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May 06 2013

Bringing trolling to new depths

I’m astonished. One of the usual FtB haters encouraged Westboro Baptist to come to Women in Secularism.

Slime consorting with more slime. Let’s just hope they don’t breed.

289 comments

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  1. 1
    shockna

    I’m not sure what we’d call this; harassment via third party?

    As if the air wasn’t noxious enough in the psychotic anti-feminist corner.

  2. 2
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Just saw that over Twitter exchange over at B&W. PZ, I totally agree with your categories for this post – Karla Porter is a fuckbrained kooky asshole, and attempting to foment trouble by having the WBC latch onto an official CFI conference is a new low for the slimy squad.

  3. 3
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I don’t know; after all they’ve done so far, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be surprised at what they stoop to in their desperation to keep the atheist community from becoming more progressive.

  4. 4
    pocketman

    Is realizing you are consorting with the Westboro Baptist Church to achieve your goal not the moment you should reconsider whether your cause is just or not (not that they have the ability to think that deeply, mind)?

  5. 5
    Hank_Says

    I’m just glad there’s a public record of this. I just asked, at Ophelia’s place, “Who the fuck is Karla Porter?” I’ve just realised it doesn’t matter. Porter will now and forever be known as “the complete fucking dullard who sicced the Westboro Whackaloons on her “enemies” in an act of pure, pre-adolescent schoolyard spite.”

    The WBC might not leave it at that, either – who knows what followup they’ll do at other events, however distantly related? If they do decide to spread their cancer further afield, the community now knows, in advance, who to thank.

    And they call the FtB’ers divisive. What the holy flaming fuck, Porter?

  6. 6
    SallyStrange

    Jesus fuck. What is wrong with these people?

  7. 7
    Monocle Smile

    Well, at least they’re demonstrating why Atheism+ is in fact a wonderful idea.

  8. 8
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Well, at least they’re demonstrating why Atheism+ is in fact a wonderful idea.

    Looks like a QFMFT as far as the Pullet Patrol™ is concerned, looking at the added e-ducats to your tab. Looks like free drinks/eats at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor for a while.

  9. 9
    SallyStrange

    Countdown to “BUT IT WAS JUST A JOKE” begins now.

  10. 10
    Ophelia Benson

    Yeah, nothing like exchanging thigh-slappers with the mouthpiece of Westboro Baptist! Laugh? I nearly fell out of my chair.

  11. 11
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    To an actually reasonable person, the moment where you started to think that reaching out to the WBC is a good idea is the moment where you realize you really need to get some help. To a non-bigot, reaching out to WBC in the hopes of hurting others would be hitting bottom.

    To the pit, it’s just Tuesday, apparently.

    I wish I could pretend to be surprised, but I’m a terrible actress.

  12. 12
    Captaintripps

    This is in the list of things that don’t surprise me. I was coming to the slow realisation that 12-year-old behaviour was present in loads of adults, but this group of people confirmed the hell outta that one definitively last year. I hope they all go to bed tonight and realise what terrible people they’ve been.

  13. 13
    notheotherguy

    …And there it is:

    “Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.”

  14. 14
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle@11

    Truly, a Street Fighter: The Movie reference is the best way to categorize this. Your internet will arrive shortly.

  15. 15
    Rey Fox

    The WBC might not leave it at that, either – who knows what followup they’ll do at other events, however distantly related?

    With any luck, they’ll consider WiSC to not have enough TV cameras for them.

  16. 16
    Rip Steakface

    Like others, my first thought upon seeing that was, “if you’re working with WBC to promote your ideas, you need to sit down and think for a while.”

  17. 17
    evilDoug

    Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek.

    I believe this is covered by one of the corollaries to Poe’s Law: When you go through life as a suppurating asshole, it is impossible to distinguish mock assholery from your general conduct.

  18. 18
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    nottheotherguy wrote:

    “Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.”

    They mock the event and insult the participants in an attempt to undermine it and them. They solicit donations to send a known anti-feminist troublemaker to the conference for the sole purpose of making it less attractive to potential attendees and less pleasant for those who’ve already bought tickets/agreed to present – almost certainly in the hope that some of the latter will withdraw.

    With that in mind, why would they expect anyone to see this as a ‘joke’? It’s hardly out of character; simply another scumbag move by someone with a history of scumbag moves.

    It seems straightforward to me, but given these people’s lack of capacity for critical thought and introspection, it shouldn’t surprise me they don’t grasp that if you don’t want to be thought a scumbag when you pull a stunt that could be interpreted as such, don’t precede that scumbag stunt with a succession of scumbag stunts.

  19. 19
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    notheotherguy

    …And there it is:

    “Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.”

    Tongue in cheek? Really?!

  20. 20
    doubtthat

    …I don’t get it, did she or did she not tweet the Westboro people? Regardless of her reason for so doing, if she actually alerted them to the conference, they will come. I grew up a bit down I-70 from those folks, they will attend anything where there will be an audience.

    They had people at my high school graduation, every event at the universities in Kansas, every concert, every sporting event…they still show up all the damn time. I

  21. 21
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    All my life I’ve been using the phrase “tongue in cheek” to mean a kind of obviously-OTT parody, and now I find that I’ve been using it wrongly all these years. It actually means “harassment by proxy.”

    Damn, I feel so stupid

  22. 22
    SallyStrange

    As always, with the “it was just a joke” defense, I have to ask: Where precisely is the humor?

    The Westboro Baptists really would dislike secular women. Suppose they show up at WiS2. They wave their signs about how God hates everyone. People are annoyed and upset. What’s the punchline?

    No, seriously. I’m thinking about it and I don’t even get where the intended humor was going. Usually with bigot jokes, you can tell the intended punchline and its meaning (“Where is that marvelous ape?”) but here it’s not at all evident.

    I suppose it could be funny if you’re the type of person who enjoys watching other people suffer. Just a harmless bit of schadenfreude at an imaginary situation. The kind of thing that’s only funny to wannabe sociopaths, but hey. An attempt at humor.

    Except that Karla was talking WITH Shirley Phelps-Rober. Was this really a prank on Shirley? Oh, Karla doesn’t really think you should go to WiS2, Shirley, ha-ha! Just a joke, I’m sure it’s not too late to cancel those plane tickets.

    Right. That’s funny, or something.

    And you want me to believe you’re an honest, sincere person who just wants to have a bit of reasoned dialogue.

    Okay, you got me, because now I am laughing. Bitter, cynical laughter, but, still. Laughter. Well played, Karla. That was truly hilarious.

  23. 23
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    doubtthat, see the screen cap at Ophelia’s as posted above by Tigger. Yes, she did indeed tweet @WBC, with no joky overtones. And when WBC asked for more detail, she didn’t go “OMG not really just a joke”, but gave a practical answer about time and location.

  24. 24
    Hank_Says

    @13, notheotherguy

    …And there it is:

    “Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.”

    Porter said that?

    Even if we grant that it’s true that her intent was tongue-in-cheek (instead of being a disingenuous dodge), the fact remains that Porter pointed the fucking WBC at WiS.

    The WBC, whose attitudes toward everything from atheism to sexuality are well-known.
    The WBC, whose appreciation of subtlety is not a strong point.
    The WBC, whose hatred of anything non-Christian is fucking legendary.
    The WBC, whose status as a patriarchal fundamentalist authoritarian cult is obvious.

    Just what level of “tongue in cheek” do you think these clowns operate on, Porter? It’s not other atheists you have to worry about not appreciating your fucking comedic genius, it’s the hate-group that have become world-fucking-famous for publicly and proudly harassing and abusing those they hate to the point where they’re pariahs, even among other nutfuck fundamentalist cults.

    Porter, you’re a schmuck.

  25. 25
    Chris Clarke

    The punchline comes when a convincingly badly-dressed infiltrator joins the WBC crowd with a sign for the media reading “Follow WBC on Twitter. Handle: @Karla_Porter”

    Was that tongue-in-cheek?

  26. 26
    carlie

    Yeah. “Tongue in cheek”. Because that’s what the WBC people are known for, for taking things ironically and as a joke instead of literally. It makes perfect sense that she’d think that WBC would be in on the joke.

    I can’t believe she’s even trying that one.

  27. 27
    PZ Myers

    Writing directly to Shirley Phelps-Roper and getting a reply is just tongue-in-cheek humor? Really now?

  28. 28
    carlie

    Getting a reply, and then responding to the reply with actual information on where to find them. It’s sophisticated humor. Very sophisticated.

  29. 29
    Ophelia Benson

    She’s trying to accuse me of “drama” now but it’s not going all that well.

  30. 30
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Countdown until the word “nuanced” appears?

  31. 31
    echidna

    “Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.”

    That’s just bluster.

  32. 32
    athyco

    I’d like to hear her explain why she didn’t continue that wacky tongue in cheekiness in relation to the Pennsylvania Women Veterans Symposium 2013 on the weekend of March 8-10. The WBC likes to show up “for” the military, and I’m sure the WBC be glad to proclaim that such breakout sessions on how to deal with PTSD and joblessness are only necessary because these women were going against God’s will.

    What’s the relation between Karla Porter and the PWVS2013? She was the contact for vendors and display tables.

  33. 33
    doubtthat

    I think the word she was looking for was “prank.” If it was a joke, it was meant to be a mean joke.

    I say this not to defend Porter but to calm some fears (because I think there’s a good chance some contingent of Westboro actually shows up): they’re clowns. They’re harmless. You see their stupid signs, and that’s really about it. It’s sort of fun to counter-protest, and it provides a lot of great opportunities for same sex couples to engage in PDA right in front of them and otherwise taunt them.

    Like I say, they were present at every major event I was involved in from when my family moved to Kansas in 8th grade until I graduated from college. There’s nothing to fear, they aren’t the Klan. THey’re just really, really, really stupid and obnoxious. The only actual damage they do is when they pull their nonsense at funerals. Otherwise it’s a sideshow.

    Again, that doesn’t excuse Porter’s dirty little prank, but for anyone attending, don’t alter your plans because you think there will be a scene. If anything, it will be an amusing diversion.

  34. 34
    Stacy

    The Brave Hero is also unwilling to admit she disagrees with the goals of WiS2:

    Karla Porter @karla_porter
    Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.

    Ryan Munroe @NoTheOtherGuy
    @karla_porter Tounge in Cheek? You encouraged haters to attend and protest an event whose speaker and goals you disagree with? Funny

    Karla Porter ‏@karla_porter 1h
    @NoTheOtherGuy I disagree with the speaker and goals of the event? Do we know each other? I wasn’t encouraging.

    Cowardly little weasel.

  35. 35
    Stacy

    @doubtthat, the thing is, there will be people at that conference who may not be able to shrug off the WBC so easily.

    I know one transwoman (online, I haven’t met her IRL) who’s going to WiS2, who is dismayed at the possibility she might have to deal with those slugfuckers. Some people know perfectly well WBC are just vicious clowns, but that shit still can hurt.

  36. 36
    A. R

    So I’m just going to remind everyone that the WBC is the one organization that the fucking KKK thinks is too hateful. Think about that Karla Porter.

  37. 37
    Ron Sullivan

    Didn’t say whose tongue was in whose cheek, now did it? Or which set of cheeks was referenced.

  38. 38
    Jadehawk

    I wasn’t encouraging.

    vs.

    Have u heard of Women in Secularism 2 and if so, will u grace it with your presence?

    May 17-19 wash DC

    Porter might have intended it as a joke; she might not have intended to encourage them. But this is exactly why intent is such a worthless thing to consider: she did tell them about it and gave them the time and place.
    Could they have found out about it themselves? Sure. But at the time of the tweet, they clearly hadn’t yet. Giving them information they hadn’t had before and asking if they’ll attend functions like encouragement, regardless of what Porter thought she was doing

  39. 39
    Jadehawk

    Anyway, I think WBC won’t bother to show up. I don’t think we’ll be enough of a publicity stunt for them, and it’s on a weekend with a lot of different things going on. So there’s that, at least.

  40. 40
    Marcus Ranum

    I think WBC won’t bother to show up.

    Gosh, I hope not. I’d have to hire a whole busload of degenerates to come protest alongside them. It’d blow my tutu budget.

  41. 41
    SallyStrange

    @ Stacy

    “Slugfucker,” that’s a new one. I like it.

  42. 42
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    SallyStrange wrote:

    “Slugfucker,” that’s a new one. I like it.

    Huh. It’s a term I use specifically for people who drive far too slowly when I’m on my way home from work; not sure where I first heard it, though.

  43. 43
    Stacy

    Some friends of mine claimed to have come up with it decades ago while trying to coin a disgusting insult. Many great inventions have multiple inventors though.

  44. 44
    duce7999

    It wasn’t too long ago when the WBC announced that they would picket the funeral of my brother-in-law because he dared die in the service of the USMC. There is no excuse for this. It is putrid. I am not able to discover the humor. I hope this person gains a full understanding of what she did, followed by a very long life to bear it.

  45. 45
    kantalope

    This is the Karla Porter arrested for murder? She’s a bundle of laughs.

    This is almost as funny as SWATing: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-15/local/37742641_1_false-report-police-response-police-dispatcher

  46. 46
    Robert B.

    Captaintripps @ 12: Hey, I work with twelve-year-olds every day, and I’ve never seen any of them behave like this. For one thing, their jokes have punchlines. Also, they tend to be better liars – the sort of barefaced “No I didn’t!” we’re seeing here is more an eight-year-old sort of thing.

    Oh, and I’ve never seen them suggest targets to infamous hate groups, either. Almost forgot that part.

  47. 47
    athyco

    Jadehawk:

    Porter might have intended it as a joke; she might not have intended to encourage them. But this is exactly why intent is such a worthless thing to consider: she did tell them about it and gave them the time and place.

    Three minutes before Karla Porter tweeted to WBC, she tweeted to Vacula and Dr. Jennifer Hancock (The Bully Vaccine author whom she and Vacula later interviewed in their second BraveHero podcast):

    There’s a problem with bullying innocent people in this country@wbcshirl what’s ur opinion on it?

    The @wbcshirl didn’t link in the above tweet, but Porter clearly didn’t include the @justinvacula and @JentheHumanist in her 3-minute later direct tweet to Phelps. And Dr. Hancock’s opinion certainly wasn’t anywhere near “Contact them and steer them in a funny-to-you direction because you’re small fry they won’t pay attention to and they’ll probably be booked elsewhere for whatever you bring up.”

  48. 48
    gmacs

    Okay, I know this guy is a total shit. What he did is seriously low and unconscionable. Also, this would be a shitty thing for the WiS attendees to have to deal with. Also, there is evidence of emotional abuse of children/women within WBC

    That being said, every time I hear about WBC going to picket different events, I can’t help but feel a bit optimistic. WBC could just keep to themselves, indoctrinating and inculcating this crazy shit in their kids’ minds, and then setting up a terror group like the Hutaree. Instead they stick to completely legal protests. They do this in a way that both shows the bullshit inherent in the Bible for everyone to see, and that leaves an exposure to their younger members for possible means of escape.

    If WBC shows up, I would hold on to the hope that perhaps one or two young members see proud, liberated men and women (and possibly gender-unidentified people) who don’t give a shit about what society expects of them based on gender, and that it would have an effect. I like the thought that this could seed the conversion of a WBC youth to a liberated feminist, and would thus really piss off Porter.

    That being said, it is still really, really fucked up.

  49. 49
    SallyStrange

    Arrested for murder? I note your link has nothing to do with that charge. Please STFU if you’re trolling.

  50. 50
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    It’s hilarious how these assholes inviting the WBC to protest us don’t realize that they’re so stupid because all their doing, in effect, is solidifying mainstream public opinion (which hates WBC) in our favor. Mainstream thinking on the WBC goes something like this (even for evangelical christians): the WBC is evil, the WBC is monstrous, the WBC is vile, anyone the WBC hates and pickets must be saintly in some unforseen way, and therefore one of ‘us’ (non-extremist mainstream).

    So in effect these dolts are just solidifying mainstream political opinion in our favor…Brilliant strategy!! :lol:

  51. 51
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Really? REALLY!?!

    *fuming with incoherent rage*

  52. 52
    gmacs

    In case anyone is wondering, a similar thing happened to one of their members in the past few years.

  53. 53
    gmacs

    Shit, um here?

  54. 54
    tccc

    My take on the WBC people, who are mostly all family and extended family of the founder, is that most of them are victims. They are victims of an abusive, controlling man who has brainwashed them through fear and probably physical violence.

    If you read the accounts of the family members who have escaped, they all tell a story of verbal, mental and physical abuse and skirt around the topic of other forms of abuse.

    Should I ever be in a position to attend one of their protests I will have a sign and maybe small cards with an easy to remember phone number for an appropriate organization that can help victims of such abuse and I will be trying to convince the WBC members that they do not have to live like they are living, they can get help, safe shelter and be free of coercive damaging abuse.

  55. 55
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    My take on the WBC people, who are mostly all family and extended family of the founder, is that most of them are victims. They are victims of an abusive, controlling man who has brainwashed them through fear and probably physical violence.

    If you read the accounts of the family members who have escaped, they all tell a story of verbal, mental and physical abuse and skirt around the topic of other forms of abuse.

    Should I ever be in a position to attend one of their protests I will have a sign and maybe small cards with an easy to remember phone number for an appropriate organization that can help victims of such abuse and I will be trying to convince the WBC members that they do not have to live like they are living, they can get help, safe shelter and be free of coercive damaging abuse.

    I was in a cult myself, two of them actually, one for like nine years. I definitely think this is the most compassionate and appropriate approach and would highly encourage FTB staff members, should they encounter WBC cult members, to have such materials on hand to hand out to them, and be willing to give them hugs too; they need hugs. What they are going through is very traumatic. :(

  56. 56
    SallyStrange

    Should I ever be in a position to attend one of their protests I will have a sign and maybe small cards with an easy to remember phone number for an appropriate organization that can help victims of such abuse and I will be trying to convince the WBC members that they do not have to live like they are living, they can get help, safe shelter and be free of coercive damaging abuse.

    I actually think that’s a pretty fantastic response, but not really germane to the ethics of siccing a WBC protest on a group you don’t like.

  57. 57
    SallyStrange

    FTB staff members

    Hee hee.

  58. 58
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    Hee hee.

    Well they’re advancing the One World Illuminati Reptile Agenda while PZ pushes thoughts into their heads with a telepathic Cult Leader chip, the staff better be a fearful and machiavellian cabal of dastardly femi-stasis! Get ready to make statues of PZ in every major city!!

    Oh, where was I, sorry. Anyway, I guess the phrasing was a little wonky, lol, “FTB staff members”. I should have said FTB community.

    Hiya btw :+)

  59. 59
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Xposted from Butterflies and Wheels:

    Hey! She responds on her blog! http://personal.karlaporter.com/post/49834626607/words-at-odds Some high(low?)lights:

    It has come to my attention that some people view my Twitter exchange that day with a representative of the sect asking if they had plans to attend an upcoming event – as a provocative action on my part, interpreting it as though I was inciting a protest by alerting them to something they could easily research on their own had they interest whatsoever, or could simply follow via the hashtag conversation on Twitter itself.

    It isn’t a ‘secret’ event – there is a website, social media, etc., and if one does not know of the event it would be only due to the lack of a good PR job by event promoters and or lack of interest in the subject matter. To the contrary, I find they have done a diligent job of promoting the event. To be clear, I have no interest in or wish for this group to protest the event. The attendees, the respected organization behind the event, and the presenters don’t need protest drama, and I wouldn’t cast an evil spell like that on the venue even if I could.

    While I find it intriguing that it appears to some I had the power to do just that, let me state for the record, I have no such power at all. Actually – no one does, at least to my knowledge.

    For some reason, I hear lots of corporate speak about challenges and no one having the power to make you feel bad without your permission. Must be an ear tick.

    You can read the rest for yourself, but heh. “This is all SOOOOOO five months ago, the fact that the con is coming up should play no role, and what DRAAAMAAA LAAAMAAAAS! It’s worse that you’re repeating this! Fear-mongering! LOL!” Basically sums it up.

  60. 60
    Jadehawk

    Sally, kantalope seems to be referring to this Karla Porter; a completely different one from the one under discussion.

  61. 61
    sonderval

    @Gen, Uppity Ingrade
    The interesting thing about that blog post is what is omitted: Karla Porter is giving absolutely no reason whatever why she twittered to the WBC. If she is so unimportant and if alerting the WBC is completely useless, what exactly was the point? She is not even calling it a joke.

  62. 62
    rorschach

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. We should have a dialogue with WBC, see if we can find some common ground.

  63. 63
    Jadehawk

    The attendees, the respected organization behind the event, and the presenters don’t need protest drama, and I wouldn’t cast an evil spell like that on the venue even if I could.

    so her defense of her telling WBC about the event which they didn’t know about beforehand is that she thinks doing so couldn’t possibly lead to the WBC actually deciding to show up.

    Fascinating.

    Wonder if she’d tweet the same “joke” at Arapaio, asking if he was planning on showing up to a conference for and about immigrants in the U.S. Because of course the risk of Arapaio bringing his thugs and hurting anyone would be so small, no one should consider such “joking” to be toxic. Right?

  64. 64
    SallyStrange

    I think it’s a brilliant idea. We should have a dialogue with WBC, see if we can find some common ground.

    You reckon Mick Nugent is busy? I hear he’s quite the peacemaker. Hey, whatever happened to that guy?

  65. 65
    gmacs

    Rorschach,

    I don’t know about the others, but I wasn’t talking about common ground. I was talking about undermining the fuckers and providing Phelps’ grandchildren a reasonable means and inspiration for leaving.

  66. 66
    rorschach

    I note that Aratina Cage mentions a previous attempt to alert WBC on that B&W thread.

    I know what’s good for my health and will hence not be holding my breath for any comments condemning such abominable tactics from Blackford/Kirby/Hale and consorts.

  67. 67
    Anathema

    @ gmacs:

    When Roschach referred to finding common ground with the WBC, I don’t think he was equating attempts to help members of the WBC to escape their hate cult, so much as he was mocking the people who say that feminists atheists should try to find common ground or engage in dialogue with the Slymepitters.

  68. 68
    Alex the Pretty Good

    “Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek. Today I was accused of trying to sic WBC on WISC2 – let’s get real.”

    Dutch A-hole: Hey Fritz, have you ever heard of the Achterhuis?
    Fritz: Nein. Waz ist thaz?
    Dutch A-hole: Prinsengracht 263, Amsterdam. Ask for the family Frank.

    … a few years later …

    Dutch A-hole: Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek.

    (Yes, I went there … I Godwinned the thread before post 100, and I don’t feel sorry.)

  69. 69
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    The moment you realise your beliefs are in accordance with those of the WBC should be the moment you realise you are wrong. However, I don’t hold much hope…

  70. 70
    Louis

    So someone has deliberately tried to alert* the WBC hate group to WiS2, and is now trying to walk it back as “humour” or “hey I can’t MAKE them turn up, besides there was advertising already”.

    {Wink and the gun}

    Stay classy!

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is actually quite an unpleasant thing to do. Whether or not the WBC were aware previously, or hypothetically would have become aware of WiS2, and whether or not they would have picketed it under either circumstance is totally irrelevant. The dodgy act is that this person deliberately and definitely brought the WiS2 event to the attention of the WBC, thus removing any doubt that they knew about it, with the demonstrable and specific intent that the WBC show up, presumably to do their usual routine.

    “Have u heard of Women in Secularism 2 and if so, will u grace it with your presence?”.

    It’s right there, “will u grace it with your presence?”. An explicit demonstration of intent to a) make the WBC aware, and b) as far as is possible for any non-WBC person to do short of paid inducement, request they turn up.

    Okay, so the WBC are funny. I can see that. They turn up. People laugh and mock. They go away. Hilarious. Oh but wait…there’s some other term in that equation I’ve missed. They don’t just turn up do they? They turn up and harass people. Hmmmm, I wonder, is that significant?

    I just hope the relevant people at the Slymepit and sundry venues, plus their dispersed ideological chums who are aware of this act of silliness, are having a very diverse set of reactions to this, and some honest debate is occurring about how useful and pleasant this sort of “sick the WBC on ‘em” type behaviour is. After all they are a diverse group of over 9000 intelligent, principled individuals or something, right? And not a series of fora for various haters, misogynists, clowns and a handful of bitter muppets who are still smarting from being banned from a blog or two, that’s right out. Well, good to know this silly act is going to receive ringing criticism. right?

    Louis

    *Whether they were alerted previously or not is a moot point.

  71. 71
    John Morales

    [OT]

    SallyStrange,

    Hey, whatever happened to that guy?

    He’s back to regular blogging whilst the “dialogue” has basically ground to a halt.

  72. 72
    Louis

    I left AtBC a while ago, one of the things that makes me guffaw to this day is that there were a few of them who were agreeing with a fundamentalist chuckling funster that my (at the time, new realised) alignment with various feminist ideals was abhorrent. Yes, for those who know her, when I departed AtBC there were people there who were uncritically agreeing with FTK because she was on the anti-feminist side. That’s a level of irony I cannot cope with. You could set your clock by how wrong FTK was on any given issue. The woman is and was out of her intellectual depth in a shallow puddle of spit. When you agree with FTK, you really should examine your ideas. When you are on the side of the WBC, it’s time to wake up and smell what you are shovelling.

    So far we have a subsection of anti-feminists who are aligning themselves with A Voice For Men and the Westboro Baptist Church. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Look, I know debates get heated sometimes, especially debates about such nebulous things as values, but really? There’s no way any honest person can condone this.

    Louis

  73. 73
    John Morales

    Louis:

    So far we have a subsection of anti-feminists who are aligning themselves with A Voice For Men and the Westboro Baptist Church. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

    Not actually aligning; sick siccing.

  74. 74
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @SallyStrange #49

    I assume kantalope was referring to this, but judging from the pictures it’s quite obviously not the same Karla Porter.

  75. 75
    Nick Gotts

    So far we have a subsection of anti-feminists who are aligning themselves with A Voice For Men and the Westboro Baptist Church.

    No, no – they’re equity feminists. Just like AVfM and WBC.

  76. 76
    Louis

    Nick Gotts,

    Ah yes, I forgot. “Equity” feminists.

    Those are the “feminists” who claim they disenfranchise and discriminate against all women equally, right?

    Louis

  77. 77
    Louis

    John,

    I said “aligning”, I meant “aligning”, and I was right to do so. After all, what else are these people doing other than looking for groups who share their anti-feminist views in some (likely superficial) fashion, despite other vast differences, and implying common cause? The “alerting the WBC” is shit-stirring, trouble making pure and simple. But such shit stirring can only be done in the manner it is because the person doing so knows that the WBC is (likely) anti-femiist too. What else is in it for the WBC other than disrupting an explicitly secular feminist meeting?

    Whoever did this is not tweeting first wave/second wave feminist groups or super-left wing ultra intersectionalist third wave feminists who might have a legitimate, fact based disagreements with some other feminist stance. They’re deliberately courting groups with similar anti-feminist ideologies. Aligning is exactly right.

    Louis

  78. 78
    hyperdeath

    If someone were to contact her business associates about her dealings with Westboro Baptist Church, they’d all see the joke, right?

  79. 79
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    One of the usual FtB haters encouraged Westboro Baptist to come to Women in Secularism.

    What the Fuck? That is seriously fucked up.

  80. 80
    vaiyt

    Some people are really bad at understanding tongue in cheek.

    It’s a bit hard to “understand your tongue in cheek” when it’s undistinguishable from you being serious.

  81. 81
    sonderval

    @hyperdeath
    Please don’t do that – not even as a joke. We should be better than that, shouldn’t we?

  82. 82
    Hank_Says

    I don’t know, sonderval – I think I’d like to know if a business contact, potential employee or prospective employer was trying to get an infamous hate group to attend an event and harass the attendees. Even if it was a stupid, careless and complete not-funny joke (which I don’t think it was), doing so betrays a serious character deficit and lapse in judgement.

    Then again, Porter may well come around sometime soon and a post a mea culpa, displaying more character and courage than I’m currently giving her credit for.

  83. 83
    John Morales

    Mandrellian

    Then again, Porter may well come around sometime soon and a post a mea culpa, displaying more character and courage than I’m currently giving her credit for.

    She could hardly have displayed less.

  84. 84
    ChristineRose

    The best way to deal with the WBC is the creep-a-thon. Get people to pledge by the minute to appropriate charities. Passersby who have no interest in the convention will want to give generously. When the WBC gets there you offer them free food and nice chairs and whatever conveniences are necessary to make their long stay a pleasant one.

    Ironically if you make it clear that you are going to do one you decrease the odds of the stars showing up. Keep in mind that they announce that they are going to harass far more people than it is physically possible for them visit. Therefore if you actually want them to show up you need to give them as much advance publicity as possible to outweigh their dislike of actual charitable behavior.

  85. 85
    sonderval

    @hankstar
    If we consider it bad form and a kind of harrassment by proxy to alert the WBC to the WIS conference (an information that is freely available on the web), why would it not be bad form and harrassment by proxy to alert Porter’s business partners to her behaviour (an information that is also freely available on the internet)?

  86. 86
    rorschach

    If someone were to contact her business associates

    Guys, please don’t do that. Just don’t ok.

  87. 87
    WithinThisMind

    As tempting as it is to give such assholes a taste of their own medicine, we are better than that.

  88. 88
    crocodoc

    Trolling at new dephts? No way, the Mariana trench of trolling is still the good old feminazi. Connecting people who claim a right for equality with industrial style mass murder, exploiting the (justified) aversion that sane people have against nazis, is still lightyears ahead of setting up WBC and WIS against each other. And, even if Karla Porter certainly did not intend to be helpful – there’s much worse publicity than WBC protesting against you.

  89. 89
    w00dview

    A new fucking low. There is not enough deep rifts within the atheist community for my liking. Decent human beings should have nothing to do with these scumbags. If this does not convince people that both sides are in fact, not just as bad as each other, I don’t know what will.

  90. 90
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    They’re harmless.

    No, the WBC is not harmless.

    First, they provide a fig leaf for main stream Christianity. The WBC allow the SBC, and all the other right-wing conservative authoritarian churches who are actively fighting civil rights, to point to the WBC and say, in effect, see, we are the middle. Those people are the whackos.

    Second, I know a family who’ son died in Iraq. WBC made some noise that they would attend his funeral. His parents were so frightened of this happening that made an already unbearable situation even worse.

    Third, many people, many of us, have already been abused in many different ways. The actions of the WBC are an attempt to further abuse people until they (in the hopes of the WBC) change who they are to placate the abusers. There is no way possible to eliminate all triggers for all attendees. Asking a potential major trigger to attend does not make attendees feel welcome. Which may have been her object (before she realized it was just a joke).

    Harmless? I doubt that.

  91. 91
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    THANKS Karla. Thanks so very fucking much.

    I was going to go to WiS2 in a skirt and with my falsies cause it was a fucking safe place. I would be surrounded by people who would beat the shit out of people who would say any wrong words.

    Now that the WBC has the scent, I can’t do that anymore. WiS2 is no longer a safe place for a trans-woman like myself.

    Thanks for your “joke.”

  92. 92
    hyperdeath

    Agreed. I’ll leave the rampant pettiness to them.

    (I wasn’t actually planning to do anything. I was just imagining the elaborate mental gymnastics she would perform in such a situation. “How dare you accuse me of something completely trivial!”)

  93. 93
    PZ Myers

    Don’t say that. WiS2 will be a safe place — it’s going to be attended by a lot of fierce people who aren’t going to put up with that shit.

  94. 94
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @PZ:

    I’m scared enough as it is to even ponder the idea. Toss WBC into the mix and you’ve got even more panick attack potential.

  95. 95
    irisvanderpluym

    Cross-posted from Ophelia’s thread:

    WIS Attendees: let’s moon them. Who’s with me?

    Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon – I’m so sorry. I just want to say I will be there and I will have your back.

  96. 96
    chrisho-stuart

    I don’t think there’s any serious prospect of Westboro showing up. This kind of conference is not their usual target, and they also tend to publicize in advance any picket they are contemplating. That’s their modus operandi: in fact they announce more pickets than they actually conduct. To my knowledge, they never show up unannounced.

    Porter’s tweets to Westboro were back in January. It’s a good example of some of the really bottom of the barrel actions in the various wars between skeptics. But IMO the real concern is the kind of behaviour being shown by skeptics, rather than actual risk of Westboro showing up.

    On the off chance I am wrong about this, it’s worth noting that the group is abusive but not violent; and in any case there will be plenty of protection for people who find Westboro threatening.

  97. 97
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    This was posted in comment # 32:

    What’s the relation between Karla Porter and the PWVS2013? She was the contact for vendors and display tables.

    “Wait, what’s PWVS2013?”, you ask…

    Pennsylvania Women Veterans Symposium 2013

    Wondering why I’m quoting this? Well, let me enlighten you:

    I’m quoting this because some twits seem to think that this odious shitstain named Karla Porter, who is perfectly willing to sic the WBC on the attendees and presenters of other conferences and symposia, is somehow not deserving of having her odious actions brought to light so that she can keep on participating in public events where the WBC wouldn’t be welcome.

    I say: Nope. She wants to sic the WBC on conferences? Then she deserves to have her business contacts know what a low-down, disgusting human being she is. She thinks siccing the WBC on organizations is “a joke”? Then let’s see how funny her clients and co-workers think it is. Do you think that if someone had sicced the WBC on the PWVS2013 that it would be thought of as a funny joke that didn’t deserve real and long lasting consequences?

    I’d not hesitate to expose a racist, sexist, misogynistic, ableist, or any-other-ist and I certainly won’t hesitate to expose this piece of scum.

  98. 98
    Nick Gotts

    I’m quoting this because some twits seem to think that this odious shitstain named Karla Porter, who is perfectly willing to sic the WBC on the attendees and presenters of other conferences and symposia, is somehow not deserving of having her odious actions brought to light so that she can keep on participating in public events where the WBC wouldn’t be welcome… I certainly won’t hesitate to expose this piece of scum. – kate_waters

    Nobody said she’s not deserving of it. Sure she is. What people have said is “we’re better than that”. I ask you to reconsider.

  99. 99
    ChasCPeterson

    This is your attitude towards it. Good for you that you’re unaffected by it, I guess. You’re privileged like that and should be grateful for such a circumstance.

    So you’re saying that although it’s true that she

    deserves

    X, it would still be wrong for her to actually be Xed. (where have I seen that argument before?)

  100. 100
    ChasCPeterson

    gah, fucked that one up completely. Wrong quote, bq instead of itals…always preview!

    It was unimportant anyway, please ignore.

  101. 101
    doubtthat

    @96

    I don’t think there’s any serious prospect of Westboro showing up. This kind of conference is not their usual target, and they also tend to publicize in advance any picket they are contemplating.

    I think you’re vastly overestimating the coherence of their message. They don’t target events for any particular reason, they target publicity. They discovered that news networks will cover the funerals of soldiers, so they hit those hard, but I remember them protesting a BB King concert in Lawrence. Where there’s a crowd, they will try to go.

    I doubt you’ll get the full package at WiS2, but it doesn’t take much to get a half-dozen of those goofballs to show up.

    First, they provide a fig leaf for main stream Christianity. The WBC allow the SBC, and all the other right-wing conservative authoritarian churches who are actively fighting civil rights, to point to the WBC and say, in effect, see, we are the middle. Those people are the whackos.

    As I’ve said before, I grew up in Kansas. I grew up less than an hour from their headquarters. The whack-a-doodle churches in Kansas don’t even take them seriously. They are marginalized to an incredible degree, even in the religious community. They are so absurd that they generate publicity, but it’s a tiny little group of crazy people. They have no political sway, and no ability to do any real harm.

    Second, I know a family who’ son died in Iraq. WBC made some noise that they would attend his funeral. His parents were so frightened of this happening that made an already unbearable situation even worse.

    THere’s a reason I specifically mentioned that type of action as an exception. That’s where they hurt people, but it has to be pointed out how completely incoherent their message is on that issue. They picket military funerals because they believe God kills soldiers in Iraq to punish the United States for tolerating homosexuality.

    I cannot impress upon you the degree to which this has made their already irrelevant organization a total pariah, even among wierdo religious folks. They are hurting people who have lost loved ones, and that is unbelievably petty, but it’s also a discreet, individual harm. They have exactly zero affect on a societal level, and have done more to discredit that worldview among evangelicals than all the atheist billboards in the country combined.

    I agree with you that they’re trying to abuse people, but all I can say is that you should really, really attend one of their protests. Words cannot describe how insanely pathetic they are. They aren’t bullies, they don’t have enough power to cause any real pain (outside of that funeral context).

    Their media significance vastly exceeds their actual impact to a hilarious degree. When you see them in person I promise that your first reaction will be unrestrained laughter.

  102. 102
    doubtthat

    That was @90, and a quote mess up.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    irisvanderpluym

    doubtthat 101:

    They aren’t bullies, they don’t have enough power to cause any real pain (outside of that funeral context).

    They are causing real harm right now. See: Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon at 91 and 94.

  105. 105
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Nick Gotts #98:

    Who’s this “we” you’re referring to? I can tell you that I’m certainly not part of it, whatever it is.

    But that aside, could you please explain to me why you think exposing her to the consequences of her actions is somehow a bad thing? Do you think the organizers of PWVS should continue working with someone who is comfortable chatting up the WBC and trying to turn them into her personal hitsquad?

    I think Ms. Porter ought to have to explain to veterans and their supporters what the joke is, so that when WBC shows up to picket another soldier’s funeral they can all have a good laugh over it.

  106. 106
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    doubtthat:

    I notice you pretty much ignored the point of my #90. You agree that they abuse people. I took that a stop further and pointed out that their actions really do hurt people, especially those who have already been abused for being who they are and not changing to become what their abuser wanted them to be. Even pathetic groups can hurt people.

    For an example, just look at what irisvanderpluym wrote:

    They are causing real harm right now. See: Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon at 91 and 94.

  107. 107
    Gregory Greenwood

    I fail to see the humour in conspiring to invite the Westboro Baptist Church – a group of theistic bigots who are infamous for the hatred-mongering and flaming arseholery even on this side of the Atlantic – to disrupt a feminist meeting and attempt to intimidate the attendees.

    Either Porter is seriously humour deficient or, much more likely, this is the standard anti-feminist ‘it was just a joke; lighten up’ defence for yet another act of unwarrented aggression against those who actually dare to say that women are people too.

    This is such a new low that Porter should be forthwith recognised as a global authority on barrel-scraping.

  108. 108
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @kate waters

    Normally I would be firmly against stooping to her level, but if her job involves organising conferences for women, then I do actually think her employers need to know about her actions. A misogynist who is willing to ally themselves with the WBC should not be allowed any part in the organisation of a conference for women.

  109. 109
    kantalope

    ok, I would admit that the Karla link to murder was a bit of trolling as I had never heard of this ‘person’ and the first google hits for whatshername (Karla Porter) was for a murder trial. But when trying to find out about someone’s odious behavior googles up someone with the same name acting even more odiously…well I was amused.

    But Sally, if you can’t see the parallels between siccing Westboro Baptist on someone and SWATing (a term that probably needs explaining – thus my link) then your parallelometer needs recalculating. But I’ll spell it out for you: Alerting Westboro Baptist to an event is like falsely reporting a crime in progress at someone’s house so that the SWAT team shows up. It is stupid and dangerous, in both instances.

    And as for not telling the Pennsylvania Women Veterans Symposium 2013 – that this ‘human being’ is willing to have ANY contact with Westboro Baptist: I think that those Veterans really have a right to know. If I am happily giving business and cordial conversation with someone that is, behind my back, acting in ways that are antithetical to my interests – I would want to know. Otherwise, I am just a dupe.

    Is that where the humor comes from? Bullying-by-Proxy and Jokes On You? So funny when you get back to the mean-girl’s table?

  110. 110
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @thumper:

    That is exactly my point. I’m surprised that no one else got it.

  111. 111
    irisvanderpluym

    @ kate_waters, Nick Gotts:

    I find myself in quite the state of cognitive dissonance: I actually agree with both of you. I think Pennsylvania Women Veterans really ought to know what she did here. OTOH, by contacting PWV directly we would be engaging in the same shitty tactic we condemn when done by her — namely, JAQing off to an organization whose actions in response may cause her direct harm — regardless of whether we are on the side of the (metaphorical) angels when we do so.

    Still, I think calling it “stooping to her level” is not a fair way to describe such an action, because I believe striking back against bullies using their own tactics is not in the same moral category as bullying itself: it is somewhat more akin to self-defense. I guess maybe I come out in the middle, thinking that mockery and ridicule fired in Porter’s direction is more than justified. Perhaps I’ll spend the day pasting pictures of Porter’s head into pictures of WBC protests while I think about it. You know: in case I feel like posting and tweeting them later.

    One last thought: How likely is it that someone associated with PWV reads her blog or follows her on Twitter, and would find out anyway (or already has)? How likely is it that her future prospective clients will Google her and find this post or Ophelia’s near the top of the results? If it comes back to bite her professionally with no action whatsoever on our part, that seems to me the best possible outcome. Laziness FTW.

  112. 112
    gmacs

    Anathema,

    Looking at it now that I’ve actually slept, you’re right.

    Sorry, Rorschach.

  113. 113
    glodson

    I’m scared enough as it is to even ponder the idea. Toss WBC into the mix and you’ve got even more panick attack potential.

    This is what makes my blood boil over these stupid acts. They know their harassment has an effect. They know it will hurt others. But it is just a silly joke to them. They don’t care that it will have real effects on real people.

    They don’t care. This is why people like Karla Porter need to be called out. This is why it is important for people like me, people not effected, to speak out. I fucking hate that she’s turned something good, something that should be safe, into an event that can cause stress.

    I only wish I could be there to support those who feel that it isn’t safe now.

  114. 114
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @irisvanderpluym #111:

    So do nothing and hope it all works out in the end is your solution?

    I understand why some may take that view of the situation, but I am not content to let the winds of fate decide whether or not this poor excuse for a human being gets to keep working with women’s organizations.

  115. 115
    David Marjanović

    The stupid oxide! It stinks!

    Karla Porter: too stupid even to troll.

    Should I ever be in a position to attend one of their protests I will have a sign and maybe small cards with an easy to remember phone number for an appropriate organization that can help victims of such abuse and I will be trying to convince the WBC members that they do not have to live like they are living, they can get help, safe shelter and be free of coercive damaging abuse.

    Man ruins Westboro Baptist Church protest in the best way possible.

    What’s more impressive, actually, is the guy in the Guy Fawkes mask in the picture. Look how they all avoid making eye contact with him, even though looking in his direction would mean to look at the camera.

    They know Anonymous doesn’t forgive, they know Anonymous doesn’t forget, and they fear Anonymous.

    Katherine Lorraine, put such a mask on.

    For the first time, the gods knew fear. They tried to flee, but it was too late.

  116. 116
    David Marjanović

    They know their harassment has an effect. They know it will hurt others.

    Well, no. They don’t think that far in the first place. That is the problem.

  117. 117
    glodson

    Well, no. They don’t think that far in the first place. That is the problem.

    You might be right. Maybe they don’t think that far. Doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse for this. Either they don’t think that far, which is a failure to think. Or they do think that far and just don’t care.

  118. 118
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Don’t contact her employers/associates. Just be sure to spell out Westboro Baptist Church, instead of abbreviating. And comment on many forums (in related posts/forums only, no need to spam) about how Karla Porter tried to sic the Westboro Baptist Church on people she didn’t like. When people google Karla Porter’s name, perhaps they will be treated to plenty of results about her association with the Westboro Baptist Church.

  119. 119
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Erülóra Maikalambe #118:

    Please explain WHY you think it’s wrong to contact people directly about this matter or why a veteran’s association shouldn’t be informed that they’re associating themselves with someone who is willing to try to turn the WBC into their personal hitsquad.

  120. 120
    Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

    This seems to be the lady

  121. 121
    Randomfactor

    The WBC, whose attitudes toward everything from atheism to sexuality are well-known.

    Yeah, but people just don’t get tongue-in-cheek, remember?

  122. 122
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Please explain WHY you think it’s wrong to contact people directly about this matter or why a veteran’s association shouldn’t be informed that they’re associating themselves with someone who is willing to try to turn the WBC into their personal hitsquad.

    A) I failed to reload the page and read the rest of the comments before posting that, so I knew nothing about the veteran’s association. Mea culpa.

    2) It strikes me as being similar to somebody emailing my boss and telling him I’m an outspoken atheist.

    D) Does this veteran’s association use Google? Do they vet (no pun intended) the people they work with? Is it your job to tell them how to do theirs?

  123. 123
    Stacy

    Karla Porter does not work for the Pennsylvania Women’s Veterans. She helped organize a conference for them, or something like that.

    I’m not sure but I believe Karla Porter is self-employed.

  124. 124
    glodson

    2) It strikes me as being similar to somebody emailing my boss and telling him I’m an outspoken atheist.

    It isn’t that she’s got a position that we revile. It isn’t the same as trying to out someone for a position on religion, or politics, or whatever. It is that she’s trying to encourage harassment by actively recruiting a group well known for such acts. Harassment by proxy.

  125. 125
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    I just hope the slope isn’t slippery.

  126. 126
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Another thing about my 118. I regret phrasing it as “Don’t contact her employers/associates.” I should not have said that. It’s not my place to tell people not to do that. I should have just said that I’m uncomfortable with it, because that’s all it is. I’m sorry.

  127. 127
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Erülóra Maikalambe:

    I think equating being an atheist with siccing a hate group on someone you don’t like is a false equivalence of epic proportions and it’s incredibly insulting that you would attempt to paint the two as being in any way similar.

    I also never said that PWVS is her employer, just that she’s been associated with them and may be associated with them again in the future. As someone who has deep respect for veterans I think they deserve to have this brought to their attention since the group Ms. Porter contacted is one that has said and done some very disgusting, upsetting and hateful things to veterans and the families of veterans.

    That you think this is a “slippery slope” says much about your attitudes towards fighting bigotry and hate.

    If you want to stick your head in the sand and hope it all works out in the end you go right ahead. I choose not to because I know from experience that if you just hope things will work out you are, in fact, only perpetuating the status quo. (In this case it would be the ideas that what people do on the internet has no impact on real life, that the active spread of hate is only the problem of the group specifically being targeted, that “free speech” is equivalent to “speech free of consequences”, that organizations always know everything about those with whom they have associations, and that calling out bigotry and “isms” publicly is a bad thing.)

  128. 128
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I also never said that PWVS is her employer, just that she’s been associated with them and may be associated with them again in the future. As someone who has deep respect for veterans…

    More importantly, women veterans. I would think any woman’s group would want to be warned if they were associating with someone like Karla Porter.

  129. 129
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    I think equating being an atheist with siccing a hate group on someone you don’t like is a false equivalence

    Good thing that’s not what I did, then.

  130. 130
  131. 131
    glodson

    I think equating being an atheist with siccing a hate group on someone you don’t like is a false equivalence

    Good thing that’s not what I did, then.

    What do you call this?

    2) It strikes me as being similar to somebody emailing my boss and telling him I’m an outspoken atheist.

  132. 132
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Erülóra Maikalambe:

    I think you’ve forgotten that people can actually see what you’ve written previously and quote it.

    From your #122:

    2) It strikes me as being similar to somebody emailing my boss and telling him I’m an outspoken atheist.

    Care to own what you said, or should everyone just pretend they can’t read?

  133. 133
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    …and ninja’d by glodson at # 131!

  134. 134
    Nick Gotts

    kate_waters,

    The “we” I referred to are those of us on the anti-misogynist side of the “deep rift”. But having asked you to reconsider, I find I’m doing so myself. I was thinking of the propaganda use the slymepitters will make of the issue, and the means of retaliation they may find (it can’t affect me personally, but others could be vulnerable to stuff being sent to their employers). But on reflection, I’m inclined to think you’re right: her business associates should know what a shitbag she is, given the line of work she’s in.

  135. 135
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    That you think this is a “slippery slope” says much about your attitudes towards fighting bigotry and hate.

    Your quotation marks imply that you are quoting me, when you’re not. I did not say I think it is a slippery slope, I said I hope it is not. Please stop misrepresenting me.

  136. 136
    glodson

    @kate_waters

    It happens. I was just taken aback by the statement. The false equivalence leaped out at me. Even more than the notion that instead of directly contacting her business contacts that we smear her name as much as possible in a variety of places with the hopes that others see it. That… just seems an odd approach to me.

  137. 137
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @glodson:

    I agree completely. It is very strange and seems passive-aggressive in the extreme. I don’t think this person is overly burdened by logic, though since they also seem to think that their intent is magic.

  138. 138
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    For fucks sake! I said that contacting her employer/associates over something she said on Twitter strikes me as similar to contacting my employer over things I’ve said online. I did not say that contacting hate groups is like being an atheist.

    Fuck this. This is exactly why I don’t come to Pharyngula anymore. Everything I say gets twisted, dissected and scrutinized until a way is found to make me look like an asshole. Fuck you.

  139. 139
    glodson

    For fucks sake! I said that contacting her employer/associates over something she said on Twitter strikes me as similar to contacting my employer over things I’ve said online. I did not say that contacting hate groups is like being an atheist.

    Pay attention. It isn’t that she made a tweet. It is that she contacted the Phelps family via tweeter. She contacted them. So if you misunderstood that, that’s fine. Admit to the mistake. That mistake will explain why you didn’t see the problem with your statement and the use of the false equivalency.

    Fuck this. This is exactly why I don’t come to Pharyngula anymore. Everything I say gets twisted, dissected and scrutinized until a way is found to make me look like an asshole. Fuck you.

    Hate to tell you, but you did that on your own. Either by making a mistake, or by intentionally overlooking vital parts of the postings and story. Don’t know which.

  140. 140
    glodson

    Fucked that last one.

    For fucks sake! I said that contacting her employer/associates over something she said on Twitter strikes me as similar to contacting my employer over things I’ve said online. I did not say that contacting hate groups is like being an atheist.

    Pay attention. It isn’t that she made a tweet. It is that she contacted the Phelps family via tweeter. She contacted them. So if you misunderstood that, that’s fine. Admit to the mistake. That mistake will explain why you didn’t see the problem with your statement and the use of the false equivalency.

    Fuck this. This is exactly why I don’t come to Pharyngula anymore. Everything I say gets twisted, dissected and scrutinized until a way is found to make me look like an asshole. Fuck you.

    Hate to tell you, but you did that on your own. Either by making a mistake, or by intentionally overlooking vital parts of the postings and story. Don’t know which.

  141. 141
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    “Hate to tell you, but you did that on your own. Either by making a mistake, or by intentionally overlooking vital parts of the postings and story. Don’t know which.”

    Because anybody who sucks at communicating should be shunned. I know. I’ve learned that here before. Not sure what got into me thinking I should try posting here again.

  142. 142
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Nick Gotts:

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    @Erülóra Maikalambe:

    Maybe the problem is that you think you’re above having your words criticized?

    You said something that came across as being pretty stupid. You then assumed that your internal intent was enough to make your meaning clear. Then you threw a hissy fit and decided that people taking your words at face value was somehow people being meanies.

    I think you might wan to re-think the reasons why you get those reactions.

    (Hint: Intent isn’t magic and you need to think long and hard about what you say before you say it if you want to avoid all criticism.)

  143. 143
    glodson

    Because anybody who sucks at communicating should be shunned. I know. I’ve learned that here before. Not sure what got into me thinking I should try posting here again.

    You aren’t being shunned. You are having people engage with you, and explaining why they don’t agree with you. In fact, while we disagree with your position, you are being treated fairly.

    If we ignored you, that would be shunning. And being bad at commenting is fine, as long as one attempts to deal with errors they’ve made honestly. I’ve made errors, and I try to own up to them. Or concede points if my position is shown to be lacking.

    I don’t know what you thought was going on here, but your statements indicate that you either didn’t fully read, or understand, the original story. It happens. That’s the good explanation, in that it was just a mistake which led to miscommunication. The alternative is that you did understand and are being dishonest. That’s bad.

    Doesn’t matter. I don’t see what the problem is. I’ve been trying to engage you fairly. No one has put words into your mouth, or tried to twist what you’ve said. If you feel that this is because you’ve poorly communicated your ideas, then learn from this.

  144. 144
    irisvanderpluym

    kate_waters:

    So do nothing and hope it all works out in the end is your solution?

    No. I agree with you that “Pennsylvania Women Veterans really ought to know what she did here.” And I also believe that “striking back against bullies using their own tactics is not in the same moral category as bullying itself: it is somewhat more akin to self-defense.”

    Nevertheless, it does make me a little uncomfortable that “by contacting PWV directly we would be engaging in the same shitty tactic we condemn when done by her — namely, JAQing off to an organization whose actions in response may cause her direct harm…” The tactic bothers me. It doesn’t bother you. All good. It’s not like you’re advocating killing her dog in retaliation, or something.

    What I said was:

    If it comes back to bite her professionally with no action whatsoever on our part, that seems to me the best possible outcome.

    I mean that in an ideal scenario, no one would need to lift a finger to notify Pennsylvania Women Veterans. Porter’s colleagues and clients who follow her on Twitter (or who Google her) would know exactly what she’s done here, and professional consequences would follow swiftly and directly from her own words and actions. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear and gave the impression that I think we should “do nothing.” I don’t. In fact I’m leaning toward posting and tweeting pictures of Porter’s head pasted into pictures of WBC protests. She’s a “New Media Strategies”, “Diversity” and “Recruitment Strategy” consultant, fer chrissakes. Must. Be. Mocked.

  145. 145
    doubtthat

    @104 irisvanderpluym

    I don’t want to be dismissive of anyone’s feelings towards Westboro, but they are clowns. When you see them in person, they couldn’t be less threatening. My guess is that the person you referenced has not seen their act, and I can understand why a person wouldn’t want to be confronted with that type of bigotry, but six people with stupid signs is literally the extent of most of their activity. They aren’t even confrontational.

    @106 Ogvorbis, broken failure.

    I notice you pretty much ignored the point of my #90. You agree that they abuse people. I took that a stop further and pointed out that their actions really do hurt people, especially those who have already been abused for being who they are and not changing to become what their abuser wanted them to be. Even pathetic groups can hurt people.

    What I’m telling you is that in Kansas, in the evangelical community (much less, the sane community), Westboro is such a total fucking joke that no one references them as you’re suggesting. They provide cover for exactly no one because they’re a punchline. “We’re not as bad as Westboro, therefore X”, is not a phrasing of an argument that would have cache even in crazy, Bible-thumping Kansas. They have no political influence, they aren’t discussed, save for people regretting that they can’t be disbanded, and mostly the exist as a comic sideshow for every event more than a thousand people attend.

    I will agree with you that they cause harm. What I’m pointing out is that when you’re actually confronted with the reality of their efforts, I can promise you that your thought will not be, “look at this group of threatening, dangerous bigots.,” it will be, “WTF?!? Is that what all the fuss is about? Look at those idiots,” followed by laughter.

    I don’t say this out of ignorance or in an attempt to tell people how they should feel. I say this having mocked their goofy little protests a couple dozen times with a wide range of people, including homosexuals that were deeply traumatized by the unwelcoming atmosphere in Kansas.

    It is stunning to see the ignorance and the hate, and it is deeply depressing to see them forcing their kids to hold the signs, but it has no more of an effect than encountering a couple of people outside of a bar or strip club waving around signs about fornicators going to hell (there are plenty of those in Kansas, also).

  146. 146
    Anthony K

    I’d just like it noted for any Slymepitters that all of the suggestions in this thread are Tongue In Cheek™ and should any negative outcome befall irrelevant and uninfluential Karla Porter as a result of her actions, then that will be denounced as Going Too Far®, just as it is in the Slymepit.

    So, now that the #bravehero legalese is out of the way, have at it.

  147. 147
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    you are being treated fairly

    Yeah, this is totally fair: “I don’t think this person is overly burdened by logic”.

    This thread isn’t about me, so I don’t want to clog it up. I’ll take one more stab at trying to elucidate my point, but then I’m out.

    I am fully aware that Karla Porter contacted the Westboro Baptist Church on Twitter. I get that. It’s a vile and disgusting thing to do. People say and do vile and disgusting shit on Twitter daily. We are a culture that has things like Twitter and Facebook and other avenues for people to do and say vile and disgusting things easily, rapidly, and with wide reach, sometimes very deliberately and sometimes due to momentary thoughtlessness. My concern is over how we decide to handle these actions in a way that holds accountable (but not disproportionately so) people who do vile stuff like contacting WBC to harass people they don’t like, without it being a cudgel to use against others who merely express unpopular opinions (like a closeted atheist).

    I’m not sure if this helps, but my stress level is through the roof right now so it’s the best I can do. And really, irisvanderpluym said it better. Any time I want to say something, somebody says it better. So I’m just going to go back to not saying stuff. Sorry for bothering everybody.

  148. 148
    doubtthat

    I should also add that the people who suffer the most at the hands of Westboro are the members of Westboro. It’s an abusive cult.

    My point is not that there is anything redeemable about that horrific group of bigots, it’s just that anyone planning on attending WiS2 should not be reluctant to do so because of Westboro’s presence (in the even they even show up).

    I promise you that there will be a significantly great number of entertaining stories about the creative, clever things people do in response to Westboro’s presence than people actually annoyed or affected by their attendance.

  149. 149
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I’m not sure but I believe Karla Porter is self-employed.

    Well, her boss is a real asshole.

  150. 150
    irisvanderpluym

    her boss is a real asshole.

    Hahaha.

  151. 151
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    doubtthat@145:

    We’re not as bad as Westboro, therefore X”, is not a phrasing of an argument that would have cache even in crazy, Bible-thumping Kansas.

    It does in rural Texas. At least twice in my presence.

    Just because you find them comical and unthreatening does not mean that someone else will find them comical and unthreatening. You’re coming across as poopooing others very real and sincere concern about WBC and their potential presence at the conference.

  152. 152
    Chris Clarke

    I have had people try to get me fired from just about every job I’ve had in the last 20 years for offenses that — in their distorted worldviews — were likely comparable to siccing Westboro Baptist Church on a progressive group.

    These “offenses” were things of which I’m proud or at least unashamed, but they were deeply, profoundly offensive to the people who tried to get me fired.

    You don’t think, to use Erulora’s example, that merely existing as an atheist, or a feminist, or an environmentalist, offends some people every bit as much as Porter has offended us? You’re dreaming.

    Karla Porter is an amoral shithead, and if it becomes impossible to search on her name without finding that out, that’d be a marvelous thing. And I’m not an absolutist here: I think it’s fine to try to get, say, Rush Limbaugh fired — by a coordinated campaign waged on a transparent basis.

    But people who set themselves up as vigilante employment enforcers do not speak for me. They’re legitimizing a tactic that has made my life much more stressful for decades. And they aren’t the ones that will be targeted with the blowback should Porter decide to escalate.

  153. 153
    doubtthat

    @151 Ye Olde Blacksmith – Spocktopus cuddler

    You’re coming across as poopooing others very real and sincere concern about WBC and their potential presence at the conference.

    Ok, I will take back any assertion that I made claiming they were harmless or anything equivalent. That’s too strong of a statement and not justified. Here is what I will say, and people can conclude how they will:

    There is nothing redeemable about that organization, and they’re terrible in every way. They have been present at every major event I attended from the time I was 13 until I was 22, including my own high school graduation.

    I cannot name a single person, regardless of race, gender or sexual preference, who has had an event ruined by these idiots, except for the people attending military funerals (Westboro escalated to that because they were losing their place in the public conversation).

    The LGBT communities at all of the major campuses in Kansas use Westboro protests as events, and they’re awesome. It’s Kansas’ version of a gay pride parade.

    I know a fellow that came out by kissing his boyfriend in front of one of the protests, and the gathered crowd applauded. I have exactly zero stories of Westboro succeeding in any of their aims.

  154. 154
    Kevin

    Seems as if it’s unlikely that they’ll actually show up — but I think you could turn that into a positive.

    See, the “mainstream” media loves nothing if not conflict. So, call the local TV stations. Alert them to the fact that there “might” be a protest. And when they show up with cameras a blazing — you can get in your advocacy for the importance of the conference.

    No conflict — no TV cameras. Conflict — TV cameras.

    But Karla Porter is a mindless goon in any event.

  155. 155
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    145 doubtthat

    @104 irisvanderpluym

    I don’t want to be dismissive of anyone’s feelings towards Westboro,

    Oh, I just know something stupid and dissmissive is coming next

    but they are clowns.

    …Aaand I was right. Unsurprising but shitty nontheless.

    My guess is that the person you referenced

    That person is Katherine and she’s not only commented on this thread but a regular here. Don’t be a dismissive asshole by not even bothering to acknowledge her and her experiences. You don’t even respond to what she said, instead talking like she isn’t even here.

    has not seen their act, and I can understand why a person wouldn’t want to be confronted with that type of bigotry,

    I doubt it since you don’t understand what chilling effect it has on people, like Kathrine expressed.

    but six people with stupid signs is literally the extent of most of their activity. They aren’t even confrontational.

    So. fucking. what.

    I will agree with you that they cause harm. What I’m pointing out is that when you’re actually confronted with the reality of their efforts, I can promise you that your thought will not be, “look at this group of threatening, dangerous bigots.,” it will be, “WTF?!? Is that what all the fuss is about? Look at those idiots,” followed by laughter.

    Hmmm…contrast that with…

    I don’t say this out of ignorance or in an attempt to tell people how they should feel.

    Oh no, you’re just telling people that they don’t know what they are talking about and how they will think and react. Yeah, that’s totes different.

    /snort

    I say this having mocked their goofy little protests a couple dozen times with a wide range of people, including homosexuals that were deeply traumatized by the unwelcoming atmosphere in Kansas.

    So, you want a fucking cookie? You’re not being a good ally here with what you are saying. Now not only do people feel uncomfortable with the threat of WBC but also with supposed allies dissmissing their worries/concerns. You fucking asshole, you’re making it worse.

    It is stunning to see the ignorance and the hate, and it is deeply depressing to see them forcing their kids to hold the signs, but it has no more of an effect than encountering a couple of people outside of a bar or strip club waving around signs about fornicators going to hell (there are plenty of those in Kansas, also).

    So then you were lying earlier by agreeing they cause harm? Or just another callus asshole moment of you not giving a shit?

    I’m with Katherine. I wish I could do more than argue with asshole online but I can’t go to WiS for in real life moral support.

  156. 156
    David Marjanović

    Either they don’t think that far, which is a failure to think.

    Exactly my point.

  157. 157
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    153 doubtthat

    @151 Ye Olde Blacksmith – Spocktopus cuddler

    You’re coming across as poopooing others very real and sincere concern about WBC and their potential presence at the conference.

    Ok, I will take back any assertion that I made claiming they were harmless or anything equivalent. That’s too strong of a statement and not justified. Here is what I will say, and people can conclude how they will:

    Well, that’s a good start but that last sentence has me worried about what’s going to follow.

    I cannot name a single person, regardless of race, gender or sexual preference, who has had an event ruined by these idiots, except for the people attending military funerals (Westboro escalated to that because they were losing their place in the public conversation).

    Well, maybe, just maybe you’re experiences aren’t universal. Maybe because of being near their home base you’re used to it. Maybe other people just had to deal with it because they couldn’t get away from Westboro. Maybe those people who’s experiences have been ruined either didn’t go or didn’t talk about it because of assuming, dissmissive people like YOU.

    I have exactly zero stories of Westboro succeeding in any of their aims.

    Define succeeding and what their aims are. Because pushing people away and getting coverage on their beliefs seem to be working for them.

  158. 158
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Chris:

    While I fully understand your position, as you’ve been very clear, I disagree.

    I have already drafted my email to PWVS and after an edit it is being sent. In the past many Pharyngulites have been more than willing to expose politicians, businesses, talk show hosts, radio hosts and so on for what they say and do when it is against the public interest, and I don’t see how this situation is any different.

    Ms. Porter wants to associate herself with women’s groups while at the same time harassing via proxy a women’s group by asking a known hate group to protest at the conference in order to intimidate or otherwise harass the attendees.

    If you can’t see how that makes a HUGE difference I’m not sure I can explain my motivations in a way you would understand.

  159. 159
    sueinnm

    Is this the same Karla Porter? If so, the irony is profound.

    http://www.twylah.com/karla_porter/topics/westboro

  160. 160
    doubtthat

    @157

    Or maybe you’re trying to come up with reasons to treat a small group of goofballs as some sinister, powerful organization.

    Maybe some folks have had bad experiences with the New Black Panthers, but I mostly roll my eyes when Glenn Beck and Fox News try to convince that I should be really worried about them.

  161. 161
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    160 doubtthat

    @157

    Or maybe you’re trying to come up with reasons to treat a small group of goofballs as some sinister, powerful organization.

    Don’t need to be sinister or powerful to ruin someone’s time or be a threat to a transwoman. You’re forgetting just because you find them goofy and nonthreatening, doesn’t mean others will view them the same way.

    Maybe some folks have had bad experiences with the New Black Panthers, but I mostly roll my eyes when Glenn Beck and Fox News try to convince that I should be really worried about them.

    Well, bully for you.

  162. 162
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    doubtthat,

    Or maybe you’re trying to come up with reasons to treat a small group of goofballs as some sinister, powerful organization.

    Cut this shit out. WBC is a fucking hate-group. Not everyone can just brush off their message so easily. Not everyone reacts to hostile bigotry in the same way. We get your point, you can stop now.

  163. 163
    doubtthat

    @155

    Oh, I just know something stupid and dissmissive is coming next

    …Aaand I was right. Unsurprising but shitty nontheless.

    Oh please, clowns can cause pain and hurt. The question is not whether they can harm some people, the question is whether their presence at WiS2 should be reason for concern. The harm they cause almost exclusively comes from sources other than their goofy little protests.

    Honestly, have you seen one? Do you really understand what you’re talking about?

    I doubt it since you don’t understand what chilling effect it has on people, like Kathrine expressed.

    This sanctimony is just sort of shocking. I’m writing what I’m writing specifically to counter that chilling effect. They are a group whose media profile so vastly exceeds the reality of their efforts in terms of significance that I feel it’s important to point out how fucking pathetic they are.

    I get that people who haven’t been around them could think of them as a dangerous entity — like the Klan. They just aren’t. They’re obnoxious goofballs. That doesn’t make them harmless, but perspective would be useful.

    Oh no, you’re just telling people that they don’t know what they are talking about and how they will think and react. Yeah, that’s totes different.

    No, I’m telling them the experience I’ve had with them. I’m telling them what people who they may identify with have experienced with Westboro. If people are still reluctant to attend a production that Westboro is protesting or if they experience fear, that’s fine. I’m not telling them what they should or shouldn’t do, but there is an objective reality to their events. They don’t approach people, they aren’t physical, they don’t even really confront anyone. SOmetimes they chant, but mostly they stand around with obnoxious signs.

    So, you want a fucking cookie? You’re not being a good ally here with what you are saying. Now not only do people feel uncomfortable with the threat of WBC but also with supposed allies dissmissing their worries/concerns. You fucking asshole, you’re making it worse.

    Yeah, that’s just a silly reading. There are no worries being dismissed. The worries are being addressed, which is a non-subtle difference. The LGBT communities at Kansas Universities almost eagerly look forward to the dumbass Westboro protests because it provides a great opportunity for community solidarity. The events are really quite a bit of fun to attend.

    Does that mean that every LGBT person should feel that way? No, but pointing out that many, many people in a similar situation eagerly confront these losers may make some folks feel more confident. They just aren’t the force you’re making them out to be, though I can understand perfectly well why people would just wish that they go away.

  164. 164
    doubtthat

    Cut this shit out. WBC is a fucking hate-group. Not everyone can just brush off their message so easily.

    I’m not brushing off their message, it’s obviously horrible. I’m pointing out how completely ineffectual they are. They’re a terrible, hateful organization, but they are also fangless in a political sense and have no influence on a societal level.

    They are a hate group, but there’s a difference between the Klan and these dumbasses.

  165. 165
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @doubtthat:

    Stop. Please, just fucking stop. You’re completely ignoring the fact that people in this thread have already stated that the WBC showing up makes them nervous or upset and makes them feel that they have to hide who they are in order to attend this conference.

    You’re being an asshole. Please stop being an asshole.

  166. 166
    glodson

    Oh please, clowns can cause pain and hurt. The question is not whether they can harm some people, the question is whether their presence at WiS2 should be reason for concern. The harm they cause almost exclusively comes from sources other than their goofy little protests.

    It should be, as a few people have expressed unease in attending if they are present. And yes, their harm does, in part, come from the outside. They are reminder that a substantial number of people agree with them, even if they disavow the group. A reminder that some people are treated differently, that some people aren’t safe to be themselves.

    This group might not actually attack. They might not confront. But that doesn’t diminish their ability to make others uneasy. To make others feel threatened. Ignoring this won’t help.

  167. 167
    doubtthat

    Don’t need to be sinister or powerful to ruin someone’s time or be a threat to a transwoman. You’re forgetting just because you find them goofy and nonthreatening, doesn’t mean others will view them the same way.

    No, I’m not forgetting that. I’m pointing out that all the people I know in LGBT community view Westboro as a punchline. They protested a drag show a few months back and the counter-protest turned into one hell of a good time. It was hilarious.

    Maybe that makes people feel better, I can’t imagine it would make them feel worse, but there you have it. I view the total lack of intimidation among the LGBT community as a success.

  168. 168
    doubtthat

    This group might not actually attack. They might not confront. But that doesn’t diminish their ability to make others uneasy. To make others feel threatened. Ignoring this won’t help.

    Where did you get the idea that I suggested they be ignored? They should be confronted and ridiculed. This is how it’s done in Kansas, and it’s generally a lot of fun.

    They are disgusting people. If you aren’t uneasy in the presence of children being made to hold those vile signs, you’re probably on their side.

    I promise you, however, that if they show up, you will only remember the counter protest and the strengthening of the reaction against them.

  169. 169
    Hank_Says

    sonderval:

    If we consider it bad form and a kind of harrassment by proxy to alert the WBC to the WIS conference (an information that is freely available on the web), why would it not be bad form and harrassment by proxy to alert Porter’s business partners to her behaviour (an information that is also freely available on the internet)?

    Oh, it is bad form and I’m not condoning it or suggesting it be done. I just don’t think the situations are equally comparable. Alerting a hate group about an event VS. alerting a business partner about some inexcusable behaviour (like alerting a hate group to an event) don’t quite match in terms of effect or severity.

    If I was looking to do business with someone and found out (in whatever way) that they casually tweeted the WBC to go harass their “enemies” and then described doing so as “humour”, I’d have to decide whether they were worth doing business with. It’d depend, among other things, on what said business was. People have lost their jobs over lesser internet “pranks” than this and Porter seems to have missed that lesson.

  170. 170
    Stacy

    @Erulora Maikalambe, I hope you will continue to post here from time to time.

    I agree with you and with Chris Clarke:

    people who set themselves up as vigilante employment enforcers do not speak for me. They’re legitimizing a tactic that has made my life much more stressful for decades. And they aren’t the ones that will be targeted with the blowback should Porter decide to escalate.

  171. 171
    doubtthat

    You’re completely ignoring the fact that people in this thread have already stated that the WBC showing up makes them nervous or upset and makes them feel that they have to hide who they are in order to attend this conference.

    And that’s awful. It bothers me a great deal that Westboro can screw with people that way, and if folks choose to stay away, I understand and don’t criticize that choice.

    I am making at least 2 points:

    1) Understanding the reality of Westboro rather than the media profile may help people in that situation with those feelings make a decision to attend WiS2, which will otherwise likely be tremendous.

    2) Many people with similar feelings who live with similar histories in a generally unwelcoming state (Kansas) have challenged Westboro to the point that it’s a regular event. It becomes a launching off point for community solidarity. Seeing others deal with Westboro may lend some confidence.

  172. 172
    Argle Bargle

    Since doubtthat doesn’t consider WBC to be a threat then it’s silly for anyone else to feel threatened by them. After all, doubtthat is the ultimate authority on what constitutes a threat and it’s not right that anyone should doubt hir wisdom on threats.

    /snark

    doubtthat, when people like Katherine Lorraine, a trans*woman, feel threatened by WBC, perhaps they’re not such a benign group as you seem to think. There’s even the faint possibility that other opinions besides your own might have some credence about WBC. I’m guessing you’re a white, cis-hetero man who could walk up to Fred Phelps and be completely ignored. Quite likely Katherine Lorraine is not so privileged.

  173. 173
    Eamon Knight

    @Katherine: Come to WIS, please, freely and happily presenting any damn way you like! Like PZ said: you’ll have a boat-load of friends there firing weapons-grade stink-eye at anyone who so much as raises an eye-brow. (Yes, that includes the four of us in the Ottawa contingent.)

  174. 174
    doubtthat

    Are you even reading what I’m writing at this point?

    The LGBT community in Kansas uses Westboro protests for fund raisers. Does that mean Katherine is wrong? Of course not. She will decide how she decides, but surely that choice is made better by having the relevant facts and by seeing how folks have dealt with them before.

    But here’s the bottom line: You can’t stop Westboro from showing up. If they can’t keep them from military funerals in Kansas, you’re not keeping them from your event, whatever it happens to be.

    So what are your choices? Don’t attend. Deal with them.

    If people planning on attending are experiencing a high level of stress due to the threat of Westboro being there, I would hope that the experiences of people who have dealt with them for years could help ameliorate some of that anxiety. That you take this as dismissing people’s fears rather than helping address them is fascinating.

  175. 175
    glodson

    Where did you get the idea that I suggested they be ignored? They should be confronted and ridiculed. This is how it’s done in Kansas, and it’s generally a lot of fun.

    Ignored is the wrong word. I shouldn’t have said that, as you didn’t say that. Sorry. I should say that they shouldn’t be marginalized. The effect they can have shouldn’t be understated. Which is the impression I get from your post.

    They are wrong. If they didn’t actually cause people distress, they would be laughable. However, they do cause distress.

  176. 176
    Argle Bargle

    Are you even reading what I’m writing at this point?

    Yes I am. You’re saying “here in Kansas we laugh at WBC” with the strong intimation that the rest of us should do so as well. You agree that Katherine Lorraine feels threatened by them but you appear to believe that’s because she’s not familiar with them. You’re dismissing her fears as groundless and besides, there’s nothing she can do about them so she might as well laugh along with you.

    Do you have any idea about how self-centered and privileged you are? WBC is not a threat to you and so you don’t see them as a threat to anyone else. Contrary to your belief, the universe does not revolve around you. Other people may have other opinions and have reasonable grounds for those opinions.

    Katherine Lorraine, please don’t think I’m singling you out to use as a foil against doubtthat. I’m trying to get hir to recognize that hir dismissal of WBC as a genuine threat to you is not warranted.

  177. 177
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    I am pretty sure that these threads and discussions are making sure that Karla Porter’s public request for Westboro Baptist Church to protest a conference of which she disapproves will, via the magic of google, be quite high on the results list for her name. But I agree with Erulora that doxing is distasteful and possibly unethical. As a low-level hourly government employee making less than $12 per hour, I am officially prohibited from saying ANYTHING that could bring controversy on my employer and specifically from advocating for drug legalization or decriminalization via social media. I live and work in a very very Christian community, where I have had kids request to be withdrawn from my summer camps because they weren’t sure if I was a “Christian.” I am not supposed to use the word “evolution” in my nature programs because it is “controversial.”

    I think Porter is an amoral toad. I also think that we should discourage internet doxing because it supports a culture in which anonymous complaints can determine someone’s employability. If I am to be fired from my job because someone discovers that I am a pro-marijuana-legalization atheist who uses the word “evolution”, I would very much want to know who it was who doxed me, if only so that I could avoid them in the grocery store.

    And did I mention that Karla Porter suggested that Westboro Baptist Church (a hate group) protest a conference solely because Ms. Porter disapproved of the feminist stance of the conference organizers?

  178. 178
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    1) Alerting the organizers of conferences directly is not that different from what everyone hopes happens through the magic of google search results. I’m just proposing cutting out the middle man and actually being brave enough to put my name to my actions.

    2) I’d also like to point out that it’s not doxing if she’s done this stupid crap under her own name, on her own twitter account. She did not use an alias or nym.

    3) Karla Porter is not EMPLOYED by the PWVS. She is self employed. I am not endangering her job one bit, but I am looking to ensure her clients and potential clients know what kind of person they’re working with, the same way I lobbied advertisers to stop advertising on Rush Limbaugh’s show or Glenn Beck’s show.

    None of this is rocket surgery, folks.

  179. 179
    doubtthat

    You’re dismissing her fears as groundless…

    You got that far.

    Nope, not even close. Everyone determines their own comfort level. I’m telling her how others have dealt with Westboro and explaining the difference between the media reputation and the reality of seeing them in person.

    Maybe that gives her the confidence to attend WiS2, maybe it doesn’t, that’s her choice.

    there’s nothing she can do about them so she might as well laugh along with you.

    There’s nothing anyone can do, short of a Constitutional Amendment, to stop Westboro from showing up. So how do you move forward?

    I would argue that pointing out there will, at most, be 5-10 idiots with signs rather than indulging in some fantasy about their “protest” allows for constructive solutions, like: someone posts to Twitter which door they’re near allowing all people who want to avoid the nonsense to go in a different entrance.

    Recognizing how tiny and lame their protests are leave open options like that. I can’t tell you how many times I went in a door they weren’t protesting only to later find out they were at an event.

    Also, by letting people know how generally awesome the counter-protests are, maybe people who were considering staying away will start organizing something.

    I don’t know how people will behave, I’m not telling them how they should behave, I’m pointing out that they are dealt with consistently in a number of ways, and they are far more pathetic in person than you would imagine them to be based on their media presence.

    Do you have any idea about how self-centered and privileged you are? WBC is not a threat to you and so you don’t see them as a threat to anyone else. Contrary to your belief, the universe does not revolve around you. Other people may have other opinions and have reasonable grounds for those opinions.

    Yeah, nice try. This is what happens when you argue from rote rather than reading people’s points.

    Of course I recognize my privilege in this issue which is why I’m referencing how the LBGT community has dealt with them in Kansas. Here are things that I’ve witnessed happen at Westboro protests:

    I watched a crowd of perhaps 3 dozen erupt in applause when a lesbian couple kissed in front of them.
    I watched a friend of mine come out of the closet by kissing his boyfriend in front of the protesters, once again eliciting massive applause.
    I watched a group of drag queens from all over the country engage in a fundraising counter-protest when Westboro showed up to their event.

    Now, that doesn’t mean all people should feel equally bold, just as one person coming out of the closet doesn’t mean all people are ready to make that choice. Nevertheless, given the hilarious, confrontational, bold, enjoyable ways in which the LBGT community has gone after Westboro, there is precedent.

    Katherine Lorraine, please don’t think I’m singling you out to use as a foil against doubtthat. I’m trying to get hir to recognize that hir dismissal of WBC as a genuine threat to you is not warranted.

    Katherine decides how she wants to move forward. All I’m doing is giving her the history. Maybe it makes her feel better, maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know, neither am I telling her how to proceed, but it sounds like she was excited about WiS2 before this Westboro bullshit started, and I’m hoping she can regain that excitement.

  180. 180
    Jadehawk

    I watched a crowd of perhaps 3 dozen erupt in applause when a lesbian couple kissed in front of them.
    I watched a friend of mine come out of the closet by kissing his boyfriend in front of the protesters, once again eliciting massive applause.
    I watched a group of drag queens from all over the country engage in a fundraising counter-protest when Westboro showed up to their event.

    I notice a distinct lack of *trans people in your descriptions. Were I *trans, I don’t think telling me how gay/lesbian people or drag queens were able to not feel threatened by the WBC would provide me with anything even remotely relevant to my needs. Just sayin’.

  181. 181
    PZ Myers

    If you don’t stop voluntarily, doubtthat, I’ll stop you the hard way. I’d laugh at WBC too, but that doesn’t mean no one would feel threatened by them.

  182. 182
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Thanks, PZ.

  183. 183
    carlie

    Nope, not even close. Everyone determines their own comfort level. I’m telling her how others have dealt with Westboro and explaining the difference between the media reputation and the reality of seeing them in person.

    Allow me to tell you a little story, doubtthat. When I read Katherine’s post, my first thought was to rush to make suggestions – she could change after she gets in the building, she could be sure to walk in the middle of a crowd of people going in and out, etc. And then I stopped and remembered that she knows all of these things already because it’s her life, and she’s been living it and she’s clever and socially aware and smart, and she’s been dealing with this for a really long time and I’ve been dealing with it never. So then I realized that there was nothing I needed to suggest to her, because she had already thought of it all herself and weighed those options and found them wanting. So I kept my mouth shut.

    It is often a difficult thing to do, to not give advice, but especially when one does not know a situation as well as the person one is purporting to advise, the best idea is often to not do that.

  184. 184
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Everyone determines their own comfort level.

    And this is a perfect example of blindingly obvious privilege. What makes you think that all people can determine their own comfort level? I’m comfortable sitting at a road block, in the middle of nowhere, knowing that the nearest person who could help me in the event of a serious incident is 1/2 hour away (assuming my radio hits the repeater!), dealing with heavily armed hunters trying to get to their favourite hunting area which is currently inside of a fire closure. I am not comfortable around cub scouts, or in the presence of certain smells. So did I determine my own comfort level? Please examine you privilege.

  185. 185
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    I would love it if I got to determine my own comfort level in employment. I’m not in Oggie’s situation, but the idea of getting to withdraw when someone is a fucker or I feel weird about them is really, really attractive. But I also want to get paid.

    So I put up with some really shitty stuff and the occasional dangerous stuff. Don’t we all?

  186. 186
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    So I put up with some really shitty stuff and the occasional dangerous stuff. Don’t we all?

    Sorry, mouthyb. I was unclear in my writing (actually, I left out a salient point (my bad)). I volunteer to go to forest fires (and hurricanes and (once) a terrorist attack) so if I were not comfortable in that situation, I would no longer make myself available. The smells I have no control over. I did not mean to imply that anyone is in a position to pick and choose one’s job based on comfort level. I was trying to point out that one’s comfort level is not something one can choose.

  187. 187
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Oggie: Then I’ve miscommunicated, sorry. I mean to echo your comment, that we can’t pick them. Alas, sarcasm is not my strong suite today.

    And people say there’s no civility to be had on Pharyngula!

  188. 188
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Sorry, mouthyb. I did misunderstand. I’ve got kind of a short fuse right now. When that happens, I tend to do two things — I read things with a negative nuance and I assume that the other party has misunderstood because I screwed up.

  189. 189
    Chris Clarke

    kate_waters:

    None of this is rocket surgery, folks.

    actually being brave enough to put my name to my actions.

    She is self employed. I am not endangering her job one bit, but I am looking to ensure her clients and potential clients know what kind of person they’re working with

    Oh, just fuck all the way off with this self-righteous, disingenuous, insulting shit.

  190. 190
    athyco

    Katherine decides how she wants to move forward. All I’m doing is giving her the history. Maybe it makes her feel better, maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know, neither am I telling her how to proceed, but it sounds like she was excited about WiS2 before this Westboro bullshit started, and I’m hoping she can regain that excitement.

    Thirteen posts of giving the history between 9:02 a.m. and 5:32 p.m. The only time to type “Katherine” was in 179 above, and that in third person address.

    During all of which, Katherine Lorraine was silent in this thread. But you were hoping she could regain “that excitement.”

    Katherine Lorraine, I wish to echo Carlie’s “clever and socially aware and smart and dealing with this for a really long time” because it’s been demonstrated in so many of the comments I’ve read from you over time. Here’s hoping your comfort level allows at least packing your falsies and skirt to make your own assessment freely once on the scene.

  191. 191
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Yes, Chris, it’s so fucking holier than thou, isn’t it? I’m just the WORST human ever, aren’t I? So disingenuous. So insulting. Yep. That’s me all the fucking way, baby. I’m a terribly terrible human being for not wanting this kind of shit to go unnoticed. I’m a fucking douchebag of epic proportions who doesn’t like to see people profit from saying one thing and then doing the exact opposite when that opposite can cause real harm.

    Good on you for being such a shining pillar of moral stand-uppy-ness and attempting to put me in my place.

    *slow clap*

  192. 192
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    for not wanting this kind of shit to go unnoticed.

    It is being noticed. Here. And in other places.

  193. 193
    Chris Clarke

    Good on you for being such a shining pillar of moral stand-uppy-ness and attempting to put me in my place.

    Projection: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  194. 194
    ChasCPeterson

    What would the Rev. Rodney King Jr. say right now?

  195. 195
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Chris:

    I could continue to trade barbs with you all night long, but instead I’m going to do something a little more productive, despite it not being quite as fun as playing the snarky bitch.

    Unlike you, Chris, I’m a woman. A woman who is also a feminist. Unlike you, I don’t ever get the chance to treat women’s issues as an intellectual exercise or simply choose to set those issues aside because they’re my day-to-day reality.

    (This is not to say that you are a “bad feminist” or that you are unconcerned with women’s issues, nor is it an attempt to malign the good writing you do on the subject of feminism. It is simply to establish that your privilege allows you to view women’s issues from an outside perspective that I, and other women, do not have the luxury of retreating to.)

    Unlike you, I don’t get the luxury of being able to “take the moral high ground” (which is really just another way of saying: Don’t rock the boat, Honey. Just be chill and cool and ever-so-good and it’ll all work out in the end.) because I’m in this fight every damn second of my damn life and when the fight gets dirty, I don’t get to just walk away. I don’t get to walk away because every damn time women just walk away it is going to take that much longer before it gets any better.

    Unlike you, I can’t ignore the hypocrisy of someone benefiting from working for the empowerment of women while simultaneously attempting to undermine that empowerment. I can’t ignore it because ignoring it doesn’t make it go away and until shit like this is gone for good I’m not equal. Ignoring it, or trying to find a “nice” way of dealing with it does nothing and does not further my equality or the equality of my sister, my mother, my niece, my friends, the nice lady who runs the store where I buy my favorite brand of coffee or that woman at work that I absolutely can’t stand. The “nice” way is nothing but inaction and armchair activism or keyboard warrior-ism which, while it does make some progress, works far too slowly to make a real difference here and now.

    Today I chose to do what I could in the here-and-now to make sure that Ms. Porter finds it a little more difficult to be that hypocrite. I did it openly, under my own name, and with the full intent of causing Ms. Porter to face the consequences of aligning herself, however briefly, with a known hate group for the sole purpose of intimidating and harassing women who have done nothing wrong other than the imagined crime of being smart, successful, intelligent women who want to gather to discuss a subject which not only interests them, but is one that I think is very important for furthering the equality of all of us.

    If you think that’s being a disingenuous asshole, or that I’m simply being vindictive for kicks then you’ve missed the point of it all. I don’t want this poisonous shit to continue. I don’t want people like Ms. Porter to ever benefit from associations with organizations which value women as long as she is going to pull shit like this WBC crap. I don’t want the excuse of “It was only a joke!” to ever slip under anyone’s radar. I don’t want people like Ms. Porter to ever, for one second, forget that there are women like me who are angry as hell and sick to death of “playing by the rules” while they continue to poison everything that so many women have worked for and I won’t be silent about what it is I’m doing and why I’m doing it because I’m not the only one who is fucking fed up with this kind of shit and if enough people just drag this kind of crap out into the light it’s going to become harder and harder for these assholes to keep being… well… assholes.

    If you think that’s being a bully, or that I’m being disruptive or whatever, ask me to leave Pharyngula and I’ll not ever comment again so you won’t have to be exposed to my “not nice-ness”. Ban me, nuke my comments from orbit, or whatever you do when you think someone’s not playing by the rules you’ve set up here if you think that wouldn’t be enough.

    …but if that doesn’t happen I’m not going to shut up. I’m tired of shutting up. I’m tired of being nice. I’m tired of having to swallow my anger or sit on my hands. …and when I get tired I get pretty fucking ornery.

  196. 196
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    So some of us would like not to encourage a culture of doxing people since that particular culture harms people like Chris and me and probably a whole lot of other people who’ve commented on this post.

    Kate Waters, on the other hand, would throw all of us under the bus so as to claim moral righteousness by cutting out the mediation of internet memory. Because it’s so damn hard to mention repeatedly that Karla Porter, an atheist activist in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, contacted Westboro Baptist Church to suggest that they protest at Women in Secularism 2, a feminist conference of which she disapproved.

    Nice to know that her priorities are so clear.

  197. 197
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    You know who else is a woman and a feminist, Kate Waters?

    Mattir, that’s who.

  198. 198
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Seriously, you are trying to claim the moral high ground and the right to dox because you’re a woman and thus you see things and know things and the fact that the culture of doxing might hurt Chris (a man) and Mattir (a gender-neutral nym) doesn’t matter at all because of your magic feminist woman knowledge? Who the hell made you the all-powerful arbiter of what’s good for women?

    You really are a sanctimonious piece of work.

  199. 199
    rorschach

    Unlike you, I don’t get the luxury of being able to “take the moral high ground”

    You could of course just try not to be a total asshole for once. Any day now, I’m sure.

  200. 200
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Mattir:

    I’m passing along information she has made no effort to hide. I’m pointing someone to a public twitter feed attached to her real name.

    How is that “doxing”?

    Please, explain this to me because I was pretty sure doxing involved exposing someone who was at least appearing to make an attempt at anonymity.

  201. 201
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Good. So if I take a position with Center for Inquiry or American Atheists, using my real name, or sign a petition in favor of marijuana legalization using my real name, or write a blog about single malt scotch using my real name, you will be just fine with some random person from the internet who has no connection with my employer or my work performance trying to get me fired so long as they use their real name? Even if I never find out about who it is?

    You don’t know a lot of religious fundamentalists, do you?

  202. 202
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    *sigh*

    I am not trying to get her fired. How can I get her fired from her own business? Don’t you think the women’s organization she has had an association with deserves to know she’s contacting a hate group for the sole purpose of harassing other women? How is that in any way the same as the examples you’ve given?

    Let me ask you this:

    Would you make noise about a business that discriminated? That openly called for the harassment of women? That still saw benefit from association with women’s organizations while calling for women to be harassed?

  203. 203
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    …or to put it another way:

    You aren’t going online to tweet at temperance leagues to harass scotch drinkers while at the same time getting some benefit from reviewing/drinking scotch.

    To equate your examples with what Ms. Porter has done makes no sense to me. They are nowhere near the same thing. She is actively attempting to cause harassment and damage to a group for no other reason than the fact that this group are who want to talk about being women with a particular subset of interests.

  204. 204
    chigau (違う)

    I think that doubtthat and kate_waters should get a room.

  205. 205
    John Morales

    The issue at stake is the malevolence of the yuk-seeking by this Karla Porter specimen, and the actual degree harm that the WBC might do is not relevant to it.

    kate_waters:

    How is that “doxing”?

    It’s not in the most technical form (that would be acquiring and revealing information over the internet on someone who seeks to keep that information private), but why do you quibble over terminology?

    You claim you intend to notify people who may be in a position to engage Karla’s services of this incident (and I don’t imagine it will be a dispassionate note); your justification for this is that you will be informing them of it in case they’re currently unaware and so it’s in support of the public good.

    (Do you think there is no element of seeking to harm her future prospects in your motivation?)

  206. 206
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    You do know that many of the religious fundamentalists I know would think (and act as if) my hypotheticals were every bit as bad as or even worse than what Ms. Porter did? I am not arguing that she is a decent person – she is a dreadful, unethical bully. But I still would not condone contacting her employer or customers because the culture of doxing (with or without the use of real life names) is harmful to a civil and secular society. It’s similar to why I would defend the American Nazi Party’s right to demonstrate in Skokie, IL, despite abhoring their views.

  207. 207
    echidna

    Because it’s so damn hard to mention repeatedly that Karla Porter, an atheist activist in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, contacted Westboro Baptist Church to suggest that they protest at Women in Secularism 2, a feminist conference of which she disapproved.

    Indeed, it is hard not to mention that Karla Porter, the one associated with a women’s veteran group, contacted the Westboro Baptist Church via twitter in order to encourage them to protest at Women in Secularism 2. Because … she wanted to “stir the pot”, although I don’t accept that it was tongue-in-cheek.

    It is important that this information be known, it is also important to let Karla Porter’s actions speak for themselves.

    Contacting anybody specifically in order to cause trouble, rather than help fix a situation, is “not on”, we used to say back in the day. Contacting people who deal with Karla Porter is not helping anything or anybody in any way. It’s destructive, not constructive, and unnecessary.

  208. 208
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    My employer explicitly forbids its employees from speaking publicly about drugs or alcohol (including legalization or aficionado non-abusive, legal alcohol use) and has a track record of tossing employees out for pretty much ANY customer complaint, so yes, I could be fired for offending a religious fundamentalist with my evil drug legalization, scotch promoting, secular, evolution-promoting ways. That’s how employers in much of the real world respond to quasi-anonymous complaints.

    Start a petition to have Ms. Porter removed from whatever professional organizations she belongs to, because of ethics violations. Write a letter to the editor of her local newspaper. Write a zillion blog posts about Karla Porter trying to recruit Westboro Baptist Church to protest at a conference whose politics she disliked. Organize a noisy boycott of Ms. Porter’s businesses. Just don’t quietly contact her customers with a smear campaign – that sort of mostly-under-the-radar criticism has little or no place in a civil society.

  209. 209
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @John:

    Do you honestly think I’m quibbling over semantics here? Ms. Porter has made the tweets in question on a twitter account under her own name that is directly linked to on her business webpage. It’s not that hard to imagine

    As to the content of the communications on this matter with women’s groups with which Ms. Porter has been associated: Contrary to what you have seen here in an internet comments section, I have the ability to write very dispassionate and professional correspondence. It’s not hard to do, and since it’s not a free-for-all comments section at Pharyngula I even make sure I don’t use foul language. (No, really! I can write pages and pages without so much as a “fuck you”.)

    Let me ask you this: Do you think Ms. Porter is seeking to harm the future prospects of women who want to meet and discuss issues in which they have an interest? Do you think it’s within reason to expect that Ms. Porter would continue to engage in this behavior if she did not have to face real-word consequences for her actions? Can you suggest another method by which Ms. Porter would face real-world consequences for her actions which would be effective? Do you think that Ms. Porter ought to have further beneficial (to her) associations with women’s groups given her actions?

  210. 210
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    The last bit of the first paragraph was cut off somehow:

    It’s not hard to imagine that she feels she is entitled to publicly request the help of a hate group without consequence. Does that seem like the actions of someone who is trying, even marginally, to keep this information from anyone?

  211. 211
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Mattir:

    This is the first time I’ve had an explanation of the attitude towards my actions which actually makes sense and is more than just a pile of false equivalence and tut-tutting.

    I get your point. Thanks for taking the time to be clear.

  212. 212
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Kate_Waters -one thing I’m pretty sure everyone commenting on this thread agrees on is that Karla Porter is an unethical bully who has deliberately attempted to harm a feminist women’s organization. We are arguing about ethical tactics to use in response.

  213. 213
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Yes, I am well aware of the topic of conversation, Mattir. You can cut the condescension.

  214. 214
    John Morales

    kate_waters:

    Do you honestly think I’m quibbling over semantics here? Ms. Porter has made the tweets in question on a twitter account under her own name that is directly linked to on her business webpage. It’s not that hard to imagine

    Yes. Yes, I do.

    In this case, the referent of ‘doxing’ is your intended activity; you deny it’s doxing but are unapologetic about the activity itself, your critics are critical about the activity itself to which they refer as doxing.

    As to the content of the communications on this matter with women’s groups with which Ms. Porter has been associated: Contrary to what you have seen here in an internet comments section, I have the ability to write very dispassionate and professional correspondence.

    Fine, you will dispassionately inform them of Ms Porter’s January interaction with WBC.

    Let me ask you this: [1] Do you think Ms. Porter is seeking to harm the future prospects of women who want to meet and discuss issues in which they have an interest? [2] Do you think it’s within reason to expect that Ms. Porter would continue to engage in this behavior if she did not have to face real-word consequences for her actions? [3] Can you suggest another method by which Ms. Porter would face real-world consequences for her actions which would be effective? [4] Do you think that Ms. Porter ought to have further beneficial (to her) associations with women’s groups given her actions?

    1. Yes.

    2. I don’t need to think, I only have to look; that was in January, so… has she continued to engage in this behaviour in the interim?

    3. Possibly, but I haven’t actually suggested anything.

    4. I think that’s between her and those women’s groups.

    Look, your bitterness and urge to justice are not something that you’re exactly hiding, and I will be the last to deny you’re entitled to both that sentiment and right to act — but be aware that your critics may also be of like sentiment but with a different expression.

    (Me, I’m more of a kibitzer)

  215. 215
    chigau (違う)

    echidna said

    … in order to cause trouble, rather than help fix a situation …

    that was pretty good

    I thank you, too, Mattir, for managing to penetrate the density.
    ,,,

  216. 216
    Aratina Cage

    @Louis

    Oh but wait…there’s some other term in that equation I’ve missed. They don’t just turn up do they? They turn up and harass people. Hmmmm, I wonder, is that significant?

    Careful now, Louis. You wouldn’t want the WBC to think you are accusing them of doing something illegal, now would you? (Because we all know that harassment is a crime!) /slime_snark

  217. 217
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    That was actually intended to be clarification that I do recognize that Karla Porter is actively harming women and a slight effort as conciliation. But since you’re so determined to have that moral high ground, never mind. Enjoy yourself up there in the thin air zone.

  218. 218
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    #217 was for kate_waters – sorry for omitting the tag.

  219. 219
    sonderval

    @Hankstar AKA Mandrellian, Kicker of Biological Goals (169) (and also @kate_waters)

    People have lost their jobs over lesser internet “pranks” than this and Porter seems to have missed that lesson.

    Yes. And people have lost their jobs for having their internet behaviour pointed out to their employers by third parties (see Mattirs posts above).
    Problem is, contacting her customers or employers is a way of acting as Jury, judge and executioner in a single person.
    Sure, Porter did a vile thing. Probably by now she is seeing how stupid it was (but is still unable to admit it).
    How much punishment does this deserve? Who are we to decide? What makes our decision that her behaviour was so vile that her customers need to be contacted different from the decision of a fundamentalist alerting Mattir’s employer (or an antivaxxer trying to get Orac fired or a fundamentalist complaining to PZs university about him crumbling crackers)? They also think that they have the moral high ground and that their action is justified by the vile deeds done.
    I really don’t think we should want to go there.

  220. 220
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    crocodoc:

    Connecting people who claim a right for equality with industrial style mass murder, exploiting the (justified) aversion that sane people have against nazis, is still lightyears ahead of setting up WBC and WIS against each other.

    I’m not going to argue which is worse than the other. I do want to point out that Karla siccing the WBC on WIS2 would be likely be triggering for some attendees. So the target is both the convention as a whole, with individual attendees being splash damage.

  221. 221
    echidna

    Kate_waters:

    Do you think that Ms. Porter ought to have further beneficial (to her) associations with women’s groups given her actions?

    It’s not my call. Nor is it yours.

  222. 222
    Louis

    Aratina,

    Oh but of course. I am a very, very naughty boy. I am truly sorry. Etc. No really. Honest.

    Louis

  223. 223
    Tom Foss

    Gosh, where have I heard the “it’s not doxxing, this info was publicly available if you just looked for it” argument before?

  224. 224
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I’ve come in again late and I’m finding this hard to decide. Who, exactly, is Kate Waters proposing to inform? And why, exactly, do people think this is so wrong? I don’t think it’s at all obvious one way or the other. Surely the mere act of telling someone something about another person is far too general to make case law. It depends on who tells whom what, and why.

    There’s quite a culture of not reporting bad behaviour that serves to protect harassers. “Dobbers”, in Australian parlance, are not well thought of. They are informers, narcs, tattletales, slimy untrustworthy shady characters… But in real life they may be whistle-blowers and activists. Don’t we generally WANT to call out harrassers? Name and shame, and stop providing the customary cover for them?

  225. 225
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    an atheist activist in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

    I am so glad I’m not active in my local atheist/skeptic/freethought community. First Vacula, then this. Not all of us in Wilkes-Barre are like this. Honest.

  226. 226
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    @Alethea – yes, tell on abusers, name and shame all one can. But do it publically, not by quiet talks with customers or employers. The culture of quiet talks (“watch out for Mr. Jones, he touched my friend in high school” or “you might want to look into whether you want to continue to do business with Ms. Mattir, I hear she’s a scotch-drinking atheist who supports gay marriage and marijuana legalization”) manages to (1) NOT inform other people who might need to know about the bad behavior, (2) not allow the subjects of such quiet hints to know the identity of the persons attacking their reputations and on what grounds, and (3) not afford the targets of the quiet hints an opportunity to address the claims and possibly change their behavior or views. It is for these reasons that I view the sort of quiet contacting approach as an unethical way to address concerns about behavior like Karla Porter’s.

    The only exception I might make to this guideline is for situations in which there is a preexisting relationship between the informer and the person being told, and even then, I think a more public exposing of the problem should follow the quiet advice (at a minimum, the person who has done the questionable/problematic thing should be told about the contact and the nature of the complaint).

  227. 227
    doubtthat

    If you don’t stop voluntarily, doubtthat, I’ll stop you the hard way. I’d laugh at WBC too, but that doesn’t mean no one would feel threatened by them.

    Well, that wasn’t the point I was trying to make, and I don’t disagree, but clearly I failed at expressing my point(s).

    It doesn’t look like Westboro is showing up, which is a good thing, and it was a BS move to try and get them to show up.

  228. 228
    Louis

    I’m with Chris and Mattir on this. The “quiet contact” method of dealing with people gives me the shivers. (Understatement of the century)

    It explicitly assumes the righteousness of the complainant, which obviously in this case is not in question, I mention that as a general point. It explicitly denies the person being complained about the chance of reform or redress, unless the person complained to raises it, by which point the damage might well already be done. It reinforces a “whispering” culture not a “whistle blowing” culture, which can be easily misused and often has been/is.

    I don’t think there’s any question Karla Porter’s actions are foolish and odious. I don’t think there’s any question that attempting to alert a known harassment/hate group to the presence of a conference is an act of trouble making at the very minimum. And yes, deserving of censure. Rather than effectively “going behind people’s backs” (and yes I know intent is announced so it’s not 100% behind) I think the “loud and proud” whistle blowing method is preferable. Journalists write, bloggers blog, conference organisers consider whether or not Ms Porter is a candidate for their specific needs.

    I’m more on the side of “sunlight is the best disinfectant” in these matters. Drag thing out into the open, make a solid case, let people decide for themselves. It’s far more open, honest and less troublesome than, “I say, I think you need to know X is a rotter.”. It’s not a question of whether or not Ms Porter’s actions were wrong (they were), or whether people are justified in registering/announcing their displeasure/unwillingness to put up with this kind of harassment (they are), it’s about the most effective way to get this done with the least collateral damage. A whispering culture hurts everyone.

    Louis

    P.S. And having never heard of Ms Porter before, and not being a fan of the “fellow traveller” condemnation, I know nothing of her professional life. Or anything else for that matter. She may be an excellent…whatever it is she does. She may be a superlative human being on an off day. She may be an evil turd and the epitome of all that is wrong with the world, but I don’t know, and unless you are sufficiently personally acquainted with her to make an informed judgement, neither do you. Google does not replace decent first hand knowledge. Hence why in almost all of these cases why I support loud public complaint that the object of that complaint has the right of reply to as opposed to directed, “quiet” complaint that they don’t. It allows for so much more nuance and appreciation of context. Life ain’t black and white.

  229. 229
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    Wanna know the big difference between what I’m actually proposing and what others here think is the “right way” to do things?

    I want to point women’s groups with which Ms. Porter has worked in the past, privately and confidentially, to her public twitter feed so that they can see the kerfuffle “in situ” as it were and make a decision for themselves, without public pressure. Why? Because Ms. Porter has not, in any search I’ve been able to do, shown she has any animosity towards any other group. Why does this matter? It matters because I don’t want, as some others here seem to, completely ruin her business. I just want her away from women’s groups or organizations. That leaves her a whole swath of other potential clients with which to conduct business. The people here calling for giant public declarations and petitions and shaming want to ruin her entirely.

    Then again, according to some here, I’m the worlds biggest, most disingenuous, full of myself asshole.

  230. 230
    Anthony K

    Then again, according to some here, I’m the worlds biggest, most disingenuous, full of myself asshole.

    Around here we win awards and titles like that by critical acclaim. You don’t get to just confer them on yourself that because you’re pissed off.

  231. 231
    kate_waters: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile.

    @Anthony: AhahahahAAAAAAhahahahahahahaHHHHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Right back atcha, sunshine.

  232. 232
    chigau (違う)

    Around here we win awards and titles like that by critical acclaim.

    On the other hand “whiny sucky-baby” can be self-proclaimed.

  233. 233
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    @ kate_waters –

    Why do you get to choose which sorts of organizations or interests “deserve” to know about Ms. Porter’s attempt to get the Westboro Baptist Church protest at a feminist conference? Why don’t non-Christian and secular social service organizations get to have such information? GBLTQ organizations? Progressive environmental groups? The American Legion? Gold Star Families?

    Either all of these groups deserve to know that Karla Porter made the decision to try to attract Westboro Baptist Church to notice and protest a secular feminist conference or none of them do. You have not established that women’s organizations have a greater risk of danger or that your whisper campaign would serve to protect women’s organizations that have not worked with Ms. Porter in the past but might in the future. And you seem alarmingly unconcerned about the splash damage that occurs when a well-intentioned brave hero such as yourself decides to whisper and thus strengthens a culture of whispered accusations.

  234. 234
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    For the record, I do not want to ruin Ms. Porter’s future or livelihood. I want her to think about what she did and understand and articulate why it was wrong to do and what steps she has taken to remediate the harm she has caused. I want to hear a commitment to not doing such things again. Were I running a conference or seeking someone with Ms. Porter’s skills, such public reflection might make me MORE likely to hire her.

  235. 235
    Chris Clarke

    chigau (違う):

    On the other hand “whiny sucky-baby” can be self-proclaimed.

    SPLASH DAMAGE ALERT

  236. 236
    Louis

    Kate Waters,

    Hi! I don’t agree that you’re the world’s biggest, most disingenuous, full of yourself asshole. I’m just not a fan of the methods you’ve proposed, that’s all. I realise it’s the internet, but I’m relatively sure you’re not Hitler and Stalin’s Satanic love-child. ;-)

    Putting things out in public won’t ruin her business entirely, nor are they necessarily shaming etc. They’re a pretty standard end point of “investigative journalism” type activities. No marches, no banners calling for Ms Porter’s beheading, no clandestine chats, just the facts, ma’am. No more is needed, no more is warranted. It’s pretty simple. People who need to be held to account are now in a position to be held to account. People viewing this get to make their own minds up.

    So more Slyme-tolerant members of the public who interact with Ms Porter will laugh at the “humourless feminazis”, and more enlightened folk will delete her from their Rolodexes.* The idea being that the individual person encountering the evidence is able to draw their own conclusions not have your prepackaged conclusions given to them.

    Also, the extended point people have been making, is that this method also allows for public redress/reformation. The scales might publicly fall from Ms Porter’s eyes, they might not. She might be allowed to put her remarks into some context,** she might not. The point being that this is all out in the open, not amenable to easy spinning as victimisation, honest, transparent and evidence based.

    Louis

    * I AM SO UP TO DATE!

    ** Let’s be blunt, context ain’t saving her on this one!

  237. 237
    Anthony K

    I’m sorry kate. That was meant to be a self-deprecating attempt at levity. I didn’t mean to contribute to you feeling dogpiled.

    I’m incredibly sure no-one here thinks you’re the worlds biggest, most disingenuous, full of yourself asshole.

  238. 238
    Argle Bargle

    I’m incredibly sure no-one here thinks you’re the worlds biggest, most disingenuous, full of yourself asshole.

    Are nominations open for this accolade?

  239. 239
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I think some of you are being unnecessarily harsh to Kate (no, not tone, content). The argument against what she’s doing strikes me as similar to the “you’re just as bad as the evangelists!” that we hear when atheists make loud public declarations. No, it’s not the “evangelizing” that’s bad. It’s the content and effect of what is being evangelized.

    Analogously, a case can be made that contacting organizations to alert them that someone they think supports them on a social cause is actually willing to try to inflict harm on that cause is not the same thing at all as trying to get someone fired or shunned for an irrelevancy.

    I know and acknowledge that people use slimy and sinister tactics to make life hell for atheists, feminists, trans people, queers, POC, etc. But there is a very, very important difference that—particularly you, Chris—are glossing over. It is not the act of alerting an employer/colleague. It is the reason for doing so and the use of a person’s oppression to further oppress them that is the evil.

    When we know that minorities can have their very humanity used against them to lose their jobs, we know it’s a vicious, evil act to do so. But this is not the case with Karla Porter. She is not a victim in this transaction. No one is proposing to use a characteristic of any oppression she may feel as a means to illegitimately and in an evil manner exploit the unethical prejudices of an employer to fuck her over. That is what has been done to Chris Clarke, as one example, and it’s evil. What Kate is proposing is not at all the same thing.

    And frankly, I think Mattir, Anthony, Chris and others would probably see that and agree if they hadn’t been stung by the evil kind. I understand absolutely why you view it this way, but as a friend I want to suggest that you are not as clearly and unequivocally in the position of moral authority that you think you are. I do not mean that as snark, or as an insult, honestly.

    I also know that there is a “playing with fire” aspect to this, and that a case can be made that even a righteous deployment of the tactic can give cover to its evil uses. Because of this I’m very much undecided about whether it’s a justifiable course of action. But it is certainly not as clearly awful and beyond the pale as you’re characterizing it. Sorry. Context and content matter. Even when it hits a personally frightening place.

    Were this an issue of a gay man popular on the gay lecture circuit instead of a woman who makes presentations on women’s/veterans’ issues (or deals with them in some context), I might well feel just the way Kate does. I daresay many of you would too (personalize it any way that it would make analogous sense for you).

    It’s a frustrating and vexing ethical topic, absolutely. But Kate doesn’t deserve the unbridled righteousness and shit she’s getting.

  240. 240
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    The culture of quiet talks (“watch out for Mr. Jones, he touched my friend in high school”

    The only thing I can say about this is I do not like this example at. all. In fact, I’d want someone to pass on this information to me.

    I remember trying to tell people about the abuse I suffered as a child and it was brushed off like it was this “quiet talk” stuff. How else can I warn others? How else can I express myself to friends and family?

    You have no idea how shaming, dismissive this was to me. Not to mention the attached guilt of “What if he moved on to other targets?”.

    I was powerless and unhelped because people just treated my begging, pleading, warning about my father, to save myself and push other children away from him as this “quiet talk”. There’s no justice through the legal system and attaching my real name now only allows for him to find me and ruin me more. How else are we supposed to talk of such things?

  241. 241
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    The culture of quiet talks (“watch out for Mr. Jones, he touched my friend in high school”

    Seriously, this just screams “But bitchez be lyin’ to ruin his life!”

  242. 242
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    OK, for some reason the page didn’t refresh when I commented above (not logged in), and I didn’t see the spate of newer comments.

    FTR, I wrote:

    Does this scenario make anyone else picture Mickey Mouse in a pointy hat, and an army of out-of-control broomsticks?

    Also, Kate Waters: I agree with you 100%. “Better than they are”… fuck that shit, we ARE better than they are, and don’t give me any of that “but but but no we’re nooooooot, we’re all privileged sinners!!” bullshit. Also, people have a right to know whether they’re doing business with solicitors of hate speech.

    Chris, I take your points at #152, but about the only one that convinces me is that those who report Porter to her clients “aren’t the ones that will be targeted with the blowback should Porter decide to escalate.” I am really not convinced that “fighting clean” is all it’s cracked up to be. I offer up the last 30 years of U.S. politics as Exhibit A.

    Mattir, nobody is “doxing” Porter. Her comment to Shirley Phelps-Roper was public and, as Kate says, under her own name. Also:

    You do know that many of the religious fundamentalists I know would think (and act as if) my hypotheticals were every bit as bad as or even worse than what Ms. Porter did?

    And we should give a shit because?

    Ogvorbis, even though Doubtthat has not impressed me in this thread, I think what they meant by “Everyone determines their own comfort level” is “Everyone gets to say whether or not they’re comfortable, and no one else gets to argue about it.”

    Josh and JAL: Agree with your comments just now.

  243. 243
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    The culture of quiet talks (“watch out for Mr. Jones, he touched my friend in high school”

    (Since my thoughts are fragmented, so are my comments.This is not easy for me.)

    Think this through. If the justice system is no help and Mr.Jones is a threat to come at you, how else should people be warned? How else are we supposed to talk about? Even just talking to a friend about it because you want to stay away from Mr. Jones and want your friend to be aware and on alert would be this “quiet talk”.

    So what’s left? Never talking about what happened and letting people, unfortunately, find out for themselves when he does it again? And the next victim must stay silent as well?

  244. 244
    Chris Clarke

    Josh, thanks for the thoughtful comments.

    I vehemently disagree that I’m glossing over that difference. I made my point about my discomfort with the tactic early on. My subsequent reactive comments had to do with being told that some of us have the opinions we have because we haven’t thought things through, that we don’t have the same commitment to civil rights that Kate has, that driving clients away from a freelancer is somehow magically not the same as making her lose her job, that all of the people who disagreed were engaging in false equivalence, yada yada.

    But I probably should have walked away after making my initial point. My further participation in the thread likely did no one good. It certainly didn’t do me any good.

    Walking away now.

  245. 245
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Thanks for the clarification, Chris.

  246. 246
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    I have my own experiences with the Mr, Jones of the world, and the more I have thought about how I responded and how I should respond in the future, the more I believe that the most effective and ethical response is to shout, not whisper. I gave Kate a variety of options that did not require the cooperation of authority figures. Letters to the editor, complaints to professional ethics boards of associations to which Karla Porter belongs, public letters delivered to the organizations in question AND available for anyone to see, boycotts – there are a whole lot of options that do not involve whispering.

    Yes,sometimes whispering is the very best one can do. But not for Kate Waters in this particular instance.

  247. 247
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I agree with Ms. Daisy Cutter here. We already fucking ARE “better than them”. You know how? We don’t fucking hang out with MRAs and white supremacists and the goddamn WBC. For fuck’s sake. And likening acts of discrimination by people with institutional power with pointing out what a freelance person publicly said under their own name is a revolting false equivalence.

  248. 248
    Anthony K

    And frankly, I think Mattir, Anthony, Chris and others would probably see that and agree if they hadn’t been stung by the evil kind.

    Shit, this is what happens when I partially engage in a thread but don’t take the time to commit fully. But I didn’t want to commit because I don’t think I have much of value to add.

    I’m conflicted on this for pretty much all the reasons Josh outlines. And I think kate has made her argument well. And I agree that she doesn’t deserve the criticism of being self-righteous. She’s made a good case for why she thinks an email is the ethical action to take. Mattir, Chris, and others have made good counterpoints. I honestly don’t know.

    But I am sorry for jumping in with some half thought out attempts at jokes. They were inappropriate, and I do apologise for adding noise and confusion and not much else.

  249. 249
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Chris, I don’t think you should have walked your discussion back at all. I have thought more clearly about the whispering versus shouting culture in the last 18 hours than I have before, and that’s been quite helpful.

  250. 250
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    It’s peculiar that I am being taken to task for wanting MORE attention drawn to Karla Porter’s actions so that other interested groups could make their own decisions about whether to engage her services or what questions to ask if they did.

  251. 251
    PZ Myers

    I’m incredibly sure no-one here thinks you’re the worlds biggest, most disingenuous, full of yourself asshole.

    On my blog? There can be only one!

  252. 252
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    For what it’s worth, Mattir, I certainly am not taking you to task for wanting more attention drawn to Porter.

  253. 253
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    250
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    It’s peculiar that I am being taken to task for wanting MORE attention drawn to Karla Porter’s actions so that other interested groups could make their own decisions about whether to engage her services or what questions to ask if they did.

    What you think people wanting to notify associates of Kate Water’s behavior don’t want it to be publicized far and wide? WTF? I don’t think that’s been said at all. If anything they want all the public to know and to notify specific people who is concerned with this matter like conference clients. Having someone sic the WBC on a conference they don’t like, and then turns around and handles conferences? Yeah, I think her clients should know because I’d certiantly take that fact into consideration.

    And my only problem is with this disdain of whispering like it’s some idle gossip.

    the more I believe that the most effective and ethical response is to shout, not whisper.

    FUCK YOU.

  254. 254
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Is losing one’s clients (losing one’s job) always a completely unwarranted consequence of bad behavior? In this case, it seems as if the benefit to those who are notified has to be weighed against the cost to Ms. Porter.
     
    If I were her client,or the organizer of a women’s group, I might would like to know.

  255. 255
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I’m so fucking pissed but I’m going to try to explain why.
    246
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    8 May 2013 at 12:02 pm (UTC -5)

    I have my own experiences with the Mr, Jones of the world, and the more I have thought about how I responded and how I should respond in the future, the more I believe that the most effective and ethical response is to shout, not whisper.

    That’s good for you! That’s lucky for you! Have a fucking cookie!

    Yes,sometimes whispering is the very best one can do.

    Oh, but shouting is the better option? The more ethical route? And what if I don’t want everyone to know about what happened to me? What if I don’t want to die and be some martyr for the cause?

    I have every fucking right to whisper and it’s just as ethical as shouting. With an internet connection, everyone can fucking shout nowadays. I choose not to. Even if I didn’t fear for me or my child, I’d still be fucking whispering and it’s just as right. This is why I do not like including rape/sexual assualt/domestic violence in this “whispering isn’t as ethical or as good as shouting” discussion. It’s fucking different. That’s was my first, main objection.

    It’s so nice to know you think I just did my best and could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done it differently.

    But not for Kate Waters in this particular instance.

    I’m talking in general here about this disdain for whispering.

  256. 256
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    The culture of whispering and anonymous complaints has a nasty habit of biting its proponents.

  257. 257
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Saying shouting is more ethical is a judgement on whispering. The purpose of name n’ shame is turn it on the perpetrators instead of the victims. Adding in the judgement of what victims chose to do isn’t going to help bring more victims forward.

    Already shamed for everything, it’s another instance of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Whispering is ethical in the specific cases I’m talking about. Shouting isn’t more ethical, it just has a wider range. Whispering is useful and not just “the best you can do” but the right thing do it in your personal private life. If that’s what the victims chooses.

  258. 258
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    It just occurred to me that when I wrote the Mr, Jones example, I deliberately did NOT make the example “Mr. Jones touched me,” but rather “Mr. Jones touched someone else”. That was because I do not want to blame victims for whispering – however victims talk about their own experiences is their own business. But if I know that the person down the street is harming children, I believe that I can do more for my community with a public statement than an anonymous whisper. (I could, of course, do both.)

  259. 259
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    256Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    The culture of whispering and anonymous complaints has a nasty habit of biting its proponents.

    Is that a fucking threat?

    You want to actually address anything I’ve said, which has been specifically about rape/sexual assault? Or just fling out this “advice” like I’m supposed to figure out what the fuck it means?

    The problems I’ve faced with whispering wasn’t because of the whispering, the “consequences” would have been the same if I shouted because that’s how it is for victims of rape/sexual assault. Hence, my objection to it’s inclusion of “whispering is bad”.

  260. 260
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    258 Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    It just occurred to me that when I wrote the Mr, Jones example, I deliberately did NOT make the example “Mr. Jones touched me,” but rather “Mr. Jones touched someone else”. That was because I do not want to blame victims for whispering – however victims talk about their own experiences is their own business. But if I know that the person down the street is harming children, I believe that I can do more for my community with a public statement than an anonymous whisper. (I could, of course, do both.)

    Then let’s take this to it’s logical conclusion.

    I tell my friend privately about Mr. Jones. My friend finds out about Mr.Jones hanging out with high school girls and is worried. So now my friend is wrong for whispering? Where is the line drawn? It’s a fucking community! Everyone is a potential customer or might be associated with Mr. Jones.

    And what if Mr. Jones denies it and you are brought harm because of the shouting? What if it does no good like we see ALL THE FUCKING TIME. What shouting is still better?

  261. 261
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Of course it’s not a threat. Not only do I have no idea of who or where you are, I admire you and your efforts to protect and nurture yourself and your daughter. But since this whole discussion has been about splash damage and shaping the culture towards open confrontation or whisper campaigns, I think it’s worth pointing out that when I do stuff that contributes to a culture of anonymous informants, I can easily become a victim of that culture myself.

    As I said, I deliberately worded my original examples so as to make the speakers choosing between whispering and shouting themselves NOT the victims of assault.

  262. 262
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    As I said, I deliberately worded my original examples so as to make the speakers choosing between whispering and shouting themselves NOT the victims of assault.

    So then it’s just our friends, family and those that actually supports that are “unethical” for whispering the warnings and believing us.

    Yeah, like that’s going to help.

  263. 263
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Here’s a nice example – when I was a kid, I was severely abused by both my parents. My father physically abused me badly in public and sexually in private. Everyone in my entire fucking community knew about the stuff he did in public, either because they saw him do it or because they heard about it later. I know this because years later I had some of these people come up to me and say that they’d known and felt sorry for me. Not one person called child protection or even spoke to my parents to express social disapproval. No one talked to me about it at the time, they just whispered among each other and didn’t let their kids play at my house. So when I finally got child protection’s attention years later, there was no record and the case got closed as unfounded.

    Whispering hurts. I still live in the same community and still see some of these same people around. I do not trust them, respect them, or want to live according to their values.

  264. 264
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Whispering hurts. I still live in the same community and still see some of these same people around. I do not trust them, respect them, or want to live according to their values.

    I suffered the same hurt but I removed myself from the community and people still know to keep my father away from kids. Since they will never be any justice legally, it’s the best way to keep the children safe.

  265. 265
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Yeah. The adults in my community did a fabulous job of believing each other and protecting THEIR kids from my father, Too bad they didn’t do anything other than whisper, but I didn’t really matter much, I was his kid and why make waves? Shouting is rude and loud and requires going public.

  266. 266
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Just to clarify, my father died years ago in another state, I bought my parents’ house and they moved out of state, and the majority of my neighbors now were not around then (the ones who are are in their 70s or 80s). That’s how I can live in this place that I actually love.

  267. 267
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    265
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Yeah. The adults in my community did a fabulous job of believing each other and protecting THEIR kids from my father, Too bad they didn’t do anything other than whisper, but I didn’t really matter much, I was his kid and why make waves? Shouting is rude and loud and requires going public.

    Shouting also has “consequences” like being charged with false reporting or kicked out of the community. Whispering people will often believe but make them confront the fact one of their own is an abuser and they will rally around them. They will re-inforce that “He’s such a great guy, we have nothing to fear.”, which helps no one especially not the kids let around them in a show of solidarity.

    If a kid today tells me about abuse, I will report. I will warn others, but I know I do that with risking my own child. We’re borderline homeless and the system against us. We will be taken down and my child most likely taken and put into a worse system. That’s the cost of shouting for me.

  268. 268
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    That’s the cost of shouting for me.

    (To Expand:)
    That’s also the cost everyone around me as well. They have no better off family to turn to, no social support, no savings or a cushy safe job with prospects. This is why a lot of things don’t get reported in poor communities, we’re just trying to stay alive as it is.

    I was so angry and hurt when my neighbors in the shelters didn’t report or help me when I was abused. Then months later, with different neighbors I hear abuse next door. I didn’t report. I couldn’t. I knew what would happen to me if I did, not just from the staff but from the community for being a snitch.

    So I whispered. I passed the information to her secretly and did what I could to help her through. Later, after she was working and no longer needed the father to support the family, she reported. If I had reported before, she would have lost her place in the shelter and her kids.

  269. 269
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    That is why I don’t think such cases should be put into the whispering is unethical/not the right choice. It’s not the same. Even for people around the victim, whispering isn’t wrong.

  270. 270
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    JAL – you are, as usual, correct in pointing out my privilege in having the option to shout rather than whisper. I still think that in this particular instance, it would be more ethical for Kate Waters to do more than quiet contacting of Karla Porter’s client women’s organizations and that a culture that promotes public challenges over anonymous complaints is better to live in than the converse. It is also important to recognize when and why some people cannot make public challenges and to try to shift the balance so that they are supported to do so.

    And I strongly suspect that Gold Star Families, LGBTQ groups, and a variety of other potential or existing clients would want to know that Karla Porter contacted the Westboro Baptist Church to ask if they were going to protest a feminist conference organized by persons Porter disliked.

  271. 271
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    270 Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    JAL – you are, as usual, correct in pointing out my privilege in having the option to shout rather than whisper.

    Thank you. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer and more straightforward. I’m really emotional and my ability to put my problem with the whispering thing came through making the multiple comments. At least, I finally got it right.

    I still think that in this particular instance, it would be more ethical for Kate Waters to do more than quiet contacting of Karla Porter’s client women’s organizations

    I definitely agree that more should be done and in the public sphere, I’m conflicted with whether or not specific people should be notified of her actions .

    and that a culture that promotes public challenges over anonymous complaints is better to live in than the converse.

    Hmm. I do agree that promoting shouting is good and not promoting shouting will be bad. I just can’t say shouting is always best, not in this world. Hell, I can’t even imagine what it would take or be like for me to be comfortable saying shouting to always be the best/better thing.

    It is also important to recognize when and why some people cannot make public challenges and to try to shift the balance so that they are supported to do so.

    This I agree with.

    To clarify, with the whole “Are you threatening me?” thing – comment#256 came off exactly like the things that have been said to keep me completely silent. Comment#261 where you said “I think it’s worth pointed out…” comes off completely differently, though you were saying the same thing. I’ve just had experiences and now raise the red flag for the way things are said with #256 (i.e. one line, saying what could happen based on what I’m doing like it’s my own fault/consequences, etc.). Apparently I have more triggers than I thought because that made me immediately worry about my safety online and off, regardless of the fact it was you that said it.

  272. 272
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    (((Hugs))) for JAL. And everyone who can, stop whispering and start shouting.

  273. 273
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    On my blog? There can be only one!

    Oooh, it can be like Asshole Highlander, but instead of cutting off each other’s heads, they’ll cut off…

    …yeah, I probably shouldn’t finish that sentence.

  274. 274
    irisvanderpluym

    If anybody’s still around (and cares), I’ve settled definitively on mockery.

  275. 275
    Ysidro

    Sorry to jump in so late (and I don’t normally jump in at all) but I just got through this entire thread and well, in the grand tradition of this blog’s comment section, I Have Something To Say.

    Who exactly is suggesting whispering other than the (for lack of a better term) anti-whisperers? Going to various women’s issues/rights groups Ms. Porter has worked for in the past and informing them of her association (as small as it may be) with WBC does not preclude telling anyone else.

    In fact, NOT telling them about it would be like whispering. Otherwise we’re just the neighbors talking to each other about how nasty that mean Karla Porter is.

    If someone’s going to shout, they also need someone to shout too. Just being loud doesn’t mean the right people are going to hear you.

    There are other issues I’m ignoring on purpose, so as not to make this comment an entire book, FWIW.

  276. 276
    Pjay Pender

    I’m sure this question will get me banned, but why do we care if they come? Seriously, they don’t PHYSICALLY assault people, they prey on the emotionally vulnerable; that’s why they do funerals. People attending conferences aren’t especially emotionally vulnerable. I can’t see why they’d bother, but so what if they did? Sticks and stones and so on. Better WISC2 than somebody’s funeral, if you ask me.

  277. 277
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I’m sure this question will get me banned, but why do we care if they come?

    The giant vacuum cleaner sound you hear is you missing the point. Reread the OP, and see why they might come. That was the problem.

  278. 278
    athyco

    Pjay Pender, let’s forget WBC for a moment because they didn’t do/haven’t done anything that we don’t already expect from WBC. In the (now unlikely) event that any of their protesters arrive at WiS2, I’m sure the organizers will handle the situation with multiple strategies–all of them designed to provide options for their attendees and speakers and staff. Avoidance. Counterprotest. Plenty of options, plenty of ‘em to make WiS2 look good. But if you’re a conference organizer handling tons of details already, you ain’t gonna be happy when someone who doesn’t care about your success hands you a bag full of lemons, expecting you to add the details of pitchers, glasses, water, ice, and sugar to make delicious lemonade to serve to everyone.

    The issue here is Karla Porter’s behavior in that she undeniably brought WiS2 into direct view of WBC. Prior evidence, back in September 2012, shows us that Karla Porter knew that confusion and necessary damage control could result from such a “joking” tweet.

    She knew it because she dealt with it first hand.

    I used TweetChat to livestream hashtagged tweets on the screen behind a presenter who did not bring a visual presentation. As the presenter was half way through his excellent talk on how to monetize a blog, the audience was exposed to the following tweet on the screen behind him:

    http://personal.karlaporter.com/post/32648460794/when-worlds-collide This link will take you to the @ElevatorGATE tweet sent on a conference hashtag. It was a beaut.

    Can you imagine the confusion and even horror experienced by attendees of a blogger / social media conference seeing this on the screen behind an internationally respected presenter at the conference they were attending? The looks on their faces were quite telling. How would they know the tweet by @ElevatorGATE was a joke?

    I knew what was going on, what the reference was to but no one else in the room did except Justin Vacula. I couldn’t allow attendees to feel uncomfortable and so I didn’t hesitate to reply:

    As you can see Matt [Dillahunty], attendees did not understand the context of @ElevatorGATE’s remark – because they have no idea whatsoever about the drama of the paranoid, sick and dysfunctional element of the online atheist ‘community’.

    But I did, and I felt rather fortunate that I was in the room at that moment to provide the response I did to calm rather than incite. It’s called damage mitigation. If it would have been one of the other organizers in the room instead of me, I can only imagine they would have felt the event was being hijacked and assaulted for no apparent reason.

    I’m not happy at all that any of the content filtered to this event, completely removed from the freakish sideshow that occurs on a daily basis on the Internet by people proselytising in ways harmful to one another about the viscosity of mud.

    She knows how “not happy at all” it made her. Too bad she doesn’t seem to care how “not happy at all” alerting a group known for nothing more than “proselytising in ways harmful” would make anyone at WiS2 feel.

  279. 279
    Pjay Pender

    ANYONE at WISC2? ANYONE?

    Were I an organizer, I’d ignore them. As I said, they target the emotionally fragile, which conference attendees should not be. If they do anything illegal, the DC police can/will handle it. As an attendee, should they show, it will bother me not at all. I don’t know why it would.

    And who cares (again) what Karla Porter did. When people “troll” (not my word) what they want is to upset you. When you get excited about it they get the pay off. When you ignore it, they don’t. Why would we not ignore it?

    This is a problem only if you let it be a problem.

  280. 280
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Pjay Pender, fuck off with your victim blaming bullshit. You should actually read the comments thread, people who are attending WiS2 have already stated above that they have substantial reasons – not that they are ‘emotionally fragile’ – to not want the WBC there. So you’re defending the fuckbrained kooky asshole Karla Porter – which sorta makes you look like you’re a fuckbrained kooky asshole as well. Fortunately, you’re not an organiser, and your unhelpful commentary is neither wanted, nor likely to be followed.

  281. 281
    Amphiox

    When people “troll” (not my word) what they want is to upset you. When you get excited about it they get the pay off. When you ignore it, they don’t. Why would we not ignore it?

    Because, as is the case with the comments and actions of most so-called trolls, there are bigger, more important concerns that whether or not some emotionally stunted person does or does not get their jollies from being responded to.

    If the WORDS or ACTIONS merit response, they merit it regardless of the person who uttered them or the motivation underpinning said utterance. To choose not to respond because of concerns about satisfying the base urges of some troll (all hypothetical too, unless you’re a mind reader) is to allow oneself to be silenced by annoyance.

    That is no different from being silenced by intimidation.

    And if it should pass that the person who is the so-called troll really does get some perverse satisfaction from a response, so what? I don’t care what they want. This world hasn’t enough satisfaction in it anyways. A little more, even if wholly undeserving, harms no one.

    “Ignore the troll” is intellectual cowardice, plain and simple.

  282. 282
    Pjay Pender

    I can’t be victim blaming when it is not me calling you a victim. I have pointed out (twice) that people attending conferences are NOT emotionally fragile. WBC’s thing is victimizing those who ARE emotionally fragile. It seems unlikely they would be interested.

    Nor did I defend anybody. Anybody at all. Nice straw man, though.

    And not everybody attending WISC2 cares what the WBC or Karla Porter does. You simply don’t speak for everybody. I will no more be made a victim by you than by the WBC.

  283. 283
    Pjay Pender

    Exactly. They do not merit response. You only respond to equals. There is no reason to elevate them to your level.

    I appreciate that it’s the very hardest thing not to respond to it, because when you’re angry you need to feel like you’re doing something. And it feels like if you don’t reply they, and everyone else, might think what they say is true. But think about it. Is that REALLY likely? The people who agree with them are going to do that anyway, and the vast majority of people won’t.

    Quite frankly, I’d rather the WBC show up than a bunch of “moderate” christians. The moderate christians are FAR more dangerous.

  284. 284
    John Morales

    Pjay:

    Quite frankly, I’d rather the WBC show up than a bunch of “moderate” christians. The moderate christians are FAR more dangerous.

    Your frankness about which protest group you’d prefer is irrelevant to the malevolent blitheness of Karla’s little evocation.

  285. 285
    Pjay Pender

    SO? I have no reason to care what this Karla does.

    I don’t really care who protests. It won’t affect my enjoyment of the conference in the least. But the “moderates” are the ones who are likely to get physical, not the WBC, and unless protesters are going to physically accost me, well, sticks-and-stones and such.

  286. 286
    mildlymagnificent

    I have pointed out (twice) that people attending conferences are NOT emotionally fragile.

    That’s very good news.

    At least we can be confident that not one person in the whole conference will be unwell at any time, nor will anyone hear of the illness of a loved relative in the days just before. And that not one family, nor any of their pet animals, will suffer any illness, accident, job loss or other misfortune during the days of the conference and call their family member attending the conference asking for advice or support.

    As I said, good news.

  287. 287
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    So Pjay Pender still hasn’t read the comment thread and is still justifying bullying and intimidation; quelle surprise. People other than Pjay, attending WiS2, have legitimate objections to the possibility of the WBC turning up (who in fact seem unlikely to turn up, since they haven’t included WiS2 in their picket schedule)… but Pjay keeps ignoring that and spouting their one note bullshit, besides having the supreme arrogance to assume that everyone should react to such protests the same way they do; the modus operandi of every two-bit troll that spreads their excrement over comments threads like this one. Boring.

  288. 288
    Eamon Knight

    @Pjay Pender: Is that the name you will be attending WIS2 under? Just wondering so I can avoid you.

  289. 289
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Wow, this is still going on?

    I can’t be victim blaming when it is not me calling you a victim.

    I see someone doesn’t understand what victim blaming means…

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