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Update/ Clarification/ Correction on “Holy. Fucking. Shit.”

I have an update/ clarification/ correction to make on my recent Holy. Fucking. Shit. post. One of the twp people who made the report to JREF on the situation being discussed, Lee, has made a comment (and then some follow-up comments) clarifying what exactly happened in this situation, and what exactly was reported.

Quick note: Lee comments under the name Lee deLay, but prefers to be addressed simply as “Lee.” Also, while Lee is the “traumatized woman” mentioned in the original post, Lee is trans/ genderfluid, and uses they/them pronouns, despite presenting as female most of the time. When addressing Lee directly or speaking about them, please respect these wishes. (Side note: Readers might be interested in this post from the archives on the use of the singular “they.”)

Here is what Lee said in their comment:

Hi,
So I finally am catching up on everything that is going on and felt that I needed to speak up here as well as on the facebook page. I am the “traumatized woman” (though I am trans* genderfluid and use they/them pronouns, despite presenting as female most of the time) that is mentioned in the original post. I personally am the one who saw the camera and reported it to South Point security, I am one of the two people who filed formal, written and verbal complaints of the behavior (and other incidents) to the JREF and DJ at TAM last year.

What I actually reported and saw with the camera was a man, who I had issues earlier in the event with regards to personal space intrusions, with a camera pointing up on a telescoping rod at his ankle in a crowd of people many of whom were wearing skirts. I have a problem with this but I asked a friend, also a TAM attendee, if she had the same problem with it that I did and since she did we went to call security for the hotel. They came, it took some explanation and convincing but they went and talked to him. Last I saw of the camera after that he still had it so they must have just asked him to keep it above the waist.

I wouldn’t have reported to the JREF if he hadn’t continued to harass us despite us asking him to leave us alone multiple times and having other people ask him to leave us alone since he wouldn’t listen. Nothing was ever communicated to me on what happened or would happen though apparently my friend was able to get some response (which I just learned earlier today) though it wasn’t particularly satisfactory the fact that they are working to get a better policy is promising.

I don’t think DJ has handled this well no, BUT I also don’t like some of the comments that are being made that we are lying etc. When you ask someone to leave you alone, you listen. If you don’t that’s harassment. I /never/ said I say him taking pictures with the camera actively – only that it made me uncomfortable because there are a not a lot of reasons I can see to have a camera pointed up at your ankle in a crowd. I don’t care if he has a camera on a stick – just keep it above the waist.

On another note – it’s not just “non-penis bearing people” who are women. Some women have penises. Some men have vaginas. How about people who are wearing skirts? Genders a bit more complicated than that.

As for the naming names thing, my intention was never to ruin anyone. As such no, I don’t name names. Do I think something should be done? Yes. Did I want Buzzo’s name to be attached to it? Not particularly. I recognize that we are raised in a culture that says this BS is acceptable and so people will do things like this. It’s not okay and should be dealt with privately. But, as he has come out and publicly said it was him – yes that is who I complained about. Don’t ask me who filed with me, it is her choice if she wants to publicly state she filed with me.

Lee then followed up with this comment:

First – Please call me Lee, I am not used to people using my full name anymore, I only provide it because many know me as that still. Also, I use they/them pronouns not she/her. Thanks.

As to if I told DJ, yes I did on the last day of TAM when we filed a written report.

As to the question of if buzzo was actually taking pictures – I don’t know and frankly don’t care. My report was that he had a camera, facing up, at his ankle on a pole. It made me uncomfortable because the only reason I could think of for that to happen is taking upskirt photos. Do I know he was? No, how could I? I actively avoided him (for all the good that did me) I wasn’t exactly going to get near enough to see and frankly I didn’t want him to have a chance to take the pics if he was going to. I acted to call security because myself and others were uncomfortable with the behavior. Why is that a problem? Given the security people spoke with him and though weren’t entirely helpful didn’t tell us “well, since we don’t have proof he was taking pictures it’s legit” why are you asking me for physical proof? Is my discomfort and not feeling safe in an environment where I should be safe not important?

Lee has also made other comments in this discussion, here, here, here, here, here, and here. These comments are relevant to the discussion, but they largely repeat the information quoted above, so for the sake of brevity, I won’t quote all of them here.

So to summarize: The report made to JREF was not, “a male attendee of TAM had been using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.” The report made was, “a male attendee of TAM was persistently harassing women even after having been asked to leave them alone multiple times, and was strongly and reasonably suspected of using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.”

The original Facebook post and comment on this matter led me to believe that it was the former, but it was not — it was the latter.

None of this alters the point of my original post. Which is that:

a: in the conversations about sexual harassment, there is a tremendous amount of goalpost-moving when it comes to the question of reporting — such that, no matter how formally or through what official channels the reports are made, it is never seen as good enough;

b (and more relevantly): D.J. Grothe’s claim that there had never, to his knowledge, been a report filed of sexual harassment at TAM, and that there have been zero reports of harassment at the TAMs they’ve put on while he’s been at JREF, is clearly false.

The point of my post is not altered. But the truth matters to me, and it’s important to me to have the facts straight — especially in matters as important and controversial as this one. So I’m posting this update/ clarification/ correction. Please make note of it in future discussions of this topic. Thank you.

UPDATE: Comments on this post have been largely derailed away from the original points. Anyone wishing to discuss the actual points made in this post may do so in this new dedicated thread: “Holy. Fucking. Shit.”: An Attempt to Discuss the Actual Issue. Any attempts to derail the conversation in that new thread will result in being banned. Thank you.

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself says

    In regards to the original post, it doesn’t actually matter what the form of the harassment was. Two people made formal reports of harassment at TAM. Later DJ Grothe announced publicly that no formal reports had been made. So either DJ is lying or has an extremely bad memory.

  2. julian says

    This does nothing for me. I didn’t expect him to have been caught with actual pictures, just having his cam dangling around his ankles while walking past women like most voyeurs. It changes nothing regarding the report or what Grothe should have been watching out for. He still chose to lie about TAM’s books being clean. That or he never considered any of these cases harassment.

  3. julian says

    Grothe, for every Munkhaus out there my contempt for you will continue to grow. They’re the people you picked over Watson, Benson, Zvan and Greta. Screw you, your organization and me for the respect I had for you back when you did PoI.

  4. says

    This reminds me I need to get back to some people on questions about how to make harassment policies trans-friendly.

    It really is important to bear that kind of thing when thinking about questions of sexual harassment. It’s important to bear them in mind when thinking about any kind of power dynamic related to gender, really. That it’s not ever as simple as having a category of potentially dangerous or creepy men on one side and female victims on the other. It’s not binary at all.

    Lee is VERY right to point out the intense cissexism of using terms like “XX Chromosomers”, “Non-penis havers”, “people with dangly bits”, “vagina-havers” or whatever as terms interchangeable for “women” and “men”. It may sound pithy and clever and cute, but in fact it is hurtful, marginalizing and furthers our exclusion from important discourses that concern our safety.

    Trans people ARE impacted by issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence. We ARE victims. And entirely too often, that is completely excluded from how the issues are addressed, and what kinds of resources and policies are established in response. Often times, trans women’s reports of rape are dismissed on the grounds that a trans woman, especially if pre- or non-op, “can’t” be raped… sometimes she herself may end up being accused of, at best, “bringing it on herself” or, at worst, “rape by deception” simply on account of being trans.

    Both trans men and to a somewhat greater extent trans women are FAR too frequently barred from shelters for victims of sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, etc. on the grounds that they don’t qualify as “really” being women. Sometimes trans women AND trans men will be, very hypocritically, excluded from precisely the same shelter.

    Similarly, resources, help-and-crisis-lines, policies, report structures, sensitivity training programs, sexual assault/harassment workshops, etc. will all completely overlook the existence of trans people, much less our specific needs in relation to these issues and how to have those needs met in a compassionate, understanding way, and not provide any structures in place to help us in the event that we do end up being victims of sexual assault, harassment or violence, or rape.

    And on top of all that, the language and terminologies with which we frame and discuss these issues will very, very, VERY commonly be consistently cissexist and binary. People like Lee are simply assumed to be women on the grounds that that’s how limited the language we use to discuss these occurences is, and how incredibly entrenched are our narrow assumptions about gender and who may or may not be a victim.

    It becomes a VERY serious problem when trans people feel they cannot report harassment, or other violations, without ending up being humiliated, interrogated, outed, misgendered, probed, or otherwise subjected to numerous ADDITIONAL violations stemming from the systemic mistreatment of trans people.

    I have a lot of horror stories I could tell about how trans people I know have been treated when they attempted to report incidents of harassment, sexual assault or rape.

    Bearing the fact that there IS SUCH A THING AS TRANS PEOPLE is intensely important if any effort to address inequality and oppression in the dynamics of gender, such as discussing rape culture or climates of sexual harassment at atheist / skeptic conferences and conventions, is to be truly sincere in its goals.

    When investing ourselves in efforts to create more compassionate and equitable gender dynamics, that produces environments where women are not dehumanized and relegated to the status of sexual objects, and intimidated into silence, these efforts CAN’T simply leave out or ignore the existence of trans people and our position in those dynamics. Otherwise such efforts just plain aren’t doing their job right. What should be an effort to make sure no one is harassed, assaulted, abused, intimidated, silenced or threatened in our movement instead becomes just an effort to meet the particular needs of a particular few at the expense of others who continue to be neglected, oppressed and HURT.

    Supplanting one inequitable, oppressive gender dynamic that harms one category of human beings for the benefit of another with ANOTHER inequitable, oppressive gender dynamics that harms one category of human beings for the benefit of another.

    Any feminism that’s worthwhile takes care to remember what gender is, and what it isn’t. That it isn’t a dialectic, or tension, between two opposed, binary categories. That it IS a complex web of intersecting traits, experiences, identities, bodies, needs, privileges and oppressions, that produce a beautiful diversity of individual selves, and a frighteningly intricate range of oppressions and exertions of power.

    None of should lend our support to any feminism that casually overlooks trans people, or considers acknowledgement of our presence and experiences irrelevant, an inconvenient annoyance, or just an afterthought.

  5. says

    It’s also worth noting that even in the…well…simplified version of complications I was presenting, I was speaking in the basic categories of “trans men” and “trans women”. But, of course, it isn’t even as simple as that.

    There are people who are both men and women, or in-between, or a little bit of both but more one than the other, or neither of the two but something else entirely, or neither of the two and not really identifying with any gender at all, and a near infinite number of other possibilties.

    Considering gender requires considering gender variance. Considering gender variance requires considering the variance itself, not simply particular variants. And that variance is only consistent in its diversity.

    A lovely, rich diversity.

    But so long as we’re talking about gender A & B, or even A, B, C & D, or even combinations of variables A, B, C, D, X, Y, Z in various degrees ranging from 1-5, we’re not really talking about gender, just some particular iterations of gender.

  6. julian says

    @Natalie Reed

    What wording or better yet what would you like to see included in anti-harassment policies? I’m not trans and don’t personally know any trans people so I don’t even have that informing me on the ways otherwise well meaning people can royally screw them over with how they word documents. Is there anything specifically (exceptions, strongly stated commitment) we should be pushing for?

  7. says

    [Please note: This comment is focused solely on the false rumours about up-skirt photography. I have not and will not anywhere minimize or deny any *other* issues, such as the additional report(s) of harassment. But to make my point clearly, I need to keep this comment tightly focused on this one issue.]

    Greta writes: “The report made was, “a male attendee of TAM was persistently harassing women even after having been asked to leave them alone multiple times, and was strongly and reasonably suspected of using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.” ”

    Strictly speaking, Greta, this statement is false. It is not true that he “was strongly and reasonably suspected of using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.”

    They did not report that they suspected that he was using the camera to take photos. They reported that having the camera at ankle height made them feel “uncomfortable” (their words). This, of course, in addition to the report of harassment.

    For you to say that he “was strongly and reasonably suspected”, you must be referring to some other source of ‘suspicion’, because Lee themself does not support this claim. In fact, if you read their report from Skeptical Abyss, Lee goes on at length to try to clarify that there was *no* actual suspicion of criminal activity (which such photography would be):

    “Saying “I may have gone overboard and made you feel uncomfortable” is such a privileged understatement it is to the point of being deliberately obtuse. I am not trying to portray you as a creep, in fact if you will notice I said nothing publicly on this matter until people came out talking about it and were misrepresenting it. I have DEFENDED YOU saying that no, I don’t know that you were actually taking pictures with the camera just that I wasn’t comfortable with it. That it was not the only reason I reported your behavior and I have clarified over and over what I actually experienced. So I am making your feel uncomfortable by saying ‘hey mr x did indeed do things that made me uncomfortable but hey now lets not take this out of proportion. Here’s what I actually reported?’ You’d think that it would make you happy that the one of the people actually involved came forward to make sure people didn’t think there was evidence of you actually taking pictures.”

    And also:

    “You can not accuse me of ruining your rep because I am not naming you. My intent in coming forward is not to name and shame. My intent is to make sure that what is currently rumor and conjecture has an actual first hand account of what happened rather than the distorted bs that goes through the mill.
    My past day has been spent repeatedly telling people that “no, this is what happened.” My past day has been spent being called a liar, being misgendered, being told I am over reacting, being questioned over and over on the same thing I said last year at TAM. I never intended to go public. I ONLY did because I saw that there was misinformation being spread and I don’t find that acceptable.”

    I googled the exact quote “strongly and reasonably suspected of using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod”, and your blog was the only hit. Yet your statement is placed *within* quotation marks, as if you are quoting some source (and it would *appear* that the source you are referring to is an actual report; since you preface it with “The report made was”. To me this is, frankly, intellectually dishonest, and certainly would count as misleading (and possibly libellous) journalism.

    Greta, I am not a lawyer, only a fan, but in my opinion, if you were to leave the statement as it reads now, you will be placing yourself on the wrong side of history. Could you imagine if someone was to use this ‘quote’ from your website to spark up further false rumours about Mr. X in the future, saying, “Well, Greta Christina reports that there was strong and reasonable suspicion of upskirt photography, so blah blah blah.” I would never want my own name associated with such misinformation, but that is the exact same kind of misleading source of information that starts these vicious rumours in the first place. I sincerely hope you will amend the text to remove any ambiguity. There was *no* good reason to suspect that Mr. X *actually* undertook the criminal activity of surreptitious upskirt photography. Not even the *main* witnesses claim that! If they didn’t claim it, then whence this claim?! The ‘suspicion’ is entirely a *false* rumour based on no evidence. That is neither “strong” nor “reasonable”.

    P.S.: I have discussed this specific case of rumour-mongering at length in the Gnu Atheism group, in which I include many further links and arguments against this problem of ‘skeptics’ spreading false (demonstrably false!) rumours. You may want to check that out if it interests you.

    Sincerely,
    Thaumas

  8. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    What should be an effort to make sure no one is harassed, assaulted, abused, intimidated, silenced or threatened in our movement instead becomes just an effort to meet the particular needs of a particular few at the expense of others who continue to be neglected, oppressed and HURT.

    Insofar as the vast majority of people are not trans, I’m not sure it’s factually consistent to refer to cis women as “a particular few.” The rest of your points stand, though.

  9. julian says

    There was *no* good reason to suspect that Mr. X *actually* undertook the criminal activity of surreptitious upskirt photography.

    He had a camera. At ankle height. While walking through crowds.

    He believes taking upskirt pics should be perfectly legal.

    He has engaged in this suspicious behavior before. Others had complained about him before.

    But it’s wrong to think he did something? It’s more than that according to you. It’s unreasonable to think he did something. Actually it’s past that too. You think it unreasonable to so much as be suspicious of him.

    So why give the two people who complained any credence? Obviously they were wrong to feel uncomfortable and this man deserves an apology from all of us.

  10. julian says

    To expand on my last comment.

    If there wasn’t so much as any reason to suspect bad activity than obviously this man has been wronged. He did nothing, engaged in no inappropriate activity or even give off “signals” that he may be doing something. What then can we say to the two people who complained of his entirely innocous activity. They should apologize for causing him real harm and real hurt as now because of their insecurity and paranoia his reputation has suffered.

  11. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    So why give the two people who complained any credence?

    No, no “people” complained. WOMEN complained. Very, very different, you understand.

    *rolls eyes, spits*

  12. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    (Note: yes, I’m aware that the self-identification of one of the witnesses is more complicated. The people whose bigotry I’m being sarcastic about, however, are guaranteed not to be.)

  13. julian says

    Honestly, I can’t get around it.

    If what he did was entirely innocuous than what can be said about people who would be intimidated or freaked or what have you by his activity? That they are irrational and unreasonable? Obviously if they’re reading entirely mundane and normal behavior as inappropriate they must be.

    And if they are irrational, if they are unreasonable and read entirely normal situations as threatening, how can you trust anything they report? You can’t because they’ll hurt innocent people.

  14. says

    Julian: “While walking through crowds.”

    Can you support that factual claim with evidence? Not that it matters, because it doesn’t establish that he was taking upskirt photos. It is just another example of rumour mongering.

    “He believes taking upskirt pics should be perfectly legal.”

    Do you have evidence to support this? And again, it doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t establish that he actually took such photos. Again, more rumour mongering.

    “He has engaged in this suspicious behavior before. Others had complained about him before.”

    More rumour mongering without evidence, which also does not even establish your claim.

    “But it’s wrong to think he did something?”

    Are you addressing this question at me? I have said nothing of the sort. I have said that spreading false or misleading unsubstantiated rumours about people is unethical behaviour. Do you disagree?

    “It’s more than that according to you. It’s unreasonable to think he did something. Actually it’s past that too. You think it unreasonable to so much as be suspicious of him.”

    This is a classic example of ‘mind reading’, aka Fundamental Attribution Error (or FAE; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error). You are attributing thoughts and motivations to me which I *do not* possess, and which you have *no evidence* for besides your own suspicions. This is another example of rumour mongering, now directed at me.

    “So why give the two people who complained any credence? Obviously they were wrong to feel uncomfortable and this man deserves an apology from all of us.”

    More FAE. Please read the very first paragraph in my previous comment. (Was I prescient, or what? ;-) ) I have not and will not minimize or deny any other issue; I have purposely kept my comment focused on the issue of rumour-mongering; the specific rumour which I’m referring to is the rumour about the criminal activity of upskirt photography.

    (Seriously, Greta, is this acceptable to you? You stated that you would not support personal attacks. I contend that spreading unsubstantiated claims about someone should fall under that rule. This is ‘making it personal’, in my book. It is not something I would support. Julian’s comment contains spurious claims about both myself and Mr. X. I consider both of these as examples of the exact type of rumour mongering I am trying to point out. Is this acceptable to you?)

  15. says

    Julian: “They should apologize for causing him real harm and real hurt as now because of their insecurity and paranoia his reputation has suffered.”

    Actually, I agree with Lee. They have taken great pains to *correct* the false rumours, which they themself did *not* start. Re-read the comments I quoted. They make it clear that Lee did not claim there were any actual upskirt photos; *only* that having the camera at ankle height made them feel uncomfortable (and, of course, the additional report they made about harassment). As I said, I’m focusing only on the false rumour that was *believed* and *spread* by *skeptics* recently (beginning May 30, or so, on Greg Laden’s blog, then recurring shortly afterwards on Stephanie Zvan’s Almost Diamonds, and spreading from there).

    Lee is not at fault here. Unskeptical skeptics are. If anything, Lee is to be applauded for striving so hard to correct the *false* rumour that other ‘skeptics’ were promulgating very unskeptically. Again, the specific rumour I’m speaking of is the rumour of *actual* upskirt photography.

  16. julian says

    Can you support that factual claim with evidence?

    No. I can offer it as an inevitability of being at TAM with his camera out as he did. He would eventually hit a crowd and his camera would have been with him.

    If I’m being unreasonable for thinking that so be it.

    Do you have evidence to support this?

    Yes. He has said so on the JREF forums.

    Here’s a relevant bit


    I recently saw a news story about parents being upset over someone who has been videotaping cheerleaders at high school football games and selling the tapes on eBay. The tapes are obviously being sold to those with a cheerleader fetish and the filming is very suggestive. (zooming in on certain areas and freezeframing)

    They want the sheriff to do something about it. They say they do not understand why this is not being prosecuted.

    Well. I got news for them: there’s nothing illegal about filming a public event. Sorry. Finding this revolting, sick, perverted and creepy are all perfectly understandable. I can completely see how if you saw yourself or your daughter in one of these videos, it would make your skin crawl.

    Of course, the reality is, that if you are an attractive young women dancing as a cheerleader, there’s going to be a lot of guys in the stands with their minds in the gutter. Sorry…it’s true. But there’s definitely a difference between it being your classmates who are there primarily to watch the game versus having it all over the internet.

    Unfortunately, this is not actually anything new. There are plenty of pervs on the internet who trade pictures of young girls in the park or at the beach. Many of them weren’t even taken candidly, but were grabbed from parenting magazine sites or family photo albums.

    More rumour mongering without evidence, which also does not even establish your claim.

    We’ve heard from the man who first came forward with this that this was not the first incident involving buzzo (or whatever). How is that rumor mongering?

    I have said nothing of the sort.

    Yes, you have. You said

    “There was *no* good reason to suspect that Mr. X *actually* undertook the criminal activity of surreptitious upskirt photography.”

    followed by

    “The ‘suspicion’ is entirely a *false* rumour based on no evidence. That is neither “strong” nor “reasonable”.”

    You are attributing thoughts and motivations to me which I *do not* possess, and which you have *no evidence* for besides your own suspicions.

    You have stated that there is no reason for suspicion, that there is no reason to believe Mr.X engaged in illegal activity. You said there is no good reason to suspect bad play. What other interpretation of that is there?

    More FAE. Please read the very first paragraph in my previous comment. (Was I prescient, or what?) I have not and will not minimize or deny any other issue; I have purposely kept my comment focused on the issue of rumour-mongering; the specific rumour which I’m referring to is the rumour about the criminal activity of upskirt photography.

    I asked in earnest but if you don’t want to go down that road fine. But I said nothing about what you think. My comment was if a than b and I don’t see anyway around b if a.

  17. julian says

    Actually, I agree with Lee. They have taken great pains to *correct* the false rumours, which they themself did *not* start. Re-read the comments I quoted.

    I have in full over at that god awful site. But that’s hardly what I’m referring to. You said there was no cause for suspicion. If there was no cause for suspicion why then should there have been a report?

  18. says

    This seems to be obtuse nitpicking. It looks like Lee reported the camera at ankle height and not specifically that they were taking pictures because they had no direct evidence of this and didn’t want to throw out accusations. However, unless you are positing there was some other reason for being uncomfortable about said camera, the implication is pretty clear.

    What exactly is your claim here? Is it a nitpick that Greta made a slight error that doesn’t effect her point or are your trying to say that since no upskirt photos were directly alleged, DJ technically can truthfully say he never got a report of harssment?

  19. says

    Actually, parsing it a bit more, it sure sounds like the claims it that carrying a camera point up at ankle height combined with harassing women is not reasonable cause for suspicion that Buzzo was taking upskirts, therefore Lee shouldn’t have made a report at all. Alternatively, they were fine to make the report, but JREF shouldn’t have done anything since it didn’t specifically allege wrongdoing. This creates a catch 22 where you have to either make slanderous claims or do nothing unless you catch the perp red handed. Unless Lee followed him around looking over his shoulder or he used a flash, I’m not sure how that works. If you aren’t saying that nothing at all should have been done unless someone claimed to have directly witnessed him taking upskirts, please clarify.

  20. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    What exactly is your claim here? Is it a nitpick that Greta made a slight error that doesn’t effect her point or are your trying to say that since no upskirt photos were directly alleged, DJ technically can truthfully say he never got a report of harssment?

    If he’s like others of his ilk, the only thing he wants is for people to stop acting like it matters if women (optionally, women who haven’t been directly subjected to violence) feel violated or uncomfortable.

    He knows he can’t just come out and SAY that, of course, so he has to pounce on pointless nitpicking, but he doesn’t draw the obvious conclusion…

  21. says

    Julian: “”“But it’s wrong to think he did something?”

    Are you addressing this question at me? I have said nothing of the sort. ”

    Yes, you have. You said

    “There was *no* good reason to suspect that Mr. X *actually* undertook the criminal activity of surreptitious upskirt photography.””

    This is a true statement which does not establish your claim. Your claim is that I said something to the effect: “it’s wrong to think he did something?” My quote refers to ‘good reason’ to suspect upskirt photography. Your wording is far more general, and implies a moral or ethical judgment. I have not made any moral or ethical judgments that “it’s wrong to think he did something.”

    Your claim about me remains false.

    “followed by

    “The ‘suspicion’ is entirely a *false* rumour based on no evidence. That is neither “strong” nor “reasonable”.””

    Notice the words ‘suspicion’, “strong”, and “reasonable”, which are referring to Greta’s phrasing in the OP: “and was strongly and reasonably suspected”.

    (I notice now that I did mistakenly use double-quotes on the last two, and should probably have been more accurate to use the original adverbal forms of the words: “strongly” and “reasonably”. Mea culpa on that one.)

    The ‘suspicion’ I was referring to was the ‘suspicion’ used to justify the rumour in the first place. However, as the *evidence* shows, that initial suspicion has *no* strong or reasonable basis. There was never any actual report of upskirt photography to begin with.

    This is *not* the same as saying, “it’s wrong to think he did something.” This latter statement, again, is too vague, and implies some sort of moral or ethical judgment on a person. I have not made any such judgments. My point is about the *evidence* and *behaviour* (of rumour-mongering), not the people.

    “You have stated that there is no reason for suspicion, that there is no reason to believe Mr.X engaged in illegal activity. You said there is no good reason to suspect bad play.”

    Your characterizations of what I’ve said are loose, slanted, and inaccurate. If you have something specific you object to, quote it.

    ” What other interpretation of that is there?”

    The true one, for instance. It’s not my job to do your skeptical thinking for you.

    “But I said nothing about what you think.”

    A simple text search reveals:

    “You think it unreasonable to so much as be suspicious of him.”

    Your statement that you said nothing about what I think is demonstrably false.

    ” My comment was if a than b and I don’t see anyway around b if a.”

    Fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.

  22. says

    If there was no cause for suspicion why then should there have been a report?

    There wasn’t a report about *actual* upskirt photography. Do you still believe that there was? If so, I suggest you re-examine your evidence.

  23. says

    This seems to be obtuse nitpicking.

    I do not consider challenging *ongoing* false rumours of *actual* upskirt photography — which is a *criminal* activity, and therefore very serious — to be ‘nitpicking’, obtuse or otherwise. Besides, Lee themself has put in a lot of effort to correct these false rumours. Would you also characterize their efforts as ‘obtuse nitpicking’? Again, I suggest you read the quote from Lee.

    It looks like Lee reported the camera at ankle height and not specifically that they were taking pictures because they had no direct evidence of this and didn’t want to throw out accusations. However, unless you are positing there was some other reason for being uncomfortable about said camera, the implication is pretty clear.

    I am unwilling to make any speculations on this topic. I will only go by the evidence. Wantonly speculating on this is exactly the problem I’m trying to highlight in the first place! If you are interested in learning the reasons for being uncomfortable, I suggest you ask Lee directly.

  24. says

    Actually, parsing it a bit more, it sure sounds like the claims it that carrying a camera point up at ankle height combined with harassing women is not reasonable cause for suspicion that Buzzo was taking upskirts, therefore Lee shouldn’t have made a report at all.

    That would be an inaccurate parsing. If you have something specific to object to, please quote it.

  25. says

    There wasn’t a report about *actual* upskirt photography. Do you still believe that there was? If so, I suggest you re-examine your evidence.

    Because if there was no upskirting, is there really a basis for making a report at all? Woudl you make a report because you saw a guy eating popcorn? When you fiel such a report, the very fact of filing it is a claim that you at least suspect wrongdoing. Either Lee had no reason to suspect wrongdoing, so made a report abotu essentially nothing, or Lee made a report because they thought there was wrongdoing, even if they chose to be cautious and only present their evidence, not their conclusions.

  26. julian says

    Now you are being a pedant. An obnoxious one at that. If it makes you feel better substitute unreasonable where you see wrong. Hopefully that makes it easier for you to understand my point.

    Do you think it unreasonable to suspect Mr. X of using that camera for upskirt photography?

    If so, I suggest you re-examine your evidence.

    No I don’t believe there was a report of upskirt photography. There is almost never a report of that kind of voyeurism.

    Do you still believe it unreasonable to suspect he was and that there is no good reason to think he was?

  27. says

    If he’s like others of his ilk,

    What ‘ilk’ would that be?

    Greta, seriously? Is the above acceptable to you?

    the only thing he wants is for people to stop acting like it matters if women (optionally, women who haven’t been directly subjected to violence) feel violated or uncomfortable.

    Fundamental Attribution Error. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error)

    You do not know my ‘wants’, and your guesses are offensively far from the mark. This is *exactly* the kind of unskeptical rumour-mongering I’m talking about.

    He knows he can’t just come out and SAY that, of course, so he has to pounce on pointless nitpicking, but he doesn’t draw the obvious conclusion…

    The ‘obvious conclusion’? Ha! That’s very ironic, considering that many folks who participated in *believing* and *spreading* the *false* rumour of upskirt photography jumped unskeptically to the ‘obvious conclusion’.

    Your claims about me are false, and yet another example of FAE, and rumour-mongering.

  28. says

    @Thaumas: If you are being unclear, then please clarify what you mean instead of griping at me for misunderstanding. The question is this: Given that a guy who was a known harasser was carrying around a camera on a pole with the camera at ankle height and pointed up and generally walking near people with it, was it reasonable for Lee to suspect he was trying to take upskirt pics? If Lee did not have reasonable suspicion of such, was it reasonable to file a report anyway? If so, what would be the purpose of the report? Given the contents of the report, was it reasonable for JREF to not classify it as a claim of harassment and take no action? Please give direct answers to these questions instead of beating around the bush and JAQing off.

  29. julian says

    I am unwilling to make any speculations on this topic. I will only go by the evidence. Wantonly speculating on this is exactly the problem I’m trying to highlight in the first place!

    Then why, if we cannot as good skeptics speculate without direct evidence of upskirt photography (which I can assume can only be actual pictures), can a complaint of carrying a camera at ankle length be given any credibility? And no I’m not going ask someone else. I’m asking you as you are the one arguing it’s unreasonable to think he was taking upskirt pics.

  30. says

    You do not know my ‘wants’, and your guesses are offensively far from the mark.

    The reason we don’t know your wants and are left guessing is you keep insinuating things instead of clearly explaining your own position.

  31. says

    Because if there was no upskirting, is there really a basis for making a report at all?

    You might want to ask Lee that question. They explained it quite straightforwardly. Or you could just read the quotes I gave above, where they have *already* explained their reasons.

    Either Lee had no reason to suspect wrongdoing, so made a report abotu essentially nothing, or Lee made a report because they thought there was wrongdoing, even if they chose to be cautious and only present their evidence, not their conclusions.

    More baseless speculation and rumour-mongering. The quotes are in my very first post, and I also linked directly to Lee’s own detailed explanation. Follow the evidence. Speculation on this, at this point, with Lee’s own lengthy clarifications, amounts to no more than rumour-mongering. Why speculate when you can find out *directly*?

  32. julian says

    Well this isn’t entirely worse than smacking your head against a brick wall…

    I’m dropping this.

  33. brianl says

    This is how organizations die, and the Board of JREF has a great deal of difficult work to do in the very near future if they want the organization to survive. The first thing they’d better do is acknowledge that there is a problem.

  34. says

    Now you are being a pedant. An obnoxious one at that.

    FAE. I have my reasons for being very careful in this conversation. Greta herself can find my detailed reasoning in the Gnu Atheist group post I referenced from my first post, if she needs to confirm for herself.

    And again, personal attacks. I have pointed these out quite enough. I won’t bother pointing out any further ones from Julian. Please note: I have not made *any* character judgments on anyone here (to the best of my knowledge). (I don’t consider ‘unskeptical’ to be a character judgment; everybody, including myself, makes such errors in judgment; I won’t demonize anybody for not being perfect; I would just hope that they take the opportunity to learn from their past mistakes.)

    Hopefully that makes it easier for you to understand my point.

    Have you made any points? Have you provided any evidence to support any of your claims? If so, I’m not aware of it. Could you restate your point, for clarification, or re-quote it, or something? Thanks in advance.

    Do you think it unreasonable to suspect Mr. X of using that camera for upskirt photography?

    Thank you for asking me directly, rather than making unsubstantiated guesses.

    Unreasonable in what sense? Is it unreasonable to be a theist? I would say that a theist almost certainly does not have *good reasons* to believe in any gods, although they might genuinely and sincerely believe that they do have good reasons. But I would not use the word ‘unreasonable’ to describe the theist as a person. Also, there is a common usage for behaviour, as “being unreasonable”. This does not make the person generally unreasonable. I do believe there are some cases where it’s legitimate to call someone generally unreasonable, but I think that’s pretty rare. Perhaps someone like Fred Phelps or something.

    So, I will state it this way: I do not believe that the vast majority of people who have promulgated the rumour that there was indeed upskirt photography have *actually* had good reasons for believing this, even if they genuinely and sincerely believe that they do or did. That does not mean I consider any of these people ‘unreasonable’ in general.

    It is possible that there are some folks who have some kind of ‘insider’ knowledge, such as having directly witnessed upskirt photography. However, I am not aware of any such person. If you know of any, that could very well change my opinion.

    *But* the ‘unskeptical skeptics’ I’m speaking of are folks such as those who participated in the rumour mongering in the thread at Stephanie Zvan’s Almost Diamonds Those Meddling Kids. *These* folks definitely did not have good reasons to believe the rumours based on the information discussed in that thread. Again, that does not mean I consider these folks ‘unreasonable’ as people. Certainly not.

  35. Drivebyposter says

    This guy is being treating like poor Lee Harvey Oswald.
    I mean…people act as if there’s proof he shot JFK. But their isn’t. There’s proof that someone using LHO’s rifle fired from a window at LHO’s workplace and killed Kennedy. LHO did behave REALLY suspiciously and shit. But that doesn’t mean he did anything wrong. People just be jumpin’ to conclusions and ruining reputations…

    /sarcasm

  36. julian says

    Unreasonable in what sense? Is it unreasonable to be a theist?




    I need a cigarette.

  37. says

    @Thaumas: If you are being unclear, then please clarify what you mean instead of griping at me for misunderstanding.

    Feel free to ask me any direct, unloaded question about what I’ve written, and I will gladly clarify.

    My entire point is laid out in my very first post. If there is something specific you object to, just quote it and ask me about it.

    The question is this: Given that a guy who was a known harasser was carrying around a camera on a pole with the camera at ankle height and pointed up and generally walking near people with it, was it reasonable for Lee to suspect he was trying to take upskirt pics?

    First, as far as I know, Lee has not claimed to “suspect he was trying to take upskirt pics”, only that the camera made them uncomfortable. So your question is based on assumed facts which are not in evidence.

    I’m not willing to speculate on hypothetical scenarios. My present concern in this thread is the problem of rumour-mongering, which is occurring *right now* in the blogosphere. The situation you are referring to occurred nearly a year ago. I have stated, upfront, that I do not and will not minimize or deny *other* issues, but in this thread I am focused on one specific issue: Rumour mongering. Specifically, Greta’s phrasing of her correction, which in my opinion is still problematic, as I explained in my first post.

    If Lee did not have reasonable suspicion of such, was it reasonable to file a report anyway? If so, what would be the purpose of the report? Given the contents of the report, was it reasonable for JREF to not classify it as a claim of harassment and take no action? Please give direct answers to these questions instead of beating around the bush and JAQing off.

    Again, these questions refer to past events which I’m not willing to speculate on. It is exactly this kind of speculation, not based on actual facts, i.e. rumour mongering, which I’m pointing out as problematic.

    Furthermore, your claim of “JAQing off” is another example of FAE, and I’m going by Greta’s previous comment (http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/15/holy-fucking-shit/#comment-77080), and will not return the personal hostility.

    If you have specific questions about the points I raise in my first post, feel free to raise those.

  38. says

    “We don’t have an actual PICTURE of him actually PRESSING the shutter button, or any other DIRECT evidence, so THEREFORE IT WAS TOTALLY FINE FOR HIM TO BE POINTING A CAMERA UP PEOPLE’S SKIRTS AND THAT WASN’T HARASSMENT AND YOU ALL SHOULD STFU”

    Holy fuck I can’t believe that is actually an argument being made here.

    Damn. Like, CHECK YOUR BIASES, DUDE. And then go look into what “reasonable doubt” is and isn’t. And after that, you might want to learn about WHY we have anti-harassment policies, and that the primary concern is people not being made to feel violated, intimidated, uncomfortable, etc. Whether he actually pressed the shutter button or not (which it is ENTIRELY reasonable to suspect he either did or intended to do, in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts) he was making people uncomfortable. It has nearly the exact same consequences. Even if he wasn’t taking pictures, and was only creating a threatening environment with the camera, THAT STILL TOTALLY QUALIFIES AS SEXUAL HARASSMENT, you weird, biased, pedantic, bent-over-backwards dummy.

  39. says

    This guy is being treating like poor Lee Harvey Oswald.
    I mean…people act as if there’s proof he shot JFK.

    I consider this a rather tasteless analogy. I hope others do too. Would be nice to see some folks speak up about this.

    Aside from being tasteless, it is also a false analogy. In the case of JFK, there is *evidence* that a crime *was* committed in the first place. In this case of alleged upskirt photography, there is *no* such evidence.

    There is a legal principle called ‘corpus delicti’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_delicti). One cannot be convicted of a crime unless evidence of the crime actually exists. The case of JFK at least satisfies corpus delicti. The case of this rumour mongering about upskirt photography does not.

    I don’t know about you, Greta, but I would be taking these spurious and demonstrably false claims and allegations very seriously.

  40. says

    IT WAS TOTALLY FINE FOR HIM TO BE POINTING A CAMERA UP PEOPLE’S SKIRTS

    Natalie, do you actually have any evidence that he *actually* pointed the camera up peoples’ skirts? I’m guessing no.

    Again, this is rumour mongering.

  41. Stacy says

    No doubt there are lots and lots of valid reasons a man might be walking around women in a crowd with his camera positioned at ankle height.

    Especially one who spent time on a public blog five years earlier sharing comprehensive knowledge about the legality of men photographing/videotaping high school cheerleaders without permission.

    –Who has a reputation for harassing women.

    It’s totes unreasonable to suggest anything untoward.

    /sarcasm

  42. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Natalie, do you actually have any evidence that he *actually* pointed the camera up peoples’ skirts? I’m guessing no.

    Again, this is rumour mongering.

    What would you consider acceptable evidence?

  43. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Thaumas, drawing inferences is not “rumor mongering.” The fact that you are not using coarse language does not make you less of a troll and does not make your nitpicking and needling less insulting. The fact that you are baselessly accusing people of lying and dismissing inductive reasoning with the inflammatory label of “rumor-mongering” belies your repeated whining about “personal attacks.”

    Greta, is THIS acceptable to you?

  44. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Oh, and while we’re at it, if you smell smoke and your smoke alarm is going off, are you going to get out of the building and call the fire department? Why? You haven’t actually SEEN the flames, so it’s just “rumor-mongering” to conclude from the smoke that there’s a fire.

    If you realize how fucking stupid the above argument is, and you found yourself rolling your eyes, you now understand the reception you’ve received here.

    If you are about to protest that the “if smoke, then fire” inference is more valid than the “if habitual harrasser with expressed interest in voyeuristic photography has camera at ankle level for no apparent reason, therefore voyeuristic photography attempt” inference, understand that the only reason you think this is because of your biases and privilege.

    If you want to continue masturdebating anyway, you fully deserve what follows.

  45. Ron says

    Are you people always this hostile towards each other? Can you not debate a person you disagree with without such anger and personal attacks? And this from the people standing up for inclusiveness and making people feel welcome and safe. After reading how you people interact with each other I’m really not interested in remaining a member of this community or attending any events you discuss if this is the outcome… My own two cents, aren’t people innocent until proven guilty? As a skeptic, couldn’t a rational explanation for a camera on a pole at an event like this be intended to boost the camera over the heads of the other attendees to get a better picture/video recording of the events on the stage? And couldn’t an explanation for “a camera pointing up on a telescoping rod at his ankle in a crowd of people many of whom were wearing skirts” be because said camera on a stick would be heavy and holding it above the waste would be heavy?
    From what I have read do i think the complainants are lying? No. Do I think they felt uncomfortable based on their interpretation of events, obviously, and thus had reason to complain based on other events alluded to. Just because a complaint has been made does that make it fact? As a skeptic I must say no. Please feel free to now launch whatever personal attacks you see fit, I will not reply to them. Just expressing an alternative view, if that is still allowed. ;)

  46. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Are you people always this hostile towards each other?

    Only when the arbitrary application of unreasonable doubts is being used to undermine the attempts of (mainly) women to avoid being terrified simply for attending a social gathering.

    Can you not debate a person you disagree with without such anger and personal attacks?

    Not when the rights and humanity of (mainly) women are being disingenuously undermined. If one is NOT angry when people are being harassed like this, one is either 1) not paying attention and having less excuse for it every second or 2) a complete fucking monster.

    And this from the people standing up for inclusiveness and making people feel welcome and safe.

    Yeah, seeing bad things done to good people makes good people unhappy. Im-fucking-magine that.

    After reading how you people interact with each other I’m really not interested in remaining a member of this community or attending any events you discuss if this is the outcome…

    I see improvement already.

    My own two cents, aren’t people innocent until proven guilty?

    Attitudes like yours is the reason the standard of proof is “beyond a REASONABLE doubt.”

    As a skeptic, couldn’t a rational explanation for a camera on a pole at an event like this be intended to boost the camera over the heads of the other attendees to get a better picture/video recording of the events on the stage?

    Yes, I suppose a camera dangling at one’s ankles could have been intended to see over people’s heads After all, floor level is well known to be a perfect angle for viewing stages.

    And couldn’t an explanation for “a camera pointing up on a telescoping rod at his ankle in a crowd of people many of whom were wearing skirts” be because said camera on a stick would be heavy and holding it above the waste would be heavy?

    What part of “telescoping rod” is it you find confusing? Also, keep in mind this did not happen in a vacuum and this is a person who has a history of expressed interest in voyeuristic photography and of harassing women at events.

    Tell me, did you immediately believe the story of that one pastor who claimed that the potato he came into the emergency room to have removed from his ass got there when “he happened to be hanging curtains while nude and fell off the ladder onto the table, where there was a vegetable display as a centerpiece?” Or is it only when the alternative is taking a woman’s concerns seriously that you’re willing to grasp at straws?

    From what I have read do i think the complainants are lying? No.

    Liar.

    Do I think they felt uncomfortable based on their interpretation of events, obviously, and thus had reason to complain based on other events alluded to. Just because a complaint has been made does that make it fact?

    You pretty much have to either claim they’re intentionally lying or that they’re too stupid to be believed because they’re women. And since you’ve disclaimed assuming they’re intentionally lying…

    As a skeptic I must say no.

    “Skepticism” does not mean “bending over backwards to defend the status quo of privilege.”

    Please feel free to now launch whatever personal attacks you see fit, I will not reply to them.

    I’m skeptical.

    Just expressing an alternative view, if that is still allowed.

    These conceits have been voiced already. Unfortunately your view is a bit too *ahem* introspective to be good for much beyond confirming your colon health.

  47. says

    Holy fuck I can’t believe that is actually an argument being made here.

    That is not an actual argument being made here. If you think it is, please provide a quote.

    Damn. Like, CHECK YOUR BIASES, DUDE.

    I do. Constantly. Thanks. May you also check yours.

    Question: Do you, Natalie, believe that the rumour that Mr. X actually took upskirt photos is true? If so, what is your opinion of Lee’s statement that they “came forward to make sure people didn’t think there was evidence of [Mr. X] actually taking pictures.”?

    “And then go look into what “reasonable doubt” is and isn’t.”

    Hmmm. Very interesting. Question: Do you, Natalie, believe that Mr. X actually took upskirt photos, and that you have enough evidence that demonstrates this beyond a reasonable doubt? If so, then you have evidence of a crime. You should report it immediately to the appropriate authorities. I’m not kidding.

    in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts

    I do not believe you have evidence that he actually did this. I believe you probably genuinely and sincerely *believe* you do have this evidence, but I do not believe you actually have it. Could you produce this evidence? If you can provide such evidence, it would almost certainly change my mind. I have not seen any such evidence. Not even in the reports from people who were actually there. But I could certainly be wrong, and I’m open to that possibility. I would recant much if not all of what I’ve said in this thread.

    you weird, biased, pedantic, bent-over-backwards dummy.

    Personal insult. See Greta’s comment on this here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/15/holy-fucking-shit/#comment-77080

  48. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Greta, I think it would be perfectly consistent with the spirit of your rules to state that trolls attempting to use your “no personal insults” policy as a club against people they’ve successfully retraumatized = insta-ban.

  49. says

    Natalie, do you actually have any evidence that he *actually* pointed the camera up peoples’ skirts? I’m guessing no.

    Again, this is rumour mongering.

    What would you consider acceptable evidence?

    One of the folks who reported him reporting that they actually saw this.

  50. says

    Thaumas, drawing inferences is not “rumor mongering.”

    What is being engaged in here is more than merely ‘drawing inferences’.

    From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rumor:

    ru·mor (rmr)
    n.
    1. A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth.
    2. Unverified information received from another; hearsay.
    tr.v. ru·mored, ru·mor·ing, ru·mors
    To spread or tell by rumor.

    From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rumour-monger:

    ru·mor·mon·ger (rmr-mnggr, -mng-)
    n.
    One who spreads rumors.
    intr.v. ru·mor·mon·gered, ru·mor·mon·ger·ing, ru·mor·mon·gers
    To engage in the spreading of rumors.

    To engage in the spreading of [unverified information received from another; hearsay].

    Seems pretty apt to me.

  51. Stacy says

    Do you, Natalie, believe that Mr. X actually took upskirt photos, and that you have enough evidence that demonstrates this beyond a reasonable doubt? If so, then you have evidence of a crime.

    Do you believe that people have to have evidence that demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has taken place before taking action (alerting security, police, etc.)?

    If so, you do not understand the criminal justice system very well.

    Do you believe that people have to have such evidence to even discuss an incident of harassment on a blog?

    Because that is certainly not the case.

    You should report it immediately to the appropriate authorities

    That would be pointless, since any evidence (such as film inside the camera) will be long gone.

    This is not a court of law. We are not trying a criminal case here. We are discussing an incident of harassment perpetrated by an unnamed man. We are not in court. Please do not confuse this discussion of hinky behavior with trial proceedings.

  52. Infophile says

    Hmmm. Very interesting. Question: Do you, Natalie, believe that Mr. X actually took upskirt photos, and that you have enough evidence that demonstrates this beyond a reasonable doubt? If so, then you have evidence of a crime. You should report it immediately to the appropriate authorities. I’m not kidding.

    Here’s the issue. For the purposes of creating a safe, comfortable environment at cons, it doesn’t matter whether or not he took a single picture. The fact that he had the camera positioned the way he did made multiple people uncomfortable.

    Imagine a janitor, when he’s cleaning the women’s showers at a gym, installs a camera in plain sight but out of reach of most people, and he deliberately disables the light that indicates when it’s recording. Now, if the camera is turned on and used for voyeurism, it’s a crime. If the camera is never turned out, that does not, however, mean that the janitor did nothing wrong. Any woman who noticed the camera would have been extremely creeped out (or worse). Even if no crime is being committed, it’s still possible to cause distress to many people. In this case, the gym is under no legal obligation to put up with the janitor’s behavior, and they should fire him.

    Similarly, in the case discussed here, the con organizers have no obligation to put up with this man carrying his camera in this manner. They have every right to ask him to no longer do this, and they should make a record of this incident. If it turns out that there’s a pattern of suspicious behavior from it, then they should enforce more serious consequences on him, such as expelling him from the con.

    And all of this is just assuming that no one has any solid evidence that he ever took a picture. The possibility is there, and that’s enough.

  53. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Please do not confuse this discussion of hinky behavior with trial proceedings.

    He knows the difference: attempting to derail TRIAL PROCEEDINGS gets you charged with contempt of court. He thinks he can get away with it here.

  54. Stacy says

    One of the folks who reported him reporting that they actually saw this

    How would they actually see this? They’d have to be close enough to see the little red dot go on and off, right?

    What they saw was behavior that suggested that that is what was happening. What they saw was evidently convincing enough that hotel security confiscated the man’s camera.

    Sadly, nobody decided to press the matter any further. If they had, police would have investigated, and it would have been up to a judge to decide whether or not to issue a warrant to seize the camera. If they had–and assuming he had succeeded in taking pictures before his behavior triggered the womens’ anxiety–hard evidence could have been obtained. All the evidence at this point is circumstantial. But since this is not a court of law, there is absolutely no reason we should not discuss the incident.

  55. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Stacy, I KNOW you don’t really think he’s arguing in good faith here…

  56. Ron says

    Stacy says:
    “What they saw was evidently convincing enough that hotel security confiscated the man’s camera.”

    From Lee’s post:
    “They came, it took some explanation and convincing but they went and talked to him. Last I saw of the camera after that he still had it so they must have just asked him to keep it above the waist.”

    Nobody is saying the situation shouldn’t be discussed, I think the main debate here at the moment is about stating a person, whose name has been used, has committed a crime.

  57. Stacy says

    That’s funny, Azkyroth, I swear I didn’t read your last comment before I posted mine! :)

    I doubt he is. But this is Greta’s blog, so I’m biting my tongue and arguing as if he were. And who knows, maybe he’s just the hyper-literal sort….I’ve been wrong about people before.

  58. says

    There seems to be some attempt to confuse the standards for reasonable suspicion and a reasonable conclusion. The question isn’t whether it was reasonable to conclude the man in question was definitely taking upskirt pics. I don’t think anyone has argued that. The question is whether it was reasonable to suspect this. You’ll never have definitive evidence for anything if you don’t follow-up on sketchy evidence. If science took this attitude, we never would do experiments until we were absolutely sure the old theories were wrong, which won’t happen without experiments.

  59. says

    @Ron: Has anyone stated that or have they just said there was reason to suspect him of such and that this did constitute a report of harassment?

  60. Stacy says

    Last I saw of the camera after that he still had it so they must have just asked him to keep it above the waist.

    You’re right; I hadn’t noticed that. Rob Tarzwell, in his post, says hotel security confiscated the camera.

    I think the main debate here at the moment is about stating a person, whose name has been used, has committed a crime

    Has anybody here stated definitively that a crime was committed in this instance? We are discussing disturbing behavior.

    Disturbing behavior by a man with a history:

    Rob Tarzwell:

    I later learned the individual was “well-known” and had been complained about in previous years

    Lee:

    a man, who I had issues earlier in the event with regards to personal space intrusions

    I wouldn’t have reported to the JREF if he hadn’t continued to harass us despite us asking him to leave us alone multiple times and having other people ask him to leave us alone since he wouldn’t listen

    –And the interesting cheerleader discussion on JREF.

  61. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I doubt he is. But this is Greta’s blog, so I’m biting my tongue and arguing as if he were. And who knows, maybe he’s just the hyper-literal sort….I’ve been wrong about people before.

    I’M the hyper-literal sort. >.>

  62. says

    The fact that you are not using coarse language does not make you less of a troll

    You may not enjoy my mode of discourse, here, but I have done nothing wrong. I am concerned about baseless rumour mongering, especially amongst the atheist/skeptic community, who should — by all rights — be the *least* susceptible to the spreading of *demonstrably false* rumours. It really is quite disgusting to me to see such rumours fly around, with no evidence to back them up.

    Anyone who doesn’t think rumour mongering is harmful and dangerous should take a step back and think about religion. Think about the burning of *rumoured* witches in the middle ages. Think about the killing and *torturing* of children in Africa today, in 20 fucking 12, who are merely *rumoured* to be witches.

    Think, for a moment, about the Inquisition. What was it, *other* than rampant, out of control rumour mongering and persecution based on such rumours?

    This current rumour is only directed at one person, sure. A person who admits to being socially inept and obliviously annoying, sure. A person who very likely may have been harassing others, sure. This is no where close to the scale of the Inquisition or child witches in Africa, sure.

    That does not make spreading false rumours about this person any more acceptable. *Especially* among self-proclaimed skeptics.

    The reason the topic of rumour-mongering transcends this single incident is that it applies in a *lot* of different scenarios that skeptics and atheists should already be *painfully* aware of: ElevatorGate, the Tom Johnson Affair, rumours spread around about atheists by theists, rumours spread around about atheists by other atheists, the lies and slurs spread around about Jessica Ahlquist and Damon Fowler (and many others), the overall problem in our society with social bullying and rumour mongering among children and teens, etc. etc.

    We should *so* be above this shit-flinging. Sadly, we are not.

    I choose to point out this problem while *not* engaging in rumour mongering *myself*.

    I am *absolutely* not surprised that I’ve had shit flung my way for doing this.

    That is actually part of the process of pointing this out. I have done nothing wrong, and have been insulted and lied about merely for disagreeing with some people’s opinions, and for expressing my own opinion. Now some commenters are even calling for my being banned!

    Is this the world we want to create? Is this the world we want to *promote* as being a better world? Is this what *skeptics* and *atheists* promise to bring to the world?

    I’m appalled at this whole situation, but frankly, I’m *definitely* not surprised. We have a long way to go, skeptics and atheists. A little more self-skepticism is called for.

    We should be far more skeptical than we are about the words that we *ourselves* speak and write, especially when it comes to claims about other people.

    Humans are biased creatures. All of us. I’m no exception. One of the most common biases is called the Fundamental Attribution Error, or FAE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error). I often call it the fallacy of ‘mind reading’.

    I’m guessing 90% of the reason people believe this false rumour is due to FAE.

    And it is not just *this* rumour, either. All the other rumours I referred to have similar bases. Two years ago it was rampant speculation about atheists being obnoxious assholes at “conservation events”. Last year it was rampant speculation over a guy in an elevator. Today it is rampant speculation about a guy with an X-Shot monopod and a camera and upskirt photography. Tomorrow it will be some other random, unverified story about someone doing something that is ‘obviously’ ‘suspicious’, and therefore they are *guilty*!

    Really. Take a moment to reflect. We are *all* biased. Every single human on the planet is biased. No one is perfect. That includes me, but it also includes *you*. If you think you’re free from bias, that’s the first bias you need to overcome.

    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~ Richard Feynman

    Rumour mongering is worse than unproductive, it is positively destructive to our community.

    Go with the evidence, people, and ask yourself repeatedly, “How do I really know that?” Don’t assume; ask a question instead.

    On with the show…

    and does not make your nitpicking and needling less insulting.

    Can you please quote where I’ve insulted anyone?

    The fact that you are baselessly accusing people of lying

    I have made no such accusations. If you believe I have, please quote me doing so.

    and dismissing inductive reasoning with the inflammatory label of “rumor-mongering”

    Inductive reasoning and rumour mongering are two separate things. I have not dismissed inductive reasoning anywhere. I have challenged rumour mongering, i.e. engaging in the spreading of [unverified information received from another; hearsay].

    belies your repeated whining about “personal attacks.”

    Are you denying that I’ve been personally insulted in this thread?

  63. says

    So by skeptical standards, there is no good reason to even suspect upskirt pics are being taken unless someone sees a guy put the camera under a skirt and click the shutter or sees the picture he took. If we apply thsi standard to the natural world, we get creationism, not science. “No one saw that fossil get buried, so you don’t know how it got there. Since you haven’t proven anything, it isn’t justified to spend any resources to dig up more fossils to support your wild speculations.”

  64. Stacy says

    I’M the hyper-literal sort. >.>

    I’m sorry. There’s nothing wrong with being hyper-literal–I was trying hard to come up with a reason to, um, charitably explain Thaumas’s insistence on being all bullshit-lawyery and stuff.

    @>—-

  65. Stacy says

    OK, I’m ready to officially ignore Thaumas from here on out.

    He reminds me of someone I’ve seen around here before–the obsessive style rings a bell. I have a feeling there’s no point in engaging him further.

  66. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    This current rumour is only directed at one person, sure.

    We reasonably suspect him of attempting to act on his stated interest in voyeuristic photography.

    A person who admits to being socially inept and obliviously annoying, sure.

    Bull fucking shit. I’m socially inept and obliviously annoying and it would never occur to me to dangle a camera around at ankle level while following women around. And I don’t fucking appreciate being smeared by association by having my genuine difficulties hijacked to camouflage predatory behavior.

    A person who very likely may have been harassing others, sure.

    A person whose harassment was repeatedly reported. Are you now retracting your claims that you’re not accusing those doing the reporting of lying?

  67. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Can you please quote where I’ve insulted anyone?

    Well, the most recent example would be your patronizing lecture about bias in response to my observing that your dismissing “if smoke then fire” type inferences as “rumor-mongering.”

    Is this the world we want to create? Is this the world we want to *promote* as being a better world? Is this what *skeptics* and *atheists* promise to bring to the world?

    A world in which people who would rather masturdebate over trivial points of phrasing and who must be dragged kicking and screaming into acknowledging the concerns of the marginalized as anything other than “rumor-mongering” are recognized to be part of the problem?

    Yes. That is the world we want to create.

  68. says

    If witches were known to be reasonable and known to cause harm, as is the case with creeps and harassers, it would be perfectly reasonable to investigate claims that someone was a witch if there was some inconclusive evidence pointing to that idea. It wouldn’t be reasonable to summarily execute them, but it would be reasonable to look into it and take steps aimed at harm reduction.

    Also, if someone asked if there had been any witch reports and someone had reported that they saw the old widder woman messing with their cow, then she stopped giving milk the next day, then the magistrate shoudl aswer that yes, there was a report, even if it turned out the report was baseless and someone was just mad the the widder woman let her goat run free and it ate their garden.

    That’s all anyone is asking here: Acknowledge reports when they happen and deal with them in a fair manner.

  69. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    This current rumour is only directed at one person, sure. A person who admits to being socially inept and obliviously annoying, sure. A person who very likely may have been harassing others, sure. This is no where close to the scale of the Inquisition or child witches in Africa, sure.

    This is a perfect example. There are multiple reports of harassment by this person and documented posts of him enthusiastically endorsing and discussing predatory behavior, yet you’ve bent so far over backwards to be charitable to him that you’re twisting facts to pretend he’s merely “inept.”

    Meanwhile, you dismiss out of hand the reasonable inferences made by people directly exposed to his predatory behavior as “rumor-mongering.”

    And you have the goddamn gall to lecture anyone else about recognizing and accounting for biases?

    COME ON.

  70. says

    Do you believe that people have to have evidence that demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has taken place before taking action (alerting security, police, etc.)?

    No, I don’t. Natalie introduced the phrase “reasonable doubt”. I reflected it back to her, since I’m trying to understand how strongly she believes that there is evidence of upskirtness.

    Do you believe that people have to have such evidence to even discuss an incident of harassment on a blog?

    No, definitely not. I do, however, think that they should not engage in exaggeration, conflation, over-simplification, etc.

    Here’s an example from Stephanie Zvan’s blog:

    Stephanie wrote:

    Also, it’s not as though the behavior of this guy wasn’t well known. [ETA: Not just well known, but mentioned before in this sprawling conversation. I didn't realize this pertained to TAM2011.]

    Buzzo’s upskirt cam.
    My Opinion: Should have been reported to the JREF, and he should have been banned. Extremely out of line and also criminal. I could see how this would keep women away. One guy like that is too many.

    Only it was reported, and followed up on, and discussed in the forum.

    In that quote, her original blog contains two links. The second link is to this on Greg Laden’s blog:

    kerfluffle says:
    June 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t think that’s congressman wanna be, Steve Packard but a joke using his name. The behaviour of the original at previous TAMs (semi-stalking, up-skirt photography, really inappropriate language) is well-known.

    Now, on Greg Laden’s blog post, only ***three*** comments later, Mr. X himself pops up and explains his side of the story:

    June 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    kerfluffle:

    I don’t know who you have been talking to. I did no such thing at any TAM. I don’t know what “semi-stalking” is. I suggest that might mean… not stalking? Hmm.. odd one.

    I suppose “really inappropriate language” is a judgement call, but I suggest you might not have heard some of the much worse things said at that conference (and elsewhere)

    The only thing there that I actually remember being accused of is the upskirt photography, which I certainly did not do.

    This goes back to TAM-7. Since tam has a lot of well known people with whom I want to get my picture, I purchased and brought a clever device called the x-shot. The device can be seen here. It’s a telescopic rod that connects to the tripod mount on a camera. It enables a person to be in the photo without a third party to take it (using the auto-timer)

    http://xshot.com/

    Pretty clever camera accessory for getting your picture with Dawkins, Dr. Tyson or someone else, isn’t it?

    As soon as I took it out someone commented “Oh that’s for taking pictures up girls skirts”

    No it’s not. Not sure how that became someone’s running gag, but it did. Ok, I admit it was a funny enough thing to say given the look of the thing, but that’s all it was.

    I never took an upskirt photo. I never tried to. I never intended to. Never would actually want to. Why would I?

    Now would you care to continue to claim that I was taking photos up a woman’s skirt? If so, I have a lawyer who would be happy to discuss the issue with you.

    Whether you believe that or not, I don’t care. My point here is that *on Greg’s blog*, there were no further accusations of upskirt photography. The potential rumour died a quiet death.

    But *on Stephanie’s blog*, she did not mention Mr. X’s comment explaining his side, even though it was only ***three*** comments later from the one she linked to.

    This is very strange because Stephanie herself made comments on Greg’s blog at May 31, 2012 at 6:28 am, and then later at June 2, 2012 at 5:47 am. Essentially, she had participated in the thread both before and after Mr. X’s comment. However, while she noticed the comment from ‘kerfuffle’, she (apparently) did not notice the one from Mr. X just three comments later.

    And so, on Stephanie’s blog, the seed of the rumour was copied, but the explanation from Mr. X was not. And so, whereas on Greg’s blog the rumour died nearly instantly, on Stephanie’s no one bothered to check that comment thread, and the spark of the rumour caught flame.

    It was a simple failure of skepticism. Five minutes of additional research would have turned up Mr. X’s comment, and (going by what happened on Greg’s blog earlier), the rumour probably wouldn’t have taken hold (I would hope, anyway!).

    Remember that Lee had to come in later to *correct* the false rumour. Lee is not at fault for the false rumour itself. Lee is the one who confirms that it was false in the first place. They specifically spoke up to address the false rumour.

    So, to get back to your question. I don’t think people need lots of evidence to *discuss* something. No. I speculate about lots of things, as does everybody. But I don’t claim that these speculations are *true*! I state clearly that I don’t know, and don’t have good evidence! That I’m just guessing and playing with ideas or possible scenarios.

    And if someone challenges me, or questions my speculations, I don’t turn on them and insult them, bully them, or try to get them banned. I just say, “Of course, you’re right that I don’t know that for sure. I’m sorry I gave you that impression in the first place. I’m just speculating.”

    Or, if I really think it’s true and not just speculation, I do a quick google search, or I go back to the source where I originally found the claim, double-check my information, and report back with whatever evidence I can to support my claim. And if I *can’t* find very good evidence, I go back and say, “You know, you might have a point there. I thought I had good evidence, but I’m no longer as sure as I was before. Perhaps I might have even been mistaken. It wouldn’t be the first time!”

  71. says

    One of the folks who reported him reporting that they actually saw this

    How would they actually see this? They’d have to be close enough to see the little red dot go on and off, right?

    Hi Stacy, the context of the question has been stripped away because we’ve trimmed away the blockquotes.

    I was not answering in regards to taking photos. I was answering in regards to ‘pointing the camera up peoples’ skirts’. Let me try to reconstruct the context of the question:

    Natalie had written:

    Natalie Reed says:
    June 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    “We don’t have an actual PICTURE of him actually PRESSING the shutter button, or any other DIRECT evidence, so THEREFORE IT WAS TOTALLY FINE FOR HIM TO BE POINTING A CAMERA UP PEOPLE’S SKIRTS

    I replied:

    Natalie, do you actually have any evidence that he *actually* pointed the camera up peoples’ skirts? I’m guessing no.

    Azkyroth asked:

    Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says:
    June 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

    What would you consider acceptable evidence?

    To which I replied:

    One of the folks who reported him reporting that they actually saw this

    In other words: One of the folks who reported him reporting that they actually saw him pointed the camera up peoples’ skirts.

    That would be acceptable evidence to me that he very probably did point the camera up peoples’ skirts.

  72. says

    You know, this whole “well, did he actually TAKE pictures” and “well, were they REALLY pointing it up a person’s skirt?” thing, aside from being blatant goalpost moving, is just silly.

    Say you have a toy gun that lacks an indicator that it’s fake. If the police can see that you have it out in public, they’re pretty fucking likely to treat you like an armed criminal. Not because they saw you shoot someone, not because you even necessarily pointed it in someone’s general direction, not because it’s even an actual gun, but because you had the potential to do something really goddamned awful.

    That’s the issue at play here. They’re not going to wait until you’ve held someone at gun point or shot someone- that’s too late. The point here isn’t to punish someone who’s already committed a crime, it’s to prevent someone from being a victim of one.

    So if you’ve got a camera at a position that could conceivably make it possible to take an upskirt photo of a person, you’re already in the wrong. You’re already making somebody uncomfortable. If security waits for you to actually point the camera up someone’s skirt or actually take a picture, it’s already too late.

    Also, in response to julian @10, I didn’t see a reply by Natalie, so I’ll attempt one (as much as hers would likely be better). I’d really have to say that to have an anti-harassment policy that wasn’t trans-exclusive you’d just have to leave out gender/sex entirely. A policy along the lines of “should one person cause another to feel uncomfortable or harassed in a sexual manner, the incident should be reported in (x) fashion and the perpetrator will receive (y) punishment,” albeit probably worded better, would work fine. I don’t see a reason that specifying genders would do any good anyways, considering all of the possible harassment scenarios besides “cis female victim harassed by cis male.”

  73. says

    You know, this whole “well, did he actually TAKE pictures” and “well, were they REALLY pointing it up a person’s skirt?” thing, aside from being blatant goalpost moving, is just silly.

    lol! Wow. Really, just wow. Doesn’t matter if he actually did it or not, he’s still guilty!

    This is the danger of rumour mongering. Behold.

    Good night, folks.

  74. Stacy says

    Whether you believe that or not, I don’t care. My point here is that *on Greg’s blog*, there were no further accusations of upskirt photography. The potential rumour died a quiet death

    You are incorrect.

    The comment you quote was #133. #150, by Geek Goddess, posted at 9:24pm:

    [name redacted by me]. Weren’t YOU The one with the mirror, or at least claimed that you were up-skirting? You had a camera with a rod on it so you could take pics of yourself with the speakers? You were the one calling after a certain Canadian girl, comparing her to (iirc) a character from a sci if show, out loud, with her fleeing away. She told me about this. And a year or so ago, following around another woman at the bar, and when she’d walk away to talk to her friends, including her boyfriend, you’d follow her again? This happened at least three times that I witnessed. Put your hand on her shoulder for such a long time that *I* pulled it off because she kept looking at your hand, and you didn’t get that more tan a second was inappropriate? And one of the guys finally told you to go find someone else to talk to?

    And you have the audacity to insinuate that women are exaggerating being bothered?

    Lee is the one who confirms that it was false in the first place.

    What she said is

    As to the question of if buzzo was actually taking pictures – I don’t know and frankly don’t care. My report was that he had a camera, facing up, at his ankle on a pole. It made me uncomfortable because the only reason I could think of for that to happen is taking upskirt photos. Do I know he was? No, how could I?

    Do not conflate “I can’t be sure that’s what he was doing” with “It is false that he did it.”

    But I don’t claim that these speculations are *true*!

    You are aware that the post you are commenting on was made in order to clarify the point that nobody is sure that that’s what he was doing? Nobody here has claimed certainty about the photo thing. Actually, the original point was that DJ had conveniently forgotten this entire incident when he claimed there had been no incidents of harassment reported at TAM.

  75. says

    lol! Wow. Really, just wow. Doesn’t matter if he actually did it or not, he’s still guilty!

    This is the danger of rumour mongering. Behold.

    Except that the part you are quoting isn’t about whether it’s reasonable to conclude that he’s guilty. It’s about whether it is reasonable to suspect him. The two standards are not the same. Also, how is this rumor mongering. It’s stating facts and reasong to a likely explanation. You seem to be claiming the explanation is, in fact, not likely. That’s a bad inference, not a rumor. Even if you tell somebody else what your inference is, it’s still not a rumor.

  76. Jon H says

    Julian wrote:

    “Yes. He has said so on the JREF forums.”

    There would appear to be a significant difference between videotaping cheerleaders in performance, and upskirt shots of women in general, although both are creepy.

    Cheerleaders may have skirts on, but they are ornamental if anything, and cheerleading routines frequently involve moves and held positions that make the modesty-preserving function of the skirt irrelevant. I’m sure there are similar pervs making videos of gymnasts, but clearly there’s no skirts involved there at all.

    Zooming in on a cheerleader doing a split or a high kick, though creepy, doesn’t strike me as being remotely as invasive of privacy as pointing a camera up the skirt of a woman wearing a skirt in normal circumstances. A woman in a skirt, in normal social circumstances, has a reasonable expectation of privacy for the region under her skirt.

    In the case of a cheerleader, there may be a polite fiction that people aren’t going to be gawping at the girl’s crotch during routines, but that’s all. Chances are people will be, especially kids of a similar age, though normally they don’t use technology to extend the fleeting glimpses.

  77. Jon H says

    Infophile writes: “Imagine a janitor, when he’s cleaning the women’s showers at a gym, installs a camera in plain sight but out of reach of most people, and he deliberately disables the light that indicates when it’s recording. ”

    Bad analogy.

    A camera in the showers is more like a camera well up a woman’s skirt, in terms of there being a reasonable expectation of privacy. A camera hanging at ankle level, but never seen to be tucked under a woman’s skirt, is more like a camera in the hallway outside the women’s showers.

  78. A nym too says

    Thaumos- could you perhaps use html to emphasise certain words, if you’re doing it so much.

    Hearing “ASTERISKASTERISKASTERISK” or even just “ASTERISK[word]ASTERISK” over and over again, well it’s irritating. It really ruins the flow of the comments.

  79. zengaze says

    Excellent deconstruct thaumos.

    But that man has already been hanged, whether or not he was/is guilty is an irrelevancy as he suited the narrative, and it’s all for the greater good remember.

  80. says

    There’s no deconstruction in what Thaumas has said here. There’s confusion of standards for reporting and standards for conviction. There’s confusion of presentation of conclusions and presentation of facts.

    There’s misrepresentation of what was said in this post. There’s misrepresentation of discussions elsewhere.

    There’s refusal to answer questions. There’s refusal to engage analogy without explanation of why the analogy is invalid. And then there’s a flounce with victory declared.

    You can’t deconstruct anything you can’t honestly engage with. All you can do is put up a smoke screen that some people who also don’t want to engage will appreciate greatly.

  81. A nym too says

    Oh look, it’s Zengaze, persistent JAQoffer, who thinks that gay and trans people have privilege* over cisstraight people.

    Why? Because cisstraight people don’t have experience of homophobia and transphobia.

    That means, according to Mr Zengaze, that LGBT people have the privilege of understanding the topic of oppression. (due to sexuality or gender identity) better than cisstraight people, and should therefore hold their hands, allow JAQing off, and turn themselves into human 101 guides, so that their oppressors can demand explanations on tap.

    That is, until the wicked, meanypants LGBT people snap, and are banned, while Mr Zengaze plays innocent.

    He also does not believe in triggers, or in trigger warnings. People with PTSD should just either ignore it, or not read blogs. Simple!

    *Conveniently, this is the only form of privilege he believes in.

    Not surprised to see him ooze hrs way over here to defend creeps and misogynist pedants.

    Remember, marginalised people – don’t complain about. harassment. It isn’t real harassment unless the alleged creep is found guilty in court, or you’re maimed/dead.

  82. plutosdad says

    If this guy were out in public with a camera, he would have been arrested. Why was he not carted off? Who cares if you saw him taking a picture or not, just having the camera down there is enough to at least be taken downtown and that is more than enough probable cause for police to search the camera.

    Usually setups like that are remote activated or taking pictures every few seconds, after all it would not work if he had to bend down and press a button!

    *Similarly, cameras in bathrooms are activated by motion detection. I did some video security work, but also have a lawyer fiance and cop cousins and get to learn crazy stuff people try.

  83. Sally Strange says

    It’s clear to me that a lot of men consider that women feeling safe and free from harassment is a priority that takes a far distant second to a well-known creeper’s right to carry a camera on a pole around at ankle level.

    Telling this well-known creeper to stop it would be a terrible infringement on Freedom™ and Justice™.

    Why does women being free to attend a conference without fearing harassment not fall under the rubric of Freedom™ and Justice™? Well, obviously: bitches ain’t shit. It’s a scientifical fact! Anything else you hear is just rumor-mongering.

  84. says

    Ah, Stephanie, thanks for commenting.

    There’s misrepresentation of what was said in this post. There’s misrepresentation of discussions elsewhere.

    Where? Please quote.

    There’s refusal to answer questions.

    Where? Please quote.

    Here are some questions for you:

    When you posted the link to Greg Laden’s blog and the comment by ‘kerfuffle’, had you at that point read the comment only three posts later, by Mr. X? If so, then why did you not also mention Mr. X’s explanation in your “Those Meddling Kids” post?

    Secondly, when you posted your comment at June 2, 2012 at 5:47 am on Greg’s blog, had you at that time (or shortly thereafter) read the comment by Mr. X which was now sandwiched between that comment and your prior one? If so, then why did you not mention Mr. X’s explanation in your “Those Meddling Kids” post? [Please note, that the "Those Meddling Kids" post was published on June 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm, over a week after Mr. X had already posted his explanation on Greg Laden's blog.]

    Another question: Will you now update your Meddling Kids post to highlight that you had either not noticed or neglected to mention Mr. X’s comment on Greg Laden’s blog, which is sandwiched between two of your comments on the same blog post?

    More questions: Do you consider the promulgation of false rumours — especially (but not exclusively) this particular false rumour of actual upskirt photography — to be a real problem, that is both harmful and dangerous? Do you agree that your behaviour and failure of skepticism during this phase significantly contributed to the promulgation of this false rumour?

    Now that you’ve made clear that not refusing to answer questions is important, will you answer these questions?

    [Please note: I am not the only person who would like these questions answered. I do not think they are unfair questions. In my mind, they are honest and sincere questions, although I acknowledge that they are challenging questions indeed.

    If there's anyone else out there who agrees and thinks these are fair questions that you would like to see answered honestly, now is the time to lend your voice, and post a comment here asking Stephanie Zvan to please follow through and answer these straightforward questions.]

  85. plutosdad says

    OK sorry for double post, but seriously? I think Holy Fucking Shit is an understatement.

    And the comments here. What? How can any reasonable person defend this?

    Sure, NO ONE is saying he should go directly to jail, or should get a beating (though many of us would like to). He SHOULD have been arrested and the camera searched for photos. If he is innocent he’ll get let go, if not then he’s in trouble. Either way, to say “oh we can’t jump to conclusions” well we are not on the jury, that is why we have a criminal justice system, no one is advocating mob justice, we are citizens who should be looking out for each other.

  86. says

    Bad analogy.

    A camera in the showers is more like…

    Who gives a shit? Are you going to nitpick over the exact analogy used or are you going to focus on the actual point?

    The point is that it doesn’t matter whether he actually took pictures or not. It doesn’t. Even if he never took a single picture, his behavior was still out of line.
    Even if he never intended to take a picture, he was still engaging in behavior that made other people uncomfortable and could reasonably have been predicted to do so.

    So really, the only question here is whether he was actively trying to harass people or if he just didn’t care that that was the result.
    Either way, he’s an asshole.

    Also, I can’t help but notice that the xshot rod is telescopic. When not in use, it would be the simplest of things to retract it. It would actually be easier for him to carry that way, and also quite easy to fold out again if he wanted a shot of a celebrity.
    He chose to keep it folded out. He chose to hold it so the camera was at a level where taking up-skirt photos was possible.

    We can’t read his mind. We have to judge his actions. His actions were at best inconsiderate, at worst criminal. Either way, they’re not acceptable.

  87. Sally Strange says

    So really, the only question here is whether he was actively trying to harass people or if he just didn’t care that that was the result.

    This.

    And lack of caring is just as unaccceptable as as active harassment. Also, someone who genuinely doesn’t care would immediately stop upon being told it’s a bothersome practice, and wouldn’t need repeated warnings on that front.

  88. zengaze says

    @ 94 A nym too says

    The only part of your post that has any relevance is:

    “Remember, marginalised people – don’t complain about. harassment. It isn’t real harassment unless the alleged creep is found guilty in court, or you’re maimed/dead.”

    So that’s what I’ll address. Where exactly did I say that people shouldn’t complain about harassment? As far as I’m aware the incident of complaint took place in 09, that was before DJ took the reigns. Would anyone like to do their own fact check on that, or do you want to run with this as part of the narrative that DJ doesn’t treat harassment seriously.

    @ Stephanie 92

    Please demonstrate where Thaumos misrepresents. It is a fine example of a deconstruct, because it stuck to the facts, you know those pesky things that get in the way of stories. The narrative which has to be avoided is upskirtgate (I said it so therefore it now is), whereby the meme is generated that there was/is some creepy guy running around TAM attempting upskirts. This is demonstrably unsubstantiated.

  89. A nym too says

    Zengaze – I’m not talking about TAM. I’m saying it’s no surprise at all to see someone (you) who doesn’t believe in privilege (unless it’s the kind you invented yourself), and is virulently belittling of issues faced by both marginalised people and trauma survivors, would come over here to lavish praise on creep defenders.

    Gross.

  90. zengaze says

    Assertion: incident happened in 09.., fact check invited, and declined.
    incident happened in 11.

    Let’s just keep making shit up as we go along shall we.

  91. zengaze says

    @ A nym too says

    I refuse to let you make this an issue about personality rather than the facts. What you say about me has absolutely no relevance therefore it is ad hom.

  92. says

    There’s misrepresentation of what was said in this post.

    Yet your statement is placed *within* quotation marks, as if you are quoting some source (and it would *appear* that the source you are referring to is an actual report; since you preface it with “The report made was”. To me this is, frankly, intellectually dishonest, and certainly would count as misleading (and possibly libellous) journalism.

    One quick example. Greta replaced her prior statement, in quotes, with a new statement, in quotes, and you say she’s quoting someone other than her.

    There’s misrepresentation of discussions elsewhere.

    And so, whereas on Greg’s blog the rumour died nearly instantly…

    You’ve already had it pointed out how this is a misrepresentation.

    There’s refusal to answer questions.

    So your question is based on assumed facts which are not in evidence.

    I’m not willing to speculate on hypothetical scenarios.

    Have you already forgotten this?

    If so, then why did you not also mention Mr. X’s explanation in your “Those Meddling Kids” post?

    The link and the quote were evidence that the allegation was general knowledge, which was the topic of the post. It said nothing one way or another about guilt.

    I consider it implicit in the mention of any accusations of sexual harassment that the accused harasser denies the accusation. Have you ever seen a case where the accused says, “Oops! I guess you caught me”?

    You asked the same question twice, by the way. The answer above still stands for both.

    Will you now update your Meddling Kids post to highlight that you had either not noticed or neglected to mention Mr. X’s comment on Greg Laden’s blog, which is sandwiched between two of your comments on the same blog post?

    I had neither not noticed nor neglected to mention that comment. I wasn’t in any position then and am not in any position now to do anything other than demonstrate that the allegations of sexual harassment against Dr Buzz0 are widespread and widely known. Since I’m talking about whether D.J. Grothe had a report in hand when he said no such report was made, I don’t need to do anything more than that. The detail of whether any pictures were taken is irrelevant.

    Do you consider the promulgation of false rumours — especially (but not exclusively) this particular false rumour of actual upskirt photography — to be a real problem, that is both harmful and dangerous?

    Where do you see this rumor? Please quote.

    Do you agree that your behaviour and failure of skepticism during this phase significantly contributed to the promulgation of this false rumour?

    Well, that question presumes a failure of skepticism not in evidence. It also presumes a rumor not in evidence, because once again you confuse people drawing a conclusion based on the evidence available to them and making assertions.

  93. says

    I am going to address one question, and one question only, raised by Thaumas Themelios — the question of whether this post accurately represents Lee’s position on the events in question.

    I emailed Lee, with a copy of this post in its entirely, to ask them if it accurately reflected the facts as best they knew them. In this email, I specifically asked if my summary of the events being discussed accurately reflected the facts as best they knew them.

    Lee said yes, they did.

    I hope this lays this particular question to rest.

  94. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    A camera in the showers is more like a camera well up a woman’s skirt, in terms of there being a reasonable expectation of privacy. A camera hanging at ankle level, but never seen to be tucked under a woman’s skirt, is more like a camera in the hallway outside the women’s showers.

    It appears that actual or perceived women who wear those skirts disagree, MISTER H.

  95. says

    @Thaumas Themelios:

    The fact that you have all day to complain about “false” accusations and yet no time to complain about sexual harassment tells everyone here everything they need to know about your priorities and goals. It is impossible to take you seriously, and I’m not going to waste my time trying.

  96. says

    Seems to me that regardless of the issues debated here, the camera-on-a-stick-at-ankle-height thing is now OVER, and any further activity of this sort probably won’t be overlooked. At least, at these sorts of functions.

    If this is ignored, I couldn’t say whose fault it was, but I could probably guess who would defend that activity as innocent. Sorry, whoever, but game’s OVER.

  97. Rilian says

    I used to say things like “non-penis havers” because I was trying to avoid the boxing-in of the terms “men” and “women”. Now I think I can just say “those perceived as …” or AMAB or AFAB.

  98. says

    Thaumas Themelios

    [Please note: I am not the only person who would like these questions answered. I do not think they are unfair questions. In my mind, they are honest and sincere questions, although I acknowledge that they are challenging questions indeed.

    If there's anyone else out there who agrees and thinks these are fair questions that you would like to see answered honestly, now is the time to lend your voice, and post a comment here asking Stephanie Zvan to please follow through and answer these straightforward questions.]

    I completely agree. I also find the way you have been insulted on here to be utterly unacceptable. I have no good way of knowing what is in your mind and I make no comment about it. I try to engage the Principle of Charity whenever I can.

    Stephanie

    The link and the quote were evidence that the allegation was general knowledge, which was the topic of the post. It said nothing one way or another about guilt.

    I understand that you are a writer. That’s great: a top profession. One which I would have thought would make you sensitive to how impressions can be made in the mind of others. A picture can be painted in very few words.

    Please, please reconsider your behaviour … and if I ever get arrested kindly excuse yourself from the jury.

    Oh, and a general question for those people who have attended these meetings (I am from the UK so have not). Is skirt wearing a common thing at these places? I wear them as a hippy, but when meeting other skeptical women events I have noticed that the default garb is jeans/pants.

    Oh well, it seems the chap with the camera is not only a pervert, but inept pervert as well. I make a small joke, but I have to say that I am disgusted at the behaviour I am observing.

    Reputations are important: facts even more so. I am very sad that people seem to be showing precious little concern for either.

  99. says

    @Corylus: Upskirt photography only requires that some women wear skirts, not 80% of them. Are you saying ti wasn’t a big deal because only a relatively small portion of attendees were in any danger of being victimized?

  100. says

    My point was about looking at behaviour, Ace. We all do trial and error when deciding how to act. If there are no (or minimal) opportunities for success then behaviour is less likely to be repeated and new strategies tried.

    Goes towards intent.

    Are you saying ti wasn’t a big deal because only a relatively small portion of attendees were in any danger of being victimized?

    Don’t be a silly sausage.

  101. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    My point was about looking at behaviour, Ace. We all do trial and error when deciding how to act. If there are no (or minimal) opportunities for success then behaviour is less likely to be repeated and new strategies tried.

    Wait a minute, so you’re saying that the problem is that women are dressing in ways that cause them to be victimized, and that women need to change how they’re dressing to avoid victimization?

    This sounds…FAMILIAR…

  102. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Thaumas:

    This is a classic example of ‘mind reading’, aka Fundamental Attribution Error (or FAE; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error). You are attributing thoughts and motivations to me which I *do not* possess, and which you have *no evidence* for besides your own suspicions.

    If you had bothered to read the Wikipedia article on the fallacy you keep flogging, you would realize that FAE is not at all what you claim it is. It is not about mis-attributing thoughts to people, nor is it about ‘mind-reading’.

  103. says

    Wait a minute, so you’re saying that the problem is that women are dressing in ways that cause them to be victimized, and that women need to change how they’re dressing to avoid victimization?

    This sounds…FAMILIAR…

    Well, I guess I really am asking for it then, in that I admit to a personal penchant for skirts :)

    Sigh, I do not see how I could have made my question any clearer. No one has actually answered my question about common garb yet, BTW. Not that was my main point: that question was a simple request for information.

    No. My main point is that you really do need more than Chinese whispers and supposition before you accuse people of things.

    This is very important, and very, very serious indeed.

  104. says

    Stephanie

    Corylus, you consider a blog post about a side issue to be the same as a jury trial?

    A side issue? Well there is a relief – I was rather under the impression that you were taking this situation with deadly seriousness. I do hope you are not dismissing the experience of others.

    OK. Black humour aside.

    Stephanie, someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”. Could you please explain to me how this is different from a jury situation? Well, apart from the public nature of the discussion; the lack of swearing in; the absence of tests of competence and impartiality, and an experienced judge to moderate proceedings?

    You might find this hard to believe at the moment, but I actually made my comment above for your benefit. And no, I don’t mean that in the colloquial sense of ‘being directed towards’. I mean for your benefit.

    You are a writer (which I have already said is a marvellous profession) and you obviously put in a great deal of time into work and activism. You have a work ethic a foot tall. How could I not admire this in any shape or form!? These are high complements from me. Very high.

    No. This is for your benefit, because I am concerned that you are committing libel, and furthermore, that you are acting in a fashion that you might later regret a very great deal. You might find this hard to believe now, but you may well understand later.

    I actually desperately hope that you won’t have to face this.

  105. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Could you please explain to me how this is different from a jury situation?

    There have been and will be no charges brought against him. We’re not in a courtroom. We have no ability to impose a sentence on the perv. Is that enough?

    How about: nothing said here will in any way harm him, because bitchez ain’t shit.

  106. says

    Oh incidentally, anyone recognise this?

    “What did I tell you?” he exclaimed, losing his gentle manner. “I knew it last week. Oh, how like a woman to worry over a side-issue!”

    Clue. It is from a book that depicts someone performing one of the bravest of acts: that of going against all expectations and not allowing someone to be convicted when one is unsure of their guilt.

  107. gj says

    Here here, Thaumas.

    Whatever have all the skeptics left SKEPTICISM?

    Christina owes a lot more than simply answering “just one question”.

  108. says

    Your concern is noted.

    Oh, Stephanie.

    This reaction actually makes me sad.

    -=-=-=-

    Illuminata

    How about: nothing said here will in any way harm him, because bitchez ain’t shit.

    Using potty-mouth language in order to force an emotional reaction is not acceptable.

    You should find some soap on your sink.

  109. Stacy says

    Stephanie, someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”.

    No they are not. You need to read Greta’s post, and the comments preceding yours, more carefully, Corylus. Read for comprehension.

    Could you please explain to me how this is different from a jury situation?

    That question, vacuous and/or disingenuous as it may be, has been addressed in the comments.

  110. says

    delurking for a sec to ask Corylus something,

    Chinese whispers? really? REALLY?

    Am I just reading that wrong (comment 120) or is that just some racism thrown in with your telling women how to feel attitude?

    Yeah go ahead and lecture someone else about language. Seems really credible when coming from you…

  111. says

    Stacy

    No they are not. You need to read Greta’s post, and the comments preceding yours, more carefully, Corylus. Read for comprehension.

    I’m fond of reading, Stacy, and do not need anyone to tell me to do so. Tell me, what is going on other than accusations of illegal/immoral acts? Why not explain and help develop my comprehension skills? Please do me this small favour.

    That question, vacuous and/or disingenuous as it may be, has been addressed in the comments.

    No, I am sorry, but you do not get to pull this stunt with me. I have already explained that I admire people with a work ethic. Put some time and effort in please. Where has this been addressed in the comments? Most definitely not by Stephanie who threw out a tired cliché instead of an actual response.

  112. Stacy says

    Using potty-mouth language in order to force an emotional reaction is not acceptable

    You are not the arbiter of what is acceptable on this blog. And, again, reading comprehension, Corylus. Illuminata was clearly skewering an attitude, not trying “to force an emotional reaction.”

  113. says

    dandy_lion

    Am I just reading that wrong (comment 120) or is that just some racism thrown in with your telling women how to feel attitude?

    Yes, this is very definitely just you reading it wrong.

    Goodness me.

  114. Stacy says

    I’m fond of reading, Stacy, and do not need anyone to tell me to do so

    I did not tell you to read, Corylus. I told you to read carefully, for comprehension.

    Had you read carefully, for comprehension, you would not have made that mistake.

  115. says

    I’m fond of reading, Stacy, and do not need anyone to tell me to do so. Tell me, what is going on other than accusations of illegal/immoral acts? Why not explain and help develop my comprehension skills? Please do me this small favour.

    The main point is that TAM has no official harassment policy, but needs one.

  116. says

    So wait…its not racist because..? The only references I found to “Chinese Whispers” were about a childhood game we called Grapevine or Telephone, about mishearing and such. How is it okay to call it Chinese whispers?

  117. says

    Stacy

    You are not the arbiter of what is acceptable on this blog.

    Yes. Here, you are quite right. I most definitely am not the arbiter of what is acceptable on this blog – any attempt to do so would be rude, condescending and patronising. I am a guest here – and I hope to act as one.

    Conversely, I do hope you are not attempting to be arbiter of what emotional reactions I should display, as I understand that this is somewhat frowned upon.

    Bottom line: I do not appreciate people swearing at me – other than when discussing abstract linguistic usage, obviously. I admire good manners. That simple.

    And, again, reading comprehension, Corylus. Illuminata was clearly skewering an attitude, not trying “to force an emotional reaction.”

    I will pass on speculating on what Illuminata actually intended. I instead instead to let him/her speak for themselves. I show respect in this way.

    N.B. You might want to apologise to Illuminata for your presumption.

  118. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    No one has actually answered my question about common garb yet, BTW.

    That’s because it has no conceivable relevance and is festooned with red flags we recognize from other attempts to derail conversations about women’s safety and comfort.

  119. says

    You are now trying to make this all about you, Corylus.

    Please don’t do that.

    Thank you Stacy, that is much, much better. I really, truly mean this. A “please” (these cost nothing:)) and an ixnay on the silly ‘comprehension’ digs. Very, very well done.

    Of course, this is not about me. Not even close. You are completely correct here. Utterly correct. You could not get correcter :P

    This is instead about how we treat people in the strange, uberpublic, but deeply personal, world of teh intertubez.

    This is about what we owe to each other.

    We owe presumption of innocence perhaps. Or possibly a reaction of joy to evidence that harassment is not as bad as originally feared: rather than a feverish scrambling around for any, any incidences that bolster an argument into which one has become entrenched.

  120. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    This is instead about how we treat people in the strange, uberpublic, but deeply personal, world of teh intertubez.

    This is about what we owe to each other.

    We owe presumption of innocence perhaps. Or possibly a reaction of joy to evidence that harassment is not as bad as originally feared: rather than a feverish scrambling around for any, any incidences that bolster an argument into which one has become entrenched.

    Wrong. This is about the rights of people other than conventional cis men to feel safe and comfortable in public, in-person venues. Your attempt to derail this important conversation for piddling bickering about tone is unacceptable.

  121. says

    Oh, sorry, I missed this one.

    Dandy_lion

    So wait…its not racist because..? The only references I found to “Chinese Whispers” were about a childhood game we called Grapevine or Telephone, about mishearing and such. How is it okay to call it Chinese whispers?

    Because this is what the game about copying errors is called in the UK. There is actually a chapter in A Devil’s Chaplain about this.

    Please do try to keep up with differences in linguistic usage. It might prevent you from making very silly accusations.

  122. says

    Giliell:

    Again, can anybody give me an innocent reason why somebody would carry around their camera on a monopod at ankle height?

    Because cameras can get heavy, and that is the most common way to carry them when not using them? Especialy on a rod designed to take self portraits?

  123. Stacy says

    that is much, much better. I really, truly mean this.

    You seem to be assuming that your approval is desired or meaningful to me. It isn’t.

    We owe presumption of innocence perhaps

    You are missing the point. The point is that Grothe claimed that there were no incidents of harassment reported at TAM. This incident was described to him at the time.

    Rob Tarzwell originally said, on Facebook, that monopod man was taking upskirt photos. Greta wrote about that. This post is a correction to that one, since the woman who raised the complaint has come forward to clarify that she can’t be sure that is what he was doing.

    At #92, Stephanie describes the problems with comments like yours and Thaumas’s:

    There’s confusion of standards for reporting and standards for conviction. There’s confusion of presentation of conclusions and presentation of facts.

    There’s misrepresentation of what was said in this post. There’s misrepresentation of discussions elsewhere

    As for presumption of innocence, it is appropriate in a court of law. Outside a court of law, the evidence necessary to warrant concern about possible law-breaking is necessarily much lower.

    In any case, nobody on this blog has stated that monopod man is guilty–despite your statement at comment #122: someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”

    You would know all this, if you had had the courtesy to read the comments carefully before you decided to weigh in.

  124. says

    Azkyroth

    Wrong. This is about the rights of people other than conventional cis men to feel safe and comfortable in public, in-person venues. Your attempt to derail this important conversation for piddling bickering about tone is unacceptable.

    Azkyroth, I came on here to talk about non-evidenced accusations. I came on here to talk about libel and vilification. My only references to tone have been to request that people address me (as I do them) in a grown-up, sensible manner.

    You are right about one thing here, though. Derailing is occurring. Derailing by people assuming telepathic access to the minds of other and showing execrable manners.

    By the way, has anyone had the basic intellectual curiosity to look up my book reference yet?

  125. says

    Ulgaa:

    The “chinese whisper” term has been used quite a few times on FTB before. Please don’t derail.

    Just today, I’ve read on Yahoo some guy saying “you’re a bunch of racists! Stop attacking arabs, asians are a lot worse!”

  126. says

    If you just came on to talk about libel, why get into issues of how many women wear skirts? So long as it’s more than none, it’s irrelevant. Also, can you provide any specific quotes that are libelous? I’ll help you out. In order to be libelous, a statement must meet all of the following criteria:

    1. A statement was published
    2. which was defamatory
    3. and false
    4. and in bad faith.
    5. which identified the plaintiff
    6. and caused them to suffer actual damages.

    The first element and maybe the second seem to be the only ones present. The person in question was only identified because they identified themselves and being false only counts if the person knew it was false or acted with reckless disregard for the truth.

  127. zengaze says

    Seriously?
    Using the phrase “Chinese whispers” now indicates latent racism?!? The worlds gone mad. But since I am not of Chinese origin I assume that my privilege prevents me from seeing the horrible racism in the usage of a common language phrase. You encounter more reason from the religious, actually their dogma is more appealing than asinine nonsense such as that.

  128. Stacy says

    Because cameras can get heavy, and that is the most common way to carry them when not using them?

    This was a telescoping camera pole. Could have been closed up.

    But, sure, the camera thing could have been innocent. The man reported, however, had a history. Lee said:

    I wouldn’t have reported to the JREF if he hadn’t continued to harass us despite us asking him to leave us alone multiple times and having other people ask him to leave us alone since he wouldn’t listen.

    People are derailing this into a discussion of “you’re saying he’s guilty of upskirt photography!” Not only is that not true, that claim is contradicted by Greta’s post.

    The discussion’s gone that way only because some people–in this thread, Thaumas, mainly–have claimed that it was unreasonable to suggest monopod man might have been doing such a thing. As Stephanie said, Thaumas “[confused] standards for reporting and standards for conviction. There’s confusion of presentation of conclusions and presentation of facts.”

  129. says

    Stacy:

    I will not deny that the guy was reported for some reasons, just not the reasons that have been stated. For all I know, he might be a massive stalker. But this does not justify the (actionable) accusations of upskirt photography.

    If the guy was sexually harassing people at the conventions, sure, investigate. That’s the least anyone could do. But don’t systematically accept there have been upskirt pictures made by him.

    Well, there may have been , but in this day and age, numeric evidence is not so hard to find.

    What I’m saying is: don’t conflate speculations without evidence.

  130. Stacy says

    People are derailing this into a discussion of “you’re saying he’s guilty

    To be clear, Phil Giordano, I wasn’t accusing you of being one of those people.

  131. says

    Stacy

    You seem to be assuming that your approval is desired or meaningful to me. It isn’t.

    That is absolutely fine, but I hope you do not mind me showing it. I try very hard indeed to give credit where it is due. I admit points well made, this is a weakness of mine.

    You are missing the point.

    No. This IS my point.

    The point is that Grothe claimed that there were no incidents of harassment reported at TAM. This incident was described to him at the time.

    I am seeing conflicting reports on what was reported and how. I reserve judgement until Grothe talks about this. This is, unfortunately, something that the atmosphere on here makes somewhat unlikely.

    Rob Tarzwell originally said, on Facebook, that monopod man was taking upskirt photos. Greta wrote about that. This post is a correction to that one, since the woman who raised the complaint has come forward to clarify that she can’t be sure that is what he was doing.

    Thank you for this. It has made me realise one possible reason for confusion. You see, not everyone is on facebook. I have a finite amount of time online: time in which I seek to educate myself and generally learn things. I am not interesting in ‘he said’, ‘she said’, ‘oh, I got de-friended!’ or blinking “pet-ville”. Maybe, some part of the confusion might be people assuming that all have seen posts made on social networking sites. Just a thought.

    Both you and Stephanie …

    There’s confusion of standards for reporting and standards for conviction. There’s confusion of presentation of conclusions and presentation of facts.

    There’s misrepresentation of what was said in this post. There’s misrepresentation of discussions elsewhere

    As for presumption of innocence, it is appropriate in a court of law. Outside a court of law, the evidence necessary to warrant concern about possible law-breaking is necessarily much lower.

    That is technically incorrect. In some courts the test is ‘balance of probabilities’. These are not criminal courts however – they are civil ones. Even in these cases rigour is demanded. As it should be.

    I am seeing an astonishing naivety here on the part of people commenting.

    Exhibit A:

    You can not accuse me of ruining your rep because I am not naming you.

    Sweet, bouncing Jebus on a pogo stick! We are talking on blogs to the type of people who love cryptic crosswords and mystery novels. On what planet can one assume that people will not try to work out names and identities?

    Has the last year taught people nothing?

    Blimey.

  132. Stacy says

    But don’t systematically accept there have been upskirt pictures made by him

    Agreed.

  133. says

    Has anyone claimed that it is confirmed he was taking upskirt pictures at TAM? Who exactly did that? What is confirmed is that someone using the same relatively uncommon username posted upskirt pics at another forum, though they did not appear to be from TAM. Also, that the person in question posted abotu his enthusiasm for voyeuristic photography on the JREF forum, though he did not specifically mention upskirts. Plenty of people have claimed that you can make a reasonable inference from the known facts, but no one has claimed any sort of metaphysical certainty.

  134. Stacy says

    These are not criminal courts however – they are civil ones

    This is not any kind of court.

    As for the rest of your post, all of your confusion could have been forestalled had you carefully read the comments that preceded yours.

  135. says

    Because cameras can get heavy, and that is the most common way to carry them when not using them? Especialy on a rod designed to take self portraits?

    You never disappoint.
    No, no sensible person would carry their camera at ankle(!) height because that’s a fucking good way to accidentially break it yourself or have it broken in a mass of people. Especially if you’re carrying casually because it’s getting heavy.
    If you carry it carefully at ankle height, because that’s what you actually want to do, risks get smaller.
    BTW, when was the last time you lifted a camera?

  136. says

    Giliell:

    Ooooh… It was about… Yesterday. Canon 1000D. I will tend to agree that with an X-Shot, the most comfy way to carry it would be slung over one’s shoulder, but is still doesn’t make a case for upskirt pictures accusations.

  137. says

    Because cameras can get heavy, and that is the most common way to carry them when not using them? Especialy on a rod designed to take self portraits?

    Bullshit.
    The rod in question folds up to 9″ and weighs less than 200 grams. It’s not heavy and it’s only tricky to carry if you keep it extended, which there’s no reason to do unless you’re going to take a picture.
    And are you seriously saying that the most common way to carry your, presumably expensive, camera is down by your feet where it might be accidentally kicked and damaged?

    We owe presumption of innocence perhaps…

    Fine, presumption granted. As I’ve already argued, it doesn’t actually matter whether he’s guilty or not. He was engaging in questionable activities that made other attendees feel uncomfortable. That’s an undisputed fact and it’s quite sufficient to deem his behavior problematic.’

    Even if we presume he was absolutely, totally innocent and never intended to take any pictures whatsoever, his behavior was still problematic. He still made people uncomfortable. He apparently has a history of making people uncomfortable.
    That’s a problem.

  138. says

    Stephanie

    Still unanswered:

    Who is doing this hypothetical accusing, Corylus?

    and

    Ace

    Has anyone claimed that it is confirmed he was taking upskirt pictures at TAM? Who exactly did that? What is confirmed is that someone using the same relatively uncommon username posted upskirt pics at another forum, though they did not appear to be from TAM. Also, that the person in question posted abotu his enthusiasm for voyeuristic photography on the JREF forum, though he did not specifically mention upskirts. Plenty of people have claimed that you can make a reasonable inference from the known facts, but no one has claimed any sort of metaphysical certainty.

    Oh, I see, everyone on here was talking about a chap who takes wholesome photographs of family groups. No aspersions cast whatsoever. No implications, no insinuations, no calls for a lower standard of proof.

    I gotcha.

    -=-=-=-

    Stacy

    This [a civil court]is not any kind of court.

    I don’t say this in order to be denigrating in any way, but have you ever studied law or worked in a legal environment? While not a lawyer I have done both.

    Civil courts are very important. They keep the wheels of industry and society moving. They give redress to those who are the subject of attacks outside of the realm of the purely criminal (tort etc.)

    As for the rest of your post, all of your confusion could have been forestalled had you carefully read the comments that preceded yours.

    Reading them is what made me comment.

    -=-=

    Stephanie,

    I meant what I said. I hope you can reconsider your behaviour.

    -=-=-

    Sigh, I am not getting much further here tonight, I can see this.

    N.B. I don’t take the daft accusations of racism personally. I am however disappointed.

  139. Stacy says

    Phil, you just have to have a reasonable suspicion to bring an accusation, not a case. If people had to take the time to build a case against someone before they alerted authorities, nothing would ever be reported.

    Scared Guy: “Mr. So and So tried to kill me!”

    Police Officer “What is your evidence for your accusation?”

    SG: “He pointed a gun at me!”

    PO: “Do you know that the gun was loaded?”

    SG: “Well, no–how could I know that?”

    PO: “Are you certain-sure he wasn’t just being playful?”

    SG: “I barely know the man–I suppose that’s possible–but–”

    PO: “Sorry. We can’t investigate this. Come back when you have hard evidence a crime was committed.”

    META ALERT. THE ABOVE IS JUST AN EXAMPLE. A PARALLEL. I AM NOT ACCUSING MONOPOD GUY OF ATTEMPTED MURDER.

  140. says

    Evidence and facts have been covered many times. I am unclear on why proof should be required. Normally, you come up with a hypothesis and then try to prove or disprove it. If speculation isn’t justified in general, then we’d have no reason to try to gather proof.

  141. says

    Oh, I see, everyone on here was talking about a chap who takes wholesome photographs of family groups. No aspersions cast whatsoever. No implications, no insinuations, no calls for a lower standard of proof.

    Except I didn’t ask if people had been making aspersions or insinuations. I asked if anyone claimed confirmation, which is what you said was not justifiable. Are you seriously arguing that the standards of proff for “I suspect X is true” and “it is confirmed that X is true” should be the same? This is classic goal post moving. You said that that it isn’t justified to say he was confirmed to be taking upskirts. When it was pointed out no one said this, you said that people were casting aspersions. This is an attempt to dodge the question of whether aspersions are justified.

    Also, you put words in Stacy’s mouth. The part inside the brackets is quite clearly not what she meant in the quoted section.

  142. Stacy says

    Oh, I see, everyone on here was talking about a chap who takes wholesome photographs of family groups.

    No. This is a red herring.

    At #122, you said:

    someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”

    You have been asked to substantiate that claim. You have failed to do so.

    I don’t say this in order to be denigrating in any way, but have you ever studied law or worked in a legal environment?

    Yes. I have done both. And I have little patience for people who confuse courts of law with discussions on a blog about an accusation made at a conference.

    Civil courts are very important.

    Utter non sequitur.

    Reading them is what made me comment.

    One.More.Time. You did not read them carefully.

  143. says

    Stacy @167:

    I am in full aggreement (there might be extra conssonants in there).

    But that still doesn’t justify nailing the guy to a cross (ahah) for something he probably didn’t do. He might have done so (but there is no single proof of it) and if he did he should be reported. Maybe not to TAM, but to the Police. It is an actionable beheaviour.

    Lee never accused him of this beheavior. Can’t you people just give it up for a while, the time to sort it out? And not build a case based on rumours and such?

  144. Stacy says

    The part inside the brackets is quite clearly not what she meant in the quoted section

    Thanks, Ace of Sevens, I completely missed that.

    Yes, Corylus, by “this” I meant “this discussion.”

    No, no need to apologize. Just read more carefully.

  145. Stacy says

    Lee never accused him of this beheavior.

    She reported that she suspected him of this behavior.

    We’re not nailing him to a cross; we’ve been responding to people who claim that she had no good reason for her suspicions or her discomfort, and also to people who claim that we have claimed that we’re certain monopod man is guilty.

  146. says

    Stacy

    You have been asked to substantiate that claim. You have failed to do so.

    I cite this entire thread in evidence.

    And I have little patience for people who confuse courts of law with discussions on a blog about an accusation made at a conference.

    Please consider the possibility that a common morality should underpin them both.

    Blogs are not private places where you can chat and gossip to your chums (well sometimes they are, but I don’t think this is the purpose of FTB is it?) they are public areas of opinion and argument.

    What is said in this context matters. As someone once said, the truth matters.

    Oh for dog’s sake! Just imagine yourself publicly discussed in this fashion.

  147. 'Tis Himself says

    Let me see if I have this right. Because it cannot be 100%, ironclad proved that cameraguy was actually taken upskirt photographs, then we should all give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just innocently walking around with a camera at ankle level.

    Furthermore, even though cameraguy was previously identified as a harasser and the actual complaint was that he wasn’t leaving some people alone even after being asked to do so, any suggestions that he was perceived as a harasser should be dismissed as “false”, “vicious” “rumour mongering.”

    Also we can ignore any idea of sexual harassment at TAM because, as we all know, bitchez aint shit.

    Oh yes, one last thing: prissy, pompous tone-trolling is good, expressions of frustration and anger are bad.

  148. says

    Please consider the possibility that a common morality should underpin them both.

    Yes, but the equivalent in the court system isn’t a conviction, it’s a police response of any kind, a warrant at best. Are you saying police shoudl take no action on crimes unless they already know for sure the guy is guilty? There’s a great analogy at 167. Can you please either say that you find that reasonable or explain why it’s different than this situation?

  149. says

    Tis:

    Let me see if I have this right. Because it cannot be 100%, ironclad proved that cameraguy was actually taken upskirt photographs, then we should all give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just innocently walking around with a camera at ankle level.

    Well, in fact, yes, we should. Not happy with this? Don’t call yourself a skeptic then!

  150. Stacy says

    To be fair, Phil, the original story was that he did this thing, and that was incorrect. It was said, in good faith, by Rob Tarzwell on his Facebook page. Once Lee corrected that, pointing out that she reported the guy because she suspected that’s what he was doing, but she wasn’t sure, both Rob and Greta corrected the story accordingly. They’re trying to be fair.

    It’s sort of like a smaller version of the elevator guy thing: nobody wants to make an example of this particular man; originally the point was about behavior that skeeves women out. But when people defend the behavior or attack the person calling it out, people begin analyzing the incident. Then the incident itself and its players become famous, or infamous.

    I think the reason we’re still hashing it out is because we resent some people trying to minimize our concern; that’s all. I think we’d all love to give it a rest. But when people come in misrepresenting what happened or what’s been said about it, someone has to try and set the record straight.

  151. says

    Lee never accused him of this beheavior. Can’t you people just give it up for a while, the time to sort it out?

    Why are you so eager to get people to shut up?
    This case is relevant to the original topic. In case you’ve forgotten, the topic was TAM’s handling of sexual harassment cases and DJ’s tendency to forget incidents that he has personally been involved in.

    Nobody has asserted that he was definitely guilty. Not Lee, not Greta and not anyone here that I’m aware of. If you think otherwise, post the quote.

    So, given that the case is relevant, given that we’re not making unsubstantiated accusations and given that the individual is only known because he named himself, what exactly is the problem here?

    This is a serious question, by the way. I’m genuinely not sure what you think the issue is. Please explain.

  152. Stacy says

    Whoever said they had no good reason for their suspicion or their discomfort?

    The comment that kicked off this thread: #11:

    There was *no* good reason to suspect that Mr. X *actually* undertook the criminal activity of surreptitious upskirt photography. Not even the *main* witnesses claim that! [The main witnesses suspected that. Of course they could not claim it with metaphysical certainty. -me] If they didn’t claim it, then whence this claim?! The ‘suspicion’ is entirely a *false* rumour based on no evidence. That is neither “strong” nor “reasonable”.

  153. says

    Let me see if I have this right. Because it cannot be 100%, ironclad proved that cameraguy was actually taken upskirt photographs, then we should all give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just innocently walking around with a camera at ankle level.

    Well, in fact, yes, we should. Not happy with this? Don’t call yourself a skeptic then!

    Fine. Do you accept that even if he’s completely innocent his behavior was still problematic?

  154. Stacy says

    As for guilt: please!

    ?

    If you’re insinuating that we’re all certain he’s guilty of upskirt photography, you’re mistaken.

  155. says

    Ace of Sevens

    Yes, but the equivalent in the court system isn’t a conviction, it’s a police response of any kind, a warrant at best. Are you saying police shoudl take no action on crimes unless they already know for sure the guy is guilty?

    No, I am saying that juries should not start work until they are sworn in.

    There’s a great analogy at 167. Can you please either say that you find that reasonable or explain why it’s different than this situation?

    The difference is that you, and Stephanie, and Greta aren’t the cops. You are assuming that you are in the ‘scared guy’ role, but that is not how you are acting. Try out the other persona for size, please. See if it fits.

    Look.

    Scared Guy: “I’m worried Mr. So and So might kill me!”

    Police Officer “What is your evidence for your accusation?”

    SG: “He waved a stick at me!”

    PO: “Yes, I expect that stick was loaded.”

    SG: “Well, maybe”

    PO: “What if someone asks you if he is just being playful?”

    SG: “I barely know the man–I suppose that’s possible–but–”

    PO: “Sorry. We must pull him in now. Come back when you have hard evidence a crime wasn’t committed.”

    Stacy,

    You can sue me for copyright infringement – in a civil court – for the above if you wish :P

  156. says

    Stacy @179:

    To be fair, Phil, the original story was that he did this thing

    What thing? Don’t get me wrong, I get from Mr X’s own posts that he was acting in an unwelcome way (no idea how, but I can imagine a few). Lee wasn’t clear enough about their peeve with him. A bit more details would be welcome. First hand if possible…

    LykeX @180

    Why are you so eager to get people to shut up?

    Hu?!? You people can talk all you want, as far as I’m concerned. As long as it’s skeptical and based on facts, evidence and reason. If it’s not, you can still speak, but I won’t care…

    TAM didn’t handle anything badly, as far as the evidence is concerned. DJ did what he had to do with the information he had. Disagree? Then explain.

  157. says

    The difference is that you, and Stephanie, and Greta aren’t the cops. You are assuming that you are in the ‘scared guy’ role, but that is not how you are acting. Try out the other persona for size, please. See if it fits.

    100% wrong. We are in the role of citizens evaluating the police response and deciding whether we are well served by the people in that role. You’ve been told this is about D.J. Grothe several times. Kindly stop acting as though you haven’t been.

  158. says

    DJ did what he had to do with the information he had.

    D.J. said no harassment had been reported. If you think that’s what one has to do with reports of harassment in hand, I think you need to explain why.

    As for what Lee said was done, go read the post again.

  159. Stacy says

    Corylus, you have not substantiated your claim that:

    someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”

    Find one example of somebody saying that on this thread.

    The point of this thread is something quite different, as has been explained to you several times. You need to read for comprehension.

    P.S. You seem to think your appropriation of my analogy fits the discussion here. It does not.

    You have not provided evidence for your claim that:

    someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”

  160. says

    TAM didn’t handle anything badly, as far as the evidence is concerned. DJ did what he had to do with the information he had. Disagree? Then explain.

    Why wasn’t the incident recorded? Why was there no follow-up? Why did DJ go out and publicly claim that there were no reports of harassment at TAM?

  161. Stacy says

    Why did DJ go out and publicly claim that there were no reports of harassment at TAM?

    That right there is the reason the whole sorry episode was ever brought up publicly to begin with.

    Can people please stop derailing this discussion by claiming, incorrectly, that this is all about us claiming we know beyond a reasonable doubt that monopod guy (who outed himself) is guilty? Thank you.

  162. says

    LykeX @189:

    Probably because no harrassment was reported? Obnoxious behavior, maybe? Not enough info for me (or you) to judge.

    Idea: maybe we should all ask DJ to release the TAM reports?

  163. says

    Stephanie

    You have not provided evidence for your claim that:

    someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”

    I can understand why you might want to hammer home this point, Stephanie. You are looking at possible litigation after all.

    OK. What is this? On this very thread. If not an assessment of evidence and the assignment of guilt?

    in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts

    Incidentally, I am getting amused at the constant ‘read for comprehension’ comments. Is this a new meme? A common way to elicit emotional reactions from those with whom you disagree?

    Sorry, I have much better control over myself than that.

    Speaking of which. I am in a different time zone and need to snooze now. I hope to wake to you calling out the above statement.

  164. says

    I can understand why you might want to hammer home this point, Stephanie. You are looking at possible litigation after all.

    OK. What is this? On this very thread. If not an assessment of evidence and the assignment of guilt?

    That was a cute way to dodge the question. This thread started to clarify an error in the previous thread, which did not impact the substantial point. The purpose was to make an argument that TAM’s half-assed procedure and no official policy on harassment aren’t working. Most of this thread has been an argument about whether it was reasonable to suspect wrongdoing, which would be important to the question of what DJ’s responsibilities were, not whether he’s definitely guilty, which is irrelevant.

  165. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Azkyroth, I came on here to talk about non-evidenced accusations. I came on here to talk about libel and vilification. My only references to tone have been to request that people address me (as I do them) in a grown-up, sensible manner.

    We don’t CARE. WE are having a conversation about the safety of women and gender minorities, and YOU have no right to simply inject yourself into it and demand it start revolving around you.

    Seriously?
    Using the phrase “Chinese whispers” now indicates latent racism?!? The worlds gone mad. But since I am not of Chinese origin I assume that my privilege prevents me from seeing the horrible racism in the usage of a common language phrase. You encounter more reason from the religious, actually their dogma is more appealing than asinine nonsense such as that.

    [James Clotworthy Voice]Don’t let it get to you, man. This happened to me once.[/JCV]

  166. 'Tis Himself says

    Well, in fact, yes, we should. Not happy with this? Don’t call yourself a skeptic then!

    If not taking reasonable inferences means I’m not a Phil Giordana™ certified skeptic, then I don’t want to be one. Besides, the Phil Giordana I’m familiar with is not someone I want as a role model. There was a reason why that Phil Giordana was banned at Pharyngula.

  167. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Let me see if I have this right. Because it cannot be 100%, ironclad proved that cameraguy was actually taken upskirt photographs, then we should all give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just innocently walking around with a camera at ankle level.

    Well, in fact, yes, we should. Not happy with this? Don’t call yourself a skeptic then!

    That’s idiotic. What’s skeptical about bending over backwards to be charitable to confirmed harassers about specific details, no matter how much damage is done to people who are already marginalized?

    “Skeptic” doesn’t mean “ignoring anything that contradicts what I want to believe until the case against it grows to the point where it slams my head into the ground and makes me cough up blood.”

  168. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Probably because no harrassment was reported? Obnoxious behavior, maybe? Not enough info for me (or you) to judge.

    Obnoxious behavior that is directed at an individual and persists in spite of requests that it stop IS harassment. What is WRONG with you?

  169. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    If not taking reasonable inferences means I’m not a Phil Giordana™ certified skeptic, then I don’t want to be one.

    But it’s NOT a reasonable inference. It’s premised on the absurd fancy that women and gender minorities’ rights actually MATTER.

    Right, Mr. “No Harassment, Maybe Obnoxious Behavior?”

  170. says

    @Phil

    Really? You’re going to start equivocating about what counts as harassment? Are you fucking serious?

    [Self censored out of respect for Greta's posting policy]

    And don’t hide behind “not enough info.” The info is there. Unless you’re trying to equivocate about what counts as harassment, it’s pretty much open and shut.
    The actual person reporting it certainly seemed to see it as harassment. From the bit Greta quoted in the previous post:

    We spoke to dj about it during the event, he said we would hear back on what was going to be done and never did. We followed up on it for a number of months and nothing happened so we gave up. Its part of what has very much frustrated me about tam and other such events is that even when we reported harassment we only got lip service on something actually being done.

    My emphasis. This is some of the information we have. The fact that you’re trying so hard not to look at it, or to interpret it as something else, does not speak well of you.

  171. Stacy says

    OK. What is this? On this very thread. If not an assessment of evidence and the assignment of guilt?

    in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts

    Oh, that was cute, Corylus. That was not evidence of good faith. You posted a sentence fragment without providing the number of the comment, in a (then) 192 comment thread.

    And you posted it out of context.

    What Natalie Reed said, at comment #45, was:

    you might want to learn about WHY we have anti-harassment policies, and that the primary concern is people not being made to feel violated, intimidated, uncomfortable, etc. Whether he actually pressed the shutter button or not (which it is ENTIRELY reasonable to suspect he either did or intended to do, in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts) he was making people uncomfortable.

    See that? “Reasonable to suspect”, not “someone being deemed guilty”. You claimed the latter.

    You still have not provided evidence for your claim.

    I repeat, not evidence of good faith, Corylus.

  172. Stacy says

    I am getting amused at the constant ‘read for comprehension’ comments. Is this a new meme? A common way to elicit emotional reactions from those with whom you disagree?

    No. This is not a new meme. This is a way to request that a person who has demonstrably not been reading for comprehension, begin reading for comprehension.

    You are trying to dismiss my criticism without addressing it.

    Evidence for my criticism within ONE comment of yours, the comment I am responding to here and at #210, your comment #192:

    Stephanie

    You have not provided evidence for your claim that:

    someone is currently being deemed guilty of an immoral/illegal act as a consequence of group discussion and assessment of “evidence”

    I can understand why you might want to hammer home this point, Stephanie

    You quoted me. My name is Stacy.

    OK. What is this? On this very thread. If not an assessment of evidence and the assignment of guilt?

    in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirt

    See my comment #201.

    There are numerous other examples of you failing to read carefully, Corylus. I have pointed them out as the discussion progressed. You have not addressed any of those specific instances.

  173. says

    There was a reason why that Phil Giordana was banned at Pharyngula.

    Ah. You’re right:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/dungeon/

    Phil Giordana : Likewise, another MRA. Also so self-absorbed that he ignored all my warnings… do not piss off the blog owner.

    This is a good time to bring up rule 9 of Greta’s comment policy:

    “9: Do not behave atrociously in other blogs. If you are barely walking the line of acceptable behavior in this blog — but you have a pattern of foul, demeaning, sexist/ racist/ etc., insulting, violently threatening, or otherwise reprehensible behavior in other blogs — you will be banned from this one, with no second chance, and no warning.”

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/09/09/comment-policy/

  174. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I can understand why you might want to hammer home this point, Stephanie. You are looking at possible litigation after all.

    It would be laughed out of court. The harassment is well documented and all that is claimed was that the behavior was reasonably suspected.

    There would be a better libel case against YOU, frankly.

  175. says

    I can understand why you might want to hammer home this point, Stephanie. You are looking at possible litigation after all.

    This is uncalled for. There’s no suggestion anywhere that Stephanie or any other of the principles in this discussion want to litigate anything.

  176. says

    Well then, go ahead and destroy the guy’s career/reputation without an once of evidence that he took upskirt pictures at TAM.

    At least, I’ll wash my hands of this (as Pilatus said)…

    And I would really like to see some evidence that I am, as PZ asserts, another MRA. Never heard of MRAs before Egate, and I’m not even remotely sure we have this type of organisations where I live.

  177. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Well then, go ahead and destroy the guy’s career/reputation without an once of evidence that he took upskirt pictures at TAM.

    His career, if he has one, is unlikely to be affected, given the number of sexist idiots who have jumped slatheringly to his defense.

    If his reputation survived his blog posts, forum comments, and overt, confirmed acts of harassment, this reasonable suspicion wouldn’t push him over the edge.

    And I would really like to see some evidence that I am, as PZ asserts, another MRA. Never heard of MRAs before Egate, and I’m not even remotely sure we have this type of organisations where I live.

    Simple: you think your nitpicky little masturdebating is more important than women (and gender minorities, but you probably don’t draw that distinction) feeling safe. “MRA” is a misnomer for “male supremacist” and thinking non-cis-men’s safety doesn’t matter is a characteristic behavior of such.

  178. says

    Stephanie

    What Natalie Reed said, at comment #45, was:

    you might want to learn about WHY we have anti-harassment policies, and that the primary concern is people not being made to feel violated, intimidated, uncomfortable, etc. Whether he actually pressed the shutter button or not (which it is ENTIRELY reasonable to suspect he either did or intended to do, in the abscence of ANY OTHER FUCKING REASON he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts) he was making people uncomfortable.

    See that? “Reasonable to suspect”, not “someone being deemed guilty”. You claimed the latter.

    You still have not provided evidence for your claim.

    I repeat, not evidence of good faith, Corylus.

    The extended quote provides even more evidence for my claim.

    Here, let me show you. The phrase “he’d be walking around pointing a camera up people’s skirts” takes as fact the point that this man has indeed been pointing a camera up people’s skirts. Has this been established? No. All we know is that he has a camera on a monopod.

    Imagine a situation where a prosecuting lawyer talked of someone found holding a gun while looking down at a dead body – making the point that wondering what other possible reason she could have had for holding the gun is fully justified … now imagine that it has not even been established that the gun was being held over the corpse.

    You see? Said prosecutor might just get told off for that one. Yes, it is feasible to wonder what is going on when people are found holding guns over corpses, this point is valid. The trouble is that this valid point is being bolted on to an unsubstantiated allegation.

    I have several people (well you and Stacy) saying that my comprehension is lacking, but your own lack of awareness of rhetoric is (for a writer) astounding. Do you really not understand how people can be tried, convicted and found guilty within a few sentences?

    -=-=-

    Lee

    I was referring to possible civil litigation against Stephanie by Mr X. Apologies for not making this clearer.

  179. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    This is uncalled for. There’s no suggestion anywhere that Stephanie or any other of the principles in this discussion want to litigate anything.

    No, you misunderstand, the implication is that the fire is going to sue the people who saw smoke and stated that they believed there was a fire.

  180. says

    Azkyroth:

    His career, if he has one, is unlikely to be affected, given the number of sexist idiots who have jumped slatheringly to his defense.

    Why do you folks always have to use that “sexist” meme? Thaumas, and others, are just being skeptic.

    Simple: you think your nitpicky little masturdebating is more important than women (and gender minorities, but you probably don’t draw that distinction) feeling safe.

    First, uncalled for. Second, no, I don’t think my “little masturdering” is more important than anything. I’m just some guy commenting on the internet.

    “MRA” is a misnomer for “male supremacist” and thinking non-cis-men’s safety doesn’t matter is a characteristic behavior of such.

    Interesting definition. I may have to ask Oxford or some such institution about this. Or maybe you mean MRA is anyone disagreeing with you?

    For the record, I think if there was a report, or more than one, regarding Mr X, he might have, if not been removed, at least gotten a good talking-to. These types of behavior are abig no-no for me. But to be fair, I don’t have a dime in this issue. I’m at least 6000 kilometers away from any TAM and don’t really think I’ll attend one in my lifetime. I would just like to see a bit more skepticism about this case…

  181. says

    Oh, I didn’t address this one last night.

    Azkyroth,

    We don’t CARE. WE are having a conversation about the safety of women and gender minorities, and YOU have no right to simply inject yourself into it and demand it start revolving around you.

    I had already stated the following in response to a similar accusation (which I thought sufficient):

    Of course, this is not about me. Not even close. You are completely correct here. Utterly correct. You could not get correcter :P

    … but after a snooze I and some reflection I must admit that, yes, there is an element of this conversation which is about me.

    About me, in that I have a desire to very publicly distance myself from abysmal behaviour. I spend time on skeptical blogs and I would not like for silence to be perceived as agreement.

  182. Timid Atheist says

    For the record, I think if there was a report, or more than one, regarding Mr X, he might have, if not been removed, at least gotten a good talking-to.

    Except that he did get talked to and told several times to leave Lee alone. What now?

  183. says

    Keep in mind all the specifics of the situation are a side-issue. The original issue was that DJ claimed they didn’t need an official written sexual harassment policy/procedure as they haven’t had any reported cases of harassment. There are two problems with this:

    1. Maybe if there were an official policy, people would know how to report harassment.
    2. There were reports of harassment that he decided not to count. They do seem to have been dealt with, but in the haphazard fashion you expect with no policy, where it isn’t clear who you go to or whose job it is to take care of things or what they are supposed to do.

  184. says

    For the record, I think if there was a report…

    There was a report. Unless you’re also going to equivocate about what counts as a report, there was a report.

    Yes, there was a report. Yes, it was about harassment. No, we’re not lacking the necessary information.

    Your “skepticism” on this point amounts to pure denial of the facts.

  185. chasstewart says

    Would it not be better to just rid the post of all the outrage regarding Dr. Buzzo’s supposed actions with his telescopic rod and camera and just focus on the fact that JREF has indeed had sexual harassment allegations filed at TAM? It would be accurate and still important even if there’s not enough evidence to support the idea that some creep “was strongly and reasonably suspected of using a camera on the end of a telescoping monopod to surreptitiously take photos up women’s skirts.”

    I’ll just take cover under my “concern troll” bridge.

  186. says

    …and just focus on the fact that JREF has indeed had sexual harassment allegations filed at TAM?

    I don’t know. Can we actually get everyone to agree on that point?

    Part of the problem here is that certain people seem very eager to dispute the idea that any harassment reports have ever been made.
    For example:

    Me:

    Why wasn’t the incident recorded? Why was there no follow-up? Why did DJ go out and publicly claim that there were no reports of harassment at TAM?

    Phil, in response:

    Probably because no harrassment was reported? Obnoxious behavior, maybe?

  187. chasstewart says

    Lee has stated that they had filed allegations of harassment but what was disputed most was exactly what was in the report. And, that we should not be rumor mongering.

  188. Greta Christina says

    The topic of this thread has been thoroughly derailed, away from the actual points being made in this post and the previous one. Anyone wishing to discuss the actual points being made in this post and the previous one may do so in this new thread, “Holy. Fucking. Shit.”: An Attempt to Discuss the Actual Issue, created specifically for that purpose.

    I am, to put it mildly, not happy about this derailment. For a larger context for these derailments, I encourage people to look at two posts: Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny on this blog, and The further hyper-skepticism stalling our conversation at Lousy Canuck. But this derailment seems to be where the community conversation about this is going, so I’m not going to shut it down. For now, anyway. I reserve the right to do so at any time.

  189. Martha says

    Wow, I just can’t believe that some of these comments aren’t from bored people parodying the fight against common sense with which so many of the posts here have been met. It reminds me of Fox News assuring us all each night that WMD had been found in Iraq. That tactic worked for them, but I don’t think it will work so well here, guys. Just sayin’

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