“We’re meddlesome” »« Blind to the universe

Comments

  1. says

    It’s amazing how many jerks absolutely cannot, will not, control their baser impulses. And these guys are supposedly adults. They’re like hypertrophied versions of this classmate I had in high school. Whenever a girl came into the classroom, he would start muttering under his breath, but it was pretty easy to hear him: “Poos, poos, poooos-see!” Maybe that creepy kid grew up to become a creepy Internet troll.

  2. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Because some men are assholes and others make excuses for them.

    Applies to pretty much every single problem involving sexism. Or any form of privilege, really.

  3. ottomarxhausen says

    I had a job for a while where I transcribed interviews with academic women working in the biological sciences. So sad. There was one women who refused to work on weekends because that was time she reserved to spend with her children. Instead, she went in at two in the morning to make up the hours. But, because she was the only one in the lab at that time, nobody ever saw her working. She overheard her male coworkers calling her a lazy slut.

  4. klatu says

    There are some real gems of apologia in the comments:

    These aren’t atheists, these aren’t males, they’re perverts[...]

    Translation: Those aren’t REAL atheists.

    She can, and should, still participate in the discussions she believes she has lost the privilege of participating in, and /r/atheism — despite its flaws — provides a venue for her to do so in the future using a different name and with no one being the wiser because of this incident.

    Translation: Maybe she could have a serious discussion if only she stopped being so fucking female.

    I noticed how you completely ignored how the OP said “bracin’ mah anus” which started the cavalcade of comments to begin with. It’s not like she came on saying “please don’t sexualize me in this thread” and people did it anyway (which is what you did and why I sided with you on the elevator incident). She explicitly invited it, people reacted to it, they went too far.

    Translation: Bitch asked for it.

    Why do these excerpts seem so awfully familiar with another type of apologia?

    Anyway, after reading RW’s post I’m now utterly turned off to Reddit and the Atheist movement (whereas I was previously indifferent). I’ll be sticking to Skepticism for now. Thanks, Reddit community and apologists, for making that so abundantly clear to me.

  5. gyokusai says

    A healthy dose of Reddit stupid swept over to Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104888463925532836465/posts/A4YZSPgoJEC

    Wherever you go or post as a female, you can be sure you’ll meet the same idiots all over again—same shit, different names. Well done, r/atheists.

    Also, I don’t even know what it means to call oneself an atheist while at the same time being so full of patriarchal shit that even the fundagelical crazies would come and pay their respect. Isn’t holding two or more mutually exclusive convictions at the same time exactly what believers are proud of? Way to go.

  6. RealityEnforcer, Roaming Bear, terror of the Boy Scouts says

    And people ask me why I don’t hang out on reddit… There are so many things wrong with that thread that I’m just going to excuse myself to go attempt not to upchuck my dinner.

  7. says

    It workxn, it workxn! I can actually log in! and post a comment! Yay! I tried that for years at sb and it failed miserably every single time.

    freethoughtblogs rocks.

  8. Mattir says

    @klatu:

    Anyway, after reading RW’s post I’m now utterly turned off to Reddit and the Atheist movement (whereas I was previously indifferent). I’ll be sticking to Skepticism for now.

    Well, all sorts of people call themselves atheists, and all sorts of people call themselves skeptics. I just try to avoid the places where douchebag rape apologists hang out. (For example, I’ve never heard anyone on the Atheist and Agnostic Crafter group on Ravelry spout such venom, even though members generally identify as part of the Atheist movement.)

  9. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Well, I’d had the sum total of maybe one glance at reddit before; I’m almost certainly never going to add to that after hearing this.

  10. shouldbeworking says

    I never bothered with reddit before today, now I regret ever checking it out. What a waste of bandwidth.

  11. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I fucking hate people. Especially “allies” who turn out to be enemies. As they do so very, very often.

  12. suefics says

    And the rss feed item for this post was “embelished” with a pub for thai matches… you know the kind. Ignominious irony :-(

  13. brett says

    @gyokusai

    Also, I don’t even know what it means to call oneself an atheist while at the same time being so full of patriarchal shit that even the fundagelical crazies would come and pay their respect. Isn’t holding two or more mutually exclusive convictions at the same time exactly what believers are proud of? Way to go.

    It’s depressingly common, and not just when it comes to sexism. Look at Bill Maher, an atheist who also holds a ton of woo bullshit beliefs.

    @shouldbeworking

    I never bothered with reddit before today, now I regret ever checking it out. What a waste of bandwidth.

    Same here – it’s like Youtube comments. Little Moderation + Anonymity + No Age Check + Easy Registration + Lots of Views = Lots of morons and trolls stinking it up for everyone else.

  14. kome says

    Is the issue of privilege so sacred to so many guy skeptics and atheists that any attempt to discuss it, even tangentially, turns into a giant clusterfuck of MRA-style pseudoscience, irrationalism, and status quo conservatism? Is there any other issue out there that clearly demonstrates a not-insignificant number of men in the atheist and skeptic movements as hypocritical beyond belief if they are so unwilling to aim their skepticism and scientific mindset inward a little bit towards their own beliefs?

  15. says

    Lacking any real contact with others people tend to act in ways actually interacting with another would work against. People need to learn one thing, and that is courtesy and respect for others is important, even when the other is just a name on a screen.

    Now when the other is being a douchebag and has earned the contempt, that is another matter. But when a person has done nothing to earn your contempt, then it is simple rude, and often counter productive.

    As to P.Z.’s topic, I think it’s a damn shame when people are rude and dismissive to others. My mom worked as a professor of biology back in the 60s and I don’t recall anyone disrespecting her. Then again, I was growing up, so I probably missed a few things. I do recall the day of her funeral, and the long line of cars that joined the procession, so she must’ve made an impression on a lot of people.

    My point?

    Dismissing and degrading others because of an accident of birth is just wrong. A person’s gender, or race, or sexual preference really shouldn’t affect how one deals with them. So long as a person is a competent practitioner in his or her field they deserve to be treated with the respect due them for their abilities.

    With the changes coming we need competent scientists, whether in government research, or private endeavors, women no less then men. I say we encourage everyone to follow their dreams, to the extent that competence allows. And if the prospective physicist is a woman, then welcome her into the community and let her contribute as she is capable.

  16. julian says

    She overheard her male coworkers calling her a lazy slut.

    One of many reasons I treat work gossipers with complete disdain and make it a point to stand up for whoever is getting bad mouthed. People have incredibly skewed views of how their work performance compares to someone else.

  17. janine says

    I have a topic for a very depressing debate. Who are the lower form of humanity; the Haredi Jews who spit on an eight year old girl of the atheists who tell rape jokes about a fifteen year girl who dares to post her picture online?

    There goes that awful Rebecca Watson, causing trouble by pointing out the behavior of creepy people. I wonder how much the folks at ERV are laughing over this bit of boyish fun?

  18. razzlefrog says

    Honestly, those type of people are the reason I, and so far every other female atheist I know…which makes an inspiring, praiseworthy, net total of two…don’t immediately jump on the idea of attending a conference or an event.

  19. says

    Is there any other issue out there that clearly demonstrates a not-insignificant number of men in the atheist and skeptic movements as hypocritical beyond belief if they are so unwilling to aim their skepticism and scientific mindset inward a little bit towards their own beliefs?

    Homosexuality, Circumcision, Climate Change, Race, the Handicapped/disabled and economics.

  20. klatu says

    @mythusmage

    So long as a person is a competent practitioner in his or her field they deserve to be treated with the respect due to them for their abilities. being a person.

    FTFY

  21. baryogenesis says

    I spend time on Reddit, but only once in awhile, reading thru threads. There was a recent one under the atheist subreddit that was hugely supportive of a 17 yr old Muslim (well, ex now)from Malaysia who checked in for support. This person was tossed out of his home by his religious family for proclaiming atheism. A dangerous thing to do. Commenters in that situation were hugely supportive. I think you’re judging a lot of young people who have a lot of maturing to do…So call them out yeah. But don’t be surprised if they react.

  22. says

    Saw this when it was posted on Skepchick. Disgusting situation. Yeah, I continue to have no desire to visit or use Reddit.

    However, there is one positive thing worth pointing out: a 15 year old has received and is presumably reading Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World”. That is a good thing, and I wish it were more common.

    I’d be the happiest teacher in the world if I could convince my students to read and understand it. ;)

  23. adamgordon says

    baryogenesis @28

    Do you think the response would have been identical if the 17 year old Malaysian had been a woman?

    That’s the point we’re trying to make here.

  24. baryogenesis says

    Actually, I think it was unclear if it was a male or a female. I just wrote “his”. My bad.

  25. ottomarxhausen says

    . . . one more quick story from transcribing those interviews. It’s not so much about women being disrespected as it is about badly, badly broken academics. One woman said that when she was a graduate student in biology, her adviser gave her and her labmate the exact same project, told them they weren’t allowed to work together, and that whoever finished first got to publish the results; the loser got nothing. I swore at the tape and kept typing; in the realm of academia, that is a horrifying thing to do to someone. After a few weeks, she approached her labmate and asked if they could go out for a beer and discuss just how horrifying it was. He agreed, and the next day, they went in together to tell the adviser/prof that what he was doing was unacceptable. He threw a beaker at them in rage. It all turned out okay – they held their ground until he gave in, and nobody got cut up by glass or anything. But dang.

  26. janine says

    Do you think the response would have been identical if the 17 year old Malaysian had been a woman?

    I am afraid the response from some of the wits would be variations that the hypothetical young woman could crash at their place as long as she is cute and will be fucked.

    Endlessly funny.

  27. rtflyback says

    r/atheism is a sewer, completely beyond redemption. To put it simply, they’re Ron Paul fanboys: emotionally-stunted forever-adolescent white male libertarians with no understanding of the real world. I’m not joking, they regularly have threads celebrating raving theocrat Ron Paul. However, that’s nothing compared to their slobbering hero worship of Christopher Hitchens. They’re so embarrassing at humping his leg that they make cultists look sane and measured by comparison.

    The rest of it is just a bunch of stupid memes, simple-minded hatred, hypocrisy, and basic factual errors. The whole thing could disappear, and we’d only be better off.

  28. baryogenesis says

    @34 Janine. I wouldn’t be surprised either, considering the age and maturity of many Youtubers (or Redditters), but in this particular case there
    was never a discussion of sex.

  29. janine says

    Actually, I think it was unclear if it was a male or a female. I just wrote “his”. My bad.

    This falls back to one of the other topics that was raised in that thread; that unless a person points out otherwise, most people will assume that a commenter is male.

  30. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Trouble is we can’t invent/force parts of speech into the language. That never works. Deliberate neologisms (especially for things like pronouns) never, ever take hold. They always sound awkward and ugly, and they’re never adopted into the current mainstream lexicon. It’s most frustrating, but it’s the truth.

  31. janine says

    Josh, just because it sounds funny to us does not mean that it will also sound funny to future speakers when they learn the language. Speech is ever evolving. Hell, we are using words now that did not exist when I was born.

    In other words, keep working it. Perhaps it will catch on. As it stands, we queer people who are working on this will understand each other.

  32. klatu says

    @Janine
    Didn’t you know? Women are mere aberrations. Clearly something off, what with all them holes, you know?
    /cynicism

    @baryogenesis

    I think you’re judging a lot of young people who have a lot of maturing to do…

    A lot of the comments were along the lines of: “I’d fuck her if I were younger.” or “My co-workers at the office can hear me laughing at that bitch.” Either some of those young people have the unlikely preference of pretending to be middle-aged to elderly or they aren’t really young people.
    And how are threats of violence and rape less threatening when they come from someone who is ostensibly even less aware of what they are doing?

    So call them out yeah. But don’t be surprised if they react.

    Uh huh. Point?

  33. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    So call them out yeah. But don’t be surprised if they react.

    This could easily be read as threatening. If that wasn’t the intended impression then I urge you to rephrase.

  34. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Josh, just because it sounds funny to us does not mean that it will also sound funny to future speakers when they learn the language. Speech is ever evolving.

    Janine, I know. And I desperately want a gender-neutral pronoun in English. I just don’t see any evidence that deliberately invented terms catch on. Admittedly, I find zie, hir, and the like aesthetically ugly, which undoubtedly shapes my opinion. No, that’s not productive when it comes to trying to change the language, I know. It’s also not productive to privilege aesthetic concerns over political ones. But I can’t bring myself to use them.

  35. janine says

    Didn’t you know? Women are mere aberrations. Clearly something off, what with all them holes, you know?

    We were too cold and dry when we were in the womb. Wait, I am breaking out into Aristotle. Next I will start gibbering about an unmoved Prime Mover.

    HELP!

  36. Nimravid says

    If anyone needs a gender neutral pronoun, they can just use the singular “they.” Or so the dictionary tells me. I hear and read it often in everyday use. Zhe/xe and hir may catch on if enough people use them, just as “he” as a gender neutral pronoun is fading into archaic usage.

  37. says

    [sidebar]

    @janine I support the use of singular “they”–it has a history of a few centuries in the written language already (Austen, Dickens, and Trollope are among the pronoun’s users), it’s common in speech, and doesn’t have to be forced or artificially promoted.

  38. mattwirth says

    brett

    Same here – it’s like Youtube comments. Little Moderation + Anonymity + No Age Check + Easy Registration + Lots of Views = Lots of morons and trolls stinking it up for everyone else.

    Perhaps this should be called the tragedy of the social commons?

    baryogenesis

    @38. Language in general, but in this case English, needs to invent a neutral pronoun.

    “They” and “Their” have been in usage as gender neutral (or indeterminate) pronouns for a long time in English (1300s, at least).

  39. janine says

    Being a reluctant traditionalist, if I do not know a person’s gender; I try to taylor my words to fit around using “they”, “one” or “someone”. It does not mean that using “xe” should not be encouraged. Perhaps it will not be picked up. Perhaps it will only be used by some of us queers. But one has to try.

  40. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I also hate “they” in the singular. Yes, I know, it’s a losing battle. No, just knowing that won’t change my aesthetic reaction against it (not that, descriptivists).

  41. says

    Aww. I can’t wait to see the day she discovers /b/.

    Honestly, Reddit is on the edge of the internet’s asshole. Users from 4chan, 9gag, Ebaums, etc, often comment on Reddit as well. Simply because there is an Atheist sub-forum does not mean you can expect decent conversation. Too many trolls.

    That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing Watson’s crusade against Reddit. Unless by “changing it” (the anti-female culture), she simply means complaining about dicks on the internet. Which would be par for the course I suppose…

  42. Nimravid says

    Perhaps this should be called the tragedy of the social commons?

    Heh. But it’s not ruined for everyone. The trolls want to take over these spaces and annex them into troll-country. So it’s not quite the tragedy of the commons where everyone grabbing for a limited resource ruins it. They’re happy with the slime pit they create.

  43. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing Watson’s crusade against Reddit. Unless by “changing it” (the anti-female culture), she simply means complaining about dicks on the internet. Which would be par for the course I suppose…

    Watson’s on a “crusade” (which implies an idiosyncratic, Don Quixote-type project) “against Reddit.” Got it. Couldn’t be that she thinks calling out horrible behavior in any venue is a worthy thing to do. Got it.

  44. janine says

    They’re happy with the slime pit they create.

    Behold, ERV and the Monument!

    Should I shut up about that?

  45. natashayar-routh says

    Unfortunately those vile comments are only the most extreme manifestation of the all too pervasive rape culture. They were the kind of remarks that made me profoundly uncomfortable even when I still identified as male.

    Being gender queer I desperately long for gender neutral pronouns. Even more I would like the all too ubiquitous gender markers to simply go away.

    I must thank PZ and Rebeca Watson for warning me off Reddit. I don’t need any more of that shit in my life, it makes me go all stabby.

  46. janine says

    Watson’s on a “crusade” (which implies an idiosyncratic, Don Quixote-type project) “against Reddit.” Got it. Couldn’t be that she thinks calling out horrible behavior in any venue is a worthy thing to do. Got it.

    If we would just shut up about it, creepy people would stop making rape jokes directed at fifteen year old girls who dare to post their photo online.

  47. natashayar-routh says

    @56 Josh, Official SpokesGay says,

    Yep blockquotes are tricky little things aren’t they?

  48. says

    Watson’s on a “crusade” (which implies an idiosyncratic, Don Quixote-type project)

    Although I wasn’t intending that particular (and rather specific) implication, I will say that I believe Watson may not quite understand the nature of her enemy. Maybe not to the Windmill = Giant extent, but still.

  49. Nimravid says

    A culture where people were regularly called out for being sexist assholes on the internet would be a changed culture.

  50. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I will say that I believe Watson may not quite understand the nature of her enemy.

    I think she gets it. I wonder if you do.

    They’re my enemy, too. And the enemy of any decent person.

  51. janine says

    Although I wasn’t intending that particular (and rather specific) implication, I will say that I believe Watson may not quite understand the nature of her enemy. Maybe not to the Windmill = Giant extent, but still.

    Seeing the shitstorm she had to go through the last few months, I am sure she has a very good idea what she is up against. Very privileged fools who throw a fit, make up stories, submit rape fantasies and compose death threats when they get called on their words and actions.

  52. natashayar-routh says

    Although I wasn’t intending that particular (and rather specific) implication, I will say that I believe Watson may not quite understand the nature of her enemy. Maybe not to the Windmill = Giant extent, but still.

    Oh you mean privileged little jerks who think the rest of the human species exists for them to use and abuse? No I yhink Watson knows the exact nature of her enemy.

  53. says

    There are some in the female population that enable this behavior. I am not dissolving the men that perpetuate this behavior from any guilt though, I am just making the point that like many other problems in our society, this one could start being solved with a better education system.

  54. DLC says

    This sort of behavior goes all the way back to USENET. Not saying it’s right or good, just that assholes have been assholes since the bad old days.

  55. Nimravid says

    There are some in the female population that enable this behavior.

    Just so I’m not accused of enabling, you’re a foul, stinking asshat and you’re not allowed to post here anymore.

  56. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Women: not saints. Not whores. Just people. Stop being surprised when women are assholes too. Asshole.

  57. natashayar-routh says

    There are some in the female population that enable this behavior. I am not dissolving the men that perpetuate this behavior from any guilt though, I am just making the point that like many other problems in our society, this one could start being solved with a better education system.

    Yep those bad old enablers, if we could just educate them all our problems would go away.

    I’m beging to appreciate the wisdom of Comrade Stalin – ‘Death solves all problems, no man no problem’. I think I may need sleep now.

  58. says

    Ugh, things like this are why I have forsaken 4chan. Or atleast /b/ anyways, since the smaller boards tend to frown on typical asshole behavior to an extent. But I’m not really surprised that reddit has the same problem.

    As far as gender-neutral pronouns, I support a singular use of they too. Hir/xe all sound forced to me, and “he or she” is too formal-sounding to fit into normal conversation. But alas, it’s apparently been decided that they/them/their are always supposed to be plural. Which is a shame, because they’d be so useful.

  59. McCthulhu awaits the return of the 2000 foot Frank Zappa says

    The interweb thingy is still in its infancy. And if you think about it, so is the human race and the concepts of civilization, women’s rights and sexism. The responses are bound to drift into the infantile because so is the technology and most of the users. Keep expressing your anger and distaste at the childish behaviour and eventually you will have an better interweb, full of adults who can talk about adult things, and entertain the reptile part of the brains on their own time and not at expense of a young woman wanting to proudly show off a cool book.

  60. Azkyroth says

    @38. Language in general, but in this case English, needs to invent a neutral pronoun.

    We have. “They.” And the *ahem* “inward-looking” pedants whose blood pressure it raises won’t be missed when they finally keel over. :)

  61. Azkyroth says

    There are some in the female population that enable this behavior.

    Just so I’m not accused of enabling, you’re a foul, stinking asshat and you’re not allowed to post here anymore.

    I find it kind of disconcerting that this comment is drawing that reaction, given that ERV was mentioned upthread. I mean, it’s a demonstrably true statement. Is there some context to this response I’m missing?

  62. Nimravid says

    The context is, in what way did some “in the female population” “enable” people to post rape jokes about a 15-year old girl? The fault is on the people who did it (male or female); it can’t be the fault of someone “letting” them do it. It’s a shift of blame from the perpetrators.

  63. Azkyroth says

    Well, as one example, ERV hosts a thousand plus comment thread full of that kind of shit, and a depressing number of women are willing to shrug and nervously insist that misogynistic comments don’t bother them and are “kinda funny.” Or, in other cases, assure you that they’re not like “those women.” “One of the guys” gets, somewhat problematically, used as shorthand for this kind of attitude, so it’s not like it hasn’t been noticed. And it IS a problem.

    Now, whether chayne meant that or really was trying to shift the blame is less clear…

  64. Azkyroth says

    …to say nothing of some women’s enthusiastic participation in unambiguous victim blaming, from “what did you expect dressing like that honey” to “you need to grow a thicker skin and learn to shrug it off.”

  65. Nimravid says

    Foolishly I took it as a given that it’s understood women are not immune to sexism. But “enabling” means that they’re the ones who make it possible for it to happen. Without those women, there wouldn’t be those rape jokes…see the problem yet? It’s hardly the fault of the people actually doing it, when women make it so easy.

  66. natashayar-routh says

    What Nimravid said. There is a big difference between some women being sexist idiots and women being the enablers of rape culture. It stinks to me of victim blaming.

  67. Nimravid says

    Now, whether chayne meant that or really was trying to shift the blame is less clear…

    When someone says something to the effect of “I’m not trying to shift the blame here, but” and then shifts the blame, it seems like they understand that they are making a statement which shifts the blame. See also, “I’m not racist, but…”

  68. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Josh

    I know. And I desperately want a gender-neutral pronoun in English. I just don’t see any evidence that deliberately invented terms catch on. Admittedly, I find zie, hir, and the like aesthetically ugly, which undoubtedly shapes my opinion.

    My personal windmill is to get the (English speaking) world to adopt the Chinese “ta”, which stands in for “he/she/it”. If you think ta is hard in English, imagine the struggle of a Chinese person trying to work out when ta must use gendered language.

    English has been stealing words from other languages forever. Time we started stealing from Chinese too.

  69. brett says

    “Ta” could work, although it would be very awkward at first. I think it would likely become mushed into a softer sound with English, like “Tha”.

    Imagine a sentence like “Tha should eat that chocolate cake.” You could even have it compare with “They” as the non-gendered plural form.

  70. The Swordfish, Almighty God of Sporks says

    Blech. I couldn’t read more than a few words of those screenshots without wanting to vomit.

    Just another sad reminder that while atheists like to think that we’re on the whole less bigoted, sexist, and privileged than the religious, the wretched fucking fact is that assholes know no creed. Cthulhu dammit, why can’t any social group consist solely of completely perfect and amazing people!?

    Bah. I need a drink.

    @theophontes #85
    Couldn’t agree more. I think I’m going to start using that.

  71. bromion says

    Internet forums are funhouse mirror images of society. They may be warped, distorted, or magnified, but they are reflections nonetheless. It’s a sad commentary on our society that women are primarily considered for their sexual attributes before all else in virtually all circumstances.

    Consider even the most benign of circumstances: compliments. Women are almost always primarily complimented on their appearance, while men are complimented on appearance only when context warrants it. I applaud those who are using the Internet to raise awareness of gender biases, including PZ and RW. Bravo!

  72. natashayar-routh says

    theophontes, I like ta a lot. Going to start using it in all appropriate circumstances.

    Thank you

  73. Nimravid says

    Azkyroth, you didn’t shift the blame.

    The “I’m not trying to shift the blame” statement was chayne’s “There are some in the female population that enable this behavior. I am not dissolving the men that perpetuate this behavior from any guilt though”

  74. laurentweppe says

    Also, I don’t even know what it means to call oneself an atheist while at the same time being so full of patriarchal shit that even the fundagelical crazies would come and pay their respect.

    One name and one word: Dawkins and elevatorgate: one does not need to be a über-religious fundie to lapse into misbehavior which would make people “full of patriarchal shit” nod approvingly.
    ***

    Isn’t holding two or more mutually exclusive convictions at the same time exactly what believers are proud of?

    Take any atheist claiming that:
    1. Religion make people more arrogant and tribalistic
    2. Being atheist make them congenitaly better in every way than everyone else.
    Then add some more cringeworthy moments when said self-contradicting individuals start “demonstrating” that they are not being tribalistic at all no siree! because they rationally reached the conclusion of their own superiority, and add some more when their argument inevitably devolve into a “Fuck the Rubes” rant. The worst part being that not all of them are randoids.

  75. Agent Smith says

    My first impulse on reading those comments is that these yahoos need a strong blast of verbal hydrofluoric right in the superego. But I suspect any effort to deliver this would be at best cathartic and at worst quixotic.

    I could be a little happier if r/atheism was the only godless netplace that young women like Lunam were treated vilely. Then the assholes would have nowhere to hide, and women would have the choice of joining a range of civilized sites.

    But that’s not how it is, and it made me wonder: are there any godless sites where Lunam could have created that same post and not been hit with sexist invective; indeed, not been hit on? Maybe there are. I’d like to say “Pharyngula”, but I’d give her at best a 50-50 chance of posting here without at least one sexist troll showing up. Ditto for richarddawkins.net

    Then again, I don’t want people like her needing to confine themselves to a few safe sanctuaries while everywhere else is off limits. Any online community that can be expected to unleash a barrage of off-color comments upon seeing a female face attached to a comment has a problem, and needs to be told it, loud and clear.

  76. says

    just love the way a blanket insult can be issued towards men and if men object to that they are clueless idiots or rape apologists etc…

    just ad a “wo” in front of “men” in PZ’s post and ask yourself if that is acceptable means of discourse…

    of course not…

  77. don1 says

    @94

    I’m pretty sure that if a sexist troll showed up here and made that sort of ccomment they would be prommptly shredded. Ditto B&W.

  78. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    paulpaulus

    Some women are assholes too.

    *waiting*

    Despite what you may think, ninja feminists haven’t jumped through my window to punish me for my betrayal.

    Now that we have cleared that up, do you have a point?

  79. klatu says

    The interweb thingy is still in its infancy. And if you think about it, so is the human race and the concepts of civilization, women’s rights and sexism. The responses are bound to drift into the infantile because so is the technology and most of the users.

    Are you going to say this about every new form of media you’ll be coming across in the next few decades?
    I call shenanigans on your back-handed, perhaps even unconscious, minimization of a real issue as nothig more than teething troubles. Even by conservative estimation, our species has had more than a hundred-thousand years to figure this shit out. “Oh, we’ll grow out of it. Eventually.” Except, we haven’t. And it’s unlikely we’ll even be around for another hundred-thousand years. This problem will not go away on its own.
    So instead of categorizing every instance of misogyny as a seperate problem, try to see it for what it is: An aspect of the human condition that has to be taken seriously in order to be defeated.

  80. Rococo Gecko says

    @85,

    The Chinese “ta” is actually gendered, although all three forms are pronounced the same. They’re 他,她 and 它 for he, she and it respectively.

  81. Moggie says

    Ugh. Back to basics here, but I’ve never understood why so many straight men apparently want to drive women away. Even just looking at this from a selfish perspective, shouldn’t we behave in ways which make more women want to hang out with us? I honestly don’t get it.

  82. klatu says

    @Moggie
    I’m not sure that would create a less hostile environment. But I see your point. Except that nobody actually thinks like that. Otherwise wouldn’t homophobes be grateful to gay men for diluting the competition? And shouldn’t fat-haters be grateful to the obese for being less conventionally attractive? And shouldn’t ablists be grateful to the disabled?

    All in all, this just substitutes overt hostility with veiled hostility.

  83. Ariaflame says

    Sometimes it’s been because they’ve been given bad advice by their peer group and elders about ‘what women want’. Sometimes it is just because they are assholes.

  84. Ariaflame says

    @paulpaulus

    Some men are assholes. Some men aren’t. I know a lot that aren’t. For all human beings some are assholes, some are not. But in the linked to thread, it does appear that there are a lot of male assholes posting.

    It would only be blanket insult if it said ‘men’ or ‘all men’ but it didn’t. It said ‘some men’. If you are offended by that, then possibly it says something about which category you consider yourself in.

  85. Sir Shplane, Grand Mixmaster, Knight of the Turntable says

    I really hope that someone pointed her towards a less horrible website. I know that places like Pharyngula still have their share of sexist dickasaurases roaming about, but it’s nowhere near on the same level. Hell, it’s not even usually that bad on 4Chan, at least outside of /b/.

    Also, throwing my support behind the singular “they”. Shit’s been around for centuries, and the only people who don’t like it are worse than just pedants, they’re pedants who don’t understand the thing they’re being pedantic about.

  86. Gregory Greenwood says

    Well, that link was depressing. I would like to say that atheism is more progressive than religion, and provides a more accepting and supportive environment for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or anything else, but the evidence just doesn’t seem to support that conclusion – a heck of a lot of self-identified atheists spew the most toxic bigotry, with women being particularly favoured targets for the kind of repugnant rape jokes that should make any ethical person sick to the pit of their stomach.

    It is one of the reasons why I like coming to Pharyngula so much; misogynist cretins like that don’t get patted on the back for their prejudice here so much as pummelled into paste with metaphorical sledgehammers. Of course, despite claiming that women just need to to “learn to take a joke”, they don’t react very well to being called on their own bigotry. The usual pattern when a troll is hauled over the coals for such behaviour is as follows:-

    1) Whining tone-trolling about how awful people are being to them (poor little dears).

    2)When this doesn’t work, the next step is usually to double down on the misogyny.

    3) When the troll receives the excoriation they deserve for their continued bigotry toward women, a strange phenomenon may be observed – it appears that trolls that are not recieving the peer support they expect when seeking to silence and belittle women are capable of emitting some kind of electronic distress pheromone that passes through the interwebs to summon both more of their kind and strange, symbiotic creatures that are eager to act as apologists for them, excusing whatever they say no matter how offensive while being highly critical of those calling out the bigots on the basis that they are being unforgiveably mean for doing so…

    4) Increasingly unpleasant hoggling, including rants about the supposedly castration-obsessed ‘feminazis’ that hunt the internet in packs seeking to sate their unholy gonad-lust on unsuspecting MRAs, death and/or rape threats, and incompetent attempts to impugn the ‘manhood’ of any commenters whom the troll assumes to be male who take a stand against misogyny.

    5) Several failed attempts to stick the flounce, followed by a final starfart of epic proportions that sometimes results in banning.

    6) Permanent migration to ERV.

  87. says

    Despite what you may think, ninja feminists haven’t jumped through my window to punish me for my betrayal.

    Now that we have cleared that up, do you have a point?

    yawn…. into which language would you prefer me to translate my post so that you understand it?

    paraphrasing now: first, femenists like you PZ and me would do well to understand that nothing meaningful will change in our lives although this sad fact should not deflate our will or actions to try influence the status quo.

    second, reddit is full of silly little boys without much worldly wisdom who will either change their backward attitudes as they mature or they will not. Blanket insults will do nothing at all but help to ensure that the many humans suffering debilitating testosterone poisoning will dig their heels in further.

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    it works both ways – always…

  88. says

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    may I inquire whence the delusion that the relevant demographic is accessible via reason and good arguments?

  89. elu1 says

    I find the article over generalizing towards men and the “atheist community” as a whole. The writer already says that many commentators crossover from other parts of Reddit. She should have investigated before she made statements based on assumptions. Does she know who on R/atheism are atheists and who are not? Is R/atheism a huge community of atheists? Are all commentators grown men? How many of the commentators normally reside in R/atheism or are in fact crossing over? How many commentators condemned their actions?

    She does not know, her ignorance however does not sway her in anyway.

    Treating someone differently because of their gender is totally unacceptable and should be condemned. She addresses that which is great. However she could do without the embellishments and over generalization. I feel the article writer has an underlying bias towards the subject matter which in turn undermines the general message.

  90. carlie says

    reddit is full of silly little boys without much worldly wisdom who will either change their backward attitudes as they mature or they will not.

    It’s already been said multiple times that these are not all “little boys”. Claiming they are is dismissive of the fact that a lot of those guys making those comments have women working directly with or for them. Stop trying to hand-wave it away as “silly little boys” who need to mature when the attitudes they’re happily displaying online are the very same fucking attitudes they hold towards women they deal with in real life, and that the women involved get really fucking sick of dealing with it.

  91. janine says

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    I must be lacking in the humanist department. I have no desire to caress in good arguments creepy guys who say shit like “blood is a good lubricant” as part of a clustfuck about a fifteen year old girl who dares to post her picture on the internet.

    Tell me, oh wise man, how shall we massage those creepy men who like to chant:

    No means yes
    Yes means anal

    Fuck all, if only we would just be nice, grown men would stop spitting on eight year old girls.

  92. Wishful Thinking Rules All says

    LOL, Reddit is even worse than I’d imagine (heard about the many jailbait threads, never had a desire to give them traffic after that). What a bunch of stupid assholes.

  93. janine says

    I find the article over generalizing towards men and the “atheist community” as a whole. The writer already says that many commentators crossover from other parts of Reddit. She should have investigated before she made statements based on assumptions. Does she know who on R/atheism are atheists and who are not? Is R/atheism a huge community of atheists? Are all commentators grown men? How many of the commentators normally reside in R/atheism or are in fact crossing over? How many commentators condemned their actions?

    So, one should do a break down of the beliefs of the people who were making vile jokes about a fifteen year old girl before going off on that.

    Who the fuck are these people?

  94. says

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    You know as an utter nerd I have the seeming innate pathalogical need to listen to other nerds talk about what I like, and force them to hear me and so on. This immediately reminded me of the nerd who analysis Trek episodes, SFdebris. The video he did for Xmas was a 3 part take down of the worst Trek ever (Code of Honor) which was written by a director so clearly oozing racism and sexism he wound up getting fired (and yes…it shows). A point SFdebris made was that in the first season of TNG, diplomacy to the Enterprise seemed to mean ‘we’ll go along with whatever they say is their culture and assert no standards and bow down to every insane thing they demand regardless of how demeaning or insulting it is to us…for the sake of making peace’. The end result was having a crew that just looked pathetic, from tolerating kidnapping and force marriage to agreeing to dress in demeaning garb, the heroes ALWAYS were the ones to fall face first for the sake of peace. They were ALWAYS willing to meet the other side half way…and then apparently spin their wheels since no one else would bridge the gap.

    So yeah, no for the sake of diplomacy I’m not willing to be the first one to cross the DMZ and bend over backwards for an openly hostile and disinterested party. If any of them want to demonstrate SOME sliver of humanity or understanding and ask honest questions, fine but until they stop acting like bottom feeding heroine addled horny rape monkeys I’ll keep reminding them of how they’re acting.

  95. says

    I find the article over generalizing towards men and the “atheist community” as a whole. The writer already says that many commentators crossover from other parts of Reddit. She should have investigated before she made statements based on assumptions. Does she know who on R/atheism are atheists and who are not? Is R/atheism a huge community of atheists? Are all commentators grown men? How many of the commentators normally reside in R/atheism or are in fact crossing over? How many commentators condemned their actions?

    Isn’t the /r’s mostly self moderated by users? It’s a fair criticism against the whole ship if the Captain is allowing or even promoting his sailor’s indiscretions.

    And let’s not forget what this basically is with the gendered nuances removed. This is basically verbal assault. Would people be so tolerant of the assholes if this was a 15 year old boy who posted this and the response was “LOLZ, Total Fag…Hope you get AIDS” or “How hard did you have to rim your mom before she got the gift?” or talk about how they’d like to rape him?

    I can’t actually imagine how people would react, because I’ve never seen anyone react with such casual malice to a young man

  96. noname says

    The problem with the article is that she specifically mentions atheists as object for hatred but is that really a reasonable response? I wonder if there has ever been research done about sexist attitudes in relation to religion. Personally, my experience is that atheists are on avarage less sexist than Christians or Muslims. Volountarily post religious countries (as opposed to countries like the former USSR where religion was simply prohibited) with many non-religious people like Scandinavia also score better in equality among both sexes. Independent from religion or lack of religion, the anonymity of the internet generally attracts discriminatory and sadistic people. In the end, there is no reason for hating atheists for sexism.

  97. says

    So, those guys aren’t only making rape jokes, they make jokes about raping a 15 yo. Not only are they making jokes about raping a 15 yo, they’re making jokes about raping a particular, concrete, present to witness 15 yo.
    And other people are making axcuses for them.
    Can’t say which group I hate more.

  98. says

    The problem with the article is that she specifically mentions atheists as object for hatred but is that really a reasonable response?

    of course it’s a reasonable response; she’s part of two communities; atheists and skeptics. And if one of them turns out to be more misogynist than the other, then that’s entirely worth noting; introducing communities she isn’t part of is a complete red herring.

  99. says

    In the end, there is no reason for hating atheists for sexism.

    “hating” the members of your community who are making trying to be part of that community a miserable experience is a reason. A valid and perfectly understandable one even.

  100. Aquaria says

    As to P.Z.’s topic, I think it’s a damn shame when people are rude and dismissive to others. My mom worked as a professor of biology back in the 60s and I don’t recall anyone disrespecting her.

    My mother was a college-educated working woman back then. There was a shitload of disrespect going on. It’s only been in the past 15 years or so that she’s ever talked about just how bad things were for her back then.

    Your mother faced a lot of shit that she never burdened you with.

    Count on it.

  101. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    That is even more stupid. Did you read what those man wrote? How can you reason with that? What kind of a non-combative argument can one possibly use against someone who thinks that saying things like “blood/tears are nature’s lubricant” is funny?

    Also, I find your use of words caress and massage in this context, while talking about addressing this particular type of people, extremely creepy.

  102. janine says

    Oh shit! There goes Rebecca Watson, provoking sexist men again. The guys would not act this way if Rebecca would just STFU and serve them all a sandwich.

  103. Aquaria says

    “hating” the members of your community who are making trying to be part of that community a miserable experience is a reason. A valid and perfectly understandable one even.

    Oh, FFS, shut the fuck up. It’s not about you, cupcake.

    Look, I compare this “wah! she’s bashing all atheists because some of them behaving badly” with how people diss Texas and Texans.

    I grew up in Texas and I’ve lived here all my life, but when people bash Texas or Texans for X reason, I don’t take it personally. I can’t! All I can do is look at what they’re trying to say, what point they’re trying to make, and accept that, in some ways, this state deserves the reputation it has.

    For instance, just how the fuck am I supposed to defend a state that commits more government-sanctioned murders than any other state in America? Am I supposed to be proud of that? Am I supposed to deny it’s happening? Am I supposed to say, don’t bash this abhorrent practice because it’s wrong to bash all Texans for something that’s done in the name of Texas?

    What the fuck kind of stupid is that?

    The problem isn’t that Texans are bashed when state-sanctioned murder comes up. The fucking problem is the fucking state-sanctioned murders! DUH!

    Likewise, the problem isn’t when a woman has enough of sexism in the atheism movement that she’s sick of atheists. The sexism is still there, and still wrong, and getting all butt-hurt because some atheists are sexist douchebags and called out for demonstrating it in frightening numbers doesn’t change the fact that sexism is real and lurking in more places than most people realize–or want to accept.

    Get over yourself.

  104. Rey Fox says

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    Are you for real?

  105. Aquaria says

    Now I know what the problem was. This is what I thought I copied:

    The problem with the article is that she specifically mentions atheists as object for hatred but is that really a reasonable response?

    “hating” the members of your community who are making trying to be part of that community a miserable experience is a reason. A valid and perfectly understandable one even.

    I was addressing the first part, not the second, and somehow deleted the wrong thing, or didn’t copy it all the way I intended.

    Again, I’m sorry.

  106. crissakentavr says

    I’ve said this before and will say it again: We have a perfectly good english word that’s gender neutral, ‘they’. And if you go around labeling people with xe and hir or whatever made-up one they didn’t choose, you’re insulting them. Especially if they already told you which one they asked for.

    And someone will probably choose to do that to me, of course, as if being sexist and transphobic was funny. Since that’s happened every other time I’ve mentioned it here.

  107. Azkyroth says

    That is even more stupid. Did you read what those man wrote? How can you reason with that? What kind of a non-combative argument can one possibly use against someone who thinks that saying things like “blood/tears are nature’s lubricant” is funny?

    Yeah, really. Even if you’re enough of a stupid sack of shit to think that people who think rape is funny can be reasoned with, are you really enough of a stupid sack of shit to think that people who are unaware that blood coagulates can be reasoned with?

  108. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Actually, I only do that to you, because it annoys you so much, crissakentavr, and because ever since you decided that my distaste for your tone concerns made me a troll, I’ve decided to make you the only person I’ve ever deliberately trolled in my life.

  109. Happiestsadist says

    Deliberately misgendering people is kind of shitty. Even if you think they’re an asshole. having your gender ID respected should not be based on whether you’re a liked or smart or pleasant person.

    Avoiding people’s preferred pronoun if you know them makes you a transphobic jackass if you do it on purpose. There are many perfectly valid insults that apply to crissakentavr.

    Language pedants really need to stop hyperventilating over newer pronouns and singular “they”. Language evolves and changes. Deal. Perhaps examine why respecting people’s gender identities is less important than maintaining the pure, unsullied nature of English.

  110. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    All right, HappiestSadist, you are correct. There are many wonderful ways to insult crissakentavr, and I won’t reinforce the toxic idea that only nice people get to have their gender ID respected anymore.

    I apologize, crissakentavr, for abusing your discomfort over gender-neutral pronouns as a way to make you angry, when there are many other ways to upset you which are more effective and don’t reinforce bigotry. It won’t happen again.

  111. janine says

    One does not need to go out of one’s way to make crissakentavr upset. crissakentavr looks for reasons to get upset.

  112. Gregory Greenwood says

    paulpaulus @ 106;

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    (Emphasis added)

    Either you are a Poe in very bad taste, or this is perhaps the poorest word-choice in the history of Pharyngula.

    Think about it – going on about ‘caressing’ and ‘massaging’ people who think that joking about raping a 15 year old girl is funny and that talk about blood and tears as lubricant. Are you sure you want to do that?

  113. Happiestsadist says

    Thanks. I actually just blushed to my ears. I’ve been in a big heap of depression because of my own genderqueer unhappinessses and too many people (who should know better) misgendering me and I was feeling like I was maybe too sensitive. So, um, thanks.

    So, how about crissakentavr being a douchebasket?

  114. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I think he’s a douchecanoe, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

    I’m sorry you’ve been having troubles with people respecting your gender identity. ((hugs)) if you want them.

  115. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    A douchecanoe laden with douchebaskets? That’s a lot of douchiness. Like his douchey ship came in bearing douchey riches.

    I like it.

  116. crocswsocks says

    That picture makes me so happy! Such a pretty, smart-looking girl reading such an amazing book.

  117. says

    Meh, the reddit stuff is actually quite painful. Then we have the skepchick comments that remind us that the idiots are well around our community as well. This is depressing.

    I am not sure who are worst. The guys who can’t help but post with their sausages or the guys that are actually misogynistic and go aggro at her for being so female. Oh boy.

  118. Gregory Greenwood says

    carlie @ 145;

    I echo your headdesk. I don’t think that crocswsocks did it intentionally, but it is unfortunate that the first attribute of the young woman in question that xe mentioned was that she was ‘pretty’ – subjective assessments of relative attractiveness are not really the point here.

    The replication of gender roles and gender-centric concepts of worth is so very difficult to stamp out because they are so often replicated unconsciously.

  119. Alex the Pretty Good says

    @ Agent Smith, 94

    But that’s not how it is, and it made me wonder: are there any godless sites where Lunam could have created that same post and not been hit with sexist invective; indeed, not been hit on?

    Well, the forum on About.com is pretty free of this kind of obnoxious behaviour.

    Then again, it’s an old-school registration-only forum with good moderators, so it doesn’t really attract a lot of new posters in general.

  120. elu1 says

    So if men disagree with Rebecca on the way she presented this particular issue, they are automatically sexist.

    Furthermore no one here is saying anything like you just described. You are making a caricature of the situation.

  121. says

    #121

    At the same time the length of her funeral procession tells me she had a lot of friends. A proud, determined woman my mom, and not one to suffer fools in any fashion.

  122. Azkyroth says

    At the same time the length of her funeral procession tells me she had a lot of friends. A proud, determined woman my mom, and not one to suffer fools in any fashion.

    You don’t seem to have suffered much, true.

  123. tyroneslothrop says

    First, what that young lady had to endure was utterly horrific.

    Second, on the question of gender neutral pronouns: Singular “they” is, from a descriptive linguistic point of view, absolutely fine. As has been noted, it has a long history of use in a variety of English dialects (including mine). Also, in any number of English dialects, “he” and “she” do not code gender and appear to be in free variation. Many American Indian Englishes (see William Leap 1993. American Indian English. Utah UP) do not code gender on “she” and “he” and they can be used interchangeably. This seems to be an influence from the Native language which does not code gender. Sometimes, though not always (or most frequently), “he” and “she” function as proximate and obviative indexes. This also appears to be an influence from some Native languages. Though this is not always the case. As I pointed out above, sometimes in American Indian Englishes “she” and “he” are in free variation, even though the Native language (Algonquian and Athabaskan languages, for example)has a proximate/obviative distinction. Having worked with speakers of such American Indian Englishes, the first couple times a “she” pops up for what my English dialect would code as a “he” it was disconcerting, but after awhile you can get used to it.

    Why bring this up? Directed language change, whether through “they” or invented forms, do not always go as planned. Rather language (grammar)–because of speaker awareness and language ideologies–is emergent (see Paul Hopper 1987). Michael Silverstein (1985) discusses the Quaker influence on our current pronominal system (what happened to “thou”). (full citation: 1985. “Language and the Culture of Gender: At the Intersection of Structure, Usage, and Ideology.” In Signs in Society. (Eds. Elizabeth Mertz and Richard Parmentier). New York: Academic Press. 219-259.) Such invented forms may inspire reactionary usages that “hyper”-gender (in the Labovian sense of “hypercorrection”) and these, for ideological, social, and political reasons, may take hold and become not “hyper” forms, but the new norm.

    Note also that a markedness relation has been, through a particular language ideology, valorized as an index of inequality; because “he” is the unmarked form and “she” the marked form, this becomes a “sign” of gender inequality. But, as in the case of certain American Indian Englishes, when “he” and “she” are used interchangeably and do not code gender, many who do not speak or write that dialect will assign such usages the label of “incorrect English.” Such usages will be marginalized and seen as an index of improper English language usage. But this view is based on ignorance of how languages actually work. Yet one form of inequality, which marginalizes actual people, is allowable because of some false fidelity to “grammar” (the same is true of those who would criticize the use of “they”), and the other–where “he” is the unmarked form–which does not necessarily entail marginalizing anyone, becomes the topic of much discussion and concern.

    Other dialects of English do not code gender on the pronouns “he” and “she”, yet these dialects are precisely the dialects that are marginalized in schools and popular media as deficient Englishes, failures.

  124. tyroneslothrop says

    By the way, claiming that “he” and “she”, when used as in American Indian Englishes in free variation, are “ungrammatical” is an aesthetic claim (in fact, much of the Chomskyian project is based on just such aesthetic judgments). Note, as Dell Hymes (1972) long ago argued, just how much political power is hidden in that “aesthetic” judgment, especially when it is naturalized through claims about “grammaticality” (full citation: 1972. “Speech and Language: On the Origins and Foundations of Inequality among Speakers.” Daedalus. 102(3): 59-88.); as if there was a disinterested “grammar” not located in interested human beings.

    Also, whether or not a language encodes gender on pronominals and whether or not one gendered pronoun is treated as the unmarked form does not entail gender inequality. It has been valorized as indicating gender inequality by some, denied by others, and now used by some to assert gender inequalities (to “he” or “she” someone, see again Silverstein 1985 for how this worked out for “thou” and the Quakers), but the form does not entail such gender inequalities. On the other hand, writing flippantly about raping a 15 year old girl and telling others to get over it, because those things happen, is an assertion of gender inequality. And vile.

  125. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    understand that nothing meaningful will change in our lives

    There’s this about cynicism: it’s the universe’s most supine moral position. Real comfortable. If nothing can be done, then you’re not some kind of shit for not doing it.

  126. says

    I’m not about to go on to reddit (yikes!) to find out, but did the young woman who received the book ever mention whether her mom understood the kind of book she was giving?

  127. crowepps says

    Yes, the young lady said that the reason she was so pleased by the gift of the book was her mother’s acceptance as shown by giving what she wanted even though the mother didn’t agree with the ideas in the book.

  128. crissakentavr says

    136 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says:
    28 December 2011 at 2:11 pm
    All right, HappiestSadist, you are correct. There are many wonderful ways to insult crissakentavr, and I won’t reinforce the toxic idea that only nice people get to have their gender ID respected anymore.

    I apologize, crissakentavr, for abusing your discomfort over gender-neutral pronouns as a way to make you angry, when there are many other ways to upset you which are more effective and don’t reinforce bigotry. It won’t happen again.

    140 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says:
    28 December 2011 at 2:20 pm
    I think he’s a douchecanoe, but that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

    I’m sorry you’ve been having troubles with people respecting your gender identity. ((hugs)) if you want them.

    142 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says:
    28 December 2011 at 2:30 pm
    A douchecanoe laden with douchebaskets? That’s a lot of douchiness. Like his douchey ship came in bearing douchey riches.

    I like it.

    Oh, wait, you can’t be bothered to look at Sally’s comments? Gosh. What a sham. Err, shame. You’re too busy sticking your nose somewhere brown to avoid being transphobic! I’m sorry to have bothered you with that minor detail.

    -Crissa

  129. says

    Just wanting to add a little fuel to the rape fire here (ad hominists please read the whole post before attacking – I prefer a thorough tongue lashing to a half hearted one):

    Jokes about rape are just that. They are jokes, not rape. You might not find them funny, you may not think they are jokes but that doesn’t make it rape. Waving the rapist flag here only serves to make the wavers look silly. This is an ideal chance to offer a metered exposé of the rotten state of human discourse and gross lack of respect. Try to make it count in our favour instead of wasting it (I’m talking to you, too, RKW). We wont change much in an afternoon of straight talking but I’d also put my money on winning over a few of the more reasonable guys who could be great allies as the imbeciles are somewhat more likely to listen to a male feminist than a female one. If that was not the case we wouldn’t be so deep in this mess.

    We should be outraged – and we are – but we should make our outrage as effective as possible. Hysterical flag waving will only make them point and laugh and probably make more jokes about rape. Opportunity lost.

    The other (more tiresome) side of the rape discussion is that any sexually tinted remark made to or about an underage girl is equated to rape. That is to say, if someone had commented, “I’d hit that” he could be considered a rapist because sex with a 15 year old is illegal.

    Here is a little anecdote about legality and rape all rolled into one:

    I once lived in a country where, up until a few decades ago, it was illegal to have sex across the colour-bar. That is to say, consensual sex between a white woman and a black man, both adults, was considered rape. Guilty negro was promptly carted off for an extended stay at an official government residence. If he was lucky, that is, because he could just as likely have had his neck stretched.

    Just because “it was the law” didn’t make the law valid.

    The analogy probably needs spelling out here: there is nothing magical that happens to a woman on the eve of her 17th year. She has the same body and mind as she had the day before her birthday that she will have the day after. She does not suddenly go from jailbait to rodeo queen except in a legal sense for the law needs a definite demarcation to ensure convictions and, ostensibly, protect the vulnerable. And I respect these laws – but laws can change.

    You grandparents probably lived at a time where consensual sex was only considered legal from their 19th year and onwards. Your grandchildren might – and quite likely will – know an age of consent of 15 or even 14 years.

    So, please, cut it out with the rapist/rape apologist/rape-enabler tedium based on an arbitrary and changeable age. There are children subject to genuine abuse every day, every where. Even though having a good whine on the interwebs might make us feel a little better we are not making the world a safer place for them.

    Flame away

  130. says

    Jokes about rape are just that. They are jokes, not rape. You might not find them funny, you may not think they are jokes but that doesn’t make it rape.

    Well, you have been asking for it
    No, cupcake they’re not.
    Because very likely, whenever you told or laughed at a rape-joke, a rape victim was present and heard you. Xe heard that you thought that the probably worst thing that ever happened to xir was hilariously cry out loud funny.
    You may have re-victimized that person, triggered that person, made it impossible for that person to continue going to said bar, engage in said circle of friends, continue working at that job.
    If you think that’s a joke then there’s so much wrong with you I cannot even start on it.
    And very likely, several times, a rapist was present to hear you laugh about rape. Xe thought what xe did was funny and no big deal. Xe thought you were on xir side.
    So, just fuck off.
    Please hand in your “decent human being card” at the door.
    In exchange you get a porcupine. Please forgive that they haven’t matured to the appropriate level of rottenness, but we’ve been in high demand lately.

  131. carlie says

    crissa – nope, not seeing it. Haven’t you declared that you’d rather be called a “he” before?

  132. says

    So, just fuck off.

    … etc, etc…

    yes, because yours is the only valid opinion and this is the best way you can make your point.

    sorry, but to be listened to (and heard) you need to do a little better than that!

    like i said, i like ad hominems…. really I do… they weaken your argument and might even strengthen mine.

    if we always needed to watch our language to avoid offending people we might as well all sew our lips shut…

    PP

    p.s…. i didn’t say the jokes were funny, i just said they were jokes…. but they are not rape…

  133. says

    The other (more tiresome) side of the rape discussion is that any sexually tinted remark made to or about an underage girl is equated to rape. That is to say, if someone had commented, “I’d hit that” he could be considered a rapist because sex with a 15 year old is illegal.

    actually, it would be rape not because it’s illegal, but because it would be sex with someone with a diminished capacity for giving consent. Relevant research has been posted by Stephanie on her blog here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2011/12/27/evidence-on-the-hebephilia-question/

  134. Just_A_Lurker says

    #164 paulpaulus

    Oh, you’re that asshole? I didn’t recognize. Well, now that you’re here let me tell you I hate the fact you put survivors in quote marks. Along with every single other thing you’ve said. Now don’t forget your porcupine for the ugly facts thread, I’d hate for you to miss out. After all, you must love our porcupines so much you keep coming back!

  135. Just_A_Lurker says

    #168

    How is telling you to fuck off an ad hom? Demonstrate you understand what it means or continue making yourself look like a moron.

    I know which my money is riding on.

  136. Matt Penfold says

    like i said, i like ad hominems…. really I do… they weaken your argument and might even strengthen mine.

    I do not know if English is your first language, but you need to be aware of two things.

    First, learn to use capitals. Not using capitals makes what your write harder to read, and that is simply rude.

    Second, do not use words you do not understand. In this case your use of ad hominem suggests you think it is a synonym for insult. It is not, it refers to an ad hominem fallacy and I have seen no such fallacy directed towards you. Either you are using the word in ignorance in an attempt to appear more intelligent than you are, or you are not being honest. Neither is polite.

  137. says

    actually, it would be rape not because it’s illegal, but because it would be sex with someone with a diminished capacity for giving consent.

    How is it that my mother was considered as having had “diminished capacity” at age 20 and not at age 21?

    For Lunam the ages of 15 and 16 apply.

    And, clearly, my mother was not reading Sagan or as intellectually competent as Lunam probably is – even at age 25 when she already had 3 kids.

    How is telling you to fuck off an ad hom? Demonstrate you understand what it means or continue making yourself look like a moron.

    rofl.

  138. says

    yes, because yours is the only valid opinion and this is the best way you can make your point.

    Telling that you conveniently ignored what I wrote before the “fuck off”, where I carefully explained why your position is shitty and everything.
    Fact is: You, dear cupcake, can’t engage in an argument.
    You ignore the facts (not opinion) I wrote before the fuck off, you ignoe Jadehawks links and concentrate on your well-earned “fuck-off”.
    I’ll repeat it, whole-heartedly:
    Fuck off.
    If you actually want to engage in a discussion, learn how to do it.

  139. says

    How is it that my mother was considered as having had “diminished capacity” at age 20 and not at age 21?

    you’re confused, and evidently have not actually bothered reading any of the evidence I linked to. Otherwise, you wouldn’t post such silly non sequiturs.

    And, clearly, my mother was not reading Sagan or as intellectually competent as Lunam probably is

    another irrelevant non sequitur, since a person’s desire or ability to read certain things stands in precisely no connection to her ability to consent to sex.

  140. says

    How is it that my mother was considered as having had “diminished capacity” at age 20 and not at age 21?

    Translation:
    I’m totally not going to read the scientific studies about the harm older sexual partners cause on teenagers, even though people spoon-fed me by linking to them and just spill out absolute bullshit about adults.
    Never let facts get into the way of your bigotry, can’t be having with facts at my time of life!

  141. says

    no one is saying that jokes about rape ARE rape. they are however not harmless, and contribute to rape culture:

    Undoubtedly! You hardly need a link to prove that our pale blue dot is sick and hemorrhaging by this nastiness.

    I too have been the victim of violence and discrimination. What I have learned about dealing with it is that:

    a) white-washing groups of people (in this case men and atheists as assholes and rapists) does not improve the quality of our discourse and

    b) emotion and personal anecdote can blind us to cases of real violence and abuse and prevent us from seeking ways to subvert said violence and discrimination.

  142. says

    a) white-washing groups of people (in this case men and atheists as assholes and rapists) does not improve the quality of our discourse and

    stop using words you don’t know the meaning of. Also, I know you have problems with reading comprehension, but please take not of the repeatedly used word “some”, which takes care of your accusations of broad-brush painting.

    emotion and personal anecdote can blind us to cases of real violence and abuse and prevent us from seeking ways to subvert said violence and discrimination.

    you would do well to actually read the links I provided before saying such thoroughly stupid shit, since I have linked you to research that shows the connection between rape and rape jokes

    interesting also that you think “emotion and personal anecdote” are somehow incompatible with identifying cases of “real violence and abuse” (as opposed to what? “imagined” violence and abuse?)

  143. says

    Telling that you conveniently ignored what I wrote before the “fuck off”

    Simply using the words “you” or “your” can be an indication of ad hom abuse… A quick count got me to 6 in that post which did nothing to help advance your argument. It comes across a little more balanced and credible if an argument is made limiting the use of those words.

    Try it, you might like it.

  144. says

    just ad a “wo” in front of “men” in PZ’s post and ask yourself if that is acceptable means of discourse…

    yawn…. into which language would you prefer me to translate my post so that you understand it?

    paraphrasing now: first, femenists like you PZ and me would do well to understand that nothing meaningful will change in our lives although this sad fact should not deflate our will or actions to try influence the status quo.

    second, reddit is full of silly little boys without much worldly wisdom who will either change their backward attitudes as they mature or they will not. Blanket insults will do nothing at all but help to ensure that the many humans suffering debilitating testosterone poisoning will dig their heels in further.

    caress them with good arguments and massage them with reason and you (we?) will have more effect in a shorter timespan…

    Jokes about rape are just that. They are jokes, not rape. You might not find them funny, you may not think they are jokes but that doesn’t make it rape.

    You grandparents probably lived at a time where consensual sex was only considered legal from their 19th year and onwards. Your grandchildren might – and quite likely will – know an age of consent of 15 or even 14 years.

    A quick count got me to 6 in that post which did nothing to help advance your argument. It comes across a little more balanced and credible if an argument is made limiting the use of those words.

    Try it, you might like it.

    idiot.

    (though, I did find the gratuitous abuse of the word “we” far more telling, actually)

  145. says

    Simply using the words “you” or “your” can be an indication of ad hom abuse…

    No, cupcake, they can’t.
    First of all, there’s something called “generic you”, meaning “people”.
    Secondly, an insult as such is not an ad hominem.
    Attacking a person per se isn’t an ad hominem.
    An ad hominem is to say “it’s been written by paulpaulus, therefore it must be bullshit.”
    On the other hand, explaining why your position (“rape jokes are just jokes”) is wrong and then telling you to fuck off because you’re a disgusting rape apologist isn’t.
    I see that you still have no other argument than whining about how people aren’t nice and are mistreating you with facts…

  146. Matt Penfold says

    Simply using the words “you” or “your” can be an indication of ad hom abuse…

    Ad hominem refers to a fallacy, not abuse. It is not simply being insulting.

    To be an ad hominem your argument must be dismissed using only insult. If the insult comes in addition to reasoned argument then it is not an ad hominem fallacy, and it is dishonest to claim it is.

    Care to explain why you have consistently misused the term ?

  147. says

    Ad hominem refers to a fallacy, not abuse. It is not simply being insulting.

    Sorry Matt but that is not entirely true

    Ad hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate his or her argument

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuse#Ad_hominem_abuse

    Whatever the result of the semantic discussion might be, what we have here is a case of me receiving fuck you’s and porcupines and loads of finger-pointing for stating a balanced and reasoned opinion.

    Little has been done to refute my points other trying to tell me that I just don’t understand shit. Might people here be a little more capable of mature argumentation or simply able state their own opinion without getting hysterical we might have the basis for constructive debate and, possibly even, find ways to make progress during our short sojourn on this planet.

    I might even have some stories to tell more horrific than their own.

    It seems that if I am not involved in frantic flag waving on the side of the fuck you’s and porcupines then I am on the side of rapists/rape apologists/rape-enablers.

    But that’s just my opinion.

  148. tyroneslothrop says

    One of the more noxious claims that attempts to deflect responsibility from vile statements is to state that it is “only a joke” and that it is the listener/reader that does not get the “joke” and is therefore “oversensitive.” We see this in racist discourse all the time (Jane Hill’s 2008 Everyday Language of White Racism makes this point well). That such “jokes” naturalize and normalize rather vile assumptions is then obscured and the listener/reader is told to “get over it.” This, of course, maintains (and naturalizes) dominant structures of inequality–maintains to paraphrase Hill, “white male virtue”–the targets of the jokes, minorities or women here, are then read as “more emotional” (which is a negative value in our society) and “less rational” (and there is a long history of racist and sexist associations with those two turns-of-phrases: women and minorities have been systematically excluded and marginalized because of racist and sexist claims about them being “too emotional”, where white men have been valorized as emblems of the “rational” being); and so confirming their “second-class” (if they are lucky) status. Such jokes are assertions of privilege. Such “jokes” naturalize structures of inequality. They are forms of discursive domination.

  149. says

    Ad hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate his or her argument

    ergo, not an insult. stop being so sloppy with language.

    Whatever the result of the semantic discussion might be, what we have here is a case of me receiving fuck you’s and porcupines and loads of finger-pointing for stating a balanced and reasoned opinion.

    “balanced”? That’s actually the fallacy of the Golden Middle, but whatevs. And “reasoned” is just hilarious. We’re the ones with the science, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Little has been done to refute my points

    incorrect

    we might have the basis for constructive debate

    considering your low level of reading comprehension and unwillingness to engage with the scientific literature in favor of tone trolling, I find it highly doubtful that constructive debate with you is possible

    It seems that if I am not involved in frantic flag waving on the side of the fuck you’s and porcupines then I am on the side of rapists/rape apologists/rape-enablers.

    the only reason this would seem that way to you would be your lack of reading comprehension. Belittling other people and pulling non sequiturs meant to somehow invalidate what is or isn’t rape or “real violence and abuse” is what are putting you on the side of the rape enablers and apologists (read: squarely withing the section of society that perpetuates rather than diminishes rape culture), not your obsession with keeping a certain tone and substituting “we” and various forms of “some people” for “you” in your writing.

  150. Ariaflame says

    I don’t remember seeing any balanced and reasoned opinion from paulpaulus. Only a lot of apologetics and inability to address refutations of his opinions. Based on the comments here and on the other thread he linked to I’d suspect him to be a denizen of ERV, but this is merely speculation.

    Also what tyroneslothrop said.

    Since good arguments don’t work on paulpaulus, why does he think the brain dead posters who posted such offensive remarks in the reddit thread would respond to such things?

  151. tyroneslothrop says

    Which is to say, that claiming that “rape jokes” are “just that” and that those who would challenge such “jokes” look “silly” is to tacitly side with maintaining structures of inequality. It is not a “balanced and reasoned opinion.” It is most clearly not an informed opinion. It lacks any knowledge of the vast literature on such “jokes” in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. It is an argument based on ignorance (and a defense of privilege).

  152. Matt Penfold says

    Sorry Matt but that is not entirely true

    Oh dear, now you are simply being dishonest.

    Look, you fucked up and used a word you thought you knew the meaning of, but did not. Normal people would accept they fucked up, apologise and move on. Not you. You carried on fucking up, and now want to claim you did not make a mistake at all.

    Well sorry. I am not going to let you get away with that. I note you could not be bothered to read the correct Wikipedia article, despite someone providing a link to it. I will provide the relavanet quote, so you can read it, realise your mistake and apologise.

    An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it. Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy.

    Gratuitous verbal abuse or “name-calling” itself is not an ad hominem or a logical fallacy.

    Care to explain how you managed to miss that ?

    I have tried giving you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you are simply rather ignorant. That is becoming increasingly more difficult.

  153. says

    Since good arguments don’t work on paulpaulus, why does he think the brain dead posters who posted such offensive remarks in the reddit thread would respond to such things?

    because, contrary to evidence, he thinks they’re teens or young adults; with those, it is of course possible to sit them down and explain the harm they’re doing (assuming you’re a trusted authority to them). Even so, it would be the interpersonal that would do the convincing. The only thing we, as relative strangers, could do is provide a (hopefully ever-increasing) social force that pushes back against the acceptability of such behavior: basically, change the social climate and thus change the direction in which the forces of peer-pressure and acculturation pull people.

    Since we’re not talking about teens and young adults, marginalization is pretty much the only thing left. Old misogynists rarely if ever stop being misogynists; too much acculturation has already happened, and too much has been invested emotionally and psychologically.

  154. says

    Little has been done to refute my points other trying to tell me that I just don’t understand shit.

    No, people have demonstrated that you understand shit.
    With links.
    To research.
    Your points have been thoroughly refuted and all you have done was whining about people using the pronoun “you” (something you do yourself consistently, of course)
    And not you whine about how immature people are here because they don’t fall over to kiss your ass.
    You are awarded the Tone Troll of the Day Medal

  155. freddavis says

    Yes, the atheism subreddit is a shitty place with a lot of assholes who mostly just post facebook screenshots and comic strips. It also raised $200,000 for Doctors Without Borders this year. What did your blogs do?

    On the subject of rape jokes – how often do males complain about jokes dealing with prison rape or emasculation, and how often do humans in general complain about jokes about death?

  156. says

    It also raised $200,000 for Doctors Without Borders this year. What did your blogs do?

    aside from the fact that this is not a dick-waving contest: Pharyngula and the other freethoughtblogs have on numerous occasions raised money and volunteers for various charities.

    On the subject of rape jokes – how often do males complain about jokes dealing with prison rape or emasculation, and how often do humans in general complain about jokes about death?

    1)what do you think your point is by pointing out prison rape jokes? they are just as wrong, and if you gave a fuck you’d know that they are just as unwelcome here as other kinds of rape jokes
    2)jokes about death do not contribute to the increase of death; jokes about rape do contribute to increase of rape. that’s because there’s such a thing as rape-culture, but not a death-culture, in that sense. go read the research articles I linked to above.

  157. janine says

    Yes, the atheism subreddit is a shitty place with a lot of assholes who mostly just post facebook screenshots and comic strips. It also raised $200,000 for Doctors Without Borders this year. What did your blogs do?

    Provide links to worthwhile organizations for people to donate to. Oh, wait a second, you are trying to imply that the regulars here just sits on their collective fat asses.

    On the subject of rape jokes – how often do males complain about jokes dealing with prison rape or emasculation, and how often do humans in general complain about jokes about death?

    You must be new here. Most of us will point out to a person making a prison rape joke that it is not accepted here. And while sometimes a particularly vile person is told to go die, death threats are also not welcome here.

    Is there anything else you want to pull out of your ass, freddavis? Or do you want to justify the treatment that teen age girl received?

  158. says

    On the subject of rape jokes – how often do males complain about jokes dealing with prison rape or emasculation, and how often do humans in general complain about jokes about death?

    The prison rape proves the point! That people find it so funny is why it’s allowed to go on. It’s insane! We’ve institutionalized rape as punishment and people think it’s a joke.

    And we put non-violent offenders in an environment where guards are basically encouraged to allow rape and abuse.

    This is obscene, if another nation did this to soldiers they would be seen as amongst history’s greatest monsters, but everyone here is convinced that it’s ok and part of the natural order of things because it’s funny.

  159. freddavis says

    >Provide links to worthwhile organizations for people to donate to. Oh, wait a second, you are trying to imply that the regulars here just sits on their collective fat asses.

    No, I’m honestly asking. I really am new here.

    I’m also not trying to justify the treatment she received. I would appreciate learning where you got that idea and also the idea that death threats are jokes about death. I’m just saying that before you start congratulating yourselves on being such a better community, you should probably look at more than one thread. Aside from the mostly bullshit posts in /r/atheism, there’s always a few about atheists who thank that particular subreddit for giving them the courage to finally stand up for themselves.

    Jadehawk, i read the abstracts of two of the articles you linked to.

    First quoted article: “Results showed that the enjoyment of sexist humor waspositively correlated with rape-related attitudes andbeliefs, the self-reported likelihood of forcing sex,and psychological, physical, and sexual aggression in men.”

    Second quoted article: “However, exposure to sexist humor affects rape proclivity only when aversiveness shown to this type of humor is low.”

    All either of the abstracts really says is that sexist jokes are more popular with potential rapists. I’m not sure that’s news. Neither mentions “rape culture”.

  160. says

    CLEARLY YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT OUR SITE RAISED CHARITY THUS EXCUSING OUR HORRIBLE BEHAVOIR! YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STUFF BEFORE YOU COMMENT. WHAT HAVE YOOOOOOOOOOOOOU DONE AT ALL!?

    /irony /idiot

    For reference people HERE have commented about coming out blah blah blah, without having OTHERS driven away by us talking about how much we’d like to fill their meat holes.

  161. says

    crowepps #161

    Yes, the young lady said that the reason she was so pleased by the gift of the book was her mother’s acceptance as shown by giving what she wanted even though the mother didn’t agree with the ideas in the book.

    Thanks, crowepps. Supportive parent(s) is a big plus. Or so I’ve heard.

  162. freddavis says

    No, it’s allowed to go on because it would be expensive to stop it. If the government had to hire rapists to go into the prisons, I’m sure it would be less popular.

    People should have far more sensitive to a 15-year-old girl and other people should never have upvoted those comments. They didn’t, and guess what? Somehow the atheism subreddit still manages to accomplish a lot of great stuff.

  163. says

    All either of the abstracts really says is that sexist jokes are more popular with potential rapists. I’m not sure that’s news. Neither mentions “rape culture”.

    *headdesk*

    I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were so thoroughly ignorant as to not know what rape culture is. I’m afraid you’ll have to do your own homework though, or hope for someone with more patience, because I can’t be bothered to explain basics today.

    Do you at least understand the difference between rape jokes and death jokes now? or do you still not get it? do you think death jokes are more popular among murderers, for instance?

  164. carlie says

    Somehow the atheism subreddit still manages to accomplish a lot of great stuff.

    Yeah, I’m really nice to other people, so quit complaining about how I’m treating you and shut up, you dumb bitch.

  165. says

    No, it’s allowed to go on because it would be expensive to stop it.

    which is, of course, why all countries everywhere have the same problems with prison rape. some of them are just more or less willing to “pay” to prevent the otherwise inevitable rape rampage.

    oh, wait.

  166. says

    No, it’s allowed to go on because it would be expensive to stop it. If the government had to hire rapists to go into the prisons, I’m sure it would be less popular.

    I’m sorry it would be expensive. To have guards. Do the job. They are paid to do?

    Do you even think at all?

    Why should expense have anything to fucking do with it? If any branch of the government had a policy of promoting rape why wouldn’t people be outraged at it? Expense only is an issue if you’ve decided that the prisoners aren’t worth shit already.

    Fuck you buddy.

    Oh I’d really like to have a government that doesn’t beat people in the streets and sodomize them with broom sticks…but it’d be expensive.

  167. janine says

    Freddavis, I will put it to you in this way. Some people have linked to their pictures in this blog. Some of them are young and attractive. Do you want to know what happened?

    We did not have fucking long threads about how much different people would love to fuck and rape that person!

    Fuck off, you idiot!

  168. freddavis says

    Wow. Why are you people atheists anyway? You’re certainly good at seeing things you only imagine.

  169. janine says

    Fuckface, what was imagined? That a bunch of skeevy guys were showing off their rape fantasies over a teen aged girl? That you stopped here with baseless accusations? That some people here think that prison rape is preventable and not just a cheap joke?

    What was imagined?

  170. says

    Also you know what, just fuck it. It really is people like this which makes me NEVER want to go to a Skeptic or Atheist event.

    I don’t need a bunch of white guys fucking lecturing me on how because they don’t go through the same shit I do I’m irrational and imagining it.

  171. says

    fuckiung unbelievable how someone can say that “meh, rape of people isn’t that important, we can allow it to happen for the sake of saving some green” and then talk about how rape culture is apparently imagined.

    These same ‘skeptics’ are usually also ones who will talk about how Islam’s beliefs makes people act so horribly to women.

  172. janine says

    Ing, there you go, being all irrational again. You should laugh and be grateful for allies like freddavis. He is one of the good guys. You are just imagining that he is being dismissive and accept his opening criticism as valid.

  173. chrisbaile says

    Am I the only one who thinks a bunch of internet asshole’s comments are being given way too much credit? Let me be perfectly clear that I agree these comments are inappropriate and sick. But when respectable bloggers like you, Greta, PZ, and others act like this is a big deal, you’re giving credence to a few douchbags who posted what would otherwise be throwaway comments on the internet. To reiterate, I am not defending these bastards. Anyone posting sexual comments about a 15 year old girl is a son of a bitch. BUT a HUGE deal s being made of random internet comments. Anonymity breeds this, and it doesn’t necessarily represent a greater flaw in society.

  174. carlie says

    chrisbaile – interesting, someone just posted almost the exact same comment that you just did under the name Ted Forest at JTs. Here’s my response I gave to that, which works here as well:

    You have to address the little things as much as the big things. It’s the little things that give the big things cover to exist, the little things that make us hardened to the existence of them so that the big things have room to grow. For example, it’s how enough people saying “she’s dressed like a slut” turns into “she was asking for it”, which, repeated often enough, gives that guy just enough of a nudge to think yeah, she IS asking for it, and then sways the jury to let him off because yeah, she totally was asking for it by dressing that way.

    Sure, it’s a random comment on the internet. Or, rather, several dozen comments on the internet, that were upvoted by several hundred other people. But try getting several of those comments a day, every day. Try bracing yourself every time you try to comment on anything because you know those sexist, degrading, violent responses are going to come at you no matter what the topic is you’re trying to talk about. Try being young and having this be the first introduction you have to the wider world, and then being told it’s always been like this and it always will be like this. It sucks, and it’s wrong.

    And saying “it’s only random comments, don’t give them attention” is an awful lot like other accommodating arguments. Guess what? Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away, it gives them the ability to thrive and spread. The only way to make them go away is to drag them out in the light and smash them to bits in front of everyone.

  175. janine says

    Anyone posting sexual comments about a 15 year old girl is a , son of a bitch. BUT a HUGE deal s being made of random internet comments. Anonymity breeds this, and it doesn’t necessarily represent a greater flaw in society.

    I like the light being shined on the douchenozzles. Just like I can avoid people who make these kind of statements in meat space, I can avoid the monikers who make and defend these statements online.

    And unless you have been the recipient of such treatment, don’t you fucking dare dismiss this just because it is not the greatest flaw in society. Mistreatment is mistreatment. AND YOU ARE DISMISSING IT!

  176. chrisbaile says

    Hi Carlie,

    First, that was me at JT’s blog too. I sometimes lose track of my usernames. :)

    Anyway, I certainly agree with you, and like I said, many of the things these people are saying are terrible. After reading your comment, perhaps I was a bit blasé about this topic. I was as disgusted with the comments as you are, and I guess you’re right that we have to fight the small battles first, even if they’re against small minded types on the internet. Mea culpa.

  177. carlie says

    chris – sorry, wasn’t trying to accuse you of anything, just explaining why I was making identical comments at two places (because I was responding to the same basic idea). I have three usernames myself in different blogspaces, so I understand.

    You stumbled upon an argument that is used dismissively a lot, the one of “it’s too small to worry about”, which is why I pounced so fast. But it’s kind of like how the little beep you hear in the room is a tiny noise, nothing to worry about, but when you hear it all the freakin’ time, you end up spending hours ripping the room apart trying to find the source of it (hint: check to see if you have a battery charger plugged in! because maybe it’s that).

    Another writer has described it well as being like cobwebs: each is insubstantial, and nothing at all to brush away, but walk through a roomful of them, and eventually you’re tangled up and dragged down and it takes more and more energy to deal with each subsequent one. Hateful comments on the internet are like that, but moreso, they multiply if you don’t stop them. Other people see them and see no one opposing them, and think that it’s ok to say things like that, and then you get more of those comments, and more.

    (and from an activist point of view, it’s an easy thing to try and make a small change in your world by pointing them out and why they’re wrong; enough people do that, and it makes a real difference)

  178. chrisbaile says

    No worries, Carlie. I was probably being a bit too dismissive of the comments. I usually don’t take notice of things like this, blog comments in particular.

    An you’re right, we definitely need to call people out when they make sexist comments like that.

  179. says

    Matt, sorry, still need to call you on that. I didn’t have my goodies with me yesterday so had to (remorsefully) rely on a wiki – but here is the entry of ad hominem in toto:

    The New Oxford American Dictionary – 2010

    ad hominem

    adv. & adj.

    1 (of an argument) arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.
    attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain: vicious ad hominem attacks.

    2 relating to or associated with a particular person: [as adv.] the office was created for Fenton. | [as adj.] an ad hominem response.

    late 16th cent.: Latin, literally, ‘to the person’.

    Therefore, and nota bene, not sticking to the argument/discussion by going for the throat is ad hominem. Basic knowledge of Latin would not have failed any new-comer as to the meaning of the term. If it is not clear by now that cupcake fuck you porcupine is ad hominem it will never be.

    But I will move on briskly because I discovered this gem:

    because, contrary to evidence, he thinks they’re teens or young adults; with those, it is of course possible to sit them down and explain the harm they’re doing (assuming you’re a trusted authority to them). Even so, it would be the interpersonal that would do the convincing. The only thing we, as relative strangers, could do is provide a (hopefully ever-increasing) social force that pushes back against the acceptability of such behavior: basically, change the social climate and thus change the direction in which the forces of peer-pressure and acculturation pull people.

    Since we’re not talking about teens and young adults, marginalization is pretty much the only thing left. Old misogynists rarely if ever stop being misogynists; too much acculturation has already happened, and too much has been invested emotionally and psychologically.

    Thank you. This looks and tastes like genuine discussion so I will grasp the opportunity to keep things at this level of discourse – a notch higher than it has been recently. Still, you needn’t use the personal pronoun “he” for me.

    First, you don’t think that Reddit is a cesspool of (pre)pubescent teenagers whereas I can’t imagine it’s full of doctors, accountants and family men. Let’s file this under “agree to disagree” for the mean time as I don’t have any data as to the demographics of Reddit’s contributors.

    What needs to be pointed out repeatedly though is that RKW’s claim (indeed the title of her rant) is that the repugnant comments come from atheists. Christians trolling atheist boards and vice versa is nothing new and a viral thread like that is, needless to say, entertainment for all and any bottom dwelling scum that didn’t have anything better to do over the festive period while the WoW servers were offline. No reason to blame atheists and further proof of her lack of intellectual honesty and integrity.

    The second point and the most important bit is what I have been alluding to all along – that the best approach we have is to grab abusive people (men only?) by the neck and rattle the idiocy out of them – is fallacious. I am so very happy that someone has finally decided to approach the issue on more rational terms so allow me then to respond.

    I can’t say that I disagree with PZ’s stance that we need to fight religion tooth and nail here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/12/28/no-power-in-the-verse-can-stop-us/.
    What is clear though is that the Meddlesome Man from Morris is writing for an American audience and has very little international perspective incorporated into his proposed methods. This is not surprising to a non American though as Americans generally seem to have such a dearth of understanding in matters international that it makes us “foreigners” shudder.

    After all, why should it be considered so awful for a horde of atheists to point out that Christianity or Islam or Judaism or Hinduism are ridiculous?

    Rhetorical question is rhetorical. By all means take your placards to Pennsylvania Avenue and print an extra one for me. But don’t expect that I will join you on the streets of Kabul or Riyadh. You’ll get stoned there and I don’t mean with the wacky weed.

    No amount of flag waving is going to solve the problems in our lifetimes. While we are busy working toward the ultimate solution we are simultaneously required to protect the lives threatened by religion as we are to limit the harm and alleviate the suffering that comes to those under its subjugation.

    The exact same is true of the spousal abuse I encounter daily on the streets of The Netherlands where I work and where real lives are at stake. There is an ongoing assertion in the Dutch male Muslim community that a man has the support of Allah to issue his wife with a “corrigerende tik” (corrective slap) under whichever inane circumstance the Imams see fit to prescribe at their whim. No prizes for guessing where this policy leads.

    Barging into a mosque and shouting down a preacher might seem like a valiant deed. Unfortunately, not only are women and their opinions not welcome in a mosque but instigating a fracas will not solve a problem that has been going on for, well, forever.

    Contrary to common sense (I’m talking to you, PZ) the firebrand approach is not always the best way to handle these problems. Sure it can work if we maintain a civilized attitude in our discourse but our enemy is neither civilized nor are they remotely enough educated to participate in intellectual dialogue. This applies to American kiddies on Reddit too! We can educate them though we cannot do it overnight. Richard, can you please have a word with him about this in Melbourne next year?

    Annoyingly, the solution (not the problem) lies with the very same women that are the victims of the crimes committed against them. We (in my company) coach them on how to educate their spouses, their relatives and, especially, their children. We provide a free and enlightened environment to their kids in the hope that they will grow up being able to think for themselves so that the next generation will be a little less poisoned by the ways of yesteryear. The solution must be bottom up and can never be top down.

    If I could wave my magic wand it would be top down and we could all spend this new year’s weekend on a picnic blanket in the park happily reminiscing about the bad old days just passed and the good new days to come. But I live in reality and not in a dream world.

    In the mean time I will continue to make sure that no man’s “honour” (whatever the fuck they think that means) is sufficiently wounded that they beat their wife into a Hearse. I’d prefer it if nobody died on my watch thankyouverymuch. And while trying to prevent death/rape/beatings we strive that all parties involved receive as much and as varied and as compassionate support that other humans and social services can provide.

    TL;DR – shouting at people seldom helps to get a point across and, in my line of work, can sometimes bring harm to real people.

    That will be all then for 2011. Best wishes to you and yours for a balanced 2012.

  180. says

    Matt, sorry, still need to call you on that. I didn’t have my goodies with me yesterday so had to (remorsefully) rely on a wiki – but here is the entry of ad hominem in toto:

    Makes a great show of attempting to point out ad hominem by the opposition…

    Thank you. This looks and tastes like genuine discussion so I will grasp the opportunity to keep things at this level of discourse – a notch higher than it has been recently. Still, you needn’t use the personal pronoun “he” for me.

    …and of being well-read…

    First, you don’t think that Reddit is a cesspool of (pre)pubescent teenagers whereas I can’t imagine it’s full of doctors, accountants and family men. Let’s file this under “agree to disagree” for the mean time as I don’t have any data as to the demographics of Reddit’s contributors.

    …only to fall on their face and set up a blatantly false dichotomy when it comes time to make a point.. If spectacular failure were an Olympic event I’d have just given you a ten.

    What needs to be pointed out repeatedly though is that RKW’s claim (indeed the title of her rant) is that the repugnant comments come from atheists. Christians trolling atheist boards and vice versa is nothing new

    That’s a bad thing and needs to stop.

    and a viral thread like that is, needless to say, entertainment for all and any bottom dwelling scum that didn’t have anything better to do over the festive period while the WoW servers were offline. No reason to blame atheists and further proof of her lack of intellectual honesty and integrity.

    Your “bottom dwelling scum” appear to have pushed the awful comments far above any good ones that lie in there. That is not a very good indicator of the atheist community’s attitude towards women.

    Oh, and shelve the well-read super-literate hyper-intelligent encyclopedia act, will you? Intelligence is measured by your points, not your words.

    The second point and the most important bit is what I have been alluding to all along – that the best approach we have is to grab abusive people (men only?)

    Yes, of course. Never mind that it’s the men who are the perpetrators, going after the men is sexist.

    But you’re not going to say that outright, that would just be too easy…

    by the neck and rattle the idiocy out of them – is fallacious.

    Do you have any better ideas?

    I am so very happy that someone has finally decided to approach the issue on more rational terms so allow me then to respond.

    We don’t care — make a point.

    I can’t say that I disagree with PZ’s stance that we need to fight religion tooth and nail here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/12/28/no-power-in-the-verse-can-stop-us/.
    What is clear though is that the Meddlesome Man from Morris is writing for an American audience and has very little international perspective incorporated into his proposed methods.

    Off-topic concern trolling belongs in the relevant thread.

    Annoyingly, the solution (not the problem) lies with the very same women that are the victims

    You are both horrible and stupid stupid. Victims should not need to protect themselves from crime. The criminals, who commit the crimes, must be stopped. We must make it harder for those criminals to commit the crimes. And this is not the responsibility of the victim, but the society of which the victim is a member, for societies are obliged in the interest of survival and growth to protect their members from abuse by other members.

    Disagree? Here’s a stick, here’s a rock, hand over your possessions, head off into that forest over there and don’t come crying to us if someone else beats you up for your stick and your rock.

  181. says

    First, you don’t think that Reddit is a cesspool of (pre)pubescent teenagers whereas I can’t imagine it’s full of doctors, accountants and family men. Let’s file this under “agree to disagree” for the mean time as I don’t have any data as to the demographics of Reddit’s contributors.

    no. your Argument from Incredulity combined with ignorance of the facts in evidence does not entitle you to concessions on my part.

    What needs to be pointed out repeatedly though is that RKW’s claim (indeed the title of her rant) is that the repugnant comments come from atheists. Christians trolling atheist boards and vice versa is nothing new and a viral thread like that is, needless to say, entertainment for all and any bottom dwelling scum that didn’t have anything better to do over the festive period while the WoW servers were offline. No reason to blame atheists and further proof of her lack of intellectual honesty and integrity.

    irrelevant to whether atheist spaces are welcoming to women; plus, policing by atheists can make even an open, unmoderated space relatively safe for those the troll-Christians wish to attack; this blog proves this.

    Ergo, either r/atheism is a majority Christian space, or the atheists on there agree with the Christian trolls enough to cause the up/down vote imbalances.

    The second point and the most important bit is what I have been alluding to all along – that the best approach we have is to grab abusive people (men only?) by the neck and rattle the idiocy out of them – is fallacious.

    this is both a strawman (maybe because of your reading comprehension issues) and an evidence-free assertion. Not worth addressing, as such, until you actually figure out what the actual point was that I made.

    shouting at people seldom helps to get a point across

    no one is shouting, and no one is trying to get a point across to these people. you are confused as to the purpose, which is tragic, considering I explained it in great detail.

  182. says

    irrelevant to whether atheist spaces are welcoming to women; plus, policing by atheists can make even an open, unmoderated space relatively safe for those the troll-Christians wish to attack; this blog proves this.

    I am voting up this comment.

  183. says

    American kiddies on Reddit

    two claims that are either unevidenced or counterfactual: these posters show no evidence of being exclusively American, and they have repeatedly made statements that place them well outside of the age-range in which anyone other than a 100-year-old might reasonably refer to them as “kiddies”

    Annoyingly, the solution (not the problem) lies with the very same women that are the victims of the crimes committed against them.

    incorrect. an abused minority cannot be the solution to the problems that oppress them. To say otherwise is simply to further the abuse and commit a form of victim-blaming.

  184. says

    I also note that you put the responsibility on women to educate spouses and children. why? do you think men so stupid that they are incapable of learning themselves, and so anti-social that those who have already learned cannot teach their friends and their own children? why would anyone absolve men from the responsibility, especially given that they would have an easier time doing the work than the victims upon whom you are piling all responsibility?

  185. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    do you think men so stupid that they are incapable of learning themselves, and so anti-social that those who have already learned cannot teach their friends and their own children?

    There’s that and the fact that Paul apparently believes that Women=Mommies. According to paul, men are just helpless, weak babies who need mommy to do everything for them.

    on behalf of every awesome, mature man in my life, jump off a bridge, douchebomb.

  186. triamacleod says

    I’m so sick of hearing people blaming the victim and stating things like

    Annoyingly, the solution (not the problem) lies with the very same women that are the victims of the crimes committed against them.

    I’m half tempted to arm every female over the age of 10 with a high powered tazer. MAYBE that will ‘teach’ (or more correctly, put enough fear and uncertainty) into the more verbal/physical sexists to think twice before harassing female identifying people.

    I know, I know, violence gets us no where, but it can be cathartic. Luckily I’ve rarely had to deal with this sort of behavior and I’ve been brassy enough to call people out when I have been forced to deal with them. Yeh, I get called a bitch but they don’t do this to me anymore because I will PUBLICLY SHAME THEM. I don’t care if its in front of Administration or their families; if you don’t want people knowing you talk and think that way, then I suggest to you that you stop thinking and acting that way.

    PS – whoever came up with the douchecanoe full of douchbaskets owes me a new keyboard.

    PSS – I’ve heard ‘yo’ being used as a gender neutral pronoun around the East Coast lately. Although why we don’t just drop the ‘h’ or ‘sh’ and go with ‘e’ (long vowel sound, of course) is beyond me. It would seem more natural and easier to introduce to the population at large.