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Jan 02 2012

Stop embarrassing me, Old White Guys!

There’s nothing really wrong with being an Old White Guy — it’s who I am — but every once in a while (OK, fairly frequently, but I never watch Fox News or read the Wall Street Journal, which helps) some other Old White Guy makes me ashamed of my tribe. I’m sorry, Ben Radford, you are so wrong, and look! Two girls, Julia Lavarnway and Rebecca Watson, just kicked your ass in public. They kick it hard. They kick it up and down the street. They gave it such a drubbing that I am feeling uncomfortable sitting down.

177 comments

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  1. 1
    shouldbeworking

    I’m an Old White Guy too. I love it when two (or one or three) young women kick OWG butt. That means some parents and teachers did their jobs and well educated, clear thinking motivated citizens were the result.

    Disclaimer: high school teacher and old white father of two well educated cler thinking motivated Canadian citizens.

  2. 2
    shouldbeworking

    How the bleep did those typos get into that post? Internet connection must be faulty.

  3. 3
    Jadzia626

    @shouldbeworking
    It’s a bad typos day for me too, don’t worry :)

    Anyway …
    I think someone should contact Riley and get her to reply to Ben!

  4. 4
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    LOL. Old white guys, eh? I am going to have to disagree with you PZ. While there is nothing wrong with being white, being old is just plain dumb. If you old folks were smarter, you wouldn’t have gotten old in the first place. DUR!

  5. 5
    steveollington

    I think if you’re looking for the most embarrassing old white guy who gets his ass kicked by atheists, women, children, animals, dust, anything on any and all subjects… Bill O’Reilly wins hands down every time. Now he, is embarrassing to humanity.

  6. 6
    raven

    Bill O’Reilly wins hands down every time.

    Yeah, but he likes it. A lot.

  7. 7
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    You said it Steve-O. I facepalm whenever OReilly speaks because I am embarrassed we are members of the same species.

    Anywhoo, Ben Radford is a dolt. Girls toys are pink because doll skin is pink!? WTF?

  8. 8
    tonymoss

    My four year old daughter likes pink, hates dolls, likes skating, wants to play hockey, likes pretty hair, collects bugs. Oh and can tell the difference between an arachnid and an insect.

  9. 9
    rorschach

    Yes, Radford looks like an idiot here. But I had to cringe a little at this sentence from Rebecca’s piece :

    because he was proud that he was raising a strong, skeptical feminist who at the age of four is able to understand the manipulations of marketers

    Please, just as 4-year olds are not Christians or Muslims, they’re not skeptical feminists either.

  10. 10
    Aquaria

    The end of Rebecca’s piece had me needing a new monitor:

    So anyway, winner of the cage match: Riley the 4-year old. Well done Riley! Word of caution, though: this probably won’t be the last time you get lectured by a man on the Internet who knows less than you.

    If only she didn’t have to get used to it.

  11. 11
    feralboy12

    Girls toys are pink because doll skin is pink!? WTF?

    I’m guessing that in Ben’s world, pink is pretty close to the color for “normal” skin.
    But I’m still having a hard time with the idea of writing a blog post to refute a 4-year old. There’s a Monte Python sketch that comes to mind, a certain boxing sketch, and it’s not a pretty image.

  12. 12
    Inaji

    feralboy12:

    I’m guessing that in Ben’s world, pink is pretty close to the color for “normal” skin.

    Yep, just like Crayola Crayons had that flesh crayon for generations.

  13. 13
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    PZ, I’ll grant you the “White” and the “guy”. But “old”? We forty-something strenuously object to this characterisation of Ben Radford (born 1970)! Sheesh.

    ;-)

    Also, I usually like Ben’s work, sceptical investigations and so on, but here he’s just embarrassing himself with this half-baked ratiocination.

  14. 14
    remyporter

    I’m white, I’m working on old, and I’m a guy. But those aren’t my tribe. It’s not that I’m ashamed to be an old white guy, but that combination of traits ranks fairly low on factors in my self-image. If it weren’t for a cabal of old white guys that work for their own benefit and accidentally drop unearned privilege on me, I wouldn’t ever think of it at all.

  15. 15
    melody

    Ben is a friends and colleague of mine. He’s generally wrong about feminist issues, but I never thought of him as old. He’s only 41.

  16. 16
    joed

    If we aren’t able to recogize our white privilege status on Earth, then we don’t really understand any other part of our selves.
    The most decent, kind white folks have a hell of a time realizing/admitting white people are privleged.
    Don’t confuse “privilege” with “supreme” or “dominate”.
    Seems odd to me that decent white folks fight this idea so very much.

    http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/articles_race.html
    Articles on race, racism, and white privilege
    Professor Robert Jensen
    School of Journalism
    [email protected]

    and Tim Wise
    http://www.timwise.org/tag/white-privilege/

  17. 17
    melody

    If white people and men understood their privilege the world would be a better place. It’s a foreign concept to most people.

  18. 18
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    Yes, Radford looks like an idiot here. But I had to cringe a little at this sentence from Rebecca’s piece :

    because he was proud that he was raising a strong, skeptical feminist who at the age of four is able to understand the manipulations of marketers

    Please, just as 4-year olds are not Christians or Muslims, they’re not skeptical feminists either.

    Sorry, rorschach, I think you’re wrong with your cringe. Unlike being “christian” or “muslim”, being “skeptical” or “feminist” is a label which is not contingent on some invisible group-identity. Skeptic is as skeptic does. Our four-year old hero is behaving as a skeptic (identifying problems and expressing questions about marketing truisms). Then Rebecca, as well as Riley’s father, can correctly call her skeptical. Likewise, feminist.

    I’d be worried if Riley were my kid, though. I have one who was as tough-minded at that age, and a decade later is nothing but trouble since the social truisms became even less acceptable to him. Meanwhile, society becomes even less willing to budge on commercialism, hollow patriotism, hypocrisy … An unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Ouch.

  19. 19
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    melody, of course you are right, but don’t forget the privilege of just about every single fucking person in the “developed world” versus those few billion poor bastards who don’t have shit.

  20. 20
    'Tis Himself

    Riley did a better job of expressing her concerns than Ben did in answering them.

    BTW, compared to a 4 year old, 41 is ancient!

  21. 21
    joed

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJlNRODZHA
    Talk – Tim Wise on White Privilege

    Folks if you are not in touch with your own White Privilege you are missing out.
    Don’t confuse “Privilege” with “Supreme” or “Domination”.

  22. 22
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    hotshoe says:

    Sorry, rorschach, I think you’re wrong with your cringe. Unlike being “christian” or “muslim”, being “skeptical” or “feminist” is a label which is not contingent on some invisible group-identity. Skeptic is as skeptic does.

    Whoa whoa whoa, what are you saying here? “Christian” is about believing in Zombie Jesus. And a four year old can certainly believe in Zombie Jesus. But Dawkins and others say, hey wait a minute, how much could that kid really have thought it through? How could they have come to a decision, when they can barely think for themselves?

    If we agree that we shouldn’t label 3 or 4 year old children as Christian, we probably shouldn’t label them skeptics either, for the same reasons. Or at least put some qualifying language in front. “Budding skeptic”, “future skeptic”, something like that.

  23. 23
    joed

    C’mon folks! White Privilege is NOT about the other person, it is YOU who is privileged because of the shade of you skin and a few physical features–perhaps.
    even President Obama knows he would be in trouble if he got “uppity”.
    That the U S is a White Privileged Society
    is not easy to admit. And taking advantage(simple silence) of WP is immoral.
    This is a big deal here folks

  24. 24
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    If you old folks were smarter, you wouldn’t have gotten old in the first place

    This from a less than smart person. Entropy, the second law of Thermodynamics…What a fuckwitted loser, emphasis on loser.

  25. 25
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I liked this from the first comment on RW’s post:

    I am confident Riley herself could debate him and win.

    ***

    Or at least put some qualifying language in front. “Budding skeptic”, “future skeptic”, something like that.

    It would sound a bit redundant to say “he was raising a budding skeptic” or “he was raising a future skeptic,” though, I think. The “raising” part kind of contains that element of futurity.

  26. 26
    remyporter

    @Nerd of Redhead: That only applies to a closed system. Your body is not a closed system- it’s entirely dependent on inputs from outside the system. Your body is just too inefficient to be able to maintain itself and do all the things it’s supposed to do.

  27. 27
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:

    This from a less than smart person.

    By *this* you mean your own words right? You have to, since you are too much of a dumb fuck who took absurd joking remarks seriously. Or maybe you are autistic? That could explain it.

    Entropy, the second law of Thermodynamics…What a fuckwitted loser, emphasis on loser.

    Again, you must be referring to yourself as the loser, since you thought it necessary to explain why people get old, as if that were in dispute? You are clueless! LOL.

  28. 28
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    SC (Salty Current), OM says:

    It would sound a bit redundant to say “he was raising a budding skeptic” or “he was raising a future skeptic,” though, I think. The “raising” part kind of contains that element of futurity.

    Yes, you are 100% right in that example. I should have made myself more clear. I was speaking more broadly about labeling a child a certain way. If “christian” is not a proper label for a presently aged 3 or 4 year old, I don’t think skeptic or feminist should be either.

  29. 29
    Olletho

    The Kid certainly has a point, even in this modern enlightened age if anything the subject of children’s toys is backsliding into the abyss.

    An abyss in shades of surgical appliance pink to hot fuscia.

    I love the lego ad at the end of Julia’s post, and at that age (about that time) I loved lego. More of that would make me happy.

  30. 30
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That only applies to a closed system. Your body is not a closed system- it’s entirely dependent on inputs from outside the system.

    Sorry, but my body is also subject to entropy, which is the arrow of the forth dimension. Which explains my age relate problems…

    By *this* you mean your own words right? You have to, since you are too much of a dumb fuck who took absurd joking remarks seriously. Or maybe you are autistic? That could explain it.

    Well, jokes require you to be funny. And where is the funny (I SEE NUTHINK)…What an egotistical loser….

  31. 31
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    hotshoe says:

    Sorry, rorschach, I think you’re wrong with your cringe. Unlike being “christian” or “muslim”, being “skeptical” or “feminist” is a label which is not contingent on some invisible group-identity. Skeptic is as skeptic does.

    Whoa whoa whoa, what are you saying here? “Christian” is about believing in Zombie Jesus. And a four year old can certainly believe in Zombie Jesus.

    Nonsense. Even the religionists don’t think preschoolers can really be christians – that’s why they require a confirmation ceremony, or officially becoming a church member at age of consent, or being born again, or whatever depending on which sect. It’s only when they want to inflate their census numbers that they count their own four-year olds as “Christian children”.

    But more, you’re missing the point that calling someone “christian” or “muslim” depends on some invisible characteristics (which the group identifies with). We, and the parents, have no way of seeing whether or not the child “really” is a christian – it’s invisible to us. But we can see whether or not the child is really behaving in a skeptical manner, and when we observe that behavior (as Rebecca Watson does) we can correctly apply the label “skeptical” to that person.

    But Dawkins and others say, hey have thought it through? How could they have come to a decision, when they can barely think for themselves?

    RIght, they can’t have consciously accepted the religious group identity at that age. Which is why it’s wrong to impose the group label on them from above, as it were.

    If we agree that we shouldn’t label 3 or 4 year old children as Christian, we probably shouldn’t label them skeptics either, for the same reasons.

    Right on the first clause, wrong on the rest. We have no reason to hesitate in calling children “dancers” when they dance, “readers” when they read, nor “skeptics” when they show skepticism. We have no reason to be patronizing (and pedantic!) by calling them “future dancers” or “budding readers”. Don’t be rude to children; they’re not as dumb as you think.

  32. 32
    Sili

    I’m 34 and I’m old, sclerotic, set in my ways and borderline senile.

  33. 33
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    If “christian” is not a proper label for a presently aged 3 or 4 year old, I don’t think skeptic or feminist should be either.

    I don’t think so. Using “Christian” as a label signifies that people are raising their children to accept a belief system. As was mentioned above, skepticism and feminism in the sense implied here refer to raising a child to be questioning and willing to challenge what’s wrong. When people reject labeling children in religious ways they’re rejecting imposing and indoctrinating – in other words, they’re promoting exactly the traits people are assuming the father is proud of here (all this is assuming the girl isn’t coached, but then that would change the whole matter).

    I somewhat suspect that rorschach was reading “feminist” as “accepting feminist doctrine,” but that (even if there were such a thing) obviously wasn’t what was meant by RW. I can only guess at whether he would’ve objected to “was raising a strong skeptical child.”

  34. 34
    Jadzia626

    @25 SC

    Hehe, yeah, that was my comment :)

  35. 35
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:

    Well, jokes require you to be funny. And where is the funny (I SEE NUTHINK)…What an egotistical loser….

    LOL, you are doubling down on the crazy? On being the only stupid motherfucker who took absurd remarks seriously? Really?
    Let me ask you this, dunce, if a joke or absurd statement isn’t “funny” to you, do you ignore that it is a joke altogether and take it seriously? Even if it is completely and utterly absurd? If I told you you were too poor to pay attention, would you write back angrily about how money is not required to pay attention? You are the kind of special snowflake who would, methinks.

  36. 36
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    But more, you’re missing the point that calling someone “christian” or “muslim” depends on some invisible characteristics (which the group identifies with). We, and the parents, have no way of seeing whether or not the child “really” is a christian – it’s invisible to us.

    What the? What if they tell you they believe Jesus rose from the dead after sacrificing his life to pay for our sins? That ain’t invisible, friend. That puts the child squarely into the “Christian” category. They may not really know what they are talking about, and may just be repeating what their parents drilled into them, but hey, it sounds like they are Christians, right?

    Skepticism on the other hand is more nebulous. Every kid growing up seems to have a phase where they ask “why” all the time. Do we call all of those kids skeptics? How about the kid in this video? Is she a skeptic? I don’t know. Heck, maybe a 3 or 4 year old is out there right now repeating the tenants of skepticism – maybe they are saying the exact right things, just like the Christian in my example above. Like the Christian, they may not really know what they are talking about, and may just be repeating what their parents dirlled into them, but hey, it sounds like they are a skeptic, right?

    I don’t see a difference between these kinds of belief systems in young kids. If you want to claim one can be called a skeptic, you should realize the same argument can be made for calling one a muslim, or a philosopher, or a feminist, or a communist. Which is fine, you can claim that. But you aren’t. You want to get away with calling one a Skeptic, but not being able to call one a Christian.

  37. 37
    'Tis Himself

    Comment by Wishful Thinking Rules All blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  38. 38
    carlie

    If you take the basic definition of feminism that men and women are equal, then kids are born feminists just like they’re born atheists. You have to be taught who to act crappy towards.

    Sociological Images talks about how Lego used to be for boys and girls, and then started marketing only to boys and is now being stupid about how to market for girls.

  39. 39
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    tenants of skepticism

    I want to move to skepticism. Can I get something with a sunken living room?

  40. 40
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    LOL, you are doubling down on the crazy?

    That would be you. But, since you have had and still have nothing cogent to say:
    Comment by Wishful Thinking Rules All blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  41. 41
    Jadzia626

    Thanks for the link anyway PZ. Just checked the stats on We Are SkeptiXX, and this is now officially the busiest day so far! Roughly half the traffic comes from here :)

  42. 42
    carlie

    tenants of skepticism

    I WANT ONE… oh, sorry, thought that was Tennants.

  43. 43
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    When I was a little kid, I set a trap for the Tooth Fairy to see if it wasn’t really Mom and Dad. Caught Mom in the face with a rubber dart from a toy gun that was hooked to a string attached to my bedroom door. Don’t tell me little kids can’t be skeptics!

  44. 44
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    We have no reason to hesitate in calling children “dancers” when they dance, “readers” when they read, nor “skeptics” when they show skepticism.

    Or religious, when they recite religious dogma? Or communists when they express communistic principles? I think most children are communists by this logic. Again, your distinction between religions and skepticism doesn’t hold up.

  45. 45
    mikeg

    Ah, Ben is my friend and neighbor!

    Doesn’t mean that he wasn’t completely off the mark.

  46. 46
    andyo

    I think the girl was 3 at the time of the rant. The video recently got viral (apparently for the second time), but it was uploaded in May.

  47. 47
    feralboy12

    I want to move to skepticism. Can I get something with a sunken living room?

    I doubt it.

  48. 48
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:

    LOL, you are doubling down on the crazy?

    That would be you. But, since you have had and still have nothing cogent to say:

    Listen you dumb fuck, people joke around on here and say silly and absurd things. Such as “old people are dumb for getting old”. You, the epically huge moron, decide to take such words seriously, and have been pestering me about it ever since, even after I explained myself to you (which in itself is sad, since no functioning adult should need this explained to them). Unlike you, I actually wrote other posts here which had something to do with PZ’s original entry. You’ve only insulted. You are the ass who is wasting my time, not the other way around. I hope you did killfile me, but I doubt you did. In any case, as long as you STFU about this, I’ll be happy.

    *WTRA scans his own words to be sure there are no jokes, plays on words, puns or absurd commentary which will confuse the dumb ass Nerd.*

  49. 49
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I doubt it.

    Damn. Oh, well. I like the pool here at atheism.

  50. 50
    joed

    This from The Professor himself.
    Pretty easy to remaine light-hearted about white privilege.
    seems nearly impossible for white folk to take their status of privilege seriously.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y2mjvFNOwmc

    The Pathology of White Privilege
    November 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm PZ Myers
    Or is it? I’ve just been introduced to the work of Tim Wise, and it’s fabulous stuff: all about how we view race through the distorting lenses of denial and privilege and class. He’s a terrific speaker, I guarantee you that it’s worth your time to take an hour and listen to this lecture.
    Oh, yeah, a white guy lecturing on race…shouldn’t we be listening to a person of color on these issues? Of course we should, but if you just listen to the first five minutes you’ll get his confession: there’s an esthetic to who people will listen to, and the neatly groomed white man is right at the top of the list. Deeper in, one interesting point he makes is that the use of the word “underprivileged” is endemic, but “overprivileged” isn’t even in the dictionary (hey, he’s right, too: as I wrote that, my convenient electronic spellcheck highlighted the word with a red underscore. I must have made a mistake…that concept doesn’t exist).
    People are selfish bastards. If you have privilege — and I do to a high degree — it’s always a tendency to cling to it and hold it tightly to ourselves and rationalize our entitlements, which perpetuates the divisions. The “underprivileged” aren’t the source of the problem, it’s the overprivileged who work constantly to maintain our position. We are the problem. To think that we can tell the oppressed that it’s their responsibility to fix their problem is doubly wrong: it’s our responsibility to fix our problem.

  51. 51
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    carlie says:
    2 January 2012 at 6:39 pm

    tenants of skepticism

    I WANT ONE… oh, sorry, thought that was Tennants.

    *hangs head in shame.*

    LOL. I’m amazed so few flubs like that get through – the spellings mistakes get underlined, not so for the brain farts that cause me to drop words, repeat words, or use a similar but wrong word.

  52. 52
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Re: joed @#50

    Got through about half of the first youtube link for Wise myself, so far. It was a little rough the first 5 minutes and I almost shut it off, mostly because he was taking forever to make one point, which always annoys me, but after that it got pretty good. I’ll finish it later tonight when I get a chance.

  53. 53
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    ‘Tis Himself, OM. says:
    2 January 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Comment by Wishful Thinking Rules All blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    Comments by ‘Tis Himself, OM are not blocked, at least not by me.

    PS – When the fuck did we start advertising shit about who we were or weren’t blocking, as if anyone cares? LOL @ the absurdity. Oh, maybe it is some sneaky passive aggressive thing. Oh yeah. That’s hot.

  54. 54
    Ingdigo Jump

    Comment by Wishful Thinking Rules All blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    Smart move

  55. 55
    andyo

    Just one quibble. As I commented on Skepchick, this girl apparently was 3 years old at the time, video was uploaded in May. PZ’s first post on it and the links therein say it too.

    Re: LEGO
    I was reading the Facebook page of LEGO, and not surprisingly, the MRA comments were infuriating. But, they did manage to say something true, LEGO has been doing this shit for a long time. It’s not the first time. That “return to how you used to be” thing is only based on that one very good ad, but there have been other lines marketed to girls, and as dumb, or dumber.

  56. 56
    joed

    RE: Wishful Thinking Rules All says
    @52
    Thanks for the response.
    Wise’s comments at the end about his grandmother tells much about the difficulty we humans have in understanding the influences in our lives.
    Overcoming the nonsense and crap etc I learned as a child is a day to day struggle. But, I am compelled to keep looking.
    Again, thanks for the reply.

  57. 57
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ah, Ben. The living embodiment of the “get off my bigfoot/haunted house/paranormal lawn” Skeptic-Club-White-Guy stereotype. Because it’s sooooo important to debunk . . err, sorry Joe Nickell. .”investigate”. . .yet another poltergeist. Or chupacabra. But skepticism about gender roles that confine real, living people? Silly amateurs.

  58. 58
    joed

    RE: Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Wise is a bit long-winded at times but I find him worthwhile. He and Professor Robert Jensen at UT.
    This White Privilege is a major malfunction in U S society.
    Why whites find WP so difficult to discuss is beyond me.
    I think most decent white folk get the terms “privilege”, “Supremacist” and “Domination” all mixed up and confused.
    Even many folks with critical thought skills can not seem to grasp how U S society has manipulated them.

  59. 59
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    SC:

    tenants of skepticism

    I want to move to skepticism. Can I get something with a sunken living room?

    Yes. I will inter you there.

    I heart you for making me LOL.

  60. 60
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    @WTRA, #51: “the spellings mistakes”

    Did you mean “spelling mistakes”?

  61. 61
    Ingdigo Jump

    Joe Nickell.

    Speaking of which WTF is Nickell doing on Lost Tapes?

  62. 62
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    changeable moniker says:

    @WTRA, #51: “the spellings mistakes”

    D’id youse means ‘spelling mistakes”?

    Yes. Yes I did.

  63. 63
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Wait, what, LEGO?

    Do you not know that Lego Friends™ is the new Barbie?

  64. 64
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    “youse”? You a scouser?

  65. 65
    keithroragen

    I think you are being a little unfair. It makes sense that the author would target someone of the same intellectual level. A four year old girl seems about right.

  66. 66
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    changeable moniker says:

    Wait, what, LEGO?

    Do you not know that Lego Friends™ is the new Barbie?

    Wow, that’s pretty bad. But at least they have to build the salon out of Legos first, so it can never be as bad as Barbie. Just almost as bad.

  67. 67
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    changeable moniker says:
    2 January 2012 at 8:22 pm

    “youse”? You a scouser?

    Oh, I see how it is. Quickly change the subject to distract from your horrible spelling. Ok, fair enough. I didn’t know what a scouser is, so I ran a Google Image search (since that is the most accurate way to figure out what a word means). The first result was a guy with a huge afro so I don’t think I am one.

  68. 68
    Celeste

    My five year old daughter never wants to watch a Disney princess movie, or Tinkerbell or Barbie shows. She spends most of her time watching shows like the new He-Man, The Last Avatar, The Tick, Dungeons and Dragons (the old 80′s cartoon), Avengers, the new Thundercats, and Scooby Doo. However, most of the toys she asks to buy ARE Barbie and Disney Princesses and Disney Fairies. (We do own most of the Disney princess movies because I personally happen to enjoy them. They just never get watched.)

    This year, for Christmas, she got $40 from relatives and I took her to the store to spend it. I knew she’d been admiring the Thundercats and Captain America toys that her baby brother got, so I took her straight to the boys isle and let her wander. She ended up picking out several Thundercats toys. Then, in an experiment, I suggested we should wander up and down all of the other isles to see if she saw something else she wanted more.

    Happily, she held on to the Thundercats the whole time, rejecting the “girl’s” toys when I reminded her that she didn’t have enough money for both. I’m going to do this from now on: My girls will head first to the boy’s isle and my baby boy will head first to the girl’s isle to at least provide them the chance of avoiding the marketing manipulation.

  69. 69
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    WTF? My horrible spelling?

    #62: “D’id youse”

    Are you running in a non-UTF character encoding?

  70. 70
    adamgordon

    Ben Radford spewed this little gem in the comments section of his own article in response to some criticism of his ‘logic’:

    So you’re saying that four-year-old Riley feels social pressure to not like superheroes or non-pink toys because most superheroes are male and women in films have fewer speaking roles?

    I’m not following your logic… What, exactly, is the connection?

    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jesus, but that’s an obnoxious response from Ben. He pulls the classic “I’m rational and objective and you’re not. I just look at the actual words and their objective meanings, see? You just ‘interpret’ them in a biased and hysterical fashion.”

    Ben Radford, you are a discredit to the Center for Inquiry, and you’re a walking stereotype. May your brand of Objective Rational Disregard Anything To Do With Skepticism About Gender Roles die within my lifetime.

    Fucker.

  73. 73
    Inaji

    ‘Tis:

    Comment by Wishful Thinking Rules All blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    Yep, I’ve had that idiot KFed for a while now. Needs a smack with a certain hammer, in my not so humble opinion.

    joed, stop freaking out so much – we do the privilege stomp here on a daily basis. Wishful whatever is a troll, you might want to stop feeding it, or shove a decaying porcupine up its ass.

  74. 74
    Inaji

    Josh:

    Jesus, but that’s an obnoxious response from Ben. He pulls the classic “I’m rational and objective and you’re not. I just look at the actual words and their objective meanings, see? You just ‘interpret’ them in a biased and hysterical fashion.”

    Ever so interesting, given he can’t explain pink/blue.

  75. 75
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Yeah, I told him so on his own thread, too. Not like anyone at CFI will care.

  76. 76
    Inaji

    Josh:

    Not like anyone at CFI will care.

    Which is a real shame. They sure as hell should care, and someone needs to shake Ben’s brain a bit, to see he gets a clue. Too fucking much gets written off as “opinion” anymore and people just shrug it off. In this case, it’s more than opinion, it’s a clear case of bad thinking, and no one should want that sort of thinking on their side.

  77. 77
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Too fucking much gets written off as “opinion” anymore and people just shrug it off.

    So, so true, Caine. Well, I’m not shrugging it off. I’m sick to fucking death of “leading” organizations like CFI harboring sexism apologists, ignoring crucial topics in dire need of skeptical critique of social issues, and circling the wagons around their wankers-in-residence churning out yet another “investigation” of nessie. I’m not supporting that shit. White Straight Boy Nerd Club can support itself. My money, time, and talent can be better spent elsewhere.

  78. 78
    Inaji

    Josh:

    I’m sick to fucking death of “leading” organizations like CFI harboring sexism apologists, ignoring crucial topics in dire need of skeptical critique of social issues, and circling the wagons around their wankers-in-residence churning out yet another “investigation” of nessie. I’m not supporting that shit. White Straight Boy Nerd Club can support itself. My money, time, and talent can be better spent elsewhere.

    Word. I won’t support them anymore, either. Honestly, has any ‘nessie’ or ‘bigfoot’ claim been worth anything? Maybe, waaaaay back, but now? Like you, I’m more than tired of the skeptics should only be interested in _________ crap. What Ben has demonstrated lately is that he can’t think his way out of a wet paper bag.

  79. 79
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Caine, Fleur du Mal says:,blockquote>
    joed, stop freaking out so much – we do the privilege stomp here on a daily basis. Wishful whatever is a troll, you might want to stop feeding it, or shove a decaying porcupine up its ass.

    You dumb fuck of epic proportions, what pray tell could you gather from joed’s responses to me that made you think joed was “feeding” me, or schooling me or even disagreeing with me at all? He spoke of Tim Wise, I happened to be watching a video of an earlier posted link of Tim Wise. We had a brief discussion of Wise’s speech. You’d know this if you weren’t such a fucktard who made massively wrong assumptions about what is going on here.

  80. 80
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    changeable moniker says:

    WTPH? My horiblle speeling?

    Yes, your horrible spelling. Look at that mess up there.

    Oh, and to help you figure it out this time —–> ;)

  81. 81
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    joed says:

    Even many folks with critical thought skills can not seem to grasp how U S society has manipulated them.

    Many who have critical thinking skills don’t rigorously apply those skills to every aspect of their lives. Most people are too busy making a living and/or enjoying life. And heck even if they did examine every aspect of their lives, would they really be able to uncover each and every bias and manipulation, would they truly be aware of every type of societal privilege they have? Probably not. I’m not. Which is why speeches like Tim Wise are a good thing – I finished it by the way. The underprivileged / over-privileged but was probably may favorite part of it, but most of it was worthwhile, even if it was quite a bit longer than it needed to be.

  82. 82
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    melody says:

    BEN RADFORD RESPONDS: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/rebecca_and_riley_tempest_in_a_dolls_tea_party/

    Oh dear, he is still going with the “girls’ toys are pink, since doll skin is pink/caucasian” argument? That boggles my mind. Boy’s action figures ain’t pink, even if their skin is, so WTF, Ben? Are you really this dense?

  83. 83
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Or maybe you are autistic? That could explain it.

    Fuck you, you worthless pile of rat shit.

  84. 84
    inflection

    I’m a 34-year-old male and stood in the toy aisle of Target for several minutes a few days ago considering whether to buy a complete set of My Little Pony main character figurines. I had the money, and the figurines were perfectly good order even if the Princess Celestia toy is pink (wtf, Hasbro, srsly, use some reference cels, she’s white). I wanted to support a show I enjoy, which I am well aware is there to sell little pony figurines.

    I didn’t. Because I couldn’t take walking up to the checkout counter with a case of My Little Pony figurines and getting, you know, looked at by whoever was manning it. Social aversion is a powerful tool to employ on a human being.

    We now allow women to get shot at in Afghanistan. If I could be permitted to have some unabashed fun with a cartoon about friendship, rainbows and talking ponies, I would consider myself to have gotten much the better end of this whole gender-acceptability deal.

  85. 85
    Stacy

    I argued with Ben a bit on Facebook about this (we’re FB friends.) He felt moved to PM me with his sources for his claim about the association between boys and the color blue.

    I hope I’m not violating FB expectations of privacy (?) if I share his sources here:

    http://www.pattiwood.net/article.asp?PageID=9547

    (Wherein Patti Wood, a body language expert, says

    Pink did not become known as the “de rigueur” color for girls until the 1900’s. Victorian children, curious about where babies came from, asked their parents and they are said to have replied that babies came from cabbage patches. (All this time I thought the stork brought them.) The children guessed that boys came from blue cabbages but wondered what color cabbages girls came from “Pink” was the parents answer. Thus, “Pink is for girls” was added to the cultural lexicon

    She also trots out a discredited study and the old evo psych “women like pink because in hunter-gatherer societies they picked the berries” trope.)

    http://www.myuniversalfacts.com/2005/12/meaning-of-colors-color-symbolism.html

    (A site that details color symbolism. Mentions that blue is associated with infant boys. That’s it.)

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080711125838AAO1AZs

    (Ask Yahoo.)

    http://www.mother-god.com/pink-for-boys.html

    (A blog called “A Chapel of Our Mother God”. Why did Ben pick this one? Who knows? Maybe he thought because it was gynocentric, it would carry weight with feminists?)

    So far as I can tell his only other point is that Toy Stores aren’t literally trying to “trick” anyone. He’s got Riley there.

  86. 86
    DLC

    Someone remind Radford of the first rule of holes, please.

  87. 87
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Azkyroth says:

    Or maybe you are autistic? That could explain it.

    Fuck you, you worthless pile of rat shit.

    0) Are Nerd and Azkyroth the same person? No need to respond to this otherwise.

    1) It would actually explain it, and be far *far* preferable to the alternatives, which are that Nerd Dances is an imbecile or suffers from serious delusions.

    2) Seriously Azkyroth? You entered the thread, to make a tangent on a tangent? Where the first tangent was a person going apeshit over a clearly absurd jokey comment about old people? The last time this happened with you and me, it was in a political thread, you made dozens of comments, and exactly ZERO ones that had anything to do with the topic. How about you ignore this and talk about the dunce that is Ben and how a 4 year old apparently bested him in a debate.

  88. 88
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Using the term “autistic” as a generic term of abuse is inexcusable regardless of what happened upthread.

  89. 89
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    But more, you’re missing the point that calling someone “christian” or “muslim” depends on some invisible characteristics (which the group identifies with). We, and the parents, have no way of seeing whether or not the child “really” is a christian – it’s invisible to us. But we can see whether or not the child is really behaving in a skeptical manner, and when we observe that behavior (as Rebecca Watson does) we can correctly apply the label “skeptical” to that person.

    In other words, “Christian” is an ontological label, and “skeptic” is an operational one?

  90. 90
    debbiegoddard

    Hey, *I* work at CFI, and I’m interested in these topics! I give presentations on increasing diversity in the movement, for chrissakes. But I don’t spend most my time writing–I’m an organizer, campus outreach coordinator, and director of African Americans for Humanism. My coworker Dren, a campus organizer, is a feminist, and two other CFI coworkers are involved with the weareskeptixx blog. (And occasionally I blog for Skepchick.)

    There are different POVs on these topics inside of organizations like CFI. I understand there’s a bias, though–many of us aren’t primarily writers, so our perspectives don’t get out there as much. This is something that I can work to change.

    Maybe I and others should spend more of our time writing and presenting our POVs publicly in places like the main CFI blog…ha, I’m making myself another New Year’s resolution. (Crap, I don’t have time for them all!)

  91. 91
    joed

    @73 Caine, Fleur du Mal

    Wishful Thinking Rules All commented on my comment about a Tim Wise vidi at youtube. He seemed polite and genuine on the surface so i thanked him.
    That’s all I know except I sure don’t want to “feed the Trolls”.
    RE: @50, @52, @56, @58.

    And this White Privilege malfunction is what I think is the “topic” of the Professors post,
    Stop embarrassing me, Old White Guys!

    Give me a few more years and I will have this blog stuff figured out. And, I could pay a bit more attention to the current post. Thanks

  92. 92
    Inaji

    debbiegoddard:

    many of us aren’t primarily writers, so our perspectives don’t get out there as much. This is something that I can work to change.

    Hi, Debbie. I’m sorry for being so harsh, well, no I’m not. I do grok the work you’re trying to do, and I’m all for that, however, I think more perspectives would seriously help CFI out. Being represented by the ‘older white guy’ business isn’t working out so well.

    I know it’s difficult, all the work you’re trying to do. Is all that work being serviced when you’re represented by someone like Ben, who is busy demonstrating his inability to think, let alone think skeptically and critically?

    I would love to see a different face on those writing for CFI – that would get my support back.

  93. 93
    Inaji

    joed:

    Give me a few more years and I will have this blog stuff figured out. And, I could pay a bit more attention to the current post. Thanks

    No worries, I just didn’t want you to end up with your chain being yanked by Wishful idiot. Here at Pharyngula, it’s standard to do the privilege stomp, we end up having to do it all the time, so you’re in good company.

  94. 94
    Stacy

    Josh:

    Not like anyone at CFI will care

    No, no, no, no, no. You’re wrong, hon (and I still adore you). I volunteer (frequently, seriously, for years) at CFI. Debbie Goddard and Melody work at CFI. My friend Alice works at CFI. We’re all feminists and I daresay we all see that Ben is Full Of It.

    CFI is supposed to be a thinktank with lots of disparate voices. That’s why both PZ and Ophelia Benson are now writing for Free Inquiry.

    Please don’t give up on CFI because some of the old guard there are slow (or libertarians)! It’s a Big Tent.

  95. 95
    Stacy

    I should have said, both PZ and Ophelia, and Tibor Machen and Nat Hentoff.

  96. 96
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Debbie – I second what Caine said. And as someone who’s read your writing and writing about your work, I think you totally rock.

    That said, I think CFI needs to dump some of the dead weight. Nobody takes “paranormal investigations” or “critiques of Bigfoot sightings” seriously anymore. Nor should they. This is not 1975, and we’re not living in an episode of In Search Of, narrated by Leonard Nimoy ™. The self-important way that people like Joe Nickell and Ben Radford present themselves—as if they’re doing the whole world such a huge favor ‘investigating’ chupacabras and UFOS—is too much to take. There’s a place for it, but it’s a much, much smaller place than CFI allocates to it today.

    When you add to that the fact that prominent voices such as Ben Radford’s spend their time poo-pooing legitimate commentary on sexism and misogyny. . well? It’s enough to make a body say fuck right off.

    CFI’s mission and focus isn’t within your control, and it isn’t your responsibility. . . please know that I know that. But I do think the organization needs to hear this.

  97. 97
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    We’re all feminists and I daresay we all see that Ben is Full Of It.

    The problem is, as Debbie noted, that we aren’t seeing that. What is visible is Ben and his bullshit. That’s a problem.

  98. 98
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Stacy: thank you, it’s heartening to hear that. I know there are great people at CFI. I just wish they’d cut some of the crap and stop being such a dudely-dude white boy’s Skeptic Klub.

  99. 99
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Also, I’m a paid subscriber to Free Inquiry (I say that only to make clear that I support what CFI does and I’m an interested party, not as some snarky, bullshitty “I’ll cancel my subscription” nonsense).

  100. 100
    mikeg

    Shameless self promotion…

    Radford has responded.

    http://spinozasbicycle.blogspot.com/2012/01/thus-spake-radford.html

  101. 101
    mikeg

    Ah hell. I was beaten to the punch, thanks Stacey!

  102. 102
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh yeah. Radford “responded” by ducking responsibility for his bullshit arguments. And (though he can’t be held responsible for these, obviously) the usual commenters are out in force with uncritical praise. One Miranda Celeste Hale:

    This is a fantastic, thorough, classy, and spot-on response, Ben. Thanks for writing it.

    Fuck you and your cheap suck-up routine, Miranda.

  103. 103
    Stacy

    @Josh: OK: but some people do take Bigfoot sightings seriously. Somebody still has to deal with that sort of shit.

    @Caine: But PZ and Ophelia have only recently been added to the Free Inquiry roster (since Paul Kurtz’s ouster and Ron Lindsey’s accession?). So support them.

    I can tell you my own experience. I live in L.A., which is admittedly a particularly liberal city within a Blue State. But CFI-LA is truly a welcoming place in which lowly visitors and volunteers get heard, and are welcome to do their own thing and start their own projects. A few years ago I organized a CFI entry for the Doo Dah Parade, with support from CFI-LA’s Jim Underdown.

    I don’t know how best to explain this….I live at the poverty line, I’m a disabled, older female with a congenital facial deformity, and when I approached CFI-LA’s Executive Director, Jim Underdown, with an idea, he said, “Go for it”. And supported me.

    How many organizations would do that?

  104. 104
    Inaji

    Mikeg:

    Shameless self promotion…

    “I think he has faltered here a teeny bit.”

    That’s what you have to say about this? Really? I wouldn’t be advertising if I were you.

  105. 105
    Stacy

    Josh, I was still composing my response; our posts crossed in cyber-space! <3

  106. 106
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    @Josh: OK: but some people do take Bigfoot sightings seriously. Somebody still has to deal with that sort of shit.

    Yep. But it doesn’t have to be the main focus, and it doesn’t need the prominence CFI gives it. That “investigators”—as Ben and Joe so pompously and conspicuously style themselves. . never vulgar “debunkers”, mind—get so much front page play is merely deference to historical practice. It’s wholly out of touch with contemporary issues.

  107. 107
    Inaji

    Josh:

    One Miranda Celeste Hale:

    This is a fantastic, thorough, classy, and spot-on response, Ben. Thanks for writing it.

    Miranda wouldn’t know class if it bit her on the nose. One’s tempted to think she gets by as a professional ass kisser these days.

    Stacy:

    @Caine: But PZ and Ophelia have only recently been added to the Free Inquiry roster (since Paul Kurtz’s ouster and Ron Lindsey’s accession?). So support them.

    Like Josh, I’m a paid subscriber. When people like Radford are the face of CFI, I am not pleased, to say the least. For now, you have my support, however, things need to change.

  108. 108
    Inaji

    Josh:

    Yep. But it doesn’t have to be the main focus, and it doesn’t need the prominence CFI gives it.

    This ^ a thousand times over. If CFI is looking to reach out to people and to gain more support, it’s important to stop pretending it’s still the age of Harry Houdini going about debunking seances.

    Yes, that sort of thing still needs to be addressed, however, by being the primary focus, what comes across to a lot of people is that CFI is happily living in a different century.

  109. 109
    anteprepro

    Azkyroth:

    Using the term “autistic” as a generic term of abuse is inexcusable regardless of what happened upthread.

    And you’re definitely barking up the right tree: This isn’t the first time WRTA’s said something along these lines, using a group of mentally ill/disabled as a slur (or using one label that is already effectively established as a slur, as well as having a racial history). Just for the record .

  110. 110
    Stacy

    I get what you guys are saying. I really do.

    I think I have sympathy with the Old Guard because of my personal experience. As a kid I lived through a father dying of Hodgkin’s while my mother turned first to faith healers, and then to Christian Science, to try and cure him (this was in the early 1970s), and then, after I was orphaned, an aunt who was into New Age woo like Edgar Cayce’s prophecies and E.S.P.

    That shit may be less prevalent now, but believe me, it causes a lot of pain. A lot.

  111. 111
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    by being the primary focus, what comes across to a lot of people is that CFI is happily living in a different century.

    Thank you!</b.

    Here's my wish list of issues for CFI to focus on. Not that they need to share my priorities, and not that mine are automatically the most important. But I daresay they're a fuckload more pertinent:

    1. Alt med – critically examining and debunking bullshit "medicine" and organizing to stop its public funding

    2. Anti-vax – this needs no elaboration. Specific attention and focused efforts should be put toward abolishing the legal "philosophical" (read: religious) opt-outs in state law

    3. RELIGION – yeah. Religion. Without kid gloves. And with a specific focus on its inappropriate and sinister hold on our legal system and the legislative process

    4. Global Warming Denialism

  112. 112
    SallyStrange

    Give up on CFI? I barely paid attention to it before. Now it’s etched in my mind as being the organization associated with the least useful, least interesting form of skepticism: the oblivious-to-privilege bigfoot/aliens/gods skepticism that doesn’t engage with critical social issues.

    Offensive AND boring.

  113. 113
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Sorry for failing to close the bold tag!

  114. 114
    Inaji

    Stacy:

    That shit may be less prevalent now, but believe me, it causes a lot of pain. A lot.

    I know, Stacy, and I’m very sorry you lived through that. That said, what in the hell is it going to take to drag CFI, screaming or not, into our current century?

    Maybe people aren’t all into Edgar Cayce these days (and I know all about that, had a great-grandmother who bought into his crap), however, as Josh notes, there are equivalents today which are not being addressed at all.

    Also, the third Josh notes, in spades. CFI still tapdances, as lightly as possible, around religion. This is the legacy of the old white guy guard. It has to go.

  115. 115
    strange gods before me ॐ

    anteprepro,

    Azkyroth thumped WTRA back then too.

    (We gotta keep up a consistent rhythm of troll-thumping while we wait for PZ to get bored of WTRA.)

  116. 116
    Stacy

    1. Alt med – critically examining and debunking bullshit “medicine” and organizing to stop its public funding

    http://www.csicop.org/si/show/state-sponsored_quackery_feng_shui_and_snake_oil_for_california_nurses

    2. Anti-vax – this needs no elaboration. Specific attention and focused efforts should be put toward abolishing the legal “philosophical” (read: religious) opt-outs in state law

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEifZLvpWbw

    (Derek Bartholomaus, of the “Jenny McCarthy Body Count” web site).

    3. RELIGION – yeah. Religion. Without kid gloves. And with a specific focus on its inappropriate and sinister hold on our legal system and the legislative process

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/In%20Re%20Marriage%20Cases-brief.pdf.pdf

    4. Global Warming Denialism

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/advocacy/global_climate_change_triggered_by_global_warming/

  117. 117
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Stacy, that’s all good stuff. And maybe it’s confirmation bias on my part that it doesn’t immediately spring to mind when I think of CFI. But it doesn’t, in fact, immediately spring to mind. Bigfoot and poltergeist bullshit is what springs to mind. Major CFI writers (Radford) denying sexism spring to mind. Maybe it’s just me. That’s possible. But maybe CFI has some thinking to do as well.

  118. 118
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    …. :/

  119. 119
    Stacy

    Caine:

    I would love to see a different face on those writing for CFI – that would get my support back

    So for them! I, too, do get bored with Skeptical Inquirer and (though somewhat less often) with Free Inquiry.

  120. 120
    debbiegoddard

    Cool. :)

    I have a theory–just a theory, mind you–about the way that many men and women operate in this (and similar?) movements. I just wrote like five paragraphs about it and decided that I should finish putting it together when it’s not 2am. Maybe it’ll be a blog post; maybe I’ll put it on the CFI blog!

  121. 121
    Stacy

    Sorry. “So write for them!” I meant to say.

  122. 122
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I have a theory–just a theory, mind you–about the way that many men and women operate in this (and similar?) movements.

    As long as it doesn’t involve berries in a forest…

  123. 123
    rorschach

    When I did my Xmas shopping a couple weeks ago, I went to Kmart, and there not only the clothes, but also the toys are separated into a “boys” and “girls” section. At Kmart, gender stereotyping is truly complete, a wall of pink to the left, and a wall of green and camo brown on the right.

    As to our favourite English professor (wrt Josh quoting her above in response to Radford, I have no words for that one anymore.

  124. 124
    Stacy

    But maybe CFI has some thinking to do as well.

    No disagreement here. But they’re not so frozen into place by money/tradition/unconscious prejudices that they can’t be affected.

    This is exactly the sort of thing where “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” is relevant. CFI is still young and un-mainstream enough that it is open to the input and influence of real people like you and me.

  125. 125
    SallyStrange

    I would add to the list of things CFI needs to address: PREJUDICE. Of all sorts. Whether related to skin color, gender, sexual identity, gender identity, class, or other identifying marker, there is a large and growing body of scientific research that illuminates how human minds fall for the trap of prejudice, which is by definition irrational thinking.

    Explaining this research for laypersons would be FAR more useful than debunking Edgar Cayce (actually I had an ex who was kind of into him, but more because his mom was), aliens, and bigfoot.

    It would also, of course, be more controversial.

    But then, that’s the mark of an interesting and relevant subject, is it not?

  126. 126
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    CFI is still young and un-mainstream enough that it is open to the input and influence of real people like you and me.

    That’s good to know.

  127. 127
    Jadehawk

    “in ancient times”? I know Americans stereotypically think 100 years is a long time, but I wouldn’t tall that ancient, exactly :-p

    the color distinction between the two genders dates back millennia.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    a green- or blue-skinned doll would look creepy

    what does he have against smurfs?

    anyway, how would one test whether “women may be biologically programmed to prefer the color pink—or, at least, redder shades of blue—more than men”? I smell more EP

    - – - – -

    Anyway, this entire whinge boils down to free will + EP supported by obvious bullshit.

  128. 128
    Stacy

    To be clear: I’m not just trying to support my tribe (though that’s doubtless part of what’s in play here). I’m saying: here’s an organization in place; use it. Take advantage of it. You will find like-minded people there. There’s no need to start over from scratch.

  129. 129
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Occupy CFI?

  130. 130
    mythusmage

    Call me clueless, but how does something get to be a paranormal subject?

  131. 131
    Inaji

    Feel free to shut up, Alan, about yourself, your supposed reincarnation and your insanity about bigfoot.

    Comment by mythusmage blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  132. 132
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Wait, what?

  133. 133
    Inaji

    Azkyroth, if you’re really interested, search Alan Kellogg at SB Pharyngula. He’s convinced Bigfoot is real, and he believes himself to be reincarnated – his mom told him so, ya know.

  134. 134
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    He’s convinced Bigfoot is real, and he believes himself to be reincarnated.

    Oh lord.

  135. 135
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Mythus is Alan Kellogg?

  136. 136
    andyo

    search Alan Kellogg at SB Pharyngula. He’s convinced Bigfoot is real, and he believes himself to be reincarnated –

    Well, there goes my night.

  137. 137
    mythusmage

    136,

    How do you know I’m always wrong?

  138. 138
    Inaji

    Azkyroth:

    Mythus is Alan Kellogg?

    Yep.

  139. 139
    Inaji

    Josh:

    Oh lord.

    He cut loose with the whole “I’m reincarnated” crap on a TET here, not that long ago. He was a soldier, in a war, last thing he remembers is going headlong into a river or somesuch, then *poof*, he’s a baby, yada, yada, yada.

  140. 140
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    May I just say that Sally Strange’s responses here, on Rebecca’s and SkepticXX’s posts and Ben’s truly odious response have all been ~outstanding~? Because they have.

  141. 141
    Pareidolius

    Being in the skeptical community (especially on Sb and FTB) has been so much more than just awakening to critical thinking/atheism for me. It’s been waking up to my own sexism, and my own privilege as a white male, a status which I resisted acknowledging most vehemently. I do have to say that it was another white male DaveL over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars who gently helped me out of my bubble by saying . . .

    Being privileged doesn’t make you a bad person, but acknowledging that you are might make you a better one.

    I totally agree with Josh’s list and I think that while we may be over it, debunking the paranormal has its place in the movement, cryptozoology, not so much but it can be a good educational tool about confirmation bias and conflation of myth and reality. The big skeptical organizations avoid/ignore gender and race issues at their own peril. If you are CFI and/or JREF members, contact them and let them know these things are important, otherwise the status quo will remain intact.

  142. 142
    strange gods before me ॐ

    That Current Biology article is interesting, but it does not demonstrate (nor even attempt to demonstrate) any genetic basis for color preference. Here’s the basis of their argument:

    Principal component analysis reveals that three factors alone explain 79% of the variance across the entire population. The first two factors strongly resemble the cone-opponent contrast components of the stimuli — the fundamental S–(L+M) (‘blue–yellow’) and L–M (‘red–green’) neuronal mechanisms which encode colors.

    That’s neat. But what it might tell us is that it’s easiest to socially teach color preferences which correspond most strongly to these contrasts. That much ought to be expected, like musical preferences for pure tones. What remains to be seen is whether the particular color preferences exhibited by men and women (participants in this study were aged 20 to 26) are due to a genetically predetermined weighting of one hue over another. And this study did not investigate any genetic mechanisms.

  143. 143
    rrpostal

    Ah, but opinionated 20 something women are never wrong… or something. Before I am lambasted, my 14 and 16 yr old girls were up way too late last night killing zombies on Xbox. And they weren’t pink zombies. This seems to push marketing too far towards conspiracy for me. Or maybe it’s my OWG bias showing.

  144. 144
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, Ben Radford responds and manages to fuck up with the title. He may think that “tempest in a doll’s teaparty” is a clever thing to say when writing about gender-stereotyping. It shows that he’s not getting it.
    Because, you know, whatever women complain about really can only be a minor thing.

    And then there’s this gem:

    But since most girls play with dolls, and most dolls are pink (a green- or blue-skinned doll would look creepy), it makes perfect sense that most girls’ toys are pink.”

    If I’ve ever read a non-sequitur, that is one.
    Apart from the fact that he completely ignores that girls are drowned in pink long before they’re drowned in dolls, and the fact that boy-dolls (action figures) are also pink, there is absolutely no logical connection between those factors.
    Let’s extrapolate this:
    Since most kids have a teddy bear in their beds, and most bears are brown, it makes perfect sense that all nurseries are painted brown.

    And then he goes on how Rebecca got it all wrong when she captured the skin tones of the dolls. It shows, if anything, that he hasn’t been to toy stores much, or seen many dolls close.
    But he definetly feels absolutely qualified to write about it. Because, you know, it’s a gender-issue. No actual knowledge required.

    Or do a simple Google image search for “dolls” and see what skin color most of them show up as; according to Rebecca, it will be anything but pink.

    According to anybody who’s not actually colour-blind they are. Or whose colour-vocabulary has more than 10 words.
    If you actually look at his google image search, you’ll notice that most of the dolls are dressed in pink, and that their skin colour is noticably different from that.
    And to post it as if Rebecca was disagreeing with the fact that most dolls are caucasian is simply dishonest.

    But if you listen closely stop thinking you find that Riley doesn’t talk about gender roles;

    FTF Ben

    Instead of trading insults with Rebecca, I’d rather look critically at the issues Riley raises.

    I’m so much better than thou…

    I’m not sure where the assumption comes from that girls only play with toys that they see girl actors in commercials playing with.

    Ah yeah. After we had the completly logical conclusion that girls like dolls, dolls are pink, therefore girls like pink, the assumption that children imitate role models they see on TV and in the real world is absolutely far fetched and not supported.
    I’m getting the Ben Radford criterium for things making objectively perfect sense: He thinks so.

    We can speculate all day about why a particular girl likes pink, or whether boys or girls are harmed by not having opposite-gender toys marketed to them, but in the end it’s mostly opinion.

    Yes, sure, if we decide to ignore 40 years of research and act as if it didn’t exist and that you’re actually just waiting for somebody to bring them up.
    Also the testimonies of hundreds and thousands of men, women and children don’t count, Riley herself freaking out about this shit doesn’t count.
    Nothing that doesn’t come from OWG counts.
    And, if they don’t agree with him, they might be not real OWG.

    Who cares?

    Thank you, you fucking asshole for dismissing my concerns and woes about seeing how my daughters are peer-pressured into becoming vain, passive princesses who, despite my best efforts think that handling a screwdriver is not for girls.

    Parents–not toy companies or toddlers–control what their children play with, from clothing to toys. Instead of blaming toy marketers for providing products that parents are free to buy or ignore (as Riley seems to), parents need to take responsibility.

    Can you shove your head any more up your ass?
    Because:
    A) Parents are not the only people who by stuff for their kids. When my first daughter was born the wardrobe quickly filled up with pink despite me or any close relatives not buying a single pink item. Babies poop shit, not money, only few people can afford to throw away gifts.

    B) I’m not raising them in isolation tanks. Society tells them all the time that this pink stuff is what they need to get if they want to be Real Girls(tm). Personally I can think of few thinks more vile than challlenging children in their gender identity for liking X.

    It’s insulting to suggest that the reason a girl wants pink is that she must have been influenced by marketers and the media

    By my own experience that my duaghter’s desire for pink is pretty proportional to the amount of time she’s in contact with mainstream culture, media and marketing, it’s pretty reasonable to suggest that. But in contrast to Ben, I don’T take that out on my child.

    It’s clear there are social and cultural expectations for women about beauty and appearance, I don’t think anyone is arguing or disputing that.

    Except that you, Ben just wrote hundreds of words exactly doing that.

    We all agree that what Riley said is not literally true: girls aren’t tricked or forced into buying anything.

    You and your echo-chamber agree.
    No, of course, people are never tricked ito buying things they don’t want, need, are actually bad for them and so on by marketing, and children, people with a diminished capacity for reasoning are much less so.
    Stupid beyond comparison.

    I’ve tried to provide a level of considered, critical analysis about this topic.

    You failed.

    Just because someone disagrees with you, or has a different opinion than you do, doesn’t mean the other person is a stupid, dishonest asshole. Even a four year old knows that.

    Well, good that Rebecca gave evidence for those claims. And just because Ben Radford doesn’t use strong language doesn’t mean he isn’t terribly insulting, patronizing and offending.

  145. 145
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    More fail from an old(ish), White sceptic guy: Penn Jilette puts his foot in his mouth on Twitter, and is smacked by the awesome Jen McCreight.

    To be fair, Jilette got a lot of help from a woman who apparently never had a problem with sexism herself in the sceptical movement, and so concludes that there’s no such problem, QED. What great thinkers ><

  146. 146
    Maureen Brian

    Thanks for that, Giliell!

    Of course no-one is ever pressured into anything ta-da, ta-da!

    Right now we are seeing a developing scandal in the UK. It seems that 40,000, possibly 50,000, women are wandering about with breast implants containing industrial silicone which has not been approved for use in humans and which have a rupture rate well above any that might be acceptable – figures between 3.6% and 7%.

    Some 30,000 in France are experiencing similar problems except that their government is being helpful and decisive while ours is dithering.

    We know that in both of these countries anyone who needed breast reconstruction after cancer, after injury or as a result of developmental abnormality would have had it done within the national system with an approved prosthesis, proper follow-up and a complete record of everything that happened.

    Sadly, for the 40,000 the manufacturer has gone out of business, its CEO is on the run from the police, the “clinics” have gone out of business and, in may cases, the “surgeons” have disappeared. Also there are no records which is why we cannot establish a true rupture rate.

    Are these women all complete idiots or is it more likely that some people don’t manage to resist the overwhelming tide of pinkness which, as Giliell says, begins before you are even born and which has wrapped up in its soft fluffiness the notion that there is one way and one way only that a woman is allowed to look?

  147. 147
    julezyme

    I cannot cannot resist smacking some Google-Fu down re the pink/blue dichotomy:
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/When-Did-Girls-Start-Wearing-Pink.html
    The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out.

    For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.

    In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago.

  148. 148
    elaineballou

    Sorry for the off-topic post, but I don’t read Pharyngula every day, mostly because I know I’ll be distracted for hours by the long, long threads. However, I’m glad when I do. This is one of the only blogs where I’m rarely sorry for reading the comments. You fuckers are awesome.

    As far as talking about cryptozoology and the paranormal vs. more pressing issues like alt medicine, vaccines, prejudice, and religion, I think that both should be talked about, but for different reasons. What led me to the skeptical movement was a combination of atheism and paranormal investigation reality shows. Atheism was the issue I was passionate about, because I’ve suffered discrimination and general crappy treatment from Christians throughout my youth. However, I strongly believed in all the paranormal silliness that guys like Radford (whom I’ve basically lost all respect for now) and Joe Nickell debunk. But the unscientific way those shows were conducted frustrated me, because I thought they could prove the existence of ghosts if they just had better methods. Then I realized why they used such shoddy methods. Then I discovered Skepticality while looking for science podcasts, and it was all over from there.

    But the really fun, interesting part about skepticism for me at first was talking about aliens and bigfoot and ghosts. That was entertaining. That’s why those shows do so well–those topics are just cool. For me, debunking them was as much fun as believing. So I’m certainly not saying those issues are more important than the others–in fact the opposite–but I am saying that they’re a great tool to interest people in skepticism to begin with. So while I think Radford is full of shit, I do think having a publication/organization that focuses on the fun issues and sometimes brings in the heavier topics is a good starting point for new skeptics, who can then jump off into things like Science-Based Medicine, Pharyngula, and Skepchick and learn about the harder issues like medicine, religion, and prejudice.

    Sorry for the length of that.

  149. 149
    elaineballou

    @rrpostal #143

    I’m glad that your daughters don’t succumb to the pressure most girls feel about gender roles. That doesn’t mean that that pressure doesn’t exist. That’s an anecdote. There’s a reason why that’s not considered scientific data. The numerous studies and information people have used to debunk the article in question show that this pressure does, in fact, exist.

    But I can meet your anecdote with several anecdotes if that’s what you feel is more powerful evidence: I’ve witnessed parents refusing to allow their boys to check out books from the library the parents thought were too girly, including “Dora the Explorer” books. I personally felt that pressure intensely growing up in the 1980s. I’ve seen my nephew’s parents and extended family refuse to let him have pink toys, even though he is disabled and prefers toys of any color as long as they make noise, and seems to be unaware of gender roles or even the concept of gender. I have a teenage cousin who was humiliated to drive a purple car because purple was a “girl’s color.” I have women friends who won’t wear comfortable shoes because they “aren’t feminine,” and think I’m crazy for refusing to wear high heels, because they “make your walk more feminine.” I had one friend suggest an astronomy toy as a good gift “for anyone with a science-minded boy.” These subtle and not-so-subtle messages are everywhere, and more people are affected by them than not. Congratulations on raising girls strong enough to get past it, but that doesn’t erase the effect this marketing reinforces in the rest of society.

  150. 150
    mikeg

    That’s what you have to say about this? Really? I wouldn’t be advertising if I were you

    Who do I address my apology letter to? I am sorry if my tongue wasn’t planted firmly enough in my cheek.

    However, I strongly believed in all the paranormal silliness that guys like Radford (whom I’ve basically lost all respect for now)

    Really? All respect, over this? This is definitely a time when we can say, ‘Hey, you, don’t be an asshole. Don’t do that.’

    Did you dismiss everything Dawkins after elevatorgate? And hey, did we lose all respect for Kepler because of his geometric harmonies and perfect solids? What about Tycho Brahe? He had a fucking moose that he would liquor up! Does that tarnish his other work?

    I still respect Ben in that his work and contributions have been good for the skeptical community. As editor, he has made sure that women get fair contribution to publish. That being said, he was still talking from a position of privilege. He was still wrong, and his response was disingenuous at best. It misses the point and discounts much of what Rebecca Watson had to say.

  151. 151
    elaineballou

    No, not all just over this. Over many things, including his response to criticism every time he has been wrong. It’s hard to respect someone who responds so childishly basically every time he is criticized.

  152. 152
    myeck waters

    Pareidolius #141

    Being in the skeptical community (especially on Sb and FTB) has been so much more than just awakening to critical thinking/atheism for me. It’s been waking up to my own sexism, and my own privilege as a white male, a status which I resisted acknowledging most vehemently.

    Oh yes, same for me. Reading the threads here has been like having the gauze bandages peeled off my eyes with a garden rake.

  153. 153
    mikeg

    @152

    Which is why Rebecca Watson has my vote for Atheist of the Year.

  154. 154
    melody

    FYI – Julia Lavarnway who wrote the piece against Ben Radford’s blog works for CFI. Debbie Goddard and I also work for CFI and have publicly disagreed with Ben on this issue. PZ writes for one of our publications, Free Inquiry. The great thing about CFI is that there is no groupthink. We are allowed to publicly disagree with each other and often do. It keeps us and the organization intellectually honest. There is no oversight on the Free Thinking blog. Contributions to CFI’s Free Thinking blog are not the opinion of CFI and we state that.

  155. 155
    Matt Penfold

    Which is why Rebecca Watson has my vote for Atheist of the Year.

    And mine. What I found disheartening were the people who were voting for Abbie Smith because of how she stood up to bullying. Proof I guess that being an atheist or a sceptic is no guarantee a person can think critically, or even at all.

  156. 156
    melody

    I don’t know how or why someone would think paranormal research is our main focus. You should spend more time looking at our site, position papers, and action alerts. It’s just not the case.

    Josh, Official SpokesGay says:

    Here’s my wish list of issues for CFI to focus on. Not that they need to share my priorities, and not that mine are automatically the most important. But I daresay they’re a fuckload more pertinent:

    1. Alt med – critically examining and debunking bullshit “medicine” and organizing to stop its public funding

    2. Anti-vax – this needs no elaboration. Specific attention and focused efforts should be put toward abolishing the legal “philosophical” (read: religious) opt-outs in state law

    3. RELIGION – yeah. Religion. Without kid gloves. And with a specific focus on its inappropriate and sinister hold on our legal system and the legislative process

    4. Global Warming Denialism

    Not only are we doing these things well, we are the only major organization doing all of these things.

    Our mission:

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

    Fostering a secular society requires attention to many specific goals, but three goals in particular represent the focus of our activities:

    * an end to the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on public policy
    * an end to the privileged position that religion and pseudoscience continue to enjoy in many societies
    * an end to the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, whether the nonbeliever describes her/himself as an atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or skeptic.

  157. 157
    Matt Penfold

    The CFI is also organising a conference on the role of women in secularism. A number of the bloggers at FtB will be speaking, Ophelia, Jen, Greta. Rebecca Watson will also be there.

    What I want to know is who is going to clear up the mess when the heads of all the sexists, misogynists arseholes explode.

  158. 158
    melody

    Yes, I am the one organizing that conference. I hope that you’ll make a point of being there… women and men. http://www.womeninsecularism.org

  159. 159
    Matt Penfold

    Yes, I am the one organizing that conference. I hope that you’ll make a point of being there… women and men. http://www.womeninsecularism.org

    It is tempting, but an 3000 mile ocean and lack of finance means I will not be able to.

    Will the talks be filmed and put online ?

  160. 160
    melody

    Matt Penfold says:

    What I want to know is who is going to clear up the mess when the heads of all the sexists, misogynists arseholes explode.

    We are taking volunteers to clean up the mess. ;)

  161. 161
    melody

    Matt Penfold says:

    Will the talks be filmed and put online?

    I believe some of them will be. Stay tuned.

  162. 162
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Caine, Fleur du Mal says:

    No worries, I just didn’t want you to end up with your chain being yanked by Wishful idiot. Here at Pharyngula, it’s standard to do the privilege stomp, we end up having to do it all the time, so you’re in good company.

    EPIC FAIL you giant raging fucktard. If you weren’t drunk or high or a moron when you read a couple of joed’s posts, you could have figured out he was agreeing with me, since he explicitly agreed with me. And thanking me for showing interest in what he was talking about. The “stomp”, if there was one, was both of us against general society. Not him “stompling” me – So why the FUCK did you get this so wrong? The evidence you had pointed the other way. You are blinded by your own wrong assumptions and didn’t take the 5 seconds to look at the evidence and think for a moment. Shame on you.

    Read more carefully next time so you don’t look like an imbecile, ok?

  163. 163
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    love moderately ॐ says:

    Azkyroth thumped WTRA back then too.

    (We gotta keep up a consistent rhythm of troll-thumping while we wait for PZ to get bored of WTRA.)

    ROFLOL. So you ENCOURAGE folks spending ALL THEIR time derailing a thread, in order to insult and go on some weird personal vendetta against another poster? Because that’s what Azkyroth did there. No on topic posts, at all, none, but plenty of insults and derails. Where I on the other hand kept talking about the topic – politics of the GOP – and urged people do to the same. And you make me out to be the bad guy? Fuck you!

    A reasonable, non-insane person would look at that thread and only see one person remotely resembling a troll, and it wouldn’t be me. But hey, while we may be all atheists and fancy ourselves critical thinkers, it is clear some of you fall very short in the thinking category. And you Love, you fall very very short as your link shows the exact opposite of what you think, because in reality Azky was trolling that thread pretty badly. Don’t let your brain’s natural inclination to support the in-group, to always be pro-insiders and anti-outsiders, destroy your reason circuits. Your friends and acquaintances can make mistakes and do act like assholes and trolls – when it is as obvious as it was in that thread you need to be able to pick up on that.

  164. 164
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Giliell, the woman who said Good-bye to Kitty says:

    If I’ve ever read a non-sequitur, that is one.
    Apart from the fact that he completely ignores that girls are drowned in pink long before they’re drowned in dolls, and the fact that boy-dolls (action figures) are also pink, there is absolutely no logical connection between those factors.

    EXACTLY. This pissed me off before too. Ben’s argument here makes no sense. He had time to think about it, examine the criticisms before he wrote his rebuttal, but he just says the same garbage again! What is up with this guy!?

  165. 165
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    anteprepro says:

    Azkyroth:

    Using the term “autistic” as a generic term of abuse is inexcusable regardless of what happened upthread.

    And you’re definitely barking up the right tree: This isn’t the first time WRTA’s said something along these lines, using a group of mentally ill/disabled as a slur (or using one label that is already effectively established as a slur, as well as having a racial history). Just for the record .

    1) What’s with all the links? I have stalkers now? Creepy. Or do you just have no life?

    2) Like I already said, I would rather him be autistic, then a huge raging imbecile or someone who suffers from delusions. That’s the best explanation for why Nerd acted the way they did here, going apeshit for multiple posts over a silly joke. If you want to call the best explanation a slur, er, ok, but that’s not how it was intended.

    3) People use “disabled” as a slur all the time – see moron, imbecile, dolt, dunce, tard, etc; You guys make a distinction so that some of those fall out, but they all describe people who do not have sufficient mental capacity to discuss whatever is being discussed at the time. I definitely do NOT want to get into this again, but I found the reasoning for excluding “tard” but keeping and *encouraging* the use of moron, imbecile and the like, to be terrible and unconvincing.

  166. 166
    Emrysmyrddin

    And you’ve been told over and over again that your continued use of ablist language is not welcome here. If you don’t like it – if you’re that bad at self-censorship that you can’t help but spurt ablist comments all over the threads you post on – then just go away.

  167. 167
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    What I want to know is who is going to clear up the mess when the heads of all the sexists, misogynists arseholes explode.

    Don’t worry, their heads are so firmly located up their asses that those will absorb most of it.

  168. 168
    Emrysmyrddin

    Don’t worry, their heads are so firmly located up their asses that those will absorb most of it.

    That’s still not a reassuring thought – innocent passersby could then be exposed to both CJD and dysentry in one mist-spray package…

  169. 169
    Jadzia626

    His reply to Rebecca is a very strange and somewhat childish rant. I had to pick at it a bit:

    http://www.purplenoize.com/2012/01/riley-chronicles-episode-ii.html

  170. 170
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Emrysmyrddin says:

    And you’ve been told over and over again that your continued use of ablist language is not welcome here. If you don’t like it – if you’re that bad at self-censorship that you can’t help but spurt ablist comments all over the threads you post on – then just go away.

    The “if you don’t like it leave” argument? *facepalm* Anyway, regarding self-control/censorship, this cuts both ways, or at least it should. Morons who’d rather destroy an entire thread over a passing mention of the word ‘tard’ should also not be welcomed. If you are reasonable, you’d agree to this. Because it is one thing to point out when what you think is a poor word choice happens, this is reasonable, but writing dozens and dozens of posts about it, ignoring the topic of the thread altogether, as some people do, that is just plain stupid and counter productive and worse than the original offense. It truly is far worse, because it literally destroys whole threads. Yet you have morons here applauding such rabid, unreasonable thread destroying behavior.

    You appear to be an adult, you can mention your issue with word choices and move on – you won’t be writing 30+ posts about it in this thread (like a certain someone has before). We can agree to disagree and focus on the actual topics at hand. Others can’t, because they seem to have the mentality of children. They seem primarily concerned with insulting someone as many times as possible whenever they see them, regardless of what that person is saying. That, my friend, is a far far greater lack of self-censorship problem – the diarrhea of the mouth insult at all costs obsession some people have. I wonder if you’ll ever have the intellectual honesty to call people out on that? I doubt it.

  171. 171
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Melody – thanks for reminding me of that. My criticism of CFI was unfair not taking those activities into account.

  172. 172
    strange gods before me ॐ

    So you ENCOURAGE folks spending ALL THEIR time derailing a thread, in order to insult and go on some weird personal vendetta against another poster? Because that’s what Azkyroth did there.

    No, that does not appear to be the case. Azkyroth spent very little actual time on you. His comments took but a moment to write, and he didn’t make very many. It looks like you may have occupied a whole five minutes of his life.

    To be clear, I also like to see a thorough stomping with several five-screeners. If what you claimed had actually happened, that’d be nice. But it just so happens that you’re full of shit.

    We do just fine with having tangents about unacceptable comments. These tangents don’t actually ruin a thread. They cause people to focus on several topics at once, but that’s not a big deal. The original conversation continues alongside the new one.

    It’s a good thing that we enforce some community standards around here. It lets some good people feel welcome who’d otherwise not feel welcome; this much we know for sure because new commenters show up to say as much.

  173. 173
    Cipher

    *belated clenched tentacle salute to Azkyroth*
    WTRA, you’re still slime. And yes – if you don’t like people taking issue with your shitty ableist language, then I know that I for one don’t want you here. And by the way, regarding the links, some posters here have excellent memories for conversations and recognize the utility of citing when making claims about other people. I don’t know why you would think that’s equivalent to stalking.

  174. 174
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    love moderately ॐ says:

    They cause people to focus on several topics at once,

    You lying sack of shit. That imbecile entered the thread only to complain about me, and made no effort whatsoever to say ANYTHING about the topic at hand, even after I suggested perhaps he should say something, anything, about the topic. And that is often true. Idiots have some super powered laser focus to ignore everything except whatever single thing is obsessing them (usually a person who they must “stomp”). If those people could actually focus on several topics at once, I wouldn’t be so annoyed at their behavior.

    The original conversation continues alongside the new one.

    Except it didn’t there, it displaced it. In general though it certainly makes having the original conversation harder, and makes things ESPECIALLY harder for the lurkers who have to sift through garbage and useless insult battles to get to the point.

    It’s a good thing that we enforce some community standards around here.

    You appear to be too dumb to figure out the difference between “enforcement” and some obsessive compulsive need to “win the internet” as some kind of holy internet warrior. You just appear dumb though, so I imagine you can grasp the concept of allocation of resources? And also the concept of a spectrum, rather than thinking in binary? At some point “enforcement” ceases to be useful, and actually ceases to be enforcement altogether, since it becomes idiots wanking back and forth at each other about the finer points of some tangent that most don’t give a rat’s ass about. I mean fuck, look at me writing all this shit just now, what a waste of time.

  175. 175
    Wishful Thinking Rules All

    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says:

    And by the way, regarding the links, some posters here have excellent memories for conversations and recognize the utility of citing when making claims about other people. I don’t know why you would think that’s equivalent to stalking.

    The stalking thing was an exaggeration. But it is still a pointless waste of time, hence my “no life” comment. Were there any claims in dispute? Did I say I did not use certain words? NO. So who the fuck, besides a giant time waster who needs to make some serious New Year’s Resolutions, would take the time to scour over PZ’s blog and cite shit that doesn’t need citing? These people with such great memories for conversations should remember my stance on a certain word, so there is no point linking to posts where I used such words, because I never claimed I did not use such words. Right?

    Now I realize the irony of me spending 10 minutes writing back to you fools about a tangent no one cares about, so I am going to follow my own advice and go off and do something else that isn’t this thread. You internet warriors can get the coveted last word if you so desire.

  176. 176
    strange gods before me ॐ

    What I like best about WTRA’s self-defenses is the hypocrisy.

  177. 177
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Wishful Thinking:

    One of the things that you fail to realize is that the **entire purpose** of Pharyngula is to build a community of mutual support in which a main focus of that community is building a better world (I’d say “tikkun olam” if this were a Jewish site, but as this is an atheist site, I will make sure that the words do not see the light of screen. …Crap!)

    Now, it so happens that the community is selected from folk who believe that **caring about what is true** is an important value generally and is explicitly more important than believing in things on faith because believing in them provides some emotional value. Clear thinking is promoted here, but anti-Caturday? The Mollies? TET? none of these things are explainable if this is merely a website about logic.

    Long ago – before I started reading it & I started reading (at least intermittently) during the Great Cracker Caper – this site decided that since a) stereotypes are never “true” in the way that they are used and b) oppression limits the ability of some to join and contribute to this community, that c) stomping on oppressive language and stereotyping is PartOfWhatWeDoHere(tm).

    Therefore, the threads exist to address individual fallacies or provide specific pieces of information, but also for the purpose of creating the desired community. Creating the desired community has been determined by the community to require stomping on oppression (you can agree or disagree with the determination, but it has been agreed upon by this community). Oppression has been agreed to include ableism. There are ongoing discussions about what language is ableist, sexist, racist, etc., but it is considered quite clear that blaming douchegabbery on a specific diagnosis is quite close to the definition of ableism.

    Therefore, you were stomped.

    QEfuckingD.

    If you don’t like getting stomped, stop doing the behavior that gets you stomped. We encourage to avail yourself of basic Skinner here.

    Now please do spend some time shutting the fuck up.

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