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Listen more, be more charitable, moderate blogs and forums

I pity the poor sod who has to wade through and moderate all the comments over at CFI’s blog. Frankly, they’ve got possibly the worst job in the world right now. However, I’m going to push that fact aside for a moment, mute that in-built empathy for my fellow human being for just long enough to complain that they’re not actually doing that job to any degree one can call reasonable.

I’m not necessarily going to BLAME them, per se, though. The tone has been set in Ron Lindsay’s three blog posts that are about his experience at Women In Secularism 2.

Note that these blog posts are not ABOUT Women In Secularism 2, which was a tightly organized and implemented CFI conference, and which by my understanding, through the rumour mill, is the CFI conference closest to breaking even this year (can we get independent verification of this?). It was by all accounts a success, but by no accounts an unmitigated one. It was bookended by tone-deaf missives about how terrible feminists have been to certain clueless, privileged dudebros in our community. In fact, the first one, by Ron Lindsay, carried with it a heavy dose of shame for daring to invoke the sociological concept of privilege, showing a blatant misunderstanding of the word.

But that’s not what I’m talking about today. I’ll be fisking his post another day — and on that day I’m sure I’ll be called irrational and compared disfavourably to some despotic country. Today, instead, I’m talking about the CFI Open Letter, and how it reflects upon the community what’s being left up in the comments on those blog posts.

Libertarians of the laissez-faire and no-rules-allowed sorts, anti-feminists and anti-Watson-ists, flat-out Men’s Rights Activists, and the usual crew of people fixated on how horrible Watson, PZ, FtB and A+ are because they got banned at one point in the distant past for having been themselves abusive of dialogue, all swarmed on these comment threads. In part, many of them did so to post their support of Ron Lindsay for standing up to those uppity women, and calling him (and themselves) “Brave Hero” for doing so.

A lot of comments are civil enough about their contrafactual takes on human history and the existence of gender imbalances in our present Western society, and are worthy of smacking down in the same way that one might smack down the hundredth time someone smarmily demands us to explain why there are monkeys if evolution is true. Those sorts of re-fighting the same territory with little added value are a distraction, certainly, but they are not themselves exemplar of any sort of abrogation of “civility” of the sort decried in the Open Letter that is supposedly epidemic in our movement except that they themselves claim to be members of our community of skeptics, and/or are names that have long been associated with fighting these specific fights.

For instance, we have Elevatorgate posting about his Storifys and his having misappropriated the womeninsecularism.com domain to post a vitriol-filled “parody” site. The same guy that ostensibly Lindsay should be going after for misappropriating and attempting to destroy the Women In Secularism “brand” had this to say about Ron:

#7 Hero on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 1:51am

Thanks for remaining steadfast in your heroism, and standing up to Becky. http://storify.com/ElevatorGATE/conversation-with-rebeccawatson-ralindsay-and-mist

http://womeninsecularism.com/2013/05/17/r-lindsay-is-a-hero/

The Tim Channel pipes in with some of his usual hyperbole, followed by his omnipresent entreaty to please, please enjoy what he has to say, as though it’s entertaining, relevant, or even close enough to reality to bear some commentary value. You’ll note that there’s a severe shortage of charity, a distinct dialing-up of drama, and a total disinterest in the actual history and actual feelings of the people involved in some historical events of the secular community, many of which have achieved mythological proportions amongst feminism-haters:

#16 The Tim Channel (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 6:37am

Many other men of high stature within the skeptic community have tried to make the point you made, the most humorous and damning of which was Matt Dillahunty.  They are American Girlyban.  They do not negotiate. They block, ban and bully.  I was one of the early victims so I cleaned up the evacuation shelter and just waited for the rest of you to roll in.  I got a ton of company now, even a lot of women.  I expect this debacle will continue until the top two or three lunatics on the #atheismplus side are more fully marginalized.  Lord knows they jumped the shark sometime between #elevatorgate and #donglegate.  Welcome.  Coffee is on the house.  Enjoy.

He goes on like this in a few more comments, and rest assured, you’re asked to “enjoy” every one of them!

Elsewhere, another person laments that PZ Myers never gets his say unless he’s expressly allowed to speak by the feminist overladies, an opinion that doesn’t at all need to be backed up by evidence (surely, we should trust this person, and not bother to verify!), nor would ever poison the well by refusing to listen to the actual arguments presented, or serve to increase the “drama” of this conversation, given how charitable it is about the idea that women might actually deserve a say now and again:

#18 Hunt (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 2:40pm

 

>>“It’s also ironic that of the three examples you linked, two are articles written by men. So how could they be invoking identity?”

The reason for that is that many feminist men have embraced the idea that their place is to remain mute, i.e. not interact conversationally, when instructed to do so.  PZ Myers certainly fits this model.  They might converse when tolerated, that is, speak when spoken to, but women feminists have the option to direct them to remain silent at any point they deem appropriate to convey a salient point that should not be interactively questioned.  I leave it to the reader to judge whether this is a healthy direction for feminism to take.

Pitchguest reminds us that “trust but verify” also refers to people’s feelings… uh, minus the “trust” part, because you can’t verify that someone felt harassed. Because unless we show evidence that she left because of harassment, we can’t claim that she left because of harassment, no matter how much harassment we see involved, and no matter what her final post as a member of the secular community said. Therefore, “distrust and impossible to verify” applies to feelings. That’s why these guys never make any arguments borne of emotion, except for all the ones they make predicated on the fact that someone was mean to them by blocking them on Twitter.

#39 Pitchguest (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 7:26pm

Pandora3:

And pray, what was said to her? She claims was bullied off the internet. Really? Any evidence to amount for that? As far as I’m concerned, before she made these alleged claims she was busy creating a “third wave of atheism” in the form of Atheism Plus™, for which she would be at the forefront, and actively creating blog posts on FtB (Freethought Blogs).

If she can regularly dish it out like she did with her blog posts, as well as in her post about Atheism Plus™ said the atheist community is just a “boy’s club” filled with (and I’m paraphrasing) privileged old white men, who didn’t care about misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, etc, then I should think she should be able to take it when she gets dished right back.

So when was she “bullied out”? When she was “literally” run out of the community? Provide examples and cite sources.

And of course he’s right that demanding that people stop being homophobic, transphobic, etc., is “dishing it out” and being unable to take targeted rape threats, death threats and repeatedly having her physical locations revealed on the internet against her will is “taking it”. How dare she tell people to stop being awful to others, and expect people not to be awful to her in return!?

That is weak tea as far as incivility is concerned, though. Not compared to the well-poisoning when Elevatorgate again lauds Lindsay for “resisting the groupthink”:

#1 Hero on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 5:47pm

 

I have tremendous respect for you, thanks for your courage.

I’m not sure if Miss Watson is being deliberately obtuse or, if she is indoctrinated.

You have resisted groupthink – I hope that one day, Steven & Jay Novella can do the same. You are an inspiration.

Because our opinions are groupthink, their opinions are bravery and heroism. Why are they entitled to cranky missives delivered from bully pulpits without the least regard for who their audience is and what they are trying to achieve, why are they entitled to put a shiv in the kidneys of the people they claim to support, but our attempt at engaging in civil discourse is indoctrinated obtuseness? Rebecca’s first response was about as civil as I’ve ever seen anyone on topics like whether or not they should be allowed to have a say once in a while, to the point where I thought someone ghost-wrote it for her to eliminate most of the snark!

But remember, there was absolutely nothing provocative or confrontational about Lindsay’s bravery, whereas women posting about wanting a voice only do it for the hits:

#2 Ryan Grant Long (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 5:49pm

No no no, you’re missing what’s going on here. Skepchick runs on intentionally provocative blog posts and tweets. And as I’ve already said many times, PZ and Rebecca are perfectly happy to tell women and minorities to shut up when they disagree with them. I believe they genuinely care about discussing gender and working for equality like I believe opponents of marriage equality really do care about “the children” (which is to say, I don’t).

It’s not an alternative universe, it’s just vastly different intentions and goals. You seem to be trying to genuinely understand the issues under discussion, and you’re acting as if either Rebecca or PZ are honestly committed to the causes they claim to be for. Meanwhile, Rebecca and PZ are at best writing gossip and at worst trolling, riling up both their fans and detractors who eat this stuff up; their “feminism” is simply a cover and vehicle for these behaviors.

If you truly care about politics you don’t attempt to engage with the likes of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh expecting anything useful to happen. Likewise if you want to explore gender issues in any meaningful way, you consult real activists, social scientists and other experts on gender; not drama bloggers.

It surely is a good thing that Long was around to question the intellectual honesty of the people disagreeing with Lindsay about whether or not privileged folks should make an effort to recognize the people who are otherwise disadvantaged by happenstances of their gender presentation. Surely they’re the real trolls, what with their disagreeing with people. They’re just like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, whereas the people cowing others out of the movement with death threats and dehumanizing photoshops and never actually making counterarguments to anything are truly the Brave Heroes and the paragons of civil discourse.

#8 RefreshingChange (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 6:08pm

Get ready for more smear campaigns, Ron. They hate it when they get “called out”, and can;t get their own way.

No doubt guttersnipe Oolon will be here any minute to defend his chums.

Because the status quo of No Damn Uppity Feminists In Our Movement is a “refreshing change”. And here I thought calling people out was frowned upon!

#12 allison (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 6:34pm

An excellent response to Ms Watson’s characteristically fact-challenged blather, Ron. Thank you.

No need for evidence — it’s self-evident that Rebecca Watson’s rebuttals are fact-challenged. Trust allison, and don’t verify!

#14 Marc (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 6:39pm

Very well said.

What communication should be: Open, respectful dialogue between two people of differing opinions.

PZ and Watson-style communication: One-sided monologue by the less-privileged individual (or PZ, when inserting himself into this role), in which the privileged viewpoint is not permitted to speak, question the validity of, or request evidence to support assertions made by the less-privileged. When the privileged is permitted to speak, discussion will be thwarted with shaming tactics, foul language, insults, and generally childish behavior.

Based on their behavior, PZ and Watson are children, and you should never give candy to children.

WON’T SOMEONE FINALLY LET MEN SPEAK UP AGAINST FEMINISM? I’d like to know what Ron Lindsay has to say about this business! Zeus knows we’ve never gotten to hear from him on that topic!

Reap is his usual charitable and drama-free self:

#36 Reap on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 8:02pm

Ron-I’m pleased to see you follow up on your earlier post as needed. I expect we will see more childish and ignorant rambling from a certain click before the discussion is finished. How many times do PZ, Rebecca and their little gang of poser skeptics need to be shown their position is unreasonable? The simple fact that no one on their side will engage in a real discussion on the subject gives them away. It is laughable that PZ will engage with creationists but hides like a scared child from any discussion with atheists/skeptics who disagree with him unless its where he can control the conversation. Or he leaves it to his inept gang of socially retarded commenters. Otherwise he would rather brand critics as unworthy of his consideration and dismiss their opinions before he even hears them.

I’m afraid you were in the wrong place at the wrong time Ron. Rebecca has been without any drama and some of the blog site are seeing less hits.  That makes it time to stir things up doesn’t it? We can depend on Rebecca to cause problems, we sure as hell can’t depend on her to try and resolve any.

Yup, Rebecca Watson hasn’t done anything at all, like helping bring dozens of people to TAM, to WIS, et cetera. Not a single charity like a blood or vaccine drive to her name. Zero dollars brought in to various secular organizations, unlike the brave heroes in this comment thread.

Melody reminds people that none of these folks are CFI conference attendees, donating zero dollars at said events, and that they’ve been working the hardest at dividing the movement and driving wedges between feminism and skepticism — as though those aren’t the same damn thing, with feminism focused on skepticism about traditional gender roles and power structures in society. This should clue people in that they are not the revenue stream that any sensible CEO should be pursuing. But this entirely went unheeded, apparently because it was insufficiently dramatic.

Thankfully someone came along to rip off George Hrab’s character, and point out the real villain here: Rebecca Watson. Seriously, how dare she disagree with Ron?

#46 Rupert MacLannahan (Guest) on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 8:59pm

Sir, you and your organization took the idiotic step of inviting Ms. Watson as a speaker and VIP at your conference.  Any conference organizer that invites Ms. Watson (or PZ Myers) is a nincompoop.  This is what you get.  Slander.  Defamation.  Attacks.  Biting the hand that feeds you, etc.  Just look at how she turned on Mr. James Randi.  After she essentially called for a boycott of the JREF and tried to destroy that organization because it refused to kowtow to her every desire (no matter how ridiculous, like trying to impose harassment policies at skeptics conferences that would require everyone to abide by workplace modes of communication and behavior), anybody who organizes an event with Ms. Watson being even peripherally involved deserves everything they get in return.  It is like inviting a Tasmanian Devil to your event—it might be interesting, it might bring extra attendees, and it might even get you some publicity, but someone has a very good chance of getting bit.  And you, Sir, have been bit, and I predict that this is not the last wound that Ms. Watson and her sycophantic cohorts will inflict on you or your organization.  Now that you have called a spade a spade, and dared to say something contrary to Ms. Watson’s world view, you and your organization will now be on the receiving end of calls for boycots, calls to stop donations of money, calls for people to leave local groups, and so on.  The funny thing is that even a blind man could see this coming from a kilometer away.  You, or more likely some incompetent subordinate, made the big mistake of inviting Ms. Watson into your life and painting a great big bullseye on your organization.  It is lucky for you that Ms. Watson’s act has worn thin on most of the rest of the secular community, and right thinking people look upon her with contempt, if they actually give her any thought at all.

Thankfully, he’s super charitable about it. Not trying to escalate things one bit.

Nor this:

#60 Weeblo on Saturday May 18, 2013 at 11:07pm

Mr. Lindsay, the bad news is that you’re a skeptic who has gotten on Rebecca Watson’s bad side.

The good news is that this is practically synonymous with “a skeptic”.

Everyone on Rebecca Watson’s side is not a skeptic. Everyone not on Rebecca Watson’s side is a skeptic. Further, climate change skepticism is totes legit and climate scientists are climanazis.

Surely if you were at all interested in reducing the flare-ups in the secular community, you could start by getting rid of any of these posts for being too divisive, too uncharitable, breaking one of many of the rules-from-on-high that your vaunted Heads have passed down on stone tablets for us all to follow (except you, it seems). If you absolutely need balance, you could also remove all those ones saying that you’ve acted unprofessionally, or suggesting that they feel betrayed by your actions, or saying that they aren’t going to donate to CFI any more, because those ones are all obviously just upping the rhetoric and aren’t at all representative of civil disagreement or even measured disgust at your actions. Surely those are all just a witch-hunt, yes? Or must we believe that the ones disagreeing with you, AND the dramatic and divisive ones I’ve posted above, are all on par and they all passed your moderator’s muster?

Ron Lindsay, did you only work on the letter to insert the paragraph on civility, and that’s why you signed? Or did you actually agree with the whole thing? Your clarification would be helpful here.

Comments

  1. Aratina Cage says

    I’m still mad at you for posting a spoiler in a post title (Harumph! Kidding only–kind of–I still liked the movie) but what the hell is it with them constantly, preemptively bashing Oolon nowadays? I mean, I’ve come to expect Watson Derangement Syndrome from them, but it used to only be Reap who said abusive things about Oolon. Now it has taken on a life of its own amongst slimepitters and it disgusts me. So, please excuse me but I must yell, LEAVE OOLON ALONE!

  2. hjhornbeck says

    Aratina Cage @1:

    what the hell is it with them constantly, preemptively bashing Oolon nowadays?

    Maybe they’re afraid of him? He spent a long time wallowing in the ‘pit, and knows the group’s M.O. quite well. He’s since become an active campaigner against them, drawing on his knowledge of ‘pit talking points and history. He’s even helped out with that Twitter anti-spam bot, which has defanged their best weapon. No amount of criticism seems to phase him, let alone drive him away.

    He’s as close to a nemesis as they’ll get.

  3. John Morales says

    Jason:

    I pity the poor sod who has to wade through the comments over at CFI’s blog.

    Self-pity is not admirable, though it may be appropriate.

  4. Stacy says

    Write to CFI’s Board of Directors and let them know what you think of Lindsay’s behavior:

    Center for Inquiry-Board of Directors
    PO Box 741
    Amherst, NY 14226-0741

    Email correspondence can be sent to the Corporate Secretary, Tom Flynn, at tflynn@centerforinquiry.net

  5. Hunt says

    That comment of mine quoted above was a response to the quote by PZ in Lindsay’s second and third post. That seems to be a fairly direct interpretation of what PZ meant, although perhaps the “speak when spoken to” part is a bit hyperbolic. The PZ quote is from a post by Paul Fidalgo, who arguably takes an even more extreme position, that even when a more privileged person happens to be right (in other words, innocent of the charge being leveled by the person who “calls them out”) he or she should still “shut up and listen.”

    Now let me backtrack a little and cover a certain ambiguity here. It’s one thing to “shut up and listen,” acquiesce totally to the recounting of personal experience. Each of us is an authoritative expert on our own subjective experience. However, that’s not the same thing as being expert on the topic of something we have experienced.

    John C. Welch expresses this in the comments to Lindsay’s last post:

    How is being a member of a group the same as expertise?

    I’m a member of half-a dozen marginalized groups, hell a lot more if I go back to my childhood. Overweight, poor, bullied, abuse victim, children of alcoholics, people who have survived being hit by a car, gun in my face, natural disaster survivor, etc.

    But I’m not possessed of “expertise” in any of that. I am possessed of *experience*. I don’t even claim “expertise” on being tall, not bald, hirsute, male, a honky, or green-eyed. I have *experience* in those areas. There are areas where I do claim some expertise, because i have actually spent the time to actively acquire it. I couldn’t tell you any details about being green-eyed with a gun at my head. I happen to have green eyes. That’s the extent of my knowledge. I happen to have survived a Cat 5 hurricane, (Andrew). What, am I now an expert on hurricanes? Meterology? Attaching boards to a wall? What “expertise” is conveyed because I lived through something a lot of people didn’t?

    Surviving an earthquake doesn’t make you and expert on earthquakes; having a human body doesn’t make you an expert on human anatomy and physiology. You are an expert on your own subjective experience, but other than the specific things that you have been trained and educated expertly in, that is about the only given thing you are expert at. It can even be debated that you are an expert on the interpretation of your experience. For instance, I once came face to face with a mountain lion and was convinced that I had escaped by bare luck until I talked to a park ranger who questioned whether I was ever in any real danger and convinced me that I hadn’t been (not really; I still think I was almost kitty chow).

    Getting back to Fidalgo’s post: He actually makes explicit toward the end that he’s talking about invoking “shut up and listen” with regard to the recounting of personal experience, or “what it is like to be” a marginalized group; however it’s unclear exactly what PZ Myers means from the quote he provides. (So, yes, perhaps my “direct interpretation” was wrong.) I think it should be pretty clear that “personal experience” (lived experience) is not the kind of thing that Lindsay meant. You might question his judgement, but I think you’ll give him that much credit.

  6. says

    What communication should be: Open, respectful dialogue between two people of differing opinions.

    If adding “North Korea” to the list of accusations is “open resectful dialogue” I have no clue what isn’t.
    But I made you a Bingo to play while wading through the comments.
    Ah, yeah, and Hunt, who had a lengthy discussion on my blog first slut shaming my 5 yo daughter then wondering why I see a problem with her trying to look sexy…

  7. says

    That ought to be a dead give-away that they’re misinterpreting everything…but no, instead they see the fact that I’m not obeying their stupid interpretation as a reason to call me a hypocrite.

  8. says

    The reason for that is that many feminist men have embraced the idea that their place is to remain mute, i.e. not interact conversationally, when instructed to do so.

    They seriously are putting this forward as if it’s unreasonable?

    One thing I’ve been noticing more and more is how so many of their outraged objections to feminist groupthink nazism or whatever are actually just railing against basic politeness. Or at least, what I learned as basic politeness. I wonder, are they completely and utterly unfamiliar with even the most basic tenets of human civilization generally, or do they think they ought to get a complete pass from the social contract just when dealing with women, and don’t realize that’s what they’re asking?

    When somebody–anybody, regardless of either their gender or yours–“instructs” you that they don’t want to have a conversation with you, the proper and civilized thing to do is stop trying to have a conversation with them. Otherwise you are a harassing asshole. This is fucking controversial? Why the hell would someone want to have a conversation with a person who doesn’t want to talk to them anyway? (I know the answer to that one: Because they’re an entitled power-tripping creep.)

    I think I already had a big WTF-were-you-raised-by-wolves freakout on PZ’s blog when Mr. Lindsay, before getting into his weird antifeminist shtick, explicitly told the audience members that he wasn’t going to go to the trouble of welcoming them because he expected them to just consider themselves welcomed anyway. RUDE.

    And these are the people nattering on about “civility”? Methinks they need to shut up and read* some Miss Manners. Or is that suggestion fascism, since Miss Manners is an icky cootie-having woman?

    *Shutting up and reading is a form of shutting up and listening. If someone really can’t bear to shut up for that long, though, they can always read aloud!

  9. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    These are Ron’s new friends. :) I hope they stick close to him for the rest of his career and keep supporting him just like this. He’s truly earned having their sexist, dishonest, cluelessness associated with his name.
    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer man.

  10. emote_control says

    The idea that PZ shuts up demurely when someone orders him to is the most hilarious part of all of this. That assertion alone should be enough to convince these idiots that they’ve taken leave of reality.

  11. kestra says

    I’ve been lurking around since before ElevatorGate and I can never understand why the pro-Freeze Peach/Harassment-What-Harassment? Brigade feel the need to cast this, um, “discussion” in terms of an Epic Battle between Themselves, the BraveHeroes, with their various domains and attendant fora and blogs, against the Meanie Feminazis lead by General Rebecca Watson.

    It is a juvenile fantasy and I just don’t accept that paradigm. I support Rebecca, Jen, PZ, Stephanie and all the other poor bastards that the Internet Hate Machine Lampreys have battened on to, because they are being horrible. I was furious when they chased Jen, one of my *very favorite* bloggers, into silence. They aren’t interested in dialogue, they only want to “win” the “fight”. Rebecca isn’t in charge of me or my opinions, I read her and other bloggers because I like the content they provide. I actually did do that thing that the ShitFlingers are always anxious for us to do, “check out” “their side” (the ‘Pit et, al.) and it was atrocious. Horrible writing, horrible jokes, dredging up snarky tweets from *years* before, base, 4chan-inspired humor and if you don’t like it get out! So I did. Fuck those people, hopefully they’ll grow up soon, but in the meantime can they please retreat behind their battle lines and let the rest of us engage in adult discourse unmolested?

  12. says

    Okay, I likely can’t get at it today, I’m swamped out already and it isn’t even noon. I let out Hunt’s comment above. The ways I disagree with it should be fairly obvious, but have at, folks.

  13. smhll says

    Surviving an earthquake doesn’t make you and expert on earthquakes; having a human body doesn’t make you an expert on human anatomy and physiology. You are an expert on your own subjective experience, but other than the specific things that you have been trained and educated expertly in, that is about the only given thing you are expert at.

    I don’t think “shut up and listen” (which I see used rarely), has been deployed against any man who has a degree in Gender Studies. The people who are upset about not being deferentially listened to on such topics actually aren’t trained experts in that field. The whole “you don’t know what you’re talking about” meme really pops up when ignorant and un-evidenced opinions come up, especially the same ones that come up over and over.

    Ron Lindsay’s degrees are in Philosophy and Law AFAIK. He may have studied gender issues in society as a casual amateur, but it’s unlikely he’s read as many books and magazine articles about women’s experiences as I have. (And that’s setting personal experience aside.) So called “women’s magazines” cover issues of gender more than news magazines do. And men are discouraged from reading women’s magazines.)

  14. says

    Surviving an earthquake doesn’t make you and expert on earthquakes; having a human body doesn’t make you an expert on human anatomy and physiology.

    This shows exactly where people like Hunt go wrong, either out of dishonesty or lack of brainpower. It should be clear to everybody that surviving an earthquake makes you indefnetly more qualified at knowing what it is to be in an earthquake than any person who never came near one.
    You know what is needed most afterwards. If you say “clean water, food and blankets” it would be an insufferable amount of clueless assholery if the non-earthquake person insists on sending you copies of Robinson Crusoe bcause they apparently know this better than you.
    I doesn’t make you an expert in plate tectonics, of course, nor in managing disaster relief.
    Likewise, having a human body makes you pretty much an expert in what it means to be human as opposed to, say, a Cardasian. No, it doesn’t make you a doctor, but you can pretty confidently tell them that no, 50°C isn’t the best temperature for your body to run in and that they’re assholes for insisting to know better.

  15. Jacob Schmidt says

    Hunt

    It’s one thing to “shut up and listen,” acquiesce totally to the recounting of personal experience. Each of us is an authoritative expert on our own subjective experience. However, that’s not the same thing as being expert on the topic of something we have experienced.

    Do you have any reason to reject out of hand the subjective experience of oethers? ‘Cause all that’s being asked of you is to stop talking over people and start giving their experience some weight. No, not absolute weight. No ones asking you to take every minority’s experience as rote fact. All that’s being said is that their subjective experiences matters. “Shut up and listen” captures this quite nicely; stop talking for a second, stop acting as though your experience should be the same as theirs, and listen to what they have to say.

    Surviving an earthquake doesn’t make you and expert on earthquakes; having a human body doesn’t make you an expert on human anatomy and physiology.

    No, but the former gives us a fair bit of knowledge about how it feels to be in an earthquake, and the latter tells us what it’s like to be human. For instance, nearly any major earthquake survivor will tell you it’s fucking terrifying, and nearly any human will tell you it sucks when you starve. Of course, everyone has a different experiences, so we should listen to how others feel. This is particularly true because, if there is some problem with discrimination, the only way we’d be able to reliably know this would be too listen to the experience of those being discriminated.

  16. Eristae says

    Surviving an earthquake doesn’t make you and expert on earthquakes; having a human body doesn’t make you an expert on human anatomy and physiology.

    This shows exactly where people like Hunt go wrong, either out of dishonesty or lack of brainpower. It should be clear to everybody that surviving an earthquake makes you indefnetly more qualified at knowing what it is to be in an earthquake than any person who never came near one.

    Thank you. This is exactly what I was going to say. If someone who had been in an earthquake came to me freaking out about how horrible it had been, about how they’d seen people crushed, about how they now had ranging nightmares, about how they went days/weeks/whatever without help, do you know what I would not do?

    I would not tell them tthe that that they were in an earthquake didn’t mean they were any more qualified to talk about what it was like to be in an earthquakes than I was. I would not tell them that they couldn’t have conferences where earthquake survivors talked about the needs of earthquake survivors. I would not respond to them telling me to shut up with a massive screed about how they are like a dictatorship. I would not insist that it was silencing to say that that I couldn’t know what it was like because I’d never been in an earthquake. Of course someone who has been in an earthquake has a better idea of what it’s like to have been through an earthquake than I do because I’ve never been through a fucking earthquake.

    A little while ago I was watching some youtube videos by a woman with albinism. Over the course of the videos, it became clear that I knew more about how albinism works in the human body and why albinism effects the human body the way it does than she did. But did I think for even one moment that this made me more qualified to talk about what it meant to live as a person with albinism within her specific community or our broader community? No, I damned well fucking did not, and if I did start going off to her about how people should listen to me rather than her because, hah, I knew what caused her nastigmatism and she didn’t, I would expect to be soundly punched in the face (metaphorically). She was the one who knew what it was like to need to drag out a special test booklet with huge text, to have people not understand what she could and could not see, to have people have weird ideas about her based on her albinism (like that she glows in the dark) and more. She was the one who knew how to get foundation to match her skin tone, to fill in her eyebrows, to navigate the world with incredibly limited vision, and more. I cannot even imagine getting up in front of people at a conference meant to address the needs of people with albinism and taking them for task for not being interested enough in what I had to say. I simply cannot fathom being shocked by the idea that I don’t know what it’s like to be a person with albinism because I don’t have albinism. Why the hell would this be controversial?

    But minority groups get this kind of stuff a lot. Women, people with disabilities, racial minorities, all are subjected to this idea that they don’t understand their own situation as well as some other random person does. It’s baffling.

  17. Hunt says

    I don’t think “shut up and listen” (which I see used rarely), has been deployed against any man who has a degree in Gender Studies.

    The point isn’t that people should go around comparing CVs, and that the person less qualified, as determined on the spot, defers to the one more qualified. It’s that we should all defer (in fact, shut up) to the recounted subjective experience of others, the “what it’s like to be” experience but not very much else.

  18. says

    Indeed, Hunt. So when people suggest that perhaps you don’t have the experience that they do, and that you should stop pontificating about what it’s *really* like to experience what they’re talking about and actually listen before forming your judgments, you’ll — in the future — make an effort to do that, yes?

    Seriously, it sounds like you’re just an inch away from agreeing with the people saying “shut up and listen” (at least, all the examples offered so far, unless you have other examples to share with us), if only because they’re talking about experiences in the first place, not about qualifications and empiricism and what-have-you.

  19. says

    Likewise if you want to explore gender issues in any meaningful way, you consult real activists, social scientists and other experts on gender

    I don’t know who “you” is supposed to be in this comment. Because nobody at the pit, nor Lindsay, have shown any interest in discussing gender with social scientists who work on gender; quite the contrary, since the very few instances anyone there has voiced any opinion on the topic of social science, it’s been in the context of how social science is like creationism. Also too, “identity politics”.

  20. Hunt says

    Seriously, it sounds like you’re just an inch away from agreeing with the people saying “shut up and listen” (at least, all the examples offered so far, unless you have other examples to share with us), if only because they’re talking about experiences in the first place, not about qualifications and empiricism and what-have-you.

    I do agree with that. Frankly, the whole thing is a bit muddled. What is the exact meaning of shut up? and for how long. Shut up forever, because you’re wrong or shut up and let me tell you that I just went through an earthquake and this is what it was like…

    Even in Lindsay’s original talk, he compounds the confusion by expressing his point in two different ways. (And of course, this was but one of things he talked about). First he expresses the point:

    Shut up, because you’re a man and you cannot possibly know what it’s like to experience x, y, and z, and anything you say is bound to be mistaken in some way, but, of course, you’re too blinded by your privilege even to realize that.

    This is closer to actually denying the validity of lived experience. Is it incorrect to say that a person who hasn’t lived through an earthquake will never really know what it’s like? No, I don’t think so.

    Then he reiterates the point this way:

    People do have different life experiences, and many women have had experiences and perspectives from which men can and should learn. But having had certain experiences does not automatically turn one into an authority to whom others must defer. Listen, listen carefully, but where appropriate, question and engage.

    Here he’s confirming the notion of subjective expertise but making the point that subjective knowledge does not confer objective expertise. It’s really an epistemological argument. Who knows what, when, and what weight should it be given.

    The earthquake analogy is of course a simplified representation. We’re really talking about one group’s experience in relation to another group’s actions, for instance the experience of a less privileged group in relation to the behavior of a more privileged group. Is “shut up and listen” still a good idea when the “shut up” part effectively (yes, here it comes) silences half the equation? I’m not talking about right or wrong, culpability, or anything like that. I’m talking about getting to the bottom of a dispute or resolving an issue. Is “shut up and listen” an intelligent means to that end? In Fidalgo’s post, he thinks so. In fact, he does that one better, SUAL is appropriate even when erroneously motivated. If you couple that with PZ’s injunction to never argue back, you have a situation where disputes will literally never be resolved.

  21. Hunt says

    Oh, and by the way, Giliell, I did not slut shame your daughter (eye roll). The burlap bag remark was irony. Look it up.

  22. says

    Surviving an earthquake doesn’t make you and expert on earthquakes; having a human body doesn’t make you an expert on human anatomy and physiology.

    spending your life surviving one earthquake after the other makes you an expert on the experience of surviving earthquakes(especially when pooling info with other such earthquake survivors); having a human body makes you an expert on the experience of having a human body(especially when pooling info with others who have human bodies). And living in this world as a woman makes you an expert on what it means to live in this world as a woman (especially when pooling info with other people who live as women).

    Besides, again: it’s not like these assholes are actually listening to sociologists in gender/race studies, i.e. the educated experts on such experience; they revile Feminist Theory and Critical Theory.

  23. says

    It’s that we should all defer (in fact, shut up) to the recounted subjective experience of others,

    except when the person recounting the experience is someone who’s feeling harassed and excluded in the atheist community, apparently

  24. smhll says

    Here he’s confirming the notion of subjective expertise but making the point that subjective knowledge does not confer objective expertise. It’s really an epistemological argument. Who knows what, when, and what weight should it be given.

    Your argument is clear, but I wonder about it’s relevance.

    A1) I have seen little evidence that female atheists are actually telling men to “shut up and listen”. I think many occurrences of the word “privilege” in discussions are not a straight door slammed in the face, but have other meaning, meaning which is often explained, if not often understood.

    A2) The examples that Ron Lindsay linked of “SUaL” are PZ Myers, John Scalzi, a poster on Scalzi’s blog who self identifies as a white man, and a woman (whose name I forget) who blogs on DailyKos. I don’t recognize her name, and don’t know if she is an atheist. This is hardly evidence that feminists (particularly women feminists) are confronting men and demanding that they shut up.

    B) People in blog comments don’t usually get told to shut up until after their first post. I start to discount people if they’ve said something ignorant (and hostile). There are not legions, dozens or handfuls of men who are qualified to make well-informed comments about gender issues that are being told to “shut up and listen”. The claim that this is happening strikes me as bullshit. (I’m willing to read examples if you can come up with links, however.)

    Telling people to “shut up” doesn’t silence them.

    And just for a non sequitur, feminists are not the only rude people on the internet.

  25. Hunt says

    Telling people to “shut up” doesn’t silence them.

    That’s often repeated, but verges on disingenuous. At least local to a specific conversation, I can’t think of a better definition of “silencing” than telling a person to remain silent. The meaning of “shut up” has been minced so far that only the banal interpretation remains that it means listen carefully without interrupting for a few minutes. That really robs it of any significance. What’s more, it allows a convenience escape hatch for when the argument for shutting people up seems to be going badly. Shut up means, you know, shut up, stop conversing, except when it’s convenient for it to mean something else, like let me talk.

  26. says

    subjective knowledge does not confer objective expertise

    what, in terms of human interaction and social knowledge, is “objective expertise”? Assuming none of the people in the conversation is a psychologist or sociologist who studies the particular axis of oppression, the person with the experience with oppression on that axis does have more expertise than the person without that experience. And no, neither of them is more or less “biased” about it, either. That’s one of these bullshit assumptions, that the “default” perspective (that of the privileged) is considered more “objective” than that of a marginalized person.

    Who knows what, when, and what weight should it be given.

    more weight than to the narrative of a person completely lacking in any expertise, even subjective expertise, on a topic.

    Is “shut up and listen” still a good idea when the “shut up” part effectively (yes, here it comes) silences half the equation?

    this assumes that the privileged perspective is as unknown to the dis-privileged as the dis-privileged perspective is to the privileged. This is false. Demonstrably so. (compare: how well do atheists know what christian perspective is like vs. how well do christians know what the atheist perspective is like?)
    Point is: we’re all swimming in the privileged perspective; it’s the one always assumed as default, it’s the one always speaking, while the dis-privileged are. The “shut up and listen” idea is to interrupt that endless stream long enough to get the dis-privileged heard, and not have it immediadely drowned in the stream of privileged narrative again.
    “Shut up and listen” in other words doesn’t silence half the equation; at pest, it provides a tiny, localized break in the constant stream of the broadcast of that half of the equation to finally maybe get some of the other half heard.

    I’m talking about getting to the bottom of a dispute or resolving an issue.

    and refusing to interrupt the constant broadcast of the privileged perspective accomplishes this, how?

    If you couple that with PZ’s injunction to never argue back, you have a situation where disputes will literally never be resolved.

    again the assumption that the privileged perspective is unknown, and thus if a privileged one doesn’t get to immediately argue against the disprivileged position, the argument against it will remain unknown. What is this assumption based on, given that like I said, we’re drowning in a constant broadcast of that perspective?

    At least local to a specific conversation, I can’t think of a better definition of “silencing” than telling a person to remain silent.

    again with the assumption that whatever the ‘local’ privileged person had to say isn’t already known. Why? SUaL happens when disprivileged people want to respond to what they’re hearing in the constant stream of privileged perspective; that usually includes the perspective of the individuals now being told to shut it and listen for a change. So no, they’re not being “silenced”; they already had their turn and are being told to shut it so that a response can happen.

    Shut up means, you know, shut up, stop conversing, except when it’s convenient for it to mean something else, like let me talk.

    no, it means stop broadcasting; stop talking and thinking about what you’ll say when you plan on talking again; shut up while the disprivileged perspective is, for once, being broadcast instead of the privileged one.
    And yes, that largely includes not immediately resuming the broadcast and drowning out what was just said; process, incorporate into your thinking, respond LATER; or elsewhere; not right into the time set aside for disprivileged perspectives.

  27. says

    while the dis-privileged are silent and silenced, made entirely invisible at times.

    …at pestbest it….

    stop talking and also stop thinking about what you’ll say when you plan on talking again;

    not right into the time and place set aside for disprivileged perspectives.

    FIFM

    and one more thing I missed:

    At least local to a specific conversation, I can’t think of a better definition of “silencing” than telling a person to remain silent.

    “remain silent” is a blatant misrepresentation, a pretense that this person or this perspective has not spoken yet; become silent for a while is more accurate.

  28. Hunt says

    Jadehawk,
    Many good points, which I will sleep on.

    Here:

    If you couple that with PZ’s injunction to never argue back, you have a situation where disputes will literally never be resolved.

    again the assumption that the privileged perspective is unknown, and thus if a privileged one doesn’t get to immediately argue against the disprivileged position, the argument against it will remain unknown. What is this assumption based on, given that like I said, we’re drowning in a constant broadcast of that perspective?

    I was talking about the hypothetical in Fidalgo’s post where he actually assumes an error of interpretation on the part of the less privileged person, although it is conceivable this could come under the heading of “intent is not magic,” a concept I only partly agree with. I think it’s quite possible to still be in the wrong when called out on something, even though you didn’t intend any offense, but only sometimes, in particular, when you’ve been really stupid about something and should have known better. Other times, I think your explanation should be able to clear you, which is one good reason conversations need to be two-way. Swimming in a privileged environment doesn’t obviate the need to clarify confusion or correct misinterpretation.

  29. says

    I’m guessing you mean this part?

    I am enlightened, I am sensitive, I am progressive, I am rational. I am not one of those white males. What I said was devoid of bigotry, it was not demeaning, it was not belittling, it was not in any way tainted by privilege.
    You may even be right!

    I’ll set aside for a moment the “intent isn’t magic” part. Let’s say you’ve been called out on something, and you’re “objectively” not in the wrong. How are you planning on figuring out whether you’re not in the wrong? Are you just going to assume that you’re not in the wrong, and argue from there? Why?
    Point being, if the moment you perceive the other person to be saying something you think is incorrect you’re formulating a reply in your head, you’re no longer listening. So you have to do something else: you have to absorb everything the other person has to say, and once they’re finished think about what they’ve said, how it fits with what you thought was said, and so on. None of that can be done while talking or thinking about what to say.
    Anyway, response can only happen after listening and after thinking about what was said; and then preferrably with questions rather than accusations and defenses, because you’re still trying to figure out what went wrong, right? Not just assert that you’re right and they’re wrong?

    Ok, now let’s go back to “intent isn’t magic”. I’ve on numerous occasions linked to various studies showing how stereotype threat works, showing the effect of rape jokes, and more recently I’ve been linking to studies on micro-aggressions, too. Not a one of these show that intent of the person doing the harm makes any difference to the initial harm-causing (insofar as that has been studied; most amazing are probably the results of “colorblindness” studies that show that whites trying to be colorblind come off as more hostile than those not trying to do that. e.g. the effect was the reverse from the intent); sometimes doubling down will cause even more harm, because it just re-does what just happened. So again, shutting up is probably a better solution, to not cause more damage than was already done. You may well be right in some way, but is not shutting up about being right more important than not exacerbating inadvertent harm?

    Any conversation on the topic that just caused harm can of course still be had, but generally only at a point where it’s no longer one person trying to explain their experience and another insisting that that’s not what happened; rather, it could happen later, when no one is being hurt/defensive anymore (preferrably with someone else, on a more theoretical level; but I get that that might not be possible, because maybe that’s the only person disprivileged in this particular way that you know, or they’re the only person on that axis of oppression that has ever reacted in this way to that particular thing that caused the problem in the first place).

    In any case, “shut up” is the correct action while someone disprivileged is explaining their point, and in the immediate aftermath as well. “Shut up” is also the correct action when a space and time has been set aside for a particular disprivileged person/group to talk about their perspectives on the issue, no matter how much you feel like you’re gonna explode if you don’t immediately jump into the discussion (trust me, I know that feeling); in that case, it’s an “shut up until after the designated time for the disprivileged to speak has concluded”.

    And yes, sometimes “shut up” really does just mean “don’t interrupt”; sounds trivial, but women being constantly interrupted and talked-over by men is a well-documented phenomenon.

    Basically, the whole concept of “shut up and listen” is about becoming a hell of a lot more aware of the tendency of privileged folks to really like to hear themselves talk: to interrupt; to offer their perspective even on things they have no experience with; to butt into conversations between disprivileged people with demands for explanations; to immediately start arguing back, even in situations when the concepts being used/talked about are unfamiliar; etc. ad nauseam.

    In my personal experience, “shutting up and listening” has on occasion required literal tongue/lip biting to not butt in with my opinion where it could hardly provide new insights. It takes practice. Really.

  30. says

    Other times, I think your explanation should be able to clear you, which is one good reason conversations need to be two-way

    clear you of what, actually? if you’ve triggered stereotype threat or the psychological reaction to a microaggression, how is explaining you didn’t mean that undo the psychological effect? that doesn’t even make sense.

    . Swimming in a privileged environment doesn’t obviate the need to clarify confusion or correct misinterpretation.

    how would the person with less knowledge and understanding of how a particular axis of oppression works be able to be the one doing the clarifying or correcting? Asking questions that might get to the bottom of the miscommunication, sure. But where would the knowledge come from to actually accurately explain/clarify?

    And now consider this in the context that privileged people almost always think they’ve just been misunderstood, and therefore always feel the need to explain and clarify, regardless of whether they’re right or wrong. How is that working for communication?

  31. says

    and on a more personal note: I’ve learned to step back from arguments even if I feel I’m right, because a)in reality, being right feels the same as being wrong, and b)the cost of occasionally “losing” an argument and have one someone think me a bigger asshole than I actually am is quite small compared to the alternative cost of not ever learning a damn thing if I instead chose to always argue and defend my belief that I’m right in situations where it’s contextually just so much less likely that in fact I am right.

  32. Jacob Schmidt says

    The meaning of “shut up” has been minced so far that only the banal interpretation remains that it means listen carefully without interrupting for a few minutes.

    Right. Shut up for a few minutes. All the term has ever meant was to be quiet. All that’s being asked is that we give minorities a chance to speak (by shutting up for a few minutes so that they can be heard).

    Frankly, the whole thing is a bit muddled. What is the exact meaning of shut up? and for how long. Shut up forever, because you’re wrong or shut up and let me tell you that I just went through an earthquake and this is what it was like…

    Do you really need specific rules for this? Is “acting in good faith” not enough? Shut up and listen; give minorities a chance to speak before responding; stop reiterating the same privileged viewpoint as if it must be representative of mostly everyone.

  33. smhll says

    That’s often repeated, but verges on disingenuous. At least local to a specific conversation, I can’t think of a better definition of “silencing” than telling a person to remain silent.

    Please localize the accusation that feminists say “shut up and listen” to a specific conversation. Being able to localize this would focus and improve the discourse, I think. Absent some relevant quotes, I think Lindsay’s statement about the concept “shut up and listen” being a known feminist misbehavior is a smear and an exaggerated one.

    The irony, which I find obvious, is that Lindsay lectured his audience for 30 minutes. He went over his allotted 20 minutes by 50 percent (allegedly). This was a non-interactive medium in which is would have been considered rude to reply to him. Rebecca “spoke” about his speech on Twitter during the speech and he objected strongly to her remark. (Content more than timing.) In this room, who had the power to speak and who didn’t?

    Accurate language is important. Hyperbole, especially hyperbole designed to conjure up images of totalinarianism, is a tactic that people that want authentic dialog should avoid. Telling someone you want them to stop talking can hurt their feelings but it does not literally silence them. Have you seen internet trolls? Of course you have. Some of them output so much verbiage that it seems like they never stop talking.

    Even the biblical quote that Lindsay used from Timothy that says that women should be silence in church is just a statement. Accepting and enforcing this rule is the actual silencing.

    Men have had the pulpit, the megaphone and the microphone much more than women throughout most of history. Claims that women are literally silencing men are overwrought.

    I would like to see men listening more, rather than posting, yelling, complaining about how they aren’t allowed to speak. The current silence is full of lots of noise, lots of words, lots of dialog.

  34. Eristae says

    I’m just going to reiterate this quite from Jadehawk because it seems to have been ignored/overlooked:

    I don’t know who “you” is supposed to be in this comment. Because nobody at the pit, nor Lindsay, have shown any interest in discussing gender with social scientists who work on gender; quite the contrary, since the very few instances anyone there has voiced any opinion on the topic of social science, it’s been in the context of how social science is like creationism. Also too, “identity politics”.

    Ron Lindsay isn’t a social scientist who works on gender. There is nothing in his background that would indicate that he has any special kind of expertise on gender issues. He is not, shall we say, a physician going over a list of physical ailments in his head. Furthermore, he isn’t coming around with information from people who might have some kind of academic or experience based information about gender. In fact, the people who do have experienced based information (you know, women) are the ones being told that their experience based information doesn’t make then any more of an expert than having no particular information at all.

    The fact that women live as women and men don’t live as women isn’t irrelevant to the discussion. It certainly doesn’t mean that women are always right (any more than physicians are always right), but their lived experience as women does grant them a certain amount of knowledge about living as women.

  35. carlie says

    Quoting Jadehawk again:

    Besides, again: it’s not like these assholes are actually listening to sociologists in gender/race studies, i.e. the educated experts on such experience; they revile Feminist Theory and Critical Theory.

    The only criticism to “shut up and listen” I’ve seen is “living through an experience isn’t the same as having expertise in the subject”, without understanding that this is being said to people who do NOT have expertise in the subject. It is being said, in fact, to people who ALSO talk over those who do have expertise in the subject. It’s being said to people who have neither expertise nor experience, yet seem to think that their opinions ought to carry equal weight with those who have one or the other or both. I have not once seen someone with expertise in the subject be told to be quiet, nor have I seen an expert complain about being silenced.

    As to the value of shutting up: seriously, you don’t realize the value until you actually try doing it. I am a talker. I am the kid in the back of the room with their hand raised for every question. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when I was trying to learn about womanism and ableism, that I consciously realized that NOT commenting was a good strategy to learn what was going on. I watched other people make comments that were similar to what I would have said, and watched the cluelessness in those comments get dissected, and watched the other commenters grow weary of having to rebut those stupid comments time and time again. And over a month or two, I realized that I was paying closer attention to what was really being said in the first place. You honestly don’t notice how much of your brainpower during a conversation is set on figuring out what you’re going to say next instead of listening until you stop trying to figure out what you’re going to say next. It’s sort of like how when you’re in a room with air conditioning on, you don’t even hear the sound and don’t realize how loudly the person next to you is talking until the air handlers shut off, and suddenly you hear how everything is quiet and that person’s voice sounds super loud. Deciding that you are going to shut up and listen is like turning off the air handlers, and suddenly the voice talking to you is so much easier to understand.

  36. says

    You honestly don’t notice how much of your brainpower during a conversation is set on figuring out what you’re going to say next instead of listening until you stop trying to figure out what you’re going to say next.

    this.

  37. maudell says

    I have an idea:

    Let’s take the point that women are too emotional to decide on women’s issues, trans people are too invested to be rational about gender issues and people classified as ‘non-white’ too upset to understand racial issues, all regardless of experience and knowledge (unless they defend the status quo, of course). Now, if that is a correct assumption, I have a great suggestion to end misandry.

    We should have a big panel of Blackfoot nation women only with the power to decide on all issues touching white Canadian and American men. It has all the correct requirements: they’re outside of the emotional vortex that makes people irrational when they speak of misandry. Of course, that means that men’s voices should be silenced when it comes to all men’s issues, because they’re like little uppity children throwing temper tantrums.

    Of course, I personally think it’s a terrible idea, but it must be because I am too invested in the whole thing. What could be the rationalization from the unbiased crowd against my proposal? Perhaps that evolution has bred caucasian men to be completely unbiased and rational in all situations? It might *look* irrational when they spend 8 hours a day writing comments decrying the excess of one or two posts Rebecca Watson wrote about anything.

    She should remember that writing while being Rebecca Watson is a clear invitation to write 200 comments calling her a brainless irrational child. Clearly, that makes all the @Truthteller526 #braveheros.

    [If anyone needs this… /sarcasm]

  38. says

    Jadehawk continues to make very nuanced
    and considered points which is why arguing
    with her is almost not worth it so shall resist
    I wish we could have a book of her postings
    because I would go buy one just right away
    So I will say just one thing now and it is this
    Say that you are a man in a room with very
    powerful feminists why is it wrong to just sit
    there in silence soaking it all up regardless
    Why do men at the very least allow women
    no freedom to talk about their own personal
    experiences and so do what Jade suggested
    I am nearly ashamed at the misogyny which
    I have shown and no excuses for it either as
    at my age I really ought to know better now
    This is the second time in nine months that I
    have had to issue public apologies to women
    I as always leave the judging to others here

  39. hypatiasdaughter says

    Don’t all those “Yeah, Ron” posts kind of sound like ……”White Knighting”? Can’t RL defend himself? Do these posters think that RL is weak and needy and unable to handle a little criticism?

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