News from down under: the TRUE skeptical women side with the guys!


Something funny happened in my and Stephanie’s trackbacks today. On Adelaide Atheists’ Meetup group, one of their male members wrote up a post asking women to endorse the Skeptic Women petition. The thread was titled, “I wish to promote the statement below issued by a group of women atheists/(true) skeptics and ask women to consider supporting their position.”

Let’s ignore the “no true skeptic” for a brief moment here, and the fact that the two women replying both strongly disagreed — and that the poster and two other guys argued with them, explaining to them why they’re wrong.

Stop laughing.

There’s a lot of mythologizing going on in this thread, and there’s no way it’s going to be possible to catalogue all of them and debunk them all. So I’m going to post some highlights.

The atheism plus argument can be framed this way.I don’t feel safe in the atheist movement.Whether or not my concern is correct doesn’t matter.The mere fact that I feel unwelcome and unsafe needs to be addressed.Why do I feel this way?What is going on to bring forth such feelings?If there truly isn’t anything there,what am I misinterpreting?My concerns cannot be dismissed simply because some other men don’t share my concerns.
To recapitulate,it doesn’t matter if my feelings have any basis in fact.The fact that matters, is the expression of my feelings.
Anyone can play the ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ game -which is why it’s such a dangerous game to play.

This isn’t the “atheism plus argument”. The “atheism plus argument” is that a certain group of people were tired of having this fight over and over and calved off into their own private space where they could be free from the harassment, and more importantly free from the apologetics for the harassment, so prevalent in movement atheism.

And the argument is not about whether or not a concern of safety is the problem. It’s that there are baseline levels of sexual harassment and sexism and mistreatment of women in society, and that the so-called “rational” communities are no better than that baseline background. And that they SHOULD BE. Especially if we intend on improving the general inclusiveness of said community. Just like bars need bouncers to throw out the harassers, lest women stop going and thus men stop going and thus the bar goes out of business, our community spaces need to be cognizant of and intolerant of harassment, throwing harassers out on their ears by banning them from our internet communities, and by our conferences providing harassment policies just like every other public event in the world to give these people experiencing harassment a framework by which they can have their grievances taken seriously.

The fact that there’s so much pushback against harassment policies, and so much pushback against the idea of being intolerant of harmful actions by community members, suggests that the community has no interest in being safer than the background levels of sexual harassment and sexism. And the fact that much of this pushback comes from the very top — from the leaders of the organizations themselves. THAT’S the problem. Not that it’s particularly unsafe, but that it has no interest in being safer.

One of the women said of the signatories:

I am also familiar with many of the names who have signed it and they are some of the most unpleasant commenter’s on atheist blogs. Many of them have been banned by blog writers because of their ranting, insult filled comments. They insist that they have been ‘silenced’ (as I notice they refer to in the statement) but some of them have their own blogs and are still very active online. I just don’t believe they are credible.

The reply:

I ALSO know many of the signatories at the bottom of this statement, many strong intelligent women who I am familiar with and who I respect, women such as : Karla Porter, Scented Nectar, Sara E. Mayhew, bluharmony, Renee Hendricks, Alissa Puurunen.
For you to casually describe some of the women who have endorsed this statement as “unpleasant” without being specific and naming those women that you find unpleasant, you are indirectly casting aspersions on all of the women listed. And I wonder, do you find these women to be “unpleasant” simply because they hold a different political position to you and/or are critical of some of your core beliefs?

No, I think she found them unpleasant for being insulting and for, after being banned (at unspecified blogs) for being insulting, ranting about being silenced.

I know them too — some of them, anyway. The names I recognize are real pieces of work, and have been instrumental in giving the pro-harassment crowd some genuine XX chromosomes to give their anti-feminist ravings legitimacy.

Yes it is true that some of them are bloggers and do in fact have ‘a voice’, but the point that they are trying to make is as follows:
some very powerful and influential women and men (people who hold office or authority in powerful and influential organizations and groups within the atheist/skeptic community), are acting and using rhetoric which indicates to all that they actually believe that they are speaking for ALL women.
Personalities such as Amanda Marcotte, Melody Hensley, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, Adam Lee, all have a big following and can shout over all other voices through their powerful organizations, forums and blog space networks. These personalities definitely do not speak for all women and ,luckily, their popularity, ‘clout’ and influence is exponentially declining.

Proof? Citations? Bah! We’re skeptics! And TRUE skeptical women agree with us!

Sadly, none of the names mentioned are any bigger than the big-name leaders who are actively campaigning against feminism. If their “clout” is declining, it’s because they’re tired of waging these endless battles with entrenched dogma that has poisoned the very top of our movements. But I’d still like to see some numbers.

We have seen these ‘personalities’, and others of their ilk, attack their adversaries and critics through the power and positions they hold in nasty ways such as silencing tactics, doxing, lying, defaming, banning, smearing, boycotting etc. and by removing or trying to remove their critics from office. They are currently campaigning to have Ronald A Lindsay removed from his position as CEO of the Centre For Inquiry (CFI) because of a talk he gave at the Women In Secularism II conference which, in part, they did not agree with.

I have a whole rant stored up about the diminutive term “doxing”. Spellcheck doesn’t like that word. There’s a good goddamn reason. But I digress.

Nobody to my knowledge is seriously campaigning to have Ron Lindsay removed from his position at CFI. The speakers’ petition, the open letters, the various calls for action, are all generally demanding an apology and assurances that WiS3 will happen despite the antifeminist sentiments evinced by Lindsay. Yes, individuals may have called for his resignation, but it’s certainly nothing like organized, nor anything like the majority. More like a tiny minority.

Not that I particularly disagree with the idea that a CEO of an organization attempting to sabotage a fundraising event for his organization — to air some of his personal petty grievances in public, undercutting the speakers there and the morale of everyone who was there and might have been willing to open their pocketbooks — is grossly unprofessional and hurt the organization’s bottom line. In just about any other organization that would result in a very rapid shuffling of that CEO out the door, perhaps with a courtesy golden parachute.

But I personally just asked for an apology. So did many of the aforementioned names. So unless you want to pony up with evidence, this is a mythology, just like every other mythology built up about asking that people not be represented by the worst, most unskeptical and most generally odious members of our community.

The women who are signing this statement are simply saying ” you do not speak for us…we speak for ourselves”

“And therefore you will too, if you’re any kinda skeptic. Skeptics NEVER agree with other people! Don’t you agree with me?”

Feminism is not about equality. It is about empowering women, just because they are women, and they build the biggest, most vile straw-man in the patriarchy. The theocratic rulers of the dark ages were sexist, and were about masculine power. Contemporary society is about equal oppurtunity. Regardless of race, class or gender. Claiming that thousands of years of oppression even happened, if it did, is just a pathetic excuse to push your own agenda.

“Therefore, go sign this petition, you silly women. Unless you’re not skeptical enough!”

Liam, my father indoctrinated me with the mirror image of the myth you referred to, so I think we can both agree

I would prefer to decide for myself whether or not I agree with what you say. But that’s what most wives would probably now expect their husbands to do…

Oh snap! Put that uppity bitch back in her place! I know you’re all but telling her to agree with you about matters that affect her more than they affect you, but there’s no hypocrisy in telling her “I THINK FOR MYSELF WOMAN”.

Perhaps “Philosophy” is just a cute name for “Patriarchy Studies” since it seems dominated by men.

When there is any funding at all put into debunking the grossly built straw-man that is the patriarchy, I will be sure to send you a facebook update with the link. Until then, more money will be poured into “Women’s Studies” by pussy-whipped men, who are only out to please their wives.

Yeah. Fucking beta manginas, wanting their partners to be happy. They should be dominant alphas and take charge of their womenfolk. (Also, patriarchy doesn’t exist, and I’m sure science will science up some proof one day.)

Thankfully, the creator of the meetup group recognized that people are talking a lot of crap here, and are apparently talking a lot of crap because they don’t have the definitions of the words in question, so he linked to Patriarchy for Dummies and Strawprivilege, suggesting that people actually try learning the real arguments instead of fighting with poorly-built straw dummies all day.

I pity the poor women in this group who have to deal with shit like that with barely a reprieve. They must feel totally unsafe exactly as unsafe as in every other group.

Oh, and as a coda — Mark Senior, the guy who posted this thread asking the REAL skeptical women to please validate the petition against all those uppity feminists ruining our community by writing petitions, also himself signed the petition to have Stephanie Zvan removed from Atheist Voices of Minnesota.

The book.

He signed a petition to remove Stephanie from her leadership role in a BOOK.

Clearly this guy knows his petitions! And clearly he’s not engaging in trying to remove people from roles!

Comments

  1. says

    Holy crap. I saw a track back to that discussion as well in my blog. I couldn’t make myself read it all and yeah – made me want to scream.

    I hope those noisy boys are the exception and that it doesn’t represent a “wow – this is REALLY what they think of me?!” moment.

    I’ve had that moment. It’s pretty awful. You think you are “one of the boys” or “one of the crew” and that “ribbing” you get is good natured and these are your friends. Step too far out of line though, stand up for yourself just a tad bit too much, and your true status is revealed. You’re the bitch.

  2. says

    Loved that fisking, M. A. Melby. I was intending to link it earlier in the week, though blogging time has been sparse around these parts for months now.

    (Also, I kinda didn’t want to give the original petition more exposure because it was the same ridiculous “we didn’t experience harassment therefore those people who did and who want harassment policies don’t speak for us” argument, as though anyone ever said they were speaking for all women. As though anyone ever said anything but “that’s nice for you, but we’re talking about measures to protect the people who aren’t in your happy situation.”)

  3. smhll says

    Ogawdogawdogawd, spare me the outbursts of these deeeeeeep thinkers.

    Feminism is not about equality. It is about empowering women, just because they are women, and they build the biggest, most vile straw-man in the patriarchy. The theocratic rulers of the dark ages were sexist, and were about masculine power. Contemporary society is about equal oppurtunity. Regardless of race, class or gender. Claiming that thousands of years of oppression even happened, if it did, is just a pathetic excuse to push your own agenda.

  4. Nepenthe says

    The names I recognize are real pieces of work, and have been instrumental in giving the pro-harassment crowd some genuine Y chromosomes to give their anti-feminist ravings legitimacy.

    Huh?

  5. says

    I pity the poor women in this group who have to deal with shit like that with barely a reprieve. They must feel totally unsafe exactly as unsafe as in every other group.

    But far, far more welcome. Wait, “welcome”? I mean “annoyed”.

  6. maudell says

    I’m mystified by their argument about how people who want to make the atheist movement less sexist and more inclusive are by definition emotional, therefore biased. That bundle of empiricism then proceeds to have a big rational emotional meltdown. Lack of self-awareness? (putting aside their ludicrous assumption that people who are completely ignorant of a situation somehow are better to judge it objectively)

    In my experience, people who feel the need to let everyone know that the patriarchy doesn’t exist have in fact no clue what the patriarchy actually means. You know, those who use the killer argument “I know a homeless guy and a rich woman.”

    Unless he does know what it means and he thinks that we live in a true meritocracy (that wouldn’t be very skeptical of him). The chips fall where they fall, it’s just that cis/white/hetero/able men are naturally superior, that’s why they have power. Logical! Thanks for letting me know where I belong, my ladybrains keep telling me otherwise. You’re not prejudiced women, you just know in advance that they suck. Got it.

    Maybe I can advance Mark’s ideology and utopian perception of reality a bit. Herman Cain and Jesse Lee Peterson both believe that racism doesn’t exist in America. Peterson actually believes that the racism is in fact against white men. Both are privileged black men (good for them). Case closed, racism doesn’t exist, and all those having a problem with it are overly emotional. Keep Peterson and Cain as a flawless weapon for white people to prove that racism doesn’t exist, right along “I have a black friend.”

    I myself, wish to enter the study of psychology and sociology, and ask why there is a course at university called “Women’s Studies” when there is no “Men’s Studies”??

    Why isn’t there any white history month? Whyyy?! [said with zero emotion whatsoever, therefore it’s a trufax]

  7. says

    I suppose the idea of ‘speaking for all women’ comes from not using sufficient qualifiers to specify, for example, just how many women are upset about or otherwise tired of harassment. If they have the view that it’s just some tiny minority who are feminists who have these issues, then maybe they have the idea that just using words like ‘women’ unqualified is like FLDS people confidently presenting their views as if they are representative of all theists or all Christians.

  8. says

    I really don’t understand where all the “BUT YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US!!!!!!!” horseshit is coming from. No one over here ever said we were…

    I don’t get it either. “I feel comfortable and safe” is not an equivalent statement to “I feel uncomfortable and unsafe,” because one is like “cool story bro” and the other is like “crap, we should do something about this!” There is literally no need for a petition about how you feel comfortable and safe. That would literally be like if I sent a petition to the government saying that I like all of their current policies, thank you very much, as you were.

    Or it would be like if I found out that there’s been a bunch of anti-queer bullying at my university, and I wrote a letter to the editor of the campus newspaper just to let everyone know that I, personally, have never faced bullying as a queer person at my university! Yay for me!

  9. MrFancyPants says

    If their “clout” is declining, it’s because they’re tired of waging these endless battles with entrenched dogma that has poisoned the very top of our movements.

    Somehow I don’t think their clout is declining. I’m reading Amanda Marcotte and Rebecca Watson on a regular basis now, whereas I rarely did before the slyme pitters appeared. The same goes for Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, and you, Jason. Y’all make a hell of a lot more sense than the furious rantings of the slyme pitters and their pals.

  10. says

    and have been instrumental in giving the pro-harassment crowd some genuine XX chromosomes to give their anti-feminist ravings legitimacy.

    while it’s probably true that most (all?) of the women on that list are cis, non-CAIS women, it would probably be a good idea to retire these cutesy genetics synechdoches if we want to be genuinely inclusive of trans* folks

    Contemporary society is about equal oppurtunity. Regardless of race, class or gender.

    ah yeah; Australia, that world-famous post-racial society

    I myself, wish to enter the study of psychology and sociology, and ask why there is a course at university called “Women’s Studies” when there is no “Men’s Studies”??

    dunno where this dude has been the last 20 years or so, but masculinity studies are totally a thing now; with sociological journals all for themselves and everything. Hell, even here in flyover country we’ve gotten around to putting together an “introduction to masculinities” class

  11. CaitieCat says

    maudell @ 8: You know, those who use the killer argument “I know a homeless guy and a rich woman.”

    Really, really makes me want to do a guest-post about the use of this killer tool they just invented which Gauss actually found many many decades ago), “the standard normal distribution”, and its important correlates about standard deviations from the mean.

    But I guess that’d be too thinky and girly of me, when I could just make stupid emotional arguments about how totally rational I am instead, and how I totally know outliers and doesn’t THAT prove something? Huh? Huh?

  12. CaitieCat says

    Also, as a chromosomal weirdo myself, thanks, Jadehawk, for sticking up for us. The whole chromosome-essentialist thing is WAY more annoying to me than the genital-essentialists, because most of us have realized by now that the latter are talking bullshit, but the former still has a sheen of Authentic Scientism™. Thanks for calling it out.

  13. says

    I didn’t blink at the XX language simply because I’ve seen how that crowd talks about trans women. I’ll spare people here the details, but suffice it to say that they’re not going to be asking or expecting any trans women to sign their petition. That could be highlighted in the text, though.

  14. says

    Is this a good place for me to drop this thinky-nugget?

    “I’ve never been harassed, so I think all this talk about anti-harassment policy is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never been raped, so I think all this talk about anti-rape policy is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never been in a car accident, so I think all this talk about seat belts and air bags is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never had my house catch on fire, so I think all this talk about fire prevention is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never had cancer, so I think all this talk about not smoking 2 packs a day is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never had AIDS, so I think all this talk about HIV prevention is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never been the victim of a terrorist attack, so I think all this talk about anti-terrorism policy is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    “I’ve never been murdered, so I think all this talk about anti-murder laws is blown out of proportion. I feel totally safe, and you people who don’t need to STFU!”

    Jesus Fuckaddodie Christ in a Mazda Miata, how messed up do you have to be to go from “never happened to me personally” to “people who talk about it are liars who must be destroyed”?

  15. Martha says

    These folks are a piece of work, no doubt. I just don’t understand how anyone can read this post– and many others like it– and not think that the other side is delusional. Come on, fence sitters, take a side or admit that you just don’t care enough about how women are treated in this movement to do so. Which is pretty much taking a side, isn’t it?

  16. says

    @CaitieCat #17:

    Really, really makes me want to do a guest-post about the use of this killer tool they just invented which Gauss actually found many many decades ago), “the standard normal distribution”, and its important correlates about standard deviations from the mean.

    HMMM I WONDER WHO WOULD TOTALLY PUBLISH A GUEST POST LIKE THAT I DUNNO NOBODY ON FTB LOVES THAT KINDA STUFF

    :P

    @Improbable Joe #20: reminds me of this excellent tweet from Carrie Poppy: “We demand that your water park acknowledge that most of us who have visited it have never drowned, nor witnessed anyone drowning.”

  17. says

    @ Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner #22

    I’ve got no doubt that plenty of other folks have covered the same ground, and I assume that most of them have done a more awesome than me, since I’m just some random asshole on the Internet. That particular quote from Carrie Poppy does what I set out to do better than I did AND while using a tenth of the words.

    Back when I used to be even more of an asshole than I am now, I assumed that this “overlap” was because while I was on board with feminist thinking there wasn’t anything impressive about feminist thinkers. Now, a couple of years in, I’ve changed my mind and realized that where I’m not impressed with feminist thinkers it is because they’ve created a world where feminism can be more readily accepted by people like me, and that I’m not clever for covering well-trod ground on the subject…

    … and that the opponents of feminism are such pathetic lightweights that they should be dismissed as a complete joke and an embarrassment to anyone claiming to be a rational thinker.

  18. says

    I don’t think I imagined it, and I should have copied it, but the letter included a request for those with a non-binary gender to “please indicate” that – which later was revised to include “if you wish”.

    This is what they have written in the fine print at the moment: “Anyone who identifies as a woman is welcome to sign, and if you are of non-binary gender identity, you may indicate that in parentheses beside your name when signing, if you wish.”

    So, at the very least it has crossed their minds.

    I still can’t get over that you need to attest that you are a woman to sign it when that concept is completely antithetical to their first paragraph.

    I suppose if they allowed all genders to sign, that the male:female ratio might be a little telling?

  19. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh dear, I’m in Adelaide. Looked at their pretty busy schedule of activities. They look OK but the attendances are apparently not large – fairly sure I really don’t want to go to any of these events if they’re dominated by these guys.

  20. Jeremy Shaffer says

    I really don’t understand where all the “BUT YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US!!!!!!!” horseshit is coming from. No one over here ever said we were…

    It probably stems from their idea that they speak for everyone that is a TRUE atheist/ skeptic/ whatever thus they assume that if you disagree with them then you are trying to speak for them, because why wouldn’t you be speaking for them when they are obviosuly speaking for you even though you insist on having other words come out of your mouth. You must not be a TRUE atheist/ skeptic/ whatever if they do not speak for you.

  21. Martha says

    @Eristae #46

    I suffer through enough of that shit in my daily life that I can’t avoid. I’m not interested in signing on for more. If the atheist/skeptics/whatever community won’t shove the misogynists out (making a schism! Oh my!) then I will leave (creating a schism! Oh my!).

    And that’s the nice part about the misogyny in the atheist/skeptical movement: I can choose to leave it. I can say, “You don’t get to treat me like that.”

    So people like you have to decide if you’re going to create a schism where the misogyny is shoved out of the movement or if you’re going to create a schism where women are shoved out of the movement. You can’t keep the misogynists in and then force the women to stay, too. You can sit there and freak out about how you think they/we should stay, but you don’t control them/us, as shocking as that may be for some. This movement simply isn’t big or powerful enough to force women to put up with that shit.

    QFT. This is way too good to appear only once in this thread. It captures my feelings on the issue completely.

  22. Martha says

    oops, sorry, that (#27) somehow ended up here rather than on PZ’s blog where it belongs. Feel free to delete or edit, Jason– it’s pretty relevant here, too.

  23. says

    Wow following that thread for the epic smack down of MRA Mark Senior and he slips in this turd at the end ->

    Cat, PZ thinks you have a good head on your shoulders (only because you agree with his gender politics), but Cat be careful if you ever meet the man…I have seen PZ in the foyer at the Global Atheist Convention 2012, I have seen the young women groupies surrounding him, I have carefully watch PZ’s eyes and body language…I will say no more. I will let you guess what things I would like to say further but are unable to say in this forum.

    What an odious little turd, I hope they ban him for that insinuation.

  24. says

    Oh gosh – think of what might happen if PZ ever asks a young woman up for coffee while in an elevator, wanting to get her alone with him at 3 a.m.? I’m sure everyone would agree that would be inappropriate.

    F-ing sarcasm!!

    ***

    Mark can kiss my ass.

  25. Dude says

    This “DUDE” has been quoted out of context it seems.

    But hey, its the internet. One liner comments get more thumbs up.

  26. says

    And what words did I leave out from the link, which is provided, that might give additional context that might change any analysis?

    It’s easy to say “out of context”. Really easy. It’s harder to prove it when it’s complete bullshit.

  27. mofa says

    M.A Melby, I would rather kiss Jason’s face than you ass.

    Jason, a very unprofessional post, you did not identify who made the quotes you presented, made it look like it was one voice.
    And yes I signed a petition…have you ever signed one? And I signed my one little signature…that is very different to the so called atheist/skeptic ‘personalities’ using their power and influence and their ability to provide political pressure to ‘sway’ the voters. We saw what happened with DJ Grothe, Justin Vacula and even to a smaller extent Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer. Some ideologues want to abuse their power…that was the point I was making.
    And you with your :

    “No, I think she found them unpleasant for being insulting and for, after being banned (at unspecified blogs) for being insulting, ranting about being silenced”.

    You can read minds now? You know what women think and what they are trying to say?

  28. says

    Jason, a very unprofessional post, you did not identify who made the quotes you presented, made it look like it was one voice.

    I said explicitly that I was pulling out highlights of the patently incorrect nonsense. Don’t your crowd get upset when people name names? Isn’t that “calling out”, and therefore some kind of heinous crime?

    And yes I signed a petition…have you ever signed one?

    The person I said signed the petition to have Stephanie Zvan removed from her leadership position of Page 89, was Mark Senior. Are you Mark Senior? Did you just out yourself?

    You realize that after having trolled this blog network for probably years now, that makes you less than an impartial judge, right?

    You can read minds now? You know what women think and what they are trying to say?

    No, I repeated what she said in the quote above. Minus the extra mind-reading by the person you’re defending.

  29. MrFancyPants says

    oolon @ 30:
    I’m guessing that’s some weapons-grade projecting on the part of Mark Senior.

  30. petria says

    Hi there Jason, thanks for taking the time to address this vile little mess in my corner of the globe. I wrote the first response in that Meetup discussion thread because I wanted anyone who viewed the petition to see very clearly that there was two very distinct sides to this issue.
    I did not expect to get lectured about feminism as a result. I haven’t met the first two guys and they did not even take the time to find out my views on anything other than anti-harassment policies before assuming I am an uninformed man-hating idiot.
    I stopped attending Adelaide Atheist Meetup group over a year ago because of a few loud boorish men who wanted to discuss feminism with me but didn’t let me finish a sentence in their eagerness to point out how I was just wrong. I have experienced workplace gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal pay in my career and have no desire to be around the attitudes that enable these problems. I’m just too sick of it. I hope that Catherine who responded to them in that thread has the energy, it certainly looks like it!
    On a positive note I know the core group of organisers (Scott, Justin & Jeanette) and they are fantastic and have endless energy and enthusiasm for the Atheist and Humanist groups in Adelaide. I believe that they will figure out a well reasoned response to these guys who are causing a ruckus. Cheerio

  31. DBP says

    This “DUDE” has been quoted out of context it seems.

    That’s because men are so totally the victims of a vicious castratriarchy.

    Now go run along and play while the adults talk.

  32. DBP says

    M.A Melby, I would rather kiss Jason’s face than you ass.

    Translation:
    Gays are sooooo super gross but you’re so much super grosser.

    Nice.

  33. says

    So — projection, Jeremy? Not a bad hypothesis. I know nobody on “our side” has, to my knowledge, attempted to speak for everyone — what HAS happened, though, is that those of us with voices that are loud enough to be heard have attempted to speak only for the people whose voices were being repeatedly squelched.

  34. mofa says

    “The person I said signed the petition to have Stephanie Zvan removed from her leadership position of Page 89, was Mark Senior. Are you Mark Senior? Did you just out yourself?”

    Out myself? What are you talking about. My name is Mark Senior and I am happy for anyone to know that just as you are happy to use your own name Jason.

    And to Petria:

    “I did not expect to get lectured about feminism as a result”

    It seems that Petria doesn’t know the difference between a lecture and a debate. It seems that Petria does not see the importance of debate and the exchange of ideas. It seems that Petria is not tolerant of criticism of her ‘core’ beliefs. It appears that Petria would be ever so happy if everyone in the world was a feminist and thought exactly like her. I look forward to continuing our civil debate in person in the near future Petria (but only if you are open to this idea), perhaps in 3 days time at the South Australia Humanist meeting?

  35. says

    It seems to me that Mark Senior fancies himself a Vulcan who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have people treat shit you deal with on a daily basis as if it’s not part of people’s reality.

    Sorry Mark, but the fact that women are human beings, too is not up for fucking debate. Whether or not women should be treated equal to men is not up for fucking debate.

    “BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M DOING!!!!!”

    Yes, that is exactly what you’re doing.

    Stop it.

  36. says

    Oh yes, sure, I can totally see Petria wanting to have a “civil” debate with some bloke who has just lectured her insultingly on how stupid and uninformed she is.

    And apparently he knows for certain that the experience she describes actually was a debate, not a lecture. One might presume he was there, or indeed, that he IS one of those ” loud boorish men who wanted to discuss feminism with [her] but didn’t let me finish a sentence in their eagerness to point out how [she] was just wrong.” What a shit. I’d certainly not want to attend any meetings with him and his mates.

  37. mofa says

    But SOOPER-GENIUS…that’s not what I’m doing.

    How dare you imply that I do not see all people as equal. You have presented no evidence for your opinion/claim, whatever you want to call it, and you will be searching a very long time if you expect to find any. Are you so naive that you honestly think that anyone who holds a different point of view to you, in regard to gender politics, is automatically a bigot, a woman hater who sees women as inferior? Or are you so clever that you know to argue this way and to vilify your adversaries in this manner, results in the stifling of debate and takes you to a place where you actually believe you have had a glorious victory? You are either, lazy, dishonest debater/commenter or feeble minded, and therefore no SOOPER -GENIUS.

  38. says

    I’m the organiser of the Adelaide Atheists Meetup Group. I’d just like to say that the meetups that occur in meatspace are very different to the discussion occurring on our forum. On the internet – as opposed to meatspace – frustrations very quickly escalate without the aid of cues from body language.

    @26 mildlymagnificent, I hope you’ll reconsider. We have many who do not RSVP that attend and the social dinners and other events that are friendly and welcoming.

  39. says

    I look forward to continuing our civil debate in person in the near future Petria (but only if you are open to this idea), perhaps in 3 days time at the South Australia Humanist meeting?

    Mark, are the South Australia Humanists aware that you’d like to use their meeting for your anti-feminist agenda? They might just have ideas of their own on what topics should be covered and whether they want to welcome feminists.

  40. mildlymagnificent says

    I look forward to continuing our civil debate in person in the near future Petria (but only if you are open to this idea), perhaps in 3 days time at the South Australia Humanist meeting?

    I won’t be there on Thursday for my own reasons – but I can assure you if I’d planned on going, I would now abandon those plans. I don’t know you, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard all the “arguments” you’d like to “discuss” several times over in their multiple variations during my 66 years … at work, after work, at dinner, at the pub, at cafes, on holiday, with workmates, with bosses, with clients, with friends, with relatives, with strangers.

    My now limited (temporarily I hope) social opportunities mean that I’m really not willing to put up with this stuff. There are times when Never again! means avoiding social activities that look to be onerous rather than enjoyable. Your suggestion looks to be one of those.

  41. says

    @46 – Hi Stephanie.

    I’m the treasurer of the Humanist Society of South Australia Inc, although I want to make it clear that I’m not speaking in any official capacity here, nor that I’ve sought the backing of the committee to make this comment. Opinions are my own, and facts may be disputed by other parties.

    The committee is generally aware of Mark’s views. If Mark wants to hold a rational discussion about these things, there are various ways of doing so that are available to him. However, we already have things on the agenda for this week. There are of course, break times where people discuss a range of issues of interest to them.

    If Mark says that he is going to have a peaceful, not-threatening, rational discussion in the time available to him, then I’m not inclined to stop him. I’m not going to prejudice anything by stating publicly in advance how such a conversation would pan out in practice. As always though, as with discussion of any topic, by any party, if anything untoward did happen for whatever reason, something would at least be said about it.

    Petria is free to participate in whatever discussion she wants to at the meeting, or not. The HSSA has never released a statement saying that rational discussion and open debate require captive audiences, and speaking for myself, I would oppose such a sentiment if it were seconded as a motion. For this reason, I hope Mildlymagnificent will reconsider what attendance may actually involve, or at least, indulge us by keeping an eye on things from a comfortable distance.

    (The beer at The Wheaty is also pretty good, and the vegetarian nosh across the road is wonderful).

    I, speaking personally, don’t think Mark’s backhanded comments, contingent on Petria’s non-participation in said discussion, were warranted. It’s not the best way to invite someone into a discussion, especially if they have fears of being talked over by other participants, based on past experiences.

    I’m also not sure that an invitation, coupled with backhanded remarks, is best delivered in a blog comments thread, and I wouldn’t be making this comment at all had this not occurred. We (the committee) have Petria’s contact details, and are quite capable of contacting Petria personally (as I believe, are other non-committee members who Petria is happy to converse with). The committee would be quite happy to have Petria in attendance, not matter what topic she was or was not willing to discuss.

    The HSSA does, as a matter of fact, reach out to potential members this way, only I’m not about to disclose the content of such communications in public. Petria’s reputation precedes her, and I don’t see the committee ever not being interested in what she has to say (even if any or all of the members found themselves disagreeing with her on some point).

    This week I’ll be handing out a draft copy of our harassment policy, and while there won’t be much time at the meeting for discussion of the draft, the HSSA Meetup discussion page, along with other media, will be used for tweaking the document. While the final draft will be edited by committee, nobody is being cut out of the discussion, bar the one guy who thought it’d be amusing to feel me up at a committee meeting when I said “sexual harassment”; he’s long-gone now. (Even without a policy as yet, we’re not necessarily apathetic in these matters).

    I think it needs pointing out that both the current iteration of the HSSA (we only incorporated earlier this year), and the Atheist Community of SA (who are in the process of incorporation) are in vulnerable early stages. The sample sizes available to outside observers are small, and the margin of error in judging people’s disposition is high – I don’t feel particularly confident at making broad statements about the constituency of either group.

    I do have gut feelings on how things are going to pan out, and I suspect that as we progress, certain problems will be encountered just out of statistical inevitability – but I’m still sticking around. (This doesn’t mean I’m making myself a captive audience of course!)

    I’m not sure there is interest among the membership in formally ratifying (or bothering to oppose) either Mark’s position or his mode of communication, so I can’t say that the HSSA will make a formal statement in response this recent attention. I have informed other committee members of this development, but discussion hasn’t yet occurred, and even if there were to be a public statement, it would have to be put to the membership for a vote. I don’t see this happening before this week’s meeting – we’ve got a lot on our plate.

    Most likely, if anything needs to be said, interested parties will tell Mark to his face. Personally, I think my comment here, in addition to more general discussion within the HSSA, is adequate as far as making my views known. I will, as it happens, be asking people for criticism of my conduct this week, as a procedural response to something else I’m dealing with. If Mark or anyone else, want’s to take the opportunity to call for a vote of no confidence, he can do so, even if entirely on the basis of my comment here.

    Suffice to say, we, the HSSA, value open discussion and free-thought, we haven’t ratified the idea of captive audiences (or any other freeze-peach entitlements), and the meeting after next, I expect we’ll be voting on a harassment policy.

    I hope my comment here is helpful.

  42. says

    Hey mofa, how about we look at your own words:

    Silverman, what an arrogant jerk, uses the word ‘shit’ ad nauseam without being specific, makes claims and accusations without providing any evidence, actually thinks ‘shit’ exists only on one side. Man o man, this dude is making the schism ever wider. Silverman has shown his stripes and they are not the stripes of a skeptic mammal. He is off with the ‘woo fairies’. Atheist yes, misandrist yes, skeptic no.

    You make pretty clear whom you consider a skeptic mammal (i.e. somebody agreeing with you) and who not.
    You accuse Silverman of “misandry”. The evidence you ask so much for in others remains your own personal secret. Apparently a “misandrist” is anybody who dares not to kiss Vacula’s feet. It is funny how your ilk always complain about “people call me a misogynist for disagreeing with them” and then turn around and do exactly that.
    In short, you’re an unplesant joke.

  43. CaitieCat says

    @48: In short, you’re an unplesant joke.

    Now, Giliell, that’s hardly fair.

    Jokes are funny, and people enjoy listening to them.

  44. says

    Bruce: You just earned a hell of a lot of my respect. Thank you for understanding that this is not about silencing mere disagreement as the more vocal trolls, Mark Senior included, seem to think.

  45. Jeremy Shaffer says

    Jason at 40- I think it’s a matter of projection for many of them at least. I’ve never seen anyone such as Benson, Marcotte, Myers, Watson or Zvan or you or any others involved suggest they are speaking for anyone other than themselves. I have, however, seen their words get twisted to make it seem as such, usually by people that freely make assertions about what skepticism and atheism and whatever has to be all about for anyone that dares refer to themselves as such regardless of what my or anyone else’s opinion on the matter might be (and if you don’t agree with them, just look at all these photo-shopped pictures they made of some person that is totally bullying them).

  46. John Horstman says

    Until then, more money will be poured into “Women’s Studies” by pussy-whipped men, who are only out to please their wives.

    Apparently it never occurred to hir that a school, college, or university might be run by women (so that it would be women, not “pussy-whipped men” ‘pouring’ – obviously no awareness of how well such programs tend to be funded – the university money into running the programs), nor that anyone would combat privilege one is accorded for reasons other than sexual favors.

    By the way, I’ve ‘poured’ plenty of my own money into a Women’s Studies program (though I look at it more as contracting learned people to teach me things, paying money in exchange for their time and expertise, than “pouring”), and I’m not even married! I actually object to marriage as a social/legal construct that privileges socially-exclusive couples over single people and household/family arrangements that include more than two adults. I’ve also never had sex with anyone in my classes – being interested in the material, I go to classes to learn stuff, not to try to get laid, thus I’ve never been motivated to flirt with or hit on women in class. Even if that were the single biggest motivating factor in my behavior overall, there are easier, cheaper, less time-consuming, and more effective approaches to looking for sexual partners, so the charge doesn’t even make sense, except as projection – it’s literally the only reason the speaker could imagine that a man might be interested in something like feminism or Women’s Studies.

    Once again, I’m left to wonder how much of this stuff is windmill-chasing based on an honest (but delusional) appraisal of reality and how much is intentional fabrication.

  47. says

    Jeez seems I understated when I described Mark as a turd. Real shame that people like Petria are not going to those meetings as I’m sure xie would contribute a lot more to them than him. Who knows how many people not speaking up that Mark and pals have put off the group permanently with his macho posturing about “debate”.

  48. mofa says

    I believe that the TREASURER of the Humanist Society of South Australia has overstepped the mark by making the comments he has made above under the ‘banner’ of the HSSA. This is granstanding at its finest.

  49. mofa says

    S. Zvan, my understanding is that it is IRRELEVANT to the Humanist Society of South Australia whether you are a feminist, non feminist or anti feminist!. Humanism is concerned about treating and viewing all peoples as equal. Bringing gender politics into the Humanist ‘frame’ does nothing to assist in the ‘goals’ Humanism sets itself.

  50. says

    Humanism is concerned about treating and viewing all peoples as equal. Bringing gender politics into the Humanist ‘frame’ does nothing to assist in the ‘goals’ Humanism sets itself.

    Humanism is concerned with treating all people as equals, yes.

    Gender equality has not yet been achieved. It is an empirical fact that gender discrimination exists, and many people are prevented from reaching their full potential because of an accident of birth – being born female – or for failing to perform gender in ways that satisfy their society’s expectations about gender roles – feminine men, masculine women, intersex and transgender people, non-binary people, etc.

    Therefore it is objectively false to state that “bringing gender politics into the Humanist frame does nothing to assist the goals of humanism itself. Also, I don’t get the scare quotes around “frame” and “goals”.

    The American Humanist Association has a feminist caucus, so clearly they don’t agree that bringing bringing feminism into their organizational goals is an impediment for them.

    Perhaps they do it differently in Oz.

    Anyway, if I lived in Adelaide, I’d definitely swear off meatspace meetings with fellow freethinkers until I was assured that Mark Senior would be either absent or sincerely promising not to pester me or anyone else with demands for a “discussion” about feminism. His participation is an obvious problem if bringing more women to the group is a goal.

  51. says

    Mark Senior aka mofa,

    I believe that the TREASURER of the Humanist Society of South Australia has overstepped the mark by making the comments he has made above under the ‘banner’ of the HSSA. This is granstanding at its finest.

    Bruce Everett,

    I’m the treasurer of the Humanist Society of South Australia Inc, although I want to make it clear that I’m not speaking in any official capacity here, nor that I’ve sought the backing of the committee to make this comment. Opinions are my own, and facts may be disputed by other parties.

    I know who I would want to associate with if I were living in Adelaide (instead of Melbourne); and any group that tolerates douchebags like Senior is going to find it hard to be a welcoming and inclusive organisation. Just sayin’

  52. says

    Mark, I think you’ll find that upon actually reading what I wrote, that I explicitly did not comment “under the ‘banner’ of the HSSA”. At any rate, if you want to make a complaint, I think passing a motion at this week’s meeting is the way to do it.

  53. CaitieCat says

    Bruce @ 60: SILENCER! CENSOR! ANTI-MAN FEMINAZI!

    Just thought I’d give you a few warm-up throws…;)

    I really liked your statement earlier – if I lived closer than, well, almost exactly opposite you on the planet, I’d come to your meeting because of that.

  54. says

    I believe that the TREASURER of the Humanist Society of South Australia has overstepped the mark by making the comments he has made above under the ‘banner’ of the HSSA. This is granstanding at its finest.

    Shorter mofa:
    Somebody disagrees with me.
    I ain’t going to engage their ideas because I have no arguments.
    Instead I demand that the person stfu.
    I won’t give any arguments because see above.
    Also, my entire premise is bullshit, but if I act important enough maybe nobody will notice.

  55. Lofty says

    mofa

    S. Zvan, my understanding is that it is IRRELEVANT to the Humanist Society of South Australia whether you are a feminist, non feminist or anti feminist!. Humanism is concerned about treating and viewing all peoples as equal. Bringing gender politics into the Humanist ‘frame’ does nothing to assist in the ‘goals’ Humanism sets itself.

    As a fellow Adelaidean to another:
    Stone the crows, Mark, but you’re a stinker worse than fishguts left on the Brighton Jetty on a scorching January afternoon.

  56. says

    “How dare you imply that I do not see all people as equal. You have presented no evidence for your opinion/claim, whatever you want to call it, and you will be searching a very long time if you expect to find any.”

    Sorry if I was a bit crass with the “kiss my ass” thing. It was NOT a real invitation.

    I just think it’s really pretty ripe to essentially accuse someone of very serious misbehavior with no evidence what-so-ever, especially on a public forum, especially while complaining about a blogger being “professional” and fair.

    And yes, addressing my comment with nothing but an insult related to my supposed lack of fuckablity and asserting your straightness, is further “evidence” that you have a problem.

    Yours truly,

    page 43

  57. mofa says

    Very pleasant post Lofty…I don’t understand why the quotation you have highlighted would attract such vitriol from you…or is it just in jest? Either way it is bad form.

  58. mofa says

    “And yes, addressing my comment with nothing but an insult related to my supposed lack of fuckablity and asserting your straightness, is further “evidence” that you have a problem.”

    You guys just like making stuff up don’t you.

  59. mofa says

    Xanthë, chronic tuck

    Just because the ‘Treasurer’ claims he is not speaking in an official capacity here does not let him off the hook. Why mention the HSSA in the first place? Why mention the fact that he was an elected official of that group? Why mention how good the beer was at the meeting place?! NO. Bruce could have posted as simply ‘Bruce’ but he didn’t, he had to drop the fact that he is one of the officials of a Humanist group that I belong to and then go on to say what might or might not happen at the next meeting. Bruce would like to be a warrior but he doesn’t really have time…he too busy auditing the books.

  60. mofa says

    Sally Strange:
    “The American Humanist Association has a feminist caucus, so clearly they don’t agree that bringing bringing feminism into their organizational goals is an impediment for them”.

    That’s right, in the American School of Humanism the feminists have their own classroom across the corridor. And that is the way it should be with the atheist movement too…in the ‘school’ of atheism the feminists of your ilk should have their own classroom across the corridor. Then we could have some peace and start to work together in the battle against the negativities of theism. You can have your own classroom and teach, discuss and think whatever you want in there, it is only when people like Richard Carrier and P Z Myers start making noises about taking over the school that ‘we’ have a problem and a back lash occurs.

  61. CaitieCat says

    What a fucking putz you are, mofa. A complete fucking waste of good oxygen and sunlight.

    Take over the school? Asshole, we’re already the fucking majority. Women + POC + queers + disabled + you’re fucking outnumbered already. Get used to it. We aren’t backing off, and we’re only getting more numerous. Fight your pathetic rearguard action in defence of your privilege, but know that in the end, we will win.

  62. says

    Its a weird attitude this “taking over the school” stuff, I had someone say Rebecca Watson is “lecturing them from the podium” … People criticising are not saying you *have* to do X they are laying out why X is right for them. Why they think others should do X, if these “mofas” had the strength of their convictions I cannot see them being bothered by PZ, RW or RCs calls to action.

    I don’t feel at all personally addressed by Justin Vacula in his quest to annex the mens rights movement into his corner of atheism. I’m happy to ignore for the most part and criticise where appropriate. There is no “school” to take over or possible scenario where he *could* be “lecturing” me.

    Does all this come from an authoritarian view point where they see the RWs, PZs etc as “taking” the leadership of the movement from their idols? Seems to be one explanation and attacking this idol-atheism would be a good thing. We don’t need idols or faux “leaders”.

  63. mofa says

    CaitieCat, you really do think that your lot are in the majority. You have spent too much time in your safe spaces and this echo chamber called Freethought Blogs to understand the reality. And you keep making it worse for yourselves. First it was Richard Dawkins, then Sam Harris, then Michael Shermer. Then there was Thunderf00t, DJ Grothe, rejection of your sides speakers at TAM, the failure of the Atheismplus movement and now a call to not support the CFI. You are wrong to begin to think that all women, POC, queers and disabled atheists support you and your ideas. The arrogance, the gall you have, to make such a claim. Your world is ever shrinking and if you are not aware of this then it is your own fault when the shock hits.

  64. mofa says

    Oolon, it was only a couple of years ago…go revisit Richard Carriers rants and PZ Myers ‘call to arms’ at the time that Atheismplus was first floated. Both PZ and Carrier drew a line in the sand…remember? And declared the new atheism of the 21st Century – the 3rd wave of Atheism to replace the 2nd wave which was led by those crusty old white guys like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Were you around then? surely you can’t forget PZ Myers calling anyone who did not join his side (Atheismplus) the Atheist Assholes…he even designed a logo for us (similar to Atheism+) which was : Atheism* (the * is meant to be a sphincter). When I said “taking over the school” I was being poetic, what I was really saying was that PZ and Richard Carrier wanted to take over the (“new”) atheist movement…they didn’t succeed.

  65. says

    @Mofa, jebus reading is hard for you? Can be the only explanation, Carrier said…

    There is a new atheism brewing, and it’s the rift we need, to cut free the dead weight so we can kick the C.H.U.D.’s back into the sewers and finally disown them, once and for all (I mean people like these and these).

    Those links were to ..
    1. _skepchick.org/2011/12/reddit-makes-me-hate-atheists/
    2. _skepchick.org/2011/09/mom-dont-read-this/

    PZ said…

    If you agree with that, you’re an atheist+. Or a secular humanist. Whatever. You’re someone who cares about the world outside the comforting glow of your computer screen. It really isn’t a movement about exclusion, but about recognizing the impact of the real nature of the universe on human affairs.
    And if you don’t agree with any of that — and this is the only ‘divisive’ part — then you’re an asshole. I suggest you form your own label, “Asshole Atheists” and own it, proudly. I promise not to resent it or cry about joining it.

    The “that” was pretty much secular humanism plus a few other things… So if as PZ says you don’t agree with any of that then yes Mark you are A*

    Richard Carriers divisiveness was to separate A+ from assholes like those that treat a 15yr old atheist like shit because she is a woman, she spoke about that experience and it wasn’t a good one from her “community”. So yes if you are on their side then you are A*

    I really hope you are wrong about A* being the majority but sometimes looking at Reddit and Youtube comments you do wonder. Is that the club you want to be a part of? You’re welcome to it.

  66. says

    What does that even mean, “taking over the school”? I get the impression that mofa thinks that having a feminist caucus in your organization basically means a “separate but equal” sort of arrangement, whereby feminists have their own room across the hall, and that’s fine, but they never poke their heads into the regular meetings, and nobody who isn’t actively feminist bothers checking into the feminist classroom. Bullshit, man, you have no idea what you’re even talking about.

  67. says

    Oh dear. Bruce here again, HSSA treasurer – but speaking in a non-official capacity of course. A few factual statements, which may be disputed… opinions are my own… You know the drill.

    Just because the ‘Treasurer’ claims he is not speaking in an official capacity here does not let him off the hook.

    Actually, prior to, and during the meeting last week, I raised this issue (as a part of a response to more general gossip) with every member of the committee. Nobody complained. The president told me I was well within my rights and that I did the right thing. This is obvious, because identifying one’s self (disclosure) and then posting a disclaimer about personal opinion, is standard practice (despite Mark’s clumsy attempts to insinuate that this is somehow sinister and foreshadowing threats).

    In speaking to the membership in attendance, I opened the floor to any other issue they may have with my conduct. I invited them to either tell me directly if they have a problem, so I can do something about it, or to talk to another committee member if they found me unapproachable. I’m yet to receive news of any problem passed on to me, nor has anyone complained to me directly in an official capacity (I’ve seen plenty of rubbish online though).

    The general response at the meeting seemed to be that the idea that anyone in attendance would have a problem with me, was a joke.

    And of course, last week, as anyone following this thread knows, I invited Mark to raise his issue with me at the meeting, which he then didn’t attend. Yet here he is, in a public forum, after the meeting, giving people the idea that I’m possibly in trouble. I’m not. One wonders who Mark thinks wields this ‘hook’.

    Perhaps if Mark really believes that I’ve insinuated that there was some kind of threat waiting for him at the next meeting, he could write an formal letter to the president of the HSSA detailing the threat, asking for assurances of safety, and formally submitting complaints about me he didn’t get to make at the last meeting, as well as any other complaints he may wish to make.

    I think what Mark has to learn to appreciate, is that when you make serious accusations in public, but don’t take them seriously enough to subject them to due process, your accusations come off as being made in bad faith – often because that’s exactly what’s happening.

    And this bit…

    Bruce would like to be a warrior but he doesn’t really have time…he too busy auditing the books.

    While it’s true that I don’t have limitless time, this is just weird. ‘Warrior’ sounds far too much like ‘Brave Hero’, and I don’t aspire to be one of those.

  68. says

    And of course, last week, as anyone following this thread knows, I invited Mark to raise his issue with me at the meeting, which he then didn’t attend.

    That should be ‘…I invited Mark to raise his issue with me at the meeting. A meeting which he then didn’t attend.’ I didn’t mean to suggest that everyone knew that Mark didn’t rock up to the meeting.

  69. Gareth Bridges says

    You may have all followed this sprited spat in Adelaide until the president blocked the website from non-members. A lovely lad, and very politically correct, he must have been dying of embarrassment at the boorish white males in his midst.

    It was a shame, and I almost lost interest in the debate, except the numbers viewing it remained astonishingly high. Those numbers were generated solely from the local membership. With the debate continuing to spiral out of control the president took the additional measure of shutting down the message board entirely. That was about 5 hours ago.

    Apparently the issue of atheism versus atheism/feminism is still a topic of interest in Adelaide. But it must not be discussed, so shhhhhhhhh.

  70. says

    Gareth, I love how some people can take a perfectly innocuous and innocent act of procedure, and turn it into some kind of sinister thread. Specifically, I love how some people can do this because when it happens it tells us a lot about the skew of their perspective, and possibly their motives.

    Incidentally, I’ve got my own confection that I’ve used to make your, and other comments on the ACSA discussion board more bearable – whenever someone makes attributions to “atheistplussers” or the like, as an outgroup, I substitute “atheistplussers” with “reptile people”. It makes the comment easier to read, and yet for some reason, doesn’t increase the level of hysteria inherent in the comment.

  71. CaitieCat says

    Oh, SURE it’s a typo, they all say that. You’re clearly a RothsBilderbluminati stooge, and you won’t fool us!

  72. Gareth Bridges says

    You are probably right Bruce. My bad. I suspect the Adelaide Atheist Meet-Up message board will be up and running tomorrow, with all posts visible. At that happenstance I will be on here in a flash to retract my insinuation that the president is a censorial control freak.

  73. Gareth Bridges says

    By the way, the Spider jokes are really funny too so I hope you keep them coming. And all that bad press about how you are all miserable and mean on here? Duh, where did that come from?

  74. mofa says

    “The American Humanist Association has a feminist caucus, so clearly they don’t agree that bringing bringing feminism into their organizational goals is an impediment for them”.

    The fact that there is a feminist caucus in The American Humanist Association is evidence in itself that Humanism doesn’t quite ‘mesh’ with feminism. If feminism and Humanism were ‘pointing in the same direction’ then a feminist caucus would be as valid as a ‘green eyed peoples’ caucus in the organisation.
    So they, The American Humanist Association gave the feminist’s their own ‘classroom’ and I am sure that every member is free to poke their heads through any door and come and go to any meetings they chose within that organisation (except those times that the feminist caucus want to meet in private behind closed doors).

  75. mofa says

    Oolon continues in the same vein as Myers and Carrier of 2 years ago, deciding who wears the white hats and who wears the black hats…and yes Oolon, your crowd is in the minority because we have a whole world out there, outside of FtB’s, of atheist/skeptical/rational/fair/just/socially progressive/ non sexist people who can spot you divisive bullshit a mile off.

  76. mofa says

    Oh dear, his holiness ‘Treasurer of the the HSSA’ has once more spoken (but not in an official capacity apparently). His sermon is a blessing to you all. Every word he speaks must be the truth because he is a ‘Treasurer’ and ‘Treasurers’ never lie.

  77. says

    Hehe I see Mark cannot give it up… So you are explicitly saying we *should* not divide ourselves from the people making the rape “jokes” to the 15yr old atheist girl on Reddit? Or those that send rape threats and drawings of Rebecca Watson in sexual positions?

    Can you explain how not denouncing that behaviour and the people doing it is going to attract women into the movement? You are far more divisive than me if this really is your position as you are creating an atmosphere where only childish men are going to feel comfortable. Women will go elsewhere. Asking the men in the movement to be decent human beings is not divisive, only a few like yourself find this difficult.

  78. Gareth Bridges says

    Well Bruce, we are still all waiting here in dear old Adelaide for the “innocuous an innocent act of procedure” to be completed.

    I don’t know – I have a gloomy feeling about all of this. That in fact, the act of procedure is is actually an act of censorship, and that you are distorting the truth (again!).

  79. Gareth Bridges says

    Strangeness, I think that Mofa is more of an active atheist than an active anti-feminist – but resents being aligned to a socio-political theory he doesn’t altogether agree with. I don’t think he (or I) would be discussing this if it hadn’t been thrust upon us (a bit like religion really).

    Each day you Atheism Plussers progressively marginalise yourselves further by insisting that atheists swallow your political ideology whole.

  80. says

    Each day you Atheism Plussers progressively marginalise yourselves further by insisting that atheists swallow your political ideology whole.

    If the “political ideology” you’re referring to is “treat women like human beings and not fucking female dogs”, then yeah, it needs to be pushed down your throat.

    Because… you know… women are human beings… and not female dogs.

  81. says

    “…but resents being aligned to a socio-political theory he doesn’t altogether agree with.”

    Says the guy pigeon-holing people into being for-or-against atheism plus, among a group of largely unaligned people.

  82. says

    Hello all,
    I didn’t think that I would need to post in here again but it seems that Gareth Bridges is using this (and only this) as a forum to voice complaints about the Meetup Group which is the subject of the original post and neglecting to tell the entire story.

    Over the past week and a bit, the old Adelaide Atheists Meetup group has been undergoing a name and organisational change as part of it being handed over to the newly formed Atheist Community of South Australia. As Gareth would be aware, and email was sent out detailing the changes that were occurring and why. One of those changes was turning off of the message boards to allow for their archival. This would enable a clear delineation between what occurred when it was Adelaide Atheists and what would occur later when it became the Atheist Community of South Australia. In that email (which Gareth would have received) it specified that the message boards would be reactivated once a clear moderation policy had been written by the committee of the ACSA.

    Gareth is the only person to have complained, though strangely not to anyone who could actually do something about his complaint or in a position to be able to assuage his concerns. Mark/Mofa the originator of the thread has not complained; indeed he is supportive of the action that the committee of ACSA took and their reasoning.

    The full thread without any editing or deletions will be reinstated once the committee has written a moderation policy for the discussion boards.

    Scott
    President of the Atheist Community of South Australia

  83. says

    Scott,

    I know Adelaide has the reputation as the city of churches, but with all of those bridges over the River Torrens, surely you could find somewhere underneath one or two of them to domicile Mark and Gareth?

  84. says

    I may have an alternate understanding of what’s meant by the suggestion that people shack up “under the bridge”, but if my understanding is the same as yours Xanthe, I’m not sure Scott would welcome the joke at the best of times (much less the present). Am I losing something in translation?

  85. Gareth Bridges says

    Bruce, your distortions were well explicated in the now censored message board. For instance, you were asked to retract some misattributed quotes but you never did. Not that it matters, eh? Who gives a shit about accuracy and reason around here?! You’ve made a bit of a meal of sexual harrassment, but in fact you are the only person I know of to have ever levelled a sexual harrassment complaint in the Adelaide atheist community.

    Nate Hevens, thanks for your astounding contributions to this debate.

  86. says

    For instance, you were asked to retract some misattributed quotes but you never did.

    The “pussy whipped” quote? Why would I retract that if I never misattributed it in the first place? Scott corrected you quite accurately. I never attributed this phrase to anyone other than Liam (and neither did Scott).

    You’ve made a bit of a meal of sexual harrassment, but in fact you are the only person I know of to have ever levelled a sexual harrassment complaint in the Adelaide atheist community.

    This occurred in the Humanist Society of South Australia, Gareth, not ACSA, nor an atheist meetup. I was felt up by a certain individual at a committee meeting in the plain, direct and unobstructed sight of others. Witnesses corroborate this (both the President and Secretary of the HSSA). No witnesses contradict this. The individual who felt me up did not contest this. There is no need expressed by the interested parties to go any further in this.

    I certainly don’t think it’s reasonable that I be expected to entertain speculation (or blatant fabrications) about this. I certainly don’t think it’s reasonable to entertain any implied conspiracies on the part of the HSSA President and Secretary in this matter.

    Perhaps you’d like to explain how it is, in the interests of accuracy and reason of course, that you think you’re in a position to in anyway refute this? Could you perhaps, name the pub in which this incident occurred, or perhaps you could provide the date of the meeting?

    No, of course you can’t. Because you’re not even an onlooker. You’re some individual on the Internet who has nothing to do with the incident, no interest in the incident, nor anything to do with the Humanist Society of South Australia, nor are you a person that I have ever met; you’re just some guy with an obviously personal and petty motive for engaging in sensational speculation about the matter.

    Assume for the sake of argument that there’s absolutely no question of my having been felt up, even among the vapidly and self-servingly speculative – what kind of person would that make you, in using such a phrase as “making a meal” against me? Would a rational person even risk making this kind of accusation so casually and with such credulity?

    In actual fact, I was felt up, and that makes you such a person. Congratulations. I can see why people don’t want you around for myself – if you really are Gareth Bridges, I don’t have to take their word for it anymore.

    Incidentally, you may want to be a little less lax with the fact checking in future if you want to throw around lines like “You’ve made a bit of a meal of sexual harassment”. That’s a pretty silly claim to make without a shred of evidence other than Dave Donnellan’s entirely worthless and easily refutable say so.

    Dave would have the same vacuum of evidence that you do, only he’s expressly contradicted himself in saying that he know’s nothing about the guy who felt me up – Dave’s complained about him in the past as well (the “9 1/2 Weeks” anecdote), and I’ve even got an email here from Dave thanking me for confronting the guy. Moreover, there are multiple witnesses to Dave thanking me, and expressing his concerns about the guy who felt me up.

    Guy can’t keep his story straight.

    If that’s all you’ve got to go on Gareth, then you’re a very credulous and irrational man indeed. Not to mention someone who’s careless in discussing matters of sexual harassment to the point of being both an apologist for it, and someone who aggravates it after the fact.

    Again, if that’s really you Gareth, I now know for myself why people don’t want you around.

    It must really burn that people rejected your aspirations to become president for you to act like this.

  87. Gareth Bridges says

    The censored thread in question had received 2,000+ hits in 2 weeks at the moment of its deactivation. The next most popular thread on our message board had received, what, 27 hits?! It was something like that.

    Clearly, the topic was of intersest to our community – and apparently of greater interest than anything else we had ever discussed. At the absolute peak of this interest the message board was shut down, autocratically, for an unspecified period.

    So Scott, you’re either an idiot or a liar. Taking the most generous view of events – that your closing the board was merely procedural – you did this at the first and only moment in its life when it was generating interest. Good move prez!

  88. says

    Careful with the libellous comments, Gareth… Don’t think you can use THIS platform to slur the people who’ve kept you from slurring them on THAT platform.

  89. Gareth Bridges says

    Nat Hevens, thank you for your insightful post. In just a few short lines, you have managed to create the perfect false dichotomy. The alternative to theroretical feminist notions such as “patriarchy” is not “treating women like dogs”.

    No women have been treated like dogs in the Adelaide atheist scene that I know of. There haven’t even been any accusations of such.

    May I suggest that this sort of reasoning error has “dogged” the feminist movement?!

  90. says

    Gareth,

    feel free to keep blustering into the wind. You will find that I only respond to correct people on points of fact. Indeed, if you had read all of what I wrote, you would have realised that your description of the decision being autocratic is rather silly considering it was made by the new committee as a whole.

    Secondly with regard to the hit count and the supposed interest from the community in Adelaide? Even after the board had been restricted and even now after it’s been taken offline, every single click that occurs through the original link in the article is counted by Meetup.com as a hit. Yes, even though the page is never loaded for people, simply clicking the link in the article increases the hit counter on the forum. So I simply do not accept your suggestion that the majority of page visits were from members of the Meetup Group. The evidence simply does not support your assertion.

    Scott
    President of the Atheist Community of South Australia

  91. Gareth Bridges says

    Jason, I think you just strayed from the “party line” there. I wasn’t “kept from slurrring” those people on that other platform. It was closed down for purely procedural reasons. Are you accusing Scott of lying aout this?

  92. mofa says

    @#75

    “I think what Mark has to learn to appreciate, is that when you make serious accusations in public, but don’t take them seriously enough to subject them to due process, your accusations come off as being made in bad faith – often because that’s exactly what’s happening”.

    I’m not sure what accusations I have actually made against you Bruce apart from my opinion that you have been ‘grandstanding’. I not care if you ‘grandstand’ or not and I certainly would not be considering complaining officially about ‘grandstanding’ to the HSSA (though you have really been baiting me and trying to inflame me into this action for some reason…want to test your popularity perhaps?).

    Bruce I have more serious issues with you because of what you have published elsewhere and I am seeking legal advice on that issue, nothing said by you here at Freethought Blogs is of any concern to me (yet).
    So if you do want to have a further go here in this space, with your lies you have presented elsewhere, let me declare first to all readers here..my name is Mark Senior and I go under the name of ‘mofa’. Any comment directed at ‘mofa’ is directed at Mark Senior.

  93. mofa says

    Oolon @ #89

    “I denounce people making rape threats”.
    mofa

    Now that I have made that truth statement above the content of your post @#89 a waste of time and dishonest. This is your ‘shtick’ isn’t it Oolon, to paint all of the people not in your camp as ‘evil rape supporting scumbags’…you are a sensible man, I have heard you speak on radio, how can you continue to debate so dishonestly? Take a good hard long look at yourself.

  94. says

    “Bruce I have more serious issues with you because of what you have published elsewhere and I am seeking legal advice on that issue, nothing said by you here at Freethought Blogs is of any concern to me (yet).
    So if you do want to have a further go here in this space, with your lies you have presented elsewhere, let me declare first to all readers here..my name is Mark Senior and I go under the name of ‘mofa’. Any comment directed at ‘mofa’ is directed at Mark Senior.”

    You do realise that if you can’t substantiate that I’ve actually lied, that I can now sue you for defamation (not that I’m particularly interested in doing so)?

    Yes. Let’s see your tilt at legal action get rebuffed by your lawyer (assuming you have one). That’ll be funny.

  95. mofa says

    Scott@ #96

    “indeed he is supportive of the action that the committee of ACSA took and their reasoning”

    No Scott this is not entirely true. You informed me, before taking down the messageboard, that this action was not one of censorship but one of maintenance. You also said that the board would be down only for a few days and in that this period maintenance, archiving and name change could be performed and at the same time it would help ‘cool a heated state of affairs’.
    The message board has not returned. I regard this action as censorship. You broke you promise to me. This message board does not need a moderation policy. And I will object to any policy that would not allow the debates we have had so far on the board to occur. Because you have taken our vehicle of speech, debate and complaint away, our little fracas has now spilt over onto Freethought Blogs..and I am guessing it is boring the hell out of the readers here.

  96. says

    #111

    What, because you think that I have loads of money? Even if you had a case, I can assure you I do not (and neither does the HSSA).

    The idea that you’re going to make money out of this is laughable and a testimony to your confusion between facts and imagination in this matter.

  97. says

    Mark/Mofa,

    [quote]“indeed he is supportive of the action that the committee of ACSA took and their reasoning”[/quote]Perhaps I should have said “was supportive” since it is clear you have changed your opinion since our phone call and the committee meeting you attended on Wednesday.

    However, it is clear we have differing recollections of the phone call that occurred. I expressed clearly to you that the board would be down till a moderation policy was in place. It was you who in our phone conversation who first mentioned that it would “allow tempers to settle,” to which I responded “on both sides.” I expressed these facts again at the recent ACSA committee meeting (which you attended) and there was no dissent to such a decision.

    I made no such promise to you that it would return in a “few days.” The content of our phone call was the same content as the phone calls I had with each of the committee members and what I wrote in the email that went out to the members of the Meetup Group.

    No one has taken away anyone’s “vehicle of speech, debate and complaint away” because people are still able to post comments to events and email the leadership/committee of ACSA

    If anyone has further complaints, I welcome the to contact the committee of ACSA via our profiles on the ACSA Meetup Group page, a direct link to which can be found by clicking on my name at the start of this post.

    Scott
    President of the Atheist Community of South Australia

  98. mofa says

    Scott, we have spoken on the phone, via email and also had a committee meeting together over the past week You have it wrong, in your initial phone call to me you told me that the board would be down for a couple of days, and that this was not an act of censorship – this approach satisfied me at the time. The messageboard has not returned – this does not satisfy me. Any future moderation policy that will stifle or prohibit the type of civil debates that have occurred on our web space thus far I will oppose and consider censorship. You said:

    No one has taken away anyone’s “vehicle of speech, debate and complaint away” because people are still able to post comments to events and email the leadership/committee of ACSA

    Comments to events? Emails to committee? You are deliberately missing my point. Our ability to DEBATE issues has been taken from us by your action and so we are here in Jason’s space having a ‘bun fight’.

  99. mofa says

    @#113
    I don’t want what little money you have Bruce, but seeing you go bankrupt would bring a Cheshire Cat smile to my face.

  100. says

    I don’t want what little money you have Bruce, but seeing you go bankrupt would bring a Cheshire Cat smile to my face.

    Well, that certainly contradicts the whole laughing to the bank thing, but at least between that and the Cheshire Cat, you’re equivocating between fantasies – you’re consistent in that, I’ll grant you.

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t anticipate enjoying watching you fall on your face, but I’d be hard pressed to take pleasure in watching anyone go bankrupt. And even if I did, I wouldn’t be silly enough to tar myself publicly with such an admission.

    And I’m the one supposedly damaging your reputation?

    At any rate, I’ve got better stuff to do right now, and in future, so I’m just going to let you bloviate to yourself here from now on. I’m sure you don’t need any help from me in undermining yourself. I look forward to hearing from your lawyer.

  101. says

    Our ability to DEBATE issues has been taken from us by your action and so we are here in Jason’s space having a ‘bun fight’.

    Which is crappy netiquette from you by any definition, particularly when setting up a free blog on wordpress.com or blogspot.com or even your very own free forum on forummotion.com can be done with a few clicks, and you could have made one comment here directing people to your new free blog/forum with a short summary of your viewpoint and could then have had your internecine spat over there (with all the free speech you can eat!) instead of derailing over here.

  102. says

    Well, that escalated quickly.

    I want to clear something up though:

    “This is your ‘shtick’ isn’t it Oolon, to paint all of the people not in your camp as ‘evil rape supporting scumbags’…”

    You’re confusing things. The only people that “we” REALLY don’t want in “our camp” (whatever that is) aren’t those who simply don’t agree with “us” on every point (as if we actually agree with one another on every point) but the small (but presently very vocal) people that insist on using demeaning gendered slurs and seem completely obsessed with attacking feminists in ways that make it extremely clear that they don’t understand what “criticism” actually is; as they purposely skirt the line between “persistently bothering” people and “harassing” them; as well as giving a forum to people who think making a joke about raping female skeptics is “parody” and if anyone gets annoyed about that they have a “thin skin” or some such nonsense.

    There are a few people that interact online that I do not want to meet in person EVER – and it has NOTHING at all to do with their politics.

  103. says

    Also to expand on M.A.Melby’s point, Mark in his overly emotional state allowed his delicate man brains to get a bit scrambled… At least that’s the charitable interpretation of his lack of reading comprehension.

    “This is your ‘shtick’ isn’t it Oolon, to paint all of the people not in your camp as ‘evil rape supporting scumbags’…”

    Amazingly this is in reply to comment #89 saying “if” rather a lot and the whole point of it was that Mark *would not* agree with those people. Furthermore the point was to make it clear that *if* he doesn’t agree with those people then he’d be happy to divide himself from them which was all Richard Carrier was saying about A+. You are on our side if you repudiate them… So what’s Marks reply?

    “I denounce people making rape threats”

    Welcome to the right side of the A+ vs Carriers CHUDs divide, so he was not lumping you in by your own admission. Thanks for proving your comment at #72 wrong. This was the whole point of my comment not some elaborate trap to trick you into rape apologism or something *rolls eyes* … However your A* credentials seemingly lay elsewhere, mofa sez –

    I don’t want what little money you have Bruce, but seeing you go bankrupt would bring a Cheshire Cat smile to my face.

    Really don’t need me to “trick” you into being an “evil … scumbag” now do you? Hope you really didn’t mean that and retract it to regain some semblance of decency. Especially now we’ve determined you are on the side of A+ :-D

  104. Gareth Bridges says

    I said I’d come back and apologise to Scott (for calling him a censorial control freak) when the act of censorship was overturned. Well, you know how it goes. This has not happened. I’d have as much chance waiting for the second coming of Jesus.

    So, drawing this whole sorry saga to a close – closing down the Adelaide Atheist message board WAS an act of censorship.

    A month on, can you Scott, admit that it was an act of censorship?! Why not just admit it? You do the censoring – so call it what it is!

    So finally, it was an act of censorship – and of the worst kind. There was no harrassment, threat or abusive language. It was just one weak minded individual shutting down the exchange of ideas because he diudn’t like the way it was going.

  105. Gareth Bridges says

    It’s been nice to discuss this here on FtB – and ironically appropriate. I think the censorial elements of the Adelaide atheist scene have learned their behaviour from their big brothers (and sisters!) on FtB.

    We all appreciate the need for moderators and for behavioural standards – on message boards, at conferences and at meet-ups. But what we have had here is ideological censorship – thought policing.

    And just as FtB has progressively marginalised itself from the wider atheist community, so the little clique of Adelaide A-plussers has wound itself into an ever tightening ball of political correctictude with almost zero intellectual capital or interest. It’s been a learning experience!!@

  106. says

    It’s interesting to note how the act of refusing to let web-based resources such as a forum or a blog be misused for irrelevant, acrimonious bickering can possibly be interpreted as ‘censorship’, but this is the standard line of argumentation that has been pushed and it continues to sound extremely hollow. I’m especially amused by the PC dog-whistle in Gareth’s #122 and the claim that FtB or A+ is marginalising itself. LOL, you’re funny, do keep it up.

    Meanwhile, ACSA are still holding meetings, so if it is a concern the logical time to bring it up is at the next meeting on August 5, see here: http://www.meetup.com/AtheistCommunitySA/

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