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An apology, a mea culpa, and my stated opinion of DJ Grothe

yes, actually he SAID: "ALL OF THESE POSTS ABOUT SUPPOSED RAMPANT SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND UNNAMED LISTS OF CERTAIN SPEAKERS “VICTIMIZING” YOUNG WOMEN, AND THE LIKE. SO MUCH OF THAT FEELS TO ME MORE LIKE RUMOR AND DISTASTEFUL LOCKER ROOM BANTER"

So, I have this problem. A vacuous shitbag troll is running around telling everyone that I’m a homophobe based on a reading of my comment here:

DJ Grothe is not LITERALLY a douchebag, as he does not store vinegar or other potentially harmful chemicals in his person for the purposes of “cleansing” a woman’s vagina. In fact, I hear he wants little to do with women’s vaginas.

When people who have shown every intention of manufacturing controversy just happen to be right about something, I have this tendency to not believe them because of all the dross they’ve spat out before. I sometimes trust my pattern recognition all too much. The fact that this troll is presently spamming both DJ and all my compatriots, and has been for two days, is galling, but must not blind me to the fact that some people could find that offensive.

Here’s the thing: that post COULD be read as homophobic. It may not have occurred to me at the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not so. The absolute last thing I want to do is incur any splash damage to gays, especially not by suggesting that being gay automatically entails misogyny, regardless that other gay folk have speculated that it does in fact inform DJ’s present privilege-blind state given that DJ once used it as a pre-emptive shield against criticism for his actions in defending Ryan Grant Long. I am not in a position to speculate on that sort of thing myself, regardless of how many others have done so before me. Propagating that meme that gays are de facto misogynist, even accidentally, is a kinda douchy thing of me to do.

Under no circumstances were those my intentions, and I sincerely apologize without reservation to any gay folk who feel marginalized or minimized by that comment.

To that end, I will revise that comment to eliminate any potential of splash damage.

DJ Grothe is not LITERALLY a douchebag, as he does not store vinegar or other potentially harmful chemicals in his person for the purposes of “cleansing” a woman’s vagina. I understand he has little respect for women — many of whom own those vaginas that douches harm — anyway, considering he’s tried to convince them that their harassment didn’t happen, and tried to convince everyone else that this harassment was in actuality post-hoc regret about their sexual exploits. And yet he will not apologize for any of this or to the handful of women bloggers he’s repeatedly thrown under the bus, even while apologizing to Rebecca Watson personally. As though this was all about her.

There we go. Perfectly defensible, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else but DJ in the process.

Meanwhile, the troll is still a vacuous shitbag, and is still banned here. And I’ll stand by my statement that DJ is acting like a douchebag to women, until such time that he walks back the statement I took issue with in this post. We’re all still waiting, DJ.

Comments

  1. steveschulers says

    So, “vaginas’ owners” is now an acceptable term to use when referring to ‘women’?

    Sorry mate, try another do-over, it’s often been said that the third try is a charm. My unsolicited advice would be to dispense with the “douchebag” reference altogether, but I think that would entail revising your original post.

  2. 'Tis Himself says

    steveschulers #1

    So, “vaginas’ owners” is now an acceptable term to use when referring to ‘women’?

    Please explain what’s wrong with this description of women.

    My unsolicited advice would be to dispense with the “douchebag” reference altogether

    It is the consensus of FtB regulars that “douchebag” is an acceptable insult, in as much as douches are actually harmful to women.

    But please rest assured that your concern is noted.

  3. steveschulers says

    @Tis

    My bad, bro.

    I really do believe in the social equality of vaginas’ owners and men. Or should I say penis owners in place of men?

  4. says

    Why, it’s even arguably cissexist, since there are quite a few owners of vaginas who are not, in fact, women. And owners of penises who are not men. “Vaginas’ owners” is clunky, but potentially more inclusive.

  5. says

    So, “vaginas’ owners” is now an acceptable term to use when referring to ‘women’?

    NO. Not only is it a back reference to both the original quote and the sentence before it, but not all women are vagina owners, and not all vagina owners are women. Care to apologize for transphobic complaints?

  6. says

    “NO. Not only is it a back reference to both the original quote and the sentence before it, but not all women are vagina owners, and not all vagina owners are women. Care to apologize for transphobic complaints?”

    You used the term and it was clear which gender was meant. Why use that term at all?

  7. Pteryxx says

    Since “douchebag” literally was an unnecessary and harmful implement for use on vaginas? Yeah, in this case I think context informs “vaginas’ owners” sufficiently. Especially since we’re still talking, y’know, about the JREF president’s spoken words slut-shaming women, which reduces them to nothing more than (presumed) custodians of said vaginas and other sexually relevant body parts; and somehow I doubt HE would’ve thought to make that distinction.

  8. says

    Nice, so craft some personal attacks at a person making a criticism in what you call an apology…and then levy more personal attacks at DJ Grothe that are perhaps even worse than what you said before. Grats, also, on banning those who make reasoned, lengthy, and serious criticism and what seems to be a shift of the problem. Apparently, you’re trying to make it so that your comment wasn’t an issue, but rather me calling it out was the issue. Would you also like DJ to respond to you while calling you a vacuous shitbag?

  9. Emptyell says

    @ steveschulers

    “Or should I say penis owners in place of men?”

    From what I’ve seen the preferred term is “penis havers”

    . . .

    @ Steve Williamson

    “Because it is derogatory and sexist”

    It is not a standard derogatory like dick or cunt so context is crucial to the interpretation. In this context it seems to me that it is not derogatory. Particularly considering the source.

  10. John Morales says

    VacuousShitbagTroll, to whom did you imagine the apology is directed?

    (Are you banned?)

  11. says

    Because douches are harmful to vaginas and their owners, Steve Williamson. It doesn’t matter if you’re woman or not, douches are harmful to vaginas and their owners.

    Nice derail though, guys. Who cares about DJ telling women that harassment didn’t happen or isn’t serious, JASON SAID VAGINA.

  12. says

    You know, I have to hand it to Justin. He really walks the walk. He said he thinks it’s childish of Rebecca Watson to refrain from going where she’s been made to feel unwelcome, and true to form, he comes back to a place where he’s been explicitly unwelcomed. Such maturity.

    I only wish he’d apply the same consistency to his disdain for 4th-grade tactics; specifically running off to Twitter to tattle on Jason for being mean. That Jason was wrong to make his splash-damage insult doesn’t make Justin’s behavior right, mature, or anything more than utterly pathetic.

    But keep reaching for the straws, Justin!

  13. says

    “Because douches are harmful to vaginas and their owners, Steve Williamson. It doesn’t matter if you’re woman or not, douches are harmful to vaginas and their owners.”

    I am not taking issue with this though am I? I am taking issue with you using the term “vagina owner” where it is blatantly obvious that women are being referred to. I find this a derogatory term to use irrespective of the context. What’s wrong with calling them what they are – women?

  14. says

    You’ve already been told what’s wrong, you idiot. Vagina owner =/= woman.

    Now, as a woman, a vagina owner, a happy user of the term “douchebag” to mean exactly what Jason means by it, someone who has faced unwarranted skepticism when I talk about harassment, and the person who is trying to get JREF to even say there will be an anti-harassment policy this year, fuck off.

  15. carlie says

    Steve. Stand down. It’s a literary technique. He used the term “vagina’s owners” because everything before that had been in reference to vaginas, so he was maintaining a parallel structure. It’s ok.

  16. Emptyell says

    @ Steve Williamson

    “I find this a derogatory term to use irrespective of the context”

    And other males seem to disagree. Due to the inherrent asymmetry our opinions really mean dick-all here. If some one of the stature (and gender) of LeftSidePositive were to opine on this I would be inclined to accept her judgment. Until then this is just a pissing contest and I’m leaving the men’s room.

  17. Gabby says

    Oh for god’s sake. Are you so freaking desperate? This is truly pathetic. Are you really whipping out the ‘It’s not homophobic because there are gays who say I’m totally right”? As if there are no women who disagree with the original assessments against Grothe.
    My god you are a sad little troll, aren’t you?
    You screwed up big time. Take the heat or get out of arrogant, pretentious and desperate kitchen.

  18. says

    “You’ve already been told what’s wrong, you idiot. Vagina owner =/= woman.

    Now, as a woman, a vagina owner, a happy user of the term “douchebag” to mean exactly what Jason means by it, someone who has faced unwarranted skepticism when I talk about harassment, and the person who is trying to get JREF to even say there will be an anti-harassment policy this year, fuck off.”

    Resorting to personal attacks and insults is rather childish don’t you think?

    “Vagina owner =/= woman.”

    I am fully aware of this – however – in this blog entry and this whole sorry debacle it is patently clear who is meant. Let’s ALL stop with the stupid name calling and stop the personal insults shall we? The way people are behaving in this is making a spectacle of the whole thing and is doing the community and movement no good whatsoever. as I have said – attack the issue at hand – the sexism – not the people. Please refrain from insults whilst doing so. If one cannot accept constructive criticisms, as I believe I am making, and you resort to name calling and insults, what does that say really about you as a person?

  19. LeftSidePositive says

    Steve–I think humorous descriptions like this, where the commentary is CLEARLY criticizing other people who look at women as nothing but vaginas, and not comporting with the author’s position in everything else he’s ever written, are perfectly acceptable. It is an obvious reference to douching and it’s harms to vaginas, so the focus on vaginas is appropriate.

    I don’t mean to play the I’m-a-woman-and-I-don’t-have-a-problem-with-it, but seriously–I don’t. I enthusiastically use the term “douchebag” to refer to those people who are caustic to women, and a humorous juxtaposition of “vagina-owners” with the demeaning way DJ is behaving is just plain hilarious. I think women and our allies may refer to phenomena humorously, and it’s ABUNDANTLY clear what Jason’s values are (unless of course you’re going to troll Jonathan Swift as well, and be outraged about the whole baby-eating thing?!). And I don’t think I’ve seen any women here who object, and I certainly don’t, so until that happens, it looks like you’re White-Knighting.

    Jason–you used my meme*!!! I’m so flattered :-)

    *Although in truth that was really only a rebuttal in a meme-debate with someone who tried to claim, via meme, that DJ hadn’t said “locker room banter” with regards to sexual harassment claims…so, really, that whole thing was only one step up from Tim Minchin’s bumper-based philosophical argument:

  20. says

    Resorting to personal attacks and insults is rather childish don’t you think?

    No, it’s simply affording you all the time and attention you deserve. What is childish is arguing your point but continually insisting that it’s “clear”. It’s the internet equivalent of foot-stomping.

  21. Sylvia Sybil says

    Jason Thibeault,

    Your revised statement isn’t perfect, as it still refers to “a woman’s vagina”. You may wish to further clarify.

    Steve Williamson,

    Reread comments 5, 7, and 15. “Vagina owner” and “woman” are NOT the same thing. If Jason had said “woman” when he really meant “person who has a vagina”, that would be inaccurate and disrespectful. Here’s Wikipedia on transgender identity in case you’re genuinely interested in the difference.

    In general, when you’re talking about actual genitalia, as in the context of douches or abortion, then it’s appropriate to refer to people as “owners of vaginas/uteri”.

    When talking about women, it is not appropriate to refer to genitalia. 1) It’s insulting to women, because it reduces us to sexual objects. 2) It’s insulting to trans* people, because it implies that sex organs determine gender identity. 3) Even if you’re a douche who doesn’t care about hurting others, it’s inaccurate and displays your ignorance.

  22. karmakin says

    For what it’s worth I much prefer insults to mealy-mouth politico talk, but hey, that’s just me. At least with insults you make it crystal clear where you stand.

  23. says

    @LSP – I accept what you say. Who is Jonathan Swift? Certainly not trying to White-Knight, but I *do* find the term derogatory. It was so nice of Stephanie to tell me to “fuck off” in such a nice mature fashhion for having my own opinion and I thank you for your more mature approach. Am I not allowed to have such an opinion? Is the not the “FREE-THOUGHT” blogs?

    Oh – Baby’s are best oven-roasted – not grilled… ;-)

  24. smhll says

    Just for fun, Dan Savage’s spin on “douchebag” is that anal douching is a real thing and that both cis and trans men and cis and trans women (with rare exceptions) have anuses, so the insult does not have a definitive, airtight gender.

  25. JoeyH says

    Charming. Steve expresses his discomfort with the term “vagina owner” and gets called an idiot. This post and such comments are really helping the divisiveness issue. Can you people unclench long enough to see that Steve has a valid point even if you don’t agree with it? Oh no, I’m sorry, those days are gone. You are a moron with no reading comprehension if you disagree now.

    Why the hell does it matter whether other males agree or disagree with Steve? He’s expressed his opinion clearly and rationally, without calling names like Jason and Stephanie have — why does that make him an idiot exactly? Personally (and I guess I have to identify myself as a woman to dismiss one set of assumptions and stereotypes and bring on another one), I don’t like “vagina owners” at all either. I do absolutely see why Jason used it, so I was not offended by the context, but it is perfectly fine for someone else to find it offensive. (And for those playing the transgender card, fine: make it “transgender and ciswomen.”)

    The hypocrisy is fucking staggering. Y’all are screaming at people to accept that things you find offensive are so, but when the tables are turned, your polite critics are just overreacting idiots. This is bullshit, unhumanist, and not skeptical or rational in any way.

  26. LeftSidePositive says

    If some one of the stature (and gender) of LeftSidePositive were to opine on this I would be inclined to accept her judgment.

    Women who are five-foot-nine-and-a-half: the ultimate moral arbiter on sexism. Hey, five-eighters, you think something’s sexist? You’re just over-thinking it and stop whining, shortie!!!

    In all seriousness, I’m quite genuinely flattered that my comments have earned such esteem! Thanks for your kind thoughts (and for reading my arguments with douchebags!).

  27. quietmarc says

    smhll> THANK you! I am male and both me and my male partner have used douchebags! They’re unisex now! And you don’t have to use vinegar!

    I -am- concerned about possible health effects, though, not so much for me, but my partner likes to…er…freshen up sometimes if we expect to get…er…romantic? No vancy vinegar for him, though, just lukewarm water from the tap. Is he at risk?

  28. says

    Updated statement:

    I understand he has little respect for women — many of whom own those vaginas that douches harm — anyway

    I love how the essential argument is, “it’s okay to do total shitbag things to whole classes of people as long as you don’t swear while doing it, but try to defend them while swearing and you’re INDEFENSIBLE AND IRRATIONAL”

  29. says

    Also, this is not about “divisiveness”. If the movement has to be torn in two to cut out the people who think women have no right to not be harassed, where is the value in sticking together?

    And where the hell were you when D.J. was being “divisive” by suggesting the people working to get harassment policies in place were driving women away from TAM? Where was your skepticism when he pinned the decrease in the percentage of female attendees on week-old blog posts?

    If you’re already angry at some people, fine, but try to figure out some priorities here.

  30. LeftSidePositive says

    Who is Jonathan Swift?

    **brain explodes**

    Try here

    For the record, I am not the LEAST bit disinclined to tell people to fuck off. You’re talking to the woman who coined the term “Fuckskreig,” after all…

    Yes, you’re permitted to have an opinion, but be aware that common decency would lead one to be a bit more reserved about speaking for the opinions of OTHER PEOPLE, and when you’re talking about what is offensive with regards to women, this is not your lived experience and for subjective things like this, lived experience is pretty much the gold standard. I’m sure you mean well, but it is just a bit presumptuous.

  31. Gabby says

    Let’s stop ignoring the homophobic point. If Jason has an issue with homosexuality, why should we even consider anything else he has to say about Grothe? Clearly, we can’t address the rest until we address the homophobia.

  32. says

    Oh, steveschulers wants you to know that I stopped publishing his posts because I’m squelching dissent. Never mind that the points he was making: “you’re being mean and shouldn’t use swears” — are pretty much already covered.

    I’m going to go have a nice evening now. Chat amongst yourselves!

  33. says

    Gabby, perhaps you’d like to tell us where you would think Jason had a point about what’s going on if you didn’t think, even after reading this post, that he is homophobic?

  34. Pteryxx says

    Gabby: you’re too late. The remark was addressed, explained to Jason, he apologized, and fixed the remark. See the actual OP you’re commenting on, sheesh.

    Now if DJ could only do as much…

  35. Gabby says

    I see this…
    “Here’s the thing: that post COULD be read as homophobic”
    Emphasis as if to suggest there is any other way to read this bigoted statement, followed by the suggestion that other ‘gays’ agreeing with him makes it Okely Dokely in a classic notpology that blames the person calling him out rather than taking the responsibility for having posted it. Are you going to pretend you’d accept that if it came from someone who who disagreed with you?
    Bullshit. Hypocritical bullshit.

  36. JoeyH says

    Let’s not play “Where were you when…”. I assure you I have a fuckton of unanswered questions on that score myself, for you and others.

    Anyone who thinks this issue is black and white, and that one side is morally superior and the other side a bunch of “idiots” should be stripped of the right to call herself a skeptic. And yes, that goes for *everyone* in this ridiculous fucking situation.

  37. says

    Joey, what exactly is shades of gray about saying women talking about being harassed are engaging in “locker room banter” about their “sexual exploits”? Seriously.

  38. carlie says

    Obviously, it’s much more offensive that Jason used the term “vaginas’ owners” when referring to vaginas and their owners than it is that DJ said that women discussing harassment were engaging in mean-spirited locker room banter about their sexual exploits. Just becuase, that’s why.

  39. carlie says

    Anyone who thinks this issue is black and white, and that one side is morally superior and the other side a bunch of “idiots” should be stripped of the right to call herself a skeptic. And yes, that goes for *everyone* in this ridiculous fucking situation.

    Please, tell me what is right about the side saying for women to shut up, and tells them their own experiences are just rumors designed to get themselves blog hits and that everything they are saying is just locker room banter to absolve themselves from skeezy sex.

  40. Gabby says

    Stephanie, where would you agree with Grothe if you didn’t feel he was ‘blaming the victim’?

  41. Pteryxx says

    Gabby: you’re still too late. Jason was directly called out on Twitter, by folks who aren’t trolling and aren’t mentioned above; you can go see the conversation for yourself. He listened, took their advice, and crafted this apology which includes:

    Propagating that meme that gays are de facto misogynist, even accidentally, is a kinda douchy thing of me to do.

    Under no circumstances were those my intentions, and I sincerely apologize without reservation to any gay folk who feel marginalized or minimized by that comment.

    So it’s not a not-pology, and remarking that others have made the inference (including DJ himself) while specifically saying it’s not his place to make that argument so he withdraws it, is not “blaming” anyone, much less the people who called him out on it. It’s a real apology, just not a very graceful or self-effacing one.

    Personally I’d give it a B.

  42. says

    Gabby, D.J. and I agree on a number of things. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be in positions where we can come into conflict with each other. As far as this set of conversations go, however, nothing would change about what I agree with. That’s because I’m reacting to his arguments. I’ve considered them, and I disagree.

    You, on the other hand, are the one asking “why should we even consider anything else he has to say”. So what would you consider?

  43. julian says

    Personally, not that my opinion would weigh much, I’d drop the douchebag insult all together. There’s no point to it, especially if it coupled with references to Grothe’s disinterest in vaginas is going to distract from the overall point. The rest of the comment (the ‘fixed’ version) is powerful enough on it’s own. To me douchebag just seems out of place.

  44. Gabby says

    This has fuck-all to do with gay’s as de facto misogynists. This is good old traditional ‘gay’ as an insult. Suggesting that someone isn’t the ‘acceptable’ version of male. No, this was old school and he knows it. He went for the cheap laugh and didn’t consider offense.

  45. Gabby says

    Context, Stephanie.
    How can he discuss what we should or should not find offensive? He clearly can’t make these judgments. I’m sure there are things Jason and I would agree on if we were to put aside accusations and talk like reasonable people but I’d need him to admit his hypocrisy and have an actual conversation rather than perform for the crowd.

  46. says

    I can’t help but be reminded of the faux-outrage of Republicans over the whole Ann Romney work comment (or any other time the right-wing outrage machine revs up). They’ll scream and cry and make huge mountains out of molehills for a slight against one of their own, but ask them to put their money where their mouths are (condemn Rush Limbaugh’s tirade against Sandra Fluke, vote to give single mothers financial support) and they suddenly can’t be bothered.

    Gabby, it sounds like you can read minds. You might want to apply for the MDC.

  47. says

    Gabby, I think you’re lying, based on your comments elsewhere. I also think you’re what I will be pointing to the next time I have to demonstrate to someone what an argument ad hominem actually is.

    The bit about putting aside accusations was hilarious though. All the funnier when you started talking about hypocrisy.

  48. says

    Err, Gabby, I think you’re on the wrong post. This post is the apology for what you’re calling out.

    Jason, I think you could have been a bit more graceful. Explanations of how you came to (accidentally) do what you did wrong look awfully like DJ’s long self-justificatory notpology. Such items detract from an apology rather than enhance it. The judges give you 6.5 points.

  49. Gabby says

    Goose and Gander Tom, haha. But you know I’m right. That’s exactly what he did and now he’s looking for a way to seem like less of a hypocrite. And the list of his defenders just shines.

  50. carlie says

    Gabby, he’s apologized, he’s changed the statement. What else do you want him to do? Or is your goal just to keep complaining about him and say that nobody should pay attention to him on any topic now?

  51. LeftSidePositive says

    Stephanie: where else has Gabby been? The screen name is familiar, but I can’t quite place it.

    And Gabby: yeah, Jason screwed up. He considered the criticisms he received, he thought about them, and he apologized and did what he could to make it right–what do you need out of this situation? Look, people aren’t perfect, and privileged people are going to screw up sometimes. I’m more concerned about how they learn from it and make it better (neither of which, for instance, DJ has done), rather than just excoriating.

  52. LeftSidePositive says

    Alethea, I actually appreciate explanations, because I like to understand what’s going on, and why the person made that mistake. I also find it really valuable to see if the explanation *makes sense* to see if they’re being sincere, and I think it shows introspection. Anyone can say, “I’m totally unconditionally sorry,” but I feel like I prefer a bit more context so I can evaluate it, and figure out if it [whatever the problem was] is going to be an issue in the future.

  53. Gabby says

    Thank you Leftsidepositive. Though I know we disagree on some of these points, that was friendly. Can I ask (I’m sorry, I don’t twitter) if he received any complaints on the point I made as to the nature of the insult? The suggestions above really seemed to be red herrings.

  54. says

    Gabby is the one who told Chris Hallquist that FtB would take off his head or something equally stupid because Chris “stood up for” D.J. in a post. I don’t believe he comes to this with any kind of willingness to see anyone else’s points.

  55. Gabby says

    I said that I hoped he’d be declared an enemy of the state rather than head on a pike. He seems like a decent fella. Honestly, I think Jason’s probably a decent fella too, just a little desperate for approval and hypocritical.

  56. Pteryxx says

    Seriously, go have a read of the Twitter conversation leading up to this.

    Gabby, anyone with a script-enabled browser can read the tweets here:

    https://twitter.com/#!/lousycanuck

    Partial:

    Natalie Reed ‏@nataliereed84
    @justinvacula @lousycanuck @DJGrothe @szvan @OpheliaBenson @GretaChristina I don’t think its ok to replicate bigotry to deal with bigots.

    6h Stephanie Zvan ‏@szvan
    @nataliereed84 @lousycanuck Which part do you have a problem with, Jason mentioning homosexuality or describing sexuality graphically?

    6h Natalie Reed ‏@nataliereed84
    @szvan @lousycanuck The snarky association of DJ’s homosexuality with his misogyny. It’s not a big deal, but I think graceful acceptance…

    6h Stephanie Zvan ‏@szvan
    @nataliereed84 @lousycanuck The problem is including any snark? It’s hardly the first time a possible association has been mentioned.

    6h Natalie Reed ‏@nataliereed84
    @szvan @lousycanuck But I still think it isn’t okay to make jokes about homosexuality being misogynistic. And if we’re saying that one…

    6h Jason Thibeault ‏@lousycanuck
    @nataliereed84 @szvan How do I reword it so that the point about DJ stands, without condemning other gays? Because it’s worth discussion.

    5h Stephanie Zvan ‏@szvan
    @lousycanuck @nataliereed84 Or, more to the point, for not considering that it could be read that way.

    5h Jason Thibeault ‏@lousycanuck
    @szvan @nataliereed84 This is tough. I hate splash damage and don’t trust the troll who’s claiming it, but I trust you that it’s necessary.

    That’s a decent example of somebody listening to criticism and making a clumsy but good-faith attempt to make exactly the corrections that were suggested.

    I don’t see any reason to claim hypocrisy or homophobia there, past the cluelessness that most any well-meaning newcomer would have.

  57. says

    Goose and Gander Tom, haha. But you know I’m right.

    There’s more of that telepathy, but now that I’m on the receiving end, I think your chances of winning Randi’s million are pretty slim.

    I’m curious who the goose is, here. I suspect that the answer will be a heaping helping of false equivalance. Or dodging the question.

  58. Gabby says

    How in the world do you read that twitter conversation as supporting your side rather than mine? Is there a stereotype of gays being misogynists? And even if there is, how is it accepted by this crowd? I don’t know what I’m missing here. Help me out.
    Stephanie
    If you’re talking about Ed Brayton, I do go to his blog but I certainly don’t remember saying that. I said we should be able to discuss it without distorting the facts.
    And we used to kinda/sorta know each other a while back on Greg Laden’s blog. Years ago when he was being attacked for being so clearly sexist, you and I seemed to be the only ones willing to defend him.

  59. Ysanne says

    Way to derail a discussion in the first post.
    Was this post meant as just a parody of a notpology, or is it actually one? It has all the classic ingredients, but somehow I can’t get a fix on the sarcasm factor.

  60. Pteryxx says

    Gabby: “side”? That’s a preconceived assumption that you might want to reconsider. I never heard of you before this thread.

    And yes, apparently there IS a stereotype of gay men automatically being misogynists, which Jason apparently stepped in without realizing it. It’s bigotry to associate gayness with misogyny. However, it is NOT bigotry to acknowledge that gay people can in fact be misogynistic sometimes, just like anyone else. (In this case there’s evidence for it.)

  61. says

    Gabby: you went from

    For one thing, my wife would totally join me in a trolling of this level, though I’d like to think that ours would be of better quality.

    to

    I’m not dismissing anyone’s claim and I absolutely agree that this event was creepy as fuck.

    I’m just sayin’.

    Ysanne, Alethea, et cetera: This is absolutely a true and contrite apology to those I hurt unintentionally. It is a refocusing of my original attack such that it hurts only the person — singular — it is intended to hurt. I don’t like splash damage.

    All the stuff about the vacuous shitbag troll is responding to his drumming up controversy about it by spamming people for two straight days. His shitbagness and his vacuousness is well evidenced in this thread.

    I learned that an apology has to explain what I did, and why it is wrong, for it to be a real apology. I am human, and screw up occasionally, and do my damnedest to fix those screw-ups when they’re real screw-ups and not trolls derailing. It can be hard to tell sometimes, so I wait for someone I trust to be honest to tell me that I screwed up, then I will fix things. I won’t be bullied by obvious trolls into changing everything — e.g. everyone saying “douchebag” is beyond the pale (notwithstanding that I made the same arguments without using that word THREE TIMES NOW).

    The derailers believe I am vulnerable to manufactroversies. They do not agree with my attacks on DJ for gaslighting women, but they refuse to engage on that point, so they find side concerns. This strategy is acceptable to me. It allows me the opportunity to take another stab at saying the exact same thing about the person who damn well needs to apologize and walk back some harmful bullshit, on another day, and the trolls can follow me there and try to find some other reason to derail again. Every time they do it, I talk about it again. It will keep happening this way until DJ Grothe cottons onto the fact that what he said was not cool and I will not stand for it.

  62. JoeyH says

    Stephanie, if you insist that there is ONE CORRECT OPINION HANDED DOWN FROM ON HIGH about all this, I just can’t consider you a skeptic anymore. The fact that you are stymied that this is a huge issue with many conflicting yet valid opinions on a whole host of things (some of which have been around for years before this current slapfight) shows me that your reasoning has devolved to “you agree with me or you’re an idiot.” Why would I even bother attempting to explain my position to you? I’d rather play Diablo or jump my husband than expend my limited energy on such a pointless task.

    (A position that no one has even asked me about with *genuine* interest, btw — just sorted me into the inbox or trash based on their own prejudices. And kindly don’t insult my intelligence by claiming these loaded questions are anything more than a setup for an opportunity to trash me.)

    None of you has any idea what I think about these issues. All you know is I object to some aspect you do not, or vice versa, and thus I am the de facto enemy. Sounds like a stressful and miserable existence to me. Enjoy.

  63. Gabby says

    Jason, yes I did. That looks interesting out of context like that. Everyone’s right, you’re a class act and wouldn’t do anything weaselly.

  64. says

    Joey: I think she might actually want to know what’s black and white about “sounds like locker room talk” and “regret” about “sexual exploits”. I wouldn’t mind hearing what you feel is incorrect about that assessment. You know I’ll listen. Well, you should know.

  65. charles says

    In fact, I hear he wants little to do with women’s vaginas.

    …as though there is something wrong with a man not being sexually interested in women. This statement is appalling and *anything* DJ has said is precisely ZERO BAD in relation to it.

  66. says

    Joey, you’re not an enemy, and you know you never have been, so this is all a bit…much. I am, however, quite angry that you and a number of other skeptics are apparently more concerned about the history of who said what to whom three years ago or even one year ago than about the fact that I’ve had a woman describe an attempted rape to me and stepped up to make sure it happens to fewer people in the future–only to see a leader of a major skeptical organization blow it off as regretted “sexual exploits”.

    I’m angry. I should be angry. You should be angry about that as well, whatever else is going on. It helps no one. It hurts a lot of innocent people.

    What is happening instead? A bunch of people all up in arms that Jason called someone a “douchebag”. More are now picking over whether his apology for something else was phrased correctly. None of them are doing jack shit about the fact that women–or at least certain women–are considered disposable in this movement.

    That makes me furious. As it should.

    If you don’t want to deal with me angry, perhaps you should wait for another topic to deal with me at all. I’m not going to “compromise” on this. I’m not going to step back and be nice to the people with power. I will shame whomever it takes to get this taken care of because this. is. not. acceptable.

    Black and white. Deal.

  67. Gabby says

    Jason, you quoted it here without context. Possibly to mislead? Why, that would be a weasel move. You should know that I’m weaselphobic.
    It was suggested that the couple was trolling. Someone replied that it couldn’t be trolling because the woman was involved too. Clearly, this is ridiculous. I pointed that out and then you tried to use it to your advantage.
    I’m thinking you’re probably not such a good person after all. Clearly, you’re not afraid to be dishonest to distract from your mistakes.

  68. Gabby says

    I’m sorry to jump in Stephanie, but can you direct me to this “I’ve had a woman describe an attempted rape to me and stepped up to make sure it happens to fewer people in the future–only to see a leader of a major skeptical organization blow it off as regretted “sexual exploits”.”
    This is clearly some information I’m missing.

  69. says

    It’s possible Gabby, but I didn’t. In fact, I told people where to find the context. And my point for saying that is, you walked back what people thought about you too. Then you flounced saying “I’m going to go read a skeptics blog”.

  70. says

    @charles: You’re joking right?

    Because I have a hard time believing that anyone with enough brain to command their fingers to type could formulate the syllogism “X says bad thing, Y says bad thing, therefore the thing X said is no longer bad.”

  71. Gabby says

    I stuck to my guns Jason that there was plenty of reason to condemn the couple without distorting the story. When people insisted that the new version of the story, which differed from the original version of the story, had not changed, I gave up and left.

  72. LeftSidePositive says

    ZOMG, I just found this and it’s AWESOME.

    Totally applicable to all the tone trolling we’ve been dealing with for days!!

  73. Drivebyposter says

    …as though there is something wrong with a man not being sexually interested in women. This statement is appalling and *anything* DJ has said is precisely ZERO BAD in relation to it.

    You know what’s funny?
    When people don’t read the blogpost they are commenting on.

  74. charles says

    Because I have a hard time believing that anyone with enough brain to command their fingers to type could formulate the syllogism “X says bad thing, Y says bad thing, therefore the thing X said is no longer bad.”

    Tom, I formed no such syllogism, because there was no “X says bad thing” premise.

  75. LeftSidePositive says

    there was no “X says bad thing” premise.

    I hereby consign you to the dustbin of those either too dishonest or too stupid to be worth my time.

  76. Gabby says

    No, I read what Quite a bit of what DJ posted. It looks like the problem I’m running into is that I forget to go and get your translation of what DJ posted. I get it now.
    You kids have a good evening.

  77. Sylvia Sybil says

    Charles @ 85

    …as though there is something wrong with a man not being sexually interested in women. This statement is appalling and *anything* DJ has said is precisely ZERO BAD in relation to it.

    Um, no, that’s definitely not how it works. Two negatives don’t cancel each other out.

    Let’s say Jason’s comment was homophobic. He’s already said that wasn’t intended and apologized, but let’s give you that for the sake of the argument. That doesn’t change a damn thing about what DJ said. One person’s homophobia does not make up for another person’s sexism.

    You do understand that’s what you’re saying, right? You’re saying it’s okay – it’s “zero bad” – to dismiss women’s concerns about sexual harassment and blame women for the harassment they receive, as long as someone else comes along and insults you later.

    Under your logic, anything hurtful Jason might have said will become zero bad if a third person comes along and insults him. Here, I’ll do it.

    “Jason, the only reason you’re being such an asshole to DJ is because you’re an ATHEIST and atheists have no morals!”

    There. Any possible interpretation of homophobia has become zero bad in response to my religious bigotry.

  78. says

    Here’s the thing: that post COULD be read as homophobic. It may not have occurred to me at the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not so. The absolute last thing I want to do is incur any splash damage to gays, especially not by suggesting that being gay automatically entails misogyny, regardless that other gay folk have speculated that it does in fact inform DJ’s present privilege-blind state given that DJ once used it as a pre-emptive shield against criticism for his actions in defending Ryan Grant Long. I am not in a position to speculate on that sort of thing myself, regardless of how many others have done so before me. Propagating that meme that gays are de facto misogynist, even accidentally, is a kinda douchy thing of me to do.

    I think I should clarify a couple of things: I was one of a few people speculating on the thread you link to, and I think I’m the one who brought up the Long thing, so I feel obliged to point out that I’m not gay (or folk :)). Also, there seems to be a slight lack of clarity about the speculation. No one (well, no one in any comments I was taking seriously) was speculating about any relationship between being a gay man and misogyny. My speculation was that it seems to “inform DJ’s present privilege-blind state” in the rather typical sense that people who are not privileged on one axis can come to think that they’re automatically immune from privileged attitudes and actions on others – it’s a specific example of a more general problem. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that we were suggesting that gay men are any more misogynistic or more privilege-blind than straight men.

  79. Patrick says

    Sorry, but to me this reads as a Not-pology: sorry if anyone was offended, I didn’t mean to offend.

  80. Emptyell says

    @ Patrick #102

    I think the point many are trying to make is that whether this is or is not an adequate apology for a possible interpretation of a prior criticism of a failure to address issues of real world sexual harassment is not terribly significant compared to the issue of women actually being harassed. The fact that so many people are more concerned with arguing over tangents of tangents suggest a serious unwillingness to address the real problem.

    …and Patrick, please don’t take what follows personally. You seem quite calm and non-troll like. Something just set me off while I was writing this. Part of it is that I have many years of anger built up over seeing the women I love get fucked over by this crap. And thus…

    . . .

    POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING! (I’m kind of new to this so I figure better safe than sorry)
    . . .

    I think neither Jason’s criticism nor his apology are worthy of either great approbation or extreme censure. They appear to be honest feelings expressed in the heat of argument and as such are certainly open to criticism. But this is inconsequential in the discussion of how to counter the sexist, misogynist, rapist aspects of our culture.

    What gets me incensed is the repeated suggestion that the tone of the argument is of equal importance to the problem of women being systematically diminished, abused and raped.

    I suppose if there is a “hive mind” around here it is that if you want to talk about tone and civility, find some appropriate place to do that. It is not here. If you want to discuss how to alleviate sexism in general and how to do it through antiharassment policies in particular you’ve come to the right place. If you want to question whether there is sexism in our culture be prepared to be attacked ferociously. (Like my godfather used to tell me, “Who ever said it was going to be easy?”)

    I apologize if it I am speaking out of turn, appearing to represent the opinions of others or generally behaving as the privileged, arrogant ass that I am, but fuck, this shit is very, very aggravating.

  81. Emptyell says

    LeftSidePositive @37

    If some one of the stature (and gender) of LeftSidePositive were to opine on this I would be inclined to accept her judgment.

    Women who are five-foot-nine-and-a-half: the ultimate moral arbiter on sexism. Hey, five-eighters, you think something’s sexist? You’re just over-thinking it and stop whining, shortie!!!

    In all seriousness, I’m quite genuinely flattered that my comments have earned such esteem! Thanks for your kind thoughts (and for reading my arguments with douchebags!).

    It’s been my pleasure. As much fun as watching Emma Peel kick the bad guys’ asses after sorting out the chemistry and physics of the latest threat to the British empire (and looking the height of fashion all the while). Funny how Steed was all tone and civility, but in a good way.

    Stature of course is in the eye of the beholder. One of my favorite women on earth doesn’t hesitate to say fuck off as needs be (or sod off on lighter occasions), has run down hooligans and pinned them to the pavement until the bobbies arrive, and is 5′-2″ at most. Not someone to cross lightly but a total blast to be with.

  82. Patrick says

    Yes, well, I see Jason putting this example up as a template for DJ to follow, when in fact his “it COULD be read that way” (as opposed to “can be read”) seems not worthy of such a template. I think part of the discussion IS about DJ not apologizing ” correctly”. At least on this post. I think it’s worthy of mentioning when even someone I agree with isn’t up to what I consider par. I think this apology is better than some in that he outlines the potential harm and changes the original quote. I don’t think this apology is equivalent, or has any bearing, to/on women being harrassed and venues having functioning harrassment policies.

  83. LeftSidePositive says

    I think the “it COULD be read that way” (while I admit comes off as a little defensive) is a way of stating that the inappropriate intent was in no way what he meant, that he was ignorant of some of the connotations that such a wording would have for others, and that as such we felt obligated to change it. This is different, in my view, from what DJ said in that I have racked my brain and I can think of NO other interpretation for what DJ said, and he doesn’t provide one for any of his problematic comments (in fact, he largely repeats them in his apology!).

  84. Emptyell says

    Patrick,

    It seems we are not too far off on this. I may differ a bit in that my main objection to the “douchbag” criticism is the extent to which it serves to distract from rather than inform the situation, but this is then by definition trivial compared to the main issue of promoting and supporting women’s rights to be free from harassment and abuse.

    The apology’s bearing on the harassment issue is, I believe, to dampen the fuss over the offending remarks so we can get back to more important matters. That is beside the purpose which is of course to apologize.

  85. Emptyell says

    One other thing. I didn’t see Jason’s apology as a template for DJ. Even if it were intended, written and presented as such I doubt it would do much. I believe others have already made abundantly clear what would constitute an appropriate apology (or rather apologies) and probably quite a bit has been communicated privately in this regard.

  86. says

    Jason,

    A problem that I think is being kinda missed here but might be what drives the original problems is that your apology doesn’t seem to hit what I, at least, thought would have been the problem with your original comment. You say that the problem is this:

    Propagating that meme that gays are de facto misogynist, even accidentally, is a kinda douchy thing of me to do.

    A lot of people, myself included, have never heard of that mean. Usually, the meme is the opposite (ie they’re too feminine/feminist). The problem, it seems to me, is that your comment sounds like it’s referencing his sexual orientation in a context where it is utterly irrelevant. In short, you were angry, trying to insult him, and in that context decide to take a swipe at his sexual orientation. And that, I think we can all agree, is not acceptable.

    So your reply of “I wasn’t trying to say that all gays are misogynist” misses the issue of why you would bring up his orientation at all. Here, you seem to imply — and in your correction — that that was aimed more at his position on women than on his sexual orientation … but I suspect that most people took it as a comment on his sexual orientation and are wondering why you seem to be defending referring to it when it was utterly irrelevant.

  87. says

    Verbose Stoic, the fact that D.J.’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to whether he’s acting like a douchebag is pretty much the point. D.J. has made claims that he can’t be acting like a douchebag because he’s gay, so he understands oppression.

    D.J. tried to make it relevant. Others have discussed whether it is, generally agreeing D.J. is wildly off base. Jason’s original comment refers to those discussions but in an oblique way that clouds the situation and could hurt people who haven’t been following the whole thing. So Jason has made his point more clear.

  88. Eandh says

    If you are sincerely unaware of the meme that gay men can be misogynist, congratulations on escaping from your cave. I’ve been in the LGBT community since the mid-eighties, and it’s been not just a meme but all too frequently the reality in my experience.

  89. says

    Stephanie Zvan,

    After reviewing both this post and the post that Jason references, none of that is actually in it, nor is the specific objection I raised. Where are you seeing that, and what am I missing?

    Eandh,

    The meme I was referring to was the purported meme that there was a link between being gay and being a misogynist. I have never seen that meme. That does not mean that it does not exist, of course, but that meme is a lot different than the meme that gay people CAN be misogynist, which I never denied.

  90. says

    Where is it in the original post? Once more, with citations:

    Verbose Stoic, the fact that D.J.’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to whether he’s acting like a douchebag is pretty much the point.

    To that end, I will revise that comment to eliminate any potential of splash damage.

    […]

    There we go. Perfectly defensible, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else but DJ in the process.

    D.J. has made claims that he can’t be acting like a douchebag because he’s gay, so he understands oppression.

    D.J. tried to make it relevant. Others have discussed whether it is, generally agreeing D.J. is wildly off base.

    …DJ once used it as a pre-emptive shield against criticism for his actions in defending Ryan Grant Long.

    [Also:]

    In the thread I link to above there are a couple of examples – one there and one linked to from another thread – of Grothe pointing out that Long is gay, and Hallquist’s latest quotes Grothe mentioning that he himself is gay. I’ve seen it wielded as some sort of attempted gotcha in these discussions when it’s not at all relevant to the argument, and found it odd. It’s like some people think being gay makes you somehow immune from sexist or misogynistic attitudes or behavior or gives you such special insight that you can recognize them better than women and tell women what’s what. [From the discussion linked in the post.]

    Jason’s original comment refers to those discussions but in an oblique way that clouds the situation and could hurt people who haven’t been following the whole thing.

    I am not in a position to speculate on that sort of thing myself, regardless of how many others have done so before me. Propagating that meme that gays are de facto misogynist, even accidentally, is a kinda douchy thing of me to do.

    Under no circumstances were those my intentions, and I sincerely apologize without reservation to any gay folk who feel marginalized or minimized by that comment.

    So Jason has made his point more clear.

    To that end, I will revise that comment to eliminate any potential of splash damage.

    This isn’t that difficult.

  91. says

    Stephanie Zvan,

    That’s nice, but it doesn’t relate to my point. Let’s take this paragraph specifically where Jason outlines what he was really trying to do:

    The absolute last thing I want to do is incur any splash damage to gays, especially not by suggesting that being gay automatically entails misogyny, regardless that other gay folk have speculated that it does in fact inform DJ’s present privilege-blind state given that DJ once used it as a pre-emptive shield against criticism for his actions in defending Ryan Grant Long. I am not in a position to speculate on that sort of thing myself, regardless of how many others have done so before me. Propagating that meme that gays are de facto misogynist, even accidentally, is a kinda douchy thing of me to do.

    Again, this is all about “I didn’t mean to imply that being gay meant that one was misogynist”, not, as I pointed out, “I wasn’t referring to his sexual orientation at all”, which I have already stated is the case. I will concede that he does reference D.J.’s comment, but immediately says that that isn’t relevant and not what Jason was going on about at all. His updated comment, as well, doesn’t reference it either.

    So I think we’re talking past each other here.

  92. says

    Verbose Stoic, that comment is pure word salad as far as I’m concerned. You might want to try again. You asked why Jason referred to D.J.’s sexual orientation. You’ve been answered. Do you have something new you’re upset about?

  93. says

    So, I think to settle this, I’m going to wait for Jason to say whether he was indeed trying to refer to Goethe’s sexual orientation in the first comment or whether he was trying to refer to his opinion of women without making reference to Goethe’s sexual orientation. Since the updated comment drops all references to sexual orientation and changes them to comments on his opinion of women, I think the current evidence is in favour of the latter interpretation but only Jason himself can really settle this.

  94. says

    Stephanie,

    Given the updated comment, I don’t believe that he meant to refer to it at all, and interpret the paragraph you cite as his apologizing, then, for the wrong thing.

  95. says

    So I can tell you exactly what Stephanie explained so patiently and thoroughly, Verbose Stoic? Really?

    I was making a reference to the linked thread. However, as I explained in the original post, I am not in a position to make those kinds of arguments so I took it out to refocus the attack on DJ such that it hurts only DJ, and not others whom I did not intend to hurt.

  96. says

    Jason,

    So to confirm, you MEANT to refer to his sexual orientation in the first comment, and not — or not merely — his misogyny? Thus, you were trying to say, for example, something about his being gay not meaning that he couldn’t be misogynistic?

    If so, that was a horrible first comment and your second comment leaves that discussion out completely and totally, at least to me, and so your second comment changes your message. But if that’s the case, well, then that’s the case.

  97. says

    Oh Stephanie, xe’s just being SKEPTICAL. Xe only has my word to go on. And yours. And this crowd is totally skeptical about people’s personal experience. It’s a wonder Stoic doesn’t lapse into solipsism right here on the spot, in fact.

  98. Emptyell says

    Verbose Stoic

    But if that’s the case…

    You are beginning to look like a bit of a but-head. Jason’s and others’ explanations seem clear enough to me. Even if you have a point it is a tangent to a digression to a distraction from the main issue of harassment. Time to let go.

  99. says

    See, now that’s the really stupid part of being that sort of “skeptical”. If you’re not going to believe the answers you’re given about something like a “why” question, even when the answer isn’t contradicted by other data, there’s really no point in asking. At that point, it becomes wankery.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with wanking, of course, but people should really ask before involving anyone but themselves in it.

  100. says

    I’ve taken it up as a public information campaign these days to inform people whenever Verbose Stoic shows up that this guy is a known apologist for genocide. See here:

    http://www.daylightatheism.org/2011/07/they-have-no-answer.html

    Check his comments #121, #123, #125 among others.

    There’s also these, of particular interest to this discussion:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers/2012/03/05/why-misogynistic-language-matters/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers/2012/03/05/no-you-cant-call-people-sluts/

    Basically, he’s a known slut-shamer and a supporter of exterminating people on racial or religious motivations, as long as they’re for the right cause *wink wink*.

    He also has all day to complain about how people are being so mean and misunderstanding what he said, even when it is damn near impossible to misinterpret the clear meaning. Expect him to try to dominate this and every other discussion with his massive ego until he is literally forced to go away.

  101. says

    Jason,

    I’m asking for your word, to ensure that you are indeed answering what I wanted answered. I want clarity. You have not actually answered my question. All you need to do is say “Yes” or “No” to the question I asked. If you understand it, then that should be easy. If you don’t, then how do you know that Stephanie actually answered my question?

    So, yes or no?

  102. Emptyell says

    Jason,

    You might want to let that last one from Verbose go through (I got it on my feed). Its a blazing example of ridiculous, arrogant self-importance.

  103. says

    Well, he can JAQ off elsewhere. Asked and bloody answered.

    He’s also very sad that he’s posted here before and I’m suddenly turning on him on just kagerato’s word. Except, I clicked on those links and I agree. Dude sucks the air out of the room.

  104. says

    Sadly not this gabby, eh? (Indirect link bcs Gabby’s site is in maintenance.)

    @Leftsidepositive, re context for an apology:
    I do actually agree that it is helpful. Yes, intent is not magic, but I’m getting tired of seeing that truism misused to mean that intent is nothing. Intent is the difference between an accident and an assault. It does not remove the injury from the victim (not magic!) but it does change your evaluation of the perpetrator.

    What I want to see is explanation firmly separated from apology. It’s a style question, really. But DJ’s was a good example of how it can go wrong if you condense it too much. I think that JT’s was sound, but he fluffed the dismount.

  105. says

    Explanations are a useful part of an apology – but only if it is “this is where I went wrong and this is how I’ll improve myself”, not when it’s “this is why I’m actually right and you’re still wrong”.

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