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Aug 06 2013

No, it could never happen to her!

This is what always blows my mind: that sexual harassment affects people I’d never imagine having to worry about it. Karen Stollznow is a big name, popular on the skeptic conference circuit, and has always given the impression of being strong, poised, and confident — which means that I cluelessly took it for granted that no one would ever mess with her. I was wrong. This is never a problem with the victims, but always in the nature of the perpetrators.

Stollznow has opened up about her years of harassment at work, and it’s shocking. It’s the usual combination of shame and peer pressure that keeps women silent (exactly as the abusers like it), and when they reveal that ugly history one begins to get an awareness of how ubiquitous the problem is.

I know who her abuser was…and I feel a weird combination of being appalled and being totally unsurprised. It’s another of those big name skeptics, popular with some on the lecture circuit, and also (the totally unsurprising part) with a history of belittling women’s concerns. I’ve talked with Stollznow a bit about revealing that name, and I’m holding off a bit because she was very circumspect in that article…but I’m of two minds about it, because the other thing we see over and over is that it’s the women who have the courage to step out and speak and face the usual torrent of disparagement and dismissal, and the abusers who get the privilege of lurking in the shadows.


Something strange happened after I posted this. People started emailing me. They all said the same thing: they knew exactly who the harasser was, and they named him, and eerily, they all named exactly the same name, and they were all 100% on the money. I’m starting to believe in psychic powers.

The accused harasser was Ben Radford.

Wait. Maybe it’s not psychic powers, it’s privileged ignorance. Almost all of the people writing to me are women, and some of them also tell tales of their husbands or boyfriends not believing them at first.

Is there such a thing as Male Pattern Blindness?

404 comments

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  1. 1
    Sili

    Is it one of the usual three arseholes? Actually, “lecture circuit” reduces it to two of those, I guess.

  2. 2
    Rey Fox

    because the other thing we see over and over is that it’s the women who have the courage to step out and speak and face the usual torrent of disparagement and dismissal, and the abusers who get the privilege of lurking in the shadows.

    Which ties back in with the “feminism superfluous” story. On one side you have the feminist group with their whiteboard pictures, all identifiable and in a group, and on the other side you have a horde of “trolls”, many of whom are anonymous. And the school’s number one priority is to make sure that the boat is not rocked, so they will go police the easier target.

  3. 3
    sqlrob

    I’ll bet the FTBullies tag is exploding with this post.

  4. 4
    Inaji

    I would like to confidently say ‘name and shame!’, but I can’t, because it’s almost always the person who has already been dealing with harassment who pays, not the asshole harasser.

  5. 5
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, that’s why I’m holding back — I’m not going to get the torrent of abuse (well, no more than usual, anyway), she will.

  6. 6
    Monika Schwarzbach

    The harasser needs to pay, and for the harassed there’s safety in numbers. So: “name and shame”! But it’s up to Ms Stollznow, I can understand, if she doesn’t want to name names. The old boy’s network still works too well.

  7. 7
    Mooser42001 .

    This is completely beyond me. I fail to see why any man would say anything to a woman he works with which he would be ashamed to have repeated to his mother.

  8. 8
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    It seems to me there must be a way to open this ratchet so that abusers continually reap the benefit of anonymity and impunity. We know women get blamed if they name and blamed if they don’t.

    But isn’t there some way? What if enough men (I’m sorry to say) agreed to act collectively and do some naming? Is there something else?

    I don’t have an answer, but I just can’t accept this anymore. It’s not about me, I know. Grrr.

  9. 9
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    DON’T reap, I meant to say.

  10. 10
    Mooser42001 .

    Or sister, for that matter.

  11. 11
    Mooser42001 .

    “It seems to me there must be a way to open this ratchet”

    I don’t know about that. The last time I fooled around with a ratchet, I got heisted on my own Petrograd. I had to fly home on an unscheduled airline.

  12. 12
    Inaji

    Mooser:

    I fail to see why any man would say anything to a woman he works with which he would be ashamed to have repeated to his mother.

    As mothers (and sisters, for that matter) aren’t monolith, that is utterly irrelevant. A man should treat a woman as a full human being at all times, and a colleague should be treated professionally, full stop.

    When you say things to the effect of limiting behaviour to what your mother may or may not approve of, you are still placing the responsibility for a man’s ethical behaviour on the shoulders of a woman. Take responsibility for your own actions and words.

  13. 13
    Mooser42001 .

    I clicked the link, and tried to read the article, but I got hung up on the pin-it picture. Those stilletto-heeled strap-sandals (and on such a nice pair of pedal extremities, and such exquisite ankles) claimed all my attention. How am I supposed to think about sexism if they keep on showing me provocative pictures?

    [Seriously? This is your response? I'm going to tell you right now to stay the fuck out of this thread or I will ban you. --pzm]

  14. 14
    Jim

    He should be named and shamed. Hell, his employer already admitted that he did what she claimed…it’s not like she’s making things up.

  15. 15
    Inaji

    *sigh*

    Mooser42001, you have a real problem with thinking you’re clever, don’t you? You might want to start learning that shutting up most of them time would benefit you greatly.

    Comment by Mooser42001 . blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

  16. 16
    Mooser42001 .

    “As mothers (and sisters, for that matter) aren’t monolith, that is utterly irrelevant.”

    I gave it some thought, and I see that you are right. It hadn’t occurred to me, until I read your reply, that if somebody repeated the things I say to my mother, they might repeat some of the things my mother says about me!

  17. 17
    Jim

    I mean, she talked about cases where it’s not always clear if it’s sexual harassment, but in her case, it was 100% clear. This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall, he was actively trying to get her to sleep with him even after being repeatedly rebuffed and in spite of her boyfriend/husband. I feel like we ought to know who the sleezebag is.

  18. 18
    Bronze Dog

    As mothers (and sisters, for that matter) aren’t monolith, that is utterly irrelevant. A man should treat a woman as a full human being at all times, and a colleague should be treated professionally, full stop.

    It also doesn’t help the idea that not everyone was privileged to have good parents. Mine raised me more or less right, and I keep having to remind myself that there are a lot of bad parents who’d condone or even encourage this sort of horrible behavior. There are plenty of openly asshat adults out there to reduce the number of reminders I need, though.

  19. 19
    PZ Myers

    Mooser42001: See my note appended to your comment #13. Heed it. This is the only warning you’ll ever get here.

  20. 20
    Mooser42001 .

    But please, don’t get mad at me. The only woman I ever seriously harrassed got her own back, and a whole lot of mine, too. We had our 23rd marriage anniversary a month ago.

  21. 21
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    PZ, perhaps you should introduce Mooser42001 to Pete Rooke. The Rookie could teach the Moose how to direct his sexist tendencies to something more constructive and creepy.

  22. 22
    aaronbaker

    I’m assuming that if she consents, you will release this guy’s name? It’s only what he deserves.

  23. 23
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Well, Moose, our short time together has been rather unpleasant and you will not be missed.

  24. 24
    PZ Myers

    Mooser42001: Gone.

  25. 25
    Tethys

    Oh good grief you idiot Mooser.

    Sexual harassment is not the same thing as a romantic relationship. I expect there are more red letters in your near future.

  26. 26
    la tricoteuse

    Gosh. It’s like Mooser can’t help him/herself. Control that reflex, dude.

  27. 27
    la tricoteuse

    Oops, too late.

  28. 28
    Ophelia Benson

    The outcome is so depressing. He got a slap on the wrist – after all that.

  29. 29
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    What do you mean, Ophelia? Do you know who this lecturer is?

    (And why am I not surprised all he got was a slap on the wrist? If in fact, that is the case.)

  30. 30
    PZ Myers

    Name named. Reread the post now.

  31. 31
    Inaji

    Jim Vernon:

    I mean, she talked about cases where it’s not always clear if it’s sexual harassment, but in her case, it was 100% clear.

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of what you’re doing here. You keep putting more and more weight on the fact that it’s not necessary to simply take the word of a woman when it comes to being harassed. Please stop that, then ask yourself why you’re stressing this so much.

    You say there are cases where harassment isn’t clear. I’ll assume you mean this sort of thing:

    This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall,

    So, you think the workplace is an appropriate place to post sexual jokes? That maybe it’s okay to tell sexual jokes at work, josh around the water cooler and all that, maybe? Don’t see a problem with many corporations using strip clubs to close deals and all that? That sort of thing, it’s a “hey, lighten up!” sort of deal?

    What may not constitute harassment to you has a lot to do with your privilege in life, eh? People without that privilege tend to have a different viewpoint. You have a lot of unconscious bias showing here..

    he was actively trying to get her to sleep with him even after being repeatedly rebuffed and in spite of her boyfriend/husband.

    Now we get the “hey, her actual human being (male) didn’t get this guy to back off! Get the pitchforks!”

    I feel like we ought to know who the sleezebag is.

    We? No, speak for yourself. Why do you want to know so badly? Feel like being a white knight with a battering ram? I’d like to see the asshole shamed myself, however, my prime concern is for Ms. Stollznow, who really doesn’t need half the denizens of the ‘net slamming shit down on her, proffering up jollies like rape threats for months or years on end. Your eagerness for the asshole to be named is another sign of your privilege – you’ll get satisfaction, but you won’t pay the cost.

  32. 32
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The name of the harasser has been revealed on Twitter.

  33. 33
    Inaji

    PZ:

    Mooser42001: Gone.

    Thank you.

  34. 34
    Seize

    Thanks for revealing it PZ. With behavior as egregious as Stollznow describes in her post, there have been previous victims, there are current victims, and if we don’t name the offender, we are failing to protect future potential victims.

  35. 35
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    When Ben Radford’s name is Googled, Karen Stollznow is one of “People also searched for…” Sigh…

  36. 36
    butchpansy

    Yeah, I’m sick of talking about sexual harrassment, too. Not as sick of it as Stollznow; she has had to repeatedly relive it in the telling, not to mention the original years of abuse by the perpetrator. What bothers me the most, aside from the basic fact of harrassment’s ubiquity, is the way those who suffer the actions of abusers are multiply victimized, until they are but a bundle of symptoms and a mirror for the myths of the surrounding culture. This serves to objectify them once again: as habitual victims, as sluts, as nuts. It’s imperative that we not be silently complicit in either the abuse or any subsequent minimization of its seriousness.. The bad guys keep getting away with it because the good guys are afraid to speak up.

  37. 37
    Inaji

    The accused harasser was Ben Radford.

    I wish I could say I was surprised.

    Is there such a thing as Male Pattern Blindness?

    Profound coinage, that.

  38. 38
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 29 – yup, I knew.

  39. 39
    MyaR

    Well, I am so completely not shocked. Hopefully, he will see serious repercussions. I will be going out of my way to ensure I never contribute anything to his career and that of his employer, and that they know it. Well, I kind of was already, on the basis of his epic fails at being a decent human being.

    Also, another lesson to be learned, apparently — if you ever have a serious sexual harassment case, get your own lawyer.

  40. 40
    A Surprise to Many

    Is the company on whose watch she was harassed and to which she complained the large media company (Discovery) or the non-profit (Center For Inquiry)? Seems to me that’s sort of relevant for what sort of organizational shaming needs to happen…

    Sigh.

  41. 41
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And now so do the rest of us. Yet for fuel for the ongoing shitstorm.

    And everything remains ugly as shit.

  42. 42
    yazikus

    Is the company on whose watch she was harassed and to which she complained the large media company (Discovery) or the non-profit (Center For Inquiry)?

    I’m also wondering about this.

  43. 43
    PZ Myers

    The company was CFI, I’m sorry to say.

  44. 44
    butchpansy

    Mal Pattern Blindness

    Brilliant! Hereby stolen for future, probably unattributed use!

  45. 45
    Jim

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    I swear, it’s just about impossible to post anything without someone having to twist it all up into something that it’s not, particularly when sexism or sexual harassment are on the table.

    You shouldn’t simply take anyone’s word for much of anything, but you especially shouldn’t simply take someone’s word for something when they’re making potentially harmful revelations about someone else.

    I don’t recall saying anything to that effect. Are you having some kind of inner dialog?

    No, my point was that not only did he disrespect her wishes in regard to continued communication, he also disrespected her relationship with another person.

    But then you just said that you wanted to know too.

    So I can avoid supporting whoever it is.

    No, I feel like not offering my support to someone who acts like he did. The funny thing about you calling me a “white night” is that you followed up with “my prime concern is for Ms. Stollznow”. Does that mean you’re white knighting against the white knights? This is getting confusing.

  46. 46
    yazikus

    The company was CFI, I’m sorry to say.

    Well, that is disappointing.

  47. 47
    Tom Foss

    PZ, I think you have the name wrong. Ben Radford is “A Research Fellow for a U.S. think-tank who is also deputy editor of a national magazine, and author of numerous books,” thus he can’t possibly be capable of harassment. I mean, I don’t actually know about any of the situation up ’til this point, but I glanced at his Twitter feed, and there wasn’t any evidence, so you must just be doing this because you disagree with him.

    /Farley
    /sarcasm

  48. 48
    Sili

    Is there such a thing as Male Pattern Blindness?

    Yes.

    Also, shit.

    I guess it was wishful thinking to hope that there were only three big Skeptic™ harrassers.

    Shit.

  49. 49
    nrdo

    Yeah, ideally the victim should be given the choice as to whether they want to deal with a publicity blow-up or not. In the case of well-known personalities though, that’s impossible. I hope Dr. Stollznow knows that most of us who think carefully about ethics and justice in the skeptical movement stand with her.

  50. 50
    Jim

    (Well crap, it edited out all of my quotes. I fail. PZ, if you could delete the previous comment, that would be great.)

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    I swear, it’s just about impossible to post anything without someone having to twist it all up into something that it’s not, particularly when sexism or sexual harassment are on the table.

    You keep putting more and more weight on the fact that it’s not necessary to simply take the word of a woman when it comes to being harassed. “>

    You shouldn’t simply take anyone’s word for much of anything, but you especially shouldn’t simply take someone’s word for something when they’re making potentially harmful revelations about someone else.

    So, you think the workplace is an appropriate place to post sexual jokes?

    I don’t recall saying anything to that effect. Are you having some kind of inner dialog?

    Now we get the “hey, her actual human being (male) didn’t get this guy to back off! Get the pitchforks!”

    No, my point was that not only did he disrespect her wishes in regard to continued communication, he also disrespected her relationship with another person.

    We? No, speak for yourself.

    But then you just said that you wanted to know too.

    Why do you want to know so badly?

    So I can avoid supporting whoever it is.

    Feel like being a white knight with a battering ram?

    No, I feel like not offering my support to someone who acts like he did. The funny thing about you calling me a “white night” is that you followed up with “my prime concern is for Ms. Stollznow”. Does that mean you’re white knighting against the white knights? This is getting confusing.

  51. 51
    butchpansy

    It is CFI who should be ashamed, along with Radford. This is not a “personel” issue; it’s a matter of shared, corporate responsibility for ongoing crimes.

  52. 52
    Tethys

    Color me completely unsurprised that the same asshole who spent days arguing about pink berries and sexual selection has been revealed to be a sexual predator.

  53. 53
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Who could have predicted there was a culture of men running amok and women’s concerns being silenced and shit on at CFI. . .RONLINDSAY. . cough.

  54. 54
    Inaji

    Between Lindsay and Radford and a few other major falls, I want nothing to do with CFI. I do feel for all those who are doing great work there, but it seems to me that most of their work these days is trying to put out fires.

  55. 55
    Tom Foss

    On a more serious note, that Drew Carey Show storyline Stollznow mentions was directly responsible for the dismissive attitude I had toward feminism and sexual harassment for most of my formative years. Ugh.

  56. 56
    Tethys

    it seems to me that most of their work these days is trying to put out fires.

    Or as in the Ron Lindsay episode, starting their own house on fire, then standing within the flaming edifice proclaiming that it isn’t on fire.

  57. 57
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Goddamn it, CFI, why is there such a disconnect between the good people in your organization and the shitheads on top? What will it take to change the culture at the top? Can we just… take the good ones and lure them over to a new, less-shitty organization?

  58. 58
    hyperdeath

    Radford was one of the people who complained to the BBC, after they (supposedly) called him an abuser.

  59. 59
    iknklast

    Ben Radford has some serious issues with his skepticism. In a recent issue of Skeptical Inquirer, he made some very bad arguments on an issue about the Boston Marathon shooter. He was right, but his arguments were so badly made he really didn’t deserve to be right. He cited anecdotal evidence without any verification at all, and he cited a “really big number” (1.8 million) without putting it in context. This allowed him to take some gratuitous swipes at hard-working government employees in the process (many of who are almost certainly women, probably most). He really needs to go back to Skepticism 101. I sent a letter about this to the Skeptical Inquirer; it was not printed.

  60. 60
    Stacey C.

    Color me completely unsurprised. He was on an old show I watching the other day and I sighed and hit the “fast forward” button. Bleck.

  61. 61
    Sastra

    Well, if the harrasser is Radford then I am surprised. I knew him only slightly but mentally placed him in the ‘friendly and trustworthy’ category. I would not have guessed him. Brian Dunning also surprised me — though less so, perhaps.

    I am apparently not a very good judge of character. Which is good to know.

    My guess is that I’m about average, though. People are complicated — we mentally smooth out the rough spots or fill in the unknown area with what makes intuitive sense. As a general rule, be wary of intuition. We only find it reliable when it’s either not really ‘intuition’ — or we get to define it after the fact.

  62. 62
    A. Noyd

    Yay for moderation! There was a comment from an MRA on Karen’s post advising readers look at some articles that, from the title, were about how sexual harassment is some feminist conspiracy to criminalize men’s sexuality, and it got deleted while I was writing a reply to it.

    Of course, now there’s one from a guy who took 400 words to whine about his plight as an unattractive dude in his 50′s.

  63. 63
    notsont

    I am apparently not a very good judge of character. Which is good to know.

    My guess is that I’m about average, though. People are complicated — we mentally smooth out the rough spots or fill in the unknown area with what makes intuitive sense. As a general rule, be wary of intuition. We only find it reliable when it’s either not really ‘intuition’ — or we get to define it after the fact.

    No one is a good judge of character, yet almost everyone thinks they are.

    I am so disappointed in CFI, I can’t even come up with words to describe how disgusted I feel about that organization now.

  64. 64
    MrFancyPants

    Of course, now there’s one from a guy who took 400 words to whine about his plight as an unattractive dude in his 50′s.

    Yeesh. Why is it that these guys think that the solution to low self-esteem is to blame other people, rather than working on their self-esteem issues?

  65. 65
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I am apparently not a very good judge of character. Which is good to know.

    My guess is that I’m about average, though. People are complicated — we mentally smooth out the rough spots or fill in the unknown area with what makes intuitive sense. As a general rule, be wary of intuition. We only find it reliable when it’s either not really ‘intuition’ — or we get to define it after the fact.

    Which is why all of us have to learn not to say and act on the idea of “No! That cannot be true about him!”.

  66. 66
    Who Knows?

    Why is it that these guys think that the solution to low self-esteem is to blame other people, rather than working on their self-esteem issues?

    Probably has something to do with low self-esteem…

  67. 67
    gussnarp

    @Sastra – Sometimes we’re all bad judges of character. For all the obvious assholes out there, there are many more who are much better at maintaining a better public face than their private behavior.

    I guess Radford wasn’t that good at the public face from other’s comments, but I don’t know enough about him to have known that.

    Brian Dunning has come up again. Is this regarding the eBay lawsuit, or is he involved in sexual harassment as well?

  68. 68
    gussnarp

    I hope I’m not derailing in any way by bringing this up, but the article made me think of Anthony Weiner. Much as I hate the tendency to slime politicians with sex scandals, particularly Democratic politicians, it occurs to me that much of the media simply makes the Weiner scandal into a joke. This wasn’t a guy just sexting consensual others. The accounts I’ve heard seem to indicate he was continuing to send sexual messages after being asked to stop, or without any indication that he should start. By all accounts he seems to be exactly the same sort of predator. But the media doesn’t take it seriously or use it as an opportunity to talk about the issue, but as the butt of jokes.

  69. 69
    screechymonkey

    Tom Foss@47: Well played, sir.

  70. 70
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Radford is an asshole. I met him once, and he does not have a good public face (especially if there are women in the audience. He seems to prefer to ignore, talk over and finally insult, when asked questions.)

  71. 71
    scottruplin

    There is just a damned breathtaking amount of denial about sexual abuse, and all sorts of criminal behavior, in America. I worked for years as a child abuse therapist and now, seeing mostly adults, hear about sexual abuse and other workplace aggression and crimes all the time. It’s almost ubiquitous. When I mention it to people outside social work, however, almost to a person they either don’t want to hear about it or say “It can’t be that bad” or “they’re exaggerating”. Workplace aggression of all forms – sexual, blackmail, power trips, threats – is all over the place. Psychopaths and extreme narcissists want power, and when they get it they do anything they think they can get away with.

  72. 72
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Gussnarp, I do think your last bit is right on target. I agree that most of the media members have been turning an abusive situation into a joke. Just as many acts of sexual based abuse is reduced to a joke. Because “boys will be boys”.

  73. 73
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    I really, really wanted Radford to be a good (but perhaps misguided at times) guy. I haven’t been listening for a while, but I do like Monster Talk, and I do find the sorts of things he researches to be interesting (even if not the most critical issues I as a secular woman am facing).

    What really freaks me out about this, though, is that my group was going to have him come for a workshop and to cut down on our costs, he offered to stay at our house. We ended up getting off course from doing the workshop, but at one time the plan was he could stay over with us (without any guarantee that my husband would be there at all times).

    Fuck you, CFI.

  74. 74
    Amphigorey

    I guess it was wishful thinking to hope that there were only three big Skeptic™ harrassers.

    Who are the three other harassers?

  75. 75
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    And thank you, Karen. You are very brave. You are helping many people with this, potentially giving other people courage to speak out and potentially preventing future harassment.

  76. 76
    sarah00

    @71, it’s not just America. The UK press is currently reporting on a paedophile being given an 8 month suspended sentence for sexually abusing a 13 year old because she a) “was predatory and egging [him] on” (the judge’s words!) and b) she pretended she was older (though still younger than 16). He’s 41.

    The story’s here http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/aug/06/paedophile-suspended-sentence-review if I’m able to provide links.

    When judges don’t take paedophilia seriously (and this after the BBC scandal which is still rumbling on) then what hope do we have?

  77. 77
    kestrel

    I so admire her. How absolutely horrible that not only has she been harrassed and abused, but her employer did not help her at all – not to mention the friends she talks about who either are now staying away or are outwardly not supporting her. I feel sick. The abuser is someone I had thought was worthy of looking up to. How wrong I was.

    *lame attempt at a joke* I guess I should have known. He does not even know the difference between hay and straw. :-(

  78. 78
    Sili

    Amphigorey

    Who are the three other harassers?

    I was given their names in confidence and not supplied with evidence, so you’d only have my word for it, if I named them.

  79. 79
    porlob

    @64 – I read the referenced comment less as an expression of low self-esteem and more as the response of someone who is a serial sexual harasser and is searching for a way to justify his behavior.

  80. 80
    porlob

    @62 & 64 – I read the referenced comment less as an expression of low self-esteem and more as the response of someone who is a serial sexual harasser and is searching for a way to justify his behavior.

  81. 81
    Sili

    Sastra ,

    I am apparently not a very good judge of character. Which is good to know.

    I doubt we’ll stop loving you, though.

  82. 82
    Ingdigo Jump

    I swear, it’s just about impossible to post anything without someone having to twist it all up into something that it’s not, particularly when sexism or sexual harassment are on the table.

    If this keeps happening that means that you’re a shitty communicator. Do better.

    I am apparently not a very good judge of character.

    Don’t worry, you can trust *us*

  83. 83
    A Hermit

    From Dr. Stollznow’s article:

    I soon learned that the attorney was there to protect them, not me…

    …They assured me they were disciplining the harasser but this turned out to be a mere slap on the wrist. He was suspended, while he was on vacation overseas…

    … Then they asked me to not discuss this with anyone. This confidentiality served me at first; I wanted to retain my dignity and remain professional. Then I realized that they are trying to silence me, and this silence only keeps up appearances for them and protects the harasser….

    Who do these people think they are? The Catholic Church?

  84. 84
    Jim

    If this keeps happening that means that you’re a shitty communicator. Do better.

    From my experience, it more often means that the person doing the twisting is all too willing to make generalizing assumptions.

  85. 85
    Ingdigo Jump

    From my experience, it more often means that the person doing the twisting is all too willing to make generalizing assumptions.

    If it keeps happening than you’re a shitty communicator. Do better.

  86. 86
    rowanvt

    Have to agree with Ing. You’re a shitty communicator.

  87. 87
    Randomfactor

    Who do these people think they are? The Catholic Church?

    More like people who think that the ONLY thing wrong with the Catholic Church is all the silly god stuff. Get rid of that, and keep all the other behavior.

  88. 88
    anteprepro

    From my experience, it more often means that the person doing the twisting is all too willing to make generalizing assumptions.

    We all totally believe you.

    *rewinds tape*

    Jim:

    I mean, she talked about cases where it’s not always clear if it’s sexual harassment, but in her case, it was 100% clear. This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall, he was actively trying to get her to sleep with him

    Caine:

    So, you think the workplace is an appropriate place to post sexual jokes?

    Jim:

    I don’t recall saying anything to that effect. Are you having some kind of inner dialog?

    Obviously you aren’t a shitty communicator! Maybe you’re just a smug, handwaving douche! Getting warmer?

  89. 89
    anteprepro

    Also, gotta love the sneering about “generalizing assumptions” in defense of the statement “I swear, it’s just about impossible to post anything without someone having to twist it all up into something that it’s not, particularly when sexism or sexual harassment are on the table.” I swear that sometimes this kind of shit has to be done on purpose.

  90. 90
    Jim

    @anteprepro

    You’re making my case about people twisting other people’s words for me. You quote me making a reference to her example of Drew Carey being confused about what sexual harassment is (btw, did you read the article?) but then only put part of it in bold to make it look like something I came up with. See how that works? You decided that I said something that I didn’t nad then you presented what I said in a way that made it fit what you decided I meant.

  91. 91
    Howard Bannister

    What? Jim, that quoted portion was you. Was that something you were quoting? If so, that was unclear.

    This is where the “shitty communicator” stuff is coming from, because I was 100% certain you said that, because you just said that.

  92. 92
    gussnarp

    Maybe it’s the phrase “shitty communicator”. It’s like Jay Smooth says about talking about racism: It’s not productive to say: “You’re a racist”, you should say: “That thing you just said is pretty racist”. You’re probably not a shitty communicator. You’re just communicating like shit right now. In my experience, it’s usually best to assume you’re not communicating well when people don’t seem to get what you’re saying, rather than to assume that something is wrong with them.

    Exceptions can be made for Christian apologists and Creationists.

    Of course sometimes when you’re communicating poorly, the best thing to do is stop the talking part of communicating for a while and focus on the listening part. It is definitely not good to make snippy responses to someone when you think you basically agree but are being misunderstood.

  93. 93
    Jim

    I’m fine if people want to ask me what I mean by something. I’ll explain myself. But it’s ridiculous to take a statement out of context and blow it up into something it was not. For example:

    I said: “she talked about cases where it’s not always clear if it’s sexual harassment, but in her case, it was 100% clear. This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall,”

    If you’d read the article, it’s obvious that I’m referring to Drew Carey’s confusion on the matter. Then Caine comes in and takes an out of context snippet of my comment, “This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall”, and comes up with this rhetorical nonsense:

    So, you think the workplace is an appropriate place to post sexual jokes? That maybe it’s okay to tell sexual jokes at work, josh around the water cooler and all that, maybe? Don’t see a problem with many corporations using strip clubs to close deals and all that? That sort of thing, it’s a “hey, lighten up!” sort of deal?

    What may not constitute harassment to you has a lot to do with your privilege in life, eh? People without that privilege tend to have a different viewpoint. You have a lot of unconscious bias showing here..

  94. 94
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    Jim- “I mean, she talked about cases where it’s not always clear if it’s sexual harassment, but in her case, it was 100% clear. This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall, he was actively trying to get her to sleep with him ”

    You imply you think posting a sexual joke on his cubical wall can sometimes be ok because if you felt that it obviously *was* inappropriate, the above statement wouldn’t make sense. Let’s replace with something I think both you and all of us find to be inappropriate- grabbing an employee’s ass – in order to show why it wouldn’t make sense:
    “I mean, she talked about cases where it’s not always clear if it’s sexual harassment, but in her case, it was 100% clear. This isn’t a guy who grabbed an employee’s ass, he was actively trying to get her to sleep with him ” Make sense now why you were implying that you feel posting sex jokes at work are at least sometimes ok?

  95. 95
    Muz

    I wonder if the mutual friend she mentions that can’t take a side is Blake Smith. (Could potentially be half the skeptical and paranormal scene though, of course).

  96. 96
    Jim

    @Howard

    Did you miss the part where I said “she talked about cases where”? That’s a pretty important part of what I said that people seem to enjoy ignoring. In other words, I never said or implied that that sexual jokes are fine in the work place, I was referring to her Drew Carey example.

  97. 97
    Nathaniel Frein

    Even if you’re referring to the Drew Carey episode, implicit in your language is the idea that what happened in that episode was not, in fact, clear cut harassment (hint: It was).

  98. 98
    gussnarp

    Jim, let me explain. The fact that you’re referring to something in the article doesn’t change the fact that what you said gives the impression that you condone posting sexual jokes on cubical walls. That’s how we all read that sentence.

    Maybe you missed the point in the article that Stollznow does not condone such behavior, that she was citing that as an example of the way the media treats sexual harassment, not as an example of something we should just ignore. She deplores the way the character in that episode is treated, and the way Carey’s character makes light of it.

  99. 99
    gussnarp

    I never said or implied that that sexual jokes are fine in the work place

    You never meant to imply it. But that’s still how it reads. Even after all your explaining, even with the “she talked about cases where..”, it still reads like you’re saying that posting sexual jokes on a cubical wall is OK. That’s why we think you’re communicating poorly. And maybe you are a shitty communicator, because you still don’t get that the way you wrote that carries an implication that you didn’t intend, and you’re still blaming us for the fact that you communicated poorly.

  100. 100
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Count me as one more unit in the “unsurprised, alas” team. And not only that Radford was named as the harrasser, but also that Karen Stollznow was suffering this. Maybe it’s recollection bias, but I think I felt some weird vibe in the last 2 or 3 years of MonsterTalk, like some sort of dampening of energy in the way she talked. And all those episodes when she wasn’t there, or was there but hardly talked at all. No wonder if all that crap was going on behind the scenes!

    And shame on CFI for not having her back.

  101. 101
    Jim

    Sigh. The point was that if Radford had done something like what Drew Carey did, I could give him some leeway for not understanding that it was harassment. However, what he actually did went on for months (years)? and violated her wishes, violated her personal space and body, and violated her relationship with her significant other. There’s no way he could have been confused about what he was doing. He just didn’t care.

    That was the point of that particular sentence in my comment. It seems obvious to me, but then again, I came up with it.

  102. 102
    anteprepro

    Even if you’re referring to the Drew Carey episode, implicit in your language is the idea that what happened in that episode was not, in fact, clear cut harassment (hint: It was).

    Bingo. For all the whines and handwringing, that’s what it comes down to. The tone of the response doesn’t do Jim any favors either. Just dismisses Caine as dishonest and manipulative at the top of the comment, responding in full to the specific complaint in question with just a bald assertion that Jim didn’t say it and Caine is just talking to herself. Which is why the below is bullshit:

    I’m fine if people want to ask me what I mean by something. I’ll explain myself. But it’s ridiculous to take a statement out of context and blow it up into something it was not.

    If you are really fine with people wondering what you meant, you would explain what you meant instead of completely disregarding how they could have reached that conclusion about what you said. Instead of responding with passive aggressive remarks about how they are twisting words or taking things “out of context”. Instead of smugly dismissing concerns with flat assertions that someone is just making shit up.

    What you write does not line up with the tone or the ideas that you claim to have. It does not express what you suggest you want to express. Which is … *drumroll* …. poor communication.

  103. 103
    Jim

    Instead of smugly dismissing concerns with flat assertions that someone is just making shit up.

    Uh, Caine still was “making shit up”. According to him, I believe that women should never be believed about sexual harassment, it’s ok to post sexual jokes at work, I have unconscious biases toward women, I think that women aren’t real human beings, I’m a white knight, and I don’t care about Ms. Stollznow.

    That’s all “shit” he/she made up before asking for any clarification. Excuse me if such accusations merit a less than polite response.

  104. 104
    Hannah Wilson

    I have to say I am very disappointed, not just in Radford, but in myself because as I read it I knew it had to be Radford, but I wanted to pretend I was wrong. I’ve known for a while now that Radford, who I considered something of a role model, at least for skeptical inquiry, stood on some shaky ground in terms of feminism. But, I was willing to compartmentalize that, to think “Maybe he’ll come around. After all, he did work with Karen, and she is wonderful and they seemed to get along, maybe she’ll help educate him.”

    It’s so obvious now looking back how I was intentionally blinding myself and I feel like a fool. This is just a wake up call to the fact that we in the skeptical community can no longer let people so corrupt lead our organization, even if we respect work they did in the past. We can’t compartmentalize the work from the person.

    There are too many great potential skeptics out there, a new generation of investigators and educators and researchers – and if we let people like Radford go unpunished just because we are afraid of the harm it will do our public image, we are sending a message to that new generation that we are already a relic of the past.

  105. 105
    SallyStrange

    The point was that if Radford had done something like what Drew Carey did, I could give him some leeway for not understanding that it was harassment.

    Stollznow’s point was that what Drew Carey was doing in that episode does not actually deserve “leeway,” despite the way it’s portrayed in the media.

    Why would you give someone that “leeway”? It only serves to legitimize harassment.

  106. 106
    changerofbits

    I was wondering why I’ve never heard of this asshat, then I read this on wikipedia:

    He is also a co-host of MonsterTalk, a podcast, which critically examines the science and folklore behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and werewolves.

    Wow, not only is he a predatory creep, his “skeptic bona fides” surround myths that my 3-year-old daughter has put to bed. How this guy gets a position at CFI is beyond me. It’s like somebody who has built some impressively tall Lego towers being made the chief architect and foreman for a new skyscraper.

  107. 107
    Hannah Wilson

    @95

    Muz,
    I too wondered that. Smith really does seem like a nice guy, but also like the type who would approach the situation with too much distance and caution. As he is really the force behind MonsterTalk I hope he takes a real stand on this (and the right stand) because I have a real place in my heart for MonsterTalk as it is what brought me into this whole skeptic, freethought community to begin with.
    I suspect though, that he will stay back, make no comments, and try to carry on like nothing is happening. In other words, the default stance that too many skeptics are taking in regards to sexism and sexual harassment.

  108. 108
    Seize

    *her

    *Dr.

  109. 109
    anteprepro

    The point was that if Radford had done something like what Drew Carey did, I could give him some leeway for not understanding that it was harassment.

    And the point that Caine had was “Why?”. That is still sexual harassment. Though I get the point that you are ultimately trying to make (that what Radford was so far beyond that scenario that there is no way that there is any question that it was harassment), you must also understand that most of us don’t agree that your example lies in a gray area. I personally don’t really agree that what you have described it as, a “sexual joke in a cubicle,” is inherently deserving of “some leeway”. I assume that, additionally, many of us are also a bit leery of arguments that such a thing is a gray area, because such arguments tend to relegate the entirety of sexual harassment to the gray.

    You are basically on the right track. I hope that you can just start explaining yourself better and settle things down. Otherwise, you might be along the same trajectory of several others who have turned a small disagreement into a massive trolling spree.
    (e.x. Because a criticism rubbed you the wrong way, you are get snippy, get more criticisms, criticize those criticisms, get criticized for those, and eventually will wind up going on a temper tantrum/ego trip.)
    I really hope that you come to your senses before going as far as some others who have gone along that path!

    Uh, Caine still was “making shit up”. According to him

    Her. Maybe you should have asked for some clarifications?

    Caine was just interpreting your comments. I think there probably were some leaps in logic, but it was far from “making shit up”. And yet you just baldly assert that she was “making shit up”. Doing so without asking for clarifications.

    Diving headfirst into hypocrisy is not a good way to prove yourself.

  110. 110
    nyarlathotep

    Caine…him…

    Oh goody, do we get to go through this again?

  111. 111
    Jim

    Why would you give someone that “leeway”? It only serves to legitimize harassment./blockquote>

    Because I find ignorance to be a lesser offense. If someone is ignorant of the effect of their actions, I think that in most cases they should have a chance to make things right after being made aware of what’s going on. If they fail to change, then let the hammer fall.

  112. 112
    yazikus

    Because I find ignorance to be a lesser offense.

    @Jim Vernon
    I think part of the issue is that you are calling what happened in the Drew Carey instance “ignorance”, where in the article it was described as a man resenting that a woman complained about a sex jokey poster, was told to get rid of it, and instead posted on his wall for all to see (feel free to correct me if I’m getting this wrong)… So not exactly ignorance, and 100% sexual harassment.

  113. 113
    Jim

    And yet you just baldly assert that she was “making shit up”.

    It’s hard to say that I baldly assert that someone is making stuff up about me. I think I know myself pretty well at this point in my life, and none of the things she claimed were true, and were, at best, based loosely on anything that I said.

  114. 114
    anteprepro

    “Honk, honk! Hey kids!”
    “Oh boy, what a clown!”
    “INTERNET SLANDER! LIIIIIIES! I think I know myself well enough to know that I am not a clown! I just happened to have a squeaky nose and a desire to entertain children! LIARS!!!”

  115. 115
    Pteryxx

    Because I find ignorance to be a lesser offense.

    That’s not ignorance. It’s not mere ignorance that causes automatic dismissal of complaints that come from women. Saying it IS ignorance just gives the harasser more benefit of the doubt that they don’t need or deserve.

    Credibility is a basic survival tool. When I was very young and just beginning to get what feminism was about and why it was necessary, I had a boyfriend whose uncle was a nuclear physicist. One Christmas, he was telling — as though it were a light and amusing subject — how a neighbor’s wife in his suburban bomb-making community had come running out of her house naked in the middle of the night screaming that her husband was trying to kill her. How, I asked, did you know that he wasn’t trying to kill her? He explained, patiently, that they were respectable middle-class people. Therefore, her-husband-trying-to-kill-her was simply not a credible explanation for her fleeing the house yelling that her husband was trying to kill her. That she was crazy, on the other hand….

    Rebecca Solnit in 2008

  116. 116
    SallyStrange

    Caine wasn’t making stuff up about you. When I read your comment, I drew the exact same conclusions as she did. “Here’s another dude who thinks that assault is harassment, and harassment doesn’t exist,” was more or less my thought. You’ve clarified somewhat, but it took a long fucking time for you to do that, because you were too busy wasting our time and yours flailing your wounded ego around.

    Also, the argument that it’s harassment that leads guys to behave as Drew Carey’s character did (i.e., vindictively, in a blatantly sexually harassing manner) is nothing but enabling and apologia for harassment. In other words, you’re still rather drastically wrong, Mr. Vernon.

  117. 117
    leanmeansurvivalmachine

    I am barely a casual lurker in the skeptic community, and my first thought was “I wonder if it was that guy who did a ‘takedown’ of a little girl’s video on toys/sexism?” Because righteous indignation and aggressive, purposeful misrepresentation of what women (and four-year-old girls) say are the easiest identifiers of misogynists.

    Also FUCK HIM and his enablers.

  118. 118
    throwaway

    @Jim Vernon
    I think part of the issue is that you are calling what happened in the Drew Carey instance “ignorance”, where in the article it was described as a man resenting that a woman complained about a sex jokey poster, was told to get rid of it, and instead posted on his wall for all to see (feel free to correct me if I’m getting this wrong)… So not exactly ignorance, and 100% sexual harassment.

    Precisely. Jim Vernon – when you asked “Did you even read the article?” to someone up above, I was thinking the same thing at you. The context of the Drew Carey scenario was 100% completely sexual harassment without question, and it was perpetuated by Drew precisely because the woman complained about it. That’s a bit more than ignorance of his effect. This is why the corollary example of someone playing ignorant fell apart, and the relevance to Stollznow doesn’t really hold, because the metaphor isn’t even congruent to whatever point you were trying to make.

  119. 119
    anteprepro

    I think part of the issue is that you are calling what happened in the Drew Carey instance “ignorance”, where in the article it was described as a man resenting that a woman complained about a sex jokey poster, was told to get rid of it, and instead posted on his wall for all to see

    The article is only relevant to what Jim Vernon says when Jim Vernon says it is relevant to what Jim Vernon says. And we should just defer to his expertise, since no-one knows Jim Vernon better than Jim Vernon. And no-one should be allowed to interpret the writings of Jim Vernon without the express written approval of resident Jim Vernon expert, Jim Vernon. Because, really, who are we? Who are we to judge someone based on their writings in a medium that is entirely based on what people write? Nobody, that’s who!

    Also: Jim Vernon!

  120. 120
    tbtabby

    I had never heard of Ben Radford before this. Lucky me: looking through the Wikipedia article about him, he seems to have done a lot to forward the cause of skepticism. If I’d known about him before this, it would’ve been Thunderfoot all over again.

  121. 121
    nyarlathotep

    Let’s not forget that not only did Radford “take down” a 4 year old girl, but he wrote this gem: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/over_it/

  122. 122
    anteprepro

    he wrote this gem:

    Ahh, so that’s why the asshole’s name sounded familiar.

  123. 123
    Jim

    That’s not ignorance. It’s not mere ignorance that causes automatic dismissal of complaints that come from women. Saying it IS ignorance just gives the harasser more benefit of the doubt that they don’t need or deserve.

    Can you define what you mean by “it” in your comment? Because I was referring to “posting a sexual joke and not understanding how it is sexual harassment” and you seem to be referring to something else.

  124. 124
    butterflyfish

    @Jim: Read the article again. Drew Carey’s character posted the joke specifically BECAUSE someone complained about it being sent in an e-mail. He knew.

  125. 125
    butterflyfish

    Drew receives a fax with an illustration of a near-sighted caterpillar that tries to have sex with a crinkle cut fry. Tickled by the joke, he attaches it to a staff memo with the innocent intention of giving his workmates a laugh. To his surprise, he is soon reprimanded for offending a female colleague. Drew is insensitive to her reaction, and in defiance he tapes the image to his cubicle wall.

    Hard to claim ignorance there.

  126. 126
    Jim

    Good grief…it says right in the middle of the quote: “To his surprise”. In other words, he didn’t know it would be a problem. One might say that he was “ignorant” to think it wouldn’t be a problem.

  127. 127
    yazikus

    and in defiance he tapes the image to his cubicle wall.

    Jim Vernon, finish reading the quote.

  128. 128
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Jim

    Saying it IS ignorance just gives the harasser more benefit of the doubt that they don’t need or deserve.

    Because I was referring to “posting a sexual joke and not understanding how it is sexual harassment”

    Claiming that someone doesn’t understand that their behaviour constitutes harassment is making a claim of ignorance on the part of that person.

  129. 129
    Carlfish

    I wanted to sign up to Scientific American’s website so I could respond to “I have to harrass women because I’m not good-looking”-guy.

    On my first attempt, I tried to use my Google ID, and the website said “Sure! So long as we get permission to “view and manage your Google contacts.” (Emphasis mine, screenshot).

    So I said “bugger that for a lark” and tried to sign up with my Twitter ID instead. This time the website wanted permission to post tweets from my account. (screenshot)

    Seriously, Internet. What the fuck?

  130. 130
    Jim

    So did he know when he first shared the picture with everyone that it would be a problem? No. Later he was told that it was. At that point he’s no longer ignorant, and as I already stated, that’s the point where it’s fair to hammer him.

  131. 131
    leanmeansurvivalmachine

    nyarlathotep, I hadn’t seen that one before. What a vile load of garbage.

    I am having a hard time putting my thoughts together, because this one hits home for me. I was harassed at work, jumped through all the hoops (HR! Supervisor!) and at every step was treated like it was my fault for bringing it up. When the organization finally got a lawyer involved, I realized afterwards that, yup – there to protect them, not me.

    At every step of the way, I was told “Are you sure? Was it just a misunderstanding?”, and warned to keep quiet. When I finally did start talking with some female colleagues – surprise surprise, every single one of them guessed who it was right away.

    And the one lesson I took away is that these men know exactly what they are doing, and cries of “ignorance” and “miscommunication” are their camouflage.

  132. 132
    changerofbits

    @119 Nice!

    @126 Jim, you need to re-read the damn story. “To his surprise” was Drew’s reaction to offense to the email. At the point he posts it to the wall, he is no longer ignorant, he does it will full knowledge it will offend.

  133. 133
    anteprepro

    Oh, Jim Vernon. So not only can’t you write, you can’t even correctly read four fucking sentences. “To his surprise” is about the response by the colleague to the memo (mentioned in the sentence before “To his surprise”). He then is “insensitive” and “in defiance” in the part where he actually puts it on his cubicle wall (in the sentence after “To his surprise”). He was surprised that someone took offense, so defiantly posted the offending joke in his cubicle. It isn’t hard to understand. You complain about us not correctly reading you, about us taking things out of context, and yet you think the mere existence of “to his surprise” in that paragraph is enough to prove your point?

    Jim, quit fucking digging. You were making it better at one point. Now you are just making it severely worse. Stop while you are ahead.

  134. 134
    anteprepro

    So did he know when he first shared the picture with everyone that it would be a problem? No. Later he was told that it was.

    Yeah, later, and then posted it to his cubicle wall after that later.

    Live by the article, die by the article, you fucking quibbling pissant.

  135. 135
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    So did he know when he first shared the picture with everyone that it would be a problem?

    Why do you give such leeway? Would you do so if it had been a racist joke?

  136. 136
    Julien Rousseau

    Later he was told that it was. At that point he’s no longer ignorant, and as I already stated, that’s the point where it’s fair to hammer him.

    And that’s when he posted it on his cubicle wall, hence it as 100% clear that it was sexual harassment when he posted it on his cubicle wall in contradiction of the implication of:

    it was 100% clear. This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall

  137. 137
    changerofbits

    @121 Definitely trying to cover up some guilt (a la Ted Haggard). In Bradford’s mind: “I’m over it” = “All of the women who are potential targets of my sexually harassment/assault should shut the fuck up, because of special pleading rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb”

  138. 138
    Jim

    >“To his surprise” is about the response by the colleague to the memo (mentioned in the sentence before “To his surprise”).

    Actually the previous sentence said “workmates”, which would be “colleagues”, not “colleague”. If we’re going to quibble over small details, then it looks like I’m not the only one who “can’t even read”.

    >He was surprised that someone took offense, so defiantly posted the offending joke in his cubicle.

    And my point is that he wouldn’t have been surprised if he hadn’t previously been ignorant to how the joke would have been perceived. What do you find in that statement to disagree with?

  139. 139
    Jim

    Julien Rousseau:

    >And that’s when he posted it on his cubicle wall, hence it as 100% clear that it was sexual harassment when he posted it on his cubicle wall in contradiction of the implication of:

    Yes, it was when he sent the memo, not when he posted it on the wall, that I was referring to. I got the events backwards in my earlier post, but the point about him not knowing, and then knowing, still stand.

  140. 140
    rowanvt

    Jim, your quibble is made of so much fail that it’s almost a win. But it’s still a fail.

    To his surprise, he is soon reprimanded for offending a female colleague.

    Colleague.
    A.
    Singular.

  141. 141
    kellym

    From Carrie Poppy’s Twitter:

    @rjblaskiewicz @dELYSEious According to Dr. S, she told JREF president about 3 assaults @ TAM, and he/the board declined to "blacklist him."— Carrie Poppy (@CarriePoppyYES) August 6, 2013

    Good to know.

  142. 142
    Jim

    >Why do you give such leeway? Would you do so if it had been a racist joke?

    Because I personally don’t have a problem with jokes that involve sex, in the appropriate setting. Sex doesn’t instantly make a joke into a sexist joke. I have a hard time thinking of a joke involving race, on the other hand, that wouldn’t be racist.

  143. 143
    Jim

    I can’t believe I’m still here.

    rowanvt, the guy I’m replying to said “the previous” sentence, and I’m not actually being serious about that quibble, or about this quibble about the other quibble.

  144. 144
    chigau (違う)

    OY! Jim Vernon fans!
    Karen Stollznow
    Benjamin Radford
    those names ring a bell?

  145. 145
    anteprepro

    Actually the previous sentence said “workmates”, which would be “colleagues”, not “colleague”.

    This is just getting fucking sad. The phrase in the previous sentence that I was alluding to was “memo”, fuckwad. And you could just read the original thing again to see that your quibble doesn’t even make fucking sense! The person offended was one colleague. He was not surprised about the response of his colleagues, just the reaction that one woman has to it (at least according to the article as written).

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    And my point is that he wouldn’t have been surprised if he hadn’t previously been ignorant to how the joke would have been perceived. What do you find in that statement to disagree with?

    That you pretended that the part about posting the joke in the cubicle was the part that was done in ignorance? That you are playing word games in order to find some way in which you are Technically Right? That it is becoming increasingly clear that every we have had with you so far boils down to your incompetence, and your inability to notice or acknowledge said incompetence?

    Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with you?

  146. 146
    anteprepro

    Yes, it was when he sent the memo, not when he posted it on the wall, that I was referring to. I got the events backwards in my earlier post,

    Once again Jim Vernon finally is able to admit that he was actually wrong, making sure it takes as long as fucking possible. Like pulling fucking teeth.

    Do you think that maybe, possibly, these kind of missteps are why you sometimes get people “twisting” your words?

    (I think a mention of Dunning-Kruger might be in order)

  147. 147
    Julien Rousseau

    Why do you give such leeway? Would you do so if it had been a racist joke?

    I depends on how the person reacts.

    We all mess up sometimes and when I do I welcome being able to reflect on what I did wrong, apologise for it and correct it if possible and aim not to do it in the future.

    But for that to happen there needs to be others willing to potentially give me leeway when I fuck up. Not unconditional leeway, just wait to see how I react to being told I did something wrong and give leeway if I react in a constructive way or don’t give it if I start shovelling.

    So I’m willing to consider giving others the same kind of leeway if their mistake could be caused by ignorance rather than malice.

    Of course there are limits to this too. If someone punched me in the face and claimed ignorance that it would be unwelcome I would not be likely to give them leeway to say the least.

    I think that’s basically what Vernon was trying to say originally, except that he did it in a way that implied a very clear case of sexual harassment was not 100% clear and in a context where the person who did it knew that it was improper behaviour and actually did it because it was improper behaviour that he was pissed off he couldn’t do… so yeah, shitty communicator.

  148. 148
    SallyStrange

    Well, I guess the important thing is that the sterling nature of Mr. Vernon’s reputation remains intact.

  149. 149
    Khantron, the alien that only loves

    I got the events backwards in my earlier post

    Do you not see how this gave what you wrote a completely different meaning than what you meant? Caine didn’t twist your words, you twisted your words.

  150. 150
    Andy Groves

    Do you think that maybe, possibly, these kind of missteps are why you sometimes get people “twisting” your words?

    I think Jim needs some help in discerning the difference between logical implication and conversational implicature.

  151. 151
    Jim

    anteprepro:

    You know, I don’t think I’ve called you any names and I’ve admitted when I’ve miss-worded something. You, on the other hand, seem dead set on picking at every stupid little, unimportant detail and hurling names and insults.

    It doesn’t matter if Drew posted the thing on this wall or on the memo first. The point is that in the beginning of the story, he supposedly didn’t know any better. That’s where I could have some amount of forgiveness for his actions. That was my whole point with that reference…that ignorant harassment at least allows for some level of redemption, while blatant, continued harassment does not.

    If you didn’t understand it that way, sorry.

  152. 152
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Because I personally don’t have a problem with jokes that involve sex, in the appropriate setting.

    Nor me. I just happen to think that a place, such as work, where I’m very likely to encounter people who do find them inappropriate, is not such a setting.

    Please note that he doesn’t merely send it to colleagues he knows will be okay with it; he attaches it to a staff memo. Do you really think it realistic to claim that he would that so ignorant of attitudes to sex more straight-laced than his own, that he couldn’t foresee someone finding it inappropriate?

    Sex doesn’t instantly make a joke into a sexist joke.

    And lest we forget the charge made was not sexism; it was, quite rightly in view of the above, sexual harassment—applicable, in theory at least, whatever the gender of the person offended by his actions. It becomes sexism when he decides to ignore the “prudish woman.” (And to forestall the obvious retort: can you imagine the scene being written as him ignoring a “prudish man” in such a fashion? Me neither.)

  153. 153
    Julien Rousseau

    Because I personally don’t have a problem with jokes that involve sex, in the appropriate setting.

    I agree but I have a hard time seeing work as being such a setting.

    >“To his surprise” is about the response by the colleague to the memo (mentioned in the sentence before “To his surprise”).

    Actually the previous sentence said “workmates”, which would be “colleagues”, not “colleague”. If we’re going to quibble over small details, then it looks like I’m not the only one who “can’t even read”.

    But what surprised him was not the response of his colleagues, plural, but of his colleague, singular, that complained, so you quibble on a small detail, combined with the big details of getting the ignorance/awareness timeline wrong, does make it look like you can read, you are just unable to parse the meaning out of what you read.

  154. 154
    Tom Foss

    @SallyStrange #116:

    Also, the argument that it’s harassment that leads guys to behave as Drew Carey’s character did (i.e., vindictively, in a blatantly sexually harassing manner)

    If memory serves, it was more than that. After being told to remove the cartoon from his cubicle wall, Drew put up American Flags and red-white-and-blue banners around the cubicle and the cartoon, to signify how he was a brave patriot standing up for free speech.

    But that kind of stupidity could only happen in a completely fictional sitcom from eighteen years ago.

    Also, let’s not forget that Radford is the guy who wrote the vapid, petty, “Minnesota Farmers: Blogger PZ Myers Puts Livestock at Risk With Straw Use.” He’s deleted it from his blog, but thankfully one of the angrier anti-feminist nutters has republished it for all to Google (and I’ve saved a copy should it disappear again).

  155. 155
    sigurd jorsalfar

    Jim Vernon, way to ruin this thread. Why don’t you just stfu and go away? What do you think you are accomplishing at this point? You’ve already proven you are a complete asshat. You aren’t going to unshit that bed.

  156. 156
    Jim

    “so you quibble on a small detail, combined with the big details of getting the ignorance/awareness timeline wrong, does make it look like you can read, you are just unable to parse the meaning out of what you read.”

    Yes, and it was a pitiful failure of an attempt at a come back.

  157. 157
    anteprepro

    You know, I don’t think I’ve called you any names and I’ve admitted when I’ve miss-worded something. You, on the other hand, seem dead set on picking at every stupid little, unimportant detail and hurling names and insults.

    BAAAAAAW.

    It doesn’t matter if Drew posted the thing on this wall or on the memo first. The point is that in the beginning of the story, he supposedly didn’t know any better.

    Yes, it does matter, because you alleged that you were alluding to the article! In the article, there was a big difference in timing and a big difference in context between the memo before the offense was taken, and the cubicle that happened after. From the very start, you alluded to the cubicle, and didn’t until 100+ comments later admit that you were wrong about that. Do you not understand how that mistake might have affected how Caine took your remarks? Do you not understand how that undermines your exasperated tantrum in response, dismissing Caine’s complaints and damning discussions about sexual harassment in general? Do you not understand how that makes your long, drawn-out defensiveness fucking ridiculous?

    I understand the point that you were initially trying to make. Do you finally, after all that we have explained to you, understand what mistakes you made in presenting it?

  158. 158
    Jim

    “You aren’t going to unshit that bed.”

    An apt analogy.

  159. 159
    Jim

    ” From the very start, you alluded to the cubicle, and didn’t until 100+ comments later admit that you were wrong about that.”

    It’s even worse…I didn’t even realize that I had done that in my original comment until after I made the admission (which was for a different comment).

    God damn.

  160. 160
    anteprepro

    Aaaaanyway, does anyone know what happened between PZ saying this:

    Yeah, that’s why I’m holding back — I’m not going to get the torrent of abuse (well, no more than usual, anyway), she will.

    And then naming names? I didn’t see any explanation for his change in reasoning in the OP or comments. Presumably Stollznow gave him the go ahead, or the name was already named elsewhere?

  161. 161
    Jim

    Damn it all. I’d make up an excuse about not enough sleep or not enough coffee, but I’m actually well rested and have had plenty of coffee. Apologies, and I’ll try again some other day..

  162. 162
    anteprepro

    It’s even worse…I didn’t even realize that I had done that in my original comment until after I made the admission

    Fair enough. Usually I don’t mistakes like that unless I’m at work :P

  163. 163
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    anteprepro

    There’s an addition to the end of the OP which you may not have seen.

  164. 164
    anteprepro

    Ugh. I guess I can easily fuck up on free time after all. I saw the addition, but I somehow missed the key sentence (or forgot it)

    Almost all of the people writing to me are women, and some of them also tell tales of their husbands or boyfriends not believing them at first.

    So, yeah, that would explain that. Male Pattern Blindness indeed! Time for an eye exam.

  165. 165
    nyarlathotep

    AFAIK, Ian Murphy initially revealed on Twitter that Radford was the harasser mentioned in Stollznow’s article. Ian Murphy also claims that Stollznow gave it the okay. I may be wrong, but Murphy’s tweet was the first time I saw Radford fingered as the harasser.

  166. 166
    willradik

    I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be persecuted like this for so long. Nor can I put myself in the mindset where I can understand this sort of abuse. It’s nauseating.

    I hope that Radford’s other victim(s) come forward about this and that they and Stollznow see justice.

  167. 167
    anteprepro

    AFAIK, Ian Murphy initially revealed on Twitter that Radford was the harasser mentioned in Stollznow’s article. Ian Murphy also claims that Stollznow gave it the okay.

    Oh, Ian Murphy. My love for that man is slowly rekindling.

  168. 168
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Jim @50:
    You mentioned not taking anyone’s word for much of anything. I note that you left enough wiggle room in there to allow for taking someone’s word on something.
    Why?
    Are there some actions so trivial, mundane, or routine that there is no reason to doubt such claims?

    Here are three claims:

    1- I just consumed black beans, cilantro lime rice and three ground beef enchiladas.
    Do you or do you not take my word for it?
    I cannot speak for you, but if someone told me what they ate I would likely believe them. People eat. All the time. All kinds of food. There is nothing extraordinary about eating food .

    2- The god of the bible, koran, or torah is real. Claims like this are outlandish and contrary to our understanding of the world around us

    3- My boss keeps trying to kiss me and I dread coming to work.
    Claims like this, concern actions that are so common place that doubting them not only causes other people to express doubt, but also questions the credibility and honesty of the person making the claim. Too often, those who speak about harassment are dismissed as too emotional or too sensitive.

    Of the three, it it most reasonable to believe the third because sexual harassment happens every day. Every single day, women the world over are made to feel uncomfortable by creeps trying to bother them on the subway. Every day, women are gawked at…leered over…treated as slabs if meat. Every day women are groped. Every day, women are treated as objects that exist for male pleasure.

    http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/frequency-of-sexual-assault
    Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

    Unlike god claims, which are extraordinary but lack any evidence, or mundane claims that have no noticeable impact on others, sexual harassment claims have ample supporting evidence and sexual harassment has a detrimental impact on the recipient, eho is most often a woman.

    When you express doubt that a woman is telling the truth about sexual harassment, you are supporting a culture that denies the harassment women face daily. You contribute to a culture that does not support women about actions that happen all the time. There is nothing extraordinary about claims of harassment. Every time you question the truth of a harassment claim, you add to the suppression and dismissal of women.

    Don’t be that guy.
    Don’t support rape culture.

  169. 169
    fernando

    Harassment in work is like bullying in school.

    1- Tell to the offender to stop imediatly: don´t smile or make any excuses when doing this.
    2a- If the ofender continues, tell what is hapening to your chief, and demand that something is made to stop the problem.
    2b- If the chief is the offender, try to reach, if possible, some department of the company that deal with legal problems.
    3- Nothing seems to work?Contact a lawyer and prosecute the offender by harassment.
    4- Don´t be afraid to tell your family what is hapening in work: they should be your greater suport.
    5- Contact organizations that deal with this kind of crime, and ask for help.

  170. 170
    reggiedunlap

    I think that the person most responsible for people thinking sexual harassment is acceptable is Bill Clinton. He should be referred to not as president but as Sexual Harasser Bill Clinton. Unfortunately so many people have given him a pass when he never showed any respect for women and many other groups for that matter. But we have a habit of forgiving people for success. There are no shortage of defenders for Sexual Harasser Bill Clinton, and Rapist Roman Polanski.

  171. 171
    w00dview

    I read that over it article by Radford and with his quibbling and general hyperskeptism about rape/domestic violence statistics you can see why this guy does not want to acknowledge that feminists might be correct: because then he would have to acknowledge that his own harassing behaviour was wrong and he might have to change. This will make me even more wary of skeptics who think feminist claims are exaggerated. I’m going to start to think they might have some ugly skeletons in their closet. And judging by the crap Radford has written, I might be correct more often than I might want to admit.

  172. 172
    carlie

    reggiedunlap – agenda much? I seriously doubt that Bill Clinton is responsible for anyone’s lifetime views on sexual harassment. And there have been dozens of cases of politicians in high places harassing employees both before and after him.

  173. 173
    shoeguy

    It has been my experience that any large organization is going to have a certain number of sociopaths in its membership. CfI’s statement on the subject is wholly inadequate. It has been my experience that an organization has to get out in front of this problem and become the advocate for and friend of the woman victim (looking for a better word). No matter what the offender’s position in the organization, he, and it is always a he despite apologists’ equivocation, must be suspended and adults must be recruited to firmly ease the offender out. At that point a great deal of tact must be brought to bear to rescue the brand. Strong personalities are going to have a lot of fans and friends who may never be happy with the outcome, but for the sake of encouraging women to take up the skeptical cause the outraged men have got to get over it. We may even come out the other side free of some of the boys club image that atheists and skeptics have.

  174. 174
    SallyStrange

    Everything Tony! said at 168. EVERY. DAMN. THING.

  175. 175
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Jim @142:
    Here is some advice.
    Stop commenting here.
    Go read some statistics on sexual harassment.
    Then do a search for male privilege.

    Here is more food for thought.
    You have a hard time viewing sexual jokes as harassment?
    Some people have difficulty understanding why black men dislike being called “boy”.
    Some people cannot understand why using “retard” is offensive.
    Some people think nothing of calling lesbians “dykes”.

    Do you see the common theme there?
    The people having comprehension problems are not the ones on the receiving end of the offense. If you have not experienced-on a personal level-the discrimination and bigotry faced by lesbians, people of color, or people with disabilities, it is understandable why you would not see offense where they do.
    This is where empathy and compassion are key.
    If you want to help someone who is suffering, but do not understand–the first thing you DO NOT DO–is dismiss their concerns.

    You have a hard time viewing things as sexual harassment? Thats because you do not live with it daily like women do. You are not even trying to comprehend the perspective of women here.
    I’d love to see you walk a mile in a woman’s shoes.
    Hell, just walk three blocks FFS.

  176. 176
    Linda Rosa RN

    I find it disturbing how many skeptics think there is no need to hear from the accused before they bring out the tar and feathers. The accused need some way to defend themselves.

    Anyone accused of heinous behavior also should also have the right to know who are the accusers.

    By the way, Stollzman’s husband is directing people to this webpage, presumably to see who Meyers has fingered.

  177. 177
    Louis

    As an aside, given the shitty libel laws we have in the UK, where I am reading this from, are we/is PZ skirting close to libel by naming the harasser/continuing to name the harasser? IANAL so this is asked out of genuine ignorance. I’ve seen petty bastards attempt to sue for less than this, and the truth is sadly no defence it seems.

    Louis

  178. 178
    Jim

    @Tony (168)

    I should stick with calling it a day, but I’ll give one last reply.

    >I note that you left enough wiggle room in there to allow for taking someone’s word on something. Why?

    I was considering the the credibility of the person making the claim, (like it being my wife or someone I know well), and/or the seriousness of the claim being made.

    > There is nothing extraordinary about claims of harassment.

    The claims themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe, so I think caution would be in order. That said, I think that every claim of harassment should be taken very seriously, though I don’t think every claim merits immediate belief (at least not of a level that would lead to an immediate termination or something like that). That’s not to say that I think those claims should be disbelieved…it’s possible to withhold belief about the truth of a claim without claiming that the accusation is false.

    I think the problem, at least from what I’ve gathered, is that these claims are met with disbelief and/or aren’t taken seriously.

    I hope that came out right. I’ve been on a roll today.

  179. 179
    nyarlathotep

    @Linda Rosa RN

    As has been alluded to both in the comments on this post and in comments elsewhere, CFI has already disciplined Radford regarding this issue (to quote Ophelia, “a slap on the wrist”). As I have noted in a comment here, PZ is not the only one naming Radford and may not have been the first to do so. I find it disturbing how many skeptics spout shit without bothering to read.

  180. 180
    SallyStrange

    Jim has some sort of problem. Something to do with his giant fucking ego and not being able to admit being wrong. Fuck, I really don’t care, I just wish he’d stop making it everyone else’s problem.

  181. 181
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Reggiedunlap:
    “Prior to entering Pharygula, please unpack your baggage lest it clog your critical thinking faculties”

    Did you miss the sign on the door?

    Sigh…

    You aren’t even trying to be rational. To hint that widespread social acceptance of sexual harassment was nonexistent until Bill Clinton came along is one of the most creative ways of telling people you have no clue what the F in FtB means.

  182. 182
    Jim

    @Tony (175)

    >You have a hard time viewing sexual jokes as harassment?

    I believe I said:

    >Because I personally don’t have a problem with jokes that involve sex, in the appropriate setting. Sex doesn’t instantly make a joke into a sexist joke. I have a hard time thinking of a joke involving race, on the other hand, that wouldn’t be racist.

    Did that come across as me saying that I don’t think sexual jokes are harassment? I didn’t mean it that way, if that’s what you’re referring to. I simply meant that a joke that involves sex is not immediately “harassment”, though depending on the joke and the context, it could well be.

  183. 183
    eigenperson

    #177 Louis: Even in the UK, truth is a defense to libel. Further, in the US, statements about public figures have additional protections, and foreign libel judgments that do not adhere to US standards cannot be enforced in the US thanks to the SPEECH Act of 2010.

  184. 184
    anteprepro

    I find it disturbing how many skeptics think there is no need to hear from the accused before they bring out the tar and feathers. The accused need some way to defend themselves.

    Anyone accused of heinous behavior also should also have the right to know who are the accusers.

    I find it disturbing how many True Skeptics come flocking to the defense of The Accused, so Skeptical that they Skeptically ignore how they diminish the credibility of the victim’s testimony. They are so Skeptical that they ignore how difficult it is already for people in such situations to come forward. They are so Skeptical that they ignore just how common this kind of behavior is, and just how many women there are who deal with this shit but feel like they must suffer in silence. They are so Skeptical that they are Skeptical of any role their Skepticism has in perpetuating this climate. With the True Skeptics, it is always about the rights of The Accused, and never about the rights of the victim. It’s always blame the victim, defend the victimizer. It’s always assuring that every public forum pretends that it is a wee little courthouse, inserting “alleged” into everything and sitting on our collective thumbs until the judge finally bangs the gavel.

    When is the point in time in which we are allowed to actually utter a phrase that isn’t couched firmly in Maybes and innuendo? How many accusers are necessary before we are permitted to be outraged and to guess that maybe the victims aren’t lying after all? How many need to have their name published and their faces in newspapers before we can pat The Accused on the head and say their God-given Right to know who their accusers are has been satisfied? And how many of these thresholds do we have to pass before you and those like you stop showing a disproportionate level of concern for The Accused and start actually caring about the victims?

  185. 185
    mikeyb

    Next time he needs a new subject for MonsterTalk, just look in the mirror….

  186. 186
    Louis

    Eigenperson,

    Thanks. I know five eights of fuck all about the law! Did it show? ;-)

    I was a bit worried we might enter into faeces and fan situation re: naming the harasser. Inadvertently of course. Which would just be the capper to the crappy behaviour exhibited by the sex pests, misogynists, Internet fuckwits and sundry chums.

    Louis

  187. 187
    davehooke

    @Louis 177,

    Getting better:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation_Act_2013

  188. 188
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Sigh…in 2 parts.

    Jim:
    How well you know someone has no bearing on the truth of a claim.

    By the way, in the last two years, I have had women I work with confide in me that they were sexually harassed. The first thing I did in both cases was to say I believed them. The second thing was to listen closely to what they had to say. I did so in both cases bc the world we live in is one that claims of sexual harassment are true far, far too often. Yes, there are cases of women lying, but such cases are outliers. Again, the facts are out there.

    Women are subjected to sexual harassment so often that it is unreasonable to NOT believe them.

    Stop leading with your bias and privilege.

  189. 189
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    The claims themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe, so I think caution would be in order.

    Uh, no.

    If you feel you’re being harassed, sexually or otherwise, then you should take up the matter with your boss, your union, the police… whoever you feel to be appropriate. Possible repercussions to the abuser should not be the concern of the abused. Ever. Claiming that they should be is a guilt-trip tactic aimed at silencing victims.

  190. 190
    davehooke

    …and the truth is now a defence.

  191. 191
    Maureen Brian

    Jim,

    I don’t know what you imagine you’ve been doing the past few hours but, whatever name you dignify it with, it’s really just the oldest trick in the book.

    Now, if this were television you’d have been able to shave your legs, put on a Cyd Charisse costume and dance back and forth across our screens. Anything to ensure that we can’t concentrate on what other people are saying or see what we, ourselves, just wrote.

    Lacking both the visual and the artistic elements you just did what a million people have done before on the very blog – get yourself all in a twist, demand that people take time out from discussing a real story and a real issue, disappear up your own arsehole only to pop out again and rearrange the shit you’ve already flung and then demand – yes, demand – that other people make the effort to understand you. Protip: this was not about you, ever.

    Hell, man, if you cannot understand the plot of what sounds like a rather bland tv show long ago can you not see that you have nothing to add to this discussion?

    And so I recommend a course of action to you. In the immortal words, shut up and listen! You might learn something.

  192. 192
    SallyStrange

    I’d like some evidence of these allegedly severe consequences for those accused of sexual harassment. So far as I can see, being accused of harassment means:

    -being told to stay away from work while you’re on vacation (Radford)
    -taking a two-week training course and then keeping your job (Mayor Filner of San Diego)
    -running for mayor of NYC, having comedians make fun of you (Anthony Weiner)
    -being confirmed as a Justice on the Supreme Court (Clarence Thomas)

    Tell us, Jim, which harassers have you known who have faced genuinely severe consequences for their misconduct?

  193. 193
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I do believe I have exhausted my patience.

    As a result, the only responses I am able to muster for Linda Rosa RM are:
    Fuck off
    Fuck that
    What the fuck?
    FFS!
    Go fuck yourself

    aaaaand…
    Who is this Meyers you speak of?

  194. 194
    HappyNat

    I find it disturbing how many True Skeptics come flocking to the defense of The Accused,

    Especially when the accused is a Very Important Skeptic, who “has done a lot of good work” and is preferably male. It must threaten their privilege to have Very Important Skeptics questioned or accused, when just ignoring the women is so much easier. Seems at some point they would be skeptical about the jackasses “leading” the skeptical movement.

  195. 195
    Louis

    Davehooke,

    Thanks to you to! I knew there’d been some victory recently, but I didn’t realise it was so good. Thanks for the info.

    Louis

  196. 196
    A. Noyd

    Jim (#178)

    The claims themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe, so I think caution would be in order.

    Oh, totally, like in Karen’s case where her harasser had to suffer through… what was it…

    Right, right, he got “suspended, while he was on vacation overseas.”

    I’m sure all the poor accused in other harassment cases regularly face repercussions just as brutal. Let us weep a collective tear for them, why don’t we?

  197. 197
    w00dview

    @ anteprepro 184

    QFT. I’m fucking sick and tired of True Skeptics. Skeptical of every damn thing but the status quo.

  198. 198
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Jim @182:

    You have never sat through an HR class on sexual harassment have you?
    No answer needed.

    The workplace is not an appropriate place to tell sex jokes.

  199. 199
    anteprepro

    I’d like some evidence of these allegedly severe consequences for those accused of sexual harassment

    I’m sure that some people have suffered due to it. Most likely people already low on the totem pole, so the accusation was sufficient excuse to make them lose their job. But I would assume they are the exception and not the rule. I’m not even sure if there is a way it would affect their future employment prospects, aside from maybe ruining some of the references they would use from the job where the harassment occurred. Big powerful people suffer virtually nothing long-term. The revelation is always just a temporary annoyance because they have connections and resources to make sure that even if they do have to resign, they won’t be out starving out on the streets for it. And eventually a lot of people will forget, and some other people will remember but diminish the severity of what was done, and the powerful person will bounce back. The legal system and people in general really don’t give enough of a fuck to warrant all the bog standard hyperbolic “this will ruin his life” defensiveness on behalf of Our Betters.

  200. 200
    carlie

    “But, but, they will have bad consequences if people know how they’ve acted!”

    Allow me to impose my Mom privilege to answer this one:

    “Then they should have thought about that before they did it.”

  201. 201
    Ingdigo Jump

    Damn it all. I’d make up an excuse about not enough sleep or not enough coffee, but I’m actually well rested and have had plenty of coffee. Apologies, and I’ll try again some other day..

    If this keeps happening, it’s probably a sign that you’re a shitty communicator.

  202. 202
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Weird, isn’t it; I’ve never seen this statement:

    claims of theft/non-sexual assault/insurance fraud … themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe, so I think caution would be in order.

    Yet substitute any sexual or gender-based crime, and all of a sudden cries of “possible false accusations!” will be almost deafening.

  203. 203
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    I’ve been reading Jim’s comments here and I swear I know this guy in real life. He reminds me of someone I know, also named Jim, who says the same kind of awful things and simply can’t understand why I think he’s a douchebag for saying them.

    The problem with people like him is that there are enough people who believe that kind of thinking is “smart” or “thoughtful” that they reinforce his idea that his bullpoop is worthy of consideration.

    At least here those types are taken to ask for it.

    I wish the commenters here could be summoned like vengeful spirits when this kind of thing is encountered in meatspace. :/

  204. 204
    SallyStrange

    I wish the commenters here could be summoned like vengeful spirits when this kind of thing is encountered in meatspace.

    Sounds positively Shakespearian. :)

  205. 205
    A. Noyd

    Oh good grief. Speaking of summoning the horde, there are more fucking idiots and MRAs infesting the comments over on Karen’s article now.

  206. 206
    anteprepro

    I wish the commenters here could be summoned like vengeful spirits when this kind of thing is encountered in meatspace. :/

    I wish that every time I come across a religious bloviator or stray wingnut in the Physical Realm. On the interwebs, I type. And I can take my time to read and re-read, and take my time to compose an answer, and don’t have to worry as much about the emotional responses of either myself or the person on the other end of the screen. In real life, words are only spoken once and are hard to regather. Taking time composing an eloquent response looks awkward. Emotions are bound to flare and it becomes a battle of wills rather than a matter of logic and knowledge. Also notable is the lack of easy googling. It just strikes me that in-person, face-to-face discussions while always seem inferior to me. With on-line discussion, the format and the resources at everyone’s fingertips is so conducive towards finding the actual facts of the matter. Unless you have just the right books handy in a physical discussion, those discussions rely on hazy memories and possible hearsay with minimal fact-checking available. There’s just no comparison in terms of truth-seeking.

  207. 207
    Seize

    @205 this is accurate. May want to start the summoning ceremony.

    I am a piddly common tater here but Gawker Group has no PM system. If I need to be addressed directly, address me in this system.

  208. 208
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    @anteprepro #206:

    That is, sadly, all too true.

  209. 209
    Tanya Goose

    SallyStrange:

    I’d like some evidence of these allegedly severe consequences for those accused of sexual harassment. So far as I can see, being accused of harassment means:

    -running for mayor of NYC, having comedians make fun of you (Anthony Weiner)

    Tell us, Jim, which harassers have you known who have faced genuinely severe consequences for their misconduct?

    Weiner was forced into resignation from running for NYC Mayor as the Democratic candidate. So that’s one for you.

    He later decided to run for candidacy again, as is his right as a citizen, and it is now up to the voters to decide whether he is a worthy candidate or not. Your dislike of him is relevant only if you are a voter in NYC, where his worthiness will be voted upon.

  210. 210
    anteprepro

    Weiner was forced into resignation from running for NYC Mayor as the Democratic candidate. So that’s one for you.

    He later decided to run for candidacy again, as is his right as a citizen

    Serious Business.

    (I question the use of the word “forced” as well as the implication that this is a “severe consequence”, considering, you know, he is running again)

  211. 211
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    t is now up to the voters to decide whether he is a worthy candidate or not. Your dislike of him is relevant only if you are a voter in NYC, where his worthiness will be voted upon.

    Tanya, are you really suggesting that only NYC voters can have an opinion on the Weiner scandal? Also, Weiner resigned from Congress. He was not forced to resign from the NYC Mayor’s race because of his sexual harassment of women (that race happened in 2005, way before the scandal broke in 2011).

  212. 212
    Tanya Goose

    Cyranothe2nd:

    Tanya, are you really suggesting that only NYC voters can have an opinion on the Weiner scandal?

    No, you are misinterpreting my words. Opinions, as they say, are like assholes. We’ve all got one, but I only want to hear mine.

    As I actually said, Sallystrange’s opinion (and everyone else’s) is only relevant if they live in NYC, as that is the voting body in this case. All we can do is subject people like Winer to that most efficacious of disinfectants: sunlight.

    Thank you for the correction re resignation. The truth is he actually lost more than I realized.

  213. 213
    A. Noyd

    Tanya Goose (#212)

    Tanya, are you really suggesting that only NYC voters can have an opinion on the Weiner scandal?

    No, you are misinterpreting my words. Opinions, as they say, are like assholes. We’ve all got one, but I only want to hear mine.

    As I actually said, Sallystrange’s opinion (and everyone else’s) is only relevant if they live in NYC, as that is the voting body in this case.

    How… is this different? (You and Jim should form a Super Awesome Communicator’s Club.)

    Also, if you only want to hear “yours,” try clamping your head to your buttocks. Whether you meant your asshole or your opinion, that should cover both since you seem to be emitting the latter through the former.

  214. 214
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Tanya, are you really suggesting that only NYC voters can have an opinion on the Weiner scandal?

    No, you are misinterpreting my words[...]As I actually said, Sallystrange’s opinion (and everyone else’s) is only relevant if they live in NYC, as that is the voting body in this case.

    Ooooookay. Nice to know we’re allowed to have opinions, but that they are “irrelevant” (whatever the fuck that means.)

  215. 215
    hjhornbeck

    Tanya Goose @212:

    Right, so: Anthony Weiner’s big loss during the 2011 sexting scandal was… to have a shot at becoming the mayor of New York in 2013? I guess you could that a punishment, of sorts.

  216. 216
    anteprepro

    Opinions, as they say, are like assholes . We’ve all got one, but I only want to hear mine.

    Well, I’ll hand it too her. I don’t whether it was intentional or accidental, but it’s still pretty hilarious.

  217. 217
    SallyStrange

    Yeah, poor poor Weiner. Doesn’t have his Congressional seat anymore, and would have had a realistic shot at Mayor of NYC if he hadn’t continued his harassment after resigning. I note that in all the media coverage, the scandal is that Weiner lied to the public, not so much that he was sending these pictures and texts without the permission or state desire of the other parties; the media keep referring to it as a “sexting scandal” when really it’s more of a harassment scandal. The fact that Weiner had no regard for the consent of the women involved does not seem to register at all in the broader conversation about it. It’s just feminists like me and Miri of Brute Reason who seem to give a flying fuck about the consent of the people besides Weiner involved in this.

  218. 218
    SallyStrange

    “stated desire”, rather.

  219. 219
    Tanya Goose

    Okay, this has been misunderstood:

    Opinions, as they say, are like assholes . We’ve all got one, but I only want to hear mine.

    Let me restate it to make it clear for the hard of understanding:

    Opinions, as they say, are like assholes . We’ve all got one, but one only wants to hear one’s own.

  220. 220
    Tanya Goose

    Sallystrange 217:

    Yeah, poor poor Weiner. Doesn’t have his Congressional seat anymore, and would have had a realistic shot at Mayor of NYC if he hadn’t continued his harassment after resigning.

    Doesn’t that fulfil and negate your request:

    I’d like some evidence of these allegedly severe consequences for those accused of sexual harassment.

  221. 221
    John Phillips, FCD

    But if ‘one’ only wants to here one’s own, why waste our time with yours.

  222. 222
    Tanya Goose

    anteprepo:

    Well, I’ll hand it too her.

    I’m sorry? “Her” who?

  223. 223
    A. Noyd

    Actually, I don’t mind hearing other people’s assholes. It’s the smell of them I don’t care to share.

  224. 224
    Lofty

    Opinions, as they say, are like assholes . We’ve all got one, but one only wants to hear one’s own.

    I hear my own asshole quite frequently.

  225. 225
    anteprepro

    It’s just feminists like me and Miri of Brute Reason who seem to give a flying fuck about the consent of the people besides Weiner involved in this.

    As sad and true as that is, it makes it fucking galling that Tanya is pretending otherwise in order to cry crocodile tears on his behalf. The media cares about the lying and the infidelity and the sheer hilarity of some aspects of this situation (seriously, Carlos Danger!?). The actual sexual harassment part, such as any concern for the women who actually received his sexts, is minimal at fucking best in terms of coverage or concern on the part of the media. And yet Tanya comes in here and cites poor Mr. Weiner as an example of someone grievously wounded by having committed sexual harassment? Fuck, it’s times like these that I wish I actually liked to drink.

  226. 226
    anteprepro

    Let me restate it to make it clear for the hard of understanding:

    Opinions, as they say, are like assholes . We’ve all got one, but one only wants to hear one’s own.

    l o fucking l

    I’m sorry? “Her” who?

    I was referring to you, if you are actually wondering that. Hopefully you will understand the joke eventually!

    (If instead you are meaning to imply that you are not a “her”, which your question could also be read as, I apologize for misgendering you.)

  227. 227
    anteprepro

    Personally, I rarely want to hear my own asshole. It means trouble is on the horizon. And although it can be entertaining, it isn’t the most melodic of singers, nor the most informative of speakers. Really, I think assholes are better seen than heard. (No, that’s probably not right either)

  228. 228
    lilandra

    “I find it disturbing how many skeptics think there is no need to hear from the accused before they bring out the tar and feathers. The accused need some way to defend themselves.

    Anyone accused of heinous behavior also should also have the right to know who are the accusers.”

    I find it disturbing how a self identified skeptic like yourself, doesn’t bother to read the entire article they are responding to before jumping and being disturbed by other’s skepticism. Her article is clear that she filed a formal complaint. It doesn’t take a giant leap of insight to know that the accuser knows who the accused is.

    Skepticism doesn’t mean demanding an unreasonable burden of proof to validate a claim. That is a denialism. I am listening to creationist recording right now, he identifies himself as a skeptic of evolution. No amount of evidence will satisfy him about evolution. Saying your are skeptic, or disparaging everyone else’s skepticism doesn’t make you a skeptic.

  229. 229
    lilandra

    Edit* you’re not “your”.

  230. 230
    lilandra

    Ah darn more edits! I am also currently disturbed by being out in the sun all weekend. I knew I shouldn’t of hit post.

  231. 231
    SallyStrange

    Tanya, your attempts at obscuring the truth of what I said are risible. Weiner got in trouble not because he was exposing his penis to women who’d expressed no desire to see it (harassment), but because he lied about it to the public and because it involved a penis and because he betrayed his wife and because silly names like Carlos Danger (not harassment).

  232. 232
    anteprepro

    Opinions are not like assholes. Opinions are like turds. Comes in all shape and sizes, some are more tolerable than others. Can vary from day to day, and their effect on you can be anywhere from negligible to painful and debilitating. People have a few day, every day. If you have none of them, consult a doctor. If you have a lot of them, you might consider changing your diet. You should usually not excrete them in public or in polite company. They should only be involved in sex if everyone involved is into that kind of thing. Politics is full of them. Religion is made of them. Revealing either to the world is occasionally a long, drawn out process that involves a lot of grunting and/or perusal of toilet-side literature. And for God’s sake, if you drop a big one, at least have the decency to do a courtesy flush.

    Saying your are skeptic, or disparaging everyone else’s skepticism doesn’t make you a skeptic.

    I am Skeptical ™ of that claim.

    (cue standing ovation)

  233. 233
    anteprepro

    Tanya is Jim turned up to 11!

  234. 234
    Tanya Goose

    anteprepo

    I was referring to you, if you are actually wondering that. Hopefully you will understand the joke eventually!

    (If instead you are meaning to imply that you are not a “her”, which your question could also be read as, I apologize for misgendering you.)

    The fact that your meandering notpology came after your explanantion of a “joke” (which I still can’t see) tells me much about you. None of it good.

  235. 235
    anteprepro

    The fact that your meandering notpology came after your explanantion of a “joke” (which I still can’t see) tells me much about you. None of it good.

    It came after the explanation of the joke because that is the order in which the posts occurred (I am meticulous that way).

    Anyway, I am sorry and hope I haven’t offended you. Won’t happen again.

  236. 236
    anteprepro

    But, wait, seriously? You still understand what was funny about your opinions/assholes comment?

  237. 237
    anteprepro

    “still don’t understand”
    Fuck.

  238. 238
    johncraven

    Bob Packwood and Brock Adams were also US Senators who were brought down by sexual harassment charges while in office (at roughly the same time that Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexually harrasing (not to mention gross) behavior.

    To be a tiny bit fair to Jim, he did admit towards the end there that his foot was firmly stuck in his, erm, mouth, and I also don’t think he ever tried to say that a sex joke at work is *appropriate*.

    My own feelings on this subject were, admittedly, of a bit of dismay. I enjoy (I guess I should say “enjoyed”, because that crap is coming right off of my phone) Monster Talk and while I thought Radford’s supposed “humor” really wasn’t all that funny, I did think that he brought a certain level of energy and knowledge to the show. I like Karen Stollznow on that show too (not to mention her occasional appearances on The Skeptic Zone and in Skeptic Magazine) and, well, this is a little bit like watching a band break up, isn’t it?

    But yeah, that’s all personal “it’s all about meeee!” style grousing. What happened to Dr. Stollznow should not happen to anybody and the less time we spend on petty shit and the more time we spend condemning people who think this is on the same planet as ethical behavior, the better things will be.

  239. 239
    A Surprise to Many

    I could see showing a coworker with whom one was friendly the caterpillar/crinkle fry cartoon, or maybe even posting it out of the public line of sight in my cubicle. It baffles me that anyone could think that attaching it to an email sent through work servers could possibly be acceptable, let alone doubling down so dramatically afterwards. Having never actually watched the Drew Carey Show, I’m assuming that the moral of the show was not that Drew was an asshat and a rude bully, but that’s what he was, and it would be the same if he posted some fairly innocuous atheist or political cartoon that had offended a coworker. Here’s a manners hint: if you’re in a situation where you’re supposed to be getting work done, doing stuff that offends your coworkers and is not related to the work being done is rude, destructive of workplace morale, and deserving of a managerial reprimand.

    The workplace is supposed to be secular space – a space where people meet to do their work and leave their religious, gender, sexual, ethnic, racial, class, and political views and affiliations at the door. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, in most workplaces, it’s only members of the subordinate groups on all these variables who are expected to do this. It’s almost like the secular ideals espoused by groups like Center for Inquiry apply only to those OTHER people and not to white people, or straight people, or male people, or . . .

  240. 240
    anteprepro

    To write a bit of an epilogue for a dead subthread,

    To be a tiny bit fair to Jim, he did admit towards the end there that his foot was firmly stuck in his, erm, mouth, and I also don’t think he ever tried to say that a sex joke at work is *appropriate*.

    To make it clear to Jim (and whoever else gives a fuck), I agree with this assessment. (I only think this matters because Jim seemed to address my comments quite a bit so I think he might see me as one his primary antagonists!) I think that Jim’s problem here was just a series of otherwise minor missteps that just added up and created a clusterfuck. As I said earlier on:

    You are basically on the right track. I hope that you can just start explaining yourself better and settle things down. Otherwise, you might be along the same trajectory of several others who have turned a small disagreement into a massive trolling spree.
    (e.x. Because a criticism rubbed you the wrong way, you are get snippy, get more criticisms, criticize those criticisms, get criticized for those, and eventually will wind up going on a temper tantrum/ego trip.)
    I really hope that you come to your senses before going as far as some others who have gone along that path!

    I hope that Jim maybe lurks a little more, gets a better feel for the rhythm, and then comes back. I think he could be a valuable member here if he wanted to be, and just needs to learn to take criticism, even criticism that might seem extreme, with a little more grace and precision. I think that ultimately today was just a Bad Day. Looking at similar cases of people who basically became a thread’s troll du jour over a minor disagreement that escalated into a vicious war over a bruised ego, Jim really didn’t fall too far. A little inept, but it happens to the best of us. I hate that it derailed this thread and that I contributed to it, but I for one would eagerly welcome Jim back if he managed to learn anything today.

  241. 241
    Ingdigo Jump

    Having never actually watched the Drew Carey Show, I’m assuming that the moral of the show was

    The end of that plot was it went to court, hyjinks ensued, he was found guilty because it was open and close but the female judge gave no awards to plaintiff because the cartoon wasn’t offensive.

    Yes I remember shows I saw once as a teenager…isn’t everyone cursed with that?

  242. 242
    Jadehawk

    Ben Radford

    I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

  243. 243
    Jadehawk

    The company was CFI, I’m sorry to say.

    I hope I’m not going to have to write another blogpost tearing apart a defense of Radford by Lindsay. Once was quite enough, and that time was just for Radford being proudly ignorant…

    Radford was one of the people who complained to the BBC, after they (supposedly) called him an abuser.

    well, if he wasn’t Lvl 1 yet, now would be a good time to update.

    There is just a damned breathtaking amount of denial about sexual abuse, and all sorts of criminal behavior, in America

    oh fuck you. Europe is just rife with it, and in many cases much worse at enforcing anything. Sex based harassment and discrimination is rampant at my mom’s work (a large German company with international branches); Italy and France are even worse, because machismo is considered “normal”. Etc.

    I think Jim needs some help in discerning the difference between logical implication and conversational implicature.

    win

    So, yeah, that would explain that. Male Pattern Blindness indeed! Time for an eye exam.

    pretty sure the eyes are not the problem here.

  244. 244
    Jadehawk

    One day the company offered me an honorary position that I’d worked hard for, but he warned me that he had the power to thwart that offer. I threatened to complain to his employer, but he bragged that another woman had accused him of sexual harassment previously and her complaints were ignored. According to him, she had been declared “batshit crazy”.

    I hate everything

  245. 245
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Jadehawk, 244, but that’s the thing isn’t it. ‘Bitches be cray-cray’ is such an ingrained and self evident truth of our culture that it’s not even questioned. Women are crazy a priori and de facto, so of course she was batshit crazy! That’s the default setting amirite? No skeptickism required!

  246. 246
    Don Quijote

    Jadehawk; You forgot Spain. I think we invented the word

  247. 247
    David Marjanović

    Italy and France are even worse, because machismo is considered “normal”.

    Not sure about France, where there’s a lot less machismo than there used to be. But Italy… I literally don’t want to think about it.

  248. 248
    carlie

    And let’s not forget, Weiner faced the consequence of resigning from an elected position because he actually did what he was accused of. The “oh, let’s be careful of what we accuse people of” warnings were claiming the possibility of negative consequences for people who turned out to be innocent, right? Weiner can’t be used as an example, nor can any of the other politicians who did the things they were accused of.

  249. 249
    skeptifem

    wow I totally forgot that god awful drew carey episode until this article, but I watched that show as a kid and my parents seemingly agreed with the moral of that episode so I was never talked to about it. I hate him now more than ever.

  250. 250
    WithinThisMind

    You know, I’d buy the whole ‘it was just a misunderstanding from a place of ignorance’ if the immediate reaction of the perpetrator was to apologize and learn something instead of to double down and blame the victim.

  251. 251
    thecynicalromantic

    And let’s not forget, Weiner faced the consequence of resigning from an elected position because he actually did what he was accused of. The “oh, let’s be careful of what we accuse people of” warnings were claiming the possibility of negative consequences for people who turned out to be innocent, right? Weiner can’t be used as an example, nor can any of the other politicians who did the things they were accused of.

    THANK YOU. Weiner didn’t resign because he was accused of harrassment, so he’s not a good example of people who faced consequences for accusations of harassment. If an accusation leads to the search for and discovery of further evidence of misconduct, and that evidence is used as a basis for negative consequences… you’re being punished because there is evidence of your misconduct. Which is what is supposed to happen.

    Not only did Weiner actually harass people, but the thing that kicked off the first Weiner scandal wasn’t even someone accusing him doing so–it was discovered because he posted a photograph of his naughty bits to his official and public Twitter feed, and nothing disappears on the internet. The harassment came up as an explanation for why the hell he did that.

  252. 252
    WithinThisMind

    “”"The claims themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe”"”

    CITATION NEEDED! Please support this claim with factual evidence showing a pattern that repercussions for the accused occur at any sort of similar rate as repercussions for the accusser. Please also support this claim with some sort of factual evidence that the number of ‘false claims’ is statistically significant to this discussion.

  253. 253
    Howard Bannister

    This isn’t a guy who posted a sexual joke on his cubical wall,

    So, you think the workplace is an appropriate place to post sexual jokes?

    Just a reminder, this was Caine’s original question about Jim Vernon’s original post, the one he declared was smearing him and twisting his words.

    Later, he says this.

    Because I personally don’t have a problem with jokes that involve sex, in the appropriate setting.

    …referring, again, to the same Drew Carey episode that we were talking about at the top.

    I swear, it’s just about impossible to post anything without someone having to twist it all up into something that it’s not, particularly when sexism or sexual harassment are on the table.

    …sidetracking and screaming about persecution? Check! Admitting in the end that Caine was absolutely right in her analysis, and he does have really shitty views on what’s appropriate in the workplace, such that at this point I feel confident saying that if he’s not currently a harasser he’s certainly been providing cover for them for years? Check!

    Caine, thanks for catching his bullshit and calling him on it right from the first post.

  254. 254
    skeptifem

    “””The claims themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe”””

    CITATION NEEDED! Please support this claim with factual evidence showing a pattern that repercussions for the accused occur at any sort of similar rate as repercussions for the accusser. Please also support this claim with some sort of factual evidence that the number of ‘false claims’ is statistically significant to this discussion.

    I was actually planning a series on my blog on how accusations of rape don’t ruin careers or lives, neccessarily. I was going to use mike tyson (convicted) and kobe bryant (accused) as examples, I wanted more to flesh out my analysis but never got around to it. Being accused of mere harassment is unlikely to ruin someone if rape can’t make a dent most of the time.

  255. 255
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    Is anyone else noticing that it’s not, in this case, an “accusation” that had repercussions, but an actual act of harassment which had repercussions?

    If you’ve been busted for harassing someone there *should* be repercussions.

    Why is this such a difficult concept? Why are the denialists in this thread citing examples of actual, proven acts and labeling them as nebulous “accusations”? Is it more of the “bitches-be-crazy” mentality? Is it some sort of mental gymnastics they’re doing in order to excuse behaviour they know to be reprehensible? Is it that they *don’t* know that kind of behaviour is reprehensible? (That last one just makes me shudder, because if these folks don’t understand why harassment is wrong then they’ve probably participated in it or enabled it themselves.)

  256. 256
    tbtabby

    @fernando

    Good advice…though step 4 doesn’t take into account family members who believe that all bullies, without exception, are depressed loners with low self esteem that are regularly abused by their parents who just want to be loved, and if there’s no evidence to support this claim, that just means they’re keeping it hidden deep down inside. That’s my father’s position in a nutshell. No matter how bad it got, I was never given any sort of help beyond excuses for the bully and wasn’t allowed to do anything except feel sorry for them. I wish people who tell bullied kids “just go to your parents” would take into account the fact that bullied kids often DO go to their parents only for said parents not to lift a finger to help them.

  257. 257
    embraceyourinnercrone

    This is somewhat a sidebar, so please excuse me if its a derail but in the case of Bob Filner, then Congressman now Mayor of San Diego he is not just accused of sexually harassing and groping women, which is bad enough, but Filner the former chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee used his power and credentials to access military sexual assault survivors:

    More harassment victims of San Diego Mayor

    “Eldonna Fernandez a retired master sergeant from the Air Force, along with Army veteran Gerri Tindley, joins 11 other women who have publicly accused Filner, 70, of making unwanted advances, from groping to verbal passes.

    They are also among at least eight female veterans and members of the National Women’s Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) in San Diego who have made accusations against the mayor. Almost all of the women were victims of sexual assault while they were in the military.”

  258. 258
    kenlord

    So is this part of why Monster Talk has been on hiatus?

    I really enjoy their highly researched topics, but I won’t listen to it anymore if one of the hosts has been abusing someone… In particular his co-host .

    I feel guilty enough from continuing to listen to Skeptoid.

  259. 259
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    To all those who are not shitty communicators:

    How does geographical location have any bearing on the relevance of an individuals’ opinion?

    How does that work? I live in Florida, where the Zimmerman trial was held. Leaving aside the question of relevance x does this rule

  260. 260
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    (Hit submit too soon)
    Leaving aside the question of relevance, does that mean my opinion on Zimmerman “counted” but someone like PZs’ opinion did not?
    What about lawyers who discuss the subject but live outside Florida?

  261. 261
    =8)-DX

    Opinions, as they say, are like assholes . We’ve all got one, but one only wants to hear one’s own.

    For Tanya, talking is like farting. There I said it.

  262. 262
    Sili

    mikeyb,

    Next time he needs a new subject for MonsterTalk, just look in the mirror….

    No.

    Radford exists, and we have evidence of his behaviour.

  263. 263
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @=8)-DX

    PMSL :) Yes, I’m immature. But damn that was funny.

  264. 264
    Jafafa Hots

    It seems to some organizations that a sexual harassment policy is what you pay an insurance company for.

    This doesn’t sound like enforcing a code of conduct – it sounds more like crisis management.

  265. 265
    maddog1129

    PZ’s comment that he thought, “Oh, it could never happen to her,” because of his outside perception that she seemed intelligent, competent, etc. and didn’t display any overt unhappiness or whatever, should be an object lesson. Don’t EVER think, “Oh, it could never happen to HER.” It almost undoubtedly HAS happened to every, or nearly every, woman, some time, some where.

  266. 266
    Ingdigo Jump

    This is probably the most talked about the Drew Cary Show has been in YEARS

  267. 267
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Ing:
    I am not going to plumb the dark corners of the internet in order to prove you wrong.

  268. 268
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    The accused harasser was Ben Radford.

    I am jack’s additional complete lack of surprise. While I previously thought it was a bad idea to assume that the guy constantly defending sexual harassment was a sexual harasser (even though I always did it anyway), I’m amending that. At this point, I’m just going to assume it’s just a matter of time before we hear about all the slimepit superstars sexual harassment/abuse tendencies.

  269. 269
    PZ Myers

    #265: Yeah, and let me emphasize something else: the flip side of that attitude is the idea that when someone is shy, quiet, socially awkward, then yes, it can happen to them. And I had a momentary epiphany that I’m guilty of assigning blame to the victim myself sometimes, and I’m wrong to do that.

    I’m a little surprised that no one in this thread has slapped me hard for that. Yet.

  270. 270
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The d00ds are complaining. Because the International Accords on the Fair Use of Women are coming apart. Why those women are starting to assert (the nerve!) that maybe they should be consulted in what the aforementioned IAFUW say.

  271. 271
    Inaji

    PZ:

    the flip side of that attitude is the idea that when someone is shy, quiet, socially awkward, then yes, it can happen to them. And I had a momentary epiphany that I’m guilty of assigning blame to the victim myself sometimes, and I’m wrong to do that.

    That type of thinking infects all of us, it’s part and parcel of the bias we have ingrained in us, long before we hit the workplace. Yes, it’s wrong to think that way. It also takes a conscious effort to slap that bias out of our thoughts and readjust our viewpoints.

  272. 272
    Inaji

    The claims themselves are not extraordinary, but the repercussions for the accused can be severe

    Oh? I’m afraid evidence doesn’t bear that out. Once again, I’m a bit on the stunned side, catching up with this thread, to see people whining about those who are harassed speaking up, yapping on about accusations. We’re talking about a case of known harassment, why in the hell are so many people having an attack over the fact that when you do something wrong, golly, there are (or should be) consequences?

    Christ, if the attitudes we see toward sexual harassment were applied to every other wrong act, we certainly wouldn’t need a justice system at all, eh?

  273. 273
    Terry

    Jim Vernon: I’m halfway down the thread, so I assume someone has probably made the following points, but if not, they need to be made:

    Which is it… did he, “ignorantly post a joke”, or were you referring to the Drew Carey Show?

    Also, it’s not as if the incident in the Drew Carey Show was something which happened. It was scripted. Every bit of that was thought out, it was argued over; it was massaged to make it funnier.

    So there is a message in it, the message is “women are too fucking sensitive to sexual harassment.

    You, make a blanket statement about “guys who post sexual jokes”. You then said you didn’t mean that, you meant the examplar in the article; which you mis-represented. Because by the time he got to, “posting it in his cubicle” he wasn’t ignorant.

    So, I have to choose between you being a poor communicator, or dishonest.

    You have assured me you aren’t a poor communicator, which reduces my options, doesn’t it?

  274. 274
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    @sastra … I knew him only slightly but mentally placed him in the ‘friendly and trustworthy’ category

    Good predators blend in and look trustworthy.

  275. 275
    Linda Rosa RN

    To the person who wrote: “Is anyone else noticing that it’s not, in this case, an ‘accusation’ that had repercussions, but an actual act of harassment which had repercussions?”

    If you ever end up in court, let’s hope that the evidence that convicts you is more substantial than the vague allegations of misconduct put on someone’s blog.

    A claim of sexual harassment can be pursued through the courts, where original documents and thorough testimony are required. It’s not easy and there are no guarantees of success, but it’s the best opportunity to establish the truth of the matter.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I do have a sense of fairness, an appreciation for due process, and I am offended when unconditional support is expected of fellow skeptics.

    I am also saddened to think how charges of ethical lapses, along with predictions of JREF’s demise, must wound James Randi.

  276. 276
    screechymonkey

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I do have a sense of fairness, an appreciation for due process,

    Fuck you for implying that the rest of us don’t.

  277. 277
    anteprepro

    I am generally good at this kind of thing, but I can’t for the life of me establish in my mind how Linda Rose is supposed to be refuting the claim that she quoted. She didn’t, did she? She just skirted right by the point, didn’t she?

    If you ever end up in court, let’s hope that the evidence that convicts you is more substantial than the vague allegations of misconduct put on someone’s blog.

    The only person confusing blogs with courtrooms are you and your denialist, hero worshiping, sexism-apologizing ilk.

    Go weep for poor James Randi’s aching heart elsewhere, you amoral, obfuscating sycophant.

  278. 278
    A. Noyd

    Linda Rosa (#275)

    If you ever end up in court, let’s hope that the evidence that convicts you is more substantial than the vague allegations of misconduct put on someone’s blog.

    Vague allegations = allegations that were confirmed by the employer to the point of (inadequately) punishing the accused?

    Learn what words mean, you fucking idiot.

  279. 279
    Tethys

    I am also saddened to think how charges of ethical lapses, along with predictions of JREF’s demise, must wound James Randi.

    I tried to respond to this particular bit of bullshit, but all I can muster is a hearty Fuck You.

    I suspect that “Linda Rosa RN” is a pitter, a sockpuppet of one of the various harassers, or one of their vocal and vile sycophants.

  280. 280
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Linda Rosa @275:
    Your “sense of fairness” is highly skewed you hyperskeptical nitwit.

  281. 281
    Rutee Katreya

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I do have a sense of fairness, an appreciation for due process, and I am offended when unconditional support is expected of fellow skeptics.

    Bullshit. Due Process is only a factor in criminal trials. It doesn’t exist because of vague notions of fairness – it exists because in court, the possible consequences can be very severe, up to loss of life (At least, int he more barbaric states, which is many of them). If the consequences aren’t so severe, due process isn’t necessary, and indeed, you’ll see that even in civil court, standards of evidence for a judgement drop like a stone.

    If you actually cared about due process, you wouldn’t be trotting it out because someone’s name went through the mud because ofa ctions they’ve taken (and let’s be clear here – the evidence was good enough for the company to actually muster SOME sort of action, even if it was entirely insufficient)

  282. 282
    Maureen Brian

    Linda Rosa,

    Many countries have a branch of law called Employment Law. Others rely upon Civil Law. I have never heard of any legal system which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt – the criminal standard of proof – before the employer may act upon an official complaint or make further inquiries into informal intelligence. Any employer has a duty of care to all employees individually and a commercial interest in having a workforce who feel safe to get on with their jobs.

    I have no idea where you are or the finer points of the law there but I’ll leave you with the “first start here” page on the subject for the UK – http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/gender/sex-discrimination-your-rights-at-work/sexual-harassment/sexual-harassment-what-the-law-says/

  283. 283
    Linda Rosa RN

    Rutee Katreya: Due process can be understood as simply respecting an individual’s rights.

    Maureen Brian: Yes, employers handle such complaints, but if this isn’t done to an employee’s satisfaction, there is recourse to the courts. And such action would usually then go against the employer for damages, as well.

    If neither a company’s actions nor the particulars of an employee’s complaint have been fully revealed, then a prudent citizen might reasonably pause before forming an opinion. Certainly in a lawsuit, these elements of the case would need to be presented to the court in order to make a judgment.

    People fighting injustice unfortunately lose all the time, but there can be a measure of personal satisfaction in fighting fairly. The *court of public opinion,* however, is not often known for its fairness.

  284. 284
    John Phillips, FCD

    Linda Rosa, you did read where an independent third party investigated and found him guilty of the complaints, note the plural, only quibbling on classifying their seriousness. Skepticism, you’re doing it wrong.

  285. 285
    Anri

    Linda Rose RN:

    People fighting injustice unfortunately lose all the time, but there can be a measure of personal satisfaction in fighting fairly.

    Sounds good.
    Now all you need to do to make that happen is to ensure women aren’t starting off on an unequal footing compared to the men who harass them.

    Got that done yet?
    No?

    Well, get right on that!
    (Any suggestions for how to handle it in the – no doubt short – interval between then and now?)

    Also, if you continue to mistake this blog for a court of law, you’re going to have to be sworn in and demonstrate your direct knowledge or expert qualifications before testifying again, okay?

  286. 286
    Rutee Katreya

    Rutee Katreya: Due process can be understood as simply respecting an individual’s rights.

    You don’t have a right to be treated like a saint after evidence comes to light that you’re a serial harrasser. Try harder.

  287. 287
    Rutee Katreya

    Certainly in a lawsuit, these elements of the case would need to be presented to the court in order to make a judgment.

    Because a lawsuit levies actual fucking punishments.

    People fighting injustice unfortunately lose all the time, but there can be a measure of personal satisfaction in fighting fairly. The *court of public opinion,* however, is not often known for its fairness.

    And I laugh a bitter laugh thinking of the many times the ‘court of public opinion’ attacks the victims. And you’re here trying to pretend that the actual fucking jackass is suffering overly much?

  288. 288
    Linda Rosa RN

    Ms. Katreya’s sharp mind points out for us that “…a lawsuit levies actual fucking punishments.” (Well, sometimes. There is also mediation.)

    Then Ms. Katreya must not consider public condemnation that “attacks” people to exact a terrible punishment. I suggest that it does. It often injures people, regardless of their guilt or innocence, for the rest of their lives.

    I am “pretending” nothing, and I am on no one’s side. My beef is with mob justice.

  289. 289
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Please explain in detail how peoples lives are ruined. Such an assertion must surely have copious amounts of evidence.
    Also, please define “mob justice”.

  290. 290
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Seconded:

    Please explain in detail how peoples lives are ruined. Such an assertion must surely have copious amounts of evidence.
    Also, please define “mob justice”.

    And, only actual evidence, please. None of this “I knew this guy who’s brother’s girlfriend’s father’s boss’s son totally went to jail for a million years for looking at a woman” thing y’all like to pull some much.

  291. 291
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Here are examples of mob justice:
    http://m.ibnlive.com/news/meerut-shocking-case-of-vigilant-mob-justice/410037-3-242.html

    Meerut: 2 youths were beaten up by local residents in Meerut after they were thwarted from stealing bicycles. Reports say that one of the youth fired at the crowd which confronted them. They were beaten up by the crowds after the firing. The police arrived at spot during the incident but allegedly did not take an action.

    Or, howzabout this:

    http://www.thescoopng.com/mob-justice-alleged-recharge-card-robbers-set-ablaze-by-mob-in-lagos/

    Three suspected armed robbers were on Wednesday night set ablaze by an angry mob in the Ikotun area of Lagos state, after allegedly stealing recharge cards worth N400,000 from a store at Second Junction bus stop on Governor’s Road.

    According to a report by The Punch, which visited the area afterwards, there were burnt tyres, carcass of a burnt motorcycle and some human flesh on the side of the road.

  292. 292
    Rutee Katreya

    Then Ms. Katreya must not consider public condemnation that “attacks” people to exact a terrible punishment. I suggest that it does. It often injures people, regardless of their guilt or innocence, for the rest of their lives.

    In terms of sexual harrassment? It pretty much exclusively hits the accuser. That’s terrible, but not really who you’re trying to protect here.

    I am “pretending” nothing, and I am on no one’s side. My beef is with mob justice.

    You’re siding with the accused. Which is pretty fucking stupid when this particular accused actually was examined, and actually was found to have committed the charges.

    As to caring about mob justice… right, sure. We’re not setting anyone’s house on fire here, you know. We’re calling for a firing (If past experience informs present, some even slimier organization will chompa t the bit to pick up this good ol’ boy so don’t cry to me about the terrible suffering the accused faces) and a change in procedure to make this shit stop happening.

  293. 293
    A. Noyd

    Rutee (#292)

    Which is pretty fucking stupid when this particular accused actually was examined, and actually was found to have committed the charges.

    Maybe you can appeal to Linda’s affection for misusing legal jargon by referring to Radford as “the convicted” from now on since it doesn’t seem like (multiple people) just pointing it out (repeatedly) gets through to her.

  294. 294
    Felicity Gowey

    I for one admire the courage of Ms Rosa in criticizing the nascent incitement to vigilantism by Ms Stollznow, followed by the actual incitement of it by Mr Myers in this blog, and finally the snarling assemblage that has answered their call. It is not easy to stand up to a mob — even a virtual flash mob in the blogosphere — and point out the injustice being committed.

    There are parallels between what is seen here and the cautionary tale, “The Ox-Bow Incident” (novel written by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, film directed by John Ford). In sum, a greater crime is committed by the self-appointed “posse” than that which was being avenged. The voices of reason and prudence are coerced into going along, and the true characters of the vigilantes are disclosed through those attacks, adding to their lasting shame. Yet, there is one striking non-parallelism: no one in the Ox-Bow feels compelled to use the F-word even once.

    There is never any valid justification for a lynching, even an Internet equivalent of one. It doesn’t matter what the accused has or has not done; it doesn’t matter how guilty the accused may be; and it certainly doesn’t matter how certain of the truth the lynchers may be. Shame on all of you who have participated in this one. The world may not know all your real names, but it now knows something vastly more important: the real content of your character.

    Civilization is often the victim when this kind of perfidy is performed. If the “skeptic movement” itself suffers because of this, it will be on the heads of the mobsters. Judging by the comments here, some appear to have this objective.

  295. 295
    yazikus

    There is never any valid justification for a lynching, even an Internet equivalent of one.

    Hi Felicity Gowey,
    Just FYI, there is no “internet equivalent” to lynching.

  296. 296
    Weed(less) Monkey

    Jesus Fucking Christ you’re stupid.

    Speaking up is vigilantism now?

  297. 297
    screechymonkey

    the nascent incitement to vigilantism by Ms Stollznow

    Bullshit.

    the actual incitement of it by Mr Myers in this blog

    More bullshit.

    Yet, there is one striking non-parallelism: no one in the Ox-Bow feels compelled to use the F-word even once.

    Tone-trolling bullshit.

    There is never any valid justification for a lynching, even an Internet equivalent of one

    Do you even have a clue what an actual lynching is? How the fuck has there been “an Internet equivalent of one” here?

    Because people have criticized Radford and expressed negative opinions about him? Guess what, you’ve done the same to Stollznow, Myers, and now all of us. Guess that makes you the “Internet equivalent” of a lynch mob, too!

    In short: go fuck yourself, you self-righteous hypocrite.

  298. 298
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Felicity:
    You are one smug pissant.
    Your fucked up imagination riddled with hyperskeptical dreams is the only place lynchings resemble online criticism.
    Fuck you for dismissing the concerns of so many women.
    Fuck you for comparing anyone who feels compassion for Carrie or Karen to White Supremacists like the KKK who did real and demonstrable harm to blacks.
    Fuck you for not even having the decency, compassion and empathy to give support to those who need it.

    In fact fuck you. Go hang out with the Slymers on the other side of the THANK FSM IT IS GROWING rift.

  299. 299
    Felicity Gowey

    Predictably, this mob is in full cry. Howls…in confirmation of what I said before. That’s one of the characteristics of a mob. Its members race to the bottom, right down to the last F-word. Mob psychology is such a pretty sight. Character will out.

    Think you are not a lynch mob? Where is the evidence that you’re not?

  300. 300
    screechymonkey

    Think you are not a lynch mob? Where is the evidence that you’re not?

    Ah, yes, the “guilty until proven innocent” tactic, from our great defender of due process!

    right down to the last F-word.

    Oh, goodness gracious! Did somebody use foul language? That’s fucking awful. I fucking hope they fucking knock it the fuck off.

  301. 301
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Felicity:
    You really do not belong here.
    You cannot even be assed to explain how the actions of anyone here will lead to anything like public torture and murder

    AND you seriously need to get the FUCK over your arrogant snobbery. I will continue to call you a hapless fuckwit, a smug fucker, or heck even a shitstain as long as you persist in your current form.

    State your point. Argue from evidence. Cite your fucking sources.

    Oh, wait…you cannot–you have no argument. You have OH NOEZ THEY USED PROFANITY*.

    *incidentally go do some fucking research on profanity. You might learn a thing or two about how certain words became oh, so bad.

    **If you had a shred of decency and compassion you would be irate. Yet here you sit trying to be so calm and rational in the face of sexual harassment and assault. You need to borrow a heart from the Grinch.

  302. 302
    Linda Rosa RN

    How about you say all this using your real names.

  303. 303
    anteprepro

    I refuse to believe that Felicity is intending to be as hilarious as she actually is. Purple prose and paranoia are just the perfect pair.

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    How about you actually argue with us using logic like an adult instead of spouting non sequiturs and re-asserting your assumptions over and over?

  304. 304
    Tethys

    Where is the evidence that you’re not [a lynch mob]?

    You typed this comment, so you are not dead. Excellent evidence that you have not been lynched.

  305. 305
    anteprepro

    Well shit my fuck.

    I refuse to believe that Felicity isn’t intending

  306. 306
    chigau (違う)

    What is wrong with the word “fuck”?
    What possible difference could using a “real name” make?

  307. 307
    carlie

    Think you are not a lynch mob? Where is the evidence that you’re not?

    Have you ever seen pictures of actual lynchings? Go search the internet – they’re all over the place. Then come back and tell us how discussing our opinion that a short work suspension imposed after someone was investigated and found guilty of misconduct is in any way analagous to a person being strung up in a tree or cut into several pieces and strewn across a field.

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    How do you know we’re not? How do we know you are? Anybody can make up a fake name that sounds just like a “real” name, and lots of people have real names that are unusual.

  308. 308
    docfreeride

    Linda Rosa RN @302

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    How about you recognize that many of the (perfectly legitimate) reasons that people choose to remain pseudonymous online are part of the very same landscape of power and abuse, of big names being given more benefit of the doubt than is reasonable and ordinary people being told to suck it up because they don’t have four eyewitnesses and evidence on the tip of a swab?

  309. 309
    carlie

    Whoops: “discussing our opinion ABOUT a short work suspension”. That’s what I get for revising and not rechecking.

  310. 310
    Rutee Katreya

    There is never any valid justification for a lynching, even an Internet equivalent of one.

    Are you dead for the crime of being black? No? Then it isn’t a fucking lynching, is it? Fuck off, whitey – you’re messin’ with history that ain’t yours, and they’re concepts you clearly do not have the depth of understanding to engage in.

    even a virtual flash mob in the blogosphere

    So you neither understand what ‘lynching’ means, nor ‘flash mob’. Go on, this’ll be a treat for me.

    Yet, there is one striking non-parallelism: no one in the Ox-Bow feels compelled to use the F-word even once.

    It’s not my fault that they don’t understand how to swear properly. I don’t know why you’re holding this up as a positive.

    Civilization is often the victim when this kind of perfidy is performed. If the “skeptic movement” itself suffers because of this, it will be on the heads of the mobsters. Judging by the comments here, some appear to have this objective.

    Oh deary fucking me, not the bigfoot chasers! We couldn’t let any harm come to that! *Eyeroll*. I don’t really care about the skeptic movement except that it needs to stop sheltering harrassers.

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    The reason I use a pseudonym has less than nothing to do with this asshole and everything to do with an abusive family learning as little about me as humanly possible. How about ‘no’, with a side order of ‘go fuck yourself, you sanctimonious little shit’? I got that freshly in stock for ya.

  311. 311
    David Marjanović

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    What an embarrassingly thoughtless thing to say!

    I use my meatspace name here (go ahead, find me in Google Scholar) simply because I’m too lazy to come up with a good alternative and because I’m not as afraid as I probably should be.

  312. 312
    Rutee Katreya

    Think you are not a lynch mob? Where is the evidence that you’re not?

    Have we killed a black person y/n?

  313. 313
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    How about you use your real name sockpuppet loser.

  314. 314
    Inaji

    Felicity:

    Think you are not a lynch mob?

    Goodness me, it’s a very dull crayon with a love of hyperbole. Tsk. I know I’m not part of a mob and I also know I have never taken part in anything as immoral and disgusting as a lynching. I know you aren’t terribly bright, but do try to follow along: lynchings are a well documented part of history, and they were generally performed by people who were not overly bright nor concerned with whether or not someone actually committed a crime.

    Those of us here, are discussing a case in which there was sexual harassment, the person being harassed went through channels and the sexual harassment was investigated and confirmed. Let me repeat that: confirmed. In this particular case, the consequences of that harassment added up to less than a slap on the wrist.

    This is not a witch hunt, it’s not mob justice, nor is it, in any sense of the word, a lynching. People who are incapable of reviewing evidence and thinking about it, and who tend to embrace the hyperbolic do a great injustice to those who have endured mob justice and you certainly demean the memories of those who were victims of actual witch hunts and lynchings.

    Where is the evidence that you’re not?

    If you ever manage to figure out what an actual lynching is, I’ll wait while you provide evidence we are all arch criminals who go storming from town to town, dragging people from their homes, stringing them up and taking photos of us doing so. In the meantime, I’ll just go with my initial conclusion: you’re an idiot.

  315. 315
    SallyStrange

    There is never any valid justification for a lynching, even an Internet equivalent of one.

    Clarence Thomas, is that you??

  316. 316
    anteprepro

    Think you are not a lynch mob? Where is the evidence that you’re not?

    This is a real nugget of a hilarity I can’t stop laughing at. A skeptic who doesn’t know how burden of proof works!

    It is mind-boggling. She is simultaneously yelling at us for daring to accuse someone of harassment, calling us lynchers for doing so, and saying that we need to prove that we are not lynchers. Can we just shrug our shoulders, say that it is up to the harassers to prove they are not harassers, say “Checkmate” and call it a day?

  317. 317
    carlie

    Funny thing about all this “lynching” – so far since this internet outing has started only one person has been threatened with real world consequences, and that person isn’t on the side you’re trying to defend, Felicity and Nurse Linda.

  318. 318
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Nurse Linda.

    Nurse Linda has all the marking of an MRA sockpuppet. Typical bullshit they spew, script #8, IIRC..

  319. 319
    ChasCPeterson

    Character will out.

    –Bugs Bunny

  320. 320
    chigau (違う)

    Linda Rosa RN’s facebork page looks nothing like an MRA sockpuppet.
    You can see that by clicking on her ‘nym.

  321. 321
    Tethys

    Civilization is often the victim when this kind of perfidy is performed. If the “skeptic movement” itself suffers because of this, it will be on the heads of the mobsters. Judging by the comments here, some appear to have this objective.

    Oh no! Perfidy! Civiliation and the skeptic movement are dooooomed!!

    Back in reality, some organizations and individuals with undue influence are proven to have engaged in sexually harrassing atheist women, and protecting their harassers.
    If that isn’t horrible enough, the pro-harasser club members have been extremely vocal, attacking anyone who tries to talk about the sexism problem within the “skeptic movement”.

  322. 322
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    chigau,
    That’s too bad. It’s consoling to think her persona is just a sock of someone slimey MRA. It’s a little depressing to think that she is yet another stupid person who would rather support sexists’ “rights”than human rights.

    But of course there are plenty of stupid women in our world, just like there are plenty of stupid whichever-group. So there’s no particular reason to be surprised about Linda Rose RN.

    Damn, I hate stupid sexist people.

  323. 323
    Paul Gibson

    NerdofRedhead, congenital LIAR,

    Nurse Linda has all the marking of an MRA sockpuppet. Typical bullshit they spew, script #8, IIRC..

    “Nurse Linda” (ooh, nice: subtle putting down of a woman there for daring to state her qualifications) has her nym linked to her facebook page. You should read it; she is quite clearly nothing like the “MRA sockpuppet” you have so unfairly – and ignoring the EVIDENCE – painted her as.

    You sexist ass, you’re a disgrace to this site.

  324. 324
    carlie

    “Nurse Linda” (ooh, nice: subtle putting down of a woman there for daring to state her qualifications)

    Really? She’s the one who put it on there, I assumed that meant she wanted it to be noted by anyone responding to her. How is it therefore putting her down to then use it? After all, it’s not normal to go and state all of one’s resume in one’s commenting handle. Also, qualifications for…. what, exactly? What does being a nurse have to do with complaining about people talking about sexism?

  325. 325
    carlie

    By normal I meant typical – did not mean to use that as a slight.

  326. 326
    Paul Gibson

    carlie: I have never seen anyone here mock people using the appellation “Dr” or “PhD” or “MD”. They have been accepted as they are, and not commented upon. Also, we are known here for using various appendages to the basic nym (looking quickly up the thread: “hotshoe, now with more boltcutters”), and these don’t get mocked.

    But really, if you cannot process the historical significance of “Nurse X” directed towards a woman (who merely presented her RN credentials, but did not identify as “nurse” within her basic nym) as being a diminution of her standing in society, as being inferior to doctors, as being “a woman’s job”, then…I dunno how to help you out.

  327. 327
    anteprepro

    “Nurse Linda” (ooh, nice: subtle putting down of a woman there for daring to state her qualifications)

    I assume if she said Linda PhD and someone dared to call her Dr. Linda, you would take offense as well? (How is translating the title into a different title with identical meaning “putting down”? “Subtle” indeed)

    You should read it; she is quite clearly nothing like the “MRA sockpuppet”

    This part is true.

    She’s still been nothing but a fucking troll here though.

    congenital LIAR,… You sexist ass, you’re a disgrace to this site.

    I get the impression that the bee in your bonnet would be released if you more closely adhered to the reset rule. Just a guess.

  328. 328
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You sexist ass, you’re a disgrace to this site.

    Like I give a shit what an intertnet stalker thinks. They don’t think. I never click on links, and I don’t have a facebook account, as I don’t give a shit. If you want me to change, hold your breathe until you turn blue an die. Maye then asshole.

  329. 329
    anteprepro

    But really, if you cannot process the historical significance of “Nurse X” directed towards a woman (who merely presented her RN credentials, but did not identify as “nurse” within her basic nym) as being a diminution of her standing in society, as being inferior to doctors, as being “a woman’s job”, then…I dunno how to help you out.

    Really, if you sincerely think that this is enough of an excuse for calling someone a “sexist ass” who is a “disgrace this site”, I dunno how to help you either.

    Just to make it clear: The quoted portion is right, I am not saying that you are wrong about that. I am saying that the strength with which you assert that translating RN into Nurse is inherently sexist is not only overzealous, but it contributes to the very thing you claim to be reviling. You are advocating that calling someone Nurse is inherently demeaning, sexist, insulting, dismissive, etc. I think it can be, but not always. Not even most of the time. Those connotations exist but have been fading (at least I think so, having nurse family members and working in a medical-adjacent field that highly esteems nurses). I think your heart might be in the right place (even if clouded by a desire to attack Nerd), but you are overstating your case and not helping the actual amount of stigma by exaggerating it.

  330. 330
    Paul Gibson

    NerdofRedhead: “Nurse Linda”.

    Pure, unadulterated sexism. Patting a woman on the head, and using the term “nurse” to keep her in her place.

    You piece of shit sexist fucker.

    Why do you “never click on links”? Because you are an illiterate fool who cannot sort the wheat from the chaff? No wonder you sit within a bubble of ignorance if you do not take the opportunities for learning which are offered to you. Such as:

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

    http://www.educationforum.co.uk/medicineworksheets/Womenbecomedoctors.pdf

  331. 331
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Wait, what? How is it sexist to address someone with an RN (who does not proffer that they have another degree, like a doctorate or whatnot) as “Nurse”? That isn’t a slur, it is a job title. A respected one at that.

    You do know what “RN” stands for, right?

  332. 332
    Tethys

    Paul Gibson has been trying to get into a yelling match with Nerd over on the endless pinker thread too.
    Shut up Paul. You are making an ass of yourself.

    Calling the Linda Rosa troll a nurse is neither sexist or insulting.

  333. 333
    Tethys

    This is the thread I referred to wrt Paul.

    Endless vapid Pinker thread

  334. 334
    yazikus

    Pure, unadulterated sexism. Patting a woman on the head, and using the term “nurse” to keep her in her place.

    The “term” Nurse is not a “term”, it is a title. A title that many seek to earn. It requires education, discipline, patience, and hard work. Nothing about the title Nurse is sexist or derogatory, unless you are conferring it on someone who is not an RN or Nurse.

  335. 335
    Rey Fox

    Looks like a gotcha troll to me.

  336. 336
    Paul Gibson

    Bullshit. Why did (actually, carlie origninally) decide to call “Linda Rosa RN” “Nurse Linda”?

    I’m sorry, but to me this stinks. It stinks of belittling a medical title, based upon the two links I have already provided (for those who dare not click on such links, they describe the struggles of women to become medical doctors). It stinks of belittling a poster by reducing her to the term used for so long by men to keep women away from the business end of medicine. And why “Nurse Linda” instead of “Nurse Rosa”? This is why: because to use the woman’s first name is oh so slightly more demeaning. Not for her the respect given to “Prof Myers”, oh no. She is “Nurse Linda”. Dog forbid she should get ideas above her station.

    I appreciate that Linda used the term “RN” in her nym (which, let’s be clear, she has not clarified means that she is claiming a nursing degree; maybe we (and I) are being a little hasty in assuming a USAian nomenclature?). However, my point stands: I don’t recall any poster – let’s say Martin Jones, MD – being then refered to as “Dr Martin”. It wouldn’t happen. But “Nurse Linda”?

    That’s fine, she’s just a woman, and she’s just a nurse.

  337. 337
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    But really, if you cannot process the historical significance of “Nurse X” directed towards a woman (who merely presented her RN credentials,

    Gee fuckwitted idjit, one of the Redhead’s cousin’s is an RN. And male you sexist fool. I presume nothing based on title, or name. In this case, she sounded like an MRA sockpuppet, or one of their female apologists. Still using the old scripts from the Slymepit™ to apologize for and explain bad male behavior.

  338. 338
    Paul Gibson

    Oh, and it may well be that Linda Rosa RN is a troll.

    THIS IS NOT MY POINT.

    In fact, it strengthens my point, because if the belief is that she is a troll, then ths explains why carlie and another have used the “nurse” meme to denigrate her.

    Troll = worthless piece of shit = just a fucking nurse/woman.

    Ugh.

  339. 339
    Paul Gibson

    NerdofRedhead:

    Still using the old scripts from the Slymepit™ to apologize for and explain bad male behavior.

    In this case, she sounded like an MRA sockpuppet, or one of their female apologists.

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

  340. 340
    anteprepro

    NerdofRedhead: “Nurse Linda”.

    Pure, unadulterated sexism. Patting a woman on the head, and using the term “nurse” to keep her in her place.

    You piece of shit sexist fucker.

    For fuck’s sake. You’re the one insisting, over and over, that “nurse” is a fucking unforgivable four letter word that is only used to insult people. I know lots of nurses, friends and families. I know a lot of people who respect nurses and what they do. I know very few people who look down their nose at those people because they didn’t get a fucking MD or some other bullshit reasons. And, to move away from anecdotal, apparently, a lot of people at very least respect their ethical standards. But please, don’t let facts distract your hate-fest. Please, continue to pretend that nurse is an epitaph in order to tear Nerd a new one! Please don’t bother to concern yourself with whether doing so amounts to throwing nurses under the bus under false pretenses! I’m sure you will wind up looking like The Righteous Hero, regardless!

  341. 341
    anteprepro

    And why “Nurse Linda” instead of “Nurse Rosa”? This is why: because to use the woman’s first name is oh so slightly more demeaning.

    [citation needed]

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

    Serious Business.

  342. 342
    SallyStrange

    Your priorities are seriously fucked, Paul.

  343. 343
    Tethys

    Paul, now you’re just being a dishonest little shitweasle who keeps pissing on the rug.

    Quit stinking up the threads with your transparent attempts to engage Nerd in a pissing contest.

  344. 344
    Paul Gibson

    SallyStrange:

    Your priorities are seriously fucked, Paul.

    On this of all threads.

    *Shakes head sadly*

  345. 345
    Paul Gibson

    Tethys:

    Quit stinking up the threads with your transparent attempts to engage Nerd in a pissing contest.

    Er, no.

    You may want to go back a bit to where I identify carlie as the originator of the sexist meme.

  346. 346
    Paul Gibson

    Tethys:

    Quit stinking up the threads with your transparent attempts to engage Nerd in a pissing contest.

    Actually, no. Why should I disown my actions just to please you? Yes, I have personally engaged the sexist and – quite frankly – idiotic character known as “NerdofRedhead”. Why does this bother YOU? I am going to respond to this fool as long as xe does to me, and it is none of your business. I am perfectly happy to do so in the Thunderdome if xe wishes, but I will not be forced there by you. So go and take your tone trolling elsewhere, please.

  347. 347
    anteprepro

    Yes, I have personally engaged the sexist and – quite frankly – idiotic character known as “NerdofRedhead”.

    VS.

    Er, no.

    You may want to go back a bit to where I identify carlie as the originator of the sexist meme.

    FIGHT.

    Also:
    Pointing out a derail =/= Tone trolling

  348. 348
    Inaji

    Paul Gibson:

    Actually, no. Why should I disown my actions just to please you? Yes, I have personally engaged the sexist and – quite frankly – idiotic character known as “NerdofRedhead”. Why does this bother YOU? I am going to respond to this fool as long as xe does to me, and it is none of your business. I am perfectly happy to do so in the Thunderdome if xe wishes, but I will not be forced there by you.

    You are derailing a thread with your own idiotic agenda. It’s not appropriate, and it’s against the rules here. Since you seem to want to get into a pissing match with everyone, I’ll be happy to send an alert to PZ with a request to corral your sorry ass to Thunderdome.

  349. 349
    SallyStrange

    *Shakes head sadly*

    Also, you’re clearly an insincere, condescending douchebag. Why did you expect anyone to take your little fight-picking adventure seriously? “Look look I got one ma! He’s sexist TOO! They’re all a bunch of hypocrites!” I’ve seen it before. Take your ball and go home, nobody wants to play.

  350. 350
    Tethys

    Why should I disown my actions just to please you?

    This thread is about Karen Stollznow, quit derailing it.

    You haven’t done anything but make assinine and false accusations, you add nothing but your own petty bullshit to an actual discussion about sexism. Sense of entitlement much?

    So fuck off, I am all out of patience with petty male posturing from immature assholes.

  351. 351
    Inaji

    In fact, it strengthens my point, because if the belief is that she is a troll, then ths explains why carlie and another have used the “nurse” meme to denigrate her.

    This ^ strengthens my belief that you’re an idiot. The person being referred to as nurse has RN after her nym. It’s not a meme, you fuckwit, it’s her advertised profession and title.

    Troll = worthless piece of shit = just a fucking nurse/woman.

    Nurse/woman? Interesting. Where I live, there’s a high percentage of men who are nurses. Again, you’re an idiot.

  352. 352
    SallyStrange

    My mom’s a nurse, Paul, I’m offended that you’ve let your negative assumptions about nurses leak through into our forum here. It’s only you who’ve assumed that being referred to as “nurse” when one has put “RN” next to their name (as my mom has to do at work) is some sort of belittling insult. Frankly that says more about you than it does about nurses or women or Nerd. So fuck off already.

  353. 353
    Lofty

    Paul Gibson is really not very cluey, is he? What an angry nitwit.

  354. 354
    PZ Myers

    Gibson, you’re done here. Post no more in this thread under threat of banning.

    Nerd, your routine is really getting old. Stop it. Instead of spitting out the same old lines, stop, think, give it a while, and then try to say something thoughtful and different than what you’ve said before — your comments have been getting mindless lately.

  355. 355
    SallyStrange

    Nerd, your routine is really getting old. Stop it. Instead of spitting out the same old lines, stop, think, give it a while, and then try to say something thoughtful and different than what you’ve said before — your comments have been getting mindless lately.

    This is also true. And I think it’s like the 3rd time PZ has said something like this to you, Nerd. Howzabout getting a clue? Less autopilot, please.

  356. 356
    Linda Rosa RN

    Dr. Myers,

    I request that you restore Paul Gibson to this thread, should he wish to return.

    Mr. Gibson correctly stated the problem that nurses have long had with being referred to as “nurse” + their first name, such as “Nurse Linda,” when physicians are addressed with more decorum as “Dr.” + their surname. We grind our teeth at this form of address for nurses and consider it demeaning. And in my 38 years working as a nurse, I have rarely, if ever, been addressed as “Nurse Rosa.”

    I am surprised that anyone thinking of herself as a feminist couldn’t immediately pick up on this none-too-subtle belittlement of nurses, both male and female.

    Linda Rosa is my real name. I add the RN to distinguish myself from hundreds of others with the same name.

    I am frankly surprised you singled out the insightful Mr. Gibson when there are so many worthy candidates here for this distinction.

    Sincerely
    LR

  357. 357
    Felicity Gowey

    I don’t suppose that anyone in this mob realizes that their objections to Mr Gibson’s charges of sexism are essentially, “I am wrongly accused.” It doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end, does it? But since the shoe fits…

    Mr PZ:

    Instead of spitting out the same old lines, stop, think, give it a while, and then try to say something thoughtful and different than what you’ve said before.

    Where was this admonition when there were repeated, redundant responses telling dissenters to “go fuck yourself”, or similarly inarticulate “thoughtful” expressions? Moreover, such language, in the workplace, when forcefully uttered to someone named “Linda” or “Felicity” might be justly regarded as sexual harassment. I’m pretty sure that here — on this blog — it is that, and meant to be that.

  358. 358
    SallyStrange

    Hey Felicity. Go fuck yourself.

    Sincerely,

    Sally

  359. 359
    Rutee Katreya

    Wait, what? How is it sexist to address someone with an RN (who does not proffer that they have another degree, like a doctorate or whatnot) as “Nurse”? That isn’t a slur, it is a job title. A respected one at that.

    Flashbacks to Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Doom, and the defenses of calling me Harpy. Sure, harpy was obviously going to be wrong, but they ain’t always obvious, are they?

    Guys, just because she’s a troll doesn’t mean it’s impossible she’s responded to in a sexist way; the claims have nothing to do with each other. It’s like saying you can’t be sexist in insulting Sarah Palin, because she’s a terrible person and her politics are evil. It doesn’t really matter who says it.

  360. 360
    Rutee Katreya

    I don’t suppose that anyone in this mob realizes that their objections to Mr Gibson’s charges of sexism are essentially, “I am wrongly accused.” It doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end, does it? But since the shoe fits…

    I’m not defending anyone but Linda on that count. Also, again: What people of color have we murdered? You want to keep playing the lynch game? Fine. Let’s hear it. I wanna know who I lynched. If it ain’t a PoC, it ain’t a lynching, by real world definition. Second, I want to hear who actually suffered.

    Where was this admonition when there were repeated, redundant responses telling dissenters to “go fuck yourself”, or similarly inarticulate “thoughtful” expressions?

    Fuck you. Only an illiterate jackass thinks language and writing stops at cursing. Using curse words is as much an art form as the rest of writing. Shit, writers may divest themselves of these tools because it isn’t ‘proper’ in the course of their work, and how much copy you sell matters, but that doesn’t make them less important for use in general. Nobody ever became a better writer strictly by forswearing words in their language.

  361. 361
    Linda Rosa RN

    The use of cursing here is sadly uninspiring. You all need to do better if you want to use foul language to harass people who have differing opinions.

  362. 362
    Ichthyic

    The use of cursing here is sadly uninspiring.

    damn, guess we’ll have to work harder to inspire you then?

    maybe this will help?

  363. 363
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Linda:
    Get over yourself you heartless fuckface.
    Some of us are not prudes, and many of us are atheists (read up on profanity and cursing to see the religious influence on making them taboo)

    When you do get over yourself make a point and back it up.

    You have yet to do so asswipe.

  364. 364
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Oh and Linda:
    I AM using my real name shit for brains.

  365. 365
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Linda Rosa:
    So, getting back to the thread…
    Have you come to understand what “mob justice” is? I provided actual links.
    How is criticizing and condemning someone’s actions equivalent to taking the law into our own hands and enacting physical violence against someone?


    This is one of my problems with whining like you and Felicity have been doing. You focus on the foul language and attack that, but when an actual point is made or evidence to back up an opinion is provided, you remain silent. Or even more mind numbing, you just repeat your assertions.
    “It’s mob justice!”
    “It’s online lynching!”
    Those two statements do not become true just because you reassert them.
    Prove it.
    Or shut up.

  366. 366
    Rutee Katreya

    The use of cursing here is sadly uninspiring. You all need to do better if you want to use foul language to harass people who have differing opinions.

    Things that are harrassing:
    Cursing

    Things that are not harrassing:
    Repeatedly sexually harrassing the same coworker multiple times over a number of months

    You are a fuckwit. I don’t really care so much about the ‘differing opinion’ as the ‘wrongheaded, bullish, and harmful opinion’ part.

  367. 367
    Linda Rosa RN

    I’m not impressed with the reading comprehension here. I don’t have a problem with cursing, I just think you all are piss poor at it. And I don’t think it’s helpful in a discourse about harassment.

    In the case of Stollznow, there should be compelling evidence that justifies vilifying the accused in public. The exact nature of the transgression(s) should be explained; where Stollznow names the accused; and there should be some verification of the authenticity of evidence brought forth.

    This is not asking for the impossible, but it is de rigueur before even thinking about launching a character assassination or calling for the downfall of organizations.

    And I curse the person who suggested I visit this site…

  368. 368
    Rutee Katreya

    In the case of Stollznow, there should be compelling evidence that justifies vilifying the accused in public. The exact nature of the transgression(s) should be explained; where Stollznow names the accused; and there should be some verification of the authenticity of evidence brought forth.

    CFI already did, according to channels that are clearly intended to exonerate dudes (And we know the latter, because DESPITE finding evidence of wrongdoing, they did nothing but slap him on the wrist and suspend him during his vacation). You’re not asking for evidence – you’re ignoring the fucking evidence.

    This is not asking for the impossible, but it is de rigueur before even thinking about launching a character assassination or calling for the downfall of organizations.

    And it was done. And you pretended it didn’t happen. Because skepticism means critical thinking, and apparently, critical thinking means bitches ain’t shit. Go back to fucking Bigfoot.

    And I curse the person who suggested I visit this site…

    I think we can all agree on that.

  369. 369
    Linda Rosa RN

    So there is no verification of anything yet.

  370. 370
    Tethys

    Linda Rosa, you are being despicable on this matter. Read the damn e-mails.

    It was verified, confirmed, documented, and recorded. It happened and there were absolutely zero repurcusssions for the asshole known as Ben Radford.

    Did you fail to notice that Karen Stolznow quit? Did you notice that she and her husband are still being harassed to this day by the same asshole? Why are you ignoring those facts?

    That, your derail of this thread with ignorant attacks, and then topping it off by trying to make yourself a victim of sexism because you were called nurse Linda makes you a piece of shit, narcissistic, abusive , dishonest, asshole of a person.

    Are you dating one of these sexual predators or something? Is Ben Radford your son?
    Personal relationships are the only semi- logical reason to defend known sex offenders.

    I do not have a fuck you big enough to express how much I loathe you and your defense of rape culture.

  371. 371
    Linda Rosa RN

    There is no love lost between me and CFI. For my part, this is purely a matter of playing fair, hard as that is for you to comprehend.

    …topping it off by trying to make yourself a victim of sexism because you were called nurse Linda makes you a piece of shit, narcissistic, abusive , dishonest, asshole of a person.

    Your reading comprehension, as I have suspected, is less than ideal. Please note that only once did I enter into this flap about how to address nurses and that was in defense of Mr. Gibson, in a post addressed to Dr. Myers.

  372. 372
    Felicity Gowey

    I see that the lynch mob, following its lead agent provocateur, has moved on from here to its next victim(s). That alone is sufficient evidence of my charge that Pharyngula has turned into a band of internet vigilantes. Nonetheless, for the record, I will answer a representative objection to complete my case that you are all acting no differently from any other unprincipled, illiberal, vengeance-besotted rabble.

    Rutee Katreya:

    What people of color have we murdered? You want to keep playing the lynch game? Fine. Let’s hear it. I wanna know who I lynched. If it ain’t a PoC, it ain’t a lynching, by real world definition.”

    Others made, more or less the same claim. Well, perhaps in the “real” Internet world where Ms Katreya and the others spend most of their time — one where the preferred verb is an obscenity, preferred solely because it is an obscenity — that a lynching is narrowly perceived as Katreya and the rest of you have done here. But outside of that ugly little world — in the larger, sometimes even uglier, world where the rest of us spend most of our time — lynching has a long etymology, and the practice which the word describes has an even longer, execrable history that goes well beyond “Southern Justice”. Which is not to say that racial lynching in the Southeastern US isn’t an obscene part of that history. To the contrary, that particular obscenity made lynching a suitable metaphor for me to characterize what is happening here.

    “It it ain’t a PoC, it ain’t a lynching…” In my first post, I raised the literary allegory of “The Ox-Bow Incident”. That was all about a lynching. One of the victims was a Mexican (a PoC), the other two were white. In Ms Katreya’s world-view, was only the Mexican “lynched”, while the other two were not? Or maybe she rationalizes that all three can be considered “lynched” only because they were strung up together, and one of them was a PoC. Or maybe she sticks by her guns, and denies that the “incident” at Ox-Bow was not a true lynching, and everyone who has ever thought about the book or the movie is simply wrong. Or, more credibly, maybe Ms Katreya’s world-view is, well, fucked up.

    As events and posts on Pharyngula have unfolded in the last 48 hours, I am reinforced that the parallels for what is going on here and what went on in Ox-Bow are increasing. The metaphor is much harder to deny. There are even three lynchees now.

    Have you all no shame? I certainly see no evidence of it.

  373. 373
    Felicity Gowey

    Oops. Corrigenda on the preceding post: I neglected to change the word “denies” to “asserts” before clicking on “submit”.

  374. 374
    Rutee Katreya

    Lynching has a long etymology, and the practice which the word describes has an even longer, execrable history that goes well beyond “Southern Justice”.

    Irrelevant. You’re trying to invoke the spectre of racial lynchings, where we know for a fact that the victim was incident. You even admit this. It doesn’t matter if the word, in the past, actually was more of a catch-all.

    To the contrary, that particular obscenity made lynching a suitable metaphor for me to characterize what is happening here.

    No, it hasn’t. See, that lynching? That was the powerful, executing marginalized people for the ‘crime’ of having a different skin tone and being uppity. What part of that applies to calling for civil punishments to a harrasser? A harrasser whom we have evidence of having harrassed?

    n my first post, I raised the literary allegory of “The Ox-Bow Incident”. That was all about a lynching. One of the victims was a Mexican (a PoC), the other two were white.

    You read a book. Bully for you. Now in the real world, who died?

    Or maybe she sticks by her guns, and denies that the “incident” at Ox-Bow was not a true lynching,

    Seeing as it didn’t happen, it wasn’t. It’s pretty telling that you’re looking at fiction, tbh.

    As events and posts on Pharyngula have unfolded in the last 48 hours, I am reinforced that the parallels for what is going on here and what went on in Ox-Bow are increasing. The metaphor is much harder to deny. There are even three lynchees now.

    What PoC died? If you want to pretend Ox-bow is real, who died at all?

  375. 375
    Rutee Katreya

    Ooo, I know Felicity, next you can use Bonanza and Gunsmoke episodes. That’ll be just as credible.

    And that’s ‘innocent’, not ‘incident’.

  376. 376
    Rutee Katreya

    Oh HO HO HO HO HO, it’s a western. Oh that’s just perfect. Westerns, I miss you as a genre, but not your fans XD

  377. 377
    Felicity Gowey

    Hoo boy, Ms Katreya, are you so concrete in your thinking that you can’t recognize metaphor, allegory, or parable? Referencing literature can be a valuable resource to communicate the essence of something, especially valuable when discussing human behavior or . People cite the stories in Gulliver’s Travels, and Frankenstein, and Moby Dick, and A Christmas Tale, and Huckleberry Finn, and The Great Gatsby, and Brave New World, and Animal Farm, and innumerable other fictional accounts, not because people can’t distinguish reality from fiction, but because the stories relate well to the real world and because they are shared or readily available to others. I chose The Ox-Bow Incident for those reasons because of its pertinence. If you cannot grok that, you should get over it; you will continue to make very bad choices, as you are displaying here. But we digress.

    An “Internet lynch mob” is obviously my metaphor for portraying what I see as the essence of what you are a part of here and other related threads. You and the others are not simply ‘commenting’ or ‘criticizing’ on what someone has allegedly done in the world outside cyberspace, you have formed a virtual mob, and using the only power and venue you have, are striving toward the destruction of real lives (metaphorical “deaths”) of people you have decided is deserving such a real-world fate.

    Since you do not like or understand literary allusion, let’s look at the facts about this situation. No facts have been alleged by the accuser, including the identity of the alleged perpetrator. The allegations are themselves vague and unspecific. No one here is in possession of any facts pertinent to the truth of any of the allegation(s). With the exception of myself and two others, everyone else here has accepted the vague allegations as indisputably true. Suspicions of the bad character and actions have been introduced as evidence against the accused. Nothing in defense or mitigation has been considered. The same people have instantly decided what the only acceptable outcome must be for the accused, and it is the harshest available. No one here has any authority (moral or legal) to be judge, jury, or executioner in this situation. Any statement objecting to the process has been considered inappropriate for this venue (“you don’t belong here”), and derided.

    People who do such things are defined at least as vigilantes, but it satisfies the “lynch mob” characterization, too. Do the accused have anything to say in defense or mitigation?

  378. 378
    Rutee Katreya

    Hoo boy, Ms Katreya, are you so concrete in your thinking that you can’t recognize metaphor, allegory, or parable?

    What part of this makes fiction real? And just as a reminder, for how much you’re trying to duck into the world of literature now: You knew exactly what you were doing. You admitted it to my face. You said the comparison to racial lynchings was apt. You only ever briefly forayed into ‘metaphor’ (Recounting a story that is incidental to your point is not metaphor). From the word go, you were trying to take the history of black people in America – it was only when called on it that you even took a brief break.

    I chose The Ox-Bow Incident for those reasons because of its pertinence. If you cannot grok that, you should get over it; you will continue to make very bad choices, as you are displaying here. But we digress.

    I know exactly how pertinent fiction is to reality. Individual pieces can sometimes be written to try to make a point, and make that point effectively. A bog standard spaghetti western is not the place for it, regardless of how much I may, or may not, like them.

    An “Internet lynch mob” is obviously my metaphor for portraying what I see as the essence of what you are a part of here and other related threads. you have formed a virtual mob, and using the only power and venue you have, are striving toward the destruction of real lives (metaphorical “deaths”)

    Do you know what ‘metaphor’ actually means? For someone quick to try to invoke the importance of literature, I’m not sure you understand this. I asked you to tell me in what way calling for civil punishments for a harrasser, whom we have evidence for harrassing, is similar to the execution of marginalized people by the politically dominant, for having a different skin tone. Remember, this is a comparison that you made. I’m not asking you a random question – I’m asking you to defend your comparison – to validate your metaphor. And you’re not doing a good job. All you’re telling me is hyperbolic bullshit claims about the intentions and what’s actually happening. Nobody’s lives are being destroyed – the organizations (Even CFI, which specifically found evidence of wrongdoing that they considered actionable) are just circling the wagons. It’s plausible that the only thing that comes out of this is that women now know these men are harrassers, rather than relying on knowing the right people to warn them. Fine – that’s the most important thing here. If, theoretically, this actually damaged someone’s life, I’d be fine with that, but a damaged reputation and ego is not even remotely comparable to a fucking execution. This is immediately obvious to the most casual observer of the meanest intelligence – that’s why you keep eliding it.

    The allegations are themselves vague and unspecific.

    Sexual harrassment is not vague.

    No facts have been alleged by the accuser, including the identity of the alleged perpetrator.

    …do you know how to click on a link? Or read for content? Or even read the entire OP?

    No one here is in possession of any facts pertinent to the truth of any of the allegation(s).

    We know that independent third parties charged with following the case considered it harrassment.

    Nothing in defense or mitigation has been considered

    If you can’t claim “That straight up didn’t happen” accurately, there is no defense possible to repeated incidents. When you have multiple incidents from the same abuser, mitigation becomes impossible (as it would rely on misunderstandings or isolated mistakes).

    The same people have instantly decided what the only acceptable outcome must be for the accused, and it is the harshest available.

    Really? We executed the guy? That’d at least make your comparison more apt.

    People who do such things are defined at least as vigilantes, but it satisfies the “lynch mob” characterization, too. Do the accused have anything to say in defense or mitigation?

    Did we…

    Dox, kill, beat, harrass, or threaten Ben Radford’s physical safety? No? Then no defense is necessary.

  379. 379
    Rutee Katreya

    No one here has any authority (moral or legal) to be judge, jury, or executioner in this situation

    Racist fuckwit, nobody here died. There is no executioner. Ordinarily, I don’t see the need to correct this hyperbole, but we’re not ordinarily being told we’re being executioners – first literal, then metaphorical when called out on it. I’m more Charon than I am executioner – I gently guide woeful metaphor to a resting place, free from the troubles and toils of life away from the living in Hades.

    Also, if you want to play literature pedant, Animal Farm is hamfisted hack work (As in, commissioned to make a pay check from British Intelligence), Melville’s overrated, Fitzgerald’s hilariously overrated, it’s A Christmas Carol, people really only cite Brave New World as either an attempt to sound deep or because it’s archetypal dystopia, and you forgot all your italics. This is a game I’m actually versed in; If you want to play, I may just deign to play.

  380. 380
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Felicity the Fuckwit:
    You can whine about online criticism all you want. Until you show evidence that anyone has been physically harmed or killed, your incessant cries of mob justice and lynchings demonstrate what type of person you are:
    an intellectually bankrupt liar who supports a culture of harassment and silence of women.

    ****

    Linda Rosa:
    Yes, you do have a problem with harsh words, as it has been a near obsession with you in post after post. You have some antiquated notion of words that should not be used in discourse. Amusingly, you cling to taboos that originate in religion (the fuck do you think PROFANE means) on an atheists’ blog.

  381. 381
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Felicity the Dishonest:
    ” Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that arise in communities, such as charivari, Skimmington, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering. Lynchings have been more frequent in times of social and economic tension, and have often been the means used by the politically dominant population to oppress social challengers. Lynching is sometimes mistakenly thought of as an exclusively North American activity, but it is found around the world as vigilantes act to punish people outside the rule of law; indeed, instances of it can be found in societies long antedating European settlement of North America.”

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching

    So yes, lynchings can and have happened to people of many races. However, as my emphasis sows above, lynchings involve KILLING PEOPLE.
    Felicity continues hir dishonesty by equating online criticism with murder. My guess is xe has no substantial argument to put forth, so just like hir buddy Linda Rosa, xe is a dishonet interlocuter.

  382. 382
    Rutee Katreya

    So yes, lynchings can and have happened to people of many races. However, as my emphasis sows above, lynchings involve KILLING PEOPLE.

    They can. To expound a bit, particularly in the mid-19th century, and prior, we did actually have lynchings as more of a thing, and they weren’t just for black people at all. As time passed and law became more settled, lynching became a thing primarily done to PoC for being uppity, and Meriken vernacular changed to reflect approx 50 years of history there. But don’t spare the rod here, Tony- Felicity was damn clear on wanting to invoke the image of racial lynchings.

    Which is not to say that racial lynching in the Southeastern US isn’t an obscene part of that history. To the contrary, that particular obscenity made lynching a suitable metaphor for me to characterize what is happening here..

  383. 383
    Inaji

    Rutee, Felicity and Nurse Linda are the same person – they were outed on the grenade thread by PZ.

  384. 384
    Rutee Katreya

    I am shocked – SHOCKED – at the sock puppetting being carried out by lame trolls.

  385. 385
    Linda Rosa RN

    How is it that you don’t understand that for some people, their reputation for being a person of integrity and honesty is their most valued possession?

    Again you all don’t know much about nurses if you think the old ones any trouble with cursing. Some of us save it for the true horrors in life.

  386. 386
    Linda Rosa RN

    I am not Felicity.

  387. 387
    ChasCPeterson

    the guy with the ISP addresses sez different

  388. 388
    Owlmirror

    How is it that you don’t understand that for some people, their reputation for being a person of integrity and honesty is their most valued possession?

    Actually, cognitive bias results in people demanding and trying to protect that reputation even when they don’t actually have integrity or honesty.

    I am not Felicity.

    You aren’t exactly credible, here.

  389. 389
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Linda:
    You get the same question I just posed in the grenade thread:
    Can you prove that unfounded accusations have a negative impact on someone falsely accused?

    Aaaaand since you added another unfounded assertion: how do you know how much value Ben Radford places on his reputation?

    Oh and why have you and your sock puppet Felicity moved the goalposts? Before you complained about us trying to “destroy lives” which is some stupid hyperbolic bullshit given that all we are doing is discussing. You are enamored with baseless assertions and incapable of providing s coherent argument.

    Again: how, in what way, will any of the words typed in this thread ruin Ben Radfords life? Until you can prove that such is possible, let alone highly likely, you and your unfounded opinions can and will be dismissed.

    Asshole.

  390. 390
    Rutee Katreya

    How is it that you don’t understand that for some people, their reputation for being a person of integrity and honesty is their most valued possession?

    Why should I care? My most valued posessions could be a pair of plushies my wife gave me, but it wouldn’t make it remotely well founded to call you and other people a lynch mob for *actually* destroying them, let alone saying I shouldn’t have them.

    I am not Felicity.

    Probably shouldn’t have the same IP address then.

  391. 391
    zenlike

    Rutee,

    Not only ip address as proof, but comment 294 and comments356/357 are classic sock-puppet posts.

    But basically, only PZ (or CC?) can give the definitive proof, because only they can check the ip addresses of the posters.

  392. 392
    Linda Rosa RN

    Can you prove that unfounded accusations have a negative impact on someone falsely accused?

    Reputation repair companies…

  393. 393
    Owlmirror

    Reputation repair companies…

    Well, that’s real specific.

    OK, since there’s loads of astroturf, comment spam, and cotton-candy positive press-releases, maybe you could point to one or more specific cases?

  394. 394
    believerskeptic

    We’ve written and recorded a song about Karen Stollznow and her harasser, Benjamin Radford. Please feel free to pass this along.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy5xEipjKQc

    Blind Labyrinth
    (Kenneth Downey and Robert Gross)

  395. 395
    Jacob Schmidt

    Linda, how the fuck does this prove your point?

  396. 396
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I second Jacob’s question.

    Linda Rosa/Felicity Gowey:
    You provided no answer.
    You claim that the criticism of Ben Radford and Michael Shermer is devastating enough that if the allegations are false, will destroy their lives. Why do you feel this way? What evidence do you have to prove this? What cases can you point to that will substantiate your assertion?

    You wanted to be taken seriously and engaged without harsh words. Here I am doing just that. Now put up or shut up. Both of you.

  397. 397
    anteprepro

    I am not Felicity.

    Hilarious. Caught red-handed and still pleading innocent like a fucking child who doesn’t quite understand how lying is supposed to work yet. Just shut the fuck up already. There’s no point in us even bothering to deal with bullshit from someone so obviously underhanded, dishonest, and, above all, incompetent .

  398. 398
    Scr... Archivist

    Someone named Joe Anderson, who writes that he has known Karen Stollznow for a long time, has a piece in support of her posted to More Than Men: http://www.morethanmen.org/2013/08/12/joe-anderson-shame-on-you-ben/

  399. 399
    Tom Foss

    Karen Stollznow’s article has been removed; she says it’s by CFI’s legal dept.. Can we have some new, non-terrible skeptical orgs now?

    Cached version is here, courtesy of Skepchick Elyse.

  400. 400
    erratic

    Stollznow’s post seems to have been removed by SciAm. Either that or I am getting blocked for some reason.

  401. 401
    believerskeptic

    No, it was indeed removed by SciAm. Cached version is just above you, though.

  402. 402
    believerskeptic

    I find it disturbing how many True Skeptics come flocking to the defense of The Accused, so Skeptical that they Skeptically ignore how they diminish the credibility of the victim’s testimony. They are so Skeptical that they ignore how difficult it is already for people in such situations to come forward. They are so Skeptical that they ignore just how common this kind of behavior is, and just how many women there are who deal with this shit but feel like they must suffer in silence. They are so Skeptical that they are Skeptical of any role their Skepticism has in perpetuating this climate. With the True Skeptics, it is always about the rights of The Accused, and never about the rights of the victim. It’s always blame the victim, defend the victimizer. It’s always assuring that every public forum pretends that it is a wee little courthouse, inserting “alleged” into everything and sitting on our collective thumbs until the judge finally bangs the gavel.

    When is the point in time in which we are allowed to actually utter a phrase that isn’t couched firmly in Maybes and innuendo? How many accusers are necessary before we are permitted to be outraged and to guess that maybe the victims aren’t lying after all? How many need to have their name published and their faces in newspapers before we can pat The Accused on the head and say their God-given Right to know who their accusers are has been satisfied? And how many of these thresholds do we have to pass before you and those like you stop showing a disproportionate level of concern for The Accused and start actually caring about the victims?

    Especially in a case where the accused was actually found guilty by a five-month investigation by his workplace, a point that seems to be lost on a number of knuckleheads.

  403. 403
    believerskeptic

    Yeah, poor poor Weiner. Doesn’t have his Congressional seat anymore, and would have had a realistic shot at Mayor of NYC if he hadn’t continued his harassment after resigning.

    And he may win yet.

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23745281/political-oddsmakers-diverge-anthony-weiners-chances

  404. 404
    believerskeptic

    How about you say all this using your real names.

    Mine’s Robert Gross. What’s yours?

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