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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. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    SallyStrange

    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.

    Exactly. Yes, there is a divide. Some divisiveness is occurring. Not because of totalitarianism or stassi/nazi whatever. No, it’s much more simple than that.

    Some people are wrong on this, and some people are right. And those who are wrong are wrong in ways that are actively, actually damaging those with less social power/clout/privilege. Damaging in real ways. Damaging in the “real world”, which everyone keeps insisting is a different place somehow than the “internet world”.

  2. says

    Yeah, I’m a descendant of people who survived the Nazis not because those lacked trying.
    To call me one is about the biggest bridge-burner there can be.
    Don’t do that, especially not for me demanding something like not being treated like public property.

  3. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Beatrice, That’s brilliant. I completely support the fact that Fincke’s law should become a thing. I’d just append it with :

    [Caperton from Feministe:] There has to be some kind of Godwinesque law about privileged white guys invoking the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. [Ghandi and/or Nelson Mandela], to convince marginalized people to behave themselves.

  4. Beatrice says

    Credit for Fincke’s law goes to PrettyAmiable.

    ——

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate,

    I like your addition to the law.

  5. says

    The Horde’s troll detectors are as over-sensitive as Senator McCarthy’s commie detectors.

    I’m not sure I recognize the idea of a Horde. That implies an undifferentiated mass, rather than a group of frustrated individuals who feel under siege. Are you not falling into the trap you accuse the folks here of?

    Both you and oolon want to persuade us that there is some silent majority out there that we are not seeing through the barrage of mean-spirited insults and trolling from a minority. Maybe there’s something in that.

    However, a comparison has been made here many times with moderate or liberal Christians who seem unwilling or unable to police the extremists, the creationists, the reactionary members in their midst. We often view these quiet Christians as enablers and their failure to speak as a moral failing. And this is how we view those who do not put clear water between themselves and those flinging turds at the skepchicks, Greta, A+ et al.

    Now, are we being unjust? Are we missing some counterprotest? Maybe. Are there Christians who push back against the Creationists? Well, there are, but they seem so few and isolated. This week I saw Libyans demonstrate against the Muslim nutters who attacked the US embassy, so I can believe that Muslims are not a monolithic anti-Western horde. In the same way I can believe there are folks out there who might not be in A+ or on FtB but who are pushing back against the reactionaries.

    The problem is, that we don’t see them. Or we see folks like Blackford who say the right things in a number of tweets and then round on A+ in some Bizzaro reverso world game of ‘you started it’. We see Ron at CFI playing games of false equivalency, as if ‘both sides are at it’. I suspect he believes this formula is a salve for trying to knit a split community back together.

    It isn’t. People are choosing sides, consciously or unconsciously. Lines are being drawn, because this stuff is important. And I don’t see this as a bad thing if it means a constituency of atheists decide they will have the back of women and minorities against the reactionary elements within atheism, as well as those privileged folks who feel that the response to oppressive behaviour, such as catcalls and insults and threats, is just to suck it up.

    And when it comes to the ‘pit, which seems to have been created with the express intent of opposing FtBers, Skepchicks and, now, A+ers, it’s not hard to see which side of the line they stand. Unless there’s some constituency there we are not seeing, who are trying to change course, we have to conclude they march against us.

  6. Rodney Nelson says

    coelsblog,

    You accused me of lying when I said you were dismissing arguments with “yawn”. Here’s a quote from one of your posts:

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Your whole posting today has been one exercise in bad faith.

    {yawn}

    A statement is made that you’re arguing in bad faith. Instead of showing that this is incorrect, that you were actually honestly debating, you tossed off the accusation with {yawn}. No, no lie on my part, just a shabby attempt on yours to dismiss your own mendacity.

    Here’s a good example of your dishonesty:

    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.

    Yes, a trivial point. Here’s what PZ said about 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. He has just openly sided with the haters and abusers and harassers, while not engaging in the same behavior himself…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….

    That’s it. Three sentences mentioning Blackford which actually say he’s not as bad as some people say he is. (He’s also mentioned in passing in one other paragraph.) The OP is about Ron Lindsay’s failure to repudiate sexist harassers but you didn’t comment on that. Instead, you focused on Blackford, a very minor character in the whole misogyny muddle, and demanded evidence that he was siding with the harassers. Then when evidence was presented, you dismissed it. PZ was right by characterizing your dismissal as hyperskepticism.

    I did make one incorrect accusation against you. I said you didn’t do any research and you actually did. You looked at Blackford’s twitter feed. So I apologize for this misrepresentation. Now let’s see you apologize for calling me a liar when I didn’t lie.

  7. says

    @leebrimmicombe-wood

    Both you and oolon want to persuade us that there is some silent majority out there that we are not seeing through the barrage of mean-spirited insults and trolling from a minority. Maybe there’s something in that.

    I seriously hope there is no silent majority as when the ‘side’ they presumably identify with – be it Kirby, Blackford, thunderf00t or some other lot who cannot be named are equated here to groups like “Stormfront”, “KKK” and called “rape and death threat supporters” then they will be polarised into not remaining silent. Not quite sure why that is such a contentious thing to point out…

    People are choosing sides, consciously or unconsciously. Lines are being drawn, because this stuff is important.

    Yup the ideas and principles are very important, you do realise you can agree with all this important stuff without completely denigrating and hating the other ‘side’ you know? But probably a lot here don’t believe that I totally support A+, that I reject the ‘strong feminism vs weak infantalising feminism’ idea that Kirby et al are pushing… Why? Because I don’t sufficienly hate the other side… Lovely…

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But probably a lot here don’t believe that I totally support A+, that I reject the ‘strong feminism vs weak infantalising feminism’ idea that Kirby et al are pushing… Why? Because I don’t sufficienly hate the other side…

    Nope, because you don’t support A+ sufficiently to understand it fully. Which means you need to re-evaluate your position. Do you support A+ and social justice, including supporting women as equal of men? If yes, where is the room for the denizens of the PIT, who deny this equality? There isn’t room for such attitudes. The one common element of atheism out of many isn’t enough for them to be included in A+. Hence, they aren’t welcome unless they behave themselves, and shut the fuck up and listen to women. Which has a snowballs chance in hell of happening.

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and oolon, nobody says you have to hate anybody. Just keep things separate is all that is required. You can go drinking with the Pitters if you want. Just don’t be surprised if you are treated (shunned) as one of them though if you make it known you do that though. Compartmentalization will come in handy.

  10. Amphiox says

    The Horde’s troll detectors are as over-sensitive as Senator McCarthy’s commie detectors.

    Sensitivity is controlled on a feedback loop. They become more sensitive when there are more trolls around.

  11. Tethys says

    oolon

    be it Kirby, Blackford, thunderf00t or some other lot who cannot be named are equated here to groups like “Stormfront”, “KKK” and called “rape and death threat supporters” then they will be polarised into not remaining silent. Not quite sure why that is such a contentious thing to point out…

    It isn’t contentious you twit, you’re being called on it because its a false equivalence wrapped in stupidity and victim blaming.

    Those named above have had every opportunity to support the women who are being subjected to a unending barrage of rape and death threats. They chose to be assholes who absolutely ARE actively engaging in a misogynistic hate campaign, and thereby encouraging more rape and death threats.

    So they ARE like any other organization devoted to preserving inequality.

    you do realise you can agree with all this important stuff without completely denigrating and hating the other ‘side’ you know?

    Oh I see, you think that when people object to rape and death threats they should do it nicely with a big smile? Well fuck you and your victim blaming. If they want me to hate dislike and oppose them less, they need to quit being misogynistic assholes.

    But probably a lot here don’t believe that I totally support A+

    Just a wild guess since I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but if you spend days pontificating to the targets of a year long campaign of hate, that they should be nicer to assholes or else it’s our fault that they are assholes, you are not showing support.

    Why? Because I don’t sufficienly hate the other side… Lovely…

    No you dumb fuck, its because you’re an idiot. Stop projecting.

  12. says

    coelsblog @ 493:

    Thus FTB/A+ seem to have circled the waggons and regard anyone outside the circle as on the same “side”.

    I haven’t seen any indication of a strong consensus by the A+ people that “the enemy,” if you want to use that terminology, includes everyone who isn’t in the category “social justice activist involved in A+.” As far as I’ve seen, it’s only the people who say “organized atheism should exist but A+ should not” or who outright defend bigotry who are disliked.

    If
    A) you don’t want to join A+, great; we’ll leave you alone (mostly) as long as you leave us alone. At least I will.
    B) you say “stop gathering and having conversations about things that don’t interest me and doing things I don’t explicitly support!” that’s a problem.
    C) you loudly defend your right to perpetuate social injustice, that’s a huge problem.

    Kirby is B. Dawkins is B. Blackford is B. Lindsay is B.

    And you are B. And trying to say that as long as a person isn’t C, no one is allowed to feel attacked by them, like that’s your call to make.

    (I’m a forum member, but I sort of fell off the Internet for a couple of days; Rhys Morgan has mentioned that it’s more like what I feared than what I hoped but I’m not sure how reliable that assessment is.)

    Ibid @ 494:

    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 …”.

    I can see the merits of this response.

    Except I can’t, because Kirby didn’t merely take a harsh tone which is being paraphrased and summarized as “she compared us the the Stasi.” She actually said “femistasi.” How is that not hateful?

  13. Pteryxx says

    coelsblog and also oolon… you seem to be assuming that what side someone is on is the primary determinant and condemning their actions is secondary to that; i.e that folks here are looking for some sort of allegiance certification before deciding whether the person’s behavior is acceptable or not. That’s not how it works. When someone does something contemptible, THEN they’re called out, and if they don’t address the problem, THEN they’re likely to be considered on “the other side”. In this case, as anywhere that harassment or bigotry are involved, failure to repudiate can in and of itself be a contemptible action. Hence, y’know, the OP of this comment thread.

    (Caveat: at least that’s how it generally works on the A+ compatible side. I don’t think that, for instance, Jen’s father got attacked because of any sort of stance he may have had on atheism, feminism, harassment policies or whatever. He repudiated the harassment of Jen specifically, and that’s all it took for him to be targeted too.)

    Cite:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/09/there-is-no-low-too-low/

  14. says

    Yup the ideas and principles are very important, you do realise you can agree with all this important stuff without completely denigrating and hating the other ‘side’ you know?

    Seriously, explain to me why it’s a character flaw on MY part to regard with suspicion, mistrust, and hostility, people who have compared ME to the Nazis, the Stasi, and the Taliban.

    Explain this.

  15. Ichthyic says

    FWIW, I spend time on other blogs too.

    In the comments, whenever A+ comes up, I do often enough see those who support the concept being directly, and literally, labeled as “enemy” by those who don’t.

    IOW, my take on it is that the “diviseness” is by and large being created and fueled by those who DON’T support the A+ concept, as opposed to those who do.

    go figure.

  16. Feline says

    Ichthyic @ (5)20

    It’s almost like the ones actually doing that whole “you’re either with us or against us” thing are the ones complaining about it. Which would be shocking, indeed.

  17. Ichthyic says

    It’s almost like the ones actually doing that whole “you’re either with us or against us” thing are the ones complaining about it.

    as I so often note, projection is commonplace.

  18. coelsblog says

    Thanks everyone for their replies to me:

    Hershele Ostropoler

    If … B) you say “stop gathering and having conversations about things that don’t interest me and doing things I don’t explicitly support!” that’s a problem. [...] Kirby is B. Dawkins is B. Blackford is B. Lindsay is B. And you are B.

    Hi Hershele, I’m not B, I don’t object to the idea of A+. As I’ve said on other threads, A+ is aiming to make the world a better place and I wish you well in that. I’m quite happy for A+ to exist (and some of the objections to its existence seem very silly to me).

  19. coelsblog says

    Rodney Nelson

    You accused me of lying when I said you were dismissing arguments with “yawn”.

    You twice accused me of dismissing arguments with “yawn” and I twice corrected that by saying I’d dismissed “insults and assertions of bad faith” with “yawn”.

    The quote you give was me “yawning” in reply to

    Your whole posting today has been one exercise in bad faith.

    That is not an “argument”, it’s an assertion (of bad faith). I stand by what I said. Dismissing an argument with “yawn” would indeed be trollish; I don’t agree that dismissing insults and repeated accusations of bad faith with “yawn” is trollish, and I don’t agree with you that pointing out this distinction is “mendacious”.

    Instead of showing that this is incorrect, that you were actually honestly debating, you tossed off the accusation with {yawn}.

    Exactly, “accusation”. By the way, how exactly does one show that one is posting honestly and in good faith, when any such attempt will be taken as duplicitous trolling? Is the only way of showing one is being “honest” to agree completely with the Horde and apologise profusely for ever having disagreed?

    Now let’s see you apologize for calling me a liar when I didn’t lie.

    I withdraw the word “liar” since it is unhelpful (and I shouldn’t try to guess you state of mind). I stand by my claim that your accusation, now repeated thrice, that I dismissed arguments with “yawn” is wrong.

    And using the word “liar” was mostly frustration at these repeated attempts to totally derail the thread by accusations of bad faith. Amazing how those supposedly against derailing can be the biggest derailers.

    Here’s a good example of your dishonesty: … derailing the thread by latching on to a trivial point … you focused on Blackford, a very minor character in the whole misogyny muddle, …

    Yes, Blackford was only one part of the OP. However it was a substantive part, specifically replying to a post that had also specifically used Blackford as an illustrative example. I don’t see that focusing on that one issue is “derailing” or “dishonest” or trollish or whatever. Often subjects are best discussed around a specific example.

    … and demanded evidence that he was siding with the harassers. Then when evidence was presented, you dismissed it.

    I did not at first realise that, for example, Kirby was classed here among the “haters, abusers and harassers”. Yes, Blackford is “siding” with Kirby. I fully accept that. When I first raised the issue I had interpreted “openly siding with abusers, haters and harassers” to mean openly siding with senders of abusive rape-threat hate mail or similar. I still haven’t seen evidence of the latter (but then, if that was not what the accusation intended, then ok).

    Amphiox

    The Horde’s troll detectors are as over-sensitive as Senator McCarthy’s commie detectors.

    Sensitivity is controlled on a feedback loop. They become more sensitive when there are more trolls around.

    Wise words. And there are indeed trolls around, so a degree of sensitivity is needed. However, consider the consequences of your feedback loop. If the detectors at any time record “false positives” (and all real-world systems are prone to that), then they will feedback to increased sensitivity on those false positives. By your own argument that will produce a feedback loop resulting in hyper-sensitivity firing off at endless false positives.

    Right, having addressed the derailment of troll accusations, I’ll write a reply about the substance here …

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Right, having addressed the derailment of troll accusations, I’ll write a reply about the substance here …

    Coelsblog’s back repeating the same nonsense ad nauseum. Boring. Repetition don’t make on right. Don’t expect anything of substance. That doesn’t happen. It just thinks it does.

  21. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And I will apply the same hyperskepticism to coelsblog reply as it does to our posts. Which means dismiss it out of hand with blather.

  22. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Coelsblog’s back repeating the same nonsense ad nauseum. Boring. Repetition don’t make on right. Don’t expect anything of substance.

    For a post complaining about lack of substance, your post was remarkably free of substance, especially since your only major contribution to this thread has been to act like a creationist in failing to understand the concept of burden of proof, and trying to reverse it.

  23. coelsblog says

    Giliell, Approved Straight Chorus

    Would you consider that Paula’s “Sisterhood” article (complete with “Femistasi”) is an example of hating, abusing and harassing?

    Yes

    Also (among others) Hershele Ostropoler

    She actually said “femistasi.” How is that not hateful?

    First, thanks for these answers, they’ve clarified quite a bit for me how FTBers see things (I might be slow on the uptake). Second, it seems to me that Paula’s -stasi and -nazi analogies were unnecessary, over-blown, inflammatory, and unhelpful (especially given the very fraught atmosphere). I think she should retract it and restate her opinions without it.

    FTBers want to advance women’s status and feminism; they think theirs is the right way to do it; they think others such as Paula are harming this; and in their passion over this issue they use inflammatory language liberally (“rape-enabler”, “misogynist troll”, “A*”, etc).

    Paula Kirby (and some others) want to advance women’s status and feminism; they think theirs is the right way to do it; they think others such as FTBers are harming this; and in their passion over this issue they use inflammatory language liberally (“-stasi”, “-nazi”, etc).

    Obviously this has led to a feedback loop with each “side” being inflamed by each others’ attitude and language, and pointing to this as reinforcement of their own position.

    [Clarification: I'm not here talking about senders of rape-threat hate mail, which is vile and meritless and should be outright condemned, I'm talking about such as Paula who also has the status of women at heart.]

    Anyone objecting to the Horde’s aggressive/insulting language is labelled a “tone troll” and told they should focus on the substance. Yet, the reaction here to Paula’s “Sisterhood” article is essentially a “tone” complaint: “she said “femistasi” How is that not hateful?”. And others would say: “FTBullies said x,y,z, how is that not hateful?”.

    And having said that I’ll repeat that in my opinion Paula’s language was unnecessarily inflammatory and counter-productive (I’ve previously stated opinions about some of the “tone” of the Horde, which I won’t rehash since I’d just get told off for being a tone troll).

    Since Nick Gotts (formerly KG) has complained that I don’t have the “minimal honesty” to answer the following question, I now will.

    I’d say someone who calls those she disagrees with “feminazis” and “femistasi” has pretty much defined herself as their enemy, wouldn’t you?

    No, not necessarily, at least people saying that about me would not cause me to inevitably regard them as “enemies” (though it wouldn’t exactly help friendship either). With the explanation of the language that she gave, I’d regard it as unnecessarily inflamatory rhetoric surrounding what was intended as fair and well-meaning criticism. Though, yes, in the current tinder-box atmosphere I can see that others don’t.

    I now understand better what an FTB accusation of “siding with haters, abusers and harassers” is intended to mean. I suggest that a lot of people who would fully support FTBers utter repudiation of those sending rape-threat hate mail would consider it less reasonable to want to repudiate and totally disassociate with people like Paula Kirby.

    It seems a pity that any disagreement here seems to be amplified by unnecessary rhetoric and a feedback loop into Deep Rifts, even between those who regard women as fully equal and who want to promote women’s status.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    …shut the fuck up and listen to women.

    Including Paula Kirby and similar women, or only FTB-style women?

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    Some people-–Kirby, for example-–are just fucking wrong.

    You object so much to Kirby’s -Nazi and -stasi anaologies yet are happy to apply -Fascist to yourself? OK, I get that applying something to oneself is very different from others doing it to you, and that one can mean things ironically.

  24. vaiyt says

    You say criticism of the “Femistasi” characterization is focusing on tone over substance?

    What’s the substance of that criticism? Equating our exclusion of assholes from our spaces to censorship and persecution.

    Oh, would ya believe it. It’s still wrong, overblown and stupid. Cry more.

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Including Paula Kirby and similar women, or only FTB-style women?

    The posters here, and women who have real complaints. Which is most of them. Not the apologists like Kirby. Shutting the fuck up and listening is hard. The tendency is to want to respond an tell women how they should feel. Which is what the MRA contingent does.

    Sorry, demeaning women by using “femistasi” is typical MRA conduct to keep women “in their place”. Open your eyes and listen to the women here. It needs to be repudiated.

  26. Pteryxx says

    FTBers want to advance women’s status and feminism; they think theirs is the right way to do it; they think others such as Paula are harming this; and in their passion over this issue they use inflammatory language liberally (“rape-enabler”, “misogynist troll”, “A*”, etc).

    Paula Kirby (and some others) want to advance women’s status and feminism; they think theirs is the right way to do it; they think others such as FTBers are harming this; and in their passion over this issue they use inflammatory language liberally (“-stasi”, “-nazi”, etc).

    [...]

    Anyone objecting to the Horde’s aggressive/insulting language is labelled a “tone troll” and told they should focus on the substance. Yet, the reaction here to Paula’s “Sisterhood” article is essentially a “tone” complaint: “she said “femistasi” How is that not hateful?”. And others would say: “FTBullies said x,y,z, how is that not hateful?”.

    Except that you’re using a false equivalence. The list you associate with the FTB side contains accurate insults: “misogynist troll” is accurate for those who pretend to argue in good faith but evince misogynist attitudes when engaged. “A*” was coined specifically for those who seem determined to attack the very concept of Atheism Plus for no good reason. “Rape enabler” I’ve never seen said that I recall. I think you’ve overheard someone accusing FTB commenters of using that term. However, it’s possible to contribute to a misogyny-supportive environment through apologetics; see the research on acquaintance rape and harassment.

    “Femistasi” however, is not just angry and not merely insulting, it’s also a dogwhistle for activating inaccurate and misogynistic stereotypes of man-hating feminists trying to literally subjugate all men. For examples of this stereotype in use see:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/09/07/dobson-and-passno-create-straw-woman-feminists/

    Quoting anti-feminists:

    Dobson: With a lot of either unintended consequences or consequences that were hidden. The National Organization for Women and what I would call the radical feminist movement really boils down to two issues today; you got them on the tip of your tongue?

    Passno: Yes, you can define feminism today really as having two foundational issues. One is abortion, and of course this is a result of their love affair with abortion and so many of our listeners know that and understand that. What is less understood is the fact that what the feminist movement has done it’s gone from wanting equality with men to being a movement that doesn’t think men are really necessary at all.

    The straw-feminist stereotype is so damaging because it’s a widely spread, widely believed line of bullshit that poisons the well for anything feminists say. It’s actively invoked to poison discussion in the service of anti-women laws such as restricting abortion and birth control. It’s reprehensible for Paula Kirby to activate that stereotype in response to something as innocuous as sexual harassment policies which workplaces and organizations have used for years without even criminalizing anyone, much less killing anyone (while abortion restrictions have done both).

    Also see the history of the term “Feminazi”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminazi

  27. Pteryxx says

    Another essay on the use of “feminazi” as an anti-feminist dogwhistle:

    http://www.margieclayman.com/womenwednesday-youre-just-a-feminazi

    quoting Rush Limbaugh:

    “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

    So yes, there’s a reason why the term “feminazi” is closely associated with serious, hateful misogyny.

    Here’s another example:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/08/24/mencallmethings-fuckin-hoe-fuckin-feminazi-slut/

  28. says

    Coelsblog, it was a nice attempt at even-handednedd, but I’m afraid what you’ve mostly ended up doing is evincing your own lack of understanding.

    FTBers want to advance women’s status and feminism; they think theirs is the right way to do it; they think others such as Paula are harming this; and in their passion over this issue they use inflammatory language liberally (“rape-enabler”, “misogynist troll”, “A*”, etc).

    Paula Kirby (and some others) want to advance women’s status and feminism; they think theirs is the right way to do it; they think others such as FTBers are harming this; and in their passion over this issue they use inflammatory language liberally (“-stasi”, “-nazi”, etc).

    As Gilliel pointed out, these are not equivalent terms. Also, as Gilliel pointed out, “rape apologia” and “apologist for rape culture” are terms in use around here. “Enabler of the harassers and people who send rape threats” I have also seen.

    See, the reason we are passionate here about using insults rather than slurs is that we like to make sure they are accurate. Whether Kirby wants to advance women’s rights or not, it is accurate to point out that she is providing cover for the harassers and rape threats senders who aren’t interested in women’s rights.

    It is not accurate in the least to compare FTB, Skepchick, or the posters here to the Stasi, the Nazis, or the Taliban. Again, as Gilliel points out, it is a dog whistle that empowers the anti-feminists to ramp up their attacks, which are now even more justified in their minds, because gosh! those evil FTBers are just like the Stasi and want to wipe out all opposing views and imprison their opponents and put them under surveillance. Speaking of surveillance, my personal experience has been that the many haters of A+ have put ME under surveillance–they monitor my twitter feed and read my posts here and seize on anything they can in order to attack me, completely out of the blue. I do not do the same to them. I know a some people here read the Slymepit occasionally, but not to check for ammunition but rather to make sure the harassment isn’t escalating. See my post at Ophelia’s for more details, and read the posts above it too.

    Obviously this has led to a feedback loop with each “side” being inflamed by each others’ attitude and language, and pointing to this as reinforcement of their own position.

    This does not seem obvious to me. It is not at all obvious that more temperate language on our part would eliminate the hateful and inaccurate (that part is important, remember, there are fact claims here) attacks on us. Primarily because these hateful attacks began in response to some quite temperate language (“Guys, don’t do that.” “Hey, harassment is a problem. Let’s have a policy.”)

    [Clarification: I'm not here talking about senders of rape-threat hate mail, which is vile and meritless and should be outright condemned, I'm talking about such as Paula who also has the status of women at heart.]

    And you are ignoring the fact that Kirby’s language provides intellectual and ideological cover for the rape threat senders and harassers, just as moderate Christians provide intellectual and ideological cover for rabid fundamentalists.

    Anyone objecting to the Horde’s aggressive/insulting language is labelled a “tone troll” and told they should focus on the substance.

    Yes, they should. That does not preclude offering insults back in return, just so long as they are accurate, and accompanied by statements addressing the substance. Arguments that address tone ALONE are tone trolling.

    Yet, the reaction here to Paula’s “Sisterhood” article is essentially a “tone” complaint: “she said “femistasi” How is that not hateful?”. And others would say: “FTBullies said x,y,z, how is that not hateful?”.

    No. You were not following the debate, I see. Kirby was challenged to explain in detail how anyone here is actually like the Stasi, or to retract her statement. Well, she did a piss-poor job of explaining what the similarities are between us and the Stasi are, but she did not retract her statement. That makes her factually wrong. In addition, her statement provided ammunition and encouragement to those who vehemently oppose harassment policies as well as those who use gendered slurs and sexual harassers. This is a factual claim, which can be supported with evidence.

    In addition, you are ignoring the fact that Kirby, in adopting Rush Limbaugh’s language in talking about feminists, is legitimizing the views of rabid anti-feminists such as Limbaugh, and making all feminists collateral damage in her mission to insult FTB and Skepchicks. Her insult was hateful, and that’s bad, but it’s far far worse because she offers support to the likes of Limbaugh and does not care that her hate is splashing over to all feminists (if she cares about the advancement of women in general, this is something that should concern her).

    Therefore we must conclude that you, Coelsblog, are also wrong when you allege that the SOLE objection to Kirby is about TONE.

    Furthermore, a child could recognize that the “Femi-Fascist” in my ‘nym is CLEARLY a jab at Paula Kirby and her supporters for advancing such ridiculously flawed arguments and insults. Why do you even bring it up? It makes you look as if your intelligence is subpar.

    In conclusion, bite me.

  29. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    I’d say someone who calls those she disagrees with “feminazis” and “femistasi” has pretty much defined herself as their enemy, wouldn’t you? – me

    No, not necessarily – coelsblog

    Well, it’s quite clear from other things you’ve said here that you’re an idiot, so I suppose that’s not surprising. You’re also a crashing bore, so I’ll gratefully leave your further demolition in the capable hands of SallyStrange, Pteryxx* and others.

    * Incidentally Pteryxx, I think I’ve at some point mistakenly attributed the name Atheism+ to Jen McCreight, not to you. Apologies.

  30. says

    @Sally Strange,

    Seriously, explain to me why it’s a character flaw on MY part to regard with suspicion, mistrust, and hostility, people who have compared ME to the Nazis, the Stasi, and the Taliban.

    Explain this.

    Certainly I will – it isn’t a character flaw, you are absolutely right. I’d join you in the hostility towards people calling you that, although probably ridicule from me. I’ve tried to be clear but it is much easier for people to characterise my position as standing up for the things some of the people from a certain place have done and said. I’m not.

    The point I was making was that saying we should repudiate the *group* of people as misogynists was wrong (You are not doing this in your example above so doesn’t really apply to you). Any individuals are fair game based on what they have said and done. Repudiation of people as misogynists is a serious thing – make sure those who deserve it get it with no collateral damage?

    The wider issue of them spreading their FtBs hate memes far and wide over twitter and using Thunderf00ts departure to enlist his followers is important to note. This repudiation of the group will be used (Unfortunately with some truth now) that if you oppose FtBs worldview then you will be called a misogynist regardless of what you have personally said. Many of these people have no idea of the history that everyone here says is so important to understand why the group *is* so evil… Does the issue with saying that not become obvious then? Who is going to be nuts enough to trawl through two years of bickering and hate to understand it all?

    Have prominent people seemingly not fallen for the memes being spread (#FTBullies)? Intelligent people? *cough*Dawkins*cough*… So when a part of the FtBs apparent monolith actually behaves as characterised it is worthy of some whining from the professional whiners like me ;-)

  31. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This repudiation of the group will be used (Unfortunately with some truth now) that if you oppose FtBs worldview then you will be called a misogynist regardless of what you have personally said.

    Citation, not concern needed. Funny how you are long on concern and OPINION, but short on evidence. Which is why your concern is noted as we put it into the dumpster where it belongs.

  32. Pteryxx says

    Any individuals are fair game based on what they have said and done. Repudiation of people as misogynists is a serious thing – make sure those who deserve it get it with no collateral damage?

    So you finally read the rest of the OP then? Have you finally gotten past the mention of Blackford?

    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.

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and Oolon, every social change required two components. A noisy vocal group to get peoples attention and shock them into thinking, and quieter groups to ease the change. You are obviously a member of the second group. We here at Pharyngula are the first group. Think about that before you shower your faux concern on us again.

  34. larosita says

    Thank you, PZ, for sticking your neck out on behalf of fairness and humanity. It is much appreciated. I have not been the object of the extremes of hatred that I am now hearing about but I have no doubt that it exists and that it ought to be publicly repudiated. I am sorry to hear that you have been the recipient of some of the disgusting behavior. I guess that means that you have hit the mark.

  35. says

    The point I was making was that saying we should repudiate the *group* of people as misogynists was wrong (You are not doing this in your example above so doesn’t really apply to you). Any individuals are fair game based on what they have said and done. Repudiation of people as misogynists is a serious thing – make sure those who deserve it get it with no collateral damage?

    I don’t like you at all, Oolon, because you appear to be far more concerned with the collateral damage caused by opposing injustice than you are with the collateral damage from the injustice itself.

    Feel free to correct my perception by quitting your professional whining schtick. Until then, fuck you.

  36. Pteryxx says

    Another point, oolon:

    The wider issue of them spreading their FtBs hate memes far and wide over twitter and using Thunderf00ts departure to enlist his followers is important to note. [...] Who is going to be nuts enough to trawl through two years of bickering and hate to understand it all?

    Did you even notice how you shifted responsibility for countering the hate memes to the targets? And your conclusion is basically that the FTB side must be exceedingly careful about calling people misogynists, because it’ll somehow empower all those hate memes that the haters have been obsessively repeating for a year?

    That’s BS. Demanding that nobody make a mistake or else they deserve to be hate targets is BS. Seizing on every little mistake and twisting it into blatant misrepresentations is BS. Making sweeping straw accusations on the flimsiest of evidence is BS. And if you hadn’t noticed (as if) that’s exactly the process that initiated and maintains this ongoing shitstorm since the day Rebecca Watson said “Guys, don’t do that”. I even cited an example in PZ’s reply to Blackford above. (previous page of comments).

    Your concerns are misplaced.

  37. coelsblog says

    Thanks everyone for their replies, including the background to the use of “feminazi” and similar. I’m not going to defend the use of -nazi and -stasi since it’s not wording I would use and since (as stated) I consider it inappropriate and unhelpful.

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    [-Nazi, -stasi] is a dog whistle that empowers the anti-feminists to ramp up their attacks, [...] Kirby’s language provides intellectual and ideological cover for the rape threat senders and harassers,

    Dog-whistle implies intent; I would presume that that is not her intent (at least I hope so), but it may indeed be a consequence. I’d be interested to hear Kirby’s reply to that point (has she attempted one?).

    Speaking of surveillance, my personal experience has been that the many haters of A+ have put ME under surveillance–they monitor my twitter feed and read my posts here and seize on anything they can in order to attack me, completely out of the blue.

    OK, though it seems that some FTBers do likewise with such as Blackford & Dawkins.

    Furthermore, a child could recognize that the “Femi-Fascist” in my ‘nym is CLEARLY a jab at Paula Kirby and her supporters for advancing such ridiculously flawed arguments and insults. Why do you even bring it up?

    Well I wasn’t sure, and I did suggest that “… one can mean things ironically”, which you are telling me is the case. OK.

    Pteryxx

    It’s reprehensible for Paula Kirby to activate that stereotype in response to something as innocuous as sexual harassment policies which workplaces and organizations have used for years …

    Though in her article she explains what she uses the term -stasi about, and it isn’t directly about harassment policies. But as I said I consider that she should retract the language. [By the way, I have no problem with harassment policies.]

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    Kirby, in adopting Rush Limbaugh’s language in talking about feminists, [...] nobody who sincerely wants to advance women’s rights could approvingly and knowledgeably adopt such terminology.

    I noted up-thread that some relevant people (Kirby, Dawkins, Blackford) are not American. I believe that Paula is British and lives in Scotland. When examined at this level there are big differences in language usages; and as I noted up-thread the cultural conversation is hugely more polarised and fraught in the US (I’m British but have lived 3 years in the US so have some perspective on this). In the UK we have no equivalent of Limbaugh or Beck or talk radio; all UK politics is shifted to the left of the US, like America would be if the entire Republicans and Christian-Right just vanished (for example, in the UK it is political death for any politician to even question our “socialised medicine” system; in the US it would be political death for any politician to be for it).

    The point of this is that Kirby’s context and interpretation of words like -Nazi and -stasi can be genuinely very different from yours. It may be that she is unaware of Limbaugh’s use of the terms (most Brits would not even know who Limbaugh is). So there is scope here for a somewhat more charitable interpretation of Paula’s language than as a Limbaugh echo.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    [Listen to] The posters here, … Not the apologists like Kirby.

    I do listen to FTB women. For example I’ve read much on Greta Christina’s blog and her recent book, and listen to, admire and respect her writings and opinions. I also listen (believe it or not!) to the Horde (whereas I’ve never read or looked at the slimepit at all). However, and sorry if this offends anyone, I also listen to Paula Kirby and respect many of her writings. (Note that in none of these cases does “listen to and respect” necessarily mean “agree with”.) Afterall, how could I, as a mere male, tell either of Greta Christina or Paula Kirby that they are wrong?

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oolon is showing itself to be a concern troll type 1. Pretend to be sympathetic, but always have an issue (i.e. don’t call out anybody mistakenly) to dilute the strong message to the point of inanity. So nothing changes. Solid one-to-one correspondence. Which is why its ideas are in the dumpster.

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I do listen to FTB women.

    No, you don’t truly listen. And I mean the women here a Pharyngula, those who constantly take your idiocy to task. You dismiss them and the evidence they present to you that your male privilege is showing, giving prima facie evidence of it. Male privilege at work in belittling/diminishing what they say. That is obvious to me and any regular here. What you also fail to do is to consider that you are wrong. You are.

  40. says

    Nerd @42

    Oh, and Oolon, every social change required two components. A noisy vocal group to get peoples attention and shock them into thinking, and quieter groups to ease the change. ………We here at Pharyngula are the first group.

    Awesome stuff. I was always under the impression social change was advanced by engaging with people, you know, people who actually think differently to you. I wonder how you propose to change people’s minds when you (metaphorically speaking) hide under the stairs as soon as anyone who thinks differently comes near?

    Objective: Influence outside world into social change.
    Method: Shout at them until they fuck off.

    You think the highly successful Catholic missionaries the last few centuries did so well by not engaging with the natives on the grounds they weren’t already Catholics?

    You folks couldn’t social change your way out of a paper bag. Admittedly, your leaders could, the Greta’s, Jen’s and PZ’s realise the big bad world out there will have to be convinced on the grounds that this is actually what the aim is, not go ‘shit, someone thinks differently, let’s insult them until they go away’.

    A+ and FtB, talking shop or vehicle for ‘social justice change’? I think this little reddit exchange tells me all I need to know
    http://www.reddit.com/r/atheismplus/comments/zflr1/4chan_on_no_girls_on_the_internet_this_is/c68il8b?context=3

    Jim (noelplum99)

    PS: Oolon, maybe me praising you won’t actually do you any favours (sorry, in advance) but well done for at least trying to get this bunch of rottweilers to stop shouting at everyone and scaring people away

  41. Pteryxx says

    It may be that she is unaware of Limbaugh’s use of the terms (most Brits would not even know who Limbaugh is). So there is scope here for a somewhat more charitable interpretation of Paula’s language than as a Limbaugh echo.

    Wrong. The origin and background of “feminazi” were pointed out to Kirby, both directly and in critiques of her “Sisterhood of the Oppressed” essay. She stood by the term and refused to engage with the criticism of it.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/thats-not-a-godwin-thats-a-wollstonecraft/

    http://skepchick.org/2012/07/hot-gossip-were-all-burqa-wearing-nazis/

    Here’s her initial reply on Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/PaulaSKirby/status/218342282452148225

    Rachel Holmes ‏@mcgingersnap

    @PaulaSKirby Feminazi? Oh Paula – do you really want to sound like Rush Limbaugh?

    Paula Kirby Paula Kirby ‏@PaulaSKirby

    @mcgingersnap No, just like me, thanks. I quite like Femistasi too. One form of totalitarian thought is, after all, much like another.

    6:57 AM – 28 Jun 12

  42. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You folks couldn’t social change your way out of a paper bag.

    Citation needed. Your unevidenced OPINION is *POOF* dismissed as fuckwittery.

    I was always under the impression social change was advanced by engaging with people, you know, people who actually think differently to you.

    Who are we to engage? Not the PIT. We will talk to anybody who comes here. I don’t do missionary work. Oh, and your sig screams that “I’m a pompous asshole”. We don’t need that, as the header tells us who you are.

  43. says

    Nerd @52

    Oh, and your sig screams that “I’m a pompous asshole”.

    The world is full of pompous assholes. you need to engage with us, there are simply too many of us assholes, pompous or otherwise to ignore.

    PS: Will the citation be forthcoming into the relationship between including a sig to online posts and pompous assholery or is this just your opinion?

    We don’t need that, as the header tells us who you are.

    I do it in lieu of actually being able to sign my comments. I like to put my name or my face to everything I say. It is called accountability. I realise that some people cannot do this due to where they live or their job etc, but I can and I do.
    Can i advise you? No? i will anyway: if you want to advance social change you will need to engage with people who use annoying sigs after their comment.

    Jim (noelplum99)

  44. PatrickG says

    Wow, coelsblog persists. Meh, might as well insult hir some more. But first, I’ll respond to some more laughable claims.

    But as I said I consider that she should retract the language.

    She hasn’t, to my knowledge. Why don’t you go ask her to? Retraction and apologizing for that would go a long way towards conciliation.

    And by the way, I would assume she’s aware of Limbaugh, particularly after exchanges like this:

    Rachel Holmes ‏@mcgingersnap

    @PaulaSKirby Feminazi? Oh Paula – do you really want to sound like Rush Limbaugh?

    Paula Kirby ‏@PaulaSKirby

    @mcgingersnap No, just like me, thanks. I quite like Femistasi too. One form of totalitarian thought is, after all, much like another.

    Not to mention that Limbaugh is frequently covered by UK media. Here, I typed the words into google for you. The words “UK newspaper limbaugh” bring up almost 3 million results! And yes yes, of course a lot of those will be duplicative and not relevant, but I’m more than willing to assert that informed people in the UK know who Limbaugh is.

    So, you know, I feel quite comfortable saying that Kirby’s intent is to viciously smear people she disagrees with exactly the same terminology that Rush Limbaugh and others use. And apparently, she doesn’t much care that she’s lending support and reinforcement to the opinions of such an odious man.

    Afterall, how could I, as a mere male, tell either of Greta Christina or Paula Kirby that they are wrong?

    Really scraping the dregs of the barrel here, aren’t you? Are you really trying to claim that people here think that men can’t criticize the ideas of women?

    And now, the obligatory insults, because I’d hate to leave off a chance for you to complain about the holy tone:

    I’d call you a bloviating sack of feces, but at least fecal matter can be used as fertilizer, and what you’re spewing here is of much less utility. So I’ll instead liken your arguments to jettisoned human waste from the ISS, which I’m just wishing would reenter the atmosphere so I don’t have to look at it anymore.

    Willful idiocy is something you seem to possess in abundance, but do feel free to dismiss my points here with another /yawn since I was so impolite. SallyStrange or Pteryxx will do a much more thorough job of savaging your petulant inanity.

  45. says

    @Coelsblog:

    Do note that I offered TWO possibilities:

    EITHER Paula Kirby is wrong (i.e. she has no factual basis for her analogy to the Stasi, and/or she is irresponsibly disregarding the international nature of the conversation), OR she does not support women’s rights as much as you think she does.

    I am not venturing an opinion as to which is more likely and I find the “Oh it’s just because she’s from the UK” excuses to be just as tiresome as when people use them to excuse using the word “cunt.” Regardless of whether she is ignorant (irresponsibly so!) of the history behind “Feminazi,” the fact remains that there is NO FACTUAL BASIS for comparing anyone here at FTB to THE FUCKING STASI.

  46. Pteryxx says

    PatrickG, I kinda cheated… I knew that “but Kirby didn’t mean to use ‘feminazi’ THAT way” was going to be the next excuse, so I had those articles up and waiting. ~;>

    *bathes in your hate*

  47. PatrickG says

    Pteryxx: I was worried about something like that happening. I spent too much time trying to find an orbiting shit metaphor to describe coelsblog… ’twas my downfall.

    Also, my hatetears are SALTY. I hope you have an open sore somewhere, for my hate must STING!

  48. Amphiox says

    The world is full of pompous assholes. you need to engage with us, there are simply too many of us assholes, pompous or otherwise to ignore.

    How pompous to think the world is “full” of people like you.

    How pompous to think that there is actually a “need” to engage with you.

    Spoiler: No it isn’t, and no we don’t.

  49. says

    Amphiox @60

    I was just pulling your legs! Seriously, just keep talking amongst yourselves and raging about the abusive comments that have come the way of your favourite bloggers and gradually the whole world will come over to your ideology. That is how movements work.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Will the citation be forthcoming into the relationship between including a sig to online posts and pompous assholery or is this just your opinion?

    The OPINION of most the regulars based on experience. You included.

    if you want to advance social change you will need to engage with people who use annoying sigs after their comment.

    I engaged you, but you said nothing of interest. You never do. You just act like you know more than everybody else. Then you post and prove otherwise.

  51. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I was just pulling your legs!

    Who thought you were funny? That is a problem of pompous assholes.

  52. Brownian says

    I was always under the impression social change was advanced by engaging with people

    Ha! Lemme tell you something, you fucking half-wit: a lot of people are under the impression that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet.

    Now, what does that tell us about impressions, as opposed to reality?

    You folks couldn’t social change your way out of a paper bag

    Jim, I understand that you’re a stupid, lying, hypocritical prick, but since you seem to be under the impression that you’re not, answer this question:

    Why aren’t you engaging with us the way you claim we should do with others? If you’re actually convinced name-calling doesn’t work, then you’re not actually trying to change any minds here, and are just a fucking troll.

    As bad as anything on YouTube.

    You folks couldn’t social change your way out of a paper bag

    That’s what you are doing here. You realise this, right? Like, you’re not actually that fucking in love with yourself that you’re that blind?

    well done for at least trying to get this bunch of rottweilers to stop shouting at everyone and scaring people away

    So far, your smug sanctimony hasn’t worked, and your insults aren’t either.

    Why do you have the impression that you know anything about social change at all?

    Unless you’ve got anything new, maybe you should go back to YouTube. You haven’t done anything here.

  53. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Jim, show us how to engage and who by leading by example instead of being a critic. It’s easy to be a critic, hard to be involved. Come back with links as to how we should be doing things, and how well its working for you…

  54. says

    @Nerd of Redhead,

    Citation, not concern needed. Funny how you are long on concern and OPINION, but short on evidence. Which is why your concern is noted as we put it into the dumpster where it belongs.

    I won’t fall for citation trick from you twice – I gave you citations to the argument that I’d apparently failed to prove in comment #343 where Ophelia says Blackford was not a misogynist for doing exactly what you think makes another group misogynists. You fail to address any points and keep on repeating citation! citation! Sorry if I consider you as pointless if you cannot actually add anything but OPINION (caps are fun!) to address my supposedly obviously flawed arguments.

  55. coelsblog says

    PatrickG:

    Not to mention that Limbaugh is frequently covered by UK media. Here, I typed the words into google for you. The words “UK newspaper limbaugh” bring up almost 3 million results! And yes yes, of course a lot of those will be duplicative and not relevant, but I’m more than willing to assert that informed people in the UK know who Limbaugh is.

    You’re wrong on just about every sentence there. First, Googling 3 words does not give a hits total in which all 3 words are relevant. It is simply not the case that “Limbaugh is frequently covered by UK media”, if by that you mean mainstream media, and the hardcopy media. Yes, you would get specialist blogs and websites mentioning him a lot. If you actually read the results of that search, it very quickly peters out of mentions in mainstream broadsheet newspapers, and most of those are to one newspaper, The Guardian, which has a special interest in such topics.

    If you try doing a more sensible search, such as linking Limbaugh with “The Times” or “Telegraph” and restricting the domain to the uk, you get only a handful of hits before the results move away from the main newspaper and on to blogs. And this is close to a US election when coverage is higher than normal.

    No, most “informed” people in the UK would *not* know who Limbaugh is, unless they have a special interest in the cultural affairs of modern America. Now, yes Kirby does have that, and would know who Limbaugh is, but knowing who Limbaugh is is not nearly the same as knowing his track record of use of particular phrases. Even most “informed” people in the UK would have very little idea of Limbaugh’s track record on -nazi like phrases.

  56. Brownian says

    Seriously, just keep talking amongst yourselves

    “Atheism+ My Opposition” Is 20 minutes. That’s a third of an hour of you talking to yourself. In the singular.

    How many YouTube videos have you posted on your channel? How many of them include another party to the conversation?

    You sure you want to be lecturing people on interaction, Mr. Mr-My-Webcam-And-Me?

  57. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    Remember, her basis for calling us “the Femistasi” is that we’re authoritarian. That is a claim that can be falsified and it has been falsified. Whatever our flaws here, authoritarianism is not among them.

    Well, for the record, here is her basis for the -stasi use in her own words: “In the case of the -stasi suffix, it draws attentions to behaviours associated with the thought police, for whom anyone who dares to hold non-approved attitudes is automatically persona non grata and to be treated as an enemy of the people. I am referring, of course, to the unfailing response on certain blogs whenever someone has had the temerity to challenge the claims that have been made there. Any suggestion, no matter how mildly phrased or how in keeping with the principles of skepticism, that The Sisterhood might not be automatically and wholly right by default has been met with torrents of abuse, and a pot-pourri (actually, dung-heap would seem a more appropriate metaphor) of accusations ranging from troll at the lower end, through slimebag, douche etc, right up to misogynist or even rape-apologist.”

  58. Pteryxx says

    No, most “informed” people in the UK would *not* know who Limbaugh is, unless they have a special interest in the cultural affairs of modern America. Now, yes Kirby does have that, and would know who Limbaugh is, but knowing who Limbaugh is is not nearly the same as knowing his track record of use of particular phrases. Even most “informed” people in the UK would have very little idea of Limbaugh’s track record on -nazi like phrases.

    Any time you want to get back on-topic, coelsblog. You’re riding the Nitpick car of the Hyperskepticism Train to Derailsville right now.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    to address my supposedly obviously flawed arguments.

    Yep, all concern trolls have obviously flawed arguments. Nothing to address, as you should see the flaws if you weren’t blinded by concern.

  60. PatrickG says

    @ coelsblog:

    Ah, so you’ll just ignore the fact that Kirby had Limbaugh directly brought to her attention? Try again, please.

    So I’ll tell you again: you think Kirby was wrong. You’ve said so here. Have you told her that? Do you plan to vigorously undebate her in public forums? With even half the attention you give to this forum?

    Also, try to vigorously focus on one part of Pteryxx’s comment without addressing the rest of it. You’ll find it harder to do, methinks, xe’s much better at online communication than I am.

    Also, damn it Pteryxx, stop responding so fast. ;)

  61. says

    Nerd of Redhead

    I engaged you, but you said nothing of interest. You never do. You just act like you know more than everybody else.

    Not everybody else

    Jim, show us how to engage and who by leading by example instead of being a critic. It’s easy to be a critic, hard to be involved. Come back with links as to how we should be doing things, and how well its working for you…

    I am not part of a movement for social justice. I am not part of any movement.

    What worries me is out of the two options:
    i) Engage with people outside of the in group
    ii) Don’t engage with people outside of the in-group
    you need me to demonstrate why i) will be more effective than ii) in leading to societal change.

    Jim (noelplum99)

  62. Rodney Nelson says

    Noeljim, who knows how all of us spend every waking hour, sneers at us for inactivity:

    I wonder how you propose to change people’s minds when you (metaphorically speaking) hide under the stairs as soon as anyone who thinks differently comes near?

    So Noeljim, what would you have us do? Make YouTube videos?

  63. says

    Rodney.
    fair question.

    Everyone who comes along who doesn’t share your opinions is a candidate for change. Every time you engage with someone dozens of others, who may be candidates for change, will read your exchange.
    Whether you make YT videos, start blogs, live debates or just keep posting here on FtB, there are a million ways you can potentially influence people. I certainly don’t intend to tell you how to go about it, I just don’t understand how you feel that you will change the mind of a single person if they are just met with aggression and instant dismissal.

    Jim (noelplum99)

  64. says

    @Sally Strange,

    I don’t like you at all, Oolon, because you appear to be far more concerned with the collateral damage caused by opposing injustice than you are with the collateral damage from the injustice itself.

    Injustice in this context would be the lack of representation of minorities and women in the sceptic-atheist community, it would be the disgraceful way a 15yrd old was treated on Reddit, it would be the horrible threat you received on TFs blog – but more than that the injustice of it presumably being ignored by WordPress (Wonder if it was racist if TF and WordPress would ignore it?)

    Fortunately we are talking about an internecine ‘war’ between two groups who identify as sceptic-atheist-feminists. Both sides claim to ‘know’ how to solve these injustices, I agree with this ‘side’ but I won’t call the others misogynists just because I don’t agree with them. (This now means I agree with everything some of ‘them’ have ever done! No. It doesn’t! If someone does things like the ‘too ugly to be raped’ post by Stephanie its clearly motivated by misogyny)

    @Nerd, citation for my being a concern troll or it didn’t happen!

  65. coelsblog says

    Pteryxx,

    Any time you want to get back on-topic, coelsblog. You’re riding the Nitpick car of the Hyperskepticism Train to Derailsville right now.

    Sorry, but it seems to me that Paula’s use of “-stasi” and its interpretation is very much on-topic here — and very much relevant to that are the different cultures and word usages in different English-speaking countries, particularly since Paula lives in a different country to many of her critics. And, IMO, it is not appropriate to interpret a British person’s use of a phrase in the particular light of Rush Limbaugh’s use of it.

    For example, would Americans be aware of the current cultural resonances to a Brit of the phrase “Calm down dear”, and would they know who they “sounded like” to a Brit if they said it? Maybe they do, but I suspect not (no googling, that would be cheating!).

  66. Pteryxx says

    coelsblog: and Paula Kirby’s justification for the thought-police comparison has been critiqued and answered, not just on the well-poisoning but on its factual basis. There is research that chilly climate exists, that implicit bias exists, that people can perpetuate sexism and other bigotries without realizing they’re doing it or intending to do so, that sexual harassment (and assault, and rape) exist and are widespread and frequently ignored, et cetera et cetera. There’s even research that the silence of bystanders and authority figures in the face of harassment or rape jokes contributes to alienation of the targets. Paula Kirby’s wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong, and she continues to espouse badly evidenced stereotyping and hatefulness instead of correcting her views. And it’s not hateful or dogmatic to say so.

    Multiple criticisms address the thought-police fallacy:

    http://skepchick.org/2012/07/hot-gossip-were-all-burqa-wearing-nazis/

    Speaking of the totalitarian state of Freethought Blogs, did you know that they brought on Thunderf00t, famed host of ABC’s long-running hit America’s Atheist Home Videos? They did!

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/how-to-oppose-the-use-of-any-kind-of-name-calling/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/the-oppressed-sisters-and-their-approved-male-chorus/

    http://atheistlogic.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/sisterhood-of-the-oppressed-a-critique/

    http://ohthehumanityofitall.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/response-to-paula-kirbys-open-letter-to.html

    http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/paula-kirby-wrote-stupid-shit/

    “Thought police” is an Orwellian term. Originally, it referred to an actual police actually making sure that no unapproved thoughts happened, since people caught thinking the unapproved thing were brainwashed to “fix” the problem, and ultimately killed. Obviously the Stasi couldn’t quite achieve that level of efficiency, but they certainly tried, by arresting and/or killing people they’ve found expressing unapproved sentiments, even in the “privacy” of their own homes. So, what does Paula compare this to?
    To argument. To people disagreeing, often with long-winded explanations and links to evidence, and doing so while liberally dispensing invective. In writing. On their own blogs, as well as in comment sections on other blogs. Most of these “oppressed” dissenters aren’t even banned from commenting on these blogs, and they certainly are free to express themselves in the privacy of their own public blogs without any repercussions (other than maybe having someone disagree with you (publicly even! *gasp*), or say that they don’t like you anymore, and maybe won’t give you their money) or restrictions. That’s stasi-like behavior. But apparently only when Teh Ebil #FTBullies do it, since the antiFTB contingent indulges in exactly the same behavior (plus occasional threats and extensive use of bigoted slurs; minus the evidence), but when they do it it’s just “calls for balance” and “challeng[ing] the claims”.

    Does this sound at all familiar yet?

  67. Pteryxx says

    Reposted with one less link.

    —-

    coelsblog: and Paula Kirby’s justification for the thought-police comparison has been critiqued and answered, not just on the well-poisoning but on its factual basis. There is research that chilly climate exists, that implicit bias exists, that people can perpetuate sexism and other bigotries without realizing they’re doing it or intending to do so, that sexual harassment (and assault, and rape) exist and are widespread and frequently ignored, et cetera et cetera. There’s even research that the silence of bystanders and authority figures in the face of harassment or rape jokes contributes to alienation of the targets. Paula Kirby’s wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong, and she continues to espouse badly evidenced stereotyping and hatefulness instead of correcting her views. And it’s not hateful or dogmatic to say so.

    Multiple criticisms address the thought-police fallacy:

    http://skepchick.org/2012/07/hot-gossip-were-all-burqa-wearing-nazis/

    Speaking of the totalitarian state of Freethought Blogs, did you know that they brought on Thunderf00t, famed host of ABC’s long-running hit America’s Atheist Home Videos? They did!

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/how-to-oppose-the-use-of-any-kind-of-name-calling/

    http://atheistlogic.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/sisterhood-of-the-oppressed-a-critique/

    http://ohthehumanityofitall.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/response-to-paula-kirbys-open-letter-to.html

    http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/paula-kirby-wrote-stupid-shit/

    “Thought police” is an Orwellian term. Originally, it referred to an actual police actually making sure that no unapproved thoughts happened, since people caught thinking the unapproved thing were brainwashed to “fix” the problem, and ultimately killed. Obviously the Stasi couldn’t quite achieve that level of efficiency, but they certainly tried, by arresting and/or killing people they’ve found expressing unapproved sentiments, even in the “privacy” of their own homes. So, what does Paula compare this to?
    To argument. To people disagreeing, often with long-winded explanations and links to evidence, and doing so while liberally dispensing invective. In writing. On their own blogs, as well as in comment sections on other blogs. Most of these “oppressed” dissenters aren’t even banned from commenting on these blogs, and they certainly are free to express themselves in the privacy of their own public blogs without any repercussions (other than maybe having someone disagree with you (publicly even! *gasp*), or say that they don’t like you anymore, and maybe won’t give you their money) or restrictions. That’s stasi-like behavior. But apparently only when Teh Ebil #FTBullies do it, since the antiFTB contingent indulges in exactly the same behavior (plus occasional threats and extensive use of bigoted slurs; minus the evidence), but when they do it it’s just “calls for balance” and “challeng[ing] the claims”.

    Does this sound at all familiar yet?

  68. Brownian says

    I am not part of a movement for social justice. I am not part of any movement.

    What worries me is out of the two options:
    i) Engage with people outside of the in group
    ii) Don’t engage with people outside of the in-group
    you need me to demonstrate why i) will be more effective than ii) in leading to societal change.

    Wait, want? You’re not part of any movement, and yet you want people to demonstrate what?

    How’s this, Jimmy, you fucking two-faced lying bag of shit?

    You go fuck yourself. Get something heavy and sharp. Die whilst doing it, if possible.

    Nobody needs to engage your lying fucking ass.

  69. says

    (no googling, that would be cheating!)

    What, because the likes of Kirby can’t be arsed to take into account that they are participating in a conversation that involves people from countries all over the globe, we are therefore obligated that we are just as lazy and irresponsible as she evidently is (at least according to your overly charitable interpretation)?

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    why i) will be more effective than ii) in leading to societal change.

    Why aren’t you leading #1 and show us how to do it. Except that you-tube videos isn’t engaging, that is just pontificating. Why must we do it for you? Are you afraid to put your time and effort where your mouth is? Hypocrite if you aren’t. And still no citation. Ergo *POOF* dismissed as fuckwittery.

    I’m not going anywhere to engage anybody. Besides, who do we engage? The PIT? They aren’t listening, and anybody who goes there will be abused.

  71. Pteryxx says

    What, because the likes of Kirby can’t be arsed to take into account that they are participating in a conversation that involves people from countries all over the globe, we are therefore obligated that we are just as lazy and irresponsible as she evidently is (at least according to your overly charitable interpretation)?

    But she’s a good person, when she’s not throwing around loaded anti-feminist terms and un-ironically accusing other atheists feminists of thought-policing. (Which doesn’t count because British.)

  72. coelsblog says

    PatrickG:

    Ah, so you’ll just ignore the fact that Kirby had Limbaugh directly brought to her attention? Try again, please.

    As I said, I’m sure that Kirby is aware of who Limbaugh is (perhaps she is vaguely aware, or perhaps she’s aware in detail). But knowing who Limbaugh is is not nearly the same of knowing his history of use of a particular insult, nor of the cultural resonances that word would have for an American used to Limbaugh.

    Note that her tweet says she doesn’t want to associate with Limbaugh, but doesn’t really reveal the extent of her awareness of his usage of this phrase.

    So I’ll tell you again: you think Kirby was wrong. You’ve said so here. Have you told her that? Do you plan to vigorously undebate her in public forums? With even half the attention you give to this forum?

    Yes I think Paula’s language was unfortunately and inappropriate and it would be best if she retracted it. No I have not told her that. Partly that is because until this thread (indeed this morning) I was unaware that this phrase was a particular hot issue. (Note that I was unaware of Limbaugh’s use of it or of the particular resonances in the US; Limbaugh is *not* widely reported here!)

    Do I plan to “vigorously debate” her in public forums, and tell her why I consider her language on this to be unfortunate and that it were best if she retract it? Well, I don’t think she has a blog, so I’m not sure how I would debate her in public on this. But, yes, I would be entirely willing to criticise her publicly on this, and tell her why I think that her language was unnecessarily inflammatory and unhelpful and that she should retract it. (Indeed, this thread constitutes public criticism of her.)

  73. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    What, because the likes of Kirby can’t be arsed to take into account that they are participating in a conversation that involves people from countries all over the globe …

    As I’ve said, I’m happy to criticise Paula for this -stasi/-Nazi analogy and say that she was mistaken to use it and should retract it.

  74. says

    Brownian

    Ha! Lemme tell you something, you fucking half-wit: a lot of people are under the impression that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet.

    About 1.5 billion I think. Islam is a proselytising religion, as you are well aware. You think there would be 1.5 billion muslims today if they had just kept themselves to themselves?
    It is no surprise that the two most successful religions are the two that have made the most concerted effort to spread their beliefs and convert others. So I don’t see how this response of yours does anything other than make my point for me. maybe i misundertood you.

    Jim, I understand that you’re a stupid, lying, hypocritical prick, but since you seem to be under the impression that you’re not, answer this question:

    Why aren’t you engaging with us the way you claim we should do with others?

    Ok, a serious question so a serious answer.
    I am not suggesting you take me as a role model. I am hardly that. I am not involved in a movement nor some kind of hearts and minds campaign. You folks, apparently, are. My points here today have not been made to assist you, I am not that arrogant (though perhaps I am a bit arrogant, i admit), but simply because I am really curious how you think your means will achieve your ends?

    So a serious question for you:

    As bad as anything on YouTube.

    You had a real go at me last time I posted for saying that from my personal perspective threats and other non-answers come alike. You raged at me that I wasn’t given rape and violence threats the seriousness they deserve.
    So how does that tally with you now telling me that what I have done (zero threats of any description) is ‘as bad as anything on YouTube’?
    Will you now go off in a rage posting at yourself or have I missed something here?

    “Atheism+ My Opposition” Is 20 minutes. That’s a third of an hour of you talking to yourself. In the singular.

    How many YouTube videos have you posted on your channel? How many of them include another party to the conversation?

    Was that your first time visiting YouTube?
    maybe I need to explain how YouTube works? It is a bit like whan PZ writes his blog here (Mr. Mr-My-Keyboard-And-Me), it is only him writing his blog, he doesn’t have someone sat next to him typing paragraphs as well.

    To explain YT, people can respond with a comment, as here, or a video response (a level of response not matched here).
    that video (it is 18 mins , not 20) has 38 linked responses, nearly all of which I have watched and most of which I have commented on.
    The video also has nearly 700 comments. Maybe you would like to search through and see how many responses I have made? I would suggest to you that for every comment in response PZ Myers has left here I have left ten on my video. Please don’t accuse me of just lecturing, you will struggle to find many bloggers or vloggers (excepting those that get only the odd comment or response) who interact half as much as I do.

    So what about real exchanges?
    Maybe you should look through those 180-odd videos. i have had extended video exchanges (alongside private exchanges via pm) with:
    Sami Zataari – Muslim, debater
    DawahFilms – Muslim apologist
    Pastor Jerry – Calvanist US preacher
    Laverne (TrustinJC) – Non-denom Christian, hold Enoch as scripture
    Michael J Crawford (RationalRoundTable) Moderate Christian
    Jack (Togetherforpeace) – Christian (recently converted to orthodoxy)
    Noah (Veritas48 – Christian apologist.
    I won’t include responses and exchanges with fellow atheists – i will just include theists. there are nowhere near enough theists on YT btw, but at least we have SOME!

    So there is my defence of your charge. Now what about you? What exchanges have you had other thanmaking trollish responses to anyone who stumbles across FtB and doesn’t buy everything you folks believe?

  75. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee, I don’t see any of the tone/concern trolls engaging the PIT. I wonder why???? They always bring their concerns to us. Maybe cause they have written the PIT off as a lost cause, and think we a mallible.

  76. Pteryxx says

    As I’ve said, I’m happy to criticise Paula for this -stasi/-Nazi analogy and say that she was mistaken to use it and should retract it.

    So far, so good.

    Now, do you think it’s reasonable to expect Blackford to criticise Kirby for the analogy? What conclusions could be drawn from the fact that he’s not only failed to criticise, but has supported this analogy among others?

  77. PatrickG says

    @ coelsblog:

    From your comments up thread:

    When I first raised the issue I had interpreted “openly siding with abusers, haters and harassers” to mean openly siding with senders of abusive rape-threat hate mail or similar. I still haven’t seen evidence of the latter (but then, if that was not what the accusation intended, then ok).

    I now understand better what an FTB accusation of “siding with haters, abusers and harassers” is intended to mean. I suggest that a lot of people who would fully support FTBers utter repudiation of those sending rape-threat hate mail would consider it less reasonable to want to repudiate and totally disassociate with people like Paula Kirby.

    So, your understanding has evolved, and you agree with the basic idea that Kirby has been “unnecessarily inflammatory and unhelpful” and that “she should retract it”, where “it” refers to her statements. You now understand more of why FTB’ers (and others) find Kirby’s comments so offensive.

    I’m willing to withdraw my argument about Limbaugh’s notoriety in the UK for the sake of clarifying discussion.

    As to Kirby… please address the following:

    Paula Kirby has explicitly made it clear that she wants to “repudiate and totally disassociate” with people like bloggers at FTB, Skepchick, and those identifying with A+, through use of language comparing those groups with totalitarian regimes, thought police, and repression of expression.

    Why should we not take her at her word and repudiate her in return? She wants nothing to do with us, why should we be expected to have something to do with her?

  78. says

    Nerd
    If the Pit is the slimepit then many of them watch my videos and have seen me make my stance against threatening posts (rape threats etc). I have also spoken with some of them via pm.
    I engage with you folks directly because you won’t leave the safety of FtB (when i asked you to watch 30 seconds of video it threw you into a blond panic, as I recall) so what else can be done?
    Jim (np99)

  79. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Gee, I don’t see any of the tone/concern trolls engaging the PIT. I wonder why????

    In my case it’s because I read PZ, Greta and others here (and have done for quite a while) and so get sucked into threads, and also because, as a result, I have more respect for people here than those in the pit (which I’ve not read). Is there a problem with that?

    Pteryxx

    Now, do you think it’s reasonable to expect Blackford to criticise Kirby for the analogy? What conclusions could be drawn from the fact that he’s not only failed to criticise, but has supported this analogy among others?

    I’m also happy to criticise Blackford for supporting this -stasi/-Nazi analogy if he has (by the way, what I said about starting this thread unaware of what Blackford has said on this is entirely true). What conclusion would I draw? Hmm, well, I might wonder about whether he, being Australian, and perhaps unaware of Limbaugh etal, is also ignorant of the inflammatory resonances this language has in the US. But if he’s supporting such language then I’m entirely willing to criticise him for it.

    PatrickG

    You now understand more of why FTB’ers (and others) find Kirby’s comments so offensive.

    Yes, and thank you for that information. For example I was totally unaware of the Limbaugh angle on this until now.

    As to Kirby… please address the following: Paula Kirby has explicitly made it clear that she wants to “repudiate and totally disassociate” with people like bloggers at FTB, Skepchick, and those identifying with A+, through use of language comparing those groups with totalitarian regimes, thought police, and repression of expression. Why should we not take her at her word and repudiate her in return? She wants nothing to do with us, why should we be expected to have something to do with her?

    Has she said that, that she wants to “totally disassociate” with you? (Again, I may well be ignorant of a lot of the past history here.) Or are you just deducing that from the “Sisterhood” article? Perhaps her intent was strident criticism of those she sees as basically on her side, and who she would like to be reconciled with?

  80. says

    @Noel, Nerd seems to be full of it. I was told here to ask my questions to the Queen Bee on that place… So I did. Unfortunately erv mostly ignored my criticisms of their approach. But at least I asked… Cannot see Nerd doing too well anywhere there are not a lot of people agreeing with it. Citation! Citation! Doesn’t work too well as a put-down to anything other than a receptive audience.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    so what else can be done?

    Easy, shut the fuck up, as you aren’t doing anthing here. That is why I ask all the concerned folks: What do you wish to accomplish here? Are you accomplishing that? If not, why are you still here?

    Why are you still here?

  82. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#76)

    …I agree with this ‘side’ but I won’t call the others misogynists just because I don’t agree with them.

    Well, fancy that! None of us are calling the likes of the pitizens and their enablers misogynists “just because” they “don’t agree” with us. Implying we do that is a lie.

    And I see, you still can’t acknowledge the reason why the slimepit exists in the first place.

  83. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Misogynist is someone who behaves in a fashion not giving full rights and respect to human beings with female body parts. Using the C word, rape jokes, and displaying antipathy to those wanting women to be treated as full people, with the same respect as they want, is prima facie evidence of misogyny. Which is what the PIT does. Show otherwise.

    It isn’t a difference in beliefs, but how half the population is treated by them.

  84. says

    Has she said that, that she wants to “totally disassociate” with you?

    I’m sorry, this is just hilarious…

    “You guys are just like the Stasi! Authoritarian and intolerant of dissent! Let’s hang out. I’m sure we can have a nice, reasonable chat.”

  85. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have more respect for people here than those in the pit (which I’ve not read). Is there a problem with that?

    Yep, until you engage the PIT with the same concerns you show here, you are a hypocrite. Both sides or no side, that is fair and even.

    And cut out the hyperskepticism. That should be beneath you if you are as smart as you would like to think you are.

  86. Pteryxx says

    Perhaps her intent was strident criticism of those she sees as basically on her side, and who she would like to be reconciled with?

    At what point will you actually read the links and conversations, since claiming ignorance of the past history has basically underpinned all your arguments so far as to why Kirby and Blackford should be given the benefit of your doubt? You’re willing to call an entire essay full of stereotypes, mischaracterizations, and incorrect claims “strident criticism” but the fact that Kirby refused to address all the criticism of her essay goes unremarked?

    Ophelia noted this in the links I gave above, that Kirby promoted her essay on Twitter while blocking a whole slate of people associated with Skepchick.

    So did others, including Jadehawk, in her point-by-point critique of Kirby’s essay:

    http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/paula-kirby-wrote-stupid-shit/

    Activism is by definition controversial: we don’t need activists for causes that are already widely accepted. This means that conflict comes with the territory. Activists need to be able to cope with that, we need to be able to deal with people who really do want to silence us and discredit us at any cost. It can turn nasty.

    I quote this specifically because it’s so fucking hilarious that this comes from the woman who whines about feminazistasi oppression because she and others are being criticized. As I said before, she’s basically saying that other people mustn’t speak up when they’re mistreated and instead they “need to be able to cope with that” and “need to be able to deal with people who really do want to silence [them] and discredit”. But she and the other antiFTB-whiners should be totes encouraged to whine all day and night about Teh Ebil #FTBullies, because they apparently don’t need to learn to cope. Not even with the much smaller amount of unpleasantness that they are receiving, as compared to what they’re dishing out.

  87. Brownian says

    when i asked you to watch 30 seconds of video it threw you into a blond panic, as I recall

    Did you know that with thing we call writing that you can just look that shit right up?

  88. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    when i asked you to watch 30 seconds of video it threw you into a blond panic, as I recall

    Nope, and if you lie/exaggerate about that, what else will you lie/exaggerate about? I don’t do videos of they type you made, where self-important egotists pontificate to satisfy their delusions. No panic, just wasn’t going to look. They are a waste of my time.

    Formal lectures by good speakers like Dawkins and PZ, on the otherhand…

  89. Rodney Nelson says

    when i asked you to watch 30 seconds of video it threw you into a blond panic, as I recall

    I watched your entire video and even commented on it. Didn’t even throw me into a brunette or ginger panic.

  90. says

    @Rodney Nelson,

    haha yes, I had meant to write ‘blind panic’, as someone who bleaches my own hair I assure you ‘blond panic’ is not an insult i would freely make ;)
    Jim (np99)

  91. Walton says

    Several points:

    Firstly, oolon, I strongly disagree with your defence of the slimepit. It’s a vile site, and anyone who willingly chooses to be a part of it bears some measure of responsibility for that. The kind of language we’ve seen there – sexist and degrading epithets, and advocacy of violence – is not excusable under any circumstances. As far as I’m concerned, being a slimepitter is no different from being a willing participant on a racist hate site.

    Secondly, there is absolutely no justification for using terms like “feminazi” and “femistasi” – not only is it sexist, it’s extremely insulting to the actual victims of totalitarian regimes. The fact that Kirby lived under a totalitarian regime does not make this any better (in fact the opposite – she should know how wrong such comparisons are). And the fact that she lives in the UK has no bearing on anything whatsoever. While it may be true that not everyone over here (I’m a Brit) knows who Rush Limbaugh is, any person informed enough to know the history of Nazism can understand why using a word like “feminazi” is wrong and insulting, irrespective of its originator.

    Thirdly,

    You go fuck yourself. Get something heavy and sharp. Die whilst doing it, if possible.

    I am extremely uncomfortable with language like this. That’s not ok. I feel as obliged to call it out here as I would anywhere else.

  92. Brownian says

    I am extremely uncomfortable with language like this. That’s not ok. I feel as obliged to call it out here as I would anywhere else.

    Yeah, that was probably out-of-line.

    Don’t die whilst doing it, Jim.

  93. Brownian says

    Walton, thanks for catching that. I agree the violent imagery was too much.

    And the notpology was even worse. That was super assholey of me.

    Jim, I’m really sorry for writing that, and I sincerely apologise to you and any others who were bothered and offended by it. I promise I’ll try my best in the future to do better.

    As penance, I’ll get off the internet for at least the rest of the day and re-evaluate my purpose here. That may not sound like much, but it’s one less jerk polluting the discourse in the meantime.

    Again, I’m really sorry, Jim.

    And thanks to Walton and Pteryxx for holding my feet to the fire.

  94. says

    As penance, I’ll get off the internet for at least the rest of the day and re-evaluate my purpose here. That may not sound like much, but it’s one less jerk polluting the discourse in the meantime.

    Tempers get frayed at times, apology accepted. Please don’t feel the need for penance. Unless you are a monk!

    Jim(np99)

  95. Brownian says

    Thanks for accepting my apology, Jim. I appreciate your graciousness.

    Please don’t feel the need for penance. Unless you are a monk!

    Nonetheless, I should probably, as they say, lurk moar. I’ll check in this thread, but I think I’m going to stop and breath for awhile.

  96. Pteryxx says

    And thanks to Walton and Pteryxx for holding my feet to the fire.

    Ironic choice of metaphor ;> Thank you for reconsidering, Brownian.

  97. Brownian says

    Thank you for reconsidering, Brownian.

    Well, I knew I was in the wrong as soon as I hit “Submit Comment”, and then things came up and I was AFK and I actually forgot.

    And then I saw that Walton had commented in this thread, and I read his comment, and I dug in my heels for some stupid reason, and now I feel like three times the jerk.

    But it is nice to know that one can trust many of the people here to not let shit like that fly, even among their own. And I do think Jim was very gracious to accept my apology. I don’t think anyone should have faulted him if he had chosen not to.

  98. coelsblog says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yep, until you engage the PIT with the same concerns you show here, you are a hypocrite.

    Walton

    It’s a vile site, and anyone who willingly chooses to be a part of it bears some measure of responsibility for that.

    Damned if I do, damned if I don’t?

  99. says

    @Nerd,

    Misogynist is someone who behaves in a fashion not giving full rights and respect to human beings with female body parts. Using the C word, rape jokes, and displaying antipathy to those wanting women to be treated as full people, with the same respect as they want, is prima facie evidence of misogyny. Which is what the PIT does. Show otherwise.

    1. Using the c-word, nope. Deveny does in her awesome post that PZ links to. Thanks to PZ for introducing her, she is brilliant and I’d never heard of her. Words don’t make misogynists, context might.
    2. Rape Jokes, Actually some people who may be from the pit or TF fans said FtBs bans *all* rape jokes. Actually I found more funny rape jokes on Christina Rads post than I’d ever seen before. Louis CK – Wanda Sykes etc etc
    3. Displaying antipathy to some (Fixed it for you) of those wanting women to be treated as full people. Or do Paula Kirby and Russell Blackford not want this as well? Again Blackford does what a lot of the haters do – encourage the misogynists by retweeeting and laughing at their ridiculing… But he is not a misogynist, all the others are. No answer from you still.
    … is prima facie evidence of misogyny… I last saw that term when Thunderf00t used it, your ‘evidence’ is almost as poor.

    Anyway I never said some of the haters don’t do those things and a lot more that obviously is misogyny… Are you totally incapable of reading what I say? I said when painting a group of people loosely bound with the primary mission of defending others free speech to say whatever they like without being banned and a nice sideline in hating all things FtBs you cannot make that accusation with any certainty.

    @Walton

    Firstly, oolon, I strongly disagree with your defence of the slimepit.

    Defence? I said some have come across as a bunch of obsessive nut-jobs with an extreme hate for FtBs for little rational reason… I have said I won’t hate them all or call them all misogynists – especially when I don’t know what all of them have said or done. That is a defence? Err…OK…

  100. Walton says

    Thanks, Brownian, for the retraction.

    oolon,

    Defence? I said some have come across as a bunch of obsessive nut-jobs with an extreme hate for FtBs for little rational reason… I have said I won’t hate them all or call them all misogynists – especially when I don’t know what all of them have said or done. That is a defence? Err…OK…

    My point (and maybe I was a bit too hard on you) was that when someone willingly associates themselves with a group that is engaging in abusive behaviour, I’m going to criticize them for doing so, even if they don’t seem to be behaving abusively themselves. If someone I know were to join a racist organization, I’d criticize them for it and expect them to justify their actions; why would the slimepit be any different? It’s a place where degrading insults and violent rhetoric are considered acceptable. That’s wrong, in my book.

    Maybe I’m an idealist, but I believe in a world without violence, without hate, without campaigns of abuse and harassment directed at those (especially women) who express opinions in public. The slimepit is the antithesis of everything I believe in.

  101. Walton says

    Maybe I’m an idealist, but I believe in a world without violence, without hate, without campaigns of abuse and harassment directed at those (especially women) who express opinions in public. The slimepit is the antithesis of everything I believe in.

    Wow, that was a hopelessly-written paragraph. Let’s try that again.

    Maybe I’m an idealist, but I believe in trying to build a world without violence, without hate and without bigotry, a world where people have the freedom to speak without being subjected to campaigns of abuse and harassment. The slimepit is the antithesis of everything I believe in.

  102. PatrickG says

    Words don’t make misogynists, context might.

    And the context here was that using the c-word towards those wanting women to be treated as full people. If you’re going to insist on reading in context, please try doing it yourself. Your nitpicking here is ridiculous.

    You can’t just separate portions of a single sentence and treat them as unrelated, unless you’re actively trying to be dishonest.

    FtBs bans *all* rape jokes

    Citation needed, or these people are simply wrong There was a furious discussion here a while back with a lot of people arguing that rape jokes are potentially ok, but only if punching up, and with the caveat that people should be really, really careful in trying to make them, while recognizing that some people will simply not find them funny and it might cause problems. More nuanced than your second-hand claim of a straight-out ban.

    Again Blackford does what a lot of the haters do – encourage the misogynists by retweeeting and laughing at their ridiculing… But he is not a misogynist, all the others are. No answer from you still.

    He’s engaging in misogynist behavior by lending support to misogynists. Furiously nitpicking doesn’t change that. If he’s engaging in misogynist behavior, he needs to stop.

    Defence? I said some have come across as a bunch of obsessive nut-jobs with an extreme hate for FtBs for little rational reason… I have said I won’t hate them all or call them all misogynists – especially when I don’t know what all of them have said or done. That is a defence? Err…OK…

    First, the pit was created with an express purpose, referenced in multiple comments above. That purpose was explicitly misogynistic, and it did very well in attracting that crowd.

    Second, I’m just going to requote Sally Strange here, because it’s so apt.

    Oolon…you appear to be far more concerned with the collateral damage caused by opposing injustice than you are with the collateral damage from the injustice itself.

    And finally, another gem from Nerd worth asking again:

    What do you wish to accomplish here? Are you accomplishing that? If not, why are you still here?

    Seriously, answer that.

  103. coelsblog says

    Pteryxx

    but the fact that Kirby refused to address all the criticism of her essay goes unremarked?

    I can understand why someone might be reluctant to engage with such criticism on FTB, since that usually leads to, err “robust” threads, but I do agree that if she’s unwilling to defend her writings then she probably shouldn’t have broadcast them. I’m certainly not saying she is blameless over this.

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    I’m sorry, this is just hilarious…

    So what do you want, ultimately. To circle the wagons ever tighter, excluding ever more, and then dig a moat? Or ultimately to reach a broad consensus (obviously not including the senders of rape-threat hate mail)?

    This reminds me of the French and Russian revolutions, where people start off with genuine grievances, but the in-the-right side then descends into factionalism and purges. Viewed with a bit of detachment, Paula is not your enemy (nor you hers) — you both want the same things, you just disagree on how to promote them.

    But you each inflame the other with your rhetoric, and that leads by a feedback loop into a Rift (you think hers inappropriate and wrong; others think yours is inappropriate and wrong — I stick with saying that the -stasi language was inappropriate, but if you read the paragraph expounding what she meant by it there is at least a grain of truth in it, along with all the overblown rhetoric of that article).

    And I’m still a bit surprised that a Horde that takes such exception to -stasi language in others sees nothing wrong with and even encourages much of the aggressive insulting from their own — though I see just above that some of it is being called out (I’m impressed).

  104. says

    @Walton, fine I think I agree with almost everything in your post… Would you denounce them all as ‘Misogynists’? Others here have also denounced them as “rape and death threat supporters” and compared them to the KKK and Stormfront. That is all I disagree with – hypersceptic, appearing to ‘defend’ them and their actions? Maybe.

    It’s a place where degrading insults and violent rhetoric are considered acceptable. That’s wrong, in my book.

    Small point, in my estimation this is not correct. I’ve posted there and criticised them for degrading insults and violent rhetoric. I’ve seen core members call out others as well. What is acceptable to them is someone’s right to say whatever they like and not get banned. What they don’t see is how this is excluding large parts of the community, especially minority groups, and they don’t accept atheism+’s right to make a safe area for these groups. They should be ‘tougher’ according to them — utter bollocks say I! But they can think that if they like? Criticism is needed as you say – blanket insult and hyperbole is not criticism.

  105. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#2-177)

    I said when painting a group of people loosely bound with the primary mission of defending others free speech to say whatever they like without being banned…

    OOLON! Why are you lying about what the slimepit is organized around? Why can’t you be honest about the reason the slimepit was started and why it persists? Why are you ignoring everyone who tries to correct you?

  106. says

    PatrickG, Reading comprehension eh?

    “You can’t just separate portions of a single sentence and treat them as unrelated, unless you’re actively trying to be dishonest.”… Then quote of me…”FtBs bans *all* rape jokes”… And citation needed!

    Is that a joke? You just separated my sentence then falsely accused me of saying FtBs bans rape jokes when I said the opposite!

    FFS the ‘FtBs bans rape jokes’ thing was an example of someone on the haters sides idiocy. Was that not clear? Especially as I pointed out in the next sentence that on FtBs Christina Rad hosted a post that made it clear the majority thought they are funny in the right context. That being not making the victim the butt of the joke. Seems we both fail the reading comprehension test.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And I’m still a bit surprised that a Horde

    Where as we are suprised by your continued idiocy as to why we find it offensive, both now and in the future, and your inability to acknowledge that truth. You are one dumb and stubborn work of doo-doo.

    Seems we both fail the reading comprehension test.

    No, only you do Oolon, both reading and comprehension. You don’t hae a valid point. So, why are you still here, and what do you hope to accomplish? Being an asshat is all that you are accomplishing, not the behavior expected from a concern troll interested in politeness and decorum.

  108. PatrickG says

    @ oolon:

    Oh please. I explicitly said “Citation needed, or these people are simply wrong“. For the record, who was your full sentence.

    Actually some people who may be from the pit or TF fans said FtBs bans *all* rape jokes

    Who are these some people? Cite them. I think they’re wrong. I demonstrated why. If you’re going to try and catch me in some nitpicky crap, please try harder. I in no way said you claimed this. I wanted to know who said this.

    Reading comprehension would indeed serve you well.

    Also, I notice you had nothing to say about anything else in my post, resorting to an attempted nitpick instead of saying anything. Well, you failed, so answer this please (again quoting Nerd):

    What do you wish to accomplish here? Are you accomplishing that? If not, why are you still here?

    Bueller? Bueller?

  109. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#2-122)

    They should be ‘tougher’ according to them — utter bollocks say I! But they can think that if they like?

    More lies. No one here says the vile fuckers can’t think like that. (How would we even control that?) But no one should expect the benefit of the doubt when voluntarily associating with a community whose core mission is enacting, supporting and spreading bigotry. You think comparisons to the KKK and Stormfront are hyperbole? That’s because you’re determined to ignore everyone telling you why it’s a valid comparison: The slimepit is organized around bigotry. Not around being able to say anything without getting being banned. Not around criticism of FtB and Skepchick.

    It’s not a community that just happens to have a few hate-spewing fuckers left to run around because of some commitment to freedom of expression. You’re lying when you claim otherwise.

  110. says

    PatrickG, I ignored the rest of your post as it was more of the same. Are you saying I need to cite the nuttyness of the FtBs haters now or you won’t believe they are nutty? Are you arguing on their side now or am I confused?

    Too lazy to find any more than once instance but ‘FtBs ban rape jokes’ is a common meme of theirs.
    http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/on-atheism-and-failure/#comment-11472
    and my response along the same lines as above… FtBs do not ban rape jokes… Clearly!
    http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/on-atheism-and-failure/#comment-11486

  111. says

    @A. Noyd,

    “They should be ‘tougher’ according to them — utter bollocks say I! But they can think that if they like?”

    More lies. No one here says the vile fuckers can’t think like that. (How would we even control that?)

    Fuckwit, I was clearly saying as a question (Hence this strange glyph ‘?’) they can think that can they not? And you agree with me… Obviously they can, we can criticise them for it using logical argument… Not hyperbole.

    It’s not a community that just happens to have a few hate-spewing fuckers left to run around because of some commitment to freedom of expression. You’re lying when you claim otherwise.

    Care to tell me how many people are registered over there? (220 btw, and xxx lurkers)… Do you think they promote their community by saying “Hey Justin Vacula, we are a bunch of sexist assholes, you seem to be one too! Wanna join up?”…

    If I link to that place I’ll likely get banned – so pop over there and ask how many would identify as sceptic-atheist-feminists. A large number I would guess and that is how they promote themselves – they believe it too! Is that hard for you to accept?

    So these sceptic-atheist-feminists (Self identifying – does not matter if you agree) are called “Misogynists!” by the group they hate. Any problems with that scenario?

  112. Tethys says

    dumbass oolon, why are you still posting your stupidity 3 fucking days after PZ said this to you:

    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.

    Any mods reading? I can’t be the only one who has had plenty of oolons whining.

  113. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can’t be the only one who has had plenty of oolons whining.

    Actually I think it wants to be banhammered, so it can prove how nasty and mean the FtB folks are. Never mind how much clean-up we have had to do from its starfarts.

  114. says

    @Nerd, you have constantly failed to address any points – just shout citation! citation!

    I don’t think FtB’ers are mean, some like Nerd seem to be boring and have little to say. But I see Nerd is a celebrity with his own thread ‘over there’. So you are clearly not able to think clearly about people who you dislike and who obviously dislike you intensely in return. I don’t dislike you or anyone else on here – I don’t know you.

    I like how the banning is used to shut me up… You do realise the argument about ‘Why am I wasting my time posting?’ applies to you as well?

    Cannot win the argument – whine to PZ to ban! Problem solved!

  115. says

    But you each inflame the other with your rhetoric, and that leads by a feedback loop into a Rift (you think hers inappropriate and wrong; others think yours is inappropriate and wrong — I stick with saying that the -stasi language was inappropriate, but if you read the paragraph expounding what she meant by it there is at least a grain of truth in it, along with all the overblown rhetoric of that article).

    Kirby was never able to articulate this alleged grain of truth, so I confess to some shock that you are able to discern it.

    Do please explain how zero tolerance for slurs based on identities are at all analogous to totalitarianism. Explain how banning racists and sexists for using racist and sexist language from a blog makes that blog into a mini-totalitarian state. Explain how the people who are being obsessively surveilled (that is, me, us, Amy Roth, Ophelia Benson, Jen McCreight, etc.) are analogous to the ruthless surveillance instituted by the Stasi secret police of East Germany.

    Explain this.

  116. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    Explain how [...] is analogous to the ruthless surveillance instituted by the Stasi secret police of East Germany.

    I don’t think it is analogous, and as I’ve said I consider the analogy overblown and inappropriate. (Indeed, I don’t think that even Kirby believes it is truly analogous, as oppose to being hyperbole; afterall if one doesn’t like what happens on a blog one can simply leave it and ignore it, one could not do that under the Stasi.) What I said I saw a “grain of truth” in is rather the paragraph where she expounded what she meant, quoted above in comment 69.

  117. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    So can you explain it or not?

    The explanation is that I see a “grain of truth” in this:

    “I am referring, of course, to the unfailing response on certain blogs whenever someone has had the temerity to challenge the claims that have been made there. Any suggestion, no matter how mildly phrased or how in keeping with the principles of skepticism, that The Sisterhood might not be automatically and wholly right by default has been met with torrents of abuse, and a pot-pourri (actually, dung-heap would seem a more appropriate metaphor) of accusations ranging from troll at the lower end, through slimebag, douche etc, right up to misogynist or even rape-apologist.”

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You do realise the argument about ‘Why am I wasting my time posting?’ applies to you as well? I’m posting to point out your insipidity. And I’ve done that. You are an insipid and boring poster. You haven’t demonstrated anything of substance, or made your points solidly with real evidence. Your OPINION isn’t substance, and is insipid concern trolling. Why are you still posting if you aren’t getting anywhere–unless you are just trolling.

  119. Pteryxx says

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2012/09/17/more-divisiveness-my-conversation-with-tauriq-moosa-continues/

    There is also a meme in existence that people are raising legitimate concerns and then being abused instead of answered. I’ve seen people complain about this almost constantly. I have almost never actually seen any evidence of this happening. Even on PZ’s threads, which tend to be far more rough-edged than I’d tolerate on my own space, there is usually a willingness to treat legitimate requests for information as genuine. The ones that get abuse are the ones who kick in the door and sneeringly demand that everyone explain things to them because, from their perspective, everyone’s stupid and dogmatic and blindly following Rebecca Watson and… (take your pick).

    coelsblog, you’ve been provided with evidence and arguments that Kirby’s arguments are wrong, that she (and you) are making false equivalences between the behavior of both sides, that she (and Blackford, and Lindsay as per the OP) are studiously ignoring outright harassment by their compatriots while willing to criticize those responding to that harassment. After all that, your argument is to go back to repeating Kirby’s biased assertion?

    *headshake*

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Cannot win the argument

    What argument? Your tone trolling? You lost that with your first post? Nothing else was won by you. You were solidly refuted. Your ego won’t allow you to accept the truth.

  121. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    I would like to know why YOU think there is a “grain of truth” to it.

    Well, for starters, there is the tendency to equate disagreement with trolling. For seconds, if we include within “certain blogs” Carrier’s now notorious post and the comment thread it generated, then that really was way over the top in simply insulting anyone who expressed any disagreement with the fairly totalitarian mindset of that post (yes I’m aware that this post was after “Sisterhood”, but the illustration of mindset is reavealling). There are two “grains”.

    Pteryxx

    that she (and you) are making false equivalences between the behavior of both sides, …

    But I’m not making any such equivalences, depending a bit on who one is including in the “sides” of that comment. Indeed the idea that there are “two” sides is part of the problem, there is a much wider and more varied range of attitudes than two.

    that she (and Blackford, and Lindsay as per the OP) are studiously ignoring outright harassment by their compatriots while willing to criticize those responding to that harassment.

    There can be very good and legitimate reasons why one might discuss with and criticise those you regard as closer to your position than with those one really doesn’t associate with at all. Indeed I’d guess that most of us actually spend much more time talking to and disputing things with people who are relatively close to our position than with people who are very far from it. People who post primarily on FTB exemplify this.

  122. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#2-130)

    Fuckwit, I was clearly saying as a question (Hence this strange glyph ‘?’) they can think that can they not? And you agree with me…

    I know how rhetorical questions work. You have no reason for bring up the pitizen’s freedom of thought because it’s never been an issue. So just asking that question here, to us, implies that we are concerned with controlling their thoughts. It’s a strawman, even if you made sure to ask it in a way that lets you pretend you weren’t really accusing us of that.

    Nor, at this point, are we interested in arguing them into understanding us. You’re the one who cares about that, not us. We understand the futility of it and would rather spend our time showing people who actually have standards in the way they treat their fellow humans what despicable creatures the pitizens and their allies are.

    Do you think they promote their community by saying “Hey Justin Vacula, we are a bunch of sexist assholes, you seem to be one too! Wanna join up?”…

    Do you think the KKK and Stormfront promote their communities by saying “Hey, we’re a bunch of racist assholes, etc.”? Don’t be stupid. They’re just easier for privileged jackasses to recognize for what they are because society does better at identifying the obvious forms of racism.

    If I link to that place I’ll likely get banned – so pop over there and ask how many would identify as sceptic-atheist-feminists. A large number I would guess and that is how they promote themselves – they believe it too! Is that hard for you to accept?

    It’s not hard at all to accept that they think that about themselves. Sure, they’re atheists, but they’re not feminists and they’re piss-poor skeptics. Why is it hard for you to accept the way they style themselves is a lie? A lie you repeat constantly. One you take to heart in believing that they’re not devoted to undermining feminism or ignoring skepticism whenever it suits them?

    So these sceptic-atheist-feminists (Self identifying – does not matter if you agree) are called “Misogynists!” by the group they hate. Any problems with that scenario?

    Yeah, the problem is you’re leaving out why they’re called misogynists. Those who earn the label do so because, in word and deed, they are misogynists. See, unlike you, we haven’t bought into their bullshit advertising. We’re not looking at what they say about themselves but what they actually do.

    And since you seemed to have missed it, let me ask again: Why are you lying about what the slimepit is organized around?

  123. Pteryxx says

    coelsblog, you’re doing it again. Here’s you:

    But I’m not making any such equivalences, depending a bit on who one is including in the “sides” of that comment.

    and here’s you at #125 above:

    But you each inflame the other with your rhetoric, and that leads by a feedback loop into a Rift (you think hers inappropriate and wrong; others think yours is inappropriate and wrong — I stick with saying that the -stasi language was inappropriate, but if you read the paragraph expounding what she meant by it there is at least a grain of truth in it, along with all the overblown rhetoric of that article).

    And I’m still a bit surprised that a Horde that takes such exception to -stasi language in others sees nothing wrong with and even encourages much of the aggressive insulting from their own — though I see just above that some of it is being called out (I’m impressed).

    You’ve been provided with evidence and arguments explaining why “feminazi/femistasi” are not merely inflammatory, but also perpetuate misogynistic bias and poison the well against actual discussion of issues affecting women. You’ve also been provided with evidence of selective criticism by the people whose behavior is being called out.

    Do you remember the OP?

    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.

    Go back and read the OP again, all the way to the end. Vicious harassment is not a reasoned discussion. There is no valid intermediate position that entails ignoring extended campaigns of misogynistic harassment. There is no valid difference of opinion that includes apologetics for harassment. The only possible underpinnings of those opinions are ignorance, unconscious bias, and overt bias.

    And you’re still focusing on mere inflammatory rhetoric. Why do you think that’s even important here? Do you even realize you’re re-enacting the entire point of the OP in miniature?

    Here, so you see just how much you’re missing by being stuck on the tiny, palatable issue of “rhetoric”.

    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.

    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.

    (bolds and asterisks mine)

  124. says

    Well, for starters, there is the tendency to equate disagreement with trolling. For seconds, if we include within “certain blogs” Carrier’s now notorious post and the comment thread it generated, then that really was way over the top in simply insulting anyone who expressed any disagreement with the fairly totalitarian mindset of that post (yes I’m aware that this post was after “Sisterhood”, but the illustration of mindset is reavealling). There are two “grains”.

    Grains of truth that anyone–ANYONE!–who disagrees in the slightest will be subjected to “torrents of abuse” that is quasi-totalitarian in nature?

    Mmmmmm-hmmmmmm.

  125. coelsblog says

    Pteryxx

    You’ve been provided with evidence and arguments explaining why “feminazi/femistasi” are not merely inflammatory, but also perpetuate misogynistic bias and poison the well against actual discussion of issues affecting women.

    Yes, and I accept that it does do those things, especially in an American context.

    You’ve also been provided with evidence of selective criticism by the people whose behavior is being called out.

    Yes, and I accept that some people are indeed selective in their criticism. I know that I am — that arises because I tend to comment on blogs that I am already reading (I mean, I guess that I could go over to tf00t’s blog and make all sorts of criticisms of stuff written there, but then tf00t and his blog are not things I’ve ever followed). Yes, I can see why this might give an appearance of one-sided bias.

    Do you remember the OP? … “you don’t recognize that there is a real problem here, that there are people who must be repudiated …”

    I recognise that senders of rape-threat hate mail and such should be repudiated, and I’m happy to do so. As for repudiating people like Paula, well, I’d prefer not to (which is not saying she is blameless). At root, she wants what you want, and she is still the same person as in the days when PZ wrote admiring posts about her.

    Vicious harassment is not a reasoned discussion. There is no valid intermediate position that entails ignoring extended campaigns of misogynistic harassment. There is no valid difference of opinion that includes apologetics for harassment.

    Agreed. (I’m sorry, but I don’t include Kirby and Blackford’s writings as “harassment” or as apologetics for harassment; though there is a valid issue as to whether they “provide cover for” harassment.)

    And you’re still focusing on mere inflammatory rhetoric. Why do you think that’s even important here?

    I’m puzzled by this question. It seems to me that FTBers are focusing on the “inflammatory rhetoric” of Paula’s “Sisterhood” article and the -stasi analogies — and you (plural) have posted at length about why this sort of inflammatory rhetoric is important, why it matters and why it is harmful. I accept your arguments as to why this sort of inflammatory rhetoric matters. For one thing it provides cover for worse.

  126. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    ANYONE!–who disagrees in the slightest will be subjected to “torrents of abuse” that is quasi-totalitarian in nature?

    The equation of disagreement with trolling (as is routine here) is a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset: “I’m so certain that I’m right that no reasonable person could disagree, therefore if someone does disagree they must be trolling”.

    Compare: “The Soviet communist system is so obviously ideal that anyone who doesn’t agree must either be wicked (and so should be sent to the gulag) or mentally ill (and so should be committed to a mental asylum).”

    The whole point of a liberal, pluralistic nation is that reasonable people of good faith can disagree, and can disagree without regarding each other as enemies.

  127. says

    At root, she wants what you want,

    You keep asserting this, without providing evidence.

    To be clear, I don’t know much about Kirby. But I do know that she appears to not want harassment policies at conferences, which is something I do want. Especially given that her actions at TAM could possibly violate a typical anti-harassment policy such as have been proposed and enacted at various events.

    In addition, she appears to be one of those women who has taken the path of climbing the ladder to achievement, then pulling it up behind her. She is uninterested in extending more ladders down for up-and-coming women and other minorities to increase their participation. This is not as bad, obviously, as actively harassing people herself, but it is morally wrong in my view because it contravenes evidence we have about how the “Chilly Climate” (<–technical term, which you should find familiar if you've been reading Pteryxx's links) can have a huge impact on the numbers of minorities in traditionally male-dominated fields as well as their overall success.

    In other words, if it is true that, as you claim, she wants to increase participation by women and other minorities in STEM fields as well as skepticism and atheism, she is clearly (unforgivably, at this point) ignorant of the most recent, compelling research on what the most effective methods for achieving these goals is.

    Not to mention, she has not engaged critically with those advancing methods that are based on actual research but has instead hurled inflammatory, dehumanizing anti-feminist rhetoric.

    Have I mentioned how much you suck, Coelsblog? I hope you appreciate the tremendous patience that has been shown to you here.

    Also, your "grains of truth" weren't. You need to present some better arguments–some concrete examples of what you think qualifies as "torrents of abuse" or whatever Kirby's term was–if you want to convince anyone that Kirby had a point with her screed.

    I don't suppose you bothered to read Jadehawk's point-by-point refutation.

  128. says

    The equation of disagreement with trolling (as is routine here) is a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset: “I’m so certain that I’m right that no reasonable person could disagree, therefore if someone does disagree they must be trolling”.

    Being confident that you’re right is “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset.” Golly gosh. Who knew it was so easy to be a totalitarian.

    Compare: “The Soviet communist system is so obviously ideal that anyone who doesn’t agree must either be wicked (and so should be sent to the gulag) or mentally ill (and so should be committed to a mental asylum).”

    I’m not sure what this is being compared to.

    “Harassment is a problem at conferences. Anti-harassment policies have a pretty good record over two decades of working to reduce harassment and providing mechanisms for victims to speak out about harassment that they do experience. Anti-harassment policies do not have a history over their two decades or so of being instituted in corporate offices and conferences of stifling free speech. Therefore anyone who opposes the institution of anti-harassment policies is either ignorant or trolling.”

    The whole point of a liberal, pluralistic nation is that reasonable people of good faith can disagree, and can disagree without regarding each other as enemies.

    Uh huh. And what does this have to do with me and my communities again? Nobody here is proposing that the misogynist assholes be thrown in prison. Just that we don’t want to be around them anymore, and are baffled that they can’t seem to leave us the fuck alone.

    Seriously, fuck you and your willful ignorance and determined refusal to grasp the obvious.

    You are not accusing me and the people in my community of “taking the first step down the road to totalitarianism.” Did you think I wouldn’t notice you doing that? Or perhaps you are so dense that you didn’t notice that you were doing it yourself.

    Funnily enough, I’m convinced that I’m not remotely totalitarian and am sorely tempted to verbally abuse you for implying otherwise. Of course if I verbally abuse you then that’s more evidence that I’m a totalitarian. Nice little trap you’ve set there–lets you be an asshole who flings hyperbolic, nonsensical, and un-evidenced assertions, while neatly evading any possible criticism for the offense you give.

  129. says

    @A. Noyd,

    Nor, at this point, are we interested in arguing them into understanding us. We understand the futility of it and would rather spend our time showing people who actually have standards in the way they treat their fellow humans what despicable creatures the pitizens and their allies are.

    You’ve given up and have no interesting in making sure they don’t persuade more with their particular brand of ‘Strong feminism vs Weak Feminism’ ideology. OK explains a lot – much easier to dismiss people as ‘misogynists’, ‘stupid’ or ‘despicable creatures’ and not address them and their ideas. I’d rather see them tackled.

    It’s not hard at all to accept that they think that about themselves. Sure, they’re atheists, but they’re not feminists and they’re piss-poor skeptics.

    OK Harriet Hall, Paula Kirby, Russell Blackford are not feminists…You did say ‘allies’ too? I suppose various other groups of feminists would say the same about each other. But they just need to come to you for their feminist certificate as you *know* who is for real and who is fake, useful skill.

    Piss-poor sceptics? Given Richard Dawkins has been on ‘their’ side in some pretty obvious tweets and comments… Not a great argument from you.

    Why are you lying about what the slimepit is organized around?

    Playing to the audience again? I said what my perception of them is, not a lie. It is also what a lot of peoples perception will be for the same reasons you made in regard to Stormfront the KKK (Now I’m comparing them to these groups!). Do you think addressing their ideas and actions directly rather than demonising them all would be a better idea? Actually no you wouldn’t because you state as much above – you’ve given up trying to win the argument with them.

    Polarising people on the margins with ridiculous hyperbole seems to be what gets you off… Have at it, you are helping them recruit more people! But I can disagree…

  130. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    not address them and their ideas.

    What part of “they aren’t listening” don’t you understand. They aren’t interesting in engaging unless they control the conversation. You are one dumb cluck.

    But they just need to come to you for their feminist certificate as you *know* who is for real and who is fake, useful skill.

    Bad attempt at ridiculing humor,which shows both your idiocy and fuckwittery.

    I said what my perception of them is, not a lie.

    Sorry,I don’t believe proven liars.

    Polarising people on the margins with ridiculous hyperbole seems to be what gets you off

    No, that’s them. We describe them accurately, and you haven’t demonstrated anything, just asserted that. Which according to Hitch, can *POOF* be dismissed. Just like all your idiocy. Concern trolling is for losers.

  131. Pteryxx says

    Seconding SallyStrange about chilly climate research. It isn’t a very new concept either; the research goes back more than twenty years. Dinosaurs being feathered is a newer concept and has met LESS resistance.

    For a starter explanation with research links and why the concept is applicable here:

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cocktail-party-physics/2011/07/20/is-it-cold-in-here/

    So believe me when I tell you that the skeptic/atheist community has a serious problem when it comes to creating a welcoming environment for women. The APS lists causes of concern in an academic department that are indicative of a chilly climate. Guess what tops the list? “Denial that such issues do matter to people.” And further down the list: “Derogatory comments about female faculty to reduce their ability to bring about change. Branding faculty as ‘difficult’ or ‘troublemaker.’”

    (bolds mine)

    Representative quote from Kirby’s essay:

    So is the Sisterhood’s sense of victimhood also justified? No.

    Denial that the issue matters, plus denigrating those speaking out about it.

    Another of your points, coelsblog:

    Agreed. (I’m sorry, but I don’t include Kirby and Blackford’s writings as “harassment” or as apologetics for harassment; though there is a valid issue as to whether they “provide cover for” harassment.)

    You’re mistaken. From Kirby’s essay:

    In my experience (and I’ve attended and organized a lot of conferences in my time)there’s a sexualized atmosphere at all conferences involving an overnight stay:people are away from home, probably drinking more heavily than they would at home, *cough* networking, surrounded by people who share a common interest, whether that’s in secularism or buttercups or ball bearings, and who are equally letting their hair down and out for a bit of fun, and, moreover, with hotel rooms conveniently located right above their heads.

    I simply do not accept that any reasonably mature, rational adult does not know exactly how to avoid getting into this kind of situation if he or she would prefer not to,or how to deal with it if it occurs.

    That’s simply a denial that harassment in conference or networking situations even exists, in defiance of harassment research, chilly climate research, evidence from use of harassment policies, and the many first-hand accounts given by women who HAVE been harassed at conferences. (If anyone complains, Paula Kirby has already decided that they must not be a ‘reasonably mature, rational adult’ for allowing a harassment situation to arise.)

    That constitutes apologetics for harassment: eliding the evidence, prejudiced dismissal of persons who disagree instead of engaging their arguments, and denying that a problem exists.

    Besides, you also said you agree with my statement here:

    There is no valid intermediate position that entails ignoring extended campaigns of misogynistic harassment.

    The point of the OP is that far too many people, while supposedly holding a reasonable middle-ground view, say nothing about the actual ongoing harassment. Even when their attention has been brought to it; even when it’s coming from people they DO engage with regularly. It is reasonable to draw conclusions about someone’s actual position from their silence. Which is why, again, you have no evidence to claim that Kirby’s actually in agreement with “the other side” and just disagrees on the methods. The ONLY evidence is that she says that’s what she wants, while her writings and actions show otherwise: she’s actively working against evidence-based efforts to increase women’s participation, while ostentatiously ignoring the actual harassment driving them away.

    I’m sure most parents who are vaccine deniers really sincerely want their children to be healthy, too, but they’re still blatantly, dangerously mistaken.

  132. says

    @Nerd, You really are quite funny…

    No, that’s them. We describe them accurately, and you haven’t demonstrated anything, just asserted that. Which according to Hitch, can *POOF* be dismissed. Just like all your idiocy. Concern trolling is for losers.

    Out of the two of us I am the only one who has cited anything. Have a look at your comments and tell me how many links to proof that *all* the FtB haters are misogynists or *all* the ones that happen to post at a particular board *are* misogynist that you have provided. Zero, nada, nowt… So by your own definition I can dismiss your arguments as empty assertion.

    I do agree *some* of both categories plainly are misogynists by their actions and deeds as A.Noyd says.

    In fact way way back… Days back… I refuted your ridiculous assertion that anyone supporting or cheering on the haters is a misogynist. Blackford was my example. Yet again you ignore and avoid the question, because you have no answer I assume.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Have a look at your comments and tell me how many links to proof that *all* the FtB haters are misogynists or *all* the ones that happen to post at a particular board *are* misogynist that you have provided.

    Except their behavior:
    When a PIT member comes here to “engage” us, all it usual does is try to have us invoke skepticism (I’ve been a skeptic for thirty years, so I don’t let them be the experts). The skepticism is directed though, which means it isn’t being done properly. It is directed at RW and any real feminist, and is of the hyperskeptic variety where they are considered liar and bullshitters and what they say (“don’t do that”) is dismissed out of hand. The same level of skepticism is not directed at any female accommodationist like Kirby, who, because they don’t condemn their language, is treated as one of the boyz. The PIT denizens, of course, expect their words to be accepted without question since they are a dudz. So, I treat them the way they treat the “feminazis”, with hyperskepticism. They don’t like that for some reason. And their behavior is exactly what one expects from a misogynist. Actually, everybody, including Oolon, Coelsblog, and Jim, should be treated with skepticism until they prove themselves reliable. They have failed to show they are reliable.

  134. says

    Nerd of Redhead

    Actually, everybody, including Oolon, Coelsblog, and Jim, should be treated with skepticism until they prove themselves reliable. They have failed to show they are reliable.

    How was I ever going to be able to meet your evidential requirements.

    When I said I condemned rape threats you wanted evidence.

    When I linked you a video, publically available and with many views, of me physically (in front of a camera) condemning and chastising those who make such threats what did you do?

    I will tell you what you did: you rejected it and told me that REAL evidence needs to be cited from sources such as google scholar!!

    At that point I gave up being unable to afford to commission scientific verification into what I have and have not publically condemned.

    Jim (np99)
    PS: Your comments did give a hell of a lot of people over on youtube a damned good laugh when I pointed them over to this thread (comments 350-390).

  135. says

    @ Oolon:

    OK Harriet Hall, Paula Kirby, Russell Blackford are not feminists…

    I don’t make any claims about their feminism or skepticism in general. But then that’s not the topic of the conversation. The topic of the conversation is the ongoing sexist harassment, especially of outspoken feminists in our community, and why it is morally imperative to condemn that harassment.

    I think it’s safe to say that on the subject of harassment and anti-harassment policies, the people you mentioned above have taken positions that are objectively (if you’ve been paying attention to the research, as we have) anti-feminist. They dismiss out of hand the idea that harassment is a problem–that’s anti-feminist. It’s objectively true that harassment is a problem. It’s not a matter of opinion. They oppose instituting policies that have been objectively shown to reduce harassment and increase participation of women. That’s anti-feminist. They exhibit bad skepticism by basing their opinions on outdated assumptions rather than facts and the latest research.

    This isn’t a question of “strong feminism” vs. “weak feminism” (did you just make that up? cute!). It’s a question of one faction saying, “Here are methods that have been shown to reliably improve the experience of women in our community and increase the number of them participating,” and another faction going, “So what? Who cares? Freeze peach, you’re not the boss of me!”

    If the latter position qualifies as feminism in your book then I have to question what you think the word really means.

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oolon, you appear to be harboring under the illusion we haven’t had any contact with the denizens of the PIT. Ever since Elevatorgate, there has been a steady group of misogynists that infested this blog, spreading their lies, attitudes, and “skepticism”. We know them when we see them. A group of those twits went over to ERV, where they were welcomed, and eventually they formed the PIT. We are familiar with them, as we have engaged them here. There is no point in engaging them there. They don’t listen to reason. They need to mature in their attitudes before that can happen. And since most of them aren’t in the dungeon, they can come here if they wish to engage us.

  137. A. Noyd says

    oolon (#151)

    Playing to the audience again? I said what my perception of them is, not a lie.

    No, I’m trying to get you to actually confront the issue of what the slimepit is based around. Either you’re grossly mistaken and are spreading lies in ignorance or you’re willfully lying. Given how many people have tried to correct you about the slimepit’s basis, it’s hard to believe you’re still merely mistaken. And if you don’t accept our understanding, then ask for more evidence. (Though, you should go through what’s already been presented to you first.) But given how central the nature of that place is to your mission here, this difference in perception is something you absolutely have to confront. You can’t just take for granted that we are wrong.

    [Fair warning: I'm not engaging further replies from you till you deal with this difference in perception about the nature of the slimepit.]

    You’ve given up and have no interesting in making sure they don’t persuade more with their particular brand of ‘Strong feminism vs Weak Feminism’ ideology.

    Oh, look, another lie. I said nothing of the sort. Perhaps you’re so unimaginative that you can’t see there’s more to the world than here and the slimepit, but none of the rest of us are so limited. Nor are we so simple-minded as to think the only way to “win” the argument is by having the pitizens themselves concede our points. No one’s “given up” just because we find it more fruitful to hold our play on other stages besides the one you’ve set up.

    [M]uch easier to dismiss people as ‘misogynists’, ‘stupid’ or ‘despicable creatures’ and not address them and their ideas. I’d rather see them tackled.

    And here’s one of your core lies: that calling someone a misogynist is a separate, mutually exclusive thing from addressing their ideas. No. They’re called these things because of what they do and say and believe. (Not their false advertising, but what they’re like in practice.) “Misogyny” is a criticism of ideas, of actions, of priorities, etc. What you mean is you want to see those things addressed in way you approve of.

    OK Harriet Hall, Paula Kirby, Russell Blackford are not feminists…You did say ‘allies’ too?

    Are you talking about their allies in the bit I quoted? No. Pay attention. Though, a good number of pitizen allies aren’t feminists. When someone shores up the mechanisms of society that keep women from participating as equals and actively demeans women for their womanhood, they lose their right to call themselves feminists. They do not believe in the equality of women if they will only recognize as “equal” the women who overcome a greater share adversity than men while staying quiet about the unfairness of it.

    Piss-poor sceptics? Given Richard Dawkins has been on ‘their’ side in some pretty obvious tweets and comments… Not a great argument from you.

    Yes, piss-poor because they’re so highly selective in their skepticism. Even Richard Dawkins fails massively in certain areas. They refuse to turn their skepticism inward and question the norms that form the basis for things like their “common sense.” Like this guy who, even if he isn’t a pitizen, would fit in well over there. Having a “bullshit detector,” like he talks about, to help one decide what what level of skepticism to direct at any given claim is all well and good, but what makes a skeptic piss-poor is a failure to understand that the accuracy of such mental tools cannot be trusted blindly because their default “calibration” is set by exposure to society—a biased society. Given his attitude toward rape claims, the guy in the link is evidence of the harmful consequences of such a failure of doubt. And he’s more tenacious about clinging to a flawed idea because he styles himself a skeptic.

    It is also what a lot of peoples perception will be for the same reasons you made in regard to Stormfront the KKK

    What does this even mean?

    Do you think addressing their ideas and actions directly rather than demonising them all would be a better idea?

    This lie again. Prove that we’re demonizing them. Prove that we’re not addressing their ideas. Saying we don’t go over there isn’t evidence that we don’t address their ideas. Saying we call them misogynists isn’t evidence we demonize them.

    Polarising people on the margins with ridiculous hyperbole seems to be what gets you off…

    Where’s the ridiculous hyperbole? Comparing the slimepit to Stormfront wasn’t hyperbole—it was used to illustrate the difference in circumstances between thinking ill of someone who joins a community that just happens to have a few bigots and thinking ill of someone who joins a community based around bigotry.

    (#154)

    …*all* the FtB haters are misogynists or *all* the ones that happen to post at a particular board *are* misogynist…

    Who’s saying they all are misogynists? The general claim is not that every last person participating in the slimepit or their allies is “a” misogynist, but that they do misogynistic things. That overlooking the bigotry inherent to the slimepit while hanging out there is misogynistic. In the same way, while I’m not “a” racist because I don’t believe any races are inferior or deserving of lesser rights, if I were to join a community that (for example) formed around denigrating and harassing immigrants of insufficient paleness, even if I went there only for the coffee cake recipes, I would be doing something racist. It is not only direct actions and explicit beliefs that determine whether or not we’re bigots or whether we’re doing bigoted things.

  138. coelsblog says

    SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius

    But I do know that she appears to not want harassment policies at conferences, which is something I do want.

    I don’t know her attitude to harassment policies specifically; by “she wants what you want” I meant that she wants generally to promote the status of women as equals.

    She is uninterested in extending more ladders down for up-and-coming women and other minorities to increase their participation.

    I got the opposite impression from some of her writings, such as the WEIT comment that was reproduced in “Sisterhood”.

    Have I mentioned how much you suck, Coelsblog? I hope you appreciate the tremendous patience that has been shown to you here.

    Do you appreciate the tremendous patience that anyone arguing on Pharyngula and not fully in line with the Horde needs to show? Vast amounts of idiocy and derailment gets directed at them (there’s plenty of it on this thread).

    You need to present some better arguments–some concrete examples of that you think qualifies as “torrents of abuse” or whatever Kirby’s term was …

    There are huge amounts of abuse on this very thread! Many other sites are far friendlier places to discuss and disagree.

    Being confident that you’re right is “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset.” Golly gosh. Who knew it was so easy to be a totalitarian.

    That’s not what I said. I said that being so confident that you’re right that you don’t accept that any reasonable and good-faith person could disagree is “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset”. Why misrepresent what I clearly stated?

    You are now accusing me and the people in my community of “taking the first step down the road to totalitarianism.” Did you think I wouldn’t notice you doing that? Or perhaps you are so dense that you didn’t notice that you were doing it yourself.

    The “totalitarian” language was not introduced by me, but you asked me how one might perceive a “grain of truth” in such accusations. And, yes I was aware that I was making the accusation of “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset”. I notice that you didn’t address my response, only misrepresented it.

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They aren’t interesting in engaging unless they control the conversation.

    If one were to sum up the Horde in one sentence, that sentence would be quite close.

    Pteryxx

    Seconding SallyStrange about chilly climate research.

    I agree with you that this is an important issue and that we should try to ensure that the climate is welcoming for minorities and for women.

  139. says

    @Sally Strange,

    This isn’t a question of “strong feminism” vs. “weak feminism” (did you just make that up? cute!). It’s a question of one faction saying, “Here are methods that have been shown to reliably improve the experience of women in our community and increase the number of them participating,” and another faction going, “So what? Who cares? Freeze peach, you’re not the boss of me!”

    If the latter position qualifies as feminism in your book then I have to question what you think the word really means.

    No I got the ‘strong feminism’ and ‘weak feminism’ from ‘them’. I thought I had clearly stated I think it is bollocks – so why start implying that qualifies as feminism in my book? Maybe you are confused as I was replying to A.Noyds assertion that “Sure, they’re atheists, but they’re not feminists”

    In terms of the harassment stuff my interpretation from the people I conversed with was that some agree harassment policies are needed but not anything beyond the legal definition. So the Thunderf00t argument that anyone proposing a more detailed harassment policy is trying to be a killjoy. But then that is to me a misrepresentation of what the harassment policies were trying to do and have done — don’t see many reports of their being no fun at all the conferences they were implemented at!
    – So there is no one ‘pittizen’ view on harassment policies…

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They aren’t interesting in engaging unless they control the conversation.

    If one were to sum up the Horde in one sentence, that sentence would be quite close.

    Gee, every time they come here we address them, and we have addressed you. What we haven’t done is to let you control the conversation, and we refuted your ass off. Like this allegation. What do the PIT denizens do when they come here? Try to control the conversation, same as you. They ignore what the women of Pharyngula say, compared to accommodationists and non-feminists like Kirby, just like you. In fact, it dawned on me this morning you are arguing exactly the same way they do. Except they, unlike you are downright rude in attitude. You just hide your rudeness under a veneer of civility, but the dismissiveness of brushing aside everything we say is still there. Think about that.

    So the Thunderf00t argument that anyone proposing a more detailed harassment policy is trying to be a killjoy.

    This sentence doesn’t make sense to me.

    But then that is to me a misrepresentation of what the harassment policies were trying to do and have done — don’t see many reports of their being no fun at all the conferences they were implemented at!

    And what does this do to the noise coming from the places like the PIT? It refutes their asses off, and shows they are liars and bullshitters not to be believed. Which has been the argument here all along. You can’t believe anything they say. They are proven liars and bullshitter when from when they posted here, and haven’t changed their spots.

  141. =8)-DX says

    They rally on youtube, where the dumbest commenters on the internet congregate

    Pointless dissing on YouTube. And it’s bullshit. It’s the “my iternet community is better than your internet community” idea. Of course non-moderated internet discussion forums will have more hate, abuse and just plain stupid, but you’re comparing apples and oranges. Or comparing a single polished and fresh apple (FTB) to a whole fucking trainload of oranges (YT – including admittedly many bad and moldy ones.)

    There is no “YoutTube” as a single community. There is not “YouTube commenters” as a single community. With million upon millions of daily uploads and comments on YouTube I’d say it is more helpful to think of it as “the vlogosphere” as compared to “the blogosphere”.

    And it’s not true that YouTube isn’t moderated – many channels on YouTube have strong active subscriber and commenter bases who vet out spam and abusive comments as well as active video producers who block the worst trolls similarly to here. From my experience of atheist channels on YouTube (watching about 30-50 channels daily for the past 4+ years), there are many which foster intelligent discussion and debate and where sexist, racist, homophobic, MRA or violent comments and threats are downvoted, blocked or scathingly repudiated, albeit the quality of comments is generally lower and more explosive on YouTube than on a blog.

    PZ, if you don’t like YouTube, that’s your business, but you’re misrepresenting the diversity of communities on YouTube. The problem with mysoginist atheists making threats of harm and rape towards woman is a common to both blogs and YouTube: dumb commenters congregate everywhere.

  142. says

    @Nerd, You seem to be addressing me and coelsblog in your post so I’ll assume I’m not the one being rude under a veneer of civility ;-)

    In terms of harassment policies and the pit approach – I think the evidence certainly shows they were well out on that one. The Thunderf00t reference you did not understand was to his argument that things like his leg biting incident could not happen with the FtB-skepchick policies. No evidence on that specifically but since ‘fun’ was his point I think he lost there.

    Unfortunately a lot of them are well out on a lot of arguments which can be clearly presented to them – hopefully in a way they can accept. I doubt they would accept anyone trying to point out the flaws in their thinking if it was done with the presupposition that they are all inveterate liars and misogynists. Although I’ve managed to argue with at least a veneer of civility to accusations of inveterate lying and bullshitting, so who knows!

    As you say I doubt we have achieved much by commenting here – apart from proving PZ doesn’t ban all us contrarians when we disagree (Although food poisoning might be the real reason!)

  143. says

    It wasn’t clear that “strong feminism vs. weak feminism” wasn’t your invention, Oolon–it sounded more like it was categories you imposed on the FTB vs. Slymepit Grand Battle, in which you appear to be setting yourself up as some sort of arbiter between the opposing forces.

    Here’s what you said:

    You’ve given up and have no interesting in making sure they don’t persuade more with their particular brand of ‘Strong feminism vs Weak Feminism’ ideology.

    As far as the other stuff goes…

    In terms of the harassment stuff my interpretation from the people I conversed with was that some agree harassment policies are needed but not anything beyond the legal definition. So the Thunderf00t argument that anyone proposing a more detailed harassment policy is trying to be a killjoy. But then that is to me a misrepresentation of what the harassment policies were trying to do and have done — don’t see many reports of their being no fun at all the conferences they were implemented at!
    – So there is no one ‘pittizen’ view on harassment policies…

    .

    It’s my opinion that there is no intrinsic quality of being-a-feminist, just as there really isn’t an intrinsic quality of being-a-bigot. It’s something about the English language, which, when I contrast it to what I learned of Hindi, leads us to internalize and identify with passing states of being. I.e. in English you say, “I am sick.” In Hindi, the literal translation of the phrase, “Muj ko bimar ho gaia” (approximate transliteration there) is, “To me, sickness is coming.”

    I said before and I will repeat: I have no opinion on whether Paula Kirby or Russell Blackford are feminists in their heart of hearts. What I can say, with confidence, is that they have adopted an explicitly anti-feminist position, against harassment policies, in this particular instance. As you point out above, there is little merit to the arguments against these policies, so there’s no need to engage critically on that point–they are simply wrong, they are being irrational, and their irrationality is taking the form of opposition to feminist positions such as trying to institute harassment policies.

    I suppose it’s theoretically, abstractly possible to be a feminist, in the general sense of thinking that women ought to have a vague abstract notion of equal rights, yet oppose specific actions that would have the concrete effect of increasing women’s access to the rights that men take for granted, such as the right to be in public spaces without being treated as a mobile fucktoy. In that case, how is that person a feminist?

  144. says

    Coelsblog. You really are awful.

    But I do know that she appears to not want harassment policies at conferences, which is something I do want.

    I don’t know her attitude to harassment policies specifically; by “she wants what you want” I meant that she wants generally to promote the status of women as equals.

    See my comments to Oolon above. That someone adopts the label “feminist” is not enough to make them a feminist, or a feminist ally, in all cases. It’s great that Paula Kirby presumably supports women having the right to vote. That’s feminist. That she opposes anti-harassment policies, and that her arguments against them are illogical and couched in inflammatory anti-feminist rhetoric, is anti-feminist. Whatever she calls herself, she’s not just not adopting a feminist stance in this instance, she’s actually fighting against the feminist position, the one that, when examined empirically, results in more women getting access to the rights that men take for granted, like the right to attend a conference without being sexually harassed.

    She is uninterested in extending more ladders down for up-and-coming women and other minorities to increase their participation.

    I got the opposite impression from some of her writings, such as the WEIT comment that was reproduced in “Sisterhood”.

    Perhaps you could point me towards some of those writing. I got the opposite impression from her over-long “Sisterhood of the Oppressed” rant; it seemed to me that she had no patience for any women who were unwilling to endure the exact same amount of difficulty she had to endure in order to achieve her success. “Suck it up, bitches,” is the impression I got from that and from her nasty attitude towards Amy Roth and Skepchick in general. Note: I present evidence for my impression. You have not.

    Have I mentioned how much you suck, Coelsblog? I hope you appreciate the tremendous patience that has been shown to you here.

    Do you appreciate the tremendous patience that anyone arguing on Pharyngula and not fully in line with the Horde needs to show? Vast amounts of idiocy and derailment gets directed at them (there’s plenty of it on this thread).

    No, I’m not really super-impressed by you possessing a lot of patience in an attempt to argue a position that is flagrantly wrong.

    You need to present some better arguments–some concrete examples of that you think qualifies as “torrents of abuse” or whatever Kirby’s term was …

    There are huge amounts of abuse on this very thread! Many other sites are far friendlier places to discuss and disagree.

    If there are huge amounts of abuse on this very thread, it should be easy to point to one of them, which would help us understand what YOU mean by “abuse,” but you haven’t. Conclusion: you are full of shit. Whoops! Did I just abuse you? If you think so, then you really are full of shit.

    Being confident that you’re right is “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset.” Golly gosh. Who knew it was so easy to be a totalitarian.

    That’s not what I said. I said that being so confident that you’re right that you don’t accept that any reasonable and good-faith person could disagree is “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset”. Why misrepresent what I clearly stated?

    The difference between “being confident you’re right,” and “being so confident that you don’t accept that any reasonable and good-faith person could disagree” is a difference without a distinction. If someone disagrees with me that global warming is a problem, I conclude that they are being unreasonable. If someone disagrees with me that sexism is a problem, both in general and in the skeptic/atheist community, I conclude that they are being unreasonable, where “unreasonable” can indicate either inadvertent or willful ignorance. To label this as being anywhere NEAR totalitarianism or totalitarian thought is an insult to the millions of people who had their lives ruined by actual totalitarian political systems.

    You are now accusing me and the people in my community of “taking the first step down the road to totalitarianism.” Did you think I wouldn’t notice you doing that? Or perhaps you are so dense that you didn’t notice that you were doing it yourself.

    The “totalitarian” language was not introduced by me, but you asked me how one might perceive a “grain of truth” in such accusations. And, yes I was aware that I was making the accusation of “a small step in the direction of a totalitarian mindset”. I notice that you didn’t address my response, only misrepresented it.

    I didn’t misrepresent it, as I explained above, it’s just that you aren’t willing to have the courage of your convictions and recognize that that is what you are doing when you allow that Paula Kirby might have been a little bit right about this whole totalitarian thing. She’s not. She’s entirely wrong. If she had a point that wasn’t grounded in irrationality, she would not have had to resort to such blatantly illogical and inflammatory “arguments.”

    In conclusion: fuck you.

    P.S. You never did read Jadehawk’s post, did you? Wanker.

  145. alexreynard says

    “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.”

    Someone said that above, and I can’t find any way to think that the latter insult is demonstrably worse than the former.

    Are you saying it’s worse to insult a woman than a man? If so, that’s sexist against both genders.

    Are you saying that insulting someone’s worth as a person is worse than wishing something bad would happen to them? If so, I can’t see how.

    Are you saying that it’s okay for your side to hurl insults, because you’re the good guys, but it’s not okay for others to hurl insults at you, because they’re the bad guys? If so, you’re insanely arrogant.

    Are you saying that rape-themed insults are equivalent to direct rape threats? If so, then you have no sense of proportion.

    Are you saying that rape-themed insults are somehow unique among all other insults, because you feel that they are? If so, what if someone feels differently?

    Are you saying that other people should simply agree with your beliefs because any disagreement or questioning is very offensive to you? If so, then you’re a fucking useless piece of shit.

  146. jeffreyumeh says

    Look I get it youtube has some horrid shit on it in the comments and in the videos as well. But that would be like saying the internet is terrible because people have little or no accountability because its not censored or regulated and there are a great many people some of whom are going to be horrid.

    But the same thing that makes the internet horrid is the same thing that makes it a great thing. That it is open and free to a spectrum of different opinions which over time usually self debunk because someone will take on what people say usually.

    Unless you have an echo chamber like FtB on such a medium where there is a strong bias in one direction. That’s when you get the reinforcement of believes which may not be accurate though hearing it said again and again by verious people.

    Like the wage gap, which I must admit is not even 1% FtB’s doing for misusing the number what is it 0.71 to 1 when it is women’s choices that makes the difference in the wage gap not employers. for example when you look at women and men who have never been married women earn more like 0.97 to 1 and the rest can be explained by women in general not wanting to take more on more risky jobs / assinments in jobs.

    DISCLAIMER!!! This is a generalization based on averages and I fully acknowlage that women take on risky jobs/assinments willingly if not happily.

    Now you can blame societal pressures for persuading women to take less hours etc so that they can look after the children in the family and we can have a debate there and also about weather womem want to take on less risky jobs because of nature or nurture and which is mostly likely a mix of the two.

    BUT! What we cannot have a debate on is that this wage gap number is used in the correct context when it is used to argue that women are discriminated against in the work force by a pay difference by employers if you want to be intellectually honest.

    And that there is the kind of insight you are missing by not reaching out to people who don’t agree with you. And pleas prove me right that this is an echo chamber by not checking for your self about the many reports and studies that back me up on this point and yeah I’m intellectually lazy for not finding them and putting them in your face; but its better than dishonest.

    And yes I am a youtuber and proud :P

  147. jeffreyumeh says

    And just I realized there were quiet a few grammatical, syntactical and spelling mistakes in that post; AND THERE’S NO EDITING OR DELETING FUNCTION DAMN YOU FtB!