The war of the smug


Michael Nugent is a humane and intelligent fellow, and he’s distressed by the rifts that have formed in the atheist community. So he’s written a good set of guidelines for how atheists and skeptics should interact. I have a small problem with one of his suggestions, but otherwise, it’s an excellent and idealistic plan…and unfortunately, one that has already struck the shoals of rabid misogyny.

As he notes, we’ve got a problem with people who are furious that atheists dare to consider sexism and racism to be serious issues that we should deal with now. He takes the side that I knew he would, that these are problems we should address, because secular thinkers should be best equipped to deal with them.

As skeptics we should objectively examine the impacts of social discrimination, and identify the best ways to promote diversity and inclusiveness. By definition, prejudice depends on not having all relevant information, and as skeptics we are ideally suited to develop and promote arguments for inclusiveness and human rights, based on the evidence of the benefits to individuals and society. We could use this research to tackle the emotional and irrational thinking behind racism, sexism, homophobia, and other prejudices and discriminations. It’s at least as interesting a topic as many we discuss, and a more useful topic than most.

I am fully in agreement. This is the necessary job of this generation of atheists and skeptics, to extend our principles to embrace topics of wider social import. Michael is on our side; unfortunately, you can already see the rifts widening. The very first comment on his article is from someone raving about me and my (?) “horde of five-minute-hate skepchicks”, who then goes on to make up a bunch of lies about the recent disagreement with Rationalia. And of course a known slimepit denizen immediately chimes in. So one obstacle is that a contingent has dug in with illiberal, anti-social justice values, and they are quick to howl at any suggestion that they are less than flawless champions of truth and freedom.

Yes, there is a problem here. And the problem lies in people who are affronted at any extension of atheist values to embrace other social values. Which is why I have some reservations about Michael’s first suggestion, that we have to stay focused on atheism and skepticism. Those ideas should be omnipresent, they should inform what we do, but they need to be a foundation, not a final end result.

We’re in the midst of a little civil war, a war with the smug. For so long, it was an accomplishment to be an atheist — we had rejected the dogma of the majority. It’s really something important. And now we’re growing, and we gather in greater and greater numbers, and while it’s great to find ourselves in large groups of people where we don’t have to be defensive about our disbelief, it also becomes obvious that it is not enough. We are all people who have taken that first step towards real intellectual freedom, and some of us like to just stand in wonderment and demand applause for that one step…while others of us are saying, “good, now we can march forward.” And of course that opens up rifts between us, and of course the smug are sitting there incredulous, resentful that we aren’t content just to applaud those who made that first effort, and laud them as heroes. They want a cookie right now just for being atheists.

So on one side we have smug jerks who hate the idea of being progressive, but on the other, on my side, we’re quite ready to cut the troglodytes loose, and we’re quite ready to move on without them. We see the rift forming, and we actually see it as a good thing; as Natalie Reed said on twitter:

I don’t WANT to be allies with ppl who need to be dragged, kicking & screaming, into treating me like a human.

Michael has stepped into the no-man’s land between the raging forces, and it’s a gallant effort. But judging by the comments already on his article, he hasn’t convinced the smug anti-progressives that maybe they should embrace a wider scope for atheism, and he really hasn’t tried yet to convince the people on the other side that maybe the angry sexists and racists and sneering self-satisfied libertarians are worth bringing on board. I’m inclined to say they’re not, until they grow up and change.

But let me say here: Michael Nugent has put up a plea for civil discussion on these matters. Try it. If you comment over there, be polite to the smug reactionaries already commenting; and here on this thread, too, try to avoid being too vicious, as much as you feel the other guys deserve it. Address his suggestions in the same spirit he made them.

Comments

  1. says

    I must also add that the smug anti-progressives are vociferous, but small in number, and with almost no influence on the organizations that are actually leading atheism. It’s a very one sided war.

  2. Pteryxx says

    It’s one-sided, yes, but their primary targets aren’t the organizations or leaders who have taken action, such as instituting anti-harassment policies. Mostly they’re directly attacking the women and anyone who speaks up to condemn *those attacks*. They can certainly influence women’s ability and willingness to participate.

  3. funkyderek says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”? Seriously? It’s this sort of name-calling and caricaturing that is fuelling the animosity.

  4. jba55 says

    “They want a cookie right now just for being atheists.”

    I want a cookie for being an atheist. But who just wants one cookie? I mean if cookies are being handed out for being decent, I’ll stop calling myself an equalitist and break it down to feminist, pro-LGBT rights, etc. Then I’ll have dozens of cookies!

  5. bcmystery says

    @3

    Considering the things these people are saying and advocating, and the way they are behaving, “a known slimepit denizen” is being kind and respectful.

  6. Therrin says

    Considering they now use the term themselves in their registered domain, it’s a fair descriptor.

  7. Dick the Damned says

    …they need to be a foundation, not a final end result.

    Yes to that; it’s far better than that farrago of ancient superstitions & anachronistic tribal rules that the Christers would have us all in thrall to.

    Maybe the misogynists haven’t let go yet?

  8. says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”

    Given that that’s what they call their own hangout, I’d say it’s rather appropriate, wouldn’t you say?
    I don’t mind being called a Pharyngulite although I prefer Horde member.

  9. says

    Sometimes I wonder if it could be genetic. Are humans programmed in some way to depend on an unassailable core dogma that must be defended at all costs (and never examined critically)? This has often seemed the case to me with theists whose main argument appears to be “How can you not believe in God?!?!!” And they’ll brook no argument nor engage in any discussion. If that’s so, people should pick their dogmas more carefully. It’s a peculiar creed that leads one to think both sexism is dead and feminism threatens true skepticism. (Can one’s dogma be not having a dogma?)

  10. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I get what Natalie is saying, but that’s who potential allies are in social justice work: people who have conflicting interests and who act against your interests sometimes, but then find common cause on something or other and ally.

    A coalition is not an interest group.

    While not all allies were jerks (either on the issue in question or more generally) before becoming allies, many were. I *am* queer, and I *am* trans, and when I was 7 I was getting beat up for protesting sexism on the playground. But when I was 13 I repeated the slur that a number of fellow students called one outcast in my school: “gaylord”. I wasn’t a friend to gay men until I got some education.

    Now, the quote may be missing context, and if Natalie’s comment in context meant: “I am not willing to *personally* work with people while they continue to treat me with contempt,” I am behind her 100%. I get it and I’ve made that choice myself. But it’s written in a sort of implied-future: the statement implies that people “dragged kicking and screaming” into change will have changed less (possibly negligently) than people who started out from a better place. Which is kind of weird when you think about it.

    Anyway, the main point for me is that allies aren’t us. We call them allies because *even though we are opposed to each other in important ways and on important issues* we still find ways to work together on one or more common causes/interests. Otherwise they wouldn’t be allies, they’d be part of the same damn army.

  11. says

    I prefer to be called a FTBully. It’s kind of flattering how victims of real bullying have their experiences trivialized on my behalf.

  12. Nightjar says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”? Seriously? It’s this sort of name-calling and caricaturing that is fuelling the animosity.

    Huh? There’s this place called slymepit.com. Said person is known to be a regular there. How else should PZ transmit this information?

  13. joed says

    seems atheism is an excellent starting point for creating a more reasonable, just and inclusive world.
    The wonderful quote from Tennessee Williams play and film, “The Night Of The Iquana”,
    Hannah Jelkes: “Nothing human disgusts me, Mr. Shannon, unless it’s unkind, violent.”
    Atheist, Skeptic whatever, learning how to be nonjudgmental at the appropriate time is a leap ahead for reasonable people. Knowing when you or another are being unkind or violent is awareness at its best.
    Certainly violence can be morally justified when immediate physical defence of self or others is necessary. But that is most rare for most folks.

  14. says

    I don’t agree with Natalie on giving up on potential allies. I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally. Attack the idea not the person.

    People post things in the heat of the moment that they don’t really mean like Nugent is saying. On the internet it looks very permanent. Give people an out to apologize don’t back them into a corner where they feel forced to keep fighting.

    I see these sort of things play out in the middle school where I teach all the time. A big part of the deepening rifts is needless escalation. If you tried reasoning and debate and this doesn’t work agree to disagree with someone who is not abusive in their behavior. For the abusive one, the unapologetic rape joke apologists, overt misogynists, egomaniacs etc. don’t deal with them on a one to one basis anymore. That is there personal problem. Don’t create allies for them by doing things like publishing their personal address.

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

    Ah, yes, Rationalia. Here’s the latest from that bunch of turds. I surfed to Rationalia today, and looky what a found: a brand new thread!

    Re: What’s the most appropriate way to ridicule a Skepchick?

    Postby Animavore » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:36 am
    Well we can’t slag them for being women. We can’t laugh at the thought of them being harmed in anyway.

    I think they have stupid hair. Also, their irrational fear of dissenting t-shirts makes them lose face. Which is fortunate because, have you seen their faces? They look like a pack of bulldogs slurping piss off a thistle.

    Feminists are *ugly!* Well, that’ll show them! What eloquence! What originality!

    OR:

    Re: What’s the most appropriate way to ridicule a Skepchick?

    Unread postby Audley Strange » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:35 pm
    Give them a Miggs.

    (See Silence of the Lambs.)

    Nothing like following up a rape joke with a sniggering semen-in-the-face joke.

    Honestly, is anybody there over the age of fourteen?

    Now here’s big question: should I post this excerpt over there on the thread under the essay asking us to be reasonable. After all, I’m only quoting what they’re actually saying on the thread. I’m really, really interested to see if Cormac would stand behind the “Give them a Miggs” comment.

  16. says

    I just left a comment there. The commenters so far are disappointing to say the least, it seems that the Watson/Myers hater brigade is well organized these days. Mick Nugent has the right idea, I was actually planning on doing a similar post the other day. What held me back was this sinking feeling that it was just a futile effort to help and “let’s all be friends again”, like treating a cancer with chinese herbs instead of planning radiotherapy and surgery. But this particular cancer does in fact need surgery.

  17. says

    I think the point of Natalie’s comment is that these people are not allies in any meaningful sense of the word. They oppose everything that she considers important; the fact that they’re also atheists is not enough to compensate for their opposition.

    They turn atheism into a granfalloon.

  18. says

    @Hairhead — I don’t know if I can believe that….I mean that first post was so obviously just a one time, super ironic and sardonic and sarcastic and […], thing and not at all part of a broader trend and how dare we judge rationalia* on the basis of a single post and…….

    *which isn’t at all a claim about being rational

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

    @aleph, that’s why I included 2 posts, just to show a trend. I could have posted a lot more. A LOT. But that would just be gross. And it would be enabling the creeps there, who would be thrilled that their crap was being spread around.

  20. Ogvorbis says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”? Seriously? It’s this sort of name-calling and caricaturing that is fuelling the animosity

    The Slime Pit is the name they have given themselves. It is not name calling, nor is caricaturing. And the name they chose for themselves did not create or fuel the animosity.

    I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

    It is very hard to reason with people who think that ‘Twatson’ is a funny nickname for someone they do not like. It is hard to reason with people who think that an acceptable response when a woman writes or says something they do not like is to threaten her with rape. It is very hard to reason with people who encourage rape culture through jokes and gendered insults.

    People post things in the heat of the moment that they don’t really mean like Nugent is saying. On the internet it looks very permanent. Give people an out to apologize don’t back them into a corner where they feel forced to keep fighting.

    So what do you do when a persons mistake is pointed out and the reaction is doubling down? Do you continue to accomodate? Or call them out in no uncertain terms?

    For the abusive one, the unapologetic rape joke apologists, overt misogynists, egomaniacs etc. don’t deal with them on a one to one basis anymore.

    If I do not respond to rape culture enablers, then I am giving my silent approval to rape jokes, misogyny, sexism and rape culture itself. Silence enables the rape culture.

    I am an atheist. That, in and of itself, is meaningless. Other than seeing no evidence of the existence of gods in any way, shape or form, and a dim view of religion, big fuckig deal. The question is, then, do I, as an atheist, stand by and watch as the toxins of religion — misogyny, homophobia, sexism, rape culture, abuse, patriarchy, racism, othering, etc. — continue in my culture? Or do I actually make a stand, make my atheism a part of my life, and work to end what religion wants to continue?

    If someone declares themselves to be an atheist but continues to support the privilege of white male patriarchy, are they an ally to me? Are they an ally to progress? Or are they reactionaries who have discarded the tithe and the priest but still want all of the advantages of the patriarchy?

    If I, an atheist, am not for human rights then I am, by omission, on the side of those who seek to deny human rights: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and almost every other religion known to humanity.

    I mean that first post was so obviously just a one time, super ironic and sardonic and sarcastic and […], thing and not at all part of a broader trend

    But it is part of a trend. Since Rebecca Watson had the temerity to challenge male privilege by saying, “Don’t do that,” the default position among the reactionary skeptics and atheists is to use misogynistic language and threats in an attempt to silence those fighting for human rights for all humans.

  21. Matt Penfold says

    I don’t agree with Natalie on giving up on potential allies. I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally. Attack the idea not the person.

    You may have heard of a women called Rebecca Watson. About a year a man propositioned her for sex in a lift at 4am. Rebecca use that as example of how men should not behave, with a rather mild admonishment of “Guys’ don’t do that.”

    Being reasonable worked really well in that instance, since nearly every person who heard what she said thought “She has a good point, let’s ensure that it is not considered acceptable to proposition women at atheist/sceptic conferences. In fact, lets have some guidelines in place at such events”. And everyone being so reasonable thought guidelines were a good idea.

    And we all lived happily ever after.

  22. Ogvorbis says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”? Seriously? It’s this sort of name-calling and caricaturing that is fuelling the animosity

    The Slime Pit is the name they have given themselves. It is not name calling, nor is caricaturing. And the name they chose for themselves did not create or fuel the animosity.

    I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

    It is very hard to reason with people who think that ‘Twatson’ is a funny nickname for someone they do not like. It is hard to reason with people who think that an acceptable response when a woman writes or says something they do not like is to threaten her with rape. It is very hard to reason with people who encourage rape culture through jokes and gendered insults.

    People post things in the heat of the moment that they don’t really mean like Nugent is saying. On the internet it looks very permanent. Give people an out to apologize don’t back them into a corner where they feel forced to keep fighting.

    So what do you do when a persons mistake is pointed out and the reaction is doubling down? Do you continue to accomodate? Or call them out in no uncertain terms?

    For the abusive one, the unapologetic rape joke apologists, overt misogynists, egomaniacs etc. don’t deal with them on a one to one basis anymore.

    If I do not respond to rape culture enablers, then I am giving my silent approval to rape jokes, misogyny, sexism and rape culture itself. Silence enables the rape culture.

    I am an atheist. That, in and of itself, is meaningless. Other than seeing no evidence of the existence of gods in any way, shape or form, and a dim view of religion, big fuckig deal. The question is, then, do I, as an atheist, stand by and watch as the toxins of religion — misogyny, homophobia, sexism, rape culture, abuse, patriarchy, racism, othering, etc. — continue in my culture? Or do I actually make a stand, make my atheism a part of my life, and work to end what religion wants to continue?

    If someone declares themselves to be an atheist but continues to support the privilege of white male patriarchy, are they an ally to me? Are they an ally to progress? Or are they reactionaries who have discarded the tithe and the priest but still want all of the advantages of the patriarchy?

    If I, an atheist, am not for human rights then I am, by omission, on the side of those who seek to deny human rights: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and almost every other religion known to humanity.

    I mean that first post was so obviously just a one time, super ironic and sardonic and sarcastic and […], thing and not at all part of a broader trend

    But it is part of a trend. Since Rebecca Watson had the temerity to challenge male privilege by saying, “Don’t do that,” the default position among the reactionary skeptics and atheists is to use misogynistic language and threats in an attempt to silence those fighting for human rights for all humans.,

  23. Ogvorbis says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”? Seriously? It’s this sort of name-calling and caricaturing that is fuelling the animosity

    The Slime Pit is the name they have given themselves. It is not name calling, nor is caricaturing. And the name they chose for themselves did not create or fuel the animosity.

    I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

    It is very hard to reason with people who think that ‘Twatson’ is a funny nickname for someone they do not like. It is hard to reason with people who think that an acceptable response when a woman writes or says something they do not like is to threaten her with rape. It is very hard to reason with people who encourage rape culture through jokes and gendered insults.

  24. Ogvorbis says

    PZ, do you honestly thinks it helps to describe someone as “a known slimepit denizen”? Seriously? It’s this sort of name-calling and caricaturing that is fuelling the animosity

    The Slyme Pit is the name they have given themselves. It is not name calling, nor is caricaturing. And the name they chose for themselves did not create or fuel the animosity.

    I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

    It is very hard to reason with people who think that ‘Tw*tson’ is a funny nickname for someone they do not like. It is hard to reason with people who think that an acceptable response when a woman writes or says something they do not like is to threaten her with rape. It is very hard to reason with people who encourage rape culture through jokes and gendered insults.

    People post things in the heat of the moment that they don’t really mean like Nugent is saying. On the internet it looks very permanent. Give people an out to apologize don’t back them into a corner where they feel forced to keep fighting.

    So what do you do when a persons mistake is pointed out and the reaction is doubling down? Do you continue to accomodate? Or call them out in no uncertain terms?

    For the abusive one, the unapologetic rape joke apologists, overt misogynists, egomaniacs etc. don’t deal with them on a one to one basis anymore.

    If I do not respond to rape culture enablers, then I am giving my silent approval to rape jokes, misogyny, sexism and rape culture itself. Silence enables the rape culture.

    I am an atheist. That, in and of itself, is meaningless. Other than seeing no evidence of the existence of gods in any way, shape or form, and a dim view of religion, big fuckig deal. The question is, then, do I, as an atheist, stand by and watch as the toxins of religion — misogyny, homophobia, sexism, rape culture, abuse, patriarchy, racism, othering, etc. — continue in my culture? Or do I actually make a stand, make my atheism a part of my life, and work to end what religion wants to continue?

    If someone declares themselves to be an atheist but continues to support the privilege of white male patriarchy, are they an ally to me? Are they an ally to progress? Or are they reactionaries who have discarded the tithe and the priest but still want all of the advantages of the patriarchy?

    If I, an atheist, am not for human rights then I am, by omission, on the side of those who seek to deny human rights: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and almost every other religion known to humanity.

    I mean that first post was so obviously just a one time, super ironic and sardonic and sarcastic and […], thing and not at all part of a broader trend

    But it is part of a trend. Since Rebecca Watson had the temerity to challenge male privilege by saying, “Don’t do that,” the default position among the reactionary skeptics and atheists is to use misogynistic language and threats in an attempt to silence those fighting for human rights for all humans.,

  25. says

    @PZ
    Yes. The immature goon rape joke apologists are trolling and have no sincere wish to discuss the issue. But I don’t think every person that disagrees with FTB is trolling.

    I know that FTB wants to advance equal treatment of women. I also know that there have been goons with boorish behavior and a few with outright harassing behavior that have been hurtful.

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side. You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

  26. Matt Penfold says

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side. You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

    If I recall your concept of decent is fluid enough to include Thunderfoot. If you think Thunderfoot is a decent person, you really do need to go away and have a think about what qualifies as decent for you, as something is seriously wrong your judgement otherwise.

  27. Sastra says

    Michael Nugent means well, and hopefully his essay will have some positive effect. However, when the topic is a real flash point, such efforts usually remind me of this.

  28. says

    lilandra,

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side

    Such as? Please provide examples.

    It doesn’t help the cause

    Which cause is this exactly?

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

    @ lilandra

    Please, in the interests of evidence and fair play, please post the “inexcusable behaviour on the part of some of the FTB side.”

    I mean this sincerely, as I don’t merely condemn the slimepitters and Rationalia-ists, I post their actual comments as proof of their attitude and actions.

    One point before you do this: don’t put up the “posted Pappa’s personal info online”. This action was noted by the “Horde”, condemned immediately and multiple times, and the offending post removed within minutes.

    Other than that instance, I am genuinely interested in what you call “inexcusable behavior”.

  30. says

    ogvorbis. There should be a more measured approach. I think it is fine to call out the goons for their behavior. I would just avoid getting into a personal one on one name calling match with them. This is the behavior I would ignore not their ideas. Those are fair game.

  31. Brownian says

    I think the point of Natalie’s comment is that these people are not allies in any meaningful sense of the word. They oppose everything that she considers important; the fact that they’re also atheists is not enough to compensate for their opposition.

    They turn atheism into a granfalloon.

    [Smugly notes that Brownian said much the same thing on the Rationalia thread.]

    We will get chastised for criticizing “fellow atheists” or “fellow skeptics” in this thread. Note that the big tent of friendship and brotherhood doesn’t cover atheists and skeptics with vaginas.

  32. watry says

    @Ogvorbis

    Could I use part of your post @25? You’ve just eloquently said something I’ve been trying to express properly for weeks.

  33. Ogvorbis says

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side.

    Would you care to back that up with some citations? Blog, post, comment, comment number, and the relevant quote?

    You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

    Misogyny, homophobia, sexism, racism, rape culture, patriarchy, and other toxic parts of society are based, partly, in religion. If someone claims to be an atheist, but still wants all the privileges of the patriarchy, are they an ally? Or are they reactionaries who cannot handle the idea that all humans are entitled to human rights, that all humans must be treated as human beings?

    If I am silent while the ‘few who are hurtful’ spew their rape culture propaganda all over this blog, or other places I may hang out on line, I am, by omission, supporting the rape culture. If these are just a hurtful few, it is imperative that those who do not support rape culture speak out loudly, forcefully, and vigourously whenever a rape joke, a rape threat, a gendered insult, gaybashing, or any other writings that seek to marginalize or objectify human beings shows up. If they are a small group, and if enough people who support human rights point out how they are wrong, perhaps we might make some progress.

    Handling them with kid gloves does not work, though. Voting rights, desegregation, an end to slavery, gay rights — all of these have involved people standing up against a culture that accepted it as normal. And the only way to do that is to be loud, forceful, and strong in the face of rape culture.

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

    BTW everyone, I posted the Rationalia comments on the other thread going on right now, and I was accused of being a “rad-fem”. Also of indulging in black-white thinking, not in “shades of grey”. The oxymoronic reply is just a bit much — he indulges in black-white thinking by accusing me of being a “rad-fem” (whatever that is), and accuses me of black-white thinking.

    My mind just reels at the circularity of it all.

  35. says

    The lies of Cormac:

    Myers declared that I and all other members of that community were “rape condoners”.

    on what grounds could it possibly be fair, reasonable, or proportional to label every single member of that group as “rape condoners” due to the post of one person?

    I did not use the word “condone”. I did not accuse every single individual of sympathizing with rape. I pointed out that the forum seemed to be generally in approval of a vile ‘joke’, with only a minority registering unhappiness and the majority of commenters on that thread going along with it. A point that was verified by others looking at the thread.

    And now the Rationalians are making even more disgusting jokes.

    You will understand why I have a very low opinion of that place.

    This led to one of them posting his name, address, and phone number on the website.

    Someone unfamiliar to us, a non-regular, did that, it’s true. And immediately got shouted down by a majority of those commenting on it (funny how the responses of a community tell you something about the values of that community), and I deleted it immediately upon seeing it, and warned the commenter that a repeat would get him banned.

    Imagine if Rationalia had raised their voices and declared the rape ‘joke’ repugnant, and had it deleted. We wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    There is also the rank hypocrisy in Myers noting that donations are solicited to support the running of that site. He suggests that the fellow who posted the “joke” deliberately stoked controversy I order to materially benefit. The hypocrisy is that Myers does personally gain financially from his blog. He stands to benefit from this controversy that he stoked.

    A complete lie. I have no objection to the admins raising money to support their site. I pointed out that it was a poor fund-raising strategy to lead off a plea for contributions with a rape ‘joke’.

    My pointing out the creepy culture fostered at Rationalia did not cause a noticeable uptick in my traffic. It did create an excessively long thread full of rape apologists and liars that was a pain in the ass to maintain.

    And to compound his hypocrisy Myers posted a joke about the Aurora mass murder and about male rape.

    Nope. I made a joke about my trepidation at going into a theater showing the movie — that was a comment on MY baseless fears. I also did not make a joke about male rape: I got into a twitter argument with Paul Provenza, who argued that men guilty of rape deserved to be raped in prison. I strongly disagreed; I asked, to mock his position, if he was going to endorse the position of Official Rapers in prisons, like Official Executioners. That’s not a joke. It’s using ridicule and sarcasm against male rape.

    And that’s what we’re up against when we’re asked to make up and be nice to the assholes on the other side of this Deep Rift.

  36. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    The problem is that even skeptics are subject to the backfire effect. So for the ones that have really dug in their heels, even the most reasonable discussion and calm presenting of facts is only going to make them dig in deeper.

  37. says

    [Smugly notes that Brownian said much the same thing on the Rationalia thread.]

    Jeez, didn’t you notice the title of this thread? We’re in a war with the smug!

  38. Libertarian Atheist says

    @PZ

    I have been an atheist and a libertarian for many years. I do not nor have I ever needed the “permission” to get “on board” with the skeptical movement from some self-righteous professor/blogger with delusions of grandeur.

    I am a libertarian for the same reason that I am an atheist, I have seen through the hollow lies and realize that with respect to both religion and government: the emperor has no clothes, there is no Wizard, the cake is a lie …. Neither force has a magical unquestionable legitimating warrant from which to dictate the terms on which I will live my life.

    I am a member of various atheist and skeptic organizations as an activist primarily to oppose the vile combination of church and state which has historically been humanity’s greatest threat. Again, at no point have I needed the approval of some self-proclaimed atheist big cheese to let me (or the legions of other libertarians) participate in our common goal. Get over yourself.

  39. says

    What Matt is doing is a good example of misrepresentation and unfair personal attacks like Nugent was saying. I posted in this forum that Thunderfoot communicated himself poorly and he has authority issues.

    Yet he will ignore that to say there is something wrong with my personal judgment. Thunderfoot was wrong about a few things, no one was able to persuade him of that in their rush to pwn him. In fact, he was already condemned before he said a word as a racist by some here.

  40. Brownian says

    Jeez, didn’t you notice the title of this thread? We’re in a war with the smug!

    Those who sacrifice smugness for…uh…comments in red text, I guess, deserve neither.

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

    @41. So, you’re a Libertarian. We’re talking about treating women as full human beings. You haven’t noted your agreement or disagreement. WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

    Oh, and about calling PZ someone with “delusions of grandeur”; what the fuck is that? I mean, really, what the fuck is that? Where do you see such delusions? Beyond PZ having a point and defending it with facts — where’s the delusion(s)? I’ll read your post carefully if you answer.

    But I’ll bet you won’t.

  42. Brownian says

    I haven’t had coffee yet. My guess is that I’m going to need a lot for this one.

  43. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I think the point of Natalie’s comment is that these people are not allies in any meaningful sense of the word. They oppose everything that she considers important; the fact that they’re also atheists is not enough to compensate for their opposition.

    And I agree that there are atheists who are not my allies. Slimepit denizens are very often representatives of this category. Being an atheist doesn’t magically make them allies any more than being a white woman makes Phyllis Schlafly my ally.

    Thanks for the clarification. I clearly didn’t understand what Natalie was trying to say.

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

    I’m posting something from over on the Michael Nugent thread. It’s a derail.

    Angela Squires July 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Please get over your problems people. I am both bored and disgusted by this debate in our community; it has gone way beyond reason. Most of us entered the Skeptic Community in the first place to find reason, not a diatribe of I’m right because I say so even though such sentiment is disguised by fancy words. Our economic system is utterly broken, the crooks that did it went unpunished and got financial bailouts courtesy of our tax dollars and you lot are arguing – get a life!

    IOW, “Talk about what I am interested in, or STFU!”

  45. Paul says

    I would just avoid getting into a personal one on one name calling match with them.

    slymer: Is it moral to rape a skepchick if it’s not a sexual thing? They’re REALLY annoying.

    FTB: You’re a disgusting excuse for a human being.

    This is your idea of “personal one on one name calling”?

    This false equivocation is utterly disgusting. Epithets can be appropriate.

  46. Ogvorbis says

    ogvorbis. There should be a more measured approach. I think it is fine to call out the goons for their behavior. I would just avoid getting into a personal one on one name calling match with them. This is the behavior I would ignore not their ideas. Those are fair game.

    So calling a person who has repeatedly called for the rape of a woman to punish her for making an observation and mild suggestion a vile misogynist is bad?

    Could I use part of your post @25? You’ve just eloquently said something I’ve been trying to express properly for weeks.

    I have no problem with it. Once it is up here, though, I think it belongs to FTB.

  47. says

    before I get into the argument that I can already see has erupted in the comments, let me share the clever* thought that just came to me reading this post:

    the word is “progressive”, not “progressed”. We’re supposed to keep on progressing, not stop and declare ourselves sufficiently progressed and focus all our time on getting all those un-progressed people to catch up to us**.

    So: where’s my breakfast cookie? I think I deserve one for this brilliant insight.
    – – – – – – –
    *read: spawned by a brain that is overtired and verging on insomniac
    **especially considering a lot of them are probably more progressed than we are on other topics.

  48. mythbri says

    I really liked Michael’s post, and I said so in a comment that I left there.

    I like the idea of being part of multiple movements. I like the idea that my feminism can inform my skepticism (after all, feminism is a skeptical reaction to the notion that women are inherently inferior to men). I like the idea that my desire for marriage equality can inform my desire for real separation of church and state. I like the idea that my interest and fondness for science and its methods can inform my desire to fight racism, homophobia, trans*phobia, ableism,sexism and classicism. I like the idea that societal progress on so many fronts can be achieved by combining the fundamental principles of many different movements and applying them. It’s like each movement is a robot that can combine to form the Voltron of a more just and equal society! How awesome is that? There is amazing potential for everyone in the skeptic/atheist/secular movement to become a positive force in the world.

    It’s hard, though, when you see people that should know better to fall prey to irrationality and hyper-skepticism. It’s hard to see them minimize the experience – and in some cases, the existence or humanity – of less privileged groups. I know how hard it is be aware of privilege and work to keep it from coloring your perception of other people’s experiences, but it is possible. It takes work, and empathy, and some serious thinking. It takes re-examining what you thought were truths about the way life is, and realizing that you’ve got to shift your thinking to accommodate new information. It’s hard to do. We should know that, as skeptics and atheists. How many people do we know that cling to religions they don’t really believe just so that they can stay comfortable? Clinging to the dogma of a non-existent god isn’t all that different than clinging to the prejudices of a backward society.

    As things are now, if these DEEEEEEEP RIIIIIIFTS get to the point where I’m forced to choose between identifying as a skeptic/atheist, and identifying as a feminist, I will choose the latter, no question. I have been a woman my entire life. A pretty privileged woman, in fact. But the crap leveled at me because I am a woman outweighs by far the crap leveled at me because I am an atheist.

    TL;DR

    Feminism and skepticism/atheisim are not mutually exclusive identities unless they are made to be.

  49. says

    …of course the smug are sitting there incredulous, resentful that we aren’t content just to applaud those who made that first effort, and laud them as heroes. They want a cookie right now just for being atheists.

    This.

    I run a skeptics group. Due to the horrific behavior I have seen online and IRL in the last year, I realized I was lulled into a naive state of mind about my fellow skeptics/atheists. I have awoken from my slumber.

    I realized we must keep moving forward or die. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony where folks just pat themselves on the back but aren’t willing to figure out things that are psychologically challenging or mean they must actually admit to their privileges. (And thanks for giving me a more profound understanding of these issues.)

    I am currently figuring out how to really change my group. I have concluded: a) Atheism and religion in society must be integrated and treated the same as any other skeptical issue in my group, i.e. not with kid gloves and attacked head-on. b) Skepticism is discipline of humility not a badge of accomplishment. We must be committed to pointing skepticism inward to our own ideas and behavior.

    And c)I hold firm that skepticism should not abandon attacking traditional targets of skeptics. That said, maintaining passionate people needs our mental calculus to be linked to ethical issues that we care about in the real world. Much of traditional skepticism addresses real harm. My husband, for example lost $1,700 to a psychic. However, religion as well as just our irrational culture hurts gays, racial minorities and women, but this is not a traditional sphere of skepticism. Why not? I don’t want skepticism to be merely an intellectual exercise for my members or it will be just a hobby with no more impact on society than the model train enthusiasts movement. (My apologies if you like model trains. :) )

    I’m lucky I already have a group in which I have the power to steer the wheel and move forward. I am lucky I have my husband and members who help me. I want a skeptical woman in my town to see that her local group is run by a woman who gives a shit and not be afraid to join. If I were dependent on stagnant groups not willing to reach out its comfort zone, ( sort of post-new atheism/skepticism; Skepticism Nouveau?) I would be in danger of losing all enthusiasm and only kept afloat mentally by people like those on FTB, Skepchick and the ACA. Thank you FTBers and commenters, you keep me sane, and that will help my group and our local community! (And when I read Silverman’s statemnt, I immediately got a family membership.)

  50. consciousness razor says

    But I don’t think every person that disagrees with FTB is trolling.

    How does one agree or disagree with FTB? It’s a blog network. So what does this even mean?

    I know that FTB wants to advance equal treatment of women.

    Again: a blog network, not a person. It cannot want anything. Maybe this would’ve been a more useful comment if you had said something specific and which also made a bit of sense.

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side.

    Like what? See above.

  51. says

    In fact, he was already condemned before he said a word as a racist by some here.

    Why on earth should I believe you when you say that? (A hint: on the internet, there’s this thing called a link)

  52. says

    As in the discussions we have had over the last couple of years about accommodationists, one of the main problems is that what we see is a call to be “fair and balanced” in a sense. Since those two concepts are inherently contradictory, what we’re really seeing is a call for the people who are on the right side of the issue to cede some ground to the people who are wrong, and for the people on the wrong side to… well, try to be wrong in less obnoxious ways, but don’t put yourself out. In this case, it is asking feminists to tolerate sexism more politely which is wrong no matter what the other side is asked to do because no amount of sexism in appropriate.

    As anti-progressives, the “other side” is exploiting the progressive values of free speech and respect for others in order to muddy the waters and make strong condemnation of their behavior more difficult. They don’t actually care about those things, but they know that we do care and that by invoking them they can potentially divide us. They know that there are progressives that will take their side if they frame it as a context-removed free speech issue or claim that we’re being unfairly abusive to them, as opposed to taking their actions and the consequences of those actions seriously.

  53. says

    As anti-progressives, the “other side” is exploiting the progressive values of free speech

    This free speech thing is really getting to me. Thunderf00t made yet another youtube video about PZ where he went on and on and on again about how much he loves free speech and academic freedom. How are people so utterly stupid and ignorant of what “free speech” actually means.

  54. consciousness razor says

    ogvorbis. There should be a more measured approach. I think it is fine to call out the goons for their behavior. I would just avoid getting into a personal one on one name calling match with them. This is the behavior I would ignore not their ideas. Those are fair game.

    So you’re above getting into a “one on one name calling match” with goons, but not above calling them names like “goons.” If this is a measured approach, what exactly are we measuring? How little you want to deal with people one-on-one?

  55. Brownian says

    In fact, he was already condemned before he said a word as a racist by some here.

    Untrue. He was described as racist based on some of his previous comments and videos on Muslims. Not before ‘he said a word’.

  56. says

    Jadehawk:

    the word is “progressive”, not “progressed”. We’re supposed to keep on progressing, not stop and declare ourselves sufficiently progressed and focus all our time on getting all those un-progressed people to catch up to us**.

    Here’s your cookie. Imma have to get more coffee. You’re absolutely right. The whole point is to keep learning, to keep growing, to keep up with change. Remaining static should not be a goal, and it certainly shouldn’t be held up as some great, good thing.

    It was a short while ago that I was taken aback by something Abbie Smith wrote. She was complaining, bitterly, that some years ago on Sciborg, in a backchannel chat which apparently brought up sexism to some degree, that PZ didn’t have anything to say. She seemed to think that PZ speaking up now, frequently, on sexism issues was hypocritical because he didn’t do it X years ago. Seems to me it illustrates personal growth and awareness rather well.

    We really are coming at this from polar viewpoints. We see growth, change and awareness as good things, they view it as hypocrisy.

  57. Steve LaBonne says

    Ayn Rand was an atheist, and Karl Rove is an atheist. Atheism on its own is merely an absence of a certain class of beliefs and signifies nothing at all about the value of a person’s other ideas which, as in the above cases, can perfectly well be vile.

  58. says

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation. Lead with a sucker punch that is a good way to reason with someone.

    If Natalie meant that she doesn’t need to ally with rape joke apologists she is right. If she means everyone who disagrees with FTB, I am simply advocating to reason with them and stop the name calling right out of the gates.

  59. says

    In this case, it is asking feminists to tolerate sexism more politely which is wrong no matter what the other side is asked to do because no amount of sexism in appropriate.

    And this completely parallels the new atheist/accomodationist rift and it should be so completely obvious. But it’s not to a shameful number of people. Just like the typical atheist has zero difficulty understanding the idea of Christian or religious privilege ( I discuss it ad nauseum with people IRL), but people who champion themselves as strong thinkers can’t transfer this to another situation? *face palm*

  60. consciousness razor says

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation.

    Yep, you certainfuckingly do need to do that.

  61. CT says

    lilandra:

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation. Lead with a sucker punch that is a good way to reason with someone.

    lilandra, please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that you disagree with the strong language that some use to defend their positions. You appear to not like ‘cussing’ and such to be used because that seems to disenfranchise the person being ‘cussed’ at instead of using a reasoned, calm approach that might not upset them. Is that essentially what you’re speaking of? Because you’re confusing the fuck out of me otherwise. pardon my klingon.

  62. says

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation. Lead with a sucker punch that is a good way to reason with someone.

    You claimed many things, none of which was “some people on Pharyngula swear.” So your poor attempt at changing the subject has been noted and ignored.

    Please provide links for the claims you actually made, none of which were “some folks on Pharyngula use the f-word!”

  63. Brownian says

    Yep, you certainfuckingly do need to do that.

    Hmm, let’s try her approach:

    “lilandra, pretty please, with a cherry on top, could you please back up your assertions with evidence?”

  64. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    I’ve stolen this phrase before, and I’m stealing it again: my atheism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

  65. says

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me.

    I don’t think I did. I asked you to provide evidence for your claim of “inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side”. If you make such a claim, you should be able to back it up.

  66. mythbri says

    @lilandra

    If Natalie meant that she doesn’t need to ally with rape joke apologists she is right. If she means everyone who disagrees with FTB, I am simply advocating to reason with them and stop the name calling right out of the gates.

    Then wouldn’t Natalie be the appropriate person to speak to about clarifying the meaning behind what she could fit into a 140-character Tweet?

    I’ve been following a lot of this conversation. Many people, not just the FTB bloggers, have been putting together link trails and transcripts of videos to make it easier for people to follow along. There have been people outside of the FTB network who have disagreed with some particulars, and civil conversations have been had. But when someone disagrees with the very premise of a conversation and attempts to silence said conversation, then how can they be reasoned with?

  67. says

    A helpful list:

    (1) However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side.

    (2) In fact, he was already condemned before he said a word as a racist by some here.

    Unless using “fuck” is inexcusable behavior, you’ve gotten nowhere towards justifying these.

  68. says

    Now, the quote may be missing context, and if Natalie’s comment in context meant:

    unfortunately, what it actually meant was a sentiment of disgust with trying to bring (trans)feminism into skepticism/atheism. She said she’s thinking it would be better for her to try to bring skepticism to (trans)feminism instead, because then at least she would be treated like a human being. At least that’s how I understood that conversation.

    I’d be really pissed off at the haters if they really succeeded to deprive the atheist/skeptic movement of a wonderful and insightful voice like hers, but as I told her on twitter, it would be fully understandable.

    I don’t agree with Natalie on giving up on potential allies. I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

    jesus fucking christ. as if she hasn’t been doing that since day one? as if all the other skepchicks haven’t been doing that, only to earn themselves even bigger levels of harassment and bullshittery?

    Don’t fucking imply Natalie would be giving up on atheists before even trying to talk to them, because that would be a huge reeking pile of toxic bullshit.

    If you tried reasoning and debate and this doesn’t work agree to disagree with someone who is not abusive in their behavior.

    “let’s agree to disagree about whether I should be treated like a human”? WHAT? Did you even read the tweet you’re supposedly disagreeing with?

    I am a libertarian for the same reason that I am an atheist,

    you like being a smug asshole and prefer not to deal with the problems of those who suffer from structural injustice?

    odd reason to be an atheist, that.

  69. Ogvorbis says

    Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation.

    If you are going to make the claim that members of the Horde here at Pharyngula are just as vile as members of the slime pit, yes. You do.

    And tone trolling? Really?

  70. says

    lilandra, you’ve been dishonest at least once in this thread, and made very strong and unfounded accusations about the behavior of people here, and dishonesty and unfounded accusations are more rude than using the would “fucking”. Why don’t you climb down off your high horse and stop pretending that using civil language to rude ends makes you less rude and an unfair target for rudeness that YOU started?

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

    AAaanddd . . . . in Michael Nugent thread, Elevatorgate is being played out AGAIN. (RW is hysterical, blah, blah, barf!) Will the Zombie Lies ever stop?

  72. says

    I’ll give you a good example of what I am talking about by not engaging in personal attacks like Nugent warned and leave this discussion unpersuaded that you are right to cuss at people indiscriminately rather than be sworn at by multiple posters.

  73. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    If she means everyone who disagrees with FTB, I am simply advocating to reason with them and stop the name calling right out of the gates.

    What is it with you? Who is this FtB that has an opinion? You do know your husband has a blog on FtB, right?

  74. says

    If Natalie meant that she doesn’t need to ally with rape joke apologists she is right. If she means everyone who disagrees with FTB, I am simply advocating to reason with them and stop the name calling right out of the gates.

    does “everyone who disagrees with FTB” not treat trans women like human beings? no? then it’s rather obvious what Natalie meant.

    again, did you even fucking read what you’re disagreeing with? she very specifically said she doesn’t want to ally herself with people who dehumanize her

  75. says

    And let me say again: why is it our responsibility to politely reason with people who are calling women “b*tches” and “c*nts”? Why don’t some of you take your tone-trolling to the bullies, instead of scolding their targets for not accepting their abuse with more grace and polite language?

  76. Matt Penfold says

    What Matt is doing is a good example of misrepresentation and unfair personal attacks like Nugent was saying. I posted in this forum that Thunderfoot communicated himself poorly and he has authority issues.

    Yet he will ignore that to say there is something wrong with my personal judgment. Thunderfoot was wrong about a few things, no one was able to persuade him of that in their rush to pwn him. In fact, he was already condemned before he said a word as a racist by some here.

    You know very well what you wrote, and it is quite dishonest of you to mischaracterize it as you have.

    For example you have said this:

    He is trying to communicate disagreement with the way harassment is handled at conferences. He botches that in some of his language like saying it is not a problem at conventions. At most that is what he is guilty of. From what I know of him he is not defending his privilege to harass women as some have said. He would be mortified if something he did upset a woman.

    We know he is not mortified is upsets women, because he has done repeatedly and not only has he shown no regret, he seems intent on adding to the upset.

    We also know he is guilty of far more than just communicating poorly. He clearly has no regard for women, or their safety.

    That too me looks like you are defending him from accusations of sexism and misogyny on the grounds he is simply bad at saying what he really means. Of course, he did mean what he said so your defence was pointless and misplaced.

    It does your argument no good at all if you are not honest about what have said. You claim you want to try and get. You can start by acknowledging your misrepresented what you said, and apologising.

  77. says

    lilandra is referring to the fact that even before he put up his first post, but after we’d approved his blog, thunderf00t was attacked on our super-secret mysterious back-channel (which I’m not telling you about) as a racist. She knows some of the inside stuff, and she’s speaking the truth. He really had cause to come in with a chip on his shoulder.

    I tried to give him a chance, actually. We had discussions about booting him after his third post — he clearly had a great deal of animosity against FtB, and wasn’t going to be a friendly member of the team (for all his raving about ‘academic freedom’, which doesn’t apply, he seems to always leave out that ‘collegiality’ criterion which is so important in tenure decisions). You’re all going to hate me for this, but I actually argued to give him a little more time, he’d get off this angry I-hate-FtB kick, and start contributing.

    I was wrong, as tf00t quickly demonstrated with more irrational rants, and then I went along with the admin team and gave him the axe.

    Also, I should say that for all his fixation on me, his eviction was a unanimous decision by a small group of bloggers in charge of management here. I was just the enforcer. Because I wield the biggest cyberpistol and most brutal banhammer, and I don’t mind the bloody work.

    But no, tf00t was given an opportunity, and he blew it. It also didn’t help that he ignored attempts to discuss the matter, and let urgent emails sail by neglectfully.

  78. says

    Lilandra:

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation. Lead with a sucker punch that is a good way to reason with someone.

    If you expect to have fruitful discussion here, it would be ever so helpful if you lost your fixation on cussing and/or tone and focused it on substance.

    Yes, you will be expected to provide evidence for your assertions. People here will gladly provide citations and evidence for what they are claiming. If you make a claim here, be prepared to back it up.

    That is not a “sucker punch”. It’s what critical thinkers are expected to do. We aren’t here to baby you, nor to coddle you into a way of thinking about something. We expect you can already manage to think for yourself and think critically.

  79. says

    Why on earth should I believe you when you say that? (A hint: on the internet, there’s this thing called a link)

    the “condemned as racist before he even said a word” in reality was “has already been known from his videos by many commenters to be severely prejudiced against Muslims”

    FYI

  80. Brownian says

    I’ll give you a good example of what I am talking about by not engaging in personal attacks like Nugent warned and leave this discussion unpersuaded that you are right to cuss at people indiscriminately rather than be sworn at by multiple posters.

    And you still haven’t provided any evidence for your claims.

    That is not a good example.

  81. kassad says

    Ayn Rand was an atheist, and Karl Rove is an atheist.

    And Ayn Rand is even one of the most famous atheist in american history so, this is worth remembering…

    Without any context whatsoever, sure I’d say atheist is better than believer. But there is so much factors that could make a person horrible and atheist, and sexism and racism are so common, that frankly it is not the main criterion on which I appreciate a person, far from it.

    This is maybe because atheism is still a small and badly treated minority in the US that there is so much calls for a “united” community, but associating yourself with other people just because they don’t believe in the supernatural always seemed a little weird to me.

  82. Matt Penfold says

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation. Lead with a sucker punch that is a good way to reason with someone.

    Sorry, but you have been less than honest on this thread(1). Can you explain to me why you think dishonest on your part is acceptable but saying fuck is not ?

    Seriosuly, if you really think that (and it seems you do) you have some seriously screwed up values.

    1. You know you lied, and we know, so do not embarrass us all by pretending otherwise.

  83. devoniansplit says

    This supposed war seems both trifling and an outrageous waste of resources. Whether you like it or not; we need the moderates and the fence sitters on our side if we are going to move forward in any meaningful sense. Without them we simply do not possess the requisite numbers to make a substantial difference in our society. We don’t need the misogynistic rape apologizes – they can fuck off, however; we need the rest of them. I frequent other online communities that – best I can tell – have a sizeable portion of their audience unwilling to overlap their feelings of gender equality with their feelings of irreligiosity – they feel that – “it isn’t the place.” Many of them, I suspect, feel quite strongly about feminism and equal rights but feel that way in a separate domain. Burgeoning movements require solidarity to thrive – not solidarity with bigots and women-haters – but solidarity with those who aren’t immensely interested in mixing two separate movements. PZ, if you keep it up; I fear we may lose a very different – though much larger – war.

  84. says

    Do not ask Lilandra to back up the argument that tf00t was attacked before posting. That was on our backchannel, which is supposed to be secret, and I’ve already said more than I should. But she can’t reveal any of those emails, because they are CONFIDENTIAL.

    But I will vouch for the accuracy of that comment.

  85. Brownian says

    Who is lilandra’s husband?

    I only ask so that we’re all privy to the same information, not to judge either lilandra or her husband by the comments made by spouses.

  86. says

    Let’s also not forget that TF has a history of making anti-Muslim videos that echo the rhetoric of the most virulent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigots. He’s already been rejected by a pretty wide swath of atheists/skeptics as far as I’ve seen. At least a few of us were surprised by his inclusion here based on that. So to erase his history and the reasons he has been negatively judged is dishonest bullshit.

    Oh no, Lilandra won’t be able to read or understand what I wrote because I used grown-up language. I should have typed “bull-poopy” or “bull-caca” or some shit like that.

  87. Sastra says

    consciousness razor #54 wrote:

    How does one agree or disagree with FTB? It’s a blog network. So what does this even mean?

    QFT. And I think this problem — assuming a Borg mentality among the “other side” — extends the controversy and makes it hard to get anywhere. Too many times the complainers are not specific about what they’re complaining about. And, when they are specific, they’re not specific enough because they lost context or nuance or something else critical to understanding the person’s point.

    Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science site sells a t-shirt saying “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.” I bet everyone wants that one. It usually is more complicated than we think. Not everyone, however, is on a fact-finding mission … a least, not as much as they think they are. I think.

    Amidst the pro-feminism vs. anti-feminism dispute are several other disputes getting caught up and entangled, including feminism vs. feminism. Arguments over who is the REAL feminist can get tedious and annoying — but at least they’re marginally better than the outright misogynist attacks.

  88. Brownian says

    Do not ask Lilandra to back up the argument that tf00t was attacked before posting. That was on our backchannel, which is supposed to be secret, and I’ve already said more than I should. But she can’t reveal any of those emails, because they are CONFIDENTIAL.
    But I will vouch for the accuracy of that comment.

    Fair enough. We’d guessed at what she was referring to, though not that the comments were made in the backchannel.

    Nonetheless, it’s hardly fair of her to mention backchannel evidence without stipulating that it’s evidence she cannot provide, and then expect the commentariat to deal with those criticisms.

  89. Matt Penfold says

    Let’s also not forget that TF has a history of making anti-Muslim videos that echo the rhetoric of the most virulent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigots. He’s already been rejected by a pretty wide swath of atheists/skeptics as far as I’ve seen. At least a few of us were surprised by his inclusion here based on that. So to erase his history and the reasons he has been negatively judged is dishonest bullshit.

    So whilst it is true he was called a racist in the back-channel, it seems (depending on the context) it well have been an accurate description of him.

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

    @devonian.

    I’m old enough to remember the Civil Rights struggle. Your attitude reminds me of the “Oh, goodness me! I don’t believe Negroes should be lynched! That’s terrible and uncivilized and discriminatory. But they really shouldn’t marry whites; they should stay to their own kind, and so should we.”

    Umm, no.

    “C’mon in, you’re only moderately misogynistic! We’ll let you keep your ‘little woman’ jokes as long as you’re on our side otherwise.”

    Umm, no.

    We’ve gone past that stage.

    Woman are to be treated as full human beings. Stop. Period. No compromise.

  91. says

    devoniansplit:

    Many of them, I suspect, feel quite strongly about feminism and equal rights but feel that way in a separate domain.

    This would be a point of contention, right here. We don’t happen to think they are a separate domain. As a woman, I expect to be treated as a full human being. Imagine that! What’s going on right fucking now in our so-called communities is a slithering, slimy mass of people who are much more comfortable ignoring social justice issues, especially those pertaining to women and GLBT peoples. I’m under both of those umbrellas, by the way. Do you honestly expect me to be all happiness and light while there are masses of rape “jokes”, rape threats, harassment, and vile statements made every day?

    Am I supposed to be all happiness and light while the attitude of bitches ain’t shit and what’s the matter with those hysterical cunts prevail? No, I will not do that. I will not be silenced.

    If you think I’m content to just hang out while people slowly “get the idea” and reach awareness on their own, disabuse yourself of that idiot notion right now. I’m not.

  92. consciousness razor says

    I’ll give you a good example of what I am talking about by not engaging in personal attacks like Nugent warned and leave this discussion unpersuaded that you are right to cuss at people indiscriminately rather than be sworn at by multiple posters.

    It’s not often atheists see evidence of a prophesy being fulfilled. You have a gift!

  93. says

    nd leave this discussion

    so that’s a “no” on providing some evidence for your assertions, or acknowledging the fucked-up things you implied about Natalie?

    intellectual cowardice.

    thunderf00t was attacked on our super-secret mysterious back-channel (which I’m not telling you about) as a racist.

    not sure if sarcasm.

    but if not, well… obvs I didn’t know about that when I posted my last comment (but I’m still betting it was about his anti-Muslim videos, and if so, it wouldn’t have been people pre-judging him before he ever said anything; it would have been people judging him on his previous work)

  94. says

    Has anyone been to tfoots new blog? He keeps sending traffic my way through it, but I don’t want to bother if its more of the same (I had enough of that when greylining called me a nazi repeatedly).

  95. says

    Cormac on that thread saying something really telling:

    I never asked to be part of their community. They came to mine.

    Yeah, because it’s his community, and women are only interlopers unless they fluff him and the other dudebros.

    Funkyderek, thanks for your concern. Let me guess, you also think it’s “fuelling the animosity” over abortion to refer to opponents as “anti-choice,” right, let alone “fetus-huggers” or “forced-birthers”?

    Lilandra:

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side.

    Oh, right, I remember you being all Chill Girl™ in the original thread on Thunderd0uche. Take your fucking tone trolling elsewhere.

    On a side note, it makes me sad that you’re a teacher, because if there’s anything kids don’t need it’s yet another adult in their lives who thinks that standing up to bullying is “inexcusable behavior.”

    Maybe you ought to listen to Caine at #84. Learning how to argue with substance might actually be helpful to you in your line of work.

    Libertarian Atheist:

    I am a libertarian for the same reason that I am an atheist because I’m a privileged shitmuffin who doesn’t really care if me vaunted “principles” don’t work in the real world for the vast majority of people, including probably myself.

    “The war of the smug,” indeed.

    Devoniansplit:

    This supposed war seems both trifling and an outrageous waste of resources. [snip]

    IOW, bitchez ain’t shit. Thanks for your contribution.

  96. Ogvorbis says

    I’ll give you a good example of what I am talking about by not engaging in personal attacks like Nugent warned and leave this discussion unpersuaded that you are right to cuss at people indiscriminately rather than be sworn at by multiple posters.

    Really? You show up here, drop a strong accusation:

    Yes. The immature goon rape joke apologists are trolling and have no sincere wish to discuss the issue. But I don’t think every person that disagrees with FTB is trolling.

    I know that FTB wants to advance equal treatment of women. I also know that there have been goons with boorish behavior and a few with outright harassing behavior that have been hurtful.

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side. You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

    and, when asked to back up your accusation of inexcusable behaviour on the part of some on the FTB side, you choose, instead, to fucking concentrate on a fucking modifier rather than fucking backing up your fucking assertions? What, we use adult language here? Is that what makes us so inexcusable? Sometimes using an objectionable word is exactly what is needed.

    So, what is worse? Dropping in with a blanket accusation, refusing, despite multiple requests from multiple people, to back up the accusation in any way shape or form, and then flouncing because of a ‘fuck’? Or letting loose the occasional ‘fuck’ in a conversation that is trying to get somewhere? Apparently, to you, swearing is far worse than baseless accusations. So, what iis it, substance or tone? Me, I prefer substance. So please substantiate your accusation.

    This supposed war seems both trifling and an outrageous waste of resources.

    You find the fight against misogyny, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, racism, bigotry to be an outrageous waste of time? Gender discrimination is part and parcel to organized religion. The fight for human rights is part and parcel to the fight against religion. How can you possibly separate them? How can the fight for human rights, human dignity, be an outrageous waste of time?

    Do not ask Lilandra to back up the argument that tf00t was attacked before posting.

    That was the ‘inexcusable behaviour’? Sorry.

  97. madphd says

    I’m guessing someone has said this before, but it seems to me we as a community are moving beyond the initial concerns that brought us together. Namely, there is no evidence for god(s) or the supernatural. And maybe it would be more accurate to say that we are not moving beyond these concerns, but expanding to included others, namely ethics. I think this is a good thing. Over the last two years, as I’ve watched my toddler grow, I wondered where I would go to help her learn right from wrong… to help her learn what is and isn’t ethical. Of course these are things that my wife and I will teach her. But I am just one man and know far from everything. I’ve often thought that these are issues that should be taught, discussed, and debated within a community. I am glad that this community is doing so.

  98. says

    What Sastra said.

    FtB is a blog network, but we don’t just let people in because they say they are an atheist. We let people in because the small group that bootstrapped it into existence like what they say. There is some diversity of opinion on what is the ‘mission’ of FtB (we don’t have one!), but I think a neutral observer would look at this self-selected mob of bloggers and say that they are

    liberal and social progressives to varying degrees
    focused on atheism and equality, or equality and atheism
    opinionated and argumentative
    falling on the so-called ‘militant’ side of the atheist spectrum

    So when people say they disagree or agree with FtB, I think what they’re saying is that they have opinions on that constellation of attributes.

    And that’s OK. It is what we are and will continue to be.

  99. says

    @PZ Thank you. At one time I was a creationist and I was wrong. I wasn’t persuaded by insults I was wrong. I was persuaded by evidence. My own husband provided evidence with other online posters. Funny thing he once posted that I would run away from reason like other creationists like a vampire shuns the daylight. He had many experiences like that, and you can get calloused that way. I was confident enough in my own intelligence to ignore the insults from some of the posters and listen to evidence. Your position that there is sexism in our community can be backed up with evidence. There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence. Hostile presentation is not helpful in that goal. Not that that is what you personally are doing.

  100. says

    Has anyone been to tfoots new blog? He keeps sending traffic my way through it, but I don’t want to bother if its more of the same (I had enough of that when greylining called me a nazi repeatedly).

    I have, one. it was not pleasant, nor was it informative. not planning on going back. even if he ever stops obsessing about Teh Ebil FTBullies, he’ll probably just go back to making fun of creationists and hating on Muslims. I can live without the latter, and I get my fill of the former here.

  101. Matt Penfold says

    Has Lilandra run away ?

    How cowardly of her. I guess expecting to have the decency to apologise for her dishonesty is a bit hopeful now.

    This is really an example of Mooney’s law isn’t it ? She came here to tell us all to be polite, and ended up being the rudest fucker here.

  102. says

    Who is lilandra’s husband?

    Aron Ra.

    Do not ask Lilandra to back up the argument that tf00t was attacked before posting. That was on our backchannel, which is supposed to be secret, and I’ve already said more than I should.

    It’s complicated, huh. Okay then. Maybe she should have kept it secret then, too.

  103. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    As annoying as I find it when someone injects their Mad Diplomacy Skillz into a pitched battle, I understand what Michael’s trying to do and I appreciate his good intentions. I can’t help thinking, though, that maybe he doesn’t truly grok that “the other side” isn’t coming to this conversation in good faith. They don’t want the same things that we progressives do. They don’t care about feminism.

  104. says

    devoniansplit

    This supposed war seems both trifling and an outrageous waste of resources.

    “Dear Muslima…”

    My atheism became active because of social justice issues. What the hell would be the point in lessening or getting rid of religioulsy based bigotry if it merely gets replaced non-religious bigotry? A pile of manure by any other name would smell as rank.

    You may feel that this is a waste of resources, but to me, this is the same shit that got me into active atheism in the first place.

  105. Ogvorbis says

    I was confident enough in my own intelligence to ignore the insults from some of the posters and listen to evidence.

    Please point to the insults. Yes, swear words were used in comments, but where was it an actual insult to you?

  106. poxed says

    I think to characterize anyone who does not agree with adding more progressive values to the movement of atheism as scum and essentially that they are stupid is absolutely ridiculous. I realize that many do not want such a thing because of misogynistic, racist, and other such reasons. However, it is not as though that is the only possible reason for not supporting this snowballing of values. I personally am not certain that adding such things to the movement is a good idea, at least I have not been convinced it should happen, and in as much as I am aware it has nothing to do with being anti those values. Firstly, I do not know if it is a good idea to give the atheist movement an exclusive, progressive political agenda and philosophy. I Know it could conceivably make the movement stronger by joining forces with other movements that most people in the community are likely associated with anyways but I do not think it is right to make progressive philosophy a prerequisite for being in the community. I know it is a shame that a skeptical thinker on religion may not have reached similar conclusions on other social matters but the answer is not to basically tell them to fuck off if they cant adopt atheist politics and philosophy because they are an atheist. I am ok with the movement fighting something like female genital mutilation or all the harassment at the conferences but because they are directly related to the movement; in the first case the mutilation is carried out due to very anti-woman religious beliefs and in the second all people should be able to attend events and without worry that they will suffer harassment where others do not, that the law should be upheld. I suppose I just have some reservations about snowballing correlated progressive values into the larger body of atheism for fear of exclusion, the movement losing focus and becoming more of a liberal philosophy than a movement dealing with the damage caused by religion, secularism not being upheld, and for standing up for the rights of nonbelievers. Perhaps the unity needs some sort of moral backdrop to create a real sense of solidarity and community and that it will ultimately will be a good thing but in the mean time I’d like to think I am not scum for having some doubts and I am certainly not racist or a misogynist or otherwise exclusive of any group from atheism.

  107. says

    Ogvorbis I was speaking of another forum where I started off as a creationist and how I was persuaded I was wrong. I think that was clear if you read the entire post.

  108. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence. Hostile presentation is not helpful in that goal.

    I know you hate this and don’t want to acknowledge it, but Thunderfoot is well aware of the evidence. It simply is not a matter of educating him. And it has nothing to do with “hostile” presentation. That’s an excuse you’re letting him hide behind. It also sounds very school-teachery, which makes me wonder: is this what bullied kids can expect from you? Tut tutting over justified anger and pleas for understanding toward the shit heads?

    Sooner or later I hope you wake up to the fact that someone you desperately want to see as a fundamentally good person just might not be in ways that really count.

  109. mythbri says

    @lilandra

    It’s hard not to be hostile when you feel like you’re under attack. The disproportionate responses to women in the community making extremely minor and acceptable requests for a reasonable standard of behavior is irrational. At what point amongst that disproportionate response are people allowed to let the gloves come off and move from “polite” to “hostile”?

    Hostile words, anger, and swears are not valid reasons, in and of themselves, to reject the arguments they accompany. Those things are only useless when used in place of an argument, not when they augment an argument. If people allow themselves to reject an argument purely on the basis of “tone”, then they are doing themselves a disservice, and denying themselves insight and knowledge.

  110. says

    lilandra

    @PZ Thank you. At one time I was a creationist and I was wrong. I wasn’t persuaded by insults I was wrong. I was persuaded by evidence.

    Then you should understand perfectly why people want evidence of the accusations you made earlier in the thread about unacceptable behavior on the part of people at FTB.

  111. says

    There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence. Hostile presentation is not helpful in that goal.

    and there are other people like the lurkers that de-lurk on a regular basis to tell us that a cluebat to the forehead was exactly what they needed to penetrate the comfy insulation of privilege around their brains.

    different methods work on different folks. Which is why we need both the Sastras and the Caines. What we don’t need is people who insist there’s only One True Way to get through to people, and all other people are Doing It Wrong. We get enough of this shit from Mooney and friends.

  112. says

    I personally am not certain that adding such things to the movement is a good idea

    Nothing like a good argument from personal incredulity.

  113. Matt Penfold says

    There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence. Hostile presentation is not helpful in that goal.

    There is no way he cannot be aware of the evidence. Again, you are defending him.

    Oh, and since you want us to be so polite, any chance of you actually being so and addressing your lack of honesty ? Only not being honest is not very polite you know. It really does seem like you operate double standards.

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

    Cormac, on the Nugent thread, has weighed in.

    Note that I have not defended anything about that rape joke.

    You have defended it by not condemning it.

    Had I seen that post before Myers created the scandal,

    WHAT?? Myers notes that the joke is creepy, enabling of people who do rape/think rape is acceptable. And HE creates the scandal? What kind of fucking upside-down world does Cormac live in?

    I would have done one of two things:

    1. Ignored it, because I thought it was a stupid thing to say and something to which I did not want to add.

    Here’s at least something substantive. Cormac et al. don’t think that a statement like that is not bad enough to comment on. Fair enough. I think that point of view is stupid, but there are the two camps.

    2. Posted to say that I thought it was not a nice thing to say even in an attempt at satire.

    Okay.

    I did neither because I was not aware of the post at all.

    Until PZ made it a “scandal”. And then you did 1) by default. Not doing anything. Consistent.

    Incidentally, the quotes mined above are from a thread in which people are hamming up the false characters that are being declared foe the by those on Myers blog.

    Ah, yes, the “It’s just a joke/series of jokes” excuse. Again. It’s just an opportunity for these jerks to display an adolescent level of non-empathy. Woo-hooo! I’m an immature jerk! And so are my friends! BUT YOU MUST RESPECT US AND NOT CRITICIZE US!! OR ELSE!!!!

    Noone on Rationalia condones rape. It is defamatory to say that they do.

    Back it up. Get a lawyer to parse the conversation. If you’re going to make legal threats in order to silence people, BACK IT UP!

  115. Ogvorbis says

    Ogvorbis I was speaking of another forum where I started off as a creationist and how I was persuaded I was wrong. I think that was clear if you read the entire post.

    Sorry. I’ll fuck off, then.

  116. mythbri says

    @poxed #117

    What makes the movement “stronger” is not necessarily what makes the movement better. Here in the U.S., the Republican Party strengthened itself by forming an alliance with the religious right. It gave the GOP a base to cater to in order to gain more positions in government. It has not made the Republican party better, though. It has made it a haven for anti-science and anti-intellectualism, bigotry, and reckless economic ideas.

    Do we have to decide that having strength and having principles are mutually exclusive goals?

  117. says

    daz

    What the hell would be the point in lessening or getting rid of religioulsy based bigotry if it merely gets replaced non-religious bigotry?

    because bigotry that results in a lot more sexual availability of women is obviously vastly morally superior to one that causes women to cover up and stay home. duh! can’t your ladybrane comprehend that?

  118. Scientismist says

    Over a half century ago, Jacob Bronowski called science an ethical choice to act in a way such that what is true might come to be verified as true. I see my own skepticism and atheism as a natural outgrowth of that ethic, along with my support for feminism and what we old-timers used to call Gay Liberation. I wonder if the acceptance or rejection of the “rape-joke” culture or of other forms of misogyny, racism and sexism might be correlated with the personal route one has taken to reach atheism? With the growth of the “nones”, there is room (and need) for some sociological research.

    (Wow — comments went from about 30 to 120 while I composed this!)

  119. Brownian says

    This supposed war seems both trifling and an outrageous waste of resources.

    Easy-peasy to solve: everybody, quit with the rape jokes, and the trivialising of sexism and racism, and the treating of every woman at a conference as your opportunity to bang a nerd chick, and we won’t have to keep talking about this.

  120. says

    @skeptifem PZ posted that I was right in what I said about Thunderfoot being labeled a racist before he said anything. He alluded to that in one of his answers to Thunderfoot as well before I said it.

  121. vaiyt says

    @lilandra:

    Call the Waaahmbulance, somebody is drunk on whine!

    Why don’t you go preach to the slimepit?

  122. says

    poxed:

    I am ok with the movement fighting something like female genital mutilation or all the harassment at the conferences but because they are directly related to the movement; in the first case the mutilation is carried out due to very anti-woman religious beliefs and in the second all people should be able to attend events and without worry that they will suffer harassment where others do not, that the law should be upheld.

    You really couldn’t get more Dear Muslima if you tried. Try educating yourself. The feminist link roundup at the Pharyngula wiki is a good start. A lot of reading there. Try reading all of it before you set fingers to keyboard again, because what you’re doing is saying that supporting things like rape culture and bitches ain’t shit is just dandy, ’cause you don’t see the relative importance of it all.

    This has been your moment of nice. Don’t expect more.

  123. says

    Noone on Rationalia condones rape. It is defamatory to say that they do.

    the battle whine of every numbskull who has ever been told that their actions contribute to/ support/excuse rape culture but has not bothered to learn what the term “rape culture” actually means.

  124. Brownian says

    PZ posted that I was right in what I said about Thunderfoot being labeled a racist before he said anything.

    No. It’s not “before he said anything”. It was before he’d posted here. He was not born the day he was given a FtB.

    And for future reference, if you’re bringing up information that only you and a select group of others know and can know, please fucking say that upfuckingfront so the rest of us aren’t suckered into having to deal with your bullshit.

  125. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    PZ posted that I was right in what I said about Thunderfoot being labeled a racist before he said anything. He alluded to that in one of his answers to Thunderfoot as well before I said it.

    Be honest lilandra. Other people here have noted that they formed an opinion about TFoot having racist views on Muslims based on his own work, having nothing to do with back channel chatter to which they didn’t have access.

    You have a duty to be honest and acknowledge that.

  126. Matt Penfold says

    Well surprise surprise, it seems Lilandra, she of wanting us to be polite and nice to each other, is not very nice or very polite herself.

    She came here and she lied. She got called on that lie, and rather than admit it she is ignoring that inconvenient lack of truth on her part.

    Since when are dishonest people good allies ?

  127. Richard Austin says

    There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence. Hostile presentation is not helpful in that goal. Not that that is what you personally are doing.

    There are people (possibly like Thunderfoot) who will ignore all evidence. If you were amenable to changing your mind – great for you (and I mean that). But not everyone is.

    For those people who won’t change their minds, who scoff at or ignore evidence, who refuse to cite evidence themselves to back up their statements, and who still create a toxic environment with their words and deeds – for them, active malice is one of the few available tactics. Force them to abandon the pretense of their position and either “put up or shut up”, as the phrase goes.

    If a self-identified member of the community is poisoning the well of the community, it is the duty of the community to step in and stop it, either by convincing said person to stop or by pushing them out of the community. When the community has no borders and is only identified by people on the outside, one of the few tactics to push someone out is by making the environment so hostile to them that they leave.

    This is a valid tactic, and sometimes the only possible recourse. It is the option that is left when all others have failed. Unfortunately, the Horde here finds that it is often the only one that works. It’s only by pushing out such people that others realize that the undesired behavior isn’t acceptable to the community and then feel more welcome within it. More people delurk on Pharyngula after a bloody troll-thrashing than at any other time, and most of the time the first thing they say is, “Thank you.”

  128. says

    Noone on Rationalia condones rape.

    that Noone is a seriously deviant fellow!

    seriously though, doesn’t rationalia have thousands of members? It would be very strange for the level of rape condoning to be zero in such a large group of people. There have to be actual rapists on Rationalia, just like anywhere else online with thousands of posters.

    I mean sure, if you made a poll no one would agree with the statement “I condone rape”, but they would never agree with “I condone racism” either, though it is seriously unlikely that there are no racists on rationalia.

  129. Muse says

    Poxed – did it occur to you that the lack of those progressive values will also alienate people? If the atheist movement doesn’t want to be intersectional, then I’m not interested. I’m a humanist, that matters to me. See the example of Natalie Reed above.

  130. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s amazing. It’s as if lilandra thinks we’re just not going to notice her dishonesty and that we’re just going to keep responding to her selective commentary.

    What’s wrong with you?

  131. says

    poxed:

    I am ok with the movement fighting something like female genital mutilation or all the harassment at the conferences but because they are directly related to the movement; in the first case the mutilation is carried out due to very anti-woman religious beliefs and in the second all people should be able to attend events and without worry that they will suffer harassment where others do not, that the law should be upheld.

    You really couldn’t get more Dear Muslima if you tried. Try educating yourself. The feminist link roundup at the Pharyngula wiki* is a good start. A lot of reading there. Try reading all of it before you set fingers to keyboard again, because what you’re doing is saying that supporting things like rape culture and bitches ain’t shit is just dandy, ’cause you don’t see the relative importance of it all.

    This has been your moment of nice. Don’t expect more.

    *You’ll have to search it. PZ! Now tiny urled links to the wiki are spam trapped. Fix, please.

  132. says

    @devoniansplit

    This supposed war seems both trifling and an outrageous waste of resources.

    You’re absolutely right. I’m sure you’re telling the people engaging in threatening people with rape (oh sorry, it was a “joke”) to knock it off, because it really is diverting resources that could be better spent doing something, y’know, useful.

    For fuck’s sake. Do you really think everyone is happy that we have to deal with these latest examples of how you can be an atheist and a contemptible excuse for a human being?

  133. bastionofsass says

    Burgeoning movements require solidarity to thrive – not solidarity with bigots and women-haters – but solidarity with those who aren’t immensely interested in mixing two separate movements.

    Why is solidarity with atheists who don’t care about sexism needed for atheism to thrive?

    Are the “I don’t care about sexism” atheists going to become theists because other atheists want to address sexism as well as support atheism?

    I really don’t understand this “atheists need to present a united front” claim.

  134. Richard Austin says

    lilandra

    @skeptifem PZ posted that I was right in what I said about Thunderfoot being labeled a racist before he said anything. He alluded to that in one of his answers to Thunderfoot as well before I said it.

    This is disingenuous. TF was labeled a racist before he said anything on FTB; the fact is that FTB wasn’t the first place he “spoke”. The impression is that others’ opinions were based on his actions prior to coming to FTB.

  135. mythbri says

    Pssst, Daz!

    If you agree with the irrational ladeez, you get an honorary fluffily pink ladybrain, as well as a complimentary “mangina”.

  136. Matt Penfold says

    More people delurk on Pharyngula after a bloody troll-thrashing than at any other time, and most of the time the first thing they say is, “Thank you.”

    I think the most moving thread I have ever read is the one where that Rationala rape “joke” was discussed. Some of the comments, from people who wanted to thank PZ and others for standing up to such misogyny were very hard to read, because they were clearly so heartfelt and so revealing of the torment some people suffer.

    If the price for making such people feel a little more at ease is a few fucks here and there, and having zero tolerance for sexism, racism etc, then it is a small price to pay.

  137. Brownian says

    It is defamatory to say that they do.

    Don’t be silly. We’re all joking. Jokes don’t mean anything, they’re just jokes. You don’t know us. You just know the things we say, and words don’t mean anything.

    So lighten up, you minority-killing, jackboot-wearing, puppy-punching, death-threats-against-the-president-making Scientologist.

  138. says

    lilandra

    @skeptifem PZ posted that I was right in what I said about Thunderfoot being labeled a racist before he said anything. He alluded to that in one of his answers to Thunderfoot as well before I said it.

    People here were already familiar with his videos and found them to be racist. Do you find that behavior unacceptable?

  139. says

    @poxed

    I think to characterize anyone who does not agree with adding more progressive values to the movement of atheism as scum and essentially that they are stupid is absolutely ridiculous.

    Nobody here is saying that. What people are saying is that certain people at certain websites at certain observed times are engaging in truly vile speech, are willfully continuing to engage in it, and should rightfully be called out for it.

    I should note that I don’t consider treating people* with respect and promoting such to be a “progressive value”, I consider it common decency.

    * Shockingly, that includes female people, non-white people, non-cis people, and, and … well, just PEOPLE. Even theists!

  140. says

    @skeptifem PZ posted that I was right in what I said about Thunderfoot being labeled a racist before he said anything.

    incorrect. PZ said TF was labeled a racist, period. It could not possibly have been “before he said anything”, since TF has been posting videos and thus saying things publicly and for everyone to hear for years before FTB even existed.

    So it’s a good thing PZ didn’t say you were right about the “before he said anything” part.

  141. Matt Penfold says

    And I think my suspicious about Lilandra invoking Mooney’s Law has been confirmed. For someone concerned about being nice, she sure is being as horrid as anyone here (with the exception of pox).

  142. says

    Lilandra, you’ve been called out for rudeness and dishonesty several times, and you refuse to address those of us who have noted it. Pretending that we don’t exist is also rude and dishonest. At this point, I am going to assume that this is the image you choose to project to the world.

  143. Pteryxx says

    I’m lucky I already have a group in which I have the power to steer the wheel and move forward. I am lucky I have my husband and members who help me. I want a skeptical woman in my town to see that her local group is run by a woman who gives a shit and not be afraid to join.

    …I haven’t caught up yet, but ~G~, I had a leap of joy which crashed when I saw how far away Cleveland is from me. You go. *wry grin*

  144. Nightjar says

    I personally am not certain that adding such things to the movement is a good idea, at least I have not been convinced it should happen, and in as much as I am aware it has nothing to do with being anti those values.

    Problem is, if we don’t add such things as “misogyny is not OK” to the movement, the movement will be hostile to women. Doesn’t that bother you?

  145. Brownian says

    Why is solidarity with atheists who don’t care about sexism needed for atheism to thrive?

    Are the “I don’t care about sexism” atheists going to become theists because other atheists want to address sexism as well as support atheism?

    I really don’t understand this “atheists need to present a united front” claim.

    QFT. I don’t brook sexism or racism from my family or friends. What makes a bunch of entitled strangers think I’m going to give them more leeway?

  146. says

    @Josh you can only speculate about what sort of teacher I am. I have advocated nowhere that the anyone be allowed to bully anyone. I don’t advocate that anyone should be hostile to someone who is bullying them in my class either. Nor am I hostile to a bully that would make me a bully. They are disciplined appropriately for their behavior.
    Some bullies can realize their behavior is wrong and stop bullying. That is a better goal if it is possible.

  147. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Joe, you’re right. If you can remember to, keep a note in your mind about it. If lilandra shows up again she’s almost certain to make a comment about something else as if she didn’t see the earlier criticisms. The only way to deal with that is to keep repeating the question to her until she either acts like a grown-up and responds or gets sick of not being given a free pass and leaves.

  148. Matt Penfold says

    Problem is, if we don’t add such things as “misogyny is not OK” to the movement, the movement will be hostile to women. Doesn’t that bother you?

    If we don’t add anything to the movement all we have is a load of people who do not believe in god. And that, as we have seen, is enough to bind any group together.

  149. Brownian says

    Some bullies can realize their behavior is wrong and stop bullying. That is a better goal if it is possible.

    Right now we’re trying to convince you that dishonesty is wrong. Show everybody how it’s done and own up and admit that.

  150. ointment says

    PZ, you are very good on biology, atheism, feminism and other topics, but you wouldn’t be my natural choice to fight a war against smugness. It’d be a bit like Harry Hill fighting a war against big collars and silly glasses.

    You touched on it yourself in the recent “What kind of atheist are you?” post. You and other “scientific atheists” are prone to smugness, but in your case it’s “a well-deserved smug”, ie you are smug about the fact that you are smug!

    Smugness is always infuriating in people we don’t agree with and forgiveable in people we do, but it’s present or even abundant on both sides of this “war”. Smugness itself isn’t the problem.

  151. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Lilandra—why do you continue to characterize Tfoot as just being uneducated about the “evidence” of sexism?

  152. says

    That was on our backchannel, which is supposed to be secret, and I’ve already said more than I should. But she can’t reveal any of those emails, because they are CONFIDENTIAL.

    Actually, several of us, including myself, did talk about Tf00t’s islamophobia in the comments here as well.

    Let’s also not forget that TF has a history of making anti-Muslim videos that echo the rhetoric of the most virulent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigots. He’s already been rejected by a pretty wide swath of atheists/skeptics as far as I’ve seen. At least a few of us were surprised by his inclusion here based on that. So to erase his history and the reasons he has been negatively judged is dishonest bullshit.

    QFT

    Lilandra,

    @PZ Thank you. At one time I was a creationist and I was wrong. I wasn’t persuaded by insults I was wrong. I was persuaded by evidence.

    Great. As it should be. However, an insult accompanying evidence does not magically invalidate said evidence. It doesn’t matter how many ‘fucks’ are uttered in laying out the evidence.

    I was confident enough in my own intelligence to ignore the insults from some of the posters and listen to evidence.

    Exactly. So why aren’t you being confident now? You are intelligent. I know you are. So what’s with the tone trolling.

    Your position that there is sexism in our community can be backed up with evidence. There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence.

    Wow, there! Thunderf00t has been made aware of the evidence. Time and time again. He ignored it. Actually, it was quite obvious that he didn’t have the slightest interest in learning about the issues at hand.

    Hostile presentation is not helpful in that goal. Not that that is what you personally are doing.

    Again: many did try to reason with Thunderfoot. Many did provide the evidence. Thunderf00t was being an asshole and ignored all of it.

  153. says

    You know, I have no problem with everyone ripping into Thunderf00t here — he deserves it, and his recent post credulously citing a source from AVoiceForMen, a known misogyny-riddled hate site, says he’s getting worse. But Michael Nugent has just made the point that some civility would be nice now and then, and I see the way some of you are ripping mercilessly into lilandra, and I see the problem.

    Disagree with her, do, and I would, too…but she’s a persuadable moderate who is mostly on our side, but you aren’t acting at all charitably. This is an easy case where persuasion would work, and so far it’s all scorched earth.

    Back up a notch. Reserve the flamethrowers for the deserving.

  154. says

    I have advocated nowhere that the anyone be allowed to bully anyone.

    lilandra, in response to Natalie Reed not wanting to be allies with people who dehumanize her:

    I don’t agree with Natalie on giving up on potential allies. I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

  155. Matt Penfold says

    Daz just seemed like a feminine moniker to me? Not sure.

    It reminds me of washing powder. I get no impression as to whether it a male or female name, only that it cleans clothes really well.

  156. consciousness razor says

    I personally am not certain that adding such things to the movement is a good idea, at least I have not been convinced it should happen, and in as much as I am aware it has nothing to do with being anti those values.

    If you’re trying to find some kind of neutral, moderate position toward bigotry or other “progressive” values, kindly go fuck yourself. Treating sexism, racism, classism, etc., as irrelevant or unimportant is being against them.

    I Know it could conceivably make the movement stronger by joining forces with other movements that most people in the community are likely associated with anyways

    No, that would be a shallow political move. Is that strategic sort of issue the thing you have doubts about? Believe it or not, some rare individuals actually care about shit. They want to do the right thing, whether it makes them “stronger” or “weaker.”

    but I do not think it is right to make progressive philosophy a prerequisite for being in the community.

    What does this mean? No one’s saying there should be prerequisite for simply being an atheist. A conservative atheist has very little reason to do much communing with progressive atheists anyway. They could have their own communities, if that doesn’t strike them as something the filthy, godless communists would do. And what exactly would a conservative view about the harms of religion be? That it’s not conservative enough?

  157. Brownian says

    Daz just seemed like a feminine moniker to me? Not sure.

    So it’s true! Progressives are the real sexists!

  158. Matt Penfold says

    Disagree with her, do, and I would, too…but she’s a persuadable moderate who is mostly on our side, but you aren’t acting at all charitably. This is an easy case where persuasion would work, and so far it’s all scorched earth.

    PZ, well the problem is that she refuses to address her dishonesty. And if someone will not address such issues, are they really persuadable ?

  159. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Part of the problem may be, lilandra, that you’re confusing your goals as a teacher by profession with the goals and obligations of others. To extend the metaphor to this situation, naturally you look systemically and your goal is to bring all your “students” up to a certain level. You feel a responsibility to make the bullies better people. This is to be expected.

    But you’re forgetting that you cannot burden the targets of the bullying with carrying out your professional goals. You cannot prioritize those goals at the expense of the fair treatment of victims (for lack of a better word). That seems to be what you’re doing here. If it were a classroom (again, this is a metaphor, not an accusation of real life conduct) you would be lecturing the effeminate kid about how it’s not helpful to lash out and scream back at the jock bully. You’d be urging him to patiently help the bully work through it.

    Do you see what’s wrong with this? Can you see that you might be doing that here?

    Shorter: do all the educating you want. Do not expect others to sacrifice their legitimate right to dignity and fair treatment in order to service your pedagogical goals. It’s not fair and it’s not right.

  160. says

    PZ, Lilandra has been both rude and dishonest in this thread, and has been called out for it in both rude and polite ways. While she is welcome to ignore the rude people, I don’t see how she can simply ignore everyone and everything that has been posted as though it doesn’t exist. Not and still be considered someone who is conducting a good-faith discussion or who can be persuaded.

  161. Brownian says

    but she’s a persuadable moderate who is mostly on our side, but you aren’t acting at all charitably. This is an easy case where persuasion would work

    Citation needed. (And this isn’t my first conversation with lilandra.)

  162. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    PZ, I’m trying your tack in my #174. We’ll see what response it gets.

  163. says

    Right now, I’d settle for her acknowledging the screwiness of her (hopefully unintentional) implication that Natalie Reed should have to try to reason with, and be polite to, the people who actively dehumanize her.

  164. says

    @165 I did post that the thing with Thunderfoot may be beyond repair. I think it may not have gotten that way if Aron had tried to reason with him personally earlier on. But it was difficult TF just kept posting and posting 3 posts and 2 videos in a week. He was wrong for that.
    It is a shame because he apparently is going more and more towards the dark side of this issue and Aron warned him before this posting PZ is talking about to stop.

  165. Brownian says

    Had I seen that post before Myers created the scandal

    New rule everyone: you’re only allowed to comment on things you’ve personally seen, in the places that you’ve seen/read/heard it.

    Otherwise, you’re simply ‘creating a scandal’.

    Gonna be hard to deal with all the bigfoot hunters and creationist out there when we’re not allowed to post about the things they say, but there you go.

  166. Matt Penfold says

    Still no sign she is willing to change her mind yet. Nor, for that matter, apologise for not being as honest as she might be.

    How long do we have to keep being nice to someone who refuses to accept they did anything wrong ?

  167. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    And you know what? Just go look at the thread that’s the subject of the OP. Read it. It’s filled up with liars, known rape and rape-joke apologists, and they’re telling the most brazen untruths while affecting a sniffy disdain for the rude feminists.

    This is who you want us to engage with? “Taking the high road” with THIS is a good use of our time? Reasonable people deserve to have to put up with this. . for what?

  168. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    I will note that this thread is moving rather fast. (I’m up to 175 as I write this and fully anticipate it being much further on when I hit submit).

    Just saying that if people don’t seem to respond fast to your posts, or acting as if they don’t see your posts, might be because they’re still catching up like me.

    Lilandra, do you have any advice for how to deal with people who are arguing in bad faith? This is something that would be good to know. Calm and reason works with people who have possibly gotten angry and misinterpreted something, but are not intrinsically hostile, but those who appear to revel in their various isms do not seem to be responsive to that approach.

  169. Brownian says

    I think it may not have gotten that way if Aron had tried to reason with him personally earlier on.

    Were the rest of us supposed to shut up while Aron sat down with him and shown him the error of his ways?

    But it was difficult TF just kept posting and posting 3 posts and 2 videos in a week.

    How does this even square with the sentence preceeding it?

    I mean, I agree that T-f00t would have come around if he were a completely different person who acted in different ways too.

  170. says

    Jadehawk you are adding asking Natalie to be polite to bit to I am assuming the people who are being hurtful and misrepresenting my argument. My point was not everyone that disagrees with FTB is trolling and not to give up on persuading people they are wrong. Not everyone that disagrees with me is trolling me. All I can do is try to convince them of my position.

    I don’t know how to respond to the people who keep trying to call me dishonest. PZ gave you the citation, and I am somehow not being honest about it still. I said there is a problem with the way some of the supporters here behave. Numerous people respond by cussing at me. Do you need a citation? I haven’t cussed a single person here but I am the rude one?

  171. Pteryxx says

    …going to open my big yap here, and I admit *I* don’t usually go all flamey with the cuss words, so I’m definitely biased here.

    PZ made a specific request to tone down the aggression in this thread, and at lilandra in particular. The normal rudeness here is BY HIS RULES. Can’t y’all tone it down for once regardless of your personal preferences, without complaining about it? At least not here? There’s TET and TZT to vent on. But I think by objecting to PZ’s setting his own policies here, y’all may be invalidating his attempted experiment.

  172. devoniansplit says

    Look, the issue is one of arithmetic; we simply do not have the numbers to engage in an atheist civil war. The point of any movement is to have an impact on society; we cannot have an impact on society without enticing numbers. Politicians can give detestable speeches about how atheists are evil baby killers and people will stand – applauding. This is a significant problem that we can NOT ignore. To reiterate a previous comment, we do NOT have to be friends with hateful people – they deserve a vociferous “fuck off.” If you ever wanted this movement to make a real world difference – if you still do – then you cannot continue alienating the uninterested. This isn’t a freethought issue, it is much larger; an atheist issue. The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent. Indifference is by no means what we want in the end but we are still evolving and can’t afford to be wiped out at this stage. Look we can’t – to continue with your metaphor – win the war without the soldiers.

  173. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Numerous people respond by cussing at me. Do you need a citation? I haven’t cussed a single person here but I am the rude one?

    I’m trying very, very hard to bite my tongue, but it’s very angry-making to watch you complain about naughty words instead of responding to the substantive things people are saying to you. You have to meet us halfway lilandra.

    Can you please, please, please look at #174. Please. I’m not going to keep my language clean forever.

  174. Matt Penfold says

    Just saying that if people don’t seem to respond fast to your posts, or acting as if they don’t see your posts, might be because they’re still catching up like me.

    There is an element of that, but in Lilandra’s case she has replied to posts made after it was pointed out she was being less than honest, so it will not explain her lack of manners in failing to reply.

    She is coming across as a rather unpleasant person, for whom issues such as truth or not be a hypocrite are not very important. She well not be such a person, but she is only one who by her behaviour can show us she is not.

    She also seems to have an odd concept of what not being nice is. I pointed out she had, in previous threads, defended Thunderfoot. I even found and posted a quote of her doing so, but rather than acknowledge that yes, she did defend him and that in hindsight she should not have done, she claimed she had not defended him.

  175. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    PZ gave you the citation, and I am somehow not being honest about it still.

    Lilandra-please acknowledge that people reasonably pointed out to you that they had formed judgments about Tfoot INDEPENDENTLY of back channel talk.

    Please acknowledge that.

    Please acknowledge that.

  176. says

    Josh:

    And you know what? Just go look at the thread that’s the subject of the OP. Read it. It’s filled up with liars, known rape and rape-joke apologists, and they’re telling the most brazen untruths while affecting a sniffy disdain for the rude feminists.

    I’m getting damn tired of all the people who show up here to repeatedly scold us over this, that and the other, when they can never be found in the thick of the liars, rape apologists, rape jokers, etc., showing us how it’s done. Go forth and change their minds! Go forth and bring them to reason! Who in the blankety blank is stopping them?

    Pteryxx, I think, if you bother to read, people have been very nice. Above and beyond godsdamn nice, if you ask me.

  177. macrophage says

    It seems many people have a difficult time dealing with intersectionality and how it plays into so many different communities.

    So someone is a skeptic. Good for them. I’m under no obligation to like them if they’re being a jerk to me any other group. It’s not like there’s a membership card and secret handshake.

    Part of being an ally is knowing when to shut up. When a supposed ally starts going off on what “you people” should be doing, it’s time to tell them to stop talking. And a person from that group is under no obligation to vent their frustrations in a manner that makes the ally feel better. This is true for someone claiming to be an ally for any group.

  178. Richard Austin says

    I don’t know how to respond to the people who keep trying to call me dishonest. PZ gave you the citation, and I am somehow not being honest about it still. I said there is a problem with the way some of the supporters here behave. Numerous people respond by cussing at me. Do you need a citation? I haven’t cussed a single person here but I am the rude one?

    Your post at #42 said:

    … Thunderfoot was wrong about a few things, no one was able to persuade him of that in their rush to pwn him. In fact, he was already condemned before he said a word as a racist by some here. [emphasis mine]

    I’ve bolded the important part.

    The implication is that people at FTP pre-emptively judged TF as a racist without basis. This is not true: TF may not have said anything at FTB on the subject, but he had said plenty elsewhere that justified (for many people) the label.

    Was your statement dishonest? Possibly; it could certainly be read as such. At the very least it was badly worded, but the implication is still dishonest. Do you wish to clarify it?

  179. Matt Penfold says

    I haven’t cussed a single person here but I am the rude one?

    Yes. For some reason you have a fixation on cussing, but there is far more to being polite than not cussing. Being dishonest is not being polite, and yet you have been dishonest here.

    You know this of course, and the fact you pretend not to understand is yet more evidence of your rudeness.

  180. Louis says

    Since this seems to be the new battleground, I’ll link to my recent posts on the Rationalia thread. I’d hate that effort to go to waste.

    Apologies for length/turgidity as usual.

    Louis

  181. mythbri says

    @devoniansplit

    Even if we manage to “eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent”, that doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, it exacerbates it. We already have people who claim that social justice issues have no place in the movement. This alienates other people who believe that social justice falls very neatly within the goals of skepticism, or vice versa. If people are forced to choose between their social justice values to capitulate to a more “unified” (and limited) skepticism, then the risk of alienating valuable allies is high.

    I said in one of my previous comments that I prioritize my feminism above my atheism. I’ll make that choice, and so will others.

  182. says

    Look, the issue is one of arithmetic; we simply do not have the numbers to engage in an atheist civil war. The point of any movement is to have an impact on society; we cannot have an impact on society without enticing numbers.

    Not true at all. Gay rights have come a long way despite GLBT people being a small minority. Black people were minorities in the civil rights movement as well. Attracting other groups that could sympathize with minority rights helped a lot. Deciding to ally with smug people does the opposite of that- it makes a movement hostile to potential allies because the smug people are directly and vocally opposed to the interests of others.

    One thing people don’t seem to realize is that the smug folks don’t do much activism anyway. People who care about social justice do. 10 of the slime pitizens is worth 1 person who actually does something of substance in terms of creating change.

  183. joed says

    Just ignore the haters. Just ignore the ones that want to derail the topic at hand. any energy directed toward the haters/derailers is used by them to create havoc and chaos. This is a tactic.
    If this were my blog I would lay down some rules and give a commenter 2 chances to get on topic.
    But that’s just me. I am something of an order freak or at least a try to make sense freak.
    Professor Myers, if this is indeed a war then it is a war we can’t win because the “enemy” has no rules. They don’t have to use logic or be reasonable. All they have to do is say anything to create chaos then they are leading the conversation.
    Best to ignore or warn.
    That’s my 2 cents.

  184. Doug Hudson says

    Hell, I’d heard that Thunderfoot was engaging in anti-muslim racist screeds long before he appeared on FTB. That’s why I facepalmed when I heard he’d been invited. I wasn’t surprised at all when he turned out to be a misogynist as well.

  185. says

    @Brownian I admit TF’s own behavior helped escalate the matter. I have met both TF and PZ in real life, they are friends with Aron. The thing is a shame that I didn’t want to see happen. I wouldn’t be a decent person if it didn’t bother me.

  186. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    I’m getting damn tired of all the people who show up here to repeatedly scold us over this, that and the other, when they can never be found in the thick of the liars, rape apologists, rape jokers, etc., showing us how it’s done. Go forth and change their minds! Go forth and bring them to reason! Who in the blankety blank is stopping them?

    This, in spades. Instead of lecturing us on how to do it, why not go ahead and model the behavior you think is appropriate in those places, and then link to it to show us? Wouldn’t that be a much more persuasive technique, since you would be explaining the behavior AND showing what great results it gets at the same time?

  187. hypatiasdaughter says

    #89 devoniansplit
    But you see, my path to atheism was laid down when I was old enough to become aware of the misogyny of religion (god called women to be prophets and martyrs, so why can’t they be called to be priests and ministers?); capped off by reading the Bible where I learned that I inherited (through my XX chromosomes) the PERSONAL responsibility for every second of pain suffering and death for every living creature in the world since life began – and humans ETERNAL suffering after death. Then religion granted men the special privilege to use me and shit on me, in retribution, for my short time on Earth. And I suspect a LOT of women got turned onto atheism for the same reason.
    It strikes me that many men have rejected religion because of its regressive sexual morality. They want to be free to fashion a more progressive morality based on human nature. Applause to that! But then they reject a woman’s desire to to the same thing. They want to be autonomous in matters of sex, but are terribly angry and upset that women claim the same autonomous right for themselves.
    If the only thing your skeptical of in the Bible is a talking snake, not sexism, not slavery, not racism, then you’re doing it wrong.
    To paraphrase Tis’ Himself (I think it was he)
    “Atheists are misogynists who don’t believe in Noah’s Ark.”
    (And no, I don’t think all atheists are misogynists.)

  188. Pteryxx says

    Caine: I agree, but PZ still asked. Past that I’d prefer not to derail with a meta-discussion here; TET works, IMHO.

  189. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Lilandra, I have seen multiple occasions where people have come here and made statements which have been disputed by others, but if they have listened, learned, or even backed up their arguments with reasonable evidence then usually things are good. It’s only when they act like trolls, doubling down on stupid remarks (which seems to be happening a bit more recently, we are getting the distinct impression that getting banned here is some sort of hazing or initiation thing from the slimepit) and throwing around sexist, racist, or hate-filled language that the hordes get really cranky.

    Or tone trolling. That tends to irritate the horde as well. But it is advertised in the guidelines/standards.

    Unfortunately, possibly due to the high incidence of slimepit trolls recently and the events of the last year or so, it has left some people on a bit of a hair trigger and less likely to give the benefit of the doubt. Because we are not robots, we are humans, and some brave people who have given us their stories and made us weep have good reason to be sensitive in some areas.

  190. Matt Penfold says

    I said in one of my previous comments that I prioritize my feminism above my atheism. I’ll make that choice, and so will others.

    So would I. And here in the UK there is a significant number of Christians who are very supportive of a progressive liberal agenda, and with whom I would have no problem allying myself.

  191. says

    devoniansplit

    The point of any movement is to have an impact on society; we cannot have an impact on society without enticing numbers.

    You seem to be under the impression that it doesn’t matter what that impact is; just that the impact exists. Have you not noticed that many people want that impact to be in the area of social justice?

    Politicians can give detestable speeches about how atheists are evil baby killers and people will stand – applauding.

    Indeed, that’s bad. But so is rape culture. In fact, and you might be shocked to hear this from an atheist, but I see rape culture as more important than bigotry against atheists which, let’s face it, doesn’t generally cause as much harm as rape, and is no where near as widespread as sexual assault.

    You want to talk of resources and priorities? Fine. Try adding some perspective.

    The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent.

    Fine-and-dandy. Yep siree. Be indifferent all you want, and when and if I speak to you, I’ll speak of matters we have a mutual interest in.

    Here’s the thing, though.

    The proper way to be indifferent is to not take part. By criticising those who aren’t indifferent, you are not being indifferent, you are taking a stance.

    So pick a side or shut the fuck up.

  192. Doug Hudson says

    joed @201

    No, we cannot ignore them. The lies they tell poison our society and sustain the misogyny and racism that cripples us.

    They must be confronted and denied. Their lies must be challenged.

    (Not that every person needs to do it everytime–dear lord, challenging trolls is exhausting–but as a group effort we must face them down.)

    I highly recommend Jay Z’s video on “Why we shouldn’t ignore the trolls”.

  193. Ogvorbis says

    I know this was a ways back, but this quote (of Cormac) needs a stronger response from me.

    I would have done one of two things:

    1. Ignored it, because I thought it was a stupid thing to say and something to which I did not want to add.

    and

    I personally am not certain that adding such things to the movement is a good idea, at least I have not been convinced it should happen, and in as much as I am aware it has nothing to do with being anti those values. Firstly, I do not know if it is a good idea to give the atheist movement an exclusive, progressive political agenda and philosophy.

    Silence is not an option.

    Religion promotes privilege. And some of the most privileged humans on earth are people like me — middle class, white, male, cisgendered, straight, married. And one of the big reasons, here in the USA, that I am privileged is because of the teachings of Christianity. Christianity, along with most religions, does not, doctrinally, fight for human rights. If anything, they seek to deny human rights to women, gays, lesbians, the transgendered, bisexuals, blacks, latinos, and any other way of being a human other than their book of goat-herder myths.

    If I am silent when someone says, writes, or does something that promotes bigotry, or reinforces rape culture, or supports patriarchy, I am tacitly supporting the toxic socialization of Christianity. Or Islam. Or Judaism. Or lots of other religions. For me to claim to be an atheist, and then stand on the sidelines as people are treated as things, or less than human, I would be wrong. I would be supporting the reactionaries.

    Again, I am in a privileged position in society. I am aware that I am privileged. I also have a good idea whence much of that privilege came. It came from religion. Specifically, in the USA, it came from Christianity. Look at the groups arrayed against gay marriage. Or any other human rights effort now, or in the past 100 years. You will see the reactionaries defending their privilege. And they support their argument with religious propaganda. For me to argue against human rights to support my privileged position would put me in the camp of those with whom I vehemently disagree.

    For me, atheism is more than a disbelief in gods. Atheism is an embrace of humanity. All of humanity. If people are marginalized by gendered humour, if people are silenced by rape jokes, if people are denied equality, it hurts all of us.

    If you’re asking who ain’t free then you’re asking it of me. Paul Simon

  194. says

    @Matt again you misrepresent my argument. I pointed out that I criticized TF’s behavior on this very forum. I defended that he wasn’t advocating for biting people’s legs without their consent by posting my friend’s picture. I had personal knowledge of the people involved, and I shared it. I have not posted anywhere that I didn’t defend some of what he did. But I criticized him too.

  195. says

    PZ,

    OK, we crossed paths: definitely not rebuking #165, which is a very reasonable response.

    165? That was meeeeeee!!! Thanks, poopyhead!

    Lilandra,

    I did post that the thing with Thunderfoot may be beyond repair. I think it may not have gotten that way if Aron had tried to reason with him personally earlier on.

    Yes, I do think Aron talking to TF personnaly might have made a huge bit of difference. That doesn’t change the fact, though, that Thunderf00t ignored evidence. If he’s only going to accept evidence from people he knows and likes, that’s just not good enough.

    Also, Lilandra, when you mentioned the racist thing and people demanded evidence, it really would’ve been okay if you had just said something like “woops, that was some stuff from the back channel thingy. I wasn’t supposed to talk about that and shouldn’t have mentioned it.” You probably shouldn’t have ignored it. I think that would have saved you alot of trouble.
    Personally, I thought you may have been talking about some things I and several others had said in comments here on FTB in which, yes, we called Tf00t racist and islamophobe. Those opinions were not made without cause, though, but were made after seeing some of Tf00t’s stuff on Islam on youtube (which, unlike his anti-creationist-christian work, is very ill-informed).

    Also, jeesh, this thread is moving fast.

  196. says

    Mythbri:

    I said in one of my previous comments that I prioritize my feminism above my atheism. I’ll make that choice, and so will others.

    I’ve been active in feminism and GLBT rights since my early teens, so that’s going on 40 years here. It’s a very important fight to me.

    I haven’t been active as an atheist for nearly as long, however, that’s important to me as well. Altogether, I’m happiest to identify as a Humanist.

  197. melody says

    I did repost Michael’s blog. I didn’t agree with everything he said, but he’s coming from a good place. He will be responsible for bringing the Women in Secularism conference to Europe. He’s good people.

  198. says

    consciousness razor:

    Treating sexism, racism, classism, etc., as irrelevant or unimportant is being against them.

    Being for them, surely?

    Pedantry aside, this is a very important point. When one side is right, and the other side is wrong and obnoxious, then the “moderate” position is also wrong and obnoxious, albeit to a lesser extent.

  199. michaelnugent says

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ll reply in more detail later.

    But I want to agree with PZ’s reservation, which is based on me communicating poorly. I agree that we should not focus only on our atheism and skepticism. What I meant to convey was that we should not lose our focus on these issues, because we still have a lot of work to do on these issues within wider society.

    I agree that we should combine that with working together to make our own communities inclusive and caring and supportive, actively tackling prejudice and discrimination, building alliances with other groups who also face prejudice and discrimination, and taking positive action to help others through community outreach projects.

  200. David Marjanović says

    *time-of-day-or-night-independent cookie with lots of dark chocolate chips for Jadehawk*

    I prefer to be called a FTBully. It’s kind of flattering how victims of real bullying have their experiences trivialized on my behalf.

    QFT!

    On a side note, it makes me sad that you’re a teacher, because if there’s anything kids don’t need it’s yet another adult in their lives who thinks that standing up to bullying is ““inexcusable behavior.”

    :-o She’s a teacher!?!

    Somebody who seems to believe “you must immediately shut down your brain as soon as anyone says the F word” is a teacher!?!

    <sing>The West is red, the sun is dying.</sing>

    shitmuffin

    :-)

    different methods work on different folks.

    Different strokes of the cluebat for different folks! :-)

    Which is why we need both the Sastras and the Caines. What we don’t need is people who insist there’s only One True Way to get through to people, and all other people are Doing It Wrong. We get enough of this shit from Mooney and friends.

    QFT.

    PZ! Now tiny urled links to the wiki are spam trapped. Fix, please.

    ~:-| Why use tinyurl in the first place? I don’t understand.

    Why is solidarity with atheists who don’t care about sexism needed for atheism to thrive?

    Are the “I don’t care about sexism” atheists going to become theists because other atheists want to address sexism as well as support atheism?

    I really don’t understand this “atheists need to present a united front” claim.

    We have a winner.

    Problem is, if we don’t add such things as “misogyny is not OK” to the movement, the movement will be hostile to women. Doesn’t that bother you?

    So simple, so obvious, and yet so difficult to understand for so many people… *sigh*

  201. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Michael, not that you could miss it, but I think it’s really important to take on board what happened at your thread. It almost instantly filled up with misogynists and liars. They took advantage of your good will to try to put by disgusting untruths and further slander people whose only crime was to say “that’s unacceptable.”

    There is no middle ground with them. They will—and they are—going to use you.

  202. peterhearn says

    lilandra,

    Its always a good surprise to see someone trying to be civil here (And PZ is being more civil than normal, too).

    But as you can see once you disagree with the OP the hate machine never stops. It really doesn’t matter what you say. No one speaking against you is interested in a rational discussion.

    Matt Penfold, you completely ignored the point in her initial post and instead made an ad hominem attack on her. Since then you’ve shamelessly continued the series of ad hominem attacks just so you can feel like you won an argument on the internet. You’re kind of a pathetic person.

    The rest of you guys engaging in knee-jerk outrage aren’t much better.

    I love Aron’s video series, btw.

  203. says

    devoniansplit:

    The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent.

    Fine. Why are you here? Go on, go to rationalia, where the defending of rape “jokes” is going hot and heavy. Go to the thread linked in the OP of this thread – Go and eliminate the odious! Show us how in the fuck it’s done! There’s nothing stopping you. Instead of opining and whining here, go and do it.

    Let me guess: oh, you don’t care about them, it’s us who are all upsetty, you’re just going to hang in your chair and lecture us on the futility of it all, amirite? Useless.

  204. mythbri says

    @michaelnugent

    That’s the beautiful thing about it, though. All of the things that you mentioned have the potential to tie in so nicely together. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    Combating misogyny helps combat a society based on patriarchal religion. Combating homophobia helps combat religious doctrine. Combating racism helps combat bad science and economic principles.

  205. says

    @174 Again I am not advocating that people who are being bullied are responsible to reform bullies. I did not say that I have kids who are bullied reform the bully. I am the authority that is my job so to prevent them from bullying anyone else. I can’t be successful with everyone, but I am still going to try. I am saying that sometimes people are wrong and can be persuaded they are wrong, and it is worth a try.

  206. says

    devoniansplit:

    The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent.

    Fine. Why are you here? Go on, go to ration@lia, where the defending of rape “jokes” is going hot and heavy. Go to the thread linked in the OP of this thread – Go and eliminate the odious! Show us how in the fuck it’s done! There’s nothing stopping you. Instead of opining and whining here, go and do it.

    Let me guess: oh, you don’t care about them, it’s us who are all upsetty, you’re just going to hang in your chair and lecture us on the futility of it all, amirite? Useless.

  207. says

    devoniansplit:

    The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent.

    Fine. Why are you here? Go on, go to r@tion@li@, where the defending of rape “jokes” is going hot and heavy. Go to the thread linked in the OP of this thread – Go and eliminate the odious! Show us how in the fuck it’s done! There’s nothing stopping you. Instead of opining and whining here, go and do it.

    Let me guess: oh, you don’t care about them, it’s us who are all upsetty, you’re just going to hang in your chair and lecture us on the futility of it all, amirite? Useless.

  208. Ogvorbis says

    Matt Penfold, you completely ignored the point in her initial post and instead made an ad hominem attack on her.

    Cite it. Quote it. And show that it was an ad hominem fallacy. Please.

  209. michaelnugent says

    #223 Josh, I agree that some people will behave like that, and some people will be open to rethinking their positions. It takes time and patience to disentangle one from the other.

  210. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    OK, Lilandra. If you’re not advocating that the bullied try to reform the bullies, then why does it seem that way? Why so much scolding for those of us who’ve made a reasonable, evidence-based case why Thunderfoot is the one in the wrong? Why are you doing that to us?

    You know why I think? You’ve got an emotional investment in a personal relationship and you are completely unable and unwilling to even try to examine it dispassionately. It’s easier for you to scold people who’ve been targets of your friend’s bullshit.

    And that really sucks.

  211. says

    devoniansplit:

    The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent.

    Fine. Why are you here? Go on, go to the forum where the defending of rape “jokes” is going hot and heavy. Go to the thread linked in the OP of this thread – Go and eliminate the odious! Show us how it’s done! There’s nothing stopping you. Instead of opining and whining here, go and do it.

    Let me guess: oh, you don’t care about them, it’s us who are all upsetty, you’re just going to hang in your chair and lecture us on the futility of it all, amirite? Useless.

  212. Ogvorbis says

    Oh, and Curse you, Mythbri! You said exactly what I have tried to say twice. And you did it so much better than I. Thank you.

  213. Matt Penfold says

    @Matt again you misrepresent my argument. I pointed out that I criticized TF’s behavior on this very forum. I defended that he wasn’t advocating for biting people’s legs without their consent by posting my friend’s picture. I had personal knowledge of the people involved, and I shared it. I have not posted anywhere that I didn’t defend some of what he did. But I criticized him too.

    Again your lack of honest is noticeable. let me remind you of what you said once again, although this time I expect you to remember.

    He is trying to communicate disagreement with the way harassment is handled at conferences. He botches that in some of his language like saying it is not a problem at conventions. At most that is what he is guilty of. From what I know of him he is not defending his privilege to harass women as some have said. He would be mortified if something he did upset a woman.

    There you say at most what he is guilty of is not expressing himself well. Well, no, what he was (and still is) guilty of was dismissing harassment of women at atheist/sceptic conferences as not happening and not being important anyway. That, by any reasonable definition of the term, is defending him. We know he did mean what he said. It was not him expressing himself badly, he was expressing what he really meant, and that was pretty unpalatable.

    Then we come to your claim he would be mortified he upset a women. Well, I can think of three female bloggers here at FtB he upset by his opinions that harassment at conferences does not matter, and he clearly was not mortified he upset them because he continued to do so. He has continued to do after he was thrown out. Of course, it was not only FtB bloggers he upset. A lot of the women who read FtB were also upset.

    So your claim he would be mortified simply was not true. You might have thought it was true, and I will accept you probably hoped it was true, but clearly your knowledge of Thunderfoot was flawed, and he was not the person you thought he was. I can understand that must have been upsetting, to learn you trusted someone who turned out to a misognyst arsehole, but that does not excuse your pretending you did not defend him, and it most certainly does not excuse you accusing me of lying when I point out defended him.

    You did the things I said you did, and there evidence is right there, in your own words. That you pretend you have not, and that you think there is nothing wrong with lying, tells us that you are in no position to lecture us on how to behave.

    Now I suggest you go away, think on this, and work out quite why people have found your behaviour unacceptable.

  214. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    #223 Josh, I agree that some people will behave like that, and some people will be open to rethinking their positions. It takes time and patience to disentangle one from the other.

    No, it doesn’t. How long does it take you to disentangle the merely confused from the brazen liars? Serious question. How long?

  215. says

    Jadehawk you are adding asking Natalie to be polite to bit to I am assuming the people who are being hurtful and misrepresenting my argument.

    I can’t parse this to tell for sure what you’re accusing me of, but I’m not adding anything to anything:

    I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.

    I suppose you can accuse me of paraphrasing, but that’s about it.

    My point was not everyone that disagrees with FTB is trolling and not to give up on persuading people they are wrong.

    I am quite aware that that was your point. Are you aware that you introduced this point by saying you disagreed with Natalie about her not wanting to be allies with people who dehumanize her? That the way you tried to introduce your point made the implication that Natalie should have to talk nicely and reasonably to people who dehumanize her? At the very least, you’ve simply strawmanned (and are continuing to strawman) the issue as “all people who disagree with FTB are trolls” when it actually is “we don’t want people who dehumanize us as allies”.

    Do you need a citation?

    yes. because if all you got is people using the word “fuck” a lot, no one is going to take your claims of horrible horrible behavior seriously. At this point, there’s exactly ONE comment that can be considered a personal attack on you, and I’ve no flaming clue who vaiyt is or why they’re overreacting like that. And a single negative but not bigoted comment on a 200+ long comment-tread is actually very “civilized”. Especially considering the alternatives (whom for some reason you’re not criticizing. why?)

  216. One Thousand Needles says

    What extreme shortsightedness, to have rejected Christianity and yet still buy into the underlying assumptions.

    It’s like the misogynist atheists are so busy congratulating themselves for figuring out that Adam and Eve weren’t real that they never get around to rejecting the sexist moral of the story,

    They may think that they’re free from religion, but patriarchal monotheism still has its hooks in them.

  217. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    peterhearn, stop being disingenuous. There is one “rule” here (if it can be said to be that): back up what you say. A corollary to that is to provide that backup when asked to do so if you have not provided it initially, or provide more information on said sources if asked.

    That’s it. It’s incredibly simple. Do that, and you will be treated respectfully, regardless of your position. It’s a lot to ask only if you a) are saying things without having any decent backup other than your own opinion, and/or b) can’t be bothered to read the subsequent thread carefully enough to notice that people are asking and what they’re asking for. Both of those things are incredibly rude, because both assume that you have the right to say things and make other people pay attention to you, but you don’t have to put in any effort on your side to provide decent information to or pay attention to them. That will get you called names. And that’s it.

  218. says

    Lilandra:

    Your position that there is sexism in our community can be backed up with evidence.

    At this point, anyone who claims to require more evidence that there is sexism in “our” community can be safely said not to be arguing in good faith.

    Poxed:

    Firstly, I do not know if it is a good idea to give the atheist movement an exclusive, progressive political agenda and philosophy. I Know it could conceivably make the movement stronger by joining forces with other movements that most people in the community are likely associated with anyways but I do not think it is right to make progressive philosophy a prerequisite for being in the community.

    You misunderstand. The atheist/skeptic movement is already exclusive. Adopting a progressive political agenda is not just an end, it is also a means to making more inclusive and less exclusive. Indeed, if we agree that it is a worthwhile goal to make the movement more inclusive to women, people of color, gays and lesbians, trans*, intersex, and genderqueer people, then we are de facto adopting a progressive political agenda. If you do not agree that this is a worthwhile goal, and you are content to have atheism/skepticism remain the province of privilege white guys, well, okay. But please be honest and don’t pretend that you’re doing this in the name of inclusivity.

  219. mythbri says

    @lilandra

    But you, compared to Natalie, can look at this from a position of privilege. You can say that people who refuse to see trans*people as fully human are wrong and can be persuaded they are wrong, but you’re lucky in that at the end of the day, you can walk away from that. It’s not as personal to you as it is to her. Why should she try to engage in a honest discussion with people who are denying a vital part of her identity? Do you think they would do her the same courtesy, if their relative positions of privilege were reversed?

  220. consciousness razor says

    Treating sexism, racism, classism, etc., as irrelevant or unimportant is being against them.

    Being for them, surely?

    Yes, my mistake. “Them” was supposed to refer to progressive values, not to -isms or other problems those values are themselves against.

  221. Matt Penfold says

    Matt Penfold, you completely ignored the point in her initial post and instead made an ad hominem attack on her. Since then you’ve shamelessly continued the series of ad hominem attacks just so you can feel like you won an argument on the internet. You’re kind of a pathetic person.

    I gave a quote of her defending Thunderfoot, something she denies she did.

    Also, learn what an hominem attack is before trying to use words you do not understand.

  222. says

    we simply do not have the numbers to engage in an atheist civil war.

    a “civil war” that splits off even half of the numerical minority that are white straight dudes, but at the same time opens the doors to the numerical majority who aren’t white straight dudes is going to increase the numbers of atheists.

    Therefore, our low numbers argue that such a civil war is necessary. Otherwise, we could just be like the Republican party, and bank on winning on the white straight dudely vote alone.

  223. Steve LaBonne says

    I will make common cause with progressive liberal religionists 10 times out of 10 (while opposing them if they seek to maintain special privileges for religion). I will oppose racist and/or misogynist atheists 10 times out of 10. And if you downplay the importance of racism and misogyny, or lecture the victims about “civility” to their victimizers, YOU ARE guilty of those offenses yourself. It’s that simple.

  224. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    tl;dr me: You can’t come in assuming that you are worth listening to, no matter how unformed your opinion. You have to show that your statements have value.

  225. Amphiox says

    Let’s not forget, regarding Thunderf00t, the he was given a chance.

    First of all, he was invited to FtB, despite the already existing concerns about his prior racist postings.

    Secondly, PZ’s very first critical post of him was quite mild, considering the execration of a post from Tf00t that prompted it.

    The gloves came off only after Tf00t doubled and tripled down.

    Reason was tried. Reason was given a chance to succeed. Reason failed. Insults followed.

  226. r3a50n says

    Sometimes I wonder if it could be genetic. Are humans programmed in some way to depend on an unassailable core dogma that must be defended at all costs (and never examined critically)?

    No.

    This has been another installment of simple answers to simple questions.

  227. mythbri says

    @Ogvorbis

    Oh, and Curse you, Mythbri! You said exactly what I have tried to say twice. And you did it so much better than I. Thank you.

    Thank you, Og. I always look forward to your perspective on these topics.

  228. says

    If you ever wanted this movement to make a real world difference – if you still do – then you cannot continue alienating the uninterested

    which is it. should we sweep racism, sexism, etc under the rug to avoid a civil war, or do we have to stop alienating the uninterested? pick one, you can’t have it both ways.

    This isn’t a freethought issue, it is much larger; an atheist issue.

    that’s backwards. freethought is a larger issue than atheism.

  229. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m a little confused. What about lilandra’s posts deserves treatment different than it would get if posted by someone else?

    Its all tone trolling, defending bigots & bullies by *only* lecturing targets and conveniently ignoring her own hypocrisy.

    In essence, she’s saying what every tone troll has ever said – we have to be nice to the people who shit on us because “cussing” is so pearl-clutchingly offensive. Nevermind that what bigots and bullies do is ACTUALLY offensive and ACTUALLY harmful. Be nice to them! We’ll just all ignore how they treat you, though.

    If, as both Brownian and Reed have pointed out, bigots and bullies are not allies in any true sense of the word, how then are the people who tell us to be nice to them because “cuss” words are . .. . I don’t know . . naughty or something a step up? I don’t understand.

    I mean, when you’ve got well known bigot troll like Hearn defending you . . ..

  230. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, I missed this from Lilandra:

    Your position that there is sexism in our community can be backed up with evidence.

    Well, now any benefit of the doubt you were owed has gone. That quite simply is disingenuous bullshit on your part. It is something scumbag misogynists like the slimepit and Thunderfoot have been saying others have said. However, the only people who have actually said it do not exist outside their putrid minds.

    And sad to say, you have fallen for it. You have started spouting their crap.

    Now do you want to explain why you are spouting this misogynist bullshit, and how that does not make you one them ?

    And you can fuck my being polite to you. You lost any right to that the moment you started spreading the lies of the misogynists.

  231. 'Tis Himself says

    I can’t be successful with everyone, but I am still going to try. I am saying that sometimes people are wrong and can be persuaded they are wrong, and it is worth a try.

    I was bullied in school. I remember one teacher tried to persuade the bullies to leave me alone. That afternoon my nose was broken. Sure, persuasion works if the people are amenable to it but in real life it means the bullied kid gets beaten up. Welcome to the real world.

  232. says

    But as you can see once you disagree with the OP the hate machine never stops.

    Is it civil to laugh at phrases like “hate machine”? It is just so silly.

  233. says

    No.

    This has been another installment of simple answers to simple questions.

    Its not a simple question at all. What immediately sprang to mind for me was reseach on the heritability of personality traits.

  234. says

    I don’t know how to respond to the people who keep trying to call me dishonest. PZ gave you the citation, and I am somehow not being honest about it still.

    jesus. how hard is this for you to understand?

    you made two claims: 1)TF was called a racist; 2)he was called that before he said a word.

    PZ confirmed that 1) is correct. You have been told repeatedly how 2) is incorrect. Yet, you continue acting as if PZ confirmed that both 1) and 2) were correct. People feel that this is dishonest, and that your original claim was, too, since it’s just too obvious that 2)couldn’t be true, given that TF has been publicly saying things for years before there ever was a FTB

  235. says

    @matt I stand by everything I said. In that post I criticized him for saying there is no harassment at conferences. You are unwilling to distinguish that I made a nuanced point. You say that I am simply defending him. There is evidence for everyone who is asking why I don’t criticize Thunderfoot I clearly have.

    I am not under obligation to provide you or anyone else with an unreasonable burden of proof. After I have given you and Josh the evidence you asked for and you hand wave it to make the same unfounded accusation, I am finished attempting to reason with you.

  236. consciousness razor says

    I agree that some people will behave like that, and some people will be open to rethinking their positions. It takes time and patience to disentangle one from the other.

    Sometimes it’s not about our patience (or lack thereof) but about what they are doing. Sometimes there’s no time. Sometimes disentangling them is pointless.

  237. Matt Penfold says

    I’m a little confused. What about lilandra’s posts deserves treatment different than it would get if posted by someone else?

    Well, it was in response to a request by PZ.

    I think he was being a bit naive to be honest, in thinking Lilandra is an honest actor. Her calling for both sides to be nice to each was revealed for what it was when she she claimed we were saying there was more sexism in the atheist/sceptic community than normal.

    The only people who had said that are the likes of Thunderfoot and the Slimepitters, when they have claimed the likes of Rebecca, Ophelia, Stephanie, Greta and PZ have said it. She shows she is “one of them” when she repeats the lie.

  238. says

    I’m getting damn tired of all the people who show up here to repeatedly scold us over this, that and the other, when they can never be found in the thick of the liars, rape apologists, rape jokers, etc., showing us how it’s done. Go forth and change their minds! Go forth and bring them to reason! Who in the blankety blank is stopping them?

    QFT, in bold, with a cherry on top

  239. says

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

  240. Steve LaBonne says

    After I have given you and Josh the evidence you asked for and you hand wave it to make the same unfounded accusation, I am finished attempting to reason with you.

    Ooh, is this going to be one of those flounces where the flouncer returns for 50 encores?

  241. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Now I’m done. Go fuck yourself lilandra. You are not a good faith interlocutor and you never have been in this whole issue. Go hoggle somewhere over the nasty naughty cuss words. Or something.

  242. says

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    jadehawk explained very calmly what the problem was. ???

  243. says

    If atheism and skepticism doesn’t want to be about social issues I am fine with that. However they would thus need to: stop talking about religious child abuse, of racism from religio, of religion promotinh slavery, FGM, treatment of women by religion, chaste systems, the prosperity gospil, abortion laws, gay bashing from religion, financial schemes from religion, psychic scams, harm from homeopathy, antivax, child deaths from faith healing, freespeech, animal abuse from religion, psychological trauma from religion, exploitation by ghost whisperers, promoting libertatianism as rational, economics in general, embezzlement from churches, and many many other topics because they are ALL about social justice and social values. If you want 100% logos rational fine by me, but we are going to have the fucking net up for both serves and return. You don’t get to use social plight of people for your own end to drum up emotional support and then turn your back on the issues. You do not get to use women gays minoroties the poor and oppressed as your pawns against theism and psychics. You do not get to use them. You either care or you don’t but don’t you dare fucking pretend to care to demonize the religious

  244. Matt Penfold says

    @matt I stand by everything I said. In that post I criticized him for saying there is no harassment at conferences. You are unwilling to distinguish that I made a nuanced point. You say that I am simply defending him. There is evidence for everyone who is asking why I don’t criticize Thunderfoot I clearly have.

    Fine, stand by it. I cannot stop from you lying, merely point out you have lied, and that you continue to lie about having lied.

    I am not under obligation to provide you or anyone else with an unreasonable burden of proof. After I have given you and Josh the evidence you asked for and you hand wave it to make the same unfounded accusation, I am finished attempting to reason with you.

    I have not asked you for any evidence. I have provided evidence you lied, but you have just ignored that.

    I have pointed out that are now repeating the lies of the misogynist, making you one of them. I hope you will not think that rude of me, but I have little time for dishonest misogynists like yourself.

    Now I really do suggest you go. You are only going to end up making even more of a fool of yourself.

  245. fastlane says

    Something weird happened in the thread, when I started writing that, PZ’s post was at 166…now it’s at 170. Probably just a fast moving thread?

  246. says

    Lilandra, you’ve been treated with kid gloves even after your continued dishonesty and deflections. You’re the one guilty of “poor behavior” and it doesn’t matter if you used “dirty words” or not.

  247. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    My point was not everyone that disagrees with FTB is trolling and not to give up on persuading people they are wrong.

    100% agreed on the first part. And, exactly what do you think is the point of arguing about this in the first place if we didn’t agree with the second part?

    If you hung around here during the sexism threads you will see post after post from survivors or erstwhile bigots who credit the Horde with helping them change their minds or not feel alone.

    You’re telling us to abandon what works in favor the Be Nice approach, which has worked exactly never for disadvantaged groups. Because you personally don’t like “cuss” words.

    Why should we abandon what does work, for what doesn’t work, but makes you personally more comfortable? I mean, aren’t there Let’s-Play-Pretty Accomodationist blogs out there already?

    Or are we “bullies” because we don’t just turn the other cheek?

  248. barfy says

    PZ is a tone troll.

    Citation needed? @166

    Does he defend her because he knows her to be a moderate?
    If so, PZ wants us to be nice to his friends.

    Good for him. Will you be nice to my “moderate” friends?

    Is it because she’s a woman? There is no way that I could ever believe PZ would engage in sexism.

    Oh, wait…I figured it out…PZ is exercising his privilege.

  249. Matt Penfold says

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    Holy fucking shit but is she obtuse!

    Cussing at her is dreadful, but her telling lies and spouting misogynistic bullshit is fine ? Well, all I can say is I hope no one takes any lessons in morality from someone as amoral as Lilandra. Oh, and we can add arrogance to the list of her faults as well.

  250. says

    lilandra

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    Where is this poor behaviour of which you speak? You’re not making accusations about a back channel that you can’t speak of, you’re making them about behaviour which is presumably on this thread. Should be easy to cite—especially the ‘inexcusable’ parts; they should stand out like a sore thumb, yes?

  251. mythbri says

    @lilandra

    I’m having trouble following your responses here, and who you’re responding to. It’s hard for me to see your side of things when you don’t provide examples and communicate your arguments clearly.

  252. consciousness razor says

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    No, it is excusable. Personally, my excuse is that you’re pissing me the fuck off. I simply cannot be reasoned with when I hear all this foul tone trolling. It fries my brain, so there’s no way I could comprehend your astoundingly lucid arguments or examine the vast quantities of evidence you’ve given for your completely unambiguous claims. Maybe if we were friends, but we’re not.

  253. Matt Penfold says

    Where is this poor behaviour of which you speak?

    Well I am no longer willing to be nice to her, not since she has refused to acknowledge her lack of honesty and then made things even worse by repeating the misogynistic lie that we think sexism is worse in atheist/sceptic community than in general. Once she repeated that lie she crossed a line, and unless she is very quick to retract the claim and apologise I suspect her reputation will be seriously damaged. After all, she is just parroting Thunderfoot when she says that.

  254. says

    Ing:

    You don’t get to use social plight of people for your own end to drum up emotional support and then turn your back on the issues. You do not get to use women gays minoroties the poor and oppressed as your pawns against theism and psychics. You do not get to use them.

    QFMFT.

    Hey, Lilandra! Please, go use your niceness technique on the rape apologists in this thread. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here, assuming you’re capable of both 1)putting your money where your mouth is and 2) capable of yakking about something other than Thunderfoot.

  255. says

    @174 Again I am not advocating that people who are being bullied are responsible to reform bullies.

    jesus fucking christ.

    again

    Natalie Reed: “I don’t WANT to be allies with ppl who need to be dragged, kicking & screaming, into treating me like a human.”

    lilandra: “I don’t agree with Natalie on giving up on potential allies. I would rather try reasoning with people first in a reasonable manner without making disparaging remarks about them personally.”

    this is advocating for people who are being bullied to take responsibility for reforming bullies. If that’s not what you meant to say, then acknowledge that you accidentally did, take it back, and move on.

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable.

    you’ve not been flamed, and cussing is not “inexcusable”, that’s ridiculous.

    Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    pot, kettle. stop complaining about the cussing, and focus on the arguments people are making. people have been trying to be nice to you because PZ asked. I have tried being nice to you and not “cuss”. But you’re still complaining about that instead of focusing on the substance. you’re behaving evasively.

  256. Paul says

    Nor am I hostile to a bully that would make me a bully.

    I’m surprised nobody pointed this one out. REALLY?

  257. says

    Mythbri:

    I’m having trouble following your responses here, and who you’re responding to.

    The last time Lilandra was here defending TF, many posts were spent on trying to get her to blockquote, teaching her to quote people, etc. It seems she still can’t be arsed to do so.

  258. peterhearn says

    Matt Penfold and Carlie,

    Of course you deny its an adhominem attack. Well lets just look at the post in question. Please feel free to deny it and entertain me further.

    lilandra says:

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side. You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

    Matt Penfold replies to that with:

    If I recall your concept of decent is fluid enough to include Thunderfoot. If you think Thunderfoot is a decent person, you really do need to go away and have a think about what qualifies as decent for you, as something is seriously wrong your judgement otherwise.

    You simply ignore her valid point and instead attack her personal judgement on something completely unrelated and then her to go away. This is not an intellectually honest way to rebut to the point she was making.

  259. says

    I’m surprised nobody pointed this one out. REALLY?

    *shrug* there’s only so many times one can point out the false equivalence between using “cuss” words on the one hand, and using slurs and being aggressively bigoted on the other.

  260. says

    I’m surprised nobody pointed this one out. REALLY?

    I totally missed that. I guess the only kids who are victims of bullying are the ones who never do anything back (even though they get told to “stand up” to them all the time)?

  261. Scientismist says

    OK — I’m caught up — almost. The issues seem to be, (1) is it wise to “add” feminism to atheist concerns, and (2) should this extend to allowing atheism to ally itself with other “progressive” social movements, and (3) should it all be couched in very polite language.

    Well, my answer is “Goodness, No!”

    You don’t “add” feminism and other progressive values to something that should have started as an ethical decision: Do you or do you not tell the truth? Those values are already built-in. Is your business plan for life to ally with other human beings, to elicit the best in them as well as yourself to contribute to social progress, or to build yourself up by destroying others? If it is the latter, why would you want to associate with either science or atheism? Fraud is death to science, but essential to religion.

    I have a long history with Humanism (Capital H — Organized), but have been told in the past that Humanism would regret ever associating itself with science, because it is a distraction from the social issues that really matter. To which I say, “Balderdash!” If you don’t start with an ethical commitment to telling the truth, as near as you can express it, you can’t have either humanism (lower case — a concern for humanity) or science.

    Sorry for the rough language, but sometimes even we old folks just have to cut loose and express ourselves forcefully about issues that are fucking important.

  262. says

    You simply ignore her valid point and instead attack her personal judgement on something completely unrelated and then her to go away.

    You’re wrong. Much of what Lilandra is saying in this thread is a continuation of what she was saying in a previous thread, basically, all the crap defending TF. Many people, including Matt Penfold, were in the thick of that particular discussion.

    None of that is an ad hominem, either. Stop throwing the term around when you have repeatedly demonstrated you don’t know what it means and simply use it as a synonym for insult, along with using it for anything you disagree with. Very dishonest.

  263. Steve LaBonne says

    I find that you seem to be trying to exert your classroom authority to adults outside it to be the crux of why people are mad at you.

    Not only that, but she represents the malign tendency in our education system to value order over justice and to punish bullies and bullied alike because they’re both “fighting”.

  264. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Paul – So, targets of bullies are nice enough to bullies? So, apparently, bullying is the fault of the bullied? is that the message I’m supposed to be getting from her posts?

    I’m still baffled at what her point is, since there doesn’t seem to be a way to apply it to the current situation at all.

  265. says

    peterhearn

    You simply ignore her valid point and instead attack her personal judgement on something completely unrelated and then her to go away. This is not an intellectually honest way to rebut to the point she was making.

    So if I said that hitler was an ok guy, but PZ is horrible because of something he said on the internet, it would be an ad hominem to point out the inconsistency of that reasoning?

  266. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Not only that, but she represents the malign tendency in our education system to value order over justice and to punish bullies and bullied alike because they’re both “fighting”.

    THIS PRECISELY. And it’s a moral obscenity. In a school teacher, in a colleague, in a boss, in a family member, in an online commenter.

  267. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    What? Many people were quite polite. Why are you not showing them the good-faith effort you’re saying that we need to show to people who say much more terrible things to us than were said to you? Just because you’re not saying the words “fuck you” doesn’t mean that your message isn’t exactly that and coming across loud and clear.

    Of course you deny its an adhominem attack.

    Oh geez, not another person who doesn’t understand what ad hominem means. Ad hominem means that someone says your argument is invalid because of your attributes; see the meme. Calling you names in addition to saying your argumentation leaves everything to be desired is not an ad hominem.

  268. says

    @lilandra

    In other words

    Don’t you disrespect me civil ma’am!
    Don’t you derail or deride!
    You’re in our world now not your world!
    And we got friends on the other side
    (Friends on the other side)
    Sit down at my forum
    Put your mind at ease
    If you listen it’ll enable me
    To reason as you please
    I can see your reason
    I can pull at the threads to
    Look deep into your heart and soul
    (Metaphorical soul there lilanda)
    And see if your wild premise are true
    I got cussing I got ridicule reponses appropriate for lies
    And I got friends on the other side

  269. fastlane says

    lilandra@269:

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    And your passive aggressive bullshit reflects very poorly on you. You were asked nicely, multiple times, for evidence after your initial couple of posts. You then came back and whined about people cussing at you (which hadn’t happened at that point). You also flounced, saying you were going to leave us to our cussing or some such passive aggressive BS.

    You’ve ignored the polite posts, focused on the naughty words, and generally acted the lying dishonest part to perfection. You may have left creationism, but you still exhibit most of the hallmarks of religion.

    (and fuck it, FTB (the software, not the monolithic thoughtbot that I know you all are…I’m on to you, and you won’t get my precious bodily fluids!!)…ahem…is eating posts, so I’m just going to read now).

  270. Sili says

    Jadehawk you are adding asking Natalie to be polite to bit to I am assuming the people who are being hurtful and misrepresenting my argument.

    Just out of curiosity: What is it that you’re a teacher of?

    Numerous people respond by cussing at me. Do you need a citation? I haven’t cussed a single person here but I am the rude one?

    Congratulations! You have unlocked: “Tonetrolling”! Have a biscuit.

  271. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am not under obligation to provide you or anyone else with an unreasonable burden of proof. After I have given you and Josh the evidence you asked for

    No, you didn’t. That is provided for with links to said evidence, like null hypothesis. Your word isn’t evidence, only opinion, which is why people question your word.

  272. devoniansplit says

    Does that society include women? Does that society include GLBT peoples?

    Your “argument” is pure shit.

    You keep missing the fucking point. I am trying to be civil with you but now you are tiring me out. No one – especially me – is saying that we should embrace rape apologists. Tell them to fuck off – they need to be condemned. I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics. The vast majority of us are pro-women and pro-equality but ninety percent of our output is engaging with these hideous trolls – we are failing. Our community will crumble – the problem does exist and I will be the first to admit that, however; the way in which we are fighting the war is flawed. We will lose.

  273. abb3w says

    I’ve plugged it before, but I’ll plug once again the work of Doctor Robert Altemeyer, who’s done some fascinating research on authoritarian mindsets, prejudice, and on atheists. In particular, I’d recommend his free PDF book “The Authoritarians” as an introduction, and the book he published with Bruce Hunsberger “Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America’s Nonbelievers”. (Their “Amazing Conversions” also seems likely to interest the tentacled horde.)

    Based on his work and other related studies, I conjecture that “New Atheists” may disproportionately tend to be low-RWA, high-SDO types. This would help explain the “smug” — it’s would be characteristically expected of the high-SDO component.

    The RWA and SDO metrics are only loosely correlated. They can loosely be thought of as proto-fascist “follower” and “leader” types. (Those high on both scales seem rather scary.) In the west, high-RWA mindsets are strongly associated with higher religiosity; unsurprisingly, atheists tend to be low-RWA. However, SDO appears to have a quite weak correlation to religiosity, in the few studies that have published results on the relation. Thus, it can be expected that the irreligious and religious would tend to distribute SDO in about the same numbers.

    However, not all irreligious are atheists; there’s also the “nothing in particular” and “spiritual not religious”. I suspect the low-RWA leads to reduced acceptance of religious authority, and the high-SDO element gives some the self confidence (warranted or not) to go find and adhere to another answer.

    Both RWA and SDO correlate to prejudice, but they appear (doi:10.1002/per.614) to contribute to different sorts of prejudice. High-RWA contributes to prejudice against “dangerous” groups that are considered a social danger; high-SDO, to “derogated” groups that the culture considers socially inferior. Both contribute to prejudice against “dissenting” groups, but high-RWA more so than high-SDO. Under the conjecture that Thunderf00t is such a high-SDO, it would thus be unsurprising if he (and others) might still have issues with traditional “inferior” groups, such as women or other races.

    It also could explain why the Hunsberger/Altemeyer study of atheists found a surprisingly degree of religious ethnocentricism: the high-SDO tendencies are re-oriented to derogate the highly religious. (They’re probably also re-oriented to derogate the unintelligent.) However, this is an inference; the H/A study did not measure SDO.

    Of course, even if that’s all correct (and there’s a lot of inference from rather little hard data), none of that does anything directly to solve the problem. However, the conjecture about atheists seems potentially (though not easily) testable by social psychology experiment, if someone is determined. If confirmed (OK Popperites: confirmed over a null hypothesis and not yet falisified), one could look for tactics that are effective on SDO overall, rather than concentrating on atheists. The conjecture might also allow more controlled small-scale tests about other strategies before putting large-scale efforts behind them… if a researcher, funding, and an amenable IRB for human subjects testing can all be turned up.

    Even without that, one can keep an eye out for related areas where they’ve turned up on their own. There’s at least one study (DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00738.x) suggesting the potential to moderate SDO tendencies; in that case, with doing volunteer work. There may be other things buried more deeply in the literature.

  274. terryg says

    my $0.02 re. Lilandra:
    1. in a fit of inspired stupidity, Lilandra casually and repeatedly neglected to mention she was referring to the private back-channel, which being private and all she cant really discuss. in that respect PZ was right to say “guys dont do that” (sorry, couldnt resist). oops.

    2. Lilandras prose and commenting style wrt quoting are really hard to parse. the latter is spectacularly confusing and really annoying. the former? ISTM english isn’t her first language – if so, that would explain quite a bit. if not – OMFSM, if you only speak one language, it behoves you to speak it well.

    3. some people just cant get over cussing. Lilandra is quite clearly one of those. fucked if I know why, but hey – whatever floats your boat. Tone trolling receives short shrift here, and rightly so. Lilandra, if I were you I’d just give up on this issue – not only will you never win, but its such a red rag to so many that it quite successfully derails threads – especially in conjunction with #2

    that being said, IMO I think Lilandra falls quite nicely into the category of posters to just ignore (pseudo trolls?). She’s orders of magnitude better than the MRAs and slimepitters, so although she’s wrong, I cant see it being worth the effort to chase (inherent irony noted). YMMV.

    and I cant help but discuss TF. I saw the first video on youtube, and was gobsmacked. I gave my monitor a talking-to along the lines of “you have got to be fucking kidding me – this’ll go down like a cup of cold sick” which, when I went to FtB, it indeed did. and rightly so. and then the N-tupling down. just wow. Ah cognitive dissonance – without you how would smart people do such fucking dumb things.

  275. fastlane says

    Josh@300 (or at least that’s where it is when I’m reading it, don’t blame me if you can’t find it later….)

    Not only that, but she represents the malign tendency in our education system to value order over justice and to punish bullies and bullied alike because they’re both “fighting”.

    THIS PRECISELY. And it’s a moral obscenity. In a school teacher, in a colleague, in a boss, in a family member, in an online commenter.

    Maybe this is why this sort of shit pisses me off so much. My dad was one of those ‘don’t ever get in a fight or you’ll be in big trouble, no matter what’ types, and I grew up more afraid of the bullies because I felt like my hands were tied in addition to me being a small kid prone to being bullied.

    So yeah, fuck that shit.

  276. Ze Madmax says

    peterhearn @ #290

    That’s not an ad hominem attack. Lilandra claimed that the “inexcusable behavior” on part of some members of the FTB network made enemies out of “decent people.” The fact that Lilandra’s conceptualization of “decent people” seems to include (or have included) Thunderfoot is an important issue, because to consider Thunderfoot to be a “decent person” who is being made into an “enemy” in the context of the current discussion of sexism within the atheist/skeptic movement is nonsense. Thunderfoot had a clear anti-FTB agenda, and while he may be the most wonderful person in the planet among his friends, his actions as a blogger demonstrate a metric fuckton of privilege and a strong drive to defend it at the expense of greater equality within the atheist/skeptic movement.

    And if someone thinks that maintaining their privilege is more important than fighting for equality, they aren’t a decent person, unless you want to make “decent” meaningless.

  277. says

    I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics.

    as opposed to? have you noticed that there are no doors on this movement which we could lock to keep them out and keep them from alienating other people?

  278. Sili says

    In fact, I want to know more about these plans of WIC Europe. halp?

    Oooooh!

    And I’m supposed to be saving for a house, not jet around Europe for conferences. Damn.

  279. says

    I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics.

    or to put it differently: not feeding the trolls doesn’t work, ignoring the bullies never makes them stop

  280. Beatrice says

    Tell them to fuck off – they need to be condemned. I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics.

    Generally, for those who aren’t actively sexist, ignoring it is already the default. And that isn’t helpful. If we ignore them, rape apologists or misogynists won’t go away. They will just keep japing since for them, silence is acceptance.

  281. r3a50n says

    Its not a simple question at all. What immediately sprang to mind for me was reseach on the heritability of personality traits.

    Well it is a simple answer. And I think the question is simpler than you think. “Depend[ing] on an unassailable core dogma that must be defended at all costs (and never examined critically)” is far from a “personality trait.”

    Dawkins speaks to this in The God Delusion and though me makes no firm conclusions, he does attribute the apparent need to believe to likely be a by-product of evolutionary development and the details of that theory are indeed complex. But an apparent evolutionary need or even desire to believe in the supernatural is a far cry from “depend[ing] on an unassailable core dogma that must be defended at all costs (and never examined critically).”

    The simple fact that there are atheists makes it clear, at least to me, that humans are not “programmed to depend on an unassailable core dogma that must be defended at all costs (and never examined critically).” Compared to the complexity of Dawkins’ theory, IMHO, that view really is simplistic.

  282. Steve LaBonne says

    devoniansplit @306, you’re the one who’s not getting it. I will repost something I wrote above:

    I will make common cause with progressive liberal religionists 10 times out of 10 (while opposing them if they seek to maintain special privileges for religion). I will oppose racist and/or misogynist atheists 10 times out of 10. And if you downplay the importance of racism and misogyny, or lecture the victims about “civility” to their victimizers, YOU ARE guilty of those offenses yourself. It’s that simple.

    Anybody who would be put off by a movement that stands forthrightly for true freedom of thought and for social justice- not just for the narrow cause of not believing in sky fairies- is an “ally” who is worse than useless. Furthermore, as others have already pointed out, you would privilege retaining white male “allies” who refuse to examine their own privilege over reaching the nonwhite and nonmale. You must be very bad at arithmetic to think that’s a way to grow a movement.

  283. Kalliope says

    There are people like Thunderfoot that could be made more aware of the evidence.

    Jesus, Lilandra. Thunderfoot is sexist. He has made sexist comments. He has attacked the anti-sexist pushes within his own movement. He discounts the testimony and concerns of women and assumes that he has the innate ability to know better.

    The real question is, how much evidence do you need before you can admit that your hubby’s BFF doesn’t treat women equally to men? That in fact he goes out of his way to belittle women and their allies?

    You know him. I’m sure he has a lot of great qualities that make him a great friend. He is still an active sexist working against the empowerment and equality of women. No one is saying he has to be perfect to be your friend. But the evidence is there and your blindspot is raging.

    This is the reality on the ground.

  284. says

    @PZ now do you see it? They are now misrepresenting me as a teacher and attacking my character. It doesn’t matter what I said about disciplining a bully, but still trying to get them to stop bullying. The whole point is to stop a child from hurting any more children. They will just go on maligning me that I care about order over justice. They are not going to read what I say in good faith. I said I defended some of what Thunderfoot did and criticized him for other things he did. It doesn’t matter, it’s basically… see she defended Thunderfoot!

    Some have continued flaming me personally, despite your admonition to stop. Someone even alluded to my reputation in the freethought community. May be this works with die hard trolls or people who are not being sincere. I admit I am wrong to try to persuade people to be more nuanced in this forum not to trolls but to people they disagree with, when that is clearly not the way things are handled in this forum. It is well known, I shouldn’t have interceded.

  285. Richard Austin says

    devoniansplit:

    You keep missing the fucking point. I am trying to be civil with you but now you are tiring me out. No one – especially me – is saying that we should embrace rape apologists. Tell them to fuck off – they need to be condemned. I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics. The vast majority of us are pro-women and pro-equality but ninety percent of our output is engaging with these hideous trolls – we are failing. Our community will crumble – the problem does exist and I will be the first to admit that, however; the way in which we are fighting the war is flawed. We will lose.

    You may be correct.

    However, how badly is the community of atheists and skeptics harmed by the existence of these people who publicly and loudly pronounce themselves as atheists and skeptics and yet who also exhibit these extremely negative traits? It isn’t a stretch to see that people who might dislike those traits already and be leaning towards atheism would shudder and walk away rather than being identified with racists and bigots.

    In the end, it may be that the best bet is to actually split and become two separate groups – but the racist, bigoted group has already co-opted the label “atheist”. So, unless we want to use some other word (which would work less successfully), we need to fight them for it. We need to reclaim the moniker and the public’s perception of what it means to be an atheist and a skeptic.

    The only other option is to cede the label and be something else, and that’s a much, much longer and harder fight to establish a presence.

    And all of that is ignoring the fact that racists and bigots are causing harm as racists and bigots, whether atheist or not. So, not only can we argue that we have the right to try and redefine how our community appears to the general public, we have the moral responsibility to fight racism and bigotry wherever they are – especially if it’s within our own community. And it’s only by standing up to them publicly and loudly that we both exercise our right and fulfill our responsibility.

  286. Nightjar says

    The conclusion is simple; eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent.

    We’re sort of trying to eliminate the odious, but it’s time-consuming and it really doesn’t help when the “indifferent” keep chastising us for spending so much time fighting the misogyny, instead of chastising the ones who keep throwing it our way. It really, really doesn’t help.

    Do you have any suggestions on how we can “eliminate the odious without shunning the indifferent” effectively and more quickly? That would be helpful.

  287. fastlane says

    PZed@166. Actually, I would take exception to your request to ‘dial it back’ a bit re:lilandra. I went back up to her first post where she made various and sundry assertions. Her first post (#14 ) in this thread was mostly pablum with a little tut-tut-ing and reasonable sounding ‘can’t we all get along BS.

    The best reply, putting him in the running for a Molly for the month, was Matt Penfold@24. (IMHO)

    lilandra’s next post was #26, which made blanket comments about what FTB ‘wants’ and whoever disagrees with FTB is labelled a troll, and it ended with:

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side. You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

    She was asked for examples multiple times (post 29, 30, 35, 54). Note that she posted several times in that interim, mostly ignoring this.
    Then, at 63, she said this:

    Already people are needlessly cussing at me. Yet I need to provide a “fucking” citation.

    Note the quotation marks. Now, I could go back and re-read all of the posts between 26 and 63 (again), but I didn’t see a single instance of anyone asking for ‘fucking evidence’. One can easily review those posts that do specifically ask for links/evidence, and all of them were actually polite, if direct.

    I think lilandra simply doesn’t like her BS being called out, so she made a whine about people here being mean to her simply based on the fact that the horde doesn’t mince words, but in this case, it’s all projection or wishful thinking.

    There’s more I could say about other things she’s said in this thread, but I think this really needed to be pointed out. She’s being exceedingly dishonest here. Oh, and she flounced at least once (I haven’t caught up with the rest of the thread yet) and has since come back and posted several more times.

  288. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    Some have continued flaming me personally, despite your admonition to stop. Someone even alluded to my reputation in the freethought community.

    And many others have tried to engage you within the boundaries PZ set, and you have studiously ignored them in favor of complaining about the few who rubbed you the wrong way. Do you see how this makes you look biased?

  289. Steve LaBonne says

    lilandra: “They are now misrepresenting me as a teacher and attacking my character.”

    Nobody could put your character in a worse light than you have done yourself. Best to make your flounce stick this time. First rule of holes, and such.

  290. says

    @Kalliope Thunderfoot is wrong about ther not being sexism in the community, and I would like him to recognize that. The chances of that happening were slim then, and are impossible now.

  291. Beatrice says

    lilandra,

    It doesn’t matter what I said about disciplining a bully, but still trying to get them to stop bullying. The whole point is to stop a child from hurting any more children.

    Clear it up then, maybe you have been misunderstood.

    What did you mean when you wrote this:

    I don’t advocate that anyone should be hostile to someone who is bullying them in my class either.

    Since your definition of hostile seems to be “not nice and respectful”, I find this a bit troubling.

  292. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh for fuck’s sake lilandra. I can only imagine you’ve gotten your way through passive aggression, misdirection, and affecting woundedness so many times you don’t yet realize it doesn’t work everywhere. Like here. Welcome to it.

  293. says

    Skepticism lately has had me looking inward having to remind myself why I left my church…and it has nothing to do with cussing or FTbulling. If atheism and skepticism movements aren’t what I’m looking for then a liberal church is back on the list of possabilities. If I have to choose between self honesty and social justice for others or social justice and living a lie then ill have to prioritize the greater goal.

    You will lose allies in this schizm no matter what…consider who you want in your camp and who you won’t mind being in the oppozitishion.

  294. says

    devoniansplit:

    Tell them to fuck off – they need to be condemned.

    We do, on a regular basis. We also take the time, an incredible amount of time to educate. We also share painful stories of our own experiences, in the hope of raising consciousness.

    I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics.

    No, we won’t. For myself, I refuse to be part of a community which harbours open misogynists and people who feel atheism/skepticism should be sharply circumscribed to only include certain subjects and ideologies.

    Not engaging with the misogynists, the cluelessly sexist, the knowingly sexist, the bigoted, etc., enables them in their attitudes and what they are doing. Silence gives assent. It also gives permission for them to continue on with what they are doing. By the way, ableist language is not helping your case. These people are not fucking lunatics – they are family members, co-workers, neighbours, acquaintances and friends. Every day people. Full Fucking Stop.

    These people must be engaged with, full on, non-stop. This is how societal change is effected. It is how societal change has always been effected. Silence makes it worse. Ignoring it is idiocy – changes nothing, has all the merit of silence. If you are a decent, compassionate human being, these issues matter. Of course they must be fought for – you don’t ignore the fire in your own damn house to run off and fight a fire in another country.

    The vast majority of us are pro-women and pro-equality but ninety percent of our output is engaging with these hideous trolls – we are failing.

    You’re wrong about that. The vast majority are happy with the status quo and are blithely unaware there’s even a problem. For every thread like this one, or this one: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/24/its-odd-how-culture-shelters-some-who-should-be-shamed/, we get people delurking to tell us how much our fighting the good fight has meant to them. We get people all the damn time who delurk to tell us they use to be on the sexist, misogynist or privileged side and didn’t see what the big deal was, but thanks to what we do, they understand it now and thank us. WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE HERE. Whether people spend 1% of their time on it or 100% on it is up to them.

    No one is forcing you to do the right thing, you know. If your ennui is so fierce and you really, really think this is a waste of time, then stop wasting your fucking time coming here and scolding us. Go and do whatever the fuck you think is useful.

    Our community will crumble – the problem does exist and I will be the first to admit that, however; the way in which we are fighting the war is flawed. We will lose.

    We’ve heard this weak little whine many times before. The community here is strong. Skepchicks – strong. And on and on and on and on – strong. We are growing, we are getting louder and better every fucking day. It is those who are frightened of change who are bleating “oh, you’re going to ruin things! Woe is us! The sky is falling!” We aren’t losing. We’re winning. That’s why the backlash. What you hear are the howls of idiots faced with losing their privileged and cosy place in the white, het, privileged boys club. Too fuckin’ bad. As Josh said, Let the ruination go on!

  295. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    Some have continued flaming me personally, despite your admonition to stop. Someone even alluded to my reputation in the freethought community.

    And many others have tried to engage you within the boundaries PZ set, and you have studiously ignored them in favor of complaining about the few who rubbed you the wrong way. Do you see how this makes you look biased?

    And in doing so, you’re proving your own point to be entirely wrong. The people acting nice and deferential are being ignored, and the only ones who get attention are the loud and brash ones. You yourself are only paying attention to the brash ones, all while saying that we’d get more attention by being polite.

  296. Doug Hudson says

    Thunderfoot is well aware of the fact that there is sexism in the community–he perpetuates a lot of it himself!

    Anyone who thinks TF and company (or the slimepit) is somehow acting out of honest ignorance is a fool.

    They know damn well that they are misogynists, they embrace that position!

  297. Ogvorbis says

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable.

    Er, I think you have that backwards. Information was requested long before the ‘cussing’ or ‘flaming.’

    With regard to the use of certain words, we are not your students. Feel free to correct the substance of the comment, not whether or not we use the word ‘fuck’.

    No one – especially me – is saying that we should embrace rape apologists. Tell them to fuck off – they need to be condemned

    Which is what we have been doing for over a year and we have been labelled the bullies. We have been condemning rape apologists ad nauseum and have been accused of censorship. We have been fighting against misogyny because we are human beings and we have been accused of wanting the human race to die out.

    The vast majority of us are pro-women and pro-equality but ninety percent of our output is engaging with these hideous trolls – we are failing.

    And as I have written before, I cannot remain silent. Part of the fight for atheism is the fight against toxic patriarchy which is rooted in organized religion.

  298. Kalliope says

    Actually, I’m going to add to that.

    Most of us have had crappy relationships, yeah? We’ve had that relationship with the person who, no matter how much they said they loved us, somehow let us down and didn’t do the things we said were really, really important to us?

    And what did we do? We sat there and thought, “Oh, if I could just better explain how important this thing is to me, s/he would do it. It’s just that I need to explain it better.”

    No, we explained ourselves clearly. The other person just didn’t care.

    Thunderfood, et al, know. They have the information. They just don’t care and are choosing to ignore it.

  299. says

    And many others have tried to engage you within the boundaries PZ set, and you have studiously ignored them in favor of complaining about the few who rubbed you the wrong way. Do you see how this makes you look biased?

    QFT.

    lilandra, you’ve not responded to my comments, not acknowledged my explanations of what people (including me) are finding wrong with your comments, haven’t even acknowledged that you’ve read and understood what I said.

    you’ve not explained why you’re adminishing us instead of leading by example over at the other thread.

    you’ve not responded to my explanation of what people mean when they say you’re dishonest

    you’ve not acknowledged that you’ve read and understood my explanation of how your first comment looks like asking the bullied to reason politely with bullies

    and you’ve definitely not retracted that comment.

    how am I supposed to take your claim for wanting reasoned argument seriously, when you ignore reasoned arguments in favor of complaining about people’s tone? especially when we did tone it down for you?

  300. Doug Hudson says

    It would be like saying “Jesse Helms doesn’t see the racism in the community, and now he never will because people are calling him a racist douchebag”.

    Jesse Helms damn well knew he was a racist. What he needed wasn’t education, it was opposition.

    Same thing with TF and the gang. No compromise is possible, because they have embraced an unacceptable position.

  301. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Well that was a fun experiment. I’m totally surprised at the outcome.

  302. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Some have continued flaming me personally,

    Get over yourself cupcake. You aren’t the arbiter here. You aren’t the authority here. You aren’t the teacher here. If you aren’t willing to listen and learn, why should anybody treat you with kid gloves?

    The answer is nobody should. We look at your behavior toward as to to how we should respond to you. And that is with arrogance and snideness.

  303. Doug Hudson says

    Also, coming in to a thread, tone trolling, and then whining to PZ that people are mean to you is fucking pathetic.

  304. says

    Incidently the reason for leaving my church would be the same for abandoning your precioous community: it is morally twofaced

    @lilanda: really? Your blaming the people who responded to tf for hardening his heart? Why do you remove his intellectual and moral agency

    Also as I said this is not your classroom. People are annoyed that youjr treating them like children, including petitioning a patriach figure to tattle on their bad behavior. You clearly don’t respect anyone talking to you yiu just see them as PZ’s rowdy uncontrolled kids

  305. Nightjar says

    Our community will crumble

    It won’t, but even if it did… I cannot bring myself to care about a community that crumbles over the idea that women are human beings too. Sorry.

  306. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Jesse Helms damn well knew he was a racist. What he needed wasn’t education, it was opposition.

    Exactly. When someone says, “I’ll maybe stop bullying you if you ask nicely or show me evidence of why you don’t like it,” the correct answer is not “Oh, OK!”

    The correct answer is “Yes you will stop right fucking now or get out of my face. No, no one else here has your back so don’t bother.”

  307. CT says

    @lilandra

    @Kalliope Thunderfoot is wrong about ther not being sexism in the community, and I would like him to recognize that. The chances of that happening were slim then, and are impossible now.

    Lilandra, this is his fault, not the fault of the people who tried to get him to see what was really happening re sexism. He has created his safe space and he has drawn the line in the sand. None of that is the fault of other people. We all have the chance to change and we can either hide in our safe spot and draw up a battle plan or try to engage in good faith. He’s chosen unwisely. It’s not your fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not the Commentariat’s fault. It’s his fault. I can see that this really bothers you and I’m sorry. I’ve seen so many racists do this over and over again and they really hurt their families and friends far more than they ever hurt the ones they are aiming for.

  308. Doug Hudson says

    Didn’t work. Huh, I’ll have to check those threads that explain how to do it.

  309. CT says

    Kalliope

    Most of us have had crappy relationships, yeah? We’ve had that relationship with the person who, no matter how much they said they loved us, somehow let us down and didn’t do the things we said were really, really important to us?

    And what did we do? We sat there and thought, “Oh, if I could just better explain how important this thing is to me, s/he would do it. It’s just that I need to explain it better.”

    yes, this is how I see it too. It doesn’t work but we all have wishes and thoughts like that.

  310. says

    blockquoting is done like this [blockquote] hello, old bean. [/blockquote] but with the replaced by .

    Thus:

    hello, old bean.

  311. barfy says

    Caine @331
    I agree that the “howls of idiots losing their privileged and cosy place in the white, het, privileged boys club” can be frustrating. Changing people’s minds usually is.
    I’d like to try to change yours.

    Where is your criticism of PZ’s tone troll? It is hypocrisy of you and many others not to point it out.

    And please, though I understand the urge is difficult to overcome, you and PZ need to STOP using the example of heinous privilege as a “white, het, privileged boys club.”

    It’s fine, every once in a while, but to turn to it unceasingly, is every single bit as lazy and annoying as calling everybody in authority a “Nazi.” That is why we have Godwin’s Law. How about I just refer to your uber-reference as “Caine’s Law.”

    Teach what ‘privilege’ is first, then SPECIFY what ABUSE OF PRIVILEGE occurred. You all seem to forget that privilege, in itself, is not bad. Once again, privilege, in itself, is not bad. Get it…you near-total fuckwit.

    P.S. I had to throw that in first cause I know that’s the only moniker of derision you comprehend.

  312. Richard Austin says

    … Perhaps I’m reading this incorrectly, but I’m seeing arguments that part of reason misogyny continues in the atheist community is that we’re not engaging the misogynists right. Isn’t that the equivalent to telling a woman that it’s easier to stop rape if she’s not wearing a low-cut top? Especially as many of the people using “mean words” are the victims of bigotry and hate, doesn’t this amount to politely-worded victim blaming?

    “Well, gee, if only you’d been more polite about being victims, we wouldn’t have doubled down in victimizing you…”

    If I’m wrong, by all means please point it out.

  313. says

    As for expending a lot of emotional energy on trying to teach people who have shown they can’t learn, I may say, “NO! Bad Kitty!” every tme my cat tries to eat my food by sticking her paw in my plate, but I’m not going to endure a whole lot of extra biting and scratching trying to teach her to use a knife and fork instead.

    Some people who double down may be teachable, but they need to distance themselves until they think the new idea came from their own clever minds. Some people’s egos can be funny like that.

  314. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    … Perhaps I’m reading this incorrectly, but I’m seeing arguments that part of reason misogyny continues in the atheist community is that we’re not engaging the misogynists right. Isn’t that the equivalent to telling a woman that it’s easier to stop rape if she’s not wearing a low-cut top? Especially as many of the people using “mean words” are the victims of bigotry and hate, doesn’t this amount to politely-worded victim blaming?

    “Well, gee, if only you’d been more polite about being victims, we wouldn’t have doubled down in victimizing you…”

    If I’m wrong, by all means please point it out.

    No, you’re pretty much right on the money there.

  315. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Richard and G – yeah to both of you.

    Another fundamental mistake: Believing that all people are “teachable.” They’re not. Some can only be silenced and marginalized, and they should be.

    Jeezis. This was shit I learned as a wee SpokesGay in training back in the 80s during the ACT-UP years. It’s not brain rocketry.

  316. Doug Hudson says

    blockquoting is done like this [blockquote] hello, old bean. [/blockquote] but with the replaced by the carrot.

    Let’s see if this works.

  317. Doug Hudson says

    Especially as many of the people using “mean words” are the victims of bigotry and hate, doesn’t this amount to politely-worded victim blaming?

    Absolutely. It’s a common silencing technique. It’s also a way of minimizing the pain of the victim.

    Douchebag: “Here let me trigger you.”
    Triggered Person: You fucking douchebag.
    Douchebag: “Oh, how crude! Your display of raw emotion offends me! I am the victim here!”

    repeat ad nauseum

  318. says

    Devoniansplit, I do not give a flying fuck about an atheist movement that is not willing to take on social-justice issues. Why should I? Let it die.

    I have issues with progressive Christianity, but, like Matt, Hypatia, and Ing, I would far rather ally myself with progressive Christians than with atheist libertarians and conservatives who think that the issue of my sovereignty over my own body is “trifling.”

    In short, fuck you.

    David:

    Somebody who seems to believe “you must immediately shut down your brain as soon as anyone says the F word” is a teacher!?!

    <sing>The West is red, the sun is dying.</sing>

    Oh, her ilk has existed for decades and more. Consider that the public schools were founded in the U.S. not to educate children but to train them to be obedient little workers; hence the dynamic Steve LaBonne mentions.

    (I’m not anti-public schools, fwiw. I simply don’t idealize them.)

    Fuck off, Hearn, you disingenuous slimewright.

    Illuminata:

    I’m a little confused. What about lilandra’s posts deserves treatment different than it would get if posted by someone else?

    GOOD question.

    Lilandra:

    For the rest, hand waving cussing and flaming me, and then demanding I give you proof that some of your behavior is inexcusable. Your poor behavior reflects on you.

    <childlike_singsong>
    YES MISSUS ARON RA.
    </childlike_singsong>

    Ing, #273: Co-fucking-signed.

  319. CT says

    Josh:

    Another fundamental mistake: Believing that all people are “teachable.” They’re not. Some can only be silenced and marginalized, and they should be.

    As much as it sucks to admit it, this is what I’ve found to be true also.

  320. Matt Penfold says

    Matt Penfold and Carlie,

    Of course you deny its an adhominem attack. Well lets just look at the post in question. Please feel free to deny it and entertain me further.

    lilandra says:

    However, I have seen inexcusable behavior on the part of some on the FTB side. You are asking for that to stop. It doesn’t help the cause and creates allies for the few who are hurtful and makes enemies of otherwise decent people needlessly.

    Matt Penfold replies to that with:

    If I recall your concept of decent is fluid enough to include Thunderfoot. If you think Thunderfoot is a decent person, you really do need to go away and have a think about what qualifies as decent for you, as something is seriously wrong your judgement otherwise.

    You simply ignore her valid point and instead attack her personal judgement on something completely unrelated and then her to go away. This is not an intellectually honest way to rebut to the point she was making.

    Her claim was that Thunderfoot was simply misunderstood, because he was not communicating clearly she admits, rather than sexist and misogynist. Well events have proven her faith in Thunderfoot to be ill-advised. It is clear he really was saying what he meant, and that he really was sexist and misogynist. She further claimed he would be mortified if he upset women. Again, this turned out not to be true. He upset a good number of women and clearly was not mortified because he made a point of continuing to upset them.

    That is a massive failure on Lilandra’s part to realise her friend was in fact a rather nasty individual, and for her to try and claim he was just misunderstood was bullshit.

  321. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    YES MISSUS ARON RA.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH! That’s what I wanted to say, but didn’t know how.

  322. says

    @Caine

    You won my personal internets with comment 331.

    And, FWIW, I really want to thank FTB (and other sites, of course) for existing. I’m sure at some point I’ll share my personal story, but this doesn’t feel like the appropriate thread for it. I’ll just say that yes, people here do make a real life difference, and thank you all.

  323. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    As much as it sucks to admit it, this is what I’ve found to be true also.

    I know what you mean, but it sucks much more to NOT admit it. Not admitting it, not recognizing it, and not acting on it comes at the cost of social justice. And sometimes at the cost of lives.

    I can’t put myself in the headspace of people who have a compulsive need to believe the world is a better place than it really is. That people are fundamentally good. Why do they need to believe this so hard they leave work undone that would actually improve things?

  324. Kalliope says

    I am arguing that we will fail as a community if we continue to engage with these fucking lunatics.

    They are in our midst. They are among us. They are standing next to us. In some cases, they are at the podium or pulling the levers of influence.

    The vast majority of us are pro-women and pro-equality but ninety percent of our output is engaging with these hideous trolls – we are failing.

    Citation needed.

    Our community will crumble – the problem does exist and I will be the first to admit that, however; the way in which we are fighting the war is flawed. We will lose

    What exactly will we lose?

    Here’s the thing. They aren’t talking about you. They aren’t inhibiting you. They aren’t calling you or treating you as sub-human. For you, it’s all a nice abstraction.

    But please tell me, what I am supposed to do in a group full of people who don’t respect my humanity and autonomy? How much work am I supposed to get done? And why would I want to be there with them?

    This is a pretty binary situation. Either you believe that all women are human all the time, under all circumstances, or you don’t. And “don’t” includes “doesn’t care.”

    What exactly do you hope to do with the atheist movements? What are the goals? Because if, as sub-human, I see no benefit from it, than the majority of people who aren’t cis-white-male will not participate.

  325. thetalkingstove says

    To add my own drivel to the topic of how to engage the misogynist streak – the tone used isn’t just about convincing the person being argued with. It also goes to those lurking/observing – and from a long time spent lurking on here, for me, the forceful, take no bull-shit approach is by far the more compelling.

    It shows passion and conviction. When I first lurked here, I had a little inner “Woh!” at the robustness of the responses.

    As a straight/white/cis man, I was taken aback. “Sure, misogyny is wrong, but why be so angry?”
    But I came to appreciate my own lack of perspective; that there are an awful lot of people for who “misogyny is wrong” is more than an abstract problem, that it can be life or death. I’ll never understand how it really feels, but I got taste of the righteous anger that women feel when putting up with this shit.

    Would I have felt the same if everyone was being all polite and treating sexist morons gently in the hope of persuading them round? I don’t know. Probably not.

  326. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    Here’s the thing. They aren’t talking about you. They aren’t inhibiting you. They aren’t calling you or treating you as sub-human. For you, it’s all a nice abstraction.

    But please tell me, what I am supposed to do in a group full of people who don’t respect my humanity and autonomy? How much work am I supposed to get done? And why would I want to be there with them?

    YES. And to take that further, why the hell (oops, HECK) do you think they would listen to you if you were “nicer”? If they at heart think you’re not quite on their level, they will not listen to you. Being nice to that won’t change their minds on that. All that you can do is sit them in the corner to think about what they’ve done and marginalize them until they figure it out.

  327. Pteryxx says

    “I do not keep him in ignorance. His ignorance is a fortress he has built himself and defended savagely.”

    patrickgranvold: there’s always TET, linked in the sidebar.

  328. oolon says

    @Lilandra it really doesn’t reflect poorly on the people commenting on here that they are rude… If it did it would reflect well on the polite creationists your husband (and you?) argue with. Tone is not considered here to be a valid aspect of the argument so try and ignore it… Really I think the conciliatory nature of PZs post and his personal plea for you are all that have stood between you and the porcupines waiting off stage.

    If Matt, Caine or anyone misrepresent your argument again tell them to shove a porcupine where the sun doesn’t shine – it will make you feel better and give the poor confused porcupines some validation. I’d imagine they are sitting there wondering why they are not being deployed today.

  329. CT says

    Josh:

    I know what you mean, but it sucks much more to NOT admit it. Not admitting it, not recognizing it, and not acting on it comes at the cost of social justice. And sometimes at the cost of lives.

    I agree and use this argument in my own situations that arise. Not that it helps since the people involved have most of their world telling them that the world will ignore them and take them on their good points and the I am a mean old white trash half breed biddy. No, don’t ask me how that insult can be true, it’s just the bullshit that gets batted around.

    I meant originally that it sucks to admit to basically saying someone is unreachable because that well, hurts my feelings. I know, emotional, not logical or even realistic.

  330. says

    patrickgranvold:

    I’m sure at some point I’ll share my personal story, but this doesn’t feel like the appropriate thread for it. I’ll just say that yes, people here do make a real life difference, and thank you all.

    Thank you, Patrick. TET is our lounge, it’s an open thread. Feel free to go on over and join in. (Pagination kicks in at 500 comments, so you’ll often see an “older/newer comments” link at the bottom by the comment box.) TZT is also an open thread, but for troll stomping and discussing weightier issues. It’s also the Arguments Room.

  331. says

    Josh:

    I can’t put myself in the headspace of people who have a compulsive need to believe the world is a better place than it really is. That people are fundamentally good. Why do they need to believe this so hard they leave work undone that would actually improve things?

    That in and of itself tells you something about human nature, doesn’t it?

  332. Kalliope says

    Thunderfoot is wrong about ther not being sexism in the community, and I would like him to recognize that. The chances of that happening were slim then, and are impossible now.

    Thank for acknowledging that he is wrong. But the thing is that he is choosing to be wrong. He know as much as the rest of us. All he has to do is read is his own comment section for proof.

    So what is he doing? He is sacrificing the well-being of women on the altar of his psychological need or prejudice.

    How worthless does he have to consider our well-being in order to do that?

  333. Matt Penfold says

    @PZ now do you see it? They are now misrepresenting me as a teacher and attacking my character. It doesn’t matter what I said about disciplining a bully, but still trying to get them to stop bullying. The whole point is to stop a child from hurting any more children. They will just go on maligning me that I care about order over justice. They are not going to read what I say in good faith. I said I defended some of what Thunderfoot did and criticized him for other things he did. It doesn’t matter, it’s basically… see she defended Thunderfoot!

    No, you did not admit to defending Thunderfoot, not at first. Again, it seems your lack of honesty is showing. I pointed out you had defended Thunderfoot, and rather than admit as much, and apologise for having done so, you claimed I was misrepresenting you.

    So cut out the claims people are maligning you. Pointing you have not been honest is not maligning you when you have not been honest.

    You’ve had ample opportunity to apologise for your lack of honesty, but you have refused to do so. That can and must tell us something about the type of person you are.

    Some have continued flaming me personally, despite your admonition to stop. Someone even alluded to my reputation in the freethought community. May be this works with die hard trolls or people who are not being sincere. I admit I am wrong to try to persuade people to be more nuanced in this forum not to trolls but to people they disagree with, when that is clearly not the way things are handled in this forum. It is well known, I shouldn’t have interceded.

    Your reputation here is that of someone who lies, and who sees nothing wrong with lying. It also of someone who repeats the lies of the misogynists, with no sense of shame.

    You have no reputation worth speaking off as far as I am concerned. If being part of the atheist community means putting up with the likes you, then forget it. I will not play nice with someone who lies like you, spouts misogynist crap like you do, and makes excuses for the likes of Thunderfoot. The best thing you can do for the atheist community is fuck off.

  334. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I am a mean old white trash half breed biddy.

    Let me guess: Your father married a pure Cherokee. Your mother’s people were ashamed of you?

  335. barfy says

    Ing @ 364
    Please explain in your best argument from casuistry how PZ’s “request” wasn’t a plea for a change in tone to be nicer.

    Oh, wait…I’m an old troll who should be ignored.

    Old Troll = Anyone who criticizes PZ and the Horde for hypocrisy. Repeatedly.

    Got it.
    Thanks in advance, for not responding.

  336. Doug Hudson says

    How worthless does he have to consider our well-being in order to do that?

    Completely?

  337. David Marjanović says

    Just ignore the haters. Just ignore the ones that want to derail the topic at hand. any energy directed toward the haters/derailers is used by them to create havoc and chaos. This is a tactic.

    Bullies don’t go away when you ignore them. I’m speaking from long experience.

    Professor Myers, if this is indeed a war then it is a war we can’t win because the “enemy” has no rules. They don’t have to use logic or be reasonable. All they have to do is say anything to create chaos then they are leading the conversation.

    Are you’re saying they’re Always Chaotic Evil? Being Always Chaotic Evil is not a winning strategy very often.

    #223 Josh, I agree that some people will behave like that, and some people will be open to rethinking their positions. It takes time and patience to disentangle one from the other.

    No, it doesn’t. How long does it take you to disentangle the merely confused from the brazen liars? Serious question. How long?

    Well…

    Right above your comment, in comment 238, Matt Penfold documents a case where lilandra contradicted herself. As he always does, he right away interprets this as brazen lying. But is it? Is it a good assumption that 1) she remembers everything she’s said and 2) she has thought it all through and noticed all contradictions? What if she’s actually confused about the contents of her head?

    Why use tinyurl in the first place? I don’t understand.

    Because links to the wiki get caught in the spam trap and won’t post. Been that way for ages.

    Oh crap.

    Her calling for both sides to be nice to each was revealed for what it was when she she claimed we were saying there was more sexism in the atheist/sceptic community than normal.

    The only people who had said that are the likes of Thunderfoot and the Slimepitters, when they have claimed the likes of Rebecca, Ophelia, Stephanie, Greta and PZ have said it. She shows she is “one of them” when she repeats the lie.

    Again, is she lying? Or is she just gullible, and uncritically repeats the claims of people she trusts?

    I hope to god you’re not an English teacher.

    Seconded. The lack (and occasional misuse) of punctuation is so strong that sometimes I have trouble parsing what she writes. Needz moar commas!!!

    Something weird happened in the thread, when I started writing that, PZ’s post was at 166…now it’s at 170. Probably just a fast moving thread?

    PZ released a few comments from moderation that were held up by the overactive spam filter.

    He will be responsible for bringing the Women in Secularism conference to Europe.

    I’m passionately in love with this sentence.

    …Why exactly? Isn’t there generally less sexism here than in the US, so the US needs this conference more urgently?

    (Of course I’m not saying there’s no secularism-related sexism in western Europe. Women are much more expected to go to church, drag the children there, and be involved in the workings of the parish than men; old men are overrepresented in secular and most other organizations; and of course there are people who use these facts to claim that women are naturally more religious and less rational.)

    You don’t “add” feminism and other progressive values to something that should have started as an ethical decision: Do you or do you not tell the truth? Those values are already built-in. Is your business plan for life to ally with other human beings, to elicit the best in them as well as yourself to contribute to social progress, or to build yourself up by destroying others? If it is the latter, why would you want to associate with either science or atheism? Fraud is death to science, but essential to religion.

    I have a long history with Humanism (Capital H — Organized), but have been told in the past that Humanism would regret ever associating itself with science, because it is a distraction from the social issues that really matter. To which I say, “Balderdash!” If you don’t start with an ethical commitment to telling the truth, as near as you can express it, you can’t have either humanism (lower case — a concern for humanity) or science.

    Sorry for the rough language, but sometimes even we old folks just have to cut loose and express ourselves forcefully about issues that are fucking important.

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Not only that, but she represents the malign tendency in our education system to value order over justice and to punish bullies and bullied alike because they’re both “fighting”.

    THIS PRECISELY. And it’s a moral obscenity. In a school teacher, in a colleague, in a boss, in a family member, in an online commenter.

    Thirded.

    If confirmed (OK Popperites: confirmed over a null hypothesis and not yet falisified)

    “Confirmed” is fine. It just means “made stronger”. :-)

    RWA means “right-wing authoritarian”, I suppose, but what does SDO mean?

  338. says

    Saying that we need to do anything besides weed out the bigots from any movement worth belonging to is so wrong-headed that it is hard to even begin to address it. We’re not tearing apart the movement, or hurting it by shrinking its numbers. What we’re doing is acknowledging that we’re at a movement’s infancy, and in building its foundation we’re making sure not to build a foundation that contains fundamental flaws. You wouldn’t say that it was a waste of time, resources, or energy in ensuring that the foundation of your house is solid, or making sure that you haven’t built the framework out of dry-rotted wood. Why would you consider it a bad thing to make sure to eliminate as much bigotry as possible as soon as possible, to avoid allowing it to be a structural feature of your movement?

  339. Brownian says

    Well that was a fun experiment. I’m totally surprised at the outcome.

    [Spits off a bridge.] Yep, gravity’s still there.

    It won’t, but even if it did… I cannot bring myself to care about a community that crumbles over the idea that women are human beings too. Sorry.

    QFT. There’s nothing more that needs to be said about the ‘community’ after this.

  340. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and I would have a lot more faith that Lilandra was genuine has she come back and admitted what she said in defence of Thunderfoot (his being misunderstood, he likes women really etc) was wrong. She admits she defended him, but cannot see in doing so she was condoning what he was doing.

  341. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    Bullies don’t go away when you ignore them. I’m speaking from long experience.

    I have a strong suspicion that anyone who says this was never bullied as a child. Because yeah. Ignoring them only makes them try harder, where try harder = hurt you more.

  342. says

    I said this in TET and I’ll say it here:

    I have no patience with or tolerance for the attitude of “oh, you’re ruining our community! You’re killing the movement!” anymore.

    Yes, we’re ripping the house down. We’re building a bigger, better house.

  343. says

    @Kalliope This reminds me in a way of the new Spiderman movie. Peter is bullied by Flash Thompson. He becomes more powerful than Flash and at first gives in to the temptation to humiliate him on the basketball court for deliberately picking on a girl. He also got him back for years of abusive behavior. His uncle asked him if he felt good about that. He finally decided to accept Flash’s apology, because Flash realized his behavior was wrong. Flash stopped bullying and hurting people. There were choices in this problem:
    1. Peter could not have accepted Flash’s sincere apology and gone on to being a self satisfied bully himself. He could have used his more powerful position to make Flash’s life miserable. Even if Flash never reformed is that the best thing for Peter?
    2. Accept the sincere apology, and encourage him in his attempts to be a better person. People stoip getting hurt by Flash in the future.
    3. Peter could dismiss Flash’s behavior, even though he might be able to do something about it.

    Now…Flash/Spiderman is very different from the Joker/Batman conflict. I don’t agree with Batman’s attempts to reform the Joker. The Joker just escapes and keep harming hundreds of innocent people.

    Your die hard trolls are the Batman/Joker scenario. The Spiderman/Flash scenario could have been the thunderfoot problem. I hope he is not on the way to being a Joker.

  344. Matt Penfold says

    Yes, we’re ripping the house down. We’re building a bigger, better house.

    One without rotten foundations!

  345. Ze Madmax says

    David Marjanović @ #384

    RWA means “right-wing authoritarian”, I suppose, but what does SDO mean?

    SDO stands for Social Dominance Orientation, a personality trait conceptualized by Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto. While RWA is characterized by subservience to authority figures, SDO is characterized by a desire to sustain structural inequality in order to maintain one’s ingroup at the top

  346. Beatrice says

    lilandra ,

    The Spiderman/Flash scenario could have been the thunderfoot problem.

    I hope you are not implying that it is anyone’s fault but Thunderfoot’s that it wasn’t.

    Especially since, according to your own scenario, Thunderfoot fails right at the beginning. He didn’t realize his faults and apologized.

  347. Matt Penfold says

    The Spiderman/Flash scenario could have been the thunderfoot problem. I hope he is not on the way to being a Joker.

    You still refuse to accept it don’t you ? He always was the Joker. He posted about feminism in response to what others had already said, and rather than take what they said onboard he said it did not matter, and was not a problem. It was not a case of him not being aware of issues women face, it was of him being aware and not giving a fuck.

    You clearly have a problem accepting what Thunderfoot is really like. But that is your problem, and if you refuse to accept reality you must deal with the consequences. Of course, you will not even do that.

  348. CT says

    Josh:

    I am a mean old white trash half breed biddy.

    Let me guess: Your father married a pure Cherokee. Your mother’s people were ashamed of you?

    No. I deal with racism a lot but not against myself because I’m white for every intent and purpose. It’s only when the racist purists bring out the charts that I end up not white. Which is stupid and has nothing to do with me because I have never been a victim of racism. Ever. I am intimately related to people who have been but for me this is not an issue. BTW, I see what you did there. Thanks for caring. I appreciate it.

  349. Brownian says

    I hope he is not on the way to being a Joker.

    You mean the person that your husband just maybe could have convinced to not be a dipshit were he a person amenable to convincing in the first place?

  350. mythbri says

    @lilandra

    As soon as I get super-human spider powers, I promise that I will stop bullying misogynists, homophobes, trans*phobes, racists, ableists, and libertarians.

    Cross my heart.

  351. David Marjanović says

    Somebody who seems to believe “you must immediately shut down your brain as soon as anyone says the F word” is a teacher!?!

    <sing>The West is red, the sun is dying.</sing>

    Oh, her ilk has existed for decades and more.

    I know; it used to be the cultural default. I was trying to say I had hoped it had finally died the fuck out.

    (And over here, the public school system was created in the 18th century to make useful but obedient little subjects.)

    slimewright

    *steal*

  352. says

    No. It would have been if someone had been able to convince him he is wrong. Sticking with the analogy,the only other thing that is wrong is if people become the bully to stop the bully. I said even if Flash never reformed, it wouldn’t be right for Peter to bully him.

  353. says

    Lilandra, why do you insist on making every single thread here which deals with feminism and sexism about TF? Okay, he’s your friend. Great. A lot of us don’t like him and like what he says and does a whole lot less. You aren’t going to force us to see him like you do.

    We are attempting to discuss a wider issue here and all you can manage to do is talk endlessly about TF. Either figure out how to get on topic or go somewhere else, please.

  354. Beatrice says

    lilandra,

    Thunderfoot wasn’t bullied. Arguing isn’t bullying. Arguing with dozens of his fans isn’t bullying.

  355. mythbri says

    @lilandra

    Take your analogy even further. Imagine if Flash were not Peter’s only bully. Imagine that there are lots of people like Flash, who bully people like Peter. Imagine this is completely socially acceptable. Imagine that the Peters have decided to call the Flashes out when the Flashes start in on the bullying.

    Are the Peters now the bullies?

  356. Matt Penfold says

    No. It would have been if someone had been able to convince him he is wrong.

    They tried, he ignored them. Any ignorance of his part is quite wilful.

    You really cannot accept what a nasty person he is can you ? Why do you want to be friendly with someone who is racist and sexist like he is ? Do you have no standards ?

  357. says

    …Why exactly? Isn’t there generally less sexism here than in the US, so the US needs this conference more urgently?

    the US already has this conference. Europe should have one, too. and I don’t know that Europe as a whole has less sexism. it’s different sexism (there are countries in the EU where abortion and IUDs are illegal, after all), and it’s distributed very unevenly.

    and I certainly don’t know that European atheists are less sexist. How many times did some fucknozzle show up in discussions about sexism to tell us about how horribly prude Americans/American feminists are, and how it’s all better in Europe, where women are so much more chill?

  358. Brownian says

    Old Troll = Anyone who criticizes PZ and the Horde for hypocrisy. Repeatedly.

    Got it.

    No, you half-wit liar: you’re a troll because you only ever show up to gleefully turn the conversation to one of PZ’s hypocrisy.

    I mean, I realise that PZ is a mean ol’ hypocrite and a terrible person and probably some kind of secret Nazi, but right now we’re talking about the brain-damaged piece of fuck who calls himself ‘barfy’.

    YOU DON’T ARGUE IN GOOD FAITH: YOU ONLY SHOW UP TO DERAIL.

    Does that make sense to you, fuckhead? Are those words even a shitstain of your limited intellect can comprehend?

  359. Doug Hudson says

    As soon as I get super-human spider powers, I promise that I will stop bullying misogynists, homophobes, trans*phobes, racists, ableists, and libertarians.

    Cross my heart.

    Oh hell no, if I ever get superpowers, shit is going DOWN. Which, frankly, makes it a good thing I will never get superpowers.

    Sticking with the analogy,the only other thing that is wrong is if people become the bully to stop the bully. I said even if Flash never reformed, it wouldn’t be right for Peter to bully him.

    Calling a bully a bully isn’t bullying.

    Likewise, calling a misogynistic, racist douchebag a misogynistic, racist douchebag isn’t bullying, especially when said MRD happily embraces his misogyny and racism.

  360. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    CT—Did I offend you? I didn’t mean to! I was making a silly reference to the old Cher song “Half Breed.”

  361. Beatrice says

    Actually, what Caine said.
    This has turned into a Thunderfoot thread (sorry for contributing to that).

  362. Kalliope says

    Lilandra —

    Speaking for myself, I can say this: I believe your sincerity. I believe you are a compassionate person with a big heart who is loyal and who spends a good deal of your life trying to do the right thing, someone who gives more than you ask for. I believe that. I do, and nothing you have said has made me think otherwise.

    Your rationalizing TFs behavior. You want to come out of this thinking it’s not so bad. You have your reasons for doing that, and they are perfectly understandable. You’re loyal, you like him, you want him to be happy and well. But this doesn’t end with him being a good guy. Doesn’t mean he won’t look back on this period and be ashamed, but right now, for the last couple of months… what you see is what you get. Someone who does misogynist things is a misogynist, just like someone who tells lies is a liar. It’s not all they are but is part of them and their character.

    It’s not our fault. It’s not your fault. It’s certainly not your husband’s fault.

    He’s a grown man with a pugilistic rhetorical style. He’s doing exactly what he wants to be doing.

    I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you shouldn’t be friends with him. That is YOUR business. He’s still an asshole who is actively doing harm to women.

  363. says

    Peter is bullied by Flash Thompson. He becomes more powerful than Flash and at first gives in to the temptation to humiliate him on the basketball court for deliberately picking on a girl.

    analogy fail. those being attacked and dehumanized by the bigots have not become stronger.

    The Spiderman/Flash scenario could have been the thunderfoot problem.

    there’s absolutely no evidence for that. plus it’s still an analogy fail. the women at FTB do not have more power than TF. the social hierarchy was not reversed. this would have been like Peter physically trying to stop Flash from bullying a girl before he was bitten, and then being taken to the principal’s office for starting a fight.

  364. David Marjanović says

    Oh, and I would have a lot more faith that Lilandra was genuine has she come back and admitted what she said in defence of Thunderfoot (his being misunderstood, he likes women really etc) was wrong. She admits she defended him, but cannot see in doing so she was condoning what he was doing.

    Supports my hypothesis that she’s not used to thinking things through.

    I have a strong suspicion that anyone who says this was never bullied as a child. Because yeah. Ignoring them only makes them try harder, where try harder = hurt you more.

    QFT. They’re not bullying you to get your attention, they’re bullying you to hurt you.

    (That can have different motivations, but attention-getting isn’t one of them. People who want attention become class clowns, not bullies – though those can be the same people.)

    Yes, we’re ripping the house down. We’re building a bigger, better house.

    One without rotten foundations!

    QFT!

    SDO is characterized by a desire to sustain structural inequality in order to maintain one’s ingroup at the top

    Thanks!

  365. says

    Sticking with the analogy,the only other thing that is wrong is if people become the bully to stop the bully. I said even if Flash never reformed, it wouldn’t be right for Peter to bully him.

    the only reason one can speak about Peter bullying Flash is because Peter had become more powerful than Flash.

    The weaker victim of a bully cannot bully back, because they’re still weaker. Defending oneself is not bullying; claiming otherwise is dangerous, and very quickly becomes victim-blaming.

  366. says

    lilandra:

    The Spiderman/Flash scenario could have been the thunderfoot problem. I hope he is not on the way to being a Joker.

    It most certainly could’ve been. But it wasn’t.

    At every turn, Thunderfoot refused to engage the discussion. Instead, he chose to escalate the bullying. And yes, it was bullying — that’s what misogyny is.

    Thunderfoot may be likable in person. But you don’t judge a person by how they treat their friends, but how they treat strangers. Thunderfoot treated strangers — whole groups of strangers — with derision and disrespect. He was unrepentant. When confronted with this, he escalated his misogyny, all while ignoring the actual points being made against him. In the end, he had to resort to extreme distortions and outright strawmen to argue against — all while demonstrating his own misogyny.

    So, as likable as Thunderfoot might be in real life, the way he treats women as a group on-line kinda proves he’s not really a very nice guy.

  367. Doug Hudson says

    The weaker victim of a bully cannot bully back, because they’re still weaker. Defending oneself is not bullying; claiming otherwise is dangerous, and very quickly becomes victim-blaming.

    But the FTBullies can ban someone FROM THE INTERNET!!! Clearly, they have the power, not the poor oppressed Menz.

  368. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Gack. If I pay you will you shut the fuck about Chunderfood Lilandra?

  369. says

    I repeat (note, with no! cuss! words!):

    Lilandra, why do you insist on making every single thread here which deals with feminism and sexism about TF? Okay, he’s your friend. Great. A lot of us don’t like him and like what he says and does a whole lot less. You aren’t going to force us to see him like you do.

    We are attempting to discuss a wider issue here and all you can manage to do is talk endlessly about TF. Either figure out how to get on topic or go somewhere else, please.

  370. Brownian says

    People who want attention become class clowns

    [Embarrassed, puts away the paperclip slingshot and the Mr. Mugs parody written in the back of a math primer.]

  371. CT says

    Josh:

    CT—Did I offend you? I didn’t mean to! I was making a silly reference to the old Cher song “Half Breed.”

    no worries, I get tone trolled like that all the time when I mention my ancestors. I’m touchy. Ignore me. Sorry. I didn’t recognize the quote.

  372. David Marjanović says

    the US already has this conference. Europe should have one, too.

    Ah. I thought this was about having this conference in Europe instead of the US next time, like how the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (note the US spelling) is now held outside North America every 5 years.

    it’s different sexism […], and it’s distributed very unevenly.

    True.

    How many times did some fucknozzle show up in discussions about sexism to tell us about how horribly prude Americans/American feminists are, and how it’s all better in Europe, where women are so much more chill?

    …I only vaguely remember maybe 1 or 2 such cases. I have often exerted my privilege of staying out of such threads; when a thread already has 400 comments the first time I see it, it’s easier for me to go against my will and not jump in…

    this would have been like Peter physically trying to stop Flash from bullying a girl before he was bitten, and then being taken to the principal’s office for starting a fight.

    Exactly.

  373. Kalliope says

    I agree, let’s put moratorium on the TF conversation.

    Sorry to have abetted it this far.

  374. Ogvorbis says

    But the FTBullies can ban someone FROM THE INTERNET!!! Clearly, they have the power, not the poor oppressed Menz.

    No. FreeThoughtBlogs is a private concern (I have no idea if it is incorporated or what the concern’s structure is, nor do I dare). If those in charge want to invite a blogger to join, they can. If those in charge want to remove a blogger from FTB, they can. FTB has been very open as to why they chose to ‘fire’ Thunderfoot. He has not been banned, he is no longer a blogger on this network. He still has then entire internet with which he can do whatever he pleases. He can comment here, on this particular blog, if he so desires. He has not been banned from the intenet.

  375. David Marjanović says

    Thunderfoot may be likable in person. But you don’t judge a person by how they treat their friends, but how they treat strangers. Thunderfoot treated strangers — […]

    Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig,
    Doing whatever a Spider-Pig does!

    Embarrassed, puts away the paperclip slingshot

    Don’t do that, I think we could use it right about now. I have the pea shooter…

    *hands over hoard of recycled ammunition*

  376. Ogvorbis says

    I agree, let’s put moratorium on the TF conversation.

    Sorry. Refresh fail.

  377. David Marjanović says

    Speaking of 400 comments… this day is over, this thread has used it all up, I’ll go home.

    He has not been banned from the intenet.

    That was satire.

  378. Sili says

    Supports my hypothesis that she’s not used to thinking things through.

    Welllll … she is a teacher.

  379. jackiepaper says

    @Lilandra
    Is that the same advice you give POC when confronted with racism and the denial of or complicity with racist speech/ threats/ behaviors? Or is it only women and GLBT folks who need to be extra polite and patient when dealing with people who actively make the world a more unpleasant and dangerous place for us? Sorry about this (You seem so sweet when seen on YT), but you are way off base here. Women are often told we need to “smile more”. We are trained to go along to get along. We are called out as bitchy and ball busting when we don’t behave like doormats. At the same time we are told to gentle our demeanor we are also told to toughen up and take it when bullied. We are asked why we didn’t fight our attackers harder. In short, we can’t win because no matter how we respond, we will be blamed for any abuse we receive. That is victim blaming culture. That is rape culture. That is also what you’ve done here. Please don’t expect anyone to be nice to you when you do that. If you want the world to be a more civil place, start punching up, not down.
    I was told by teachers like you many times that fighting my bullies was what made it “good sport” to bully/ sexually harass/ physically assault me. See, I was causing my own abuse in the way you’ve made the claim that people here have caused your BFF to be a sniggering, sexist asshole who lies and seems to take great pleasure in belittling women and their feminist allies. My youth was a lonely hell where I could never be tough enough or nice enough to stay safe. I endured enough damage to have left me at times…..it has been difficult. So please, don’t do this. Don’t defend the bully and blame the victims. Also, please spread the word among your friends that this is unacceptable. If you do that you might save alot of people metric fucktons of money on therapy and Zoloft in the future.

  380. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m so sorry about that, CT. I wouldn’t have joked had I known. Apologies for my insensitivity.

  381. Doug Hudson says

    Ogvorbis @423,

    Did I just commit the misogynistic version of a Poe? ’twas not my intention, I assure you.

  382. Sili says

    Gack. If I pay you will you shut the fuck about Chunderfood Lilandra?

    Nah. Better to threaten you’ll add to PZed’s tipjar for every mention of TF.

  383. Sili says

    Outisde of TF: why does a certain someone ignore me even after I agreed to be more civil and not cuss? Is cussing the only way I can get attention?

    Inside of TF it’s too dark to argue.

  384. Brownian says

    So, the Michael Nugent thread is already full of fuckwits.

    Frankly, the skeptics community is dying, and anyone with an ounce of decency would put a gun to its head and put it out of its misery.

    Thanks, people. I can’t say it’s been especially nice, as I’ve spent more time dealing with putrid fucks who also happen to be anti-social dipshits than I’ve ever had to before, but I’ve had a lot of fun with the people I’ve met here.

    Any Pharyngulite who wants to look me up in Edmonton, I’d gladly hang with you.

    But ‘skeptics’? Fuck ‘em. Fuck ‘em all hard.

  385. says

    @Brownian

    You fought the good fight over on the Nugent thread. It was an instructive experience for me, I’ll say… I’m usually a lurker, not a commenter, but this has all just been so unbelievably ridiculous.

  386. jackiepaper says

    @Brownian,
    This community isn’t dying. It is just going through the same struggles as the rest of the world’s communities. Unrest isn’t a sign of decay. It is what progress looks like. It isn’t going to be pretty. It isn’t going to be smooth. But shit…at least it’s going.

  387. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    Brownian – plz to stay in TET? *sad puppy-dog eyes*

  388. thunk, martian atmosphere weaksauce says

    Bah.

    Finally caught up.

    WTF, Lilandra? What’s with the tone-trolling? And your continued refusal to argue the points? Ah whatever.

    And more generally, human rights for everyone is a position I will not compromise.

  389. says

    She knows some of the inside stuff, and she’s speaking the truth. He really had cause to come in with a chip on his shoulder.

    So, since she’s accusing us mere mortal commentors of that, how’s that even remotely “fair” or meassured?
    None of us sockpuppets minions hivemind-members Horde members had any to do with it.

    So, lilandra, are you aware that today your poor misunderstood friend Thunderfoot promoted a video on twitter and called it “kick ass” where somebody explains that the problem is that women only have one asset and that is looks, and that because of that they never bother with anything else like work or an education and since that peaks early they afterwards try to “ellbow their way into men’s spaces”?
    Yes, that’s what he considers reasonable discourse about feminism, that’s “kick-ass” for him.
    Do you think he doesn’t think the same about you because you’re “nice” and his friend?
    Do you still think he’s missunderstood?
    Oh, and would you please back up your assertions?

    I don’t advocate that anyone should be hostile to someone who is bullying them in my class either. Nor am I hostile to a bully that would make me a bully.

    No, you’re only hostile to people who oppose bullying. Being hostile towards somebody doesn’t make one a bully. There are plenty of people towards whom being hostile is an act of self-preservation. I’d hate to be in your class, being bullied and then scolded for not being nice and not wanting to play with the bully anymore.

    Actually, you’re everything that’s wrong with educated middle-class teachers and I am one.

    Back up a notch. Reserve the flamethrowers for the deserving.

    Hmmm, we kind of consider her to be. Fuck, PZ, people have been asking her to back up her claims, nicely. Not just the one about the backchannel. She hasn’t done it and she doesn’t want to but clutches her pearls at the word “fuck”.

    skeptifem

    People here were already familiar with his videos and found them to be racist. Do you find that behavior unacceptable?

    That’s the great big sin of disagreeing with and not adoring Thunderfood. Probably while using the word fuck

  390. Brownian says

    I don’t know, Caine. I like the people here, but I’m pretty tired of these conversations with people I cannot stand, who I think are no better than religious nutters, and who cannot stand me. I don’t think they’re amenable to reason, and I don’t associate with such people in real life. It’s a privileged position to be able to walk away from this, but as long as we keep trying to shoehorn ourselves into this ‘big tent’ of skepticism, we’ll be dealing with this shit for a long time.

    I’ve written about my feelings extensively in other threads, and I’m still trying to sort through them.

    But when purported allies like lilandra are still blaming us for certain people’s inability to understand reason, what is there of the community that’s worth salvaging?

    I’m bummed, and I’m going to take a break for at least a bit.

  391. DLC says

    RE: The OP: http://youtu.be/R0nU6xSUMH0

    Reminded me of MR Nugent’s attempts to pour oil on the waters.
    Elmer (more like his predecessor “Egghead” ) enters at 4:10 or so.

    Except, in this case, it’s more like a fistful of twits in a rowboat about to be run down by the big huge cruise ship. Well, enough analogies for now. have a good day.

  392. Brownian says

    This community isn’t dying.

    The one devoniansplit talks about is, and for the better, I think.

    But I think people are wrong that these wrinkles are going to get ironed out. It seems to me that the sooner we say “So long, and thanks for all the gropes” to the JREF, to Rationalia, to any of these groups that demand that be accommodated in a way that we don’t accommodate the religious or homeopaths and go our own way, the better.

  393. says

    Brownian:

    I don’t know, Caine. I like the people here, but I’m pretty tired of these conversations with people I cannot stand, who I think are no better than religious nutters, and who cannot stand me. I don’t think they’re amenable to reason, and I don’t associate with such people in real life. It’s a privileged position to be able to walk away from this, but as long as we keep trying to shoehorn ourselves into this ‘big tent’ of skepticism, we’ll be dealing with this shit for a long time.

    Yes, I know. I agree. I’m rapidly approaching this point myself, as too much of the time, it seems I’m doing nothing more than yelling in an empty room. I know that’s not the case, but it sure as hell feels like it is.

    But when purported allies like lilandra are still blaming us for certain people’s inability to understand reason, what is there of the community that’s worth salvaging?

    People like Lilandra and devonian do more in making want to walk than the slimeballs do. They are the ones who make me want to pulp my head into a wall as a better option than attempting to have an honest, productive discussion with them. They do drag people down, no question.

    That said, they aren’t the be all end all of it. We do reach people and it’s important to keep that in mind.

    I’m bummed, and I’m going to take a break for at least a bit.

    That I understand. I’ve had to take breaks too. Hug the GF, nom the cats, laugh, live. And have about 7 drinks for me, please.

  394. oolon says

    @Caine 400 and 416… So Lilandra comes in with comments nothing to do with TF… You and others criticise her as she had the temerity to defend TF once (Totally off topic, I take it TF is persona non grata in Caine-land). Then you include a great bit about you saying criticising her for that is ‘not an ad-hom’ even though its nothing to do with her original comment, somehow you saying it makes it so… Now she is ‘going on about TF’ and makes all threads all about TF!!

    Just gotta admire it! Nice trolling! I’m learning from some real experts here.

  395. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lilandra —> killfile for:
    terminal inspidity
    Passive-aggressive bullying
    & inability to provide links to anything
    making her posts *poof* dismissed as unevidenced assertions.

  396. barfy says

    Brownian @ 405

    You’re right. I’m inconvenient. Like people who argue about privilege and smugness and atheism when what we all really need to do is just get along. You know, people like you.

    Double-mega-fuck you. You fuckhead. Nanny-nanny-poo-poo.

    Also, you’re words aren’t a shitstain on my limited intellect. They’re just a shitstain on the thread.

    I don’t recall calling PZ a Nazi. I’ve never even thought that. Citation, please.

  397. Nightjar says

    I’m bummed, and I’m going to take a break for at least a bit.

    *haz a sad*

    I understand, though. But I selfishly hope it will be a short break. This place is a lot less fun without you.

  398. says

    Brownian:

    The very vocal stupidity to the contrary, I think(hope) that this is more of a case of us trying to elbow them out of the movement, rather than trying to shoehorn ourselves into it. I don’t think they have a chance in hell of winning in the long term, thanks to sheer demographics. Our community is becoming stronger and more diverse, and that means that organizations like JREF are fading in importance. Younger folks tend to be more inclusive and willing to learn, and we’ve seen that groups like SSA are growing year after year. TAM attendance is down, and the JREF forums are the same old nothing special that they were 6-8 years ago when I bailed on it. WTF has JREF done for anyone lately? The movers and shakers are in all the other groups, the groups that not coincidentally are on-board with anti-harassment policies and which are being responsive to the concerns of women and POC.

  399. says

    jackiepaper:

    This community isn’t dying

    Brownian isn’t talking about this community. He’s talking about the old guard skeptic community and the old guard atheist community. Those which are basically het white guy clubs* who just can’t be arsed with change in any way. They are dying, we’re helping that death along. They need to die.

    However, I’m with Brownian as far as distancing myself from them right here and now.

    *Which allow Chill Girls™ in.

  400. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Like people who argue about privilege

    Care to show privilege doesn’t exist, and that it doesn’t hurt those who doen’t have it, with proper citations of course?

  401. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    hen what we all really need to do is just get along.

    We can’t all get along when some people keep insisting on stomping on others. Tell the fucking sexists and racists to play nice to get along, why don’tcha?

    Brownian – I also empathize with the need for a break, but also wish to express that there will be open arms to welcome you if and when you come back.

  402. Brownian says

    You’re right. I’m inconvenient. Like people who argue about privilege and smugness and atheism when what we all really need to do is just get along. You know, people like you.

    Jesus, but you’re stupid. We don’t all need to get along you stupid fuck, but we do need to have the same fucking conversation, you asshole. At least when people bring up privilege they’re talking about a concept. All you do is engage in tu quoques, you know, the logical fallacies we criticise others for?

    Again, I’m not going to suggest you try to read for comprehension, because you’re clearly too stupid for that.

    What you need to do is shut up when better human beings are talking.

    I don’t recall calling PZ a Nazi. I’ve never even thought that. Citation, please.

    Ha-ha! That’s funny. Let’s learn to read together, you piece of shit. What I wrote: “I mean, I realise that PZ is a mean ol’ hypocrite and a terrible person and probably some kind of secret Nazi”

    Did you say any of those things? “Mean ol’ hypocrite”? “Terrible person”? “some kind of secret Nazi”?

    Since you didn’t, does it seem like maybe I’m not actually quoting you, you dumb fuck, but an amalgamation of dipshits whose sole contributions is not to be inconvenient, but disingenuous?

    Fuck off. You’re just a useless piece of shit.

  403. Brownian says

    See what I mean?

    How long can I keep writing the same rebuttals to indistinguishable trolls who think trolling is some hyperclever and insightful dig against ‘the man?’

  404. abb3w says

    @9, Zeno:

    Sometimes I wonder if it could be genetic.

    @253, r3a50n:

    No. This has been another installment of simple answers to simple questions.

    @261, Skeptifem

    Its not a simple question at all. What immediately sprang to mind for me was reseach on the heritability of personality traits.

    @316, r3a50n:

    Well it is a simple answer. And I think the question is simpler than you think. “Depend[ing] on an unassailable core dogma that must be defended at all costs (and never examined critically)” is far from a “personality trait.”

    The stuff I put up @307-ish are probably quite relevant to the conjecture. What Zeno’s talking about sounds pretty close to Altemeyer’s DOG scale measure of dogmatism, which is correlated to both RWA and SDO. There’s a couple twin studies that indicate RWA is on the rough order of half genetic, a third environmental, and a sixth either assortative mating or shared environment. In contrast, SDO appears to be roughly two-thirds environmental, with relatively low genetic component. But, if my low-RWA/high-SDO conjecture is right, while there are such genetic components to personality, and while they’re relevant to religiosity, the root of “smug” PZ is talking about is mostly SDO, ergo mostly environmental, ergo impacted by influence from social environment, ergo potentially fixable without genetic engineering. Which is a rather tentative chain of inference.

    Oddly, attitude on heritibility traits might be more directly relevant. There was one study (doi:10.1002/ejsp.498) indicating learning more about how environment alters expression of heredity (thus decreasing emphasis to genetic determinism) tended to diminish measured level of SDO.

  405. Brownian says

    I wrote this for Porco some time ago, but it just goes to show you how fucking unoriginal these goddamn fucking freedom fighters are that it applies just as well to barfy:

    Actually, showing up at a website with the intent of provoking arguments is the definition of trolling, everywhere.

    Claiming that you’re the hapless victim of terrible groupthink places you among the vast majority of uninteresting trolls.

    Claiming that you’re actually here to provide much needed, thoughful criticism places you in the company of dishonest, uninteresting trolls.

    Your belief that despite your dishonest, uninteresting trollishness you’ve actually got insight into communication strategies that most of us here lack makes you a spectacularly self-deluded, dishonest, uninteresting troll.

    They’re like fucking clones, except useless, and the law forces us to treat them as if they’re human, rather than a source of organs.

  406. says

    @Brownian

    If it helps, I’ll say again as I did upstream that finding FTB has really been one of the high points of my last year. The sheer amount of information and exposure to new ideas, new bright, shiny corners of the ‘webz…. /joy

    And just knowing a place like this exists (and being able to visit!) has done me more good than you can possibly know. And not to get too sappy or whatnot, but commenters like you are the reason why. It’s just nice to not feel alone, you know?

    Anyway, that’s my sentimental rambling at the moment. I’ll return to my lurking, and work on my rhetorical stylings so I, too, can one day kick ass and take names. :)

  407. mythbri says

    @Brownian

    I always appreciate your comments, and I empathize with you feeling worn down.

  408. Kalliope says

    Brownian —

    It would lessen my pleasure in the world if you took a break, but you sound miserable.

    If you need a break, take it. Participation should enhance your life.

    BUT, I must request that you continue to write. You’re exceptionally good at it.

  409. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    They’re like fucking clones, except useless, and the law forces us to treat them as if they’re human, rather than a source of organs.

    This is why I can’t live without you, and why I will NEVER forgive you for being straight. You cannot leave.

    Serious question—have you ever done stand-up, even as a lark? Because you should.

  410. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Or, rather, you can and should do just exactly what you need to. I hope to hell it’s a temporary break though, because you’re one of the best parts of Pharyngula.

  411. jackiepaper says

    @Caine & Brownian: Oh. Oops.
    Well, I’d call that a good thing. But I consider this more of a pruning than than dying. If we get cut off from the regressive wing of skepticism, good. No movement improves by coddling racists, sexists, ablists etc. I love this Horde. I love what it stands for and how it stands for it. When we are kind (or indifferent) to the cruel, we are too often cruel to the kind. (I don’t know who said that, but it wasn’t me. ;) )

  412. says

    Brownian:

    See what I mean?

    Yes, in neon, no less. With…creatures like porco or barfy, I just don’t bother. I go the killfile route because it’s easier on me. I wouldn’t be able to do this at all if I paid attention to every one of the pissants.

  413. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can definitely understand MRA troll burnout, as they appear to have been tag-teaming us lately. Take a break from posting if you need it Brownian, but stop by to check up on the ratlets, the Pullet Patrol™, the latest tunes by our blog-jays, the latest fire story from Obvorbis, and have a drink at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor.

  414. julian says

    And many others have tried to engage you within the boundaries PZ set, and you have studiously ignored them in favor of complaining about the few who rubbed you the wrong way. Do you see how this makes you look biased?

    It doesn’t make her look biased. It makes it look like what it is, her responding to harsh criticism and what she perceives as unfair representation of her arguments. You can’t expect her (or anyone really) to just ignore the hostility in a forum and tune in exclusively to commentors who are engaging her civilly.

    That would be nice but it certainly isn’t going to happen especially considering there is one of her and several responding to her. There’s only so much time in the day and so much energy in a body. And it’s certainly perfectly valid to respond to what you perceive as unjust even if there are ‘good’ arguments being made against you.

    Calls for civility aren’t just for specific persons. They apply to the entire atmosphere. It isn’t until the atmosphere becomes less antagonistic that civility is possible (baring large scale killfiling).

  415. carlie, who has nice reading comprehension says

    You can’t expect her (or anyone really) to just ignore the hostility in a forum and tune in exclusively to commentors who are engaging her civilly.

    Even if her entire argument is that being civil gets better and more attention and results than hostility?

  416. Richard Austin says

    You know, this may be slightly off-topic, but I do believe that people are fundamentally good. I believe that people have an intrinsic desire to do “the right thing”. I just also believe (and have evidence to justify said belief) that most people have No Fucking Clue™ how to figure out what “the right thing” is and how to go about doing it.

    I also know (not believe) that many cultures and groups explicitly go out of their way to make sure that “the right thing” means only being good to people like us, and too many people buy into those beliefs for so long and so deeply that they can’t or won’t climb out on their own (or, often, even with outside help).

    I also know that I’m one of those people, that in spite of all the time I’ve spent trying to figure out what “the right thing” is and how to do it, I’m still trapped in a few of those holes – often not realizing it until someone offers me a rope to climb out.

    But for the ones who won’t climb out, no matter how much help is offered – well, there’s certainly a desire to just cover the hole and move on, both so that we don’t have to hear their shouts and so that others don’t fall in. Sometimes, though, yelling at the people who won’t climb out at least makes it more noticeable to others that there’s a hole in the first place and may even encourage some of the bystanders to accept a helping hand out of the hole.

  417. abb3w says

    @170, PZ Myers:

    I see the way some of you are ripping mercilessly into lilandra, and I see the problem.

    Incidentally, I suspect that she’s probably one of the low-SDO type of irreligious. Contrariwise, most of those aggressively criticizing her seem high-SDO types, reacting to a dissenting outlier.

  418. says

    It doesn’t make her look biased. It makes it look like what it is, her responding to harsh criticism and what she perceives as unfair representation of her arguments. You can’t expect her (or anyone really) to just ignore the hostility in a forum and tune in exclusively to commentors who are engaging her civilly.

    Or that people being harsh is a convenient reason to not listen to anyone

  419. says

    Incidentally, I suspect that she’s probably one of the low-SDO type of irreligious. Contrariwise, most of those aggressively criticizing her seem high-SDO types, reacting to a dissenting outlier.

    Oh fuck you too.

    I’m with Brownian, I am out of here. Everyone can go fuck themselves.

  420. Richard Austin says

    julian:

    If the whole argument is a “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” position (which it seems to be), she’s falsifying it by primarily going for the vinegar. Such action supports the notion that hostility is a better way than civility to get someone’s attention and interact with them.

  421. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You can’t expect her (or anyone really) to just ignore the hostility in a forum and tune in exclusively to commentors who are engaging her civilly.

    Why not? Others do it.

    I think she was using a techniques used by teachers to control a classroom. Problem? This isn’t a classroom, and we are adults, not children/adolescents. So we have to handled differently.

    For example, when asked for a citation while teaching in college, you provide one or find one, or back off a claim. She tried to bull her way through without providing any citations, which indicates to us a lack of respect for evidence, and an inability to understand the significance of said evidence for a reasoned agument.

  422. says

    Incidentally, I suspect that she’s probably one of the low-SDO type of irreligious. Contrariwise, most of those aggressively criticizing her seem high-SDO types, reacting to a dissenting outlier.

    Oh FFS, why don’t you read the fucking thread instead of trying to analyze everyone? Lilandra is not some sort of brave lone dissenter, she’s not a fucking voice in the wilderness. She’s been here before and argued the same exact crap before. She’s dishonest, refuses to answer direct questions, refuses to communicate clearly, refuses to quote people in order to facilitate communication and is highly manipulative. She resents the hell out of being called on that here, too.

    What you’re seeing on the part of other people, those you call “aggressively critical” is one hell of a lot of frustration, due to their willingly being polite and civil and never once getting their posts addressed in any manner, let alone honestly.

    Jesus fucking Christ, I’m ready to join Brownian and Ing.

  423. julian says

    Even if her entire argument is that being civil gets better and more attention and results than hostility? -carlie

    Like I said, it isn’t person to person when engaging in a forum. It’s the entire atmosphere.

    Or that people being harsh is a convenient reason to not listen to anyone -Ing

    Of course. That’s something a lot of people do. But it’s also something we all end up doing.

    Take your next comment

    “Could you be less harsh?”
    “Ok, will you respond now?”
    “No I’m going to ignore you”
    “Oh well then why should I bother!?”

    Suppose (and I’m not saying the situations are equivalent) John Greg turned over a new leaf (as he often pretends to) and began engaging with everyone respectfully. Should everyone, right off the bat, change how they respond to him despite him “giving them what they want?” Of course not, there’s still the lingering hostile atmosphere, there’s still the past history of hostility/dishonesty/baiting to look at.

    You would still rebuke his trolling, still looking at him with suspicion (with good reason).

  424. julian says

    Why not? Others do it.

    Because if there is hostility that’s something many (not all) are going to prioritize over other arguments. Especially if you feel the forum/group is largely being unfair to you.

  425. says

    I could, I suppose, be persuaded to take the menz at their word – that there are atheists of good, solid firm lack of belief, who are starting to find themselves marginalized and alienated because the rest of us care more about social justice than they do.

    But it is incontrovertible that there are atheists of good, solid firm lack of belief, who have – at least until recently – found themselves marginalized and alienated because the rest of us cared less about social justice than they did.

    So it doesn’t change my calculation. I’ll stand with the side of social justice. If some people find they’re alienated because of that, they shouldn’t let the door hit them in the ass on the way out. Besides, there’s a really, really easy way for them to feel less alienated and let themselves back in.

  426. Kalliope says

    Julian,

    I happen to agree with you.

    And I think the fact that a few oldtimers are feeling to need to step away just shows that anger has been built up to an untenable degree.

    More than issues of tone or language (although I, personally, am not comfortable being on either side of the harsh stuff), feeling ganged up on — regardless of the content of the arguments — is a stimulus that people will react to in very, very, very predictable patterns. Those who react differently are, by definition, extraordinary people.

    I say this as someone who jumps in with everyone else. Because I have something to say or an slightly different take on the matter, etc.

    I don’t really know what can be done, but I have thought recently that, given the stakes of this rift, given that it’s on, recreational “ultimate debating” might not be appropriate anymore.

  427. barfy says

    To all the fuckwits (Brownian of shitstain, Caine fleur de fuckwit, Ing the gerund of bor, etc)

    I get tired, too. So, I’ll say this once and literally for all on Pharyngula:
    It would be nice…even respect-worthy, if you all could turn your rapier sharp fuckwits on yourselves and PZ sometimes. You are all, as am I, guilty of parsing and bias and hypocrisy. The difference should be that we hold ourselves accountable to at least the standard we expect of MRA’s, Xians, racists, etc.
    You do not.

    You are the hidebound, liberal bogeypeople that Fox News decries as hypocrites. You ARE hypocrites. In the worst sense.
    You sit on high and use the word “privilege” as a cudgel without understanding what the fuck that concept means. And, if I’m wrong, and you do actually know what the concept of “privilege” entails, you are hoping that the ignorant you are hammering defer to your higher understanding and bow to your awesomeness.
    You’re not awesome. I wouldn’t like people pointing that out to me, either. So, I excuse your jejune swearing as being the immature response of the emotionally immature. Like PZ.

    I get it. I do it myself. But, like overeating, I promise myself that I’ll quit. I’m trying to be a better person.

    So, and I’m sorry for being ageist, GROW THE FUCK UP! All of you.
    Naughty words don’t offend me – they’re just fucking boring. Like potty jokes. You fuckwits.

    I’m not derailing a thread when hypocrisy is pointed out. I’m just not massaging your naughty parts, like you like. Sorry. I’ve got to work on my lovemaking skills.

  428. Kalliope says

    To clarify, what I mean is that since this site and this commetariat has become one of the flag bearers of this very real split, a change in approach and responsibility is in order.

    Because it’s not about the individual us anymore (although that DOES matter), it’s about the movement as a whole. And I hate to say it, but as one of the primary representative of “our side”, we should not be guilty of exactly what we are accused of. This is where people come to hear our side of the story and we should be careful.

  429. Nightjar says

    Oh, good grief. Some years ago at the old Pharyngula there was a creationist (help ma boab, or something like that, for those who may remember) who also insisted that people had be polite to him and couldn’t call him names, but at least he lived up to his stance on civility. He had this thing he called an “ignore folder” where he would put everyone who was impolite to him and stopped answering them. I was never impolite, and he actually engaged me semi-honestly (you know, creationist, so never completely honest).

    I never thought I would say this, but these trolls we’ve been getting lately could learn a thing or two from that idiot.

  430. says

    Kalliope:

    More than issues of tone or language (although I, personally, am not comfortable being on either side of the harsh stuff), feeling ganged up on — regardless of the content of the arguments — is a stimulus that people will react to in very, very, very predictable patterns. Those who react differently are, by definition, extraordinary people.

    Most people who show up here are well aware of how blogs work and that once you send your thoughts out there, everyone is likely to respond.

    As I said, this is not Lilandra’s first time here. A great many people, Brownian among them, took great pains to have a productive discussion with her the first time around.

    Lilandra did a a whole lot of dissembling and refused to do anything to facilitate communication and understanding. She did it again in this thread.

    You (and everyone else) saw people bending over backward to be polite and what was the result? The same old, dishonest crap. “He’s my friend, you people are bullies.”

    It is not possible to have a productive discussion when one half of the discussion is based in dishonesty and intent to ignore every single point they don’t like.

    A whole lot of people show up here with a dissenting opinion and are subjected to a lot of responses all at once. Those who actually listen and pay attention deal with it just fine. Those who walk into a discussion with dishonest intent don’t deal well with it.

  431. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Because if there is hostility that’s something many (not all) are going to prioritize over other arguments. Especially if you feel the forum/group is largely being unfair to you.

    That is a tone troll not wanting to get their message across, but rather is interested in tone trolling only. People with a point can make their points despite perceived hostility. That is historical data. Why are you defending this tone troll? Or are you a tone troll too?

  432. says

    So, barfy, I presume that that little tantrum is your version of a flounce? Goodbye. A hypocritical little pissant like you won’t be missed.

  433. says

    Kalliope:

    And I hate to say it, but as one of the primary representative of “our side”, we should not be guilty of exactly what we are accused of. This is where people come to hear our side of the story and we should be careful.

    Oh FFS. NO. Jesus godsdamn Christ, we have been doing what we do for fucking years. I will not be net nannied by a newb who has not been in the wars for years on end. You are not helping, you’re just tone bleating.

  434. Brownian says

    So, and I’m sorry for being ageist, GROW THE FUCK UP! All of you.
    Naughty words don’t offend me – they’re just fucking boring. Like potty jokes. You fuckwits.

    Uh, I understand the non-jejune, oh-so-clever and self-reflexive response to this is: Hypocrite.

    We done here?

    No? Let me leave you with a song:

    Privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, 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privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege.

    Choke on it.

  435. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, barfy starfarting unintelligible and unevidenced bilge. Typical of a misogynist who thinks the c-word is appropriate, and for a liberturd who expects people to give way to his majesty and theology…

  436. says

    [blockquote]You are the hidebound, liberal bogeypeople that Fox News decries as hypocrites. [/blockquote]

    Then I’d say we’re doing quite well for ourselves. You disagree?