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Misogynists can think women are tasty, while not recognizing that they are human beings

I see where Thunderf00t gets his name: he puts his foot in it hard. And that’s unfortunate, because before building up his credibility in in his new digs here at freethoughtblogs, he’s launched into an embarrassingly clueless defense of his privilege to chew on women’s legs.

I’m tempted to tear every sentence apart, but the structure of his post his so flimsy I’ll just knock out a few of the rickety bits.

Now first let me say from a strategically point of view sexual harassment at conferences really is a non-issue

And then he tells us the conference scene is unimportant because, for instance, the youtube and blog scene is much, much bigger.

He is incorrect. From Thunderf00t’s point of view it is a non-issue. From a strategic point of view, the position that we want the atheist/skeptic movement to grow and include more diversity, it’s a major problem that must be addressed.

This has never been about TAM, either. The argument encompasses meetings, but also the larger geek and atheist culture, which turns out to be pretty damned sexist. You do not correct the broader problem by turning a blind eye to the specifics; it doesn’t work to say that you reject misogyny, but oh, that meeting there? It’s OK if you hit on women there. It’s OK if you abuse women in a bar; bars are free-range markets for men to exercise their will.

Further a female friend of mine who repeatedly attends many such events has informed me that the most recent TAM was the best ever in this fashion.

I’m sorry, Thunderf00t, but with that you demonstrate that you’ve completely missed the point.

It’s an anecdote. So?

But also, it’s one that everyone involved in this fracas agrees with. This and many other blogs have enthusiastically supported TAM over the years, I have specifically pointed to TAM as a model conference for getting a more diverse audience, and Skepchick has been raising money to send more women to it. We’ve pointed to their anti-harassment policies last year as a good thing, we’ve applauded the balance of speakers, we’ve actually said nothing but good things about the meeting.

Until this year, when DJ Grothe screwed up bigtime. He announced that the attendance of women was down this year, and blamed it on individuals and blogs who had actively promoted the improvements in the conference. Then, denying that sexual harassment ever occurred at TAM (it has, as has been amply demonstrated) and dragging his feet over doing anything to continue the formerly good policies made it clear: he’s not interested in supporting women’s issues after all.

That’s what has people disgusted with the meeting this year: the management seems determined to unravel all the good will that has built up over the years, because rather than dealing with a common problem in this culture, they’ve decided to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. As Thunderf00t has.

The level of the warning suggests the issue is far more problematic than it is in reality.

Thunderf00t does not get to determine how other people respond to threats; only the threatened people get that option. And his solution, which is to ignore all threats except the ones where you get to bring in the FBI and have them arrest someone, is so laughably black-and-white that it suggests he is entirely oblivious to the situation.

For instance, I had multiple, daily death threats from a well-known internet troll, Dennis Markuze, for over a decade. The intensity of his obsession made it clear that there was a serious problem here, as did the escalating intensity of his behavior. I reported this guy to the local police, the FBI, the RCMP, and the Montreal city police…who did nothing. Nothing at all. It was only last year that his local police finally took him in for much needed treatment.

So often the FBI solution is no solution at all. And I’m saying that as a man — the first response women get when they try to bring in authorities to deal with harassment is doubt and denial.

But also, I know that Thunderf00t does not call the police every time someone says something rude, stupid, or threatening to him: there are other responses besides lying down and pretending it didn’t happen.

You can point and laugh.

You can block them, if it’s on the internet.

You can refuse to associate with them in real life.

You can ask friends to back you up.

If it’s a conference that you suspect will be full of assholes, you can turn down invitations to attend.

You can try to change the culture that tolerates such abuse, if you’re ambitious.

These are perfectly reasonable, rational responses. They are better responses than bluntly dichotomizing every situation into do-nothing vs. “drag their legally beaten carcass around the walls of Troy”.

The VAST majority of people at these conferences are civil, honest, respectable folks.

Nobody has said anything different, and in actual fact we’ve said that TAM tends to be better than your average crowd of random human beings.

But here’s the thing. The instances of harassment are rare and usually (not always) effectively dealt with…but there’s a massive culture of internet bravos who want to diminish and demean the concerns. There is an attitude that women are there not as colleagues and respected partners in the goals of the movement, but as eye candy and sex toys, so please please please don’t you dare suppress my right to hit on women all I want!

Unfortunately, Thunderf00t expresses that same sense of privilege.

Giving people a list of things they are and are not allowed to do in the bars in the evenings gives the impression that this is not a conference for grown-ups but an expensive and repressive day/night care where your every action will be vigilantly vetted for dis-approval by the conference organizers. Put simply this sort of thing is a killjoy for the civil, honest respectable majority. If I want to chew on some womans leg in a bar, I don’t want to have to consult the conference handbook to see if this classes as acceptable behavior!

The people who have been arguing for better harassment policies are not killjoys — you apparently don’t know Rebecca Watson or Greta Christina very well if you think that they aren’t enthusiastic participants in the bar and party scene.

If you want to chew on some woman’s leg, no, you don’t have to consult the conference handbook.

You have to fucking consult the woman.

That’s the message. Not that you will be policed by a mob of impersonal killjoys, but that you damn well better appreciate that that woman is a person who has just as much right to be there and to demand some respect for herself as you do. And that if you fondle someone because you think you have that right, there will be people who have the back of your target and who will tell you NO you don’t get to dictate to that person how she will participate in your games.

If she wants you to nibble on her leg, or she wants to nibble on yours, fine, have fun.

But let’s be clear on this: the women at a conference are not your buffet.


Cristina Rad does it right. She asks if something were an instance of sexual harassment. In this case, a companion was nagged with requests to participate in sexual activity until she felt she had to move away to escape it.

Yes, that is sexual harassment. Undeniably so.

But here’s the contrast with Thunderf00t’s argument. He seems to think it’s either something you ignore, or something you call the FBI to handle. I think every rational person would agree that no, you don’t call in the FBI or the local police to handle a nuisance hitting on you at a bar. But that doesn’t mean it’s something that should be encouraged or tolerated — no means no. It would be nice if conferences encouraged intermediate levels of reaction, somewhere between “Bye, I’m not attending this event” and “Boom, I’m calling in a swat team.”

This attitude that if a situation doesn’t require the police to beat on someone, it should be tolerated, is exactly the kind of position that creates a safe space for pick-up artists and their ilk — they’re given the latitude to push right up to the point the nightsticks are hauled out.

Comments

  1. says

    However due to the signal to noise ratio in the comments section my original statement became distorted to …

    Deen: “@lilandra in #190: who exactly do you think is trying to outlaw consentual behavior?

    Matt Penfold: Where do you see anyone proposing a harassment policy that forbids consensual activities?

    It’s posted on the wall of their straw house. I believe they got three pigs into build it.

    Rowanvt

    @190- None of the policies prohibit consensual behaviour. No one is suggesting that at all.

    There clearly are people suggesting that some forms of consensual behavior be unacceptable. Further evidence of this can be found in The Geek Girl Feminist Wiki policy which was suggested by some to be used at freethinking conferences…
    I quote:

    [Exhibitors in the expo hall, sponsor or vendor booths, or similar activities are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

    http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy
    Here people cannot where the clothes they have chosen for themselves as adult

  2. says

    Someone being wrong because they don’t get it isn’t a good reason to be a jerk to them. I don’t think Thunderf00t is someone who views women as not being human and that he’s more on our side than against it, so I don’t think making him out to be the enemy helps anyone.

    Its probably more of a spectrum, if such a divide exists.

    He wrote a HUGE fucking post without getting any information about what had actually been proposed or what had happened to women at conferences. All kinds of scum are high fiving each other over the post, and you say it makes no difference because the author hasn’t shown that he is as scummy as ERVites. His posts are supporting “real” misogynists. I spent years of my time thinking that dudes just needed the right kind of talking to, that if I said things nicely and showed my work they would believe me about sexism. I was wrong. The vast majority of men have no interest in feminism, and I have found that the ones that do look into it on their own.

    Maybe this is just because I blog, but when I write a post with a statement like “___ is really a non-issue” I get basic information about it (and link to that information so readers can verify it on their own). I would feel foolish doing otherwise.I don’t expect people to assume that I know what I am talking about, I actually try to convince others. I get the sense that he is willfully ignorant, and the truth is he has a lot to lose in this by listening to feminists.

  3. Brownian says

    Thanks, lilandra.

    The whole post is worth reading, but there are two paragraphs surrounding the one in question that should probably be provided for context:

    An idea is to make conference organizers and speakers agree to not partake in sexual activity with attendees at their events. The SSA already has this policy, which I’ve received as a member of their Speakers Bureau. If you’re a conference organizer or a speaker, you are in a position of power. If you are making advances toward someone, you are abusing that position of power. Full stop. Speakers and conference organizers should not be looking to get laid at conferences because they are there in a professional setting, even if attendees are there for more entertainment reasons. Even if things seem consensual, that power differential makes things inherently unbalanced. Women are already socialized to not directly say no – it’s even more difficult to do so when power differentials are involved.

    And I say this as a sex positive person. There’s a time and a place for flirtation and mating rituals, and when you’re a speaker, a con is neither the time nor place. I understand if attendees want to flirt and hook up with each other, since the event is not necessarily a professional setting for them (but please do your flirting during at the pub and not in the middle of a lecture, and please take no for an answer). But in my opinion, this just shouldn’t acceptable for speakers.

    Again, this isn’t my area of expertise. What do you think we can do to deal with badly behaving big names? Is the anti-harassment policy enough? Do you like the idea of a list of speakers who want anti-harassment policies in place? What can we do to solve this problem?

    So, specifically Jen is trying to assess the usefulness of a policy in which consent may be hard to determine, such as in the case of power differentials. It’s why universities often have policies against professors sleeping with their students.

    And this was in the context of actual harassment being reported of speakers actually using this power differential to sleep with attendees.

    Finally Jen throws it out as a question; a policy to be discussed, rather than simply implemented.

    Really, in the context of this discussion:

    I do not support a policy that prohibits behavior that is consensual, but offends the subjective sensibilities of a few people. ex. consensual leg chewing and other activities that don’t involve public nudity. Another example dictating what people wear at booths again with the caveat of public nudity which is already against the law.

    Give an example of such a policy that people are supporting, please.

    That’s the best you could do?

  4. says

    Salty Current:

    Oh, Philip, don’t you fret. Women never fake it.

    Seltzer out the nose really hurts, you know.

    One more for sc_mess:

    If there’s something him or someone like him doesn’t get, try to help them get it a little better, but do so with polite discussion and not insults.

    What is it called when someone else denies your emotions? Gaslighting, maybe?

    Being polite to an ass like TF just means that he can hand wave our concerns away– because, hey, it’s easier to ignore or misinterpret someone who is concerned with being nice. At least when you’re rude, you’ll get your fucking point across.

  5. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Further evidence of this can be found in The Geek Girl Feminist Wiki policy which was suggested by some to be used at freethinking conferences…

    Who?

  6. Gnumann, Tyhpos is my motor says

    Lilandra:
    I see you’re making progress on the readability. That’s good, it gets easier to get down to the issues this way.

    Now, the policies you are citing makes two provisions I understand you find objectionable. One is the use of (pardon the expression, but the phenomenon is vile, so I see no use cleaning it up) “booth babes” and the other addresses the sexual activities of speakers.

    This raises two questions(which actually is one):
    Do you think consent is possible where relavtive power and influence is very different?
    And do you think “booth babes” freely chooses what to wear?

  7. deviyates says

    @498 – Lilandra

    re: Jen’s comment

    And I say this as a sex positive person. There’s a time and a place for flirtation and mating rituals, and when you’re a speaker, a con is neither the time nor place. I understand if attendees want to flirt and hook up with each other, since the event is not necessarily a professional setting for them (but please do your flirting during at the pub and not in the middle of a lecture, and please take no for an answer). But in my opinion, this just shouldn’t acceptable for speakers.

    Is this so radical? I used to sit on the odd board of directors or two, and whenever we were invited to speak at a conference, it was forbidden to engage in consensual flirting with participants. It just wasn’t considered professional. Outside of the conference? Sure, whatever. But not while we were working.

    Basically, I don’t really see anything wrong with what Jen said there. It’s a common policy in most organizations I’ve worked with.

  8. Brownian says

    Who?

    Honestly, LILAPWLॐ, I think this is the best we’re going to get with respect to attribution.

  9. says

    Audley:

    Being polite to an ass like TF just means that he can hand wave our concerns away– because, hey, it’s easier to ignore or misinterpret someone who is concerned with being nice. At least when you’re rude, you’ll get your fucking point across.

    All this ^. What gets my knickers in knot about people like scmess is that all they can ever manage to do is show up here to lecture the rude peoples.

    Not one fucking time do they put their money where their mouth is and go to the source of the idiocy (or “misunderstanding”) and use their mighty powers of nice explanation to enlighten and change attitudes.

    Go forth and be nice! Who in the fuckety fuck is stopping you?

  10. Ze Madmax says

    Gnumann @ #7/507:

    And do you think “booth babes” freely chooses what to wear?

    Of course they’re free to choose! Nobody is FORCING them to be booth babes! If they didn’t want to be paraded as flesh billboards for a given booth, then they would have become cybernetic neurosurgeons or aeronautic lawyers or some other profession!

    /snark

  11. chigau (違う) says

    Caine #495
    compliment: to praise.
    complement: to complete.
    Don’t you love English?

  12. says

    Brownian first off-I agree there needs to be a policy. Greta posted one from a poly-amorous convention that was more sex positive.

    I think you need to be careful to write a policy that doesn’t prohibit consensual behavior. If Thunderfoot for example was speaking at that convention then his consensual behavior in the picture would be prohibited were they to take McCreight’s suggestion about speaker/attendee flirting. Many women and men are attracted to sleeping with they admire or esteem. I don’t think it is the conferences place to tell a person they may be too blinded by power to sleep with someone else.

    For the record, I have no interest in sexual activities at conference for myself except with my husband. I am not arguing for a positive sex climate because of that.

  13. says

    Right I’ve skimmed through the thread, up as far as my browser goes, I’m at the bottom of the bottle of wine, and will make some observations despite that.

    1) Thunderfoot is a very sharp guy, who has made formidable videos attacking creationists, among other good things.

    2)He hasn’t, it seems, been following the elavatorgate thing closely enough to realise that there is a very real problem with women being put off going to conferences because of what some people see as sexual harassment that is over the top and potentially or actually dangerous, and what other people see as non aggressive men without good social skills trying to pull women, unsuccessfully.

    3) Sometimes – usually – the women are right, and the various threads on various boards have made men without particularly good social skills, like me, aware of how women can and often do feel threatened when chatted up by strangers, and particularly when the chatting up includes unwanted physical contact. This is a good result.

    4) When people have yet to take that on board, trying to explain it to them is a much better idea than calling the person who hasn’t yet got it things like ‘thundershite’.

    Crap like that is counterproductive, and can easily be dismissed as wankery from people trying to get in with the in crown.

    5} Because it looks very much like wankery from people trying to get in with the in crowd.

    6) Perhaps it would be a good idea to look at Maryam’s speech to mark 5 years of CEMB, and get some fucking sense of proportion.

    David B

  14. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    Oh! Look! How nice! It’s complementary complimentary vocabular advice.

  15. Brownian says

    Wait, “Booth babes?” As in this?

    That’s what people like lilandra are in an uproar about? That we’re trying to stop skeptics’ conferences from looking like an auto show?

    Yeah, hells fucking yeah, I’m all for curb-stomping consent when it comes to sexist shit like that.

  16. John D says

    sc_(random string) here, fyi (didn’t notice that it didn’t put my name in correct the firs time)

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that voicing my opinion on the handling of this issue has been met with hostility.

    Let me make my position clear since apparently it wasn’t – if someone who disagrees with me is generally open to discussion and polite, I do my best to discuss the issues with an open mind and try to be polite. That’s just common courtesy. If someone is a closed-minded, willfully ignorant jackass I will do my best to discuss the issues with an open mind and try to be polite at first. If they change their tune and reciprocate they keep getting that – I have changed a few minds in this fashion. If however they continue to be a closed-minded, willfully ignorant jackass after that I throw courtesy out the window because they obviously don’t want it and I won’t bother with the effort. As I said, real jerks deserve to be treated as such. Someone being wrong because they don’t get it isn’t a good reason to be a jerk to them, them being a jerk is a good reason to be a jerk to them.

  17. Gnumann, Tyhpos is my motor says

    get some fucking sense of proportion.

    Be careful, talk like that will get you wired up to a piece of fairy cake in no time.

  18. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    Yes Brownian, as in this. I first encountered the phenomenon on the world’s largest IT fair years ago, and although I was in my teens and of course turned on by the army of tall blondes in skimpy skirts, never got over how ridiculously perverse the whole idea of decorating stands about mainboards and 3d displays with sexy female models was.

    To be fair though, I think lilandra was much more concerned about objections the leg eating thingy.

  19. says

    Gnumann
    I answered the first question in my last post so this one…

    And do you think “booth babes” freely chooses what to wear?

    Different people have different motivations for what they do.

    Some people know they rock those outfits and feel empowered by how beautiful they look at for example a Star Trek Convention dressed as a green alien woman.

    Others if they feel conflicted about it shouldn’t take the job.

    I wouldn’t condemn either person for their motives.

  20. Brownian says

    I think you need to be careful to write a policy that doesn’t prohibit consensual behavior.

    Again, consent can be a dicey issue when issues of power are in play.

    If Thunderfoot for example was speaking at that convention then his consensual behavior in the picture would be prohibited were they to take McCreight’s suggestion about speaker/attendee flirting.

    Oh, no! Why didn’t you say so in the first pla—wait, why do I give a fuck about Thunderf00t and his dumb fucking picture?

    Many women and men are attracted to sleeping with they admire or esteem.

    “That’s what I love about these high school girls. I get older, they stay the same age.”

    I don’t think it is the conferences place to tell a person they may be too blinded by power to sleep with someone else.

    Well, thanks for fucking that. You think this, you don’t think that. Who cares? Make an argument, for fuck’s sake.

    All of that work for this?

  21. Amphiox says

    Seeing as complement is a class of immune proteins found in body fluids, the tpyo “giving people complements” is a rather unfortunate one to be making….

  22. Brownian says

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that voicing my opinion on the handling of this issue has been met with hostility.

    Oh Christ. It’s Kreskin. Someone call James Randi.

    Let me make my position clear since apparently it wasn’t – if someone who disagrees with me is generally open to discussion and polite, I do my best to discuss the issues with an open mind and try to be polite. That’s just common courtesy. If someone is a closed-minded, willfully ignorant jackass I will do my best to discuss the issues with an open mind and try to be polite at first. If they change their tune and reciprocate they keep getting that – I have changed a few minds in this fashion. If however they continue to be a closed-minded, willfully ignorant jackass after that I throw courtesy out the window because they obviously don’t want it and I won’t bother with the effort.

    Blah, blah, blah, this is what I do, and this is how I live my life, and by the way, I prefer Brand X toothpaste to Brand Y.

    As I said, real jerks deserve to be treated as such. Someone being wrong because they don’t get it isn’t a good reason to be a jerk to them, them being a jerk is a good reason to be a jerk to them.

    Blah, blah, blah, here are some completely useless assertions.

    Thanks for clearing that all up, John D. That’s some real advice to live by.

  23. Brownian says

    “Do your best, everyone. Unless they’re real jerks. But unless they’re real jerks, then don’t be a jerk to them.”

    Why isn’t this codified in some sort of handbook somewhere?

  24. says

    Ok trying block quote for the first time hope this works.

    Yes boothbabes. That’s what that section of the geek feminist policy is about. Not allowing people on the floor to hire models to wear skimpy outfits to promote their product. That is why we are called talibanesque. Cause we choose a policy that doesn’t like that kind of advertising at its events.

  25. says

    Brownian:

    That’s what people like lilandra are in an uproar about? That we’re trying to stop skeptics’ conferences from looking like an auto show?

    Yeah, hells fucking yeah, I’m all for curb-stomping consent when it comes to sexist shit like that.

    More than one person denied there were any suggestions to stop consensual behavior at atheist conventions. I have provided 2. Tell me why the examples I cited are not consensual acts that have been suggested are inappropriate or I have satisfied this request.

  26. says

    John D aka scmess, here’s a thought for you, repeated, because you seem to be more interested in lecturing than reading:

    What gets my knickers in knot about people like scmess is that all they can ever manage to do is show up here to lecture the rude peoples.

    Not one fucking time do they put their money where their mouth is and go to the source of the idiocy (or “misunderstanding”) and use their mighty powers of nice explanation to enlighten and change attitudes.

    Go forth and be nice! Who in the fuckety fuck is stopping you?

  27. Gregory Greenwood says

    lilandra @ 399;

    If you look through Thunderfoot’s post the reasons why it is so problematic, and thus why people here are reacting negatively to it, become clear.

    He opens the post by saying;

    Now first let me say from a strategically point of view sexual harassment at conferences really is a non-issue

    and later;

    *THIS REALLY ISN’T A BIG PROBLEM*

    Straight shooter…. I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em…. and this is my strategic assessment of the extent of the problem.

    Thus neatly mansplaining to all the women who have experienced harassment at conferences that their experiences don’t matter because Thunderfoot, privileged white bloke extraordinaire, has spoken – not exactly a good start.

    He then follows up with;

    (and if reading that has just pushed some buttons, I want you to calmly unplug those emotions and put them in a box, then take a deep breath, relax and read the rest of this reasoned argument)… breathing calmly yet? good!, then we can continue….

    Later reiterating the concept with;

    That does not however mean that nothing can be done. I would go for the application of ‘soft power’. Even if it’s not the direct concern of the conference, most of these things can (and should) be effectively addressed in a quiet, mature and social way, in a way that is eminently more fit for purpose (the more so if cooler heads prevail), but that’s a story for another day.

    (Emphasis added)

    Essentially dismissing anyone who shows any emotional reaction to this situation as irrational. It is easy to be dispassionate when this problem does not directly effect you, and such is Thunderfoot’s level of unexamined privilege that it doesn’t cross his mind that what, to him, is simply a matter of idle debate is the actual reality of the day to day lives of the women who have to deal with such harassment from clueless doodz who can’t be bothered to treat them as actual people rather than living sex toys.

    Further it’s my personal experience that sexual harassment affects only a very significant minority of attendees. Indeed I personally know prominent women who went to TAM last year who said from a harassment point of view, it was the cleanest TAM yet (battle fought and game won?). So the full scope of the problem is a minority of a minority. As such do you really think this is the priority target where you will get best bang for your buck in terms of focusing hard won resources, or focusing the attention of the online community?

    Here we see minimising – apparently, the fact that only a minority of women are directly effected by personal harassment means that the situation does not really warrent any discussion or substantive action. This leads one to wonder what level of harassmnet would actually get Thunderfoot’s attention. Would it take a majority of women attending conferences being directly harassed before he considered the problem serious enough to be tackled aggressively?

    An environment where any level of harassment is considered to be simply ‘par for the course’ – the price of doing business – is not a safe environment, nor one that is responsive to the legitimate concerns of women.

    Now this is not to say that conferences are obsolete (they clearly still have functional roles to play), or that sexual harassment isn’t a bad thing. Sure it exists, I’ve seen it, although it seems to me that such acts overwhelming happen in the bars outside the conference. I’ve seen some of this first hand, and was happy to help try to resolve the matter in an appropriate and mature fashion. My personal estimate would be, of the things that aren’t just people being social clutzs, something like 1 guy in 100-1000 (and maybe the odd girl too!) causes almost all of the problems. My straw poll estimate from half a dozen such meetings is that the ‘harassment’ that goes on in the bars at such meetings is little different from that you would find in practically any other bar in the country.

    Again, minimising. Thunderfoot seems to think that harassment associated with the conference is only a problem if it happens actually at the conference venue – if women go to bars nearby they are… what? Fair game? The problem doesn’t magically disappear the second one sets foot beyond the physical boundaries of the conference venue. This is about the prevelant attitude among a certain segment of the atheist/sceptical community that conferences are less about scepticism and more about providing an enviromnemt where they can practice their pick up artist techniques, whether or not their targets are responsive to their advances.

    Also, saying that atheist/sceptical conference goers at bars are no worse than your average bar crowd does not in and of itself do much to address the problem – our society is riddled with heterosexual male privilege and toxic patriarchal norms of behaviour. We should aspire to be better than merely ‘no worse’ than the inherently misogynist average.

    The level of the warning suggests the issue is far more problematic than it is in reality. I’ve heard talks at such conferences (from prominent activists in the community) that literally suggest that to merely turn up at such talks will get you rape threats etc etc. (let me be honest, repeatedly publicizing rape threats from a troll simply shows a crass lack of personal judgment and an immaturity at dealing with the interwebs, rather than a secular community ridden with men looking to rape women at conferences). Put simply the environment is widely being unrealistically portrayed as more hostile than it actually is. If your goal is to encourage women to attend such events, highlighting troll comments as representative of the conduct at such conferences is both willfully reckless and counterproductive to such a cause.

    Here, Thunderfoot directly blames the recipients of rape threats for publicising the threats they have received, and thus warning the broader atheist community of the existence of a heinously misogynist subset within our ranks. Victim blaming of this type serves only to enable those who try to silence women with threats of sexual violence, and whatever Thunderfoot’s intent may have been does nothing to mitigate that fact because intent is not magic – his words are contributing to an environment that silences the recipients of such threats and so enables those who would use such techniques to remove the voices of women from the public discourse. Such behaviour is not acceptable.

    -Put simply, YES talking about sexual harassment can sometimes be a bigger problem than sexual harassment.

    Read that sentence again. Talking about sexual harassment can sometimes be a bigger problem than sexual harassment. This is almost word-for-word the same logic used by the opponents of the civil rights movement, who said that talking about racism simply exacerbated racism. Or those who opposed equality for homosexuals, and sought to keep gay people in the closet by stating that those homosexuals who discussed their sexuality contributed to homophobia by ‘shoving their sexuality in (straight people’s) faces’.

    Surely you can see how harmful such an attitude is?

    The VAST majority of people at these conferences are civil, honest, respectable folks. Giving people a list of things they are and are not allowed to do in the bars in the evenings gives the impression that this is not a conference for grown-ups but an expensive and repressive day/night care where your every action will be vigilantly vetted for dis-approval by the conference organizers. Put simply this sort of thing is a killjoy for the civil, honest respectable majority. If I want to chew on some womans leg in a bar, I don’t want to have to consult the conference handbook to see if this classes as acceptable behavior!

    And;

    Look, I’m no libertarian, but I frankly find the idea that a conference should be dictating to me what I am and am not allowed to do in a bar outside the conference as approaching the “WTF is wrong with you???” line. Nor do I particularly care for the McCarthyism argument which would typically be advanced at this point of ‘only communists would oppose such rules’/ ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’.

    Thunderfoot constructs this peculiar idea that anti-harassment policies amount to a bunch of prudish killjoy uber-chaperones ruining the fun of people engaging in fully consenual activity, which is a strange attitude to adopt in relation to the issue of harassment – no one here wants to institute some totalitarian nanny state to monitor the interactions of consenting adults. This is about preventing pick up artists from harassing women with undesired advances, and thereby creating a safe space. This goal is in no way incompatible with allowing consenting adults to do whatever they wish together (including consensual, playful pseudo-cannibalism).

    It is also interesting that Thunderfoot conspires to take the issue of harassment of women at conferences like TAM and still make it all about him…

    And lets not forget;

    IT’S A BAR!! and those are the rules of engagement in bars, as the old saying goes, if you are gonna eat tuna, you gotta expect some bones!

    This naturalistic fallacy – that bars are ‘fire at will’ zones for men, and that any women who enter them must do so at their own risk, because that is ‘just the way things are’ – is at the heart of our problem with Thunderfoot’s attitude. Undesired sexual advances are never OK, and the idea that certain classes of place should become ‘no go’ areas to women who are not comfortable being objectified and ‘hit on’ every other minute by clueless doodz simply creates convenient cover for pick up artists and misogynist MRAs.

    Thunderfoot’s post oozes male privilege from every sentence, and repeatedly minimises and dismisses the experiences of women in relation to the topic of the harassment of women. Thunderfoot is part of the problem – attitudes such as his help to insure that women who attend these conferences can never be sure that effective steps will be taken to prevent harassment, and worse, that those who experience harassment can never be confident that their complaint will be taken seriously, or even that they themselves will not be painted as the troublemaker for daring to speak out. By extension, the impression is given that the broader athiest/sceptical community (including the online component) does not place a high priority on tackling harassment or misogyny – an attitude that is certain to chill the involvement of women in atheism and scepticism.

    In a post ‘elevatorgate’ era, where we have seen what happened to Rebecca Watson for simply saying ‘guys, don’t do that’, such an attitude speaks either to malice or titanically tone deaf oblviousness toward the issues. Either way, such a position needs to be challenged if the sceptical and atheist community is ever going to become more welcoming to women.

    I hope that this helps clarify why we are so concerned by the position adopted by Thunderfoot on this issue.

    Apologies for the lengthy post.

  28. Gnumann, Tyhpos is my motor says

    I think Brownian said it best:

    Again, consent can be a dicey issue when issues of power are in play.

    But the issue with “booth babes” isn’t just the economic pressures on scantily clad women.
    It’s also the toxic effect it has on an environment when you say “it’s ok to use people as decoration”.

    People who choose to be scantily clad for purely their own enjoyment: Not really much of an issue at all*.

    *Well, there’s an issue here to, but a different one. And I think it’s not directly and intimately relevant to this discussion

  29. Brownian says

    More than one person denied there were any suggestions to stop consensual behavior at atheist conventions. I have provided 2. Tell me why the examples I cited are not consensual acts that have been suggested are inappropriate or I have satisfied this request.

    No, you did real fine. Those are indeed examples of people adopting policies against consensual or presumed consensual acts, and I’ll state again that I have no particular problem with putting those policies into place.

  30. says

    The booth babe thing is mostly a non issue. People suggested that one as something we could borrow and modify for out conferences. I don’t know that there was ever a conversation on the need for that clause at our events it just happend to be in there.

    Similarly in greta’s poly comunity one there was a part about strong perfumes and fragrances. If you want you can add that to your list of telling people how to present themselves. The fact that these have been presented as examples of policies doesn’t mean that we have to use them verbatim as written.

  31. says

    Also addendum. If you go to the token skeptic post on why people are avoiding events from a month back you’ll see that there are also people opposed to smoking at the events.

  32. Gnumann, Tyhpos is my motor says

    More than one person denied there were any suggestions to stop consensual behavior at atheist conventions. I have provided 2. Tell me why the examples I cited are not consensual acts that have been suggested are inappropriate or I have satisfied this request.

    Both Brownian and I have tried to explain (Brownian did it better), but it seems our standards of consent differs. You see, we have this funny notion that consent equals freedom from certain pressures and a certain equality between the parties.

    So, the difference of opinion isn’t really about if consentual actions should be banned, it where you draw the line of consent.

    Think sort of along the lines of the concept of age of consent (unless you’re a libertarian of course, but I sure hope you’re not).

  33. says

    Brownian

    Oh, no! Why didn’t you say so in the first pla—wait, why do I give a fuck about Thunderf00t and his dumb fucking picture?

    Well, I don’t think it is unusual to use Thunder as an example as that is what the OP is about. You were talking about power imbalances between speakers and attendees. It is still comes down to telling consenting adults who they can flirt with or have sex with. Dictating consenting sexual behavior is one of the things I despise about the Christian Right.

  34. says

    It is still comes down to telling consenting adults who they can flirt with or have sex with.

    OK so do you think its wrong for say a professor to have sex with a student or a boss with an employee or a doctor with a patient?

  35. Brownian says

    It is still comes down to telling consenting adults who they can flirt with or have sex with.

    Again you elide the issue if whether the consent is truly consent. You can keep fucking repeating ‘consent’, but that doesn’t automatically make it so.

    Dictating consenting sexual behavior is one of the things I despise about the Christian Right.

    Yes, you’ve used this false equivalence before. It’s not compelling.

  36. says

    To expand further should a musician say be having sex with fans after a concert? Its not a black or white issue its a value judgement coming down to a question of professional ethics/conduct. I don’t know that I have a good answer to whether speakers should or shouldn’t have sex with attendees but I at least understand where people are coming from on that.

  37. jackrawlinson says

    Ah, I remember when the atheist “community” was primarily concerned with atheism and religious issues. Happy days.

  38. says

    Brownian

    No, you did real fine. Those are indeed examples of people adopting policies against consensual or presumed consensual acts,

    Do you award “Brownian” points?

    and I’ll state again that I have no particular problem with putting those policies into place.

    That is my concern dictating what consenting adults do. You can’t make a faux pas, mistake-free environment no matter what you do. People consent to do things they regret. I do this too, and then I learn from my mistakes. Other people consent to do things, and they are happy about the judgment call. Would I have been glad when I was younger to have slept with Johnny Depp? Hell Yeah! Power difference or no.

  39. Pteryxx says

    Heck, Thunderfoot’s post complaining about harassment policies is longer than the actual template harassment policy.

    Here’s Skepticamp Ohio’s policy, which they adopted from Geek Feminism wiki’s template almost intact (in the week or so between Jen’s initial post and their actual event). Elyse’s sex-card incident was handled under this policy.

    http://skepticampohio.com/anti-harassment-policy

    Anti-Harassment Policy

    SkeptiCamp Ohio is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion or beliefs in the Boogeyman. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Explicit sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue. While some important and relevant issues may touch upon sexual issues, please keep it professional and in an academic context. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference [without a refund] at the discretion of the conference organizers.

    Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

    Exhibitors, sponsor or vendor booths, or similar activities are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

    If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference [with no refund]. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified by SkeptiCamp t-shirts.

    Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

    That’s the entire thing. When they used this policy, they simply contacted the couple who slipped their sex card to Elyse, told them that was inappropriate, and got the couple to apologize. They’ve now been warned not to give out sex cards at conferences. Nobody called the police or even banned these people; just said “Apologize and don’t do this again.”

  40. says

    Michaeld

    OK so do you think its wrong for say a professor to have sex with a student or a boss with an employee or a doctor with a patient?

    A conference speaker does not have the same power over people lives over an extended period of time that a boss, doctor, or professor does. An attendee is not forced to share the same space every day if they later revoke consent.

  41. John D says

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    What gets my knickers in knot about people like scmess is that all they can ever manage to do is show up here to lecture the rude peoples.

    Not one fucking time do they put their money where their mouth is and go to the source of the idiocy (or “misunderstanding”) and use their mighty powers of nice explanation to enlighten and change attitudes.

    Go forth and be nice! Who in the fuckety fuck is stopping you?

    Let me tell you who the fuckety fuck is stopping me from posting on this issue regularly – people like you. I get enough bile dealing with people like rabid creationists, homeopaths, and other folks I disagree with. Do I really need to deal with more bile from people I already mostly agree with? There are far too many people on our side who make it completely unpleasant to even enter this conversation because even the slightest disagreement makes you act like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDFwJL2Xus

    It’s very rarely like that with any of the other atheist issues, so I felt it worth pointing out what I felt is a problem because it actually keeps a lot of people from joining the discussion. But if you don’t like it and you want to continue being a jackass to people on your own side that’s just fine and dandy – you can go fuckety fucking fuck yourself.

  42. Brownian says

    Ah, I remember when the atheist “community” was primarily concerned with atheism and religious issues. Happy days.

    Does it bother you, jack? Because anything that bothers you makes me happy.

    You can’t make a faux pas, mistake-free environment no matter what you do.

    Then why the nudity laws that you earlier endorsed? Why any laws at all?

    I mean, if we’re gonna play the fallacy of the excluded middle, then let’s fucking PLAY.

  43. says

    I don’t think anyone’s brought it up here, but the policy Jen McCreight was describing was one she had encountered in the context of Secular Student Alliance events. I think such a policy is absolutely reasonable in such an environment where the primary attendance is from students. Or in other words, I think it’s very understandable that the SSA will only invite speakers who will agree not to use the event as a chance to sleep with eighteen-year-olds.

    Using this same policy for other events can get tricky. An outright ban on sex between speakers and attendees can lead to somewhat absurd situations, such as when a speaker is in a long-term relationship with an attendee. But I do think we should encourage speakers to remain professional throughout the event. A speaker who is making attendees uncomfortable through unwelcome sexual advances makes the event itself look bad in a way that those same advances from another attendee might not. Attendees also may be more nervous about reporting a speaker than they would about reporting another attendee, since staff may be inclined to protect the speaker.

    I certainly don’t think writing these policies is easy, and people are going to disagree about the nuances. But that is a completely different discussion than saying there shouldn’t be harassment policies whatsoever.

  44. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    I find that there’s a striking relationship between the issues of consent versus power differentials in the discussion of harassment policies that Brownian has highlighted, and social justice/affirmative action versus privilege and social background discussions, in particular in the people arguing the conservative/libertarian side…

    Conservatives and libertarians will tell you that it is basically the poor person’s fault that they are poor and underprivileged, that laws regarding social justice, racism, sexism, should be evaluated without taking into account the reality and influence of privilege, racism, etc. actually present in society. This same ideology will lead them to think that power differentials are irrelevant in a discussions of harassment policies.

    It’s kind of an absolutist stance that is transparently invalid, yet sounds convincingly consistent at first because it deliberately ignores the messiness of actual human society and its affairs.

    I’m sorry if this is a bit incoherent, too much single malt…

  45. Brownian says

    Do you award “Brownian” points?

    What a dumb question. Why? What would you do with them if I did?

  46. Brownian says

    Let me tell you who the fuckety fuck is stopping me from posting on this issue regularly – people like you.

    Wait, at first you were talking about teaching Thunderf00t and now it’s all about you?

    His blog is elsewhere. Go talk to him. Don’t fucking shift the goalposts.

  47. Brownian says

    An attendee is not forced to share the same space every day if they later revoke consent.

    You’d better save all your speaker fucking for the last day of the conference, if that’s what you think.

  48. Brownian says

    Do I really need to deal with more bile from people I already mostly agree with?

    You mean like the “the kitchen is that way” poster that Thunderf00t put on his blog?

    I can see people not wanting to contend with that kind of bile.

    Or did you only mean bile as it applied to you, John D?

    Yeah, that’s what I fucking thought.

  49. Suido says

    Power imbalance is a huge topic.

    My experience with it is running ‘orientation’ camps at university… not so much orientation as 100 first years aged ~18 getting wasted at a school camp type location for a weekend, supervised by a group of 19-22 year olds. No prizes for guessing how many male leaders were there to get dibs on impressionable female first years.
    Recipe for bad, so there was a blanket rule that leaders couldn’t get sexy with first years, and even weren’t allowed to ‘groom’ first years for hooking up at a later date. Obviously there’s a fine line between being sociable and flirty, but we knew what to watch out for. Leaders were warned if they were considered to be getting too flirty, and expelled from the camp for anything worse.

    For anyone who doesn’t believe in power imbalance, you’re wrong. It exists everywhere, and typically isn’t noticed by the participants until there’s a problem. Suddenly someone’s really uncomfortable, possibly in danger. This happens all the time, and it doesn’t have to be at work. It could be at a social club, in a sporting team, at a friend’s house, anywhere. By holding a conference, it’s in the organisers best interest to ensure all attendees have a great time, which includes attempting to prevent harassment or power imbalances leading to uncomfortable situations or worse.

    I’m not advocating the above rule for conferences – different situation, different demographics. I would advocate a simply written, strong anti-harassment policy based on consent, with clear guidelines for who to talk to if there is a problem.

    On top of that, I would advocate a secondary level of the policy that is addressed to staff and speakers only, encouraging them to view the conference as a workplace, emphasising professional behaviour and strongly discouraging any initiating of sexual relations. A big emphasis on why power imbalances exist and what can go wrong would help.

  50. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    A. R

    Usually always Islay, Laphroaig 10 or Bowmore, but today it happens to be a Highland Cask Strength.

  51. Brownian says

    No prizes for guessing how many male leaders were there to get dibs on impressionable female first years.

    Even if we pretend we don’t know someone who was a Student Orientation leader who admitted he did precisely that?

  52. says

    Brownian

    Then why the nudity laws that you earlier endorsed? Why any laws at all?

    So the False Choice fallacy either there has to be laws or no laws at all. You could just make reasonable harassment polices rather than tell consenting adults what to do or permit anything.

    I mean, if we’re gonna play the fallacy of the excluded middle, then let’s fucking PLAY.

    I would think that prohibiting adult consensual behavior would be on one side of the argument not the middle.

  53. Kalliope says

    lilandra,

    First no need to appreciate an apology for something I shouldn’t have done in the first place :)

    On restricting speakers: I agree that this is a complicated question. On the one hand, most professional environments forbid romantic interactions from people in positions of power or perceived positions of power, for the obvious reasons. On the other, there IS something infantilizing about that, especially toward the non-powerful person in that coupling — and that person is usually a female. I won’t even pretend to have an answer to this, but can only judge based on the balance of good versus bad. In the university and job settings, the history of power dynamic exploitation is so storied and common, that I would tend to think that it’s worse to allow those relationships than to disallow them. I don’t know enough about conferences to offer an opinion there.

    On “booth babes”: Leaving aside for a moment the idea of using women as decoration, let me ask you whether you think those women are used to advertise to YOU as a woman. Or if they’re used to advertise to gay men, or anyone who isn’t a heterosexual male into conventional looking women.

    To me, that is more the issue. If I am not the intended target of the advertising, that tells me that I am not the intended target of the venue. It tells me that I am an interloper at the convention, an anomaly, that this is really “dude” space.

    My parent company only hired an athlete as its spokesman. They only show ads on a sports network, which is watched predominantly by (white) men. This offends me because mine is the kind of company that is hired by the highest echelons of large companies with deep pockets for consulting work. The implication is that women aren’t the ones who decide who to hire in these matters. The implication is that men make these big choices and there’s no point in talking to the ladies.

    The very prominence of “booth babes” implies the same thing. That they don’t even need to bother advertising to women because women’s choices don’t matter.

    And more than that, it is radiated from the environment. I like to watch my boyfriend play video games. One game (the POV character was male, of course) was littered with gratuitous topless women. If I were a teenage girl, the message would come through loud and clear: this game is not intended for me. I’m not supposed to be playing. So girls don’t play in the same numbers as boys and then the video game developers turn around and say, “Well our audience is male, so of course we’re going to cater to them.”

    Booth babes gives the same message. This venue is not intended for me.

  54. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    I would think that prohibiting adult consensual behavior would be on one side of the argument not the middle.

    A compelling case has been made for a while now that the word consensual(*) should be accompanied by a caveat(*).

    *: For example: it is sometimes hard to evaluate whether behavior is consensual when there are power differentials involved.

  55. Kalliope says

    @jack —

    Yeah, it would be nice if the conversation could stay focused on atheism. All those hands shoved up our skirts keep distracting us from the conversation.

  56. Brownian says

    So the False Choice fallacy either there has to be laws or no laws at all.

    You’re the one who decided to bring up that one cannot make an error-free environment. Since none have asserted that, you’re the one who posited it as one lemma of the discussion.

    You could just make reasonable harassment polices rather than tell consenting adults what to do or permit anything.

    I’m tired of talking to you. Define what you mean by ‘reasonable’ or fuck off, but stop using vague terms like this.

    Clearly, what you think is ‘reasonable’ and what I think is ‘reasonable’ aren’t the same fucking thing, either we’re trying to find some common ground or at least one of us isn’t arguing in good faith.

    Frankly, I should not have to explain this to you.

    I GET THAT YOU THINK ANY ABRIDGEMENT OF WHAT YOU THINK IS CONSENT is too far for you. Thanks. It’s been loads helpful.

    Fuck, at least you learned how to goddamn blockquote.

    I would think that prohibiting adult consensual behavior would be on one side of the argument not the middle.

    Are you going to address the issue of power imbalances and what that implies for ‘consent’ or are you just going to keep repeating ‘consensual’ like the fucking moron you are?

  57. Suido says

    Postscript: Expelling leaders happened, and it sent a really clear message that the system was working as planned. The uni allowed us to continue running camps, and we got to keep having an awesome time. Simple, neh?

    Brownian

    Even if we pretend we don’t know someone who was a Student Orientation leader who admitted he did precisely that?

    You don’t have to pretend, there were plenty who were open about it. However, they also knew they’d get kicked off camp and have that stigma attached to them if they crossed the line. Sure, plenty of hook ups always happened between first years and older students at a later date (ie the massive unofficial house party held the weekend after camps), but nothing happened at the camp where the organisers were responsible.

  58. says

    Brownian

    You’d better save all your speaker fucking for the last day of the conference, if that’s what you think. I have already stated that I am not defending adult consensual behavior at conferences because I want to hook up with speakers. I am married. I am defending consenting behavior because it is between adults, and their business.

  59. says

    John D:

    Let me tell you who the fuckety fuck is stopping me from posting on this issue regularly – people like you.

    Oh? How am I stopping you and your Mighty Nice™ from enlightening and educating Thunderfoot so he’s no longer a privilege blind, sexist douchecake? I’m not posting at his blog, you fuckwit, so go forth with your Mighty Nice™ and show all the rude peoples how it’s done! Go, Cupcake, Go!

    You’ve just proved everything I said about you to be true. You can’t actually do what you claim, all you can do is hang around here, whining and moaning about the rude peoples and the nasty words, oh my. Fuck off and change the world, Cupcake, the internet awaits the power of your Mighty Nice™.

  60. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    When somebody is on the clock they typically are covered by a few more rules than they are at other times of their life.

  61. Suido says

    *but nothing happened at the camp where the organisers were responsible for putting first years in a vulnerable (lower power) situation.

    /clarification.

  62. Brownian says

    I have already stated that I am not defending adult consensual behavior at conferences because I want to hook up with speakers. I am married.

    Yes, yes, I know. I was using a generic you.

    I am defending consenting behavior because it is between adults, and their business.

    So, this is all you’ve got then? Bald assertions repeated as nauseum?

    Why did you even learn to type?

  63. jacklewis says

    “and dragging his feet over doing anything to continue the formerly good policies made it clear: he’s not interested in supporting women’s issues after all.”

    And you call yourself a scientist? Whoa, or did Rebecca write that shit for you? This is becoming quite sad.

  64. Brownian says

    This is becoming quite sad.

    Again with this trolling shit.

    Hey, Jack Lewis:

    You gonna answer your defense of Harris’ now that he got schooled over his plan to profile Muslims, or are you going to continue to pretend that you’re not simply a masturbating fanboi?

  65. says

    davidb:

    Sometimes – usually – the women are right,

    Oh, how generous of you, to acknowledge that sometimes, usually, we’re right about not wanting our bodies to be public property.

    When people have yet to take that on board, trying to explain it to them is a much better idea than calling the person who hasn’t yet got it things like ‘thundershite’.

    Another tone troll. Who wants us to conduct all our debates in the style of a formal speech. That’s original, I guess.

  66. John D says

    Brownian:

    You mean like the “the kitchen is that way” poster that Thunderf00t put on his blog?

    I can see people not wanting to contend with that kind of bile.

    Because he clearly didn’t put that there in jest, right? You could say it was in bad taste and I might agree with that, but in the context it isn’t intended as bile.

    Or did you only mean bile as it applied to you, John D?

    Yeah, that’s what I fucking thought.

    Yes actually, I did mean bile towards me, as well as anyone else who dares voice the slightest difference in opinion with you and yours. You act as if that wasn’t obviously what I was referring to.

    I’m perfectly fine with taking bile from the other side – they’re the enemy so to speak, I expect it from them. I’m actually far more comfortable discussing feminist issues on a blog like the one run by that jackass Vox Populi or others like him because at least there the people who are on my side will generally act like it, but here it seems anyone who disagrees even slightly on the issue is treated like worthless shit.

    To be assailed by both them and the people you largely agree with at the same time is isolating, like being unwelcome in your own home. It’s why there’s a significant group of people who would normally be quite happy to openly back you on the 95% of things you agree with on this issue choose to stay silent more often than not. There’s no particular reason to get pissed off over minor disagreements with people who are open to rational discourse – all I suggest is that we save it for the jerks who really deserve it.

  67. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says



    And you call yourself a scientist? Whoa, or did Rebecca write that shit for you? This is becoming quite sad.

    Looks like he’s making a judgment call. Apparently you’ve made a different one. Perhaps you’d like to expand on that.

  68. 'Tis Himself says

    John D

    Let me tell you who the fuckety fuck is stopping me from posting on this issue regularly – people like you.

    Are people coming to your house and holding a gun to your head to keep you from posting anything other than tone trolling? Or are you tone trolling because you don’t have anything worthwhile to say and want to blame others for your lack?

  69. Brownian says

    all I suggest is that we save it for the jerks who really deserve it

    I don’t know why you’re so stupid. It’s been mentioned here numerous times.

    If you put shit like that on your blog, even in fucking goddamn motherfucking jest, you aren’t on the same fucking side.

    Since you aren’t a fucking woman, how about you keep your stupid fucking yap shut on whether or not someone ‘deserves it’ or is ‘on women’s side’?

  70. Ze Madmax says

    John D @#75

    You think the bile you (and others like you, I presume) receive from “your own side” is due to minor disagreements?

    That’s your problem right there. They aren’t minor. Ensuring that conferences are safe spaces are a MAJOR FUCKING DEAL. If you think they are minor issues, then you’re clearly not on the “same side” as most commenters here.

  71. says

    Brownian-

    Are you going to address the issue of power imbalances and what that implies for ‘consent’

    I have addressed this to you.

    I said,”I think you need to be careful to write a policy that doesn’t prohibit consensual behavior. If Thunderfoot for example was speaking at that convention then his consensual behavior in the picture would be prohibited were they to take McCreight’s suggestion about speaker/attendee flirting. Many women and men are attracted to sleeping with they admire or esteem. I don’t think it is the conferences place to tell a person they may be too blinded by power to sleep with someone else.”

    It is not the place of the organizers to tell people who are mutually flirting to stop because one is a speaker. It isn’t a power difference worth policing or even enforceable. An 18 year old is legally capable of giving consent.

    or are you just going to keep repeating ‘consensual’ like the fucking moron you are?

    Not when you ask like that. How can you even pretend to be sensitive to women’s issues and contribute to the verbal harassment of someone, who merely degrees with you on an issue?

  72. Brownian says

    Yes actually, I did mean bile towards me, as well as anyone else who dares voice the slightest difference in opinion with you and yours.

    The slightest difference.\

    Hear that women, non-whites, homosexuals? If he starts off with a sexist, racist, or homophobic joke before launching into a discussion about your issues don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, be nice about it. Because he’s on your side.

    Since you are, John D, a moron (and I mean this with as much bile as I can muster because you ain’t no fucking friend or ally of mine), I’ll spell it out for you: trivialising these issues and making jokes about them AIN’T A FUCKING SLIGHT DIFFERENCE, asshole.

  73. Brownian says

    ”I think you need to be careful to write a policy that doesn’t prohibit consensual behavior”

    That doesn’t answer anything at all. Everyone I work with is over 18, and I can’t fuck any of them in the copy room. Clearly, you don’t have to be careful at all. I honestly don’t give a fuck if Thunderf00t’s precious photo would have been rendered inappropriate under Jen’s rules.

    It isn’t a power difference worth policing or even enforceable

    Another bald assertion.

    How can you even pretend to be sensitive to women’s issues and contribute to the verbal harassment of someone, who merely degrees with you on an issue?

    I’m calling you a moron because you are one, your non sequiturs notwithstanding.

  74. says

    Kalliope- I don’t feel excluded when I see “Booth Babes” at a convention. Not everything is geared to me as a female. I don’t see this as a big issue at our conventions. Except may be a Penn Jillette show, and he says his events at TAM are not affiliated directly with TAM.

  75. 'Tis Himself says

    lilandra #(5)80

    How can you even pretend to be sensitive to women’s issues and contribute to the verbal harassment of someone, who merely degrees with you on an issue?

    If you’re going to write idiotic statements don’t whine when someone calls you a idiotic.

    Your hero Thunderthud wrote a lengthy post about how he doesn’t give a fuck about women or their concerns and didn’t use any naughty language. That’s a whole lot more insensitive to women’s issues than calling you a fucking moron. Or are you too much of a fucking moron to understand the difference?

  76. says

    A lot of the issue here was that since Thunderf00t never said who or what he was responding to, he and his fans have lots of leeway to dig up something he could have been talking about if he gets accused of misrepresenting someone. Then, they can be offended that’s he’s being unfairly attacked. It’s a chicken shit tactic. If he had a problem with a specific policy Jen McCreight suggested, he should have linked to it, not just made insinuations about what the proposed policies were like.

  77. says

    Because he’s on your side.

    Sure, sure. He just doesn’t think I’m a full human being. Other than that, a totes ally. Right.

    *spits*

    If you don’t like this, John D., tough shit.

  78. Brownian says

    We’re finished discussing then Brownian.

    No problem. I can fill in your part for you.

    Somebody: “Blah-blah-blah.”
    lilandra: “But consenting adults!”
    Somebody else: “Blah-blah-blah new point.”
    lilandra: “But consenting adults!”
    A third person: “Blah-blah-blah something else.”
    lilandra: “But consenting adults!”
    The first person: “Hmm. Blah-blah-blah?”
    lilandra: “Consenting adults!”
    A passing stranger: “Blah-blah-blah directions to the airport?”
    lilandra: “Consenting adults!”
    The wind, crying: “Mary”
    Brownian, channeling the simple spirit lilandra: “But consenting adults!”

  79. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t feel excluded when I see “Booth Babes” at a convention. Not everything is geared to me as a female.

    {emphasis mine}

    hhhmmm

  80. Brownian says

    Not everything is geared to me as a female.

    It counts when I call lilandra a ‘moron’ though.

  81. says

    Tis Himself
    Your hero Thunderthud wrote a lengthy post about how he doesn’t give a fuck about women or their concerns and didn’t use any naughty language. That’s a whole lot more insensitive to women’s issues than calling you a fucking moron. Or are you too much of a fucking moron to understand the difference?
    This is how you sound…
    “Thunderthud doesn’t give a fuck about women, and if you don’t agree that he is a whole lot more insensitive than us or that we can call you a fucking moron; you are a fucking moron who can’t understand the difference.”

    Stellar piece of logic there.

  82. Kalliope says

    lilandra –

    Do you feel than any of it is geared specifically toward women to the exclusion of males?

  83. Brownian says

    “Thunderthud doesn’t give a fuck about women, and if you don’t agree that he is a whole lot more insensitive than us or that we can call you a fucking moron; you are a fucking moron who can’t understand the difference.”

    Stellar piece of logic there.

    Wow. It’s like you read as well as you write.

  84. chigau (違う) says

    Brownian
    They call the wind Mariah.
    (fuck. I can’t link to a youtube of the Paint Your Wagon version)

  85. John D says

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Oh? How am I stopping you and your Mighty Nice™ from enlightening and educating Thunderfoot so he’s no longer a privilege blind, sexist douchecake?

    Thanks for proving my point. I think Thunderf00t isn’t quite in the right here, but I don’t think he’s a sexist douchebag because of it. Of course you do, because he dares disagree with you on how big the problem is. Come on, is he really a sexist? Has he said or implied that women are inferior?

    I’m not posting at his blog, you fuckwit, so go forth with your Mighty Nice™ and show all the rude peoples how it’s done! Go, Cupcake, Go!

    So you want me to go post on his blog, but apparently you’re too good to go do so yourself? The hypocrisy is strong with this one. Lead by example, Muffin. Or would you rather continue having a circle jerk with all your buddies here?

    The reason I’m posting here right now is because I think addressing people like you who would rather tear the atheist community apart is important enough for me to post about. There’s not much point in me going to Thunderf00t’s blog to post about it since it’s less of a problem there. I knew it would be more hostile to voice my opinion about it here, yet I came anyways.

  86. says

    Kalliope-

    Do you feel than any of it is geared specifically toward women to the exclusion of males?

    I feel that the overwhelming majority of the booths are geared to both sexes because they are mainly organizational booths like AA or SSA. A few like the jewelry sales are geared mostly to women.

  87. Brownian says

    Has he said or implied that women are inferior?

    If you pull out a dictionary, I will fucking destroy you.

    He clearly thinks women are inferior so far as their ability to assess their own likelihood of being harassed at TAM, and their desire not to have the same old “get in the kitchen” tropes thrown at them for the LULZ.

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    So you want me to go post on his blog, but apparently you’re too good to go do so yourself?

    Asshole, you’re the one with the better way of doing it.

    You wrote:

    I don’t think Thunderf00t is someone who views women as not being human and that he’s more on our side than against it, so I don’t think making him out to be the enemy helps anyone. (well, it might help the misogynists) If there’s something him or someone like him doesn’t get, try to help them get it a little better, but do so with polite discussion and not insults.

    Well, fuckface? Show us how it’s fucking done.

    You fucking cowardly armchair general.

  88. Kalliope says

    John –

    If you want people to stop tearing apart the atheist community, work on the side that makes half of the population unwelcome.

    “I know your daddy hits you, but if you tell anyone, you’re going to tear the family apart. And if I confront him, he’ll leave and that will tear the family apart.”

    Can you really not imagine yourself in a situation where being told that something which is really, really important to you — your dignity and your safety — aren’t important at all because their not important to someone else? Can you not see how that’s really saying “YOU are not important or valued?” And if it’s half the fucking population, that it’s saying “the absence of external genitalia renders you unimportant”?

  89. Brownian says

    There’s not much point in me going to Thunderf00t’s blog to post about it since it’s less of a problem there.

    How about this:

    If there’s something him or someone like him doesn’t get, try to help them get it a little better, but do so with polite discussion and not insults.

    Hmm?

    You gonna put your money where your mouth is, you chickenshit tone troll?

  90. 'Tis Himself says

    lilandra #(5)91

    Stellar piece of logic there.

    So you are too much of a fucking moron to understand the difference between Thunderthud’s free of naughty words misogyny and you being called a fucking moron. Thanks for making that clear.

  91. says

    I can try reasoning with him, he is more my husband’s friend. I don’t agree with what he said that it is not a problem at conventions. But I don’t agree with people who think he shouldn’t be here, and some are saying he is defending his ability to harass. He does have many other points that are valid and worth posting here. You guys will naturally call him on it when he is out of line.

  92. chigau (違う) says

    John D
    Which “atheist community” are you a part of?
    I’ve never seen you in mine.

  93. says

    Tis Himself

    So you are too much of a fucking moron to understand the difference between Thunderthud’s free of naughty words misogyny and you being called a fucking moron. Thanks for making that clear.

    So you have the privilege to verbally abuse people, and others should watch what they say to women. Got it.

  94. 'Tis Himself says

    John D
    Which “atheist community” are you a part of?

    He’s in the “Caine was snide to me and is therefore tearing the ‘atheist community’ apart” atheist community. It consists of two golf balls, a gerbil, and John D.

  95. Mattir says

    I don’t feel excluded when I see “Booth Babes” at a convention. Not everything is geared to me as a female. I don’t see this as a big issue at our conventions.</

    This is one of the most moronically self-hating pieces of crap I've seen in ages. You know what Booth Babes should sell? Condoms. Men's underwear and socks. Jock straps. Prostate exams. Catholic seminaries. Things that are specifically and even exclusively for the use of straight men.

    Explain to me exactly why marketing for, oh, automobiles and electronics (things that are bought and used by both genders and about which women make purchasing decisions) should be sold using women's bodies.

  96. John D says

    Ze Madmax:

    You think the bile you (and others like you, I presume) receive from “your own side” is due to minor disagreements?

    That’s your problem right there. They aren’t minor. Ensuring that conferences are safe spaces are a MAJOR FUCKING DEAL. If you think they are minor issues, then you’re clearly not on the “same side” as most commenters here.

    And who exactly said the conferences shouldn’t be safe spaces? Thunderf00t might disagree with the extent of the problem and how to handle it, but at no point did he imply that they shouldn’t be safe. People act like saying “I don’t think the issue of sexual harassment in conferences is as big a deal as some people make it out to be” is equivalent to saying “conferences should allow rape and women aren’t human beings”. That’s completely absurd and intellectually dishonest. I mean seriously, does anyone here really think that Thundef00t doesn’t think women are human beings?

  97. says

    So you want me to go post on his blog, but apparently you’re too good to go do so yourself?

    Jesus Christ, could your comprehension ability possibly be worse? You are the one whining about how being nice would go far in making everything better.

    What in the fuck is the point of you whinging endlessly here, when you go on and on and on how being nice is key, it would do the trick, easy peasy? Put your fucking money where your mouth is, asshole – go off to TF’s blog and show us all the power of your Mighty Nice™ method.

    We’re waiting for to come back in triumph, showing us how the privilege glasses fell from TF’s eyes and he has stopped being a sexist asshole, thanks to your ability to be all nice and polite and civil and stuff.

    All you are doing in this thread, on this blog, is attempting to derail the discussion and make it all about you, you, you and your whining.

  98. Mattir says

    blockquote fail. Sigh.

    Only the first paragraph is from our illogical, self-hating silly person.

  99. Erista (aka Eris) says

    lilandra:

    What Jen is saying is that the power difference between a Speaker and an Attendee is different enough as to make it inappropriate for the one to hit on the other, rather like how it is inappropriate for a boss to hit on an employee.

    You may not AGREE that the power difference is sufficient (like some people don’t believe it is wrong for a boss to hit on an employee) but there’s a context to what she’s saying that we can’t ignore. I think we ALL believe that there are situations when the power difference between two adults is such that it renders the idea of consent problematic, and acting like “a psychiatrist should not hit on his/her patient” indicates some kind of overall negative attitude towards two consenting adults being able to do as they will is not accurate.

  100. says

    John D–

    You mean like the “the kitchen is that way” poster that Thunderf00t put on his blog?

    I can see people not wanting to contend with that kind of bile.

    Because he clearly didn’t put that there in jest, right? You could say it was in bad taste and I might agree with that, but in the context it isn’t intended as bile.

    All together now: INTENT IS NOT MAGIC. The “joke” is full of bile and hostility towards women who dare to imagine that they might participate fully in public and professional life, just as men have for millennia, regardless of anyone’s intent.

    Or did you only mean bile as it applied to you, John D?

    Yeah, that’s what I fucking thought.

    Yes actually, I did mean bile towards me, as well as anyone else who dares voice the slightest difference in opinion with you and yours. You act as if that wasn’t obviously what I was referring to.

    Oh but John–it was just a joke. Your perception that any bile has been directed to you is henceforth negated. It was all just humor and joking around. Wasn’t it funny? I found it funny. Hilarious! If you have a problem, that’s on you. Probably you’re too sensitive or just don’t “get” our sophisticated and superior sense of humor.

    /sarcasm

    ^^^

    Turnabout is fair play, yes?

  101. says

    This is one of the most moronically self-hating pieces of crap I’ve seen in ages.

    But it can’t be, Mattir, you see, she’s a woman, that makes it okay!1!!

  102. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Actually, it seems that other people have said the same thing as I said in post 111. Oops.

  103. John D says

    chigau (違う):

    John D
    Which “atheist community” are you a part of?
    I’ve never seen you in mine.

    Well obviously I was referring to the general atheist community, which consists of millions of people so I wouldn’t expect you to have met me. But if you’d like to you’re more than welcome to come to the Atlanta Atheists Meetup if you’re ever in town, which is a rather fine group of people. I’m also a regular poster over at http://www.uselectionatlas.org, usually on the religion boards, and we’d always welcome some new people. Aside from that I like posting on news articles about atheism, evolution, and creationism. Does that answer your question?

  104. chigau (違う) says

    ‘Tis

    It consists of two golf balls, a gerbil, and John D.

    He’s in my basement???
    (and the gerbil is dead)

  105. says

    I don’t feel excluded when I see “Booth Babes” at a convention. Not everything is geared to me as a female. I don’t see this as a big issue at our conventions.

    Mattir

    This is one of the most moronically self-hating pieces of crap I’ve seen in ages. You know what Booth Babes should sell? Condoms. Men’s underwear and socks. Jock straps. Prostate exams. Catholic seminaries. Things that are specifically and even exclusively for the use of straight men.

    I was responding to someone who used the term hence the quotation marks. I disagree with you I think the female body is beautiful, and it is a woman’s choice if she wants to display it. Correct me if I am wrong here, but Victoria’s secret sell lingerie to women using scantily clad beautiful women.

    Explain to me exactly why marketing for, oh, automobiles and electronics (things that are bought and used by both genders and about which women make purchasing decisions) should be sold using women’s bodies.

    Attractive women make their products look attractive. I am not sure why that needs explaining or what’s wrong with it.

  106. Mattir says

    @ Caine –

    Well, you see, I am ALSO a woman, and with my magic ladybraynziacal logyk abilities, I can identify self-hating bullshit. (That and the fact that I recognize a former version of myself in that sort of self-hating Chill-Girl rhetoric.)

  107. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Um, lilandra (or anyone else, if they feel inclined to answer) did you ever make a response to the clarifications people made about Jen’s point? Because I can’t find it. I think maybe I’m having issues with the multi-page format for the responses.

  108. 'Tis Himself says

    lilandra #105

    So you have the privilege to verbally abuse people, and others should watch what they say to women. Got it.

    No, you don’t “got it”. You’re so not getting it that you obviously don’t even know what it is.

    Let me try to explain it in ways even your feeble mentality can understand. You have repeatedly said stupid things. As a result, your stupidity has been noted and commented on. These comments have been rude but that is the nature of this particular blog. We are rude but honest. Just as a note, your gender isn’t germane to the comments made to you. We have said the same sorts of things to men, transsexuals, and others in the gender spectrum.

    Your buddy Donnerfuß wrote a lengthy post dismissing the legitimate concerns of women. He did it in polite but condescending and mocking language and graphics. He was essentially saying “bitches ain’t shit” but not using that form of language.

    We are insulting one person, you. Thunderfart is insulting half of the population of the world.

  109. julian says

    My big issue with Booth Babes is just the atmosphere they encourage. Every woman suddenly becomes a Booth Babe in the eyes of many attendees (even if they are clearly designated as staff) and have to endure crap they are clearly not there for.

    And honestly, I’m sick of pandering to the male nerd libido. It’s old, tiring and an impediment to anything nerd (electronics, games) ever stepping out of the perception of being for emotionally stunted 14 year olds.

  110. Mattir says

    Attractive MEN would also make the product look attractive. Or, you know, the product could just be sold because it’s a GOOD PRODUCT, with marketing materials that presented the actual functions of the product.

    Or is this too complicated for you? Would it be an easier-to-accept argument if I added a picture of a mostly-naked woman?

  111. julian says

    Attractive women make their products look attractive. I am not sure why that needs explaining or what’s wrong with it.

    You are missing her point, that these are products that should be available to everyone so they should not be sold as if the only audience in mind were men.

  112. Brownian says

    I am not sure why that needs explaining or what’s wrong with it.

    Which is one of the reasons you’re finding yourself all sorts of confused on a post about sexism.

  113. John D says

    chigau (違う):

    It consists of two golf balls, a gerbil, and John D.

    He’s in my basement???
    (and the gerbil is dead)

    Well yeah, I mean gerbils are a good source of protein, and since it’s dead anyways I might as well go ahead, right?

  114. says

    Attractive women make their products look attractive to heterosexual men and lesbian/bi women.

    FIFY

    Why not advertise products with attractive men? Because the marketers assume that heterosexual women and gay/bi men are not worth marketing to. That is quite stupid of them. Apparently, even though they are aware on a superficial level that women vote, work outside the home, and have discretionary income to spend these days, they still act as if they are living in the 1950s.

    I am not sure why that needs explaining or what’s wrong with it.

    What’s wrong with it has been explained: it sends the message that a.) women are not the target demographic, this is an event geared towards men and towards women like you who don’t mind being treated as if they were invisible and b.) not only are women not the target demographic, they are basically ambulatory billboards, decorations, objects.

    If you don’t see anything wrong with THAT then you should explain WHY it is totally okay to continue acting as if women don’t spend money on cars and technology, when they do, and to continue acting as if women’s only value is in the gratification to the heterosexual male observer they provide.

    This is feminism 101.

    Is it new to you? You’re welcome.

  115. julian says

    I think the female body is beautiful, and it is a woman’s choice if she wants to display it.

    No one’s talking about women showing off their bodies… Don’t really know what this has to do with anything.

  116. chigau (違う) says

    John D
    How is Caine in some Canadian-border state endangering your Southern southern atheist club?
    She is in no way endangering my atheist community.
    (Thank you for the gracious invitation but I do not travel to the United States.)

  117. says

    I disagree with you I think the female body is beautiful

    A small example of dishonesty. Nobody has said that the female body is not beautiful. That is beside the point.

    Have you ever heard of internalized sexism, Lilandra? How about internalized racism or homophobia?

    Do you think that sociology is a real science?

  118. says

    Mattir:

    Well, you see, I am ALSO a woman

    Well, I would point out that I’m a woman too, however, we all know there are no women on Pharyngula except for Nerd, so obviously we don’t exist and are mere pixels in the machine.

  119. rowanvt says

    I’m sorry if this makes me sexist, if she reads into such basic friendly gestures to the point that she actually feels threatened by me, I don’t particularly feel responsible.

    oooooo block quotes… :D

    Anyway…. Yes. That does make you sexist that you don’t care if you make women uncomfortable and are going to continue that behaviour because your pleasure from the behaviour is more important than the woman feeling comfortable.

    Coming from a strange male, there is nothing “basic friendly” about the gesture. Should I not be bothered when men pet my hair because they compliment it at the same time?

    I used to do the *smile* “Thanks” and then glance away. The same sort of smile that a nervous dog does. ‘don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me’. But you better believe I was tracking the individual to see where they went, what they were doing… if they were going to follow me….

    I go so tired of it that I rarely wear my hair down (usually in a ponytail now) and pretty much only wear my scrubs. The scrubs seem to have magical ‘anti-asshole’ properties, probably because they aren’t feminine and scrubs = professional = someone who might someday see me in an embarrassing, or en-bare-assing, position so thus flee and leave alone! In the last couple years since I’ve started doing this, the level of unwanted comments has dropped drastically. I also developed a cranky and don’t do the smile/thanks anymore.

  120. Erista (aka Eris) says

    *sigh*

    Ok, here’s the deal: Not everything that women choose to do is empowering. For example, when women run around and declare that women shouldn’t serve in political office, or shouldn’t be able to vote, or should be legally under the care of a man and not themselves, that is not empowering. Hell, when women kill their infant girls because sons are valued and daughters are not, that is not empowerment. Similarly, when women expose and use their bodies to sell shit to men, that is not empowering. I’m not saying women shouldn’t be allowed to do it, but to act like just because a woman chooses it then it clearly is wonderful is foolish, even if you ignore the socioeconomic forces that pressures some women into making them use their bodies in a way they wouldn’t have chosen if they had the ability to gain meaningful employment elsewhere. We all do shit that isn’t empowering, and that’s something that we all have to deal with, even if we don’t give it up. That should be recognized, not ignored.

  121. says

    lil’

    So you have the privilege to verbally abuse people, and others should watch what they say to women. Got it.

    Learned to blockquote, still a dumbass.

    I’ll break it down reeeeaaaaaalllllly slowly for you. Calling someone out for bigoted behavior != bad. Attacking women for being women = bad.

    You (general) can stop being a bigot at any time. You (general) cannot stop being a woman (if that’s how you identify).

    Seriously, I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: This isn’t rocket surgery, idiot.

  122. says

    Erista-

    Um, lilandra (or anyone else, if they feel inclined to answer) did you ever make a response to the clarifications people made about Jen’s point? Because I can’t find it. I think maybe I’m having issues with the multi-page format for the responses.

    Yes I have made comments about the power differences between speakers and attendees. I don’t think they are equivalent to professor/student boss/employee relationships due to the longevity of being forced to work with someone you revoked consent with. They have power over lives too like the power to flunk or fire you than speakers don’t have. Even if your company doesn’t have a policy against those sorts of consensual relationships; it is not wise for an adult student or employee to consent to them. It is a bit patronizing to women in particular to be thought of as incapable of deciding who they want to sleep with in the context of conventions.

  123. says

    I think the female body is beautiful, and it is a woman’s choice if she wants to display it.

    You are indeed an idiot. If a woman chooses to display her body, that’s fine. Choice would be key here. In the case of certain jobs, like that of “booth babe”, it’s not a matter of choice. A woman is being put on display, not as a human being, but as a product, to be used and discarded as one sees fit.

    Women take such jobs because they often have no choice or they are hoping it will be a stepping stone to something better. The whole mess is degrading and it has absolutely nothing to do with a woman freely displaying her body or the beauty of the female body in general.

  124. jono4174 says

    PZed said

    But I think you might be right that our anti-feminist quota has been more than fully met, and there might be some different emphases in our criteria from now on.

    You don’t really mean that you will bar anyone whose opinions and solutions is not always 100% in line with yours do you?

  125. 'Tis Himself says

    The daughter and I were walking around and a man interrupted our conversation to tell the daughter to smile. The daughter said “I’ve been laid off, I have a toothache that I can’t afford to see the dentist about, and my cat just died and you want me to smile? Fuck off!” The guy muttered apologies and wandered away.

    None of those things were true. However she did say one rather telling thing to me, that she wouldn’t have said anything if I wasn’t there.

  126. Erista (aka Eris) says

    @lilandra

    1) Fine. Disagree. But don’t act like Jen’s rational is something other than it is.

    2) Have you SEEN the shit women have been subjected to over the last year for not wanting some random, nameless, unknown guy to hit on her? Both female speakers and female attendees have had people FLIP OUT over the mere suggestion that they have the right to do anything to assert their boundaries, even make 10 second long statements to that effect. Death threats! Rape threats! Name calling! Rewriting of history! It’s been absurd.

  127. julian says

    Women take such jobs because they often have no choice or they are hoping it will be a stepping stone to something better.

    Do we know that’s true?

    Booth Babe sounds like a perfectly legitimate job (so long as the employee isn’t forced to tolerate harassment or degrading speech) and something someone might find as a suitable part time or single paycheck job.

  128. Ze Madmax says

    jono4174 @ #139

    How the fuck do you get “banning everyone who doesn’t agree 100% with us” from “we’ll emphasize different criteria now”? Particularly when the idea of “anti-feminist” as a criteria was a joke on PZ’s part.

  129. Mattir says

    I think we will be much better understood if we change all our gravatars to naked women pics. Gotta be attractive women pics, though – none of this real body, chubby stretch marked middle-aged thing. I mean, who would want an ACTUAL female body, that had been USED for, like, female type stuff, like popping out a couple of Spawns, or feeding said Spawns with (eeeeewwwwww) body fluids. Or even female bodies that have been used for living, walking around, dancing, or whatever for more than 2-3 decades (again, eeeeeeeeeewwwww!).

    Only some female bodies get used to make computer components look attractive. This should be a bit of a fucking hint as to why it’s irritating, but I’m pretty sure it won’t make a dent in lilandra.

  130. John D says

    chigau (違う)

    John D
    How is Caine in some Canadian-border state endangering your Southern southern atheist club?

    My club specifically? She’s not, seeing as she’s not a member. We disagree on a few issues quite often but we don’t feel it necessary to spew the word “fuck” affixed to “tard” or “wit” or “wad” at eachother every time we have a disagreement. Do you honestly think we’d get together if that was the case?

    I’m talking about the broader atheist community, or perhaps Pharyngula in particular at least since the attitude I’m talking about is prevalent here. Getting people engaged in the conversation is a great way to change minds, but a lot of people don’t want to bother taking the first step when all they expect to get it insults for their trouble. Again, that’s my opinion based on my personal experience, and if you disagree I don’t think you’re dumb or evil for it.

  131. says

    But I think you might be right that our anti-feminist quota has been more than fully met, and there might be some different emphases in our criteria from now on.

    You don’t really mean that you will bar anyone whose opinions and solutions is not always 100% in line with yours do you?

    There has to be 100% agreement that women are people and therefore entitled to all the rights and responsibilities attendant thereto.

    Do you have a problem with that?

  132. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I’m just going to go on record that I’m sure that some Booth Babes absolutely feel fine about their experience as a Booth Babe. I haven’t ever acted as one, so I can’t say if the job is good (or if it’s really sucky), but there are few things that I haven’t found some woman saying she is 100% positive about, not even taking away all a woman’s rights as an autonomous being. So whatever it’s like (great, terrible, in between, varies), someone will assert they love it.

  133. says

    Or is this too complicated for you? Would it be an easier-to-accept argument if I added a picture of a mostly-naked woman?

    OMG, Mattir, I fucking ♥ you! It’s nice to have your snarky posts back!

    lil’

    It is a bit patronizing to women in particular to be thought of as incapable of deciding who they want to sleep with in the context of conventions.

    That’s what you’re getting out of all of this? Jesus Christ, it’s not about not letting women make decisions, it’s about making conference attendants safe.

  134. says

    May be it is too hard for people to keep track of what I have said, and there is a definite anger management issue on the part of some of the posters here. If you feel like it is necessary to repeatedly call someone a dumbass, moron, and bigot who has not returned the verbal abuse; you have abuse and bully issues. You should feel better about your self rather than take someone else down a peg with abuse to make yourself feel more powerful. If you have been abusive to me I am ignoring the comment.

    Additionally after being quote mined to beat the war drum for a flame war, I have nothing to say to a person who uses those dishonest tactics either. If there is no one who can’t refrain from flaming left, I’m out of this discussion.

  135. Jessa says

    lilandra:

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but Victoria’s secret sell lingerie to women using scantily clad beautiful women.

    Or, more accurately, it’s marketed to women based on the fantasies of the men in their lives, so if you want to please them, buy their lingerie. Nope, no sexism there. /sarcasm

  136. says

    Mattir:

    I think we will be much better understood if we change all our gravatars to naked women pics.

    I’m down.

    Gotta be attractive women pics, though – none of this real body, chubby stretch marked middle-aged thing.

    Well, fuck. I might not be middle-aged, but I was hoping to start showing off the newly acquired stretch marks.

    Only some female bodies get used to make computer components look attractive. This should be a bit of a fucking hint as to why it’s irritating, but I’m pretty sure it won’t make a dent in lilandra.

    Hell, even if “booth babes” were of all body types and ages, I’d still be pissed that women were being used to sell products based on completely irrelevant criteria.

  137. says

    I’m talking about the broader atheist community, or perhaps Pharyngula in particular at least since the attitude I’m talking about is prevalent here.

    Personally, I’m only a member of the atheist/skeptic community inasmuch as it is also a humanist community.

    I used to think I was a skeptic first, but apparently my strong feminism makes me unwelcome. Now I feel I have more in common with humanists, who may or may not be atheists.

    If you are an atheist and can’t get on board with the simple idea that women are people then you are not part of my community. I want nothing to do with you.

    And don’t go whining that you don’t disagree that women are people. You can’t just say it, you have to show it too. Like, stop criticizing the feminists and devote your energy to pushing back against Thunderfoot’s misogyny.

    Yep. That’s divisive. Intentionally divisive.

    It’s a good thing to separate out the decent people from the anti-feminists. It’s a good thing to separate the jerks from everyone else.

    Which side are you on?

  138. Mattir says

    You know who else benefits from making conferences safe spaces? Underage women. My wonderful DaughterSpawn has gotten well and truly skeeved out by some of the encounters that she’s had at conferences, and hearing about the experiences women in their early 20s have had has made her very leery of attending conferences on her own.

    Or should teenage atheists/skeptics simply not be allowed into TAM or other conferences until they’re over 21? (Don’t get me started on the alcohol-focused social time at some conferences…)

  139. julian says

    If there is no one who can’t refrain from flaming left, I’m out of this discussion.

    You’ve ignored the replies, answers and arguments people have been making. If nothing else, you should try to engage them. (them being the arguments)

  140. says

    Erista-

    2) Have you SEEN the shit women have been subjected to over the last year for not wanting some random, nameless, unknown guy to hit on her? Both female speakers and female attendees have had people FLIP OUT over the mere suggestion that they have the right to do anything to assert their boundaries, even make 10 second long statements to that effect. Death threats! Rape threats! Name calling! Rewriting of history! It’s been absurd.

    I have been lurking since the beginning, I know a few of the active atheists in the convention crowd, so its been unavoidable. I have not in this discussion said that some of the behavior defending harassment is remotely acceptable. I just don’t think it will get any better policing adult consensual behavior or shrieking insults at people.

  141. Mattir says

    @Sally – I’ve had the same realization about humanism as compared to the skeptic/atheist identified folks. Sigh.

    @ Audley – ROCK those stretch marks, honey. And no, not all the ointments, magic, herbal infusions and incantations in the world will actually prevent them. It depends on your skin and the DarkFetus and possibly hydration. (Us mothers of twins turn into accordions, really. It’s quite a feat.)

  142. says

    ‘Tis:

    However she did say one rather telling thing to me, that she wouldn’t have said anything if I wasn’t there.

    I’m glad you were with her, then. However, it does illustrate how women can’t really afford to say such things when they’re on their own, which is why you get the “thank you” along with getting away from the person as soon as possible instead.

  143. says

    I just don’t think it will get any better policing adult consensual behavior

    How do you feel about policing non-consensual adult behavior? Will it help??

    or shrieking insults at people.

    By participating in a Pharyngula conversation, whose rules and norms are clearly laid out, you are implicitly consenting to having people insult you sometimes.

  144. Mattir says

    lilandra –

    I’m glad you’ve found fellow tone-trolls to hang with at conventions. Me, I’ll hang with the folks from Pharyngula, who are frankly a whole lot more fun, reliable, and trustworthy. Tone-trolls are way too willing to sell my safety off in the interests of being politely non-confrontational.

    Fuck that noise.

  145. chigau (違う) says

    JohnD

    We disagree on a few issues quite often but we don’t feel it necessary to spew the word “fuck” affixed to “tard” or “wit” or “wad” at eachother every time we have a disagreement.
    …if you disagree I don’t think you’re dumb or evil for it.

    I now think that you are an idiot and I don’t much give a fuck what you think of my intellect or the state of my soul.

  146. 'Tis Himself says

    If you have been abusive to me I am ignoring the comment.

    Translation: I don’t have good rebuttals to any of the arguments given to me, so I’ll go all superior and pretend I’m too good to answer any of you. So there, nyah!

  147. Erista (aka Eris) says

    @lilandra

    If you have seen that, then surely you understand that it is incredibly problematic to say that there isn’t a power difference? If you have seen the behavior that is leveled at both female attendees and female speakers, then surely you can understand why women (both speaker and attendee) might be especially afraid to report the ill behavior of a famous, well liked speaker, or how a female speaker might be afraid to report the behavior of a fellow speaker (who they may have to work with again) or an attendee (who may be viewed as the “customer” that she must please)? Women’s fear of upsetting men cannot be separated from the blow-back that women have been subject to over this last year as a result of upsetting men.

  148. John D says

    SallyStrange:

    If you are an atheist and can’t get on board with the simple idea that women are people then you are not part of my community. I want nothing to do with you.

    And don’t go whining that you don’t disagree that women are people. You can’t just say it, you have to show it too. Like, stop criticizing the feminists and devote your energy to pushing back against Thunderfoot’s misogyny.

    First off, I agree that misogynists shouldn’t be welcome – I said in an earlier post that jerks should be treated as such. I just don’t think that Thunderf00t is a misogynist. Having a flawed perspective on a particular women’s issue does not necessarily mean you hate women or think of them as your inferiors.

  149. John D says

    chigau (違う)

    I now think that you are an idiot and I don’t much give a fuck what you think of my intellect or the state of my soul.

    That’s fine, I don’t give much of a fuck about your soul either since such things don’t likely exist.

  150. says

    Mattir:

    It depends on your skin and the DarkFetus and possibly hydration.

    Well, I’m extremely well hydrated, but if my mom’s any indication, it won’t matter. (Plus, I’m already WHOA LARGE for only being 22 weeks.)

    lil’

    I just don’t think it will get any better policing adult consensual behavior or shrieking insults at people.

    I know you’ve been asked this already, but how do you intend consensual and non-consentual actions before they occur?

    (Are you upset at your HR departments anti-sexual harassment policy? Many forbid dating between coworkers– does that upset your free love rhetoric?)

  151. Erista (aka Eris) says

    @John D

    If it helps, one does not necessarily need to declare that ThunderFoot is a misogynist to say that his behavior is misogynistic. I don’t know ThunderFoot. I don’t know what he’s like on the inside. But that post he just made? That was misogynistic. I don’t know if he meant it that way, I don’t know if he understands what the problem with what he said is, but that’s still what it was. It was incredibly dismissive and it conflated consensual sexual encounters with non-consensual ones, among other things. That’s not okay.

  152. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    We disagree on a few issues quite often but we don’t feel it necessary to spew the word “fuck” affixed to “tard”

    Most commenters here don’t use mental retardation as an insult. Those who do are criticized for it.

    or “wit” or “wad” at eachother every time we have a disagreement. Do you honestly think we’d get together if that was the case?

    So your point is that people communicate differently in different social contexts.

    Duckwit.

  153. Mattir says

    JohnD –

    How nice that you don’t think people who disagree with you are dumb or evil. This cries out for a strawGodwinman, which I am obviously not fully able to resist.

    Some opinions are just fucking stupid and evil and deserve to be labeled with all the douchey assholic fuckwad nasty bad words that can be mustered.

  154. rowanvt says

    Having a flawed perspective on a particular women’s issue does not necessarily mean you hate women or think of them as your inferiors.

    Yes, actually… it kinda does. Or at least shows a buried or internalised sexism.

    If many many women find a particular issue to be important and then a man comes by and condesplains that the issue is in fact NOT important plus why can’t he hit on women, that is considering them inferior.

  155. says

    Sally-You took this quote out of context…

    I disagree with you I think the female body is beautiful

    The complete quote adds that is a woman’s right to display it if she chooses. It is patronizing to say for that woman, she is degrading herself. Unless she is bullied into doing it, it is very possible she just might feel empowered by it. Heck I wish in my twenties I displayed my size 7 body more, rather than hide behind layers of loose clothing, to avoid comments from my creepy stepbrother about my boobs.

    Everybody’s mileage varies. Wear sexy clothing for fun or don’t. Your choice!

    A small example of dishonesty. Nobody has said that the female body is not beautiful. That is beside the point.

    That wasn’t the entire point, I was making.

  156. says

    Having a flawed perspective on a particular women’s issue does not necessarily mean you hate women or think of them as your inferiors.

    Might not NECESSARILY?

    In other words, he might be a misogynist.

    The test lies in how he responds to criticism, doesn’t it?

    In any case, I have no time to waste on people who might or might not be misogynists. They are not trustworthy. Even if their intentions are fine, their ignorance makes them toxic. I prefer to keep my toxicity levels down, thanks. If Thunderfoot apologizes for saying sexist things and telling sexist jokes and advancing ideas that undermine women’s equality then I will accept that he’s not a misogynist. Until then I’m going to err on the side of caution.

    Of course, as a man, his toxicity doesn’t negatively affect you as much. That’s your privilege. What a shame you’re wasting that advantage by trying to police feminists rather than pushing back against the misogynist actions Thunderfoot has taken, whether out of malice or ignorance.

  157. thomasfoss says

    Lilandra: Jen’s suggestion is not about banning consensual behavior. It is about questioning whether or not a liaison between a speaker at a conference and an attendee would be consensual. This would be similar to a college professor engaging in flirting/dating/sex with a student. They may both be adults, but there exists a power dynamic in the relationship that can render such conduct and contact inherently nonconsensual. That is not necessarily the case, but many schools adopt anti-fraternization policies to protect both the students and the faculty in such situations.

    Jen’s suggestion is that a similar power dynamic may exist between a big famous speaker and their fans. This is especially a concern for organizations like the Secular Student Alliance, with which Jen is affiliated, where the speakers might be addressing crowds of students or much younger adults. A policy that discourages speakers from fraternizing with audience members would protect both attendees from getting caught up in the fame and adulation and making regrettable decisions, and the speakers from letting the fame and adulation go to their heads and allow them to (intentionally or otherwise) manipulate that dynamic for personal gain.

    As to the GeekFeminism Harassment Policy, it’s specifically designed to discourage or ban the use of booth babes, women hired by convention vendors to dress in skimpy clothing to attract customers and hock wares. I’ve worked a comic convention across from the SuicideGirls table; I’ve seen how booth babes get treated, and it’s not like they can A) choose what their bosses want them to wear or B) leave (if they want to get paid, that is). This is not about people choosing what to wear. This is about women being exploited and sexualized to be living advertisements, so their employers can exploit men’s loneliness and desperation to gain some new customers.

    And then you go and say that they shouldn’t choose that job? Please crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under and realize that the job market allows for precious little “choice” these days. Some people are lucky to have the choice between “some money” and “starving.” Those people still should not be exploited to sell Axe body spray to comic convention attendees.

  158. Pteryxx says

    Carrier just weighed in, and how:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1567

    If conferences want to draw more women, they have to do this. What any minority of women say they are comfortable with is irrelevant, because conferences don’t want to draw a small minority of women. They want to draw a parity of women. And that requires addressing what most women want. And of course that means in a way that doesn’t step on the toes of anyone who is behaving with common decency. We just want a “no douchebags” policy. Not a “no fun” policy.

  159. John D says

    Mattir:

    Some opinions are just fucking stupid and evil and deserve to be labeled with all the douchey assholic fuckwad nasty bad words that can be mustered.

    I agree. I believe that I’ve specified multiple times now that there are people out there who do deserve to be treated like that – I’m not quite sure why people haven’t noticed that yet. I’m just saying I think some folks are being a little overly broad with it and might want to vary their tactics a bit. There are different types of sexists out there and being insulting isn’t the best way to deal with all of them.

    rowanvt:

    If many many women find a particular issue to be important and then a man comes by and condesplains that the issue is in fact NOT important plus why can’t he hit on women, that is considering them inferior.

    Fair enough, I can see where you’re coming from on that. I still would say there’s a significant difference between where Thunderf00t is coming from with his argument and someone consciously believing that women are inferiors.

  160. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    The free market, lilandra, do you like it?

    If conference customers indicate a preference for a particular type of conference, and if conference organizers decide to create such a conference for this segment of the market,

    who are you to interfere with their sweet, consensual contract-making?

  161. jono4174 says

    @SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant
    #147

    There has to be 100% agreement that women are people and therefore entitled to all the rights and responsibilities attendant thereto.

    Yes. But. Together we can do “Critical Thinking” better than alone.

    PZ did suggest a committee make a policy was the solution – OK, maybe he didn’t, but you’ll open my mind better by linking to http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4051 than joking about censoring thunderfoot.

  162. Erista (aka Eris) says

    jono4174, there are many different people in this world, and what will “open [your] mind better” will not work better for all people. This explains why taking many different approaches to a problem may in fact be beneficial.

  163. says

    Richard Carrier agrees with one of the points I was making…

    (4) There can be rational and friendly discussion over what policy recommendations go too far (e.g. prohibitions on speakers having sex with attendees–not only excessive when the attendees are their husbands or wives, but even the distinction between “married or not married” in this respect is not anyone’s business)

  164. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    There are different types of people who’ve been harmed by sexism out there and not being insulting isn’t the healthiest method for all of them.

  165. Erista (aka Eris) says

    @jono4174 oh, and also, it has been my experience that people are not always very good at determined what impacts their minds and how. This is why advertizing works so well; people think they aren’t being impacted, but they are.

  166. says

    Sally you took my quote out of context to make it look dishonest. I disagreed with someone who said having scantily clad women sell things is degrading. I said I disagree I believe a woman’s body is beautiful. I did not say anyone was saying that a woman’s body isn’t beautiful, by simply stating a woman’s body is beautiful.

    Taken in context,it couldn’t be interpreted as dishonest. Retract your misquote, and I will answer your other question.

  167. says

    @jono

    you’ll open my mind better by linking to http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4051 than joking about censoring thunderfoot.

    1. If your mind is closed, that is YOUR problem. Something is wrong with YOU.

    2. I never joked, nor said anything at all about censoring Thunderfoot. Some people have said he isn’t a good match for FTB. I tend to agree. That isn’t censorship.

    @lilandra

    Richard Carrier agrees with one of the points I was making…

    (4) There can be rational and friendly discussion over what policy recommendations go too far (e.g. prohibitions on speakers having sex with attendees–not only excessive when the attendees are their husbands or wives, but even the distinction between “married or not married” in this respect is not anyone’s business)

    As far as I can tell, you seemed to be saying that the speaker/conference attendee did not fit your criteria for power imbalance, PERIOD. There was no indication that you are willing to consider why other people would think that it did. Also, you have been strawmanning left and right about “policing consensual adult activities” and attempting to conflate that with addressing how power imbalances complicate consent.

    You’ve been dishonest on that front.

    Now I will ask you AGAIN.

    Lilandra.

    Have you heard of internalized sexism/racism/homophobia?

    Do you regard sociology as a legitimate field of science?

    Is all of this brand new to you or what?

    I find your continued deliberate ignorance of these simple questions to be quite rude and frustrating, and I am refraining from expressing my frustration with “bad words” lest I drive you away.

    I hope you appreciate my restraint enough to show the courtesy of answering my questions.

  168. says

    (4) There can be rational and friendly discussion over what policy recommendations go too far (e.g. prohibitions on speakers having sex with attendees–not only excessive when the attendees are their husbands or wives, but even the distinction between “married or not married” in this respect is not anyone’s business)

    I can still see situations that seem more grey to me. Like SSA speaking event where you have lots of undergrads in atendence and often professors and older adults as the speakers. I also don’t think anyone is honestly trying to stop speakers sleeping with their spouse or significant other.

  169. Ze Madmax says

    jono4174 @ #181

    How the fuck do you get “censoring thunderfoot” from “we’ll emphasize different criteria now”?

  170. Erista (aka Eris) says

    You know, I spend a lot of time being polite (as many people fiercely declare they want me to be), and yet, people respond to me less than they respond to people who are accused of being rude.

    Methinks it is an example of people not knowing how their minds are impacted by various types of behavior.

  171. says

    For what its worth I don’t know that we need a policy against speaker attendee hookups (at least at most events. A memo frowning on it and suggesting speakers give attendees plenty of latitude to say no might not be a bad idea however.

  172. christinereece says

    @ JohnD:

    I’m just saying I think some folks are being a little overly broad with it and might want to vary their tactics a bit. There are different types of sexists out there and being insulting isn’t the best way to deal with all of them.

    Why is it our obligation to be nice to people who are actively participating in making our lives more difficult? I have to carry enough extra baggage every day thanks to people assuming specific things about me due to my gender – I’m not carrying an even greater burden because other people aren’t willing to hear honest and blunt criticisms of their words.

    I still would say there’s a significant difference between where Thunderf00t is coming from with his argument and someone consciously believing that women are inferiors.

    The practical outcome for women is the same regardless of his motives, so why is it our obligation to once again bear the burden of someone else’s disdain and be nice to them regardless of how hateful or hurtful they’re being toward others?

    If someone’s going to post inflammatory bullshit for no purpose other than to treat half the human race in a derogatory fashion, why would you treat that person as a rational human being? Further, why would you posit that a reasoned approach might get him to change their mind? There is zero indication that TF’s spent any time researching the subject other than to ask one woman (there’s a fantastic sample size, SCIENCE!) about her experiences at TAM. If someone pulled that type of dumbassed stunt in a science or logic class, they’d fail. Hard.

  173. Kalliope says

    @lilandra –

    So your body was beautiful when you were a size 7 and worthy of being flaunted but is less so now that you’re older and bigger?

    So “women’s” bodies aren’t beautiful, some women’s bodies are beautiful.

    Specifically those which adhere to our current cultural norm of thin and twenty-something (and who knows what else).

    That doesn’t translate to “women’s bodies are beautiful” but rather, “some women are hot.” Hot, of course, as seen through the eyes of those who are attracted to women.

  174. says

    Sally you took my quote out of context to make it look dishonest. I disagreed with someone who said having scantily clad women sell things is degrading. I said I disagree I believe a woman’s body is beautiful. I did not say anyone was saying that a woman’s body isn’t beautiful, by simply stating a woman’s body is beautiful.

    Taken in context,it couldn’t be interpreted as dishonest. Retract your misquote, and I will answer your other question.

    WARNING F-BOMB ABOUT TO DROP. KIDDIES COVER YOUR EYES AND LET YOUR PARENTS SCROLL THE PAGE DOWN FOR YOU.

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

    F-BOMB THREAT ABATED. CHILDREN OF ALL AGES ARE NOW SAFE TO RESUME READING.

    Here’s the entire conversation.

    This is one of the most moronically self-hating pieces of crap I’ve seen in ages. You know what Booth Babes should sell? Condoms. Men’s underwear and socks. Jock straps. Prostate exams. Catholic seminaries. Things that are specifically and even exclusively for the use of straight men.

    I was responding to someone who used the term hence the quotation marks. I disagree with you I think the female body is beautiful, and it is a woman’s choice if she wants to display it. Correct me if I am wrong here, but Victoria’s secret sell lingerie to women using scantily clad beautiful women.

    Saying “I disagree, I think the female body is beautiful” DIRECTLY IMPLIES that the person you are responding to is annoyed about “Booth Babes” because she thinks the female body is ugly. If you did not mean to imply that then you should be mad at yourself for being really, really bad at communicating and writing. Your points about it being a woman’s choice, and that Victoria’s Secret uses sexy ladies to sell lingerie is irrelevant to my point about your dishonesty. There was absolutely no reason for you to attempt to buttress your unfortunately erronious opinion with protestations about your appreciation of the beauty of women’s bodies unless you were attempting to paint your interlocutor as someone with no appreciation of the beauty of women’s bodies.

    Now, remember this?

    Explain to me exactly why marketing for, oh, automobiles and electronics (things that are bought and used by both genders and about which women make purchasing decisions) should be sold using women’s bodies.

    Attractive women make their products look attractive. I am not sure why that needs explaining or what’s wrong with it.

    Remember my response to it?

    What’s wrong with it has been explained: it sends the message that a.) women are not the target demographic, this is an event geared towards men and towards women like you who don’t mind being treated as if they were invisible and b.) not only are women not the target demographic, they are basically ambulatory billboards, decorations, objects.

    If you don’t see anything wrong with THAT then you should explain WHY it is totally okay to continue acting as if women don’t spend money on cars and technology, when they do, and to continue acting as if women’s only value is in the gratification to the heterosexual male observer they provide.

    This is feminism 101.

    Is it new to you? You’re welcome.

    It was then that I started wondering whether these basic sociological concepts are completely alien to you. Thus, I started posing these questions:

    1. Are you familiar with the concept of internalized sexism/racism/homophobia?

    2. Do you regard sociology as a legitimate field of science?

    3. Is feminism as an academic subject totally new to you?

    These are all yes or no questions. It would literally take you less than a minute to answer them.

  175. thomasfoss says

    Sorry everyone, I posted before I saw that Lilandra ad-hocked her only two examples so they actually fit her concerns.

  176. jono4174 says

    @Ze Madmax
    #191

    How the fuck do you get…?

    It sounded like PZ threatening to flex his muscle to me. It sounded a bit like bullying.

    It was a bit of a long bow to draw. I apologize.

  177. Suido says

    @Lilandra: Please, pretty please, with no swearwords, I humbly and very nicely, with all the graciousness in the world, request that you reply to SallyStrange’s post 196, the one with the naughty word in it.

    You don’t have to address the fact that xe used a naughty word, but the rest is pretty important.

  178. Mattir says

    I really really really really think that Booth Babes should be used in efforts to market the seminary to Catholic men.

    Please?

  179. Mattir says

    Sally, as a Concerned Mother™, I am shocked that you would put the word “fuck” into a comment. Don’t you know that children read Pharyngula? I mean, our youngest commenters are probably 14 or 15. Do you want me to have to explain all the squicky body fluid gooeyness that that word entails?

    In Tennessee, legislators are wise enough to put the word “fuck” right up there with hand-holding as a gateway sexual activity.

    Really, won’t someone think of the CHILDRENZ?

  180. says

    Am I the only person who is … less than trusting of laura’s claim to be the woman in the photograph?

    Not that it matters, since neither of them gets to speak for Every Woman Ever, I’m just trying to calibrate my responses here.

    lil @ 513:

    I agree there needs to be a policy. Greta posted one from a poly-amorous convention that was more sex positive.

    Of course, that event is more or less about sex — in the sense that by its very nature, the organizers must actively anticipate that people are there in part to hook up — in a way a skeptic conference isn’t.

    sc_mess @ 575:

    Yes actually, I did mean bile towards me, as well as anyone else who dares voice the slightest difference in opinion with you and yours.

    My opinion is that women are independant humans. If your opinon differs from that it deserves bile.

  181. says

    Kalliope:

    So your body was beautiful when you were a size 7 and worthy of being flaunted but is less so now that you’re older and bigger?

    Ah, one of those. Sad. When I was 17 I was very pleased with my bod and at 54 I am very pleased with my bod. For years, I’ve specialized in large scale nudes (I’m an artist). The majority of my clients for nudes are women. I’ve had about every age and shape when it comes to bodies and there isn’t a one I haven’t found to be beautiful.

    I have no use for those who use “the female body is beautiful!” as a rationale when they have an extremely narrow definition of what constitutes beautiful.

  182. John D says

    Erista (aka Eris)

    You know, I spend a lot of time being polite (as many people fiercely declare they want me to be), and yet, people respond to me less than they respond to people who are accused of being rude.

    Methinks it is an example of people not knowing how their minds are impacted by various types of behavior.

    I think the problem here is that some people conflate “polite” with “meek”. You can still give your argument an aggressive tone when making an argument without being rude. Personally I find that when people are aggressive without being insulting I tend to listen more often.

    Someone who is aggressive with their argument grabs my attention and I’m likely to pay attention to them. Someone who is insulting will more likely make me care about the insults rather than their core arguments. In hindsight I don’t think rowanvt’s core argument when he responded to me was all that much different than what some of the previous posters, but rowanvt responded with the right tone to make me actually inclined to listen.

  183. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Am I the only person who is … less than trusting of laura’s claim to be the woman in the photograph?

    Meh. Her responses are not unusual. More than plausible, and sounds honest.

  184. rowanvt says

    Him? He? I take it you missed all my previous posts, especially the ones about men petting my hair without my permission.

  185. says

    Mattir:

    I am shocked that you would put the word “fuck” into a comment. Don’t you know that children read Pharyngula? I mean, our youngest commenters are probably 14 or 15.

    You’ll have to get our 14-16 year olds to stop saying fuck first. ;p

  186. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    @Pteryxx

    Thanks for linking that, I’m reading it now. (OT, but for some reason I kept thinking Roger Penrose’s name was Richard Carrier – no idea why. Their names aren’t even similar.)

    One thing I like that Richard said was actually this part:

    IMO, most of it has been debating the debate rather than the issue, and most of it consists of reaction to trolls and bullshit rather than worthwhile disagreement (and I will remind you, most does not mean all).

    See?! It’s not that hard to make the point that the debate is derailed by trolls and the response to trolls without going the “both sides are just as bad” route. Why doesn’t Thunderfoot get that? Or Justin Griffiths (although Justin may be getting this now)? Or Jon Stewart?

  187. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Him? He? I take it you missed all my previous posts, especially the ones about men petting my hair without my permission.
    You know, I hadn’t considered this, and I should have.

    “Erista” might be a mistake if I want people to pay attention to me. Maybe I should go with “Eric.” *sigh*

    @John D

    I’m talking about how people say, “Don’t curse at me! It’s mean!” and then proceed to respond almost exclusively to individuals who are cursing at said people.

  188. says

    I am shocked that you would put the word “fuck” into a comment. Don’t you know that children read Pharyngula? I mean, our youngest commenters are probably 14 or 15.

    You’ll have to get our 14-16 year olds to stop saying fuck first. ;p

    Indeed. I am happy that Pharyngula has teenage commenters.

    I was a teenage internet commenter on a forum that tolerated no nonsense but plenty of vulgar swearing and angry ripostes, and look at me now!

    Wait…

  189. says

    John D:

    I don’t think rowanvt’s core argument when he responded to me was all that much different than what some of the previous posters, but rowanvt responded with the right tone to make me actually inclined to listen.

    Showing off those abysmal comprehension skills again…

    You might want to be quiet now, rather than proving your idiocy over and over.

  190. John D says

    rowanvt

    Him? He? I take it you missed all my previous posts, especially the ones about men petting my hair without my permission.

    My apologies. It did occur to me that I actually didn’t know your gender (thread is long, can’t remember everyone) and made an effort to remove all the gender pronouns, but I’ve stayed up later responding to this and was also simultaneously writing a response in Thunderf00t’s blog so I stupidly missed that “he” there. Yeah, I know, my gender pronoun bias is showing. :P

  191. chigau (違う) says

    I have spent the last 20 minutes confuzzling the names Alan Sokal and Aaron Sorkin and saying to myself “what the fuck is going on here”.
    Going to bed.

  192. John D says

    SallyStrange:

    Yeah, well, I think the problem is that some people conflate “vulgar” with “mean.”

    Checkmate, accomodationist!

    LOL! Actually I’ve got no problem with vulgarity – curse all you like, I’ll take no offense.

  193. rowanvt says

    John, I’m willing to accept that it was unintended… but.

    But this is how it looks on the surface:

    You characterized my arguments as being superior to that used by many others, a great many of whom are women, and these women are very passionate about the subject.
    Women are frequently viewed as overly emotional and less rational, more apt to blow things out of proportion.
    Men are frequently viewed as less emotional and more apt to be rational, logical and realistic.

    Thus, seeing that male pronoun made it appear that you chose it because I don’t tend to swear online (I save that for work, when a cat has fish-hooked its claws into me and then I swear at length and volume) and do try to explain things, thus meaning I’m male because I’m *not* being hysterical over everything.

  194. Josh, Official SpokesBrah says

    Yeah, I know, my gender pronoun bias is showing. :P

    It’s not just a pronoun bias. It’s a blindness (that many people have) that commenters here have been trying to educate you about. You respond by denying, getting pissy, and then condescendingly lecturing people about how to take the “right tone” to make you inclined to listen to them. You sound for all the world like a self-satisfied Man ™. You don’t have to remain that way. Whether you choose to take that on board or keep complaining and fussing remains to be seen.

  195. Josh, Official SpokesBrah says

    Rowan at #226—that’s exactly what it looks like. John, you could really learn a lot about how you think you’re approaching the world by paying attention to what Rowan said. Seriously. Things like that should be a wake up call to step back and be willing to say, “whoah. I have some contemplation to do because I may be fooling myself.” They certainly have been for me and lots of other people of good will who needed to be shaken up a bit.

  196. rowanvt says

    And just in case it gets misconstrued, I am in no way implying that ANY of the women attempting to pound awareness into privileged skulls are in any way, shape, or form, being ‘hysterical’ or over emotional about it.

    4.5 hours sleep, full day at work, the kitten dying early this morning…. I’m not at my brain best today. But this topic is important to me.

  197. says

    It sounded like PZ threatening to flex his muscle to me. It sounded a bit like bullying.

    Yet another fucking moron who does not understand that private citizens are not obligated to provide a platform for fuckwads. Only a government can be compelled to this, and then only the US governments. Fuck, Thunderfoot still would have his fucking youtube shit even if he was actually unceremoniously fucking ejected; which he fucking well should be. The islamophobia was bad enough on its own that the only reason I did not immediately object was that I wasn’t 100% sure it was Thunderfoot. You don’t meaningfully censor someone who already had a large youtube following, you just stop fucking endorsing them.

  198. Erista (aka Eris) says

    @rowanvt

    Well, I’m thinking it could be unconscious bias. You know, where people unconsciously and unintentionally view women as less capable than men. An individual who is perceived to be male says something, and an individual who is perceived to be female says the same thing, and who gets listened? Perceived to be male.

    That also connects in with the incredible difficulty women face in being viewed as “assertive” rather than “aggressive” or “passive.” If we don’t push, we’re too passive to be taken seriously (cuz we’re bitches). If we push, we’re too aggressive for anyone to want to listen to us.

    I don’t know if that’s the case in this particular instance, but it’s something we know comes up a lot.

  199. says

    Welp, I guess since I didn’t apologize for pointing out Lilandra’s dishonesty like she wanted me to, but rather supported my characterization with evidence and sound arguments, she’s scampered off.

    Caine, thanks for the compliment! It means a lot, coming from you. *blushes deeply* (well, the blush might be from the beer, but still)

  200. Suido says

    @SallyStrange #203

    Thanks. If I had to choose the one most important thing I’ve learned in my few months reading FTB, it’s that the golden rule should be amended to ‘treat others as they would like to be treated’. Really puts the brakes on making assumptions.

  201. says

    Also, to the fucking honkey mcstraighterson complaining about PZ ‘bullying’ thunderfoot, fuck you. Do you have any fucking idea how tired queers are of hearing you heteros try to co-opt bullying? You know what’s bullying? HEaring ‘fag’, ‘dyke’, ‘tranny’, and other shit, before being beaten; not being told your views are not welcome, please return to just your youtube channel. You know what a closet is? It’s where you stay because if you come out, you can fear being fucking beaten to death, and face serious threat of disowning, being thrown out, and disavowed by extended family as well as the community at large. Not “Oh shit, I’m probably going to argue with my aunt”.

    Cis heteros, almost to a man (and they are almost always men) have no idea what the hell they’re talking about with this shit; talking about ‘coming out of the closet’ as an atheist rings fucking false for the overwhelming majority of atheists who are on the internet for this reason. Gay people do not just exist for you to use as analogies and cudgels against the religious. Have some fucking respect.

  202. says

    “It’s where you fucking stay, because you fear being beaten…” is a cleaner version of the sentiment. Just the same, fuck off honkey.

  203. Suido says

    PS Funny that this is exactly what has tripped up JohnD? No, not really funny at all.

    Oh privilege, you are such a burden!!1!

  204. Erista (aka Eris) says

    However, clearly no one should listen to me, cuz of my typos.

    Sadness.

  205. Josh, Official SpokesBrah says

    Rutee–amen girl. And “honky mcstraighterson,”. . oh lord thank you for that!

    Sally—you should seriously do that ‘speriment. If you’re inclined to take the time it would be even better if you went back through some of your recent comments and picked those that made the Brahs go apeshit. Maybe a few weeks back so it wouldn’t be so obvious.

    Re-post those as responses under your male ‘nym, changing only those things in your comment that tell on your actual gender.

    I’d love to see the results.

  206. Josh, Official SpokesBrah says

    And I just read your ‘nym as “Bottom-shy work-feeding peasant.”

    Yesterday I took a can of soup out of the cupboard and did a double-take when it read “Vegetable Beast.”

    It’s fuckin’ chronic with me.

  207. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    @Josh

    LOL, I just noticed your Jersey Shore avatar! You’ll be a roided-up guido gorilla in no time.

  208. rowanvt says

    @ 231, Erista-

    I entirely agree. While it *may* not have been intended… it certainly is a prime example of that sort of subconscious bias in action.

  209. says

    Chigau – I think I will, but not just right now.

    In the meantime–

    JohnD, you’re still kind of missing the point.

    You claimed that politeness made you pay attention more than rudeness and anger.

    You then immediately showed that however nice Rowanvt was being, you really weren’t paying attention there.

    Tired or not, this is kind of a major flaw in your argument.

  210. says

    “Honkey McStraighterson” and Josh’s guido avatar just made my night. Rutee, I was following the Ron Paul thread, unable to comment (broken keyboard, I’m borrowing a computer right now) and I wanted to say thanks for being awesome.

    I’m feeling much better now than I was last night, when I first noticed Thunderfoot’s offensive screed.

    What a life this is, eh?

  211. says

    Josh:

    It’s not just a pronoun bias. It’s a blindness (that many people have) that commenters here have been trying to educate you about.

    Indeed. How many times have we seen someone show up on feminism or sexism threads, act the asshole and respond exclusively to those they assume are male, while ignoring people they know to be female? I’ve lost count.

    Erista:

    However, clearly no one should listen to me, cuz of my typos.

    Pfffft, around here, offerings are made to Tpyos all the time.

  212. says

    Sally Strange @ 720:

    I was a teenage internet commenter on a forum that tolerated no nonsense but plenty of vulgar swearing and angry ripostes, and look at me now!

    I spent parts of my teenage years on AFU…

  213. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Pfffft, around here, offerings are made to Tpyos all the time.

    Ahhh, I see! Then I shall endeavor to please the mighty Tpyos!

    Rawr!

    :D

  214. rowanvt says

    Off to sleep for a little between kitten feedings. Hopefully someone clueless won’t show up and I miss all the fun in the next three hours.

  215. says

    Rainer @ 155

    Seriously: watching this debate from Europe (Switzerland/Germany, Köln, that civilized city with the good public transport?) it is getting really hard to see a difference between you guys and some sexually repressive christian freaks. You are creating an atmosphere of fear. The impression you get in Europe is “witch hunt”. Nobody here understands what elevator-gate was all about – and nobody really cares.

    Citation pretty urgently needed. I understand perfectly well what elevator-gate was about, and I care. I actually care rather a lot, thank you very much.

  216. says

    Caine:

    terrie:
    The vast majority of the guys who attended never got kneed in the groin. The thing I don’t get is how are we supposed to know ahead of time if boys don’t want us to knee them in the groin?

    Did you have some sort of point in that mess, Cupcake?

    Parody of teh menz’ attitudes in a manner that might clue them in.

    Kalliope, I know you were criticized for this on the previous page:

    Odds are that lilandra and Laura are out here defending TF for his approval. Because his attention makes them feel special.

    Meanwhile, TF probably posted the photo so that the whole world will know that he can make physical contact with a pretty 19 year old.

    I think you were right on target, at least with the first paragraph. Lilandra and Laura are classic Chill Girls™, looking for headpats from Teh Menz. The leg-biting pic looks more like two friends clowning around to me… but, you know what? Human beings speculate on one another’s motives all the time, and Thundershart posted it in a highly dubious context.

    Moreover, I don’t see any reason to be “fair” or give the benefit of the doubt to selfish and obtuse or disingenuous assholes who drive people away from atheist communities and then scream about how “divisive” their opponents are. Fuck them. Fuck taking the “high road,” so long as there’s no splash damage.

    Kudos to everyone who’s attempted to engage Lilandra. Christ, what a thick plank of wood she is.

  217. Matt Penfold says

    Additionally after being quote mined to beat the war drum for a flame war, I have nothing to say to a person who uses those dishonest tactics either. If there is no one who can’t refrain from flaming left, I’m out of this discussion.

    It is not for you to be complaining about dishonest tactics, given how you have repeatedly lied here.

  218. Matt Penfold says

    I’ve been to a couple of IT conferences where some stands employed booth babes to attract custom. The tactic seemed to work, in that there always plenty of men hanging around those stands. Never many women, other than the ones falling out of their skimpy clothing though.

    I also know I was not the only bloke who avoided such stands, not least because I wanted nothing to do with the sort of men who would be attracted to them. They probably thought Jeremy Clarkson was funny, which is a pretty good benchmark for whether I will like someone or not.

  219. Matt Penfold says

    Eeeeuw…

    I sometimes wonder if this whole farrago cannot be broken down into those who like Clarkson (the Thunderfoots etc) and those who cannot stand him (us). Even if the people concerned have never heard of Clarkson (lucky sods) I think it would still apply.

    We could get into Deep Rifts when it comes to Richard Hammond though. Talented TV presenter, or a wanker ?

  220. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Matt

    I am pretty anti-car as it is. So macho waste and bravado does not push my buttons on the best of days. Clarkson pretty much poisons everything for me. Not just his antics (which can even be vaguely droll when he is not being a bigot) but his continual support for the dead-end logic of the private car and the “rights” of motorists.

    Dyed in the wool privilege. Does he post comments on ERV?

  221. kassad says

    Didn’t the policy of preventing speakers/attendees flirt also proposed because the speakers where at work?

    Even if you’re one of the “too bad if a few women are harrassed, it’s better than me not having the opportunity to maybe put my jiggling bits somewhere warm!“, are you saying it is appropriate for an attendee (here on his/her free time) “hit” on a speakers who is here at work. I’m pretty sure that most women and men (if I believe scenes I’ve seen: at work, at bars, at the car dealership, the bank, …) are inconfortable being propositionned in their workplace. They are professionals, not fresh meat. Sexual comments, even implied (“flirting”) are disrespectful in that setting.

    The whole argument seems more like a defense of the sacred right to not have self-control, even if it entail some risks for other people, rather than “consensual adults should be able to do what they want where they want”.

  222. =8)-DX says

    Just a little smug feeling here – I loved Thunderf00t in the early days but on some topics he’s shown considerable foolishness so it’s interesting to se PZ right on the mark.

    Cheers.

  223. says

    @lilandra in #1: I think you are confusing whose consent is being protected when a convention adopts a policy against sexualized imagery for booth operators. It’s not the consent of the people running the booths, or working as booth babes, it’s the consent of the people visiting the conference. It’s not like the exhibitors asked for consent before they chose to create a sexualized atmosphere, and it’s not like visitors have an adequate means to refuse their consent to be exposed to such either (other than leaving or not attending the convention altogether).

    You may disagree with the policy to ban booth babes and such, but it’s not a good example of outlawing consensual behavior, because it isn’t actually consensual.

  224. ischemgeek says

    On the topic of tone trolling: I lean toward being polite. I have to be really PO’d to get snarky, and downright incensed to be rude.

    Does that make me better than people who get rude off the bat? No.

    The gay rights movement required both politicians and in-your-face activists. My work as a TA is rubbing off on me, and I tend to assume that people who make screw-ups are doing so out of ignorance and/or inattention to detail rather than ill intent. I then tend to want to educate.

    BUT.

    People like PZ and others on this thread, who go from 0 to rude in 2 seconds flat are just as valuable. Know why? Different people respond to different tactics. I might get the genuinely well-meaning-but-ignorant types who simply don’t know the scale of the problem and will immediately revise their opinion once they have the facts. I get the easy sells who might be turned off by an in-your-face attitude, in other words.

    People like PZ get people who need to be shocked out of their world view. Frankly, I’m trying to learn to be an easy sell type, but I lean toward needing a shock before I step back and re-examine myself. Otherwise, I have a tendency to get defensive and double down. That’s a fault of mine. Case in point: It took nearly being admitted to hospital for a month so they could remove all allergens from my life and figure out whether or not I had something worse than asthma before I clued in that breathing at 50% of normal (~30% of my healthy values) is a bad thing and I need to start taking my health more seriously.

    PZ, Greta, and Natalie (though Natalie is a combination in-your-face/educator, depending on the post, I’ve found) reach me where people like myself and Pterryx probably wouldn’t.

    Stop tone trolling. Different tones are different tools for different jobs. “Nice” people are not superior to “rude” people. They perform different, but equally valuable, functions for a given movement.

  225. Louis says

    SallyStrange,

    Don’t be silly, of course sociology is not a real science, it’s not science at all.*

    Sociology comes under the heading of “things women do because their Pink Fluffy Lady Brainz cannot cope with real science”.

    I hope this helps.

    Louis

    * The only real science is chemistry, true fact. Not only did a bloke down the pub tell me this, but at least 3 different blokes in 3 separate pubs did. I CAN HAZ N=3 SCIENTIFIC RIGOUR!!!!!

  226. Matt Penfold says

    …Adam Carolla ?

    I had to look him up, but yeah, seems ideal for the role.

  227. Walton says

    * The only real science is chemistry, true fact. Not only did a bloke down the pub tell me this, but at least 3 different blokes in 3 separate pubs did. I CAN HAZ N=3 SCIENTIFIC RIGOUR!!!!!

    “Sergeant Colon had had a broad education. He’d been to the School of My Dad Always Said, the College of It Stands to Reason, and was now a post-graduate student at the University of What Some Bloke in the Pub Told Me.”

  228. says

    As to having a policy against speakers hitting on attendees, such a policy doesn’t actually prohibit actual consensual sex, and that’s not actually it’s primary purpose. If two people really want to hook up, when there is mutual enthusiastic consent, and they are even a little bit discreet about it, nobody is going to report it, nobody is going to care, and it is really a non-issue.

    What such a policy mainly does, is provide people with ammo when they don’t enthusiastically appreciate the attention. It means people don’t have to worry on how to politely say no, they can just point at the policy. It means people don’t have to question whether the organization will put the comfort of their valuable, expensive, crowd-pleasing big-name speaker above the comfort of their nameless visitor if it were reported, because the organization has already made their position crystal clear.

  229. ChasCPeterson says

    honkey mcstraighterson

    any particular reason for the seemingly gratuitous racial epithet?

  230. Walton says

    (Specifically, he’s the kind of idiot who prides himself on being “politically incorrect”, and thinks that bigotry is edgy and hilarious.)

  231. Walton says

    (Er, Jeremy Clarkson, that is. I hadn’t expected this thread to move on so rapidly while I was typing.)

  232. says

    Thunderf00t has responded. Ironically, he says that PZ straw-manned him. This is rich considering his original post seemed to be based around straw-manning pretty much everyone who’s weighed in on this issue. This is a normal pattern for Thunderf00t: don’t explicitly state his position, but imply it very heavily. If someone takes issue with what he said, cry that he’s a victim of straw man tactics.

    He also says that he did not have permission for leg-chewing. Either he already knew the woman in the photo well enough to be cool with it and he’s straw-manning PZ or he’s explicitly arguing that he should have the right to sexually harass women because this one chick liked it once.

  233. says

    I’ve never been to an atheist or skeptic conference and haven’t really had much interest in going to one, but seeing how this subject tends to devolve into insult matches has made me even less interested than before.

  234. nms says

    echoing Deen @264, how can the presence of booth babes be construed as “consensual”? Wouldn’t consensual imply that there are at least two parties involved?

    Or if we stretch to say that the conference-goers as a whole form a party, then surely a policy against having booth babes would make them non-consensual?

  235. Matt Penfold says

    (Specifically, he’s the kind of idiot who prides himself on being “politically incorrect”, and thinks that bigotry is edgy and hilarious.)

    Just like his best mate, AA Gill, TV critic for the Sunday Times who recently declared Mary Beard too ugly to be allowed on TV.

  236. oolon says

    The Jeremy Clarkson point is a good one for me as it articulates something I cannot understand on this and other tribal blogs – I at times cannot stand him and as a long-haired vegetarian Prius driver I’m sure I’d be the object of his ridicule. But I also watch Top Gear and laugh with him as well as at him and enjoy a lot of what happens on the program – although the more recent ones are strained in their fakery. (So in Matt Penfolds test I stand in a decidedly Schroedinger like state of liking him and hating him at the same time – would Matt need to collapse my wave function to decide if I’m worthy?)

    Now I see people commenting that he probably hangs out at ERV and anyone who likes Clarkson is likely to be a person they could not like. Seems weird to me, very human to be so tribal – The ERV/Clarksonites vs the FtB/PZites (Although probably not FtB’ites now Thnderf00t has slimed FtBs) — but not particularly admirable. I don’t see any point in joining in as all I can conclude is that I am able to enjoy the good on ERVs blog and have fun watching top gear while wincing at the odd hippie joke while anyone that takes this sort of attitude seriously will divorce themselves of both?

    The only way I think someone could actually manage this is by reducing them and labelling them in some sort of mental stereotype. Clarkson is a sexist pig and that is all you need to know about him, ERV is a slimepit of misogynists and no more. I like to think that if I met Clarkson in a social situation, however unlikely that is, (The actual hate figure not even someone who just finds him funny) we’d have a good time taking the piss out of each other and debating climate change or some such not come to blows. So I’m giving my hippie credentials away as basically I’m saying why can’t we all get along man?

  237. says

    @Ace of Sevens in #275: wow, bold, all-caps, “STRAWMYERS” and exclamation marks!!! I’m sure the tone trolls will now all go to Thunderf00t’s blog to explain how that is not an effective form of conversation…

  238. christinereece says

    I see that JohnD couldn’t be fussed to respond to my post requesting him to explain why women need to be nice to sexist idiots.

    I guess that’s all the answer I need. Thanks, clueless d00d!

  239. CT says

    Fair enough, I can see where you’re coming from on that. I still would say there’s a significant difference between where Thunderf00t is coming from with his argument and someone consciously believing that women are inferiors.

    Ignorance of their bigotry does not give them a pass. It’s actually quite a good reason to point out their “unconscious” bigotry.

  240. nms says

    I like to think that if I met Clarkson in a social situation, however unlikely that is, (The actual hate figure not even someone who just finds him funny) we’d have a good time taking the piss out of each other and debating climate change or some such not come to blows.

    So essentially you’re saying that Jeremy “execute them in front of their families” Clarkson is alright really because you’d enjoy having a beer with him?

    It’s probably something to do with his strong “moral values”.

  241. says

    *waves at Hershele from the midst of a lurid fug of newsfroup nostalgia*

    (SallyStrange – AFU = alt.folklore.urban, a high-traffic newsgroup on USENet before the days of blogs)

  242. rowanvt says

    I’m pretty sure that most women and men (if I believe scenes I’ve seen: at work, at bars, at the car dealership, the bank, …) are inconfortable being propositionned in their workplace. They are professionals, not fresh meat.

    There’s a particular client at work that I avoid like the plague for that reason. I was weighing his dog and once I stood back up he hugged me and then kissed me on the cheek close to my mouth. He let go immediately after that, but I had someone else finish the appointment. Apparently he’s done something similar to just about all the female employees, and he’s been mostly laughed off because he’s in his 70s.

  243. says

    ERV = endogenous retrovirus? That’s what Google tells me…

    Also, I was excited to get BBC America until I noticed they do nothing but fucking marathons of Top Gear. Clarkson aside, is there any reason someone who, like me, thinks of a car as something to make you be elsewhere and doesn’t think the phrase “fun to drive” actually means anything would want to watch the show?

  244. says

    Rutee:

    Also, to the fucking honkey mcstraighterson complaining about PZ ‘bullying’ thunderfoot, fuck you. Do you have any fucking idea how tired queers are of hearing you heteros try to co-opt bullying?

    I missed this last night. Excuse the fuck out of me? You think ONLY GLBT kids are bullied? I’ve got fucking PTSD from 12 years of it. Go fuck yourself.

  245. says

    I somehow missed this, too. FFS. While GLBT kids are at a much greater risk of bullying, it is not a GLBT-specific or even kid-specific issue. PZ wasn’t bullying THunderf00t. Thunderf00ts was actually bullying all the women that reported harassment in a passive-aggressive fashion, but that doesn’t make this right.

  246. says

    any particular reason for the seemingly gratuitous racial epithet?

    Oh, fucking honkies. Because it’s the atheist and skeptic community, which is majority fucking white, which influences its outlook on what is and is not ‘common knowledge’. White, straight, cis, able-bodied and neurotypical men who are middle class or better, specifically.

    Clarkson is a sexist pig and that is all you need to know about him,

    Why the fuck do I care about whether you can have a beer with him? I’m a woman, asshat, I can’t share a beer with a jackass like that and still enjoy their company.

    I missed this last night. Excuse the fuck out of me? You think ONLY GLBT kids are bullied? I’ve got fucking PTSD from 12 years of it. Go fuck yourself.

    And rather than fucking look at the people who call “Please leave, we won’t provide you a platform” bullying, you are annoyed at me. Because I pointed out, correctly, that they are co-opting gay people (Because the most recently discussed bullying phenomena is focused on gay people). You’re usually on the ball, so rock on in general. Did you read the next two lines? Did you see the part where I said bullying is not “anything that has happened to you straight cis people ever”? No? Well, that would be because I didn’t fucking write it. If you care about bullying, at least have the decency to also tell these asswipes that “Leave our blog, we won’t provide you a platform anymore” is not bullying while you tell me to go fuck myself for perceived slights.

  247. says

    While GLBT kids are at a much greater risk of bullying

    Well fuck me for not including the poor, put-upon cis-hetero population as my primary concern in what we both acknowledge disproportionately hits LGBT people, who are of course perfectly capable of living in every other other issue.

    Cheese and fucking crackers.

  248. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    ruteekatreya, I don’t know if it’s intentional, but your apparent lack of empathy is disconcerting. Are you really playing the ‘bullied olympics’?

  249. says

    ruteekatreya, I don’t know if it’s intentional, but your apparent lack of empathy is disconcerting. Are you really playing the ‘bullied olympics’?

    Did you see the part where I said bullying is not “anything that has happened to you straight cis people ever”? No? Well, that would be because I didn’t fucking write it.

    I didn’t say it doesn’t suck to get bullied if you are a cis hetero either. I said it disproportionately affects LGBT people(which is not an exhaustive list, as PwD and PoC are also disproportionately bullied), and that I am not going to make cis heteros (implied: Able NT white) my primary concern in it.

    As for empathy, if it is defined as ‘sympathy for cis heteros trying to change it to be about able, NT white cis heteros”, then no, I don’t. If empathy is defined by something less incredibly obtuse, then no, my faculties in it still work fine. Which is why I am annoyed at white cis heteros as an aggregate, not Ms. Daisy Cutter.

  250. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    You know, what you’ve written and what can be inferred by what you’ve written aren’t mutually exclusive. You may think you’re being clear, but then that’s why I asked the question; it’s not because I disagree with you.

    I honestly can’t tell if you’re as angry as I’m reading you to be, but I suppose if you are, it’s justified, even if my own reaction as a fag to the co-opting of LGBTQ bullying is decidedly less …aggressive or something. Admittedly, I expect the level of response from Ms. Daisy Cutter didn’t much help and your response certainly didn’t make it seem like you weren’t annoyed with Ms. Daisy Cutter.

    Anyhow, by empathy I meant for bullied people no matter who they are, but you obviously have that, however sharply you respond to questions about it.

    ((If I were to be snarky and we really were on about being read as exactly the words that we’ve written say, I never wrote (let alone implied) that you should make abled, neurotypcial, cis-gendered, white heteros your primary concern when it comes to bullying and the empathy you dole out for the victims thereof. But I seriously don’t think that’s a good place to take a conversation and I’m only feeling parenthetically, passive-agressively snarky right now.))

  251. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    (I blame it on Thunderfoot’s Blog. That place is making me feel odd. I just finished reading the comments section and posted too.)

  252. Matt Penfold says

    I blame it on Thunderfoot’s Blog. That place is making me feel odd. I just finished reading the comments section and posted too

    You are braver than I am. I got about 20 comments in before I could not take anymore.

  253. says

    ou may think you’re being clear, but then that’s why I asked the question;

    Quite frankly, it is clear, if you didn’t get here from her TET post. That is why previous people only cheered, and why I needed no more than direct quotes to establish the source of my irritation to other queer people I vented to immediately after her reply to me.

    Admittedly, I expect the level of response from Ms. Daisy Cutter didn’t much help and your response certainly didn’t make it seem like you weren’t annoyed with Ms. Daisy Cutter.

    I can’t really get a message heard without swearing, so I don’t bother with trying anymore.

    ((If I were to be snarky and we really were on about being read as exactly the words that we’ve written say, I never wrote (let alone implied) that you should make abled, neurotypcial, cis-gendered, white heteros your primary concern

    You could try that. But that is actually a societal narrative, whereas “fuck the cis heteros, only queer people ever matter” is not.

    But I seriously don’t think that’s a good place to take a conversation and I’m only feeling parenthetically, passive-agressively snarky right now.)

    ಠ_ಠ

  254. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Matt Penfold, I want to say that it gets easier to read the deeper you go, because some reasonableness erupts, but there’s so much dross as well. And nothing really ever gets said or resolved. Interesting, though, is how some of the posters there seem to leave off certain threads after a while only to repeat the same thing further down.

  255. says

    @ruteekatreya You’d have a point if someone were talking about anti-queer bullying and another poster tried to hijack it with “what abotu the straights?” It seems to be the other way around here, though. Someone made a (specious) accusation of non-queer-related bullying and you jumped in saying that straight people don’t get to talk about bullying. How is that justified or helpful?

  256. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Ruteekatreya, I wasn’t intending this to be an argument. I asked you a question and you responded and I’m okay with that response. I just had to also relate how I came to asking my question in the first place, due to your reaction to it.

    Really, glaring eyes? Well, why not.

  257. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Ace of Sevens, there is a broader context.

  258. opposablethumbs says

    Rainer 135 (on the previous page)

    This is going to be soooo embarrassing in a few years time. PZ Meyers and the rest getting all worked up about girls getting hit on, not knowing how to say no…. and the rest of the world is just looking on, scared to realize that american atheists/skeptics aren’t that different from their fundamental christian country men.

    Seriously: watching this debate from Europe (Switzerland/Germany, Köln, that civilized city with the good public transport?) it is getting really hard to see a difference between you guys and some sexually repressive christian freaks. You are creating an atmosphere of fear. The impression you get in Europe is “witch hunt”. Nobody here understands what elevator-gate was all about – and nobody really cares.

    It’s already been said but it can’t be said enough: what a load of bollocks.
    a) you dishonestly conflate demanding to be treated as a human being with being sex-negative. That makes you pig-ignorant and willfully blind as well as dishonest. You’re talking like those arseholes who think “sexual liberation” means “women (those I fancy, that is, because no others have any meaningful existence in my world) are free to spread their legs for me whenever I want. I couldn’t give a toss about what they want, in fact the concept of their having agency and being capable of wanting anything is alien to me”
    b) I’m European, like a lot of people here, and like them I know very well what egate is about and it matters a fuck of a lot to me. That you don’t get this means you’re sure as hell no ally of mine.
    .
    John D #75

    I’m perfectly fine with taking bile from the other side – they’re the enemy so to speak, I expect it from them. I’m actually far more comfortable discussing feminist issues on a blog like the one run by that jackass Vox Populi or others like him because at least there the people who are on my side will generally act like it, but here it seems anyone who disagrees even slightly on the issue is treated like worthless shit.

    To be assailed by both them and the people you largely agree with at the same time is isolating, like being unwelcome in your own home. It’s why there’s a significant group of people who would normally be quite happy to openly back you on the 95% of things you agree with on this issue choose to stay silent more often than not. There’s no particular reason to get pissed off over minor disagreements with people who are open to rational discourse – all I suggest is that we save it for the jerks who really deserve it.

    You know something? It’s funny you should put it that way. That is exactly how you make women feel all the fucking time.
    .
    Matt Penfold #257

    They probably thought Jeremy Clarkson was funny, which is a pretty good benchmark for whether I will like someone or not.

    I always knew I held you in Internetly High Esteem but this clinches it. Clarkson is an unimportant tosser, but by dint of being a public figure he’s a handy metric for a great many repulsive qualities.

  259. says

    @ruteekatreya You’d have a point if someone were talking about anti-queer bullying and another poster tried to hijack it with “what abotu the straights?”

    I’m glad we’re in agreement.

    Do you have any fucking idea how tired queers are of hearing you heteros try to co-opt bullying? You know what’s bullying? HEaring ‘fag’, ‘dyke’, ‘tranny’, and other shit, before being beaten; not being told your views are not welcome, please return to just your youtube channel.

    You think ONLY GLBT kids are bullied?

    . Someone made a (specious) accusation of non-queer-related bullying

    You do realize this shit started amongst privileged white dudes after the “It gets better” campaign and stronger narratives against bullying that have primarily focused on anti-queer bullying, right? There is a reason I called it co-option, specifically.

    you jumped in saying that straight people don’t get to talk about bullying.

    I said straight people don’t get to co opt narratives of bullying, comma, and that bullying is not being denied a platform.

    How is that justified or helpful?

    You mean how did what I say end up justified or helpful? Because co-option is morally wrong and is another instance of oppression, and opposing it is justified and helps marginalized people.

  260. says

    Really, glaring eyes? Well, why not.

    It just seems ridiculous to say “I don’t think the conversation should go here” after dragging it there.

  261. opposablethumbs says

    I forgot to note, in my 303, that the bolded italics in John D’s text that I quote = emphasis added by me.

  262. says

    I said straight people don’t get to co opt narratives of bullying, comma, and that bullying is not being denied a platform.

    To slightly expound:
    If a hispanic is being beaten at school while being called beaner, and then talks about being bullied, that ain’t co-option. It’s happening. Hell, ifyou’re getting bullied for having the wrong color lunch box, that’s not co-option. But for someone who isn’t being bullied, to take that narrative, and apply it to people who aren’t bullying, to try to weave a tapestry of himself as a martyr, using the currently dominant narrative of gay people being bullied, that is co-option. And that latter is a thing that privileged cis, straight, able white dudes do a lot.

  263. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Ruteekatreya, I can’t excuse myself. I was, at least, upfront. I deserve the glares.

  264. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Rutee, I think that you are talking past each other. Daisy pointed out that bullying, while very commonly directed against LGBT kids, is also directed at other kids.

    I agree with your point that the experiences of cis, white, hetero kids is overemphasized – it totally is – and that there is a disgusting level of co-option by cis white hetero men of language and issues that were specifically about non-cis white hetero male groups.

    I’d point out that Daisy did not say why she was bullied. She did contrast her experience with that of LGBT kids – but maybe she was bullied for race, sex, disability, gender performance, religion, etc., etc. – all depressingly common reasons for bullying. What she did not do is lump herself in with cis white hetero men.

  265. says

    //This has never been about TAM, either. The argument encompasses meetings, but also the larger geek and atheist culture, which turns out to be pretty damned sexist. You do not correct the broader problem by turning a blind eye to the specifics//

    THIS! This is what people miss.

  266. dysomniak says

    @272 Chas:

    any particular reason for the seemingly gratuitous racial epithet?

    Shut up you stupid fucking cracker.

  267. ChasCPeterson says

    ah. No, I’m sorry, you’ll have to call me ‘ofay’ or ‘peckerwood’ if you want me to shut up. Even then, no guarantees.

  268. echidna says

    You do realize this shit started amongst privileged white dudes after the “It gets better” campaign and stronger narratives against bullying that have primarily focused on anti-queer bullying, right? There is a reason I called it co-option, specifically.

    No, I do not realise that, because it isn’t true. Talk about bullying among privileged white dudes has been going on for the decades that I’ve been following slashdot. And you know something? These privileged white dudes (and they most overwhelmingly are) deserve as much sympathy for the bullying they experienced as anybody else does. It was not a lesser form of bullying, it ran the full spectrum of taunting, broken bones, the works. These were the kids who didn’t fit the “jock” stereotype, they were the “nerds”. They didn’t fit the gender-stereotype.

    Bullying is wrong. It needs to be recognised and dealt with, without regard to what subgroup a person belongs to.

  269. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    I’m one of those privileged nerdy white dudes who was always picked on for being a geek and a weirdo, and I never feared for my life until I came out as queer in high school.

  270. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    So,

    It was not a lesser form of bullying, it ran the full spectrum of taunting, broken bones, the works.

    while there are no doubt some examples for whom this is true, I can not believe the severity of violence against geeky kids is equivalent to that against queer kids, at least not until I see some randomly sampled data.

  271. says

    Talk about bullying among privileged white dudes has been going on for the decades that I’ve been following slashdot.

    Yes. Talk about the actual meatspace practice of bullying has happened. Calling every damn thing you do to a privileged white person bullying? Novel. Because it’s co-option, because now that people are recognizing it occurs more, and on average more seriously, to a single minority (It occurs more to several, but hey), privileged assholes are trying to use it as an aegis. Just like atheists trying to pretend they’re in an atheism closet in the USA or anywhere else in the west.

  272. ChasCPeterson says

    Fuck the bullied Olympics.

    Have you only been truly bullied if you’ve reasonably feared for your life?

    Do you suppose that randomly sampled data on the subject will ever be forthcoming?

    all kinds of people get bullied in high school(s). For a huge variety of accurate, made-up, and twisted reasons. Vast macro- and microregional variation should be acknowledged and so of course ymmv. ffs.

  273. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    I was bullied mercilessly in high school.

    It was not because I was a lesbian, even though I am one.

    I was bullied for have an ASD and being awkward, clumsy, and loud.

  274. Josh, Official SpokesBrah says

    Fuck the bullied Olympics.

    Have you only been truly bullied if you’ve reasonably feared for your life?

    How bout you go fuck yourself right after licking the soft shit out of your asshole in the morning, Chas? Think of it as self-soft-serve.

    I don’t see anyone claiming what you say they’re claiming. But I do see your egotistical ass making sure you’ve got something to complain about after you’ve flounced to the nth power.

  275. says

    I was bullied some in junior and senior high school. I was mocked for being the poor kid who wore old clothes all the time; for being the nerd; for being in band; for wearing glasses. I was also bullied for being gay, even though I wasn’t, because for some reason some kids thought I looked like I was gay.

    I was not ostracized like the black kids, or beat up like the gay kids (who in my generation were mostly hiding, terrified, in the closet, for good reason), or pressured to conform to narrow social roles like the girls. I was not psychologically scarred, and I would agree that I didn’t have it anywhere near as bad as those other thoroughly marginalized kids.

    But it was not zero bad.

    This isn’t a competition to see who was hurt the worst. We’re not going to say that the gay white kid has to shut up until the gay black kid has justice — every one of them has to be treated fairly. Because we aren’t working to get the gay black kids to the point where they’re only treated as badly as the gay white kids.

  276. 'Tis Himself says

    The shitstain who wrote:

    I can not believe the severity of violence against geeky kids is equivalent to that against queer kids, at least not until I see some randomly sampled data.

    I was bullied in high school. I was beat up regularly and suffered broken bones. I was not accused of being gay, instead my sins were being non-athletic, intelligent, small, clumsy, introverted, and getting straight As.

    Sorry if reality doesn’t meet your fucking prejudices, fucker.

  277. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Chas,

    Fuck the bullied Olympics.

    I generally agree. I wouldn’t have spoken up if someone hadn’t indicated the degree of bullying is the same.

    I’m very much okay with saying it’s all worth caring about and it should all be stopped asap.

    I just don’t think it’s accurate to say the degree is the same.

    Have you only been truly bullied if you’ve reasonably feared for your life?

    No, and I don’t think I indicated otherwise. If I wasn’t clear enough: I was bullied for being a nerd before I came out as queer. And this was all throughout childhood and into mid adolescence, so I’m sure it’s fairly relevant to my fuckedupedness.

    There’s confounding factors in my case, I know — I was a queer nerd when I came out, and before that for several years I was often suspected of being queer.

    I’m just pointing out that it got much worse when I came out. I was already tormented both as a nerd and probable queer, and that’s what I’m comparing.

    Do you suppose that randomly sampled data on the subject will ever be forthcoming?

    I don’t see why not. And I wouldn’t turn up my nose at self-reporting.

    all kinds of people get bullied in high school(s). For a huge variety of accurate, made-up, and twisted reasons. Vast macro- and microregional variation should be acknowledged and so of course ymmv. ffs.

    I agree with all that.

    Chas, you’re one of the people here I give a hoot about, so I wish I had expressed myself in a way that didn’t strike you as minimizing other bullying. That’s not what I want to do.

  278. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    ‘Tis Himself,

    You deliberately chose to ignore this bit from me:

    So,

    It was not a lesser form of bullying, it ran the full spectrum of taunting, broken bones, the works.

    while there are no doubt some examples for whom this is true,

    Considering that, when you say:

    I was bullied in high school. I was beat up regularly and suffered broken bones. I was not accused of being gay, instead my sins were being non-athletic, intelligent, small, clumsy, introverted, and getting straight As.

    this doesn’t surprise me at all, nor does it contradict my prejudices. You are no doubt one of those examples I already acknowledged.

    However, I can not believe the severity of violence against geeky kids is equivalent to that against queer kids, at least not until I see some randomly sampled data.

    Is there some ambiguity in that statement? I would have thought the explicit mentions of sampling and acknowledgement of counterexamples would indicate pretty clearly that what I’m skeptical about is any claim like the typical degree of bullying against geeky kids is equivalent to that against queer kids. Nothing like “all bullying of queer kids is worse than all bullying of geeky kids.” There’s geeky straight kids who are dead because of it, while I’m still alive; I’m aware of individual variation.

  279. Tony... therefore God says

    Sooo, I’m still holding my breath waiting for lilandra to answer 3 simple questions posed by SallyStrange.
    (I may need to be revived soon, because darnit [can't say the 'other' word or some people will ask me to 'tone it down'] I want to know her answers)

  280. says

    This isn’t a competition to see who was hurt the worst. We’re not going to say that the gay white kid has to shut up until the gay black kid has justice — every one of them has to be treated fairly.

    Hell, ifyou’re getting bullied for having the wrong color lunch box, that’s not co-option. But for someone who isn’t being bullied, to take that narrative, and apply it to people who aren’t bullying, to try to weave a tapestry of himself as a martyr, using the currently dominant narrative of gay people being bullied, that is co-option.

    Did you read the next two lines? Did you see the part where I said bullying is “not anything that has happened to you straight cis people ever”? No? Well, that would be because I didn’t fucking write it

    But maybe I’m misreading and you got it, hell if I know.

    I’d point out that Daisy did not say why she was bullied. She did contrast her experience with that of LGBT kids – but maybe she was bullied for race, sex, disability, gender performance, religion, etc., etc. – all depressingly common reasons for bullying. What she did not do is lump herself in with cis white hetero men.

    Missed this. No, but she did more or less tell me to go fuck myself for opposing co-option.

  281. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I just don’t think it’s accurate to say the degree is the same.

    Nobody sees picking on nerdy kids as God’s work. I have no data either, but I suspect that some of the oomph that seems to anecdotally characterize the queer-bashing population comes from a sense of righteousness wholly unapplicable to other forms of bashing.

  282. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Or fuck me. Maybe the righteousness just provides the excuse to be a horrible person.

  283. says

    One obvious-to-me way anti-LGBT bullying differs from most other forms is that the victim’s family is more likely to side with the bullies. Not always, and there are parents who want their sons to be more athletic and their daughters more social (though of course that is performing gender), but LGBT kids are more prone to getting the same crap at home as at school in a way, e.g., bookish kids aren’t and kids lacking racial, religious, or other background-based privileges certainly aren’t.

  284. ChasCPeterson says

    How bout you go fuck yourself right after licking the soft shit out of your asshole in the morning, Chas?

    That wasn’t a very nice thing to say, Josh. Also it wasn’t deserved. Let me direct you to sg’s #316, to which I was responding. There he sez

    I’m one of those privileged nerdy white dudes who was always picked on for being a geek and a weirdo, and I never feared for my life until I came out as queer in high school.

    In the context of the discussion about cooption of bullied status, I read that as meaning that nerdy white dudes are “picked on” whereas gay teens are truly bullied. That was my interpretation of the comment.
    Now it turns out that was a misinterpretation; sg acknowledged the ambiguity @#325 and offered a satisfying explanation (for which I am appreciative). I am happy to apologize to sg for misinterpreting his comment (and I now so apologize).

    Your apporoach, instead, was to immediately invite me to fuck myself and eat my own shit, the only reasons supplied being that you think I am an egotistical complainer who flounced.

    You’re the asshole.

    This is the second time this week you’ve gone OTT on me with no good reason. I’m not sure why you dislike me so much, but maybe hold onto your invective until I actually do something worth criticizing? thanks.

  285. ChasCPeterson says

    Just a historical note–let me re-tie this onion to my belt here…there–I went to highschool so long ago that not a single one of the 2000 students there was ‘out’ as gay. Nerdy white guys and assumed/accused queers were not differentiated–it was all one target group, all called fag, pussy, and homo and beat up for the same reasons by the same assholes.
    So it’s possible that my perspective on highschool bullying is as good as antediluvian compared to what goes on now; I don’t know. My daughter is a proud member of the Gay-Straight Alliance at her school and we sure as hell had nothing like that.

  286. chigau (違う) says

    I graduated in 1973 from a (smaller than Chas’s) high school that had NO gay-bashing because there were NO (out) gays.
    Imagine my surprise when I moved to the Big City™.

  287. neoriceisgood says

    Posting here to say I agree with this post, and think you’re doing a dandy old job, PZ.

  288. Guy says

    OMFSM this is SUCH a waste of these two people’s time. How the HELL do two of the internet’s leading reason advocates get into these ridiculous blog fights, claiming each side is ridiculous and insincere, like the worst of creatard comment trolls?

    FFS, I thought they were AT LEAST friendly and mutually appreciative of each other- can’t they sit down and talk this out over a beer, and just post the conclusion?

    really PZ, Tf00t- be reasonable. You’re usually so GOOD at it.

  289. mikealbanese says

    Do you know what is hilarious about this?

    Everything.

    This issue is evidently being tackled by a bunch of social retards who are trading one form of sexism for another.

    Protecting a minority by instituting policies which legislate personal behavior is a great way to hide sexual harassment.

    Jerks, of both genders, are not going to stop being jerks simply because some non-police entity wrote down a rule saying that they can’t be jerks.

    Prudes are not going to stop being offended by things they are uncomfortable with simply because you allow them to make rules that attempt to parent consensual adult behavior.

    However, they will always be Prudes and Jerks, and at the end of the day, nobody wants them at the party.

    I’m a man, I’ve been the victim of sexual harassment (hey, it happens and you’re being sexist if you say it doesn’t), and just like ANYONE I dealt with the situation.

    Are we going to continue to treat women like they are weak and protect them from social situations that they are going to inevitably encounter over the course of their lives? Isn’t the implication that ladies of any description are incapable of dealing with a few, drooling, social morons sexist in the extreme?

    To be clear, I’m not saying that sexual harassment doesn’t happen, or that it’s acceptable, or even that it’s not the social responsibility of EVERYONE to confront a “jerk” when they are dealing with someone who is shy about defending themselves.

    What I am saying is that making “rules” about it is going to be about as effective as “rules” that say you can’t be prejudiced, ignorant, or bigoted. This is essentially what TF was trying to point out.

    Let’s not forget about some of these other people and situations which further cloud this issue.

    1. People who are offended by flirtations or advances by people who they are NOT attracted to – to the point where they accuse that person of being harassing even though the individual wasn’t being rude by objective standards.
    2. People who enjoy the drama, and will inflate a person’s actions simply to fulfill their own egos – often at the expense of mislabeling someone’s actions (e.g. saying someone pinched your ass when all they did was try to move said ass away from the punch bowl).
    3. Drink whores. Gold diggers. Yes, this is both genders (when a man asks if he can buy me a drink, I say no thank you if I don’t like them. Yes, this happens people.)
    4. Normally nice people who got black-out drunk and acted like complete jerks. Not an excuse, but if you’ve partied that hard before you know the score.
    5. Let’s not forget the “Speaker groupies” who actively pursue the speakers to be “closer to the star”. Again, this happens.

    I could go on, but why? Inevitably, someone is going to be offended by a single sentence, and not take the whole thing in context.

    Just like what is happening with this situation.

    There should not be this much of an uproar because some social retard decided to grab a tit that was popping out of a push up bra, or because some cougar wouldn’t stop hilariously chasing some piece of man-candy around the convention floor.

    I’ve done the convention circuit enough to know that adults are just kids with bank accounts. The way you keep it clean is you kick out the problem starters publicly and let everyone else have the good time they’ve spent so much money to have.

  290. says

    All the proposed policies I’ve seen are gender-neutral.

    1. People who are offended by flirtations or advances by people who they are NOT attracted to – to the point where they accuse that person of being harassing even though the individual wasn’t being rude by objective standards.

    People can do this whether there’s a policy in place or not. The whole point of a policy is to codify these objective standards that you’re worrying about. It protect peopel from being harassed and protects peopel from false accusations by establishing a consistent, fair procedure.

    2. People who enjoy the drama, and will inflate a person’s actions simply to fulfill their own egos – often at the expense of mislabeling someone’s actions (e.g. saying someone pinched your ass when all they did was try to move said ass away from the punch bowl).

    Again, this can happen regardless of whether there’s a policy. No policy I’ve seen says to throw a guy because he bumped into someone while trying to take a step backward.

    3. Drink whores. Gold diggers. Yes, this is both genders (when a man asks if he can buy me a drink, I say no thank you if I don’t like them. Yes, this happens people.)

    And what if they keep begging and won’t leave you alone? Wouldn’t it be nice to make them leave instead of you having to leave to avoid them seeing as they’re the one that sucks?

    4. Normally nice people who got black-out drunk and acted like complete jerks. Not an excuse, but if you’ve partied that hard before you know the score.

    I don’t want these people getting drunk at conferences. If some drunk is harassing me, the idea that he’s nice when sober is little comfort.

    5. Let’s not forget the “Speaker groupies” who actively pursue the speakers to be “closer to the star”. Again, this happens.

    What about them? Most of the proposed codes of conduct I’ve seen will let groupies have their fun.

  291. says

    So Thunderf00t is asking his subscribers if he’s reasonable. Considering what the remaining subscribers have put up with (dividing the house of atheism arguments, calls for violence against the middle east), I’m betting he’ll get all the affirmation that was lacking here.

  292. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    This issue is evidently being tackled by a bunch of social retards who are trading one form of sexism for another.

    Using ableist insults is not acceptable here.

    Jerks, of both genders, are not going to stop being jerks simply because some non-police entity wrote down a rule saying that they can’t be jerks.

    If you’re so ignorant that you think this is somehow relevant to the argument, why are you posting? (I actually already know the answer to that.)

    Prudes are not going to stop being offended by things they are uncomfortable with simply because you allow them to make rules that attempt to parent consensual adult behavior.

    Yeah, interestingly, being uncomfortable with sexual attention from strangers doesn’t actually make you a prude. And “consensual” adult behavior is not what is being regulated by the sexual harassment policies.

    I’m a man, I’ve been the victim of sexual harassment (hey, it happens and you’re being sexist if you say it doesn’t), and just like ANYONE I dealt with the situation.

    Nobody around here says that men aren’t sexually harassed. In fact, men who have been sexually harassed have been part of these conversations on the side of promoting these policies. “I dealt with the situation”? Fucking good for you.

    Are we going to continue to treat women like they are weak and protect them from social situations that they are going to inevitably encounter over the course of their lives?

    It happens, therefore it should happen everywhere. Also, women who would prefer to have resources for “dealing with it” are weak. Fucking lovely.

    Isn’t the implication that ladies of any description are incapable of dealing with a few, drooling, social morons sexist in the extreme?

    Uh… Where in the fuck did you get that alarmingly idiotic idea? What in the fuck is wrong with you that you need to strawman like this?

    1. People who are offended by flirtations or advances by people who they are NOT attracted to – to the point where they accuse that person of being harassing even though the individual wasn’t being rude by objective standards.

    “By objective standards,” huh? For rudeness? Interesting. Tell me more about that.

    3. Drink whores. Gold diggers. Yes, this is both genders (when a man asks if he can buy me a drink, I say no thank you if I don’t like them. Yes, this happens people.)

    Yeah, the fact that you keep telling us “this happens!” as though we didn’t know about it makes it pretty obvious that you haven’t been involved in these conversations long enough to know what’s being talked about. Secondarily, how the fuck does that “complicate” the question of sexual harassment?

    4. Normally nice people who got black-out drunk and acted like complete jerks. Not an excuse, but if you’ve partied that hard before you know the score.

    Again, not actually a complication. If you can’t get drunk without sexually harassing people, don’t drink at the conference.

    There should not be this much of an uproar because some social retard decided to grab a tit that was popping out of a push up bra, or because some cougar wouldn’t stop hilariously chasing some piece of man-candy around the convention floor.

    “Grab a tit”? You are aware that “tits” are attached to fucking PEOPLE, right? There shouldn’t be an uproar when someone is sexually assaulted at a conference?

    You ought to be fucking embarrassed. Get the fuck out of here.

  293. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Oh, and let’s just add this: “social retards” as you call them – by which I assume you mean people with disabilities that make them less socially adept than is considered typical – are, by and large, not the ones who are sexually harassing people. Because people with such disabilities are usually very aware of the problem, and are hence even more concerned with and aware of other people’s boundaries. Yes, people with such disabilities can be assholes like anyone else, but in fact, calling sexual harassers – some of whom are in fact being predatory and are perfectly, horribly aware of what they’re doing – “social retards” is both ignorant and morally disgusting.

  294. says

    Maybe these people should try reading one of the harassment policies that are out there, you know, before they make an ass of themselves like Tfoot did… Woops, too late.

  295. says

    Jerks, of both genders, are not going to stop being jerks simply because some non-police entity wrote down a rule saying that they can’t be jerks.

    The jerk store called, THEY’RE ALL OUT OF YOU! HOOOAAAAH! And it’s especially bad because you’re their best seller!

  296. says

    First PZ pissed all over Richard Dawkins
    Then he pissed all over Laurence Krauss
    Recently he pissed all over Sam Harris
    Now he’s pissing all over Thunderfoot.

    Notice something?

    These are all people who have contributed a great deal to the skeptical movement in one way or another, some more than others. But they all made the mistake of daring to think differently from PZ Myers (Dawkins and Thunderfoot by suggesting we get our priorities in order, Sam Harris by BEING MEAN TO THE MUSLIMS (that’s taboo around here now, apparently), and I can’t even remember what Krauss did that placed him firmly beyond the pale).

    Myers is on such an ego trip right now, living in his echochamber. Thunderfoot is bang on the money, the sad thing is you sycophants are too busy sucking up to Myers to see it.

  297. says

    Prudes are not going to stop being offended by things they are uncomfortable with simply because you allow them to make rules that attempt to parent consensual adult behavior.

    I will suck any cock but your’s to firmly disprove my prude status

  298. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    These are all people who have contributed a great deal to the skeptical movement in one way or another, some more than others.

    Yes, and therefore disagreeing with them in public is a terrible, terrible thing to do!
    PZ has contributed an awful lot to the skeptical movement himself – so what the fuck are you doing “pissing all over him” here?

  299. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Dawkins and Thunderfoot by suggesting we get our priorities in order

    You have no fucking place telling us what “our” priorities should be.

  300. says

    Cross posted from TET

    Because people need clergy apparently.

    Theists are right, “skeptics” and “gnuatheists” often are trading in one set of clergy for another and being very hypocritical about bashing god worshipers while being blind to their hero worship.

    If I’m hanging out in PZ’s lounge its’ because he has yet to fundamentally disapoint me (though even Dawkins is not at that level compared to Harris and Hitchens)

    You know what I notice? If you don’t like Harris, Dawkins, Kraus, Hitchens etc you’re declared to be a bad atheist who is listening to some irrational force. There is no ground to disagree with dogma after all.

  301. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    *points and laughs at Matt Hone’s misogynistic claptrap*

  302. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Thunderfoot is bang on the money,

    No, he is a raving misogynist, and you defending him makes you one too. Funny how that works. Nobody who understands the concept women are people too are defending TF. Only those who think women are nothing but playthings defend misogyny and misogynists.

  303. says

    @340 Ace Of Sevens

    So Thunderf00t is asking his subscribers if he’s reasonable. Considering what the remaining subscribers have put up with (dividing the house of atheism arguments, calls for violence against the middle east), I’m betting he’ll get all the affirmation that was lacking here.

    Its the same tactic he’s been using for quite a while. He knows that hardly anybody who watches his videos is going to watch a counter 5 minute vid. They’re certainly not going to read the opposing views presented here.

    He asks for objective opinion from people who’ve previously decided they like him enough to subscribe to his videos. The guys a joke.

  304. says

    Uhm. As far as I know, PZ and Dawkins, while differing in opinion on some issues, still get along fine. I may be wrong, but saying PZ ‘pissed all over him’ is just not true.

  305. says

    So Thunderf00t is asking his subscribers if he’s reasonable. Considering what the remaining subscribers have put up with (dividing the house of atheism arguments, calls for violence against the middle east), I’m betting he’ll get all the affirmation that was lacking here.

    A great case of confirmation bias…as everyone who was bothered probably stopped following. I’m sure Amazing Atheist, Thunder00t and Spoony still have fans who think they are teh awesome…ignoring that everyone who isn’t a mouth breathing idiot has left shaking their head.

  306. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Yeeeez!

    I’m not very poor, but I sure as hell would have liked to get a dollar every time a hero-worshipping little twit like Matt125 claims people are just sycophants when they point out the black spot of their heroes.

    For your information Matt – “Let’s not talk about your problems, let’s talk about what I think is important” is never ever “getting our priorities in order”.

    And don’t get me started on Sam Harris’ racism (I know I know – “Islam is not a race”. I’ll take this one pre-emptively: Profiling means going after anyone who looks muslim. So it’s definitely skin colour and not religion. Besides, the notion of human races is a social construct poorly founded in human genetics. There is skin colour, there is human notions of race mainly based on skin colour. There is a stinking pile of racism. There’s ethnic groups and sub-groups, but there is no coherent concept of human races for any meaning of the word “race” that is not synonymous with “skin colour”.)

    And then you bring up some grievance you can’t even remember? I bet your mama and your papa are reeeeal proud.

  307. mikealbanese says

    Jeez, do none of you people get it?

    You are creating general rules for situations that need to be judged within context.

    Every single one of you… and yes I mean EVERY single one of you people on here are acting as if TFoot is either a sexist or a prophet, when the reality is that he’s just a dude with an opinion.

    Most of the commentators are wailing and gnashing your teeth as if the issue was “so clear”.

    It’s not, and stop pretending that it’s simple.

    The 2 sides of the debate are:

    1. Harassment is bad and needs to be stopped.
    2. Legislating social interactions and policing private adult behavior is bad and needs to be stopped.

    These are mutually exclusive points though… so why is there a friggin debate at all?

    Yes, harassment is bad – but so is legislating morality and social interactions.

    Social interactions do not include rape, unwanted physical advances, incessant verbal advances that cross over into harassment, or acting like a drunken hooligan.

    So let’s stop pretending that TFoot is advocating that sort of behavior, because he’s not.

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear. If I try to do these things AWKWARDLY, I will likely be turned down and called a jerk.

    However, if I don’t do that awkwardly, I’m a smooth criminal who is either going to have a great time, have some company that evening, a combination of the two, or STILL possibly turned down (albeit more politely).

    The question is, why is any of that an issue?

    Remember, we aren’t talking about things that do not fall under the realm of social interaction.

  308. says

    Every single one of you… and yes I mean EVERY single one of you people on here are acting as if TFoot is either a sexist or a prophet, when the reality is that he’s just a dude with an opinion

    Lol

    The question is, why is any of that an issue?

    I’d rule out the “smooth criminal option” Mr. Hollowitz

  309. says

    1. Harassment is bad and needs to be stopped.
    2. Legislating social interactions and policing private adult behavior is bad and needs to be stopped.

    These are mutually exclusive points though… so why is there a friggin debate at all?

    Ah I see. DOMA.

    Skeptics are fucking dogmatic idiots.

  310. Amphiox says

    Since when did PZ ever “piss” on Dawkins? Dawkins made a couple posts on one thread which were severely criticized by other posters (not named PZ), and PZ posted a post where he mildly stated that on this point he disagreed with Dawkins and that was it.

    AFAIK, PZ and Dawkins are buddies. They attended (or tried to) the premiere of Expelled together!

  311. says

    Mikewhatshisface,
    Go read the harassment policies. You’ll notice that none of them are trying to regulate acts by consenting adults. Thunderf00t is at best incredibly ill-informed, and at worst dishonest and sexist.

  312. reasonable fellow says

    So let’s stop pretending that TFoot is advocating that sort of behavior, because he’s not.

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear. If I try to do these things AWKWARDLY, I will likely be turned down and called a jerk.

    However, if I don’t do that awkwardly, I’m a smooth criminal who is either going to have a great time, have some company that evening, a combination of the two, or STILL possibly turned down (albeit more politely).

    The question is, why is any of that an issue?

    None of it is an issue. It shouldn’t be an issue because a sexual harassment policy wouldn’t prevent any of that. thunderf00t is just scaremongering.

  313. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Every single one of you… and yes I mean EVERY single one of you people on here are acting as if TFoot is either a sexist or a prophet, when the reality is that he’s just a dude with an opinion.

    “Dudes with opinions” about sexual harassment?
    They’re pretty often sexist, or at least completely blinded by their own privilege.
    Take you, for example.
    Coming in here, dropping your pants, and dropping a load of Manly Fucking Wisdom on a conversation you clearly have put no research and very little thought into, including absolutely monstrous shit like saying that sexual assault (that’s “grabbing a tit,” in your disgusting parlance) is no big deal, as well as insulting strawmen like “sexual harassment policies treat women as weak!”

  314. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    so is legislating morality and social interactions.

    Step away from that copy of “Atlas shrugged”. Ayn Rand is neither your friend or a clear thinker.

    She is trying to turn you into a monster and apparently on good course to succeeding.

    Know that it’s not too late. You can walk away and reclaim your humanity!

  315. says

    Ah I see. DOMA.

    Skeptics are fucking dogmatic idiots.

    He very clearly meant ‘aren’t mutually exclusive’, as is evident in the rest of the post.

  316. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    1. Harassment is bad and needs to be stopped.
    2. Legislating social interactions and policing private adult behavior is bad and needs to be stopped.

    These are mutually exclusive points though… so why is there a friggin debate at all?

    Go ask the guy who threw the tantrum claiming that we were trying to police consensual behavior with harassment policies! Fuck!

  317. says

    Can’t believe I forgot about what PZ Myers said about Hitchens. When his corpse wasn’t even cold. It really is narcissism, an obsession for him to tear other people down and big himself up. I just wonder when he’ll eventually turn on Rebecca, Greta and the rest, part of me hopes it will happen just for the royal shitstorm it’s going to create.

  318. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Matt125: a hero-worshipping little slimeball who likes to hear himself talk. Utterly worthless to the discussion.

  319. says

    Can’t believe I forgot about what PZ Myers said about Hitchens. When his corpse wasn’t even cold. It really is narcissism, an obsession for him to tear other people down and big himself up. I just wonder when he’ll eventually turn on Rebecca, Greta and the rest, part of me hopes it will happen just for the royal shitstorm it’s going to create.

    He went easy on St. Christopher.

    Hitchen’s was often as intellectually dishonest and inconsistent in ways that skeptics attack others for.

  320. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Can’t believe I forgot about what PZ Myers said about Hitchens.

    Why are you deifying Hitchens? I’m sure that would caus him more pain that PZ mentioning something political they disagree about. Thre is an ego problem here, but it is with you, not PZ. You seem to think we caqre what you think. Not afer your ego trips.

  321. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, slow internet connection causing many offerings to Tpyos.

  322. reasonable fellow says

    Hitchen’s was often as intellectually dishonest and inconsistent in ways that skeptics attack others for.

    He had some views I didn’t totally agree with but how was he intellectually dishonest? He never behaved in the manner that thunderf00t is now behaving.

  323. says

    @Reasonable Fellow

    It clicked for me in the SGU salute to him. Swiss’s story was undeniable. If Swiss is to believe he flat out ignored evidence and was married to a POV and refused to entertain any dissent. Others have reported him being down right rude to those who disagreed and belittled them professionally.

    He was praised for his commitment to his views and for his ability to shrug off counter points even when he had no response. That is exactly the same sort of bullshit we would bash Pat Robertson on.

  324. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    He never behaved in the manner that thunderf00t is now behaving.

    There are levels of intellectual dishonesty you know. Not everybody is at lvl 100.

  325. reasonable fellow says

    There are levels of intellectual dishonesty you know. Not everybody is at lvl 100.

    That doesn’t answer my question.

  326. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Do you know what is hilarious about this?

    

I do now.


    This issue is evidently being tackled by a bunch of social retards

    Mmm. It’s not like sexual harassment policies have been the norm in workplaces, universities, and every other kind of conference imaginable for decades or anything. Hell, strip clubs have harassment policies – clear, written, posted and enforced. If you are so terrified that their policies are going to prevent your kind of “fun”, I suggest you have a good think about what it is you’re defending.

    Protecting a minority

    Bzzt no. Harassment policies protect everyone.

    legislate personal behavior

    
So you have no objection to me punching you in the nose then?



    Jerks, of both genders, are not going to stop being jerks simply because some non-police entity wrote down a rule saying that they can’t be jerks.

    You have a hard time distinguishing between actions and persons, it seems. “Jerks” can be whatever they wish to be; it is the action of harassment which is in question here.

    Prudes

    Oh it’s so prudish and schoolmarmish to want the normal standards of personal safety which have been considered de rigeur since the goddamn 1970s.


    offended[i] by things they are uncomfortable[ii] with simply because you allow them to make rules[iii] that attempt to parent consensual[iv] adult behavior.

    [i] “Offense” is not the issue. Harassment is the issue.
    [ii] Because personal safety is just a luxury. Bitches be all prudey when I stick my tongue in their face unannounced.
    [iii] Your paranoia is showing.
    [iv] Consensual activity is not the issue. Are you having trouble understanding that, or do you think only your consent is necessary? Please, find a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word “harassment” before you make a further ass of yourself.

    However, they will always be Prudes and Jerks

    Gosh, I’m sure glad we have you to point out the eternal verities of the universe. Where would we be without you? You are offering ample proof of the continued existence of jerks, however I’m unclear so far as to who these “prudes” you keep blithering about are.

    and at the end of the day, nobody wants them at the party.

    Oh, conferences are parties. My bad.

    I’m a man, I’ve been the victim of sexual harassment (hey, it happens and you’re being sexist if you say it doesn’t)

    Please point to where anyone has claimed harassment only happens to women. NB: statistically it is a problem faced more often by women than men. Pointing out this reality doesn’t count.

    and just like ANYONE I dealt with the situation.

    Well aren’t you the hero.

    Let’s try a bit of this, shall we?

    Are we going to continue to treat harassers, creeps, stalkers and predators like they are weak and protect them from social situations that they are going to inevitably encounter over the course of their lives? Isn’t the implication that creeps and predators of any description are incapable of dealing with a few commonplace, ordinary rules of conduct idiotic in the extreme?

    To be clear, I’m not saying that sexual harassment doesn’t happen, or that it’s acceptable

    
Except that you don’t want anything done about it.

    or even that it’s not the social responsibility of EVERYONE to confront a “jerk”

    Except, for some bizarre reason, the organizers of conferences, who have an obligation to provide a safe environment for the people who are buying their product.

    making “rules” about it is going to be about as effective as “rules” that say you can’t be prejudiced, ignorant, or bigoted.

    There are no rules about what people can “be”. There are common social and legal consequences for actions which effect prejudice or bigotry. Really, it’s not that difficult a concept.

    

1/ If you have trouble with these consequences, consider altering your behaviour, up to and including not turning up.
    
2/ If this isn’t your behaviour, shut the fuck up and get out of the way.

    1. People who are offended by flirtations or advances by people who they are NOT attracted to

    Ah. “It’s only harassment if you’re ugly! Stuck-up bitches think they’re too good for me!”

    

Yes folks, he’s one of those. Let the pelting commence.

    2. People who enjoy the drama 3. Drink whores. Gold diggers. 4. Normally nice people who got black-out drunk 5. Let’s not forget the “Speaker groupies”

    And the standard, rote litany of strawpersons, stereotypes, caricatures and Eeeebil Wimmins we get from every twelve-year old manboy on this subject.

    I could go on, but why?

    Indeed.

    Inevitably, someone is going to be offended by a single sentence, and not take the whole thing in context.

    Well, I certainly hope you appreciate the care I am taking to deal with the entirety of your “argument”.

Oh, no wait. No I don’t. I don’t actually care.

    some social retard decided to grab a tit that was popping out of a push up bra, or because some cougar wouldn’t stop hilariously chasing some piece of man-candy around the convention floor.

    Ah, all the relevance, philosophical sophistication, nuance and attention to “context” of a Benny Hill sketch.
    
You reveal yourself, boy.

    The way you keep it clean is you kick out the problem starters publicly and let everyone else have the good time they’ve spent so much money to have.

    
Idiot. THAT IS WHAT IS PROPOSED.

    

Oh, wait, you mean those whiny bitch feminazi troublemakers who are spoiling your fun.

    Protip: if you think your behaviour would be curtailed by a sexual harassment policy, there might be a good reason for that.

  327. reasonable fellow says

    It clicked for me in the SGU salute to him. Swiss’s story was undeniable. If Swiss is to believe he flat out ignored evidence and was married to a POV and refused to entertain any dissent. Others have reported him being down right rude to those who disagreed and belittled them professionally.

    You’re going to have to enlighten me about the first part, maybe i’m unfamiliar with the acronyms and maybe the story itself. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Being rude to those who disagreed and belittling those people is hardly a mark of inconsistency or dishonesty.

  328. drbunsen le savant fou says

    But they all made the mistake of daring to think differently

    Ugh, I can’t even be bothered with this numpty. All yours, folks.

  329. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Being rude to those who disagreed and belittling those people is hardly a mark of inconsistency or dishonesty.

    Welcome to Pharyngula!
    :P

  330. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    That doesn’t answer my question.

    Sorry, read your question as rhetorical. I can’t be arsed to dig up any links or anything – but decrying the humanitarian ills of the cat-lickers* while advocating torture sure does trigger my “dissonance-o-meter” for one very general example.

    *For clarity – this is not the part I got issues with.

  331. says

    Skeptics Guide to the Universe.

    Here’s the specific example Swiss asked Hitchens if his stance had EVER worked the way he says it will in any other situation. Hitchens said no…paused and then continued with “never the less”.

    He was praised for that by the hosts. I disagree. This is just the one clearest example IMO.

  332. reasonable fellow says

    Sorry, read your question as rhetorical. I can’t be arsed to dig up any links or anything – but decrying the humanitarian ills of the cat-lickers* while advocating torture sure does trigger my “dissonance-o-meter” for one very general example.

    *For clarity – this is not the part I got issues with.

    Thats one of things I disagreed with at the time. Then he went and got himself water-boarded. Direct quote from afterwards “Yes, its fucking torture”.

    An intellectually dishonest person would have said “that wasn’t so bad” a couple of days after, if they’d ever have done it themselves. Which we all know, they wouldn’t. That wasn’t him being either dishonest or inconsistent, that was him being wrong and having the courage to check it out for himself and changing his mind.

  333. mikealbanese says

    Cipher, it’s cute the way you try to take the high road on the euphemism treadmill – but that doesn’t make you a moral sage.

    You strike me as someone who tries earnestly to appear egalitarian as a way of masking your own sense of superiority.

    This isn’t Rwanda. Women aren’t being raped in the streets by UN soldiers, so let’s stop pretending that this issue is on the same level.

    Yes, “grabbing a tit” is disgusting… unless it’s consensual. Have you never been to a bar? Have you never successfully “hooked up” with a girl (or guy, if you’re gay, that’s cool too) and touched them “inappropriately” in a public setting?

    If you haven’t, then I can understand why you might be ignorant of the fact that raunchy behavior can be part of the mating ritual between two consenting adults. Just because YOU wouldn’t do that, doesn’t make it wrong.

    I’m not saying or implying that this is the RULE and that everyone needs to follow it. I’m saying that each situation involving something like this is UNIQUE – and should be judged INDIVIDUALLY, rather than being subject to blanket rules of disapproval.

    Dogmatist has been thrown around – but advocating fair-play and tolerance while assessing a situation is NOT blindly following dogma.

    Cipher, I would qualify YOU as a dood with an opinion on sexual harassment – do you and I agree? No. You are straw-manning me to death with your OPINION – it is OBVIOUS that not all “dood’s with opinions” belong to the same camp.

    YOU however, specifically, are guilty of over-generalizing a complex situation.

    You tried to point out the Dunning-Kruger effect to me in an attempt to imply that “people will be people” is not a valid argument. You’re right – it’s not an argument for anything.

    However, it IS an extenuating circumstance that needs to be considered when trying to legislate social interactions. Jerks will be jerks, but no also means no. When a Jerk ignores the “no” rule, they should be dealt with – because they are no longer having a “social interaction” – they are harassing someone.

    Amazingly, for as much as you clearly enjoyed breaking my post down point by point that you missed that one. Context is amazing that way.

    I’ve read both PZ Meyers and TFoot’s articles… and I think they are BOTH ignoring the real point of the issue – which I had spelled out in a previous comment.

    So I’m asking YOU Cipher – if there is no debate, why are you coming down on people like advocating for less legislation or more social responsibility?

  334. says

    Thats one of things I disagreed with at the time. Then he went and got himself water-boarded. Direct quote from afterwards “Yes, its fucking torture”.

    An intellectually dishonest person would have said “that wasn’t so bad” a couple of days after, if they’d ever have done it themselves. Which we all know, they wouldn’t. That wasn’t him being either dishonest or inconsistent, that was him being wrong and having the courage to check it out for himself and changing his mind.

    Oh yes you have one example where he changed his mind after being tortured. You sure have set a high standard. *eye roll*

  335. drbunsen le savant fou says

    2. Legislating social interactions and policing private adult behavior is bad and needs to be stopped.

    
[Emphasis added]

    

You’re not real good with words what mean things, are you boy?

    Social interactions do not include rape, unwanted physical advances, incessant verbal advances that cross over into harassment, or acting like a drunken hooligan.

    
Indeed – which are what harassment policies are all about. The clue is in the word “harassment”. Tell me, have you looked it up yet?



    So, if you agree that those things are out of line what the fuck are you whining about?

    So let’s stop pretending that TFoot is advocating that sort of behavior, because he’s not.

    
Really? So you agree that he’s strawmanning a boogiemonster fantasy version of a harassment policy which has never existed in the real world?

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear.

    Because normal social interaction is all about what you can get away with, right Casanova? Ooh, I’m so wet for your bad-boy charms.

    If I try to do these things AWKWARDLY, I will likely be turned down and called a jerk.

    There’s something missing in this weirdly revealing TMI overshare of yours. What is it, oh, I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Oh that’s right: another human being with thoughts, desires, likes, dislikes and agency of hir own, which are not about you.

    The question is, why is any of that an issue?

    In your case? Because you’re a gigantic skeeze.

    Remember, we aren’t talking about things that do not fall under the realm of social interaction.

    
Remind me never to come to any of your “parties”.

  336. reasonable fellow says

    Oh yes you have one example where he changed his mind after being tortured. You sure have set a high standard. *eye roll*

    I thought that was what you were talking about. Seeing as you “couldn’t be arsed” to provide specific examples. How am I to know. You’ve got a general feeling I should go on?

  337. says

    First PZ pissed all over Richard Dawkins
    Then he pissed all over Laurence Krauss
    Recently he pissed all over Sam Harris
    Now he’s pissing all over Thunderfoot.

    I have hung out with and had a number of pleasant conversations with Dawkins and Krauss in the last year. I disagree with both on a few things, and agree with most of what they have to say. I don’t consider that “pissing” on them.

    I’ve strongly disagreed with Harris on profiling and have said so. That isn’t pissing on someone, either.

    I like Thunderf00t personally; I’m the guy who invited him to join us here at FtB. He chose to launch his career here with some sloppy reasoning and bad examples, and I’ve openly criticized those posts. This is also not pissing.

    There is no one on the entire planet with whom each of us is 100% in agreement. I do not consider a willingness to express disagreement, even with people I otherwise disagree with, to be “pissing on them”. I consider it a mark of honesty.

  338. says

    See some of us might consider “had to personally be tortured” before he’d listen to the other people who were tortured and the experts on interrogation and all that before he changed his mind a sign of bad skepticism.

    Did Hitchens btw have to try arsenic before he was convinced it was poison?

  339. says

    Also, on Hitchens, I have immense respect for his intelligence, his wit, and his writing — I don’t even come close to him on those. But I also think he had serious flaws. Are you seriously going to argue that we should treat him as a saint?

  340. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Being rude to those who disagreed and belittling those people is hardly a mark of inconsistency or dishonesty.

    Get fucked you irrelevant pissant.

  341. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I like Thunderf00t personally; I’m the guy who invited him to join us here at FtB.

    I think I’m mad at you.

  342. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Pardon my 393, I may have misread. Things are moving fast here, faster than my poor old computer, anyway.

  343. reasonable fellow says

    “We Are Ing The Matrimonial Collective”
    29 June 2012 at 1:14 pm
    See some of us might consider “had to personally be tortured” before he’d listen to the other people who were tortured and the experts on interrogation and all that before he changed his mind a sign of bad skepticism.

    Did Hitchens btw have to try arsenic before he was convinced it was poison?

    People are wrong sometimes, it happens. It doesn’t mean that he was being dishonest or inconsistent.

  344. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    There is no one on the entire planet with whom each of us is 100% in agreement. I do not consider a willingness to express disagreement, even with people I otherwise disagree with, to be “pissing on them”. I consider it a mark of honesty.

    Careful PZ – you’re telling him that it’s possible to interact with his gods heroes as a human. He might become unhinged…

  345. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear.

    Congrats. You win The Creepiest Statement of the Day.

    Because, if she’s too intimidated, nervous, etc., to say anything, you can just keep on doing whatever you want. Screw what the bitch wants, you are in the clear!

  346. reasonable fellow says

    PZ Myers
    29 June 2012 at 1:16 pm
    Also, on Hitchens, I have immense respect for his intelligence, his wit, and his writing — I don’t even come close to him on those. But I also think he had serious flaws. Are you seriously going to argue that we should treat him as a saint?

    I assume you’re talking to me. Do you think i’ve been making that argument?

  347. says

    @Reasonable

    Ok there’s being wrong. There’s being wrong and refusing to listen to experts in that field. And then there’s being wrong and refusing to listen to experts in that field and NEEDING TO BE TORTURED to admit your mistake.

    I’d be more surprised if Hitch was so dishonest as to deny it was torture after that. Cause, you know, I may not be a literary genius like he was; but I wasn’t the dumbass who said “fuck all those experts, I’m gonna see if it’s torture for myself”! Cause you know, unlike Hitch apparently, I mastered the complex intellectual concept of “if someone says the plate is hot don’t touch it to check”. I’m sorry if my not praising Hitchens for basically burning his fingers before agreeing that yes that fajita tray is indeed hot makes me some sort of smug elitist to you.

  348. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I assume you’re talking to me. Do you think i’ve been making that argument?

    I think he’s probably talking to Matt125, who’s actually complaining that PZ dared to disagree with Hitch.

  349. drbunsen le savant fou says

    mikealbanese, your continued inability to distinguish between consensual and non-consensual activities is frankly disturbing.

  350. drbunsen le savant fou says

    The fact that you called Cipher “dood” is just the shit icing on the cluelessness cake.

  351. says

    I think I’m mad at you.

    Yeah, me too. I’m hoping he calms down, stops saying stupid shit, and goes on to do the work I like him for.

    Otherwise, I’m going to get whipped, clubbed, and knifed by all the commenters and bloggers at FtB. It hasn’t been a good week.

  352. reasonable fellow says

    Ok there’s being wrong. There’s being wrong and refusing to listen to experts in that field. And then there’s being wrong and refusing to listen to experts in that field and NEEDING TO BE TORTURED to admit your mistake.

    I’d be more surprised if Hitch was so dishonest as to deny it was torture after that. Cause, you know, I may not be a literary genius like he was; but I wasn’t the dumbass who said “fuck all those experts, I’m gonna see if it’s torture for myself”! Cause you know, unlike Hitch apparently, I mastered the complex intellectual concept of “if someone says the plate is hot don’t touch it to check”. I’m sorry if my not praising Hitchens for basically burning his fingers before agreeing that yes that fajita tray is indeed hot makes me some sort of smug elitist to you.

    So he was wrong in that he didn’t trust immediately what people were saying to him? I don’t think thats a major flaw for a skeptic to have. Certainly not dishonest or inconsistent, which remember, is what you were saying.

  353. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m going to get whipped, clubbed, and knifed by all the commenters and bloggers at FtB.

    So, just your average Friday night then?

  354. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    You strike me as someone who tries earnestly to appear egalitarian as a way of masking your own sense of superiority.

    Keep psychoanalyzing, you dumbfuck. It’s especially amusing when you say such shit as the following:

    This isn’t Rwanda. Women aren’t being raped in the streets by UN soldiers, so let’s stop pretending that this issue is on the same level…
    Cipher, I would qualify YOU as a dood with an opinion on sexual harassment

    Since I am female and, incidentally, a multiple rape survivor, which has come up more than once in the course of this argument you shat all over.

    You tried to point out the Dunning-Kruger effect to me in an attempt to imply that “people will be people” is not a valid argument.

    No. It was an attempt (successful) to point out to everyone who may be watching that in fact, you’re a prime example of thinking your ill-informed, ignorant ass an expert.

    So I’m asking YOU Cipher – if there is no debate, why are you coming down on people like advocating for less legislation or more social responsibility?

    This IS social responsibility, you stupid douche.

  355. says

    So he was wrong in that he didn’t trust immediately what people were saying to him? I don’t think thats a major flaw for a skeptic to have. Certainly not dishonest or inconsistent, which remember, is what you were saying.

    Yes. It’s the line between skeptic and denialist.

    To recap: this is a view that no evidence short of actual physical torture got him to change his mind on. That doesn’t sound insane to you!?

    When the waitress tells you the plate is hot do YOU touch it to make sure?

  356. drbunsen le savant fou says

    This isn’t Rwanda. Women aren’t being raped in the streets by UN soldiers

    
Hey everyone, we’re better than Rwanda! mikeabtuseinane says we can all go home now!

    The Skeptiverse: We’re better than Rwanda!™

    Yeah, that’ll get the chicks flooding in.

    I’m not saying or implying that this is the RULE and that everyone needs to follow it.

    Except the bit where only “prudes” would object, and we totes don’t need any sexual harassment policies.

    Jerks will be jerks, but no also means no. When a Jerk ignores the “no” rule, they should be dealt with – because they are no longer having a “social interaction” – they are harassing someone.

    
Then WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WHINING ABOUT? SHUT UP AND GET OUT OF THE WAY, FUCKWAD.

    the real point of the issue – which I had spelled out

    Again, what would we do without you? Are you free around 0730 tomorrow? I need someone to tie my shoelaces for me.



  357. says

    
Hey everyone, we’re better than Rwanda! mikeabtuseinane says we can all go home now!

    The Skeptiverse: We’re better than Rwanda!™

    Yeah, that’ll get the chicks flooding in.

    Again it seems more and more like Skeptics are people who set a low bar (disbelief in gods, ghosts, better than the Catholics, etc) and then spend the rest of the time praising themselves for meeting it.

  358. says

    Out of curiosity, did you get a writing sample before hand?

    No. I was very, very bad.

    We’re actually doing some stuff behind the scenes right now to tighten up and formalize our admissions procedure. It’s been pretty ad hoc so far — we see someone we like, that we’ve heard of, that has a good reputation, and then the backchannel conversation lights up, and then we say, “like, yeah, let’s do it” and it happens.

    We’re going to be a little more demanding in the future, and we’ll see. I have no illusions that we’ll have a foolproof procedure, but we should at least be a little more thorough in vetting.

  359. reasonable fellow says

    Yes. It’s the line between skeptic and denialist.

    To recap: this is a view that no evidence short of actual physical torture got him to change his mind on. That doesn’t sound insane to you!?

    This is an insane reasoning. I’m fairly sure that Hitchens changed his mind on many points throughout his life and not all, in fact… just that one, required physical torture.

    It also happened to be a question regarding what constituted physical torture that was subject to an intense debate at the time. But, you know, what a coincidence!

  360. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Yes, “grabbing a tit” is disgusting… unless it’s consensual.[condesplaining babble about mating rituals]

    Yeah, which is not something you specified in your original post about how it’s not a big deal, you fucking shitbegonia.

  361. says

    It also happened to be a question regarding what constituted physical torture that was subject to an intense debate at the time. But, you know, what a coincidence!

    A debate on the lines with creationism. Considering the US had previously blasted water boarding as torture before, a point Hitch disregarded.

    I’m fairly sure that Hitchens changed his mind on many points throughout his life and not all, in fact… just that one, required physical torture.

    Goal posts moved. I gave one example where he acted dismally with intellectual honesty. I gave several in fact and you’re focusing on this one. In fact my point was that people praise him for failings they would bash others in. This exactly went to my point. He acted profoundly stupid, denied all evidence, denied accounts of people who had been tortured, and had to be tortured himself before he changed his mind. That is denialism. Rather than praising him for changing his mind after all that we should go “well no SHIT, SHERLOCK!”

  362. says

    No. I was very, very bad.

    We’re actually doing some stuff behind the scenes right now to tighten up and formalize our admissions procedure. It’s been pretty ad hoc so far — we see someone we like, that we’ve heard of, that has a good reputation, and then the backchannel conversation lights up, and then we say, “like, yeah, let’s do it” and it happens.

    We’re going to be a little more demanding in the future, and we’ll see. I have no illusions that we’ll have a foolproof procedure, but we should at least be a little more thorough in vetting.

    This does explain a lot, thank you.

  363. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Ing, global warming? What, he needed to go get an advanced degree in climatology himself before he could take the advice of experts?

  364. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Cipher, it’s cute the way you try to take the high road on the euphemism treadmill

    If you’re referring to my dislike of the phrase “social retard,” (by the way, you’re still a disgusting douche for using it), you can go ahead and fuck yourself. I am on the autism spectrum, I have loved ones who are further down it than I am, and there are a lot of other people here with loved ones with disabilities too.
    Oh, and so we’re clear, don’t fucking call me “cute.”

    [Sorry, everyone, for the multiple posts - something went slightly askew with me, possibly due to the "Women aren't being raped in the streets!" bullshit, and I couldn't respond all at once.]

  365. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m saying that each situation involving something like this is UNIQUE

    No, many of the situations are repetitive. Like a PUA asking every woman if they want coitus with him. The guidelines set up the means to judge the activities, and judge the severity of the complaint. Always remember, no complaint, no problems. If you behave yourself (ulikely), you won’t have any trouble.

    These guidelines protect both the organizers and the attendees. Nothing in them say hooking-up can’t occur. Just that it must be clearly consensual.

  366. says

    Ing, global warming? What, he needed to go get an advanced degree in climatology himself before he could take the advice of experts?

    Snicker. He was giving comfort and legitimizing global warming ‘skepticism’ long after any scientific debate had ended.

  367. reasonable fellow says

    Goal posts moved. I gave one example where he acted dismally with intellectual honesty. I gave several in fact and you’re focusing on this one. In fact my point was that people praise him for failings they would bash others in. This exactly went to my point. He acted profoundly stupid, denied all evidence, denied accounts of people who had been tortured, and had to be tortured himself before he changed his mind. That is denialism. Rather than praising him for changing his mind after all that we should go “well no SHIT, SHERLOCK!”

    At this point, I don’t you and me are going anywhere. He was being stupid. He was wrong and everybody knew it. The difference that I see is that he undertook it himself to prove himself wrong. I’m not praising him as a saint for this action remember. I’m just saying that it contrasts with your view of him as intellectually dishonest and inconsistent.

    How often have you seen denialists in for example, a global warming debate so much as click a relevant link.

  368. says

    At this point, I don’t you and me are going anywhere. He was being stupid. He was wrong and everybody knew it. The difference that I see is that he undertook it himself to prove himself wrong. I’m not praising him as a saint for this action remember. I’m just saying that it contrasts with your view of him as intellectually dishonest and inconsistent.

    He certainly WAS being dishonest up until that point. And really what choice did he have? Say no and admit to being a coward and an asshole?

    See also Iraq War, Global Warming, Sexism etc. All of which were notable in that he did not change his mind, because there was no fucking torture that could act as an eureka moment.

    In the broader picture, Hitch got points and argued via rhetoric, not facts. The fact that he was right often and could out argue people doesn’t change that fact and that may be ultimately counter productive tot he cause of rationalism.

  369. mikealbanese says

    drbunsen le savant fou – I could really care less if you think I’m worried about MY behavior being legislated. Your anonymous, uninformed opinion about me carries about as much weight as any other pseudo intellectual troll on the interwebs.

    Even your attempt at dissecting my post while ignoring the POINT screams of your lack of understanding.

    Yes, anti-harassment policies are the norm, but that doesn’t mean that individuals can’t abuse those policies.

    That doesn’t mean that those policies work as well as heightening awareness.

    That doesn’t mean that if someone accidentally offends someone that they should be subject to greater consequences.

    Here’s a concrete example of what I’m talking about.

    If convention goers are at a bar, and one fancies the other – perhaps the person buys the other a drink. They start talking, things are going well, but during the course of the interaction, the seducer finds out the seducee is just being friendly, when they try to escalate the interaction (by either touching them, attempting to give them a kiss, or inviting them to their room).

    There ARE people out there who would find that unacceptable, who would use those policies to censure that individual. I’ve seen it happen to people – and that’s not right either.

    We’re not talking about some person drunkenly pawing an uninterested party – we are talking about extreme reactions to unwanted advances – the grey area of social interaction.

    People have a right to go through life unmolested, but when we start legislating what they can and cannot do in social situations we are opening the door for further problems that can truly ruin the lives of otherwise innocent parties.

    I’ve been to dozens of different conventions in a number of different industries, many of them male dominated. While casual behavior and interaction happen on the convention floor, there are enough social punitive measures in place for acting like a jack-ass that these situations seldom arise.

    The landscape drastically changes when attendees move to a casual venue however – and this is an important point.

    Essentially, as has been implied in TFoot’s post and not denied in Myers’s post – policies prohibit non-professional behavior in these external public settings.

    Do you not see the problem with that?

    Should Karen from accounting get fired because she’s dancing on a bar in Tiujana flats, or because Bob offended her by trying to comically put a dollar in her g-string?

    I say no.

    Bob was trying to be funny, but he offended Karen.

    Karen was having a blast, but she offended SOMEONE by whipping off her blouse and dancing on a table with her thong showing.

    Does that make it ok for Bob to touch her and put a dollar in her underwear? Of course not…

    But if Bob had actually been the hunky intern Bill, maybe Karen would have laughed instead of being pissed off.

    *sigh*

    It’s a sticky situation no matter which way you slice it, as ANYTHING is when you get boys and girls together and stir in a bit of alcohol.

    All I’m advocating here is that rather than blanket “rules” that will be difficult to enforce and almost unilaterally ignored (like these: Harassment includes offensive verbal comments [related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, [your specific concern here]], sexual images in public spaces,), it might be more PRODUCTIVE towards stopping harassment if options like conflict resolution booths and counseling were offered instead.

    Yes at the convention, in a private setting.

    It’s far better, at least in my opinion, to help people CALMLY and RATIONALLY solve a dispute rather than creating rules which ban behavior which is only sometimes offensive to specific people in specific situations.

    Pretending that people aren’t more complex than that is just short-sighted.

  370. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Your anonymous, uninformed opinion about me carries about as much weight as any other pseudo intellectual troll on the interwebs.

    The irony burns

  371. Rey Fox says

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear. If I try to do these things AWKWARDLY, I will likely be turned down and called a jerk.

    Sorry, you’re already a boundaries-testing jerk.

    This isn’t Rwanda. Women aren’t being raped in the streets by UN soldiers, so let’s stop pretending that this issue is on the same level.

    Stop making shit up.

    If you haven’t, then I can understand why you might be ignorant of the fact that raunchy behavior can be part of the mating ritual between two consenting adults

    For the last damn time, we’re not disallowing anyone from kissing their pet cat full on the lips.

    But when one of the adults isn’t “consenting”, it becomes harassment, and the harassment policy is there to reassure the harassees that their concerns and safety will be taken seriously, and they’ll be able to enjoy a conference that probably most of them didn’t attend to field frenzied advances from every pent-up self-absorbed douchebag in skepticdom. This is not hard to understand.

    The other thing about having it down in writing is that it emphasizes the value of erring on the side of caution. Which you would do if you weren’t a sleazy asshole only concerned with how much you can get away with.

  372. reasonable fellow says

    He certainly WAS being dishonest up until that point. And really what choice did he have? Say no and admit to being a coward and an asshole?

    don’t see the problem. If he said no it wouldn’t have affected his standing or reputation one bit and you know it. If he says no he’s an asshole. If he says yes he’s an asshole for needing to say yes?

    See also Iraq War, Global Warming, Sexism etc. All of which were notable in that he did not change his mind, because there was no fucking torture that could act as an eureka moment.

    I think you can prove that global warming is happening scientifically and sexism probably. The Iraq War though, you can’t at the moment prove was either a good or bad thing. You can judge it in history perhaps, but this is not science. You’re making a judgement call and so was he.

  373. Rey Fox says

    We’re not talking about some person drunkenly pawing an uninterested party – we are talking about extreme reactions to unwanted advances – the grey area of social interaction.

    Oh noes! Somebody might lose face! Some MAN might have his ego bruised!

    People have a right to go through life unmolested, but when we start legislating what they can and cannot do in social situations we are opening the door for further problems that can truly ruin the lives of otherwise innocent parties.

    What was that quote again about how men have to fear being laughed at, and women have to fear being raped?

    (And let me just head something off at the pass here. This is not me saying that all men are rapists or that all harassment is rape or anything similarly hysterical, but just me pointing out the differential in power and negative outcomes.)

    But if Bob had actually been the hunky intern Bill, maybe Karen would have laughed instead of being pissed off.

    The evidence that you live inside a cartoon continues to mount.

  374. reasonable fellow says

    Global Warming, Sexism

    I can’t actually remember him arguing against either of these, funny that.

  375. says

    I like Thunderf00t personally; I’m the guy who invited him to join us here at FtB.

    I am glad that the admission process is being reformed.

    Because fuck, there are lots of people with proven writing chops who already blog, it does kind of suck to invite youtubians without any experience over them.

  376. reasonable fellow says

    I’m sorry then you didn’t pay enough attention.

    If you have quotes or references to look up regarding Hitchens and global warming or anything else i’d be happy to read them. I don’t appreciate this type of insinuation.

  377. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t appreciate this type of insinuation.

    Who gives a flying fuck what you like or don’t like? You don’t run this blog. PZ runs a lewd, rewd, and crew blog. If you don’t like it, go elesewhere. Meanwhile, shut up your tone trolling.

    When I see a nym like “reasonable man”, I know they aren’t reasonable.

  378. says

    Since when did PZ ever “piss” on Dawkins? Dawkins made a couple posts on one thread which were severely criticized by other posters (not named PZ), and PZ posted a post where he mildly stated that on this point he disagreed with Dawkins and that was it.

    What’s really funny about that is that I actually consider the sheer level of cordiality between the two a black mark on PZ. I assume it’s to avoid a certain minimal level of DEEP RIFTS, but I was pretty fucking disappointed at how tame PZ is to Dawkins’ sexist shit compared to anyone else’s.

    hitchens thought women weren’t funny. He never retracted that opinion, to my knowledge, despite many challenges.

    Hitchens thought a lot of stupid, sexist things he never retracted. And don’t forget that the genesis of “Women aren’t funny” was “I only acknowledge the existence of hot women”, if you actually read his ‘arguments’.

    FFS a policy like this is standard at conventions. Are all skeptics 12 fucking years old?

    Emotionally? Yes. I’m just short of expecting a “Dawkins could totally beat up both Goku and Superman at the same time with the power of his mind”

  379. reasonable fellow says

    Who gives a flying fuck what you like or don’t like? You don’t run this blog. PZ runs a lewd, rewd, and crew blog. If you don’t like it, go elesewhere. Meanwhile, shut up your tone trolling.

    When I see a nym like “reasonable man”, I know they aren’t reasonable.

    Ok, why don’t you go and ask PZ Myers. Owner of the blog! if i’ve been reasonable or unreasonable in my arguments so far? He can ban me. I don’t give a flying fuck what you think either, thanks for that.

  380. says

    The Iraq War though, you can’t at the moment prove was either a good or bad thing. You can judge it in history perhaps, but this is not science. You’re making a judgement call and so was he.

    We’re making a judgement call that an illegal war that killed a hundred thousand civilians was wrong? Really?

  381. reasonable fellow says

    ruteekatreya
    29 June 2012 at 2:38 pm
    The Iraq War though, you can’t at the moment prove was either a good or bad thing. You can judge it in history perhaps, but this is not science. You’re making a judgement call and so was he.

    We’re making a judgement call that an illegal war that killed a hundred thousand civilians was wrong? Really?

    Actually thats exactly it. You’re making that judgement. Hitchens was making the argument that a continued dictatorship by Saddam Hussein was more dangerous and the ongoing economic embargo stated under Clinton targeted the wrong people and prolonged the suffering. There is no objective measurement here sorry.

  382. says

    Actually thats exactly it. You’re making that judgement. Hitchens was making the argument that a continued dictatorship by Saddam Hussein was more dangerous and the ongoing economic embargo stated under Clinton targeted the wrong people and prolonged the suffering. There is no objective measurement here sorry.

    All the good old skeptic DOMA. Fucking dogmatists

  383. says

    The Iraq War though, you can’t at the moment prove was either a good or bad thing. You can judge it in history perhaps, but this is not science. You’re making a judgement call and so was he.

    It *is* a question of philosophy, and you are advocating a philosophy by saying that judgments outside of science are all exactly as valid as the next. It is very difficult to argue your position seriously, because human beings seem to hit on certain concepts of morality across cultures, there does seem to be some system (or variety of systems) at play within human beings.

    There are very few ways to view the war in iraq as moral, especially since most of the deceptive tactics used to gain support for the war have been revealed as forgeries or exaggerations, and many many innocent people are now dead.

  384. Amphiox says

    It may be too early to decide if the longterm geopolitical consequences of the Iraq War are “good” or “bad”, (and you first have to clarify a metric upon which you are going to define what you mean by good or bad), but in terms of the ethical judgement as to whether or not the US should have fought that war, in the way that it did, we sure as hell can make that judgement now. We could have made that judgement before the war was even fought.

  385. reasonable fellow says

    All the good old skeptic DOMA. Fucking dogmatists

    I have no idea what this means. Care to explain?

  386. says

    Actually thats exactly it. You’re making that judgement. Hitchens was making the argument that a continued dictatorship by Saddam Hussein was more dangerous and the ongoing economic embargo stated under Clinton targeted the wrong people and prolonged the suffering. There is no objective measurement here sorry.

    There are objective measurements of harm (how many citizens are killed, for example). Do you think these matter?

  387. Amphiox says

    The dictatorship of Saddam and the effectiveness of sanctions may be used to justify a war on Iraq – a war sanctioned by the UN, lead by a multinational coalition, with the reason for and purpose of the war plainly stated, with the subsequent occupation overseen by the UN, and made as short as possible.

    It cannot be used to justify THE WAR that was actually fought, by the US, started on deliberately false and misleading pretenses. Nor can it be used to justify the handling of the occupation by the US afterwards (which is actually where the majority of the damage from this whole fiasco actually comes from).

  388. alkaloid says

    The Iraq War though, you can’t at the moment prove was either a good or bad thing. You can judge it in history perhaps, but this is not science. You’re making a judgement call and so was he.

    Seriously? The Bush administration killed thousands of Iraqis, got hundreds if not more tortured by American soldiers, and all of the rationales for the invasion were transparently false-and this is supposed to be an issue of a ‘judgment call’?

  389. says

    Actually thats exactly it. You’re making that judgement. Hitchens was making the argument that a continued dictatorship by Saddam Hussein was more dangerous and the ongoing economic embargo stated under Clinton targeted the wrong people and prolonged the suffering. There is no objective measurement here sorry.

    Hitchens was an imperialist who ultimately claimed the US has the right to militarily intervene wherever the fuck it wants; this is just another offshoot of that. Those of us who are not imperialists question the right to military intervention without the direct request of a considerable portion of the populace, which to my knowledge never occured. And even if such existed, it has long since been ignored; an example of doing this correctly is Libya (Yes, we went there just for oil, but the military intervention was still handled out in an ethical manner), not the IRaq War.

    Nor is a ‘judgement call’ that nations lack the right to militarily intervene at will; it’s a lesson hard-learned over centuries.

  390. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Christ, reasonabable person, on what planet do you have to live to think that waterboarding isn’t torture? Especially when there are readily available really really scientists™ – and victims – to tell you that it is? He has to go and stick his hand in the particle beam to find out the warning signs meant what they said?

    There’s skepticism, and then there’s arguing that the sky isn’t blue and trees aren’t green until you personally have checked. I’m going with the “No shit, Sherlock /golf clap/” on this one.

  391. reasonable fellow says

    skeptifem
    29 June 2012 at 2:48 pm
    The Iraq War though, you can’t at the moment prove was either a good or bad thing. You can judge it in history perhaps, but this is not science. You’re making a judgement call and so was he.

    It *is* a question of philosophy, and you are advocating a philosophy by saying that judgments outside of science are all exactly as valid as the next. It is very difficult to argue your position seriously, because human beings seem to hit on certain concepts of morality across cultures, there does seem to be some system (or variety of systems) at play within human beings.

    There are very few ways to view the war in iraq as moral, especially since most of the deceptive tactics used to gain support for the war have been revealed as forgeries or exaggerations, and many many innocent people are now dead.

    Its one of the oldest, if not the oldest moral discussions that human beings have ever had. Do the ends justify the means? Unfortunately, we don’t know the ends just yet and so its incredibly difficult if not impossible to hold a discussion on morals that separate from the immediate war. In any case it can’t be objective.

    You know, I never said I actually agreed with Hitchens on this. I feel like i’ve been beaten into a corner by suggesting that history, especially current events can’t be viewed in the same way as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

  392. reasonable fellow says

    skeptifem
    29 June 2012 at 2:50 pm
    Actually thats exactly it. You’re making that judgement. Hitchens was making the argument that a continued dictatorship by Saddam Hussein was more dangerous and the ongoing economic embargo stated under Clinton targeted the wrong people and prolonged the suffering. There is no objective measurement here sorry.

    There are objective measurements of harm (how many citizens are killed, for example). Do you think these matter?

    Well how many children dies under Clinton’s embargo? Were you protesting that?

  393. says

    You know, I never said I actually agreed with Hitchens on this. I feel like i’ve been beaten into a corner by suggesting that history, especially current events can’t be viewed in the same way as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

    History is a matter of fact. What you are defending are Hitchens’ wild guesses that were not based on fact. Even if he was incidentally correct, it would make no difference, because he did not rationally arrive at them.

    Nothing says you have to defend his irrational guesses that provided cover for the deaths of thousands. You are painting yourself into this corner.

  394. drbunsen le savant fou says

    The irony burns

    
Indeed it does.

    



    we are opening the door for further problems that can truly ruin the lives of otherwise innocent parties.

    

Someone gets – most likely – told off, or at worst – thrown out of a convention – (allegedly) unfairly, by these (mostly mythical) hysterical drama-bitchez? Onoes, his life is RUINED! RUINED, I SAY!!

    You have no fucking idea what a ruined life looks like, asshole. Get the fuck out of here with your bullshit.

  395. reasonable fellow says

    History is a matter of fact.

    Oh dear me. I’ll let you into a secret. History, all of the history you have read has been shaped by the opinions of those who wrote it and they usually had a political agenda. Jog on.

  396. says

    Yes, anti-harassment policies are the norm, but that doesn’t mean that individuals can’t abuse those policies.

    Premise A: Anti-harassment policies are the norm

    Premise B: Individuals can abuse these policies

    Conclusion: examples of abuse should be relatively easy to find.

    Do you have any?

  397. says

    Oh dear me. I’ll let you into a secret. History, all of the history you have read has been shaped by the opinions of those who wrote it and they usually had a political agenda. Jog on.

    Yeah that never happens in science. White people didn’t claim to have a scientific basis for racism for a century. Fuckwit. Both have an objective reality to return to.

  398. drbunsen le savant fou says

    Unfortunately, we don’t know the ends just yet

    Somewhere north of a hundred thousand human beings might like to quibble with you on that point, if they could.

  399. reasonable fellow says

    Yeah that never happens in science. White people didn’t claim to have a scientific basis for racism for a century. Fuckwit. Both have an objective reality to return to.

    Good luck with cleansing history of opinion. I hope you an endless stream of names and dates.

  400. says

    Good luck with cleansing history of opinion. I hope you an endless stream of names and dates.

    You don’t really knoww hat history is, do you? No, of course not.

  401. reasonable fellow says

    You don’t really knoww hat history is, do you? No, of course not.

    You really don’t put any of your opinion out there. You play it safe. You’re annoyed perhaps. I sensed something there but its totally useless if you don’t ever express what you mean.

  402. malignor says

    Odd… in looking at the “rickety bits”, they seem to be isolated to represent an argument TF *never* made, which (magically) look absurd and easy to attack.

    Something (actually, everything) tells me this blog entry is an example of that sexist-labeled fallacy involving grain stems as a construction material.

    A splendid waste of intertube trees, this argument by PZ Meyers. Although, to be kind, he does a wonderful job of crushing absurd imaginary arguments. Keep it up PZ and one day you can tackle real arguments too.

  403. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Odd… in looking at the “rickety bits”, they seem to be isolated to represent an argument TF *never* made, which (magically) look absurd and easy to attack.

    Care to point out what you got an issue with?

    Or for that matter, care to give a lucid summary of TFs position? ‘Cause it all seems like a rambling mess littered with the remains of old straw-men to me.

  404. says

    Well how many children dies under Clinton’s embargo? Were you protesting that?

    I think you still need some training in philosophy if you think my personal reaction to any one thing is relevant in the discussion. We were talking about if objective measures of harm matter or not, not neccesarily if they matter in any specific instance. If they do matter, like if you thought the most harm constituted the worst course of action, then you’ve established that there *is* a way to evaluate the political opinions of men like hitchens outside of scientific measurement.

    I was betting you hadn’t thought about it that much rather than genuinely thinking one opinion is exactly as good as any other when discussing issues of morality.

  405. marilove says

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear.

    Are you fucking kidding me.

    You do not have a right to to touch other people without their permission, you piece of shit.

  406. mikealbanese says

    Rey, if hooked on phonics had worked for you, you would have seen that I clearly separated social interaction from harassment. FFS man, I gave it it’s own paragraph and description – so stop acting like I didn’t.

    That’s just being willfully ignorant of a clearly stated point.

    For “skeptics”, you guys sure have a hard time acting “rationally”.

    Cipher, the irony burns like your chlamydia I’m sure. If that was the only thing you had to say about my statements, then I have no friggin clue what you’re in an uproar about, because you clearly are just arguing for the sake of bravado.

    As are many of you.

    “we are opening the door for further problems that can truly ruin the lives of otherwise innocent parties.
    

Someone gets – most likely – told off, or at worst – thrown out of a convention – (allegedly) unfairly, by these (mostly mythical) hysterical drama-bitchez? Onoes, his life is RUINED! RUINED, I SAY!!

    You have no fucking idea what a ruined life looks like, asshole. Get the fuck out of here with your bullshit.”

    You are missing the point here – we are not talking about someone just getting told off because of some mythical hysterical drama – we are talking about otherwise reasonable people letting an alcohol induced incident blow things way out of proportion.

    That is not hypothetical, that shit happens and YES it causes people to lose jobs, relationships, suffer blows to their reputation – all because of something that could happen to ANYONE.

    I can see many of you folks taking reasonable concerns for comfort and well being to the OPPOSITE extreme. Protecting kids from ALL NAME CALLING, doesn’t stop them from being called names.

    REMOVING ALL VIOLENT TV PROGRAMS, doesn’t stop kids from getting into fights on the school yard.

    Likewise, banning harassment in all of its real and imagined forms isn’t going to stop the harassment from happening. LOGICALLY, you should take steps to stop it – practical steps that take reality into account.

    Awareness, that works. Counseling and support – that works too. Not only to help people cope with these issues, but to teach them not to be victims.

    We can’t coddle people in the hopes that bad things will never happen to them. However, we can give them the tools to deal with it like an adult instead of a scared child. When someone, ANYONE is being harassed, they can confront their harassers directly. It won’t stop all harassment either, but it’s more likely to stop it in it’s tracks than some arbitrary guideline that creates a need for policing, enforcement, and arbitration.

    After all, what if you do kick out someone, and it ruins their relationship, or worse their reputation. Now, that person can sue for defamation and discrimination because you did not properly investigate the incident before harshly penalizing them. Think that won’t happen – then you aren’t living in the realities of a litigious society.

    And again, if you think I’m implying that this is just to protect men (as some of you have implied in spite of my vocal and OBVIOUS attempts to point out that concerns ALL genders), the don’t forget that we ARE talking about men being harassed by other men and women as well.

    Because jerks are everywhere, of every gender. You can tell a jerk by their blind adherence to GENERALITIES when talking about personal, specific issues.

    Which is really my main point here.

    These rules and policies people are talking about, they are pointless if they aren’t enforced and liable to be abused no matter what you do.

    I’m not against having guidelines for behavior, highlighting them, etc.

    Hell, if the speakers did a 2 minute, “Remember your lessons from kindergarten and treat people with respect speech”, I think that would be more effective than any “threats” to kick out “offenders” for breaches of conduct.

    So instead of being hung-up on these policies and pointless “rules”, why not simply provide a venue for mediation and coping? Why does saying that make me a “sexist”?

    Guys like Cipher, the dude with the weird french name, and Rey – you claim that guys like me, or TFoot, or anyone else who isn’t a rabid feminist are misogynists.

    Well guess what.

    There’s a word that describes you – misandrists.

    You obviously hate men and think the worst of them if you think that all a guy like me cares about is being able to “do whatever I want to do in public.”

    The fact of the matter is, that I love PEOPLE. As a result, I don’t treat men and women differently – I treat them all as individuals.

    Because the fact of the matter is that some girls like to be fondled and groped when you’re flirting with them, and some girls prefer to have a meaningful conversation, and some girls like both depending on how they’re feeling.

    Just like guys.

    If you pay attention to an INDIVIDUAL, rather than having arbitrary rules about how you should treat “boys” and “girls”, you might not be so sexist in your views.

    Oh sure, you can make general assumptions based on gender, but you shouldn’t take them to be the rule. However, that’s exactly what you guys are advocating.

    Treat the opposite sex only in one way. I will acknowledge that this is not the purpose of the policies that people are advocating; but those of you that have been labeling my points as sexist or myopic, that is what YOU are advocating.

    Acting offended because I mentioned grabbing a tit, when the context was that it was consensual and fun for both parties.

    If you are attractive (or simply unique), you will find jerks who feel that because you are having fun it’s ok to attempt to grope you. It’s not comfortable, it’s unpleasant, but it is NOT the end of the world.

    In a bar, a bouncer will happily handle the situation for you if a scathing remark and a threat of bodily harm won’t suffice.

    In a convention, venue security is also equipped to handle that situation, as are the police, if you feel it’s worth the hassle.

    But where do people go when they DON’T know how to deliver a scathing remark, or telling someone they are uncomfortable with their behavior?

    More importantly, why, within a skeptical community, which has already acknowledged that this is not an issue affecting a large number within the community, is time and energy being directed at this rather than tackling larger, more life threatening issues?

  407. marilove says

    I am getting the distinct impression that mikealbanese sure just wants to be able to continue to sexually harass and grab tits at will without any consequences.

    jebus what a screed

  408. mikealbanese says

    @ Marilove

    *sigh* I never said I did.

    IN CONTEXT, the above situation expressly indicated was CONSENSUAL.

    If I’m flirting with someone at a bar, I have every right to bite every part of her body that she lets me.

    Learn to read before you jump to conclusions, you never know when the water is too deep for you to swim.

  409. marilove says

    Do you know how words work? You just told us that you are allowed to touch a woman — up to including biting her leg — and UNLESS she says otherwise, you are in the clear.

    UNLESS
    UNLESS
    UNLESS
    SHE
    SAYS
    OTHERWISE

    If I flirt with a lady, touch her, bite her leg, and stare at her chest… guess what. Unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear.

  410. mikealbanese says

    And I’m getting the distinct impression that marilove couldn’t pass a first grade reading comprehension test.

    What part about “treating people as individuals” do you not understand?

    Is individual too big of a word? Does it have too many syllables?

  411. marilove says

    And seriously? Don’t wag your fingers at me about “reading comprehension” when it is blatantly clear that your writing abilities are sub-par.

    UNLESS<– That means something. WORDS MEAN THINGS.

  412. mikealbanese says

    Yes mari,

    Unless she says that it is not ok, then I’m ok to keep biting and touching.

    un·less   [uhn-les, uhn-] Show IPA
    conjunction
    1.
    except under the circumstances that: I’ll be there at nine, unless the train is late.
    preposition
    2.
    except; but; save: Nothing will come of it, unless disaster.

  413. marilove says

    un·less (n-ls)
    conj.
    Except on the condition that; except under the circumstances that: “Exceptional talent does not always win its reward unless favored by exceptional circumstances” (Mary Elizabeth Braddon).
    prep.
    Except for; except.

  414. marilove says

    ah, forgot the rest:

    unless (ʌnˈlɛs)

    — conj
    1. ( subordinating ) except under the circumstances that; except on the condition that: they’ll sell it unless he hears otherwise

  415. marilove says

    So, basically, you’re saying that oyu can touch people and bite their legs UNLESS they tell you otherwise?

    Is that what you’re saying here?

    That UNLESS they tell you otherwise, you can BITE (assault) another person?

  416. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    @ Marilove

    *sigh* I never said I did.

    They never said you did. But:

    There should not be this much of an uproar because some social retard decided to grab a tit that was popping out of a push up bra, or because some cougar wouldn’t stop hilariously chasing some piece of man-candy around the convention floor.

    makes their impression quite reasonable.

    After this, the quote

    And I’m getting the distinct impression that marilove couldn’t pass a first grade reading comprehension test.

    is just pure comic gold.

    I never can understand why messeurs Dunning and Krüger were given an Ig Nobel.

  417. says

    mikealbanese:

    UNLESS and UNTIL she gives you ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT, you certainly ARE NOT free to grab/bite/whatever at/on/to her.

    It’s not “do what you want until she says no”, it’s “she says Yes first”.

    Is it so hard?

  418. mikealbanese says

    *rolls eyes* I’m fairly certain that I used “Unless” correctly, but either way Mari – the point is fairly obvious now, correct?

    It should also be obvious that I am not advocating the right of men to manhandle women without provocation.

    As I have said, repeatedly and with great intensity, is that these are complex situations that deserve individual attention. Miscommunications happen all the time, but how we deal with those miscommunications reveals the content of our character. Assumptions without clarification however, those are the bailiwick of bigots and dogmatists.

  419. marilove says

    Let me rephrase, using better grammar:

    “If I talk with a woman and touch her, bite her, stare at her chest, touch her rear, and rape her, unless she says otherwise, I am in the clear.”

    “If I talk with my mother and touch her, bite her, stare at her chest, touch her rear, and rape her, unless she says otherwise, I’m in the clear.”

    “If I talk with my boss and bite him, and touch his rear, unless he says otherwise, I am in the clear.”

    “If I walk into a store and steal a big-screen TV, unless someone says otherwise, I am in the clear.”

  420. marilove says

    “It should also be obvious that I am not advocating the right of men to manhandle women without provocation.”

    This is not at all clear.

    Especially when you make a point to make sure we understand that you have every right to flirt with, touch, and even bite a woman UNLESS SHE SAYS OTHERWISE.

    You are a fucking creep.

  421. cm's changeable moniker says

    that these are complex situations that deserve individual attention

    Perhaps you’d consider paying attention to some of the people on the receiving end of these “situations”? (Alt: it’s not all about you.)

  422. says

    Hey Mike,

    I’m going to grab your balls and sort of roll them around in my hand for a bit.

    Unless you say otherwise.

    I’m not going to check first. I’m just going to grab.

    If you don’t like it, you can say so, of course!

    But unless you say so, I’m going to keep grabbing.

    And if you do say you don’t like it then I guess I’ll just have to grab some other dude’s nutsack, on the off chance he likes it.

    Awesome party, huh?

  423. mikealbanese says

    *Sigh* So what is the consensus, any English majors out there to settle this semantic debate (which is completely off-topic)?

    Myeck… are you familiar with the term tacit approval or romance?

    Part of the romance of the situation IS the unknown. Again, you don’t know me, but if you were to ask anyone who does know you would find that my reputation with women is unimpeachable.

    I treat everyone with the same level of courtesy and respect that I would want my own daughters and sons to be given. That’s who I am.

    However, when you are being romantic, “Can I touch your knee?” is not something that every woman wants to hear. For example, my own girlfriend prefers it when I am more aggressive in our interactions. Many women prefer assertive men that aren’t afraid to touch a woman, rather than making them feel like a leper.

    And some women find any sort of touching without their permission offensive, and indicative that you are some sort of masher (such as a previous girlfriend of mine).

    The point is, that women, like all people, are all different. You don’t just run into a bar and start chomping on women’s legs and grabbing and touching them indiscriminately. A girl that might enjoy some horseplay might go for that, but not every girl will.

    INDIVIDUAL CASES… jeez, what’s so hard to understand about that? As if there is some magical formula for every social situation. *Eye roll*

  424. malignor says

    Care to point out what you got an issue with?

    Or for that matter, care to give a lucid summary of TFs position? ‘Cause it all seems like a rambling mess littered with the remains of old straw-men to me.

    Well the most glaring is PZ focusing on the TF’s imaginary claim of “ignore or FBI”.

    TF clearly explains how bars and other establishments & organized events have their own policy of reserving the right to kick people out or deny them entrance. This policy, enforced by the staff, handles the majority of harassment incidents (sexual and otherwise) one would see in a public gathering. Anyone who has an issue with some drunken or socially damaged person being a bother should bring it up with the staff (bouncers) whose role is to keep things civil, even if they have to kick out the occasional fool to keep he peace. After all, if things get out of hand, that’s bad for business.

    For an interpretive summary, I see this:

    – Using tired, recycled inflammatory labels doesn’t make a good argument.

    – The amount of noise generated about this issue is disproportionate to the level of threat; it’s creating a false image of the issue as more frequent or threatening as it really is.

    – Warnings and policies should be general and flexible, not specific and redundant with laws.

    – Singling out sexual harassment as a formality in policy can actually misrepresent the event and create issues, without contributing any more than a generalized policy.

    – What happens between consenting adults is fine, within the context of the event/establishment. eg. at a bar, the kind of horsing around which TF did is acceptable, so long as everyone directly involved is okay with it. Further, consent need not always be formal; it can be reactive in some cases.

    How’s that?

  425. marilove says

    *Sigh* So what is the consensus, any English majors out there to settle this semantic debate (which is completely off-topic)?

    You’re joking, right?

    Man, you’re an idiot. Hands down. You are just not a bright fella.

  426. mikealbanese says

    LOL… again, you are taking this point to extremes. You can hardly treat me as an individual if you aren’t paying attention to what I’m saying and HOW I’m saying it, can you?

    So your points, collectively, fail.

    Mari, don’t worry, I would never flirt with someone who will correct my grammar while writing the rest of her posts sans punctuation and capitalization. I was genuinely curious about whether or not I used “unless” incorrectly, but you’re the last person whose approval I’d seek.

    Sam, don’t worry guy, I’ll tell you the same thing I told the last guy who tried to fondle my balls before buying me a drink. I don’t swing that way, I’m not interested (but thank you for the compliment of your attention), and I’m not available. As a word of parting advice, you might not want to try and fondle somebody’s balls when you first meet them, as somebody else might take that as an invitation to stab you in the eye and get you kicked out of the club.

    True story.

  427. marilove says

    I honestly, truly don’t give a shit what you think. Why do you think I care what some idiot doucehbag thinks?

    Also, it’s “marilove”, not “Mari” you asswipe.

  428. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    As I have said, repeatedly and with great intensity, is that these are complex situations that deserve individual attention. Miscommunications happen all the time, but how we deal with those miscommunications reveals the content of our character. Assumptions without clarification however, those are the bailiwick of bigots and dogmatists.

    I can’t quite bring myself to ask you to write more (your writing style is really horrible. For some reason I can’t just put my fingers on it grates worse than your opinions and sense of entitlement).

    Since I don’t want you to write any more let’s just go back to the text you’ve already written to clarify what your word salad actually means:

    There should not be this much of an uproar because some social retard decided to grab a tit that was popping out of a push up bra

    So, a (pretense of) lacking social skills is a carte blanché for sexual assault.

    or because some cougar wouldn’t stop hilariously chasing some piece of man-candy around the convention floor.

    And that some semi-illiterate nitwit finds the situation amusing makes harassment ok.

    Every little *special* snowflake wants to be treated as the *precious* little snowflake it is.

    Not the sarcasm. You might have been mamas *special* little boy, but that’s just her emotional investment preventing her from realizing she was raising a immoral nitwit.

    If you want a functioning society you need some elements that govern interaction. Accountability and predictability are elements of any good system. Practicability are one too. This amounts to having some generalization. Especially when making norms you expect people to follow, doubly so if there’s some kind of formalized sanction anywhere in the picture.

    And in that system, any system, mama’s *special* little snowflake just doesn’t fit. Any snowflake-friendly system is also a predator-friendly system.

    You’re a good case study in that. You try to paint yourself as the snowflake, but just come across as a run-of-the-mill predator.

  429. marilove says

    Mari, don’t worry, I would never flirt with someone who will correct my grammar while writing the rest of her posts sans punctuation and capitalization.

    Also, what the flying fuck are you talking about? All of my posts utilize proper punctuation and capitalization.

    If you’re talking about “jebus what a screed” — it was a stylistic choice, trying to convey a mixture of confusion and annoyance.

    Seriously, is this all you got?

  430. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Well the most glaring is PZ focusing on the TF’s imaginary claim of “ignore or FBI”.

    Your deityidol said:

    1) The level of the warning suggests the issue is far more problematic than it is in reality. I’ve heard talks at such conferences (from prominent activists in the community) that literally suggest that to merely turn up at such talks will get you rape threats etc etc. (let me be honest, repeatedly publicizing rape threats from a troll simply shows a crass lack of personal judgment and an immaturity at dealing with the interwebs, rather than a secular community ridden with men looking to rape women at conferences). Put simply the environment is widely being unrealistically portrayed as more hostile than it actually is. If your goal is to encourage women to attend such events, highlighting troll comments as representative of the conduct at such conferences is both willfully reckless and counterproductive to such a cause. Indeed it’s kind of self evident. If these threats had even the remotest air of credibility, the ONLY appropriate course of action is to simply report the matter to the FBI and take it to its logical conclusion, and then drag their legally beaten carcass around the walls of Troy… you get the idea. (and yeah, it’s what I would have done in the blink of an eye had I found such threats credible).

    Emphasis mine.

    Next semi-illiterate troll please. This one is to badly broken to use.

  431. sanshajohnson says

    I’m wondering if many of the men and women who are going with the over the top ‘written permission in triplicate’ hyperbole are also misunderstanding the likely practical effect of harassment policies. I feel like some are concerned they will be put on a sex offender registry for asking for a date and of course, that will not be the case. I like to think of myself as a good person who doesn’t deliberately hurt others, and whilst it is nice to think that it would just never happen, misunderstandings occur and sometimes I just do the wrong thing.

    I recall a situation where a colleague was hurt by a quip I made. He was jokingly complaining about being left out of a particular Kris Kringle and I noted that, being Jewish, he wasn’t celebrating Christmas anyway. He wrote me an email saying he was hurt and offended that I had talked about his religious background that way. I apologised. We all moved on.

  432. marilove says

    “Cipher, the irony burns like your chlamydia I’m sure.”

    I missed that the first time around.

    You are a terrible person, mike. Absolutely terrible. I hope you understand that.