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Aug 24 2012

#mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT”

Comment from Tim, in the discussion on the post Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism

“GRETA CHRISTINA YOU FUCKIN HOE… I HOPE YOU GET RAPED YOU FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT… GO CHOKE ON A DICK AND DIE

“What are you gonna do, Greta? Are you gonna ban me again? :)”

#mencallmethings

If anyone is still wondering why some atheists might want to carve out a subset of atheism that’s specifically focused on social justice issues — such as misogyny, rape culture, and the reality of what life is like for women on the Internet — and that’s specifically focused on making atheism more welcoming to women, people of color, and other marginalized groups — I hope this puts your questions to rest. This is Exhibit A.

Except it’s not Exhibit A. It’s more like Exhibit W. It’s more like Exhibit W (2) f (iii). I get this all the time. I get this so often, I’ve lost track. As has every other woman I know who speaks publicly about feminism.

And yes, based on the other comments he made, Tim seems to be an atheist and a skeptic.

291 comments

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  1. 1
    jamessweet

    You know, I’m sorry to Miss The Point entirely here, but rendering “hoe” like that hurts my eyes. There’s just no reason that word in that context would ever have an E on it. Honestly, that offends me almost as much as the rest of the comment. Well, almost.

    Oh, and since this is the inevitable response to #mencallmethings, let me get it out of the way: HEY HOW DO YOU KNOW TIM IS A MAN?????

  2. 2
    Terriaminute

    That boy needs to focus his skepticism inward. He missed a spot.

  3. 3
    Ace of Sevens

    Femizai slut? I thought feminazis hated sex.

  4. 4
    Vince R

    I’ll call you beautiful and intelligent and inspiring, and I sincerely hope that I am in the majority of atheist men who know of you. Keep up the good work Greta!

  5. 5
    Kate from Iowa

    Hey, since you’re such a hoe, Greta could you come over to my mom’s on Saturday? We need to move some rosebushes and are short on garden tools.

  6. 6
    Paul

    I think a number of atheists, especially the younger ones, declare themselves atheist simply as a rejection of authority. Therefore they react like petulant teenagers to anyone having any ideas about rules of decency among people. You’re their dad, mom, teacher, and high school principal all over again telling them to get a job. Except you’re also not in any position of actual authority so they can safely take out their rage against authority on you.

    And unfortunately these people have learned (falsely) through experience that there is no consequences for what they say or do on the internet.

    If they ever get out of their insular internet communities where crassness is treated with karma points, they’ll grow up in a few years and realize how bock ofa jerk they were.

  7. 7
    Chana Messinger

    Paul,

    I’m afraid you’re speaking from lack of experience. Plenty of proudly nonanonymous atheist men call women they don’t agree with sluts, hoes, feminazis and cunts.

  8. 8
    Nick Nakorn

    So sad; that there are still men who wish women to be subjugated and unhappy; that people with the wit to reject mysticism of one kind embrace the mysticism of misogyny and gender stereotyping; that people are so rude; agressive; unfeeling and insensitive to others. I joined the British Humanist Association: I guess that is a kind of Atheism+ And, though I’m not a natural ‘joiner’, it is nice to know there are plenty of people out there who recognise that everyone benefits from increased equality and a lack of oppression.

  9. 9
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    What an amazing piece of work is Tim.

  10. 10
    FictionFaith

    I’ll not associate myself with Atheism+ while people like Richard Carrier have anything to do with it. His comments on his blog yesterday are absolutely reprehensible and for a so-called “leader” of this movement to act that way is completely unacceptable.

    I’ll take 10 of Tim – a barely literate, simpleminded wanker – who I can block and ignore, over one Richard Carrier – an eloquent, intelligent, manipulator – who wants to make the rules and is far, far more dangerous to the atheist community.

    Quite how you can form a new club with someone that calls others “retarded” and “douchebags” and insists that it’s his way or no way, while finding offense with Tims sub-human knuckle-dragging, is quite a leap of reasoning.

    “Accept it or GTFO” – Richard Carrier

    No thanks. I’ll stick to “Atheism Less”, and be proud of it.

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for Carrier to approve my comment I left yesterday, so that might tell you all you need to know about transparency in this glorious New World Order of yours.

  11. 11
    Robert B.

    Um, my dissenting comment at Richard Carrier is also mysteriously still in moderation, so I know where you’re coming from, FictionFaith. But this whole Atheism+ thing is about deciding for ourselves who we want to associate with and what objectives we want. Richard Carrier can say he’s an Atheist+ all he wants, but that doesn’t require any other Atheist+ to recognize him as a leader. In fact, I’m not aware that anyone but Carrier has called Carrier a major figure in Atheism+. I’ll be an Atheist+ like Jen and Greta do it, thanks.

  12. 12
    RW Ahrens

    @FictionFaith;

    Good, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I’ll take Carrier any day over such as you…

    Oh, and Greta, too! Atheism+ all the way! We seem to have begun the winnowing process, folks, it works!

  13. 13
    Paul

    I didn’t say anything about them being anonymous Chana, though you are correct I have little experience in the matter.

  14. 14
    Worldtraveller

    Carrier has apologized for his comments, as far as I can tell (from reading other threads, I don’t follow Carrier’s blog).

    Can’t say as I ever found his writing all that interesting enough to read it with any regularity anyway (which probably says more about me than his writing), but you might want to reconsider at least that part of your objection in light of the new evidence (which is what skeptics should do, right?).

  15. 15
    John the Drunkard

    Gad! Good to expose crap like this where the non-insider can see it.

    I still think that Atheism plus social justice, though a grand notion, is less specific than Atheism minus: an athiest society (lowercase) which provides no shelter for sociopathic creeps.

    For all I know ‘Tim’ might pass for a supporter of any number of social justice issues. The problem is not what he believes, its what he IS.

    A plug here for Gavin de Becker’s book ‘The Gift of Fear,’ good information about stalkers and sociopaths and how they exploit the goodwill of societies and individuals.

  16. 16
    RW Ahrens

    @Robert B.

    You may not have noticed but Richard said this:

    So I was chomping at the bit to find time to write something on this, but still not sure what to say or how to say it. It especially bugged me because I couldn’t get to it for lack of available time (which reminds me to mention, be warned, I am AFK most of this week and so comment moderation here will be unusually slow).

    So your worries about being in limbo because of what you said are groundless.

    Learn to read!

  17. 17
    Robert B.

    Carrier has apologized for some things, and confirmed his position on others. He’s also promised a full post explaining himself more fully, though that hasn’t gone up yet. However, since at least two people seem to have dissenting opinions stuck in moderation, I’m getting very dubious about him on this issue. (I dunno about FictionFaith’s, but my post was as calm, reasoned, and non-insulting as I could make it while still making my ethical position clear. And in any case, a post should either be deleted or allowed, not left in moderation limbo while the mod participates elsewhere in the thread.)

  18. 18
    Robert B.

    RW, he’s written responses to a bunch of other people, meaning he had time not only to read what they said but to think out and write a response. He ought to have been able to read what I wrote and click “yes” or “no.”

  19. 19
    Pteryxx

    Oh for petes sake. Carrier’s blog puts ALL comments into moderation until he gets around to them. His blog, his rules, and this is no secret:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/100/

    Also he’s at least started to mend his language:

    Richard Carrier says:
    August 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Ray and Nerd, I’m not in agreement on all the points you make, but I’m persuaded to agree the word is inappropriate, and I am renouncing the use of the word, deleting gratuitous uses of it, and will write a blog post correcting what I said above.

    (And by no means are you hogging the conversation–these are reasoned arguments on a relevant subject in the thread. That’s exactly what comment threads are for.)

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2207/comment-page-1/#comment-20542

    Obviously, allies can screw up, and allies can be buttheads about things, but they’re not the ones doubling down on the lies.

    And why do y’all keep complaining about Carrier *on Greta’s blog*? She asked y’all not to do that. Go whine in Pharyngula’s Thunderdome if you must.

  20. 20
    RW Ahrens

    Robert B.

    Refresh this page, and notice what I posted about What Carrier posted EXPLAINING his moderation slowness this week!

  21. 21
    Robert B.

    Pteryxx:

    And why do y’all keep complaining about Carrier *on Greta’s blog*? She asked y’all not to do that. Go whine in Pharyngula’s Thunderdome if you must.

    Good point. I let myself get dragged into a derail. I’m out, with apologies to all.

  22. 22
    rejistania

    Hi Greta,

    I have been not very kind occasionally (fashion-related), but I want to tell you not to let the b*****ds get you down. I like your blog very much and I am really sad that some members of the human race (I hesitate to call them people) treat you in that way.

    Kind regards,
    Rejis

  23. 23
    Birdterrifier

    I hate that you have to deal with these nasty creatures that feel emboldened to stamp out your voice with hateful rhetoric. I know that you have to deal with this because you are outspoken and have become an easy target for them (as well as the rest of your cohorts). But, obviously, these men are in the minority. Just look at all the male leaders willing to jump up and proudly state that women shouldn’t be treated this way, ever.

    So taking this in to account, why do you insist on the phrase “#mencallmethings”? Surely this is no less the sexist generalization that “Things Women Say” is. I would never call any woman what you have highlighted above(not even in a fit of rage) so I hate being lumped in with these cretins.

  24. 24
    Jakie_paper

    Fiction Faith, that is so easy for you to say since none of the world’s Tims are directing their vitriolic, barely literate hatred at you. Don’t like A+? Good for you. Go pop off at the keyboard elsewhere. Nobody is twisting your arm or knocking on your door. That you’d even compare Carrier’s comments to the barrage of threats Greta and others routinely receive is contemptible. Poor little you. One blogger hurt your fee-fees and to your mind, that is so much worse than others being constantly harassed and terrorized from within their own community. Gag…seriously, please go stand under a separate banner.

  25. 25
    Brony

    I’ve noticed some interesting things related to this. If you are a male feminist and you like to be a gadfly, you get all the fun of having positions that piss off lots of people, with none of the pain from a life of being a woman.

    I apologize if the previous sounds a little insensitive, but unsensitive is the point. Maybe making anti-feminists waste time on male feminists might be a strategy worth pursuing?

  26. 26
    Greta Christina

    FictionFaith @ #10: Really? You’re going to take a thread about a prominent female public figure getting a literal, graphic threat of rape and sexualized violence and death, directed personally at her… and derail it into a conversation about why some entirely different blogger is a jerk?

    As I’ve asked elsewhere: I am not responsible for what Richard Carrier writes. If you object to what he writes, please take it up with him. Yes, he’s sometimes slow to moderate comments. That is not a sufficient excuse to derail a discussion of rape threats against me, so you can talk about what an asshole you think he is.

    From Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny:

    “Yes, but… Rebecca Watson or some other feminist said something mean or unfair in another conversation weeks/ months/ years ago. Why aren’t we talking about that?”

    So taking this in to account, why do you insist on the phrase “#mencallmethings”? Surely this is no less the sexist generalization that “Things Women Say” is.

    Birdterrifier @ #23: The hashtag is not #allmencallmethings, or even #mostmencallmethings. It is #mencallmethings. And From Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny:

    “Yes, but… not all men are like that. And if you’re going to talk about misogyny, you have to be extra-clear about that.”

  27. 27
    julian

    I’m going to have to agree with birdterrifier. Tim (and his loving friend FictionFaith, a paranoid pair if there was one) is disgusting. But women behave like that as well. ERV, Paula Kirby and the usual group of chill girls do the same on a regular basis it seems. Is there a way to make #mencallmethings gender neutral?

    Or am I missing something and mainsplaining? (serious question)

  28. 28
    julian

    This isn’t “yes, but…” This is “yes and these people do it too. Shouldn’t we make that known?”

  29. 29
    vel

    poor Tim. I can see him (yes “him”, probably more true than saying “it”) I can see he probably is an atheist, that takes very little effort. A skeptic? Not so much since he relies on lies when he throws his tempter tantrums. Poor Tim. I’d let him around for using as an example.

    and a “fuckin hoe”? a copulating gardening tool? my, my, my.

    As for Carrier, I do find it rather amusing that those who would claim that others “follow” him as leader, and then take a fit when they don’t get immediate attention from him. Seems just a bit absurd.

  30. 30
    ezekiel

    @Jakie_paper:
    Right. Because calling people retarded and douchebags when they question your motives is perfectly reasonable?

    Trust me, I find Tims comments as appalling as everyone else. I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.

    But making a new club that is essentially a locked down version of open-source atheism is not really (IMHO) the way forward. What if my opinions differ too far from everyone elses, do I get flagged as a troll and ejected by the cool kids? What do religious people think of atheists already, and what will they think of “Atheist PLUS! Now even more annoying!” ..?

    Atheism “plus” social justice is simply atheism with politics mixed in – the exact thing that we are trying to work against. You know, the whole separation of church and state that drives us all nuts? How is “atheism + gay marriage agenda” any different to “church + gay marriage agenda”? (ok, I know it is, but I hope you get my point).

    It’s a nice idea, and I’m sure it was well-intentioned, but it’s not something I want to associate myself with. And I’m not the only one. And at the end of the day, that means it’s divisive, no matter how much people try and say it’s not.

    I don’t want my opinions on gun control (or whatever) to be questioned by atheists, because it really has nothing to do with atheism. And I certainly don’t want to be removed from the group for “trolling” simply because I have a different opinion to everyone else.

    So, I decline to join the cool kids in “Atheist+”, and I’m pushed to the side in “Atheism less”. Well, gee. Thanks.

    @Robert B:
    That’s my point. I watched a ton of emails come into my inbox last night, all comments/approvals from Carrier. And my comment was not among them. Sure, he’s busy… whatever. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But if my comment doesn’t appear, then that’s all I’ll need to know.

    @Greta:
    You’re right, and I apologize. I really don’t know how to combat people like Tim, other than ignore, block, ban, rinse, repeat. I just don’t feel that an atheist splinter group is the right approach.

    Just as those awful Chrstian/Mormon billboards put up by AA don’t do anything to gain atheist acceptance among the populace, neither does calling yourself an “Atheist+”. It’s just not needed.

  31. 31
    ezekiel

    Interesting, I appear to have signed in as Ezekiel now, instead of FictionFaith. One is my author name, the other is the blog name. It’s all the same thing.

  32. 32
    Brian Carnell

    FictionFaith wrote: “I’ll not associate myself with Atheism+ while people like Richard Carrier have anything to do with it. His comments on his blog yesterday are absolutely reprehensible and for a so-called “leader” of this movement to act that way is completely unacceptable.

    I’ll take 10 of Tim – a barely literate, simpleminded wanker – who I can block and ignore, over one Richard Carrier – an eloquent, intelligent, manipulator – who wants to make the rules and is far, far more dangerous to the atheist community.”

    Are you kidding me? Greta Christina simply posts an example of a vile, hateful insult/threat (that didn’t even mention A+) and your reply is “but Richard Carrier was mean to me on his blog?”

    Sorry, but not everything’s about you.

    The sort of comment highlighted in the OP is disgusting and vile and people who post such things or think that posting such comments is appropriate are not people I would ever want to associate with.

  33. 33
    Dana

    Love Atheism +. Tim’s comment to you (and his others in the thread of the post you linked to above) clearly define to me the point of it and the need for it.

  34. 34
    Dana

    And Jamessweet, the spelling of “hoe” hurt my head too.

  35. 35
    Matthew Morse

    A bit of history on #mencallmethings: Last November, several women bloggers started reposting insults and threats they received to Twitter. Initially they used several different hashtags, but #mencallmethings was the one that took off. There is more information about the genesis of the tag in a post at Tiger Beatdown.

    That post goes into extensive detail on the the types of verbal abuse women receive online, and on the fact that it is primarily men who are behaving abusively. Since the start of hashtag, there have been complaints that the tag is unfair to men in general, but the fact remains that in most cases, men are the ones using gendered insults online.

    If you are male and you don’t use gendered insults, good for you. That’s a good first step.

    The second step is to recognize that lots of other men do use violent, sexist language to attempt to shut women up, and if you value women’s voices, you have an obligation to object to this language.

  36. 36
    Greta Christina

    ezekiel/FictionFaith: I have spent a solid year in the atheist movement dealing with people like Tim. As have many, many other women. And I have spent a solid year being told that talking about sexism and misogyny in the atheist movement, and expecting the movement to fucking well deal with it already, is “divisive.”

    I am done.

    If you don’t want to participate in Atheism+, then don’t. It’s opt-in. It is not an attempt to re-define atheism: it is an attempt to form a subset of atheism with people who share my values — and to make atheism more attractive to a broader spectrum of people than it’s currently drawing.

    If you don’t want to do that, then don’t. But I am sick to fucking death of being slammed for a solid year with atheists who publicly call women ugly, fat, sluts, whores, cunts, and worse; who persistently harass us; who deliberately invade our privacy and make our personal information public; and/or who routinely threaten us with grisly violence, rape, and death. And I have pretty much no patience with people who tell me that, because I don’t want to work with these people any more and want to work with a subset of atheism that doesn’t fucking well do this, I am somehow the divisive one.

    If you don’t like it, there are plenty of other blogs you can read.

  37. 37
    JanaTheVeganPiranha

    Disappointed in the level of comments on this very important conversation. I don’t come here to read about anyone’s butthurt feelings that someone else didn’t stroke their ego fast or furious enough. I don’t give a flying crap about who wants us to be really, really, really fucking sure we don’t hurt ANY man’s feewings EVAR- even when WE WOMEN are being threatened with violence and rape. It’s astonishing, really.

    I bring up the topic from time to time on facebook, and every time I get the same reactions. We need to talk about this. Yes, Atheists+ is a very good idea. So is bringing men into the 21st century- THAT would be a good idea. Ending male entitlement of women’s bodies- THAT would be a good idea. Even punishing crimes- THAT would be an excellent idea!

    And where is this onslaught of smart men rushing to our defense? There are a FEW, and we love them but they are not enough. We still have to walk outside amongst a horny throng of biblical proportions- and this is no exaggeration. THIS is what women face every day. Even your sister, even your mom.

  38. 38
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’m going to have to agree with birdterrifier. Tim (and his loving friend FictionFaith, a paranoid pair if there was one) is disgusting. But women behave like that as well. ERV, Paula Kirby and the usual group of chill girls do the same on a regular basis it seems. Is there a way to make #mencallmethings gender neutral?

    Or am I missing something and mainsplaining? (serious question)

    The behavior overwhelmingly originates with men, though, so the tag is appropriate as is. Add a #andchillgirlsjoinin tag, maybe? (Can you subordinate one twitter tag to another?)

    And Jamessweet, the spelling of “hoe” hurt my head too.

    Hoes are known to do that, if handled carelessly.

  39. 39
    Jonathan Delafield

    I’m baffled – I just don’t understand. I’ve been watching this gender-based hate-talk crop up around the skeptic blogs since the spring. Here we have another example that pops up in Greta’s mailbox today.

    What am I missing? I thought that the skeptic community prided itself on reason and thoughtful behavior? This is like space aliens in our community, so far outside of what I understand that I just cock my head with a quizzical look – kinda like my dog does to me when he understands nothing that I’ve said.

    Am I just dense?

  40. 40
    Nick Gotts

    If Tim is exhibit A, Fiction Faith/ezekiel is exhibit B: the whiners, the Yes-butters, the it’s-all-about-me-ers. If anything were needed to justify atheism+ beyond the rape-threat gang on the one hand, and the immediate surge of enthusiasm it has generated among progressive atheists on the other, the likes of FF/ezekiel supply it.

  41. 41
    oolon

    @Greta, I was almost tempted to say but this could be just for the lulz or something… Then I realised that it is not really all that different as anyone who thinks that is justified in any way is a complete asshole.

    But Tim is probably happy you have fell into his game of GirlyBan … Not sure if you’ve seen it but there may be a rash of morons on FtBs – more than usual even!

  42. 42
    Nick Gotts

    Since the start of hashtag, there have been complaints that the tag is unfair to men in general, but the fact remains that in most cases, men are the ones using gendered insults online. – MatthewMorse,/blockquote>

    Moreover, if you’re not one of the men that do this, it’s not about you. How hard is that to understand? (For information, I’m a man.)

  43. 43
    A. Noyd

    Birdterrifier (#23)

    I would never call any woman what you have highlighted above(not even in a fit of rage) so I hate being lumped in with these cretins.

    No, you’re just apparently part of the contingent who can’t trust women not to be stupid and hasty in our labels or criticism and want reassurances that we’re not lumping you in with the bad apples. Thing is, when you use a “yes, but” to twist the conversation into talking about yourself, you’re swinging your own leg into that barrel of rejects. If you want to be welcomed as an ally, I suggest you knock that shit off. (For a start, go read the “yes, but” post Greta linked.)

  44. 44
    RickB

    GRETA CHRISTINA YOU AMAZING PERSON… I HOPE YOU GET HUGGED BY FRIENDS AND FRIENDLY PEOPLE WHOM YOU DON’T MIND BEING HUGGED BY YOU SUPERB FEMINIST ATHEIST… GO ENJOY AN EVENING WITH YOUR WIFE.

    Hope that helps.

  45. 45
    coelsblog

    I’m appalled by Tim’s utterance and saddened that Greta has to deal with this sort of thing often.

    And yes, based on the other comments he made, Tim seems to be an atheist and a skeptic.

    Hmm, reading his comments before his outburst, I was wondering whether he was a Christian, after all he was repeatedly claiming that things such as equality derived from Christian theology (I may not have seen all his comments, so I may be wrong). Whatever, Christian or atheist, his conduct is abhorrent; I don’t see why FictionFaith would want to “take” or accept him.

  46. 46
    A Hermit

    You know I was a little put off by the tone of some of Carrier’s comments, and I’m glad he’s agreed to reconsider some of the language he’s been using but if you actually read carefully the only people he’s telling to “GTFO” are people who don’t feel they can be reasonable, compassionate and honest.

    If you don’t have a problem with reason, compassion and integrity then there’s really no reason to be upset with him.

    This “Tim” character on the other hand is exactly the kind of vicious, evil minded twit who should be told to GTFO. There’s no reason to be polite or patient with people like that.

  47. 47
    Jonathan Delafield

    First time I’ve ever seen ALL CAPS be appropriate

  48. 48
    KT

    I think it’s perfectly fair to not wish to take part in Atheism + but just because it doesn’t reflect your own interests and beliefs doesn’t mean it is a bad thing that shouldn’t exist. There are plenty of examples of groups that combine two different interests. It’s just a way for likeminded people to identify areas of action they can participate in together. It’s not that different than a group of hunters who form a special group to work for nature conservation, or a group of Christians that form a surfing club. It’s not divisive – hunter conservationists will still hunt outside their conservation efforts, Christians will still go to church when they’re not surfing, and Atheist Plussers will still laugh at blurry Bigfoot pictures and dissect religious claims.

    But some people want to do more than that and setting up a group for that is a way to make that happen. It’s also a way to make sure that the group’s philosophies will be somewhat uniform. It can be difficult, for example to try to join local activist groups and find you have to suffer a lot of New Age talk as well, or find the group is religious in nature. Starting from the framework of secular humanism means you can know in advance you won’t have to deal with those sometimes insurmountable philosophical schisms in the group.

  49. 49
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Greta:
    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this BS. I really don’t understand this vitriol directed your way (and other FtBloggers). Are people like Tim *mad* that many of us support A+ and want to build out own home? Are they afraid that there won’t be anyone left in the atheist movement to direct their sexism to? Without a target for their misogyny and anti-feminism, what are they left with?

  50. 50
    oolon

    Given Tim seems to live in Germany I wonder what are the laws about online rape threats over there… I assume I have the right Tim as his timchannel is certainly as nutty as squirrel poo when it comes to FtBs.

  51. 51
    Timid Atheist

    As Greta said, this is exactly why Athism Plus is needed.

    This isn’t about you. Stop making it about you.

    When a person says, “I hate when white people touch my hair.” Do you automatically say, “I don’t do that, why would you say that?” If so, stop it. Just stop. They aren’t talking about you if you don’t do it, stop making the conversation about YOU. It’s not about YOU, it’s about the fucked up things white people say.

    Same goes for men, cis people, straight people and so on. If the conversation isn’t about you specifically, if you don’t specifically do the thing being discussed, don’t make it about YOU.

  52. 52
    Dana

    #47, A Hermit said: “If you don’t have a problem with reason, compassion and integrity then there’s really no reason to be upset with him.

    This “Tim” character on the other hand is exactly the kind of vicious, evil minded twit who should be told to GTFO. There’s no reason to be polite or patient with people like that.”

    Exactly. And after reading this post, Greta’s other posts on the subject and the posts she linked to, as well as Richard’s post, I don’t see how they could make things any clearer as to why Atheism + is a positive.

  53. 53
    Simon

    Exhibit W (2) f (iii)

    I will have to steal this. Very clever! Keep up the good fight Greta.

  54. 54
    ezekiel

    @Greta,
    I’m sorry you have to deal with Tim and his ilk on a daily basis. I can tell you that I don’t get a fraction of the abuse that you apparently do.

    I also don’t spend a great deal of time on FTB. I would say that 90% of my activism is done on twitter, 8% on my blog and the remaining 2% on facebook. And I can honestly say that I can only recall one so-called atheist on these media making mysogynistic remarks, and I immediately called him on it.

    That said, I am on your side with regard to the bullshit and it needs to stop. I would suggest you read a few of my blog posts (although at this point, having gotten off to a somewhat rough start, I could hardly blame you if you refused to go there on principle) and you might see that we are pretty much on the same page with regard to the values espoused by Atheism+.

    However, I just don’t think a splinter group is the way to go. Maybe you think it is. I don’t. Time will tell.

    And I apologize again for my initial comment. It really wasn’t the right time or place for it, and I feel quite bad for hijacking your thread with such an inappropriate (and irrelevant) post.

  55. 55
    Robert B

    @ezekiel, Non-belief isn’t enough on its own. Non-believers, however, have been at the core of progressive action for a very long time. The abolition of slavery? Women’s suffrage and the right to not just be property? Right to marry outside of your race, or to marry a member of your own sex? Quality education based on evidence? All along, atheists have been involved with social justice politics. If you don’t like this, you are at odds with the history of non-believers, not the other way around.

    That is why people like Bill O’Reilly are so quick to use the term “secular humanist” as a term for the enemy. Atheists that don’t speak up or fall into his category of acceptable right winger have been at the core of the kind of social change that he is against.

    I love the idea of a new wave. It is clearly needed, and if some people don’t want to put in the effort to be good enough humans to get an A+, they don’t have to. Do we have to accept the libertarian (American style), the MRA, the Ayn Randian, etc?

    No.

    (a different Robert B.)

  56. 56
    'Tis Himself

    ezekiel #55

    However, I just don’t think a splinter group is the way to go. Maybe you think it is. I don’t. Time will tell.

    If you don’t want to join then don’t. Nobody is twisting your or anybody else’s arm.

  57. 57
    Glodson

    I really don’t understand this. Maybe I’m not capable of understanding this. I honestly will never get it. I get that this new movement in atheism and skepticism is in response to a problem. I just don’t even understand why the problem exists in the first place.

    I don’t get why people shout down women with “I HOPE YOU GET RAPED!” or degrade them as sluts and whores in the course of an argument. I don’t get how people think that is justifiable and ever warranted, no matter how strongly they may disagree with a statement. It is just stupid, and yet it comes up time and time again. I don’t get the desire to insult people for having a vagina, for marginalizing them, for ignoring when they feel uncomfortable. This seems like an easy problem to address, remember that we all have boundaries that should be respected, don’t treat people differently because of their sex, don’t use the threat of rape ever, don’t ignore it when a group of people are claiming to be harassed and they repeatedly provide evidence for said harassment, and try to be a decent fucking human being.

    Because I cannot understand this mindset, because I think addressing sexism and rape culture is important, I feel that the new movement is the right thing.

    This whole fucking thing is giving me a headache because it is a problem that shouldn’t even exist.

  58. 58
    robertkarma

    It has been my experience that we humans tend to use the tools at hand to attack/manipulate others for our own benefit. Throughout our species history men have used violence, law, custom and religion to intimidate and control women. While I find Tim and the plethora of other mens’ insults and threats against atheist women personally offensive I understand why they continue to do so. It is embarrassing and upsetting to see men who claim to be atheist, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists, etc., use misogyny so freely but is obviously works to their benefit without any serious repercussion in our community. I am a member of our local Secular Humanist group and I see this behavior occur which frustrates and angers the women who feel abused, intimidated or ignored due to their gender. I do my best to be aware of my own biases to make sure I am not acting in a misogynistic manner when we have discussions, debates or conversations online. It is far easier to police interpersonal behavior when we are physically communicating because we can see how our comments effect others and that feedback should make us think of how we are behaving. Yet far too many of us treat communicating online differently believing (or pretending) that we can say what we think, lash out in anger, make sexist remarks, threaten others with harm, etc., without any consequence to ourselves and our community. I am fortunate that my path to atheism and rational thought also led me to understand and accept that women are sentient human beings. I find myself shocked and chagrined that there are so many misogynists active in our Freethought community because such thinking is rooted in ancient political and religious beliefs. I wish I had an answer for this kind of poisoned thinking but it pervades our culture and is difficult to combat. As “enlightened” men we must take a public stand against this kind of treatment towards women and make it clear that there are negative consequences for being a misogynist. It is 2012 and not 1912, Greta should not be getting a plethora of comments in this vein because we should know better than to act out like petulant 5-year olds who didn’t get a cookie. Men should evolve but I have a bad feeling it is going to be a long and slow process.

  59. 59
    ezekiel

    @Robert B:
    “It is clearly needed, and if some people don’t want to put in the effort to be good enough humans to get an A+, they don’t have to.”

    That, right there, is the problem. And if you can’t see how divisive that is, then I don’t know what to say.

    Tim and his garbage is a problem, yes. But moving the party to another room is not going to solve it or make it go away.

    @Glodson:
    “This whole fucking thing is giving me a headache because it is a problem that shouldn’t even exist”

    ^^ This

  60. 60
    oolon

    @Greta, Hmm just noticed that this threat is very similar to the shit Sally Strange encountered on TFs blog
    http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/ftb-and-the-conspiracy-to-defraud-drawing-a-line-under-this-pointless-crap/#comment-9837

    Same ‘Hoe’ — and references Greta unfortunately. Sally complained about that one to wordpress.com… Dunno if it went anywhere but the same IP would show a pattern of behaviour.

  61. 61
    Glodson

    And that’s my reason for why Atheism+ has to exist. We need to cast a light onto the problem. The problem has gotten so toxic that I’m feeling uncomfortable with it, and I’m not directly effected. It is bad.

    We need to make a change, we need to let the idiot misogynists know, the rape apologists know, that this shit is not needed. It adds nothing to the discussion and actually harms the community.

    I mean, I’m big into video games as I’m sure many here are as well. And there’s a stigma because of a vocal crowd of idiots that harass women and through out slurs of all types just because. It is embarrassing and reflects poorly on everyone. The same here.

    There are times when we need a dialogue and debate. That can be good for dealing with some theists. Some you can actually talk to and have a meaningful discussion even if you come away still seeing their religion as bad. You can still respect them despite the disagreement. However, in this case, this is like debating a lying weasel who isn’t interested in a dialogue. They just want to bully you, to intimidate, and to show off to their supporters. For this, a debate is pointless. A dialogue does nothing. It is time to expose the idiocy to the light, to make everyone see how disgusting these ideas are. This is what we are seeing here.

    I think it is past time for a change, and I’m glad to see people stepping up to make a change happen.

  62. 62
    Pteryxx

    Tim and his garbage is a problem, yes. But moving the party to another room is not going to solve it or make it go away.

    Actually it does solve the problem, for the targets. The primary purpose of a committed A+ movement isn’t to attempt to engage and educate the garbage-spewing Tims. It’s to allow the victims of this bile, primarily women but also other groups, to get on with the freakin’ business of being atheists. Going by the numbers of supportive delurkers on Jen’s threads, many of whom have specifically stated that they stayed away from atheism because of the toxic way they were treated when they *did* try to join, these people likely outnumber the haters at least ten to one.

    Adding these voices also may help dilute and marginalize the garbage-spewers’ influence on, and acceptance by, the atheism community as a whole. So the problem may get solved nevertheless, or at least reduced to a manageable level.

  63. 63
    Robert B

    If telling people that write things like what Tim wrote to Gretta that they aren’t welcome is divisive, then I’m OK with it being divisive.

    I don’t want to have the assholes over to my house. I don’t want them at the meetups I go to, and have seen one that thought that intimidating women and flashing a holstered gun told to leave and not come back. He later stomped on a woman’s head at a political event.

    I would really rather they either get a clue that acting like jerks is no longer acceptable in our company and that they can either get used to being left out.

  64. 64
    Robert B

    “I don’t want to have the assholes over to my house. I don’t want them at the meetups I go to, and have seen one that thought that intimidating women and flashing a holstered gun told to leave and not come back.” should read … “flashing a holstered gun was appropriate behavior was told to leave”

  65. 65
    LykeX

    But, but, but… I’m sure he’s just joking, or trolling, or isn’t really an atheist, or was taken out of context, or is just part of a tiny minority, or maybe you’re just being too sensitive, this is the internet, you know, what do you expect when you’re so outspoken, you’re just provoking that response and what we’re you wearing when he said that, anyway?

    Either way, you definitely need to stop talking about it because it’s hurting the cause.

    [/sarcasm]

  66. 66
    GodlessForeigner

    Hmm, I’m not well versed in these topics so please bear with me.
    Example 1:
    Guy X: Oh women and their hysterical tantrums.
    Female friend: Don’t say that. I don’t throw hysterical tantrums.
    Guy X: I wasn’t talking about you so don’t make it about you!

    This is clearly gender stereotyping and its incorrect, wrong, unproductive, etc.

    Example 2:
    Woman X: #mencallmethings: [insert example of disgusting language]
    Guy Z: Hey! I don’t use that kind of language and I resent that hashtag.
    Woman X: But if you don’t use that kind of language then it has nothing to do with you and you shouldn’t be offended. Why are you trying to make things about YOU!

    And people in the comments here say that this one is ok and ppl are wrong by trying to make it about themselves.

    I’m not trying to provoke but I simply don’t get it. What is the difference between these two examples? Someone pls explain.

    Grateful in advance,
    GodlessForeigner

  67. 67
    John Conolley

    Why are we mad at Richard Carrier? I went to his blog. The most recent post was August 20, and I saw nothing objectionable about it.

  68. 68
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    And people in the comments here say that this one is ok and ppl are wrong by trying to make it about themselves.

    I’m not trying to provoke but I simply don’t get it. What is the difference between these two examples? Someone pls explain.

    Nowhere has Greta implied that Tim is an example of All Men. What she’s demonstrating is that people like him DO exist in the atheism and skepticism movements, and that he is not unique.

    That’s one reason why there is such enthusiasm about the A+ label. It allows us to easily identify as atheist and simultaneously say “people like Tim do not speak for me.”

  69. 69
    Mark_Sakura

    ezekiel said to Robert B:

    @Robert B:
    “It is clearly needed, and if some people don’t want to put in the effort to be good enough humans to get an A+, they don’t have to.”

    That, right there, is the problem. And if you can’t see how divisive that is, then I don’t know what to say.

    I do see that it’s divisive. So what? It’s supposed to be divisive. That’s the point. We want to be divided from douchebags like Tim. Why wouldn’t we?

    Why is being divisive worse than tacitly endorsing racism/misogyny/homophobia through silence?

    I despise those things worse than I despise religion. In fact, I only despise religion to the extent that it endorses those things. I merely dislike it for being wrong. I want no part of any atheism that allies itself with that. I believe I am morally correct to do so, and can back this belief up with reason.

    The Japanese have a concept called “Wa,” or group harmony. The idea is to conduct yourself in a way that doesn’t cause a problem for other people. It’s nice in that it causes people to be exceptionally polite most of the time. But it also has a chilling effect in cases where the group is doing something wrong. When a woman is being sexually harassed by her boss, or there’s corruption, or inadequate safety standards at the local nuke plant, it’s so hard to come forward, because they’d be busting up the Wa. They’d be divisive.

    Heck, in plenty of situations, coming out as an atheist is divisive. Protesting religious banners being put up in a public school is divisive. So what? It’s still the right thing to do.

    Let me be clear, here. I’m not glorifying divisiveness for its own sake, nor am I denigrating group harmony in all situations. I’m saying that whether or not an action is or isn’t divisive is of a much lesser concern than whether it fits in with the values Carrier outlines: reason, compassion, and integrity.

    I believe the phrase was, “No justice, no peace.”

  70. 70
    Glodson

    @67 GodlessForeigner, the difference is that here, Greta is not suggesting that all men think like this, or find this acceptable. It is different from a stereotype. She’s not complaining about men in general, but misogynists and rape apologists. And here’s something to make it worse, not all misogynists and rape apologists are men.

    This isn’t really about men, it is about the actions and thoughts of some men who are making women uncomfortable. Hell, it isn’t even about all misogynists and rape apologists. It is about the certain subset that are vocal in the atheist and skeptic community. It is about how these men are making women uncomfortable, it is about how numerous women bloggers seem to get the “hey you are going to be raped lol” style comment.

    In this posting, she’s not talking about all men. I’m a man and I never felt the need to say “hey, I don’t talk like that” because I never felt the comment was directed at my sex or gender. It was directed at a group of people with a certain pattern of thought, not at a group of people who happen to have a penis.

  71. 71
    GodlessForeigner

    “Nowhere has Greta implied that Tim is an example of All Men. What she’s demonstrating is that people like him DO exist in the atheism and skepticism movements, and that he is not unique.”

    Well she used the hashtag #mencallmethings not #somemen or #sexists but #men and someone in the comments pointed out that this is also gender stereotyping and others jumped on him that it isn’t if he doesn’t use that language and that the shouldn’t be trying to make it about himself.

    For example Timid atheist in comment 52:
    “Same goes for men, cis people, straight people and so on. If the conversation isn’t about you specifically, if you don’t specifically do the thing being discussed, don’t make it about YOU.”

  72. 72
    Greta Christina

    Glodson @ #71: Thank you for that. One quick note:

    It was directed at a group of people with a certain pattern of thought, not at a group of people who happen to have a penis.

    “Being a man” does not equal “having a penis.” Some men do not have penises; some women do. (If this isn’t clear: I’m talking about trans people.) Thanks.

  73. 73
    triamacleod

    Please forgive me if my choice of words is incorrect or too’slangy’ but I am one of those lurkers who tried taking part in the general atheist community and had some bad experiences with the sort of people A+ is meant to prevent against.

    I do think A+ can be seen as divisive, however I also feel it is very, very necessary as the racist and misogynistic behavior in the atheist community is just too far flung and deeply embedded to try to repair at this point in time.

    A+ versus A(plain) gives us a choice as to where to spend our time, efforts and money. People will organically flow to the one which fits them best. In a few years time things will settle out and the younger/next generation can decide which will progress and which will stagnate.

    My money is going to be on (and with) A+ for several reasons. Mostly due to comfort, I feel safer and much more welcome here. My lack of belief is only a small part of who and what I am, my desire for social change is a much bigger drive for me. I want to spend my time with like-minded people. (I think of it more as a social club than a ‘religion’ as mentioned on a previous thread).

    I also see the members of A(plain) eventually realizing they can’t keep alienating women, minorities and non-heteros. The older members might be okay with the status quo, but the younger members will soon realize that conventions and get-togethers are quickly turning into ‘sausage-fests’ (sorry not sure on the proper/polite term for this) and in many cases that is the last thing they want. Or as my brother says, “If I wanted to hang around with old dudes all day I’d go to the Y.”

    Most members of the younger generation already feel that denying homosexual people equal rights is wrong and are putting their voices and votes where it counts. Same with racial bigotry, I don’t see why sexism will be given a pass by the younger generations either. Non-religious is the largest growing demographic in the country and it is only going to continue to grow. They will be the ones who will gravitate to whichever identity speaks to them, they will be the ones who ultimately decide whether A+ or A(plain) is going to succeed or fail.

  74. 74
    booyabible

    feminazi slut…..hmmmmmm – Is he trying to say that you are a bra-burning, der-fuhrer-saluting, nymphomaniac? I can play this game too: Greta, you are chocophile meritocrat! Yeah, that’s right, I said it you are a chocolate addict who advances based on her own achievement! I’ll frikkin’ say it again! You watch!

  75. 75
    Kacy

    Ok, Got it! Wow! What an ass-hat! I still imagine you will get e-mail like that even with Atheism+. Unfortunately the douches will still exist.

    I guess Atheism+ is saying that you don’t identify with such jerks, but I don’t know how the label will help those outside of blog circles. Coming from Christianity, I can say that such jerks existed there too, but no one split off to make a new movement simply because such people existed. I really am curious about the sorts of fences that will be put up to keep these bigots from infiltrating Atheism+.

  76. 76
    Emptyell

    GodlessForeigner@67

    The difference is a matter of power and privilege. Describing women as hysterical is part of a pattern of subjugation and abuse over the course of the vast majority of human history. Pointing out that men use abusive language to subjugate women is equivalent to calling women hysterical only to the extent that they both describe behavior that is oppressive to women. The situation is grossly asymmetrical such that most equivalencies such as yours are not merely false but inverted.

    I too find #mencallmethings troubling and offensive. I don’t like being a part of a class of people that do such vile and reprehensible things but I don’t blame women for expressing their objections in a way that might make me feel a little queasy. I blame the assholes who are doing this shit in the first place. It is the same way that I don’t blame a woman for not knowing in advance whether I am a rapist. I blame the rapists for creating the problem in the first place and the rape apologists, the “humorists”, the warped legal system, and the rape culture that they support.

  77. 77
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    @ Kacy #76

    I don’t know how the label will help those outside of blog circles

    I think this is mainly an in-house fix. As triamacleod (#74) demonstrates, valuable allies have not participating in the atheist movement due to the toxic assholes sharing the Atheist label.

  78. 78
    Glodson

    @ Greta Christina #73, yea I regret putting it like that. I almost didn’t. I did conflate gender and sex there, didn’t I? I was just trying to put down men without using men again. I guess I need to better appreciate how insidious how I was brought up to see sex and gender. I know the difference, and I know it isn’t binary like I was taught, and yet I still make those mistakes.

  79. 79
    julian

    That, right there, is the problem. And if you can’t see how divisive that is, then I don’t know what to say.

    I don’t think anyone cares how divisive it is at this point. #justatheism wants #atheismplus to shut up and get lost, #atheismplus wants to no longer have to tolerate Tim. Party moving over to the other room seems the best solution for everyone.

  80. 80
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    yet I still make those mistakes

    I’m still working on excising the words ‘bitch’ and ‘retarded’ from my vocabulary. Everyone makes mistakes. What separates us from the assholes is our integrity and ability to apologize, rather than getting defensive and throwing a tantrum.

  81. 81
    A. Noyd

    GodlessForeigner (#67)

    What is the difference between these two examples? Someone pls explain.

    Well, to start with, you’re drawing parallels based on the terrible response of the hypothetical female friend in the first example. She’s basically agreeing with Guy X’s low opinion of women, and acting more concerned that he isn’t explicitly exempting her from the stereotype. But the problem isn’t his opinion of her; it’s that he’s being a bigot. A better response would be: “I don’t care if you consider me an exception. The way you view women is disgusting and hurtful.”

    On the other hand, things under the #mencallmethings hashtag are not bigoted generalizations about one sex but real life examples of the horrible things men say to women for having strong opinions. The examples are brought up as a response to the way people (both men and women) minimize the shit women have to deal with when we’re outspoken. It’s not stereotyping because the backlash does come primarily from men, which is something that needs to be recognized and dealt with. Guys who object to the personal implications of #mencallmethings are derailing and effectively saying, “I don’t trust you women to see I’m not like those guys.”

  82. 82
    thebookofdave

    If you want to talk about ideas, then you’re going to offend people. So good job, Greta, for stirring up discussion at all levels, including the sludge at the bottom. I, for one, am interested in your take on Atheism +, and view the CAPSLOCK critics as just more evidence that you’re leading the dialogue in the right direction.

  83. 83
    GodlessForeigner

    Thanks Emptyell and A. Noyd.
    I see that perhaps I should have chosen something else for example 1, but I think I understand what you are saying and agree with you.

    GodlessForeigner

  84. 84
    Keith Fyans

    Tim appears to be a right shit.

  85. 85
    Hunt

    She’s not a hoe. She’s a weed whacker.

  86. 86
    wondering

    It seems clear from the context that the guy is exaggerating to make a point. He is not actually calling you those things, but he is merely posting it to get a reaction from you.

    Your Exhibit A fails.

  87. 87
    Pteryxx

    It seems clear from the context that the guy is exaggerating to make a point. He is not actually calling you those things, but he is merely posting it to get a reaction from you.

    Your Exhibit A fails.

    Similarly, it seems clear that you are not actually claiming that “you fuckin hoe” and “you fuckin feminazi slut” somehow don’t mean what they obviously mean, because only a completely oblivious douche would claim that. Thus I conclude that you’re actually attempting to send a coded message to your compatriots orbiting Alpha Centauri.

    …There might be a more parsimonious explanation. Ya’think?

  88. 88
    wondering

    Say what, Pteryxx?

    Read the full quote. Pay particular attention to the very last sentence. If the quote was an emotional outburst aimed at Greta Christina, why does the last sentence look like that?

  89. 89
    RW Ahrens

    Uh, wondering,

    He addressed it to her! Ya think maybe that’s why we’ve all taken to to mean he was talking to her?

    Moron.

  90. 90
    wondering

    RW Ahrens, did you read the whole quote?

    If the quote was an emotional outburst aimed at Greta Christina, why does the last sentence look like that?

  91. 91
    RW Ahrens

    Yes, I did.

    It starts out, “GRETA CHRISTINA…” And goes on to make those revolting comments. I don’t see how his final sentence being not in all caps makes them seem to refer to some magical, unnamed other person.

    His final statement also uses her name.

    What planet do you live on that plain english seems so hard to understand?

    Quit trying to derail the conversation.

  92. 92
    GodlessForeigner

    “It seems clear from the context that the guy is exaggerating to make a point. He is not actually calling you those things, but he is merely posting it to get a reaction from you.

    Your Exhibit A fails.”

    Wow! You think he was trolling? Great job Sherlock. Someone better stop Greta from calling the FBI because of this serious rape threat. <– sarcasm warning

    Of course he is a troll, an offensive, sexist and despicable troll.
    Exibit A stands

  93. 93
    A. Noyd

    wondering (#87)

    He is not actually calling you those things, but he is merely posting it to get a reaction from you.

    Your Exhibit A fails.

    No, your false dichotomy fails. The actual level of sincerity behind each word is irrelevant since using misogyny to troll people is itself an expression of misogyny.

  94. 94
    Hunt

    I think Paul @6 has a point. I wonder if Atheism+ wouldn’t be pretty much the same as Atheism30+, if you get my meaning. Then again, I’m sure there are “Tim”s in their 40s and on up. Still, I wonder if the majority of these comments aren’t coming from 20 yo +/- 5 years.

  95. 95
    RW Ahrens

    By the way, wondering,

    After looking again at my comment, I apologize for the name calling. It was uncalled for.

    You are still wrong, however.

  96. 96
    wondering

    No, your false dichotomy fails. The actual level of sincerity behind each word is irrelevant since using misogyny to troll people is itself an expression of misogyny.

    It is not.

  97. 97
    SallyStrange
    “It is clearly needed, and if some people don’t want to put in the effort to be good enough humans to get an A+, they don’t have to.”

    That, right there, is the problem. And if you can’t see how divisive that is, then I don’t know what to say.

    I wonder how many times we are going to have to repeat that divisiveness is the fucking POINT. I want to get to work organizing around atheism, around science-based public policy, around social and environmental justice, and more. I have no time to be justifying why I want to be doing this work to people who claim to be my allies. If you need an explanation as to why all this is important then you’re not actually my ally. I want to make sure that I’m working with people who have my back, not people who will drop out of activism the first time I lose my cool about getting yet another rape threat. The POINT is to separate out the misogynists and racists and bigots of every sort and say, that’s not me. That’s not us. Here’s what WE are doing.

    It seems clear from the context that the guy is exaggerating to make a point. He is not actually calling you those things, but he is merely posting it to get a reaction from you.

    Your Exhibit A fails.

    I wonder how many times it will have to be repeated that using sexist/racist/whatever slurs to troll people IS sexist/racist/whatever. Sure, sure, you don’t personally HATE women or black or whatever group it is you’re using in your quest to get a rise out of someone. You just don’t have enough respect for their basic human dignity to refrain from making them the butt of your ugly joke at a third party’s expense.

    In practice, active hatred and apathetic indifference are very hard to tell apart, especially when privilege is involved.

  98. 98
    SallyStrange

    It is not.

    Is so!

    What’s next, the rubber/glue gambit?

  99. 99
    Timid Atheist

    Read the full quote. Pay particular attention to the very last sentence. If the quote was an emotional outburst aimed at Greta Christina, why does the last sentence look like that?

    Because it’s not an emotional outburst. It is very much deliberate and the deliberate use of no caps at the end makes it that much more insidious. Just look at his other comments about her. He made allusions to her photo for the Nude Revolutionary Calender. The man is obviously doing his utmost to come off as intimidating and invading her personal space. It’s vile and unacceptable.

    On top of that, your commentary is vile as well. Who gives a flying fuck if it ISN’T an emotional outburst and JUST trolling. It’s still all kinds of wrong and not acceptable. Ever.

  100. 100
    Greta Christina

    wondering: If you honestly think that someone can say “GRETA CHRISTINA YOU FUCKIN HOE… I HOPE YOU GET RAPED YOU FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT… GO CHOKE ON A DICK AND DIE” — and that this is in any way made acceptable by following that up with some version of “I was just trying to provoke a reaction” — then get the fuck out of my blog. Now.

    There are a handful of contexts in which this language is acceptable. A play or movie about misogyny. A negotiated and consensual SM scene. A private joke among friends who share a sick sense of humor. But when someone describes graphic, brutal rape and sexualized death, says they hope you are the recipient of it — and then follows with “Ha ha, just kidding” or “I was just trolling for a reaction” — it does not make the language acceptable, or anything less than vile. If you don’t understand that, then go get some Feminism 101 education. And until you do, get out of my blog, and stay out.

  101. 101
    N. Perlt

    Tim is obviously not a very nice person.
    One can be an atheist and not be a nice person.

    Just as:
    One can be a christian and not be a nice person.
    One can be a buddhist and not be a nice person.
    One can be a man and not be a nice person.
    One can be a woman and not be a nice person.
    One can be young and not be a nice person.
    One can be old and not be a nice person.
    One can be well educated and not be a nice person.
    One can be a conservative and not be a nice person.
    One can be a liberal and not be a nice person.
    One can be a libertarian and not be a nice person.
    One can be a socialist and not be a nice person.
    One can be a communist and not be a nice person.
    One can be an anarchist and not be a nice person.
    One can be an Apple costumer and not be a nice person.

    I have yet to find a group where there are NO nasty, annoying or just plain stupid people.

    The problem in these cases is a society in which gender roles are so narrow, that female and intelligent has somehow become mutually exclusive.

    Blogs like these are, I think, breaking up those stereotypes – one bit at a time.
    It shouldn’t have to come at this cost for you, GC, or other bloggers and activists.

    But it’s the same crap that Michelle Obama gets for “being fat” (How is she “fat” again?!), Angela Merkel for being “ugly”, Helle Thorning Schemidt (Danish prime minister) for being blonde and to “pretty”. (At least noone’s callingout the gays in the Danish parliament for being too feminine…)

    Thumbs up for banning Tim.
    He wasn’t contributing anything worth reading.
    Keep writing, keep talking, keep protesting.

  102. 102
    Hunt

    It is not.

    This is one of the key issues holding up this entire debate. I initially fell for the “misogynistic trolling is not real misogyny” line when T-foot used it, but when I examined it, I realized it didn’t hold water. If you were in a debate with an African American person, no matter how irate you ever became, you would not say something like “I hope you get lynched, you n—–.” And I’m sorry, even having to read that is painful, but the point has to be made. This is akin to in vino veritas, the medium allows for true sentiment to slip past. We don’t give Mel Gibson a pass just because he gets drunk, and trolls don’t get a pass just because they’re trolling.

  103. 103
    Timid Atheist

    Hmm, I’m not well versed in these topics so please bear with me.
    Example 1:
    Guy X: Oh women and their hysterical tantrums.
    Female friend: Don’t say that. I don’t throw hysterical tantrums.
    Guy X: I wasn’t talking about you so don’t make it about you!

    This is clearly gender stereotyping and its incorrect, wrong, unproductive, etc.

    Example 2:
    Woman X: #mencallmethings: [insert example of disgusting language]
    Guy Z: Hey! I don’t use that kind of language and I resent that hashtag.
    Woman X: But if you don’t use that kind of language then it has nothing to do with you and you shouldn’t be offended. Why are you trying to make things about YOU!

    And people in the comments here say that this one is ok and ppl are wrong by trying to make it about themselves.

    I’m not trying to provoke but I simply don’t get it. What is the difference between these two examples? Someone pls explain.

    Grateful in advance,
    GodlessForeigner

    The first example is labeling all women. The #mencallmethings tag gives specific examples of men calling women terrible things. It’s plural because the tag is used by many women to share the many things that men have called them.

    The other thing to keep in mind is what I’ve heard called “punching up.” When you criticize sexism or racism or the like, it’s acceptable to criticize those doing it. For a woman that’s calling out men who call them names or treat them in a sexist manner. That is an acceptable action.

    The reverse, men chiding women and labeling them with words like hysterical and emotional, is not okay because women have been treated like that for centuries for no reason. They are no more emotional than men.

    That isn’t to say that women can’t do terrible things. They can. And if they do, like say beat their children or molest their nephew, then hell yes they should be held accountable. But that’s not the same as labeling a woman hysterical because she’s a woman and has a emotions. That’s sexism at work.

  104. 104
    scott

    What I wish people would get about A+ is that if you’re not a supporter, if you’re in the atheist movement but don’t feel you want to spend your time and energy on the social justice causes A+ espouses, that’s OK. It’s not great, and we could use your help, but it’s OK. We understand that, for example, if you donate to cancer research and not the March of Dimes, it’s not because you hate Jerry’s Kids.

    But, if you’re not going to participate, please recognize what’s going on and at least stay out of the way.

  105. 105
    Hunt

    Not to imply that Mel ever said anything that vile, but he did say some pretty bad stuff.

  106. 106
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    When you’ve got nothing to say that doesn’t show you to be a complete loser/jerk, and then when you get banned by any place that wants to foster an actual exchange of ideas, I guess all you could do is start something like I’m so cool with girls banning me cause I’m so cool!

    Fortunately, that type tends not to reproduce.

    Greta, I think you are one brave and together woman. Well done, as always. Sticking with A+ here.

  107. 107
    BreadGod

    “If anyone is still wondering why some atheists might want to carve out a subset of atheism that’s specifically focused on social justice issues…”

    So you are creating a schism. You admitted it right here. Quit trying to turn atheism into a religion.

  108. 108
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    It seems clear from the context that the guy is exaggerating to make a point. He is not actually calling you those things, but he is merely posting it to get a reaction from you.

    Your Exhibit A fails.

    OK, OK, let’s take a look at that. So the guy calls Greta a name. But that isn’t calling her a name because he only did it to get her to react. When people are really calling names, they aren’t trying to get a reaction. Uh huh. I see.

    Did someone mention failing?

  109. 109
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending
    “If anyone is still wondering why some atheists might want to carve out a subset of atheism that’s specifically focused on social justice issues…”

    So you are creating a schism. You admitted it right here. Quit trying to turn atheism into a religion.

    Breadgod (interesting nym in context), would you mind explaining why moving away from one part of an ill-defined crowd makes either the ones moving or the ones not moving into a religion? I’m missing that part of the logic.

  110. 110
    SallyStrange

    So you are creating a schism. You admitted it right here. Quit trying to turn atheism into a religion.

    Well gee, I guess it has to be repeated AGAIN.

    There’s no need to “admit” anything; we’ve been stating it outright. A+ (or positive atheism, as I prefer to call it) is DELIBERATELY DIVISIVE. One of the many goals is to DIVIDE atheists who care about justice and human rights and making the world a better place from misogynist, racist, homophobic atheists.

    Are you asserting that religions are the only things that have schisms? And that all schisms are bad things?

    If so, I see some flaws in your reasoning.

  111. 111
    Brony

    That, is one gigantic shitpile of cognitive dissonance. Gender sucks.

  112. 112
    ezekiel

    “One of the many goals is to DIVIDE atheists who care about justice and human rights and making the world a better place from misogynist, racist, homophobic atheists. ”

    And that is exactly the problem.

    By inference, anyone who doesn’t ingratiate themselves into this new clique of truly honorable atheists, is a de facto “misogynist, racist, homophobic atheist”.

    Which is patently false at best, and mind-boggling elitism at worst.

  113. 113
    SallyStrange

    And that is exactly the problem.

    By inference, anyone who doesn’t ingratiate themselves into this new clique of truly honorable atheists, is a de facto “misogynist, racist, homophobic atheist”.

    Which is patently false at best, and mind-boggling elitism at worst.

    Well, gosh, that is terrible, isn’t it. We’ve created a group that explicitly fights against bigotry.

    Now, if you don’t join it, people are going to think you’re a bigot!

    What’s the problem again?

  114. 114
    ezekiel

    “Well, gosh, that is terrible, isn’t it. We’ve created a group that explicitly fights against _________.

    Now, if you don’t join it, people are going to think you’re a ________!”

    What’s the problem again?

    That you cannot even see the problem, is a problem.

  115. 115
    SallyStrange

    “Well, gosh, that is terrible, isn’t it. We’ve created a group that explicitly fights against _________.

    Now, if you don’t join it, people are going to think you’re a ________!”

    What’s the problem again?

    That you cannot even see the problem, is a problem.

    First of all, if you’re not a bigot, that will be evidenced by your behavior. A bigot could adopt the A+ label, and still act like a bigot, and it would still be obvious by their behavior.

    Second of all, why not join?

    Third of all, that’s not actually going to happen. Already you see people saying, yeah, I agree with those values but I don’t like the label, and guess what? Nobody is ostracizing them–not even Richard Carrier, although he does seem intent on ostracizing those who make bad arguments against the label.

    Perhaps it would help me to take your concern more seriously if you could articulate it better.

  116. 116
    A. Noyd

    Yeah, no one should ever create an identity around positive, progressive values that doesn’t include, by default, those who don’t want to take a stand. Cuz… elitism, or something.

  117. 117
    Brony

    The point is not conversation. The point is Emotional Saturation. They want the emotions dampened down so no one notices the logic. It’s all cycles and cycles and cycles. You have to break the cycle.

  118. 118
    Glodson

    @81 One Thousand Needles, thanks. It is funny but when my mistake was pointed out, it bothered me. It bothered me because I realized right then I wasn’t thinking in those terms. It bothered me because I know that before I learned better, a few years ago, I wouldn’t have understood why that distinction matter.

    And I guess that does fit into the whole discussion on sexism, as part of the problem is thoughtlessness. We all have our little biases and all, but the worst is that even those of us who know better don’t always think about. Like I didn’t really notice how sexist the Expendables movie is. It is, and it isn’t like the creators thought “hey, let’s not have any women to make sure they know they aren’t as good as us dudes.” It is more that they just didn’t think. I’m not saying that the movies need any special attention, it was just something that didn’t occur to me because I didn’t think about it in those terms.

    And I would put this as another reason for A+. We should be thinking about these unfortunate implications. The only way we can change our culture, to deal with the sexism affecting us all, is to think about some of these issues more carefully.

  119. 119
    SallyStrange

    Anyway, I’d rather accidentally label a few apathetic atheists as bigots by mistake than make room in my movement for bigots.

    But then, it’s not MY movement. Atheism is just atheism. It doesn’t denote any particular ideological or political stance, it’s just a lack of belief in gods. Atheists can be, and sometimes are, horrible people with no moral compass who don’t care about making the world a better place, so long as they are comfortable.

    Atheists+ are imperfect people who nevertheless want to try to make the world a better place because they see that racism, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia are just as irrational as religious belief.

    If you want to use the “good without god” slogan, then it’s best to try to actually be good. Well, I want to kick the non-good people out. Yes, it’s true, I do. I can’t kick them out of atheism, that would be silly. But I can kick them out of Positive Atheism.

    Yes, it is elitist. I am saying that I am a better person than someone who doesn’t believe in gods but doesn’t care about justice or economic inequality or stopping rape. I also claim to have a superior understanding of reality than people who believe in various supernatural and paranormal claims. That’s also elitist–so I have been told.

    So what? Some Christians think they’re better than me because they’re Christians and I’m not. I don’t care, because they’re obviously wrong. Some men think they’re better than me because they’re men and I’m not. I don’t care because they are obviously wrong.

    I think I’m right about the non-existence of god, AND I think I’m right about the importance of social justice. What’s it to you? If you think I’m terribly wrong then you have no business caring whether I think I’m better than you.

  120. 120
    Hunt

    I think I see “the problem,” if it exists, which is the reason why how Atheism+ is framed is critically important. Is A+ meant to replace A or just be another movement meant to run concurrently. If someone chooses to remain A, does it necessarily mean they reject the tenets of A+? (which follows the Carrier framing) Or should it be interpreted more like choosing not to donate to The March of Dimes–not implying you don’t care about kids with disabilities. Or is this all bullshit and since A+ subsumes A plus adds a lot of really good stuff, then saying you don’t want to join means you reject the good stuff.

  121. 121
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    elitism

    Oh, the shame! I see it now! Oh gosh. We have to get some bigots, sexists, liars, cheats, thieves and deeply religious fundys into this atheist movement otherwise we are being elitist!

    And there is no greater shame.

  122. 122
    SallyStrange

    I think I see “the problem,” if it exists, which is the reason why how Atheism+ is framed is critically important. Is A+ meant to replace A or just be another movement meant to run concurrently. If someone chooses to remain A, does it necessarily mean they reject the tenets of A+? (which follows the Carrier framing) Or should it be interpreted more like choosing not to donate to The March of Dimes–not implying you don’t care about kids with disabilities. Or is this all bullshit and since A+ subsumes A plus adds a lot of really good stuff, then saying you don’t want to join means you reject the good stuff.

    Those who don’t bother with it one way or another? I reserve judgment on what their views on bigotry and social justice are. No assumptions beyond what I’d make for the general population. Someone who goes out of their way to criticize the existence and goals of A+ is, in my perception, increasing the probability that they hold reactionary, bigoted views of some sort. Lots of people will never voluntarily take on the label. They’re whatever. Unknown. Not enemies, necessarily, but also not necessarily allies until more is known about them.

    Those who actively reject the label and everything it stands for–well, good. Now I know where they stand and know that I can’t trust them further than I can throw them.

  123. 123
    ezekiel

    So I’m a bigot because I won’t join your club.

    Got it.

    See ya.

  124. 124
    Hunt

    SallyStrange, That’s fine, but realize that that’s NOT how Carrier has framed things, and Greta has endorsed his view. Personally, I’m open to either interpretation, but it’s something that should be made explicit now, before it falls into an ambiguous muddle.

  125. 125
    LykeX

    So I’m a bigot because I won’t join your club.

    Depends. Why won’t you join?

  126. 126
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    Which is patently false at best, and mind-boggling elitism at worst

    So I’m a bigot because I won’t join your club.

    Got it.

    See ya.

    Yes, ezekiel, that sums it up. Near fatal eye-roll

    If this is not so, please clarify. Saying it is not so doesn’t appear to be working for you. Why would wanting to stay out of a group against something, not imply that you are in favour of it? Your other objections don’t appear to hold water.

  127. 127
    Glodson

    Okay ezekiel, what is the problem here?

    A group of atheists decide that they see a dark cloud of just shit in the atheist community. So they want to start a movement of atheists that is more than about disbelief. It includes social justice and other such good things. This is some good stuff. Hell, taken from Jen at Blag Hag: “Honestly, I see A+ as Atheism + Humanism + Skepticism. Not all humanists are atheists or skeptical, not all skeptics are atheists or humanists, not all atheists are humanists or skeptics…but I want to bring it all together.”

    While disbelief has much to do with it, but it is more than that. You don’t want to play, no one is really saying that you are wrong, or bad, or anything else. But if you have a problem with it because it confronts sexism and all that bad stuff head on, then there’s a problem.

    Atheism, by itself, is great. A good and rational atheist can help counter some of the worst ills of religion by helping the ignorant get past that. I know a number helped me on my journey into disbelief. Why not take it a step further and confront some of the nastier bits our culture? Not just in atheism, but in our collective culture? What is the problem with A+?

  128. 128
    John-Henry Beck

    I think I see something in common with some of those getting all offended at #AtheismPlus and the ones getting offended at #MenCallMeThings.

    Some people seem really fixated not just on taking text the worst way possible, but assuming the broadest meaning there. So using the word ‘men’ must refer to all men. The same type take the A+ thing to mean that everyone not signing on is therefor a bigot or immoral or whatever, that the A+ types are claiming to be morally superior. (Among the many irrational objections.)

    Anyway, it just seems like something in common with the way some people seem intent on reading text.

  129. 129
    Hunt

    As hesitant as I am to think it, since I tend to be “libertarian” on these things and support the impression of reasonableness that running A and A+ concurrently seems to provide, I think Greta and Carrier have it right after all, since I think A+ as merely an adjunct movement is going to fatally dilute its message. If that happens, it might mean that A+ ends out being No Big Deal. The next big question is whether Ed Brayton, PZ, and the other executives, are willing to take that leap of faith, put up the banners, etc., make the jump to A+ warp drive? I really think that’s a matter that is going to be heating up big time real soon now. At this point I think they’re just swishing their feet around in the pool, testing its temperature.

  130. 130
    SallyStrange

    SallyStrange, That’s fine, but realize that that’s NOT how Carrier has framed things, and Greta has endorsed his view. Personally, I’m open to either interpretation, but it’s something that should be made explicit now, before it falls into an ambiguous muddle.

    I rather enjoy Carrier’s confrontational approach. I’m not don’t think it’s the approach that’s best, but it is rather appealing.

    Ultimately, though, I see it as more akin to the March of Dimes thing. Non-participation does not mark you as an opponent. Opposition (tautologically) does. I A+ as being atheists who PRIORITIZE making atheism inclusive to all marginalized peoples. There are those who just don’t care, and they should be made aware that their lack of passion ultimately does more to support the bigots than it does their targets. At that point, when education occurs, it is legitimate to ask them point blank if they’re in or out, and refuse to associate with them if they’re out.

    Like, I have no problem not associating with Ezekiel. His determination to associate with me in order to tell me how wrong I am is puzzling to me.

  131. 131
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    @ John-Henry Beck

    The difficulty I am having is in reading a comment that worries that being against sexism/bigotry/like and similar evils, is elitist. That the avoidance of being elitist is at least as important as taking a stand against such injustices.

    If wanting to be fair and inclusive is elitist, count me in. If you don’t want to be part of that, OK, but I’d love to know why, and how that can be reconciled with being fair and inclusive.

  132. 132
    Hunt

    Just checked on Pharyngula and PZ has an A+ logo, so I guess he’s “all in.” I’m sure Brayton is too.

  133. 133
    Rick

    i tell you, if what want to really get to the bottom of this ‘name that tune’ crap, being called names; apply the golden rule(…most don’t or can’t), and think it through. for me, above all things; plunder is groundless and only leads to further breaking. and btw, i did read the entire blog here and i am staying on point. you see, if plunder is groundless then ultimately nothing has ever been broken as proof of anything. this is a phrase i plug at every opportunity. i think you are being attacked in order to splinter Labor, it’s not a ‘girl’ thing, that can’t be proven because nothing has ever been broken…you get it. it is divisive speech, ‘inflationary’ even…look closely. i get called nigger all the time, i get food thrown at me when i walk down the street with someone who is not like me. LOL but our planet is melting, and it is melting because of how we do business, yeah. so if you haven’t already, look to understand, for example what sophistry is, what rhetoric is, and the like. i could go on but…

  134. 134
    Anat

    To Kacy (#76):

    Coming from Christianity, I can say that such jerks existed there too, but no one split off to make a new movement simply because such people existed.

    And how well did not-splitting go for the recipients of such behavior within your former religious group?

  135. 135
    triamacleod

    From the outside looking in, please let me tell you what I’m getting at this point.

    If I go to a conference or meet up that is billed as A+ I expect a baseline of social behavior and anyone who falls below that baseline will be taken aside by the organizers who will explain why that behavior is unacceptable and to please stop. If the offending actions stop, all is good and we go on with life. If the actions do NOT stop, that person will be asked to leave so that the rest of us can enjoy the festivities without being targeted with obnoxious comments and behaviors.

    If I go to a conference or meet up that is billed as A(plain) I will expect to be on my own should someone accost me or make me feel uncomfortable for my gender, ethnicity, orientation, etc. The organizers may or may not understand or sympathize with me and, in fact, ‘I’ as the target of the abuse, may be asked to leave because my complaints are disrupting the enjoyment of the others.

    This is what I am getting from the discussion so far. As for social justice I’m all in for that and hope that A+ can make a large impact in that area through education, voting and activism.

  136. 136
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    ezekiel:

    “It is clearly needed, and if some people don’t want to put in the effort to be good enough humans to get an A+, they don’t have to.”

    That, right there, is the problem. And if you can’t see how divisive that is, then I don’t know what to say.

    I cannot fathom what you’re talking about here.
    “That, right there, is the problem.”
    You’re saying that the problem is that Atheism Plus is a movement that-among other things-involves members who PUT IN THE EFFORT TO BE GOOD HUMANS by combating misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, ageism (etc).
    You can’t see why a movement like that would not want to be inclusive of people who don’t PUT IN THE EFFORT TO BE GOOD HUMANS?
    Part of the point of this spinoff is to get *away* from those people who aren’t interested in being good humans. No, I don’t think someone like Tim is interested in being a good human.
    Good human beings don’t write the hateful crap he wrote to Greta.

  137. 137
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    ezekiel:

    By inference, anyone who doesn’t ingratiate themselves into this new clique of truly honorable atheists, is a de facto “misogynist, racist, homophobic atheist”.

    No. Not true.
    The purposeful divisiveness comes from those atheists interested in social justice spinning off from the larger atheist movement which has too much sexism, misogyny, and homophobia going on.
    No one has to join A+.
    I’m sure that a great many people who don’t join the A+ movement are really nice people who aren’t haters of women and gays. Maybe they just don’t want to be part of a movement.
    Not being part of A+ does not make one automatically a misogynist.
    You might have a better argument if you said:
    “…anyone in the atheist movement who doesn’t…” and even then, I’m not sure your argument would hold water.

  138. 138
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    triamacleod:

    If I go to a conference or meet up that is billed as A(plain) I will expect to be on my own should someone accost me or make me feel uncomfortable for my gender, ethnicity, orientation, etc. The organizers may or may not understand or sympathize with me and, in fact, ‘I’ as the target of the abuse, may be asked to leave because my complaints are disrupting the enjoyment of the others.

    In all fairness, that might have been the case this time last year. In the last 5 or 6 months, many convention organizers have adopted explicit anti-harassment policies. That doesn’t mean you would necessarily be free of harassment (in time, I think with these policies the harassment may start to decrease), but it would provide a proper code of conduct and give an explicit place to discuss and resolve any harassment issues. The security of knowing who and where to turn if an incident occurs can be a tremendous boon.

  139. 139
    ezekiel

    @Tony:
    I *already* do those things. Go read my blog and tell me how much of a sexist, racist, mysogyinstic asshole I am. Please.

    The point is, there are now two options. Either join the A+ movement, or be labeled an unworthy knuckle-dragger. It’s not a choice – it’s more like “Believe in me or suffer the punishment”.

    There’s a reason I’m an atheist, and it has very little to do with being told what to do by an authority figure. Quite frankly I resent the implication that I am a lesser atheist, unless I go to confession at FTB and beg forgiveness from its leaders.

    I’ve been there before and I do not like it.

    I can fight the mysogyny, raciscm, hatred and everything else from outside the church, thank you very much. I do not need anyones blessing to be deemed to be a good person, and I certainly do not need a fancy label to feel good about myself.

    Now, on to the subject of Tim and his sub-human commentary. How does creating a new group ‘fix’ anything?

    Instead of not allowing him into the clique, or kicking him out when he sneaks in and acts up, why not just kick him out now? By creating a blog post with his vitriol in the title, his mission is accomplished. Done and dusted. 140 comments and still going strong. A troll never had it so good!

    Moving house to avoid the neighbors doesn’t fix anything, because wherever you move to, you will have new neighbors. And people can still break in if they have a mind to. In 20 years of the internet, no-one has really figured out how to stop people posting offensive garbage and still maintain a useful communication medium. FTB is not the only blog in the world suffering from fools. I saw a news article yesterday with over 1500 posts on it, and almost every one of them had something negative or offensive to say about Barbara Boxer.

    I am fully behind the values that Atheism+ allegedly stands for. Who doesn’t want to fight racism, sexism, homophobia and every other social ill? But I’d rather not do it under a banner that says “I’m an atheist, and I’m better than those other ones”.

    It’s not right.

    Fix this shit under the banner of regular atheism. Stop trying to elvate yourselves to a higher plane, and work with what we have here and now.

    There’s no “plus” required to enact a zero-tolerance policy *right now*. We’re all in this together and creating deliberate rifts and splinter groups is not going to help anyone – except the trolls.

  140. 140
    Emptyell

    triamacleod@136

    You have done a wonderful job of summarizing it all in a very simple and down to reality way. Nobody has to be on board with A+ but if you are it does mean something. If an event claims to be A+ it better be a safe and supportive place. It reminds me of the idea that the one thing we won’t tolerate is intolerance. Positive contributions are welcome. If you want to tear things down you better have a pretty good reason.

  141. 141
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    Fix this shit under the banner of regular atheism. Stop trying to elvate yourselves to a higher plane, and work with what we have here and now.

    There’s no “plus” required to enact a zero-tolerance policy *right now*. We’re all in this together and creating deliberate rifts and splinter groups is not going to help anyone – except the trolls.

    You did notice what happened when Rebecca Watson said to guys, don’t do that? You noticed the sexual harassment policy implemented at TAM? Quite a few of us have been trying to fix shit, but so far, not going real well. And they get tired of the threats and all. It costs them.

    And there are a lot of regular atheists who don’t see the need to fix anything.

  142. 142
    Ace of Sevens

    @142. I don’t see how adopting an new label will stop any threats and plenty of progress was made already under regular atheism. Are there any conferences other than TAM that are hold-outs at this point?

  143. 143
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ezekiel. Honey. Sugar.

    It’s good that you fight homophobia, misogyny, and bigotry. Your actions speak louder than words. People will notice.

    So why are you apoplectic about atheism+? No one will call you an “enemy” if you don’t identify that way. No one is saying they’re “better” than you simply because they tag themselves with an avatar. No one is saying that. You’re making that up. And you don’t need to.

    There’s no reason to be upset. No one is trying to be “eliter” than you.

    What’s really bugging you?

  144. 144
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    How come when I try to subscribe to this thread of Greta’s I get confirmation notices for six different FtB blogs?

  145. 145
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    How come when I try to subscribe to this thread of Greta’s I get confirmation notices for six different FtB blogs?

    You’re very popular?

  146. 146
    Ace of Sevens

    @144: I think the evidence in this very thread says otherwise. Basing a movement out of getting rid of the assholes is just begging for one-upsmanship call-out culture. Just look at the quick development of A- as a pejorative in PZ’s comments or the argument that you aren’t a real A+ if you aren’t a vegan in PZ’s comments.

    @145: Because you subbed to them earlier and didn’t confirm then.

  147. 147
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    @144: I think the evidence in this very thread says otherwise. Basing a movement out of getting rid of the assholes is just begging for one-upsmanship call-out culture.

    And you propose what? Accepting the assholes? That’s fucking stupid. So the assholes get upset. Big deal. Why in the world do you think anyone should care about that?

    Oh, I get it. The burden is always on the progressive people not to offend, and not to “ask for it.”

    Fuck that.

  148. 148
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’ll just not call out the homophobes when they come down to the gay community center. I don’t want to encourage a culture of one-upmanship and calling out.

  149. 149
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m not going to say anything to the next racist that comes chimes in on a discussion of the proportion of people of color imprisoned. That’s just encouraging a call-out culture.

  150. 150
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Why be provocative? It’s better just to let the domestic abuse community have their say. Don’t try to get all “elite” on them by saying you’re “better” for not hitting your spouse. That’s never productive.

  151. 151
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    *Le sigh*

    It is true that people are saying A+ means better. Please consider that they feel that way because they think it is better not to continue with people who won’t identify as being against homophobic/anti-women/bigoted behaviour. They are not saying they have more money, more social weight or power, nor are they better looking. They are trying to be better towards all people, except homophobic/anti-women/bigots.

    Trying to be better in this way is not an insult. It’s demonstrating useful social behaviour. Even a bigger plus — anyone can do it if they try.

  152. 152
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Remember—don’t call people out. That’s a provocative act that will only make moderates hate you. Instead, let them just express their opinions without comment. It’s free speech.

    Next time you want to hold a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, try not being exclusive. Invite the pro-life community and treat them graciously. They have things to say! Don’t allow your other guests to express disdain when they talk about shutting down Planned Parenthood. That closes doors, closes minds, and divides.

  153. 153
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Hunt @121:
    There is no *problem* (unless you’re someone whining about divisiveness, as if that’s a bad thing).
    The Atheism Plus movement is NOT! trying to replace the Atheist movement. Atheism Plus operates alongside Atheism (to the extent that both oppose religion) to a degree, but separate from it in other ways (the pursuit of social justice). Atheism Plus simply has different goals and is looking like minded individuals who are atheists and want to make the world a better place by attacking social ills.

  154. 154
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Attacking is wrong. It only alienates moderates! We need all hands on deck. If your minorities are speaking out too candidly, do them a favor: Remind them that no one likes uppity people.

  155. 155
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    ezekiel:

    I *already* do those things. Go read my blog and tell me how much of a sexist, racist, mysogyinstic asshole I am. Please.

    The point is, there are now two options. Either join the A+ movement, or be labeled an unworthy knuckle-dragger. It’s not a choice – it’s more like “Believe in me or suffer the punishment”.

    There’s a reason I’m an atheist, and it has very little to do with being told what to do by an authority figure. Quite frankly I resent the implication that I am a lesser atheist, unless I go to confession at FTB and beg forgiveness from its leaders.

    Since it’s clear you missed what I said, I’ll repeat it:

    I’m sure that a great many people who don’t join the A+ movement are really nice people who aren’t haters of women and gays. Maybe they just don’t want to be part of a movement.
    Not being part of A+ does not make one automatically a misogynist.

    You keep trotting out this either/or argument which is NOT based in reality. If you don’t want to join, you don’t have to. There aren’t penalties for not joining. I really don’t understand why you’re having such a difficult time with this.

    No one is saying that if you don’t join this movement you are a misogynist.

    In fact, if someone were to say that, they’d likely get shot down fast. The movement is in its beginning stages, so there aren’t that many people involved. If we were to label anyone not part of A+ a misogynist, that would be 99% of humanity. Again, no one is saying that. Why are you so attached to an argument that’s not even being brought forth?

  156. 156
    Hunt

    No one will call you an “enemy” if you don’t identify that way.

    Er,um (sub-audibly says…) “carrier” Yes, on another post I said I wouldn’t keep bringing up his blog, but yes, that is his position, and I think hammering out that particular bit of ideology should be put on the front burner. A lot of the trouble here is being exacerbated by the libertarian mindset that “I’m not going to be forced to pledge my allegiance to something, even if I believe in it.” The solution, I think, is to convince people of the practical utility of throwing all our weight behind a new movement that supersedes and subsumes the old one, just as New Atheism replaced the older anemic, covert, quiet, and accomodationist atheism. I have doubts whether people will actually identify as “I’m Atheist Plus!” in conversation, just as people have not generally said “I’m a New Atheist!,” while almost all vocal atheists in the last five to seven years have implicitly been New Atheists, but the movement, idea and label have always been there.

  157. 157
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Er,um (sub-audibly says…) “carrier” Yes, on another post I said I wouldn’t keep bringing up his blog, but yes, that is his position, and I think hammering out that particular bit of ideology should be put on the front burner.

    Fair enough. But I am not Richard Carrier.

    But–what would you have one do in the face of someone who actively resists the foregrounding of social justice? What would you expect progressive people to think?

  158. 158
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    ezekiel:

    But I’d rather not do it under a banner that says “I’m an atheist, and I’m better than those other ones”.

    From your comments, it seems to me that you have a problem feeling that you’re better than someone else. That’s something you have to deal with (if you so choose).
    Me, I AM better than misogynistic, homophobic, sexist, transphobic asshats.

    There.
    I said it.
    I don’t feel bad about it either.

  159. 159
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    A lot of the trouble here is being exacerbated by the libertarian mindset that “I’m not going to be forced to pledge my allegiance to something, even if I believe in it.” The solution, I think,

    In my experience there is no “solution” for such people. They can’t be reached. They approach the world with an attitude of reflexive reactance. I’m not interested in trying to reason with that because experience tells me it’s so deeply wired it’s a fool’s errand. I’m grateful for people like you who will spend the time trying, and perhaps getting through to some of the less hardened cases, but I’m not willing to invest my time.

  160. 160
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And convincing people of the “practical utility” of throwing their weight behind my cause is a precarious bet. Once they decide it’s not in their favor they become apathetic or active opponents. I don’t need that, and I’m not willing to be on my guard constantly for an “ally” that will turn and stab me in the back. I much prefer identifying them upfront and cutting them out completely.

  161. 161
    Ace of Sevens

    @ Josh: You’re doing it right now. You support call-outs, therefore you’re a better social justice activist than me. That’s very meta. I’m not saying calling people out is always bad, but defining you’re movement around kicking out the assholes, which is where A+ seems to be going, means you’re always looking for more assholes to kick out, which is antithetical to doing anything useful.

    To reuse my earlier example, animal welfare is part of the A+ platform as laid out by Jen. IIRC, you are not a vegan. Therefore, I need to either call you out and say you don’t support animal welfare and not an A plusser or we might as well invite budding serial killers who shoot their neighbors’ cats to our conferences.

    Here’s a useful article on where this goes:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/10/17/call-out-culture-and-blogging-as-performance/

    If A + is a movement about the intersection of atheism and social justice, like Edwin explained it, I’m all for it. If it’s about calling out and shunning the atheists who aren’t sufficiently pure, as it seems from many other sources, then I’m with Natalie. Fuck it.

  162. 162
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Hunt @157:
    I stand corrected.
    I second what Josh said: I’m not Richard Carrier.
    I haven’t read his comments about A+, but from what I’ve heard he’s taken on a more strident position. I’ll check that out later. For now, remember, he’s not the leader of the movement. In fact, I hope there won’t *be* a leader, per se (maybe a public face for the movement, but we don’t need a Pope).

    A lot of the trouble here is being exacerbated by the libertarian mindset that “I’m not going to be forced to pledge my allegiance to something, even if I believe in it.”

    I don’t understand that at all.
    No one is forcing anyone to join A+. You don’t *have* to pledge your allegiance if you don’t want to.
    You don’t have to pledge your allegiance even if you agree 200% with A+.

  163. 163
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    @ Josh: You’re doing it right now. You support call-outs, therefore you’re a better social justice activist than me. That’s very meta

    Read it any way you want. I’m putting my time and effort behind people who won’t put up with misogny, racism, homophobia, or casual privilege. If you’re on board, awesome. If not, bye. Don’t care.

  164. 164
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    How come when I try to subscribe to this thread of Greta’s I get confirmation notices for six different FtB blogs?

    There must be some kind of software bug; normally when I accidentally click the “subscribe” checkbox I get at least one for every blog on the network.

  165. 165
    Jadehawk

    Like I didn’t really notice how sexist the Expendables movie is. It is, and it isn’t like the creators thought “hey, let’s not have any women to make sure they know they aren’t as good as us dudes.”

    well, I pretty much expected that part of it. It was a given that this was a dudely dudefest.

    the bit of sexism that jumped out at me personally in that movie was when they actually had to completely break a character to make sure the one woman in the move actually behaves properly womanly: super badass rebel and shit, but when she’s one step from achieving victory, she prevents it by suddenly becoming pacifist? because girls can’t want to see a dictator dead? what?

    anyway, sorry for the derail.

  166. 166
    Ace of Sevens

    @164: How does the A+ movement help you with that? Does it make you any more effective at not putting up with misogyny, racism, homophobia and casual privilege, or is it just another bit of jargon to add to your explanation of your views?

    I understand you’re not Richard Carrier, but the A+ label is ultimately defined by how people use it. If different people define it to mean different things, it’s going to end up pretty meaningless, so a cohesive idea of what it is is pretty relevant.

    I agreed with you until a couple months ago when my attempt to call out Thunderf00t started a storm of shit, solved nothing and ultimately led to organized harassment of some of my favorite bloggers and strained relations with quite a few of them as well. FOr a better example, look at the well-meaning people who decided that Laci Green was insufficiently committed to social justice based on something she said when she was a kid and didn’t know any better and a few things that were taken out of context or badly misinterpreted and decide it was their socially-conscious duty to hound her out of the movement.

    Explaining why people are wrong is necessary. Saying someone is a bad person is sometimes justified and occasionally necessary, but really bad as a general goal because you’ll end up overusing the hell out of it.

  167. 167
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ace of Sevens:
    I don’t think that specifically calling people out is part of Jen’s vision of A+. That said, people are going to employ different tactics to accomplish their goals. I see nothing wrong with Josh calling people out for their bigoted behavior while he works to advance social justice.

    With A+ we want people who are concerned about advancing equality for all. They don’t have to all operate by the *exact* same handbook getting there.

  168. 168
    Ace of Sevens

    @168: I agree. Ultimately, the movement is whatever people do under the banner, not what Jen says, though.

  169. 169
    triamacleod

    I don’t understand the arguing between one group trying to ‘elevate’ themselves above another. That isn’t how I’m seeing it. I’m seeing it more as a branding issue.

    Original A for those who like their atheism straight up with no frills, no additives, just plain non-belief.

    Atheism Plus, for those who want a little extra social equality/activism to go along with their non-belief.

    This thread currently sounds like people arguing that they feel personally devalued for liking their whiskey straight because others prefer it mixed with cola. It is still whiskey, that hasn’t changed, If you mix it with soda, seltzer, lime, or ice, it is still going to be whiskey. – probably not the best analogy, I’m sure someone can come up with much better but it’s past 0300 and I’m still flabbergasted over the amount of arguing and name calling over what appears to be a simple act of branding/marketing to inform consumers/participants as to what to expect.

    Is there some part of the argument that I’m not getting or are people making a mountain out of a molehill?

  170. 170
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    means you’re always looking for more assholes to kick out, which is antithetical to doing anything useful.

    My. I had no idea.

    Perhaps you are anticipating problems that may not end up being as severe as you think.

    Will there be squabbling? Oh yeah. Will some people advance positions that are not accepted by all? Uh huh. Should we give it a try anyhow”? FOR SURE!

  171. 171
    Ace of Sevens

    I’ve seen it before. I’ve been told I’m an apologist for the oppressor for voting Democrat, supporting regulated capitalism and saying there’s nothing inherently wrong with genetically engineered foods. The last one also means I’m not welcome in vegan circles despite being quite hardcore otherwise. I don’t want to see the atheist movement turn into my local Occupy.

  172. 172
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    Ace of Sevens,

    That doesn’t mean you don’t ever give it a try. Dude, I have been called a racist because I supported having places for non-whites in the shelter I helped run. I’ve been told I’m not a real feminist because I got married. And I’m sure there will be more stuff in future.

    You have to try, though, all the same.

  173. 173
    IBTP

    Josh @155 *cough*Fincke*cough*

    @Ace of Sevens – there’s a reason that Feministe doesn’t like being called out, and that’s because it’s a disgusting septic tank sloshing with racism, transphobia, ableism, classism, and the worst kind of apologetics for religious bigotry.

    The lead writer is someone who has no shame at all in blaming marginalised people for their own oppression, then permabanning them when they object. She claims that the site is primarily about discussing hats (I’m serious) and so minorities have no rights to expect proper social justice discussions. She’s hosted rapists, racists, ableists and transphobes. If you check out the front page you’ll see she’s currently threatening WOC who object to racism and cultural appropriation from a current guest blogger.

    You bet your arse she hates call-outs, people drunk on their own privilege usually do.

    You’ve proved Josh’s point for him by linking that.

  174. 174
    Ace of Sevens

    @Lyn: You don’t give up on feminism, but it would put me off the idea of a feminist splinter group whose main plank is “no bad feminists who make the movement look bad” pretty quickly.

  175. 175
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Ace of Sevens: One of the main reason I didn’t get involved with my (tiny) local occupy was that they were making GMO labelling a core issue (and focusing on petitions over direct action). And the animal rights issue is an obvious landmine for A+. Personally I find Jen’s inclusion of “animal welfare” objectionable – because I am an abolitionist. There are obviously plenty of people on the other extreme as well. I don’t want to piss on anyone’s parade, but I’m going to have to wait on see how this all shakes out.

  176. 176
    Pteryxx

    means you’re always looking for more assholes to kick out,

    Okay, NO. That’s a completely fallacious and insulting interpretation. Assholes *insert themselves* into the conversations, derail, harass, and silence. Don’t claim that the targets of such treatment go looking for it. Nor that “kicking out” is a goal in itself, with kicked-out points and a scoreboard somewhere. The only reason to kick someone out is to protect other people from the damage they’re doing. I don’t expect anyone trustworthy is going to argue that Tim up there should NOT have been banned from these discussions.

    However, someone who DOES argue that Tim deserves the benefit of the doubt, as wondering does at #87 above, isn’t showing themselves to be very trustworthy either. And here’s where it starts getting complicated, because most of the chilling effect that drives away people targeted by harassment isn’t the harassment itself; it’s that they can’t trust anyone to even hear their concerns or take them seriously. So, dismissing the problem is also harmful behavior that needs to be curtailed.

    There’s plenty of room for disagreement as to what level of mistake is tolerable, which is why Jen and a lot of us commenters have been pushing for 101-level spaces where these discussions can happen while minimizing the collateral damage done by (potentially) well-meaning but ignorant would-be allies. But mitigating the damage takes priority over trying to educate someone who’s actively doing harm.

  177. 177
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    @Lyn: You don’t give up on feminism, but it would put me off the idea of a feminist splinter group whose main plank is “no bad feminists who make the movement look bad” pretty quickly.

    No shit.

  178. 178
    Ace of Sevens

    @178: Plenty of people seem to have the idea that A+ is atheism minus the assholes who make the movement look bad. Every one of us has someone who thinks we’re an asshole.

    TO give some credit relative to my local occupy, at least no one has said that anyone who doesn’t support Ron Paul doesn’t support social justice so far as I’ve seen in the A+ discussions.

  179. 179
    Pteryxx

    further, on “looking for assholes”: Know what’ll happen when the derailing, insulting, and dismissing is kept to a minimum? ACTUAL DISCUSSION. For petes sake, all we wanted is to be able to discuss a problem like, say, needing harassment policies, without a 100:1 hate-to-discussion ratio. There are plenty of issues that some of us would like to get on with, while including folks who traditionally have been silenced and pushed away. Let the ones doing the silencing get pushed away for once.

    “Always looking for assholes to kick out” is just a reframing of “(you feminists/minorities are) always looking for things to be offended by”.

  180. 180
    Ace of Sevens

    @180: Some people really do that, or do you think the person who accused Jen of neglecting cisspecism in her list of things that A+ stands against needs to be taken seriously?

  181. 181
    Hunt

    In my experience there is no “solution” for such people. They can’t be reached. They approach the world with an attitude of reflexive reactance. I’m not interested in trying to reason with that because experience tells me it’s so deeply wired it’s a fool’s errand. I’m grateful for people like you who will spend the time trying, and perhaps getting through to some of the less hardened cases, but I’m not willing to invest my time.

    Psychological reactance might explain it better than libertarian ideals. I’m not that willing to argue with them either, except to appeal to their intelligence and point them to what they might be missing in the way of self-understanding. My impression is that these guys are usually pretty smart, and that might be enough.

  182. 182
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    “cisspeciesism”? ::snicker:: Wouldn’t want to leave out the otherkin would we?

  183. 183
    SallyStrange

    There’s a reason I’m an atheist, and it has very little to do with being told what to do by an authority figure. Quite frankly I resent the implication that I am a lesser atheist, unless I go to confession at FTB and beg forgiveness from its leaders.

    I’ve been there before and I do not like it.

    Speaking of reactance…

    I’m sorry you have issues with authority. Your personal inability to get past that emotional reaction isn’t a counter-argument.

  184. 184
    Ace of Sevens

    Or, to use an example from this thread, what about the guys who take #mencallmethings to be some sexist generalization about men? Aren’t they being over-sensitive and looking to read offense into things? This does really happen and is used to derail social justice movements.

  185. 185
    Pteryxx

    @180: Some people really do that,

    Do what? Specify please.

    or do you think the person who accused Jen of neglecting cisspecism in her list of things that A+ stands against needs to be taken seriously?

    If you mean the person who spewed a huge list of supposed issues, no I don’t think they need to be taken seriously. The other folks who mentioned varying degrees of animal rights / veganism WERE taken seriously, specifically in that nobody suggested they were just inventing outrage to troll with, and nobody suggested those topics should NOT be worthy of eventual discussion. There have been contentious and mostly-respectful discussions on that before; I’m sure there will be again, even in A+ spaces.

  186. 186
    Ace of Sevens

    @186: I mean there are people who claim offense for illegitimate reasons, whether motivated by oversensitivity, trolling or it just makes them feel like a special snowflake. They derail social justice discussions, whether purposely or not. Yes, people also claim that offense is illegitimate as a way of dismissing legit claims, but that doesn’t mean all claims are legit.

    Other examples: Amy Dentata saying Natalie was racist for criticizing religion, all the claims of religious persecution from the FRC, the various people who called Natalie a rape apologist for saying trans people are not obligated to disclose.

  187. 187
    Nick Gotts

    I am fully behind the values that Atheism+ allegedly stands for. Who doesn’t want to fight racism, sexism, homophobia and every other social ill? – ezekiel

    Who doesn’t? Srsly? Have you been living as a hermit in remotest Erewhon for the last year? For that matter, have you read the OP? You may think you’re “fully behind the values”, but you quite evidently have absolutely no idea of the problems being addressed.

  188. 188
    Pteryxx

    @186: I mean there are people who claim offense for illegitimate reasons, whether motivated by oversensitivity, trolling or it just makes them feel like a special snowflake. They derail social justice discussions, whether purposely or not. Yes, people also claim that offense is illegitimate as a way of dismissing legit claims, but that doesn’t mean all claims are legit.

    Okay… and this has what relevance to the claim that forming an A+ community *entails* “always looking for assholes to kick out” ?

  189. 189
    Nick Gotts

    I’ve been told I’m an apologist for the oppressor for voting Democrat, supporting regulated capitalism and saying there’s nothing inherently wrong with genetically engineered foods. The last one also means I’m not welcome in vegan circles despite being quite hardcore otherwise. I don’t want to see the atheist movement turn into my local Occupy. – Ace of Sevens

    You have a serious point (although I don’t think putting it in this “I’ve been told” form is at all useful), but I think you’re overestimating the danger of a single issue or viewpoint taking over. The main point of Atheism+, as far as I can see, is to have an atheist movement where people of all genders, gender identifications, sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds, physical and psychological conditions, etc., can take part without fear of harassment, and with the confidence that they will be supported in challenging privilege. To make that possible, a commitment to social justice is a necessity, but people can quite legitimately differ on the form of that commitment, and what issues they prioritize. Personally, I think the “animal welfare” component Jen put in might have been better left out, not because I’m opposed to animal welfare (full disclosure: I’m lacto-ovo-vegetarian and careful about the sources of the animal products I buy, but not vegan), but because it’s not directly related to the goal of a privilege-free atheist space; but I very much doubt that Atheism+ is going to become either a vegan-only group, or vegan-hostile. Similarly, I’m a socialist, but I’m not going to try and make socialism a membership requirement (let alone my particular brand of socialism).

    In any case, the only way to find out is to try – if you don’t want to be involved at present, fine. Either you’ll turn out to be right; or you’ll turn out to be wrong and can get involved later if you change your mind.

  190. 190
    Ace of Sevens

    Okay… and this has what relevance to the claim that forming an A+ community *entails* “always looking for assholes to kick out” ?

    I explained that up thread. When a movement is defined by who you are excluding, it creates a perception that the more people you exclude, the better your movement is. We’re seeing early signs of a GTFO attitude already. We can’t trust people to avoid this by being reasonable because that’s never worked before. If A+ is defined by taking positive actions for social justice (which will sometimes require organizing against anti-justice forces) rather than by it’s antipathy to people who oppose social justice, I’m all for it. If it’s the latter, it becomes a contest.

  191. 191
    Ace of Sevens

    TO put it another way, I want a pro-social-justice movement, but it’s looking like we’re getting an anti-anti-social-justice movement instead.

  192. 192
    julian

    We’re seeing early signs of a GTFO attitude already.

    Likely has more to do with the way you all have been insisting this is a cult (among other less nice things) from the get go.

    “Ok, then piss off.” is a normal response to the “othering” you guys initiated.

  193. 193
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    “you all” “you guys” who are you talking about? Ace of Sevens (me?)? When did they insist “this is a cult”? This is exactly the problem. Unless Ace has made some absurd comments somewhere I’m not aware of you seem to be conflating “I agree with the goals, but I’m not sure I want to sign on with the brand just yet” with a rejection of everything you think A+ stand for. Not everyone with reservations is a slimepitter.

  194. 194
    julian

    Reading people like ezekial, who’ve made their contempt clear, I have to wonder, what’s keeping all of you here? Why is this important to you? Why do you care?

    There is literally nothing happening here that’s going to affect your community. Nothing. At most it eats up the time of a few bloggers you all already consider sub par. Isn’t that what you wanted? Them focusing on other things so that you can get back to real issues?

    I don’t understand how you can get exactly what you asked for but still whine so damn much. Get back to that work you were so annoyed at being distracted from. Get back to being little a atheists. Get back to doing “proper” skepticism. Do all those things this last year or so kept distracting people from.

  195. 195
    julian

    Not everyone with reservations is a slimepitter.

    Who cares if you’re a slimepitter or not? Have you been following the blow up over atheism+? I stand by what I said.

    btw, it isn’t slimepitters calling this a crazed cult.

  196. 196
    Ace of Sevens

    Seconding dysomniak. I don’t disagree with the goals. At least, I agree with the way Jen laid them out and was initially excited by the prospect. I just don’t want this to go the way of the socialists where plenty of groups will tell you the other groups aren’t socialist at all and are trying to ride the coattails of the true socialists and it seems like that’s right where it’s headed. Granted, we were headed there already since most of my examples are from before a week ago, but I don’t want to encourages the tendency.

  197. 197
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    You were responding directly to Ace. Where did they ever imply anything about a “crazed cult”?

    If you really think that anyone who isn’t on board with the brand is automatically an enemy then you are part of the fucking problem.

  198. 198
    julian

    If you really think that anyone who isn’t on board with the brand is automatically an enemy then you are part of the fucking problem.

    I don’t think that. I’ve never thought anything like that. Fuck, my first comments and posts about atheism+ were critical. Most still are (and I still can’t stand how this keeps getting called a movement) but jesus. This whole fucking thing has gone the way of “Guys don’t do that.”

  199. 199
    julian

    And it isn’t slimepitters saying things like “this is just a cult.” It’s pretty much every non FTB affiliated atheists/skeptic (and quiet a few that are.)

  200. 200
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Maybe I got the wrong impression when you said

    Who cares if you’re a slimepitter or not?

    Or when you quoted Ace and then talked about people claiming A+ is a cult.

    You still haven’t clarified what you meant by that.

  201. 201
    Ace of Sevens

    Yeah. I was saying Thunderf00t was an ableist jerk who was hurting the movement way before it was cool. I think kicking him off was unfortunate, but it’s not like FTB had much choice. I think overt sexism is ridiculously common in the atheist movement, as is transphobia and subtle forms of racism and homophobia are way more common than I’d like. Codes of conduct and comment guidelines are both good ways to deal with this in different venues. I’ve been pretty clear on all these issues and I’m a fairly active poster.

    But I disagree that A+ as it’s been used is necessarily goigg to help with these problems, so I’m one of “you guys” (aka them) and a proponent of othering. Othering is exactly what you are doign with your your last few posts, julian and that is exactly my complaint about A+.

  202. 202
    Pteryxx

    When a movement is defined by who you are excluding, it creates a perception that the more people you exclude, the better your movement is.

    That’d be a fair point, IF it actually applied. Other than possibly Carrier, I don’t see anyone saying A+ ought to be all about kicking the bums out and then we’re done; quite the opposite. But I sure see a lot of people *claiming that’s what it’s about*. Such as:

    We’re seeing early signs of a GTFO attitude already.

    Y’know, I’d like to hear how exactly you propose the douchebags like Tim in the OP *should* be dealt with besides GTFO. Enduring them doesn’t work. Educating them doesn’t work. Engaging them doesn’t work. And all those efforts are costing potential decent people who shouldn’t have to put up with this crap in order to talk about anything, much less atheism which is touchy enough already.

    I say again, Jen and others have from the beginning held for a 101-level discussion space where engagement can happen without detracting from the main discussion. I don’t see any of you folks with concerns even acknowledging that a graduated response exists between enduring harassment and wholesale banning-from-the-entire-movement of anyone who screws up. Right now, I don’t see anything substantive to distinguish your position, AceofSevens, from those folks who claimed kicking Thunderfoot off FTB was a transgression of his free speech. There have to be ground rules for behavior before anything can get accomplished. That is going to involve making judgement calls, and I’d be more inclined to feel sorry about that if any other alternative existed.

  203. 203
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    FFS Pteryxx, just look at julian’s comment in this thread to see the GTFO directed at anyone who doesn’t like the label, regardless of their values or actions.

  204. 204
    julian

    Fine. I’m not adding anything and just being divisive, so I’ll withdraw from the conversation.

  205. 205
    julian

    Ok, fuck you. I didn’t say gtfo. I said, why are you around if you don’t want to be here. There’s a difference.

    Back to flouncing.

  206. 206
    Ace of Sevens

    I told Tim to GTFO last week. (assuming he’s the guy who posted similar stuff at Thunderf00t’s blog. It’s possible 2 people are dumb enough to think that they can make Greta cry by slut-shaming her.) My problem is when you generalize from people like Tim who put a good deal of effort into being assholes to people like ezekiel. While Carrier is the only main blogger I’ve seen do this, plenty of commenters have as well and I don’t think you can discount them when considerign the A+ label any more than you can discount the people who are “skeptical” of global warming and feminism when considering the skeptic label, which, as you probably recall, was one of the main reasons the A+ label was created.

  207. 207
    Lyn M: G.R.O.S.T. (ADM) -- Membership pending

    OK, Ace of Sevens, you’re right. I will go on with A+ but it will all be awful.

    Bye now.

  208. 208
    gerry

    I see two things at issue hear, who should be out of A+ and how should we get them out. Lets say people fit into one of the following 4 categories on various issues.

    1) People ready for higher level discussions on an issue
    2) people who need some 101 level education on an issue and know they need some 101 level education.
    3) people who need 101 level education and don’t realize they need it.
    4) people who are actively destructive.

    Obviously there are no sharp lines between these categories. I think most people agree that those in category 4 (for example Tim) need to get lost. Personally I’m quite happy to have a deep rift between me and the people spewing insults at anyone who wants harassment policies at conferences. There seems to be some disagreement on who if anyone else needs to go, and how to get rid of the people who do need to go. Imagine a person who supports harassment policies, is pro choice, supports legislation ensuring equal pay for women extra, but who has confused feminism with some populars stereotypes of feminism. Such a person is probably in category 3 with respect to gender equality. Should that person be excluded? If so how?

    As for how to get rid of problematic people, I think if someone hosted an event that was mostly talks about atheism and social justice people like Tim will ether not show up, or promptly make an ass of themselves and get booted. Ditto for online places, though I do see the value in a highly moderated forum for higher level discussions.

  209. 209
    hoary puccoon

    I’d be interested to hear from ezekiel–

    In your opposition to misogyny, did you call out anyone who somehow downgraded a pass at four a.m. in an elevator to “a polite request for coffee?”

    Did you jump in to support women when they got the, “you just shouldn’t let it bother you” response every time they tried to discuss real problems?

    Did you object when women were told if they posed for a nude calendar, they had made themselves liable to any approach any man wanted to make to them, anytime, anyhow, anywhere?

    If you have been supporting women on those issues, you will be a real loss to A+. If you’ve been holding back, saying, “well, there’s two sides…” then A+ really isn’t your thing.

    But so what? Lots of groups aren’t your thing. It doesn’t mean the local duplicate bridge club is divisive if they don’t want you there playing 52 pick-up. Atheism+ is for whoever is interested in pursuing social justice. Not for whoever wants to play the internet version of 52 pick-up. It’s as simple as that.

  210. 210
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ace, regarding the Feministe link in your #162: There is some missing backstory there.

    In the last few years in the feminist blogosphere, which loosely includes sites like LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, there has indeed been a toxic “call-out culture.” It’s toxic because cogent arguments about why someone is wrong, and/or relevant citations, have been nearly completely replaced by insults, catchphrases like “You sound white,” .gifs of people rolling their eyes, and the like. And not just a handful of comments but sometimes hundreds of them, as people call in their friends to, literally, “join the party.” IOW, dogpiles.

    To say that this is what’s been happening on FTB, or this is what will happen as A+ gets ramped up, is a serious stretch. The site structure alone mitigates this tendency. More importantly, FTB is run by people with a lot of activist experience, and the bloggers championing A+ are by and large good moderators, better than I’ve seen in the circles of blogs dedicated primarily to feminism and light-years better than on social-networking platforms like LJ.

    The dogpile participants aren’t necessarily oppressed people or their allies; sometimes they’re just assholes who have taken up social justice as a shield behind which they hide their assholery. Some of them have stalked and harassed people who committed or were perceived to commit some kind of fail — e.g., Laci Green on Tumblr. (Note that among social-justice warriors outside of FTB, religious privilege is almost never challenged.) I don’t want to get into other cases because the details are highly trigger and because I don’t want to risk subjecting the victims to more harassment.

    More importantly, as comments like #4 and #6 on the Feministe thread note, Tiger Beatdown, where the OP was initially posted, has been a major part of that culture. The impassioned pleas to “stop these toxic callouts and dogpiles!” didn’t arise until the most notorious dogpilers found themselves on the “wrong side.”

    Regarding A+ itself, I have to agree with the people who think that the concern trolling about its “dangers” is an overreaction. If it’s unpopular outside of FTB and Skepchick, maybe it’s because people on those two sites have overwhelmingly borne the brunt of misogynist and other types of abuse in the last year. And I rather disagree that it is, because Jen’s post brought out a ton of new commenters, some of whom may not have been long-time lurkers.

    IBTP, #174: I’m no fan of Feministe at all, but if you’re a Twisty Faster regular, as your handle implies, I would be careful about throwing stones when it comes to privilege, especially re classism and transphobia.

    Feministe is all about “discussing hats”? It would behoove you to describe the circumstances of this post honestly: Jill Filipovic put up a light-hearted photo of a ridiculous hat, and a few commenters got outraged that Feministe might post a pic of a royal family member without totally deconstructing and condemning monarchy. I’m anti-monarchist but that was ridiculous. There should be room on blogs dedicated to SJ for light-hearted things, because most people need a bit of levity in order to keep slogging on, and there’s a level beyond which deconstructing things is exhausting and rather pointless.

    As for “ableism,” that is a contentious topic on which people with disabilities themselves have a multitude of opinions. If you use the term to describe the application of skepticism to concepts like “multiple chemical sensitivity” or the use of the word “stupid” to describe an ill-advised comment, you will not get the same agreement you would get by declaring the N-word racist, nor should you expect to.

  211. 211
    Joel

    This is so disgusting, I am a male career prosecutor of sex crimes against children and women and, when conducting a trial, I have to try to detect and weed out those with antiquated ideas about sex and rape. – basically to bypass the rape culture as much as possible so they will listen to the evidence fairly. Th double standards between men and women expressing their sexuality are very prevalent, still.

    Keep up the excellent work, Greta. I’d still like to think most men in the atheists movement are feminists.

  212. 212
    coelsblog

    julian:

    And it isn’t slimepitters saying things like “this is just a cult.” It’s pretty much every non FTB affiliated atheist/skeptic (and quite a few that are.)

    And does that not give you at least some pause for thought about how the FTB tone might be being perceived by “pretty much every non-FTB-affiliated atheist/skeptic (and quite a few that are)” — even by the large numbers among them who are actually largely in agreement with your core values?

    Pteryxx:

    Y’know, I’d like to hear how exactly you propose the douchebags like Tim in the OP *should* be dealt with besides GTFO.

    Why of course the only reaction to the likes of him is “GTFO”. But the question is whether the GTFO attitude is also appropriate towards the large numbers of people who also deplore “Tim” and don’t want to associate with him, and yet may have some genuine reservations about FTB or A+.

    And can you really not see that many such people are routinely given the “GTFO” reply on FTB for voicing any departure whatsoever from FTB orthodoxy (Pharyngula being by far the worst)?

    Any comment like this meets the immediate reply “well we need to say GTFO to Tim”. And, yes, you do! But you don’t need to say GTFO to the large number of others who are largely in agreement with you, and agree with the stated core values of A+, but still have a lot of well-justified reservations about the GTFO-style attitudes they commonly meet from FTB regulars. (The host of this blog is not included in this criticism.)

  213. 213
    julian

    And does that not give you at least some pause for thought

    Yes. Poster FictionFaith put the thought I had perfectly. That they would rather have 10 Tim’s than a single Carrier or Watson or Greta.

  214. 214
    julian

    Ok, I really am shutting up now. I’m derailing and just acting like an ass. Bye, ya’ll.

  215. 215
    Pteryxx

    And can you really not see that many such people are routinely given the “GTFO” reply on FTB for voicing any departure whatsoever from FTB orthodoxy

    Y’know, I WAS giving you some benefit of the doubt before that. Now I’m pretty certain that you’re not interested in good-faith discussion at all and you’re just here to poison the discussion. Fortunately that makes an object lesson out of you.

    I have a lot more patience for engaging and educating than most of the folks on Pharyngula (for which I have the best experience to compare, less so on the rest of FTB). Most of the regulars will go to GTFO mode looooong before I do. And after a year of this? Usually they turn out to be right and I’m wrong. Almost always, I’d say 95% of the time, someone who starts out with reasonable-sounding plausibly ignorant objections to some established fact of feminism devolves into outright misogyny when challenged. Tim up there’s a typical example. I can still count on both hands the number of contentious individuals I’ve seen change their stance in A YEAR. There’s not even one a month. However, many more lurkers have come forward to thank the Pharyngula crew specifically FOR their fierce arguments, some as survivors who feel safe there, some who were educated just by witnessing the process. There might be a dozen lurkers thanking us in just one thousand-comment thread. I’ve personally had about half a dozen lurkers thank me for collateral educating, but I’ve only helped change the mind of three arguers directly. In a year.

    So no, I’m not particularly concerned about all those people supposedly driven away solely by tone, instead of by using the tone as an excuse not to be challenged on their biases. I’m more concerned about the much greater and more deserving number who *want* to participate in supportive discussion, but can’t because the JAQ’ers swamp it with repetitive noise. That includes regulars and even bloggers who are burned out on constantly trying to educate and having their good faith efforts thrown back in their faces 95% of the time.

    As I keep repeating (and y’all keep eliding) the better solution is to shunt these persistent questioners into a 101-level space so the discussions can go on without them. Currently there is no such space on FTB, so the regulars trying to educate *have no choice* but to say GTFO when it becomes clear that someone’s not worth the effort. Also, some regulars are going to say GTFO faster than others, depending on their own judgement, expertise, burnout level and preferences. Again, I rarely say it and I’m almost always wrong not to. I’m not going to condemn julian up there for giving less quarter to AceofSevens than I am, because I’m not sure he’s wrong to do so. I still would rather do my educating outside the protected space that A+ers are asking for, so I’m not contributing to their exclusion by my indulgence of probable assholes like yourselves.

  216. 216
    triamacleod

    And can you really not see that many such people are routinely given the “GTFO” reply on FTB for voicing any departure whatsoever from FTB orthodoxy (Pharyngula being by far the worst)?

    No one is saying there won’t be learning curves on each side. Some people will need to seriously evaluate their feelings on certain subjects to decide whether they feel comfortable in a A+ setting, some people will ‘almost’ be there but need a gentle hand towards some 101 learning. I expect those to be the biggest ‘grey’ areas. (think of the 1-4 list above).

    Many people who support A+ will need to tone down the GTFO attitude and comments for the greater good, but I also realize, just from reading this single article and the responses, that many people are at a boiling point over their mistreatment and have simply had enough. Now there is hope that there is going to be a community that shares their values and intents and they are going to be fiercely protective of this. To many of us it represents hope. That finally, not only is someone ‘getting’ what we’ve been saying for years but that they are actually willing to ‘do’ something about it.

    That is a very powerful thing, giving voice to the disenfranchised. Those of us who have grown up being told we don’t count because we’re not the right color, gender, belief system, able bodied, etc. ‘get’ how much this is needed and wanted. Compare it to the civil rights movements of the 60′s, do you think that didn’t have people screaming on both sides?

    A+, like nearly ever aspect of Humanity, it going to consist of a spectrum of people. Some will be calm and quite, some will be in your face and unapologetic, most will fall somewhere in the middle. To call out those few who are loudly protective and claim they represent the entirety of A+ is just as wrong as pointing to the TIM’s and claiming they represent all of original A. Neither is true and you cannot possibly have an honest debate or discussion by throwing stones at the outliers.

  217. 217
    Greta Christina

    Going to try to respond to several things at once here.

    1: Please do not say “fuck you” to other commenters here, or otherwise personally insult them. This is not Pharyngula, and it is definitely not the Thunderdome. Remember my comment policy. Criticize ideas and actions — don’t insult people.

    2: I urge you all to read Jen’s FAQ about Atheism Plus, which answers many questions and misconceptions about it. Including many of the ones being raised here.

    3: If there are people saying, “If you’re not on board with Atheism+, then you’re a bigot/asshole,” I disagree vehemently with these people. As I’m saying in a piece I’m working on now and will be posting in a couple/ few days: If you’re wary about Atheism Plus and want to see where it’s going before you decide whether to get involved… that’s fine with me. If you understand the motivations behind Atheism Plus, but prefer to align with another segment of the godless community, such as secular humanism… that’s fine with me. If you can see why people would want to form Atheism Plus, but personally prefer to keep your activism focused on more traditional atheist issues… that’s fine with me.

    There is, however, a difference between simply not wanting to participate in A+ (or not wanting to do so yet), and being actively hostile to the very idea of anyone else doing it.

    4: Some people have asked, “Why do you have to form a new thing, a new subset? Why don’t you just kick the assholes who are now in atheism out?” My question: How, precisely, do you propose doing that? We’ve been pushing back on the assholery for a solid year. It’s not getting better. Or rather: it is getting better, we’ve done a lot of education and have made a lot of allies, but the assholes have not stopped their assholery. How do you propose getting rid of them? And how would that be less “divisive” or “elitist” than just forming our own subset of the movement with people who share our values and goals?

    5: The question has been raised about whether Atheism Plus is focused on carving out a community/ movement that’s safe for marginalized people and where we can talk about social justice without being trolled or harassed or derailed — i.e., is it focused on making atheism itself more welcoming — or whether it’s focused on doing social justice work in the world at large. My own vision for it, and my understanding of Jen’s vision for it, is that it will do both. Probably more the former than the latter at first — but the former carries over into the latter. The first project of Atheism Plus, the one being worked on now, is creating a website that will host a clearinghouse of information about social justice issues, so people who want to can get educated, and that will host a discussion forum. This will create a space for a community of like-minded people, educate others who are interested in these ideas… AND give people better tools for social justice work, both within atheism and outside of it.

    Which leads me to 6: A question has been raised about Atheism Plus’s approach to people who want and/ or need Social Justice 101 education, and how to do that while still letting the 201 conversations go on without being derailed. The forum being planned is almost certainly going to have both: spaces dedicated to 201-level conversations, and spaced where people can have the 101-level conversations without being yelled at by people who are trying to have a 201 conversation and are sick of getting derailed. Again: read Jen’s FAQ about Atheism Plus.

    I think that’s everything. Well, no it’s not, but it’s all I have time and patience for now.

  218. 218
    coelsblog

    Julian:

    Yes. Poster FictionFaith put the thought I had perfectly. That they would rather have 10 Tim’s than a single Carrier or Watson or Greta.

    Well, no he didn’t, he said he’d rather have 10 Tims than a single Carrier. He wasn’t criticising Watson or Greta. (By the way, I completely disagree with him on this, and said so above; this is only a factual correction, not support for that sentiment.)

  219. 219
    coelsblog

    Pteryxx:

    Y’know, I WAS giving you some benefit of the doubt before that. Now I’m pretty certain that you’re not interested in good-faith discussion at all and you’re just here to poison the discussion.

    That reply basically supports my point. Especially when your reply goes on to admit the very thing I was suggesting in the bit you replied to — namely that Pharyngula is a place with quick and frequent resort to “GTFO”. (And, no, it isn’t always directed at misogynist haters, often it is directed at those with fairly minor disagreements with opinions of the Pharyngula horde.)

  220. 220
    CT

    Pterryx:

    So no, I’m not particularly concerned about all those people supposedly driven away solely by tone, instead of by using the tone as an excuse not to be challenged on their biases. I’m more concerned about the much greater and more deserving number who *want* to participate in supportive discussion, but can’t because the JAQ’ers swamp it with repetitive noise.

    Really? so because a few people are turned off by other people being eviscerated, you don’t care because they don’t deserve to be able to participate? How is that not divisive? As far as ‘supposedly’, I think it’s been mentioned enough in other spaces so that you can *drop* the ‘supposedly’ and just say ‘those people’.

  221. 221
    coelsblog

    triamacleod

    Many people who support A+ will need to tone down the GTFO attitude and comments for the greater good, but I also realize, just from reading this single article and the responses, that many people are at a boiling point over their mistreatment and have simply had enough. Now there is hope that there is going to be a community that shares their values and intents and they are going to be fiercely protective of this. To many of us it represents hope.

    I think that both your first and second points there are valid and sensible. I’ve never been a target of any of the sort of vitriol aimed at FTB/skepchicks/feminists, and so I am likely under-appreciating the “at boiling point over their mistreatment and have simply had enough”. I do think it has left some people way too trigger-happy, though that is perhaps understandable.

    I wish A+ well, it is aiming to make the world better and I hope it succeeds. And it’s because I wish A+ well that I hope it will be led by those who recognise that some A+ers “will need to tone down the GTFO attitude” (e.g. Jen, Greta) rather than those notables who usually play up and encourage that attitude (e.g. PZ, RC).

  222. 222
    LykeX

    Just one point here: Can we all just agree that being divisive is not necessarily a bad thing?
    Some divisions need to be made, some don’t. The fact that something is divisive is not in and of itself a bad thing.

  223. 223
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    That reply basically supports my point. Especially when your reply goes on to admit the very thing I was suggesting in the bit you replied to — namely that Pharyngula is a place with quick and frequent resort to “GTFO”. (And, no, it isn’t always directed at misogynist haters, often it is directed at those with fairly minor disagreements with opinions of the Pharyngula horde.)

    I think I see what Pteryxx is getting at. You originally said this:

    And can you really not see that many such people are routinely given the “GTFO” reply on FTB for voicing any departure whatsoever from FTB orthodoxy (Pharyngula being by far the worst)?

    What is this orthodoxy* you’re speaking of? You act like there’s a line to toe and if you don’t toe it, GTFO. Have you taken a look at the comments that lead Pharyngulites to say GTFO? The derailing comments, the trolling, the misogynistic comments? Pteryxx is immensely patient, whereas other posters, who have been dealing with this crap for a long time aren’t. Hence the GTFO. Yes, there might be the occasional good faith questions, but those are outliers.

    *there are some things that aren’t tolerated at Pharyngula (almost universally, which is where I think people get this idea that it’s an echo chamber with mindless minions who are slavishly devoted to PZ). If someone uses hate speech, gendered/homophobic/transphobic slurs, ableist or ageist speech, etc—>they’re going to get shot down FAST. Some people have the patience to try and explain why it’s bad to use that language, but again, that’s a derailing, and part of the idea of Pharyngula is to provide a safe space from that kind of hurtful, offensive, marginalizing language. I’m very happy that a place like Pharyngula exists. So are a lot of people who belong to marginalized groups.

  224. 224
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    LykeX:
    I agree. Divisiveness isn’t inherently bad. Especially in the case of A+, when we don’t want any slime involved.

  225. 225
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    LykeX:

    Can we all just agree that being divisive is not necessarily a bad thing?

    Can’t grow without some division…

  226. 226
    CT

    Remove assholes? sounds great, until you have people defining assholes as people who are not willing to ignore vicious tone. Or, hey, I know, why not just say they are undeserving because you know if you aren’t willing to be viciously attacked if you disagree with someone, you don’t deserve to belong anyway.

    Wait, but then, who decides who is ‘deserving’? I know. We’ll have a forum where you have to go and pass some sort of test to qualify for real discussion.

    Hopefully that’s not really the way it will be looked at but I’m not hopeful.

  227. 227
    wondering

    Greta Christina wrote:

    get the fuck out of my blog. Now.

    Yes, I have come to realize that this is what “Free”ThoughtBlogs is all about. Silence those who disagree with you.

    Free? Laughable.

    Goodbye.

  228. 228
    coelsblog

    Tony •King of the Hellmouth:

    What is this orthodoxy* you’re speaking of?

    It can be many things (and can be unrelated to feminism). To give a recent example, anyone who thinks that wearing a satirical t-shirt mentioning “bombs” and “gonna kill us all” through airport security is perhaps not very sensible, while also accepting that the reaction to it was a complete over-reaction, would be told to “f*** off”. Now, I don’t want to derail into that issue here, my point is that on that blog “f*** off” is the usual retort to any disagreement.

    You act like there’s a line to toe and if you don’t toe it, GTFO.

    Yep.

    Have you taken a look at the comments that lead Pharyngulites to say GTFO?

    Yes, often.

    The derailing comments, …

    Thread drift is a fact of internet life, on most boards it’s met with “err, can we get back on topic?” or similar, not “GTFO”. Anyhow, Pharyngula regulars are as bad as anyone at derailing, though it isn’t usually called out when they do it.

    the trolling,

    But “trolling” can be a synonym for “not toeing the line. If you don’t toe the orthodoxy then you’re accused of being in bad faith and hence are “trolling”. Thus the “trolling” accusation is one way the orthodoxy is enforced. And, yes, I have also seen many examples of, for example, “tone trolls” told to GTFO (it is not a retort reserved for the misogynists or the genuinely unacceptable).

    the misogynistic comments?

    On that one I agree with you, blatantly misogynistic comments should receive an aggressive response.

    Pteryxx is immensely patient, whereas other posters, who have been dealing with this crap for a long time aren’t. Hence the GTFO.

    So you’re agreeing with my characterisation of the place? It’s also the only blog that I read where the moderation actually encourages aggression and insults, rather than the opposite.

    Yes, there might be the occasional good faith questions, but those are outliers.

    It’s not so much good-faith questions, it’s more anyone who wants to argue and defend any position that deviates from the orthodoxy — “troll” is the new synonym for “heretic” (and, as above, this is not just about or even mainly about feminism or misogyny, it has infected just about every topic).

  229. 229
    LykeX

    @wondering

    If you’re going to misrepresent what people say, it’s a good idea not to do it in a place where people can easily check up on the facts.
    Seems you left out this part:

    If you honestly think that someone can say “GRETA CHRISTINA YOU FUCKIN HOE… I HOPE YOU GET RAPED YOU FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT… GO CHOKE ON A DICK AND DIE” — and that this is in any way made acceptable by following that up with some version of “I was just trying to provoke a reaction” — then…

    that went right before what you quoted. Kinda relevant, don’t you think?

    It’s an “if…then” statement, but you left out the conditional. It’s either dishonest or outrageously stupid. Which is it? Is it that you’re too fucking dumb to get why that’s bullshit or do you just not care?

    Of course, that’s just what I’ve come to expect. Every time you people show your stupidity and insincerity, I get more convinced that we’re in the right.

  230. 230
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    Silence those who disagree with you.

    So let me get this straight: You are complaining about being silenced on a blog, by posting a comment on that blog?

    Apparently you don’t know the definitions of ‘freethought’ or ‘silence’.

    (Meta: I know it isn’t productive to engage with this person, but I think it’s important to address the “I’m being silenced!” and “zomg censorship!” claims whenever they crop up since the trope is so frequently repeated.)

  231. 231
    LykeX

    Thread drift is a fact of internet life…

    It’s also a deliberate tactic used by people who want to draw attention away from the original topic.

  232. 232
    hoary puccoon

    For those who haven’t read the whole thread, wondering disagreed with Greta about whether she should be called a whore and threatened with rape and death. He was in favor of it.

    Yes, people like that should be silenced.

  233. 233
    CT

    LukeX

    It’s also a deliberate tactic used by people who want to draw attention away from the original topic.

    And the repeated pointing out that anyone who derails is a troll is a tactic used by people to — well, I don’t know why. Intentional derailing is not always trolling and neither is unintentional derailing. Getting vicious because someone is derailing and basically acting as if they are a troll is– well, trollish.

    Kind of like this derail. We went from talking about A+ to talking about derailing. Are we trolls? is this some kind of meta-test?

  234. 234
    LykeX

    Indeed, derailing can be a matter of bringing up a relevant tangent. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I was responding to coelsblog’s implication that derailing is just a fact of life that you need to accept.
    Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. There certainly can be some legitimate disagreement on whether a given tangent is relevant or not.

    On this particular topic, however, there’s a long, not-so-proud history of people doing anything and everything to avoid talking about women. E.g. it is literally impossible to talk about FGM without someone wanting to talk about circumcision. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thread about FGM that didn’t get infested with guys wanting to talk about penises.

    After a certain while it become tiring and people start loosing patience. It gets difficult to consider the legitimacy of a tangent when, for the hundredth time, it prevents you from talking about the actual issue.
    This is not an insignificant problem. It happens literally every time without fail. Even after PZ made a thread specifically dedicated to circumcision, guys still popped up in the women’s issues threads to talk about it.

    All thread can be derailed, but threads on women’s issue seem to be the target of a particularly high level of derailment. It’s not unreasonable to push back against this. Sure, it can go to extremes. I don’t think it has yet. It’s not as if we’re suffering from a lack of concern about men. We are suffering from a lack of concern about women.

    This particular area is subject to a high level of trolling. It’s quite legitimate to have more sensitive filters on these discussion. It’s also reasonable to expect people to do a minimum of homework on the subject before speaking. If all the legitimate questioners were to do that, I think we could avoid a lot of trouble.
    It’s not up to the oppressed to educate the privileged. Expecting them to do so is itself a form of privilege.

  235. 235
    Rilian

    christina isn’t saying “men called me a hoe, men told me to choke on a dick and die”, she’s saying this person named tim said those things. I think that makes it different from saying like, “men are slobs” or anything.

  236. 236
    left0ver1under

    I cannot fathom the mental disconnection of “Tim” and his ilk. If one accepts the fact that everything alive is evolved, then why deny the fact that the female form is the evolved norm in nature, and the male is the aberration?

    Looking down on women is exactly the same as looking down on people for their skin colour. It’s idiocy, an attempt to hold onto a position of privilege that was gained through violence. He has to deny facts and deny history to do it.

    To paraphrase Frank Zappa (which I’ve done before):

    “I’m not a woman, but there’s times I wish I could say I’m not a man.”

  237. 237
    Sabio Lantz

    Yeah, this shit shows us that sometimes we should focus on feminism and racism before we focus on no-god. Crap. Thanx for the post.

  238. 238
    joel

    Paul @6

    Ya know teenagers get sick of having stereotypical shit thrown at them too.

    “I think a number of atheists, especially the younger ones, declare themselves atheist simply as a rejection of authority. Therefore they react like petulant teenagers to anyone having any ideas about rules of decency among people. ”

    Is this the way you talk to teenagers to their face?

    Could we adults extend the common courtesy and respect to teens that we demand for ourselves?

  239. 239
    Eristae

    Silence those who disagree with you.

    Ok! Deeeep breath here.

    According to you, telling someone to “get the fuck out of my blog. Now.” is terrible, horrible, unforgivable silencing.

    But when someone (Tim) says, and I quote, ““GRETA CHRISTINA YOU FUCKIN HOE… I HOPE YOU GET RAPED YOU FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT… GO CHOKE ON A DICK AND DIE” as a method of silencing, this is terrible, horrible, unforgivable silencing in the same way.

    Because it’s Greta who gives the freethought community a bad name by controlling her own blog (which in no way prevents you from commenting elsewhere or even starting your own blog, thus not silencing you) and not those who are using rape as a tool to silence women everywhere.

    I’m glad we got that all straightened out!

  240. 240
    Eristae

    excuse me, the above should read “this is NOT terrible, horrible, unforgivable silencing in the same way.”

  241. 241
    A. Noyd

    wondering (#228)

    get the fuck out of my blog. Now.

    Yes, I have come to realize that this is what “Free”ThoughtBlogs is all about. Silence those who disagree with you.

    I never cease to be amazed at the consistency with which you misogynist trolls leave out of your quotes the context-bearing “if, then” statements that always come before commands to stop posting and get lost. I see LykeX has noted the same issue.

  242. 242
    wondering

    Lol at Greta thinking anyone takes her seriously after her nude pic:

    http://embruns.net/images/nude-calendar-greta-2012.jpg

    Expecting us to take a whore seriously is when you know Feminist Thought Blogs has gone too far.

    BTW, I don’t like Rebecca Watson either (she’s another person who only wants to talk about feminism, not atheism) but I still respect her as a person.

    And before anyone accuses me of being a prude, I’ve masturbated to that nude pic of Greta lots of times before.

    I’m not even joking, I like mature women and I’m a huge fan of MILF porn. :)

    But I separate whores from women I take seriously and I separate feminism from atheism advocacy.

    Leave the atheism up to the real atheists (like Dawkins) and stop with the feminism bullshit, alright? :)

  243. 243
    Ace of Sevens

    @243: Meanwhile, we can take you quite seriously.

  244. 244
    Eristae

    I want to know where all these “Your tone is just so terrible that no one will listen to you!” people were when Hall wore the “I’m not a Skepchick” shirt for days after being told that it really hurt SurlyAmy’s feelings, when people made mocking imitations of SurlyRamics, when people wrote and performed a song mocking Skepchicks at TAM (an organization that the Skepchicks had raised thousands of dollars for in the form of scholarships to send women to TAM), when people were/are finding ways to tweet SurlyAmy over and over and over again even when she’s blocked them, when SurlyAmy’s address was posted on a forum full of people hostile towards her, told her that she should set herself on fire, took anti-Semitic shots at her, and all that jazz? And keep in mind, I’m simply focusing on what happened to one woman who, as far as I can tell, did nothing other than get upset when people were taking multiple shots at her over days while she was at an event that she had just worked extremely hard to support (Oh, the horror!); if I included other women, the list would never end.

    Because all I heard from the other side was that SurlyAmy was weak and/or oversensitive and/or a manipulative bitch and/or she deserved it for being a member of Skepchick. So, where were you? Did I just miss you? Or is tone only an issue when WE do it? Because there’s only so much of the above that a person can take and maintain a “reasonable tone.”

  245. 245
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Greta:
    It’s taking all I have in me to abide by the rules of your blog after what that _individual_ just said @243 about you. I’m supremely pissed off that *anyone* would dare talk about someone like that.
    You don’t deserve that.
    You’re a good person.

  246. 246
    Ace of Sevens

    @245: Can you identify specific people? Yes, it would be disingenuous if people were calling Amy a crybaby Nazi and now are worried about tone, but I haven’t noticed anyone actually doing that.

    Personally, I was right here arguing with people that they should quit trying to score cheap shots and look at what Amy actually said instead of what came through the telephone game. They should try to see things from her point of view or at least mind their own business and not tell other people how they are obligated to feel about shit. Dan Fincke was and is also consistently for feminism.

  247. 247
    Eristae

    @247 Off the top of my head, TheOtherAtheist, whom I have now blocked on Twitter, thus allowing to avoid some of his vileness.

    Also

    https://twitter.com/Zaminuszen/status/236735460142100480

    This whole conversation:
    https://twitter.com/fancychrist/status/239381850617946112

    I’m not saying that the people who said these things to her are now crying tone; I’m saying that it pisses me off when people cry tone on us for curse words while stuff like THIS gets completely ignored.

  248. 248
    Eristae

    Aaand some more:

    https://twitter.com/TheOtherAtheist/status/239585008514375683
    https://twitter.com/TheOtherAtheist/status/239574185469415424
    https://twitter.com/CosmicSnark/status/239442506650107904

    I’ll try to stop posting examples now, as I don’t want to make too many posts about that.

  249. 249
    lexie

    Wondering,

    Why does someone else’s sex life determine whether you will or will not take them seriously? Why not just listen to what they say? If you disagree with Greta you are entitled to your opinion but actually say what you disagree with and why you think she’s wrong, rather than being totally judgemental about her sex life. Also I and I suspect most other people here do not care who you find attractive.

  250. 250
    Hunt

    Great, wondering. Now that you’ve successfully inserted your penis into the middle of this discussion, would you mind withdrawing and going somewhere else?

  251. 251
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Wondering @243:

    [BARF - not quoting that]

    So, um, about that angry, divisive, alienating tone at FTB that Glodsoe and the others were so CONCERNED about…

  252. 252
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Azkyroth:
    Seriously!
    *That’s* the kind of person Atheism Plus wants to leave behind. The divisiveness began with others (looking at a certain DJ here, or any of the slimepitters) and their attitudes towards those atheists in the pursuit of social justice. The separation began long ago. A+ simply cements it.

  253. 253
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    #243, Wondering-you disgusting piece of shit.

  254. 254
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And by the way: we’re not labeling them bigoted scumbags with no non-nutritive redeeming value. We’re respecting their self-identification.

  255. 255
    coelsblog

    Erista (aka Eris):

    I want to know where all these “Your tone is just so terrible that no one will listen to you!” people were when … [harassment of SurlyAmy]

    Isn’t it the case that those misogynists have alienated large numbers of people and that many people indeed no longer listen to them?

  256. 256
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    coelsblog wrote:

    Isn’t it the case that those misogynists have alienated large numbers of people and that many people indeed no longer listen to them?

    No, it seems that there are plenty of people willing to conveniently ignore bad behaviour when it suits them – well, if the people retweeting these assholes’ derogatory comments about the creators of A+ are anything to go by.

  257. 257
    Eristae

    Isn’t it the case that those misogynists have alienated large numbers of people and that many people indeed no longer listen to them?

    Last year, when Elevatorgate happened, I was convinced that what you described would take place. I believed that even those who felt that Rebecca Watson had not responded to the situation appropriately would nevertheless crack down hard on the rape threateners, the death threatenders, the harassers, the misogynists . . .

    It did not happen. Sure, some people cracked down, but most did not, either because they agreed with the harassers/etc or because the issue was not important enough to them.

    It’s been a year since Elevatorgate, and I’ve seen no diminishment of the misogynistic bile that gets tossed around. In fact, it seems to have spread, splashing not just Watson, but anyone who might be considered to be remotely connected to her.

    I am beginning to think that this will not end, at least not within the “pure” atheist/skeptics movement. This is why A+ is so exciting to me; it’s my last gasp hope that some section of the community can be salvaged so that it isn’t harmful to me an others.

  258. 258
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Isn’t it the case that those misogynists have alienated large numbers of people

    Not large enough.

    and that many people indeed no longer listen to them?

    Not many enough.

  259. 259
    maureen.brian

    wondering,

    What is this thing you have about nudity? Is this a problem you should get some help with?

    Right now there are photos floating about of Prince Harry, aged 27, naked in his hotel suite in Las Vegas. Curiously enough he is still third in line to head-of-state status in 16 or is it 17 countries and the UK populace, when polled, seem entirely unbothered by the whole thing.

    Or is it only naked women who blow the few remaining fuses in your brain?

  260. 260
    Hunt

    What happens in Vegas obviously doesn’t stay in Vegas. IT WAS ALL A BLOODY LIE!

  261. 261
    julian

    Isn’t it the case that those misogynists have alienated large numbers of people and that many people indeed no longer listen to them?

    No. No they haven’t. Most don’t see them as misogynist and even extreme cases like Tim are generally laughed off or ignored as trolling not worth paying attention to. It’s an outright lie to say misogynist have turned large numbers off (outside of FTB and skepchick at least). The numbers are still there and people are still upvoting them, favoriting them, followig them, reblogging them and encouraging them.

  262. 262
    coelsblog

    julian:

    It’s an outright lie to say misogynist have turned large numbers off (outside of FTB and skepchick at least).

    How do you know that, how does one estimate such numbers? I see claims both that there is a large upsurge of support for A+, including many new people speaking up, people who had been repulsed by the misogynism they’d seen; and now claims that, no, misogynism hasn’t alienated anyone? Both of those can’t be true.

  263. 263
    LykeX

    now claims that, no, misogynism hasn’t alienated anyone?

    Who claiming that?
    As you quote yourself, Julian rejected the claim that large numbers had been turned off. That does not imply that no one has been turned off.

    There may well be problems with estimating exact numbers here, but we shouldn’t have a problem with basic logic. Not many =/= none.

  264. 264
    coelsblog

    LykeX:

    Fine, consider the post restated with “many people” replacing “anyone”.

  265. 265
    IBTP

    @Miss DaisyCutter

    1. WRT hat blogs – I’m not talking about the wedding post. I’m talking about the fact that Jill F now claims it isn’t a feminist blog or a social justice space at all. When people are banned for objecting to racism or rape apologism, she says “it’s a hat blog”. She encourages her winged monkeys to do the same.

    2. Ableism. MCS? Never discussed. Here’s a little multiple choice question based on recent discussions:

    People hospitalised with respiratory failure are:

    a) manipulative

    b) selfish

    c) Whiny
    or

    d) seriously unwell

    Visually impaired people who ask for alt text on picture posts are:

    a) bullies

    b) mean bullies

    c) asking for special treatment

    d) just want to know what’s going on

    Chair users who cannot access certain spaces are:

    a) liars

    b) shit out of luck

    c) whiny

    d) justifiably angry

    BONUS QUESTION!

    Who’s in the wrong here, the person who:

    a) says people with mental illnesses should be “put down”

    b) says cognitively disabled adults should not be allowed out in public, as they scare her

    c) thinks that people with disabilities should not be allowed to “breed”

    d) says GTFO to one of the above.

    Answers. – never d), except for the last one.

    Now tell me, with a straight face, that those statements are murky, can be charitably assessed, and aren’t ableist in the slightest.

    3. Do you think it. is appropriate to allow Christians to hijack a thread about hate crimes committed against QUILTBAG people, with the intent of telling commenters that although she is bound by doctrine to “love sinners”, she believes that trans and gay women especially deserve what they get, and that they bring rape and beatings upon themselves? God’s way of telling them to be “normal”, allegedly.

    And no, I’m not a Twisty fan. I posted as IBTP (P for Pies, it’s an in joke) on a locked fat blog, it carried over to here. Same platform maybe? I dunno.

    I’m a biracial, queer trans woman, be very odd for me to hang out with ‘phobes. Why do you think Filipoviciste pisses me off so much? I’m a fat, brown, chair using, trans dyke on welfare who has rejected religion as toxic. I’m kryptonite to Jill F who thinks ‘poor’ means only eating meat or fish twice a day, that ‘disability’ is an excuse but is ok using a sore knee to prevent her from taking down Hugo Schwyzer propaganda, and tells WOC to be nice to a guest blogger who says ‘locs are “edgy and rebellious” and a cry for attention, and gets her friends to claim that POC stole the idea for ‘locs from the Celts.

    I think the site is downright dangerous TBH, especially for young girls of colour and trans girls. If you check out the BFing post on the front page today you’ll see numerous comments stating that XY people cannot be mothers because they lack the right hormones, that trans men ARE mothers, and that all children need one parent of each sex. Progressive with a capital P, and you’re defending it. Good job!

  266. 266
    Greta Christina

    Lol at Greta thinking anyone takes her seriously after her nude pic:

    http://embruns.net/images/nude-calendar-greta-2012.jpg

    Expecting us to take a whore seriously is when you know Feminist Thought Blogs has gone too far.

    BTW, I don’t like Rebecca Watson either (she’s another person who only wants to talk about feminism, not atheism) but I still respect her as a person.

    And before anyone accuses me of being a prude, I’ve masturbated to that nude pic of Greta lots of times before.

    I’m not even joking, I like mature women and I’m a huge fan of MILF porn. :)

    But I separate whores from women I take seriously and I separate feminism from atheism advocacy.

    Leave the atheism up to the real atheists (like Dawkins) and stop with the feminism bullshit, alright? :)

    re wondering @ #243: wondering has been banned from this blog.

    And if anyone was in doubt about my asking wondering to leave this blog earlier… I hope this puts them to rest.

  267. 267
    Emptyell

    As far as I know there is no valid polling data to support assertions about how many misogynists can fit on the head of a pin nor how many people may or may not have been turned off by their recent behavior or just in general. Nevertheless I will join in a bit of speculation…

    Clearly there are some who seem to be extreme misogynist assholes who get some kind of pornographic drug fix out of obsessing openly on this issue on the internet. (I say “seem to be” because I find it nearly impossible to model/imagine their motivations. I wonder if part of it is like tagging, making a mark in a public space. The more offensive the more memorable and thus the more effective it is.) I think their numbers are relatively few but are exaggerated by the frequency, obsessiveness and offensiveness of their statements.

    Then there are the legions of the false equivalencers. The folks who see both sides behaving badly and come in to say “I don’t care who started it, if you kids can’t get along I’m sending you all to your rooms.” This can seem like a perfectly reasonable point of view to anyone accustomed to power and privilege. I think there are many more of these folks than the former. At least that is my experience IRL. They are the middle management, don’t rock the boat types.

    Finally there are the rest of us who feel that the circumstances evidenced by the shitstorm of misogyny erupting out of the suggestion “guys, don’t do that” and so on (and on and on and on) demonstrate a real and serious problem that needs to be fixed.

    As I said it’s difficult to impossible to get accurate numbers, but…

    I suspect that the first group is small but disproportionately represented due to their eagerness to engage with great frequency and outrageousness. My suspicion that this may be some sort of (negative) attention fix for them is supported by the cries of censorship etc whenever they are told to shut up and or to try to behave decently.

    It is very hard to guess at the size of the other two. Both are likely to be represented here by a small fraction who are motivated to comment so it is impossible to extrapolate to overall numbers. The positive sign for the A+ among us is the large numbers of lurkers who have come out if only to add their support and to say they had been previously discouraged by all the vitriol and misogyny etc. This still doesn’t help us estimate the numbers but is a good indicator of the latent enthusiasm for a movement that is about more than pissing on other people’s beliefs.

  268. 268
    Eristae

    @coelsblog

    I think that both situations are using the word “large” differently. For example, the population of the USA is 311,591,917. Let’s say that a presidential election happened, and .2% of the population voted for Candidate A. This would be about 623,184 people. Did a large number of people vote for Candidate A? Chances are we’d say no. But let’s say that instead a rally was held in support of Candidate A, and 623,184 people showed up. Would we say that a large number of people showed up? That is an emphatic yes. Both situations have 623,184 people doing something in favor of Candidate A, but our perception of whether it is large or small varies depending on the situation.

    I think that’s what’s going on in relation to the A+ vs misogyny thing.

  269. 269
    Eristae

    Aaaand now we get people going off on Jennifer McCreight for crying. Examples:

    https://twitter.com/Felis_Margarita/status/239636459869589505
    https://twitter.com/metalpatriot666/status/239466614930690049
    https://twitter.com/TheOtherAtheist/status/239564077066752000

    Booooo on this, booooo.

  270. 270
    happyathiestmommy

    I’m probably considered an outsider here because I don’t participate much in the comments discussions, but reading the conversations regarding atheism+ is becoming a little disheartening. When I read Jen’s first blog post about it, I was extremely excited. I wanted to dive in head first and happily proclaim myself A+. It was so refreshing to have a term for what I had been feeling/wanting more of. The more I read in comments though, the more I think I may wait to label myself.
    I read comments saying that it’s perfectly fine to not label yourself A+; no one will judge you. But I also see people who questions this new movement (not just combative posters, but anyone with misgivings) being told, “Fuck off. We don’t want you anyway.” It makes it hard to think that there isn’t any elitism involved.
    A+ sounds amazing in concept. I would love to be able to easily display not only my lack of religious belief, but my moral commitment to equity and diversity as well. At this point though, I think I’m going to have to take a wait and see approach. I can’t really align myself with a group when I’m afraid to even ask questions about it. I’m afraid that if I try to participate and accidentally step on the wrong crack, I’ll instantly shamed and berated and shut down. Because of this, you (the commenters on different posts, not Gretta and Jen) might be alienating some possible allies.

  271. 271
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    IBTP, first of all, it’s Ms. Daisy Cutter. Rather ironic mistake, there.

    Second, hyperlinks to back up your assertions would be nice. Maybe you never discussed MCS, but I’m referring to a specific post from about a month ago.

    Again, I don’t like Feministe. I find the place to be a queasy mixture of postmodernism taken too far and embarrassing fails on basic issues of social justice — like not banning Hugo Schwyzer outright, or asking a madam with anti-feminist views to contribute a post about the history of sex work that was riddled with inaccuracies, or inviting another co-blogger who thought it was funny that a female friend of hers had pressured a virginal man into sex.

    That said, having lurked there for years, I am raising an eyebrow at your assertions, because they sound like they either came from trolls or are distortions of people’s actual opinions. In fact, now that I’ve looked at the breastfeeding thread in question, I really want some corroborating hyperlinks from you. That thread has one person who’s pushing some incorrect gender essentialism, but who did say that she supports the transgender breastfeeding father who is the subject of the post. There are not “numerous comments stating that XY people cannot be mothers because they lack the right hormones” etc. etc.

  272. 272
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    happiestatheistmommy:

    But I also see people who questions this new movement (not just combative posters, but anyone with misgivings) being told, “Fuck off. We don’t want you anyway.” It makes it hard to think that there isn’t any elitism involved.

    Do you have any specific reservations?
    Do you have a quote that makes you feel uncomfortable?

    If I had hair, I’d have pulled it out. I think I’m going to start embracing being a member of the so-called Elitist A+ Movement.
    Hey, look at me people, I’m elitist.
    I know I’m better than misogynists, homophobes and transphobes. I know I’m a better person than sexist asshats.
    Now someone explain to me why it’s wrong to feel that way.

  273. 273
    J. J. Ramsey

    Erista (aka Eris): “Aaaand now we get people going off on Jennifer McCreight for crying.”

    And to be fair, we also get this:

    For God’s sake if Jen McCreight is in tears, do not gloat about it or mock her. That disgusts me, too. Show some fucking compassion.

    Note that this comes from Russell Blackford, someone who I think you’d consider to be on the “other side.”

  274. 274
    coelsblog

    Tony •King of the Hellmouth:

    happyatheistmommy takes the time to explain that some commentators give the impression of seeming elitist and “f*** off” towards *her* or those like *her*. You reply that you see nothing wrong with seeming elitist and “f*** off” towards “misogynists, homophobes and transphobes”. In giving that reply you either ignore or dismiss her whole concern. Does happyathesitmommy give you the impression of being a misogynist homophobe? It didn’t seem that way to me, though admittedly I’ve only read one post by her. Why don’t you try *listening* to such people, rather than knee-jerk dismissing their concerns?

  275. 275
    julian

    But I also see people who questions this new movement (not just combative posters, but anyone with misgivings) being told, “Fuck off. We don’t want you anyway.” It makes it hard to think that there isn’t any elitism involved.

    I honestly haven’t seen this but, yeah, that should stop. If you don’t like Atheism+ and are happy being humanist or whatever else, there’s no reason for anyone to be angry or bitter. What banner you fly under doesn’t matter nearly as much as your principles and ideals.

  276. 276
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    coelsblog:

    happyatheistmommy takes the time to explain that some commentators give the impression of seeming elitist and “f*** off” towards *her* or those like *her*. You reply that you see nothing wrong with seeming elitist and “f*** off” towards “misogynists, homophobes and transphobes”. In giving that reply you either ignore or dismiss her whole concern. Does happyathesitmommy give you the impression of being a misogynist homophobe? It didn’t seem that way to me, though admittedly I’ve only read one post by her. Why don’t you try *listening* to such people, rather than knee-jerk dismissing their concerns?

    Xe didn’t explain *why* it’s bad to feel you’re a better person than the POS’s that A+ is trying to get away from.
    I am trying to listen, hence my asking questions.
    Where was my ‘knee jerk dismissal’? I didn’t dismiss hir. I don’t, however, understand the concern.
    I never said F*** Off either.
    I said I’m better than misogynists, homophobes, etc.
    I ask again:
    What is wrong with having the opinion that you’re better than sexist, homophobic, misogynist nitwits?

    If someone can give something approaching a reasonable argument for why it’s bad to feel superior to these dregs of society, I’m for it. Until then, I’m not going to feel bad that I feel better than them.

    For the record, I didn’t say, and hope I didn’t imply (if I did, here’s the clarification) that happiestatheistmommy is a misogynist homophobe. I don’t believe that. I see no reason to think that.
    What I do see are accusations of elitism being thrown around as if it’s a bad thing, yet not backing that up with substantive arguments. That seems to be the overall thrust of hir argument @272.

  277. 277
    Ace of Sevens

    If someone can give something approaching a reasonable argument for why it’s bad to feel superior to these dregs of society, I’m for it.

    Because if you base your self-worth on who you’re better than, you are motivated to dig for reasons you’re better than other people, which is obviously destructive to cooperation.

  278. 278
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    julian:

    I honestly haven’t seen this but, yeah, that should stop. If you don’t like Atheism+ and are happy being humanist or whatever else, there’s no reason for anyone to be angry or bitter. What banner you fly under doesn’t matter nearly as much as your principles and ideals.

    I agree with you.
    I don’t have a problem being seen as elite-in this specific circumstance-, but I’m not going around telling people to GTFO. Other than Richard Carrier, I haven’t seen this either. I don’t mind if people want to label themselves whatever way they choose. My problem is with the people mischaracterizing A+, those that treat Richard Carrier as an example of everything that is A+, and those with complaints about elitism.

  279. 279
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ace of Sevens:

    Because if you base your self-worth on who you’re better than, you are motivated to dig for reasons you’re better than other people, which is obviously destructive to cooperation.

    Prior to the discussion of A+, I don’t recall ever feeling I was better than anyone else (please note the lack of recollection). With the discussion of A+, I find that I *do* feel like a better person than someone who is a misogynist. Or someone who is a homophobe. I guess I can’t see why, especially after so many anti-feminists have made their positions known over the last year I’d *want* to cooperate with them. Why would I want to associate with people who actively oppress others?
    BTW, I don’t have to dig for reasons to not want to associate with homophobes. I’ve been dealing with people disliking me for being gay much of my life. They wear their disdain for me on their arms. I don’t *want* to associate with them.

  280. 280
    John Conolley

    It’s curious to me that Richard Carrier explained in detail who he didn’t want around and why, but no one heard anything except he told some people to get out. Carrier is right. A bunch of people are shit readers.

  281. 281
    coelsblog

    Tony •King of the Hellmouth•:

    I ask again: What is wrong with having the opinion that you’re better than sexist, homophobic, misogynist nitwits?

    Nothing is wrong with it. At all. EXCEPT, that a reply to happyatheistmommy was the wrong place to ask the question, because that was not the subject of happyathesitmommy’s post and not what she asked about.

    She raised her concerns and in reply to her you largely ignored them, didn’t really take them seriously, and changed the subject to something else. There are plenty of Greta’s posts that explain why, when someone raises a concern, replying about something else is somewhat rude and dismissive. At least that’s how your reply seemed to me.

  282. 282
    Eristae

    And to be fair, we also get this:

    Indeed we do, and for that I’m grateful. However, the problem is that one positive quote doesn’t balance out one negative quote; I don’t actually have any idea what the ratio would be, but you need WAY more positive comments than negative ones if you’re going to cancel out the negative ones. There is only so much negativity one can take, even if not everyone is being horrible. What spooks me is that it’s pretty clear to me that a lot of women who have been long time members and supporters of the atheist/skeptics movement are clearly reaching their limits; if this keeps up, we’re going to lose people as they run away to maintain their mental health and sanity. Some have already fled and some (like me) are flitting on the edge. If people like SurlyAmy and Jen are breaking down crying because of the treatment they’re receiving, they can’t be too far off of where I am.

    Note that this comes from Russell Blackford, someone who I think you’d consider to be on the “other side.”

    I don’t actually know who Russell Blackford is, what he has done, or what he is all about, although I have heard his name mentioned before in negative terms. Regardless, it always makes me glad when someone calls out this kind of misogynistic, harassing bullshit.

  283. 283
    Ace of Sevens

    @281: I’m not talking about digging for reasons to not associate with homophobes. I’m talking about digging for reasons to call someone a homophobe or sexist or whatever. If you are a good person because you are better than the bigots, then the more bigots you find and tell to fuck off, the better person you are. Next thing you know, Heina thought something on Family Guy was funny so she’s a terrible feminist and tool of the oppressor, not like you, the good feminist. This isn’t speculative. It happens all the time to social-justice-oriented groups.

  284. 284
    Eristae

    @285 While I agree that we need to be careful not to spend too much time feeling superior (after all, “better than” doesn’t mean “where one should be”), but I think it’s incredibly important for that categorization of superiority to be present. Maybe I’ve spent too much time in philosophy classes with moral relativists, but there is little that I find more infuriating than “Well, I personally choose not to be an oppressive bigot, but if someone else does choose to be an oppressive bigot, we have to accept diverse opinions, actions, and ways of being; it is not okay to drive someone out for not being ‘politically correct.’”

    I see this kind of shit all the time. “Well, yes, he did stone her to death for being raped, but that’s just the way they* do things! We have no right to judge them.”

    *Note: For some reason people only want to link an oppressor’s way of doing things in with the oppressed’s way of doing things when it’s THEY. If The oppressor is THEY but the oppressed is WE, suddenly this whole discussion of accepting everyone as they re stops.

  285. 285
    Pteryxx

    briefly: I’m not sure it makes sense for anyone to think they’re “better than” a misogynist troll, simply because so many people, including us decent folks, are capable of being tremendous buttheads about *something*. Besides, quite a few regular commenters *were* misogynists-lite a few short years ago. The best we can do is commit to *becoming* better than we are now.

  286. 286
    virginia solita

    dear wondering,
    What’s wrong with whores? If it weren’t for whores you would never get laid. Thank goodness for whores! Whores do the jobs no one else wants to do. They are the environmental services of the sex world. Do yourself a favor and thank a whore today for saving us women from douche bags and obvious bad lays like wondering. Thanks whores!

  287. 287
    smhll

    I see this kind of shit all the time. “Well, yes, he did stone her to death for being raped, but that’s just the way they* do things! We have no right to judge them.”

    The person you are paraphrasing probably watched too much Star Trek at a young age. (Prime Directive.)

  288. 288
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Pteryxx, #287, I’m going to repeat here what I said in response to that sentiment in the Lounge:

    Um, even the people here who used to be misogynists-lite never dedicated their lives obsessively to harassing women on the internet.

    For similar reasons I don’t worry about being “better than” the Rethugs, despite all the handwringing from liberals and concern trolling from conservatives. There’s self-introspection, and then there’s self-flagellation. The latter isn’t helpful.

  289. 289
    skeptifem

    What’s wrong with whores? If it weren’t for whores you would never get laid. Thank goodness for whores! Whores do the jobs no one else wants to do. They are the environmental services of the sex world. Do yourself a favor and thank a whore today for saving us women from douche bags and obvious bad lays like wondering. Thanks whores!

    …because men explode or die or something if they don’t have sex. The premise of your joke isn’t very funny. It stinks like rape culture.

  290. 290
    Homa Sapiens

    In the earlier responses, I noticed a number of men saying “Those misogynistic comments make me sad. I wish men didn’t talk like that. ”

    I would like to request that those men replace the “sad” with “Mad” or even with “motherfucking angry” and replace the wish that men didn’t talk like that with “I will no longer let men talk like that unchallenged.”

    You guys can do it when we women aren’t around.

    Thank you, very much.

  291. 291
    Felix Spinoso

    I honestly feel that breed specific legislation should be illegal. A dog growing to be vicious isn’t according to the breed of dog, but on who raised the dog, and also for what purpose.

  1. 292
    Deep Rifts | Reasonable Conversation

    [...] regularly, or what Surly Amy went through at TAM this year just for being associated with Watson, or, or, or…I could go [...]

  2. 293
    #mencallmethings: “whore” | Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] Comment from wondering, in the discussion on the post #mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT” Lol at Greta thinking anyone takes her seriously after her nude pic: [...]

  3. 294
    #mencallmethings: “whining, annoying, cunt.” | Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] is reverse sexism!” argument. That has been addressed, at length, in the comments in the #mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT” post, as well as elsewhere. Please read Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny if [...]

  4. 295
    On the Failure of Atheist Organizations and Choosing Life! « Thunderf00t

    [...] and Skepchick have mistaken (initially arguably accidentally, but later apparently willfully) the odd troll as ‘evidence’ that the community is ridden with misogynists etc.  Indeed now it seems that [...]

  5. 296
    Atheism+: Social interaction in atheist communities and elsewhere | The Atheist Experience

    [...] women’s arguments in terms of how fat, ugly, or slutty they supposedly are, and receive rape threats as a punishment for talking.  This is, of course, true in a lot of places on the internet, not [...]

  6. 297
    Atheist Schism? | Religion Dispatches | Mobile Atheist

    [...] outspoken atheist feminists describe continued, aggressive harassment from men in the atheist [...]

  7. 298
  8. 299
    Policing Their Own » Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] atheists who tell me to fuck myself with a knife. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who say they hope I get raped, who tell me to choke on a dick and die. I do not want to be in unity with atheists who say that [...]

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