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Jun 19 2012

How it’s done

You know, when a few goons and derpwads threatened to harass me at the Global Atheist Conference, and I expressed my discomfort with their threats, the organizer of the conference quickly called me directly and personally and reassured me that no such nonsense would be tolerated at the meeting, and even offered to provide me with a personal bodyguard while I was there (I turned down that generous offer; it was enough that they would do their best, and the pissants really weren’t worth the trouble).

Just sayin’.

161 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    JREF set this up by ignoring questions and concerns about their harassment policy. They made it obvious the safety of women was a low priority at TAM. As a result, a woman speaker has been harassed enough that she’s not going to TAM.

  2. 2
    mythbri

    Well, obviously PZ, your concerns were credible because you lack one of those fluffy ladybrains. That increases your credibility by a factor of ten, at least.

    /sarcasm

  3. 3
    Sastra

    I hope the people running TAM take note of your reasonable suggestion. There has to be someone in that group who can recognize there is a problem — and there are ways to address the problem.

    I am so bummed right now.

  4. 4
    melody

    I organize conferences and events. I’ve only had one known death threat to a speaker. The speaker brought security and I arranged for an additional security guard. I was amazed at how inexpensive it is. I would offer a security guard to any speaker that received a threat. I’ve also personally kicked someone out of an event where the speaker felt threatened.

  5. 5
    ibyea

    Of course, we all know they are just going to go like: TEH WOMINZ ARE PARANOID!!! and not do anything about it.

  6. 6
    SallyStrange

    JREF has a new communications director.

    Whatever they’re paying her, it’s not enough. At least, not as long as DJ continues to be employed there.

  7. 7
    aweraw

    The thing I don’t understand is why are the responses to this all so passive? Shouldn’t the plan of attack be to get down to these conferences, and espouse a culture of intolerence toward those would would harass other attendees? To me it really feels like there’s a lack of will to fight these people on the ground, and enguage in some culture jamming against them.

    I find it sad that, for want of a better analogy, the terrorists seem to be winning… let’s not kid ourselves, this is a fight for our movement, and we have to be prepared to get your hands dirty if we don’t want this kind of dick head behavior to be associated with it. Yet all I see is declarations of “oh, I’m not going, because poo-poo heads”… it should be more like “They what!? Let’s take it to ‘em, troops”

    /opinion

  8. 8
    didgen

    I apologize for asking here completely off topic, but I am the atheist grandmother of two little boys. I live 1000 miles from them so I don’t have as close of relationship as I wish, but I send them books on science often. They are aged 5 and 3, both very smart, does anyone have some ideas of books on evolution and the origin of the universe that would be good for them? Right now I’m working on an answer as to whether or not there can be lightning in space. Thank you for any suggestions, I’m trying to counteract the religious other set of grandparents.

  9. 9
    mythbri

    @didgen

    I think that anyone commenting on TET might have some suggestions for you.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/06/16/episode-cccxxxix-steampunk-time/

  10. 10
    cortex

    @aidanwilliams

    That assumes that someone who has been dealing with the JREF’s recent behavior might still find TAM worth fighting for, or that it’s the only game in town. The JREF isn’t America, where we’re basically forced to all exist together – good skeptics can and have come up with their own conferences and their own organizations.

  11. 11
    left0ver1under

    As posted on Ms. Benson’s blog:

    Most (if not all) FtB bloggers and readers who comment agree that this is a problem.

    Perhaps it’s time for an organized boycott campaign against TAM, to make aware those running TAM – and ruining it – that this will not be tolerated. Either they rein in and/or ban those causing the problem, or the problem gets publicized.

    Yes, it poses a risk of negative publicity (the religious using it as ammo against atheism in general). But if there are no consequences for Randi, Grothe and others at TAM, then they’ll continue to do nothing about it.

  12. 12
    caseygaspari

    Clearly, if you have a penis, why would you need a body guard? it’s a “woman” thing.

  13. 13
    Jafafa Hots

    #12…

    fail.

  14. 14
    Gregory in Seattle

    This ought to help bring more women to the conference. Or something.

  15. 15
    Rey Fox

    The thing I don’t understand is why are the responses to this all so passive?

    From where I’m standing, it’s been a pretty active process of criticizing the JREF’s poor response to this whole issue.

    I find it sad that, for want of a better analogy, the terrorists seem to be winning… let’s not kid ourselves, this is a fight for our movement, and we have to be prepared to get your hands dirty if we don’t want this kind of dick head behavior to be associated with it.

    Meh. I see it as The Movement moving beyond the old white males of the past. TAM is far from the only game in town.

    Yet all I see is declarations of “oh, I’m not going, because poo-poo heads”… it should be more like “They what!? Let’s take it to ‘em, troops”

    So I can assume that if you received threats, that you’d just shrug it off and go anyway? How much are you willing to risk your own safety to be an example?

  16. 16
    Dana Hunter

    #7, let me fix that for you: “oh, I’m not going, because death threats.” You do not get to chastise people who do not want to risk one of those threats becoming a reality. You do not get to imply people are weak for not wishing to risk their lives for a fucking convention.

    Is that clear?

  17. 17
    aweraw

    From where I’m standing, it’s been a pretty active process of criticizing the JREF’s poor response to this whole issue.

    That all well and good, but I think that we’d be better served by having people on the ground, naming and shaming IRL. The cockroaches who engage in this kind of objectionable behavior would likely scuttle off back to their dark little crevices if they’re exposed in public as the vermin they are. Show them that we’re not just a bunch of whiners on the Internet, and demonstrate the repercussions of their behavior in public.

    Meh. I see it as The Movement moving beyond the old white males of the past. TAM is far from the only game in town.

    TAM is just one battle ground of many, and avoiding it doesn’t really address the issues being raised. Say TAM does eventually implode as a result of low attendance numbers… do you think that all the undesirables are just going to stop attending conferences, or will they begin to appear at these so called “safe places” instead?

    So I can assume that if you received threats, that you’d just shrug it off and go anyway? How much are you willing to risk your own safety to be an example?

    Yes, because I’m willing to stand up and fight for my convictions. Others may not be, and that’s fine, but I’m farily confident that not giving bullies the reaction they want (i.e. pulling out of public gatherings) is much more effective in fighting them than just slinking away in fear.

  18. 18
    Aquaria

    The thing I don’t understand is why are the responses to this all so passive? Shouldn’t the plan of attack be to get down to these conferences, and espouse a culture of intolerence toward those would would harass other attendees?

    So, after the Ayatollah issued a death warrant for the writer of The Satanic Verses, you would have told Salman Rushdie to walk down the middle of Teheran in broad daylight?

    That would have showed those Iranians not to mess around with A Salman Rushdie!

  19. 19
    aweraw

    #16

    If you don’t want to take the fight to these people, then don’t. No one is forcing you to do anything like that; I’m just offering my opinion that the best way to win this war is to take the fight to them, change the culture IRL, not to just pontificate on the internet about it.

  20. 20
    Dana Hunter

    #17: That’s fine, dear. You can take your “farily [sic] confident” all the way to the hospital with you, if you’d like.

    There are other, less meathead ways to fight, and ground more worth fighting for.

  21. 21
    aweraw

    #18

    Yeah, because TAM and Iran are totally equivalent. Hyberbolic much?

    If Salman Rushdie had the backing of a bunch of like minded individuals who also had the means to take the fight to the Ayatollah in Iran, then yes, he probably should have.

  22. 22
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t isn’t it? Take precautions and avoid dangerous situations and you’re a coward and a misandrist; don’t take precautions and you’re an idiot who’s asking for it.

    Standing up to bullies can, in point of fact, sometimes get you beaten, raped, and killed. Especially if you lack support – and TAM management have made it abundantly clear that where it comes to sexual harassment, we are on our own.

    Ophelia is the only person who gets to decide what risks she will or won’t take.

  23. 23
    Rey Fox

    That all well and good, but I think that we’d be better served by having people on the ground, naming and shaming IRL.

    You’re talking as if it’s either/or.

    Show them that we’re not just a bunch of whiners on the Internet

    Oh do shut up.

  24. 24
    strange gods before me ॐ

    aweraw, you’ve been heard clearly. We get it. If anyone’s going to be convinced by you, you’ve surely already said whatever it is that’ll convince ‘em. So, please, don’t become the center of attention on this thread; there are other things to be discussed besides your viewpoint.

    Thanks in advance.

  25. 25
    Dana Hunter

    I’m sorry, Alethea, I’m afraid aweraw probably can’t hear you over the flapping of those mighty muscles. Where were we? Ah, yes, that’s right – applying pressure to conference organizers to ensure they start taking this shit seriously and fucking well fix it. Give me brains over brawn and foolhardy displays of bravado any day.

  26. 26
    Hank_Says

    I’m just offering my opinion that the best way to win this war is to take the fight to them, change the culture IRL, not to just pontificate on the internet about it.

    If that WAS all people were actually doing, you might have a slim chance at a point. Since it isn’t, you don’t.

    And for fuck’s sake this isn’t 1994 – the internet isn’t just a bunch of housebound chatroom geeks bawling at each other about arcane nonsense anymore. You might’ve noticed that the conferences currently under discussion wouldn’t actually be fucking POSSIBLE without the internet.

    So, no, “pontificating on the internet” as you so condescendingly put it, isn’t some pointless endeavour – because people are listening. And doing things. In 2012 “the internet” is made of people who not only “pontificate” but also do RL things like organise, attend and speak at conferences and run organisations and who can exert great influence on culture. This is happening as we speak. IRfuckingL.

  27. 27
    Jafafa Hots

    I dunno, if I were trying to sell tickets to something, I think I’d try to go with the “Come find a friendly, safe, fun, educational and welcoming atmosphere!” PR rather than the “You have to expect to get hit on, but if someone actually physically attacks you there’s probably a cop around somewhere. Plus, the death threats are mostly trolls” campaign.

    But I haven’t been in advertising business since 1998, and resigned in 1995 from the board of the non-profit I helped start which organized nationwide conventions, so I really don’t know how these things work these days since at all now involves “just the internet” etc.

  28. 28
    Jafafa Hots

    erp. replace nationwide convention with national convention. Our conventions didn’t actually physically span the continent.

  29. 29
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    and a misandrist

    OK, since no one else has recently I’ll say it:

    There’s no such thing as misandry. It doesn’t exist. There is no parallel to the pervasive cultural misogyny we’re swimming in.

    There is no institutionalized, systemic, politically and culturally powerful hatred of men.

    IT DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST.

    And fuck you if you use the word with anything but irony.

  30. 30
    ivycannon

    Where did it say she got DEATH threats? Why doesn’t she post the threatening email like PZ does?

    If D.J. doesn’t have a copy of the email with identifying information, how can he do anything? How do we know this has anything to do with TAM?

  31. 31
    Jafafa Hots

    Ivycannon, I am not alleging that Ophelia Benson got death threats, I don’t know if the threats she received went that far or not.

    OTHERS have received death threats, and it is the general atmosphere created by defenders of TaM and the abuse and threats and lies and bigoted statements coming from others, many anonymous, aimed at those who aired legit complaints, concerns or constructive criticism that I was referring to.

  32. 32
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Where did it say she got DEATH threats? Why doesn’t she post the threatening email like PZ does?

    If D.J. doesn’t have a copy of the email with identifying information, how can he do anything? How do we know this has anything to do with TAM?

    Did you not fucking read the linked thread? Dog, you are fucking stupid.

    You sound like Willow on that thread.

    Go fuck yourself.

  33. 33
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    “Misandrist” is much the same thing as “feminazi”, and deserves to be treated with equal seriousness. Appropriate reactions include pointing and laughing at the user, or if the offense is repeated, shouting, growling, rapping on the nose with a newspaper, and offering porcupines.

    Although I do think that technically my BFF’s cat is a misandrist: she loves women, even relative strangers; and runs in terror from men. We suspect that she was abused by a man when she was little. (The cat, not the BFF. In the case of the BFF, we don’t suspect, we know for sure.)

    Perhaps the cat is an androphobe. Is androphobia a thing?

  34. 34
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Where did it say she got DEATH threats? Why doesn’t she post the threatening email like PZ does?

    If D.J. doesn’t have a copy of the email with identifying information, how can he do anything? How do we know this has anything to do with TAM?

    When someone is threatened and your first response doesn’t included “Are you okay?” or “That’s unacceptable, I’m so sorry” something is fucking wrong with you.

    I’m betting just a bunch of JAQing off and “I’m being a good skeptic about it” coming from you.

    Yeah, cling to that bullshit “skepticism” since you aren’t a decent human fucking being it’s all you have.

    HINT: You aren’t being skeptical, you’re being a jackass and focusing the blame on the victim.

  35. 35
    aweraw

    #25

    OK, but if brain always prevailed over brawn, then Hypatia would never have been put to death, and the library of Alexandria never burned. Sometimes physical responses are warranted, and even necessary.

  36. 36
    SallyStrange

    You’ve lost the plot entirely, aweraw. Now you appear to be advocating not just going to TAM, but also having some sort of “physical response” to any bullying or harassment that might happen. Which is mightily stupid.

    Doubtless you didn’t quite intend it that way, but were just wrapped up scoring argument points and lost track of the context… which is also pretty stupid.

    Things are not looking good for you.

  37. 37
    Inaji

    aweraw:

    I’m just offering my opinion that the best way to win this war is to take the fight to them, change the culture IRL, not to just pontificate on the internet about it.

    Quite the cupcake, aren’t you? In case this escaped your notice, all you’re doing is whinging on the internet. Shouldn’t you be out and about awing people left and right with your mighty powers to change “the culture IRL”?

    Here’s a clue for you: you’ll never change anything, because you don’t grok that the internet and exchanges which take place are real life. You don’t grok that the culture we’re swimming in, why we’re soaking in it when we’re on the net! Amazing, isn’t it? Here’s another little swing of the cluebat, Cupcake – speaking up, whether it’s at a local cafe or on internet fora is what changes prevailing mores and culture. So, as you aren’t helping, have a nice, hot cup of shut the fuck up. Ta.

  38. 38
    robives

    Turns out you are big and you are clever!

  39. 39
    didgen

    @Mythbri
    Thank you for your help.

  40. 40
    Moggie

    aweraw:

    Sometimes physical responses are warranted, and even necessary.

    I expect you’ve got something really impressive planned for TAM. Can you provides clues, or will that spoil the surprise? Anyway, I hope you post video of you chaining yourself to DJ, or whatever it is.

  41. 41
    KarenX

    @17

    TAM is just one battle ground of many, and avoiding it doesn’t really address the issues being raised. Say TAM does eventually implode as a result of low attendance numbers… do you think that all the undesirables are just going to stop attending conferences, or will they begin to appear at these so called “safe places” instead?

    All these so-called undesirables will find themselves attending non-TAM events that by that time will probably have put into place (and practiced, and refined) the kinds of harassment policies people who are currently sitting out TAM want. When they get there, they may act undesirably once, but presumably it will be dealt with appropriately.

    But honestly I think they will stop attending conferences. If half the fun of a conference is hitting on the women, and that’s not going to be the environment of the TAM alternatives, then they would only have half as much fun. Plus someone somewhere on FTB (I’m sure it was FTB) pointed out that even a well-attended TAM contains a very small number of skeptics, all things considered, and people insist that a small number of those attendees are causing all the problems. Split them up and scatter them across the various conferences, and it’s not going to cause the same kinds of problems.

    I’m willing to stand up and fight for my convictions. Others may not be, and that’s fine, but I’m farily confident that not giving bullies the reaction they want (i.e. pulling out of public gatherings) is much more effective in fighting them than just slinking away in fear.

    A boycott is a form of fighting, particularly when you go public with why you are refusing to attend an event after all. It’s not slinking away in fear when you speak out about the flaws in an organization and influence others to boycott an event, too (actively or inadvertently). These are actions that have real consequences. Nothing slinking about it.

  42. 42
    aweraw

    #41

    Thanks for the tempered response. Points taken.

    I just suspect that were we to bind together as a community and face these issues by taking direct action against these people, we’ll achieve the result much quicker than all these indirect, passive agressive methods. For example I’d count a boycott as an indirect way to address the problem of harrassment.

    The rest of you who decided to insult me in your own ways, thanks for your well thought out and extremely informative arguments. You’re winners of hearts and minds, for real. Not a flouncer amoung you.

  43. 43
    KarenX

    “Passive-aggressive” is a loaded term that I don’t think applies here. People have stated their terms and made clear what minimum requirements they want from TAM; TAM does not meet those terms. Those people go elsewhere. It’s a very straightforward, very direct transaction. And it solves problems very quickly. Think about how eagerly TAM representatives spoke up about their attendance problems, and how they immediately started looking for sources and solutions to it. (Your assessment of the process goes here.)

    And maybe I’m not reading well tonight, or I’m being dense, or something, but I have no idea what a “direct action against these people” would look like. What’s an example of a direct action and how does it achieve the goal faster? Why bother changing a culture when you can just set up a new one the way you want somewhere else?

  44. 44
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Since they’re so obviously in denial, if I was in a position of speaker OR attendee, I would just tell them I am no longer interested in going and send a letter explaining why. If the response of these conferences to women with harassment complaints is to play ostrich, I can play that game too by not looking at the request or ad to attend. When the attendance falls to zero, or they can no longer get speakers, they may try a different tack with taking a very legitimate and serious issue and realizing they are part of the problem and start to address it like the supposedly fucking rational adults they claim to be.

  45. 45
    Louis

    Hi Caine!

    Word, Caine! :-)

    Louis

  46. 46
    Louis

    Aweraw,

    Here’s something for you to reflect upon:

    You are advocating more direct action at these meetings, which I don’t necessarily disagree with but I think the people saying that a) no one gets to decide for another what they are willing to do, and b) boycotts are direct action are correct. And yet when people here treat you with rude words and insults you become passive-aggressive and defensive.

    In your quest to criticise others and be “activist-er than thou” by advocating “real life” action such thin skin will not help you. What makes you think you can cope with “real life” action when you’re such a delicate flower that a few words on the internet have you running for the waaaaaahmbulence?

    Louis

  47. 47
    rorschach

    Plus someone somewhere on FTB (I’m sure it was FTB) pointed out that even a well-attended TAM contains a very small number of skeptics, all things considered, and people insist that a small number of those attendees are causing all the problems. Split them up and scatter them across the various conferences, and it’s not going to cause the same kinds of problems.

    That is quite funny for various reasons, but I don’t think it is true, or would solve any of the current problems. Our movements are run by, and filled with, people. And people can be misogynists and rapists and assholes. Whether they believe in Bigfoot or not.

  48. 48
    Inaji

    Hi, Louis! ♥

    G’night, Louis. :)

  49. 49
    Louis

    Caine,

    Come baaaaaaack! (General)

    Enjoy your sleep (NOW!)

    Louis

  50. 50
    'Tis Himself

    Hi Caine. Glad to see you’re back. We missed you. ♥

  51. 51
    Moggie

    McCthulhu:

    When the attendance falls to zero, or they can no longer get speakers, they may try a different tack with taking a very legitimate and serious issue and realizing they are part of the problem and start to address it like the supposedly fucking rational adults they claim to be.

    Particularly male speakers, since I suspect they care more about those. If they try to book prestigious Dr Dudely McPenis-Haver, and he tells them he no longer wants to be associated with TAM because of this issue, that’ll get their attention.

  52. 52
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    @aweraw

    Boycotts aren’t direct action? Someone tell Dr. King!

  53. 53
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    (or, more likely you need to google “direct action”)

  54. 54
    Emptyell

    Aweraw

    Conferences are all about attendance.

    Not going is making a choice IRL that has direct consequences.

    If you feel you can go and make a difference then go for it. I on the other hand have decided not to make this my first time going to TAM.

    My interest was borderline anyway (compared to other events I want to attend) and recent events have knocked it out of the running entirely. Everyone’s decisions whether or not to attend depend entirely on their particular circumstances. I don’t care enough about TAM to commit my time to trying to fix it.

  55. 55
    curmudgeon

    This is where I’ve been going wrong in 27 years of anti-racist activism. I should have just stayed home and written strongly worded memos to my colleagues.

    Has anyone stopped to consider that this kind of bottom feeder takes one step forward every time we take one step back? If PZ had stood up, Ophelia might not have been threatened. Now that she’s backed down, someone else will get the threats. And so on.

    Then again, you do have a completely different breed of crazy over in the States…

  56. 56
    rorschach

    If PZ had stood up, Ophelia might not have been threatened.

    Sorry, what ?

  57. 57
    Emrysmyrddin

    Caine!

    Selfish Emrysmyrddin: Come back NOW, we miss you! ♥

    Trying-Not-To-Be-Selfish Emrysmyrddin: I hope you come back soon, but I wouldn’t want to be pushy or not acknowledge that you needed an understandable break. I’m/we’re thinking about you in the meantime! ♥

  58. 58
    Emptyell

    curmudgeon,

    Are you saying you never picked your battles? Activism still means choosing when it is appropriate to act and when to hold back.

    In this case it seems that the damage is being done to TAM by the ones making the threats and previously by DJ and TAM management themselves. The only reason to stand up to the threats is if there is a real possibility of a positive outcome that seems worth the risk. This is a personal decision which you are in no position to judge.

  59. 59
    curmudgeon

    Indeed.

    It made sense when I wrote it but not now I read it.

  60. 60
    Louis

    Curmudgeon,

    Are you white?

    Louis

  61. 61
    curmudgeon

    Emptyell,

    We do not live in isolation. Our actions and inactions affect others and theirs affect us.

    Of course we pick our battles. As a rule, the higher the profile, the higher the priority.

    As for “This is a personal decision which you are in no position to judge”, does that only apply to people you disagree with?

  62. 62
    curmudgeon

    Yes Louis, I am white.

    I got involved in anti-racism after getting a kicking standing up for a white woman and her mixed race child being abused by a couple of thugs.

    Some would say it wasn’t my fight then, some would say its not my problem now, but I won’t sit on my hands while its happening.

  63. 63
    Emrysmyrddin

    When talking about “What People Should Do” (I hate that phrase), you can discuss in general terms about possibly effective strategies but still recognise the autonomy of an individual‘s decision as to whether or not to apply said strategies.

  64. 64
    ricardodivali having sniffles over stiffles

    Aweraw you are of course free to do what you want, but if you suffer for it, it is your own fault… and I guarantee you are unlikely to be thanked for it.

    Popcorn anyone?

  65. 65
    Louis

    Curmudgeon,

    Cool. I’m not going to criticise you for any of that! :-)

    It’s all our fight. Good on you for not sitting on your hands.

    The reason I asked if you were white (I’m not white btw) is to use that as a jumping off point to get something across to you you might already know. In fact after 27 years of activism you probably do, so forgive me for covering old ground if that’s the case.

    Obviously your experience of racism is not going to be identical to mine. I’m male, my experience of sexism is not the same as Ophelia’s. I’m not old enough to have been involved in anti-racist activism for 27 years, but I am involved, and if you’re in the UK we may have run across each other unknowingly.

    Ophelia is deciding for herself that a boycott is the means of direct action she is employing, as are many other women. Okay it’s a bit of an exaggeration to use this analogy, but in all my years of anti-racist activism, I haven’t turned up to a BNP meeting, or an event where the National Front was being welcomed and defended. Unless it was a Free Speech event unrelated to anti-racism. Why? Because a) I’d boycott those sorts of events as part of a protest and b) my safety would be compromised, potentially.

    Sure TAM is not a BNP meeting or an event where the NF is welcome or defended, but it is an event where a certain type of rather abhorrent misogyny is being glossed over. Just like people of colour and anti-racist activists the world over have seen their concerns dismissed and had pushback from the establishment when they confronted it, so now are women and feminists getting the identical pushback, with a couple of new words in there. It’s the same pattern.

    So, given this pushback, it remains the right of every person to choose the specifics of their activism. I might wish that everyone were at least as activist as me (which isn’t that great, but I do try) but that’s really not the point. More than that, Ophelia’s absence is purely personal, she, and no one else, has advocated we all boycott TAM and the like. If you or I want to go and fight on the ground so to speak, we’re welcome to. And note Ophelia et al are not merely passively withdrawing in silence. They are making their displeasure widely known at the the influential levels of the organisation that runs TAM. This is every bit as activist as being in the trenches.

    Louis

  66. 66
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I just suspect that were we to bind together as a community and face these issues by taking direct action against these people, we’ll achieve the result much quicker than all these indirect, passive agressive methods. For example I’d count a boycott as an indirect way to address the problem of harrassment.

    Boycotts are a classic form of direct action.

  67. 67
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Sorru, but I just can’t stop laughing at “derpwad”! :D

  68. 68
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    @SC Like I posted earlier, I think someone may need to google “direct action”.

  69. 69
    Maureen Brian

    To aidanwilliams and other apologists -

    How dare you come here with so poor a grasp of what has been happening, such a complete blank in your brains? How dare you suggest that we are failing to change the culture because we are too passive? Some of us do have enough grasp of what is happening to know that sometimes in this fight the opposite of “passive” is “dead” – dead in a ditch like Emmett Till in an earlier struggle because he wasn’t quite passive enough, dead under the King’s horse at Epsom like Emily Davidson, dead like Brandy Martell just last month in Oakland CA but then you probably never heard of her.

    Besides, guys, we are not on a martyrdom kick. We are trying to persuade a bunch of entitled buffoons that the culture is changing, it is going to keep changing and, no, they can’t halt the change. They can only drag it out a little, make it a little more messy. To achieve that we have to be focussed and rational. The delayers and disparagers can afford to be emotional and self-indulgent – as they have been of late.

    What exactly is it that you want us to do? All sell our houses and fly to Vegas so that we can wrap James Randi and his beard in Scotch tape? Yes, that would be assault and you can be sure that by the time we finished the first roll every cop within 20 miles would be on hand to protect him.

    People are getting away with behaviour on the ill-mannered to criminal scale because they are getting cover from both the arrogant and the dim. They are getting encouragement. They are being cheered on as they heap verbal abuse on those who have already been abused. They are putting on stunts like the Great Penis Debate in the midst of all this and still claiming that it’s all a big joke.

    There are two sets of people here – the ones who suggest that with some effort we could improve this, that or the other and the other set who say, “Naw, my grandpappy used to get away with groping all the women in his workplace and I want my share, too.” Not difficult to see which set you lot jumped into bed with!

    Now listen up, children. I was 70 last week and I have been on to this since I was 12. In my lifetime and in just one country I have seen changes to the teaching of maths and science, the professions opened to women, the banking system woken up so that it no longer demands a male countersignature, individual taxation for couples, women’s refuges and rape crisis centres, clarification of what rape is and stalking on the books as a criminal offence plus other changes to the law. And so on and so forth. And marched and wrote and spoke and supported comrades in the fight.

    In the course of that I have met an amazing number of totally impressive people, people I have been so proud to know. Not a few of them on this very blog where I come for the very clarity of thought, effective communication, depth of commitment and experience which has always proved to be far more effective than any amount of mealy-mouthed wanking.

    We are not there yet and sometimes that get a bit frustrating. Some of us, though, know exactly what we are aiming for and it is still eyes on the prize.

    You don’t like that? Tough!

  70. 70
    Emrysmyrddin

    maureenbrian, I like the cut of your jib :)

  71. 71
    AJ Milne

    maureenbrian, I like the cut of your jib.

    Seconded.

  72. 72
    gbjames

    maureenbrian, I’m just a young fella at 62. I wish I could say it as clearly as you have.

  73. 73
    Crys T

    maureenbrian, you are my hero.

  74. 74
    Maureen Brian

    I’m blushing now.

  75. 75
    Ophelia Benson

    I stole that for my place, Maureen.

  76. 76
    Momo Elektra

    Awesome, maureenbrian. You rock!

  77. 77
    millssg99

    Absolutely 100% agree with “That’s How It’s Done”. And there’s a line you cross when you go from the Internet to “Real Life” that has to be treated differently. Nobody disagrees with that. Yet one cannot help but think the attitude of some on the comment threads on this blog display attitudes that are “disturbingly non-liberal”.

    shoshidge
    19 June 2012 at 11:56 pm

    There is something disturbingly non-liberal about the regular commenters here, the tendency to insult, to pedantically point out typos and grammatical errors, to assume the worst of dissenters and their motivations, the general inhospitality of it all galls me.

    If you spoke like this to guests at my party I would ask you to leave and never have you back, if it was your party I would excuse myself and never come back.

    Now I know that you will immediately make this about me, but shoshidge was not talking about me. You will make it about me because that allows you to narrow the dissonance that his stinging words must surely create in some here.

  78. 78
    Matt Penfold

    I’ve been in love with Maureen for a while now. She has a real style about her when ripping idiots new orifices.

  79. 79
    Matt Penfold

    Now I know that you will immediately make this about me, but shoshidge was not talking about me. You will make it about me because that allows you to narrow the dissonance that his stinging words must surely create in some here

    Your argument might have some validity if you bothered to offer evidence, but you did not. I note the person who quoted was unable to offer any evidence either.

    Care to explain your lack of intellectual honesty ?

  80. 80
    Anthony K

    If you spoke like this to guests at my party I would ask you to leave and never have you back, if it was your party I would excuse myself and never come back.

    This is not a party. We are not making polite chit-chat over the thinking of glasses while we network and hook up. We are, ostensibly, talking about stuff that matters to us. These are not the topics of conversation one has at parties.

    If you’re looking for a party, get-together, or soirée, keep looking.

  81. 81
    PZ Myers

    If you’re going to make every thread all about you, millssg99, I might as well ban you now and get it over with. Stop.

  82. 82
    Anthony K

    Ah. ‘Tinking’ of glasses.

    And Maureen, just wow.

  83. 83
    Rey Fox

    Yet one cannot help but think the attitude of some on the comment threads on this blog display attitudes that are “disturbingly non-liberal”.

    Tell us how “non-skeptical” and “non-scientific” we are next. Then maybe I’ll begin the process of starting to consider giving a crap.

  84. 84
    Rey Fox

    Splat.

    Maureen, we need more folks like you and fewer Internet Tough Guys.

  85. 85
    Louis

    Brownian,

    These are not the topics of conversation one has at parties.

    You’re going to the wrong sorts of parties. These are precisely the topics of conversations that get covered in between sweaty orgiastic sex.

    Apparently.

    I mean Brownian told me that…fuck, you’re Brownian aren’t you? Erm….Other Brownian told me.

    Yeah. I’m covered.

    Louis

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Anthony K

    I’d like to address again what millssg99 thinks are ‘stunging’ words.

    The topic of this thread is the email threat that a conference speaker got that made enough of an impression on her that she declined to attend.

    That sound like we’re having a fucking cocktail party here?

  88. 88
    Anthony K

    Ha-ha! Actually, Louis, you got me. These are the sorts of conversations I have at parties, or at least did. If someone wasnt fighting, and someone wasn’t crying, it wasn’t a party.

    I’ve since learned that many people don’t want blood, sweat, and tears on their evening finery. So I pick my locations better.

    This is one of them.

  89. 89
    Anthony K

    Stunging. Jesus Christ. Fucking iPhone.

  90. 90
    carlie

    And there’s a line you cross when you go from the Internet to “Real Life” that has to be treated differently.

    Interesting. So what is it that makes people typing less real than people talking?

    I mean, we’re still people. We’re still communicating. In fact, there are people who are able to be much more “real” online than in person due to problems with social interactions. Anonymity? Nah, there are few people who are able to truly remain anonymous online, and those people acting like assholes “under the cover of anonymity”? News flash, they’re assholes in “Real Life” too. They might hide it some of the time, but assholery has a tendency to shine through no matter how hard they try to hide it.

    Is it the “realness” of threats? What makes a threat by email categorically different as a threat than one sent through the post office? That the person decided to spend half a dollar on a stamp? They pay more per month for internet access. And both types of threat are federal crimes.

    So tell me, mills, what exactly is it that makes Real Life different than the internet?

  91. 91
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    So, as you aren’t helping, have a nice, hot cup of shut the fuck up. Ta.

    I likes it!

  92. 92
    Rey Fox

    I’d like to address again what millssg99 thinks are ‘stunging’ words.

    Now now, stop making this about millsy, Brownian. This is about something that somebody named “shoshidge” said, somewhere on the internet, yesterday. Those words must have really stung you if you keep making this error. They must have stung PZ’s banhammer hand pretty bad too.

  93. 93
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I think maureen deserves a Molly for that one.

  94. 94
    Anthony K

    Those words must have really stung you if you keep making this error.

    You know what’s funny? I remember yelling at millssg99, but I don’t even remember what I was yelling at millssg99 for. Probably sexism, but that’s how little an impression he made on me. There are literally millions of people I haven’t yelled at yet. I’m never going to get through them all if I stop to worry about people like him and shoshidge.

  95. 95
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    @ maureen

    Thank you for that comment. That really cheers me up. In a few days I turn 60, and I was worried about being “relevant” and up to the challenges of modern life, blah blah blah. Instead, now I feel inspired and in a good way, shamed. Hell, this is not a matter of years, but of will. If lots of people keep on smacking the system hard, it will change. We will make it change.

    As for awera, dude, I dealt with jerks who threatened my life and stalked me and all that fine shit for years. Sometimes, kicking them in the nuts is what you have to do. Sometimes, you boycott.

    Just because you are in the trenches, does not mean you are actually more effective or better. You may be and you may not be. You also have to consider your responsibilities. My spouse begged me to back off the confrontations while I was pregnant. I think he was right, today. At the time, I did not back off and now from many years later, I can see that I was actually scared and felt that if I backed off, I was giving in. That isn’t so. Sometimes boycott is plenty. Getting in there and “showing them” may not be a practical alternative. Each to her own.

    Caine, totally awesome and hope you will have the energy to keep on commenting.

    And I have to say this, Louis, you rock.

  96. 96
    millssg99

    PZ, this is perfectly relevant to this blog post of yours and if you want to ban me for that fine. It proves the point that you simply can’t stand anyone pointing out the bankrupt hypocrisy of people here. Must shut them up lest they shatter the fragile egos and create to much dissonance. One of your commentors here is saying this blog is not different than the real life of you attending the conference. I disagree, but the point is completely relevant.

    So tell me, mills, what exactly is it that makes Real Life different than the internet?

    I think threats or harassment in real life are different than on the internet. It does cross a line. Obviously the people here do as well, otherwise else that wouldn’t be talking the way they do to people who disagree.

    The point I was trying to make was that there is still a parallel to be drawn. The problem here is that certain commentors want to derive real motivations and psychological traits from people who make comments they disagree with. However their viscous attacks and harassment in return are to be exempted. In other words to which they are responding are real but their responses are not to be taken as real. They are just “harmless verbal assaults”. They are exempted.

    PZ’s article is about harassment of him, but it’s OK here. Obviously real life is different, but there are still parallels to be drawn.

    And it’s not just shoshidge saying it. It’s other people like Rick on the same thread.

    Rick
    18 June 2012 at 11:36 pm
    WTF? Second time in as many weeks that I’ve visited this blog and seen so much schoolyard crap in the comments. It detracts from an other wise interesting blog.
    It gives the impression of a locker room ruled by a group of arrogant & immature jocks.
    Not sure why I bothered to post, but its very unappealing.
    Too many other good blogs to visit.

    Sounds an awful like “a few goons and derpwads”

  97. 97
    Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness

    @ millssg99

    Gee, who is forcing you to stay here? Speak up! I will personally force them to let you go. If you aren’t having fun, you should have the right to leave. Ya poor thing.

  98. 98
    Amphiox

    Saying that there is a “difference between the Internet and real-life” is just a veiled way of dehumanizing people who use and communicate through the Internet.

    Just a “politer”* way of evoking the “Internet geek/loser” meme to dismiss and silence.

    How unsurprising to see millsy say it.

    As usual millsy completely fails to understand that the difference it is trying to point out (assuming a generous and currently undeserved interpretation of its motives) has NOTHING to do with real life vs Internet (which not being imaginary, is just another part of real life), and EVERYTHING to do with the actual content which could exist both online and off.

    * and another example of why “politeness” is irrelevant when you actually care about things of substance

  99. 99
    hyperdeath

    Brownian:

    You know what’s funny? I remember yelling at millssg99, but I don’t even remember what I was yelling at millssg99 for.

    He’s one of the tedious idiots from the Here’s the situation uberthread.

  100. 100
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    *sees terminal stoopidity/tone trolling, and backs slowly away to avoid the banhammer splatter*

  101. 101
    Matt Penfold

    And it’s not just shoshidge saying it. It’s other people like Rick on the same thread.

    And you again failed to offer any evidence. You have had ample opportunity, but have clearly decided not to bother, presumably because you know have none.

    I also note you were unable to offer any explanation or defence of your intellectual dishonesty, again presumably because you cannot.

  102. 102
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    However their viscous attacks and harassment in return are to be exempted.

    Like, I am rubber, you are glue?

  103. 103
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters
    However their viscous attacks and harassment in return are to be exempted.

    Like, I am rubber, you are glue?

    Good catch, Antiochus Epiphanes!

  104. 104
    Anthony K

    Thanks, hyperdeath. That’s what I thought.

    The victim blamers never seem inclined to take the precautions against getting chewed out on Pharygula. “Women, stay away from dark alleys. Pharyngula, be nicer to me.”

  105. 105
    Jacques Rousseau

    What Maureen (#69) said. And “how it’s done” isn’t a matter of someone else prescribing a course of action from a significantly different position than that of the person who has to make the decision. How you did it at the GAC, PZ, has only one feature in common with Ophelia’s choice here – a speaker receiving threats. All sorts of other things might not be in common, and certainly don’t appear to be.

    Ophelia’s choice might end up being an unfortunate one, once all the facts are known, but it’s nevertheless one she’s entitled to make, and – as far as I can tell – one she’s justified in making. Telling her it’s an illegitimate choice hardly counts against the perception she and others have developed around how women are treated at TAM. And saying “just sayin’” don’t make what’s being said any less odious.

  106. 106
    Ingdigo Jump

    PZ, this is perfectly relevant to this blog post of yours and if you want to ban me for that fine. It proves the point that you simply can’t stand anyone pointing out the bankrupt hypocrisy of people here.

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-3809-internet-argument-techniques/

    I propose a new rule. Anyone using something from this list deserves at least a ban warning. Someone like Mills who seems to treat it as a Todo list deserves to be spritzed with Lemon water like the bad dumb animal he is

  107. 107
    Ingdigo Jump

    Mills just did Winning By Losing, Hotel California, and 1st Amendment Rewrite

  108. 108
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Just popping in for a huge YAY! at Maureen.

    (and then quickly out to avoid the impending splatter)

  109. 109
    hyperdeath

    millssg99:

    However their viscous attacks and harassment in return are to be exempted. In other words to which they are responding are real but their responses are not to be taken as real. They are just “harmless verbal assaults”. They are exempted.

    They are “harmless verbal assaults” you egomanical little child. Nothing that has been said to you amounts to even 1% of the hurt that rape victims are subjected to by being endlessly lectured on being more careful next time. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

    You seem to have trouble with that last concept, so I’ll repeat it five times:

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

  110. 110
    Ingdigo Jump

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about you.

    *Wearing Millsmask* OOOOH so I see how it is! I’m not important enough for my basic human dignity to be considered! It’s only the elite pharlynturds who get respect around here according to your precious rules! You’re saying I don’t matter at all!

  111. 111
    mythbri

    @We Are Ing

    I love that there’s an argument technique called “Hotel California.” I’m tickled every time you link to that list.

  112. 112
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    It proves the point that you simply can’t stand anyone pointing out the bankrupt hypocrisy of people here endlessly whining, trolling, and being painfully, usleless stupid in every single comment thread.

    Fixed that for you, WATB. Now, go jump off a bridge.

  113. 113
    Amphiox

    Poor millsy, so slow that it is bothered by viscous attacks….

    Don’t step in the doodoo if you don’t want the stickiness.

    Millsy is the misogynist troll who wasn’t banhammered in the other thread, merely told to stay away from that thread. It wasn’t even confined to TZT. It’s the one PZ treated the most tolerantly.

    Pitiful hypocrite.

  114. 114
    Amphiox

    Millsy’s cargo cult usage of the term “bankrupt hypocrisy”, while clearly demonstrating, in the very same paragraph, that it has no functional inkling of what either of those terms even means, is predictably amusing, as well.

  115. 115
    Amphiox

    “Harassment” being another term millsy uses, sans comprehension, cargo-cult-like.

  116. 116
    Louis

    Mills,

    It’s not about you, it’s about me. Unless you’re calling my mother a liar, Mills. And you’re not calling my mother a liar are you, Mills?

    Louis

  117. 117
    Louis

    Brownian, #94,

    Ahhhhh the Wowbagger approach. I favour it myself.

    Louis

  118. 118
    Ingdigo Jump

    It’s not about you, it’s about me. Unless you’re calling my mother a liar, Mills. And you’re not calling my mother a liar are you, Mills

    Mills should just be lucky his fat ugly mamma ain’t here to see this

  119. 119
    Anthony K

    I think maureen deserves a Molly for that one.

    I agree. Not just because of that comment (she’s written many similarly insightful things), but that one definitely clinches it.

  120. 120
    Anthony K

    Mills should just be lucky his fat ugly mamma ain’t here to see this

    I understand that there’s a level of facetiousness here, but I don’t grok this, Ing.

  121. 121
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Brownian

    Futurama reference

  122. 122
    Amphiox

    Yeah. No need to drag Millsy’s mother into this. Mother insults being as they are a standard feature dating back to Patriarchy 1.0beta….

  123. 123
    Susannah

    Maureen;

    Now listen up, children. I was 70 last week and I have been on to this since I was 12. In my lifetime and in just one country I have seen changes to the teaching of maths and science, the professions opened to women, the banking system woken up so that it no longer demands a male countersignature, individual taxation for couples, women’s refuges and rape crisis centres, clarification of what rape is and stalking on the books as a criminal offence plus other changes to the law. And so on and so forth. And marched and wrote and spoke and supported comrades in the fight.

    In the course of that I have met an amazing number of totally impressive people, people I have been so proud to know. Not a few of them on this very blog where I come for the very clarity of thought, effective communication, depth of commitment and experience which has always proved to be far more effective than any amount of mealy-mouthed wanking.

    We are not there yet and sometimes that get a bit frustrating. Some of us, though, know exactly what we are aiming for and it is still eyes on the prize.

    You don’t like that? Tough!

    So encouraging! This latest battle had started to make me feel like just giving up. We’ve been fighting so long, and for what?

    Thank you for the reminder.

    And I’m 70 next week, also battle-scarred. Sometimes battle-weary.

  124. 124
    Amphiox

    A Futurama reference? I see.

    (Would be one instance where a link to a video clip or a citation to an episode number would have been advisable to avoid misunderstanding.)

  125. 125
    carlie

    I think threats or harassment in real life are different than on the internet. It does cross a line. Obviously the people here do as well, otherwise else that wouldn’t be talking the way they do to people who disagree.

    If this were a test, that answer would get zero points and a big red “restating the question” mark over the top.

  126. 126
    Ophelia Benson

    Just so you know, I did make a post of Maureen’s comment.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/maureen-brian-sets-a-few-people-straight/

  127. 127
    earwig

    @Jacques Rousseau #105

    How you did it at the GAC, PZ, has only one feature in common with Ophelia’s choice here – a speaker receiving threats. All sorts of other things might not be in common, and certainly don’t appear to be.

    Did you seriously read PZ’s post as a rebuke to OB? Read it again. He’s saying that the response of the organisers at Global Atheists Conference is how organisers should respond to reports of threats against speakers.

  128. 128
    Ingdigo Jump

    Leela “Nice going Fry, now all the planets are going to be talking jive about our mammas!”

    Hermes “I’m just glad me fat ugly mamma ain’t alive to see this day”

    Professor “Enough of your promiscuous mother, Hermes!”

  129. 129
    hyperdeath

    Futurama reference

    That’s an odd thing to do.

  130. 130
    PZ Myers

    Yes. Jacques Rousseau read it wrong.

    My point is that some conferences know how to treat their speakers as if they were important to the success of the event. I’m now getting the impression that you’re supposed to be dazzled at the thought of appearing at TAM; that the JREF is doing you a favor by allowing you to speak at their event.

    I did not hesitate to go to the GAC because the organizers knew what they were doing (and really, it was a superbly well organized event); I can respect Ophelia’s decision because the JREF didn’t.

  131. 131
    Jacques Rousseau

    My error, then. Thanks for confirming the misreading, PZ, and for pointing it out, Earwig.

  132. 132
    earwig

    You’re welcome, Jacques. Thanks for the reply.

  133. 133
    Jadehawk

    their viscous attacks

    :-D

    and this is why spellcheck is evil.

  134. 134
    Anthony K

    Futurama reference

    Great news, Ing!

    their viscous attacks

    :-D

    and this is why spellcheck is evil.

    That needs a trigger warning for people who lost relatives in the Great Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919.

  135. 135
    Maureen Brian

    Happy Birthday coming up, Susannah.

  136. 136
    Susannah

    Thanks, Maureen.

  137. 137
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    “Jacques Rousseau” seems to only care about sexism when teh poor menz are the “victims.”

    Note that the book in question relies on, among other people, Christina Hoff Somers as a source.

  138. 138
    millssg99

    Amphiox
    20 June 2012 at 10:20 am
    Saying that there is a “difference between the Internet and real-life” is just a veiled way of dehumanizing people who use and communicate through the Internet.

    I’m doing no such thing at all. In fact if you will honestly look at what I said, I in fact was saying something very different than your assertion. I was actually trying to show their similarity, while acknowledging there yet was a real difference.

    The visceral threat someone may feel from a real physical presence up in your face, such as verbally harassing someone while at a conference is clearly different than the same words from one anonymous person to another on an internet forum. There are things that would fall in between such as an email or even worse a snail mail that demonstrates they know your address. It also matters whether you are a public figure and people know who you are and where you work such as PZ and whether you are totally anonymous. Like everything else it is messy and context dependent.

    So I was not trying to equate them but point out there are parallels and not completely separate things. They both represent a mindset that as shoshidge pointed out was “disturbing non-liberal”.

  139. 139
    Ingdigo Jump

    Shoshidge who apparently clapped his hands and celebrated genocidal twits, really has no grounds to judge anyone’s liberal creds.

  140. 140
    Jacques Rousseau

    Ms. Daisy Cutter (#137): It’s great that you provided the link. That will allow for everyone who cares to be able to determine, conclusively, that your summary of my position is utterly delusional.

  141. 141
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    @millsg99 Keep it up, I can’t wait to see your rape-culture-reinforing (is that better than “rape apologist”?) ass banhammered.For the record I’m quite happy to be “disturbingly non-liberal”. “Liberalism” is a fucking joke. Google neo-liberal and get back to me. Or better yet, shut the fuck up. And because it always (sadly) seems relevant, have a listen to Phil Ochs’ “Love me, I’m a liberal”

  142. 142
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    “Jacques,” from your post:

    The evidence presented for discrimination against males is extensive and persuasive.

    Uh, no, the Patriarchy Hurting Men Too is a well-known derail.

    Also, I note that this is the only post under your “sexism” tag, which indicates to me that this is the only time you’ve given enough of a shit to post about the topic.

  143. 143
    earwig

    @ Ms Daisy Cutter
    Steady on. Jacques hasn’t been derailing this thread, and he apologised for his earlier misreading of PZ’s post. It was you who brought up that book review, from which you’re quoting selectively. But I don’t want to derail this thread about how conference organisers should deal with threats, so I’ll shut up now.

  144. 144
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Earwig:

    Steady on.

    Piss off.

  145. 145
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I apologize, I should have expanded on that reply.

    I certainly was not quoting selectively from “Rousseau”‘s post. He also wanks on about “identity politics.” Must be nice to have one’s identity declared default by society, because then you can snipe at others who organize politically in order to protect themselves from what society throws at people of marginalized identities.

    He’s commenting on a thread about sexism. I think bringing up that post is perfectly valid in such a thread.

    Finally, “steady on” isn’t half condescending. I might take that from a regular I knew and trusted. I don’t know you at all.

  146. 146
    barbyau

    It’s been “funny” watching regular people start becoming aware of the raging misogyny issues that have been always there but have been boiling over this election year. And I can’t help to wonder how the hell they are surprised. There has been 20 years of war against gays (since Hawaii legalized SSM in 1993). Homophobia is just a corollary to misogyny. You know why they are sort of okay with lesbians? No one is lowering themselves to the lowly position of woman from the exalted position of being male.

    Heck, in fact most of those “regular” folk are on the fence or on the wrong side of the gay issue, yet still can’t figure out why women would be getting their turn at the “which others should we persecute next” game. The ones that belong in both of those circles are in fact, conservative women. So the bottom line I tell them is, “well, you voted for it.”

  147. 147
    Jacques Rousseau

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: You don’t know me at all either. This thread is about something else, so I’ll be brief. But Rousseau (which is my real name, so no need for scare quotes) has often expressed a concern for the fact that he speaks from a position of privilege, and for how that might compromise his analysis.

    Yes, it is nice. And that’s a problem. I don’t have any reason to believe you might know that I’ve expressed this concern, and discussed ways to deal with it. But assuming that I operate in ignorance of it does require some warrant, and that seems entirely absent. The only prejudice, in short, seems to be yours.

  148. 148
    aweraw

    Well, this has been pretty interesting. The experience of being told I’m seeking to man-handle as many women at my workplace as I possibly can, for having the apparent impudence to suggest that being there in person to shame someone engaging in harrassment is an effective method of opposition, is new to me… and I’m kind of saddened that such an ugly assertion can be made unchallenged, and even applauded. How is this less offensive than suggesting that women who wear revealing clothing do so because they want men to harrass them?

    I’d like to consider myself an ally of people like Maureen, who’ve been active in fighting for minority rights – she even said she’d been out in the field, physically opposing those who would deny her rights. That’s all I’m suggesting; that there also be a “troops on the ground” approach to dealing with undesirables, because the consensus here seems to be just avoid any place where harrassment might take place; don’t challenge the perpetrators with your own energy and presence, just leave that up to someone else. That kind of action won’t stop the harrassment, per se, it’ll just move to another venue.

    … apparently that makes me worthy of incredibly offensive charicaturing. What ever. I’m done. Have fun.

  149. 149
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    We should all totally go to TAM and show them what’s what!

    … just the very moment that aweraw ponies up airfare and entrance fees and armed guards and bail money and a legal defense fund, plus makes up for lost wages and any medical or other treatment that may be required after showing up to TAM and making a big stink and getting verbally and possibly physically abused before being booted from the hotel and/or arrested.

    I’m packing my bags already!

  150. 150
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    for having the apparent impudence to suggest that being there in person to shame someone engaging in harrassment is an effective method of opposition,

    I’d like to consider myself an ally of people like Maureen, who’ve been active in fighting for minority rights

    If you want to act like an ally, read this. Do challenging misogyny, sexism, and harassment yourself the way you think is best, support other actions you think are productive, and STFU about the choices women are making that you, in your ignorance, don’t agree with.

  151. 151
    Inaji

    Waves to ‘Tis, Emrysmyrddin, Louis and Lyn M. ♥

    Maureen, as always, your eloquence shines. It seems that an oft heard phrase during the ’70s, consciousness raising needs to be brought back to the forefront once again. It’s hard work, consciousness raising, but it needs to be done and the internet affords great opportunities for waking people up and making them aware of what’s going on right in front of their noses.

  152. 152
    Maureen Brian

    Thank you so much, Caine. I really appreciate that.

  153. 153
    Inaji

    Maureen, ♥. A belated Happy Birthday to you, also. I hope it was a good one.

  154. 154
    Amphiox

    I’m doing no such thing at all.

    Yes, in the post I was referencing you most certainly ARE.

    In fact if you will honestly look at what I said, I in fact was saying something very different than your assertion.

    No you are not. Perhaps in this post you are, but not in the post I was referencing.

    I was actually trying to show their similarity, while acknowledging there yet was a real difference.

    If that was what you were trying to do, then quite clearly you failed.

  155. 155
    'Tis Himself

    Maureen, thank you for your post #69. You were as eloquent and insightful as ever.

    <makes note for June molly nomination>

  156. 156
    tkreacher

    I can see aweraw, huddled over his keyboard, shadowed but for the dull, pale light flickering on his face from the screen, responding to an e-mail threat:

    “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for weakness, I can tell you I don’t have weakness… but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you retract your threats now, that will be the end of it – I will not look for you, I will not pursue you… but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you… and I will physically respond to you.”

  157. 157
    millssg99

    Amphiox

    Please read #78. The WHOLE point of that is how similar they are. The quote I included was comparing posts on this blog to being physically present together at a party. On no interpretation whatsoever could it be claimed I was doing what you said. I’m in fact pointing out their similarity. But just as in my last comment to you I was pointing out there is a line that is crossed like when PZ goes to the conference. The only reason I put in the first two sentences of that was because I knew if I didn’t somebody would claim I was saying they were EXACTLY the same thing, which of course I don’t believe.

    Now in the post you were responding to I was responding to somebody who was asking me how they are different. So obviously in that response I am going to repeat that they are different, but then I immediately go back to their similarity IN THE SAME COMMENT. That would be comment #96.

    So all of my comments here are saying the same thing. There ARE difference, but there are similarities and the WHOLE point was that those similarities matter, which is completely the opposite of the position you are trying to impute to me.

    Now if you read my comments in the order they were written and with the obvious intent you would see that. However, you chose instead just to pounce, which actually IS EXACTLY the whole point I was trying to make in the beginning in support of exactly what shoshidge and Rick were saying. That people who claim to be progressive or liberal or neo-liberal or whatever other word you want to use, certainly don’t act like it here in their harassment of people who disagree.

    That was the point and the relevant point that while doing so anonymously on the internet is different, its not completely different from PZ’s experience at the conference.

    I in fact am NOT trying to ” dehumanizing people who use and communicate through the Internet.” I’m doing exactly the opposite. You simply chose to ignore that.

  158. 158
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That was the {non}point and the {ir}relevant point that while doing so anonymously on the internet is different

    Fixed that for you whinging loser. You haven’t had any points, just whining, whining, and carping.

    You simply chose to ignore that.

    No, what say and what you meant to say must be two different things. We just have what you say. You don’t communicate very well.

  159. 159
    tkreacher

    Millss,

    You are a stupid, pedantic, self-absorbed, fuzzy thinking, hypocritical piece of shit and I do not like you. Your mind-numbing tone trolling is apparently interminable.

    Go the fuck away. Your usefulness – which is only that you provide an example of the vile, privileged, self-centered, obstinate behavior and specious reasoning often being discussed here – has run it’s course.

    It wouldn’t be such an issue if you were clever or inventive.

    But a piece of shit who also happens to be boring?

    Fuck that.

    Go. Away.

  160. 160
    Inaji

    mills:

    Now if you read my comments in the order they were written and with the obvious intent you would see that. However, you chose instead just to pounce, which actually IS EXACTLY the whole point I was trying to make in the beginning in support of exactly what shoshidge and Rick were saying. That people who claim to be progressive or liberal or neo-liberal or whatever other word you want to use, certainly don’t act like it here in their harassment of people who disagree.

    The people responding to you have read your posts, in the order they were written, so you can just chuck that little bit of idiocy in the bin, okay? You’re desperately tossing any bit of crap you can to avoid the points people have made to you.

    It’s obvious you don’t care with disagreement, let alone criticisms of your thoughts. No big, most of us aren’t crazy about that, however, when multiple people are telling you the same thing, it’s a good time to shut the fuck up and have a furious think. You aren’t doing that last bit.

    When it comes to certain topics, sexism being one of them, we have encountered the same tone trolling and weak tea arguments to a point that a very high level of frustration sets in. This frustration isn’t helped by certain people, who show up in every sexism thread to whinge and moan about people being meeeaaaaan, their only intent to derail and tone troll.

    You aren’t helping your case by deciding to hitch a ride with the tone trolls while ignoring the points people have been making about your arguments. Focus and pay attention to what people are saying.

    That was the point and the relevant point that while doing so anonymously on the internet is different, its not completely different from PZ’s experience at the conference.

    Your points are stupid and they don’t hold water. This has been brought up over and over and all you can do is parrot the same shit all over again.

    You flat out ignore the fact that men are treated very differently from women, whether they are speakers or not, when it comes to harassment and threats. You flat out ignore that exchanges on the internet are real life and that people are pretty fucking tired of you insisting that what happens on the net, well, hey, that ain’t real, man!

    Here’s a short swing of the cluebat, since you seem to prefer soaking in your density: learn the first rule of holes.

    By the way, don’t even think I’m interested in trying to get a clue into that extraordinarily thick skull of yours – I’m not. I think you’re a weapons grade idiot. I just haven’t had enough tea to be full court vicious yet.

  161. 161
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    What Jafafa Hots said:

    f I were trying to sell tickets to something, I think I’d try to go with the “Come find a friendly, safe, fun, educational and welcoming atmosphere!” PR rather than the “You have to expect to get hit on, but if someone actually physically attacks you there’s probably a cop around somewhere. Plus, the death threats are mostly trolls” campaign.

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