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The conference scene

I’ve noticed that the same group of whining jerks can be found congregating at any post anywhere on the net that barks madly at freethoughtblogs, no matter how stupid the argument being made might be. No, I take that back: the more stupid it is, the more they aggregate. It’s as if stupid were cyclic AMP, and they were slime molds…

Anyway, the latest fracas is at Debunking Christianity, where John Loftus seems to be a high density secretor of that substance. He writes,

Some high profile secular women have undressed for a Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar, which is promoted by some of the women at Freethought Blogs and includes Greta Christina and Maryam Namazie in solidarity with blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who posted a nude photo of herself as a scream “against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.” Others participated in Boobquake. Skepchick regularly posts something called “Skepchick Quickies” (*ahem*). The message is clear to me, that women can use their bodies as they see fit. I understand that completely. Men do not own the bodies of women. (No, I’m not interested at all thank you very much).

But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.” It can create an environment at Freethought conventions where some men may look to hook up. Thunderf00t is asking what’s wrong with that in the bars afterward? Hooking up is what some people want to do (men and women). Knowing which ones want to do so is another question. How are some of these men supposed to know?

A “mixed message”? How? Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness. This is one of the things we’re fighting against: this binary attitude and possessiveness about women’s bodies. Fortunately, we’ve got Greta Christina on our side, and she has just blown Loftus and his cluster of toadies away. Go read that. Maybe it will help some people realize that the inconsistencies they’re projecting on everyone else are entirely the product of their own scrambled heads. Also, it’s a great smackdown.

This seems to be a tricky concept for some people. So I’ll spell it out again: If you are interested in having sex with someone, the person you need to consult about it is the person you’re interested in.

You do not, however, consult the question of whether some atheist bloggers posed nude for a calendar. Or whether they participated in a mock scientific experiment designed to make fun of the hypothesis that female immodesty causes earthquakes. Or whether they title their quick-summary-of-interesting-links blog posts with the mildly double-entendre title of “quickies.”

I do want to mention one little tangent in the comments at Loftus’ blog, since it addresses an event I’ll be participating in this weekend, and because it makes the commenter look awesomely stupid.

And ThunderfOOt was right again… they are in danger of being a fringe group. So far Skepchickcon has 28 attendees– 24 of which are speakers

Uh, no…talk about not understanding the culture at all.

Skepchickcon is the science/skepticism track at a medium-sized SF/Fantasy convention, Convergence. It is also one of the more popular tracks there — the talks this year have been moved into the largest available room in the conference center. Last I heard, there will be 5500 attendees, with the possibility of it breaking the 6000 mark with drop-in registration. Not all will be going to the science/skepticism track — there will be many parallel sessions going on — but most will probably drop by a few of the sessions. The 28 attendees listed above are people who will be actually staffing panel sessions.

We atheists should think about that. We were thrilled to have the largest meeting ever this year, the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, which had about 4000 people there. That was impressive to us — but it’s the equivalent of an average sized regional science fiction convention, which go on all the time, year after year. You want to do outreach? Our atheist conventions are good places for like-minded people to get together and organize and plan, but they aren’t outreach.

Some of us actually know what outreach looks like.

Furthermore, the format of these meetings is completely different from what you may be used to at atheist conventions. There’s relatively little of the routine speaker-standing-behind-lectern-lecturing stuff; this is a participatory experience. Those 28 attendees will be sitting on multiple group panels and tossing out ideas and encouraging the audience to throw ideas back. It’s much more like a good interactive classroom than a lecture. So what we’ll be doing is getting people to talk about science and skepticism, which is powerful stuff.

There are other events going on, too. There are events called sandbox sessions where kids will get to have fun. My wife Mary is volunteering for a couple of those, and she’ll be guiding kids through owl pellet dissections and discussions of evolution. This is outreach, too.

And then there are the parties. Freethoughtblogs and Skepchick are both hosting party rooms, where people can talk and socialize informally. We’ve been warned that, as a rough guideline, you can expect about 10% of the convention attendance to show up at your party room each night — we’ll be basically managing a 500+-person party, where yes, we’ll be talking about science and skepticism, and drinking, and laughing, and having a good time. Outreach, outreach, outreach.

Anyone who thinks that having 28 of us at a conference means we’re a “fringe group” really is babbling out of their ass.

Comments

  1. Brownian says

    Poor fellas. Mixed messages and all that. It’s all so confusing. I heard so-and-so slept with Todd from the football team, so she’s a skank, right? Anybody can fuck her? That’s how it works?

    So, is the vast majority of the population of skeptics fourteen-year-old boys or what’s the deal with this bullshit?

  2. says

    A “mixed message”? How? Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone?

    No. The only way this makes sense is if he’s saying a handful of women in the skeptical movement posting nude for a calendar means that skeptical women in general are available for sex any time with anyone.

  3. Louis says

    All women were born naked, therefore all women are up for naked sex at all times.*

    Hurrah!

    Wait….that doesn’t sound quite right. Hmmmm. I think the flaw is that all men were born naked too, and therefore they are all…wait…no…that’s TRUE! ZOMG TAKE THAT FEMINAZIS! Y U H8 SECKS?

    Louis

    * Must be true otherwise it could cause confusion in a stupid person and thus lead to arguments on the internet or something.

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

    I do hope John Loftus stays off of Grindr. The owner of the naked bodies crowding his grid may not get asked the requisite questions regarding access to their naked bodies, to worse than creepy effect.

  5. Matt Penfold says

    What does he have against the word quickies ?

    Yes it can be used to refer to quick act of sexual intercourse, but it can also be used to refer to anything that can be dealt with quickly.

  6. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Some portion of skeptical women have sex, ergo all women at skeptical conferences want to have sex. All the time. With anyone. Just ask, or don’t. It doesn’t matter.

    It’s all very simple people.

  7. sisu says

    And don’t forget that CON has a code of conduct with an anti-harassment policy! With that and the kid- and family-friendly sessions, CON is a very welcoming place for women. My daughters and I will be there!

  8. anteprepro says

    So, is the vast majority of the population of skeptics fourteen-year-old boys or what’s the deal with this bullshit?

    Actually, that could be quite the insight there. From now on, I won’t be able to look at clueless gits like Loftus, TF, or assorted MRAs without imagining that they have begun their ramblings with their secret, pained, bewildered battle cry:

    “I’m 12 years old and what is this?”

  9. says

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.”

    Red herring – I don’t care if a woman’s naked and tap-dancing under a spotlight in a strip club – she’s not “available” unless she says yes!

    It can create an environment at Freethought conventions where some men may look to hook up. Thunderf00t is asking what’s wrong with that in the bars afterward?

    Again – red herring. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to “hook up” – unless the other person tells you NO. If that happens, you need to accept that ‘No’ with a modicum of grace.

    “Ignorant young men”, consider that knowledge part of the process of maturing. It makes you more attractive than spoilt frat-boy “waaah-waah, she was naked and must be available ’cause she doesn’t believe in god!” whining.

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

    Or Blendr, or whatever floats his boat.

  11. says

    How are some of these men supposed to know?

    I’m getting awfully damn tired of this weak, stupid excuse. How? Because they weren’t raised in a vacuum by ghost wolves? Why is this expectation of stupidity becoming the norm, rather than having an expectation of someone being a decent human being?

  12. Pteryxx says

    PZ, could you ask Mary to give us a post-CON report on how child care worked there and how her sandbox sessions went? This is an area I’d like to support in local cons and potentially volunteer for.

  13. says

    What’s funny about this is Thunderf00t is exactly the sort of smarmy atheist who dismisses the value of biblical studies that normally makes Loftus apoplectic.

  14. Louis says

    Caine,

    Because they weren’t raised in a vacuum by ghost wolves?

    {Raises hand}

    Erm, I was. Does that mean BEWBZ?

    Louis

  15. Blondin says

    What does he have against the word quickies?

    I wonder what he thinks Apu sells at the Quickie Mart.

  16. jackrawlinson says

    Oh, those whining jerks. What they need is a good ass-kicking from Greg Laden, eh?

    Remarkably silent about that particular jerk around these parts, I notice. Funny, that. Carry on condemning.

  17. anteprepro says

    Because they weren’t raised in a vacuum by ghost wolves?

    Evidence points to the contrary.

    I wonder what he thinks Apu sells at the Quickie Mart.

    Well, duh. Among other things, the most famous is Squishees. Wait, oh shi-

    (Sticking with calling them Slurpees wouldn’t have been much better, would it?)

  18. says

    Remarkably silent about that particular jerk around these parts, I notice. Funny, that. Carry on condemning.

    Ever the ass, eh Jack? What’s to say? A whole lot of us here lost respect for Laden ages ago. I’m not sorry to see him go. *shrug*

  19. says

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.”

    And this is sending me the message that young men are completely unteachable when it comes to interacting in large, diverse groups. Was that your goal, Loftus you dumbass?

    (Also, great job preemptively victim blaming there. Gah.)

  20. shoukori says

    Magic Mike. Therefore Channing Tatum is available for leg chewing in bar, yes?

    That argument does not compute. It rather seems to harken back to the “don’t show your legs in public lest the barbarianlike menzfolk become unable to control their carnal urges”, no?

  21. Louis says

    Caine,

    Shhhhhh mentioning that would cause DEEEP RIFTS™ or perhaps GROUPTHINK™.* Or something. I’m never sure.

    Louis

    * Not to be confused with GROOPTHING™ which is an Entirely Different Matter.

  22. says

    Anyone who thinks that having 28 of us at a conference means we’re a “fringe group” really is babbling out of their ass.

    Now look here, there are 7 billion people on the planet. Freethought Blogs is less than that. Fringe! QED

    Furthermore, to quote the cool-headed and reasonable Russell Blackford on Twitter: The time has come. Anyone with a shred of decency left – please leave Freethought Blogs today!

    Please, please, please, he’s begging you! It’s totally a fringe and please leave it today!11

  23. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Oh, those whining jerks. What they need is a good ass-kicking from Greg Laden, eh?

    Remarkably silent about that particular jerk around these parts, I notice. Funny, that. Carry on condemning.

    Why don’t you ram your head just a bit further up in your ass. That way we can have some peace and quiet.

    I haven’t seen a single person defending Ladens letter. This is of course “argument from haven’t bothered to check” – but I haven’t seen any, and since he’s been thrown out for his actions (and they have clearly been marked as “not acceptable” by the blog overlords) – I really don’t see why we should comment him anymore.

    If anybody shows up and claiming Laden is all good, I’ll give them the comment they deserve if (and only if) I catch it. Deal? Now go away.

  24. ChasCPeterson says

    jackrawlinson, can you confirm or deny the rumor that you are Elevator Guy?

  25. Louis says

    Katherine Lorraine,

    Good point.

    Ladies, please form an orderly queue, no giggling or chatting, I shall get to you as and when I can, with perhaps a few ten minute breaks to take on fluids.

    Louis

  26. says

    Ophelia:

    Furthermore, to quote the cool-headed and reasonable Russell Blackford on Twitter: The time has come. Anyone with a shred of decency left – please leave Freethought Blogs today!

    I have a very nice porcupine for Mr. Russell “if there weren’t proper witnesses it didn’t happen” Blackford.

  27. Matt Penfold says

    Furthermore, to quote the cool-headed and reasonable Russell Blackford on Twitter: The time has come. Anyone with a shred of decency left – please leave Freethought Blogs today!

    What the fuck happened to Blackford ? Was always such an arsehole but just good at hiding it, or did something happen to make him become one ?

  28. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Lol Jackrawlinson. Yes, here at Pharyngula, we’re all just Greg Laden Fanbois! We just LUUUUUUURVE him and his non-Congo writings.

    *snortle*

    I’m with Caine on this. Since when has the expectation become “dur herp derp men are too stupid to figure this shit out herp derp” (but WE’RE the man-hating feminists who want to kill all fun?). I think more of men than that.

    IDGI.

  29. Matt Penfold says

    I have a very nice porcupine for Mr. Russell “if there weren’t proper witnesses it didn’t happen” Blackford.

    You could even shove up yourself, so long as there are no witnesses. Given he has said if their are no witnesses it didn’t happen, there could be no possibility of their being a porcupine up his bum, and any discomfort must be due to hemorrhoids.

  30. says

    Apparently, this whole thing goes to show how FTB is a den of radical feminism. Funny how I can never get a definition of radical feminism from people who have this complaint.

  31. devitekpond says

    You know, until I read this, it had honestly never occurred to me that there might be sexual innuendo associated with “Skepchick Quickies”, although reframing it makes it easy to misconstrue. Oh well, I hope it’s isn’t like:

    “Good news, everyone!”

    and realizing you can’t read that phrase without hearing it in Professor Farnsworth’s voice.

  32. Sili says

    What’s funny about this is Thunderf00t is exactly the sort of smarmy atheist who dismisses the value of biblical studies that normally makes Loftus apoplectic.

    War makes strange bedfellows.

    Iono what sorta biblical studies Loftdouche does, but personally, I very much enjoy reading Mark Goodacre and listening to his podcast. Of course he only does NT so perhaps that doesn’t count.

    (And *gasp* he’s a Christian!)

  33. marilove says

    A “mixed message”? How? Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.

    This is what we call the Madonna/Whore complex. Women are either Madonnas (virgins, perfect, pure) or Whores. No in between.

  34. Matt Penfold says

    You know, until I read this, it had honestly never occurred to me that there might be sexual innuendo associated with “Skepchick Quickies”, although reframing it makes it easy to misconstrue. Oh well, I hope it’s isn’t like:

    “Good news, everyone!”

    and realizing you can’t read that phrase without hearing it in Professor Farnsworth’s voice.

    Well I am guessing you have advanced somewhat emotionally since you were 12. Those who haven’t might read “Skepchick Quickies” and giggle.

  35. RFW says

    It may be relevant that customary practice in artists’ studios is to provide the nude models with at least a screen behind which they disrobe and re-robe. Undoubtedly many artists have had sex with their models, human nature being what it is, but the general rule applies: nudity is not per se sexual.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is either a virgin or has a dirty mind, or both.

  36. Brain Hertz says

    The message is clear to me, that women can use their bodies as they see fit.

    Holy shit. Really?

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it?

    I guess it’s just a bit too complimacated for some people to figure out, huh?

  37. says

    RFW:

    It may be relevant that customary practice in artists’ studios is to provide the nude models with at least a screen behind which they disrobe and re-robe. Undoubtedly many artists have had sex with their models, human nature being what it is

    I’d say your comment isn’t relevant at all and also, you don’t seem to know shit about artists or human nature.

    FTR, I have never had sex with a client or a model.

  38. viggen111 says

    A “mixed message”? How?

    Y’know, it’s a mixed message to write slightly bawdy tracts endorsing every kind of “kink” to sexuality –and I’ve seen you do this repeatedly while specifically endorsing gay rights and so on– but to limit it in the fine print to only certain kinds of kinks. You should not be a bit surprised when even the kinks you don’t like fall out of the wood work. Fact is, gays are okay by your standard, but misogynists (and by your written, fine-print criteria, pedophiles too) are not… so no, not every kind of kink is okay and yes, you do periodically send a mixed message when the scope of what kinkiness you actually think is “okay” when you endorse it is not completely clear. As a long time reader, I don’t think there’s a bit of question about where your limits are and I can’t say I disagree with them per se. But, I also think you get careless sometimes in this topic and I think it sends mixed messages to anybody who isn’t completely with it and who then comes to a convention carrying a swinging business card (or whatever). Hard to trumpet “enlightened” and “liberal” without some people ultimately misinterpreting that to mean “absolutely no limits” and then being surprised when you come back with “yeah, except for these.”

  39. anteprepro says

    Fact is, gays are okay by your standard, but misogynists (and by your written, fine-print criteria, pedophiles too) are not…

    Misogyny is not a kink, you fuckwit. You can’t even get your false equivalences right.

    And seriously? Linking homosexuality and pedophilia is one of the oldest, slimeball tactics in the book. Fuck right off.

  40. says

    I love reading PZ’s takedowns of, well, anything (and sometimes I don’t agree!), but the intellectually honest in me always follows the links and reads the originals, often including all the comments (I’m sick). I regret it this time because reading “This AA statement places the burden on the person doing the touching” made my head ‘splode.

  41. Matt Penfold says

    Y’know, it’s a mixed message to write slightly bawdy tracts endorsing every kind of “kink” to sexuality –and I’ve seen you do this repeatedly while specifically endorsing gay rights and so on– but to limit it in the fine print to only certain kinds of kinks. You should not be a bit surprised when even the kinks you don’t like fall out of the wood work. Fact is, gays are okay by your standard, but misogynists (and by your written, fine-print criteria, pedophiles too) are not…

    The concept that you have no understood is that of harm.

  42. says

    viggen111:

    Fact is, gays are okay by your standard, but misogynists (and by your written, fine-print criteria, pedophiles too) are not… so no, not every kind of kink is okay

    So…misogyny is a kink? That’s a very special brand of stupid you’re pushing there.

  43. says

    Sure plenty of artists have had sex with their models, because plenty of artists have their significant other(s) pose for them. However when you hire a model to pose for you that is a professional relationship and not sexual at all. I’ve drawn plenty of models and never once even thought of them in a sexual way because it’s not a sexual environment.

  44. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    I’m having a hard time figuring out Viggen[numbers].

    Is he a gay basher or a paedophilia proponent?
    (I prefer to offer a slightly (but only slightly) larger and more rancid porcupine to the latter.)

  45. A Hermit says

    Let me see if I follow Loftus’ reasoning here…because there are nekkid wimmin on a calender therefore I can come to your party and bite people’s legs without asking….or something…

  46. marilove says

    It may be relevant that customary practice in artists’ studios is to provide the nude models with at least a screen behind which they disrobe and re-robe. Undoubtedly many artists have had sex with their models, human nature being what it is.

    Wow. This comment is so irrelevant to the discussion at hand that I am utterly confused as to what even made you think this. I am creeped out. Ew.

  47. says

    jackrawlinson: I do not understand your complaint. We kicked Greg Laden off the network for that letter. It’s the strongest message of condemnation we can send. Yet you’re claiming we’re all sitting here defending him?

    What were we supposed to do? Take him out behind the chemical shed and shoot him?

  48. marilove says

    Fact is, gays are okay by your standard, but misogynists (and by your written, fine-print criteria, pedophiles too) are not… so no, not every kind of kink is okay and yes, you do periodically send a mixed message when the scope of what kinkiness you actually think is “okay” when you endorse it is not completely clear.

    What the fuck is this disgusting bullshit.

    First of all, misogony is not a damn kink. Do you know what kink means? It’s not misogony.

    Second of all, pedophilia is alos not a kink.

    Troll.

  49. says

    Sam Strange:

    It’s hard to tell, but I think viggen’s rambling incoherence at #46 was addressed to Greta.

    Ohhhh, that brings a bit more sense to the idiocy. Poor thing has brain rot to such an extent, they don’t even know where they are anymore. Tsk.

  50. says

    Fact is, gays are okay by your standard, but misogynists (and by your written, fine-print criteria, pedophiles too) are not… so no, not every kind of kink is okay

    Any kind of kink involving consenting adults is fine in my opinion. Here’s the important bit: CONSENTING ADULTS. If misogyny is your kink (I guess that could be a form of humiliation play) then you are free to practice that kink with another consenting adult. What is not okay is for anyone to push their kink on another person, you can’t non-consensually humiliate another with your misogyny. I have a kink that would probably make some people here feel faint and so I wouldn’t force them to participate in a play piercing scene.

  51. says

    I hadn’t seen that nude calendar before, so I just looked at it. I wonder if it’s possible that Loftus made assumptions about what a ‘nude calendar’ looks like and skipped actually looking at it? It really is not very erotic. Those photos are really cool. But for the most part, I am not seeing, “Hello, I am a naked woman, and I want to have sex in the near future.” I’m more seeing, “Hello, I am a naked woman, and if you have a problem with that, I will kick your ass so hard you’ll be tasting colors for a week.”

  52. says

    PZ:

    What were we supposed to do? Take him out behind the chemical shed and shoot him?

    I think you were supposed to write a long post ranting about how awful Laden is, just to make Jack a happy boy.

  53. says

    contentedreader:

    I’m more seeing, “Hello, I am a naked woman, and if you have a problem with that, I will kick your ass so hard you’ll be tasting colors for a week.”

    Yep, it’s about autonomy. I have two of the calendars.

  54. says

    Also, I know that Greg is not popular around here, but he is a personal friend. Kicking him out was a painful and difficult decision, one I’d rather not have had to do, so it’s fucking infuriating to see ignorant people whining that I’m “remarkably silent” about it. No, I took the difficult action.

    I also consider Thunderf00t a personal friend, and had very high hopes for his participation here. That was another hard choice, but we had to do it — his presence was just too disruptive, and his work so far below our expectations, that he was acting like a bleeding ulcer on the network.

  55. anteprepro says

    On the calendar: It would’ve been obvious to everyone that the nudity wasn’t at all suggestive in a traditional way, and was all about empowerment and being proud of one’s body, if Loftus managed to mention and/or read the NAME of the calendar. “Nude Revolutionary” doesn’t exactly sound like pin-ups. But mentioning that fact would undercut Loftus’s point of mistaking nudity for sexual invitation, so obviously he would need to completely ignore it.

  56. FluffyTheTerrible says

    Loftus also showed up in the comments over at Greta’s post on the subject, and stated that:

    I agree completely with your assessment Greta. It’s surprising that it even needs to be said.

    and then, when commenters were confused by the above,

    I’m sorry but I cannot be expected to deal with stupid people. Learn to read. Learn to read charitably.

    So yeah, I guess he still thinks he’s a non-bigot ..but he’s wrong.

    Also, his two other posts related to FtB, to which I’m not going to link, are titled “Ed Brayton, PZ Myers, and Freethought Bloggers, Listen to Me” and “Perhaps Ed Brayton and PZ Myers Should Both Apologize “.

    My favourite piece of cluelessness comes from the latter post – actually, it IS the post:

    It’s not like I am threatening their jobs, or calling for their resignation from an atheist organization, or saying I won’t speak at the same events they do, or refusing to buy any of their books or anything (wait, they didn’t write any). But that’s what we have seen from a few Freethought Bloggers, including a defense of Greg Laden who actually physically threatened Justin Griffith. You should see what they’re saying about me now. They don’t even realize that by talking about irrelevancies and/or personally attacking me it does not answer my arguments, which are backed up by a lot of women feminists here, there, and everywhere, who just wanted a chance to speak up, having been frustrated by FtB so far. There is an utter lack of respect for disagreement and a nastiness that goes with it at FtB that disheartens me very much. I wish the more reasonable voices at FtB would teach them a thing or two about critical thinking, but I hope in vain. Many of them don’t even understand a simple argument. But these are the kinds of people being attracted by the bloggers there, especially by PZ Myers and Ed Brayton. The buck stops with them. They have created this environment and they owe the rest of us an apology. I don’t expect one though, but they should. It’s okay to move into the future with welcomed new policies at FtB. But before that they should both apologize to us all.

    I really don’t get what this Loftus person wants, other than attention, and going for cheap shots at people because HE wrote a book! damn it! and other people apparently didn’t.

  57. joseph8th says

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists. Melbourne?! Australia?!? I will die without having visited that continent, let alone be paid to speak at an elite atheist’s conference.

    To hell with sexism, this is about classism if you ask me. (Which nobody did, or ever does, because I, like 95% of all atheists, can’t afford such luxuries.)

    This is a professional atheist’s problem. Not us amateurs’. That’s my quick take. Here’s my long take:

    http://banned.bentzine.net/2012/07/02/elevatorgate-we-have-met-the-enemy-and-he-is-us/

  58. says

    Hey thanks for writing about this! I was surprised by the reference to our “Quickies” on Skepchick. It’s such a subtle pun. Grasping at straws I guess. Maybe that guy should actually ready the morning quickies he might learn something?

    I have also noticed this trend as of late with the angry detractors where if they yell really loud on the internet that we, we being FTBs and Skepchick etc. ARE FALLING APART or our EMPIRE IS CRUMBLING or THE END IS NEAR that they assume it will become true. It’s like they are suddenly Harold Camping or are attempting to practicing The Secret on us. Writers come and go, for good or bad but ultimately nothing has changed for us. In fact both sites have more contributors than ever.

    Anyway, I thought I would look at the schedule for SkepchiCON at CONvergence cuz it’s just a click away: http://schedule.convergence-con.org/ so I could see what the basic interest is so far.

    CONvergence does this really neat thing where if you like the idea of a panel and are interested in going to that panel you can add your name to a list on the schedule. So I clicked one more time time on a panel I am moderating on Thursday evening called MAD ART LAB where a bunch of artists and scientists are going to chat about the similarities between creativity and the scientific method and the audience gets to make art. There are 61 people signed up as interested so far and that isn’t even one of our popular panels. Thunderf00t REALLY needs to learn how to use the internet. It seriously took me 2 clicks to find that information.

    Ah well, see ya soon PZ! I’m excited!

  59. Matt Penfold says

    I really don’t get what this Loftus person wants, other than attention,…

    Nope, that really is pretty much all he does want. There does not seem to be much in way of complex motivation about Loftus. He really is “I’m super intelligent, super-important, and anyone who does not agree is an idiot.” That is not an exact quote, but close enough to what he said when he departed FtB.

  60. Brownian says

    I’m getting awfully damn tired of this weak, stupid excuse. How? Because they weren’t raised in a vacuum by ghost wolves? Why is this expectation of stupidity becoming the norm, rather than having an expectation of someone being a decent human being?

    Since when has the expectation become “dur herp derp men are too stupid to figure this shit out herp derp” (but WE’RE the man-hating feminists who want to kill all fun?). I think more of men than that.

    This is what we call the Madonna/Whore complex. Women are either Madonnas (virgins, perfect, pure) or Whores. No in between

    This. All of these.

    It’s the fourteen-year-old boy thing again; the idea that women are gatekeepers of sexual and social knowledge and that men are hapless supplicants.

    “Mommy, can I have a cookie?” “No, you’ll spoil your dinner.” “Aww, you’re just being mean!”

    “Sexualised Mommy Figure, can I have sex with you?” “No, why would you even ask that of someone you’ve never spoken to before?” “You’re just being mean!”

    Russell Blackford, you’re more than welcome to preside over your empire of emotionally stunted assholes. Take them all, please.

    jackrawlinson: I do not understand your complaint.

    Yes you do, PZ. Anything to take down the horrible evil that is FtB. It’s the tribalistic bullying they all claim to decry, because they’re fucking idiots.

    Jackrawlinson, I understand that you’re pissed off because people like you aren’t listened to with somber respect anymore. That’s no one’s problem but your own. Find some other source of external validation of your ego.

    Russell Blackford’s welcoming you with open arms. You don’t need to stay here any longer.

  61. Sili says

    [Greg] is a personal friend. [...]

    I also consider Thunderf00t a personal friend,

    It’s easy for me to point the finger, certainly, but it does sound like it’s a good thing you’re actually getting some sort of vetting in place before taking people on in future.

  62. Matt Penfold says

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists. Melbourne?! Australia?!? I will die without having visited that continent, let alone be paid to speak at an elite atheist’s conference.

    Convergence is not being held in Australia, nor is TAM. The one conference that was is the Global Atheist Conference, and that is just about the only conference I have not seen mentioned in respect of issues of sexism and anti-harassment policies.

  63. says

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists.

    Not to belabor the point, but aren’t most atheists not Meriken?

  64. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ joseph8th

    You posted the exact same link to your analysis or whatever it is on Greta’s blog. Even if this was only about a conference in Melbourne – although it’s not – and even if you could reduce this conversation somehow to classism – although you could not – that doesn’t change the fact that most issues intersect – sexism ties into classism all the time – and that, as complex creatures, we can handle more than one issue at a time.

    We can talk about sexism, and misogyny, and transphobia, and classism and… and fight against them at the same time.

    But anyway, I’m giving you way too much benefit of the doubt. You’re just a clueless person, uninterested in the current discussion, who just wants to get hits for his/her blog post.

  65. Brownian says

    A. Noyd beat me to it, but I noticed he’s serving different sauces for the goose and the gander here:

    I’m sorry but I cannot be expected to deal with stupid people. Learn to read. Learn to read charitably.

    Loftus apparently cannot be, but he thinks women should:

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it?

    Thanks, John. We all miss you and that razor-keen brilliance here.

  66. says

    Loftus:

    I’m sorry but I cannot be expected to deal with stupid people.

    Goodness. How do you manage to deal with yourself? Looking in the mirror must be quite the hardship.

    Learn to read. Learn to read charitably.

    Well, which is it you want? Reading comprehension and critical thought or charity to the stupid (you in this case, sir)?

  67. Ze Madmax says

    joseph8th @#74:

    To hell with sexism, this is about classism if you ask me.

    Ignoring the false premise that started this screed (that this is about GAC, which it isn’t), sexism and classism are not mutually exclusive constructs.

    Seriously, if you don’t know what intersectionality means, you should probably educate yourself before you start screaming “IS NOT ABOUT X-ISM! IS ABOUT Y-ISM”

  68. Greta Christina says

    Poor fellas. Mixed messages and all that. It’s all so confusing. I heard so-and-so slept with Todd from the football team, so she’s a skank, right? Anybody can fuck her? That’s how it works?

    Brownian @ #1: Actually, the “mixed message” supposedly being sent is even worse than that. The message isn’t, “Some women posed nude in a calendar — therefore those women want to hook up at conferences.” The message is, “Some women posed nude in a calendar — therefore other, entirely different women want to hook up at conferences.” Somehow my appearing in the calendar signals an interest in casual sex, not only on behalf of myself, but on behalf of all women at atheist conferences.

    (Cross-posted from comment I made on my own blog.)

  69. says

    Somehow my appearing in the calendar signals an interest in casual sex, not only on behalf of myself, but on behalf of all women at atheist conferences.

    Well, of course it does, Greta! Everyone knows that one woman sends out a signal* for all women, amirite?
     
    *Said signal being whatever some owner of a Package of Power™ says it is, naturally.

  70. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    anteprepro:

    “Nude Revolutionary” doesn’t exactly sound like pin-ups.

    Maybe he was picturing cheescake shots of ladies in Mao hats with AK-47s.

  71. says

    @ Greta: But Loftus isn’t saying that, of course. He knows better than to think anything like that. He’s just concerned that unspecified other people might think that and for some reason, you should care what these idiots think and conform your behavior so as not to give them the wrong idea.

  72. Brownian says

    Brownian @ #1: Actually, the “mixed message” supposedly being sent is even worse than that.

    Thanks for the correction, Greta Christina. It is even worse than my example. I meant to highlight the absurdly childish thought process that could lead someone to Loftus’ conclusion, not to minimise the danger of it.

  73. smhll says

    @ joseph8th

    Hey, I clicked your link and I thought you had some good things to say about dudebros. Yeah, being broke is a form of being not privileged.

    If it would help you feel less jealous that a bunch of other people went to a conference and didn’t bring you back anything other than a spectacularly long flame war (hee)…

    Imagine that Rebecca went to a local conference in her hometown. No travel costs, no hotel costs, and maybe she (my hypothetical RW, who is not the real RW) gets a work stipend for speaking or volunteering. Or maybe it’s an awesome free conference put on by the many awesome people that put on free conferences. (I salute them.)

    Instead of a scene set in an elevator, we’d likely have a scene with a man following a disinterested woman into the parking lot at 4am to solicit her for further “conversation” or to solicit her for sex. I hope to every god that there isn’t that a few more bros would have figured out that approaching someone just as she leaves the social supervision of the bar and enters a dark parking lot is super creepy. It’s even creepier than the elevator to me, personally.

    Anyway, I just wanted to reframe this to make it clear that unwanted sexual attention isn’t always expensive to get. Right?

  74. says

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists. Melbourne?! Australia?!? I will die without having visited that continent, let alone be paid to speak at an elite atheist’s conference.

    To hell with sexism, this is about classism if you ask me. (Which nobody did, or ever does, because I, like 95% of all atheists, can’t afford such luxuries.)

    No. Completely wrong.

    This is first and foremost about women in all sorts of situations: at conventions, at bars, etc. Even places you don’t have to spend money to go to.

    The GAC was just one conference, the biggest so far for atheists. I have no complaints about the GAC, it was superbly managed.

    There are a growing number of approachable, inexpensive conferences. Convergence is a regional SF conference; the cost was $50 if you registered early, $100 at the door. I just posted a video from the Madison convention; that one was totally free. There’s also Skepticon in Missouri, coming up in November, also free.

    There are big, elite events like GAC and TAM, and there’s nothing wrong with that — they have their niche in the atheosphere. But there are also lots of inexpensive cons, their number is increasing, and I rather suspect that the more populist approach is the future of this movement.

  75. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Cross-posted from Greta’s:

    Loftus—Seriously. Do you understand how words work? I am literally baffled by your statements (really, I’m not just trying to antagonize, and I’m not unintelligent). Greta’s post is critiquing your post. How do you then come to “agree” with Greta’s dissection? And why are you having a hard time getting that people are baffled?

    This is so twisted I’m having a hard time describing it. It’s like this:

    Josh: All fire hydrants should be red because everyone knows that and painting them different colors is stupid.

    Sadie: Um, there’s actually science showing that other colors are more visible. Besides red paint is expensive and some towns are cash-strapped.

    Josh: Of course Sadie, I can’t believe you’d think I thought otherwise.

    Do you understand why Sadie is confused?

  76. Akira MacKenzie says

    “Mixed messages?” MIXED MESSAGES??? Wha… But… She didn’t… You can’t seriously… GAH!!!

    (Sob!)

    Weep for the future, Pharyngula. Weep for us all.

  77. says

    #73: that kind of idiocy deserves its own reward. I’ve decided to put debunkingchristianity into the black list — no one will be able to link to it without their comment going directly to the spam trap.

    Just so you all know.

  78. says

    @Audley:

    You don’t have exciting panties? :O

    (Neither do I really, certain things don’t necessarily fit with exciting panties… But one day I will wear exciting panties and not have to worry about whether or not they’ll fit right!)

    (Oh yea… slightly TMI above *cough*)

  79. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ha! Loftus will either rage, or jizz (or rage-jizz) when he learns he’s blacklisted

    TOTALITARIAN121

    THOUGHTCRIME1111!!

  80. says

    So since the majority of women who pose for nude photography in the US are from Christian backgrounds, this means that all women from Christian backgrounds are sexually available to anyone and everyone at all times. QED!

  81. Rieux says

    Joseph:

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists. Melbourne?! Australia?!? I will die without having visited that continent, let alone be paid to speak at an elite atheist’s conference.

    The subtly persuasive point Joseph is making here is that nobody lives in Australia, or at least no one whom it makes any sense to pay any attention to. As a result, traveling to Australia is something that only rich people do, despite what some idiots may have heard about (scoff!) middle- and working-class persons who actually (LMAO) live there.

    Ergo Melbourne[?!], Australia[?!?] is only a luxury travel destination and anything that ever happens there can only be relevant to massively rich “elite” people.

    Shit—I’m convinced. Damn you feminazis after all.

  82. says

    By which I mean people were not ok with him acting like an asshole to Reed because she’s trans.

    Trans and didn’t show sufficient deference to his brilliance.

  83. says

    Rieux:

    The subtly persuasive point Joseph is making here is that nobody lives in Australia, or at least no one whom it makes any sense to pay any attention to.

    It’s not like it’s a country full of millions of people that had 22.3% of its population declare no religion on their 2011 census or anything.

  84. dianne says

    I haven’t read the whole thread and apologize for probably being repetitious and/or boring, but for me the bottom line about the “mixed signals” thing is this: Guys, you might meet a woman in a bar. She might be provocatively dressed. She might be flirting with everyone she sees. She might be chatting with friends about how she hopes she’ll meet a guy tonight. She might be dancing on the table, throwing off her clothes, and singing a song about how much she wants to get laid tonight. That still doesn’t mean she wants YOU. Ask in a non-coercive manner and accept the answer given or go home with your hand and the internet for company.

  85. Ze Madmax says

    Josh @ #95:

    I am literally baffled by your statements

    and I’m not unintelligent.

    In the Loftusverse, these claims are mutually exclusive. Otherwise, the fault may be due to Loftus’ inability to make a point clearly, and this cannot be, because Loftus is a Smart Man Who’s Published Books™.

  86. Rieux says

    @107:

    It’s not like it’s a country full of millions of people that had 22.3% of its population declare no religion on their 2011 census or anything.

    I don’t buy it. How can that be true, when it takes 20+ hours in a jumbo jet even to get there? Who would spend thousands of bucks on an overseas vacation just to fill out a census form?

  87. says

    Sheesh, and to think you’re here at FtB’s. I guess it doesn’t matter what one’s credentials are to be here, now does it? After all diversity is much more important.

    Oh that is just vile.

    Though this was hilariously ignorant:

    Just today Christians have started praying that I would die. Have they ever asked others to pray that of you?

    There’s far worse to fear than prayers.

  88. says

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists. Melbourne?! Australia?!? I will die without having visited that continent, let alone be paid to speak at an elite atheist’s conference.

    To hell with sexism, this is about classism if you ask me. (Which nobody did, or ever does, because I, like 95% of all atheists, can’t afford such luxuries.)

    First of all, as others noted, you don’t help cash-strapped atheists (of all genders) by refraining from addressing misogyny, as if it was some zero-sum game. And there are local or regional conventions much more affordable, or even free.

    But you know what? The USA is not the only country with atheist, skeptic, or secular movements, even if you only consider the English-speaking world! Imagine that: conventions held in Australia attract lots of Australian skeptics. Ditto for those held in Europe and European skeptics, especially from the UK and Ireland. (Yes, I noticed you cross-spammed your post both here and at Greta Christina’s, only there your example of a “luxury” convention was the Dublin event where the now (in)famous elevator incident happened.)

  89. dianne says

    Just today Christians have started praying that I would die.

    FWIW, at least one study suggested that Christian prayers for your health have a negative effect on health*. Perhaps Odin will notice that the Christian heretics don’t like you and bless you with a long life and good health.

    *Real world hypothesized explanation: People who are told that they are being prayed for work less on rehab and therefore do worse. But it could also be Odin. Or Coyote. Or Zeus. Etc.

  90. klatu says

    Marilove

    This is what we call the Madonna/Whore complex. Women are either Madonnas (virgins, perfect, pure) or Whores. No in between.

    QFT
    It’s why the Virgin Mary myth is so damn toxic. Because women have to be both mothers AND virgins.

  91. says

    Sheesh, and to think you’re here at FtB’s. I guess it doesn’t matter what one’s credentials are to be here, now does it? After all diversity is much more important.

    Yes, diversity is important, given that people are…diverse. It’s that whole reflecting reality thing. It’s also important that one grasp the proper use of punctuation, especially when they present as a sniffy, puffed up, credentialed cupcake.

    I fully expect Loftus to have an attack when PZ’s book comes out. That should be fun.

  92. FluffyTheTerrible says

    But ..but ..you can’t blacklist Loftus and people who link to him.
    What about freedom of speech?

    /sarcasm

    At least we can still use Loftus and Loftus inspired drivel as chew toys. Gotta keep the feminazi teeth sharp for all those confused young men.

  93. marilove says

    klatu
    3 July 2012 at 1:00 pm
    Marilove

    This is what we call the Madonna/Whore complex. Women are either Madonnas (virgins, perfect, pure) or Whores. No in between.

    QFT
    It’s why the Virgin Mary myth is so damn toxic. Because women have to be both mothers AND virgins.

    What’s also fantastic is if we label ourselves as feminists, we’re prudes. And sluts. AT THE SAME TIME.

  94. says

    marilove:

    What’s also fantastic is if we label ourselves as feminists, we’re prudes. And sluts. AT THE SAME TIME.

    This is a magical state of being where one is assumed to simultaneously be having massive amounts of indiscriminate sex, but withholding it from teh menz who deserve* it.

    *And of course they deserve sex, because sex is something you earn, like cookies. Why are you keeping his rightful cookies from him?!?

  95. says

    Caerie:

    This is a magical state of being where one is assumed to simultaneously be having massive amounts of indiscriminate sex, but withholding it from teh menz who deserve* it.

    That’s it right there, the whole fucked up attitude neatly summed up.

  96. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ marilove

    What’s also fantastic is if we label ourselves as feminists, we’re prudes. And sluts. AT THE SAME TIME.

    Really? You mean people can be more than one thing or adopt more than one behaviour at the same time? I had no idea.
    That means being a feminist, which is at least 2 things at the same time, is an improvement over the default human condition.

    Yay, feminists! Destroying the boundaries of a world still stuck in binary code.

    [attempt at humour above]

  97. Moggie says

    Caerie:

    This is a magical state of being where one is assumed to simultaneously be having massive amounts of indiscriminate sex, but withholding it from teh menz who deserve* it.

    Schroedinger’s Pussy?

  98. Rieux says

    Nearly on-topic: I’ll be attending Convergence this weekend (in large part because it’s being held all of ten miles from where I live), but I’m not going to be able to get away from home for too many hours, given that I have an 8.5-month-pregnant spouse who has fairly good grounds to make justified demands on my time.

    Anyone care to suggest which Convergence events would be most worthwhile for an atheist who’s more interested in Skepchick/FTB fandom/socializing/networking than general (albeit happy) geekery?

  99. rr says

    “Sexualised Mommy Figure, can I have sex with you?” “No, why would you even ask that of someone you’ve never spoken to before?”

    “But…I’m a SKEPTIC!”

  100. celticwulf says

    Pteryxx: I’ve gone to CONvergence multiple years, so should be able to give you some insight as to Child Care. As I understand, this year as in past, there is no “formal” child care at the convention, and the events that are “child friendly” are just that…in that parents are expected to watch out for their children (even noted on the door of the experiments room in the past if I remember correctly). If you’ve got young children, you’re expected to either watch them yourself, or get with other parents to set up shifts babysitting (there are people who go that hire babysitters for in their hotel rooms while they can attend non-child friendly panels). My wife and I have brought our son the last 3 years, and he loves it and gets tons of photos of him in costume…he’s looking forward to this weekend in anticipation. Hope that gives you some more info :)

    Rieux: If you check http://schedule.convergence-con.org/ and sort by the “science” category in the panels or check for the “Bloomington” room, you should see most of them, but I think the FTB and Skepchicks are scattered through the program too. Otherwise the combined room parties start at 8pm according to the schedule, and that’s where a bunch of socializing happens. Hope this helps :)

  101. says

    @ Ace of Stevens #78:

    Besides, he’s not the only person who wrote a book. Greta and Ophelia and Chris definitely have and I’m sure I’m missing a few.

    That’s right! In addition to Chris Rodda (This Week in Christian Nationalism), Greta Christina and Ophelia Benson (Butterflies and Wheels) as book authors here on FtB, there’s also Mano Singham, Sikivu Hutchinson of Black Skeptics, Richard Carrier, Eric Steinhart of Camels With Hammers, Al Stefanelli, Edwin Kagin (Blasphemous Blogging), Hank Fox (Blue Collar Atheist), and Chris Hallquist (The Uncredible Hallq).

    And of course, FtB is also hosting the blog of Taslima Nasreen, who has written several books, ranging from memoirs to novels and poetry, and won literary awards both in English and in her original language, bengali.

  102. says

    Slight correction:

    This is a magical state of being where one is assumed to simultaneously be having dispensing massive amounts of indiscriminate sex, but withholding it from teh menz who deserve* it.

    Since sex isn’t something women have or enjoy, it’s a commodity they hoard and dispense to the men who meet their capricious criteria.

  103. says

    SamStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant:

    Slight correction:

    This is a magical state of being where one is assumed to simultaneously be dispensing massive amounts of indiscriminate sex, but withholding it from teh menz who deserve* it.

    Since sex isn’t something women have or enjoy, it’s a commodity they hoard and dispense to the men who meet their capricious criteria.

    Ooh, good point. Wouldn’t want to imply it’s an act born out of mutual desire and interest or anything.

  104. Candra Rain says

    I personally liked the little (?) dig that was added:

    “The message is clear to me, that women can use their bodies as they see fit. I understand that completely. Men do not own the bodies of women. (No, I’m not interested at all thank you very much).

  105. says

    Loftus is becoming the Monckton of the atheosphere.

    I’m also amused at this condemn-Laden refrain. On the thread Justin Griffith deleted, one of the pitizens responded to my comment with “When will you condemn Greg Laden?” or something to that effect. Addressed to me. These people lost the plot a long time ago. It’s embarrassing to watch. But entertaining, at least from a distance.

    Schroedinger’s Pussy?

    :)

  106. says

    (No, I’m not interested at all thank you very much)

    Yes, that was a nice piece of bullshit. Someone called him out about it in the comments and he was all like, “What? What? I’m JUST SAYING I’m not interested!! What’s the big deal???”

    Fucker.

    …For the lurkers: the phrase plays on the common misogynist trope that the surest way to strike a blow against a woman’s self-esteem is to tell her you don’t want to fuck her. Since a woman’s only worth is measured in how many dicks she can harden.

  107. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    one of the pitizens responded to my comment with “When will you condemn Greg Laden?” or something to that effect. Addressed to me.

    Bwahahaha!

  108. klatu says

    @Sal-*cough* SamStrange
    Hence the mindset that calling someone unrapeable is meant as an insult. The inverse being that calling someone rapeable is a comliment.
    I feel sick now.

  109. Candra Rain says

    @ SamStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant

    “…For the lurkers: the phrase plays on the common misogynist trope that the surest way to strike a blow against a woman’s self-esteem is to tell her you don’t want to fuck her. Since a woman’s only worth is measured in how many dicks she can harden.”

    Exactly.

  110. Moggie says

    SC:

    one of the pitizens responded to my comment with “When will you condemn Greg Laden?” or something to that effect. Addressed to me.

    Gotta be some kind of strange performance art, surely?

  111. Louis says

    But but SC, you LURVE Greg Laden and have never criticised him EVAR because he has Teh Feminisms like you do and therefore is beyond reproach because this is a team sport.

    Right?

    Louis

  112. says

    The message is clear to me, that women can use their bodies as they see fit. I understand that completely. Men do not own the bodies of women. (No, I’m not interested at all thank you very much).

    For the lurkers: the phrase plays on the common misogynist trope that the surest way to strike a blow against a woman’s self-esteem is to tell her you don’t want to fuck her

    Didn’t work too well then. I just thought he was saying he was gay.

    He might want to work on his delivery, to avoid a “mixed message”…and all that.

  113. gworroll says

    If there’s a mixed message there, the problem isn’t with the messengers. It’s with the morons receiving the message.

  114. zmidponk says

    This:

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.”

    Is actually accurate, as far as that goes. The key word there, however, is ‘ignorant’. An official harassment policy is a tool that can be used to make those ‘ignorant young men’ a bit less ignorant. It can also be a tool that unequivocally lets the target of those ‘ignorant young men’ know what is not considered acceptable by the organisers, and therefore they will step in and take action, if necessary. From what they’ve written about this, this is what Thunderf00t and Loftus seem to miss.

    Of course, the other thing they miss is that this policy is not an absolute ‘thou shalt not do X, Y, Z’, as, even with this harassment policy in place, it’s entirely possible that a guy could grab a random girl and stick his tongue down her throat without so much as a ‘hello’ – and nothing is done because she actually didn’t mind that happening in the slightest. What it does do is give people fair warning as to what is generally considered acceptable, so, if you do one of these things to someone, and they complain, you’ll be seen as the one in the wrong, and let people know what to do if one of things happens to them and they do mind it happening.

  115. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    SC: Similar interaction with an outraged, erm… pitizen, I guess, whose name will not be spoken here.

    It was bizarre.

    I had written that whether A. Smith had published or not was largely irrelevant to criticisms/plaudits bestowed on her. The pitizen* in taking umbrage with my sincerity asked if I ever attacked Laden for trying to destroy hir career (among other actions that I could have taken that would have demonstrated character, I guess).

    Never a big fan, but GL seemed capable of pissing off people on both sides of the deepening rift.

    *I don’t like this term. I don’t know why not exactly, but its seems rank.

  116. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    SC: hmmmm…parsimony would make it plausible that we are actually discussing the same person. Rhymes with belch?

  117. rael says

    When I first read ‘this send mixed messages’ my firs thought was who the hell thinks like that followed by: I wrote this scene for my old web miniseries. There was a cutaway in which my character is in court for trying to sexually assault Brent Corrigan (A famous and awesome twink porn star). These scene is about 30 seconds and the link goes straight to it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmRVwtGRdHo&feature=plcp#t=8m00s

    You see? The thrust of the joke at the start is that my character is so socially inept, awkward and ignorant that he actually thought the court would agree that because Brent Corrigan is a porn star and perhaps performed something similar that makes him sexually available at any time.

    This was funny because it highlighted how profoundly stupid my character was.

    And then this happens in real life. Obviously my example is hyperbole but the thought process seems analogous enough.

  118. says

    But but SC, you LURVE Greg Laden and have never criticised him EVAR because he has Teh Feminisms like you do and therefore is beyond reproach because this is a team sport.

    Yes, some must be projecting. After all, Jeremy Stangroom is saying the same things about feminists that he used to about gnus (really, you could almost switch the two groups in his statements). When he was targeting them, they recognized the malicious intent and total absence of intellectual honesty and made their objections to his sleazy tactics known. Now that he’s going after feminists, though, they’re happy to befriend him and join in. It makes them look naïve and desperate for allies. I mean, J. J. R*msey actually left a reasonable comment at Richard Carrier’s last week, but I’m not about to start cheering him just because in this he might be on my “team.”

    (And I can’t imagine Dawkins is thrilled with having these people as his defenders and wearing “Team Dawkins” buttons. How sad.)

  119. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    (And I can’t imagine Dawkins is thrilled with having these people as his defenders and wearing “Team Dawkins” buttons. How sad.)

    Really? Cuz he’s done fuck-all to distance himself from any of it. I can’t even get a goddamn response from anyone at RDF when I email to complain about moderators who allow misogynistic bullshit then pull the “both sides are behaving badly” bullshit when a woman defends herself.

  120. Heliantus says

    (No, I’m not interested at all thank you very much)

    * Oi. Remind me of something. *

    For the lurkers: the phrase plays on the common misogynist trope that the surest way to strike a blow against a woman’s self-esteem is to tell her you don’t want to fuck her.

    Oh yeah. This sentence starts like this, and then its meaning and use go deeper and more convoluted:

    Extra use 1: separate the women you are talking about in the Madonna or Whore categories, with appropriate moral judgement. The judgement being, of course, Madonna = women you should be interested in, Whore = bad women to run away from.

    Extra use 2: search for group cohesion/approval, by screaming your disapproval of the women from the “Whore” category.

    Funny enough, men who are insecure around women, especially women who show any sign of sexuality, tend to do this a lot.

    (err, no. Not saying it’s the woman’ fault. Damn it, it’s my problem if I am insecure, and it’s my responsibility to fix it)

    Second thoughts: scratch “sexuality”. Replace it with “personality”. As in, oh cr*p, women are complex human beings.

  121. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    (Neither do I really, certain things don’t necessarily fit with exciting panties… But one day I will wear exciting panties and not have to worry about whether or not they’ll fit right!)

    (Oh yea… slightly TMI above *cough*)

    I apologize if this is out of line, but:

    You’ve done this a few times in the thread (apologizing/expressing self-consciousness for frankly discussing your body. Is this a matter of your own comfort? Because I don’t think anyone worth listening to here finds it objectionable.

  122. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    It’s why the Virgin Mary myth is so damn toxic. Because women have to be both mothers AND virgins.

    And even weirder, the wingnuts are mostly against the sexual activities that could potentially (long-shot) result in this. O.o

  123. says

    SC: hmmmm…parsimony would make it plausible that we are actually discussing the same person. Rhymes with belch?

    Yes, I’m fairly sure that’s who it was, though they do tend to blend together and I generally skim past their comments unless something funny like that catches my eye.

  124. 'Tis Himself says

    There are a whole bunch of us who were less than enchanted with Greg Laden. I had him killfiled both on SB and FtB and and only visited his FtB blog once when PZ gave a link without identifying whose blog it was.

  125. Porco Dio says

    I’ve noticed that the same group of whining jerks can be found congregating at any post anywhere on the net that barks madly at freethoughtblogs, no matter how stupid the argument being made might be.

    Really PZ? Really?

    When the bloggers at the “free thought” circle-jerk aren’t slagging off people they’ve “never heard of” they’re tripping over each other to fawn at superficial compliments from other random bloggers (comments 1 and 3).

    It just goes to show then that it’s actually you and your ilk that are the “whining jerks.”

    Rubber. Glue. You.

  126. Sili says

    (And I can’t imagine Dawkins is thrilled with having these people as his defenders and wearing “Team Dawkins” buttons. How sad.)

    Then perhaps he’ll get his head out of his arse and apologise for “Dear Muslima”.

    (Muslima incidentally being a dating side I discovered the other day.)

  127. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Comment by Porco Dio blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    booring

  128. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Would this be a bad time to ask what the issues were with Laden, other than this email and the editing Josh referenced? I’ve found his occasional habit of phrasing things misleadingly apparently in order to elicit a specific reaction which he then builds on for his arguments annoying, but he’s otherwise been generally reasonable in my experience. :/

  129. Pteryxx says

    celticwulf, thanks for the info. (At some point I need to find an example of what providing child care on site actually entails for a conference…) Would you be willing to summarize what sort of considerations make a particular panel child-friendly? Is it usually hands-on activities?

  130. LDTR says

    The problem is not that women are “sending mixed messages”.

    The problem is that some men respond, not to the messages a woman might be sending out, but to the messages they *want* her to have sent out.

    And that, of course, is the woman’s fault. Somehow.

  131. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    they’re tripping over each other to fawn at superficial compliments from other random bloggers (comments 1 and 3).

    Why am I not surprised that the concept of “gratitude” or even the lesser “politeness” go past P.D.’s head like [insert a good simile here - it's late and I can't be arsed to think just to insult a POS like P.D.]?

  132. 'Tis Himself says

    Would this be a bad time to ask what the issues were with Laden, other than this email and the editing Josh referenced?

    Laden accused SC of antisemitism over a remark which was not even slightly antisemitic. Several of us supported her which annoyed Laden. He threatened to reveal my real name and email address after I accused him of trolling his own blog. I told him not to bother because I’d never go back to his blog. And, other than one accidental visit, I never did.

  133. Brownian says

    It just goes to show then that it’s actually you and your ilk that are the “whining jerks.”

    A comment by Greg Laden slagging off Stangroom:

    “I had never heard of the guy until he told me I was about to kill someone.”

    Tripping over each other to fawn over superficial compliments:

    Ophelia Benson: “Awww…thanks, Alex.”

    Sikivu Hutchinson: “Very cool insights, thanks”

    Yep, just goes to show, Porco. You’ve really got your finger on the pulse. How damning. Whiny jerks indeed.

  134. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Laden accused SC of antisemitism over a remark which was not even slightly antisemitic. Several of us supported her which annoyed Laden. He threatened to reveal my real name and email address after I accused him of trolling his own blog. I told him not to bother because I’d never go back to his blog. And, other than one accidental visit, I never did.

    I’m going to leave the first part alone, but threatening to out someone during a personal disagreement is really out of line.

  135. petejohn says

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.”

    Perhaps if this comment were chiseled in stone and placed in a public place, people would come by and stare at it. They would admire it for it’s remarkable silliness and wonder how someone could’ve possibly thought it was a good argument.

    Only a deeply sexist person would think this is reasonable. Women can do what they chose with their own physical body. This sends no mixed message whatsoever. “I wanted to get naked for a calender” =/= “I am ready and willing to hook up with whatever dude comes up to me at a convention and acts suggestively.” Why is this confusing? And why wouldn’t Mr. Loftus condemn such ridiculous tripe, instead of even suggesting these numbskulls have anything even resembling a case to be made for their boorish stupidity? It’s obvious, isn’t it? He thinks it sends a mixed message, but knows he’ll be crushed for saying that, so he claims some “ignorant men” may think that. It seems he’s talking about himself to me.

    How are some of these men supposed to know?

    Perhaps this comment should be included on the aforementioned stone as well. The argument of the hypothetical man that Loftus has cooked up is “These women got naked once and let everyone see their bodies. I’m so confused about which ones may want to have sex with me… Wut dooz I doo?” The only way Loftus could’ve saved himself here was to then say, in big TF00t style bold letters, that anyone who thinks “some women got naked for a calender”=”sex time for me with any woman here” is a total idiot and misogynist who needs to rethink their positions on a great number of things.

  136. says

    When the bloggers at the “free thought” circle-jerk aren’t slagging off people they’ve “never heard of” they’re tripping over each other to fawn at superficial compliments from other random bloggers (comments 1 and 3).

    Great points, dude. Unless, of course, anyone actually clicks on your links and sees that Laden said he “never heard of” said person “until he told me I was about to kill someone.” And the “superficial compliments” were pretty well detailed as to what that “random blogger” liked about each blog.

    It just goes to show then that it’s actually you and your ilk that are the “whining jerks.”

    Rubber. Glue. You.

    But it’s good to see you’re willing to keep this discussion on the adult level.

  137. says

    Really? Cuz he’s done fuck-all to distance himself from any of it.

    Yes, good point. It’s still so shocking that I have a hard time accepting it.

    ***

    Laden accused SC of antisemitism over a remark which was not even slightly antisemitic. Several of us supported her which annoyed Laden. He threatened to reveal my real name and email address after I accused him of trolling his own blog. I told him not to bother because I’d never go back to his blog. And, other than one accidental visit, I never did.

    He also changed Chas’s nym – which he was still using at the time – in a comment to his real-name email address, and then was unrepentant and IIRC somewhat threatening when Chas responded. (Oh, and he wrote a post comparing Pharyngula to a firing squad and then denied that he was talking about this blog.) And as Griffith recently reminded me, he called me a bitch and then doubled down on that.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  138. says

    SC:

    (Oh, and he wrote a post comparing Pharyngula to a firing squad and then denied that he was talking about this blog.)

    That was an interesting time, to say the least.

  139. Brain Hertz says

    Wow. All this melodrama over a conference that’s priced out of range of 95% of all atheists. Melbourne?! Australia?!? I will die without having visited that continent, let alone be paid to speak at an elite atheist’s conference.

    The subtly persuasive point Joseph is making here is that nobody lives in Australia,

    Actually, I think the necessarily implied assumption is that all people are American

  140. Porco Dio says

    @Pteryxx #160

    celticwulf, thanks for the info. (At some point I need to find an example of what providing child care on site actually entails for a conference…) Would you be willing to summarize what sort of considerations make a particular panel child-friendly? Is it usually hands-on activities?

    whatever the track record of laden is I can’t find anything off the cuff but I will mention 2 points:

    First, the circle-jerk of commenters here is feigning disapproval of laden with the, “oh yeah we always knew he was an asshole,” argument while at the same time failing to unequivocally condemn him for what they spend the rest of their time on: harassment.

    Second, you only need to read laden’s defense of his fuckwittery to realise what a weapons-grade asshole this man is. He needs a rubber room.

    His justification for breaking the law is kinda “I was right and Justin was wrong.” Followed by something to the tune of, “my threat was in the Post Script so it wasn’t really a threat.” Yeah, I’m sure the jury would also like to know what exactly it is that you mean.

    And then the astoundingly retarded (apologies to retards everywhere) accusation that FTB was “unprofessional (at best)” for kicking him out. Not only has he failed to admit (that I know of) that he was booted and still maintains that he’ll be back, the idiot doesn’t even realise that FTB was legally obliged to act on his harassment or Justin would not only have a lawsuit against him but against FTB too!

    Greg Laden is a mega-tool if there ever was one.

    The mega-fail here, no: make that the giga-fail, is that there has been no definitive condemnation from the bloggers and management of FTB that Greg Laden is guilty of what they have been whining about the last who-knows-how-long: harassment.

    It’s so ironic, I know… but I’ve heard irony never made it across the pond.

  141. Porco Dio says

    How damning. Whiny jerks indeed.

    Well, Brownian, thanks for stopping in to make a point…, you so seldom do.

    But just to clarify what you couldn’t read between the lines:

    1)It’s a bit hypocritical of PZ to whine that hordes are mobbing stuff when he is all to happy to send his hordes everywhere and always. So it’s fine when they do it (the “Free Thought” bloggers) but not so cool when they need to swallow their own puke.

    2)The bloggers at “Free Thought” blogs are supposed to be mature, upstanding, intelligent role-moddels and they spend their bits and bytes posting stuff like:

    Ophelia Benson: “Awww…thanks, Alex.”

    Sikivu Hutchinson: “Very cool insights, thanks”

    when they are not slagging of random people elsewhere.

    how mature…

  142. Brownian says

    First, the circle-jerk of commenters here is feigning disapproval of laden with the, “oh yeah we always knew he was an asshole,” argument

    Feigning.

    You’re absolutely right, Porco. Thanks again for stopping in to share your perspective.

    Oh, and going back to “superficial compliments from other random bloggers”, I’m going to paraphrase a very wise man who once wrote “Let [the blogger] have a warm moment in the spotlight.”

    Oh, did I write ‘wise man’? I meant completely hypocritical self-serving barf-bag’.

  143. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ Porco Dio

    You don’t seem to be posting from a position of honesty, as you seem to have an axe to grind against this blog and Ftb and PZ, but I will draw your attention to the fact that PZ has already addressed people’s faux concerns that Greg Laden wasn’t punished enough:

    Comment#61
    I do not understand your complaint. We kicked Greg Laden off the network for that letter. It’s the strongest message of condemnation we can send. Yet you’re claiming we’re all sitting here defending him?

    What were we supposed to do? Take him out behind the chemical shed and shoot him?

  144. says

    I really really don’t understand why this topic keeps coming up.

    All these guys keep bashing on eachother and don’t realize that, to the greater extent, THEY ALL AGREE. They’re just in disagreement as to how to respond and they’re percieved level of urgency (something that can change depending on proximity).

    I will say that the only point I found Thunderf00t to be making in his post/video was that of Internet > Conventions and that the rules of the internet are vastly different from a venue like a Convention. Namely John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory:

    N + A + D = F
    Where
    N= Normal Person
    A= Anonymity
    D= Audience
    F= Total Fuckwad

    This often manifests as an entity known as a “Troll” who will post or say anything with the intent of inciting reaction in the audience. When you get angry or take them seriously, they’ve won. You’ve fed the troll, and like a stray cat…once it is fed, it will keep coming around. And so, taking excessively negative comments on the interent as a sample is very different from say, a posted letter or phone call, or a blog post that you may or may not see on a seperate site.

    I thought it was a valid point.

  145. ChasCPeterson says

    The bloggers at “Free Thought” blogs are supposed to be mature, upstanding, intelligent role-moddels

    wut

    they are bloggers.

    that’s it.

    not moddels.

  146. says

    You don’t seem to be posting from a position of honesty, as you seem to have an axe to grind against this blog and Ftb and PZ, but I will draw your attention to the fact that PZ has already addressed people’s faux concerns that Greg Laden wasn’t punished enough:

    Porco earned the nicknyme “pigshit” for a reason.

    It was blatantly trumpeted how awesome and perfect Europe was snubbing his nose at those dumb Americans while acting like a total twit.

  147. Brownian says

    Well, Brownian, thanks for stopping in to make a point…, you so seldom do.

    I understand your parents didn’t give you enough attention. It’s unfortunate that the assholes left it up to the rest of us to deal with you, but that’s the price we pay for being social animals.

    It’s a bit hypocritical of PZ to whine that hordes are mobbing stuff when he is all to happy to send his hordes everywhere and always. So it’s fine when they do it (the “Free Thought” bloggers) but not so cool when they need to swallow their own puke.

    Uh, you’re blaming PZ for Ophelia and SIkivu’s comments? Like, are you really that fucked in the head?

    2)The bloggers at “Free Thought” blogs are supposed to be mature, upstanding, intelligent role-moddels and they spend their bits and bytes posting stuff like:

    Ophelia Benson: “Awww…thanks, Alex.”

    Sikivu Hutchinson: “Very cool insights, thanks”

    It’s a waste of bits and bytes for mature, upstanding, intelligent role-models to write an acknowledgement and thanks?

    You mean like when you wrote:

    Well, Brownian, thanks for stopping in to make a point

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    You are seriously the biggest fucking hypocrite I’ve ever seen, and one of the dumbest, to boot.

  148. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ SC, comment #163

    Crommunist makes my day:

    Shitty writing got him kicked off? Then why are you still here?

    Affirmative action hire, motherfuckaaaaa!

    Yeah, I read Crommunist’s post, and I definitely laughed out loud at that exchange. Not only does he write well, he has a great sense of humour too.

  149. Porco Dio says

    Great points, dude. Unless, of course, anyone actually clicks on your links and sees that Laden said he “never heard of” said person “until he told me I was about to kill someone.”

    You still don’t get it, do you?

    The fact that a random someone makes a silly argument on an unknown blog is enough reason for the “Free Thought” bloggers to dedicate an entire blog post to it.

    This whole crowd here is either shouting at random assholes for not agreeing with them or swooning at random assholes for complimenting them.

    That is PZ’s definition of whiny jerk exactly.

  150. says

    This often manifests as an entity known as a “Troll” who will post or say anything with the intent of inciting reaction in the audience. When you get angry or take them seriously, they’ve won. You’ve fed the troll, and like a stray cat…once it is fed, it will keep coming around. And so, taking excessively negative comments on the interent as a sample is very different from say, a posted letter or phone call, or a blog post that you may or may not see on a seperate site.

    I thought it was a valid point.

    It is not for reasons that were explained else where.

  151. Ze Madmax says

    Porco Dio @#173:

    he is all to happy to send his hordes everywhere and always

    I wasn’t aware PZ sent people anywhere. I thought he just, you know… posted about what he found interesting, and then people, on their own volition, chose to engage in the conversation in other FTB spaces.

    But of course, suggesting that the Pharyngula commentariat can act as independent actors is nonsense, because that would contradict the Established Narrative™ of the Pharyngula Hive Mind™ ruled by the Evil Feminists and Their Puppet PZ™.

    2)The bloggers at “Free Thought” blogs are supposed to be mature, upstanding, intelligent role-moddels and they spend their bits and bytes posting stuff like:

    Mature, intelligent role models don’t express thanks to people who compliment them? Huh. Apparently being a role model means that every single “bit and byte” must be spent on the Important Matters That Drive The Cause™, otherwise it’s a waste.

  152. Brownian says

    You don’t seem to be posting from a position of honesty

    That’s not even up for debate. What is the issue is whether or not he actually believes his own bullshit.

    Follow my link in 174 to watch him excoriate people for not flaming a guest poster, and then suddenly turn around and lecture everyone to “Let [the guest poster] have a warm moment in the spotlight.”

    He’s got that thing that lying assholes have where they’re blissfully unaware that they’ve changed positions halfway through an argument while maintained that they’ve been consistent the whole time.

    He’s always been at war with East Asia.

  153. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    It is not for reasons that were explained else where.

    Here, for instance.

  154. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ Porco Dio

    Who died and put you in charge of the blogosphere and, most importantly, of how bloggers deal with things and how they choose what to write about? Seriously, if control is so important to you, get your own blog and do whatever you want there.

    You don’t honestly think that just because you are writing some baseless insults addressed to PZ and his blog, and/or this network, and/or the people who comment here, you are going to get anything other than free deliveries of porcupines?

  155. Brownian says

    That is PZ’s definition of whiny jerk exactly.

    You’re not getting it, dumbshit. PZ’s not talking about random people, you dumb fucking asshole, he’s talking about known people in the blogosphere, like John Loftus, a former FtB blogger, who now delights in trashing FtB. He’s talking about people like you, dumb fuck, who only shows up to troll because he’s got a hard-on for this site.

    Just because you’re too fucking stupid to know who the players are in the community doesn’t make these players ‘random’.

    Stupid fuck.

    Go back to trying to suck your own cock.

  156. ChasCPeterson says

    I now think it was a mistake for Brayton to call the site Freethought blogs. It turns out that nobody who’s stupid knows what ‘freethought’ means, and they keep thinking they’re scoring these gotchas because omg a freethought-blogger (or commenter) wasn’t interested in listening to some contrarian idiot’s bullshit and that’s not thinking freely in my opinion!!!11!

  157. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Go back to trying to suck your own cock.

    Oh come now! He’s never attempted anything that useful.

    Louis

  158. Porco Dio says

    but I will draw your attention to the fact that PZ has already addressed people’s faux concerns that Greg Laden wasn’t punished enough:

    Ah yes, a random comment in a random thread several days after the fact is awesome…

    If “Free Thought” blogs was anything near the upstanding pillar community that they make out they are, there might have been a full blog post somewhere that addressed the issue of greg laden and his harassment DIRECTLY.

    I know Ed posted something like major changes at “Free Thought” Blogs but that kinda conflates two issues (TF and GL) and doesn’t go far enough in condemning harassment.

    Hypothetical: Greg Laden wrote exactly the same letter to a woman. Cue massive outcry etc.

  159. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ Brownian

    I guess I’ll just stop engaging the Lord of the Flies, then. Seems like a waste of time.

  160. says

    If “Free Thought” blogs was anything near the upstanding pillar community that they make out they are, there might have been a full blog post somewhere that addressed the issue of greg laden and his harassment DIRECTLY.

    Justin wrote such a post. Several people expressed agreement. We know what Greg did and why he was removed. What would this post you think someone should write accomplish?

  161. Porco Dio says

    Tera-fail brownian:

    You’re not getting it, dumbshit. PZ’s not talking about random people, you dumb fucking asshole, he’s talking about known people in the blogosphere, like John Loftus, a former FtB blogger,

    PZ said:

    I’ve noticed that the same group of whining jerks can be found congregating at any post anywhere on the net that barks madly at freethoughtblogs,

    Is he talking about the guys posting or the guys visiting the posts?

    In your imagination it’s the former.

  162. Brownian says

    Ah yes, a random comment in a random thread several days after the fact is awesome…

    Oh, it’s more to the point than your example of the comment by Laden that was supposed to highlight the terrible trend of FtB slagging off people they’ve “never heard of”?

    You sure like to use the word ‘random’. You should look it up sometime.

  163. says

    justinfloyd:

    I thought it was a valid point.

    In this case, you’re wrong. This is not a case of trolls and it is not a question of feeding them.

    There was already a considerable amount of sexist assholes who would show up to argue every single thread (back at Sciblogs) which dealt with sexism, feminism, contraception, abortion, etc.

    When Rebecca Watson had the unholy nerve to utter “Guys, don’t do that”, the seriously ugly* douchecakes came pouring out from under various rocks and started a campaign of sustained harassment and threats which has gone on for over a year now.

    There’s a whole lot of history involved and unless you’re one of the people who has been fighting the good fight all these years, you are clueless as to what is actually going on. That’s why yet another drive-by comment basically saying “oh hey, trollz, man, just don’t feed ‘em, it’s only the internet” is not only stupid and unnecessary, it’s harmful.

    How is it harmful? Well, you’re helping to maintain the status quo, rather than change anything. You’re handwaving the concerns of women. You’re treating harassment and threats as though they were nothing. You’re providing support for the assholes doing the harassing and threatening by dismissing it as the action of trolls.

    These are deeply ingrained, toxic attitudes and beliefs which do active harm every fucking day. We’re pretty fucking tired of non-helpful people like yourself who stop by to handwave it away as no big, for realz.

    By the way, thinking that what happens on the ‘net isn’t real life is also stupid as all hells, it’s not true. As you aren’t helping at all, the least you could do is attempt to educate yourself a bit before spouting off the same shit we’ve heard at least a thousand times by now.

    *ugly, as in attitudes and behaviour.

  164. says

    Porco Dio: you’re too stupid to be allowed to roam about infecting others. You are now quarantined to TZT. Do not post outside that thread, or you will be banned. Do not comment on the quarantine here or you will be banned. Wise up, or you will be banned.

  165. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ Porco Dio

    Ah yes, a random comment in a random thread several days after the fact is awesome…

    If “Free Thought” blogs was anything near the upstanding pillar community that they make out they are, there might have been a full blog post somewhere that addressed the issue of greg laden and his harassment DIRECTLY.

    I know Ed posted something like major changes at “Free Thought” Blogs but that kinda conflates two issues (TF and GL) and doesn’t go far enough in condemning harassment.

    You’re moving the goalposts and hope nobody notices. First you complained Greg Laden wasn’t sanctioned enough, and when I quoted PZ’s comment, you complain now that that isn’t enough either.

    I think you like to find reasons to shake your fist at people, and you are forever in a perpetual state of discontentment.

    Hypothetical: Greg Laden wrote exactly the same letter to a woman. Cue massive outcry etc.

    We had a very real situation where a blogger voiced hateful opinions towards women in general. He’s Thunderf00t. No need for a hypothetical situation there. Also, Loftus made some very hateful remarks towards Natalie Reed, and he isn’t around here either. Terrible blow to his ego.

  166. says

    If “Free Thought” blogs was anything near the upstanding pillar community that they make out they are, there might have been a full blog post somewhere that addressed the issue of greg laden and his harassment DIRECTLY.

    Ed’s post of “Greg is taking time off to learn how to act like an adult, and TF is being dropped for the same reason plus the fact that he writes like a drunk gibbon” wasn’t enough?

  167. earwig says

    IDGI. So I googled christian modest clothing, and one of the earliest results yielded this gem: “A Christian woman in immodest attire is giving a message that blasphemes the Word of God, misleads others, defrauds men and potentially causes a weaker brother to stumble in his thoughts. Save romantic attire for privacy with your husband.” (I won’t give it the dignity of a link.)

    Now, I wonder what on earth could have led John Loftus’s hypothetical ignorant young men to receive such a mixed message? Are we to assume that it’s all to do with bad women keeping bad company?

    *Headdesk*

  168. Brownian says

    Is he talking about the guys posting or the guys visiting the posts?

    In your imagination it’s the former.

    Since I’ve an idea of what’s going on here, dumbshit, it’s both.

    Say it with me.

    Look through the lists of commenters. See any familiar names?

  169. Gregory Greenwood says

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.” It can create an environment at Freethought conventions where some men may look to hook up. Thunderf00t is asking what’s wrong with that in the bars afterward? Hooking up is what some people want to do (men and women). Knowing which ones want to do so is another question. How are some of these men supposed to know?

    *Sarcasm*

    Because the discussion should obviously be about preventing hypothetical clueless doodz from having their apparently only partially functional brains discombobulated by the strain of understanding that a woman who chooses to reveal her body or express her sexuality in a public forum in a certain set of circumstances is not actually declaring open season on herself in perpetuity.

    I mean, it is not as though the default position of any halfway decent human being should be that a woman’s body is her own, and that whatever her actions in the past may have been, she is entitled not to be bothered by every horny bloke who happens along. It is easy for a well meaning, if ‘ignorant’, young chap to mistake a woman for a living sex toy. Especially if she has ever been all naked and stuff in any form of public forum.

    Afterall, everyone knows that once a bloke catches sight of a woman’s breasts or especially *melodramatic whisper*her lady-garden*/melodramatic whisper*, in any medium and under any circumstances, he instantly loses his capacity for rational thought and naturally assumes that any woman that can be in any way connected as a member of the same group as that belonged to by the collection of oh-so-sexy lady-parts woman in question, is open for sex with him and others like him anywhere, anytime.

    Equally, it is naturally not even remotely conceiveable that a good many of the men who are trying to use such things as the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calender as an excuse to treat every woman they encounter at skeptic conventions as an opportunity to practice their pick up artist techniques might know exactly what they are doing, and are simply using the idea of ‘youthful indiscretion’ or ‘social awkwardness’ as an excuse for their predatory behaviour. No siree, nothing suspicious about it all, but you still get those awful killjoy feminazis harshing the buzz of the doodz who just want to be able to treat all the women they meet as these conventions as living sex toys in peace. When you think about it, they really are as bad as the Nazis/Stasi/religious fundamentalists , what with their insistence that women should be treated as actual people, with no thought as to how that might cramp the style of the dudebros. The poor, innocent dudebros…

    */Sarcasm*

    -

    I find it difficult to view such wilfull blindness as Loftus is demonstrating here as merely an error made in good faith. This strikes me as straightforward apologia for the kind of PUA misogynists who go to these conventions with the fixed mentality that every woman is a ‘target’ to be maneuvered into a sexual encounter by any means necessary, and it is hardly surprising that the residents of such hives of misogyny as ERV would be drawn to it.

  170. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Follow my link in 174 to watch him excoriate people for not flaming a guest poster, and then suddenly turn around and lecture everyone to “Let [the guest poster] have a warm moment in the spotlight.”

    Wow, I missed that.

    Porco Dio really is a stupid fellow.

  171. Brownian says

    You’re moving the goalposts and hope nobody notices.

    Honestly, he’s too fucking stupid to notice it himself.

  172. Porco Dio says

    Justin wrote such a post. Several people expressed agreement. We know what Greg did and why he was removed. What would this post you think someone should write accomplish?

    Who the fuck is Justin?

    Oh yeah, just another dude. Got a link to the post please?

    Imagine a company getting the janitor to make a statement regarding illegal activities.

    What about management? What about management doing the right thing and making it clear that harassment is not to be tolerated at “Free Thought” blogs?

    Oh, no, they can’t…, because this blog is all about the other type of one-way harassment

  173. says

    SC:

    Yes, and as angry and upset as I was, the people here made it bearable.

    You had more reason than most to be angry and upset and you were far from alone on that score.

  174. says

    Who the fuck is Justin?

    Oh yeah, just another dude. Got a link to the post please?

    Showing you’re quite informed about the subject eh?

    Do you know who the letter Greg wrote was to?

    Oh wait of course not because you’re shit stirring.

    Just like how you ranted that I wasn’t taking a guest blogger to task…before I even had a chance to comment on it.

  175. Gregory Greenwood says

    Porco Dio @ 209;

    I refer you to PZ’s post @ 200;

    Porco Dio: you’re too stupid to be allowed to roam about infecting others. You are now quarantined to TZT. Do not post outside that thread, or you will be banned. Do not comment on the quarantine here or you will be banned. Wise up, or you will be banned.

    Our squidly overlord is not joking, you know. You will be on the receiving end of the banhammer if you ignore his injunction, and deservedly so.

  176. Brownian says

    Our squidly overlord is not joking, you know. You will be on the receiving end of the banhammer if you ignore his injunction, and deservedly so.

    Good riddance. Fuck Porco Dio. Fucking know-nothing asshole.

  177. Brownian says

    Who the fuck is Justin?

    Oh yeah, just another dude. Got a link to the post please?

    What a fucking tool.

  178. Gregory Greenwood says

    Brownian @ 215;

    Good riddance. Fuck Porco Dio. Fucking know-nothing asshole.

    Yup, I am probably wasting my time. Indeed, Porco Dio may even want to be banned as part of some desire to be able to claim that xe is a ‘martyr to free speech’ or some such risible tosh, but just in case xe actually did honestly miss PZ’s post, I thought I would give hir a heads up.

    I mean, if xe gets that second synapse firing in time, xe may even have the cognitive capacity to understand a warning, and that at least would be progress…

  179. Rieux says

    Brain @171, re me @ 102, re joseph8th @74:

    The subtly persuasive point Joseph is making here is that nobody lives in Australia,

    Actually, I think the necessarily implied assumption is that all people are American

    Naah. A trip to Australia is out of financial reach for a very large number of people from all over the world-minus-Australia, not just USAians. Joseph is very likely being blindly American, but that particular assumption isn’t “necessarily implied” in his garbage @74.

    More importantly, my rebuttal is cuter. PwnZorD.

  180. Gregory Greenwood says

    Caine, Fleur du mal @ 217;

    And waste a perfectly good apple? I think not. *sniffs royally*

    It does seem a cruel fate to condemn a blamless apple to. How about we stick something else in there?

    A decomposing porcupine, perhaps? It is a classic, afterall. Or maybe Pope Palpatine? At least we would finally have found a use for the evil old codger…

    Any other suggestions?

  181. Porco Dio says

    Porco Dio: you’re too stupid to be allowed to roam about infecting others. You are now quarantined to TZT. Do not post outside that thread, or you will be banned. Do not comment on the quarantine here or you will be banned. Wise up, or you will be banned.

    Aaaawwww, soooooo sorry Mr. Poopyhead… was it something I said or are you just now going to ban everyone that writes “Free Thought” with quote marks now?

    If it’s the former, please explain yourself. Also please explain why “Free Thought” blogs is not OVERTLY anti harassment and hasn’t condemned Greg Laden and his illegal activities (whilst on your watch) in a massively coherent and obviously prominent blog post.

    If it’s the latter, you’re Ken Ham. Truth may hurt.

  182. Brownian says

    but just in case xe actually did honestly miss PZ’s post, I thought I would give hir a heads up.

    Of course. That was decent of you, Gregory Greenwood.

    (I can acknowledge your decency because I’m not a mature, upstanding, intelligent role-moddel, and thank all the pig gods for that.)

  183. klatu says

    “GREG LADEN GRED LADEN GREG LADED AKI NJIOASCJSB FJLS BL”
    Gods, someone open a window! I’ll get a bag…

  184. Brownian says

    If it’s the former, please explain yourself.

    To a random?

    Fuck you, unknown random.

  185. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ Porco Dio

    Who the hell do you think you are to demand anything from the bloggers who post things, so you can read interesting content, free of charge?

    Now you are just asking to be banned.

  186. FluffyTheTerrible says

    [ grabs popcorn and starts munching in anticipation of the banhammer]

  187. Brownian says

    was it something I said

    It’s like the poor fella can’t even read his own comments.

  188. davidbohm says

    I want to prefix my comment by saying that ofcourse I dont think posing nude in a calendar justify socially unacceptable advances from others.

    That said, when PZ write (in response to loftus):

    A “mixed message”? How? Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness. This is one of the things we’re fighting against: this binary attitude and possessiveness about women’s bodies.

    I think there are two ways of reading Loftus post
    1) “some ignorant young men” may think the women in the calendar is sending “mixed messages”.
    2) Loftus himself think that women who pose in these calendars “is sending the message she is available for sex anytime with anyone”.

    PZs post strongly focus on the later reading by his question, the one which portray loftus in the worst possible light. But I strongly suspect that is not really what Loftus believe (really? would anyone here be comfortable at answering the question in the affirmative?).

    The point I want to make is there seem to be a tendency towards structuring the opposing sides statements in the words possible way, and this goes back-and-forth and its very hard to see how progress is being made to solve the core issues.

    Is this *really* the best mode of argument we can offer as a sceptical, free-thinking movement?

  189. earwig says

    Thanks, David Bohm, I don’t think anyone had ever thought of looking at it like that! Your concern is noted.

  190. says

    PZs post strongly focus on the later reading by his question, the one which portray loftus in the worst possible light.

    Jesus fuckin’ Christ crispy fried onna stick. You know who portrays Loftus in the worst possible light? Loftus. Why don’t you try reading, you might actually learn something, like how to not appear as a compleat idiot.

    Read all the comments here and try reading Greta’s post and all the comments there. You’ll see a fine example of Loftus displaying his stupidity to all and sundry.

  191. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @davidbohm

    Loftus is concern-trolling. He’s concerned that some men might feel that way, and he rushes to tell that to women – as if we didn’t know it already, since most arrogant dudebros can’t shut up about this – in order to ..what exactly? Change the behaviour of the women, because we are the keepers of the sexual pleasure gates?

    Here’s a thought: why didn’t Loftus post that same concern on his blog, addressing the men? After all, those poor ignorant young men are the target audience.

    Why is he talking to atheist women and implying that there’s something untoward in nude calendars and callig snippets of blogging “quickies”?

    Oh, right, he’s not operating in good faith, and he is not a feminist.

    If anything, PZ was kind in framing the issue.

    [I said "men" several times in my post, obviously I'm referring only to the clueless, dudebro minority, not all men]

  192. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @davidbohm

    Loftus is concern-trolling. He’s concerned that some men might feel that way, and he rushes to tell that to women – as if we didn’t know it already, since most arrogant dudebros can’t shut up about this – in order to ..what exactly? Change the behaviour of the women, because we are the keepers of the sexual pleasure gates?

    Here’s a thought: why didn’t Loftus post that same concern on his blog, addressing the men? After all, those poor ignorant young men are the target audience.

    Why is he talking to atheist women and implying that there’s something untoward in nude calendars and calling snippets of blogging “quickies”?

    Oh, right, he’s not operating in good faith, and he is not a feminist.

    If anything, PZ was kind in framing the issue.

    [I said "men" several times in my post, obviously I'm referring only to the clueless, dudebro minority, not all men]

  193. Gregory Greenwood says

    Brownian @ 223;

    Of course. That was decent of you, Gregory Greenwood.

    (I can acknowledge your decency because I’m not a mature, upstanding, intelligent role-moddel, and thank all the pig gods for that.)

    and @ 225;

    Right as always, Gregory.

    Am I part of the circle-jerk now? Does that mean that I get to move up in the ghey secks with Brownian queue?

    ;-P

    It does seem that Porco Dio wants to get hirself banhammered at the earliest opportunity. What is the betting that xe will run off to ERV to tell everyone there how xe bravely stood up to PZ ‘Poopeyhead’ Meyers/Miers/Mayers*, only to be cruelly banhammered for the entertainment of the bloodthirsty Pharyngula hivemind…?

    -

    * The liklihood that PZ’s name would be spelled correctly in any such conversation has to be near zero.

    —————————————————————-

    Caine, Fleur du mal @ 228;

    Yes, a banhammer. Oh, PZ!

    Oh, I don’t imagine there will be long to wait now…

  194. FluffyTheTerrible says

    And sorry about the double post. Why did I switch from Chrome to Firefox again..right … crappy load rates.

  195. says

    One deft blow of the banhammer right between the eyes, and Porco Dio is stunned. Let the rending be done. Don’t expect anything as nice as bacon from this one, though.

  196. davidbohm says

    Caine (post 237),

    I think you must be getting me wrong (I am a long time occational reader and I know there has been issue with multiple accounts; this is my first account). I am not saying anything about the validity of loftus ideas, I have read the piece many times and i think its ambigious. But when PZ ask:

    Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone?

    I dont see a whole lot of reasons to think that is a particular likely case, but it is the least flattering reading. (I assume the question is meant rethorically, note I am not a native english speaker).

    Getting back to your post, regardless of how stupid loftus may be, I dont think this is a good way to refute or expose him.

  197. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Getting back to your post, regardless of how stupid loftus may be, I dont think this is a good way to refute or expose him.

    Why? And why do you imagine that people here wouldn’t have thought of this on their own?

  198. echidna says

    Loftus is not confining his argument to individual women, no matter how charitably you read it. He says that individual action by particular women is causing some men to think that atheist women are willing to be touched indiscriminately. He is saying men are consequently making an understandable error, and puts all the responsibility on women to control the men’s actions.

    His underlying idea that women are responsible for men’s bad behaviour is out of line.

  199. Gregory Greenwood says

    davidbohm @ 234;

    The point I want to make is there seem to be a tendency towards structuring the opposing sides statements in the words possible way, and this goes back-and-forth and its very hard to see how progress is being made to solve the core issues.

    Is this *really* the best mode of argument we can offer as a sceptical, free-thinking movement?

    There really is no charitable interpretation of what Loftus has written on this. If we use your readings;

    I think there are two ways of reading Loftus post
    1) “some ignorant young men” may think the women in the calendar is sending “mixed messages”.
    2) Loftus himself think that women who pose in these calendars “is sending the message she is available for sex anytime with anyone”.

    Then no. 2 is clearly an obnoxious attitude that any nudity upon the part of a woman is a permenant invitation to all and sundry to have sex with her (and, apparently, all other women who identify with the group of which she is a part), but even no. 1 still acts as a means of blaming women for the bad behaviour of men – the implication being that women should have known that these ‘ignorant young men’ would interpret any nudity on the part of any woman identified with the skeptical/atheist movement in any context as a standing invitation to sex with skeptical women at large, and that as such they are, at least in part, responsible for the fact that these ‘ignorant young men’ now behave in such a fashion. That is blaming the victims of misogyny for the misogyny targeted at them, and that is unacceptable behaviour in all circumstances.

    FluffyTheTerrible said it well @ 239;

    Here’s a thought: why didn’t Loftus post that same concern on his blog, addressing the men? After all, those poor ignorant young men are the target audience.

    Why is he talking to atheist women and implying that there’s something untoward in nude calendars and calling snippets of blogging “quickies”?

    If Loftus wants anyone to believe that his concern is genuine, why isn’t he attempting to address the ignorance and toxic, dehumanising attitudes of these hypothetical ‘young men’, rather than trying to place the blame on (and thus shame) women?

    Whichever way you slice it, Loftus’ behaviour is indicative of massive, unexamined male privilege at best, and suggestive of crass victim-blaming at worst.

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *passes out grog/swill to the regulars, along with Mythies shields for protection from the banhammer splat. The stoopid is strong in this one Luke*

  201. Stevarious says

    Who the fuck is Justin?

    Oh yeah, just another dude. Got a link to the post please?

    I have to admit, I laughed out loud at the amazing amount of blind arrogance and clueless stupidity in those two sentences. And he even said please!

    I suspect, however, that this was the only amusing thing it will ever say. Killfiled.

  202. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    @Caine:

    Thank you, PZ. Bacon? From Porco Dio? Ugh, no.

    It’s too bad, really. That’s one pig I’d have no moral qualms about eating.

  203. davidbohm says

    Flyffy: The submit button, the tricky bastard allmost also got me before :-).

    Speaking of pushing buttons, I honestly havent read that much of what loftus has written on this subject, especially in the comments, but I think we can both agree there is quite a lot button-pushing going on these days and I would guess some of the new-found interest from Loftus in all things FtB lies there.

    My interest in this subject is not about defending Loftus view, its simply that I think weak arguments are being made on this issue by smart people.

  204. klatu says

    I agree that Loftus’ post is clear as mud, but only in places.
    Much of what he says leaves little room for interpretation.

    Is this really the voice of an organization that represents reason? [...] This AA statement places the burden on the person doing the touching.

    Charitable reading: He is unclear about it and is asking for clarification.
    Reasonable reading: He thinks it is unreasonable to make harassers responsible for their actions.

    If someone touches your shoulder and you don’t want him to do so then step back. If he persists then say something to him. If he does it again then get some help from others. It’s that simple. This AA statement places the burden on the person doing the touching. And while no means no, and yes means yes, maybe means maybe!

    Charitable reading: He thinks it is the victim’s responisibilty to avoid or extract themselves from situations of harassment.
    Reasonable reading: He thinks it is the victim’s responisibilty to avoid or extract themselves from situations of harassment.

    That is Loftus speaking, not one of those fabled ingorant young men.

  205. says

    David Bohm, look, you are not getting it. Loftus made a complete ass out of himself in an attempt to defend a lot of indefensible shit written by Thunderfoot.

    PZ has not been uncharitable nor is he wrong about what Loftus wrote. Loftus has had a bug up his ass ever since he left FTB in a huff. He’s carrying a grudge and jumped on recent happenings in order to indulge that grudge. As a result, he said some very stupid things and made an incredibly weak argument in which he places all the blame for bad behaviour on women. (And the evil people of FTB, too.)

    Loftus couldn’t even figure out what Skepchickcon at Convergence was about, which demonstrates his thinking skills on this particular subject.

    Your continued defense of him isn’t going to get you anywhere, but hey, if you insist, carry on.

  206. says

    David Bohm:

    I would guess some of the new-found interest from Loftus in all things FtB lies there.

    It’s not new found, FFS. Obviously, you’re operating in some ignorance here. Loftus was invited to blog at FTB and did, briefly. He got all upsetty with people because they had the nerve to blog their way instead of his way. He has an ongoing grudge going.

    Read the damn comments already instead of yakking.

  207. davidbohm says

    Gregory:

    Re. the two readings:


    1) “some ignorant young men” may think the women in the calendar is sending “mixed messages”.
    2) Loftus himself think that women who pose in these calendars “is sending the message she is available for sex anytime with anyone”.

    I agree that interpretation (1) is still not completely favorable and can act as a mean for blaming women. At least it depend on Loftus putting the blame squarely (where it has allways been) on the “ignorant young men” and keeping it there (does loftus? Its not clear from the post to me and given all the prior history i think it should be).

  208. klatu says

    davidbohm

    The point I want to make is there seem to be a tendency towards structuring the opposing sides statements in the words possible way, and this goes back-and-forth and its very hard to see how progress is being made to solve the core issues.

    It’s called cutting through the bullshit.

  209. davidbohm says

    Re. Caine:
    I wrote:

    I would guess some of the new-found interest from Loftus in all things FtB lies there.

    Your reply:

    It’s not new found, FFS. Obviously, you’re operating in some ignorance here.

    In turn I will ask you to consider I might be operating with some irony. Speaking of which, it is a bit ironic that you swear so much in response to some posts i made about language and effective means of getting people to listen/accept what you have to say. If you are not angry with me i appolegize, but it seem that way.

  210. echidna says

    The point I want to make is there seem to be a tendency towards structuring the opposing sides statements in the words possible way,

    No, it’s not the worst possible way. It’s the only internally consistent reading of his words.

  211. davidbohm says

    Klatu:


    davidbohm wrote: The point I want to make is there seem to be a tendency towards structuring the opposing sides statements in the words [worst!] possible way, and this goes back-and-forth and its very hard to see how progress is being made to solve the core issues.

    It’s called cutting through the bullshit.

    Haha :-). In which case I think thunderf00t did quite a bit of cutting himself ;-).

  212. davidbohm says

    echidna, post 260:


    No, it’s not the worst possible way. It’s the only internally consistent reading of his words.

    Just to be clear, by worst possible way I meant an affirmative answer to the question:

    Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.

    Ie. that Loftus actually believe women are sending that message by posing nude.

  213. 'Tis Himself says

    davidbohm #259

    it is a bit ironic that you swear so much in response to some posts i made about language and effective means of getting people to listen/accept what you have to say.

    It is the nature of the Pharyngula Horde to swear when we feel it’s appropriate and even when we don’t. That’s how we are any it’s worse than useless for you to complain about it. If you don’t want to swear then nobody is going to force you to do it. However if you try to force us or even just persuade us not to swear, I can assure you your efforts will not be successful

    If you are not angry with me i appolegize, but it seem that way.

    Nothing to apologize for yet. Nobody is angry with you yet. But if you continue tone trolling then those situations may change.

  214. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    @Ing

    Smart Thinking Blog Network for Sexy Awesome People

    This needs to happen. April 1 of next year at the very least.

  215. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ davidbohm

    Once again, Loftus is not operating in good faith. He doesn’t care a wit about the rights of women, atheist or otherwise, he simply wants to concern-troll the FtB community, and maybe get some of the community members all up in arms about it.

    I actually went to his site, to re-read the post you are so bent on defending, and found he has put up a fourth post related to Ftb.

    I will not link to it – PZ has actually forbidden it as spam – but I will quote this nugget – maybe davidbohm will understand that people’s reading of Loftus’ previous post has been anything but charitable:

    This tactic is the one that Freethought Blogs has used against religion and is now being used against anyone who disagrees with the consensus, the one basically set by PZ Myers (at least on an issue or two). This doesn’t change minds either. One of the hallmarks of skeptical groups is that we embrace reason and science. So I have an important reasonable question. How is silencing one’s opponents in this manner being reasonable? It’s a reasonable question. Don’t shout it down FtBlgers or you have just proved my point, that this is what many of you do. I think the growing backlash against Freethought Blogs is that most of them refuse to reason with those who disagree, and that’s not anything I want to be a part of at all, even if they ostracize me. Compared to this I am a voice of reason that the skeptical community needs. There are many others like me.

    The blog post is called “A Primer On How To Silence One’s Opponents “.

    That is why Loftus, and countless others, continue to post on the internet…because they have been silenced. The stupid, it burns.

  216. Craja says

    @257 david:

    Posing the argument in such a way is a well known debate technique for injecting ones own opinions into an argument while retaining plausible deniability. It’s actually used by Fox news anchors quite a bit (Just listen for the “Some people say” lines, and interpret them as “I personally believe”).

    In short, if he didn’t personally believe it then he wouldn’t have made the argument. In either case, it’s a fallacious and piss poor argument that I’m honestly surprised to hear from him.

  217. davidbohm says

    Flyffy:


    I actually went to his site, to re-read the post you are so bent on defending, and found he has put up a fourth post related to Ftb.

    I think you misunderstand me, I have not been defending loftus at any point.

  218. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ Craja

    That is extremely well put .. injecting one’s opinion into the conversation, but still retaining deniability…

    And, on a related note, – and this is the last time I quote Loftus – there was a fifth post related to FtB that I overlooked earlier.

    If this isn’t reaching at straws and being dishonest, I don’t know what is:

    American Atheists Want People to Have Sex At Their Conferences

    Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said: “I want people to have sex at our conferences.” Now there’s a marketing strategy! Don’t miss the next one, okay? Anyone want to hook up there? ;-)

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard an organizer of a national insurance conference saying this, or even a national trucker’s conference. Surely this statement is a by-product of the pressure coming from the hyper-anti-sexist crowd, something required in order not appear to be against sex itself. Extreme pressure requires extreme statements like these. This alone shows us the extreme nature of the pressure coming from the hyper-anti-sexist crowd.

    It’s like he’s throwing poop at the wall, to see if something will stick.

  219. Gregory Greenwood says

    davidbohm @ 257;

    I agree that interpretation (1) is still not completely favorable and can act as a mean for blaming women.

    This is where we disagree – you find the victim blaming element of Loftus’ position to be less than ‘completely favourable’, I find it unacceptable.

    Acting as if women bear any of the responsibility for the behaviour of these hypothetical ‘ignorant young men’ is unreasonable. Claiming that if women ever appear nude in any circumstances they are sending ‘mixed messages’ amounts to making them the custodians of the behaviour of these putative ignorant young men. It simply glosses over the idea that men (even the ignorant, young variety) should be ultimately responsible for their own behaviour, and that if they are incapable of realising that a woman appearing nude in a specific circumstance is not equivalent to a standing invitation to sex with an entire group of loosely associated women, then that is the failing of those men, and their failing alone.

    At least it depend on Loftus putting the blame squarely (where it has allways been) on the “ignorant young men” and keeping it there (does loftus? Its not clear from the post to me and given all the prior history i think it should be).

    When Loftus writes;

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.” It can create an environment at Freethought conventions where some men may look to hook up. Thunderf00t is asking what’s wrong with that in the bars afterward? Hooking up is what some people want to do (men and women). Knowing which ones want to do so is another question. How are some of these men supposed to know?

    (Emphasis added)

    It seems pretty clear to me that he is placing responsibility on women to avoid sending supposedly ‘mixed messages’ that may allegedly leave these hypothetical men ‘unable to know’ whether or not it is acceptable to make unsolicited sexual advances to those women, and other women associated with them by membership of the skeptical movement.

    That seems to be a fairly unambiguous attempt to excuse the behaviour of those men by placing the blame for their actions on women.

    That he goes on to write;

    Is this really the voice of an organization that represents reason? Not on that score I’m sure of it. If someone touches your shoulder and you don’t want him to do so then step back. If he persists then say something to him. If he does it again then get some help from others. It’s that simple. This AA statement places the burden on the person doing the touching. And while no means no, and yes means yes, maybe means maybe! What, are we being hypersensitive here not to offend some women?

    (Emphasis added)

    and;

    The bottom line is that people, most all of us, use what we’ve got to get what we want. If we’re attractive we use that to get what we want. If we’re muscular we use that to get what we want. If we have money we use that to get what we want. If we have friends in important places we use that to get what we want. If we have fame we use that to get what we want. If we are intelligent we use that to get what we want, and so on. We struggle with each other for more power, money and/or sex, or we use money, power and/or sex as ways to gain more of what we want. People who have it try to get more of it. People who don’t have it use what they’ve got to get more of it. There is a battle between the power-brokers, the tycoons, and the sexes.

    He rapidly burns through whatever benefit of the doubt I may have been inclined to give him. In the first quote he clearly objects to the burden for not touching women against their wishes being placed upon the party doing the unwanted touching, once again arguing that women are somehow responsible for the offensive behaviours of men who treat them as if they are sexual property rather than people, and then goes on to dismiss the rigorous application of reasonable anti-harassment polcies as ‘being hypersensitive’ in order not to offend women – the implication being that those women who object to unsolicted touching are being unreasonable or even hyesterical by sole virtue of their desire not to be pawed by random passers by.

    In the second quote, he engages in a transparent naturalistic fallacy that all human interaction is struggle, and that part of that struggle is the struggle for sex, that he charcaterises as a ‘battle of the sexes’, and that it is simply human nature to get what we want by any means necessary. This comes dangerously close to outright rape apologia, because if such logic holds, then a rapist is simply a man who made use of his resources of greater physical strength or social standing in a patriarchal society to ‘win’ this notional struggle for sex – just the way things are, according to Loftus…

    I cannot express how toxic and non-functional I find this attitude, and frankly it sets off all kinds of warning bells for me. I am hard pressed to place any charitable interpretation on the words of a man who would espouse such a position when it comes to issues of harassment.

  220. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ davidbohm

    When you say that there are 2 interpretations to what Loftus said, and commenters here, including myself, give you reasons why the PZ’s or Greta’s reading of Loftus’ blog post is the correct one, and not uncharitable or misrepresenting in the least, and you insist to view him in a positive light and give him the benefit of the doubt .. that is defending.

    Read my post at #268 and tell me again how we are not charitable enough in interpreting Loftus.

    Read Craja’s post, too, at #266 – I think it’s closest to expressing what Loftus was actually trying to do.

  221. says

    @268, that’s pretty bad. The correct explanation, that anti-harassment policies are facing constant straw men that he’s trying to debunk isn’t even addressed. I have trouble believing that he’s that dense, so he must be joining in the straw fest.

  222. robro says

    Sounds like someone is confusing signal with reception. Many of us don’t have a problem receiving the signal clearly. But for some people the reception is totally screwed. Perhaps they should tweak their tuners.

  223. davidbohm says

    Gregory:

    I agree that interpretation (1) is still not completely favorable and can act as a mean for blaming women.
    you find the victim blaming element of Loftus’ position to be less than ‘completely favourable’, I find it unacceptable.

    If you return to my previous post, the sentence you quote continues:

    I agree that interpretation (1) is still not completely favorable and can act as a mean for blaming women. At least it depend on Loftus putting the blame squarely (where it has allways been) on the “ignorant young men” and keeping it there (does loftus? Its not clear from the post to me and given all the prior history i think it should be).

    Notice the conditional — we agree completely if you read my comment in full: I do not think victim blaming is okay and i wrote so explicitly. A positive interpretation on loftus ideas relies at least on the victim not being blamed. I also agree with the rest of the paragraph; the aggressor is to be blamed calendar or not.

    Regarding the rest of loftus comments, as i wrote, not clear at all to me what is actually meant. For instance he mention shoulder-touching. In my view a case of shoulder-touching is way to generic to illustrate a point (who is doing the touching? who is being touched? how? what is the circumstances? what ‘burden’ is placed on a person who poke another person on the shoulder?) and not very relevant, but i digress. As you can tell, I would rather not go into my views on what loftus has written because (1) i think there are multiple interpretations and much come down to prior knowledge of Loftus (2) I simply dont know what loftus advocate from a practical perspective (for instance what it is acceptable or not).

  224. frogkisser says

    I would like to speak directly to why I think the “don’t touch without permission” part of anti-harassment policies is so important. (And why I get into an absolute twist when I hear arguments like Loftus’ made against it.)

    I am short and female. I go to conventions for work. Well-meaning gentlemen frequently try to help guide me through crowds by putting a hand on my shoulder or elbow. They’re decent fellows who are trying to do something nice. What they don’t know, can’t know without asking, is that about the 4th or 5th time a stranger touches me, I start to feel like I’m being groped and my mild germaphobia kicks in and I want to go bathe in a 10% bleach solution. The more empathetic of these fellows have noticed my revulsion, asked what is wrong, and then demonstrated they feel like utter cads for putting me in that position. Asking before “helping” would prevent both their discomfort and mine and would result in a more pleasant convention experience for both them and me.

  225. davidbohm says

    FluffyTheTerrible:


    When you say that there are 2 interpretations to what Loftus said, and commenters here, including myself, give you reasons why the PZ’s or Greta’s reading of Loftus’ blog post is the correct one, and not uncharitable or misrepresenting in the least, and you insist to view him in a positive light and give him the benefit of the doubt .. that is defending.

    You need to explain yourself further, what specific accusation do you believe i am defending loftus against?

  226. says

    Sam Strange:

    I keep hearing people talking about FTB bloggers “silencing” their opponents…

    Indeed. They are so silenced, they can’t stop talking about it.

  227. says

    You need to explain yourself further, what specific accusation do you believe i am defending loftus against?

    You keep insisting that people are reading Loftus wrong or uncharitably or unfairly. Whether you like it or not, you are defending the tripe Loftus wrote by doing that.

    Oh, and if you don’t like my swearing? Tough shit. People who are bent on being willfully obtuse, as you are doing, make me want to swear. By the way, your little game is beyond obnoxious at this point.

  228. FluffyTheTerrible says

    @ davidbohm

    Defending him from being misrepresented and misunderstood because of the way PZ framed his response. Wasn’t this the gist of your original post?

    Anyway, I’m done on the subject. You don’t seem to have a horse in this race and appear to be doing for the sake of an intellectual debate. For most of the posters here, many conversations are not simply exercises in argumentative skills – we care and often are directly or indirectly affected by the issues in discussion. That is why some – including myself – tend to get a bit annoyed when posters split hairs just for the sake of it.

    You state in a previous post:

    As you can tell, I would rather not go into my views on what loftus has written because (1) i think there are multiple interpretations and much come down to prior knowledge of Loftus (2) I simply dont know what loftus advocate from a practical perspective (for instance what it is acceptable or not).

    You either want to engage with the substance of what Loftus is saying, in the first post debated, and subsequent ones, or you can restate your objection to PZ’s approach, a matter that I think has been amply dealt with by most of the posters here.

    Your choice.

  229. davidbohm says

    Caine: Put up or shut up, copy paste where I insist on a particular reading of loftus along with what the proper reading is and how you know that.
    Im not a mind-reader and I am not the only person on this thread who think loftus post was hard to understand.
    Also I am not playing a game with you, from my perspective it is you who insist on giving what I write a bad spin and then you go with it.

  230. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    BTW, if you’re on Twitter you should totes watch the #FTBullies tag. It’s a scream (in a good way).

  231. klatu says

    @davidbohm
    I admit I may have been a little trigger-happy. But I also have some difficulty grasping your point. Your criticism of the current discussion seems to be that we are not engaging Loftus’ argument in good faith. Is that anywhere near being correct?

    If so, it has to be pointed out (yet again) that the argument Loftus’ is making is not in good faith to begin with. He’s framing the entire issue in an absurd fashion. Instead of making an honest effort to make a lucid point, he is arguing on behalf of some unknown, indeterminate third party (ignorant young men. Who are they?). This is a bad faith effort because this way he is can claim plausible deniability (as has been pointed out already). This is fundamentally dishonest, because he presents a position he may or may not have, depending who’s asking. It’s an evasive maneuver that precludes honest intellectual discourse.

    Does that clear things up at all?

  232. jacklewis says

    “Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.”

    Nudity sending messages (probably not of the syllogistic type though) about sex… who would have thought (that Loftus is really thinking outside the box…)?
    I’m Hugh Hefner and I’m not convinced I approve this message…

  233. davidbohm says

    FluffyTheTerrible:


    Defending him from being misrepresented and misunderstood because of the way PZ framed his response. Wasn’t this the gist of your original post?

    No, my original post was all about proper argumentation. Specifically it was about the following question:

    Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.

    It is ofcourse a question about what loftus think, not a statement about what loftus in fact think. That is in fact one of the things which annoyed me: You can pose anything as a question the above way and even though the implication is there (“does loftus really think beating a child is okay? madness!”), it has not actually been said and need not be defended.

    My point was simply there is little reason to think loftus in fact believe women are sending a message of being “available for sex anytime with anyone” … that alternatively he believe “ignorant young men” believe so (othwerwise why use the qualifier if women are in fact sending such a message?).

    But i digress, my point is not to split hairs. One of the worst sins in academia is to improperly represent others work and ideas, and I think its counterproductive and a distraction. If the message is important I think that matters.

  234. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    #FTBullies led me to find others on the Horde on the twittermachine. It is awesome (hi Josh!).

    Jacklewis, go away. Seriously. You too, Davidbohm.

  235. michaelpowers says

    But this sends a mixed message to some ignorant young men now doesn’t it? It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.”

    Changing ones habits or endeavors in an effort to adapt to the ignorance of another is, IMO, unacceptable. If a young man is ignorant, the responsibility of rectifying that situation is his.

    I was raised to be a gentleman, no matter who’s company I’m keeping. Most young men engage in some sort of boorish behavior at least once. Usually in their teen years when there is an overabundance of testosterone, and a lack of good sense. In my day this was rectified rather quickly by a poke in the snout, and a stern talking-to by an older friend or relative. Crude, but effective.

    Today, a more acceptable option (and a better one, I think) is to make clear what is, and is not, acceptable behavior pretty early on. Being a good example doesn’t hurt, either.

    After decades of marriage, I don’t worry about mixed signals. But in ancient times, if there was a question in that regard, I never assumed anything, and instead took the option least likely to offend.

  236. davidbohm says

    Klatu: Thank you for your direct reply, I hope I can do as well to clarify myself.

    Your criticism of the current discussion seems to be that we are not engaging Loftus’ argument in good faith. Is that anywhere near being correct?

    Its not even that; I dont have a good picture of what loftus is actually advocating (practivally) and how his ideas differ from eg. PZ, so I cant really have an oppinion on good faith or not.

    Suppose most people here are right (and i am not saying they are not), then there is no good reason to approach loftus in good faith. In my oppinion the situation is a bit of engaging a hard-core appolegist like WLC: You know his arguments are shit, you know he knows his arguments are shit, and you know he dosnt care.

    But despite that, we still need to use proper arguments, because at the end of the day that is the only advantage we have over him, and he might not give a shit but it will affect other people who are following the discussion.

    Also there is the camp-forming there has been on this subject. I have tried to come into discussion but there is so much discussion on discussion which seem mostly to be composed on people solely focusing on the parts of what others have said which they can construct in a way which will give them a zinger of an argument.
    I am sure i am not the only one who is frustrated about that since its not getting the discussion anywhere.

  237. Owlmirror says

    [Re: Banning the God-Pig, who refused to go to TZT]

    Awww. We could have asked him if he had the free will to not be an asshole.

  238. frogkisser says

    Not really relevant to what is being discussed in the thread now, but (I think, correct me if I’m wrong) relevant to the OP.

    The experience with guys who ask before they touch has been, for me, completely positive. Usually the conversation goes something like “you need some help getting through the crowd” and “nope, I’m alright” and “cool, let me know if that changes”. That’s most men and that’s why I like and trust most men.

    Now for best guy… this huge, MOUNTAIN of a man (I dunno, I’m 5’2″, he was MUCH bigger than my ex-husband who is 6’3″ and about 275 lbs)… he recognized I was getting swallowed and buffeted by the crowd. We had two verbal interactions. One, he said, “follow in my wake and I’ll get you out of this”. Two, when we are on the side lines, he said “you OK, little sister?”. I said I was and he disappeared back into the crowd. I think he’s someone I would have enjoyed having a longer conversation with, and I respect that wasn’t what he was about.

  239. Owlmirror says

    @PZ:

    I’ve decided to put debunkingchristianity into the black list — no one will be able to link to it without their comment going directly to the spam trap.

    PZ, I absolutely oppose this as going too far. Granted that Loftus is being a completely and unacceptably idiotic jerk now on the topics of FtB and social equality, he did, in the past (and hopefully will in the future), write lucidly on the Congo early Christianity and Biblical research. Your overreaction in the heat of anger will sabotage potentially useful linking and discussion of topics that he’s actually capable of being scholarly on.

    Please rethink and reverse this censorious step.

  240. klatu says

    @davidbohm #287

    It’s easy to claim the high ground when you can afford to remain calm and composed throughout these shit-storms. But what you don’t seem to understand is that for many commenters these discussions are not purely intellectual. They are not of academic import or relevance. That’s because people on the receiving end of bigotry have to justify their mere existence or claim to basic human rights and equality every waking hour of every fucking day. For you, all that is on the line is winning or losing an argument.
    Others have to fight for their rights. And they are sick and tired of having to do so at all.
    And for you to come along and demand that everyone stay calm and counter every bigot’s dumbass argument in a purely theoretical fashion is incredibly dismissive of the real-life trauma these discussions cause.

    For all your talk of substance, you seem far to easily distracted by tone.

    You seem to be willing to approach this honestly, but you cannot possibly do so while shitting on other people’s lived experiences. You don’t get to tell anyone not to get angry or impatient with all this crap. Do some basic reading on privilege and marginalization.
    And until then, it would do you a lot of good to shut up and listen to what others are saying, because you points have been adressed abundantly.

    Same goes for me, btw. So I’ll shut up now.

  241. Candra Rain says

    I am only recently familiar with Loftus, although I did know a bit about his history of former Christian, now atheist, etc., and most of my exposure has been recent.

    Frankly, John, because you’re probably reading this thread, I am really, really tired of reading how great you are and how you wrote a book. Sheesh, we got it already. You are terminally respect-deficient. Noted. You think that only published people, or people with letters after their names, or some other criteria are “legitimate” with regard to who should listen to them. Again, noted. I don’t give a good crap about it, but it’s noted.

    Now, just in case you didn’t know, the one thing you are not qualified to speak about – and will never be qualified to speak about – are the experiences of women and sexual harassment.

    I am really fucking tired of (some) cis males telling me and other women that we just don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about. That it’s not a problem and witnesses!11!!

    Even reading your post charitably, as you requested (demanded?) from a non-stupid position, I felt slimed. Your mind conjured up sex from Skepchick “quickies” … that’s your problem. It meant quick tidbits to me. And you abso-fucking-lutely did imply that naked women in one situation implied sex in a totally unrelated other situation by totally unrelated other women.

    But, hey, you did publish that book, amirite?

  242. davidbohm says

    Klatu:

    Look, you cant just tell me I am “shitting on other people life experience” when i have done no such thing. I commented on the tone and professed ignorance on Loftus ideas; Your accusation is rude and without evidence.


    And for you to come along and demand that everyone stay calm and counter every bigot’s dumbass argument in a purely theoretical fashion is incredibly dismissive of the real-life trauma these discussions cause.

    Once again i have not made any demands on anyone i wanted to start a discussion about what i saw as a poor way of getting a message across. You might think im wrong but its not correct of you to say i am demanding something.
    Also mind I made the comment regarding PZs mode of communication. What I think is effective in terms of persuing others is simply not dismissive on anyones trauma. I do not at all like the way you imply i am dismissive of these terrible things. I will even go so far to assume you would be rightly pissed of if someone told you the same thing for such flimsy reasons.

    Goodday.

  243. MG Myers says

    Pteryxx @12 – If you have a local Camp Quest, you could consider getting involved. For the first time Camp Quest – MN is planning to run one of the children’s activities at CONvergence. Kudos to Collin for leading Battle of the Beaks!

  244. says

    Candra Rain:

    But, hey, you did publish that book, amirite?

    You know what’s funny, is that a whole lot of people being hosted on FTB have written a book and had it published. PZ’s book will be out very soon. Loftus is so invested in his own sense of righteousness, that if this were pointed out, I’m sure he’d sniffily retort that those didn’t count, as they weren’t scholarly tomes.

  245. echidna says

    davidbohm:

    My point was simply there is little reason to think loftus in fact believe women are sending a message of being “available for sex anytime with anyone” … that alternatively he believe “ignorant young men” believe so (othwerwise why use the qualifier if women are in fact sending such a message?).

    I disagree. Because Loftus is well-versed in philosophy and critical thinking, I expect him to be able to convey what he means to say in writing. We can expect him to be familiar with contexts and literary devices in the process of constructing an argument. The following analysis will demonstrate the point.

    Loftus asks us to project images of women who draw attention to their bodies on to the blank slate of an “ignorant young men”. Notice here that the projected image is a distorted one manufactured by Loftus himself: the calendar referred to was a statement that the amount of skin shown is not a proxy for sexual availability, hence the burka is misguided, “quickie” was gratuitously interpreted in a sexual way, and “boobquake” was a direct response to the claim that women’s breasts caused earthquakes. Both the calendar and boobquake are direct responses to the claims made by authoritarian religious men that the mere sight of women is a cause of evil. Loftus acknowledges this, but asks us to accept the distortion through the device of the “ignorant young man” primed with sexual images and innuendo and places him in the context of a bar at an atheist conference. “It’s not surprising to me that some of them may think some secular women are “available.” At this point, Loftus may still be referring directly to the participants in the calendar etc., but it is ambiguous. There is now a switch in context from women who are deemed to have signalled sexual availability (at least in the mind of the construction of an ignorant young man) to women in general: ” But “knowing which ones want to do so is another question. How are some of these men supposed to know?”

    So: there is indeed good reason to think that Loftus believes that the misinterpretation of the behaviour of some women by some men is then applied generally to all atheist women. I believe that Loftus has constructed his argument using the “ignorant young man” and the changes of context to state a very clear normative position that women who are harassed should place the blame on other atheist women, who have essentially led ignorant young men to behave badly. It’s the Eve trope.

    davidbohm:

    One of the worst sins in academia is to improperly represent others work and ideas, and I think its counterproductive and a distraction.

    Who has done this? Look very carefully at what Loftus has written, and assume that he took the same care in constructing his argument.

  246. stuartvo says

    Porco has been banned? Oh well, there’s one less lonely bridge in the world tonight.

  247. mandrellian says

    Apropos of nothing: has anyone else noticed the “Atheists against Freethought Blogs” page on facebook? Apparently it was created on 02 July, which explains the whole 12 likes they so far have.

    Their tag line:

    Greta Christina, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, PZ Myers, and Jen McCreight DO NOT represent the majority of the freethinking community!

    LOL! As if anyone ever said they fucking were, rageboy! If you douchebags ARE the majority of the freethinking community, a) I’m glad I’m in the minority and b) I doubt any of the people you’ve put on your shit-list would WANT to represent you. Win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

    FYI the info page gets even more fucking histrionic [https://www.facebook.com/AtheistsAgainstFreeThoughtBlogs/info]:

    Greta Christina, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, PZ Myers, and Jen McCreight DO NOT represent the majority of the freethinking community! They are nothing but bullies on a never ending witch hunt, backed up by dogmatic sycophants. They are the intellectually weak-minded folks who use the same fallacies as the religious people that we, as atheists, argue against.

    Ed Brayton is a fucking idiot who is quick to suppress freethought if it goes against his “groupthink”, yet he continues to let bullies carry on in their never ending witch hunt.

    They are not skeptics, nor freethinkers, and we condemn them.

    OMG! They’re bullies! ONOZE! Condemned on the internet! Fainting couch, stat!

    Their heroes appear to be Paula Kirby and John Loftus and probably Thunder-ego as well – basically anyone who has a beef with Ed, PZ, Ophelia, Greta or anyone else who speaks out against douchebucketry. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn the page was the invention of a fan – maybe Thunder himself!

    Anyway, thought I’d mention it for the LULZ. Go have a pleasant chat with them!

  248. says

    jacklewis

    Nudity sending messages (probably not of the syllogistic type though) about sex… who would have thought (that Loftus is really thinking outside the box…)?

    This says a lot about about you, not much about nudity.
    Seems like you’re one of those ignorant young men Loftus had in mind.
    The only known solution to ignorance is education. Come back when you’ve done that.

    David Bohn
    How on earth can “This sends mixed messages” be charitably interpreted as anything else but the sender, i.e. women posing nude does something?
    Basic fucking sentence. Present, active, indicative.
    Implying that the problem is on the side of the sender.
    For somebody who is so proud of having written a book that should be a no-brainer.
    Let’s compare it to this:
    “Those women posed nude for a calendar. This might be interpreted by ignorant young men to mean that women are avaible”
    Who’s doing it now?

  249. davidbohm says

    echidna:

    Thank you for your analysis. To jump to your conclusion:

    there is indeed good reason to think that Loftus believes that the misinterpretation of the behaviour of some women by some men is then applied generally to all atheist women. I believe that Loftus has constructed his argument using the “ignorant young man” and the changes of context to state a very clear normative position that women who are harassed should place the blame on other atheist women, who have essentially led ignorant young men to behave badly. It’s the Eve trope.

    But I simply think the conclusion you arrive at is different than the question i originally made my comment about:

    Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.

    If you think that an affirmative “YES!” to the above question is the best way of reading loftus, and that really capture his beliefs on women, then I guess the only way to proceed is to send him an email and ask him if that is really the case, or agree to disagree. I didnt know this discussion would become so involving when i originally posted.

  250. John Morales says

    [meta]

    davidbohm retorts:

    Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.

    If you think that an affirmative “YES!” to the above question is the best way of reading loftus, and that really capture his beliefs on women, then I guess the only way to proceed is to send him an email and ask him if that is really the case, or agree to disagree.

    If you think that the person you quote thinks that an affirmative “YES!” to the above question is the best way of reading loftus then you miss the (barbed) point.

    I didnt know this discussion would become so involving when i originally posted.

    Your ignorance is no excuse.

  251. echidna says

    davidbohm: the original question

    Does Loftus really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone? Madness.

    I can’t say what he really thinks, but it’s what he wrote. He didn’t write that a woman posing nude intends to send the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone, but he wrote that this is the message that he believes is received by the “ignorant young men”. It’s consistent with the whole “fallen woman” idea, and doesn’t reflect modern notions of women’s autonomy. Loftus may be right that some men receive this message, where he errs is that it is not up to the women to change their behaviour because some men may misinterpret it, rather it is up to the men to understand what does and does not form consent. It is up to people who aspire to leadership, like John Loftus, to educate these ignorant young men, not to berate the women.

    Change at the macro level is slow, and it is worth reflecting that even women’s voting rights have only been established relatively recently, historically speaking, and that change does not occur instantaneously across all sections of society or all countries.

    Women only gained the vote in New Zealand in 1893, (the first in the world where all adult women were allowed the vote), and Switzerland in 1971. In some countries, women still do not have the vote. Religious institutions tend to lag changes in society. Loftus appears to carry with him some traditional notions that are better relegated to the past.

    I have no intention of emailing Loftus, but you can if you like. Note, though, that Greta Christina also dismantled his post, and he said that he agreed completely with her assessment. His comment on her blog was inconsistent with his own blog post.

    My touchstone with any kind of interpretation or analysis is that if you can see an internal inconsistency, then something is not right somewhere. This is the case with Loftus’s writings on this topic.

  252. davidbohm says

    John Morales:


    If you think that the person you quote thinks that an affirmative “YES!” to the above question is the best way of reading loftus then you miss the (barbed) point.

    I guess i miss the point then. All i can do is to repeat my original post: I dont think it benefit anyone to use the less-plausible but more controversial reading of those we disagree with.
    My least favorite arguments are of the “According to evolution we all came from a rock by chance”-variant; if I dont like such way of making exagerated arguments when its used against me, I should not commend it in other contexts.
    If you disagree and think this is an effective strategy I think we should leave it at that.

  253. davidbohm says

    echidna

    I will cite you in full:

    I can’t say what he really thinks, but it’s what he wrote. He didn’t write that a woman posing nude intends to send the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone, but he wrote that this is the message that he believes is received by the “ignorant young men”. It’s consistent with the whole “fallen woman” idea, and doesn’t reflect modern notions of women’s autonomy. Loftus may be right that some men receive this message, where he errs is that it is not up to the women to change their behaviour because some men may misinterpret it, rather it is up to the men to understand what does and does not form consent. It is up to people who aspire to leadership, like John Loftus, to educate these ignorant young men, not to berate the women.

    Precisely! So why not simply write that? It seems we agree that “a woman posing nude intends to send the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone” is simply not a very plausible way of summerizing what loftus actually believe, and I dont see why it help convicing anyone to represent him that way.

  254. echidna says

    The most plausible reading is the one which which Is internally consistent, especially if there is a framework that it fits into. What is controversial about my analysis? More importantly, is there anything I have misrepresented or omitted?

  255. davidbohm says

    echidna


    The most plausible reading is the one which which Is internally consistent, especially if there is a framework that it fits into. What is controversial about my analysis? More importantly, is there anything I have misrepresented or omitted?

    No, i agreed with you. Especially this part: He didn’t write that a woman posing nude intends to send the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone,
    Thats my exact point: If that is not in fact what Loftus believe why ask the question if he believe so?

  256. echidna says

    Ah, but the point of Loftus’s post is that it is the women causing the problem, even if they didn’t intend to, and the women who should change their behaviour to meet the men’s needs, even if it is the men are in the wrong.

    This is what is causing the furore.

  257. echidna says

    Now you are arguing in bad faith. Do not quote partial sentences, especially cutting off a “but”:

    He didn’t write that a woman posing nude intends to send the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone, but he wrote that this is the message that he believes is received by the “ignorant young men”.

    PZ’s question was fine: Loftus appears to believe that women send the message of availability, as received by ignorant young men.

  258. davidbohm says

    Echidna: No bad faith intended. I guess we must just agree we see things differently.

  259. ChasCPeterson says

    Please rethink and reverse this censorious step.

    Yeah, I too thought that was extreme.

  260. echidna says

    What, exactly, do you see differently? Write it down carefully, because as far as I can see, you don’t seem to disagree with what I’ve said. You just seem to want PZ to be more respectful to Loftus: a respect he has not earned.

  261. davidbohm says

    Echidna: I dont think I formulate myself much clearer than i did in my original post #234. Keep in mind that i am not talking about respect in it.

  262. vaiyt says

    davidbohm:

    The gist of Loftus’ argument is that “ignorant men” are getting a “mixed message” from those particular women’s attitudes (I’m making a charitable reading here, because he phrased it by centering the responsibility on the sender).

    The following sentences go on to say that THE WOMEN are the ones in the wrong, because how are the ignorant menz to know which women are available when they are doing things they are interpreting wrong?

    THIS is what is being criticized. Stop nitpicking.

    PS: I’m being charitable here and assuming you actually want to be reasonable, instead of being yet another asshole who wants to crypto-defend the indefensible under the guise of “playing devil’s advocate”. It’s like they’re all sockpuppets of the same person or something.

  263. Sili says

    Re blacklisting:

    Your overreaction in the heat of anger will sabotage potentially useful linking and discussion of topics that he’s actually capable of being scholarly on.

    Please rethink and reverse this censorious step.

    If his opinion on some unrelated matter is really that important, it’s hardly impossible to make a link to it through indirect means.

    Just as we can still discuss articles on Conservap<aelig>dia even if linking directly triggers the spamfilter. So if Loftdouche says something important, just give the title of the post on Boinkadoinkchristianity and quote what you need.

  264. davidbohm says

    vaiyt: My post was not about what was being critisized, but how it was done.

  265. ChasCPeterson says

    I’m curious as to what other sites are on the blacklist. Conservopædia is one, I agree.

  266. Owlmirror says

    If his opinion on some unrelated matter is really that important, it’s hardly impossible to make a link to it through indirect means.

    If someone’s comment is deleted, it’s hardly impossible to post it again, or post it again elsewhere.

    If someone is banned, it’s hardly impossible to morph and use a proxy.

    The policy which makes things harder on people is the point, not that there can be workarounds for those who know about the policy.

    Just as we can still discuss articles on Conservap<aelig>dia even if linking directly triggers the spamfilter.

    As I recall, Conservapœdia was dumped into the spam bucket because it was specifically being spammed — multiple repeated comments posted with links to the site. I can understand PZ wanting to avoid being overwhelmed by junk comments. But that’s not the case with debunking Christianity.

    So if Loftdouche says something important, just give the title of the post on Boinkadoinkchristianity and quote what you need.

    And another distinction is that Conservapœdia is an obvious site for kooks, nuts, and Poes/satirists. While Loftus has obvious problems just now, most of his historical material is not in that category. And, again, hopefully he’ll recover his perspective and rationality for future posts.

  267. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    @Owlmirror Go read the piece he put up today. It’s called “how to silence dissent” or some such.

  268. Owlmirror says

    @Owlmirror Go read the piece he put up today. It’s called “how to silence dissent” or some such.

    I know he’s having a complete meltdown about FtB now. I do not dispute this.

  269. echidna says

    davidbohm,
    One more time, from your original formulation

    I think there are two ways of reading Loftus post
    1) “some ignorant young men” may think the women in the calendar is sending “mixed messages”.
    2) Loftus himself think that women who pose in these calendars “is sending the message she is available for sex anytime with anyone”.

    Loftus wrote a post in which he claims that a woman posing nude is deemed by “ignorant young men” to have sent the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone.

    I believe you agree with this. Assuming that Loftus’s post reflects what he thinks, then Loftus is claiming both 1) and 2).

    Loftus may not think that the women are “available” himself, but that is not really the point. He believes that the women are causing some men to believe atheist women are available because some women took part in Boobquake, or whatever else they may have done.

    One more thing: this whole concept of women being “available” (for the taking) is offensive. I remember when it was deemed impossible to rape a prostitute, because she was assumed to have consented to anything at anytime by anybody. I’m glad those days are gone.

  270. davidbohm says

    echidna:

    Please do not think I am replying to your post merely to be obtuse. I will cite you in full:

    Loftus may not think that the women are “available” himself, but that is not really the point. He believes that the women are causing some men to believe atheist women are available because some women took part in Boobquake, or whatever else they may have done.

    Regarding the bolded part: That is entirely my point. IF loftus does not think women are “available” himself, then he does not really think that a woman posing nude means she is sending the message that she is available for sex anytime with anyone and there is in my oppinion no reason to use the question for rethorical purposes because it does not reflect the situation..

    One can ofcourse problematize what loftus has written out of other considerations (as many have done), but that is asides the point I wanted to make. Notice I state this as my oppinion not objective fact i expect or demand others to adopt.

    While the above is all i have to add in respect to my comment #234, since you ask for my oppinion on the subject I want to add something regarding the non-bolded part of the quote:
    I think it is very plausible that ignorant young men think that way at atheist conferences, what it boils down to is what each of us think should be done:

    (1) lets hit them with a cluestick. (good)
    (2) lets ignore them. (bad)
    (3) lets therefore not make calendars. (worse)

  271. dapartypoopah says

    I am not saying posting nude = all skeptic women are free to demand sex off
    BUT, posting nude on pictures for everybody to see is sexual, you sexualize yourself. So it isn’t really a stretch to ask why it is ok to sexualize yourself on a piece of paper for any borderline rapist to drool on but these same people don’t like to be hit on because it sexualizes them. I mean isn’t that kinda conflicting?

  272. Stevarious says

    I am not saying posting nude = all skeptic women are free to demand sex off
    BUT, posting nude on pictures for everybody to see is sexual, you sexualize yourself. So it isn’t really a stretch to ask why it is ok to sexualize yourself on a piece of paper for any borderline rapist to drool on but these same people don’t like to be hit on because it sexualizes them. I mean isn’t that kinda conflicting?

    The idea that nudity = sexuality is one of those sexist opinions that sexists hold. The idea that amount of skin displayed equals degree of sexual invitation is exactly the train of thought that lead to the burqa.

    Nudity does not equal sexuality. Nudity is simply ‘lack of clothes’. You are exactly the kind of ‘ignorant young man’ that Loftus is referring to in his post. The only (known) cure for ignorance is education. So please educate yourself.

  273. Stevarious says

    You are exactly the kind of ‘ignorant young man’

    And the fact that you may well not be a ‘young man’ does not change the point. You are clearly ignorant.

  274. Sili says

    I mean isn’t that kinda conflicting?

    No, it isn’t.

    This has been Easy Answers to Easy Questions!. Thank you for playing. Better luck next time.

  275. dapartypoopah says

    “The idea that nudity = sexuality is one of those sexist opinions that sexists hold”

    Really? I thought that was just common knowledge. I guess its just my sexist mind that makes me feel aroused when I see a beautiful naked lady.

  276. dapartypoopah says

    “No, it isn’t.

    This has been Easy Answers to Easy Questions!. Thank you for playing. Better luck next time.”

    Sorry, I am a skeptic, I don’t usually just accept things people say, I tend to ask questions and figure stuff out, especially when I am ignorant on the subject. Next time I will just accept anything written here, guess I just must accept holy scripture on faith right? :)

  277. dapartypoopah says

    “The idea that amount of skin displayed equals degree of sexual invitation is exactly the train of thought that lead to the burqa.

    Nudity does not equal sexuality. Nudity is simply ‘lack of clothes’. You are exactly the kind of ‘ignorant young man’ that Loftus is referring to in his post. The only (known) cure for ignorance is education. So please educate yourself.”

    Actually I was just thinking of something. So if I go to one of these conferences and strip all my clothes infront of a woman you promise me I won’t get thrown out for sexual harassment? I mean there is nothing sexual about a naked person right?

  278. Stevarious says

    I guess its just my sexist mind that makes me feel aroused when I see a beautiful naked lady.

    Well, like so many things, context is important. Is this naked lady perhaps posing in the pages of the Hustler you stole from your dad’s sock drawer? In that case, she is is posing in a sexually provocative manner, and is intended to be sexual.

    But if you go to a nude beach and embarrass yourself in front of the people there, you will get thrown out. Or the gynecologist’s office. Or a restaurant where a woman is breastfeeding. Or the girl’s locker room in your school. Or really any situation where you (personally) are likely to see a naked woman any time soon.

    So, yes, it is your sexist mind (or rather, your sexist opinions) that make you state that you would automatically be aroused by a naked woman, no matter the context.

    I understand that you have been conditioned by certain elements of our culture to conflate nudity with sex. Really I do. But it’s up to you to learn that those elements of our culture are toxic, and harm everyone. They harm the women you are objectifying, and they harm you by making you unable to see attractive women as anything more than sex objects.

    So if I go to one of these conferences and strip all my clothes infront of a woman you promise me I won’t get thrown out for sexual harassment? I mean there is nothing sexual about a naked person right?

    The point is that nudity is not equal to sexuality, not that nudity can never be sexual. In this case, not only would your actions be overtly sexual, they would be incredibly inappropriate and yes you would be thrown out. But you, of course, already knew this.

  279. jemby5 says

    I’m a straight male therefore i am naturally sexually attracted to females. My body doesn’t first inquire what the intentions are of said female prior to experiencing attraction, that’s not the way sexuality works.

    “I understand that you have been conditioned by certain elements of our culture to conflate nudity with sex.”

    Wrong, it’s an artifact of my biology. I am no more conditioned to sexualize an attractive female than a gay man is to do the same to another male. You’re dropping a lot of junk social science cliches from the 70′s. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’re over 50. If I act on these feelings against the will of another then I’m with you. However, I can, have, and will sexualize women I’m attracted to. I sexualize my fiance because I’m fucking sexually attracted to her. If you think this is some aberration of socialization you are living in a fool’s paradise. If a guy assaults, stalks, or harasses another, sexually or otherwise then we have a common ground. Short of that, kindly take your boring cliches back to whatever Bible study you fled from.

    Now ban me P.Z.

  280. Stevarious says

    @jemby5

    You know what, when I started reading your post, I was actually looking forward to discussing this. There are studies to cite and points to be made about psychology and sociology that could make for an interesting and valuable discussion.

    Alas:

    Now ban me P.Z.

    You clearly announced that you are not actually interested in having a discussion about the subject. You are just trolling with a contrary opinion in the hopes that PZ will feed your persecution complex by banning you.

    Why should he bother? If you think the site is so awful that you would actually like to be banned so that you can never comment here again, why would you come here and comment in the first place, unless you are a troll looking to be banned to feed your persecution complex?

    Too bad, too. The lurkers might have learned something interesting from the discussion.

  281. jonathanray says

    If one forgot about or turned a blind eye to the aggravating circumstances of the elevator incident and the card incident, and therefore concluded that skepchicks may freak out about less shitty propositions, and that therefore people can’t risk propositioning anyone at a conference, then that would explain why Lofon said what he said. Maybe it’s a product of memory contamination by all the strawmanning of elevatorgate.

  282. jonathanray says

    Nude calendars are sexual. The vast majority of the sales of nude calendars rely on that. If everyone were asexual, few would bother making or buying nude calendars. Even among artists, nude painting/photography is usually sexually motivated, sometimes with pretenses to the contrary as a means to evade censors or social derision. There’s nothing wrong with it being sexually motivated.

    Posing nude in a calendar is, however, not an invitation to be handed nude business cards from any schmuck you meet at a con, or to be cornered in an elevator, or to be propositioned in any other inappropriate way. The “contradiction” is based on ignoring the aggravating circumstances of the propositions that have been complained about, and ignoring the fact that famous people get tired of dealing with thousands of drooling fans presuming familiarity. All posing nude “signals” is that the people involved are probably not socially conservative and are comfortable with their bodies.