ a doctor who would say something like this in public.

  137. 137
    oolon

    …..you allow one of your followers (Oolon) to assist you in doxxing.

    Given no ones been doxxed its hard to see how I assisted, let alone was “allowed” to assist. I guess Theetar was “allowed” to be epically dumb as well by posting about Eliza’s medical qualifications. But then like all the other info its out there already and was said by Eliza first…. So is there anything wrong with gathering all the information that she has been perfectly happy to divulge into one space? No, not unless she actually is doxxed as she claims having her full name come up on the first Google search on an atheist site would be an issue in her job.

    That cannot happen until her full name is posted, even then it would need to be in a post not the comments. Even then it likely would not end up on the first page of a Google search.

    But hey why worry about small facts like this when you are working yourself up into a rage? Slyme-logic.

  138. 138
    Sili

    having her full name come up on the first Google search on an atheist site would be an issue in her job.

    Iiiiiiiinteresting experiment to perform.

    It would seem that Skeptixx was outed by a Pharyngula Dungeon resident long ago.

  139. 139
    Aratina Cage

    Why the double standard, ‘pitters? You’re allowed to dox skeptixx b/c you’re best buds but it’s a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad thing when Ophelia does it?

    Right out of the Dick Cheney political handbook.

  140. 140
    Ophelia Benson

    Funny Diva @ 136 – quite so. That comment inspired a profound disgust in me too. She knows all about the harassment I’ve been getting because she’s a regular at (and a defender of) the slime pit. She knows it’s been escalating. She read what the post was about. Yet she had the fucking gall to pretend to think I was collapsing into paranoia because I pointed this out.

    She’s the kind of person who enjoys watching sadism, and also enjoys mocking people who are the objects of sadism.

  141. 141
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Yes, the doctor info is enough to narrow it down, all the way from Australia with no local knowledge. Before that, I had 2 candidates and guessed based on location.

    Now I expect that a pitter “doxxing” on Ophelia’s site counts as Ophelia doxxing in the eyes of the pit. Because you should totally have deleted that info! But don’t forget, you must never censor! FREEZE PEACH!!!

  142. 142
    oolon

    Well Eliza Sutton has been “doxxed” by one of the members of the Seattle atheists here.
    http://heathen-hub.com/blog.php?bt=9267
    Cannot really be called a dox as apparently she doesn’t care that much. Or no one is shouting at Maxwell Smart for doxxing her anyway!

    Apparently she was instrumental in writing the code of conduct for her atheist org, wut!
    http://www.seattleatheists.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/SA-Code-of-Conduct-Policy.pdf

    It specifically says –> If someone says leave them alone… You leave them alone!

  143. 143
    oolon

    Frozen page here if like Tim “IP Paranoia” Skellet you worry about leaving IP droppings all over the place. http://www.freezepage.com/1370207404YZCKEJWTIK

    So many lies on that page, hard to know where to start. Eliza’s sob story about being banned from A+ is total bullshit as she turned up triumphantly at the Slymepit to crow about it!

  144. 144
    Ophelia Benson

    Dang. I’ll say. Damn near everything she says about me is a lie. Her account of Katie Graham’s comments here is particularly shameless.

  145. 145
    oolon

    Yeah how they can say Katie was “endangered” by you not removing public tweets with no information in them apart from some snide stuff about you is… Disingenuous with a capital D!

    I wouldn’t trust Eliza as my Doctor and its nothing to do with her atheism, more the constant lying.

  146. 146
    Anne C. Hanna

    Oh god I am just so sick of watching them stripping the context from everything so they can pretend that the people they harass just started picking on them out of nowhere.

    It’s the same damn thing they do everywhere. They take each single small incident, or a few lines of text from a blog post, and they isolate it from everything else that it’s connected to and just react to it on its own, refusing to acknowledge that those connections change the meaning. One gross photoshop doesn’t mean anything, one weird not-quite-a-threat doesn’t mean anything, one woman who doesn’t report harassment at a conference doesn’t mean anything, one woman who quits her local atheist group because all the guys are creeping on her doesn’t mean anything. Oh, but one pissed off tweet about Sara Mayhew, that sure as hell means *all the things*, no matter what provoked it, and no matter what else was said around it.

  147. 147
    Ophelia Benson

    Plus she did not beg, plus she used her name in commenting here so how could no-name tweets endanger her in any way? Plus I was not “shamed” – she finally managed to ask politely and offer a semblance of a reason, and I complied. Now she’s attacking me again on her blog, by way of saying thank you.

  148. 148
    Sili

    Oh! I had the wrong one, then. It was the other one the ‘joed’ yelled about on Pharyngula before getting banned.

  149. 149
    Aratina Cage

    I don’t know what is up with Katie acting that way about your screencaps of her tweets, either, or why Eliza misrepresents everything about that interaction you had with Katie. It’s not like the Slymepit is going to remove all the shit they’ve posted about you if you were to go there and demand it of them! So what gives? Why are you the meanie for having screencaps with no identifying content other than that they talk about you, but the Slymepit isn’t all one big group of meanies? Puh-leeeeze.

  150. 150
    Ophelia Benson

    You don’t know why Eliza misrepresents everything about that interaction with Katie? Sure you do! It’s Robbers’ Cave. She’s picked her team, and the other team gets every bit of malice she feels like coming up with. They are Team Good People, so photoshops and lies and online diagnoses of virulent paranoia are fine. I am part of Team Evil People, so posting a screencap of a nasty tweet about me by some random stranger is a terrible vile crime.

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