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Repudiation

Dear Ron Lindsay:

I have to take exception to one small part of your recent post.

Greta Christina and PZ Myers have recently suggested that is it not necessarily a bad thing to be divisive. True, it is not necessarily a bad thing. It depends on what one is separating oneself from.

In her blog post, Greta Christina responded to the charge that the Atheism Plus initiative is divisive by claiming that the secular community is divided already. As evidence for this claim, she offered several deplorable incidents and actions, principally involving hate-filled threats and comments to women, many of which would be familiar to anyone active in the movement. She then asked rhetorically why such vile conduct has not been called “divisive.”

But if hate-filled comments and threats to women have not been expressly called divisive, it’s because such conduct does not threaten to divide the movement. It has already been repudiated, both implicitly and explicitly, by many, if not most, of the organizations in the movement.

Stop right there. That is not true. That’s the whole problem. No leader of any atheist, skeptic, or critical thinking organization has repudiated anyone.

Ron, you’ve written positive posts affirming principles of inclusion and outreach. You’ve been pleasant and helpful, you’ve tried to get people to get along, you’ve assured the afflicted that you’re on their side, you’ve done your best to make CFI open and welcoming to everyone. That’s also true of people like Dave Silverman at American Atheists, and it’s always been true of American Humanists. It’s what you do as a leader of a major organization. But repudiating anyone? Nope. Not what you do. None of you ever have.

You’re dedicated to making sure everyone has a place in your organization. Your whole post is about criticizing both sides equally for being mean. This paragraph, for instance:

In a sense, Greta and PZ are right: the movement is divided, but it’s not divided for any good reason. It’s divided because too many in the movement are not willing to recognize that their fellow secularists can be mistaken without thereby being bigots; that their fellow secularists can have different understandings of the implications of feminism without being misogynists or “sister-punishers”; and that their fellow secularists can have can have different perceptions of the problem of harassment without being feminazis.

And you single out the case of Russell Blackford as someone not deserving of the opprobrium he has received. And I actually agree; Blackford has not been as vicious and dirty in his rhetoric as some others. He has just openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers, while not engaging in the same behavior himself.

And that’s your great big blind spot. You haven’t been the target of the same hate and abuse that others of us have; you’re willing to let Blackford off the hook, but you don’t recognize that there is a real problem here, that there are people who must be repudiated — you’re only willing to go so far and note the existence of a middle ground that really isn’t all that bad, but acknowledging and rejecting a shrieking mad colony of outright haters in your midst? Oh, no. Can’t see that. Then you’d have to say something.

For over a year, a number of us have been the target of genuinely hateful, irrational harassment. Rebecca Watson has been subject to the worst of it, but I get lots of it too, Ophelia Benson is threatened and hated, Freethoughtblogs is a focus of scorn, and every woman who dares to speak out against the contempt with which they are treated knows exactly what I’m talking about. This really is harassment and bullying — it’s identical to the game that deranged kook Dennis Markuze plays, only this time they have friends. It is a constant, non-stop deluge of email, twitter, and youtube comments; it is people organizing petitions to get you fired; it is “jokes” about raping you; it is people posting your home address to the cheers of people planning campaigns of harassment.

Those people. They have an organizing center called the Slymepit where every day, they leave dozens of messages about how much they hate Rebeccunt Twatson, or how badly Ophelia Benson deserves to be kicked in the cunt, or how much they hate FreeFromThoughtBlogs, or how those feminists are destroying the atheist movement. They rally on youtube, where the dumbest commenters on the internet congregate, and they swarm any video that dares to disagree with their privileged perspective. They pound on my inbox every day, dumping the same messages over and over again: they always preface them with “I am a skeptic/atheist/rationalist, but you are…” gay, a mangina, a stupid Jew, a faggot, a girly-boy, whatever sexist/racist slur strikes their feeble and unimaginative fancy.

Seriously, I’m used to the stupid; I’ve been getting similar hate mail and threats from Dennis Markuze since 1993, and am accustomed to Bible-believing Christians sending me their catalog of affronts to reason every day, but in the last year, that crap has been outnumbered 10 to 1 by hate mail from obsessed cretins who also proudly tell me they’re atheists and skeptics. The movement has a problem, and it lies in the fact that just declaring yourself godless or a skeptic is not sufficient to testify that you’re a decent human being…yet that is all we expect of people we are to call our colleagues. It’s the same problem Christians have, who declare belief in Jesus a proxy for being a cooperative, generous, social person. It’s not.

Why have people like Rebecca Watson and Ophelia Benson and Greta Christina and me been targeted this way? Because we have repudiated those people. We know how to repudiate them. We name and shame them. We ban them from our blogs. We mock them. We spit on their names.

Don’t try to find refuge by looking for the middle ground where you can make a case that yeah, the firefight takes out a few people who maybe don’t deserve it as much; we’re talking about the scum of the internet, people whose only role in the atheist/skeptic movements is to abuse women and gays and transgender people, and get huffy when you call them on it.

We reject them categorically. I have filters in place that pick up on their favorite phrases, their pet hate sites, their IP addresses and prefered pseudonyms, and bans them outright. Russell Blackford has not recieved that treatment, but Franc Hoggle has, and Notung, and John D, and Michael Kingsford Gray, and Justicar, and a swarm of others, and anyone who has anything to do with the slymepit or Abbie Smith’s reflexive hatred — you may not know them, but they have a long history of obsession, and many of us know them well. They are irredeemable pests with nothing positive to contribute, only a desire to defend their bigotry.

You have not repudiated them, ever. Some of them are blithely commenting on your post right now; you’re happily unaware of their behavior, their record, or their attitudes. You’d only discover it if you did repudiate them. Boy, would you ever discover it then. You complain about strong language at the end of your post; you haven’t been regularly receiving strangely scrawled cartoons of you having sex with animals lately, have you, or perhaps graphic descriptions of your confusedly sexual death? Have you been issued an official disparaging nickname by your enemies yet?

I appreciate what you do, but you don’t repudiate. I don’t think you even know what the word means.

But if you ever want to learn, you know how to contact me.

Comments

  1. says

    By the way, Franc Hoggle is in that thread. He defends himself by saying he isn’t as bad as Dennis Markuze, because if he were, we could have him arrested.

    Yeah, because “not as bad as Dennis Markuze” is high praise.

    But also, because it’s openly false. I’ve been making official complaints to the police, and through them, the FBI, the RCMP, and the Montreal police for at least a decade. I took the step a few years ago of printing out one month’s worth of the threats and rants Markuze sent directly to my email address — I had to use a whole ream of paper to do it — and plunked it down on the desk of the city police and told them that this is the level of harassment I get. They took it seriously and contacted various agencies to see what they could do…and the answer was nothing.

    Dennis Markuze was only taken into temporary custody when a Canadian local to Montreal complained about his blatant death threats and obsessive behavior…and then he was taken in for treatment of substance abuse, not manic hatred.

    And he’s out now, and is posting his screeds again.

    Yeah, Franc, the lesson from Markuze is a good one. Demented assholes like you thrive on the internet.

  2. says

    Hmm did anyone see Rons response to the criticism on his post? He makes it fairly clear that by ‘the movement’ he means the people who actively work in organisations like his for the promotion of secular atheism…

    So PZ pronouncement that ‘the movement’ is populated by the slimepitters will come as a surprise to the keyboard jockeys who make up the slime-movement. I seriously doubt that very many of them are actively involved in these meatspace atheist ‘movements’ rather than the more toilet derived ‘movements’ they spew onto the web on a regular basis and ironically call a ‘movement’.

    Also as a general theme I’d encourage people to go to the slymepit and engage in some conversation. Apart from a lot of paranoia about FtBs and how if you post over there you will get banned here a lot of them are nice people. Some express distaste for the MRAs there and some of the nuttier contingent such as Boss Hoggle. Seems a good idea to me for calm discourse and not painting all at the slimepit with the Hoggle-brush :-)

  3. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Nice.

    How divisive is it to recognize that a division exists?
    On one side of the chasm are the recklessly amoral. How the hell could anyone other than a complete misanthrope want to be over there?

    Recognizing a division is not divisive. Celebrating a division is also not divisive.

  4. andyo says

    So, did Dawkins ever make another peep about this after the unfortunate “Dear Muslima” incident? In a subsequent comment he said he would consider maybe he was wrong, IIRC (are the sciblogs comments ever coming back?). Anyway, in that thread it was already
    very evident the quality of the people he chose to side with.

  5. says

    It’s not paranoia. They will get banned here. The only question is how long I’d let the commentariat heap scorn on their vile ideas before slamming the banhammer down.

    I know they’re not real activists, but they want to claim representation — and the fact that they claim FtB is leading the atheist movement (we’re not) to a hell of a feminist dystopia is telling. They are at least declaring an interest in movement atheism.

    And no, they’re not nice people. I’ve heard too much from them to have that illusion any more. Fuck the slimepit. Stop making apologies for them.

  6. briane says

    Also as a general theme I’d encourage people to go to the slymepit and engage in some conversation.
    Lay down with dogs, wind up with fleas….By their friends we shall know them…

  7. briane says

    Antiochus:
    How divisive is it to recognize that a division exists?
    Shoot the messenger, cause we don’t like the message. Oblviousness is our game.

  8. paleotrent says

    The movement has a problem, and it lies in the fact that just declaring yourself godless or a skeptic is not sufficient to testify that you’re a decent human being…yet that is all we expect of people we are to call our colleagues. It’s the same problem Christians have, who declare belief in Jesus a proxy for being a cooperative, generous, social person. It’s not.

    Great prose and an excellent point. In this day and age there’s just a little too much tolerance of mediocrity from folks of all stripes. I personally suspect that it’s at least in part due to the long-standing movement to instill self-confidence in schoolkids at the expense of real learning or introspection, or not wanting to risk “damaging” them by telling them that, no, they don’t get a trophy for making a poop in the potty.

  9. says

    @5 oolon

    So PZ pronouncement that ‘the movement’ is populated by the slimepitters will come as a surprise to the keyboard jockeys who make up the slime-movement. I seriously doubt that very many of them are actively involved in these meatspace atheist ‘movements’ rather than the more toilet derived ‘movements’ they spew onto the web on a regular basis and ironically call a ‘movement’.

    I ran into another variation of this argument on a different part of FTB. The argument is essentially that no one important is saying sexist shit, but it simply isn’t true. Leaders and well known faces are saying sexist things or encouraging online bullying. In light of that it is very difficult for me to think that No True Skeptic (or activist or scotsman) is involved in online bullying.

    It is an amazing coincidence that the really important people never seem to pause to condemn the behavior of the supposedly irrelevant people who launch the harassment campaigns, eh? Yeah, right.

    You could ASK women how things went for them in their activism instead of telling them.

    Also as a general theme I’d encourage people to go to the slymepit and engage in some conversation.

    No. You are asking me to endure a bunch of sexist bullshit from hateful strangers.

    Apart from a lot of paranoia about FtBs and how if you post over there you will get banned here a lot of them are nice people. Some express distaste for the MRAs there and some of the nuttier contingent such as Boss Hoggle. Seems a good idea to me for calm discourse and not painting all at the slimepit with the Hoggle-brush :-)

    you know I’ve heard stormfront is really diverse and nice too if you just try talking to the militant white nationalists on there, but I don’t really care to because the shit they say about race lets me know that they aren’t nice people at all. The same goes for the slime pit and other outright anti-woman groups. People who really had a problem with bigotry wouldn’t fucking associate with them in the first place, would they?

  10. says

    Very nice statement.

    One group you have forgotten to mention, though: the bloggers who have been forced out of blogging because of the vileness that has been flung at them. When these self-described “defenders of the movement” silence those who are actually out there defending the movement, we have a very serious problem.

  11. briane says

    People who do bad things tend to get more hate and scorn than people who don’t.
    People who drum up controversy tend to get more hate and scorn than people who don’t.

    Those anti-slavery folks must have done a lot of bad things, after all, where there’s smoke there’s fire. And did they drum up controversy!

  12. kassad says

    While a divide has been revealed, I’m not sure to even understand the idea that a rift has been created. Was everybody agreeing on social justice before, and suddenly half the people started hurling sexist threats out of the blue?!?

    It might seem selfish but at least I’m somehow glad the ugliness surfaced, even if I’m horrified for the people victim of such hatred. It revealed to me some things I’ve never contemplated on gender, on race. I’ve always been an atheist, and not passionate on the subject. I skimmed some blogs about it every few months. “Yeah, God doesn’t exist. And Bigfoot neither apparently”. I never learned much. And now I’m everyday reading amazing posts by fantastic people. I’ve learned so much on this network and some other sites than I’m in awe on how much you can learned, think and grow in a short time when presented with all the right tools.

    Went from a border-line MRA asshole (by shallow thinking and indifference more that actual hate, but that does not make a difference) to a socially conscious person, willing and eager to learn, and help when possible. And fuckin’ damn it fell good (even though thinking back of some of my earlier “thinking” bring a not-at-all pleasant sense of shame. Bat that’s growing I guess).

    And that is mostly because one day I asked myself: “what happened in an elevator?”, ” Okay..”, “Why is there a fuss?” ==> “two groups are equally yelling at each other…” ==> “.. except I understand WHY one group is yelling.” ==> “What is wrong with the others? What’s their problem exactly?” ==> “What did he just say?” ==> “What the fuck did I just read???” ==> strangled gasp of sheer bewilderment at the viciousness and stupidity of the sexist backlash ==> “HOW THE HELL NOBODY EVER BASH THOSE FUCKERS’ HEADS WITH A SHOVEL YET?!?”

    So in a way, thanks assholes.

  13. says

    @PZ, you miss the point… They are so paranoid that they think anyone who ‘posts’ there – even my posts which were mostly taking the piss out of them – will lead to a ban over here. One of the nuttier things they hold onto is the application of group attributes to FtBs… FtBs will destroy the atheist movement, FtBs are all infantalising women. etc. etc. By ‘FtBs’ they often mean the leaders or the bloggers on the network but very often also *all* the commenters.

    You by saying fuck the ‘slimepit’ are doing a similar thing. Many over there may not be the nicest people at times but many also profess, when there is no gain to lie, that they are feminists. Just you lot are 3rd wave and they are 2nd wave. Lumping a diverse set of people into one group, ‘slimepit(ters)’, and then applying terms like ‘misogynists’ across the whole group is unnecessary hyperbole, imo. Stick to the self professed leaders who are more than horrible enough and ask the rest – why do you associate with them?

    Saying you are all horrible misogynists will polarise and cause people to choose a side. At least that is the only way I can explain how seemingly sensible sceptic-atheists identify with a group that has Hoggle-like leaders at the helm.

  14. says

    If people don’t criticize bigotry, if they go silent at bullying and threats, then they don’t get harassed either.

    Why, if we’d just learn to tolerate the intolerant, we could all go on pretending to be happy and cooperative.

    Oh, wait. I’d rather not.

    spacklick, you’re a dishonest ass trying to convince us to accommodate ourselves to the contemptible. Go away.

  15. says

    On one side of the chasm are the recklessly amoral. How the hell could anyone other than a complete misanthrope want to be over there? / Recognizing a division is not divisive. Celebrating a division is also not divisive.

    That.

    Y’know, I really have to say–and to anyone, anyone at all, actually–but especially to folk with titles and positions and organizations and letterhead in skeptical and secularist and atheist organizations and so on:

    There was a time, like maybe several months ago now (so that’s like a geological era in internet time) when I could have said I wasn’t real aware of just how much of this shit was happening on the net, and you might even have caught me saying something vaguely like ‘oh, let’s just try to get along with folk–we’re a small movement, in a sea of folk who really don’t much like us–hang together or hang separately’ or somesuch…

    I think I have a faint excuse. For one thing, I don’t have any kind of title or position (these days), and for another, I was kinda busy. Kinda duck in and out of this world, and don’t often get a chance to look under all the rocks.

    Also it was pretty briefly. Fucking hell, you’d have to be in a literal coma not to notice what toxic total monsters there are lurking in some of these fora for any length of time…

    I would have had to dig a nice deep hole and hide in it not to notice. It’s not like these assholes are actually hiding or anything. Hiding their identities, many of them (wisely), yes, but they and what they’re actually saying is easy to find.

    So if you’ve a title and an organization and you haven’t said loudly and vocally and fucking contentiously and proudly ‘these bastards do not represent us, and we are appalled, and if this is their behaviour they are not welcome in our organization’, seriously, pal, you’re completely fucking incompetent, and you need new PR people, and you need a new conscience. You should know by now and you should be able to get it through your head: you have to say this.

    Divided. Bah. We should be divided. I want a canyon between me and these bastards. I want a deep, dark canyon, with rushing water in the bottom and sharpened stakes. You do not want it even to enter their tiny little brains (or anyone else’s) that you condone them, are in any way on their side. There’s folk seem to think it goes without saying, but I’m afraid this mess is big enough now that this just isn’t the way of it at all.

    You need to say it, you need to make it clear: I am not for rape threats, I am not for death threats, I do not stand for such bullshit. Hogglers get it through your head, and everyone else standing around, too: I am not with you. So yeah: consider us divided.

  16. briane says

    but many also profess, when there is no gain to lie, that they are feminists
    In Australia, there’s a conservative baptist woman who is anti-abortion for all women who claims to be a feminist. I take there claims as seriously as those of the slimepit (and their fellow travellers) who claim that hoping someone is raped or kicked in their genitalia or a no more than genitalia….is not rampant sexism.

  17. David Marjanović says

    Seriously, I’m used to the stupid; I’ve been getting similar hate mail and threats from Dennis Markuze since 1993, and am accustomed to Bible-believing Christians sending me their catalog of affronts to reason every day, but in the last year, that crap has been outnumbered 10 to 1 by hate mail from obsessed cretins who also proudly tell me they’re atheists and skeptics.

    I’m just sitting back and letting that sink in.

  18. blitzgal says

    Definitely, spacklick. The first thing we should do after someone gets punched in the face is determine what they did to deserve it.

  19. says

    Great prose and an excellent point. In this day and age there’s just a little too much tolerance of mediocrity from folks of all stripes. I personally suspect that it’s at least in part due to the long-standing movement to instill self-confidence in schoolkids at the expense of real learning or introspection, or not wanting to risk “damaging” them by telling them that, no, they don’t get a trophy for making a poop in the potty.

    Do you have any evidence that mediocrity is related to encouraging self confidence or that a lack of such things will result in better outcomes? It seems unlikely to me that you do. It sounds a lot like a bunch of moralizing about how much better the world is when kids feel like shit about themselves. As if kids need help feeling bad. Look at the rate of eating disorders in contemporary society if you don’t believe me.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Many over there may not be the nicest people at times but many also profess, when there is no gain to lie, that they are feminists.

    And if you believe that, I have an old suspension bridge to sell that crosses the East River. Cheap. Think about all the toll money….

  21. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Not divided for any good reason? Really? REALLY!?

    Fuck you, you blithering piece of nematode shit. Fuck you for your inability to hear what women are saying about the way they are being treated. Fuck you for your false balance, you pertussis infested phlem pile. Is the bigotry and hate that drove Jen off her blog really the same to you as the frustrated anger of people who can’t believe they are still fighting this shit? Fuck you for your oh so calm voice of condescension, you retro-viral bloody flux of a would- be Vulcan. I’m angry, pissed off, down right furious come to that, and if you’re not, then your head needs to be extracted from it’s cozy peristaltic excretatory organ, your eyes flushed, your ears unstopped and your brain cudgelled until you start to see that there IS a fucking problem, and it comes from bigotry, not from the response to that bigotry. And if you can’t shed the shit stained glasses of privilege that are keeping you ignorant, then shut the fuck up and let those of us who care enough to be angry do what we can to make our community better than the fucked up world in which it resides.

  22. says

    @skeptifem,

    Also as a general theme I’d encourage people to go to the slymepit and engage in some conversation.

    No. You are asking me to endure a bunch of sexist bullshit from hateful strangers.

    Yeah, sorry should qualify that with if you are willing or able to ignore the shit that may come your way. I’m probably falling into their trap here where they assert that if you have thin skin you should have your internet privileges taken away. Well I don’t want the internet populated by thick-skinned trolls like myself so I don’t agree with that sentiment.

    you know I’ve heard stormfront is really diverse and nice too if you just try talking to the militant white nationalists on there, but I don’t really care to because the shit they say about race lets me know that they aren’t nice people at all. The same goes for the slime pit and other outright anti-woman groups. People who really had a problem with bigotry wouldn’t fucking associate with them in the first place, would they?

    Amazing how similar this conversation is going to ones I’ve had with the slimepitters. They say; “FtBs is full of feminazis that will call you a rape apologist and ban you then try and get you sacked if you go over there and comment or argue against the flow”… I say, well go over there (here) and argue in good faith and be prepared to back down or give up.

    Have you actually talked to any of the slimepitters? Bluharmony may be a disingenuous liar but she appears to be a feminist, same goes for Vicky Caramel, John D, John Welch and a couple of others I’ve argued with. I totally disagree with them on the importance of harassment policies and the bizarre assertion that FtBs are infantalising women, whatever that means. But the core proposition that Women should be equal is accepted as far as I can see. Maybe I’m wrong, but it would be hard to convince me when what they say makes this clear. Their associations are for all sorts of historical reasons and paranoia about FtBs being some sort of evil empire out to destroy atheism.

  23. says

    I’m not trying to imply that anything could make the rape threats and death threats or any of the other abuse hurled at FTBers recently deserved or right, but when people don’t act like asses, they are less likely to get treated like asses, know what I’m saying? are you absolutely positive that there wasn’t something you did that was deserving of rape threats and death threats?

    FIFY

    Try to be more honest with yourself about what you’re really saying next time.

    The “I’m not doing X, but… [does X]” formulation is far too familiar to most of us to be effective here.

  24. says

    PZ: What an awesome post. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I was going to elaborate, but AJ Milne said everything I wanted to say and more, and put it far more eloquently than I ever could. Just go re-read comment #24 instead:

    “So if you’ve a title and an organization and you haven’t said loudly and vocally and fucking contentiously and proudly ‘these bastards do not represent us, and we are appalled, and if this is their behaviour they are not welcome in our organization’, seriously, pal, you’re completely fucking incompetent…”

    Hell yes.

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

    FossilFishy: Here is a sniny new Internets. Good show!

  26. briane says

    “FtBs is full of feminazis that will call you a rape apologist and ban you then try and get you sacked if you go over there and comment or argue against the flow”… I say, well go over there (here) and argue in good faith and be prepared to back down or give up.
    Oh, so threating to rape someone, or stand by why someone delights in rape fantasy equates to the core proposition to women should be treated as equals? As far as I can see it’s saying women are much less than equals. You could be wrong indeed.

  27. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Also as a general theme I’d encourage people to go to the slymepit and engage in some conversation.

    And then teach your dog to do some card tricks, because that’s more or less what conversation is like over there.

    Or maybe you haven’t considered that some of us had tried just that.

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Many over there may not be the nicest people at times but many also profess, when there is no gain to lie, that they are feminists.

    Gee, are they the type who also say they have “concerns” about feminism? Of course they have concerns. That’s why they carry out concern trolling when the milder cases come here. And why we know they aren’t what they claim they are.

  29. says

    Oolon, you are a blinkered, fatuous assclown. Lots of meatspace atheist and skeptic activists have been and are involved in the harassment and smear campaigns. The Slymepit might be “nice” to you, but that’s because you’re not the sort of human being who risks being threatened with a cunt-kicking. Pay attention, please.

    You by saying fuck the ‘slimepit’ are doing a similar thing. Many over there may not be the nicest people at times but many also profess, when there is no gain to lie, that they are feminists.

    Hey, did you know, I looked in the dictionary the other day and the word “gullible” wasn’t there? Who’da thunk. No, really, go look for yourself.

    Paleotrent:

    In this day and age there’s just a little too much tolerance of mediocrity from folks of all stripes. I personally suspect that it’s at least in part due to the long-standing movement to instill self-confidence in schoolkids at the expense of real learning or introspection, or not wanting to risk “damaging” them by telling them that, no, they don’t get a trophy for making a poop in the potty.

    Please. A lot of the slymers and their enablers are older white men. A lot of the people who’ve been fighting the good fight are quite young. This has nothing to do with “mediocrity” and everything to do with societal privilege, so go take your pet peeves elsewhere.

    Spacklick, your victim blaming is noted, as is your whinging at Aron Ra’s the other day about “the worst excesses of rabid feminism.”

    Skeptifem:

    It sounds a lot like a bunch of moralizing about how much better the world is when kids feel like shit about themselves. As if kids need help feeling bad.

    The discussion is O/T for this thread, but there is no shortage of children who are shocked when they realize they are not the center of anyone’s world except mommy’s and daddy’s. That’s where a lot of adult assholes come from…. no matter how much you want to pretend that all kids are little angels who deserve to have every want catered to (versus every need met).

  30. Pteryxx says

    Have you actually talked to any of the slimepitters? Bluharmony may be a disingenuous liar but she appears to be a feminist, same goes for Vicky Caramel, John D, John Welch and a couple of others I’ve argued with. I totally disagree with them on the importance of harassment policies and the bizarre assertion that FtBs are infantalising women, whatever that means.

    …and from those observations, somehow you conclude this?

    But the core proposition that Women should be equal is accepted as far as I can see. Maybe I’m wrong, but it would be hard to convince me when what they say makes this clear.

    You’re familiar with the “I am not a racist but…” excuse, right? You know you’re dealing with not just one, but several disingenuous liars? You disagree with them on basic, thoroughly argued and supported policies, and on slanted arguments that appropriate and misrepresent actual valid concerns, but you still believe they’re really believers in equality of women in spite of that?

    Maybe you should pay less attention to what they SAY and more to what they DO.

  31. says

    oolon: My boss this summer also said, when there was no reason for him to lie, that he hated racists. And yet time and time again he laughed at his friends’ racist jokes, failed to tell them that they were wrong about all black people being lazy, and even occasionally agreed with them. He may have said he wasn’t racist, but his actions suggested otherwise.
    You can call yourself a feminist all you want, but if you tolerate rape jokes and death threats aimed at women, if you fail to shout them down, if you work against things like anti-harassment policies, you are nothing of the sort.

  32. David Marjanović says

    People who do bad things tend to get more hate and scorn than people who don’t.
    People who drum up controversy tend to get more hate and scorn than people who don’t.

    Sometimes, it’s a good thing to drum up the controversy; and people who drum up controversy – instead of kicking it regularly so it stays under the carpet – tend to get, as you say, more hate and scorn than people who don’t. Don’t try to silence them.

    I mean for a start, by showing yourselves to be “weak targets”, as in people who make public reactions to this sort of abuse, you’ve opened yourself up to the rabid trolls for a start.

    Have you ever been bullied?

    Have you ever found out what happens when you try to ignore the bullies?

    While a divide has been revealed, I’m not sure to even understand the idea that a rift has been created. Was everybody agreeing on social justice before, and suddenly half the people started hurling sexist threats out of the blue?!?

    It might seem selfish but at least I’m somehow glad the ugliness surfaced, even if I’m horrified for the people victim of such hatred.

    QFT.

    Why, if we’d just learn to tolerate the intolerant, we could all go on pretending to be happy and cooperative.

    And then we will love them, and then they will become Big Brother. And then we will love Big Brother.

    That’s what happened last time when people tried to tolerate the intolerant where I’m sitting now. That’s how it begins.

    Bluharmony may be a disingenuous liar but

    …I can’t believe I just read that.

    But the core proposition that Women should be equal is accepted as far as I can see.

    Yeah, in theory. And then they go ahead and work hard against that principle in practice. If you try to explain to them that that’s what they’re doing… well… see above for what they’re doing to PZ or Watson or McCreight.

    Saying “I’m for good and against evil” doesn’t automatically make people helpful or even just harmless.

    Hey, did you know, I looked in the dictionary the other day and the word “gullible” wasn’t there? Who’da thunk. No, really, go look for yourself.

    ROTFL!!!

    Please. A lot of the slymers and their enablers are older white men. A lot of the people who’ve been fighting the good fight are quite young. This has nothing to do with “mediocrity” and everything to do with societal privilege, so go take your pet peeves elsewhere.

    QFT.

  33. says

    @oolon

    are you fucking kidding me? They shit talk me personally on a regular basis and send nasty commenters to my blog. I know what they have to say about me because they link to me and I used to go check it out, but its nothing but insults. What is the point of reading that over and over? I’ve been over there before to see what they were saying about PZ and others, as have a shit ton of people here, and it is exactly as nasty and horrible as trying to talk with people at storm front.

    Making a false equivalence between having a hate website and refusing to visit one is your own problem. Do you really think anyone is so stupid as to be confused about the difference? We all see through your schtick. Its the same “BOTH SIDES DO IT” nonsense narrative that the media looks for in order to claim being balanced during conflicts (such as the current election). It doesn’t fool anyone. Also, way to equate being called a rape apologist with being threatened with rape, as if anyone sensible would ever decide that the two things are somehow equal offenses. If you don’t understand that being a woman and having rape threats made against your person is different than simply being called a name then there is something wrong with you. It would explain why you are so comfortable around people who initiate sexist harassment campaigns.

  34. says

    I’m sure Ron Lindsay knows exactly what “repudiate” means. It means what he’ll do to FtB and Skepchick bloggers if they don’t stop making so much noise and causing DEEEEEP RIFTS!! Because if given a choice between standing up to bullies or joining in/enabling the attacks on the victims, we know which way this story tends to go.

  35. paleotrent says

    @skeptifem

    As a parent, I agree with you that one doesn’t want people in authority berating or belittling kids, and I do see how hard my own kids are on themselves, which I sincerely hope is not due to me or my interactions with them. I’m constantly second-guessing my parenting, the words I use with the kids, the ways in which I correct them, and I’ll be honest – it’s absolutely nerve-wracking. And no, I don’t have any evidence for the claim that I made, which was just a suspicion based on the fact that in 20+ years of teaching I have noticed a significant change in that my students today expect praise for mediocrity. They want a “B” for just showing up, for goodness’ sake. But this line of debate doesn’t really seem to fit the spirit of the dialogue here, so I’ll just leave it at that.

  36. says

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter, Nope they were not ‘nice’ to me at all… I was so annoying to some that one impersonated me and called Greta a c*nt in my name… But that was one person, probably.

    Tarring all FtBs with the same brush is ridiculous when there is a diversity of opinion. Tarring all of the people who post at the slimepit with the same brush is also ridiculous. Sorry. Maybe somewhat less ridiculous ;-)

    If you think I’m a gullible fool maybe it would pain you to know that according to the slimepit I’m a paid up FtBs shill. I am representative of all that is wrong with this blog network apparently – just because I criticise some of their hyperbole. Now if you don’t want to be associated with my level of competence (I’m guessing you don’t) then you might want them to stop using ‘FtBs’ as a generalisation for all the commenters here – Or in their words… “Oolon is an idiot therefore FtBs commenters are all idiots, inc. Daisy Cutter”. I’d just ask the same of you in regard to the slimepit.

  37. says

    daisy

    The discussion is O/T for this thread, but there is no shortage of children who are shocked when they realize they are not the center of anyone’s world except mommy’s and daddy’s. That’s where a lot of adult assholes come from…. no matter how much you want to pretend that all kids are little angels who deserve to have every want catered to (versus every need met).

    I asked for evidence that self esteem education resulted in mediocrity. All you’ve done is repeat the original assertion.

    The bolded portion is a position you’ve invented for me, I feel no need to defend things I never said or implied.

  38. says

    Tarring all FtBs with the same brush is ridiculous when there is a diversity of opinion. Tarring all of the people who post at the slimepit with the same brush is also ridiculous. Sorry. Maybe somewhat less ridiculous ;-)

    Oh, I think I can safely assume that people who enjoy the slime pit are comfortable with the misogyny there. The evidence is that they keep fucking posting there.

  39. Blattafrax says

    I have been wary of the A+ movement and still don’t think I’m completely OK with the philosophy. But, I read Blag Hag yesterday and this today – so fuck that. Where can I sign up?

  40. briane says

    Skeptifem:
    no matter how much you want to pretend that all kids are little angels who deserve to have every want catered to (versus every need met).
    The you could be the impersonal you, and thus it could be refrased as:

    no matter how much one wants to pretend that all kids are little angels who deserve to have every want catered to (versus every need met).

  41. macallan says

    While a divide has been revealed, I’m not sure to even understand the idea that a rift has been created.

    The ultra short version, as far as I can tell from over here: some people told some assholes to stop being assholes, which made the assholes freak out and whine about being bullied.

  42. feedmybrain says

    @oolon

    Am I reading you correctly? It really sounds like you’re essentially saying, ‘It’s the radical misogynists who threaten rape that are the problem and not the moderates who are just everyday, run o’ the mill sexist’?

  43. thetalkingstove says

    People who drum up controversy tend to get more hate and scorn than people who don’t.

    But this controversy is not innate within the stance of FTB/Skepchick. Feminism is not controversial to anyone who has an open mind and, y’know, empathy.
    The controversy is generated by the ridiculous, self-absorbed chumps and fools who hate feminism because its not all about them.

  44. says

    @53
    if its an impersonal “you” then its just a false dichotomy. It could be that self esteem training has no relationship to the needs vs desires conflict discussed.

  45. Bernard Bumner says

    @oolon,
    Don’t you see a danger in legitimising a site that emerged directly from and organised by some of the leading protagonists from The Monument, people who still attempt to actively harm and bully their opponents?

    There is a reason why many atheists refuse to debate creationists.

  46. says

    Thank you for this post, PZ.

    I’ve been on A+ since the forum opened. We’re about to reach 1500 members. I’ve lost count of the number of people who wrote, in posts or in their introductions, “I didn’t post on forums before…” because of the hate. Many of those now have tens of thoughtful, intelligent posts up. A bunch of them have several hundred! So yeah, giving a voice to hundreds of people who were intimidated from doing so previously is definitely divisive!

  47. says

    @5 oolan

    a lot of them are nice people.

    Sure, everybody is a nice person. It’s usually just a question of scope. skeptifem @15 mentioned white supremacists (or nationalists). I would agree; they are probably really nice people…as long as you are white. And as long as you don’t reveal that you don’t agree with their raciest views. But as long as they think you are an ally? Yeah, I have little doubt they’d treat you well. If you haven’t figured it out, it’s about in-group vs. out-group. Any group is going to be nice to those they think may be part of the in-group. The (dare I say?) *true* nice people are those who are nice to people who are part of the out-group.

  48. consciousness razor says

    If you think I’m a gullible fool maybe it would pain you to know that according to the slimepit I’m a paid up FtBs shill.

    Alright, fine. Run on back and tell them your sad story of being an oblivious asshat with nowhere else to go. I’m sure they’ll be deeply moved.

  49. says

    @skeptifem, *Some* slimepitters are horrible to you. *Some* are horrible to bloggers on this network. *Some* are horrible to me but I’m in a very privileged position of anonymity and thick skin to not care.

    That is my only point – some but not all say and do some pretty nasty things. Why is it necessary to tar the group when the association is as loose as liking to post on a particular comment board?

    Your analogy to Stormfront was pretty hyperbolic – but I’d extend it to say that people who frequent a pub where Stormfront regularly meet are tarred as neo-nazis the same as the members of Stormfront, just because they go to the same pub?

    I’m not making equivalences between rape/rape apology or anything else by repeating how the nuttier element of the slimepit describe the commenters and the comment experience over here BTW

  50. Brownian says

    But the core proposition that Women should be equal is accepted as far as I can see.

    What a dumb thing to say. Really, other than the bitterest divorced MRA, who says they shouldn’t? That makes one a feminist?

    Jesus Christ, oolon.

  51. Brownian says

    Fuck, the Catholic Church is practically feminist if we use the slymepit as the bar.

    Fuck, oolon.

  52. Brownian says

    Oops, I meant “by the facile commitment to ‘equal’ you say the slymepitters believe in as the bar”.

  53. says

    Oh, I think I can safely assume that people who enjoy the slime pit are comfortable with the misogyny there. The evidence is that they keep fucking posting there.

    Can you? I was interested to hear from someone who likes the no-holds-barred nature of the slimepit but dislikes certain extreme elements…. They block them. Apparently all you do is click ‘block’ and you no longer see their comments. (Waiting for the same request to block all comments by oolon… :-))

  54. Pteryxx says

    That is my only point – some but not all say and do some pretty nasty things. Why is it necessary to tar the group when the association is as loose as liking to post on a particular comment board?

    The comment board was founded, and named, as a replacement for Abbie’s slur-filled comment thread at Scienceblogs. It’s disingenuous to think that “interest in / tolerance for misogynist attacks” did NOT factor into commenters’ decisions to join there.

    Did you even read the OP?

  55. macallan says

    I still can’t figure out why people assume that atheism+ will be divisive? ;)

    We don’t want the assholes to feel left out, do we? ;)

  56. says

    That is my only point – some but not all say and do some pretty nasty things. Why is it necessary to tar the group when the association is as loose as liking to post on a particular comment board?

    Because people post at Stormfront or the Slimepit for the recipe trading?

  57. says

    It’s the same goddamned ingroup bias that causes moderate-to-liberal Christians to ignore or even excuse the behavior of the extremists in their midst.

    I guess all this just proves rational thinking doesn’t displace common cognitive biases. Not that I thought it did — but I at least thought we’d be (as a group) intelligent enough to admit when we fall prey to those biases.

    Guess not. It’s still hard to recognize when you’re in the hole, and should probably stop shoveling.

    Even when you’re fucking shown you’re in the hole. And offered a ladder.

  58. says

    I should add that he apparently thinks only organizations officials matter, even though there are plenty of well-known atheists who don’t fit this description. In fact, PZ isn’t a part of the movement by the definition he gave, so I don’t know why he’s worrying about him.

  59. forkboy says

    God damn PZ, that is a fantastic post. Really. It’s long since past time that the skeptical & atheist movement opens its harms to bigots who freely use homophobic, racist & sexist language without giving it a second thought.

    I’d love these groups to be united in the goals & desires we all share but at the end of the day I’m not really comfy standing side-by-side with people who try to excuse rape or who think it’s acceptable to call someone a faggot.

    Keep on kicking against the pricks. Some of us more silent members of the atheist community really do appreciate it.

  60. says

    Ace of Sevens:

    I should add that he apparently thinks only organizations officials matter, even though there are plenty of well-known atheists who don’t fit this description.

    Were any of the folks he called out for being “divisive” leaders of any organizations?

    No?

    Then it’s a rather unfair complaint, don’t you think?

    Fuck, but I’m getting cynical. Almost hateful. I really dislike these folks who tolerate the folks who are being assholes. That doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about the people who call out the good guys as divisive. All they do is provide cover for the assholes.

  61. DLC says

    You know, now that you come to it. Yes, there are and should be Deep Rifts . There is and should be an ever-widening gulf between Mainstream Atheism/Rationalism/Skepticism and the cretins down in the pit. The gulf already exists, and I am all for making it larger. Anyone who practices such a brand of irrationality as to sling threats of death, rape or violent attacks against others deserves to be ostracized, in the literal, classical sense. Let them sit outside the walls of the rationalist/atheist/secular humanist community until such time as they can learn to behave.

  62. erikthebassist says

    Your analogy to Stormfront was pretty hyperbolic – but I’d extend it to say that people who frequent a pub where Stormfront regularly meet are tarred as neo-nazis the same as the members of Stormfront, just because they go to the same pub?

    If the pub is widely known as a hang out for neo-nazis, and there’s a perfectly fine pub across the street that is not, and they go to the neo-nazi pub by choice? Then yeah, fuck them. Analogy fail.

  63. says

    I’ve very recently begun posting a bit in A+ and only know the backstory through PZ’s blog here…I guess I’ll watch and remain an atheist rather than an Atheist for now.

    As mentioned way above I guess I can’t assume self-identified atheists to be any more “true” than self-identified christians are. Living in academia probably contributes as I guess I’ve never know the hateful kind of self-identified atheist, but I’ve seen plenty of their affective kin in the religious circles.

    Maybe there’s an “intellectual phenotype”? The MRA and the “Promisekeeper”-type of fundamentalist are actually the same kind of critter? (Men’s Rights Activist is what MRA stands for, right?) (I also expect this is completely not a new idea in any way, shape or form.)

  64. says

    erikthebassist:

    If the pub is widely known as a hang out for neo-nazis, and there’s a perfectly fine pub across the street that is not, and they go to the neo-nazi pub by choice? Then yeah, fuck them. Analogy fail.

    Further, too, if those same patrons say, “You’re being divisive by hating on Stormfront.” That’d be closer to the actual situation.

  65. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Again with the “internet isn’t real life” narrative. So untrue.

    Also, as pointed out by Skeptifem earlier:
    a.) This shit (the misogyny and the harassment) does NOT just happen online
    b.) “Real life” prominent people who have a voice in the mainstream media regarding atheism and atheist issues (like Dawkins and Kirby) have written and tweeted some vile and irrational crap, enabling the “real” misogynists and harassers and bigots and bullies to point to them and say “That leader has my back so harassment ahoy!” so no, it’s not just some anonymous internet nobodies. Hell, Ophelia got trashed by the guy she wrote a couple of books with. Talk about a suckerpunch!

    Yes, there have been leaders of the “movement” (movement as defined by Lindsay, for sake of argument) who have spoken up against the harassment. That’s true and admirable.

    There have also been leaders of the “movement” who have piled on with the blaming and the harassment.

    So with the leadership (or at least loud voices) divided on the issue (really? This is an issue on which skeptics can be divided? HOW?), the issue goes to the audience, and that audience? Wow, right now it contains some rabid, frothing at the mouth scary people who are not only bigoted and harassing but completely fucking LOUD about it without any repercussions.

    So now we’re at a situation where either the “leaders” (or the loud voices and organizers at least) throw these frothing at the mouth rabid bigots out of said audience, or those of us who have too much to loose to risk exposure to said rabid frothing at the mouth types will simply keep staying away, thereby effectively silencing and alienating a HUGE chunk of people who identify as atheist, losing their voices and their activism.

    But those who are setting up an alternative venue where the rabid types are removed from the audience so that everyone can contribute or at least attend…. they are the ones being divisive?

    That logic only works if you didn’t value the voices that were going silent not out of choice but necessity because of the presence of the bigots and the “nice” people who do nothing to challenge the bigots or even get them to shut up once in a while. (Yeah, and that shit is not divisive or damaging to “the movement” at all.)

    So no, that argument is deeply flawed – so deeply flawed that someone like me, who is of middling intelligence at best and untrained in logic, argumentation or even basic science can spot the truck-sized holes three continents away.

    Gimme a break. Skepticism my ass. More like “skepticism as long as it gives me the answers I want and don’t make me too uncomfortable or work too hard.”

  66. Beatrice says

    nigelTheBold,

    Fuck, but I’m getting cynical. Almost hateful. I really dislike these folks who tolerate the folks who are being assholes. That doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about the people who call out the good guys as divisive. All they do is provide cover for the assholes.

    My thoughts exactly.

    Add disappointed and tired to cynical and almost hateful.

  67. says

    What’s happening is that one side is throwing mud, then the self proclaimed observers of consensus and moderation have declared that both sides are dirty, It’s a common technique for those who want to muddy up an issue.

  68. melody says

    I’m sure Ron Lindsay knows exactly what “repudiate” means. It means what he’ll do to FtB and Skepchick bloggers if they don’t stop making so much noise and causing DEEEEEP RIFTS!! Because if given a choice between standing up to bullies or joining in/enabling the attacks on the victims, we know which way this story tends to go.

    No, you are wrong, Improbable Joe. I am a CFI employee and I disagreed with Lindsay on that blog. I have reposted PZ’s blog on Twitter and Facebook. Ron Lindsay is a man of great character. I think PZ realizes that hence the kind words he used to preface the letter. Ron doesn’t know the players in the game or understand the extent of the problem. Ignorance isn’t malice. We need to reach out to Ron and not make assumptions and demean him.

  69. ~G~ says

    [blockquote]@skeptifem, *Some* slimepitters are horrible to you. *Some* are horrible to bloggers on this network.[/blockquote] Why would anyone want to be on a forum that tolerates horrible people even if they are not the majority of the group (let’s just accept that premise for the sake of argument.) I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with Hoggle, even with all my pockets stitched together.

  70. says

    melody:

    Ron doesn’t know the players in the game or understand the extent of the problem.

    This is precisely why he should not have commented on the situation.

    I know Ron is a good guy. It disappoints me that he’s providing cover for the assholes without fully understanding the issue to which he was responding.

  71. Beatrice says

    Ron doesn’t know the players in the game or understand the extent of the problem. Ignorance isn’t malice.

    As I already wrote at Ophelia’s… If he doesn’t know what’s going on, he shouldn’t have written about it.

    Not that anything I have to say matters since I don’t fit Ron’s definition of participants in the atheist movement/community anyway, my only involvement being through these comments.

    But this is tiresome. You have assholes sweeping in from every side with hate and threats, and then a well-meaning person like Ron comes in with the “both sides are wrong” argument.

  72. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Ron doesn’t know the players in the game or understand the extent of the problem.

    If that’s the case don’t you think that a person of great character would, oh I don’t know, perhaps educate themselves on the issue before making pronounments on it?

  73. says

    It’s telling and hilarious that he would write a piece about this and the person he feels he needs to go out of his way to speak up for is…Russell Blackford.*

    And you single out the case of Russell Blackford as someone not deserving of the opprobrium he has received. And I actually agree; Blackford has not been as vicious and dirty in his rhetoric as some others.

    I don’t agree. I think he’s received criticism and anger proportionate to his (“naughty Abbie!”) statements and actions.

    Lindsay:

    So to return to Atheism Plus, here’s a concern: because the A+ advocates want to work on social justice issues, but have not yet specified how they plan to go about this, including which issues they will emphasize, there’s a worry that they will divert resources from the secular movement and weaken it. Moreover, this diluting of the strength of the secular movement will come right at a time when we have begun to make some progress, but we’re still far short of achieving our goals. When both major political parties still feel free to give us the back of their hand and treat the nonreligious as second-class citizens (as evidenced by the recent conventions),

    I’m still laughing at this. Yes, we women, black people, and LGBT people should be worried that in fighting for our rights we’re going to divert energy and resources from the secular struggle. We wouldn’t want the political parties treating the nonreligious and secularists as second-class citizens. Where’s our concern for the real suffering minority?! Do you read what you’re writing, Lindsay?

    As I said at Ophelia’s, I appreciate this post because it makes it clear to me that this person is not an ally and that I don’t want to support his organization. The saddest part (well, beyond the obvious) is that I was just thinking the other day, when I was writing about HCH, about how pleased I’ve been with the direction CFI has been taking. I have them in my feeds, and I’ve been impressed with what I’ve been reading. But this piece shows that Lindsay doesn’t care what’s been happening to women and in fact blames the people fighting misogyny for ignorantly and pointlessly harming his movement, and that he views these struggles only through the lens of how could potentially contribute to or detract from secularism (and his beliefs about that are ill-informed, to boot).

    It’s the selfish, cynical thinking behind tokenism at its worst, and I doubt he intended to make it so plain. What’s terrible is that it makes me view the positive actions of CFI in a different light, which makes me angry because I don’t think Melody and others involved do see things this way. But this is the perspective of the head of the organization, and I don’t trust it now.

    *POI columnist. Looking a lot like Templeton here.

  74. Brownian says

    If the pub is widely known as a hang out for neo-nazis, and there’s a perfectly fine pub across the street that is not, and they go to the neo-nazi pub by choice? Then yeah, fuck them. Analogy fail.

    And the neo-nazi pub was created specifically for neo-nazis to hang out at, and was called “Hitler’s Bunker” as a “monument to everything the [pub owner] holds dear”.

  75. says

    oolon

    If you think I’m a gullible fool maybe it would pain you to know that according to the slimepit I’m a paid up FtBs shill. I am representative of all that is wrong with this blog network apparently – just because I criticise some of their hyperbole.

    Congratulations!
    And you still think there’s some kind of reasonable discussion to be had with them?

    *Some* slimepitters are horrible to you. *Some* are horrible to bloggers on this network. *Some* are horrible to me but I’m in a very privileged position of anonymity and thick skin to not care.

    And the rest of them cheer the others on. They hang out with them, they call them their friends.

    That is my only point – some but not all say and do some pretty nasty things. Why is it necessary to tar the group when the association is as loose as liking to post on a particular comment board?

    Because the whole fucking thing is organized around the hate for Rebecca Watson, Skepchick and FTB. There are no innocent bystanders there.

    Your analogy to Stormfront was pretty hyperbolic – but I’d extend it to say that people who frequent a pub where Stormfront regularly meet are tarred as neo-nazis the same as the members of Stormfront, just because they go to the same pub?

    Only that the pub is called “White Power”, owned by the local KKK head and proudly displays a sign that says that for every drink consumed the local “11 words” group gets 10 Cents. And you still think that any innocent people who can be reasoned with go there?

    But the core proposition that Women should be equal is accepted as far as I can see.

    Yeah, just like everybody agrees that rape is bad. Only that this wasn’t rape and that bitch deserved what she got.

  76. melody says

    Ron is busy running an international secular and skeptic movement. He doesn’t keep up with the blogs. Of course, he thinks he knows what he’s talking about. He couldn’t possibly. He needs people like me and PZ to reach out to him directly to give him more information. PZ kindly offered to in the last sentence of his letter. I hope they have the opportunity to talk.

  77. says

    //Why have people like Rebecca Watson and Ophelia Benson and Greta Christina and me been targeted this way? Because we have repudiated those people. We know how to repudiate them. We name and shame them. We ban them from our blogs. We mock them. We spit on their names.//

    I think that maybe it is this part that people are upset about. I wholly agree that people need to be called out, and they need to be educated on why what they are doing is offensive. Is it really necessary to shame them, though? Is it necessary to mock them and spit on their names? I think not. If we can take someone who is already close to our own values they normally are open to a rational argument…they are going to shut down the second they feel it is a personal attack, however. I am a perfect example of this. I made an uneducated statement, Jen called me out for it, I receded and thought I was right for quite some time just based on the fact that I felt wronged in the process. Then someone explained why it was offensive, and I apologized personally to Jen.

    Now I am aware that not everyone is like this. In that case, by all means, ban them. But shaming/name calling/discrediting those who are more in agreement with the movement than not (when you have the opportunity to educate) is counter productive. I think in several of these cases Hanlon’s Razor needs to be employed (Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity).

  78. says

    melody:

    He doesn’t keep up with the blogs. Of course, he thinks he knows what he’s talking about.

    If he doesn’t keep up with the blogs, how can he know about this situation?

    If he heard it from someone else, why didn’t he consult the primary sources?

    Again, this was a major failure on his part. It shouldn’t be up to you or PZ to educate him. He should know enough to educate himself. He should also know enough to be able to back up his positive assertions: that well-known leaders have repudiated those who spout sexism and outright misogyny.

    I’m certainly willing to give Ron the benefit of the doubt. That doesn’t mean I won’t hold him responsible for his words.

  79. simonsays says

    *POI columnist. Looking a lot like Templeton here.

    Er, you are aware that both PZ, Greta, and Ophelia are also POI columnists?

  80. Brownian says

    Ron doesn’t know the players in the game or understand the extent of the problem.

    If we’re descended from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys? Anyway, I think Michael Behe is really on to something with this Intelligent Design movement. We really should teach all theories.

    Something like that, you mean?

  81. erikthebassist says

    It may just be a personal POV sort of thing, but I’d written off CFI as overly accommodating a long time ago, why is any one surprised by this when the organization this guy represents also gives (gave? I dunno, haven’t listened to POI in a long time) a voice to the likes of Chris Moony?

  82. says

    I don’t understand how adults can behave the way the author of this post says they do. WTF kind of people do that? Sending emails to people’s personal accounts? How fucking rude, unnecessary, and may I say, indecent, puerile, and arrogant. If people disagree, do it in a public forum. People must have some amount of privacy, or the harassers deserve police action, possibly jail time.

  83. Beatrice says

    Is it really necessary to shame them, though?

    Yes.

    It is fucking necessary to shame everyone who thinks it’s perfectly fine to “joke” about raping women.

    It is fucking necessary to shame everyone who sends rape threats.

    I want them to be ashamed. I eagerly await for the moment when their behavior is considered such a shameful thing in society that every asshole who even thinks of it gives up when they consider the ramifications.

  84. says

    The divisiveness argument seems to be that if A+ openly supports social justice, then we lose all the racists, misogynists, homophobes and so on. Like PZ I’m actually kind of okay with that.

    There are also some who are desperately concerned that outsiders won’t grasp that the “plus” means “and more” and thus will think *all* atheists oppose hatred of minorities. I find that unlikely on the face of it, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.

  85. says

    Melody, I wish Lindsay wasn’t speaking from foolish ignorance. Wishes in one hand, bullshit “both sides do it” falsehoods on the other, see which fills up first.

  86. says

    I wish some of the commenters were as charitable as PZ.

    And I wish everyone who tried to paint PZ and Greta (by name) as being wrongly divisive would at least talk to them first, before assuming they are correct and right and fully educated.

    Again, I like and respect Ron. But just like Dawkins and his “Dear Muslima” bullshit, I am willing to call them out in their rashness and ill-advised commentary.

  87. Beatrice says

    I am being charitable.

    He’s saying the same things we’ve been hearing around these parts for ages, usually by people who reveal themselves as trolls or sexism apologists. I’m giving him benefit of the doubt because Ophelia and PZ respect him.

  88. Randomfactor says

    But that was one person, probably.

    Who was immediately repudiated by the oh-so-reasonable members of the Slymepit, amirite?

  89. says

    @Keenan:

    There’s a difference between a person who’s ignorant about a situation – say a non-feminist wading into a conversation without an adequate knowledge of privilege – and a person who makes it their life’s work NOT to be educated.

    In the former, yes we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Yes, education is important. Telling them where the problem lies and explaining about why certain parties may be unhappy with their behavior or statements – giving them the Feminism 101 talk – is extremely helpful. These people should not be named or shamed unless they then become the second group.

    The second group are those who consistently receive the information, who’ve been educated constantly, over and over again. These are the people who pass along hateful and meanspirited words to people with whom they disagree. These are the people who will open a salvo on a new blog post, and who said blogger may be unfamiliar with. They should be named and shamed. There should be blog owners saying “don’t get yourself bent out of shape with Cameron Doe there. They have posted such and such before and have sent hateful emails and comments to blog owners who talk about your issues.”

  90. says

    Rutee:

    Because people post at Stormfront or the Slimepit for the recipe trading?

    Sporfle. Lots of vanilla pudding and, oh, I dunno, Die Bitches Die Casserole?

    Melody, like others have said, if Ron didn’t know that much about the situation, he shouldn’t have posted about it. Really, I’m tired of these guys’ personal friends and co-workers testifying as to what “great guys” they are and therefore they should get the benefit of the doubt. What I care about is how they respond to this situation. Ron’s response is lacking.

    Also, what Joe said at #97. And I’ll be more “charitable” when the leaders of the movement stop fucking minimizing the gawd-awful threats and harassment that women and our allies have been getting for more than a fucking year.

  91. hacksoncode says

    Here’s an interesting thought experiment:

    How would people here react to the idea of “Feminism+”, where even moderate people who support religions that have anti-woman elements are repudiated and scorned?

    Or perhaps since Atheism+ seems focused on ostracizing the asshole atheists, maybe a better analogy would be a Feminism+ where we vigorously repudiate and cast out of the movement those few feminists who actually *are* man-haters, that spew vile vitriol against everyone with a Y chromosome, who think that everything wrong with the world is due to the vast patriarchal conspiracy, and would castrate them all if only we could figure out that parthenogenesis thing?

  92. says

    I forgot to say: great post, PZ.

    Ron doesn’t know the players in the game or understand the extent of the problem. Ignorance isn’t malice. We need to reach out to Ron and not make assumptions and demean him.

    As others have said, if he’s ignorant he shouldn’t have written this. (And actually, not bothering to get the facts before placing the blame on people is malice.) And no, we don’t have a responsibility to reach out to or even debate with him. It’s his responsibility to educate himself and act accordingly. If he wants to do that, repudiate this post of his, and acknowledge that he was wrong, I’ll read that. Short of that, though, I’m not interested in what he has to say or what you have to say in defense of him. It’s been more than a year of this nonsense, and at this point if someone isn’t on board with our basic values and goals and still can’t accurately assess the situation I’m not going to waste time with them. I hope they do come around (sooner rather than later), but I have other priorities.

  93. ilex says

    @Oolon

    It seems like you want folks here to recognize that the Slymepitters are just regular people, and a number of them aren’t bad people but instead may have something to offer. Please correct me if that’s mistaken.

    I can’t speak for the others here, but I already started with that assumption. They probably love their kids/puppies/kittens, they can make a mean stroganoff or what-have-you, and a lot of them (as you claim) think of themselves as feminists. However naive it may be, I’ve just never been able to break the Quaker habit of thinking that everyone has something to offer. I assume most people are pretty decent most of the time, or at least have good intentions. However, I also have additional information about the people you’re talking about:

    I also know that they accept and befriend people who will threaten to rape and kill me if I speak up.

    I’ve been hesitant to delurk really anywhere (Hi, everyone!), because I’m not such a Special Snowflake as to think that they’d treat me any differently than they treated McCreight or Watson. As for the slymepitters who killfile Hoggle and Justicar, a killfile is not a denunciation. It’s avoiding the problem. There are over 7 billion other people on this planet, why would I try to work with people who have already demonstrated that I cannot trust them? I really think I’ll go somewhere else to discuss even topics as mild as stroganoff recipes.

  94. consciousness razor says

    Ron is busy running an international secular and skeptic movement. He doesn’t keep up with the blogs. Of course, he thinks he knows what he’s talking about. He couldn’t possibly. He needs people like me and PZ to reach out to him directly to give him more information.

    Uh, why? Seriously.

    I’m trying to pretend that I’m completing fucking ignorant about the nature and extent of sexism (for example) in the atheism community (or whatever the fuck it is), and I’m going to pretend I’m the head of some organization in it.

    What is my first inclination? Get information. Yes, that’s true, it would be. But even without that, would I think scolding a bunch of feminists is probably appropriate? Fuck no, because that’s deep into jackass territory. I don’t see how “ignorance” and needing handlers to feed him info is going to solve it.

    For fuck’s sake, just say “mistakes were made” or something.

  95. says

    hacksoncode:

    Or perhaps since Atheism+ seems focused on ostracizing the asshole atheists, maybe a better analogy would be a Feminism+ where we vigorously repudiate and cast out of the movement those few feminists who actually *are* man-haters, that spew vile vitriol against everyone with a Y chromosome, who think that everything wrong with the world is due to the vast patriarchal conspiracy, and would castrate them all if only we could figure out that parthenogenesis thing?

    What the fuck are you talking about? Point out one single thing posted in earnestness here that looks even vaguely like the shit you’re saying.

  96. Greta Christina says

    I have been wary of the A+ movement and still don’t think I’m completely OK with the philosophy. But, I read Blag Hag yesterday and this today – so fuck that. Where can I sign up?

    Blattafrax @ #51: Here is the main page, and here is the forum — which, at this point, is the heart of Atheism+.

    Oh, and as to this, from Lindsay:

    But if hate-filled comments and threats to women have not been expressly called divisive, it’s because such conduct does not threaten to divide the movement. It has already been repudiated, both implicitly and explicitly, by many, if not most, of the organizations in the movement.

    Ah. I see. This conduct does not threaten to divide the movement… because organizations in the movement have said it’s not okay.

    Women in this movement haven’t been driven out of it, or kept away from it, by a relentless campaign of hatred, abuse, and threats… because organizations have said that that’s not okay. And because organizations said it’s not okay, it therefore doesn’t happen.

    ?????

    You know, I am a huge fan of Surly Amy’s campaign encouraging leaders in the movement to speak out against misogyny in the movement. But it’s not like it’s a magical Band-Aid of sprinkles and rainbows that will fix the problem overnight.

  97. Louis says

    Nope, I’m still not getting it.

    Man wearing green hat: Those bitches are annoying, is it wrong to rape one of them?

    Me wearing green hat: Dude! Rape jokes like that are not cool, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Large numbers of people wearing green hats: HEY! Don’t be so divisive, he’s wearing a green hat just like you!

    Me wearing green hat: Wait. I’m being divisive? Did you see the women he was referring to? Did you see they are wearing green hats just like me too? I’m pointing out he is making rape threats/jokes towards them, and I’m the bad guy? Rape jokes/threats are not divisive now? And you fuckers pride yourselves on your “rationality”. I’m thinking it’s back to rational school for you.

    Louis

  98. coelsblog says

    Blackford has […] openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers …

    Can someone point me to links regarding Blackford doing this? (I’d be disappointed in Blackford, having previously respected his writings, but I might have to update this opinion.)

  99. hacksoncode says

    Hacksoncode, when actual man-hating feminists (versus women who hurt your fee-fees by demanding you not be an asshole to them) are anywhere near as numerous or as powerful as actual misogynists, get back to us.

    Should I say the same thing about the asshole misogynist atheists? Because they’re about as numerous in proportion to the rest of us atheists.

  100. Pierce R. Butler says

    oolon – just because you can distinguish shades of gray, doesn’t mean you have not passed the line over to the Dark Side – even if only for a visit.

    But at least you do seem to recognize that the DS exists, and threatens what the rest of us are trying to do. Instead of your futile outreach to the slimepitters, how about applying your attempted diplomacy with, say, Ron Lindsay? Poor boy needs a clue!

    (Shorter above: let’s not give in yet again to the long-lamented Pharyngula easy-derail syndrome – the OP was not about oolon…)

  101. glodson says

    There are times when a middle ground can be useful, where it can be found. There are times when we can have a rational discussion. And this isn’t one of those times. When one side is really calling for a safer environment, one free of harassment, one where a segment of the population isn’t attacked for their sex or gender, and the other side is responding with a resounding “fuck you,” I don’t see how there can be a middle ground that makes a damn bit of sense.

  102. vaiyt says

    oolon,

    The Slymepit is named after the Rebeccagate debacle. It was created as a haven to the people who want to pat each other on the back for being sacks of shit to women. Such behavior is approved, encouraged, even outright expected from people there. YOU were criticized yourself for not buying into their attitude. It’s not a bug, it’s the main feature.

    If you associate with racists in a venue made to promote racism, should you really be surprised when people don’t believe how much of a not-racist you are?

    Likewise, why are those supposed not-misogynists hanging out in the Slymepit?

    Do they not care about their buddies’ abhorrent attitudes?
    Do they just want to antagonize what they see as the “angry” group because they’re Bullshit Vulcans (conveniently ignoring how angry is the typical slymepitter troll)?
    Are they so fucking dense that they don’t realize how fetid are their surroundings?
    Do they post there just by force of habit?

    Good thing you have a “thick skin” – which is easy to have when it’s just a discussion on the Internet. Women who were hurt in very real ways by misogyny in meatspace probably won’t care to dive into the slime to find pearls.

  103. says

    hacksoncode:

    Should I say the same thing about the asshole misogynist atheists? Because they’re about as numerous in proportion to the rest of us atheists.

    Really?

    I assume you have some numbers here.

    Or are you just discounting the rape and death threats received daily by folks who call them out?

    Perhaps you know of people receiving threats from those angry violent feminists you are so familiar with?

  104. Waffler, of the Waffler Institute says

    Re-quoting Lindsay (from #90)

    Moreover, this diluting of the strength of the secular movement will come right at a time when we have begun to make some progress, but we’re still far short of achieving our goals.

    This is ridiculously zero-sum-gamish. Why doesn’t focusing on social justice issues strengthen the movement by making it more relevant to more people?

  105. Matt Penfold says

    To those who claim that some people at the Slymepit are nice people I say, let them prove it by their quitting the ‘pit.

    Sometimes voluntary membership really does tell you something about the people who become members.

  106. Loqi says

    @94
    That would definitely have done the trick. Perhaps he could have even kept his false balance middle ground by writing two pieces, one criticising the MRAs for specific behaviors (rape and death threats, harassment, chasing people out of the movement) and one criticising A Plusses for their specific behavior (calling people bigots for doing bigoted things, and…um…having a different focus, I guess? Donating money to A+ causes instead of CFI perhaps?).

    @melody
    He said right in his piece that many of the incidents Greta outlined were “familiar to anyone active in the movement.” If, as you say, he’s merely ignorant of what’s going on, he’s ironically quite critical of himself. He obviously is aware. He gave me the impression that he simply doesn’t think it’s that bad because it doesn’t “divide the movement.”

  107. trinioler says

    Okay, so, people believe that the slyme pitters are just trolls on “the internet”. Well, disabuse yourselves of that notion.

    So, we have a local CFI branch. It started out as fairly libertarian, focused on laughing at creationists, etc.

    So, some of the original organizers were the branch of libertarian skeptics/atheists we are having so much trouble with now.

    Now, given that, what impact does this have now? Well, its had a pretty severe impact, as several of the younger organizers(nearly all women) have left CFI or stopped participating.

    The Facebook page for the branch is filled with assholes who mislead, lie, make comments about breasts, lie, use slurs willy-nilly, etc, and no one stops them anymore.

    Everyone who had fought them, while getting in trouble for “causing trouble” has left.

    Essentially by NOT throwing out the racists, the sexists, the ones who lie and mislead and are not skeptical at all, they’ve lost most of the next generation of skeptical organizers. They’ve lost volunteers and dues-paying members.

    In effect, they’ve doomed the local CFI branch, which could have been and was starting to do good things.

    THIS is the cost. THIS is the divisiveness. You lose willing and hard-working young volunteers, who want and expect better from the leaders. You turn them apathetic and cynical. They burn out from the fighting, without a lack of support.

    So to whoever says this divisiveness is bad? It really is, for your organizations, not ours. It will cost you volunteers and members and energy, because you won’t do what’s necessary.

    So fuck you.

  108. says

    hacksoncode:

    I’m still waiting for an example of a sincere post (or email!) resembling anything you’ve used as an example in #114. We have many examples of misogynists threatening rape.

    What’ve you got?

    Or are you just letting your own ignorant privilege speak out of your ass for you?

  109. says

    Hacksoncode:

    Should I say the same thing about the asshole misogynist atheists? Because they’re about as numerous in proportion to the rest of us atheists.

    Bullshit. Citation sorely needed, you disingenuous jackhole.

    Trinioler:

    So fuck you.

    Co-signed.

  110. raven says

    One key question that I haven’t seen anyone address, although maybe because I ignore these threads because they go on forever and I don’t have the time for it.

    How many of these misogynistic creeps are there?

    The internet is a giant creep amplifier, the greatest thing for trolls since the invention of bridges. DM, the Montreal crazy, is one guy out of 7 billion people and look how much mental bandwidth he ended up occupying.

    I doubt anyone knows. But it could be not more than 10 or 20 people or at most a few percent. How many socially and psychologically dysfunctional atheist morons are there really?

    This is an empirically determinable quantity, not at all an unanswerable question. Some real numbers from real surveys might put things into perspective. It’s always better to know than guess.

  111. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    briane

    Blockquoting is your friend and ours

    <blockquote>Put text you want to quote here</blockquote>

    becomes this

    put text your want to quote here

    and the world rejoices!

    ;)

  112. raven says

    How many of these misogynistic creeps are there?

    Just judging from the internet traffic, maybe 10 or 20 people or a few percent of total internet participants with an interest in the subject. A minority to be sure.

    This isn’t very quantitative and not up to social science survey standards but it is immediate, inexpensive, and a start at least.

  113. Matt Penfold says

    How many of these misogynistic creeps are there?

    Probably fewer than in the general population, but by how much is very much an open question.

  114. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    cr, 118:

    What is my first inclination? Get information.

    Hells yes. Beyond that, I would just be unwilling to get into a fight with PZ or Greta unless I was convinced I was right, and my ducks were absolutely in a fucking row. And were not actually ducks, but like, dragons.

  115. Matt Penfold says

    Probably fewer than in the general population, but by how much is very much an open question.

    It is also something that could make for an interesting PhD thesis.

  116. hacksoncode says

    Bullshit. Citation sorely needed, you disingenuous jackhole.

    Trinioler:

    So fuck you.

    I really don’t need to cite anything. All I have to do is wait a few minutes, and they start coming out of the woodwork.

    I was being a bit disingenuous, though. It wasn’t a *thought* experiment.

  117. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Melody—you and I talked on Twitter last night and I apologized to you for coming at you full barrel in past threads. I meant that, but I also think it would be wise for you to step back and consider this from another angle. Peoples’ criticisms of Ron’s essay, and their unwillingness to extend the charity you’re asking for, are reasonable. You yourself have been on the receiving end of much shit, and you would react the same way to someone telling you that you needed to be more charitable to some guy you don’t know, whom you don’t work for, and who said some pretty clueless things.

    You’re in a tough spot. Ron is your boss, and you know him personally in ways none of us do. You work for CFI and you’re very much part of the things that are good about it. But you have a conflict of interest (not in a material way, mind you). You’re torn between personal and professional affiliations and I think it’s causing you to be unreasonably disappointed in people who are reacting just the way you would if you didn’t have a personal relationship with Ron.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I’m gladyou’re there at CFI. I’m glad you’re available to help educate people who don’t know all of what they’re talking about. That’s a good thing. But it is not reasonable to expect other parties to share your interest in that. It’s not fair to be disappointed or upset at them.

    This is nota criticism of you at all. I mean no snark and no ill-will when I say I think you’re mildly blinded to this. I’ve been there myself; everyone has.

  118. hyrax says

    Hacksoncode:
    In addition to a What They Said (please show some statistics about the organized campaigns of the raging literal man-eater feminists against the poor menz!) I think you might have missed the actual point of A+. Remember where the whole idea came from? Jen’s post, titled How I Unwittingly Infiltrated the Boy’s Club & Why It’s Time for a New Wave of Atheism, specifically draws the parallel to feminism: “It’s time for a new wave of atheism, just like there were different waves of feminism.”

    So Atheism+ is the result of a plea for atheism to take a cue from feminism. And when you suggest the opposite, you betray your ignorance of both A+ and feminism. (Who’s surprised by that?)

    Also… I guess this counts as my official de-lurking post? I’ve read Pharyngula and various FtBlogs for years, posting very rarely, but with all the bullshit that’s been going down lately I’ve decided to add my voice to the side. Enough’s enough.

  119. consciousness razor says

    And were not actually ducks, but like, dragons.

    Cephalopods, dude. The problem is finding a bigger one than any in PZ’s uh…. stable.

  120. says

    I disagree its better than base population. I think its worse. Id appriciate if anyone could refute my assesment though. The attitude that its not a problem so shut up is nuch worse than other groups I’ve seen struggling with this. It really really is.

    @oolan I respectfully reject your invitation to join you on the front porch. Have a sense of self respect you bloody quivering blob.

  121. says

    hacksoncode:

    I really don’t need to cite anything. All I have to do is wait a few minutes, and they start coming out of the woodwork.

    Uhm, how was that an example of anything you said?

    It was an example of someone calling a jackhole a jackhole.

    I really hope you code is better than your logic.

  122. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    But if hate-filled comments and threats to women have not been expressly called divisive, it’s because such conduct does not threaten to divide the movement.

    *facepalm* DOESN’T threaten to divide the movement?!? I cannot believe he wrote this sentence. He really must be clueless about what’s going on, because there have been PLENTY of people dumping involvment in atheism/skeptic orgs, etc. directly becuse of the hate-filled comments and threats. While not technically ‘dividing’ the movement, it’s direct and deliberate harm TO the movement. Its diminishing participating in the movement, which, given what he does for a living should be a concern of his.

    I seriously hope this was unitentional on his part.

  123. says

    Raven. Really?

    Seriously, I’m used to the stupid; I’ve been getting similar hate mail and threats from Dennis Markuze since 1993, and am accustomed to Bible-believing Christians sending me their catalog of affronts to reason every day, but in the last year, that crap has been outnumbered 10 to 1 by hate mail from obsessed cretins who also proudly tell me they’re atheists and skeptics.

    There was a thread here a while ago where someone was skeptical of the extent of the problem, because ‘all we had were anecdotes’. There’s someone on A+ who wants to do some sort of survey because ‘we don’t really know if all these people are atheists…’ (Yeah, there are still some teething problems).

    Who the fuck cares? Oh, it’s hundreds. Women have a perfect right to be sick to death of this shit. OTOH, it’s only a few dozen telling them every day to fuck off and die… Much less of a problem. /rant

  124. Matt Penfold says

    I disagree its better than base population. I think its worse. Id appriciate if anyone could refute my assesment though. The attitude that its not a problem so shut up is nuch worse than other groups I’ve seen struggling with this. It really really is.

    I could well be wrong. I am going partly on wishful thinking, and partly on what others, more closely involved (such as PZ, Greta, Ophelia, Rebecca) have said.

  125. says

    Raven:

    How many socially and psychologically dysfunctional atheist morons are there really?

    As Stephen T. points out, you obviously didn’t read PZ’s post thoroughly.

    There may be only ~20 names that show up again and again in the harassment campaign, like Hoggle or Justicar or Wooly Bumblebee. However, these people have a shit-ton of enablers who might be content with firing off “only” one or two vile emails to PZ or Jen or Rebecca. Every time I look at the Twitter account of someone affiliated with A+, I see a lot of unfamiliar handles trafficking in the same old smears. And then there’s the YouTube crowd.

    Hacksoncode:

    I really don’t need to cite anything. All I have to do is wait a few minutes, and they start coming out of the woodwork.

    Right, people calling you out bluntly on your disingenuity = man-hating hairy-legged feminists. You don’t get to say “Thanks for proving my point,” cupcake, unless someone actually proves your point.

  126. says

    @ hacksoncode 114

    Here’s an interesting thought experiment:

    How would people here react to the idea of “Feminism+”, where even moderate people who support religions that have anti-woman elements are repudiated and scorned?

    Or perhaps since Atheism+ seems focused on ostracizing the asshole atheists, maybe a better analogy would be a Feminism+ where we vigorously repudiate and cast out of the movement those few feminists who actually *are* man-haters, that spew vile vitriol against everyone with a Y chromosome, who think that everything wrong with the world is due to the vast patriarchal conspiracy, and would castrate them all if only we could figure out that parthenogenesis thing?

    It’s not a thought experiment at all. Feminism has splintered off already into groups with vastly different goals and approaches, from the feminists who broke off to become radical feminists because they thought mainstream feminists didn’t blame men enough to groups that tired of having their needs overlooked because of race, ethnicity, geography, class, biology, et cetera and more explicitly added social justice to their focuses (it’s called intersectionality). And you know what? It’s working out fine and the splinter groups and mainstream groups don’t chase and harass each other. And you know what? More people are better able to receive the message, and progress is made faster.

    So now that you know your thought experiment was run already in real life with data, what’s your point?

  127. says

    Matt Penfold:

    I could well be wrong. I am going partly on wishful thinking, and partly on what others, more closely involved (such as PZ, Greta, Ophelia, Rebecca) have said.

    I’m just speculating here, but I suspect our issue with misogyny isn’t simply more visible, as we’re calling it out and getting backlash from the misogynists. As it isn’t nearly as often called out in the general population, it may be that we do have fewer misogynists — just more vocal ones.

    After all, we’re not just calling them on their misogyny, we’re also questioning them on their ability to think rationally and critically (SEE hacksoncode).

    Again, just speculation.

  128. A. R says

    oolon: Without creating a perfect example of the association fallacy, one can reasonably assume that is X forum is dominated by Y group (who hold some particularly contemptible view A), that any one individual (Z), who freely and voluntarily associates with Y on X, but claims not to hold view A, must have at least some degree of sympathy toward A, otherwise they would not associate with Y, which would be the only reason one would post on forum X.

  129. A Hermit (that's "A" with a "plus") says

    You by saying fuck the ‘slimepit’ are doing a similar thing. Many over there may not be the nicest people at times but many also profess, when there is no gain to lie, that they are feminists.

    Well, Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist too, so I wouldn’t out too much stock in just making the claim.

    I’ve lurked on the Slymepit forum, and the striking thing about it is that it is a place created solely for the purpose of attacking FtB; or more specifically a few of the bloggers at FtB who have been outspoken about feminism. As far as I can see the place exists only as a playground for the repulsive Franc Hogggle and his little fanboys.

    The fact that some of the commenters there seem to be labouring under the illusion that they are participating in some sort of skeptical exercise does not speak well of their ability to reason…

  130. Matt Penfold says

    Again, just speculation.

    I would be interesting to see some properly gathered data. Let’s hope that a sociologist somewhere is thinking it would be a good area to research.

  131. says

    KarenX:

    from the feminists who broke off to become radical feminists because they thought mainstream feminists didn’t blame men enough

    Er, this is a mischaracterization of radical feminism, which blames patriarchy, a system of oppression, rather than all individual men. That a subset of radical feminists are actually misandrist does not mean that radical feminism is inherently misandrist.

  132. says

    OK, I’m probably going to hear about this for a long time, possibly as me making death threats against Ron Lindsay, so…

    Ron is busy running an international secular and skeptic movement. He doesn’t keep up with the blogs. Of course, he thinks he knows what he’s talking about. He couldn’t possibly. He needs people like me and PZ to reach out to him directly to give him more information. PZ kindly offered to in the last sentence of his letter. I hope they have the opportunity to talk.

    I’m going to call this “old white dude syndrom”: Ron Lindsay has had a lifetime’s experience of having his opinion treated as valuable, qualified and worth listening to. And that led him to putting his foot into his mouth in this situation, because instead of asking those at the centre of this and listening to what they have to tell him, he just assumed to know enough to write a long post about it. And now the slimepitters are celebrating.
    He has well-meaningly and without a whiff of malice enabled them.
    That is bad.
    And I really hope he doesn’t do a Dawkins and doubles down.
    And that’s as charitable as I can get.

  133. says

    @ Daisy Cutter

    That is true. I went for the cheap generalization in my zeal and run-on sentencing. My point was only that feminism has fractured many times and is none the worse for wear, and likely stronger as a result, and don’t know why it is so hard for people to extrapolate from this example to Atheism+ or Skepticism+ or whatever else comes down the line.

    Thank you for the correction.

  134. raven says

    There may be only ~20 names that show up again and again in the harassment campaign, like Hoggle or Justicar or Wooly Bumblebee. However, these people have a shit-ton of enablers who might be content with firing off “only” one or two vile emails to PZ or Jen or Rebecca.

    And you know this how?

    You don’t. You are just guessing.

    I can tell that some of you aren’t scientists.

    We don’t guess or assume. We collect data. Then we know.

    Long tirades, emotional rants, clever long winded insults, wild and wildly wrong accusations, are no substitute for real data.

    They are easy to dash off on a keyboard, much easier than actually thinking about the problem and doing the data collection and analysis.

    A few like Matt Penfold actually got the point. The rest are just rattling around in the playpen. Once again, I now know why I don’t follow these threads. It’s a waste of time and painful to see what supposedly intelligent people consider thought.

  135. says

    peterhearn:

    Who, specifically, should Ron be repudiating?

    He can start by repudiating any skeptic who has issued rape threats, in earnest or in jest. Secondarily, he could also repudiate those who have provided cover for those who have issued rape threats (in earnest or in jest).

    I specifically suggested TF00t, up above.

    You must not have read that far.

  136. says

    @ilex, you seem to be pretty close to my thoughts, I should have been religious as I would have got into the loving your enemy thing like an expert. But my view is there are extremes there as you say but there are also people there who ignore the extremes and justify it with ‘free speech!’ and ‘I hate FtBs so I’ll put up with it!’… I agree I wouldn’t put up with it personally – but that is me and I’d rather point out the flaws in the ‘free speech!’ and obsessive hate to FtBs view points than tar them all as extreme MRAs/misogynists etc

    ‘They’ are not a homogeneous group who hold the same goals, prejudices etc. I’ve seen *some* of them call out TF on the hacking, *some* call out the rape treat against Sally Strange, *some* call out Justin Vacula for posting Amys address. (I’m not particularly watching for the good either as I just like to take the piss out of the bad)

    As for working with them – I wouldn’t want to work with them at the moment either – but I’d like to see them change their minds and that is never going to happen if this side hates them as a group. I don’t see anything productive in that.

    But… Since Pierce R. Butler seems worried I’ve made this thread about me (I thought I was talking about the ‘pitters!) I’m gonna pop down t’pit as I’m interested to see what insanity they are reading into the tea leaves of PZs post! Probably they are predicting Ron will be losing his job or stalked by PZs horde until he loses his sanity…

  137. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Who, specifically, should Ron be repudiating?

    Look in the mirror for a prime example.

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Probably they are predicting Ron will be losing his job or stalked by PZs horde until he loses his sanity…

    Showing prima facie evidence for their inanity.

  139. says

    The division of sexism is a bigger issue for atheism and skepticism than say gaming or sf, because for the former the community is itself the product. Gaming and sf have other things that people can enjoy if they are fed up with chatter but atheism is its chatter. When that goes bad there’s no “well I will avoid those forums from now on” it’s “wow…this is really unwelcoming” people aren’t going to change their minds but you’re asking them to engage in a product that is repulsive to them.

  140. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Is Raven seriously pulling a hyperskeptic dodge right now? Or have I completely misunderstood her point?

  141. Randomfactor says

    Or perhaps since Atheism+ seems focused on ostracizing the asshole atheists, maybe a better analogy would be a Feminism+ where we vigorously repudiate and cast out of the movement those few feminists who actually *are* man-haters,

    Hoping third time’s a charm as I’ve deleted two drafts of a post so far.

    This is a horrible analogy. To apply it back to the A+ situation would be to suggest that Atheism+ was a reaction to the small (but real) subset of atheists who are in it solely because they despise religious people. It wasn’t.

    It was a reaction to the small (but real) subset of atheists who despise a group of people who happen to include both atheists and theists, to such an extent that they drive away the atheist members of that group.

    Those driven away originally left because they couldn’t derive a benefit from “the atheist movement” which was large enough to justify putting up with the shit. The harassment and lack of action to end the harassment was making the whole thing not worth it.

    Misogyny is a feature of several established religions because the gods favored the patriarchy. It should not be a feature of atheism because there are no gods blessing it. That is how atheism supports and justifies feminism (among other pro-human efforts.)

    (Forgive any inelegant wording and correct any inelegant thinking–I myself have 55 years of white-male privilege I strive daily to overcome.)

  142. bluescreenlife says

    Thank you PZ, for this awesome post.

    @168

    As for working with them – I wouldn’t want to work with them at the moment either – but I’d like to see them change their minds and that is never going to happen if this side hates them as a group. I don’t see anything productive in that.

    Holy shit oolon, have you even followed all this shit for the past year? If you fucking did, you would see that all the hatred is one-sided. You say this as if no one has tried to change anyone’s mind with reason and discourse. And guess what? They’re still all misogynist assholes. Stop posting crap like this until you actually have a grasp on what’s actually been happening.

  143. keinsignal says

    Interesting to see if Mr. Lindsay responds to this, but what I’d really love to see is Mr. Lindsay responding to the incident trinolier mentions – if a local chapter has a leadership that’s engaging in harassment, chasing people out of the movement, and generally harming the good name of the CFI, that seems like something the upper echelons might want to consider doing something about?

    Also, not to pile on oolon, but regarding the allegedly reasonable and decent-minded slymepitters, I can’t resist the urge to paraphrase Barney Frank here: “I accept the fact that many of them are nice — but they’ve been nice to the wrong people.”

  144. Brownian says

    but I’d like to see them change their minds and that is never going to happen if this side hates them as a group.

    I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things, all while some people hate me (it’s a small group to be sure, but they have and do exist).

    It’s pretty reactionary to commit yourself to being a douchehole simply because others have asked you to not be a douchehole.

    So, say we do coddle them, give them a gentle scrote-shake, and guide them kicking and screaming into the light while uttering soft “hush-hush, there-there, baby”s. Let’s say we all sit down for a nice, big, non-divisive dinner. If Hoggle belches, and I ask him not to do it so loudly, are they all going to start a burp-fight just for spite? Is Justicar going to vomit out the alphabet? Is Abbie going to stand in the middle of the food fight and declare it a monument to all she holds dear? Are these people fucking children, or what?

    Say, Oolon, how about the next time you bring them the olive branch you say, “Hey folks, how about you don’t not sling sexist slurs about with child-like abandon?” and see if they take the reverse-psychology bait?

    I mean, as you say, they’re reactionary like that.

  145. bluescreenlife says

    Oh dammit. Block quote failure. Where are the famed block quote gnomes of Pharyngula to help me clean up my block quoting incompetence? :(

  146. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    First off, three cheers, PZ. This is wonderful.

    Secondly, while I am not in any way defending Lindsay or his statements, I do think this is more a problem of an ally blinded by his privilege. Lindsay is one of the folks who helped support the Women in Secularism conferenc (which was also largely due to Melody), and I think there is a genuine intent to help here, he’s just missing two points: one that intent isn’t magic, and two, that he’s not the one in the trenches and so his viewpoint on things is less informed.

    I think Lindsay can be a good ally, if he’s willing to be open to being educated. On a number of things.

    This was my comment on it.

    #181 onion girl (Guest) on Thursday September 13, 2012 at 9:22am
    My point is that the haters are not threatening to divide the movement.  No matter how frequently the haters pollute our blogs, they are outside the movement already. No one in a position of responsibility wants them in the movement.  Whatever differences may exist among the various movement organizations, we are united on this issue.

    I wish that were true.  But the haters are not just in our blogs, they ARE in our movement.  It’s fantastic that you and leaders of several other national organizations are now being vocal about supporting women and opposing harassment—but how does that help me when the leaders of my LOCAL organizations are sexist?  Are those individuals not part of the movement just because they’re local, not national?  I have friends that are very active in the atheist movement online and on a national level, yet they wouldn’t set foot in the door of their local organizations because they already have experienced fierce harassment from local leaders.  And some of those very same haters on the blogs ARE the leaders or active participants in their local organizations.  There may be a consensus among the leaders of the national organizations, but you are NOT the whole movement.  And in many ways, you have less impact on the women being driven away from movement atheism because you are NOT the voices they hear on a daily basis—their local leaders are.

    We should not cut ourselves off from fellow secularists who agree with us on core principles such as a woman’s right to be in control of her reproductive choices, to enjoy economic, social, and political equality, and to be free from harassment and hostility.

    You’ve got a good point here.  And I also acknowledge the good point that some may have valid reason to be concerned about how A+ could POTENTIALLY divide the movement (and let’s be clear, this is still only potential, because as you said—A+ is just starting, and there isn’t consensus on what its role in the larger atheist movement is going to be) because they’re committed to making change, and they’re worried A+ will split resources.  I understand that, I really do.  But some of the push-back that A+ advocates have been getting are pushing back at the very IDEA of A+, even when they—and EVERYONE else—still doesn’t know WHAT A+ is going to be, how it’s going to eventually mobilize, what role it’s going to have as a subset of the atheist movement.

    I appreciate the work you have done for atheism on a national level, and I appreciate the support you’ve given projects like Women in Secularism.  As a woman, I appreciate your commitment to being a good ally.  But I also think that as a cis-gendered, straight white male—you are still not fully appreciating the level of anger, frustration, depression, and even despair that those fighting for social justice are feeling.  You’re standing at the edge of the fire and saying “Someone needs to put that out!  Let’s get some water!”  And you’re organizing the firehoses and working hard to put the fire out.  But you are not IN the fire.  The people that are being burned alive can’t wait for you to put the fire out.  They have to save themselves, and they’re going to do that in their own way, with or without you.

    (Note:  I’ve been in and out of court and haven’t had a chance to keep up with all the comments, I apologize if these sentiments have been stated already!)

  147. melody says

    So, we have a local CFI branch. It started out as fairly libertarian, focused on laughing at creationists, etc.

    So, some of the original organizers were the branch of libertarian skeptics/atheists we are having so much trouble with now.

    What branch is this?

  148. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Crap that wa s posed to be a link the my post not a cut paste. Sorry, bad iPad!

  149. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Crap that wa s posed to be a link the my post not a cut paste. Sorry, bad iPad! Courts resuming,bye !

  150. trinioler says

    keinsignal, I must note, the “leadership” of my local branch isn’t directly harassing people; they’re merely allowing those that do to stay.

    This is different.

    Oh and one of the assholes dates one of the administrators. So… yeah. Undisclosed conflict of interest going on there, because none of the other admins knows she’s dating him.

  151. trinioler says

    melody, because of the attention that I’ve brought on myself through A+scribe, I’d rather not say which branch publicly. It isn’t *hard* to get my identity, but I’m not wanting to make it any easier for anyone.

    I will say its a branch in Canada though.

  152. melody says

    I must note, the “leadership” of my local branch isn’t directly harassing people; they’re merely allowing those that do to stay.

    Which branch is this happening?

  153. melody says

    Okay, CFI Canada is not the same organization as CFI. CFI helped them get started, let them use the name, but has no control over them at all. It’s very confusing and you may think that it was a bad idea for CFI to let another organization use their branding, but there is nothing we can do about that now. I’m sorry that this is happening to you, but it wouldn’t happen at a CFI branch.

  154. says

    The ‘pit was a bit boring, I’m a c*nt, everyone on here is and PZ too. Not very imaginative I’m afraid.

    @Ing,

    Oolan you’re a dispicable shit

    …Must stop self…Not…Be…Spelling Nazi! Arghh, the pain!

    @Brownian etc…

    To clarify… I’m not saying be nice to individuals when they do or say horrible things. I’m not nice when people say sexist things so no olive branches from me. In fact I stridently criticise, insult, take the piss out of the things *individuals say and do*.

    I DO NOT take things *individuals* have said or done and tar others due to their, flimsy or otherwise, association with those people. Sorry but I have no religious guided morals so maybe I’m fucked up on that point?

  155. trinioler says

    Yeah I have some specific issues with the national leadership of CFI-Canada, that are fairly recent.

    I know they’re separate organizations, and I’m sorry, I should have made that clear.

  156. melody says

    You think I don’t care how people are treated? I am getting harassed daily for speaking out against sexism and sexual harassment. I am getting harassed for defending my friends like Amy, Rebecca, Ophelia.

  157. melody says

    You don’t know me. How dare you tell me I don’t care about people when I’ve been in bed for days crying about this. I’ve given my life to this community and I am being smeared on the internet for speaking out against misogynists and sexist, and their defenders.

  158. says

    But my view is there are extremes there as you say but there are also people there who ignore the extremes and justify it with ‘free speech!’ and ‘I hate FtBs so I’ll put up with it!’

    So, what was the difference again between people who support misogynists because they agree with them and people who support misogynists and throw 50% of the world population under the bus because some women were meaaaan to them?
    Oh, right, there isn’t any…

  159. vaiyt says

    The only reason this side is labeled as radical is because the discussion window is so far up the “ass” side that the idiots looking out for the Golden Mean also end up being asses.

  160. says

    I DO NOT take things *individuals* have said or done and tar others due to their, flimsy or otherwise, association with those people. Sorry but I have no religious guided morals so maybe I’m fucked up on that point?

    Yes, you are.
    You’Re refusing to judge people by the actual things they do, and yes, to seek the company of hateful misogynists who make threats because you don’t like the group they’re made against is not some flimsy association. It’s active support. It’s cheering them on.
    I don’t know why that won’t enter your head.

  161. says

    @Gilleil

    So, what was the difference again between people who support misogynists because they agree with them and people who support misogynists and throw 50% of the world population under the bus because some women were meaaaan to them?
    Oh, right, there isn’t any…

    Define ‘agree with them’… If that is just post on same blog/whatever then I disagree. If it is agree in any real sense other than inaction then I agree completely. Of course you miss the possibility that a slimepitter might disagree openly with the misogynists?

    Is it possible for someone to post over t’pit regularly or even just lurk and be a regular reader and not be a misogynist?

  162. poiqui says

    melody
    13 September 2012 at 1:07 pm
    You don’t know me. How dare you tell me I don’t care about people when I’ve been in bed for days crying about this. I’ve given my life to this community and I am being smeared on the internet for speaking out against misogynists and sexist, and their defenders.

    Melody, i’d advise you to view the slymepit. Just google it. You can examine for yourself how misogynistic we all are. How we deserve to be lumped in with the people who send death threats and abuse. I think you’ll find that actually we are looking at FTB as a kind of demented soap opera and exposing the hypocrisy, pomposity and bullshit as and when we find it.

    Buried deep within PZs post is his true reason for being angry with it. We pour scorn on FTB when necessary. Thats why he hates it so much.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is it possible for someone to post over t’pit regularly or even just lurk and be a regular reader and not be a misogynist?

    Only if they are highly compartmentalized and have cognative dissonance.

  164. says

    melody:

    I’m sorry that this is happening to you, but it wouldn’t happen at a CFI branch.

    That’s not entirely the point of trinioler’s post.

    It’s great that Ron and you and others at CFI try to police your own group. That’s really grand, it really is.

    But the point is, it’s not PZ and Greta and Jen and Ophelia that are being divisive in the skeptic community. The division is already there. When one group oppresses another, and are called out on it, and get mad at those calling them out, the problem lies with them. It’s not the fault of those publicly denouncing the actions of the oppressors.

    Ron’s accusations of divisiveness are aimed at those actually doing the denunciation. Ron’s essay provides cover for those being called out. It doesn’t matter that he says they are also wrong. They get to point at us and claim we are the ones being divisive, causing real harm.

    Your defense of CFI by distancing it from the Canadian CFI is a strawman. You are glossing over what we’ve been trying to point out: sexism and misogyny in the skeptic community is doing active harm.

    I know Ron is a good person. In his well-meaning attempt to try to heal the divide, though, he forgot to ask the people involved exactly why the divide existed in the first place. His privileged ignorance led him to an erroneous conclusion: that both sides are culpable, both sides are doing equal harm.

    You can defend Ron as a good person. But trying to defend this specific action is an instance of in-group bias.

  165. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . We pour scorn on FTB when [un]necessary. Thats why he hates it so much.

    Fixed that for you. It is never necessary. That’s why you are ated.

  166. says

    Did you even read the post, poiqui? I have a zero-tolerance policy for you vile denizens of the slimepit, and there you go, admitting that you identify with it.

    Bye. Banned. As will be any of your fellow scumbags.

  167. says

    oolon

    Is it possible for someone to post over t’pit regularly or even just lurk and be a regular reader and not be a misogynist?

    So, given that the whole forum is organized around misogyny and hurting as many of the eebil feminists as badly as possible: probably no.
    But there’s always the possibility that David Futrelle is looking for something to post on manboobz.

    FFS, realize that they have an agenda and that anybody who isn’t publicly opposing them is actually condoning what they’re doing.

  168. says

    poiqui:

    Melody, i’d advise you to view the slymepit.

    Melody:

    Yes. Please do.

    Take away the incessant rants about FtB Groupthink™ (which is odd, considering how many posts like that are followed up with, “Me too!” and, “You said it, Bro!”) and you’re left with a bunch of people defending misogynists with statements like, “They were only joking about rape. They weren’t really gonna rape any Skepchicks. I mean, gross!”

    Go see for yourself.

  169. says

    @Giliel, yup manboobz is great. Maybe that is why I find it hard to take even the extremes in t’pit seriously as they are so laughable at times.

    I think Nerd of Redhead has it right, “Only if they are highly compartmentalized and have cognitive dissonance.”… There do seem to be a lot of conflicting ideas over there which is why it is so hard to get a handle on them. Strong feminism = good feminism, FtBs = weak victim feminism, even when it doesn’t. Strong feminists are able to take a bit of trolling and rape joking with a smile (cf Harriet Hall and Paula Kirby). This is somehow what all women *should* be able to do… Not clear how this state is achieved beyond destroying FtBs… Profit!

  170. melody says

    Melody, i’d advise you to view the slymepit. Just google it. You can examine for yourself how misogynistic we all are. How we deserve to be lumped in with the people who send death threats and abuse. I think you’ll find that actually we are looking at FTB as a kind of demented soap opera and exposing the hypocrisy, pomposity and bullshit as and when we find it.

    Buried deep within PZs post is his true reason for being angry with it. We pour scorn on FTB when necessary. Thats why he hates it so much.

    What? I am not talking about FtBs! Who do you think is harassing me? People from FtBs? No, it’s the slympitters and other sexists. I organize the Women in Secularism conference. I am a feminist. I am a friend to PZ, Ophelia, Rebecca, Amy, etc. I have defended them. How could you misinterpret what I said so much?

  171. John Phillips, FCD says

    oolon, one question, are you aware of why the slymepit was formed. If not, then I can to some degree, just about, understand your position. And if you are not, then it was formed after elevatorgate to attack people like Rebecca, ftb and PZ. Thus from our POV, anyone who posts there regularly, even if they don’t openly attack Rebecca et al, are at least enablers. Now this has been explained to you time and time again in this thread and if you still don’t get it, you’re either an idiot or attempting a deliberate derail or just like to spout off on things that are beyond your comprehension. Which is it?

  172. says

    oolon

    @Giliel, yup manboobz is great. Maybe that is why I find it hard to take even the extremes in t’pit seriously as they are so laughable at times.

    Guess it’s easy to do when you don’t have a cunt that can be kicked.
    What David Futrelle does is funny because he mocks the stuff. What they do isn’t because they mean it.

  173. says

    oolon:

    Strong feminists are able to take a bit of trolling and rape joking with a smile (cf Harriet Hall and Paula Kirby).

    Right. Because, you know, they should be able to take the threat of rape with a smile. That’s what all the good womenz do.

    Then you get pigshits like poiqui claiming how the pitters are only pointing out how bad TfB is! ’cause we don’t put up with their Dawkins-given right to make jokes about raping Skepchicks.

    You’re right. We should be trying to make friends with people who claim that good feminists are those that will smile at their sexism and misogyny, and bad feminists are those that won’t put up with their shit.

    Very good idea, oolon.

  174. says

    melody
    I’m sorry, yes, I think you’re getting a bit of uncharitable treatment here.
    As others have said, we understand that you’re between a rock and a hard place with Ron Lindsay being your boss and all of that. Remember: if it’s not about you, it’s not about you.

  175. ewanmacdonald says

    Oolon, to badly mangle a Christopher Hitchens quote: love your own enemies if you want, but don’t tell me to love mine.

  176. vaiyt says

    Buried deep within PZs post is his true reason for being angry with it. We pour scorn on FTB when necessary. Thats why he hates it so much.

    So, pouring scorn on FTB is so important that you’re willing to ally with utter scum to do it?

    Good to know you have your priorities set.

  177. says

    melody:

    I fight this battle every day. Someone that knows me please speak up. This is crazy.

    I hope I’ve not said anything that seems like I’m attacking you. I’m not, and I don’t intend to appear to attack you. I’m disagreeing with your defense of Ron’s essay (not with your defense of his character). I hope I’ve given sufficient reason for my disagreement.

    I do appreciate what you and Ron do. A lot.

  178. John Phillips, FCD says

    Fair play to Melody, her only fault is trying to, wrongly this time IMO, defend a friend and coworker she respects. Though to be honest Melody and I don’t mean this nastily, you would be spending your time better getting Ron to do some ‘inquiry’ on the subject before spouting such unmitigated claptrap. He should reflect some on the name of the organisation, you know, the inquiry bit.

  179. vaiyt says

    Strong feminists are able to take a bit of trolling and rape joking with a smile (cf Harriet Hall and Paula Kirby).

    Is it “strong” to bow down and put up with misogyny? The “weak victims” are the ones who speak up? Wow, the slymepit really is Bizarro World, isn’t it?

  180. chigau (違わない) says

    banned poiqui
    I’m pretty sure it’s not your ‘scorn’ that PZ hates.
    He’s strong weak enough to take it.

  181. John Phillips, FCD says

    vaiyt, yep sit there quietly and take it or even dish some out to appear as one of them, that’s how bullies get their power. Whenever I hear crap like that, I always think about MLK’s letter from Birmingham jail. No major social change has come about without breaking a few eggs, if only metaphorically in the sense of shaking people out of their complacency and privilege by making a lot of ‘noise’.

  182. BCat70 says

    Hey PZ-

    I am just stepping into the blogging scene and may need a noob correction. I am not familiar with the tactics in this kind of fight, so my instinct concerning a situation involving “receiving strangely scrawled cartoons of you having sex with animals lately… or perhaps graphic descriptions of your confusedly sexual death” may be wrong. I was thinking to publish them in an appropriate forum with what correct attributions I could manage.

    Do you have any thoughts, or know a guru I could consult?

    P.S. As I was posting this, the ever annoying assess restrictions (put in place just because of this subject I heard) picked as its Captcha challenge word ” upansfu”. Ah, irony :)

  183. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I said criticise, insult and argue with.

    Why bother? They aren’t listening, and neither are you. Take your tone trolling blather elsewhere. Here you just sound weak minded and condescending. AND WRONG.

  184. Rodney Nelson says

    If you read Lindsay’s essay, he defines what he means by “the movement.” Essentially, it’s all the secular organizations. He then plays No True Secularist Scotsman by denying that misogynists have any place in “the movement.” Later he castigates Atheists+ as not having a set-in-stone program, completely ignoring the point it’s been in existence only a few weeks.

    Lindsay’s piece just reeks of white male privilege. Sure, he’s in favor of women’s rights, but it’s not a primary concern for him. But that doesn’t stop him from pontificating about how women’s rights and all the other social justice things are secondary to secularism, at least as far as “the movement” is concerned.

  185. says

    melody:

    I’d like to add something to my #218.

    Part of my wife’s job is to take calls from tenants concerning housing maintenance. She (and the other three people who answer the phone) generally only get the irate calls, the, “My hot water heater’s been out for three days, so why ain’t it fixed yet?” (“Uhm, because this is the first call, so we didn’t know it was broken?”) They very rarely get calls which end, “Thank you very much for the good things you’ve done.”

    It seems we rarely give (or get) thanks for good work. Instead, we concentrate on that which is broken, on the bits that go wrong.

    The reasons seem obvious: it’s easy (and perhaps more important) to focus on what is wrong, rather than what is right. Then, it might also sound like a mutual back-patting club if all we did was stand around mutually patting each other on the back. But really, what it comes down to is this: we don’t notice all the quiet, good work that goes on all around us. We do notice when things don’t go as smoothly and pleasantly as it should.

    You do far more good for the skeptic community than I ever do. You are active: I merely contribute my opinion here once in a while (or a lot, once in a while).

    Thank you.

  186. ewanmacdonald says

    @223 I don’t want to argue with them, though. I’m fine with just not associating with them. I don’t regard them as allies, potential or real; I don’t feel worse off for the fact that they hate me and people like me; and I’m quite happy to proceed on my way without them. Is this divisive? I suppose. I suppose it’s also divisive that people in my neighborhood all have their own homes rather than living in one massive room. Not really a bad thing, though, is it? Sometimes division is good. People have their own space and their own interests. My interests will not coincide with those of vicious sexists and their enablers, some of whom may not be vicious sexists themselves but are nonetheless there standing alongside people who are, therefore I don’t want anything to do with them.

    If adopting the A+ label keeps these people firmly away from me, then I’ll be wearing it with pride.

  187. Brownian says

    @199

    poiqui is doing everything in hir power to avoid having to defend this claim:

    We do live in societies where men bear the responsibility of making a move when women give reasonable signals that they’d like a move to be made.

    poiqui, you’re a lying piece of shit, and a repulsive human being.

  188. says

    What the fucking fuck does it mean to repudiate someone/something “implicitly”?

    Never mind, I’m pretty sure I know what it means: It means you do and say fucking nothing whatsoever, but you assume that everybody knows that you are, like, OF COURSE totally against it, because you know that you are a wonderful person who would never support bad things, therefore everybody else does too, and nobody needs you to do or say anything. Everyone should just give you the benefit of the doubt that you are obviously one of the good guys because, like, good-guy-ness shines out of your ass or something, or you did do something nice for somebody else once, therefore we should all just mentally fill you in on the “right” side of all conflicts forever.

    Some people are way too fucking used to being taken seriously. >.<

    The people sending rape and death threats and dedicating huge chunks of their lives to calling Rebecca Watson a cunt are indeed an enormous fucking problem in the atheist community… but honestly, I think even with the amount of noise they make, they are actually a minority of the sexists keeping women away from atheism. I didn’t have to be inundated with daily rape threats to feel apprehensive about and unwelcome in a movement whose most well-known public figures are Richard “Dear Muslima” Dawkins, Christopher “Women Aren’t Funny, Also, The War On Iraq Is Totally Awesome” Hitchens, and Sam “Racial Profiling Works Because I’m Just Sure It Does” Harris, and which appears to be, even without getting deep into the muck, populated very heavily by financially privileged white boys talking about how smart they are. That shit screams “trouble” from ten fucking miles away. That shit is GUARANTEED to attract a hateful narcissistic wing, even if it is fringe.

    However, not everyone is as paranoid as me, and I think stuff has really come to a head quite largely as a result of highly privileged “movement leaders”–the people who write well-known books and run the organizations–trying to diversify the movement in half-assed ways, and having it sort of succeed. Talking a lot about how religion hurts women may have given a lot of women the false impression that the atheist movement cared about women and would treat us with respect, and that we should leave our churches and become atheists instead, etc. So more women start showing up, expecting decent treatment. They get typical oblivious rich-white-boy treatment instead. Since the oblivious rich white boys are all loudly patting themselves on the back for being not sexist like religions, and are wrong, the women point out when they are wrong. And they do NOT like being told they are wrong, not when they have so valiantly used women’s issues as a fucking club to beat religion with, I mean, labored to free women from the shackles of religion. It interferes with their sense of themselves as smarter than everyone else.

    Cue Deep Rifts, even without factoring in the really dedicated MRA trolls.

  189. says

    @Nerd, apart from misrepresentation of my point I’m not sure it is clear how I’m wrong that calling people who are enablers of misogynists (as Nigel said) misogynist. Especially when their ‘enabling’ consists of just reading or posting on an internet board and not flouncing due to the nasties on there? Seems a bit weak minded of you to assert that… Everyone on Reddit should delete their accounts right now unless they have evidence they have tackled the misogynists on the board!

  190. says

    We do live in societies where men bear the responsibility of making a move when women give reasonable signals that they’d like a move to be made.

    I didn’t see that.

    My wife is the one that approached me. I didn’t realize it was my responsibility.

    But then, I’m really not attracted to people who play coy.

  191. says

    @ewanmacdonald, so everyone on the atheist section as well since that 15yr old atheist had a pretty misogynistic time? Even though they didn’t post on the thread?

  192. anteprepro says

    I didn’t see that.

    It was in a different thread. One that makes a lot more sense with poiqui’s revelation that he is a slymepitter.

  193. says

    oolon:

    I’m not sure it is clear how I’m wrong that calling people who are enablers of misogynists (as Nigel said) misogynist.

    I’m definitely trying to keep the two distinct.

    To me, this is no different than calling out liberal Christians who do not condemn the fundamentalists who attempt to subvert our school systems (for instance) or try to preach that men should beat their uppity wives (for instance).

    Hanging out in the pit, posting, and not calling out the misogyny is tacit approval of the misogyny. No matter the internal workings of the person just hanging out — whether they approve of the misogyny or not — the pitters will assume they have approval.

    Note the distinction between strong and weak feminists you mentioned. What they call the strong feminists are those that enable them. The weak feminists are those that won’t put up with their shit. One set provides cover. The other set attempts to deconstruct the cover.

    Basically, the strong feminists are those that stand up for women’s rights, but won’t argue with the state of affairs that requires a fight for equal rights (and treatment) in the first place.

    Those that provide cover for misogynists, and do so intentionally, are also culpable for the continuation of the misogyny.

  194. ewanmacdonald says

    @oolon – I have no idea what the general tenor of the atheist section is. That’s the only thread I’ve seen. Would you call that indicative of the whole? Would you say that was set up – as were the MRA section and the slymepit – with the express goal of opposing ‘radical feminism’? I doubt either of these things is true – the former maybe “somewhat” but the latter “not at all” – but I’d appreciate your honest opinion.

    In the meantime I need to return to my key point – why do I need to argue with these people, exactly? I don’t want to, I don’t want anything to do with them, so what’s the imperative? Please clear this up for me. Am I president of some brilliant club they’re all dying to be allowed into? Or is it the fact that I’m a self-described atheist mean I have some kind of moral duty to be on “their side”? Or is it another reason?

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oolon, you mistakenly appear to think I care what you think. Rather, I use you as an example of what not to do.

    Here’s what you should be asking yourself:
    What do I hope to accomplish here at Pharyngula?
    Am I accomplishing that?
    If not, why am I still here?

    From what I see, you are failing to get your message accepted. Maybe that is because your message is drivel.

  196. Brownian says

    I didn’t see that.

    My wife is the one that approached me. I didn’t realize it was my responsibility.

    But then, I’m really not attracted to people who play coy

    It’s in this thread.

    Watch the lying fucker dance around for hours to avoid admitting he has no fucking basis for the claim whatsoever, all the while crying “Strawman!” and playing hyper-skeptic.

    That’s what these putrid slymefuckers are like.

  197. says

    The problem that comes up here are common problems with people on the internet. It is common psychological data that shows people will be much more of a dick and an asshole online than in person. It is found across every interest, hobby, and device. Whether you mean Xbox Live, Steam, chat services, blogs, Youtube, etc. Everywhere. To pick up on that an harp on it as a specific problem with the movement is ludicrous.

    How often does this kind of crap happen in person in the groups across the country or at conferences? I’m sure every so often it does, and that deserves to be pointed out. But to wage a war on internet culture is just absurd.

    It is not a giant problem in our specific movement, it is a giant problem anywhere and for anything/anyone on the internet.

  198. F says

    I’m so bored with the helpful observations and questions of these insider outsiders, especially those with some kind of position in organizations.

  199. Stacy says

    Melody was one of the people who created Women in Secularism. Melody has been a tireless supporter of social justice at CFI. And Melody has received serious harassment.

    Melody, thank you.

    @Rutee #189

    It’s not about “the good name of CFI.” The point in reminding people that CFI does not deserve to be dismissed because an unrelated group with the same name is headed by assholes is this: it would be counter-productive to do that because at CFI, we have a well-established organization available to provide institutional support and expertise in fighting the good fight, headed and staffed by people who are already basically on our side. I understand where Melody was coming from, because I know all she’s done to support and promote feminism within CFI and the broader Humanist/Freethought/Skeptical/Atheist community.

  200. Candra Rain says

    I’m not understanding something. From I’m reading in the comments, Melody knows/works with Ron Lindsey, right?

    Melody said above:

    You think I don’t care how people are treated? I am getting harassed daily for speaking out against sexism and sexual harassment. I am getting harassed for defending my friends like Amy, Rebecca, Ophelia.

    So, how does Ron not know this?

    How is Melody’s defense equal to those offending as far as divisiveness goes?

    Does he know about your harassment, Melody?

  201. says

    Brownian:

    From a Slymefucker. Honestly, if these are the types of people that the CFI wants to keep in their organisation, then fuck. right. off.

    It’s amusing to me how they constantly cry about our echo chamber, but they all sound almost exactly the same — especially in their insults, but especially in the way they try to defend their indefensible position. Which, I guess, is by subtle insults.

    Does the Pit have anything like Thunderdome? I didn’t see anything like it when I went there months ago, and I’ll be covered in apeshit if I’m going over there again.

    Echo chamber, my right testicle.

  202. John Phillips, FCD says

    nickstacanto, it is easy for you to say, you’re not the one getting the repeated threats and the fact that it happens outside doesn’t mean we don’t try to do something about inside. By the way, it goes beyond just the Internet for some involved.. Your post is just a variant of Dawkins’ dear Muslima post.

  203. Ze Madmax says

    nickstancato @ #243

    How often does this kind of crap happen in person in the groups across the country or at conferences? I’m sure every so often it does, and that deserves to be pointed out. But to wage a war on internet culture is just absurd.

    Ignoring the fact that this kind of crap HAS happened in person (see Surly Amy’s experience at TAM this year), the idea that the Internet is somehow a magical place in which insults don’t hurt, death threats are immediately innocuous and it is apparently fine to dismiss as absurd the backlash against YEARS of abuse and threats aimed at activists because they have the temerity to demand that they’re treated as human beings is fucking repulsive.

    Hell, the fact that you waltz in here telling everybody that they’re doing it wrong shows how little concern you have for the people who have to live with a barrage of hate EVERY.SINGLE.FUCKING.DAY.

    Fuck that. Fighting “internet culture” is not absurd. Is critical, if we care about creating spaces and movements that are inclusive. To dismiss this fight as absurd is to tell marginalized groups that the abuse they receive isn’t important. You may as well tell people to fuck off your movement if you’re non-normative.

    Fuck that. Also, take your piss-poor attempt to defend John Gabriel’s Great Internet Fuckwad Theory and shove it.

  204. Brownian says

    It is not a giant problem in our specific movement, it is a giant problem anywhere and for anything/anyone on the internet.

    Oh, shut the fuck up. I’m so fucking sick of skeptics sucking their own dicks about how they’re no worse than anyone else. Like that’s any kind of fucking defence.

    Then disband, fuckers. After decades of bragging about how scientifically-minded skeptics are, and how religion poisons everything, if at the very best skeptics are just as fucking repulsive as everyone else, then the entire movement needs to have a bullet put between its eyes.

    I mean, if it’s just a hangout for losers who can’t find friends elsewhere, than great, have at ‘er. But if skeptics are just like your average douchebag but with a fetish for yelling at Sylvia Browne, then CFI and JREF should give all their donors their money back and everybody can find real jobs doing something useful.

  205. says

    nickstancato:

    It is common psychological data that shows people will be much more of a dick and an asshole online than in person.

    So, if we can get them to stop being dicks online, then they’ll be even better IRL?

    Well, sign me right the fuck up. That sounds like a noble cause.

  206. Stacy says

    @nickstancato:

    The problem that comes up here are common problems with people on the internet. It is common psychological data that shows people will be much more of a dick and an asshole online than in person. It is found across every interest, hobby, and device. Whether you mean Xbox Live, Steam, chat services, blogs, Youtube, etc. Everywhere. To pick up on that an harp on it as a specific problem with the movement is ludicrous.

    How often does this kind of crap happen in person in the groups across the country or at conferences? I’m sure every so often it does, and that deserves to be pointed out. But to wage a war on internet culture is just absurd.

    It is not a giant problem in our specific movement, it is a giant problem anywhere and for anything/anyone on the internet.

    No, I think you’re wrong.

    It is a problem, and it needs to be addressed. The fact that you rarely see it expressed in real life, that people are less willing to be assholes in real life, just means that in-person communications usually inhibit the expression of controversial opinions. The attitudes are still there. I’ve seen it; I’ve heard “nice guys” (and gals) I’d known for years and assumed were allies spout sexist shit and support or rationalize for others who spouted sexist shit.

    This problem needs to be addressed. If you think it isn’t a problem that’s probably because you’re not somebody who is ever going to be a target of bigoted ignorance and that makes it easy for you to overlook it when you encounter it.

  207. says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls,

    Oolon, you mistakenly appear to think I care what you think. Rather, I use you as an example of what not to do.

    Here’s what you should be asking yourself:
    What do I hope to accomplish here at Pharyngula?
    Am I accomplishing that?
    If not, why am I still here?

    From what I see, you are failing to get your message accepted. Maybe that is because your message is drivel.

    So you are pompous and like to call to popularity to measure the validity of your arguments. Got it.

  208. Ze Madmax says

    nickstancato @ #243

    Also, with regards to this:

    It is common psychological data that shows people will be much more of a dick and an asshole online than in person.

    As a grad student in psychology, I would love to see some data that backs this up. Particularly if said data shows that the cause of increased dickiness* and/or assholitude* is the medium and not the cultural environment within which these traits are expressed.


    *Proper psych terms, I assure you!

  209. Brownian says

    Ze Madmax, I believe the skeptical nickstancato is referring to the prestigious psychological journal known as Penny Arcade, and this article specifically.

  210. says

    @ewanmacdonald

    In the meantime I need to return to my key point – why do I need to argue with these people, exactly? I don’t want to, I don’t want anything to do with them, so what’s the imperative? Please clear this up for me. Am I president of some brilliant club they’re all dying to be allowed into? Or is it the fact that I’m a self-described atheist mean I have some kind of moral duty to be on “their side”? Or is it another reason?

    I never said you *need* to argue with them… Or didn’t mean to imply that. But it makes an interesting question – if you know they exist on the Slymepit and they are misogynist and planning trolling, rape threats or whatever over there… Why are you not there calling them out? They have a no-ban policy so pretty obvious how they could be hoist by their own petard ;-)

  211. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So you are pompous and like to call to popularity to measure the validity of your arguments. Got [didn’t get] it.

    Fixed that for you. You missed my point.

    If you aren’t accomplishing anything by not convincing anybody, why are you still posting? That is my point. Your time wasted.

  212. says

    People: Why are you jumping on Melody Hensley? She’s on our side in this fight!

    Also, I support Ron Lindsay. He’s a privileged white dude like me, but give us time, we can come around.

  213. ewanmacdonald says

    I never said you *need* to argue with them… Or didn’t mean to imply that. But it makes an interesting question – if you know they exist on the Slymepit and they are misogynist and planning trolling, rape threats or whatever over there… Why are you not there calling them out? They have a no-ban policy so pretty obvious how they could be hoist by their own petard ;-)

    I’m not over there calling them out because what they do on their forum is not interesting to me. At all. What I’m bothered about are threats and harassment leveled against allies (in fact, to be fair, I’d be bothered about threats and harassment leveled the other way as well.) And you’ve yet to explain why I should care. “Because you really, really wish it was true” seems to be about the size of it. Care to try again?

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why are you not there calling them out?

    Why aren’t you? Oh, that’s right, you want other folks to do your dirty work for you. Do it yourself or shut the fuck up.

    I don’t bother because they aren’t listening, so it is waste of my time.

  215. says

    hacksoncode #114:
    I know, I’ll try to insult feminism using a poorly-constructed analogy built on my complete misunderstanding of the feminist movement, and somehow this will show everyone that atheism doesn’t have a misogyny problem and A+ is unnecessary.

    Brilliant

  216. ilex says

    Oolon, we do not agree. Please don’t mix up my benevolent starting assumption with a “love your enemies” approach. Reread everything in my post after the colon. That’s the part I stand by, the earlier stuff is background. I do not support people who knowingly harm others, I only acknowledge their humanity.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but have you lurked for a long time? It’s a pretty useful thing to do. Do you remember the start of the slymepit? It’s a group that rallied under the “Twatson” banner, that was the impetus for it’s existence. Do you not believe all of the people who have told you this? A bunch of people here saw it happen, myself included.

    This makes your reddit analogy critically flawed. Reddit is a communal link aggregator owned by Conde Nast. It was not started to defend the “right” of its posters to threaten women, it was started so that people could share internet things that they like. Now it exists to make Conde Nast money in some way or other. Sure, some of the internet things that people like are super sexist, but that’s not the whole reason reddit exists in the first place. It’s not what reddit trumpets about itself, the freedom to call women cunts and joke about raping them.

    A better analogy would be Westboro Baptist. If you stand with them, and don’t carry a big, mocking sign, I assume you think God Hates Fags. If you come back telling me that they’re really very nice, that some of them just ignore the religious part and are in it for the apple pie and singing, I’m still not going to go talk to them. And I’m not going to take you very seriously anyway, even if you were carrying a big, mocking sign. I already know they’re people, but they’re people that make the world worse for a lot of atheist women.

  217. Stacy says

    I feel the need to speak up for oolon here. I read him as cautioning against making the same mistake the ‘pitters make, and assuming the place is a monolith made up of clones who all hold the same opinions. There may be people whose motivation for commenting there is not one of contempt for women, but disagreement with FtB and/or ignorance about the scope of the problems under discussion.

    Ignorance is correctable. So, sometimes, is hatred based on misunderstanding your enemy’s position(s). If someone like oolon has the heart to talk to them, criticize the assholes and explain things to the reachables, good on him.

    It’s always a good idea to talk, when you can. (Not everybody can do it, and that’s fine. I don’t go to the Pit.) And nothing wrong with bearing in mind that we’re all subject to confirmation bias and a tendency to damn people by association. Or maybe it’s just me, I do it all the time and appreciate a reminder now and then.

  218. says

    Melody

    I’m sorry that this is happening to you, but it wouldn’t happen at a CFI branch.

    **

    But he’s not talking about our organization! I think people should be aware of that.

    Based on your own experience, and the experience of people you count as friends, can you not see how statements like this are problematic? I understand you want to defend your friends and your employer, but your effort and Lindsay’s effort to distance CFI and “the movement” from the harassing elements within it seem dishonest… even if you’re mostly just lying to yourselves.

    And what if somebody DOES report something like previously described happening at a CFI branch? Are you going to investigate fairly if your default position is “that can’t happen here”? Just something to give a little more thought before jumping to the defense of your organization. It would seem more realistic to say “it can happen anywhere, but we have protocols in place to deal with it.”

  219. says

    @Stacy –

    “I read him as cautioning against making the same mistake the ‘pitters make, and assuming the place is a monolith made up of clones who all hold the same opinions.”

    That’s charitable, but it’s worth noting that the ‘pitters assumption is less a mistake and more a strategy, both of rhetoric and in/out-group reinforcement.

  220. glodson says

    @nickstancato

    Yes, it is a problem for everyone, this rampant misogynistic crap and male privilege. But we can only change it by starting somewhere, and our own community is a great place to start. We can only make the shitty rape threats, the attacks, the harassment end in general if we have a good foundation. And that part of the purpose. But really, only part.

    This movement won’t grow without there being a place for women. And right now, there’s a vocal segment that wants to keep the status quo. And it isn’t just insane misogynist. There are people enabling them, calling for the “dissent” to be silent, blaming women like Watson for speaking out on the problem instead of addressing the problem.

    Also, it isn’t just online stuff. It isn’t just hateful comments, and insults, and spam. There’s a real problem that is having real consequences. Hell, even if it was just an internet problem, no one should be subjected to the abuse a number of people have been over this. To diminish it as such misses the point. And this problem bleeds out from here. People are feeling uncomfortable in the community, online and offline. And it isn’t because people are challenging their ideas or beliefs. It is because people are reducing them to their sex, and not respectful of their boundaries. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but it is a good start.

    And you know, yes, there are areas where women get it worse. Hell, maybe we have a smaller proportion of outspoken misogynistic assholes in our community than other groups. It doesn’t matter if we are better off than others, the level here is still unacceptable. And if we cannot even address the issue on this scale, how can we ever address in any larger context?

  221. Beatrice says

    Stacy,

    There may be people whose motivation for commenting there is not one of contempt for women, but disagreement with FtB and/or ignorance about the scope of the problems under discussion.

    It looks like you haven’t read the thread. Let me help you.

    This covers it nicely:

    erikthebassist [kill]​[hide comment]
    13 September 2012 at 10:20 am

    [oolon] Your analogy to Stormfront was pretty hyperbolic – but I’d extend it to say that people who frequent a pub where Stormfront regularly meet are tarred as neo-nazis the same as the members of Stormfront, just because they go to the same pub?

    If the pub is widely known as a hang out for neo-nazis, and there’s a perfectly fine pub across the street that is not, and they go to the neo-nazi pub by choice? Then yeah, fuck them. Analogy fail.

  222. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We have commenters who regularly report on what happens over at the Pit. We aren’t ignorant of their attitudes, and a change of attitude would be reported back. Some of the folks at the Pit have posted here in the past. They have no evidence for their beliefs, ignore evidence presented to them that refutes their beliefs, and just show us attitude and OPINION they expect us to swallow unskeptically when they post. They refuse to engage in any rational discussion. So most of us having a “why bother” attitude toward engaging them on their own turf is understandable.

  223. says

    @Nerd of Redhead,

    Fixed that for you. You missed my point.

    If you aren’t accomplishing anything by not convincing anybody, why are you still posting? That is my point. Your time wasted.

    Right so when I didn’t convince anyone that misogyny is a problem in the atheist movement but no one is saying the movement is ridden or full of misogynists to the various slimepitters and MRAs I was wasting my time. When I argued that FtBs is not a homogenous whole made up of a collection of group-think feminazis who want to geld all men I was wasting my time. No one agreed with me so I must be wrong… I must be an MRA now!

    No I don’t really get your amazing popularity point Nerd…

  224. A. Noyd says

    @oolon
    What the hell? Get it through your fucking head that it doesn’t matter if there’s “a diversity of opinion” amongst pitizens. The problem is their bigotry, which is what their vile little community is formed around. That there are multiple flavors of bigot over there doesn’t change a single fucking thing.

  225. Beatrice says

    The last time I ventured into the ‘pit was when Surly Amy was being harassed and her address posted there. I read a couple of pages and it was same old, same old: FTB sucks, Rebbeca Watson is a cunt, PZ is evil overlord and main executioner of all poor victims of feminazis, Rebecca is an ugly cunt, Skephicks hate men, Rebbeca is a cunt, Amy is talentless and ugly… You notice the pattern.

    What I didn’t notice were commenters telling them to cut it out.

  226. says

    nickstancato:
    I don’t know about you, but nearly all of my atheist interaction takes place on the internet. I read blogs, get updates from organizations, post on forums, and lurk in the comments. Even if you were right (you aren’t) and some quality of the internet was causing all our troubles, we would still need to change it.

    Brownian #251:
    Fuck yes. Where would you like your shiny new internet delivered?

  227. says

    The people who choose to affiliate with Atheism+ are people who choose to prioritize social justice issues.

    The people who choose to affiliate with the slimepit are people who choose to prioritize hating on feminism, Rebecca Watson, and freethoughtblogs.

    That shouldn’t be so hard to comprehend.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I must be an MRA now!

    Nope, just a fool doing a fools mission. Go do your missionary work at a receptive blog.No I don’t really get your amazing popularity point Nerd…You call it popularity, which isn’t my point. I call it are you wasting your time? And you are.

  229. Stacy says

    @Eric Saveau

    That’s charitable, but it’s worth noting that the ‘pitters assumption is less a mistake and more a strategy, both of rhetoric and in/out-group reinforcement.

    Yeah, I absolutely agree that it is a strategy on the part of some of them. There are some people there that are (almost certainly) truly odious and deeply manipulative. I despise them and don’t think there’s any point in engaging them other than to say, “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on” *cough–J*st*c*r–cough*.

    I’m not including those people in my hypothetical “reachables;” I think oolon is talking to the potentially decent people there and standing up to the assholes. That’s not a bad thing to do if you can stand the atmosphere.

  230. coelsblog says

    Re: 123:

    Blackford has […] openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers …

    Can someone point me to links regarding Blackford doing this? (I’d be disappointed in Blackford, having previously respected his writings, but I might have to update this opinion.)

    Returning to the OP, I’d still be interested in links to where Russell Blackford has “openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers”.

  231. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Melody definitely does NOT deserve to be getting shit for this. Not only is she on the right side, she herself has been attacked in the same manner as Watson et al.

    Seriously NOT COOL to be attacking her or questioning her motives.

  232. Beatrice says

    Fine, when oolon comes back with these decent slimepitters who have recognized the error of their ways, he’ll get his cookie.

    Until then, he could spare us the pontification about how some of them could maybe be decent. Possibly. If you squint and get someone to Obliviate any memory of the slimepit.

  233. Stacy says

    Beatrice, it’s more like if the bar was populated by people who said “Oh, no, I’m not with Stormfront, I hate them, I’m anti-racist. I’m so anti-racist I make racist jokes sometimes but I’m just, you know, being ironic.” And somebody wanders into that bar and sticks around for a while. Maybe they went to the other bar one time and ran into somebody having a bad day and got turned off. And here are these people telling them, “Don’t listen to those folks across the street, they’re so unreasonable, you know what they do? They compare me to those horrible racists!”

    People can be mistaken. Some of them can even change. And probably people new to the conflict walk into the wrong bar every now and then.

    I’m not trying to sing Kumbaya here, just saying that oolon isn’t necessarily wrong to talk to them.

  234. Beatrice says

    When I wander into a creepy bar where I’m uncomfortable, I leave. I don’t stick around. And I don’t come back.

    Seriously, stop defending that place already. If there is a decent person there, they’ll run away by themselves.

  235. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Those who wish to do missionary work at the Pit can do so. The rest of us won’t bother with what we consider the impossible. That’s been the point of most of the regulars all day.

  236. A. Noyd says

    Stacy (#280)

    I’m not trying to sing Kumbaya here, just saying that oolon isn’t necessarily wrong to talk to them.

    Except oolon isn’t getting shit for going over there and talking to them himself. He’s made a rather lot of stupid suggestions and statements like: “I’d encourage people to go to the slymepit and engage in some conversation. Apart from a lot of paranoia about FtBs and how if you post over there you will get banned here a lot of them are nice people.”

    Or: “Saying you are all horrible misogynists will polarise and cause people to choose a side. At least that is the only way I can explain how seemingly sensible sceptic-atheists identify with a group that has Hoggle-like leaders at the helm.”

    Or: “Tarring all FtBs with the same brush is ridiculous when there is a diversity of opinion. Tarring all of the people who post at the slimepit with the same brush is also ridiculous.”

  237. says

    I believe oolon’s trolling – whether as a game or out of affinity with the pitters I don’t know. For a brief time on this thread I considered that oolon might just be ignorant and entering the situation having learned about it from the wrong people, but oolon seems to have too much knowledge to be new to this and also seems to pop in with something vaguely nonhostile just when it seems needed.

    I’d considered asking oolon how long he/she’d been dealing with the pit and how long he/she thinks we have. But I realized that there’s no answer to this that would be a defense: if oolon’s been around for the past year and is still complaining that we want nothing to do with them, that’s bad; and if oolon’s ignorant of that history but feels confident posting this stuff, that’s bad, too.

    Really, I think the only appropriate response to oolon, unless and until they can contribute something constructive and nontrollish, is “Shoo!” If I’m wrong, and oolon’s just a jackass, well, no loss anyway.

  238. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    just declaring yourself godless or a skeptic is not sufficient to testify that you’re a decent human being…yet that is all we expect of people we are to call our colleagues. It’s the same problem Christians have, who declare belief in Jesus a proxy for being a cooperative, generous, social person. It’s not.

    Perhaps the important difference is not between believers and sceptics, but between decent human beings and prejudiced bigots, whatever form their bigotry takes. In that respect Atheism+ is not enough, in that the emphasis shouldn’t be on atheism at all but on toleration and respect, not for what people believe but for their right to believe it.

  239. Rodney Nelson says

    sc-longalphanumericstring #286

    Perhaps the important difference is not between believers and sceptics, but between decent human beings and prejudiced bigots, whatever form their bigotry takes.

    Since the present discussion is about bigots and their defenders and not about atheism vs theism, this statement is rather obvious.

    In that respect Atheism+ is not enough, in that the emphasis shouldn’t be on atheism at all but on toleration and respect, not for what people believe but for their right to believe it.

    The people who started Atheism+ and the people who support it are pretty much all atheists. We use atheism as a starting point and go from there. Atheism+ is not a general purpose social justice organization. It’s an organization of atheists who are interested in other things, hence the name Atheism+ (please note the plus sign after the word Atheism).

  240. says

    Who should be repudiated?

    Well, Thunderf00t springs to mind. He ignored my request to delete and denounce the rape threat that was made against me on his blog. There is a malicious rumor being spread that I sockpuppeted myself in order to threaten myself with rape. Thunderf00t could easily put that rumor to rest but he won’t. That’s despicable.

    Also, Justin Vacula, who has been vocally insistent that he REALLY REALLY IS a “leader” in the atheist movement and I suppose he is, for atheists in northern Pennsylvania. He’s the one who published Surly Amy’s address.

    That’s for starters.

    Yeah, the series of leaders talking about how harassment of women is bad in the abstract has been great, but some more specific naming and shaming would be great.

  241. Rodney Nelson says

    oolon has been preaching about how the pittizens are all nice folks who love their mothers (or at least their fathers), set out a dish of milk for the pixies every night, and are perhaps a bit confused about feminism. Everyone else, especially those of us who have visited the slimepit, have a different view of them.

  242. John Phillips, FCD says

    sc[lots of numbers], but that is what A+ is, i.e. a group of atheist who specifically prioritise social justice rather than just not believing in god. Hence the + after the A. We won’t turn our backs on people who support the same things as we do in social justice terms, whether they are believers or not. But we will reject those who don’t support social justice, including atheists who do. To repeat myself, hence the + after the A, i.e. it’s atheism plus a focus on social justice and arose purely because it has become clear over the last year or so that there is a subset of atheists who obviously don’t believe in social justice for all.

  243. says

    In her blog post, Greta Christina responded to the charge that the Atheism Plus initiative is divisive

    I’m still trying to understand how anyone who claims to promote skepticism and free-thinking could keep making the mistake of regarding “it’s divisive” as any kind of legitimate criticism. What does it mean? It means you have your own opinion and are willing to speak up about it. That’s a bad thing?
    Accusations of “divisiveness” are nothing but a cheesy way of shutting down dissenting opinions without engaging the substance of those opinions. And presumably one avoids being divisive either by changing that opinion or shutting up about it.
    Gah.

  244. jamesemery says

    Delurking for a sec-

    Melody is cool people. I don’t know if she’s still lurking or ran off, but I think she’s an important person here. Imma go see if I can bring her back (assuming she’s gone).

  245. nms says

    Once again, I now know why I don’t follow these threads. It’s a waste of time and painful to see what supposedly intelligent people consider thought.

    If it helps any, I’m not sure why you post on them either.

  246. Brownian says

    I’m still trying to understand how anyone who claims to promote skepticism and free-thinking could keep making the mistake of regarding “it’s divisive” as any kind of legitimate criticism. What does it mean? It means you have your own opinion and are willing to speak up about it. That’s a bad thing?

    Yes, it destabilises the hivemind, and the hivemind is good except when it’s bad.

    You know, I’m beginning to realise we’ve been pretty harsh on the theologians. Compared to the thought processes going on in the heads of most self-styled skeptics, concepts like transubstantiation are practically models of self-consistent logic.

  247. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    please don not tell melody she doesn’t understand the situation. she is getting the same threats and has slime potter s trying to get her fired. i think all she is doing is pointing out that Ron is an ally that has mistaken and doesn’t quite see the whole picture. i think he’s going to see more of the picture very soon. how he respond to that is going to be the real test.
    melody.thank you for everything you do.

    please forgive phone tying, i am now at work for the evening and only have my phone.

  248. Rodney Nelson says

    feralboy12 #291

    I’m still trying to understand how anyone who claims to promote skepticism and free-thinking could keep making the mistake of regarding “it’s divisive” as any kind of legitimate criticism.

    My guess is that some people think atheists or skeptics or humanists or secularists should all be marching in lockstep, denouncing fundamentalists, creationists and UFO fanatics, and not wavering one iota from the “true path of atheism/skepticism/etc.” as defined by the person complaining about divisiveness. They see social justice as having nothing to do with atheism/skepticism/etc. and want everyone to keep to the “true path.”

    Alternately, some other people don’t want anything to do with that nasty feminism shit. So they complain about divisiveness in hopes of shutting people up about social justice.

  249. John Phillips, FCD says

    feralboy12
    13 September 2012 at 4:34 pm

    In her blog post, Greta Christina responded to the charge that the Atheism Plus initiative is divisive

    I’m still trying to understand how anyone who claims to promote skepticism and free-thinking could keep making the mistake of regarding “it’s divisive” as any kind of legitimate criticism. What does it mean? It means you have your own opinion and are willing to speak up about it.

    That’s a bad thing?

    Accusations of “divisiveness” are nothing but a cheesy way of shutting down dissenting opinions without engaging the substance of those opinions. And presumably one avoids being divisive either by changing that opinion or shutting up about it.
    Gah.

    QFFT

  250. ewanmacdonald says

    I feel the need to speak up for oolon here. I read him as cautioning against making the same mistake the ‘pitters make, and assuming the place is a monolith made up of clones who all hold the same opinions. There may be people whose motivation for commenting there is not one of contempt for women, but disagreement with FtB and/or ignorance about the scope of the problems under discussion.

    I don’t care if the ‘pitters make that mistake, though, and nobody’s yet to give a good reason why I should care about anything they say that isn’t a threat or harassment against someone else.

    Ignorance is correctable. So, sometimes, is hatred based on misunderstanding your enemy’s position(s). If someone like oolon has the heart to talk to them, criticize the assholes and explain things to the reachables, good on him.

    And he is free to do so. Great. We’re all agreed.

    It’s always a good idea to talk, when you can. (Not everybody can do it, and that’s fine. I don’t go to the Pit.) And nothing wrong with bearing in mind that we’re all subject to confirmation bias and a tendency to damn people by association. Or maybe it’s just me, I do it all the time and appreciate a reminder now and then.

    But it’s not just a reminder. Someone else explained it already but there was the ‘Stormfront pub’ metaphor, and the ‘everyone on Reddit’ metaphor. These aren’t fair comparisons. This has been explained to him already. And I’m absolutely none the wiser on why the ‘pitters are so in need of some kind of conversion. Do they really need someone to take up the white man’s burden of them? It’s patronising to them and it’s a waste of time for anyone else. They’ve chosen their path and as long as it doesn’t involve threats or harassment against anyone else, I’m fine with letting them wander down it, and far, far away from me.

    tl;dr version: if they’re not threatening or harassing, why should anyone give a shit about them?

  251. Brownian says

    My guess is that some people think atheists or skeptics or humanists or secularists should all be marching in lockstep, denouncing fundamentalists, creationists and UFO fanatics, and not wavering one iota from the “true path of atheism/skepticism/etc.” as defined by the person complaining about divisiveness. They see social justice as having nothing to do with atheism/skepticism/etc. and want everyone to keep to the “true path.”

    Alternately, some other people don’t want anything to do with that nasty feminism shit. So they complain about divisiveness in hopes of shutting people up about social justice.

    Well, remember, we’re coopting the good name of ‘atheism’, which, as you’ll all recall, means nothing more than not believing in gods, which means that atheist groups should not focus on non-not-believing-in-gods issues like sexism, racism, etc. Of course, why ‘not believing in Gods’ means that we should criticise Sylvia Browne, or even fight for secular causes is a bit of a mindfuck—how does not believing in gods mean that we should fight to uphold the separation of church and state, or not pray in school?—but I guess that’s one of the divine mysteries of the Trinity.

  252. ewanmacdonald says

    please don not tell melody she doesn’t understand the situation. she is getting the same threats and has slime potter s trying to get her fired. i think all she is doing is pointing out that Ron is an ally that has mistaken and doesn’t quite see the whole picture. i think he’s going to see more of the picture very soon. how he respond to that is going to be the real test.
    melody.thank you for everything you do.

    please forgive phone tying, i am now at work for the evening and only have my phone.

    While on the subject, you know who hasn’t been here to stand up for Melody yet? Ron Lindsay. She has been well and truly hung out to dry. And it’s a damn shame for the exact reasons you give above.

  253. John Phillips, FCD says

    But Brownian, that’s the really important stuff, the rest is just the wimmin and us manginas getting our panties in a knot /sarc

  254. ewanmacdonald says

    Well, remember, we’re coopting the good name of ‘atheism’, which, as you’ll all recall, means nothing more than not believing in gods, which means that atheist groups should not focus on non-not-believing-in-gods issues like sexism, racism, etc. Of course, why ‘not believing in Gods’ means that we should criticise Sylvia Browne, or even fight for secular causes is a bit of a mindfuck—how does not believing in gods mean that we should fight to uphold the separation of church and state, or not pray in school?—but I guess that’s one of the divine mysteries of the Trinity.

    I don’t think PZ quotes it here, but the sheer presumption of Ron Lindsay is absolutely jaw-dropping. He says midway through his comment:

    And it’s not just that we can’t effectively “me too” the work of other organizations working on social justice issues; we at CFI don’t want to. We are not primarily LGBT advocates, women’s rights advocates, or healthcare advocates. We are advocates for a secular society, one of the fruits of which, we firmly believe, will be a society with rational, evidence-based policies and much less religion-fueled prejudice. We also believe our work on this objective takes priority over other social justice objectives, however worthy they may be.

    This is fine. Absolutely. CFI is a secular organisation focused on its understanding of secular issues. No cause for complaint whatsoever. Good luck to him – sincerely.

    Next paragraph:

    So to return to Atheism Plus, here’s a concern: because the A+ advocates want to work on social justice issues, but have not yet specified how they plan to go about this, including which issues they will emphasize, there’s a worry that they will divert resources from the secular movement and weaken it.

    Uh, OK. Wait… secular movement?

    Rewind back to paragraph two, which I leave in full for reference – apologies for length:

    Before I go further, perhaps I should indicate what I mean by “the movement,” at least as it pertains to the United States. (It will complicate matters if I try to encompass other countries.) There are roughly fifteen nationwide secular organizations in the U. S. Many (but not all) are members of the Secular Coalition. (FFRF is not, for example.) There are also a number of significant regional secular groups, e.g., Humanists of Florida Association, Humanists of Minnesota, Minnesota Atheists. Finally, there are also some national and regional skeptical organizations that have crossover appeal, that is, they have gone beyond the traditional limits of skepticism and in some fashion engage in critical examination of religion and have explicitly nonreligious leaders. The movement comprises these organizations, their members, and supporters. The movement doesn’t include everyone who is nonreligious; some (many? most?) nonbelievers have little or no interest in the missions or activities of these various organizations. Merely identifying yourself as an atheist and posting a comment on a blog doesn’t make you part of the movement.

    Right… so people who decide that Atheism Plus is what they want to focus on are diluting the movement, movement being helpfully (if lengthily) defined above.

    Who the fuck gave the authority to Ron Lindsay to define not only what the movement is, but whether or not people aren’t allowed to have other interests? That fabled Pope of atheism must be out there somewhere – perhaps it’s Ron himself – because other than that I can’t see what possible justification he has for telling people they’re doing it wrong because ‘members and supporters’ of his list of organisations might want to devote some of their time to social justice.

    I disagree with PZ on a lot of things, and 90% of the time I think it’s because he’s gone too far or shot from the hip. In this instance I think he’s being needlessly deferential. Ron Lindsay’s conception of “the movement” is disgusting, absolutely disgusting, and as a result of it I want nothing to do with CFI.

  255. Ichthyic says

    What I didn’t notice were commenters telling them to cut it out.

    or, perhaps even more important, the host.

  256. vaiyt says

    @Brownian

    Oh, shut the fuck up. I’m so fucking sick of skeptics sucking their own dicks about how they’re no worse than anyone else. Like that’s any kind of fucking defence.

    Then disband, fuckers. After decades of bragging about how scientifically-minded skeptics are, and how religion poisons everything, if at the very best skeptics are just as fucking repulsive as everyone else, then the entire movement needs to have a bullet put between its eyes.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Maybe with more expletives.

    @Stacy
    I’m not trying to make sense of your similes. If you don’t mind, I’ll answer in human language.

    it’s more like if the bar was populated by people who said “Oh, no, I’m not with Stormfront, I hate them, I’m anti-racist. I’m so anti-racist I make racist jokes sometimes but I’m just, you know, being ironic.” And somebody wanders into that bar and sticks around for a while.

    There is a line between doing something “ironically” and just doing it. I think the line is wayyy before death threats and year-long hate campaigns. There’s little reason for someone to believe that against the evidence.

    Maybe they went to the other bar one time and ran into somebody having a bad day and got turned off.

    There are plenty of people who come here to say they aren’t really misogynists, they’re just upset with our tone. BOO TO THE FUCKING HOO. If antagonizing us is more important to you than dealing with the scumbags, then you’re not as much of an ally as you think you are.

    And here are these people telling them, “Don’t listen to those folks across the street, they’re so unreasonable, you know what they do? They compare me to those horrible racists!”

    They’re hanging out with misogynists, in a forum created with the purpose of gathering misogynists, with members who either
    1) are misogynists
    2) are comfortable with the purpose and prevailing tone of the forum
    3) think misogyny is less important than hating on FTB

    If you are neither… why put up with that? What do you gain?

  257. Brownian says

    But Brownian, that’s the really important stuff, the rest is just the wimmin and us manginas getting our panties in a knot /sarc

    Right, but where in the dictionary definition of atheism does “do really important stuff” appear? All atheism means is not believing in gods.

    So any time any atheist organisation does anything more than survey its members to determine that nope, they still all don’t believe in gods, they’re overstepping their mandate.

  258. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Atheism+ is not a general purpose social justice organization. It’s an organization of atheists who are interested in other things, hence the name Atheism+ (please note the plus sign after the word Atheism).

    the + after the A, i.e. it’s atheism plus a focus on social justice and arose purely because it has become clear over the last year or so that there is a subset of atheists who obviously don’t believe in social justice for all.

    Apologies for the number- not my choice and I’m trying to find out how to change it.
    However, the point I was trying to make is that people seem to have believed that atheists are cool, rational, decent and tolerant human beings and then found out that not all of them are, which raises the question: which is more important, the atheism or the qualities covered by the +? If it is decency and humanityand so on then there are other organisations concerned with them, and is Atheism+ necessary? If the atheism is the more important aspect then it is necessary to persuade the sexist/racist/arrogant…- I won’t list all the negative qualities we’ve seen- atheists to change their behaviour and we’ve got to put up with them and try to persuade them- or, more probably people who might be attracted to them- to behave better, so is Atheism+ necessary in that case?

  259. John Phillips, FCD says

    Brownian, Well unless an IMPORTANT’ leader tells us it’s OK, otherwise we are just being mean and divisive doncha know.

  260. ewanmacdonald says

    If necessity the benchmark for these movements? I would rather think it desirability, feasibility. Is it desirable to have a subset of atheists who focus also on social justice? Yes. Is it feasible? Seems to be. If necessary’s the level of the bar then 95% of organised atheism, skepticism, and humanism would disappear overnight.

    Who will be the arbiter of necessity? I mean you will be, obviously, but if you’re on vacation who will step up to the plate? What methods do you envision using to end unnecessary activity?

  261. Brownian says

    If it is decency and humanityand so on then there are other organisations concerned with them, and is Atheism+ necessary?

    If the atheism is the more important aspect then it is necessary to persuade the sexist/racist/arrogant…atheists to change their behaviour and we’ve got to put up with them and try to persuade them

    Why? If I start a Canadian Chess club, am I expected to persuade all Canadians to take up chess, or am I required to persuade all chess players to immigrate to Canada?

  262. Brownian says

    otherwise we are just being mean and divisive doncha know.

    Good. I live for being mean and divisive.

    It’s like me and ERV are the same person, only I have friends who aren’t fuckbats.

  263. Ichthyic says

    which is more important, the atheism or the qualities covered by the +?

    why does one have to be more important than the other overall?

    I rather thought that was THE WHOLE POINT to creating the A+ movement to begin with?

    so is Atheism+ necessary in that case?

    you’ve made the argument for it without apparently even realizing it.

  264. John Phillips, FCD says

    SC, it’s also both a means to distinguish ourselves from those with what we consider less desirable qualities and also a signpost to others that it is safe haven for those atheists tired of the sexism or any other anti-social justice attitudes.

  265. says

    Nick Stancato:

    How often does this kind of crap happen in person in the groups across the country or at conferences? I’m sure every so often it does, and that deserves to be pointed out. But to wage a war on internet culture is just absurd.

    Oh, look, everybody. Dudebro Nicky is here to tell us silly wimminz that there’s no problem and we need to STFU and make him a sammich!

    BTW, I looked at Nicky’s FB profile. “Likes: JT Eberhard.” Says it all, really.

    Stacy:

    I feel the need to speak up for oolon here. I read him as cautioning against making the same mistake the ‘pitters make, and assuming the place is a monolith made up of clones who all hold the same opinions…There may be people whose motivation for commenting there is not one of contempt for women, but disagreement with FtB and/or ignorance about the scope of the problems under discussion.

    You’ve really become quite the concern troll of late, haven’t you?

    Ewan:

    While on the subject, you know who hasn’t been here to stand up for Melody yet? Ron Lindsay. She has been well and truly hung out to dry. And it’s a damn shame for the exact reasons you give above.

    Holy fuck, so much this.

    Ron Lindsay’s conception of “the movement” is disgusting, absolutely disgusting, and as a result of it I want nothing to do with CFI.

    And this too.

    Not being meatspace associates or even online correspondents with any of the bigwigs, I don’t give a flying fuck about being “charitable” toward them. They’re defending people who hate me and other women because we’re women who won’t be subservient to them. End of story.

  266. Beatrice says

    Why? If I start a Canadian Chess club, am I expected to persuade all Canadians to take up chess, or am I required to persuade all chess players to immigrate to Canada?

    Personally, I believe you should be more inclusive of people who are neither Canadian nor play chess. Aren’t we people too?

  267. Rodney Nelson says

    Earlier today I posted the following on the CFI blog in response to Lindsay’s post:

    Ron Lindsay is annoyed that some secular people are misogynists. He’s so annoyed that he’s cast them out of the secular movement, cursed to wander the outer darkness. Problem all fixed, now he can go back to promoting separation of church and state.

    But against all expectations, these misogynists haven’t shut up. They’re still screeching their rape threats and “bitches ain’t shit” and other sexist remarks. Haven’t they got the word? Ron has expelled them from the secular movement! That should have properly dealt with them. Perhaps they’re not paying attention.

    Some of the misogynists’ targets have decided to establish their own organization, one called Atheism+. Oh noes! That’s not only divisive, it might take money and participation away from the properly constituted Secular Organizations™. What will Ron do? He’ll publish a manifesto that he supports women’s rights. Remember Ron removed all misogynists from the secular movement. So there’s no need for Atheism+. Ron will defend women’s rights by doing…well…not a lot, but he’ll be doing it. After all, he did discharge all misogynists from secularism. Isn’t that enough?

    Besides, that’s not what secularism is all about. Women’s rights, GLBT rights, POC rights are all good things and Ron is in favor of them, but they’re not secularism. So until the church and state separation thing is dealt with, all that social justice stuff will have to wait until Ron can turn his attention to it. Besides, Ron tossed out all misogynists from the secular movement. What more could he do?

  268. says

    Hmm seems one or two people are seeing my point… Maybe Nerd is losing some ground here?

    Just some bullshit to sweep out… @Rodney Nelson

    oolon has been preaching about how the pittizens are all nice folks who love their mothers (or at least their fathers), set out a dish of milk for the pixies every night, and are perhaps a bit confused about feminism. Everyone else, especially those of us who have visited the slimepit, have a different view of them.

    Nope – total reading comprehension fail. I’ve said clearly the extremes are extreme and unpleasant. But even over there they have lurkers who never post – how PZ or anyone here can *know* they are misogynists when they never even post is beyond me.

    In fact Blackford is a good example of an enabler mentioned in the OP – who Ophelia Benson clearly states is not a misogynist in her opinion. I’m obviously no expert but does he get special treatment because he is famous(ish?)…

    I’m painfully aware that the ‘they’ you refer to will claim to be feminists and not supportive of death or rape threats as characterised here. It seems hyperbolic and unnecessary to tar them all as supporters of MRAs/death/rape/hate etc when some but not all are sexist assholes. Most will say their primary mission is to take the piss out of FtBs by any means.

    As far as repudiation goes I add my vote to Sally’s call to repudiate Thunderf00t, Justin Vacula and Hoggle. They say and do some pretty nasty things. TFs keeping the threat on his blog to Sally and not even criticising it is one of the shittiest things I’ve seen in this ‘war’ – he even lets someone impersonate him and prop up the invective.

  269. Rodney Nelson says

    only I have friends who aren’t fuckbats.

    If you follow oolon’s advice you can have some.

  270. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Maybe Nerd is losing some ground here?

    Delusional thinking on your part. Typical.

    Why aren’t you berating the PIT? Oh, it isn’t worth you time, but we are?

    Why do I keep getting the feeling you are trying to pull Pharyngulites over to the PIT so they can be abused? Oh, call it experience…

  271. says

    And it’s not just that we can’t effectively “me too” the work of other organizations working on social justice issues; we at CFI don’t want to. We are not primarily LGBT advocates, women’s rights advocates, or healthcare advocates. We are advocates for a secular society, one of the fruits of which, we firmly believe, will be a society with rational, evidence-based policies and much less religion-fueled prejudice. We also believe our work on this objective takes priority over other social justice objectives, however worthy they may be.

    This is so bogus. There’s no choice between changing the entire primary mandate of your organization and ignoring or condoning the vicious bullying of people within your own movement. CFI’s already made efforts to address social justice, and beyond that simply issuing a statement to the effect that the organization unequivocally condemns and will not tolerate in its forums the campaigns of harassment, threats, slurs and other hostile behavior towards women and those who’ve spoken out against misogyny in the movement. Organizations do this and more all of the time, without having to be asked or pressured to, and it’s absurd to suggest that publicly and officially standing up for equality and decency, especially in your own movement, would somehow be out of line for an organization like CFI. It should be expected.

  272. Beatrice says

    Oooooh, lurkers in the pit are possibly not misogynists. And some lurkers on Pharnygula are probably Catholics. Wait, I forgot what was the point of this.

    Anway.

    Most will say their primary mission is to take the piss out of FtBs by any means.

    When any means include rape jokes that makes their acts misogynistic. When any means include homophobia, that makes them homophobes. Etc.

    Oolon, shouldn’t you be busy educating slimepitters lurkers in the pit? Off you go. There will be a cookie waiting when you bring us a decent human being from there. Take your time. Bye.

  273. says

    Why? If I start a Canadian Chess club, am I expected to persuade all Canadians to take up chess, or am I required to persuade all chess players to immigrate to Canada?

    Well, chess is inherently divisive, what with having opposing players using pieces of different colors, working against each other.
    Perhaps you should promote a new version of the game where both players play white and sit on the same side of the board, allowing both of them to MOVE FORWARD.

  274. Beatrice says

    I’m sure there was a point somewhere in that part about lurkers on pharyngula, but I can’t remember it.

    Too late for me.

  275. John Phillips, FCD says

    oolon, you’re not making any sense. If they’re just lurking over there, we don’t even know they exist. We over here are talking about anybody who participates and while not all of those who do participate there might be ‘directly’ misogynistic, they are enabling it through their participation. Again, much in the same way that we say that moderate believers enable the extremists without actually being extremists themselves. If someone is so pissed off at ftb or skepchick that they are prepared to hang out at a site that was created to be a misogynistic den just to ‘poke’ PZ, Rebecca et al in the eye, then as far as I am concerned they are not people I consider worth bothering with.

  276. Ichthyic says

    Oolon, shouldn’t you be busy educating slimepitters lurkers in the pit?

    Oolon, shouldn’t you be also busy educating the HOST of the pit as to why they should be educating the slimepitters?

    yeah…

  277. Brownian says

    Hmm seems one or two people are seeing my point… Maybe Nerd is losing some ground here?

    I thought you didn’t like argumentum ad populum?

    Rodney Nelson @319:

    +1.

  278. Ichthyic says

    Well, chess is inherently divisive, what with having opposing players using pieces of different colors, working against each other.

    that’s just the kind of black and white thinking we’re trying to avoid here!

    ;P

  279. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and Oolon, the ones agreeing with you are newbies, not the regulars.

  280. Gregory Greenwood says

    sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d @ 307;

    However, the point I was trying to make is that people seem to have believed that atheists are cool, rational, decent and tolerant human beings and then found out that not all of them are, which raises the question: which is more important, the atheism or the qualities covered by the +? If it is decency and humanityand so on then there are other organisations concerned with them, and is Atheism+ necessary? If the atheism is the more important aspect then it is necessary to persuade the sexist/racist/arrogant…- I won’t list all the negative qualities we’ve seen- atheists to change their behaviour and we’ve got to put up with them and try to persuade them- or, more probably people who might be attracted to them- to behave better, so is Atheism+ necessary in that case?

    Why shouldn’t atheists have an organisation that pursues social justice issues specifically from an atheist standpoint? The fact that other social justice activism groups exist is no reason not to create another voice to contribute to these important causes.

    I would further contend that, for many atheists interested in progressive politics and social justice issues, their atheism and their progressivism are not completely separate things walled off from one another – the fact that they are atheists inevitably contributes to their perspective on society, and so to their stance on how a truly just and equitable society should be organised. As an example, an atheist who is fully aware of the holes in the faithist claims that religion is somehow a social good even though it is demonstrably factually untrue, may well see that tackling the unearned privilege of religion in society is an essential step in improving the lot of marginalised groups.

    That religion is intimately linked to many different stripes of social injustices can be seen in such things as the primarily religiously motivated Republican war on women with regard to access to abortion services, contraception and other essential healthcare, as part of their assault on the very concept of female bodily autonomy, and religion’s role in facilitating homophobic laws such as the obstruction of marriage equality is also well documented.

    These are but two of many such examples of religion directly functioning to the detriment of society. Those atheists interested in social justice can see this problem, and we are (unlike many other social justice activism groups) prepared to do that which to many is utterly unthinkable, especially in the current political climate in the US; speak the political heresy that religion – and specifically christianity, not just faiths like islam that are already used as punching bags by xenophobes – is not some unalloyed social good. That religion lies at the very heart of many of the problems facing modern day America, since it operates as a means to keep the downtrodden oppressed, and cement the privilege of the already empowered, by garnishing a fundamentally inequitable system with the the toxic, false morality of piety that dismisses the GLBTQ community as ‘abominations’.

    That is always there to tell women that they should remember their ‘proper place’ of obedience to the men that christianity mandates to control their lives.

    That tells the less fortunate that their relative poverty and lack of social mobility is a product of simply not working and/or praying hard enough, and not a consequence of a society that is fundamentally unfair, and a system that is rigged to keep the 1% incredibly wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

    Most other social justice movements dare not say this too loudly (if at all), lest they be painted as atheistic – which is pretty much the worst thing somone can be accused of being under the current American political system. Atheism+, however, doesn’t have that problem. We start out already marked as godless, and so have nothing to lose by pointing out that the very thing that is cast as the wellspring of altruism is actually the prime tool of discrimination.

    So I must disagree with you; atheism+ is important both in terms of keeping atheism relevant to society beyond simply pointing out that the idea of a sky fairy is ridiculous, and also in providing a valuable voice in the struggle for social justice that is not afraid to speak those truths about the links between society’s problems and unexamined religious privilege that many others find unpalatable .

  281. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Ewan, good point. i really think a lot is going to depend on how Ron reacts to everything that’s come up. i really hope it’s in a positive way, because ig think he has the potential to do a lot of good.
    also, on thing s relating to sling Pitt, it’s entirely possible there are people who lurk there, and they say happy birthday to each other and have positive human interactions. and k can understand, from a slightly outside perspective, how saying all some puffers are bad can sound like all Horde members think with a hive mind and are PZ s echo chamber. But you know what? PZ doesn’t allow people to make death threats. PZ doesn’t allow people to make rape threats. PZ doesn’t let people break others pseudonyms. PZ doesn’t let people use racial, sexual or homophobic slurs. There is NO equivalency here.
    PZ has a Horde of commenters that will rip people to shreds, but the Wild West of Pharyngula is nothing like the slime pit.
    y y

  282. says

    And it isn’t getting better any time soon.

    Two weeks ago, I gently admonished GRADE SCHOOL kids not to hit me or my dog with rocks they were throwing around.

    One week ago, I was called “hairy-cock cunt bitch” by GRADE SCHOOL BOYS.

    I doubt very much they would speak that way to an adult man. And the misogyny is really apparent already at that age. The suburbs are the home of the Republican mega-churchy people around here. I doubt that is unrelated.

    I believe the Tea Party has a future, and I believe we can look forward to more discussions about how rape is funny or which kinds of rape don’t really count as rape.

  283. Skeptic Dude says

    Your pathetic screeches of desperation amuse me greatly. First you realized to your dismay that your bat-shit crazy uber-PC left-wing fascism does not by any means represent the movement as a whole, now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality. I relish your increasing irrevelance with the utmost glee.

    Good riddance losers!

  284. says

    Interesting, some boring attacks misrepresenting me as wanting to give the slimepitters a big hug :-) the lurker thing was pretty easy to attack so I’ll give you that.

    @Browian, duh! Argumentum ad populum – I was mocking Nerds point. I’d be surprised if anyone did agree, especially given…
    @Nerd of Redhead,

    Oh, and Oolon, the ones agreeing with you are newbies, not the regulars.

    Apparently echoes propagate better in a well matured environment.

    So I repeat the one point none of you can apparently repudiate ->
    In fact Blackford is a good example of an enabler mentioned in the OP – who Ophelia Benson clearly states is not a misogynist in her opinion. I’m obviously no expert but does he get special treatment because he is famous(ish?)…

    A bit further up the comments it was fine to tar all the slimepitters as misogynist as even those just doing nothing are ‘enabling’. Blackford is cheering along the haters but making no sexist comments himself… But not a misogynist? Shome mishtake shurely?

  285. Rey Fox says

    I’m just going to start using the word “divisive” to refer to anything that I don’t like. For example, the wifi connection in my office at the university is really divisive.

  286. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality.

    Typical MRA posturing, OPINION substituting for EVIDENCE, lies, and bullshit. Citation needed, or you fail as a truthteller…

  287. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, Oolon posted another fact free idiotic post. I see no cited evidence, I see no evidence Oonlon is egaging the Pit. Nothing but bullshit OPINION. Boring self-serving drivel.

  288. ewanmacdonald says

    I don’t know why Ophelia has a certain opinion of Russell Blackford. Presumably there’s a good reason behind it. To me, Blackford is a name I recognise, but little more than that. What does someone else’s view of him have to do with anything I’ve said, oolon? Why do I need to repudiate it? Do I hang out with Blackford against my knowledge?

  289. niam_krawt says

    Ron Lindsay’s post brings to mind an abused housewife who refuses to leave her husband, believing that staying together is best “for the children.” It is actually a bit condescending.

    Why would anyone want that kind of behavior around? Seems like it would just cause more trouble in the long run, eating away the movement from the inside like a cancer.

    As Dan Savage succinctly puts it when referring to a partner who isn’t good for you: DTMFA!

  290. says

    Hehe Nerd didn’t like my jibes :-) Evidence! Where is your fricken evidence that *all* slimepitters *are* misogynists? Extraordinary claims n all – and it is extraordinary to *know* the inner thoughts and motivations of hundreds of individuals.

    However I’ll fall for your evidence trolling… Ophelias quote:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/09/has-it-already-been-repudiated/

    I don’t think Russell is a misogynist. I’m not sure if I’ve called him one or not, but since I don’t think he is one, I’ll guess that I haven’t. But I disagree that he has, as Ron says, condemned them (“them” being hateful comments to women). He hasn’t.

    Slimepit engagement: http://www.oolon.co.uk/?p=8 (I’m a newbie so only just recently sufficiently inspired to blog about *some* of the slimepitters nutty attitudes – also setting up domain mapped multisite on WordPress is frustratingly hard!)

    Or look on the slimepit – been tackling them on Rebeccas apparent lies about harassment. About how *everyone* who disagrees in this ‘echo chamber’ will be denounced and banned… (Denounced maybe, banned… Not yet!)

    So screw you Nerd, I’m going to bed… [Cartman flounce]

  291. says

    sling Pitt

    :)

    ***

    I’m truly stunned by the arrogance in these sorts of arguments. “It’s not our organization’s job to address these alleged problems, and we don’t want to, anyway. But those who do want to address them shouldn’t do so on their own because they might divert attention and money from us and make us look bad.” Hey, guess what? Tough shit. I’m amazed that you’d think I care how my activism and support affects organizations that aren’t interested in standing with me.

  292. says

    First you realized to your dismay that your bat-shit crazy uber-PC left-wing fascism does not by any means represent the movement as a whole, now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality.

    Ah, good. Always nice to hear from the self-proclaimed “skeptic dudes” who can’t be arsed to explain what’s crazy about our viewpoint, can’t be arsed to look up “fascism,” think our goal is to “represent the movement as a whole,” make the argumentum ad populum mistake, ignore the fact that conventions, conferences (and workplaces) routinely implement harassment policies, and confuse having a “siege mentality” with defending ourselves against those brilliant minds who call us cunts and manginas for daring to think rape threats are over the line.
    Other than all that, though, you’re on a righteous roll there.

  293. says

    oolon:

    But even over there they have lurkers who never post – how PZ or anyone here can *know* they are misogynists when they never even post is beyond me.

    Uhm, because they bother trying to understand what the slympitters are trying to get at?

    Let’s try a little thought experiment.

    Let’s say you had a group of friends. This group of friends had one or two (we’ll call them Alpha) that called everyone darker skinned than them niggers. Let’s say they even go so far as to call those with moderately-dark skin and facial hair sand niggers. What would you do?

    Now, it’s only the Alphas that are using the terribly offensive language. But the other friends defend the Alphas. “Oh, they’re just kidding,” they say. “They don’t mean it.”

    But the Alphas persist. “Fuckin’ Jesse Jackson? He’s such a fuckin’ nigger,” they say.

    What would you say about the hangers-on? Are they good folks? Even if they don’t call out the blatant and fucking offensive racism?

    Seriously. You’re making up fucking excuses for people who tolerate something fucking despicable and inexcusable. And your being fucking disingenuous about it. Whether it’s a group that gets away with calling Jen a cunt, or a group that gets away with calling Obama a nigger, it’s all the same thing: people allowing another group to get away with abhorrent behavior.

    And here you are, attempting to excuse it.

    So excuse the fuck out of me if I just don’t lick your ass at the mere suggestion that folks who tolerate that kind of abhorrent behavior might not be despicable themselves.

    Because I just can’t tolerate that.

    Not one bit.

  294. says

    Skeptic Dude:

    Your pathetic screeches of desperation amuse me greatly.

    So. You’re starting off your comment like a poorly-written fan-fic of Twilight. This should be good.

    First you realized to your dismay that your bat-shit crazy uber-PC left-wing fascism does not by any means represent the movement as a whole, now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality. I relish your increasing irrevelance with the utmost glee.

    Ahh, fuck. It’s even worse than 50 Shades of Gray.

    Sad nigel

  295. says

    Oolon: I’m really getting tired of your crowing about dancing with assholes. Stop now. Not interested. If you continue, I’ll happily make their prediction that anyone who plays in the slimepit gets banned come true. I don’t care what you do on your free time, but if you continue to drag slime on to my nice clean floor, I’m going to refuse to put up with it any further.

  296. vaiyt says

    Your pathetic screeches of desperation amuse me greatly.

    It’s difficult to take your claims seriously when you deliberately try to look like a sack of clichés.

    First you realized to your dismay that your bat-shit crazy uber-PC left-wing fascism does not by any means represent the movement as a whole, now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality. I relish your increasing irrevelance with the utmost glee.

    Good riddance losers!

    Yet another good example of slimepit love! Don’t you just see how they’re nice guys slightly upset at our rudeness?

  297. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    I have nothing new to add except that now that I’m home and can actually read my phone-posts, Google’s word recognition leaves much to be desired.

    Sling Pitt! Ha!

    Good night, all! :)

  298. Brownian says

    But the core proposition that Women should be equal is accepted as far as I can see. (/blockquote>

    Well, someone like you must have few glimmers of light in your pathetic world.

    Hey, does calling yourself ‘skeptic dude’ work among the people you normally associate with? Does that earn you high fives? It’s kinda like logging into a forum as ‘blackbelt402′. Do the rubes actually fall for that shit?

    I mean really, you have to be aware of what a fucking pathetic try-hard you are. Because if you’re not, I can assure you everyone else is.

  299. A. Noyd says

    sc_[numberspam] (#307)

    If the atheism is the more important aspect then it is necessary to persuade the sexist/racist/arrogant…atheists to change their behaviour and we’ve got to put up with them and try to persuade them…to behave better, so is Atheism+ necessary in that case?

    Your question demonstrates the need for Atheism+. Somehow it’s escaped you that women, GSM* folks, people of color, low income folks, etc. are atheists, too—atheists who are made to feel unwelcome in the movement (such as it is) because of the prevailing climate of bigotry, hostility, unwillingness to recognize privilege, selectively applied hyper-skepticism, and so on. It’s because atheism is important that we should strive to eradicate the barriers preventing such people from comfortably identifying with us. That we should tear from ourselves the habits and behaviors that makes them resent us when we presume to identify with them. That we should not keep trying to accommodate the ones misbehaving or assuming the label of “atheist” more rightfully belongs to the ill-behaved rather than the targets of their behavior.

    ………
    *Gender and Sexual Minorities

  300. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#318)

    It seems hyperbolic and unnecessary to tar them all as supporters of MRAs/death/rape/hate etc when some but not all are sexist assholes. Most will say their primary mission is to take the piss out of FtBs by any means.

    That “any means” is the problem. It’s not like these supposedly non-misogynist pitizens have only the two options of supporting FtB or going to the slimepit. They could choose to make their own bigotry-free FtB-depissifying forum/site/blog/whatever. They don’t. You’re just too stupid to see that failure for what it is.

    And you still can’t seem to acknowledge that the reason the slimepit exists at all is to support and perpetuate bigotry. When they claim they’re merely critics of FtB and Skepchick, they’re fooling themselves. Apparently they’re fooling you too.

  301. says

    PZ wrote:

    They rally on youtube, where the dumbest commenters on the internet congregate

    Up until a couple of weeks ago I would probably have simply bowed my head and accepted this but that was until I ended up getting drawn into this place.
    The level of interation I have managed to draw out of people on FtB has largely been nothing short of shocking. At least YT has a 500 character limit as an excuse to hide behind but my experiences here have shocked me and when I vlogged about it on YT it shocked a great many others.
    Unless arm-waving and histrionics passes as considered conjecture around here I seriously think PZ needs to take a look at his own glass house prior to throwing the next stone over in YouTube’s direction.

    Jim (noelplum99 – dumb YT commenter)

  302. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Apparently they’re fooling you too.

    Gee, Oolon being fooled by liars and bullshitters? Par for the course with accommodationists. Gullible.

  303. Brownian says

    The level of interation I have managed to draw out of people on FtB has largely been nothing short of shocking

    Sorry to hear that. Do you need someone to call you an ambulance?

    Unless arm-waving and histrionics passes as considered conjecture around here I seriously think PZ needs to take a look at his own glass house prior to throwing the next stone over in YouTube’s direction.

    It’s okay to admit to yourself that you have nothing of value to say. It’s okay to realise that you’re insignificant and redundant.

    Maybe you’re good at gymnastics or something. Go give that a try.

  304. says

    Brownian @355

    Sorry to hear that. Do you need someone to call you an ambulance?

    I’ve been called a lot worse.

    It’s okay to admit to yourself that you have nothing of value to say. It’s okay to realise that you’re insignificant and redundant.

    When I made the comment above you were just the kind of prick I was referring to. You are as bad as anything on YouTube. If you look at most of the threads I have posted in (try this one http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/08/30/atheism-plus-and-some-thoughts-on-divisiveness/ ) you will see a number of commenters ON YOUR SIDE bemoaning the fact that when someone comes along to make some points and debate the issues all you manage to do is keep trolling away (such as julians response at comment #59 on the blog above).

    I have been unequivocal about it. The trolls on ‘my side’ who just sling mud and present no arguments do ‘my side’ no favours whatsoever (especially when they engage in threatening and hate filled rhetoric). So you keep doing what you are doing brownian, as you did in the last thread we came across each other, because you do ‘your side’ no favours either.

    Jim (noelplum99)

  305. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Jim (noelplum)—
    No one is fooled by you. Your tone concern is ridiculous. Fuck off and die. And do us the favor of not doing it here.

  306. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So you keep doing what you are doing brownian, as you did in the last thread we came across each other, because you do ‘your side’ no favours either.

    And your post does you no favors either. People who claim to try to discuss “issues” about elevatorgate and the like think their OPINION is evidence, which it isn’t. Evidence is found places like here. And we treat sheer OPINION with all the skepticism it deserves. Funny how the MRAs don’t like the same skepticism they show to anything a womenz says used against them. Makes them very irate and irrational.

  307. says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @358

    I am not an MRA (in a recent video I was critical of them, in fact) and I have never discussed elevatorgate. What are you talking about?

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @357

    Jim (noelplum)—
    No one is fooled by you. Your tone concern is ridiculous. Fuck off and die. And do us the favor of not doing it here.

    Is this your insightful response into how the level of exchange is so much better here than on YouTube?

    Jim (noelplum99)

    PS: I DO plan on dying – but not just yet.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What are you talking about?

    What are you talking about? You are so unclear, we don’t have any idea.

  309. vaiyt says

    @noelplum99:

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that anyone here gives a shit about your opinion.

  310. Brownian says

    I’ve been called a lot worse.

    Such as illiterate? Because I didn’t fucking call you anything.

    You are as bad as anything on YouTube.

    Am I? Have I threatened to rape you? To beat you to death?

    Because that happens on YouTube.

    Here’s the thing, noelplum99:

    Other skeptics, the ones on the other side of the wall, have happily joked that it would not be a crime to rape a skepchick just because they’re so fucking annoying. Now, if both sides are just as bad, then the skeptics’ community as a whole is filled with pieces of shit who aren’t fit to lick the average Catholic’s asshole. If that’s the case, then the best thing for the world would be to wander into a skeptics’ conference with a cracked Louisville Slugger with a spike through it and start swinging.

    So how about we lay off the fucking hyperbole about how you’re shocked, shocked I say, that skeptics don’t shit rainbows.

    “Not doing your side any favors.”

    My side isn’t asking false equivalizing wanks like you for advice.

  311. consciousness razor says

    Sorry to hear that. Do you need someone to call you an ambulance?

    I’ve been called a lot worse.

    That’s not calling you anything.

    I have been unequivocal about it. The trolls on ‘my side’ who just sling mud and present no arguments do ‘my side’ no favours whatsoever (especially when they engage in threatening and hate filled rhetoric)

    What “side” are you talking about? What’s the issue?

    Is this your insightful response into how the level of exchange is so much better here than on YouTube?

    Is this about YouTube? Dictionary atheism? What?

  312. says

    Nerd of redhead wrote:

    Oh, and Jim, you were verbatim what a typical MRA complains about.

    My dealings on this forum have largely been concerning atheism+ issues. I would suggest to you that my complaints are similar to the MRA’s because the attitude towards alternative viewpoints expressed on FtB is independent of the issues.

    Could I ask you to watch a 30 second video (not one of mine)?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3uK87oR2Fc

    Maybe you guys have gotten so used to trolls you just respiond in a knee jerk fashion nowadays. I don’t know. I’d very much like to give this place the benefit of the doubt but I just know that if I try and prop up a crap argument on YT it doesn’t take long before someone tries and dismantles whatever I have to say, which is good. Here, all I have gotten is ad hominems and questions as to my motives (as if that was at all relevant). I just fail to see how that is superior, that is all.

  313. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I would suggest to you that my complaints are similar to the MRA’s because the attitude towards alternative viewpoints expressed on FtB is independent of the issues.

    Gee, still sounding like an MRA.

    Could I ask you to watch a 30 second video (not one of mine)?

    Nope, I don’t watch videos of conceited people.

    Here, all I have gotten is ad hominems and questions as to my motives (as if that was at all relevant).

    Gee, still no EVIDENCE presented by you. OPINION is not evidence. If you have something you wish to discuss, it is simple to do. Simply say “This is way I think, and this (link to evidence) is the evidence to support it”. Folks who talk like you and complain like you are heavy on OPINION, and short on evidence.

  314. cazfans says

    NoelPlum99, go read for comprehension the latest two posts on the Crommunist Manisfesto. Maybe you can be taught.

  315. A. Noyd says

    noelplum99 (#359)

    Is this your insightful response into how the level of exchange is so much better here than on YouTube?

    The thing you don’t understand is that nobody is taking pitizens or YouTube commenters to task for their lack of civility. It’s, as PZ says in the op, about their “genuinely hateful, irrational harassment.” It’s feminist bloggers being “threatened and hated.” It’s all this “harassment and bullying.”

    If anyone ever threatened you with rape on Pharyngula, I guarantee you that everyone else would call them out. If anyone bullied you for your race, your gender, your orientation, etc., same deal. If anyone called you a mangina for defending feminism, everyone would have your back.

    Instead, you’re making excuses for the sort who issue rape threats, bully the socially disadvantaged and call men who don’t join them in their bigotry manginas. Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re not “really” on their side. So you say. But when you equate so unequivocally what isn’t equivalent, you end up defending the indefensible. People here are always going to explain in trenchant detail just what a fucking idiot you are for that. And you’ll deserve it.

  316. says

    Brownian @363

    Am I? Have I threatened to rape you? To beat you to death?
    Because that happens on YouTube.

    It has happened to me on YT. Whether you threaten to beat me to death or use some other means of replying to me (such as telling me my views are worthless, that noone gives a shit about me or that i should fuck off and die as I have had in the last 15 mins) without actually addressing my points makes no odds. It is all the same level of non-debate.

    Here’s the thing, noelplum99:

    Other skeptics, the ones on the other side of the wall, have happily joked that it would not be a crime to rape a skepchick just because they’re so fucking annoying.

    I agree this is bad. Could I ask you to watch just a small section of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_M7w5xmtZU Juyst watch 9mins 16 secs to 11min 26 secs and then let me know if I could be any clearer in condemning such things.

    Jim (noelplum99)

  317. consciousness razor says

    That video was a fucking waste of 30 seconds. Just link directly to the stuff that demonstrates FTB is an “echo chamber.” Unless the point was advertising for some dude’s YT channel.

    My dealings on this forum have largely been concerning atheism+ issues.

    So you can’t say much about what FTB is like in general, can you?

    Here, all I have gotten is ad hominems and questions as to my motives (as if that was at all relevant). I just fail to see how that is superior, that is all.

    Let’s suppose that’s accurate. It would be about some commenters responding to some things you’ve said recently. Does that say anything about FTB itself or in general?

  318. Brownian says

    I just fail to see how that is superior, that is all.

    Haven’t you read the thread? When women complain about sexism in the community, they’re told it’s no worse than anywhere else. When slymepitters show up here, they sling tu quoques and run away. There’s no ‘superior’ here. It’s a race to the bottom, with Franc Hoggle’s bloated corpse as a landing pad.

    There’s nothing superior about skeptics. They’re as fucking stupid as any creationist when it comes to self-reflection.

    I’m just here to make sure the shit stays swirled, is all. And i fucking tell you this, and you write it down as a fucking prophecy: if I wasn’t here calling you people fuckwits and telling you to go fuck yourselves, you’d be claiming that the politest of women saying “Guys, don’t do that” were rabid feminazi castrating cunts.

    Ha-ha, what am I saying, ‘prophecy’ for? That already happened.

  319. says

    A Noyd @369

    The thing you don’t understand is that nobody is taking pitizens or YouTube commenters to task for their lack of civility. It’s, as PZ says in the op, about their “genuinely hateful, irrational harassment.” It’s feminist bloggers being “threatened and hated.” It’s all this “harassment and bullying.”

    All I can do is ask you to view the video segment I just linked to Brownian and tell me if there is anything else I could or should have said on the issue?

    Meanwhile I will be here fucking off and dying as your lovely Josh has requested.
    Jim (noelplum99)

  320. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    then let me know if I could be any clearer in condemning such things.

    Why bother? Videos aren’t my thing. Why can’t you just say “this is what I think, and this is the (link to evidence) evidence to back it up”. Usually it means you think OPINION is evidence. It never is scientific evidence.

  321. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and Joe, a signature is an affectation of an egotistical fool. We know who you are from the nym in the header.

  322. Brownian says

    It has happened to me on YT. Whether you threaten to beat me to death or use some other means of replying to me (such as telling me my views are worthless, that noone gives a shit about me or that i should fuck off and die as I have had in the last 15 mins) without actually addressing my points makes no odds. It is all the same level of non-debate.

    That’s a load of absolute shit.

    I agree this is bad.

    No, you fucking just claimed it’s all one of a same, whether it’s someone threatening to rape you or someone saying they’re simply not going to watch your video, as Nerd did.

    “All the same level of non-debate.”

    I’m done talking to you, which in your brain is the same as threatening to beat you, hold you down, and force you to have sex with me.

    Feel free to call the cops on me, I guess.

  323. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, and Joe, a signature is an affectation of an egotistical fool. We know who you are from the nym in the header.

    Thank you. It’s like that blowhard David Klaus over at Stephanie’s with his “Ms. Zvan,” and “Mr. Lindsay” bullshit, along with twee constructions such as “on which I . . .” and consciously archaic terms such as “Weblog.”

  324. A. Noyd says

    noelplum99 (#370)

    All I can do is ask you to view the video segment I just linked to Brownian and tell me if there is anything else I could or should have said on the issue?

    No. You don’t get cookies for condemning the vile bastards on that side when you’re repeatedly asserting that what they do is just as bad as what people on this side get up to.

  325. Brownian says

    I can’t recall a time when I have been so misconstrued and misrepresented. i will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they did it deliberately (rather than question their intellects)

    That’s the benefit of the doubt? “it couldn’t possibly be an error in communication, so I’ll just assume they’re liars.”

    Jim, you’re an idiot.

    Also, people: what the fuck is it with these fucking videos? I mean, I can understand the need to make one if you’re the product of sibling parents like that fucking racist slug Thunderf00t, but the rest of us learned to fucking read for a fucking reason.

    Christ, if I could have one wish, it would be to beat half the world to death with the other half.

  326. says

    consciousness razor @371

    Let’s suppose that’s accurate. It would be about some commenters responding to some things you’ve said recently. Does that say anything about FTB itself or in general?

    No it doesn’t. I freely admit I haven’t read every single comment left on FtB, i have just given you my experiences.

    So what is your point here? Has the illustrious PZ read the comments section of the entirety of YouTube? Is he condemning Yt as having the worst commenters on the internet after reading the, literally, millions of videos posted every week on that platform? Or is he, like me, going on his own experiences there.

    Don’t bother answering, we know he is in the same epistemic position i am.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @374

    Why bother? Videos aren’t my thing. Why can’t you just say “this is what I think, and this is the (link to evidence) evidence to back it up”.

    You have simply got to be trolling me. Really, if this was a serious response you need help.
    So what you think I should do is:
    1) Say what i think
    2) Link to some evidence to demonstrate that.

    And what did i do?
    1) I said to brownian I agree this is bad. so you KNOW WHAT I THINK
    2) I linked to some EVIDENCE to demonstrate that this is not only what I think but that i am actually attempting to do what little I can to rectify the situation at source.

    You are either trolling me or you …. not going to go there, assume this is just trolling.

    I think I have made my point here and anyone reading this exchange can make their own conclusions on the back of what i have written and what you folks have written. It is nearly 4am here so bed for me.
    Jim (noelplum99)

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    2) I linked to some EVIDENCE

    You-Tube video isn’t evidence. Any intelligent person knows that. What is your excuse for abject stupidity?

  328. consciousness razor says

    So what is your point here?

    That you haven’t said a single fucking useful thing in this thread.

  329. A. Noyd says

    noelplum99 (#381)

    And what did i do?
    1) I said to brownian I agree this is bad. so you KNOW WHAT I THINK
    2) I linked to some EVIDENCE to demonstrate that this is…what I think…

    Aaaahahahah. Holy shit, you’re a moron. You don’t need to provide evidence that what you think really is what you think. You need to provide evidence that what you think accurately represents reality. Like, y’know, that calling the opinions of creepy apologists for misogyny worthless is as bad as sending rape threats to feminist bloggers.

  330. says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @382

    You-Tube video isn’t evidence. Any intelligent person knows that. What is your excuse for abject stupidity?

    I will take your advice on abject stupidity since you have clearly majored in it.

    You are telling me that a video in which I appear on camera and denounce hateful threatening online comments is not evidence that I denounce threatening online comments.

    This THIS is why FtB leads the way in total fucktards.

    Bed this time. Hope if I have nightmares the bad guys present a bit more of a fucking challenge.

  331. says

    Geez, man, why do you always have to post this kind of stuff when I’m asleep? Having to read 400 comments in the morning seriously interferes with my productivity…

    Raven’s “internet the best thing that happened to trolls since bridges” is hilarious.

    I agree in particular with two things said here, one, I wouldn’t walk into or participate in my local atheist group/organisation if you paid me, and two, hasn’t it ever been revealing in the last few months how fucked in the head, irrational and anything but skepticsl a lot of self-proclaimed skeptics actually are.

  332. vaiyt says

    I would suggest to you that my complaints are similar to the MRA’s because the attitude towards alternative viewpoints expressed on FtB is independent of the issues.

    When the “alternative viewpoints” consist on either “bitchez ain’t shit” or “why are you so meeeeeeeeean”, repeated ad nauseam…

    Whether you threaten to beat me to death or use some other means of replying to me (such as telling me my views are worthless, that noone gives a shit about me or that i should fuck off and die as I have had in the last 15 mins) without actually addressing my points makes no odds. It is all the same level of non-debate.

    Your point consists of evidenceless hand-wringing about how we’re so meeeeeeeeean that it somehow makes us just as bad as YouTube. As if the problem with YouTube was the tone of the comments, and not the almost free rein given to bigots and douchebags of all stripes.

    Put this through your thick skull: we like to be mean.

  333. says

    A. Noyd
    Shit , this really is my last post, shoot me if i post again!

    Like, y’know, that calling the opinions of creepy apologists for misogyny worthless is as bad as sending rape threats to feminist bloggers.

    Firstly, why do you assert I am a ‘creepy apologist for misogyny’?

    Secondly, as I stated in my video, the cumulative effect of threatening comments adds up and, realistically, can present a real threat in someones mind. So one threat to avoid addressing an issue is indistinguishable for any other method. Multiple hateful threats of the threatening kind IS worse and i accept that.
    But this is not the issue. the issue is whether YouTube is worse that FtB, not whether rape threats are worse than x, y or z. The kinds of threats you talk of have been made here and elsewhere, they are not solely a YouTube phenomenon in the way that PZ states ‘they rally on YT’. That is just bullshit.

    PS: i know I am a wanker, I said i was going and here I am replying again. Spare me the insults, i can throw more at myself than you sods can and i do it in person.

    Night,
    Jim (noelplum99)

  334. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This THIS is why FtB leads the way in total fucktards.

    Your OPINION in the video is irrelevant and not evidence. That is why your are an abject idiot. It is meaningless. Evidence is from Google Scholar. You know, the papers academics generate.

  335. Rodney Nelson says

    I have watched noeljim’s video. He’s against rape threats, etc. and thinks the people who make them are “bastards.” He even grants that Greta might need a safe haven from all the crap she’s been getting. But the rest of us are “fragile flowers” who shouldn’t worry our pointy little heads about nonsense like a year’s worth of misogynist rants from bullies.

    noeljim is not actually an MRA. He’s just against mixing atheism with anything else. He wants his atheism to remain pure and unsullied by such inconsequentialities as social justice. Atheism is disbelief in gods. End of discussion. Keep your damn social justice bullshit away from his atheism. That’ll make noeljim happy.

  336. consciousness razor says

    But this is not the issue. the issue is whether YouTube is worse that FtB,

    “Waah! Leave YouTube alone!”

    not whether rape threats are worse than x, y or z.

    No, that certainly is a pretty big fucking issue.

    The kinds of threats you talk of have been made here and elsewhere

    Citation? When threats occur here, what do you think happens?

  337. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    noelplum99 wrote:

    Firstly, why do you assert I am a ‘creepy apologist for misogyny’?

    Because you come here and play the bullshit false equivalence card of ‘both sides are just as bad as each other’ since, apparently, you seem to think that (for example) someone on our side calling you a fucking useless piece of shit is just as bad as someone telling Rebecca Watson she deserves to get raped.

    These two things are not equivalent. If you can’t grasp that, then stop fucking coming here, because you’re never going to be welcome.

  338. says

    noelplum99:

    But this is not the issue. the issue is whether YouTube is worse that FtB, not whether rape threats are worse than x, y or z. The kinds of threats you talk of have been made here and elsewhere, they are not solely a YouTube phenomenon in the way that PZ states ‘they rally on YT’. That is just bullshit.

    It’s really great that you compare rape threats to x, y, or z. (Yeah, I give a fuck about an Oxford comma. Sue me.)

    So. What are x, y, and z? Are they, “Fuck off and die?” ‘Cause that’s exactly like a rape threat, ain’t it?

    Or is it, “You are a fucking douchecanoe!”? Because that, too, is just like a rape threat.

    Oh! Might it be, “Die in a fire!” Because that is also just like a rape threat!

    Or, might it be that you are fucking privilege ignorant, and you can’t tell the difference between any of those?

    Yeah. That’s what I’m betting.

  339. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Keep your damn social justice bullshit away from his atheism. That’ll make noeljim happy.

    Then why couldn’t he have said that here in clear prose? And who gives a shit that he won’t join a voluntary group he isn’t interested in, and nobody is pressuring him to join? What an idjit.

  340. Amphiox says

    Firstly, why do you assert I am a ‘creepy apologist for misogyny’?

    Because you engage in creepy apology for misogyny, you creepy apologist for misogyny.

  341. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Threats? You’re getting “threats” here?

    You bullshitting liar. I said “fuck off and die.” Which is a phrase you wankers are well-acquainted with. A threat? Stop straining everyone’s credulity. I mean, really. Honestly. You know you’d never characterize it that way if it were one of your mates saying it, or you. What the hell?

  342. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    Josh wrote:

    Oh, what an exercise in narcissism that video was.

    That’s pretty much a given, since it’s a video. It provides these entitled, whiny fuckbaskets with the delusion that they’re important because they can see themselves on the screen.

  343. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Just so, Wowbagger. They get to put on these animated histrionics, affected pseudo-dramatic intonation, hipstered-up hair. . .

    Honestly.

  344. says

    @sc_numbers: look at the top right where it says “Howdy, sc_numbers”. Hover mouse over there, click on “edit my profile”.

    My theory* on the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory: they always were fuckwads. However, they are also stupid and haven’t noticed that the internet being in their home doesn’t actually make it private. They’re perfectly used to being fuckwads in private – telling their wives, girlfriends etc to make them sammiches and shut the fuck up you fucking bitch or you’ll see the back of my hand. I mean, look at the rape and domestic violence statistics. Who do you think those rapists and bashers actually are? Elves? People who have no internet access?

    *Hey, if they can use theory as “wild-ass guess”, so can I.

  345. Ichthyic says

    shoot me if i post again!

    someday, someone is going to invent a way to punch people in the face through their computers when they say really stupid shit like Jim has throughout this thread.

    Jim:

    FTB is just as bad as YT!

    us:

    did we threaten you with rape here?

    Jim:

    No.

    us:

    Have you ever been physically threatened on YT?

    Jim:

    Yes.

    us:

    STFU, JIM.

  346. A. Noyd says

    noelplum99 (#388)

    Firstly, why do you assert I am a ‘creepy apologist for misogyny’?

    Reread post #369, especially the last paragraph.

    Secondly, as I stated in my video, the cumulative effect of threatening comments adds up and, realistically, can present a real threat in someones mind. So one threat to avoid addressing an issue is indistinguishable for any other method.

    The cumulative effect adds up? Threats can present a real threat? Really? I’d ask for evidence of whatever you’re trying to say here but I have no idea if there’s more to it than vapid redundancy. I will point out, though, that when your pet issue is based on a massive fallacy (false equivalence in this case), telling you it’s based on a massive fallacy is engaging with it. And following that up by calling you a fool for not realizing your error is not a threat.

    Multiple hateful threats of the threatening kind IS worse and i accept that.

    Worse than what? Hateful threats of the non-threatening kind? You’re a joke. But anyway, let me repeat what I said in #379: You don’t get cookies for condemning the vile bastards on that side when you’re repeatedly asserting that what they do is just as bad as what people on this side get up to.

    the issue is whether YouTube is worse that FtB, not whether rape threats are worse than x, y or z.

    The issue is that FtB isn’t even comparable to YouTube because we don’t condone rape threats here, much less make them a staple of how we disagree with people we find despicable. The issue is that “x, y and z” (like saying your “views are worthless, that noone gives a shit about [you] or that [you] should fuck off and die”) are not as bad as rape threats, but you’re trying to claim they are.

    The kinds of threats you talk of have been made here and elsewhere, they are not solely a YouTube phenomenon in the way that PZ states ‘they rally on YT’.

    Now, people making rape threats on Pharyngula is something you have to support with evidence. And PZ never stated that such threats are “solely a YouTube phenomenon.” In fact, the sentences that bracket the one you’re quoting from make it clear he’s not claiming YouTube is the only place where rape threats are made.

  347. A. Noyd says

    nigelTheBold (#393)

    Oh! Might it be, “Die in a fire!” Because that is also just like a rape threat!

    Given how noelplum99 seems to want to pretend FtB is all one thing, it’s useful to pont out that Ophelia Benson doesn’t want anyone saying “die in a fire” on her blog. But she still doesn’t think it’s as bad as an actual threat.

  348. PatrickG says

    Late to this thread, but wanted to pipe in and just say:

    Melody, you do good work. I hope the numerous comments thanking you (and Ron!) for your work while criticizing Ron’s position in that post have made it clear that the community here appreciates you and what you do!

    I felt that couldn’t be said often enough, so yeah, there’s that.

  349. says

    You don’t get cookies for condemning the vile bastards on that side when you’re repeatedly asserting that what they do is just as bad as what people on this side get up to.

    specifically, it can hardly count as condemnation to say that what they do is only as “bad” as being told to fuck off. I mean, really, how does that work? “I condemn robbery, but if you say that that’s worse than the pen-stealing I see you guys do, you’re just throwing stones in glass houses”? really?

  350. Brownian says

    This THIS is why FtB leads the way in total fucktards.

    When you go wash out your mouth with soap for your nasty incivility, Jimbo, be sure to avoid the antibacterial stuff. Overuse leads to resistance.

    Bed this time. Hope if I have nightmares the bad guys present a bit more of a fucking challenge

    If you’re really up for a challenge, try practicing what you preach for a single thread. It’s clearly harder than it looks, isn’t it?

    I hope you’re happy, Franc Hoggle. You created the environment that caused little Jimmy to turn his back on his vaunted ideals and make a liar out of his YouTube self. This is on you.

  351. Brownian says

    Jim, for your next video on civility and glass houses, could you read out the two following quotes of yours?

    I think I have made my point here and anyone reading this exchange can make their own conclusions on the back of what i have written and what you folks have written. It is nearly 4am here so bed for me.

    and then

    This THIS is why FtB leads the way in total fucktards.

    I would totally watch that again and again.

    Thanks!

  352. Brownian says

    Oh, one last question Jimmy (think of it as a challenge if you like):

    Whose side does this:

    This THIS is why FtB leads the way in total fucktards.

    do no favours for?

    I look forward to hearing you call yourself out on your next video.

    Your favorite subscriber,

    Brownian

  353. says

    oolon

    Everyone on Reddit should delete their accounts right now unless they have evidence they have tackled the misogynists on the board!

    You’re an idiot.
    Are you fucking aware of the history of the slimepit? That the whole place is centred around the idea that it’s totes fine to call women cunt and to throw every bit of nastiness you can imagine at Rebecca Watson?
    If not, you should apologize for being an ass all the time who opened his piehole to spew shit while not knowing a thing.
    If yes you’re just another idiot who defends misogynists.

    nickstancato

    It is not a giant problem in our specific movement, it is a giant problem anywhere and for anything/anyone on the internet.

    *yawn*
    Yes, it’s not like we heard that before. And it’s bullshit. A guy who calls a woman a cunt on the internet is a guy who thinks that it’s OK to call women cunts. If he doesn’t do so in meatspace it’s because he’s aware that somebody might react negatively and it might have negative consequences for him.

    coelsblog

    Returning to the OP, I’d still be interested in links to where Russell Blackford has “openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers”.

    Go to Butterfies and Wheels, Ophelia has dealt with this. If you clock on my name, there’s also two posts on my blog about where he actively tried to create one of those “evil FtB” legends. Also his repeated retweeting of the “Femistasi” bullshit.

    Stacy

    People can be mistaken. Some of them can even change. And probably people new to the conflict walk into the wrong bar every now and then.

    yeah, because the Pit has such a high fluctuation of participants who are just new on the topic and accidentially wandered into the wrong bar. And then stay for the beer and still believe that all that stuff about 11words and how good the hemp was in the olden days just doesn’t mean a thing.

    Rodney Nelson
    You’re on fire.
    Good!

    Skeptic Dude
    There was somewhere a rule that people who have “skeptic” or “thinking” in their name are neither. As you prove again.

    Josh

    Thank you. It’s like that blowhard David Klaus over at Stephanie’s with his “Ms. ZSvan,” and “Mr. Lindsay”

    Now, don’t be unfair to him ;)

  354. Ichthyic says

    I would totally watch that again and again.

    my thought, in watching Jim’s vid was this:

    Why is it that any time someone makes a youtube channel, they think their opinions suddenly carry more weight?

    heads up clueless tubers:

    it doesn’t.

  355. says

    @PZ

    Oolon: I’m really getting tired of your crowing about dancing with assholes. Stop now. Not interested. If you continue, I’ll happily make their prediction that anyone who plays in the slimepit gets banned come true. I don’t care what you do on your free time, but if you continue to drag slime on to my nice clean floor, I’m going to refuse to put up with it any further.

    You missed my flounce to bed – although I mentioned slimepitters I was wondering why Blackford is not a misogynist for engaging in the same behaviour. Nerd tempted me into providing evidence then wimped out of addressing it.

    Finally, everything I’ve said to slimepitters/FtB-nuts/TF-fans directly about their ideas has been criticism. Not because I’ve swallowed the FtB party line whole and repeat it back parrot-like (Pretty sure there is no one party line) but because those individuals have said some pretty daft things.

    The day I criticise people just because they fit some sort of label defined by others such as FtB’er or Slimepitter is the day I’ve failed to think critically, imo ;-)

    So I’ll give up… [Real flounce this time, not bed flounce]

  356. Ichthyic says

    because those individuals have said some pretty daft things

    and the host?

    what about her?

    have you chided her for creating and empowering these idiots to begin with?

    I’m betting… not.

    run along now, you still have a lot of work to do!

  357. bastionofsass says

    Skeptic Dude wrote:

    Your pathetic screeches of desperation amuse me greatly. First you realized to your dismay that your bat-shit crazy uber-PC left-wing fascism does not by any means represent the movement as a whole, now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality. I relish your increasing irrevelance with the utmost glee.

    Bwhaaaaaha! You and people like you don’t even exist in the “movement.” You’ve all been “repudiated”–stricken from the rolls, exiled, (dare I say) expelled, removed, kicked out–from the “movement.” CFI’s Ron Lindsay said so. Didn’t you hear?

    If you have a problem with being a nonentity in the “movement,” you should take that up with Lindsay.

  358. bastionofsass says

    Your pathetic screeches of desperation amuse me greatly. First you realized to your dismay that your bat-shit crazy uber-PC left-wing fascism does not by any means represent the movement as a whole, now you’ve realized that you in fact far outnumbered and have resorted to a pitiful siege-mentality. I relish your increasing irrevelance with the utmost glee.

    Bwhaaaaaha! You and people like you don’t even exist in the “movement.” You’ve all been “repudiated”–stricken from the rolls, exiled, (dare I say) expelled, removed, kicked out–from the “movement.” CFI’s Ron Lindsay said so. Didn’t you hear?

    If you have a problem with being a nonentity in the “movement,” you should take that up with Lindsay.

  359. coelsblog says

    Giliell, Approved Straight Chorus:

    coelsblog: Returning to the OP, I’d still be interested in links to where Russell Blackford has “openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers”.

    Go to Butterfies and Wheels, Ophelia has dealt with this. If you clock on my name, there’s also two posts on my blog about where he actively tried to create one of those “evil FtB” legends. Also his repeated retweeting of the “Femistasi” bullshit.

    Thanks for your response Giliell. I’ve now read the links you pointed me at. In Ophelia’s post there are accusations such as:

    “For many weeks [Blackford] has been ranting about “FTB” many times every day on Twitter …”.

    A poster on the thread replies:

    “I follow Russell Blackford on Twitter and I hadn’t noticed this behaviour so I did a quick check and, as far as I can tell in the last eight days he has only mention FTB once in passing and it couldn’t be described as a ‘rant’.”

    There is no further evidence, no actual substance or quotes, against Blackford on that thread.

    I’ve also read your two blog articles (the two “How to create a legend” posts I presume?). The only actual quote you give regarding Blackford is his tweet (replying to Paula Kirby):

    “And nor are my female friends “chill girls” “gender traitors” “sister punishers” or (most amazingly!) “house negroes”.”

    Hmm, so far this doesn’t seem to me to add up to Blackford “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers” (unless Paul Kirby is now classed among the “haters, abusers and harassers”?). I’m happy to read further if people want to point me at more links/quotes.

  360. says

    There is no further evidence, no actual substance or quotes, against Blackford on that thread.

    You could always subscribe to his twitter feed, or read ERV’s monument, or most EG-related posts by Kazez or Stangroom for that matter. That’s the great thing about the internet, it’s all out there.
    We’ve been dealing with this shit for so long now that I’m not surprised that noone can be asked to look it all up for you.

  361. coelsblog says

    rorschach:

    I’m not surprised that noone can be asked to look it all up for you.

    However the OP was a response to a post that specifically discussed Blackford, and the OP specifically replied about Blackford, making a fairly damning accusation.

    One might expect such a thing to be accompanied by an example or two of actual evidence/quotes, backing up the claim and highlighting the behaviour being complained about. Afterall, FTBers are often quick to demand actual evidence from others.

  362. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    making a fairly damning accusation.

    Of being an accommodationist, hence enabler? This isn’t damning. Unless you have an agenda against PZ, then anything is fair in your mind.

  363. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    This isn’t damning.

    You don’t think that an accusation of “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers” is at all “damning”? Really?

    [Concise OED: “Damning”: “strongly suggestive of guilt or error”.]

  364. coelsblog says

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate.

    Coelsblog There you go. One recent example.

    Thanks for the link. Regarding Blackford it links to two tweets:

    We should condemn ALL forms of internet, and real-life, bullying. This should not be controversial.

    Kevin, you realise that the bullying I’m talking about is largely from the A+ folks? I think we’re on the same side here.

    How are either of those “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers”? He seems to my naive reading to be opposed to all bullying, hating, abusing & harassing. Yes, he is critical of FTB/A+, but in what way is that “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers”?

  365. Emrysmyrddin says

    Because of the damned false equivalence, time and time again.

    From the ‘A+ side’ = pointing out that rape threats, ‘jokes’ and belittlement equates to bullying, don’t do that

    From the ‘anti A+ side’ = ‘bitches’, ‘cunts’, ‘FtBullies’, ‘ultra-PC’, ‘would it be wrong to rape a Skepchick?’, ‘we should kick her/them/many in the cunt’, ‘hiveminds’, ‘hairy-legged feminists’

    I mean, I am constantly astounded at the difficulties that people have when trying to grasp this. The Golden Middle is not golden, is false balance, and when you’re trying to ride the seesaw like Lindsay above, the sheer weight of the uber-plus-bad on the ‘anti’ side is your real problem.

  366. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Colesblog – he’s openly siding with the abusers and harassers by saying that A+ and FtB are bullies that should be condemned in response to an FtB blogger and one of the poineers of A+ being forced out of blogging by abuse and harassment.

    Like I said, this is one example out of many. Go find more for yourself if you require more, I don’t have the time or the stomach to sift through his hate and glibness.

  367. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Colesblog,if PZ is wrong, you provide the evidence to show he is wrong, or shut the fuck up. Welcome to science, where you put up or we don’t hear from you.

  368. Emrysmyrddin says

    I’d like to know how withdrawing from the blogosphere can be classed as bullying, and all the tweets telling her that her depression is a symptom of her being an ‘attention whore’, and that she should ‘go kill herself’, is strangely, oh so strangely, overlooked.

  369. coelsblog says

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate.:

    Like I said, this is one example out of many. Go find more for yourself if you require more …

    Your example was not an example of him “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers”, it was an example of him opposing all such behaviour.

  370. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    Colesblog,if PZ is wrong, you provide the evidence to show he is wrong, or shut the fuck up.

    I honestly don’t know whether PZ is or isn’t wrong on this, I have not read or followed everything by Russell Blackford (I’ve read a few things on his blog over the years) — that is why I was, quite genuinely, asking about it.

    Welcome to science, where you put up or we don’t hear from you.

    So I, entirely fairly, ask about the evidence behind a fairly damning accusation made on a very high-profile blog, and you simply reverse the burden of proof??

  371. says

    #415: That you say you’ve been criticizing them is the only reason I haven’t banned you already. But it doesn’t matter: I don’t care to see their lies promoted here. SO STOP.

  372. Brownian says

    Oh, now I get Jim’s “I’ve been called worse” joke.

    That wasn’t weak at all. In fact, that was pretty tight.

  373. says

    The false equivalence so blatantly shows how blind people can be to their own privilege (at the very least). And then people like coelsblog show up, are given clear evidence, and don’t see how such false equivalence is a way of ‘siding with the haters’. More blindness. I knew nothing concrete about Blackford, but the few examples presented here make it obvious. There’s no way to defend this statement:

    Kevin, you realise that the bullying I’m talking about is largely from the A+ folks? I think we’re on the same side here.

    Calling people bullies for standing up to bullies is stupid and wrong. Oh, and it’s also siding with the haters.

  374. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    that is why I was, quite genuinely, asking about it.

    But yet you are too damn important/lazy that you can’t do your own legwork/research before posting drivel?

    you simply reverse the burden of proof??

    No, you make a claim against PZ, you supply the evidence…Or shut the fuck up.

  375. carlie says

    I mean, I am constantly astounded at the difficulties that people have when trying to grasp this. The Golden Middle is not golden, is false balance, and when you’re trying to ride the seesaw like Lindsay above, the sheer weight of the uber-plus-bad on the ‘anti’ side is your real problem.

    This, a million times over. “You fucking cunt, you deserve it if you get raped” and “Wow, you’re an asshole for saying that” ARE NOT EQUIVALENT. No matter how many words you use to explain that the word “asshole” makes you feel bad.

  376. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    But yet you are too damn important/lazy that you can’t do your own legwork/research before posting drivel?

    What “drivel” have I posted that I should have supported with more legwork/research?

    No, you make a claim against PZ, you supply the evidence…Or shut the fuck up.

    Sigh. I didn’t make a claim; the OP made a claim; I asked for evidence for it. For someone who said “welcome to science” you seem unacquainted with it.

  377. PatrickG says

    @ coelsblog:

    It’d be nice if you addressed the piece of evidence that directly conflicts with your stance:

    Kevin, you realise that the bullying I’m talking about is largely from the A+ folks? I think we’re on the same side here.

    largely from the A+ folks. That’s not even false equivalence. That’s a flat-out statement that A+ people bully more than their opponents.

    If that’s not picking sides and endorsing the stream of shit that’s been coming towards A+, what the fuck would count for you? Does he have to personally threaten to rape someone/kick them in the cunt before you’ll realize there’s a giant Hammer of Obvious bashing you between the eyes?

  378. coelsblog says

    carlie:

    This, a million times over. “You fucking cunt, you deserve it if you get raped” and “Wow, you’re an asshole for saying that” ARE NOT EQUIVALENT. No matter how many words you use to explain that the word “asshole” makes you feel bad.

    Two points re Blackford on this: Condemning all such things is not necessarily saying that all are equally bad. Also, a lot of people have been called “assholes” and a lot worse who have never said anything remotely along the lines of the first of your examples.

  379. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    ; I asked for evidence for it. For someone who said “welcome to science” you seem unacquainted with it.

    Your implication PZ exaggerated or lied was a claim. Why are you afraid to actually look for evidence? Afraid of what you will find? WE aren’t at your beck and call. Do your homework. And I am a working scientist, so I know what your implication meant. The same as “questions” by creobots.

  380. says

    oolon @ 48

    If you think I’m a gullible fool maybe it would pain you to know that according to the slimepit I’m a paid up FtBs shill

    It’s like I always say: if both sides are against you, you’re probably torturing puppies.

    Raven @ 137

    I doubt anyone knows. But it could be not more than 10 or 20 people or at most a few percent. How many socially and psychologically dysfunctional atheist morons are there really?

    How many do there need to be before it’s bad?

    Stacy @ 265:

    I feel the need to speak up for oolon here. I read him as cautioning against making the same mistake the ‘pitters make, and assuming the place is a monolith made up of clones who all hold the same opinions.

    I think you’re falling into what I call the tourist’s fallacy (well, I think you’re concern trolling, but someone might be falling into the tourist’s fallacy and this might help them). The ‘pit, as has been mentioned more than once in this very thread (including the comment directly above yours) and as oolon never really denied, was founded for the specific purpose of holding the opinion you say should not be attributed to them en masse. It’s not like there happen to be a handful of loud prominent people there who are hateful. It’s not even that it happened to accrete hateful people and Gresham out the rest, in which case the argument could be made that it’s worthwhile for decent people to attempt to retake it.

    oolon @ 319:

    But even over there they have lurkers who never post – how PZ or anyone here can *know* they are misogynists when they never even post is beyond me.

    If you have an explanation for why people who are disgusted by misogyny lurk at the ‘pit, do share it.

    A. Noyd @ 371:

    The thing you don’t understand is that nobody is taking pitizens or YouTube commenters to task for their lack of civility.

    Well, I can understand how someone might see “you’re making rape threats” as a charge of incivility. I mean, it’s only recently that people other than victims are starting to recognize bullying in general as anything worse than a failure of etiquette and decorum. If you’re not getting rape threats, and you’re not likely to get them, you might claim to see calling people out for them as a tone thing. Otherwise you might be forced to examine your privilege or something horrible like that.

  381. coelsblog says

    PatrickG:

    It’d be nice if you addressed the piece of evidence that directly conflicts with your stance: … That’s not even false equivalence. That’s a flat-out statement that A+ people bully more than their opponents.

    Well, no, it isn’t quite. Obviously it’s hard to interpret full context in one tweet, but that tweet was about what “I’m talking about” in a previous tweet. There can be good reasons why someone might criticise those that they basically agree with more than those who they don’t agree with at all.

    If that’s not picking sides and endorsing the stream of shit that’s been coming towards A+, what the fuck would count for you?

    Since I was directed above to his twitter feed I’ve had a look into it. Yes he is critical of FTB/A+, but for context, here are some others of his tweets: In reply to:

    I will say this: Whoever is sending threats to members of a+ are NOT my ally.

    He says:

    Exactly. Far from being my allies they are only distracting from the necessary critique of the A+ people’s (bad) IDEAS

    And:

    The enemy of my enemy is NOT necessarily my friend.

    And he explicitly denies that using words such as “c*nt” is harmless or ok:

    Right … like the word “cunt”, used as a sexist slur. As if language has no psychological impact.

    And he criticises abusers/trolls of FTB/A+:

    There’s been too much attempt just to infuriate otherwise upset people. It’s not helping at a time when what is needed is rational critique of ideologies and methods.

    And:

    Who is actually frightening in all this? The 4chan-style misogynist trolls? Maybe. Wish we could do something about them …

    He also supports some feminist positions, such as this retweet from Dawkins quoting from a BBC report:

    “The girls came wanting it” “A woman who wore a tight niqab was up for it” http://bit.ly/QWEJEL Egypt’s sexual harassment of women ‘epidemic’

    And:

    A problem with comparing feminism to the Men’s Rights Advocacy movement is that the BASIC ideas of the former are both true & important. … Whereas the BASIC ideas of the latter are dubious and at best a distraction.

    Is all of this “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers”, or is it, rather, NOT siding with them, but also being critical of FTB/A+?

  382. says

    Is all of this “openly siding with the haters and abusers and harassers”, or is it, rather, NOT siding with them, but also being critical of FTB/A+?

    As I said, read the Monument or Kazez’ blog for more examples. The problem here is that the regulars are sick and tired to go back to this shit and find examples for you from the last 15 months, when we are all aware of all the instances.
    I will say this, Russell was very civil when I spoke to him a few months ago, but he didn’t hold back when it came to FTB. But my memory of that encounter is a bit blurry, must have been the soda water.

  383. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    Your implication PZ exaggerated or lied was a claim.

    So this is your reaction to me asking for evidence of a claim? You read into it an “implication” that the claim is false, and then elevate that implication to a “claim” of mine, and then assert that I’m under more obligation to support this “implied” claim than the maker of the original claim is?

    I realise that you will disbelieve everything I say (hair-trigger presumption of bad faith being virtually de rigueur here), but at the start of this thread I genuinely had not arrived at an opinion regarding Blackford on this, being unaware of his writings on it. That is why I asked for links to evidence!

    Why are you afraid to actually look for evidence? Afraid of what you will find?

    I ask for links to evidence, and I read all the suggestions people give me, and you then accuse me of being afraid to look at evidence??? If you were actually trying to discredit Pharyngula regulars then you’d act like that.

  384. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#415)

    The day I criticise people just because they fit some sort of label defined by others such as FtB’er or Slimepitter is the day I’ve failed to think critically, imo

    I’ve yet to see you succeed in thinking critically, you smug, self-important assbag. You are still ignoring the reason the slimepit exists and the implications that has for anyone who identifies with it. A competent critical thinker does criticize people who choose to associate with a community that is centered on bigotry and abusive behavior.

  385. PatrickG says

    @ coelsblog:

    Blackford has not been as vicious and dirty in his rhetoric as some others. He has just openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers, while not engaging in the same behavior himself.

    No link, because it’s in this bloody post. PZ’s words above.

    An assertion that more than half of the bullying is coming from the A+/FTB camp (which are not the same thing!) is (1) laughable, and (2) provides cover and support to people who are doing hateful things. It minimizes the hate, reinforces inaccurate accusations against A+, and allows people to muddy the waters by talking about those awful A+ bullies instead of the vitriol directed at people both in and out of A+.

    But then, I’m curious: do you think that bullying is “largely coming” from the A+ movement?

    I’m stepping away from keyboard, but I’ll be sure to check in later.

  386. says

    A question for people using the “tarred with the same brush” device: even if you disagree that the analogy holds, do you understand why it would be stupid to say “you shouldn’t tar the entire KKK with the ‘white supremacist’ brush”?

    I mean, I’m trying to figure out exactly what variety of not-getting-it we’re looking at here.

  387. fastlane says

    Ron Lindsay, as quote by His Poopyheadedness:

    It has already been repudiated, both implicitly and explicitly, by many, if not most, of the organizations in the movement.

    Citation really fucking needed.

    Oh, and Fossilfishy@30 is going into the file for the next post of the month award.

  388. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I read all the suggestions people give me, and you then accuse me of being afraid to look at evidence??

    My complaint is that you want people to spoon feed you links rather than doing the search yourself, which implies some arrogance on your part. There is Google and other search functions you can use. Why didn’t you make use of them like anybody who doesn’t think the seach isn’t worth their time? Attitude.

  389. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    My complaint is that you want people to spoon feed you links rather than doing the search yourself, which implies some arrogance on your part.

    My question wasn’t so much based on unwillingness to search myself, but more a feeling that, if fairly damning accusations are being made about a named person on a high-profile blog (especially when in direct response to another post saying that this person has been unfairly maligned) then evidence should accompany the accusation.

    PatrickG:

    An assertion that more than half of the bullying is coming from the A+/FTB camp is …

    Which wasn’t quite his wording, which was about the bullying that he was talking about, essentially clarifying the intent of some previous tweets.

    But then, I’m curious: do you think that bullying is “largely coming” from the A+ movement?

    Me? No, I don’t. I not aware of it all or of the relative proportions, but I do get the impression that far more and far nastier bullying and harassment is being directed at FTB/A+. I do think that some (much milder) bullying is being done by some involved with FTB.

    rorschach

    … the regulars are sick and tired to go back to this shit and find examples for you …

    That’s a fair point. However, if a high-profile blog makes such accusations against Blackford and similar and does not support them with solid evidence then this is likely to be interpreted by such as Blackford as more bullying and thus as justifying his criticisms of FTB. It is clear from his twitter feed that that is how he thinks about this.

    And in such ways relations between a lot of people are fraught. I fully understand that you want nothing to do with those sending abusive, misogynistic hate mail and the like, but Blackford himself is not one of those (as FTB bloggers accept).

    If you are also happy having very hostile relations with people such as Blackford (who aren’t abusive harassing misogynists) then fine, making that sort of accusation, and not backing it up with evidence, is a good way of achieving it. Is that the aim here?

  390. Pteryxx says

    However, if a high-profile blog makes such accusations against Blackford and similar and does not support them with solid evidence then this is likely to be interpreted by such as Blackford as more bullying and thus as justifying his criticisms of FTB. It is clear from his twitter feed that that is how he thinks about this.

    …Why exactly do you think Blackford’s (loudly stated) perception of one-sided bullying is the responsibility of those calling him out for it?

  391. coelsblog says

    Pteryxx:

    …do we really need a Blackford WTF roundup?

    Yes, if you want to convince people other than FTB regulars that your attitude towards him (and the statements in the OP) are fair. FTB regulars may well be aware of everything that would be in the roundup, but a lot of people reading the OP will not be (I’m certainly not).

    Human nature being what it is, some people might conclude that Russell Blackford is being unfairly maligned, unless they are shown why the criticism is valid and fair.

  392. Pteryxx says

    Come to think of it, re-read the OP (bolds mine):

    And you single out the case of Russell Blackford as someone not deserving of the opprobrium he has received. And I actually agree; Blackford has not been as vicious and dirty in his rhetoric as some others. He has just openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers, while not engaging in the same behavior himself.

    And that’s your great big blind spot. You haven’t been the target of the same hate and abuse that others of us have; you’re willing to let Blackford off the hook, but you don’t recognize that there is a real problem here, that there are people who must be repudiated — you’re only willing to go so far and note the existence of a middle ground that really isn’t all that bad, but acknowledging and rejecting a shrieking mad colony of outright haters in your midst? Oh, no. Can’t see that. Then you’d have to say something.

    For over a year, a number of us have been the target of genuinely hateful, irrational harassment. Rebecca Watson has been subject to the worst of it, but I get lots of it too, Ophelia Benson is threatened and hated, Freethoughtblogs is a focus of scorn, and every woman who dares to speak out against the contempt with which they are treated knows exactly what I’m talking about. This really is harassment and bullying — it’s identical to the game that deranged kook Dennis Markuze plays, only this time they have friends. It is a constant, non-stop deluge of email, twitter, and youtube comments; it is people organizing petitions to get you fired; it is “jokes” about raping you; it is people posting your home address to the cheers of people planning campaigns of harassment.

    Those people. They have an organizing center called the Slymepit where every day, they leave dozens of messages about how much they hate Rebeccunt Twatson, or how badly Ophelia Benson deserves to be kicked in the cunt, or how much they hate FreeFromThoughtBlogs, or how those feminists are destroying the atheist movement. They rally on youtube, where the dumbest commenters on the internet congregate, and they swarm any video that dares to disagree with their privileged perspective. They pound on my inbox every day, dumping the same messages over and over again: they always preface them with “I am a skeptic/atheist/rationalist, but you are…” gay, a mangina, a stupid Jew, a faggot, a girly-boy, whatever sexist/racist slur strikes their feeble and unimaginative fancy.

    Coelsblog, why, again, are you so concerned about Russell Blackford being called out by PZ, specifically for siding with the harassers while not being as bad?

    Because you’re really demonstrating PZ’s point here.

  393. Pteryxx says

    Come to think of it, re-read the OP (bolds mine):

    And you single out the case of Russell Blackford as someone not deserving of the opprobrium he has received. And I actually agree; Blackford has not been as vicious and dirty in his rhetoric as some others. He has just openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers, while not engaging in the same behavior himself.

    And that’s your great big blind spot. You haven’t been the target of the same hate and abuse that others of us have; you’re willing to let Blackford off the hook, but you don’t recognize that there is a real problem here, that there are people who must be repudiated — you’re only willing to go so far and note the existence of a middle ground that really isn’t all that bad, but acknowledging and rejecting a shrieking mad colony of outright haters in your midst? Oh, no. Can’t see that. Then you’d have to say something.

    For over a year, a number of us have been the target of genuinely hateful, irrational harassment. Rebecca Watson has been subject to the worst of it, but I get lots of it too, Ophelia Benson is threatened and hated, Freethoughtblogs is a focus of scorn, and every woman who dares to speak out against the contempt with which they are treated knows exactly what I’m talking about. This really is harassment and bullying — it’s identical to the game that deranged kook Dennis Markuze plays, only this time they have friends. It is a constant, non-stop deluge of email, twitter, and youtube comments; it is people organizing petitions to get you fired; it is “jokes” about raping you; it is people posting your home address to the cheers of people planning campaigns of harassment.

    Those people. They have an organizing center called the Slymepit where every day, they leave dozens of messages about how much they hate Rebecc**t T*****n, or how badly Ophelia Benson deserves to be kicked in the cunt, or how much they hate FreeFromThoughtBlogs, or how those feminists are destroying the atheist movement. They rally on youtube, where the dumbest commenters on the internet congregate, and they swarm any video that dares to disagree with their privileged perspective. They pound on my inbox every day, dumping the same messages over and over again: they always preface them with “I am a skeptic/atheist/rationalist, but you are…” gay, a mangina, a stupid Jew, a faggot, a girly-boy, whatever sexist/racist slur strikes their feeble and unimaginative fancy.

    Coelsblog, why, again, are you so concerned about Russell Blackford being called out by PZ, specifically for siding with the harassers while not being as bad?

    Because you’re really demonstrating PZ’s point here.

  394. says

    There’s a name for what you’re doing, Coelsblog: hyperskepticism. You’re using skepticism to avoid questioning your cherished biases rather than using it to answer questions.

  395. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Yes, if you want to convince people other than FTB regulars that your attitude towards him (and the statements in the OP) are fair.

    Yeah, funny thing is, I don’t really care right now if *you* think Russell Blackford is being treated fairly. Really, I’m sorry, but I don’t.

    I’ve been around for ALL of this shit. I thought I’d find a place in the atheism community where, at last, I not only belonged, but was welcomed. Turns out that I’m only welcome as long as I don’t upset the dude bros.

    I’ve watched one hero after the other after the other, from Dawkins to Blackford, from Paula Kirby to Jacques Rousseau from my own country, crash and burn and tell me, basically, that their and their dudebros’ rights to the possibility of accessing my vagina trumps my concerns for my safety and that policies that would address those concerns are “Talibanesque” (and yes, that’s a Russell Blackford quote, his full quote was: “There’s also the small issue of some people wanting to introduce Talibanesque codes of conduct that go far beyond any legal requirements into the atheist/skeptic/secularist movements. I’m glad these people don’t have any actual political power.” (Source)) oh and why the hell am I not being civil about all of these debates regarding my humanity? Why am I so MEAN, why am I and the people who fight for my interest such BULLIES?

    So no, sorry. I don’t need to convince some Johnny-come-lately that shit actually went down. If you’re interested, you can start right here on FtB. I’ll even point you towards Lousy Canuck: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/15/harassment-policies-campaign-timeline-of-major-events/

    Enjoy. And learn to do your own research. Jesus fuck, it’s like a fucking creationist coming in, wailing “BUT WHY ARE THERE STILL MONKEYS!!??@??! and expecting an Evolutionary Biology for Dumbass Idiots 101 lecture and kind words.

    We don’t have to educate you. Become educated before you start spouting opinions. WE don’t owe you jack shit.

  396. Pteryxx says

    Oh you did not just say that.

    Human nature being what it is, some people might conclude that Russell Blackford is being unfairly maligned, unless they are shown why the criticism is valid and fair.

    “some people”? really? Now you’re concerned about PZ maybe looking bad to those potential allies?

    Coelsblog, you started out saying that YOU were unaware of any problem with Blackford. Then you’ve said YOU went looking and hadn’t seen anything objectionable. THEN you said Blackford apparently feels he’s the one being bullied and PZ should be more considerate of him thereby.

    Are YOU actually asking for evidence to inform your own conclusions here?

  397. PatrickG says

    @ coelsblog:

    In response to my question about bullying, you said:

    Me? No, I don’t. I not aware of it all or of the relative proportions, but I do get the impression that far more and far nastier bullying and harassment is being directed at FTB/A+. I do think that some (much milder) bullying is being done by some involved with FTB.

    Well, good. Go out and spread the word. Why is it so important to nail down every last point when you’re already in basic agreement? Nobody here is going to assert that every last person involved with FTB has a pure-as-driven-snow record when it comes to personal interactions*. I do think they’d assert that representatives of FTB don’t engage in anywhere near the behavior of the anti crowd.

    So with that agreement and Gen’s link to Blackford’s own comment giving you an example of what’s under discussion, we’re done here, right?

    * I mean, people like Caine and Pteryxx bully me all the time. They’re terrifying!

  398. coelsblog says

    Pteryxx

    Coelsblog, why, again, are you so concerned about Russell Blackford being called out by PZ

    Since you ask it’s because, while I fully accept that FTB want nothing to do with those sending misogynistic hate mail and making rape threats, etc, it seems a pity if the many Deep Rifts also mean that there is no civil interaction between the FTB bloggers/Horde and the likes of Blackford, Dawkins, Kirby, Harris, etc, and the many atheists who respect those people. There seems to be no acceptance of civil disagreement.

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate.

    … policies that would address those concerns are “Talibanesque” (and yes, that’s a Russell Blackford quote

    So you’re upset by comments such as that; and they’re upset by much of the language/commentary on FTB. But a “Talibanesque” comment is hardly the same as rape-threat hate mail, and is certainly no worse an insult than is often dished out by FTB.

    I don’t really care right now if *you* think Russell Blackford is being treated fairly. Really, I’m sorry, but I don’t.

    And Pteryxx

    “some people”? really? Now you’re concerned about PZ maybe looking bad to those potential allies?

    Do I take it that you’re only concerned about how FTB appears to FTB-regulars, and not to the wider community? That would explain quite a bit.

    Coelsblog, you started out saying that YOU were unaware of any problem with Blackford.

    Yes, and it’s true. I was aware of what Kirby, Dawkins, Harris were accused of, and I was also aware of the outright misogynist hate-mail and rape threats directed at FTB/A+. I was genuinely unaware of Blackford on this issue (I don’t, for example, follow this on Twitter), though I was aware that some on other blogs felt he’d been unfairly accused.

    THEN you said Blackford apparently feels he’s the one being bullied …

    Yes. As a result of earlier replies to me I then (as stated above) looked at Blackford’s Twitter feed for the last several weeks, and then formed an opinion on how he saw things. That resulted in my comments about that.

    … and PZ should be more considerate of him thereby.

    Or rather that any accusations should be fair and supported.

    Are YOU actually asking for evidence to inform your own conclusions here?

    Yes. And I note again the usual suspicion of bad faith.

  399. PatrickG says

    And I note again the usual suspicion of bad faith.

    Perhaps that’s because we have reason to suspect bad faith. Might want to think about that for a bit.

  400. coelsblog says

    PatrickG:

    Why is it so important to nail down every last point when you’re already in basic agreement?

    Interesting question, given that you’re likely “already in basic agreement” on nearly all issues with Blackford, Kirby, Dawkins etal (with Harris there are perhaps some more substantive differences).

    Perhaps that’s because we have reason to suspect bad faith. Might want to think about that for a bit.

    Why of course you have reason: I’m not fully agreeing with you, which is entirely sufficient reason! Might want to think about that for a bit

  401. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes. And I note again the usual suspicion of bad faith.

    Your whole posting today has been one exercise in bad faith. From hypersketicism toward anything we say like the MRA contingent apply to anything a woman says, to not looking up your own evidence. Not somebody who is arguing in good faith. And you wonder why we are beginning to treat you with the same hyperskepticism you show us? Look in the mirror. You want good faith arguments, you start listening instead of preaching.

  402. PatrickG says

    Interesting question, given that you’re likely “already in basic agreement” on nearly all issues with Blackford, Kirby, Dawkins etal (with Harris there are perhaps some more substantive differences).

    Oh snap, you’re right! I’ve totally compared people I disagree with to fascist police organizations, and repeatedly dismissed concerns of sexism, racism, transphobia, etc. You caught me! Before you google my secret shame, I’ll own up to it. You can find it all here.

    At this point, I’m just going to call you stupid (sorry, Fincke!). Revoltingly stupid. Willfully stupid. The entire point of this discussion is that while there is agreement on the non-existence of deities and the harmful impacts of religion, there is not agreement on the existence and severity of the treatment of disenfranchised groups, women in particular.

    That’s why there’s a PLUS in the Atheism PLUS designation. Because a lot of people (including you, apparently) don’t consider these issues important.

    Why of course you have reason: I’m not fully agreeing with you, which is entirely sufficient reason!

    I refer you to Nerds post above. Or Pteryxx’s. Or Gen’s. Or PZ’s.

  403. Richard Austin says

    Interesting question, given that you’re likely “already in basic agreement” on nearly all issues with Blackford, Kirby, Dawkins etal (with Harris there are perhaps some more substantive differences).

    The distinction comes in what one perceives as important.

    I’d argue that all the issues that so-called “allies” are being called out on are ones that this community feels are important. You are, of course, free to disagree – but you’ll be called out for it. Enabling someone to be a misogynist by claiming that misogyny isn’t an issue worth making enemies over is a form of misogyny. It is, in a sense, the whole point.

    So, what issues do you consider important?

  404. Pteryxx says

    But a “Talibanesque” comment is hardly the same as rape-threat hate mail, and is certainly no worse an insult than is often dished out by FTB.

    That’s been answered. First in the OP (you DID read the OP, right?) where PZ specifically says Blackford’s not as bad as. Second, “Talibanesque” as an insult isn’t a matter of degree, but subtext: comparing anti-harassment policies to a brutally misogynistic regime.

    Asked and answered:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/05/the-taliban-comes-to-foggy-bottom/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/05/29/on-the-talibanesque-ness-of-harassment-policies/

    Speaking of presumptions of bad faith? See above. Using terms like “Talibanesque” and the ever-popular “feminazi” to describe anti-harassment policies isn’t any kind of good-faith argument. Those aren’t even insults; they’re attempts to portray the discussion itself as unreasonable.

    And yeah, I do think misrepresentations like this one:

    Do I take it that you’re only concerned about how FTB appears to FTB-regulars, and not to the wider community? That would explain quite a bit.

    tend to indicate bad faith. I asked if you wanted the information for your own decisionmaking. YOU brought up concerns about “some people” getting the wrong impression, and brought it up again as some sort of double-dog-dare to me.

    So I’m about 95% sure at this point, which is right in line with many, many previous hyperskeptical questioners. However, that’s why I sometimes bother, so nobody else has to be tempted.

    The “Talibanesque” comment you’ve already seen (and discounted). That was one Twitter comment in a steady stream of support that helped establish the #FTBullies hashtag and the widespread criticism=bullying meme still in use.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/bullies/

    More examples:

    http://en.twitter.com/Metamagician/status/221242103055925250

    Russell Blackford ‏@Metamagician

    @sjzara The people coming out with the sexist slurs have made it difficult. It’s been a great way to cede the moral ground to the #bullies

    7:00 AM – 6 Jul 12

    https://twitter.com/Metamagician/status/220804915805696001

    Russell Blackford Russell Blackford ‏@Metamagician

    Many women are objecting to the #FTBullies – partly because they dislike #bullies but largely because they reject infantilisation of women.

    2:02 AM – 5 Jul 12

    one reply:

    https://twitter.com/Malkyrian/status/220805950192369664

    Malkyrian ‏@Malkyrian

    @Metamagician So putting anti-harassment policies in place is infantilization, harassing women despite lack of consent isn’t. Gotcha.

    2:06 AM – 5 Jul 12

    PZ replied here to Blackford RT’ing an essay espousing the #FTBullies viewpoint:

    https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/226286513665753088

    PZ Myers ‏@pzmyers

    I see you’re a loony too. RT @Metamagician: RT @PhilosophyExp: “One Year After Elevatorgate” – Good piece about the #FTBullies.

    5:04 AM – 20 Jul 12

    Excerpts from that essay:

    I agree with Paula Kirby’s diagnosis of the in-crowd at Skepchick and Freethought Blogs and her condemnation of their scorched earth tactics. What I have read and experienced in this arena over the past year has taught me that even some atheists have their high priests and holy decrees. If you dare to disagree with Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, or Greg Laden, among others, or the masses of pseudonym’d commenters at their blogs, you will discover a massively toxic environment in which dissent is very much unpatriotic.

    […]

    But if that were not disturbing enough, some bloggers and commenters at Skepchick and Freethought Blogs made “Elevatorgate” into a litmus test for determining who stood where on the issue of the proper treatment of women.

    Now, Blackford IS perfectly capable of calling out someone when they’re not “on his side”:

    https://twitter.com/Metamagician/status/210518734106935296

    Russell Blackford Russell Blackford ‏@Metamagician

    Homophobic jerk Jason Thibeault gives a notpology. Really, how much lower can Freethought Blogs go? http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/06/an-apology-a-mea-culpa-and-my-stated-opinion-of-dj-grothe/

    4:49 PM – 6 Jun 12

    But whatever his allies say, he ignores or supports. Paula Kirby’s “Sisterhood of the Oppressed” was one such example; here’s another.

    Paula Kirby makes an unevidenced accusation:

    https://twitter.com/PaulaSKirby/status/220448923075096576

    Paula Kirby ‏@PaulaSKirby

    Last year one of the Oppressed Sisters described women in the atheist movement who don’t take the RadFem view as ‘house-slaves’. 1/3

    2:28 AM – 4 Jul 12

    Blackford picks this up and repeats it:

    https://twitter.com/Metamagician/status/220806028273532929

    Russell Blackford ‏@Metamagician

    And nor are my female friends “chill girls” “gender traitors” “sister punishers” or (most amazingly!) “house negroes”. #vile #ugly #bullies

    2:07 AM – 5 Jul 12

    While no such original comment has been found. Covered here:

    http://giliellthinkingaloud.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-create-legend.html

    More recently:

    https://twitter.com/thelaughingdog/statuses/238435196477792257

    Russell Blackford Russell Blackford ‏@Metamagician

    It’s pretty clear that atheism+ means: atheism, plus we will hunt you down if you disagree with us on detail. It’s a hate group.

    4:57 PM – 22 Aug 12

    Someone asks about that:

    http://es.twitter.com/mdedora/status/238499724838199296

    Michael De Dora ‏@mdedora

    @Metamagician “hate group” seems strong, no? That’s considered an official term by some, a very bad one: http://bit.ly/daMphE

    9:55 PM – 22 Aug 12

    Blackford defends it:

    http://es.twitter.com/Metamagician/status/238511186566590466

    Russell Blackford ‏@Metamagician

    @mdedora Really, Michael, it’s time to condemn what we’ve been seeing in unequivocal terms. Carrier’s post is the last straw.

    10:41 PM – 22 Aug 12

    Here’s Blackford dismissing Ophelia’s reading of emails as threatening:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/what-we-know/

    And this pattern of one-sided support goes all the way back to Elevatorgate, when Blackford characterized McGraw’s comments as “civil critique” while saying Watson “attacked her from the podium”:

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2011/hows-it-going/#comment-98001

    Called out by PZ, among others, here (bolds mine):

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2011/hows-it-going/#comment-98074

    Oops. Here’s the problem. In #1, McGraw criticized Watson in a civil way. In #2, the language changes dramatically: now Watson is “attacking”. She’s denying McGraw an opportunity to defend herself. Russell has not heard this talk. I haven’t either. I doubt that it was a mean-spirited, one-sided attack as it has been so frequently characterized.

    […]

    This has been a consistent pattern. The anti-Watson camp relies on gross misrepresentation: I’ve heard so many over-the-top descriptions of her behavior that do not correspond in any way to what actually happened. Even her original comments on the now notorious youtube video were remarkably innocuous — no condemnations of anyone, no declarations that she was persecuted, no long drawn out discussions of what it all means (something I wish these threads were capable of): all she said was a brief description of an awkward moment, with a light and casual suggest that guys not do that anymore. And that’s it.

    So, Russell Blackford has in fact shown a consistent pattern of ignoring or supporting misrepresentations and attacks by people on the, shall we say, pro-harassment side, while still calling out people on the anti-harassment side; this while apparently ignoring all the evidence and research presented that harassment exists, that it’s a real problem, that it’s a general barrier to women’s participation, and that anti-harassment policies already exist and work well in other conferences, businesses, and organizations.

  405. ewanmacdonald says

    Sorry to keep repeating myself but can someone please explain why it’s important that the movement isn’t divided between those who care about social justice in the context of atheism and those who don’t?

    The closest I’ve seen to an honest answer on this is Lindsay’s saying that we’re detracting from his mission, although he backpedalled a bit on that shortly afterwards.

    Does someone have another reason beyond “because we want our marks to do what we say and not rock the boat”?

  406. Ichthyic says

    Sorry to keep repeating myself but can someone please explain why it’s important that the movement isn’t divided between those who care about social justice in the context of atheism and those who don’t?

    authoritarians gotta be authoritarian?

    seriously, I too have not seen any good argument, though there have been arguments made.

    Might scroll back a few days to see an earlier critique by PZ.

  407. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Your whole posting today has been one exercise in bad faith.

    {yawn}

    Look in the mirror. You want good faith arguments, you start listening instead of preaching.

    Look in the mirror Nerd. You want good faith arguments, you start listening instead of preaching.

    PatrickG:

    At this point, I’m just going to call you stupid (sorry, Fincke!). Revoltingly stupid. Willfully stupid.

    {Yawn}

    The entire point of this discussion is that … there is not agreement on the existence and severity of the treatment of disenfranchised groups, women in particular.

    With the people I mentioned you are likely wrong there on “existence”, but yes there is likely some disageement on “severity”, and more to the point disagreement on remedies.

    Because a lot of people (including you, apparently) don’t consider these issues important.

    So suggesting that differences can be discussed civilly amounts to suggesting that the topic is not important?

    Richard Austin

    Enabling someone to be a misogynist by claiming that misogyny isn’t an issue worth making enemies over is a form of misogyny.

    Are you American? Just wondering.

  408. Richard Austin says

    coelsblog:

    How is any hypothetical nationality relevant to the discussion or the points I’ve made?

  409. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    So suggesting that differences can be discussed civilly amounts to suggesting that the topic is not important?

    When coming from the mouth of those who ARE NOT AFFECTED by the “differences”, yes it is. By ignoring what the disadvantaged group says and focusing only on HOW they say it, you’re communicating that tone is more important than the substance.

  410. PatrickG says

    So suggesting that differences can be discussed civilly amounts to suggesting that the topic is not important?

    You’ve got multiple people telling you you display all the signs of a dishonest interlocutor. Either you can’t read, or you don’t care, and given that you appear to be literate, I’m going to go with Door #2.

    I mean this in the most civil way possible: Do fuck off now. :)

  411. coelsblog says

    Richard Austin:

    How is any hypothetical nationality relevant to the discussion or the points I’ve made?

    You said:

    Enabling someone to be a misogynist by claiming that misogyny isn’t an issue worth making enemies over is a form of misogyny.

    It seems to me (as a non-American) that America these days is so polarised. Every major issue, politics, religion v secularism, abortion, gun control, et cetera, is so contentious and aggressively argued that to disagree with someone is necessarily to “make enemies” with them. It seems that, at the moment, the whole culture in America has lost the ability to disagree civilly, to disagree with someone yet still work with them. Result, gridlock and huge divisions.

    It seems to me that other countries are not afflicted nearly as badly, and in them having a major disagreement with someone, even on something that is important and where one feels strongly, is not the same as making an enemy.

    It occurred to me that several relevant people here (Dawkins, Kirby, Blackford) are not American. I’m just wondering whether this is relevant to how this issue is playing out.

    [Please don’t interpret this as a suggestion that you need to be anything other than enemies with those sending rape-threat hate mail and the like, it isn’t, it’s a remark about interaction with people like Blackford, Kirby and Dawkins, who, as far as I’m aware, have not done so.]

  412. coelsblog says

    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle:

    By ignoring what the disadvantaged group says and focusing only on HOW they say it, you’re communicating that tone is more important than the substance.

    I am not ignoring what anyone is saying here, and I certainly don’t think that tone is more important than substance. Indeed my complaint is rather that focus on tone (e.g. objecting to “Talibanesque”) is getting in the way of addressing substance. That is why I’d rather tone were taken out of the equation.

    By the way, is Paula Kirby a member of the disadvantaged group to whom I’m allowed to listen?

    PatrickG

    You’ve got multiple people telling you you display all the signs of a dishonest interlocutor. Either you can’t read, or you don’t care, …

    Or, third option, being told the same by multiple members of the Horde is perhaps more revealing about them than about me. Don’t you see, if the Horde tell me en masse that I’m arguing dishonestly and in bad faith, then you are handing me — being in the best position to judge the claim — cast-iron evidence on a plate that the judgments of the Horde are wrong.

  413. Emrysmyrddin says

    Nah. I’m English, and I agree wholeheartedly with repudiation and A+. Must be an arsehole issue.

  414. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You want good faith arguments, you start listening instead of preaching.

    You say something? I can’t hear over this background whining by some egotist repeating themselves ad nauseum.

    cast-iron evidence on a plate that the judgments of the Horde are wrong.

    Wrong, cast iron and prima facie evidence you have an ego problem.

  415. Rodney Nelson says

    coelsblog #474

    It seems to me (as a non-American) that America these days is so polarised.

    There’s another group that’s polarized, the atheists. Right now we’re polarized over whether or not women should be treated as human beings. Just in case you might be interested (I saw your “yawn” responses above to comments critizing you for being a dishonest debater), there are people on this thread arguing with you from the US, Canada, Britain and Australia.

    So where do you stand on the issue of women being people? Are you pro or anti? Or are you too tied up in worrying whether or not Russell Blackford has been unduly labeled an asshole?

  416. PatrickG says

    Don’t you see, if the Horde tell me en masse that I’m arguing dishonestly and in bad faith, then you are handing me — being in the best position to judge the claim — cast-iron evidence on a plate that the judgments of the Horde are wrong.

    That, or you really suck at this, so much so that you might want to find a different way of presenting your argument. You know, one that doesn’t fit into a classic troll pattern.

  417. Rodney Nelson says

    coelsblog #476

    Don’t you see, if the Horde tell me en masse that I’m arguing dishonestly and in bad faith, then you are handing me — being in the best position to judge the claim — cast-iron evidence on a plate that the judgments of the Horde are wrong.

    If you were a dishonest debater, then you would claim not to be one. Since a whole group of people have independently determined that you are arguing in bad faith, the possibility is quite good that you are. Especially when you dismiss counterarguments with “yawn.”

  418. coelsblog says

    Rodney Nelson:

    There’s another group that’s polarized, the atheists. Right now we’re polarized over whether or not women should be treated as human beings.

    If what we’re discussing is FTB v the likes of Blackford, Kirby and Dawkins (and that is what I am discussing at any rate), then, no, that is most certainly not the issue.

    Especially when you dismiss counterarguments with “”yawn”.”

    I did not dismiss arguments with “yawn”, I dismissed mere insults and accusations of bad faith that way.

  419. coelsblog says

    PatrickG:

    You know, one that doesn’t fit into a classic troll pattern.

    “Classic troll pattern” == disagreeing with the Horde.

  420. jenniferphillips says

    Pterryx @467: THANK YOU for taking the time to do that. Bookmarked.

    Coelsblog, if you haven’t seen Pterryx’s 467, there’s some of the evidence you and others have been asking for.

  421. Richard Austin says

    coelsblog:

    It seems to me that other countries are not afflicted nearly as badly, and in them having a major disagreement with someone, even on something that is important and where one feels strongly, is not the same as making an enemy.

    It occurred to me that several relevant people here (Dawkins, Kirby, Blackford) are not American. I’m just wondering whether this is relevant to how this issue is playing out.

    Wait… You mean the Dawkins who, at at TED conference, told the audience “Let’s all stop being so damned respectful”? The whole basis of new atheism was to stop being polite about atheism and confront religion and religious accomodationism in all forms, on all fronts, regardless of how polite they were.

    Why is it okay to do so versus religion, but not okay to do so versus discrimination? Do you see the inherent hypocracy here?

    How many atheists have been challenged on the grounds that they were accomodationist, that they were, through “civil disagreement”, allowing religion to persist and flourish? And, on the other spectrum, how many groups have been able to rise out of oppression simply by asking nicely and not using harsh words?

    You say that the divisiveness of American politics is a culprit here. Maybe you’re right: we’ve seen exactly how much accomodation has cost us. We’ve first-hand knowledge that when you only fight the horrid and allow the “merely disagreeable” to flourish, the “merely disagreeable” becomes the new norm and the horrid is made to appear more acceptable. Pardon us for having the light of first-hand experience shining down on us.

    Gay rights didn’t come about because people were polite and asked for them. Gay rights happened because a bunch of queers fought back – using words, and anger, and in some cases direct violence. The same is true of every civil rights progression in history.

    One more from Richard Dawkins:

    Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where’s the harm? September 11th changed all that.

    Do we need to wait for a prominant, massive event like 9/11/2001 to finally get atheists to fight against discrimination?

  422. Rodney Nelson says

    coelsblog #483

    “Classic troll pattern” == disagreeing with the Horde.

    No, you’re following the classic troll pattern by hyperskepicism, derailing the thread by latching on to a trivial point, demanding evidence and then when presented with evidence dismissing it as inadequate, refusing to do any research but insisting others do your homework, dismissing arguments with “yawn,” and otherwise acting as a petulant, spoiled child.

    The Horde has determined you’re a dishonest troll. Your response has been to the classic “I’m rubber you’re glue” schoolyard taunt.

  423. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Horde has determined you’re a dishonest troll. Your response has been to the classic “I’m rubber you’re glue” schoolyard taunt.

    QFMFT

  424. says

    Seriously, I’m used to the stupid; I’ve been getting similar hate mail and threats from Dennis Markuze since 1993, and am accustomed to Bible-believing Christians sending me their catalog of affronts to reason every day, but in the last year, that crap has been outnumbered 10 to 1 by hate mail from obsessed cretins who also proudly tell me they’re atheists and skeptics.

    I wonder how many of them are using botnets to accomplish this task.

    -returns to reading comments- Two beers in me, at comment #30, haven’t had to break out the strong beer (porter, if you must know) in the fridge yet.

  425. says

    So to return to Atheism Plus, here’s a concern: because the A+ advocates want to work on social justice issues, but have not yet specified how they plan to go about this…

    Why does this sound as vague now as it did when it was being used against Occupy?

    (Comment #90, still no porter. It’s getting bad though.)

  426. says

    coelsblog:

    It seems to me that other countries are not afflicted nearly as badly, and in them having a major disagreement with someone, even on something that is important and where one feels strongly, is not the same as making an enemy.

    Speaking as a Briton, land of Sun readership and the froth-mouthed Daily Mail, I say ‘bollocks’ to that. What parochial nonsense.

    We get up to it as much as the Septic Tanks do.

  427. coelsblog says

    Richard Austin

    You mean the Dawkins who, at at TED conference, told the audience “Let’s all stop being so damned respectful”?

    Yep, that one. If you listen to Dawkins’s “strident” attacks on religion or, for example, MLK’s speeches and writings, they are critical and cutting, yes, but they are also measured and eloquent and accurate and very different from the mere insults and aggressive attack-dogging that can characterize the Deep Rifts.

    But — and this is a genuine question here — do the Horde see someone like Paula Kirby as someone on the other side of a Deep Rift, who you want nothing to do with, and who you’re happy to have as an enemy, or would the Horde see her as someone they can work with and interact with civilly, while still disagreeing and being critical at times?

    Rodney Nelson:

    derailing the thread by latching on to a trivial point

    Trivial point? Hmm, the phrase I picked up on was the main accusation PZ made against Blackford, in a post using Blackford as a specific example in reply to a post that picked out Blackford.

    refusing to do any research but …

    Which is refuted by some posts above, such as 442.

    dismissing arguments with “yawn,”

    As I’ve already explained to you, and as the record above attests, I did not dismiss arguments with a “yawn”, I dismissed mere insults and accusations of bad faith that way. Why are you lying?

    The Horde has determined you’re a dishonest troll.

    The Horde’s troll detectors are as over-sensitive as Senator McCarthy’s commie detectors.

  428. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    do the Horde see someone like Paula Kirby as someone on the other side of a Deep Rift, who you want nothing to do with, and who you’re happy to have as an enemy – coelsblog

    I’d say someone who calls those she disagrees with “feminazis” and “femistasi” has pretty much defined herself as their enemy, wouldn’t you?

  429. coelsblog says

    Pteryxx, 467,

    Thanks for our long post Pteryxx, I appreciate your taking the time to write it. You are right that it demonstrates opposition to harassment policies, oppostion to FTB attitudes, support for some opposing viewpoints such as Paula Kirby’s Sisterhood of the Oppressed, and some degree of dismissal of some of the valid concerns of FTBers and of women attending conferences and otherwise participating in the movement.

    I guess my response is to ask about “sides”, harking back to the OP’s “He has … openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers”. Would you consider that Paula’s “Sisterhood” article (complete with “Femistasi”) is an example of hating, abusing and harassing? Or is it a reasonable alternative view? Similar question about Chris Willett’s “One year after elevatorgate” article (thanks for pointing me to it, I hadn’t previously seen it). Is that classed as hateful, abusive and harassing?

    I’m interested in how FTBers see this, since it goes to the heart of the issue. There seems to be a tendency to conflate people like Kirby and Willett as on the same “side” as those sending rape-threat hate mail. Thus FTB/A+ seem to have circled the waggons and regard anyone outside the circle as on the same “side”. From that viewpoint, Blackford certainly does “side” with Kirby, and opposes (some?) anti-harassment policies and criticises FTB and is somewhat dismissive of valid concerns of women in the movement. If that amounts to “openly siding with the haters, abusers and harassers” then he’s guilty as charged.

    I’m sure, though, that he and Kirby and others would not see it that way, and don’t see themselves as “siding” with rape-threat hate mail, any more than, for example, someone criticising Obama for not having closed Guantanamo is necessarily siding with the Tea Party, just because they also criticise Obama.

    Would you accept that there is a large amount of empty ground out there which, while not in accord with FTB attitudes, and while certainly not above criticism, is not quite the same as “openly siding with the haters, abusers and harassers”? Or, are things so polarised that, no, you don’t accept that?

    Personally I’d have thought that “openly siding …” would involve things such as encouraging or retweeting hate-mail threats and abuse, or openly complimenting people for having sent such threats and abuse (and I haven’t seen Blackford do that).

    Are Kirby and Blackford people you want to repudiate entirely, or is your complaint merely that they haven’t sufficiently repudiated (and thus “enabled”) the harassers and senders of hate mail, but you would otherwise be prepared to do business with them?

  430. coelsblog says

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG):

    I’d say someone who calls those she disagrees with “feminazis” and “femistasi” has pretty much defined herself as their enemy, wouldn’t you?

    OK, I think I’m understanding the FTB take on this better — people like Kirby are indeed being grouped in a broad class of “enemy” along with those sending abusive rape-threat hate mail. Hence the “siding …”.

  431. John Phillips, FCD says

    Coelsblog, but the real ‘haters’ use Blackford’s, for example, tweets and posts as justification for their actions, whether he intends to be an enabler or not. Intent is not magic. As to Kirby, she was someone I once greatly respected, then I read her femistasi/feminazi article and that, combined with her subsequent behaviour, makes it very difficult for me consider her a potential ally without a significant mea culpa on her part. BTW, I’m not in the US either, a Welshman in England, and the behaviour we are against in Atheism+ is not just an US issue, as I find out any time I bring up the subject in female company.

  432. says

    Would you consider that Paula’s “Sisterhood” article (complete with “Femistasi”) is an example of hating, abusing and harassing?

    Yes

    Or is it a reasonable alternative view?

    No
    That was easy.
    Now tell me how you could vaguely consider a phamphlet that calls us Nazis and then even worse says that while the Germans had at least legitimate post-Versailles grievances women don’t have any is reasonable?
    What’s a supposed middle-ground?

  433. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    coelsblog

    I’m sure, though, that he and Kirby and others would not see it that way, and don’t see themselves as “siding” with rape-threat hate mail, any more than, for example, someone criticising Obama for not having closed Guantanamo is necessarily siding with the Tea Party, just because they also criticise Obama.

    A thoroughly dishonest comparison. Someone criticising Obama for not having closed Guantanamo is clearly criticising him from the opposite side to the Tea Party. Someone accusing people being targeted by the rape-threat crowd of being “feminazis” and “femistasi” is using the same terminology as that crowd.

    I’d say someone who calls those she disagrees with “feminazis” and “femistasi” has pretty much defined herself as their enemy, wouldn’t you?

    OK, I think I’m understanding the FTB take on this better — people like Kirby are indeed being grouped in a broad class of “enemy” along with those sending abusive rape-threat hate mail.

    And I see you don’t have the minimal honesty to answer a straightforward question.

  434. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Coelsblog
    Paula Kirby and Richard Dawkins et al are wrong on this issue. Completely, staggeringly, offensively and ignorantly wrong.

    When told this, with accompanying evidence, they reacted like typical YE creationists.

    That doesn’t mean that they are bad, irredeemable wastes of biological matter who can never be right about anything else ever again and should be totally written off. It doesn’t even mean that they are malicious, bad spirited monsters who sit twirling their mustaches and planning how to next attack FtB or A+. (I mean Jesus, where do people *get* this crap?)

    It just means that on social justice issues and especially specific matters of feminism, they are not the go-to people for thoughtful, informed skeptical analysis. It just means that as matters stand right now, they are providing cover for the really deranged and rape-sending members of the movement, making it easier for these rape-sending asshats to target the people they are targeting and feel like heroes for doing it.

    The effect of their actions are driving women away from “their” movement, and providing cover for the “real” bad guys, the ones who have probably at least once in their life seriously hurt or raped a woman. And there’s no way to know who those guys are until they actually do something bad. Those guys? The ones who are sending the rape threats and mean them, the ones who would take the chance to carry them out if they can get away with it? They are emboldened by people who provide cover for them. They keep thinking “eh, this is normal, everyone does it, including [big name].”

    (Are you familiar with the concept of “enabling”?)

    Back to Dawkins, Kirby, et al: That their actions have a negative effect on a large part of the people who want to be involved in their movement doesn’t diminish their scientific contributions, or make some of their work on secularism and atheism suddenly undone or turn them into personae non grata who can never do anything good ever again.

    It just means that, like everyone else on this damned planet, they have huge cognitive biases that they are currently refusing to even consider looking at. Their specific biases are doing splash damage, though that may not be their intent (regardless of intent, the effect and the consequences – that THEY don’t have to pay – are the same).

    Until they manage to address these biases, they really have shown themselves pretty ignorant and even damaging on this specific issue. They still have plenty of good things to say, they’ll still get plenty of speaking gigs, sell plenty of books and make plenty of money and difference, just not on this specific issue.

    If there are those who feel that “this specific issue” is significant enough for them that it becomes a deal breaker and that they would no longer financially support someone who is doing direct (although unintended, still direct) harm to them, that is their full right. That’s what “free marketplace of ideas MEANS.

    I really do not see why this is all so terribly hard to understand.

  435. says

    Yeah, what the fuck am I supposed to say to someone who insists that, “Yes really, Sally, you are just like the Stasi in some very significant ways”?

    “No Paula, I’m not.”

    Tried that.

    What now? You think she has a fucking point or something, Coelsbog?

    Cuz if you do think that then I kinda feel like telling you to go fuck yourself too.

    It’s not quite harassment but it certainly is asshole behavior. It’s not the sort of thing I would tolerate from anyone calling themself a friend of mine.

  436. says

    Also, fuck anyone who says it’s unfair to regard anyone who thinks comparing me to the Stasi or the Nazis is a fair comparison as an enemy.

    If I were a member of the KKK I suppose that’d be different. But that’s not the case. So really, Coelsblog (sorry about the misspelling), shit or get the fuck off that pot.

    That fence rail has got to be mighty uncomfortable when it’s all up in your butt crack.

    I’m less diplomatic than normal cuz I’m tired and have had an emotional couple of days, but really that’s the long and the short of it.

    Some people–Kirby, for example–are just fucking wrong. If you’re wavering on this then that’s your problem not mine. If you can’t see that comparing people to Nazis for promoting anti-harassment policies is indefensible then there is something wrong with you, buddy. The problem is not with my inability to self-examine and ask whether I might be wrong. I know I can do that, it’s just that this isn’t one of those times. So get with the program or fucking bite me.

    Yeah, this is one of those rants that make the haters go “Ooooh my gaaawd, those Atheism+ people are all like WITH ME OR AGAINST ME it is so TOTALITARIAN of them!” or some stupid fucking bullshit and I really don’t care. They’re wrong; I’m right. At least on this particular issue. I feel about as confident about this as I do about the question of god’s existence.

  437. Beatrice says

    for example, MLK’s speeches and writings, they are critical and cutting, yes, but they are also measured and eloquent and accurate and very different from the mere insults and aggressive attack-dogging that can characterize the Deep Rifts.

    Fincke’s law!

    [Caperton from Feministe:] There has to be some kind of Godwinesque law about privileged white guys invoking the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., to convince marginalized people to behave themselves.

    [people are taking coelsblog to task well enough, I’m just here to promote Fincke’s law]