Episode CCCX: Ravnen »« Why I am an atheist – Ange

John Hembling, aka JohntheOther, slimy psycho MRA

Meet JohntheOther. He’s very concerned about the atheist movement — he wonders very seriously whether perhaps we’re vulnerable, because we lack a codified dogma, to being parasitized by psychopaths and sociopaths. He preaches at great length here about his deep concerns and his sincere worries before getting down to the details of a specific incident and dangerous individual that troubles him greatly: the sociopathic behavior of Rebecca Watson at Skepticon a few years ago.

What is it with Rebecca? She is so damned good at attracting these nutcases. And nutcase he is: he’s an MRA, one of the clueless goons behind the often and deservedly mocked MRA site A Voice for Men, and he also seems to be one of those kooks obsessed with chastising me, too (Rebecca is not alone in her her kook magnetism). He’s one of those despised pseudo-scientific pontificators who love to mangle evolutionary psychology to justify misogyny.

Narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, these are arguably not aberrations of normal human psychology at all, rather they are the amplification of female personality traits which afforded women a survival advantage throughout human pre-history. In a world of scarcity where humans often died of starvation, women with the attributes of innate selfishness and skill at manipulating men meant increased survival for themselves as well as their offspring.

Appalling. This bozo is simply using an evolutionary rationalization, free of all evidence, to justify his predetermined conclusion, that women are narcissistic, histrionic, selfish exploiters of men. I’m no fan of evolutionary psychology, but I think most evolutionary psychologists would rush to wash their hands of the taint of this contemptible fraud.

So if you watched that video, you were watching a scumbag oozing faux sincerity and concern for the skeptic and atheist movements while making a slanderous attack on someone he considers a feminist enemy. Don’t be taken in by the smarmy used-car-salesman personality. The only sociopath you should be worried about is JohntheOther.

Let me explain for JohntheOther, the guy who is incapable of reading elementary social cues, what was going on in that Skepticon incident that he so deplored.

Rebecca Watson was telling a joke. That’s extremely common at Skepticon, which has always leaned towards the light touch and humor and audience involvement, and Rebecca is a known and popular speaker who often takes a sarcastic and comedic approach to skepticism. Everyone was primed for a good time; I know I was. I was there in the audience and was one of those ‘sociopaths’ laughing along.

She told a story about how she was assigned a handler, a young woman named Kasi, when she arrived at the conference. And then she explained how, with the power going to her head, she ‘abused’ poor Kasi at extraordinary length throughout the con.

What was funny about that? Two things. First, the target of the joke: Rebecca Watson was making fun of herself, or rather, her image as wild party girl and She-Wolf of Skepticism, and mocking that image. She was not abusing poor Kasi, she was making herself the butt of a self-deprecatory joke. Secondly, she defused it all by pretending to be this petty tyrant whose great crime was sending Kasi off on a scavenger hunt. A very silly and harmless scavenger hunt. I mean, come on, JohntheOther, how can you sit there like a po-faced humorless clot worrying so much about the terrible psychological abuse being inflicted on Kasi when she was sent scurrying off to get coffee, M&Ms, condoms one day and a pregnancy test the next, and vegetarian cashew chicken? How can you listen to an obvious funny story and write,

what happens when people lack an ethical compass? What if the people we view as influential lack an ethical compass? Humans are social animals, if “leaders” are sociopathic, does it automatically follow that we all become dysfunctional?

And he says, “What I don’t understand is the laughter from the audience”, while accusing them all of being dysfunctional sociopaths. I’m sorry, JohntheOther, but the audience was responding to the patent social cues and the humorous content of the story. Why are you incapable of recognizing that? Do you have a psychological disorder?

Actually, I don’t think he’s psychologically blind to it at all: I think he’s dishonestly ginning up a lie that Rebecca Watson is a psychopath because of his ideological fixation on advancing raging misogyny. The obvious indicator of that: he left off the punchline of the joke! He shows the buildup, but doesn’t reveal the kicker that made it even more hilarious. Rebecca had let Kasi in on the plan at the very beginning: the whole Tyrant Rebecca act was a game to punk the eminently punkable JT Eberhard, the organizer of the conference. He had to know this; it was in the original video that he carefully edited and framed with his sleazy psychological ponderings.

Also, Rebecca Watson showed up in the youtube comments to explain that to him.

I can’t figure out if you purposely misinterpreted and edited the video or if you’re just very stupid. In my talk I explain that I told Kasi about the bet with JT immediately, and from then on we just pretended that I was demanding things of her. The gag was that during my talk, she pretended to quit, thereby freaking out JT, at which point I made it clear that the joke was actually on JT.

Good luck on that psychology degree, though.

Even better, Kasi shows up.

Hi, so… Kasi “the handler” here. Thanks for the lulz. That conference was the best time I had all year. I got to spend time with a person I greatly admire, Rebecca, who stayed up late talking/listening to me and went shopping with me and just proved to me that she’s an all-around wonderful person. Yes, we pranked JT, but he had no hard feelings. I wasn’t actually asked to go get her things-That was made up in the build up to the reveal during her talk. Everyone else got that besides this guy..

At this point, it should be clear: JohntheOther, aka John Hembling, owes Rebecca Watson an apology. He ought to be on his knees begging for forgiveness from the entire atheist community that he defamed with his phony accusations. He ought to be deeply embarrassed at his public display of stupidity.

Don’t expect such honest behavior, though. Here’s the reaction he posted on youtube:

is that why it had 80 up votes and 2 down votes before the RW fans arrived in force and dropped 64 down votes within a few hours? – this mob’s behavior does nothing except confirm and re-enforce my opinion of the great and mighty REB

Right. He’s exposed as a pretentious liar, and his concern is that his video got downvoted, and his opinion of Rebecca is only confirmed.

You know what else is confirmed? My opinion of MRA assholes.

the tone of the JW fans piling on here telling me how wrong, humourless, mentally deficient and horrible I am is making my case for me.

A guy who made a 16 minute video accusing Rebecca Watson of being a wicked sociopath is now complaining about tone? I think he ought to listen to all the people telling him he’s wrong, humorless, and mentally deficient — they’ve got him stone cold to rights.

Comments

  1. sqlrob says

    he wonders very seriously whether perhaps we’re vulnerable, because we lack a codified dogma, to being parasitized by psychopaths and sociopaths

    Hmm, considering psychopaths and sociopaths break the rules of the system and depend on others keeping them, how about no?

  2. llewelly says

    oh no!

    He has exposed the Secret Tyranny of Rebecca Watson over youtube ratings!

    Surely the world is threatened by this great danger!

  3. Sour Tomato Sand says

    It physically hurts me when people throw around the terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” without even knowing what the diagnostic criteria are.
    Antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy/psychopathy are considered subsets of APSD and are not in the DSM), DSM-IV:

    A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:
    failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
    deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
    impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
    irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
    reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
    consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
    lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
    B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
    C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
    D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

    Accusing people of it and diagnosing-from-a-distance is really gross and reeks of ableism and neuro-typical bias. Seriously, you’re talking about people who have a mental illness here.

  4. M31 says

    I wonder what it is about Rebecca in particular that drives these types so off the deep end. Is it because she’s calm and reasonable, and nothing at all like the stereotyped harpy/nag/ugly they have in their heads? So a tiny bit of shame in their behavior starts to appear, and the go nuts stamping that feeling out?

    Nah, they’re just assholes.

  5. raven says

    he wonders very seriously whether perhaps we’re vulnerable, because we lack a codified dogma, to being parasitized by psychopaths and sociopaths

    I’m wondering how long it will be until John Hembling gets a restraining order for stalking someone.

    No, not really. I’m wondering how many restraining orders he has already collected.

  6. Matt Penfold says

    It physically hurts me when people throw around the terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” without even knowing what the diagnostic criteria are.

    Since you go on to say that the terms are not used in DSM-IV, you clearly are talking bollocks. Please stop.

  7. pacal says

    God not another jerk obsessed with women as castrating, narcissistic bitches. I am constantly amazed about how many men have a pathological hatred of women. Sorry but Rebecca Watson seems by all indications a really nice women. This guy however seems like an empty space i.e, asshole.

  8. sqlrob says

    Since you go on to say that the terms are not used in DSM-IV, you clearly are talking bollocks. Please stop.

    And given that the DSM explicitly excludes religion from delusional thought, I don’t think it’s that great of an authoritative source.

  9. Sour Tomato Sand says

    I did not say the terms are not used in the DSM-IV, I was saying the diagnosis does not exist in the DSM. APSD is used for conditions that would be considered Psychopathy or Sociopathy.

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

    Looks like someone has SIaWOTI* syndrome

    *Someone Is a Woman On The Internet

  11. Matt Penfold says

    I did not say the terms are not used in the DSM-IV, I was saying the diagnosis does not exist in the DSM. APSD is used for conditions that would be considered Psychopathy or Sociopathy.

    So what is your problem ? You are still talking bollocks after being asked to stop.

    Please also use a more inclusive system of categorisation of mental illness. DSM is rather US-centric after all.

  12. ikesolem says

    Unfortunately, one of the iconic symbols of the ‘atheist movement’, Charles Darwin, said rather similar things about women in his many books, for example:

    “If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music – comprising composition and performance, history, science and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of deviation of averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary Genius,’ that if men are capable of decided eminence of women in many subjects, the average standard of mental power in man must be above that of women.”

    Even if we accept that this was the normal, socially approved viewpoint in 1871 (when the above was published in Darwin’s ‘The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex’), the argument is logically sloppy – Darwin entirely neglects the fact that women were routinely denied education and opportunity in all those fields.

    Indeed this JtO clown is simply rephrasing Darwin’s ‘sexual selection’ argument – women relied on men, Darwin tells us, because

    . . .to avoid enemies, to attack them with success, to capture wild animals, and to invent and fashion weapons, requires the aid of higher mental faculties, namely, observation, reason, invention, or imagination. These various faculties will thus have been continually put to the test, and selected during manhood.

    Darwin continues in this vein for pages, but the argument is simple – women, being naturally stupid, must attach themselves to clever men if they wish their offspring to have a chance at life, so women ‘naturally select’ intelligent men, blah blah blah.

    This is the same theme repeated by JtO, with the added claim that ‘women’s psychological disorders’ can be used to manipulate men – as part of the bogus Darwinian ‘sexual selection’ claim (of course, many modern ‘psychological disorders’ were largely invented by pharmaceutical outfits to boost sales of Xanax, Ritalin, Prozac etc., so this is a doubly ridiculous notion).

    Darwin was wrong as often as he was right, and his views on most subjects would put him in with the ignorant women-hating racists, as seen from today’s perspective. A bogus scientific claim about women’s ‘natural inferior status’ is even more distasteful than a bogus religious claim to the same effect – it’s a perversion of science, one thoroughly disproved.

    As far as psychological disorders, the MRA men all seem to a have a similar problem – a massive inferiority complex coupled to a need to find someone to feel superior to.

  13. says

    This guy deserves a good verbing.
    So who wants to take a shot at coming up with an operational definition for “hembling?”

    hem-ble Defending an unwarranted assertion in the face of clear, contrary evidence by pointing to some unimpressive total of “up” votes on YouTube.

  14. Sour Tomato Sand says

    My problem is people throwing around terms without knowing what they mean. You can use the ICD-10, if you like, and we get even further from “psychopathy”. ICD-10 only has “dissocial personality disorder,” which is defined as:

    It is characterized by at least 3 of the following:
    Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
    Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations.
    Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them
    Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
    Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment.
    Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society

    If you don’t want to use either manual, you can go look at research and find there’s no actual agreement on what psychopathy is. Point is, flinging the term around at enemies is about as sensible as calling people “retarded,” and it’s about as valid an argument as Godwin.

    And if I’m talking bollocks, how about an actual argument instead of a “Shut up, that’s why”?

  15. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE POOR PREDATORS?!?!

    Seriously. This early in the day and I’ve already had a near fatal eyeroll.

    I’ve read some of Hembling’s crap at A Voice for Men and he’s a particularly loathsome example of an asspimple.

  16. says

    Sour Tomato Sand:

    And if I’m talking bollocks, how about an actual argument instead of a “Shut up, that’s why”?

    Here’s a thought: stop attempting to derail the thread with your straw structures. Seriously, yank your head out of your ass. Or shut up, either one will do.

  17. Sour Tomato Sand says

    Meh. Wasn’t exactly going for the “psychopaths need love too,” angle, so much as the “it’s counter-scientific and ignorant to be going around calling people sociopaths when they aren’t and even moreso when you don’t know what it means” angle. Because it is.

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

    Hold on, Little Sour Tomato:

    As someone with training in clinical psychology, every reference with which I am familiar and every time this was brought up in a course, the people in my program were told very clearly that psychopathy and sociopathy are not diagnostic terms. Psychopathy was particularly condemned. The word simply means someone with psychological disease. Sociopathy means a pathological relationship to other people and has come to mean, specifically, developing a healthy respect for oneself but failing to develop that respect for others and thus believing that nearly anything can be justified on the basis of the impact to the individual alone, without reference to impact on any other person.

    These are terms that have popular meaning but no diagnostic meaning and little clinical use.

    Your use of diagnostic criteria for a particular diagnosis and assuming that they then clinically describe sociopathy – much less the even less precise and more popularized psychopathy – is entirely uncalled for and entirely misleading.

    As for the plea to think of the poor people with sociopathy, I really can’t respond better than Ms. Daisy Cutter.

    Sour Tomato, I think it’s time to invest in some classes on First Rule of Holes, 101.

    –)->

  19. F says

    NRA: “They’re trying to take away our penises guns!

    MRA: “They’re trying to take away our guns penises!

  20. says

    Narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, these are arguably not aberrations of normal human psychology at all, rather they are the amplification of female personality traits which afforded women a survival advantage throughout human pre-history.

    Men never have any of these, right?

    Also, “avoidant personality disorder” would make it rather hard to manipulate anybody, as the person so diagnosed, you know, avoids social interaction.

    In a world of scarcity where humans often died of starvation, women with the attributes of innate selfishness and skill at manipulating men meant increased survival for themselves as well as their offspring.

    The hallmark of the MRA: Women never actually earn anything on our own. None of our work is of value, and we only ever get jobs so that companies can comply with diversity mandates, or because feminazi managers want more women on the job in order to “take jobs away from men,” who are the rightful owners of said jobs. Anything we have in life, we’ve “extorted” out of teh menz with our evil vajayjays.

    And before modern feminism and widespread paid employment, women never grew or gathered berries or tubers or herbs; learned the medicinal uses of herbs; harvested crops with a scythe or sickle; raised poultry; carded or spun or wove or knitted wool or linen or other fibers; cooked for large numbers of people; cleaned their own or others’ domiciles; tended children; helped birth other women’s children; nursed their own or others’ children; doctored the ill; cared for the dying; washed and laid out the dead for burial; ran large households or communities as chatelaines or abbesses or similar.

    Nope, our formative period of evolution was from the Victorian era through the late 1960s, and middle-class or rich white Western women, confined to the home in order to bolster the status of their husbands, are stand-ins for all human women.

  21. says

    Sour Tomato Sand: did you watch the video? If you want to jump down anyone’s throat, it ought to be John Hembling’s, because that video is practically a litany of Hembling chanting “sociopath, sociopath, sociopath” at Watson and anyone who laughed at her talk.

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

    Wait, what?

    You think the lack of a clinical definition of psychopathy means that the general public can use the word to mean the general public’s definition, because see, there’s this technical definition of a particular personality disorder that isn’t psychopathy but is kinda like what most people mean under the general public definition?

    No clinical definition of a popular term, in Sour Tomato’s mind, means that only the clinical definition can be used or else you are displaying ignorance.
    Except there is no clinical definition. Of which Sour Tomato is perfectly aware, thank you very much, which proves the case because…Science!

    LOLWUT?

    Sour Tomato, you really need some time to figure out what your own argument is. This is embarrassing even as troll behavior, and you don’t even seem to think of yourself as trolling.

    Can I use pathetic, or will you then tell me that pathetic is related to empathic and that there are no definitions of these terms which are clinical, but that they fall within the field of social psychology?

    Because, except in Sour Tomato’s patch, pathetic is what really fits…

  23. Sour Tomato Sand says

    PZ: First, sorry about the derail, it wasn’t my intention. And my first comment was directed at both him and you: I don’t see why you’re calling him a sociopath in response to him doing the same. He’s a massive douchebag, to be sure, but nothing is there to indicate he’s a sociopath. Can we just call him what he is?

  24. grantcomeau says

    “Right. He’s exposed as a pretentious liar, and his concern is that his video got downvoted, and his opinion of Rebecca is only confirmed.”

    I know that wasn’t an explicit call to arms, but I’m taking that as direction to pharyngulate this guy’s video…

  25. says

    STS @ 27: I don’t think anyone’s reluctant to call him a douche. But a person who is so blind to common social cues that he thinks the fact he’s the only guy in a crowded room not getting the joke means that everyone else has the problem would seem to be suffering from, at the very least, exceedingly poor socialization, if not full-on sociopathy.

  26. A. R says

    Oh, fun. We’re back to RW again. Never fails to bring the MRAs out of the woodwork.

  27. sqlrob says

    Unfortunately, one of the iconic symbols of the ‘atheist movement’, Charles Darwin, said rather similar things about women in his many books

    Yeah, so? And Newton was a whacko alchemist.

    The work matters, not the person.

  28. says

    A.R:

    We’re back to RW again.

    It’s nothing to do with Rebecca, really. She’s a stand-in for all of us uppity bitches trying to beat poor ol’ John down, ya see.

  29. says

    Unfortunately, one of the iconic symbols of the ‘atheist movement’, Charles Darwin, said rather similar things about women in his many books

    Looks like someone is completely unaware of what age Darwin lived in and the prevailing social mores of the time. They’ve changed, in case you didn’t notice, Sugarbrain.

  30. Eric O says

    I noticed that JohntheOther has the comments set for uploader approval now. It’s the true sign of a sleazeball on YouTube; censoring all the comments that point out the lies while leaving the ones that are supportive.

    It’s good to see that people are upvoting Rebecca’s and Kasi’s comments so they’re plainly visible to all who see the video.

  31. Amphiox says

    Can we just call him what he is?

    And what he is, is a sociopath. And that is what we shall call him.

    As many have already pointed out to you, the colloquial term “sociopath” does not equate to the clinical diagnosis in the DSM-IV, and is therefore NOT a description of a mental illness.

    If what to refer to the mental illness, you use the DSM-IV term. But that’s not what is being done here.

  32. Mr. Fire says

    Yeah, so? And Newton was a whacko alchemist.

    The work matters, not the person.

    Yeah, this smells like someone gearing up for a derail, using some kind of fusion between a tu quoque and a well-poisioning.

    ikesolem, you’ve said plenty of pointless and dumbfuck things in the past. What’s your angle this time?

  33. says

    Mr. Fire:

    ikesolem, you’ve said plenty of pointless and dumbfuck things in the past. What’s your angle this time?

    He’s a pointless dumbfuck, no angle involved.

  34. says

    Unfortunately, one of the iconic symbols of the ‘atheist movement’, Charles Darwin, said rather similar things about women in his many books

    Just because Darwin expressed some misogyny doesn’t mean that misogyny is okay or that it’s a necessary part of believing in evolution. Darwin isn’t the boss of us.

    We praise Darwin for getting the theory evolution started, and that’s very important in the history of science, but Darwin is now largely irrelevant to the modern theory of evolution. We’ve had over a century of improvements since then. If someone tries to argue that misogyny is scientifically justified because Darwin said some misogynist things, that means they don’t understand the concept of science. Science doesn’t work by individual authority. If you want to scientifically justify a claim, you use rigorous observations and experiments to collect data.

    The reverse doesn’t work either. Accusing Darwin of misogyny doesn’t undermine evolution because there’s an entire community of scientists with conflicting motives, including scientists opposed to misogyny. You’d have to prove that there is a large dominating trend of misogyny among biologists that motivates them to distort or fabricate evidence for misogynist claims to make the case that evolution is misogynist. Darwin is not the lord and master of science. He’s just one man.

    In short, there’s no point to bringing up misogynist opinions of Darwin in this discussion.

  35. says

    Well Well…looks like “Elevator Man” may have finally outed himself.

    No, it doesn’t. If you have no other contribution than to bring up egate in a lame-ass attempt at humour, do us all a favour and go away. Idiot.

  36. Azkyroth says

    Let me explain for JohntheOther, the guy who is incapable of reading elementary social cues, what was going on in that Skepticon incident that he so deplored.

    Do you have any evidence that he has difficulty reading them, as opposed to simply not caring about other people? Because the constant shitting on people with ASDs in this debate is getting really, really old.

  37. David Marjanović says

    MRA assholes

    That’s like “ATM machine” or “PIN number”. MRA officially means morally repugnant asshole.

    Looks like someone has SIaWOTI* syndrome

    *Someone Is a Woman On The Internet

    It’s funny because it’s true.

    Unfortunately, one of the iconic symbols of the ‘atheist movement’, Charles Darwin, said rather similar things about women in his many books, for example:

    I burp in your general direction.

    If your point is that hero worship is wrong, you’re preaching to the choir. “Iconic symbol”, “movement”, my ass.

    NRA: “They’re trying to take away our penises guns!

    MRA: “They’re trying to take away our guns penises!

    Am I glad nobody heard me LOL. Given my birch pollen allergy, they’d all believe there was a medical emergency!

  38. hotspurphd says

    good grief. sometimes I despair at the discourse at this site. While I love pz, and often there is great informed discussion, sometimes there is so much rudeness and uninformed discussion. e.g., telling sour tomato to shut up, saying “you were told to shut up but keep talking.” I’m not going to take the time to recount what happened but just offer a bit of information: PSYCHOPATHY, while not in the DSM is a well researched and useful concept, a subset of ASPD. you can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist. Psychopaths are real and walk among us. Robert Hare is the expert. check out his book.

  39. unclefrogy says

    dam I hate those just so stories of all kinds. this dudes one about evolutions making survive by manipulation of men is one of the worst ones. It is strait out of the funny papers, Alley Oop and has no resemblance to how people actually live. A case could be made for the exact opposite that it was the men that had to go a contribute some little meat in order to be allowed to hang around and be supported by the women doing the most for the group by gathering the food that sustained them between good hunts. The Truth of course is it was and is mutual cooperation that is and was the key and an egalitarian organization that has led to human success “All for one, One for all” not top down authority of leader and followers that most of these illegitimate children defend.
    He thinks “we” need some “dogma” or maybe rules to follow to help define who we are. I can guess just who he would suggest come up with said rules and who should enforce them.
    No Thanks I will do my own thinking if you do not mind!

    uncle frogy

  40. pp says

    Well Well…looks like “Elevator Man” may have finally outed himself.

    No, it doesn’t. If you have no other contribution than to bring up egate in a lame-ass attempt at humour, do us all a favour and go away. Idiot.

    Yeah , humour, remember that? How subject it is.
    Oh and name calling isn’t big or clever either. I have the same right to post here as you, so live with it and stop telling other people to shut up or go away .

  41. Mr. Fire says

    Yeah , humour, remember that? How subject it is.

    You don’t get to defend broaching a sensitive issue by claiming privilege blindness.

    I have the same right to post here as you, so live with it and stop telling other people to shut up or go away.

    The funny thing is, Caine’s right to post also involves telling you to shut up and go away. Which is something you have to live with.

    Also,

    Preview

    Is
    Your
    Friend.

  42. orchestrator says

    Now JTO is fluffing his wings and denying everything. Taken from his YT comments page. a minute ago…

    Ah, another MRA being caught out in a blatant lie. Awesome.
    I like how you’re vetting the comments now. Too funny.
    Phlebas

    @Phlebas – in what particular am I lying
    johntheother

    (my comment:)
    @johntheother Incredible – caught in a lie, he denies it by asking how. It’s all up on Pharyngula, a point-by-point analysis of how you doctored the video to make it look like RW was not only victimizing her handler, but that the crowd was a party to it. And now that both parties have exposed the lies here on your comments page, you have the temerity to complain about tone?

    Hmmm. “Comments may be held for uploader approval.” That’s okay, I’ll post it many other places if I don’t see it here.

    ….so here it is.

  43. says

    Yeah , humour, remember that? How subject it is.

    Did you mean subjective, Cupcake? You seem to have a problem with how words work. Also, humour? Yes, I’m very familiar with it. You, on the other hand, are a lackwit.

  44. pp says

    Did you mean subjective, Cupcake? You seem to have a problem with how words work. Also, humour? Yes, I’m very familiar with it. You, on the other hand, are a lackwit.

    More name calling, how clever.
    I’m so overwhelmed by your intellect and wit.

  45. orchestrator says

    Um, can we get back to the actual subject, folks? Caine, you’re wasting your breath, and pp is tinkling into the wind. Not that I’m telling anyone what they should or shouldn’t say. But can we say or not say whatever it is about the argument in this blog post?

  46. ChasCPeterson says

    Fascinating.
    I believe I know where this guy got those clips–the inimitable Scented Nectar from erv’s thread o’ slime. If so, he might not even know the context–she had edited out the clip and like monkeyed with the sound a bit for effect.
    I was slumming over there recently and she was, uh, soliciting blog-visits from the denizens with this appalling evidence of Watson’s utter soullessness or some shit.
    Also she hates the dress.

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

    Hey, Chas

    that is interesting. Not that I would do the research required to confirm or deny it, I think that you are quite the inveterate, brave (and anosmic) reader to visit ERV’s wretched hive…

  48. says

    Chas:

    I believe I know where this guy got those clips–the inimitable Scented Nectar from erv’s thread o’ slime.

    Oh gods. SN doesn’t have one reasonable synapse.

  49. AlanMac says

    Why are you incapable of recognizing that? Do you have a psychological disorder?

    Unfortunately, the inability to read or correctly read social signals is one of the first signs that my room mate is entering a manic phase. And yes, sarcastic joking is 100% lost on him then and does make him quite angry.

    ( Two examples:
    Golf = A perfectly enjoyable walk spoiled by a little white ball.

    The Iron Man races would be more interesting with the swimming at the end.)

    Maybe, the idea of a woman *apparently* forcing someone to do humiliating and demeaning tasks is one of his anxiety producing triggers.

  50. orchestrator says

    Meanwhile, over on JTO’s comment board, he’s withholding all negative comments, and claiming that it’s because they’re threatening.

    @Phlebas I’m vetting the comments to remove implied and direct threats of violence. Thanks for noticing
    johntheother

    Anybody see anything threatening in the comment I placed above (#49)? Other than to his logic? I should have made a series of screen-shots of different comments I made countering different logic fails in his defenses on that board, so I could prove that all of my subsequent comments were harmless, but I somehow never suspected that someone who claims to be an atheist and skeptic would jump into a public debate with all guns firing, and then quell all contrary comments.

    Such screen shots from all the people here who have also tried and failed to get an argument through his defense perimeter would make an interesting video.

  51. Azkyroth says

    Please stop conflating the mentally disabled with assholes.

    I really don’t think a personality disorder should be considered a disability to be looked beyond. “Personality” pretty much being “what kind of person you are” and all.

  52. orchestrator says

    Further squirming by JTO, it’s actually getting somewhat amusing…

    @johntheother
    Wow. At this point, anything other than apologizing will just increase your huge fail even further.
    And if you indeed purposely misinterpreted the video, I guess it’s pretty clear whose moral compass is off.
    khrismuc

    @khrismuc – you’ve characterized me as a liar, failure and so on, but you haven’t addressed any argument – do you know the difference between assertion and argument? or do you need that explained.
    johntheother

    (my comment:)
    @johntheother Anyone who engages in sincere debate should be able to acknowledge error. Both subjects of your video have refuted the claims made in your argument. Furthermore, it has been illustrated that in making your point, you falsified your data through video editing. But I’m sure this comment will either be withheld by you, or if allowed to be posted, will go unanswered.

    That is what’s called a “fail.” A massive, massive fail. And you’ve got no defense. It’s over, JohnTheOther.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if JTO actually had the integrity to allow comments contrary to his arguments on his YT page, so I wouldn’t have to post mine here? Just sayin’…

  53. John Morales says

    Narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, these are arguably not aberrations of normal human psychology at all, rather they are the amplification of male personality traits which afforded men a survival advantage throughout human pre-history. In a world of scarcity where humans often died of starvation, men with the attributes of innate selfishness and skill at manipulating women meant increased survival for themselves as well as their offspring.

    Whaddayano — it’s no less apt than the original blather.

    (Funny how that works)

  54. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    A guy who made a 16 minute video accusing Rebecca Watson of being a wicked sociopath is now complaining about tone?

    That is confusing. I’m used to seeing the complaints about tone appear immediately before the vile insults.

  55. says

    AlanMac:

    Maybe, the idea of a woman *apparently* forcing someone to do humiliating and demeaning tasks is one of his anxiety producing triggers.

    Perhaps you should take a click over to A Voice for Men* and read some of what he posts. If he has a trigger at all, it would seem to be the mere fact that women exist.

    *No, I’m not linking it. Search it out.

  56. jaycubed says

    DSM (whichever version) & IC 10 are both billing manuals and used to define billing categories for insurance co.s & government agencies. They are of minimal use for actual treatment of patients.

    The personality disorders described above are all what are known as Axis 2 disorders: they are typically not covered by any insurance coverage, including government funding. They are not considered to be “psychiatric illnesses” but are considered behavior problems.

    This is despite the fact that Axis 2 disorders are the behaviors that most impact society as a whole through criminal & destructive/manipulative behavior.

    They are the behaviors that most need external controls to protect others, and are the hardest to manage in hospital/outpatient settings. (Doctors & hospitals conspire to make sure any Axis 2 patient gets a payable Axis 1 diagnosis, even if they have to stretch the standards a bit.)

    They are the behaviors that are the most difficult to deal with in any progressive social setting (such as in schools and public places) and are often exploitable in regressive social settings (such as military/paramilitary organizations and closed religious cults)

    “It’s not what a man don’t know that makes him a fool, but what he does know that ain’t so.”

    Josh Billings, 19th Century American humorist

  57. markjn says

    When I first tried to watch RWs video I couldnt get through the first few minutes. I had no idea it was a joke either, I guess I turned it off before the (punchline?). As a host I have had clients like that before who thought it would be hilarious to see what they could make me do before I quit. Luckily its usually poor frat guys who don’t tip much that try that shit so there isn’t very much room there. Also, a good host will tell you it’s all fine and your jokes are hilarious as long as they are getting paid or have some hope of repeat business.

    I think everyone’s analysis of this due is spot on

  58. orchestrator says

    I for one would like mocking jibes about people’s sanity to cease. Once, while referencing the obsessive nature of MRA arguments, I was called on my comments. When I replied that I was speaking from the standpoint of an OCD sufferer, man, you should have seen the ugliness of the comments. One prominent visitor here said “I guess it sucks to be you.” Yes, it does suck to be me sometimes, Ichthyic. I get wound up on things, and it interferes with my work and my personal life. But thank whatever that I don’t have to take meds like others in my family, and I can usually manage things by thinking ahead and heeding the danger signs.

    If people feel the need to be pejorative, then so be it – this is Pharyngula. I think possibly the best argument in favor of using terms that are general, like “asshat,” rather than terms like “sociopath” (when it’s medically unproven and just meant as an insult), is that is lessens the amount of times that one can be reasonably told to go #$%%^ themselves.

  59. DLC says

    While I can see how Rebecca Watson’s humor might not be for everyone, I can also see that this guy’s taking her entirely (and insultingly) literal, and doing so in order to be an asshole.

  60. says

    I wonder what it is about Rebecca in particular that drives these types so off the deep end

    it’s the “feminist hair”

    I believe I know where this guy got those clips–the inimitable Scented Nectar from erv’s thread o’ slime. If so, he might not even know the context–she had edited out the clip and like monkeyed with the sound a bit for effect.

    oh, is that where that particular nuisance fucked off to? not surprised. not surprised she’d pull an O’Keefe, either.

  61. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    orchestrator:

    Once, while referencing the obsessive nature of MRA arguments, I was called on my comments. When I replied that I was speaking from the standpoint of an OCD sufferer, man, you should have seen the ugliness of the comments. One prominent visitor here said “I guess it sucks to be you.” Yes, it does suck to be me sometimes, Ichthyic.

    Since you agree with that comment, I fail to see the problem (absent the context) and further, since you claim we should have seen the alleged ugliness, how about a linky so we can do so?)

  62. Mostly Harmless says

    DSM (whichever version) & IC 10 are both billing manuals and used to define billing categories for insurance co.s & government agencies. They are of minimal use for actual treatment of patients.

    Jaycubed, don’t forget ICD-10 is not an American manual. Your comment may be true in the US but it is widely used internationally (such as in the UK), where insurance is not so great a concern. As I recall it is not formally used in US government agencies either. I agree they’re more often used for research and public health statistics, rather than for clinical decision making.

    Notwithstanding, JohnTheOther is undeniably a very unpleasant individual…

  63. orchestrator says

    Hosanna! I actually had the heavens part, and the great JTO allowed one of a dozen comments in, and blessed my miserable argument with a pronouncement from on high:

    Now that the top comments on your page are open refutations by the very subjects of your argument, and it’s been shown that you edited the video in order to prove your point, are you going to admit you’re wrong? Prove that you really are a scientist and a skeptic. Admit your error and move on.
    OrchestrationOnline

    @OrchestrationOnline im not a scientist, never was one, never claimed to be. I am a skeptic, and if my conclusions are at odds with other people’s conclusions, too bad, they can get over it
    johntheother

    (my response:)
    @johntheother That’s no kind of answer. Admit your error. Those you’ve claimed were wronged contradict you. Your video evidence is doctored. Answer those claims, skeptic.

  64. Azkyroth says

    I don’t think “sociopath” and other personality disorders fall into the same category as “OCD,” and I find it really unpleasant when people conflate them.

  65. Aquaria says

    #42

    Nobody mentioned ASD at all until you did.

    Most of us here know that there’s a difference between people with ASD and people like this guy who have a serious lack of empathy, if not utter contempt, for an entire class of people, to a disturbing degree.

    I can find the threads that demonstrate that people here understand the difference. I’m pretty sure you were on one of them when I smacked an idiot around for equating lack of demonstrated empathy with a complete lack of empathy. I wasn’t the only one doing that. Maybe the Angry Atheist thread? Not sure.

    It’s not like I don’t notice when people equate ASD with sociopathy, being female Asperger’s myself.

  66. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Since you agree with that comment, I fail to see the problem

    I think the problem is that “It sucks to be you” is frequently used as a sarcastic remark to demonstrate how little one cares about the person addressed and their problem. It’s like “too bad for you.” The result is that a person who actually is suffering from the problem would agree with the most literal interpretation of the words – it does suck and is indeed too bad – but due to the fact that they are perceived as dismissive sarcasm rather than literally meant, there is still a problem.

  67. David Marjanović says

    Not that I would do the research required to confirm or deny it, I think that you are quite the inveterate, brave (and anosmic) reader to visit ERV’s wretched hive…

    Seconded.

    it’s the “feminist hair”

    *lightbulb moment* Oh, so that’s why yours is now more “feminist” than before! And there I was thinking mere practicality might have something to do with it! :o)

    not surprised she’d pull an O’Keefe, either.

    Who’s O’Keefe?

  68. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    P.S. orchestrator, please don’t use gendered insults on this site.

  69. Azkyroth says

    I mentioned it because this person’s

    serious lack of empathy, if not utter contempt, for an entire class of people, to a disturbing degree

    was conflated by the OP with being

    incapable of reading elementary social cues

    which was phrased, in context, as though it were a character flaw.

  70. orchestrator says

    I find it really unpleasant when anyone uses any personality disorder, mental defect, or tick as an insult. And I also find it unpleasant when my arguments are misinterpreted to suggest that I don’t know the difference between the severity and nature of disorders, and that further they are the same in my mind. Because nothing that I’ve written says that.

    To argue that all such language is unwelcome to me is hell and gone from me saying that all such disorders are the same (“conflated”).

  71. nms says

    Don’t be a dick, John. Go ahead, rub it in.

    John probably does genuinely fail to see the problem. This particular area is not his forté.

    (Note how I managed to comment on John M’s behaviour without either calling him a sociopath or asserting that he has a personality disorder! It’s just that easy)

  72. says

    Don’t be a dick, John. Go ahead, rub it in.

    Don’t use gendered insults here. You’re the one who brought your personal issue up and you’re the one who brought another poster into things, even though they aren’t in this thread. If you don’t want to discuss such things, then don’t bring them up.

  73. janine says

    David Marjanović, that would be James O’Keefe. He is best known for his dishonestly edited video of him and a woman asking loaded questions to officials at an ACORN office and making seem like they were going to help him smuggle Mexican women into town with the purpose of him pimping them.

    Fox News and other right wing sites held him up as a crusading hero and was able to close down funding to ACORN, destroying the organization.

    O’Keefe worked for Andrew Breitbart.

    He is also indited for drugging and raping a colleague.

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

    David:
    O’Keefe was that squirrely little slimeball that made and released doctored “gotcha!” videos of ACORN and Planned Parenthood (in the latter, he dressed as a “pimp” and attempted to get healthcare for an “underage prostitute” from PP). He was Andrew Breitbart’s protege.

    Oh look! He’s in the news again!

  75. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Nobody mentioned ASD at all until you did.

    As you are definitely already aware, the inability to read elementary social cues is one of the primary things that people associate with ASDs. So unfortunately, for a lot of us, that basically comes to look like code for ASD. I feel like it’s fair to be concerned that maybe such an impairment is being associated with a character flaw like being a dishonest MRA fuckhead, especially when so many people in the mainstream culture are all too willing to dismiss it as a character flaw. I dunno here – the problem does seem to be that he’s misreading the situation very badly – but it’s not like ASD came up out of thin air, is what I’m saying.

  76. orchestrator says

    Sure, Caine, anything you like. Got any pineapples you want to shove?

    Funny how you’re clinging to the gendered insults thing, almost like that now gets you off the hook. Okay, watch this now. This is sincere.

    I’m sorry I upset anyone by calling John a “dick.” I really mean that, I’m not just saying that to save face. I’m glad people brought this up, because I know how I can be a bit pushy with my opinions, and not careful about what I say sometimes.

    See how it’s done? I’m using the above as an example, even though it is not a dodge. Now, can you agree with me that it’s not okay to mock people’s clinical state of mind.

    Oh, and by the way, I’ll say anything personal that I like on this site, thanks very much – especially when it’s in response to very personal attacks from some of its visitors. And that in no way diminishes the worth of my statements – why would you even infer such a thing as that Caine, when you yourself have made countless telling and just arguments exactly the same way?

  77. jaycubed says

    DSM (whichever version) & IC 10 are both billing manuals and used to define billing categories for insurance co.s & government agencies. They are of minimal use for actual treatment of patients.

    Jaycubed, don’t forget ICD-10 is not an American manual. Your comment may be true in the US but it is widely used internationally (such as in the UK), where insurance is not so great a concern.
    Mostly Harmless

    The ICD-10 is used in exactly the same way that the DSM is used: to provide billable categories for acceptable diagnosis. It is irrelevant whether it is a government agency or private insurance company that is paying (in the U.S., DSM is used by both types), they all require that they pay out only for what clearly fits into the particular cubbyholes of accepted practice.

  78. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Oh, and by the way, I’ll say anything personal that I like on this site, thanks very much

    I am sympathetic to your concerns. I feel you may have overstated your argument in some places, but in general I am uncomfortable with language of mental illness being used to describe assholes. You need to stop being an asshole right the fuck now. Using gendered insults is out of line, and it does in fact diminish the worth of your statements when you use them. The problem is not that you’re “pushy” or that you “upset people.” It’s that you used gendered slurs in a feminist space where such things are frowned upon.

  79. consciousness razor says

    Sure, Caine, anything you like. Got any pineapples you want to shove?

    Caine, if you’re running out, I have some to spare. I’ve been experimenting, so at the moment all my pineapples are tied to diseased porcupines with rusty barbed wire. Would that work?

  80. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I feel you may have overstated your argument in some places

    To clarify, while I understand why you may find it offensive and I consider it a fair argument to make, “sociopath” is not the same as OCD or ASD or many other mental illnesses. It’s a personality disorder, and unlike a lot of other mental illnesses, it is basically a category for predators. It would never be fair to say that a person with OCD is probably dangerous because of their OCD, but I know that one of the predators I have been in contact with is a sociopath, and that in itself causes harm to the people around him.

  81. David Marjanović says

    Thanks, everyone. I’ll follow the links tomorrow… which would be… in three minutes. Shit. See you later.

  82. orchestrator says

    Open response to Johntheother, sent to his YouTube channel…

    “johntheother has replied to your comment on Rebecca Watson’s Compass:

    @OrchestrationOnline – where’s the answer then?
    You can reply back by visiting the comments page.”

    Oh, I can reply back by visiting the comment page? Okay, I’d love to do that….whoopsies, no such comment exists! Nor does the reply to the reply the the reply!

    Stop it. Stop deleting arguments against your points that are stated politely and insistently.That is the opposite of public debate and the skeptical sphere.

    Are you aware that I have been posting some of my blocked comments on other blog sites? Showing how you are squelching on any reasonable debate?

    But since you asked for an answer, it’s already been provided. You are sinking fast in quicksand, and from what I can tell you stepped in it full well knowing that you might be in error. You have been given a chance to defend yourself from two statements that completely annihilate your argument. One, that both subjects of your video have, on your very own YouTube comments page, refuted your claims about their role in the actions you describe. Furthermore, you are either using doctored video, or doctoring the video yourself. Saying “I’m not a scientist, just a skeptic” is no kind of answer (which was my subsequent reply, then quickly expunged by you).

    I’m not hopeful that you will run any kind of reasonable reply to this, but that is not because I oppose you on Rebecca Watson’s behalf. Far from it. I expect that you’ll ignore this message, because in every action between us, you are showing me that your prejudices are more important to you than arguing fairly, and admitting error when it is shouted to the world. I will give up on the argument now, because it is like talking to someone who is convinced that the sky is green. But just to let you know, I will be posting a copy of this communication to the Pharyngula comment boards.

    Good luck – you’re going to need it!

    Sent 12:00 noon NZ time.

  83. says

    CR:

    Caine, if you’re running out, I have some to spare. I’ve been experimenting, so at the moment all my pineapples are tied to diseased porcupines with rusty barbed wire. Would that work?

    That would work beautifully, thank you. I’ve been bad about keeping stocked up.

  84. AlanMac says

    @Caine,Fleur du Mal

    Perhaps you should take a click over to A Voice for Men* and read some of what he posts. If he has a trigger at all, it would seem to be the mere fact that women exist.

    Oh, I don’t disagree. He is an out and out misogynist. That is pretty much a given. I’m just speculating on his target selection motivation and if it is driven by some underlying disorder. Either that or he is the Grand Master of Arseholery.

  85. orchestrator says

    Cassandra-

    Are you saying that I wasn’t sincere in my apology? Because I am. I do care about it, a lot. But that doesn’t make me any less of a person. And it doesn’t diminish how I care about it if I talk about myself sometimes. I am imperfect – I totally admit that.

    Watch how you characterize me – I think you are being unfair here by prolonging this.

  86. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter

    -list of disorders-

    Men never have any of these, right?

    If we had them especially often society would probably be constructed in a way that praises them as strong character traits. What a nightmare it would be for the people that could see them as harmful and wanted society to change those views.

    -Let me be perfectly clear, I’m not saying that we don’t have them as often as women. My sentiment is very much pointed away from that sort of thinking.

  87. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Are you saying that I wasn’t sincere in my apology? Because I am. I do care about it, a lot.

    Well, we both misunderstood something here :) The “I’ll say anything personal” bit, I misunderstood as defending your making “personal” insults, which I now see was an error on my part that was compounded by my just having read you apologizing for the wrong thing, namely “upsetting people” and “being pushy” rather than using gendered slurs.

  88. orchestrator says

    Hey Cassandra, no worries.

    One thing I’ll never apologize for is upsetting people. But being an asshole – that I try to avoid, at least the kind of asshole that wouldn’t be welcome here! ;-)

    Seriously. Apology tendered. I care about those things, and I’m capable of growth.

  89. says

    AlanMac:

    Either that or he is the Grand Master of Arseholery.

    I’d go with this one. This guy turns up on FSTDT quite often and going by what he writes, he’s terribly upsetty about women being all uppity these days, expecting others to treat them like human beings.

  90. Eric O says

    Orchestrator

    Just thought you’d like to know that John’s withheld some of my critical but non-violent comments too (I’m Phlebas – John responded to my one post about him vetting comments, which you’ve quoted here). What a scumbag. I don’t think I’ll waste any more time with him – it’s too frustrating.

    Anyway, I’ve been in a prolonged argument with another MRA on YouTube, and the general sense that I’m getting is that these types of people just aren’t capable of basic honesty. It’s another one of those ideologies where truth is conveniently ignored when it doesn’t jibe with their preconceptions.

  91. orchestrator says

    Slight correction to my open message above – I misinterpreted Jto’s answer as being to another comment which was either withheld or which he is sitting on.

    Having only 3 comments out of a dozen be allowed to be posted does rather give one the impression that all are being withheld out of moral cowardice, but that is my own prejudice and I acknowledge it.

    Sorry to go on and on about this – as I note I’m the only one posting about it, I apologize for boring anyone. But I see YouTube as a place that should be improved by the activism of its members, so it’s a bit of a sore spot with me to see his misuse of it in a fallacious and offensive argument. Not that people shouldn’t argue fallaciously on YT, but if they are proposing that their arguments are fair and justified, then they have to open the door.

  92. orchestrator says

    Phlebas! Thanks for the insights. I really thought your feedback put him in his place, and I’m surprised he let it through.

  93. mandrellian says

    Youtube tells me “This video is private”.

    What’s the matter, John The Bother?

    If you can’t stand the heat, apply something that’ll lessen the friction next time you decide to masturbate on camera with both fists.

  94. orchestrator says

    mandrellion, you’re right! He has pulled the video.

    “@OrchestrationOnline im not a scientist, never was one, never claimed to be. I am a skeptic, and if my conclusions are at odds with other people’s conclusions, too bad, they can get over it
    johntheother ”

    “@johntheother That’s no kind of answer. Admit your error. Those you’ve claimed were wronged contradict you. Your video evidence is doctored. Answer those claims, skeptic.”

    Maybe it’s easier to pull a video and pretend it never happen than to answer a simple question by admitting you were wrong. And I say that as one who operates on the principle that I am never wrong, no matter how many times it’s disproven on an hourly basis.

  95. nms says

    @orchestrator

    “sorry you were upset” is the classic notpology. While I didn’t get that sentiment from your post, it’s definitely not a good way of phrasing a genuine apology, because it will make critical readers annoyed with you :)

  96. christophburschka says

    The video was just taken offline; I could still see it a few hours ago but it’s gone now.

  97. says

    mandrellian:

    What’s the matter, John The Bother?

    He doesn’t like things he can’t control. That’s why he doesn’t care much for women. At least not the extra-nasty ‘merican variety.

  98. orchestrator says

    Sure, nms, and I’m sorry for that, too. But I can only say “I’m sorry.” I mean it. Accept it or not. I’m just a person, I like being here, and I learn something new every day. And I’m pretty much an idiot half the time, and the only hope for my maturity is that I realize that it’s perfectly fine for people to notice that, because it’s impossible to hide.

  99. nms says

    Heh, I’m not bothered. I’m just trying to explain why some people read your post that way.

  100. seleucid23 says

    The video is now marked as private, but you can still see the comments here:
    http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=0gYtJUsfbso

    Also, I have no idea who ‘ScentedNectar’ is, but after googling her, she also has a video using the same talk to beat Rebecca Watson with. Is there some sort of rule against posting links to her stuff on here? I won’t post a direct link, just in case, but you can find her via google.

    I like lurking on Pharyngula and reading PZ Myers’ articles, but rarely comment. This has wound me up bad though, shameless misrepresentation of a joke by people seemingly without a sense of humour or a working sarcasm detector. I tried to comment on ‘Johntheother’s video to no response. Got to wonder why he let Rebecca’s and Kasi’s comments through in the first place, if he knows that they show him up for the liar he is?

  101. greenhome says

    I get the “This video is private” message too; and here I was, ready to be edified.

  102. says

    seleucid23:

    Is there some sort of rule against posting links to her stuff on here?

    No, however, most of the regulars are more than familiar with SN’s particular brand of shit* and have no need (or desire) to give her any attention.

    *She used to post at Pharyngula Sciblogs.

  103. FossilFishy says

    The thing that strikes me about this is just how similar it is to religious apologetics. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise considering that the MR movement and religions are both dogmatic systems based on a perceived reality that completely lacks credible evidence to support it.

    If this analogy holds then we can expect MRAs to create this type of video not to demonstrate any actual argument for their case. The purpose would be to play to their constituency for the purpose of fundraising, and to reinforce the already held beliefs of the faithful.

    Taken in that context a case can be made for why Rebecca Watson is so often a target of these dipshits. She’s already been demonized, the faithful already “know” that she’s a castrating FEMNAZI!!!11!!1! and because of this they will believe any tripe that John and his ilk spew about her. Feeding the confirmation biases of the already duped is the name of the game.

    And to that end I’ll point out that the video hasn’t been pulled, it’s been made private. He’s still allowing people to see it but only those on his approved list. Pure apologetics that.

  104. gragra says

    Oops, I see seleucid23 beat me to it. I really should read everything before I comment.

  105. Azkyroth says

    I dunno here – the problem does seem to be that he’s misreading the situation very badly – but it’s not like ASD came up out of thin air, is what I’m saying.

    I would say his misreading of the situation is better explained by confirmation bias than by an actual failure to understand social cues.

  106. Azkyroth says

    It would never be fair to say that a person with OCD is probably dangerous because of their OCD, but I know that one of the predators I have been in contact with is a sociopath, and that in itself causes harm to the people around him.

    Thank you; that was more or less what I was getting at.

    (Though in my case, my own experiences motivate me to extend it beyond sociopathy to personality disorders generally.)

  107. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I would say his misreading of the situation is better explained by confirmation bias than by an actual failure to understand social cues.

    Having thought about it a bit, I agree with you, although maybe would go even further – deliberate dishonesty seems to be at play.

  108. says

    CC:

    deliberate dishonesty seems to be at play.

    Considering that the edited videos seem to have come from SN, there’s no question about deliberate dishonesty on her part. As for JH, he actively looks for what he considers to be offensive behaviour on the part of women. I doubt he’d bother to check things out thoroughly, that doesn’t seem to be one of his strong points.

  109. says

    ICD-10 is an international classification of disease/diagnoses by the WHO that’s widely used in public health work the world over. There are minor customisation issues in different countries – I use ICD-10AM. The ICD-11 revision is in progress. The experts are health professionals and statisticians; its development and intent have got nothing to do with billing or insurers.

    Of course, having a handy predefined set of codes is obviously useful to those people. It’s a mammoth effort, and why would any private agency waste time developing their own parallel and probably incompatible standards when they can get the work from the public for (almost) free? (OK, don’t answer that. *cough*microsoft*cough*.)

    @Jadehawk – thanks for the O’Keefe explanation. I couldn’t work out the relevance of painting cattle skulls and enormous flowers with suspiciously vulval imagery here. :)

    @Caine and others who don’t want to post links – you may know this already and have different motivation, but just in case you want to post a link that does not boost a site’s google rank, you can always write it as
    <a rel=”nofollow” href=”whatever.html”> etc You don’t need to bother with it here; both sciencebogs and ftb add the “nofollow” automatically to links in comments.

  110. says

    The slimy little coward pulled his own video? I wonder whether he actually feels a little regret at his dishonesty, or whether it’s more like he didn’t want people rubbing his nose in his own sleaze.

  111. says

    #114: please don’t echo Scented Nectar’s empty-headed dishonesty here. What I mainly recall about her is her bizarre habit of posting videos of animated anagrams as if they somehow had meaning: she’s dumb as a wet bag of hair.

  112. Philip Legge says

    This is Totally. Frakking. Bizarre. This is the sort of post I would expect to read on ManBoobz — while currently ManBoobz is hosting Tom Martin, who I’ve most often read about on Freethought Blogs, being a rude and obnoxious troll at Ophelia’s place, and occasionally here as well. Perhaps PZ and David Futrelle should do guest articles on one another’s blogs for a change?

    As far as I can tell, Tom is currently disagreeing with the ManBoobz regulars on the misandry of unpadded chairs, since male buttocks have less fat on them:

    One year prior to joining the university, when visiting its library, I did complain, that the seating being hard created a greater disadvantage for men than for women, as men have considerably smaller weight-bearing buttock pads than women, and men are heavier too – so for men, on average heavier than women, have more weight bearing down onto a pad which is approximately four times smaller than women’s on average – according to a BBC documentary on the subject.

    Why does this remind of the title of PZ’s wonderful post about hoggling from last year – “They have moved beyond parody”? How can you mock someone who is already going beyond the ludicrous? Anyway, the ManBoobzers seem to be enjoying attempting to make Tom look even more ridiculous than he already is.

    I suppose it would be too much to expect that there was a transcript of the JohnTheBother video? (I hate watching YouTube blathering.)

  113. says

    so for men, on average heavier than women, have more weight bearing down onto a pad which is approximately four times smaller than women’s on average – according to a BBC documentary on the subject.

    The Beeb did a documentary on arse fat? Hmmm. Anyway, this is someone’s notion of misandry? The stupid just keeps getting deeper.

  114. jaywalker says

    I was there. I heard the talk. I laughed along with everyone else. JohntheOther is lying, either that, or cold stone stupid.

  115. gragra says

    As for JH, he actively looks for what he considers to be offensive behaviour on the part of women.

    Exactly, or as someone else said, confirmation bias. I have listened to a lot of the Voice for Men podcasts. I started out genuinely being open to what they had to say… because they had just started their podcast and I didn’t really know what their schtick was. I gave up ages ago though, because I couldn’t stand it any more.

    They do find examples for their show of men (or sometimes a man) being treated badly by the system. Because if you want to prove your preconceived belief you can always find confirming evidence if you look hard enough. And it’s not wrong to find and point out these cases, but their overarching theme of “feminist governance” is so ridiculous it’s not funny. The way they blame their problems on other people (specifically feminists) is neurotic and pathetic.

  116. anuran says

    I wouldn’t say that MRAs are insane.

    Let’s just say that they’re Men Going Their Own Way. They aren’t actually divorced from reality, but they’ve moved out and are speed-dating other ontological precepts.

  117. says

    Let’s just say that they’re Men Going Their Own Way. They aren’t actually divorced from reality, but they’ve moved out and are speed-dating other ontological precepts.

    Pure win.

  118. says

    Hey PZ, don’t fret. He put up another video.

    “I’ve struck a nerve”?
    “the reaction is overblown, because people are calling me a psychopath, a sociopath, a maniac”? (oh the fucking irony)

    there was even spittle.

    wow, what a pathetic fucking moron.

  119. says

    oh, and he’s sticking with his “Rebecca Watson is a sociopath” thing. why? because she accurately identified MRA motivations as not actually being about caring about men’s issues, but being about shitting on women. and he tries to make his point by once again pulling out a shitload of tired old MRA canards about how much better women have it.

    Also, Jessica Valenti and the SPLC are mean and are “fearmongering” against “men defending their human rights”, and this is all like when Bush said Saddam had WMDs.

    Jesus, what a pathetic individual. if I rolled my eyes any harder, I’d sprain a muscle.

  120. says

    Jadehawk:

    Jesus, what a pathetic individual. if I rolled my eyes any harder, I’d sprain a muscle.

    His posts on A Voice for Men are unbelievably stupid and pathetic. He’s a serious fan of old school patriarchy.

    gragra:

    I vote that becomes an Internet Meme.

    It already is one. As far as Pharyngula, it’s one of the things in the You might be a Cupcake if list. (See Pharyngula wiki.)

  121. says

    Dunning-Kruger works both sides of the fence, not just the jeebusbots. Sitting in on an adult lecture requires awareness of concepts like subtlety and nuance. Not getting the bit about the condoms/pregnancy test, the guy must be up his own ass looking for that porcupine.

  122. RahXephon231 says

    Oof. I pick the worst threads to wander back into. At least no MRAs seem to have appeared. I swear, they must have Google Alerts for RW’s name.

    As far as the cupcake circling the bowl in the video, John, I’m…aware of some of his work via ManBoobz, like others here. A Voice for Men is probably one of the grossest sites I can imagine. It probably ranks up there with worldnetfaily (typo and it stays) and National Review as what I like to call “Internet Chernobyls”; so bad the rad warnings keep me from even getting close enough to see them. I only know them from what people tell me and sometimes that’s more than enough.

  123. ahwev says

    I’m sorry if this is OT, but I registered to comment.

    Some of these people up in the thread are making me sick by saying that mentally ill people deserve sympathy, but those who suffer from personality disorders are monsters.

    I have borderline personality disorder, which can be successfully treated with aggressive cognitive therapy and optional meds and I am not a predator or a monster. I live the normal life that most people lead, just with emotional dysregulation issues.

    I would like to remind you that when you talk about personality disorders that way, you are talking about actual PEOPLE. Shame on you for adding to the stigmatization that PDs suffer. This is what makes people avoid admitting their problem and seeking help. Please be more considerate of that.

  124. thomasmorris says

    Also, “avoidant personality disorder” would make it rather hard to manipulate anybody, as the person so diagnosed, you know, avoids social interaction.

    Yep – as a guy who has been diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder, I have no fucking idea what he was trying to do in conflating the three disorders. Avoidant personality disorder is a form of social phobia/social anxiety. Someone with apd generally has extremely low self esteem, and will go out of his or her way to avoid social interaction and to attract as little attention as possible – which makes the problem very different from the other two disorders he lists, which seem to be marked by attention seeking and manipulative behavior. I feel that I’m completely inept at social interaction, and if I know that I have some presentation or interview coming up I will feel nauseous and stress about it for days (or even weeks.) And after it’s over I’ll spend days beating myself up because I know that I must have looked stupid.

    Of course, the guy’s a complete fucking idiot and an asshole, so I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising that he has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to personality disorders either.

  125. Cyranothe2nd says

    Wow, the new video is a perfect example of Victimhood. Poor poor JohntheOther, so misunderstood and maligned. I shed a tiny tear for him.

  126. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Some of these people up in the thread are making me sick by saying that mentally ill people deserve sympathy, but those who suffer from personality disorders are monsters.

    Not all personality disorders are the same or are interchangeable. Surely you know that. As far as I understand it, predatory/aggressive/monstrous behavior is basically a diagnostic requirement for the one we commonly call “sociopathy.”

    I would like to remind you that when you talk about personality disorders that way, you are talking about actual PEOPLE.

    I, for one, remember that the predatory sociopath I spent four years dating was in fact a real person. But thanks for the reminder though.

  127. Cyranothe2nd says

    Cassandra,

    It’s sticky. We could say “Judge ppl by their actions, not their diagnoses” but diagnoses sometimes *explain* actions. I think that, overall, we should try to be empathic to those with mental disorders. HOWEVER, I do agree with you that those who truly lack empathy or care for anyone else are usually dangerous.

  128. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I think that, overall, we should try to be empathic to those with mental disorders.

    I don’t know that I feel any particular obligation to have empathy for people who are diagnosed behaviorally as being really bad people. I also tend to think that trying to have empathy for such people is in itself dangerous.

  129. Cyranothe2nd says

    Cassandra,

    Not all people with mental disorders lack empathy, or are bad people, or are dangerous. That was precisely my point.

  130. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    Cassandra Caligaria and others, especially Azkyroth

    I agree that empathy for people who are diagnosed behaviourally as being really bad people is dangerous. I do. I, too, was abused by someone like that. Actually, multiple someones like that.

    But not all people diagnosed with personality disorders are diagnosed as being behaviourally “really bad people” in the sense that they would hurt someone else.

    Just don’t refer to ALL behaviour disorder sufferers as monsters and “sucks to be you” kind of sarcasm? Is that really too much to ask?

    Coz that’s WHY society coined the colloquialism of “sociopathy” and “psychopathy” in my opinion. Because these ARE dangerous, and they’re not deemed dangerous because of their behaviour alone – it’s the lack of empathy and those things that INFORMS the behaviour which is the problem. And is NOT present in all mood/behaviour disorders/mental illness.

    I don’t think it’s unfair to expect a slight bit of consideration in this regard, and I also don’t think that that consideration should:
    a.)Include “sociopaths”/”psychopaths” as is known in the colloquial use, i.e. people who hurt others without remorse (I’m trying to be brief)
    b.) Be in any way used as an excuse for either people in a.) or other people who hurt/are dangerous.

    But being told that you are a monster because you have behavioural difficulties (like OCD or BPD or depression, which DOES lead to behavioural difficulties and being unable to do responsible things like doing everything for your kids so you let the spouse do more than their “fair” share, or eating regularly or being able to do your job properly like a grown up should) – IT HURTS. On top of the already-existing societal stigma, it HURTS to be conflated with self-righteous, entitled scumbuckets who wouldn’t be able to find a micro ounce of empathy even if empathy was a snake and he was walking the Oz outback, like this one.

    Just sayin’. I’ve had an entire week of dealing with people shitting on me for my behavioural problems caused by my depression/bipolar and how bad a person that makes me and how I’m just not trying hard enough. I am a leeeeeeetle sensitive to this right now.

    Main issue

    I just wanted to note that he has YET ANOTHER VIDEO up. Good non-existent god, does this guy do nothing but QQ on the interwebz about the injustice of women (REAL women, not his submissive, perfect wifey fantasy sexbot version) existing?

  131. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I don’t think it’s unfair to expect a slight bit of consideration in this regard, and I also don’t think that that consideration should:
    a.)Include “sociopaths”/”psychopaths” as is known in the colloquial use, i.e. people who hurt others without remorse (I’m trying to be brief)

    This is what I’m saying and have been saying since comment 94. Argh.

  132. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Aaaand Cassandra is slow with the memory and forgot that Azkyroth did extend the claim to all personality disorders, which would explain the whole thing that just happened where I felt like the claim was being misread as overly broad.
    -.-
    Sorry, all.

  133. Azkyroth says

    I would like to remind you that when you talk about personality disorders that way, you are talking about actual PEOPLE. Shame on you for adding to the stigmatization that PDs suffer. This is what makes people avoid admitting their problem and seeking help. Please be more considerate of that.

    In my experience people with personality disorders are too busy destroying the lives of anyone around them to have any interest in “seeking help” except when they have the opportunity to hide behind the “I can’t help it, I’m SICK, no one feels worse about it than me but I’ll never, ever, ever, ever stop it” facade.

    But, hey, the feelings of people who are predisposed to manipulating, deceiving, and abusing the people around them are what’s really important, right?

  134. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    No problem CC. I (thought I) knew that’s what you meant, I just wanted to make sure to carefully stipulate it.

    So, about this whining whiner. What a whiner! His new AGAIN video that I referred to in 153 is called… wait for it…

    Who can explain PZ?

    The description is comedy GOLD:

    Professor PZ to the rescue. Why is this internationally famous professor of biology continuously injecting himself into personality arguments between bloggers outside his academic field? And why is he such a proponent of the ideology of female victimhood? Does he imagine himself the hero, to ride in on a horse and rescue the poor wimminz?

    If anybody wonders, yes, feminism does attach victimhood to feminine identity, and yes, this infantalizes women. It is also, in the pursuit of state-power to redress this victimhood – fundamentally based on violence – which is my other major objection to feminism.

    His blaterhing is getting less and less coherent. From the incoherence he started with, this is quickly approaching OVER 9000 levels of ridonkulousness. I am starting to fear for the stability of the space time continuum. Which is of course all part of the FEMINAZI CONSPIRACY! And is thus trembling in awe of his reasoning or something.

    Anycase, watch at your own risk.

  135. Azkyroth says

    Fuck you, and anyone who thinks that their feelings at possibly being tarred with a broad brush are more important than mine at the years of gaslighting and emotional abuse I endured or the horrifying realization that for about two weeks straight someone was DRIVING DRUNK WITH MY DAUGHTER IN THE CAR.

  136. says

    Why is this internationally famous professor of biology continuously injecting himself into personality arguments between bloggers outside his academic field?

    Personality arguments between bloggers? Really? Huh. We need a better descriptor than pathetic for poor ol’ John.

  137. Azkyroth says

    …I have been reminded upthread, however, that personality disorders other than Cluster B (Antisocial, Histrionic, Narcissistic, and Borderline, the last three being the ones I’m fairly confident of having secondhand experience with) exist, and I certainly don’t mean to include, say, Avoidant personality disorder in my critiques. My apologies; I’ll try to find a narrower phrasing.

  138. Azkyroth says

    Caine.

    Someone.

    Was driving drunk.

    With my daughter.

    In the car.

    And all you have to say is “thread derail?”

    I wish I was surprised.

  139. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Fuck you, and anyone who thinks that their feelings at possibly being tarred with a broad brush are more important than mine at the years of gaslighting and emotional abuse I endured or the horrifying realization that for about two weeks straight someone was DRIVING DRUNK WITH MY DAUGHTER IN THE CAR.

    I absolutely believe that must have been terrible for you, and you probably know by now how I feel about gaslighting emotional abusers. (If you don’t: Fuck them and fuck anyone who downplays the kind of harm they can do.) I’m not sure that justifies a claim about people with all personality disorders, though. Like, I seriously doubt that people with Avoidant Personality Disorder are going to be disproportionately responsible for much of the manipulation and horribleness to others in the world, for instance. I don’t know all the personality disorders that there are so I can’t speak to most of them, but surely at least that one doesn’t fit.

  140. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Well, looks like the thread derail is going into full swing. Good time to head for bed, I suppose.

    *sigh*

    Honestly, I’m glad this one went off into a discussion of personality disorders. Cos no MRAs showed up to defend the babbling fuckhead in the videos. Frankly I’m giddy.

    That’s probably why I’m participating in the derail so thoroughly.
    *blushes*

    And Azkyroth, looks like we cross-posted.

  141. Azkyroth says

    I absolutely believe that must have been terrible for you, and you probably know by now how I feel about gaslighting emotional abusers. (If you don’t: Fuck them and fuck anyone who downplays the kind of harm they can do.) I’m not sure that justifies a claim about people with all personality disorders, though.

    Thank you. And yeah, I qualified my statements above and I’ll try to keep that phrasing in mind.

    Basically, this is a triggering issue for me because what I perceive is a narrative that the victimizing behaviors that stem from the symptoms of Cluster B personality disorders – the instability, the propensity toward deception, manipulation, and gaslighting, the tendency to use people and rationalize using people, and the often devastating impulsive decisions whose consequences are almost never confined to the person making them – are “something they’re just sick with.” Something they can’t help. That we shouldn’t hold against them. Some people even seem to be willing to twist facts and erase victims to maintain a narrative that people with these conditions, except maybe the recognized sociopaths, are tragic figures who are only damaging to themselves.

    I find this not just offensive on a level of abstract principle, but extremely triggering given its prominence in the gaslighting experience I referenced above.

  142. says

    If anybody wonders, yes, feminism does attach victimhood to feminine identity, and yes, this infantalizes women. It is also, in the pursuit of state-power to redress this victimhood – fundamentally based on violence – which is my other major objection to feminism.

    diagnosis: libertarian (based on the government=violence thing, and the victimhood-feminism crap)

  143. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    diagnosis: libertarian (based on the government=violence thing, and the victimhood-feminism crap)

    Ewww.

  144. jackrawlinson says

    P.S. orchestrator, please don’t use gendered insults on this site.

    Yes, please stick to the approved manner of insulting people on this site. There are plenty of examples above, but here are a few to get your re-education started:

    “…they’re just assholes.”

    “…a particularly loathsome example of an asspimple.”

    “Sugarbrain”

    “…pointless dumbfuck”

    “…lackwit.”

    See? Those are all far less insensitive and potentially hurtful than calling someone a dick. Watch your politics on this site. Be civilised and consistent.

  145. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Those are all far less insensitive and potentially hurtful than calling someone a dick.

    Take your strawman and beat it elsewhere.

  146. says

    In a world of scarcity where humans often died of starvation, women with the attributes of innate selfishness and skill at manipulating men meant increased survival for themselves as well as their offspring.

    Not only is their misogyny disgusting, it’s also telling what they believe about men:
    Obviously, they’d be perfectly happy to let their own children starve if that meant they had to go without second helpings.
    I didn’t know that women procreated by cloning either.

    Meanwhile, over on JTO’s comment board, he’s withholding all negative comments, and claiming that it’s because they’re threatening.

    That’s because the truth hurts

    Azkyroth
    Hugs if you want them.
    I can imagine hardly anything worse than recognizing that somebody has put your kid in danger willfully, and I really know what gaslighting means.

  147. says

    I had my own encounter with johntheother a while back. Typical woman hating misogynist, who thought it was funny to refer to me as “a middle aged Hausfrau”, in reference to both my nationality and the fact I am currently not working, although not to be a housewife, as he implied, but due to illness. Most of his videos are laughable at best. I actually feel quite sorry for him. It appears his attitude prevents him from getting laid, while not getting laid worsens his attitude. A vicious cycle. Won’t someone have mercy and give him the so desperately needed pity f**k?

  148. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I haven’t read the whole thread, so I won’t but into ongoing conversations.
    I just read the last couple of comments, so I offer sympathy for Azkyroth.
    And about this :

    Won’t someone have mercy and give him the so desperately needed pity f**k?

    Nope. The guy is an asshole. I wouldn’t wish any woman to have to pack his groceries in a store, let alone have sex with him.
    His attitude is his problem, it’s not a woman’s duty to fix him.

  149. says

    Holy wow, hard to read past his ridiculous ideas about personality disorders. Anyone who has read up on em knows that men make up the majority of NPD and ASPD folks. Dudes with those problems regularly seek to dominate other people. I dont understand how this is twisted into some kind of proof of essential female behaviors.

  150. says

    tanjahilton:

    It appears his attitude prevents him from getting laid, while not getting laid worsens his attitude. A vicious cycle. Won’t someone have mercy and give him the so desperately needed pity f**k?

    You know, I understand the impulse to say things like this. That said, saying shit like this does not help. It’s the exact sort of crap MRAs like to fling at women. It’s not only rude, it’s dismissive.

    I think ol’ John has a host of problems, all of them running a tad deeper than could be fixed by getting fucked, to say the least.

  151. says

    Accusing people of it and diagnosing-from-a-distance is really gross and reeks of ableism and neuro-typical bias. Seriously, you’re talking about people who have a mental illness here.

    I would agree with you most of the time, but cluster b personality disorders are a special problem. Borderline personality disorder is the only one that responds to treatment, and ASPD and NPD have no known treatments. The people with those disorders would have to think that something was wrong with them in order to seek help, and they don’t. People with those disorders just move from person to person preying on everyone they come accross. Every book about them says to *stay away* because there arent workable solutions for normal people to interact with them in a meaningful fashion; both disorders involve taking advantage of other people repeatedly and without remorse. The missing component of the human psyche in these folks is normal empathy, and in the case of ASPD a sense of connectedness and meaning in relationships with other people. I have no idea what the hell to do about it, it is a serious ethical problem. I do not think giving them a platform to take further advantage of others (by claiming their gleeful, self serving anti-social behavior as a disability) is a good idea. Diseases and disorders cause exactly that, dis-ease, or disorder. If there was any hope for rehabilitation then there would be a case for treating people with those problems the same way as other mentally interesting folks, but until then we cannot rationally sacrifice the well being of everyone else. If these disorders were caused by a virus no one would have any moral qualms about quarantine, but since the origins are mysterious and the harm inflicted is more abstract plenty of folks are willing to give NPD and ASPD people way more leeway than can reasonably be afforded. Talk to the kids of people with NPD or ASPD, see how well that worked out for them, how much abuse they suffered because everyone looked the other way. The more awareness there is around this issue, the better.

  152. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Thank you all for the discussion of personality disorders. That’s much more interesting than some MRA asshole whining about how da wimmenz is ruining society.

  153. says

    I appreciate the tangent the thread branched down as well. It is new territory to me. I always had the impression that most disorders were treatable and the other rampant dischordants were just assholes. Now that I have looked at some of the discussion I am wondering if I have an uncle who falls into this category.

    Regarding what Azkyroth experienced, I can certainly understand the anger. A lot of people on this thread are saying that little or nothing can be done. It seems that people experiencing these behaviours in a friend or family member would end up with some weighted scale between pity and loathing for the offending individual, depending on your relationship and what exactly happened to you and/or others. However, I have one of those “seems fair but feels foul” reactions to throwing one’s hands up in the air and saying nothing can be done when it comes to any sort of brain function that people may not have any ability to control.

    It’s a sad reality that current knowledge of the brain is nothing more than a few tentative steps into an immense and frustratingly intricate system of caves and caverns. The advice seems to be the best defense is avoidance of such people, but that would likely just make them more anti-social. I guess the wisdom of experience has to be listened to, but it certainly saddens me that there are people whose lives will amount to a perpetual argument when instead they may have been the most dependable of friends if only they had lived a few years or a few decades in the future when the proper help becomes available.

  154. Ogvorbis: Now With 98% Less Intellectual Curiousity! says

    I will third (or fourth, or whatever) the motion, and thank this thread for meandering down the asshole/sociopath/psychopath/mental illness path. As someone who copes with some minor (Very Minor) developmental difficulties (dislexia and whatever we call Aspbergers now), I hadn’t really thought about socially damaging behaviours and whether this could be a mental illness. Very self-centtred of me, I know — after all, while I do not use developmental oddities to excuse my behaviour, I am always aware of altering my interactions so as to ‘appear’ normal. I assumed (again, stupidly self-centred) that others with minor assholism (like me) can deal with it by a little bit of effort.

    The conversations, debates, and occasional shouting matches on this blog, including this thread, have taught me more about who I am than who others are.

    ========

    And I am so glad that I cannot see any of the videos on this machine. JohntheMRA sounds like some people I know. And who I try very hard to avoid.

  155. keenacat says

    skeptifem has a good point.
    People with ASPD or NPD very, very rarely turn up in a psychiatric setting, while people with other personality disorders often seek help or end up there because of selfharm (often the case with BPD) or family/friends sending them that way (schizotypal or paranoid PD for instance).
    ASPD or NPD, however, turn up in forensic settings frequently as carriers are prone to violent or otherwise criminal behaviour. They do not respond to treatment, mainly because they lack compliance and have no innate interest to be treated since they do not suffer from their PD. There are some treatment options avaliable for the few carriers who want it, but usually management focuses on preserving the wellbeing of family members.
    Due to the lack of impact on the persons own wellbeing there is some low-key controversy wether those specific PDs are actually classifiable as illness/disability.
    Carriers do, however, tend to have comorbidities such as addiction, so maybe a better understanding would be that ASPD and NPD are risk factors rather than mental disorders themselves.

  156. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    Thirding Skeptifem’s point, which is what I was trying to say but was too incoherent with rage to say.

    To Azkyroth. I’m sorry that happened to you. That kind of thing shouldn’t happen to anyone – it’s unfair and horrible and inexcusable.

    It still doesn’t make calling people with personality disorders “monsters” who are only out to manipulate and hurt people without making the distinction that skeptifem made so clear.

    I would have killed myself, had the doctors and AUTHORITAY people allowed me to. Believe me. I would loved nothing more. I know intimately how very, very trying living with me is, what a fucking drag I am, being sad and depressed most of the time and off my mind the rest, how my kids probably pray every night to some imaginary sky fairy to give them another mom, one who actually WORKS and isn’t broken and sometimes can’t even get out of bed, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

    So yeah, right now, what you said – SERIOUSLY PROBLEMATIC.

  157. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    In news related to the thread, I’ve been blocked by Dear John because bringing up AvfM’s history of violent comments (some of which are highlighted at Manboobz in this post about their reaction to the SPLC’s findings) against women is apparently quote mining and dishonest, somehow.

  158. gragra says

    Some very interesting revelations about personality disorders showing up here. From what I have heard on Voice For Men podcasts and some of their related blogs, I think they have a lot of supporters who have been driven into their fold because of disastrous marriages to personality disordered women. For example there is a related forum called Shrink4Men, which deals with men in abusive partnerships. And if you read them, they are definitely abusive, assuming the stories are true.

    I can see with the benefit of hindsight that my ex was not suffering from a personality disorder, but she was deeply insecure and my attempts to make my marriage work in the face of her lack of trust and constant negativity drove me into a depression required medication and therapy to get out of. My experiences with marriage counseling left me frustrated and feeling that I was unfairly singled out by the counselor… so part of me understands what drives some men into the MRA movement.

    Of course NONE of this makes these people remotely in touch with reality, but I remember being tempted by the siren song of their self imposed victim status.

  159. says

    gragra:

    Why does it seem like “looks like i touched a nerve” always seems to come after the rhetorical equivalent of a swing at the kneecap? If you think about it, it’s just another form of concern trolling…

  160. Azkyroth says

    My specific experience was with a person who displays, to various degrees, all of the named symptoms of borderline personality disorder (in a couple of her more lucid moments, she agrees), but has rooted herself very deeply into the Alcoholics Anonymous mindset of “powerlessness” and the paradigm that friends and family are just supposed to stand by and hope that their higher power will fix them. She is seeing a psychiatrist, who I’ve seen in the past and who refuses to even discuss any condition that cannot be straightforwardly medicated. She also slips back into thinking that all the problems in her life are due to other people being out to get her at the drop of a hat, refers to things she’s done to people as things that “happened to” them, and has characterized my finally filing for divorce
    (after years of lies, gaslighting, emotional abuse, devastating financial mismanagement, broken promises, negligence, and escalating alcoholism culminating in my relieving her of parental involvement after the drunk-driving-with-the-kid incident), in response to her moving out with a (male) friend from AA and withdrawing the entire balance of our daughter’s savings account for her own use, as “I got sick and you abandoned me.” We’ve pretty much given up on the idea that she’s going to get treated and get better.

    Perhaps I’m being unfair to other people with Borderline-type symptoms; I really only have this one case to draw from.

  161. ahwev says

    Azkyroth,

    I am sorry for what happened to you and to your daughter, and sorry even more so because this discussion triggered you.

    Basically, this is a triggering issue for me because what I perceive is a narrative that the victimizing behaviors that stem from the symptoms of Cluster B personality disorders – the instability, the propensity toward deception, manipulation, and gaslighting, the tendency to use people and rationalize using people, and the often devastating impulsive decisions whose consequences are almost never confined to the person making them – are “something they’re just sick with.” Something they can’t help. That we shouldn’t hold against them. Some people even seem to be willing to twist facts and erase victims to maintain a narrative that people with these conditions, except maybe the recognized sociopaths, are tragic figures who are only damaging to themselves.

    I certainly agree with you that when people do those kinds of behaviours to people and harm them, they are still absolutely accountable. It can be hard, though, if they are so entwined in their disorder to make them realize that accountability, particularly when so many personality disorders have a tendency to react strongly to not just criticism, but even perceived criticism because it is felt as an attack on the core self. This is why some people would say these are figures who are damaging to themselves because they are people who are stuck in a feedback loop of destructive and socially alienating behaviours, yet can’t figure out how to correct themselves, or in some cases, are not even aware that they keep making the same mistakes over and over.

    You know why I’m in treatment though? Because I don’t believe in throwing up my hands and going “Oh well. I have BPD. Nothing will change, I am my diagnosis and everyone around me should cater to that fact.” You are saying you hate when people pathologize PDs as sick, blameless and unable to change, yet your comments about us being monsters, manipulative and when we do seek help, as operating under a self-debasing facade, ALSO pathologize us and does not help.

    People with Borderline Personality Disorder, as a specific example, have a wide spectrum of functionality, and I bring this up in the hopes that you understand why your broad brush strokes not only do not work, but are also deeply offensive. There are higher functioning BPDs who have families, work 9-5 jobs and seem virtually indistinguishable from other people (they could “pass” in other words) and there are lower functioning BPDs who really have difficulty functioning on a day to day basis and feel consistently overwhelmed and out of control (I know of two such; one gets electro shock therapy twice a week and is pretty much living in hospital, and another is on disability and has to take some heavy meds).

    But I have met a woman who had BPD and was successfully cured of it through the therapy I am in (I’m in DBT). I’m not saying every borderline has the same prognosis for recovery, but it’s better than it was in the past where we gave up all BPDs as hopeless incorrigibles.

    I know I can’t change your opinion, but it feels empowering to me to say that we aren’t all just broken self-absorbed jerks who inflict ourselves on the world at large.

  162. Azkyroth says

    I suppose, actually, given the number of lightbulb moments reading this a while ago, there may be more going on with her than Borderline anyway.

  163. keenacat says

    Azkyroth,

    that must have been deeply painful and crippling and I hope you and your child are in the process of recovery. Given that you have a child with this person you probably can’t cut her out of your live entirely, making it harder to heal.
    Nonetheless, I wish you and your little one all the best. The fact that you got away from this abusive situation is a tremendous gift to her.

    People with BPD do hurt others on a regular basis. I don’t think anybody is seriously denying that. But a lot of them struggle to get better and while you encountered a person that did not care one little bit about your or your childs welfare doesn’t mean that this is true for everyone with BPD.
    While NPD and ASPD per definition come with lack of empathy, disregard for others feelings and often outright enjoyment of other peoples suffering, this is just partially true for BPD carriers.

    Still, you have every right in the world to be hurt and angry. Direct that anger at the culprit, your ex. While she might have been a BPD carrier, she also was an asshole. There is no excuse for that.

  164. levanahsahar says

    Levanah of the Radical Feminist Conspiracy to Keep the MENZ down

    Did anyone notice John’s characterization of Rebecca as a bad dominatrix? That comes from John’s close relationship to Divinity33372, a self titled sex worker advocate who refuses to acknowledge the damage of the sex industry to women and men. Who tirelessly avoids the connections between sex trafficking and prostitution and pornography. Oh yes, a great champion of women’s rights she is!

    I’ll tell you why he comments this way. John has many friends on Youtube who push this idea of sex positive feminism (ironic innit?). He has no problem with the ‘good old days’ where women were always ready to serve their man when he came home from a long day at work but he openly supports this small group of Youtube faux feminists who think being a prostitute is the almighty holy grail for women. After all, a woman always has to SERVE men right John?

    *vomits*

  165. Cyranothe2nd says

    In a world of scarcity where humans often died of starvation, women with the attributes of innate selfishness and skill at manipulating men meant increased survival for themselves as well as their offspring.

    WHAAAAA! Women owe me sex because of ~mammoths~!!!1!

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

    anuran –

    let me add my applause for:

    also, I do think some good discussion came out of the focus on personality disorders. Azkyroth and others have great sympathy from me.

    Finally, I want to affirm the desire of so many to keep crazy-blaming out of this or any thread, and to call it out when it does appear.

    But may I say, once again, that sociopathy is not a disability, nor is it a diagnosis. Psychopathy is slightly trickier because although it is more and more avoided in clinical settings, there is still a significant minority that uses this as a word with a definition similar to “mental illness”.

    In all likelihood, the words sociopathy and psychopathy have nothing to do with disability and diagnosis but reflect popular usages with definitions similar to, “the propensity to perform violent, evil, or even monstrous acts”.

    I tend to agree with the need to avoid psychopathy because of possible confusion to a lingering clinical diagnosis – and because it derives from an equation of crazy with evil, however much the term might be used only for the latter among most of the general public.

    But sociopathy is not now and never has been considered an illness or disability. Neither of them are synonymous with any subset of personality disorders (or any diagnoses at all).

    I am not saying don’t have feelings or don’t express those feelings here. But factual statements asserting a socio/psychopathy correspondence to personality disorders are themselves wrong and confusing disability with choices (and the willingness to make them) that hurt others.

    I hope this last can be incorporated into the general awareness as well.

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

    ack, @anuran –

    the applause was for

    Let’s just say that they’re Men Going Their Own Way. They aren’t actually divorced from reality, but they’ve moved out and are speed-dating other ontological precepts.

    Tho’ perhaps that was obvious.

  168. gragra says

    Azkyroth, my sympathies go out to you and your daughter for having to deal with that. I went through less and I was quite bitter for a time. That kind of situation I believe is what has driven a lot of men into the arms of the MRAs.

  169. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    But factual statements asserting a socio/psychopathy correspondence to personality disorders are themselves wrong and confusing disability with choices (and the willingness to make them) that hurt others.

    Thanks, Crip Dyke. I have a confused now, though. Could you please explain how ASPD differs from what colloquial usage calls “sociopaths”?

  170. says

    I really did “enjoy” the conversation about personality disorders; it’s one of those things that I liked about pharyngula when I got here, but that became increasingly rare for me as topics just tended to repeat themselves (still educational and informative for others, esp. n00bs, but not for me anymore). The explanation and distinction between cluster b disorders and others makes sense, and also the distinction between borderline (which is treatable and which those who have it often do seek to treat) from the other cluster b disorders (which don’t seem treatable, and those who have them don’t feel the need to get anything treated, anyway) markes a lot of sense to me.

    as for the use of “sociopath” and “psychopath”… I get that they’re not in any way actually diagnostic, but I still often see them as excuses of the “well, this person was clearly a sociopath/psychopath, so can’t blame their beliefs/social environment for what they did” variety. it’s not quite the bad=crazy thing, but it does seem to try to completely absolve social systems from fault and instead dumping it all on the (naturally?) screwed up brain of a single individual. as such, i find it… somewhat problematic.

  171. Azkyroth says

    That kind of situation I believe is what has driven a lot of men into the arms of the MRAs.

    I think people with complaints as substantial as mine are a minority among the MRAs who perceive themselves to have been wronged by their partners and coparents…but even so, blaming “women” as a class is irrational and inexcusable. I blame my ex, individual people who share the mental and behavioral traits relevant to the suffering she causes, and people who enable people like her – such as people who deny or dismiss my experiences because they don’t fit with their preferred narrative. Though I may be a bit trigger-happy there. :/

  172. says

    Thanks, Crip Dyke. I have a confused now, though. Could you please explain how ASPD differs from what colloquial usage calls “sociopaths”?

    that’s another thing; the word “sociopath” is often used to mean either “person who fucks people over a lot without remorse”, or “person not capable of feeling empathy”. I think this… dual meaning can also sometimes be harmful, in a way similar to the way other words and phrases with double meanings are often used to attack, but with plausible deniability

  173. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    that’s another thing; the word “sociopath” is often used to mean either “person who fucks people over a lot without remorse”, or “person not capable of feeling empathy”. I think this… dual meaning can also sometimes be harmful, in a way similar to the way other words and phrases with double meanings are often used to attack, but with plausible deniability

    Yeah, I always thought one followed the other logically. Subject has no capacity empathy hence the fucking over without remorse kind of thing? I don’t actually think that they are actually that different, if you remember to add the “without remorse” (as you did). Someone capable of feeling empathy would have *some* degree of remorse, though they’d find other justifications?

    I don’t think I understand where the “plausible deniability” comes in, though – do you mean that one of these actions (fucking peeps over without remorse as a lifestyle vs. incapable of feeling empathy) are more easily excused by society?

  174. says

    Yeah, I always thought one followed the other logically.

    maybe i didn’t express it well, but many (most?) people fuck over other people without feeling particularly guilty for it, usually by learning to other and/or dehumanize them; otoh, some people are simply not wired for feeling empathy with any other person at all.

    I don’t think I understand where the “plausible deniability” comes in, though

    i was talking about being able to say “i’m saying this person is fucked in the head” and then turning around and saying “I’m not shitting on people with disabilities/personality disorders, ‘sociopath’ isn’t even a real diagnosis”

  175. says

    erm

    maybe i didn’t express it well, but many (most?) people fuck over other people without feeling particularly guilty for it, usually by learning to other and/or dehumanize them; otoh, some people are simply not wired for feeling empathy with any other person at all. And the word “sociopath” (or sometimes “psychopath”) is often used indiscriminately for both, at least in casual conversation

    FIFM

  176. says

    Levanah:

    My take on the matter is this: there is nothing inherently wrong with being a sex worker. However, raping a prostitute is still rape, and sex slavery is still slavery. No one should ever be forced into sex work, nor should they provide service when they’re unwilling. Of course, I feel safe in saying that this guy probably would lose it if a hooker turned him down for being creepy, or unclean, or whatever; tough shit for him.

  177. MartinM says

    Yeah, I always thought one followed the other logically. Subject has no capacity empathy hence the fucking over without remorse kind of thing?

    No. Don’t confuse empathy with compassion. It’s possible to have the latter without the former.

  178. says

    Don’t confuse empathy with compassion. It’s possible to have the latter without the former.

    really? I always thought that attempting compassion without empathy would always result in something more like pity…

  179. Pteryxx says

    well, speaking just for myself here (and this discussion’s mostly been over my head to boot). I’m somewhere on the spectrum, so I have poor grasp of other people’s minds and of social behavior. Apparently I’m deficient in empathy, because it’s very difficult for me to guess what someone else is feeling unless it matches up with what I’d feel if I were in their situation. However, I’m still driven to intervene if I see someone being mistreated, and I also like to help people and make them happy. I’m just bad at the execution. From what I understand of compassion, that’s what I have, without the empathy, correct?

  180. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Apparently I’m deficient in empathy, because it’s very difficult for me to guess what someone else is feeling unless it matches up with what I’d feel if I were in their situation.

    As I think I’ve talked about elsewhere, I actually think there’s a bit of confusion because empathy means two things. For NT people it makes sense for them to go together, so there’s no reason for them to separate the concepts. 1.) Ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling and 2.) Ability to “feel with people” when you already know that. ASD people typically lack the first, but not the second; the lack of the second is more associated with “sociopaths.”

  181. says

    the lack of the second is more associated with “sociopaths.”

    O.O

    in that case, i’m fucked, since I generally function on the first definition more than on the second (i keep on referring to this as intellectual empathy; i can understand what other people are thinking and feeling, and understand what those feelings feel like from personal experience, but I don’t often “feel with” a person; unless that “person” is a cat)

  182. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    in that case, i’m fucked

    But you’re clearly not! I know certainly that those two things are mushed together to mean “empathy,” and people can lack one without lacking the other, because I know that a lot of people with ASDs do. The whole page that discusses autism and empathy that tielserrath linked here before has a lot of stories about it; people with ASDs often feel way too much empathy, an empathy overload, provided they are able to tell what other people are feeling. But they often lack the ability to tell that, because the people aren’t signaling it overtly. And I know that part of the reason some predators are so good at manipulating people is that they can easily understand and predict others’ feelings. But there are probably people who lack in one or the other without being either ASD or sociopathic.

  183. kemist says

    Apparently I’m deficient in empathy, because it’s very difficult for me to guess what someone else is feeling unless it matches up with what I’d feel if I were in their situation.

    Isn’t everybody like that ?

    For me empathy means if someone hurts, there’s a place inside me where it sorts of resonates, and I feel bad. Or if he/she is in a given situation, for example being grilled or humiliated as in a thesis defence, there’s a chance I’ll developp my habitual stress response, ie migraine.

    Say you can’t read facial emotional clues or express them properly, but you can understand the situation and react according to it, wouldn’t that mean that you do have empathy, as opposed to someone who does understand emotional clues and situation, but doesn’t care ?

  184. MartinM says

    Pteryxx did a great job of capturing what I meant, so I’ll leave that.

    This, however:

    1.) Ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling and 2.) Ability to “feel with people” when you already know that. ASD people typically lack the first, but not the second; the lack of the second is more associated with “sociopaths.”

    …seems exactly backwards to me. Most autistic folk I know (myself included) can understand others’ thoughts and feelings given a good enough explanation, and even figure out the internal state of others given a decent set of heuristics. It’s the experiential side of empathy that gives us trouble.

  185. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    Yeah, I’d be wary of calling the ability to read faces and interpret other people’s mental states with ease “empathy.” Those people we call “sociopaths” apparently do that quite easily. They just don’t experience the mirrored mental state themselves. Either they’ve learned to turn it off with certain people or their brains aren’t wired that way. I’m neurotypical, I have no problem reading people, but that doesn’t always lead to me feeling compassion or empathy for them. I can easily understand how autistic folks, despite having trouble reading people, can understand that being in a certain situation makes people unhappy, can relate to feeling unhappy, and therefore want to change the situation to ease the other person’s unhappiness. That’s what I mean when I talk about empathy.

  186. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Most autistic folk I know (myself included) can understand others’ thoughts and feelings given a good enough explanation, and even figure out the internal state of others given a decent set of heuristics.

    I think I must have said it badly. 1. was supposed to be about difficulty figuring out what people are feeling – like, understanding via reading expressions, understanding via noticing that a situation is the kind of situation that would make another person sad. We have trouble recognizing that people are upset or understanding why, unless someone explains it verbally, the situation is very clear (someone’s loved one died or something), or we know the people in question really really well.

  187. Pteryxx says

    Pteryxx: Apparently I’m deficient in empathy, because it’s very difficult for me to guess what someone else is feeling unless it matches up with what I’d feel if I were in their situation.

    kemist: Isn’t everybody like that ?

    For me empathy means if someone hurts, there’s a place inside me where it sorts of resonates, and I feel bad. Or if he/she is in a given situation, for example being grilled or humiliated as in a thesis defence, there’s a chance I’ll developp my habitual stress response, ie migraine.

    Say you can’t read facial emotional clues or express them properly, but you can understand the situation and react according to it, wouldn’t that mean that you do have empathy, as opposed to someone who does understand emotional clues and situation, but doesn’t care ?

    Now I’m thinking there are three steps: 1) reading the emotion and/or intellectually understanding it exists; 2) feel the emotion as if it were affecting oneself (empathy vs. sympathy?); 3) caring about the other person’s emotion and acting to alleviate pain or produce pleasure, as opposed to simply distancing oneself.

    So it’s perfectly possible for someone to read the emotion, care about the emotion, but not *feel* the emotion much – which gives you frontliners. Trauma surgeons, first responders, folks with professional detachment who can analyze and solve highly emotion-laden problems.

    If someone reads the emotion, doesn’t care about it, and doesn’t feel it, then you’d have manipulators and predators, gaming other people to get what they want.

    Whereas someone who reads the emotion, cares about it, *and* feels it themselves, is the sort of understanding individual who can say “I feel your pain” and give social support thereby. Though, if they feel it too strongly and can’t control it, they may have to withdraw for their own good.

    And folks who don’t read or understand the emotion in the first place, I guess, end up as sort of detached, clumsy, or very specific variants of the above. (specific meaning, they do best with people very familiar or very similar to themselves.)

    How’s that sound?

    As far as “Isn’t everybody like that?” that’s not quite the impression I get, because I have to consciously remind myself that other people actually *like* being agreed with more than being challenged, for instance. And, that they probably won’t appreciate my waxing eloquent about dildos or mind-controlling parasites. (Present company excepted, which proves my point, neh?)

  188. Azkyroth says

    …I would say the difference between autistics* and sociopaths in terms of “difficulties with empathy” is kind of like the difference between dyslexia and “you mean READ? While we’re still ALIVE?”

    *I don’t find this alienating or dismissive personally and it’s less cumbersome than “people on the autism spectrum”

  189. says

    How’s that sound?

    makes sense

    As far as “Isn’t everybody like that?” that’s not quite the impression I get,

    i think the confusion here was the “unless I would feel the same in the situation”. there is an implied “which very often isn’t the case, seeing as I’m not NT”, which kemist didn’t catch on to, and without which that actually is pretty much how empathy works, and why, for example, empathy down a power gradient can be difficult

  190. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I’m trying to think about how this actually works for me. I’ve got trouble with reading emotions or picking up on where they’re coming from, but at the same time I tend to feel some very clear types of things as though they are affecting me? Like, I can’t find people falling down and such funny under any circumstances, because it hurts. The sort of “awkward” humor where people are embarrassing themselves is usually not funny either because I get sick for them. The worst thing ever is when someone is clearly upset but it’s supposed to be funny. This happens once that I can think of on The Office and one particular time on Buffy. I can’t laugh and thinking about those scenes still really bothers me. And then sometimes I have trouble grokking that other people don’t feel exactly the same way I would feel in whatever their situation is. My friend was going to give a performance in front of his class; I got nauseous/hive-y with terror on his behalf, despite the fact that he had made clear that he was super excited and happy about it. *shrugs all puzzled*

  191. says

    The sort of “awkward” humor where people are embarrassing themselves is usually not funny either because I get sick for them.

    oh yeah. that is actually also one of the few situations when i “feel with”. i actually experience the embarrassment, and have, as a result, walked out on the most embarrassing scenes in some movies. so i know what “feeling with” is supposed to be like, but i don’t experience it in situations when other people are (physically or emotionally) hurt, for example.

    so anyway, of the three aspects of empathy that pteryxx lists, I’ve gotten pretty good at reading people (when my own anxiety isn’t interfering and projecting shit), and I care in the sense of not wanting for people to experience harmful/negative states of mind, and in wanting to take action to help; but i rarely “feel with”, and i suck at consoling people.

  192. Pteryxx says

    The sort of “awkward” humor where people are embarrassing themselves is usually not funny either because I get sick for them.

    *raise hand* This. Watching someone embarrass themselves is intolerable for me. I get the impression that laughing as a group at someone else being humiliated, especially an Other, is really really important to most neurotypicals – to the point where they often have to train themselves OUT of the tendency. (I seem to recall this is why laugh tracks existed, too – neurotypicals are primed to laugh by hearing laughter, IIRC.)

    If y’all are interested in an example, here’s a scene from an excellent MLP episode which I can barely stand to watch, though I’ve seen it a dozen times by now. 16:40 if you don’t mind the ending being spoiled.

    Youtube link – Green Isn’t Your Color

  193. Gen Fury, Still Desolate and Deviant #1 says

    Can I just say: this discussion rocks. SO interesting.

    I’ve been thinking about this through the night and it occurs to me that all of these concepts (empathy, sympathy, compassion, etc.) are pretty fuzzily defined, which is irritating to me but which strokes with the wide way in which people have started to use these terms, so this is particularly interesting to me.

    I am over-empathetic. This is a clinical diagnosis, not just what I say. I’m ALWAYS seeing “the other side”, trying to make sense of other people’s arguments and points of view, trying to imagine myself in their shoes and how they feel and how what I say could possibly make them feel and how they got to their decisions and so on.

    I am also uncannily good at “reading” people in face-to-face situations and “reading” atmospheres in a room – I’ve read it’s a survival skill abuse survivors pick up. Oh, and picking up “dog whistles” – I tend to be called over-sensitive but I’ve always been proven right through time. Those dog whistles have ALWAYS signalled what I predicted they would. (It’s like poking an MRA, eventually they start with the misogyny, no matter how “reasonable” they appear at first, if those dog whistles are present). I don’t think that this denotes ‘empathy’ per se, but maybe the things Pteryxx mentioned, in combination, makes up what we call “empathy”?

    I wanted to be a doctor since I can remember. However, in my late teens, I discovered that I literally can. not. stand to see people in pain. I physically feel my arm hurt, for example, if someone burns their arm while I’m there. Same with psychology. I over-emphathize so much that I often loose track of who *I* am, where I start and where other people stop. This is an empathy-related problem, isn’t it? So could empathy maybe in some ways be defined as caring about the impact that things have on other people, other than yourself where *stuff* can be anything and may vary from individual to individual?

    It’s a rather huge hindrance in terms of office politics (where I get creamed, and often, and horribly), but I do think it makes me more tolerant. However, does it make me more compassionate and understanding? (I still, like Jadehawk, totally SUCK at consoling people and/or knowing what to say/do when someone hurts and I can’t do something immediate and concrete like apply a band-aid or take them to the hospital.)

    Perhaps, to a degree. It’s almost impossible to dehumanize someone, anyone. (?) The Silent Majority, the group laughing at someone who is clearly embarrassed but trying to be a good sport, the very CONCEPT of “having” to be a “good sport” about shit like that – all of it makes me feel bad and I simply cannot keep quiet. Like i said, this leads to innumerable difficulties in my job, where I’m often labeled as a “trouble maker” because I don’t simply accept crap that hurts people on authority or majority, even though I take GREAT care to always communicate my objections clearly and as impersonally and inoffensively as possible, trying to make it clear that it’s not a *person* I have a problem with but a *system*/*concept*.

    Somehow, that doesn’t seem to work out that well, but it’s probably just because I suck at it. After all, the common denominator is me.

    So, talking out of my ass aside, back to the thread:

    Jadehawk

    maybe i didn’t express it well, but many (most?) people fuck over other people without feeling particularly guilty for it, usually by learning to other and/or dehumanize them; otoh, some people are simply not wired for feeling empathy with any other person at all. And the word “sociopath” (or sometimes “psychopath”) is often used indiscriminately for both, at least in casual conversation

    That makes sense to a degree, but I’m torn between “finding it difficult to believe” and “refusing to admit” that most people don’t feel particularly guilty. Maybe not at the time, but when they learn about, or learn to think about or recognize, maybe, the pain that they caused, could it be that the split comes in there?

    As in someone hurts someone else and feels no remorse.

    In case a.), the person is just ignorant of the actual pain, it’s meaning, and its implications on the other person. Once they learn of these and truly understand these, they feel some remorse (though they may still try to justify and pontificate and do anything they can to avoid admitting their error), thus NON-sociopathic.
    Case b.), the person learns about all that or maybe even knew all of that beforehand and simply doesn’t care because it doesn’t affect them personally. Sociopathic.

    Something like that?

    BTW, I completely agree that in general conversation, these are all concepts that are used so loosely so as to almost become meaningless to a degree. Which is why I’m loving this conversation.

    Also, Pteryxx, thanks for the MLP link. I <3 teh pwniez and that's a very good illustration coz I felt so bad for both of them throughout and then the THING happens, but TS did get FS’s consent and FS agreed that it was the solution and then R tries so hard to help her friend… *cute overdose*

  194. says

    Apparently I’m deficient in empathy, because it’s very difficult for me to guess what someone else is feeling unless it matches up with what I’d feel if I were in their situation.

    I don’t mean this condescendingly, but that sounds a lot like I see empathy developing in my kids.
    Because we’re actually not born with empathy. Babies enthusiastically don’t give their mum a break if they have a need.
    Older kids though do develop empathy.
    They put themselves in the other one’s shoes, just like the saying goes.
    Problem is, when you put yourself in somebody’s shoes, you’re still yourself wearing somebody else’s shoes.
    That’s why they want to give me a big box of Playmobil for my birthday, because that’s what would make them happy.
    That’s also why they’re upset when the sister wants to play something else. Beause if they were in their sister’s place they’d like to play that now!
    That’s why the “Golden Rule” is actually bullshit.

    Me, personally, I “can” switch between caring and distancing and caring and feeling with the other person.
    It depends on whether I have to do something or not.
    If you break your leg, I’ll acknowlege your pain and do what needs to be done.
    If you tell me you’re very sad because of X, you can make me cry.

  195. says

    Caine, Fleur du Mal
    18 March 2012 at 5:50 am

    tanjahilton:

    It appears his attitude prevents him from getting laid, while not getting laid worsens his attitude. A vicious cycle. Won’t someone have mercy and give him the so desperately needed pity f**k?

    You know, I understand the impulse to say things like this. That said, saying shit like this does not help. It’s the exact sort of crap MRAs like to fling at women. It’s not only rude, it’s dismissive.

    I think ol’ John has a host of problems, all of them running a tad deeper than could be fixed by getting fucked, to say the least.

    I apologize if my sarcasm somehow got lost here. It was for that precise reason that I did make such a statement, because people like him are just that dismissive and rude. Considering he dismissed me on the basis of his assumption that I am “nothing more” than a middle aged housewife, I considered it to be an appropriate sarcastic response, dismissing him with much of the same gender based bias to point out exactly why his statements are moronic.

  196. says

    am sympathetic to your concerns. I feel you may have overstated your argument in some places, but in general I am uncomfortable with language of mental illness being used to describe assholes.

    And I don’t like a perfectly fine body part being used to describe dillweeds.

  197. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    And I don’t like a perfectly fine body part being used to describe dillweeds.

    Being that no one is being oppressed/institutionalized/stigmatized on the basis of their having an asshole, I think I will put your concern on the back burner for now.

  198. Pteryxx says

    If anyone’s bored, JohnTO’s apologeticking in Ed’s comments:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/03/19/john-hembling-atheist-asshole/#comment-80822

    What I will point out is that as you note in your own article – I missed the joke of Watson’s story, and when I realized this, I took down the video criticizing her based on my previous literal reading of the story of abusing her handler. I also publicly admitted my error in a following video. However it appears that is insufficient to satisfy you, shall I beat myself with a knotted rope? Perhaps you should write another article, accusing me of racism, anti-semitism, and various other offences of character.

    Yeah, yawn.

  199. Pteryxx says

    Giliell:

    I don’t mean this condescendingly, but that sounds a lot like I see empathy developing in my kids.

    That’s why they want to give me a big box of Playmobil for my birthday, because that’s what would make them happy.
    That’s also why they’re upset when the sister wants to play something else. Beause if they were in their sister’s place they’d like to play that now!

    Well, yeah. Which is why I say that I have a deficiency in empathy, because I STILL have a preschooler-level concept of empathy as a full-grown well-past-grad-school adult. I see y’all regulars doing things like proportional emphasis on aspects of problems depending on who you’re talking to, and it makes no sense to me whatsoever. I’m copying it clumsily by heuristics, when I don’t simply stay out of the conversation until y’all WITH the social skills have already set the tone. And that’s because, empathy or no, I’m still concerned about being supportive of you all and not hurting your feelings.

    (also, I would never have thought to interpret your example as condescending if you hadn’t specifically pointed it out. See! If *I* had said something like that to you, you might well have been rightly offended for no reason that I could detect.)

  200. says

    Perhaps you should write another article, accusing me of racism, anti-semitism, and various other offences of character.

    oh, I’m sure if we scratched the surface, something along those lines would come out. few people are single-issue-bigots.

  201. says

    That moron Scented Nectar just sent me a link to her latest youtube video: I watched the first 30 seconds of it. It was an animated anagram of my name.

    I don’t understand why vacuous twits go out of their way to prove that my impression of them was correct, but there you go.

  202. anthonyjkenn says

    Long time viewer, first time commentor.

    Interesting how some people will use an obvious jackass like JTO for their own political agenda to smack others. Case in point:

    Levanah of the Radical Feminist Conspiracy to Keep the MENZ down

    Did anyone notice John’s characterization of Rebecca as a bad dominatrix? That comes from John’s close relationship to Divinity33372, a self titled sex worker advocate who refuses to acknowledge the damage of the sex industry to women and men. Who tirelessly avoids the connections between sex trafficking and prostitution and pornography. Oh yes, a great champion of women’s rights she is!

    I’ll tell you why he comments this way. John has many friends on Youtube who push this idea of sex positive feminism (ironic innit?). He has no problem with the ‘good old days’ where women were always ready to serve their man when he came home from a long day at work but he openly supports this small group of Youtube faux feminists who think being a prostitute is the almighty holy grail for women. After all, a woman always has to SERVE men right John?

    Uhhh…no, ma’am…that is fundamentally incorrect.

    First off, Divinity33372 has posted several times her opposition to MRA’s, considering that most of the popular ones, including JTO and RockingMrE, have fundamentally rejected her right to call herself a feminist as rabidly as antiporn/antisexwork feminists like you do. Actually, the majority response of MRA’s to Divinity has been to slut shame and race bait her, not endorse her sex-pos feminism.

    And secondly….what the HELL do “the ties between sex trafficking, prostitution, and pornography” have anything to do with the attack on Rebecca Watson by the MRA’s? I personally respect her right to speak her mind on how she might have been spooked by “Elevator Man”, and I find the assault on her from the MRA’s to be nothing short of disgusting. (And, BTW, so do most of the “sex positive” feminists I know.) But hey, why let the actual truth get in the way of a good polemic?

    JTO is a certified asshole…but using him as a foil to attack Divinity and other sex-poz feminists is equal lunacy.

    Oh…and here’s Divinity’s response to this, via her blog:

    http://medusasarrow.blogspot.com/2012/03/antis-smearing-me-pz-myers-thread.html

    Anthony

  203. anthonyjkenn says

    Also, Levannah, you might want to investigate before running your mouth. Divinity is NOT a dominatrix, only a former sex worker who defends their right of existence. And she has NO “close relationship” to JTO; indeed, she has broken off MRA’s due to their propensity to lump all feminisms together and whack them all as “castrating bitches”. Not quite the same, right??

    Anthony