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Splitting the difference between reality and mythology

Something I’ve noticed very prominently recently in these wars amongst atheists and secularists, wars waged over our daring to suggest that maybe us feminists might also want a say in how women in the community are generally treated, is that every time one particular section of our community dislikes something, they find it sufficient to build up mythologies around it in an attempt to destroy it, rather than challenging the ideas on their merits. This subset of our rationalist community invents things from whole cloth to demonize the people they want out of the movement.

It has happened with Freethought Blogs, Skepchick, Atheism Plus, and just about every person associated with both the ideas of secularism, skepticism or atheism, and the idea that maybe we need to sort our house out if we ever hope to be welcoming to people other than the stock-in-trade of the community, the semi-affluent cis white male. It has happened with me a number of times. It has happened with Ophelia more times than I can count, and Stephanie, and Rebecca Watson, and PZ Myers. To people who disagree with A+, like Natalie Reed. Even to people who had never heard of any of these fights before.

It has happened and will continue to happen to every person who dares to say “I disagree” to any “leader” in this so-called leaderless movement, on any topic approaching social justice. I mean, with that sort of temerity, surely they’re just asking for a river of shit to flow over them, amirite? Surely they’re dishing “it” out, so they can take it (never mind that we’re amplifying “it” by many orders of magnitude)?

And so it goes that an incident in which I was involved tangentially, and briefly, kicking around some anti-feminist goobers on Facebook until their break with reality became blatant and too overwhelming for me to deal with, was morphed by certain elements’ mythologizing into a concerted effort to shut down a forum and silence free speech.

BECAUSE FTBULLIES.


Ophelia wrote a shortened version of the events in question over here. It doesn’t take much more unpacking than that to get to the heart of this mythologizing, but it does take a bit. Bear with me.

Mai Dao-Horton, a thoroughly lovely person I met briefly at WiS2, took the Freedom From Religion Foundation to task over their repeated publicizing and lauding of Justin Vacula’s efforts to put up atheist billboards despite his dogmatic antifeminism and his various other libel campaigns against people like Surly Amy, and for just being a terrible representative as the face of atheism in general. She posted it in a Facebook group called “Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)”, which turns out to have been a fan-made group from before Facebook had official organization pages.

As I’m Facebook friends with Mai, I saw the post pop up on my Facebook Timeline on one of those super-rare occasions that I was on Facebook for something other than replying to posts by my sister or high school friends. (Seriously, I’m on Facebook one one-hundredth as much as I am on Twitter, and even that I’ve got hardly any time to play around on lately.) The thread at that point wasn’t really much of anything, just a request for how people felt about working with Vacula on billboard campaigns despite his anti-feminist campaigns.

The full thread is in this very, very long .png screenshot, just in case it disappears into the ether. I will excerpt sparsely.

Mai’s original post:

Justin Vacula, a known MRA that associates with A Voice for Men, is working with the FFRF on this project. What do people think about this?

http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/546231/Area-students-banner-refutes-validity-of-prayer

My response:

I’m perfectly okay with these kinds of efforts, as long as people understand that in matters of gender equality, Vacula does not speak for me. Under no circumstances do I consider it overreach when women try to actually regain a voice in this otherwise white-and-grey-male movement.

A slimepitter ‘nymmed Skeeve (aka DW Adams in this thread), and another complete-unknown-to-me named Carl who evidently has a chip on his shoulder over people demanding that we actually think of how actions affect people who aren’t even him — gasp, horror! — show up and fight a bit in this thread with some other commenters you may recognize. The ground they want to war over: whether or not Vacula actually posted new, original content for A Voice For Men, and whether or not AVfM is actually being monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and whether or not a goalpost can be shifted mid-game. Wait, that last one might not actually have been up for debate, as these two and one other unknown-to-me did a good deal of goalpost-shifting as a matter of course during this gainsaying.

I also got called a bully because I said that Paul Elam’s AVfM site is blatantly antifeminist — where Elam himself was quoted earlier in the thread as saying about feminists, “We are coming for you, and we are coming for all the liars out there that have been ruining people’s lives with impunity. [...] You are SO fucked.”

It seems like a reasonable complaint, and a further reasonable complaint that Vacula, who was helped to go to Women in Secularism by AVfM fundraising efforts among others’, and is now being helped by AVfM’s Dean Esmay to go to Atheist Ireland’s Empowering Women through Secularism conference, is actually associated with them. As in, being supported by antifeminists, and basically handed free vacations, as a representative of antifeminism wherever feminists congregate. To further their causes. Vacula’s vacations are an investment to them.

And yet this apparently makes me a bully using fallacious “guilt by association” tactics. How dare I call Vacula an antifeminist when he doesn’t call himself that, even though his every waking moment is evidently filled with calling himself a brave hero for challenging those uppity feminists invading his private club?

I took umbrage at yet another honest and serious use of “feminazi” in dialog, saying:

Can we all just agree that anyone using the term “feminazi” with any degree of seriousness is antifeminist?

I thought that was an attempt at outreach. Surely anyone saying “feminazi” without irony IS in fact antifeminist, if not an MRA or an outright misogynist (none of the three properties necessitate one another, but all three are, of course, compatible). It sort of worked, given the immediate reply:

You sling anti feminist around like its a bad word. Sign me up for anti any -ist and -ism… As in feminist, Masculinist…(yes minimalists too that stuff is silly) and the entire crop of self serving utopian idealism is nonsense.

I could have replied to this with “atheist, humanist, realist?” But I didn’t. (This same guy later calls himself an atheist, humanist and “most importantly a Steveist”.)

I wanted to drive the point home that “feminazi” is a tell that you’re not here to seriously discuss anything about which your mind wasn’t already made up.

Of whites and blacks in western society, blacks are the less privileged group. Do we call black anti-racism activists “racinazis”? Of Christians and atheists in western society, atheists are the underprivileged, so when Christians complain that we’re taking away their right to include prayer in government, do we allow them to compare atheists to Nazis unchallenged? So why, considering women are the underprivileged gender between men and women in western society (leaving out for the moment other gender presentations and orientations), do we allow feminists to be called Nazis for trying to restore some balance to that power structure?

Communications break down rather rapidly when the people involved in the conversation refuse to actually provide evidence for any of their libellous assertions about me and others, and start talking in something approaching the sorts of victim-narrative bullshit that Christians sometimes build up around themselves about being persecuted by those damned atheists:

I think you should change that to “Since I consider women to be the underprivileged gender” from “considering women are.” You are making a claim that, quite frankly, many don’t think has merit. Accordingly, the term feminazi tends to accurately describe many feminists who have no interest in restoring balance.

-nazi being added to extremist group think behavior does happen in just about any case where there is such behavior. It doesnt roll off the tongue as well but Black militant group is used in its place in the racism example you gave. It has the same connotation. Anytime you find people not fighting for equality but whining about “the conspiracy the man the patriarchy” they are open to ridicule from people who realize that you dont fix inequalities with a sledge hammer to one side of the scales but with balancing the load.

It devolved into fallacy soup from there, and I took my leave.

That was it. That was my last contact with any of these people, excepting Skeeve, who had tweeted at me during the conversation to say that he was donating $25 to Vacula’s fundraising because of me.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/Adams_DW/status/339160946046013440"]

Because… of me. Not because he’s been hanging around at the slime pit mythologizing people and events and already chose his side in this fight long before he came upon it, or because he as a self-styled disinterested party has been shown exactly how horrible we FTBullies are and poor Vacula’s being persecuted despite not having an antifeminist bone in his body (never mind that this narrative is patently false). Oh no. Because of ME.

At one point during the conversation, however, Mai said something that somehow slipped by me the first time through:

Well good for the FFRF that they don’t mind this kind of association…or, maybe they do? Anyway, I’ve done more than simply post this on a fake FFRF fan Facebook page – I have written them and let them know that I find it troubling, especially in light of the fact that the FFRF does take a strong stance to support feminism. Like Carl Silverman, I too can vote with my member dollars – I was considering renewing, but maybe I’ll just have to get a membership with an organization that has leadership with the willingness to call Vacula on his anti-feminism. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/22/david-silverman-a-principled-atheist/

Emphasis mine.

It didn’t occur to me that this actually meant that this page wasn’t run by FFRF, on my first read. It certainly makes sense now, because a few days later, on May 31st, this apparently appeared on their group:

Lauryn Ffrf
My name is Lauryn and I’m the publicist for the FFRF. Eric and other admin have been kind enough to agree to shut down this group by June 30 and start a new group. The reason for this is because our pages have been commonly confused.

We know this is disappointing and we apologize for the inconvenience. However, as an organization we had no choice. Eric’s group although known as “Friends of FFRF,” is actually known as and officially registered as “FFRF”. They cannot change the name based on the size of members. It was was created before an official FFRF page existed. Because FFRF is our official name, we must keep full control of all domains including just that name.

As you’ve mentioned, people forget about the pages they “like” and check them less frequently than groups. However, at our FFRF page you can find official press releases, updated news and photos from inside the FFRF etc. Our page is moderated by staff and volunteers to prevent an overwhelming amount of proselytizing from trolls.

The good news is that Eric is creating a new “Friends of FFRF” group. We urge you to join the new group created by these folks. We would also appreciate if you follow our official page at https://www.facebook.com/4ffrf. Thanks so much for your support!!

Freedom From Religion Foundation

Understandable, no? Especially where FFRF’s main point of contention was the fact that the page was registered as and is unchangeable from its present title, “Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)” due to Facebook’s rather ridiculous rules about what’s fixed and what’s fluid. The group had changed its post slug to “friends.of.ffrf”, but it had grown too quickly to the size where it wasn’t allowed to change its name once the real deal came along so the only workaround was for Eric to delete the old group and build a new one — with the same name, “Friends of FFRF”, even.

Most people took it okay, with a “yeah, I joined here because I thought this was the official group” or “good, the two were getting confused too often”, though some took it harshly and flounced FOR REALZ. You’d think it would end at that, right?

Nope. Duh.

Apparently the mythologizers over at the Slyme Pit got it into their heads, because of Skeeve loosely interpreting that one fight he got into with me into some kind of overarching campaign, that it was a targeted “false flag” operation.

Screenshot of Skeeve at Slymepit

Screenshot of Skeeve at Slymepit

by Skeeve » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:12 am  •  [Post 29596]

JustAtheist wrote:

Cunning Punt wrote:

deLurch wrote:

JustAtheist wrote:

Cunning Punt wrote:Just to change the subject a little bit:https://www.facebook.com/groups/friends … 045149276/

Friends of the FFRF – it’s FB page for friends of the group but is not officially representative of them.

This Facebook page has been reported to the FFRF by Maiforpeace, because in her mind, it is full of bigots and assholes. Good to see her doing the good work of keeping the ranks ideologically clean. She’s been at them for weeks and now they have to shut down. Slacktivism at its finest.

The Louse filled Canuck had his hand in this also as well as a few other A+ sympathizers.

Any more information on this? The link goes nowhere.

See if this link goes somewhere:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/friends.of.ffrf/

It won’t be around much longer.

JustAtheist, do you have any sources on this? You can PM me. I’d be interested to see what Thimbledick has been up to.

I left the group when they closed it unfortunately so i have no links for ya. It was a post by a guy complaining that people arent being nice right after mai posted about FFRF needing to do something about vacula the known mra linking to his article about the prayer banner.

I believe this post by unregistered user ButterCup show where Mai started to get her panties in a wad:
viewtopic.php?p=93251#p93251

Basically, I and a few others took her to task about her accusations. Canuck got involved, being disingenous as ever. When she didn’t receive 100% agreement with her character assassination, she started asking the Moderator if this is the type of stuff FFRF wants to be associated with. When she found out the page was just a ‘friends of FFRF’ page, she went to the authentic FFRF page and complained. This in turn resulted in the old page being shut down and a new one with a more agreeable Moderator in charge. Yay for Mai! Freeze Peach!

Atheists Today | Twitter | Blog
“Schrödinger’ Rapist isn’t about what men are; it’s about what women perceive them to be. And explaining how women’s perception may not match with reality is just mansplaining.”-mjpam

Over at Mick Nugent’s comment thread about fostering dialogue between harassers and harassees, MosesZD (a guy I’ve seen trolling dozens of places) evidently read Skeeve’s post and made the most obvious logical leap:

MosesZD June 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm
This link: http://tinyurl.com/qfnohg7 was to a friends of the FFRF group – a FB page for friends of the group but is not officially representative of them.

It was shut down by A+. Maiforpeace, The Lousy Cannuk and others who waged a false-flagging campaign.

Now do you see what we’re up against? Now do you see the problem? Or is it going to be more of the golden mean fallacy as A+ strives to destroy skepticism and atheism with their intolerance of others and desire to inflict their ideas of ideological purity on others.

Note that at no point did Mai say she actually reported the fan group to the FFRF — what she said she did was tell the FFRF by other means that she found their association with Vacula troubling. Note that a “false flagging campaign” would be reporting this group to Facebook to have it shut down. Note that my only involvement was fighting with some assholes on a thread I didn’t even know belonged on the group. Near as I can figure, it is either coincidence that FFRF approached Eric and came to an amicable arrangement, or at absolute worst, Mai pointing FFRF to where she posted to this group that got their attention that the group even existed. That IS, after all, the most parsimonious interpretation.

And the timing! Surely it’s a coincidence that yet again, something posted on the Slyme Pit is turned into a conspiracy to defame and libel one of their hated competitors for the heart and soul of the secular movement. Repeatedly. Really repeatedly. No really, all the damn time.

Funny that it’s happened to me personally twice now. Happened lots of times to lots of other folks though. Someone creates a grievance, even if it is out of whole cloth, and it’s taken as canon. Funny that some people still believe that surely the reasonable middle ground can be reached if we just sit down and hash out our differences.

You know what the middle ground between reality and mythology is?

It. Is. Still. Mythology.

You cannot split the difference between fiction and fact. “Based on a true story” is still fiction, even if it includes real people’s names. That’s what we’re fighting with here: people who lie and slur other people in the community, whip up hatred at every tiniest slight (I was banned from a blog! Woe is me, I’ll lie about and slur them until they let me back in!), and who foster a self-feeding environment of back-slapping over every time they stick it to their hated enemies. Thus breeds this sort of dehumanization and contempt that we’re fighting, which grows and festers like a cancer in any social group, but which is doubly damning in a movement that prides itself on being rational and skeptical and truth-seeking.

We just want to be left the fuck alone by these fixated, delusional liars who find any attempt at disagreeing with the positions of our so-called “leaders” to be so odious as to make us targets for years-long hate campaigns. You wanna disagree with us disagreeing with others? Fine. Do that. That’s what this community is supposed to be about, hearing all ideas. Pro tip: disagreement doesn’t look like this. Nor this. Nor anything remotely close to this. Try argumentation, evidence and reason instead, sans all the acrimony and shameless hounding, and maybe you won’t get called a harasser.

And we will not compromise from that totally reasonable position. As I’ve said before, there can be no Khitomer Accord. Only a Treaty of Algernon.

Comments

  1. says

    Wow, the whole story is even more ridiculously nonsensical than what I was able to pick up from Twitter!

    And to expand on what I said on Twitter, there’s no middle ground to be had when you really look at what the two sides are fighting about. One side abuses, the other side is abused. One side lies, the other side is lied about while being called liars. And the only thing the abusers will accept is an admission that the mythology that they’ve created is real. Silence isn’t enough: Jen McCreight stopped blogging months ago and they STILL randomly go after her. They will only be happy when Rebecca Watson says that no one talked to her on an elevator, when feminist bloggers concede that being called sexist slurs and having their faces photoshopped onto nude bodies and farm animals is actually not harassment, when PZ Myers admits that he’s running a cult, and so on.

    They will only be happy when they torture their opponents into repenting of their sins… who is running the cult again?

  2. smhll says

    Jason, are the top four block quotes in your post from Justin Vacula? I wasn’t sure about the attribution. Thanks.

  3. says

    Gah Sarah beat me to storifying Julias rant, it was pretty cool but I got distracted. Really reminded me of another new entrant to the “deep rifts” some time back, Skeptikat. One tweet suggesting that the hate Surly Amy gets made her want to speak out more as a feminist and ….
    http://elevatorgate.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/skeptikat-katy-hall-being-a-silly-little-girl/

    Attempted doxxing by our own favourite kook, ElevatorGate, which he got wrong hitting someone else by mistake. So basically speak out and an obsessive asshole will twist everything you say for the rest of your days online and attempt to dox you for one tweet. The Slymers try and distance themselves from him but until very recently he was the most connected person in theblockbot.com block list table. (Vacula recently overtook him)

    Very strangely after Julia had her rant the EG arse blogged about her then this “parody” appeared. https://twitter.com/Elatheism –> block and report it –> Its first 9 followers before it got off the ground were all EGs sock and parody accounts. Totally coincidental I’m sure.

  4. Rob says

    This subset of our rationalist community invents things from whole cloth to demonize the people they want out of the movement.

    So remind me again why I should accept these people as being rationalists. We’ll put the explanation about decent, honest or likeable to one side for now.

  5. says

    smhll: None of the blockquotes are Vacula. He is only involved in this by being the guy Mai was complaining to FFRF about. He has not commented, nor do I particularly care about his opinion about this issue or other issues as long as he stays the hell away from me and nobody mistakes his viewpoints for mine.

  6. says

    Hooray for having to stop what you’re doing to clear up yet one more lie about you. I think I spent three hours on that this week. Wonder what I could have been doing for the movement instead.

  7. says

    Understandable, no?

    Well, yes. Blaming you and imagining some elaborate false-flag campaign (not even sure how that’s supposed to apply here) would only make sense if your real or alleged actions resulted in some terrible consequences. In this case, the actions taken by the FFRF and the person who’d set up the friends page – as a result of or coincidental to Mai’s complaint – were perfectly reasonable and obviously in the best interests of the organization. They don’t even seem to be interested in attempting to argue otherwise. I mean, it’s almost like they’re just pursuing their own agenda and don’t really care about the FFRF at all….

  8. Jrod says

    You know who else is constantly screaming about false-flag operations? Nobody worth listening to.

  9. Stacy says

    Oh, wow, I remember those assholes.

    I loved how DW tried to defend Vacula by saying he isn’t really “associated with” AVfM, despite the evidence. It’s just that Vacula will use any group in his quest for self-promotion.

    Leaving aside the idiotic refusal to acknowledge the meaning of the word “associate,” he provided a damning summation of his pal’s character. And didn’t realize it.

  10. Martha says

    Sorry you and Stephanie had to spend your time this weekend fighting lies, but it’s important. So thanks to both of you for– and Ophelia and everyone else who lays out the facts behind the smokescreen– for doing what you do.

  11. says

    Jason-

    This was so entertaining to read! I just started working at FFRF and honestly had no idea how much background was behind this.

    “Near as I can figure, it is either coincidence that FFRF approached Eric and came to an amicable arrangement, or at absolute worst, Mai pointing FFRF to where she posted to this group that got their attention that the group even existed.”

    You are correct that this was an utter coincidence. FFRF had been aware of the group for some time, but Eric, (the admin of the group), actually emailed us first. Eric offered to take the group down if needed before we even thought to request it!

    Thank you for covering this story!
    -Lauryn

  12. F [nucular nyandrothol] says

    SC:

    I think it is a bit of conflation between “false-flag operation” and “falsely flagging” (reporting, e.g., a TOS violation) user-generated content.

  13. PatrickG says

    On a minor note, I had to stop and just laugh uproariously at this particular by Carl Silverman (9th comment in) on their effrontery in naming AVfM a misogynist hate site:

    And, as for the SPLC, they need to focus on SOUTHERN POVERTY

    Or in other words, SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SPLC! How dare they expand their mission after the time of founding without changing their name too!

  14. hypatiasdaughter says

    This stuff gets me so confused.
    If AVfM isn’t a misogynist site, then why would JV and his cohorts be pedaling so hard to disassociate JV with it?
    And if it is a misogynist site, why would decent upstanding non-sexist blokes, like JV and his cohorts, want to have anything to do with it?
    If StormFront wanted to run an article I wrote, I might let them, in the name of free speech – but I would completely disavow any association with them or their beliefs. I haven’t noticed JV and his cohorts doing that.
    If those who were offering those absurd rationalizations for using “feminazi” would stroll around my backyard, I wouldn’t have to fertilize it this year.
    I hate it when entitled asshats throw around the term “nazi” like confetti. It belittles the horrific actions of the real NAZI’s; and shows how fucking stupid these asshats are if they have to conflate people disagreeing with them with them on their own blogs to a movement that exterminated over 9 million people in concentration camps. What a bunch of disgusting infantile losers.

  15. says

    Lauryn @12:
    Oh that’s just the uppermost tip of the iceberg. If you ever get the time, I believe Jason came up with a timeline of the harassment several months ago. I don’t have a link handy, but I’m sure someone can provide.
    Warning, you’ll need patience, time, several allotted breaks, somewhere to scream loudly and perhaps some pillows (facepalming or headdesking too much tends to hurt).

  16. says

    I hate it when entitled asshats throw around the term “nazi” like confetti. It belittles the horrific actions of the real NAZI’s; and shows how fucking stupid these asshats are if they have to conflate people disagreeing with them with them on their own blogs to a movement that exterminated over 9 million people in concentration camps. What a bunch of disgusting infantile losers.

    Infantile losers, and distinguished WaPo essayists. Pretty sure Paula Kirby came up with that particular slur in the context.

  17. hypatiasdaughter says

    #18 rorschach
    Am I mistaken that it was also Paula Kirby who started the #ftbullies?
    Do these people have absolutely no insight at how juvenile and petty their behavior looks? They remind me of those bad movies about an immature junior high school clique that starts a program of harassment against someone who has offended them by wearing the same skirt as them or dating an ex-boyfriend. (Sorry for the sexist reference, but the slymers are a real life caricature of the “mean girl” of the movies.)

  18. Pierce R. Butler says

    rorschach @ # 18: Pretty sure Paula Kirby came up with that particular slur in the context.

    How was her context any different from “feminizi” originator Rush Limbaugh’s?

  19. says

    From “brave heroes” to “false flags”: if Vacula’s the Joe The Plumber of atheism then perhaps Skeeve is its Alex Jones.

    Pithy individual monikers aside, the Bottomless Pit and all their enablers/supporters and assorted likeminded bandwagon-hoppers, footmen and chambermaids all need to be treated the same way the Teabaggers, far-right wingnuts and uber-libertarians are treated by moderates on both sides of politics: as paranoid, fringe-dwelling, hysterical liars noone wants anything to do with. Liabilities. Distractions. Self-caricatures. Wreckers. The MRAtheists are our Palins, Bachmanns and Limbaughs and should be similarly derided, repudiated and ostracised.

  20. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Tony #17:

    Lauryn @12:
    Oh that’s just the uppermost tip of the iceberg. If you ever get the time, I believe Jason came up with a timeline of the harassment several months ago. I don’t have a link handy, but I’m sure someone can provide.

    Article: Digital archaeology of Elevatorgate – a timeline
    Article: Harassment policies campaign – timeline of major events

  21. says

    I think it is a bit of conflation between “false-flag operation” and “falsely flagging” (reporting, e.g., a TOS violation) user-generated content.

    Yeah, my reaction was: do they have any evidence that Jason pretended to be a member of the slymepit or other group on their side?

    As it would be necessary for it to be a false flag operation.

    I guess it’s not surprising that they have such horrible reading comprehension when they don’t even comprehend what they are writing.

  22. says

    Funny that it’s happened to me personally twice now. Happened lots of times to lots of other folks though. Someone creates a grievance, even if it is out of whole cloth, and it’s taken as canon. Funny that some people still believe that surely the reasonable middle ground can be reached if we just sit down and hash out our differences.

    It happens in politics all the time too, on places like Breitbart and Drudge and other bottom-of-the-barrel right-wing news sites. It’s been happening since forever, in the Cold War, the War on Drugs, the Red Scares, the world wars, the Civil Rights Movement, and many many other instances where the right (those who defend oppression) have found themselves fighting for their privileges.

    And yet, it’s never indicative of any pattern of behaviour and it’s unfair to bring any of these instances up in discussion, ever. In fact, the talking points espoused by those who committed violence when reality disagreed with them are never wrong, and the use of violence as a substitute for argument cannot possibly indicate wrongness.

  23. says

    Pshh. Because being like a woman is the worst thing, amirite Gil?

    I am always amused when I spot a real PUA-type MRA in the wild. I thought they stick to their little conclaves and never came up for air except to brag about banging chicks.

  24. says

    Oh – just to add.

    Someone named “Steersman” has been going on-and-on in my blog comments wanting me to post something here for him because supposedly you “censor” your comments and he wanted me to essentially speak on his behalf.

    I swear I have a “I’m a mule” sticker stuck to my ass because I seem to be asked to smuggle stuff for people – like the Nazi Star Trek episode into Germany and Penthouse Comix into Canada. (Which I have never done – btw – and I’m not buying you cigarettes and real beer either. :) )

    At any rate. He linked this blog post and started going on about how which person actually doxxed Skep tickle (even though as far as I can tell, nobody actually mentioned that here, as far as I can tell) and suggested that: “Why don’t you try posting a comment in that thread of Jason’s to correct both the factual errors I described as well as the general tenor of his argument to see how that plays?”

    So.

    I’m actually really impressed with how much you document things so that people reading can make up their own minds about what is happening. I think that is frickin’ awesome.

    I absolutely have a new appreciation of what you and many of the other people that you mentioned go through after dealing with Steersman just for a couple days and I’m especially impressed that, even though I’m sure you’ve lost your tempter occasionally, that you’re able to resist the urge to respond-in-kind when some folks are acting in such an AMAZINGLY immature way.

    And if you are reading this – this is for you Steersman.

  25. says

    M. A. :
    Oh lordy. I just waded through the back and forth between you and Steersman. Will the compensation be cash or check?
    Over a year later and I am still waiting on “their side” to offer evidence that shows how bad FtB, Skepchick, and A+ are (so bad as to deserve a sustained campaign of bullying, harassment, stalking and threats). All the “criticism” I have seen has been lies or deliberate misinterpretation of events (such as Ophelia’s “doxxing”–which, given the harassment she was receiving would have, been justification for outing someone). So much of their complaints boils down to:

    a) they cannot express their views where they want (if you get banned at Pharyngula, you have done something quite odious, because-contrary to pitstained belief-PZ does not ban people often). They simply do not accept that they do not have the right to express themselves wherever they want.

    b) we do not want anti-harassment policies at conventions (either because they will interfere with fun((NO, THEY WILL NOT)), or because sexism has not been experienced by some attendees ((it likely has and they simply were not aware of it)) or because no one should be able to regulate their behavior ((they are not doing so–they are telling you what the consequences of your behavior will be))).

    c) patriarchy either does not exist or it does, but not as defined by feminists

    d) white and male privileges do not exist

    e) there is no such thing as splash damage, so there is nothing wrong with asking “is it ok to rape a skepchick?” or “Cunning Punt” is not sexist or “cunt” is totes ok to use as an insult

    f) asshat, douchecake in smegmarmalade sauce, fuckwit, pissant (insults used by feninists
    and atheist progressives) = dyke, cunt, bitch (slurs used by the Pitters). These are not the same.

    One thing that seems to be common between people like Russell Blackford, Paula Kirby, Steersman, Justin Vacula, Wooly Bumblebee, Karla Porter as well as people like Ron Lindsay and DJ Grothe is that they refuse to accept the sociological explanations offered by feminists and social progressives. They have not been affected by sexism, so they do not want to look inside themselves and see how their actions contribute to the continuance of sexism. They do not want to give up their ignorance.

    (Oh, and I find it ever so amusing that Steersman spoke of “healing the rifts”. Surely it is well known that many people on the progressive side of the rift HAVE NO INTEREST IN HEALING THE RIFTS. We want nothing to do with them. They were the divise ones who refuse to play well with others. They are the ones throwing rape and death threats. They are the ones not interested in making the Atheist community more welcoming and inclusive. They can stay in the Pit.

  26. says

    Yeah – the patriarchy doesn’t exist crap is amazing.

    I’ll have discussions about the nature of it – it’s effect on both men and women – etc.

    Once someone says it doesn’t exist – they are deep within denial land.

    For F-sake we have women and men who have actually escaped religious gender-systems that SELF-IDENTIFY as “patriarchy”. There is are stories in Atheist Voices of Minnesota, about The Church of Latter Day Saints. The Catholic Church is ONE BIG PATRIARCHY.

    Then this same crew that says that your crazy to think Patriarchy exists – will use HORRIFYING examples of it in order to get you to shut up?!

    Perverse.

    But of course, in their minds – that’s “those people” not us special people that live in some sort of socially isolated bubble of awesome.

    *face palm*

  27. says

    I saw Steers had a go about me “poisoning the well” for Maxwell Smart… He pointed me to Skep Tickle using her name first on that heathen-hub thread not Maxwell on Nugents thread and I realised my mistake and corrected the record. So I would apologise to Maxwell apart from I said in pretty much every comment (I’m sure Steers can check for me as I cannot remember where they are) that I assume he had her permission as he is clearly a friend. Anyway not poisoning any wells, just pointing out it was not Ophelia who mentioned Skep Tickles name it was on that thread …

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