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May 16 2013

Creeps get what they deserve

Facebook allows porn sites? Yeah, it looks the other way. So I find it hilarious that a group of feminists managed to gain control of a facebook page dedicated to creepy content and give it a total makeover.

The Bra Busters page now has just over 3,000 subscribers. One admin spent an hour removing all the old content, including memes about women being “bitches” and “sluts,” upskirt shots, creepy close-ups of bras and underwear, and a photo of Jennifer Lawrence’s nip slip. (“She looked very unhappy and the guys on this page were laughing and joking about it,” wrote one moderator.)

About a thousand members have so far “unliked” the new Bra Busters and complained loudly about the change in management, with such eloquent phrases as, “fack (sic) you bra busters new editor bitch!! … go scissor your buth biker slut girlfriend.” The original male moderator seems to have disappeared.

Most ironically, after ignoring lots of sexist content that objectified women, when the new Bra Busters management started posting photos of men with their comments superimposed — their own public photos, with their own public words — Facebook finally stepped in and told them to stop that. I guess objectifying men is a no-no.

So the feminists moved those photos offsite, to a new page called Whiney Dudes. It’s great to see these straight-up images of guys putting on their friendliest face…next to their words of hate.

Prunty

But…but…they look so normal!


Unfortunately, there isn’t universal cause to celebrate: it looks like the site takeover was by the transphobic wing of feminism, so hate’s been replaced with a different flavor of hate.

(via Stephanie)

128 comments

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  1. 1
    flybywire

    That’s awesome that they have a separate site showing the idiots and their statements. Too bad i have to wait until work is over to go check it out.

    Damn how I despise facebook and thought i couldn’t dislike it more. Boy was I wrong.

    I refuse to let my kids use the damn site no matter how much they ask. Is there something else out there that isn’t actually evil that I can let my kids use?

  2. 2
    anteprepro

    It sounds hilarious on paper but ugh. The shit that they’re saying is so inane and nauseating, I can’t stand to wade through it. Even when the juxtaposition between Friendly Mug and Hateful Bullshit is present, it doesn’t make reading the Hateful Bullshit. Seems to be chockful of headache-inducing pseudointellectuals who don’t know what the fuck they are talking about, defending their RIGHT to treat women like shit.

  3. 3
    OptimalCynic

    That’s fantastic. I’d like to see it as an art installation – the banality of misogyny.

  4. 4
    mythbri

    It’s not sexist or misogynistic.

    It’s just how you talk to women who disagree with you.
    It’s just how you talk to women you disagree with.
    It’s just how you talk to women who criticize something you like.
    It’s just how you talk to women who don’t want you to post upskirt photos.
    It’s just how you talk to women who bring up issues of sexism.
    It’s just how you talk to women who try to change things.
    It’s just how you talk to women who ignore you.
    It’s just how you talk to women who say “No.”
    It’s just how you talk to women.

    It’s not sexist or misogynistic.

  5. 5
    mythbri

    (In before “But public shaming is way worse!” and “Violation of privacy!” and “FREEZE PEACH!”)

  6. 6
    Jackie

    I hope their words haunt them for the rest of their lives.

  7. 7
    oualawouzou

    *applaud*

  8. 8
    Gregory Greenwood

    A snapshot of the face of misogyny, with mostly innocuous images paired with horrifying bigotry-filled screeds. It certaily demolishes the idea that misogyny is some fringe thing only found in a tiny group of pasty basement dwellers – it is sadly still all too mainstream and accepted, with legions of arsehats lining up to excuse and even exult it and its nauseating practitioners.

    How typical of Facebook to have no problem with the sexual objectification of women, including images taken without consent, but to step in when privileged doodz have their images linked to their own instances of hate speech. One more reason among many to despise that unethical organisation.

  9. 9
    Marshall

    I like how at the bottom of the page, because it’s it Dutch, it says “startpagina” (first page).

  10. 10
    Kevin

    Wow. That’s a win on so many levels.

  11. 11
    Paul S

    Ok, I just have to say that this is awesome not only because it strips away the anonymity the creeps thought they had, but because their hate is now public record and once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever. You can get it removed from facebook, but one of the thousands of copies will find it’s way to the surface sooner or later. As a bonus, all the employers I know scan facebook and twitter as part of the normal screening process to look for public displays of stupidity just like these. Good luck trying to deny your assholiness, misogynistic jerks.

  12. 12
    Sven

    Great way to take internet tough-guys down a peg.

  13. 13
    WharGarbl

    BRA-BUSTERS joined Facebook.
    April 18, 2013

    To lose a page in less than a month… must be a record or something!

  14. 14
    sadunlap

    @ pschoeckel #11

    As a bonus, all the employers I know scan facebook and twitter as part of the normal screening process to look for public displays of stupidity just like these.

    Another good reason either to stay off Facebook entirely or follow that advice (can’t remember who wrote this): Only put in an e-mail message or post online something you would be OK having read in public in a room full of your enemies.

  15. 15
    Alverant

    And there’s another reason for me to not joing FB. Too many creeps with phony indignation out there.

  16. 16
    WharGarbl

    @deltamachineries2
    I don’t get it.

  17. 17
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    deltamachineries2 – are you joking around or did you lose your way en route to the Slimepit?

  18. 18
    PZ Myers

    Deltamachine is Mabus/Markuze. Clean up in progress.

  19. 19
    Doug Little

    @deltamachineries2

    Is that you Mabus?

  20. 20
    chigau (違う)

    So, PZ, do you have some kind of electronic Mabus-alert or is it clairvoyance?

  21. 21
    PZ Myers

    He’s been posting here just about every day — you just don’t notice because I swoop in and clean it up fairly quickly.

    And yeah, I have some email filters to alert me when mabus-like emails come through. He’s fairly predictable.

  22. 22
    jeremytheobscure

    Unfortunately, the new management is also posting trans-hating bullshit.

  23. 23
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    soooo, more calls to Canada, I presume? It’s like they can’t keep this asshole from shitting up the internet every year

  24. 24
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    PZ,

    Creeps get what they deserve

    Nah, they deserve worse than a little public shaming. It is a good start though.

    ***

    Unfortunately, the new management is also posting trans-hating bullshit.

    I can’t do FB at work (and like to avoid it for personal reasons anyways), could you describe/quote the transphobic comments/posts?

  25. 25
    vexorian

    Another good reason either to stay off Facebook entirely or follow that advice

    Unfortunately, if you do the smart thing and stay off facebook then you are in for more trouble. HR a-holes are now adopting the dogma that not being in facebook is correlated with being an outcast and perhaps a psychopath. (I wish I was making it up). http://business.time.com/2012/08/08/does-not-having-a-facebook-page-make-you-suspicious-to-employers/

  26. 26
    David Marjanović

    That’s fantastic. I’d like to see it as an art installation – the banality of misogyny.

    + 1

  27. 27
    Jadehawk

    whargarbl and illuminata, that post was mabus. ignore.

  28. 28
    jeremytheobscure

    @ Woo_monster,

    A couple links, one to a daily mail article criticizing the transtion of a young child, another defending a “trans-critical” academic who was called out.

  29. 29
    ChasCPeterson

    Daily Mail link.

  30. 30
    vexorian

    It is so asymmetric though. When these guys shared denigrating slips and upskirts they were probably wanking while spewing all their hatred and resentment and enjoying their awful lives.

    But when you browse this gallery of the stuff they wrote, it is very uncomfortable. It is not an enjoyable thing at all. The idea that their identities will be shamed for this is comforting, but the crap they said it is still there. In a way this gives them more freeze peach.

  31. 31
    David Marjanović

    but the crap they said it is still there. In a way this gives them more freeze peach.

    Never forget.

  32. 32
    Gregory in Seattle

    When you act like an ass in public, your assinity will be made public. And when you act like an ass in public on the internet, your public assinity will be public forever.

  33. 33
    carlie

    I don’t understand what grounds Facebook could possibly have to take it down – public pictures, public statements that they themselves attached to the identity with their pictures, there’s nothing new there except for the visual organization that the words are on the pictures instead of next to them.

  34. 34
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Whooops. Didn’t know that was mabus. Will ignore.

    Unfortunately, the new management is also posting trans-hating bullshit.

    bloody hell. To hell with them too then.

  35. 35
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    Yup, after checking the FB, looks like it’s the anti-Trans branch of RadFem. Lovely.

  36. 36
    mythbri

    Note the fact that while many/most of us here disagree with the transphobia exhibited by the feminists who took over the group, we’ve all refrained from using sexist slurs to express our disagreement and contempt for their position.

    Almost as if you don’t need slurs to passionately disagree with someone.

  37. 37
    loreo

    But without slurs, you have to actually think about what is making you angry and describe it accurately, and that’s WORK.

    Are you telling me I don’t have the privilege of just yelling incoherently and making everyone else figure out what is making me mad?

  38. 38
    Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I)

    Mythbri@36

    Well, I’ve had to consciously flush most of the sexist stuff from my mind. Which pretty much left me with the scatological and the profane, the former of which Chris has commented on. Largely, I think it speaks volumes when (in my case) one has to stop for a moment to consider the impact of one’s choice of nasty words.

  39. 39
    Gregory Greenwood

    I was pleased to hear that someone was sticking it to the misogynist arsehats, that someone was taking some steps to make a few of those heinous biogots accountable for their hate speech.

    Yup, I was feeling pretty good about the subject of this article… until I read in the comments here that the Bra Busters site was posting anti-trans screeds. Then I clicked on the link to see for myself, and my earlier sense of satisfaction promptly turned to ashes in my mouth.

    Why did these arsehats have to ruin a perfectly good statement against misogyny with transphobia? Don’t they see the clear connection between those two forms of bigotry?

    One example from the site that caught my eye;

    Female questions trans-theory and is harassed. Males facilitate conversations to blame her, admonish her and her bedfellows, suggest to other males all those females stop associating with each other, get re-educated and reintegrate.

    Females distrust of ‘progressive’ males is validated.

    – The pattern of every single fucking thread I have seen in the last two(?) days. Males gonna male, and all that.

    I wonder whether the harassment suffered here was solely your usual disgusting misogyny, or if the writer is conflating all criticism from people calling her on her transphobia with harassment?

    The assumption that everyone who is objecting to that transphobia must be male also seems a little suspect, and suggesting that opposition to transphobia is a reason why women should mistrust ‘progressive males’ makes little sense – one can oppose transphobia while still being a feminist afterall.

    As for ‘males gonna male’ – I don’t even know what that means. My best guess is that it is some problematically gender essentialist attempt to link the mere fact of being born with XY chromosomes to being a misogynist, but I could be way off on that.

    Suffice to say, stuff like this comprehensively sours the good they did in outing those MRA gits – opposing one bigotry only to enthusiastically embrace another is not much of a net gain.

  40. 40
    mildlymagnificent

    Gregory Yup. All that gender essentialism was around when I was in the 70s feminist movement – but not so nasty then (but maybe I didn’t notice).

    We were so busy preening ourselves on abandoning the first wave feminists essentialism – basically that women were essentially more moral than those awful men, as well as being more worthy and entirely an advantage to the body politic – that we didn’t stamp on the poisonous weeds that were springing up right at our feet. It’s really an unfortunate marriage. This was the heyday of hippiedom after all. Cook up a delectable cake of female strength and value. Most of us served it plain or with appropriate icing. Others got more adventurous and looked elsewhere in culture and found a slow-cooked, organic onion gravy and thought that would go well – and poured it all over without another thought.

    The result turned out unpalatable to absolutely everyone rather than as a daring adventure into new academic tastes.

  41. 41
    crocodoc

    The site was created April 18, the “takeover” was reported on May 4.

    http://feministatsea.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-story-of-a-feminist-take-over-of-a-facebook-page/

    In that text the group claims that it already happened “a few days ago”.

    Wait. Bra-Busters has become that popular site with a 3000-misogynists-community in just 10 days? Sounds like a real strange story to me. I liked this story first but thinking of it, how sure can we be that the images at whineydudes are authentic?

    Besides, some of their posts are way over the top. Porn hate, transgender hate, bikini hate… no thanks.

  42. 42
    Jackie

    Ditto for the transphobic Radfems. I hope their words haunt them forever.

  43. 43
    ck

    Gregory Greenwood wrote:

    As for ‘males gonna male’ – I don’t even know what that means.

    In the other transphobic radfem threads, someone mentioned that like the MRA brigade, there is a certain section of radfems who see feminism as a side in a war between all things male and female. Trans-women (and perhaps anyone else who works in an industry that caters to men), under this theory, are fake women who are subverting their side from within. That “males gonna male” statement makes complete sense if you assume that axiom, sadly enough.

    Plenty of radfems don’t do this shit, but I suppose they don’t get noticed as much.

  44. 44
    Gregory Greenwood

    mildlymagnificent @ 70;

    Gregory Yup. All that gender essentialism was around when I was in the 70s feminist movement – but not so nasty then (but maybe I didn’t notice).

    My gut reaction is to think that gender essentialism should surely be opposed at the most basic level to feminism, but as was explained to me on another thread, you can see how people dealing with almost unbelievably horrible levels of misogynistic hatred and violence may come to feel that solidarity among women opposed to the toxic patriarchy is all important, and may unthinkingly define the anchor of that solidarity around a notional ‘essential womanhood’, and come to view any challenge to that idea of an immutable core to womanhood (and by implication a mirror immutable core to manhood that was often defined in opposition) as a threat to that solidarity and thus to the movement and the safety of women in general. I can see how it could happen, but I can also see how that can slide into the kind of toxic gender essentialism that places value judgements on a person’s character based upon their physical sex at birth, and also leads to hideously bigoted transphobia by extension, since if you believe that a person’s sex and their gender are inseparable, and that both their ‘true’ sex and gender are fixed and unchangeable at birth, then transphobia becomes an unavoidable consequence of your worldview.

    We were so busy preening ourselves on abandoning the first wave feminists essentialism – basically that women were essentially more moral than those awful men, as well as being more worthy and entirely an advantage to the body politic

    Given the fact that the vast majority of the nasty, bigoted, misogynistic arseholes one runs into are men, I can see how it would be possible to not unreasonably come to such a conclusion. When I first became aware of how very messed up our society’s attitude toward women was, I went through a period of wondering what the hell was wrong with men, and fearing that such poisonous attitudes lurked like some freudian ‘beast within’ in the psyche of anyone who owned XY chromosomes, and that as such I too was infected without even being aware of it. This was before I became aware of the concept of enculturated privilege, and before I realised that the very idea of such gender essentialist views on how a person’s character is formed are actually, in their own way, as harmful as direct misogyny.

    that we didn’t stamp on the poisonous weeds that were springing up right at our feet. It’s really an unfortunate marriage. This was the heyday of hippiedom after all. Cook up a delectable cake of female strength and value. Most of us served it plain or with appropriate icing. Others got more adventurous and looked elsewhere in culture and found a slow-cooked, organic onion gravy and thought that would go well – and poured it all over without another thought.

    That is how te rot sets in – a movement can be formed with the best will in the world, but can still include, in its most basic assumptions, harmful and discriminatory attitudes toward other marginalised groups. As the movement grows, these flaws can be identified and corrected, but just as easily they can be magnified. I doubt that many influencial radical feminist thinkers set out to weave transphobia into certaion arms of the movement, but once the idea of a conveniently straightforward ‘them and us’ dichotomy between men and women gained momentum within parts of the movement, then the existence of trans* people became perceived to be a grave threat to the underlying ideology by some people. Some were able to re-examine their beliefs and formulate a more inclusivist ideology, but others chose to identify the existence of trans* people as the problem, rather than see the flaw in their own worldview. I think that quite a few bigotries among otherwise leftwing politcal movements may have in part gotten their start in a similar fashion.

    The result turned out unpalatable to absolutely everyone rather than as a daring adventure into new academic tastes.

    The end result of trans* exclusitory radical feminism seems to bear little resemblance to what I consider the really functional feminism that doesn’t feel the need to throw anyone else under the bus in order to effectively and forcibly make the point that women are people too, and should receive equal representation of interests in society.

    To further your cookery anology, it seems that whoever was making this delicious cake accidentally picked up a tin of drain cleaner rather than baking soda somewhere along the way. No matter how tasty the cake would otherwise be, that one wayward element is enough to make the whole thing both unpalletable and indeed poisonous. Fortunately, other cooks have made far better (and safer) cakes from the same recipe without the harmful element, but some people have got it into their heads now that, without a little drain cleaner, a cake is not really a cake at all…

  45. 45
    barfy

    There is very much a part of me that enjoys the outing of toxic bigots and especially people who use physical threats to intimidate…it is never OK.
    I also applaud Gregory Greenwood @39 and mildlymagnificent @40.

    Unfortunately, there is another part of me that thinks that Taylor George Prunty looks like he’s about 16. If that’s the case, then he shouldn’t be outed until he is 21+, and only for bigotry/hate spewed after that time.
    Secondly, I have some – not absolute – problems with things haunting people forever. For me, and admittedly this is a personal sense, people who spew grossly sexist/racist/classist/etc rants should be allowed to spew, and maybe by challenging them, be allowed to grow. Should we all be forced to defend every stupid thing we’ve ever said forever? For me, people who engage in THIS type of ranting are often motivated by a sense of impotence and powerlessness.
    Oh, fuck it. They’re adults. Let ‘em stew.

  46. 46
    Gregory Greenwood

    ck @ 43;

    In the other transphobic radfem threads, someone mentioned that like the MRA brigade, there is a certain section of radfems who see feminism as a side in a war between all things male and female. Trans-women (and perhaps anyone else who works in an industry that caters to men), under this theory, are fake women who are subverting their side from within. That “males gonna male” statement makes complete sense if you assume that axiom, sadly enough.

    Right – I see what it means now that you have explained it. That is even more horrible than I thought it was. The whole idea of casually denying the womanhood of any transwoman (or ciswoman, or so it might be read) who doesn’t toe the line is utterly monstrous, and more than a little reminsicient of an inverted version of the attitudes of MRAs.

    Plenty of radfems don’t do this shit, but I suppose they don’t get noticed as much.

    I think most people here realise now that the trans exclusitory radical feminists really are the fringe of the fringe and don’t represent, for want of a better term, what would be considered ‘mainstream’ radical feminist thought. Sure they are noisy and they get attention as a result, but so do many fringe groups on the outer badlands of better thought out systems of poltical thought.

    Feminism that is ‘radical’ in so much that it wants to tear up the patriarchal status quo and build a more equal society, from the ground up if necessary, is absolutely essential if greater social justuice for women is to be acheived. By that definition, I would regard myself as a radical feminist.

  47. 47
    Ichthyic

    Then I clicked on the link to see for myself, and my earlier sense of satisfaction promptly turned to ashes in my mouth.

    this.

  48. 48
    ck

    I think most people here realise now that the trans exclusitory radical feminists really are the fringe of the fringe and don’t represent, for want of a better term, what would be considered ‘mainstream’ radical feminist thought.

    I think you’re right, but as others pointed out in that previous thread, that doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot of damage regardless. As gender essentialists, a lot of their harmful causes line up quite well with reactionary conservative causes.

    It’s amazing and more than a little sad how many problems actually arise due to the human tendency of essentialism, and how incredibly difficult it is to get past it.

  49. 49
    Charly

    I am not nor will I ever be as versed in feminism as many of pharyngulates are, but this facebook site seems to me to be the very anathema of what I learned about feminism around here. Yesterday evening I read the site only cursory and had a few laughs and thought maybe it would be worth book-marking for future reference.

    After PZ’s update this morning about trans-hating I read more thoroughly and I am disappointed. They are not only trans-phobic, some of them are exactly what MRA’s and their ilk accuse freethoughtblogs community to be.

    For example this comment from that facebook page:

    “Please Dmitri, being male is embarrassing enough these days.

    It seems irelevant to me, that it was in response to completely stupid backlash from pubescent male. This kind of response seems downright wrong to me. It is ad hominem fallacy – it attacks not the statement as it its, but via proxy of who said it. It is essentially of the “and yo’r ugly” logic. It is gender essentialism, which disturbs me personally, since one of my closest friends is trans-male. It has zero information content (on its own and in thread-context) and thus zero possibility to change mind of both participants and onlookers of that debate.

    People posting things like this show feminism exactly as what MRAs claim it is – unhealthy movement dividing humanity into “us” versus “them” based on what they have between their legs. I am not going to waste my time on that page again. Ever.

  50. 50
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Ahhhh, barfy, being concerned about the poor boys as usually.
    Guess their underage victims need to shut up about everything that was done to them by anybody under 21. Because clearly never ever letting boys notice that there are consequences to their behaviour magically turns them into responsible adults at 21.

  51. 51
    Gregory Greenwood

    ck @ 48;

    I think you’re right, but as others pointed out in that previous thread, that doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot of damage regardless. As gender essentialists, a lot of their harmful causes line up quite well with reactionary conservative causes.

    Agreed. The damage they do is undeniable, especially in areas like their support for the denial of the rights of trans* people. They also do immense damage to the image of feminism as a politial movement, doubtless much to the delight of MRA arsehats everywhere.

    It’s amazing and more than a little sad how many problems actually arise due to the human tendency of essentialism, and how incredibly difficult it is to get past it.

    It does seem to be writen so deeply into our culture that it takes a positive, conscious effort to resist its effects, and even then its influence can seep in under the radar. It is a very pervasive social construct, which is what leads some people to mistakenly claim it to be some elemental, immutable truth of the human condition, much as some people still claim that women must somehow be ‘naturally’ subserviant to men, because culture.

    Fortunately, as we have seen with many forms of popular sexism, just because something is so widespread that people claim that it is ‘just the way things are’, is not to say that it is immune to criticism or cannot be changed, but it will certainly take a lot of time and effort to chip away at it.

  52. 52
    =8)-DX

    something you would be OK having read in public in a room full of your enemies.

    While sitting on the toilet. As an avid facebook user (with restraint), blog reader and commenter (less restraint) and YouTube commenter (no restraint at all), I’m wondering when some of the stuff I’ve posted will come back to bite me. None of it is really traceable to my real name on google though.

    But then think about it. Think about sitting on a toilet in a large room full of the people you despise most (or who despise you) and have someone read some ancient comment of yours from the teen/drunk moments years ago:

    “LOL, failz, total frackin’ nonsense, Jimmy wins this 1, >9000!!!”
    of even
    “Lame, what a fag, should rape the bitch with pitchforks.”

    Wouldn’t you just laugh in their faces? I mean yeah, I’ve written some stupid comments back in the day, but I’ve learned a lot since then and even today, I have no qualms admitting I was homphobic/racist/sexist/ableist/assholey/wrong in the past. I’m fine with it because I’m able to reject it, was able to educate myself, understand what life is about. Yes, the problem with bigotry isn’t just some teen oversight or drunken ramble, it happens every day consistently and due to bad ideas, intellectual laziness and hatred. But for some of us who’ve managed to overturn our upbringing and change.. well the thing to be ashamed of would be if Taylor George Prunty agreed with himself ten years later.
    (and no I don’t want a cookie)

  53. 53
    =8)-DX

    It’s amazing and more than a little sad how many problems actually arise due to the human tendency of essentialism, and how incredibly difficult it is to get past it.

    It does seem to be writen so deeply into our culture that it takes a positive, conscious effort to resist its effects,

    Just wondering.. is this to do with patriarchy? I mean is there a key to unlocking which cultural concepts, indoctrination, habits are the result of male-dominated culture? I’m always inclined to frown when it’s said that by definition all the cultural constructs we have today are for/by/about men. But how does one really distinguish? Is it a “human tendency of essentialism” or a male-influenced culture’s tendency?

  54. 54
    drxym

    Slightly tangential but this article is worth reading. It’s a Facebook moderator’s opinion of people who get offended by stuff on Facebook, clogging up their complaints system. Some of the exchanges in the comments section are hilarious.

    https://theinternetoffendsme.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/the-real-story-behind-facebook-moderation-and-your-petty-reports/

  55. 55
    Gregory Greenwood

    =8)-DX @ 53;

    Just wondering.. is this to do with patriarchy? I mean is there a key to unlocking which cultural concepts, indoctrination, habits are the result of male-dominated culture? I’m always inclined to frown when it’s said that by definition all the cultural constructs we have today are for/by/about men. But how does one really distinguish? Is it a “human tendency of essentialism” or a male-influenced culture’s tendency?

    A good question. I think that this phenomenon is clearly a cultural one, and I definitely agree that the system of patriarchy promotes gender essentialism more than anything else in our society. Since trans exclusitory radical feminism arose within that patriarchal culture, its attitudes toward gender esentialism may have been unconsciously influenced by the dominant patriarchal paradigm – even when we reject toxic elements of our culture, we must not forget that we grew up stewing in it, and as such it has influenced us at some level, however much we may wish that this were not the case.

    There is also the problem that we don’t really have many examples of cultures that are entirely free of patriarchal influences as a control, so I don’t know if we can say that this is solely the product of patriarchy or not.

    As pattern seeking creatures, I suppose it is possible that we may be inclined to see patterns in behaviour associated with one gender identity or another and erroneously ascribe them to some essential character linked to sex or gender even in the absence of an existing patriarchal social structure.

    Still, all hypoptheticals aside, the reality of the ground is that gender essentialism is intimately linked to the patriarchy as it exists in our culture today, and if we can undermine that patriarchal system, then I believe we will also weaken gender essentialism at the same time.

  56. 56
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    … it looks like the site takeover was by the transphobic wing of feminism, so hate’s been replaced with a different flavor of hate.

    Well, that has rather ruined my moment of gleeful schadenfreude :(

  57. 57
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Gregory Greenwood

    we don’t really have many examples of cultures that are entirely free of patriarchal influences as a control,

    There is no “opposite” or “counterpole” to the patriarchy. No transposition, mutatis mutandis, to a matriarchy in which gender roles, or powers, are reversed. What teh menZ fear is an illusion created by their own projections. It is like the RWA/sociopath thinking that, because their own actions are so iniquitous, if the Other ™ were to gain control they would behave in the same manner.

    if we can undermine that patriarchal system, then I believe we will also weaken gender essentialism at the same time.

    Is the patriarchy not dependent on gender essentialism to function in the first place?

  58. 58
    John Morales

    [meta]

    theophontes,

    There is no “opposite” or “counterpole” to the patriarchy.

    You do realise Gregory didn’t claim otherwise, right?

  59. 59
    Gregory Greenwood

    theophontes @ 57;

    There is no “opposite” or “counterpole” to the patriarchy. No transposition, mutatis mutandis, to a matriarchy in which gender roles, or powers, are reversed. What teh menZ fear is an illusion created by their own projections. It is like the RWA/sociopath thinking that, because their own actions are so iniquitous, if the Other ™ were to gain control they would behave in the same manner.

    As John Morales points out @ 58, I was not discussing the notional existence of any counterpole to the patriarchy – I was observing that patriarchy is so ubiquitous in modern social systsms, that we don’t have access to many societies that are not riven with patriarchy. That is, not some imagined ‘matriarchy’, but simply any society that does not feature an entrenched patriarchal system. As such, we would have a hard time finding a control to determine whether or not gender essentialism could arise in a social system that was not patriarchal.

    Is the patriarchy not dependent on gender essentialism to function in the first place?

    This is a bit ‘chicken and the egg’ though, isn’t it? Does patriarchy arise out of a pre-existing attitude of gender essentialism, or does patriarchy create notions of gender essentialism in a bid to appeal to a fallacious, faux-naturalistic justification for itself? Or, as I suspect, do the two things feed off and reinforce each other?

    The question posed by =8)-DX @ 53 is still valid;

    Is it a “human tendency of essentialism” or a male-influenced culture’s tendency?

    Is gender essentialism always a product of male dominated patriarchal cultures, or can it exist even in the putative absence of patriarchy? Is there some broader form of “human tendency of essentialism”, to borrow ck’s turn of phrase @ 48, that exists independently of any established patrirchal system?

  60. 60
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Theophontes

    Is the patriarchy not dependent on gender essentialism to function in the first place?

    It’s a feedback loop; each relies on the other.

  61. 61
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Rather, each perpetuates the other.

  62. 62
    mildlymagnificent

    Is there some broader form of “human tendency of essentialism”, to borrow ck’s turn of phrase @ 48, that exists independently of any established patrirchal system?

    I suspect it’s a trap waiting for the many people who gravitate to simplistic black or white, man or woman, bad or good, right or wrong, never any nuance or thoughtful consideration – of anything. It’s just that this issue never goes away unlike many things that once were treated the same way but just disappeared from our landscape.

  63. 63
    davidgentile

    I hate brats in men’s bodies. Not long ago, boys at Yale (?) countered an anti-rape demonstration with some rape-enabling rhetoric. Not so best and bright.

  64. 64
    Anri

    barfy:

    Secondly, I have some – not absolute – problems with things haunting people forever. For me, and admittedly this is a personal sense, people who spew grossly sexist/racist/classist/etc rants should be allowed to spew, and maybe by challenging them, be allowed to grow. Should we all be forced to defend every stupid thing we’ve ever said forever? For me, people who engage in THIS type of ranting are often motivated by a sense of impotence and powerlessness.

    (emphasis added)

    No, we can stop defending stupid things we said we’ve said previously at any time we desire.
    By no longer defending them.
    Of course, that means admitting we were wrong at the time.
    It also means admitting we might be wrong currently, and might be wrong in the future, too.

    The fact that that option if often not even considered says something, IMHO.

  65. 65
    Stacey C.

    Ack…a good idea but once you get into transphobic feminism, I’m out.

  66. 66
    ChasCPeterson

    I think that this phenomenon is clearly a cultural one, and I definitely agree that the system of patriarchy promotes gender essentialism more than anything else in our society. Since trans exclusitory radical feminism arose within that patriarchal culture, its attitudes toward gender esentialism may have been unconsciously influenced by the dominant patriarchal paradigm

    I love this kind of stuff.

    As pattern seeking creatures, I suppose it is possible that we may be inclined to see patterns in behaviour associated with one gender identity or another and erroneously ascribe them to some essential character linked to sex or gender

    erroneously, of course.
    (you know this is begging the question, right? Or are you just absolutely certain there’s no question to be begged?)

    Not long ago, boys at Yale (?) countered an anti-rape demonstration with some rape-enabling rhetoric.

    Thanks for contributing your vague, half-remembered anecdote.

  67. 67
    blf
    Not long ago, boys at Yale (?) countered an anti-rape demonstration with some rape-enabling rhetoric.

    Thanks for contributing your vague, half-remembered anecdote.

    There is(? was?) apparently an investigation about poor handling of sexual harassment complaints at Yale, “Hostile sexual environment” at Yale? (CBS news, dated 4-April-2011), including what is understandably called “rape-enabling rhetoric” (albeit it’s not clear from the text whether or not the incident happened at an anti-rape demonstration):

    Federal civil rights officials are looking into complaints by Yale University students that the Ivy League school in New Haven, Conn. has a sexually hostile environment. They also allege the university failed to adequately respond to incidents of sexual harassment.

    In a shaky video, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reported, “Yale” fraternity brothers chant sexually-charged slurs, saying things like “No means yes.” In a photo, they’re posing with a sign reading “We love Yale sluts.”

    The video and pictures are part of what has become an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into whether Yale University is a “hostile sexual environment.”

    I have no idea what has happened in the c.2 years since.

  68. 68
    sueinnm

    Ugh. Now the first posts on Whiny Dudes are a transwoman criticizing the group for being transphobic, suggesting what she’s saying places her in the category of the men who call women cunts. They show her face and her quotes, which are absolutely understandable, as from a “whiny dude.”

    Haters. We don’t need allies like this and I hope we repudiate them thoroughly.

  69. 69
    sueinnm

    Ugh. It’s even worse … now their top posts (Whiny dudes) are of a transwoman rightly telling them that by being transphobic they are actively repudiating feminism. The person, Shawn’s, face is shown as if she falls in the same category as the men who call women cunts and threaten them with rape. As if, in short, she is a man whose just criticism is hateful itself.

    Haters. Any feminist who isn’t a transphobe like them certainly doesn’t need them as allies.

  70. 70
    ck

    Gregory Greenwood wrote:

    Is there some broader form of “human tendency of essentialism”, to borrow ck’s turn of phrase @ 48, that exists independently of any established patrirchal system?

    Well, gender essentialism isn’t the only type of essentialism we suffer from. Race essentialism produces and propagates racist stereotypes by attributing attributes to entire groups of people based entirely on where their ancestors came from. Species essentialism feeds creationism by reinforcing the idea that there’s a master template for each animal type that a master designer created and holds. I’m sure there are other forms of essentialism that I simply can’t think of right now (class essentialism, perhaps). That would be why I tend to pin the blame on humanity as a whole rather than simply the patriarchal systems.

  71. 71
    sueinnm

    My posts aren’t getting through … trying again.

  72. 72
    sueinnm

    Okay. I was saying that now “Whiny Dudes” has gone over a cliff. Now the first posts show a transwoman justly pointing out that transphobia is not compatible with feminism. They show her as if her words are equivalent to the men calling women cunts and threatening them with rape. And they’re showing her as if she were a man. And they certainly won’t engage her … they only mock her with cruelty she doesn’t deserve.

    This is beyond disgusting. They aren’t allies. They are haters.

  73. 73
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Creeps get what they deserve

    That would be a nice change.

  74. 74
    sueinnm

    My post is shown as a duplicate but still isn’t showing. What?

  75. 75
    sueinnm

    Okay. The only posts getting through are the ones complaining about not getting through. I don’t get it.

    still, trying one more time:

    Okay. I was saying that now “Whiny Dudes” has gone over a cliff. Now the first posts show a transwoman justly pointing out that transphobia is not compatible with feminism. They show her as if her words are equivalent to the men calling women cunts and threatening them with rape. And they’re showing her as if she were a man. And they certainly won’t engage her … they only mock her with cruelty she doesn’t deserve.

    This is beyond disgusting. They aren’t allies. They are haters.

  76. 76
    sueinnm

    Nope, no post beyond one line will go through. I give up.

  77. 77
    sueinnm

    In one lineL Whiny Dudes know shows a transwoman and her reasonable quotes as equivalent to the men. Haters.

  78. 78
    sueinnm

    That went through. Go figure. Whiny Dudes is a hate site against transfolk. Worse than I thought.

  79. 79
    sueinnm

    And spelling errors in the previous post. “Whiny Dudes NOW shows …”

  80. 80
    Ing

    Oh look. once again its super genius Chas come to set us PC idiots straight about the truth of pink girly brains.

    Cause there’s no sexism on pharyngula

  81. 81
    dogmeat

    Anri @64:

    No, we can stop defending stupid things we said we’ve said previously at any time we desire.
    By no longer defending them.
    Of course, that means admitting we were wrong at the time.
    It also means admitting we might be wrong currently, and might be wrong in the future, too.

    The fact that that option if often not even considered says something, IMHO.

    I don’t think barfy meant defending the statement itself, I took it as more along the lines of being punished/paying for a statement made at a time when brain development and rational thought weren’t fully patterned. I said some stupid, racist, patriarchal, homophobic things as a teen that, thinking back to it now, reflected more my lack of empathy and understanding than actual venom or hatred. I never expressed anything remotely like this, but I rather stupidly supported Reagan, made statements that minorities went to prison because they were [insert bogus stereotype here], made statements that weren’t very supportive of women, and said things that were quite obviously homophobic even though I hadn’t really thought about it one way or the other. I also made rather idiotic religious statements that I now know were founded in woo and a desire to believe rather than actual belief. Should that mean I’m perpetually the idiot teenager who made those statements? The kid whose picture is posted on this thread is likely to forever appear as an utter dirtbag, some will continue to believe so even if he spent years dedicated to helping people and arguing against his hateful past. Is it fair that this dumb kid should have such a future ahead of him? My gut tells me that he’ll maintain these beliefs throughout his life, I know that while I am writing this post questioning whether he should, in a sense, pay for this statement in perpetuity, I am condemning him internally. Is someone forever guilty?

    ———-
    The question and concern I have is more subtle, what if a statement is attributed to you, but you never made it? I am referring to the public convictions of numerous Boston Marathon “Suspects” who had nothing to do with the incident but were presented on various social media outlets as suspects based on little or no actual evidence. What happens to someone who has their picture and/or name attached to a vile, hateful statement that they didn’t make?

  82. 82
    mildlymagnificent

    I’m sure there are other forms of essentialism that I simply can’t think of right now (class essentialism, perhaps).

    You’d be right. This remark has jogged some stuff loose in my memory. Don’t have any quotes, but recollections from English murder mysteries of the first half of last century – a lot of clear statements, in the taken-for-granted style, about the ‘bad blood’ or ineradicable inferiority of the lower orders, sometimes farmworkers/ villagers, sometimes London suburbs. And a jaw-dropping conversation with a close friend. Who blithely stated and then insisted that people from a specific suburban region of Adelaide were, literally, genetically destined to be less intelligent than the rest of us. She was unshakeable on this.

  83. 83
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    [meta]

    You do realise Gregory didn’t claim otherwise, right?

    Gregory‘s

    we don’t really have many examples of cultures that are entirely free of patriarchal influences as a control, [my emphasis]

    , I took to imply that n>1. I was just pointing out (AFAIK) n=0.

    @ Gregory Greenwood

    Thanks, # 59 clarifies.

    @ davidgentile

    Not long ago, boys at Yale (?) countered an anti-rape demonstration with some rape-enabling rhetoric.

    I was reminded of Mitt Romney’s anti-anti-war protest. All those reactionaries in “elite” universities, it is hard to keep track.

    @ Chas

    I love this kind of stuff.

    To me it parses well enough. Perhaps you could rephrase it better?

  84. 84
    frog

    ck @68 noted: “…gender essentialism isn’t the only type of essentialism we suffer from”

    –>What makes me hopeful is that some forms of essentialism have disappeared, faded, or at least severely weakened over time. This usually happens when the marker of “difference” is not visible (e.g., you don’t hear too much anymore about Italian somehow being not-white; admittedly, this is more a rearranging of essentialist definitions than a disappearing of the problem).

    The trick is to get people to eventually put things that they currently define as different categories into one giant category. Race is a social construct (as Ta-Nehisi Coates recently discussed), so there is some hope of it ceasing to be an issue someday. Economic class is changeable (though more difficult these days), and bound up in other essentialist issues (e.g. race, again). Religion is even more changeable, and as atheists grow more visible, the essentialism of “atheists are immoral” is breaking down.

    Sexual orientation is not particularly changeable (though it’s probably more fluid than people tend to assume in discussions of it), and the increasing visibility of gay and lesbian couples has demonstrated they’re not essentially different from everyone else, and that boundary is breaking down at this point in history (though obviously not in all parts of the world, alas).

    Gender/sex (not sure which refers to the body and which to the interior self-identification) has the problem of being at least in part actually essentialist: there are genuine physical differences in the genitalia, and secondary differences in how the attached bodies tend to be shaped. The trick is getting people to understand that this difference is not particularly important beyond the question of who has the potential to carry a fetus around inside them.

    (And I guess this is why some radfems are so offended by transfolk. Those radfems are perhaps so focused on the essential difference of genitalia that they forget there’s a whole body, complete with brain, attached to that genitalia, but not defined by it.)

  85. 85
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Humans–both men and women–being social animals, essentialism winds up being part of how we define group identity. There is no time when we feel so much that we belong to a group as when we have an “other” to despise.

    You even see the same behaviors in dogs and other social mammals–outsiders unite the pack.

    Humans go even further–it feels good to hate. The silliness occurs when the cerebral cortex tries to rationalize what takes place entirely in the limbic system.

  86. 86
    yazikus

    I’m going to out my ignorance here, but,

    Humans go even further–it feels good to hate.

    Is that really true? I would like to think that it feels much better to not hate…

  87. 87
    SallyStrange

    I dunno. I enjoy both hating and not hating. Depends on the circumstance. But generally the good feeling from hating something that really deserves it is pretty short-lived, while the good feelings from liking and loving and enjoying last longer.

  88. 88
    ChasCPeterson

    I guess this is why some radfems are so offended by transfolk. Those radfems are perhaps so focused on the essential difference of genitalia that they forget there’s a whole body, complete with brain, attached to that genitalia, but not defined by it.

    I doubt that’s true.
    Since we’re guessing here, I’d guess that they are of the opinion that there are more differences than just genitalia.

  89. 89
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    yazikus,
    Neurotransmitters don’t lie. Hate increases dopamine levels. We also enjoy seeing “evildoers” suffering. We’re much closer to chimps than bonobos.

  90. 90
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Susan

    It might be in moderation due to a word you used. PZ has filters which search for certain words, I believe. I wrote a message earlier this week which referenced a type of laughter, the spelling of which is a racial slur with an “s” tagged on the front. The post didn’t appear until a couple of hours later, presumably after PZ had a chance to look at it and confirm I wasn’t just being a racist douche. But it took me a few minutes (and a couple of reposts) before I figured it out.

  91. 91
    sueinnm

    Thanks, Thumper.

  92. 92
    yazikus

    Neurotransmitters don’t lie. Hate increases dopamine levels.

    @a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    Thank you for the response. That is rather unfortunate though. I’ll have to do some googling, I’m curious whether the levels are comparable to what we see with happy thoughts.

  93. 93
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Not a problem :)

  94. 94
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Cause there’s no sexism on pharyngula

    LOL of course not. It doesn’t exist until someone with a penis says so.

  95. 95
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    And that didn’t take long for the whiney dudes site to switch over primarily to “shaming” transgender people and those speaking reasonably on their behalf. Le sigh.

    But, in the interest of fairness, it is important to point out that there’s some truth there. I know for instance, that the only reason I am undergoing a long transition, accepting a massive decrease in social power, a massive increase in everyday bigotry, being discriminated out of a job, being disowned/abandoned by my parents, and subjecting myself to a truly toxic social and political culture that still isn’t fully sure if I should have a right to pee or have housing, etc… was merely to infiltrate feminist societies and dismantle them from within.

    Don’t laugh, the trade-off is surely worth it, largely because of the… and in other words… ipso facto… er…

    Well, I mean, obviously I had to do something to break down the inseparable bonds of sisterhood that run through all women, because I wasn’t at all welcomed into feminist spaces regularly when I assumed I was male. Oh wait, no that happened all the time. Well either way, my natural masculinity would quickly take over the group and… wait, no, if anything I was more aware of how my participation percentage was socialized and checked myself accordingly… Er… well, my support was truly less a given than anti-feminist women who work against women’s rights or women who rape, such as the person who ended up raping my girlfriend at a queer frat/sorority event, er… wait…

    I think my argument might have broken down somewhere in here. Just give me a second.

  96. 96
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    On a more serious note:

    TRIGGER WARNING FOR DESCRIPTIONS OF TRANSPHOBIC IDEATION

    From what I can remember of trans-exclusionary feminism (I tended to skip over that crap or avoid it in general because I didn’t find much value in reading disproven crap just for “a history lesson”), there was often a weird mish-mash of gender essentialism and anti-gender-essentialism that got used to justify transphobic bigotry in feminism.

    For instance, the initial “problem” often cited is that in a world where radical feminists were destroying the gender binary and proving that women could be anything, transwomen and transmen were counter to that aim by seeming to insist on a hard rigidity of gender hard-coded into our DNA and our selves, cause how else could one be born into a misgendered body? This was often compounded by the fact that transpeople then (specifically transsexuals in this instance) (and well still to this day) are often forced by doctors and society and the second more accurate puberty of transition into performing an exaggerated version of femininity or masculinity in order to be accepted as men and women. Because if a trans* person was just being themselves and falling wherever in the social gender spectrum that they are, then there is a giant risk of disbelief, violence, and rejection of self-made labels.

    But then it gets mish-mashy. Once the justification was built, a lot of the actual discrimination and arguments against trans* people were very gender essentialist. A lot of “you are born into the sex you were born and nothing can change that” or assuming a genital primary, that one is ruled by one’s genital state and that any “mutilation” can’t deny that. And men and women spirits are distinct and irreversable and there is a male way of doing something and a womyn way of doing something and a lot of other repurposed patriarchal ideas of men and women. What’s more, that “performance” issue which was used to justify the hatred ended up being used directly against trans* people who didn’t fit exactly in that exaggerated caricature as we can see in real time on the Whiney Dudes site with the transwoman being seen as an inherent joke because the photo used is seen (by them) as “too masculine” and thus “obviously” not female.

    And it’s worth noting that that first excuse for bigotry and exclusion is a) also the same thing that bigoted sections of feminism used to justify exclusion of lesbians back in the day before more and more lesbian feminists spoke up for themselves and b) some immensely victim blaming horseshit. Seriously, they were knocking a fiction that trans* people are forced into performing for the benefit of society. As a wave of feminism largely inspired by the absolutely stifling nature of the demands on women to perform a certain type of femininity or be regarded as not women, it should have been obvious what was going on, but sadly bigotry got in the way.

    But in a sick way, I can also understand why bigotry was so easy. Especially in the days when TERF was first being formed, but definitely still today, there are in fact bigoted men who don’t seem to have anything better to do than to endlessly harass women seen as speaking out on their own behalf. We see it in the current MRA movement or in the current backlash to women in atheism. Furthermore, early attempts to include men in some feminist dialogues did end up with social pressure being on the women to shut up and let the male dominate with incomplete and sometimes offensive ideas on women. And thus to someone who has internalized transphobic bigotry, it might have seemed suspicious when these women with raised-male privilege but little else were knocking on the door and wanting to share their experiences with misogynist and transphobic culture. Well… even then, it’s clearly letting fear dominate and exploiting the fuck out of cis-privilege to do so. As radical feminist groups and feminist groups who included transpeople, they found that the inclusion of other voices only strengthened the movement and the narratives of those who had male-privilege and then got to experience a world where they lacked it and how the world treated them differently because of it proved to be immensely powerful.

    And it’s the reason that TERF groups are decreasing more and more in number and becoming the archaic bigoted throwback that they always were more and more.

    And there’s a lesson in there for the other “gateway guardians” of other movements standing athwart the name and saying “no, minority group X shall not pass into our hallowed halls.” You just become an old joke, hardly even considered a part of the movement anymore. Left to drift away into increasing obscurity as those who took the true core of your movement and let it move them past bigotry end up being the “real movement” you sought to “protect”.

  97. 97
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    And it’s also worth noting just how stupid the whole TERF dying on a hill thing is considering it’s basically a howling refusal to accept the existence of people that make old definitions untenable. And in the end, it turned out to need very little changes to adjust the definitions to accept the new reality.

    Oh, it turns out there’s an internal sex (or what is now commonly referred to as gender) that could be in conflict with one’s assigned sex at birth (or biological sex as commonly referred to)? Welp, that just adds one little thing to the slide and doesn’t end up affecting the gender performances (masculine, feminine, and all the social baggage that gets categorized as one or the other) that we were criticizing and in fact makes our arguments stronger because the way trans* people are so hurt by this obsession with “proper” male or female behavior is often some of the most brutal arguments against artificially enforced gender binary out there. Not to mention, intersex people who smash this shit even more open.

    But no, the fear of even such a tiny acceptance of change and the bigotry and desire to punch down when the opportunity arises is too much for them. And frankly it’s just sad how so meaninglessly little a dominant group will die on the hill to try and prevent a minority group from having equality with them.

  98. 98
    daniellavine

    Thanks for contributing your vague, half-remembered anecdote.

    It’d be pretty cool if Chas held himself up to the same standards he insists upon for everyone else.

  99. 99
    SallyStrange

    Cerberus, I really appreciate your contributions here. Just wanted to say. So heartfelt and powerful and insightful. *raises glass*

  100. 100
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I don’t think barfy meant defending the statement itself, I took it as more along the lines of being punished/paying for a statement made at a time when brain development and rational thought weren’t fully patterned. I said some stupid, racist, patriarchal, homophobic things as a teen that, thinking back to it now, reflected more my lack of empathy and understanding than actual venom or hatred. I never expressed anything remotely like this, but I rather stupidly supported Reagan, made statements that minorities went to prison because they were [insert bogus stereotype here], made statements that weren’t very supportive of women, and said things that were quite obviously homophobic even though I hadn’t really thought about it one way or the other. I also made rather idiotic religious statements that I now know were founded in woo and a desire to believe rather than actual belief. Should that mean I’m perpetually the idiot teenager who made those statements? The kid whose picture is posted on this thread is likely to forever appear as an utter dirtbag, some will continue to believe so even if he spent years dedicated to helping people and arguing against his hateful past. Is it fair that this dumb kid should have such a future ahead of him? My gut tells me that he’ll maintain these beliefs throughout his life, I know that while I am writing this post questioning whether he should, in a sense, pay for this statement in perpetuity, I am condemning him internally. Is someone forever guilty?

    People should be allowed to distance themselves from stupid things they’ve said in the past, yes…but this requires actually distancing themselves from it.

  101. 101
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    @barfy

    then he shouldn’t be outed until he is 21+,

    Is there something special about being 21? Why pull a completely arbitrary age out and suggest that that age or any age after is appropriate for publicly shaming someone?

  102. 102
    ChasCPeterson

    It’d be pretty cool if Chas held himself up to the same standards he insists upon for everyone else.

    The fuck are you even talking about? Jeez, at least the other guy had a vague, half-remembered anecdote.

  103. 103
    chigau (違う)

    Vague innuendo is more satisfying.

  104. 104
    mildlymagnificent

    I remember now! Gawd, the seventies were a wonderful time. I came home from a women’s group meeting and boy! was I testy. I remember telling himself that there was no. way. in. hell. I was going to keep a diary noting all my emotions and physical sensations so that I would be more “in touch” with how my reproductive/menstrual cycle formed the “basis” of how I lived in the world as a woman. The “discussion” had been focused entirely on body stuff.

    As I’d recently been reading yet more Freud, I managed to say what I’d not really put together at the meeting and probably wouldn’t have been willing to say aloud anyway “Biology might or might not be destiny, but there’s no need to make it so dreary.” I’m now seeing that this sort of malarkey could well be a path towards that version of rad fem. And for all the other old farts here, you might also remember how the seventies were the pinnacle of “being authentic”. It was all mixed up with a bit of Freud here and a bit of several other people there, but it was really, really important to be – and to make it very clear to others …… something that never quite clicked with me. But you always knew it when you saw it, that someone was consciously being authentically themselves.

  105. 105
    Ichthyic

    Thanks for contributing your vague, half-remembered anecdote.

    you know, Chas, my first thought was to use google to find out what they were referring to.

    probably something like this:

    http://www.salon.com/2010/10/15/yale_fraternity_pledges_chant_about_rape/

    your first response was to dismiss it as an anecdote.

    interesting.

  106. 106
    dogmeat

    People should be allowed to distance themselves from stupid things they’ve said in the past, yes…but this requires actually distancing themselves from it.

    I agree completely.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    ChasCPeterson

    your first response was to dismiss it as an anecdote.

    Let me clarify then: I dismissed it as vague and half-remembered, not as an anecdote.
    It doesn’t matter to my point whether the incident happened or not (I’m of course not at all surprised to learn that something like that happened).
    My point was: the lazy fucker who posted the comment should have done the googling and linking, not you; and I couldn’t be bothered.

    Pointless comments piss me off, and ‘I kinda maybe remember this one thing I might have read’ comments are as poinrless as they come.
    imo.

  109. 109
    ChasCPeterson

    ny which I mean they have no poinr.

  110. 110
    ChasCPeterson

    oh dhit.

  111. 111
    chigau (違う)

    jeez Chas, its lyke u arent even trying

  112. 112
    pascale68

    So, Facebook will allow a porn site with nipples showing, but they will not allow breastfeeding pics???

  113. 113
    barfy

    One of the more thoughtful and interesting threads I’ve read on Pharyngula. Well done.
    Dogmeat – that is exactly what I meant, but I admit that it could be construed differently.
    Gilleil – There are so many things wrong with your comment. Mostly, your sexism. I do defend ‘boys’. I also defend ‘girls’. By definition, they’re not adults. To sincerely help you to better properly construe what I’m motivated by – I don’t like hating and, especially, the holier than thou types ( which, ironically, we see a lot of in Pharyngula)
    AND I DON’T LIKE THE MRA’s OR THE SLYMEPIT. Got it?
    Thomathy @97
    The age of 21 is somewhat arbitrary, but does come from a poorly remembered neuroanatomy course that spoke to the “judgement center” to the brain finishing its development around that time. That, in combination with my own personal experience, current social norms and beliefs and the fact that at some level, we probably have to pick some age to define adulthood, led me to using 21 as an age of full accountability.

  114. 114
    Nick Gotts

    Pointless comments piss me off – ChasCPeterson

    Stop making them, then.

  115. 115
    pacal

    Cerberus No. 92

    For instance, the initial “problem” often cited is that in a world where radical feminists were destroying the gender binary and proving that women could be anything, transwomen and transmen were counter to that aim by seeming to insist on a hard rigidity of gender hard-coded into our DNA and our selves, cause how else could one be born into a misgendered body? This was often compounded by the fact that transpeople then (specifically transsexuals in this instance) (and well still to this day) are often forced by doctors and society and the second more accurate puberty of transition into performing an exaggerated version of femininity or masculinity in order to be accepted as men and women. Because if a trans* person was just being themselves and falling wherever in the social gender spectrum that they are, then there is a giant risk of disbelief, violence, and rejection of self-made labels.

    I have a book, probably the bible, so to speak, of Transphobic Feminism, The Transsexual Empire by Janice Raymond. It makes this not unreasonable point but enmeshes it in a victim blaming, phobic frenzy of well hate. The chapter on male to female lesbians is especially noxious. Which is a pity given that the point that Transsexualism was, at least at that time, used to reinforce a binary, genetic essentialism ideas of gender is a valid point of view. In the case of this book this viewpoint didn’t need to be intertwined with disgust and loathing of Transexuals, which is abundant in the book.

    Further in the book was a fair bit of paranoia about Transexuals being some sort of covert force being used by the Patriarchy to destroy Feminism.

    Ugh!

  116. 116
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @everyone:

    This is my opinion, but I hope that people will consider what it sounds like to use “transsexual” and “transsexuals” (as well as the “transexual variant spelling popularized by Wilchins) as nouns when it is considered rude to use “transgender” or “transgenders” as nouns. Fuck, “transgenders” is even spellchecked out of existence on this website, making it clear from an authoritarian point of view that transgender is acceptable only as an adjective. (“Transponders” is the suggested replacement, oy.)

    In the context of trans* oppression, using transsexual as a noun comes across the same way as a bus driver saying that he has to pick up “a wheelchair” at the next stop.

    To avoid the implication that you think transsexual folk are always and only about being transsexual while transgender folk have whole lives, you can use transsexual the same way:
    a transsexual electrician
    a transsexual goat herder
    a transsexual voter

    but please, “a transsexual” comes across very, very wrong. I would hope that y’all reconsider that use.

  117. 117
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Oh, it turns out there’s an internal sex (or what is now commonly referred to as gender) that could be in conflict with one’s assigned sex at birth (or biological sex as commonly referred to)? Welp, that just adds one little thing to the slide

    No. I don’t even give them that much credit.

    A woman is made, not born.
    …de Beauvoir

    That critique was already made. All feminists of the era knew or should have known that gender had a life independent of sex. They specifically chose to ignore that critique.

  118. 118
    ChasCPeterson

    ja vol, Herr Gotts!

  119. 119
    Weedless Monkey

    ja vol, Herr Gotts!

    That would be jawohl. As some googlework might have told you.

  120. 120
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Oh, but Chas is too good to Google. Googling is something the little people do.

  121. 121
    David Marjanović

    Fuck, “transgenders” is even spellchecked out of existence on this website

    …what? Spellcheckers aren’t something websites have, it’s something browsers have.

  122. 122
    David Marjanović

    (Interesting grammar fail in my previous comment. I guess the Bierce-Hartman-McKean-Skitt law has a very broad purview.)

  123. 123
    Crissa

    All the supportive posts are awesome, honestly. Cerb just is cake under all that icing, she’s done big things in opening liberal eyes, I have to say.

    But yeah, I’m not going to complain if your spellcheck doesn’t have newish words in it – isn’t there a button to add a word to the dictionary it uses?

    PPS Chas, you’re letting the third string trolls beat you up. When Morales has a valid point against you, it’s long since past time to apologize x-x

    Anecdotes can be annoying, but we’re all fallible. If you want to know more, ask, and someone may be able to fill in the data. As was done – three good citations on something that resembles the anecdote. Take advantage of all the bits of knowledge and skills that a big thread of commenters here has. Often you’ll be pleasantly surprised that someone can be more useful than you’d assumed.

  124. 124
    davidgentile

    @Chas Peterson, #66, bite me.

  125. 125
    davidgentile

    And yes, those posters less lazy than I was found the correct story.

  126. 126
    ChasCPeterson

    I already said that it doesn’t matter whether the story was findable, or even correct. If you cop to “lazy” then you acknowledge my point and the discussion’s over, and I don’t even have to bite you.

    Googling is something the little people do.

    “Little people”? You have me confused with Morales or something (although his formulation was “lesser”).
    To the contrary, I strongly believe that googling is for everyone, or at least that it’s readily available to almost everyone.
    My (only) point, actually.

    I’m reminded of this other time on the internet when I seem to remember something like this happening before. I’m pretty sure it was at least relevant to the current discussion, iirc.
    hth.

  127. 127
    ChasCPeterson

    Oh, but that’s not why I logged in here.

    PZ, or Chris, would you please post a couple new things, big enough to push that picture of the smarmy-looking kid off of the front page?
    thank you.

  128. 128
    ChasCPeterson

    just one mre; sorry:
    Yes, or ja, the German error is embarrassing. Although I admit that Ich weisse nur ein bisschen Deutsch (as no doubt just demonstrated), but Scheisse, I knew that one.

    I blame it on Tullamore Dew. (yes, it was a little early, and?)

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