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Haters gotta hate

Rebecca Watson takes a moment to vent about the internet bile aimed at her, and it’s a depressing read. Who would have imagined a mild admonition to “guys, don’t do that” would turn into months of seething hatred and demonization? As she documents, there are whole sites and ongoing threads dedicated to trashing her and anyone associated with her. I took a quick look at some of her links, and found this treasure on one thread committed to hatin’ everything Watson:

“freethoughtblogs” has become a spiteful ghetto built on a river of bile for insecure gutter-fascists.

That is supernova-grade irony.

Rebecca Watson has my support as an appreciated and valuable member of the skeptical community, who has made many contributions and has also been an entertaining and informative face for skepticism.

The saddest part of this whole contemptible witch-hunt, though, is that several of the people who are still spittle-spewing ranters against the Skepchicks were also appreciated members of the skeptical community, who have unfortunately done a fine job of isolating themselves with their obsessive hate-mongering and slander. Let it go, people. Grow up, move on, shed the misogyny. And make no mistake, you have exposed yourselves as irrational misogynists.

Comments

  1. Dumbass says

    “We rip apart trolls like you because we care about the issue at hand and you’re distracting us from it.”

    So by telling you to stay on topic I am distracting you from staying on topic? Oh dear. Truly, and utterly, pathetic.

    As for Cupcake, which thankfully is somewhere in the realm of being on topic, I am not sure what your idea of gendered is, but a Cupcake is an inanimate genderless object. It is sweet and airy and soft and light (if made well). It is not solid or lasting. Calling a guy Twinkie or Cupcake or the like is saying he lacks substance, he is weak and ineffectual. The opposite of strong, which macho guys consider to be very important. Guys call each other dicks all the time, and as you said wouldn’t really care about that one. But call them weak, that’s no good. Now I bet some guys take it further than that as well, perhaps they associate it with being effeminate or gay. Perhaps most sexist dolts do take it that way I don’t know. But everyone I know would associate it with being weak.

    Now someone earlier said they’ve heard women called that as a nickname, I have never in my life heard that before, although I have heard women called other food stuffs…. honey, pea, sweet pea… Anyway, in an area where nicknaming women Cupcake is common, then hell yes is that a gendered insult, as the name is associated with women. But not where I am from.

  2. Muzz says

    It is probably worth pointing out (too late?) that much of the remaining ire isn’t really caused by the original incident or disagreement anymore, but, let’s say, injuries caused in the the ensuing melee.
    So it’s kinda the West Bank or Northern Ireland or something.

    The ERV crowd (all five or six of them) are mad at PZ for supposedly censoring free speech and exacerbating things regarding the McGraw incident (which, it seems to me is where the schizm really developed).
    I think…
    …It’s hard to tell anymore.

    There’s questions of decorum and “the power of the podium” in the McGraw incident. But she was one of the chorus who started at Watson mentioning the incident at all (in such an absurdly inoffensive and mild way). So in general she’s fair game.

    The thing is, it’s very hard not to speculate at the psycho-sociological underpinnings of the whole thing. You don’t have to think too hard about Hoggle as he’s clearly nuts. The others have some axe to grind it seems. Plenty are just mad that Watson didn’t just back right down at the appearance of the almighty Dawkins who is clearly right about everything.
    But Abbie Smith has had a bee in her bonnet about not being a more well known and respected skeptic for a while. I say this as someone who likes her talks and thinks she probably should get more gigs. I used to put down those sentiments to mild disappointment and general blog venting, text is often harsher than speech after all. But now all this stuff turns up about how we don’t need these fucking Bensons and Watsons fucking up our nice movement. The skeptic/atheist movement should be only for people who’ve done stuff, proper scientists, not these comms majors.
    It sounds like high school bullshit and it’s hard not to join the dots. But I do try.
    If nothing else I think I believe in ghosts because of this. Well one ghost: ol’ C.P. Snow.

  3. Dumbass says

    Rorschach says:
    30 September 2011 at 8:45 am

    Fuck, and I’m the dense one?

    “Just stop feeding it.”

    Yes! Exactly! I tell him to get on topic, and he tries to rip me 5 new assholes. Maybe he’ll listen to you.

    “jafafahots says:
    30 September 2011 at 8:47 am

    MRAs don’t come here to discuss, listen, or even be heard.

    They come here to engage in thread bukkake.”

    And you try to make points without the whole conversation devolving into a shit storm of insults, so that others can read your words and actually learn something, yes? It HAS to be yes, because otherwise all you are doing here is shouting at people for no good reason. So you try to reason with them, for the sake of others. Right Just A Lurker?

  4. Gnumann says

    Dumbass: Except telling people who put in a good, honest and longterm effort towards rectifying the problem that they’re doing it wrong you haven’t been involved in anything.

    “Reasoning with the fuckers” have been tried, it didn’t work.

    Giving the fuckers the treatment they deserve has some effect; not on the fuckers most of the time, but it has some positive spin-off effects.

    Personal disclosure: I used to be one of the fuckers on this issue. Not by conscious choice, but by ignorance. As long as people where trying to reason with me I couldn’t see my own faults. It was only thanks to the full horde treatment (mainly Caine and Nerd – don’t think I’ve ever thanked you properly for it) that I saw the light.

    Now sit down, shut the fuck up and listen to your betters until you understand. Please!

    Or just stick to your flounce.

    (This is more reasoning than you deserve, so if you do neither I’ll take it as an admission that you’re yet another worthless troll)

  5. julian says

    But she was one of the chorus who started at Watson mentioning the incident at all (in such an absurdly inoffensive and mild way). So in general she’s fair game.

    I don’t think Ms McGraw was part of the chorus. She said some very, very wrong things (‘Should she not stop demonizing men?’) in response to Rebecca Watson’s video but she never meant it with the malice or overt contempt the others did. I think she was just especially niave and sympathetic to the MRA view of the event.

    Either way it isn’t hard to see why a student (even one who’s a very active player) would feel singled out during a presentation by someone they admired. I’ve noticed we tend to see an exaggerated version of the criticism leveled against us when we are put in the spotlight. Especially when it comes as a big surprise. Back in Boot Camp my Senior called out our Knowledge Hat within earshot of the whole platoon. They were both SSgts, my Knowledge Hat had slipped up and since getting to the Fleet I’ve seen way worse reprimands but my Knowledge Hat looked at my Senior like he’d stabbed him in the back.

    I have to wonder how much of a similar phenomenon was at work between Ms Watson and Ms McGraw.

  6. gwen says

    There are TWO things guaranteed to bring out all the nutters. Anything about 9/11, and mentioning Rebecca Watson’s name. I love Rebecca, and the WTC buildings were brought down by the effect of being hit by planes fueled to the hilt. So.Bite.Me.

  7. John Morales says

    So, Rebecca has become a human lightning-rod, and Elevatorgate a form of aqua regia.

    [meta]

    And I see the aptly-named Dumbass specimen is a pretty typical troll.

  8. julian says

    I hope however Ms Watson chooses to deal with all this, she doesn’t try to tough it out for the sake of ‘the movement.’ She’s already been an active, vocal and effective popularizer of science, skepticism and more recently feminism. If she needs a break from the internet and the ‘community’ she should take it.

  9. Muzz says

    julian: True, McGraw wasn’t meaning any harm per se, that I could see. But just by reacting to the video as if it were some sort of breach of etiquette to mention the incident (and possibly criticising the use of the term “sexualise”, I forget) her sentiments are largely the same as most of the initial critics of the video.
    It’s almost because it was a more considered effort than some outraged comment from some random that it demanded attention. But yeah, I guess that’s a small sub section of the chorus, if it’s in there at all.

  10. says

    Oh damn, I think I’ve been caught in a time loop and it’s early summer again.

    But this is truely sick, sick, sick. The level of hate against Rebecca Watson cannot be explained by a disagreement over whether it is OK to approach strange women at 4am in an elevator or not.
    So, all of you cupcakes who used to claim that “of course you see women as humans, but she was wrong, nothing happened”, well, shot yourselves in the knee, haven’t you?

  11. says

    (…) Elevatorgate [has become] a form of aqua regia.

    I wish it was — dissolving MRA’s (though they’re not quite gold) would be an acceptable way of getting rid of them. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to do it the hard way — education.

    Sorry for being late to the party, folks. Should I read all comments, or can I just assume that Dumbass’ nomen est omen?

  12. jafafahots says

    I wish it was — dissolving MRA’s (though they’re not quite gold) would be an acceptable way of getting rid of them. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to do it the hard way — education.

    I was thinking the easy way. Salt.

  13. julian says

    @Muzz

    (Disclaimer: This is how I read Stef McGraw’s piece)

    Ms McGraw was trying to bring Ms Watson’s video into a larger discussion of where the ideals of feminism lead us as far as how women interact with men and what’s acceptable behavior. There was nothing wrong with that. It’s a discussion well worth having.

    I don’t think the point was to accuse Ms Watson of some kind of breach of etiquette but you’re right. Ms Mcgraw’s main points were the same we’ve been hearing this whole time. (Watson is anti-sex, she’s demonizing men, she’s not a real feminist, she took offense at a man showing interest in her, ectectect)

  14. says

    @Sally Strange and others,

    I don’t recall ever saying to stop posting here. In fact, I recall explicitly saying the posts should not stop. But I think writing letters to the editor would be a good thing in addition to all this, especially if PZ encouraged a large number of people to do so.

    Just because you don’t like my opinions on one topic does not mean I have suggested a bad idea on another topic.

  15. julian says

    I should probably add, I don’t think Ms McGraw actually thinks Rebecca Watson is a faux feminist or that she hates men or any other accusation someone moron from ERV might feel like hurling at me.

  16. says

    Gnumann:

    It was only thanks to the full horde treatment (mainly Caine and Nerd – don’t think I’ve ever thanked you properly for it) that I saw the light.

    You should thank yourself – it takes intelligence, thought and courage to take a step back, think about yourself, and be willing to see where you have been ignorant or wrong. You did that and you happily learned and have continued your education. Now you help to educate others. Shiny.

  17. Louis says

    Ok a fit in two parts.

    1) I have absolutely refrained from comment through all of this for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that the Caines and Janines of this world (and MANY others) have said all that needs to be said early and often. Thanks. Seriously, thanks a huge amount.

    2) As for all the people who think “This? Again? Dear me PZ, are you trolling for page views?” and are generally tired of this thing, as I confess I have occasionally felt (wrongly I might add, but we don’t control what pops into our heads, we control what we do about it and how we learn from it), I shall offer you poor, tired folks something:

    This fun comment from Vox Day

    Isn’t he a charmer? Now I know Vox Day is simply an incredible moron, a fringe lunatic best ignored on all matters, but the point is simple: do you have any idea how common basic, low-grade misogyny is for hateful, nuclear drivel like that from Vox Day to pass as anything other than borderline criminal? And please don’t read the comments if you wish to maintain any residual faith in humanity.

    Now of course, most women in most places don’t have to deal daily with anything like Vox Day (insert thanks to deity/lack of deity/bacon here), but they do have to deal with the low grade version of this far too frequently. And the low grade stuff gives excellent cover to the weapons grade stuff. A familiar phenomenon from our religious chums.

    So yes, while I can understand how for some the near endless referencing of Elevatorgate (and the incredible reaction by a bunch of loons to a very mild request by Rebecca) is tiresome, the reason it’s tiresome is because it’s likely that it isn’t an example of a problem you have to suffer from. I know I don’t. I am possessed of Penis Privileges. I get invited to all the best parties ;-) However, Penis Privileges don’t, or at least shouldn’t, grant you Ignorance Insurance. I.e. where you are miraculously protected from your own ignorance, an ignorance derived from simply not having to face a specific issue. So please, don’t be that guy. To make this super clear:

    [Lewis Black]The reason this issue keeps cropping up is, heh heh, BECAUSE IT’S STILL AN ISSUE![/Lewis Black]

    Have a teeny tiny touch of empathy, try to realise that your experiences are not binding on other people. This, by the way, applies across the board, there are plenty of disagreements I have with some of the claims made on these threads, but guess what? This really isn’t the place to air what would amount to distractions derived from my own poorly thought out pedantry on an issue I am still trying to fully grok.

    Empathy. Can’t advocate it enough. Since when did conjugating the verb “To Suffer” run like this:

    I suffer
    You are exaggerating
    He/she/it is flat out making it up
    We are persecuted
    You are feeling sorry for yourselves
    They are a bunch of liars who are crying persecution because they are spineless.

    And now I’ll shut up. (And there was much rejoicing)

    Louis

  18. says

    Julian and Muzz, it’s worth pointing out that many young women are so entrenched in sexism that they don’t see sexist behaviour for what it is. They buy into sexism lock, stock and barrel. There was a good discussion about this, along with a prime example of such a young woman in this thread: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/go_read_jennifer_ouellette_rig.php#comments

    The young woman you’ll want to search for is needfulcarp, who said the following at one point:

    But, hey, if you want to it will allow the people at conferences to tell the chill girls like me from the unhinged girls shaking their fists at supposed, vague injustices.

  19. Bernard Bumner says

    Even those who disagreed with Watson, even those who actively dislike Watson surely cannot condone stalking, bullying, violent fantasies, etc. Can they?

    Oh, apparently they can.

    ERV is one of the best examples; she, a victim of stalking and apparently originally moved to speak out because of Watson’s supposed shoddy treatment of someone is still playing host to Franc Hoggle.

    So much for taking the high ground.

    Now, Franc seems strange and obsessive to the point of sickness, but what is Abbie’s excuse? (In it for the pizza money?)

    This is behaviour that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and exactly how depraved do you need to be as a rational bystander to not speak out against it? (Of course, Abbie ceased to be so long ago, but her justification for allowing the hateful commentary was that she wasn’t a censor.)

  20. says

    Louis:

    as I confess I have occasionally felt (wrongly I might add, but we don’t control what pops into our heads, we control what we do about it and how we learn from it)

    It’s not wrong to be tired of this issue. I’m tired of it. I’ve been tired of it for a very long time. It’s tiring because we make so little progress and put forth so much effort. I’d say it’s normal to be tired of it.

    What’s not normal is for someone to use that as a pathetic excuse to stop fighting and tell everyone to shut up and sweep it under the rug, like a certain dumbass has been doing.

    Aaaaand, I’m happy to see you again!

  21. Louis says

    When referencing Vox Day as a fount of moronicity* I feel that today’s eerily appropriate mocking Non Sequitur has some merit.

    Louis

    *A perfectly cromulent word.

  22. John Morales says

    Michael Hawkins:

    But I think writing letters to the editor would be a good thing in addition to all this, especially if PZ encouraged a large number of people to do so.

    I remind you that PZ got his popularity, influence and credibility (the very things that would make his encouragement something of significance) by following his own path.

    (I would be cruel of me to contrast that with how popular, influencial and credible your path has made you)

  23. Ms Ann Thrope says

    From Alex way up at #42

    reconcile the fact that being outwardly sexy or sexual as a woman doesn’t create a debt payable to any male who happens to notice

    This is an awesome phrase and should be taught to every male child as soon as they are capable of understanding it.

  24. julian says

    @Caine

    Guess when you get over youself these supposed injustices just stop mattering.

    I don’t think I can sigh hard enough to express how this makes me feel.

    I, on the other hand, will cowgirl up and try to not whine, instead working for a more skeptical future

    Yeah, I’m not reading past that.

    Don’t think Stef McGraw would fall under the same category as needfulcarp. Stef McGraw, from what I’ve been told, cares very deeply about the rle of women in skepticism whereas needfulcarp couldn’t care less. (going of the replies I’ve read at least.)

  25. says

    Michael Hawkins, if you’re so hellbent on the idea of writing LTTEs, then do it yourself. I’m sure that every single person in every single town who happens to read their local paper and bothers with the LTTEs is highly aware of Egate and the fallout on Ms. Watson.

  26. says

    @Morales,

    Am I demanding PZ ask people to write letters? No, it’s a suggestion. If he gets a few thousand people to write letters, they will be seen by at least a few hundred thousand people – and in a format that holds more credibility than the blogosphere in general.

    I realize you probably dislike me, or at least some of my other opinions, but I really don’t think this is a bad idea. After all, isn’t everyone saying the discussion that has cropped up around Egate has been a good thing (bar the extremist bullshit and harassment in the Watson link above)? Wouldn’t it also be a good thing to start more conversations elsewhere?

  27. The Lone Coyote says

    Ichthic:

    I only have one thing to add to this thread.

    I am sick and tired of Michael Hawkins whinging.

    really.

    fuck off already, Hawkins.

    QFT. And I just met the guy today.

  28. pistoreyu says

    Classical Cipher @462, Rorschach, Caine et al.:

    It was good to read about your concern for R. Watson. Years ago I would have felt absolutely awful if I had had to deal with this deluge of hatred. Watson is quite young, right?, but even age is not totally relevant to what I mean. Being on the receiving end of this shit should be enough to make anybody despair or turn them into misanthropes, which should be bad enough — but as to myself and other people I know, the least reaction would have been long and nasty panic attacks.

    I so much hope that Rebecca will remain strong. It makes me feel better that she’s getting public support — only a few years ago I wouldn’t have presumed so.

    CC, your words were what I would have wanted to write, but I’d like to add something: however long this painful disaster is, I’d wish R. to think in even longer terms. This will have to stop. It will. We’ve seen other Internet weirdly inflated storms over people and they have passed. Just a bunch the most dedicated haters will remain, and you’ll be able to filter them. Ask for help — your friends shouldn’t forward insults, maybe just lists of people to be avoided, and so on. Duck or protest — do whatever you feel you need.

    Now that I mention help, kristinc said about PZ more or less what I was thinking too. It’s funny to read people here who believe that PZ only writes to feed his vanity — projection much?, but I’d have been surprised if he hadn’t reacted to Rebecca Watson’s moving post. It’s a matter of common decency and humanity, probably friendship too. (How robotic and unimagive some people are.)

  29. tielserrath says

    Just ducking in to add my voice in support of Rebecca. Wondering if I can organise some sort of whip-round to get her here for the GAC next year, as an attendee if nothing else. (Bit short of cash as part of my house fell off, otherwise I’d do it all myself.)

    [David, please note period inside parenthesis, 'kay?]

    It’s taken me most of today to get to the end of the thread, and I wish I’d been some help on troll smackdown, but you were all great!

    Big thanks to SG for the killfile, though.

    And hell, the obsessives on the SGU24 thread are really scary.

    I came across a blog post by a mother who read some of what happened and worries that her autistic son will do something like elevator gut. I think that she (and many others) are still failing to grasp is that it wasn’t what EG did, but that his action was like Pippin throwing rocks into a lake – it stirred up something extremely ugly, and very, very scary.

    [Hmm - might use that analogy in a blog post]

    And I think the other thing that’s been forgotten by many was that in the months prior to Elevatorgate there were a couple of ugly incidents at sceptical events (such as the ‘women are females but men are men’ discussion) in which women were shouted down for overreacting and told that they were imagining a mysogynist problem in scepticism/humanism/atheism.

    Imagining?

    Yeah, right.

  30. says

    @527 Caine,

    As I said earlier, if the subject is going to be on a specific issue, then it should be topical. Obviously Egate doesn’t fit the bill, and even if it did, it should be something more national anyway.

    Can someone please explain to me why this is apparently such an awful idea? Isn’t one of the goals here to spread ideas of equality?

  31. says

    Julian:

    whereas needfulcarp couldn’t care less.

    That’s the thing you, see – needfulcarp did consider herself to care and like many young women locked into the sexist party line, considered herself to be someone highly invested in the role of women in skepticism.

    Yeah, I’m not reading past that.

    I understand, but that whole thread is worth reading, for the surrounding discussion she caused.

  32. Sakurazaki Setsuna says

    but I really don’t think this is a bad idea.

    Its not “bad”, but it is rather silly.

  33. julian says

    Even those who disagreed with Watson, even those who actively dislike Watson surely cannot condone stalking, bullying, violent fantasies, etc. Can they?

    Three years. I went almost 3 years without listening or reading anything by Rebecca Watson because I found her boring, thought she got way to defensive when Dr Novella corrected her and that she behaved like an ass on the sgu forums. Not once did I consider doing any of the bullying we’ve seen these last few months.

    Fuck all the cowards out there. I hate bullies (yes hate. I know what the word means and it describes my feelings very well) and the people who stand with them.

  34. says

    Lois
    I admit, I’m sick and tired of “Elevatorgate”.
    Because there’s nothing new to add to the argument. All the MRA non-arguments have been made, they’ve all been rebutted.
    We’ve met a few people we really don’t want to be connected with, we met a few truely awesome people, we managed to educate a few now awesome people.

    But I’m fucking furious at what they’re doing to Rebecca Watson right now, how they set out in an almost criminal manner to destroy her life, her friendships, her rebutation and her work

  35. says

    Tielserrath:

    it wasn’t what EG did, but that his action was like Pippin throwing rocks into a lake – it stirred up something extremely ugly, and very, very scary.

    That’s excellent. Bookmarked and into my quote file.

  36. Louis says

    Hi Caine,

    Ohhh believe me, when *I* was tired of it, it was for ALL the wrong reasons! ;-) And I’m happy to see you again too, but then I’ve not been anywhere, just had little time for the web. I read, I lurk. And in the case of “Rebecca Watson and the Men’s Rights Assholes” I have been left struck dumb with amazement.

    My comments on “tiredness” were not really directed at people like yourself who have, in my opinion, every bloody right in the universe to be utterly pissed off to the back teeth and tired to the point of swapping planets. They were (ever so sarcastically) directed at those nice chaps whose eyes roll at the mere mention of sexism, Elevatorgate etc. And, I’m ashamed to say, the small inner eyeroller I possess. I’m getting better at shutting that fucker up though, due in no small part to reading the comments here and….erm, what’s that word….oh yeah….LEARNING!

    So there we go tone trolls, sometimes the short sharp shock approach works. Just a piece of anecdata for ya!

    Louis

  37. Louis says

    Giliell,

    Oh very much seconded. What’s happening to Rebecca is beyond horrid.

    As I mentioned to Caine above, my referencing “tiredness” was quite specific (and sarcastic), apologies if I didn’t get that across right.

    Louis

  38. says

    I wonder what became of the original elevator guy; has he learned from this and does he hang his head in shame every time this comes up, or is he one of the stalking MRAs?

  39. The Lone Coyote says

    The tone here is what kept old, immature, veiled misogynist and angry douchebag me sufficiently intimidated so as not to embarass myself by posting here. At least until I had begun to ‘get it’ enough that I felt like I could actually fit in here.

    Eat shit, tone trolls, I’m glad I’m not you.

  40. John Morales says

    Michael, thanks for your direct response.

    You had an idea, you posted it here.

    And there it sits, a leaden lump.

    (Yay for you!)

    Now, let me reiterate and clarify my point, since apparently it was a tad elliptical for you: PZ knows what he’s doing (unless his success is due to luck); your proposition is hardly likely to be novel to him.

    Your mere assertion that it’s better to do so carries as much weight as your other ideas; had you bothered to specify the cost-benefit of your approach and how the net result would be better than PZ’s current, that could have been analysed.

    (Since I could not do so by virtue of your lack of substance, I instead compared your utility to his)

  41. says

    Louis
    No apologies needed (btw, sorry for misspelling your name).
    I think there’s a “fake tiredness”, people who join in only to say “oh you should stop, this has been going on for way too long”, as if we were siblings bickering about who used whose bike without permission in 1976.
    No, what’s at the bottom of this is an ugly beast that lay concealed, only visible through ripples in the water (Thanks, Tielserrath, from now on there will be elevators in my LotR ;)). And people who want to “stop this” want the beast to go back to dormant again.

    But yeah, a tiny bit of me is still wondering how a tiny fraction of an overall unamazing video became the “Gretchenfrage” of atheism and scepticism

  42. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Michael:

    I realize you probably dislike me, or at least some of my other opinions

    Nah.

    (You’re merely pitiful, I don’t find you contemptible.

    Both of those are, of course, orthogonal to dislike (never mind enmity), and you merit none of those. You’re just a chew-toy.)

  43. Louis says

    To single the Elevatorgate example out from all the broader issues around sexism, misogyny, and harassment etc, PZ said it all in one line:

    Who would have imagined a mild admonition to “guys, don’t do that” would turn into months of seething hatred and demonization?

    Seriously. This. THIS. A MILLION TIMES THIS!

    Rebecca got a (from what we can tell) mild proposition from a guy who was somewhere on the clueless to creepy continuum, and she mildly mentioned that ignoring all the really obvious clues from her comments, talk and behaviour is unlikely to be a good “strategy” and then BOOM! The interwebs done explode.

    I remain aghast.

    The reaction to Rebecca’s request has to be the most disproportionate reaction to something incredibly gentle I’ve ever seen. It’s unbe-fucking-lievable. I mean seriously, RAPE apologetics (and demands…ugh) for someone saying “Guys, don’t do that”. Really? FUCKING REALLY?

    GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    Sorry, sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I read Rebecca’s post and you know what, I don;t care if she abused her powers on the JREF boards, if she took a dump in McGraw’s handag or even if she pushes over old ladies and kicks puppies. I just don’t care, it’s all irrelevant. The hate she is on the receiving end of is unjustified, intolerable and utterly undeserved. It makes me ashamed to be human.

    Louis

  44. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hawkins, why don’t you just shut the fuck up? Nobody is listening to your fuckwittery. I’m laughing at it, as are most of the regulars, at least the ones who don’t have you killfiled.

  45. Hairy Chris says

    But this is truely sick, sick, sick. The level of hate against Rebecca Watson cannot be explained by a disagreement over whether it is OK to approach strange women at 4am in an elevator or not.
    So, all of you cupcakes who used to claim that “of course you see women as humans, but she was wrong, nothing happened”, well, shot yourselves in the knee, haven’t you?

    Giliell, my thoughts exactly. I’m sure that the reaction to essentially an aside* in a talk says something about human nature, but I’m buggered if I can work out what. I also have a vague feeling that if Dawkins** hadn’t said something it would have blown over by now.
    sigh
    * Before anyone complains, the point RW made was absolutely valid, but unless I completely misunderstood the video of the presentation said point was made in passing as a “don’t do that please, guys” example and didn’t victimise anyone.
    ** Much as I enjoy his talks, his books and his approach, he wasn’t particularly clever on this occasion. Whether this was down to bad phrasing or misplaced-old-fashioned-English-gentleman-ness I am not going to speculate, but the effect has been the same.

  46. says

    Louis:

    It makes me ashamed to be human.

    It’s only the humans who are ashamed. All those who have indulged in hyperbole, rape apologia, stalkery and the rest have long had their decent human being cards revoked.

  47. says

    Hairy Chris (Yay, no more yahoomess):

    Whether this was down to bad phrasing or misplaced-old-fashioned-English-gentleman-ness I am not going to speculate, but the effect has been the same.

    The way I see it, it’s simply privilege. He’s blind to his own privilege, and from the cloak of it, he honestly didn’t see any problem. It’s disheartening he didn’t seem to learn anything from the situation.

  48. John Morales says

    Louis,

    The reaction to Rebecca’s request has to be the most disproportionate reaction to something incredibly gentle I’ve ever seen. It’s unbe-fucking-lievable.

    I saw most of its genesis, development and much of its aftermath (this is part of it).

    But one aspect of the escalation (there are others), but this is a very salient one, for me:

    Rebecca: It made me uncomfortable, don't do that.
    Them: Whyever so?
    Feminists: She'd already made it clear it wasn't on, circumstances were problematic.
    Them: Maybe, maybe not; and what circumstances? An invitation turned down?
    Feminists: Yes, really [evidence is adduced], and women have reason to fear strange men, particularly under certain circumstances [evidence is adduced], and a major fear is rape [evidence is adduced].
    Them: But what if [speculation]? What?! All women fear all men always!? Elevators are no-approach zones?!!? All women fear all men are rapists always!!??!!1??

    [iterate]

  49. julian says

    I also have a vague feeling that if Dawkins** hadn’t said something it would have blown over by now.

    I doubt it. I think the fact that Richard Dawkins simply had to add his two cents means we can safely assume there would be no shortage of people who felt they too simply had to make everyone understand why Rebitcha Twatson was an evil fucking cum slut who rung fucked her way up the skeptic ladder. (She didn’t really put all those hours. She just says she does so she can play the martyr and pretend she deserves a seat next a real skeptic like Steven Novella)

    Look at all the crap that keep getting dragged up. Paula Kirby, history as a mod on a forum, her college education, her personal life ectectect. Richard Dawkins is just another excuse to shame the slut.

  50. Bookworm says

    I’m male, and Rebecca Watson’s very mild comment about EG was sane, reasonable, and fair. I’m still bemused (read stunned) that so much bile has been generated over it. This is the point where I wish I was still a Christian, that there was still a hell, and that the general MRA populace would burn in it. I know, wishing for retributive consequences isn’t exactly the done thing, but the sheer stupidity of all those insecure males and the insane rantings of the Abbie Smith’s has induced a level of despair I haven’t felt in a very long time.

  51. Stan_I_Am says

    PZ, I owe a lot to you as an educator; though, not in biology.

    It was here at Pharyngula, as a mere lurker, that I dropped all vestiges of my religion and accepted that there is no god.

    But more pertently, it’s here that I learned about my own male privilege and came to understand that I was an ignorant MRA. I’d like to claim to be a feminist male, but I don’t honestly believe I can. Not because I don’t support feminism (and I certainly do, and I’m 100% behind Ms. Watson), but because–no matter what–it seems my initial baser instinct is the MRA reaction. Granted, I immediately start reading your posts (and also Skepchick and Jen’s) as well as your readers’comments to find out what it is I’m missing. I am naturally an idiot, but I do not want to be one.

    I’ve learned a lot and am humbled. I just wanted to say thanks both to you and to your excellent commenters for broadening my horizons.

  52. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Louis:

    It makes me ashamed to be human.

    You write that without noting its converse; that other things make you proud to be human.

    (Tsk)

    I would much rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.

    (Pterry)

  53. Dave R says

    You guys are bullies.

    All I said is maybe people could tone the insults a bit. But I cannot post here without being called names, insulted, and dog-piled upon. Yes, I’m a person, when I’m being insulted I feel insulted. Deal with it.

    I cannot make a comment without being overwhelmed with straw men, being accused of a hidden agenda, and of being a liar.

    Yes I am a scientist (and I’m only bringing this up again because I was accused of lying). If my English isn’t always perfect then that’s *because I’m not a native English speaker*.

    Yes being frank can be a good thing. Calling assholes assholes can be a good thing. But I’m not an asshole. And if you have to insult everybody who even slightly disagrees with you, then maybe you should check your priorities.

    Just because an insult is not gender-based (/bigoted) it is automatically okay? Do I really deserve to be called a liar and an idiot, piled on with “fuck you”s and “fuck off”s?

    I’m an atheist, a scientist, a radical utilitarian, but (or because of the latter) I also feel like we should treat each other with a basic amount of decency, or at least that should be the prior attitude until someone has shown that they actually deserve all the anger. And it seems like with this kind of attitude I’m in the wrong place here.

    I’m sure it won’t stop you from piling on, but you don’t need to ‘feed the troll’ any further, because I will not read any comments anymore.

    Have a nice day.

  54. Louis says

    Haha yes John, there are many, many things that make me very proud to be human.

    I would like to mention that Pterry himself is very, very close to the top of the list.

    Louis

  55. says

    @John Morales,

    I can sleep easy now that I know you don’t think I’m a troll. Thanks.

    It’s ridiculous for you to demand I provide specific cost-benefit analysis, as if that’s practical at all. I would need to find the total number of unique views PZ gets, then I would need to look at how many people are likely to follow through based upon past events of a similar nature elsewhere, then I would need to know the average newspaper distribution in the area of the average person who visits this site, not to mention the need to factor in all the variables such as other bloggers who will pick up on the suggestion. Or I could break it down, as I already did, like this: PZ has a lot of influence. If he asked people to write letters, many of them would. That would be a good thing.

  56. says

    Stan_I_Am:

    I’d like to claim to be a feminist male, but I don’t honestly believe I can.

    Nonsense. You’ve already recognized areas where you were ignorant, you’ve begun to correct that, you’re learning. Give yourself a break here, we don’t get a full education overnight and learning is a lifelong process.

    It’s not easy to break out of the habits of sexism and it’s not easy for any of us to recognize our own privilege and be conscious of it every day.

  57. says

    I’m an atheist, a scientist, a radical utilitarian, but (or because of the latter) I also feel like we should treat each other with a basic amount of decency,

    Dave,

    this comment still betrays you as a tone troll. Decency is to judge someone’s contribution based on its merits and content, not the amount of swear words it contains. As far as I can see, most regulars here have judged your contributions based on their content, and we have found them wanting. The tone argument is but a fig leaf for those who have nothing else to say.

  58. says

    Dave R #556:

    You guys are bullies.

    I guess you didn’t see comments #553 and 554 then.

    …I also feel like we should treat each other with a basic amount of decency, or at least that should be the prior attitude until someone has shown that they actually deserve all the anger. And it seems like with this kind of attitude I’m in the wrong place here.

    What, the attitude of your behaviour being acceptable no matter how much of an obstinate, ignorant ass you’re being?

    Yes. You are in the wrong place. Your cries for common decency, however, would best be turned inward.

  59. julian says

    I’m an atheist, a scientist, a radical utilitarian, but (or because of the latter) I also feel like we should treat each other with a basic amount of decency, or at least that should be the prior attitude until someone has shown that they actually deserve all the anger.

    That’s the general approach that I’ve observed here. People are given the benefit of the doubt until they say something that sets off one of the regulars (for example, tone trolling) and even then there’s usually plenty of opportunity to keep it from escalating.

    On a topic like this you should expect heated exchanges and emotions to run high. Several posters here have been victims of sexual assault and rape and a lot of misogynistic dismissal of rape concerns has hit them hard. They’re going to be short tempered and they’re going to have little patience for someone who makes it clear they aren’t interested in listening.

  60. John Morales says

    [very, very meta]

    Dave R:

    You guys are bullies.

    <snicker>

    Note that you (are you being bullied?) came here; here didn’t come to you!

    Yes, I’m a person, when I’m being insulted I feel insulted. Deal with it.

    Heh.

    You are seeing me dealing with it. ;)

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I cannot make a comment without being overwhelmed with straw men, being accused of a hidden agenda, and of being a liar.

    Quit your tone trolling, quit your complaining, and just state “this is what I believe, and this is the evidence to back it up”. Easy. Anybody can do it. Except you.

  62. says

    Setar:

    I guess you didn’t see comments #553 and 554 then.

    Dave R doesn’t bother with actually reading the comments and comprehending them. He prefers to keep popping up with yet another pitiful announcement of a flounce and the same old tone trolling. There’s no interest whatsoever in any discussion. He’s looking for a concession to his notions about tone.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He’s looking for a concession to his notions about tone.

    *Snicker* The Poopyhead wants us to be lewd, rewd, and crewd, to drive off trolls like DaveR. And PZ likes it that way.

  64. John Morales says

    Michael:

    [me] Your mere assertion that it’s better to do so [writing letters to the editor would be a good thing in addition to all this [PZ's posts and other activism], especially if PZ encouraged a large number of people to do so] carries as much weight as your other ideas; had you bothered to specify the cost-benefit of your approach and how the net result would be better than PZ’s current, that could have been analysed.

    (Since I could not do so by virtue of your lack of substance, I instead compared your utility to his)

    It’s ridiculous for you to demand I provide specific cost-benefit analysis, as if that’s practical at all.

    You quite sure you know to what the term ‘demand’ refers? ;)

    Your insinuation that a cost-benefit analysis of your suggestion (however inchoate or approximate) would be not at all practical is noted as what it is: an unsupported assertion, and an unnecessary digression.

  65. Hairy Chris says

    Caine, thanks for recognising a lurker, and no Yahoomess as I could actually register to FtB correctly. Damn Sb! ;-)
    I think that the problem with RD is summed up by your last sentence in #550. Privilege isn’t necessarily something that you notice yourself, however you have the opportunity to recalibrate when you are made aware of it. Dawkins seems to have failed at that step.
    Anyway, his position on this is academic now. The fact that he got involved in the first place escalated the dispute to a very wide audience. Shitstorm escalates, fuel added to fire, trolls come out to play, etc.
    Without dismissing the underlying issue, I’m at a complete loss to see why things have got so out of hand supposedly over RW’s talk? I can’t think that it’s over this any more. The fight seems to have relagated the issues completely. This will not end well, IMO.
    There’s probably an interesting sociological or psychological essay to be written but I doubt that it would have a particularly savoury conclusion.

  66. persiflage says

    Oh, hey, this looks like a nice well-buried spot to sneak in and introduce myself, which I’ve been spurred to do as an antidote to the perverseness of Dave R going to the trouble of joining the conversation to tell us all that this is not the kind of place he wants to join the conversation. (So…. don’t, then, eh, Dave? What an odd fellow you are. Would you go to a jazz club and stand up in the middle going, ‘Stop! Stop the music! I don’t like it! Listen to drum’n’bass instead!’ Most drum’n’bass-loving, jazz-hating people would just go somewhere they played drum’n’bass, wouldn’t they?)

    I’m not much given to cursing, but I find these comment threads entertaining, open, enlightening, linguistically inventive and playful, and full of personality, humour and insight. I’ve definitely been educated by discussion here and I’m grateful for it, and to the regular commenters (as well as to PZ, of course).

    My privilege in the world is immense – I’m straight, white, well educated, not in poverty, sound of body and mostly of mind. I’m not male: pretty much the only ace I don’t hold. I’ve never suffered violence or abuse. My upbringing loosely affiliated and acquainted me with the mainstream religion of my society, without tying me to it. I live where political and social life is not noticeably influenced by religious fundamentalism, and my atheism is no big deal (virtually no deal at all) as I go about my daily business. This place is great, and hugely valuable to me.

    I won’t comment often, but when I do I’m highly unlikely to be aggressive in my manner or florid in my language. If any of the regulars sees that as a reason to insult or denigrate me, I will eat my hat.

    On topic, I can’t find anything to say that doesn’t feel too obvious to say …. except for the repeated, startling evidence that to some people it’s still not obvious.

  67. says

    Hairy Chris:

    There’s probably an interesting sociological or psychological essay to be written but I doubt that it would have a particularly savoury conclusion.

    You won’t get an argument out of me.

    Hi Persiflage. Haven’t I seen you in TET once or twice? If I have, well, you should show up more often. If I haven’t, show up. :)

  68. StevoR says

    Dave R : 30 September 2011 at 11:40 am

    Yes being frank can be a good thing. Calling assholes assholes can be a good thing. But I’m not an asshole.

    That’s a matter of opinion – in the eye of the beholder – & opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one! (And some people think others one’s stink!)

  69. persiflage says

    Thanks, John and Caine. I’ve not posted in TET (yet) – there’s a chance I’ve accidentally duplicated someone’s nym, but I don’t see it on a site search so I hope not.

  70. says

    Dave R:

    Yes, I’m a person, when I’m being insulted I feel insulted.

    Someone’s got hurt feelings.

    I’m an atheist, a scientist, a radical utilitarian, but (or because of the latter) I also feel like we should treat each other with a basic amount of decency, or at least that should be the prior attitude until someone has shown that they actually deserve all the anger.

    Consider this, Dave (though you won’t read this). You came in and told a group of people how to behave. How is that not rude? So I’m going to claim the 10-year-old defense: you started it.

    Rude behavior is not just name-calling and generally-gleeful attacks. Rude behavior takes many forms, often cloaked in politeness or even good intentions (such as you coming here and telling us how we should behave — do you realize how condescending that is?).

    I do believe you are a good person. You probably are not an asshole, in general. But really, dictating behavior without understanding the current behavior is not the way to participate in a group discussion.

    This particular discussion has a long history here. You ignore that history when you comment on our behavior, rather than the substance of the discussion. And really, that’s one of the rudest things you can do on the internet, come into a discussion in media res and repeat old dead debates.

  71. says

    Yep. I got a handful of different hate pages sending me traffic as a watsonite (or some other manner of disciple) for defending her regarding elevatorgate. Then there were multiple posts about the MRA flailing on manboobz. This really really got to MRA’s and sexist men, for some reason. Maybe it is because she put up with that kind of shit for so long?

    There is a quote from roseanne about how men in general only give a fuck about you if you have the power to give them an erection. Once you stop trying or caring you are shit to them. Watson is married now and doesn’t want dudes’ sleezy attention, and what do you know? Now she is just a bitch in their eyes. It is the rudest of awakenings, but it radicalizes women, shows them the real situation.

  72. says

    Nigel:

    This particular discussion has a long history here.

    If Dave R ever had any honest intent and read the comments for content rather than skimming for tone, he would be well aware of the particular history. Twice, I pointed him to my post @36, with all the links to the particular history. Other people pointed out the particular history as well, more than once.

    Dave R also completely dismissed Robert’s (Desert Son) lovely post to him. He chose to ignore every single post which was thoroughly polite and addressed to him. I’m afraid Dave R is an asshole.

  73. says

    It all comes down to men who think they’re right to proposition to women any time anywhere trumps women’s right to not be afraid all the time everywhere.

    When Rebecca Watson pointed out the truth of the matter, it created enough cognitive dissonance for them to try to invent reasons why Rebecca Watson would be wrong.

    She is not. They are.

  74. says

    Dave R – “You guys are bullies. All I said is maybe people could tone the insults a bit. But I cannot post here without being called names, insulted, and dog-piled upon. Yes, I’m a person, when I’m being insulted I feel insulted. Deal with it. I cannot make a comment without being overwhelmed with straw men, being accused of a hidden agenda, and of being a liar.”

    Dave, I totally agree with your assessment of the culture on the Pharyngula threads. Yesterday, I posted the mild suggestion that, to be more inclusive to marginalized voices (including women), PZ set some formal guidelines for the comments. The provenance for that idea is excellent – it’s what most of the feminist blogs do, and PZ has come close to doing it in the past. PZ shot the idea down, and I didn’t push back at all – it’s his blog, after all. But I still got called ignorant, a concern-trolling pearl clutcher, and told that I don’t understand the way these threads are supposed to work (?). I’ve been called worse on Pharyngula threads in the past.

    You would think people who pride themselves on their rationality would be more rational in their responses. But no. A simple request for respect (for the person and process) seems to be an afront to their very beings. And I’m not impressed by the machismo of people who gang up and attack others from within the safety of their anonymity.

    PZ is entitled to do whatever he wants on his blog, and his method is obviously very successful. But he’s got a blind spot if he thinks that what he calls the “hurly burly” culture here is not linked to the abuse Rebecca has endured, and the marginalization of the women and others in the atheist movement. PZ is right that he’s not the whole Internet and that people can go elsewhere if they want a gentler discussion, but asking for more inclusiveness without working towards it in his own blog seriously undermines his message.

  75. says

    Wait a second… is the dude who claims to be a “radical utilitarian” claiming that he is not an asshole because he doesn’t intend to be one? Shouldn’t a utilitarian be concerned with the end result of his behavior on others rather than his intention? My mind is fucking blown by that turn of events.

  76. says

    SQB:

    It all comes down to men who think they’re right to proposition to women any time anywhere trumps women’s right to not be afraid all the time everywhere.

    While this is correct, what you fail to grasp is that there is no harm intended by the menz. It’s not like they are gonna rape, grope without permission, or be complete jerks.

    The women should be flattered, as it means the menz find them attractive. And after all, that’s what’s important for a woman, right?

     

    Yech. I feel dirty.

  77. says

    Hillary Rettig:

    But he’s got a blind spot if he thinks that what he calls the “hurly burly” culture here is not linked to the abuse Rebecca has endured, and the marginalization of the women and others in the atheist movement.

    Citation really fucking needed.

    While there is a link between the Pharyngula culture and the abuse RW has endured, I don’t think it’s the one you’re implying.

  78. julian says

    It all comes down to men who think they’re right to proposition to women any time anywhere trumps women’s right to not be afraid all the time everywhere.

    And the women who think it’s sexist to suggest otherwise and that any woman who is afraid of rape is hysterical and a misandrist.

  79. says

    Hillary Rettig:

    Yesterday, I posted the mild suggestion

    No, Hillary, you didn’t post a mild suggestion. It was one more post in a long string complaining about tone. You have a history here as a Tone Troll, and you’ve been at it long enough that people basically dismiss you anymore, because you say the same thing over and over, much like Dave R, while never listening to anyone else.

    Also like Dave R, you always manage to avoid the actual topic, preferring to whinge about tone and derail the thread. You aren’t interested in addressing topics in your preferred manner. What you are interested in is telling other people to behave in a manner which meets your approval.

  80. jafafahots says

    It’s true.

    Without PZ’s lax policy here, there wouldn’t be sexist men on the internet to go all MRA on women.

    Also, the various Creation Museums, PZ – you did that. You caused us to taunt them into it, and we’ll never let you forget your crime.

  81. julian says

    But he’s got a blind spot if he thinks that what he calls the “hurly burly” culture here is not linked to the abuse Rebecca has endured, and the marginalization of the women and others in the atheist movement.

    Citation really fucking needed.

    oh yeah

    The posters here may be on the aggressive end of spectrum but they are definitely not intolerant or bullies. The regulars frequently call each other out when one does something horribly obnoxious or callous and they don’t continue to harass people once they’ve left.

    Do you mean to say there’s a disregard for the feelings of others here? Because that’s the only possible link I can see between Rebecca Watson’s harassment and this group’s behavior.

  82. Waffler, Dunwich MA says

    I’ve been called worse on Pharyngula threads in the past.

    Is it possible you’ve also done worse on Pharyngula threads in the past? I recall some cluelessly off-topic posts by you in which you transparently push some blog or book of yours.

  83. says

    julian:

    The posters here may be on the aggressive end of spectrum but they are definitely not intolerant or bullies.

    I’d probably cop to a charge of intolerant.

    I’m intolerant of assertions without evidence. I’m intolerant of people who respond to the salty language, and not the substance (and there is substance here, substance as chewy and filling as a foul-mouthed sirloin). I’m intolerant of people who refuse to learn, or who are unable to grasp the basic concepts of empathy. (This is a tough one, as I recognize there are people who are genetically unable to grasp empathy — I do try to cut them some slack.)

    I’m intolerant of people who misrepresent other individuals, or who engage in equivocation, sophistry, evasion, misdirection, lies, or repetitive fallacies. I’m intolerant of people who claim that science is just another religion, or that we worship at the feet of Darwin. I’m intolerant of people who refuse to answer questions because doing so might harm their position. I’m intolerant of people who cannot admit they are wrong when it becomes obvious they are most definitely wrong.

    I’d say I’m quite intolerant.

    And I’m proud of it.

     

    PS: This isn’t to say I myself haven’t used fallacious arguments, or misrepresented evidence or research. However, I try not to do this intentionally, and I attempt to be gracious when shown my errors. This is called learning, and I attempt to learn as much as I can.

  84. Gnumann says

    Hillary Rettig:

    I didn’t mourn when you never returned to answer my question in the other tread, but since you’ve chosen to infest this tread with your passive-agressiveness too I’ll repeat myself:

    If the topic was “how can we make the comment section of Pharyngula more inclusive” you would have a point.

    It isn’t.

    Now, what about answering my question instead of insulting me? Was there a point, you did you just come here to be mean and pick a fight?

  85. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Dave R

    This must be the one place in the internet where being polite and level-headed, or advocating such terrible behaviour, makes you a troll.

    When were you polite or level-headed? You came in here telling us how we should behave to make you feel more comfortable here without providing a shred of evidence that acting the way you want us to is any better than what we’re doing. I don’t think that’s very polite or level-headed. It’s also not very rational.

    All I said is maybe people could tone the insults a bit.

    No, you didn’t say we could, you said we should. Your exact words were “Us rational people should demonstrate that we can make a point without being hateful and rude.” You then said “We should be better than them.” That implies that just using “naughty” words makes us just like them. There is so much more that is wrong about them than just that they’re not being polite. In fact, most of us here don’t subscribe to the notion that using so-called crude words makes one impolite. So if that’s your only problem with them, then you can kindly fuck off. The rest of us care much more about the message and intent behind those words, because plenty of vile hatred has been leveled against us over the years by people who don’t use any words you won’t see in an episode of the 700 Club*.

    * Pat Robertson is one vile shitstain of a human being, but hey, at least he’d never call anybody a shitstain, so I guess he’s a better person than me, right?

  86. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Ms Ann Thrope @ #525:

    From Alex way up at #42

    reconcile the fact that being outwardly sexy or sexual as a woman doesn’t create a debt payable to any male who happens to notice

    This is an awesome phrase and should be taught to every male child as soon as they are capable of understanding it.

    Umm …not to children and not just to males. Sexism and objectification is a societal problem. Everyone should understand the truth of that quote and in regards to everyone else, not just to women. There isn’t anyone who owes sex to anyone merely because they’re considered to be sexy or sexual by anyone else.

    Actually, (and I’m running with a sudden thought, so bear with me) it’s because of feminism that any sort of realisation about the pervasiveness of sexism in society could be uncovered. It’s curious how sexism, based in white male privilege, infiltrates the thoughts and attitudes of society at large so that we’re all complicit, to varying degrees, in the generally devalued personhood of people (women most egregiously) and reduction, in so many cases, of people (women most egregiously) to sexual objects who owe us.

    Yes, it starts with women, but it hardly ends there. The problem seems suddenly insurmountable and I find myself faced with the very reason why EG blew up in the way that it did. This is a disheartening realisation.

  87. says

    Thomathy:

    Yes, it starts with women, but it hardly ends there. The problem seems suddenly insurmountable and I find myself faced with the very reason why EG blew up in the way that it did. This is a disheartening realisation.

    debaser71:

    Apply your critical thinking skills towards feminist bullshit.

    nigelTheBold:

    *sigh*

  88. Arakiba says

    Women aren’t allowed to tell men not to do things, just like slaves weren’t allowed to tell their owners they didn’t want to work in the fields. Women aren’t allowed to risk offending men either, because a man’s ego is so much more important than a woman’s safety.

    Oh wait, this is the 21st century and we live in a secular society, so I can say all that stuff is bullshit.

    Men need to grow up, and accept the fact that women are allowed to voice their opinions, even when it hurts our egos.

  89. Gnumann says

    Apply your critical thinking skills towards feminist bullshit.

    We’ve done that, it turned out most of it were not bullshit.

    Any specific points you wanted to discuss – or are you just a fail troll?

  90. says

    Oh, look, the tone troll’s found himself a little friend!

    Hillary Rettig
    What the fuck are you doing in here anyway?
    This thread is about the horrible stalking and attacks Rebecca Watson has to endure, and also how those attacks mostly choose to attack her femaleness (yeah, I’m aware of “femininity”), displaying the rampant misogyny.
    If you don’t have anything to add except patting yourself and Dave R. on the back, just leave.

    skeptifem

    There is a quote from roseanne about how men in general only give a fuck about you if you have the power to give them an erection. Once you stop trying or caring you are shit to them. Watson is married now and doesn’t want dudes’ sleezy attention, and what do you know? Now she is just a bitch in their eyes. It is the rudest of awakenings, but it radicalizes women, shows them the real situation.

    I disagree. First of all, being married =/= not giving other men erections anymore. If they want to wank watching a video of Rebecca Watson, they should feel free to do so.
    Secondly, I hardly see an indicator that she wanted sleezy attention before or that she wouldn’t mind some harmless flirtation now (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that point, I haven’t researched her stance on that)
    Thirdly, probably the only thing that turns “the menz” (and by that I explicitly mean those who see women as prey and trophies) on more than a married heterosexual is a married lesbian (always given that they confirm to the standard of beauty). Because it doesn’t only prove that you can get pussy, you can even get somebody else’s pussy!

  91. Gnumann says

    That is the correct answer! You win a cookie.

    The quality of trolls these days are really deplorable. Trolling used to be an art, subtly drawing folks into ages-long flame-wars.

    Young trolls these days just fire off something plump and hope somebody yells at them.

    No respect, even for the art of trolling.

    Thanks for the cookie though.

  92. pelamun says

    Hillary Rettig, did you ever address the response many people gave you that the civility argument is often used to silence underprivileged groups, i.e. style over substance? The very fact that you don’t seem to have ever addressed it marks you as a troll.

    (I say this as someone who dislikes insulting people on a blog, but I do understand the argument substance over style, and with that I agree. The only time where I take the tone into consideration is when I think people jump to conclusions without giving me the benefit of the doubt, like a certain poster here has in the past. In such cases I just break off the conversation. But that is my personal behaviour, it’s not like I’m trying to set any guidelines for anyone here like you do. In your case, many posters have pointed out the problem with your demand, but I haven’t seen you address it anywhere)

  93. says

    Apply your critical thinking skills towards feminist bullshit.

    How about you apply your fucking off skills to yourself?

  94. pelamun says

    julian, debaser71 openly admitted on another thread that he is a tone troll:

    I don’t want to get into a discussion. I want to point fingers and express my displeasure at PZ (and others).

    It’s probably best to just ignore him.

  95. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    NigelTheBold, wash, rinse and repeat. This is a disheartening realisation. Once seen it cannot be unseen.

  96. says

    My $.02:

    Sexism affects everyone.

    It is hard for some people to grasp this- I know it took me a long time after high school to deprogram my very misogynist (amongst other) views. But I was able to do it because of conversations just like these- and that is why we must keep talking about this and confront any future events in order to shape the community. This impacts us greatly, let’s not forget. I don’t think I have to explain to anyone here how important our personal interactions are and how greatly gender equality affects that.

  97. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I want to put my anecdote on the table here. When I first began commenting here a while back, I got my ass handed to me. I thought I was pretty well free from any sexism, but I didn’t know about the concept of privilege and how it blinded me to things others would see differently. I clung to an indefensible argument and I got roasted. Deservedly. It opened my eyes. Now I know I’m not perfect, but I’ve come a long way since then and grown in ways I couldn’t have if I’d gotten a free pass. I needed the rude awakening* I got. And I’m grateful for it.

    * Interesting expression, “rude awakening”. It’s such a fixture in our language, and yet here we have people trying to tell us we can’t awaken people by being rude.

  98. Tapetum says

    Dammit, persiflage! I was just thinking that this seemed a good spot in the thread for a quiet self-introduction and some support for the regulars, and you went and beat me to it!

    Umm, hi! *waves* Persiflage’s comment pretty much goes double for me, right down to the listing of applicable privilege. I’m not much for swearing myself, but I do enjoy watching others be creative with it in a good cause.

    It does occur to me that most of the misogynists in the skeptic community are going to be invested in the idea that they are particularly rational people. Which then gives them only a few choices when their misogyny is pointed out. 1) They can claim misogyny is rational (fortunately not heavy in this thread, though there were a few in some of the previous ones); 2) They can claim it wasn’t really misogyny (bitches are just over-reacting!); or 3) They can actually admit they were wrong. That they aren’t more rational than the average bear, and try to amend their ways.

    Quite self-evidently, this last is the least popular reaction. Doubling down is much more popular, because maybe this time they’ll succeed in shouting down the opposition, and be allowed to go back to thinking of themselves as nice, rational people.

    I have every admiration for the regulars here who dedicate themselves to not letting them get away with it.

  99. Gnumann says

    * Interesting expression, “rude awakening”. It’s such a fixture in our language, and yet here we have people trying to tell us we can’t awaken people by being rude.

    Nice!

    I like you :D

  100. Brownian says

    julian, debaser71 openly admitted on another thread that he is a tone troll

    And he only seems to pop in on the sexist threads to cry these days. He claims to favour argument, yet he never makes them. Just whines.

    Whenever he stops by, I take a moment to be grateful that I’m not the stupid, snivelling, piece of shit he is.

    Thanks, debaser71. Friday’s lookin’ up!

  101. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    How about you don’t mention it so often dumbass? Jesus Fucking Christ.

    Yeah. Because if we all agree not to talk about it, it’ll all just go away, right? </sarcasm>

    Dumbass.

    If it is such a trial to you to either read or ignore such threads…well, I can only speak for myself, but I don’t see myself getting all broken up because of your absence.
    -

  102. says

    There is a problem with sexism on the internet, and in the human species in general. I don’t think atheism has a particularly bad problem with it. The way to deal with sexism is to expose it, talk about it and try to figure out how to avoid the appearances of it. Which is what the atheist community is doing. Go team A.

    I am not trying to devalue Rebecca’s experiences, or to invalidate her feelings, but it should be remembered that on the internet, if you post about sexism or how people are using rape threats or whatever, you are going to get inundated with those very same things. I’m sure it’s one of the rules of the internet.

    So while we should continue to discuss genuine problems with sexual discrimination within atheist circles, we should be careful not to feed the trolls. Because they are loving it!

  103. says

    @John Morales 563

    Dave R:
    You guys are bullies.
    <snicker>

    Note that you (are you being bullied?) came here; here didn’t come to you!

    Thank you! I get so fucking tired of nincompoops dropping in on Pharyngula to accuse us of “bullying” some of the most outrageous trolls on the Internet (or clueless Boy Wonders like Dave R here) that I often feel like screaming when I read such false accusations, but I do appreciate it when a commenter here can make me laugh about it as you have. :) And yes, precisely. Dave R came running to us and barged into our house to shut us up. It is not possible that the response to him is bullying. Simply not possible.

  104. esteleth says

    Welcome! Two new folks in one thread. Thread saved!

    Can I make it three? :D
    Longtime lurker. Have been seriously peeved by the whole Elevatorgate situation (ZOMG women have rights?! ZOMG) but haven’t commented on it.
    But then, I read this thread, realized that some people just don’t get it but also how awesomely people like Caine were handling it.
    I also finished chapter 4 (of 5) of my Ph.D. thesis and got some rockin’ Western blot data. So I decided I needed a reward. So I registered.

    Uh, about me? I’m a woman, Ph.D. student, feminist, lesbian. Yes, I’m hairy-legged. Whatever.
    Got some serious privilege going on, between being white, able-bodied and more or less traditionally feminine in my appearance and mannerisms (of course, this last one is a pretty backhanded privilege, but so it goes). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hit on by men I’m out to, been expected to join in on harassing the POC/foreigner/woman/$OTHER, told to be quiet and stop whining, or some other BS. Some people (men and women) just can’t seem to get the idea that O HAI MY EYES ARE UP HERE, CUPCAKE and I’m actually a person with needs, wants, desires, fears, etc and not a stereotype. I am, for the record, not an atheist. I figured I’d say that up-front, lest I inspire people thinking the wrong things about me. I am vehemently secular. I don’t give a crap about your religious beliefs or lack thereof. Don’t them in my face and I’ll do the same. I think my attitude on this is partially the result of being a religious minority – decreasing the power in society of the loudmouthed and pushy religious powerful is to the benefit of everyone they shove down. When I saw PZ’s quote about religion having in a better future having a status akin to knitting, I cheered. Because (1) I knit and love it and (2) Maybe then we can see that while it is nice to have faith, it’s also nice to not have faith and seriously, can you shut up about how you’re better than me because you love Jebus already? My faith doesn’t make me a good person, and it doesn’t make me a bad one. It’s just something I have.

    Anyway. On topic: before Egate blew up, I was pretty “meh” on a lot of things. No more. If you don’t support my right – everyone’s right – be treated like a person, to walk down the street without fear, to live their own life, then I don’t have time for you. If you aren’t willing to check your own privilege when I tell you that something hurts me, then I don’t have time for you. I’m glad that this incident – and all the stuff that’s come out of it – has helped me realize this.

  105. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Psychoticatheist, if we’re going to talk about sexism, there are going to be trolls. You admit this much. There is no way to avoid it. I know you’re not trying to excuse the trolls or blame Rebecca (or anyone) for the response from the trolls, so it’s very weird when you admit that trolls are going to exist if we talk about sexism and then go on to say that we should be careful not to feed the trolls.

    That’s stupid. It’s contradictory. How can anyone help not to feed the trolls if we’re going to provide them with fodder merely by talking about sexism? Do you have a suggestion, or are you just rhetorically reminding everyone of the blatantly obvious and admonishing us because the trolls are getting fat? Don’t be doing the latter. If the former, then offer a suggestion.

    Or better, fuck the trolls, because we should be talking about this regardless of whether they’re ‘loving it’ or not.

  106. Gnumann says

    Yes, I’m hairy-legged.

    (slightly OT): Got any good tips on how I can convince my GF that shaving isn’t mandatory?

  107. esteleth says

    I am not trying to devalue Rebecca’s experiences, or to invalidate her feelings, but it should be remembered that on the internet, if you post about sexism or how people are using rape threats or whatever, you are going to get inundated with those very same things. I’m sure it’s one of the rules of the internet.

    So while we should continue to discuss genuine problems with sexual discrimination within atheist circles, we should be careful not to feed the trolls. Because they are loving it!

    I disagree. We need to emphatically meet them and smack them down. Maybe they’re just doing it for the lulz. Maybe they actually believe it. I don’t care, which, but both options are why we should meet them. If it’s the first, then by keeping our heads down and not fighting, we actually incite more, the next time. We announce ourselves as easy marks, who can be harassed into being quiet. This is not good. We should not shrink from a fight because it is easy, we should fight back because it is hard. Because it is the right thing to do. If they actually believe it – well, maybe we can reach them. Did you read Gnumann’s comment? When people called him on his BS, it made him realize how he was wrong. He’s better for it now.

    Also? If posting about rape/sexism gets you a shit-ton of abuse, then maybe we need to, I dunno, work to change that. By supporting people who say the things that need to be said by shaking down the haters.

  108. esteleth says

    @Gnumann
    Well, I used to shave. Then I joined a swim team. Swimmers shave only right before big meets. So I stopped shaving habitually. Then I quit the swim team and the habit was broken.

    So: get her to join a swim team, go to her meets and cheer for 3-4 years, then get her to quit. Note: step 2 is not optional. Otherwise, you’re just a douchecanoe of a partner. ;)

  109. Vicki says

    Gnumann:

    Are you trying to convince her shaving is not mandatory, or trying to convince her not to do it?

    “Not mandatory” can be anything from making it clear to her that you don’t actively want her to shave, to providing emotional/psychological support if she goes out in public with hairy legs.

    I’m fairly sure my girlfriend knows that shaving isn’t mandatory, but she still shaves her legs much of the time. I’m not sure how much of the reason for that is liking the way they feel or look, and how much is lingering concern about being judged by anyone from strangers to relatives. (I understand her not wanting a fight with her mother over that; not shaving isn’t important to her.) In case you’re wondering, I know she doesn’t think shaving is mandatory is that she has never suggested that I should shave my legs.

    And all of that would be very different from telling her that you would prefer she not shave: in the end, remember that it’s her body. If you like the hairy look and/or feel, it’s okay to tell her that, but not okay to push.

  110. Gnumann says

    So: get her to join a swim team, go to her meets and cheer for 3-4 years, then get her to quit. Note: step 2 is not optional. Otherwise, you’re just a douchecanoe of a partner. ;)

    I was hoping for something more among the “make her see that it’s a part of patriarchy”-lines… Getting her to join a swim team is not very feasible I’m afraid (She likes to swim, but freaks out at competitions and suchlike)

  111. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Classical Cipher @462: Yes. THIS.

    Louis @519:

    Empathy. Can’t advocate it enough. Since when did conjugating the verb “To Suffer” run like this:

    I suffer
    You are exaggerating
    He/she/it is flat out making it up
    We are persecuted
    You are feeling sorry for yourselves
    They are a bunch of liars who are crying persecution because they are spineless.

    *applause*

    And people who want to “stop this” want the beast to go back to dormant again.

    Exactly. They aren’t really interested in evicting the beast from the pool, ’cause that would take years and cost thousands of lives, and anyway, this particular shoe isn’t pinching their feet! We should be discussing their pinchy shoes and aching feet, instead. Priorities, people!
    -

  112. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Actually, ‘cupcake’ is common slang for a woman in the US.

    Define “common”, and define “US”. Because I’ve lived in a few parts of the US and have never heard it used that way. Not once.

  113. Gnumann says

    @Vicki:

    It’s mostly the “not mandatory”-thing*. She does what she wants to her body, but I could live without the angst when she feels she’s not living up to her standards of beauty…

    And don’t worry, I don’t push (unless telling her she got nothing to worry about in her more angst-filled moments amounts to pushing)

  114. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Michael Hawkins was amazing. He made the suggestion that PZ should write a letter about ElevatorGate to the editor of the local paper. It was summarily dismissed by the Horde as an ineffectual thing to do. He then returned FIVE TIMES to defend his stupid suggestion (accompanied by a bit of tone trolling). What were you expecting, Michael? A cookie? A gold star? A collective Pharyngulan orgasm in response to your Great Idea? Go snivel somewhere else.

    Dumbass was also amazing. He barged in here, took a great big shit on our discussion, and then screamed at the commentariat for the stink they cause with their rudeness and insults. He is a douchewaffle with dingleberries on top.

    Now I see why the Horde’s fangs are so sharp and sniny–you all get a lot of practice. :)

    ****

    @Classical Cipher: That was a beautiful statement of support for Rebecca. I think it could be applied to all female bloggers who dare to speak out against injustice–and then get attacked for doing so. I’ve read so many horrible accounts of bloggers who have had to hide and/or shut down and/or go to the police because of very real threats of violence. And trolls wonder why we continue to discuss this issue…

  115. Gregory Greenwood says

    David Marjanović, OM @ 323;

    Wasps are actually very easy to get out of windows. (Try that with a mosquito! Hah!)

    The whole thing with wasps is just a personal hang up. I admit that doing anything other than swatting mosquitoes is always problematic.

    And when you put a whole sentence in parentheses, put the entire sentence in parentheses, including the period at its end.

    Thanks for the tip.

    doucheburger… I’ll steal that!

    Agreed, IndyM has coined a classic there I think.

    ————

    @Michael Swanson & Dave R: (various posts);

    There are several commentators on Pharyngula whose style tends to be such as to avoid the use of swear words. I would count myself among them. However, just because my style may differ slightly in this regard to that of say Nerd or Caine or Janine reveals nothing about the relative worth of those posts. What matters is the strength, evidential basis and validity of the argument. The question of ‘to swear or not to swear’ is really little more than a matter of personal taste and aesthetics. Indeed, as has been observed by others upthread, a rational argument made in good faith that includes some honest usage of strong language to express the author’s passion for the topic is infinitely preferable to the all too often seen phenomenon of the scrupulously politely-worded post that, without ever employing any term that could be considered ‘profane’, still conveys concepts that are hideously bigotted, exclusitory and dehumanising.

    Tone and substance are two seperate things. No one here is denying you the right to adopt a polite tone in your own posts, they are objecting to your seeming desire to try to compel other commenters to conform to your personal aethetic as regards such things. Such an attitude is prating, patronising and unreasonable, and it is no surprise that the pharyngulite horde has called you out on it.

    If you actually want to address the issue, politely or otherwise, then I am sure that your contributions will be given a fair hearing*. If all you wish to do is preach about the importance of tone while ignoring the far more significant topic at hand – the problem of the prevalence of sexism and misogyny in the atheist community – then you have very much come to the wrong blog.

    * Bearing in mind that misogyny, however politely worded, will invariably result in an invitation that you find an inventive use for a decaying porcupine.

  116. says

    @Thomathy

    That’s stupid. It’s contradictory. How can anyone help not to feed the trolls if we’re going to provide them with fodder merely by talking about sexism?

    We do it by talking about non-internet related sexism. Rebecca tends to use extreme examples of trolls sending her nasty rape-related emails and the like. If she was receiving rape related comments in person, or by otherwise non-anonymous people, that would worthy of talking about. If she were refused the ability to talk at atheist events in favour of more attractive buxom ladies who like to stoke male atheists egos..that would be worthy of talking about.

    But it seems that most of the examples of sexism/misogyny (that I have seen at least) have been from obvious trolls. I think we’d do better to talk about the actual sexism and misogyny rather than the fake stuff that anonymous internet assholes make up with the sole intention of provoking a response.

    Or better, fuck the trolls, because we should be talking about this regardless of whether they’re ‘loving it’ or not.

    Certainly. The evidence of the healthiness of the skeptic community is that it discusses this issue openly and frankly. The problem is that so much of the ‘evidence’ of the terrible state of sexism in atheist circles comes from trolls. Trolls are not a reliable source of information about sexism. Let’s instead talk about real-life sexism in skeptic circles. It exists, I’m sure.

    ——————–

    @esteleth

    I disagree. We need to emphatically meet them and smack them down. Maybe they’re just doing it for the lulz. Maybe they actually believe it. I don’t care, which, but both options are why we should meet them.

    In my experience of using the internet for the past two decades I can say with reasonable confidence that the tactic of ‘emphatically meeting’ trolls and attempting to ‘smack them down’ is the tactic that works least well. Your experiences may vary.

    We announce ourselves as easy marks, who can be harassed into being quiet. This is not good.

    Not responding to trolls doesn’t announce skeptics as easy marks. Trolls want responses, and the angrier they are the more they feel they have won, and the more they will continue to goad those that fall for their lures.

    Did you read Gnumann’s comment? When people called him on his BS, it made him realize how he was wrong. He’s better for it now.

    I don’t think that Gnumann’s posts struck as particularly trollish, maybe I missed some of them. I am not suggesting we don’t argue and discuss sexism and misogyny and try and change the minds of other people about their own inadvertent insensitivity.

  117. says

    @Gnumann:

    It may not be a “Patriarchy” thing and may certainly be more along my lines. I get my legs waxed every month or so because I like them that way. I don’t wax because people see them, I didn’t get them waxed because my ex liked them. I wax because I like the way they feel.

    But if she’s doing it cause she feels she has to, then gentle reassurance that she doesn’t need to shave to impress you should be fine.

  118. esteleth says

    @Gnumann
    My initial response was largely in jest, as I took your question to be.

    In seriousness: tell her she’s beautiful. Like, every day. In words and deed. Yes, it’s awesome when she’s dressed to the nines, her hair done professionally, and is looking her absolute best, but it’s also awesome when her hair’s a mess and she’s wearing ratty sweats. You don’t think less of her when she doesn’t shave, or pluck her eyebrows, or starve herself to be a size 2. So love her and show her that you do.

    Also, don’t underestimate the value in doing things to make yourself feel good. Maybe she shaves because she likes the feel of her skin freshly shaved.

  119. says

    The only place I’ve seen “cupcake” used in a seemingly gendered manner was in movies or TeeVee shows a few decades back, always coming from the mouth of an obvious sexist pig who was refusing to take a woman seriously because of her womanity.

  120. kerfluffle says

    When Watson got to “guys don’t do that.” on the original video, I smirked and rolled my eyes with her, not at her. I knew exactly what she meant because I’ve been there a million times. I’m a newbie, it was cool that this scene lets you say stuff like that.

    Could I be any more wrong? It got so ugly, so fast. I read a lot of that ugly and I read a lot of the good on blogs like this one. All these “Can’t you just say it nicer?” comments only show up when people are willing to admit there is a problem with sexism inside atheism. When people are talking about “Twatson,” or how if guys don’t hit on as many women as possible their poor dicks will stay dry, or how the guy in the elevator should be applauded because he didn’t rape her – there just aren’t the same amount of “Hey, tone it down.” or “can’t we just stop talking about this already?”

    I don’t get it. If you’re part of the “play nice, kiddies!” crowd, maybe you could explain it.

  121. Gnumann says

    I don’t think that Gnumann’s posts struck as particularly trollish, maybe I missed some of them. I am not suggesting we don’t argue and discuss sexism and misogyny and try and change the minds of other people about their own inadvertent insensitivity.

    I was talking about long long ago – on a website far far away (now under the auspices of natgeo) and I must confess – under a different ‘nym (changed for reasons unrelating to this).

    Let’s just say someone had to learn the hard way when and how you talk about certain issues (which I won’t name in this tread, I don’t want to give the trolls any ideas).

  122. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Not to stir the pot, but prior to its use here the only way I’ve ever heard “cupcake” ever used when refering to people and not single serving baked sweet goods was when a man was talking down to a woman with the intent being “oh that’s nice cupcake, now run along and let the men talk”.

  123. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’ve generally not posted much in these threads. I even avoided reading much of 3d4k. I wasn’t uninvolved, I just was involved in other fora than Pharyngula. (and why does pharyngula fail the spellcheck on this site?) Frankly, as a survivor of rape, this crap can get too nasty for me to read. Sometimes I dive into the nasty. I want to know exactly what the haters are saying. But mostly, no, I don’t want to hear it.

    On the other hand, as things moved past 3d4k but *still* got some attention, I did post. At that point the difference was that I felt that there really were

    a) fewer terrible posts that made me feel sick than posts that defended the notion that women are persons

    and
    b) some people that had been doing an excellent job in the beginning had gotten tired/ moved on/ whatever so I felt there was something I could add to the discussion.

    What was the result? I became a pharyngula commenter. I’d been reading for a long time. I’d even made a single post a year before or so, but I’d never been a pharyngula commenter, a member of the community, in any real sense before.

    So, I say this to respond to YAAD and others who feel that these threads generate nothing of value, these threads generated the impetus for me to join this community.

    The *value* of having me around is certainly debatable, but choosing to take on sexism does bring in people who care about fighting sexism. Whether I bring anything as an individual that makes any significant contribution may be debatable, but I’m quite certain that if indeed there can be some generalizing from my experience (and there’s no reason to think my experience is unique, though that doesn’t tell us how common it may be) then *some* good comes out of these threads by inviting in people who have something to contribute.

    ….
    As for tone trolling:
    I tend to be less profligate with, and typically slow to reach for, the insults (though I did once employ porcupine iaijutsu), but there’s a difference between choosing not to employ insults (or to employ them rarely) and telling others what tone they can/should use in expressing themselves. I personally am happy to have a space that values arguments (meaning the substantive reasoning toward a conclusion) over politics. In general, it is horrifically common in politics to avoid making decisions about the truth of something by discussing the politics of it. That trend, I believe, has hurt the USA terribly. Seeing its macro effect, I tend not to believe that pharyngula’s values are more harmful than helpful.

    ……
    finally

    as for douche.

    I totally see the point of (I believe it was) Caine, when it was pointed out that douches are harmful and unnecessary, so using it as an insult makes a certain sense.

    indeed if we stuck to that meaning “harmful and unnecessary” it could describe many of the trolls here.

    But for me, I’m too acutely aware that for most people who use the insult, it is perceived as insulting not because douches were harmful & wrong, but because douches (clutch your pearls!) *touch dirty cooters!* That makes all the uses of douche around here uncomfortable for me & I can’t imagine myself ever using it.

    I expect after Caine’s take on it, I will feel significantly less nauseated reading the word, being aware that the issue has been raised on Pharyngula & there’s a conscious critique of douches that arrive at the idea that being a douche is an insult through an entirely non-sexist route.

    This doesn’t mean that I have ever asked people to stop using the word. And I probably wouldn’t ever have recommended such unless it was accompanied by something making it explicit that a person was considering douche an insult because they touch dirty cooters. But I am going to be more at ease reading “douchebiscuit” in the future.

  124. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    psychoticathiest said:

    We do it by talking about non-internet related sexism. Rebecca tends to use extreme examples of trolls sending her nasty rape-related emails and the like. If she was receiving rape related comments in person, or by otherwise non-anonymous people, that would worthy of talking about. If she were refused the ability to talk at atheist events in favour of more attractive buxom ladies who like to stoke male atheists egos..that would be worthy of talking about.

    Oh – you mean that if she uses examples of off-line trollish behavior, like from an atheist conference, like a guy that hits on her in an elevator after she specifically says, repeatedly for hours, “Don’t hit on me”

    ….then **that** won’t feed the trolls?

    Oh! good advice! Now Rebecca knows that meat-space sexism is okay to discuss without consequence and that publishing e-mails threatening rape that – remember to avoid the fallacy post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc – just happen to come after discussion of meat-space sexism is likely to result in very bad consequences.

    Given that she now knows that, I’m sure she’ll be quick to change her behavior. It’s so good that you came along with such a well-supported argument. We might never have noticed how safe it is to discuss meat-space sexism if you hadn’t been here!

  125. says

    Thirdly, probably the only thing that turns “the menz” (and by that I explicitly mean those who see women as prey and trophies) on more than a married heterosexual is a married lesbian (always given that they confirm to the standard of beauty). Because it doesn’t only prove that you can get pussy, you can even get somebody else’s pussy!

    At what point in my post did you read “I really really want to know what men fantasize about, in detail”? I didn’t write such a thing because I am not fucking interested, and jesus christ I KNOW. I can’t go a day without seeing porn searches on my blog stats or overhearing some sexist conversation or seeing a maxim in a store window somewhere. Could I be born female and be unaware of the invasive sexual entitlement of men? Why don’t you try listening for a minute?

  126. esteleth says

    psychoticatheist @635
    I think we’re talking past each other a bit. Let me clarify.
    There is trolling and there’s trolling. They overlap significantly and can look very similar, but are driven by different motivations and thus need to be met by different responses. I’m going to name these Trolling Type 1 and Trolling Type 2.

    If, for example, I were to wade in here and say something like, “LOL, PZ is ugly and that beard is hella unfortunate,” just to stir the pot because I think that’s hilarious, I’m a troll Type 1 and I deserve to be ignored and made fun of. Whether or not I seriously believe it, am a member of the Secret Beard Cabal, or whatever. If I stir shit because I like shit-stirring qua shit-stirring, ignore me. Don’t engage. Say, “go away, cupcake” and move on. I’ll eventually get bored and go away.

    However! That is not what happens to women who are publicly female/feminist/anti-sexist online. This is not what is happening to Rebecca Watson, it is not what happened to Kathy Sierra and it is not what goes down every fucking day.

    What is happening is Trolling Type 2. Type 2 trolls cannot tolerate the fact that someone who is in their favorite category of hatred is online, dares to talk, fails to demonstrate their absolute subservience, exists. They want to “fix” this problem. You see Type 2 in racists, in homophobes, in Christofascists, in MRAs and in all other types of bigots. Their goal is not to stir the pot. Their goal is to eliminate, to push down. They MUST be met. They MUST be challenged. They MUST be made to learn that, even if they dominate elsewhere, this place, right here, they are not in charge. We MUST work to expand the number of places where they are not in charge.

    Because we’re not fighting back for the lulz. We’re fighting back because we must. Because, quite literally, our voices, our rights, our very lives depend on it.

    After all – if they succeed in making the internet unsafe except for people like them, do you think they’ll stop?

  127. Rey Fox says

    psychoticatheist: You make the mistake of believing that this is all about trolls, and that sexist attitudes are only held by trolls. This is not true. This is deep rot at a societal level. This is about the attitudes and ingrained prejudices and unexamined privilege that lies behind all those obvious manifestations of sexism that you notice. You also seem to think that the internet is somehow apart from “real” society and that toxic stuff here never spills over. This is not true either. Watson admitted in her latest post that it is having an effect on her life. Stick around and you might learn about this subject.

    We do it by talking about non-internet related sexism. Rebecca tends to use extreme examples of trolls sending her nasty rape-related emails and the like. If she was receiving rape related comments in person, or by otherwise non-anonymous people, that would worthy of talking about. If she were refused the ability to talk at atheist events in favour of more attractive buxom ladies who like to stoke male atheists egos..that would be worthy of talking about.

    Lesson #1: Telling women what they should or shouldn’t be concerned about is referred to as “mansplaining”, and it’s not looked at very highly around here.

    But it seems that most of the examples of sexism/misogyny (that I have seen at least) have been from obvious trolls. I think we’d do better to talk about the actual sexism and misogyny rather than the fake stuff that anonymous internet assholes make up with the sole intention of provoking a response.

    It’s not fake. Or if it is, then it’s up to you to prove that. Think about it, is it really any different if these people don’t honestly believe in their toxic sexism, but use it to get a rise out of an oppressed minority anyway? Aren’t the motivations still broadly similar?

  128. Gnumann says

    But it seems that most of the examples of sexism/misogyny (that I have seen at least) have been from obvious trolls. I think we’d do better to talk about the actual sexism and misogyny rather than the fake stuff that anonymous internet assholes make up with the sole intention of provoking a response.

    This is going to be a wee bit tautologic – but I consider it true anyway:

    Faking sexism/misogyny for the lulz? Isn’t that pretty fucking sexist and misogynistic? So why bother to differentiate between the sad gits who are doing it in anger and the sad gits that operates under delusions of humour?

  129. says

    @Crip Dyke

    Given that she now knows that, I’m sure she’ll be quick to change her behavior. It’s so good that you came along with such a well-supported argument. We might never have noticed how safe it is to discuss meat-space sexism if you hadn’t been here!

    I have no idea what you think my point was, but I suspect you dramatically missed it. I accept the lion’s share of the blame. If you’d like to work together to come to an understanding perhaps we can discuss this further?

    ——-
    @esteleth

    Let me clarify.
    There is trolling and there’s trolling.

    Yes, that makes it much clearer :p

    This is not what is happening to Rebecca Watson

    It isn’t ONLY what is happening to Rebecca Watson et al, but it certainly is happening to Rebecca Watson et al. At one of the conferences she was at she read out a bunch of comments she received about the ‘guys don’t do that’ spiel from places like youtube which are universally acknowledged to the be the bastion of ‘Type 1′ trolls.

    Their goal is not to stir the pot. Their goal is to eliminate, to push down. They MUST be met. They MUST be challenged. They MUST be made to learn that, even if they dominate elsewhere, this place, right here, they are not in charge.

    I wouldn’t regard them as trolls, by any normal definition of the word. I’d call them ‘assholes’. These were not the kind of people I was referring to when I used the word ‘trolls’. Of course we should confront assholes.

  130. says

    It’s true.

    Without PZ’s lax policy here, there wouldn’t be sexist men on the internet to go all MRA on women.

    Also, the various Creation Museums, PZ – you did that. You caused us to taunt them into it, and we’ll never let you forget your crime.

    You should submit your comment to Templeton – they might give you a grant. It’s even one of their sample projects: “Have the publications of the ‘new atheists’ in biology stimulated a rise in creationism and Intelligent Design?”

  131. Tapetum says

    Rey Fox – exactly what gives people the notion that the world of the internet isn’t real? If someone isn’t sexist IRL, they’re not bloody likely to start calling people “bitches” and “cunts” on-line. The seething hatred of the on-line MRA contingent doesn’t spring full-formed from the imaginary head of the pseudonym.

    If it’s there on-line, it’s there off-line, just better hidden.

  132. says

    Faking sexism/misogyny for the lulz? Isn’t that pretty fucking sexist and misogynistic? So why bother to differentiate between the sad gits who are doing it in anger and the sad gits that operates under delusions of humour?

    I’m just saying we shouldn’t lament the poor attitudes that atheists have towards women based on obvious trolls. It makes the skeptics look like a much nastier place than it really is.

  133. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Psychoticatheist, I have little to add that hasn’t been addressed. People are talking about sexism and talk about sexism, whether online, perpetrated by trolls of all descriptions or in real life brings out the trolls (see 643 and 644).

    Your concern about whether anyone is addressing real™ sexism is noted and dismissed.

  134. says

    SC:

    You should submit your comment to Templeton – they might give you a grant. It’s even one of their sample projects: “Have the publications of the ‘new atheists’ in biology stimulated a rise in creationism and Intelligent Design?”

    Oh, you are fucking kidding me.

    I wonder if they’d offer a grant to the similar study, “Has Accomodationism Accomplished One Damned Thing?”

  135. says

    @Rey Fox

    You make the mistake of believing that this is all about trolls, and that sexist attitudes are only held by trolls. This is not true.

    Well of course it isn’t true, I did not make that mistake! I am not saying that it ‘is all about trolls’. And of course there is genuine sexism in the skeptic community. That’s because skeptics are human and sexism is a human problem. Maybe it is my long posts, allow me to repeat the first thing I said on this thread:

    There is a problem with sexism on the internet, and in the human species in general. I don’t think atheism has a particularly bad problem with it. The way to deal with sexism is to expose it, talk about it and try to figure out how to avoid the appearances of it. Which is what the atheist community is doing. Go team A.

  136. ChasCPeterson says

    Apply your critical thinking skills towards feminist bullshit.

    This is, of course, excellent advice.
    A fair amunt of bullshit is promulgated in the name of feminism, imo.
    The mistake is to dismiss all or most of it as bullshit. The real douchebag move is to presuppose that it’s all bullshit, such that even a straightforward, common-sense comment like Watson’s fires up reactionary hate.

  137. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Also, Psychoticatheist, people have noted over and over again that this is not a problem representative of the entire sceptical or atheist movement and that only a small minority of the men are anything like MRA guys on here. This issue, and talking about it in any way, does not make these movements look like nastier places than they are. It makes these movements seem like the kind that air their dirty laundry and clean it the fuck up. If anyone takes away that the problems of sexism are larger than they are and that the movements are nasty places, then they’re not paying attention to what anyone is saying.

  138. amphiox says

    It makes the skeptics look like a much nastier place than it really is.

    Which skeptic place are you referring to, the one in physical life, or the one on-line?

    Because the two aren’t precisely the same.

    So maybe some of those “fake”-MRAs who are joking for kicks on-line are much nicer people to deal with in person. Good for them. And good for all those live skeptic meetings.

    But when we go on-line, our adopted pseudononymous personas are our identities. And only in some cases do we know what the matchup between on-line persona and physical life person actually is.

    On the on-line forum, the only thing that is “real”, the only thing that matters, are the words we post. And if the words posted are nasty, misogynistic ones, then they make the on-line place a more nasty, misogynistic place.

  139. kerfluffle says

    psychoticathiest said:

    We do it by talking about non-internet related sexism. Rebecca tends to use extreme examples of trolls sending her nasty rape-related emails and the like. If she was receiving rape related comments in person, or by otherwise non-anonymous people, that would worthy of talking about. If she were refused the ability to talk at atheist events in favour of more attractive buxom ladies who like to stoke male atheists egos..that would be worthy of talking about.

    Where have you been? While all this was going on, women have given tons of IRL examples. Stuff that got said at conventions, things that have made them uncomfortable, groups they’ve left because they couldn’t say anything, specific people who are avoided.

    The responses around the net have been pretty consistent.
    Why are you assuming that was sexist, maybe it was just awkwardness?
    Why didn’t you say something at the time?
    Why do you think that women are so fragile that they have to be protected from guys hitting on them?
    There will always be a few bad eggs, why are you vilifying all men?
    There are more women at TAM this year, sexism isn’t keeping them away. There is no problem.

    All the same stuff that comes up when people talk about online sexism.

  140. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Psychoticatheist, you’re being disingenuous. You follow succinctly from that first paragraph with this:

    I am not trying to devalue Rebecca’s experiences, or to invalidate her feelings, but it should be remembered that on the internet, if you post about sexism or how people are using rape threats or whatever, you are going to get inundated with those very same things. I’m sure it’s one of the rules of the internet.

    And drop a big fucking ‘but’ bomb! And you are stating the obvious. We all know bloody well that talking about this brings out the trolls, and no one is using only trolls trolling for lulz to make the point that sexism is a problem, such as it is a problem at all.

    Stop digging the hole you’ve started. If you think we should be talking about sexism in atheism and scepticism, and accept that we’ll be feeding and engaging with trolls, then don’t admonish people for talking about sexism however they’re talking about it.

    Is this going over your head?

  141. kerfluffle says

    Welcome in to the newcomers/delurkers. *beverage and chocolate*

    Thank you. I’m a recent delurker and still not sure it’s a good idea. This single line speaks volumes and I am very grateful.

  142. says

    Thomathy:

    It makes these movements seem like the kind that air their dirty laundry and clean it the fuck up.

    And to add to that, several commenters have thanked the horde for helping them understand privilege, and the role it plays in their life. This is helping.

    The trolls may be beyond saving, but we can still use them as an example of how far we have yet to go. Some people might not recognize that making a pass in an elevator is crass, but they will recognize that responding with threats of rape is perhaps a bit misogynistic.

  143. says

    @Crip Dyke 639

    And I probably wouldn’t ever have recommended such unless it was accompanied by something making it explicit that a person was considering douche an insult because they touch dirty cooters.

    I was stunned to find out that Lysol was once marketed as a douche. Just imagine how ludicrously stupid someone would be to spray Lysol up there and think it was going to make them cleaner and not damage them. Douches are like that; they adamantly think that what they are doing and saying is the right thing but they are only hurting people in the end.

    @esteleth 643

    I think your distinction about trolls is right on. Persistent Type 1 trolls didn’t usually suffer very long at the old Pharyngula before being imprisoned down in the dungeon. They kept our teeth sniny for brief bouts but that’s all.

  144. Pteryxx says

    adding to the troll-confusion: IMHO, it might not be useful to try and draw a distinction between attention-sucking trolls and sexism-propounding trolls. One of the tenets of sexist behavior is that women OWE attention and validation to men; conversely, men demanding attention and validation from women get more of a societal pass than other configurations. Harassment can be silencing, shaming, attention-sucking, and validation-seeking all at the same time. Heck, sexism and attention-sucking coexist in the same individuals even when they aren’t coupled in a particular comment (*waves to MRA #755). And, the use of sexism as a flaming tactic works because it’s a real threat and a real insult, which can conveniently be disclaimed as feminists being “too sensitive”. (I get passionate about anti-sports bias, but that’s come up all of twice here, go figure.)

  145. says

    @Thomathy

    Again, I think I have been misunderstood.

    people have noted over and over again that this is not a problem representative of the entire sceptical or atheist movement and that only a small minority of the men are anything like MRA guys on here.

    I’m not suggesting otherwise .

    It makes these movements seem like the kind that air their dirty laundry and clean it the fuck up.

    I believe that was the first thing that I said in this thread :)

  146. says

    skeptifem
    You lost me, again.
    Point three was made, as well as points 1 & 2, in disagreement with your position that “they’re mad at RW because she’s married and doesn’t give a fuck about them sexually anymore”.
    So, either tell me why your original point is still valid and my points against them are not or stop lecturing me about something I never claimed.
    Seriously, argue with my post or leave it, but don’t use it to get off on one of your little rants.
    If the rather well-known fact that there are men out there who see women as trophies where a married woman counts more than a single woman is “I really really want to know what men fantasize about, in detail”?, your imagination seems to be rather dull.

    Gnumann
    Not to intrude on your relationship, but what you write seems that the shaved legs are only a symptom of her being obsessed with current standards of beauty.
    And I don’t think that telling her she’s beautifull when she absolutely doesn’t feel like it is going to help.
    Believe me, I know where that’s coming from. On an intellectual level I know that my husband truely means it when he says he finds me attractive and gorgeous, but still, when I totally don’t feel like it, I feel lied to.

  147. esteleth says

    Pteryxx @669
    I agree with you. If a person with an unfamiliar nym appears and spews something, we don’t know who they are and their motivation. Schrodinger’s Troll, so to speak. So, they get smacked. Maybe a few Type 1’s get attention they don’t otherwise need or deserve, but what’s the alternative? Leave Type 2 BS unchallenged?

  148. says

    @Thomathy

    And you are stating the obvious.

    So what’s the problem :D

    Stop digging the hole you’ve started.

    What hole have I started digging, exactly?

    If you think we should be talking about sexism in atheism and scepticism, and accept that we’ll be feeding and engaging with trolls, then don’t admonish people for talking about sexism however they’re talking about it.

    I’m not admonishing people for talking about sexism. In fact I congratulated them in my first paragraph in this thread! To say it for the third time: The way to deal with sexism is to expose it, talk about it and try to figure out how to avoid the appearances of it. Which is what the atheist community is doing. Go team A.

    Is this going over your head?

    No. I think you may be trying to argue for arguments sake. I think if you read what I was actually saying you’ll find that it isn’t really all that controversial. Indeed, it was, as you say, ‘stating the obvious’. It’s obvious to me and maybe to you, but sometimes the obvious needs to be said for the benefit of those it is not obvious.

  149. debaser71 says

    The type of feminists that post here are the type of feminist who give feminism a bad name. But more than that, you give skeptics a bad name. Really. Fuck off, and carry on.

  150. says

    @kerfluffle

    Where have you been? While all this was going on, women have given tons of IRL examples. Stuff that got said at conventions, things that have made them uncomfortable, groups they’ve left because they couldn’t say anything, specific people who are avoided.

    I wasn’t denying that real life examples have been given. I was just commenting that some obvious internet trolls have been used as examples of a cancerous problem lurking in the dark shadows of skepticism.

  151. Esteleth says

    Psychoticatheist, I must confess I’m not sure what your point is.
    We’re attacking sexism and bigotry. You say that this is a good thing. It is a good thing. What exactly is your problem?
    Are you saying that we should keep our disagreements quiet for the sake of not freaking the mundanes?

  152. hairhead says

    I’m Hairhead. WordPress doesn’t let me use the capital “H”; I used to log in on Typepad on the old site — does anybody know how to get my “H” back?

    Here’s another person valuing the thread. Now I’m up on the sexism and the misogyny and the horrors of everything that happened and is happening to Rebecca Watson. I still learned a lot from this and all the other threads. I learned that, despite my high-consciousness, I was still unaware of HOW MANY abusive misogynist fuckheads there were in the skeptical community, and I was unaware of exactly HOW BAD they are. (Threatening rape? Holy Shit! That was literally beyond my imagination; another inadequacy of self discovered, thanks to the thread.)

    Beyond that, the few words of support to Rebecca Watson posted here I support entirely. But I have another fantasy: of attending a conference where Watson is speaking, of standing up on the podium, referencing the EG debate, and then inviting all of those Real Men who advocated assault and rape to stand up and stand by their statements, to come up on stage and prove through rational discourse how excellent, how skeptical, how intelligent, how thoughtful, how non-sexist, and how rational it is say such things.

    But it will never happen. They’re all cowardly stinkweasels who would never dare defend their filthy spew in public.

  153. Esteleth says

    Oh, look! Some trolls have appeared! :D
    Ben, you are wrong. Grow up.
    Debaser, you are wrong. Grow up.
    Both of you: go away!

  154. Gnumann says

    chucks – just as things are calming down a new bucketload of crazy comes along.

    Ben: You’re an idiot.

    More importantly: You’re ignorant of coffee.

    If they guy invited Watson for a cup of decrepit hotel-room instant coffee at four in the night – he deserved to be reigned in for crimes against coffee.

    Note that this is not the only point in your post that marks you as an idiot – but I figured that you’re only able to focus on one thing at a time.

  155. kerfluffle says

    I wasn’t denying that real life examples have been given. I was just commenting that some obvious internet trolls have been used as examples of a cancerous problem lurking in the dark shadows of skepticism.

    Well yeah, today. It doesn’t matter though. Whatever the example is the MRA response remains the same. There are no better or worse examples. Maybe it seems like using anonymous trolls allows some people to wave it off a little easier but they wont. They’ve got ego invested in saying there isn’t a problem.

  156. says

    debaser71:

    The type of feminists that post here are the type of feminist who give feminism a bad name.

    How so? Can you be more specific?

    But more than that, you give skeptics a bad name.

    How so? Can you be more specific?

    Really. Fuck off, and carry on.

    My, aren’t you the big boy!

  157. hairhead says

    Hey, Ben, I actually went back and read post 59.

    So, in your mind (what little there is of it) a “polite request” is COMMUNISM?

    I would laugh harder at you if I believed you knew what I was laughing at.

  158. Gnumann says

    Debaser: I can understand the whole “I’m so bad at trolling it’s a meta-troll”-shtick.

    However – I happen to be a passionate Pixies-fan. Could you please find another nym? OK?

  159. kerfluffle says

    The type of feminists that post here are the type of feminist who give feminism a bad name. But more than that, you give skeptics a bad name. Really. Fuck off, and carry on.

    I probably don’t want to know, but what sort of feminist do you think gives feminism a good name?

  160. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    You are a pathetic little slut just like Rebecca Watson.

    Strange being that Rebecca didn’t sleep with him, despite his amazing charm and timing.

    The guy asked her for a fuckin coffee and that he wanted to talk more.

    Alone, early in the morning on an elevator.

    NOTHING HAPPENED HERE.

    Not according to the person made to feel extremely creeped out and uncomforatbale. But she’s just a girl so who cares what she thinks right?

    Or as Richard Dawkins said it: zero incident.

    He’s wrong. In fact there’s no good reason to even bring him up other than maybe you think it will help your argument, if you can call it that.

    It doesn’t.

    Just so you know, I will never ever support your fuckin little version of COMMUNISM,

    Add total fucking ignorance on what Communism is to your failings.

    because that’s what it is that you are proposing.

    Um no it’s not Communism. And just because you, like many morons before you, choose to apply the label communism to anything you can’t wrap your tiny little brains around does not make it communism.

    By a shot.

    So long it’s not even worth explaining to a low functioning dumbass like yourself.

    You’re not even wrong.

    This is a free country and I will defend it from people like you.

    Faux News is strong with this one.

    Yes you’re free to act like a total fucking creep moron, and we’re all free to call your ass on it.

    Creepy fucking moron.

  161. says

    @Esteleth

    I must confess I’m not sure what your point is.

    It was quite a simple and small point. See message 614 for what it was. If that is not sufficient I’m happy to try explaining it further.

    We’re attacking sexism and bigotry. You say that this is a good thing. It is a good thing. What exactly is your problem?

    Some people have used obvious trolls as supporting evidence for the deep misogyny eating away at the skeptical community. It’s not a major problem, it’s just one of making sure our datapoints are accurate and not skewed by what is an internet phenomenon rather than a skeptical one.

    Are you saying that we should keep our disagreements quiet for the sake of not freaking the mundanes?

    If that was what I intended to say, I would have just said it.

  162. Gnumann says

    <blockquote<This is just a guess, but one that would have sex with him.

    Without any of that boring talking or yucky holding hands-stuff first of course.

  163. kerfluffle says

    This is just a guess, but one that would have sex with him.

    Jeepers! That explains the anger.

  164. Rey Fox says

    You are a pathetic little slut just like Rebecca Watson.

    Rebecca turned a guy down and that makes her a slut? I’m confused.

  165. says

    I probably don’t want to know, but what sort of feminist do you think gives feminism a good name?

    This is just a guess, but one that would have sex with him.

    And makes him a sammich.
    Make that two and a beer.

    You are a pathetic little slut just like Rebecca Watson.

    Sigh, they really get us coming and going:
    Sleep with them and you’re a slut, don’t sleep with them, you’re a slut, too.
    Well, since we’re obviously sluts anyway I suggest that we just do as we like.
    But, hey, he never got any further than the really mild comment #59.
    It wasn’t even one of Caine’s or Nerd’s

  166. says

    Rey Fox:

    Rebecca turned a guy down and that makes her a slut? I’m confused.

    I don’t think Rebecca’s a slut for turning him down. I think Rebecca’s a slut for asking teh menz to please don’t do that.

    At least, that’s about all I can figure. Somehow a “Please don’t do that” translates into treading all over the Constitutional rights of teh menz to be complete douchecakes, though. That’s a really twisty piece of logic, right there.

  167. marta says

    Ben@669

    What?

    “Communism”?

    “This is a free country, and you’ll defend it from people like us?”

    Alright, which one of you moved the rock? Please replace it immediately so that no more teabaggers crawl here trying to escape the light.

  168. Gnumann says

    I don’t think Rebecca’s a slut for turning him down.

    Nah, it’s the double-bind thing. I’m pretty sure. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It’s good American Tradition(tm) you know – and anyone who dares to imply it’s a bit unreasonable is a pinko commie punk.

  169. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Slight Blockquote fuck up

    The guy asked her for a fuckin coffee and that he wanted to talk more.

    Alone, early in the morning on an elevator.

    NOTHING HAPPENED HERE.

    is how it should be in my #682

  170. Tapetum says

    No, no – Rebecca’s married, so she’s obviously having sex, but not with him! Also, she wants to be thought of as an independently existing person with her own thoughts, desire and will, rather than as the mindless accessory of the man who owns her. Therefore, obviously – a slut!

  171. Esteleth says

    @psychoticatheist
    Alright, I think I see the problem.
    Women, and feminist men, in an attempt to demonstrate the kind of BS that women get just for being women online and in meatspace, are offering examples. Many of the examples offered are particularly egrigious and violent.
    You object, because the extreme examples are exactly that, extreme, and could be interpreted as saying that all the stuff is like that, when this is not so.
    There are several problems with this:
    (1) No one has said that all, or even the overwhelming majority, of the sexist BS is so blatant and gross. It is, however, a significant portion of it. It also – for reasons that I outlined @643 – must be addressed.
    (2) If you’ll notice, people have cited both ElevatorGuy’s initial proposition AND the shitstorm that came afterwards as emblematic of the problem. Because both of them are. It does no good to ignore one and spend all our time trying to deal with the other.
    (3) Epic displays of sexism and small microagressions are not separate phenomenons. They are part of the same continuum, the same mentality, that says that women are less than. The quiet version bubbles along, and occasionally there’s an eruption.
    And here’s the biggie:
    (4) Part of the reason why the epic examples get displayed is to shock people out of their complacency. I mean, I could list every single little thing that has happened to me in the past week, such as the guy that leered at me as I walked past him on the street and the salesman at Best Buy who asked to speak with my husband. I mean, each little thing? I could ignore it, it could roll off. But it’s never just one – the cumulative effect of all of them weigh me down. Death by a thousand cuts, so to speak. But even if I – or some other woman, or some other LGBT person, or some POC, or whoever – made a truly comprehensive list (and who has the time or the willpower to make that damned list?) of all the little things we get daily and presented it to you, what would happen? Would it hit you in the gut? Inspire you to action? Some people would, sure. But many people require a big event to shock them out of not caring. They need an “aha!” moment.
    While the plural of anecdote is not data, anecdotes are useful. I mean, which has more power to move? “In the past calendar year, I got 75,814 sideways glances for holding my wife’s hand, 1,654 rude comments, and 594 people called me a dyke,” or “When my wife was dying, the hospital wouldn’t let me see her because I wasn’t family?”

  172. says

    Wow, finally caught up. Caine, I know I’ve said this before, but thank you for fighting the good fight, no matter how *tired* you get of it. I for one was saddened by the response to Rebecca’s request, and subsequent bashing (Twatson? Really? What are you ERV, 12?) But it is sites like Pharyngula and the regular commenters here that give me hope for humanity. This shit needs to be stood up to, wherever it shows up. I would have ‘coffee’ with any one of you ;) Keep it up!

  173. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    You are a pathetic little slut just like Rebecca Watson.
    The guy asked her for a fuckin coffee and that he wanted to talk more. NOTHING HAPPENED HERE. Or as Richard Dawkins said it: zero incident.
    Just so you know, I will never ever support your fuckin little version of COMMUNISM, because that’s what it is that you are proposing. This is a free country and I will defend it from people like you.

    Someone who Dawkins respects should forward him these messages. Maybe if he were aware of the fact that this particular species of bottom dwelling cockroach fungus was growing on his reputation, he would at least avoid condoning misogyny in the future.

  174. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Wow, my first direct troll hit (I wrote #59). Hey, if he equates me with Rebecca Watson, I’m taking that as a compliment.

    Ben, we have a special prize for trolls like you: it’s very prickly and reeks of the garbage that your writing represents.

  175. Mattir says

    @Hillary – why are you here, if it’s such a horrible place?

    Seriously, why?

    And as for the “tone” of Pharyngula contributing to the abuse Rebecca Watson has endured, are you really obtuse enough to believe that women weren’t sexually harassed, targeted with rape threats, and the like before the evil internet and the Rude Horde of Pharyngula came along?

    Here’s a hint: I tried a variety of online groups in the past and never stuck with them because of some combination of excessive moderation (as in the natural dye group where mention that lichens used for dyes were threatened with extinction because of over-gathering – apparently this was a “political” statement) or tolerance of violent sexist and racist attacks (like that cesspit at ERV).

    Pharyngula is rough. You do not have to hang out here. But there is no justification for asserting that moderation would improve anything. All moderation would do is make the trolls go somewhere else to troll. I’d rather have them here for the Rude Horde to gnaw on. Public gnawing (a) lets me know that there are a lot of people out there who find trolling as disturbing as I do, and (b) changes people’s minds way more than knee-jerk nice-words-only moderation policies.

    You can take your pearls somewhere else now and whine about how mean we are. I’m fairly sure that Rebecca Watson is glad of the public support and has enough grasp of basic reality to know that the Rude Horde isn’t the cause of the appalling harassment she’s received.

    (PS – if you read carefully, you may note that I did not use a single Officially Rude Word™ to insult you. I can think of many applicable ones, of course, but your own words are way more than enough to condemn you as a Tone-Over-Substance Aficionado.)

  176. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m hoping Ben comes back and schools us on Communism.

    Following that I expect a full expose on the Pros and Cons of Frosted Flakes vs. Count Chocula.

  177. Gnumann says

    I’m hoping Ben comes back and schools us on Communism.

    He’s busy building a more tea-partier society over in the death-penalty tread…

  178. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Ben, we have a special prize for trolls like you: it’s very prickly and reeks of the garbage that your writing represents.

    And it’s name is Zazoom.

  179. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @ Rev BDC:

    Following that I expect a full expose on the Pros and Cons of Frosted Flakes vs. Count Chocula.

    You owe me a new keyboard.

  180. says

    Once again, a thread that’s growing faster than I can keep up, but here’s a summary of my notes on many of the comments so far, not only here but in other threads about Elevator Gate:

    Variation on a Theme by MAJeff

    Tone Trolls:

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whine, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, scold, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’m nicer than you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you need to be nice like me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Help! my undies are in a twist so tight I can’t get them off to wash them! blah, blah, blah, blah, you’re rude, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, see how I’m not rude even though I’m scolding you all to behave just like me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you’re meanies, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you hurt my feelings, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Must clutch pearls! blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, How many times do I need to tell you that I’m leaving this blog because of how awful the commenters are, blah, blah, you’re too scary, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, if it weren’t for the mean commenters here, this blog would be more popular, blah, blah, blah, blah, Where’s the fainting couch? blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    Teh Menz:

    blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, bitches ain’t shit, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, twats, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, castrating cunts, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I have the right to proposition any woman at any time, in any place, on any occasion…but that’s OK because I’m not a creep, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Feminazis, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, why should I have to take another person’s feelings into consideration. What about MY feelings? blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, no one got hurt except the feelings of the menz, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, stop calling all menz rapists! Can’t you see how much we like women who know how to treat menz with respect? blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

  181. mouthyb, who should have been twins says

    I came for the scuffle, too. My partner had been encouraging me to read Pharyngula, and I’d given it a drive-by, and then the event which shall not be named came up.

    I sat there and chortled my way through a lot of the regulars’ responses. I am fully aware of how ugly the internet gets, but watching the regulars slay trolls all day made me laugh hard enough to choke. Sometimes the best response to someone being obnoxious really is ‘go fuck yourself with a dead porcupine.’

    It’s pretty attractive to watch people who expect women to just swallow anything aimed at them get their asses handed to them. This as close as I’ll ever get to enjoying watching sports.

    Go team Pharyngula. Wish I had more time to comment.

  182. Gregory Greenwood says

    IndyM, pikčiurna @ 697;

    Wow, my first direct troll hit (I wrote #59). Hey, if he equates me with Rebecca Watson, I’m taking that as a compliment.

    You are standing up for the personhood of women, so I suppose that it was inevitable that you would be targetted by some misogynist jerk eventually. The fact that he felt it necessary to go after your post specifically shows that you are doing something right.

    I particulalry liked the following passage from your post @ 59;

    Rebecca Watson said, “Guys, don’t do that.”

    Appropriate response: Wow, I didn’t realize that could make someone uncomfortable. [Listens, examines privilege, learns, becomes a better person. Easy, no?]

    Inappropriate reaction: MRA universe reaching critical mass and exploding with widespread incidents of pearl-clutching, rabid misogyny, rape threats, etc. [Sigh.]

    I think that pretty much sums up the core of the problem we have here. MRAs go out of their way to take offence at a calm statement pointing out that some of their privileged behaviours are out of line. They could see it as a learning opportunity; and a chance to better understand women and generally become better human beings, but they would rather scream and pout and whine about ‘teh poor oppressed menz!’ and their own oh-so fragile egos.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t here to convey my own opinion of the special snowflake that was Ben before PZ smote the nasty little MRA from the thread with the Banhammer of Dooooom!

    I guess I will just have to be more on the ball next time. I need to keep my fangs sharp and my coat sniny too…

  183. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    If I’m understanding psychoticatheist, xe’s saying that Obvious Troll (in it’s near-infinite manifestations) is not necessarily a real MRA, is artificially inflating their apparent numbers and influence, and should be ignored in the name of confronting those Real MRAs. Yes/No?

    Problems: 1) troll that is Obvious to you may not be obviously a troll to all of Our Studio Audience (Paging Mr. Poe…Mr. Poe to the white courtesy phone…), and ignoring them may be perceived as giving them/their comments a pass, and 2) the fact that Obvious Troll uses a pseudo/bogus MRA viewpoint from which to comment points out that it is a vulnerable/flashpoint position…or it wouldn’t be using it, because then there would be none of the provoked response that it needs to feed its ego because there would be no there there. Which (perversely) points out that there is a there there, regardless of what Real MRAs claim about this being a Post-feminist Paradise in which we all are living.

    You are a pathetic little slut just like Rebecca Watson.

    Rebecca turned a guy down and that makes her a slut? I’m confused.

    Damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.
    -

  184. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    “Ben” has been banned.

    Darn you to heck, PZ. I wanted “Ben” to teach me all about those parts of Communism that Marx and Mao neglected to write about.

  185. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Some people have used obvious trolls as supporting evidence for the deep misogyny eating away at the skeptical community.

    Yeah… You don’t get it. A person threatening another person with rape and calling her a bunch of misogynistic names is not, in fact, an obvious troll. It’s the Poe’s Law of misogyny. Those fuckers are really out there. We’ve met them in person. They spew their shit on the internet too. Their anonymity or the fact that they’re on the internet does not make it obvious that they’re trolls.

  186. mouthyb, who should have been twins says

    Tis: Teapartiers appear to have the extra-special conspiracy edition, where Mao and Marx and the Illuminati all had a party and set out on world domination.

  187. Agi says

    oh the irony indeed

    a little late to the show, but at least there are enough posts to point out the double irony here:

    16 was the magic number.

    Splodiedearest: Since Rebbecas opinion was “treat women as humans” it only stands to reason that the opposing view is met with a slight resistance.

    of post #16 and your last sentence weren’t such a gigantic understatements I’d say you are correct.

    but all it takes on this blog to get verbally abused when discussing Elevator Gate is not comply 100% with the opinion of the bash gang.
    Be it for only agreeing 90% or not being firm enough with english to be able to express those 10% difference carefully enough…

    Be prepared for a river of bile.

    oh, and your going to be called Tone Troll for pointing it out, which just adds insult to injury, doesn’t it?

    That is supernova-grade irony.

    oh yes

  188. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Gregory Greenwood: I would’ve liked to see you take Ben down, but, as you know, he’s gone. In the brief period that he was here, though, Tis and the others made short work of him. Thanks for your kind words, too. And I think your fangs are already quite sharp and sniny, as evidenced by your contributions here. :)

  189. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Agi, stop your insipid whining. Ignorant assholes are going to get called ignorant assholes. You’re going to be judged on what you actually say, and we don’t owe you a charitable reading. If you’re not okay with being called out for your stupidity, stop spewing it, or go away.

  190. sparky-ca says

    I am adding Esteleth and Persiflage to my rookie card collection. I think they both will have great value in the future.

    *goes back to eating popcorn and gummy bears while the Horde bashes MRAs*

  191. Matt Penfold says

    Rettig styles herself as a “lifestyle coach”.

    Who in the right mind would want to take lessons on how to live from such a whining persons ?

    And why the fuck would anyone who is capable of doing anything worthwhile become a “lifestyle coach” ? Even management consultants are a step above “lifestyle coaches”, and as we all know management consultants are pond scum.

    Rettig, get a proper job, and get a life. And stop bothering us with your blathering.

  192. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Agi #712

    oh, and your going to be called Tone Troll for pointing it out, which just adds insult to injury, doesn’t it?

    You’ll be called a tone troll if you go tone trolling. Even a simpleton should be able to figure that one out given enough hints. Or maybe not. You don’t seem intelligent enough to be a simpleton.

  193. says

    Agi:

    oh, and your going to be called Tone Troll for pointing it out, which just adds insult to injury, doesn’t it?

    Actually, I’m going to point out that it’s a false equivalence, and you’re an idiot for asserting those two are the same. One asks that you not act like an oblivious douche. The other asks that you not not call oblivious douches oblivious douches. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which.

    Since we’re playing “Pre-empt the rebuttal,” I assume you’re going to insist they are exactly the same, only with no logic to back it up.

  194. Matt Penfold says

    Agi,

    So you think it is OK to treat women as being only 90% human ? Well that might be an improvement on some of those who have made it clear women are only here to serve as receptacles for their genitals, but it does seem to lack ambition.

    Why not go for the 100% ?

  195. Gnumann says

    a little late to the show, but at least there are enough posts to point out the double irony here:

    16 was the magic number.

    Splodiedearest: Since Rebbecas opinion was “treat women as humans” it only stands to reason that the opposing view is met with a slight resistance.

    of post #16 and your last sentence weren’t such a gigantic understatements I’d say you are correct.

    Could somebody translate? I don’t get what Agi is bashing me for here? Is xe’s meaning that I went too hard or too soft on Splodie? Or does he mean something else? I’m genuinely confused here…

  196. crissakentavr says

    Is Gnumann aka splodie?

    Splodie said ‘oh but the mens were treated badly too!’ You know, the guys who made all the hay about ‘don’t be creepy’ apparently being a horrible thing to ask.

    So yeah, that was a stupid thing to say.

  197. amphigorey says

    “but all it takes on this blog to get verbally abused when discussing Elevator Gate is not comply 100% with the opinion of the bash gang.”

    Which part, exactly, of the general opinion of Elevatorgate do you disagree with? The part where Rebecca said “Don’t do that”? Or something else? Be specific.

    You are at least the third person on this thread to say that you disagree with Rebecca Watson, but none of you have had the courage to say specifically how you disagree. I can only guess it’s because you know that your disagreement is irrational and you’ll get torn apart for it, but go ahead and prove me wrong.

  198. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Crissa, I don’t understand your last post at all, but I just wanted to let you know that I, too, don’t know why ghettos can’t be built on rivers. *shrugs*

  199. Gnumann says

    Is Gnumann aka splodie?

    In no shape or form.

    Agi took offence to my reply at #25 to Spodies # 16 for some reason. I can’t quite get it.

  200. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I’m genuinely confused here…

    You’re not alone. Agi is being pretty vague here. Apparently xe doesn’t agree 100% with the “party line” (which is that women are people, too, and should be treated as such). But of course, we don’t get an elaboration on what the disagreement is. It’s a move typical of many trolls. Whether Agi is a troll or not, I don’t know. But at this point xe is indistinguishable from one.

  201. crissakentavr says

    Well, the meme about chinese junks and rivers is because there are several famous cities – the trading ones – built on deltas. Which means there’s more water than land in these cities. So yes, they have slums built on water. Personally, when someone says ghetto I actually think of indian reservations in the US, and many of these are built upon rivers. Either inaccessible rivers or the lesser parts of the river. So those are ghettos built upon rivers, too.

  202. Gnumann says

    I, too, don’t know why ghettos can’t be built on rivers.

    Depends on the riverbed, the availability of poles and your willingness to build dehumanising dwellings I would guess…

  203. crissakentavr says

    Wow, lots of movement between reading and posting. I meant what splodie said was stupid. I thought letting a troll get to you was kinda foolish, but that’s really a private kind of foolish. The kind that wastes your time when you could’ve been doing something constructive, but in all, someone needs to reply to the stupid, it can’t go unanswered. It’s just that each reply has a diminishing value.

  204. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Medieval Venice had a genuine ghetto, part of which included dwellings built on bridges.

  205. Brownian says

    but all it takes on this blog to get verbally abused

    Poor fella. Forced here against his will to login and comment. And then— oh the bile he must endure! It must be simply excruciating, except of course when compared to what the terrorists holding him hostage must be doing to force him to comment.

    Everyone: surely there must be some here who can work with the authorities to find out where poor Agi is being held. The rest of you; I don’t know. Stay strong—Agi is depending on you for strength.

    To the Terrorists Holding Agi: I don’t know if you realise this, but Agi is one of the bravest people we’ve ever seen: he knows the risks of not agreeing 100% with the Bash Gang and yet he still bravely manages to do so.

    If you think you’ll break him, you’re sadly mistaken.

    Release him now, we’ll consider being merciful in your sentencing.

  206. Gnumann says

    Wow, lots of movement between reading and posting. I meant what splodie said was stupid. I thought letting a troll get to you was kinda foolish, but that’s really a private kind of foolish. The kind that wastes your time when you could’ve been doing something constructive, but in all, someone needs to reply to the stupid, it can’t go unanswered. It’s just that each reply has a diminishing value.

    What is this? Confuse-Gnumann-night?

  207. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    If you think you’ll break him, you’re sadly mistaken.

    Well break him like we broke the others. Look at Michael Hawkins, reduced to whining about paying for golf balls. And DaveR, who cringes whenever he hears the word “douchedonut.” And Hillary Whatshername, who doesn’t even try to push her book any more. Agi will break…and break soon.

    Release him now, we’ll consider being merciful in your sentencing.

    Never! You’ll get Agi back over his dead body.

  208. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    *puts on eyeliner and drops a bit of Visine™ in the corners of the eyes*

    LEAVE AGI ALONE! Right now. I mean it!

  209. The Laughing Coyote says

    Like I said on the sexism thread, his issue with the rude tone at the golf range was just a thin pretext for ignoring the fact that he was using and abusing them (by trying to use their property for free). This apparently after telling everyone he knows what a shithole their golf range is and attempt to discourage people from going there.

    The correlation is pretty easy to see. How convenient, we’ll just ignore your LEGITIMATE ISSUE because we don’t like how you worded it.

    I remember one time as a kid, I got caught stealing a can of pop from a small general store. The guy yelled at me and told me not to come back. What a dickhead, eh? I mean I was GONNA pay, but he yelled at me! Fucking asshole, right?

  210. Brownian says

    @Brownian: That was my laugh of the day. +1

    Oh, Agi’s abuse and suffering is funny to you?

    @’Tis:

    I’ve heard of people like you before: cruel, despicable sadists whose lack of empathy has caused untold human suffering throughout the ages. Torquemada, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula—I’d thought such people only existed on the internet, on blogs like these. And now, to find that you exist outside of cyberspace, in real life…

    If you’re not safe outside of the torture chamber that is Pharyngula, then you’re not safe anywhere.

  211. Agi says

    Could somebody translate? I don’t get what Agi is bashing me for here? Is xe’s meaning that I went too hard or too soft on Splodie?

    sorry about the confusion, let me elaborate:
    understatement of Splodie: “anyone with an opposing opinion wasn’t treated very well either”
    – it wasn’t just people with opposing points who weren’t treated very well either.
    your understatement: “slight” resistance.
    – but maybe I’m just spoiled from moderated forums ;-)

    @719 thanks for the reminder, I totally forgot malicious interpretation of people who don’t comply with your POV

    @722 “disagree with Rebecca Watson”
    I did not state that I disagree with Rebecca Watson

    You don’t seem intelligent enough to be a simpleton.

    well I’m out of this thread, have fun navelgazing and slapping each other on the backs for being intelectually supeior.

  212. Brownian says

    well I’m out of this thread, have fun navelgazing and slapping each other on the backs for being intelectually supeior.

    No-o-o-o-o-o-o! Goddamnit, somebody tell me you got a trace on that!

    [Puts one foot on desk, sets jaw, and fixes steely gaze on war room monitor wall.]

    We’re gonna get you home son. We’re gonna get you home.

  213. says

    Hellos and Welcomes to Tapetum, Esteleth and Kerfluffle! Have a drink or three, you’ll probably need them by now.

    Psychoticatheist @613:

    The way to deal with sexism is to expose it, talk about it and try to figure out how to avoid the appearances of it.

    No, the goal is not to figure out how to avoid the appearance of it. Life on the shallow level, eh?

    ladyh42:

    Wow, finally caught up. Caine, I know I’ve said this before, but thank you for fighting the good fight, no matter how *tired* you get of it. I for one was saddened by the response to Rebecca’s request, and subsequent bashing (Twatson? Really? What are you ERV, 12?) But it is sites like Pharyngula and the regular commenters here that give me hope for humanity. This shit needs to be stood up to, wherever it shows up. I would have ‘coffee’ with any one of you ;) Keep it up!

    Ladyh42! Hi, I’m so happy to see you again. It’s worth a mention that onion girl is putting together a support project for Rebecca see this post and drop her an email if interested.

    Agi is one of the idiots who argued heavily against Rebecca Watson and insisted that Eguy was a poor innocent terribly put upon by all the evil feminists in the initial threads about Egate.

  214. says

    TLC, I’m loving the nym change.

    Brownian:

    If you’re not safe outside of the torture chamber that is Pharyngula, then you’re not safe anywhere.

    Not true. Elevators are perfectly safe. You should always run into one when feeling anxious or frightened, but never get in one alone.

  215. Gnumann says

    Agi:
    I see. You’re of the “cussing at people is much worse than treating people as less than human”-crowd.
    I would recommend you kindly sit down, shut the fuck up and listen for a while. The adults are talking here, and spoiled children sometimes misunderstand because they never learned to listen. And then they get scolded. Most of the time gently at first.

    ’cause if you continue to spew your trite nonsense without listening you won’t like what I’ll say to you. Not at all.

    And one more thing: please change you nym – you don’t deserve it.

  216. Matt Penfold says

    Agi is one of the idiots who argued heavily against Rebecca Watson and insisted that Eguy was a poor innocent terribly put upon by all the evil feminists in the initial threads about Egate.

    Do you the reason he got upset with me was because I accused him of being satisfied with women being treated as 90% human ? Maybe he thinks that figure is way to high, and should be somewhere near 0.

  217. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Since it’s Friday night, the newcomers should stop by the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor, Patricia, Princess of Pullettes, Proprietor. First drink and bowl of popcornz is on the house, and you get an newbie tab with +10 e-ducats. Only grog and swill are served, but some flavors of swill look like regular drinks, only served in dirty glasses (it cost a small fortune for them to look that dirty). Grog is sold in tankards, and cost depends on how aged it is. If you want grog older than five days, we also require your transportation keys before serving, as you will be legally drunk when you finish the tankard.

  218. says

    Do you the reason he got upset with me was because I accused him of being satisfied with women being treated as 90% human ?

    Anything’s possible, Matt. I recall that Agi kept twisting responses in the initial threads, but the favourite and basic theme was everything is the fault of the evil hysterical feminists for one simple reason: you people are meeeeaaaaan!

  219. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I’ve heard of people like you before: cruel, despicable sadists whose lack of empathy has caused untold human suffering throughout the ages. Torquemada, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula

    Yeah, that’s ‘Tis. Do not implore him for compassion. Do not beg him for forgiveness. Do not ask him for mercy.

  220. scriabin says

    Holy fucking hell this thread has been busy.

    In my professional ivory tower I actually thought most of us were fighting misogyny in the boardrooms over issues like maternity (and parental) leaves, work/life balance, glass ceilings, constructive dismissals, allegedly “harmless” flirting, etc.

    Seeing the misogynistic bile in the atheist community has been a bit startling.

    Thanks to all of you who are fighting this shit.

  221. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    I am not anywhere near caught up, but:

    … slapping each other on the backs for being intelectually supeior.

    Oh god, I literally loled. Somebody has to appreciate our “intelectual” “supeiority”– it might as well be us.

  222. says

    scriabin:

    Seeing the misogynistic bile in the atheist community has been a bit startling.

    To say the very least. If you have the time for some reading, see post #36 and click the links. As the saying goes, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You might want to have alcohol standing by.

  223. Esteleth says

    I am reminded of the quote (variously attributed) that “feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”

    Y’know, people. Not sexbots, not things, not childlike beings, not tools.

    People.

    Agi – and others – just don’t seem to get that as the set human contains the subsets of men and women, then “women’s rights” are human rights. Instead, they hold women to be a subset of men, so men’s issues can affect women, but not vice versa.

  224. amphigorey says

    I did not state that I disagree with Rebecca Watson

    You complained about being mistreated if you disagreed with “10%” of the general opinion of Elevatorgate. What’s your disagreement? Be specific. 10% doesn’t tell me anything of substance.

  225. Esteleth says

    @Uglaa
    Here, I brought some mugs, my electric kettle, and some tea bags.
    Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe?

  226. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    i said, you quoting:

    @Crip Dyke

    Given that she now knows that, I’m sure she’ll be quick to change her behavior. It’s so good that you came along with such a well-supported argument. We might never have noticed how safe it is to discuss meat-space sexism if you hadn’t been here!

    I have no idea what you think my point was, but I suspect you dramatically missed it. I accept the lion’s share of the blame. If you’d like to work together to come to an understanding…

    but you missed that you originally said that Rebecca depends on the internet for examples of sexism, which, in your opinion, was wrong because such examples are “fake” sexism.

    Further, you said that the way to address sexism without feeding the trolls and thus blowing up the internet was to address sexism that happens IRL.

    What you missed was that the blowing up of the internet came after she followed your exact advice: addressing real life sexism that happens within the skeptical/ atheist community. She brought up internet examples only after the internet had already exploded and specifically in response to allegations that she should have known that no man involved in atheism or skepticism could possibly be truly sexist or truly violent, therefore her fears were unfounded.

    The first thing she brought up from the internet was in fact a post that made an overlapping point. She brought it up to say that we aren’t going to get anywhere with solving the problem when the response to identifying the problem is dismissing the problem. She identified that as an old pattern and expressed hope that her community could do better. Then she later brought up examples again to refute very similar points that kept arising. She was saying, you think I’m ridiculous to think that anyone in our movement could ever be X, but that thought looks much more reasonable when you’ve received hate mail Y.

    So **everything** that she IDd from the internet was in response to the internet explosion.

    Therefore, your suggestion that dealing with the problem of sexism is best done by using meat-space examples is put on terribly shaky ground.

    It also makes your assertion that RW tends to rely or tends to use, however you phrased it, only internet examples, kind of silly. She tried to use IRL examples. That didn’t work & blew up the internet. So she used internet examples – there were a number of reasons for this, 1st because she was responding to challenges to her rationality & honesty that often specifically asked her to name a time she had been threatened, etc. and 2nd because she had been given so much crap about how the haters couldn’t judge the context of what happened IRL b/c they weren’t there & didn’t trust RW’s observations and/or statements that she thought cutting & pasting entire e-mails was more likely to convince people. They could see the entire text for themselves.

    Her strategy has been quite reasonable, and even began by following your advice, indeed only deviated from your advice for very specific reasons which at the time and in hindsight, both, appear quite rational.

    Therefore, I am wondering why you think that anything you wrote about an improved strategy to deal with sexism has any merit. It clearly wouldn’t have changed ElevatorGate – that was about meatspace and the reaction to talking about meatspace. To prevent the reaction, one would have needed to not talk about meatspace at all, thus violating your advice.

    So it seems that either

    1) you’re talking without appreciating the basic facts of the situation, and in the process making it seem as if you think part of the blame here belongs to RW for choosing the wrong examples of sexism (to which I say, it’s her freaking blog – why do you get any input into which fucked up things that people do to her she gets to talk about?)

    OR

    2) You’ve got some great psychological and/or sociological research on your side that gives you insight into the tactics of discussing sexism online. (to which I say, Great – cite your sources so it’s no longer your privileged knowledge asserted as if it should be taken as valuable merely because you said it)

    Is there something else you meant to say or want to say? I’m not in the business of thinking poorly of you, and indeed I’m not, but I think pretty poorly of an e-mail which seems to say elevator gate would have gone better if only RW had wanted to talk about IRL sexism. Y’know, since that is exactly what she wanted to talk about & she talked about it in a very moderate and generous way.

  227. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Shoot, I forgot to say that my post @757 was addressed to psychotic atheist @648

  228. Jeffret says

    Just wanted to step in and present my support for all of you waging the good fight. What an amazing conflagration! I simply can’t believe the amount of venom that has arisen because Rebecca Watson dared to say something reasonable and helpful.

    A few years back, I had tried to understand more of hard-core feminism. I tried to read Twisty’s efforts to blame the patriarchy, but found it wasn’t very parseable for someone like me not versed in the art. More recently, I’ve learned a lot from some of the softer feminist sites such as Shakesville. It’s a lot easier for a newcomer to get a clue on the difficult to see concepts such as privilege, ableism, and the various ways we marginalize people.

    However, it’s here at Pharyngula that I’ve really learned about the tendrils of misogyny that pervade our lives and how deeply blinded by them some people are. The misogynists have really demonstrated what they’re like and what they want and the Horde has done a great job of shining the light on their dark souls.

    Thanks for a very enlightening education. The more light that can be shined in those dark, twisted places, the better.

    My journey convinces me that it takes all sorts. Twisty should be Twisty, Shakesville should be Shakesville, and Pharyngula should be Pharyngulay. They each provide, in rather different ways, something that is valuable and needed.

  229. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Therefore, your suggestion that dealing with the problem of sexism is best done by using meat-space examples is put on terribly shaky ground.

    Psychoticatheist reminds me of an MRA who invaded an incarnation of TET a while back. That particular, er, person insisted that the internet wasn’t actual life, that it wasn’t real in any way, so we were making a big ass fuss over nothing*.

    *This was, of course, after 3D4K and the countless stories of women about real life threats, rapes, assaults, harassments, etc.

  230. tielserrath says

    Nigel:

    or who are unable to grasp the basic concepts of empathy. (This is a tough one, as I recognize there are people who are genetically unable to grasp empathy — I do try to cut them some slack.)

    This is an insidious myth about people on the autistic spectrum that is extremely distressing to us, especially when people who we regard as friends/allies start repeating it.

    It’s a result of the appalling Simon Baron Cohen being so wedded to the idea of autistics having ‘Zero empathy’ that he writes whole books on the topic while ignoring all evidence presented to him that his tests, methods and conclusions are wrong.

    At its base seems to be the assertion that ‘autistics don’t react to emotion like I do, therefore they don’t feel’

    Just stop, for a moment, and imagine that someone asserted that you had no empathy, nor any possibility of gaining any, and that it put you beyond the realms of human.

    Hurt much?

    Because this belief is what a significant group of ‘scientists’ is invested in.

    On one of the discussions among autistics recently someone said ‘where are the sceptics? Why aren’t they helping us to fight this? Why do they think that scepticism wrt autism only means the vaccine debate?’

    And I had no answer, except that we are a marginalised group, and complaining about dehumanisation when you’re this marginalised is futile.

    An important link that you really, really should read:

    http://www.autismandempathy.com/

  231. Matt Penfold says

    Caine,

    I am being thick but what does 3D4K refer to ? Google was unhelpful unless it has something which I do not understand to do with carbohydrate-protein binding.

  232. Esteleth says

    Matt Penfold @764
    3D4K means “3 days, 4 thousand [comments].”
    It is a reference to the original threads about Egate.

  233. says

    Matt, it means 3 Days, 4,000 Posts. It was the beginning of Egate and details the initial threads on the subject here at Pharyngula. Many of us (myself included) didn’t sleep for that 3 days, but were posting continually, fighting the enormous wave of MRAs who kept showing up. The links in #36 are from 3D4K.

    Tielserrath, thank you for that post and the link. This is very important information and we should all be enlightened on this issue.

  234. pensnest says

    psychoticatheist #630

    Er… I don’t think I’m understanding your post properly (and, I should add, subsequent comments have not made it any clearer). I don’t understand why sexism would be less offensive when it is internet-based. In fact, I don’t believe it is any such thing. Rebecca Watson’s examples of the disgusting emails she received are not, frankly, ‘extreme’ in terms of what happens to women who speak up. Any feminist blogger, however moderate, has to put up with this crap all the time.

    Why on earth should we confine ourselves* to talking about offline sexism? And yes, it would be terrifying to be threatened with rape in person (do you seriously think this does not happen?)—but is being threatened in a deluge of unwanted emails and comments somehow… anodyne?

    And while it can be pointless talking to trolls, the post-EG threads here on Pharyngula alone have presented a depressingly vast amount of evidence of non troll-based misogyny (for a memorable example, see one R Dawkins)—which, since it is offered up on the internet, can damn well be countered on the internet.

    You say: “Let’s instead talk about real-life sexism in skeptic circles. It exists, I’m sure.”

    Ahaha. Yes, yes, it does. Gosh.

    * I’m a mostly-lurker, but from this side of my screen, I feel like a part of the Pharyngulite community.

  235. tielserrath says

    psychoticatheist#630

    Rebecca tends to use extreme examples of trolls sending her nasty rape-related emails and the like. If she was receiving rape related comments in person, or by otherwise non-anonymous people, that would worthy of talking about. If she were refused the ability to talk at atheist events in favour of more attractive buxom ladies who like to stoke male atheists egos..that would be worthy of talking about.

    Shorter psycho:

    Rebecca should only talk about what I decide she should talk about. I know what misogyny is; she doesn’t have a clue.

    Much shorter psycho:

    Bitches ‘aint shit.

  236. says

    Pensnest:

    Why on earth should we confine ourselves* to talking about offline sexism? And yes, it would be terrifying to be threatened with rape in person (do you seriously think this does not happen?)—but is being threatened in a deluge of unwanted emails and comments somehow… anodyne?

    No it isn’t anodyne, but you already know that. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that what happens on the ‘net often does spill into “real” life. One of the regular commenters here, Aquaria, had a ‘net stalker who turned up in her “real” life. The same thing happened to me. There is zero comfort in an internet threat, there’s no buffer zone and there sure as hell is no guarantee that internet threat won’t show up on your doorstep, your phone or suddenly be hanging out at your local grocery store.

    I’m a mostly-lurker, but from this side of my screen, I feel like a part of the Pharyngulite community.

    You are a part of the Horde™. You may not post with the frequency of others, however, I always look forward to your posts.

  237. Tapetum says

    Tomato & vodka sounds good, thank Esteleth.

    It’s amazing* how many male persons are convinced that they have a more complete view of what sexism and misogyny entail than the mere female of the species.

    *For values of amazing that include infuriating, ludicrous, and jaw-dropping.

  238. msironen says

    But really, hasn’t this all worked out for the best?

    I believe I’m speaking for most of the misogynist/MRA/rape-apologist-and-as-good-as-rapist-crowd in that we’ve learned that not only is there no middle ground but also we’re not really missing out on anything, what comes to the freethought/atheism/sceptism scene, if we shut out the feminist blogs.

    We still got plenty of interesting voices left that don’t assume that we’re subhuman scum unless we confess to full culpability of deficiencies as described by feminist dogma (rape culture, patriarchy etc).

    Meanwhile you can have your witch(or warlock?)hunts where the appropriate MRA is burned at the stake for whatever is the most convenient charge at the moment. Somewhat like conservatism, feminism means you never have to admit you’re wrong. About anything.

    Except those pesky homosexual men that you haven’t quite figured out how to pin rape (since rape is by definition only male-to-female) on yet. But it’s like the Trinity of Christianity; even if it’s inherently contradictory, you can defeat any rational challenge to it by simply repeating the dogma.

  239. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Tapetum:

    It’s amazing* how many male persons are convinced that they have a more complete view of what sexism and misogyny entail than the mere female of the species.

    Well, of course! Our fuzzy pink lady brains just simply cannot handle that sort of complex thinking! We need the men to point out what is and is not sexism, otherwise we will just get confused.

  240. msironen says

    So can we start pinning misandry on anyone we please since, after all, we’re uniquely qualified to have a more complete view on the issue than the females of the species?

    Newsflash: Hating feminists isn’t misogony when we do it not because they’re women but because they’re assholes (apologies for not using the c-word).

  241. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @crissa 726

    Personally, when someone says ghetto I actually think of indian reservations in the US, and many of these are built upon rivers. Either inaccessible rivers or …

    I’d really like it if people would think of ghettos when they use the word ghetto.

    I know, I know, hopelessly naive, but I was told by one person that I couldn’t use ghetto because I was white, and I was talking about european Jews.

    I have never minded that the word has come to have other connotations. It’s appropriate. It was especially appropriate when official policy made it (next-to) impossible for people of color to move out of redlined neighborhoods. At that point, it wasn’t quite but was very nearly the same situation of forced location or relocation to dense housing that was not up to meeting the basic needs of the community. The mechanisms of enforcement were slightly different & the policy wasn’t quite so “official” for much of the history of US ghettos, but I have no problem at all with the word being used that way.

    I just wish that people wouldn’t forget why the word was coined, why it acquired its original meaning.

    And, by the by, reservations are really a whole different kettle-empty-of-fish. They aren’t ghettos. They are reservations. They have their own history and there are many reasons to consider that history – along with the present – sufficient for the words reservation and rez to have strong emotional content. It shouldn’t need to be compared to Jewish experience to be considered a f*ing disgusting example of treading on human beings.

  242. says

    msironen:

    We still got plenty of interesting voices left that don’t assume that we’re subhuman scum unless we confess to full culpability of deficiencies as described by feminist dogma (rape culture, patriarchy etc).

    Well, you have your little threadhouses, like those at erv where you all happily wallow in your sexism, rape apologia and misogyny, like the quoted post in #317. I wouldn’t call that interesting.

    Meanwhile you can have your witch(or warlock?)hunts where the appropriate MRA is burned at the stake for whatever is the most convenient charge at the moment. Somewhat like conservatism, feminism means you never have to admit you’re wrong. About anything.

    Burning MRAs at the stake? Odd, I haven’t noticed clouds of greasy smoke anywhere, nor read any reports of the same. And we’re the hyperbolic ones, eh? Amazingly enough, I and so many others have typed, until we’re blue in the fingers, that we do not think all men are rapists, but you screech “you think all men are rapists!” in response. Amazingly enough, I and so many others have typed, until we’re blue in the fingers, about privilege and that we all have it and that recognizing privilege makes us all better human beings, but you screech “you’re all hysterical cunts bent on oppressing the poor, poor menz and you think all men are rapists!” in response.

    Except those pesky homosexual men that you haven’t quite figured out how to pin rape (since rape is by definition only male-to-female) on yet. But it’s like the Trinity of Christianity; even if it’s inherently contradictory, you can defeat any rational challenge to it by simply repeating the dogma.

    :snortle: Oh, you’re seriously reaching here, Cupcake. There is a very large GLBTI community here. I’m part of that community. If you had a brain you actually used, and had ever read any one of the numerous threads on sexism here, long before Egate, you’d know there is also a very large community of rape and assault survivors here. I’m part of that community too. That community also has a number of male rape survivors. We are the ones who know men are raped too and they are welcome and safe here.

    Contradictions and dogmatic pronouncements are the province of MRAs, PUAs and other assorted douchecakes. Of course, I don’t expect any reason from you, msironen. You haven’t displayed a scintilla of it from day one.

  243. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Yeah, that’s ‘Tis. Do not implore him for compassion. Do not beg him for forgiveness. Do not ask him for mercy.

    Strokes waxed mustache, swirls cape, twirls sword-cane, laughs mockingly.

  244. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    So can we start pinning misandry on anyone we please since, after all, we’re uniquely qualified to have a more complete view on the issue than the females of the species?

    Believe me, I will be concerned with “misandry” when men become a oppressed class. Until then? Suck on a weasel, douchecake.

    Newsflash: Hating feminists isn’t misogony when we do it not because they’re women but because they’re assholes (apologies for not using the c-word).

    Ah yes. We’ve committed the terrible crime of being rude. Women should only agree with you and your asinine opinions, huh? Heaven forbid that a woman expresses her own opinion or uses foul language or dares disagree with the almighty men!

    *barf*

  245. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    msironen – @779

    if you have behaviors that you believe are misandrist that I don’t recognize as such, I will certainly take the word of men seriously and give it consideration.

    If you label someone as misandrist without identifying a behavior that would justify it, I may or may not think you’re just a jerk/troll. I may or may not ask you for more info.

    One of the things about feminism is that it’s been around long enough that many behaviors have been identified through much previous research, examination, debate, and struggle. Now those behaviors are well recognized and sometimes people say that someone is sexist without id’ing a particular behavior, but I can see in the OP/OC something already widely id’d and discussed as sexist. At that point, if someone doesn’t know why they’re being id’d as sexist and genuinely wants info, they can easily google it themselves, or -if respectful- can just ask for more info.

    Because we’ve debunked the same things over & over, we may not initially volunteer as much info as is demanded of people who are labeling behavior as misandry. That’s not a failure of equality. That’s equality at work: feminists had to work their buts off before there was a good understanding of what constituted sexist behavior. Masculinists or masculists will have to do the same before simply saying, “misandry” is enough.

    But no, we’re not into double standards, and no gender-hating is okay here. Misandry will be questioned and men will be considered to have more understanding of men’s experience than women or non-men trans folk. How you make use of that opportunity/responsibility is up to you.

  246. tielserrath says

    Shit!

    Just settling in for a morning of troll-bashing, and I get called in to work.

    And this is just so damn tempting:

    Somewhat like conservatism, feminism means you never have to admit you’re wrong. About anything.

    Oh, well. Have at him.

    See you later.

  247. Rey Fox says

    Jeez, get off the cross, msironen, someone else needs the wood.

    Somewhat like conservatism, feminism means you never have to admit you’re wrong.

    I’ll bite. What are we wrong about? And make it something specific, not that we’re all men-hating harpies.

    But it’s like the Trinity of Christianity; even if it’s inherently contradictory, you can defeat any rational challenge to it by simply repeating the dogma.

    We’re all ears if you have a rational challenge, unless you just want to whine some more.

  248. Pteryxx says

    @msironen: NEWSFLASH!

    FBI will revise 80-year-old definition of rape

    The New York Times reports that the FBI is planning to revise its official definition of rape after more than 80 years of using an antiquated definition that drastically underestimates the number of sexual assaults every year. Currently, the FBI defines rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will” — which completely excludes male rape and discounts cases that involve anal or oral penetration, penetration with an object, and cases where the victims were drugged or under the influence. Thousands of these rapes are not counted in official statistics every year.

    Guess who has been petitioning the FBI to make this change? Women’s rights groups.

    Women’s rights petition: tell the FBI Rape is Rape

    I was shocked to learn that the FBI uses an archaic definition of rape (“The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”) to gather statistics for the Uniform Crime Report. This definition, drafted more than 80 years ago, is problematic for many reasons, chief among them that it excludes victims of forced anal or oral sex, rape with an object, statutory rape, and male rape.

    Scapegoat FAIL!

  249. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    msironen #779

    So can we start pinning misandry on anyone we please since, after all, we’re uniquely qualified to have a more complete view on the issue than the females of the species?

    You assholes try to pin misandry on everyone who thinks women might be human. And you do have a more complete view, since it’s a figment of your imaginations.

    Sure, there are some women who hate men. However, the vast majority of women don’t. What they hate is assholes like you who refuse to accept that women are people. Why you refuse to accept this is an interesting question with multiple answers, but it has nothing to do with women hating you.

    Hating feminists isn’t misogony when we do it not because they’re women but because they’re assholes (apologies for not using the c-word).

    MRA definition of feminist: Anyone who thinks women are people.

    MRA definition of asshole: Anyone who tells an MRA that women are people.

    And you can stick your “apologies” up your rosy red rectum, if you can squeeze it in beside your head.

  250. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    msironen

    We still got plenty of interesting voices left that don’t assume that we’re subhuman scum unless we confess to full culpability of deficiencies as described by feminist dogma (rape culture, patriarchy etc)

    Don’t personalize this, and don’t frame it as a zero sum game: you have no culpability for any such deficiencies. Everyone absorbs the same deficiencies from a culture that predated all of us. If you are willing to learn about these deficiencies are you can help improve the culture, and a lot of lives will become less difficult.

    Noone is asking you to self-flagellate. The only thing being asked is to learn to be more empathetic and self aware. Is that really so difficult?

  251. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Caine:

    Audley, glad you’re here. These threads don’t seem right when you aren’t here.

    Awe, thanks. :)

    I’ve been peeking in on this thread since the beginning, but work has been absolutely insane lately*, so I haven’t had a chance to comment. Since it’s Friday and I’ve got a beer in hand**, I’ve got the time to commit if this continues on (and we all know that it will).

    *The past couple of days have been 12 hour shifts with no chance for a break. By the time I get home, I’m ready to collapse***.

    **Session Black Lager, my current fav.

    ***Also, I just started playing Dead Island. There is something uniquely satisfying about cracking a zombie across the face with a baseball bat with nails in.

  252. marta says

    @779 “Hating feminists isn’t misogony when we do it not because they’re women but because they’re assholes”

    Why you mad? Is it because we’re laughing at your tiny penis?

  253. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh, msironen is here?

    Swill won’t do. Gonna have to break out the hard liks & smokables.

    Puff puff pass, folks.

  254. Sally Strange, OM says

    Why you mad? Is it because we’re laughing at your tiny penis?

    Hey, please don’t go around spreading the myth that misogynists hate women because they are insecure about their penises. I’ve known several very small-penised men who were wonderful lovers and confident, caring, strong, sensitive fellows. I don’t like having them associated with filth like msironen. Insecurities about one’s penis is a psychological condition. Misogyny is a cultural phenomenon, which is why it’s much more difficult to eradicate than simple sexual insecurity.

  255. Sally Strange, OM says

    MRAs, like msironen, are apparently sincere in their belief that being a man requires being an asshole.

    So naturally, when msironen hears people talking about how much assholes suck, he mistakes it for people talking about how much men suck.

    Hence: msironen’s bizarre (in the eyes of a non-MRA) accusations of misandry.

  256. says

    Marta:

    Why you mad? Is it because we’re laughing at your tiny penis?

    This sort of comment is not helpful. I understand feeling scornful in response to MRA bullshit, however, place that scorn where it belongs.

    Penile insecurities or the lack of them doesn’t have much to do with the prevailing attitudes of MRAs. The problem is in their brain, in their refusal to understand things such as privilege and their seeing basic empathy as some sort of weakness, a deficiency.

  257. John Morales says

    [OT]

    I’m Hairhead. WordPress doesn’t let me use the capital “H”; I used to log in on Typepad on the old site — does anybody know how to get my “H” back?

    Hairhead, your login ID is separate from your display ID, and if you don’t explicitly set the latter it defaults to the former.

    If you’re logged-in through this site, you can just click on your name above the comment box to access your “Dashboard” and edit your “Profile” so as to change your preferences, otherwise you have to do that via the WordPress site.

  258. Esteleth says

    Nah, that’s not what’s going on.
    Sally, can’t you see?
    Msironen, out of the goodness of his own heart, came in here to show us what a REAL MAN is. Y’know, what we, as feminists, have rejected?

  259. msironen says

    Well, you have your little threadhouses, like those at erv where you all happily wallow in your sexism, rape apologia and misogyny, like the quoted post in #317. I wouldn’t call that interesting.

    Oh fuck I’m sorry, I forgot you’re the sole arbiter of what’s interesting or not. I for one consider questions of theistic/atheistic morality and its impact on public policy somewhat interesting but shame on me. I must have my priorities all fucked up, not unlike Dawkins who had the audacity of thinking providing childcare services was more important than apologizing to Watson.

    Amazingly enough, I and so many others have typed, until we’re blue in the fingers, about privilege and that we all have it and that recognizing privilege makes us all better human beings

    Okay so since we all have privilege, it loses meaning the same way the word designed loses meaning if everything is designed? Yeah I didn’t think so. But it’s not like your hand hasn’t been laid out since you linked to “Schroedinger’s Rapist” article (and fuck if I couldn’t make a Rape culture bingo that you can’t avoid with any of your comments).

    As to my comments about homosexual men, I’m simply going to note that you haven’t addressed the first fucking thing about the point but instead simply assert your bona fides of authority about the issue. Meanwhile I can point to stuff like “Horrible Bosses” where male rape is actually a punch line.

  260. marta says

    Yes, folks. Apologies. I knew it was wrong when I posted. It wasn’t helpful. One does begin to feel a bit vicious, however.

  261. Tapetum says

    MRA’s think that men are built to be insecure assholes who simply must be dominant over every woman in their vicinity, or their manhood will shrivel up and die.

    But feminists are the ones who hate men.

    Right.

  262. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do they serve any non alcoholic drinks at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor?

    Only from under the bar. Not above board. In brown paper bags. With a straw.

  263. says

    msironen

    [i] How does Dawkins providing child-care at venues address the problem of women feeling uneasy about attending because of issues like being hit on umpteen times an hour, and many men apparently assuming that a female attendee must be ‘up for it’ because she’s had the temerity to attend without a male partner?

    Also, doesn’t that make the assumption that women are the only ones who benefit from having their children looked after?

    [ii]Questions of theistic/atheistic morality certainly are interesting, but they’re not the topic of this thread, except in the sense that many people apparently think that sending rape threats and such are morally defensible things to do.

  264. says

    @Psychoticatheist:

    In my experience of using the internet for the past two decades I can say with reasonable confidence that the tactic of ‘emphatically meeting’ trolls and attempting to ‘smack them down’ is the tactic that works least well. Your experiences may vary.
    I think you need to reconsider. Let me explain.

    You seem to have the idea that the objective is to get the troll to recognise their errors. In general, no, although there are some exceptional cases.

    The MRA-troll *should* experience pushback. We need to make a world where sexism is unacceptable. Ignoring it does not help – silence is taken for consent. Ignoring it perpetuates the status quo, just like in real-not-internet-life. Letting a rape joke or a bitch in the kitchen “joke” pass unchallenged to keep the peace – this supports the sexist. They think everyone around them agrees that that behaviour is acceptable.

    This is where Hilary Rettig makes her mistake. You don’t change the world by retreating from it. You change the world by getting out there and fighting. Safe spaces are great – we need them for recovery, for resting, for feeling supported, even for making plans. But in the long run, you can’t always hide from the fight.

    And, of course – as we have seen several cases in this thread – lurkers may read and be persuaded. The troll’s viciousness actually provides further evidence to help our cause. As I said before, reading the bible makes atheists and reading MRA-bile makes feminists.

    It’s possible that you’re right concerning tone-trolls, though. It does seem that ignoring them might help prevent substance-free discussion. If that DaveR guy ever had any point, I never saw it.

  265. says

    @Esteleth

    Alright, I think I see the problem.
    Women, and feminist men, in an attempt to demonstrate the kind of BS that women get just for being women online and in meatspace, are offering examples. Many of the examples offered are particularly egrigious and violent.
    You object, because the extreme examples are exactly that, extreme, and could be interpreted as saying that all the stuff is like that, when this is not so.

    Almost, but not quite. It is not that they are extreme examples. It is that many of them are basically lies. They are trolls: People who put forward a deliberately provocative position or opinion with the intent of provoking a strong reaction. A feminist talks about misogyny and the trolls say they want to rape her and call her a cunt for good measure. They may be skeptics, or they may not be. Their primary goal is to upset people so they can enjoy the fireworks.

    Therefore, they should be ignored, not used as examples for how badly behaved some skeptics are.

    Part of the reason why the epic examples get displayed is to shock people out of their complacency. I mean, I could list every single little thing that has happened to me in the past week, such as the guy that leered at me as I walked past him on the street and the salesman at Best Buy who asked to speak with my husband.

    Sure, you can list examples of sexism quite easily. But we’re talking about sexism and misogyny in the skeptic movement. And pointing to your experiences of strangers on the street, or trolls on the internet should be largely irrelevant to discussing the problems within the skeptic movement.

  266. msironen says

    In all this wonderful speculation about the size of my penis (and, granted, stern admonishments to cease such speculation even if it’s not actually invalid but because of PR reasons), it helps to re-focus my main point:

    We might in fact all agree on the facts.

    You have identified a cancer of misogynists in your midsts.

    We have identified a cancer of dogmaticists (of feminism, in that case) in our midsts (EVEN IF THIS IF JUST WHAT WE THINK).

    Now let’s be honest for a second and concede that from OUR OWN POINTS OF VIEW, both statements are actually true (I know you can do it, if you try). But somehow you’re actually somehow cognitively incapable of seeing this rather neutral fact and instead you keep stating that all wrong thinking persons are somehow both willfully and mendaciously ignorants of pertinent facts.

    It’s like you simply cannot get your head around the fact that there are a rather sizeable amount of people who simply don’t agree with you, and the only way you can rationalize this fact is by demonizing them. They’re all, if not morally, then at least rationally deficient: “If they disagree with my opinion exactly, they must think women are sex slaves and that’s that”. This kind of thinking might spring from the hallowed well of feminist thinking “all men are rapists, and that’s all they are”, of course…

  267. Sally Strange, OM says

    Hmm. There are 811 responses, but only 11 are visible.

    Is this a quirk of FTB? Is this the first time a thread on FTB has gone over the 800 limit? Curious.

  268. Friendly says

    Last night Dumbass accused me of poking fun rather than staying on topic. On that one point xe was correct; I wanted to post something substantive but I was way too tired. Since this thread is still going, I’m gonna try now; I apologize in advance for how lengthy this is liable to be.

    But first, an anecdote on “cupcake” as an epithet:

    At a company where I used to work, most of us suspected that the VP of Marketing, who had been promoted from admin assistant to that position very quickly — and past several people who had actual degrees and experience in marketing — had risen to that position because she was banging our slimy and ruthless CEO. One day the CEO drifted through our department while this VP was there and said something to the effect of “How’s it going, Cupcake?” It was not a joke and it was, of course, not remotely professional or appropriate. We waited for her to rebuke or correct him, but she said nothing. Forever after, she was customarily referred to as “Cupcake” behind her back. While I agree that the word is not a gendered insult, in this case, it took on connotations that would not have existed if the VP had been male.

    Now, for my more topical thoughts:

    I always have to laugh at eBay’s mission statement (or whatever it is) that says, “People are basically good.” No we aren’t. We’re naked insecure tribal animals who have to be patiently and consistently trained to be good over the course of many years or we’ll turn out rotten (or at least unpleasant and/or unreliable). Even the best of us can have areas in our lives in which our attitudes would horrify other people. It seems to me that many otherwise intelligent, erudite people in Western societies who have very enlightened views on any number of other subjects are totally and utterly warped in their thought, speech, and behavior when it comes to sex, gender, and privilege, and yes, I think a lot of this *is* due to religion: The male-glorifying religions of death and war that displaced the female-honoring fertility religions have helped to shape cultures in which men’s rights, privileges, and concerns have been unquestioningly elevated (sorry! unintentional, honestly!!) above those of women for millenia, and those religions have made teaching and communicating candidly and rationally about sexual issues as difficult and dangerous as possible. Beyond religion, you have the cultural persistence of ancient, medieval, and Victorian hierarchical Western social structures that have “ground in” certain biases in favor of the titled, the powerful, the wealthy, Caucasians, Europeans, believers, straights, and men, leading to those biases being considered “natural.” Add this up and you have a situation in which some portion of even our otherwise best-educated and “best-bred” population espouses ideas and/or engages in behavior that deeply discomforts or frightens others, but they simply can’t bring themselves to admit that there might be anything wrong with that. Rather than try to change their ways, the perpetrators justify their views and attack the people who are offended as being “too sensitive”, “out to get them,” etc.

    A person might think that the offense taken by another person to something they’ve said or done is silly or uninformed or even malicious. But a polite and open-minded person will listen to the offended party’s reasoning and feelings, put themselves in the other person’s shoes, and so on, and if there might be even a shred of rightness and reasonableness behind the offended party’s objections, the offender should — as a matter of common decency — offer an apology and avoid repeating the act in the future. Even if it embarrasses them to do it. Even if they don’t think they did wrong. Even if they still can’t really understand “what all the fuss is about.” That is one way that functional societies remain functional; we make concessions and sacrifices to one another to maintain peace, order, and mutual respect. If you must, think of it as an investment; the assets you put into the transaction will come back to you later, when some party inevitably thinks nothing of offending *you*.

    My grandparents were racist. I have to struggle not to be unreasonably suspicious of unfamiliar and poorly dressed African-American men. My mother is very much against “the homosexual agenda.” I have to struggle against using stereotypes of gay people for humorous effect. But I won’t give up those struggles or justify those thoughts, and I hope people will call me on the failings that betray my lingering prejudices when they happen. I’ll do the best I can to make those failings right.

    I spent a lot of time as a fundie “saving myself for marriage.” I didn’t get laid in high school or college and haven’t gotten any since. Having become an atheist, I *could have* made it my mission to make up for lost time. I *could have* presumed that a social event for atheists, humanists, and/or intellectuals would be a good place to do that. I *could have* even presumed that asking an otherwise unaccompanied lady at such an event on the way back to our rooms late at night to join me for coffee would be a promising scenario for leading up to that. (Once I was given an example that *could have* persuaded me to that this could work: At an Annual Gathering, a male Mensan told me sotto voce that “the best thing about these Gatherings is that the women are willing.” He proceeded to invite a pair of women he fancied to join a group of us for “dinner and other things,” and he sure got a lot of touch from those two ladies in the back seat of the van on the way to and from the restaurant.) But I haven’t, and I won’t ever, because I respect women, and I know I’m not entitled to anything from them, and that doesn’t threaten me or my masculinity in the least.

    (OK, losing the V would be nice. But if and when that ever happens, it will happen in a way that values and affirms my partner from start to finish.)

  269. John Morales says

    msironen,

    I must have my priorities all fucked up, not unlike Dawkins who had the audacity of thinking providing childcare services was more important than apologizing to Watson.

    Well, nice as it is to see you acknowledge Watson is owed an apology, now that his audaciously prioritised aim has been achieved, presumably the apology can duly proceed?

    (Snark, you are a novice at it)

  270. Sally Strange, OM says

    A feminist talks about misogyny and the trolls say they want to rape her and call her a cunt for good measure. They may be skeptics, or they may not be. Their primary goal is to upset people so they can enjoy the fireworks.

    Who cares what their goal is? The effect of such activity is silencing. It makes women less likely to start their own blogs, to attend conferences, to become a widely-recognized public figure, however that may happen. For that reason alone, your advice to ignore it is wrong.

  271. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is this a quirk of FTB? Is this the first time a thread on FTB has gone over the 800 limit? Curious.

    FTB allows pages of posts per thread. PZ set the automatic limit to 800 posts per page. Just above the “Leave a Reply”, there is link to the older posts.

  272. Sally Strange, OM says

    We have identified a cancer of dogmaticists (of feminism, in that case) in our midsts (EVEN IF THIS IF JUST WHAT WE THINK).

    There are no feminists in your midst. You’re in your own little room, all by yourselves. You’re not in our midst, either. There’s no “us” here if you think feminism is dogmatism.

    Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

  273. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Sally, PZ has instituted auto-paging, so that no single sub-thread exceeds 800 comments; look at the end of the post for the “Older Comments” link.

    (Links to comments will still work, check the URL to see why)

  274. marta says

    “In all this wonderful speculation about the size of my penis (and, granted, stern admonishments to cease such speculation”

    One person, ONE, and that would be me, made an inappropriate remark about your penis. I was called out for it, and I apologized.

    Now I am double plus good sorry to have said it.

  275. says

    It’s like you simply cannot get your head around the fact that there are a rather sizeable amount of people who simply don’t agree with you, and the only way you can rationalize this fact is by demonizing them.

    Threats of any kind of physical violence are not ‘disagreement’.

  276. says

    @pensnest

    psychoticatheist #630

    I don’t understand why sexism would be less offensive when it is internet-based. In fact, I don’t believe it is any such thing.

    Neither do I. I’m not suggesting that trolls are not offensive. I’m just suggesting that trolls are not entirely to be a trusted data source on the attitudes of skeptics.

    Why on earth should we confine ourselves* to talking about offline sexism? And yes, it would be terrifying to be threatened with rape in person (do you seriously think this does not happen?)—but is being threatened in a deluge of unwanted emails and comments somehow… anodyne?

    Not only are people threatened with rape in person, but they are actually raped sometimes too. I’m psychotic, not stupid :)

    I’m just suggesting that we don’t interpret an internet phenomenon (trolls) as a skeptic phenomenon.

    And while it can be pointless talking to trolls, the post-EG threads here on Pharyngula alone have presented a depressingly vast amount of evidence of non troll-based misogyny (for a memorable example, see one R Dawkins)—which, since it is offered up on the internet, can damn well be countered on the internet.

    Absolutely, don’t disagree.

    * I’m a mostly-lurker, but from this side of my screen, I feel like a part of the Pharyngulite community.

    I’ve been lurking for years. This is one of the first times I’ve posted on pharyngula (I posted a few other times here and there, under a different username, and was mostly ignored)

  277. amphigorey says

    I notice the latest chew toy still hasn’t said how he disagrees with The Feminists, only that he does and is vilified for it.

    So what is it, Cupcake? What feminist point, exactly, is it that you oh so civilly disagree with?

    I’m starting to think this should be a space on the bingo card: Disagrees with Feminists, but Won’t Say How.

    The forced dichotomy of funding childcare vs. apologizing to Rebecca Watson is pretty weird, too. msironen makes it sound like Dawkins made some mystical pact and could only do one or the other. Why not both?

  278. says

    Alethea:

    And, of course – as we have seen several cases in this thread – lurkers may read and be persuaded.

    Oh, it’s not just lurkers. There is one person who came right to mind, in one thread, who was an utterly loathsome rape apologist and compleat MRA. Not long after much hammering away by many people, in one of the Egate threads this happened:

    Ok, now I’m 500 posts behind, and I don’t have the time to catch up just right now. So I felt like saying hello to the feminists doing the heavy lifting right there.

    For the record I am a male who was as clueless as Justicar and others just a little while ago. (Or was I really that stupid – I’m too scared to look at the thread where I got enlightened)

    I am just sorry that this thread is already 550+ posts long. It probably means others didn’t get it in just a couple of posts.

    Anyways, thanks to Caine and others for getting the message through. I sure looks useless at times but it worked for me, so it will work for others. I’ll repay my own stupidity as soon as I get some free time in big enough chunks.

    The thread where this person was enlightened was a tough one and Ing, SallyStrange, Beatrice, Jadehawk and many others put in sterling service.

    This particular person is far from the only one who was enlightened. What we do does make a difference.

  279. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Relax, Marta.

    Your mistake was to use their own proxy for their manhood, but look what you nonetheless evinced! :)

    psychoticatheist:

    I’m just suggesting that trolls are not entirely to be a trusted data source on the attitudes of skeptics.

    Just that? No intimations that it’s, at best, a waste of time?

    (Me, I like feeling virtuous when punching-bags ask to be punched and I duly oblige)

  280. says

    @Alethea H. Claw

    I think you need to reconsider. Let me explain.

    Thank you for your patience.

    You seem to have the idea that the objective is to get the troll to recognise their errors. In general, no, although there are some exceptional cases.

    No, trolls should simply be ignored or banned from posting. Taking them at face value and getting upset is exactly what they intend. Their purpose is to cause controversy.

    The MRA-troll *should* experience pushback. We need to make a world where sexism is unacceptable. Ignoring it does not help – silence is taken for consent. Ignoring it perpetuates the status quo, just like in real-not-internet-life. Letting a rape joke or a bitch in the kitchen “joke” pass unchallenged to keep the peace – this supports the sexist. They think everyone around them agrees that that behaviour is acceptable.

    I don’t consider MRA-trolls to be trolls in the way that I am using the term. MRA-trolls, as you call them are assholes and you are quite right they should experience pushback.

    And, of course – as we have seen several cases in this thread – lurkers may read and be persuaded. The troll’s viciousness actually provides further evidence to help our cause. As I said before, reading the bible makes atheists and reading MRA-bile makes feminists.

    And again, it’s fine to say ‘it is unacceptable conduct to threaten to rape others, regardless of your motivation for doing it’. It is another thing to say that receiving rape-threats from basically anonymous sources is an example of misogyny in the skeptic community. It is a mistake to treat these trolls at face value.

  281. says

    SallyStrange:

    Who cares what their goal is? The effect of such activity is silencing. It makes women less likely to start their own blogs, to attend conferences, to become a widely-recognized public figure, however that may happen.

    It also makes rape and assault survivors cower in the corner even more. That’s one of the reasons that it is vital the survivors here repeatedly speak out about their own experiences, to give strength to those people and to help them understand it is okay to be angry and it is okay for them to have a voice.

  282. kerfluffle says

    msironen, You set up your own definition of feminism and privilege and then argue against it. It’s your sandcastle, you can kick it over if you want but what’s the point?

  283. says

    psychoticatheist:

    I’m just suggesting that trolls are not entirely to be a trusted data source on the attitudes of skeptics.

    Mm hmmm. According to the crap you keep spewing, women who are involved in atheism and skepticism aren’t to be trusted either, as you keep dismissing every single thing women are saying.

  284. says

    @Sally Strange, OM

    Who cares what their goal is? The effect of such activity is silencing. It makes women less likely to start their own blogs, to attend conferences, to become a widely-recognized public figure, however that may happen. For that reason alone, your advice to ignore it is wrong.

    I’m not suggesting complete blanket ignoring of trolls, I am suggesting ignoring trolls as part of a data set when trying to understand the attitudes within the skeptic movement. If women are put off by anonymous internet assholes, this is not something the skeptic movement can really do much about. We can’t reason with trolls.

    And I agree with some of the points that are being raised. Sometimes there is purpose to addressing trolls, viz the lurkers who might change their minds when they see a reasoned reply to a troll.

    But anonymous internet assholes shouldn’t be used as examples of problems within the skeptic community (he says from a position of anonymous internet assery). They are problems of the internet.

  285. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    You have identified a cancer of misogynists in your midsts.

    Is that like a flock of geese or a murder of crows?

    We have identified a cancer of dogmaticists (of feminism, in that case) in our midsts (EVEN IF THIS IF JUST WHAT WE THINK).

    Oh sweet hopping Jesus. Dogmatic people are extremely resistant to learning– I’ve never met another feminist who wasn’t willing to learn from other people’s experiences.

    You know what’s dogmatic? The knee-jerk reaction that some men have to automatically dismiss what a woman says ‘cos you believe that she’s overreacting or misinterpreting what happened to her. You know what would not be dogmatic? Listening and learning instead of insisting that you know better (even though you’ve never experienced what we do on a daily basis).

    … you keep stating that all wrong thinking persons are somehow both willfully and mendaciously ignorants of pertinent facts.

    Well, if the shoe fits…

    It’s like you simply cannot get your head around the fact that there are a rather sizeable amount of people who simply don’t agree with you, and the only way you can rationalize this fact is by demonizing them.

    Listen, if someone does not want to extend the common courtesy of treating me with respect and insists on defending sexist (and worse) behavior, then yeah, I’m gonna call them out on their shit.

    Don’t like it? Fucking leave.

    This kind of thinking might spring from the hallowed well of feminist thinking “all men are rapists, and that’s all they are”, of course…

    Where exactly has this been said? I want links to the relevant comments or it didn’t happen.

    Anyone with half a fucking brain (not you, obviously) would be able to see that no one is accusing all men of being rapists.

  286. Esteleth says

    Psychoticatheist @812
    Do you remember my comment @643? About the difference between types of trolls?

    You say,

    They are trolls: People who put forward a deliberately provocative position or opinion with the intent of provoking a strong reaction. A feminist talks about misogyny and the trolls say they want to rape her and call her a cunt for good measure. They may be skeptics, or they may not be. Their primary goal is to upset people so they can enjoy the fireworks.

    I disagree. They may be Type 1 trolls, who are trolling for the sake of laughing at people’s responses, or they may be Type 2 trolls, who genuinely believe that women are less than men, who need to be put into their place. Their primary goal may be to scare women into silence – and they thus need to be refuted.

    But we’re talking about sexism and misogyny in the skeptic movement. And pointing to your experiences of strangers on the street, or trolls on the internet should be largely irrelevant to discussing the problems within the skeptic movement.

    It’s called an analogy. I was offering an EXAMPLE of why one would cite extreme examples. I could also come up with a list of sexist encounters within the skeptic movement.

    Also, uh. “…strangers on the street, or trolls on the internet should be largely irrelevant to discussing the problems within the skeptic movement.” Because sexist skeptics don’t walk down the street or be trolls online?

  287. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am suggesting ignoring trolls

    We don’t ignore trolls, here, we feed them until they explode. So get off that idea.

  288. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    PS: If anyone wants to muck around with the bingo cards, feel free. They were meant to be a “work in progress”, but I never went back to update/fix ‘em.

  289. says

    Audley:

    Where exactly has this been said? I want links to the relevant comments or it didn’t happen.

    Anyone with half a fucking brain (not you, obviously) would be able to see that no one is accusing all men of being rapists.

    I called it in my response to msironen’s first post, I want my cookie.

    I pointed out that the standard MRA response to anything we said was “you think all men are rapists!” and xe denied it. Then what do we get? “you think all men are rapists!”

    Sigh.

  290. John Morales says

    [meta]

    psychoticatheist:

    No, trolls should simply be ignored or banned from posting. Taking them at face value and getting upset is exactly what they intend. Their purpose is to cause controversy.

    Ooh, you’re so cute!

    (There, there)

  291. says

    @Caine, Fleur du Mal

    Mm hmmm. According to the crap you keep spewing, women who are involved in atheism and skepticism aren’t to be trusted either, as you keep dismissing every single thing women are saying.

    Disagreement over a minor issue of trolls within the internet based skeptic community is not the same as dismissing every single thing women are saying. Hyperbole is the GREATEST thing in the world, right?

    I am a feminist, but I don’t have to agree with all feminists about navigating the seedier sides of internet culture, do I?

  292. Pteryxx says

    It’s like you simply cannot get your head around the fact that there are a rather sizeable amount of people who simply don’t agree with you, and the only way you can rationalize this fact is by demonizing them.

    Gender-based bias is a real thing in the world. Unconscious sexism is real. Stereotype threat is real. Chilly climate is real. Harassment is real. Silencing is real. There’s plenty of evidence for all of these things. Open-minded people consider evidence when forming (or changing) their opinions.

    If you want to disagree about the extent, effects or merits of any of this, feel free to produce evidence like a rational adult. If you want to say sexism doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter, you may as well be a flat-earther for all the weight your opinion holds.

  293. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Caine:

    I called it in my response to msironen’s first post, I want my cookie.

    I didn’t even read msironen’s first post. I just kind of jumped in without fully catching up.

    I’d make a batch of cookies for you, but I’m out of chocolate chips. :(

  294. Dumbass says

    Hey I got up to post 628 and guys, not really impressed with the signal to noise ratio since last night. This was cute though:

    “IndyM, pikčiurna says:
    30 September 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Dumbass was also amazing. He barged in here, took a great big shit on our discussion, and then screamed at the commentariat for the stink they cause with their rudeness and insults. He is a douchewaffle with dingleberries on top.”

    Oh yeah, I do recall before my barging in, there was an absolutely amazing discussion on, what was it? Oh right, on tone, not content. I feel real sorry for breaking that up by rudely telling people to stick with what is important instead. I think I set the movement back by doing that. I apologize. I mean rambling on and on about tone is *so* very important! Luckily another *really useful* “discussion” on tone occurred shortly after I left. Because where would we be without people whining about tone, and then dozens of folks piling on that person? We certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near discussing anything of substance and actual value, now would we?

    Damn I can be a sarcastic dick, can’t I. Anywhoo, I am going back to skimming through the thread. Props to whoever wrote post #546, too bad entries like yours are rare. Because you know, we really all have to put people in their place like it’s a fucking roast. That is point of these threads, right? That’s what *most* of everybody’s time is devoted to in here. But I am going to keep dredging through, in the hope I am wrong.

  295. msironen says

    Don’t like it? Fucking leave.

    I really, really wanted to. And intended to. But this keeps coming up: this crowd expects us to simmer in our shame and yearn for some kind of forgiverange. It’s not like PZ’s post doesn’t end up with such sentiments.

    THAT is what I’m here to disabuse you of. Not your feminist delusions.

  296. says

    psychoticatheist:

    They are trolls

    Your insistence on this along with your complete dismissal of what women are telling you is marking you as an idiot, to say the least.

    You obviously have not been to or dealt with the numerous MRA and PUA sites, you have not spent days on end with people like MaxH, a gay republican fratboy who happened to be an ardent rape apologist and anti-abortionist.

    We have done all that. We know these people are real and aren’t just playing provocative asshole on the ‘net. Some of them are doing that, yes, but the ones who were simply playing a game always fessed up to that after a while and faded out early on.

    We’re talking about the genuine MRAs, PUAs and assorted douchecakes who have been talking about this issue for 4 months now and have invaded, harassed and stalked a woman.

    The fact that you keep on with your “oh, it’s only troll play, it’s not real life, you don’t get the actual issue” is marking you not only an idiot, but a mansplainer* who has zero interest in what is being said to you.

    *if you don’t grok that, click one of the two links supra. Also, women who have bought into sexism as being normal can indulge in mansplainin’ too.

  297. Sally Strange, OM says

    You’re not making much sense, psychoticatheist.

    I’m not suggesting complete blanket ignoring of trolls, I am suggesting ignoring trolls as part of a data set when trying to understand the attitudes within the skeptic movement.

    …So… *thinking hard about WTF this means*

    “Pay no attention to the misogynist behind the curtain!”

    You don’t want people to associate skepticism with misogyny. I think that’s what you’re trying to say. But ignoring misogyny doesn’t accomplish that.

    If women are put off by anonymous internet assholes, this is not something the skeptic movement can really do much about. We can’t reason with trolls.

    This is really kind of callous, you know? Some women ARE put off by expressions of misogyny, because of past experiences or whatever. I do not accept that their non-participation in conferences is no big deal. If misogynist trolls are having that effect, then the argument for ignoring them is weaker, not stronger.

    Also, it’s not about reasoning with them. It’s about excluding them. Making it clear that bigots who hate women aren’t welcome.

    And I agree with some of the points that are being raised. Sometimes there is purpose to addressing trolls, viz the lurkers who might change their minds when they see a reasoned reply to a troll.

    So your position is being weakened even further.

    But anonymous internet assholes shouldn’t be used as examples of problems within the skeptic community (he says from a position of anonymous internet assery). They are problems of the internet.

    No, you are wrong. They are problems in our culture. There’s no division between the internet and the culture. The internet is an expression of the culture.

    You’ve revealed some sloppy thinking and failed to make a compelling case. I hope you consider these things and come back with something more well-thought-out.

  298. says

    @Esteleth

    Hi again!

    Do you remember my comment @643? About the difference between types of trolls?

    Yes. Do you remember what I posted in reply to it? It was message 648 in case you missed it.

    I disagree. They may be Type 1 trolls, who are trolling for the sake of laughing at people’s responses, or they may be Type 2 trolls, who genuinely believe that women are less than men, who need to be put into their place. Their primary goal may be to scare women into silence – and they thus need to be refuted.

    I agree that assholes (what you call Type 2 trolls) should be confronted. I also agree it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. I am talking about Obvious trolls such as “I want to rape you to Death you stupid cunt.”

    There is not refutation to that, there is no need to respond to it other than with ‘This comment is clearly inappropriate.’ We shouldn’t take these kinds of comments as being indicative of a problem within the skeptic movement since they exist throughout the internet. They are the background noise to our experiment, and when we are trying to get an idea of the picture of the skeptic movement they should be ignored since they serve as distortion. Deliberately so, in fact.

  299. John Morales says

    psychoticatheist:

    I am a feminist, but I don’t have to agree with all feminists about navigating the seedier sides of internet culture, do I?

    Well, I’m not a feminist, and if I could challenge what they’re saying, I would. I’m an equal-opportunity kibitzer.

    (Instead, it their opposition that makes disputable claims and whom I can challenge (or mock, as is merited); and then there’s your kind: the ostensible “allies” who are O so concerned about tactics.

    Bah)

  300. John Morales says

    msironen, you want to leave, but you can’t?

    (Weak, you are)

    But this keeps coming up: this crowd expects us to simmer in our shame and yearn for some kind of forgiverange.

    Proverbs 28:1

  301. Friendly says

    But anonymous internet assholes shouldn’t be used as examples of problems within the skeptic community (he says from a position of anonymous internet assery). They are problems of the internet.

    psychotic, you’ve been saying for two days now that the freethought community doesn’t really have a problem with sexism, and that it’s all an illusion because sexist outsider-creeps are invading our Net forums.

    The original episode that spawned this whole brouhaha happened at a freethought event. Many firsthand witnesses have told, in related posts and in comments in related forum threads, of similar things happening to them at other freethought events, or of being sexually exploited/discomfited/harrassed, molested, or raped by other supposedly freethinking people. Based on the anecdotal evidence presented as part of Egate alone, the skeptic community has a real problem with sexism. Your continued assertions that it doesn’t have taken on the familiar flavor of climate-change denial.

  302. Sally Strange, OM says

    Don’t like it? Fucking leave.

    I really, really wanted to. And intended to. But this keeps coming up: this crowd expects us to simmer in our shame and yearn for some kind of forgiverange. It’s not like PZ’s post doesn’t end up with such sentiments.

    THAT is what I’m here to disabuse you of. Not your feminist delusions.

    Oh really? You feel no shame? You refuse to apologize? How shocking. Well, consider me disabused. You can leave now.

  303. says

    psychotic:

    navigating the seedier sides of internet culture

    You’re ignoring the seedier side of life. You’re persistently ignoring reality. That’s not a plus, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

  304. msironen says

    I pointed out that the standard MRA response to anything we said was “you think all men are rapists!” and xe denied it. Then what do we get? “you think all men are rapists!”

    After linking Schroedinger’s Rapist? Have you read any other freethoughtblogs, like Dispatches, recently? The word “irony” have any meaning to you?

  305. John Morales says

    Aptly-named Dumbass:

    Damn I can be a sarcastic dick, can’t I.

    <snicker>

    You sure like to delude yourself.

    No, you can’t.

    (Hint: pitiable ≠ sarcastic)

  306. kerfluffle says

    Also, doesn’t that make the assumption that women are the only ones who benefit from having their children looked after?

    Also, why does it have to be childcare? Every time someone wants to make a big deal about being more inclusive of women, they talk about childcare. Childcare at events would be great for all types of families. But tossing it out there as some sort of salve is like “OK ladies, you can join the club and I assume you’ll be bringing your babies along?”

    Women do a lot more than make babies. If you want to make events more inclusive for women, admit that they exist and are important. There are studies that show how women are ignored in groups, tackle that. If there is a Q&A after a panel, make it a point to take the first two questions from women. If there are already less women then men, most of the Q&A will be male voices but at least some women will be heard while there is still time to give them full answers.

  307. says

    psychoticatheist

    I am talking about Obvious trolls such as “I want to rape you to Death you stupid cunt.”

    Whether they’re doing it ‘for a laugh’ or because they truly believe what they say, makes no difference. What matters is that they feel such things are acceptable, even if ‘only’ in ‘fun’.

  308. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Honestly, if there weren’t a stupid toxic meme already associated with penis size, and if it wouldn’t just result in making a different group of people feel bad, I’d rather caricature MRAs as having absurdly oversized penises than little ones. Like Priapus. They just can’t shut up about their penises. They can’t think about anything else. They can’t hear us because THEIR BONER IS TOO LOUD, as kristinc(?) once put it, to my eternal amusement.

  309. Waffler, Dunwich MA says

    This kind of thinking might spring from the hallowed well of feminist thinking “all men are rapists, and that’s all they are”, of course…

    Where exactly has this been said? I want links to the relevant comments or it didn’t happen.

    I think it’s part of the Secret Feminist Dogma™ that the Secret Society of Dogmatic Feminists™ discuss at their meeting. I think there’s a secret handshake and everything.

  310. Sally Strange, OM says

    msironen: Too dishonest to admit that “potential rapist” and “actual rapist” are two different things.

    Par for the course with these guys. They disagree with feminism, but they can’t say why since it is just a bit socially unacceptable to just come straight out and say, “Women are worth less than men.” So, they have to lie and lie and lie, and make up armies of Straw Feminists, to justify disagreeing with feminism.

    Boring, msironen. Don’t you have any new tricks? Tap dancing perhaps? Michael Hawkins is pretty good at that, perhaps he can give you lessons.

  311. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    I really, really wanted to. And intended to.

    Place yer bets! Place yer bets!

    10:1 odds that msironen fails to stick the flounce!

    Place yer bets!

    But this keeps coming up: this crowd expects us to simmer in our shame and yearn for some kind of forgiverange. It’s not like PZ’s post doesn’t end up with such sentiments.

    THAT is what I’m here to disabuse you of. Not your feminist delusions.

    Oh, so you know what we want, eh? Here’s a newsflash: I’m in this for the lulz, sweetheart. Nothing else.

    I have no delusions that you will ever change your song-and-dance– you’d rather mansplain than have a real conversation.

    But go ahead, keep trying to “disabuse” me of the notion that I should be treated equally and I will continue to mock you and act all uppity and shit.

    To jump on the bandwagon: How exactly do you disagree with feminism? Or are you just parroting that old “feminists are bitches” canard?

  312. says

    kerfluffle

    Thanks for expanding on that. I knew as I wrote it that I’d missed something, but for some reason couldn’t express it.

  313. says

    @Caine, Fleur du Mal

    Your insistence on this along with your complete dismissal of what women are telling you is marking you as an idiot, to say the least.

    What do you think I am dismissing, exactly?

    You obviously have not been to or dealt with the numerous MRA and PUA sites, you have not spent days on end with people like MaxH, a gay republican fratboy who happened to be an ardent rape apologist and anti-abortionist.

    You are right in that. But I am not arguing that we should not address assholes and refute them, call them out for being assholes etc. So I’m not sure what the relevance of this is. C

    We’re talking about the genuine MRAs, PUAs and assorted douchecakes who have been talking about this issue for 4 months now and have invaded, harassed and stalked a woman.

    And I’m not talking about them, argue against them at your leisure, they need to be refuted. I was talking about things like anonymous youtube commenters. If you are confident that a certain someone is ‘MRA’ or ‘PUA’ or whatever then that’s fine. But at the same time one should remember that if they are anonymous they may well be yanking your chain. We’re clearly talking about different phenomena, though they often look similar I’m sure.

    The fact that you keep on with your “oh, it’s only troll play, it’s not real life, you don’t get the actual issue” is marking you not only an idiot, but a mansplainer* who has zero interest in what is being said to you.

    I don’t disagree with the points being raised against idiots and assholes. I am not saying that all people you consider assholes should be considered ‘only troll play’. I’m saying trolls shouldn’t be used as datapoints when we try and assess the situation in the skeptic community. We have no idea who these people are, if they are skeptics and in many cases it isn’t entirely clear that the person typing the message sincerely means it. By all means address the points they make, but be careful about lamenting at the awful state of the skeptic community based on anonymous internet assholes. That’s really all I was saying.

  314. John Morales says

    msironen,

    I pointed out that the standard MRA response to anything we said was “you think all men are rapists!” and xe denied it. Then what do we get? “you think all men are rapists!”

    Then what do we get? “you think all men are rapists!” After linking Schroedinger’s Rapist? Have you read any other freethoughtblogs, like Dispatches, recently? The word “irony” have any meaning to you?

    Irony is you imagining that you’re educating an expert though you can’t apprehend the difference between “all men are rapists!” [your attributed claim] and ‘any given man may be a rapist’ [the actual claim], when in reality you’re exposing your obtuse ignorance.

  315. Esteleth says

    See here, psychoticatheist, you’re making an assumption.

    It’s a BIG one.

    You’re assuming that the over-the-top asshole Type 2 trolls aren’t skeptics, don’t identify as skeptics, and aren’t pro-skepticism.

    That is not true.

    Also, let me ask you a question. And please, think about it.

    As far as I can tell, you are male. Also, as far as I can tell, Sally Strange, Caine and I are all women. I’m not sure about Pteryxx.

    You are being told by a group of women, “Hey, this hurts” and your response, as a man, is to say, “Yeah, but it doesn’t matter! Also, you should get a thicker skin.”

    As a self-proclaimed feminist, does that not strike you as a bit problematic?

  316. Sally Strange, OM says

    I was talking about things like anonymous youtube commenters.

    Then you’ve well and truly lost the plot.

  317. says

    Kerfluffle:

    Women do a lot more than make babies.

    Yes they do. Some of us don’t make them at all, being childfree. However, when we have had threads for the express purpose of discussing ideas of how to make meetings/conferences more inviting to women, childcare is brought up a lot.

    The lack of childcare is a problem for a lot of women and it deserves to be addressed. What should also be addressed is why more men aren’t concerned about childcare at meetings/conferences. In our society, too many fathers still remain at a remove from parenting, the default care falling on women. (Not in all cases by far, I am aware of that).

  318. Sally Strange, OM says

    I am talking about Obvious trolls such as “I want to rape you to Death you stupid cunt.”

    Whether they’re doing it ‘for a laugh’ or because they truly believe what they say, makes no difference. What matters is that they feel such things are acceptable, even if ‘only’ in ‘fun’.

    Well said, Daz.

    In fact, it’s the ones who are doing it “just in fun” who are the true target audience. They may not actually hate women, but they’re giving aid and comfort to those who do. They may not plan on raping anyone, but they’re providing camouflage to those who do.

    The ones who sit in silence and do not speak up in protest at these jokes are also the target audience, for the same reasons.

  319. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    What do you think I am dismissing, exactly?

    My comment, for one. To reiterate: a rape threat and a misogynist slur does not an obvious troll make. Real people issue rape threats and misogynist slurs quite sincerely. We know that they’re sincere because they sometimes carry them out.

  320. Friendly says

    Oh terrific, Dumbass is back. Hi, Dumbass.

    Because you know, we really all have to put people in their place like it’s a fucking roast. That is point of these threads, right?

    Judging by *your* contributions it is. You keep harping about this thread’s supposed lack of content, but you haven’t posted a single iota of on-topic content yet. Instead you’ve done absolutely nothing but bash other commenters.

    At least when you started, you were unintentionally funny. Since then, you’ve just been boring.

  321. Esteleth says

    Sweet jumpin’ Jebus, he’s been going on about lowlifes on YouTube all this time? And here I was trying to have an actual conversation with him!

    *pulls out six-pack of beer*

    Sally, Caine, can I offer you one?

  322. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    msironen:

    After linking Schroedinger’s Rapist? Have you read any other freethoughtblogs, like Dispatches, recently? The word “irony” have any meaning to you?

    1) I didn’t link to Schroedinger’s Rapist. It’s not all that hard to keep our ‘nyms straight.
    2) SR is about potential threat. Not surprisingly, your two brains cells* didn’t grasp that. And since you’re completely unwilling to listen, you never will understand the threat that we deal with all the fucking time.
    3) I don’t really give a good goddamn about other FtBs and what they’re saying over there. Dispatches has fuck all to do with this conversation.
    4) No links to relevant comments? Hey look, it didn’t happen!

    Caine:

    I think we need brownies…the special ones.

    I will not be partaking ‘cos I am full of beer. I’ll pass the brownie tray to the left.

    *You’ve got enough to rub together! Huzzah!

  323. Pteryxx says

    @msironen: I don’t suppose you read Schroedinger’s Rapist?

    If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.
    Fortunately, you’re a good guy. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the women with whom you interact feel as safe as possible.

    That link again: Schroedinger’s Rapist

  324. kerfluffle says

    Caine, I totally agree and should have made it more clear.

    Childcare should be considered for making events more inclusive for families of all sorts – nuclear, single moms, single dads, same-sex, and so forth. Not a “woman” thing.

  325. Sally Strange, OM says

    Esteleth, fuck yeah. Pass that over here.

    *pop*

    Ahhhh….

    Fuck, I wish I could hang around more.

    I have to get back to packing things into the car. Boyfriend’s moving out of state to a new job.

    No actually, it’s because I hate him. Because he’s a man. Amazing I kept my man-hatred a secret from him all these years. It’s my feminine wiles, you know. I’m devious that way.

  326. marta says

    “I’d rather caricature MRAs as having absurdly oversized penises than little ones. Like Priapus. They just can’t shut up about their penises. They can’t think about anything else. They can’t hear us because THEIR BONER IS TOO LOUD, as kristinc(?) once put it, to my eternal amusement.”

    Heh.

    You put it way better than I did.

  327. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Sally,

    I have to get back to packing things into the car. Boyfriend’s moving out of state to a new job.

    No actually, it’s because I hate him. Because he’s a man. Amazing I kept my man-hatred a secret from him all these years. It’s my feminine wiles, you know. I’m devious that way.

    Yeah, I’ve kind of been lying to Mr Darkheart for all of these years. He thinks I love him when all I want to do is emasculate him or accuse him of being a rapist or something.

  328. says

    @Sally Strange, OM

    You’re not making much sense, psychoticatheist.

    That’s possible. I am genuinely psychotic, so that happens quite a lot.

    You don’t want people to associate skepticism with misogyny. I think that’s what you’re trying to say. But ignoring misogyny doesn’t accomplish that.

    No, that’s not what I am saying. I’m saying we should deal with the actual misogyny in the skeptic community, by all means. But we should not appeal to anonymous youtube commentators (for example) as evidence of the terrible misogyny within the skeptic commmunity. Ludicrous trolls are common at youtube regardless of the topic, whether it is a guy singing a song, a cat falling off a chair or a feminist talking about sexism. They are an internet phenomenon, and we should callibrate our sensors to account for this when we look for evidence of misogyny in the skeptic community.

    This is really kind of callous, you know? Some women ARE put off by expressions of misogyny, because of past experiences or whatever.

    I’m not sure what is callous about accepting the fact that skeptics cannot eliminate internet trolls. Of course women are put off by expressions of misogyny, but I’m saying they should analyse the source of those expressions before concluding that there is a particular problem with the skeptic community.

    Also, it’s not about reasoning with them. It’s about excluding them. Making it clear that bigots who hate women aren’t welcome.

    I don’t disagree.

    So your position is being weakened even further.

    Not really, since it was never counter to what I was saying which is that we can address misogyny without allowing trolls to smear the skeptic community.

    No, you are wrong. They are problems in our culture. There’s no division between the internet and the culture. The internet is an expression of the culture.

    Sure, but I was talking about a sub-culture (skeptics) and saying that since the problem is about super-set of all culture (the whole internet) it is not a problem unique to the sub-culture (the skeptics) and that this should be kept in mind.

    You’ve revealed some sloppy thinking and failed to make a compelling case. I hope you consider these things and come back with something more well-thought-out.

    To be honest, I think people are thinking that I am saying something far more contentious than what I am actually saying.

    We shouldn’t lament about the state of the skeptic community when a phenomenon that affects all communities rears its ugly head. As skeptics, we should of course destroy the arguments that trolls might attempt to bring forward. For the benefit of the lurkers if nothing else.

    But we shouldn’t get outraged, appalled or upset about these things. That’s what the trolls are intending. We should, in my view at least, calmly and dispassionately destroy their points and move on without getting overly excited and essentially devolving into a flamewar.

  329. says

    Re Schrödinger’s Rapist. I made this analogy elsewhere.

    As a biker, both motorcycle and pedal, I get praised, if the subject comes up, by car-drivers, for my situational awareness. I’ve never had a car driver yet accuse me of insulting them by acting as if any particular car might just be the one that does something stupid and maims or kills me.

    Schrödinger’s Rapist says exactly the same thing, but about a different subject, and all of a sudden people ‘can’t understand’ it. Forgive me, but I see it more as ‘don’t want to acknowledge it’.

  330. John Morales says

    [meta]

    psychoticatheist:

    To be honest, I think people are thinking that I am saying something far more contentious than what I am actually saying.

    It’s OK, I don’t think all psychotics are dim just because you are.

    (You do realise you’re being quoted, no? :) )

    We should, in my view at least, calmly and dispassionately destroy their points and move on without getting overly excited and essentially devolving into a flamewar.

    In your Walter Mitty fantasies, you are a Vulcan, but we have yet to undergo the Kolinahr.

    (Gotcha)

  331. says

    After linking Schroedinger’s Rapist?

    Have you no pity for my poor fingers? Yes, I post a link to Schroedinger’s Rapist and I’ll keep doing it. I have explained and explained and explained and explained and explained and…well, you get the idea.

    Schroedinger’s Rapist does not say “all men are rapists”. What it does explain is why [primarily] women can not tell who may be a person who will rape. I can’t tell by looking at someone, can you? Do you think a rapist walks around with a fluorescent tattoo on their forehead? No?

    I am so sick of people like yourself assuming that Schroedinger’s Rapist is nothing except the single sentence “all men are rapists!” Do you have no reading comprehension? Are you afraid of understanding? Are you afraid of feeling empathy?

    Men are often victims of crimes like muggings. You could take Schroedinger’s Rapist and easily make it Schroedinger’s Mugger, the point being that a man cannot tell by looking what men will turn out to be a mugger.

    Were you around when I described what happened to me? This is what I wrote from another thread, however, it’s applicable here as well:

    When I was 16, I was leaving a social engagement and was walking to my car, at night. I was hit in the back of the head. When I regained consciousness, I was tied up and being raped. I was then beaten. Then I was raped again. Then I was beaten some more and repeatedly strangled. I was raped a few more times. I was cut several times by the knife my rapist was utilizing.

    I was lucky. I was one of three survivors of this person.

    Risk assessment and caution are a part of my life. To be told, repeatedly that for me to expect men to at least think about what women must do every day makes me hysterical, over-emotional, a castrating bitch, a pointless whiner, a cunt who wants to oppress men, etc., I don’t take it too well.

    Now, I don’t run around claiming all men are rapists. They aren’t. I know they aren’t. I have explained this to one asshole after another until I’m blue in the fingers. However, I do not think it’s asking too much for men to think of women as full human beings and act accordingly.

    I have taken the time to write out a thoughtful response to you, msironen, when you haven’t done anything to merit one, so I’d appreciate it, for once, if you actually read what I have written and think about it. Hard.

  332. Sally Strange, OM says

    we should not appeal to anonymous youtube commentators (for example) as evidence of the terrible misogyny within the skeptic commmunity

    Nobody was doing this. As I said, you’ve lost the plot.

  333. msironen says

    Too dishonest to admit that “potential rapist” and “actual rapist” are two different things.

    Actually the dishonest thing is to invent such a thing as a “potential rapist” in the first place.

    SR is about potential threat.

    So… what exactly is the lesson I’m supposed to take home from it? Don’t hide in the bushes, because a woman might think you’re hiding there in order to rape her?

    Oh I know, when one of my buddies make a rape joke next time (which, basically, happens ALL THE TIME CAUSE WE’RE ALL RAPISTS) I’ll know to tell him “that’s not cool” (even though I’m a rapist too, even if not actual YET (=potential)).

  334. Dumbass says

    Oy, what the hell happened to the numbering system? Anywhoo:

    #15 (the 2nd?)
    Friendly says:
    1 October 2011 at 12:14 am

    “Last night Dumbass accused me of poking fun rather than staying on topic. On that one point [h]e was correct; I wanted to post something substantive but I was way too tired. Since this thread is still going, I’m gonna try now; I apologize in advance for how lengthy this is liable to be.”

    Dude, don’t apologize for actually taking the time to write! Your post is *exactly* the type of thing I was arguing for all along! Sadly, even when I mention the lack of good posts, when I point out people spend far too much time on shit like arguing with people about tone / roasting them, instead of more acknowledgements of my common sense point, I get THIS in response:

    “John Morales says:
    1 October 2011 at 12:58 am

    Aptly-named Dumbass:

    You sure like to delude yourself.

    No, you can’t.

    (Hint: pitiable ≠ sarcastic)”

    Good Job John. Either you absolutely, positively suck at fighting the good fight, or you are one of those assholes who comes on here for sport and fills up the thread with useless shit. Either way, you’re being counterproductive. Not because of tone, because you post off-topic shit. So maybe, I don’t know, stop doing that? Maybe go find Friendly’s post (the second #15), or someone else’s where something useful is said, and respond to that? If you want to help people, to enlighten, to raise consciousness, don’t make it a chore for people to sift through a bloated mess of shit. I am frankly out of time now, can’t respond to Friendly at the moment, since it took so long to catch up reading from yesterday. Which would be ok if most of it was good, but 90% of it was garbage.

  335. says

    @Esteleth

    I’m going to bed now, so you have the ‘honour’ of my last post on this (I was going to leave it sooner, but you’ve been incredibally patient and even tempered so I feel you deserve an answer to your question)

    You’re assuming that the over-the-top asshole Type 2 trolls aren’t skeptics, don’t identify as skeptics, and aren’t pro-skepticism.

    Nope. I’m not talking about Type 2 trolls at all. They could be skeptics for all I know, they are irrelevant to the point I was raising, which was about how we should handle Type 1 trolls.

    As far as I can tell, you are male.

    That’s right.

    You are being told by a group of women, “Hey, this hurts” and your response, as a man, is to say, “Yeah, but it doesn’t matter! Also, you should get a thicker skin.”

    As a self-proclaimed feminist, does that not strike you as a bit problematic?

    Well naturally, if you are getting hurt by Type 1 trolls, and you intend to hang around the internet, then you do need a thicker skin. They ain’t going away, and the more you get upset by them, the more you post in an upset manner about them, the more they will keep coming and the more they will upset other people. Even if you leave the skeptic movement, but stay on the internet you will have to deal with Type 1 trolls. They are basically everywhere.

    But that’s not really what I am actually saying in any case. My main point was that we shouldn’t lament the state of the skeptic community based on the actions of trolls who affect all communities in basically equal measure.

  336. Friendly says

    I’m not sure what is callous about accepting the fact that skeptics cannot eliminate internet trolls.

    Skeptical powers, activate!

    I fail to believe psychoticatheist!!

    [blinks]

    Looks like xe’s still here.

    I guess skeptics *can’t* eliminate Internet trolls.

  337. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Caine –

    thanks for the info…

    It’s not that I couldn’t see trolling elements in what he was saying, but I didn’t know him & didn’t want him to think that pharyngula (or feminists) haven’t considered what is, in its genuine form, a serious question.

    I feel perfectly comfortable with “troll, f* off” if I’ve had enough experience w/ them to know they’re a true troll and not just defensive. A *lot* of sexist guys that will act better when they know better are indistinguishable from trolls.

    Plus, there are probably some people reading but not commenting that might see a kernel of an important issue in there.

    So, anyway, …Just trying to use my horde powers “justly & gently”. But knowing he’s proved himself a jerk obviates any need for me to actually try to answer him, so, again, thanks.

    …….

    To all the other atheists out there who still wander into temple come high holies, or try to observe the spirit of shabbos ‘cuz it’s good for your mental health, thought I’d put in my happies & shaloms.

    Okay, with no one to respond to right now, guess I get to make some popcorn, catch up from the last few hours & relax a bit. Try to set an example for my dog who really, really needs to mellow the f* out just now.

  338. Amphigorey says

    Nah, psychoticatheist. We should point and laugh and mock the trolls. That’s the way to get them to shut up, not calmly and dispassionately disproving their points – which is basically impossible anyway, because they don’t have “points” as such.

    Also, still waiting on msironen to elucidate what, exactly, is wrong with feminism. I’m thinking it’s long odds that xe will actually reply with something substantive.

  339. says

    we should not appeal to anonymous youtube commentators (for example) as evidence of the terrible misogyny within the skeptic commmunity

    We aren’t and never did, you flaming idiot. You are the one denying reality and bringing up youtube morons.

  340. Esteleth says


    Uh.

    Does anyone have any idea what psychoticatheist’s point was? Like, at all?

    *is confused*

    Relatedly: does anyone know how to turn off the autocorrect in the comment box?

  341. Esteleth says

    But Friendly! He just said that he’s leaving!

    Now, let’s see if he sticks the flounce.

  342. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Plus, there are probably some people reading but not commenting that might see a kernel of an important issue in there.

    Yeah, I know. I was just much more thoughtful and civil to msironen than xe deserves. Can’t help attempting to educate.

  343. Waffler, Dunwich MA says

    msironen

    (even though I’m a rapist too, even if not actual YET (=potential))

    You’re really not very bright, are you?

  344. Pteryxx says

    Actually the dishonest thing is to invent such a thing as a “potential rapist” in the first place.

    Be sure and tell that to the cops, lawyers, juries, and media who go “Why did she let that guy get her alone anyway? Didn’t she KNOW what might happen??”

  345. John Morales says

    Dumbass, you want on-topic?

    Here:

    Rebecca Watson has my support as an appreciated and valuable member of the skeptical community, who has made many contributions and has also been an entertaining and informative face for skepticism.

    I whole-heartedly endorse this.

    (Do you?)

    Who would have imagined a mild admonition to “guys, don’t do that” would turn into months of seething hatred and demonization? As she documents, there are whole sites and ongoing threads dedicated to trashing her and anyone associated with her.

    This is an indisputable statement of fact.

    (Do you dispute it?)

  346. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    So… what exactly is the lesson I’m supposed to take home from it?

    It looks like you’re basically admitting that you didn’t read the piece. Good show!

    (even though I’m a rapist too, even if not actual YET (=potential))

    What dictionary are you using that lists “potential threat” and “rapist” as synonymous?

    The point is that we can’t know who is or is not a threat, so don’t act like a fucking threat. Why is this so fucking difficult?

    I’m disappointed that you still haven’t coughed up any links. Has no one expressly stated that all men are rapists? I’m shocked that you would distort the truth like that!

    By the by: Which bits of feminism do you disagree with specifically?

  347. msironen says

    Caine:

    You don’t think that makes me sick to my stomach? Am I some kind of sociopath that must be shamed by association (by gender?) for you to prove your point?

  348. Sally Strange, OM says

    # of Dumbass’ posts on the topic at hand: 0

    # of Dumbass’ posts haranguing other people for not staying on topic: a couple of dozen by now?

    Fuck off, you flaming hypocrite. We WERE having a productive discussion here.

    And there’s msironen, lying some more, because that’s how he HAS to roll, as an MRA:

    Actually the dishonest thing is to invent such a thing as a “potential rapist” in the first place.

    Potential (adj.)\pə-ˈten(t)-shəl\

    1: existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality

    2: expressing possibility; specifically : of, relating to, or constituting a verb phrase expressing possibility, liberty, or power by the use of an auxiliary with the infinitive of the verb (as in “it may rain”)

    Claiming that the word potential means something other than what the dictionary says it means is not a very convincing way to persuade people that you’re not full of shit.

    SR is about potential threat.

    So… what exactly is the lesson I’m supposed to take home from it?

    Try actually reading it. The answer to that question is pretty clearly spelled out.

    Don’t hide in the bushes, because a woman might think you’re hiding there in order to rape her?

    Probably a good idea, yes. But not the message of SR. Further proof that you never actually read it, just decided that its main message is that all men are rapists.

    Oh I know, when one of my buddies make a rape joke next time (which, basically, happens ALL THE TIME CAUSE WE’RE ALL RAPISTS) I’ll know to tell him “that’s not cool” (even though I’m a rapist too, even if not actual YET (=potential)).

    That would be a good idea, yes. Tell your buddies that rape jokes aren’t cool. Is that really such a big problem for you? But again, telling your friends to knock off the rape jokes was also not the main thrust of SR.

    You really should try reading it. Or, if you refuse to read it, avoid criticizing it in public. It just makes you look like a willfully uninformed, lying ass.

  349. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Am I some kind of sociopath

    Far as I’m concerned, that’s more the question you should be asking, and you should be genuinely concerned about the answer. I know I am.

    A more charitable interpretation: you’re an obtuse and stupid fuck who ought to go read a thing before kvetching about what it says. And if you don’t understand something, ask fucking questions, don’t just go asserting it says whatever you fucking want it to.

  350. msironen says

    Be sure and tell that to the cops, lawyers, juries, and media who go “Why did she let that guy get her alone anyway? Didn’t she KNOW what might happen??”

    Wow, did you just invent the inverse “slut”-defense?

  351. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Esteleth,

    does anyone know how to turn off the autocorrect in the comment box?

    Spellchecking is browser-based, not site-based.

    (If you’re on FireFox, all you need to do is disable the dictionary feature)

  352. says

    Esteleth

    I think your auto-correct might be a browser-feature or a spellcheck plug-in of some sort.

    I have Phrase Express installed, which made some weird auto-corrections, ’til I deleted the ones I didn’t want.

  353. Esteleth says

    Msironen. Let me put this in simple words for you.

    How does someone know that someone else is a rapist? Simple. When that someone else rapes.

    Who is a potential rapist? Everyone. Everyone has the capability to rape.

    How does someone know that someone else is not a rapist? They cannot. A preponderance of evidence to someone’s non-rapist tendencies can be assessed, but that requires extensive knowledge of the person. But, as everyone (you, me, Waffler, PZ, etc) is CAPABLE of rape, believing that someone will not rape requires, you guessed it, believing it. Which requires knowledge.

    The point of the Schrödinger’s Rapist essay is that it is IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW if the person you are just now meeting will turn out to be rapist or not.

    And since the majority of rapes are committed by men against women – and approximately 25% of women will be raped in their lifetimes – women must, for their own safety and wellbeing, constantly assess the rapist tendencies of men.

    Simple as that.

  354. Amphigorey says

    So… what exactly is the lesson I’m supposed to take home from it? Don’t hide in the bushes, because a woman might think you’re hiding there in order to rape her?

    Oh I know, when one of my buddies make a rape joke next time (which, basically, happens ALL THE TIME CAUSE WE’RE ALL RAPISTS) I’ll know to tell him “that’s not cool”

    Well… yes, those are both good lessons. Please don’t hide in bushes, because it might freak people out. And when your buddies make rape jokes, please tell them not to. This is basic human decency.

    Another lesson – indeed, the basic premise – is to not get offended if a woman doesn’t immediately trust you. You are not entitled to her trust. You’d think this would be obvious, but given how many men have been deeply offended by the notion that women might not find them immediately and thoroughly trustworthy, it’s apparently not obvious.

    Look, if I’m dining alone at a restaurant, I’ll take my wallet with me when I go to use the restroom. Doing so doesn’t mean I’m accusing all the other diners of being thieves or potential thieves; it means I’m being sensible and exercising due caution. I can’t imagine anyone, upon seeing that I’ve chosen not to leave my wallet on the table, leaping up and getting all offended that I thought they might be a thief. Yet this is exactly what you are doing when you say that SR is offensive to men. Do you really think that taking my wallet with me is offensive to the other people in the restaurant? If not, then neither is SR offensive.

    Read Daz’s excellent biker/car analogy again if you don’t like my restaurant/wallet one.

    (I can’t believe we have to go over this AGAIN. Oh well, into the fray once more.)

  355. says

    Well, I see I typed my fingers blue again for no reason whatsoever.

    Hey Dumbass! See what good being all civil and thoughtful does? Gets the same idiocy vomited all over your shoes again. Yeah, that’s just totally worth the effort of being all civil and thoughtful.

    :eyeroll:

  356. Sally Strange, OM says

    Psychoatheist is contradicting his own self, right in this very sentence:

    My main point was that we shouldn’t lament the state of the skeptic community based on the actions of trolls who affect all communities in basically equal measure.

    If the trolls are affecting all communities in equal measure, and the effect is lamentable, then presumably the effect on the skeptic community is also lamentable. QED.

  357. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Wow, did you just invent the inverse “slut”-defense?

    I was going to ask, rhetorically, just how stupid you are.
    Thanks to you, that question is now superfluous. As are my typical patient, careful explanations.

    I need some fucking chocolate.

  358. Esteleth says

    [OT]
    Aha! I figured out how to turn off the autocorrect. Seems that I just had to Control-click and when the little menu popped up uncheck “Correct Spelling Automatically.”

    Woohoo!

    *hands Classical Cipher a mug of hot chocolate*

  359. says

    Classical Cipher:

    I need some fucking chocolate.

    I have a jar of Nutella. We can share. You would not believe how much I’d like a drink right now. Curse those stupid, dense, willfully ignorant, asshole MRAs for breaking my pancreas.

  360. Sally Strange, OM says

    Metaphorical chocolate, and hugs if you want them, are coming your way, Classical Cipher!

    msironen is just a liar. That’s all I’ve ever seen him do, is lie about feminism. Like I said, misogynists who value social status can’t just come out and say that they think that bitches ain’t shit, so they have to lie about feminism to make their views seem (to some people who are very dull-witted, anyway) more respectable.

  361. Waffler, Dunwich MA says

    (I can’t believe we have to go over this AGAIN. Oh well, into the fray once more.)

    I’m pretty sure this particular individual’s obtuseness is intentional. ‘Uncertainty’ – not a difficult concept.

  362. msironen says

    The point is that we can’t know who is or is not a threat, so don’t act like a fucking threat. Why is this so fucking difficult?

    Yeah, and you can’t know which of those damn brown people are terrorists so it’s best all brown people refrain from using airplanes OWAITIFORGOTTHISISTOTALLYDIFFERENT.

    You really should try reading it. Or, if you refuse to read it, avoid criticizing it in public. It just makes you look like a willfully uninformed, lying ass.

    I have read it, in fact. To me it reads like laugh/funny piece of dear-murderers-read-this-before-murdering until I realized how fucked up it would read if you prepend all male references by “black” or “hispanic” or some such.

  363. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What do you think I am dismissing, exactly?

    Intelligence and cogency. You are nothing but a mealy mouthed apologist, who needs to apologize to the blog for his idiocy, and shut the fuck up. That is what you need to do. Are you adult enough to do it? It know you aren’t.

    That’s possible. I am genuinely psychotic, so that happens quite a lot.

    Then shut the fuck up.

    But we should not appeal to anonymous youtube commentators (for example) as evidence of the terrible misogyny within the skeptic commmunity.

    Who cares what somebody who should shut the fuck up thinks? You should have shut the fuck up a day ago, and you are doing nothing but repeating your prior idiocy. Time to shut the fuck up, as you are adding nothing. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Nothing.

    But we shouldn’t get outraged, appalled or upset about these things

    No, we should be, just like you should be. What a fuckwitted idjit. You have nothing cogent to say, which was obvious after your first ten posts, but you can’t shut the fuck, like some creobot loser.

    My main point was that we shouldn’t lament the state of the skeptic community based on the actions of trolls who affect all communities in basically equal measure.

    No, you are apologizing for the fuckiwtted trolls, making yourself a fuckwitted troll without a point. Your overblown ego is why you will not see, just like all the MRA shitheads.

    Actually the dishonest thing is to invent such a thing as a “potential rapist” in the first place.

    That isn’t an invention, but reality. What a fuckwitted idjit, and liar and bullshitter. Loser writ large with every lying word.

  364. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Amphigorey,

    (I can’t believe we have to go over this AGAIN. Oh well, into the fray once more.)

    Welcome to Pharyngula! ;)

    (In time, you too will become jaded)

  365. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Yeah, and you can’t know which of those damn brown people are terrorists so it’s best all brown people refrain from using airplanes OWAITIFORGOTTHISISTOTALLYDIFFERENT.

    Yeah. It really fucking is. I, personally, my own self, know two men who are rapists. For sure. Not potential rapists – real rapists. 1 out of every 6 women is damn sure about at least one man. How may brown people do you know who fly planes into buildings?

  366. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Also, thanks for the chocolate, dear friends. Caine, you’ve happily reminded me that I, too, have some Nutella. It’s at home and I’m not there yet, but SOON. NUTELLA.

  367. Waffler, Dunwich MA says

    Yeah, and you can’t know which of those damn brown people are terrorists

    Idiot – we can’t tell which one, of all those people getting on the airplane, is going to be a terrorist. That’s why we all go through the metal detectors. Because it is uncertain. Dimwit.

  368. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Yeah, and you can’t know which of those damn brown people are terrorists so it’s best all brown people refrain from using airplanes OWAITIFORGOTTHISISTOTALLYDIFFERENT.

    Jesus Christ, you act like I haven’t seen this argument before.

    An apt comparison would be if one “of those damn brown people” was worried about being racially profiled and being arrested with no due cause.

    But I expect that point to go whoooooshing! right over your head.

    To me it reads like laugh/funny piece of dear-murderers-read-this-before-murdering until I realized how fucked up it would read if you prepend all male references by “black” or “hispanic” or some such.

    You’re looking at it exactly backwards. It is the less privileged person’s point of view, not someone who is oozing privilege like a bad case of acne.

  369. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ #34 – Dr. Audley:

    Oh sweet hopping Jesus. Dogmatic people are extremely resistant to learning– I’ve never met another feminist who wasn’t willing to learn from other people’s experiences.

    Really? Or you just never met a feminist who wasn’t willing to learn from **some** other people’s experiences?

    Speaking from inside feminism, and as having been in the trenches for 15+ years, I can tell you that there are fantastically huge numbers of white feminists who don’t trust what women of color (or men of color for that matter) say about racism….if what they say has even the tiniest chance of implicating them in said racism.

    And then there’s trans liberation. I don’t know a feminist who didn’t go through more than a year of being a complete jerkwad on trans issues. Many of them are still racking up time after having been condemning trans people since the 70s. Mary Daly was a jerk in public right up til the bitter end (I know one person has made the claim that Daly was privately reconsidering some of her views and that this person considered her an ally on trans issues before she died, but she hadn’t so much as put out a statement that it wasn’t particularly nice to wish violent death on transsexual women as she had done in her published writing and in public lectures…much less say a single public word in favor of social change needed to increase trans safety).

    Trans people are the folk many feminists love to hate. Others think that we’re oh-so-sexy, but won’t use our chosen pronouns & berate us for betraying feminism if we don’t dutifully sex them up while allowing them to call us any gendered thing with which they feel comfortable.

    Feminism has done a lot of great things.

    Feminists are human beings. We don’t deserve the man-hating rap we’ve got (especially the lesbians, the most man-hating stuff I’ve ever heard is from straight women who wouldn’t dare call themselves feminists) but we do not deserve the sunshine you’re trying to send our way. Feminists have done plenty of refusing to listen.

  370. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Oh, and just to drive home the point a little harder for the folks at home, I didn’t know they were rapists before they did that whole, you know, raping me thing. One of them was possibly the most trustworthy-seeming person I’ve ever met – I’d known him for literally years, and trusted him so profoundly that to say “I’d trust him with my life” sounds painfully shallow. I loved him. Sue me if I’m not willing to assume that some random guy on the street is safe and decent, when my best friend wasn’t.

  371. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I must have my priorities all fucked up, not unlike Dawkins who had the audacity of thinking providing childcare services was more important than apologizing to Watson.

    Not an either/or situation.

    Also, women who have bought into sexism as being normal can indulge in mansplainin’ too.

    Mansplainin’ by proxy.

    msironen: Too dishonest to admit that “potential rapist” and “actual rapist” are two different things.

    We know that they are two different things, but they…don’t…come…fuckin’…labelled. You can’t tell which you’re dealing with until, metaphorically speaking, the the wave function collapses and you are raped/not-raped.

    This isn’t hard to understand.

    psychoticatheist, internect trolls aren’t as easily identified as you seem to think. Are you familiar with Poe’s Law? Just because a hate-filled screed seems completely over the top, doesn’t mean that the person writing it might not be writing in all sincerity. If you check the Wikipedia entry I’ve linked, and scroll down a bit, you’ll see

    “A further corollary, the Poe Paradox, results from suspicion of the first corollary. The paradox is that any new person or idea sufficiently extreme to be accepted by the extremist group risks being rejected as a parody or parodist.”

    This applies to misogynistic comments/commenters just as well as it does to fundamentalist ones. If you can’t identify ‘em, you can’t exclude them; and again, if there wasn’t a raw spot for them to poke at, they wouldn’t be poking at it; they’d look for some other spot to poke to provoke a response, instead.
    -

  372. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    msironen:
    Which feminist arguments do you disagree with and why? (Try to leave the straw people alone this time.) Can you even articulate that?

    Where has anyone said that “all men are rapists”? Links and quotes, not just assertions.

  373. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Crip Dyke:
    I was only speaking of my own experiences and I apologize– I shouldn’t have tried to make feminists/feminism sound like it’s all sunshine and roses.

  374. msironen says

    Far as I’m concerned, that’s more the question you should be asking, and you should be genuinely concerned about the answer. I know I am.

    Now, if I was locked up in some criminal facility, that would be a fair assessment to make. But it happens that I’m a rather completely normally functioning member of society. Now, we can ask if I (and many, many like me) am somehow extra super good at faking it, or maybe your criteria of a sociopath is COMPLETELY FUCKED UP? Now mind you, I could be a complete sociopath. But what does your rational sense say?

    The point of the Schrödinger’s Rapist essay is that it is IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW if the person you are just now meeting will turn out to be rapist or not.

    It’s IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW ANY FUCKING NUMBER OF THINGS. ODDLY ENOUGH THIS ONLY CATCHES ATTENTION WHEN THE POTENTIAL PERPETRATOR BELONGS TO CERTAIN GENDER. ONE MIGHT EVEN CONCLUDE THAT THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON HERE.

    And since the majority of rapes are committed by men against women – and approximately 25% of women will be raped in their lifetimes – women must, for their own safety and wellbeing, constantly assess the rapist tendencies of men.

    Even conceding those bullshit statistic, it’s still like accusing one man of being gay in 10-man lifeboat.

  375. Esteleth says

    Crip Dyke,
    I agree with you. Feminism has failed in the past, has failed today, and will likely fail tomorrow.

    It fails lesbian and bisexual women. It fails women of color. It fails the disabled, the trans, the poor, it fails people who like to have lots of sex and people who don’t like to have sex at all.

    That’s why it needs to be made better. Because it can be made better. It must be made better – ’cause really, what’s the fucking alternative?

  376. Pteryxx says

    Trans people are the folk many feminists love to hate. Others think that we’re oh-so-sexy, but won’t use our chosen pronouns & berate us for betraying feminism if we don’t dutifully sex them up while allowing them to call us any gendered thing with which they feel comfortable.

    …what the… frickin… GAAAH.

    I must be lucky not to have seen this crap yet. I assume it looks a lot like these threads here, just with floods of … of… what, Cis Rights Apologists?

  377. amphiox says

    But we should not appeal to anonymous youtube commentators (for example) as evidence of the terrible misogyny within the skeptic commmunity.

    No we’re not.

    We’re appealing to the many long and active discussion threads on skeptic blogs, such as this one, invariably the longest and most active threads, even on very active blogs like Pharyngyla, which are filled with misogynistic comments, like yours, by unapologetically misogynistic commenters, like you, as evidence of the terrible misogyny within the skeptic community.

  378. says

    CC:

    I, personally, my own self, know two men who are rapists. For sure. Not potential rapists – real rapists.

    I, personally, my own self, know 5 men who are rapists. For sure. Not potential rapists – real rapists.

    Rapist #1, the one who raped me. In prison for life, however, the life sentence was for the murders, not the rapes. He has served 37 years so far.

    Rapist #2, a neighbourhood man in SLC, he assaulted and raped my friend and neighbour who lived across the street from me. He often harassed and threatened women in the neighbourhood. I went with my friend in the back of a police car to identify him. After his arrest, his lawyer came to talk to people in the neighbourhood. After talking with me, the man in question plead out and was sentenced to 6 years. He was out in one year.

    Rapist #3, a man I met briefly, someone a friend of mine was dating. She wanted to go slowly and made that very clear to this man before they started dating. She was raped on the 4th date. He did not go to trial and received no punishment whatsoever.

    Rapist #4, lather, rinse, repeat of Rapist #3, different friend and different man, except the rape took place on the 1st date. Same result.

    Rapist #5, a neighbourhood man in SoCal, known as friendly and helpful. A friend of mine, a single father, took this man up on his offer to babysit his 7 year old. The friendly, helpful man beat, tortured and repeatedly raped his 7 year old child, who happened to be a boy. The man was arrested, went to trial and received 40 years with the possibility of parole.

  379. Sally Strange, OM says

    Yeah, thanks for that, Crip Dyke. Everyone experiences resistance to learning about one thing or another.

    Except ME, of course. ;)

  380. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    ODDLY ENOUGH THIS ONLY CATCHES ATTENTION WHEN THE POTENTIAL PERPETRATOR BELONGS TO CERTAIN GENDER. ONE MIGHT EVEN CONCLUDE THAT THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON HERE.

    Everyday, pretty much everybody do things to mitigate risks. Do you ride around in you car with the airbags disabled and no seat belts? Do you lock up your house when you’re not home? Do you look both ways when you cross the street? When you walk around at night are you wary of being mugged?

    How dare you.

  381. taiki says

    Everytime I see sexism debated I want to put a gun in my mouth and fire.

    Skeptics stop being skeptics. Rationalism? Gone! “Don’t be a dick? What is that, the tone argument?” “What, you mean I don’t have the right to shove my phallus into anything that’s vaguely warm?”

    Yes, I agree with the feminist position, but, I’m tired of seeing the same threads play out over and over. Either we need new ways of communicating with these people or figure out if they’re simply just never going to get it and start publicly flogging misogynists at conferences like TAM and NECSS and save ourselves a lot of time and energy.

  382. Esteleth says

    Pteryxx,
    Close, but not quite. A lot of the anti-trans people reject, with equal (if not more) vehemence the term “cis.”
    Y’see, “cis” is opposite of “trans.” They won’t let themselves be defined by the ZOMG TRANS.
    They tend to prefer terms like “real,” “woman born woman” (frequently abbreviated WBW) or just “woman,” ’cause no prefix is needed.
    But you’re right, they tend to be steaming shitpiles.

  383. says

    msironen

    If you had a 1:6 chance of being raped by a member of a particular gender, what kind of measures would you take to avoid it happening, or to at least increase the odds?

    It’s really that fucking simple. Your continued ‘not getting it’ looks amazingly like ‘not wanting to acknowledge the problem’.

  384. Sally Strange, OM says

    Do you ride around in you car with the airbags disabled and no seat belts?

    =accusing all drivers of being bad drivers or drunk drivers, according to msironen

    Do you lock up your house when you’re not home?

    =accusing all your neighbors of being thieves, according to msironen

    Do you look both ways when you cross the street?

    =accusing all drivers of being idiots/drunk drivers, according to msironen

    When you walk around at night are you wary of being mugged?

    =accusing all the members of your community of being violent criminals, according to msironen

  385. Sally Strange, OM says

    Everytime I see sexism debated I want to put a gun in my mouth and fire.

    Are you male? Because honestly, if just debating sexism makes you suicidal, then experiencing it personally on a regular basis would definitely be overwhelming for you.

  386. amphiox says

    Now, if I was locked up in some criminal facility, that would be a fair assessment to make.

    There are more sociopathic individuals outside of criminal facilities and inside of them, you know.

    But it happens that I’m a rather completely normally functioning member of society.

    Which society is this of which you speak? Maybe out there in physical life you really are a completely normal nice polite and respectful person.

    But here, on-line, in this virtual society, you are what you write.

    And we will judge you by what you write.

    Yeah, and you can’t know which of those damn brown people are terrorists so it’s best all brown people refrain from using airplanes OWAITIFORGOTTHISISTOTALLYDIFFERENT.

    Actually, it is almost identifical, but for one difference.

    That difference is this: in a world where not making all brown people refrain from using airplanes would actually significantly increase the number of people of all colours dying in horrible terrorist attacks on airplanes, then it really would be necessary, and justified, for airplane passengers to look at brown people and worry that they might be Shrodinger’s terrorists, and think about whether or not to give up their seats and not board airplanes if they see a brown person waiting to get on the same plane. It would be sad, and unfortunate. But it would be necessary.

    But this hypothetical world does not exist, racist right-wing propaganda notwithstanding. Brown people are NOT more likely than any other people to be terrorists. There are NOT systemic cultural biases that encourage, excuse, and reward brown people for being terrorists

    However, the world in which men really ARE more likely to be rapists, where systemic cultural biases REALLY DO encourage, excuse, and reward men for being rapists, IS REAL. We live in it. And so women HAVE to think about Schrodinger’s rapist. It’s not a good thing that they have to. It’s a sad, unfortunate thing. A thing that makes me angry just to think about.

    But it is necessary.

  387. Pteryxx says

    Everyday, pretty much everybody do things to mitigate risks. Do you ride around in you car with the airbags disabled and no seat belts? Do you lock up your house when you’re not home? Do you look both ways when you cross the street? When you walk around at night are you wary of being mugged?

    Ooh, can I play? @msironen should give me ‘eir credit card number, and the date and security code and everything, because I’m asking politely and I’m so nice about asking. And if ‘e doesn’t, ‘e HATES ALL DINOBIRDS AND THINKS WE’RE ALL FILTHY THIEVES!

    hides the definition of ‘raptor’

  388. msironen says

    “If you had a 1:6 chance of being raped by a member of a particular gender, what kind of measures would you take to avoid it happening, or to at least increase the odds?”

    = accusing me of rolling a d6 dice everytime I pass some by and attempting to rape them on a 6.

  389. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Dr. Audley -133
    You’re welcome. Pass the cookies.

    @Esteleth – 135
    I’m totally with you. I hope I didn’t say anything to make you think I wasn’t (hint: the we was there for a reason if you weren’t sure)

    and then..

    @Sally -139

    bwurfff-buahahahahaha
    you owe me a keyboard!

  390. says

    Crip Dyke:

    And then there’s trans liberation. I don’t know a feminist who didn’t go through more than a year of being a complete jerkwad on trans issues.

    Well, you know at least one now. I’ve been an activist feminist for well over 30 years. I read Christine Jorgensen’s autobiography when I was 9 years old and felt extremely empathetic towards her. I’ve been active in fighting for GLBTI rights for almost all my life, especially as I realized I was definitely bisexual by the time I was 10 years old.

    A lot of feminists have been right assholes over the years, however, there’s a fair amount of them who have not.

    I do know what you’re talking about, however. One of the most ferocious, ongoing arguments in my life was with another woman who resented and disliked any and all male to female trans people because they “hadn’t paid their dues” (read: you didn’t have a period all your life!) and just did it to have the “fun stuff” of being a woman, like painting their nails and buying clothes.

  391. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Esteleth:

    Does anyone have any idea what psychoticatheist’s point was? Like, at all?

    Near as I can tell, “Trolls are not members of the skeptic community, and you cannot draw conclusions about the skeptic community based on their behaviors”. I’m unsure whether or not there’s also a bit of “Skeptics are not members of the troll community” involved. In any case, he seems to find positive identification of trolls a great deal easier than I think most of us find to be the case.

    Be sure and tell that to the cops, lawyers, juries, and media who go “Why did she let that guy get her alone anyway? Didn’t she KNOW what might happen??”

    Wow, did you just invent the inverse “slut”-defense?

    What is this “just invent” bullshit? “She must have led him on.” “What did she expect, dressed like that?” “She really must have wanted it, or she would never have gone to that party; this is just “buyer’s remorse”.” Cops, lawyers, juries, media, friends, families, religious co-congregants….this meme is so very old, and such a community knee-jerk response, it hardly needs to be pointed out. Surely you haven’t drifted through the world so blind and deaf to such commonplaces as never to have heard them?
    -

  392. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    msironen:
    Come on, dude. All I’m asking for is where you disagree with feminism. It’s not that hard, is it?

    Links to where someone said that “all men are rapists” would also be appreciated.

    = accusing me of rolling a d6 dice everytime I pass some by and attempting to rape them on a 6.

    No one is saying that. What we’re saying is that we have no way to judge what your intentions are. If there was a 1:6 chance that you will be murdered, wouldn’t you try to protect yourself and speak up about the potential threat whenever you could?

    But go on, continue to make light of rape stats to boost your ego. It’s sooooooo endearing.

  393. Pteryxx says

    @Esteleth, thanks. I hope I’m in the process of becoming a feminist-ish thing who isn’t a jerk about trans issues, but I don’t know much about it yet. I don’t suppose there’s some sort of “CisBoobz” site to make fun of trans-haters?

  394. says

    msironen

    Would you like to answer the question now?

    Fact: 1 in 6 women in the U.S. are raped at some time in their lives, by a man.

    If you were in that situation, what means of risk-assessment/avoidance would you take, given that you have no way of telling which men are intent on rape, but knowing that a large proportion are?

  395. says

    Taiki:

    Yes, I agree with the feminist position, but, I’m tired of seeing the same threads play out over and over.

    Goodness me, I’m ever so fucking sorry. Do you think we aren’t tired? You know, this issue did not start with Egate. We have been discussing these issues and fighting the good fight for a helluva lot longer than the last few months.

    If you don’t want to fight, then don’t. However, don’t bother us with your whining about how tired you are.

    If you really want to stick a gun in your mouth, you need to seek out professional help. This isn’t a mental health clinic. If you were just using hyperbole, then lose it. Too many people who have been raped and assaulted don’t manage to cope and actually kill themselves.

  396. John Morales says

    taiki:

    Either we need new ways of communicating with these people or figure out if they’re simply just never going to get it

    False dichotomy.

    (Rome was not built in a day; your despair is premature)

  397. says

    Daz:

    Fact: 1 in 6 women in the U.S. are raped at some time in their lives, by a man.

    Well, we did have that Chassoto person (Audley will remember that one) who told us it was like Russian Roulette and we women should be absolutely thrilled and happy that there weren’t actually 6 bullets in the gun and because of that we shouldn’t be concerned in the least about the possibility of being raped and taking precautions really, really weren’t necessary.

  398. amphiox says

    For these MRAs who are supposedly skeptics, let me frame(!) the Schrodinger’s Rapist issue in words and concepts skeptics should understand.

    The idea that it is unfair for an innocent man to be automatically assumed to be a potential rapist? That is an “ought”.

    The fact that a woman has to consider any male she interacts with as a potential rapist for the sake of safety and self-preservation? That is an “is”.

    And “is” =/= “ought”.

    Do women like thinking of any and all the men they meet, their brothers, fathers, lovers, colleagues, acquaintances, and friends, as potential rapists?

    Do woman want to have to choose between being eternally suspicious of all the men in their lives and substantially reducing her own likelihood of living safely to old age?

    And why do women have to do this? Why IS the “is”?

    Because of the ingrained, systemic sexism that pervades this culture, that encourages, condones, excuses or ignores the rapists, that blames the victims, that puts the responsibility for self-protection entirely on the potential victims, that makes no concerted attempts to effectively deter the potential perpetrators, and because of the concerted, continuous actions of the self-proclaimed “MRA”s who shout down anyone who speaks up against the status quo.

    You don’t like being regarded constantly as a Schrodinger’s Rapist? Then help create a society where women do not have to be afraid to walk alone at night.

  399. Esteleth says

    accusing me of rolling a d6 dice everytime I pass some by and attempting to rape them on a 6.

    Actually, no.
    A study done not long ago (McWhorter, Violence and Victims, Vol, 24, No. 2, 2009) found that, actually, over 90% of rapes are committed by less than 10% of men. Oh, and 75% of rapes are perpetrated against people the rapist knows.

    Think about this. You meet a new woman. She doesn’t know if you fall into that 10% of men. She also doesn’t know if you fall into the other 90% that still commit the other 10% of rapes. A woman that you’ve known for 30 years doesn’t know if she’s going to be in that 75% – or if you’re the man whose going to put her in that category.

    Until you rape, or one of you dies without being raped or a rapist, it is impossible to know. Yes, many things in life are inherently unknowable. But did the statistic I quoted above – that about 25% of women will be raped in their lifetimes – mean anything to you?

    25% of women will be raped.
    Of that 25%, 75% (or 18.75% of all women) will be raped by someone they know.
    Of that 25%, 90% (or 22.5% of all women) will be raped by one of just 10% of the men. That means, statistically speaking, that each of those 10% of men will rape AT LEAST TWICE.

    Oh, and that 25%? It only counts the woman. Not rapes. And many women are raped more than once.

    Are you seriously struggling with this?

  400. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    psychoticatheist,

    You want to ignore trolls? Then ignore trolls to your heart’s content. Don’t worry, asswipe, we’ll do the heavy lifting while you tell us from the sidelines how and why we’re lifting wrong. Don’t forget to wring your hands every so often and be sure to murmur words of encouragement to which ever side seems to need encouragement most.

  401. Friendly says

    So… what exactly is the lesson I’m supposed to take home from it?

    No need. No need. You cannot read.
    Indeed, indeed, you cannot read.

    We are sad. We’re very glum.
    Oh, whatever can be done?

    Well-written works are for the birds.
    Let’s try again with smaller words.

    Look! There’s Jane. See Jane run.
    Run, Jane, run. Was that a gun?

    She cannot know. She can’t be sure.
    She’s been treated ill before.

    Just because she’s not a he
    She gets treated diff’rently.

    There is a constant undertone
    In school, at work, over the phone
    Of glances, smiles, words, and hands.
    They might be safe. They might hide plans.

    She wishes they would give her space
    But they don’t. Not any place.

    Sometimes she’s pressed against the wall.
    She didn’t ask for that at all.

    It keeps her always on her guard.
    Being wrong will hurt, and hard.

    It’s not because all men are vile.
    But she can’t tell which aren’t worthwhile!

    They do not beep! They do not shine!
    They do not hold “BAD PERSON” signs!

    She does not know you from Ad-AM!
    She does not know you, “Sam I Am”!!

    When she and you are all alone
    And it is late and you’re unknown
    And she’s somewhere she cannot run
    Do not suggest “let’s have some fun.”
    That is not the time or place.
    (Especially if you’re shitfaced.)

    Do not ask her in the lift.
    Do not grab her summer shift.
    Do not ask her in a car.
    Do not hug her at the bar.
    Do not put her on the spot
    In some deserted parking lot.

    Get to know her casually!
    Enjoy each other’s company!

    Show her you are not a mess.
    Then maybe she might say “yes.”

    Or “no.” Respect her either way.
    She’s human too, through every day.

    In short, try not to be a lout.
    Do not make her fear or doubt.
    Before you ask her up for tea,
    What might you think, if you were she?

    END

  402. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    for Pteryxxx – @136…

    won’t go *deeply* into it b/c it’s off topic, but there’s quite a lot of writing that praises men “willing to be feminine” and speaks of such people as being better partners for feminist women than men unwilling to express feminism….but then disallows the idea that some of the male people they raise as examples might actually not be men. Other writing in the queer women’s community endlessly berates people on the ftm spectrum who don’t believe that feminine pronouns or names are healthy/honest for them, but endlessly praise the sexiness of female people who take T, who bind breasts, who embrace a masculine presentation.

    Then there’s quite a lot about how being transsexual is to be a gender essentialist and to be more of a privileged patriarch than non-trans men. Seriously. The evidence that we’re oh-so-privileged is that we’re trans. I know, I know, trans people have had the presidency locked up for oh-so-many years, and I can’t remember the last time that we had a non-trans majority in the senate, but I think those two facts alone don’t conclusively prove that trans people are the heart of the patriarchy, do you?

    Finally there’s the true, unrepentant awfulness that is the rape meme. Long and short, all MtF trans people are rapists. Every single one. We have to have complete disrespect for women’s physical autonomy or we wouldn’t try to “own” female anatomy. and those of us who aren’t the non-literal-rapists who are the closest to espousing the epitome of rape culture are actual rapists who felt “owning” female anatomy through medical intervention couldn’t satisfy our cravings to commodify, dominate, utterly control the female form…and so we literally rape.

    Don’t ask me more. It’s not OT and it’s too awful for words. Besides, although I’m not one who believes we make our movement weaker when we choose to “air our dirty laundry” (one only improves by finding out where one isn’t reaching one’s potential), I do think that I’d like this thread to keep it’s focus on feminist counters to sexist crap and believe that though public criticism must be a part of what we do, there is such a thing as better or worse times/places & this one is, IMO, better used on what we started it for.

    thanks for asking tho’

  403. taiki says

    Are you male? Because honestly, if just debating sexism makes you suicidal, then experiencing it personally on a regular basis would definitely be overwhelming for you.

    Yeah, and I know my blindsides as a male and I try not to jump in on these discussions.

    BTW, rereading my comment, I didn’t mean to make any false equivalencies, the lack of critical thinking on the part of supposedly skeptical misogynists bothers me way more than skeptical feminists who keep trying the same arguments and engaging in the same threads over and over. It’s like comparing losing a limb to stubbing a toe. It’s just frustrating a little to watch awesome people try to shove a reasonable square peg into an unreasonable round hole.

    A lot of the anti-trans people reject, with equal (if not more) vehemence the term “cis.”

    Is it transphobic to reject “cis” as a term because it makes every spellchecker I’ve used freak out? ._.;;;

  404. msironen says

    Which society is this of which you speak? Maybe out there in physical life you really are a completely normal nice polite and respectful person.

    I shudder to think what kind of person in your mind fulfills all those criteria but suffice to say that I don’t.

    in a world where not making all brown people refrain from using airplanes would actually significantly increase the number of people of all colours dying in horrible terrorist attacks on airplanes

    Sounds like a world where me crossing the road at night when a woman is walking towards me. Absolutely fucking zero change on rape, there.

    Brown people are NOT more likely than any other people to be terrorists.

    However, the world in which men really ARE more likely to be rapists, where systemic cultural biases REALLY DO encourage, excuse, and reward men for being rapists, IS REAL.

    Last time I checked, brownskinned people were in the lead in deaths-by-airplane-terrorism against non-brown people by a good 5000 or so. But again, that’s bigot math. Except it seems to be valid in some cases; I’m just not sufficiently on board with that yet, I guess.

  405. amphiox says

    = accusing me of rolling a d6 dice everytime I pass some by and attempting to rape them on a 6.

    = it’s all about me. Me. I. msironen, am the only sentient being in this universe whose feelings matter.

  406. Esteleth says

    @Pteryxx
    Not to my knowledge, but I could be wrong. There are plenty of trans-friendly feminist blogs and such out there, though.

    @Crip Dyke
    I figured as much. :)

    *fist bump*

  407. says

    Daz:

    I, erm … Ugh!

    Yeah, he was a real charmer. Married, with a daughter, too. He refused to let go of the whole Russian Roulette analogy, no matter how many times it was explained to him. Didn’t matter who explained. Just kept on blithely telling us we had nothing to worry about! Really, really! I think he came close to breaking Audley’s brain as she’s the one who engaged him the most.

  408. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Caine:

    Well, we did have that Chassoto person…

    Oh fuck me, I had forgotten all about that asshole.

    Caine’s not kidding or exaggerating, Daz– that’s pretty much exactly how Chassoto framed his entire argument, with a healthy dose of “you’re just being paranoid! It’s unhealthy!” thrown in.

    I lost a lot of sleep because of that thread.

  409. Esteleth says

    @Crip Dyke
    Don’t forget the policing of trans women by medicine!

    After all, you can’t get your SRS paperwork approved unless you’re gender normative! If you can’t give some random d00d a boner, then you don’t deserve to become a REAL woman.

    Ugh.

  410. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    msironen What is your point, other than reality doesn’t fit your inane delusions>?

  411. says

    Audley:

    with a healthy dose of “you’re just being paranoid! It’s unhealthy!”

    Oh yeah, I had forgotten that bit. He would not shut up, either. Carried that crap on for at least two threads.

  412. msironen says

    “msironen What is your point, other than reality doesn’t fit your inane delusions>?”

    Err, that reality doesn’t conform to the notion of me being a rapist? Not even a 1/6 one?

  413. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Caine:

    I think he came close to breaking Audley’s brain as she’s the one who engaged him the most.

    Ha! My brain did come close to breaking that time. God, Chassoto was fucking thick.

  414. taiki says

    Goodness me, I’m ever so fucking sorry. Do you think we aren’t tired? You know, this issue did not start with Egate. We have been discussing these issues and fighting the good fight for a helluva lot longer than the last few months.

    If you don’t want to fight, then don’t. However, don’t bother us with your whining about how tired you are.

    Yeah, but this is a skeptical and free-thought blog. I thought that we’re supposed to be skeptical. Not just of the world around us, but as science teaches us, of ourselves. It’s pretty clear that the way that progressives are engaging on the internet just isn’t working, and when that’s brought up, it gets shouted down.

    I’m bisexual, Asian, genderqueer and like most, if not everyone here, a member of a religious minority. Sorry if I don’t think that engaging with people with the same tactics over and over again and then wonder why we’re failing isn’t attractive to me as a call to arms for activism.

  415. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Just flaunting his inability to cope with statistics ALL over the fucking place.

  416. amphiox says

    I shudder to think what kind of person in your mind fulfills all those criteria but suffice to say that I don’t.

    You SHUDDER at the thought of the kind of person which fulfills the criteria of being nice, polite, and respectful?

    Now, it’s my turn to shudder….

    Sounds like a world where me crossing the road at night when a woman is walking towards me. Absolutely fucking zero change on rape, there.

    That’s just being nice. No one is demanding anyone to do that. But we do reserve to right to praise someone who thinks of doing that for going above and beyond the call of duty. The key here is above and beyond.

    This has already been explained in detail many times.

    For you to even bring it up now is pure dishonesty on your part.

    Last time I checked, brownskinned people were in the lead in deaths-by-airplane-terrorism against non-brown people by a good 5000 or so.

    Citation, please.

    Even if true, though, the number would have to be at least 10 million plus in favor of the brown-skinned terrorist to be above statistical noise over the total numbers of airplane travelers in this particular world.

    So go ahead. Show me the citation. 10 million plus, or shut up.

  417. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Is it transphobic to reject “cis” as a term because it makes every spellchecker I’ve used freak out?

    Every single spellchecker I’ve ever used has an “add to dictionary” function. Perhaps if you look hard enough, you can find it and maybe, if you’re really lucky, you can even figure out how to use it.

    Or to put it more bluntly, yes, it is transphobic to reject “cis.”

    Sincerely, cis-hetro-male ‘Tis Himself

  418. Pteryxx says

    @taiki: IMHO, it’s meta-communication. Shooting down the actual arguments helps convince any readers who are willing to consider evidence, and also provides good practice for recognizing the same old arguments and lies in other venues. But the meta-level is simply refusing to back down and be silenced. It’ll probably take months or years to work on any individual.

    @Crip Dyke, thank you for the glimpse.

    Friendly… wins the thread. ♥♥♥

  419. says

    Caie & Audley Thing is, the Russian Roulette analogy actually works; with the obvious corollaries that playing it is a damn stupid thing to do, and that if you have to play it, you do your best to improve the odds. Which is the whole point of Schröedinger’s Rapist.

    msironen Still waitin’ on an answer to my question, old chap.

  420. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ esteleth – 167

    and a *terrorist* fist bump to you!

    – 170
    sigh.

    I don’t forget. I can’t forget.

    sigh.

  421. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Listen, idiot, for the last fucking time:

    Err, that reality doesn’t conform to the notion of me being a rapist?

    No one is saying that you are. Not even a little bit. What we’re saying is that we don’t know.

    For shit’s sake, is your fucking ego really that fucking fragile?

  422. amphiox says

    but suffice to say that I don’t.

    AANNDD, you DON’T fulfill the criteria of being normal, nice, polite, and respectful?

    Well, it’s nice that you admit some degree of self-awareness.

  423. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Now, we can ask if I (and many, many like me) am somehow extra super good at faking it,

    You’re flattering yourself.
    You’re not that good at faking it.
    But you know who was?
    My ex.
    Really, really, amazingly good at faking it.
    Gloriously good at faking it.
    Don’t go telling me about definitions.

  424. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Err, that reality doesn’t conform to the notion of me being a rapist? Not even a 1/6 one?

    How can someone identify you, or any other male, with 100% certainty of not being a potential rapist. Put up, or shut the fuck up. That is our point. Whether you like it or not, unless you can provide that certainty, you are a potential rapist.

  425. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    msironen #173

    Err, that reality doesn’t conform to the notion of me being a rapist? Not even a 1/6 one?

    How do we know that, asshole? Because you say so? I know that lots of rapists have claimed not to be rapists. Considering your hatred of women, I wouldn’t put money on you not being a rapist.

  426. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Daz:

    Thing is, the Russian Roulette analogy actually works; with the obvious corollaries that playing it is a damn stupid thing to do, and that if you have to play it, you do your best to improve the odds. Which is the whole point of Schröedinger’s Rapist.

    Yep, it works quite well, but Chassoto had twisted it around– I’m digging around for some quotes now.

  427. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    for Caine @ 80 (I think) –

    Schroedinger’s Rapist does not say “all men are rapists”. What it does explain is why [primarily] women can not tell who may be a person who will rape. I can’t tell by looking at someone, can you? Do you think a rapist walks around with a fluorescent tattoo on their forehead? No?

    I am so sick of people like yourself assuming that Schroedinger’s Rapist is nothing except the single sentence “all men are rapists!” Do you have no reading comprehension? Are you afraid of understanding? Are you afraid of feeling empathy?

    yes. Yes SR says that “all men are rapists” in exactly the same way that in the thought experiment Schroedinger’s cat is always dead when you lift the box’s lid.

    Isn’t that the point of Schroedinger’s Cat?

    Boys – y’know, I think it’s that they just don’t have the right kind of brain for science, poor dears, though I’m sure a few might qualify for a physics degree if we tutor them right.

  428. ichthyic says

    Now mind you, I could be a complete sociopath. But what does your rational sense say?

    My rational sense tells me you are a faceless git, posting on the internet.

    IOW, it tells me nothing.

    for all I know, you’re a serial killer.

  429. says

    Audley

    Do I want to read the quotationss at 4:00 AM? Just the bare description Caine gave made me shudder.

  430. Amphigorey says

    John, thank you for the welcome!

    Caine, I’m surprised you recognize me since I mostly lurk, but thanks!

    I think Friendly just won the thread.

  431. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Upon further consideration of my post #187, there probably is a good chance that msironen isn’t a rapist. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and concede he might not be one. But if it turns out he is one, I won’t be in the least bit surprised.

  432. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Daz:
    A ha! Found it!
    Carlie

    But possibility is not probability, and the probability is not 100%. Be happy about that. Yup. Scary, creepy me suggesting you be happy about a fact where the opposite would definitely not make you happy. I’m not saying “shut up and be happy.” I really do mean that the fact that it’s nowhere near 100% probability is an indication that not all men are horrible.

    Here’s a gun. It has six chambers, but only one bullet. If you fire it at your head, there’s a possibility that it will kill you. But possibility is not probability, and the probability is not 100%. Be happy about that. You’re not scared of the gun or of firing it at your head, are you? After all, you have a 5/6 chance of nothing going wrong. The fact that you have a chance of dying that is nowhere near 100% probability is an indication that not all guns are horrible. Don’t you feel better now?

    Chassoto’s response:

    @295 Life isn’t russian roulette. In russian roulette, you are GUARANTEED A BULLET. And, in your analogy, I’d feel better about 1 in 6 bullets than 6 in 6. Neither is a good situation. One is worse.

    All I can say is, maybe he didn’t understand Russian Roulette?

  433. Friendly says

    Friendly… wins the thread. ♥♥♥

    If only. But thanks for the compliment! :-)

    It’s pretty clear that the way that progressives are engaging on the internet just isn’t working,

    That’s not clear to me at all. In what single “way” are progressives engaging on the Net? How is that way “not working”? If you feel that not enough people are being persuaded by the Progressive Approach(TM), what approach would be better, and do you have evidence to support your claim?

    and when that’s brought up, it gets shouted down.

    I don’t see any “progressives” shouting so far. But I would like to request that you explain your position a little better.

  434. msironen says

    Even if true, though, the number would have to be at least 10 million plus in favor of the brown-skinned terrorist to be above statistical noise over the total numbers of airplane travelers in this particular world.

    So go ahead. Show me the citation. 10 million plus, or shut up.

    You must’ve missed the part where I said it was “bigot math” and wasn’t “sufficiently” convinced it was valid.

    Again:

    You quote some rape statistic at me. Am I supposed to

    a) bear some gender-wide guilt,

    b) ask so what, since I have not committed any such crime?

    Since the answer is obviously a), I can simply ask, wtf?

  435. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    Daz:
    Sorry, I didn’t see your protests @ #191 until after I posted. :-/

    Anyway, yeah. Chassoto was one of the extra-special dumbasses.

  436. taiki says

    We’re not. Next question?

    When this thread comes around again, for the same reasons, let’s talk.

    Seriously. We’re not winning shit. It pisses me off that people who supposedly are looking after my best interests simply aren’t. I can’t even have a discussion about why maybe making rude comments about women, GLBT folk, or minorities might be just stupid or rude to women, GLBT folk or minorities with out someone accusing me of being a Shakesville style radical feminist and taking everything I say way out of scope.

    The discussion is being polluted and poisoned before it even starts now. This shit isn’t working. Yes, part of it is tone, part of it is recognizing the people you’re trying to have a discussion with just aren’t getting it the way you’re describing it.

  437. Just_A_Lurker says

    Err, that reality doesn’t conform to the notion of me being a rapist? Not even a 1/6 one?

    The reality is any man could be a rapist. Now, there is no way to tell whether or not you are a rapist so we do risk mitigation. Why do we do that? Because if anything does happen, we will be treated with disbelief and hate, we will get told over and over by almost everyone from the cops to friends/family that “You should have known better! Why were you [insert harmless action]? How naive are you?”. This scenario happens A LOT. It has happened to me. I has happened to women I know. It has happened to others in this thread. Like that case where the rapist went free because the woman had the audacity to wear skinny jeans.

    SR was written to help people understand how some of your actions could look to a woman. I wish more people understood it so I wouldn’t get dirty looks when I’m cautious or get creeped out by strangers touching me, or moving in close for no reason.

  438. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    You quote some rape statistic at me. Am I supposed to

    a) bear some gender-wide guilt,

    b) ask so what, since I have not committed any such crime?

    Since the answer is obviously a), I can simply ask, wtf?

    You know, it’s sad. Brick walls really do have perfectly legitimate uses.

  439. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    We’re not winning shit.

    I question your definition of “we.”