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We told him to do that

Ian Cromwell has some fun with the mythology outsiders have about Freethoughtblogs — did you know it’s a radical feminist hive mind here? I have to say, whenever I see someone talk about “radical feminist” unironically, I have the same frisson of rising ridicule I get when I see them babble about “militant atheist”.

By the way, despite all the furor lately (or because of it), I’m getting a number of requests from people wanting to join Freethoughtblogs, and asking how to do it. It’s not easy, especially right now.

We have a vaguely defined limit on how many blogs we want to take on. I think the major limitation is that right now, Ed Brayton has all the administrative duties, and we don’t want to break him. We’re getting close to what he can handle already.

Up to this point, we’ve been rather casual about it all — the bloggers discuss it, every once in a while someone emerges from those discussions as really good, and we send an invite. It’s worked exceptionally well so far, and I think we’ve got a great collection of people here, but it is going to have a significant failure rate, as we’ve recently discovered. We’re in the process of tightening up our procedure right now. That means we’re a closed shop for a little while, until we’ve resolved everything.

We don’t and won’t have an admissions boss — no one will have unilateral say on who gets in. We have an admissions committee to do preliminary review, but I’m not on it (and I won’t tell you who is), so there’s no point to sucking up to me. Again, it’s a consensus thing.

So don’t ask us, we’ll ask you is really the answer.

Your best strategy: write a really good blog. Write well. Write consistently. Talk about subjects the FtB bloggers are interested in. But of course, if you can do all that, you don’t need to be on FtB.

Also, did I ever tell you that early in my science career I was a surgical assistant, and my main job was carving into animals’ skulls with dental drills and using a stereotaxic to insert probes and cannulae that I’d then fix into place permanently with great globs of dental acrylic? Check our bloggers heads for little lumps of pink plastic with wires dangling out.

Comments

  1. says

    I have to say, whenever I see someone talk about “radical feminist” unironically, I have the same frisson of rising ridicule I get when I see them babble about “militant atheist”.

    While there certainly are self-identified radical feminists, most people talking about radfem aren’t actually talking about radfem. FtB would need to change beyond recognition to fit that label.

  2. John Morales says

    PZ:

    Up to this point, we’ve been rather casual about it all [...] It’s worked exceptionally well so far [...]

    Loftus and thunderpod aside, I suppose so.

    (Libby doesn’t count)

  3. Brownian says

    did you know it’s a radical feminist hive mind here?

    So I’ve been informed. Did you know that *dun-dun-DUNNN!* we’re just like the religious?

    Mandrellian noted a brand new facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/AtheistsAgainstFreeThoughtBlogs

    An interesting comment about Justin from Felch Grogan:

    Guess it should come as no surprise that Justin Griffith turned out to be a two-faced manipulator playing Mr. Reasonable on ERV – he is after all a freefromthoughtblogger

    In regards to his wading through the pit. See, since he’s not totally with them, he’s a two-faced manipulator. That’s ‘freethought’ to these fuckers. You’re either with them, or against them.

    Gosh, isn’t that kettle black?

  4. Louis says

    I demand my own FTB blog. Or at least the Leica camera of my choosing.

    If my demands are not met I will defriend everyone on Facebook, despite the fact I don’t use it, and tweet viciously to all my important acquaintances, despite the fact I do not use Twitter.

    Don’t make me do something utterly inconsequential over an entirely trivial and delusional demand.

    Louis

  5. Brownian says

    Or at least the Leica camera of my choosing.

    Your choosing? The camera in question is a Leica Rangefinder.

    C’mon, Louis. You’ll have to do better than that if you wanna be part of Freethought Borgs.

    (For fun, Google leica+Rangefinder+kwok and read through his many reviews of Leica cameras (out of a total of (holy shit!) 2,062 Amazon reviews)).

  6. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophanti says

    Louis, that’s Leica rangefinder, not camera.

    And you have to drop lots of names.

    Not just names, but the names of famous peoples.

  7. says

    I think that this is the appropriate place to mention that I was very positively surprised with Christina Rad. I was a tad afraid that we would be getting our very own Chill Girl, having lost interest in her stuff on youtube some time ago, but her writing and sincerity are really much better than what I remember from her videos.

  8. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophanti says

    What is John Kwok up to nowadays?

    Well, his name did come up as I was discussing the Leica Rangefinder with both Paul McCartney and Paul Simon, but, according to someone who taught at his school, and who is good friends with both Pauls (but not Saul), he has finally figured out how to fit it anally.

  9. dianne says

    Doesn’t “radical feminist” have a specific meaning? I seem to think it means (or used to mean) a person who believes that men and women fundamentally can’t live and work together as equals and that the only way for women to be truly free is to live completely separately from men. Needless to say, they have significant problems dealing with trans people of either gender and intersex people give them fits.

  10. says

    I demand three FT Blogs. If my demands are not met within 24 hours, I will coin a bizarre Twitter tag, and use it in a torrent of nasty and weird tweets about how tragically persecuted I am, and how everyone who doesn’t agree with me is a baboon.

  11. sc_3456b6ece90a0d3688ef9e307180cabb says

    I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I was not so far from where TF was on the whole femisinism issue not so long ago. Even as I considered myself a feminist. When the Watkins-elevator post first broke, I thought much like Dawkins did (and apparently, sadly, still does, unless I have missed some subsequent writings from him that state otherwise).

    It was the strength and well-written nature of Jen’s and Rebecca’s posts in response to Dawkins that really got me to ponder this through the haze of privilege-addled neurons that I never even knew were firing inside my skull. I have always prided myself on standing up for equality and fairness and for feeling those values to my core and acting based upon them. But I learned that that is really not nearly enough; that we must step beyond that to be aware of and immune to the influences of social norms that, while tremendously improved over historic times, continue to render individuals of less privileged groups with profound, insidious influences that I was largely blind to.

    I can safely say I was never the type of person to make an inappropriate-time-and-place place proposition of the nature Watkins blogged about in the elevator, but my former self would never have realized how it constituted such a serious violation of the recipient’s personal boundaries and sense of well-being at that moment, regardless of the how oblivious the propositioner might have been to that effect.

    I genuinely want to thank Rebecca Watson, Jennifer McCreight, PZ Myers, and the many others who posted on the subject and constructively contributed to the lengthy and heated conversations that followed. I really had to spend considerable time to fully understand and accept how wrong and ignorant my initial reaction to this subject was. I am happy to say that I get it now, and I’m a better person for it. It not only helps me understand sex/gender issues I was previously unaware of, but it helps me better sense and appreciate issues that many less-privileged groups experience all the time in different contexts.

    Now it all seems so obvious to me, although I realize this old white straight middle-classed male probably has much more to learn about respecting the perspectives of others and trying to peer around the privileged gauze I have been gazing society through. I’m embarrassed it took me 47 years to reach this point, and it wouldn’t have happened without the bloggers here courageously defending their points and standing by them against perhaps the most famous voice in the whole atheism movement.

    As an athiest that still respects Dawkins’ visionary work and advocacy of atheism, it saddens me that he is unable to see past his privilege. I am encouraged that some brilliant atheist bloggers had the courage to stick to their guns and call him out on it, and I hope it pays off for him in the long run as it did for me.

  12. Louis says

    I am sorry, but I was not copying Kwok, the very idea! That was a brand new and totally not ripped off new demand. Any similarity is only evidence of your Hive Mind issues.*

    Louis

    * Or possibly Deeeep Rifts, depending on how I feel.

  13. Brownian says

    Doesn’t “radical feminist” have a specific meaning?

    Yes, it means their valence shells aren’t completely filled with electrons.

  14. says

    Louis, try me. In fact, I’ll stop referring to FTB altogether, and start referring to it as FfTB, where the little “f” stands for “from”. Doing so will turn the name into “Free-from Thought Blogs”. That’ll show you!

  15. sc_3456b6ece90a0d3688ef9e307180cabb says

    Ugh, not sure how I got this ugly long subscriber tag this morning. I have posted a few other times as PDX_Greg on Jen’s and a handful of other blogs. This morning I had to register to post this comment, and I apparently must have skipped a step about choosing a pseudonym and gotten some ugly random string.

  16. says

    sc_3456b6ece90a0d3688ef9e307180cabb:

    Ugh, not sure how I got this ugly long subscriber tag this morning.

    Actually it’s quite catchy. Can we call you sc_3456 for short?

  17. Brownian says

    I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I was not so far from where TF was on the whole femisinism issue not so long ago

    SC_mess, it was longer ago for me, but I think it’s safe to say that a large number, if not the majority of (men at least) here once thought that way.

  18. kassad says

    It is depressing that anyone calling themselves rational would consider the brand(s) of feminism on FTB “radical”…
    I can’t wait for PZ Myers to preach gender separation or Ophelia to ponder on the benefits of chemical treatments of men to supress violent tendencies!

    Are any of those clowns ever research anything?

  19. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophanti says

    and gotten some ugly random string.

    I dunno. I think it’s cute.

  20. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophanti says

    I think it’s safe to say that a large number, if not the majority of (men at least) here once thought that way.

    Raises hand in agreement. For me, I mean.

  21. PDX_Greg says

    Thanks, Brownian. I mainly regret how long it took me. But I did get the tag thing figured out!

  22. says

    dianne:

    Doesn’t “radical feminist” have a specific meaning? I seem to think it means (or used to mean) a person who believes that men and women fundamentally can’t live and work together as equals and that the only way for women to be truly free is to live completely separately from men. Needless to say, they have significant problems dealing with trans people of either gender and intersex people give them fits.

    It places patriarchy as the primary form of oppression. There are feminist separatists like you described within radical feminism, but it seems like even within radfem that’s a fringe element. There are those who embrace “political lesbianism”, but there are plenty who maintain romantic attachments with men, even if PIV is deemed a problematic and invasive act by many radfem writers today.

    On the other hand, transphobia is very common in radfem spaces. Radfem has produced some very valuable theory on gender relations, but the transphobia and the insistence on seeing all problems through a patriarchal lens (which can minimize or co-opt other issues, while maximizing the voices of white middle-class cis women) drove me away.

    Only someone who knows nothing about radical feminism could ever mistake FtB for a radfem space.

  23. Brownian says

    It is depressing that anyone calling themselves rational

    I’ve been around long enough to know that ‘rational’ is one of those self-applied terms that usually marks the user as anything but.

  24. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Are any of those clowns ever research anything?

    Are they research anything, indeed.

  25. says

    When the Watkins-elevator post first broke, I thought much like Dawkins did (and apparently, sadly, still does, unless I have missed some subsequent writings from him that state otherwise)….

    I am happy to say that I get it now, and I’m a better person for it. It not only helps me understand sex/gender issues I was previously unaware of, but it helps me better sense and appreciate issues that many less-privileged groups experience all the time in different contexts.

    Now it all seems so obvious to me, although I realize this old white straight middle-classed male probably has much more to learn about respecting the perspectives of others and trying to peer around the privileged gauze I have been gazing society through.

    I think recognizing this is the key, as I suggested at the time (I doubt Dawkins was paying attention). The past year has confirmed this. There have been several people making comments like yours, but none (or a trivially small number) of them have been among those making any substantial number of anti-feminist or condescending comments on these threads. It seems to me clear that the people who are able to grow are those who can acknowledge the possible effects of their own privilege or ignorance at least enough to stop talking and read what feminists are saying.

    It’s like a temporary suspension of privilege-clouded disbelief that can open the door just enough. I’m not sure about Justin Griffih in this regard. He seems to have some recognition of his cluelessness and talks about wanting to learn, but instead of shutting up and reading or asking questions of feminists, he prefers to try to lecture and brag. I guess I’m cautiously optimistic about him.

  26. kassad says

    @Antiochus Epiphanes

    Are any of those clowns ever research anything?

    Are they research anything, indeed.

    That’s obviously not right. It should read “Is any of those clowns reshearch anything?”

    Seriously though, I should have proofread, sorry :/

  27. Brownian says

    still hogglin’

    The man’s got a lot of…er…time on his hands, what with paying for sex and then asking the sex worker if she could confirm his beliefs about sex work. (Surprise! She did.)

    Chas: sharp, catching that.

    Never let it be said that the man did not know his way around an anagram.

  28. ChasCPeterson says

    Og, love the new subnym, but if I may, a nuance of taxonomical nomenclature?
    The -i ending signifies that the specific epithet is an honorific derived from a person’s name, making an adjective that means ‘named after’.
    The correct case-match to the genus (noun) Dogmaticus would be the adjective sycophantus.

  29. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    It’s like a temporary suspension of privilege-clouded disbelief that can open the door just enough. I’m not sure about Justin Griffih in this regard?

    Collateral damage to my cranium from savagely wielded clue-by-fours has done wonders in dispelling my own clouds. It is a little appreciated service that many of you perform without so much as a thank you. So thank you.

  30. ChasCPeterson says

    Oh, I didn’t catch it; somebody else did. Felch Grogan is actually the older nym whence he derived the Hoggle persona.

    [btw if you look up 'felch' and 'grogan' on the Urban Dictionary (NOT REALLY RECOMMENDED), you can get some insight into the guy's twisted mind (NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL).]

  31. 'Tis Himself says

    We should be grateful to Grogan/Hoggle for the term “hoggling.” He should also be appreciative. It’s not everyone who has a figure of speech named after them.

  32. says

    To be honest, until a few months ago I thought Franc Hoggle was his real name. I’m not that good at identifying pseudonyms, I suppose – probably because I don’t particularly care. I tend to forget the name behind the ‘nym in any event.

  33. Brownian says

    [btw if you look up 'felch' and 'grogan' on the Urban Dictionary (NOT REALLY RECOMMENDED), you can get some insight into the guy's twisted mind (NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL).]

    I knew what ‘felch’ meant, but I had no idea ‘grogan’ was a thing. (I’m not entirely sure it is. UD is not the most reliable chronicler of pop culture.)

    The dipshit so reminds me of my father, who would name his cities in the game Civilization things like “cuntfucker”, “assholeface”, and “shiteater”.

    It’s not edgy. It’s obsessed and disturbed.

  34. says

    I was fairly clueless prior to Elevatorgate. I paid little attention to articles about sexism in the atheist movement. This was mostly due to the fact that I interpreted the complaints as yet another attack on the New Atheists. (Ironically, many of the Hogglites were themselves anti-gnus; now they’ve found a new other to attack.)

    When Elevatorgate broke, I was exposed to the true nature of the Hogglites, in all its rabid glory. I quickly saw sense.

  35. Emptyell says

    sc_3456b6ece90a0d3688ef9e307180cabb
    4 July 2012 at 10:50 am

    Ugh, not sure how I got this ugly long subscriber tag this morning…

    You just need to stop banging your head on the keyboard.

    No worries though. In the hive names are irrelevant.

  36. consciousness razor says

    [btw if you look up 'felch' and 'grogan' on the Urban Dictionary (NOT REALLY RECOMMENDED), you can get some insight into the guy's twisted mind (NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL).]

    Not going to do that. I looked up some ChasCPeterson anagrams instead:

    scratches peon
    pesto chancres
    accepts herons
    respects nacho
    he stops cancer
    accosts her pen
    chase corn pets

  37. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    ChasCPeterson accepts herons?

    Well, there goes my entire day.

    Just when you think you know someone.

    (and thanks for the ‘nymgestion)

  38. Brownian says

    scratches peon

    Ow! That drew blo—no, it’s just red, but ow! Stop it, Chas.

  39. smhll says

    Collateral damage to my cranium from savagely wielded clue-by-fours has done wonders in dispelling my own clouds.

    It’s widely believed that pain enhances the learning process.

  40. says

    I’m a radical feminist, and I find it very unfortunate that most people think that “radical feminism” means “extreme feminism”, which is definitely not the case. I wish schools provided education on all the different strands of feminist theory, especially since radfems tend to get strawmanned to hell and back out of simple ignorance.

  41. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I fail to see why radical should be such a dirty word. It means addressing the root of the problem – in this case patricarchy. And I see a lot of that happening around here.

  42. ChasCPeterson says

    Here are the definitions of “radical feminism” I have gathered from this thread alone:

    I seem to think it means (or used to mean) a person who believes that men and women fundamentally can’t live and work together as equals and that the only way for women to be truly free is to live completely separately from men.

    it means their valence shells aren’t completely filled with electrons.

    to preach gender separation or…to ponder on the benefits of chemical treatments of men to supress violent tendencies

    It places patriarchy as the primary form of oppression. There are feminist separatists like you described within radical feminism, but it seems like even within radfem that’s a fringe element. There are those who embrace “political lesbianism”, but there are plenty who maintain romantic attachments with men, even if PIV is deemed a problematic and invasive act by many radfem writers today.

    [this last strikes me as a remarkable denial of basic biology, without even bringing in any notions of essentialism. Or wait...are (some) radical feminists themselves biological gender essentialists? -CCP]

    most people think that “radical feminism” means “extreme feminism”, which is definitely not the case.

    It means addressing the root of the problem – in this case patriarchy.

    The obvious joke answer aside (ha!ha! “chemical treatments”!) maybe this definitional issue is part of the problem.

    I’ve been prety impressed with crommunist in the thread linked by the OP.

  43. RFW says

    Semantic clarification:

    “radical feminist” = “uppity wimmin with overtones of ‘I didn’t get laid'”

    Undoubtedly some feminists are radical. They collect antique animal castrators, think the world would be a better place if such implements were universally deployed except on a few males reserved for breeding, cut their hair short, wear men’s undies, don’t make sammiches for men, and so on. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. There’s plenty of room in the world for them; given the poor hand societies generally deal to women, who can blame them?

    But as I write this, a conundum heaves into view: how should a feminist present herself to the world? If she chooses long hair, frilly clothes, silk panties, and makeup, she’s conforming to the model society tries to impose on women. If, otoh, she goes for short hair, no makeup, pants, and men’s Jockey underwear, she’s adopted a pseudo-male appearance, equally objectionable. Or so it seems to me.

    How then can a radical feminist dress and groom so she’s presentable, happy in her own skin, yet doesn’t validate gender stereotypes? Any suggestions?

    PS: I’m being deliberately provocative. Don’t blow your fuses, folks.

  44. ChasCPeterson says

    Obviously the thing to do is take over the world and issue Mao suits to everybody.

  45. davidbohm says

    RFW: Wouldnt others perception of ones way of dressing and grooming be entirely besides the point per default? Ie. it is simply a non-issue to begin with.

  46. Blueaussi says

    What’s a Chill Girl? I keep seeing it come up, but googling the term isn’t doing me much good. One conversation on a dating web site made it sound like a Chill Girl was a Fuck Buddy with fewer strings attached, which would pretty much make a Chill Girl a Doormat; but they kept comparing it to a Sexy Girl, which just adds to my confusion.

    Ok, so that pretty much puts me over my run-on sentence quota for the day. I’m off to my traditional 4th of July celebration of huddling on the bed, trying to comfort my firework-phobic dog.

  47. says

    ChasCPeterson:

    [this last strikes me as a remarkable denial of basic biology, without even bringing in any notions of essentialism. Or wait...are (some) radical feminists themselves biological gender essentialists? -CCP]

    Essentialism shows up frequently in radical feminist circles. I won’t say all radfems are biological gender essentialists, but it’s certainly a dominant idea in the blogosphere at the very least. As someone who considers xemself genderqueer, in a relationship with a trans men, I encountered a great deal of hostility.

    If some/the majority of radfems are not gender essentialists and don’t support transphobia, they’d be well served by making themselves louder and spending more time countering the transphobia within their own circles.

    Jadehawk summed up a lot of my concerns really nicely.

  48. dianne says

    given the poor hand societies generally deal to women, who can blame them?

    I can. Not for contemplating a world without men but for acting like complete jerks to trans people who are even more vulnerable. (See, for example, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival’s attitude.)

  49. smhll says

    How then can a radical feminist dress and groom so she’s presentable, happy in her own skin, yet doesn’t validate gender stereotypes? Any suggestions?

    May I propose half and half? I like more feminine on the upper half, so a female appearing hairstyle and top, but bottom half is pants and sensible shoes.

    (I never met a rhetorical question that I could resist.)

  50. says

    On the other hand, transphobia is very common in radfem spaces. Radfem has produced some very valuable theory on gender relations, but the transphobia and the insistence on seeing all problems through a patriarchal lens (which can minimize or co-opt other issues, while maximizing the voices of white middle-class cis women) drove me away.

    This. I remember, rather clearly, one work that claimed that racism and class-ism were ‘male-created divisions’, while implying the work to maintain them was entirely on men as well. While it’s almost certainly true that the structures that oppress on race or class arose primarily through the effort of men (Men dominating the elite in most of history), that does not even for a second mean women do not perpetuate those structures. That was the deciding moment when I knew that whatever I counted as, it wasn’t a radfem.

  51. says

    Oh, and then a little bit later I got pointed to some of the anti-trans articles I’d managed to avoid; that shit is fucking toxic, and I was kind of shaking with rage. My girlfriend does not deserve even a tiny bit of that shit.

  52. says

    ruteekatreya:

    While it’s almost certainly true that the structures that oppress on race or class arose primarily through the effort of men (Men dominating the elite in most of history), that does not even for a second mean women do not perpetuate those structures.

    Yes, thank you for expanding on this. And by creating a philosophical system where women who have benefited from racism or classism can ignore how they have perpetuated those structures, it also allows them to sidestep their ongoing privilege. Feminism needs to take into account the complexities of intersectionality and a simplistic viewpoint of oppression can’t do that.

  53. says

    …wear men’s undies,…

    I mostly wear men’s retro pants undies. They’re damn comfortable, fit my figure well and are much better quality than comparable women’s undies.

    As for the presentation: Anybody who wants to tell me what I have to wear (and we’re not talking about basic appropriateness like not coming to your friend’s wedding in your PJ’s unless they told you to) can fuck right off.

  54. ChasCPeterson says

    So if I’m understanding things properly at this point, according to the more straightforward definitions, anyone who talks causally about ‘the patriarchy’ is acting as a ‘radical feminist’. Yes?

  55. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    I’m really sick of the “radfem” = “any sort of feminist who is more extreme than what I consider okay.”

    I say that as a radfem.

    And yes, transphobia and (seemingly willful) ignorance and minimization of other forms of oppression are a real problem inside radfeminism, which is a problem. This is leading radfem to splinter, but (based on my own admittedly biased observations) the younger and louder radfems are less likely to be transphobes and more willing to talk about classism/racism/etc.

  56. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Rutee, if you ever want to get depressed, checkout the ongoing conflict with the organizers of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and Camp Trans.

    (I say organizers because the womyn-born-womyn policy is basically enforced by Lisa Vogel. A lot of the women on the land (At the MWMF) are supportive of Camp Trans.)

  57. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Part of the problem is that many of the famous radfems – people like Cathy Brennan – are also publicly and loudly vulgar transphobes. Which does not help in the slightest.

    MWMF is another clusterfuck, as Janine says.

  58. says

    Esteleth: That’s good to hear. There are many fantastic ideas that have come out of radical feminism (such as the central one that women don’t just need to be fully engaged in the existing system but restructure it entirely) and they shouldn’t be lost.

  59. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Esteleth, I did not say that. The problem with MWMF is at the top, Lisa Vogel. Like I said, a lot of the attendees are supportive of Camp Trans. A quite a few of the the women have helped to get people from Camp Trans onto the land.

    This also points to the fact that there are transmen who are still allowed to attend. Check out The Twilight Zone sometime.

  60. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Janine, I was mostly referring to Vogel and her circle. I know that the general attenders are supportive of Camp Trans.

  61. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Thank you, Esteleth. I did not want to give the impression that all of the women at MWMF were that toxically transphobic. Also, I think that events like MWMF are needed.

  62. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    Oh, I love the idea of MWMF! I’ve never been (it is way too far of a hike for me), but it is one of those things that is an awesome idea. I’ve also talked to a lot of women who have gone and most of them are very positive about it.

    It is so unfortunate that Vogel’s toxic views are allowed to squelch what could be a very positive addition to the experience.

  63. Brownian says

    and we’re not talking about basic appropriateness like not coming to your friend’s wedding in your PJ’s unless they told you to

    It wasn’t PJs. It was a hand-tailored Kaunda suit that I’d designed myself. The groom just thought it was PJs.

  64. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Doesn’t “radical feminist” have a specific meaning?

    It places patriarchy as the primary form of oppression.

    Some radical feminists happen to, but this is not the meaning of radical feminism, excepting a particular and not obvious meaning of primary.*

    Radical feminism is the stance that inequality measured across genders is rooted in violence by men against women. If this sounds too obvious, remember that some people have said otherwise; some have said it’s rooted in classism, and that by ending inequality measured across economic classes we would also end inequality measured across genders.

    *Patriarchy is usually taken to be the oldest extant form of group-based oppression, older than classism or racism. In this sense it could be said to be primary, because it happened first. However, this idea is usually communicated more unambiguously than by the word primary.

    So if I’m understanding things properly at this point, according to the more straightforward definitions, anyone who talks causally about ‘the patriarchy’ is acting as [expressing] a ‘radical feminist’ [analysis]. Yes?

    This depends on whether they hold that patriarchy is self-sustaining. If they hold that patriarchy is an epiphenomenon, then no.

  65. says

    Esteleth, Janine, if this isn’t veering too wildly off-topic…would you mind explaining what it is you personally like about the idea of MWMF? It’s always intrigued me, but Vogel’s transphobic (and trans erasing in the case of the male identified) policies have turned me off. Plus there’s the fact that, biology aside, I don’t know that it could truly be appropriate for me to be in a “women’s space.”

  66. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Caerie, because the traditional music venues has been so supportive of musician who are women.

    This is not to say that this is being done on purpose by the organizers of Lollapalooza but take a look at this year’s line up. Not saying that there are not women involved but this is mostly guys here. Events like MWMF are an outlet that lets women musicians be more visible.

    Also, huge gathering of lesbians.

    *grins*

  67. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    The central draw of the MWMF for me is the “by women, for women” meme.

    A lot of society is predicated on the idea that women should listen to men, and that a woman’s contributions are to be (at best) minimized. MWMF attacks that idea.

  68. Emptyell says

    How then can a radical feminist dress and groom so she’s presentable, happy in her own skin, yet doesn’t validate gender stereotypes? Any suggestions?

    For formal occasions I recommend the chain mail evening dress. With battle axe earrings of course.

    Jodhpurs and riding crops come to mind for sportswear.

    In overcoats I like the Cossack style. Unisex with edgy classiness.

    At work a bespoke suit, preferably Saville Row, top hat optional.

    Funny how everything that comes to mind reeks of patriarchy.

  69. says

    Blueaussi:

    What’s a Chill Girl?

    A “chill girl” is a female supporter of misogynists. They attempt to be one of the boys, by playing down instances of sexual harassment and discrimination, and by participating in retaliation against women who complain.

  70. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    How then can a radical feminist dress and groom so she’s presentable, happy in her own skin, yet doesn’t validate gender stereotypes? Any suggestions?

    I do not know what it means but I always loved this.

    But that is not what you were asking for.

  71. ChasCPeterson says

    sg: hmm, I think I see. Thanks.

    expressing a ‘radical feminist’ analysis

    yes, that’s better.

  72. Amphiox says

    How then can a radical feminist dress and groom so she’s presentable, happy in her own skin, yet doesn’t validate gender stereotypes?

    However she damn well chooses.

  73. says

    @ Amphiox:

    How then can a radical feminist dress and groom so she’s presentable, happy in her own skin, yet doesn’t validate gender stereotypes?

    However she damn well chooses.

    Shall I serve your Internet fried or just lightly sautéed?

  74. dianne says

    Anybody who wants to tell me what I have to wear (and we’re not talking about basic appropriateness like not coming to your friend’s wedding in your PJ’s unless they told you to) can fuck right off.

    That’s the bottom line for me too. I’m generally happy to take advice on what I should wear from just about anyone, but react very badly to people telling me I have to wear this or that (or that I can’t wear this or that.) I don’t care whether the demanded/forbidden object is a bikini or a burqa, it’s the use of force or coercion that’s objectionable.

  75. says

    Caerie:

    There are those who embrace “political lesbianism”

    …which is more than a little appropriative. Also, maybe it’s just me, but someone who’d want to fuck me only to make a political statement, not because they were attracted to me, would be a serious turn-off.

    the transphobia and the insistence on seeing all problems through a patriarchal lens (which can minimize or co-opt other issues, while maximizing the voices of white middle-class cis women) drove me away.

    Not that a lot of people in various progressive movements don’t fail at paying more than lip service to intersectionality, but plenty of white radfems seem to never have even heard the term before. In the last year or two I’ve seen a few of them lecturing black women on how grateful they should be to the second wave, which “did so much” for them. Uhhhh….

    Also, another thumbs up to the “Any way she wants to dress” sentiment.

  76. pramod says

    This is tangential but before bringing on new people, can you *please* pretty up the website? It’s horrible eyesore now.

    Since you’re both part of the radical feminist hivement, perhaps you could try hiring the person who did the design for skepchick. S/he really knows hir shit.

  77. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    …which is more than a little appropriative. Also, maybe it’s just me, but someone who’d want to fuck me only to make a political statement, not because they were attracted to me, would be a serious turn-off.

    Yeah, I’ve had the same issue with it. That some otherwise straight women consider it problematic to have relationships with men for various reasons isn’t something anyone else should judge, but political lesbianism bothers me. I love women and I am attracted to them; I’d hope anyone I was with felt the same way about me. The further people move away from reducing an orientation to a political choice, the better.

    In the last year or two I’ve seen a few of them lecturing black women on how grateful they should be to the second wave, which “did so much” for them.

    ::wince::

  78. patrickjulius says

    There clearly are such things as radical feminists.

    Indeed, some are obviously too radical, like anti-porn feminists and political lesbians. (Not to be confused with lesbians who are political, who are awesome. I’m talking about political lesbians, people who argue that women should choose to be lesbians because true feminism means not ever associating with men and certainly never having sex with them.) There are also Maoist feminists and feminist separatists.

    Of course, one would be hard-pressed to characterize PZ or Rebecca Watson in this way; while I might not always agree with them on everything, their basic message is clearly one of sex-positive egalitarian feminism (and hence not radical feminism).

    But honestly this is why I never liked the word “feminist”; if I say I am a sex-positive egalitarian, it’s relatively clear what I mean by that and it can be addressed on its own terms. If I say I am a feminist, what does that mean? There are too many kinds of feminist, and some of them really are insane.

  79. says

    Indeed, some are obviously too radical, like anti-porn feminists

    while I might not always agree with them on everything, their basic message is clearly one of sex-positive egalitarian feminism (and hence not radical feminism).

    In other words, radical is a word for the ones you don’t like, at the end of the day.

    There are also … feminist separatists.

    Yeah, that’s totally and demonstrably different from my desire to emigrate instead of reforming my society. I fucking hate it when the majority tells me we aren’t allowed to want out of the systems that shit on us.

    But honestly this is why I never liked the word “feminist”; if I say I am a sex-positive egalitarian, it’s relatively clear what I mean by that and it can be addressed on its own terms

    It means you’re a dude who considers getting his dick wet to be the most important thing, but wants to impress feminist chicks. At least, that’s what ‘sex positive egalitarian’ has ultimately meant every other time I heard it

  80. kexkex says

    patrickjulius:

    But honestly this is why I never liked the word “feminist”; if I say I am a sex-positive egalitarian, it’s relatively clear what I mean by that and it can be addressed on its own terms. If I say I am a feminist, what does that mean? There are too many kinds of feminist, and some of them really are insane.

    1. The phrase sex-positive is hardly clear cut on its own. The reason why it is clear in discussions of feminism is that is actually a term within the discourse and has a defined meaning. Just on its own, sex-positive can mean lots of things. I bet you that the assholes in Elevatorgate and in the whole debate about sexual harassment would call themselves sex-positive. Some of them just seem to be unconcerned about whether their partner is sex-positive too.

    2. The term feminism is needed the same way anti-racism and other similar terms are needed. Because however much one likes to call themselves an egalitarian or a humanist there are groups in society that are more exposed than others and there need to be specific ways to talk about those issues. And seriously, have you seen the way some atheists are behaving? Does that mean that the word atheist should be removed from our vocabulary too? Sure, you can say that atheism is simply the lack of belief in god and therefore a clearer term, but as this blog shows again and again, it really isn’t that simple.

  81. RFW says

    @ #54 davidbohm says:

    RFW: Wouldn’t others perception of ones way of dressing and grooming be entirely besides the point per default? Ie. it is simply a non-issue to begin with.

    Be nice were things that way, but our dress and grooming has pronounced semiotic significance, whether we like it or not. On the other hand, so do words, but as the old adage has it actions speak louder than words. (I’m a great fan of adages, sayings, and platitudes, considering them repositories of great wisdom.)

    Take our esteemed blogger-in-chief, P-zed, for example. Every time I see a photo of him, I think “Jeeze, P-zed, get your beard trimmed and your hair cut. Shaggy is so yesterday.” But on the other hand (there’s always another hand), P-zed is an academic and academics tend to a certain style — which P-zed exemplifies quite well and is certainly entitled to adhere to if he so wishes.

    Issue? Or non-issue? I certainly don’t know.

  82. says

    some of them really are insane.

    Yes, there are many people involved in social justice who live with mental illness. They’ve raised a lot of awareness about ableism and often object to using words like “insane” as slurs.

  83. says

    ruteekatreya:

    It means you’re a dude who considers getting his dick wet to be the most important thing, but wants to impress feminist chicks. At least, that’s what ‘sex positive egalitarian’ has ultimately meant every other time I heard it

    To be fair, there’s a certain spot where a man might agree with feminism without feeling comfortable claiming the title “feminist” for himself. I know that I feel a little uncomfortable calling myself a feminist… not because I disagree with feminism at all, but because I feel like I don’t get to make that claim for myself.

    Does that make any sense? I’ve been drinking for like 8-9 hours now.

  84. nms says

    In other words, radical is a word for the ones you don’t like, at the end of the day.

    Those radicals, they’re so shrill and militant!

    I know that I feel a little uncomfortable calling myself a feminist… not because I disagree with feminism at all, but because I feel like I don’t get to make that claim for myself.

    You can always call yourself pro-feminist. afaict, that’s not loaded.

  85. says

    Hey, I’m a feminist. I don’t pat girls on the ass or call them “babe” when first meet them. I’m on your side, so don’t go getting all radical, bi….

    Okay, I can’t finish.

    I keep finding blind spots and rough edges in my thinking as I read more about this subject. It’s a little demoralizing — a lot to take in — but I’m glad that I’m at least thinking about my assumptions now instead of cruising along assuming I’m already doing Just Fine.

    Thanks for not being “civil”. Thanks for being loud and angry. It made me pay attention to the debate these past many months, a debate I might otherwise have skipped over since I was Just Fine.

  86. says

    patrickjulius #92:

    There clearly are such things as radical feminists.

    Yeah, like us. “Radical” is not a dog whistle for “extremist” or “unreasonable”; it refers to altering social structures and changing fundamental values.

    Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t such a thing as radscum, but that can be identified for what it is, and certainly does not represent all radical feminists.

    First rule of holes, dude.

  87. says

    There clearly are such things as radical feminists.

    there’s also such things as militant atheists. Usually, they were members of the PKK; they used to do suicide bombings.

    point being, just as FTB bloggers aren’t militant atheists, they also aren’t radical feminists; regardless of whether such people exist in reality, elsewhere

  88. sc_78943705727ce8b5cd2d182cbc30c5cc says

    Getting rid of T-Foot was jaw-dropping overkill. Even if you concede that his opinion of a policy was the stupidest thing ever it was still HIS OPINION OF A POLICY that you guys sacked him for. That’s just shameful and pathetic. A majority of you already expressed your opinion against him, what purpose did banning him serve except to show that you have to get even with your dissenters by dogpiling on them. Very petty and pathetic.

  89. says

    Patrickjulius:

    But honestly this is why I never liked the word “feminist”; if I say I am a sex-positive egalitarian, it’s relatively clear what I mean by that and it can be addressed on its own terms. If I say I am a feminist, what does that mean? There are too many kinds of feminist, and some of them really are insane.

    I’m so happy we have smrt menz here to tell us how to do feminism “correctly,” including what labels we should and shouldn’t use.

    Googlemess #102: Poor, poor Thunderdouche. Why, this can’t be a freethought site unless we agree to accept the opinion that women’s bodily autonomy is a triviality!

  90. davidbohm says

    ms. daisy cutter:

    Poor, poor Thunderdouche. Why, this can’t be a freethought site unless we agree to accept the opinion that women’s bodily autonomy is a triviality!

    Really? You dont think that’s a bit of a strawman?

  91. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Davidbolm, that was not a strawman. That was an accurate rendition of what ThunderingFool wrote.

    Sc_whatever, so it was an over reaction to kick a person out of a network who spend his entire time attacking said network. Oh, I forget myself; freethought means that one should always consider every proposed idea no matter how often it as been dismissed.

  92. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, you do not understand, all the MRAs have been strawmanned. It is so emasculating.

  93. Anri says

    Really? You dont think that’s a bit of a strawman?

    He was objecting to a written policy requiring him to seek verbal permission before (his example) biting women’s legs.
    No, it’s not a strawman.

  94. davidbohm says

    Janine: If it was an accurate rendition of what thunderf00t wrote you should be able to point me to where he says womens bodily autonomy is a triviality, and then I will happily apologize to ms. Daisy Cutter and you. But until then I can do nothing else but stand by what i said.

  95. 'Tis Himself says

    davidbohm

    Thunderthud made it obvious that the concerns of women were unimportant to him. He didn’t see sexual harassment as a problem. Policies to prevent sexual harassment were solely in place to cause him inconvenience. Apparently you agree with Thunderthud that these are basically trivialities.

  96. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Right dudbro, ThunderingFool did not make the argument that sexual harassment is not a problem at cons.

    I will not speak for Ms. Daisy Cutter but I neither want nor desire an apology from you. It means nothing.

  97. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Slight correction; I meant …I neither expect nor desire an apology…

  98. says

    Getting rid of T-Foot was jaw-dropping overkill. Even if you concede that his opinion of a policy was the stupidest thing ever it was still HIS OPINION OF A POLICY that you guys sacked him for.

    AFAIK, it was actually doubling down twice that got him sacked, along with letting assholes talk about how much they want to personally hurt his colleagues for the high crime of being women.

    A majority of you already expressed your opinion against him, what purpose did banning him serve

    Not endorsing his opinion further. It’s not like he lacks for a platform to dispense stupidity from.

    Janine: If it was an accurate rendition of what thunderf00t wrote you should be able to point me to where he says womens bodily autonomy is a triviality, and then I will happily apologize to ms. Daisy Cutter and you. But until then I can do nothing else but stand by what i said.

    He treats it as a non-issue and derides attempts to strengthen it. You are quibbling over word choice, the rest of us are discussing meaning.

  99. davidbohm says

    ‘Tis Himself

    Apparently you agree with Thunderthud that these are basically trivialities.

    I am going home and dont know when i will comment again, but I must add I certainly do not consider sexual harassment or womens autonomy (or what you imply by “these things”) a triviality. My views on the topic of policies align very well with Ron Lindsay stated at Richard Carriers blog:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1679

  100. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Fucking pointless, davidbohn. Here is what I really think. But damn, what was done to TF was wrong. And with this, yet an other pointless digression that obscures the real point.

    And this makes you a supporter of ThunderFool no matter what you claim you really think.

    I do not want to play in muddy waters.

  101. davidbohm says

    Janine:

    And this makes you a supporter of ThunderFool no matter what you claim you really think.

    And that would make you a psychic!

  102. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    And if I were to continue playing along with your bullshit, it would take away from the bullshit that ThunderingFool dropped. That bullshit that you claim is a strawman.

  103. vaiyt says

    Davidbohm playing devil’s advocate to another asshole? What a surprise.

    Strike two for ya, pal.

  104. davidbohm says

    Janine: I am a newcomer to this forum and its clear that there are social conventions I do not “get”.
    For instance I can’t determine if you are having a bit of a laugh at my expense, or you think that after reading just a few posts of mine a statement such as “this[dont know what you refer to, sorry] makes you a supporter of ThunderFool no matter what you claim you really think.” is the most logical and reasonable conclusion to be drawn.

    If its the first case, well played! If its the later, you dont know me and you are dead wrong in logic and in fact.

    In either case, I think we have a problem of communication and I do not know how to resolve it, obviously we are not getting very far. Since we are also off-topic I wont reply more to you on this thread.

  105. says

    nms @ 98:

    I know that I feel a little uncomfortable calling myself a feminist… not because I disagree with feminism at all, but because I feel like I don’t get to make that claim for myself.

    You can always call yourself pro-feminist.

    I waver as to what to call myself, though not due to gender*. As far as beliefs or philosophy goes, I have little problem calling myself a feminist. On the other hand, as I’ve put it, I’m a pro-feminist, I’m a Rangers fan, I cannot skate.

    The other issue is, do I really know enough about feminism to use the term even just to describe my beliefs. That’s also not directly an issue of not being female but I suspect if I were the ability to bring my lived experience to bear on the theory would help me understand it better.

    *Though if someone who accepts me as a pro-feminist is unwilling to apply the term “feminist” to non-women or to men, I don’t think it’s worth arguing with them about.

  106. jerrybarrington says

    I saw Thunderf00t’s video, so I decided to come here and hear the other side of the story…

    Janine said: “Davidbolm, that was not a strawman. That was an accurate rendition of what ThunderingFool wrote.”

    davidbohm said: “Janine: If it was an accurate rendition of what thunderf00t wrote you should be able to point me to where he says womens bodily autonomy is a triviality, and then I will happily apologize to ms. Daisy Cutter and you. But until then I can do nothing else but stand by what i said.”

    Janine said: “Right dudbro, ThunderingFool did not make the argument that sexual harassment is not a problem at cons.”

    Note the leap to name-calling, and lack of response to a request for a link to what TF said.

    In another post regarding what David said to ‘Tis Himself, Janine said: “And this makes you a supporter of ThunderFool no matter what you claim you really think.”

    vaiyt added: “Davidbohm playing devil’s advocate to another asshole? What a surprise.
    Strike two for ya, pal.”

    I too would like to read what TF said myself. For a group of people asserting that groupthink isn’t a problem here, this discussion really isn’t helping your position. *Are* TF’s words available, or are we expected to simply accept others’ judgements? (Frankly, Crommunist’s screed that PZ just linked to isn’t helping either.)

  107. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

  108. jerrybarrington says

    ixchel:
    Well, I’ll just thank you for the link I requested, and which davidbohm requested before janine went on her rant. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it, if he bothers to come back. What with his blog no longer being accessible from the front page, the evidence is a bit hidden.

    I’ll try to read some of the other posts after work tonight, but reading TF’s was eye-opening. You know, since he *didn’t* say “that women’s bodily autonomy is a triviality”.

    Oh, I’m no tone troll either. I’m perfectly fine with name-calling or profanity when there is good reason for it. To leap there in response to a simple and reasonable question is another matter. That you folks feel such insults are an appropriate response to people who don’t immediately toe the party line is just further evidence that this community has a problem.

    And no, I won’t bother insulting your lineage or any such. :)

  109. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    That you folks feel such insults are an appropriate response to people who don’t immediately toe the party line is just further evidence that this community has a problem.

    We have a lot of them. One of those problems is being buried in a flood of idiotic questions, most of which aren’t asked in good faith, and one of them is puling lackwits who say stupid shit about “toeing the party line.”

  110. jerrybarrington says

    Cipher:
    So, how exactly is it “not in good faith” to ask to see TF’s own words on the subject? That is all davidbohm and I did, so that we could judge the issue ourselves instead of rote acceptance of what’s being said about TF. How is that request idiotic? Given that it turns out his words *are* being twisted here, it seems a rather intelligent request.

    I honestly am curious about what is going thru you people’s minds to provoke this behavior. Perhaps you all should be too.

  111. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Stop being a fascetious arsepimple and go read the link that ixchel so kindly provided @123. Yes, that’s TF’s own post.

    If you don’t see anything wrong with it, then you might want to take a rancid purcupine from the pile by the exit, as you’re very likely to have need of one.

    If you do see what’s wrong with it, then WELCOME! You’ve arrived at Being a Decent Human Being. Enjoy your stay.

  112. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Given that it turns out his words *are* being twisted here, it seems a rather intelligent request.

    Or are his words being properly interpreted as the code words they are? Codewords have been used, and are still used, by bigots not not appear bigoted at a casual glance.

  113. jerrybarrington says

    Sophia:
    I wasn’t being facetious. And I suppose I wasn’t entirely clear when I said I’d try to read the other posts later @126, but I already read TF’s post. While I can see his words could precede an argument on the topic, the point of my post above is that he did not say “that women’s bodily autonomy is a triviality” (per Daisy). That is in fact a strawman, as David suggested.

    By the way, neither you nor anybody else on this blog sets the criteria for being a decent human being.

    Nerd:
    So, do I get to unilaterally declare that your words are code for “I’m a necrophiliac”? I don’t think so, nor do I think you (not being TF) can declare what TF’s words are code for. The entire argument here appears as nothing more than ad hominem. It is a logical fallacy, and readers of a science blog should know better.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t think so, nor do I think you (not being TF) can declare what TF’s words are code for.

    Actually, yes, as some phrases are common usage. For example “states rights” is usually code words for I want Jim Crow laws back. That is the problem many literalists like you have. They refuse to not only look at the context, but what others also use those words for. And in the case of TF, he did belittle women and their concerns by trying to trivialize them. Classic case. It doesn’t take a cryptologist to figure that out, just someone who does listen to bigots.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and JB, we don’t have to convince you, the interloper, of anything. You have to convince us that what TF said was innocuous no matter how it is looked at. After all, the burden of evidence for YOUR claims is upon you. Our claims are the null hypothesis at Pharyngula.

    *grabs popcornz and grog*

  116. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    What is John Kwok up to nowadays?

    Didn’t the Montreal police tell him to be a good boy and take his medicine?

  117. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    I can’t wait for PZ Myers to preach gender separation or Ophelia to ponder on the benefits of chemical treatments of men to supress violent tendencies!

    Fuck!

    I just had my balls cut off.

    Back to the GP I go then.