More professional victims causing deep rifts merely by existing »« New vistas in digital quackery

Comments

  1. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Funny how two of the radfems of the Battalion Of Professional Victims™ want nothing to do with that toxic shit. And I am sure that more will do so.

  2. carlie says

    Hey look i can say something terribly sexist and mean against men and if nobody says anything about it because this is the open thread where I can say anything then I can point to it as proof that everyone here is misandrist and if people say mean things to me about it then I can say that this isn’t a free speech zone after all and I was prevented from contributing my opinion and BULLIES

  3. athyco says

    Botenanna’s resolution fails for want of second and sheer fucking stupidity.

    Carlie, your translation @#8 is lovely and will be included in the minutes.

  4. jws1 says

    I am tired of the throngs of white people assuming the guilt of blacks, even after a court says otherwise. I don’t personally care for Ray Lewis, but he is neither a murderer, nor an accessory to one. The jury acquitted both of Lewis’ acquaintainces of murder on the grounds of self-defense, meaning the victims were looking to make some victims of their own. Had the two men survived their wounds, they very likely could’ve been charged and tried for attempted murder. In addition, had they lived, and noone got seriously hurt but a big brawl occurred, the same folks feigning concern for two young black men killed would’ve almost certainly said and/or thought something like this: “See what happens when a group of blacks get together? They can’t help but be violent.” This is thinly disguised racism, and I am fed up with it!

    /end rant

  5. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Ray Lewis was found guilty of obstructing justice. And his holier then thou act about it is sickening.

  6. jws1 says

    He plead guilty in a deal. And all Christians do the holier than thou thing; it’s definitional.

  7. jws1 says

    Anyone who has more than conjecture about the events of that evening, need to hand over what they have to the D.A.’s office in Fulton County, GA. They’d love to see it; and besides, withholding it sounds a lot like obstruction to me.

  8. nohellbelowus says

    botenanna: *yawn* We already have marriage fer chrissakes.

    ***************

    On a different subject, here is William Lane Craig being pick-axed by two wealthy old (presumably) heterosexual white men.

  9. mandrellian says

    All these gits bleating about their free speech being impinged upon seem to have not noticed (or have flatly ignored) two very simple and obvious things:

    Thing 1) If they’re blocked by someone on twitter or facebook or banned from a blog or forum, they still have their own twitter, blog, facebook and forum upon which to opine. Freely! They still have their free speech.

    Thing 2) When they’re so blocked, it is not that their free speech is being stifled. It is just being ignored. Some people, I suppose, just react extremely poorly to being denied an audience – more importantly, I think some people have an excessively bad time being denied a reaction. With some playground punk-asses, “Ignore them and they’ll leave you alone” works. With others, especially on the internet where anonymity guarantees a certain freedom from consequences, “ignore them and they’ll go away” is just an invitation to bleat louder.

    Bonus Thing: It bears repeating, of course – because some people have trouble grasping the concept that said twitterbooks etc are private spaces under the administration of individuals, who have absolutely no obligation to provide a stage or willing ear or audience for anyone they don’t wish to. I don’t want people at my front door babbling about Jehovah; am I impinging their free speech when I say I’m not interested? Or do I have the right to decide who gets to talk to me in my home?

    Isn’t it funny how a lot of these free-speech absolutists seem to espouse libertarian viewpoints when it comes what their right to say what they want to say and how, and when, and to whom – but when it comes to the whom-in-question’s right to tell them to get off their lawn and go fuck themselves, it’s all of a sudden a Gross Crime Against Freedom?

  10. says

    Resolved: blatant sexism on the part of botenanna should be repudiated.

    Violence or threats of violence against anyone — of any gender — isn’t funny.

  11. nohellbelowus says

    Okay check… that’s Janine, and Caine… but wait. Hold on… where’s Nerd???

    Did she spit the Pharyngula bit? Is her implant malfunctioning?

  12. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Comes out of lurk-mode to declare:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!1111!!!!!!!

    The twit is misgendering Nerd. =^_^=

    It is a clear (and common) mark of someone who fails at reading for comprehension.

  13. nohellbelowus says

    Actually Tigger, my error was very likely the result of not giving one flying fuck about “her” gender.

    Call me “gender neutral” on that particular topic. lol

  14. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    The twit is misgendering Nerd. =^_^=

    Like, fer serious, what is up with that? Once I may have thought that the “only woman on pharyngula” meme was just a joke born out of one or two isolated incidents, but it happens all the fukken time.

  15. says

    My religious friend has been opening up and asking me questions about my atheism, which makes me happy because normally she doesn’t talk about beliefs due to her admittance that she has a short fuse when it comes to religion. I think a lot of this is driven by her born-again fundamentalist mother trying to force her morality onto my friends children, often depressing the heck out of my 5 year old niece.
    I don’t think she’ll ever lose religion, but I think seeing fundamentalism up close as she’s never had before will change some of the viewpoints she held before, especially seeing how it can affect children.

  16. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Actually Tigger, my error was very likely the result of not giving one flying fuck about “her” gender.

    Call me “gender neutral” on that particular topic. lol

    Really? Then why only ‘call out’ people you have identified in your mind as female?!

  17. Tigger_the_Wing says

    That should have read “Really? Then why only ‘call out’ people you have apparently identified in your mind as female?!

  18. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Well said, Tony. =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    rachelriley, that sounds promising! Being prepared to ask questions is a huge step when one has previously been afraid of the possible answers.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It’s a bit late, now, but (vaguely) on-topic with regards to mis-gendering: I’m one of those pesky ‘men-who-have-given-birth’ that certain people wanted to render invisible on a previous iteration of the ‘Dome.

    There are more of us than you might think; but even if I were the only one my existence would show that the ‘rule’ that only women give birth is wrong.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The twit is misgendering Nerd. =^_^=

    Sigh, not again. Once the Redhead stops laughing, she might get the Kninja Knitters on the case. Or is it the Lilac Berets™ in Groucho glasses/mustaches?

  20. marwa kandil says

    So RachelRiley reminded me of a ridiculous phone call I got a couple years ago. Backstory: My family is hardcore conservative muslim, I am an atheist, and my friend, who I will call B, knew that. However, my family did not and at the time I still wore hijab and all that jazz. Anyway, she called me one night well past midnight, clearly in a bar and fall down drunk and says, “Marwa, teach me the ways of Islam. I want to be a Muslim.”

    Me:…. I guess step one would be to not be drunk?

    At which point she had already handed the phone to some random dude she’d met at the bar so I politely hung up.

    /coolstorybro

  21. says

    Tigger:

    It’s a bit late, now, but (vaguely) on-topic with regards to mis-gendering: I’m one of those pesky ‘men-who-have-given-birth’ that certain people wanted to render invisible on a previous iteration of the ‘Dome.

    Yay you! I remember the spread The Advocate did with Thomas Beattie and I loved the shot of him with his belly bared. That shook a lot of people up, but not enough, apparently.

  22. says

    So is botenna an example of those people C0ncordance was talking about? Ze is the type of person that has something important to say and should be allowed past the fortress walls?

    I say thee nay.
    Leave the bridge up. Let botenna try to enter the fortress by fighting the crocs in the moat.
    ****
    Do we have a Fortress in the Dome and a Commune in the Lounge?

  23. Tigger_the_Wing says

    That was a great shot! I like that he always looks so happy in photographs.

    I’m still in ‘stealth-mode’, of course*. Until marriage universally is accepted as a voluntary union between any adults who wish to marry one another regardless of assigned/apparent sex, my relationship is in danger of being rendered null and void, and it is far too important to me and hubby for that. I wish that all people in life-long relationships could have what we have had; the opportunity to have the relationships recognised by the state and their community. We’ve been married for 33 years; how many other gay couples can say the same? It isn’t fair. They ALL should have the chance!

    I find it amusing that our marriage has outlasted the building (a Roman Catholic church) we held our wedding in. It was demolished in 2010.

    My friend says that absolves me of the guilt of marrying in a Catholic church. =^_^=

    *My friends and most of my immediate family (plus every reader here who knows me IRL, of course!) knows who I really am and are unfazed.

  24. says

    Tigger:

    We’ve been married for 33 years; how many other gay couples can say the same? It isn’t fair.

    Damn right it isn’t fair. We’re sneaking up on our 34th anniversary (March) and know several gay couples who have been together longer than we have. Not fair doesn’t begin to cover it.

    Tony:

    Do we have a Fortress in the Dome and a Commune in the Lounge?

    What the fuck for? We have fangs.

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We’ve been married for 33 years; how many other gay couples can say the same? It isn’t fair. They ALL should have the chance!

    Can’t argue with that. Nobody has explained to me how the Redhead’s gay cousin marrying his long term partner effects the marriage of the Redhead and myself without sounding like a demented fool.

  26. Tigger_the_Wing says

    *Tigger drips into the ‘dome, leaving soapy footprints on the floor*

    Oops! Sorry for the mess. I shall clean it up, promise!

    I’m currently laid up with a heavy cold; Number 3 Son kindly brought me a mug with a hot honey-lemon-and-ginger concoction to drink. I drank about a quarter of it and needed the loo. I put it down next to the bed; as I got up, I knocked it over with my walking stick.

    So, son fetched the mop bucket, with hot water and carpet shampoo.

    Halfway along the corridor to my bedroom, the handle mounting snapped, the bucket hit the floor and split from top to bottom, spilling five gallons of suds all over the floor and the bottom of the bookshelves.

    Waaaaahhhhh! :(

  27. says

    Tigger:

    Halfway along the corridor to my bedroom, the handle mounting snapped, the bucket hit the floor and split from top to bottom, spilling five gallons of suds all over the floor and the bottom of the bookshelves.

    Oh no! I hope the bookses are alright.

  28. chigau (違う) says

    Tigger_the_Wing #44
    We should never have left those caves.
    Especially when we move into a slapstick routine.
    *hugs* and *paper towels*

  29. says

    I just made a wholly ridiculous quantity of dough that tomorrow will become bread that no doubt won’t get eaten because little siblings are such fucking picky eaters. WHOLE WHEAT IS GOOD FOR YOU SO STFU AND EAT IT.

  30. chigau (違う) says

    arabookworm #48
    Try making flat-bread or buns or bagels.
    Sometimes novel presentation will get the stuff eaten.
    There’s always pizza.

  31. says

    dude, if they don’t eat it I know plenty of broke college students (I am one) and they will gladly eat it. and then I will point out that they just passed up on fresh, homemade bread full of awesome and then toss some wonderbread at them and laugh. I’m that asshole big sister, not gonna lie.

  32. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Thanks for the hugs.

    Fortunately, there were very few books on the bottom of the bookshelves.

    Unfortunately, it is because they are the large, valuable ones.

    They are currently drying on the balcony, along with the Scrabble and Monopoly sets.

  33. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oh, you’d probably find this amusing – apart from a couple of maths textbooks, all the damp tomes are Number 3 Son’s books on marine biology/ecology. The other books escaped being splashed.

  34. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Okay check… that’s Janine, and Caine… but wait. Hold on… where’s Nerd???

    Nobraininmyhead, you are not a newbie. You know you will get called on using sexist joke. Especially a tired cliche like that.

    I just wish I knew why Nerd is the only woman at Pharyngula.

  35. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Tony, the bible was on that shelf, until two weeks ago – but it is now serving a Higher Purpose.

    One of my dearest friends cracked the cartilage in her left knee last year. Some of her physiotherapy exercises require her to stand on a shallow step with one foot. Her home is all on one level. Much to the delight of her physiotherapist, to whom she reported the new acquisition (“I cannot think of a more appropriate use for one” was his response) I gave her the huuuuuge doorstep-sized, gilt-edged, puffy-covered, fake-white-leather, With Full-Colour Illustrations, 1960′s Roman Catholic Bible to stand on.

    She keeps it on the floor under the coffee table, for ease of access. She just has to slide it out to stand on it.

    Her husband put his filched copy of the Book of Mormon on top of it, “to keep it company”. =^_^=

  36. Cyranothe2nd says

    Ummm, is there some history with arabookworm that I don’t know about? Because Caine, you are really jumping down xir throat for what looks like no reason.

    As a mom, I always told my daughter that I’m not a short-order cook. She eats what I make, or she makes her own food (or doesn’t eat). However, I did let her make a list of things she “hates,” since I wouldn’t make anything I hate or my partner hates, so its only fair that she gets a say, too. But if something isn’t on the list, she can’t complain. (The list has changed a lot over time. When she was 6, salmon was on the list. Now she loves seafood and sushi.) At 15, she’s gotten pretty adventurous with what she eats, but when she was little, she learned how to use the toaster and make her own PB&J if she didn’t like dinner. It eased a lot of the “take three more bites and you’re finished” fights that I always hated as a kid.

    Also–I thought “dude” was gender-neutral? IDK, I use it as a “Hey, people” thing. But then again, I’m really trying hard to remove “Hey guys” from my vocabulary (with limited success.) I’m trying to address my class as “colleagues” or “folks” or, less often, “brothers and sisters.” So, I’m willing to be wrong on “dude.”

  37. says

    Sorry, I tend to refer to pretty much everyone as dude, regardless of gender. It’s really a bad habit I need to break. Sorry again, I honestly didn’t mean it to denote gender, it’s just a stupid filler I use way too much.

  38. says

    Also to clarify, I don’t do the main cooking, my mom usually cooks for them, I just do most of the baking. There is no chance of them starving, especially since both are capable of making themselves a meal. I’m just bored of constantly making basic white bread, wanted to make something different, but they can be picky, so it probably will end up going to some friends at school who aren’t. But I’d never force either of them to eat anything I make (well, I’d probably make the little one take a bite before declaring it gross).

    Meh, I seem to have come in here and showed my ass pretty much immediately.

  39. says

    Cyranothe2nd:

    Also–I thought “dude” was gender-neutral? IDK, I use it as a “Hey, people” thing. But then again, I’m really trying hard to remove “Hey guys” from my vocabulary (with limited success.) I’m trying to address my class as “colleagues” or “folks” or, less often, “brothers and sisters.” So, I’m willing to be wrong on “dude.”

    I don’t know if there’s a consensus on “dude”. I just try to apply the word only to men.
    As for “guys”, I think some people consider it to be acceptable to use for men and women. I try to avoid doing so myself, but YMMV.

  40. says

    Dude’s gendered, since as feminised it often becomes ‘dudette’ (groan). Back in 1883 it meant ‘fastidious man’, the feminine form was dudine, and dudess is also attested in 1885. Mind you, I’ve seen it explicitly applied to women in a source from circa 1917, so who can say.

  41. says

    To be honest, I, personally, find “dude” to be a lot less problematic than “dudette” simply because I’ve never really heard it used other than as a corollary to “dude.” I’d rather just use “dude” for everyone, but I can see where that could also cause problems.

    Sorry for starting off on such a bad foot, I can make it up to you in bread?

  42. says

    Do people see “Redhead” and think “woman”?

    I think so. Also, Nerd is kind of short-circuiting expectations by naming himself in reference to a woman, where the convention in our society is that women name themselves in reference to men. I.e., “Mrs. Douglas Hayworth.” “Justin’s Mom.”

  43. rowanvt says

    I use dude as a form of address specifically for the male animals at my work. The only other time I utter it is an exclamation of annoyance. But of course, being from California, I can hold entire conversations using nothing but ‘dude’.

  44. John Morales says

    Hey, man, ‘dude’ can apply to women much in the way ‘man’ can apply to women.

    (If enough people misuse it long enough, it will indeed become gender-neutral)

  45. casus fortuitus says

    Another data point on dude: in the UK, it’s pretty much exclusively used for men (although I heard at least one American say that Brits sound ridiculous when they say dude, which gives me a sad).

    We do use “guys” gender-neutrally, although a guy is always a man. I’ve resolved to try and not use guys as a gender-neutral term – I’m with Cyranothe2nd on using “folks” instead.

  46. bad Jim says

    Do people see “Redhead” and think “woman”?

    How many guys are referred to as “blond”? For that matter, what’s the masculine form of “brunette”? (Not trying to be tendentious, I just don’t know.) Gingers of either gender are conspicuous; most others are mundane.

  47. says

    How many guys are referred to as “blond”?

    Those with blonde hair.

    For that matter, what’s the masculine form of “brunette”?

    Brown, chestnut or auburn, depending on specific shade.

  48. casus fortuitus says

    Caine, I think bad Jim’s making a point here about using hair colour as a noun to identify a person.

    If you hear someone say “the blonde [interesting aside about the gender-specificity of blond and blonde] over there”, you know they’re talking about a woman. Same if it’s “the brunette” or “the redhead”.

    It’s much rarer to hear men referred to by nouns denoting their hair colour unless – again as Jim points out – they’re ginger.

    I think those are interesting and telling observations.

  49. John Morales says

    Heh. I suppose it’s not inconceivable that some idiot with too much time will waste some of it on looking at a video posted by someone calling themselves “The Real Troll”.

    (That goes for the specimen using the ‘nym “Owlglass”, too)

  50. John Morales says

    … But hey, “Owlglass”, at least you know how to wrap URLs into an anchor tag.

    (Wallow in my faint praise!)

  51. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Ha! Some advantage to having my new laptop*; despite several attempts by both me and one of my sons, I have failed to get flash player working. So no videos for me! =^_^=

    Don’t go overboard with the faint praise, JM. Owlglass’s head might swell.

    *Another weird coincidence with Caine; we both got new laptops this week.

  52. says

    @The Real Troll:

    I watched a minute of it. The Amazing Atheist (who we’ve already talked about here) so far called the women on The Talk “cunts” three times, and used the term “cackling” to describe their laughter. Not a good sign for the rest of the video. Not interested.

  53. John Morales says

    Troll, you’re not very familiar with reflexive pronouns, are ya? :)

    (Hypercorrective prescriptivism is one of your vices?)

  54. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oh, is that who the video is about? I just get a black rectangle with ‘Blocked Plug-in’ in grey. Oddly, before I tried to install flash player, I could at least see the preview screen on videos.

    Weird.

    I loaded it first try on my old laptop. Then again, it took several failed attempts to mount Skype on my old machine before Number 3 Son took pity on me and loaded it himself. I transferred it to this new machine from the old one via USB memory stick. when even he can’t load flashplayer, I’m baffled.

    I did try loading the older version (after doing a complete uninstall), but it vanished completely after showing the screen that said it had loaded.

    I see a video-less future. :(

  55. Nightjar says

    Well, for some reason I did click Owlglass’s link and watched the video. I do not feel like my time was wasted, it’s a nice message and the video is funny.

    I’m totally not touching a video titled “It’s only sexist when men do it” stupidly embedded by someone going by the ‘nym “The Real Troll”, though.

    And bunnies are always welcome.

  56. Owlglass says

    Don’t go overboard with the faint praise, JM. Owlglass’s head might swell.

    Indeed. Feeling exuberant, happy, more balanced now. I think I will be a complete new person. Nice, modest, listening to you guys and thinking you are smart, good looking, and witty.

  57. John Morales says

    Troll:

    Maybe I was trolling you?

    <snicker>

    Sure, you were seeking disdain and derision, and you achieved it.

    (Well done!)

  58. John Morales says

    Nightjar, I just don’t check out videos people post unless I have an idea of what they’re about.

    Care to tell me what the Shocking Purpose of [my] Life is supposed to be?

  59. John Morales says

    Troll, sneering at trolls is hardly a waste of my time.

    (Your purpose is to amuse me, of course, not to mention adding hits to PZ’s blog)

  60. StevoR, fallible human being says

    Queen Amidala? (Padme?) Or perhaps the inspiration thereof? :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-04/costumed-reveller-at-venice-carnival/4498792

    Stumbled onto that today.

    Whilst looking for this :

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3683160.htm

    Online interveiw with Al Gore incl. video and transcript. Saw (& heard) Gore interviewed on Letterman the other night too.

    Another good article here :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-04/hutchison-maybe-climate-change-is-closer-than-we-think/4499620

    Via the Drum on the potential and current impacts of Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it as well. Including serious talk of potentially relocating Djakarta, Indonesia’s capital and massively populated city.

  61. strange gods before me ॐ says

    StevoR,

    You have not dealt with the particular questions I am asking now. I am asking them for a reason. For each quote in this list, I am asking two questions: 1) were you a racist when you said it, and 2) was it a racist comment?

    The left wing, liberals, [...] kid themselves that [...] “hyphenated Americans”* are good things, they kid themselves too on crime and immigration [...]
    * Such as celebrating and getting Obama into power effecctively through the ultimate in “affirmative action.” [...] isn’t anyone in the USA bothered by the fact that you have a half- & hyphenated-American in office as President rather than an all-American individual? (My issue her isn’t with Obama’s skin colour but his cultiral and personal identity & loyalty / patriotism / understanding of America.)

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

    Are you denying that [...] “affirmative action” is discrimination based on race – one that elevates African-Americans at the expense of other ethnic groups?

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

    [In response to the question, And what the hell is an "all-American individual" anyway?]
    An American individual – United States thereof – who is born and raised in the USA, [...] doesn’t have divided loyalties or define herself / himself as some qualified, hyphenated part-American identity eg. African-American, Arab-American, heck even Irish American but is instead purely un-hyphenated-ly American.

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

    Are the African-Americans meaning to say by terming themselves that that they hold African values or are of African culture – because Africa is a whole great continent with a range of different cultures from Libyan and Moroccan at the Northern end through to South African at the southern tip. Which African culture and what African elements are they meant to be identifying with – the ones of their long vanished distant tribal ancestors and Arab Slavers who sold them into slavery? The modern African cultures with dictatorships and tribal warfare like that most horribly displayed in Rwanada in the Hutu-Tutsi genocides? Why? Are they not now fully melded into the melting pot that is American culture?

    Yes, I know there was the whole sorry episode of civil wars, segregation and so on, I know the’re’s been past extrme racism and suffering. I’m not meaning to deny or minimise that – but that is all long over. Martin Luther King had a dream that all people be treated equally. Nowadays in US culture being black-skinned is if anything an advantage or so I gather. They get the benefits of “affirmative action” and they and their sub-cultures are celebrated in many different ways.There’s hardly any racism left – otherwise the ACLU would have better things to do than carry on about Hallmark cards that mentioned “black holes” like somehow *that* was racist?
    Would Obama have been elected if he had been a purely white-skinned man rather than a bi-racial one who is generally but dubiously considered – and applauded for being – “black”, I wonder?

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

    Someone who there is argument over his birth nation, [...] someone who only half identifies themselves as American (the hyphenated prefix) [...] you really saying there aren’t some valid questions to be asked about *that* particular candidate’s suitability for the office of President of the United States?
    I’m seriously asking whether [Obama] would have had a chance of winning the Presidency if it wasn’t for the reverse racism implicit in the “Let’s have a black President! Any Black president!” mood with the last US election.

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

    +++++
    Test, ignore:

    epsilon

    delta

    gamma

    beta

    alpha

  62. Nightjar says

    John,

    Care to tell me what the Shocking Purpose of [my] Life is supposed to be?

    That’s just a two-minute video (produced by the creators of South Park) comparing life to a musical piece which one should try to enjoy as it plays instead of only looking forward to some vague and externally imposed goals like “achieving success” or “getting into heaven” or whatever one has been convinced The Purpose is. Not shocking or new, not exactly a purpose, but I thought the video itself had some funny parts.

  63. bradleybetts says

    Hi people! I was wondering if someone can help me with the whole “cunt” issue (the video posted above reminded me, I’ve been meaning to ask on a Thunderdome for a while).

    I’m aware people on here view it as a gendered insult, so I’ve stopped using it. Obviously I’ve no wish to insult anyone inadvertantly. However I’m still not clear on why. In the US it seems to be used almost exclusively as an insult directed towards women, which is completely different to how it’s used here in the UK. As such I’m seeking clarification on why it is considered a gendered insult, the exact definition of the word and it’s normal useage etc. Like I said, I’ve stopped using it out of respect for the other commenters, and I have no problem doing that, but still don’t really understand why and am curious.

    Apologies for my ignorance, and thanks in advance for any help offered.

  64. strange gods before me ॐ says

    bradley: Same reason calling a man a pussy is a gendered slur; it calls him bad by comparing him to a woman’s genitals. Insults of the form you are bad like X depend on X being implied as bad.

    +++++
    ignore:

    beta

    alpha

  65. alopiasmag says

    Boy Scouts should be unisex….. Summer camps also. What the hell… pretty much everything should be unisex. Think about it. Allowing “gays” in these places would be unfair to “straights”. Why? In summer camp straights would need to wait for that 1 night a week they get to “mingle” with the nearby camp of the opposite sex. Gays would have an unfair advantage.

    Let’s say (rounding up) 5% of the population is gay. If a boy’s camp has 2,000 adolescents, you could say (assuming the camps demographics are representative of the country) that about 100 of those will be gay. Being 6-8 weeks in a camp, I guarantee you they will find a “summer boyfriend/girlfriend”. They will see each other every day, whereas a “straight” boy/girl, will only be able to “mingle” once a week.

    And don’t act like it won’t happen because anyone who has been at camp, or taken a 1-month backpacking trip to anywhere will know that people in their formative years will look to satisfy that “sexual tension”.

    So…. that being said…. I say we dump this boy/girl nonsense and make everything unisex. Besides, the most important thing is to respect each others privacy, and that is obtained through education. You don’t need boy/girl divisions everywhere.

  66. mildlymagnificent says

    Dude? It’s probably an Aussie thing but it always sounds ironic or an outright joke in an Aussie accent. I doubt I’ve used it once myself.

    As for guys. I used to use it as a generic non-gendered groups thing, ‘you guys’. As for “folks”. It sounds perfectly fine when Obama uses it. I’ve never once heard it used in that manner by an Australian politician, if I’ve ever heard it at all. About the only use I’ve ever heard is “All right folks, settle down,” followed by “let’s get started” or “time to finish up” but it would sound awkward in an ordinary conversation or meeting.

  67. casus fortuitus says

    @bradleybetts:

    However I’m still not clear on why. In the US it seems to be used almost exclusively as an insult directed towards women, which is completely different to how it’s used here in the UK.

    The typical gender of the target is different (is it? Are men really not called cunts often in the US? And in the UK, isn’t it pretty normal to call a woman a “stupid cunt”?), but that doesn’t make the usage completely different. In either country, the word is intended to insult by equating the target with female genitalia.

    And then see small gods, above: it can only be insulting if the thing you’re equating the person to is presumed to be bad itself.

  68. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Being 6-8 weeks in a camp, I guarantee you

    Was that a money back guarantee? Pay me. I was a gay kid who went to summer camps that lasted about six weeks.

    Your premise assumes a world without homophobia, in which it is not dangerous for young people to signal same-sex interest.

    For that one comment, I’ll assume you meant well. Avoid making arguments that claim gay kids have advantages over straight kids.

  69. ChasCPeterson says

    @PZ: Can you do a Chris Clarke type switch on the video on 82?

    It’s the Thunderdome. What don’t y’all get about the concept of ‘unmoderated’?

    Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it

    *eyeroll*

    the exact definition of the word

    you’re kidding, right?
    Elsewise try the OED.

    Are men really not called cunts often in the US?

    really.

  70. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I would like it if the automatic embedding of videos was disabled blog-wide though.

  71. bradleybetts says

    @Katherine, Strange Gods Before Me and Casus Fortuitus

    Right, so it’s misogynistic because it presumes female genitals to be icky. I don’t know why but I just assumed there was more to it than that :) Thanks all.

    A quick question on useage born purely of linguistic curiosity; if someone were to say “A bunch of bitches” you would assume they were talking about a group of women. If someone were to say “A bunch of cunts” would you assume the same?

  72. thetalkingstove says

    In the US it seems to be used almost exclusively as an insult directed towards women, which is completely different to how it’s used here in the UK.

    It’s still an insult in the UK, and an insult based on the idea that female genitalia is shameful or disgusting.

    This ‘it’s fine to use it in the UK’ meme is just wrong. The fact that it’s not quite such a nuclear-bomb of a word over here as it is in the US just does not magically mean that it’s not misogynistic.

  73. says

    @bradley:

    As an American, yes, that’s automatically my assumption. Without any further description of said group (say, something about “that bunch of cunts at the Men’s Lodge” sort of thing) there’s no reason to not think a group of women.

    I’m sure other people from other countries may not have an initial assumption, and that’s fine, but it’s not language we like here because too many American women have been called “cunts” and not as a light-hearted ribbing.

  74. casus fortuitus says

    bradleybetts:

    If someone were to say “A bunch of cunts” would you assume the same?

    My first assumption would be that whoever said that was an idiot that wasn’t worth listening to. But in answer to your question, I wouldn’t assume anything about the gender of the group without more information.

    I’m in the UK, if that’s relevant.

  75. strange gods before me ॐ says

    it’s misogynistic because it presumes female genitals to be icky.

    Sometimes. More generally, it expresses that women are worthy of contempt by reducing them to genitalia, and by extension a man is worthy of contempt like a woman.

    would you assume the same?

    In the USA? Certainly. I can’t recall ever hearing an American use the term against a man. I’m sure it happens sometimes, and I might have heard and not remembered, but it’s very rare.

  76. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’m sure other people from other countries may not have an initial assumption, and that’s fine

    It’s not fine, though. Multiple British commenters have confirmed that it is a gendered slur in Britain too, and the people who say it’s not are either oblivious or bullshitters.

  77. pensnest says

    107 Bradleybetts

    Completely different in the UK? Really? I suppose it’s different in that it is used to insult men as well as women…

    It’s still an insult, though, right? Why might that be, do you think?

  78. says

    @sgbm:

    I meant that the fact those from the UK and other cultures don’t immediately assume a “group of cunts” is made of women is fine. They use “cunts” to refer to more than just women a lot more than we do. So I can’t fault non-Americans for not associating “a group of cunts” to be a group of women.

  79. strange gods before me ॐ says

    casus fortuitus, no problem. It happens often.

    Katherine, ah, I misunderstood you.

  80. says

    @sgbm:

    It’s okay. I’m being a particularly shitty writer today for some reason, so it’s pretty easy to misunderstand me. That’s why I stopped editing and started Dward Fortress, cause if I write anything, I’m sure it’ll come out 90% shit.

  81. bradleybetts says

    @Katherine, Strange Gods Before Me, Casus Fortuitus

    Again, thank you for the info guys; I understand people’s objections to it much better now. Much appreciated.

    @thetalkingstove and pensnest

    I never said it was fine to use or that it wasn’t misogynistic. It’s just that I have never considered it to be a misogynistic insult because where I’m from it’s not an insult that’s used exclusively against women (in fact I can’t remember it ever being used against a woman within my hearing, which would suggest it’s mainly used against men) so it never crossed my mind. I’ve stopped using it out of respect for other commenters because I’m aware it is a particularly disliked word ’round these parts… I just wanted to understand why I’d stopped using it, if you know what I mean. And now I do :) so all is well.

  82. carlie says

    I’ve stopped using it out of respect for other commenters because I’m aware it is a particularly disliked word ’round these parts…

    Thank you. That is a very nice way of dealing with the situation, and one I wish a lot of other people would emulate.

    because where I’m from it’s not an insult that’s used exclusively against women

    That’s the crux of the problem a lot of people have, but it might be easier to understand if you think of it as that the sexism/racism/ableism doesn’t come entirely from who it’s aimed at, but also what the term describes. No matter who I’m calling, say, a maggot, the insult comes from the fact that I think maggots are disgusting. That’s what makes using “maggot” as an insult an anti-maggot statement, not whether I’m saying it to an actual maggot.

  83. bradleybetts says

    @Carlie

    Yeah I’m starting to get that now. I mean, I’m familiar with the concept, it’s why I try not to use “retard” as in insult, for example; I’d just never applied the concept to “cunt” before. I’m still learning, but I’ll get there :)

  84. strange gods before me ॐ says

    What’s a self-explanatory name for a script that de-embeds Youtube links?

    “Youtube unbedder” seems cryptic.

  85. strange gods before me ॐ says

    *de-embeds the automagically embedded videos, like #82 above. Makes them into clickable links.

  86. joey says

    casus here:

    It’s sweet of you to say so, joey, but please be sure to apply that sound reasoning carefully, in case you warp it out of all recognition.

    No, I don’t have to touch your reasoning at all. Like you eloquently stated in this post, it’s appropriate to explore the implications of the argument that a right is absolute. In abortion discussions, it is also appropriate to explore the implications of the absolute right of a woman’s bodily autonomy. So just like it is appropriate to ask 2nd Amendment absolutists whether they believe in the right for civilians to own nuclear weapons, it is also appropriate to ask abortion advocates whether termination of the fetus should be allowed at the very late stages of pregnancy for any particular reason. What I’m doing here is simply arguing the appropriateness of bringing the subject up during such debates.

    BTW, in the gun control discussion that I had (yes, I actually did have such a discussion and didn’t make it up for arguments sake), there were some 2nd Amendment absolutists who conceded that civilians should be allowed to own nuclear weapons and other WMDs. That’s pretty nuts.

    ——————–
    Nightjar:

    Not yet? Do you intend to?

    Because now I’m curious. How would that work?

    Just my lame attempt at some humor.

    ———————–
    vaiyt here:

    And you do?

    Argumentum ad NO U

    And this is called Argumentum ad I’m-totally-ignoring-what-I-suggested-several-posts-ago. In case you honestly forgot, I’m referring to post 621 where you suggested that you know more about my wife’s reasons for staying home than I do. (<~~ I got it right this time Janine!)

    In the context we live in, a woman making the choice to abandon her ambitions to be a housewife, especially in the household of a head-in-the-sand oblivious idiot like you, cannot be presumed to be free of pressure.

    And you cannot presume that these parents (doesn’t have to be only women since that would be sexist) would freely sacrifice their careers to raise their children precisely the way they want their children to be raised.

    And also, some parents simply don’t have a choice but to stay home (outside the option of giving up their children for foster care), regardless of any “pressure” that is out there.

    And not to mention that some parents work full-time because they have to since both incomes are crucial for the survival of the family, and that if it was financially feasible they would prefer to stay home. Heck, I would.

    ———————
    Sally here:

    Yes. I use the word “egalitarian” to mean “embodying the principles of equality.” You use it to mean… something. I’m not sure what.

    Yup, that’s the same way I use it.

    Voluntarily entering into an unequal relationship does not magically transform the inequality into equality. Your wife is not working.

    If “unequal” to you means that one has a job that pays money and the other doesn’t, then why do you assume that she entered our relationship being “unequal”. That’s a pretty gross assumption, not to mention false.

    We started dating in college when we were both college students. Is that “equal” enough?

    While together, we graduated college both obtaining college degrees. Still “equal”, right?

    She chose to work right away while I chose to pursue graduate studies. I guess we stopped being “equal” since she started working and I didn’t.

    But then I eventually started working, with my wife still working. I guess we’re “equal” again.

    We then got married after a few years, both of us still working. Yup, still “equal”.

    Then we had child. Instead of putting our daughter in daycare, she chose to stay home instead…because we could afford to do so with my income alone. We had more children and she chose to continue staying home.

    So any way you want to look at it, we were very “equal” when our relationship started (whether it started in college or when we got married).

    She is not developing skills that will serve to further her ability to take care of herself if you should die or suddenly decide to up and leave. She is dependent on your for economic security (which, in today’s world, also means food and shelter security). You are not dependent on her for economic security. You are dependent on her for unpaid labor. That’s not equality. No matter how many warm fuzzies either you or your wife feel about it.

    Okay, if by “equality” you mean these things…then I agree, right now we are not “equal”. Like you said, she depends on me financially and I depend on her for taking care of our children while I am working. Seems like a symbiotic relationship (which by definition are always unequal) to me.

    Let me ask you this. Is our relationship with all these “inequalities” wrong?

  87. DLC says

    Am I the only one who sees “freeze peach” and thinks of some kind of frozen daiquiri variant ?

  88. opposablethumbs says

    bradleybetts (I know I’ve seen you around before, but my memory is shot – Katherine, I think it’s possible that this is not jaqing; but maybe others remember better than I do)

    as sgbm explained, it’s because the word is only insulting if you assume that female human genitals are inherently horrible. I know perfectly well that UKnians call men (as well as women) “cunts” (I’m UKnian myself) but that in itself is irrelevant. Most women, though not all, have one; so implying that they are inherently a bad thing is insulting to women per se.

    And there are so many non-gendered insults to choose from …

  89. casus fortuitus says

    joey:

    Like you eloquently stated in this post, it’s appropriate to explore the implications of the argument that a right is absolute.

    Aww. Tripped at the first hurdle. That’s not actually what I stated. Quoting myself:

    Granting the hilariously ahistorical reading that the Second Amendment even describes a right for private ownership of “arms” in the first place, of course it’s appropriate to explore the implications of the argument that the right is absolute.

    This isn’t a general statement that it’s appropriate to explore the implications of any argument that a right is absolute. It’s quite explicitly a statement that it’s appropriate to explore the implications of an argument that the purported Second Amendment right is absolute.

    It might be inappropriate to explore the implications of an argument that some other right is absolute. It might be inappropriate if, for example, suppression of that right in the past has contributed directly to the oppression or marginalisation of a minority, and the only motivation for exploring the implications of the absoluteness of the right is to justify that oppression or marginalisation, or to argue for the reinstatement of that oppression or marginalisation.

    Please be more careful about what you say that I’m saying in future.

  90. opposablethumbs says

    Aaaand … I’m way late! Never mind, and it’s good to see your response bradleybetts.

  91. opposablethumbs says

    Yeah, I wasn’t quite sure from just the one post either. I know what you mean, there are so damn many jaqers!
    I was just way too slow :)

  92. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    My personalized music player can get quite strange. I have Ray Price followed by Sun Ra.

  93. joey says

    casus:

    This isn’t a general statement that it’s appropriate to explore the implications of any argument that a right is absolute. It’s quite explicitly a statement that it’s appropriate to explore the implications of an argument that the purported Second Amendment right is absolute.

    It might be inappropriate to explore the implications of an argument that some other right is absolute. It might be inappropriate if, for example, suppression of that right in the past has contributed directly to the oppression or marginalisation of a minority, and the only motivation for exploring the implications of the absoluteness of the right is to justify that oppression or marginalisation, or to argue for the reinstatement of that oppression or marginalisation.

    What’s interesting is that in the gun control discussion that I had a few days ago, I also asked the 2nd Amendment absolutists if they were in favor of firearm ownership by the mentally disabled. I guess by your reasoning that particular argument is inappropriate.

  94. bradleybetts says

    @opposablethumbs #140 and 143

    Hey :) Yeah I’ve got it now thanks, but I appreciate the reply nonetheless.

    I know I’ve seen you around before

    Yeah I’ve been commenting on FtB for just over a month or so now, so still pretty new to the blogoshpere. I have one of those jobs which involves sitting around waiting for computers to run calculations, so I do 5-10 minutes of work and have 2-5 minutes of downtime, which I fill by reading here :) I was a lurker for a few weeks before I started commenting.

    And no worries assuming I was JAQing (assuming I’ve understood that right. It’s where people are knowingly obnoxious and offensive while pretending to ask a reasonable question, yes?), it’s hard to tell online :-/

  95. says

    @bradleybetts:

    Kind of. It’s short for “Just Asking Questions.” Typically as a response to some kind of feminism thing, lots of people will start tossing out tons of Feminism 101 questions, trying to make it seem like they’re new to the whole thing, and then they will misinterpret or say something offensive, or merely just keep on questioning, derailing conversations and trying to get a response.

    Typically said questions will be either massively loaded or, like you said, offensive (with the response typically something like “don’t get your panties in a bunch, I was just asking questions”) But JAQers can actually ask reasonable Feminism 101 questions, without caring about the answer.

    (By the way – getting ones panties in a bunch is rather uncomfortable.)

  96. bradleybetts says

    @Katherine

    Oh, that’s even more difficult to discern from the real thing than I thought :-/ Re-reading my original I can totally see the confusion.

    So it basically comes down to whether or not you believe them to be interested in the answer, which makes it tricky because that means it’s largely due to perception and how much you trust the commenter. I’m trying to think how I might guard against any future questions being interpreted as JAQing.

    *chuckle* :) Yes, boxers can provide a similar inconvenience.

  97. David Marjanović says

    WHOLE WHEAT IS GOOD FOR YOU

    The fuck it is!!!

    Yes, if prepared in some ways, it tastes good; yes, it contains plenty of useful stuff; but it also contains lectins that prevent you from taking up most or all of that good stuff – and cause constipation.

    Grass seeds are simply not food.

    That’s exactly why wheat-growing cultures have always tried to get not just the finest, but also the whitest flour possible with any reasonable effort, and why the finest & whitest flour was always the most highly prized one.

    Apple seeds contain cyanide, grass seeds contain lectins. Plant embryos are commonly poisonous.

    Another good article here :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-04/hutchison-maybe-climate-change-is-closer-than-we-think/4499620

    From there:

    “So what about when the city in question has numbers nudging the entire population of Australia? That’s the reality in Jakarta right now, where record flooding has swamped the CBD for the first time in history. There is increasing talk that relocating the Indonesian capital is the only feasible solution to an escalating problem.

    Jakarta is sinking. Literally. Years and years of unregulated private water-bores has drained the city’s below-sea-level water table dry. The record rain, coupled with an underdeveloped drainage system and the penchant of Jakartans to use the city’s waterways as rubbish dumps, brought this city of 20-odd million to a standstill of a different kind.”

    “Things were so bad in Beijing that billionaire entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao started selling air in cans with sweet smelling fragrances of ‘Pristine Tibet’, ‘Post Industrial Taiwan’ and ‘Revolutionary Yan[']an’. At the height of the smog, Chen sold 8 millions cans in 10 days at about 75 cents AUD a can, with proceeds going to poor regions of China, the ones most likely to be forced into poorly regulated manufacturing jobs.”

    Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it

    I think you can stop, it’s not catching on.

    Also, because this is the thunderdome, I’ll just say it: human-induced needs a hyphen. The overheating is global, it’s rapid, and it’s induced, but it’s not human; it’s human-induced.

    My issue her isn’t with Obama’s skin colour but his cultiral and personal identity & loyalty / patriotism / understanding of America.

    …Against all evidence, I’ll take this literally just for the sake of the following argument:

    Personal identity? Loyalty? Patriotism? You seem to have a thoroughly late-19th-/early-20th-century view of nations and politics.

    Politicians are employees of You the People. Their job is to work for your good. As long as they have any motivation to do that (which outweighs whatever reasons to do something to the contrary), that’s fine. I’m not saying I’m qualified, but if I am, I’d be happy to work for the good of the people in any geographical region. There’s simply no need for politicians to feel mystically one with their bosses.

  98. casus fortuitus says

    joey:

    I guess by your reasoning that particular argument is inappropriate.

    I’m afraid you’re going to have to be a bit more explicit about how you’re applying my reasoning. To what extent has the suppression of Second Amendment rights been used directly to oppress or marginalise people who are “mentally disabled” (can you be more specific about what you mean by this term?)? Were you only essaying this argument to justify or reinstate that oppression or marginalisation?

  99. strange gods before me ॐ says

    You’re welcome, Chas. Keep in mind it’s not intended to handle videos in the OP. That’s doable, but I haven’t bothered.

  100. bradleybetts says

    It’s six o’clock here and about time I went home, but I just wanted to say thank you to Katheraine Lorraine, Strange Gods Before Me, Casus Fortuitus, Opposeablethumbs and anyone else who took time out of their day to educate the newbie :) it is much appreciated. Have a good day all.

  101. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Thanks, bradley. It’s refreshing to run into someone who isn’t trolling about it.

    +++++
    Testing

  102. says

    Okay, if by “equality” you mean these things…then I agree, right now we are not “equal”. Like you said, she depends on me financially and I depend on her for taking care of our children while I am working. Seems like a symbiotic relationship (which by definition are always unequal) to me.

    Let me ask you this. Is our relationship with all these “inequalities” wrong?

    If it’s working for you, then who am I to say it’s “wrong”?

    All I said was that it IS NOT EQUALITY. You and your wife LIKING an unequal arrangement is fine, as far as it goes.

    Let’s place you and your wife within the context of our sexist society. Only within the past 50 years has it been an option for men and women to even consider aiming for egalitarian relationships. Women who stepped out of the prescribed roles before then were punished harshly. They were shamed, ostracized, denied employment and housing, and worse.

    Today, it still happens. Today, women and men who want egalitarian relationships are continually thwarted because there’s a widespread belief that relationships like the one you and your wife have are IDEAL. As in, UNEQUAL, and IDEAL. As in, INEQUALITY is a GOOD thing.

    I think those ideas are bullshit and I have little patience for those who natter on about how their already socially accepted but unequal in the way classically prescribed by misogynist patriarchal institutions like the RCC are JUST AWESOME when the reality is that the fact that that sort of relationship has been held up as an ideal for many years has caused unmeasurable harm to women over the decades and centuries and still continues to cause harm.

    In an egalitarian world, couples who decide to raise children would ALL have the option of both raising children and pursuing careers. In an egalitarian world, child-rearing wouldn’t be unpaid or underpaid work because of its association with femininity. In an egalitarian world, pursuing a career would not be seen at odds with being an involved parent. In an egalitarian world, it would be common wisdom that it’s a foolish risk to depend entirely on someone else for survival, regardless of whether you’re a woman depending on a man or a man depending on a woman.

    In conclusion, fuck you.

  103. mythbri says

    I’d just like to add some anecdotal support to what Sally Strange is saying here.

    In my neck of the woods, it is an all-too-common assumption that women who work and also have children had damn well better have either dead husbands or divorced ones, because not having a man around is the ONLY acceptable circumstance in which a woman with kids should be working.

    I spoke to many women I went to college with who were completely fine with dropping out of school when (not “if”, when) they got married, and no problem with dropping kids shortly after. In fact, it was seen as something to aspire to, because it made you “better” than those poor, deluded militant and probably ugly women who were selfish enough to want to make careers for themselves.

    One of my best friends, in fact, is one of these women. She’s attended some college, but grew discouraged in trying to figure out what kind of degree to pursue when she never intends to use it, anyway. So she dropped out, also discouraged that no one had asked her to marry him – isn’t college where that is supposed to happen? Well, it didn’t happen for her, so she decided to focus on attending her church and hoping that she’d meet someone there.

    “All I want is to be a mom and have kids.”

    I’m happy that this is now optional for women, legally-speaking, if not socially. And I know that it’s wrong for me to judge other people’s freely-made choices. But is my friend’s choice really freely made? How can it be freely made when she was raised in a religion that has taught her that there’s no way for her to reach the highest level of Heaven without a husband? How can it be freely made when she was raised in a religion that has taught her that bearing children is the highest calling a woman can have? How can it be freely made when she was raised in a religion that has taught her to submit to male authority, particularly that of her husband, because he has more divine, god-bestowed power than she will ever have? How can it be freely made when she was raised in a religion that has taught her that if she has a son, once he reaches the age of 12 and receives the preisthood, she will never, in any capacity, have organizational authority over him ever again? That this son would be considered the head of the household if her husband should die?

    How can that be a choice freely made? And how could such a relationship ever be considered “equal”?

  104. vaiyt says

    And you cannot presume that these parents (doesn’t have to be only women since that would be sexist) would freely sacrifice their careers to raise their children precisely the way they want their children to be raised.

    It doesn’t have to be only women. Yet, it is. It’s nearly always the woman that sacrifices her aspirations to raise children, while the man feels no need for such. Convenient, isn’t it? So convenient for you and so many other husbands who can keep pretending women are making choices in this scenario.

  105. opposablethumbs says

    Good to meet you properly, bradleybetts. I have a rubbish memory, but I’ll try to remember where I saw your name next time!

  106. ftfkdad says

    Any teens interested in writing for a public-facing blog? godlessteens.com – take a look and see if interested.

  107. says

    Bradley:

    However I’m still not clear on why. In the US it seems to be used almost exclusively as an insult directed towards women, which is completely different to how it’s used here in the UK.

    From the introduction of Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland:

    I grew up in Northern Ireland, a world away from the Punjab, North Korea and East Africa. But it was a place where the word ‘cunt’ expressed the worst form of contempt one person could feel for another. If you loathed or despised a person, ‘cunt’ said it all.

    The word was scrawled on the walls of rubbish strewn back alleyways or in public toilets reeking of urine and faeces. Nothing was worse than being treated like a ‘cunt’ or nothing so stupid as a ‘stupid cunt’.

    Belfast, Northern Ireland, the city where I grew up, had its own peculiar hatreds. Its sectarian animosities over the years have made it a byword for violence and bloodshed. But there was one thing on which the warring communities of Catholics and Protestants could agree: the contemptible status of cunt.

    [...] we were also following the inner logic of our own powerful feelings, the same rage which we articulated with monosyllabic concision in the word ‘cunt’.

    ‘Cunt’ is the pinnacle of utter contempt. It’s an expression of profound misogyny, given the thousands of years women have been held in contempt and often reduced in status to nothing more than a trash receptacle, a place for any man to dump his semen and move on. Consider what you are saying when you let loose with a “you silly cunt” aimed at one of your friends or similar. You may have the feeling that it’s okay to use the word towards men, in a friendly sense in the UK, however, that doesn’t remove the rage and contempt in it when it’s snarled at a woman, does it?

    Why is it alright to call someone an objectified, despised body part? What are you really saying about that person? If the answer is “well, I don’t think about it, it’s just a word”, then you should do some thinking and reading.

  108. strange gods before me ॐ says

    rq, Beatrice, Portia, none of you are making absurd equivalences between talking about sex and having sex in front of someone who doesn’t want to watch. Come on, if I say I’m only angry with one person, and you’re not saying the most outrageous thing in the discussion, then it must not be you.

  109. Beatrice says

    sgbm,

    FIgured that after posting, but it was too late.

    That red light PZ told us to imagine at the beginning of a new thread, the one that erases memories of all previous posts, must have worked too well on me.

  110. says

    SBGM, sorry about blundering into the end of that, when you’d already pointed out that this ought to be carried on here. (I was writing comment 514 as fast as I could, but I didn’t reload the page and should have.) It looked pretty darn obvious to me who you meant, but I wasn’t in the thick of the discussion, and I’m aware things can look quite different from outside the discussion, as opposed to being involved in the thick of it.

  111. Beatrice says

    Insecure, first thought being I screwed something up even when it should be obvious I didn’t, afraid of showing I’m stupid, blah, blah, you get it even without going further into my pity-party.

  112. says

    SG, I put in my 2 cents, such as it is. Azkyroth has a habit of acting the ass towards me, and I don’t feel up to a long drawn out discussion today, apologies for that. I really thought the bias towards hearing about gay male sex was well known. Hmmm, learn something new every day, I suppose.

  113. rq says

    SGBM
    Thanks again for clearing that up.

    Caine (cross-posted from Lounge)
    Honestly? The mistake here is mine. I (personally) am comfortable with the idea of gay men (really, anyone) having sex. Perhaps I’m a bit prudish in not wanting to know anything about anyone’s sex lives. BUT. My mistake was in falling into the trap of comfort. Because nobody around me (in real life, or here) ever mentions that gay sex is nasty, I simply forgot that, in the wider world, it isperceived with a huge stigma, as something to be abhorred, etc.
    (And I may have just lied, since blogs around here regularly point to institutions and people who are disgusted by the idea of gay sex. :/)
    My mistake? Was in not thinking through the things I wanted to say, and how they might look in the light of the wider world, not just my (own) closed set of thoughts and feelings of comfort about my local area (so to speak).
    So, being too comfortable in this case was a bad thing – it stopped me from actually thinking about what I said and how it may be perceived to those outside of my world-view. I promise to try to do better in the future.

  114. Tethys says

    dalillama

    Dammit. Paul W is back in the NYT rape thread, he has learned nothing.

    I saw that too. I decided my peace of mind is more important at this moment than wanting to reach through the interwebs and pummel him for his vulcan victim blaming bs.

  115. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    That red light PZ told us to imagine at the beginning of a new thread, the one that erases memories of all previous posts, must have worked too well on me.

    What red light? I don’t remember anything about a red light.

  116. says

    rq, I think you’re fine. You aren’t the problem at all.

    Tethys:

    I saw that too. I decided my peace of mind is more important at this moment than wanting to reach through the interwebs and pummel him for his vulcan victim blaming bs.

    Eh, I went ahead and said my piece. I had serious hopes after some time away, he might get a clue, but so much for being hopeful.

  117. rq says

    Alright, Caine. Thanks for letting me know. Right now, that means a lot for you to say that to me.

  118. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    [meta/OT, RE: gendered epithets and self-censorship]

    I’m watching last night’s Daily Show and along with the usual (hack, tool) epithets John Stewart elicits from me his guest (Michelle Rhee) is making me think very loudly of words that start with B and C. Especially C. I know that “asshole” is just as descriptive but to my shame that is not the first word that comes to mind with this awful woman says such stupid and harmful things.

  119. Beatrice says

    What red light? I don’t remember anything about a red light.

    *hands Antiochus Epiphanes a pair of sunglasses*

  120. Tethys says

    Caine

    I had serious hopes after some time away, he might get a clue, but so much for being hopeful.

    Inorite?
    I will probably post a reply eventually too, but I made it one paragraph into his latest justification and decided that I am not up for another round of PTSD theater because of the callousness of Paul W and Chas.

    The sidewalks are shoveled, the sunshine was enjoyed, and the granddoggies got to play in the snow.
    It was a far more productive use of the afternoon.

  121. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Thank you, Caine, for doing so much in that NYT rape thread. I’m afraid that meatspace stuff got in the way of me reading much of it; I was barely a third of the way in when I had to abandon all attempts to get further.

    One more day, and then I shall be free! Free, I tell you!!! Or, at least will have more time to devote to online stuff. That might, of course, look like rather less freedom to some. Meh. I like my online friends!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    After hubby went to work this morning, I fell straight back to sleep.

    And dreamed I was back home in Ireland.

    …Telling people how it was that I came to be away for sooooo long (eight years – it was supposed to be six months).

    …Picking up small grandson and telling him that he wasn’t even imagined when I left, and look how big he is!

    It was so life-like, that when I woke up I was momentarily disorientated, thinking I was back home. Then I recognised the things around me and the huge crash of disappointment shook me to the point that my chest still hurts from it over an hour later.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I have an echocardiogram scheduled for this afternoon, as a follow-up to the angiogram in December that suggested I might have a problem with the aortic valve. Fortunately, the cold that has given me horrid symptoms since Sunday seems to have subsided (YAY!!!!) so I don’t have to defer it for another eight weeks (the current waiting list).

    Here’s hoping that they find nothing wrong.

    I have to admit that I am a little fed-up with having one health-related thing fixed, only to have another pop up in its place. The signs are good – I’ve had a dozen or more people listen to my heart through a stethoscope over the last couple of months, and precisely none of them has been able to hear a heart murmer. Perhaps the angiogram result was an artifact (or someone mis-measured). I’m hoping for confirmation that the chest pains are more than likely post-operative neuralgia (from the radio ablation in September) so I shall come home this evening with a clean bill of health – and will be able to start planning my return home for real!

  122. says

    Speaking of bunnification and embedded YouTube videos, Paul W.’s latest ‘Vulcan turd’ in the NYT thread has been… vastly improved. No doubt by being very much shorter and entertaining. I’m posting this to note my appreciation for Chris’ substitution.

  123. Tigger_the_Wing says

    That should say ‘angiogram results in December’ because the actual angiogram was in October, but my GP wasn’t sent the results for six weeks.

  124. John Morales says

    Dalillama, nope, not banhammered — that’s PZ’s prerogative.

    (Banned from that thread, yeah)

    But now I know bunnies cover their faces with spit as well as being cecophages.

    (Lovely!)

  125. says

    Tigger:

    Thank you, Caine, for doing so much in that NYT rape thread.

    Pffft, I was hardly alone in that thread, there was much heavy lifting done by a whole lot of peoples. I hope the health news is good! Tentacles crossed for you.

  126. The Mellow Monkey says

    I had seen there was movement in the NYT thread again so had gone to see what was going on. I wasn’t expecting Paul’s “hypothetically it’s okay to lay causal blame on the rape victim” example to be a retelling of my own assault that I had already described in that very same thread.

    It’s been a while since this place has triggered flashbacks and various…bad stuff.

    By the time I got myself together again to be able to respond, I saw Chris had laid the bunny smackdown.

    Ah well. I don’t know if it was deliberate or subconscious or just an awful coincidence, but goddamn. Not expecting that.

  127. mythbri says

    I read Paul W’s reply before it was Bunnified.

    It was nothing he hadn’t already said, actually, and I think made for his eventy-billionth triple-down.

    But apparently what he was really getting at with all his talk of causal blame was to identify the causes of rape for rape prevention.

    Really.

    Based on his “hypotheticals”, I can imagine which party he would be analyzing for “rape prevention.”

  128. throwaway says

    I’m watching last night’s Daily Show and along with the usual (hack, tool) epithets John Stewart elicits from me his guest (Michelle Rhee) is making me think very loudly of words that start with B and C. Especially C. I know that “asshole” is just as descriptive but to my shame that is not the first word that comes to mind with this awful woman says such stupid and harmful things.

    “Misguided, aggravating, ideological mouthpiece for dismantling public schools and anti-educator” is what I was thinking. Well, that’s the rationalized form of B and C and AAARRRGGGHH! So I really don’t begrudge anyone resorting to baser epithets, as I’m filled with the same primal rage that doesn’t allow for modified acceptability filters to come into play.

    RE: Rhee: I think she fully grasps what using standardized tests as the measure brings, what charter schools do to districts when they’re subsidized, and how disproportionately the less-privileged suffer with poorer education. Her stance is inconsistent with rational or even humane efforts to afford equity in education opportunities. So this leads me to believe she’s an objectivist. Libertarian ivy-league D. One of the types who view the ability to pursue better education by individually buying it as the birthright of the ruling elite. None of her policies were consistent with improving education in public schools on the whole without punishing the underfunded schools or schools in lower income areas. And she’s all for dismantling teacher’s unions, so there’s that too. And then the questionable “improvement” within her district…

    All of that spells SMFH. So much.

  129. says

    Mythbri:

    But apparently what he was really getting at with all his talk of causal blame was to identify the causes of rape for rape prevention.

    Yes, something he denied he was doing on the first page of that thread. It’s the same old shit, the same old list, the same old “you really shouldn’t be out and about without your owner” crap.

    Hekuni Cat, thank you. ♥

  130. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m watching last night’s Daily Show and along with the usual (hack, tool) epithets John Stewart elicits from me his guest (Michelle Rhee) is making me think very loudly of words that start with B and C.

    I think part of the reason the words are so satisfying is the guttural phonetics, so finding phonetically similar but less loaded words is useful. “You stupid fucking LUMP!” is about as satisfying to say as the “cunt”-based equivalent, for instance…

  131. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I’m so sorry, Caine.

    *Sends bunny-dreams, and unicorn rainbow-farting dreams, and baskets-of-kittehs dreams, through the USB*

    Hey, Ratties – Caine needs extra huggies, OK?

  132. Portia, who will be okay. says

    MM and Caine, lots of hugs as desired. So sorry that thread continued to be crappy for you.

    Tigger:
    I know that homesick heartache. I’m sorry : (
    I hope your healthnews is good news.

  133. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oh, is that what is going on, Azkyroth?

    *Tries it out*

    “You stupid fucking LUMP!”

    “ROCK-HEAD!”

    =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    When I was a teenager, I didn’t swear. Ever. My mother would tell me off if I so much as said “Blimey!”

    So my go-to phrase was “Gruesome goose-eggs!”

    But there was that one occasion when my mother dropped a hot saucepan full of stew. Unaccustomed to swearing, neither “Blast!” nor “Damn!” came out of her mouth; instead, she yelled “Blam!” much to the amusement of us, her four offspring. She never lived that down!

  134. says

    Argument from consequences. Feelings are more important than ideas.
    At least admit it.

    I don’t have any problem admitting that the feelings of rape victims are of more consequence than Paul W.’s sophomoric philosophical hair-splitting “ideas” about distal vs. proximate causes of rape.

    But, you know. Nice try being inflammatory towards the rape victims and those standing up for them, Chas.

  135. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Thank you, Portia.

    I usually cope with bouts of homesickness by putting on headphones and listening to sad music on a loop until I cry myself to sleep. But that is when it happens in the evening, and it’s 11am here so I can’t do that right now. :(

  136. cm's changeable moniker says

    Earlier today, I discovered this, which was funny:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Silly_Things/Slow_Blind_Driveway

    And then, I just watched this (about the UK probation service managing people released from prison on licence), which was depressing with a couple of uplifting moments, but generally depressing:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21282534

    Aaaaand, kid #1′s bike got stolen. Yes, it was a POS, and we got it for free, but, fuck. Bastards.

    His birthday’s this month, so that’s opportune, I guess.

  137. says

    Feelings are more important than ideas.

    People are as important as ideas. Get that through your fucking skull, okay, Chas?

    Jesus fucking Christ. Just how long do we get to be objectified and dehumanized? All for the sake of someone who is determined to be a fuckwit by taking the same old shit and trying to dress it up in new terms? I don’t think so.

  138. cm's changeable moniker says

    Oh, and!

    strange gods, thank you for the comments-on-right-hand-side script.

    You have restored harmony to my world.

  139. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oh, Caine, I’m so sorry. :(

    That’s it. I have a few minutes before my shower. I’m going back to that thread and I’m not going to try to catch up with all of it, just the last couple of days’ worth.

    BRB.

  140. cm's changeable moniker says

    Sheesh, my this-is-my-life comments always end up in the middle of a bunfight.

    It’s a talent, I guess?

  141. says

    cm:

    Sheesh, my this-is-my-life comments always end up in the middle of a bunfight.

    I suggest taking your this-is-my-life commentary to the lounge, where it will get all manner of appropriate attention.

  142. carlie says

    Caine, wish I could cook you dinner tonight. (Although all we had were bacon sandwiches with tomato and avocado)

  143. says

    Carlie:

    (Although all we had were bacon sandwiches with tomato and avocado)

    That sounds delicious! Now me want tomatoes…

    Actually, reminds me I had best take some hamburger out of the freezer, I had this notion to make a big pot of chili last week. Amazing how I still haven’t done that. Uh oh.

  144. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I’m back. Wow. >Ô.ô<

    Carlie, your comments there are really educational; shame that Paul seems to think he has had all the education he needs and is highly resistant to getting more.

    Caine, I'm bloody angry too, now, but I'm being picked up in an hour or so and need to get ready. I shall carefully consider my reply whilst showering, and I hope I shall have time to post it before I leave.

  145. cm's changeable moniker says

    I suggest taking your this-is-my-life commentary to the lounge

    The problem I have with this is that the Lounge is, shall we say, verbose. I have enough trouble keeping up with the Dome. I can’t really keep up with the other threads. Adding the the Lounge? I’d do nothing but read.

    It’s a challenge.

  146. says

    John Morales @189:

    Dalillama, nope, not banhammered — that’s PZ’s prerogative.

    To be precise, it’s a shared prerogative. I have the ability and the authority to ban people. I have for the most part not done so out of respect for the corporate culture here, in some cases for comments for which I would reflexively ban people at my own place.

    But I have indeed banned people here. All of them drive-by trolls with no history here, one of whom came over from my place specifically to give me shit. PZ’s only stated restriction in our coblogging agreement is that he prefers to be transparent about it, as you all know by now. The few vandals I’ve banned didn’t merit a dungeon entry, so I didn’t bother.

    My own preference is to ask people directly to STFU in a thread, or in worse cases to tell them not to comment on my threads anymore. Most bad-faith trolls leave after a few bunny videos. But should anyone think about rules-lawyering their status here on the notion that I have to refer potential bans to PZ, make no mistake: you’re wrong. I HAZ THA POWAH.

    And should there come a time when PZ disagrees with a ban I’ve hammered, we’ll deal with it. And it’s not certain that anyone else will ever hear about it.

  147. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @Caine

    sorry for snapping at you. Taking break as I’m being emotional and on edge

  148. mythbri says

    People are as important as ideas.

    Yes. People are just as important as ideas.

    It’s amazing how much we suck ideas into our identities. I know that I do. And I think that I have the right to say, “This idea is more important than me.”

    I do not have the right to say, “This idea is more important than you.”

    And that’s what Paul W was doing in that thread.

  149. says

    cm:
    I don’t know why, but I found it shocking that PZ mentioned the Lounge is one of the faster moving threads-despite the moderation. After nearly a week unable to find the time to get online, I completely see what he meant. Geez. Take a half day off from the Lounge and you’re threadrupt! A week? You may as well throw the towel in!

  150. says

    Mythbri:

    and I think that I have the right to say, “This idea is more important than me.”

    I do not have the right to say, “This idea is more important than you.”

    A crucial distinction, and it’s disheartening, to say the least, that some people just don’t grok that (or simply refuse to listen.)

  151. says

    John Morales

    Dalillama, nope, not banhammered — that’s PZ’s prerogative.

    (Banned from that thread, yeah)

    I noticed; I misinterpreted Chris’ remark about him being done here.

    MM, Caine,

    *big hugs*

    throwaway

    None of her policies were consistent with improving education in public schools on the whole without punishing the underfunded schools or schools in lower income areas.

    No one who proposes charter schools ever wants to improve public education; they want to abolish it.

    Caine

    People are as important as ideas

    More important, I’d say; ideas are no good without people.

  152. says

    @ David Marjanović #152

    I’d be happy to work for the good of the people in any geographical region. There’s simply no need for politicians to feel mystically one with their bosses.

    I could not agree with you more. Why should countries not source talent from wherever in the world they can find it. There are more than enough portfolios that could be better served by scouring the earth for the very best, rather than making do with whatever lies to hand in “one’s own country”. Better yet, payment can be more clearly honed to real performance, rather than being set against all manner of underhand dealing and horse trading that occures when nationals are given power to push entrenched (even criminal) agendas within their communities. Employing an outsider circumvents much of this.

    There have been cases in point too. The Iranians, for a while, appointed foreigners to ministerial positions. They where chosen because of their skills and experience, rather than political expediencies. This kind of pragmatism, already well established in the business realm, could be very healthy for good governance.

    @ Caine

    receptacle

    Hivemind!

    Damn, you beat me to it, I was going to make just this point in the thread about Glenn Beck.

    This is, when considered soberly, a very bizarre idea. But one that raises its head in the most horrible ways, time and time again.

    The concept is proto-religious and hearkens back to the superstitious idea of infection. One passes on the bad to a receptacle and one is thereby rid of it. Glenn Beck hoggles into the Obama he has constructed in the image of a woman. Jesus is purified and takes on the sins of mankind. The HIV infected man ejaculates into a virgin and is thereby cured. The male rape victim, rapes another and therby is cleansed back to manliness. And so it goes. :(

  153. says

    Theophontes:

    This is, when considered soberly, a very bizarre idea. But one that raises its head in the most horrible ways, time and time again.

    Oh yes, that belief is still very much with us. The recent piece of, um, artwork of Rebecca Watson illustrates that all too well. Woman as ejaculate dumpster, nothing more. And as you say, extended to men who are considered to be hopelessly infected by the feminine cooties.

  154. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @103. strange gods before me ॐ : You’ve had my answers to that already here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/15/thunderdome-12/comment-page-1/#comment-516692

    & here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/26/thunderdome-16/comment-page-2/#comment-548691

    & I’ve also stated here what my actual current views are, as opposed to the strawperson caricature that some who hate me have imagined them to be here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/20/thunderdome-15/comment-page-1/#comment-543071

    SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements made many years ago on another blog which I have long since dis-owned and rejected as opposed to the many more numerous and recent statements contradicting them is noted with,for example the last link. I’m pretty sure you would have said things in the past that, in hindsight and after reflection, you now wish you hadn’t said. It would therefore be wrong to hold those past statements against you because you’ve rejcted those statements and grown and learnt. Same applies here to me.

    What you are doing against me here, strange gods before me ॐ, is unfair and wrong. Please stop it.

    PS. No, I am not being bullied off this blog by a few fellow commenters who happen to dislike or and disagree with me. I’ve made that quite clear. Those who hate me here have equally made their feelings towards me known. If they wish to ignore me in the future that’s their choice, if I wish to ignore them that’s mine. If they keep making things nasty (&/or boring) for other readers here, well that’s their choice too. I suggest they let PZ and Chris Clarke run this blog as they choose just as PZ and Chris Clarke (& I) would happily let them run their blogs as they choose.

  155. StevoR, fallible human being says

    @152. David Marjanović :

    “Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it.” -StevoR
    I think you can stop, it’s not catching on. Also, because this is the thunderdome, I’ll just say it: human-induced needs a hyphen. The overheating is global, it’s rapid, and it’s induced, but it’s not human; it’s human-induced.

    Meh, I’m stubborn and I like it so I’m gonna continue with it. I think my version is more direct and clear a description and “Overheating” certainly packs more of a punch than “warming” which is a mild word with usually positive connotations which in this case makes it misleading. I may well use a hyphen for Human-induced tho’ although I’m not 100% sure if its really necessary or not.

  156. says

    I suggest they let PZ and Chris Clarke run this blog as they choose just as PZ and Chris Clarke (& I) would happily let them run their blogs as they choose.

    I am getting really fucking tired of you using me as cover for your obnoxious idiocy, StevoR.

  157. chigau (違う) says

    X-post
    I see that the 9-5 office thing is going to totally fuck-up my participation here.
    I’m still reading Lounge and Thunderdome.
    *hugs*
    and
    *kicks*
    distribute as needed

  158. says

    @ Caine

    [Linky]

    Bleeaugh. They seem to sink to a lower level every day. It is like their hate and their sexuality are irremediably intertwined.

    @ StevoR

    Now that you have it “straight from the horse’s mouth”, as it where – when is the penny going to drop?

  159. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    No, I am not being bullied off this blog by a few fellow commenters who happen to dislike or and disagree with me. I’ve made that quite clear.

    Duh. Obviously you’re not being bullied off this blog! ;)

    But they don’t “happen to dislike or and disagree with [you]“, they actually have reasons they have articulated at length.

    As to what you have made quite clear, I think it’s that you are merely being recalcitrant about acknowledging your (supposedly past) racism.

    SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements made many years ago on another blog which I have long since dis-owned and rejected as opposed to the many more numerous and recent statements contradicting them is noted with,for example the last link.

    One can’t pick cherries that aren’t there.

    What you are doing against me here, strange gods before me ॐ, is unfair and wrong. Please stop it.

    Care to elucidate what you imagine is wrong with him quoting you and enquiring “Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?”

    Meh, I’m stubborn and I like it so I’m gonna continue with it.

    So being stubborn and liking something is a valid reason to continue to do something, in your opinion.

    (Does that only apply to you, or can other people justify themselves thus?)

  160. says

    If they keep making things nasty (&/or boring) for other readers here, well that’s their choice too.

    The only person making things nasty and boring is you, you racist slimebag. If you aren’t spouting absolute contemptible shit, you’re busy having a massive pity party, lather, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.

    I suggest they let PZ and Chris Clarke run this blog as they choose just as PZ and Chris Clarke (& I) would happily let them run their blogs as they choose.

    I suggest you shut the fuck up and go away. In your usual obtuse manner, you seem to have forgotten all about PZ’s thread in defense of the commentariat. Many of us have been here for *years* and PZ doesn’t have a problem with the way the commentariat chooses to deal with slimy shit such as yourself. If he did, he wouldn’t hesitate to say as much. PZ isn’t shy about such things, in case you haven’t noticed. Neither is Chris, who doesn’t exactly exhibit much love for obnoxious bigots who insist on spewing their hatred all over as if it was terribly important and valid.

    Allowing the commentariat to deal with…people such as yourself is letting them run this blog in the way they see fit. Among your other offences, Stevie, you’re quite dull on the intellectual front.

  161. Tigger_the_Wing says

    John Morales

    Showering?

    (Hard thing to do, that!)

    ?????

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Well, this afternoon was amazing, and no mistake.

    A little background:

    After being pretty much housebound with arrhythmia for most of last year, in September I had radio ablation of my left atrium to stop the atrial fibrillation. With the caveat that I still need to take verapamil for total control, it has been a complete success.

    Three weeks after the procedure, at the beginning of October, I got crushing chest pain and was admitted to hospital for several days. I had an angiogram the following week, during which I was informed that my heart had no problems. Greatly relieved, I went home and started gently exercising to build up my strength.

    One evening in November, six weeks after the angiogram, my GP rang in a panic. She had just received a letter from the hospital cardiology department, warning her that I had ‘moderate to severe aortic stenosis’. I asked her to read me the letter; comparing it to what I had been told at the time, I came to the conclusion that a mistake had been made and somehow my details had been mixed up with someone else’s angiogram results. Even so, I was persuaded that she should book me an echocardiogram to check for certain.

    On the 15th of December I was re-admitted to hospital with the same, crushing chest pain I’d had in October. As pulmonary embolism was suspected, I had a contrast CT scan which failed to show any PE. After a week I was released with no diagnosis. On Christmas Eve, I was back in Emergency again with the same pain. The doctor on duty that afternoon sat down and took a pretty complete history. This time, I had a contrast CT to look for aortic dissection. Again, negative result. But he did tell me that he had seen nearly identical symptoms in patients after surgery for pulmonary embolism, and gave me a tentative diagnosis of post-operative neuralgia following the ablation. He explained that it is very much a diagnosis of elimination; there was a small chance that the echocardiogram might show pericarditis so I should take things easy until the echo. That has been sooooooo booooooring!
    ………………………..****………………………..
    This afternoon was the echocardiogram.

    The sonographer was really helpful as she showed me around my heart. I told the her that the main things that needed to be looked at were the aortic valve (it is perfect! =^_^=) and the pericardium (ditto!); in fact, the whole heart is very healthy. All the valves are really good, not even showing age-related deterioration yet, let alone damage by my previous high blood pressure or ankylosing spondylitis. I’m so happy!

    Then I had a wait to be seen by the cardiologist. When I finally did, he was so apologetic. It turns out I was right – there had been a mix-up in the angiogram results and I had, indeed, received those intended for someone else! He wants us to put in a formal complaint; because I’m the fourth in a month, since the cardiology department lost its own clerical staff and had to start using those of the oncology department. He is fed-up with complaining to them himself, and feels that the hospital might take more notice if patients start to complain too.

    The icing on the cake? On the way out of the hospital, as we were about to enter the car park, who should be coming in but the very doctor I saw on Christmas Eve?! So I got to thank him for his diagnosis, and learn his name. =^_^=

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Today was a GOOD day!

  162. says

    Meh, I’m stubborn and I like it so I’m gonna continue with it.

    As you insist on forcing yourself on us, I’ll point out that you have no basis whatsoever to ask or expect SG to let up on you and your bigoted garbage, which you insist on forcing down everyone’s throats.

  163. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Thank you, people! =^_^=

    I can start going out under my own steam again!

    However, the cardiologist seconded my GP’s warning – even though any future episode of chest pain may be non-threatening, I MUST go to the emergency department anyway just in case. Even my kind of angina can be (rarely) fatal.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    John Morales,

    Sorry, I’ve just caught up with your comments in the Lounge. I agree, finding the motivation to shower (or, indeed, to take any steps towards personal hygiene) is very, very difficult when in the grip of depression. :( I wish I had some easy answer.

    I’ve taken steps to make it easier to cope with the difficulties caused by my disabilities, though. I have a non-slip mat, a non-slip foot-scrubber, a suction-mounted support bar and an adjustable-height stool, a nylon back-scrubber (also useful for legs!), and shelves for my various toiletries to keep them in reach.

  164. carlie says

    Yay Tigger!

    SteveoR, although SG has referred a few times to comments you made years ago, you’ve made quite a number of racist comments here just in the last couple of months. It’s not just the ones SG cites that make people think you’re racist.

  165. says

    Comment by The Real Troll blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

    Mmm, smells better already in here.

    Tigger, I’m so glad to hear you’ve gotten good news from the echocardiogram, but the hospital really should have a complaint about this, since it can’t have been fun to have months of unpleasant stress about whether you had heart disease or not – and you’re in the fortunate position of having been given worse news, that turned out to be false. I dread to think if there have been so many mistakes (four in a month is bad) whether the reverse case has happened, and someone who should have been given warning of major problems was wrongly given a clear bill of health.

  166. says

    Kat Lorraine:

    His top ten list of awesome black people, for instance

    His abysmal knowledge of history and insistence that all things “western” are superior.

    His oh-so-condescending conferral of “superior westernness” on various non-western cultures.

    His advocacy of bombing those icky brown peoples into dust, hey, it’s best!

    His statements that those icky brown people are all terrorists, man, and we should wake up and smell the coffee.

    *spits*

  167. strange gods before me ॐ says

    StevoR,

    @103. strange gods before me ॐ : You’ve had my answers to that already here :

    Nope. I checked your links again just to make sure. They address different questions than the ones I’m asking now. They do not contain any answers to the questions 1) were you a racist when you said it, and 2) was it a racist comment?

    SGBM : you are cherry picking ancient statements

    Nope; that’s not what cherry-picking means. If I was cherry-picking, then you would be able to point out comments by yourself from the same time which somehow contradicted them.

    I’m pretty sure you would have said things in the past that, in hindsight and after reflection, you now wish you hadn’t said. It would therefore be wrong to hold those past statements against you because you’ve rejcted those statements and grown and learnt.

    Nope, not necessarily. For instance, although my commitment to antiracism is apparent, it would never be wrong to ask me questions about the past like 1) were you a racist when you said it, and 2) was it a racist comment?

    Let’s see if you can answer the questions about one quote at a time.

    The left wing, liberals, [...] kid themselves that [...] “hyphenated Americans”* are good things, they kid themselves too on crime and immigration [...]
    * Such as celebrating and getting Obama into power effecctively through the ultimate in “affirmative action.” [...] isn’t anyone in the USA bothered by the fact that you have a half- & hyphenated-American in office as President rather than an all-American individual? (My issue her isn’t with Obama’s skin colour but his cultiral and personal identity & loyalty / patriotism / understanding of America.)

    Were you a racist when you said that? Was it a racist comment?

  168. says

    Kat Lorraine:

    I was thinking back to his latest thing that made me facepalm, but yea – those all count as well.

    Yes, they do, as they’ve all been things he has said recently and said here. I’m sick to death of his whinging about his former posts being “ancient history” (they aren’t) and not counting because it was said elsewhere and so on.

  169. opposablethumbs says

    Tigger, I’d just like to leave an extra YAY!!!! here for you. That’s such great news.

  170. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    dobbshead: 1. What do you find surprising or noteworthy about that article? 2. You can’t hijack a runaway train.

  171. joey says

    Sally:

    If it’s working for you, then who am I to say it’s “wrong”?

    It’s not “wrong”, but it’s “foolish”. Got it.

    Today, it still happens. Today, women and men who want egalitarian relationships are continually thwarted because there’s a widespread belief that relationships like the one you and your wife have are IDEAL. As in, UNEQUAL, and IDEAL. As in, INEQUALITY is a GOOD thing.

    That’s pretty bizarre reasoning. That’s like reasoning that a big and successful restaurant that designates its employees to do completely separate tasks (chefs, waiters/waitresses, hosts, bus boys/girls, dishwashers, management) means that “inequality” is a “good” thing. I’d rather reason that doing whatever it takes to run a highly efficient and successful restaurant that produces happy customers is what is “good”. “Equality” in this sense won’t necessarily be a “good” thing. Same could be the case for certain families where both parents that simultaneously pursue careers at the expense of the family could actually degrade the overall happiness of the family. I wouldn’t consider decreased happiness as “good”.

    In an egalitarian world, couples who decide to raise children would ALL have the option of both raising children and pursuing careers.

    I agree that always having the option would be ideal. But most of the time the world isn’t populated with herds of unicorns that poop skittles. In the real world, many couples simply don’t have those options available…and many of those instances have absolutely nothing to do with misogyny and its effects, but rather plain economics. Daycare is very expensive, and sometimes it’s simply not financially feasible for couples to afford it, even if both parents work.

    But in an egalitarian world, simply “having the option” doesn’t necessarily mean that all relationships will become “egalitarian”, correct? There are actually some parents out there who have the option but value raising their children above their careers. That’s not to say that they don’t value their careers at all, but rather they place much more importance on family and how the children are raised and cared for, not to mention some couples want to have many children. These couples purposely choose not to have “egalitarian” relationships.

    In an egalitarian world, child-rearing wouldn’t be unpaid or underpaid work because of its association with femininity.

    So do you think that in order to improve our family situation we should submit a W-4 form for my wife such that I technically become her employer and she becomes my child-rearing employee, not to mention lose a good portion of our family income to the government in the form of payroll and income taxes?

    In an egalitarian world, it would be common wisdom that it’s a foolish risk to depend entirely on someone else for survival, regardless of whether you’re a woman depending on a man or a man depending on a woman.

    How would you suggest we make our relationship less “foolish”? Keep in mind we have 4 small children. One is an infant who still breastfeeds, one is a toddler, and the other two go to elementary school that ends at 3pm every day. Maybe it was foolish for us to have so many children in the first place.

    And if you are not aware, there is a financial innovation thousands of years old called life insurance. We both have it, with the policy on my life being seven figures. If one of us suddenly dies, then the other should be financially protected. We also like to save a lot of money by living well below our means. Just our attempts at being less “foolish”.

    In conclusion, fuck you.

    Why exactly? Because we both choose to have an “unequal” relationship?

    You know, my wife actually does get a fair amount of pressure and shaming. But it’s not from where you would expect. This particular shaming comes from certain feminists who think that women like my wife are “foolish” to choose home over a career, and that by making this choice it perpetuates misogyny to a certain degree.

    ———————
    vaiyt:

    It doesn’t have to be only women. Yet, it is. It’s nearly always the woman that sacrifices her aspirations to raise children, while the man feels no need for such. Convenient, isn’t it? So convenient for you and so many other husbands who can keep pretending women are making choices in this scenario.

    There you go again!

    But not only do you think you know more about my wife’s decision to stay home than I do, you’re suggesting that you know more than she does about her own decision! By suggesting that my wife didn’t actually freely choose to stay home instead of pursue a career (even though she feels that she freely chose to do so), you’re insulting her and similar women who made the same choice/sacrifice because you think that these women couldn’t have possibly made the choice to stay home if they were freely allowed to do so. So what you’re really doing is spitting on these women’s real sacrifices because to you they aren’t actually sacrificing since they had no real choice in the matter. That’s pretty shameful.

  172. ChasCPeterson says

    I don’t have any problem admitting that the feelings of rape victims are of more consequence than Paul W.’s [adjectives o'opinion] “ideas” [sic w/ the scarequotes o'opinion]

    I know. That’s what I said. “More important” = “of more consequence”. Argument from consequences.

    Nice try being inflammatory towards the rape victims and those standing up for them

    That’s really what you think? That I post comments intended to be inflammatory towards rape victims? I acknowledge that in one sense my intent is irrelevant to the consequences (read: not fucking magic), about which more below. But here you’ve explicitly inferred malicious intent on my part. I deny it. For whatever reason I do not share the quality or intensity of your feelings; it doesn’t make me malicious.
    To clarify my actual oh-so-not-fucking-magical intent: I read stuff, sometimes I disagree, and sometimes I post a comment to that effect; that’s pretty much it. If I sometimes know or suspect it’s going to piss somebody off, that’s (almost) never my intent. I’m no troll. I am an inconsiderate asshole sometimes though (below).
    PaulW’s no troll either; he’s been posting long, thoughtful, eminently reasonable, and–yes–unemotional comments on contentious subjects here and elsewhere for years. This time, he’s right, he addressed the wrong subject, one that local convention dictates can only be approached emotionally. Thereby standing up to support rape victims. (nah, I don’t grok it, but we all knew that already.)

    In any case, you just acknowledged that my observation was correct. Think about what it means to find truth inflammatory.

    distal vs. proximate

    distal vs. proximal
    proximate vs. ultimate
    I can’t help it.

    objectified and dehumanized

    uh…wow. I certainly didn’t think of any of the discussion in those terms. I guess if you’re being talked about you’re objectified, but I’m certain that Paul wasn’t knowingly dehumanizing anybody. It’s never my intent. We’re further out in the tail of the kolinahr end of the distribution is all, I think. People like us should probably just stfu sometimes when we know people just don’t want to hear it.

    That said, I apologize for the feelings of hurt, dehumanization, anger, and frustration caused by my words in that thread. I’m sorry to have been inconsiderate.

  173. says

    Chas, first, thank you very much for your consideration. It’s appreciated.

    uh…wow. I certainly didn’t think of any of the discussion in those terms. I guess if you’re being talked about you’re objectified, but I’m certain that Paul wasn’t knowingly dehumanizing anybody.

    I know you didn’t, however, I can’t extend that benefit to Paul. It wasn’t a matter of being talked about. Paul deliberately compared us to objects, such as pool balls and alternators. He also compared us to dogs, mob bosses and assassins. He was told that replacing us with this, that and the other wasn’t helping, by a whole lot of people, and instead of listening, he just moved on to comparing us to something else. He *erased* us, even while we were present and trying to get through to him. Nope, just handwaved us away. I know you’re capable of understanding how that feels.

    Paul did. not. listen. At all. To anyone. He didn’t care about causing harm nor did he care that he was simply using us as objects in his precious construct. Honestly, I don’t understand just what stake Paul has in insisting on that whole mess. It reeks, from top to bottom and there’s something terribly off in that insistence. For all his disclaimers, everything he said all came down to the same old shit – putting the focus and onus on those who are raped. You know, we’re tired. Damn tired of this being the case for fucking forever already. The focus and the onus needs to be on those who do, will or would be willing to rape. How many times did I bring up the “Don’t be that guy” campaign in Canada? That works. It works where all the massive “rape prevention” lists don’t. It works because it focuses on the one factor which remains static in cases of rape – the presence of a rapist.

    I don’t have any sort of personal grudge with Paul, but I gotta say, this last round – I don’t think so well of him now. I’ll admit, I expected better. I gave him one chance after another. I gave him more benefit of the doubt than he deserved. Dressing up old shit in new clothes isn’t good science, it isn’t good anything, and that’s all Paul was doing, after doubling down, tripling down, nthing down.

  174. casus fortuitus says

    joey:

    In the real world, many couples simply don’t have those options available…and many of those instances have absolutely nothing to do with misogyny and its effects, but rather plain economics.

    Is it possible that “plain economics” and “the real world” are ordered (unconsciously, perhaps, but avoidably) in ways which make it more likely that women will have fewer options with respect to their career choices?

  175. carlie says

    Paul deliberately compared us to objects, such as pool balls and alternators. He also compared us to dogs, mob bosses and assassins. He was told that replacing us with this, that and the other wasn’t helping, by a whole lot of people, and instead of listening, he just moved on to comparing us to something else. He *erased* us, even while we were present and trying to get through to him. Nope, just handwaved us away.

    And not only was that wrong in all the ways in which it is wrong, but it is also wrong from the scientific viewpoint he so insisted he was using. Inanimate objects obey the laws of physics. Set up the same set of causal actions and you will get the same reaction, every time. People aren’t like that. One person could respond to a causal action of being cut off in traffic by sighing and hoping the other person has a better day, while another responds with road rage. And even if you want to make educated guesses about causes and reactions in moods, it still doesn’t hold, because the actual causal action for their attitude wasn’t the cut off at all, it was something that happened earlier in the day that helped shape their current mood. That’s one of the parts he refused to get.

    Also, thanks for saying that, Chas.
    (x-post to the other thread)

  176. Ogvorbis says

    In the real world, many couples simply don’t have those options available…and many of those instances have absolutely nothing to do with misogyny and its effects, but rather plain economics.

    Your male privilege is showing. Big time.

    Daycare is very expensive, and sometimes it’s simply not financially feasible for couples to afford it, even if both parents work.

    And what, pray tell, is the culturally appropriate solution for needing one parent to stay home? Is it more culturally acceptable for the father or the mother to leave the workforce and be the stay-at-home parent? What are the actual numbers? Are you going to claim that, in every one of the vast majority of cases in which it is the mother who stays home with the kids, it is economically advantageous for the man to keep working?

    And if you are not aware, there is a financial innovation thousands of years old called life insurance. We both have it, with the policy on my life being seven figures. If one of us suddenly dies, then the other should be financially protected. We also like to save a lot of money by living well below our means. Just our attempts at being less “foolish”.

    And now your economic privilege is showing. Do you have any idea how many working families spend more than 100% of their income (food, fuel, utilities, communications, housing, taxes, clothing, etc.) just to stay alive? Or are they being ‘foolish’ because they cannot afford seven figure life insurance policies and deciding to spend less to save a little money?

  177. David Marjanović says

    The only reason Azkyroth got into this discussion was to bait me. There is no hypothetical too stupid, if he can use it to get under my skin.

    I don’t think so. I think he still doesn’t quite understand why the topic makes you so upset; comment 499 seems to support that.

    I myself didn’t get it before you reminded us. I’m not accustomed to keeping the kind of situation in mind that you come from. In fact, I hadn’t even noticed that the sex in question was going to be “gay sex” – am I projecting myself too much into Azkyroth?

    Paul’s “hypothetically it’s okay to lay causal blame on the rape victim” example [...] a retelling of my own assault that I had already described in that very same thread

    GAAAH GAAAH GAAAH

    Years ago I had such a high opinion of his brain. *sigh*

    MM – I’m so sorry. *hugs and chocolate*

    Seconded. Also:
    *leaves rattie snuggles and happiness tea on Caine’s nightstand*
    *same for Ing*

    Tremble in Fear Infidels! Iran unweils ‘ ‘ Stealth ‘ ‘ Plane.

    See that poster in the background? “We Willed And Acquired”? That’s an almost comically Western sentiment. Fundamentalism has begun to end.

    (…Or I’ve read too much Spengler. Or both.)

    Tigger, an ebullient YAY! for good health results. ♥

    + 1 :-)

    “We will find oil. Democratic Republic of Congo has it. Angola has it. Tanzania has found gas. God cannot be unfair, we are at the centre,” he [Yamfwa Mukanga] said.

    Heh. God? Paleogeography is unfair all the time! :-D

    We’re further out in the tail of the kolinahr end of the distribution is all, I think.

    Further out than the people who have actually lived through it (not the kolinahr, the other thing), yes…

  178. says

    As for that kolinahr business, I call bullshit. Vulcans were not strangers to emotion and they understood it and the power of emotion quite well. Even if kolinahr was achieved, when discussing actions which cause active harm and triggering of memory and deep emotion, I doubt you’d find a Vulcan stupid enough to discount the emotional factor or one so damn stupid they’d think removing the actual people from the equation was logical.

    I have little patience for straw vulcans.

  179. says

    @ David Marjanović

    That’s an almost comically Western sentiment.

    I notice too, that all the signage on the ‘plane is in English. This goes beyond convention. It is all so much propoganda for the “West” (though probably only fooling a very few Iranians into thinking their leaders have hoodwinked the eBil Americans.)

    God cannot be unfair

    Little more than wishfull thinking and “Einstein’s god”.

    Looking for a Communist Utopia? Try gay marriage. Link.

  180. David Marjanović says

    Paul deliberately compared us to objects, such as pool balls and alternators. He also compared us to dogs, mob bosses and assassins. He was told that replacing us with this, that and the other wasn’t helping, by a whole lot of people, and instead of listening, he just moved on to comparing us to something else. He *erased* us, even while we were present and trying to get through to him. Nope, just handwaved us away.

    ARGH!

    People aren’t like that. One person could respond to a causal action of being cut off in traffic by sighing and hoping the other person has a better day, while another responds with road rage.

    Moreover, there are people who’ll respond either way on different days. I know people whose whole personalities seem to change with their moods – confuses me to the point of scaring me, because I’m so unaccustomed to it.

    Even if kolinahr was achieved, when discussing actions which cause active harm and triggering of memory and deep emotion, I doubt you’d find a Vulcan stupid enough to discount the emotional factor or one so damn stupid they’d think removing the actual people from the equation was logical.

    I don’t think that’s ever been thought through in the ST universe.

    Looking for a Communist Utopia? Try gay marriage. Link.

    LOL. The theologists now fancy themselves… evolutionary psychogists? X-)

  181. ChasCPeterson says

    As for that kolinahr business, I call bullshit.

    heh.
    Well, I could put you in touch with one of my ex-wives.

  182. joey says

    casus:

    Is it possible that “plain economics” and “the real world” are ordered (unconsciously, perhaps, but avoidably) in ways which make it more likely that women will have fewer options with respect to their career choices?

    Yes, I agree that not only is it possible but in the real world there are many instances where women do have fewer options. I have never denied this.

    My point is that just because the world becomes perfectly “egalitarian” in the respect that men and women have the same exact options/opportunities, that doesn’t make EVERY economic issue vanish such that everyone would be able to afford daycare for all their children.

    ———–
    Ogvorbis:

    And what, pray tell, is the culturally appropriate solution for needing one parent to stay home? Is it more culturally acceptable for the father or the mother to leave the workforce and be the stay-at-home parent?

    I don’t care what is more “culturally acceptable” or not. What I care about is the happiness of families. Some parents who stay home actually do feel that by staying home they are actually benefiting the entire family as a whole. IOW, the family becomes more happy. Is not increased family happiness a legitimate enough reason for a parent to stay home?

    Are you going to claim that, in every one of the vast majority of cases in which it is the mother who stays home with the kids, it is economically advantageous for the man to keep working?

    Of course not. Why would I do that? Like I’ve been saying, some parents who choose to stay home do so because they actually want to do it. That they truly enjoy raising and spending time with their own children. Why is that so mind-boggling for some here?

    And now your economic privilege is showing.

    Of course, I don’t deny that. I admit that we are a highly privileged family financially, though our family is considered middle class.

    Do you have any idea how many working families spend more than 100% of their income (food, fuel, utilities, communications, housing, taxes, clothing, etc.) just to stay alive?

    Of course I am aware of that. Didn’t you notice above where I said there are economic reasons why parents couldn’t afford daycare? Some families are simply poor.

    Or are they being ‘foolish’ because they cannot afford seven figure life insurance policies and deciding to spend less to save a little money?

    Why would I argue that someone is foolish for not being able to afford life insurance? FWIW, I got the “foolish” rhetoric from Sally who claimed that it’s “foolish” for someone to depend entirely on someone else for survival. Sometimes people don’t have the luxury to choose not to be “foolish”.

  183. says

    @Chas –

    With your persistent pattern of poking your nose into thread about rape, to offer nothing but snide, explanation-free sniping, yeah, it does start to look pretty fucking intentional. I don’t understand why you can’t just stay the fuck away from those threads, or at the very least, fucking lurk more. Instead of offering your support to Paul W., who was, as Caine ably explained, definitely objectifying and dehumanizing rape victims.

    I mean, I have NEVER seen you add something of value to a thread about rape. If you think you have, you know, said something that offers not just your embittered opinions, but also includes some fucking facts and reasoned arguments, please. Link me to one. If you can’t, maybe you should think about shutting the fuck up about rape for a while.

  184. says

    @ joey –

    Yeah, it is foolish to deliberately put yourself, as a grown-ass adult, in a state of childlike dependency, economically speaking. It’s foolish because it’s an unnecessary risk. You really never do know if your spouse is going to up and die, leave, or whatever. It’s absolutely ridiculous that we, as a society, are apparently too collectively stupid to figure out a way to raise up children will, without turning 50% of the population into indentured servants.

  185. joey says

    Oh, BTW…concerning life insurance. Both our life insurance plans per month cost much less than the phone/data plans of most smart phones. And neither of us have ever owned a smart phone.

  186. Paul W. says

    Before I disappear for good, which seems inevitable at this point, I’ve gotta say that some people are saying some tremendously unfair and ridiculous things about me. I may be a schmuck, and I definitely fucked up in the NYT thread, but I’m not that bad.

    Some of those people have been saying for a long time in the NYT thread that they DO get what I’ve been saying, but from their comments, that is evidently false. They’re clearly missing absolutely crucial points.

    I may be at fault overall, and in a big way, but I’m really tired of people taking what I said entirely out of context, and even saying the very opposite of what I was actually saying, e.g.,

    Caine:

    I know you didn’t, however, I can’t extend that benefit to Paul. It wasn’t a matter of being talked about. Paul deliberately compared us to objects, such as pool balls and alternators. He also compared us to dogs, mob bosses and assassins.

    That is an outrageous, slanderous lie.

    Sure, I compared people to objects in some ways, and it’s a valid comparison for the point I was making to make. People do and must reason causally about other people, often in much the same way they reason about inanimate objects, because there is a basic concept of causation that applies to both. And it’s different from the specific kind of causal relation that justifies blaming. And if you don’t get that, and don’t see that it’s just a plain fact, you really did NOT understand what I was saying all along.

    I did not compare rape victims to mob bosses and assassins. I compared rapists and rape enablers to mob bosses and assassins, which is a very fucking different thing.

    I was talking about the kind of causation that does justify blaming, and contrasting it to the kind that doesn’t, e.g., when a rape victim does innocent things that happen to establish the “necessary preconditions” (in Chris’s terminology) for a particular rape to occur. I maintained all along that rape victims are absolutely blameless, but that more than one other person can be guilty—not just the rapist, but people who enable or fail to prevent rape when they should.

    That should not be a controversial point, but it was taken radically out of context and its meaning was inverted numerous times, all the way to the end of that thread, by a number of people who said that I’m wrong because supposedly ONLY THE RAPIST IS GUILTY, which is patent bullshit if you understand what I was actually saying—that while the victim is blameless, more than one person can be fully guilty, because you don’t divide blame—each person who fails to meet an obligation is guilty independently. So somebody who encourages rape is guilty, somebody who fails to prevent rape as they should is guilty, and somebody who actually rapes is guilty. And the fact that somebody else fails in an obligation, like an encourager or enabler, does not mitigate the rapist’s guilt at all, because the rapist still has a basic obligation not to rape.

    Part of the point of talking about mob bosses and assassins was to show that some concepts of basic causation do apply to blameworthy causation—e.g., that both proximate and distal causes can cause the same event. That applies both to causation among inanimate objects and to intentional acts by humans.

    I did not say that we do or should reason exactly the same way about people as we do about inanimate objects—more the opposite. I was comparing and most importantly contrasting how we reason about blameless causation and blameworthy causation.

    To say that I compared humans to inanimate objects like pool balls and that that’s illegitimate and dehumanizing is tremendously unfair. Sure, I made some valid points about multiple causes of the same event by analogy to a pool break, but that’s just not wrong or false, and I proceeded to talk about how people are very different from pool balls, too.

    To make that sound evil and scandalous is like taking somebody saying that Charlie Chaplin had a Hitler mustache and making them out to have outrageously “deliberately compared Charlie Chaplin to Hitler.” It’s missing the whole point, no matter how much people insist that they “understood all along” what I was trying to say.

  187. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    SGBM: I wouldn’t try too hard. Contemplation of the transfinite can induce madness.

  188. joey says

    Sally:

    Yeah, it is foolish to deliberately put yourself, as a grown-ass adult, in a state of childlike dependency, economically speaking. It’s foolish because it’s an unnecessary risk. You really never do know if your spouse is going to up and die, leave, or whatever. It’s absolutely ridiculous that we, as a society, are apparently too collectively stupid to figure out a way to raise up children will, without turning 50% of the population into indentured servants.

    So shame on me, and shame on my wife…for being “foolish” and “stupid”. Got it.

  189. says

    No, joey. Shame on you for pretending like you and your wife exist in a vacuum, completely divorced from the cultural context of thousands’ of years worth of misogynist enforcement of arbitrary rules that have caused millions of women over the course of those years to needlessly suffer and die.

  190. Paul W. says

    Carlie and David,

    Carlie repeatedly raised the issue of the unpredictability of humans invalidation talking about causation, and I regret that I didn’t address that in the NYT thread.

    I think we do and must sometimes reason about human causation of relatively unpredictable events in much the same way we reason about inanimate causation—up to a point, it’s not wrong to do so.

    Carlie thinks I’m being unscientific in that respect, as though I’m equating things that are clearly not equal, but I don’t think so. She also seems to think that if something is not deterministic, it’s not caused.

    IMO that is not true, either in terms of basic physics or in terms of human psychology of intentional and unintentional acts. Some of the same principles do and must apply.

    For example quantum physics makes no sense as causation if we rule out things that aren’t deterministic. Lots of things are fundamentally probabilistic, but still causal.

    More relevantly, it’s clear that we normally do reason in much the same way about blame and moral issues, in certain respects.

    For example, suppose somebody coerces somebody into playing Russian roulette, and that person dies. The fact that the bad guy could not predict whether the gun would go off, and even if it probably wouldn’t doesn’t change the fact that they caused someone’s death.

    In both physics and in psychology—and in moral theory and law—it makes sense to talk about causation even when many things aren’t very predictable. For example, you can’t make much sense of the concept of negligence without the concept of causing things by taking chances.

    The big terminological problem here is that the term “cause” is ambiguous.

    There’s a basic sense of causation that applies to both inanimate objects and to intentional actors, and that’s not an obscure or academic or Vulcanish sense as Chris said it was—it’s one that normal people use and recognize in normal colloquial speech, and it usually doesn’t cause a problem, because it’s usually clear enough where blame does or doesn’t follow a particular causal link.

    It can cause a huge problem when people slip from that plain vernacular sense of causation to a much more loaded vernacular sense of causation—you get mental brainfarts and verbal fallacies that result in victim-blaming.

  191. says

    joey:
    In reading the comments about your family, one thing constantly springs to mind: you seem oblivious to the societal pressures women face to remain in specific roles. You appear to not understand that the rigid gender roles in play due to patriarchy run deep. Yes, your wife made a particular decision, but said choice was not made in a vacuum. It was not made in an egalitarian society. Her choice was made in a society steeped in sexism and gender essentialism. A society that subtly pressures women into thinking they are *supposed* to be housewives, or teachers. A society that constantly equates women with sex through overt and subtle imagery. Those images reinforce the undercurrent of women as baby makers and caregivers, and little else. For people raised in our society, you cannot escape it. You swim in it. All day. Every day. Throughout your life. These social pressures influence our decision making. Not in conscious ways, but on a deeper, insidious level. One of the biggest problems of the patriarchy is that many are blissfully unaware of its existence. To them, this is the status quo.
    A piece of advice: learn about patriarchy, kyriarchy, sexism and gender essentialism. For all that you think you and your wife made your own choices, of your own will, upon educating yourself, you will see that societal pressures influenced your decisions. In an egalitarian society free of rigid gender roles that pressure women to remain at home, I think the choices you and your wife made would be different.

  192. Ogvorbis says

    Joey:

    Okay. A husband and wife decide that one of them needs to stay home to take care of the children. Why is it that it is almost always mom who ‘decides’ to stay home? No chance at all that societal sexism could be involved? No chance that Abrahamic patriarchism is involved? Just the economics of the situation? Every time?

    ================

    I think we do and must sometimes reason about human causation of relatively unpredictable events in much the same way we reason about inanimate causation—up to a point, it’s not wrong to do so.

    I joined cub scouts. I got raped by my cub scout leader. Is this one of those inanimate causations that it is okay, up to a point, to reason about?

  193. strange gods before me ॐ says

    David,

    The only reason Azkyroth got into this discussion was to bait me. There is no hypothetical too stupid, if he can use it to get under my skin.

    I don’t think so. I think he still doesn’t quite understand why the topic makes you so upset; comment 499 seems to support that.

    Let’s grant that he didn’t understand. That is not sufficient to explain why he jumped in to accuse me of advocating non-consensual sexual acts. Your explanation fails to take into account other evidence: his oft-stated opinion about me (and likewise Daisy), that I am merely a malicious person who does not care about any issue except as a bludgeon to hurt people. He has made this claim even about other issues which personally affect me.

    So he saw my eminently polite comment to rq, and decided that I was trying to hurt rq. And therefore decided to try to fight me.

    Now, Azkyroth has apologized to me, explicitly and implicitly. I appreciate that, despite my lingering stress. I am not trying to further hold him morally accountable here; I am only doing what you’re doing: trying to explain why he reacted that way. I hope that I do not give the impression that I do not appreciate the apology, because I do.

    I myself didn’t get it before you reminded us. I’m not accustomed to keeping the kind of situation in mind that you come from.

    So what? If you don’t understand why a person of oppressed class X is talking about harms to people of oppressed class X (which is obviously what I was doing in 488), an appropriate response is to stop and think, and if necessary then to ask non-loaded questions. Jumping in to fight about abstractions is generally not appropriate.

  194. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So shame on me, and shame on my wife…for being “foolish” and “stupid”. Got it.

    Gee, you got in right in one by trying futilely to be sarcastic. You are foolish and stupid. Prima facie evidence, you think we are interested in what you have to say, other than to laugh at you and your inane ideas.

  195. Pteryxx says

    Paul, I guarantee you that the word ’cause’ doesn’t suffer so tragically from misrepresentation that you need to heroically defend its virtue.

  196. Pteryxx says

    Gah. I was writing that #294 BEFORE I refreshed and saw Paul’s 289. *spits*

    There’s a reason blaming one animate party (the victim) tremendously outweighs blaming the other equally animate party (the rapist) and it has NOTHING to do with physics or ambiguity in the c-word.

    But you go right ahead sacrificing yourself on that dungpile you think is a mountain, Paul.

  197. Dhorvath, OM says

    And clearly that’s more important right now than avoiding more damage through thinking aloud. Save it for another time.

  198. Paul W. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I joined cub scouts. I got raped by my cub scout leader. Is this one of those inanimate causations that it is okay, up to a point, to reason about?

    No, it’s not inanimate causation, but yes it does have some important features in common that are clearly relevant for some legitimate purposes—e.g., deciding whether to let your kid join the Scouts, or to agitate for change in Scouting policies, as people have been doing.

    But it’s absolutely not legitimate for purposes of blaming kids or their parents for what a rapist does, or mitigating the rapist’s guilt. The rapist is the one who failed to meet an obligation—the basic obligation not to rape, and whether the kid or parents innocently established a necessary condition (as Chris might put it) is irrelevant to the rapist’s degree of guilt. It is in no way a mitigating factor, even if it was a necessary precondition for that event to occur.

  199. Pteryxx says

    Ogvorbis: Obviously, the answer is yes: it’s okay, supposedly up to a point, to reason about.

    (Way to completely miss the question, Paul.)

  200. Ogvorbis says

    But it’s absolutely not legitimate for purposes of blaming kids or their parents for what a rapist does, or mitigating the rapist’s guilt.

    Which I agree with. But, at the same time, you also write things like this:

    For example, you can’t make much sense of the concept of negligence without the concept of causing things by taking chances.

    that can easily be read to imply that negligence lies with the victim.

    It is in no way a mitigating factor, even if it was a necessary precondition for that event to occur.

    So, if I had not joined cub scouts, I would not have been raped. But it isn’t my fault. Got it.

    Please stop.

  201. carlie says

    Ok, fine.

    Paul:

    1. Why did you focus on the causal actions of the victim to the exclusion of the causal actions of the rapist?

    2. Why did you use the word “imprudent” to describe the actions of the victim?

  202. Paul W. says

    There’s a reason blaming one animate party (the victim) tremendously outweighs blaming the other equally animate party (the rapist) and it has NOTHING to do with physics or ambiguity in the c-word.

    Jeez, tell me some more stuff I already clearly said, over and over, and follow it with another nonsequitur, if it makes you feel better.

    Like I said, the victim is blameless and the rapist is guilty because blameworthiness is about failing to meet obligations.

    *spits*

  203. Ogvorbis says

    I have to retreat for a while. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gone back in to this. Sorry.

    Paul? Please stop.

  204. Paul W. says

    nightshadequeen,

    You seem to think you’re making a point that contradicts something I’m saying. You’re not. Part of the point about innocent, blameless causation is the special horror of knowing that anything you do could be the “wrong” thing, and that you might well establish a necessary precondition for being raped by doing something entirely reasonable.

    Whether you want to call that “causation” or not—and I agree that typically you shouldn’t because it is very likely to be misunderstood—it’s something people inevitably have to reason about and deal with, and are often demoralized by.

    That is a point that people kept hammering me with in the NYT as though I didn’t understand it in the NYT thread without realizing it was where I was going, too.

  205. Beatrice says

    Paul W.

    It looks to me that those who are abusing the word cause the most are those who use cause to mean “bitch brought it on herself” in “her wearing a short skirt was one of the causes of her rape”. If those assholes didn’t use the word cause like that, maybe (only maybe) the rest of us would agree that using it in your way is safe, that is, not burdening women further with slut shaming and victim blaming.

    So, why don’t you argue with those abusers of the word cause rather than with people here?

  206. rowanvt says

    @Joey-

    That’s pretty bizarre reasoning. That’s like reasoning that a big and successful restaurant that designates its employees to do completely separate tasks (chefs, waiters/waitresses, hosts, bus boys/girls, dishwashers, management) means that “inequality” is a “good” thing. I’d rather reason that doing whatever it takes to run a highly efficient and successful restaurant that produces happy customers is what is “good”. “Equality” in this sense won’t necessarily be a “good” thing. Same could be the case for certain families where both parents that simultaneously pursue careers at the expense of the family could actually degrade the overall happiness of the family. I wouldn’t consider decreased happiness as “good”.

    Actually, this analogy would be much more apt if, say, the restaurant had a random guy right out of highschool as the main person in charge of cooking, but a 5 star chef as a server… because she’s a woman.

    It is mostly *women* who sacrifice their careers for family. Men are LOOKED DOWN ON socially if they are house-husbands. Women are LOOKED DOWN ON socially if they do not quit their job to raise children.

    @Paul, 283-

    Not to lay any blame but you are the ultimate cause of those comments. It’s not your moral-fault, it’s just simply your fault!

    And to steal your own analogy:

    For example, suppose somebody coerces somebody into playing Russian roulette, and that person dies. The fact that the bad guy could not predict whether the gun would go off, and even if it probably wouldn’t doesn’t change the fact that they caused someone’s death.

    Yes, and that person coercing is the rapist. Is it the person who died’s ‘fault’ that they were coerced, forced against their will, and merely happened to be in the vacinity of the coercer that they died? FUCKING NO. It is NOT THEIR FAULT they were on a bus with the guy. Until you can accept that there is NOTHING a woman can do to NOT make someone else decide to rape someone you will be wrong and you will be maligned because you come off as a truly horrible human being.

  207. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Fuck you Paul. I’m literally shocked to see you descend this far. Like others I know your long history of thoughtful comments over many years. This. . .is unexpected and disgusting.

    Go away.

  208. says

    Generally, when I find myself having an “everyone’s stupid except for me!” moment, that is when I try to be most careful to figure out where my Huge Fucking Blind Spot Du Jour happens to be. As a young man, back in my 30s and 40s, I would occasionally double down instead. It never worked out well.

  209. says

    Paul:
    Having not followed the thread in question, I cannot comment on what you have said in the past but from where I sit, what you just said to Ogvorbis was hurtful. I have listened helplessly to him as he has shared the pain of his past. I have raged as he has told us how disgusting his cub scout leader was. I have been filled with sorrow seeing such a good man like Oggie feel in any way responsible for what happened to him in his youth. I have been filled with joy at the advances he has made in rejecting that guilt. At the moment I feel for him because what you said likely triggered him.
    The overwhelming feeling I have right now is that you are an insensitive asshole who doesn’t care how his words affect people. I really wish you would shut up.

  210. Dhorvath, OM says

    Paul,
    Seriously, now is not the time to keep hammering at this. Your need to be understood does not outwiegh the damage you are causing. Language isn’t a perfect construct nor does insisting that it is other people’s lack that has them misreading your ideas change the fact that their readings of you are happening and causing them distress. Take some of that obligation and do the responsible thing here: retreat.

  211. says

    FFS Paul, why do you feel the need to keep doing this?
    You never addressed the analogy (since you’re so fond of them) I made in the other thread, so if you insist on shitting all over the floor here too, maybe you should try it:
    If the people who got shot in Aurora had gone to see Up instead of Batman, or stayed home and watched a video, they wouldn’t have gotten shot. You’re saying that we need to discuss how they ’caused’ themselves to get shot, and have a very important discussion about what they could have done to avoid being shot, when the answer is nothing. There is no predictable causal chain that runs go to movie theatre–> get shot. You cannot predict that this is the time that some asshole with guns decides to take his personal troubles out on the world, and there’s nothing you can really do if you happen to be in the place he does so. There are things that we as a society can do to reduce how often people do it, but there’s no way to predict when and where it’s going to happen if they do. Similarly, there is no predicable causal chain that goes (do X)–> get raped. You cannot predict that this is the time that some asshole decides that his power trip is more important than your choice, bodily autonomy and self. d, and there’s nothing you can really do if you happen to be in the place he does so. There are things that we as a society can do to reduce how often people do it, but there’s no way to predict when and where it’s going to happen if they do. Therefore, in both situations, the actions of the victims are irrelevant and there is no point in bringing them into the discussion.
    chascpeterson

    This time, he’s right, he addressed the wrong subject, one that local convention dictates can only be approached emotionally.

    The problem isn’t that he addressed it unemotionally, asshole. The problem is that he brought nothing new to the the table with his little victim-blaming trip down mental masturbation lane, and instead repeated worn out and disproven rape culture tropes and insisted that they were really important and everyone needed his big important thoughts on them.

  212. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Generally, when I find myself having an “everyone’s stupid except for me!” moment, that is when I try to be most careful to figure out where my Huge Fucking Blind Spot Du Jour happens to be. As a young man, back in my 30s and 40s, I would occasionally double down instead. It never worked out well.

    yep.

    There’s a rule for this… something about holes.

  213. mythbri says

    @Paul W #283

    somebody who fails to prevent rape as they should is guilty

    And who IS that somebody, Paul? Is it the victim of said rape? Because that’s exactly what you’re implying in your comments about “imprudence” and “risk-taking” and dressing “stereotypically sexually” and “not watching [person mixing drinks] like a hawk”.

    I’m sick and tired of your hypothetical and philosophical bullshit, because I do not see any redeeming value to what you’re doing here. I’ll ask again: What purpose does it serve to make a meaningless and unimportant distinction between blame and cause in discussions about rape?

    What the fuck are you trying to accomplish? Because what you’re actually doing is harming victims of rape. Not in some nebulous, culture-reinforcing sense (although that’s likely true also), but in a REAL, you’re-hurting-people-right-here-right-now sense.

    You don’t have the right to say “This idea is more important than you.”

  214. David Marjanović says

    Paul, I think I see: you see everything through philosopher’s glasses, think like a philosopher, and talk like a philosopher (one aspect of this is sheer length) – and in the end there are mutual misunderstandings. Myself, I’ve made the experience that trying to deliberately cause topic drift (like from rape to the meaning of causation) doesn’t go over well.

    sgbm, points taken; I haven’t caught up with the [Lounge] yet.

  215. David Marjanović says

    And, Paul, it may be – I’m not going to catch up with that thread; no time – that you’re buying too readily into conventional wisdom about causes. For example, a few years ago someone wrote here on Pharyngula that rapists tell each other to target the ugly ones, because nobody will believe them. I really don’t think “dressing ‘stereotypically sexually’” triggers rape with statistical significance. It looks increasingly (to put it mildly) like only the rapist does.

  216. carlie says

    but yes it does have some important features in common that are clearly relevant for some legitimate purposes—e.g., deciding whether to let your kid join the Scouts,

    Right there. Stop. That’s where I have issue with you. Is being in scouts more likely to lead to harm than being an altar boy? Than being in campfire girls? Than being in a college-sponsored summer class? Than being on the Boys and Girls Club? If there is, what data do you have to support that? If not, how does that help your decision making at all?

    You do have biases here that you don’t see. Go back to “imprudent”. It’s only an “imprudent” action if it has a high probability of having a bad result. And statistics do not show that there are reliable actions that lead to rape more than any other actions.

  217. rowanvt says

    Paul, if you are attempting to deal with this in a philosophical manner stop. This is not a topic that can be discussed in a completely detached and objective manner especially when you are discussing it with people who HAVE BEEN RAPED. For many of the people here, this is not some abstract idea, it’s something that they directly experienced. And YOU are telling them that they did things that *caused* their rape.

  218. Paul W. says

    Dhorvath:

    Seriously, now is not the time to keep hammering at this. Your need to be understood does not outwiegh the damage you are causing. Language isn’t a perfect construct nor does insisting that it is other people’s lack that has them misreading your ideas change the fact that their readings of you are happening and causing them distress. Take some of that obligation and do the responsible thing here: retreat.

    It’s very hard to just let go when people are saying patently false things about me and what I actually said, and why I said it.

    Truth matters if I’m being called a liar. Intentions matter if people attribute the wrong intentions to me.

    I simultaneously get demands or requests that I explain something, and other people telling me to shut the fuck up. That’s hard to deal with, e.g., because I think I owe Carlie and some others some explanations of things they’ve sincerely asked about, and others have repeatedly DEMANDED explanations of why I said things I never fucking said.

    But you are right, now is not the time, and this is just causing more pain.

    Unfortunately, I think my reputation is so shot at this point that there will never, ever be a time for me to discuss any of this on Pharyngula. Any attempt to correct the record or repair my reputation—short of the sort of complete blame-taking and abject apology many people think is in order—will only trigger the same sort of thing, and dig the whole even deeper.

    I think my reputation at Pharyngula was completely shot early on in the NYT thread. That is one of the reasons I kept going—I was pretty sure that if I didn’t clarify that I’m not all that bad, right then, it would always be too late.

    And in fact, I suspect that there will rarely or never be a time for me to discuss anything at Pharyngula again, because too many people will remember this the way they currently see it, and if they’re still attributing some of the weirder stuff to me that I’m seeing in this thread, too, they always will.

    Caine, you said you wanted me stripped of my OM.

    Consider it done. There’s no point in having an OM if so many people clearly think I’m unworthy of it.

    Chris or PZ, please do remove my entry from the OMs page. I’d much rather be forgotten than remembered this way.

    That’s not a protest or boycott, and I’m not blaming this mess on “political correctness,” as Chris made it sound. I think I’m just done here.

    I do understand why this is an incredibly loaded subject, and that I fucked up in some major ways, and I do accept a fair bit of blame—more than it seems to most people, I’m sure—and I am just acknowledging that I blew it. The hole is just far too deep for it to be much fun for me to be around here anymore, and my credibility is shot badly enough that I clearly can’t rely on the kind of trust and respect I’ve relied heavily on in the past.

    I’m gone. Sorry for the mess.

    I wish you all the best, really.

  219. ChasCPeterson says

    your persistent pattern of poking your nose into thread about rape, to offer nothing but snide, explanation-free sniping

    a) tu quoque with the snide sniping charge.
    b) I deny this alleged “persistent pattern”. As far as I can remember, since the gigantic shitshow that happened a couple years ago in which I did attempt explanation and dialogue (only to end up embittered and widely hated in the end), I doubt I have made even a single comment about rape or in a thread about rape, until this NYT thread (where I stepped in only because I thought PaulW was getting a raw deal, rayther than trying to make any unique points of my own). Can you find even one such comment? Even one? If not, where do you get off with this persistent pattern bullshit?
    (Gregory Greenwood, if you’re reading, same question.)

    I mean, I have NEVER seen you add something of value to a thread about rape.

    Well, Ms. Strange, there’s two reasons for that. One is that, as just indicated, as a matter of policy I almost never add anything whatsoever to such threads. The second is that you’ve already decided that anything I might choose to add is without value.

    maybe you should think about shutting the fuck up about rape for a while.

    Maybe I should, you’re right. Maybe that’s why I have consciously done so since the years-ago incident mentioned above. Maybe that’s why i just said the same thing in so many words in comment #263 (reminder: “People like us should probably just stfu sometimes when we know people just don’t want to hear it.”)

    But, you know, I do so appreciate all the time you invest in trying to tell me how to behave, Sally. Will you be my internet Mom?

  220. rq says

    SGBM @292
    Just to be clear, even if that was your intent, I did not read your initial reply as eminently polite. I read it as fairly aggressive, but in the context of things, I’m okay with that.

  221. joey says

    Tony:

    In reading the comments about your family, one thing constantly springs to mind: you seem oblivious to the societal pressures women face to remain in specific roles.

    Incorrect. No, I am not oblivious to these pressures, which is simply a false assumption on the horde’s part. I have never denied that these societal pressures on women exist. Rather, my main point is to argue that there are many woman who stay at home because A) they actually want to and freely choose to do so, and B) they have to…and C) even if there were absolutely no societal pressures on women they would still stay at home. Not once did I ever deny that there are and have been many women who stay at home precisely because of those pressures. Yes, they do exist…and there are many of them.

    In an egalitarian society free of rigid gender roles that pressure women to remain at home, I think the choices you and your wife made would be different.

    And there it is yet again. It’s amazing how many of you think you know me and my wife so much better than we know ourselves.

    Tell me, do you think we would still have four children in an egalitarian society? Maybe we would only have two children, or maybe none at all? Heck, maybe we wouldn’t even be married? Please, tell me how else our lives would be different.

    It’s humorous how I get falsely accused for speaking for all women when I have done no such thing (other than to say that women exist who freely choose to stay at home), while others here are speaking for me and my wife when they know essentially nothing about us.

    Are there no women on this forum who have freely chosen to stay home for a period of time to raise children? If you exist out there, are you not completely insulted with this discussion given that some here are suggesting that you really didn’t have a choice in the matter? That you didn’t freely sacrifice your career for the sake of your family, but that rather you merely were coerced into doing so due to societal pressures? That if there were no societal pressures whatsoever, then you would have never entertained the thought of staying home…and therefore you would have not stayed home? I’m not one of these women, but I’m completely insulted for them.

    ——————–
    Ogvorbis:

    Okay. A husband and wife decide that one of them needs to stay home to take care of the children. Why is it that it is almost always mom who ‘decides’ to stay home? No chance at all that societal sexism could be involved? No chance that Abrahamic patriarchism is involved? Just the economics of the situation? Every time?

    And the straw men continue.

  222. vaiyt says

    @Paul W

    I was talking about the kind of causation that does justify blaming, and contrasting it to the kind that doesn’t, e.g., when a rape victim does innocent things that happen to establish the “necessary preconditions” (in Chris’s terminology) for a particular rape to occur.

    NOBODY FUCKING CARES!

  223. says

    Paul:
    You may or may not read this, but do you really understand why people are angry with you? Some of your comments above indicate yes, while others point to no. If you truly understood the problem, you should be saying ‘PZ, take away my OM. I do not feel I deserve it any longer.’ Instead, you frame it with regard to how others view you. I realize that Mollies were nominations from the regulars, but asking for yours to be removed should be accompanied by an understanding and admission of why you feel it should be done.

    Also, I find it appalling that despite saying you should lose your OM, you have not apologized to the people you have hurt (at least not in this thread).
    What it looks like to me is that you are slinking off, with a wounded ego, having hurt many people and your focus is on how people are treating you. From someone who has caused a good bit of anguish as you have, several apologies on the way out should be made, rather than a self centered departure note.

  224. strange gods before me ॐ says

    rq,

    That phrasing was a joke (statement incongruent with expectations). But what I would seriously want to communicate about it is that I was trying to be considerate while I was upset, and I was justifiably upset, and I did as well as can reasonably be expected.

  225. carlie says

    Any attempt to correct the record

    That’s the big part of the problem; people didn’t read what you wrote incorrectly. They were trying to explain facets of what you wrote that you didn’t see. Instead of turning it around and looking for those facets, you kept re-explaining the same thing that people already knew you said.

    I think I’m just done here.

    I think that’s a really bad outcome. Nobody wants for things to work by one person saying something others find problematic and then that person being hounded out, still upset. Part of the reason that some of us were driving so hard on it is because we respect you and your opinion, we appreciate the comments you usually make, and wanted you to at least understand the angle that other people were coming from. (speaking for myself)

    I don’t know what other people want to see happen wrt how you proceed. I can’t speak for anyone who has been hurt in this. But what I do is that I completely avoid conversing about topics where I know I’m going to stick my foot in my mouth, and if I do upset a lot of people, I apologize and drop it and back off. For instance, I almost threw in earlier today on the tiff about gay sex and TMI, but I’m really glad I didn’t because several comments later I realized that what I would have said was exactly the problem, and reading awhile I saw other comments that clarified it for me. If I had thrown in, I’d have had to apologize a lot for what I would have said. It’s taken a few times, but I’ve learned which topics to avoid weighing in on because it’s an easy place for me to screw up and hurt people regardless of whether I might have a technically correct point. That doesn’t mean I don’t comment here at all, it just means I stop and think about whether my opinion really is needed on a topic that I have to admit I don’t know a lot about. And staying around and reading is how I learn stuff. I’d like to see you do that and contribute in stuff you’re good at, because you’re really, really good at that stuff. But I think maybe you’d be well served in reading, but not contributing, to certain conversations.

  226. vaiyt says

    short joey: “I know women are pressured to be housewives, but the housewives I know are all speshul snowflakes. I just know it, okay?”

  227. carlie says

    Rather, my main point is to argue that there are many woman who stay at home because

    Nope. The first thing you did, the thing that set this all off, was to express complete disbelief that a majority of women in a survey would rather give up their marriage than their career. There was no “many women” who stay at home. Your argument was that your wife and every other woman you know chose to stay home rather than get divorced, so the study that showed a majority of women in the survey would rather do the opposite was completely wrong based on your own small sample size.

  228. rowanvt says

    Okay. A husband and wife decide that one of them needs to stay home to take care of the children. Why is it that it is almost always mom who ‘decides’ to stay home? No chance at all that societal sexism could be involved? No chance that Abrahamic patriarchism is involved? Just the economics of the situation? Every time?

    And the straw men continue.

    How is it a strawman if that happens all the time???

  229. Paul W. says

    Tony,

    You and some others clearly want some apologies I can’t quite give. I am truly sorry for some of the things I’ve done and said, and for doubling down and dragging this out, but I can’t accept all the blame for all the things I’ve been accused of.

    Any attempt to spell out how sorry I am for what I am sorry for would trigger further flamage about it not being enough or not being about all the right things, and I don’t think that will do anybody any good.

    You are probably right that that’s partly because of my ego (although I wouldn’t exactly say it’s a “wounded ego”) and that my departure note was self-centered.

    But at least I’m giving many people what they most want—I’m going away.

    I can’t honestly say I think I “don’t deserve” the Molly, for past contributions, although I don’t know that I do, either. I can say that I don’t particularly want it anymore, because its utility to me and to others is clearly shot. It doesn’t signify what it used to, however you slice it.

    I am sorry, and I’m going away. That’s the best I can do right now, and I’m sorry about that, too.

  230. rowanvt says

    Oh but Paul, if you just weren’t so imprudent you wouldn’t have been a causal factor in your ego getting wounded.

  231. mythbri says

    Dammit. I’m trying to search Pharyngula to find a thread that was at least 1,500 comments long, all sparked when someone (within the first 20 comments, if I recall) innocuously posted some bullshit “rape prevention” allusion. And I can’t find it.

    So many regulars at Pharyngula commented and shared their stories and completely demolished the idea that there is anything that people can do to prevent others from choosing to rape them. I learned so much in that thread, and I wish I could post it here so that Paul W could read it if he hadn’t already.

  232. says

    Paul:
    So you cannot even utter an apology to Ogvorbis? The fuck is wrong with you? I do not have any shared history with you. I haven’t been here long enough. But judging you on just what you have said in this thread, I am glad you are leaving.

  233. Paul W. says

    Carlie,

    Thank you for your kind words, but I think it’s all a bit more complicated and intractable than you make it out to be, and it wouldn’t be helpful to discuss how and why I think that, so I should just go.

    Oggvorbis, and everyone else I’ve hurt,

    I’m sorry.

  234. says

    it’s all a bit more complicated and intractable than you make it out to be

    No, Paul, it isn’t. Unless you have evidence that victim behavior alters the probability of rape, all the mental masturbation in the world won’t make victim behavior a relevant part of the discussion. Since that is the case, and since bringing up the behavior of victims is a form of victim blaming which reinforces rape culture, there is no justification for continuing to harp on it.

    it wouldn’t be helpful to discuss how and why I think that

    It’s because you’re wrong and in the wrong on this one, and you can’t or won’t admit that for whatever reason.

  235. says

    Paul @339:
    Thank you. Apologies are a good start. I know you said you are leaving, but if you at least lurked for a while, making an apology like that as your last post for the foreseeable future is much better than the departure letter upthread.
    You have hurt people yes. Making amends, while far from easy, is possible…in time. A break from here and some time to really reflect on everything may benefit you.
    A piece of advice–stop philosophising

  236. says

    Darn. Hit send too soon.
    …stop philosophising about a subject like rape. This is something that has directly impacted many people here, and your talk about the nature of cause is not helping matters. Especially when it has the effect of people being made to feel as if you are shifting some of the responsibility of the rape from the rapist to the victim. Whatever your intent is, that is not how people are reading you. Just from what I have read of you here, it comes across like victim blaming.

  237. says

    Jesus Fucking Christ, Paul. You have the godsdamned nerve to waltz into a thread where people you have triggered took refuge to start this shit all over? What in the fuck is wrong with you? I no longer care just why you are so insistent in hanging onto your “blame the victim!” shit – and yes, that’s exactly what it is, whether you fucking like it or not – just fuck off and get the fuck out of this thread. If you have to keep protecting rapists and making sure rape victims are blamed and triggered, confine it to the NYT thread. That’s the very least a decent person would do. A stretch for you, but do it anyway.

    Drop your OM in the trash on the way out and spare us your damn pity party – oh boo hoo, poor you, so misunderstood! You aren’t misunderstood in the *least*. You are the one objectifying people. You are the one stripping of us our humanity. And in the midst of this, you cry about how you are being treated.

    <spits>

  238. says

    Mythbri, that thread, well, the comments are lost in the wilds of PharyngulaNatGeo, where it looks like they aren’t ever going to restore the comments. That’s a true loss, that thread was amazing.

  239. Tethys says

    Ogvorbis, and everyone else I’ve hurt,

    I’m sorry.

    Thank you, I do appreciate an unqualified apology.

    I think it’s all a bit more complicated and intractable than you make it out to be

    No, really it is not particularly complicated or intractable. It’s really very simple.

    Don’t add insult to injury. When multiple rape victims tell you that your opinions are both wrong, and extremely harmful, you should take heed and stop repeating them.

    When we give you actual scientific studies about the causes of rape, read them.

    research that began in the mid-1980’s, and
    that focused on non-incarcerated rapists. Researchers discovered that it was
    possible to gather accurate data from these men because they did not view
    themselves as rapists. They shared the very widespread belief that rapists were
    knife-wielding men in ski masks who attacked strangers; since they did not fit
    that description, they were not rapists and their behavior was not rape. This has
    allowed researchers to study the motivations, behaviors and background
    characteristics of these so-called “undetected rapists.”

    That widespread belief is what we call rape culture. You Paul, regardless of your non-magical intent, are perpetuating rape culture by repeating false tropes about rape, rather than peer-reviewed science.

    You should be very ashamed of doing science wrong, in addition to hurting rape victims.
    Quit making it all about your hurt feelings.

  240. says

    Also, when doing science, when shown that one’s theory/hypothesis/model/whatever is completely wrong and total crap, isn’t the idea to abandon it? Clinging to it in light of evidence of it’s being wrong moves one straight into crackpot territory.

  241. says

    Just going to cross-post this from the Lounge, because it seems appropriate:

    People keep saying that “intent isn’t magic” and I get that. On the other hand, intent and action seem to be pretty closely linked on many occasions. So when someone says something problematic(to cover a wide variety of possible comments), and their intent was not harmful, when they have the problem pointed out to them they tend to stop and apologize. As opposed to people with negative intent or intent that doesn’t include giving a shit about other people, who can be begged to stop and will just double and triple down, all the while claiming to be “just saying” or “making a point” or “merely disagreeing”.

    The bolded part is aimed right at you, Paul. It doesn’t make a fucking difference whether you meant to do harm, or whether you’re really and truly convinced that you’ve got some sort of valid point to make. The ONLY thing that matter at this point is that making your trivial little point is more important than the people around you.

    On some level, it would almost be better if you DID mean to do harm, because it would mean that you see your victims as people, and you were getting something out of hurting them… but no one here rises to the level of “person” to you, do they? Treating people with dignity and respect doesn’t even remotely cross your mind, does it? Nope, you’re treating rape victims and rape scenarios and people’s anger and hurt at your words like a particularly vexing puzzle, like a Rubik’s Cube or something, and the only feeling you have right now is frustration that you can’t quite solve it and get a pat on the back for it.

    Seriously, fuck you and fuck off Paul.

  242. John Morales says

    Paul W.:

    Unfortunately, I think my reputation is so shot at this point that there will never, ever be a time for me to discuss any of this on Pharyngula. Any attempt to correct the record or repair my reputation—short of the sort of complete blame-taking and abject apology many people think is in order—will only trigger the same sort of thing, and dig the whole even deeper.
    I think my reputation at Pharyngula was completely shot early on in the NYT thread. That is one of the reasons I kept going—I was pretty sure that if I didn’t clarify that I’m not all that bad, right then, it would always be too late.

    I’ve been there and done that. I’ve even stopped commenting for days at a time, seething inside, thinking I should permanently depart.

    And in fact, I suspect that there will rarely or never be a time for me to discuss anything at Pharyngula again, because too many people will remember this the way they currently see it, and if they’re still attributing some of the weirder stuff to me that I’m seeing in this thread, too, they always will.

    I think your fear is well-founded*, but your judgement is suspect.

    I guess it boils down to the balance of how much you wish to be liked and/or admired, and how much you wish to be mentally stimulated. Certainly, very few people enjoy being disliked or hated.

    For me, at the end of the day, the latter won out. But you’d need to adapt.

    * Yeah, this place is different to how it was a few years ago.

  243. says

    John:

    Yeah, this place is different to how it was a few years ago.

    Yes, it is. For one thing, those of us who have been raped and assaulted found our voices and we aren’t going to be silenced. That said, it wouldn’t matter one fucking bit if Paul dumped this shit here a few years ago – it would still be wrong. The mere fact that Paul is busy indulging in a pity party while blithely triggering people who have been raped speaks volumes. There should be outrage over such behaviour.

  244. Anthony K says

    Yeah, this place is different to how it was a few years ago.

    So very many things is different to how they was a few years ago.

  245. says

    IJoe:

    The bolded part is aimed right at you, Paul. It doesn’t make a fucking difference whether you meant to do harm, or whether you’re really and truly convinced that you’ve got some sort of valid point to make. The ONLY thing that matter at this point is that making your trivial little point is more important than the people around you.

    Thank you, IJoe. It’s been interesting to watch how much many of the men here have avoided this situation or only contributed comfort to Paul.

  246. Anthony K says

    It’s been interesting to watch how much many of the men here have avoided this situation or only contributed comfort to Paul.

    I just got through the NYT post.

    Yes, the “wagon circling” was apparent. Chas was just wrong about who was doing the circling.

  247. says

    Caine, I guess this place just isn’t what it used to be, back before all you feminists and other undesirables showed up and ruined the completely intellectual and bordering-on-sociopathic abstract conversations about “people” as meaningless objects moving around on a chessboard? Oh, for the good old days.. am I right? *pukes*

  248. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Yeah, this place is different to how it was a few years ago.

    Yep. It is vastly improved, in my opinion.

    Once upon a time, even here, those with dollops of societal privilege could find they had that privilege extended to their online presence. They could count on their pronouncements being greeted with approval by other privileged parties, whilst the underprivileged, reflecting their status in wider society, kept quiet.

    Sometime over the last few years, things changed. The societally underprivileged realised that cyberspace didn’t have to be a perfect reflection of meatspace everywhere and started to carve out spaces where they/we could express themselves/ourselves and didn’t have to ‘shut up’ when the privileged told us to.

    Obviously, some of the privileged woke up to the inequities and decided that they didn’t want to enjoy advantages at the expense of other people. Thank you.

    Equally obviously, some decided to hang on to their privileged status and ignore the output of those they deemed unworthy of attention.

    If the latter are, at last, starting to feel uncomfortable – good.

  249. Tigger_the_Wing says

    And Improbable Joe makes my point for me, far more succinctly, while I’m typing. Oh well. Thanks, Joe! =^_^=

  250. says

    Hey Tigger… I wish that point didn’t need to be made at all, but until that day the more voices saying it in as many ways as possible, the better. I’m just glad to add my one small voice to the effort.

  251. joey says

    vaiyt:

    short joey: “I know women are pressured to be housewives, but the housewives I know are all speshul snowflakes. I just know it, okay?”

    Let me ask you this vaiyt (and ogvorbis, and Tony, and carlie, and Sally, and anyone else)…

    Is it possible for a woman to freely choose to stay home and raise her children over pursuing a career despite all the societal pressures on women?

  252. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Is it possible for a woman to freely choose to stay home and raise her children over pursuing a career despite all the societal pressures on women?

    No.

    Any other simple-to-answer questions?

  253. rowanvt says

    @ Joey,

    Of course. Some women love the idea of being housewives.

    BUT before you start being gleeful at that answer… A LOT of women DO feel pressured to stay at home when they’d rather not. I’d feel that way. My mother felt that way. My grandmother felt that way. All my female friends feel that way. All my coworkers feel that way.

    Care to explain why you are not willing to acknowledge that societal pressures and expectations might make a woman stay home who’d rather not?

  254. Anthony K says

    I can’t answer that, Chas.

    I’ve never seen actual wagons being circled.

    Only hyperbolic, metaphorical internet ones.

  255. carlie says

    I apologize for my part in dragging that all through here on this thread, and if anything I said was crass or callous.

    Is it possible for a woman to freely choose to stay home and raise her children over pursuing a career despite all the societal pressures on women?

    What do you even mean by that? What societal pressures are you talking about?

  256. says

    Chas:

    That’s a groundless escalation of rhetoric.

    It is not and you know it. Your continued defense of what Paul did isn’t going to help matters any, Chas. Paul’s “intent” doesn’t fucking matter – he got hold of a crackpot idea of which he’s overly fond of and kept pushing it to the point he was steamrolling people with it.

    When it looks like rape apologetics and it reads like rape apologetics and has the same effect as rape apologetics…

    Well, you figure that one out, okay? And please, think twice before more of that ongoing pity party for poor, poor, misunderstood Paul. He was not misunderstood. We understood just fine. Paul refused to accept he is wrong.

    You want to talk escalation of rhetoric, Chas? Then why in the fuckety fuck aren’t you busy slapping Paul upside the head? Because at this point, that’s what a decent human being would do.

    This whole espisode has been enlightening, along with vomit-inducing (for real, you know), especially seeing how the majority of men at Pharyngula pretended nothing at all was wrong, except you know, all those bitches ganging up on poor, misunderstood Paul.

    I’ve given you every benefit of the doubt, Chas. You may not care about that, but the edge of that benefit is wearing damn thin.

  257. casus fortuitus says

    joey:

    Let me ask you this vaiyt (and ogvorbis, and Tony, and carlie, and Sally, and anyone else)…

    Is it possible for a woman to freely choose to stay home and raise her children over pursuing a career despite all the societal pressures on women?

    You’ve received a couple of conflicting responses to this already. I think that’s because the answer is both yes, and no. Yes, a woman could freely choose that in principle. It’s easy to imagine that a woman could want to be a home-maker and care-giver.

    But at the same time, no. Given the ubiquitous and overwhelming pressure for women to take up that role, how could you ever know that a particular woman’s decision to do so was freely taken? How could you know what a particular woman would have chosen, had she not been subject to that societal pressure pretty much from birth?

  258. casus fortuitus says

    (For clarity in my post above, I’d like to point out I think it’s also easy to imagine that a man could want to be a home-maker and care-giver. No gender essentialism here, no siree.)

  259. Ogvorbis says

    Chas:

    That’s a groundless escalation of rhetoric.

    I do not think that Paul is a rape apologist. I do think that Paul made an argument that, though he did not intend it to, was a form of rape apology. As I just wrote over at Chris Clarke’s reminder for commenters in difficult threads: I say, and do, racist (and sexist, and bigoted, and . . .) frequently. I have become more aware of my embedded -isms but don’t always realize that I have just put my foot in it big time. I don’t think I am a racist but I certainly do make racist statements. Not as frequently as I used too, but it still happens.

  260. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I do not think that Paul is a rape apologist.

    I do not think Paul intended to be a rape apologist. However, intent is not magic and actions speak louder and all that. His refusal to listen or release his grasp on his particular construct is what spoke volumes.

    As for his…apology, it was directed at you, with “others” tossed in as a second thought. I’d be more interested to know what Paul thought about MM’s post in this thread, the one at 191. I wonder if Paul is at all sorry he decided to use someone’s personal story of their rape as a blunt weapon in the pursuit of his “science”.

  261. Ogvorbis says

    Caine:

    He made a rape apologist argument. Just as I have said, and written, sexist things here on Pharyngula. That does not necessarily mean that he is a full-blown rape apologist or that I am a full-blown misogynist.

  262. says

    Ogvorbis, I didn’t say Paul is a full blown rape apologist. I said he didn’t intend to be one, however, in the NYT thread, he acted the rape apologist. Also, it really fucking matters that Paul refused to give up his apologia.

  263. Portia, She who will be Horrible and Harpish says

    Take care, Caine. Thanks for everything you do.

    Tigger, hooray for your good news! (a little belatedly)

    Joe, Ogvorbis, and Tony, (and others I have missed)
    Thanks for being strong, uncompromising voices in The Good Fight™. I’ve seen POC bloggers refer to white people calling out other white people as “collecting your people.” In the same spirit, it makes me happy when men call out other (cis)men for misogyny and sexism. So thank you.

  264. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Shit. Please don’t go, Caine.

    Listen, Paulites – of all the ’causes’ (or ‘necessary preconditions’) leading to a situation where a rapist chooses to take an opportunity to rape, PaulW decided to focus on the victim*; the only ’cause’ with agency. Now, if that isn’t victim-blaming, what the hell is?!

    And if victim blaming isn’t apologetics, then I’m a three-armed sloth.

    *Not on ‘society’, not on ‘the environment’, not on any of the inanimate ‘proximal or distal causes’…

  265. says

    Portia, it is the least we can do… and don’t we demand it from theists? We always see atheists telling the theists to “clean your own house” and “police your own” and all the rest. That goes for everyone, but doubly so for people in more privileged groups. That includes us atheist men calling out other atheist men who are on the wrong track… and not apologizing for them or making excuses for them. Not say “yes, but they have a good history” or “yes, but look at the good they have done”… just “no.”

    Giving them a chance to clarify and correct themselves and apologize where necessary IS giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  266. John Morales says

    Improbable Joe:

    … and don’t we demand it from theists?

    No. We don’t.

    (You gonna tell me you were referring to Portia and yourself only?)

  267. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Any time I see someone use ‘we’ and have the thought “But I don’t…” I stop, think again, and realise that they are using a group ‘we’ that doesn’t include me. Which is fine, because I don’t expect that I am included in every group that ever there was, even on sites I frequent.

    ‘We’ means ‘I and at least one other’, nothing more.

    ‘We all‘, on the other hand…

  268. Ogvorbis says

    Ogvorbis, I didn’t say Paul is a full blown rape apologist. I said he didn’t intend to be one, however, in the NYT thread, he acted the rape apologist. Also, it really fucking matters that Paul refused to give up his apologia.

    Agreed. Fully.

    And I was not trying to pat him on the head. He was out of line and I still am not convinced he is aware of why I would think that.

  269. Ogvorbis says

    ‘We’ means ‘I and at least one other’, nothing more.

    ‘We all‘, on the other hand…

    Sorry.

    I was trying to speak just for me. I guess I screwed up. Sorry.

  270. Tigger_the_Wing says

    My impression?

    PaulW is very, very clever. But he makes lists. And in his lists he make the mistake of treating human beings as an abstract concept like all the other items in the list. And cannot extrapolate from the abstract-concept-people in his head to the real, live people on the other side of the words he is reading on the screen. He is baffled when his words are greeted by words that fail to agree because, to him, it is an entirely intellectual exercise that doesn’t have anything to do with any real people, anywhere. He has no idea that the words other people put on the screen reflect real life situations that they have actually experienced. He cannot see the hurt faces, he cannot imagine the hurt faces, the only hurt he experiences is his own when he gets accused of hurting other people, because that wasn’t his intent and he is incapable of understanding that his intent doesn’t matter.

    He cannot understand why people escalated to telling him to get off the damned foot already, because he is utterly convinced that he isn’t standing on it, that he can’t be standing on it, because, in his mind, the foot in question is just a hypothetical foot.

  271. John Morales says

    Tigger_the_Wing,

    ‘We’ means ‘I and at least one other’, nothing more.

    Nope. The “we” in that context clearly refers to atheists*, and because there is no quantification, it’s an universal claim.

    * As the sentence succeeding the quoted one indicates.

  272. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oh, Ogvorbis – it is I who should be sorry! That comment of mine was directed at John Morales’ comment to Improbable Joe, not you! Please, please don’t think I was criticising anything you said!

    *Apologetic granny-hugs*

  273. John Morales says

    Tigger_the_Wing:

    1. “PaulW is very, very clever.”
    2. “He has no idea that the words other people put on the screen reflect real life situations that they have actually experienced.”

    Those two claims are contradictory.

  274. Tigger_the_Wing says

    John, I interpreted the ‘we’ to mean ‘atheists like you and me’. If my attitude isn’t included in the ‘we’ that someone uses, I just think “I’m not included”; can’t you at least try to do the same? Really, sometimes your language policing is just a bit tiresome.

  275. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Yep, there are different types of ‘clever’. Someone can be very academically able and have absolutely rotten people skills.

  276. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I have experienced such ‘cleverness’ a lot, when people are discussing situations that they have never encountered but nevertheless feel they are qualified to have opinions about.

    They often go on to state that the people who have experienced those situations should listen to them because they are very clever people and know things.

    It’s the selective blindness of the privileged, thinking that they always know best to the extent that not only do they refuse to listen to the experienced people, they feel aggrieved that they are being challenged and believe that their feelings are more important than any other consideration.

  277. John Morales says

    Tigger_the_Wing:

    If my attitude isn’t included in the ‘we’ that someone uses, I just think “I’m not included”; can’t you at least try to do the same?

    But that’s precisely what I did: I thought I was not included and said so.

    (I am an atheist, and I don’t do that “all the time”; in fact, I never do it)

  278. John Morales says

    Tony, since Caine has (temporarily) bowed out, she can’t respond.

    But part of it is probably comments like mine, which she saw as offering Paul W. some comfort*.

    To make it clear, I think Paul W. is doubly-wrong:
    1. He’s wrong to imagine most regulars don’t get what he’s trying to express; and
    2. He’s wrong to imagine the issue of victim imprudence is relevant to the incidence of rape.

    * And perhaps there was an element of that there, but it certainly was not my primary intent.

  279. Tigger_the_Wing says

    John, it was the way you said so.

    Improbable Joe:

    … and don’t we demand it from theists?

    No. We don’t.

    (You gonna tell me you were referring to Portia and yourself only?)

    That came across, to me, as rather aggressive; if you thought it necessary to inform Improbable Joe that you didn’t wish to be included in that general ‘we’ but were worried that some reader might think it included you, could you not have thought of a gentler way to phrase it?

    Had it been me, although I wouldn’t normally assume I were included, I might have said something like, “Excuse me, I hope you weren’t including me in that ‘we’ of yours! Some of us couldn’t care less what theists do.”

  280. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Tony, I’ve tried to read that thread in its entirety several times. Good luck! You’ll need it. :(

  281. John Morales says

    Tigger_the_Wing:

    [1] That came across, to me, as rather aggressive; [2] if you thought it necessary to inform Improbable Joe that you didn’t wish to be included in that general ‘we’ but were worried that some reader might think it included you, could you not have thought of a gentler way to phrase it?

    1. Welcome to Thunderdome. :)

    2. I did not imagine that there was any such necessity, and yes, I could have been gentler, and no, I had no such worries.

    (I was merely pointing out that such foolish generalisations are wrongity-wrong-wrong)

  282. mythbri says

    @Nepenthe

    Looking at the definition you provided for Social Justice Warrior, I’m not sure it has anything to do with the specific thread that Chris isn’t mentioning, or most of the conversations about social justice that happen here at Pharyngula.

    I could definitely see the term applied elsewhere in the Interwebs, though.

  283. mythbri says

    WTF? This is what I get for having too many tabs open on my browser.

    Apologies, Thunderdome. Wrong thread.

  284. says

    Driving back by because the rats are fighting and driving me up a wall.

    Tony, John provided you with an answer which covers a lot, but not all. By the way, thank you John, for your clarification on matters.

    What’s under my skin is noticing that outside of a few men who got in the NYT thread and called Paul out for what he was doing, most of the men here acted like that thread didn’t exist. Now, I know everyone can’t handle such threads and I know a lot of men feel they aren’t ‘qualified’ to speak up in such threads. (The latter is a peeve – I don’t think “qualifications” are necessary and I think some people use that as a cop out.)

    What got further under my skin was seeing people who insisted on making some sort of qualifier for all the shit Paul has done, needing to stress that he’s not really a rape apologist, he didn’t mean to dehumanize anyone, he didn’t intend to objectify people, and so on. I think part of this is because of his history here and I think part of it is seeing how men in general are reluctant to call out bad behaviour in other men. Along with the qualifiers and reluctance, there’s been a lot of flat out ignoring of things he’s done, like his using MM’s rape experience in his latest round of apologia.

    There should be no equivocating here. There should be no reluctance. There should be no qualifiers. Paul, regardless of intent, acted as a rape apologist in the NYT thread and in this one. Paul, regardless of intent, objectified people. Paul, regardless of intent, dehumanized people. There should be less excuse given than normal, because of the sheer amount of times Paul doubled down and insisted on repeating his apologia, no matter the amount of times he was told he was wrong, no matter the amount of times evidence was provided that he was wrong, no matter the amount of times he was asked to stop.

    Paul was allowed back into the NYT thread because of me. And for giving that benefit, he came back and nthed down on his apolgia, then dragged it into Tdome, to further hurt and trigger people. He has been given more benefit than he fucking deserves and I’m simply not in a place where I care to see people treating him as if he were simply someone who made a simple mistake and needs reassurance of what a really fabulous guy he is, for true!

    Getting back to John’s initial post to Paul – it annoyed the hell out of me that what came out is “things have changed a lot around here” as if that was the reason poor ol’ Paul was being treated in such a mean manner. I would sure as hell hope that the people who have been here for ages would not have given a moment’s quarter to such an epic of rape apologia as Paul laid down if it had been posted 3 years ago or 5 years ago or 7 years ago.

    It shakes me up terribly to read things like that, because it makes me wonder – do people here have my back when it comes to issues like rape apologetics? Or will they turn around and make excuses for the apologist? Or will they simply turn their head and act like nothing is going on?

    Yeah, I know, all emotional and stuff. That happens when I get repeatedly triggered and get to deal with ongoing effects of it and it affects me terribly when people I care about are triggered too, and end up dealing with agonizing self doubts.

    Special note to Ogvorbis: you didn’t do anything wrong. I’m upset and not dealing with this particularly well.

  285. says

    Things have indeed changed around here. Though PZ has always been very generous to me on the blog and off, I didn’t feel welcome in the comments on SBPharyngula circa 2008. Too much hippy punching and general hostility to anything enviro. Example.

    It’s much less assholish around here now.

    Paul was allowed back into the NYT thread because of me.

    Caine, please try not to let that weigh on you too hard. First off, I think it was a fine impulse to presume the best, even if he failed to live up to your optimism.

    Second, it was my decision. And I’m sorry for making it seem otherwise yesterday, even in an attempt at lightheartedness. I took your thoughts seriously, and those thoughts were fine and generous. But it was my call to ask him back in.

  286. mythbri says

    @Caine

    You do a lot of difficult commenting in threads like this, and I want to thank you for it.

    I’ve got your back when it comes to rape apologetics – I’m sometimes reluctant to comment because I’m always still learning, and the last thing I want to do is make things worse for people who are commenting in the face of rape apologia at great emotional and energetical(?) cost to themselves.

    Thanks for what you do. I’ve learned a lot from you.

  287. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says

    Caine:

    …I know a lot of men feel they aren’t ‘qualified’ to speak up in such threads. (The latter is a peeve – I don’t think “qualifications” are necessary and I think some people use that as a cop out.)

    Mea culpa.

    I will do better.

  288. John Morales says

    Caine,

    Getting back to John’s initial post to Paul – it annoyed the hell out of me that what came out is “things have changed a lot around here” as if that was the reason poor ol’ Paul was being treated in such a mean manner.

    I see what you mean, and I’m very sorry about that.

    It shakes me up terribly to read things like that, because it makes me wonder – do people here have my back when it comes to issues like rape apologetics? Or will they turn around and make excuses for the apologist? Or will they simply turn their head and act like nothing is going on?

    I can’t speak for others, but I am entirely on your side.

    I don’t say that lightly.

    (If I didn’t weigh in much in that thread, it’s because I really had nothing to add)

  289. says

    Caine:

    It shakes me up terribly to read things like that, because it makes me wonder – do people here have my back when it comes to issues like rape apologetics? Or will they turn around and make excuses for the apologist? Or will they simply turn their head and act like nothing is going on?

    We’ve had our disagreements, but I hope you know that I’ll always have your back on any issue where you need me. You might have to kick me in the shins, but you’ll only have to do it ONCE. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I get it: the people who are being hurt matter more than anything else. I’d never hurt you or anyone else intentionally or knowingly, just so I could make some random point. Anyone who would do that, who would go after people to hurt them or push points when they know it is harmful, is a sick and twisted fuck.

  290. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Yes, well; I see now that we interpret the word ‘we’ differently. I don’t see it as a generalisation and you do. I cannot say that either of us is necessarily wrong, although I might well be (it wouldn’t be the first time and I doubt it’ll be the last). I’ve always assumed the word ‘we’ to be inclusive of the person and at least one other like them. To have a wider application, I would expect some kind of qualifier; “we of the Horde”; “we atheists”; “we Pharyngula readers/commenters”; “we on this thread”; “we men/women/humans” or something similar. Without the qualifier, I would be most reluctant to assume that the writer was including me.

    Thanks for your patience while I try to work this out!

  291. says

    Chris:

    Caine, please try not to let that weigh on you too hard. First off, I think it was a fine impulse to presume the best, even if he failed to live up to your optimism.

    Second, it was my decision. And I’m sorry for making it seem otherwise yesterday, even in an attempt at lightheartedness. I took your thoughts seriously, and those thoughts were fine and generous. But it was my call to ask him back in.

    I know it was your decision, Chris. I should have paid heed to your gut. It’s hard to ignore that yet more people got hurt because of those generous thoughts though, and that’s the worst part for me, that people I care about got hurt. Again.

    Mythbri, I know you have my back. Your voice is valuable one and I’ve appreciated you from the time you’ve shown up here. ♥

    Fossil Fishy:

    Mea culpa.

    I will do better.

    Thank you. I really appreciate that, because that is one thing that will make a difference – men speaking up and speaking out in such matters. You matter, your voices matter. They need to be heard.

  292. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Oops, sorry; had a ‘net blackout (the fourth one today) and by the time I posted, the thread had moved on. I should have refreshed first. :(

  293. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Now, I know everyone can’t handle such threads and I know a lot of men feel they aren’t ‘qualified’ to speak up in such threads. (The latter is a peeve – I don’t think “qualifications” are necessary and I think some people use that as a cop out.)

    I decided in November that constant engagement* in exactly this kind of shit had made me a better person, but also a less happy person.
     
    So, I admit that I didn’t follow that thread. 1) I don’t think I would have learned anything, 2) I doubt I would have had anything to add that hadn’t been written more compellingly by someone else**, and 3) I know that it would have made me less happy.
     
    This is absolutely a cop-out. I understand your dissappointment but I can’t apologize for it. The opportunities for engagement have long exceeded my taste for it.
     
    *Admittedly mostly silent engagement, but over many years.
    **Could be wrong about 1 and/or 2. I’m dead-sure about 3.

  294. Dhorvath, OM says

    Sad I am not to have the time I once did to join in here. I hope that is not always the case.

  295. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I am grateful for the men who waded in on that thread to argue against PaulW.

    I wish more would. Even though they might think they have no direct involvement in the subject, they have probably more influence than they realise.

    While people stay silent, no-one can tell which POV they support. Which is disheartening for the victims and encourages the apologists.

    I understand that not everyone has/had the time to engage while the worst was going on. I didn’t, either.

    But while that thread still exists, it will be read. It isn’t exactly the same as a conversation which, once over, is over for ever. So I’m going over there now to add my tuppenny-worth before it gets locked. Because the more people’s names on that thread on the anti-apologia side the better.

    I know I and others have made supportive comments here, but they won’t be cross-referenced down the road when someone links back to that thread to explain PaulW’s fall from grace. We need to have our ‘nyms actually there, on that thread, where they’ll be seen. Caine, Ogvorbis , Carlie and the others who did the heavy lifting deserve that much at least.

  296. says

    John:

    I can’t speak for others, but I am entirely on your side.

    I don’t say that lightly.

    (If I didn’t weigh in much in that thread, it’s because I really had nothing to add)

    Thank you, John. Very much. ♥ I do wish you’d re-think that last part though – men speaking up on these issues is crucial, your voices are needed, more than I think a lot you men realize. One thing I’ve learned about in reading Misogyny and Manhood in America is that women have been seen to have the role of making men moral for a very long time. This is not the case, obviously, however, I think this perception seems to hold to a fair extent because men are often content to leave such discussions primarily to women. I’d dearly like to see that change.

    IJoe:

    We’ve had our disagreements, but I hope you know that I’ll always have your back on any issue where you need me.

    I do know that, and I thank you very much. You’re one of the more outspoken men here and your voice is most appreciated.

    Chris:

    Too much hippy punching and general hostility to anything enviro. Example.

    That was an unpleasant revisit. I was still a year away from commenting at that time, but I did make that call, because I used to live in Mountain Center and spent quite a bit of time in Anza Borrego.

  297. says

    @ Chas –

    If you would not act like a petulant child who appears to be put out that the “popular” kids don’t realize how cool he really is, perhaps you would not require an “internet Mom,” so to speak.

    But if you really want one, sure, I’ll volunteer. You ready?

    *ahem*

    “Chas, don’t do that.”

    To expand: You had a slightly interesting comment somewhere up there. You told the other commenters in the NYTimes rape thread to “admit it,” where “it” was referring to the the fact that they were holding the feelings of rape victims as a higher priority than Paul W.’s ideas.

    You said “admit it,” as if it were self-evidently stupid and wrong to think that feelings are more important than ideas.

    If I were going to make a comment along those lines, I would consider mentioned WHY it is that I think it’s stupid and wrong to think that feelings are more important than ideas. I would explain why it is that I hold the opinion that ideas are always more important than feelings.

    That could be an interesting discussion.

    Just like that time when you called me out for a facile evolutionary supposition that if rape were a viable evolutionary strategy, humans males would have penises that resembled those of mallard ducks. It was a facetious remark, but if you had, say, gone into a little bit of detail about why that wasn’t really a useful question to ask, that TOO could have been a useful and interesting discussion.

    But you don’t do these things. Instead you’re just fucking mean and nasty.

    So what is it that you think you have to offer? Why bother saying anything at all? Genuine question, because I’m really not seeing it.

  298. says

    AE:

    This is absolutely a cop-out. I understand your dissappointment but I can’t apologize for it. The opportunities for engagement have long exceeded my taste for it.

    I understand and I respect your decision. It’s okay, I don’t expect everyone to rush off and get their cape, it’s just that I think it’s truly important for more men to be visible when such subjects come up.

    Tony, there’s nothing you could do about those circumstances, and you had serious concerns to attend to. I know you have my back and I know such issues are a concern of yours and you don’t hesitate to speak out. We can’t all do every thread. There are times I won’t get near a thread because I simply can’t do another one at that moment.

    Dhorvath, I always value your voice. Always.

  299. says

    Sorry about the mistakes in previous post. Posting while slightly tipsy. Also my dad’s computer is kinda funky.

    Dhorvath, where ya been?

    My parents are having a nykelharpa duet.

    How many people get to listen to a nyckelharpa duet when they visit their folks? I feel lucky.

  300. says

    How many people get to listen to a nyckelharpa duet when they visit their folks? I feel lucky.

    You should! When I visit my folks, all I get to hear is my mother bully my father.

  301. Tigger_the_Wing says

    No, thank you, Caine. You made many more, and much better, posts than mine.

    But I’m glad you liked it. Thank you for the compliment. *Blushes*

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I wish my brain were quicker and didn’t need so many rests, so I could be a better ally.

  302. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Sally, nyckelharpa? Duet?! Wow! =^_^=

    My father has a huuuuge electronic organ and synthesiser combo in their tiny lounge; my mother has a piano in the dining room. There is usually a lot of music when we visit, but nothing like that!

  303. says

    Finally back, work was unusually long and stressful today.
    I’m sometimes reluctant to comment because I’m always still learning, and the last thing I want to do is make things worse for people who are commenting in the face of rape apologia at great emotional and energetical(?) cost to themselves.
    I feel like this sometimes as well, but it seems that my fears are largely unfounded; certainly when I do wade in no-one says anything to me that seems to indicate that I have. I also feel kind of guilty about not participating more, even though I do post as often as I can manage between work and life; I have an overwhelming desire to help whenever I see people being hurt, even though I can’t help all the time and sometimes there’s nothing I can do to help. I try to do what I can manage, though.

    Sallystrange
    Not nyckelharpa , but I get to hear my dad and his friends jam on flute, bodhran and assorted strings.

  304. says

    Oh, wow. The first paragraph of that post should be blockquoteing mythbri. Must preview in the future.
    Also, thank you Caine for your massive, massive contributions; I’ve learned a lot from your comments generally, and in these types of threads especially.

  305. says

    Dalillama:

    I feel like this sometimes as well, but it seems that my fears are largely unfounded; certainly when I do wade in no-one says anything to me that seems to indicate that I have.

    They are unfounded. You’ve been a terrific voice and always add to such discussions. Don’t doubt that.

  306. chigau (違う) says

    jeez, I’m kinda glad I missed the Paul W. thing in real-time.

    joey
    I don’t believe one word you have told us about your wife.
    Let us hear directly from her.

  307. says

    Not a man, but I know how it feels to want some companions fighting alongside, so I’m sorry I missed this one, Caine. I don’t usually follow Thunderdome, and didn’t realise that NYT thread had been revived until I saw Chris’s new post and, after commenting, went looking for what he was talking about.

    I did, however, argue with one rape apologist this week. She couldn’t understand why I was so hostile about her intention to include a sexual assault and rape by her protagonist in a YA M/M romance (yes, she thought it would be a good idea to have her character “discover his gayness” by orally raping his passed out friend and like it). She said (paraphrasing) “I know there are some people who get upset when things aren’t 100% consensual, but others don’t care about that. Like, I wouldn’t care if my husband and/or lover(s) did that to me while I was asleep.” Ugh. I finally gave up (for my own peace of mind) when she suggested that “the misunderstanding” was due to the fact that she was a Libra and my sign must be opposed to hers.

  308. vaiyt says

    Is it possible for a woman to freely choose to stay home and raise her children over pursuing a career despite all the societal pressures on women?

    By herself, out of her own speshul snowflakitude? No.

  309. says

    Ibis:

    Not a man, but I know how it feels to want some companions fighting alongside, so I’m sorry I missed this one, Caine. I don’t usually follow Thunderdome, and didn’t realise that NYT thread had been revived until I saw Chris’s new post and, after commenting, went looking for what he was talking about.

    No worries, Ibis. We can’t all be everywhere at once.

    I did, however, argue with one rape apologist this week. She couldn’t understand why I was so hostile about her intention to include a sexual assault and rape by her protagonist in a YA M/M romance (yes, she thought it would be a good idea to have her character “discover his gayness” by orally raping his passed out friend and like it). She said (paraphrasing) “I know there are some people who get upset when things aren’t 100% consensual, but others don’t care about that. Like, I wouldn’t care if my husband and/or lover(s) did that to me while I was asleep.” Ugh. I finally gave up (for my own peace of mind) when she suggested that “the misunderstanding” was due to the fact that she was a Libra and my sign must be opposed to hers.

    ! ! ! Holy shit, is that ever a world of wrong. No, a ‘verse of wrong. It’s when you hear such “reasoning” you realize just how deep rape culture runs, how normalised it all is, that people give it such little consideration. That’s appalling.

  310. Lofty says

    Words fail me when I see such concentrated bigotry, but for what it’s worth, y’all have my support, especially Caine who does much of the tactical response. Best of luck not cracking under the pressure.

  311. Tigger_the_Wing says

    It starts at birth, with the pink label on the ankle and the pink birth-congratulation cards.

    The gender-neutral white, lemon and green first-size baby-gros are replaced by pink ones, frilly dresses and hair ribbons (where to put them on a baby with no hair?!). Silver shoes with little bows, pretty coats with no hood, give her the idea that she should never, ever, play anywhere dirty.

    Her first toys are variations on dolls and miniature household cleaning products. When her brothers get go-carts, she gets shopping carts; her brother gets a bike, she gets a dolls’ pram.

    She is read stories whose climax is the kiss of the princess by the prince.

    All her picture-books have little girls helping their stay-at-home housewife mothers do the daily chores.

    Her first reading-scheme books have a brother and sister who do different, traditional-gender-role, pastimes.

    By the time she turns five, she has already been thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that her future depends on her being utterly subservient to a man, dependent on him for everything except childbirth, shopping and housework.

    Childhood segregation at school (boys do cricket, girls play rounders; boys play football, girls play netball; boys do metalwork, girls do sewing) reinforce the artificial divide; and ‘teenage’ magazines, read by little girls from (at latest) the age of 8, emphasize the necessity of getting a boyfriend and the importance looks (fashion, make-up, body size) play in that.

    Magazines purportedly for women but read from about the age of 13, spend an inordinate amount of time stressing the importance of the stay-at-home-mother-and-housewife to the functioning of a happy home. How, if ‘he strays’ it is the wife’s fault for not being clean/tidy/sexy/amusing enough. There are enough ‘parenting’ magazines, actually blatantly aimed at mothers, not fathers, to fill a skip each month. I’ve not seen one that pays anything but lip-service to the idea that children are a societal resource and should be cared for as such.

    It isn’t a wonder that so many women ‘choose’ to stay at home with their children. It’s a miracle that some don’t.

    All any child really needs, besides safety, food, shelter and warmth, is an adult or two, or more, who love them. Those adults don’t have to be any particular gender, they don’t have to even be related to the child. They just have to have unconditional love and respect for the little person in their care and want the best for them. It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, able or disabled, or the same race/gender as the child or one another. All that matter is that the child is loved for themselves and know it. It is unnecessary for society to squander the resources spent raising girls only to confine them to the house for much of their adulthood with their own offspring. There could be, should be, other options.

    If society were really egalitarian, it would be set up so that parents weren’t isolated from their community, didn’t have sole responsibility for their children and didn’t have to choose between staying at home/career/bankruptcy through care fees.

    Every work place would have a professionally, competently run crêche and pre-school for the children of all their employees (instead of bonuses, company cars and foreign holidays for a few). Work hours would fit in with school hours.

    Those mother who wanted to give up their careers to spend all day with their children would then actually be making a positive choice, not being backed into a corner by financial necessity and putting a brave face on it (because to admit that one regrets being a full-time mother is tantamount to declaring oneself one step away from being a baby-eater in some circles).

    Staying at home with a new born baby is an attractive choice, I admit. Sleep deprivation makes the idea of a daily commute to the office or other workplace something of a nightmare. But how many women get offered the options of job-share or working from home? Those that do, often find that all the complications are theirs to sort out, with no help from their colleagues. Women who do have access to an office crêche often find that there is nowhere to breast-feed except the loos.

    There are a zillion obstacles to pursuing a career that are put in the path of a women from birth onwards but are never put in the path of a man. Unless he is very observant he simply never knows they are there.

  312. John Morales says

    Tigger_the_Wing:

    All any child really needs, besides safety, food, shelter and warmth, is an adult or two, or more, who love them.

    Depends on what you mean by “need”; certainly, love is not necessary for life, unlike food.

  313. Beatrice says

    re: NY thread

    I’ve been commenting mostly in the Lounge and Thunderdome lately, but I will try to do better, at least when it comes to difficult topics where people could use more help and some respite from handling all the trolls/haters/ignorants themselves.

  314. Tigger_the_Wing says

    It is necessary for mental health. Did you read the research into deprivation of love carried out on monkeys? It was horribly cruel.

    Yes, a baby can be kept alive without love. How happy is that child? How good would you say their quality of life is? Why would anyone think that a social mammal like a human could have the best possible life if no-one loved them?

    Ask anyone who was brought up by someone who didn’t love them, how much damage that has done to their sense of self.

  315. says

    John:

    Depends on what you mean by “need”; certainly, love is not necessary for life

    No, it’s not necessary, not if you have no interest in an emotionally and mentally healthy child. I grew up without love, John. I was an obligation, a duty. An unwanted one. It results in one fucked up individual.

  316. John Morales says

    Caine, I know. :(

    (I’m a bit fucked-up myself, but then I had it nowhere near as bad as you)

    Tigger_the_Wing’s excellent response is what I was seeking.

  317. says

    Caine

    They are unfounded. You’ve been a terrific voice and always add to such discussions. Don’t doubt that.

    Thank you. That means a lot to me, especially coming from you.

    Ibis3

    I did, however, argue with one rape apologist this week.

    This part made sense to me. The more you described the more my brain just seized up, until by about the third sentence, all I was capable of thinking was “What the fuck? What the fuck?! What the FUCK!?!

  318. vaiyt says

    Rape apologia, IMO, is one of these things that can’t be parodied. There’s no view, no matter how vile, that a glib idiot with too much privilege won’t believe.

  319. John Morales says

    BTW, for newer regulars who may not remember him, Scooter (currently stirring shit on the McCarthy thread) was once a regular here, and yes, he is on good terms with PZ.

    (PS Tonight on KPFT 90.1 FM)

  320. Tigger_the_Wing says

    @#&@#&#%@#$&&ing internet connection!!! I’m soooo fed-up with it crashing today. I expect this’ll be well late, now, but I’m going to post it anyway.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Funnily enough, in my experience, kids with at least one good source of love turn out fine even if their parent(s) hate(s) them. I feel desperately sorry for those who didn’t have a relative, or even a neighbour, to whom they could turn for some affirmation that they were loveable. :(

    Probably because of the stories my mother told about her miserable childhood.

    And it’s one of the reasons we’ve always had an ‘open door’ policy for any young person in trouble. A couple of years ago I had the great good fortune to re-connect, via Facebook, with a young woman who spent a great deal of her childhood with us after her mother died suddenly when she was eight. No relation, we were just neighbours, but we firstly ‘baby-sat’ her every so often for a couple of years to help out her father, then later on let her stay with us whenever she needed to escape from her father’s new girlfriend, who was an evil woman*. I was thrilled when she told me that she had always remembered me fondly as her ‘second mother’. Gosh, I’m crying just typing this. Now aged thirty and a mother herself, she has turned out perfect!

    *TRIGGER WARNING:
    The woman physically and mentally abused the little girl and told her father that she was accident-prone, a liar and just jealous; one day, though, this woman stabbed him. In the stomach. No, I’m not making this up. I wish I were. If it hadn’t been for his son’s quick driving skills and the help of a passing police car getting him to hospital, he would have died.
    HAPPY ENDING:
    I’m pleased to report he eventually found a much more suitable match and is happily married to someone my friend is delighted to call ‘stepmother’, and whose daughter loves to regard as grandmother.

  321. ChasCPeterson says

    I can’t answer that, Chas.

    Of course not–it’s a koan.

    all those bitches ganging up on poor, misunderstood Paul.

    That’s a groundless escalation of rhetoric.

    Paul’s victim blaming is part of rape apologia. Not sure why you cannot see that.

    Let me clarify then. What I cannot see is how what Paul was trying (foolishly) to talk about can be fairly characterized as ‘victim-blaming’ in the first place. But once again: it’s an argument I’m not participating in.

    act like a petulant child who appears to be put out that the “popular” kids don’t realize how cool he really is

    Please. What’s left of my ego after RL is invested not at all in the opinions of the cool kids of Pharyngula (fortunately, as many of them have insulted me pretty harshly over the years). (and I only occasionally deserved it.)

    I would explain why it is that I hold the opinion that ideas are always more important than feelings.

    I do not hold that opinion.
    ‘Paul’s ideas are wrong because [feelings]‘ is a fallacious argument: My only point (in context).
    Yes, I realize it’s not the only argument people were making, just the only one I was addressing (in context).

    Instead you’re just fucking mean and nasty.

    well, again, I got that tu quoque right here for ya.
    But I’m sorry for coming off that way. It’s really just damaged levels of cynicism and sarcasm.
    But seriously. that’s not cool. I apologize.

    So what is it that you think you have to offer? Why bother saying anything at all?

    Why do you? And if our answers are different, so what? Maybe offering and sharing are not among my priorities. Out of long habit and because my brain likes it I read a lot of comments and sometimes I react or respond by posting comments of my own. That’s pretty much it. Feel free to ignore them entirely in the future. It won’t hurt my feelings.

    But please do stop with the persistent-pattern-of-trying-to-be-inflammatory-to-rape-victims bullshit.

  322. carlie says

    All of the language surrounding rape is problematic for removing agency. Just take the sentence “X number of women are raped per year”. Would the conversation be different if it was “Men choose to rape X number of women per year”? Instead of “Here are tips to prevent rape” they were labeled as “Here are tips to try to control how other people act”? (I know, I’m preaching to the choir here). Paul kept saying that the problem was that we assigned too much agency to certain words with regard to rape – I think the real problem is that common language surrounding rape doesn’t have enough agency.

  323. vaiyt says

    What I cannot see is how what Paul was trying (foolishly) to talk about can be fairly characterized as ‘victim-blaming’ in the first place.

    I’ll kindly refresh your memory, Chas. Here’s the original declaration.

    IMO that means that it should be entirely okay under some circumstances, if you’re careful about how you do it, to say that a woman may have been raped because she was conventionally “beautiful” and dressed “sexily” and “carelessly” walking alone at night through a dark alley at night in a “bad neighborhood.”

    Are you with me? Here, I’ll explain why this is rape apologia.
    This is exactly the same fucking bullshit game that every fucking rape apologist likes to play – trying to weasel in some way to turn the discussion towards victims’ attitudes, rather than the rapists’.
    Maybe, just maybe, if the victim did X and Y or dressed a certain way we can talk about how they caused their rape. Not trying to blame them, oh no, you see, but from the myriad events in the chain that led to someone’s rape I’m going to focus only on stereotypical blame-able rape victim atitudes for some reason! Just saying!
    FUCK THIS BULLSHIT.
    When you sound indistinguishable from a scumbag rape apologist, GUESS WHAT YOU ARE. This is not escalation of rhetoric, it’s plain as day.

  324. Maureen Brian says

    At the very least, Chas, to reiterate – several times – common myths about the “causes” of rape and to do it without any reference to the mountains of evidence debunking each of them while denying the experience of people telling you that such myths actually get in the way of preventing rape might be seen as socially irresponsible.

    Get it yet?

  325. vaiyt says

    lol, the little darling of MRA scumbags trying to use anti-sexism to prove a point. *rolls eyes until they hit the back of my skull*

  326. says

    Applause to Tigger

    Hugs to Caine
    I admit taht I mostly couldn’t wade through Paul’s walls of text.

    Ibis

    “I know there are some people who get upset when things aren’t 100% consensual, but others don’t care about that. Like, I wouldn’t care if my husband and/or lover(s) did that to me while I was asleep.”

    There’s somebody who really doesn’t understand what consent means….

    +++
    Love for children: Well, that’s probably the one thing that kept me from being totally fucked up despite my mum being emotionally abusive: She did and does love me. Not being loved was never the issue. More or less still being loved despite being such a horrible person…

  327. Ogvorbis says

    Hi, all.

    Sorry about last night. I really thought that things were getting better. I was, as usual, wrong.

    Dreams were really bad last night. Both scouts and 9/11. In one dream, at the same time (no, you really don’t want to know). But today is Friday.

    (that part is also on the Lounge)

    FUCK!

    Now my mind is once again fucking with me: it really was my decision to join cub scouts; I really wanted to be a cub scout. So now my mind is telling me (and I can almost shout it down!) that yes, I was culpable.

    That is what pisses me off the most about what Paul wrote (and on other threads that have become rape-apologist-fests). For me, what he was saying hit very close to home as I have spent the last year and a half fighting, in my mind, against those same thoughts. I have no idea if Paul is still reading, but I do have a question for him (more than one, actually):

    Paul, did it ever occur to you that victims of rape, because of the way that rape is treated in society, are already finding ways to blame themselves? For someone to tell me that, yes, “. . . it was a necessary precondition for that event to occur” helps way the hell too much.

    Victim blaming may be the most perfect psychological coup ever. In one fell swoop, we tell the victim that it was really his or her fault because of location, dress, alcohol, whatever; we tell the family, friends and legal system that the dirty little slut invited the rape because of location, dress, alcohol, whatever; and we tell the rapist that it wasn’t really rape because of location, dress, alcohol, whatever. Paul, I really hope that is not what you were aiming at. And I really hope you, someday, understand that that is where you went. I appreciate your apology but I wonder, do you really understand why you needed to apologize?

  328. Portia, She who will be Horrible and Harpish says

    I doubt that he does, Ogvorbis. Like I said in the Lounge, I’m so sorry you had such a rough night. I am pissed off all over again on your behalf. The damage Paul did couldn’t be more obvious if he were hit over the head with a 2×4. His refusal to make a real, thoughtful apology looks to me very much like he couldn’t give two shits about the real people he hurt. He’s just going to go on with his sooper-smart ideas and take them elsewhere and hurt someone else. Maybe in a social situation, where a rape victim wouldn’t be so likely to take him to task. And he will just go blithely on…

    Ugh. I’m gonna be back in a few. I’m rambling in frustration and rage.

    Hugs for you, Og.

  329. bradleybetts says

    @Carlie #458

    All of the language surrounding rape is problematic for removing agency. Just take the sentence “X number of women are raped per year”. Would the conversation be different if it was “Men choose to rape X number of women per year”? Instead of “Here are tips to prevent rape” they were labeled as “Here are tips to try to control how other people act”? (I know, I’m preaching to the choir here). Paul kept saying that the problem was that we assigned too much agency to certain words with regard to rape – I think the real problem is that common language surrounding rape doesn’t have enough agency.

    I agree with you, “X women are raped each year” sort of ignores the fact that this is something someone else is doing to them. I don’t agree with “Men choose to rape X number of women a year” because some rapists might be women or transgendered and some victims might be male or transgendered, and I’m uncomfortable ignoring the former’s culpability and the latter’s suffering. I can’t really think of abetter alternative, but there must be one that puts the onus firmly on the rapist, does not dehumanise the victim in any way and does not ignore non-female victims or non-male aggressors.

    For the second, “Here are tips on how to avoid giving a rapist the opportunity to carry out an assault”? Is that better?

    Bah, I started this post with a load of ideas, thinking I could be really helpful, but I’m not sure I’ve actually helped at all. Sorry if that’s the case.

  330. joey says

    Me:

    Is it possible for a woman to freely choose to stay home and raise her children over pursuing a career despite all the societal pressures on women?

    Tigger:

    No.

    Any other simple-to-answer questions?

    Hilarious.

    ————-
    vaiyt:

    By herself, out of her own speshul snowflakitude? No.

    Equally hilarious.

    Both of you must think that any of these women listed here are just as deluded as my wife in thinking that they actually had the choice to stay at home. Instead of praising these women for their noble sacrifices in which they freely chose to do, what you’re actually doing is suggesting that every one of these women are too weak and/or cowardly to overcome these societal pressures to not stay home.

    Also by your logic, you must conclude that it is also impossible for a father to choose to stay at home, considering fathers have little to no societal pressure to do so. (Unless you’re sexist and believe that for some reason a father has the ability to choose to stay home whereas a mother doesn’t possess this capability.)

    —————-
    rowanvt:

    Of course. Some women love the idea of being housewives.

    Thank you for the honest answer. But please don’t neglect the *raising children* aspect by labeling these women as “housewives”.

    Care to explain why you are not willing to acknowledge that societal pressures and expectations might make a woman stay home who’d rather not?

    In the case you honestly skipped over my acknowledgments (instead of willfully being blind to them as some here are doing), see my response to casus here and my response to Tony here. If you are still unconvinced, I will reiterate for the entire board…

    I, Joey, acknowledge that there exists societal pressures and expectations that might make a woman stay home who’d rather not. I also acknowledge that there are many of these women who stay home precisely due to these societal pressures, and that if these pressures were nonexistent they would not stay at home.

    But the above truths in no way mean that women who actually do choose to stay home despite these societal pressures don’t exist.

    ——————
    Tony:

    How is it you and your wife made decisions unaffected by the pervasive influence of gender role conformity in our culture?

    It’s possible. Sometimes people just don’t give a damn about what society thinks and does what they feel is best for them.

    ——————-
    chigau:

    I don’t believe one word you have told us about your wife.

    That’s perfectly fine, as long as you refrain from thinking that you know more about my wife than I do.

    Even if what I said about my wife is completely false, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t real women out there who choose to stay home despite any of the societal pressures on women.

  331. Ogvorbis says

    It shakes me up terribly to read things like that, because it makes me wonder – do people here have my back when it comes to issues like rape apologetics? Or will they turn around and make excuses for the apologist? Or will they simply turn their head and act like nothing is going on?

    I do have your back, Caine. I may not always be able to do it on whatever thread it is because some of them are just too much for me right now. Sorry I can’t be that reliable.

  332. The Mellow Monkey says

    We’ll see if I can get this to go through…

    Carlie

    I think the real problem is that common language surrounding rape doesn’t have enough agency.

    I agree. Here’s how I would assign agency to your sample sentences:

    “Rapists assault X number of people per year.” From there it can be broken down further by perpetrator and victim, but it starts out with the emphasis on rapists. It’s not a passive-voiced declaration as though rape just magically appeared.

    For the second one, “Here’s how to stop rapists from raping.”

    Again, emphasis on rapists. Rape only exists because someone decided to rape. Rape is stopped when rapists don’t make that decision. It’s why the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign is effective. It’s why “let’s discuss how the victim caused the rape” is so mind-bogglingly unhelpful and outright damaging.

  333. carlie says

    Bradley – I did think about that, but I was trying to make an example just out of the one kind of sentence. If the metric measured is number of women raped per year by men, then it would be phrased that way. You’re right if the descriptor is total number of rapes by total number of rapists. But I wonder if stating it as which group is doing the raping and which group is being raped might be a better way to phrase it in general, because it would be a finer distinction that would highlight the problems that smaller groups face by separating them out into their own comparisons.*

    *this sounds clunky. What I mean is that if you do use a metric of “Men rape X women per year”, that leaves you clear to say “…and women rape X men per year”, “men rape X men per year”, etc. to make sure those are taken into account. Saying “people raped per year” lets one get away with forgetting the diversity in that group, if that makes any sense.

    “Rapists assault X number of people per year.”

    I do like that phrasing, but find it problematic because of the high number of people who have raped who don’t think of themselves as rapists – it sort of lets them off the mental hook by thinking “oh, but that has nothing to do with ME, I’m not one of those” instead of thinking of themselves as part of a group that may do such a thing.

    As for transgendered people, I’m still not sure what is the right path to take. My instinct is to say that they are simply women or men as they self-identify, but then I think that might be falling into the “but I don’t see race” trap, and would lose that finer distinction I just championed that if they are specifically targeted, lumping them into the larger gender they identify with loses that notice that they are targeted. And now I feel creepy for talking about people as if they can’t speak for themselves on this, so I will shut up about how to refer to various groups.

  334. carlie says

    Even if what I said about my wife is completely false, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t real women out there who choose to stay home despite any of the societal pressures on women.

    My, how you’ve backpedaled, joey. You started out with saying most to all women gladly choose to stay at home, now you’re down to claiming that there are some real women out there somewhere who gladly choose to stay at home. If you had just started there in the first place, this argument might not be happening. Example:

    *comment linking to a study showing that a majority of women would choose career over marriage if forced to stay at home*

    joey: Interesting. My wife and her friends chose to stop their careers and stay at home, and I never thought of that as an unrepresentative sample before.

    *anyone else: Well, there are a lot of societal pressures for women to do so, so you may be seeing the result of that kind of pressure among the women you’ve just mentioned*

    joey: Huh, never thought about that before. Perhaps I’ll bring that up with them if the topic ever comes up.

    See how easy that would have been?

  335. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Hilarious

    What’s hilarious is you thinking that you and your wife are so amazingly exceptional that you’re able to shrug off millenia of societal pressures and make a decision completely uninfluenced by them.

    That right there is hilarious.

    Doesn’t mean you or your wife are necessarily bad people in anyway by making that personal choice, but it’s down right hilarious you think that these deeply ingrained societal pressures have no influence on you whatsoever.

  336. says

    I would explain why it is that I hold the opinion that ideas are always more important than feelings.

    I do not hold that opinion.

    Well then you did a fucking shitty job of communicating what your opinion is. Saying “Admit it, you think that feelings are more important than ideas,” definitely communicates that you think it’s wrong to think that feelings are more important ideas. See, if you had fucking EXPANDED on what your opinion was, and why it differed from that of the other commenters, I wouldn’t have said a damn thing. Or may I would have engaged with the argument about whether ideas > feelings and in which contexts this may or may not be true–which would be interesting, and perhaps even edifying! Imagine that!

    ‘Paul’s ideas are wrong because [feelings]‘ is a fallacious argument: My only point (in context).

    Not necessarily. If you want to be convincing, you SHOULD EXPLAIN WHY YOU THINK THIS IS SO. STOP MAKING YOUR FUCKING CONTEXT-FREE PRONOUNCEMENTS AND FUCKING EXPLAIN YOURSELF. THIS IS WHAT IS SO GODDAMN FRUSTRATING ABOUT READING YOUR COMMENTS.

    Yes, I realize it’s not the only argument people were making, just the only one I was addressing (in context).

    Yeah, you chose to address THAT argument in particular because why? Why was it so important to remind rape victims that in your opinion, bringing up their feelings about rape apologia is less important than the IDEA of the difference between “cause” and “blame”? I literally cannot understand a decision-making process that leads to the choice to make that particular comment at that particular time that does not involve at least a little bit of malice. (My lack of understanding doesn’t mean that such a decision-making process does not exist, of course.)

    Instead you’re just fucking mean and nasty.

    well, again, I got that tu quoque right here for ya.
    But I’m sorry for coming off that way. It’s really just damaged levels of cynicism and sarcasm.
    But seriously. that’s not cool. I apologize.

    I was thinking about this and I wanted to clarify. Be as mean and nasty as you want, if you must, BUT BRING SOME MOTHERFUCKING CONTENT ALONG WITH IT. I mean, not being mean and nasty would be great, but it’s the lack of content that really pisses me the fuck off.

    You have infuriated me so much that I’m shaking right now. It’s cool that you’re apologizing, I guess, but seriously. Turn the “suck” down. For fuck’s sake.

  337. The Mellow Monkey says

    Carlie

    I do like that phrasing, but find it problematic because of the high number of people who have raped who don’t think of themselves as rapists – it sort of lets them off the mental hook by thinking “oh, but that has nothing to do with ME, I’m not one of those” instead of thinking of themselves as part of a group that may do such a thing.

    But if they don’t think of it as rape, then they won’t think “men rape X number of women per year” refers to them either. Neither one is going to make them recognize that what they did is rape, and trying to cram that definition in there is just going to make dialogue awkward and rather artificial. People won’t use it and they’ll default back to the culturally accepted “X number of women are raped”.

    Telling someone what rape is and what constitutes a rapist and playing off of their desire to not be seen that way is a separate issue from describing how many rapes are committed.

    FTR, I think it’s entirely appropriate to identify certain aspects of identity when it comes to rape statistics, because some groups are especially vulnerable. So you have X percentage of all women, and as a subset of that, X percentage of trans women of color. These are important things to discuss and really need to not be erased. Mixed race women (IIRC, the most at-risk group for rape) and trans women are women and are part of that larger statistic, but deserve recognition of their own unique difficulties as well.

  338. casus fortuitus says

    joey:

    Sometimes people just don’t give a damn about what society thinks and does what they feel is best for them.

    You must have missed the posts pointing out that the societal pressure of which you speak is ubiquitous and acts on us as soon as we are born. It’s instrumental in shaping the people we grow up to be. It’s a nonsense to suggest that someone can make decisions that are completely unaffected by those social influences; they are integral to who we are.

    It might be that any given person would have made a particular decision irrespective of social pressure, but we can never know because that social pressure is always there. And any decision that just so happens to conform with that great weight of pressure is especially suspect – you can never divorce the pure volition of the person themselves from the pressures that necessarily influence them.

  339. Pteryxx says

    Rape only exists because someone decided to rape. Rape is stopped when rapists don’t make that decision. It’s why the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign is effective. It’s why “let’s discuss how the victim caused the rape” is so mind-bogglingly unhelpful and outright damaging.

    QFT, MM.

    bradleybetts: Let me try and expand on this:

    Rape only exists because someone decided to rape. Rape is stopped when rapists don’t make that decision.

    When do rapists decide not to rape, or at least not to rape a certain person at a certain time? When there’s a risk they’ll get punished for it. They set up situations that reduce the potential victim’s credibility, self-esteem, and/or support system. They ensure the victim has nowhere to escape and nobody to tell. Maintaining a constant fog of victim-blaming is a tactic. Basically rape culture is the net effect of grooming an entire society into a fertile hunting ground for rapists. So changing this narrative focus may be one of the most effective interventions possible, as victim-blaming attacks all three of the victim’s protections (credibility, self-esteem, and support system via institutionalized victim-blaming in laws, police, etc.)

    (That’s also why harassment policies, properly instituted, are so valuable: potential victims and predators know at the outset that any victims start out with credibility and support already in place.)

  340. Pteryxx says

    People won’t use it and they’ll default back to the culturally accepted “X number of women are raped”.

    and similar… IMHO this runs into the conflation of rape culture with constructs of masculinity and femininity. The ‘numbers of men rape numbers of women’ covers the biggest aspect of the problem – sheer ignorance – but it’s also dealing with the normalization of rapey/stalkey behavior as just part of Manliness (and victimhood as just normal part of icky womanhood… blargh, I can’t follow that thought very far. Ogvorbis’s story just shows this up in bright flashing neon.) Victim-blaming’s part of manliness-policing.

    I guess, for the moment, I provisionally accept the framing as part of a very fundamental 101-level approach… and I go on trying to point out child and male victims whenever I judge it won’t detract from that, as best I can.

  341. bradleybetts says

    @Carlie

    I see where you’re coming from, but I disagree with making any distinction amongst rape victims. Rape is rape, no matter who it’s done to or who by, and I think making distinctions amongst rape victims undermines that sentiment. What is important is that they were all subjected to this horrible ordeal and have suffered because of it; and I think separating victims into smaller groups based on gender or sexuality or whatever simply allows people to dismiss the concerns of smaller groups because it doesn’t happen to them as often. That’s what I was trying to get at, with my prior clumsily phrased post :)

    I also agree with your comments regarding

    Rapists assault X number of people per year

    Maybe “X number of people are subjected to rape each year”? The word “subjected” reinforces the idea that this is a horrible ordeal which they went through against their will. Though it still doesn’t reinforce the idea that this is other people doing it to the victim as much as I think is needed.

  342. bradleybetts says

    @Pterryx

    When do rapists decide not to rape, or at least not to rape a certain person at a certain time? When there’s a risk they’ll get punished for it. They set up situations that reduce the potential victim’s credibility, self-esteem, and/or support system. They ensure the victim has nowhere to escape and nobody to tell. Maintaining a constant fog of victim-blaming is a tactic. Basically rape culture is the net effect of grooming an entire society into a fertile hunting ground for rapists. So changing this narrative focus may be one of the most effective interventions possible, as victim-blaming attacks all three of the victim’s protections (credibility, self-esteem, and support system via institutionalized victim-blaming in laws, police, etc.)

    Yeah I understand that; I agree with Carlie, I think the language used when discussing rape statistics needs to change to put more onus on the rapist. Hell, society needs to change to put more onus on the rapist, I’m starting to see that.

  343. pensnest says

    Joey #359

    Hard to say, because how can anyone separate out any individual from the society in which she or he lives? But probably not.

    I stayed at home once my children were born. It was a hell of a lot easier than trying to work full-time *and* look after them could possibly have been, and it certainly made all our family’s lives easier that there was someone to ‘service the family’ while someone else was able to earn enough money to support the family.

    However… it is entirely possible that my husband would have been a much better stay-at-home parent than I was, particularly at the time when both children were old enough to talk and *do* things. (Breast feeding, not so much.) But it never occurred to us to swap roles—not least because I would not have earned as much as he did. And that, certainly, has a lot to do with how society goes, not with my abilities as an employee. Why, when I was last employed, I was (with some difficulty) training a young man who did not seem able to grasp the basic point of what we were both there to do. And which of us was being paid more? Wasn’t me.

    The fact that I wouldn’t have earned as much as my husband was a practical matter that was to some extent the result of discrimination. There were other, more logical, causes, like his being older than me and therefore, with a few years more experience. The fact that we never so much as considered swapping… that was society all the way. Imagine if we’d lived in a society where it was the NORM for men and women actually to share child-care, and normal for a man to take a break from his job in order to parent. In that society, the possibility of changing our arrangements would at least have crossed our minds.

    Giliell #464 Gah, consent issues. The number of times this very thing comes up in fanfic—although there is definitely growing awareness within My Kind Of Fandom that it’s not at all acceptable, which is a consolation.

  344. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING for descriptions of sexual assault
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *

    I was raped. Once, I thought. I was hanging out with a guy who I was casually dating. He and I had had consensual sex before. I intended to have sex with him again in the future. I intended to have sex with him that afternoon, even. But this time, I told him we needed to use a condom. “No problem,” he said.

    We started fooling around and were getting close to having sex and I reminded him about the condom. He said, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll get it soon.”

    Finally, he reached for a condom. But instead of putting it on, he came back to me and tossed it aside on the bed. He pushed himself right into me, without asking. I exclaimed “No!”, but kind of quietly. I don’t know whether he heard me. He continued to have sex with me for about a minute, before pulling out, putting the condom on, and finishing.

    During the minute, I realized I was being raped. It took me a bit to process, but the next day I told a friend what had happened. She agreed (not that I would have needed her agreement to be right, but I was very confused) that he had raped me. Do you want to know the little tiny touchstone I had? The one thing that I could look back on in moments of doubt? The thing I reminded myself of when I described the situation to my friend? It was that I had said, “No!” However quietly, whether he heard me or not, I had said it. That’s not to say I didn’t later begin to doubt my recollection. I did. But I still came back to that touchstone. I know I said it.

    And do you want to know what the sad part is? Even if I hadn’t said, “No!”, it still would have been rape. Logically I know that, but do you know how difficult it is to feel that? In those moments when I doubt my recollection, I still use that touchstone. I shouldn’t need to in order to call that what it was, but I do. Because I’ve been told over and over again that women who act “imprudently”, women who don’t explicitly say “No!”, women who don’t fight back, are partially causing their own rape.

    Earlier in this comment, I said I think I’ve been raped once. Or at least, that was what I thought up until recently. See, I started to think about another incident, with a different guy, that took place not long before this other encounter. This guy also didn’t want to use a condom. He didn’t even agree grudgingly. Instead, he decided the best way to get what he wanted was to guilt me into changing my mind.

    “You know, you are staying in a hotel room that my job is paying for,” he said. “I think it’s really shitty that you would ask me to wear a condom,” he said. “You actually are fatter than I thought you’d be, based on the pictures. But it’s okay, because I like that. Do you want to hear about another physical flaw of yours that I like?” he said.

    And so I agreed to not use a condom. Was that rape? Honestly, I don’t know. If anyone else told me that story and asked whether I thought that was rape, I’d say yes. But I have heard over and over again that these actions were imprudent. After all, I had travelled to another state to meet up with him. After all, he was footing the bill more often than I was. After all, my train home wasn’t for a few days and I had no way of getting anywhere and no one knew where I was because I’d lied about where I was going and who I was meeting. After all, I didn’t say, “No!” So imprudent, I was.

    This guy still, even six years later, stalks me on my birthday. I’ve blocked him every way I can but he creates new accounts to send me birthday messages. Even after I told him I wanted nothing to do with him (for other reasons). He says, “Why won’t you talk to me? I always treated you well.”

    And if I’m not careful, I’ll believe him. I won’t respond, but I’ll start to believe that I am overreacting. Any bad thing that I felt about myself as a result of this experience was my own fault, I’ll think. I caused it.

    That’s what happens when people go on about cause and what it really means and whether rape victims can be said in one way or another to have caused rape, even if it is a cause that is “not blameworthy.” It means that everything I did that I regret will be one more thing that I’ll have to get past in order to accept that something bad was done to me and that I didn’t deserve it. It means I’ll play little moments back and forth in my head and try to gauge whether they cancel each other out: “I did ask to use a condom and he refused, so +5 points in the ‘rape’ column, but I didn’t say ‘No!’, so +10 points in the ‘not rape’ column.” I will always lose. I will always think of myself as deserving. And I will always be less likely to share my story with people who can help or who can relate, because I’ll expect that others are doling out points in similar ways.

  345. Portia, She who will be Horrible and Harpish says

    Parrowing:

    Now I can see why you said you were working up your nerve to post in the Dome. That was really brave, thank you for sharing it. I’m so sorry that those guys douches made those choices. I can relate, sadly. Except I’m not sure he heard me when I said “I’m not sure this is a good idea…” I said it weakly. I said it quietly. I believed my best friend when he told me it was impossible that I had been raped.

    *empathy and hugs*

  346. Ogvorbis says

    Parrowing:

    Safe hugs. Support. Yes, you were raped and no, your rapists will most likely never believe that they have committed a crime.

    Portia:

    Safe hugs and support to you too.

  347. Beatrice says

    Parrowing and Portia, *hugs*

    It’s saddening and horrifying that so many women here have been raped.

  348. says

    Thank you for sharing that, Parrowing. And to everyone else that has shared, and will share in the future. It can’t be easy to revisit those experiences, but the message can’t be repeated often enough.

  349. Pteryxx says

    Parrowing: It wasn’t your fault. It was NOT your fault. He knew damn well what he was doing, with or without the R-word in his mind.

    *gratefully shares with hug circle*

    —-

    (Maybe some folks think those are wagons, when they’re actually life preservers.)

    —-trigger warning—–
    -
    -
    -
    -

    Heck, I didn’t even say no. I said, out loud even, ‘Fine, whatever, get it over with and go away. If we fight in here my stuff will get broken.’ (My partner, my bedroom.) That doesn’t make the pain, bleeding and rage all okay, nor the flashbacks. It was still rape, though it took a decade for me to name it such.

  350. Ogvorbis says

    I read these threads and wonder.

    Part of it is that I stand in wonder and awe at the strength of you, the ones who have been the victims of predators and yet are still functioning human beings with empathy.

    I also wonder, though, is there anyone here who has not been victimized by patriarchal predators?

    And the probable answer depresses me.

  351. joey says

    chigau:

    Of course you know more about your imaginary friend than anyone else does.

    Funny.

    Now would you like to participate in the discussion? Do you think there are women out there who freely choose to stay home despite the societal pressures on them to stay home?

    ————-
    carlie:

    You started out with saying most to all women gladly choose to stay at home…

    False.

    I first questioned the study that stated 75% of women would say that they would divorce and raise their kids at home rather than be pressured to stay home. The reason I initially questioned this is because I personally don’t know anyone who has actually done this…divorced their spouse to raise their children as a single parent, whereas I know many mothers who seem, at least to me, to be very happy at home. (And I do realize the possibility that any of these mothers whom I know are actually NOT happy to stay at home.)

    But then I conceded that I might be wrong about my opinion, considering the study only stated what they think they would do, rather than what they actually would do given the situation. We then got into a discussion about my relationship with my wife, how complete strangers know my wife better than I do, and how my wife and I are both being “foolish” because of our “unequal” relationship. Now the discussion as turned into how some think it’s completely inconceivable that any woman would choose to stay at home if she was totally free to choose not to.

    But no, I never claimed that “most to all women gladly choose to stay at home”. Please, no more straw men.

    —————————–
    Rev. BigDumbChimp:

    What’s hilarious is you thinking that you and your wife are so amazingly exceptional that you’re able to shrug off millenia of societal pressures and make a decision completely uninfluenced by them.

    I don’t think we’re “amazingly exceptional” at all. Even without the societal pressures, my wife and I would still make the same decisions given our situation. That’s because I know my wife wants to be there to raise our children, not because society tells us she must be there to raise her children. She loves her children much more than her career. So do I. Suggesting otherwise would be completely insulting.

    —————————
    casus:

    It might be that any given person would have made a particular decision irrespective of social pressure…

    That’s all I’m asking in the question that I posed. Is it “possible”. Of course we’ll never know one way or the other, but is it possible? Some here are so quick to rule it out as even a possibility. In other words, no woman could ever choose to stay at home willingly. Heck, no woman or man could ever choose to stay home willingly. They would have to admit this or be accused of being blatantly sexist. Ironic, isn’t it?

  352. Dhorvath, OM says

    Depends on what you mean by victimized Ogvorbis. There are at least some of us for whom that term just doesn’t fit our experiences. I don’t know if that is worth saying here or not, I am often made uncomfortable by just how easy my life has been.

  353. Dhorvath, OM says

    Joey,
    I don’t think that anyone chooses to do anything willingly. Choice in that sense is the wool that we pull over our eyes to pretend we are more than we are. Our culture cannot be ignored, although it can be acknowledged as a factor, which can change it’s relative impact.

  354. Beatrice says

    Ogvorbis,

    Like Dhorvath, I’m not sure how to answer. Being a woman, I had to deal with sexism, by men hitting on me even after I clearly stated I wasn’t interested, comments or behaviors that made me uncomfortable or even frightened… but I wouldn’t say that I was ever victimized.

  355. Ogvorbis says

    Dhorvath and Beatrice:

    Yeah.

    I phrased things really badly. Thinking with a keyboard really doesn’t work. Sorry.

  356. says

    Joey:
    Those social pressures we are speaking of run deep and affect people subconsciously. They are also not opt in. You can become aware of them and fight against them but the power of rigid gender roles and the patriarchy runs deeper than you currently understand. You really need to read up on this stuff. You lack even 101-level comprehension at the moment.

  357. Dhorvath, OM says

    Ogvorbis,
    So often for me, thinking doesn’t work at all the way I expect. Take care, keyboard or no.

  358. says

    Ogvorbis
    *hugs*

    I also wonder, though, is there anyone here who has not been victimized by patriarchal predators?

    Does it help when I say “not badly”?
    I was not raped.
    I was lucky to be born into a family of decent people.
    I was lucky that the pedophile in the street didn’t target me (Seriously, I was always hanging around at neighbours’ houses. My parents wouldn’t have thought hit if I had gone there.)
    When I was black-out drunk my friends brought me to bed and made sure that no harm came to me.
    None of the men I shared a bed with tought that this would allow them anything.
    I was lucky that the one and only guy I was ever intimate with is a good guy.

    That’s the other thing about victim-blaming: If you can convince yourself that the victim is the Other Woman, if there actually was a cause that lies in her behaviour, then you are safe (or your kids are safe. It drives me mad that I know that I can’t keep the girls safe).

    Parrowing & Portia
    Safe hugs.

    Bradleybetts
    Although I see your argument, I think it’s not helpful in this context to only talk in general terms. It takes away the possibility to talk about patterns and problems.

  359. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks for the support, everyone. *hugs* for you as well, Portia. As you said to me, I’m sorry that asshole made the terrible choices that he made and I’m sorry other people chose to not believe you. I shared my story because there are some wonderful people here, people who have been fighting against this shit for a long time, people who are just now beginning to fight (like me), and people who are lurking and paying attention.

  360. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Now would you like to participate in the discussion?

    Considering your presuppositional arguments, neither are you. Until you can admit you are wrong, you aren’t discussing. You are preaching.

  361. says

    ChasCpeterson
    Paul stated that rape victims contributed to their rape. This is blaming (contributed) the victim (victim), hence victim-blaming. Victim-blaming is a subset of rape apology (and also rape culture, but let’s not get sidetracked). Therefore, Paul was engaged in rape apologia. You see how this works now? Seriously, if you’re going to come in and be an asshole, at least try to have the first fucking clue what you’re talking about, k?
    Ogvorbis

    Part of it is that I stand in wonder and awe at the strength of you, the ones who have been the victims of predators and yet are still functioning human beings with empathy.

    You’re also on that list, Oggie.

    I also wonder, though, is there anyone here who has not been victimized by patriarchal predators?

    I haven’t. But I often feel like I’m in a significant minority in that, and not just here.

    Parrowing, Portia,
    and Pteryxx

    *safe hugs*

    Related especially to the second case that you describe, Parrowing, that guy’s behavior was slimy and abusive from the get-go, and would have still been abusive behavior even if he hadn’t raped you that night. In the case of being stuck in an abusive situation like that one (and also others that have been mentioned), I’m not really certain that consent per se is meaningfully possible in such a situation. Which is to say that when one is trapped by an abuser, acquiescence to the abusers demands cannot meaningfully be called consent, regardless of the outward form the acquiescence takes or whether the abuser was being directly threatening at that moment or not.
     
    and now for something completely different:
    Joey

    That’s all I’m asking in the question that I posed. Is it “possible”. Of course we’ll never know one way or the other, but is it possible? Some here are so quick to rule it out as even a possibility. In other words, no woman could ever choose to stay at home willingly. Heck, no woman or man could ever choose to stay home willingly. They would have to admit this or be accused of being blatantly sexist. Ironic, isn’t it?

    I can’t tell if you’re being deliberately disingenuous or if you’re just really stupid, bu seriously, do try to read for comprehension, it helps so much. No one ever said that no woman or man could ever willingly choose to stay home; indeed, everyone commenting has explicitly said the opposite, as you well know. What you have been told repeatedly is that no one can make that choice independently of their cultural milieu, and that therefore that fact that at present the majority of people who do so are women cannot be taken to imply that there is any ‘natural’ impulse to do so, since there are massive pressures encouraging women and discouraging men from staying home and taking care of children. This is not a hard concept. Seriously, it’s not.

  362. UnknownEric says

    Don’t mean to interrupt, but holy fart, I just had to spend ten minutes listening to this guy spout off all that David Icke reptilian bullshit. I spent the whole time thinking, “This is the Art Department, sir, please go peddle your horse manure in the Religion section.”

  363. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I don’t think we’re “amazingly exceptional” at all. Even without the societal pressures, my wife and I would still make the same decisions given our situation. That’s because I know my wife wants to be there to raise our children, not because society tells us she must be there to raise her children. She loves her children much more than her career. So do I. Suggesting otherwise would be completely insulting.

    You. Still. Don’t. Get it.

    These societal pressures are not always, and often aren’t, ones you perceive are actively acting on you. It’s the ones that automatically suggest that the woman is the one who should stay with the kids because the male is the one most likely to make a better wage, find a job, etc.. and the woman is going to be better at raising the kids, staying home, not caring as much about her career. Because that’s how a society that is and has been male dominated since… well whenever… operates. The fact that you are more likely to be the best bread winner is a direct result of these long ingrained pressures. Just look at wage and job disparities over the last 100 years (or much longer). Look at how traditional families operated. Look at the expectation of women vs. men in families with children. The fact that more women make the “choice” is in part due to the fact that this is just the way it is in a society like the one everyone here operates in. You making the decision because of that is in part you succumbing to that. It’s because society makes that the “easy” or “most rational” choice.

    That means there is no real way to not be affected by it.

    Again, that choice is also a personal one and perfectly fine if that is what your family decides is best for you. But please don’t be so foolish to believe that there are no societal pressures, percieved or not, involved.

  364. Ogvorbis says

    It didn’t matter that you are being misunderstood and didn’t intend to piss off these delicate flowers!!!

    Yeah. How dare I, or others, have personal experiences, scabs, if you will, which Paul W. was picking at. How inconsiderate of me.

    You’re also on that list, Oggie.

    Not so sure about the functioning part right now.

  365. ChasCPeterson says

    vaiyt, Maureen Brian, Dalillama: thanks but I’ve already a) said too much, b) apologized for the effects, and c) promised to shut up about it. No voy a responder.
    (Dalillama: have a nice day.)

    vaiyt @ what is now #450:

    just to clarify any possible confusion, my previous comment refers to @459.

    New confusion. You referred to one of the now-deleted Real Tr*ll posts?

    SallyStrange, you want to do this?:

    I would explain why it is that I hold the opinion that ideas are always more important than feelings.

    I do not hold that opinion.

    Well then you did a fucking shitty job of communicating what your opinion is. Saying “Admit it, you think that feelings are more important than ideas,” definitely communicates that you think it’s wrong to think that feelings are more important ideas.

    (But that’s not what I said! You put something in quotation marks and attributed it to me fallaciously right there.)
    Even correctly quoted, there’s no ‘always’ in there; you stuck in the ‘always’, and that’s why it’s not an opinion I hold.
    Now if you go back to the source of your original pullquote, you’ll see that I posted it just under a block-quote from a previous commenter and a Latin phrase for the the argument I was using that quote to exemplify. I thought (still think) that in context, it was all clearly responding to that specific comment (which it’s true I thought was representative of some others), not declaring absloute truths. ffs.

    See, if you had fucking EXPANDED…
    you SHOULD EXPLAIN…
    etc.

    a) Please stop yelling at me.
    b) There you go again with the telling me what to do thing. I’m sorry (a little bit) that you find my comments frustrating to read due to brevity, style, tone, or whatever. I’m sincerely sorry for coming across as mean. But yam what I yam. And I have every right to post whatever in the flippin fuck I feel like just like everybody else around here who hasn’t unduly pissed off the hosts. So, I dunno, learn to live with disappointment. And while you’re at it, leave me alone, please.

    you chose to address THAT argument in particular because why? Why was it so important to remind rape victims that…

    hold it. Whatever follows is going to be wrong because I was not directing my comments to rape victims. Intent ain’t magic but I already apologized for being inconsiderate.
    But the reason I chose to address that argument was because it was fallacious. I thought I said that already.

    I literally cannot understand…

    whatever follows is not my problem.

    You have infuriated me so much that I’m shaking right now.

    And that I literally cannot understand.
    But I’m sorry about it anyway.