A response


So there’s Nugent’s response to the shamelessly dishonest “Open Letters” demanding that he denounce me for doing something I didn’t in fact do. Let’s take a quick look at it.

Thank you for the various open letters and emails regarding the ongoing conflicts between some atheists and skeptics on an interacting range of issues including sexism and harassment, feminism and free speech, personal abuse and bullying, and the impact of these issues on the Empowering Women Through Secularism conference in Dublin on June 29 and 30.

No. He shouldn’t be saying thank you. This is just more harassment, ramped up to trying to get me denounced or disinvited from the conference. The “Open Letters” are thick with lies. He shouldn’t be taking them at face value, or as a favor, or as a good and legitimate thing to do.

Firstly, from a personal perspective, I know from experience of much more vicious conflicts than these that it is likely that there are good people on all perceived ‘sides’ who are unfairly hurting other people because they or people close to them have themselves been unfairly hurt, and who are unfairly attributing malign motivations to other good people who in turn are unfairly attributing malign motivations to them.

No. He doesn’t know that. He only thinks he does. That’s one of the ways he’s gone so badly wrong on all this. No, the sides are not equivalent. Sometimes there just really are bullies and harassers who bully and harass people because they like doing it. He can’t be bothered to figure even that much out, yet he can be bothered to meddle in the matter while being that clueless about it.

Since I started facilitating the paused online dialogue on these issues, I have been listening to and considering what people on all perceived ‘sides’ have to say.

Ohhhhh no he hasn’t. Oh no he has not. He’s been dismissing and ignoring what at least one person centrally involved has to say.

I have had the pleasure of working with moderators and participants in the online dialogue who have been acting with integrity and reason despite unfair criticism of them from people opposed to dialogue.

Meaning me, for one – and of course me especially, since I am the subject of those “Open Letters.”

I am not “opposed to dialogue.” I am opposed to this “dialogue,” run by someone who admittedly knows little about it, against the will of the people most targeted by the harassers. I’m opposed to forced dialogue. I’m opposed to people taking over the management of other people’s problems while refusing to talk to those very people.

As many people have commented here lately, if someone is punching you in the face, is it fair to try to force you to have a “dialogue” with that someone? Isn’t the job rather to make the puncher stop punching?

I have read a great deal of the online material that shows how various issues have both escalated and became entangled with each other in recent years. And I want to add to my understanding by talking to some of the people involved when they come to Dublin, because I think that face to face discussion can be more useful than online discussion.

He wants to “add to his understanding”? As if this is just some educational project for him? And he wants to talk to us when we come to Dublin instead of now? To say nothing of two months ago? He wants to wait until after all the damage has been done to the conference and to some of the participants, especially me – why? Because it will be more fun for him that way? Well what about other people? What about the people he has exposed to more lies and libel by hosting them on his blog?

He’s wrong about the face to face discussion, too. His refusal to discuss this “online” – while forcing an online conversation about it on unwilling targets of harassment – is not going to make face to face discussion one bit more useful.

Secondly, as chairperson of Atheist Ireland, I want to make clear that the Empowering Women Through Secularism Conference is not ‘my’ conference. It is an Atheist Ireland conference, and it is disrespectful to the committee members of Atheist Ireland, and particularly to the conference chairperson Jane Donnelly, to frame it as something which I control personally.

No, it is not disrespectful, because this is the first I’ve heard of it.

We invited speakers to contribute to this important agenda, and not on the basis of their involvement in the ongoing conflicts. We won’t be uninviting any speakers, and we won’t allow our ongoing work as an advocacy group to be used as a vehicle for adding to the escalation of the conflicts by unfairly maligning any speakers or any other person who is attending the conference.

It’s distracting some people from the conference and its agenda, isn’t it. It’s too bad he insisted on this “dialogue” then, isn’t it.

We considered having a session during the conference to discuss the ongoing conflicts, and we decided against doing this. The background would require too much explaining for conference attenders, many of whom function mostly in real life and are blissfully unaware that these conflicts even exist. Also, we do not want it to unduly dominate the focus of the conference.

Indeed. Neither do I. It’s too bad he insisted on this “dialogue” then, isn’t it.

We are asking speakers and participants to focus on the agenda for the conference, and to leave discussion of the conflicts for the many opportunities that exist to discuss them elsewhere.

But I never wanted to discuss it in the first place. That was his idea, not mine.

Please be respectful to all of the speakers and to all of the other participants. Please do not attribute malign motivations to any person who is attending the conference.

Not even one who has been relentlessly harassing you for nearly a year, and who is quite open about his hostility and scorn for conferences about empowering women through secularism.

Ultimately we need to resolve the ongoing conflict issues in some manner, and I have been actively trying to work towards this by facilitating dialogue.

There is no “we” there. He does not need to resolve the ongoing conflict issues, and he is also not able to do so. His active work has made it worse, and shows no signs at all of “resolving” it.

And then there’s the muck in the comments. Like “Eucliwood” “Eu” etc etc etc, here “Sister Eu”

And, just like that mishap with the signature sheet (hmm.. wonder who signed Ophelia’s name and gave FTB a way to invalidate it?), it could so easily be them themselves putting threats there so that no one can argue about the actual topic.

That’s great, isn’t it? I get both the harassment of sticking my name on that thing, and an accusation of doing it myself.

And Renee Hendricks –

Michael, thank you for taking the time to write out your stance with regard to the upcoming conference and the online conflicts. At this point, I cannot see an amicable end to the bickering back and forth, short of putting us all in one room and letting us duke it out.

She sounds like Nugent. “Put” us all in one room, whether we consent or not. I refuse to be put in a room with Renee Hendricks. I don’t want to “duke it out” with anyone. I want to be left alone by assholes. There’s nothing to “discuss” or even “duke it out” about. There’s just: leave me alone.

Comments

  1. says

    This crap pisses me off. These bullies have tried hard to make themselves the victims and now another supposed “skeptic” fell for their lies. I will just file Nugent away with Ron Lindsay under #harassmentapologists.

  2. says

    Well, if Renee wanted an amicable end, she could end her participation and urge her chums to stop too, yes? It’s not as though harassment were some natural disaster caused by weather patterns or tectonic plate shifts.

  3. John Morales says

    Please be respectful to all of the speakers and to all of the other participants. Please do not attribute malign motivations to any person who is attending the conference.

    Not even one who has been relentlessly harassing you for nearly a year, and who is quite open about his hostility and scorn for conferences about empowering women through secularism.

    Mordant.

  4. says

    Dammit: borked blockquote. Ophelia, please delete previous comment to avoid confusion?

    He’s wrong about the face to face discussion, too. His refusal to discuss this “online” – while forcing an online conversation about it on unwilling targets of harassment – is not going to make face to face discussion one bit more useful.

    Yet another example of someone on the digital sidelines dismissing online interaction as not “real” interactions and something that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Communication is taking place, information and opinions are being exchanged: it’s as real as interaction gets, and the harassing/bullying/threatening communications, attempting to intimidate people into withdrawing from online interaction, do real harm to their ability to contribute their time, energy and skills to activism.

    Also, because these old-fashioned types’ own online interactions use old-skool media (email mostly) almost entirely, they fail to grok the crucial differences between blog/forum posts *about one* (which one can easily choose not to read) and social media communications directed *at one* which intrude into one’s inbox incessantly (and the screening of which can be tricky because the harassers know how to sneak past old-skool methods).

    They really have no idea what they’re talking about, and it would behoove them to actually consult a cyberbullying expert.

  5. Funny Diva says

    This is what jumped out and bopped me on the nose:
    he has “experience of much more vicious conflicts”…
    So, really, Ophelia, just, you know, knock it off with the DRAMA and OVERSENSITIVITY and PARANOIA already.
    Because there are good people on both sides! Yet another penis-haver has said! So we know it’s trooooooo!

    It’s clear that maintaining his self image as an Honest Broker Above it All and Wise as Solomon is more important than real honesty or fairness or FACTS. Or actual empowerment of women through secularism, unless it’s his idea of secularism and the women have been deemed (by him) worthy of empowerment. If you’re already somewhat empowered and getting uppity, well…too bad. Other Priorities!

  6. iknklast says

    Well, if Renee wanted an amicable end, she could end her participation and urge her chums to stop too, yes? It’s not as though harassment were some natural disaster caused by weather patterns or tectonic plate shifts.

    Sure, Stephanie, except Renee can’t put an end to it, because the only amicable end, in her opinion, would be for Ophelia to STFU. So, in her mind, only Ophelia can put an end to it – and PZ, and Stephanie, and Greta, and Rebecca, and every other woman who ever spoke up against sexual harrassment – wait a minute, she means me, doesn’t she? She wants me to STFU! Guess her amicable end is going to be a while coming. I don’t see Ophelia shutting up soon – or any of the others for that matter. They’re still drunk with success for driving Jen from blogging, and they think they can get everyone they don’t like out.

  7. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    *shakes head*

    Jumping Jesus on a Pogo-stick, Nugent does not get it and does not want to.
    I’m sorry Ophelia. You don’t deserve this “both sides” bullshit.

  8. PatrickG says

    the paused online dialogue on these issues

    I know this is a minor point in the face of so much else, but the dialogue is not paused. Only the formally moderated Dialogue has been paused.

    The “dialogue” (scare-quotes deliberate, to distinguish from the formal Dialogue) is quite obviously continuing in the absence of the supposedly more-productive version. I’m sure he’s a busy man and all that, but if he didn’t have the resources to actually see the A-S Dialogue through, maybe it wasn’t a good idea to start it. Just a thought.

    Really, at this point it might be more politic to admit the Dialogue isn’t paused; it’s over. It’s been run off the road and is currently laying upside-down in a ditch, leaking fuel. I can’t even begin to see how it can be restarted in the light of later developments.

    Of course, I’m not a participant, so I really should just shut up. But I was someone who was following it, and I won’t be bothering in future.

  9. Gretchen Robinson says

    Characterizing this as just “bickering back and forth” serves to trivialize the ongoing harassment.
    Renee sounds like she would prefer the usual macho way of solving a conflict, that is to ‘duke it out.’ Egad, what a thug.

  10. Funny Diva says

    Now, if it’s so disrespectful to Atheist Ireland and Ms Donnelly, why didn’t he just say that to the signers of that Open Letter in the first f*cking place? Why this “stand by for my pronouncement” crap? If Ms Donnelly is also in a leadership position, why isn’t she saying anything?

    Sounds like he wants it both ways: I get to speak on behalf of the conference, but, don’t hold me responsible for anything because it’s not really _my_ conference.

    Now, that’s a feat! Balancing atop more than one fence simultaneously. I’m surprised that position hasn’t started to chafe.

  11. tonyinbatavia says

    What part of “There’s just: leave me alone” doesn’t Nugent understand? What sort of dialogue is required to leave someone the fuck alone? That’s not a rhetorical question.
    And how would that dialogue go? Maybe:
    Ophelia: “Leave me alone.”
    Asshats: “No.”
    Nugent: “I have been listening to and considering what people on all perceived ‘sides’ have to say.”
    Ophelia: “I want to be left alone by assholes.”
    Asshats: “We refuse to leave you alone. Oh, and here’s a stupid-ass demeaning Photoshop of you just to demonstrate you how much we refuse to leave you alone.”
    Nugent: “Ultimately we need to resolve the ongoing conflict issues in some manner, and I have been actively trying to work towards this by facilitating dialogue.”
    What the fuck will a dialogue accomplish? Seriously? Someone needs to have a sit down, but only with the asshats, and the message needs to be: “What the fuck are you trying to accomplish by harassing Ophelia, Stephanie, Rebecca, etc.? Leave them the fuck alone and get your acts together. You are accomplishing absolutely nothing, so here’s a simple message: Leave. Them. The. Fuck. Alone. Now get out of my sight. You people make me sick.”

  12. PatrickG says

    Somehow the message of support got edited out during my previewing, so:

    Ophelia, this particular random person on the internet very much enjoys your reading, your activism, and the community you help foster. I’m personally irritated that you have to deal with this shit, so it boggles my mind to think of how enormously frustrating this latest Golden Mean crap must be for you.

  13. Ryan Long says

    If you want to be left alone then STOP BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC AND NAMING SPECIFIC PEOPLE ON YOUR DUMB BLOG.

    Deeeerrrrrrrrp.

  14. John Morales says

    Ryan Long:

    If you want to be left alone then STOP BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC AND NAMING SPECIFIC PEOPLE ON YOUR DUMB BLOG.

    Ophelia seeks the cessation of tacit endorsement of harassment, and your advice is for her to shut up?

    Deeeerrrrrrrrp.

    Indeed.

  15. mildlymagnificent says

    Someone help me out here.

    Why does this image of the clueless, oblivious school/workplace counsellor keep appearing in my mind? Couldn’t possibly be because so many schools/workplaces respond to “I don’t want her/him to bother/bully me any more” with yet another offer of “a chance to sit down and work these things out together”. Could it?

    I don’t know how to say it Ophelia. I admire you, but, surprise, surprise, I can’t wish I was in your shoes. I do wish there was some way to occasionally relieve the burden – like carrying your bag for a while, I suppose. Having now to deal with the uncomprehending along with the unrelenting is just a very sour cherry on a long melted sundae. (I can’t encourage you to keep on with it, because I’m never ever sure just how close you might be at any given time to that “Fuckit! It’s over.” moment.)

  16. oaksterdam says

    Ryan Long = Exhibit A

    Another ditto here for PatrickG @ 12. Clenched Tentacle Salute and all that.

  17. Anthony K says

    If you want to be left alone then STOP BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC AND NAMING SPECIFIC PEOPLE ON YOUR DUMB BLOG.

    You mean like taking photos with signs of support for atheist bloggers in Bangladesh?

    Because, uh, your besties kinda fucked that one too, Ryan.

  18. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Shorter Ryan Long: “Shut up while the men are talking.”

  19. says

    My, but the slymers are ever so civil in their comments on Mick’s post! The fight for his soul is still going on, I see.

    This response strikes me as somewhat, um, generic, shall we say. Very PC. Like a speaker of parliament desperately trying to moderate between Labor and the neonazi party. It leaves me a bit frustrated, because he’s still peddling this middle ground bullcrap.

    It’s also a bit naive to ask for AI’s conference to not be tainted by the movement rift, because you would think that before we talk about empowering women through secularism, it would be somewhat useful to be on equal footing within the movement with regards to empowering women in our own house.

    OTOH, there will be no dissing of any speakers, and that’s good news, although personally I never had any doubts about that anyway. And if he wants to talk to people during the conference, by all means, I certainly have an earful ready for him.

  20. jagwired says

    I would like to echo PatrickG and Funny Diva @ 12 & 13

    Ryan Long,

    What the fuck is your motivation for posting on this “dumb blog”? You should really think about it.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ultimately we need to resolve the ongoing conflict issues in some manner,

    Maybe I’m just stereotyping the Irish, but I keep getting the impression that Nugent is parroting official pronouncements from the lloonngg–ddrraawwnn–oouutt negotiations in Ulster, where such obsequiousness-to-obnoxiousness may have been necessary.

  22. says

    So discouraging! It just goes on and on and on and on … doesn’t it? They know what’s needed, but that’s the one thing they will never consider doing; just dropping it and going on with their own lives before they turn into nothing but ghostly whines.

    Hang in there, Ophelia.

    I read the Anne books several times as a kid. In the first, Anne says to her friend, “The iron has entered into my soul, Diana.” The quote stayed with me all my life, and as an adult, when things were really rough, I would say to myself, “The iron has entered …” and feel it coursing through my veins, stiffening me up. Silly, but it helped.

    I wish for you an infusion of liquid iron.

  23. smhll says

    I just had to use my google powers to see if Michael Nugent had written for Surly Amy’s series against harassment of women. He wrote a pretty good one. I’d like him to reread it from some kind of pulpit every day at the Dublin conference. The sentiments are good. I’d like to see him make it happen.

    There is also the wider context of sexism in general. If we as men faced
    this pattern of sick online abuse simply because of our gender, I suspect
    that we would urgently take action to tackle the problem. If we fail to
    take the same action when women face this problem, our inaction reinforces
    prejudice and discrimination against women generally. We may not mean to
    do that, and we may not even be aware of it, but the impact of our
    inaction remains the same.

    Tackling sexism is a complex problem, with no magic answers. We should
    rigorously analyze the extent of sexism in our communities, both online
    and offline, and we should test and refine the best ways to eradicate it.
    But we must not deny that it exists, or reinforce it with prejudice and
    discrimination. Instead we should actively work to create inclusive, safe
    and supportive communities, in which we can live together as equals,
    regardless of our race, gender, sexuality or ability levels.

  24. Chris Lee says

    “Both sides do it and are equally bad, so let me explain how only I understand.”

    High Broderism, invented by the American Punditocracy, now gumming up the works in all walks of life!

  25. Sili says

    And if he wants to talk to people during the conference, by all means, I certainly have an earful ready for him.

    Please let me be there when you deliver it.

    I fear I have to google the vacuous one, so I know what to look out for.

  26. PatrickG says

    So wait, this side gets in trouble for “Shut up and listen”. The other side just says “Shut up.”

    It’d be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

  27. says

    Your personal issues like having them forge your name, write Open Letters about you, try to interfere with your speaking engagements, write ridiculous things under your name, and send constant threats and insults? You see, it’s all YOUR personal problem that attacks bother you!

    Who was it that said the comments on any post about feminism demonstrate the need for feminism?

    I wish I’d be there, Ophelia. You deserve to be surrounded by a flying wedge of supporters whenever you want.

  28. seraphymcrash says

    Are you still going to this thing? I mean it’s obvious they don’t give a shit. If I was going I’d feel bad for supporting an organization that sees abusers and their targets as equivalent entities in an online “discussion”.

    It seems like the only motivation for going would be so that the fuckers don’t get to cry victory if you back out.

    Can I just express my sympathies for you over this whole thing. If you do go, I hope you find all the support you need.

  29. F [nucular nyandrothol] says

    Secondly, as chairperson of Atheist Ireland, I want to make clear that the Empowering Women Through Secularism Conference is not ‘my’ conference. It is an Atheist Ireland conference, and it is disrespectful to the committee members of Atheist Ireland, and particularly to the conference chairperson Jane Donnelly, to frame it as something which I control personally.

    No, it is not disrespectful, because this is the first I’ve heard of it.

    Speculative translation: I think it prudent to my own self-interest at this point to distance myself from this particular conference so as to agitate neither side against myself by being associated with the results of this conference or the fact that it even exists. I’m totally neutral! (And I don’t want 8 billion blog posts and comments about me because the organization with which I am affiliated had something to do with woman-stuff.)

    Personal hypothesis as to why you’re hearing about it of a sudden.

  30. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty – June 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm (UTC -7)

    *shakes head* Jumping Jesus on a Pogo-stick, Nugent does not get it and does not want to.
    I’m sorry Ophelia. You don’t deserve this “both sides” bullshit.

    This and this :

    #11. tonyinbatavia :

    What part of “There’s just: leave me alone” doesn’t Nugent understand? What sort of dialogue is required to leave someone the fuck alone? That’s not a rhetorical question.
    And how would that dialogue go? Maybe:
    Ophelia: “Leave me alone.”
    Asshats: “No.”
    Nugent: “I have been listening to and considering what people on all perceived ‘sides’ have to say.”
    Ophelia: “I want to be left alone by assholes.”
    Asshats: “We refuse to leave you alone. Oh, and here’s a stupid-ass demeaning Photoshop of you just to demonstrate you how much we refuse to leave you alone.”
    Nugent: “Ultimately we need to resolve the ongoing conflict issues in some manner, and I have been actively trying to work towards this by facilitating dialogue.”
    What the fuck will a dialogue accomplish? Seriously? Someone needs to have a sit down, but only with the asshats, and the message needs to be: “What the fuck are you trying to accomplish by harassing Ophelia, Stephanie, Rebecca, etc.? Leave them the fuck alone and get your acts together. You are accomplishing absolutely nothing, so here’s a simple message: Leave. Them. The. Fuck. Alone. Now get out of my sight. You people make me sick.”

    Seconded by me and very well said. Quoted for truth.

  31. says

    …because I think that face to face discussion can be more useful than online discussion.

    Every time I see someone say this, I point out that face to face discussions rely on memory and quick recollection. You can’t go back and copy/paste quotes to prevent strawmen or hold people to their words. You can’t take five minutes to quickly research a claim before you make it or have a friend check your post for errors or just calm down and think. And you can’t make point-by-point responses, because you can only discuss one single point at a time and a single rabbit hole will immediately dominate the conversation.

    What you can do, is take advantage of the above, as well as use your physical demeanor or tone of voice to intimidate your opponent, further reducing their capacity to provide a thought-out response. In other words, you can be a bully and get away with it.

    And then there’s the muck in the comments. Like “Eucliwood” “Eu” etc etc etc, here “Sister Eu” -

    Eucliwood, Eu, etc., etc., etc…that list of names includes “Robitussin”. She shat it up somewhat on the A+ forums and got banned, and has since engaged in her own personal stalking/harassment campaign against me and other A+ers, and in one case an A+er’s uncle, on Twitter, Facebook and through IRC private messages. Her name is Evangeline Claire.

  32. says

    Oooh, I forgot about this.

    PatrickG #8:

    I know this is a minor point in the face of so much else, but the dialogue is not paused. Only the formally moderated Dialogue has been paused.

    That’s Nugent operating on the same lines as the common treatment of politics. The only dialogue that counts is The Dialogue Between Great People. We are merely the unwashed masses, and thus what we say does not matter; the only points of view that matter are the ones that show up on Crossfire and get talked about by Real Political Minds.

  33. PatrickG says

    @ Setar:

    Yep, that’s precisely it. Nugent has decided that conversation on his terms will stop, therefore all conversation must also have stopped.

    It’s jaw-dropping. I was actually mildly hopeful way back when the whole Dialogue started. At the very least, I thought it would expose some of the more obvious assholishness. Never did I think it would turn into a frozen forum for ever more virulent strains.

    What the hell is Nugent hoping to accomplish from this, other than to drag his name through the mud? :P

  34. says

    And I want to add to my understanding by talking to some of the people involved when they come to Dublin, because I think that face to face discussion can be more useful than online discussion.

    I will never understand this attitude. how can “face to face discussion” be better than a form of communication where you can think through what you’re gonna respond, quote verbatim, spend some time researching to see whether what the other person is saying is even true or make sure you remember your own evidence correctly, and where aggressive, forceful personalities are separated from you by the buffer of asynchronicity and space?
    The people who “win” meatspace discussions are those with the most aggressive personalities and con-artist ability to make up responses and gish-gallops on the spot.

  35. says

    Eucliwood, Eu, etc., etc., etc…that list of names includes “Robitussin”. She shat it up somewhat on the A+ forums and got banned, and has since engaged in her own personal stalking/harassment campaign against me and other A+ers, and in one case an A+er’s uncle, on Twitter, Facebook and through IRC private messages. Her name is Evangeline Claire.

    wtf

  36. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    To say I’m disappointed is to imply that I ever had hope that any “dialogue” could serve any purpose at all. But I am, still.

    Strongs and thank you, Ophelia. We see what’s happening, and no amount of “spinning” can make us un-see it.

  37. says

    Nugent’s comment section on that post is fascinating.

    I also think it’s somewhat admirable that they wouldn’t uninvite any speakers, despite their behaviour

    5 lights, for sure. Amazing. Just amazing.

    These are all people labeled misogynists by the social justice warriors. And the list keeps growing. But NONE of them has made rape threats nor death threats nor do they support those who do! Is Mick next? Am I? This smells very McCarthyistic to me.

    Writes concerned anonymous regressive Glenn Beck channeling “SisterChromatid” . That conference better not run out of Guinness. We’re going to need it.

  38. Donnie says

    In a previous comment thread, I called it “a measured response”. I retract that comment.

  39. says

    Nugent says:

    …I know from experience of much more vicious conflicts…

    That line fills me with foreboding. I wonder if there’s some other conflict, where he’s forced his perceived wisdom into a situation he barely understands?

  40. Hamilton Jacobi says

    This is disgraceful. I am very disappointed that Michael Nugent did not make any real attempt to get to the root of what is happening here.

  41. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    That line fills me with foreboding. I wonder if there’s some other conflict, where he’s forced his perceived wisdom into a situation he barely understands?

    I think he was involved in some “real life” negotiations in the Ireland/England situation which even I would classify as being “more vicious”.

    Of course, this artificial divide between “real life” and the internet is completely bogus, as tigtog so clearly pointed out, and drives me up a wall.

  42. trazan says

    The Irish catholic / protestant conflict is different from this situation. How could you make Nugent see that? It was worse, but how is that relevant?

  43. says

    Jadehawk #37:

    wtf

    Not lying. I have her blocked on Facebook and continually have to add new filters to my IRC ignore list (no worries about Twitter thanks to oolon!) because she keeps messaging me simply demanding that I respond to her, even hitting on me somewhat. She did that to my friend and he “fell for it”, wound up getting horribly emotionally abused and triggered, and his uncle got caught in it as well. According to him, she considers personal boundaries a challenge. According to her own messages to me, she just wants attention =/

    I haven’t talked to her because of what my friend has told me. A+ has gotten a hell of a lot of trolls and ‘pitters, but she’s one of only two that got up to purely evil shit like that (the other, actually did the purely evil shit on the forum).

  44. says

    And, of course…I know that’s her, because Eucliwood was the only person to actually harass me on Twitter — I didn’t feel the need to use the block bot until I saw that handle making the kind of condescending dancing ‘gotcha!’ retorts that I absolutely hate as well as spreading bullshit. I sometimes got responses from ‘pitters I engaged, when I deigned to engage them, but Eucliwood targeted me, starting at about the same time that I started getting mysterious private messages on IRC that somehow evaded my ignoring their hostmask. And I was linked to A+, a prominent person there, and moreover I was linked to the person Evangeline had harassed. Then we compared notes, and thought that it was quite likely that Eucliwood, my mysterious IRC correspondent, and Evangeline Claire were the same person.

    And then I started getting FB messages from Evangeline, which…kinda sealed it. I was just conflicted about revealing this until I read Stephanie’s bit, because…-sigh- we’ll just say fail.

  45. says

    Markita Lynda @29:

    Who was it that said the comments on any post about feminism demonstrate the need for feminism?

    According to Google, only you said it.

  46. rq says

    This abuse is now bickering? Please.
    I’m just going to echo #12 (PatrickG) and the sentiments therein.
    I don’t think I want to go to Dublin anymore.

  47. says

    tony @ 11 – exactly. We’ve been saying that all along. In the previous attempts to force us into a “dialogue” with the harassers – we’ve said – no, there’s nothing to have a dialogue about, there’s only “stop.”

    Ryan Long’s contribution @ 14 is classic – my “personal issues” forsooth. The fact is I don’t do much personal issue blogging. I never have. I’ve always wanted to write about things other than that, and I’ve always done so (along with a small amount of “personal” stuff about the dog or a trip or some anecdote or joke by way of variety). As Stephanie says, this is hardly just “personal.”

  48. Beth says

    @JadeHawk #36

    I will never understand this attitude. how can “face to face discussion” be better than a form of communication where you can think through what you’re gonna respond, quote verbatim, spend some time researching to see whether what the other person is saying is even true or make sure you remember your own evidence correctly, and where aggressive, forceful personalities are separated from you by the buffer of asynchronicity and space?

    Face to face discussions allow non-verbal communication to take place. You can discern attitudes and make a better assessment of whether or not someone is speaking truthfully, what their motivations might be, etc.

    Some people may bully relentlessly in cyberspace but not be aggressive at all in meatspace, so there is that aspect as well.

    For what it’s worth, I generally prefer on-line discussions for exactly the reasons you mention above, but there are advantages to face to face discussions as well. I hope I have helped you understand them a bit better.

  49. doubtthat says

    @35 Setar:

    Every time I see someone say this, I point out that face to face discussions rely on memory and quick recollection. You can’t go back and copy/paste quotes to prevent strawmen or hold people to their words. You can’t take five minutes to quickly research a claim before you make it or have a friend check your post for errors or just calm down and think.

    This is an important point. You’re right about that setting offering and advantage to the glib sophist, but also, that’s not how fucking mediation works.

    Until your comment I hadn’t really considered that side of this “dialog,” but mediators/judges — the decision makers — aren’t just tasked with evaluating arguments and positions, they’re also tasked with adopting findings of fact. The rules of evidence are more flexible in mediation, obviously, but parties don’t just trot in and start babbling. Claims are always stronger with evidence to back them, and as you point out, since literally every bit of this discussion has been logged on social media and blogs, there should be a clear story behind each claim.

    Take a constant claim I encounter in family law cases: one party is accusing the other of abusing the children. Sometimes police reports, reports to family services, and photos will be available, but a depressingly large percentage of the time, the only evidence available is the testimony of the parties — this is sometimes due to the psychology of abuse and the fear of reporting and it’s also sometimes due to one side making it up to gain advantage.

    The mediator or judge cannot fucking stay neutral on that issue. They cannot play this game Nugent seems intent on playing — placating both sides. They have to say that they either believe the abuse occurred and craft a custody plan accordingly, or they have to say that they don’t find the evidence compelling. And most relevant to Setar’s point, they have to do so by clearly stating their findings of fact.

    The movement to boot Ophelia from the conference presents a similar situation: there can be no fence sitting. Either Nugent believes the weirdos cataloguing her many horrific crimes, or he doesn’t. Trying to dance around the issue and pass responsibility to others makes him look less like a diplomat and more like an incompetent mediator.

  50. says

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate:

    hyperdeath:

    That line fills me with foreboding. I wonder if there’s some other conflict, where he’s forced his perceived wisdom into a situation he barely understands?

    I think he was involved in some “real life” negotiations in the Ireland/England situation which even I would classify as being “more vicious”.

    I see what you mean. He certainly has an admirable history in that respect, and I take back my previous comment.

  51. Martha says

    I have been particularly disappointed by Nugent’s handling of the “dialogue” precisely because of the words smhll (#25) quoted above. They were strong, sensitive and not in the least tone-deaf, unlike the response quoted in the opening post.

    It seems to me that the harassers rely on the natural assumption (and there is no doubt a name for this fallacy) that where there is smoke, there’s fire. I’ve come close to falling prey to this from time to time over the last year. I see the wounded responses of the pitters, the angry rejoinders of the harassed, and I’ve occasionally wondered if the truth lay somewhere in between. But then I’ve gone back to look at the source of the uproar and have been astonished, over and over again, that the pitters have worked themselves up over nothing. It defies belief, really, even after seeing so many examples of this behavior.

    So I can see why so many of the fence-sitters wrongly conclude that there is equal– or at least substantial– fault on both sides. The problem is, they pretend to be *dis*interested observers when, in fact, they are *un*interested observers. There’s a big difference between trying to be impartial and just wanting the fight to go away. I’m very disappointed that someone with the talent and insight of Nugent has seemingly chosen the latter path. This is not Northern Ireland. This is a movement that is fighting over its soul. It has the right to focus on issues other than feminism, but it does not have the right to tolerate harassment and hostility toward women who speak their minds as it does so. I do wish Nugent would go back to making that last point clear.

  52. brianpansky says

    Markita Lynda @29:

    Who was it that said the comments on any post about feminism demonstrate the need for feminism?

    that is Lewis’ Law “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism”

    @Dave 49, not helpful

  53. Ant (@antallan) says

    Martha @57 Very good.

    Nugent here reminds me of those naïve teachers who punish bullies’ victims for their angry responses while falling for the bullies’ disingenuous versions of events.

    /@

  54. says

    Not lying.

    I was commenting on your behavior, not hers. What exactly do you imagine will be changed for the better by posting her meatspace name here?

    – – – – – – –

    You can discern attitudes and make a better assessment of whether or not someone is speaking truthfully, what their motivations might be, etc.

    do people actually believe this? That you can tell someone’s motives by looking at them? O.o

    Some people may bully relentlessly in cyberspace but not be aggressive at all in meatspace

    not in my experience; it just looks that way because it takes a lot less blatant aggression to produce the same effect in meatspace.

    I hope I have helped you understand them a bit better.

    so far, you’ve just made me worried about the people who think body-language allows for mind-reading :-/

  55. says

    oops. sorry for the blockquote fail.

    anyway, i should also say that preferring face to face talking because of body-language can get problematic really quickly if anyone on either side is not neurotypical. E.g. my boyfriend lacks bodylanguage almost entirely; he just permanently projects boredom/grumpiness with his bodylanguage (with occasional exceptions, when he’s very excited), and his facial expression is also limited to “looking grumpy” and “looking entirely too happy”; people (including me; still; even after 6+ years) read entirely too much into his body-language and facial expression. The internet works much better for him in terms of communication.

  56. says

    @Jadehawk, Evangeline is open about being Evangeline… So FYI no doxxing of meatspace names there by Setar just linking her many socks to her name which she is open about.

    I’d recommend just ignoring her personally, any convo I’ve had or seen anyone else have usually degenerates into insults or outright creepiness.

  57. says

    Jadehawk, when you’re responding to someone, please include comment # and or name unless the comment is very recent. Quoting just “Not lying” is a mystifying way to begin a comment. I had to do ctrl F to figure out what you were talking about.

  58. says

    PatrickG:

    So wait, this side gets in trouble for “Shut up and listen”. The other side just says “Shut up.”

    It’d be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

    Quoted for truth.

    Wasn’t Eucliwood the one who wrote creepy fanfic about Jason Thibeault?

  59. doubtthat says

    @Jadehawk

    do people actually believe this? That you can tell someone’s motives by looking at them?

    Once upon a time I at least thought this was plausible. I never considered myself an expert, but I at least believed I could pick out an obvious lie or figure out why someone was being such an ass. Then I spent some time in rooms with really good liars*, and now I am certain that I can’t read people, and Im deeply skeptical that anyone can.

    *Interestingly, the best liars I’ve encountered have been (1) criminals and (2) attorneys. Put them together and…

  60. says

    That’s a very common belief, isn’t it. I’ve heard a lot of people casually claim to be able to tell things about people by looking at them, intuition, etc. They often talk about knowing things by looking in people’s eyes, too, which is a truly ridiculous claim. Apart from dilation and contraction, eyes don’t betray anything. The skin around them may, a little, but not as much as the mouth.

  61. A. Noyd says

    @doubtthat (#67)
    And then there are the people who seem utterly untrustworthy when they’re telling the truth. Plus, as observers, we’re subject to the effect of cultural biases, which drive us to attribute trustworthiness to the display of particular characteristics (such as maleness or piousness or fluency).

  62. says

    I just had a lightbulb-moment.
    Reading this again I though “I know this, I know this, I know this -BAAAMMM!”
    This story has already been written a few centuries ago and it’s called Othello (only with a happy lack of Desdemona for her own good.)
    They’re Iago and Roderigo: Furious in their entitlement because they think that somebody else got something that was rightfully theirs because. Thinking of themselves as the real victims who are only actig in self defense and who are standing for all that’s good and right. So much time, so little change.

  63. Silentbob says

    @ 61 Jadehawk

    I think it’s ironic that in expressing incredulity at the ability to read people through body language, you used an emoticon. Emoticons are designed to mimic body language (though very poorly).

    @ 62 Jadehawk

    This is a case where the exception proves the rule. You wouldn’t have trouble reading your boyfriend’s body language after 6+ years if that wasn’t how people normally communicate.

    @ 68 Ophelia Benson

    Apart from dilation and contraction, eyes don’t betray anything.

    They most certainly do. Apart from “the skin around them” (wide eyes, narrow eyes, raised eyebrows, fluttering eyes, winks, etc.) the direction of gaze speaks volumes. It’s not for no reason that humans have very prominent whites to their eyes. We use our eyes to communicate all the time.

  64. eucliwood says

    Setar, I didn’t do jackshit to Cale. It’s fucking awful that you’re claiming I emotionally abused him, and I did not message him on IRC. You know nothing about that… :/ I had been friending people on FB, and he was an old troll and used to be recognized as an abusive person on IRC, ironically. But he had changed, and people had been saying this and that about him, and it was interesting. I decided to friend him as I do with other people from those channels, still,

    and we became friends. I never abused Cale, nor did I ever fucking trigger him, and he himself hasn’t even claimed this, nor did I do anything to his uncle ffs.

    I stopped being friends with Cale of my OWN accord. ME. *I* stopped being friends with *HIM*. He’s the one who told me what AtheismPlus was. I did not search him out after AtheismPlus and go to “abuse” him.
    If I hadn’t ended our friendship, he would have still been talking to me. We’d still fight sometimes, but I was the one that ended it, so you can fuck right off with those hurtful lies.

    Stay out of my business if you’re going to fucking lie like that. I’m not some predator, and I never became friends with him to abuse him.

    And Ophelia, please please PLEASE let this go through, because what Setar says is a lie, and there are two sides to every story. I’m sorry but I cannot tolerate someone spreading that I ever abused Cale! Now Setar is crossing lies here. I did not see Setar say that last time I went off on this post…

  65. says

    “eucliwood” – all right, I let it go through. But you have a nerve, given all the falsehoods you’ve told about me, using many nyms aka sock puppets to do it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>