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Mar 14 2012

Pro-life culture

I’m about to board a plane to Calgary, but I want to leave you something positive and uplifting to discuss for the next few hours. So here you go, excerpts from conversations on twitter.

I’m gonna be incommunicado for some time to come. I do so love dropping that kind of bomb on you all.

330 comments

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  1. 1
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    And that’s why my favorite sign for anti-abortionists is “May the fetus you save be gay!” although I realize it’s not nice to use ‘gayness’ as negative.

    Any alternative suggestions?

  2. 2
    Kaintukee Bob

    And now I want to throw up.

    As Reddit would say, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

  3. 3
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    PZ, if you have any spare time (heh heh) you can visit Calgary’s new Science Centre–maybe plan a walking Horde meet-up?

  4. 4
    chigau (違う)

    “May the fetus you save be gay grow up to be a Democrat!”

  5. 5
    Captain Mike

    Charming.

  6. 6
    Louis

    What lovely tweets from such obviously lovely people. Why, to share a planet with these people truly is a joyous and edifying thing. Those tweets make me want to skip merrily though lavender scented fields and pet baa-lambs as they gambol across the sward. Every tweet was a little brimming cup of love, a hug for all humanity, a wee kiss gently placed on the cheek of every person who reads them.

    How sensible and rational it is to offer to kindly kill an unborn foetus because their harmless potential sexual proclivities differ from those, presumably, of the tweeter. Such kindness, such love. Why I’ll bet many of these people are Christians, the very apotheosis of human love, after all.

    Thank you PZ for bringing us this little glimpse into the sun dappled grove of enduring love that is the mind of the homophobe. I truly hope that each of the individuals that posted these tweets do not in any way meet with an ironic end involving being rectally impaled upon a large, splintery fence post. Repeatedly. From a great height.

    Louis

  7. 7
    Anri

    I’d say ‘obvious trolls are obvious’… but it occured to me there’s no obvious way to determine who’s actually trolling. I suspect >50%, but with this we have encountered the essense of Poe’s Law (albeit in a slightly different context).

    On the other hand, either people are tweeting this seriously, or they’re tweeting it because they consider it amusing. Both options seem to be a pretty good argument for “Rocks fall, everyone dies” and starting over again with the cockroaches.

    In other words, there are not enough faces, not enough palms.

  8. 8
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Abortion is apparently a sin. A lesser one than premeditated infanticide or murder, it would seem.

  9. 9
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Oh look more “pro-life” idiocy.

    A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons. And because Arizona’s an at-will employment state, that means that bosses critical of their female employees’ sex lives could fire them as a result.

  10. 10
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Fuck.

    You know, I already feel like I’m gonna vom and those tweets aren’t helping. :(

  11. 11
    greame

    #ToMyUnbornChild u betta not be gay mi ahh fi kill u

    Such eloquence!

  12. 12
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    I read every one of those Tweets and felt sick to the stomach at the hate.

    How do you even… I mean… Words fail me.

  13. 13
    ironflange

    Incommunicado? I’ll have you know we actually do have internet access in Calgary.

  14. 14
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’d say ‘obvious trolls are obvious’… but it occured to me there’s no obvious way to determine who’s actually trolling

    NO. No, no, no, no, no, no. It is not possible for any of this to be “trolling” because any motivation to say such things whatsoever is utterly irrelevant to the fact of actually saying them. There is no innocent or less-bad way to view this. If these people actually would do this they’re horrible. If they think it’s even a little bit funny or acceptable to pretend they would they’re horrible.

    It’s all violence no matter which way you cut it. Stop making excuses for why it’s not as bad as it could be. Yes, it is. As I said in another thread. . .wake the fuck up and realize it’s worse than you want it to be and you’re not helping by pretending these people are fringe.

  15. 15
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Rev,

    A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons.

    Yeah, that popped up in my fb newsfeed this morning.

    You know what I love?
    1) The bill was proposed by a woman*.
    2) Of course, the supporters of this bill are rationalizing it by saying that it “increases freedom”. It’s about your employer’s First Amendment rights**, baby! Which obviously trumps an individual’s right to privacy.
    3) Is there anything creepier than discussing your sex life with your boss? *shudder!*

    *Just proving the point that women (especially if they’re Republicans) can be every bit as oppressive as their male counterparts.
    **Which apparently now includes the right to discriminate against an employee based on religion. Who knew that was Constitutional?

  16. 16
    =8)-DX

    NO. No, no, no, no, no, no. It is not possible for any of this to be “trolling” because any motivation to say such things whatsoever is utterly irrelevant to the fact of actually saying them.

    Oh Poppycock! As if young people (and it looked like mostly young “twits” to me) aren’t often fond of black, bloody, racist, sexy, bigotted humour. For certain people (and certain places on the internet) “I will kill you” is considered a joke.

  17. 17
    ladude

    What’s mystifying is that it is obvious from the responses that these are well educated people who should certainly know better!

  18. 18
    chigau (違う)

    wooooosh

  19. 19
    Icaarus

    Saw a quote that uses gay far less negatively

    “If the fetus you save is gay, will you still fight for its rights?”

  20. 20
    Cipher

    Oh Poppycock! As if young people (and it looked like mostly young “twits” to me) aren’t often fond of black, bloody, racist, sexy, bigotted humour. For certain people (and certain places on the internet) “I will kill you” is considered a joke.

    Pretty sure you’re not understanding the post you’re responding to. Including the part you blockquoted.

  21. 21
    Aratina Cage

    That was not nice. *glares*

  22. 22
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Am I alone in thinking these people are great candidates for mandatory sterilisation and should never be responsible for children ?

    Seriously. Imagine having one of these as a parent. I bet you can just feel the unconditional love.

    *shudder*

  23. 23
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    =8)-DX, you are a marvel of density.

    The intent does not matter. The effect on society is the same.

  24. 24
    chigau (違う)

    About a year ago there was a twitterfest of these creatures saying “nyah-nyah Japan, that’s what you get for Pearl Harbor”.

  25. 25
    vexorian

    Some of these don’t lose time and manage to be homophobe and misogynistic at the same time. Gasp, I always find trouble fitting all my text into 140 characters, but these guys can somehow fit all sorts of hatred into far less.

    “#ToMyUnbornChild if your a girl i will drown you in the bathtub, and if your a guy and your turn into a faggot ill kill you”

    Although maybe misogynistic anti-choice guy is a bit redundant.

  26. 26
    Matt Penfold

    Oh Poppycock! As if young people (and it looked like mostly young “twits” to me) aren’t often fond of black, bloody, racist, sexy, bigotted humour. For certain people (and certain places on the internet) “I will kill you” is considered a joke.

    If anything that would make the “trolls” even more morally repugnant than those who genuine.

    Not exactly the best defence one could offer.

  27. 27
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    @=8)-DX #16

    Oh Poppycock! As if young people (and it looked like mostly young “twits” to me) aren’t often fond of black, bloody, racist, sexy, bigotted humour.

    In what context is that humour? We underestimate this sort of attitude at our peril.

  28. 28
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Actually clicking on those people’s profiles and reading their other tweets, and responses to this particular tweet by other people tweeting them, I am unsurprised to learn that most of these people are: 1. serious; 2. think it’s funny; 3. are shallow; 4. are rather stupid; 5. are religious; 6. are sexist or misogynist.

    It’s also notable that Jacob Gary, @ImJacobGary, was called out for it, attempted a backpeddle and then resorted to base name-calling. Telling.

  29. 29
    maestroso88

    Let’s not jump on the bandwagon of presumptuousness, here – the situation, to me, seems to be something entirely different. Maybe it’s my age, but when I read this list of tweets I immediately imagine people I know writing these as a sarcastic response to the existence of the hashtag. Someone with any sense would see #ToMyUnbornChild and think that whoever started it is clearly so certain that their pro-life position is correct that like-minded people would flood the hashtag with tweets in support of their ideology. However – since this is the internet – things aren’t so sacred. Anybody who wants to either take a cynical stab at pro-life people or simply exhibit the frailty of this hashtag are likely candidates for creating this non-issue (bad spelling, to me, only cements the idea that they’re joking – after all, we’re talking about sarcastic young people, here). Sarcasm is hard to read in print – especially in short bursts like tweets – but large quantities of what appears to be the same kind of sarcasm makes it easier to see.

    I bet it’s my age.

  30. 30
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Chigau: Buzzfeed regularly runs lists of “[x] People Who Said [Something Remarkably Stupid, Foul, or Both] on Twitter.” Always good for days when you’re having way too much faith in humanity.

  31. 31
    Gregory Greenwood

    Trawling through that repugnant horror show, I stumbled upon a few tweets that were a bit more feshed out than the usual unadorned death threats;

    #ToMyUnbornChild I will kill you if you Turn Gay , (I support the gays but I will never be one , neither nor my unborn baby)

    So, this idiot actually thinks that it ‘supports the gays’ (one assumes that they mean that they ‘support the struggle for homosexual equality’ – even though they clearly don’t), but then states that they would rather kill their child than have it grow up to be homosexual? Either a truly pathetic attempt at a Poe, or a bigot too stupid to work out that they are not in point of fact a progressive. And as for ‘turn gay’, what makes them assume that ones sexuality is even a choice? Oh, right, I forgot. This tweeter is an moron, like the rest of the homophobic cretins on display on that site. Expecting them to make any kind of sense is asking far too much.

    #ToMyUnbornChild if your legit gay, than I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to shoot you in the head

    A false apology this time – this one is so sorry that it feels that it must engage in the brutal homophobic murder of its own flesh and blood. And what, exactly, is meant by ‘legit gay’? Is there some form of illegitimate homosexuality in the mind of this bigot, or is it repeating the old ‘just a phase’ canard?

    #ToMyUnbornChild if you are a boy please dont be gay or you will die and if you are a girl i’ll only accept being bisexual

    This one makes even less sense than the rest – male homosexuality will be met with lethal violence, but they will ‘accept’ (how very generous) female bisexuality. Why should this caveat be put in place? If it is a desire for grand children, then (assuming that they both fall on roughly the same point on the spectrum of attraction to both genders) a bisexual man might just as readily wind up with a woman as a bisexual woman might end up with a male partner, not to mention the potential for adoption, so it seems that this isn’t the source of this bigot’s objection. It seems to be that this particular cretin finds female bisexuality somehow more aesthetically pleasing than the male equivalent for some reason, and I have a queasy feeling that the reason may well relate back to the way female bisexuality is constructed in society, especially with regard to pornography, which leads me to worry for the safety of any daughters that this individual may have for a whole new set of reasons.

    #ToMyUnbornChild I will always love and support you…….. Unless you turn out gay, then ill kill you.

    So, deep parental love and affection… so long as you toe the line and don’t have the bad form to be born with the ‘wrong’ sexual orientation, whereupon lifelong love is instantly replaced with homocidal rage. Quite the parenting-fail there before they even start in earnest.

    By Thor’s imaginary (but satisfyingly smashy, especially the way I feel at the moment) hammer Mjölnir, this stuff is so damn depressing. Is there any way I can opt out of the human race?

    Please excuse me for a moment, but I feel the need to go off and stab, or maybe bludgeon, something inanimate for a while.

  32. 32
    maestroso88

    @Thomathy

    And now I see I should’ve done the same. I hate Poe’s Law sometimes :P

  33. 33
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You know, if there actually was a god and (s)he was a decent kind, these people would all turn out to be infertile.

  34. 34
    chigau (違う)

    maestroso88
    If that is what passes as sarcasm in the twenty-something cohort you are doing it wrong.

  35. 35
    Wes

    Actually, it’s quite likely that the tweets are just from trolls. The very first guy on the list also tweeted:

    codie sowders ‏
    #ToMyUnbornChild kick the shit out of @J_Smoove6 and @thomas_hastings kids ever chance you get #thatsmyboy

    #ToMyUnbornChild if your a ginger you will be put to the curb #nothavingit

    #ToMyUnbornChild your tree house will have 10 bathrooms

    #ToMyUnbornChild if you so much as think about being a homosexual I’ll put a bullet in your damn skull

    #ToMyUnbornChild better start saving now #thinkmelater

    #ToMyUnbornChild what the fuck is up

    #ToMyUnbornChild #YOLO

    #ToMyUnborngreatGrandchildren if your reading this I’m probably dead but you had one hell of a great grandpa

    #ToMyUnbornChild daddy loves you

  36. 36
    Wes

    Hey, where the fuck did the rest of my comment go?

  37. 37
    Quodlibet

    Heartbreaking.

    Am I alone in thinking these people are great candidates for mandatory sterilisation and should never be responsible for children? / Seriously. Imagine having one of these as a parent. I bet you can just feel the unconditional love.

    As the level of hate rises, I fear for young people who don’t yet have the means to be independent of their bigoted families, or who have no refuge… News about homeless LGBT youth — homeless because they have been rejected by their families — breaks my heart and makes me angry… I told my 18-yo daughter that if any of her friends is in need of a safe place, our home is open and safe.

    Josh, YES, and also YES to your longer post on the topic, on another thread. I appreciate your clarity.

  38. 38
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    maestroso88:
    No.

    If you want a good look at how to mock using a hashtag, check out #huggate. The #ToMyUnbornChild vileness not meant to be sarcastic, these tweets clearly show how these people think.

    If you don’t believe me, feel free to check out the individual tweeters* before you rush to declare that this shit isn’t as harmful as it looks.

    Or continue to wallow in your ignorance. Whatevs.

    *What is the proper terminology for someone who uses Twitter?

  39. 39
    Wes

    Anyways, what I was going to say after I got strangely cut off was that I checked the first few on the list and each was just a dumbshit troll making unfunny “jokes”. “100 Real Tweets from Homophobes Who Would Murder Their Gay Child” is not the right title. A more accurate title would be “100 lame jokes from typical Twitter trolls who shouldn’t be getting this much attention, as it only encourages them.”

  40. 40
    Louis

    =8)-DX, #16,

    Oh of course! Humour! How did we fail to recognise it?

    LOL I’m going to kill my baby if it’s a nigger!

    ROFL If my baby turns out to be a faggot it deserves to die!

    LMAO Any baby of mine that’s a slut is going to get a baseball bat to the back of the skull!

    ROFLCOPTER Disabled babies? More like fodder for the coathanger!

    Because, you know, making jokes about killing babies/children because of their sexuality is TOTALLY innocent and not at all an expression of culturally acceptable homophobia. Because kids innocently making jokes on the internet about killing gay offspring…not killing ANY offspring, specifically homosexual offspring…is clearly acceptable because it’s about killing (always funny), or humour and not in any way because it specifically targets one group of people singled out for oppression and violence.

    You have to be actually making concerted effort to be so clueless as to not notice that it is a SPECIFIC subset of people being targeted for comments like this. The simple fact that such comments can even be passed off as “merely” humour or “just a joke that some kids say on the internet” is indicative of how prevalent, pervasive, problematic and subtle such homophobia is. The fact that anyone can even consider the advocacy of killing a child because of its sexuality as merely humorous is evidence of how extensive the problem is, not that it isn’t a problem.

    I’ve seen /b/, I’ve read ED and sundry other parts of the web. It’s not prudishness or unfamiliarity that causes me (or anyone) to think this sort of comment is not “mere humour”. It’s the fact that these comments celebrate the killing of a specific group of people based on hatred, and the social acceptability of that hatred, of that group.

    Louis

  41. 41
    Nick Gotts

    What is the proper terminology for someone who uses Twitter? – Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart

    A twit?

  42. 42
    Gregory Greenwood

    =8)-DX @ 16;

    Oh Poppycock! As if young people (and it looked like mostly young “twits” to me) aren’t often fond of black, bloody, racist, sexy, bigotted humour. For certain people (and certain places on the internet) “I will kill you” is considered a joke.

    Intent is not magic. The very fact that it is not possible to know whether or not some or all of these tweets are serious simply compounds the problem – it creates the illusion that this opinion is widespread, thereby increasing the level of social acceptance of such attitudes. Even if you are right, all that such poor attempts at Poes would achieve is to shift the Overton Window closer to the monstrously homophobic attitudes expressed.

    And if a portion of those tweets are in earnest, the all you are doing is making excuses for their bigotry. As Josh, Official SpokesGay pointed out, this kind of vitriolic bigotry is not rare, fringe, or the preserve of the mentally ill – it is an all too common attitude held by millions of ordinary people. The human condition can be violent, ugly and discriminatory, and pretending that bigotry must be ironic because ‘no one would seriously go there’ simply serves to create space for that hatred, and woefully underestimates just how nasty some of our fellow humans really are.

    —————————————————————-

    maestroso88 @ 29;

    Let’s not jump on the bandwagon of presumptuousness, here – the situation, to me, seems to be something entirely different. Maybe it’s my age, but when I read this list of tweets I immediately imagine people I know writing these as a sarcastic response to the existence of the hashtag. Someone with any sense would see #ToMyUnbornChild and think that whoever started it is clearly so certain that their pro-life position is correct that like-minded people would flood the hashtag with tweets in support of their ideology. However – since this is the internet – things aren’t so sacred. Anybody who wants to either take a cynical stab at pro-life people or simply exhibit the frailty of this hashtag are likely candidates for creating this non-issue (bad spelling, to me, only cements the idea that they’re joking – after all, we’re talking about sarcastic young people, here). Sarcasm is hard to read in print – especially in short bursts like tweets – but large quantities of what appears to be the same kind of sarcasm makes it easier to see.

    Such incompetent mimicry-based mockery, if that is what this truly is, only serves to create cover for the unrepentant bigots who are all too serious in their violent hatred, and should be called out for doing such.

    I bet it’s my age.

    Pharyngulites are drawn from all ages groups, and I very much doubt that all the younger ones will automatically agree with your interpretation. In any case, even if the people who wrote these tweets are so dysfunctional with regard to humour that they actually thought it funny, intent still isn’t magical.

  43. 43
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Fuck those trying to defend and excuse away this kind of behaviour! Fuck, fuck, fuck!

  44. 44
    maestroso88

    I guess my acknowledgement of being wrong was lost in the muddle.

  45. 45
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Wes,

    Anyways, what I was going to say after I got strangely cut off was that I checked the first few on the list and each was just a dumbshit troll making unfunny “jokes”.

    So the fuck what? Does that make it any less harmful? I’m totes with Josh (read his posts upthread if you haven’t) on this– no matter what the intention is, this is still disgusting, unacceptable behavior and these people aren’t some “crazy” trollish fringe.

    “Jokes” normalize bigoted attitudes.

    And, by the way, I checked some of the posters, too. The ones I picked were generally angry and (apparently) pretty fucking stupid. Should we ignore them ‘cos, eh whatever, they’re not too smart, so they don’t really count?

  46. 46
    revjimbob

    Loved the one from the chap with the avatar of some sports guy exposing his ripped midriff.

  47. 47
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Gregory Greenwood

    Pharyngulites are drawn from all ages groups, and I very much doubt that all the younger ones will automatically agree with your interpretation.

    Is 27 considered old? Never mind, =8)-DX didn’t actually have a valid complaint anyhow.

    Oh! Addendum to my previous post: You’re concern for the misunderstood twits is noted. Fuck you!

  48. 48
    maestroso88

    I should add that I’m not trying to make excuses or defend any of these people – I was simply expressing how I tried to make sense of the situation after my initial reaction.

  49. 49
    Ingdigo Jump

    I was simply expressing how I tried to make sense of the situation after my initial reaction.

    We call that denial.

  50. 50
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I swear to fucking god I’m going to go full-nuclear on the next one of you who says “it’s sarcasm” or “it’s trolling.”

    What part of IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THE VERY ACT OF SAYING SUCH THINGS IN PUBLIC IN A CLIMATE WHERE QUEERS ARE IN DANGER CONTRIBUTES TO THAT DANGER do you not get?

  51. 51
    Pteryxx

    Wes:

    You’re assuming that if the same person says “I love you” and “I’ll kill you if you’re gay” that those two statements cannot both be honest. Then, you’re cherry-picking the one you find credible, because you want to assume good faith.

    Your assumptions are unwarranted.

  52. 52
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I was simply expressing how I tried to make sense of the situation after my initial reaction.

    Stop doing that. I understand why you’re doing it but you’re contributing to the problem. Sorry to be all spammy, but I’m going to cross-post my comments from the other thread because, damn it, they’re necessary and important. Please take the time to read and think about them before you double down

    The thinking and behavior have always been there. The whole society has wallowed in it from birth. What’s different—Ms. Daisy Cutter is correct—is that these fuckers are, for the first time in their lives, aware that their privilege is seriously and inevitably on the way out. They don’t get to treat women as “their women” without protest. They don’t get to casually drop homo/transphobic jokes (yes, yes, I know, to greater and lesser degrees, and yes, the phobia is still a problem) in mixed company without pushback. They can see gay marriage is going to become national law—perhaps in their lifetimes—and they’re scared fucking shitless.

    You have to understand that this is not the province of some sociopathic minority. This is ordinary people that you talk to every day. This is what happens to “otherwise good and decent people”, ordinary people, people you don’t want to believe could act this way, when they soak in undeserved, unquestioned cultural supremacy their entire lives. Read some Hannah Arendt (“The Banality of Evil”)—it’s depressing but enlightening.

    It’s really really really really really Super Fucking Important for people like you (and many of us) to get over the idea that this is somehow abnormal behavior practiced only by a fundamentally ill and broken minority of psychopaths. This naivete is what catches liberals flat footed every goddamned time.

    This is the human condition, and it’s a fuckton uglier than you thought it was. But knowing that is crucial to changing society. Stop casting about for excuses and esoteric theories. There’s no “deviance” here. These are your neighbors. They’re probably your family, too.

    and

    Seriously, this irks me no end. Someone upstream asked why there was hushed silence instead of screaming protest when this fuckwad told his cockadoodle story. It’s because the reasonable people in that room were thinking the same thing that Starsend42 is thinking (Starsend, I’m not trying to pick on you, honest I’m not. But it’s an important illustration and it’s something I didn’t get for a long time.): that these are “nutters” who “everyone” recognizes as such.

    By that silence, collectively, we perversely legitimize them and allow them to do their evil deeds. That room of silent “respectful” onlookers? That’s us. Every goddamned one of us who sits quietly rolling our eyes assuming “everyone” knows what a nutbag this guy is and no one will take him seriously. Well, if that’s so, how the fuck is he going to be Not Taken Seriously if it’s always someone else who’s supposed to be doing the not-taking-seriously?

    We have to publicly act out our disapproval or no social sanction is levied and the behavior is accepted as normal.

    Essential reading (the original, not just the Wiki summary): Banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.

  53. 53
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    “100 Real Tweets from Homophobes Who Would Murder Their Gay Child” is not the right title. A more accurate title would be “100 lame jokes from typical Twitter trolls who shouldn’t be getting this much attention, as it only encourages them.”

    I don’t believe (most of) these people would actually murder their gay children. I do think they wouldn’t accept their sexual orientation and would make their lives hell, maybe even driving them to suicide (feeling uncharitable, I might call that murder). So, as far as I’m concerned they still deserve all the shit they are getting.

  54. 54
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Josh, they don’t get this part:

    IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THE VERY ACT OF SAYING SUCH THINGS IN PUBLIC IN A CLIMATE WHERE QUEERS ARE IN DANGER CONTRIBUTES TO THAT DANGER

  55. 55
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    maestroso88:

    I was simply expressing how I tried to make sense of the situation after my initial reaction

    And why do you feel the need to give people like that the benefit of the doubt? That’s nothing short of horrific.

    Listen, I’m young enough that I grew up with the internet– home internet service became accessible and popular while I was in my early teens– and to blame that kind of sarcasm/common fucking human decency fail on age is patently fucking ridiculous.

    But, you know, thanks. It’s good to know that “mature” Americans can’t bother to fucking figure us young’uns out. I’ll get off your god damned lawn now.

  56. 56
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Also:

    Stop being surprised that you find misogyny and homophobia in the same person Homophobia is a subset of misogyny, not a separate entity. It could not exist in its current form if not for misogyny. That is why gay males are targeted for loathing and murder but lesbians and female bisexuals might be allowed to live. Nothing is worse in the patriarchy than a man willingly assuming “femininity”.

  57. 57
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    PS:
    Josh, I ♥ you.

  58. 58
    zb24601

    If my child turned out gay, I would not love him any more, and I would not love him any less. I would just worry that he would cross paths with jerks like the ones who made those tweets.

    The people making those tweets do not deserve to pass on their genes. If they don’t have any children, they can be sure they will not have any gay children.

  59. 59
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I heart you too, Audley.

    I was going to apologize for being all yell-y, but no. More yelling. More getting up in peoples’ faces (I’m looking at you, allies). No more tolerating naivete in our friends. If those of you who think you’re allies don’t get on board and stop excusing or poo-pooing this then brace yourselves, because you’ll be treated and dealt with as active adversaries.

    Enough.

  60. 60
    Wes

    So the fuck what? Does that make it any less harmful? I’m totes with Josh (read his posts upthread if you haven’t) on this– no matter what the intention is, this is still disgusting, unacceptable behavior and these people aren’t some “crazy” trollish fringe.

    “Jokes” normalize bigoted attitudes.

    And, by the way, I checked some of the posters, too. The ones I picked were generally angry and (apparently) pretty fucking stupid. Should we ignore them ‘cos, eh whatever, they’re not too smart, so they don’t really count?

    I agree with you that they’re idiots. I disagree that these are “real tweets from homophobes who would murder their children,” as the title implies. They aren’t real and no one is murdering anyone. They’re tweets by idiots who aren’t funny and are just trying to get attention. Giving them more attention just encourages them to keep doing what they’re doing. You can see this on any blog or social media–if you keep responding to the trolls, that just makes them repeat the same racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever bullshit over and over.

    You’re assuming that if the same person says “I love you” and “I’ll kill you if you’re gay” that those two statements cannot both be honest. Then, you’re cherry-picking the one you find credible, because you want to assume good faith.

    Your assumptions are unwarranted.

    Talk about unwarranted assumptions. My conclusion that he’s not honest is based on reading through a bunch of his tweets and seeing one lame ass, unfunny attempt at “humor” after another. He’s just a stupid troll (as were the others that I checked). And the best thing to do with trolls is to ignore them. They won’t keep doing it if no one gives them the attention they crave.

    What part of IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THE VERY ACT OF SAYING SUCH THINGS IN PUBLIC IN A CLIMATE WHERE QUEERS ARE IN DANGER CONTRIBUTES TO THAT DANGER do you not get?

    I agree with you. Which is why I say stop encouraging them. Or should I put it in all caps? My point is not that their behavior is excusable, but that feeding the trolls is not a good approach.

  61. 61
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Shut the fuck up Wes. Ignoring the trolls doesn’t work. You can blab your fucking mouth at me about strategy when you have to live your life in fear that the boys walking down the street will be so emboldened by having their “humor” ignored that it’s OK to beat the shit out of me.

    Fuck you.

  62. 62
    Louis

    Josh,

    Speaking as one of your many online hetero-life-partners and Virtual Spouses, it’s not possible for me to love you any more. At least not without employing a large amount of whipped cream.

    I promise double yelling with an extra side order of shouting “WHAT THE FUCK!” whenever anyone expresses anything like this in my earshot.

    Louis

  63. 63
    Goomba

    What I find most amusing is basically these people are admiting that homosexuality is genetic.

  64. 64
    Ingdigo Jump

    I was simply expressing how I tried to make sense of the situation after my initial reaction.

    For fellow Mass Effect fans: Remember, Sovereign was most definitely just a Gelth ship.

  65. 65
    Ingdigo Jump

    I agree with you. Which is why I say stop encouraging them. Or should I put it in all caps? My point is not that their behavior is excusable, but that feeding the trolls is not a good approach.

    You are not the troll’s parent. You do not control their environment. You cannot give negative reinforcement through withholding attention like you could a child. There are others already providing positive reinforcement for this behavior. Ignoring does not do anything but give a (faux?) impression of implied consent.

  66. 66
    Ingdigo Jump

    Isn’t it such a convenient meme for people like Wes who really really really don’t want to have to face any problem of endemic bigotry on line that the supposed best solution is to do dick all?

    It’s like having a diet plan based on cookies!

  67. 67
    ibyea

    @Josh
    Amen. I am tired of liberals assuming that “it was not their intent” and “most people aren’t this and that!”. Heck, as you have said, the intent doesn’t even matter! When will people get that through their head? Silly rabbit, idealism is for kids!

  68. 68
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Ibyea

    But they discourage idealism as well. The mainstream ideal is a state of happy apathy where you’re a nice good civil moderate who cares but doesn’t want to rock the boat and where when anyone is passionate about a topic both sides are equally silly. The sort of hipster morality of nothing that South Park preaches.

  69. 69
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Wes:

    Giving them more attention just encourages them to keep doing what they’re doing.

    Oh yes, the “don’t feed the trolls” attitude.

    Do you honestly think that not saying anything is going to stop their behavior? Troll or not, they’re saying this shit because they believe it. Would they kill their gay child? Hopefully not, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t make their child’s life a living hell. (It’s not like we’ve got a problem with gay teens committing suicide or anything. Their children will know that their bigotry is just a joke, right?)

    On the flip side, do you want someone like this to educate their straight child on how to interact with LGBTQ people?

    Your overly literal point is just fucking tedious. Obviously, the thought of killing has passed through their minds because they fucking said so. It’s completely irrelevant whether or not the threat was sincere, it is still a violent threat.

    But, go ahead. Keep nitpicking. It’s totes endearing.

    You can see this on any blog or social media–if you keep responding to the trolls, that just makes them repeat the same racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever bullshit over and over.

    Wow, I guess the people in the Civil Rights movement made their point by just sitting down and shutting up whenever a white person said or did anything racist. I had no idea!

  70. 70
    Pteryxx

    Wes, you don’t even see the assumption you’re making.

    Talk about unwarranted assumptions. My conclusion that he’s not honest is based on reading through a bunch of his tweets and seeing one lame ass, unfunny attempt at “humor” after another.

    You assume the tweets you don’t like are humor. Why? Because you’ve ALREADY DECIDED people don’t really think such hateful things. Even though there’s evidence in the form of stereotype threat research, bullying stats, rape stats, re-education camps and don’t-say-gay laws.

    What if you are wrong?

  71. 71
    ibyea

    @Ing
    Yeah, these people are exactly like the Council in Mass Effect or the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter. They think that by ignoring the problems, they seize to exist.

  72. 72
    Anri

    NO. No, no, no, no, no, no. It is not possible for any of this to be “trolling” because any motivation to say such things whatsoever is utterly irrelevant to the fact of actually saying them. There is no innocent or less-bad way to view this. If these people actually would do this they’re horrible. If they think it’s even a little bit funny or acceptable to pretend they would they’re horrible.

    To be fair, Josh, that’s pretty much what I do say in my second paragraph. If these people are honestly saying utter shit like this, or if they think utter shit like this is somehow funny, it’s repulsive.
    If I didn’t make that apparent the first time around, then I apologize for not being clear enough. People who are willing to say things like this in a public – potentially worldwide – forum are disgusting, regardless of motivation.

  73. 73
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Ing
    Yeah, these people are exactly like the Council in Mass Effect or the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter. They think that by ignoring the problems, they seize to exist.

    And the Council has more of an excuse because the truth means that even if they do everything right BILLIONS will inevitably be slaughtered like livestock…big emotional incentive to retreat into denial when you’re the people responsible for keeping everyone safe and you’re told that.

  74. 74
    Louis

    Wes,

    The point is not that these people would necessarily really murder their real homosexual babies. That is a red herring.

    The point is that these people live in, foster, encourage and benefit from a culture in which it is considered funny (as opposed to violently bigoted) to makes jokes about killing their babies specifically because those babies are homosexual.

    It’s that culture that’s the problem. It’s that culture that is part of what Josh very accurately describes as an environment in which people feel entitled to deal violence to those they hate. If you can dehumanise the object of your hatred, you can make violence against them more acceptable. Hell we even have a term for it “queer bashing”. It’s not a fucking coincidence.

    You don’t cure the problem, i.e. the culture of violent homophobia, by ignoring it or apologising for/minimising it. If someone is callow or stupid enough to say these things for mere effect then you CORRECT THEM. You point out that whilst saying things for effect is a bit childish (forgivably so), saying things that help sustain a culture of hatred (for one group) and dear (for the hated group) is not forgivable to the same degree. Especially not if it is repeated and unrepentant.

    Louis

  75. 75
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing and ibyea,
    *Spoiler Alert!*
    That strategy kind of COMPLETELY AND FUCKING blows up in the Council’s face in ME3.

    I’m just about to start the last mission. :D

  76. 76
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Gregory:

    So, this idiot actually thinks that it ‘supports the gays’ (one assumes that they mean that they ‘support the struggle for homosexual equality’ – even though they clearly don’t), but then states that they would rather kill their child than have it grow up to be homosexual?

    Why not? I hear you can “support the troops” by buying a cheap magnet and sticking it on your SUV.

    It seems to be that this particular cretin finds female bisexuality somehow more aesthetically pleasing than the male equivalent for some reason, and I have a queasy feeling that the reason may well relate back to the way female bisexuality is constructed in society, especially with regard to pornography, which leads me to worry for the safety of any daughters that this individual may have for a whole new set of reasons.

    Well, also, the daughter would still be (theoretically) willing to submit to Teh Almighty Peen, as is her place in life. As there is no Almighty Peen in w/w sex, it “doesn’t count.” Whereas a man willing to be penetrated or to penetrate another man? That’s a mockery of our gawd-given human hierarchy.

    And then her bisexuality can then be written off as “youthful experimentation.” We all know, of course, that whom you’re in a relationship with at any given time indicates your orientation.

    So, deep parental love and affection… so long as you toe the line and don’t have the bad form to be born with the ‘wrong’ sexual orientation, whereupon lifelong love is instantly replaced with homocidal rage.

    Better to kill the kid before they can commit a mortal sin and therefore be unable to get into hebbun.

    Wes, I was going to suggest reading the fucking thread before you comment, but obviously that wouldn’t have helped, and neither did the loving doses of correction you’ve already gotten from other commetners.

    IT DOES NOT MATTER what the intent is behind the homophobic statements. They pump the same homophobia into the air we all breathe as sincere ones do.

    And IT DOES NOT MATTER that the majority of those twits would not actually murder their gay children. Is it OK if they “just” beat them? “Just” throw them into abusive “ex-gay” camps? “Just” have them kidnapped in the middle of the night and spirited away to some “reform” institution to have the gay beaten out of them? “Just” throw them out into the street, where they might end up selling their bodies and blotting out the pain with hard drugs and alcohol? “Just” refuse to recognize any relationships they have with other adults, including if the homophobic parents happen to outlive their own children? If their kids ever have children of their own, “just” kidnap said children and/or attempt to have them legally taken away from their gay parents due to their “immoral lifestyle”?

    “Don’t feed the trolls” doesn’t work. If you disagree, it’s almost certainly because you personally don’t have to worry about the effect they have.

    Audley:

    The ones I picked were generally angry and (apparently) pretty fucking stupid. Should we ignore them ‘cos, eh whatever, they’re not too smart, so they don’t really count?

    Nah. Stupid people nevar harm GLBT people, either with their fists or other weapons or with legislation.

    And why do you feel the need to give people like that the benefit of the doubt?

    Christ, THIS. Can we please stop desperately scrabbling for something, anything, to explain away evil behavior, just so our beautiful minds are bruised by realizing what so many people really are?

    Josh: Are you accepting additional applications for Virtual Spouses? Because, goddamn. If this were an image-friendly forum I couldn’t possibly post enough .gifs of applause and high-fives.

  77. 77
    maestroso88

    @Dr. Audley

    My age is not old, and I’m not quite sure how it was assumed that I was. I thought it was pretty self-explanatory when I explained people I knew were likely to act childish and post sarcastic, stupid things, but I was wrong. From my experience, the majority of forum-going people in places like reddit and 4chan – the places that tend to have a massive amount of people making dumb and/or bigoted jokes – are relatively young in age. Clearly, I’m not very good at implying things through the written word (in this case, it would seem I made the opposite impression that I intended…).

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

  78. 78
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    ^ Are not bruised.

  79. 79
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ms Daisy Cutter:

    Nah. Stupid people nevar harm GLBT people, either with their fists or other weapons or with legislation.

    Exactly. Our legislatures are totes made up of geniuses, dontchaknow.

  80. 80
    Ingdigo Jump

    My age is not old, and I’m not quite sure how it was assumed that I was. I thought it was pretty self-explanatory when I explained people I knew were likely to act childish and post sarcastic, stupid things, but I was wrong. From my experience, the majority of forum-going people in places like reddit and 4chan – the places that tend to have a massive amount of people making dumb and/or bigoted jokes – are relatively young in age. Clearly, I’m not very good at implying things through the written word (in this case, it would seem I made the opposite impression that I intended…).

    No. Stop it. Youth is not an excuse. It’s only ‘funny’ because of the culture that designate those groups as fair game. Stop it.

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    You’ll defend fucking 4chan but THIS is too much for you? Please delete your account now and stop wasting everyone’s time.

  81. 81
    maestroso88

    Well said!

  82. 82
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    maestroso88:

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    If you place more priority on commenters not being meeeeaaaannnn to you than you do on not inadvertently saying things that contribute to human beings being declared lesser beings, beaten, raped, killed, and otherwise dehumanized, then you really shouldn’t be here, both for your own comfort level and because nobody here is going to have time for you.

    I’m being polite here, believe me. By the time I hit “submit,” you will have probably received at least one other response, and I guarantee it will be much less gentle.

  83. 83
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    If you think I’m the violent one, if you think my aggressive approach is so worrying you need to leave, then be gone. That’s one fucked up set of priorities.

    You are exactly the kind of “ally” I was thinking of. I wouldn’t turn my back on you in a hostile crowd because I could never be sure whose side you’d take.

  84. 84
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Audley:

    Our legislatures are totes made up of geniuses, dontchaknow.

    This is still my benchmark. Your pe-tree-leum mileage may vary.

  85. 85
    Louis

    Dr Audley Z. Darkheart, #79,

    Exactly. Our legislatures are totes made up of geniuses, dontchaknow.

    Geniuses who are by and large very friendly to homosexual people, ethnic minorities, women and poor people I find.

    Louis

  86. 86
    maestroso88

    Daisy,

    Stating my opinion of whether or not a bunch of idiots are sincerely horrible or making bigoted jokes does nothing to contribute to hatred. Why is this assumption being made?

  87. 87
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    whether or not a bunch of idiots are sincerely horrible

    Oh. My. God. You are fucking dense.

    Intent is not magic.

  88. 88
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Ms. Daisy, join the Fake Wife Club anytime (for certain values of “wife,” which include Louis).

  89. 89
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    @maestroso88 #77

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    Wait, you’re taking a stand about agressiveness here but you’re happy to handwave the hate in that post as ‘probably’ trolling? WTF?

  90. 90
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Immaestroso, do you have reading comprehension problems? Here, I’ll try to help. Scroll up and look at my comment #76. See the two paragraphs in the middle with the all-capped “IT DOES NOT MATTER”s in the middle? Read those. If you don’t get my point, read them again until dawn begins to break over Marblehead.

  91. 91
    Ingdigo Jump

    Stating my opinion of whether or not a bunch of idiots are sincerely horrible or making bigoted jokes does nothing to contribute to hatred.

    Yes it does. That’s the point.

    If someone is raped, spending hours debating whether she deserved it or led anyone on is promoting that rape regardless of whether someone is just asking in a hypothetical academic sense.

    You’re priority of “for shitz and giggles” does real harm. Not a fucking game.

  92. 92
    Gregory Greenwood

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 56;

    Stop being surprised that you find misogyny and homophobia in the same person Homophobia is a subset of misogyny, not a separate entity. It could not exist in its current form if not for misogyny. That is why gay males are targeted for loathing and murder but lesbians and female bisexuals might be allowed to live. Nothing is worse in the patriarchy than a man willingly assuming “femininity”.

    We have seen plenty of evidence of that on this very blog – we need look no further than the substantial number of MRAs who have also transpired to be homophobes.

    As you say, in a culture where womanhood is so depised and devalued the mere suggestion that a man would assume attributes associated with ‘femininity’ (and one assumes thereby repudiate his masculine privilege in the eyes of the patriarchy) will drive pious cis-privileged bigots into a frothing, self-righteous rage.

    Of course, you also sometimes run into homosexual misogynists and women who are homophobes, and all that demonstrates is that the patriatrchy is so pervasive that it can warp the perceptions of the very people it oppresses, and excels at turning individuals who should be united in opposing it against one another. And, of course, there are also those who are prepared to play along with the agenda of the patriarchy in the hope of securing short term personal advantage at the expense of long term principles.

  93. 93
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    maestroso:

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    Yeah, like we haven’t heard that before. Oh wait, was that supposed to make me feel guilty or something?

    Here’s the thing: I really don’t give a good goddamn* if people like you are driven away from commenting. I really don’t. I would be inclined to care if you actually contributed, but you really haven’t and I’ve little patience for people who would excuse hateful behavior. The internet is a huge place and I’m sure you can find somewhere were they will coddle you, but this place ain’t it. Tone trolling me (or anyone else, for that matter) is not going to help make this a kinder, gentler blog.

    Here’s the deal: Pharyngula is a shark tank. You can adapt or you can leave (my heart’s broken, really) but whining about how mean we are is going to get you fucking nowhere.

    We’ve got a community here and you’ve got to be kidding yourself if you think that little ol’ you (the first time commenter! Here’s a fucking cookie) can change what we’ve built. Hell, that’s pretty fucking offensive to me, actually.

    Once again, if you don’t like it here, fine. Just fly away, little starling. Fly fly fly!

    *And I bet I’m not the only one!

  94. 94
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Loud

    Of course! People being nasty is just the internet so don’t worry about it and shut up and move onto important things….except for here and this discussion where it’s rude and nasty.

    It’s almost like the internet is made up of real people or something!?

  95. 95
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    [OT]
    Ms. Daisy Cutter,

    This is still my benchmark. Your pe-tree-leum mileage may vary.

    You must not have heard this one yet.

    Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is

  96. 96
    strange gods before me ॐ

    okay let’s try linking to Intent! It’s fucking magic!

    so Wednesdays are the 101 course this semester?

  97. 97
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Empathy-check:

    Maestro, don’t think anyone is above getting the kind of harsh correction you’re getting. I too have unwittingly been an ally who was acting as an enemy in the past. People slapped me out of it. It can happen to any of us. But you do need to wake the fuck up because while it’s OK to make the mistake and end up there, it’s way not OK to double down.

  98. 98
    Ingdigo Jump

    Seriously Maestro, if you don’t’ think people here haven’t gotten the exact lecture/rant you’re getting now you’re nuts.

  99. 99
    maestroso88

    It’s not the basic aggressiveness that’s getting to me, it’s the continuous stream assumptions that have NO basis. The fact that I didn’t immediately start agreeing with your every word does NOT mean that I’m against you or your cause. Stop conflating the two.

    This is my situation: in every instance where someone around me tries to make “jokes” about violence toward homosexuals, women, ANYONE I’m always going to respond in direct opposition, because I won’t stand for it. The reason a smattering of tweets doesn’t elicit the same response from me is because it’s no different than trying to argue with someone in a youtube comment thread. Either they’re trolling, or they’re sincere and terrible, and it’s impossible to tell in that situation. As a result, the only solutions lie in either direct involvement (people who know them in person) or through large-scale awareness and such, etc. Since I have power in neither arena, what good does my opposition to some random kid on the internet do? I’m all for having honest discussions and arguments with people, but I have no patience for those who will just repeatedly say things like “queerfags” and “no homo”. Fuck them.

  100. 100
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    In fact—and I should have said this publicly a long time ago—that’s exactly what happened when I got into it with SGBM (lipstick above) over a comment another commenter made that had a racist effect. I didn’t understand Intent Is Not Magic and I was so wound up and offended I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was wrong, but I got woked-de-ded up.

  101. 101
    Ingdigo Jump

    It’s not the basic aggressiveness that’s getting to me, it’s the continuous stream assumptions that have NO basis. The fact that I didn’t immediately start agreeing with your every word does NOT mean that I’m against you or your cause. Stop conflating the two.

    Oh my god, stop your whining.

  102. 102
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ms Daisy Cutter:

    Your pe-tree-leum mileage may vary.

    Oh god, benchmark in what way? That they can’t get any stupider or they can’t get any smarter?

    Louis:

    Geniuses who are by and large very friendly to homosexual people, ethnic minorities, women and poor people I find.

    So, you’re saying that maybe we should consider voting for actual smart people next time ’round? Hmmmmm, that’s so crazy, it just might work!

    (Except something tells me that geniuses might just be too smart to run for public office.)

  103. 103
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Really surprised that people are still coming out of the woodwork trying to find excuses for homophobes.

    Gah. It doesn’t matter if it is a joke or not, the very fact that this kind of joke is deemed defensible by some is despicable.

    Sorry to be repeating what others have said here, but that’s my initial reaction after reading this thread.

  104. 104
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    (Actually I’m not surprised, because unfortunately that was to be expected. Wrong word choice. Call it Appalled instead)

  105. 105
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m all for having honest discussions and arguments with people, but I have no patience for those who will just repeatedly say things like “queerfags” and “no homo”. Fuck them.

    It’s nice to have the luxury of not having patience, isn’t it? It’s nice to be able to pick and choose which kinds of bigotry you find important enough to spend time on. It’s nice not to think about the fact that these things which you don’t deign to spend your time objecting to actually matter to queers like me who’ve been bashed by just this sort of angry, unthinking, aggressive young men.

    Can I move in with you in Rumbledy Hump?

  106. 106
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    @life is like… #96

    okay let’s try linking to Intent! It’s fucking magic!

    Awesome post, thanks for linking. Bookmarked!

  107. 107
    Ingdigo Jump

    Since I have power in neither arena, what good does my opposition to some random kid on the internet do?

    If you honestly believed that you wouldn’t be trying to get us to be nicer to you, now would you.

    So what is so different between us and those assholes where THEM you ignore and actually go to defend them to people who call them assholes behind their backs?

  108. 108
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Since I have power in neither arena, what good does my opposition to some random kid on the internet do?

    What you can do is not discourage others from opposing random assholes on the internet if they wish to do so. You defended them in your first post. How was that worth your time, but tearing them a new one isn’t?

  109. 109
    maestroso88

    After reading a few comments since an earlier post, I clearly need to clear something up.

    When I explain something – like the issue of kids on forums saying stupid things – that’s it. An explanation. I’m not excusing them, defending their actions, or trying to deflect aggression away from them.

    However, since it’s come up repeatedly, I really want to know what it is that makes it seem that that’s the case. PLEASE tell me why this assumption is being made.

  110. 110
    Ingdigo Jump

    When I explain something – like the issue of kids on forums saying stupid things – that’s it. An explanation. I’m not excusing them, defending their actions, or trying to deflect aggression away from them.

    Let me clarify

    Someone does something horrible. People are mad at them. Someone comes along and says “Oh they just did it because… so don’t worry”

    What the fuck do you THINK you’re doing?

    Either their sincere upon which they deserve scorn
    Or they think they’re being funny…upon which they deserve scorn so they’ll stop.

  111. 111
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    PLEASE tell me why this assumption is being made.

    Try not flapping your gums and reading instead. If it’s too much at the moment (which is understandable) then leave the thread, cool off, and consider it later. But for fuck’s sake STOP asking for clarification and STOP doubling down.

  112. 112
    Wes

    The point is not that these people would necessarily really murder their real homosexual babies. That is a red herring.

    Not exactly. The Storify article headline does actually claim they will kill their children.

    The point is that these people live in, foster, encourage and benefit from a culture in which it is considered funny (as opposed to violently bigoted) to makes jokes about killing their babies specifically because those babies are homosexual.

    It’s that culture that’s the problem. It’s that culture that is part of what Josh very accurately describes as an environment in which people feel entitled to deal violence to those they hate. If you can dehumanise the object of your hatred, you can make violence against them more acceptable. Hell we even have a term for it “queer bashing”. It’s not a fucking coincidence.

    You don’t cure the problem, i.e. the culture of violent homophobia, by ignoring it or apologising for/minimising it. If someone is callow or stupid enough to say these things for mere effect then you CORRECT THEM. You point out that whilst saying things for effect is a bit childish (forgivably so), saying things that help sustain a culture of hatred (for one group) and dear (for the hated group) is not forgivable to the same degree. Especially not if it is repeated and unrepentant.

    I agree with the substance of what you say about culture and queer bashing, however I disagree that this entails the same tactical response (loud shouting and pointing) in every instance. When someone with a large audience of loyal followers (e.g. Rush Limbaugh) does it, that is of course the proper response. But when some random, obscure troll on the internet does it, it may not be. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

    In this case, I think it isn’t. When it’s obvious that someone is saying some hateful thing purely to get attention, and when this person is just some random numbnuts on the intertoobs, the best response is not to give them the attention they crave. Drawing more attention to them won’t stop them from saying hateful shit–if anything, they’ll just keep repeating it to get more attention. I mean, that’s what trolls do–they try to strike a nerve and then wallow in the outraged responses.

    The first guy on the list, Codie Sowders, tweeted “Loving these hate messages ☺”. That’s a clear sign of some douchebag who’s just trolling people to get a response. Just ignore this idiot; he’s not worth the effort.

    As an aside, this is a permutation of a debate I’ve had in a lot of areas (atheism, science communication, feminism, racism, secularism, etc.); that is, how best to respond? I’m generally of the “tailor your response both to your target and to your intended audience” camp. That generally puts me in a weird position, because sometimes I come across as quite “militant” while other times people think I’m an “appeaser”. I’d like to hope I’m neither. Or at least, sometimes I’m militant and sometimes I’m accommodating, depending on whom I’m attacking and who I think is listening. I understand if people disagree with me on this, but I hope it’s clear that it’s a disagreement about tactics, not substance.

  113. 113
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    When I explain something – like the issue of kids on forums saying stupid things – that’s it. An explanation. I’m not excusing them, defending their actions, or trying to deflect aggression away from them.

    People on the internet say stupid shit?
    I had no idea.
    I’m sure no one else knew either and that’s why we didn’t get your meaning.

  114. 114
    maestroso88

    @Beatrice

    I understand that my first comment was in the wrong. I’m new to this area of discussions (most here seem to be veterans in that regard), so I didn’t realize the effects of such things.

    …and now that I realize this, my previous comment is completely futile, and I full expect flabbergasted responses. Damn.

  115. 115
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Fuck you Wes.

  116. 116
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    Zero tolerance policy to this hate speech. What is so hard to understand?

    Do not excuse it. Do not laugh it off. Do not ignore it.

    Shout it down, every time.

  117. 117
    Louis

    Maestroso 88, #77,

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    Re-examine your fucking priorities.

    If someone here being vocally anti-homophobe makes you want to delete your account, then do so. If your priority is that some arbitrary standard of faux “civility” (after all what is civil about pretending that bigotry is somehow acceptable or excusable?) is adhered to, and the combating and confronting of homophobes is lower down your list then, well let’s just say you’re not going to find a single shred of sympathy here.

    Oh, and whilst I’m sure that many of us, myself included, would cheerfully hold our hands up to “aggression”, violence? Violence? {looks around} Where? Do you mean violence like that suffered by Matthew Shepard? Do you mean violence like that advocated (as an oh-so-funny joke) in these tweets? Do you mean violence like that perpetrated in “queer bashing”? Because I sure as shit don’t see any of THAT violence here. Perhaps you need better glasses.

    Louis

  118. 118
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Wes,

    stop digging. This is not a Twitter user response strategy meeting. We don’t need to get explained to us what these tweeters were thinking, we can do that ourselves like some of us have actually done so.

    We’re discussing how the tweets are symptomatic of society’s homophobia.

    So stop derailing the discussion and finding justifications for homophobes.

  119. 119
    Louis

    Holy shit I bonered the blockquote! Apologies!

    Louis

  120. 120
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    The fact that I didn’t immediately start agreeing with your every word does NOT mean that I’m against you or your cause. Stop conflating the two.

    Yeah, except you said, “HERP A DERP! They’re just joking! It’s young people humor!” which is actively harmful to the cause of equal rights and non-violence.

    If you think that we’re going to act like you and let that shit slide, well hopefully you know better now.

    Either they’re trolling, or they’re sincere and terrible, and it’s impossible to tell in that situation.

    *joins the chorus*
    INTENT IS NOT FUCKING MAGIC!

    Are you dense? Have you ignored everything that everyone has said to you? It doesn’t matter if they’re “just joking” or “just trolling” or whateverthefuck, their actions are words are still violent and harmful. If nothing else, their violent rhetoric endorses violent behavior.

    But, really, weren’t you going to flounce or something? ‘Cos we’re so mean to people that don’t agree. The Pharyngula Hivemind™ strikes again!

  121. 121
    maestroso88

    Look – I’m sorry I’ve been a bit…thick (to put it lightly) in regard to those responding to me. I clearly didn’t realize the tone or intent of my original comment for quite a while, and while I could chalk it up to my poor writing abilities (which could be an excuse), I’m going to take responsibility for being dumb. I’ve probably wasted enough of your time defending myself against several valid criticisms for no reason other than being unaware of how wrong I was.

  122. 122
    strange gods before me ॐ

    and I should have said this publicly a long time ago

    Mm, I think you might have. It’s a little vague but this doesn’t register to my memory as the first time.

  123. 123
    Ingdigo Jump

    Look – I’m sorry I’ve been a bit…thick (to put it lightly) in regard to those responding to me. I clearly didn’t realize the tone or intent of my original comment for quite a while, and while I could chalk it up to my poor writing abilities (which could be an excuse), I’m going to take responsibility for being dumb. I’ve probably wasted enough of your time defending myself against several valid criticisms for no reason other than being unaware of how wrong I was.

    Thank you that is honestly appreciated.

  124. 124
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ing: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream So I Comment Instead @ 64, ibyea @ 71 and Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies @ 75;

    Not wishing to risk a derail into Mass Effect related stuff, ***Spoiler Warning*** but the difference in reception to female and male homosexuality can be demonstrated by responses to this game series. While some moral majority idiots got het up about the supposedly ‘explicit’ sexuality (it really wasn’t what any but the most riduclously sex negative could call explicit) in the first game, and a few got the vapours about the fact that the Asari charcater Liara could have a notionally ‘lesbian’ relationship with a female Shepard (Asari being an all female race that procreate through a sci-fi form of parthenogenesis), the gaming community at large did not for the most part react all that negatively, and instead condemned the Australian censorship board and certain other public group for ludicrous prudishness in their responses.

    In Mass Effect 2, the bisexual female character of Kelly Chambers also passed largely without comment among gaamers.

    But when Mass Effect 3 comes out and it is revealed that both female and male Shepard characters can have same sex relationships with other human characters (Cortez in the case of bloke-Shep), the internet fairly exploded with homophobic bigotry and ranting about the ‘ruination’ of the series and how Bioware was trying to ‘force homosexuality down the gaming community’s throats’, sentiments that were familiar to those who followed the response to Bioware’s other principle RPG franchise Dragon Age that included similar scenes.

    A sadly rather telling reaction all round…

  125. 125
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’ve probably wasted enough of your time defending myself against several valid criticisms for no reason other than being unaware of how wrong I was.

    Thank you. Thank you. One bright spot today.

  126. 126
    Pteryxx

    Maestroso: why aren’t you assuming that the commenters here aren’t being SINCERELY mean to you, but instead don’t really intend to hurt your feelings and thus you should just laugh it off?

  127. 127
    Ingdigo Jump

    And see I like that ME3 added in Cortez. I don’t know how far I am in the game but still trying to work out whether he and James are just bormandering or actually flirting.

  128. 128
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Gregory, #124–Yep. Totes predictable. Welcome to the patriarchy.

  129. 129
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    maestroso88,

    I’m fairly sure I have a very stupid concern trolling comment that elicited about a dozen “Thank you for your concern” answers buried somewhere deep in my commenting past. I went back to lurking for a while after that.
    As long as you realize you’ve been wrong, you’re good.

  130. 130
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing,
    Hey, more spoilers! If you haven’t come across it yet, Steve talks about his husband, who he lost in a Reaper attack. It’s very :( :( :(

    Anyway, I’m playing a straight female Shepard (and stayed true to my original LI), so I haven’t seen how the same sex couples work out. It’s sad that I’m not surprised that the gamers flipped their collective shit over a gay broShep. *sigh*

  131. 131
    Ingdigo Jump

    Ing,
    Hey, more spoilers! If you haven’t come across it yet, Steve talks about his husband, who he lost in a Reaper attack. It’s very :( :( :(

    Actually IIRC wasn’t it on a Collector Raid? Technically same thing…

  132. 132
    chigau (違う)

    maestroso88

    Someone with any sense would see #ToMyUnbornChild and think that whoever started it is clearly so certain that their pro-life position is correct that like-minded people would flood the hashtag with tweets in support of their ideology.

    Sarcasm is hard to read in print…

    How is it that the pro-life sincerity is “clear” but the sarcasm in the reactions “hard”?

  133. 133
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing:

    Actually IIRC wasn’t it on a Collector Raid? Technically same thing…

    Yes, I think you’re right. :)

    Sorry, I came across that scene during a 10 (or so) hour marathon last Friday, so some of the little details are bleeding together. Whatever, it’ll just give me an excuse to pick it up again in a few months.

  134. 134
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Gregory, #92:

    we need look no further than the substantial number of MRAs who have also transpired to be homophobes.

    And then there are the PUAs. I haven’t seen the same level of blatant homophobia from them, but, per Thomathy’s arguments with them, they labor under enormously gender-essentialist assumptions, and at best they’re willfully clueless about GLBT issues of any sort.

    As Josh says, it’s all of a piece.

    Beatrice, #95: I saw that in passing. What’s the big deal? Karen Santorum talks to a houseplant all the time.

    Audley, #102:

    Oh god, benchmark in what way? That they can’t get any stupider or they can’t get any smarter?

    Definitely not the first. They can always get stupider. They can get smarter, too, but that depends on whether the Amurkin peepulz does. Let’s just say it’s a benchmark for the likelihood that satire has not only died for the last time but isn’t going to zombie its way out of the grave anymore.

    Beatrice, #113:

    People on the internet say stupid shit?

    Goodness gracious, you don’t say! I just dropped my monocle in the lobster consommé! That’s almost as scurrilous as the vulgar rumor I heard at the club: That eating food makes you defecate.

    Maestroso, #121:

    I’m going to take responsibility for being dumb. I’ve probably wasted enough of your time defending myself against several valid criticisms for no reason other than being unaware of how wrong I was.

    Good for you. And I mean that genuinely.

    I’ll confirm Josh’s and Ing’s assertions that just about all of us here — including PZ himself! — have said stupid, empathy-deficient things here in the past and been raked over the coals for it. It’s harsh, but if you stick around and listen, you learn, and if you learn, nobody will hold it against you.

    Versus those who keep dripping self-pitying snot on our nice parquet floor, which we have polished to a high sheen with baby oil harvested from thousands of babies. Think of the babies.

    Gregory, #124: “A sadly rather telling reaction all round…” Pretty much SOP for the mainstream gaming community. I don’t game, but lots of friends do, and I pay attention to shitstorms like those.

  135. 135
    Louis

    Wes,

    Did I say “loud shouting and pointing”? No. I said “CORRECT THEM”. That is a necessarily confrontational act. It is not necessarily loud, nor shouty, nor sweary, nor anything except unapologetic.

    So no, you don’t agree with the substance of what I was saying. The substance of what I was saying was not “there is only one true tactic”, the substance of what I was saying was that “the tactics we employ must necessarily involve some form of confrontation” Which is a subset of tactics, but by no means a subset that involves only being loud and shouting. If you chose to shout, be loud and swear whilst confronting bigots, fine. If you remain firm and resolute and softly spoken, equally fine. What is not acceptable as a tactic is that anyone gives this sort of bigotry as free pass.

    If you consider it acceptable to allow bigotry an un-commented-on pass, then the difference between us is NOT a tactical one. It is not merely a tactic to submit here, that is a loss, a surrender, this isn’t some military campaign where a tactical retreat might benefit the overall war effort. The very goal here is to challenge the sociopsychological foundations of homophobia. To render unacceptable that kind of thoughtless bigotry in the same way that racism has been so rendered (to a greater degree, by far and away not perfectly so).

    Either you agree that that cultural bigotry is worth challenging, and so challenge it, or you simply don’t. Precisely what tactic you use to challenge and confront it is, as you say, situational and to some degree personal taste. But not challenging or confronting it is not one of those situational options in normal discourse (discounting of course the usual dribbly philosophical thought experiments involving homophobic terrorists, a gun to your head and a gay-joke-to-save-your-life fantasy).

    No one is advocating chasing down every instance of homophobia across the internet and beyond in some sort of purity of thought police action. And no one is saying that outraged frothing is the only response, so you really don’t seem to be getting this. Simply not tolerating this sort of comment, by confronting it in some manner, is sufficient. Even if it is from a troll. It doesn’t follow that that confrontation takes a specific form.

    Louis

  136. 136
    Ingdigo Jump

    Sorry, I came across that scene during a 10 (or so) hour marathon last Friday, so some of the little details are bleeding together. Whatever, it’ll just give me an excuse to pick it up again in a few months.

    It was an especially sad story because his husband had managed to avoid the swarm…and could have escaped but used the time he had to warn Steve instead and was captured.

    When you realize what they did with the colonists who didn’t make it and the end of ME2 technically Shep probably met at least part of him in the form of the Reaper embryo.

  137. 137
    Louis

    maestroso88, #121,

    We all screw up. I do it frequently. Your recognition of your screw up in this instance is both welcome and extremely decent of you. Nice one.

    Louis

  138. 138
    Ingdigo Jump

    Gregory, #124: “A sadly rather telling reaction all round…” Pretty much SOP for the mainstream gaming community. I don’t game, but lots of friends do, and I pay attention to shitstorms like those.

    Speaking of which. Despite ti seeming like a good idea, if I see the bioware person who came up with the idea of making multiplayer almost mandatory for story fanatics I will wag my finger at them.

    I was greatly annoyed at having to endure 40+ minutes of being called “That dumb cunt” in order to help Shep’s war effort.

  139. 139
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing,

    When you realize what they did with the colonists who didn’t make it and the end of ME2 technically Shep probably met at least part of him in the form of the Reaper embryo.

    Oh, god, yes. Creeeeeeeepy! *shudder!*

    I’m gonna stop this derail now. Really. :p

  140. 140
    Anri

    In this case, I think it isn’t. When it’s obvious that someone is saying some hateful thing purely to get attention, and when this person is just some random numbnuts on the intertoobs, the best response is not to give them the attention they crave. Drawing more attention to them won’t stop them from saying hateful shit–if anything, they’ll just keep repeating it to get more attention. I mean, that’s what trolls do–they try to strike a nerve and then wallow in the outraged responses.

    The first guy on the list, Codie Sowders, tweeted “Loving these hate messages ☺”. That’s a clear sign of some douchebag who’s just trolling people to get a response. Just ignore this idiot; he’s not worth the effort.

    First off, there are few more sure self-fulfilling prophecies than assuming someone’s mind wont be changed and therefore not bothering to try. But ok, let’s grant that:
    a) Codie is doing it for the lulz,
    b) Codie will not be disuaded from doing so.
    So, let’s assume Codie’s not worth our time.

    But you know who is? Every single person who reads the tweet, and the responses to it, and therefore thinks “Wow, Codie’s a real piece of work – agree or not, I wouldn’t be caught dead near an idiot like that, if only to avoid the public abuse.” That’s one fewer voice spouting this kind of hate, one more demonstration that it’s no longer acceptable.

    You know who else is? Every single person who sees this and feels fear. Because they then get to read that there is soneome opposing this idiot, someone who is willing to publicly say “If this scares you, or makes you angry, you’re not alone – we’ve got your back, there is still sense in the world.”

    Getting that message out, and meaning it, and maintaining it, is worth whatever shit we have to wallow through in dealing with the Codies of the world.

  141. 141
    Inaji

    There are days when I wish Futurama was real, so I could say “That’s it, I want off this planet” and actually be able to leave.

    After reading those tweets, this is one of those days.

  142. 142
    daniellavine

    After reading those tweets, this is one of those days.

    I read a few of them and I was very sad. Then I stopped and read the comments here instead and saw a bunch of Pharyngulites being totally fucking awesome. Like riding a charging unicorn across a rainbow awesome. And now I feel even better than when I started.

    There’s a lot of work to do but there’s a lot of good people to start doing it too. Thanks, Pharyngula!

  143. 143
    crocswsocks

    To my unborn child… If you grow up gay, or challenged, or become a transvestite or transsexual, or with an underbite or anything else, I will shoot anyone who fucks with you.

    Figuratively shoot them, of course. But hard.

  144. 144
    chigau (違う)

    (Note to self
    refresh more frequently)
    Well done, maestroso88.

  145. 145
    Inaji

    I read a few of them and I was very sad.

    I read them all and they don’t make me sad. They make me furious.

  146. 146
    Pteryxx

    Yo Wes.

    When it’s obvious that someone is saying some hateful thing purely to get attention, and when this person is just some random numbnuts on the intertoobs

    Unwarranted assumption again. You keep saying they don’t really meeeeeean these hateful things, they just want attention, because “it’s obvious”. Do you have ANY reason for thinking that besides how convenient and comfy it is for you to dismiss the real harm and probability of real hate?

    People don’t say this shit because they want attention. They say it because they want VALIDATION. They want to feel they’re part of a big happy group of haters who’ve got each others’ backs and are justified in trampling lesser beings. And that’s exactly the effect bigoted speech has – the bigots get bolder and the targets get silenced, while the clueless majority goes on wondering why feminists/atheists/POC seem so angry all the time.

    See also: Predator Redux, Chilly climate and Stereotype threat.

    Which is why this shit needs to be called out, loudly and publicly, to create a climate more welcoming to everyone who just wants to live their lives than it is to the haters:

    I read a few of them and I was very sad. Then I stopped and read the comments here instead and saw a bunch of Pharyngulites being totally fucking awesome. Like riding a charging unicorn across a rainbow awesome. And now I feel even better than when I started.

    …Like that.

    Besides, WE mean it. ~;>

  147. 147
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    You know it’s bad when, reading that list, the least vile comment only condones threats and compliance through fear:

    #ToMyUnbornChild If I find out you doin gay shit ill put a gun to yo head and scare you straight

    :(

  148. 148
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons. And because Arizona’s an at-will employment state, that means that bosses critical of their female employees’ sex lives could fire them as a result.

    Thank fucking god I found a doctor that would give me the IUD after I had my child. I can’t find or keep a fucking job here as it is.

    Child is sick once? FIRED

    Bus is late once? FIRED

    You are sick and still go to work because otherwise you’ll get fired, written up for being sick!

    I hate this fucking state.

  149. 149
    KillJoy

    Regardless of whether or not even a majority of these tweets are motivated by sarcasm, there really are people out there who feel this way. And saying these things in a public forum, sarcasm or not, legitimizes, lends support to the words of the people who ARE serious.Particularly when it is so difficult to differentiate between the facetious responses and the genuine. If you want to respond to this sarcastically, why not ‘#ToMyUnbornChild If you might grow up to be like these idiots, then maybe I’ll just take a blowjob.” See how its insulting, clearly sarcastic, and doesnt use violence? Im a sarcastic dick, I really am. But I generally try to be a little self aware, ya know what I mean? Think before you speak, or type.

    KJ

  150. 150
    Ingdigo Jump

    Also from someone who follows folks on twitter, I have to disagree that sarcasm is hard to read.

  151. 151
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing,
    Yep. Like I said before, the #huggate topic is super lulzy and bitingly sarcastic.

    Me gusta.

  152. 152
    Ingdigo Jump

    For example when someone like Colbert is going to say something supporting the idea of kill the gays he’s going to give a tell in the form of a punch line, where the follow up explanation for why we have to is something ridiculous that shows the inanity of the idea being satired.

    Example: “We have to do everything we can to keep the rich subsidized and happy, after all we are a free market”

    The context is clear.

    Or even for a joke version

    “To my unborn child, as a Christian I will love you unconditionally unless you turn out to be gay”

  153. 153
    Nutmeg

    Thanks to all those who linked to the “Intent is not magic” post and explained their thoughts here. Some of these issues weren’t as clear in my mind before. Now I have more motivation to watch my words and actions, and I have some ways to explain to others why this matters.

  154. 154
    Anthony K

    Unwarranted assumption again. You keep saying they don’t really meeeeeean these hateful things, they just want attention, because “it’s obvious”. Do you have ANY reason for thinking that besides how convenient and comfy it is for you to dismiss the real harm and probability of real hate?

    Let me explain this via analogy.

    Anyone here live with other people? Anyone here sometimes feel uncomfortable when your housemate starts picking up around the place, vacuuming, washing the dishes, etc. and you start feeling guilty for putting your feet up and chillaxing?

    This is how we white hetero males feel when the existence of bigotry is pointed out. See, racism, homophobia, and sexism is something we really feel we should do something about.

    However, if the racism, homophobia, and sexism is just jokes though, nobody really means it and we really wish all the non-white, non-hetero, and non-males would just start laughing too so we can go back to our Doritos and WoW with a clean conscience.

  155. 155
    daniellavine

    @Brownian:

    Anyone here live with other people? Anyone here sometimes feel uncomfortable when your housemate starts picking up around the place, vacuuming, washing the dishes, etc. and you start feeling guilty for putting your feet up and chillaxing?

    That analogy is interesting to me because fairly recently my roommate used the word “gay” pejoratively as a word for a generic sort of “bad” (you know what I’m talking about) and I kinda called him on it. And he got ANGRY. Like started shouting about how he should be able to use the language he wants in his own house kind of angry. Which I thought was weird because I was not at all assertive about calling him on it, just sort of weakly “well yeah, but I don’t think it’s really good to use the word ‘gay’ that way” sort of thing.

    Then thinking about it later I realized it’s exactly what you’re talking about; both of us knew who was the asshole in that situation and my roommate just didn’t want to admit it to himself. So he got upset and started tossing off justifications for it. Depressingly, this seems to be normal human behavior.

  156. 156
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Also, going all the waaaaay back to Rev’s post at #9:

    A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons.

    This is exactly why I think we shouldn’t focus on the off-label uses for birth-control– that argument is totally being used against us in one of the most heinous* ways possible.

    If you’re a woman who happens to live in AZ, surprise! Your sex life could very well become your employer’s business, because someone needs to be the “morality” police. Or something.

    But don’t worry, ladeez! If you have the acne or the cysts or whatnot, you’re totes fine as long as you bring a note to your employer explaining that The Pill isn’t for icky, yucky, totally disgusting hetero sex. Because a woman’s health is a decision best left up to her, her doctor, and her company’s HR department.

    *Short of totally outlawing it, I guess.

  157. 157
    Matt125

    Two things upset me the most about those hateful, murderous comments:

    1. Most of the people saying them seem to be black. You’d think they would know a thing or two about discrimination and bigotry.

    2. Most of the comments begin with “I don’t hate gays but”, and end with a :) or a ‘lol’, making it look like the person saying it is both a hateful scumbag AND a wannabe comedian. And in my opinion they tend to be the worst out of all those with prejudice (British readers: think of Bernard Manning or Roy Chubby Brown).

  158. 158
    Anthony K

    And he got ANGRY. Like started shouting about how he should be able to use the language he wants in his own house kind of angry.

    Yep. You see, non-whites, non-heteros, and non-males have to deal with all sorts of issues, like their bodily integrity, glass ceilings, near-complete disenfranchisement, etc. Mundane, plebeian stuff.

    But we white, hetero males have to deal with being told we shouldn’t use certain words, and freedom of speech is one of the most important things white philosophers have identified ever. It’s, like, in the Leviathan or Walden or something, and I—oops, I just had a POL PHIL 101 orgasm.

    Anyway, I think it’s clear where our priorities should be.

  159. 159
    WharGarbl

    @Ing
    #152

    “To my unborn child, as a Christian I will love you unconditionally unless you turn out to be gay”

    A short modification.
    “To my unborn child, as a Christian I will love you unconditionally. Unless you are gay, then I’ll baptize, then kill you, so you can go to heaven before you start acting gay. Why? Because I still love you.”

  160. 160
    carlie

    Just ignore this idiot; he’s not worth the effort.

    Here’s the thing, though – that idiot might not be worth the effort, but that friend of yours who is being bashed by his comments IS worth the effort. At least, that friend ought to be worth the effort. As should all the other good people out there being bashed by that idiot’s comments, but it’s always easier to think about one specific person you care about. So think about them. You’ve got to have at least one friend who’s gay, or a minority, or whatever marginalized group is being “joked” about (and if you don’t, that says something about you, and it isn’t good). Think about how that fucking idiot and his fucking joke just make life worse for your friend, because they have to exist in a world where they are the butt of those kinds of dumbass jokes, and how the people who actively hate them and would beat the shit out of them take solace and cover in the fact that “everybody jokes about it because everybody believes it”.

    That dumbass troll joke? Just made life harder for your friend. So yeah. That troll isn’t worth the effort to correct him, but your friend damned well IS worth the effort to try and shut that idiot up.

  161. 161
    carlie

    (ALSO I ♥ JOSH FOREVER)

  162. 162
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform @ 76;

    Why not? I hear you can “support the troops” by buying a cheap magnet and sticking it on your SUV.

    Good point – we live in an age of easy, meaningless soundbites and empty gestures where someone who is stupid or oblivious enough can demonise homosexuals but still totally be on their side because xe is not saying that they should all be killed or anything – just hir own kids should they transpire to have such an orientation…

    Well, also, the daughter would still be (theoretically) willing to submit to Teh Almighty Peen, as is her place in life. As there is no Almighty Peen in w/w sex, it “doesn’t count.” Whereas a man willing to be penetrated or to penetrate another man? That’s a mockery of our gawd-given human hierarchy.

    I have come to the conclusion that fundies are actually polytheistic – they worship three gods (and not the Father, Son and Holy Ghost either, though that is certainly weird for self-described monotheists) – The Invisible (and incompetent) Hand of the Free Market, Teh Almighty Peen (I am so stealing that), and the Imaginary Psychotic Sky Fairy Yahweh itself.

    And these three deities are usually worshipped in that order, though sometimes the Almighty Peen temporarily overtakes the Invisible Hand in importance… hmmm, this is all getting a bit unintentionally ‘sin of Onan-y’…

    And then her bisexuality can then be written off as “youthful experimentation.” We all know, of course, that whom you’re in a relationship with at any given time indicates your orientation.

    *Channels misogynist fundie*

    Of course, and naturally a young girl might be all confused about this kind of stuff until she gets a proper seeing to to set her straight, so to speak, and lesbians are the girls who don’t receive the bendediction of the magic penis early enough, though they to can be saved if only they accept the salvation offered by the Bless’d Member…

    */Channels misogynist fundie*

    Bleeuurrggh. Now I feel sick.

    Better to kill the kid before they can commit a mortal sin and therefore be unable to get into hebbun.

    A kind of preventative version of ‘kill them all and let god sort them out’…

    Well, apart from the doctrine of original sin and all that, but who ever said that religion had to be consistent?

    @ 134;

    And then there are the PUAs. I haven’t seen the same level of blatant homophobia from them, but, per Thomathy’s arguments with them, they labor under enormously gender-essentialist assumptions, and at best they’re willfully clueless about GLBT issues of any sort.

    As Josh says, it’s all of a piece.

    You can’t expect PUA’s to concern themselves with such things, they have their game faces on, and all they are thinking about is ‘hitting’ (read – manipulating or cajoling into sex. ‘Informed consent’, what’s that…?) those ‘targets’ (because thinking of women as actual people totally causes you to lose your edge, dude)…

    PUA = rapist in waiting.

    People on the internet say stupid shit?

    Goodness gracious, you don’t say! I just dropped my monocle in the lobster consommé! That’s almost as scurrilous as the vulgar rumor I heard at the club: That eating food makes you defecate.

    I do declare, my good Gynofascist, you seem to have dropped this sniny new internets into the lobster consommé at the same time as your monocle!

    Pretty much SOP for the mainstream gaming community. I don’t game, but lots of friends do, and I pay attention to shitstorms like those.

    I do game (though never online), but there are days when the sheer level of mindless misogyny, homophobia and racism within the gaming community makes we wish I didn’t. And the developers often aren’t much better, with ridiculously sexist depictions of almost all female game characters and homosexual characters being either not represented at all or depicted as grotesque, offensively stereotypical caricatures for the most part.

    —————————————————————-

    maestroso88 @ 121;

    I’ve probably wasted enough of your time defending myself against several valid criticisms for no reason other than being unaware of how wrong I was.

    It is fine to be wrong, so long as you realise that you are wrong and try to understand how to avoid being wrong in the future. You have taken that step, and you will find us to be very accepting of people who are prepared to admit and learn from their mistakes. The Horde doesn’t savage people just for the fun of it. Well, maybe creationists…

    —————————————————————-

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 128;

    Yep. Totes predictable. Welcome to the patriarchy.

    I always hope for better, and yet I am alkways dissapointed. I have been stuck in a culture mired in the patriachy my entire life, what I want now is a way out.

    Does anyone know a nice post-patriarchal progressive society in that I could move into?

    —————————————————————-

    Ing: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream So I Comment Instead @ 138;

    I was greatly annoyed at having to endure 40+ minutes of being called “That dumb cunt” in order to help Shep’s war effort.

    This is the reason why I point blank refuse to play online. A few years ago I played a little World of Warcraft out of curiosity, because I liked Blizzard’s earlier Warcraft and Starcraft games, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about (and because some moralising idiot called it ‘virtual crack’ or some such, so I had to have a look just for the feeling of doing something that would offend the sensibilities of petty pearl-clutxhers), but a few run ins with the horrifying bigotry of some of the people on there soon cured me of that, and I wasn’t even playing a female character…

  163. 163
    A. R

    I was having such a nice day. Good weather, got my materials for the Mumps Fly research ordered. Then I saw this. My mind cannot comprehend the fact that these people (if you can call them that) are willing to say these things in a public forum.

  164. 164
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Probably none, or few, of those Tweeting actually have children or they would know better.

  165. 165
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    A.R., what is a mumps fly?

  166. 166
    Gregory Greenwood

    A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons.

    So, now it is not only the state that claims authority over a woman’s body and reproductive capacity, they are also farming it out to employers?

    What’s next? Granting local priests the power to demand that all women, or any religion or none, within their diocese should be prepared to provide proof that they are living a good, sex-for-procreation-only, sky-fairy-approved, carnal-pleasure-free life?

    Talk about the thin end of the wedge. If this goes through, can a total ban on birth control be far behind?

  167. 167
    A. R

    Markita: It’s a transgenic Drosophilia strain that expresses a Mumps virus protein in its eyes that I’m developing for use in antiviral screening.

  168. 168
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Josh, try coming to Canada—it’s not perfect by a long chalk but at least people are ashamed to be openly racist and marriage equality has been here for about eight years without civilization even sagging a little. Abortion has been legal for over 25 years and crime rates “coincidentally” dropped about a decade ago.

  169. 169
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    That is effin’ fascinating.

    But I have to ask: Do its eyes change color when it eats a mumps virus?

  170. 170
    A. R

    Markita: Not sure what you’re asking, but I’m thinking that expression of the protein will cause clouding in the eyes due to protein binding to host cell proteins that are responsible in part for tissue cohesion. I’m not certain what your level of scientific understanding is, or I would post a linky to the paper I’m basing my work on. (They did it with Influenza, and created a Flu Fly).

  171. 171
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Icaarus @19, Thank you! That’s better—although harder to fit on a button.

  172. 172
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Anyone here got the time to dig up the Twitter IDs and report them as potentially abusive parents?

  173. 173
    chigau (違う)

    A. R

    It’s a transgenic Drosophilia strain that expresses a Mumps virus protein in its eyes that I’m developing for use in antiviral screening.

    Isn’t it awesome that Jeebus thought of that when he was creating flies?

  174. 174
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I know a little bit, e.g. DNA –> peptide chain. Really was just wondering how one would deploy a detector fly: feed its larva on some extract or its adult form on serum or sputum? Is this for places that don’t have, um, analytical machines that would *ding* in the presence of mumps virus?

  175. 175
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I tried to argue with someone that if there are religious freedoms involved, they should belong to the people deciding whether to use birth control, not their schools or employers. He called me a relativist. I guess absolute morality means giving away your right to control your own decisions.

  176. 176
    rpjohnston

    Loud @ 27:

    In what context is that humour? We underestimate this sort of attitude at our peril.

    It isn’t humor. But people’s reactions is. That’s the point. Several commenters here have provided enough humor that I actually felt moved to make an account.

    Ing @ 66:

    Isn’t it such a convenient meme for people like Wes who really really really don’t want to have to face any problem of endemic bigotry on line that the supposed best solution is to do dick all?

    So what are you going to do about it? Aside from post on a blog about how awful those people are, that is?

    Dr Audley @ 69:

    Troll or not, they’re saying this shit because they believe it…Obviously, the thought of killing has passed through their minds because they fucking said so.

    Nope. Or rather, not necessarily. A troll by definition is neutral to whatever it is that it’s saying. That’s because what it’s saying isn’t the point, it’s the reaction of other people that’s the point. Must drive you (and everyone around you walking on eggshells) crazy if you believe that people always say exactly what they believe.

    Pretty much agree with Wes, esp @ 112.

  177. 177
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    maestroso88, if there were a sarcastic joke to be had, it would be “to my unborn child: I look forward to the day when I can send you out to work.” This is hate speech, not humor.

  178. 178
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Okay, this is the third fucking time I’ve tried to post this (does FtB have a problem with AZCentral or something? Or are other people having problems, too?)

    Gregory:
    To answer your question about birth control becoming illegal: the ACLU isn’t even sure if the employers will have the right to fire their slutty birth control usin’ employees or if the federal law will automatically supersede the bill.

    Either way, if this bill is passed, it’s in for a hell of a long court battle.

  179. 179
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    So, in short: no one knows. Not even the experts.

    How fucking scary can this get?

  180. 180
    daniellavine

    @rpjohnston:

    Since you seem too fucking stupid to be worth the time it would take to explain to you, maybe just trust us and don’t be an asshole?

  181. 181
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    That’s because what it’s saying isn’t the point, it’s the reaction of other people that’s the point.

    One of those reactions is people who actually agree with what troll is saying feeling vindicated, especially if no one contradicts him. There is also the people who feel threatened by troll’s words and all the commentators who find him oh so funny. But I’m guessing they don’t matter, as long as jerks like you are having fun.

  182. 182
    David Marjanović

    I do so love dropping that kind of bomb on you all.

    FOOL!!!!! We and the cupcakes and honeybunches shall inflate this thread to nine hundred comments before you come back! NINE HUNDRED!!!!!

    Is there anything creepier than discussing your sex life with your boss?

    Of course.

    I’ll just leave it at that. It’s beside the point anyway. *shudder*

    Homophobia is a subset of misogyny, not a separate entity. It could not exist in its current form if not for misogyny. That is why gay males are targeted for loathing and murder but lesbians and female bisexuals might be allowed to live [and have loads of porn made about them]. Nothing is worse in the patriarchy than a man willingly assuming “femininity”.

    QFT.

    What I find most amusing is basically these people are admiting that homosexuality is genetic.

    What I find not amusing at all is that these people use that fact to make very bad jokes about eugenics, a decidedly unfunny topic.

    You are not the troll’s parent. You do not control their environment. You cannot give negative reinforcement through withholding attention like you could a child. There are others already providing positive reinforcement for this behavior. Ignoring does not do anything but give a (faux?) impression of implied consent.

    Quis tacet, placet.

    The first guy on the list, Codie Sowders, tweeted “Loving these hate messages ☺”. That’s a clear sign of some douchebag who’s just trolling people to get a response. Just ignore this idiot; he’s not worth the effort.

    Of course he is.

    Of fucking course he is.

    “Thank you for your concern”

    “We appreciate your concern, it is noted and stupid.”

    “To my unborn child, as a Christian I will love you unconditionally. Unless you are gay, then I’ll baptize, then kill you, so you can go to heaven before you start acting gay. Why? Because I still love you.”

    …which, unfortunately, falls straight into the purview of Poe’s Law.

  183. 183
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Idiot:

    Must drive you (and everyone around you walking on eggshells) crazy if you believe that people always say exactly what they believe.

    And it must drive asshats like you crazy assuming that everyone’s lying or in it for the lulz.

    1) It doesn’t matter if they’re trolling or not. This has been explained SO MANY TIMES on this thread– feel free to re-read if you weren’t fast enough to catch it the first time ’round.

    2) Yeah, yeah, trolls do what they can to antagonize, but it’s been my experience that they take their deeply held asshole beliefs into areas where they’re not welcome. They’re not playing devil’s advocate or some stupid fucking shit (most of the time).

    But, you know, whatevs. Trolls, hurr hurr, so funny, right?

  184. 184
    Therrin

    *preps bingo card*

  185. 185
    chigau (違う)

    rpjohnston
    When someone new claims to have made an account to support some other newbie, the first thought is “sockpuppet”.

  186. 186
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Josh, may I be a Fake Wife, too?

    My daughter (the gay one) is a Ph.D. with a degree in the effect of climate change on trees. Some of them grow better with a little more CO2 and some grow worse. It depends on the species, growth cycle, temperature, and other factors. To no one’s surprise, Rick “Frothy Feces” Santorum is wrong in hand-waving it all away.

    Maestroso88, goodbye! Don’t let the door hit you where the dog should have bit you!

  187. 187
    Gregory Greenwood

    @ Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, purveyor of candy and lies;

    To answer your question about birth control becoming illegal: the ACLU isn’t even sure if the employers will have the right to fire their slutty birth control usin’ employees or if the federal law will automatically supersede the bill.

    Either way, if this bill is passed, it’s in for a hell of a long court battle….

    … So, in short: no one knows. Not even the experts.

    How fucking scary can this get?

    It terrifys me that in the twenty first century this kind of manic assault on women’s bodily autonomy isn’t simply laughed out of court.

    The very fact that there would be anything approaching a lengthy court battle (rather than a stupid and dangerous bill that seeks to give employers power over the bodily autonomy of their female employees being dismissed out of hand) is a clear indicator of just how bad the situation has become.

    The simple fact that a ban on birth control is not some ridiculous fantasy scenario but a real possibility should be of concern to every thinking person…

    … Which of course neatly lets out MRAs and Republicans.

  188. 188
    Nick Gotts

    A troll by definition is neutral to whatever it is that it’s saying. – rpjohnstone

    Were you born this stupid, or did you have to work on it? Yes, trolls post with the intention of provoking angry responses; that does not imply anything about whether they believe what they post. Nor does it matter much, as has been pointed out numerous times: intent is not magic. The effect of hate speech is the same whether the speaker is sincere or not.

  189. 189
    carlie

    It depends on the species, growth cycle, temperature, and other factors.

    Even better, it’s generally weed species that grow better in higher CO2, and crop plants that do worse (competitively speaking) under higher CO2. Oops.

  190. 190
    Wes

    Pteryxx

    Unwarranted assumption again. You keep saying they don’t really meeeeeean these hateful things, they just want attention, because “it’s obvious”. Do you have ANY reason for thinking that besides how convenient and comfy it is for you to dismiss the real harm and probability of real hate?

    People don’t say this shit because they want attention. They say it because they want VALIDATION. They want to feel they’re part of a big happy group of haters who’ve got each others’ backs and are justified in trampling lesser beings. And that’s exactly the effect bigoted speech has – the bigots get bolder and the targets get silenced, while the clueless majority goes on wondering why feminists/atheists/POC seem so angry all the time.

    Then why didn’t you say so in this thread, where PZ gave precisely the same advice regarding the Westboro Baptist Church as I am giving for these trolls? Ignore them. PZ was right, by the way–that’s the best way to respond to attention-grubbing assholes like Fred Phelps.

    Anri

    First off, there are few more sure self-fulfilling prophecies than assuming someone’s mind wont be changed and therefore not bothering to try.

    True, but I didn’t assume it. I reached that conclusion after reading how people like Codie responded to criticism.

    But ok, let’s grant that:
    a) Codie is doing it for the lulz,
    b) Codie will not be disuaded from doing so.
    So, let’s assume Codie’s not worth our time.

    But you know who is? Every single person who reads the tweet, and the responses to it, and therefore thinks “Wow, Codie’s a real piece of work – agree or not, I wouldn’t be caught dead near an idiot like that, if only to avoid the public abuse.” That’s one fewer voice spouting this kind of hate, one more demonstration that it’s no longer acceptable.

    The guy in question is already obscure. He’s actually more likely to have other (usually also trolling) people rally around him now than back when no one knew about him. If your concern is to prevent people from following him, and he’s obscure, don’t draw more attention to him.

    I seriously don’t understand your reasoning here. If someone is little known and is commenting just to get attention, it how does it help to hold them up in front of a bunch of people, giving them a much larger audience? It’s only AFTER they’ve gained a big audience that people rallying around them and following them becomes a big issue (which is why I said responding with anger and derision to Rush Limbaugh is perfectly justified).

    But when he’s just some random idiot that no one has heard of, that’s not a problem. I doubt any of these guys had much chance of getting a following before PZ and Storify sent a million people their way.

    You know who else is? Every single person who sees this and feels fear. Because they then get to read that there is soneome opposing this idiot, someone who is willing to publicly say “If this scares you, or makes you angry, you’re not alone – we’ve got your back, there is still sense in the world.”

    This is probably the closest I’ve heard to a legitimate reason, but it still doesn’t justify elevating some nobody trolling the internet and giving them a huge audience and platform. I brought up the WBC earlier, and they’re a good example. Remember, they’ve got no following, no resources, no platform on their own. They succeed at spreading their message of hate because everyone else keeps pointing cameras at them. And they love it. It’s why they do what they do.

    I’m all for doing what you say, but again, I don’t think this applies in all situations. Sometimes it’s good to mock the bigot as loudly as possible to let the oppressed group know they’re not alone. And sometimes the cost of elevating an otherwise obscure troll with no following outweighs any gain you get from it.

    Getting that message out, and meaning it, and maintaining it, is worth whatever shit we have to wallow through in dealing with the Codies of the world.

    And here, again, I disagree, not with the substance of what you say, but in how it’s applied. By this reasoning even a completely unknown troll that no one listens to should deserve as much attention as Rush Limbaugh or Rick Santorum or some other bigot.

    Occasionally singling one out to mock them for fun isn’t so bad, but expending the effort to compile 100 of them and label them “real homophobes who will murder their children” as Storify did? That’s (at best) not worth the effort, and (at worst) counterproductive, as it feeds their desire for attention and gives them a larger audience. This isn’t about them being “harmless” (which I don’t believe) or making excuses. My problem is that I don’ think the potential payoff is worth the effort and potential risk of giving these trolls more followers and more attention on their stupid little Twitter pages.

  191. 191
    Wes

    D’oh! I fucked up the formatting on that last post. I hope it’s readable. Let me know if it’s not and I’ll try again. Stupid html tags…

  192. 192
    A. R

    Markita: actually, the point is to force the eye cells to produce the protein, which then carries out its normal function (in this case binding to cells) I’m screening for compounds that prevent the protein from functioning normally, thus preventing viral replication.

  193. 193
    Pteryxx

    Must drive you (and everyone around you walking on eggshells) crazy if you believe that people always say exactly what they believe.

    Ah, my favorite strawbaiting flags make their appearance.

    Besides what everyone else said: I don’t fucking care if the person saying the bigoted shit believes it, repeats it or just thinks it’s funny. I care about shutting that shit down. Evidence says most people who say bigoted things are in fact bigoted, even if only unconsciously. In my experience it’s been about 95% indicative.

    So I’m going to err on the side of calling shit out, to the best of my ability, and if 5% of the time I’ve hurt the feelings of some well-meaning clueless person, TOO DAMN BAD.

  194. 194
    gathius

    WE WILL SHOUT YOU DOWN

    This is a problem I’ve noticed on other atheist blogs as well. Someone brings up a point along the lines of “maybe reason X is why this person is behaving terribly.” but the comment is taken to be support of the terrible behavior. full throated condemnation ensues.

    I would have enjoyed the discussion about strategy that most commenters dismissed.

  195. 195
    Inaji

    KG:

    The effect of hate speech is the same whether the speaker is sincere or not.

    QFMFT.

  196. 196
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Someone brings up a point along the lines of “maybe reason X is why this person is behaving terribly.”

    Those reasons boil down to “people are stupid on the internet, deal with it”… As long as you deal by being nice about it and not pointing out reasons why it’s not funny at all, and everyone who thinks it’s funny should do some self-examination.

    I would have enjoyed the discussion about strategy that most commenters dismissed.

    Please, do enlighten us on the proper strategy against homophobes-for-the-lulz.

  197. 197
    Anthony K

    Occasionally singling one out to mock them for fun isn’t so bad, but expending the effort to compile 100 of them and label them “real homophobes who will murder their children” as Storify did? That’s (at best) not worth the effort, and (at worst) counterproductive, as it feeds their desire for attention and gives them a larger audience.

    Really? Generally, even the most obnoxious people who make rape, racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes but aren’t actually rapists, racists, sexists, or homophobes take great pains to point out that they’re not really rapists, racists, sexists, or homophobes when you suggest that they are.

    Given this propensity for “I was just joking! C’mon: my best friend is black/gay/a woman/got raped!”, I’d like to see more than an assertion for the claim that being highlighted on a list of “100 Real Tweets from Homophobes Who Would Murder Their Gay Child” is the kind of attention even trolls are looking for.

    It’s one thing to rile up a bunch of liberals on a blog because you’re too fucking stupid to know you’re not fourteen, but to be famously highlighted as an actual bigot?

    I was fourteen too, once. I know what smartass shit disturbers like and don’t like, too. Yeah, they’re looking for attention. Not all attention is the kind they’re looking for.

  198. 198
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gathius another sockpuppet? New poster supporter tone trolls. The signs are there…

  199. 199
    David Marjanović

    I have come to the conclusion that fundies are actually polytheistic – they worship three gods (and not the Father, Son and Holy Ghost either, though that is certainly weird for self-described monotheists) – The Invisible (and incompetent) Hand of the Free Market, Teh Almighty Peen (I am so stealing that), and the Imaginary Psychotic Sky Fairy Yahweh itself.

    And these three deities are usually worshipped in that order, though sometimes the Almighty Peen temporarily overtakes the Invisible Hand in importance… hmmm, this is all getting a bit unintentionally ‘sin of Onan-y’…

    So full of win!

  200. 200
    Inaji

    Must drive you (and everyone around you walking on eggshells) crazy if you believe that people always say exactly what they believe.

    No, that doesn’t drive me crazy, most strawstructures don’t, they’re easy enough to light on fire.

    The absolute insistence on blind privilege and happy ignorance demonstrated by those such as yourself? Yeah, that sharpens my edge a bit. It does not matter one whit whether or not one (or more) person doesn’t believe what they’re saying. The problem lies in there being plenty of people who do believe in what they’re saying.

    It must be nice for you, wandering about thinking that no one on the planet says or believes vile things. One of these days, you’re going to collide with reality.

  201. 201
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    OK, Maestroso88, I take that back if you’re beginning to see the effect you could have.

    I looked at the #huggate links. Seriously? The big right-wing scandale is that future president Obama hugged somebody in the 1990s or whenever? Apparently that was treasonous? What planet are they on? They’re not on this one. Some of the examples of other hugs were just beautiful and awesome. There was even one of Antonin Scalia hugging Nadine Strossen, the President of the ACLU, proving no doubt that he’s all the nasty things people say about the ACLU.

  202. 202
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    …they also point out that the notorious “secret, hidden” video was broadcast by PBS in 2008.

  203. 203
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    I would have enjoyed the discussion about strategy that most commenters dismissed.

    Well, good for you, fucker.

    *slow clap*

    Nerd:

    Gathius another sockpuppet?

    If so, it seems like this type of asshole always waits for PZ to leave the building before showing up and acting all whiny.

  204. 204
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Josh, can I be another one of your fake wives? You’re like some Mormon cult leader, only y’know, not.

    whether or not a bunch of idiots are sincerely horrible

    They ARE sincerely horrible. No question about it. NONE. Whether they are sincerely actual gay-bashers and murderers or are sincerely horrifically bigoted bystanders sincerely encouraging other people to be actual gay-bashers and murderers is a fine distinction that I really don’t care to chase down.

  205. 205
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    My link under “just” seems to be broken.

  206. 206
    Anthony K

    I would have enjoyed the discussion about strategy that most commenters dismissed.

    You know that universities and colleges offer courses on psychology, and likely even the psychology of internet behaviour, right?

    If you’re so curious, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and sign the fuck up, instead of asking the targets of rapists, racists, sexists, and homophobes to shut up while you play dispassionate detective?

    C’mon, everyone: we White Hetero Males are bored. Hold still while we examine your tormentors.

    (As an aside, there is a field called criminology that studies the behaviour of people who commit crimes while we simultaneously try to limit the harm of crime itself. Mind blowing, eh?)

  207. 207
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Argyle:

    I would have enjoyed the discussion about strategy that most commenters dismissed.

    But we wouldn’t have. Cuz we’ve had it 50,000 times on this blog. You lot aren’t interested in talking strategy, you’re interested in derailing.

    So, yeah. You’re shouted down. There’s a place for that, and you’re not required to like it. Kindly lower your backside onto this reverse-quilled piece of taxidermy.

  208. 208
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Markita:

    I looked at the #huggate links. Seriously? The big right-wing scandale is that future president Obama hugged somebody in the 1990s or whenever? Apparently that was treasonous? What planet are they on?

    Yep. It proves that Obama is a DANGEROUS RADICAL!! or some shit.

    My favorite is a pic of Obama hugging Denzel Washington with the caption “Obama hugs Malcolm X”. XD

  209. 209
  210. 210
    =8)-DX

    Heh, getting some flack – but my point was not about whether this is bad/disgusting/reflecting underlying homophobia/etc (of course it is).

    My point was that making disgusting, pointless and disgustingly pointless jokes IS trolling (trying to say the most offensive thing possible and see people’s reaction/attract attention). And the twitter feeds of the people I read who tweeted this looked mainly like young twits trying to be all gangsta macho.

    Just trying to understand where it’s coming from. Would be good to compare it to other hashtags.

  211. 211
    daniellavine

    OK, since the thread is past 200 and we still have idiots voicing their “concerns” here’s a few reasons why it would be stupid not to take this kind of thing seriously.

    First of all, you “concerned” folks aren’t mind-readers so you can’t know that these people are all trolls. In fact, I bet they have a whole myriad of different motivations for posting these things and some no doubt ARE trolls. But human nature and values aren’t so static as you’re presenting. Sometimes people get their values from cues from people in their community — which behaviors are approved and which are disapproved. Some actively go seek out new communities that are more consistent with the values they already have rather than reshaping their current values to fit their community.

    While people are doing this little dance they tend to test the water. While some of these scumsucking cretins are just trolls, others are “running it up the flagpole.” They kinda feel that way but they’re not sure it’s OK to feel that way so they just throw it out their. If their community disapproves they say “LOL just kidding gawsh” and backpedal furiously (and usually get very angry and argumentative if people push them further on it). But. If their community approves (and in some cases it will) then they absolutely believe it and accept whatever congratulations come with being so cavalier about, in this example, the health and welfare of homosexual children.

    In other words approval and disapproval of this sort of thing DOES matter. In the case of the trolls maybe not so much. They already have their communities and they’re trolling to impress THOSE assholes. But I’m never going to take that chance. Because I know “LOL I’m just joking gawsh” really means “well, since you disapprove I’m going to try to stop thinking that way” — in other words, disapproval and confrontation WORK in many many cases.

    Also, the scumfucks who really think this way can take succor from the “jokes.” It provides cover for their real and deplorable attitudes and makes it more difficult to publicly shame or ostracize them — or even to IDENTIFY them which is kind of a big deal if you’re homosexual and trying to avoid being humiliated, beaten, or even murdered.

    Finally, if we want communities where LGBT folks and other minorities can feel safe we need to make it clear that this is not an acceptable form of humor. Even if someone doesn’t make it, even if they’re just joking around, they will take cues from their friends and family — their community — about what forms of humor are acceptable (and in which contexts) and which are not. Again, confrontation WORKS.

    Don’t want to see another “just ignore it” post unless the person deals with all the points I’ve made here.

  212. 212
    gathius

    “(As an aside, there is a field called criminology that studies the behaviour of people who commit crimes while we simultaneously try to limit the harm of crime itself. Mind blowing, eh?)”

    Exactly… my point is that those who are interested in this discussion are getting shouted down with a rationale that sounds reminiscent of “Why do you hate America?!?!”

    Talking about the motivations of terrorists is the same thing as supporting the terrorists.

  213. 213
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Matt125: Lots of people who are oppressed along one axis don’t give a fuck about oppression along other axes. The examples are endless.

    Gregory:

    I do declare, my good Gynofascist, you seem to have dropped this sniny new internets into the lobster consommé at the same time as your monocle!

    Well, my good fellow, do beckon to my valet to fish it out and wipe it off for me! :D

    I do game (though never online), but there are days when the sheer level of mindless misogyny, homophobia and racism within the gaming community makes we wish I didn’t.

    Ever read The Border House Blog?

    Markita:

    Probably none, or few, of those Tweeting actually have children or they would know better.

    Yeah, nobody EVAR harms their own children for being GLBT. And I can’t find the story about the guy whose mother drove him out into the woods with a gun, held it to his head, and warned him she’d kill him if she ever learned he was gay.

    Contrary to popular opinion, human reproduction is not a sure-fire cure for parental assholism.

    rpjohnston, you missed the entire fucking point of the thread. So did you, =8-DX, but then again, water is wet.

    Wes, the reason the Westboro Baptist Church is a special case is that they are lawyers who specialize in suing the shit out of anybody they can. PZ mentioned that in his post.

    Gathius, we’ve been discussing strategy all along. And it’s been pointed out nigh ad infinitum in this thread that “reason X” doesn’t matter.

  214. 214
    Anthony K

    Poor gathius. He left without ever realising WE WILL SHOUT YOU DOWN is a strategy, and can be a very successful one at that.

  215. 215
    advisermoppet

    Every time I see stuff like this I know that life isn’t sacred to them. Life that they agree with is sacred. Life that disagrees with them can die.

  216. 216
    Louis

    Gathius, #194,

    I would have enjoyed the discussion about strategy that most commenters dismissed.

    What irritates me the most about this is that it is utter bullshit. If you want to talk about tactics for fighting bigotry then by all means go ahead. No one here is against a plurality of tactics here, at least no one I know about.

    What people are against is utter capitulation to, and the tacit permission for, bigotry. The difference here is not our tactics, it’s our goals.

    If you are, like me, anti-bigotry then you must in some manner combat it. No one is telling you you must shout and scream and jump up and down swearing. No one is telling you you must quietly whisper in someone’s ear. No one is telling you to do anything in between or apply one tactic (or only a few tactics) in all situations. In fact the “tactics discussion” is so utterly tangential to the point as to be almost a deliberate red herring. Why? Because it’s the tone argument, the “civility” argument all over again. It’s distracting from the real criminals, the bigots, and their actions, the bigotry, in order to police the apparent politeness (or otherwise) of people opposing bigots and bigotry. It’s been agreed umpteen times that one tactic does not rule all in all situations. It’s an almost trivially dull conversation. And yet this fact goes ignored by tone trolls and accomodationists in every debate from anti-bigotry to atheism. And for the record, no one is advocating jumping on the Dying Grandmother’s Bed (TM), with the sobbing family all around including dear, sweet, innocent little Billy and little Janey and Screaming “BURN IN HELL BIGOTED FUCKSTICK!!!!”. So please, no more red herring.

    The problem with all this pearl clutching over tactics is, as I said, it disguises the real disagreement, the disagreement about goals. What’s more important? That I don’t say “fuck off” to a homophobe or that the homophobe is confronted on their bigotry? If the homophobe clutches their pearls and becomes even more homophobic, or less receptive to an anti-homophobic message because I said “fuck off”, then tough. The more fuck offs the homophobe gets, the more push back the homophobe is subject to, the less likely the homophobe is to think his/her homophobia is expressible WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE. And that’s the key. The point is to make these things less socially acceptable. To push the Overton Window away from open expressions of homophobia being deemed benign, merely humorous or socially acceptable. This is precisely how racism and its public expressions have been countered. No one is saying the job is done (or ever will be) but direct confrontation (by means foul or fair) is the means by which this social change happens.

    So my goal is to push back against the bigots, to let them know that their bigotry is not socially acceptable. To let them know their bigotry is logically and factually inconsistent. To let them know that the rights and freedoms that they wish and enjoy for themselves are rights and freedoms that can and should and WILL be extended to others unlike them and me. By pushing back, by confronting I am exemplifying the lack of bigotry I wish to see in myself and others (because I’ve behaved in a bigoted manner before and I’m damned if I’m reversing the hard learned lessons that reduced that bigotry). My goal is to reduce the social acceptability of bigotry so that bigotry itself reduces. If you don’t confront bigots for their bigotry, then you simply don’t share that goal. Or if you claim to share that goal, you are a shitty ally. And yeah, shitty allies can get called on it too. I know I was when my alliance was shitty.

    Why do you get a pass? Because your fee-fees might get hurt? Fucking spare me!

    Louis

  217. 217
    Anthony K

    “(As an aside, there is a field called criminology that studies the behaviour of people who commit crimes while we simultaneously try to limit the harm of crime itself. Mind blowing, eh?)”

    Exactly… my point is that those who are interested in this discussion are getting shouted down with a rationale that sounds reminiscent of “Why do you hate America?!?!”

    Talking about the motivations of terrorists is the same thing as supporting the terrorists.

    If you cannot be bothered to read my comments, please do not quote them.

  218. 218
    Jadehawk

    If that is what passes as sarcasm in the twenty-something cohort you are doing it wrong.

    I assure you, it doesn’t. it’s what passes for “it’s ok when I do it”.

    Also:

    Stop being surprised that you find misogyny and homophobia in the same person Homophobia is a subset of misogyny, not a separate entity. It could not exist in its current form if not for misogyny. That is why gay males are targeted for loathing and murder but lesbians and female bisexuals might be allowed to live. Nothing is worse in the patriarchy than a man willingly assuming “femininity”.

    relevant and excellent, but long(pdf)

    They’re tweets by idiots who aren’t funny and are just trying to get attention. Giving them more attention just encourages them to keep doing what they’re doing.”ignore them and they’ll stop” is a fucking lie. don’t propagate it

    When it’s obvious that someone is saying some hateful thing purely to get attention, and when this person is just some random numbnuts on the intertoobs, the best response is not to give them the attention they crave. Drawing more attention to them won’t stop them from saying hateful shit–if anything, they’ll just keep repeating it to get more attention. I mean, that’s what trolls do–they try to strike a nerve and then wallow in the outraged responses.

    irrelevant; the troll is not the entirety of the target audience for pushback. not pushing back gives the impression of tacit consent to anyone seeing this, while pushing back can change the social climate enoguh to cause shunning of these trollish attitudes to the point where the trolls will remove themselves from that social space. because trolls aren’t brave; they cannot actually handle social backlash; they troll because they think they have people at their back, supporting them and agreeing with their actions.

    Ignoring does not do anything but give a (faux?) impression of implied consent.

    QFT

    From my experience, the majority of forum-going people in places like reddit and 4chan – the places that tend to have a massive amount of people making dumb and/or bigoted jokes – are relatively young in age.

    in case no one informed you yet, I will note that those people are also racist, sexist, and homophobic; age has fuck-all to do with that, other than in the sense that old people are being racist, sexist, and homophobic in slightly different venues than young people. I fucking resent the implication that youth has anything to do with being bigoted.

    I should add in response to the more violent or aggressive among this thread that this attitude does nothing but drive most away. It really makes me contemplate deleting my account, and I just joined today.

    pushback makes defenders of racist, sexist, homophobic behavior in young people want to leave?
    feature, not bug. shape up or leave.

    As a result, the only solutions lie in either direct involvement (people who know them in person) or through large-scale awareness and such, etc.

    this is false, and assumes there are no bystanders. pushing back against racism, sexism, and homophobia will not make the trolls and bigots stop; but given enough pushback, neither they nor neutral bystanders nor their victims will be able to think that they’re “saying what everyone is thinking”.

    So what are you going to do about it? Aside from post on a blog about how awful those people are, that is?

    cultural pushback is a new concept to you?

    Then why didn’t you say so in this thread, where PZ gave precisely the same advice regarding the Westboro Baptist Church as I am giving for these trolls?

    he doesn’t actually. are you illiterate? counterprotests against WBC are good and encouraged, but they’re sue-happy vultures, so he advises against provoking them. I highly doubt any of the twitter trolls are going to sue, you know.

    My point was that making disgusting, pointless and disgustingly pointless jokes IS trolling (trying to say the most offensive thing possible and see people’s reaction/attract attention). And the twitter feeds of the people I read who tweeted this looked mainly like young twits trying to be all gangsta macho.

    and therefore what? (also, you’re stupidly assuming we didn’t already know this; we did, we just know if makes no fucking difference)

  219. 219
    daniellavine

    Exactly… my point is that those who are interested in this discussion are getting shouted down with a rationale that sounds reminiscent of “Why do you hate America?!?!”

    Talking about the motivations of terrorists is the same thing as supporting the terrorists.

    Read my post immediately before yours at 211. We understand the motivations — apparently better than you do. That is exactly why we’re shouting it down.

    Note that just because we have a field called “criminology” doesn’t mean we don’t arrest and convict people for committing crimes. No one is saying, “Wait, if we stopped this armed robbery we’ll be giving up a valuable data point.” But that is essentially what you’re advocating.

  220. 220
    Jadehawk

    failed a blockquote

    They’re tweets by idiots who aren’t funny and are just trying to get attention. Giving them more attention just encourages them to keep doing what they’re doing.

    ”ignore them and they’ll stop” is a fucking lie. don’t propagate it

  221. 221
    Inaji

    Talking about the motivations of terrorists is the same thing as supporting the terrorists.

    Your slip is showing, Dear.

  222. 222
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Mr. Daisy Cutter, I know it happens. I’m just hoping that these people get enough pushback and enough education on the subject and enough exposure to gay people that they change their minds before they do have kids. And that some of them, experiencing what it’s like to be a parent, will change their minds.

  223. 223
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Ok, you know what bothers me most about these tweets*, is that these people actually thought these things about their apparently unborn child. To be so obsessed that you you would actually publicize that sort of murck. It’s not like they have actually come out of the closet, age 19 & announced it to them, it’s not like it is a random stranger who might attempt to have sexual relations with them{/sarcasm}, as mind bendingly wrong as the reaction to such news would be. It’s their unborn child! Holy crap but you have to be evil to think such things.

    *yup, the homophobia, the threats of murder & violence are also off the scale

  224. 224
    Anthony K

    Note that just because we have a field called “criminology” doesn’t mean we don’t arrest and convict people for committing crimes. No one is saying, “Wait, if we stopped this armed robbery we’ll be giving up a valuable data point.” But that is essentially what you’re advocating.

    Why thanks, daniellavine. Am I mistaken, or is this not the first time you’ve understood and subsequently explained one of my comments, getting the point across more effectively than my original did?

  225. 225
    John Morales

    [OT]

    catnip67: “unborn child” is a phrase employed by undead corpses.

  226. 226
    daniellavine

    Am I mistaken, or is this not the first time you’ve understood and subsequently explained one of my comments, getting the point across more effectively than my original did?

    I’m not sure that’s at all true, I usually think your comments are pretty great. But if it is true it’s been a team effort.

  227. 227
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    gathius #194

    This is a problem I’ve noticed on other atheist blogs as well. Someone brings up a point along the lines of “maybe reason X is why this person is behaving terribly.” but the comment is taken to be support of the terrible behavior. full throated condemnation ensues.

    Why should we stop to discuss possible motivation in spreading such hatred? Let’s assume for the sake of argument we discuss the general motivation for the listed Twitter posts for a whole thread, and conclude that it’s 80% ‘trolling’.

    What exactly have we achieved? That shit is still there for all to see, it enables the toxic homophobic culture, and propogates a climate of hatred and fear.

    Whereas if we do not accept this kind of thing wherever we see or hear it, we start making a difference. And maybe someone reading this thread realises that passing on a racist joke or allowing a homophobic comment to pass, no matter if it was made in ‘jest’, is just not acceptable.

  228. 228
    Louis

    Oh and the Westboro Baptist People are not trolls, they are bullies. An overlap exists there I freely admit, but it’s not complete.

    You counter the WBC people with what they give, i.e. speech. Their speech is unpleasant and bigoted and above all incorrect, so counter it effectively. Hitting them with sticks or piling into them serves THEM. They sue, they get victim sympathy. Note: not all confrontation of WBC = hitting them with sticks. It’s this continual misrepresentation that the accomodationists/tone drivllers continually make. Confrontation does not default to its most extreme exponent.

    It’s possible to out-speak WBC et al. Not to drown them out, per se, but to counter them with effective speech. They use their free speech (insofar as it isn’t actually actionable hate speech, which is debatable, IANAL) we have every right to use our free speech to combat it. If we as a group can’t out think the WBC bozos…well, we don’t really belong in the game. Addressing them is barely worth it, addressing people around them is more useful. That’s why the best ideas regarding the WBC have been to stage counter demos. Non-violent, clever counter demos.

    Take, for example, the protests the comedian/activist Mark Thomas did against the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act in the UK. Not every protest was great, or even polite, but they effectively challenged and satirised a bad law whilst largely remaining within the letter of it. Sadly, whilst this lead to some change in this law, more work needs to be done.

    The only reason to not engage the WBC is because “it’s best handled by the professionals”. They are nuclear grade stupid! And litigious with it. Hundreds of pissed off atheists screaming invective at them, whilst it would sure amuse the shit out of me, would really not work, and would probably cause legal problems to put it mildly. Talk strategy all you want, but when it comes to combating these people Brave Sir Robin’s “Run Away!” is not a tactic.

    Louis

  229. 229
    Anri

    Wes:

    Occasionally singling one out to mock them for fun isn’t so bad, but expending the effort to compile 100 of them and label them “real homophobes who will murder their children” as Storify did? That’s (at best) not worth the effort, and (at worst) counterproductive, as it feeds their desire for attention and gives them a larger audience. This isn’t about them being “harmless” (which I don’t believe) or making excuses. My problem is that I don’ think the potential payoff is worth the effort and potential risk of giving these trolls more followers and more attention on their stupid little Twitter pages.

    Apparently, I have a much different concept of ‘effort’ and ‘payoff’ than you do. It takes me very little effort to write a blog post in response to some bigot’s remarks. If that makes a single person feel better about themselves, or a single bigot doubt themselves, just for a moment, that’s payoff enough for me.

    In terms of giving these people a wider audience: good.
    I want everyone to know that there are still people like this out there, and just what they are saying. One thing I hear repeatedly with regards to these issues is that things are basically ok – that we’ve pretty much achieved equality.
    We Haven’t!
    Not even close.

    And one very powerful way to convince people of the mountains of difficult work still ahead is to expose them to bigots like these.

    Centuries of ignoring these people hasn’t worked. Confronting them, making them stand up and say what they really think (and horrify decent, thinking people that might tolerate them otherwise) seems to be working.

  230. 230
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @ John Morales

    [OT]

    catnip67: “unborn child” is a phrase employed by undead corpses.

    Apologies for my lazy language. I was meaning that these are not children that have been born. They are only conceptually so & yet the bozos are worked up into a lather at the prospect of a potential child potentially engaging in activities more than a decade hence*

    Any better?

    *assumption & on average

  231. 231
    Louis

    So what are you going to do about it? Aside from post on a blog about how awful those people are, that is?

    Ahhhhhhh one of my favourites. Mmmmmm savour that flavour.

    No, that’s not all I’m going to do. It’s not all I do. Glad you asked. Rather than do the classic humblebrag (because I need to justify my life to anonymous shitheels on the internet like I need my cock chopped off) I’ll put up a couple of suggestions. I’ll let you decide if I, or anyone here, does any of, all of, or even more than these. I’m not debating the effectiveness or perfect nature of any or all of these actions, just noting that they are non-zero contributions to the cause.

    1) Donate some spare cash to useful charities like Amnesty International, Southern Poverty Law Centre, Liberty….etc. I.e. charities that campaign for human rights, oppose discriminatory legislation and regimes etc. Most of these charities take direct debits, so you can sit back in your chair, fill in a form and they get a nice tax deductible lump of cash from your bank account every month.

    2) Volunteer work. If your profession touches on areas of use give of your time. For example if you are a lawyer do pro bono work for charities/individuals dealing with/affected by bigotry.

    3) If you are a member of a group targeted by bigotry and it is safe to do so, engage in outreach. For example, if you are the lawyer mentioned above, giving career talks at schools might be appropriate, showing young people that positive role models from targeted groups exist.

    4) Social engagement. Don’t let that idle remark from a co-worker or relative pass without comment. Confront the person, using a variety of appropriate tactics as the situation demands. Do not fail to confront them. If this can be done with tact and maturity, all the better.

    5) Petition the government. If you see an injustice, then try to correct it through the relevant channels. Petition local politicians, inform yourself about the law and current events, take time to actually read the voting records and policies of incumbent and aspirant politicians. Hold those people to account at more than the ballot box. It doesn’t take an enormous amount of time to write a letter for example, Amnesty International was basically founded on this idea.

    6) Speak up. Don’t sit idly by waiting for someone else to say or do something when you could be doing it. Draw attention to the issues.

    There you go, 6 things off the top of my head.

    Some of these involve a great deal of privilege to engage in. If you’re working 3 jobs to stay afloat then you likely have little time or money to donate to charity. If your boss is a virulent racist and would sack you for even the tiniest challenge, then speaking your mind to him/her is not going to be easy. The point is you don’t have to do any or all of these, there’s no merit badge or compulsion, all you have to do is take a few moments to think of a way you can contribute and then do it.

    It’s not even important to what extent you do any of this, as long as it is non zero. I’m a scientist by profession, but I don’t have a Nobel prize. Does that mean I’m not really a scientist? Nope! It means I’m just a scientist making ym contribution like hundreds and thousands of other Nobel-free scientists the world over. You can be an active campaigner against bigotry and injustice without selling all your material possessions and living in a yurt made of placenta and grass reeds whilst helping blind orphans in the Sudan and never even looking sideways at a black person. In fact, the combined efforts of we relatively privileged folk can (and do) have a great effect. So get involved. Make a non-zero contribution.

    Louis

  232. 232
    Louis

    Fucked up the blockquote again…..I am in RARE form!

    Louis

  233. 233
    Pteryxx

    (meta) Is Louis a Molly winner yet… *checks list* Oh, okay. Carry on then.

  234. 234
    John Morales

    [OT]

    No worries, catnip67.

    (I take no issue with what you wrote, but I don’t like euphemisms that are often used equivocally, and this particular one is one of the favourites of anti-abortionists)

  235. 235
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    Louis #232

    I am in RARE form!

    Rare, but sparkling, form!

  236. 236
    Anri

    Nope. Or rather, not necessarily. A troll by definition is neutral to whatever it is that it’s saying. That’s because what it’s saying isn’t the point, it’s the reaction of other people that’s the point. Must drive you (and everyone around you walking on eggshells) crazy if you believe that people always say exactly what they believe.

    Nah,just honest people.

    But, nicely enough, even dishonest people give us a good foil to demonstrate that there are people unwilling to pretend sociopathy for internet cred.

  237. 237
    Louis

    Oh and one more thing:

    Imagine being a homosexual person. Imagine every day reading/hearing messages like those expressed in those tweets. Whether or not the people posting those messages were serious, the message received is the same: either the people that made those messages think those things or think it is acceptable for those messages to be transmitted in such a way as to leave the intent open to interpretation. Either way, that’s a pretty damning environment for that homosexual person.

    So, an analogy, because I’m not the first to mention that and it doesn’t seem to sink in. To those people who don’t get it, I’m guessing the bulk of you are men, just a guess, I could be wrong. Women who don’t get this might have to find a different analogy. I’m going to invite you gents over to my house for a bollock kicking competition.

    Now, what we’re going to do is this, I’ll kick you in the bollocks, then you can kick me in the bollocks, and the first one to give in proves the other one right. You think these twitter people are insincere and that thus their intent matters, I think the effects are the same regardless of their sincerity or intent. My only intention here is to discover who is right by means of the ancient ritual of bollock kicking.

    So, over you come and stand on my lawn. I take a run up and apply my steel toe-capped UK size 13 boot to your gentleman vegetables with some venom. I then tell you “you can be right, intentions change reality!”. Hurrah you’ve been proven right….or have you?

    Now whatever my intentions were, you have sore bollocks. The effect of my actions has, regardless of my intentions, caused you severe pain in the spherical rhomboids.

    “But Louis!” I hear you cry when you have recovered your poise, “your intentions were clearly to harm my dangly fun-fruit!”.

    “Ah” say I “but I deny those intentions or at least claim they are not obvious, I was merely trying to prove the truth of one of our claims by means of a bollock kicking competition”

    “But Louis! Bollock kicking competitions do not determine the truth of anything!”

    “Ah” say I “Why does that matter? I never sincerely believed they did, and yet the truth of one of our claims has been demonstrated.”

    “How is that the case, Louis?” you cry.

    “Well, because regardless of what I intended, how I intended to accomplish it, whether or not my intentions and sincerity have changed, you have sore bollocks. Thus demonstrating that regardless of any intent or sincerity on my part, my actions have consequences defined by their very nature.”

    “How does that prove that the behaviour that can be seen as bigoted has an effect identical to actual bigotry even if the person exhibiting it did not intend it to do so?”

    “Ask your balls.”

    Louis

    P.S. If someone object that my intent was clearly to cause harm to my interlocutor’s plums and not, in fact, determine the truth of a proposition or claim…well…duh. I still managed both! ;-)

  238. 238
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The only reason to not engage the WBC is because “it’s best handled by the professionals”. They are nuclear grade stupid! And litigious with it. Hundreds of pissed off atheists screaming invective at them, whilst it would sure amuse the shit out of me, would really not work, and would probably cause legal problems to put it mildly.

    Hm? I don’t know why people have been saying this. This is America. There is no such thing as hate speech laws here. I’m not kidding; we scream curses at WBC all the fucking time. I’ve done it. It’s cathartic. The cops just stand there.

    There is no problem until someone makes a threat, tries to cross into the space which the cops have sectioned off for the WBC, or the buffer zone around that space, or if someone throws something or otherwise attempts to make physical contact.

    Most counter-WBC protests go over just fine with a crowd of hundreds yelling and chanting for two hours. There is no reason not to pay attention to them. PZ has this weird idea in his head that if you ignore them then you’re “winning” by denying them what they want.

    Yeah, well, fuck the NAP for inviting them. But now that they’re coming, who gives a shit about whether or not they get attention? They’re going to feel righteous either way; they’ve done their part. What I want is to treat them like the horrible people that they are, and if any of you want that too, then go ahead and do it. Don’t be afraid to say mean shit to them.

    Tell them we know Fred is a racist and he’s going to be remembered as a deceiver who took black clients’ money and then called them racial slurs when they left his office.

    Do not be afraid of these people. As long as you follow the instructions of the police, you will be perfectly fine and they will not get one cent of your money.

  239. 239
    John Morales

    Louis, cute, but your allegory only addresses why intent doesn’t matter to outcomes.

    (I note that courts of law do care about intent no less than regular people do when assigning blameworthiness)

  240. 240
    rpjohnston

    Chigau @ 185:

    rpjohnston
    When someone new claims to have made an account to support some other newbie, the first thought is “sockpuppet”

    Yeah, I know, I’ve posted a few times but the last was a long time ago (I think on that one thread about that cell-game that with alien platypuses that was pegged as stealth ID) so I don’t expect any name recognition. I think I used a Type…whatever it was back then, but that was when it was on Scienceblogs, and when I tried to recover it via email WordPress didn’t recognize my address and I didn’t see how to use something else, so I just said screw it and registered with WordPress.

    Dr Audrey @ 183:

    And it must drive asshats like you crazy assuming that everyone’s lying or in it for the lulz.

    Nah, not really. And not so much in real life – it’s usually either serious there, or obviously an in-joke. (And I don’t really care if joking with my jewish friends about their “jew gold” gets me labeled a nazi here.) On the internet, though, with all that anonymity and stuff, there’s a much greater tendency to fling crap just to see what (and who) it sticks to. Even if one has to register and didn’t bother avoiding most of their real name to fling it. Cough.

    KG @ 188:

    The effect of hate speech is the same whether the speaker is sincere or not.

    And it’s especially effective if an otherwise inconsequential drop of poo gets blown up. So, shall we go contact all the major news outlets? Have CNN run a special report on 100 formerly unknown dumbbells in the vast ocean of Twitter? The Streisand Effect cuts both ways.

    To take this post in a more serious direction, since it was too good to pass up…

    Louis @ 216:

    The point is to make these things less socially acceptable.

    This, and the rest of the post. The point I halfheartedly have been making, and I think agreeing with Wes about, is bringing a few otherwise near-invisible drops in an ocean to wide attention is counterproductive. If they’ve already been marginalized then don’t yank them back into sight. Though, I’ll concede this; I have no idea how to use twitter, and no idea how much this hashtag has been tweeted, so if these 100 tweets (which may be 100 people are one guy making 100 sockpuppet accounts for all I know) are actually a significant portion, than yeah, screw me. If these 100 tweets are out of thousands of tweets, probably no one would even know those thought were there till it was dragged in front of everyone.

  241. 241
    Louis

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ (aka SGBM, IIRC), #238,

    Well, the paragraphs preceding that quote are advocating engaging the WBC, I only mentioned why I thought someone might not for the sake of completeness. Hence why I said:

    “That’s why the best ideas regarding the WBC have been to stage counter demos. Non-violent, clever counter demos.”

    There’s something to be said for the “that would look good on your CV, not so good on mine” disengagement that people like Deborah Lipstadt have advocated with respect to people like David Irving, i.e. not providing an undeserved platform for unevidenced claims, but the WBC at the RR situation doesn’t map onto that. The “platform” (i.e. the public space) already exists and them turning up doesn’t elevate them to that platform in any way, deservedly or not.

    Hence why I said engage them intelligently. Torrents of invective flowing back and forth, whilst cathartic as you rightly say, are not as much fun as sending these people up would be. Imagine a really good satirical counter protest, not the usual rip offs of their signs, but a counter protest that skewered their self righteousness. I’m not sure if it’s been done or not, but I know one thing for certain, these sort of people cannot tolerate or comprehend being laughed at. Hatred they expect, they even expect mockery, but one they understand, they other unseats them. Comedy is the antidote for these people.

    Louis

  242. 242
    Jadehawk

    If they’ve already been marginalized

    assumption of facts not in evidence.

  243. 243
    Louis

    rpjohnston, #240,

    If they’ve already been marginalized…

    They haven’t been. Homophobia and homophobic language (“That’s so GAY” to name but one example) are positively entrenched in both US and UK society. Highlighting a few tweets is hardly counterproductive because the whole reason those tweets exist in the volumes and venom they do is precisely because of the pervasiveness of homophobia. The tweets are only significant insofar as they are mere examples used to highlight the greater problem. A problem that is marginalised by attempting to claim those tweets (and other incidents of homophobia) are isolated incidents and thus unworthy of comment.

    The pattern that those tweets are part of is the problem, not merely the tweets themselves. A fact one would have to be deliberately obtuse not to have realised by now.

    If a man pats his wife on the bottom a little over hard one day and he dismisses her objection with “hey, I just misjudged my arse-pat”, it hardly excuses him decades of spousal battery (or even that arse-pat). You’re focusing on these tweets as if they were that over zealous arse-pat and saying “hey, he only over did it a little, you can’t be sure he meant to slap her arse so hard it hurt. Just go easy on the guy, it’s not that big a deal.” and ignoring the fact that this husband has sent his wife to accident and emergency once a month for twenty years. The pattern matters.

    Louis

  244. 244
    Pteryxx

    If they’ve already been marginalized then don’t yank them back into sight.

    The viewpoints haven’t been marginalized. Hating women and gay folks isn’t even under the radar yet; have you even seen the legislation and public discussion thereof? Besides, if these viewpoints are so marginal then why are you okay with calling out haters who happen to have a big audience? All those Rush Limbaugh fans don’t have twitter accounts of their own?

    The individual twits haven’t been marginalized either. The random drops in the ocean who ARE gay, THEY’RE being marginalized by outspoken random bigotry. They shouldn’t need to gather a big enough audience to have their concerns addressed, either.

  245. 245
    rpjohnston

    Louis @ 231:

    4) Social engagement. Don’t let that idle remark from a co-worker or relative pass without comment. Confront the person, using a variety of appropriate tactics as the situation demands. Do not fail to confront them. If this can be done with tact and maturity, all the better.

    Aye, I especially like this. This may be one of the simplest things but also one of the most unavoidable – even for those who regrettably don’t care enough to donate or volunteer. It would be great if everyone could take more proactive approaches, and it should be encouraged to the fullest extent but I think it’s a very attainable goal to reliably confront these situations.

    5 and 6 are good too. 6 is pretty vague and is basically a catch-all that reiterates 4, but I get the point.

    My question was specifically about “what are you going to do about 100 asshole tweeters?”, but thanks for the general suggestions too. (In response to my own question, then, may I suggest people go to that hashtag and tweet LGBT/diversity/etc friendly tweets, and show the strength of the positive environment, if that’s not already being done?)

  246. 246
    Louis

    John Morales, #239,

    Louis, cute, but your allegory only addresses why intent doesn’t matter to outcomes.

    (I note that courts of law do care about intent no less than regular people do when assigning blameworthiness)

    Cute? Why thank you I’ve been working out.

    My allegory was only intended to address why intent doesn’t matter to outcomes. THAT is the problem that gathius et al. have been having, in part. It doesn’t matter that these tweets have been written by kids, adults, genuine frothing homophobes, ignorant sub-intellectual pissants or space aliens from Betelgeuse. The effect, the chilling culture, the contribution to a culture in which such expressions of homophobia is tolerable is the same.

    So even if some numbskull was sat at his/her PC trolling for yucks, his/her intent is invisible. Tweet number 1 could be from a genuine homophobe, tweet number 2 could be from a troll, they are indistinguishable in effect.

    Don’t believe me? Well I haven’t yet worn my boots out. Come over to my lawn, let’s see if the principle holds! ;-)

    Assigning blame is different from determining outcome, but there is one sense in which they share properties here. One outcome of these tweets is to make a non-zero contribution to a pre-existing culture of homophobia. Regardless of whether or not one tweeter intended to do that, that is a definite outcome of each tweet. Therefore to that extent alone each tweeter can be said to be to “blame” for that amount of contribution. That’s the minimum amount of blame that can be assigned to each tweeter. Someone intending to have that outcome, someone who has behaved in that manner for a sustained period can be said to have a greater share of the “blame” for contributing to the culture of homophobia, but determining that requires a much greater degree of information than we have from those tweets.

    Even then, “blame” really is another red herring. The point is not merely to condemn the person, although if that’s what gets you your jollies go to it, but to condemn the behaviour. To get the person tweeting these things to think “hey, perhaps this behaviour is not acceptable”. You don’t achieve that through blanket condemnation of them as a person, the mere assignment of blame, you achieve it through pushing back against the behaviour, illustrating that regardless of their intent, regardless of whether they are a “good person” or not, their behaviour has this consequence at minimum. It’s about raising consciousness more than it is about mere judgmental condemnation for the sake of bolstering one ideology or group at the expense of another (which is largely where the blame game gets people).

    Louis

  247. 247
    cyberCMDR

    Obviously all these people are related the Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Unfortunately, these not dummies. Well, actually they are, but nobody is putting words in their mouths. Actually, their churches probably put these words in their minds, but….

  248. 248
    rpjohnston

    Louis @ 243:

    Homophobia and homophobic language (“That’s so GAY” to name but one example) are positively entrenched in both US and UK society.

    Pteryxx @ 244:

    Hating women and gay folks isn’t even under the radar yet; have you even seen the legislation and public discussion thereof?

    Obviously. But I wasn’t talking about the larger culture at that moment, but rather that specific facet. PZ has a policy of not lending a platform through debates to wackaloons, right? I see it as a similar situation; in this case, lending a bunch of bigots that would have otherwise been unnoticed a platform is counterproductive. Again, I don’t actually know the situation, so if somebody could get some actual numbers – how many total tweets were in those 24 hours, or however there are now, it would help me judge – though I won’t hold my breath, since your arguments are that that judgment is irrelevant, as I understand it.

    Awareness is the most powerful tool at our disposal but I would still caution that we not inadvertently use it to increase bigots’ awareness. Arguing has its place, “hearts-and minds” has its place, and pointed disdain & marginalization has its place too.

  249. 249
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Louis, you make me feel like Huck Finn when he got others to paint the fence.

    (Nice, nice response!)

  250. 250
    A. R

    John Morales: eh, wasn’t that Tom Sawyer? (I’m not up on classical American literature, since it’s been a few years since I’ve taken a literature class)

  251. 251
    Louis

    rpjohnston, #248,

    PZ mentioning something as an example of the homophobia rife in our cultures =/= giving those people who express that homophobia a platform in the manner that Lipstadt (for example) refuses to do for Holocaust deniers. You’ve become confused.

    Take the Lipstadt example. Deborah Lipstadt has written several books, been to court and publicly highlighted and refuted the counter-factual claims of the Holocaust deniers, but she won’t climb onto a stage and engage in a public, oral debate with someone like David Irving. Why? What’s the difference?

    David Irving hasn’t earned the right to sit on a stage with Deborah Lipstadt as an equally prepared profession possessed of well evidenced facts. His claims are refuted, his “scholarship” is demonstrably shoddy, and the venue (and oral debate) is not a platform for serious scholarship but rhetorical trickery. It’s a platform that artificially elevates David Irving and his claims, and artificially devalues well established, fact based history and a professional person who has a scholarly command of such history. The context matters.

    When Deborah Lipstadt has highlighted Holocuast deniers’ claims and eviscerated them in public, she has done so in formats suited to that process. Formats better aimed at scholarship, facts and objectivity as opposed to rhetoric, slipshod reasoning, Gish Gallops, and demagoguery. She has done so because these claims needed to be counter in as factual and careful a manner as possible. She hasn’t had to lend her credibility, and the credibility of careful scholarship and accurate history, to a demonstrated charlatan and spurious ideas to do so.

    One thing Lipstadt has definitely not done is brush the claims of Holocaust deniers under the carpet, she has cleverly picked the ground on which she has engaged them, and chosen ground appropriate to the task. Lipstadt is not pretending that Holocaust deniers don’t exist. Nor is she pretending that a specific incidence of Holocaust denial is unworthy of comment.

    The twitter situation is not similar in the manner you claim it is. These bigots would not have gone “unnoticed”, they’ve been noticed for starters. They are using a medium which has global reach at the flick of a switch. They are not presenting an argument like a creationist or a Holocaust denier, they are not making factual claims, they are simply repeating bigoted rhetoric as if it were socially acceptable to do so, regardless of the sincerity of the bigotry they themselves hold. Trolling or not, the effect is the same: chilling culture etc.

    Highlighting the tweets as an example of cultural homophobia does not give them or their tweeters undue prominence (like Lipstadt orally debating Irving would grant Irving), they are largely anonymous people at a remove from PZ. What it does is give them DUE prominence, i.e. it addresses them in an appropriate manner. Ignoring unpleasant bigotry does nothing to stop it. Bigots don’t go away because they are not challenged, the tale of history is pretty damned clear on that!

    Someone like PZ posting them here, and having us bunch of monkeys howl away at them, is entirely appropriate. It’s an internet response to an internet example of a larger phenomenon. It’s not setting the tweeters up on a stage and saying to them “so, tell me about why gays should be killed in the womb and why that’s a really good idea before I give this other person the chance to say the opposite”. It’s not PZ setting up a debate about the validity of homophobic claims. It’s a group awareness of a phenomenon that affects the group and can be discussed by the group. It’s not artificially selecting one (or a few) people from the group and presenting their claims as worthy of debate.

    You’ve mixed up the positions. Why are you intent on doubling down?

    Louis

  252. 252
    Louis

    John Morales, #249,

    [meta]

    Louis, you make me feel like Huck Finn when he got others to paint the fence.

    (Nice, nice response!)

    Oh! Sauce! I’ll take that as a condiment.

    But wait….like Tom Sawyer you have tricked me into doing your work for you? Or made me realise that a thing is only valuable because it is hard to get?

    Oh it’s all so involved! I’ shall go and apply a damp compress to my fevered…

    …Yes, Vicar? Two lumps please.

    Louis

  253. 253
    John Morales

    [meta]

    A. R, Louis: Argh!

    I stand corrected! :|

  254. 254
    Louis

    John Morales, #253,

    [meta]

    A. R, Louis: Argh!

    I stand corrected! :|

    Be careful, man. You might sprain something.

    Louis

  255. 255
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Louis:

    I take a run up and apply my steel toe-capped UK size 13 boot to your gentleman vegetables

    “Gentleman vegetables.”

    /dies

    SGBM:

    Tell them we know Fred is a racist and he’s going to be remembered as a deceiver who took black clients’ money and then called them racial slurs when they left his office.

    And a monstrous excuse for a father.

    rpjohnston:

    And I don’t really care if joking with my jewish friends about their “jew gold” gets me labeled a nazi here.

    Nobody here gives a shit about private jokes between you and people who know you well and — as far as you know, at least — don’t mind your sense of humor. When your audience includes people who don’t meet both criteria, you don’t get the same leeway.

    …bringing a few otherwise near-invisible drops in an ocean to wide attention is counterproductive.

    It’s not the individuals themselves we are bringing to wider attention — as was just explained, they already have that attention — but their behavior in the context of an oppressive society.

  256. 256
    rpjohnston

    Louis @ 251:

    These bigots would not have gone “unnoticed”, they’ve been noticed for starters.

    Well, they’ve certainly been noticed at least by whoever watched the stream for 24 hours, or who trolled through 24 hours of tweets. I think they’ve been noticed by a lot more people since being brought to prominence – including people who agree with them.

    My point about PZ wasn’t about the debate format, but rather of giving prominence to something that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. My belief, again, is that 100 tweets drowned in a sea of thousands, by that context alone, demonstrates to everyone the marginalization of that viewpoint; it shows how alone they are. (If those numbers are anywhere near correct, anyway). Highlighting them points a big neon finger and screams “hey these guys are still here and a big In Thing”. As opposed to say, Rush Limbaugh, who’s was already widely known.

    At any rate, there’s no reason the story should have to end here. Now that they’re prominent, flood the tag with diversity-positive tweets, and then beat that drum over the internet, and demonstrate rather than bigotry’s power, the far more overwhelming support for LGBT and diversity.

  257. 257
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    My point about PZ wasn’t about the debate format, but rather of giving prominence to something that would otherwise have gone unnoticed

    Fuckwitted idjit, what makes you think (and you don’t think), that it would go unnoticed? It never does. Any unrefuted bullshit, including what you spew, is tacit acceptance of the bullshit. You need to rethink your position…but I’m not very hopeful. You don’t understand much, including evidence.

  258. 258
    Pteryxx

    rpjohnston: other folks beat me to most of it, but still.

    I don’t think quoting a bunch of tweets lends any legitimacy to the originators. They’re just indicative of a trend, and quoting them raises awareness of that trend. Remember #mencallmethings and how many people said they never realized just how widespread misogynistic harassment was until they saw it collected?

    (In fact, by quoting 100 tweets instead of say 5, the Storify link actually dilutes the attention given to the individual twits.)

    My point about PZ wasn’t about the debate format, but rather of giving prominence to something that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

    Know who notices them? Their friends and followers. If any of them are gay, or even just think the twit’s gone too far, they’re much less likely to call the person out directly than those of us who don’t have to live with them. Those people still get hurt, even if they’re the only other person who hears an offhand bigoted comment. If calling out random internet jerks might get back to one of these people and lend them strength, that’s reason enough to do it.

  259. 259
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Let me see if I understand correctly: These moronic clods are premeditating murder based on their future children falling in love with someone that doesn’t have their parent’s approval based on a particular pre-conception of how genitalia should match up?

    I guess we can be glad that people this fucking stupid are going to Darwin Award themselves out of existence before reproducing. For the remainder, we now have names and photos. Anyone actually committing filicide will have admitted to premeditation and be guilty of first degree murder. Any abuse, physical or mental, is also premeditated and should be a main consideration for any family services intervention required. Thank you, interwebs thingy!

  260. 260
    carlie

    So then let me get this straight – it became unacceptable for white people to call people niggers because… everyone ignored it when they said it? Because that’s how you “ignore them” people are saying it works.

    Me, I’m pretty sure it had more to do with a critical mass of society saying “What the fuck did you just say? The hell is wrong with you?”

  261. 261
    Anthony K

    Nobody here gives a shit about private jokes between you and people who know you well and—as far as you know, at least—don’t mind your sense of humor.

    All the Nazi gold in Switzerland says they’d probably appreciate it more if it consisted of jokes specific to them as individuals with distinct personalities, rather than the exact same lazy, tired, unoriginal jokes every non-Jew makes to their Jewish friends.

    You should probably switch it up once in awhile. Probably suggest they’re bad at sports, or ask them to do your accounting or something. Say you need a lawyer or a doctor, and ask if they can recommend a family member. Y’know, keep it fresh.

  262. 262
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Carlie @260: Exactly. We need Michael Richards to go on an onstage rant against gay kids. Things would turn around immeidately after the U-Tube video went viral.

  263. 263
    Anthony K

    Snarking aside, I’m glad you stuck around to further explain your position, rpjohnston.

  264. 264
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Carlie, #260 nailed it. Only those denying evidence will ignore that post…

  265. 265
    Louis

    rpjohnston, #251,

    Highlighting them points a big neon finger and screams “hey these guys are still here and a big In Thing”. As opposed to say, Rush Limbaugh, who’s was already widely known.

    No. You are assuming that these tweets (and as such any specific incidence of homophobia in any larger current of discourse) have gone widely unnoticed. Clearly they haven’t, twitter has an international reach for starters. You are assuming that someone had to pay special attention to a twitter feed to notice these things, no such assumption is necessary. One such tweet or one million is sufficient for PZ’s (and my) purposes.

    Why?

    Because these are being held up as an example of a pattern. I pointed this out back in #243. It’s almost impossible not to notice the Rush Limbaugh’s of this world (although here in the UK, it’s comparatively easy not to notice Rush!), but bigotry isn’t supplied by just the Rush Limbaughs. It’s supplied, fostered and encouraged by the overt and tacit support of utter nobodies. Even on twitter. The problem here is not that “some arsegobbler on twitter said something stoopid, quick, contact the Drama Llama, let’s make us some noise”, the point is to highlight the fact that on a hashtag for messages to people’s unborn foetuses a subset of those people deemed it either appropriate or sufficiently amusing to use violently homophobic comments to either elicit a reaction (trolls) or cause upset (homophobes) by denigrating homosexual people as worthy of being killed simply for the fact of being homosexual.

    THAT is an example of how easy, how acceptable homophobia is in this culture and THAT is why highlighting such comments is entirely appropriate.

    These tweeters aren’t positively highlighted, they’re not going on “This Morning with Richard and Judy”, they’re not getting book deals or even one single benefit from PZ discussing them or pointing his blog readers to them. This isn’t exactly a homophobia-friendly environment. What if one homophobe discovers a homphobic twitter stream? It’s not making them a homophobe, they already are! PZ is highlighting these things for pushback, for negative comment, for opposition.

    Think of a pile of sand. Imagine the shape it naturally has under the action of gravity. Keep slowing pouring sand onto the peak of that pile and the pile will shift and flow to maintain roughly the same shape (although not size, obviously), the same distribution in the absence of any other force. Now imagine that along the base of that pile of sand we draw an axis, zero bigotry on the left, maximum bigotry on the right. We want to shift that distribution towards the left hand side as much as is possible so we apply a wind pushing from right to left. Gravity still operates and sand is still slowing pouring in, but our wind is gradually shifting the distribution of that sand to the left hand side. The wind is a metaphor for both our interaction, for the wind must touch the sand i.e. interact with it, and the type of interaction, i.e. a leftward pushing one. Left alone the distribution of the pile never changes, apply a force, a wind, create some inequality in the forces applying and the distribution changes. Sure, there will be eddies and currents in the wind, the odd grain or twenty thousand of sand will slip rightward, but the overall movement of sand will be in the dominant direction of the wind given sufficient force.

    The situation is entirely analogous here. If we simply ignore these instances of bigotry, nothing changes. If we interact with the bigotry, if we push back against it, we may win a few hearts and minds, we may draw unwanted attention to a few things, but with sufficient push back we will alter the distribution of opinion, shift the Overton Window, in the direction of such expressions of bigotry being less acceptable socially.

    Replace the word “gay” or “homosexual” in those tweets with the word “black” if you doubt me. See how those tweets jar now. They crash against the mind far harder. Not because racism has been eradicated and we live in a colour free utopia, but because the Overton Window has shifted a little further with regards to racism than it has with homophobia. Tweets with the word “black” in them would be out of place on all but Stormfront’s twitter feed. Similar tweets with the word “gay” in them adorn ever schoolboy’s feed from here to Timbucktu unfortunately. THAT is what a lack of engagement has got us.

    Louis

  266. 266
    Louis

    Quoting me: “Left alone the distribution of the pile never changes”

    Nitpick: Actually this is not strictly true, but within the parameters of my analogy the imprecision is not harmful.

    Louis

  267. 267
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    My question was specifically about “what are you going to do about 100 asshole tweeters?”, but thanks for the general suggestions too.

    That’s an easy one. You lance them open and expose them to air like the festering infections that they are. Kinda like what happened. Because apparently, people still think that it’s totally okay to make those kind of comments (hence why they made them in the first place) and other people still think that no one really makes those kind of comments anymore. And letting them fester in obscurity is NOT how that gets fixed.

    Jesus fuck, what’s with all the people here telling folks who HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT ALL THE TIME what constitutes a “worthwhile effort” in, you know, making sure we get treated like human fucking beings? Clearly you know better than the gay person who consolidated that list about how gay people should deal with homophobic behavior.

    How about you don’t tell us how to fight our own god damn battles, or how “worthwhile” we should think that our lives and our health and our rights are?

    And if you think that those aren’t “real” comments, then you’re a fucking moron. Whether or not a few particular ones are insincered, people make those comments all the time and sincerely mean it, and they look absolutely indistinguishable from the comments on that list. I challenge anyone who says it’s “obviously” just a joke to go in there and point out which are “just jokes” and which are sincere. No clicking the usernames, that’s cheating; not everyone’s privy to people’s comment history, especially in meatspace. Oh, but if you do that, then there’s no way to tell, right?

    Yeah, fucking exactly.

  268. 268
    Louis

    Incidentally, to extend my “Pile O’ Windy Sand” analogy further, the tone trolls/accomodationists/sundry apologists are not disagreeing about the direction of the wind at all. That’s a red herring.

    Ohhhh they would like us to believe they merely disagree about the direction of the wind, but what they are actually saying is “Hey, the sand gets in my eyes when you try to blow the pile off those people”.

    Fuck it…I really am sleep deprived aren’t I?

    Louis

  269. 269
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Let me see if I understand correctly: These moronic clods are premeditating murder based on their future children falling in love with someone that doesn’t have their parent’s approval based on a particular pre-conception of how genitalia should match up?

    Yep. That’s it in a nutshell & what gave me the *facepalm* moment

    I guess we can be glad that people this fucking stupid are going to Darwin Award themselves out of existence before reproducing.

    Nah. Darwinian evolution isn’t that altruistic. Remember, they’ll be killing potential offspring, only if they defy the arbitrary gentialial pair matching. So it’s likely that they will remove from the gene pool the genes which may have lead to a more liberal/multisexual individual. Thus skewing the whole population towards their own evil hate filled position.

    @Nerd, Post #260 duly noted and agreed with ;-)

  270. 270
    Inaji

    Mak:

    How about you don’t tell us how to fight our own god damn battles, or how “worthwhile” we should think that our lives and our health and our rights are?

    Word. The self-righteousness of privilege has been stinking up this thread.

  271. 271
    rpjohnston

    Louis @ 265:

    Replace the word “gay” or “homosexual” in those tweets with the word “black” if you doubt me. See how those tweets jar now.

    I feel that you’re probably making assumptions about me that wouldn’t be borne out.

    You may be right about this case; without even data on the numbers of tweets I can’t say anything for certain.

    I still hold that, in some cases, letting bigoted voices be drowned out and ignored is an appropriate course of action. Not nearly as often as countering ingrained bigotry, of course, but if the community it’s in has already shunned it then calling attention to it there is unnecessary at best.

    In the larger context…you may be right. While I think it was counterproductive in the particular battle of *that twitter tag*, calling it out may be more productive in the broader war. Unfortunately it’s difficult to objectively analyze it – at least I have no data anyway – so my general view is to fight the battles where everybody is already looking, and avoid battles on ground that is already effectively held.

    And they may have been looking at that thread. I don’t know. If so, my argument is moot.

    tldr: I don’t know if calling it out was ultimately a good idea, I think there is merit to not deigning to give odious viewpoints attention in some contexts, and at this point, since the battle is here, to go ahead and fight it – drown out the bigots and trumpet it all over the internet.

  272. 272
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Fuck it…I really am sleep deprived aren’t I?

    Well, by my reckoning, it must be around 3am for you, and you are putting some serious energy into those comments, so yes it is a possibility. Doesn’t diminish the quality of your comments though. ;-)

  273. 273
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    so my general view is to fight the battles where everybody is already looking, and avoid battles on ground that is already effectively held

    The price of freedom is constant vigilance. Even if we assumed that the battle for gay equality was won, then it is still incumbent on us to continue to stomp on homophobia* whenever we see it. Fail to do so and the petty tyrants are emboldened.

    *And all the other -phobias and miso-’s & -ve-ists

  274. 274
    Aquaria

    For all our apologists of this nonsense:

    Letter from a Birmingham Jail

    An excerpt that is a stinging indictment of you idiotic scumbags who think that “ignoring’ the problem will make it go away:

    More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

    Doing nothing changes nothing.

  275. 275
    DLC

    Yes, the internet is crammed full of #fuckingshitheads.
    I don’t use twitter, reddit, stumbleon or wtfe, but that doesn’t mean I excuse or approve of that sort of behavior.

  276. 276
    Louis

    rpjohnston, #271,

    Replace the word “gay” or “homosexual” in those tweets with the word “black” if you doubt me. See how those tweets jar now.

    I feel that you’re probably making assumptions about me that wouldn’t be borne out.

    {Double take}

    {Spits drink out}

    Sorry….are you saying that either the overtly racist tweets that change would turn these homophobic tweets into would not be more obviously shocking and bigoted? In which case have you been living under a rock?

    Or are you saying that you equally wouldn’t object to those racist substituted tweets? In which case, please take a rotting porcupine for anal insertion at the door!

    I seriously doubt it’s the second one.

    In the majority of the cultures represented here and under discussion, homophobia is widely more socially acceptable in general than is racism. You or I (hopefully) might make no distinction between types of bigotry in terms of their ability to shock or appall, but the whole point of PZ highlighting these tweets (and the discussion of them) is because that’s the case. The tweets are not shocking enough to enough people. The racist equivalent is more shocking to more people.

    I’m beginning to think your obtuseness here is more than merely deliberate.

    Louis

  277. 277
    Louis

    Last thing before I really go this time.

    1) Catnip67, #273, nails it with: “The price of freedom is constant vigilance”.

    2) Aquaria, #275 nails it also with “Doing nothing changes nothing” and gets double love from me for the MLK “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” quote. Which brings me to:

    3) I cannot for the life of me remember who keeps posting another great quote from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” here, but this sums the tone trolls and accomodationists up for me:

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    Bolding mine.

    There are far more people of “good will” out there than not. Or at least people who think they are of “good will”. It’s simply stunning how many will stand by and watch tragedy and injustice unfold.

    I should know. I’m one of them. It’s a fucking hard habit to correct.

    Louis

  278. 278
    Aquaria

    I’m the one who usually posts that bit, Louis. I decided to go with something a little different this time.

  279. 279
    Inaji

    Louis:

    In the majority of the cultures represented here and under discussion, homophobia is widely more socially acceptable in general than is racism.

    Homophobia* is not only more socially accepted, it’s often actively encouraged and in many cases, religious belief is used as justification for doing so.

    *I’m not altogether sanguine about using homophobia, as it’s often not fear which fuels an attitude, it’s plain old hate. A bigot by any other name is still a bigot.

  280. 280
    Inaji

    Louis:

    the presence of justice

    Whenever justice is mentioned, I always go to Discworld and DEATH saying “There is no Justice. There’s Just Us.” That’s very apt when it comes to pushback – it’s up to us to refuse to remain silent and give tacit assent to bigotry in all its forms.

  281. 281
    rpjohnston

    @ Louis:

    I wouldn’t find overtly racist tweets more shocking than overtly homophobic ones, because I revile them both. The assumption you’re making is that I would of course swoon at a whiff of racism but that I’m blase about homophobia, and as a straight male would have no clue about it (though I am actually bisexual).

    I am aware that homophobia is more widely accepted than racism; that’s why you made the comparison, making assumptions about my attitudes.

    As for obtuseness, to some extent. I did originally start out trolling after all. I’ve not said a few things, such as the fact that I’m bisexual, since it wasn’t relevant to my argument, “you need to listen to me because I totally get the sexuality oppression thing!” is stupid, and because I’m a random idiot on the internet and I could be lying for all you know.

  282. 282
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    “you need to listen to me because I totally get the sexuality oppression thing!” is stupid, and because I’m a random idiot on the internet and I could be lying for all you know.

    And we would not have given any more or less credence to your arguments anyway. We argue the counter point because we don’t agree with your contention, irrespective of your sexual orientation, or for that matter my, or Louis’ sexual orientation, skin colour, or indeed what sexual equipment we are carrying around

  283. 283
    rpjohnston

    @ Catnip which is why I didn’t bother stating it (till it became relevant to explaining myself).

  284. 284
    Inaji

    because I’m a random idiot on the internet and I could be lying for all you know.

    Doesn’t matter one bit. Pushback and social change doesn’t stop because you’re an idiot, lying or not.

  285. 285
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Anyone remember when PZ posted about Christians making EIGHT THOUSAND death threats on Facebook over that stupid 9/11 cross thing? Strange, there seems to be a pretty big lack of comments saying that it’s just trolls and we shouldn’t give them any attention.

    I guess that was a more worthwhile thing to illuminate?

    Caine:

    Homophobia* is not only more socially accepted, it’s often actively encouraged and in many cases, religious belief is used as justification for doing so.

    It wasn’t too long ago that both of those qualities widely applied to racism, too. It still does now, but it’s thanks to people, you know, telling people to cut it out that it’s not nearly so widespread and more people don’t want to be seen as racists. “It’s just a joke!” with regards to racism doesn’t cut it quite as much as it used to.

    HMM FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS.

  286. 286
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    rpjohnson:

    (till it became relevant to explaining myself).

    I was referring to Wes and other people who do think that their straight privilege means they can dictate to LGBT people what is or is not worthwhile to our cause. If that doesn’t apply to you, then it doesn’t fucking apply to you.

    You’re still wrong all over, though.

  287. 287
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @rpjohnston

    It’s still irrelevant

  288. 288
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Also, Caine, hello again. c:

    I meant to leave Josh a dozen dozens of roses and a giant plate of cookies for that awesomeness upthread, but I guess I’ll have to stash ‘em someplace where he can find them when he comes online again.

  289. 289
    Inaji

    Also, Caine, hello again. c:

    Hullo, Mak. It’s good to see you here again. :)

  290. 290
    Ingdigo Jump

    As for obtuseness, to some extent. I did originally start out trolling after all.

    So you felt that this was funny enough to troll about but still want us to believe that you care about the issue?

    I guess it’s that new hipster thing where people caring about stuff is funny. If only they were enlightened enough to not give a shit and see idealistic people as sources of mirth.

  291. 291
    Jadehawk

    so rpjohnston’s argument is that one should not ever discuss instances of bigotry in bigotry-free(-ish) spaces because that gives the bigots more exposure?

    how incoherent. how is one supposed inform and rally the troops, if the only places one is allowed to discuss bigotry are the ones in which it is rampant?

  292. 292
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    and because I’m a random idiot on the internet

    Yes.

  293. 293
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Jadehawk:

    We’re not supposed to discuss his argument, because he was totally trolling. And discussing bullshit trolls say doesn’t accomplish anything. Ever. Because coming from a troll magically makes it all meaningless and has no effect whatsoever except pissing off the oversensitive people who LOL totally fell for it.

    All that comes of it is trolls get a laugh, which negates everything and makes us automatically lose, which is the worst thing ever. And since getting angry apparently makes people laugh too (“Several commenters here have provided enough humor that I actually felt moved to make an account.”) then I guess we’re not supposed to get angry about people publicly announcing their desire to kill gay children, either.

    Clearly, the best way to deal with it is to let trolls control the discussion. They get to be the only one that actually gets to say anything on the matter. Well, them and the bigots who are pretty much indistinguishable from them.

    This is how we are supposed to stop bigotry.

    Obviously.

  294. 294
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Mak, like, duh. What are you, like, stupid Becky? Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast? Totes of course it totally makes us stupid to respond to trolls. Like, god and stuff!

  295. 295
    Inaji

    The one thing you can always count on, when it comes to idiots like rpjohnston, is their over-inflated sense of importance. Never occurs to them that it’s not all about them.

  296. 296
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, and thanks for the flowers, Mak. That was sweet.

  297. 297
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Never occurs to them that it’s not all about them.

    Ain’t that the goddamn truth? So impossibly hard for them to put themselves into the viewpoint of another person for even five seconds.

  298. 298
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Ohai Josh! ♥ You found your stash! Thank you for that awesomeness up there. You’re right, we need MORE yelling, not less, and especially to our allies. If they’re really our allies, they’ll understand.

  299. 299
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh, and one happy thing (and I need a happy thing): my Aladdin lamp is keeping my living room, me, and kittehs toasty warm on this last of winter nights.

  300. 300
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    That thing is handsome as hell. What a spiff shade of blue. I’m kind of shocked at how much light it’s giving off, too, even with the cover on it. And it warms the room up, too?

  301. 301
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Mak:

    That thing is handsome as hell. What a spiff shade of blue. I’m kind of shocked at how much light it’s giving off, too, even with the cover on it. And it warms the room up, too?

    They’re the freakin’ coolest things evah (that’s not my video, btw, just an illustration). You know Coleman lanterns with their little white mesh bags? That’s how these work, except it’s a kerosene table lamp with a round wick that burns efficiently (blue flame) to light up the mantle. I’ve got an antique one going right now and it puts out as much light as about a 50 watt incandescent bulb. And yeah, they pump out a lot of heat. Great in the winter, not so hot in the summer. But yes, they’re gorgeous. I’ve given in to being that eccentric fag who lights his house with kerosene lamps. Fuck it. They look bloody awesome mounted on wrought-iron brackets on the walls of my ‘lil 1870 house.

  302. 302
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Hnnngh man, I bet! That’s so cool. Kinda jealous, not gonna lie.

    I was supposed to buy some little camping lantern when I had my own place, but it ended up not happening. I had some little hurricane lamps that somehow ended up in my possession after my dad moved out. But they’re nothing on that thing. That shade really makes it.

  303. 303
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Josh

    (that’s not my video, btw, just an illustration)

    Awww, there I was waving at my screen, saying “Hi Josh, Hi Josh”. (The house does look like what I imagine your “hobbithouse” to look like though. Amiright?)

  304. 304
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Mak:

    1. It was getting caught without any backup power during Hurricane Irene that prompted me to en-19th-century-lampify the house. I had jack-shit nothing in the way of power or food supplies. Of course, that’s a great excuse to indulge my homosexical pyromania about oil lamps.

    2. Kerosene lamps are very practical in an emergency, especially the Aladdins. They throw a lot of light, and a lot of heat, and if you rig them up right with wire hangers or old trivets you can cook on them.

    3. I love mechanical contraptions; the Aladdins appeal to me the way my 1966 Plymouth does — it’s fine-tuning carburetion but with lamps instead of internal combustion. I like fucking around with precision mechanical devices.

    Theo:

    The house does look like what I imagine your “hobbithouse” to look like though. Amiright?)

    Kinda, yeah, but way more charming. My house looks like this except without the white folks and with a small addition in the back what so I can haz a kitchen.

  305. 305
    Dabu

    Maundering into this discussion at a very late stage.

    Our rogues’ gallery imprinted their ghastly musings in the Twittosphere, oblivious, uncaring or defiant towards the possibility of any consequences that might come their way. That’s important. Whether their threats against hypothetical gay fetuses were for malice or lulz, they didn’t fear the consequences of their bigoted tweets enough to decide against tweeting them.

    That’s either promising or worrying. If the zeitgeist is turning against anti-gay attitudes, this could be one desperate last expostulation; an attempt by brains comfortable with regarding gays in at least some degree of contempt to get one last fix. But my optimism gets rewarded rarely enough for me to be aware it could be a sign of a resurgence in homophobia. The howling, atavistic hordes, emboldened by the support all around them, out to persecute those outside their vanishingly narrow spectrum of what’s acceptable. Say it ain’t so!

    Therefore, I wholeheartedly support those who endorse vigorously striking back against these comments. Those people need to know that in the ecology of ideas, all the various forms of bigotry are prey species which have fled into an evolutionary cul-de-sac. We’re onto their last trick, that of trying to make us feel like heels for speaking out against their necrotic utterances. It might not always be possible to give the bigots better attitudes, but they can be taught that promoting such views will bring far more ridicule and opprobrium, not to mention social and financial consequences, than they will be prepared to bear.

  306. 306
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Josh

    My house looks like this except without the white folks and with a small addition in the back what so I can haz a kitchen.

    That looks like the original Levittown tract housing units from just after WW2. You really are into your classics :)

    (We studied that stuff in Town Planning at university in Holland. Your house is famous! (The grand daddy of urban sprawl … perhaps I should say: infamous)

  307. 307
    rpjohnston

    @ 295 & 297

    lol

    Anyway, my belief is that the humanism and atheism movements shouldn’t JUST be a NEGATIVE statement of what we AREN’T, but a POSITIVE statement of what we ARE. So my opinion is that the statement “we are threatened by 100 dumbass twitter trolls!” isn’t nearly as effective as “See our mighty thousands of tweets and hear us roar!” So my suggestion is to counter the trolls with our own statement and show how much stronger we are. And if that’s already being done, great.

    Or, yknow, we could just show everyone just what size of opponents are appropriate for us. Spread the word everywhere – the atheists and humanists are so strong, they can take on 100 twits at once!

    Anyway, I started posting seriously due to the one guy who actually looked at what I was saying, and he’s gone for now. I don’t feel like trolling the rest (and I’m busy), so I’m gonna leave unless something worth posting about comes up. Cyall.

  308. 308
    chigau (違う)

    Anyway, why is it necessary that one-thread-wonders tell us that they are leaving?

  309. 309
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Anyway, why is it necessary that one-thread-wonders tell us that they are leaving?

    So that you finally hear one sensible thing from them?

  310. 310
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Anyway, why is it necessary that one-thread-wonders tell us that they are leaving?

    Because they are so egotistical and delusional, that they think the world, and us, hang on their every word. Including their parting insults and gratuitious advice. Which will go unread, as it is worthless and anti-evidential.

  311. 311
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Josh,

    Thanks for the link to the vid. Posted on FB to start the pressure. I’ll convince my wife we need one of these.

    Because we do. We really, really need one of these.

  312. 312
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    chigau:

    Anyway, why is it necessary that one-thread-wonders tell us that they are leaving?

    Because that’s the only way we’ll realize they’re gone.

  313. 313
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons.

    What’s next? Maybe a law that give employers the power to request that employees receiving a salary provide proof they’re not spending it on alcohol or tobacco? Or to request receipts to prove that they’re tithing at least 10% of it?

  314. 314
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Erulóra Maikalambe:

    What’s next? Maybe a law that give employers the power to request that employees receiving a salary provide proof they’re not spending it on alcohol or tobacco? Or to request receipts to prove that they’re tithing at least 10% of it?

    Saaaay. That’s a good idea. You want to come work for a state government? Arizona’s looking for idea people like you.

  315. 315
    Pteryxx

    For y’all’s information, Christina over at JT’s blog actually HAS been tweeting right back at the bigots on #tomyunbornchild. Not from the list of 100, either – she’s doing it directly by following the hashtag.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd/2012/03/15/tomyunbornchild-your-parents-are-bigots/

  316. 316
    Anthony K

    So my opinion is that the statement “we are threatened by 100 dumbass twitter trolls!” isn’t nearly as effective as “See our mighty thousands of tweets and hear us roar!”

    What the fuck do you think happened here? The message wasn’t “we are threatened by 100 dumbass twitter trolls!”, it was “we publicly highlighted a sample of 100 dumbass twitter trolls because this homophobic shit is still way too accepted, but we’re watching and we’re not going to let the trolls hide behind the cover of darkness and silence. There are more of us, our voices are louder, and THE TROLLS ARE NO LONGER SAFE!”

    Fuck, ol’ Uncle Dave doesn’t stop making slurs about the cashier at the Texaco because you marched in a Pride Parade one county over. Ol’ Uncle Dave stops making slurs about the cashier at the Texaco because you say, “Hey, Uncle Dave. Yeah, you. That shit ain’t cool, so knock it the fuck off.”

  317. 317
    Louis

    You know there comes a time when one reads, or in this case re-reads, some of the comments one’s interlocutor makes and arrives at the realisation that they either didn’t read anything one wrote, or didn’t comprehend it, or simply cannot form a coherent argument. It’s enough to move one to sarcasm.

    I can only think I missed that fact last night because I was beyond knackered. Now I’ve had some coffee and done a bundle of work I feel more “WTF I WASTED ELECTRONS ON THAT!?”.

    That and “Brownian nails it as usual”.

    Louis

  318. 318
    WharGarbl

    @Brownian
    #316

    What the fuck do you think happened here? The message wasn’t “we are threatened by 100 dumbass twitter trolls!”, it was “we publicly highlighted a sample of 100 dumbass twitter trolls because this homophobic shit is still way too accepted, but we’re watching and we’re not going to let the trolls hide behind the cover of darkness and silence. There are more of us, our voices are louder, and THE TROLLS ARE NO LONGER SAFE!”

    The part that worries me is that the bolded part may not be true (in terms of online presence).

  319. 319
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    There are more of us, our voices are louder, and THE TROLLS ARE NO LONGER SAFE!”

    The part that worries me is that the bolded part may not be true (in terms of online presence).

    I have to agree with FilthyHuman on this one. Though there may be, and probably are, more progressives in the US population, the online presence of those for whom the current anti-tax, anti-regulation-for-business, pro-regulation-of-vaginas, and screw-the-poor-’cause-it’s-their-fault is much more prevalent. Likewise, those who view women as human beings, while in the majority in meatspace, tend to be under represented in both the online and voting community. Authoritarian fanatacism tends to have a multiplyer effect in non-meatspace communities — voting, radio, and the internet.

  320. 320
    Pteryxx

    re “There are more of us, our voices are louder…”

    It’s not necessary to be in the majority for expression of dissent or support to work. Adults who were bullied as kids, for instance, often recall one person who listened to them and gave them hope when nobody else would. There’s also some evidence that having just one dissenting voice in a discussion enables the participants to consider more options in their decisionmaking than they do when nobody speaks up, whether or not they agree with the dissenter. Sure, the actual bigots tend to double down when challenged, and they’ll make examples of lone voices who speak up, but the audience often remembers, especially bystanders who need to know they aren’t alone.

  321. 321
    Anthony K

    The part that worries me is that the bolded part may not be true (in terms of online presence).

    I’m not sure exactly what the conversion is, but I count as at least two regular people in terms of loudity. I was born to shout down trolls. (Not today, though. I’m a bit hoarse from boozy SHOUT ALL THE THINGS! last night.)

    But, you’re probably right in terms of numbers. But just when I was down, Pteryxx pops in to show why the greater troll numbers aren’t necessarily the disadvantage we might think.

  322. 322
    Anthony K

    Sure, the actual bigots tend to double down when challenged, and they’ll make examples of lone voices who speak up, but the audience often remembers, especially bystanders who need to know they aren’t alone.

    Consider how many think that they’re being ‘edgy’ or ‘brave’ for making slurs, even though such low-hanging fruit clearly panders to the majority.

    All it takes is a few dissenters to show that the bigots’ majority isn’t 100%, and the bigots start huffing and puffing and praising themselves for their courage in the face of an underwhelming minority.

  323. 323
    David Marjanović

    Contrary to popular opinion, human reproduction is not a sure-fire cure for parental assholism.

    That’s why I got angry when, a few years ago, a high functionary in Austria’s Social Democratic Party said “I’m sure all parents want the best for their children” in a TV discussion. Plenty of parents want what they believe is the best for their children but actually isn’t; and some parents are, in fact, evil.

    Poor gathius. He left without ever realising WE WILL SHOUT YOU DOWN is a strategy, and can be a very successful one at that.

    The best photo is this one.

    not pushing back gives the impression of tacit consent to anyone seeing this, while pushing back can change the social climate enoguh to cause shunning of these trollish attitudes to the point where the trolls will remove themselves from that social space. because trolls aren’t brave; they cannot actually handle social backlash; they troll because they think they have people at their back, supporting them and agreeing with their actions.

    That’s why, when they’re cornered and come to realize they maybe don’t have people backing them, some of them pretend this is the case anyway: “the lurkers support me in e-mail”.

    P.S. If someone object that my intent was clearly to cause harm to my interlocutor’s plums and not, in fact, determine the truth of a proposition or claim…well…duh. I still managed both! ;-)

    + 1

    So then let me get this straight – it became unacceptable for white people to call people niggers because… everyone ignored it when they said it? Because that’s how you “ignore them” people are saying it works.

    Me, I’m pretty sure it had more to do with a critical mass of society saying “What the fuck did you just say? The hell is wrong with you?”

    QFT! QFT! QFFT!

    All it takes is a few dissenters to show that the bigots’ majority isn’t 100%, and the bigots start huffing and puffing and praising themselves for their courage in the face of an underwhelming minority.

    …which makes them eminently mockable.

  324. 324
    Pteryxx

    I figure since bigots who bigot in public tend to also have inflated egos, they’re going to huff and puff and praise themselves regardless. Also persecution complexes, strawfighting etc.

    While I was talking about dissenters who are in the minority, or even solo, still being effective on the interpersonal level, for all I know it might work similarly in the large scale. Most people seem to be decent sorts who will listen to the stories of someone different from themselves and quietly shift their assumptions. I keep thinking of polls showing majority support for gay marriage in the US – obviously half the country’s population isn’t gay or activist themselves. A big minority, say 30-40%, have simply heard enough and decided this group of people should be treated fairly. The haters have to work really hard to keep ordinary people ignorant and brainwashed enough to support their hatred, even assuming humans’ natural distrust of the Other.

    Incidentally, Natalie just posted relevantly: Why I Bother

  325. 325
    David Marjanović

    relevant and excellent, but long(pdf)

    Read it (and fixed the link). It’s much shorter than this thread. :-) It’s awesome and should be required reading in lots of places.

    And it’s scary. The concepts it presents aren’t alien to me, but the extent… I was bullied for years and only ever encountered very mild versions of any of those.

  326. 326
    Inaji

    David:

    And it’s scary. The concepts it presents aren’t alien to me, but the extent… I was bullied for years and only ever encountered very mild versions of any of those.

    That’s because you aren’t a red-blooded ‘merican, man! The toxic masculinity culture is alive and well here.

  327. 327
    Louis

    Now, I think we’ve had enough fun. 325 comments about homophobia.*

    “Pro Life Culture” is clearly a new yoghurt based drink for women.** We should discuss that.

    Louis

    * Caine, #279, You’re right. That’s a good objection and I only use the term because I am sufficiently ignorant not to know a better. I am happy to defer to the experts on the correct terminology.

    ** Because, well, women, you’re a bit shit aren’t you really?

  328. 328
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Anyway, why is it necessary that one-thread-wonders tell us that they are leaving?

    They want to have the last word. That’s just about impossible here, because there will always be someone left at the computer calling their fetid comments out. By announcing that they are leaving, they attempt (in their mind) to take that last word, by effectively saying “….so there, and I’m not going to hear anything you might say now, so its as if you didn’t say it, and I therefore win, because I get the last word.” I see similar behaviour in my primary school aged children.

    6 hours since the last comment. Cool! does that mean I get the last word & therefore win? ;-) (At least until Louis notices & comes back to trump me)

  329. 329
    Anri

    6 hours since the last comment. Cool! does that mean I get the last word & therefore win? ;-) (At least until Louis notices & comes back to trump me)

    Yes, you get to have the last word!

    …oh goddammit.

  330. 330
    WharGarbl

    Texas loses Medicaid funding in effort to spite Planned Parenthood.

    OH MOTHERFUCKER!

    Sorry poor women, looks like your life ain’t worth shit.

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