A Voice For Men: willing to publish libel to “prove” points about fake rape claims – part 2, logic and language

This one’s gonna be REALLY long. Sorry folks. May want to skip this one altogether, in fact. It’s just me mud-wrestling with someone who doesn’t deserve the attention, because I have a stake in this particular fight.

Previously, I showed how AVfM, Paul Elam and Birric Forcella must absolutely know that men getting thrown in jail or otherwise having their lives ruined is a mathematically miniscule problem compared to the problem of unpunished rape, using some basic math intentionally skewed to advantage the claims of MRAs. Even with all of the tilts in their favour, I calculated that 10% of innocent men would end up in jail, while less than 5% of actual rapes would result in rapists seeing even a day of jailtime. While those numbers are appalling, the problem of 95% of rapes going unpunished is slightly larger than (the artificially inflated) 10% of innocent men going to jail.

That essentially proves AVfM are fighting the wrong demon, and they must know it. This sort of math is inescapable.

But what’s more is, they’re doing it because they think that feminists are fighting for 100% of rape claims to result in convictions. I know of absolutely no feminist who’s ever said that a person should be damned based on a mere accusation, not even the most radical of feminists, whom I’m sure recognize that such a structure could result in them being thrown in jail by a spiteful accuser out for revenge against them. I’d personally rather have less of ANY sort of crime, either false rape claims or rapes. I’d rather justice be served as close to perfectly as humanly possible, in absence of a sky-daddy to do all the omniscient judging for you.

But you simply can’t fight false rape claims by loosening the system such that it’s impossible for ANY rapes to see justice. Nor, vice-versa — you can’t tighten them to the point where false rape claims land innocent men in jail. The problem here is, there’s precious little evidence that innocent men ARE landing in jail, and there’s plenty of evidence that real rapists are walking all the damn time.

In fact, this idea that feminists are demanding that anonymous claims be believed without any corroborating evidence is the lynchpin of their entire argument — and the event that has gotten them so keen to throw me, a man who experienced a fake rape claim, under the bus is of course exactly the event you’d expect. And I’m the target for exactly the reason you’d expect.
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A Voice For Men: willing to publish libel to “prove” points about fake rape claims – part 1, math

Today I woke up to a lovely morning — the birds were singing, a cat clambered up onto the bed demanding affection from my wife and me, it was reasonably cool and not terribly humid, and I had a phone notification buried in amongst the pile of work server notifications that I’d received a pingback on my blog from A Voice for Men.

I’m really moving up in the world, building a genuine rogues’ gallery of people hellbent on making my life miserable. I must be a real threat to some people’s blinkered worldviews now! My name is apparently splattered across the front page of their antifeminist conclave with the epithet “confessed rapist” attached. Two days ago it was r/MensRights, now it’s the Alpha Males themselves beating their chests and beating on my reputation.

Why? Because I believe Shermer’s accusers and believe that he’s probably a lot looser with consent than he should be, possibly up to and including being willing to rape unconscious victims. And that I’m willing to believe this even despite my having personally experienced a fake rape charge at 16. Instead of becoming an angry man shouting down those uppity feminists for advocating for clear consent, I sided with the feminists, and therefore I am the enemy. Therefore I am a monster. And I must be STOPPED.
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r/MensRights reminds me why I don’t Reddit

L'il Rascals scene: He-Man Woman Haters Club.

Heh heh. That one guy’s name is SPANKY.

A funny thing happened yesterday. I started seeing hits from Reddit. A *lot* of hits. Fully a fifth of my traffic came from a particular thread on Reddit — despite my being in a slow blogging period, posting my one post I managed very late in the day, and despite the long tail on my bigger posts already waning.

(In other words, by “a lot” of hits, I mean ~400. About what I’ll get from posting a video of a turtle doing something cute.)

So I clicked through to see what I was linked from, Turns out, it was r/MensRights, and they were opining that I’m a terrible human being, a beta mangina, and a sop for the Gynocracy because of this post.
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Is the Skeptic Empire dying?

A new employee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State has already started receiving death threats and harassment just for mentioning feminism.

A quote from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that’s relevant to what we’re seeing right now. We call ourselves rationalists but we devolve into hyperskepticism and denialism about real, demonstrable problems in our community. Problems like irrational hatred of feminism to the point of excusing harassment, death threats, rape threats et cetera as “trolling”. To the point of being unable to criticize our leaders for their well-evidenced transgressions.

Ezri Dax: I think that the situation with Gowron is a symptom of a bigger problem. The Klingon Empire is dying; and I think it deserves to die. I tend to look at the Empire with a little more skepticism than Curzon and Jadzia did. I see a society that is in deep denial about itself. We’re talking about a warrior culture that prides itself on maintaining centuries-old traditions of honor and integrity. But in reality, it’s willing to accept corruption at the highest levels.

Worf: You are overstating your case.

Dax: Am I? Who was the last leader of the High Council that you respected? Has there even been one? And how many times have you had to cover up the crimes of Klingon leaders because you were told that it was for the good of the Empire? I… I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is, you have been willing to accept a government that you know is corrupt. Gowron’s just the latest example. Worf, you are the most honorable and decent man that I’ve ever met. And if *you* are willing to tolerate men like Gowron, then what hope is there for the Empire?

What kinds of rationalists are we? What claim do we have to being decent human beings without our dogmas if we act like this?How can anyone take us as a movement seriously if we can’t clean our houses? How the hell do we even drain this swamp?

Google offers travel grants for female computer developers

Google has done something decidedly not-evil (despite recent major missteps), and put together a travel grants program for several computer science conferences aimed at encouraging women entering fields under the T umbrella in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, we are pleased to offer Women in Tech Conference and Travel Grants for female computer scientists.

To encourage attendance at technical conferences, we are offering the winners:

  • Free registration for the conference
  • Up to 1000 EUR towards travel and accommodation costs (to be paid after the conference)

To be eligible for a conference grant, the candidate must:

  • Be a female working in or studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a technical field related to the conference subject
  • Have a strong academic background with demonstrated leadership ability
  • Attend the core day(s) of the main conference

How To Apply

To apply, by the indicated deadline, please submit this form by the indicated deadline.
You may apply for multiple conferences.

Eligible Conferences 2013 (ongoing, more conferences will be added throughout the year)

Winners and claim process

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email, approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the event. If you are selected, you will receive additional information on how to register for the conference and how to receive your travel grant.

For any questions, please reach out to europe-events@google.com.

This is how you fix the gender disparity between men and women in technology: you help women who might otherwise not be able to travel or who might think these conferences are not for them because of a lack of women representation in the field, get to the conferences to begin with. This puts those women in a position to be seen, so other women know that it’s not a gender-specific job. And they get a chance to talk with people inside the industry, too — which encourages them to recognize women programmers when they see them.

Lower the barriers that have developed naturally that keep women from being seen at such conferences and drives the lack of women interested in the field — when you don’t see anyone shaped like you in a field, you come to believe it’s not for you. It’s why Surly Amy was, until the JREF president made it clear by his actions that feminists were unwelcome at TAM, offering travel grants to women to attend — to improve gender ratios and give these women a chance to discover that the movement was indeed for them. (A shame how that all turned out, by the by.)

#FtBCON: Atheism Is Not Enough panel

As proven by the deep rifts that exist within movement atheism, a common acknowledgement that there is no god is often not enough ground on which to build a coherent, lasting community. Social justice movements often encounter tipping points where they either take into account the natural allies that are other movements, or they fail. Debbie Goddard, Desiree Schell, James Croft, Kimberley Veal, Kim Rippere and Yemisi Ilesanmi all joined me to discuss atheism and social justice, and how atheism shouldn’t be the endpoint of a journey into freethought, but the beginning.

This was a two hour panel. It will be a beast to transcribe. I will pitch in when I can, if someone sets up a transcription project for this.

Pattern recognition

It’s not a secret that I like JT Eberhard. I think he’s a generally savvy guy. He’s good at atheist activism. He is good FOR atheist activism. He is very much pro-equality, and he generally doesn’t take any nonsense that is directed at him.

He’s got a serious feminism problem, though. Not that he’s anti-feminist — on the contrary. Just ask him. The problem is, he is not good at feminist activism. And he is not good FOR feminist activism. And when feminists tell him so, he is apparently turning, one at a time, against them. In this, I see JT going very, very wrong, despite all his claimed good intentions. I am remiss if I do not attempt to help him right this wrong, even if it takes some frank observations and tough words and hurt feelings.
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Anatomy of another apology

So, Ron Lindsay apologized. That’s good. Not superlative good, but it’s not bad, in any respect.

Someone pointed out privately the timing between my post on Friday dissecting the Kickstarter apology, and this apology. I chuckled, and said that I only wish I had that level of influence. But this does put me in a position where I have to parse the apology in light of what I wrote on Friday, and despite the fact that I do find this apology somewhat wanting, I also know how difficult it must have been to do, and that wins from me a lot of (provisional) goodwill.

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Anatomy of an apology

People are talking a lot lately about what qualities a genuine apology might take — what sort of apology, for instance, Ron Lindsay might be expected to make if many of the feminists he’s so undercut with his opening speech are going to actually accept it and thereafter find it in their hearts to resume their support of CFI, given that most of us have explicitly ASKED for such an apology.

Kickstarter gave us a great example that we can dissect, even where it has a few rough edges yet. They even did it in exactly the right order.

The backstory: a really horrid pick-up artist manual with first draft material including passages like:

Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.

In the context of a relationship where you’re not particularly familiar with a person, there’s good reason why there was an outcry against this rape-culture-steeped, utterly empathy-free, deep-fried nonsense, and why Kickstarter has apologized for not acting in time to shut it down. The Kickstarter was fully funded, and they were made aware with only two hours left before it closed. They were not able to stop the automated processes from finishing, and so this pick-up artist’s manual on how to input Konami codes into women to unlock Sex Mode will probably come into being.

(Then again, it probably would anyway — I have no idea what the kickstarter would actually fund, short of vanity press publishing.)

So, despite the damage that was done, why does Kickstarter’s apology work?
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CFI’s board statement re Women In Secularism 2 #wiscfi

I’m pretty super-busy right now, and can’t really fully respond myself, but I wanted you all to know that CFI has released a statement about Women In Secularism 2 and the controversy surrounding Ron Lindsay’s complete lack of understanding of the movement, feminism, or the place where the actual conversation was at. It’s here, and since they’ve disabled comments (as is their undeniable right), I’m copying it here so you can feel free to weigh in on what you think about it.

The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

The Center for Inquiry, including its CEO, is dedicated to advancing the status of women and promoting women’s issues, and this was the motivation for its sponsorship of the two Women in Secularism conferences. The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy surrounding the recent Women in Secularism Conference 2.

CFI believes in respectful debate and dialogue. We appreciate the many insights and varied opinions communicated to us. Going forward, we will endeavor to work with all elements of the secular movement to enhance our common values and strengthen our solidarity as we struggle together for full equality and respect for women around the world.

That’s it.

No mention of any sort of disapprobation for said CEO’s actions in creating the controversy ex nihilo. Just unhappiness.

We’re unhappy too. That’s why we’d like an apology that acknowledges what exactly was done, by whom, and to whom, to cause this “controversy”. That’s what we asked for — an apology, and assurance that WiS3 will happen. That’s it. That’s not too fucking difficult is it?

(I can hear the howls from the haters now: “GOD, THEY SAID THEY WERE UNHAPPY, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM THEM? YOU FEMINISTS ARE NEVER HAPPY WITH ANYTHING!!”)

Miri posts longer “in brief” thoughts here.