A few well-deserved words for Peter Leschak »« Just like Lenin and Stalin!

Rationalia isn’t

Ho hum. Another purportedly rational forum that thinks rape is a joke.

Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?

Post by Pappa » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:46 am

Not for sexual gratification or power or anything like that, just because they’re so annoying.

I’m really torn on this one. :dunno:

You know what’s really funny? The guy posting that crap apparently has some admin role there, and every one of his posts has this little postscript:

For information on ways to help support Rationalia financially, see our funding page.

Because professional fundraisers everywhere like to encourage people to contribute by joking about how they want to rape someone.

Comments

  1. Tony the Parkour Kat [safe and welcome at FtB] says

    Erista:
    (crossposted to TET)

    However, this lesson has always been hard for me to process, and there’s always been this part of me that wants to believe that if I can just explain it right, people will care about my abuse and how things that relate to my abuse impact me.

    It is true. There are people out there sympathetic to your abuse, who care. From one human on the internet to another: I CARE. Please know that.
    TRIGGER WARNING:

    Moreover, an organization called Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) are a group of people who not only care, but they take action to help children who have been abused (TL:DR, however, it really is a heartwarming article and I recommend reading it in full):
    These tough bikers have a soft spot: aiding child-abuse victims. Anytime, anywhere, for as long as it takes the child to feel safe, these leather-clad guardians will stand tall and strong against the dark, and the fear, and those who seek to harm.

    Excerpts:

    The girl chewing on her lip was abused by a relative, according to police reports – someone she should have been able to trust. He’s not in the state any longer, but the criminal case is progressing slowly, so he’s not in jail, either.

    He still terrorizes her at night, even though he’s nowhere near. She wakes, heart pounding. The nightmare feels real again. She never feels safe, even with her parents just downstairs.
    […]
    If she is afraid to go to school, they will take her and watch until she’s safely inside.

    And if she has to testify against her abuser in court, they will go, too, walking with her to the witness stand and taking over the first row of seats. Pipes will tell her, “Look at us, not him.” And when she’s done, they will circle her again and walk her out.

    […]
    To her parents, it is like music. Her mother wipes her eyes with her fingertips; her dad takes pictures.

    “Look how bright her face is,” says Rhythm’s therapist, who is there on the driveway, too. “It hasn’t been that bright in a long time.”

    Two of the bikers will be Rhythm’s “primaries,” her main contacts in the group. Sassy, 34, a mother of six and a former paralegal, and Tool, 46, a co-owner of a payment-processing company, will be hers. They will be available to her 24 hours a day by cellphone.

    It fucking reprehensible on all levels when children are abused, sexually or otherwise. While the scum who perpetrate such actions are condemned and make me dislike humanity, BACA reignites my faith in humanity.
    Yes there are some shitbags out there.

    There are also a *LOT* of really wonderful, caring people willing to step up and offer assistance when needed.
    I’d love to meet some of these bikers and buy them a drink.

  2. Brownian says

    I know this is too hard for your Christianist brain to understand, but tribalism like you practice it is not a hallmark of freethinking.

    if we defended the rape culture supporting assholes just because we share some identity with them, then we wouldn’t be freethinkers.

    QFT.

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

    Yeah, moshiachone looks exactly like a troll also.

    +++++
    Brownian: we zombies are having fun with your skeptical compensation idea. I am … skeptical of it, but it’s working as a good pump.

  4. exi5tentialist says

    Hi soul_biscuit. Thanks for the hello – no I’m afraid I don’t remember you at Rationalia, but yes I agree I had a very good reason for leaving! (described above)

    Incidentally, Rationalia’s website doesn’t seem to be very well this morning. I do hope it’s something serious.

  5. bastionofsass says

    Jadehawk wrote:

    uber-persistent, boring, vacuous Christian. Apparently been pringing up the same arguments with atheists since usenet days (I believe bastionofsass was the one who has had to deal with him all the way back then)

    Could be, although, I don’t particularly remember him ATM. After a while, only the most uber-persistent, boring, and vacuous of any religion or non-religion who posted on usenet are seared into my memory. Plus my two cyberstalkers from usenet. And I wish they weren’t.

  6. moshiachone says

    You fucking hypocrite. From your twitter:

    “pzmyers: Heading off to Dark Knight. Cover me, boys, I’m going in!”

    So, you making a sick joke out of a very tragedy in which 12 people including a 6 year old child was shot and killed in cold blood, thats perfectly acceptable. Other people making a sick joke about rape, oh no thats not ok. They’re supposed to be rationalists!

    @reasonalbe:

    PZ was making a JOKE, you dumb fucking dumb-fuck. You know, with the ha-ha’s and yuk-yuks.

    Your rape jape is NOT a joke. It is a subtle reinforcement of rape culture. It’s “fine” to make light of rape and assault.

    The fact that you don’t know the difference between the two means it would be better and safer for all of us if you remained nestled in your parent’s (furnished) basement and don’t come out till they release Diablo IV.

    Oh, and Fuck You.

  7. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Sigh.

    Comment by moshiachone blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  8. bastionofsass says

    Oooh, I want to post some “ironic, hyperbolic and irreverent humour.”

    Trigger warning for anyone who may be upset by dead baby “humour.”
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Q: What’s the difference between a dead baby and people who make rape jokes?

    A: The dead baby stinks less.

  9. says

    What is it with all those man-children and occasionally woman-children who totally fail to understand that the law sets the upper limit below which you won’t be punished and not a guideline for decent behaviour? Just like a speed limit telling you something about the speed below which you won’t get a ticket and nothing about whether it is safe to go at that speed in your car at a certain point in time. Only idiots insist on going at that speed at all the time because you can’t make me go slower na-nana-naa-na.
    We suck at teaching children morality if they end up as adults who only care about their right to eat up all the cookies in the jar and need to demonstrate that constantly instead of adults who understand why 10 cookies before or instead of dinner are a bad idea.

    little lion irc

    Freethought?

    You just ‘dissed’ a lot of free thinkers.

    Cupcake, you obviously have no idea about what “freethought” means.

    voxrat
    Hey, you’re aware that your post actually is illegal libel?

    A hermit

    Just before the site disappeared I noticed on of the members had expressed her dislike of the rape joke; got piled on for being “thin skinned” and consequently posted her disappointment in the response to her concerns and basically washed her hands of the place, saying she probably wouldn’t be back.

    Now they are demanding that SHE apologize to PAPPA!

    Yeah, their concept of freedom of speech: They get to say any shit they like but don’t you dare to criticise them. Doesn’t matter how polite your language is.

    dr bunsen

    I’m still interested to find out why the human beings posting at SkepChicks are so “annoying” in the first place.

    They say “guys, don’t do that”. And since people like Pappa have the moral and emotional development of an average 4 yo throwing a tantrum*, that’s about the worst offense in the universe.

    *Before any dipshit starts commenting on how I’m allegedly dissing kids, don’t be a stupid asshole and do it. Kids are not born with knowledge of behaviour and morality. We have to teach them and make them grow. It’s normal and OK for a 4yo to throw a tantrum. It isn’t for adults.

    Jafafa Hots

    I say leave Voxrats comment up as an example of how slimepitters refute arguments and claims.

    There are two concrete and very real people involved in this comment who will possibly face consequences if that is left undeleted. I’d say it’s their call, not ours.

  10. Manu of Deche says

    @moshiachone & voxrat:
    Do the world a favour and stop breathing. Forever.

    @lyin’ Lion:
    C’mon, be more entertaining, or go away

    @Poopoo: Stupid as fuck, unable to comprehend almost anything you’re told, dishonsest, mysoginist… You must be proud of yourself. Just stop posting on the internet, and talking to people, and thinking, and all will be fine.

    @commentariat:
    Thank you for sharing your stories. They were deeply touching and making me want to help. Checking out options to support victims in my area (don’t have much money, but I have some spare time).

    The one thing that I don’t get about people like Poopoo is, how can they be so insensitive, so cold, so detached from the suffering of other people. When I first read Erista’s comment #478 (first page), it made my skin crawl. And there were quite a few other posts that had the same effect on me on this thread alone. I cannot for the life of me imagine how to be indifferent to those experiences and those people. Frankly, I cannot wave away this behaviour with “Well, it’s the culture they’ve been brought up in and that they live in.” Maybe they are exceptionally good at avoiding unpleasant feelings. Maybe they are ‘broken’ in a way (for lack of better words). Maybe it is malicious intent. I simply can’t grasp that utter lack of empathy.

  11. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    @ pappa #148

    If you really care about rape, stop posting shouty replies on some blog and go out and do something about it in the real world.

    Such as trying to get a non-harassment policy put in place so aggression can be stopped before it gets to rape?
    Such as pointing out behaviour in the skeptical community that makes wormen uncomfortable so again, prevention of anything worse might come about? And so well-meaning men can easily avoid causing distress or fear in women?
    Such as calling out people who foster a climate in which rape is not seen as “really important” because the commenters didn’t mean rape-y rape, just not very rape-y rape?

    Gee, I’ll have to think about that.

  12. Beatrice says

    For someone who only appreciates fighting against rape in “real world”, pappa seems oddly proud of that “Stop Rape” poster he posted on Facebook.

  13. Beatrice says

    Thank you all who are working hard on fighting rape culture, both in “real world” and this strange alternate dimension totally unrelated to “real world”.

    *hugs* and sympathies for all who have shared their painful stories of abuse. Thank you.


    Nothing else to say that hasn’t already been said, and better than I could.

  14. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    I am genuinely sorry that some people who have been affected by rape have been caused some further hurt by reading my thread. But I can’t renounce my joke for the simple reason that if rape jokes are verboten then by the same logic, so must dead baby jokes be so. Real people have had to live through the torment of a baby dying and must unfortunately also deal with the hurt of sometimes hearing or seeing dead baby jokes. People who have had children vanish without trace must unfortunately also deal with the hurt of sometimes hearing or seeing Madeline McCann jokes. People whose family have been murdered must unfortunately also deal with the hurt of sometimes hearing or seeing jokes about mass shootings or terrorism.

    And this is a good thing? Which you feel should be perpetuated by you personally?

    pappa, sometimes we make a mistake. Sometimes we intend to be funny, but we miss. The most solid credential you can give today about your real character is to take back the joke and apoplogize. Then it’s over.

    I always thought part of free speech was using it well to advance one’s culture.

  15. spooky says

    Does anyone suppose that PZ didn’t know that posting an article naming an individual and a particular website, and claiming that they all think “rape is a joke” would unleash a hate campaign like this? I find it hard to imagine he didn’t, which makes his original drawing-of-attention to it deliberate, and calculated. That he starts with “Ho hum” almost emphasises the faux disinterest – it’s saying “Here’s some meat for you to chew on, guys. Have at it,” and then watching with glee. Lovely chap.

    This thread has been a remarkable example of groupthink and a mob mentality, throwing gross condemnations against an entire forum of fellow atheists. Rationalia is full of people who have been pointing out nothing more more than that one of their members began an exceptionally crude thread out of antipathy towards the attitude of some here, and that his thread should not be taken seriously or out of context.

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

  16. Matt Penfold says

    Does anyone suppose that PZ didn’t know that posting an article naming an individual and a particular website, and claiming that they all think “rape is a joke” would unleash a hate campaign like this?

    The hate already existed, as Pappa showed when he made that “joke”. Despite all his protestations to the contrary, I do not believe him when he says he does not hate women. What PZ is doing is making sure that vile people like Pappa are seen for what they are, women-hating scum. Naturally, scum like Pappa do not like to think of themselves as scum, so they get upset. Well tough.

  17. says

    This thread has been a remarkable example of groupthink and a mob mentality, throwing gross condemnations against an entire forum of fellow atheists.

    Nah mate. We just looked at what was being said and posted, and what wasn’t. Take your concern somewhere else.

  18. Louis says

    I know dozens of other people have said this, but I want to hammer it home, it’s just so obvious:

    Pappa: {Insert rape joke}

    Many people at Pharyngula: {Insert criticism of rape joke}

    THIS IS WHAT FREE SPEECH LOOKS LIKE!

    No one is saying Pappa and chums cannot make rape jokes. What people are saying is that Pappa and chums cannot make rape jokes without criticism. That’s the epitome of free speech. Free speech also extends to those who would criticise a rape joke.

    That’s the first point.

    The second point is that if one claims to be in favour of the equal treatment and rights of {insert group X}, then committing acts, even relatively minor ones in the grand scheme of things, that can be demonstrated to oppose the equal treatment and rights of {insert group X}, then that is an anti-{insert group x}-ist act by definition.

    In other words it’s the ACT that is being described, not the person committing it per se.

    The third and even simpler point, is that it is a simple aspect of the English language that someone who repeatedly commits {Act X} is referred to as an {Act X}-er or {Act X}-ist.

    I ride a bike a lot. I cycle. I am a cyclist. Does this make me Bradley Wiggins? No.

    I occasionally tell lies. I lie. I am a liar. Does this mean that nothing I say is ever true and I am permanently lying? No.

    I occasionally make sexist and or racist comments that negatively impact on goals I want to achieve, namely the full, unreserved equal treatment of people regardless of sex and race (to name but two things). I am both a sexist and a racist. Does this mean I am the head of Spearhead and Stormfront? No.

    I like to cycle, so I try to do more of the first thing.

    I don’t like to lie, living inauthentically hurts me, so I try to do less of the second thing.

    I really don’t want to be a sexist or a racist even though I grew up in a sexist and racist culture and couldn’t prevent myself absorbing some of that stuff, so I try not to be. This includes admitting and recanting the sexist and racist stuff I do when it happens. I try very, very hard not to do the third things at all. But I still fuck up. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

    How is any of this complicated or difficult?

    Louis

  19. Beatrice says

    Does anyone suppose that PZ pappa didn’t know that posting an article a rape joke naming an individual a group of people and a particular website, and claiming that they all think “rape is a joke” it maybe wouldn’t be immoral to rape them all would unleash a hate campaign righteous anger like this? I find it hard to imagine he didn’t, which makes his original drawing-of-attention to it deliberate, and calculated. That he starts ends it with “Ho hum” dunno almost emphasises the faux disinterest – it’s saying “Here’s some meat for you to chew on, guys. Have at it,” and then watching with glee. Lovely chap.

    Well, that was easy.

  20. Louis says

    Spooky, #18 (this page),

    What hate campaign? You do get that people here are individuals too, right? I don’t hate a soul. Never have.

    Go back to the previous page and look at my #73 or #171. I’ve tried in the face of fairly strong odds and piss taking tendencies on my part to be exceptionally nice to Pappa and make some polite arguments (I know how politeness bothers you all so much). And I’ve been ignored. That’s a little rude isn’t it? After all I took the time to explain nicely rather than just mock Pappa, and I’ve said nothing about Rationalia at all.

    If you look even closer I’ve criticised PZ on this thread for what I consider to be a tasteless and poorly timed joke and leapt to the defence of Pappa when some arsehole posted his details (an act I find deplorable…just like I find rape humour deplorable).

    Which brings me to an interesting point. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I am harder on self described atheists and sceptics and scientists and rationalists and so on precise BECAUSE they claim to be on “my side”. If you are my “fellow” atheist, and based on your one post, I fear we share little beyond a lack of belief in a deity or deities (tragic eh?), then I expect you to be able to follow some basic reasoning.

    I don’t know about the rest of the posters at Rationalia, I’m supremely uninterested in the soap opera and interblog drama, so I haven’t gone and looked, I only addressed my #(5)73 to the apologist segment of that community, but Pappa has not engaged anyone here rationally. He has doubled down, dug in his heels and stamped up a little toddler tantrum of dust and straw men. It’s remarkably unimpressive.

    As is your post.

    So how’s about engaging the arguments being made rather than whining about how mean people have been to you? Because I guarantee you one thing, if you think we’ve been mean to you just try to empathise with a rape victim, just for a second, who is faced with someone callously and casually using a seriously traumatic event in their lives as humour. You want empathy from me and others? Demonstrate some capacity for it yourself.

    Louis

  21. Anri says

    spooky:

    Does anyone suppose that PZ didn’t know that posting an article naming an individual and a particular website, and claiming that they all think “rape is a joke” would unleash a hate campaign like this?

    May I ask, given that in your opinion hate is inappropriate, what we should feel for jokes making light of rape?
    Admiration? Pride? Amusement? Do the people here just need to ‘loosen up’ when it comes to rape?
    What do you feel towards jokes that make light of rape?

    I find it hard to imagine he didn’t, which makes his original drawing-of-attention to it deliberate, and calculated.

    May I ask, do you feel that rape culture isn’t important?
    Or is it just something so important it shouldn’t be talked about?

    That he starts with “Ho hum” almost emphasises the faux disinterest – it’s saying “Here’s some meat for you to chew on, guys. Have at it,” and then watching with glee. Lovely chap.

    The ‘Ho hum’ is a resigned indication that people who harbor rape culture, and those that would defend them, are, sad to say, not uncommon in the skeptical movement. There might even be an example in this very exchange.
    It’s not disinterest, it’s resignation.

    This thread has been a remarkable example of groupthink and a mob mentality, throwing gross condemnations against an entire forum of fellow atheists.

    Good point – we should be expressing a wide variety of opinions on rape culture, such as…
    … ok, I’m stumped, why should there be disagreement on this issue again?

    Rationalia is full of people who have been pointing out nothing more more than that one of their members began an exceptionally crude thread out of antipathy towards the attitude of some here, and that his thread should not be taken seriously or out of context.

    “Look, rape’s funny in context! It is! It is! IT IS IT IS IT IS!”
    Ok, I’ll ask – what attitude is being protested via rape joke? Dislike of rape? I suspect you’ll find that’s pretty much universal here. And some of us think that’s good.

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

    Ok, then, what, in your opinion, should be the attitude towards a joke using lynching blacks gassing Jews raping women as comedy?
    Chuckles? A wink-of-the-eye, tip-of-the-hat?

    Second, when we all agree with you, that’s freethought? Are you sure?

    Lastly, if you would be offended by my struck examples, but not the unstruck reality, why is that? Might it suggest the problem lies somewhere closer to home? And if you find them equally offensive… why this post?
    Or are jokes about lynching black people cool by you too… you know, funny in context and all…?

  22. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    @ Louis

    High 8!

    (I’m trying to make a tentacle joke there. Also when I did the high 8, I hurt myself.)

  23. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    This thread has been a remarkable example of groupthink and a mob mentality, throwing gross condemnations against an entire forum of fellow atheists. Rationalia is full of people who have been pointing out nothing more more than that one of their members began an exceptionally crude thread out of antipathy towards the attitude of some here, and that his thread should not be taken seriously or out of context.

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

    So let’s see … here we are groupthinking if we agree on a point of view, whereas there it is nothing more than pointing out something they agree on.

    Oh, our bad!

  24. Louis says

    Lyn M,

    High 8?

    1) Nice work! Good tentacle joke. It will be stolen and mimicked, the highest form of flattery!

    2) We humans trying to emulate our cephalopod overlords will probably have pulled something, I know I just did. Time for a grease down and a Shiatsu.

    Any bloody excuse.

    Louis

  25. Louis says

    Lyn M, #26,

    It is the proper conjugation of the verb “to agree”:

    I give my rational agreement after much consideration of the facts

    You are a sycophantic toady

    He/She/It is engaging in Orwellian Groupthink of the worst kind

    We are perfectly rational actors, Spock-like in our reasoning and have formed a complete set of independent opinions that coincide on this topic

    You are a bunch of howling scumbags just too afraid to speak out of turn from each other

    They are a group of quasi-fascist pseudo Nazis that emulate the Stasi by trying to police the thoughts of others with their vicious lockstep bullying

    Louis

  26. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    @ Louis

    I completely agree.

    Sheer coincidence. The triumphant result of my application of logic, years of research and a clear head.

    And about that clear head, I may have a remedy. Today I found lemon peel stuffed olives. I am so trying those in the vodka martini coming up now.

    PS. I liked your responses to pappa, btw. Pity he didn’t reply because he might have thought through what he said better. Of course, then he might not agree with everyone in rationalia, which would be the end of free speech and the Internet. If I understand him correctly.

  27. Louis says

    Lyn M,

    VODKA MARTINI?!?!?! And me at work. Hot damn! I think those olives will go excellently in a vodka martini. Are you having the martini dirty or clean? It might be nice to make it dirty if there is sufficient lemon juice in the liquid…

    Okay, just five or six more hours to go…

    And re: Pappa and chums: Oh now, Lyn. You know free speech is only truly free when it agrees with me now don’t you? ;-)

    Louis

  28. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Louis, since I am a woman OF COURSE I agree with your peepee incredibly well-formed opinions.

    Yes, it is pretty damned good. Clear martini. I don’t mind dirty, but I have this set of glasses I have collected here in sunny China, and they are awesome with a clear martini.

    Just took the vermouth out of the fridge, along with the olives (6) and the vodka from the freezer. Mix in a curly stemmed glass, light green stem, colourless v-shaped bowl. Sup.

    Gaaaaad, that makes things better.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    spooky the idjit:

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

    Sorry cupcake, it is you who failed “free thinking”, which doesn’t mean swallow any tripe offered up evidenceless by anybody. It means think for yourself and look at the EVIDENCE. The evidence says pappa is rape joker who should be condemned not only for bad taste, but for also being a potential rapist/rape enabler. Show me otherwise with solid evidence, not your inane and unsupported opinion.

  30. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Caine, what is it with these oxymorons? Talk rational apparently meaning spew garbage and be a complete Internet clown.

    It is an annoying code.

  31. Louis says

    Lyn M,

    I HAS AN ENVY!!!!!!!!!

    Being in China and having martinis…{sob}

    You know how to hurt a boy.

    Louis

  32. Louis says

    Re: The Voxrat excrescence:

    I thought the only people who brought up Skatje’s bestiality comments in that manner were people like FTK (remember that creepy person?) and Vox Day and fans. If Voxrat is a regular at Talk Rational then I am immensely glad never to have gone there.

    Making a comment that I could easily mistakenly attribute to Vox Day or FTK? Not a good thing.

    Louis

  33. says

    spooky:

    This thread has been a remarkable example of groupthink and a mob mentality, throwing gross condemnations against an entire forum of fellow atheists.

    No, spooky. This thread has been a remarkable example of people standing up for what is right. This thread has been a remarkable example of many survivors, once again, sharing their painful experiences in life, to drive home, forcefully, how damaging and harmful it is to enable and encourage rape culture. This thread has been a remarkable example of compassion and concern for fellow human beings. This thread has been a remarkable example of people providing an education. This thread has been a remarkable example of actual freethought.

    The mere fact that you are here, defending those who would joke about raping a fellow human being tells me all I need to know about you.

  34. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Why, yes, Louis, I do. You must let me tell you allll about it sometime when the spanking couch is not full.

    Also, this isn’t TET, right?

    Will try to restrain self. Or you as may be preferred.

  35. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Noooo, Louis, don’t you understand?! Free speech is being able to say whatever the fuck you want and have everyone either agree or STFU! Well, except for the Skepchick . . . and people who object to rape jokes . . . and other women in general . . . because if those people say what they want, we should slap them around by joking about raping them because we think it’s annoying! Ho Ho Ho!

  36. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Erista,

    You appear to be channeling again. That Atila the Hun, what a kidder.

    (And I think you nailed it.)

  37. says

    Lyn M:

    Caine, what is it with these oxymorons? Talk rational apparently meaning spew garbage and be a complete Internet clown.

    Hell if I know. I’ve long stayed away from anyplace with ‘rational’ in the title. It’s like ‘skeptic’. I’m willing to entertain the idea that someone stole the nym VoxRat from the TalkRat poster, but I’ve never seen that particular user name attached to anyone else.

  38. Louis says

    Erista, #39,

    Haha. Hoho. It is to laugh (at jokes about raping annoying people for speaking their disagreement freely)!

    Did I mention heehee?

    Louis

  39. Louis says

    Sorry but my irony gland is overloading again today.

    1) Skepchicks make comments that annoy Pappa.

    2) Pappa makes joke about raping Skepchicks.

    3) People tell Pappa that at a minimum rape jokes like that have a silencing effect on women. (I.e. are inimical to free speech and the equal treatment of women)

    4) Pappa responds by telling people that criticism of his rape joke is having a silencing effect on him. (I.e. is inimical to his free speech)

    5) Pappa is a self proclaimed free speech and equal treatment for women advocate.

    Nope…nope…I’m still not seeing how all that flows together. The disconnect is toooooooo huge.

    Louis

  40. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Caine, yes, it pays off huge dividends.

    And shouldn’t it be vox ratus?

  41. Louis says

    Lyn M,

    I suppose it depends if this person is claiming to be the voice of rats or the voice of (an abbreviation for) rationality.

    Either way, the ‘nym-holder is doing a disservice to both rats and rationality simultaneously.

    Louis

  42. says

    I have been informed that another board called rationalskepticism.org has now jumped on the bandwagon of expressing horror that Pharyngula dares to criticize rationalia. I’m beginning to think that any forum that pretentiously calls itself “rational” in its name isn’t.

    I just took a quick look. They’re also up in arms that I banned jackrawlinson — he’s such a smart and level-headed guy. They don’t know that the ONLY times he ever commented here were to snipe at the skepchicks, argue that the interests of women weren’t worth fighting for, and dismiss any discussion of sexism. Without exception. So yeah, he was a smart, level-headed misogynist.

    I’d do the same thing to a smart, level-headed racist.

  43. says

    Yeah, voxrat is a drive-by asshole, I’m not going to bother with him unless he makes a persistent nuisance of himself.

    You say he’s a regular on “talk rational“? What the fuck is it with the word “rational” in the title of a forum? It’s like the kiss of death.

  44. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Louis, as the martini kicks in, let me give it a try:

    1) Skepchicks make comments that annoy Pappa, because they are trying to reduce harassment of women which he thinks is totes right and true!

    2) Pappa makes joke about raping Skepchicks, because he is totes down with the feminists.

    3) People tell Pappa that at a minimum rape jokes like that have a silencing effect on women. (I.e. are inimical to free speech and the equal treatment of women) Strangers on the Internet are wrong!

    4) Pappa responds by telling people that criticism of his rape joke is having a silencing effect on him. (I.e. is inimical to his free speech) Pappa tells strangers on the Internet that they are wrong!

    5) Pappa is a self proclaimed free speech and equal treatment for women advocate, because he is totes cool and not a rapey meanie at all! Truez!

    Does that work better? Think La Cantatrice Chauvé

  45. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Using the word rational in a title reminds me of the joke attributed to Lincoln who was arguing a point with a critic:

    Lincoln asked the critic: How many legs does a lamb have, if you call its tail a leg?
    Critic answered: Five.
    Lincoln said: No, four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

  46. Louis says

    Lyn M,

    As ever you have improved and bettered anything I could have written. Thanks. {doffs headgear}

    Wait a second…did I, a PeePee Haver just compliment a WomanThing and say that she it was better than me at something? ZOMG THIS MUST NOT STAND!

    MEN! TO THE RAPE JOKES AND INAPPROPRIATE USES OF THE WORD RATIONAL!!!!!

    Louis

  47. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Louis, I … I forgot myself! It was the martini!

  48. Manu of Deche says

    FFS, is it me, or are the idiots getting more boring and annoying all the time? The “arguments” from the religious ones have been blown to smithereens so often that every one can rebuke them without using more than a dozen brain cells, and the “arguments” from the MRA/PUA/Menz faction are always so predictable that I need not repeat them. Why can’t they at least try to be a little less pathetic. Not that that would make them any more decent human beings. Just less annoying.

    There are days when I think that maybe the world won’t turn into a huge pile of shit. Today is not one of those days.

  49. Louis says

    Lyn M,

    You shall be persecuted to the ends of the earth and beyond. Your crime of Womaninity is Unforgivable. You have been a Woman Without Permission and also Uppity. You have also been Funnier Than Me. This constitutes an Annoyance.

    There may be jokes.

    Louis

  50. Pteryxx says

    I’m starting to read all these forum names as “rationalIZE”, as in “you can get away with whatever you can invent excuses for”. Talk Rationalize, Rationalizing Skepticism, Rationalizalia.

  51. Louis says

    Re: The “rational” thing:

    Perhaps it works like double negatives do. We just need an even number of rationals/sceptics/atheists to make sure it all cancels out properly.

    I shall now go and form the most rational site on Teh Intarwebz:

    “The Rational Forum of Rational Sceptical Atheists Who Enjoy Atheist Scepticism”.*

    Louis

    * Rape jokes an optional extra, just add “rational”.

  52. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    OK, Louis, ya gots me. Rips wig off I ain’t no woman. I’m a professional comedian and that means … uh … I’m not going to be very funny?

    Kicks carpet

    @Manu of Deche

    FFS, is it me, or are the idiots getting more boring and annoying all the time?

    Lights cigar. Nods wisely.

    You said it.

  53. Manu of Deche says

    Louis,
    I think you forgot the emerging pattern of using attributes like “Awesome”, “Amazing”, etc. when describing people of True Insight™

    So it should read something like this:

    “The Amazing Rational Forum of Awesome Rational Sceptical Atheists Who Enjoy Epic Atheist Scepticism”.

  54. dianne says

    Louis and Lyn: Don’t forget that Pappa, the absolute advocate of free speech, is also threatening to sue PZ for libel for pointing out his statements, threatening legal action if PZ didn’t take down the personal information someone else posted about him, and made the thread in which he made his “joke” private. But he can’t apologize for his “joke” because that would harm free speech. There are no irony meters rated for this sort of thing.

  55. Louis says

    Manu,

    OH NO!!!!!! You put in an odd number of positive attributes! This means it’s going to be all rape jokes all the time!

    Louis

    P.S. Good point though.

  56. dianne says

    I had this little fantasy in my mind yesterday in which “Pappa” thought better of his actions, took the thread down, and apologized here and on Rationalia. Yeah, I occasionally fantasize about ways around the speed of light limitation too.

  57. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    “The Amazing and Logical Rational Fora of Awesome Rationaly Sceptical Atheists Who Enjoy Epic Atheist Scepticism Awesomely With Absolutely Abundant Free Speech and Staggering Equality for All, except the Annoying”.

    Please note fora. It always helps to toss in some pointless latinism. (Yes, I have had training and a martini.)

  58. Erista (aka Eris) says

    You know, it seems to be the case that that those people only oppose many people criticizing a few when they have the fewer numbers. When it’s many atheists whacking at a few theists or many rape jokers whacking on a few people who oppose rape jokes, it’s fine. When it’s people objecting to rape jokes who are in greater number than those who support rape jokes (even if they are staying away from your forum for the most part), it’s not FAAAAAAAAIR.

  59. Manu of Deche says

    @Lyn M
    You win one (1) sniny new Internetz, free delivery to a location of your choice.

  60. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    dianne, You make good points, but I find the gag reflex sometimes keeps me from covering all the issues.

  61. Pteryxx says

    Oh, and if they DID apologize, they’d lose ALL their dominance points, they’d self-castrate and the human race would go extinct. *nodnod*

  62. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Ooooo, shiny! Oooo, but is it pink?Yes, I am a trained lawyer. I know these things.

    And thank you very much.

  63. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Now there’s a disconnect. They castrate themselves AND the human race goes extinct? I beg to differ.

    Pteryxx, although I have to admit you made a good giggle point.

  64. Manu of Deche says

    @Erista:

    So very true. What’s also odd is, why exactly do they come here? What reaction do they expect from the commentariat? Either they are earning their badges, or they are stupid on a truly epic scale.

  65. dianne says

    Lyn: I’m probably focusing on the “absolute freedom of speech” irony to avoid thinking to hard about what he was actually saying.

  66. Pteryxx says

    Louis: but it doesn’t count unless you declare yourself a Supporter of Equal Apologies Rights for Everyone, post an image on your facebook saying “I Believe in Apologies” and then claim because you apologized once to someone somewhere, you’re right about everything and never have to apologize again…

    *looks at Louis’s record*

    …Begging your pardon sir, carry on. ~;>

  67. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Louis, you apologized once?! Why didn’t you tell me?! Now I can never trust anything you say ever again! After all, you’ve already admitted to being wrong once.

  68. Manu of Deche says

    @Lyn M:
    Of course it is pink! It was foot-painted by a Peruvian armless artist, who was at the same time finishing Schubert’s 8th symphony on a nokia cell phone.

  69. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    dianne, I get that.

    So many people here demolished his “explanations” that it helped to read it.

    I also cannot get over the sheer courage of the people who came forward with their own histories and lives to try to show that there are real people who feel real harm. It is profoundly humbling to read what they write. If the so-called rational people had a microgram of sense, they would be silenced utterly.

    I want to thank all of them again.

  70. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    Manu

    Looks at the internet for a time. Backs away.

    Yes, well. I can see that now. Thanks again. I’ll think of where to have that disposed of delivered in just a moment. Really.

  71. pavlovsdog says

    I am pretty sure that is not Voxrat from Tr. He is about as straight laced as you guys. I am also pretty sure it is some other Tr poster using Voxrat’s name. Therefore the criticisms against Tr are fair, but not against Voxrat.

  72. Nightjar says

    I find it hard to imagine he didn’t, which makes his original drawing-of-attention to it deliberate, and calculated. That he starts with “Ho hum” almost emphasises the faux disinterest – it’s saying “Here’s some meat for you to chew on, guys. Have at it,” and then watching with glee. Lovely chap.

    WHAT THE FUCK is wrong with you, spooky? Someone jokes that it wouldn’t be a bad thing if some women he finds annoying got raped, and this is what you want to complain about? The drawing-of-attention and the vehement condemnation of that “joke”? Really? That‘s what you’re upset about?

    his thread should not be taken seriously or out of context

    Given the culture we live in, is there any context at all that makes joking about raping women because they’re annoying OK?

  73. Nightjar says

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

    “Free thinkers” doesn’t mean “people who agree with me”. It also doesn’t mean “people who think rape jokes are harmless despite the evidence”. Or even “people who think context fixes everything”.

    Really. It doesn’t.

  74. says

    spooky

    I find it hard to imagine he didn’t, which makes his original drawing-of-attention to it deliberate, and calculated. That he starts with “Ho hum” almost emphasises the faux disinterest – it’s saying “Here’s some meat for you to chew on, guys. Have at it,” and then watching with glee. Lovely chap.

    I think spewing hateful shit is a bad thing, and condemning and calling attention to hateful shit spewed is a good thing. It seems you disagree, but I can’t understand why.

  75. Lyn M: dropping the f-bomb since 1962 ... of death says

    OK, all. Keep on fighting the good fight. I’m out of here due to time zone things like bedtime.

  76. Nightjar says

    According to them, it’s okay when you want to “slap around” the woman in question.

    Ah, yes, of course.

    We’re not misogynists! We just think all those uppity and annoying women need to be slapped around! And that makes everything that wouldn’t normally be OK magically OK! Because, look, annoying women! Everyone slap them around!

    Fuck, sometimes I hate people.

  77. rr says

    This thread has been a remarkable example of groupthink and a mob mentality…

    From now on I promise to give douchebro culture more of the thoughtful consideration it so obviously deserves.

  78. Louis says

    Pavlovsdog,

    He is about as straight laced as you guys.

    Straight laced? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh that is fucking rich.

    I, for one, am a kinky, Kinsey 1 to 2, poly, married bisexual bloke who used to play a decent level of rugby and has told more dirty jokes and sung more filthy songs in his life than any twenty people you care to name. Including Keith Richards’ and Kevin Bloody Racist Shithead Wilson’s bastard offspring.

    I’m not alone here. This place is chokka with utter perverts, deviants and outright fuckers. And thank fuck for that! Sexuality is to be celebrated. If it’s between consenting adults and it harms no one, it’s pretty likely to be an unabashed good. Straight laced? Fuck THAT.

    Perhaps you mean in regards to comedy. Double fuck THAT!

    There are people here who LOVE dark humour, like me, who will watch Jimmy Carr or Frankie Boyle and laugh at some of it. There are bits that are close to the knuckle, and bits that are over the line, but that is their style of humour and more often than not they do it well. Pappa (and that American comic of recent weeks whose name I forget) is not Jimmy Carr. He’s not as funny. Sorry. Where the Jimmy Carrs of this world go wrong (apart from on their tax returns) is where they assume their large and diverse audience is on the same ironic page they are. It’s a classic problem. Al Murray has had trouble with it and his Pub Landlord character for years. There is a substantial subset of his audience that is not laughing at his character’s expressed bigotry (as he demonstrably is) but laughing along with it. It’s the problem faced by the Alf Garnett character. It’s one of the classic issues in ironic comedy. People have even linked free PDFs of a couple of relevant research papers on the topic for you in this thread.

    The points are not that we are somehow prudish or straight laced for criticising rape jokes, they are, as many people have said:

    1) Rape jokes are not without consequence, pretending as if they are, or as if they are like non-rape jokes is disingenuous.

    2) The consequences of rape jokes are inimical to the equal treatment and rights of women (by far the group of people greatest affected by rape).

    3) “Edgy” humour, up to and including rape jokes, just might be possible to be told in a relatively harm free way, BUT (biiiiig but) you have to be certain of your audience and have some comic ability. Pappa posted his comments on an unrestricted public forum and really doesn’t have the comic ability required. George Carlin he ain’t.

    4) Rape “jokes”, as opposed to “rape jokes”, are no joke. What Pappa said, if we do not charitably assume it was a genuine joke, and there’s no reason in this climate/culture to make that assumption other than his/your say so (a say so indistinguishable from that of the most saintly saint or the most devilish devil), are a commonly used veiled threat and silencing tactic against women. Whether you like that or not it’s a demonstrable fact. If Pappa is not “that guy”, he sure does a fucking blinding impression of him.

    Try to understand some of this, your life will be measurably more pleasant.

    Louis

  79. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Spooky, when you talk about context, what do you mean? The context of some immature menz egging each other on to say the most offensive thing about women? Or the larger context of rape jokes in rational adult behavior (hint, they don’t exist), with the attempted indimidation (bullying) of women by immature menz making those jokes. Our context here is the latter one. The former is not one that can be used, as it is too narrow, and doesn’t hold the speech responsible if it is offensive to the larger society.

    No speech is free from being criticized, because of the critics free speech rights. If you don’t want your speech unduly criticized, keep it within reasonable mature adult bounds. There is also a difference between speech in the local pub and in a public blog. The latter should be more polite and less deliberately offensive and intimidating.

  80. pavlovsdog says

    Louis,

    Good for you. Seriously, congratulations on being a deviant.

    I don’t know who any of those people you mentioned in your thread are with the exception of George Carlin but I am sure they are all wild and crazy guys.

    I really don’t care what you do in your personal life. It is none of my business. The point is that post was not made by the Tr poster Voxrat.

  81. bastionofsass says

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

    Because “free thinkers” would think that a joke about raping real, feeling women is:

    A. Hilarious
    B. Fine if the person making the joke is a good guy
    C. What the bitches deserve
    D. A great use of free speech
    E. What any supporter of women’s rights would do
    F. All of the above

  82. Louis says

    Pavlovsdog,

    I don’t need your congratulations. Keep ‘em.

    Also your point might have been that TR Voxrat was not this poster here calling themselves Voxrat but you also made the comment that we here at Pharyngula are straight laced.

    My point was nothing to do with Voxrat, either the one here or at TR, my ability to give a shit about them or it or he or she is SEVERELY small. My point was about the assumption on your part of Pharyngulite straight laced-ness.

    Opposing rape humour can be, and often is, done for reasons OTHER than mere prudishness or offence or taste. To pretend otherwise is to misrepresent what has been said in ~1100 comments on this thread and countless thousands more across the rest of the interwebs and here. The “You’re all straight laced”/”you’re all prudes” is to reduce the arguments people are making to mere differences of taste as if the demonstrable harm rape jokes do is merely subjective. This is at best wrong, at worst dishonest. Hence why I disagreed with it.

    Clear?
    Louis

  83. Louis says

    Nightjar, #90,

    To me it’s utterly indistinguishable from a threat. However, perhaps wrongly, perhaps naively, I am granting (temporarily) the same benefit of the doubt I give ANYONE to Pappa and chums. If they demonstrate it’s not a threat, demonstrate that they understand it’s easy to read as a threat, demonstrate they understand the ramifications of that, and retract it, then they’ll have no great quarrel with me (not that having one should upset them much…mind you being called out for their crassness and unrepentant sexism does seem to hurt their feefees…).

    Louis

  84. says

    Does anyone suppose that PZ didn’t know that posting an article naming an individual and a particular website, and claiming that they all think “rape is a joke” would unleash a hate campaign like this?

    LOL because being called out on actual behavior is a “hate campaign” while adding to the pile of sex based harassment aimed at skepchicks is just good clean fun!

    I read a book about sociopaths once. The author talked about the logic of abusers. There was a story in the book about a man who broke his secretary’s arm while trying to force her to sit on his lap. He thought “why did that stupid bitch resist so much? She made me break her arm! he believed that his life was made harder by her, and that was all that really mattered in the situation, not that he was trying to force sexual contact on her. You are on the abusive side of such an argument right now- that being upset by the constant trivialization of rape is the problem because of how much harder it makes life for people who are, you know, trivializing rape. Life should be hard for people who say vile shit in public. The alternative is letting assholes like papa think that what they said was acceptable.

  85. says

    Louis, have you ever gotten absolutely stoned off yer arse and watched all six episodes of Jam?

    It’s sort of a party trick when there are stoned people who have never seen it before. They stare at the screen not knowing what to think until the morbid absurdity finally sinks in, and it becomes a gigglefest. I’ve observed it taking more than one episode. :)

  86. Louis says

    Weed Monkey,

    I’ve never been stoned and watched Jam, although I think being stoned to watch that is unnecessary. Being stoned to watch Terry and June on the other hand…mind blowing.

    Louis

    P.S. Of course I mean I am FAAAAAAR too straight laced to know what you mean. I’ve only ever watched the news and Question Time and then that was from behind my copy of the bible with all the rude bits cut out. As for being stoned…oh…the very idea!

  87. says

    I am genuinely sorry that some people who have been affected by rape have been caused some further hurt by reading my thread. But I can’t renounce my joke for the simple reason that if rape jokes are verboten then by the same logic, so must dead baby jokes be so. Real people have had to live through the torment of a baby dying and must unfortunately also deal with the hurt of sometimes hearing or seeing dead baby jokes.

    someone already pointed out that it is extremely unpopular to blame dead babies for dying (and the percentage of dead babies compared to raped women is also worth noting) so its a stupid comparison, but anyway…

    You know you’re privileged when your internal debate is about what kinds of jokes or words you want to use (because they are so funny!) instead of worrying about where you can go in the world without being bombarded by hatred for what you are. I don’t get a choice about that shit, only men do, and they seem to care more about what makes them laugh personally than what it does to everyone who is the butt of the joke. He even says parents who lost their babies “unfortunately have to” deal with vile jokes, but its bullshit. They don’t have to unless people choose to engage in these jokes and the rest of us fail to speak up about how it is unacceptable.

  88. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I am pretty sure that is not Voxrat from Tr. He is about as straight laced as you guys. I am also pretty sure it is some other Tr poster using Voxrat’s name. Therefore the criticisms against Tr are fair, but not against Voxrat

    For real? You think that not liking it when someone makes a rape joke about women who they’ve never met and have never done him/her any harm but nevertheless “annoys” him/her in order to slap the women around is straight laced?

    What planet are you getting your definition of “straight laced” from? Because I was unaware that “straight laced” was defined as “being completely fine with humor that is designed to hurt/upset women whose only crime is being ‘annoying’ by making reference to having something extremely bad and extremely common done to them, something that they may have already experienced already.”

    ((Trigger warning!!))

    Next up: joking about starting a fire in a building and removing all the wheelchair ramps so that the irritating lady in a wheelchair can’t get out, selling that annoying black guy into slavery, having that stupid gay guy institutionalized and then chemically castrated, sending that unpleasant Jew to a concentration camp, sending a smallpox blanket to that lame Native American and his family, euthanizing that mentally ill bastard in the name of eugenics, and much more! Woo hoo! After all, we wouldn’t want to be STRAIGHT LACED.

  89. says

    #338:

    When someone kills a baby, how many people insist that maybe it was the baby’s fault? How many people insist that the baby should have done something different? How many people argue that, well, maybe intentionally killing a baby isn’t MURDER because maybe that baby just overwhelmed the parents by inducing a wild desire to kill in said parents? How many declare that we shouldn’t punish the baby killer because it would ruin his/her life? How many argue that it isn’t that bad because the baby killer is a really nice guy? How many say that we can disregard all physical evidence that someone killed a baby because said someone has done a lot for the community and clearly wouldn’t do such a thing?

    I don’t want to derail, and am terribly late to the party, but perhaps you should read this:

    http://illusionofcompetence.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/killing-words.html

    I’ve been too late to the threads again (!) but I now have flu and have been sent home from work, so I’m catching up with events. My best wishes and awkward autie hugs (if wanted) to all the brave posters who have told their stories. Cookies made with Tasmanian honey are available via USB.

    Oh, and pappa? You’re a vile specimen, and the wider the deep rift that grows between us the happier I will be.

  90. pavlovsdog says

    Louis,

    As much as your point didn’t have anything to do with the Voxrats, my point didn’t have anything to do with rape jokes defending them or otherwise. My point was to clear up a mistake. Why that sparked a WoT manifesto about kinky and perverted you are and how great of a sense of humor you have, I don’t know.

  91. Brownian says

    Does anyone suppose that PZ didn’t know that posting an article naming an individual and a particular website, and claiming that they all think “rape is a joke” would unleash a hate campaign like this?

    Hate campaign?

    If only. The targets of hate campaigns disappear or at least silenced.

    “Wah! We don’t like being criticized for the things we say! It’s anti-free thought!”

    What a bunch of shitty jokes you people are.

  92. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Louis,

    As much as your point didn’t have anything to do with the Voxrats, my point didn’t have anything to do with rape jokes defending them or otherwise. My point was to clear up a mistake. Why that sparked a WoT manifesto about kinky and perverted you are and how great of a sense of humor you have, I don’t know.

    No. If your goal had been to clear up a mistake, you wouldn’t have indicated that we are all straight laced (from the dictionary: prudish, priggish, prissy, excessively strict in conduct or morality, puritanical). Now, that may have been part of your goal, but your other goal was to take a shot at us for objecting to jokes that you don’t have a problem to (or it wouldn’t have been YOU GUYS, it would have been WE).

  93. Louis says

    Erista, #97

    Ho ho, I forgot Holocaust funnies! It is to laugh…again. Let’s be really edgy!

    Louis

  94. Louis says

    Pavlovsdog,

    Erista explained it again for you.

    Fuck me, you don’t even read what you write for comprehension do you?

    Louis

  95. pavlovsdog says

    It wasn’t we because I am not one of YOU. That has nothing to do with taste in humor. I don’t know who Pappa is or if that post of his was a joke or what his point was. I don’t go to rationalia. If it was a joke it wasn’t funny. I don’t think it is the end of the world. I see worse on the internet daily. Maybe I am just desensitized.

    I used the term straight laced, because I was trying to point out that the Voxrat of Tr would not find it funny or amusing or cool to call PZ a child molester. He would consider that to be immature and beneath him. I guessed that most of YOU would also find it immature and beneath you. I used the term YOU even though I figured there were probably some people posting on here that would disagree, but I was playing the odds.

  96. says

    Being stoned to watch Terry and June on the other hand…mind blowing.

    *Scribbles down Terry and June in the Big Black Book next to Keeping up Appearances*

  97. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Excused me, I made a typo. It should have been:

    What planet are you getting your definition of “straight laced” from? Because I was unaware that “straight laced” was defined as “NOT being completely fine with humor that is designed to hurt/upset women whose only crime is being ‘annoying’ by making reference to having something extremely bad and extremely common done to them, something that they may have already experienced already.”

    Sorry. Very bad typo.

  98. hotshoe says

    I’ve made a few more comments at rationalia, since it’s up. Am late for work and am leaving with a heavy heart because of them digging in for a campaign of hatred against pharyngula, against skepchicks, and of course against their own members who disapprove of rape jokes.

    Sad for Gallstones, who was one of the first of them to say “Pappa, don’t do that”, and she’s getting vilified for it by a couple of the nastier fuckers.

    A couple of the other women who first spoke out against it are still there, but not on topic, and the only other person who I see still is vocal against rape jokes is Robert_S (whom I quoted here, earlier).

    Our banned commenter, comeatmebro, aka wumbologist, did scold Pappa a little for failing with his intended joke. But then, no surprise, did not mention anything about how he was so sure that Pappa would apologize (yesterday) or that Pappa still should apologize.

    Also no surprise, Rachelbean (Pappa’s wife, I believe) is still upset that shithead posted Pappa’s address info. Well, yes, It’s upsetting. I just want to know why she doesn’t feel any sympathy for the real live human beings at Skepchicks whom her dear Pappa targeted with his question about how they deserve rape.

    I just don’t get it.

    Why are so many of them lining up to defend bad behavior ? Why are the voices of human compassion so few and far between ?

    I hate people.

    Not, not all of you. Just the ones who deserve it :(

  99. Erista (aka Eris) says

    It wasn’t we because I am not one of YOU.
    Er, yes, that was in fact my point: You are not one of the individuals you are calling straight laced, as you feel this catagory doesn’t fit you.

    That has nothing to do with taste in humor.

    Which is why you described us as “straight laced” when dealing with a particular brand of humor? I ask this with no mockery intended: where are you getting your English from? Because “straight laced” not a neutral word in any English speaking setting that I’ve ever encountered; in all instance, it is CLEARLY a word that one uses when one is criticizing someone for their (and I quote) “EXCESSIVE strictness in conduct or morality.”

    I used the term straight laced, because I was trying to point out that the Voxrat of Tr would not find it funny or amusing or cool to call PZ a child molester. He would consider that to be immature and beneath him. I guessed that most of YOU would also find it immature and beneath you. I used the term YOU even though I figured there were probably some people posting on here that would disagree, but I was playing the odds.

    Then it would have been nice if you’d said THAT rather than tossing a word at us that clearly has negative implications (as I listed earlier).

  100. Nightjar says

    I used the term straight laced, because I was trying to point out that the Voxrat of Tr would not find it funny or amusing or cool to call PZ a child molester.

    So you meant “decent human being”, and not “straight laced”.

  101. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Oh, also, if English isn’t your main language, I apologize for jumping on you. I once had a predominantly Spanish speaking friend who tried to make a riddle out of chickens laying eggs, (it was something like, “When does a child get laid by his/her mother”) without understanding that “getting laid” a lot of implications in English that one might not guess at.

  102. Louis says

    Pavlovsdog,

    It’s not about taste, it’s about harm (in the case of Pappa’s “joke”), or in the case of Voxrat’s comment, it’s about the truth. That’s the second time of pointing that out to you.

    Whether or not this Voxrat person’s comment was immature or beneath me, them or the deceased Queen Mother is irrelevant. Those are subjective matters of taste.

    It’s not true. No evidence was supplied. It’s a pretty vile piece of anonymous libel posted only to annoy, upset, and distract. It’s trolling, pure and simple.

    No one, least of all me, could give a tuppenny fuck about the noble character or otherwise of some pseudonymous person posting on another board. There are a few Talk Rational people who have poked their heads in here and made arses of themselves and doubtlessly there are numerous angels from Talk Rational who have poked their heads in here and been laudably brilliant. Seriously, who the fuck cares?

    I’m over the fucking moon you think Voxrat from TR is a paragon of virtue, really, I’m getting wood just thinking about it, but isn’t the more important point that this person, or someone impersonating them, has seen fit to come here and make unevidenced, criminal, libellous allegations about someone (in this case PZ). Why is it that with you silly fuckers defending the nobility of various rape apologists or libellous fuckwits or pseudonymous nonentity comes before doling out condemnation of rape apologia, libel and such like?

    Learn to read and stop trolling.

    Louis

  103. pavlovsdog says

    I speak English, but I had no idea straight laced was an insult in English. Maybe we can just chalk that up to regional differences.

  104. Erista (aka Eris) says

    That reminds me of a friend of mine who described her relationship with a guy as “friends with benefits” and then was shocked when I thought she was having sex with him.

    Ahh, good times.

  105. Brownian says

    I don’t think it is the end of the world.

    Is that something you actually think people are saying, or is this just the kind of thing you say because you don’t know what an effective argument is?

    I see worse on the internet daily.

    Well, that’s pretty much true for almost anything. So why are you here trying to correct us? Don’t you see worse than us on the internet daily?

    Maybe I am just desensitized.

    More likely, the argument doesn’t actually affect you, so you simply don’t care.

  106. pavlovsdog says

    As for you not caring if Voxrat is paragon of virtue or whatever good. I don’t think he is. I just know that is not the type of thing he would post. Voxrat is some kind of serious scientist or some shit. I was just trying to correct that mistake. There was no ulterior motive to defend rape jokes or rapists or to disparage sexual deviants by insinuating they were straight laced. I apologize for the choice of words. If I could edit it I would say, “Voxrat is as decent a human being who also is a deviant and enjoys dark humour from British comedians that I have never heard of as you guys.”

  107. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Oooh, good points, Brownian.

    Also, I’ve been pondering on your “what has the skeptical movement AS the skeptical movement done that isn’t being done by someone else” thing. Ever since this latest skeptic’s movement flip-out started, I’ve been considering if I want to be part of the skeptics movement (note: not whether or not I want to consider myself a skeptic, but whether or not the organized movement is somewhere I want to be).

    I really don’t know the answer to either. More thinking is required. :)

  108. Erista (aka Eris) says

    enjoys dark humour from British comedians that I have never heard of as you guys

    I don’t understand what the bolded is supposed to mean. Never heard of as you guys?

  109. says

    pavlovsdog

    I speak English, but I had no idea straight laced was an insult in English. Maybe we can just chalk that up to regional differences.

    I don’t think it is in general, but in this context it certainly is. Feminists are accused of being prudes or anti-sex all the time.

  110. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I don’t think it is in general, but in this context it certainly is. Feminists are accused of being prudes or anti-sex all the time.

    Really? Then I would have done better to ask pavlovsdog’s what they meant by “straight laced.” Oops, sorry.

  111. marinerachel says

    It took all of fourteen seconds for Rationalising Skepticism’s primary Chill Girl to chirp “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ” and for a large quotient of the forum TO join in with nodnodnodheadsfalloff.

    But THIS is hivemind, you guys (gyns?)

  112. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Oh, and if doesn’t mean prudish/blah blah all the time, what does it mean those other time?

  113. says

    /skims

    Louis:

    I did not insinuate he fucks goats.

    Do we know for a fact that Pappa doesn’t fuck goats?

    Hairhead, quoting Ian:

    ….and knew this whole thread was just a crude attempt to slap the Skepchicks around.

    And they actually think this is a defense?

    Jadehawk:

    Apparently, we’re now the Pharynguline Empire…

    PZ = Palpatine?

    Josh:

    Seriously. Please die. I mean that.

    Fucking co-signed.

    When I first saw the handle “Voxrat,” I assume he derived that handle from spending time at Mr. Beale’s House o’ Lulz and Masturbating Until You Chafe.

    Spooky, please go eviscerate yourself with a grapefruit spoon that’s been enhanced with capsaicin.

    As for the forum or user names… it all goes back to the “If you have to say it, it’s probably not true” principle.

  114. says

    117
    erista

    Oooh, good points, Brownian.

    Also, I’ve been pondering on your “what has the skeptical movement AS the skeptical movement done that isn’t being done by someone else” thing. Ever since this latest skeptic’s movement flip-out started, I’ve been considering if I want to be part of the skeptics movement (note: not whether or not I want to consider myself a skeptic, but whether or not the organized movement is somewhere I want to be).

    I really don’t know the answer to either. More thinking is required. :)

    I was arguing with brownian about that awhile back in the thread but lost track of the posts soo I’ve had a hard time replying.

    Have you ever known someone who went of psychiatric medication because of “natural cures”? Or maybe they had cancer or some other serious condition?

    Have you ever watched someone lose everything because they bought into a scam?

    I’ve seen people in both camps drop what they were doing because of the work of skeptics. These are people who are usually extremely vulnerable in their lives and need counter information available so that all the scammers don’t get to advertise themselves unapposed. The work of skeptics is usually very tedious and time consuming- sharing it with the public is much more effective than expecting everyone to figure out what claims are true (or not) on their own when they are in an emotionally vulnerable place.

    There are scammers of a thousand stripes. Skepticism doesn’t just help with that though, it helps people understand how to think critically and ask tough questions. A relative of mine got into skepticism as a result of my talking with her about it and she thanked me. SHe worked in an industry that was ripe with herbal remedy BS (among other things), and she thanked me for helping her see it for what it was.

    I’m sick of people talking about skepticism as just setting the bar low- has no one here ever believed something silly or ridiculous? I’m glad I found skeptical literature about the things I used to believe. Not everyone gets a sense of superiority from skepticism, for me it was humbling. I saw how I got taken in and learned how to avoid the same errors in the future. I don’t know of something that addresses those concerns specifically outside of skepticism.

  115. Brownian says

    Ever since this latest skeptic’s movement flip-out started, I’ve been considering if I want to be part of the skeptics movement (note: not whether or not I want to consider myself a skeptic, but whether or not the organized movement is somewhere I want to be).

    It’s a tough question. Especially when the community gets more than its share of tribal dumbshits like spooky who think we should look the other way because “fellow atheists” or whatever. Because for some reason, this “fellow atheist” camaraderie doesn’t extend to the Skepchicks, and other groups. It’s a meaningless canard.

    Racists, sexists, and other assorted bigots do not get a pass from me just because they don’t believe in gods either.

  116. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I always thought feminists were accused of being whores, not prudes.

    Yeah, we’re kind of both. Whore prudes, unite! *peers about*

  117. Louis says

    Skeptifem,

    Not everyone gets a sense of superiority from skepticism, for me it was humbling. I saw how I got taken in and learned how to avoid the same errors in the future. I don’t know of something that addresses those concerns specifically outside of skepticism.

    Double WORD!

    Scepticism for me doesn’t make me feel superior at all, it m akes me wary of how easy I am to fool.

    Same for science.

    Gee, I wonder why that is? ;-)

    Louis

  118. Brownian says

    I don’t understand what the bolded is supposed to mean.

    “Voxrat is as decent a human being x as you guys.”

    Where x = “who also is a deviant and enjoys dark humour from British comedians that I have never heard of”

  119. says

    @123

    I always thought feminists were accused of being whores, not prudes.

    Conservatives think feminists are whores. Liberal dudebros think we are prudes trying to ruin sex forever.

  120. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I’m sick of people talking about skepticism as just setting the bar low- has no one here ever believed something silly or ridiculous?

    I have to run (doctor’s appointment), but my problem with skepticism has never been something to do with a “low bar;” my problem with skepticism is that it seems to be fully of raging misogynists and people who (while personally not misogynists themselves) will nevertheless DEFEND misogyny to their last breath.

    To be blunt, I’m not sure how much more of this “haha joking about rape is hilarious/all harassment claims are false even if multiple people see them/you’re all feminazis/blah blah” I can or am willing to take. I’m at the point of asking myself, “Are the payoffs of associating with the movement worth the costs?” As of yet, I don’t know.

  121. Matt Penfold says

    Ever since this latest skeptic’s movement flip-out started, I’ve been considering if I want to be part of the skeptics movement (note: not whether or not I want to consider myself a skeptic, but whether or not the organized movement is somewhere I want to be).

    I ask myself the same thing, but then I remind myself not all sceptic organisation are like JREF. CFI organised a “Women in Secularism” conference earlier this year, and organising another next year. And nearly all of them other than JREF have taken what women have been saying onboard, and are putting in place anti-harassment policies. Not perfect, but progress is being made it seems.

  122. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    It took all of fourteen seconds for Rationalising Skepticism’s primary Chill Girl to chirp “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ” and for a large quotient of the forum TO join in with nodnodnodheadsfalloff.

    Yep. In no way have we here at Pharyngula ever said anything about how jokes about rape committed against men, even men who have committed reprehensible and disgusting crimes, are not okay. None of the people at Pharyngula are male survivors of rape who are respected and supported just like the female survivors are. This thread and others like them, in which survivors of violent crime stepped up and bared their souls in opposition to jokes about raping men who were criminals, never happened. True facts.

  123. Brownian says

    has no one here ever believed something silly or ridiculous?

    Catholic to New Agey to atheist here. Yes.

    In my case, I came to skepticism as an atheist and skeptic already. My perspective is of course not universal.

    To be blunt, I’m not sure how much more of this “haha joking about rape is hilarious/all harassment claims are false even if multiple people see them/you’re all feminazis/blah blah” I can or am willing to take. I’m at the point of asking myself, “Are the payoffs of associating with the movement worth the costs?” As of yet, I don’t know.

    That’s where I am.

  124. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    Hoooboy. Okay, there are developments at Rationalia, in terms of comments. I’m going to post a few of them, in separate posts, as they all require different responses.

    First: (Well, I’ll let Pappa’s words speak for themselves) (my bold)

    Re: Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?

    Unread postby Pappa » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:16 am
    Hotshoe, give me a break, I’ve been in work all day and not able to comment.

    To my fellow Rationalians, all Skepchicks and any people of the world who are interested…. I’m genuinely sorry for my lame attempt at humour that trivialised rape. I shall be more mindful of my words and how they can negatively affect others in future.

    In particular, Gallstones, I’m sorry that my crassness caused you any hurt/anger/distress. I like you a lot and had no intention of being the source of any negativity in your life.

    I am posting Pappa’s apology in this forum, as I am sure that he will not visit to post it himself. After all, we’re all terrible people here, eh?

  125. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    However good Pappa’s apology is, the Rationalia forums are still infested with nasty fuckers. Example #1 (includes nested comments, sorry). I will leave the fisking up to others.

    Re: Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?

    Unread postby laklak » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:18 am

    hotshoe wrote:

    laklak wrote:Over 1000 posts on their thread. How many posts does it take for everybody to agree? Landogoshen, we really stirred up a hornet’s nest, guess we learned our lesson, huh?

    Hotshoe Replied: No, you didn’t learn your lesson, sweetheart. Not if you still think posting stupid and harmful rape “jokes” is acceptable. Because, well, those pharyngulites can get stirred up 1000 posts worth, so that somehow makes the rape “joke” okay retroactively ? How does that work ?

    Laklak Replied : Nobody forced PZ or anyone else to come trawl through the forum, they came looking for trouble. How else would you find it? What, they accidentally typed rape + skepchicks into Google when they really wanted to see pictures of fuzzy kittehs? Do they have undercover, super secret squads of Shockchick Ninjas surreptitiously hunting down gender criminals across the vast underbelly of internet skepticism? Who died and made them Pope anyway?

    I didn’t find the joke particularly amusing or tasteful. However, Pappa apologized for hurting anyone with his joke, but he stopped short of a full-on public display of mea culpa hair rending and chest beating. Evidently that wasn’t enough, they want him to commit sepuku on the altar of Offended Feminism. If this site offends their delicate sensibilities to such a degree then they’re free to fuck off back to wherever they came from. Capice, sweetheart?

  126. Brownian says

    has no one here ever believed something silly or ridiculous?

    Using one quote to answer another:

    It took all of fourteen seconds for Rationalising Skepticism’s primary Chill Girl to chirp “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ” and for a large quotient of the forum TO join in with nodnodnodheadsfalloff.

    It seems that the silly and ridiculous thing we’re coming to realise we’ve believed all this time is that the skeptic and rationalist movement is skeptical and rational, at least any more so than the average group of moderate theists.

    During this whole fiasco, I’ve seen PZ capitulate to DJ Grothe and others by assuring them that yes, the skeptics’ community is probably better than everyone else when it comes to safety at conferences, but I’ve never actually seen any evidence to confirm this.

    Yet it’s all taken as an article of faith by the skeptically skeptics.

  127. voxrat0 says

    Just to clarify:
    I am the “VoxRat” of TalkRational.
    The person posting here with that name is apparently notorious internet troll and prankster, “Bartholomew Roberts”
    I’d appreciate if management would delete that account.
    Thanks.

  128. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    Okay, next up, blatant sexism!

    Re: Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?

    Unread postby Kristie » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:15 am

    Rum wrote:Maybe some of the visitors here over the last day or two will read a bit and like what they see and stay. Some of them might even be babes. :hehe:

    Kristie replied: One can only hope!

  129. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    I’m glad to see Pappa apologized. Sad that the other people there who are objecting are being treated so badly. (Hey, people who objected over there? See what I mean about culture?)

    VoxRat of TalkRat, assuming you’re telling the truth, I’m sorry some jerkass troll is impersonating you to say vile things under your name. That’s shitty. :(

  130. 'Tis Himself says

    Who gives a rat’s ass whether some troll posting as “Voxrat” is some character over at some website or not? If this Voxrat is or isn’t somebody else is so trivial that I doubt anyone here cares.

    What is annoying is some asshole is claiming that being against rape jokes is being “straight laced.” No, asshole buddy of Voxrat, the object to rape jokes has nothing to do with prudishness or modesty. If you ask nicely, we’ll explain the difference.

  131. marinerachel says

    If I recall correctly, laklak’s response to Watson’s “guy’s don’t do that” was following her activity for months and commenting when he believed she’d put on weight.

    Nice man.

  132. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    And finally (because I can’t stomach any more right now)

    TRIGGER WARNING — MINIMIZING RAPE BELOW

    Re: Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?

    Unread postby tattuchu » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:13 am

    tattuchu wrote:Yes, that “survivors” bit stuck me as oddly strange, uh, Audley Strange. Rape may be traumatic, but I had no idea it was potentially fatal :?

    hadespussercats wrote: What? Are you serious?

    tattuchu replied:I think it’s pretty rare for someone to die as a result of rape, unless it’s a particularly violent assault. If it were a particularly violent assault, however, that would bring it into a different category altogether. But a person usually doesn’t die from being fucked, involuntarily or not. To say someone is a “survivor” of rape seems unnecessarily melodramatic to me. You could say someone suffered a rape or was a victim of rape, but a “survivor” of rape seems a bit much to me.

    maiforpeace replied: Unnecessarily melodramatic?
    I wonder how many survivors of rape have committed suicide? But then, you couldn’t call them survivors if they killed themselves.

    tattuchu replied: That’s a little different. Rape, in itself, isn’t inherently fatal. If we’re to broaden the use of the word “survivor” that wide, then it becomes meaningless. My father’s wife, for instance, had cancer. I’m not sure precisely what kind, but it was apparently the serious kind. So I’d say she was a cancer survivor. It seems reasonable to say that. My sister, as you know, suffered a very serious head injury. I think it’s safe to say she’s a TBI survivor. My step-sister, however, was raped when she was a teenager. Her boyfriend wanted to fuck. She didn’t. He fucked her anyway. I’d say she was a rape victim. I wouldn’t call her a rape survivor. It just doesn’t seem appropriate to me.

    Yep. Tattuchu, never having been raped himself, sure knows what’s appropriate for rape survivors to characterize their experience as.

    After all, he has the peepee!

  133. Brownian says

    Nobody forced PZ or anyone else to come trawl through the forum, they came looking for trouble. How else would you find it? What, they accidentally typed bigfoot + UFOs into Google when they really wanted to see pictures of fuzzy kittehs? Do they have undercover, super secret squads of atheist skeptics surreptitiously hunting down anti-vaxxers and psychics across the vast underbelly of the internet? Who died and made them Pope anyway?

    Rewritten like this, would Laklak agree with me that the entire skeptics’ movement should euthanise itself?

  134. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    How many posts does it take for everybody to agree provide arguments, explanations in a variety of forms to make them more accessible to people with different learning and argumentative styles, supporting evidence, reasons for people to care, and refutations of objections and misunderstandings?

    Many.

  135. Brownian says

    If this Voxrat is or isn’t somebody else is so trivial that I doubt anyone here cares.

    I do, and someone purporting to be the actual Voxrat has denounced the one here as a ‘nym-stealing troll.

  136. Bernard Bumner says

    Finally, a proper apology from Pappa it would seem. The only question is whether he is willing to set the standard that rape and similar jokes have no place on Rationalia.

  137. mythbri says

    That apology from pappa was a welcome surprise. I’d appreciate it if he state whether it was the backlash or a true change of mind that prompted it, but this will do for now. I hope that he uses this experience to guide his posts in the future.

  138. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    Gah. Poor mai.
    I saw hir being wrong and naive elsewhere, but xe seems a decent sort, and I’m sorry to see what xe’s putting up with. *sigh*

  139. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Racists, sexists, and other assorted bigots do not get a pass from me just because they don’t believe in gods either.

    Also word. Triple word, in fact.

    I associate with the JREF/CSI/Sceptical “movement” for the bits I like. I associate with the atheist “movement” for the bits I like. I associate with the secular “movement” for the bits I like. I associate with the (European) liberal/left political “movement” for the bits I like. Etc. I am extremely vocal about the bits I don’t like.

    I’m more concerned about conceding MY “movements” to the sexist fuckwits than I am that some anonymous person might think on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that I am a sexist fuckwit because they met a sexist fuckwit who called themselves a sceptic.

    I think scepticism, like atheism, like secularism, like (European) liberal/left politics etc are worth fighting FOR. I think walking away is ceding the fuckwits too much ground.

    Louis

  140. voxrat0 says

    @Brownian

    If this Voxrat is or isn’t somebody else is so trivial that I doubt anyone here cares.

    I do, and someone purporting to be the actual Voxrat has denounced the one here as a ‘nym-stealing troll.

    I just got wind of this prank at TalkRational, and I haven’t yet figured out where the original quote attributed to me is – I just see indirect references.

    Can someone fill me in?
    Was it on this site?
    Or was it on the rationalia site?

    Thanks.

  141. Brownian says

    I think it’s pretty rare for someone to die as a result of rape

    That’s what ‘skeptics’ do, alright. “I think” therefore semantic games.

    These are the people who once debated whether or not they should distinguish themselves from the great unwashed by calling themselves ‘brights’?

    What a fucking joke. These fucking pukes are no better than the psychics and Catholics they deride.

    Have no illusions: I’m a polemicist. Shitting on shit is what do. If I leave the skeptics’ community, I will find another, and I will use that forum to curse the skeptics’ movement as harbouring racists and sexists and narcissistic bigots with tunnel vision.

    If we’re willing to end Catholicism despite the charitable work, I don’t see why we’re not willing to end this putrid collection of festering fucks despite the fact that James Randi once exposed Uri Geller on TV.

  142. Louis says

    I see Pappa has apologised, made a reasonable job of it this time too.

    Good work.

    Louis

  143. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    I just got wind of this prank at TalkRational, and I haven’t yet figured out where the original quote attributed to me is – I just see indirect references.

    Right here, VoxRat.
    (I’m not going to quote it for you because it’s disgusting.)

  144. says

    OK, the original voxrat comment has been deleted, and that email account banned.

    No entry in the dungeon file, though, because I don’t want to put the real voxrat’s name there.

  145. Brownian says

    Yes, I shall add my voice to the others commending Pappa for his eventual apology.

  146. Louis says

    Brownian,

    I’m one atheist/sceptic/whatever that doesn’t want to end Catholicism or psychic belief or whatever. I want to end the conditions that make Catholicism (or…) necessary and I want to end the undeserved influence and power that Catholicism (or…) has.

    That’s a pretty big difference, and it has at least the singular virtue of being possible. IF (big IF) I were a Catholic, I’d be fighting just as hard to kick the paedophile hiding fuckwits out of my tent as I am to kick the sexist fuckwits out of this tent. THAT is our job dammit.

    I’m an X, it’s my job to be a damn good X and make sure anyone else who says they’re an X is a damn good X too. I’m not waiting for a Y to come and do it for me. Wanna be an X and do anti-X stuff? Better have one fuck of a good reason. The sexist sceptics DON’T have a good reason. They have a whole slew of shitty reasons. Hence why I put on my hobnailed boots and do my little stompy dance.

    Louis

  147. eleutheria says

    Some people just are still missing it. There is no circumstance where a rape joke is appropriate or funny. I just saw a Sarah Silverman monstrosity on the youtube. This is NOT FUNNY and there should be some consequence for “edgy” comedians like Silverman. I quote it for context:

    I was raped by a doctor… which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.

    We need more rape jokes. We really do. Needless to say, rape, the most heinous crime imaginable, seems it’s a comic’s dream though, because it seems, when you do rape jokes that, like, the material is so dangerous and edgy. And the truth is, it’s like the safest area of comedy because: who’s gonna complain about a rape joke? Rape victims? They don’t even report rape. I mean, they’re just traditionally not complainers. Like the worst maybe thing that could could happen is– and this would, I would feel terrible– it’s like, after the show, maybe somebody comes up to you and is like, “Look, I’m a victim of rape, and, as a victim of rape, I just want to say I thought that joke was inappropriate, and insensitive, and totally my fault, and I am so sorry….” Rape victims. Let’s take them down a notch! They’ve had it too good for too long! Am I right?! Let’s take back the night back! […] That’s really tasteless…. Obviously, not that I need to backtrack and qualify this. I think you all know me by now but, obviously, no woman is asking to be raped…. I do think that there are some women who are asking to be motorboated.

    Some people do not get it and should not be tolerated in our society. Don’t go to their performances. Don’t tolerate people who tolerate them.

  148. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    Yeah, VoxRat, between me putting the link and me clicking on the link to make sure it worked, PZ removed it -.- which, you know, is good because it’s gone, but I’m embarrassed now.

    Sarah Silverman appears to be being sarcastic about rape jokes. It’s a rape joke joke.
    I still don’t want her to make them, but there are tells in there.

  149. Nightjar says

    I always thought feminists were accused of being whores, not prudes.

    Depends. When we’re expressing disgust over the idea that all women are required to marry a man, be completely submissive to him and have as many children as possible, we are in fact whores. Also, when talking about abortion, access to contraception and sex ed.

    But when we’re fighting sexual harassment, pointing out that misogynistic jokes and rape jokes are harmful, discussing the problems associated with the porn industry, or decrying the objectification of women in our society… yeah, then we are most definitely prudes and killjoys.

  150. Brownian says

    The sexist sceptics DON’T have a good reason. They have a whole slew of shitty reasons.

    So they’re no better at reasoning than anyone else, and they’re gross, unpleasant shits to boot.

    Part of the issue for me is that I don’t live in a backwater hellhole full of fundies. I don’t need these fucking dipshits with their undeserved egos to talk about science or atheism or psychics. I’m not beholden to these assholes to geek out. My social circle in meatspace encompasses punks and skaters and hipsters and atheists and Christians and straights and LGBT and teachers and artists and bureaucrats and welders and PhDs. The people who liked me in highschool and the people who didn’t were not split along jock and nerd lines.

    I like PZ and Pharyngulites because I like PZ and Pharyngulites, not because they’re the closest thing to people I can stand.

    I’m only having this discussion because I understand that for many, the online community of skeptics is the closest thing to people they can stand. If it weren’t for the people I care about here who are invested in the community of skeptics and Gnus, I’d be long gone.

  151. hotshoe says

    Hooray for Pappa and a real apology, not a fake apology! Aaaand I’m outta here. Gotta run, but so good to have an up-note for today.

  152. slartibart says

    Some rape jokes can be funny. If they subvert and criticise rape culture, that works. Carlin and Pryor were masters at this. Wands Sykes has done rape jokes in this manner. It is possible. What this jackass did was a type of ‘joking’ that *enables* rape culture. This is, of course, the far more common kind of rape ‘joke’, hence the common idea that rape jokes can never be funny.

    And, dumbass? The reason dead baby jokes don’t cause the same outrage isn’t because parents who have lost infants are ignored or whatever dumbass crap you typed which I couldn’t bother to waste time reading, it’s because there’s no dead baby culture which serves to try to excuse baby killers while also attempting to shame and silence victims of dead baby killers. Your logic is atrocious and your awareness of rape culture, inexcusably weak.

  153. Brownian says

    Sarah Silverman appears to be being sarcastic about rape jokes. It’s a rape joke joke.
    I still don’t want her to make them, but there are tells in there.

    Yep, and the tellingest tell is: “Rape victims. Let’s take them down a notch! They’ve had it too good for too long! Am I right?! Let’s take back the night back!”

    I can see the confusion though, given that tattuchu made essentially the same point straight up.

  154. mythbri says

    Regarding Sarah Silverman, I don’t much care for her comedy anyway. It comes off as sloppy in execution, which makes her intentions hard to decipher.

  155. mythbri says

    @pappa #168

    Thanks for your real apology. I hope that it was due to a real change of mind, and not because you disliked the backlash. And I hope that the environment at Rationalia becomes more comfortable for the people there who were hurt by your joke. This can be a good start.

  156. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    Some rape jokes can be funny.

    The point that you’re making about punching up instead of down is a good and valid point and I don’t want to argue against that. I tend to lean toward the belief that jokes that do the job of helping to dismantle rape culture are good things to have around, good tools for us. But it’s important to keep in mind that jokes like that still run the risk of triggering rape survivors, who very likely are in the audience. It’s possible to weigh these things and come to the conclusion that they’re still worthwhile to tell, but we have to be careful and thoughtful, and remember that it’s not without cost.

  157. says

    does this qualify as a rape joke? i don’t really get it, either way.

    “You know Ross, you’ve been doing this for a long time, man. You know, Jeff Ross has been roasting people since Whitney Cummings was nothing but a glint in the eye of the man who raped her mother.”

  158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Come on PZ. Put your money where your mouth is an apologise for the hurt your Aurora could have caused some people.

    That has nothing whatsoever to do with you nad your stupidity. It isn’t trade apologies time, it is you ruing your idiocy time, no more. Be a responsible adult for once in your life.

  159. Brownian says

    Come on PZ. Put your money where your mouth is an apologise for the hurt your Aurora could have caused some people.

    Though triggering is only one of the reasons why rape jokes are the refuge of fucking morons, you should really retract this one and apologise, PZ.

  160. pappa says

    @Nerd of Readhead

    I’ve no interest in trading apologies, and I spend most of my time being a responsible adult, thanks.

    Much of the criticism here has revolved around the very real hurt caused to victims of rape by my thread. I genuinely have come to see how my words have had a very tangiable negative effect on some people, in part by reading several hundred of the replies here.

    I was merely commenting that PZ’s a tad hypocritical to make a joke that could similarly cause a lot of pain to people who lost someone at Aurora or some other mass shooting. As I’ve said previously, I think he sometimes (though not often) engages his fingers before his brain. It’s something we all do at times, but he’s in a fairly unique position with over a hundred thousand people observing his posts and tweets.

  161. slartibart says

    Cipher, agreed. That said, people susceptible to such triggering (raises hand) are by no means unfamiliar with the danger zone that is ‘edgy’ comedy. I’ll never forget that one child molestation skit on SNL… *remembers the opposite of fondly*

  162. Louis says

    Brownian,

    So they’re no better at reasoning than anyone else, and they’re gross, unpleasant shits to boot.

    Just like everybody else. I’m certainly not pretending that sceptics are super human, I think it’s a massive red herring. Neither are skaters, surfers, rugby players, skiers and martial artists (to name my five sports of choice). I’m still a skater. I can still go skiing. I’m not a representative of all skiers everywhere. I don’t have to be and I think this is where you are hung up.

    Just because Skeptic A is a self-entitled selfish sexist wankstain it isn’t binding on you to be. It’s abundantly clear to even the meanest intellect (by which I mean homoeopaths) that the actions of Skeptic A are not yours. And if the meanest intellect cannot grasp that, well I think that’s a pretty good litmus test of them being too stupid to be worth bothering with.

    Part of the issue for me is that I don’t live in a backwater hellhole full of fundies.

    Yeah, it’s relatively cosmopolitan here in London too! ;-)

    Have no fear that you are alone in having a diverse and full social agenda…well I do have one when the potty training isn’t going on…at least I used to have one, I seem to have misplaced it since having a kid! ;-)

    The people who liked me in highschool and the people who didn’t were not split along jock and nerd lines.

    Likewise. Still is the case. So? Your reasons for being in/out of the “movement” such as it is are yours, they don’t have to be anyone else’s and vice versa.

    Not every fight is going to be your fight. I’m happy to fight this one, I really don’t expect you to be, it really is your choice. But if you do “exit” the “movement” (youck on both counts) and claim that “all sceptics are sexist arseholes” or “no one in the sceptical movement gives a shit about sexism” or something similar, I’ll wave at you from across the room, invite you for a beer and remind you that I am still around.

    Personally speaking, I’d rather you hung about “inside” and fought with me than went “outside”, but that’s hardly binding on you now is it!? ;-)

    Louis

  163. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    Much of the criticism here has revolved around the very real hurt caused to victims of rape by my thread. I genuinely have come to see how my words have had a very tangiable negative effect on some people, in part by reading several hundred of the replies here.

    Thank you for that – really. Thank you.
    I know you’re still processing. But at some point, you really should educate yourself about the less immediately noticeable effects of rape jokes, okay? They are much harder to get a handle on, partly because they are systemic, and partly because the discussion of them is frequently misconstrued and misrepresented. We have resources to help you learn about that, if you want them – some of them have been posted in this thread, but if you need help with finding more of them, just ask.

  164. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    That said, people susceptible to such triggering (raises hand) are by no means unfamiliar with the danger zone that is ‘edgy’ comedy.

    Oh so very true.

  165. Erista (aka Eris) says

    First, a shoutout to Pappa for offering a really good apology. it makes me ridiculously happy (perhaps more so than I should be in light of what some commentors who are not Pappa are still saying). So, Pappa, if you are reading this, please accept my heartfelt thanks.

    I ask myself the same thing, but then I remind myself not all sceptic organisation are like JREF. CFI organised a “Women in Secularism” conference earlier this year, and organising another next year. And nearly all of them other than JREF have taken what women have been saying onboard, and are putting in place anti-harassment policies. Not perfect, but progress is being made it seems.

    I really, really hope progress is being made. Really, really hope so.

    During this whole fiasco, I’ve seen PZ capitulate to DJ Grothe and others by assuring them that yes, the skeptics’ community is probably better than everyone else when it comes to safety at conferences, but I’ve never actually seen any evidence to confirm this.

    Yet it’s all taken as an article of faith by the skeptically skeptics.

    I’ve been having a problems with this, too. I’ve been watching people I admire and respect practically breaking their backs to bend over backwards to assure everyone that, “oh, but the Skeptical community is so much better about this kind of stuff, we just have room for improvement!” and I feel like somehow we’re operating in alternate dimensions. There are two possibilities that I can see. 1) The skeptics community is better than average, but I’ve managed to accidentally interact with the WORST of the skeptical community and the above average of everything else, thus making it look like the skeptical community is acting with a shockingly bad level of misogyny 2) The skeptical community is NOT better than average, and may be significantly below average.

    Because let me tell you, outside of rightwing nutjobs, I have never encountered a level of misogyny that even comes close to the level of misogyny that I’ve seen sustained in a large section of the skeptics’ community for a good year. I have never seen anything like “guys, don’t do that,” resulting in a year long frothing that includes rape threats and death threats anywhere else. Outside of rightwing nutjobs, I have never seen calls for anti-harassment policies responded to with cries of “feminazi!” “femistasi” “man-hater” and so forth.

    Now, it’s possible that all of this absurdity exists in other quarters but somehow I’ve managed to avoid it. But I wouldn’t put up with this shit from a rightwing nutjob, and it’s becoming very difficult to put up with it from the skeptical community. If I’m capable of avoiding this kind of misogyny in most areas of my life, purposely tossing myself into an area were I don’t seem capable of avoiding said misogyny seems like a bad idea.

    It’s kind of like what PZ said about humanist atheists in that other thread: If I have to choose between a bunch of social justice oriented Christians and a bunch of misogynist skeptics, I will pick the fucking Christians. The only real question I have is if we’re making enough progress fast enough that I can ride it out. After all, there really are a lot of people who I admire and respect in the skeptics’ community. But I’ve been saying that to myself for a year now, so I’m beginning to despair.

  166. Brownian says

    I’m still a skater. I can still go skiing. I’m not a representative of all skiers everywhere. I don’t have to be and I think this is where you are hung up.

    Skaters share the commonality of skating, not calling themselves skaters.

    ‘Skeptics’ share the commonality of calling themselves ‘skeptic’ and ‘rationalist’ as shibboleths. Other than that, they share no commonalities whatsoever. So they don’t believe in Bigfoot? Lots of people don’t believe in Bigfoot. Some of them are religious? Some of lots of groups are religious. Some of them are conservative? Some of lots of groups are conservative.

    Read Pappa’s defenders again. These people are positively Catholic in their apologetics.

    What do I have in common with them that I should taint myself with their association?

    The whole thing is one big granfalloon.

    Personally speaking, I’d rather you hung about “inside” and fought with me than went “outside”, but that’s hardly binding on you now is it!?

    The inside of what, exactly? If the in-group differences are no less than the out-group differences, then is it actually a group?

  167. Louis says

    Pappa, #168,

    By all means request an apology from PZ, it’s not like I thought his joke was in good taste either (see my #83 and #91 on the previous page for details), but do not miss the point that the SCALE of harm from rape “jokes” is very, very different socially from that of a bad taste joke about the Aurora shootings.

    They’re both possibly bad taste, possibly offensive jokes with the potential to cause social and (equal) individual harm, but don’t pretend for a second that the level of social harm caused by PZ’s joke is in the same league as your rape “joke”.

    You could try understanding why this is, and why it’s not merely a matter of just “upsetting the odd rape victim” (although that IS important too), but that aspect was absent in all your “replies” to people up until now and not 100% clearly present in your recent apology. I have to be honest, given this apparent “tit for tat” apology thing, I’m not sure it is clear to you yet. Luckily for you, I and others have explained this already at some length. See my #73 and #171 on the previous thread for example, although there are many other and many better expositions out there.

    Louis

  168. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I was merely commenting that PZ’s a tad hypocritical

    Sorry, you don’t get to make that judgment, and you know that. PZ will. Go back to ruing your mistakes, and quit trying to diminish your mistake by finding perhaps imaginary mistakes in others. That was my point.

  169. says

    Pavlovsdog:

    I am pretty sure that is not Voxrat from Tr. He is about as straight laced as you guys. I am also pretty sure it is some other Tr poster using Voxrat’s name. Therefore the criticisms against Tr are fair, but not against Voxrat.

    Hey, PD, how you doing? (I’m Sinister at TalkRats). I said, upthread, I was willing to entertain the notion someone else was using his nym. It is an unusual nym. If it wasn’t him, apologies. Whoever is using his nym oughta be slapped for that load of shit they dropped.

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

    pappa, your attempt at а у вас негров линчуют is making your apology look somewhat less sincere.

    Regardless of your motivation for doing so, it will make some people perceive you to be trying to tear someone else down so that you look less bad by comparison, a roundabout way of saving face, which in turn would be a way of avoiding some the full brunt of others’ justified anger and irritation.

    Even iff PZ has done something hypocritical, you aren’t well-placed to be harping on it in the aftermath of your ostensibly sincere apology.

  171. pappa says

    Ok, whatever. Forget about my appeal to PZ. It’s not my intention to use it as a form of placation. Just read my apology and leave it at that.

  172. slartibart says

    Pappa, the primary reason rape jokes like the one you made are so unacceptable is because they enable and encourage rape culture and rapists. Triggering victims is bad enough, but actively supporting rape culture is beyond the pale. Full stop.

    When you treat rape as a joke – when you minimize and trivialize it the way you did – you are giving aid and comfort to rapists. And you are further terrorizing women who have been raped. Surely you can read through the comments in your thread and see examples of this for yourself. I couldn’t stomach reading it, but I saw at least one example pasted here, minimizing the effects of rape and claiming ‘survivor’ is too strong a word or some such idiocy.

    Stop acting childish and attempting to change the subject. If you have some beef with PZ about offensive jokes he’s made, start a new discussion. This one is about you, what you said, and the sickening comments at irrationalia. Try to deal with it like a rational adult, please.

    And sorry but you get no heartfelt thanks from me because by attempting to change the subject you are not demonstrating that you fully comprehend just how horrible you’ve acted by saying it, defending it, and standing by while others frolicked in your rape culture enabling wake.

  173. Louis says

    Brownian,

    ‘Skeptics’ share the commonality of calling themselves ‘skeptic’ and ‘rationalist’ as shibboleths.

    Errrrr, I don’t. It’s an adjective, a descriptor. It’s a slightly more active descriptor than “short” or “tall” seeing as it is not merely what I am but also what I do. And for the record I know skaters who self define in an identical way as skaters. They use it to describe who they are not merely what they do. The same for surfers etc. How people self describe is complex, and the level to which an individual self describes as being versus doing is decided by that individual, not for that individual.

    Incidentally, yes, the proportion of obnoxious “skater” skaters is, in my anecdotal experience, lower than the proportion of obnoxious “sceptic” sceptics, but they do exist. I have to say, again anecdotally, that the internet encounters with sceptics I have are generally a lot less pleasant than the “real life” ones (probably due to my relative privileges in part), so I am not sure how much of this problem is inflated by the greater jerkwad theory of internet comments! ;-)

    You described yourself as a polemicist earlier. Hitler was also a polemicist, Mein Kampf is a work of polemics. You are Hitler.

    I expect you to be able to demolish that silly paragraph without raising a single bead of sweat. It’s a deeply silly claim and you would give it no more serious consideration from a serious proponent of it than from me as a comedy proponent of it. It’s obvious drek. The same applies to anyone who seeks to tar sceptics with a similar brush because a subset of them are sexist fuckwits.

    The inside of what, exactly? If the in-group differences are no less than the out-group differences, then is it actually a group?

    Yes.

    I am a European, despite the fact that I vehemently disagree with Marine Le Pen about….erm….pretty much everything. I am a Brit despite the fact that I disagree with Piers Morgan about the fact that his continued existence is permissible (JOKING!). I am a scientist despite the fact that Dr Mengele was one too.

    These are adjectives that describe me and things that define me to some extent. The extent to which description trounces definition is my call, no one else’s. You will, ultimately, make your call. But like I said, I’m not ceding my atheist descriptor (or sceptic descriptor or whatever descriptor) to the sexists/whoever. You can choose to do so if you want, I’m choosing not to. Not every fight has to be yours, pick the fights you want to pick.

    Louis

  174. pavlovsdog says

    Sinister,

    Voxrat confirms that it was not him. He thinks it was Bart, but I have no idea why Bart would reference Skatje whatever the fuck that is. My guess is that it is somebody who is a member of Tr and rationalia. Or they might not even be on Tr but just coincidentally chose that name, but that seems less likely.

  175. Erista (aka Eris) says

    Okay, in regards to the PZ Aurora joke V Rape jokes, I’ll say this.

    I did not like the Aurora joke. It made me uncomfortable rather than amused me, sad rather than giggly. I would not have said it.

    However, the number of people who are going to make excuses for what happened at Aurora is basically non-existent (not non-existent; there are nutballs), but the direction of judgement is against the shooter. People are FAR more likely to insist that he should be tortured to death rather than that he should be let off. People aren’t going to declare that we shouldn’t punish the shooter because it will ruin his life. There won’t be a discussion about whether or not the people who got shot deserved it. No one will be calling the victims lying about the identity of the shooter because they just don’t like him. People are not insisting that the victims are making it worse than it was for attention. The victims will not be turned into social pariahs for speaking up. No one will say we should disregard evidence because he’s just such an upstanding guy that the evidence must be fake/wrong/etc.

    Rape victims have to face all of these things. That’s what makes it different.

  176. Erista (aka Eris) says

    I guess I’m going to share a story about a rape that really influence my view of all this.

    My mother is the drug/alcohol assessor for my county. Sometimes when I was younger I would go to court with her to watch the proceedings.

    While I was there with her one day, I saw a case that was unrelated to her job. A young man who I knew from high school was on trial for rape. He was about 21 years old, as that’s how I was and he was in my class. He was being accused of raping a 14 year old. Everyone agreed that he had provided her with alcohol, a LOT of alcohol.

    Now, the defense’s argument was that the girl had been so drunk from the alcohol that he had given her that she had passed out before he’d had sex with her. And no, I didn’t make a mistake typing that: it was the defense’s argument. The prosecution’s argument was that she had not passed out and had been awake enough to tell him no. The defense also argued that he had thought she was 16, not 14.

    Do you know what happened to him? He got probation*. According to what he said, he got a girl/woman whom he thought was 16 drunk enough that she passed out and then had sex with her and he got fucking probation.

    The rage I have about this is pretty intense.

    *He wasn’t supposed to have contact with minors during his probation.

  177. marinerachel says

    You used the imagery of RAPE to bully targeted individuals (who have a high likelihood of being victims of rape) because they irk you. It was intentional mean spiritedness at it’s worst.

    PZ made a tasteless, insensitive joke. There was no intent to “slap around” or target, just poor judgement.

    The only comparison is both may have caused hurt. One most definitely did and was intended to based on personal dislike.

    One of these things is not like the other. The notion you get to play the bigger person and demand others follow your fine example because at some point something someone else said might have caused hurt feelings is absurd.

    I feel dirty engaging in this shit. Enjoy your life.

  178. says

    I’m afraid I thought about it, and I can’t apologize for my joke on twitter. It would be insincere, because I really don’t feel sorry — I know it made many people uncomfortable, but I don’t regret doing that.

    What I was doing was mocking myself and the climate of fear — that going to a movie should trigger concerns about getting shot. It shouldn’t. It especially shouldn’t at some remote theater with no connection to the tragedy other than that it was showing the same movie. I tweeted that because it was ridiculous that I felt a peculiar twinge of concern about going to that movie.

    Also, even if I’d felt I’d crossed a line, I couldn’t apologize here. It’s not tit-for-tat, no bargaining. There was no equivalence: I did not make a joke about shooting people who were going to a movie, as “pappa” joked about raping people who were in a category he didn’t like.

  179. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    I’m famous! I’m famous! They mentioned me over on Rationalia! They even insulted me and called me a stupid name!
    (puffs out chest)

    No, I’m not going to post it. But I’ll just say that it proves that Rationalia is STILL infested with nasty fuckers.

  180. voxrat0 says

    @PZMyers

    Yeah, voxrat is a drive-by asshole, I’m not going to bother with him unless he makes a persistent nuisance of himself.

    Now I’m curious about what this impostor posted – it might provide clues as to who it was.
    You have my email address from the registration form. Could you send it to me if it still exists somewhere, and if you have a moment?

  181. Amphiox says

    The difference in PZ’s joke is that the punch line is self-referential, directed inwards. The target of the humor is PZ himself. There is no aggression against victims there. They are not the target of the mockery.

    Self-referential rape jokes similarly have been attempted, and have worked (like with George Carlin), though it certainly takes a skilled comic to make them work.

    This is entirely different in type and kind than the aggressive, victim targeting jokes that Pappa has apologized for (as sincere an apology as that is rare indeed and should be commended, and subsequently I withdraw any previous insults do directed in that regard)

  182. says

    PD:

    Voxrat confirms that it was not him. He thinks it was Bart, but I have no idea why Bart would reference Skatje whatever the fuck that is. My guess is that it is somebody who is a member of Tr and rationalia. Or they might not even be on Tr but just coincidentally chose that name, but that seems less likely.

    Yes, I saw VoxRat’s post. What was posted seems even beyond Bart, but I suppose you never know. Skatje is PZ’s daughter.

    VoxRat, sometime back, Skatje, PZ’s daughter, wrote a blog post about bestiality which some people found highly controversial. The comment using your nym was saying that the reason Skatje had such fucked up views on bestiality was due to being repeatedly raped by her father.

  183. Louis says

    PZ, #197,

    I certainly agree about the not apologising here, there is little to no equivalence between Pappa’s “joke” and yours (as I’ve mentioned above a few times now).

    The only equivalence I see is in the potential for individual harm, i.e. a relative of a victim of the Aurora shooting could read your very public tweet and be harmed in a similar manner to that of a rape victim reading a rape joke. I agree there is no way in which your joke was of a type with Pappa’s “joke” and certainly doesn’t do the level of social harm jokes (and “jokes”) like Pappa’s do.

    For what it’s worth, even though I wouldn’t have tweeted that joke and found it in poor taste (despite “getting it”), that’s my subjective judgement. Not more or less worthy than your subjective judgement to have that beard (I mean really?), I do support your unrepentant stance on offence/discomfort, because dammit I do the same damned thing! My (or anyone’s) subjective offence is not necessarily meaningful. Contributing to measurable harm is, and as I said, I think that your joke is leagues away from rape “jokes” in those stakes.

    Louis

  184. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    That is why I told the assclam using your moniker to drown in a pool of his vomit. It was truly vile shit.

  185. says

    Pappa #178

    I genuinely have come to see how my words have had a very tangiable negative effect on some people, in part by reading several hundred of the replies here.

    Thank you. That helps.

  186. jodyp says

    Hey, long time lurker. I might be a little late to the game, but this kerfluffle spurred me to action:

    http://imgur.com/a/u2lFQ

    Funny how they demand courtesy for themselves, but raping people they find annoying? Totally hilarioius.

  187. says

    To be blunt, I’m not sure how much more of this “haha joking about rape is hilarious/all harassment claims are false even if multiple people see them/you’re all feminazis/blah blah” I can or am willing to take. I’m at the point of asking myself, “Are the payoffs of associating with the movement worth the costs?” As of yet, I don’t know.

    please excuse my chronic lateness in this thread.

    that is where I am at too. I just don’t want the concepts that make skepticism a good idea to be tossed out with the people who make skepticism (as a social movement) unbearable.

    The way I see it, they are failing to use any skepticism about things like privilege. That sucks. There may be room for change though, because the ideals stated by people inside it are in direct opposition to continuing bigotry. It may change. I’m not telling anyone to join up or attend a con or anything, just that there is some value to the work that skeptics do.

  188. Kalliope says

    Thanks for the apology. I’m not convinced that the full damage — especially to those women singled out by name (more or less) for degredation and hints of violence for daring to speak freely* — but I believe that your apology is sincere and am gratififed to see it.

    PZ — I gotta say, while I don’t think your attempt at humor in any compares to Pappa’s, I think you missed the mark. You were trying to convey something complex and it didn’t work. It was tasteless and it appeared to make light of the situation.

    * And all the other women are deterred from speaking for fear of similar treatment. No one wants to be the object of a rape joke, as I’m sure you understand.

    My mother was subjected to decades of sexual harrasment as one of the few women in her tech field, including jokes about tossed over a meeting room table while all the men in the meeting had their way with her. It sticks with you when your mother starts sobbing on Sunday nights as she thinks about returning to work. All of her supposed friends at work, who came to her house at ate her food and drank her wine and patted her children’s heads, all shrugged their shoulders and told her not to take jokes so seriously. Her more honest colleagues admitted that they did want to get invovled and they didn’t want to be targetted.

  189. Brownian says

    Errrrr, I don’t. It’s an adjective, a descriptor. It’s a slightly more active descriptor than “short” or “tall” seeing as it is not merely what I am but also what I do.

    It’s a meaningless descriptor then, as if short people as well as tall people called themselves tall, and many other tall people simply didn’t refer to their heights at all.

    As for the arguments as to polemics, I’m hardly bothered by the comparison to Hitler because it’s at least accurate: we both engage in polemics.

    The difference is that the community of people who call themselves ‘skeptics’ and ‘rational’ is not accurately described by the words ‘skeptical’ or ‘rational’. When I hear ‘skeptics’ chirping on about ‘fellow atheists’ and ‘deep rifts’ and ‘hurting the cause’ I want to brain them, because they are not like me. They are nothing like me. We are not brothers in arms.

    Reread above, and tell me how Ken Ham does not have the same right to call himself a skeptic and rationalist as the fuckers of Rationalia. Or ERV’s slimepit.

  190. says

    160 eleutheria

    A huge part of silverman’s act is to act like the worst person in the universe while also acting blissfully unaware that other people would not approve of her. “I don’t care if you think I’m racist, I just want you to think I’m thin” etc. The rape joke seemed to follow the same format, like you are supposed to see how ridiculously awful rape joke defenders are from her act.

    I don’t know how effectively this comes across to most audiences though, there are probably people laughing for the wrong reasons.

  191. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Her more honest colleagues admitted that they did want to get invovled and they didn’t want to be targetted.

    This!

    THIS!

    This is why all of those rape culture spreading assholes think that they have most people’s (men’s) support.

    This is why we raise a stink about these kinds of “jokes”.

    Kalliope, your mother must have been very strong to continue in her field. Those tears were not because of weakness.

  192. Kalliope says

    Correction. It should read,

    “…not convinced you appreciate the full damage…”

  193. says

    @brownian

    I always thought “skeptic” was something to aspire to, because it takes work and is something that has to be re-applied to new things constantly. Do you have a better name for a community that values critical thinking and questioning? Why accept that the jerks who took over the community are right instead of salvaging what was good and starting our own thing? I see a lot of marginalized people here at FTB and other places making their own spaces and I believe they will eventually be the mainstream of skepticism. The tantrum throwing dudez are going to complain a lot but will eventually be forgotten. I mean shit, feminism has had problems with racism within its ranks (still does), it doesn’t make the principles terrible, it just means there needs to be improvement.

  194. Brownian says

    Do you have a better name for a community that values critical thinking and questioning?

    Do you have an example of such a community?

  195. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    Now then, let us remember how the Rationalia peeps were all butt-hurt that we dared to lump them together as rape-apologists. How DARE we make those kinds of generalizations! Pot, meet kettle.

    Re: Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?

    Postby lordpasternack » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:53 pm

    laklak wrote:I didn’t find the joke particularly amusing or tasteful. However, Pappa apologized for hurting anyone with his joke, but he stopped short of a full-on public display of mea culpa hair rending and chest beating. Evidently that wasn’t enough, they want him to commit sepuku on the altar of Offended Feminism. If this site offends their delicate sensibilities to such a degree then they’re free to fuck off back to wherever they came from. Capice, sweetheart?

    mozg (Chill Girl) replied: Would anything short of actually cutting off his own penis on a live webcast satisfy them?

    Jaygray replied: Only live at a Skepchick conference I suspect. :pardon:

    Lordpasternak replied: But NOT within an elevator in front of Rebecca Watson, unless you clear the matter with her first…

    Otherwise she’ll be at it for months – telling guys not to follow her into elevators, pull out knives and cut their cocks off..

    mogz(Chill Girl) replied: How do you clear it with her when clearly you’re not allowed to speak to her even in polite tones using completely innocuous language?

    That’s what I don’t get about these skepchick types. It’s all ‘No, don’t you dare approach me, you evil man, for you might be a rapist, but at the same time you misogynist fuck why aren’t you soliciting my opinion and begging to hear my insights?’

    Do any of these people actually read or talk to any of the Skepchicks, or the other people they hate? Clearly, they don’t. And then, without information, they feel free to spew ignorance.

    And that, for me, is VERY problematic. It’s one thing to have different opinions about a topic (person, organization, etc.) It’s another to have, and then maintain violently, an opinion based on ignorance and one’s own projections.

    RW: “Guys, don’t do that.”

    MRA/PUA/etc.: “AAAAAHH! You want to castrate me!”

    Reasonable Onlookers: “????????????”

  196. slartibart says

    re: #195

    It is overwhelming to consider how common such incidents are. And those are the tiny percentage that make it to trial.

    For any lurkers from the ‘it’s funny to minimize rape’ crowd, that’s not even the worst of it. Most of the women you know have been raped or sexually assaulted (or both). Consider how lacking in empathy you are the next time you decide to use rape as a means to express your (lack of) wit. Imagine what they have been through. Try some empathy. It will help you.

  197. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Hairhead, those people live in a poisonous fantasy world.

  198. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Ken Ham does have that right, as do all the other bozos you name. But you’re missing that this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning.

    Sceptic is not a meaningless term because it doesn’t have some magical permanent meaning that we can all cluster around. Climate change sceptics are indeed sceptical of climate change, they are sceptics. Ken Ham is a sceptic of evolutionary biology. The thing is, they are also denialists. And there is no way any one word can convey that. By their methods shall ye know them. And do these people engage in honest scepticism? NO!!!!! You can’t decide that in a word, you can’t even describe that in a word. The follow up to the statement “I am a sceptic” is not “wow I am over awed by your mighty intellectual prowess” but “what kind of sceptic? How are you sceptical?”.

    Is “scientist” a meaningless term because “creation scientists” claim it? No! How do we know their claim is false? Because we don’t rest at the point of their self description, we begin there, we don’t end there.

    Some short people do call themselves tall, where does short end and tall begin? Are you taller than me or am I taller than you? If I am tall and you are taller, am I still tall? These are comparative descriptors, and are not meaningless because their meaning varies from person to person. You appear to be looking for magic fixed meaning where none exists.

    Also, you missed the point about Hitler. I didn’t say you were LIKE Hitler, I said you WERE Hitler. I probably should have said “you are a Nazi”, that would map better and cause less confusion, my bad. Sceptic A is sexist, you self identify as a sceptic, therefore you are sexist….it’s a ludicrous claim, just like the (no properly made) Nazi analogy. Because you engage in scepticism (polemics) it does not follow that you are a sexist (Nazi) because other people who engage in scepticism (polemics) are sexists (Nazis).

    Lastly, I too, share your dislike of the odious, self aggrandisement of this subset of the sceptical community. I loathe it in scientists, skaters, rugby players, skiers, teachers, Punjabis, Greeks, English people and men. To name just a few groups who, off the top of my head, I can think of individuals in these groups who think their membership gives them special dispensation and superpowers. Because some sceptics are frighteningly stupid arseholes it does not follow that all are, not does it mean those of us who are not should allow this people to dominate an orthogonal “movement” unopposed (meaning that people who are not treating their own privilege and the mores of their society sceptically are not being very sceptical. Scepticism doesn’t have anything to do with MAINTAINING the status quo, it has a lot to do with challenging it, and THAT is what feminism is also about for example. Or rather where they intersect.).

    Louis

  199. Kalliope says

    Janine —

    My mother didn’t have a choice and it didn’t occur to her that she had alternatives. It’s only in the last twenty years that she might have had recourse. (Interestingly, she really got more support from muinority men than she did from other women.)

    She was a single parent with me, no support or assistance from my father, and then my step-father had to retire early due to badly played office politics and health reasons.

    Fun story: both my grandparents (born ca. 1915) were scientists, but my grandfather got his PhD thanks to the GI Bill and my grandmother supporting the family through school. He bcame the big shot professor while she never had the “tickets” as she called degrees because her father wouldn’t let her take an academic track in school and then the Depression hit and she got married to get away from home, had a baby, left her first husband (scandal!) and HAD to work. So she was a lab technician. The deal with my grandfather was that she would go back to school after he completed his schooling, but there were children and various complications, and they moved a lot for his career. Finally, in her forties my grandfather said he had to stop at his university’s administration building, but instead walked her to the registrars office and insisted that she register. She would up leaving science(sort of)and embarking on a new career after she recieved her Masters in her 50s.

    Anyway, the point to all of that is that sometimes she would take my mother and her sisters to work with her and put them in lab coats and give them tasks to do. She likes to talk about the reactions a six year old girl in a lab coat, carrying a tray of vials down the hall to be sterilized got from passing doctors ca. 1950.

    During summers, my grandfather would ask them to do calculations for his research. One of my aunts is a horticulturalist, another has her PhD in biochem, but became a systems programmer and now has rejected science altogether and believes in the most outlandish new age shit you can imagine (maybe in part because her career was thwarted?) and my mother was a computer/systems programmer.

    Sorry for the tangent. I guess I just think it’s all pretty cool.

  200. Louis says

    Brownian, #213,

    Yes, the sceptical community. At least the sceptical community in my experience.

    If you want perfection, look elsewhere. No one and no where is perfect. Well except me, my mummy told me so.*

    I don’t expect every Briton to be a paragon on intellectual virtue and gorgeousness, but I’ll stake dollars to donuts that I can grab a good handful off the street right now who will tell you that being British is the bestest thing EVAR and the French are a bit suspicious. I’ll also bet the majority of those people will be thicker than two short planks and, on only moderate scratching, give up some remarkably bigoted opinions. I don’t say this to disparage my fellow people, just because it’s the law of averages.

    I’d hope if I wandered into a sceptical conference I’d find more scientifically literate and generally open minded folk than average, but I have no good reason (other than anecdotal experience) to think this is the case. If people wish to use the descriptor “sceptic” as some kind of title as opposed to a loose adjective for someone who involves themselves in some form of scepticism then I will mock the living bejeezus out of them. And I have met, and mocked, those fuckwits.

    Louis

    * Actually this isn’t true, I’m not perfect, my arse has a hole in it. ;-)

  201. Brownian says

    Sceptic A is sexist, you self identify as a sceptic, therefore you are sexist….it’s a ludicrous claim

    Well, that’s hardly the claim I’m making.

    Last night I had drinks with a group of thoughtful young people who value human rights, are ferocious in defense of them. They shared all the values that generally united Pharyngulites, including being critical of sexist, racist and ableist language, save one: they were moderate theists, mostly Catholic.

    Am I really so much more like the members of Rationalia than I am these young kids by virtue of my atheism? Are the members of the ‘skeptical community more like each other than they are like those who are not? What are the values the skeptical community holds that are not shared by those outside the community?

    I cannot believe, based on the evidence, that those values are critical thinking.

  202. Kalliope says

    Brownian,

    Boy do I empathize with your point of view. I’m a life-long atheist, but never active (whatever that means). I started nudging around the edges of the atheist/skeptical movement because the world and social climate was such that I didn’t think I could stand idly by. So I started looking around, which is how I found this community.

    Unfortunately, it was also right around when Elevatorgate hit. In a snese, i didn’t ahve a dog in that fight, as I knew no one involved or the culture of cons, etc. But that reaction… I couldn’t believe it.

    I am not going to go where those people go. And am not going to associate with people like that. I do not want to meet up with them. I will not be attending any conference that hosts someone like Thunderfoot or where I will expect to see the commenters at Rationalia NOT because I fear being harassed (or worse) but because I don’t want to have anything to do those people.

    So many of them treat the label of “skeptic” as some sort of infallible grace, in the same way that so many Christians use their born-again status. “I am saved, therefore I can do no wrong.”

  203. says

    Brownian:

    When I hear ‘skeptics’ chirping on about ‘fellow atheists’

    Of all the crap “spooky” spilled upthread, the thing which jarred the most was the use of ‘fellow atheists’, as in how dare we criticise them. Well, myself, I criticise them easily. If I’m doing something as indecent as musing over raping someone, I *expect* to be called out, jumped on, criticised and derided. This whole “we’re one camp!” business is very bothersome to me.

    Skeptifem:

    Do you have a better name for a community that values critical thinking and questioning?

    As I said somewhere in the wilds of this thread (previous page, I think), I wouldn’t call myself a skeptic for all the tea & money in the universe. I have no desire to be allied in name or any other way with what has come out of the woodwork the last year or two. What all this has done is to land me firmly in the Humanist atheist capable of critical thinking category. A Humanatheist, I suppose. Sure, it’s not as quick and easy as ‘skeptic’, however, it’s an accurate descriptor.

    “Skeptic” does not describe a community which values critical thinking and questioning – it only values those things in a sharply circumscribed manner. Certain things are open to criticism and questioning, many others are not.

  204. Brownian says

    If you want perfection, look elsewhere.

    I’m not looking for perfection.

    And given that, the world is already full of imperfect skeptics. The scientists you cited. The moderate Catholics I cited. All of these groups may be skeptical in some regards, and not so in others.

    What need is there for another group of imperfect skeptics, especially one in which the words ‘skeptic’ and ‘rationality’ have simply become another signifier of in-group out-group status?

    A great many people here have utterly failed at being “free thinkers”.

    That’s what the skeptical community looks like. A group of people who use such terms as shaming shibboleths, no differently than Christian communities use terms like ‘faithful’ and ‘living according to biblical principles’.

    I mean, if this is all a social exercise for people who don’t feel like they fit in elsewhere, that’s fine. And the price paid for that community is the tribalism of people who demand that we’re more similar than different because we’re ‘fellow atheists’.

    But if I’m going to be around imperfect skeptics, which I am all day long regardless of whether or not I’m interacting with the ‘skeptical community’, then why don’t I simply restrict my socialising to the groups of imperfect skeptics who understand why a woman would feel creeped out by being hit on in an elevator by a stranger at 3 AM?

    Because the non-members of the skeptical community I socialise with in real life, imperfect skeptics though they may be, understand such things very well.

  205. Kalliope says

    Since we’re on the topic, can someone tell me what it means if you declare yourself a “skeptic”? What does that even mean, as an adjective applied to a noun?

  206. Louis says

    Brownian, #220,

    I KNOW it’s not the claim you are making, but it’s the claim you seem worried about someone making about you.

    I share more in common with the Archbishop of Canterbury than I do with Stalin, but Stalin was an atheist. SO FUCKING WHAT? This isn’t a team sport, I’m not looking for Perfect Persons United to play for. When it comes to bigfoot, psychics, homoeopathy etc I’m a sceptic….just like Martin Gardner, who was not a sceptic about the existence of a deity…also like Penn Jillette, who is not a sceptic about the universal power of the free market…unlike me.

    It’s a Venn diagram, I intersect here and there, and don’t in other places. If those young Catholics are more your speed than Penn Jillette (and they sound more MY speed than Penn Jillette does), then, erm, don’t hang out with Penn so much. When those Catholics are silently supporting the King of the Paedos….sorry the Pope (if they do)….I’ll stand with Penn and say “naughty Catholics, put your dead Jew on a stick back in the box. He’s not magic”.

    Louis

  207. Brownian says

    I am not going to go where those people go. And am not going to associate with people like that. I do not want to meet up with them. I will not be attending any conference that hosts someone like Thunderfoot or where I will expect to see the commenters at Rationalia NOT because I fear being harassed (or worse) but because I don’t want to have anything to do those people.

    I’ve been to TAM. Other than a select few with whom I really got along famously (including at least a few Skepchicks), I was overwhelmed with the feeling that these were not my people.

    So many of them treat the label of “skeptic” as some sort of infallible grace, in the same way that so many Christians use their born-again status. “I am saved, therefore I can do no wrong.”

    Yes! I’d written 223 before I’d seen this post, but obviously I agree.

  208. Brownian says

    I KNOW it’s not the claim you are making, but it’s the claim you seem worried about someone making about you.

    Oh, no. I don’t care what people think of me in that regard.

    If anything, it’s the other way around.

    I don’t those people associated with ME. They don’t deserve to have my intellect, wit, and charm gracing their movement.

  209. Brownian says

    It’s a Venn diagram, I intersect here and there, and don’t in other places. If those young Catholics are more your speed than Penn Jillette (and they sound more MY speed than Penn Jillette does), then, erm, don’t hang out with Penn so much. When those Catholics are silently supporting the King of the Paedos….sorry the Pope (if they do)….I’ll stand with Penn and say “naughty Catholics, put your dead Jew on a stick back in the box. He’s not magic”.

    Put another way, I’m going to do what I do and argue for what I think is right and find allies where I need. I don’t need to ‘stand with Penn’ to criticise religion, and I’d rather not have his baggage weighing me down.

  210. says

    Louis:

    This isn’t a team sport

    There’s a whole lot of problems revolving around this ^ right here. In this thread, we had a fair amount of people castigating us for criticising “pappa” because “we’re fellow atheists!”, the whole we’re in this thing together.

    Now, I am an activist atheist and I’d love to think that yes, we are in this together, and yes, we can get things done if we pull together. I have had that feeling before and it’s a good one.

    That said, given what has boiled up within the ranks of our team in the last year or two, I’m now reluctant to be thought of as being on the same team with skeptics, let alone a whole lot of atheists.

    I’ll stand with Penn

    Here’s a big place I differ – I’ll stand on my own, but I won’t stand with Penn Jillette on one fucking thing. He’s a misogynist of the first water and from where I sit, he does a great deal of active harm.

    The more I see of people who happily label themselves ‘skeptic’ and ‘atheist’, the more I want to distance myself. If I have to label myself, as I said a couple of posts ago, it’s Humanist atheist capable of critical thinking, although I’m now of a mind that Decent Human Being is the way go.

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

    skeptifem,

    Why accept that the jerks who took over the community are right instead of salvaging what was good and starting our own thing?

    I think, from his responses on this thread, that he is not opposed to us attempting that; he just isn’t convinced that he wants to (or is pretty well convinced that he doesn’t want to) be a part of it.

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

    I’ll stand with Penn

    Here’s a big place I differ – I’ll stand on my own, but I won’t stand with Penn Jillette on one fucking thing.

    Agreed. My “no platform” stance extends to libertarians.

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

    Agreed. My “no platform” stance extends to libertarians.

    And while I accept that non-stupid liberals may disagree with me on that, I do think that “no platform for misogynists” is something we ought to agree on.

  214. eleutheria says

    “Raped Environment Led Polluters On, Defense Attorneys Argue“

    “Believe me, this is no virgin forest,” said Frank Abbate, owner of the Bellingham-based G&H Consolidated Timber. “It may try to pass itself off as pristine and untouched, but I know for a fact that it has a long history of allowing itself to be used by developers.”
    The Onion

    Is this funny?
    Would a joke about the environment being lynched be funny?

  215. Brownian says

    I think, from his responses on this thread, that he is not opposed to us attempting that; he just isn’t convinced that he wants to (or is pretty well convinced that he doesn’t want to) be a part of it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I stand with the Pharyngulites and (much of) FtB because I share your values, and I for one am glad that the discussions of sexism have taken up an increasing number of PZ’s posts. As painful as this stuff is (and let’s not forget I’m a straight white male who’s never knowingly been sexually assaulted, so it’s hardly as painful for me as it is for others), this shit is damn important.

    It’s the wider skeptics’ community that I don’t consider myself a part of, and I’d be fairly happy if we just cut them loose.

    And I’m pretty sure many of them share that sentiment.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’ve no more in common with the general community of Rationalia than I do with the United Universalists. I’d rather that skeptics and atheists like spooky not refer to me as one of their ‘fellows’, but whatareyagonnado?

  216. thetalkingstove says

    I was raped by a doctor… which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.

    RE: The above Sarah Silverman quote…isn’t the joke aiming at the warped priorities of the Sarah Silverman character; being slavishly conditioned to want a relationship with a high status type man, and taking it to a ridiculous extreme?
    I don’t think she’s saying that rape is funny.

    But still. The mention of rape seems thrown in there for a ‘shock laugh’ as it often is, which obviously isn’t good.

  217. Brownian says

    Is this funny?
    Would a joke about the environment being lynched be funny?

    Again, it’s not a joke about rape per se, but a joke about how rape victims are scrutinised.

  218. Louis says

    Caine and Brownian,

    (Caine I said btw this isn’t a team sport, I think these “don’t criticise fellow atheists” bozos are wrong)

    My “I’ll stand with Penn” is pretty heavily qualified! It’s not unreserved after all. I openly deplore his free market libertarianism and his misogyny. Just for starters. But I’m an atheist and so is he. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I’ll come at it from the other angle, because I’m pretty sure I’m not really very different in position from where you are.

    Brownian in #229 kinda nails it. I don’t need to stand with anyone really. However if I want to accomplish something I might (not “always will”, just “might”) find that my efforts alone are insufficient. Cooperation works sometimes. For example I am content to cooperate with religious people who desire a secular state because it benefits both of us. I am not happy to cooperate with the very same religious people, however much else we might agree upon, if they are trying to instigate/protect religious privilege.

    It’s a personal call, the line drawn is a personal one. I do not expect, nor do I demand, YOU (or anyone) follows me in this. I might argue for cooperation because in one instance I sincerely believe it to be a productive solution, and in a different instance argue for no cooperation for the same reason. Again, I decide which fights I’m going to fight and how I’ll fight them and I begrudge no one their right to do the same.

    So please, leave the sceptic “movement”, don’t stand alongside Penn as an atheist and demand the removal of religious privilege in society, form your own group to do exactly that if that’s what energises you (or do something else). I won’t condemn you for it one second. I might miss you if we never meet again, but that’s it!

    So you don’t want to associate with self described sceptics and atheists because of your experiences, well because of my different experiences I do. The experiences we share, of sexist arsehole self described sceptics and atheists on the internet (which are all I know we share), are experiences that make me resolve to shout “NOT IN MY NAME!”. I want to (re)claim what I consider to be my group of people from these sexists. I don’t want to give that up.

    This is the exact same reason I campaign for Amnesty International or Liberty or any political organisation in the UK, because I want to improve my community, or at least a community with which I identify. I want to burrow into the heart of it and change it for what I consider to be the better. I’m not interested in improving the Church of England to the same degree, I am not involved in the Church or England to the same (or any) degree. I AM interested in externally influencing the government to clip the wings of the CofE and to externally influence the CofE to stop being homophobic arses by and large, for example. But my influence must necessarily be tempered by my involvement.

    I have chosen how and to what extent I fight those fights because I have finite time and resources. You have to make the same choices for you. I’ll not condemn you for it.

    So don’t be a self described sceptic or a self described atheist, unless you change your actual atheism or general method of scepticism, your self description won’t really change much about you, and pick the fights you want to fight and how you want to fight them. I’m doing the same.

    I’ll stand up and say “I too am a self described sceptic like Penn, but I don’t share his misogyny [demonstrated here here and here] or his libertarianism [demonstrated here here and here], and I will fight Penn and people like Penn for greater inclusion of women in this group of self described sceptics. I want to make self described sceptical women feel more safe and welcome here than Penn does by virtue of his actions described above”.

    You’re free to make a different personal choice. Not that I think you will, I think your angst over self description is identical to my angst over relinquishing some group I identify with to people I DON’T identify with/

    What I hope you don’t do is what I mentioned above: “leave” the self described sceptic “movement” and then say “self described sceptics are all sexists like Penn”, because we ain’t.

    Why I am so passionate about this is because I firmly think that we should police our own. Now granted, Penn is likely less “my own” than Brownian’s moderate Catholics would be, but I’ve chosen to fight certain types of pseudoscience in a certain way, and I am ALSO going to fight social injustice in a certain way, if that social injustice appears in my pseudoscience fight I’m not going to overlook it. Just like if pseudoscience appears in my social justice fight I’m not going to overlook it. They both matter…and actually when you get right down to it, for the same reasons.

    This is why I agreed with PZ when he said it’s not enough to be a dictionary atheist. Great, you don’t believe in a deity, now what? What are you FOR? What are you going to DO? I think merely saying “I am a sceptic” is the start (and not a big one) of the process, not the end. You seem to think that saying “I am a sceptic” is the end, flag in the ground, I can rest easy. I say don’t let those people who do that and do it BADLY rest easy, give the fuckers a hard time.

    Louis

  219. Brownian says

    Ixchel, from TZT:

    GET OUT OF MY HEAD.

    Actually it’s okay, you can stay, there’s a fold-out couch right next to the amygdala.

    Stuff like that is how I know you people are my people.

    I’ll have to follow up on that TZT, but I won’t get to it for awhile. I’ve rehearsal tonight. And tomorrow. And zzzzzzzzzz….

  220. Louis says

    Oh and I am happy to reconsider the “I’ll stand with X” where X = Penn, or any specific person. I was just plucking names from the air to indicate a principle I had, not meaning specifically Penn…

    …you know what I mean!

    Louis

  221. Paul says

    Is this funny?
    Would a joke about the environment being lynched be funny?

    Does lynching suffer from the cultural problem of people thinking those being lynched are asking for it? A joke like that in the Onion is useful for getting people to realize how ridiculous certain premises are when applied to different situations or entities. It does run the problem of simply being funny instead of challenging to people who might buy the same justifications for sexual assault, but it’s hardly “ha ha, rape happened and is funny”.

  222. says

    Louis:

    You seem to think that saying “I am a sceptic” is the end, flag in the ground, I can rest easy

    That’s exactly what the skeptics we’ve been dealing with the last couple of years are doing. That’s the major problem. I don’t care if you consider yourself a skeptic.

    At this point, I’m extremely wary of anyone who does refer to themselves as a skeptic, because of the rather high probability that the second you look a bit further, you’ve uncovered some very nasty things.

    It’s been pointed out, repeatedly, not only by us, but amply demonstrated by the “skeptics” themselves, that they feel sniffily superior and can say or do anything and excuse it on the grounds of being a skeptic. Look at Blackford, for chrissakes, saying that no one really knows if Rebecca Watson was ever actually in an elevator at 4 in the morning because there weren’t any reliable witnesses! Oh, that’s okay you know, because he’s a skeptic. *spits*

    I’ll stay with humanist, thank you.

  223. Brownian says

    starters. But I’m an atheist and so is he. I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

    For example I am content to cooperate with religious people who desire a secular state because it benefits both of us.

    Right. So what need have we of ‘skeptics’?

    I am not happy to cooperate with the very same religious people, however much else we might agree upon, if they are trying to instigate/protect religious privilege.

    And of the ‘skeptics’ who are trying to instigate/protect male privilege?

    Are you more like the religious or the skeptics?

    I think your angst over self description is identical to my angst over relinquishing some group I identify with to people I DON’T identify with

    It’s not quite that. It’s not about angst. It’s about having the exact same arguments with ‘skeptics’ as I can have with oil riggers or ranchers. Do I really need to hear “Yeah, but stereotypes exist for a reason” from some dumbass with a PhD and a Batman fixation when I can have that same argument with Fred and Frieda Farmer, and I won’t have to hear ‘strawman’ misused fifty fucking times?

    When it comes to privilege, ‘skeptics’ sound exactly like non-skeptics.

    All I’m saying is that the community that calls itself ‘skeptical’ seems no more skeptical than everyone else, save perhaps the creationists.

    What I hope you don’t do is what I mentioned above: “leave” the self described sceptic “movement” and then say “self described sceptics are all sexists like Penn”, because we ain’t.

    Neither are Catholics or Muslims.

    Why I am so passionate about this is because I firmly think that we should police our own.

    The million-dollar question: what, exactly, makes these people ‘our own’?

    You seem to think that saying “I am a sceptic” is the end, flag in the ground, I can rest easy.

    Not me. It’s the ‘skeptics’ who seem to like to do that. ‘Our own’.

    Please try to answer this, Louis: if we’re all skeptics, why is this thread, which should have been a no-brainer, nearly 1300 comments long? Why did it take that long for Pappa to come around? Was he convinced or worn down? Because I’m worn down.

    Rational discussion with my ‘allies’ should not be as hard as discussion with my ‘enemies’. After all, my allies and I are rational. We know how to do it. Strawman. Argumentum ad populum. We’re all so fucking smart as to know to avoid these things that the dumb dowsing praying plebs do. And yet it is, every time. Why is that?

  224. kayden says

    Very disappointed. Really thought that Pappa would find it in his heart to apologize. Never been raped/molested/assaulted, but still horrified at the rape “joke” directed at Skepchick.

    Looks like Pappa has become so defensive that at this point, he CANNOT apologize or he’ll look weak to the fanboys back at Rationalia.

    Too bad. We make mistakes, and then apologize when our mistakes are pointed out. That’s part of life.

  225. Louis says

    Caine,

    That’s exactly what the skeptics we’ve been dealing with the last couple of years are doing. That’s the major problem.

    Oh I agree! I’m not disputing that one iota.

    Where we differ is in what we want to do about it (apparently). This is a tactical difference. You’re happy to stick to self identifying as a humanist (as I do too), I’m not happy to let the Blackfords of this world use the descriptor “sceptic” so cavalierly. Just like I am not happy to let “climate sceptics” use it so cavalierly.

    In the process of fighting against misogynists, I’m trying to make sure that this self aggrandising use of the word “sceptic” as a shibboleth (good choice of word Brownian) or as Kalliope in #221 rightly notes, like some Christians used “saved”, is opposed. People like Blackford think it’s a get out of gaol free card, I don’t and I am saying so AS A SCEPTIC.

    I’m opposing the use of the term in that fashion for the exact reasons that oppose “climate sceptic” or “creation scientist” or “psychic surgeon” or “Men’s Rights Activist”, I oppose the dishonest misappropriation of the term “sceptic” or “scientist” or “surgeon” or “activist” to lend unearned credibility to demonstrable bullshit.

    You can do something different. Not once have I or will I say you are wrong to. As I have repeatedly said in the past, I am a pluralist. You choose how and what you fight. I don’t demand everyone is shouty and confrontational. I don’t demand everyone is polite and passive. I don’t demand you stay, I don’t demand you go. What I do demand is I get to decide for me what I do. I am deciding to stay, to self identify as a sceptic and atheist as I have always done and fight those who use those terms as cover for their lack of scepticism about, for example, prevalent sexism or market forces. I think scepticism is big enough, ugly enough and VALUABLE enough to warrant use in wider issues like combating social injustice.

    If losing valuable, intelligent, humanist people like yourself from the “sceptical/atheist movement” is a consequence of the vocal drivellers like Hoggle and Penn and umpteen others, then I must redouble my efforts to oppose them.

    Answer me a hypothetical question:

    If there was a way to reduce a specific social injustice but it came at a pseudoscientific cost (for example, would you reduce the amount of racism a small amount by accepting a claim that a homoeopathic pill could accomplish this…ridiculous I know) would you do it?

    The follow up question is “even if this was at the expense of non-pseudoscientific interventions?”

    I’ve answered a not dissimilar dilemma (although not as hypothetical and silly as this one) on the kitty experiment thread. I think for the medical testing of novel remedies/procedures on non-human animals the ends justify the means in a practical sense. I freely appreciate I cannot perfectly defend this from a logical standpoint. I freely agree that people like Peter Singer raise hard, and not easily dismissed arguments against me, and yet, right or wrong, my personal decision is to (perhaps irrationally) weigh the sum of human suffering prevented as trumping the sum of animal suffering caused.

    The reason I ask that question is because I would say “no” to the first question and “definitely no” to the second. Unless I had really clear indications that the sum of human suffering was genuinely diminished, i.e. the small decrease in racism demonstrably outweighed the small increase in irrational, counter evidence solutions to problems perpetrating. And even then I get goosebumps, so I’m not sure. :-)

    I would begrudge you not one single jot for making a decision different to mine. It’s a complex decision requiring you and I to weigh various preferences, to examine certain priors and to come to our own moral conclusion about. Reason and science can aid our decisions, can inform and even make our decisions within the limits of certain weightings and priors, but that’s it.

    Why do I illustrate this this way? Because if you choose to oppose the self aggrandising sceptic descriptor, the “sceptic as noble title” as opposed to “sceptic as adjective” by removing yourself from the self describing sceptic group and opposing it from the outside, I want you to know that (even though it won’t matter) I totally support that. It’s great. It’s one really good way of doing it. It has consequences and advantages, just like what I choose to do does. We’re on the same page in terms of what we oppose, we’re just differing about how we individually wish to oppose it.

    Louis

  226. Brownian says

    Very disappointed. Really thought that Pappa would find it in his heart to apologize. Never been raped/molested/assaulted, but still horrified at the rape “joke” directed at Skepchick.

    Looks like Pappa has become so defensive that at this point, he CANNOT apologize or he’ll look weak to the fanboys back at Rationalia.

    Too bad. We make mistakes, and then apologize when our mistakes are pointed out. That’s part of life.

    Kayden, he did. See comment 134.

  227. precambrianrabbi says

    marinerachel (#120)

    “It took all of fourteen seconds for Rationalising Skepticism’s primary Chill Girl to chirp “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ” and for a large quotient of the forum TO join in with nodnodnodheadsfalloff.”

    I’d be grateful to see a link to these occurences; the “Chill” Girl’s quoted comment in particular but also the subsequent nodnodnodheadsfalloff from a large quotient of the forum. Many thanks.

  228. Brownian says

    If there was a way to reduce a specific social injustice but it came at a pseudoscientific cost (for example, would you reduce the amount of racism a small amount by accepting a claim that a homoeopathic pill could accomplish this…ridiculous I know) would you do it?

    The follow up question is “even if this was at the expense of non-pseudoscientific interventions?”

    I don’t quite follow. Is the question “Would you reduce racism by decreasing skepticism”?

    Since we’re talking about actual people in this case, none of them perfect skeptics anyway, the answer is yes, conditional of the values of reduce and decrease.

    Take the individuals of Rationalia for example. How skeptical do you actually think they are, on a scale of 1 to 100? 50? 60? 88.4?

    Does the pill make them, on average, move from 60 to 59? And how much less racist?

  229. Kalliope says

    But what IS a skeptic?

    What are the static traits that make one a skeptic?

    One can be skeptical, an application of personal choices toward specific things or ideas according to a spectrum of strength. In other words, I can be skeptical toward homeopathy to a small or great degree, or I can be skeptical toward all medical sciences, to a small or great degree.

    But what makes someone a (BAM) skeptic? As in, I’m an American, I’m female, I’m a sister, I’m an atheist, I’m a professional in this field, I’m straight.

    I can define ALL of those things, but I can’t define what is supposed to make me a skeptic. I mean, when I’m at work and I’m always applying my professional skills to my work. I am never not-atheist about anything.

    Saying “I’m a skeptic” is, to me, like saying, “I’m a pleasant.”

  230. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    Would a joke about the environment being lynched be funny?

    In addition to the things other people mentioned, the rape metaphor for actions that harm the environment as well as the “virgin forest” thing were pre-existing. The joke plays simultaneously on the absurdity of using a metaphor of victimization and nonconsent for things that aren’t animate – which is something a lot of us have objected to – and on the stupidity of the rationalizations frequently used by people in a rape culture.
    I didn’t actually find it funny myself – I think I may have cracked a sad smile the first time I read it. But this is discernible as humorous for a reason other than “rape is funny,” “bitches deserve it,” or “ha ha you said rape,” and could arguably be construed as humor that works to dismantle the assumptions of rape culture.

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

    my personal decision is to (perhaps irrationally) weigh the sum of human suffering prevented as trumping the sum of animal suffering caused.

    Incorrect statement.

    You do not weigh them against each other, because you do not actually know what either sum is.

    Your stance is faith-based.

  232. Brownian says

    I never answered these questions by skeptifem:

    Have you ever known someone who went of psychiatric medication because of “natural cures”? Or maybe they had cancer or some other serious condition?

    Have you ever watched someone lose everything because they bought into a scam?

    Yes to both, family members in each case. Much of the poverty I grew up in can be attributed to my father’s propensity for getting scammed.

  233. marinerachel says

    Go to thread.

    Find comment(s?) expressing sentiment “This is only a big deal because women are the targets/wouldn’t be if men were the targets”.

    Count “Likes” and other forms of agreement with said sentiment.

    Derp?

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

    I didn’t actually find it funny myself – I think I may have cracked a sad smile the first time I read it. But this is discernible as humorous for a reason other than “rape is funny,” “bitches deserve it,” or “ha ha you said rape,” and could arguably be construed as humor that works to dismantle the assumptions of rape culture.

    I feel like the whole question of “is it funny” is irrelevant anyway. I doubt anyone has ever lol’d when reading Swift’s Modest Proposal. It’s cute and kinda clever but not actually funny.

    Seems to me the relevant question is whether it’s discernable as contributing to oppression or not.

    I might laugh at an evil, socially destructive joke — maybe because it surprises me, maybe because I am privileged enough to not be personally harmed by it, maybe because I am just a bad person. But the ability to elicit a laugh is, at best, tangential to oppression.

  235. Rawnaeris says

    I am slightly threadrupt from being at work, I’ll catch all the way up later.

    Hotshoe, cyber hugs if you want them. from what i remember of your posts and of Gallstones’ posts at RDF i have no doubt that ya’ll would be most welcome here.

    (i don’t know if you would remember me, but my ‘nym was chem_major back in the RDF days.)

    oh, and the weird capitalization is due to being on my phone.

  236. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Please try to answer this, Louis: if we’re all skeptics, why is this thread, which should have been a no-brainer, nearly 1300 comments long? Why did it take that long for Pappa to come around? Was he convinced or worn down? Because I’m worn down.

    Rational discussion with my ‘allies’ should not be as hard as discussion with my ‘enemies’. After all, my allies and I are rational. We know how to do it. Strawman. Argumentum ad populum. We’re all so fucking smart as to know to avoid these things that the dumb dowsing praying plebs do. And yet it is, every time. Why is that?

    Because these people are not your “allies” in any global or larger sense than the Catholics who are your “allies” on social matters (but perhaps/presumably) not on matters of religious privilege. I’m emphasising what we share, however minimal, working from there to combat where we really differ, you’re emphasising where we differ and working from there to combat the same thing. Different strokes for different folks.

    So direct answers:

    1) Because being a “sceptic” about X doesn’t automatically mean you are sceptical about Y. Bigfoot scepticism historically doesn’t automagically lead to sexual status quo scepticism. It should but it doesn’t. I agree, Bigfoot is the low bar. I agree, the sceptic movement should be involved in anti-religious privilege and anti-social privilege and anti social injustice efforts. I think these are ALL logical facets and extensions of scepticism. The exact same scepticism that underpins my lab work and my atheism and my lack of bigfoot belief underpins my feminism. It’s the same process.

    Bigfoot is, like I said, the low bar, but “bigfoot type ideas” persist in our culture. The homoeopathies, the psychic healers, the mental-illness-isn’t-realers, all with varying degrees of harm. Movement scepticism is simply a group of people interested in countering that, comparatively low bar pseudoscience. I think it can be more than that. I think it is evolving that way, and like any slow, dull, process there is ratcheting, noise, drama and reversals along the way.

    I think low bar scepticism leads onto countering bigger ideas, ideas with even more harmful results like rape culture, like institutionalised racism, like transphobia, like homophobia. More complex ideas that are infinitely harder to unpick than fucking arse wateringly dull bigfoot.

    For me there is no distinction. The same reasons I doubt bigfoot are the same reasons I am now a feminist.

    It was easier for me to be a bigfoot doubter than a feminist, it required less personal adaptation, but…erm…life’s a journey you know? ;-)

    2) and 3) I do not speak for Pappa and I do not know. Personally speaking, privilege is very blinding. It’s hard to see through when every damned thing you’ve been taught reinforces it. It takes daily effort, a lot of people can’t see the value in/don’t want to put in that effort.

    4) We are not rational. We are not so damn smart. There is also no “them”. There is only an “us”. Every fucking man jack and woman jill of us are stuck on this rock and if we’re going to do fuck all to improve our lot then we might as well smoke a bowl and head for the bar. If the methods and modes of science and scepticism and rational thought teach us anything it is how smart we are NOT, not how smart we ARE. Don’t be seduced by the Dark Side! Don’t believe that “we” are somehow “better” than “them”, we ain’t. No “we” is. No “we” ever will be. It’s all down to method, it’s all about how and how honestly and extensively we apply that method. Anyone can do it from docker to doctor. Use reason, science, scepticism, rational inquiry and take ideas and destruction test them. All of them. Even that one!

    As for being worn down, I don’t bloody blame you. It’s wearing.

    But know this: it is ENDLESS. Without being unnecessarily Whiggish, we as a species are on a road, we started on it long before any of us were born, that road involves trying to understand the universe within and without us, and by those means trying to generally improve the lot of ourselves and those around us (human and non human as it happens, which is why my pro-medical testing stance gives me the jitters). The ideas and methods and values that underpin the journey on that road have been tremendously hard to develop and sustain. I’m not abandoning one fucking micron of the road to misogynists or any unquestioned, unevidenced drivel lovers. Fuck them. I will fight on from my section of the road. I’ll also do it my way.

    And guess what? I will likely achieve five eighths, of six tenths, of one billionth of fuck all. And so will every person along side and after me, but I am fucked if I am going into the permanent dirt nap without trying to do better.

    Louis

  237. Louis says

    Ixchel, #251,

    Erm, no actually. This is what I do for a living, my stance is very much evidence based, although admittedly that evidence is imperfect and sometimes scanty, I do the best with what I have.

    I have some reasonable idea about the extent of a specific human disease (factual), I have some reasonable idea of what it is as a human to suffer (derived from empathy or experience), perhaps even from that disease, and I have some idea of the pain and suffering an individual animal has to go through in developing a specific medical treatment (empathy again, as far as such anthropomorphisation can go) and how many animals are so used (factual). It’s not hard and fast and measured in “units of suffering” (actually except for pain research which uses arbitrary…oh I digress) like “units of force”, but it’s not faith.

    I have some idea of the relative sizes of those things, I make no claim that I perfectly know them, or that even they are perfectly knowable. I can even cheerfully admit to working hypotheses and the use of arbitrary standards/priors like “one human is worth X rats” and work rationally from there.

    I don’t know 100% what it is like to actually be a rat, but then I don’t know 100% what it is like to actually be you, I don’t need to. I have admitted to, and am comfortable with, approximations derived from whatever data is available.

    This is the very opposite of faith based. Mind you, since you were not specific about what that faith was in, shall I assume you were just fucking about? Lashing out at someone who does not share your stance on animal testing?

    Louis

  238. Brownian says

    I think low bar scepticism leads onto countering bigger ideas, ideas with even more harmful results like rape culture, like institutionalised racism, like transphobia, like homophobia.

    Why do you think this, when there is not evidence to suggest it?

    This issue of sexism did not arise because James Randi said, “I’ve been debunking pseudoscience for many years now, and over that time it’s occurred to me to apply the same reasoning to issues of social justice.” What’s actually happened is that the victims of social injustice have stood up, wrenched the mike, and screamed, “Hey! How about a little goddamn fucking help here?”

    If bigfoot skepticism led to anything other than a bunch of smug, stale, self-congratulatory wankers, WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION.

    Every fucking man jack and woman jill of us are stuck on this rock and if we’re going to do fuck all to improve our lot then we might as well smoke a bowl and head for the bar

    I do that anyway.

    But here’s the thing: I was a loudmouth asshole who argued for what I thought was right (and against gods) long before I met the neckbeards of the JREF, and I’ll be doing it long after they croak during one of their Diablo III marathons.

    Frankly, if I’m actually interested in moving this human species forward, then what do I want to saddle myself with these balls-and-chains who’d rather spend their nights arguing that Han shot first?

  239. Rawnaeris says

    And guess what? I will likely achieve five eighths, of six tenths, of one billionth of fuck all. And so will every person aloner me, but I am fucked if I am going into the permanent dirt nap without trying to do better.

    QFT

  240. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Brownian:

    The moderate Catholics I cited.

    Heretical Catholics, you mean.

    (Were you a loudmouth asshole who argued against gods with them?)

  241. Louis says

    Ixchel,

    I doubt anyone has ever lol’d when reading Swift’s Modest Proposal. It’s cute and kinda clever but not actually funny.

    {Raises hand}

    Erm…I am so fucked aren’t I?

    Louis

  242. Brownian says

    And guess what? I will likely achieve five eighths, of six tenths, of one billionth of fuck all. And so will every person along side and after me, but I am fucked if I am going into the permanent dirt nap without trying to do better.

    Jesus. You keep interpreting me as if I’m suddenly going to become Lutheran and start reading palms.

    At no point have I said that. I’m pointing to the useless fucks of Rationalia and say, what fucking good do those fucking assholes do anyway?

    Because you know who runs vaccination campaigns? You know who actually reduces measles? Health care workers like me. We’re all kinds of skeptical about the vaccine-autism link, and most of us have never ever even heard of James Randi or Orac.

    The issue is not “be part of the skeptics’ community or be part of the problem.”

    The skeptics’ community is the problem. They are actively slowing down progress in areas that matter.

    A goddamn fucking year spent on the question of whether or not Rebecca Watson is a c*nt, and you think leaving these fucking assholes in the dust is giving up?

    Read what I write.

  243. Brownian says

    Heretical Catholics, you mean.

    Sure.

    (Were you a loudmouth asshole who argued against gods with them?)

    Last night? No. Have I before? Yes. Given that one is my niece, I’ve kicked off a few family dinners with a bang.

  244. Brownian says

    Given that one is my niece, I’ve kicked off a few family dinners with a bang.

    I should mention that most of my family is still Catholic.

    My girlfriend’s family is Lutheran.

    She’s starting to learn how much they whine and moan about intolerance when you post pro-LGBT rights comments on Facebook.

    They’re much less whiny than male skeptics’ are when you suggest that female skeptics might not want to fuck them. In fact, they’re downright gracious.

  245. says

    Brownian:

    The skeptics’ community is the problem. They are actively slowing down progress in areas that matter.

    QFMFT. If someone wants to call themselves a skeptic and try and better that community, have at it and good luck enlightening them. Personally, I want nothing to do with them.

    I don’t think anyone can say the regulars here don’t fight the good fight. We do. Every godsdamn day, online and off.

  246. Brownian says

    Louis, how’s this for what I’m getting at:

    PersonWithPseudoscientificBeliefs: “Hey, Brownian, your cold would go away if you took this homeopathic remedy.”

    Brownian: “If I take it and it does, it won’t be because of that remedy.”

    PWPB: “Oh, are you one of those ‘skeptics’?”

    Brownian (pointing to JREF): “Hell no. Those guys are assholes. Some of them are gropey assholes.”

    PWPB: “So what are you then?”

    Brownian: “I’m about to tell you why that expensive bottle of water doesn’t do shit.”

  247. Rolan le Gargéac says

    Louis @94 24 July 2012 at 9:54 am

    I’ve never been stoned and watched Jam, although I think being stoned to watch that is unnecessary. Being stoned to watch Terry and June on the other hand…mind blowing.

    Genius ! That’s definitely what that show needed - more Oxo !

    Thanks Louis for bringing back such wonderful memories. (For God’s sake slow down. More Oxo !)

  248. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Why do you think this, when there is not evidence to suggest it?

    {Points at self}

    My scepticism introduced me to feminism. The process of being generally sceptical (see: rational philosophy, scientific method etc)is something I think is a positive value in and of itself.

    What I meant was not that general involvement of people in low bar scepticism generally leads them to become more socially liberal/fight social injustice. What I meant, and I thought this was clear from the context although apparently I am wrong, is that the intellectual process of “low bar scepticism” is the same intellectual process that is involved in questioning the harder to question “high bar” ideas.

    I was a loudmouth asshole who argued for what I thought was right (and against gods) long before I met the neckbeards of the JREF, and I’ll be doing it long after they croak during one of their Diablo III marathons.

    Me too, being involved in the sceptical movement just expanded some of my horizons incidentally. All roads lead to Rome as it were. I’ve always been profoundly anti-racist, it was encountering feminists in atheist/sceptical/scientific environments that turned me on to my own privilege blindness in that area, and just how much needed to be done.

    Frankly, if I’m actually interested in moving this human species forward, then what do I want to saddle myself with these balls-and-chains who’d rather spend their nights arguing that Han shot first?

    You don’t. So don’t! I’ve never once said you DO. Actually the Han shot first crowd I am content to leave behind too! ;-)

    I’m not saddling myself with any balls and chains. I’m saying I’m a bigfoot sceptic too. I’m also a feminist. The two compliment each other. I’m going to sit in with the bigfoot sceptics and show them how to get from bigfoot scepticism to feminism (to name our current favourite examples). I am not demanding you do it.

    You’ve missed the fact that my point has been about rationalist philosophy, not associating with Diablo 3 obsessed neck beards. What makes me a sceptic, makes me a feminist. What makes me a scientist, makes me an atheist. There’s not a disjunct here, it’s all of a piece.

    There’s Diablo 3 obsessed neck beards everywhere. I will put cash money on the fact that there is a fundamentalist Christian Diablo 3 enthusiast forum out there, righteously crusading to kill Diablo on Inferno difficulty (fuck THAT, I don’t have the time). They likely have more in common with our sceptical neck beards than do you (by the way, this neck beard and Diablo 3 thing…do I need to point out how self aggrandising and discriminatory it is? I know what you are saying but…erm…I know you can do better). So? I have more in common with the ex Leicester prop forward Julian White than I do with Germaine Greer on a number of issues. It doesn’t stop me being a fan of Germs’ feminism in places.

    No one, least of all me, is saying you have to go to TAM etc and “Massage a Misogynist”. No one is saying you have to anything but what you want. Really, go to it. Why I am doing what I want, which for the now is continuing to self identify as a sceptic (and nothing more I might add), is because I view not doing so as personally ceding intellectual ground I personally do not wish to cede. If you don’t view it that way: FINE! It’s subjective preference not objective fact.

    Louis

  249. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Jesus. You keep interpreting me as if I’m suddenly going to become Lutheran and start reading palms.

    NO NO NO NO!

    I am explaining why what *I* wish to do in combating the things we both agree need combating is different (perhaps) from the way *you* wish to do it. I am explaining my motivation.

    You have been asking “why be a self identified sceptic? Why put up with the sexist sceptics etc?” I am explaining why *I* am (sort of) doing that (I’m not putting up with them that’s for certain). My emphasis has clearly been on individual tactics, philosophy etc.

    Dare I suggest it isn’t me who needs to do the reading?

    Because you know who runs vaccination campaigns? You know who actually reduces measles? Health care workers like me. We’re all kinds of skeptical about the vaccine-autism link, and most of us have never ever even heard of James Randi or Orac.

    But the guy who runs a photo developing franchise I met several times at sceptical events doesn’t know what you know. He DID get his introduction to these topics via James Randi and Orac and people. He also got his introduction to feminist ideas and the problems of sexism from people like Rebecca Watson.

    The issue is not “be part of the skeptics’ community or be part of the problem.”

    Good, because I never said it was. Not once. Not now. Not then. Not EVER. Never will. Never have. That’s your misreading.

    I’ve in fact said the opposite. I’ve said I am going to try to solve the problem from “within”, you are welcome to join me or not, and do whatever you want to to help solve the thing we all agree is a problem. I think coming at it from multiple angles is a GOOD THING. Pluralist, remember?

    The skeptics’ community is the problem. They are actively slowing down progress in areas that matter.

    Quoted for vast over generalisation and LACK of truth. You are missing key words: “Some of”.

    Fuck DJ and Hoggle and Penn and…. on this issue. Fuck them in the ear. I’ll fight ‘em tooth and claw.

    Fuck PZ on this issue? No. Fuck Rebecca Watson on this issue? No. Fuck Ophelia Benson on this issue? No. All these people are self identified members of the sceptical and atheist movements. I’m standing with PZ and Rebecca and Ophelia, INSIDE the sceptical movement to affect change from within. I have chosen to do it that way. You are free, with my eternal and unreserved blessings, to do the same thing (oppose sexism in the sceptical movement) any way you chose. Outside, insides, doing the hokey cokey.

    And your #268 is precisely what I am talking about when I have talked about ceding ground to the sexists and arseholes. Try this:

    PersonWithPseudoscientificBeliefs: “Hey, Brownian, your cold would go away if you took this homeopathic remedy.”

    Louis: “If I take it and it does, it won’t be because of that remedy.”

    PWPB: “Oh, are you one of those ‘sceptics’?”

    Louis: “That rather depends what you mean by “those sceptics”. If you mean them (pointing to JREF), I’m like some of them, yes, in that I am simply sceptical of your homoeopathic claims based on the available evidence. If you mean am I like that bunch of dribbling fools who have yet to work out women are people and are busy trying to take upskirt photos (pointing to Frank Hoggle and chums)…then no. I am very much opposed to those arseholes. They might be as sceptical of homoeopathy as I am, but it hardly makes them enlightened human beings. They’ve a ways to go yet.”

    PWPB: “Oh. That was….detailed. So what next?”

    Louis: “I’m about to tell you why that expensive bottle of water doesn’t do shit.”

    Or at least a shorter and snappier way of saying that!

    Why give in to the “oh atheists have no morals” from Christians type complaints credence? That’s the same thing a tarring all sceptics with the Hoggle brush.

    We complain when moderate Christians do not speak out about the excesses of their fundamentalist co-religionists. Why are we suddenly off the hook when people who share a trait or group with us arseholes? I’m an atheist. I don’t mind admitting it. So was Stalin. I don’t mind admitting that. Stalin’s atrocities had as little to do with his atheism as his moustache. Hoggle’s sexism has as little to do with his (supposed) scepticism as Stalin’s moustache! No matter WHAT he pretends is the case.

    If I am going to self identify as a sceptic, atheist, whatever, then I bear the burden of explaining why I am not that type of sceptic, atheist or whatever.

    I’m not saying you have to self identify as a sceptic, atheist or whatever, in fact I’ve repeatedly said now that you don’t. Fight for feminism (etc) any fucking way and by any fucking means you want to.

    Here’s the difference:

    Louis: Fuck sexism! Brownian: Fuck sexism!

    Louis: I’m a sceptic! Brownian: I’m a sceptic!

    {Elevatorgate}

    Misogynist Arseholes: I’m a sceptic and Rebecca Watson’s seven species of cunt!

    Louis: Fuck you Misogynist Arseholes! That last bit you added is horseshit, I’m still a sceptic because of reasons independent to your horseshit, in fact I think scepticism counters your horseshit, and I’ll fight you on it as a sceptic.

    Brownian: Fuck you Misogynist Arseholes! That last bit you added is horseshit, that’s a deal breaker, I’m outta here. I’ll fight you sexist scumbags my own way. I want fuck all to do with you. You Misogynist Arseholes are going down and your horseshit is wrong. I’m gonna squeeeze your nuts, pal.

    and scene!

    Both perfectly valid, perfectly fine choices to make.

    Louis

  250. Stacy says

    Because if you choose to oppose the self aggrandising sceptic descriptor, the “sceptic as noble title” as opposed to “sceptic as adjective” by removing yourself from the self describing sceptic group and opposing it from the outside, I want you to know that (even though it won’t matter) I totally support that. It’s great. It’s one really good way of doing it. It has consequences and advantages, just like what I choose to do does. We’re on the same page in terms of what we oppose, we’re just differing about how we individually wish to oppose it.

    Yes. And, Louis, let me express why I’m (so far) a bit more on your side than Brownian’s, here (despite having a great deal of sympathy for Brownian’s POV.)

    I was orphaned thanks to bullshit woo. After my mother died, needlessly, (she died of untreated spinal meningitis. She was a Christian Scientist), I went to live with my father’s sister, who was into a different kind of woo (what we now call “New Age”; this was back in the 1970s, and that name hadn’t become popular yet.) My aunt’s beliefs hurt me, but I wasn’t able to articulate why. I heard a lot of shit about “believing makes it so,” and “cancer is caused by bad thoughts,” which made me realize that some people would assume that my father brought his years-long agony and eventual death on himself. That hurt. A lot.

    OK. Reading James Randi in my late adolescence, helped me to understand both the human frailties that had trapped my mother, and caused my relatives to dismiss the horror that my father experienced.

    Please try to answer this, Louis: if we’re all skeptics, why is this thread, which should have been a no-brainer, nearly 1300 comments long? Why did it take that long for Pappa to come around? Was he convinced or worn down?

    I hope he was truly convinced. Of course, I can’t know that, but I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Brownian, truly, do you think somebody who didn’t adopt a skeptical epistemology would have been convinced in a mere 1300 comments? I don’t. I know something about how smart people can be deluded. My mother had a master’s degree. She wasn’t an idiot.

    I share your frustration, but I guess I would side with Louis: skepticism is a process, not a destination. Don’t reject it because idiots have embraced the label: keep criticizing them and working to spread critical thinking, which, used rightly, should emphasize humility (humans all share certain cognitive illusions!) rather than a cheap sense of back-slapping superiority (ie, the dudebros.)

  251. Louis says

    Stacy,

    I really don’t think there are “sides” here.

    I think Brownian is right to choose to fight against sexism in scepticism from “outside” the sceptical movement in his own way. Just as I think I am right to choose to fight against sexism in scepticism from “inside” the sceptical movement in my own way.

    These are differences of style, of subjectivity, not differences of profound goals or major objective points of disagreement.

    Of course sometimes those are the most fun to have a back and forth about! ;-)

    Louis

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

    Ixchel, #251,

    Erm, no actually. This is what I do for a living,

    I’m aware, and you are incapable of weighing the sums because nobody knows what they are.

    I have some reasonable idea about the extent of a specific human disease (factual), I have some reasonable idea of what it is as a human to suffer (derived from empathy or experience), perhaps even from that disease, and I have some idea of the pain and suffering an individual animal has to go through in developing a specific medical treatment (empathy again, as far as such anthropomorphisation can go) and how many animals are so used (factual). It’s not hard and fast and measured in “units of suffering” (actually except for pain research which uses arbitrary…oh I digress) like “units of force”, but it’s not faith.

    I have some idea of the relative sizes of those things, I make no claim that I perfectly know them, or that even they are perfectly knowable.

    This is make-believe, Louis. It doesn’t get you to a place where you can actually say what you’re trying to say. You outright admit to making up rather important factors. Empathy? You can’t even know if they feel more or less pain than you would. Without even being able to know which way the inequality sign points, you’re stumped.

    There’s a lot more you don’t know, which would all be necessary to have any idea what you’re talking about (unknown variables make the calculation impossible; is 5x > 25y? who knows?) You made a general statement not about “a treatment” but about animal research as a whole. This refers to unknowns:

    I think for the medical testing of novel remedies/procedures on non-human animals the ends justify the means in a practical sense. I freely appreciate I cannot perfectly defend this from a logical standpoint. I freely agree that people like Peter Singer raise hard, and not easily dismissed arguments against me, and yet, right or wrong, my personal decision is to (perhaps irrationally) weigh the sum of human suffering prevented as trumping the sum of animal suffering caused.

    That’s a statement about the whole of medical testing of novel remedies/procedures on non-human animals. But you don’t know how many animals in the world have experienced and will experience how much pain and suffering, and you don’t know how many people have experienced and will experience how much relief. You can only assume as a matter of faith that one is larger than the other. You have no idea. You even admit to having to make up arbitrary numbers because you have no idea:

    I can even cheerfully admit to working hypotheses and the use of arbitrary standards/priors like “one human is worth X rats” and work rationally from there.

    Except arbitrary standards are not rational. That is make-believe. You have no way of knowing that one human is worth X rats. You are just playing games.*

    This is the very opposite of faith based. Mind you, since you were not specific about what that faith was in, shall I assume you were just fucking about? Lashing out at someone who does not share your stance on animal testing?

    1) Mocking faith does not equal lashing out.

    2) You should have noticed in all these years that I “lash out” at very few people who don’t share my stance.

    As a utilitarian, I despise the misuse of utilitarian logic that occurs when arbitrary numbers are assigned to unknowns and then conclusions about the real world are drawn from that.

    It is important to admit when we don’t know things and are going on faith. You can have your faith-based stance. What I object to is calling it anything but faith-based, when you’re making up arbitrary numbers.

    You’re doing a massive trolley problem with unknown billions on each side and you’re going with your gut. Whatevs, and obviously I’m doing the same trolley problem and I’m more reluctant to flip the switch. But it’s make believe to call that “weighing” any “sums”. We don’t have the numbers and even if we did a human brain probably isn’t equipped to rationally deal with those kinds of numbers.

    +++++
    *Here perhaps we should consider for comparison that which most people here find so awful about me. I assign zero value to liberty qua liberty (I consider that only the positively valenced affects are to be morally valued), and I arrive at advocacy of totalitarian communism and state atheism.

    Now, I can argue for why liberty qua liberty has zero value, so my stance is probably less arbitrary than yours; you’ll never be able to explain why it’s X rats instead of X+1 or X-1.

    But for the sake of argument let’s pretend my stance on liberty is as arbitrary as your X rats.

    Would you be willing to say that I’m being rational about this?

  253. Stacy says

    @georgepapondreou

    I always thought feminists were accused of being whores, not prudes

    We’re both! Kinda the way FtB bloggers and their regular commenters are both self-satisfied, moralistic scolds and vicious, #FTBullies.

    I think it’s a quantum thing. We’re both simultaneously; you can’t know which one of us is at any given moment without careful scientific experimentation.

    I propose Double-slit experimentation, with Brownian and Louis as lead experimenters. Volunteers line up behind me.

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

    2) You should have noticed in all these years that I “lash out” at very few people who don’t share my stance

    on animal testing, that is. I pick my battles.

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

    Stacy,

    I share your frustration, but I guess I would side with Louis: skepticism is a process, not a destination. Don’t reject it because idiots have embraced the label: keep criticizing them and working to spread critical thinking, which, used rightly, should emphasize humility (humans all share certain cognitive illusions!) rather than a cheap sense of back-slapping superiority (ie, the dudebros.)

    While I’m not in agreement with Brownian about the worth of abandoning the label, that’s all he’s talking about, abandoning the label.

    He isn’t talking about not criticising them.

    He isn’t talking about not spreading critical thinking.

    He isn’t talking about not emphasizing humility.

    He isn’t talking about not teaching about cognitive illusions.

    And he isn’t talking about not undermining their cheap sense of back-slapping superiority.

    So it seems you’ve misunderstood. Nothing you’re saying here actually argues against his stance.

  256. Stacy says

    I really don’t think there are “sides” here.

    Well, OK. I sort of agree.

    I think Brownian is right to choose to fight against sexism in scepticism from “outside” the sceptical movement in his own way. Just as I think I am right to choose to fight against sexism in scepticism from “inside” the sceptical movement in my own way.

    Yes. I grok that, and agree. I’m just trying to add some (personal!) data.

    I think Brownian, and those, including myself, who empathize with where he’s coming from, should also think about stories like mine.

    These are differences of style, of subjectivity, not differences of profound goals or major objective points of disagreement

    Agreed. But, outside the skeptical “movement” loosely so-called, who is calling out sloppy bullshit-thinking? I think that we have to acknowledge that the sloppy thinking is endemic, it’s inherent in all human thinking, and still plant a flag, so to speak.

    And yet, as a feminist who recently heard a couple of “skeptic” male friends say something incredibly vile–fuck, I don’t know.

    Just…I don’t know. I’m glad this community exists, that’s all I can say right now.

  257. Stacy says

    So it seems you’ve misunderstood. Nothing you’re saying here actually argues against his stance

    Actually, I haven’t misunderstood at all, which is why I sympathize with him. You’ve misunderstood my point, which is that what you call “the label” actually embraces a movement that is worthwhile, insofar as it promulgates an epistemology.

    And, as I understand that epistemology, it has to embrace the fact that people are going to be able to use it only imperfectly.

  258. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    While I’m not in agreement with Brownian about the worth of abandoning the label, that’s all he’s talking about, abandoning the label.

    Nope; he’s implying the label refers to a particular set of people and that it’s misapplied when they thus self-identify, but grants that their set it to whom the label applies.

    (It’s actually granting them the ground that they are those to whom the label applies! Weak move, that)

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

    You’ve misunderstood my point, which is that what you call “the label” actually embraces a movement that is worthwhile, insofar as it promulgates an epistemology.

    Okay, but, then saying this stuff doesn’t make sense:

    keep criticizing them and working to spread critical thinking, which, used rightly, should emphasize humility (humans all share certain cognitive illusions!) rather than a cheap sense of back-slapping superiority (ie, the dudebros.)

    because he can keep doing all that — and he will — while rejecting the label because idiots have embraced the label.

  260. Stacy says

    because he can keep doing all that — and he will — while rejecting the label because idiots have embraced the label

    OK. I get that. But a certain amount of people who embrace any label will be idiots, don’t you see that? And a certain amount of those will be irremediable idiots, and others will be people who are wrong, but capable of growing.

    If you insist on purity, you will just wind up like the Plymouth Brethren. I think this is a problem every movement has to face, and has to decide for itself where to draw the line. All we’re arguing about right now is whether “skepticism” has crossed the line yet. I don’t think it has yet, though I am pissed at it.

  261. Stacy says

    I should have said “we” rather than “you” above, because I do not mean to distance myself from skepticism and its related movements. Chalk it up to the ambiguity of English.

  262. John Morales says

    ॐ:

    because he can keep doing all that — and he will — while rejecting the label because idiots have embraced the label.

    That’s just stupid.

    It is foolish to reject a label that applies, though one can claim that it is an improper one for certain people who adopt it.

    (Why give ground?)

  263. John Morales says

    Ing, not bad.

    Short answer: go by what they do, not what they say.

    (Yes, sometimes, what they say is what they do, but it still works)

  264. Stacy says

    I assign zero value to liberty qua liberty (I consider that only the positively valenced affects are to be morally valued)

    Yah, well, I think you’re full of it.

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

    Agreed with Ing. There comes a time when it’s best to go ahead and sink that flagship.

    I tell “left libertarians” that they can’t expect me to treat them as kindly as I’d treat “progressives” with the exact same beliefs. Libertarianism is now irredeemable because the massively well funded orgs like Cato and Reason are now in control libertarian dialogue. A hundred years ago it looked like it could have gone the other way, and today we’d call SC a libertarian while Walton would have shown up here calling himself an anarchist; but history didn’t turn out that way.

    If one’s own good works are mostly being co-opted as evidence of the goodness of a larger group that is mostly bad, it can make sense to stop identifying with that group’s label. There are other important considerations than conforming to your ideas about linguistic precision, John.

  266. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    I’m starting to think that the label of ‘skeptic’ gives (certain) people a false justfication for holding onto particular attitudes/beliefs; they convince themselves that because their skepticism has been applied correctly to some concepts (religion, alt-med, Bigfoot), it therefore means that whatever else they believe, right or wrong, is correct because of that.

    “But we can’t be wrong – we’re skeptics!”

    Even worse, it means that in some ways so-called ‘skeptics’ are even less likely to give up certain beliefs because they’re convinced they’ve got a justification for clinging to them that non-skeptics don’t have.

  267. 'Tis Himself says

    I used to identify as a skeptic. Then I visited the JREF forum and watched organized skepticism in action. “We’re skeptical about everything, but the following things are off-limits for discussion….” While there was skepticism about some things which are important to me (anti-vacc, alt-med, new age woo) there were a bunch of things taken for granted that I wanted to be skeptical at, like goddism and libertarianism. Plus the place was full of misogyny and classicism (“the poor are poor because they don’t have the moral fiber to raise themselves out of poverty”). Perhaps I bought into their propaganda, but I was under the impression that JREF was a leading skeptical group. And I didn’t want anything to do with that bunch of skeptics.

    Then I stumbled into Pharyngula. After I had my ass handed to me a couple of times, I learned something about skepticism as practiced by people skeptical of pretty much anything. I learned that skepticism didn’t mean “I doubt EVERYTHING” but “what’s the evidence for your claim?” If evidence is given, then I’ve learned to accept the claim, at least until new evidence is presented.

    I’ve even seen professional skeptics handled none too gently at Pharyngula. I remember Michael De Dora of CFI being beaten about the head and shoulders for not understanding what separation of church and state means. I participated in the verbal disembowelment of Nick Matzke over several issues. And I learned how sexism hurts actual people I care about.

    So JREF skepticism is not something I want to be involved in. Even if TAM becomes a safe place of women, I’m not going to go there. But I’ll hang around the Pharyngula skeptics because, for the most part, they’re good people and good skeptics.

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

    Ummm, isn’t there a specific post and thread for this discussion?

    Louis brought it here. I’m not interested in letting false claims go unchallenged anywhere.

    +++++
    Hi Stacy. Hope you’re doing well.

  269. Stacy says

    @ixchel,

    I wish we could meet in person and talk. Maybe we’d understand each other, like Clarice and Hannibal. In the meantime–I have to reject your ideology.

  270. ChasCPeterson says

    “OT”:
    have you ever noticed that the only comments where the commenter’s name-or-nym appears above the comment and below the comment are Louis’s*?

    *not true: also Glen Davidson’s.

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

    :)

    That’s cool, Stacy. I’m pretty sure I’m the only Maoist here, and I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t okay with being criticized.

    (I wish I knew how to make a smiley with a Hannibal mask.)

  272. Stacy says

    (I wish I knew how to make a smiley with a Hannibal mask.)

    To some extent I think it’s implied…Ceiling Cat forgive me. ;)

    (But if this were a country in which your POV was ascendant–no winkies.)

    Ah, ambiguities.

  273. Louis says

    Ixchel,

    Would you mind taking it to the “kitty” thread from now on, please? A repost if poss. And given that it is now (update) 3 am (fuckety fuck fuck), I have shit to do tomorrow and am just about to click “go” (now HAVE clicked go) on a post to SC, would you mind awfully if I got back to you “tomorrow” (for certain values of that word)?

    Gotta be honest though, I’m far from convinced you are arguing in good faith.

    Oh fuck it, a few thoughts then bed.

    Go here.

    Louis

  274. Louis says

    Chas, #294,

    Perhaps so. I do it as a joke.

    I never said it was a good joke.

    Louis

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

    Gotta be honest though, I’m far from convinced you are arguing in good faith.

    What a useless thing to add.

    As if it’s hard to believe that someone would say “enormous trolley problems are pretty much intractable.”

  276. Louis says

    Ixchel, #292,

    I brought it up with relevance to something else. I wasn’t aware my doing that prevented you from linking to the other thread as I just did.

    I must be more powerful than I thought. That’s impressive!

    FUCK! Bedtime. I am getting nastier.

    Louis

  277. Louis says

    Ixchel, #301,

    a) I didn’t reference the trolley problem section or it’s believability, or the believability of someone saying anything about it. I think insinuating that I did, or that my comment about “good faith” does, could be seen by an uncharitable person to be dishonest.

    b) It’s as useful as subtle little indications of your rather aggravating superiority complex like:

    “As a utilitarian, I despise the misuse of utilitarian logic that occurs when arbitrary numbers are assigned to unknowns and then conclusions about the real world are drawn from that.”

    and

    “I’m not interested in letting false claims go unchallenged anywhere.”

    Louis

  278. John Phillips, FCD says

    ‘Tis Himself #291, I could have written that, well not as well, but otherwise it pretty much covers the way I think. Obviously groupthink among the horde ;).

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

    I brought it up with relevance to something else.

    Indeed you did. And I’m not terribly interested in that “something else” — I’ve advocated about as much as I want about skepticism (and you and I are on “the same side” of that, remember?).

    I wasn’t aware my doing that prevented you from linking to the other thread as I just did.

    And I wasn’t aware that I’m somehow obligated to respond to something I disagree with here only over there. As far as I’m concerned, Louis, it makes the most tactical sense for me to respond to bad ideas in the same thread where they appear, because otherwise most people who are exposed to them won’t click over to the other thread.

    I am not in the habit of sticking rigorously to the original topic of a thread.

    (If I were, Walton might still be a libertarian.)

    ((And if you were, you’d have taken this whole digression about the skeptical movement per se over to TZT already, where we have an ongoing discussion about it anyway — this thread is about Pappa asking “Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?”))

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

    a) I didn’t reference the trolley problem section or it’s believability, or the believability of someone saying anything about it. I think insinuating that I did, or that my comment about “good faith” does, could be seen by an uncharitable person to be dishonest.

    Oh holy Jesus.

    It is my contention, of course, that everything is a trolley problem. I am trying to explain why I phrase things my way.

    I’m not insinuating shit about you. Chill out and go to bed. You’re fine. You don’t look like a total jackass yet. Just ride it out.

    b) It’s as useful as subtle little indications of your rather aggravating superiority complex like:

    Yes? But, what does that have to do with me arguing in good faith?

    In good faith, sir, I believe myself superior to you. ;)

  281. Amarantha says

    I have a lot going on, so I fit in snatches of blog-reading when I can. For this reason, I rarely comment, since my thoughts have usually been said already (and more articulately (and way more funny)), and also because the thread is over by the time I get there, or if I manage to read to the end it’s become several hundred comments longer and never finishes.

    But Rawnaeris at #391 (first page) makes a bloody good point about adding to the signal ratio. I don’t need to have something new to say, or a better way to say it, or to have read every single comment before chiming in. So I hereby delurk after reading a mere 1k comments to add one more voice to the chorus:
    * Making rape “jokes” in which victims are the punchline is an act both misogynist (due to the rape culture we live in) and hostile to rape victims in general (who are not all women).
    * Trying to shut up women (by any means) who’ve done nothing but stand up for themselves (oh, and also help others and generally make the world a better place) is a misogynist act.
    * One can be not-a-misogynist and still commit the occasional misogynist act. But the evidence suggests that pappa is a misogynist who relies on cognitive dissonance to tell himself he can simultaneously be a decent bloke and run a site whose culture is hostile to women. Paying lip service to equality is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to excuse anti-equality actions.

    It occurs to me that these forums and posters with “rational” or similar in their name are like the countries that go out of their way to insist they’re democratic. “CountryLand” sounds like your average garden-variety nation-state, but you just know that “The Free People’s Democratic Republic of CountryLand” comes complete with tyrannical dictator, secret police and a terrorised populace.

    While I’m delurking, I’ll take the chance to thank this commentariat, and all of FtB and the Skepchicks and those like them, for tirelessly fighting these scumbags (the dedication shown in the recent megathread was amazing), and giving me some hope for humanity. Thank you. Also specifically a standing ovation to Erista, for several posts in this thread that made good points with stunning clarity. (How do Molly noms work? Can I nominate Erista inna comment like this one?)

    I also want to say “sniny”. Didn’t manage to use it in context, but damn do I love that word. Sniny sniny sniny.

  282. John Morales says

    ॐ,

    this thread is about Pappa asking “Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?”

    Not precisely; rather, it’s about Pappa rhetorically asking “Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?” and then claiming “I’m really torn on this one. :dunno:”

    </pedantry>

    (I wonder if he cares to opine as to its immorality one way or the other, after all this)

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

    Hi Amarantha,

    (How do Molly noms work? Can I nominate Erista inna comment like this one?)

    There are “monthly” Molly threads. (Sometimes they’re very much later than expected.)

    You can find them in the Administrative category.

    Current one is for comments that were made in June. So you can nominate Erista in the upcoming July Molly thread, which will probably be posted sometime in earlyish August.

  284. Stacy says

    But the evidence suggests that pappa is a misogynist who relies on cognitive dissonance to tell himself he can simultaneously be a decent bloke and run a site whose culture is hostile to women. Paying lip service to equality is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to excuse anti-equality actions

    Abso-fuckin-lutely. BUT, bear in mind:

    Pappa, this morning, did apologize. It wasn’t a half-assed fauxpology, this time, either.

    We’re all misogynists, to the extent that we’ve all internalized misogyny. But some of us can learn, and grow.

    It occurs to me that these forums and posters with “rational” or similar in their name are like the countries that go out of their way to insist they’re democratic. “CountryLand” sounds like your average garden-variety nation-state, but you just know that “The Free People’s Democratic Republic of CountryLand” comes complete with tyrannical dictator, secret police and a terrorised populace

    lol. “The Free People’s Democratic Republic of Countryland”–I’m stealin’ that!

  285. Amarantha says

    Ah, I see that pappa has made a much better apology; perhaps I should have lurked moar after all. Kudos dude, kudos.

    Thanks all who responded; I’m squeeing a little. Shall try to post more, as you inspire me to do.

  286. precambrianrabbi says

    marinerachel,

    I have read the thread. I have not seen the comment “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ”. I have not seen any expressions of approval at such a sentiment. Either I am missing something – which may well be the case – or you are trying to dishonestly influence the commentators and readers here. Directing me specifically to the posts you were alluding to in your original comment here would clear things up – thanks. I do not know what “Derp” means. Is it an insult?

  287. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    I have read the thread. I have not seen the comment “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ”

    Protip: That’s a paraphrase.
    I do remember seeing some speculation that we’d care less if it were a male victim, but hell if I’m going back into that sludge to find it.

  288. precambrianrabbi says

    You vaguely remember someone speculating that you might care less if it the “joke” was directed at men? You can’t find the comment, or anything supporting it and can’t be bothered to look for it, but are certain you vaguely remember it?
    Fair enough. I hadn’t realised you had quite such compelling evidence for the accusation that RatSkep is choc full of back-slapping misogynists and “Chill Girls”.

  289. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Amarantha

    Hehehe (scroll over for response). To quote:

    CountryLand” sounds like your average garden-variety nation-state, but you just know that “ The Free People’s Democratic Republic of CountryLand” comes complete with tyrannical dictator, secret police and a terrorised populace.

  290. John Morales says

    precambrian:

    Fair enough. I hadn’t realised you had quite such compelling evidence for the accusation that RatSkep is choc full of back-slapping misogynists and “Chill Girls”.

    Who supposedly made this claim, and where?

  291. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Pappa

    Your apology is noted and commendable.

    I hope you can carry your new-found realisations across to those of your fellow commentors on rationalia who still seem not to get it. There is no reason that your blog should not, in future, be a welcoming and inclusive haven to all skeptics. Skepchicks even. But it does mean being responsible towards those who feel bullied and unwelcome – through nastiness which is passed off as “free speech” or “black humour”.

  292. Amarantha says

    @theophontes

    Sadly I’ve not had time to venture into either TZT or TET. I tend to skim new posts and just read those that interest me. Hopefully once my project is over I’ll get to read/post more socially.

    But insofar as I understood your comment, I did find it funny :)

  293. Louis says

    Ixchel,

    In good faith, sir, I believe myself superior to you. ;)

    Meh! Who doesn’t? ;-)

    Louis

  294. says

    You also have every right to rant about it online if that’s what floats your boat, but really many of you need to get some perspective and stop seeing the world in such black and white ways. If any one of you have ever laughed at a sick joke of any kind, then you’re hypocrites.

    Pappa, don’t preach.

  295. Paul says

    Brownian, truly, do you think somebody who didn’t adopt a skeptical epistemology would have been convinced in a mere 1300 comments?

    This is downright insulting to the average person, and I’m somewhat surprised there was no argument on this. It’s truly expected that it would take more than a “mere 1300 comments” to get someone recognize that making what can easily be read as a rape threat on the grounds that someone is “annoying” (not that any grounds would make such a threat acceptable) is TOTES NOT COOL, simply based on the fact that they don’t adopt a skeptical epistemology? I know many people with all sorts of privileged backgrounds that take crackermunching literally that would have gotten it as soon as it was pointed out to them. Skeptical epistemology is overrated when it comes to acting like an empathic human being (and there has been a strong negative correlation becoming more apparent month by month, even). Count me with Brownian, although I won’t deny that skeptic as a label applies to me (much like I won’t deny “atheist” just because it’s conflated with strong atheism, or people treat “atheist” and “agnostic” as a dichotomy).

    (If I were, Walton might still be a libertarian.)

    It took me entirely too long to figure out who you were. The character at the end of the name really should have tipped it. I was just assuming that ixchel was ixchel.

    I was actually thinking in my skimming of some comment threads lately that I was bummed I didn’t see you around anymore.

  296. Stacy says

    It’s truly expected that it would take more than a “mere 1300 comments” to get someone recognize that making what can easily be read as a rape threat on the grounds that someone is “annoying” (not that any grounds would make such a threat acceptable) is TOTES NOT COOL

    There’s getting a bystander to recognize that, and getting somebody who has made such an unempathic comment to begin with, to recognize that. Having said such a thing, cognitive dissonance sets in. People rationalize what they’ve said, in order to preserve their sense of themselves as good people.

    That’s where I’m thinking being a skeptic helps. It’s hard to overcome the instinct to rationalize our fuck-ups. Believe me, I know.

    I’m not insulting non-skeptics by claiming they’re less empathic than “we” are. I also don’t think we’re “smarter” than they. I think we are using a toolkit that helps us sort things out when our emotions are engaged, and I also think it’s naive to think we skeptics won’t still be swayed by our emotions and rationalizations and struggle against admitting when we’re wrong.

    I could of course be wrong that skepticism really does help “us” overcome nonrational impediments like rationalization and cognitive biases any quicker than anyone else. But I think it’s helped me. And I’m not magically nicer or nobler than anyone else. Rather less so than many.

  297. Paul says

    I could of course be wrong that skepticism really does help “us” overcome nonrational impediments like rationalization and cognitive biases any quicker than anyone else.

    I’m definitely Skeptical about it. /rimshot

    Thanks for the clarification, though. I won’t argue that the skeptic toolkit isn’t helpful when it comes to analyzing rationalization and cognitive biases, but I have not been provided sufficient grounds to consider one identifying as “skeptic” or “somebody who [has] adopt[ed] a skeptical epistemology” gives ground to believe that it would take any less effort to get them to apologize for such horrible public ejaculations as the one that started this thread. And I think it does those who do not explicitly adopt a skeptical epistemology a disservice to assume that that fact alone indicates that a “mere 1300 comments” would not be enough to get them to realize that.

    The skeptic movement has demonstrated over the last year that it has no interest in looking inward with its skepticism. They like to ignore the fingers pointing back at them when they point and laugh about Bigfoot or ESP, and will pull out NOMA or just straight denialism to defend their cognitive biases or cherished beliefs or cultural leanings. The only clear difference between them and non-skeptics is they spend more time looking for people to point and laugh at.

  298. Brownian says

    Pretty much what you said, Paul, in 327.

    The skeptics’ community claims to laud skepticism and rationality, just like the fundies claim to laud family values.

  299. exi5tentialist says

    Forum for relaxed, convivial conversation.
    Content includes light sexual banter, innuendo and derails.
    Derails may or may not be split – whatever works best.
    Post a reply

    59 posts • Page 1 of 4 • 1234
    #1

    What’s the most appropriate way to ridicule a Skepchick?

    by Pappa » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:32 pm
    Obviously I need some pointers.
    Maybe collectively we can come up with some creative and effective solutions.

    Well, Pappa’s apology was obviously heartfelt! For 24 hours his merry men, male and female, have been posting trivialising comments to try and recover their situation – pretty normal for Rationalia – now Pappa rides into town triumphant, and the masses (the ones who weren’t officially warned for implementing a routine staff review; or who haven’t been simply verbally abused by Rationalia’s jolly old clique – sexually, usually) – yes, the masses elegantly toss palm leaves before him in his path.
    Oh, the old free speech merchants – they love to play their games, don’t they?
    Cue “light sexual banter” in 3, 2, 1… Yes, Pappa and Rationalia show us, yet again, that they haven’t a clue.

  300. precambrianrabbi says

    marinerachel (#120, this page) claimed –

    “It took all of fourteen seconds for Rationalising Skepticism’s primary Chill Girl to chirp “No one would have said ANYTHING if rapey things were said about a man because TEH MENZ YOU GUISE TEH MENZ” and for a large quotient of the forum TO join in with nodnodnodheadsfalloff”

    This unsourced accusation was picked up by a number of posters without question (including, ironically, by Brownian in his post bemoaning skeptics for taking things on faith). It is explicit in the suggestion that RatSkep is full of group-thinking apologists for rape jokes, and implicitly suggests wider unsavoury characteristics for the general membership.

    I appreciate that this is probably of minimal concern to the readers here in relation to the wider issues, which I don’t wish to overshadow, but this is blatant misrepresentation. There is nothing like the “paraphrased” quotation (protip: don’t place paraphrased quotations in inverted commas and attribute them to specific persons) in the thread in question. The only comment referencing the acceptability of violence towards men is regarding a  hypothetical  ‘rape-joker’ being punched in the face and it garnered no support or discussion whatsoever. The majority of the posters in the thread explicitly denounce the rape joke and none suggest it would have been ok if the victim were male. Given the refusal by marinerachel to support or retract the accusation, it is a reasonable assumption that the misrepresentation was deliberate and intended to make an unpleasant generalisation against a large and disparate group of people. This is wrong.

    RatSkep (and to a degree Rationalia) are different beasts to Pharyngula. They are more open forums with policies of allowing a wide spectrum of viewpoints to expressed within the boundaries of their respective FUAs. This will necessarily include some that are potentially offensive or just downright stupid. You may argue about the wisdom of this (I think there is a place and a purpose for both philosophies towards such material; open acceptance and critique or selective banhammering) but to tar all of the membership of an open forum as holding or supporting the most offensive of the views expressed there is grossly unfair.

    I know. Enough already. To end, I believe I share most of my values with the general populace here even if I may disagree with some on detail and flavour. We would all, I think, condemn Lying for Jesus and question how someone who truly believed in their cause could square having to be dishonest order to make their case. I don’t see why Misrepresentation for Feminism should get any greater slack.

  301. Brownian says

    This unsourced accusation was picked up by a number of posters without question (including, ironically, by Brownian in his post bemoaning skeptics for taking things on faith).

    Point taken, precambrianrabbi, though I was in fact generalising about the wider group that calls itself ‘skeptics’ in which such things have been in fact said, as I’ve personally witnessed.

    Nonetheless, I shouldn’t have quoted that without confirmation.

  302. Brownian says

    And of course, to reiterate, my point was that skeptics take it on faith that members of the group of people that call themselves skeptics are indeed skeptical, at least more so than the general population.

  303. Paul says

    RatSkep (and to a degree Rationalia) are different beasts to Pharyngula. They are more open forums with policies of allowing a wide spectrum of viewpoints to expressed within the boundaries of their respective FUAs.

    This would be the Rationalia that can’t even be read without registering and logging in now, and which has banned more people for differing viewpoints than PZ (who generally only does so if they brag elsewhere that they are only trolling or if they refuse to stop derailing unrelated threads with their garbage — very rare is the person who’s been banned solely for the fact that they expressed an unpopular view)?

    …yeah, that makes me question the rest of your post, that you were able to post that with a straight face. Can’t say it makes me any more likely to check out RatSkep.

    Here’s a tip if you want to communicate with people here: not calling out people for saying stupid things does not make you “more open” to differing viewpoints. It means you care more about people thinking you’re “chill” than you do about applying rationality consistently. Telling someone they’re saying stupid things is not an example of “not allowing different viewpoints”. It’s a matter of telling someone when they’re viewpoint is morally bankrupt and actually contributes to an environment that actively victimizes REAL PEOPLE daily.

  304. Stacy says

    And I think it does those who do not explicitly adopt a skeptical epistemology a disservice to assume that that fact alone indicates that a “mere 1300 comments” would not be enough to get them to realize that

    I grew up with championship rationalisers (my mother was a Christian Scientist) so I’m happy to know my notion about the average person’s (skeptic or not) ability to abandon idiocy they’ve committed to is pessimistic. :)

    Anyway, Brownian, Paul–I am coming around more to your side now.

    exi5tentialist’s post #329 is one reason.

    That, and the fact that tonight I’m probably going to see the douchenozzles who made a rape joke at lunch last Saturday (there’s a group thing tonight.)

    Oh, and my finding this: http://hero.com/bennett/nogodband.com/15.php
    Penn’s lyrics to the tune of My Boyfriend’s Back

    If it comes down to a choice for me between feminism (not to mention human decency) and skepticism, skepticism can go die in a fire.

  305. Paul says

    Err, can’t believe I put they’re instead of their. No idea where that came from.

  306. exi5tentialist says

    precambrianrabbi

    Ratskep (and to a certain degree Rationalia) … more open forums with policies of allowing a wide spectrum of viewpoints to expressed within the boundaries of their respective FUAs.

    No I’m sorry, you’ve got that wrong. Rationalia is not an open forum, not even relatively. They are closed – very closed indeed and very disingenuous about the methods they use to silence dissent – abuse being the primary one, but backed up by actual moderator action against free speech when necessary. There is no wide spectrum of opinion at Rationalia. It is a very, very narrow spectrum of opinion. Their FUA may as well be written in air for all the weight it carries.

    The sooner people stop repeating the lie that Rationalia is any kind of free speech environment, the sooner we can all come out of this experience the wiser.

    As a staff member, Pappa should have been censured by the membership for his continuing idiocy over this. That nobody dares to take any action against him is a measure of his success in moulding a loyal following by deploying verbal abuse backed up by moderator sanctions as a mechanism for suppressing real dissent.

    To the extent that the people at Rationalia who continue to support Pappa’s abusive forum have not acted against him, they are all ‘tarred with the same brush’ as you put it. I call it individual and collective responsible. Anyone who posts at Rationalia without taking action to demote Pappa colludes with his abusive mindset.

  307. exi5tentialist says

    Err, can’t believe I put they’re instead of their. No idea where that came from.

    I know and I can’t believe I put ‘individual and collective responsible’ instead of ‘individually and collectively’.

    I know where it comes from – anger. Rationalia is a site where real people are abusers and real people are abused. Though I would be against the concept in practice, it somehow feels unjust that there isn’t some grand regulating body like the Independent Broadcasting Authority that will come in and take them down. Thank freedom there is no regulator – except in the case of a collectively-owned site like Rationalia, there is a regulator! It is Rationalia members themselves! But what do they do? They just carry on repeating the abuse, trivialising the protests, ducking and diving and ultimately supporting both the authoritarianism that sexual abuse is solely intended to back up. They’re responsible, every single one of them is equally, personally as responsible as Pappa.

    And they know they are – they should damn well stop pretending they are the best thing since sliced bread and reform their stupid website from top to bottom in such a way that allows the protestors as well as the abusers their right of free speech.

    Rationalia is not a free and open environment. They have disciplined internal protest and reform in the past. They even took disciplinary action against me for implementing a staff review – something that was 2 years overdue. I knew then that a staff team that had no mechanisms of accountability would become abusive. My conscience is clear. What about the rest of them? They just carry on in their same old way without a single shred of remorse – especially Pappa, the fool – merrily bantering on and now adding to his sexual abusiveness by inviting different methods of personal abusiveness instead.

    Some apology that turned out to be! And none of Rationalia have any conscience about it. They haven’t even begun to look at the issue.

  308. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    You vaguely remember someone speculating that you might care less if it the “joke” was directed at men? You can’t find the comment, or anything supporting it and can’t be bothered to look for it, but are certain you vaguely remember it?

    I didn’t say “vaguely remember,” I said “remember.” I have an excellent memory.

    I suspect they’d be in less of a kerfuffle over a male rape joke, and then we could admonish them for keeping silent and letting evil triumph.

    Thanks, though, going back into that thread was just fantastic for my fucking mental health.

  309. marinerachel says

    What a fine example of sweeping an issue pertaining to women under the rug in favour of discussing men and how disenfranchised they are, all in a single post.

    These discussions have been linked to roughly ten-thousand times here. I don’t know why we’re asked to provide the same links over and over again. If you’ve come to this discussion because you’re pissed right off that people are appalled by much of the behaviour occurring in your forum, you’re already in the thread you’re demanding links to.

    And let’s not pretend there’s anything open about RatSkep or Ratz. There’s not. They have distinct, deeply engrained cultures that are reinforced by their respective memberships. It’s not an inherently bad thing. Exclusivity is great. Having a safe-haven to share with like-minded individuals can be wonderful. The fact there aren’t explicit rules and sanctions reinforcing these forum’s cultures doesn’t make them any less exclusive though. Those who go against the grain consistently are made to feel unwelcome. That’s OK.

  310. says

    *looks at words metaphorically coming out of precambrianrabbi’s mouth*

    *looks at words and links metaphorically coming out of Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff’s mouth*

    *looks back at precambrianrabbi*

    So, tell me, are you a liar or an idiot?

    I’m going to be charitable and guess you’re an idiot.

    Prove me right and say, “Oh, I didn’t see that. I’m an idiot defending idiots by being an idiot. Sorry.”

    Then shut the fuck up until you have something relevant, accurate, informative or entertaining to say.

    Thanks in advance.

  311. says

    The rationalskepticism.org (RatSkep) FUA 1.2.b clause should cover misogynist comments as it would be “sexism” but it does need forum members to raise the post to alert the moderators as the site has just over 1.4 million posts over 29,000 thread topics. The full FUA and details of the moderation process is on the link at the top of the RatSkep landing page. The accusations here indirectly affect all on the RatSkep forum but as PZ Myers is a member of RatSkep he could report specific posts that he finds offending or PM another on RatSkep to do this (assuming PZ Myers is still a member). Per the FUA 1.2.c he is afforded the protection from personal insults. I am not a member of Rationalia so cannot comment on their FUA or moderation and as far as I’m concerned that is a rather different beast.

  312. precambrianrabbi says

    Brief responses as I am at work… 

    Brownian –
    Yes, I took your actual point and have some sympathy for it.

    Cipher –
    I believe our disagreement is fuelled by confusion. Your link is to “Rationalia”. marinerachel’s comment, and my defence, is referring to “RatSkep”. Apologies for my part in causing or maintaining the confusion.

    tkreacher –
    See response to Cipher above; A third possibility, not necessarily exclusive to me being an idiot or a liar, is that the link and references that Cipher provided are to the wrong site.

    marinerachel –
    Misrepresentation is wrong. Pointing it out should not detract from the main issue. Using the important main issue as an opportune cover to make unsubstantiated misrepresentations, however, is trivialising and despicable. Furthermore, note that the subject of your misrepresentation is a membership that includes men, women and “Chill Girls” and your characterisation that I am deflecting importance onto this because it affects men is further evidence of dishonest intention. I note that you still choose not to provide any source for your original claim.

    For the record, I thought Pappa’s “joke” was out of order, as I have expressed elsewhere, and I was glad to see him apologise. I’m not sure how much more I can elaborate on that.

    If there are any other comments that  need response – and people want me to respond to them – I’ll check in when I can.

  313. John Morales says

    precambrianrabbi: What’s the most appropriate way to ridicule a Skepchick??

  314. Louis says

    Precambrianrabbi, #330,

    I agree with you that misrepresentation is wrong, and if Marinerachel has a case to answer for (and I’m staying out of it because it is tangential to the point I want to make, I’ve deliberately not read up/investigated it), then she should do so and retract/apologise accordingly. That’s what ANY one of us should do.

    I am not trying to provide a tu quoque, what follows is not a justification of “our team’s” (yuck) misrepresentations, whatever they might be, vs “your team’s” (yuck) whatevers, but I did something unusual for me yesterday: I went to RatSkep (never been before to the best of my knowledge) and read the “Pappa vs PZ” (or whatever it was called) thread. It was ~21 pages long when I read it.

    I came away with two overwhelming impressions: a) a (perhaps small) vocal group of people viewed the whole shebang as a bit of a lark. A little interblog/forum drama, with the overwhelming onus being on those oh-so-hysterical Pharyngulites and PZ. b) A really tragic sense that very, very few people there understood the actual arguments being made by many people here at all, and perhaps (although this might be my insertion) an unwillingness to consider that light might even exist in amongst all the heat.

    I am happy to confess up front that these were MY impressions, just impressions, opinions, subjective, and are not hard and fast objective FACTS. I could back them up with quotes if I had the time and inclination (i.e. what lead me to those impressions), I don’t at the moment (honest confession of limitations on my part!), and I freely appreciate that the snapshot of the forum I saw is not representative. A person I might think is utterly clueless based on one post might well be massively clued in based on 100. I acknowledge all of this.

    Someone, I forget who, linked to a couple of very basic “Feminism 101″ type arguments. The general comments before and after these were generally ignorant of the contents and evidence supporting those arguments. No crime there, I was largely ignorant of them before coming to Pharyngula. What I did see though is what Brownian describes as what he dislikes: a deplorable lack of interest in being sceptical about the topic of feminism. Being sceptical about such a thing as feminism is not the same as being sceptical about homoeopathy, it’s like being sceptical about evolutionary biology. in other words it is like being sceptical about a field of human study with a huge, well developed evidence base behind it as opposed to being sceptical about a well refuted series of irrational claims with no evidence base (or at best a very confused one).

    I’m not saying this to say “ZOMG RATSKEP IS TEH CREATIONISTS!”, far from it in fact, I’m saying it because the precise sceptical approach is different and I think you all know this. AT least I hope so.

    With a “homoeopathy” type subject, where the basis in evidence is demonstrably non-existent, “prove it, motherfucker” is a reasonable place to stand because no evidence provided has yet to stand up to scrutiny. With an “evolutionary biology” type subject, where the basis in evidence is derived from decades of interdisciplinary research and has stood multiple tests and lines of scrutiny, “prove it, motherfucker” has been done to a reasonable degree. The onus falls on the sceptic to inform themselves. On that thread, and I realise again this is a LIMITED exposure to the forum, the majority of posters I read were either uninterested in informing themselves or were actively opposed to it, based on their comments (which is all I have).

    I have no reason to speculate this is due to any sinister aspect on the part of these posters, I doubt it is. I took the equality of women and feminism for granted largely because I was woefully ignorant of the relevant data. I said exactly the same things, posted the same comments and had the same degree of disinterest in this subject precisely because it’s relative lack of effect on me lead me to believe it was already dealt with. I was forgivably ignorant and I corrected that. The activism I expressed in other areas of my life on other subjects I started to channel and express in the area of sexism/feminism.

    I came to this feminist position by being SCEPTICAL of feminism and bothering to inform myself. What has caused me to comment on your post is that you could be spending your time doing that if you haven’t, and exhorting your fellows at RatSkept to do the same if they haven’t. None of us, least of all me, are perfect. Coming here to complain about Pharyngula is all well and good, everyone needs an external check, but my emphasis is on what I can do within the groups I have decided to participate in.

    I hope you realise that my relatively politely phrased, and well intended, comment is not an attack of any kind, just a reflection of what I think the errors we are all prone to making are.

    And with that all said, I’m going to argue with Brownian who is more fun and has ridiculous facial hair.

    Louis

  315. Louis says

    Brownian,

    Please read the below fully and carefully, even though it’s a small fucking novella, sorry, because I think it’s important. Do it for our love, our baby, and that thing I do with my tongue.

    1) Your facial hair is ridiculous. Looking like a goat is not sexy, correct it immediately or I shall mock you some more.

    2) My comments about your facial hair are entirely not serious and if I have caused offence, good, you are a Canadian. That is my job.

    3) I actually like some Canadians and would even let them use my bathroom.

    4) I am only envious because you are so good looking. You may mock me unreservedly.

    5) Okay, serious face (Paul, part of this is for you too if you like, I see you and Brownian as making similar arguments):

    From Brownian, #332,

    And of course, to reiterate, my point was that skeptics take it on faith that members of the group of people that call themselves skeptics are indeed skeptical, at least more so than the general population.

    I am a sceptic in the sceptic movement. I do not do this. Insert the word “some” and we have a deal.

    From Paul #327,

    The skeptic movement has demonstrated over the last year that it has no interest in looking inward with its skepticism. They like to ignore the fingers pointing back at them when they point and laugh about Bigfoot or ESP, and will pull out NOMA or just straight denialism to defend their cognitive biases or cherished beliefs or cultural leanings. The only clear difference between them and non-skeptics is they spend more time looking for people to point and laugh at.

    I am a sceptic in the sceptic movement. I do not do this. Insert the words “some of” and we have a deal.

    Incidentally, to make this doubly explicit, I heartily agree that the people you describe above exist. I heartily agree that they deserve passionate and profound opposition. I heartily agree that there are many ways to accomplish this, from inside the “movement” and from “outside” it, and they are all valid.

    Oh and I also more than heartily agree with Stacy, #334:

    If it comes down to a choice for me between feminism (not to mention human decency) and skepticism, skepticism can go die in a fire.

    I’m arguing that this choice does not have to be made in this instance. One can make it, i.e. declare one will fight sexism in scepticism from the outside etc, perfectly validly, but it is not the only valid choice.

    I’m going to take what you’re both saying from two angles:

    A) “Policing ‘our’ own” and group dynamics.

    B) The value of “movement scepticism”.

    _________________________

    A) “Policing ‘our’ own” and group dynamics.

    Imagine a cone, just a relatively simple cone, base at the bottom, point at the top. The sides of the cone can be straight or curved, personally (and it will become clear why) I think of them as curved for this purpose.

    At the peak of the cone is some self identifying group, for our purposes it is “movement sceptics”, as the cone slopes away to the base are all those people who self identify to a lesser and lesser degree as “movement sceptics”.

    This is a “cone of criticism”, the peak of the cone, closest to the central point of the cone as a 2D circular cross section, is ideally where the loudest, best, most trenchant criticism of the group should come from. I.e. the higher up the cone, the louder and better informed the criticism ideally.

    Moving away from just “sceptics” for a moment, one of the most frequent criticisms of moderate religious people I see and have made as an atheist in the “atheist movement” is that they give cover to the fundamentalists/extremists by a) failing to criticise them publicly/often/loudly enough and b) by effectively banding together with the fundamentalists against a perceived outgroup/common enemy, and c) by distracting critics with fallacious crap like the No True Scotsman fallacy (in other words washing their hands of their responsibility as a self defined X). The classic current example of this being of Islam and Islam/Jihadi terrorism. The comparative silence in a) and the occasional support in b) serve to support the extremists by failing to focus appropriate in-group lack of support upon them. This permits the extremists to falsely claim action in the name of moderates and out-group critics to disingenuously treat moderates as if they were extremists.

    The “cone of Islam” in this case is unfortunately not very cone shaped. It is almost doughnut shaped. The most vocal, valid criticism comes from relatively far away from the centre where the peak should be. Why does this happen? That’s even longer and more complicated than I really want to get into, but think self identity, cognitive dissonance, simple defensiveness and so on and so forth.

    Contrast this with a specific field’s “scientific research cone”, which is vastly more conical because typically the best, most vocal and most valid criticism comes from those best informed about that field, i.e those people close to the centre/point of the “cone”. These people also have the most to gain by hotly criticising their colleagues’ work, they also have the most to lose if their (self identified) field is discredited by a profusion of buffoons.

    I think the “cone of criticism” for “movement scepticism” should be more “scientific” than “Islamic”, given my two examples above. In other words, I want it to be more conical than toroidal.

    I think one of the things that separates pseudoscientific or irrational (philosophical sense) groups from scientific ones is the tendency for the “cone of criticism” to be towards the toroidal end and not the conical end of the spectrum of shapes.

    Yes this is very long and tedious but I had this idea whilst taking a shit and I am quite proud of it, so fuck you! ;-)

    I unreservedly agree that there is a significant proportion of vocal movement sceptics who occupy the centre of a “cone of criticism” that is more torus than cone. I unreservedly agree that over the last year this “anti-feminist” segment of “movement sceptics” have shown themselves as occupying a torus with a very, very large hole!

    I want to change that. I want to change that because I believe “movement scepticism” has some non-zero utility. Some social value. And if done well some profound value to the correction of social injustices like sexism, rape culture, institutional sexism etc etc.

    Which brings me to (hopefully shorter) B).

    _________________________

    B) The value of “movement scepticism”.

    I’ve been a bit gentle so far on what I consider to be a pretty egregious straw man: The sceptical movement as Bigfoot Believer Bashers, or in other words: The sceptical movement as self satisfied debunkers of trivia.

    Again, I do not doubt these people exist. I’ve met them, they make up a measurable proportion of the sceptical movement. They do the things Brownian and Paul accurately describe above and those things are odious and more importantly FACTUALLY WRONG.

    We can, and should, be sceptical of our fellow sceptics. See A). Our “cone of criticism” should be cone shaped. Incidentally, raising the edges of the “cone” (to make it look like a sombrero), is fine too. I’m am an advocate of more criticism, not less. But as a self identifying movement sceptic, it is MY JOB to criticise my fellow movement sceptics when they fuck up. It’s everyone else’s job too, but they don’t have the same vested interest perhaps.

    The sum of the “movement scepticism” is not focused on trivially easy debunking for psychological self aggrandisement. I certainly did not get into it for anything like that reason, and the vast majority of sceptics I have conversed with and met also did not, in my experience (a limiting factor I admit).

    Referring to movement scepticism in this fashion, i.e trivially easy debunking for psychological self aggrandisement, is a classic straw man. It is the taking of the weakest case for movement scepticism and treating it like it is the whole. I don’t deny these people exist, hence why the quotes I used to start this diatribe I feel need to be modified only very slightly to be perfect.

    Incidentally Brownian, you yourself have noticed (perhaps unintentionally) what I have, there are not many of these sexist bozos (see here. I realise that’s not conclusive proof, I don’t think it is, I realise that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem, I think there is, but it’s something to be aware of.

    Ben Goldacre

    Watch that video. I could link quite literally dozens of others. THAT is why I got into movement scepticism. I got into movement scepticism precisely because I wanted to solve social injustices that I saw. Those social injustices started out as seeing the undeserved privileging of pseudoscience for billions of pounds per year, the preying on the weak by charlatans that would not be tolerated in any other realm of human activity, and the strong desire to police myself and my industry. I’m not a fan of the evils of Big Pharma (and they exist and make the antics of homoeopaths look like the scurrying of harmless ants) just because I am paid to do research by Big (now medium!) Pharma. My integrity is worth more to me than my salary.

    I am far from alone in the above as a self identified “movement sceptic”. I am not friends with a single “movement sceptic” in real life, and I have a goodly number of “movement sceptic” friends because I used to help organise and have spoken at sceptical events more than a couple of times (no details, sorry, I like my relative anonymity), who does not share my view on this. Anecdote I realise, and FSM knows the internet experience of the last year or so has been different and made me question it.

    The serious, amateur work of “movement sceptics” has lead to the campaign (now before Parliament) to change British libel law. To have pseudoscientific products withdrawn, to hold practitioners of alternative medicine to account and so on and so forth. This serves a general social good and it certainly is not done for self aggrandisement or ego stroking mockery of fools. If it were I could simply reveal my identity and bask in your admiration….or more likely indifference! ;-)

    I see activism for feminist, LGBT, racial, disabled causes as a logical and direct extension of this. I care about the misuses of science, the dishonest co-option of it for ideological, material and pseudoscientific gains and that obviously involves policy claimed to derive from reasoned inquiry into our universe.

    The same intellectual process, the same epistemology, that underpins my scientific work also underpins my activism and politics. The two are not separate.

    The very real and obvious problem of sexism in “movement scepticism” needs to be dealt with. The are two decisions one has to make:

    a) Do I self identify as a “movement sceptic”? As in does that term describe my philosophical outlook, the things I am interested in combating (like pseudoscience etc), and does it fit with my personal priorities?

    b) Given my answer to a), will I combat the deplorable sexism (present in all society but also) in “movement scepticism”?

    My answer is “yes” to both.

    Note the difference between “sceptic” and “movement sceptic”. The former can be pretty much anyone that (even narrowly) applies the scientific method in a rigorously sceptical fashion about any topic, just like Hitler was a Christian and so is the Archbishop of Canterbury. They’re not the same type of Christian by any stretch, and the specifics of their Christian beliefs are different, but self identified Christians they are/were. I hope the Archbish vocally would denounce any Christian justification Hitler tried to give for his acts. I am British, Dennis Nilsen is British. If Nilsen tried to justify his killings on the basis of his Britishness I’d disagree (if I could be bothered). His Britishness does not logically justify his killings (as if anything could).

    Sexist “movement sceptics” are exactly like Hitler and Dennis Nilsen…. ;-)

    Okay perhaps not.

    But in principle they are the people making a false claim of justification/demonstration (my scepticism demonstrates my superiority). Their self aggrandising use of the word “sceptic” as some kind of earned title is hideous and I will oppose it vocally. Being a self identified “sceptic” makes you no better than being a self identified “feminist”. What you DO matters. There are hideously racist and transphobic feminists out there, they need to be shown up by other feminists (and thank Germaine Greer they ARE) for being shitty feminists. Same principle here.

    If your answers to the above are a) no and b) yes, I have no problem with you. If your answers are a) no and b) no, I have a bit of a problem with you. If your answers are a) yes and b) no, be prepared to receive my metaphorical foot up your metaphorical arse.

    Louis

  316. Brownian says

    a) Do I self identify as a “movement sceptic”? As in does that term describe my philosophical outlook, the things I am interested in combating (like pseudoscience etc), and does it fit with my personal priorities?

    b) Given my answer to a), will I combat the deplorable sexism (present in all society but also) in “movement scepticism”?

    Briefly, a) no and b) yes.

    Of course, it’s more complicated than that.

    As for that a) does your definition even cover those who ascribe to the movement?

    Let’s change the name, for a second. When I say “butternutsquashers”, I mean this granfalloon (I called it before PZ did) of libertarians, liberals, conservatives, sexists, racists, PoC, GLBT people, women, men, Americans, Europeans, Asians, Australiasians, Africans, South Americans, Mexicans and Canadians (even those who look like goats) who agree that bigfoot probably doesn’t exist and drive a UFO.

    These butternutsquashers: other than agreeing that bigfoot probably doesn’t exist and drive a UFO, do they even uphold the values of rationalism and skepticism? I mean, honestly contrast them with non-butternutsquashers. As you say, you’re not friends with a single “butternutsquasher” in real life. Are you constantly having to stop your real life friends, the non-butternutsquashers, from drinking whatever beverage a hippy hands them in order to open their third eye? Are you continually pointing out to them that just because two events happen within a short period of time they aren’t necessarily related? Are you unable to reach them via phone or text because they’re online with psychics all day?

    Or are they in fact quite rational and skeptical about some things, and not about others? If so, then they seem just as committed to imperfect rationality and skepticality as the butternutsquashers who use tu quoques and strawmen and all the other things we criticise non-butternutsquashers for.

    You bring up being British. Well, I’m white and male and heterosexual. My non-identification with ‘white movements’ and ‘male movements’ and ‘heterosexual movemements’ doesn’t change that. And I’m committed to human rights for those people as well as non-whites and non-males and non-heterosexuals. But, am I obligated to seek out and ally with ‘white movements’ and ‘male movements’ and ‘heterosexual movemements’ in order to change them from within? Is it unreasonable for me to say that the people involved in such movements are actually so different from me, despite our shared ‘race’, sex, and sexual orientation, that I’d rather not associate with them at all?

    I may fight against deplorable sexism wherever it resides, but I am unable to combat it everywhere it resides. And it would seem that there are some groups that are so resistent to examining it within their own ranks (‘male movements’) or racism (‘white movements’) and homophobia (‘heterosexual movements’) that it’s frankly head-banging to try to change them, even from within.

    And time and time again, I see this within the community of butternutsquashers: not only are they not more committed to skepticality and rationality than many non-butternutsquashers (despite the lip service they insist on priding themselves on), but they are deplorably sexist and racist and to a lesser degree (though I may be wrong), homophobic. And they don’t seem to want to change. If anything, the only thing they’re interested in is changing the definitions of sexism, racism, and homophobia to preclude whatever it is that they do: rape jokes, anti-Arab tirades, and exhortations that events like ‘kiss-ins’ are ‘needlessly provocative’.

    I don’t need the butternutsquashers. The only reason I’m still arguing this is that some people here, people whom I care about, have convinced me that maybe they need me.

  317. Paul says

    I am a sceptic in the sceptic movement. I do not do this. Insert the words “some of” and we have a deal.

    I was referencing the movement as a whole. If my verb and pronoun usage was not clear enough to encapsulate the idea I was getting across, by no means am I saying that all skeptics (or even a majority or plurality!) demonstrate those traits. I am focusing on the public face, which seems to have been actively working to portray a wretched hive of scum and misogyny.

    I’ve met them, they make up a measurable proportion of the sceptical movement.

    You make it sound so clinical. Here’s the problem me and Brownian are complaining about: They represent the most publically accessible face of the movement, and contain some of the biggest names that actually attract people. And they attract and merrily foster roving packs of people just like them. Further, those participating in the movement do not as a collective seem to demonstrate an inclination towards social equality/justice above those that do not consider themselves skeptics (surely many of them do, but so do many that don’t consider themselves skeptics or part of the skeptical movement). That is the cause of the railing against the movement (and how we don’t consider the label useful for current causes that we care about, and it seems to be becoming detrimental). There are good Christians who will support social justice issues beside us. There are good skeptics who will do the same. But we’re far past the point where we can assume that “skeptics” will truly be skeptical about inequality issues. And at that point, what use is the label? They’re only skeptical about things that aren’t important to them, which unfortunately tend to contain such bugaboos as Libertarianism and Men’s Rights (and open exercise of privilege while denying that such exists). It would be like large groups of atheists wanting to be part of the Atheist movement while holding that certain books of the Bible that they really like are Pure Unvarnished Platonic TRUTH.

    I should probably replace the we’s with I’s. But me and Brownian seem to have similar positions here (I’m so proud). I’m sure he’ll come along and correct where he disagrees.

  318. Paul says

    Huh, I guess I didn’t refresh the page recently enough. Brownian even beat me to it, and did it much better.

    I’m also jonesing for some butternut squash right now. Damnit.

  319. Brownian says

    They represent the most publically accessible face of the movement, and contain some of the biggest names that actually attract people.

    This wasn’t in the forefront of my consciousness until you pointed it out, but the T-f00t fiasco—the fiasco being him being invited to spew his stupidity here based on his past history of being good at out-arguing people who think blue-eyed Jesus ranched brachiosaurids—is a great example of this.

  320. Brownian says

    But me and Brownian seem to have similar positions here (I’m so proud)

    You know I’m just another random idiot on the internet, right? ;)

  321. Paul says

    You know I’m just another random idiot on the internet, right? ;)

    Indeed. However, even idiots can find comfort in feelings of comraderie. FSM knows I find precious few of those in meatspace, and I’ve always enjoyed your contributions on Pharyngula.

  322. Brownian says

    Oh, and Louis: I didn’t know what the cone business was all about, but with regards to the moderates giving cover to the extremists: I solved that particular issue by leaving the Catholic Church.

  323. says

    Why Pappa’s rape joke wasn’t funny

    Dear PZ,

    While it’s tricky and acceptable to tell a rape joke, there are instances where they are absolutely unacceptable and inappropriate.

    A joke that threatens a specific individual sends this message: you have no value, are powerless, vulnerable and subordinate to me. You are no longer safe. It’s hateful and demeaning.

    So I can only imagine what you must been thinking when you saw his post, and a couple of other people joining in the joking. A couple of others spoke out against the joke itself, without denouncing papa for his joke. The rest of the community didn’t say a word.

    You may have visited some of our threads about the Skepchicks, reading quite a bit of derision and mockery towards them. And finally, the controversy surrounding the Skepchicks made this joke even more threatening. You had no way of knowing that Pappa wasn’t someone who would never do that by reading a few of posts of his. And frankly I would not expected you to go through the due diligence. If I had just read something that elicited the same his role anger and disgust that Pappa had to this post:http://rationalia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=37574&start=30#p1196689.

    Given the choice of protecting someone’s safety, over someone’s reputation I would take the former.

    What you did was the right thing to do, and your readers reaction was perfectly justified, given what they knew. You and your readers were not responsible for the shitstorm that hit Rationalia.

    Sincerely,

    Mai Dao-Horton

  324. Cipher, OM, Sweetness and Fluff says

    Thanks very much for your post, Mai.

    I’ll point out again that a lot of us also have reason to distrust the “He’s a nice guy, we know him, and he would never do that” reasoning, even for people directly known to us, and “jokes” like this force us to doubt that sort of evaluation. There are a number of people here I know fairly well and feel affection for, but any one of them asking jokingly if it would be acceptable to rape just this one person, because they’re so annoying, would instantly lose my trust. (And in fact, similar situations have actually happened in my offline life, so I’m speaking from experience here.) Not trying to detract, just trying to explain why “Oh don’t worry he would never do that” doesn’t necessarily reassure in any useful way.

  325. says

    Further, Mai, whether or not he would actually commit the act of rape does not mitigate the harmfulness of the “joke” in any way.

    1. We can see into the future and into his heart of hearts via mind-reading and know with 100% certainty he would never commit the act of rape. The response to his “joke” is vocal condemnation for the harm the “joke” causes to real victims and the support it provides to rape culture. You know… what happened.

    2. We can see into the future and into his heart of hearts via mind-reading and know with 100% certainty that he planning on committing the act of rape. The response to his “joke” is to call the police – and then vocal condemnation for the harm his “joke” causes to real victims and the support it provides to rape culture. You know… what only half happened. Because nobody said it was enough evidence to conclude he was an actual rapist prowling the world for victims.

    In summary: thinking him a really great guy who wouldn’t really condone rape in his heart of hearts doesn’t change shit about the response he received.

  326. marinerachel says

    See, at no point was I under the impression Pappa et al. Condoned rape. I was still mortified by the “joke”.

    Dude used the imagery of sexual assault to target and bully a specific group of women based on his experience of them being “annoying”. He and his friends found this mean-spirited, pernicious treatment of those they personally dislike humorous. That is abhorrent. Bullying is always wrong and finding humour in bullying that utilises the imagery of rape doesn’t reflect particularly well on individuals. These are not the people I want to surround myself with.

    Furthermore, by having a chuckle about rape in a hateful context, whether they were sincere or not, they were reinforcing the kind of thinking that diminishes the seriousness of rape.

    That’s what I thought when I saw the “joke”. Whether Pappa et al. actually condone rape or not was irrelevant to anything I was taken aback by.

    I’m glad he apologised. I think it sucks that he didn’t do so until after he’d lost someone he viewed as a valued member, not before doubling and tripling down though. I think it sucks that the targets of his shenanigan weren’t addressed. I take him at his word that he’s going to make an effort not to be flippant about rape though and, with regards to the specific issue of promoting rape culture, that’s what counts.

  327. Louis says

    Brownian and Paul,

    I know I wrote a heavily sub claused, long and dull old post (I did it over the course of a day when I was flitting in and out of the lab etc, forgive me!) but I think you missed a couple of things. To name two examples:

    Brownian, I have lots of movement sceptic friends (as opposed to none), read what I wrote again:

    I am far from alone in the above as a self identified “movement sceptic”. I am not friends with a single “movement sceptic” in real life, and I have a goodly number of “movement sceptic” friends because I used to help organise and have spoken at sceptical events more than a couple of times (no details, sorry, I like my relative anonymity), who does not share my view on this.

    Also, you bastard. You utter, utter heartless bastard. That “cone thing” was a stroke of fucking genius I had on the toilet. I demand5re more respect for my bog ideas damn you! I cired myself to sleep like a 5 year old with a skinned knee last night. No…really. ;-)

    Paul,

    So PZ, Rebecca Watson, the SGU, James Randi (but not the JREF it seems…sad), Skepchick (and sundry cons), Ophelia Benson, 99% of the big public UK sceptics like Chris French, Tessa Kendall, Tracy Brown, Simon Singh, Ben Goldacre, Tim Minchin etc etc etc fit this description from you:

    I am focusing on the public face, which seems to have been actively working to portray a wretched hive of scum and misogyny….[MY SNIP]….They represent the most publically accessible face of the movement, and contain some of the biggest names that actually attract people. And they attract and merrily foster roving packs of people just like them.

    I don’t think so. What PZ said on the “Smug” thread (which I’m reading right now and probably best to respond there I guess) is people like the aforementioned, and little, humble old me, are fucked off with the hive of scum and misogyny (GREAT Star Wars parody, you are full of win!). We want to have a rift, we want them GONE. We want to burn bridges and say “BIGFOOT AIN’T ENOUGH, MUTHAFUCKA!”.

    All I’ve been arguing for is that I think that, if one is a sceptic (and I think there is value there, something you both seem to have largely ignored, combating pseudoscience =/= zero good) then why cede ground to the minority (however vocal) of sexist pissants? I don’t do it at work. Why should I do it at play?

    Anyway, annoyingly, I think we all agree vastly more than we differ, so by the Rules of the Internet I have to now tell you you are like Hitler and I hope you and everyone dies from Special Wombat Ebola. Or something. Do I then pretend it was all for the LULZ? I never did get that one…

    Louis

  328. says

    Now one of them is blaming PZ for telling the Skepchicks about the joke. Their reasoning if he didn’t tell them with thte intent to rile everyone up, then the Skepchicks wouldn’t be hurt. Another thinks I am hopeless and is giving up explaining this to me.

  329. marinerachel says

    I’m not usually one to give up on people but I have SO given up on the noisy quotient of these forums. No more self-flagellation for me.